Balamb is exceptionally significant to Welcome to the New Age, as a large number of your characters will find themselves attending classes here regardless of their background, or whether they wish to become Hunters or not.
WHO CAN STUDY AT BALAMB AGAIN?
Individuals studying to become Keepers of the Vigil are further divided into two groups: REGULAR INITIATES and SPECIAL CASES.
Regular initiates have the following qualities:
A special case, on the other hand, fits this profile, or possesses at least three of the qualities listed below:
WHAT DOES BALAMB OFFER?
THE K-12 PROGRAM AT BALAMB ACADEMY
WHAT'S AN ACADEMIC YEAR LIKE IN BALAMB
After a one-week break, the second trimester begins in SEPTEMBER and ends in NOVEMBER, and then - after another one-week break - the trimester begins in DECEMBER and runs all the way until MARCH. The third trimester is the longest term in order to provide ample time for students who are working towards graduation.
Classes at Balamb run MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY EVERY WEEK, FROM 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM. There is a midterm break for the Christmas season and for New Year's. Grades always come out at the end of each trimester, and one's final standing for an Academic Year is determined by the average of their performance in the three trimesters in question.
Regular K-12 students have class five days a week; SPED K-12 students have classes three days a week. Adult learners have class five nights a week, and the schedule of orientations depends on the module in question.
Freshman and sophomore Hunter School students have class five days a week; juniors and seniors only have class according to schedules of their choosing. Students in the Special Cases Program and the Accelerated Special Cases Program have classes six days a week all the way until the end of their respective programs.
HOW DOES ALL OF THAT RELATE TO MY CHARACTER?
Of course, enrolling at Balamb is NOT mandatory for characters in this campaign. It really depends on what's IC for them, and what's more fun for you!
OTHER THINGS TO REMEMBER.
Advancement & Acceleration
Students across all programs can be accelerated just like in any other regular school or Hunter School, and students can also end up in intermediate classes if it is clear that they have more skill or potential than their classmates.
The Balamb Howler
The Balamb Howler is Balamb Academy's student newspaper. It covers both "serious" happenings within Balamb Academy and Falner as a whole, and it also does opinion pieces and gag articles for the student body. One of its most popular fluff columns is the column devoted to the hottest students on campus, updated yearly.
Clubs, Organizations, Sports Teams & Extracurriculars
Balamb Academy, like any other school, has their own varsity teams and clubs/organizations for specific interests or hobbies. Students aren't required to join any of these, but they are highly encouraged to branch out and do more than just study.
Failing or Dropping Out
Maintaining discipline is important for Balamb, and the Academy, as a whole, has high standards that it likes to uphold both for their K-12 Program and their Hunter School. As such, failing over nine units worth of classes is enough to get a student removed from Balamb, and three minor strikes on one's disciplinary record OR one major strike is enough to get a student kicked out permanently. Balamb does not do suspensions.
Guidance & Counseling Sessions
Going to counseling sessions with a Guidance Officer from Balamb Academy is mandatory: all students, regular or otherwise, have to check in with a counselor that's been assigned to them at least once a month. Balamb takes the mental health and emotional growth of all of its students very seriously.
Scholarships at Balamb Academy
Balamb does offer financial aid and merit scholarships to students of interest. The amount covered by a financial scholarship depends on the student's grades and their level of need. Merit scholarships are granted by the Academy: students can't simply apply for one.
HUNTER COURSES AT BALAMB ACADEMY.
Here is a list of the "core" courses that your characters may end up taking if they go to any Hunter Program at Balamb.
Beyond the Fifth World.
This course is an introduction to all of the other realms that intersect with the Prime Material Plane or "Fallen World" of the Fifth World. It covers a basic explanation on each of the realms within the context of the Vigil, and on the pretense that these students may find themselves in any one of the realms covered by this class in the future.
Combat & Strategy
This course goes into battle tactics by using case studies from actual engagements. It tackles the principles of strategy on micro and macro levels, and goes in-depth into the flow of combat situations.
