[Polaris] Thou Art But a Warrior

edited October 2007 in Out-Of-Game
Ok! After reading through Garvey's excellent resources, and doing a bit of my own research, I think we're ready to start this thing off. I guess the first thing to do is to work out some characters, and then determine a seating arrangement. I believe we also need to determine some things about the setting, minor characters, where we're located, and the like. Anna has given us heaps of resources to work with, and I've got a few things rattling around in mind, but if anyone's got some strong feelings about this, let's hear 'em. Is there a formal process here? Or do we just start laying things out?


  • edited October 2007
    Well the only two things we really have to work out as a group is the name of the taifa and the Fate the character's share in common. The rest we can riff off each other in character creation. Which Taifa doesn't really matter to me since we are creating our own version of it anyway. As for the shared fate, I like the example of the Idea: Greatest Knight. Its a nice simple one we can get a firm grip on but put our own spin on things too.

    As for seating order, random choice is fine by me. I liked the idea of lining us up on the globe from east to west and setting us around the table that way.
  • "Greatest Knight" gets my motor running too. I've already got a good character concept for that theme. Can you explain more what "shared fate" means?

    East to west placement sounds fun. I guess it puts me first, too, given that I'm in Japan. Unless one of us is in New Zealand?
  • I'm cool with Idea: The Greatest Knight as the shared Fate. I'm kicking around a character idea in my head. A knight-scholar who is guardian of the library. Not much more than that yet.
  • edited October 2007
    There are four categories of Theme: Office, Fate, Blessing, and Ability. Every character starts with one Aspect under each Theme. For Office, Blessing, and Ability these are fixed at Office of Knight of Taifa, Toledo Forged Sword, and Man of Reason respectively. For the Fate the players all pick a Fate that each character would have in common. So if we all choose the Greatest Knight, then each character should be striving to become the Greatest Knight or follow the Greatest Knight, to defeat the Great Knight, etc. The concept of the Greatest Knight should be central to the characters and the game. Basically, the shared fate is what sets the tone and initial direction of the game since we are all bound up in it.

    Oh and I'm in Nashville, TN for seating purposes.

    Also, thanks for the heads up Dave. I'll alter my character plans so we don't have two. :)
  • Heh, must be something in the air. That's the direction I was looking in, too. But Dave, you go for it, and then we'll see what comes of it (so to speak).
  • Actually, if that is the direction three out of the four of us were going, maybe we should all give it a shot and choose as the shared fate Event: The Destruction of the Great Library.
  • That's pretty good thinking Rich. I was wanting to play a sincerely converted Jewish Knight, who has a very academic understanding of what it means to be the Greatest Knight, reading histories and notes to the Q'ran to further his spiritual development. Kind of like, since he's converted, he's tried to become the best Muslim possible, but using that kind of Jewish tradition of study and debate as an act of worship. Of course, fighting to defend the faith is pretty clearly outlined as an essential part of the faith, so he's committed to that as well.
  • I just received the play test docs.
    I'm in Utah.
  • Oh yeah. I'm in Maryland.
  • So then that makes it SimonC-rugrsi-RichD-Dave:

    So to be clear:

    For SimonC Infidel: RichD Star: Rugrsi Moon: Dave

    For rugrsi Infidel: Dave Star: RichD Moon: SimonC

    For RichD Infidel: SimonC Star: Dave Moon: rugrsi

    For Dave Infidel: rugrsi Star: SimonC Moon: RichD

    Rugrsi, any thoughts on the shared fate?
  • Both suggested shared Fates work for me. I lean slightly toward Library Destruction.

    I'm curious what sort of thread structure we plan on using.

    If we need many thread types I wonder how hard getting our own category would be.
    It would be kind of cool if there were some setting appropriate images of heart, star, moon and infidel that we could place in our posts to identify what role we're playing. Like: image But something better (and smaller)than this. (I tried to read the pbp of Polaris over at Crossroads and got sort of lost because I wasn't sure who was saying what).
    Although, after awhile, it could get old putting in the BB code. Plus it may slow the loading time of the pages.
  • Its just as easy to post the name of your title as the first line before your posts. I suspect once we are used to who is who it won't be an issue for us.

