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Episode 1495: Spin Doctoring


One of the perils of demonstrating something using models is that your players can be so much pickier about it than if you just describe what's happening. With a model, you're stuck.

With a description, you can just change what you're saying every time they point out some inconsistency or physical impossibility, and pretend that's what you meant all along.


GM: Admiral Piett's star destroyer lists badly and plunges into the station, like this.
R2-D2: It's in space. Why is it listing?
Han: With no gravitational reference plane, it's not really a list as such. It's merely a rotation.
R2-D2: Sure, but why?
Han: Obviously the explosion wasn't symmetrical about the centre of mass, and imparted some angular momentum.
R2-D2: Okay, so why does it stop rotating and dive in head first?
Han: It's clearly an inelastic collision. As the tip penetrates the surface, momentum transfers, but the Peace Moon is much more massive, so we don't see it.
R2-D2: The back end would flip over.
Admiral Piett: Interesting fact... <cough> <splutter>...
Admiral Piett: To an external observer it might look like we're merely falling into the station... <wheeze>...
Admiral Piett: but the more complicated and accurate explanation is... <gasp>...

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Published: Tuesday, 11 April, 2017; 04:08:16 PDT.
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