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Darths & Droids



Star Wars as it would have been played as an RPG.



Published: Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:11:02 +0000

Last Build Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:11:02 +0000

 



Episode 1601: Fossil Fool

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:11:02 +0000

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We did the mathematics:

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[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:

Thank you Cassian, for reaffirming everything everyone was already thinking.

And I do believe Coruscant is basically doomed at this point. I mean, it was a precarious thing to begin with, but at this point everyone's just going to die from smoke inhalation. Which of course also means the Senate doesn't have much time left either. Vader is literally smoking out the Senate.

I guess removing the Orb accomplished two goals then... Yay?

— aurilee

Keybounce writes:

Coruscant.

First, instead of bringing in a super star destroyer full of wood every minute, why not just an uranium filled one or two?

Having an infinite power source to produce the 1038 J of energy needed makes a lot more sense than converting the entire mass of the death star to energy.

There is much to say about the impracticality of Coruscant.

The only way that Coruscant could make any sense is if there was some sort of second "Arkentool", that acted as an infinite heatsink. If you had both an infinite power source, and an infinite waste energy sink, then you would be fine. Otherwise, if you're going use the infinite power source to power a giant death laser, you really need to use the infinite heatsink to cool off after firing the laser.

Hang on: could a black hole act as something to suck up all that excess thermal radiation?

— Keybounce

Transcript




Episode 1600: Base Line

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 10:11:03 +0000

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The ability to check in with a command base brings a few different things to a scenario. Firstly, it means that higher-ups can be briefed on what is happening and, more importantly, can issue orders. This can be a problem for field operatives who are supposed to be self-reliant, and can reduce the sense of independence and adventure. This is recognised in various forms of fiction. For example, in Star Trek, the USS Enterprise very seldom reports in to Starfleet Command to update them and receive orders. (The reasons are more to do with plot than technology, since we do see them do it on rare occasions.) This gives the starship captain independence and responsibility for their actions, which are important ingredients for good drama.

So, taking a lesson from this into roleplaying games: It's a good idea if the team of protagonists isn't constantly tied to reporting back to command and receiving new orders. Make sure to give the players autonomy when out in the field.

On the other hand (you knew there'd be a flip side)... Having the ability to contact base can give the GM a handle for informing the PCs when they're screwing up and getting them back on track for your planned adventure. Which can sometimes be more important than complete autonomy.

[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:

First smart move. Contact home base, and let them know what's going on. Stating the obvious: it's called the Peace Moon, it's like they're intentionally deceiving people. Next smart move: telling home base where you're going. Jim even has a great idea: advise home base of what your concerns are.

Just remember to keep in mind that you don't know what you don't know. And here, Jim should know that he doesn't know that he doesn't know about the Lost Orb.

Right, Jim doesn't have player vs. character separation yet. He doesn't get that until he becomes a carbonite popsicle.

... Hang on a second. There is an Imperial soldier with them right now. They're speaking in plain text in front of a potential enemy about a gigantic power source. And they're going to the guy in charge of weapons development who would want that gigantic power source.

As much as that Imperial soldier has been mistreated as a negotiation patsy, you have to wonder. Would he be considering that maybe he would get a medal, and/or a promotion, if he were to turn in a bunch of Rebel traitors plus information about the Lost Orb to the very person that they are going to be seeing?

— Keybounce

aurilee writes:

How subtle Mr. GM.

Jim's still struggling with in-character/out-of-character knowledge separation it seems. Thankfully, the GM is a quick thinker and just gave Jim's character the information, while also reminding him that he has no reason at all to know what that is.

Not that Jim picked up on any of that of course.

So will this whole thing actually be a plot to get the Orb, but in order to know where the Orb is, they need to get the plans to the Peace Moon...?

— aurilee

Transcript




Episode 1599: Nom de Fume

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 10:11:02 +0000

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There are two types of PCs: pre-generated ones that the GM hands out for people to play, and ones that the players build themselves from scratch. The former is good for quick one-shot adventures or when the players don't have time to go through the rigmarole of character generation. The latter is good for letting players customise their characters abilities and background to match what they want to play.

