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Need Help Fleshing out my campaign idea (magic highschool)

Heidirs

First Post
I’m going to be running a system called Kids on Brooms, basically a magic highschool. I’m realizing I have a story for the town and an idea for a villain, but only a half formed plot for the players to uncover.

The magic school exists in a town that was formed by a group of witches fleeing the Salem Witch trials. The campaign’s main villain, Tituba, eventually followed the group years later and attempted to destroy them as revenge for abandoning her. Tituba was defeated with the help of the local Native American community by removing her magic power. Tituba lived out her remaining years within a local tribe as a bitter woman.

When settlers came to the area and forced the native tribes into reservations, a magic ritual was performed to summon Tituba’s spirit in the hopes she might protect the native population. But Tituba only cares for destroying the magical community, and her “ghost” has since existed in the local forest, biding its time.

The game has a fear mechanic that I plan to use. Tituba basically hopes to destroy the magical community by having it collapse in on itself from its members’ fears. If characters, NPCs and players, encounter Tituba, she may “infect” them with fear, causing them to act erratically in certain situations.

There is one student NPC at the start of the campaign that has been infected by Tituba. Player characters interacting with this NPC may notice oddities in his behavior and may collect hints that can lead them to discover Tituba’s spirit in the forest.

There is one adult NPC that has also been infected by Tituba. This character was a student at the school decades ago. However, due to their erratic behavior and uncontrolled magical power (via being infected by Tituba), their magic was removed. They have returned to the town decades later under a new identity to fuel Tituba’s mission.

My main issue with the character above is I’m not sure what they can do to aid Tituba. Being non-magical but having knowledge of the magical community, I think they could possibly draw outside attention to the town. Perhaps even government officials? With the idea that this magical community is trying to remain hidden from the vastly non-magical world, having non-magical people repeatedly visit could pose an issue.

I should mention the town is set in the US, has a population of around 3,000 people and highschool of about 250 students. So it’s relatively small.

Over the centuries the magical community has fought to remain hidden throughout the relocation of native americans, the building of a local damn - causing a population boom, the establishment of a local german POW camp, and the building of an airforce base during WWII (the last two things being eventually shut down and abandoned). I feel like Tituba should possibly have tried to use her powers to expose the magical community during these events, but I’m not sure how. But this is a history of the town the players can uncover, so there’s room for adventures related to this.

I think the campaign should bring up the question of whether it’s worth trying to keep magic hidden in a changing world where doing so is increasingly difficult.

Fear is also a theme. And the ritual that removed magic is secret.

I have ideas for mini adventures like exploring the forest, taking magic classes, participating in magic festivals. But I’m having trouble with the overarching plot - what exactly it is and how the players might encounter it. Some of this might reveal itself over our sessions at the table, but I was hoping I could pick some people’s brains and gather other ideas? I appreciate the help!
 

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Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
throw in a murder mystery?

Maybe a ritualistic murder has occurred (to summon Tituba) and the FBI (Outsiders!) is now investigating. The victim was a student of the magic school, their best freind is now possessed by Tituba (NPC) and the adult infectee is either the killer or works for the FBI (or both?) - they keep pointing the agents at the school, but doesnt want to appear crazy so cant outright claim "its magic"
 

aco175

Legend
@Heidirs welcome to the boards, we will give you all sorts of answers, even the ones you are not asking.

Sounds like you have a good campaign plan. Some background may help with answers, such as if this is you first campaign or a little more about Kids on Brooms. A couple general things about campaigns with new systems and new players is to start small and expand from there. Have a few detailed NPCs to get things moving and to plan out what the players are interested in.

You have a couple plot hooks already with the dam, POW camp, and old airbase. Do they all need ties to Tituba, no, but perhaps the dead POWs died from a curse or infestation that the PCs need to figure out to defeat the fear going on. Maybe the old airbase has a research facility or even a proto-type atomic bomb to deal with. The dam could have flooded an Indian burial ground causing zombies to float to the surface or the need to go underwater to find an amulet of protection from Titula.
 


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Expanding on my post above, the town in TvBoPE was founded by Satanists. Everything seems like a normal small to middling sized city, but slightly…askew. Like the HS being named after Alastair Crowley...and having a goat as their mascot. There is a secret cabal running things behind the scene, and they’re looking for the Book of Pure Evil to help fulfill their plans.

And both series have themes of the evil of the past leaking into the present. Haven in particular has residents who have “cursed“ abilities that they only have minimal control over.

Raiding those two seri for ideas, you could add things like helping people when someone’s powers go haywire. Going into abandoned buildings to find some bit of lore in the form of newspaper clippings, abandoned files and whatnot.


OMG…

What about borrowing plots from shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Charmed?
 

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