Well, looks like my little GMing hiatus is over and it’s about time to start the Awakening High campaign in earnest. To be perfectly honest I’m still trying to get a firm grip on the nature of teen stories, keeping in mind that motivating characters of that age bracket involve a slightly different set of priorities.
A part of me is thinking that this isn’t really that big a deal, especially when I get the game running, but I’m really looking for a way to keep this campaign honest to it’s premise, while exploring other stories that I’ve not had a chance to explore when I ran other games. Interesting avenues to explore would include:
- Responsibility and Accountability – Teens might be universally perceived as untrustworthy and generally irresponsible, but I’d like to argue that when we were of that age, we struggled with responsibility, it was new but also empowering. Being a Mage places a unique form of accountability for a teen, so that might be something I could work with.
- Lies upon lies – When things go wrong, teens will find it very hard not to lie. Lying is the easy way out, and avoiding consequences of a botched encounter by lying about it can complicate things very quickly. As a GM, I’ve garnered a reputation for being the karma GM, so I’m certain I’ll be paying attention to the complications whether I’m aware of it or not.
- Romance – Romance is a big deal to a teen, and I’m pretty sure we’ve all been on that particular rollercoaster of infatuation, fantasy and heartbreak. Add unstable hormones and a general hesitation to go to adults for advice and you’ve got the start of a perpetual-motion machine of teenaged plots.
- In over your head – Yeah, this is probably related to the first two points, getting in over your head is something that happens all the time as well, and can be the source of interesting plot hooks. While this sort of thing can be a bitch when it happens to PCs, but is perfectly okay when you’re inflicting it on NPCs.
- Rivalry – In the same way that Romance can be interesting teen years are years when Rivalry can be a powerful fuel for motivation. Having the right kind can pretty much get players to start going pro-active even beyond the boundaries of a GM’s notes, which can be a good thing if the GM is able to keep up with their shenanigans.
Admittedly, this isn’t the first time I’ve run a game with teen heroes, as I’ve also run a Supers campaign with teen heroes. I guess my primary conflict now is how to make sure that the game is interesting without going too dark and dreary even if it is the World of Darkness.