Episode 1678: Camel Up

http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/1678.html

Episode 1678: Camel Up

The good thing about mechanical constructs is you can ignore the square-cube law with impunity.

Actually, the good thing about roleplaying games is you can ignore the square-cube law with impunity, even for biological beings. Thus the presence of ants bigger than people, gorillas bigger than houses, and flying lizards bigger than small jet planes.

[Reminder: Our guest commentators have not seen Rogue One. Part of the fun is seeing how their untainted impressions re-interpret the movie through the lens of our comic.]

Keybounce writes:

I find myself thinking back to the earliest strips, when after taking out the first round of droids with ease, the GM brought out some advanced droids just to give the players a challenge.

I'm also reminded of times when the players would boast about being able to take out a number of what should have been high end enemy units in a single round without using any consumable items or "N per day" abilities/spells.

20 times the firepower, triple the range, and "how much times the XP?" Is a good example of a player that has gotten far too overconfident.

Let's not forget the look on the soldiers, in panel 4.5. They have stopped firing, are looking up, and are about to fail a morale check.

I could understand Jim doing something silly here. He plays to turn off his brain. Pete seems far more of a tactical gamer, someone used to hex-style wargames. I can't see him doing something this bad unless he is thoroughly underestimating the GM.

And you know, that could explain all of this. The players are thoroughly convinced that no matter what happens, given everything else they've been able to get away with in this campaign, this will be another walk in the park. The GM will let them win. A cake run.

It's a lie, of course.

— Keybounce

aurilee writes:

Nothing phases Pete when he has a battle mat out.

He can take out those Walkers without any silly rope tricks.

I have to wonder here what this was like in the movie. Is Chirrut actually crazy and started some off-the-wall firefight? Or was the Empire just not totally clueless and figured out where the Rebel ship was? (Only to be startled by the awesomeness that is a blind monk of course.)

— aurilee

Transcript

Episode 1677: Aces and Eights

http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/1677.html

Episode 1677: Aces and Eights

If your players are puzzled by something, and then one says, "Aha! It must be [whatever]!" - even if it wasn't remotely what you were thinking - let them have it occasionally. They'll think they are so clever at having worked out your puzzle, and you won't have the stress of them failing to read the most obvious clues like they usually do.

[Reminder: Our guest commentators have not seen Rogue One. Part of the fun is seeing how their untainted impressions re-interpret the movie through the lens of our comic.]

aurilee writes:

Even today's technology has functionality that (supposedly) can detect if the hand/finger being scanned is attached to an alive person. Imperial engineering at its finest as usual.

And in the GM's defense, the chance of a laser sword (a highly specialised Jedi weapon) being left lying around some random Imperial base is basically nothing.

But then, who hasn't found a bronze dagger in some formerly-animated slime. Anything could happen really.

— aurilee

Keybounce writes:

Ah, yes. The biometric scanner. Prevent a stolen password, ensure a stolen hand. Clearly, working at a place with biometric scanners must come with hazardous pay.

And personally, rolling only one die and not looking at the result? Pick up a whole handful of dice and then drop them without looking at the result.

"Portentously"? I look at that word, I see the first four letters, and I think of an absolutely giant door in a videogame that swings open to reveal a normal sized door hidden behind (Portal :-)

— Keybounce

Transcript

Episode 1676: Hack of Clubs

http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/1676.html

Episode 1676: Hack of Clubs

Anywhere that the heroes might want to infiltrate secretly should have alarms. Plural.

Because disabling the alarm system is standard prep work for infiltration, as seen in numerous movies and TV shows. So best make sure that "the" alarm system is merely one of the alarm systems.

[Reminder: Our guest commentators have not seen Rogue One. Part of the fun is seeing how their untainted impressions re-interpret the movie through the lens of our comic.]

Keybounce writes:

Remember people, asking "what's the worst that can happen" is asking for the difficulty level to be raised.

You'll get more XP when you're done, if you live.

Remember how I said the job of a guard was to raise the alarm? Our heroes have demonstrated they would be good guards.

— Keybounce

aurilee writes:

I see that reference.

Another thing I liked about Star Wars droids: they were specialised. They weren't these pseudo-superhumans who were stronger, faster, smarter and just all around better than humans in every way. Instead, like people, they were specialists and had limitations.

Which also works very well with the concept of D&D classes.

Hmmm...

— aurilee

Transcript

Episode 1675: Take Three Laser Crossbow Bolts Topically and Call Me in the Morning

http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/1675.html

Episode 1675: Take Three Laser Crossbow Bolts Topically and Call Me in the Morning

There's very little more satisfying than turning a non-combat skill into something that allows you to lay waste to your enemies.

Or so we've heard.

[Reminder: Our guest commentators have not seen Rogue One. Part of the fun is seeing how their untainted impressions re-interpret the movie through the lens of our comic.]

aurilee writes:

This is truly perfection.

Also an example of the GM not thinking everything through when he said "yes" to various, seemingly unrelated, things.

