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<     Episode 1736: Four Out of Five Ain't Bad     >

Episode 1736: Four Out of Five Ain't Bad

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When setting up an adventure, it's good to have multiple potential objectives for the heroes. If it's one monolithic thing that they can either successfully achieve, or fail, then their only options are to... succeed or fail. The granularity is a bit too coarse.

Give them multiple different things that they want to achieve, and then they can achieve some of them but possibly not others. This allows a more nuanced, finer grained criterion for success. If the adventure is tough and they achieve four out of five of their objectives, that is satisfying, while still leaving room for a follow-up to clean up the mess.

And it can be even better of you engineer it so that some of the objectives are mutually incompatible. Give the players a decision to make about which objectives they value more. This makes the game situation interesting, and encourages discussion among the players and their characters.

You can make things even more interesting if the different characters hold different opinions on the value of the different objectives. Rescuing the caged bears might be more imperative for the ranger, but less of a concern for the cleric, while defiling and destroying the evil altar could be exactly the other way around. If the party only has the time/resources to do one...

[Reminder: Our guest commentators have not seen Rogue One. Part of the fun is seeing how their untainted impressions re-interpret the movie through the lens of our comic.]

Something about the phrase, "four out of five..." makes me think of chewing gum and dentists.

The last two panels are the sort of panels you would expect at the triumphant end of a movie. Of course, this is not a triumphant end.

"If you're not prepared to fire on your own position, you're not prepared to win". The sad truth of this movie.

I actually had to go back and do a recheck of the beginning of this story. Cassian is Annie's "I am a drama student who makes complicated-background characters" character. Someone who started as a Rebel pilot, doing an escort mission. Technically, he has now completed the escort mission.

Bria started as an NPC, ...

Hold on a second.

Bria started as an NPC. When she was given to Jim to play, Jim would have gotten her backstory.

Yet just a couple of comics ago, we were told that the whole thing about PowerPoint was Jim's character background creation. Something here doesn't make sense to me. Why would Jim need to change/alter/rewrite the background of the existing NPC?

— Keybounce

Transcript

{Jyn and Cassian in the lift}
R2-D2: All right, good news. I've worked out a way to achieve four of our five objectives.
Bria: That sounds good!
R2-D2: Specifically, objectives two, three, four, and five.
Bria: Great! All the high numbered ones!
{Jyn and Cassian emerge at ground level}
Cassian: Um, wasn't objective one rescuing us?
R2-D2: Yeah. If I do that, then we lose the fleet. And the Peace Moon plans. And they keep the data tower.
Cassian: Okay. Save the fleet and the plans. We'll wait for things to settle down and make our own way off.
R2-D2: You might want to hurry. If this works, your position is about to be a little bit vaporised by the Peace Moon.
Bria: Why would it fire on their own data facility?
R2-D2: No, it'll be me firing it.
{beat}
Cassian: Why would we fire on our own party?
R2-D2: Objectives two, three, four, and five.


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Published: Tuesday, 27 November, 2018; 02:11:02 PST.
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