There can also be a middle ground. The GM can hand out rough character sheets with loosely brush-stroked abilities and let the players fill in the details. Given how much people like to customise things, sometimes this even happens when the GM isn't expecting it...

[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:

Jim's had the character for all of 30 seconds and he's already making changes. The GM may now be regretting giving control of an NPC to Jim.

On the plus side, good on Jim for elaborating on Bria/Jyn's backstory!

And good on K-2 for keeping Bria's priorities straight!

— aurilee

Keybounce writes:

Jim is paying attention to a character sheet? Listening to the GM instead of making stuff up on his own?

Now, daughter of the technical mastermind behind the Peace Moon. Will we possibly see something like daddy spots daughter, and doesn't turn her in?

I love the last two panels. "I could do it with my eyes closed". Followed by the blind monk saying "yawn". The real question is, is that "blind" monk, who shares senses with his familiar, able to do it if his familiar's eyes are closed?

In other words, is he actually blind, or is he just seeing from a different point of view?

— Keybounce

Transcript




Episode 1598: Rook to K-2

Tue, 9 Jan 2018 10:11:02 +0000

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Be careful making assumptions about the allegiances of people you meet. The safest thing is to assume everyone is an enemy, although this does make it somewhat difficult to make friends and allies.

For an interesting roleplaying exercise, try assuming everyone you meet is a friend! People on the streets who draw knives, the giant rat-men in the sewers, that friendly looking vampire...

We guarantee your GM will love this one!

[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 just realized that K-2SO is calling himself a "Defective Droid". Would you want to make friends with a droid that is defective?

The screenshots of Bria in this scene actually make her look like a person. It's like there is actually some uncertainty in her, some humanity behind the face. Previously, she didn't really look like a real person. There wasn't much emotion that I saw besides "let's just get this done."

— Keybounce

aurilee writes:

If someone asks you if you want to be friends, right after saying that they like shooting things, you should probably say "yes". You should especially say "yes" if that someone is a combat droid who can apparently ignore loyalty protocols.

And really, who wouldn't want to be friends with K-2?

A quick note on how Pete introduced his character: When he said "monk at-large", I'm assuming he means that he's not tied to any specific order, and not that he's currently a criminal on the run? I suppose he could be both?

— aurilee

Transcript




Episode 1597: Bodhi Double

Sun, 7 Jan 2018 10:11:01 +0000

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Introducing a new character can be tricky when the party is far from civilisation. Sometimes you need to make do in the best way you can.

If The Lord of the Rings had been an RPG campaign*, Frodo would have died on Weathertop and Bill the Pony would have become a PC.

* Yes, we know. It was the original inspiration for us starting Darths & Droids, after 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.]

aurilee writes:

So Jim has Bria now... at least temporarily.

Interesting that he really wanted the Imperial prisoner guy though. Bria is a much more fleshed out character, and has more to do.

Perhaps he wanted the ability to put his own stamp on the character, and develop the characterisation himself.

Or perhaps he just wanted to say "Rebel scum".

— aurilee

Keybounce writes:

Well, we already knew that Bria was going to be his next character. The manner of the change is certainly interesting. "Just go to any Rebel-controlled civilian world". Like of course their next step has to be a civilian world, under Rebel control.

Think about that for a second. 19 years. Rebels are not just underground, but are actually in control of entire planets. Is it any wonder that the Empire developed a planet killer? The real wonder is, why did it take them 19 years?

Really though, 19 years makes me wonder why they are still considered a Rebellion, and not the new government in certain areas. In the real world, if a side has been splintered off for 19 years, is still considered a Rebellion, or is it now considered an independent country?

Well let's see. In 1812 I believe, England tried to take control of their rebellious colonies.

Okay. 19 years and still just a Rebellion makes sense.

Meanwhile, I love how Jim's first reaction is to take over the hostile villain/enemy NPC, and openly admit that he's trying to lead them into a trap. Somehow, that just feels so Jim.

I do like Bria's pose in the last panel.

— Keybounce

Transcript