Certain GMs could choose to just tell the player that such a thing is ridiculous and impossible and simply not allowed.

But those are not fun GMs.

— aurilee

Keybounce writes:

... wut?

WAT??

Okay, I'll conceal myself behind my tower shield, and then sneak invisibly into the enemy's Fortress, find someplace inside that is made from a large amount of wood, and instantly craft all of that wood into quarterstaves.

This is so much cheese that I have to ask it to tell a joke so I can see if it is mature or not.

— Keybounce

Transcript

Episode 1674: Royal Flush

http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/1674.html

Episode 1674: Royal Flush

Side quests often have a way of turning into the thing that you spend the most time doing, and consequently "main" quests can turn into the thing that you mostly ignore.

If this happens to your adventure, try having some minor NPC henchmen or sidekicks perform the main mission. You could either have them do it completely off-screen, and report back to the PCs, or for greater fun you could have the players play the sidekicks and send them on the main mission. This gives the players a chance to tackle a dangerous mission with less powerful characters! Fun for all!

[Reminder: Our guest commentators have not seen Rogue One. Part of the fun is seeing how their untainted impressions re-interpret the movie through the lens of our comic.]

Keybounce writes:

So we see the origin of the "Princess" name for the first time (I believe).

I am not surprised that it's the result of a quick-thinking-Jim moment, but I had been hoping that maybe it came from Sally, or Annie herself if Jim started to rub off on her.

And speaking of rubbing off, I can see Sally is picking up on Pete's rules-lawyering here. The best kind of rules-lawyering.

— Keybounce

aurilee writes:

The GM is letting us know that the "side quest to Polis Massa" was supposed to be the main quest. Wasn't that just getting rid of Padmé's birthing facility?

Reviewing the comics shows that Mon Mothma mentions this facility multiple times, and mentions that intelligence has identified it as important, all of this before the PCs start going into crazy "let's talk to Jar-Jar and have one character tell themselves what we're going to do next" talk.

So yeah. All the way back to 1638. This is a long side trip/side quest. Almost as long as some of the Order of the Stick's side quests.

— aurilee

Transcript

Episode 1673: The Most Important Strip You Haven't Read Yet

http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/1673.html

Episode 1673: The Most Important Strip You Haven't Read Yet

This strip should restore your faith in humanity, with one simple trick!

[Reminder: Our guest commentators have not seen Rogue One. Part of the fun is seeing how their untainted impressions re-interpret the movie through the lens of our comic.]

aurilee writes:

Mon Mothma would be the type to fall for the clickbait.

On the plus side, it seems like this possibly resulted in a good outcome? Maybe?

If only Bail were here, he'd straighten things out real quick. He also strikes me as the clickbait-proof type.

— aurilee

Keybounce writes:

I am kind of curious as to why the GM decided to insert these strips of all GM conversation in time order, and not hold them back to the end of the campaign when he's filling in the gaps. After all, the live campaigns had exactly that mechanism. Perhaps because it is a recap, for the benefit of the new player, and he's trying to minimize the confusion.

Other than that, we have the standard question: what constitutes an official meeting? When is a gathering of officials just a meeting of friends, and when is a gathering of officials an official gathering? At what time does a quorum matter, and when does it not?

So, we now have the decision to launch the fleet.

Against a shielded planet.

Well, it will increase the distraction level.

— Keybounce

Transcript

Episode 1672: Finding Mnemo

http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/1672.html

Episode 1672: Finding Mnemo

Amnesia is a classic plot hook for fiction. Even if it is represented in an overly simplistic (i.e. wrong) way most of the time.

So of course it can be used in roleplaying games. The simple way is to have an NPC have some cinematic form of amnesia. And the PCs have to interact with them and/or recover their memories somehow.

The more hard core approach is to have the PCs have amnesia. Start them in the middle of the story, but don't let the players know anything that has happened before. They have to explore and figure out what happened that they should remember, but don't. This interlocks well with starting the party in a prison/dungeon cell, with no equipment. They've been locked up, but they can't remember why, and possibly who they are either.

[Reminder: Our guest commentators have not seen Rogue One. Part of the fun is seeing how their untainted impressions re-interpret the movie through the lens of our comic.]

Keybounce writes:

After the first three panels, I cannot see the guard saying "Um, okay". Something like "show me your authorization papers" at the same time that you're pressing the alert button. After all, the primary job of a guard is to raise the alarm, not take out the intruder.

And it looks like the last row of panels shows what happens when you don't raise the alarm. There's now no one to guard the data.

If we didn't know that this was going to be a total party kill, it might be believable that the distraction group will be killed off while the stealth group... Has no way off. Well, I guess it will be a total party kill.

— Keybounce

aurilee writes:

Retro-anterograde amnesia? That seems like the kind of condition that disqualifies you from being a guard of anything, anywhere. In fact, you really shouldn't be in the military at all with that kind of condition.

How exactly has the Rebellion managed to not win yet?

— aurilee

Transcript