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Episode 1930: 50 Ways to Leave Your Lovas

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Don't do this with your players.

We mean: Don't prepare twenty pages of adventure notes. The odds of ever using them all are too slim to bother with.

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

I'd have thought the GM would have learned as well. I mean, we've had literal years since the adventure first went off the rails, and it's happened very frequently since then. I think the GM could have salvaged some of his notes by having the constable arrest Rey anyway for being a part of the disturbance, or at least attempting an arrest. That probably would have had even more of Niima come after the PCs though than just the troopers after Pete wins the fight with the constable, so it'd only be a small amount of salvage, probably not even a quarter of the notes.

Prep work is tricky. I have only rarely GMed for games at this point, but I don't think I'd ever try to plan something out this detailed. If I was writing up this scenario, I might have a collection of small NPC notes like "Unkar Plutt; large quartermaster, likes quarter sizes, not friendly.", "Rikard Lovas; jailed banker, on the run from Irving Boys, friendly if helped to escape.", or "Irving Boys; identical twins who finish the other's sentences, biggest gang in Niima, actively antagonistic". This would be followed by something like "try to get the party arrested" and extra space to add notes in after the session has run. It's fun filling up a whole world with backstories and motivations, but there's only so much time in the world, and a tabletop game isn't like a video game with a complete codex/journal/manual to read through later.

I also have to say, I have no idea how much of this would be something that happened in the movie/expanded universe or was made up by the Irregulars. With how much detail gets generated for the Star Wars universe in movie and book form, there's essentially no way for me to tell how much of this is an actual plot somewhere and how much is just using the names. They could even be completely different characters than the "official canon", though these characters in the GM's notes probably aren't shapeshifters or masters of disguise. I'm still waiting for a certain competent duo to make another appearance, but if I tell anyone more than this reference, I'll die. ;)

Commentary by Keybounce (who has not seen the movie)

Got through 20 pages... by skipping most of it. That seems more-or-less normal for this group. Heck, I remember the GM saying he stopped planning, and just went by the seat of his pants expecting this group to go off the rails. You know, leaving the negotiations to go to a blank planet that had to be mapped, or deciding that a spec of dirt was a floating city, or almost anything that Sally came up with on the spur of the moment that became truth in the world.

On the other hand, I just finished session 1 of an RPG, where we got through what was supposed to be all of the intro, chapter 1, and chapter 2, and had one character "break out" of an area that should have been a full trap for the party, and the only reason I didn't try to break out (I had a way that should have worked) was that I did not want to split the party any more than it already was. Silly me.

Meanwhile, the "you missed an ally" - did this ally have information that the players would need? (Yes). What sort of information?

Well, let's see. This person had debts to people that had been robbed by the quartermaster. So these people were robbed and broke, so desperate and armed. Hmm. Broke, robbed, desperate, and armed, on Tatooine - where have we seen this combination before?

But could this person have provided information about the Galactic level issues on other planets, or was it strictly a small-town operation that didn't amount to a hill of beans in this big galaxy? (Ok, that might not be an exact quote, sorry.)

Transcript

Kylo Ren: Good session! Thanks!
Finn: Yes, that felt very productive.
GM: We got through twenty pages of my adventure notes.
Kylo Ren: Wow, that’s a lot.
GM: Well... you kind of just skipped straight past seventeen of those pages.
Kylo Ren: Oh?
GM: Yeah, the law enforcement officer in Niima, Constable Zuvio, had just foiled a fake starship heist by a Kubaz banker aiming to raise money to pay off gambling debts to the Irving Boys.
GM: The same Irving Boys from whom Unkar Plutt, the quartermaster, stole several thousand portions. The banker, Lovas, reprogrammed Zuvio’s droid, CZ-1G5, to help stage the robbery.
GM: Zuvio was going to break up the fight between Rey and the thugs, but you ended it too quickly. His deputies Drego and Streehn had Lovas in custody, but you could have broken him out and he would have become a valuable ally.
BB-8: Huh. Maybe you should fight less well next time.
Rey: Use suboptimal tactics just so we get prepared adventure notes? I don’t think so.
GM: You’d think I’d learn...


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Published: Sunday, 13 December, 2020; 01:11:05 PST.
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