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Episode 1701: Under the Pump


Keeping track of fuel is one of those book-keeping chores that can either be too much detail for a game, or can be used as an adventure/encounter hook. (Other things in this category include encumbrance and ammunition.)

For a genre like post-apocalyptic auto-duelling à la Mad Max, fuel is a precious resource, to be doled out in small doses and tracked in much the same way as treasure. For other genres it can be relatively cheap and available everywhere.

But consider the possibilities when a vehicle runs out of fuel and there isn't a supply handy. The heroes could be stranded in an exotic location, or there may be a shortage or strike. Players interested in just refuelling and taking their next cargo to the next planet might find themselves stuck for a while... a perfect chance to find themselves involved in a local adventure.

[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.]

[aurilee has been too busy to write her past few commentaries. They will be added retroactively when she gets time.]

— aurilee

Ensign "name we've never heard of before", go and make that roll over there for me so that I don't have to make a die roll myself.

Oh dear, he died. One less pawn.

Now then, hours to fill? And a lever you can switch to make it into minutes?

All right, so apparently there are some real-world devices that can switch between low flow and high flow like that. Fine.

This firefight seems to be switching between "active shooting war", "let's have a conversation", "snipers are waiting for you to show something", and "let's move units around the board to take care of the logistics of trying to get out of here".

Consistency. How many campaigns have you played in where things are inconsistent from one scene to the next? Have you ever played in a campaign where things were consistently inconsistent?

(No, it was not a god of chaos. Why would you players think that?).

— Keybounce


Cassian: Bodhi, things are getting hot here. We don't have much time. How's it going?
Bodhi: Fuel is flowing, but the cargo holds are so big, it'll take hours to fill them.
Cassian: We don't have that long.
Bria: Is there a high-flow lever? Like on a diesel pump?
GM: Hmm... <roll>...
Bodhi: There is, but it's on the pump console.
Bodhi: Hey, Taidu! Go pull the lever on the console out there!
Taidu Sefla: I'm going!
[SFX]: Pow!
Bodhi: Oh. He just got shot. We're all pinned down here.
[SFX]: Pow!
Chirrut: Ugh. Never send an NPC to do a PC's job.
Chirrut: Unless it's a really crappy job and you don't want to do it.

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Published: Thursday, 06 September, 2018; 03:11:03 PDT.
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