Wednesday, July 1, 2015

School Reunions

I was wondering, the other day, whether Professor Xavier's school ever held reunions. I don't think it does because the nature of comic book time is such that there aren't a lot of graduated classes. (The same for the Mutants & Masterminds setting of Hero High.) But the idea of a reunion at a school for supers appeals to me.

In fact, there's a setting made for it, although reunions are never mentioned: Melior Via's Hope Preparatory School.

And there's a couple of film models, such as Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion or any number of television shows about going to your reunion. (I'm blanking on all of them but Leverage but there have to be a lot, or the things I think are cliches would be fresh and new.) I think going to the reunion would be a great one-shot adventure.

Partly because, and I didn't know this until recently because I am out of touch with reality (it's my super power), school reunion shootings are a thing, now.

So the high school class's tenth or fifteenth anniversary looms. Cissy Parker-Wedge, she of the cheerleading squad and the drama club, she has decided that there should be a reunion. If you're doing a regular superhero adventure, there will be a hostage situation because lowly and despised classmate Eden has gotten powers in the meantime and become a supervillain. (In fact, this is the adventure I ran for M&M based on the idea.)

But I'm thinking about a supers high school. Everyone had powers or training. Everyone gets a terrible life secret that they don't want to reveal. (Billy doesn't fight crime any more! Wealthy industrialist Anthony's company is in the toilet and it's only a matter of time until the auditors discover it! Audrey feels like a man trapped in a woman's body, but gender reassignment surgery is out of the question when you're invulnerable!) There will be good things, too: teenage Casanova Rudy realized he was gay and has a much happier lifestyle now.

So given the setup, there are two possible major plot premises:
  • Someone blames you for their problems, and causes trouble at the reunion
  • You are trying to hide something about yourself and ultimately it gets exposed
You can do both, of course, and it's doubly satisfying if one of the PCs coming clean about the problem they are hiding helps defuse the problems that the troublemaker is having. (Then you have the rest of the troublemaker's friends there for something else, such as the information in the administrative computer, which includes, oh, everyone's secret identities.)

If you were running ICONS, everyone gets an extra Quality which is the thing that they are hiding. You also, in a Spirit of the Century kind of setup, have them list something about their relationship with the other player characters as teenagers. Because you want this to be fun, if someone doesn't like it, they get to be the spouse or significant other of someone who went to the school.

Then, a little more than a quarter of the way through the evening, the troublemaker shows up with lots of things that are player character weaknesses...and takes someone's (normal) significant other as hostage. Some of the demands can't actually be met (well, we assume they're not going to use time travel). While the person is making these demands, the rest of the bad guys are using that as cover to get into the administrative records. The old ones...from before computers. It doesn't matter if the computer is unhackable, if what they want is on paper.

Yeah. Something like that might do as the framework for my next one-shot adventure.