School Daze Class Project: The West Side Story Fiasco

schooldazeI had the pleasure of running the School Daze RPG for a table of wonderful gamers at Labyrinth Games in Washington, DC this past weekend. Labyrinth is our FLGS… even though they’re way less “L” than other gaming stores, we make the drive for their extreme “F”ness! <3

Since I’m still a relatively green GM and this was my first time running School Daze, I opted to make partial pre-gen characters.

Should you be wanting to run your own School Daze one-shot, feel free to steal my characters and Class Project!

The Students

Daphne Dumonde (F)

Favorite subject:  Music: Choir

Rank 1: FLANK: You are popular because everyone believes you’re their friend.

Ranks 2 & 3: Chosen by the player

Motivation: To graduate with honors and finally escape this tiny, horrible town so you can be the person you want to be.

Peyton Pierce (M)

Favorite subject:  English

Rank 1: RANK: Second place is the first loser. Your name should be in lights!

Ranks 2 & 3: Chosen by the player

Motivation: To be the best leading man ever, because you deserve it

Harper Hardison (M/F)

Favorite subject:  Technology

Rank 1: WANK: You have the “Voice of God” microphone in the auditorium and you’re not afraid to use it.

Ranks 2 & 3: Chosen by the player

Motivation: To be the legend that future A/V geeks talk about for years after you graduate

Jamie Jacobs (M/F)

Favorite subject:  Industrial Arts

Rank 1: BLANK: Are you new? Did you just move here, Jimmy? Jenny? What’s your name again?

Ranks 2 & 3: Chosen by the player

Motivation: To be called out by name in the review of the musical printed in the local newspaper.

Frankie Forrest (M/F)

Favorite subject:  Music: Band

Rank 1: TANK:   FRANK THE TANK! FRANK THE TANK!

Ranks 2 & 3: Chosen by the player

Motivation: To always represent the band in the best light. You live and breathe band. In fact, you’re not really sure if there’s life outside of band.

Skyy Summers (M/F)

Favorite subject:  Science (y’know, growing stuff, brewing stuff…)

Rank 1: CRANK: Skyy was named after the vodka. And you’re pretty sure Skyy has been high since birth.

Ranks 2 & 3: Chosen by the player

Motivation: To have fun, man…

The Introduction

Good afternoon, students!

You are seniors at Trowbridge High and it’s your favorite time of year: audition season for the school musical. You’re excited, but also a little sad. You’ve been involved in the music & theater scene at THS since your freshman year and Mrs. Waguespack, though a bit of a taskmaster, is well-loved and respected by her devoted students.

Even more impressive is that she puts on amazing shows despite the principal’s attempts to hijack the creative direction of every performance. Mr. Morris fancies himself an “act-OR” (emphasis on the OR), and Mrs. Waguespack walks a fine line between appeasing her boss and putting on a stellar performance.

This year, the show is West Side Story, a retelling of Romeo & Juliet set in the gang-ridden streets of 1950s New York. Of course, some of the more racist lines have been “cleaned up” at the request of Trowbridge’s more conservative parents.

Auditions have been going on all week for the cast and the pit orchestra.  From what you can tell, the beautiful and eminently talented Daphne is a shoo-in for the lead as Maria and Trowbridge’s own tenor heartthrob, Peyton, will be cast as Maria’s love, Tony. Harper Hardison is the only choice for lead A/V Tech; nobody else even comes close to matching Harper’s skills. Band members are practicing furiously, trying to win the coveted few roles in the pit orchestra.  Mr. Rivet’s woodworking classes and Ms. Toto’s Art Club have already been collaborating on the sets that will transform THS’s auditorium into the Upper West Side of NYC.

The big day is here!  In today’s after-school meeting of the Drama Club, Ms. Waguespack will be announcing the cast. Better get your butt to the auditorium!

Adults You May Encounter

  • Mr. Stephen Morris, Principal
  • Mrs. Lorrie Waguespack, Drama / Social Studies, Director of the Musical
  • Ms. Carlene Dumalo, Choir, Pit Orchestra Conductor
  • Ms. Jessie Jakubowski, Band, playing bassoon in the pit orchestra
  • Mr. Tristan Dior, Dance (mornings at THS, afternoons at the middle school)
  • Mrs. Constance Jones, PTA President & wife of Pastor Martin Jones of New Life Church
  • Lucy McGee, THS Class of 2001, Arts Reporter for the Trowbridge Observer newspaper

The Conflict

(Stop reading here if you are planning on playing this adventure as a student.)

In fact, I’ll stick this floor plan of the performing arts wing in here as a visual barrier. Click for the full-size version.

schoolmap

… you gone, students? Okay.

For the GM / Administrator:

The students of band, choir, drama, and dance are all in the auditorium, waiting for Ms. Waguespack to announce the cast list… but she’s late. She’s never late. Fifteen minutes later, Principal Morris comes to the microphone:

“Students, I have some bad news. Ms. Waguespack’s mother had a stroke and is in serious condition. She’s left school to pack up and fly to California to be with her. We’ll keep her family in our thoughts. She has, however, given me the cast list because she knew how much you all wanted to know who will be in this year’s musical. While Ms. Waguespack is out of town, I’ll be your director.”

He reads the list, beginning with the band members (Frankie makes it), the sets (Jamie), the A/V team (Harper), dancers (Skyy), and leading lady Maria (Daphne). Then he announces that his son, Tony Morris, will be playing Tony. Everyone knows that Tony is only in choir to ogle the busty Ms. Dumalo and he is not a good actor. He did audition (Ms. Dumalo gave extra credit!)… but there’ s no way he would have beaten Peyton for the part.

“You Overhear…”

Students will likely go looking for evidence that Ms. Waguespack’s original list had Peyton as Tony, not Tony Morris.

Mr. Morris is overheard saying how he thinks his son has the actor gene and that maybe if West Side Story goes well he can just cut Ms. Waguespack from the faculty and just have Drama Club after school, which of course, he could direct. It would save money and he’d get to live his dream of directing.

One Tweak To the Rules

I decided to do the ending a bit more like Fiasco. Since Gold Stars were freely being given and used, each student had from 1-3 stars at the end of the adventure. So I had each student list some epilogue snippets about their character. One snippet per star.

It was really fun to see players actually predicting some bad things that happened to their characters. For example, Peyton ended up not getting into Juilliard and because of his C+ average, the only college that would take him was the local community college.

I thought it really rounded out the ending and made it more satisfying for all the players to have a final say about where their student ended up.

Have Fun!

Let me know how it goes if you choose to play my Class Project!

About e

Since 2008, E. Foley of Geek’s Dream Girl has been helping geeks from around the world find love. She writes amazing online dating profiles for her fellow geeks and guides them through the perilous waters of the dating scene and out the other side. She's totally proud to report that she's even caused a couple geek weddings! She lives in Maryland with DaveTheGame, her adorable cats, Mr. Peanut & Don Juan, and Titania, Queen of the Cocker Spaniels. (Email e, or follow @geeksdreamgirl on Twitter.)

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