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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Is Polaris chargen part of play?  (Read 4107 times)
GreatWolf
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designer of Dirty Secrets


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« on: August 24, 2005, 09:31:36 PM »

This may seem like a nitpicky question, but the ritual aspects of Polaris are a big part of the game and therefore important.  Does a group starting play for the first time open with the Key Phrase before chargen or after chargen?  From where I sit, it would seem that chargen should begin after the Key Phrase is invoked, but I wanted to get the designer's opinion.
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Per Fischer
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2005, 10:14:08 PM »

I am still rather stunned by reading the book, which I received last week, but I got the impression from my initial read that when you began with the Key Phrase, the characters (and players, for that matter) were ready. I think at least that's what the example of play in the book indicates. But I might be wrong ;)

Per
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Per
--------
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Christopher Weeks
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2005, 04:10:59 AM »

We played it (in playtest) as per suggests.  It might have slowed down character creation -- we talked about Star Wars and stuff in betwee, but it also allowed us to get characters created without being on the spot.  Once we started the ritual of play, we really didn't screw around that much.  I can see different groups benefitting from doing it either way.
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2005, 04:11:36 AM »

I think there's probably some flexibility.  I use the "Long ago, the people were dying at the end of the world" before chargen, but I think it is a matter of personal taste.

yrs--
--Ben
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Judd
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Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2005, 04:21:48 AM »

Its all personal taste but I'd think the key phrase is invoked when you are ready to get serious and get down to it.

Of course chargen is part of play, without a doubt but I'd think the key phrase is for when it is time to get down to bidness.

I too am shocked by reading this book and I've read it before.

The playing of it is being planned even now.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2005, 09:14:26 AM »

Hello,

By the rules, you need to know the characters' names in order to invoke that key phrase.

Best,
Ron
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2005, 09:32:27 PM »

Okay, I've consulted the rule book (you know, it's pretty obnoxious to have a rule book to have to consult about one's own game) and, according to it, "Long ago, the people were dying at the end of the world" should preceed any play activity, including character generation.

If you slip up and get it wrong, which I have, a couple of times, that's fine.

yrs--
--Ben
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Nev the Deranged
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Posts: 741

Dave. Yeah, that Dave.


« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2005, 05:47:53 PM »


 You know, I can (and in fact do, every time I think about playing Polaris) see this scene play out in my head like the beginning of a movie: The screen is pitch black. A voice speaks, intoning the introductory Phrases in a ritualistic fashion. When he gets to the invocation that actually kicks off the game, *flick* and a flame appears, lighting a candle, the light of which gradually reaveals four players sitting around a table in a dark room, the camera rotating slowly, showing each of their faces lit by the dancing flame.

 The rest of the movie alternates between the players around the table and the game playing out in the shared imagination space. Naturally, events in the real world and the SIS start to take on an eerie synchronicity as the game gets deeper and the players are drawn ever more powerfully into the story they are creating.

 It's totally Neverending Story, man. I can't wait to get mine in the mail.
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Nev the Deranged
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Dave. Yeah, that Dave.


« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2005, 04:59:52 PM »


 Having read several threads about Polaris that refer positively to the effect of ritual, dedicated space, candlelight, etc. I have been giving this kind of thing some thought in anticipation of my copy which is taking entirely too damn long to arrive.

 *ahem*

 So, I was thinking... it's neat to use the candle to begin play, and to sort of represent Polaris (both the star and the city) in a way. But playing with just one candle would make it hard to read sheets, which is of course rather important. So, one option is obviously to play with low-but-not-too-low lighting, not depending on the candle for light at all, but rather for ritual/mood/decor only. Another option I was considering was each player having their own candle, by which to light their space. Five candles of sufficient size ought to light the table well enough to play, I think. But then I felt like that would kind of detract from the point of the main candle... until I realized that including the four player candles into the ritual would solve this nicely.

 So, to that end, what if, after the central candle has been lit and the initial Phrase invoked, each player takes and lights their candle *from the central one*, while invoking their character with "but all hope was not lost, for Sir Betelgeuse still heard the song of the stars". I think that would add further to the potency of the whole thing.

 But, maybe I'm taking it all too far. I have a tendency to let my visions grow out of the bounds of practicality.

 *going to check the mailbox again*

 D.
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Blankshield
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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2005, 05:03:54 PM »

So, to that end, what if, after the central candle has been lit and the initial Phrase invoked, each player takes and lights their candle *from the central one*, while invoking their character with "but all hope was not lost, for Sir Betelgeuse still heard the song of the stars". I think that would add further to the potency of the whole thing.

That's gorgeous.  Do it.

James
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I write games. My games don't have much in common with each other, except that I wrote them.

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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2005, 11:17:48 PM »

Dude, Dave.  Do it.  Totally within the bounds of the rules.

yrs--
--Ben

P.S. We at TAO Games take no responsibility for housefires or being sucked into a fantasy world.
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