~ I Had The Time of My Life ~
--> ~~ IC ~~ <--
The idea for this RP was inspired by Anime and VN such as Clannad, Suzimiya Haruhi no Yuutsu, K-ON and others. Basically it’s supposed to be a slice of life / school life RP set in present day Japan. Where it exactly goes from there, we’ll see...
I think of it as a story with meaningful, varied characters who each have their individual quirks and traits and are drawn together for their own reasons. They become friends, or at the most, acquaintances and their individual stories intertwine. I imagine comedy and light hearted banter, underlined by deeper emotions and troubles that each teenager experiences.
For those of you who enjoy visual novels: Think of it as a school life visual novel, only with your own character and more direct effort put in..
Setting & Story
The setting is an unnamed city not too far away from Tokyo, around the time of present day Japan. There will be a number of locations I’ll introduce, including of course, the school. The year in which our story takes place is not particularly important, but I will always display which month it currently is.
The general mood of the story can be from lighthearted and containing comedy down to deep drama and interpersonal troubles. Romance is very much encouraged and may be an integral part of the story. Character development is a requirement, as a person’s teenage years are usually the time in which one forms their personality the most.
The base of the story is easily explained; It is a Slice-of-Life themed story about a group of teenagers in Yamamichi High school, who go about their daily lives, experience their teenage years in their own unique way and form individual bonds with each other. As the GM, I will gently usher you through your daily lives, providing a red string to the story and every now and then giving you context and content to work with. Next to pacing the day and time passing, I will occasionally set up larger events that you may or may not choose to attend (example: firework festival in the evening).
While the story is for a large part character and relationship driven, I may, much like in a Visual Novel, introduce "paths" for some of your characters that I will guide you through next to your interpersonal relationships. Due to my extensive knowledge of Anime and VN, I have almost limitless material and inspirations I can use to set up interesting occurrences and the like for you.
I'm expecting quite a bit of creativity from your side as far as characters and interactions are concerned. It's fine by me to go with archetypes as we all know them, but give your character a deep and believable personality. The different kinds of emotions, relationships, heights and lows they will experience will be an integral part of this story.
While your characters are undoubtedly the main characters in our "show", there are of course other people around, like in real life; In your class, teachers, the nurse, outside of school the nice waitress in your regular cafe, a girl/guy you see every morning on your way to school etc etc. In order to bring our world to life and not just leave interaction and happenings solely to you guys, I will employ a number of these, as I call them, NPCs. This term is by no means derogatory, but simply describes the fact that these characters are not primarily played by you people and are "secondary" characters in our story. Your characters are the center of all our attentions, but these people on the side you may interact with as you would with any other character; You may dislike them, they make become your friend, they may weird you out. I will make fairly obvious which of the people you encounter count as NPCs and which really are just "sideline" that can be forgotten or overruled right away.
Example: a guy from your class walks over to you and gives you the handout from class and walks away again. That could be anyone. With an NPC I would go into detail, describe him, give him a name, maybe let him have a special trait and spark up some sort of interaction.
Anyone of you players is permitted to temporarily "take control" of these NPCs if one of them catches your interest and interact with them as you see fit, as long as they stay "in character" (for example: a hyper NPC shouldn't suddenly be super gloomy, except if that change is meaningfully underlined over time)
If you're particularly interested in a certain NPC you can "claim" him or her for your character through the OOC or through communicating this to me via PM. You'll then be free to do more advanced stuff with that NPC. For example you may become good or best friends, take them on trips, spend lots of time with them, write him/her a CS if you wish to do so and even have a romantic relationship. NPCs that have been integrated in this advanced way move up the hierarchy and become "secondary characters" to our story.
I will try my best to tailor the NPCs introduced to your characters. You are of course free to employ your own NPCs if you wish to do so, however please inform me if you wish an NPC you create to play a larger role in the story (eg. become a seconday character) so that I'm aware of your efforts and can take it into account when thinking about paths etc.
To sum things up, here is the rough "hierarchy" in our story:
Main characters: You players.
Secondary Characters: Important/"claimed" NPCs that may or may not play an important role in your/the story
Regular NPCs: NPCs that have a personality and can be interacted with, but presumably won't be as important for the story
Sideline Characters: One time only, or recurring but of no importance
Of course it's not always so easy to draw the line. In cases of doubt either communicate through the OOC or just go with your guts. It's your story, and the NPCs are just a means of enhancing the experience. You're absolutely free to ignore every NPC altogether, or claim half a dozen of them right away (as long as you can handle it).
Structuring an RP can sometimes be a little difficult, especially if the setting makes it hard to structure and pace the time. Fortunately for this RP, this is not the case at all. School Life hits one in the face with its clear repetitive nature every day, so let’s turn this monotony to our advantage for once and use it to help pace our days. Note that this does not account for the time skips that will definitely take place, in order to encompass more than just a few weeks of High School in our RP.
