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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › Gladiators and Dancers

Gladiators and Dancers

A former member
Post #: 9
Ben, Alex, Megan and I played Polaris Thursday night. Of the four of us, only Ben had played it before, and it was Megan's first story game every, so congratulations to her.

Alex started us off with the story of Dorado, a knight who had found success in the gladiator games, popular events that reduced the proud order to simple, bloody warriors. Dorado came to discover that his victories in the ring had been shames, fights fixed in his favor. He demanded that his skill be truly tested and displayed, and when his latest opponent was poisoned to ease Dorado's victory, Dorado led a revolution of the people against the knights and took control of the city. His zeal exhausted, Dorado found the violence of the masses too much and reinstated the gladiator games to discover new candidates for his new order of knights. I particularly enjoyed Alex's portrayal of Dorado as a man so insecure that even though he had success, he demanded a fair fight because he could not bear the insults of his fellow knights who knew of the fixes, and Megan's play of Rotanev, an especially boisterous friend of Dorado's.

Megan's story featured the knight and patron of the arts Mira. When an acclaimed dancer's performance at a fundraiser criticized the knights and their gladiator games as brutish and led Mira to wound one of the dancers in fear, the knight became obsessed with the troupe's leader Acrux. Mira stalked Acrux against the warning of her mentor and attempted to launch an art project of her own to counter the popularity of Acrux's "Knightfall" dance. The attempt was an utter failure as the sponsor of the project chose Mira as the model for a massive statue and as Acrux set a trap of loose sand beneath the statue that it would fall and crush the bystanders upon its display. Finally driven mad by Acrux's intrusions, Mira cut off the dancer's head at that very moment and then submitted to execution herself. Mira only submitted to her death when it was too much that the antagonist offered the opportunity for El Nasl, the vain and tasteless city magistrate who sponsored her statue, to become mayor instead.

I enjoyed Polaris a lot. Shock has a very similar gameplay mechanic, but I found Polaris much simpler and fluid in the moment.
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