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Episode 1834: I Am the Goon Squad and I'm Coming to Town


Little clothing details can add so much to an encounter. What material is the person's clothes made from? Are they clean or dirty? Lined with silk, or rough and tumble? In good repair or full of holes or patches? Buttons or ribbon ties? How many pockets? Tailored to fit, or too small, or loose and shapeless? Neatly pressed or rumpled?

And when you're done describing all that the players might have forgotten what the encounter was about...

Commentary by Keybounce (who has not seen the movie)

Alright, with the first panel's description, I'm thinking that it might be Vader. Of course, it can't be, right? We know that Vader dies, for real, at the end of Episode VI, right?

Oh, wait - we had a clone of Vader at the cloning factory, and this is decades later, so maybe this is a new fresh clone of Vader.

Being a little shorter? Consistent - we had a much shorter clone at the factory, so this might be a mark 3 version. But no, we get all sorts of details about the fashion of the character. And since Annie is playing another character, Ben can use the process of elimination and determine that there's only one player left that could have this character.

Pete? Seriously? Even if "Armor is fashion", it's got none of his min-maxing. Unless, of course, underneath that robe is nothing more than a magically animated skeleton with nothing else - just think of how many points you'd get from lacking all that stuff. And while we do see hands in panel 4, it isn't clear if we are seeing gloved hands or bare hands.

So what is it with the Empire and mask wearing, robed leaders? In fact, I'm now realizing - the Empire is consistently led by robed laser sword users. Just as the Cheddar Monk Academy is starting back up, we see a robed Cheddar Monk that has turned to the side of bureaucracy and governing.

So Sally is going to run the big bad of this campaign, just as Annie was running the big bad of the last one. She's gone from silly aliens, to cloaked and hooded aliens that we can't get a good look at. How silly will it look when the robes come off?

In fact, this is Sally's character? And we have the new and improved cloning system, that was able to make a clone of Vader without having Vader there?

Some of you may be aware of the belief that Jar Jar was actually a Force user. While this does nothing for the whole "love" story of the prequel trilogy, it does wonders for the Jar Jar side of Episode I. Well, we know that J.J. Abrams was known to have known about this theory, and it fits in nicely.

So, just as a what-if: What if Sally is running a new clone of her old character? We see it in robes because it doesn't want to show its true form to the audience yet. We've seen from the cloning interlude that clones might no longer look like the original while still being a new form of the original. This is a way for the Genius of Jar Jar to continue, perhaps now as the new force in charge of the Galaxy, trying to remove all remaining traces of those who betrayed him. After all, Palpatine—the other senator from his home world—betrayed him and his home. Padmé wasn't much better. Even the Jedi, while they treat him better in the comic storyline, aren't really dependable enough.

So, if Jar Jar's a clone now, he might be trying to clean up all of the old guard - anyone loyal to Vader, Palpatine, Yoda, or Mace. And this tiny village might be one of the last holdouts of the resistance, which would actually explain why the big head honcho shows up.

After all, why else would this be anything more than just a minor police operation, with no reason for any big bad to be there?

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

Oh man, this is Sally? The presentation of the black-cloaked figure is just screaming "big bad" and it's Sally playing them?? It looks like we're definitely shaping up to have a half good guy, half bad guy game. That's going to cause some strain on keeping the group together, especially considering the conversation Annie and the GM had at the very beginning.

Hmmm. Unless this is just Sally's first character which the GM thought would work well as a big bad, and she'll be getting a second character to play in the main party later. Rather like Annie playing both Princess and Vader, which worked out well in the end. Sally's even shown that she's able to handle two different characters, though Yoda didn't do a lot when compared with C-3PO in Episodes V and VI.

Fashion details—indeed, a lot of fine details—aren't that usual for the campaign unless someone else like Sally is involved or it's an obviously important item. There's the Kamino cloning facility for one great example of Sally design. And then there's the sock puppet things or Mos Eisley for a couple of GM designs. It's difficult work coming up with everything involved in a world though, especially when managing a host of different NPCs, so being able to pull in details of things or characters from your players is always good, as long as they understand that they can't go overboard.

And Pete? Armour might be fashion, but that kind of detail isn't what we'd get from you unless there were extra bonuses involved. Homespun might be worth a decent bonus if the crafter was good, but frayed and ragged would detract from that. And the Vader wannabe's helmet doesn't seem like it has much else going for it beyond the red eye slit. Silver would be good in a fantasy campaign with werewolves, but this is sci-fi.


GM: The shuttle doors open and a black-cloaked figure with a face mask strides out.
Lor: Vader?!
GM: Not as tall. The mask is smoother in shape, with four silver bands above a dark eye slit. The cloak is homespun, frayed and ragged around the edges.
Lor: Sally??
Kylo Ren: How’d you know?!
Lor: An attention to fashion details is not a hallmark of NPCs in this campaign.
Pete: Hey, it could have been me.
Lor: Seriously, Pete?
Pete: Armour is fashion!

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Published: Sunday, 03 May, 2020; 03:11:14 PDT.
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