    I'll cast my official vote for Destruction of the Great Library for the shared Fate.

    I was thinking to use the Crossroads structure of having two scenes running parallel so each Heart/Infidel pair has something going on.
  • Posted By: RichDI'll cast my official vote for Destruction of the Great Library for the shared Fate.
    I swear I wrote a long reply saying that I liked this idea, but now I can't find it. So.....

    I like that idea
  • Ok, Let's settle on "Destruction of the Great Library" as a theme. I'm pretty happy with that. Burning books gets under my skin on a fundamental level, so it could be some powerful stuff for me.

    I really like the idea of using pictures to ideantify the role. It's not essential, but I think it would add clarity as well as a certain aesthetic. It seems that Polaris is a game that takes well to aesthetic additions. If people think it would be a hassle though, that's cool.

    How do you guys feel about starting an audience thread for this game? There was a bit of interest over at storygames in the suppliment, so it might attract some attention.
  • An audience thread is fine with me. I can handle adding an image in the post.
  • I'm fine with an audience. I love an audience. :)

    Since we are settled on the Library, our Taifa should be Toledo. The supplement marks it as the center of learning.
  • Good call Rich. Toledo. Ok, so what do we need to do now? Post characters? I think it's probably best to just post the characters as if its finished, and then people can suggest changes, or else ask specific questions about a certain trait you're not sure about. I'd lke it if someone else could go first, so I can see what's required. I'll ask if I have any questions about the rules, but I think the suppliment makes everything clear.
  • Well here is my character. It is left barebones on purpose both to allow working in other players ideas and to let some things be revealed in play.

    Name: Nasir ibn Hassan al-Aziz

    Knight of the Order of Toledo

    Event: Destruction of the Great Library

    Toledo-forged Sword
    My Great-Grandfather’s Journal

    Man of Reason
    Skill: Medicine

    Zeal: 4 Solitude:1 Unity:1 Weariness: 0


    Heart: Nasir

    Infidel: Rodrigo of Aragon

    Moon: Ibrahim al-Din, Al Saoor of the Bimaristan (Chief Doctor of the Hospital)

    Star: Salima, my Betrothed
  • Just thought I'd add a little more background to Nasir here.

    He is from an old and respected Arabic family. His great-grandfather was part of the battles the led to the Caliphate of Cordoba and his journals are full of the tales of conquest and the fine land that they built when the battles were done. Nasir became a Knight to protect his people and doctor for pretty much the same reasons. Up until now they've kept him in the background as a medic but as the number of Knights grows fewer and fewer they are having to call him up to the front lines. I just picked a cool sounding Christian Knight name for his infidel. I figure I'd give Simon free reign on how to bring him in. The Chief Doctor just went with him working in the hospital. Not sure where Salima will come but can't wait to find out! Hopefully these NPC's will be stolen for use with your characters and that you will have a few that I can fit nicely into my Cosmos.

    Feel free to bounce ideas off of us here. Character creation is supposed to be somewhat collaborative after all.
  • As an aside, if you wanted to read the game play for the Polaris PbP game I mentioned before, you might want to read it from the wiki. All of the roles are clearly labeled there. When we were playing I never had any trouble remembering people's roles - though I had to check sometimes on which Moon was which. The picture idea sounds really cool btw.
  • Here's my character.

