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Episode 1026: Train Wreck


Characters in games occasionally need to seek out training. Or at least they should. Often the game mechanic of skill progression is simply abstracted to "gain enough experience points, gain some new skills".

But this misses a golden opportunity for roleplaying. What if the only person who can teach you the skill you want to learn is an old hermit living on top of a mountain across the desert? Or found on an island two days' sail to the south, through pirate-infested waters? And what if when you finally get there, the teacher is reluctant to teach you? Or wants you to complete a quest to prove your worthiness? Or has simply passed away? A single twist like this placed on an otherwise standard game mechanical procedure can provide the seeds of countless diversions and give PCs a reason to cross landscapes to any location you want them to be for their next adventure.


Yoda: Power you want, then, do you?
Luke: Of course.
Yoda: Power... leads to suffering.
Luke: I'll be careful.
Yoda: You'll be... hmmm.
Yoda: Training, you will need. Stay until I say you are ready, you will. Promise me, you must.
Luke: Uh, okay. I promise.
Yoda: Ahhahaha! Look, look, Bruce! Jenny! Company we will have to warm the winters and make lemonade in the summers!
Luke: No, wait. This is ridiculous. You can't teach me, you have no... sanity.
Obi-Wan's voice: Luke, Luuuuke...
Luke: Ben? Wha...
Luke: Obi-Wan?
Obi-Wan's voice: Yoda is the best teacher in the ways of the Force.
Luke: But he's too old and... set in his ways to train me.
Yoda: No, no! Train you I shall!
Luke: Well... If Obi-Wan says so.
Obi-Wan's voice: Mind you... he is the only teacher in the ways of the Force.

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Published: Sunday, 13 April, 2014; 03:11:02 PDT.
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