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Ideas for my Dragon-blooded series

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Anonymous
December 21, 2004 3:25:17 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

[Also posted on RPG.net, but here as well because I figure it's more
likely to get noticed here due to lower post volume :)  ]

So, I've been cajoled into running a Dragon-blooded game for a few
friends (at this point looking like 3-4). I have an idea for a short
series, which I'm trying to flesh out at the moment, and am looking to
brainstorm ideas.

The basic idea (taking place pre-Empress-vanishment) is that the Empress
has built and staffed a fifth Academy for teaching the young Exalts.
Rather than teaching anything new, it tries to make them more
well-rounded, by having instructors from all four of the original
academies, and having students choose 'major' and 'minor' subjects. A
battle-sorcerer might major in the Heptagram (Sorcery) and minor in the
Legions (House of Bells), for example. The ostensible idea is that this
will create harmony between the four academies eventually by producing
graduates who have experience of/loyalties to more than one school.

She's not doing this out of the goodness of her heart, of course, and
the harmony idea is total bollocks, and a lot of people realise this.
It's another academy to play off against the current four, in typical
Empress-fashion. And there's another layer to it, of course. The academy
itself is a Manse, and there's something taking place beneath it that
the Empress is covering up with the Essence emissions of a bunch of
Exalted students learning Charms and sorcery, among other things. (I
haven't decided what she's concealing yet, I don't plan for it to come
up in the first arc, it's more foreshadowing and motivation than
anything else at this point.

The Academy of the Nine-Pointed Star has eight horizontal points and a
central vertical one. The cardinal directions and the vertical point
contain large quantities of their corresponding element (Earth being the
central vertical area) - so an enormous wind chamber, a furnace, a vast
tank of water, and a bunch of huge trees, as well as a vertical shaft of
earth. This is due to the Dragon-Blooded being able to regain
Essence/health levels from immersion in their element, and also due to
the recognised occasional need (Compulsion when Willpower = 0) of the
Dragon-Blooded to immerse themselves in their element.

The other four points (SE, SW, NE, NW) are the four schools - I haven't
decided yet whether to name them the same as their larger counterparts
(Heptagram, House of Bells, Cloister of Wisdom, Spiral Academy) or come
up with new ones. Surrounding those are the dormitories and living
quarters, and then the outer walls.

The PCs will be students, and the gather-the-PCs-in-the-same-place hook
will be they'll be sharing a dormitory. Whether they choose to
immediately ally up or keep each other at arm's length, at least they're
going to be in close contact for a fairly long time.

I plan for a few events of interest to happen during the semester.
Things like an arrogant oik who got expelled from the House of Bells for
incompetence and got bought a place at this school wanting to get back
at the HoB, so he and his flunkies try to steal a mascot animal of some
sort (another undecided thing, the mascot is for the Games, below) from
the House of Bells. (This sort of student raid happens a lot). The PCs
have a dilemma - try and stop him from going, let him go and risk him
dragging down the honour of the school by getting caught, or go with him
and try and make sure it's done right. I'm sure my PCs will find options
4, 5 and possibly 6 (no adventure plan survives first contact with these
players ), but it'll be an interesting situation, at any rate.

Also, I was thinking of having a demon escape its binding in the sorcery
school and hide in the dormitories, where it tries to tempt the PCs or
NPCs into serving the Yozis, and/or attacks them. Possibly the academy's
Masters are too late in sorcerously locking all the dormitory doors to
protect the students, and so the demon is actually locked in with the PCs.

The culmination of the first arc will be the inter-Academy Games. The
students from the five academies compete in all sorts of games - duels
(armed and unarmed), of course, but also athletic events (jumping,
footraces, obstacle courses and such), chariot races and archery/thrown
events. Not only physical trials, but also intellectual and social.
Trials of Lore, Sorcery, problem solving (maybe a faked-up murder
mystery) and the like for intellectual tasks. Some of the social games I
was pondering would be a bit like Donald Trump's Apprentice program -
given certain resources, negotiate with the other teams (who have been
given different resources), obtain sufficient resources to create a
saleable product, create it, go forth and sell it. Debating
competitions. Give each team the same amount of [commodity] and see who
can parlay it into the most money, out on the street. The use of Charms
would be allowed, but the teams have to deal with the consequences if
someone realises they've been Charmed into a really bad deal (probably
fines). Charms on other teams are fair game, of course, but no room for
complaining if they do unto you first. No actual combat in the social
games, though - if they want to hit things to win, they're in the wrong
event.