Let’s say a new day starts. How would I portray this in the IC? It would look something like this:
Day of the Week
And then our day begins!
Times of the Day
Morning [? – 7:30]
This part of the day mainly encompasses getting up, daily morning routine and your way to school. The first part may be skipped altogether after the first few times, but if you wish to portray your way to school for your own reasons even after the passing of the initial starting period, either let me know or make it clear in the IC (for example if your guy/girl has a clear conflict coming to school every morning and this is clearly displayed in your posts, I won’t just skip this part of the day. And yes, I’m thinking Clannad^^). It usually details the time from getting up until morning classes start. How you do that or how much of it you show is up to you.
Lunch Break [11:30 – 12:30]
Definitely one of the moments of the day where we will stretch the time frame significantly. Use this time well, as it is the best moment of the day to get in touch with your classmates, or stroll around the school grounds. Maybe you’ll find something interesting, or make new friends. Think free, I’ll do my best to accommodate individuality
Club Time[16:30 – 18:30]
After regular classes end, there is a time period of a few hours usually used for club time and Council meetings. This is usually 16:30 to around 18:30, though the school grounds officially close at 19:00 and clubs can use this time to the extent they wish. I’ll leave it up to council people how often you want to meet.
This is a rather important time of the day for you if you're together with other characters in your club. This time of the day is also of importance to those of you who didn’t choose a club. Loitering around the school grounds is still permitted during this period, as the school is not yet closed. Or you may choose to use the extra time to go to the city, or do whatever...
After School [18:30 - ?]
This is basically everything past 18:30. Considering this is the only time of the day where you are truly free to do what you want apart from Lunch Break, this is one of the most important times of the day. You can use it to do basically whatever your character wants. Loiter around in the city? Go straight home? Spend some time in a cafe with your friends? Huddle yourself in a blanket in the public library? The possibilities are endless!
Don't feel too restricted by these time frames though. They solely exist to give you a sense of pacing and to structure our day, so that not everyone just runs off and it's already afternoon for some when others just arrive at school. Be mindful of what the other players do and either react to them, or do your own thing if you so choose. I will usher you through these time frames, presumably after a few posts each depending on how fluent things are going. In time and depending on the progress of the story we might well begin to jumble around with the times a little, only playing the lunch break of a day, skip classes and go straight to After School, etc, etc. If a period is particularly lively we'll likely remain in it longer, if things are sluggish I'll speed things up or introduce random events.
Free days are basically every day you don't have school and thus don't have this structure. They can be anything from weekends, to holidays, to special days in our story. They are paced differently, and you're freer to do what you want. Let's take weekends as our primary example.
Weekends are of course an important part of the week (if not the most important one ). I will usually just announce the month and day at the beginning of the weekend day, and then give you free hand. Sometimes I will announce the transition between Saturday and Sunday if I have something in mind, but if I don't you're free to pass the weekend as you like. You don't have to interact with others if your character is more on the antisocial side, but keep in mind that the best things happen when people are together. The pre-set city locations I introduced are exactly for occasions like this. Who knows, maybe you run into a classmate on your way to the library or when strolling around the city park.
SL and PL
The, as I call them, SLs (School Locations) and PLs (Public Locations) are a number of pre-set locations I am going to introduce in order to give your characters an advanced sense of setting. These locations mainly serve as pre-sets and can be chosen to be used or not to depending on your liking. I am simply introducing these to offer your characters chances to bump into each other “randomly” outside of school or to give them regular hang out places that they may use. Of course, your characters can also visit and spend time at other locations in town as long as they make sense.
SL = School Location
Club room(s) / Gym / Pool / Track
“Way to School”
PL = Public Location
Arcade (Gaming Center)
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The classroom is the most prominent place during a school day. There are 2 of course, one for each class, though they both have the same basic template. They are simple school rooms with the usual furniture an average room of this kind encompasses.
While most of the interaction will happen in-between class time, you may well use the segments during class to portray your characters inner world, conflicts or just idle thoughts that bring their personality closer to us. Other than that, the classroom can serve as hangout place during breaks between classes, if your characters don’t feel like leaving it, and as location for lunch break.
Img Link: http://i.imgur.com/zBE1kGf.jpg
The Cafeteria is the schools gathering point during lunch break, though many students decide to eat elsewhere. It has a nice atmosphere, albeit crowded during lunch period, and the staff is quite friendly apart from always being a little stressed. Built in the same modern yet atmospheric way the rest of the school is, it is one of the more popular places to spend lunch break.
