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Episode 1870: Change of Coarse


Radios solve many problems that may stand in the way completing a quest. Instant communication is a powerful technology in the context of adventurers needing to get word to someone else about something urgent.

If radio (and/or mobile phone) technology exists in your campaign, make a list of different reasons why it might not work at any given time. Then when your heroes decide they can shortcut part of the adventure by radioing someone, you have a handy selection of complications to throw in their way. The bigger your list, the better your chance of finding something plausible - and of avoiding the constant "no signal" that you see a lot in movies and TV shows these days.

Some to get you started:

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

What a silly antenna. It's half part that extends out, half part that never retracts. I don't think I've ever seen a partially retractable antenna before. BB-8's lucky the fixed component didn't get bent as well. I wonder what useful purpose designing it like that could be. Aesthetic-wise though, I think it's a good addition to the head component. The basic astromech head design is rather flat without any decorations on it like this antenna or R2-D2's head thing (another projector?) that sticks up on the back.

I wonder when the sand blocking signals started to be a thing. The obvious answer would be all of the data crystals getting mixed into the sand after Jedha was turned into an ex-city. External communications to Tatooine worked back in Episode II, but R2's radio call also worked back in Episode VI. There's little sand on the road to Jabba's palace though, so perhaps its a critical density of sand-to-data crystal for when signals get blocked. Good enough a reason as any to get off the planet though, and fortunately Rey was already planning on leaving town.

Any bets that Poe gets back to the Resistance before BB and Rey do? I give it pretty good odds.

Commentary by Keybounce (who has not seen the movie)

You can see Pete's decision making in those facial expressions.

Defect and join the party?

Radio the NPCs and keep the party split?

Ok, defection it is.


GM: Rey, you notice BB-8’s antenna is bent.
Rey: Let me fix that.
BB-8: Actually it’s not that simple. My pilot, Poe Dameron, kinda... defected to the First Order.
Rey: That’s a hell of a complication to lay on straightening your antenna.
BB-8: We need to get back to the Resistance to warn them that Poe can’t be trusted.
Rey: Or we could, you know, radio them.
GM: The sands of Tatooine block signals, remember.
Rey: Or not.
Rey: I hate sand.

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Published: Sunday, 26 July, 2020; 03:11:19 PDT.
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