Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lyceum Aegis: Session Prep

OK-- if I have the chance to run a little with my niece on this game, I thought I'd work up a quick outline of the first session (maybe like 2 hours of shared narrative, I'm guessing).

I. Go over with her the most basic background-- an event in her life, the discovery of a strange power (and a figure associated with it), that leading to her leaving for this strange academy
What do I need her to figure out:
*What the power is/looks like
*General idea about upbringing, family, etc.
Walk her through the process of improvising these things-- a character sheet can come later. Alternately, if you want to give her some concrete mechanics to work from give her just stats from Storyteller, not all nine-- let's say Physique, Agility, Presence, Manipulation, Smarts, Will. Give her 14-15 points to spread around those stats. Can work out skills and other things later.

II. Leaving home-- the Instructor who comes to take her. I think either Monday (more reassuring, though with his own curious agenda) or Saturday (a little more threatening) will work-- depending on the tone. Flight, arrival, driving through Arkham Harbor (perpetual overcast, a strange retro vibe). Driving up the hill to the Academy itself (still need a better name for the place-- a subtle pun?)

III. Arrival on the grounds-- late in the evening-- sense that this comes after lights out. Don't have to describe the campus here, but possibly some odd figures. Can get a more detailed break down of things tomorrow. One or two of the Instructors present, and probably one or two of the servants. Luggage unloaded, few questions answered, class tomorrow, taken to room-- maybe a chance to catch a glimpse of some things.

IV. Quick Ref for me on the Instructors
*Mr. Monday: Older, seeming to be the leader, apparently distracted but actually watching
*Ms. Tuesday: The real source behind their knowledge, figure who won't show up for a time.
*Ms. Wednesday: Quiet, but an intense look about her. Strong and athletic figure. Reformed after her fall into darkness, dealing with that.
*Mr. Thursday: Severe, though perhaps his physique won't reflect that-- an imagined military bearing, but not the body to match his intensity.
*Mr. Friday: Outgoing and goofy-- dressed like an early Dr. Who. Grinning and quick to poke at the attitudes of the other instructors
*Ms. Saturday: Clearly Friday's older sister-- geared up, should have a Steampunk look to her. Wants to get through whatever scene she's in so she can get back to work.
*Mrs. Sunday: Not necessarily matronly, but the most effusive and human of the instructors. Scattered, might even assume she's staff rather than one of the seven teachers.

V. Put in room-- girls wing, late so no introductions. Some discordance to the decorations there. Late night, some sniffling around the door, but nothing there. Maybe some movement out on the grounds-- building up the sense of suspicion. Might be an opportunity to introduce one of the Student NPCs—Female #2 is the most approachable. Name-- Sarah Palance. Might pop in just to check on the new arrival-- will only tell a little, sense that there's a curfew. Keep answers enigmatic in contradiction to her bubbly personality.

VI. Quick Ref for me on the Students
*Warren Riel (Male #1) Rough, a little broken and scared to use his powers-- perhaps a little guilty about it. Has had a limited socialization-- may come off mean. Deliberately excluding others.
*Cynowae Divers (Female #1) A contrived laziness. Will be curious about the new student but will act non-chalant. Trying to be cool.
*Akitaro Lavey (Male #2) Paranoid worried-- fear and obsession about death. Unsure what's going on here.
*Sarah Palance (Female #2) Most effusive and bubbly of the characters-- will be trying to establish some kind of bond. Recognizes the isolation of the other students, hopes PC won't be that way.
*Marcus Tallon (Male #3) All of the male characters should be broken in their own way (ala the manga conventions). If Warren Riel is my Kyo from Fruits Basket, then this character is my Yuki. Leg Brace. There's a certain set of YA conventions where the slightly broken male characters can be rescued/saved/fixed by a strong female character. I'm thinking he should be held back a little-- maybe have him arrive later, making him the last of the students to come.
*Alethea Brooks (Female #3) This is our real lone wolf character-- tough and able to handle herself. Willing to control if necessary to survive.
*Drake Forbin (Male #4) If there's to be a dislikable character, among the students or one that comes off pretty awful, it should be him. He's either the first or second arrival here and thinks he's going to be the best. Will resent and identify as rival any strong male competition, or even a strong female.

VII. Brought down to breakfast-- a quick introduction of the other students (with the exception of Marcus Tallon, who we'll reserve for the later arrival scene. Breakfast in the hall-- establishment of the social dynamics-- Sarah Palance trying to explain everything. The Cook character established at this point. Breakfast concluded by the arrival of one of the other instructors-- either Wednesday or Saturday (if I haven't used her in the earlier scene).

VIII. Heading across the grounds to the school. Today's lesson, elements of classic mythology. Asking students to tell of a myth or legend from their reading (or in the case of the PC, their memory). Follow up should be asking the PC to 'unpack' the meaning of the story. What are the implications-- what are the common elements appearing there.

IX. Lunch-- afterwards PC being called to meet with Monday. I like the idea of him have been reassuring in the first scene and then vanishing. Reappears here to ask how she's doing and to explain a little about things...very little. If she asks questions about her powers-- should be put off at least for the moment. Might also introduce the mysterious figure of Tuesday at this point-- perhaps she asks a few questions of the PC.

X. Dinner—then a pile of assigned reading. After lights out, Sarah showing up-- trying to get PC to go and interact with the other two girls. Will say oversight is lax on nights when Friday has Hall Monitor duty.

XI. Perhaps interacting with the boys-- I like the idea of Akitaro getting in Forbin's way and creating a commotion, Warren staying out of things. Chance to actually show that the others have powers. Chance to have her summon up her powers as well. Arrival of an instructor if things get out of hand.

XII. Next day-- continue and simmerings and resentments at the breakfast table. Another set of lessons.

XIII. Introduction of the Marcus Tallon character to the scene. And now we have a possible tie back that I'll add in here-- in here initial scene, which we'll run off the cuff, depending on what she described generally, there will be some kind of dangerous figure-- she'll recognize that figure as Tallon. And scene.


  1. I definitely like where you're going with this. It's all very clever, intriguing, and as usual I wish I could be a PC.

    A possible name instead of 'Academy' would be 'Lyceum'. There are also variations, like the original Greek Lykeion, the French Lycée, the Russian Litsey, etc. Generally means high school, especially a college prep.

    Originally referred to Apollo Lykeios, possibly meaning either "wolf [killer?]" or "light bringer" (ie Lucifer?). Appropriate decorations on the walls if you want to emphasize either meaning, and Mrs. Sunday would get added importance.
    I knew the term Lyceum and Lycee, the rest is from Wikipedia. I'm pleased that my theory it might derive from Lycos could be true!

  2. Could be the Lyceum Aegis-- the latter of course meaning shield, referring to the Watchtower idea, but also meaning sponsorship.