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Episode 1885: Poe and The Three-Eyed Raven

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"There must be..." is a good phrase to keep in your arsenal as a player. It shows to the GM that you're thinking logically and trying to solve the puzzle or tricky situation you're presented with - or at least making some effort to do so. And after all, it's the effort that really matters, right?

How do you get out of a locked death trap room? "There must be a hidden escape lever somewhere!" Of course there must, otherwise the GM isn't playing fair, right? So all you have to do is find it. Look in a bunch of places, and keep muttering, "It has to be here somewhere... otherwise how can we possibly survive?" Just keep doing this long enough, and suddenly you'll find the escape mechanism!

Because the other option is that the GM lets you die and then points out that you should have used your phone to call for help, and then you scream unfair and everyone gets into a raging argument and goes home angry.

(Sorry... removing tongue from cheek now.)

Commentary by Keybounce (who has not seen the movie)

So, we have live fire in the hangar bay, and the people in the control room are exposed? And not doing anything, like running, or putting up the blast shields over the windows? With one of them able to see the future? I'd call that incompetence, except for one thing: this one can see the future.

There's two types of future sight, in general in fiction. One has you seeing the most likely future, which you can change or adjust; the other has you seeing the definite fixed future, and anything you try to change it, only makes it happen. That second type is actually more of a curse. If you were told that you could see the outcome of what you would do, and be completely unable to change it, such that your future was already determined and you were nothing but a helpless pawn of time, would you want that?

Doctor Manhattan, from Watchmen, had that. He was extremely disconnected from the other characters. He saw something happening "now" just like seeing something happening five years from now, and didn't really see his life as anything of a choice - until the "big bad" came up with a way to hide that future sight for the final showdown, at which point he was happy to be able to actually have a choice and try something without knowing the outcome. (Well, that's my recollection of that scene, it's been several years since I last read it.)

We had a chance to see that, and even see people play with it, in Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. Someone claimed to be a seer, and could see the outcome of what Hermione's group would encounter as they tried to stop the bullies and stand up for the poor picked-on students. And it turned out, there was a way to play with the reported outcomes. After all, as long as what the seer sees happens, that doesn't mean that the seer actually saw the truth or even the final results. You just have to figure out how you can be beaten down, and then still manage to recover and win afterwards. (Hint: Cheat.)

If you see that your body is going to burn, why not call some firefighters and medics to be on standby nearby? Sure, you'll burn - but then the fire will be put out, and the skin graft will be ready. Of course, if you haven't read enough speculative fiction to think like that, you won't come up with this. So the lesson is clear: Reading is a lifesaving tool. Read more, and come up with strange and unusual ways of thinking, and that curse can become a game.

Meanwhile... How will Finn or Poe make their report to Ren/Phasma at this point? They've pretty much made sure that they won't be able to return once they've gotten the information they need, right?

So, we now have Finn, Poe, and BB-8 on the "good" side; Ren, and Hux, on the "evil" side; and Rey not yet declared on a side, but working with BB-8 for now.

And then there's Luke, that they are searching for. It's a three movie trilogy, so they probably won't find him yet - after all, Episode IX is named for Skywalker. ... And as I write that, I realize that while I was thinking that meant that they find Luke in IX, what if they find his child, and it's a three generation story from Vader to Luke to brand new character?

Yea,... I can't tell. Either way is a potentially interesting story.

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

Not wanting to roll because you feel a bad result coming up? Sounds like a superstition to me. Nothing can be done in combat of course, but attempting other less important activities first to take the bad rolls first? Sounds like a perfectly acceptable dice custom to me!

In for a penny, in for a pound says Finn. I wouldn't have thought to try and blow up the control room; I would have started shooting up the location the fuel line is anchored to. Since this is a movie though, it's going to release the fuel line/tether of course, but that would mean all of the fuel lines require power in order to stay attached. In a normal situation, if the power fails for any reason, then all of the fuel lines could disconnect and start spilling any fuel inside them onto the ground. Most potentially dangerous equipment where I work needs to fail-safe on power loss rather than fail-dangerous like this, so this part feels very odd.

The last panel looks pretty odd here; it's like part of the explosion was mirrored on the floor. And I guess it's technically not a repeat of Grizz and Ekelarc. Both situations had the pair die to PIE fighters, were NPCs, and died almost as quickly as they arrived, but Kaplan and Thanisson both lasted two comics long which is at least a 50% longer lifespan depending on how one counts the number of panels. Plus, these two weren't flying a ship of their own at the time.

Transcript

Poe: I’ll make a Piloting roll to find the fuel line release.
Finn: Oh, now you make a Piloting roll.
[SFX]: Failure!
Poe: And look what happened!
Poe: Hmmm. There must be a release in the hangar control room.
Finn: Yeah, but we’re in here!
Poe: So blow it up!
Petty Officer Thanisson: I never saw the past, but I see things that haven’t happened yet.
Colonel Kaplan: What are you on about?
Petty Officer Thanisson: I saw us die tonight. I saw our bodies burn.
[SFX]: Pow! Pow!
Colonel Kaplan: That’s utterly ridicul—
[SFX]: KA-BOOM! {Finn destroys the hangar control room}


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Published: Sunday, 30 August, 2020; 03:11:21 PDT.
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