Img Link: http://i.imgur.com/XZ5C58N.jpg
The school library is a popular place to hang out for people who prefer quiet indoors over the outside. It’s calm and relaxed atmosphere is especially inviting for students wanting to study for tests or do their homework. Tables and learning material are conveniently organized close to the computers that were set up to allow pupils internet use. The bean-bags scattered throughout the library as well as the comfortable chairs are inviting for bookworms and people wanting to get in a quick nap alike. Sadly, due to school policy, eating and drinking is strictly forbidden inside the library, though some students choose to ignore this rule.
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With its convenient benches and the nice view, the roof serves as a nice alternative to other hangout places. It experiences it’s most popular moments during lunch break, when many pupils choose to eat up here in the relaxing breeze. Despite regularly frequented by students, it is never really crowded as it is rather spacious. The door to the roof is usually open, except in winter or on especially rainy or hot days.
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Very spacious and on good days the most popular place to eat lunch, the back yard presents itself in vibrant green colors and with soft, regularly mown lawns. Benches standing in regular intervals, as well as the shades of the trees guarantee a relaxing time, be it lunch, a quick nap or some studying done in the open.
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While not a “Location” per se, the hallways of the school are still the main way for students to travel from A to B, talk with friends from other classes, hang around for a bit or just make for a quick escape from their classrooms during breaks. As such, they deserve their own “Location” label.
Img Link: http://i.imgur.com/2lAepoA.jpg
The entrance to our school does not, like many other schools, have a gate, but rather offer a spacious area that’s commonly dubbed the school yard. Though in comparison with the more popular back yard, the front yard serves for little else than passing over. Probably the most popular feature of the school entrance are the sakura trees, that blossom once a year.
Way to School
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Similar to the Hallway, the “Way to School” is less of a Location and more of a means to travers. Even more so that the way to school is unique for each character. Still, I believe that the morning walk/ride to school makes up an important part of the day, so if you wish to give your personal way to school some meaning, feel free to treat it as a location.
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This nice local cafe is a secret pearl. Secret because most people are oblivious to its existence and pass it without a second glance. Located just a few block from school, it is for the most part it is not frequented by any more than the odd student doing his homework or hanging around. The ever present calm yet friendly host gives this little establishment a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.
Img Link: http://i.imgur.com/x6d4bEn.jpg
The city center is - as the name already implies - the bustling central district of the city. With it's many hip stores, modern cafes, fast food chains, big department stores, as well as the countless bars and night clubs, it is popular among the younger crowd and the more wealthy business men. The Arcade, the Park and the Public Library are all located in it's close vicinity and can easily be reached by foot. Thus, with this many different forms of activities, the city center is a gathering place for all kinds of different people. The nice plaza near the city center, surrounded by cafes and restaurants, has become the de facto rendezvous spot for people meeting up here.
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The Arcade is the largest gaming center in the near proximity of the city center. It contains every possible form of digital entertainment, from bulky old school fighting games to modern 3D shooting galleries. While many people gather there every day, there still is a slight social stigma spending your time in this place. As of late, rumors have been circulating among the gamer crowd about an unbeatable player, who broke every high score possible and remains undefeated in every match...
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The grand library located near the city center is an island of peace and quiet in the busy central areas. The traditional exterior gives it an old-fashioned feel, while the interior has partially been renovated and is now a mix of modern and antique. Containing an immeasurable array of books and other forms of media, it is the next best thing that's happened to those in need for information after the internet.
Spacious, with many secret corner and enclosed spaces, the public library is a haven and paradise for bookworms, socially inept or simply shy people who want to get away from the busy city life.
Img Link: http://i.imgur.com/ZkEC41O.jpg
Located conveniently in the middle of the city, the park serves as a gathering spot for many a people from all around it. Rich and vibrant with colors, the park was constructed in an English garden style, with controlled yet beautiful vegetation, winding ways, nice lawns and a large pond at its center. The shadows of the many trees as well as the many benches and cafes invite passerby's to sit down and relax. The large variety of people around gives the park a variegated feel and one can observe many different kinds of ongoings day after day. Couples strolling arm in arm on the twisty gravel ways, teenagers and young adults hanging out on the spacious lawns, elderly people walking their dog and children playing around with their parents always close by.
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While the Shopping District is not as grand or fabulous as other shopping miles, it still holds a decent number of establishments. With everything from department stores to konbinis, it has everything adults and teenagers alike will need and is famous for its many unique small stores. It is a nice place to shop around, or just for taking a stroll down the street.
So I'm not going to plaster this RP with rules. I prefer a light environment where people can let their creativity blossom and be free in their thought process. There are the normal things
- No powerplaying
- Don't make things in the RP personal and vice versa
- Be respectful and the mature adult you are
But apart from the common sense I'm not going to set up strict rules.
Oh, I nearly forgot. There is one rule. An extremely important one. You might even say it is vital. One rule that must never, ever, under no circumstances be broken.
Always Have Fun.