Wednesday, November 16, 2005

[Maps? / Polaris?] The Inner Light

Vincent's marginalia on this anyway thread gives me words to express a desire that I've had for a really long time -- I want to play a game which escalates inward -- you begin the game outwardly focused (which is to say travelling and moving and saving the world) and your stakes gradually become more and more personal, until eventually the only questions are purely psychological / mystical in nature.

You could argue that Polaris already handles this reasonably well -- while the game often begins with big stakes of armies and mountain ranges, the last moments of a knight's story are almost necessarily personal. Even the Full Moon, which takes the role of society-at-large and The World as a general thing, is expressed as relationships with individual people. But, for some reason, I don't think that this is exactly what I want. Fundamentally, Polaris is a game about duty, so in the end, even the personal questions are about duty, and personal duty isn't the only type of personal thing that I want to explore.

I'm hoping that Maps may be able to cover this better, what with the trade-off between Secrets and Passions, and the general pressure of a pile of Wounds. But it is a deeply depressing take on that subject, as I guess is getting to be par for the course in my games.

And, with that, a quote from a recent blog discussion (edited for grammar): No one will remember me as the hero that fought the demon inside himself and lost, they'll only remember me as the monster that remained.

General Status Report

Polaris is selling like Gangbusters. I've got Matt Snyder, my layout guy as well as the designer of my present favorite campaign-length RPG (Nine Worlds), on making some great downloadables for the game, and in the process of a mad rewrite of the website. The Diamond in the Sky edition, which represents a substantial rewrite of the text, is still a ways off, but I'm plodding slowly towards it.

Bliss Stage is full of awesome. Emily got some mad playtesting done with her (non-gamer) roomies, and other sources are giving me very good feedback, but mostly positive. A recent RPGnet thread gave a lot of attention to the game. Andy is hooking me up with some sweet artist sugar. My only regret is that I'm not playing the fuck out of the game right now.

Drifter's Escape is due for a serious re-write and playtesting, but I'm holding off until I see my bro in December.

On the Ecology and Behaviour of the Common Mud Dragon is awaiting Ron's Englighted Judgement.

Maps may have been made obsolete by The Dragon Killer but work continues nonetheless. See next post.

Want, 百花 and Tactics are strictly back-burnered, but definitely simmering. I'm looking up costs for producing a 百花 prototype pretty soon.

The Essay is stalled. I've reached the end of what I talked about in Finland and, frankly, I don't know what else I really want to say.

[Bliss Stage] Pilots

Jesus Christ and Luke Skywalker all rolled up into one big ball of hero.