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Episode 1862: Scrub That

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Older is wiser - even mechanically so in some games, where you get extra Wisdom points as you age. Of you need an NPC to impart some knowledge to a group of PCs, you could do a lot worse than a wizened old person. Older people have also experienced more history than younger characters, so they can be a fount of knowledge on your campaign's backstory, dropping clues and hints about things that happened long ago in their own lifetimes but before any of the PCs were even born. Think of Obi-Wan Kenobi telling Luke about the Clone Wars.

Of course, old people can also be a bit forgetful or delusional, so you never quite know if you can trust their stories or not...

Rejected strip title: The Old Woman Who Blamed Things.

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

Ah dang; guessed wrong on my prediction for BB-8's reappearance. I still think it's going to happen pretty soon though!

Conservation of detail is a hard thing to play around in a verbal or text environment. When there's limited time for gaming, the GM needs to decide how setting details should be shared. Describe important things only? (Obvious clues become obvious.) Put everything out and see what happens? (Very time intensive.) Somewhere in between? Video or visual games get around this bottleneck of detail of course, but then the problem becomes one of preparation, or of being something other than a tabletop game.

Definitely a significant NPC, but for me at the moment, only because Jira here seems to be the best fit for this old woman in spite of the enormous time difference between then and now. And even then, Jira seems quite unlikely to be the character, but I can't find any other possibilities in the comics at the moment. And of course, significant can mean important to the plot at hand or important to setting the scene. The old woman is definitely a sign that more things were messed up by the party's first visit to Tatooine than they might have thought. Not to mention the long memories the Hutts seem to have.

So, leaving first thing in the morning. Would that mean Rey is leaving Niima for the first time, or that she's the wandering type and this outpost is just the most recent stop? Either way, an unlocked hoverbike is probably a good sign that this will be a much longer trip. Or at least a trip with a lot more walking involved.

Commentary by Keybounce (who has not seen the movie)

We have an old (1) woman, scrubbing (2) parts; her face is heavily lined (3) and is described by time (4). Four adjectives is clearly above the three-adjective threshold, so by the Rule of Milo, this is important; since it is not five adjectives, this is not campaign-endboss important, but still critical. Even Pete recognizes this, and starts up a conversation.

70 years is, with a little rounding, the time since Anakin killed another child and fled the Hutts as a result. This lady is describing events from the first campaign, after the pod race. Annie played Anakin for the race, then after the race the GM had Anakin kill Greedo the Elder, before Greedo Junior could be born to fight Han. Err...

("We see no problem here") (Actually, DMM reminded me that Jim named his character Greedo after being reminded of the dead character, by Pete. Of course.)

And... Apparently, this town/outpost is not Rey's home. This is just some sort of trading post. So Rey is using a scrubbing station, finding someone else using another scrubbing station, and they just happen to discuss something from Pete (the player)'s past in the game.

And... If you cannot remember having had friends before, maybe you'll make new ones? That's not necessarily an odd thought. A child makes friends easily, because they don't know not to. They have no bad experiences to prevent quickly and easily sharing stuff with strangers.

I wonder if there's any studies on this. Perhaps looking at people with significant memory loss, and/or loss of inhibitions from brain damage. But then, I'd be worried if there's enough people with brain damage for a study with high enough n for a conclusion. (Neither DMM nor I know of any such study. A quick Google search didn't turn up anything, but that doesn't mean much more than I rolled a 4 on my Research roll.)

Transcript

GM: Across from you is an old woman, also scrubbing salvaged parts.
GM: Her heavily lined face bespeaks the relentless ravages of time.
[SFX]: scrub
Rey: Hmmm. A significant NPC. Time to make conversation.
Rey: How long have you been living in this dump?
Jira: Seventy years I’ve been moving around Tatooine.
Rey: I was referring to this outpost, but easy mistake.
[SFX]: scrub scrub
Jira: Started out in Mos Espa. Rough town. Kid murdered another kid, then ran away to avoid the Hutts.
Jira: That sort of thing can come back to haunt someone.
[SFX]: scrub scrub
Jira: He was my friend. I had friends in the past, but they all left. Will you be my friend?
Rey: Nah, I’m leaving first thing in the morning.
Jira: Ah, the future... Always in motion, it is.
[SFX]: scrub scrub
Jira: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
Rey: Well, just forget you had friends and maybe you’ll get some new ones.


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Published: Tuesday, 07 July, 2020; 03:11:20 PDT.
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