Hi, and anyone up for Polaris?

edited May 2011 in Pitch
Hi! I'm new in these parts, though I've played some indie games off and on for several years. Mostly Universalis, the Puddle, briefly with Dogs in the Vineyard and In a Wicked Age, and most recently Microscope. The bulk of my gaming is more standard stuff, right now Exalted and D&D4e. I don't have as much time or as much money as I'd like for checking out more games (blame grad school for both), but I've enjoyed playing online and PBP has been nice in the past for getting around my schedule problems.

So, that's me. I've been lurking here enough to know it's pretty much an Apocalypse World town right now, but I figure the worst that can happen with fishing for something else is a no. :)

I was wondering, then, would anyone have interest in giving Polaris a shot? I know it's not exactly the new toy these days, but I've always been interested, and it's a little too artsy for my tabletop group. I also feel like the game style might go well with PBP, since fairy-tale-like phrasing can be a lot easier to come up with (and deliver) online than face-to-face.

So hi to everyone, and let me know if you're interested. :)

Comments

  • Hi Adrienne. (Traxler?)

    I played Polaris right before it came out and haven't since -- but I've always meant to get back to it. So, color me interested. But I have some reservations. The play heavily involved interruption and negotiation over what's being entered into the fiction, right? I'm imagining a mind-numbingly slow pace when played by post here. How do you envision it working to avoid that?
  • edited May 2011
    Howdy.

    I've played some PbP Polaris before, though both games eventually fizzled due to people dropping out. Actually, it being PbP: First Game and Second Game.

    It's been years since I played those games, so I have no idea if there's anything informative in those links. I guess you could skim a couple of scenes for an idea of how the game flows. I remember that we decided that it was a bad idea to run four scenes simultaneously. Too much going on, like that. Instead, it's best to run two scenes: one for each Heart/Mistaken pair.

    If I recall correctly, though, it works pretty ok. In particular, Christopher, negotiation is fairly "in-game", for lack of a better way to put it. It's not, we break out of play and start talking about what's going to happen. Instead, it's But Only If [and here I narrate actual game stuff], and exchanges of that kind of thing. Theoretically, there's no point where you stop playing to negotiate, though in practice that does happen every now and again to correct some kind of "we're not on the same page here" thing.

    I don't know about playing, but it might be fun. I'd have to think about it.
  • Hi Chris (prefer Christopher?), yep, same Adrienne. Good to see you around online. :)

    About conflict, I'm hoping (though I may be wrong) that it'll flow fairly naturally, like Michael suggests. I've glanced back at the Polaris/Thou Art But a Warrior game played here a while ago, and I can see there possibly being an issue if someone narrates a number of statements and the first one turns into a conflict, thus negating some or all of the rest. But I'm hoping that if everyone keeps in mind that this possibility is a part of the conflict system, it'll work out all right?

    If my recollection is right, almost all of the conflict phrase exchanges are between the Heart and Mistaken players in a scene, with the other two having only occasional input. So I'm also hopeful that there won't as often be the PBP problem where everyone is sitting around waiting for everyone else to get a post in before they move on.


    Michael, hey! Many thanks for the links. They're actually very informative, since I've never tried to play this kind of game via forum before. A scene for each Heart/Mistaken pair seems to make good sense, and I see that you had separate OOC threads for each scene, along with a general table talk thread. Did that breakdown work well?

    Actually, since there was a whole subforum for each game, it looks like there were a lot of threads in general. Did that make things easier or harder to look up/keep track of?
  • I enjoyed playing in Thou Art But a Warrior. Count me interested.
    (The strikeout code always seemed to be a decent solution to the interrupt).
  • ... and I see that you had separate OOC threads for each scene, along with a general table talk thread. Did that breakdown work well?
    Huh. I'd forgotten about that. I think it worked ok? It's been a while. But since Polaris is so compartmentalized, you're often talking about basically four different-but-related games, so talking about Deneb in Deneb's thread has its points. On the other hand, I think I remember occasionally trying to refer back to some OOC comment and not being sure which thread it had been in, which made digging up the reference irritating. It might also be a clumsy way of doing things with the Vanilla forum structure here.

