CoW25 is inspired by the kind of play Seniors have always brought to Czocha. There’s always been an undercurrent of “This is our last year”. (I say “always”, I’ve only been twice. Both times, though, Seniors were bringing their ‘A’ game to themes like “Time to move on”, “Are you the one for me?” and “We’re the top of the heap”.) At CoW25, that’s reflected in the structure of the game. Seniors are opting in to graduation, opting in to leaving nothing undone, and opting in to leaving after three years that they may look back on fondly – or not. This is their last time at Czocha, and they’ll want to make it count.
If you’re a Senior, now is the time for graduation, and to graduate you need to prove you can make it in the magical world of witchards. The key design question there is: how to do final exams without them being, well… as awful as final exams? The team for CoW25 have a real good answer: don’t do exams at all. Instead, every Senior will be involved in a graduation trial. You won’t be alone, and it won’t involve writing essay, or turning over a question paper. Czocha is a College of Wizardry, not some mundane school. Nor will it involve a court of law, although it’ll involve students exercising their good judgment. Czocha prepares its graduates for the magical world by giving them real problems to solve. Conflicts between confluxes of witchards to mediate, magical creatures to bargain with, that kind of thing. Each House group of Seniors will show their House’s values in how they meet these challenges. It’s an opportunity to play your character to the hilt just as much as it is a test. You’ll get a diploma. You might not have earned it, it might be the rest of your graduating team that did the work, but it’s the bit of paper that proves your time at Czocha.
Every Senior will be wondering what comes next. A brave Durentian might want a career adventuring in the wilds where magical creatures still hide from human society. A Molin might want to dive into the secrets of magic as a researcher. A privileged Faust Hexborn might be joining the family firm. A Libussan might want to stay on and improve how Czocha teaches its students: this is their castle after all. A Sendivogian might want an entirely new start; a new path, a new focus of study or to begin again at some other college. Interested parties from far and wide come to Czocha to meet the Seniors. There’s strong competition for a Czocha graduate, and strong competition for the most interesting opportunities. Whether you take up one of those offers, or go your own way, is all part of leaving college.
What do you leave behind?
The Juniors have their Kasztelan’s Gauntlet to run, Sophomores have the Club Challenges to lead, someone will end up selected to be Prefect next year. All these things you will have been involved with before. You can tell the stories of what you did when you were newer to Czocha, but you will leave your mark by helping younger students make theirs. Advice, assistance, a quiet nudge in the right place, a professor distracted… There’s any number of ways you can help your favoured ones succeed, and maybe one last chance to do something marvelous. How many House points can you gain or lose by being spectacular? It’s your character’s last chance, and it’s worth making it count.
On top of all that, two Seniors in each House will be Prefects, with all that entails, the Ball will be your character’s last chance to dance the night away, or to make a statement by not going, you’ll have had a mentee when you were a Sophomore, and, for good or bad, that relationship is going to end soon, there’s the next year’s Prefects to choose, and your House will have its ways and means of doing so, there’s still lessons, Professors to help… Or you could skip all that academic stuff in the bar, if that’s your character.
Basically, there’s a whole load for Seniors at this CoW, and still all the space you need to bring your own stories to the event. Tickets from here.
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