Originally Published at Rob.BearSwarm.com on 2009-10-02.
As you may or may not know, I’m running a Houses of the Blooded Play by Post game over on our message boards. Recent developments have got me thinking about something. Real quick synopsis: One character walked over to another and insulted him, blatantly, without preamble or build up. Just called him out. The other character claimed insult and the antagonist said he was sincere, Throwing Insult. This launched us into a discussion about Ven and how they handle things. If the Insulted should have called for a Jury to Duel, if Throwing Insult was even proper in this junction. I compared the Ven to High School Students. They are petty, vindictive, egotistical, and emotional. They have rules that they play at adhering to but then they break them constantly. The more I thought about it, the more Ven started looking like spoiled high school kids… in a certain light. With that in mind I present a small system hack for High School of the Blooded.First thing, throw out Domain Management. I know its a big part of the game but High School kids don’t own shit. Its just not right. Instead we’ll just leave every character with Cunning +1 for Season (Wait, lets call them Semester!) Actions for Crafting Goods/Art, Spying on People, Making Contacts\Friends, and the big one: Personal Training. Sure, there is less to do in a Semester but you’ll have less actions without Vassals.
One thing to address real quick before getting into the Houses… Dueling. Typically in Houses dueling is all about sword play but since your typical High School doesn’t have a sword outside of fencing class we’re going to have to change this. Dueling is Fighting, and its mostly Strength Based now… Unless you pickup a baseball bat. With that, We’re expanding Wolves from using weapons to using tools. Remember that. Its important. Wolves are good at using Tools now. Anything that is primary using tools is Prowess now. Still serves the same niche, but can cover a little more ground. Of course, what you call Tools is up to you. Be reasonable. Don’t be a wanker.
Ok, next up. The House need to change. Not much, but at least in name. So, out with the Bear and in with the Jock!
Bears become Jocks. I don’t feel that I need to explain this one. Come on. Bear Strength. Yeah. Who’s the strongest kid in school?
Falcons become Hipsters. This is my nice way of saying Stoner and have you ever met someone more willing to do stupid or dangerous things then a Stoner\Hipster?
Elk become Preps. The popular kids that want to run everything. Yes. Who knows better on how to play the game of High School with cunning and skill then the Preps?
Foxes become Cheerleaders. Not just for Girls anymore. Foxes are the best dancers, they are the best looking, they are the most elegant. Who are better looking and more popular then Cheerleaders?
Serpents become Nerds. Oh come on. Again, I shouldn’t have to explain this one. Who knows more about the world (and less about real life) then the Nerds?
Wolves become Greasers. We don’t have swords in High School. We have tools. Remember what I talked about earlier? So, who better than the shop class loving Greaser?
Ok, we have our cliques now. How does the game go down? Well, ever Semester (our new name for a Season) you’ll have a number of Stories, just like the normal game. In-between Semesters you have a chance to build up your character just like the normal game. Every Semester is still a Season; Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Of course, you have Summer Semester off from school but that doesn’t mean your life stops. In Spring school is ending and in Autumn its starting up. Winter still sucks. I’ll leave the specific mechanics to you but I’ll give you some Semester Bonuses.
Spring: +1 potential for Art, with school coming to an end things are starting to look up for you.
Summer: +1 rank for romances, there are few romances more powerful then those summer flings.
Autumn: +1 season action, schools back and its time to bust your ass.
Winter: +1 die for any Fights (on both sides), kids are just crueller when its cold.
Another HUGE difference is that High School of the Blooded has a pre-set limit before it ends and this becomes College of the Blooded… Maybe I’ll write that later… Maybe. You start as a Freshman. After four Semesters you become a Sophomore (assuming you don’t fail any classes… hint hint) then a Junior then a Senior then game over. Sixteen Semesters and then the game is done. That’s it. Lets hope you graduate. I think this fits Houses pretty well too, that slow inevitable pull of time.
Character Creation is pretty much standard. You drop all the Domain stuff, of course, and Devotions. No Blessings in High School. Lets see, Suaven are gone. Sorcery is gone. Poison is gone. Revenge and Romance… Those stay. Ven Romance and High School Romance are pretty much a perfect analog. Nicely done, Mr. Wick. Virtues are the same, just different Cliques now, Risk and Aspects are the same too. No changes there.
I think that sets you up to play a little High School based game. If you guys think of anything I’m forgetting just let me know and I’ll add it in.