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Episode 1925: Terrain: Destroyers’ Wrecks

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Old ruins instantly add a depth of history to a story or campaign setting. Imagine the ruins on Weathertop in Middle-earth. The derelict alien ship in Alien. The ruins from the Age of Legends in The Wheel of Time.

Throw some enigmatic old ruins into your setting. You don't even need to have any sort of backstory behind them. In fact, it may even be better if the players or their characters never learn much about them. Just the fact that they've been sitting there for hundreds or even thousands of years conveys a rich history for your world.

And if you do ever need an adventure hook, you have this history and mystery to draw on. If you've set it up by mentioning the ruins early on, the players will be eager to learn more, and you can sucker entice them into an amazing adventure of discovery and danger with virtually no further effort.

Commentary by Keybounce (who has not seen the movie)

Panel 1 has more damage to the hull of the ship. More clouds raised. And no sign of these mysterious deflectors supposedly put up last time. Think about it. These deflectors have just failed to stop the planet from hitting the ship.

And now, two crashed ships. Hmm. 40 years ago, and no one knows what? A quick check with DMM confirmed that this was an in-between time. Nothing on-comic so far corresponds to this. And Hux wanted to prevent something from being known. And Rey was searching these for some critically important lost artifact...

And we still have, somewhere, the Lost Orb of Phanastacoria.

And now, Rey has revealed the location to someone else, while Hux will be watching this fight/flight on scanners. So now Hux knows that Rey knows about it, and the pilot knows about it.

Will the pilot think "Hey, this wreck site is important", and possibly try to report it in? Maybe return because this is more important? Will Hux figure "Rey went right there; she knows of this place, and has probably searched it. Assume she has the MacGuffin and use torture if needed to get her to reveal the location of the secret Death Star plans secret Rebel base secret hidden Jedi Err, what was Ren trying to get from Poe again? whatever this campaign's big MacGuffin is. Gee, Torture is used so often, it must be effective (Google says, cited by 54 others).

I do have to wonder, though. Finn's wearing a very obvious, in-your-face headset. We've got far more hidden stuff now, and you'd think that technology back then was advanced enough to be unobvious. I mean, it's not like we've seen people in cell blocks talking to control rooms, or people in one ship talking to people in another ship, or walkie talkies on a planet, or...

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

If a trick works once, it can work again. Especially in this case where PIE fighters are highly unlikely to suddenly obtain the ability to ignore the jamming effect the sand has on sensors. And while there's a definite limit to the number of times that could be done before the Falcon is damaged too much to fly, it fortunately only needs to work long enough for Finn to shoot down the pair of fighters. That shouldn't be too long if Annie keeps taking all the good rolls from Pete.

I'm surprised at how well the Falcon seems to be dealing with the various impacts. HP and other similar gameplay mechanics notwithstanding, the Falcon in comic was implied to be held together with duct tape. Even considering the obvious hyperbole there, the ship still looks to be in the same shape as when we first saw it in Episode IV. ... Never mind. Being a piece of junk to begin with would certainly do wonders to disguise any damage it picks up here. Really, however long the Falcon spent sitting under the tarp in the sand and sun doesn't seem to have hurt its appearance or effectiveness.

And Finn seems to be taking all the skraping in stride. We've already established that he's using the ventral turret and here we see that very part of the ship getting damaged in panel 5. I guess as long as the gun still works and there's incoming fighters behind, a little hull damage is easily ignorable. After all, it's only the fourth time the ship has hit something, and the ground is a lot more forgiving than PIE fighter laser blasts.

I could easily believe the star destroyers were flying like Rey. We've even seen it happen before! I almost thought that this was a direct call back to that scene, but it turns out there's three of the destroyers there, so it's probably not the same ships. I suppose it's possible for two of them to have crashed and drifted down onto Tatooine, but that seems astronomically implausible. I'm also not quite sure how much time would have past since that space battle, so that's just more circumstantial evidence for bad Imperial captains in general.

Transcript

GM: The PIEs are hot on your tail.
Rey: I dip a flank into the sand to raise a dust cloud again.
[SFX]: skraaape!!
GM: <roll> 4 hull damage.
GM: They fire fruitlessly. You reach the crash site.
Rey: I try to lose them, flying tight around the wrecks. Ugh, 5.
[SFX]: Pow! Pow!
[SFX]: Pow!
[SFX]: skraaape!!
[SFX]: Pow! Pow!
GM: <roll> 9 hull damage.
Finn: I shoot! 19!
[SFX]: Pow! Boom!
GM: You hit a fighter!
GM: It fragments across the sand amidst the remains of the star destroyers.
[SFX]: vrooooww...
Finn: What is this place?!
Rey: Two Imperial star destroyers crashed here about 40 years ago. Nobody knows why.
BB-8: Maybe they were flying like you?


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Published: Tuesday, 01 December, 2020; 01:11:03 PST.
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