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Episode 2119: Apocalypse Then

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Putting a clock on the heroes is a great GM technique for creating a sense of urgency and getting the players to concentrate on getting things done.

Most literally, you can have a countdown timer, which ticks away until some huge disaster that the heroes want to prevent. A bomb that the villain planted in the middle of the city. A deadline before the authorities decide to nuke the visiting aliens. A set time for a ransom to be delivered.

A little more abstractly and not quite so specific, you can have a dam in danger of collapse. Or an incoming storm. Or the arrival of a hostile force of goblins who have been massing in the hills. Anything that will precipitate an enormous problem if the heroes don't manage to achieve some related goal in time.

If you really want to create panic and quick action, start an obvious timer when the heroes are in the middle of bickering about what to do and being indecisive. Watch them either get their butts into gear, or die trying!

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

Pete thinks he's about to take over the Peace Moon. Rey turning evil before the end of the trilogy seems highly unlikely, so there's no way that's actually going to happen. The Peace Moon's a ginormous evil military installation and there's still another two movies to go after this! Turning evil before the end of this movie? Practically impossible for Disney to pull that off in a visible way. Not to mention the logistical problems of trying to control something the size of a planet without thousands of people to maintain the place; that would be only slightly more manageable as a droid!

With how crazy that description is of Corey's campaign, I almost wish I had the time to watch it to see how it matches up with the descriptions so far. Intentionally triggering the apocalypse for family doesn't sound like something I'd usually see in a kid's TV show, even if it was reset in the end somehow.

Hmmmmmmmm. It's been a long time, but I think the only generic complaints I've heard about the sequel movies were for Episode IX, not Episode VII. But Corey's comment has got me wondering now if we're somehow going to not have the Peace Moon explode. I'm not sure how that would work out in the slightest with all of the preparations we've seen so far, but that sounds very unsatisfying.

Transcript

GM: I think this is a good time to call it a night.
Rey: I’m just about to take over the Peace Moon!
GM: That’s why it’s a good time.
Chewbacca: You’re on a tight clock, Pete. We’re heading there to blow the whole thing up.
Rey: All the more fun! The good part is that once I take control you won’t need to blow it up.
BB-8: That might be a bit of an unsatisfying outcome after this build-up.
Rey: Look who’s talking, Mister “Let’s replay the last two sessions so the story makes more sense”.
BB-8: Well I didn’t expect Sally to trigger the apocalypse!
Kylo Ren: Hey, you gave me means and motivation. I wanted to see my dead wife! What else would I have done?
BB-8: Someone turned evil by trying to circumvent the death of their wife is a pretty bad story hook. I see that now.
GM: Don’t sweat it, Corey. Every GM makes mistakes in their first game.
GM: And every game thereafter.


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Published: Sunday, 27 February, 2022; 01:11:06 PST.
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