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Episode 734: The Incredible Smoking Hulk


Grounding can be an effective game mechanic, in a sense. The cartoon roleplaying game Toon has such a mechanic. Since cartoon characters never actually die as such, when you lose all your hit points you simply sit out of the game for three minutes (real time), then come back in with your hit points restored! In effect, you're grounded from the game for three minutes, as a "punishment" for losing all your hit points.

Now imagine applying this to other roleplaying games for transgressions such as talking back to the (NPC) king, picking up a cursed magic item in a dungeon, or taking the last slice of pizza when the GM wanted it.


GM: Back on Tatooine, you come across the Jawas—
R2-D2: Great!
GM: —slaughtered. Their sandcrawler is a smoking hulk.
R2-D2: You're doing this on purpose, aren't you?
Obi-Wan: We search for tracks.
GM: <roll> Luke, you spot bantha tracks.
Luke: Whoa, the Sand People.
GM: The tracks are side by side. <roll> Obi-Wan, in your experience the Sand People always ride single file, to hide their numbers.
Obi-Wan: And these blast points, too accurate for Sand People. It can't be clone troopers either. They're rubbish.
Obi-Wan: Owen and Beru.
Luke: Why would Owen and Beru want to slaughter Jawas?
Obi-Wan: They must be on a rampage, searching for you.
Luke: Oh man. I have to get home!
C-3PO: You are so getting grounded.

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Published: Thursday, 31 May, 2012; 03:11:01 PDT.
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