Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sweet Valley Hell - Principal's Instructions

This is the game I'm working on during my pre-week of summer classes. This is the Principal's instructions and I'll soon be releasing the Monsters section. Enjoy!


PRINCIPAL’S INSTRUCTIONS (DRAFT)


So like, you’re in charge? Wow! You have a really good chance to make the players have loads of fun, so grab a seat and listen up.


Your first responsibility as the Principal is to like, set the scene. This is pretty cool. You get to decide who will be in the world and what the current events are. You can probably sum it up in a paragraph, and you can make a few predictions for the future. Keeping a handful of index cards or scrap paper with your notes would be a good idea, or even a notebook, and always have some blanks on hand to take down really important events and new non-player character names. Non-player characters are suuuuper important, so make up a few! You’ll need to assign them skills, too, so think about how tough and how clever these dudes are, and write down a die type for their Sosh and their Fight. Don’t stress about spending points on them, just be reasonable.


Setting
This game is set in the Valley in the year 1994, right after the Hellhole opened. Everyone knows about the Hellhole, but not everyone deals directly with it - most people, honestly, just try to keep it a secret from anyone outside of the Valley. The main players in town are Azazel, a demon with aspirations of mayorhood, and Laurel, the queen of vamps, who has tons of minions crawling around the town. The player characters are all seniors at the local high school.


Non-Player Characters (NPCs)
Coach Wilson - the coach of the Stallions, the football team of West Valley High. Stubborn, funny, and surprisingly caring, this guy knows the students better than anyone. He also supports the Fillies, the cheerleading squad. Fight: d8, Sosh: d6
Mayor Andersen - the town mayor. He’s prickly and like, really doesn’t like kids. His politics are pretty ace, though, so he’s not too bad to have in power. Unfortunately, he has little social klout. Fight: d6, Sosh: d6.
Lindsay Golden - the mayor’s right hand, and the power behind his words. Without her, the mayor has no chance of keeping his political position. Fight: d6, Sosh: d10.


(see the Monsters section to skill up Azazel and Laurel.)
Shelley Winters - a local reporter who knows way more about the Hellhole than anyone else, and no one is quite sure why. She is friendly and useful, but kind of creepy, really. Fight: d8, Sosh: d8.


There’s your starting setup. You can create more NPCs on the fly, just make sure you write them down so you can bring them in for later scenes.


Running the game should be pretty chill. What you want to do is try to encourage the players to have a good time, while like, not forgetting to make them feel like the bad guys are a real threat. Pull from media resources to get the feel just right if you want to, y’know, like TV shows and books. The players’ enjoyment comes first, so be okay with flexing your story a bit - don’t get too attached to the plot and forget about having fun.


In the player’s instructions you can find an example of play, and for what you are doing, things go about the same. FYI, fights are over when the baddies are knocked out (at zero hit points), or when they or the players retreat. What you need to know is how to build your dice pool for Fights and Sosh encounters. It’s easy!


The Principal gets an allowance just like the players do, based on how many players there are in the game. You start with two Pops and $100, and then for each player in the game, you get one Pop, and $200 in Daddy’s Money. You spend them just like the players do.


Remember, you’re representing like, bad guys, superiors, and people in power, for the most part (sometimes you’ll be other teens or whatever, too, but they should be pretty breezy for the players to deal with). You want to make it a challenge without ripping any hearts out… unless you’re representing something that like, rips hearts out.


Sweet Valley Hell doesn’t have like, totally strict scene framing. This is kind of cool, but makes things a little tougher when you’re in charge? You’ll want to try to keep players focused, and the best way to do that is by keeping it interesting. If an in-character conversation starts to die down, move on and come back to it later if you need to. If a fight seems futile or boring, call a retreat.


Retreats are simple: the baddie backs off and gets away. You’ll want to give the players a Pop for this to make up for it, but it’s just a good way to keep the villain active without like, totally boring everyone? So keep it in your pocket, just in case.


The Principal’s agenda is on-point, man. You want to:


Give the players a good time.
Creep people out.
Make the baddies feel real.
Encourage players to build the fiction.
Create a good story.