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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 36 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Polaris] We finally arrived at tragedy  (Read 2119 times)
5niper9
Member

Posts: 68

My name is René.


« on: December 12, 2008, 12:09:58 PM »

I noticed that there are very few Polaris Actual Play threads, so here is my part in changing this:

Let's first define the group:
We're all between 20 and 23 years old.
There are Jan and Melanie who both started roleplaying a year ago in this group and me. Back then we were playing with five players, but due to pressure from outside two left the group. In this year they both played some indie games that I GM'ed. Before that we played some Exalted that was mastered by one of the both players who left.
So that's the group.

How did we came to play Polaris?
I guess this is the main point of my post. So let me start from the beginning. I am a big fan of Polaris and had some of my best roleplaying experiences with Polaris. Therefore I tried to get them to play Polaris with me. Because mentioning it some times when we were changing systems didn't caught them I decided to try another method. While nearing to end a Sorcerer game, I gave Jan the Polaris book and said he should read at least the first 20 pages (which is basically setting).
Next week he gave me the book back with a smile and was eager to play in this setting. So I gave the book to Melanie hoping to get similar results. And guess what: she was eager to play, too!

The book does a much better job at presenting the setting in a convincing manner than I can do verbally.
In fact it does a great job in doing that.
So if anyone is having similar kind of problems getting the players pumped up for some Knights of the Order of the Stars lend them the book and see what happens.

What kind of story did we tell?
It was mainly "The Physicists" from Dürenmatt in a fantasy setting.
People trying to solve problems way over their head are bound to fall.

Long ago, the people were dying at the end of the world.
Big problems that are not solvable by singular characters are lingering in the situation. For example physical attacks through demons, corrupt senators and truth delivered by the mistaken.

But moreso the characters are surrounded by people. Hearts will be broken and lives will be lost.

But hope was not yet lost, for Monoceros still heard the song of the stars.
One, who is destinied to kill his father, tries to move the people by his art.

But it is a sinister price he has to pay to move the people,
and yet all he gets is is a thoughless mass of followers.

Succeeding in both his goal and his destiny, he succumbs to madness.

But hope was not yet lost, for Gienah still heard the song of the stars.
She, who can talk to the stars, finds the missing pieces in her upraising.

While trying to keep talking to the stars and by this losing touch with the people,
she learns what it means to act responsible or neclecting to act responsible.

The embrace of the Frost Maiden tears away pain and suffering.

But hope was not yet lost, for Sargas still heard the song of the stars.
Eager to lead the knights he will succumb to the path of fire.

The dark secrets around him are undermining his trust in the people,
till he the chance to redeem the most important people of the remnant.

With all his beloved dead he leaves with a broken spirit to follow the Solaris knight.


But all that happened long ago, and now there are none who remember it.
By acting within the bounds of the system we played a (at least to me) very moving tragedy.


Even though the gm-less system will be strange at first, it is wholly worth a try.


Best,
René
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Christoph Boeckle
Member

Posts: 545

Yverdon, Switzerland


WWW
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2008, 04:35:30 PM »

Hi René

It's true that there haven't been many Polaris AP reports lately and it reminds me that I should play again, it's one of my favourite games out there!

Over how many sessions did you play? What was the most beautiful use of a (series of) key phrase(s)?
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Regards,
Christoph
5niper9
Member

Posts: 68

My name is René.


« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2008, 08:33:04 AM »

It have been 3 evenings of play and less than an hour to set the scene and create the characters beforehand. We usually do this when we finished the last game; in this case Sorcerer. Using this way we get a week to let the situation sink in but don't "waste" a whole session to create it.

That was interesting because in three sessions we've hit quite near a typical story arc. In the first session it was establishing character and getting to know where the potential conflicts for each character lie. Following that we escalated the conflicts more and more in session two plus we added some subplots. And finally everything blew up in the final session.

I think the scores helped us to establish this structure of the arc. Because at first the Mistaken and the Heart are nearly at the same power (nobody has the edge when it comes to "It shall not come to pass."). So the power to establish conflicts lies in both hands. Later when Zeal or Weariness is at 1 the Heart has the edge and can guide the escalation in the spheres he likes most. At the end it evens out again, so both are at same terms when giving the story it's final shape.

Personally I think the most beatiful use of a phrase was a combination my mistaken used on me. It was very near to the end and I had a deal with the Solaris knight, that the demons would not attack my love and the leader of the knights anymore if I would surrender. Then I proclaimed in a scene that I'd kill a corrupt politician (by the hands because I had no sword) and he used "But only if he can spoil some poision on your clothes". Neverminding that, I accepted it. After that scene my mistaken opened another scene with my love. I staggered in and told her of the bloody killing that lie behind me, the Moon playing my love said "She embraces you and makes you calm again" and of course the Mistaken chimed in and wanted her to die because of the poision. Overwhelmed by that I just accepted it and it was the semi final scene for Sargas.
Rules wise he could have used the aspect "Spilled with poision" gained in the last scene, but since I thought it was a fitting end to the story we didn't start a conflict.

Another thing I like very much is the wicked smile on the mistaken when the Key phrase "We shall see what comes of it" leaves it lips, but that's very general.

Best,
René
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Ben Lehman
Member

Posts: 2183

Blissed


WWW
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2008, 10:19:12 AM »

Quote
Then I proclaimed in a scene that I'd kill a corrupt politician (by the hands because I had no sword) and he used "But only if he can spoil some poision on your clothes". Neverminding that, I accepted it. After that scene my mistaken opened another scene with my love. I staggered in and told her of the bloody killing that lie behind me, the Moon playing my love said "She embraces you and makes you calm again" and of course the Mistaken chimed in and wanted her to die because of the poision. Overwhelmed by that I just accepted it and it was the semi final scene for Sargas.

Sweet.
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Christoph Boeckle
Member

Posts: 545

Yverdon, Switzerland


WWW
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2008, 07:40:46 AM »

Oh yes, very good!
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Regards,
Christoph
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