Take a normal, everyday high school, right out of American TV: teen angst, school pranks, the prom, nerds versus jocks, romantic rivalries, cutting classes, all the usual cliches. Then add ninjas, aliens, giant robots, ancient prophecies, mad scientists, witches, caped superheroes, time travel, talking animals, magic slippers, lost civilizations, radioactive spiders, and insane super-intelligent computers. If you can imagine Happy Days or Saved by the Bell crossed with every comic book written then you've got the idea.
Ninja High School (the game) is based loosely on the comic books Ninja High School, which was in turn inspired by anime series such as Urusei Yatsura, Ranma 1/2, and Tenchi. (There's also been a role-playing game created in much the same style, Teenagers from Outer Space.) With a few exceptions, none of the actual characters from the N.H.S. comic book will be used, just the general setting (your average American high school), tone (free-for-all farce), and gimmicks (just about anything bizarre).
It's lunch time at George W. Bush High School (est. 1955--don't ask, no one knows), located in suburban Bobbville, USA (founded by the Bobb family, still its most prominent citizens). And today's meal break promises to be a bit more exciting than normal, even for GWBHS.
This weekend is the big Homecoming game against cross-town rival Al Gore High (est. 1948--again, don't ask, these things happen). At the mandatory pep rally in the cafeteria, you and your fellow students must not only elect this year's Homecoming queen, but also recruit new football players, since half the team came down with the stomach flu yesterday. In addition, this afternoon is the all-important Collegiate Regular Aptitude Performance test, the results of which will go onto your permanent record and determine success or failure for the rest of your life. And worst of all, the kitchen doesn't have enough food for everyone!
Like every high school, Bush High is divided into various cliques,
each of which has claimed a certain table in the cafeteria. Only certain people are allowed to sit at certain tables, and the very act of sitting at a table can affect your character's stats. Seating restrictions and effects are listed in the Table of Tables.
The Mayor's Table: Bequeathed to the school by Mayor Bobb, this dining area features upholstered chairs, fine china, and candelabra. This table also serves those students who have paid $1 million for the special gourmet Josiah Bobb Meal plan.
The Nerd Table: Hangout for honors students and members of the chess club.
The Jock Table: Located next to the school's trophy display, the domain of the football team.
That Table: Bearing no official name, this table is only referred to as "that table". Located in the darkest corner of the cafeteria, next to the dumpsters, this is the hangout of loners, delinquents, and misfits.
The Middle Table: Stuck in no-man's land in the middle of the cafeteria, this table is the default lunch spot for the "regular" folks.
|Table Name||Requirements to Sit There||Effects of Sitting There|
|Mayor's Table||Popularity 4 or higher
or Josiah Bobb Meal Plan
or invitation by both Joe Bobb and Jane Bobb
|Jock Table||membership on the team
or going steady with a team member
|That Table||Outsider 2 or higher|
Every characters has four "statistics": Popularity, Brains, Studliness, and Outsider. Any of these may change throughout the game depending on various abilities, who your character associates with, what you eat, where you sit, and other things. The "public" things which can change them are described in the Generic List of Things That Change Stats. Stats cannot drop below 0 or rise above 6.
Popularity: A major goal of most students, it fluctuates wildly depending on who you associate with. If your character has a "popularity effect" ability, you must show it to any other character with whom you have significant non-hostile contact (at least two minutes of interaction). Popularity can also be affected by "going steady" with someone. This is a permanent decision (at least for the next couple days, which is all that matters).
Brains: This will determine how well you do in this afternoon's aptitude tests. Your character has a "Brains goal"; if you don't achieve this goal by the end of lunch, you will not pass the aptitude test (at least at the level you desire) and can kiss your academic future good-bye.
Studliness: Your character's athletic prowess, this stat will determine how much you can contribute to the football team. Of more immediate benefit, Studliness determines your prowess in a food fight (see below). Note that there is no combat in this game!
Outsider: Not merely the opposite of popularity, outsider status is a measure of your general alienation from school society as a whole. It's gained by breaking the rules and generally screwing over everyone else. High outsider values are generally sought by "bad" characters.
|The Football Team
Innate special abilities are represented by yellow cards. These cards are not transferrable between characters.
On the front side of the card is written the name of the ability and how to use it. Follow the instructions on the card to use it. The back side indicates the results; you must show this side to any other player affected by the ability. You do not have to show them the front side.
Ability cards are meant to be self-explanatory, but if they aren't, just ask the Gamemaster for assistance.
In addition to any physical representation, all items in the game are represented by red cards. The card must be attached to the item (if any) at all times. The card will indicate what special abilities the item has and how to use them. If those abilities affect another player, you must show the card to that player.
Items can be freely transferred between players. You can give away or trade an item at any time. To take an item from someone who is unwilling to part with it, you must either have a special ability to do so or take it while the person is unconscious.
Food is considered an item, but has a few special rules. There is a
limited amount of food in the cafeteria and a line to get it. Characters may use any number of strategies to affect their place in line. Remember, because they're scraping the bottom of the barrel, not all of it is of very good quality!
Food is represented by folded green pieces of paper. The outside says what the food looks or smells like. The inside gives the actual effects of the food. You can do two things with food: eat it or throw it. Either actions uses up the food. If you consume the food or are struck by it, open up the folded paper and follow the effects listed.
To throw food at someone, announce your target and your Studliness. If your target's Studliness is equal or less than yours, then he is hit--hand over the food card for them to suffer the effects. If your target's Studliness is higher than yours, the food misses and is wasted.
These are the generic pre-made characters. Players may choose from among them or request a custom-made character from the GM.