Wyldfire: Training and Tactics 501 in Tales of Justice | World Anvil

Wyldfire: Training and Tactics 501

The Gironde School teaches math, science, history, writing, technology, economics of various scales, one or two languages, a smidgen of pure arts, a bit more human/social psychology than your average public school system, and a special series of one-day or one-weekend seminars on unique or specialized topics.
The school also teaches its students how to understand, analyze, control, and judiciously enjoy their unique abilities, whether those are metahuman or otherwise in nature.
All of the students take some form of self-defense, depending on their physical age, as part of their health program. Every body over the physical age of fourteen is automatically enrolled in a more aggressive martial art program. The "201" lessons deliberately exclude the use of metahuman powers, requiring the students to learn something closer to street brawling or informal mixed martial arts; they learn how to use their environment, how to fight multiple opponents well enough to escape a potential lynching or gang fight, and how to be aware of their surroundings in case trouble starts to build. On successful completion of this course, students with potentially appropriate powers are then taught a "301" class with the beginning emphasis on team tactics in addition to adapted techniques in the previous class.
Weapons, the "401" class primarily taught by the school's Security chief Jack Monroe, covers melee weapons and gun safety; it's an elective that isn't often run, since there's also an annual seminar on basic gun safety conducted by Vigilante and Diamond X. Weapons 401 has some conflicting ideas presented, since the instructor of the week is determined by the specific weapon being taught. Monsieur Paxton teaches bo whenever his day job clears up for a long enough period, but one of his favorite techniques can be summed up as "pants the opponent". None of the other combat instructors seem to think this technique is at all reliable.
The "501" class consists almost exclusively of staff, as this is where the active and reserve members of the special projects team learn to fight as a unit. Some exercises are free-for-all competitions, some split its participants into competing or opposing forces, and some are completely us-versus-obstacles. Many of these sessions occur in the gymnasium, a very large room in the secret sublevel that may've once been the inspiration for the "Danger Room" in Marvel comicdom. While some impressive holograms and light-based illusions are employed, there's no such thing as "affordable hard light projection devices" and therefore no completely holographic enemies. Opposition can be provided by gussed-up automatons under the observer's control, if a real opponent would be a bad idea. Some basic force field projectors are also available, but they can't form complex shapes.
Anyone enrolled in the "501" class is expected to learn how to set up scenarios and familiarize themselves with the controls, so he can eventually start designing new exercises for his teammates.
And this is where the real fun happens, as far as Wyldfire is concerned: it's like a LARP with the potential for mild concussions. Officially and unofficially, scores are tracked. Someone who wins too many competitive scenarios may become the particular focus of other designers' weakness exploits. Someone who loses the wrong scenario will be expected to cover the winner's most hated assigned chores, or pay off the next holiday weekend tab at Alexei's Bar.
Be warned, though: he who owns the house makes the rules, and sometimes "extra training scenarios" is a much-hated punishment for behavioral infractions ... which might've happened during a previous training session that got a bit out of hand.

Team Competitions


Capture the Flag

This one's a little tough to do when you have a superspeedster, a teleporter, an omnimorph, or someone who can phase out of reality on one of the teams. Instead of being a nice, big flag on a pole, we use a blinking super-bright LED on a screamer switch; if it gets jostled too hard, it "blows up", so when captured it has to be moved slowly and carefully.
For some reason, this exercise is the most likely to go sideways. If the person in the control box doesn't get bored and activate some unexpected twists ... and the computer running the equipment doesn't throw an error and start randomly activating pieces of other scenarios regardless of valid "win conditions" (sometimes deactivating all the safeties in the process) ... and none of the participants (or outside non-referee observers!) decides to ignore the official scenario parameters in favor of {attempting to {flirt with/seduce} a teammate or opposition//insisting on having a conversation or argument that another person was trying to avoid//strike a blow in the Prank War//hiding in the artificial underbrush to get a nap//studying for an imminent exam//using his powers to "spice up a very boring exercise, mon ami, I would not wish you to find this dull"} ... about once every couple of years it may turn out there's an unannounced Gothamite in the gymnasium.
So the reward for winning this one is often a punishment for cheating, or an assignment to write a paper on "how that went horribly wrong and how to prevent it ever happening again", or an extra weekend spent trying to rebuild some of the props from scratch. And yet, it's popular enough to be run at least once every few months!

