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World of Darkness: The Academy - Character Creation information

Dawn OOC

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Reposted from original thread:

I am starting a new game. This one is a NWoD games, using those rules. The setting is my own, however, so please leave preconceptions about possible supernatural groups and types at the door. The posting speed for this game will depend on the PCs, largely. I’m setting it up in “missions-style” chunks with time passing in between them. Fictions will be worth xp, and are where personal interactions and stories can be the focus. “Missions” (and let me state that they aren’t missions, just what I’m calling them ATM) will be where major plot happens. This will let people build their own story, while having directed plot. Fictions will be woven into the main story as much as possible; therefore, while I’m not building the fictions, I reserve the right to edit or adjust the fictions as needed.

Participation in “Missions” is not required. If you want to immerse yourself in school life and not mess with the missions that is your choice. The missions will largely be exploring new areas, and once I’ve closed the plot for an area, PCs are welcome to return to that area in fictions. After things are rolling, there will likely be more than one mission at a time to encourage people to spread out some. No one should expect to participate in every single mission - time-wise, it just won't be possible unless you want your character's grades to slip or their job to suffer.

IC Setting

The IC conceit is that your characters are located at a boarding school, the Trevor Dalton Academy located near Estes Park, CO, in the Rocky Mountains. The academy, called the Dalton by the townies, stresses leadership and excellence, both academically and in extracurricular activities. The school has a football team, a baseball and softball team and two soccer teams. It also has several non-athletic clubs that are designed to encourage and inspire leadership. It has a top-notch teaching faculty, as well as an excellent support staff. When the Dalton is in session, there are roughly 300 students, 20 full-time faculty and 10 full-time support staff (3 janitors, 3 nurses, 1 office secretary and 3 grounds staff). Students must remain on-campus unless given a pass. They are allowed to remain at school during breaks, for a housing fee. Fish and plants are the only allowed ‘pets’ for the students and care for them must be arranged during break.

The House System

Dalton has a house system, with six houses with roughly fifty residents to a house, divided based on gender. Due to the flux in students, there is occasionally a co-ed house, and one Dormitory is set up into two wings to separate the sexes internally. Houses have mascots and a friendly rivalry is encouraged, with the leading house earning perks. Points are gained through weekly games – quizzes, races, etc – by volunteering to help the faculty and staff and by participating in charity events in the community, such as blood drives, clothing drives, etc. Students are not required to participate in the events, but there is pressure to not earn demerits that will drag everyone else down. Houses often have internal perks for their top earner. Each house also has a senior faculty member who has a suite of rooms in the house. Students share rooms though a student can have an expensive private room (there are some rooms held as private every year just for the extra tuition they generate). Each dorm has its own dining hall, but students are not restricted to their own hall. There are also study rooms in each building, which have study materials and books, though the campus has a consolidated library rather than each house having one officially.

PC requirements

Experience to start: 20 xp

PCs will start as normal students, staff or faculty mortals with no specialized knowledge of the occult (general knowledge such as what would be found in the real world or fiction is fine). As students, the PCs need to have a reason to be at the academy, such as scholastic aptitude, athletic ability, wealthy parents or have your parents working at the school. Faculty should have at least 3 dots in their relevant area of expertise (the computer teacher should have at least 3 dots in computer). Staff should have appropriate skills to match their backgrounds and jobs.

In addition to a character sheet with at least 15 xp spent and a background, I need each character to designate their “special” thing. Your imagination is your limit in this situation. The last time I ran a game like this, I had one PC want to become a were-panther; the other was a half-angel. One was obviously “by the books” and the other had to be created. Rules needed for specialness will be created by me.

Role-play will be emphasized over roll-play. The game will start with individual or linked small-group threads. They will close after their introduction and the fictions will be free-form.


Fictions will be worth 1 to 3 xp each, depending on length and character development. Missions will be worth 3 to 10 xp each, depending on length, character development and danger level. Xp will also be awarded at my discretion.

