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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › What We Played: Your Father's Sun-sword (Polaris)

What We Played: Your Father's Sun-sword (Polaris)

Ben R.
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 15
Your Father's Sun-sword (April 17)
players: Mike, Caroline, Andrew, Ben

"It's your father's sun-sword. He wanted you to have it when you were old enough..."
- an incest-spawned demon baby comes of age

We lucked out and had precisely four players, which is perfect for Polaris (it's an exactly four-player game, so it's naturally tricky for a meetup).

We started with one character, then made a second after everyone got the hang of things. It's a nice one-shot method for Polaris because everyone has strong participation (either protagonist or antagonist for one of the characters) but there are only two stories to move forward.

The two stories criss-crossed really nicely (poor, misunderstood Giauzur). Usually it's a slow slide to tragedy and bitterness in the twilight of Polaris, but Caroline/Vela was having none of that -- the whole spiral of doom unfolded in a few hours flat, cuz that's how story gamers roll. My only regret is I forgot to have Pictor return as Vela's demon-animated lieutenant when she was riding to crush the last citadels of the people. Because everybody loves Pictor.

The conflict key phrases took a little getting used to, but once it clicked we got some really sharp results (what's your preference: have the Order remain revered but corrupt inside, or have them remain pure but unfairly cast out and reviled?). That's another reason I think repeating the same game at different meetups is a good idea: the first session you often are just getting the hang of the rules, but don't have enough fluency yet to really relax and have fun with it.
Mike Kimmel M.
Seattle, WA
Post #: 13
I'd been wanting to try out Polaris for a long time and I was glad that we were able to play it on Saturday. Although Caroline and I had both read the book, Ben was more familiar with the game and explained how it worked to us and Andrew. It was a great idea to only have two major protagonists instead of one for each player. I feel like we wouldn't have had a satisfying conclusion with many more characters. Polaris is "supposed" to last for multiple sessions, which I think would work great with more characters, but I feel like we had a satisfying game on Saturday with just two. I played Andrew's antagonists and Ben played Caroline's antagonists (although Caroline was pretty willing to have terrible things happen to her character!).

I'd like to try this game out again, because like Ben said, it takes a session or so to get used to the mechanics of a lot of games, and playing them more than once allows the players to go at it without worrying so much about looking things up in the book.

I feel like Polaris could work "okay" with only three players, with the role of the moons being combined into one player for each protagonist. But four is definitely the sweet spot for this game, and five.... well, five is a pretty iffy number for a lot of story games, and definitely would not work well with Polaris.

My main regret was missing a chance to really screw over Andrew's protagonist by forcing him to choose between slaying his squire or his son, and giving him the choice to kill a relatively unimportant NPC instead. But the following scene was more than dramatic enough to make up for it...
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