Combat & Strategy Classes have three levels: Basic, Advanced and Intermediate.
Criminology & Investigation
This course goes into the basic principles of criminology and investigation work. It contextualizes all of its modules within the Vigil, and on the pretense that the methods described in class adhere to the Code. It also makes use of case studies from actual engagements as examples.
Denizens of the Fifth World.
This course profiles the different entities found within the Fifth World and the realms that intersect it, inclusive of a brief history of the development of each group's society and culture (when applicable, of course).
This course goes into a wide range of vehicles for all terrains, and teaches its students on how to maneuver and maintain them. All of this is done within the context of the Vigil - as such, the driving techniques that students get are geared towards defensive driving techniques, pursuit, tailing, off-road driving or maneuvering in adverse conditions, and the like.
Driving Classes have three levels: Basic, Advanced and Intermediate. Third and fourth year students are required to choose a vehicle that they would like to specialize in.
Espionage, Surveillance & Stealth
This class goes into the principles of spy work, stealth and stalking, and surveillance. The first level of this class is an introduction into saboteur work within the context of the Vigil; the advanced levels go more in-depth.
Espionage, Surveillance & Stealth Classes have three levels: Basic, Advanced and Intermediate.
Ethics & the Code
This course provides an in-depth explanation behind each and every law within the Code, and also tackles some core ideas on Ethics. Both topics are placed within the context of the Vigil, and on the pretense that the students will all become Keepers someday.
The Fifth World.
This course covers a geographical, sociological and political overview of the Fifth World along with all major historical events that have occurred since its beginning - including the destruction of the Fourth World.
Firearms Training and Maintenance
This class takes place of physical education and fitness. It focuses on instructing students in the use of various kinds of guns and projectile weaponry, and also goes into the basics of maintaining them properly.
Firearms Training and Maintenance have three levels: Basic, Advanced and Intermediate. Third and fourth year students at Hunter School have to choose a ranged weapon and related martial art that they will specialize in for the remainder of their stay at Balamb.
First Aid, Rescue & Emergency Care
This course is basically a crash course on medicine and medical care. It also goes into rescue techniques and treating all manners of injury and debilitating physical conditions.
This course goes into the equipment and gear used by all compacts and conspiracies that have been granted license to Keep the Vigil by Pax Deorum. It tackles tech offerings from Vice Enterprises and the Rhiannon Group.
Logic & Critical Thinking
This class is a precursor to the course on Criminology & Investigation. By teaching students the basics of Logic and Critical Thinking, it's meant to train the minds of future Keepers towards the desired skill set that operatives will need in order to get their field work done.
Psychology & Profiling
This course is a Psychology 101 class tailored towards using psychological principles in profiling individuals. The class delves into the psychological make up and common disorders of both mundanes and supernaturals.
Relics & Magience
This course is an in-depth study on Relics, Magience, and Magitech. It goes into their use, theories behind how they work, and well-known Relics and Magience devices.
Relics & Magience Classes have three levels: Basic, Advanced and Intermediate.
This takes place of physical education and fitness classes for Hunter School students. It goes into the principles of self-defense, and also teaches the core lessons and techniques in unarmed fighting styles.
Self-Defense Classes have three levels: Basic, Advanced and Intermediate. Third and fourth year students at Hunter School have to choose a martial art that they will specialize in for the remainder of their stay at Balamb.
Supernatural and Mundane Relations 101
This course is meant to compliment Denizens of the Fifth World, as it deals with the political connections between the World of Light and the World of Darkness. All of this is contextualized through the Vigil, and done on the pretense of equipping future operatives with the knowledge they need in order to deal with both parties fairly and efficiently.
This class takes place of physical education and fitness. It focuses on teaching its students some of the core principles behind surviving in harsh conditions, tracking in all terrains, and dealing with environments that are not friendly towards Keepers of the Vigil.
Survival Classes have three levels: Basic, Advanced and Intermediate.
This course is a historical, cultural, geographical and political overview of the Vigil of the Fifth World. It also profiles each of the compacts and conspiracies that exist to this day, and talks, at length, about previous compacts and conspiracies for additional context.
