[Campaign Concept, nMage] Awakening High

The group got to thinking about running a less dark-and-broody campaign over the next few months after L5R, just to allow for the more inconstant attendance of the Christmas season to pass without having to do odd GM handwavium to explain absences.  There were several systems / campaign settings tossed about for consideration, but one of the most amusing ideas was a game where the players were High School students.

The original concept was an over-the-top martial arts campaign in the vein of the Rival Schools fighting games, or the Ranma 1/2 anime, but it was soon apparent that it was difficult to keep such a campaign going without going through the same plot over and over again.  Big bad appears, causes a ruckus, students appear, big fight happens, big bad goes down… rinse, repeat.

And so I tried to think of other possible options for a game that had the same irreverence potential but wasn’t just confined to the martial arts / combat aspect.  Oddly enough Mage: the Awakening came to mind, and the idea seems to just flow very well.  I’m still not completely decided on all the specifics of the campaign, but the broad strokes look like:

  • A modern-day urban campaign set in a city.  Boston, London and Tokyo are all potential settings.
  • The local Consilium, headed by the Mysterium are conducting a large-scale experiment involving the education of mages who have awakened at a young age.  The project was meant to teach these younger mages to harness their powers while providing them the necessary mundane education in an environment conducive to their development as people and mages.
  • Each of the students in the game are technically scholars in an exclusive, private school (which just happens to teach magic.)
  • The other Orders are participating in the experiment as well, serving as faculty and mentors to the students.
  • There will be other cabals not involved in the experiment but may meddle in the student’s affairs.
  • The Seers of the Throne will also have their own education program for the youth to serve as recurring villains / rivals.

The tone of the game will obviously be more lighthearted than usual, but it will still have its fair share of nWoD horror stuff.  Won’t be too gruesome, but having something scary and dangerous is part and parcel of the Young Adult fiction crowd, so to speak.  I’m pretty happy with keeping it as a Mage game, since I’m not sure how people will take to the idea of having all the nWoD groups represented in one way or another.

So far that’s all I’ve got.  I’ll figure out character creation guidelines soon, as well as the restrictions (like, no guns.)

What do you guys think?  Any suggestions for things I can add to this setting to make it more interesting?

12 thoughts on “[Campaign Concept, nMage] Awakening High

  1. How about..a spirit of war and strife..imprisoned via an ancient ritual within 5 enchanted items scattered across asia for thousands of years predating even the time of atlantis..this spirit is still powerful enough that it could still influence certain individuals that hold promise as willworkers to search the 5 items and defeat their wielders and /or keepers..once the items are successfully gathered in one area and the ritual is complete..well it holds the promise of a lot of back side thumping and hurting..well anyways just an idea..

    1. Hey there Independentpoet!

      That’s a neat idea, and one that I’d actually apply liberally to a Martial Arts game if I ever ran one. I keep getting flashbacks of the Fatal Fury anime movies while reading it. Still, a variant of such might work out for the Awakening High game, though tweaked for a more Young Adult fiction spin. Thanks!

  2. This sounds a bit like the Young Jedi Knights series from Star Wars fiction: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Jedi_Knights

    Also, I did something similar back in Ascension…and it worked out very well with, for quite some time, nothing whatsoever happening. By that I mean, yeah, they’re mages, but the big point is that they were high school students, and had to deal with bullies, girls/boys, unfair teachers, etc.

    1. Sadly, I don’t think it would be the same.
      Nor would this be a good introduction to nMage.

      Since in actual nMage, a Mage develops on his own – aside from his Mentor – since a Mage usually awakens alone.

      Its like a secret identity. He is a superhero. Its about being alone and different.

      And it will be up to him on how to learn about his powers on his own, with some tutelage, but still mostly on his own. And at the same decide whether or not to abuse his powers blatantly.

      Whereas the idea for this setting is that everyone, in school, he encounters is a Mage.
      Each as powerful and somewhat as learned as him.
      Sure, their desires are smaller in scale since they’re more pre-occupied with pretentious High School needs and wants. But the crux would be how they will develop their knowledge of magic given a school setting.

      There is no convenience of everyone being fairytale-nice to everyone else, aside from the tension between the protagonist and the antagonist.
      At best they are civil with one another.
      Though I am not completely disregarding the fact that friendships can still be forged – that is why cabals are formed.

        1. Exactly.

          That’s why I told Jay to read up on it.

          Aside from helping curb it from devolving to HP, it’ll help him design the setting of a magical HS – without it being entirely focused on the magical aspect.

          Its the innovative use of magic that the school wants to promote, not the end all be all of it.
          How to use it as a complement to solve real-life problems, rather than create a dependency for it.
          In summary, how to create functional citizens of society, out of people with the ability to literally change the world.

  3. What? GMs don’t like the handwavium? I thought that was their purpose in life! (I KID!)

    Hogwarts for sleepers about to wake up? Kewl.

    You should run a Feng Shui game! That could even tie into the idea independentpoet threw out with a little mixing so it looks like your own style of stuff.

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