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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 75 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Polaris] First ever RPG experience?  (Read 3503 times)
M. Burrell
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Posts: 50


« on: June 18, 2009, 01:38:31 PM »

Off the bat, I'm a sucker for Polaris - ice-palaces and star-light blades dance in my dreams.

However, is my enthusiasm for the game somewhat deluding me when I consider running it for three friends who've never had an RPG experience before?

They're witty and urbane Literature and Philosophy post-grads so I imagine the intellectual concept wouldn't be too hard for them to grasp - but is it wise to throw the uninitiated into the 'deep end'? The stories we'd make would be fantastic, but I picture myself spending evenings explaining how things work on a tabletop...

Thanks,
Mike.
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jefgodesky
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2009, 01:45:07 PM »

Absolutely! I think non-gamers actually have an easier time than gamers at Polaris; they have less to un-learn. As far as teaching the game, my friend Willem came up with a "Pedagogy of Play" process for Polaris that worked really well for us. (Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4)
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2009, 03:01:04 PM »

I don't *think* that there should be any more problem for people who haven't played before as people who have. As in: you may encounter difficulties, but I can't see why you'd encounter more difficulties.

Of course that's a biased view.

yrs--
--Ben
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M. Burrell
Member

Posts: 50


« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2009, 01:04:54 AM »

Jefgodesky, thanks for the links to the Pedagogy of Play. I'm unfamiliar with many of the group-binding activities but it's got me researching.
I suppose you're right when you say one doesn't have to un-learn: I once found my self thinking about a demon's challenge rating! Bad habits.

Mr. Lehman, I'm one of those saps who'd run up to you in the street and start shaking your hand whilst ranting like a madman, so I'll just politely offer my thanks and gratitude here.
I think Jef's 'un-learning' comment may hold true but I some further questions for you, or the room in general:

Should I, as bringer of the game, read out the entirety of The Rumours to the new group, or should read only the immediately important parts to form the image of the utmost north - leaving the finer points to be uncovered within the tale?
Does that place too much emphasis on me, making me 'game-leader', if I know more than the others?
If each of us were to read out a section? How long would that take?

Thanks,
Mike.
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2009, 02:03:06 AM »

Thank you! For playing the game. Let me think about your questions.

Hmm... As far as written background material goes, it's probably for the best for everyone to have equal access to it before play. I can probably make a plain PDF for you with just the setting material if you want to pass one around. Regardless, I wouldn't hold anything back purposefully. If the best you can do is to give a short summary of the introduction, that's fine as well. No need to go into painful details.

The most important thing is that the setting material is inspirational, rather than canonical. So if it makes you go "I've got a good idea!" that's great. But don't be tempted to use it to say "you can't do that." The only way to block another player like that is through the normal conflict system.

As your the most experienced role-player, and you're the one with the book, you're likely to take an upper hand in play. There's nothing wrong with this: it's pretty much par for the course. Just make sure that you don't use it to hog the spotlight: if you are indeed directing a lot of play and answering questions, try to give attention to your fellow players that need it. I wouldn't overthink it or anything.

yrs--
--Ben

P.S. I actually did half of a Polaris d20 conversion once as an April Fool's joke. I don't think I got to demon's CRs, though.
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M. Burrell
Member

Posts: 50


« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2009, 02:53:12 AM »

Mr. Lehman, thank you for your swift reply. It was only by chance I noticed it.

I wouldn't want you to make anything specifically for me, but if you already where contemplating writing a 'condensed background' sheet as a game-player's tool and this gives you an opportunity then go for it by all means! I confess it'd be very useful.
Admittedly, the Rumours are only 21 pages or so - I'm just terrified of boring the group with lengthy monologue! I chose Polaris because I really did want the shared creative experience with my friends, as opposed to a largly give/take GM/Player mechanic.

But, I'm overthinking. You're right. I guess the best I can do is grasp their imaginations and if, after that, it goes tits-up then I'll go down to a learning experience.

Oh, one final questions about the setting:
Did you ever consider setting Polaris whilst the eponymous city still stood whole?
The dawn swiftly approaching, demons pouring over the horizon and seeping up through the ballroom floors - corruption in the hearts of the people at the End of the Night?
 While I love the current canon, it strikes me that this is a lingering death after the blow has been dealt - I just was wondering what play would be like if there was more of a 'T-Minus to Apocolypse' feel. I suppose it'd be more angery, panicing tango than slow, tragic waltz. Just a thought for your consideration.
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Quizoid
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Posts: 19

Loving you is easy because you're beautiful.


« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2009, 03:41:06 PM »

This game is so not "advanced," for an RPG as much as it's just kinda "advanced and complicated," at first... for anyone.  It's so different from other RPGs, the only skills that translate are being able to come up with story on the fly and being able to get into it without feeling silly (O:
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