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Episode 1690: A Fuelish Plan


In fiction, tanks full of fuel make for great explosions. Not so much in reality, but then role-playing games aren't necessarily about simulating reality. Sometimes you just have to roll with it, and who cares about being realistic?

Fuel will burn in reality though. So another potential approach if you want to emphasise the realism and keep a lid on the cinematic exaggeration is to let PCs try and blow things up with fuel, only to have them burst into flames instead. And then see what they 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.]

Something seems wrong here. They want to take the ship, completely fill it with fuel, then bring it fully loaded with fuel over to the inside of the secure facility, and detonate it.

First, if you have the cargo holds fully loaded with liquid, that will shift its mass around (okay, if it is actually fully loaded, and the cargo doors are liquid tight, then it won't shift, but unless this thing is designed to carry liquid that's almost certainly not going to actually happen) then controlling it in flight is going to be a pain.

Second, the likelihood of being able to pilot the ship close enough to a secure facility in the center of a hardened building is extremely low.

Third, the ship is in the middle of a large battle. The facility is aware of the ship. The likelihood of the ship being able to take off without being shot is low, and fully loaded with fuel like that would cause a big fireball. With no damage to the computer storage system.

Fourth, this is inherently a suicide plan. Looking at Bodhi's face in the second last panel; I think he's realizing it. Even if they are successful, the chance of getting out is so close to zero it might as well be zero. Cassian's plan of "introduce a virus" isn't a bad one in comparison.

Of course, if this was in any way, shape, or form realistic, the time to write a virus for a brand-new computer system, without any kit or other sort of "black hat" software would just be too long. I mean, it's one thing to say that they have a million to one odds against them being able to write it in time, but in reality it would be a whole lot worse than that.

Where's that YouTube video comparing Hollywood computer programming to real-life computer programming?

— Keybounce

[aurilee has been too busy to write her past few commentaries. They will be added retroactively when she gets time.]

— aurilee


Cassian: You know, after we grab these plans, we really should sabotage this facility. While we're here.
Bria: Like blow the whole place up? I'm in!
Cassian: I meant maybe introduce a virus to wipe all—
K-2SO: A huge explosion sounds fun!
Cassian: We don't have enough explosives.
Bria: We have a ship, berthed next to a fuelling station.
Cassian: But... even if that worked, how would we escape?
Bria: There are ships everywhere! We can steal one! Or hitch-hike on a Rebel fighter! That's a great plan, Cassian!
Cassian: <sigh>
Bria: Bodhi, come in! We've decided you need to fill the ship with as much fuel as it will carry!
Bodhi: Roger, one full fuel tank, coming up.
Bria: The cargo holds as well!
Bodhi: All of them?
Bria: Fill them up. All of them. {close up of face}

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Published: Sunday, 12 August, 2018; 03:11:02 PDT.
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