Metagaming Policy

Metagaming is one of the most annoying things to deal with in a game. Metagaming is any situation where a PC uses OOC knowledge to gain an IC advantage. You'll lose xp when you metagame, as much as I feel is appropriate. And since I'll likely be pissed when it happens, 'appropriate' will vary.

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Rules I'm using:

Experience to start: 20 xp

Simple Merit Rule: If a merit is a simple merit, you do not have to pay for each dot. For example, by standard rules, Striking Looks 4 is 20 xp to buy from scratch; if treated as a simple merit, you spend xp as if you were only paying for that fourth dot, so 8 xp. I have heard that the developers always intended it to be done this way, and I rather like it myself. If you have questions about which merits apply for simple status, just ask me.

House Status: Each character has a dot of House status, so long as they are known to be a member of that House (and it is nearly impossible to hide that information). If they are well known or members of one of the sports teams, they start with two dots of status; as an example, Sean would have 2 for being on the football team, while Deek would have 2 for being known to be a trickster (his reputation does enhance the House in the other students' eyes). You cannot buy House status; it is given by me based on IC actions.

House Goodwill: This merit is from the Changeling books as Court Goodwill; it means that you are known to another group as a friend, but are still an outsider. While you are not privy to its secrets, you are considered a friend. You cannot buy House Goodwill; it is given by me based on IC actions.

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Character FAQ

Here is the OOC FAQ for character creation and the game.

What kind of character should this be?

Start with an ordinary person; the supernatural aspects will be added in-game, though you might see clues immediately. I think that the best word to describe what your special thing should be is “destiny.” What is your character going to become that is beyond the mundane? Ideally, all the players should, once fully ‘empowered’, have the equivalent of a major template. Adjustments will be made as needed, and if something is granted to your character but proves to be unbalancing or problematic, it will be replaced with something more appropriate.

Can my special thing be a “thing”? Like a laser pistol?

Yes, I foresaw it as something you are born to become or get changed into... but if you want your "destiny" to be to have a tool or weapon, we can work on it. But no laser pistols. Really.

How young can I be?

You can be as young as 7th Grade. I don’t recommend being younger than thirteen, even if you are a wunderkind. Stick to the teens as far as age, and you should be fine. If you want to be younger, you’ll start with fewer skills than the other kids. To be faculty, you should be at least 22, to account for attending college for 4 years to gain an advanced degree. Members of the staff need to be old enough to have earned their position - i.e., the nurses are at least 21 to have earned a three-year nursing degree and obtain registration. The janitors and groundsstaff can be 18, as an alternate example, so long as they can do the job.

Where do I submit the character?

To my Dawn, OOC account; please add a [Mortals] tag to the entry.

What should I know about the game?

The general theme is one of exploration; being a teenager is naturally a time when boundaries expand and new things are found. In this case, the boundaries in question are beyond the normal. The mood is meant to be dark, even if it is not THE World of Darkness. Things outside the school are very normal – and that might become an issue for the PCs, if school becomes a more interesting place than home. The theme song for the game is Right Where It Belongs, version 2, by Nine Inch Nails. The linked video is actually very appropriate for displaying the mood I’m striving for (for once).

How detailed should my background be?

As detailed as needed. While family will not be around much, you will have interactions with them over time. And if you tell me that your father is overbearing and your mother coddles you, expect them to visit to loom and spoil you, respectively.

Will you allow reboots of other characters?

Yes, on a case-by-case basis. I will require that players put identifying information in their signature, however, so I urge new accounts for the characters.

What IDing information do you mean?

Identifying information is: height, weight, hair color, eye color, high (4+) physcial stats, high (4+) Presence and Striking Looks. In addition, notes about your character's appearance and ethinicity are appropriate here.

How is Willpower regained?

Willpower will be regained via the book, OR you'll regain one point per week of downtime. You cannot regain Willpower during a week where directed plot is occurring. Weeks will be clearly marked so that everyone knows when downtime will be occurring.

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