The Strange Case Of The Missing Ancestors
I would be interested to know what you have been doing since the last game, and how you have been changed by your adventure. Harryn, David, Skye, Wyonna, Vic and Catrina will be one year older than last year. Others will be three years older than they would have been for last year's game. Ask me if you're confused.
Those strange pendants that you picked up have some strange powers, some of which the mysterious dark queen Fiona taught you to control:
- Concentration, meditation
- Feeling the amulet, empowering the body
- Communication between amulets
- Shadow walking: fetch me a leaf from the next room
- Controlling the destiny of another amulet: have her fetch me a four-leafed clover from the next room.
- Probability: throw a six
You are pretty sure they have others too, but there is nothing you have been able to make them do reliably yet. Miss Trees has told you not to use them in school, so of course you don't use them in school… much.
Firstly, before you begin designing the character, please keep in mind that you'll be acting as a party a lot of the time. So sociopathic loners and loony rebels are probably a bad idea.
Be aware of the "Gifted" in the name of the school. All the pupils at the school tend to excel in several subjects, often to a great extent, and not just on the academic side. The school regimen takes account of that, so your character may not understand just how good they are.
New characters should be twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen or sixteen years of age. Returning characters will, of course, be one year older than they were last year.
Primary Character Design
I need to know what your character looks like, (including their build,) what they like and dislike, how they are viewed by the staff and students, (that's probably at least two different things.) Then I need to know how proficient they are at the various school subjects, or at least which their best and worst subjects are, and the various skills they have picked up outside school. (Pickpocketing? Sailing?) Finally you need a shtick.
The shtick is something you are better at than anyone you've ever met, and probably better than anyone on the planet. This can be anything you like. If your shtick is a normal human ability, then you'll be great, maybe phenomenal. If it is super-natural, then I'll probably rein it in somewhat; you're still young and still learning to control it. The more powerful the ability, the weaker it's going to be, simply for game balance reasons. I reserve the right to veto, but I don't expect to use it; I'll roll with it if I can. No shadow-walking or time travel, no Pattern or Logrus.
Secondary Character Design
I would like to know how long you have been at the Carlos Cory school, how you came to be there, and what you were doing before. How did you get to be an orphan? Who were your parents and what did they do? What do you remember of them? Do you have any other relatives? No plot-hooks please; I will ignore them.
For last-year's game see The Strange Case Of The Strange Case
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For an open-source, world-class network protocol analyser.
Diceless role-playing in four-star luxury.
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This game ran at Ambercon UK 2014. It is only here for nostalgic reasons.
Title:The Strange Case Of The Missing Ancestors
Life at the Carlos Cory School for Gifted Orphans is not a bed of roses; the academic regimen is punishing and the discipline is worse, and then there are the people who are trying to kill you and everyone else in the school.
Okay, so the school life isn't the most important thing on your agenda right now.
In fact some of you have graduated already, sort of. Others of you sort of should have done. Life would be a little easier if you had not lost two years while wandering around Chaos looking for Doctor Strange and his family. Your friends are suddenly two years older than you and some of them ask questions that you can't answer and some of them… don't. Somehow that's worse.
And then there are those left behind, who had to take up the slack while Harryn, David, Skye, Wyonna, Vic and Catrina were missing presumed… missing. Two years of ferrying families to the safety of the island. Two years of waiting for Miss Trees or any of the dozens, maybe hundreds of people who know about the school to tell the wrong person the wrong thing.
Another year passes and things are sort of back to normal when official-looking cars pull up and there are loads of serious people in suits poking their noses in everywhere. Is the game up? Or is it merely afoot?
A game for six players. Characters comprising teenagers of between 12 and 16 years to be created by the players before the con. For Character design requirements see the right-hand bar.
This is a continuation game; new and returning characters are welcome.
The Carlos Cory School for Gifted Orphans
Set in one hundred, fifty acres of idyllic Californian countryside, the Carlos Cory School for Gifted Orphans offers a chance in life to those children who are so often failed by the modern world.
