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<     Episode 1743: When Is a Door Not a Door Door?     >

Episode 1743: When Is a Door Not a Door Door?


Locked or jammed doors are a staple of roleplaying adventures. There are so many things you can do with them, and so many subtle ways to indicate clues to the adventurers about what is going on.

Doors locked with a visible lock on this side are usually storage areas. The owners might be storing mundane supplies, valuables, prisoners, or something dangerous behind the door. The last two are fun to mix up, as in the classic case where the heroes start fumbling with the lock, triggering a female voice from behind the door to beg for release, as she's being held prisoner. The bard in the party may recall a ballad about a deceitful harpy, but not be able to convince and prevent the lead character from opening the door... and immediately being turned to stone by the medusa entrapped behind it as she leaps to escape and attack! (This actually happened, pretty much exactly as stated, in a very recent D&D game that we played.)

Locked doors with no visible locking mechanism are locked from the other side (usually). This means that someone on the other side has agency and is trying to prevent people coming through from the side the heroes are on. They could be holed up in a last stand situation, or they may have the adventurers exactly where they want them, locked inside a prison area, or an area inhabited by dangerous monsters or other things.

Doors that are simply jammed shut betray a lack of maintenance, or environmental conditions which lead to rust or swollen wood. Such conditions can include damp, a past fire, earthquakes, tunnel collapses, the actions of vermin, or simply the passage of long amounts of time. Jammed doors imply that nobody has been through the door in a long time. Expect any inhabitants entrapped behind to be either undead, golems, robots, or vermin that can enter and exit through small gaps.

And of course it almost goes without saying that doors which are unlocked and open freely to the touch are the most suspicious of 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.]

So let me see if I understand this correctly: here in the red-lit zone, you still have the plans, and they're trying to get the disk over to the Rebel forces on the other side of the door. And, you're going to shout what you want to do with the plans right in front of Vader.

And then, you're going to try to deny the existence of the plans when Vader comes and talks to you.

That sounds really intelligent.

*Not*. (That's how you indicate sarcasm in text).

— Keybounce


GM: {present day} While they were discussing this, Vader and her troops were chasing the plans through the corridors of Admiral Raddus's ship.
[SFX]: Whooom!
[SFX]: Pow!
[SFX]: Pow!
[SFX]: Whooom!
[SFX]: Splat!
[SFX]: Pow!
[SFX]: Pow!
[SFX]: Whooom!
[SFX]: Sliice!
Rebel 2: Why is this airlock door stuck?
Rebel 1: We can't get onto Bail's ship!
[SFX]: Choke!
Rebel 1: We're doomed! Here, take the plans! Take them to Senator Binks! He'll know what to do!
[SFX]: wmmmm...
Rebel 2: {taking the plans} For Jar Jar!!
Rebel 1: For Jar—
[SFX]: Stab! {Vader stabs Rebel 1, the sword plunging through him into the stuck door}
[SFX]: pssshhh... {the door slides open, Vader's sword cutting a slice through it as it moves}
Rebel 1: Jaaaarrghhh...!!!!
Rebel 2: Now the door opens...

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Published: Thursday, 13 December, 2018; 02:11:03 PST.
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