Combat Tag

This is an elimination game: two or more teams are chosen. Each team receives day-glow orange sashes, enough that half its members could each tie one of the sashes to trail around one wrist. Anyone with an orange sash is now able to use that hand to tag an opponent, who then must go into the "penalty box".
Certain events can trigger a "freeze" where everyone out in the play area has to stop in place and close their eyes, while everyone currently in the penalty box is released to scatter back across the play field; play resumes when the referee says the restored players are ready. Absolutely no one is above replacing themselves just behind the person who previously eliminated them.
Members of each team currently without orange sashes are less risky to eliminate because they can't eliminate the taggers. However, they can work with sashed teammates in order to set up ambushes or take-downs. (And, remember, only getting the hand wearing the sash onto the target counts as a "tag"!)
Violence up to and including "cause mild concussion" is allowed, but you have to face your erstwhile opponents over the breakfast table the next day. Mime and Feral, who actively dislike each other, occasionally use this exercise as an opportunity to push the boundaries of civility.


Variant on Combat Tag where all teams are two individuals, and the only criteria for releasing the penalty box are 1: one team flagrantly cheated; 2: the controller up in the observation box is REALLY bored. Eliminating either of the two individuals means the whole team is eliminated. In addition to being the last team standing, winners must have eliminated at least one other team.

Rescue a Styrofoam Ball

Generally set up as two individual or small-team competitions, this exercise is almost always timed and definitely always trap-filled. Each competitor is trying to work through a series of traps on a course, sort of like American Gladiator, in order to collect a styrofoam ball ... which must then be carried, pristine and undamaged, to a secondary location, often the entry door.
It's basically the Wyldfire equivalent of a military obstacle course.
Silverwing and Feral have odd reactions to this exercise. Vigilante does not permit them to be included in it when he is the controller. Professor Gironde lets them decide whether they will participate or sit it out, always with a warning that they are responsible for their own behavior. Moleculon likes to pick this particular exercise when someone else's strategies in recent exercises has annoyed him, and he will make certain that the annoying person is on the team competing against the superspeedster and the catgirl.

Custody Battle

Three teams are set up: Red and Blue are approximately the same size or power level; Green is a smaller team, possibly only one or two individuals. Green team (who have the secret identities of each team, and might sell it to the highest bidder) starts out in a cage, and has the option of trying to free itself. Red and Blue, who each have it on the highest authority that the other team is a horde of cannibals looking for lunch, want to take custody of Green and return them to the custodial team's home base for debriefing. Since Green doesn't want to be in anyone else's base, and there's no "permanently eliminated" condition permitted for members of Red or Blue teams, keeping/regaining custody of Green gets downright energetic sometimes.

Hot Potato

This is a lot like Capture the Flag, except the goal is to sneak the target item -- which can be moved quickly or jarringly, but it'll make a racket instead of exploding -- onto the person of someone in the opposite team for at least three continuous minutes. Anyone. Good luck!
The loser has to mow the lawn. It's a big lawn. And a push-mower.

Supremely Basic Free-for-All



Hidden somewhere in the trap-laden room are {(number of participants) + 2} tiny fingerprint readers. The first person to get his/her fingerprint registered at every location, and then return to the main door, gets out of one night washing dishes. The second person to register fingerprints at all locations and then reach the door gets to do that extra night of washing dishes. The person to find and register the fewest fingerprints by the end of the exercise has to grade the next three homework stacks for the lowest class during the regular school year.


Monsters assault anyone in the room at random, using blunt force and energy-based stun attacks. Be the last one still conscious.
(The official reward is mostly bragging rights.)

Capture the Splat Ball

Remember that cheap toy our parents hated, a thin translucent sack filled with ooze, that you could squish in your hands or stick (incredibly briefly) to the wall?
Capture the Flag is for teams; Capture the Splat Ball is for everyone-for-himself.
Don't break the splat ball. Don't freeze it. Don't damage it. Don't put it inside clothing or other containers. It must be held in the hand. Anyone who touched it in the 30 seconds before it hits the floor is required to go back to the door and wait one minute before resuming.
Otherwise, the game is a tackle version of Keep-Away. Tickling is permitted.
Whomever holds onto it for more than five minutes -- or has hold of it at the end of the exercise -- wins.
(The reward is usually to get to sit out the next round of this, and possibly first dibs on the aspirin.)

