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New DM: need adventure ideas for kids in Wizarding school


First Post
wolff96 said:
I keep a notebook. For interpersonal relationships, I make a diagram. For place description, 4x6 notecards. The same system for enemies and frequently used creatures.

Absolute gold, wolff96! Those are exactly all of the issues that were beginning to concern me:)

By the way, another idea I had recently was the loss of a familiar. If you run it right, you'll be able to instill fear of the woods, make them realize how important it is to be careful with your familiar, and even get them into trouble (for further adventures) because such new students are seen near the Forbidden Woods. It's a triple threat! ;)

I like this one!! When the ghost ferret scares off the familiars, the PCs' own familiars will bolt through a window to the woods! If they play it right, maybe they can get a ranger to Speak with Animals to find out who zapped the ferret!

*draws a line on his relationships diagram*

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First Post
rln said:
Check this thread for another guy that does sort of the same...

Wow, that was a great link! Thank you!

I'm definitely taking that clique/gang idea. I was trying to come up with Houses, and it just wasn't working in my head. This is simply much better. I can add who I want to whatever clique I want, less fuss, less muss, more dynamic. There will be an official buddy system, randomly chosen to put compatible people together. *wink*

I also want to use the item-card idea. There's more preparation work to be done, but it also gives me more options for describing items, etc. When they identify items, they'll be able to write the properties on the flip-side of the card.

Similarly, I want to make the players transcribe their spells into their spellbooks, text and all. I will give them little booklets for this, and strongly encourage them to add their own verbal components, audio/visual effects, etc. Ideally, they should write their spells in a shorthand that is difficult for other people to read!! They'll then keep track of the number of hours they've spent researching, practising, and studying each spell. This will be used for wild magic effects. Once they've used a spell successfully in an appropriate situation, they will know a spell well enough not to have to study it anymore. (This is like Wulf's Lazy Days skill system, which I'll also be using for zeroth level.)

I have been scouring the Net for games to play, and the best one I've come up with so far is called Mastery. It fits well in a medieval fantasy world!

I have a lot of NPC development to do now. I bought a stack of 4x6 cards and alphabetically indexed separators to keep them organized. I'm intending to base the Rakshasa villain that I'm using on the Kzin from Larry Niven's Known Space series. Using cliques I can manage the relationships web fairly easily. Still, I'm teetering on the brink of buying NPC Essentials...



First off, I have nothing really directly userful to add-- I just wanted to say, Blargney, this is a great idea. Especially for new players. In fact, I think this game will work well because they're new. What a memorable first campaign!

As a new DM, just be sure that all the hard work and preperation you put in doesn't become too "precious". Sometimes the riddle/quest/NPC that you've decided is "just the best" will bore your PCs to death, and a lot of new DMs will force their players to go the direction he had plotted for them before-hand, whether they like it or not!

The school environment gives them enough structure to be fairly innocuous with their wanderings, but Harry Potter and crew are always breaking the rules! Let them surprise you, it's really more fun . . .

And second, I wanted to pop in to say thanks to Esiminar for the link to the ESD page-- I finally, *finally*, have a copy of the freaking Glantri book!


First Post
Thanks for the praise and the constructive criticism, (contact)! I'll try not to get too attached to my plans. It'll be hard while they're lonely for lack of backup plans!



First Post
I've lately read Sepulchrave's story hour, and he really makes me want to have a mostly monotheistic human culture. CleverName's story hour is also an excellent example of this setup.

I like the fact that it engenders cultural conflict between proponents of different pantheons. Religious wars within a single polytheist pantheon don't make nearly as much sense to me as actual inter-religion conflicts.

I'd ideally like to have a religious sytem that takes the best monotheistic elements of Oronthonism with the slew of rich pantheons and cultural heroes/demi-gods from Palaestra. Since I'm currently in Quebec, organized monotheism (*cough* catholicism) can be used to spectacular effect on people that have lived here for generations!

I've been scouring the Internet and Dungeon magazines for DMing tips and adventure ideas... I think I'm starting to get a general idea of how to do this. I'm still trying to figure out how to *start* the game though. Once I've done that, the rest ought to flow fairly easily, I think!

Could someone please give me an example of a good campaign opening, and how you would execute it as a DM? I'd like it to happen as the PCs are on the way to the Academy for the first time, and they witness an event of some import. The event should ideally leave some questions running around in their minds...


Psychotic Jim

First Post
Quite a lot of great-looking campaign idea material in this thread. The clique idea is particulaly good. How about you base a main clique off of each of the stereotypcial personality of the tradiitional wizard schools. The necromancers could be goths, while your evokers could be the paint-ball playing, aggressive, in-your-face jock stereotype. Illusionists could be your elitist drama club or offbeat artist type. Transmuters could be your overly analytical, geeky, scientist types, ect. And you could also have subcliques in each school- like in the Necromantic school you could have your classic Poe type vs. the new, more punkish, leather-wearing type of goth stereotype. There would be a department for each magic school, and the faculty of each would constantly try to vie for power, primarily financial but also social and political, by gaining the favor of the admininistration and the public. Quite a few war stories or opportunity for intrigue exist there.

Another idea is that in a literature class or something the characters fall asleep while supposed to be reading a book, and the characters get sucked into the book and get to muck around with the events inside it. When I ran a GURPS IOU game back in high school the characters were reading Great Expectations in an English literature class taught by a nasal-voiced, prissy lizard woman. They all ended up falling asleep and somehow being sucked into the book and screwed-up all of the story. They talked Joe into murdering his abusive wife, convinced Pip to start doing crack, burned Miss Havisham, and a host of other ghoulish things. When they figured out how to escape this weird world by finding a GURPS IOU book and reading it, they escaped and went back to the literature class. When they got back, they found that Great Expectations had rewritten itself mentioning their exploits and the book consequently got banned, much to the joy of the characters. Everyone in the group thought it was quite funny because none of us particularly liked that book. Your group could do something similar, whether deffending a book you all like or wrecking a book you all dislike.

You might want to pick up Discworld accessory for GURPS and some of the Discworld novels for ideas on how to run a miagical, humorous university game. In the Discworld humorous fantasy book series, there is a strange university for wizards called Unseen Univesity in Ankh-Morpork that you could mine ideas from. Like how they have a librarian who got transformed into an orangutang in a magical accident but wants to stay that way because he doesn't have to wear pants and can scratch humself in public. Or plot ideas like how a girl might have to struggle (or even sue) the unviserity to get admitteed as a wizard or a boy to become a witch in domains dominated by the opposite gender. GURPS IOU is another good resource if you like lots of humor, being a whole world-book dealing with a univeristy that happens to lie on an interdimensional ley-line nexus. Not D&D accessories, but they might be helpful.


First Post
Don't know if you've seen this product or not, but I bought it last week and I love it. It's heavy on the abjuration magic, of course, but there's a lot of other good stuff too. Other schools are supposed to follow. They've got different houses, a demerit system, the whole shebang. There's some especially good stuff on working in various races of spellcasters. You thought non- spellcasting dwarves were cranky....

St. John's College of Abjuration

Man, as much as I pimp other people's products around here I should start applying for royalties.

As for the religion, I'd just pick a few mythological gods you like and assume that they oppose each other for whatever reason. Mainly you'd just have to change the metaphysics around- there's a limited amount of worshippers in the world, maybe a god's power depends on how many he has? I seem to remember something in either basic D&D or planescape where gods who lost their worshippers could effectively "die".

You mention that you want to start out the story with an event of import- what will be important in your campaign? The foreshadowing sort of depends on what you eventually plan on doing....

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