We move on to the third and last species-specific story (or sequence or whatever you want to call it) for the Galactic Peace game, now concerning the Hive/Hivers. Jerry is of course revisiting his character from the initial story set during the peace conference, Hiver, and Helma is playing her new character Hiver, and Renee is playing hers, Hiver. In practice, for the sake of silly primates, they are respectively “Protect/Annihilate,” “Hitta” [to find], and “Hatch,” as any Hiver just knows any Hiver’s function and therefore the core of their identity.
I did some thinking about this for preparation: we’d seen massive socio-economic turmoil with the Avix as a wartime society – including its peaceniks – had no idea what to do, politically, without it; and with the Murkcap, we’d seen the frightening ideologies of power, control, and fear exploiting peace even better than they had made use of war. I thought about how the Hive had already been psychologically and socially “opened” in a truly trippy hippy way by Dukun the Murkcap, and I thought … why not simply let it work? Unlike the others, why not see the Hive society as a whole as getting it and not being, you know, in any turmoil or trouble?
That turned me toward thinking more about these Hivers simply as people (scary, cyber, literal-minded bug people) and what sort of circumstances would put a retired annihilator, a surveyor for brood sites, and a hatchling in one spot? That seemed pretty straightforward. So, one unlikely but today-it-happens accident to the brood ship awaiting the survey results, and here we are.
Check out the original story at Galactic peace Pool, and the two following stories at Galactic peace: the Avix and Galactic peace: the Murkcap.
5 responses to “Galactic Peace: the Hive”
Sessions 15 and 16
Here's the link to these sessions. Session 15 was played during the great computer disaster of last week so didn't get recorded; its events are discussed during this latest session in retrospect.
GMing the Hivers is a matter of subtraction for me: no spiraling social strife, no overriding policy crisis, no deep reorientation, no intrinsic destabilizing factors, and no threatening enemy. It's true that after the Galactice Peace, the Hive's customary expansionist mulching and annihilating are no longer their policy – and that's that, it's done and the Hivers are OK with it. So the change in policy isn't a problem, it's simply the case now for whatever they do next. And my job as GM is simply situational for a given place and circumstances, full of dangers and risks, but mainly a logistic problem.
For this species/story, I'm going with what Jerry mentioned a while ago: that to anyone else, Hivers are terrifyingly obsessed (mulch or annihilate, that's it) and uniform across individuals despite specialized functions, including their universal name and tendency to speak and think as "the Hive," but once you're in there among them, they are in fact individuals and the Hive is merely context. It's a nonhuman context, yes, but still full of potential for opinions, interactions, relationships, and developing events.
The risk of such a concept, in stories, is that the alien characters end up being people in bug costumes. That said, it's not my problem to prevent or solve that risk, and we'll see whether we rise above it or not. Even if we don't, there's a great small-scale portrait in the making of three very different Hivers and their responses to their immediate situation.
… it's been building explicitly from the start of the Hiver story, and arguably established in the original Galactic Peace sequence, but here it is in spades: Hiver Protector-Annhilator is facing the end. I also felt something very strongly as a participant: his shift from, a session or two earlier, saying "this is a failed colony," to latching onto it hard as a genuine colony – "that is a queen." I think everyone felt it.
Now, looking at my notes going into play,
… one might think I brought it into the session myself, "this is what it's about," and "hey everyone, look at this, this is what's happening." But that's not what happened. My notes are my response to the events through session 16, i.e., what Jerry has been saying, playing, and writing into the story. When you watch the session you'll see that it's coming from him, clarifying that my notes' real function is indicate to myself what I'm thinking I should be ready to respond about.
Here's the link directly into the playlist.
Session 18, and the end
Here's the link to the session, which brings us to the conclusion of the Hiver sequence and of the Galactic Peace game. The sessions were as follows:
The links to the previous stories are in the main post. Here, we retained the focus on the specific character developments for the three Hivers, in a physically and biologically dangerous situation, as opposed to the previous sociopolitical and psychosocial leanings, with results you may enjoy.
At one point I reference my notes, so here they are to read along with:
It's been an amazing play experience in every way. I hope you'll check out the posts, comments, and at least a couple of the videos here and there.
What made it so? If you don’t
What made it so? If you don't mind my asking, can you say what it was that you enjoyed so much? To the extent you can consciously identify it, of course.
Well … a couple of things
Well … a couple of things make me reluctant to try to say. One is that it's easy to storytell about what something was like or why you did things, even when you try not to, and I don't want to do that. Another is that the events and interactions of play are here on video and, at least I hope, very accessible viewing, with good people having a great time doing the thing they're doing. And related to both of those, it makes most sense for someone to bring whatever their past experiences were, or what they think they mean, and to raise the points that seem most important to them. I can't guess what will make sense to you or anyone else, whether the terms to use or the most relevant thing.
So I'd prefer that someone brings their experience or identity as a role-player into contact with what they perceive in mine/ours, and then the dialogue starts from that contact point. It doesn't have to be the whole saga, either. I think even as single session's viewing would be enough.