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Episode 2257: Paige Down

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GM trick: If you're not sure if something a PC tries will work or not because there are no specific rules to cover the situation, don't dither over which way to call it. Roll dice anyway! Confidently!

If you roll high, then yes, they can do it, no problem. If you roll low, then no, they can't (or more accommodatingly, they can try, but not succeed). If you roll close enough to the middle that you're still not sure about calling it one way or the other... that's when it gets even more fun! They succeed, but something bad also happens! They made noise trying whatever it was they were trying and it attracted unwanted attention. Or they broke the gear they were using. Or they succeeded too much, and that now causes a problem.

The great thing about this approach is that you don't even need to decide in advance what rolls on the dice will succeed and what will fail. Just roll and look at the result. If it feels high enough let it succeed; if it feels too low let it fail. And if you're in that not-sure/in-between zone, do the complication thing. Your exact cutoff numbers may change from roll to roll, but that's fine, because it's tapping into your subconscious feeling of how likely they are to succeed. If it's something very reasonable, and you roll 7 or 8 on a d20, then maybe that's high enough. If it's something outrageous they're trying to do, and you roll 14, then that feels too low: failure!

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

Of course. I should have guessed that just pushing a button (that should also have a secondary in the cockpit) while things blow up would be too easy. Maybe what's actually going to happen is that the bomber is just going to crash into the middle of the Fulminatrix after we have the attempts at getting the button fail a second, and possibly third time. That seems to be the way things are going in this movie now. I wonder why there was this decision to have the Resistance be more incompetent at the start of the movie than the little bit we saw in Episode VII?

Inertial damping would be extremely useful for a space fighter. But as Star Trek has shown me, inertial dampers wouldn't work 100% of the time, especially while getting shot at. Hmm. They'd also have just failed for a moment here as well if Paige slipped off due to the bomber taking a hit. And there'd have to be other limits on what's dampened and when as well, otherwise the crew would have a much harder time moving around and dropping bombs would be very difficult. I wonder if someone will pick up on that next comic.

Transcript

Paige: I got 5 for that Dex roll. Damn. That’s on me.
[SFX]: Boom!
GM: <roll> You slip from the ladder and the button eludes your grasp as you fall.
GM: <roll> Take 11 damage and a sprained left ankle.
Paige: Where’s the button?
GM: Balanced precariously on the edge of the upper deck, directly above you.
Paige: “Precariously”? I kick the ladder hard with my right foot, to dislodge it with the vibrations.
[SFX]: Kick!
[SFX]: Slam!
GM: <roll> The button teeters... but doesn’t fall.
Paige: Hmm. If it’s teetering, then I can time additional kicks to match the resonant frequency and amplify the wobble.
GM: Jim?
Allan: Yeah. Totally.
Allan: Unless... the ship has any sort of inertial damping, to prevent the crew from being slammed into bulkheads and suffering blackouts during acceleration and stuff.
Paige: Oh come on! Why would a ship need that!


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Published: Sunday, 15 January, 2023; 01:11:04 PST.
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