Life's tragedies are harsh on all children, but how much harder is it for their intelligence to be quenched by the unfeeling and under-funded behemoth that is the state welfare system? These children, who may be tomorrow's great men and women — scientists or politicians, doctors or artists — are welcomed by the Carlos Cory School for Gifted Orphans. Whoever they are, whatever their background, we are here to see that they achieve their full potential.
The Carlos Cory School for Gifted Orphans is a private foundation, funded by private donation. None of our children pay fees of any kind, and all truly gifted children are welcome.
But it is not just in school-time that the Carlos Cory School for Gifted Orphans excels. All of our pupils take part in a wide-ranging programme of activities. Our founder, Carlos Cory, worked his way up from lowly ranch-hand to millionaire horse-breeder. He felt strongly that caring for horses taught many great life-lessons and determined that every pupil of his school be taught to ride. It is a tradition that we are proud to continue to this day. We own thirty horses, which are cared for by the pupils and used by them on frequent outings and vacations. Not to mention their use during lessons as varied as art, genetics and mathematics.
We accept all children who come to us. We have a good relationship with the California State Welfare Department, but many of our children come from other states and even other countries. Some are brought to us privately. Whoever the child is, whatever their background, whatever their needs, however they are gifted, bring them to us. We wont let them down.
September 1983 (click here)
In which some kids disappeared for two years and then returned looking exactly the same. For a whole year now they've been sitting in classes with younger kids as if they were abducted by UFOs or something.
September 1982 (click here)
In which the kids foiled murder and piracy on the high seas.
July 1982 (click here)
This year those odd pupils did not come camping, instead they hung around the school being boring. So why do they jump every time a car pulls into the drive. Why have certain of them been heard crying themselves to sleep? And why does Skye Roberts keep staring at John Nelson?
July 1981 (click here)
Everyone had a wonderful time camping in the Sequoia National Forest. There was white water rafting and fire building and survival training and bird watching and all sorts. Of course some guys went off on horse-back right at the beginning and missed everything. Almost everything anyway; when everyone else got evacuated because of the forest fire, they seem to have stayed and helped to fight it. How cool is that? But if the police have no idea who started the fire, how come those pupils say it was a group of really odd women? How likely is that?
July 1980 (click here)
One would think it was difficult to lose someone on an aeroplane, but somehow Miss Trees went missing while chaperoning seven pupils on a visit to the school's benefactor Miss Evelyn Flaumel in New York. They returned some days later on horseback accompanied by Miss Flaumel. Various rumours of alarming and fantastic adventures circulated the school for a while. Nobody believes any of them, although the fact remains that Miss Trees is now scared of elephants, and the smell of oil makes her sick. There is probably some perfectly rational explanation that does not involve prehistoric tar pits, saber-toothed tigers and a New York socialite wielding a longbow. And where does being burned as a witch fit into all that?
There have also been some unexplained events in the past couple of years concerning those pupils. How does someone walk straight past a hall monitor without being seen, or always seem to have exactly enough money for a candy bar? How can someone go out and buy hairspray at midnight and be back twenty minutes later?
Time is Running Out
And so you returned to school, like you did after your other adventures, and term started as it unfortunately always does at the beginning of September. That Eternity Society is still out there and if they ever found out about you, you know they wouldn't hesitate to kill you, or maybe even blow the school up. Fortunately they still don't know about the school Misty Reese is still principle and her platoon of rangers still patrol the grounds. Miss Trees has infiltrated the Eternity Society and passes regular warnings to those able to foil their plans. The longer the school can continue to operate, the more children (and adults) can be rescued, but you can't help thinking its days may be numbered.
So every contact counts. Every chance to extract a family to the safety of the school or the island must be taken. And there are many still out there; it is incredible how many descendents one man can have after three and a half centuries.
This is an Amber game, set somewhere within the books' sequence, although the characters know nothing of Amber, Chaos or anything else.
The date is the 21st of September, 1986.
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