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Rhialto posted a topic in General DiscussionI have cerebral palsy,. meaning that since birth I have been unable to walk. I have used a series of wheelchairs since I was around 4 years old. There are many reasons why I like Academagia (including its use of real Latin and its intricate setting and many possible play styles - often focused on developing truly intelligent rather than action-oriented heroes). There are also some reasons why the game may be criticized by others (its treatment of race has attracted some controversy about which I feel unqualified to say much - ditto its treatment of non-heterosexual love, especially before the four newest students were added in). But I am here to write about another aspect that I feel compelled to praise, but has not been mentioned as far as I know: its treatment of physical disabilities of the sort that I have that prevent the person from being able to walk. That is one of many reasons why I like Academagia - it is one of the few pieces of media I know about in which a character who cannot walk (minor, but still a character) exists but is not patronized. She is not treated as a tragic figure because she cannot walk, nor is her inability to walk treated as something that requires a tragic backstory (accident of some sort, terrible crime, etc.). Rather, she is presented as a character with interests that have nothing to do with her disability nor emphasize the mind over the (defective) body (building portable shrines) who happens to require assistance to travel where others would walk. Even her accident in which the player character gets involved is not one that could only befall a person who cannot walk - she trips and drops the portable shrine that she is carrying. I can certainly sympathize with this character's atrophied leg muscles, and would, but for the burden upon the animal, think that being carried by a gorilla is better than using a wheelchair. For this reason I was relieved to learn that the character was not forced to be carried by a gorilla due to lack of wheelchairs but chose it as a way to build the familiar bond. As a player, this otherwise minor incident - which need not even be encountered, as a random event - provides a fascinating perspective into the redemptive power of the most repulsive pillar of magic - mastery. Mastery is established as not merely being about affecting minds, but also as being about affecting brains. In game, this is represented as being able to cause severe strokes to people. However, there seems little reason why more carefully researched, carefully used, mastery could not be used to heal brains - curing cerebral palsy and other brain-related physical disabilities of the sort that occur within this random event. I sincerely hope that a later game in this series involves in some way the use of mastery to cure brain damage - enhancing the game's message, as I see it, that any skill can be used for purposes as good or evil as the person using the skill. On a further note, this random event is one of many reasons why I look forward to Y2's read-back feature - it would allow the player to reread random events and gain better understanding of how random events develop various characters and the setting.
I have read that in Y2, familiars will abandon the PCs unless the bond is 3 or 4. I have a character with a good familiar (a shade) whom I want to keep during Y2. Would there be enough time during the summer vacation in Y2 to raise the bond to 3 or 4 while avoiding declines in relationships with students? If not, I suppose that I still have time in this game to complete the essential adventures as I see them while raising the familiar bond.