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Episode 1831: Just Deserts

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Sometimes death and destruction - as terrible as it is - looks pretty. Perhaps the pretty visuals are the first thing a group of heroes notice. Describe a beautiful blazing red sunset just over the horizon - but as they approach they see the plumes of rising smoke coming from the town they were planning to spend the night. And perhaps the silhouette of a dragon flying away.

Describe a stunning field of sunflowers or poppies, waving their brightly coloured faces in the blue sky. Until the heroes start walking through the flowers and notice the remains of a recent battle scattered across the field.

Describe a sparkling harbour with colourful merchant ships docked at a bustling wharf, with various exotic scents of spice and food in the air. Until the heroes notice the masked plague doctors moving amongst the crowd, dragging carts of pustulant bodies.

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

Admirable alliteration always amuses, and such an eloquently expressive exposition of the environs! Now the question is, end game bad guy (like Vader in Episode IV) or surprise reinforcements with the rest of the party? I think I'm going to go with end game bad guy, simply because that's way too obvious an approach for the troopers not to have seen it coming. It's also somewhat reminiscent of the imperial shuttle that got stolen and used in Episode VI, just with the top fin missing. I like this design; it reminds me of a manta ray, which are some of the coolest fish in the ocean.

Hm. When was the last time retinas got burned; a different game perhaps? Tatooine should be fine now either way I think. It's been at least 30 years since the data crystals were fragmentized and thrown into the atmosphere after all. I suppose it would depend on how small the crystals became, the usual prevailing weather patterns, and how high the whole mass was thrown, among other factors. The sky looks pretty clear too, so the smoke looks to be parts of the village disappearing into the air. Oh, and it's night time. Much less need to worry about burnt retinas when there's nothing to refract through crystal dust in the first place.

As for not being an expert in biogeography or something similar, who cares! Making another similar planet is as easy as copy, paste, and file. If you file enough of the distinctive marks off, you can sprinkle in enough new features that no one will be able to tell the difference. Especially if your players decide to fly off into the blackness of space and leave the planet behind on a whim. I personally like to plan ahead a lot, but there's only so much that can be planned for when there's a peculiar and playful party of PCs on the other side of the screen.

Commentary by Keybounce (who has not seen the movie)

Alliteration, being carefully designed expressions for glee, have intended jovial, kitten-like mannerisms naturally occurring properly, quite responsibly seeming to understand viewers, who expect youthful zebras.

Or something like that.

We have here an example of the whole "single biome world" problem. Or, in this universe, the single single biome world - there is only one desert planet.

We could extend that to the single single biome world biome world. That would be where you have a world composed entirely of single biome worlds. But that's more like a restatement of what was just said - the universe (the world of the story) has a single overriding concept - that there is a single overriding expression of each concept.

And yet: if it is the same world, with the same issues with the sky, and the same blue milk protection from the sky damage, with the GM wondering how long you're looking at the sky as the flames climb high into the night, the village being the sacrificial rite, and...

Well, the next line just won't translate well into this commentary.

I am reminded of an earlier commentary from DMM: that your players will remember all the details that you yourself will not, and they will wind up having to correct what you were about to say/do, as otherwise you'll have so many plot inconsistencies, and lack of continuity, that people will write dozens if not hundreds of fan theories to try to reconcile. But that would only be true for a massive story told over multiple movies and multiple directors and multiple production companies, like Star Wars, right? Of course, Star Wars doesn't exist here, that's the whole point of this comic.

(And I should probably not write annotations at 12:30 AM after getting a computer back in shape while it is definitely damaged but functional, on a laughter high from other things this evening.)

Transcript

GM: Suddenly a shuttle swoops swiftly to the surface, suffusing sparks through the smoky sky.
{spectacular shots of ship landing}
Lor: Very pretty. We must incinerate villages more often.
Poe: Does anything look special about it?
GM: The swooping shuttle or the suffusing sparks?
Poe: The smoky sky. Is it going to burn our retinas like last time?
GM: That was another... oh wait, no... that was Tatooine.
Lor: We could have had more than one desert planet, you know.
GM: I’m not an expert in biome-mechanics!


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Published: Sunday, 26 April, 2020; 03:11:15 PDT.
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