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Episode 2305: Fifteen Minutes of Form

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Administrative paperwork may not sound like much fun, but the game Paranoia has made a fine art of giving the players forms to fill in (pretending they are their characters). Of course, the game is based around a wacky bureaucratic dystopia of a future, and the forms often contain ridiculously contradictory, impossible, and self-incriminating questions which add to the atmosphere.

Paperwork is so annoying and dull in the real world that a comedic or ironic interpretation within a game seems to be about the only viable use. You could imagine a serious game where players need to fill out forms to do something dealing with a government or corporate bureaucracy, but that'd get old pretty quickly.

What you can do is abstract the idea of bureaucracy, so the characters are dealing with it, without the players actually needing to do any of the annoying parts. This method can work to add some flavour to games. For example, when adventurers travel, they may need to fill out forms before entering a new city or realm, declaring their peaceful intentions and any dangerous goods or whatever. You can pass over this in a few seconds of gameplay, but use it to set up situations later, when they are discovered to have not been entirely truthful. Or if they do want to be truthful, maybe they need to declare and leave some vital equipment behind at the guard house or border.

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

.....What?

Like, in-comic this makes plenty of sense. Sally doesn't seem like the type to want to destroy the rest of the party/whole campaign, on purpose, in one go. But in the movie? I'm going to repeat myself here, but this can't have happened in the movie anywhere close to the comic. I get that the movie's been going all "beat the Resistance into the space-dirt and then turn them into space-dust" so far, but having the First Order attack just called off because Snoke said "It's not on the list" and "Admin work" is too much. Maaaaaybe just the list part, but that still feels really really off.

Then again, there looks to be evidence that Kylo's getting angry about something. And pretty much every other time I can remember when he got angry, he wasn't getting what he wanted. So maybe Kylo's being told to back off for some reason? I can't really think why Hux would be the one to do so though. Snoke doesn't have a problem showing up in holograms, so this would have to be something Hux-specific. Maybe Hux at least shares the "Find Rey" part of those goals? She might not have been the one to actually fly inside and shoot the Peace Moon up, but Rey was a special captive there who got loose just before it was attacked and destroyed. If Edgar/Allan/Poe is still a First Order mole, Hux could be wanting this group to get away so Rey can be tracked down. The only major in-universe problem there is that the giant fleet showed up in the first place before Rey was located. The bigger problem for viewers? There's already a split plot to follow; an extra plotline of "secret traitor feeding info and waiting for a single individual to show" is going to be really hard to follow, much less enjoy after this partial space battle.

Transcript

Kylo Ren: The Resistance is at our mercy!
Kylo Ren: Ben, can you read this note?
[SFX]: Pow! Pow!
General Hux: {hologram in Kylo’s cockpit} Ahem. Ren. Snoke orders you back to base.
Kylo Ren: But they’re defenceless! We can destroy them!
[SFX]: pow! pow! {ships continue firing and blowing up in the background outside Kylo’s Silencer}
General Hux: That’s not on the list Snoke gave you.
General Hux: Also, there’s a pile of... admin you’re to do for the First Order retail network.
Kylo Ren: Bureaucracy! Ugh. Snoke has an unhealthy obsession with paper and records.
General Hux: And your timesheets are overdue. Since the attack on Tatooine. Down to the quarter-hour.
[SFX]: boom!
General Hux: The system assumes you’re no longer employed. You can’t use the Silencer until they’re submitted.
Kylo Ren: Fffiscal responsibility! Bah!
GM: Good way to avoid killing three more PCs, Sally.
BB-8: Turns out only Sally can stop Sally from destroying the campaign.
Rey: I could do it if I were there!
BB-8: Stop her, or destroy the campaign?
Rey: Yes.


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Published: Sunday, 07 May, 2023; 02:11:04 PDT.
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