The honour of the academies is at stake in these games - the Empress is
watching. The Nine-Pointed Star needs to prove itself, and the original
four don't want to be beaten by the NPS (or each other) in case the
Empress decides they're no longer necessary.

That's how I currently see the first arc going, at any rate, with the
Games as a session-long (or even more) climax. I'm keen on more ideas
for the Games, especially the Mental and Social ones, and on a few more
events for the semester lead-up, and also to hear if there's anything
that might be better done differently. This'll be my first time running
D-Blooded (I've run a little bit of Solars before).

One player has given me his character already - a Fire-aspected
Hedonist, with a little Melee and Thrown, but mainly Socialize Charms.
As far as I can tell, he flips out and seduces people. The player's
currently trying to decide between majoring in the bureaucratic school
or the Legions one.
Anonymous
December 27, 2004 10:34:37 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Grant Anderson wrote:
> [Also posted on RPG.net, but here as well because I figure it's more
> likely to get noticed here due to lower post volume :)  ]
>
That's right; keep your mind on the Positive!^^

> The basic idea (taking place pre-Empress-vanishment) is that the
Empress
> has built and staffed a fifth Academy for teaching the young Exalts.
> Rather than teaching anything new, it tries to make them more
> well-rounded, by having instructors from all four of the original
> academies, and having students choose 'major' and 'minor' subjects. A

> battle-sorcerer might major in the Heptagram (Sorcery) and minor in
the
> Legions (House of Bells), for example. The ostensible idea is that
this
> will create harmony between the four academies eventually by
producing
> graduates who have experience of/loyalties to more than one school.

One wonders why there isn't any such thing...
>
> The PCs will be students, and the gather-the-PCs-in-the-same-place
hook
> will be they'll be sharing a dormitory. Whether they choose to
> immediately ally up or keep each other at arm's length, at least
they're
> going to be in close contact for a fairly long time.

I'm assuming you're using the "young Dragon-Blooded" rules from the DB
book?
>
> The culmination of the first arc will be the inter-Academy Games. The

> students from the five academies compete in all sorts of games -
duels
> (armed and unarmed), of course, but also athletic events (jumping,
> footraces, obstacle courses and such), chariot races and
archery/thrown
> events. Not only physical trials, but also intellectual and social.
> Trials of Lore, Sorcery, problem solving (maybe a faked-up murder
> mystery) and the like for intellectual tasks. Some of the social
games I
> was pondering would be a bit like Donald Trump's Apprentice program -

> given certain resources, negotiate with the other teams (who have
been
> given different resources), obtain sufficient resources to create a
> saleable product, create it, go forth and sell it. Debating
> competitions. Give each team the same amount of [commodity] and see
who
> can parlay it into the most money, out on the street. The use of
Charms
> would be allowed, but the teams have to deal with the consequences if

> someone realises they've been Charmed into a really bad deal
(probably
> fines). Charms on other teams are fair game, of course, but no room
for
> complaining if they do unto you first. No actual combat in the social

> games, though - if they want to hit things to win, they're in the
wrong
> event.

I *really* like the idea of "Exalted: Apprentice"! Though I'm not sure
if Jade would be the best object...maybe "Who can get a level 5 Manse
built fastest?"
>
> That's how I currently see the first arc going, at any rate, with the

> Games as a session-long (or even more) climax. I'm keen on more ideas

> for the Games, especially the Mental and Social ones, and on a few
more
> events for the semester lead-up, and also to hear if there's anything

> that might be better done differently. This'll be my first time
running
> D-Blooded (I've run a little bit of Solars before).
>
Some possible sources of inspiration: The Harry Potter books/movies,
Marvel Comics' New X-Men (focussing on competing teams of young mutants
at Xavier's school), and most teen movies, esp that one remaking
"Dangerous Liasons". BTW, don't forget about the Martial Arts
Tournament, a classic genre of anime!

Dex
!