    Name: Faruq Ibn Ikram al-Katib

    Knight of the Order of Toledo
    Guardian of the Great Library

    Event: Destruction of the Great Library

    Toledo-forged Sword
    Chinese fireworks

    Man of Reason

    Zeal: 4 Solitude: 1 Unity: 1 Weariness: 0


    Heart: Faruq

    Infidel: Hafiz Ibn Nasir al-Rumi (Gaurdian of the Great Library)

    Moon: Abu Omar al-Kabir (Head of the Library)

    Star: Nashwa Ibn Ikram (Sister)
  • [align=center]ASAD[/align]
    Knight of the Order of Toledo
    Event: Destruction of the Great Library
    Relationship: Father-in-Law, Osvaldo
    Toledo-forged Sword
    Man of Reason
    Skill: Persuasive communicator

    Zeal 4
    Solitude 1
    Unity 1

    Infidel Leoncio, barbarian Christian leader
    Moon Osvaldo, father-in-law and powerful political figure.
    Star Maram, wife.

    Once a knight who patrolled the borders, now married into a powerful house of Toledo. He spends most his time writing a history of the infidel tribes and his attempts to convert them to Islam. He is currently working on volume IV, documenting Leoncio. The other volumes are stored at the Great Library.
  • edited October 2007
    Ok, here's my character.? I wasn't sure quite what to do with Zeal, Weariness, Unity and Solitude, so I winged it. DO those numbers look right? Also, I'm slightly uncomfortable playing a Jewish character, since I'm not Jewish. I figure I really want to focus more on his troubled relationship with the community, rather than his relationship wih the faith. Does that seem fair?

    Name: ?Ish?q

    Knight of the Order of Toledo

    Event: Destruction of the Great Library

    Toledo-forged Steel
    Histories of the Descendants of the Prohet

    Man of Reason
    The Perfect Knight

    Zeal: 4 Solitude:1 Unity:1 Weariness: 0


    Heart: Ishaq

    Infidel: Arieh, a local rabbi, and a resistance leader.

    Moon: Farid, an assistant at the Library, and a friend.

    Star: Hava, the widowed daughter of Arieh

    Ishaq is a sincerely converted Jew. His approach to the faith bears some influence from his upbringing in Jewish schools, so he focuses on an intellectual understanding of Islam. In particular, he is interested in following the path of the descendants of the prophet, and he belives that through study and prayer he can become the perfect knight of Islam. He spends most of his time alone, reading, but devotion to the faith also requires defending it with steel, should the need arise. He has a troubled relationship with the non-converted Jewish community, with which he tries to maintain ties.
  • Simon,

    Zeal starts at 4 for all characters. Solitude and Unity (since they look to be the equivalent for Ice and Light in regular Polaris) start at 1 for all characters. Weariness starts at 0 for all characters. They aren't stats you get to set, but change as you gain experience through play.
  • Ah! Ok. Edited.
  • Well Simon, I'm about to play a Muslim character without being Muslim. I would not worry about it too much. We will play things out as best we can.

    Also Simon, did you mean to put the Perfect Knight under Ability? It sounds more like a fate than a skill to me.

    OK so we all have our characters. Anybody ever figure out picture icons for us? Anybody ready to start? I'm happy to come up with an opening scene for you Simon if everybody is ready to jump into this.
  • Yeah, I guess I just didn't want to unintentionally play to some stereotype that would be offensive. For some reason I think there's more risk of that with a Jewish character than with a Muslim one. I guess that we are all in the same boat though. I suppose that I just wanted to flag that as an issue.

    Yeah, "Perfect Knight" was intentional, but it might be too broad. It's meant to reflect the fact that he's studied a lot of texts, and so has a very clear understanding of what it means to be the perfect knight. It could be used for sticking to a moral decision, resisting temptation, passing judgement and being correct, and maybe fighting too. Is that too broad?

    Ok, I'm slightly nervous about going first, but as long as you can give me a lot of OOC guidance while we play, I'm happy to begin. Yeah, please feel free to start a thread. If you find a picture you like for infidel, feel free to use it. I'm going to hunt around for some pictures now.
  • edited October 2007
    Here are some possible symbols. Some of these are way too big, but if we settle on one, I can download it, resize it, and host it at my flikr account.

    For star:


    For moon:


    For infidel (this one was tricky):


    And for heart (once again difficult)

  • Any of those symbols is fine with me.
  • I'm leaning towards all the black and white ones. What do you all think?
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