Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › Binary Star (A Thousand Years Under The Sun)

Binary Star (A Thousand Years Under The Sun)

Sam Kabo A.
user 30231972
Seattle, WA
Post #: 62
Two groups playing A Thousand Years Under The Sun. Totally unlinked games, but we explored similar stuff.

The game I was in (Sam/Seth/Elizabeth) featured swamp-dragon raiders, a sentient volcano that died and had its corpse occupied by a volcano cult that discovered the secret of immortality and conquered everyone, and a dragon guano trade route that fueled the rise of a great city-state. Our game ended on the eve of an epic war.

The arc mechanic is a lot more powerful than it looks. If you get a 5 arc and it all gets filled in, then it becomes a major feature of the narrative - but you're not locked into it if it doesn't turn out to be as great as you thought. And if you get a short-arc thing that you quite like, you can always create a splinter group.

It's easy to get the pacing too fast, particularly at the beginning - those centuries just fly past. This may have been partly because our group totally failed to remember the vignette-of-one-person-in-this-era thing, which was a shame.

Since both groups created religions that rose in power and popularity and then became decadent, I suspect that this may lead to the same kind of stories fairly often.

I also, hmm. I'm not sure how useful the 'map' metaphor was for this: it was a much less defined geography than you get in Quiet Year. Big, big gaps. Ben mentioned that it felt a bit like a Bayeux Tapestry - if you presented it as a cave-painting or a Bayeux-style historical account, I'm not sure that it would lose much. Relative position did become relevant somewhat in the story we told, but not to a map-like degree.

Definitely some more mileage in this one, though. Had fun, would like to try again.
Sam Kabo A.
user 30231972
Seattle, WA
Post #: 63
Here is our finished game sheet: (link to full size)

John
jleen
Kirkland, WA
Post #: 1
I was in the other game that was played at the same time (John/Eileen/Ben). Our world was fairly low-tech and low-magic with one interesting exception. We had several religions but no miracles. We had a migrant horde with horses and chariots who settled down and built a big empire that rose and fell. We had a marketplace and a fishing village. And we had some kind of spacetime rift that made things near it *different*. (That would be the one exception to low-magic. Unless you count the spider kraken who was just kinda chilling out in the nearby water.) Like the other group, we used a splinter group to create a continuation of something in decline. Our story ended at the dawn of a revival—or at least an offshoot—of the empire that had held sway for most of our story.

Our game tended to explore the sociological aspects of whatever was going on. The Temple of the Winds fueled the rise of the nearby marketplace, which then led to the decline of the Temple as commerce replaced worship. Even the rift was an occasion for exploring how the people who lived there shaped their society to be insular. I don't know if this tendency was because we had all played Quiet Year before and were conditioned to think about "the community", or if it was just where our fancy took us, but it helped give a cohesion to a lot of our arcs—we thought about what it *felt* like to be part of something that was rising or declining. So I really liked the arc mechanic: it encouraged us to bring a lot to the storytelling.

The map did feel more abstract than Quiet Year's. Without the emphasis on survival and scarcity, precise geography didn't seem important to the story. I'm not sure this is a negative, just something I wouldn't have expected. I think I'd want to use simpler notation for the arcs, because the darn things cluttered our page so much. It was also a little hard to jumpstart the game without any kind of structured setup, but after the first round, we had no trouble getting into a rhythm and riffing off of each other. In the end, our story was more thematically and historically cohesive than I would have expected. I'd definitely play A Thousand Years again.


Powered by mvnForum

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy