Monday, April 13, 2009

Welcome to Warlock High!

Warlock High is the setting for the game of Trigger Discipline I'm currently running; it was one of the 5 ideas originally brainstormed in an earlier blog post. The core idea is to take the school fighting genre and set it in a magic academy- if Hogwarts was an underfunded public school in a bad part of town, rather than an elite private institution.

In-game, "Warlock High" is a semi-derogatory nickname for the school officially known as the Penbury Academy. It's the worst-behaved school in the city to begin with, so the district has started using it as a sacrificial lamb by sending all its worst students here (since it doesn't have the resources to deal with them). The location is a poorer suburban neighborhood. In general, imagine the setting as the poor side of the wizarding world that Harry never paid a visit, with people being much more in-touch with modern tech largely because they'll take whatever they can afford from either world- a used broomstick gets you to school same as a used motorbike, at about the same average speed (secondhand magic items tend to be really sluggish, whatever their function).

The school has a festering rivalry with the nearby Cowfreckle Academy. This prestigious private institution was founded over a century ago, back when "academy" meant something and the surrounding area was a pristine wood rather than lower-middle-class suburbs (a flood of urban expansion surrounded the school's property thirty years prior).

The majority of the student's time at the academy is set aside for the study of magic- which is a good thing, because casting a spell is hard. It isn't just the raw exertion of willpower; casting a spell means training your brain to jump through a complex series of mental hoops. Hand gestures and speech are involved not because they're inherently magical, but as mnemonic systems which enhance your brain's capacity to correctly perform these mental gymnastics. Traditionally, one learns to cast a spell while chanting for about 5 seconds and making gestures with both hands, and then naturally becomes less reliant on the chanting and gestures over time; one could adopt extra gestures and incantations to help pull off an advanced spell they can't quite get through otherwise, or spend time deliberately practicing with a certain spell until they can cast it with little or no preamble.

Warlock High's Cast of Characters: (Descriptions are my own)
-Mr. Borden: Slacker teacher who uses illusions to screw with people and get out of having to actually come up with a lesson plan.
-Quinn King: Typical delinquent student body member, except that she's better at it than most. Reinforces objects, then hurls them about with telekinesis.
-Drake: Withdrawn transfer student with a knack for analysis and fire magic.
-SVEN GORBACHOV: Wrestling enthusiast, missing link between humanity and its bear ancestors.
To sum this up: Onizuka with illusions, Damsel with animated chains, Shikimaru with fireballs, and Zangief as voiced by TF2's heavy.

1 comment:

Benjamin said...
You mean like this?