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Episode 1920: A Brace of Cronies

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Seatbelts don't often get mentioned in games. Or even movies or other fiction either, for that matter.

Consider good old classic Star Trek, where nobody had any seatbelts, despite the ship and its occupants regularly getting tossed around such that people ended up flailing across the bridge.

If this sort of thing happens in your game, you can assess impact damage to the crew. Enough to make them realise that they should probably strap themselves in.

The other option is to have some sort of supertech inertial damping system, so people don't need seatbelts. But we can leave it to your imagination what happens when that system gets damaged...

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

Estimated rounds left until PIE fighter attack: 1. They're not visible out the cockpit window so they're probably right overhead at this point. At the very least, the Falcon can probably take at least two hits before exploding, so Finn has some time to get used to the gunner controls. BB's quip seems apropos given that the farm boy was able to deal with the gunner controls quite easily. Fortunately, Rey and BB-8 can probably fly and fix the ship long enough for Finn to eventually shoot down the PIEs.

Even if BB-8 doesn't need to scurry around fixing damage, I would have thought a robot would be better at bracing in place than a human. Sure the lack of arms is a problem, but that's easily solved by using whatever magnetizes or force field grabs the head part to the ball part to hold onto something solid. And even if the GM says that's not an option, a metal ball doesn't need to worry about getting punctured by various hard objects, so the number of places to brace against is greater. And that's not counting any clever uses of the gadgets BB-8 might have inside, like using the grappling darts as an anchor point instead of climbing up.

Commentary by Keybounce (who has not seen the movie)

Two turns to reach and get in the Falcon. One turn to get into the gunner seat. One turn to deal with bracing, activating the controls, turning them on, rotating to aim, etc.

They are on the ground. Now, that gunner position might be a formidable position in the air. But on the ground? (Scene of Mollari pressing a button as Morden yells "No!")

As soon as he manages to start shooting, it will be time for the other side (PIE fighters) to shoot back. And they will have the advantage of already having had a turn or two to aim/prepare - our side is "sitting ducks", they have all these bonuses to hit, and there is no way to get a bonus to defense!

Have you ever noticed all the ways, in most gaming systems, to get attack or damage bonuses, and the relative lack of ways to get bonuses to avoid being hit? Armor class goes up generally slowly. Hit points go up level by level. Spells to reduce the amount of damage you take? Sure. Spells to improve your armor class? Few and far between, and again, it's generally a single bonus that does not scale with the enemy's improved ability to hit.

Finn could be the best gunner in the First Order. He might have perfect firing, taking out one PIE per turn. It's still anywhere from one to three shots that hit them depending on initiative. More if he doesn't take them out in one hit. And if he can take them out in one hit—remember, these are newer PIEs, that are bigger and better defended, more HP—then what kind of damage will their hits do to the Falcon?

You want to take a decades-old rust bucket that was never working right, have it take at least two shots (remember, Finn and the Falcon might not be able to do one shot, one kill) from skilled pilots, and somehow still work afterwards?

That would take a miracle. And I don't see Miracle Max or a giant chocolate covered pill.

Transcript

GM: You reach the Millennium Falcon without further incident.
Rey: Gunner positions are down there! I assume you can shoot?
Finn: I was a First Order trooper!
BB-8: Can you shoot accurately?
Rey: Brace yourselves!
Finn: Whoa!! {reacting to the gunner seat moving}
[SFX]: klunk
[SFX]: vzzz... klunk
[SFX]: vzzz... klunk {the seat rotates wildly back and forth}
Finn: This gunner seat flops around like a limp exogorth! How can I brace myself?!
BB-8: Oh, you think you’ve got a problem bracing yourself?


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Published: Thursday, 19 November, 2020; 01:11:02 PST.
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