Thugs with Guns

Several Paintball Auto-turrets are set up around the room. Each Auto-turret targets whoever is closest. Getting hit by a paintball means you have to sit in the "infirmary" (aka Penalty Box) for one minute. Goal is to turn off the most Auto-turrets. You are not all to use powers to turn it them off from a range. When all turrets are off, person who turned off the least has to wash the paint out of the training room. Second least has to wash the paint out of the uniforms.
Pre-planned teamwork allows all members of the "team" to count the shutdown. This may be categorized as "cheating" due to the lack of free-for-all attitude, but the punishment for cheaters is usually to run a team competition and require them to be on opposite teams.


Generic Tactic Names

Sometimes we need a shorthand, eavesdropper-proof means of sharing a combat tactic idea in the second before we actually apply it; we've developed some traditional Common Tactic code names, preferably as short as possible. They will probably pop up in the training scenarios. At least, I hope they do, before we try too hard to use them in reality.
Somebody make the Trouble Trio practice these until their nervous systems collapse, would you?
— exasperated upper administration regarding the Three Investigators, only half-serious

Chicago Style

One Wyldfire member stealthfully approaches a single foe, or a very small group of foes, within hearing range of a larger group of opponents in a large space. The agent does something just interesting or annoying enough that the solitary foe/very small group will confidently chase her back the way she came, without actually raising an alert. The bait in question runs around at least one corner and past an ambush in a narrow corridor set up by other Wyldfire members.
This tactic is usually used in a narrow alley or inside a building, though it can be adapted to other outdoor urban settings or a very twisty tunnel system. Works best with: any member with some skill at avoiding unnecessary attention for the "bait", and at least two teammates lying in wait.
One of Professor Gironde's earliest recruits insisted that any group of combatants who held the advantage of "choosing the environment" would generally win. Since those heroes have long since retired, and their notes (if any) have been archived, the current explanation for the term is essentially "We lure the targets back into a dark alley, or the nearest equivalent, and then we thug the targets into unconsciousness like it's the gangster wars in Chicago of the Prohibition Era. There's nothing 'fair' about this tactic; we're here to get the job done, which includes maximum loss on their side and minimum injury on our own part."

Ballroom Blitz

Team stealthfully work their way into positions so that, as close as possible, they surround a group of villains. On cue, everyone attacks simultaneously, working their way toward the middle, then turns with their backs to fellow team members and complete mop-up of whatever's left ... if anything is, in fact, left.

Fright's Dance

Variant of Ballroom Blitz where Wyldfire member Fright jumps into the general middle of a very large group of arrest candidates, and the rest of the team fights frantically to get to him before he's buried under too many irate minion bodies. Often this tactic starts with the phrase "Has anybody seen Fright recently?" and involves no other forewarning whatsoever. Fright is mostly retired from Special Projects; this may evolve into "Backdraft's Dance" if Brian Tanner doesn't start exercising some damned caution.

Robot Fu

It's a robot? No problem, we know Robot Fu. (This mostly consists of passing it to someone with electromagnetic powers: Silverwing or Skyburner or Amythyst or Thunderstrike.)
Also applicable to some cyborgs, such as the biker gang known as the Freakshow.
If we ever run into a combat robot with actual surge protection, we may be in trouble.

Stupid humans

Stupid humans don't look up.
— a certain catgirl, long ago
This code phrase has one of two meanings:
  1. LOOK UP when checking an unsecured area for potential hazards. Don't just look around and at the ground, which is what you've been doing if someone mutters this code phrase at you.
  2. Conceal oneself in locations well above eye level, and prepare to ambush. Leaving something suspicious on the ground in a shadowy corner is sometimes helpful, but not always.
Gironde School 501 Gymnasium Base Map Image
Here is the primary facility where Wyldfire: Training and Tactics 501 drills take place.


Author's Notes

A/N: This writeup is COMPLETELY LACKING in training scenarios for "All Participants vs Goal". I welcome suggestions!

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Apr 18, 2020 07:49

Freaking amazing dude!

Graylion - Nexus   Roleplaying
not Ruleplaying
not Rollplaying
Apr 18, 2020 22:10

Thank you kindly! the tactics were invented by the players while playing the online versions of their characters in the early days of playing "City of Heroes" -- and the training exercises came from test runs of canon rules or house rule variants. I mostly weeded out comments about game mechanics and then turned the results into in-character shenanigans. (I have to admit that Outlast came directly from a certain Star Trek novel, though!)