Weapons Training and Maintenance
This class takes place of physical education and fitness. It focuses on instructing students in the use of various handheld weapons and their subsequent fighting styles, and also goes into the basics of maintaining them properly.
Weapons Training and Maintenance have three levels: Basic, Advanced and Intermediate. Third and fourth year students at Hunter School have to choose a weapon and related martial art that they will specialize in for the remainder of their stay at Balamb.
A BREAKDOWN OF THE CURRICULUMS AT BALAMB ACADEMY.
The table below goes into how the curriculum of each Program in Balamb's Hunter school goes, and into the curriculum structure of each year in the Regular Program for Hunters.
PROGRAM/YEAR CLASS DAYS MANDATORY PATROL HOURS COURSES TAKEN
Regular Program (Freshman Year)
Denizens of the Fifth World; Basic Driving; Basic Espionage, Surveillance & Stealth; Ethics & the Code; The Fifth World; Basic Firearms Training & Maintenance; Logic & Critical Thinking; First Aid, Rescue & Emergency Care; Basic Relics & Magience; Basic Self-Defense; Supernatural & Mundane Relations 101; Basic Survival; The Vigil; Basic Weapons Training & Maintenance
Regular Program (Sophomore Year)
12 hours per week
Beyond the Fifth World; Basic Combat & Strategy; Criminology & Investigation; Advanced Driving; Advanced Firearms Training & Maintenance OR Advanced Self-Defense OR Advanced Weapons Training & Maintenance; Hunter Tech; Advanced Espionage, Surveillance & Stealth; Psychology & Profiling; Advanced Survival. The Advanced course in Relics & Magience is optional.
Regular Program (Junior Year)
Variable depending on classes taken
24 hours per week
Advanced Combat & Strategy; Intermediate Driving; Intermediate Firearms Training & Maintenance OR Intermediate Self-Defense OR Intermediate Weapons Training & Maintenance; Intermediate Survival. The Intermediate course on Relics & Magience and the Intermediate course on Espionage, Surveillance & Stealth are both optional.
Regular Program (Senior Year)
Variable depending on classes taken
24 hours per week
12 units worth of specialized classes of their choice according to the compact/conspiracy that they are aiming to get into. The rest of their time is meant to be spent with the mentor whom they have been assigned under, and/or doing an internship in the compact/conspiracy Division that they wish to be a part of in the future.
The Special Cases Program
12 hours per week
Beyond the Fifth World; Intermediate Combat & Strategy; Criminology & Investigation; Denizens of the Fifth World; Intermediate Espionage, Surveillance & Stealth; Ethics & the Code; The Fifth World; First Aid, Rescue & Emergency Care; Hunter Tech; Psychology & Profiling; Supernatural & Mundane Relations; Intermediate Survival; The Vigil. Character must choose between the Intermediate Classes of Self-Defense, Firearms or Weapons. Any level of Relics & Magience is optional, as is any level of Driving.
The Accelerated Special Cases Program
24 hours per week
24 units of classes picked by Balamb, according to their current skill set and what they lack at the moment. The rest of their time is expected to be spent training under a mentor that will be assigned to them according to their dossier.
"ENROLLING" & PLAYING OUT ACADEMY DAYS.
Getting your muse enrolled at Balamb is part of our application procedure for all characters in Waking the Dead - provided, of course, that they're eligible for a class, or even interested. You can use the form located here.
The mods will decide who ends up in what program together as classmates, along with the teachers who will be handling that particular batch.
We're going to keep the time slots of actual class times fluid for the moment, given our player base and the way that the game is set up!
PLAYING OUT ACADEMY DAYS
A consolidated log for what happened in all classes within one day will happen once every IRL month in-game, adjusted accordingly to the needs of the plot and the current flow of Welcome to the New Age. Beyond that, however, players are welcome to log out Academy shenanigans as they please.
The NPCs who are teaching along with the classes that they teach can be found here. All of the other classes that aren't listed under their names are taught by minor or nameless NPCs.