    Beyond that, we just had a thread for each Heart scene, switching back and forth in each Heart/Mistaken pairing. The game mechanics break up play that way, so it's a pretty practical way of doing it.
  • Posted By: Michael LoyBut since Polaris is so compartmentalized, you're often talking about basically four different-but-related games, so talking about Deneb in Deneb's thread has its points. On the other hand, I think I remember occasionally trying to refer back to some OOC comment and not being sure which thread it had been in, which made digging up the reference irritating. It might also be a clumsy way of doing things with the Vanilla forum structure here.
    Hmm, I can see the virtues either way. I suppose a possible middle ground would be a general table talk thread and one for each Heart/Mistaken pair, though splitting OOC talk three ways might still be more fragmentation than it's worth.

    Sorry for going quiet for a few days, everyone--I'm still very much on board, just a little spotty at the moment as I juggle work and graduation chaos. It sounds like besides me we have one interested-with-reservations, one maybe-interested, and one definitely-interested? I know there are rules for playing with three people, but if possible I'm hoping to get the full four. I can float the idea past a few other indie-friendly people I know.
  • I've decided to graduate from interested-with-reservations to will-play. :)
  • I'll play.
  • Awesome. Assuming Rustin is still in, we have our complement. :)

    To make an OOC/table talk thread for the game, I'd love to have a proper name for it. One route would be to toss out evocative phrases, pick one we like, and figure out what it means later. Or we could decide now what the shared Fate of the characters is, and name the game in honor of that. Any preferences?
  • Yes. I'm still in.
  • edited June 2011
    .
  • edited June 2011
    Actually, sorry. I'm going to have to renege. My schedule's been really unpredictable lately, and I've got a new work project starting up all of a sudden ... it's making me think I can't assume I'll have enough time to keep up with a game of Polaris.
  • I would be perfectly happy with a 3 player game. Thoughts?
  • I'll play if you need a fourth, depending on the expected commitment (a post a day? four? once in awhile?) I just played some Polaris at a con this weekend and was reminded of its grandness.
  • My strong preference is four.
  • Looks like we have four. How do we wish to arrange the table?
    Expected commitment, to me, is a few days at most between posts, ideally one or two posts a day, but an occasional 3-4 day delay is understandable. I prefer seeing a post of something rather than waiting for inspiration or perfection. Quantity over quality. Post when you can, and if it comes to a point where you simply can't post-- announce it, don't leave the group hanging.

    I found that images denoting if you are the a Moon, Mistaken or Heart, helped me in my other game. You guys comfortable throwing in some BB code for images?
  • I'll be able to post at least once each work-day and often on weekends. I'll occasionally be busy on vacations and such but I'll warn y'all first.
  • Images sound good to me. I'm fine with whatever table arrangement, though I will note that Chris is already MCing me in an AW game, so perhaps for variety's sake might not want to repeat that arrangement again here? (It's a pretty dramatically different sort of opposition in Polaris, really.)

    Other suggestions: the physical character sheet, with the Cosmos in particular, is a really useful visual aid. I think it would be useful to start each scene/thread with a representation of the Cosmos -- even if just in list-form, maybe using the aforementioned images -- so everyone can easily reference it. The thread could then also end with the same thing, including any changes the Heart decides to make as a result of the scene.
  • I created a google document (draw). Published it to web.
    Had to switch to HTML mode, but now that document can be embedded in a post, and it carries the updates made over to all instances of that embedding.
  • Nice! Though I think the text for the abilities/fates/etc. is gonna look real clunky (and I am assuming we can set the font smaller in the Cosmos.) Maybe just use the Cosmos part, since the rest is just unnecessarily-curved lists?
  • RusRus
    edited June 2011
    image
  • Just something to think about, maybe more book keeping that most people want to deal with.
    I think having a copy of your character sheet in your Google Docs, that embeds to the forums is neat, but maybe more work than it's worth?

    Any suggestions on layout?
  • I like the circle, by itself, and just put the other stuff underneath. The circle is also a map of the kingdom, after all, with the Mistake in the center.

    In any case the Heart box only has one name in it, so it can be a lot smaller.

    (Also, bump.)
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