I played Polaris for the first time recently. Our usual gaming group was going to be missing someone for two sessions and we realized we had 4 people and a nice circular table in another room... so using Ben's short rules
and this excellent flowchart
Arcturus and Pollux still heard the song of the stars.
A brief sketch of their lives, possibly in the wrong order 'cause none now remember it (aka my memory is faulty):
Pollux lost an arm and his wife nearly died and he saved her with a magic demon stone and killed a giant demon with it saving Southwatch and she, innocent, was burnt as a demon and he went mad wandering the ice and accepted a demon's offer to kill and eat 7 infants to bring her back and she was horrified and loved his brother and he left with her to the icy wastes to atone and then...
Arcturus's starlight sword became corrupted, twisted, and black and he used ancient artifacts to wage war on Southwatch and they summoned a giant demon which was also his brother whom he slew and he helped the king of Southwatch subjugate the other Remnants and his wife was accused of plotting assassination and they fled to live with heretics and she gave birth to a half demon son and they returned to Tallstar and he was exiled and his wife killed and his demon son imprisoned and stripped of rank he saved Southkeep from a demon attack and returned to his knighthood led Tallstar and his son against the heretics and killed them and his demon son and led the refugees from Southreach to kill many strong knights and became king of Southreach and waged war against Tallstar destroying the Order and becoming Demon King of Tallstar, ending war among the people.
We didn't complete one of the two protagonist's stories in the two sessions, and only completed Arcturus' because at the end there, when the Heart had despaired of killing him, everyone involved pushed his experience quickly past breaking. Some of my thoughts:
- Awesome game. I'd never played anything like it.
- I am a huge fan of whenever several And Furthermores happen in a row.
- We were a little bad at timing, it seems Arcturus' scenes always took a good bit longer than Pollux's.
- We were very bad at keeping significant non-Heart, non-Mistaken characters around. Either they moved to the Mistaken section or were killed. Usually pretty quickly.
- Related, at some point we realized we were probably being too liberal in which characters the Mistaken had guidance over. Other than demons, of course, what typically should characterize the characters the Mistaken has guidance over?
- After the first session we decided to and did an okay job of giving the Moons more screen time.
- Does anyone ever choose "lesser" over "different" upon being You Ask Far Too Much'd?
- The two stories had zero direct interaction but many parallel elements. Three of us enjoyed this, and one of us didn't. Probably just a matter of taste for the the group's particular implementation of it.
- From our sample set of 1, we have guessed that if the Heart keeps asking for his character to die, more often than seems appropriate, the Mistaken will tend to not let it happen no matter what.
- Any brilliant ideas for how to play the rest of Pollux's story, supposing we aren't going to add more protagonists and continue playing more Polaris straightaway? Are there known problems with having just one protagonist that we can avoid trivially?