Our game of The Pool continues, following the events of the great galactic peace meeting as seen in Galactic peace Pool. Here’s what we decided to do: to play each of the three established player-characters back at his, her, or its home-world, afterwards. In each case, the other players will make up new characters for that people/species, and we’ll play through for each one before starting a new one.
Right now, we’re three sessions into our time with (story? investigation of?) the Avix, featuring Qixakol of course, and adding Jerry’s Karnovix and Renee’s Hibou. Here are the characters as provided to me, and here’s my preparation after receiving them.
Visualizing the Avix during play isn’t difficult, but it’s not easy to find good references beyond the initial picture chosen for Qixakol. Bird-people fall into well-established tropes that don’t quite match this facially shape-shifting, beautiful but somewhat disturbing concept. I like the cartoon pic above quite a lot, but for most of the references, especially Karnovix and Hibou in the documents, we all acknowledge that they are not “bird-headed,” but that whatever we imagine as their heads and face invoke the birds in the pictures without being literal. (editing this in: I realized after a while that I was also personally referencing the Flit in the duelling game Blue Moon)
I developed my concept of the home-society based on the three characters, including references to a hierarchical, ritualistic culture, and especially Jerry’s introduction of a flightless underclass. Helma clarified to us that the Avix had been quite comfortable with ethnic cleansing of planet after planet, hundreds of them over the past generation, for purposes of moving in and living on them, which is the policy they’ve ceased as of the peace … and are not especially culturally clear about what that will entail for them. Since I’m specifically not trying to be cute or clever, I went with “towers” with the flight-capable avix living up high in them, over the cloud cover, and the flightless living at ground level around the base of each one.
In need of usable local maps, that led me to a 1990s game on my shelf called Providence, which relied on similar tropes. The “Cliff-Spider” supplement provided some good ones for us, as it features a tower/fortress dominating a rough-and-tumble city beneath it.
I’ve attached my preparation notes below. We’re three sessions in now, and one of our considerations is to keep the words flowing into the character stories, and to mind what new traits are brought in this way. I can say that finally, I am able to enjoy the power of this system, which really is a lot more about the addition of words and identification of traits, far more so than the bonuses assigned to the traits or to monologues during play. Getting obsessed with the latter things is something I’m going to warn against, in general. They are fantastic toward the ends or “point” of what gets put down onto the sheet at the end of the session, but not as ends in themselves.
As of this post, I’ve included videos for sessions 5 and 6, the latter being shortened by a connection problem. There’s no missed play, though, as we didn’t continue the session, instead picking up with session 7, which I’m editing right now. (edit: added!)
All thoughts and questions are welcome!