Sunday, February 21, 2016

Starr's Party

Starr's house, front level
In the high school role-playing game Alma Mater, all player characters “should be placed” in Mr. Buzz's homeroom.  This is because the game provides details for twenty-six non-player character students – the balance of the homeroom's population.  Mr. Buzz is also described, along with several other teachers and school employees.  We learn that...
...Mr. Buzz is unkempt and wears a loud, bizarre neck tie every day...His classroom is disorderly and his teaching is sporadic at best.  He likes to play fantasy-role-playing games until all hours of the night, much to the disgust of fellow teachers.
An example of Mr. Buzz's meager teaching ability is provided in the day plan for the second day of school.  At 9:05, “Buzz tells everyone to choose a lab partner and read Chapter 26 in the text.”  At 9:06, “Buzz falls asleep at his desk...Those who try to read Chapter 26 will find that the book stops at Chapter 16.”  No teacher skills are listed for Mr. Buzz.

One of the students in Mr. Buzz's homeroom is Starr.  She is...
...a Social Queen who is constantly surrounded by friends, boyfriends, and admirers...She usually hangs around Jocks as if she were a team mascot and often grants them “favors” to enhance her popularity.  Her skill is Drug Use.
Starr is a Cheerleader with a Coordination of 9 and an Appearance of 10.  “...Starr will go to no end to hold the wildest parties of the year,” page 44 tells us, “To make sure everything goes well she only invites popular people and gives out drugs and booze.”  However, page 46 reveals, “For the sake of simplicity, Starr's first party is held soon after school starts and because she knows few people, everyone in her homeroom class (except Losers) are invited.”  No reason is given for why “Social Queen” Starr would know “few people” – her sister went to the same high school, which suggests that Starr's junior high is in the area.  Still, this is for “the sake of simplicity” and “it would be ridiculous to have a scenario without [the PCs].”

“Starr's Party” is the sample scenario included with the game.  Two additional NPCs – Starr's sisters – are introduced.  “Twinkle is Starr's sweet, innocent little sister.”  Although she “adores Starr,” we are informed “there is a rivalry between them.”  At 11 years of age, Twinkle is too young to have a character class or any skills.  Bunny, however, is 21 and “she works in the local Playboy Club.”  Her character class is Cheerleader.  (Adults, it seems, retain their character classes after high school.  Adult analogs appear on the 'Outside of School Encounters' table along with Truant Officers, Beggars, Prostitutes, and Policemen.  Alas, we are not provided with the character classes of the high school's personnel.)  Bunny's Appearance is 12; however, it increases to 14 when “she is wearing her costume and makeup.”  Bunny...
...prefers not to get involved with her sister's parties, often staying in her bedroom.  [She] has been known to drink too much on occasion...Her skills are Drinking, Driving, and Drug Use.
Speaking of drugs, Starr serves a variety of 'refreshments' at her party.  Aside from beer, gin, rum, “and assorted soft drinks,” there is Starr's “mystery punch,” a serving of which acts like “potency 3 alcohol.”  Starr also has “fifty joints and...ten grams of hash” for her guests.  Unfortunately, she has procured “some bad blotter (LSD)...It has the effect of a potency 1 drug, but also acts as rat poison.”  (Starr has injected the LSD into some oranges.)

The scenario itself has no plot.  Starr's house is described, the general location and activities of each of the attendees is covered, and there is a schedule of events.  The player characters can 'explore' the house, interact with the attendees, and react to events according to their own dispositions.  Incidentally, Starr is 14 years old – as are most of her homeroom classmates attending the party.  Here are choice occurrences from Table 97 – Starr's Party Events:
9:00 – party starts
9:10 – Blotto vomits on random PC
9:11 – Sid vomits on random PC
10:15 – Bunny asks PC to help her with stuck zipper in her costume
10:30 – Starr suggests that everyone go for a swim
10:40 – Doctor K releases pet dogfish shark in the pool
11:25 – Blotto eats all the remaining oranges in the bowl and has to go to the hospital and have his stomach pumped
11:30 – Twinkle comes out of her room and flirts with PC
11:40 – G I Jim spots the RED ember of Daisy's joint and sprays the patio with bullets (hitting no one)
12:00 – An orgy starts in the livingroom
12:02 – Starr's parents arrive home
Starr's house, back level

1 comment:

  1. Beer, gin, rum, mystery punch, 50 joints, 10 grams of hash, and some low grad LSD? This is clearly a fantasy rpg. How is a 14 year old going to get their hands on that quantity of drugs and alcohol? That sounds like on hell of a high school party. Next game night I will replicate that list and we will see how long we can last.