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Episode 1853: Thinker, Railer, Soldier, Spy


Spy missions are great roleplaying material. There is a lot of inspirational source fiction, ranging from gritty thrillers to over-the-top James Bond-esque action, so there's plenty of breadth for very different feeling adventures. They can be high combat, primarily either with fisticuffs or gunfights, but also incorporating other exotic combat styles such as martial arts, fencing, or vehicular combat - or they can be very low combat, relying mostly on stealth, trickery, diplomacy, and suspense.

Moreover, you can lay a spy lens over almost any other genre, making a fantasy spy campaign, a spacefaring spy campaign, a modern day spy campaign, a cyberpunk spy campaign, an historical Renaissance spy campaign, etc.

So no matter what sort of campaign you're currently running, if you need inspiration for a new adventure, consider some sort of spy story. It doesn't even need to be the PCs doing the spying - they could run across an enemy spy network and have to figure out how to thwart them.

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

I'd want to stay in no matter what day it is if I was in Finn's position. Inside is where all the nice things are, like light, heat, and air to breathe. The outside isn't very nice when the inside is a spaceship.

I blinked and reread Finn's second speak bubble a couple times to understand "Second Reich". Reich in this case being more of the older context of just Empire, less of the modern context of "Nazi Germany". So here, this would be a reference to the fact that the First Order basically stole the entire theme of the Empire that was defeated back around Endor when they lost the Emperor, Vader, and probably a good portion of their fleet including the second Death Star. That's not to say that the First Order doesn't do horrendous things like the Reich on Earth did (as we've just seen), it just felt odd to read that in something other than an Earth based context.

And with Finn's comment of preferring to sneak around rather than fighting straight, I'm wondering how much of the dialog up to this point has been twisted around in comic or repeated in the movie. That's definitely Han's line from the original Star Wars after they break into the small station room. Either way as a comic reference to the movies or as movie callback to the the original, it fits quite well in this case with Finn going to pretend not to be a trooper versus Han pretending to be one.

I think I'd want a helmet as well after hearing a description like that of the new work I'd just asked for. Though I think I would have at least gotten a clean one.

Commentary by Keybounce (who has not seen the movie)

It's a normal rule that when stealth fails, you go in guns blazing. Not "if", but "when". In computer RPGs, this seems to be an absolute rule. In normal RPGs, or the real world, this does not have to be the case.

Here, we have someone looking for stealth. It definitely fits Finn's "I did not shoot" characterization to say "I'm not cut out for the front line". But I do wonder, if he was going for the Second Reich—wasn't that Germany and their military approach to things?—then why would he not be expecting combat / why would he be expecting stealth?

So now we will have two agents going into the Resistance camp, trying to feed information back to Phasma or Ren. Kylo Ren. They use the full name in the transcripts, so I will use them here.

This does bring up an interesting point. If you send one traitor into the enemy camp as a spy, how do you know they will stay loyal to you? But if you send two of them, and they are working independently (but know that they are both reporting back), then suddenly neither can risk defecting if it means the other might shoot them. And this gives you loyalty.

Now, will stealth be a possibility in this campaign? We are down to one "good-side" robot, and one person needing to make a new character. It's entirely possible that this will become a "gather information" movie. It is part one of three, and it is following in the pre-steps of Episode II (which was all about gathering information about the clones), and Episode V (all about information on becoming Jedi and dealing with Cloud City more by stealth). So yeah, the originals this is basing off of could be primarily stealth.

But that white outfit with blood? You'll need something less conspicuous to fit in.


General Phasma: What would a young trooper such as yourself be doing in here on a day like this?
Finn: Listen, ma’am, I’m not cut out for this front line action.
Finn: I enlisted because I admired this whole Second Reich vibe you have going here. But I’m more of a behind enemy lines sort of guy.
Finn: I want to transfer to espionage work. Pretend to defect to the Resistance, but feed intel back to you.
General Phasma: You’ll want to be careful. People might think you’re... up to something. Blow your cover and they’ll kill you.
Finn: Bring ’em on! I prefer sneaking around to all this straight fighting.
General Phasma: Most laudable! Let’s see what can be arranged!
Finn: Thanks, ma’am.
General Phasma: {departing} The filth of the crowded street, Or a sick rat limping by,
General Phasma: Or a smear of spittle dried in the heat—That is the work of a spy!
Finn: Maybe I’ll take this helmet... {puts helmet back on}

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Published: Tuesday, 16 June, 2020; 03:11:16 PDT.
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