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Episode 1875: Overgeneralisation


Fictional organisations don't need to adhere to normal rules of command chains. Just refer to the banana republic of San Theodoras in the Tintin book The Broken Ear, in which the dictator General Alcazar's military has more colonels than corporals.

In a game setting you can invent your own ranks and chains of command. Giving the ranks obscure or invented names can add some flavour to your world. For more fun, you can make command structures other than the strictly hierarchical style seen in real world militaries. Try having multiple chains with horizontal connections, excluded links, or even non-transitive loops (A can give orders to B, B can give orders to C, C can give orders to A).

If you think that last one is unrealistic, check out Australia's constitutional crisis of 1975. Building such complications into your fictional systems of command or government can lead to some interesting political roleplaying opportunities.

Commentary by Keybounce (who has not seen the movie)

Hold on—

Sally and Ben. Poe is a defector. Finn is also there. Four of the six players are on Team Evil. Right?

We've never seen any indication that droids can be subject to the Force to change their team / force loyalty. For people? We've seen this just now, and we've seen it before with the life support suit that Vader wore. Not to mention that we've seen Anakin basically manipulated by the Force itself once he was injected.

So five to one won't be fun for the one. Four to two? The two underdog good characters versus a powerful Team Evil is a perfectly normal RPG session. But now Team Evil has four PCs to the two on Team Good. Well, assuming the two questionables stay. Poe's defection might not have been real before, but I think Sally got a good roll. And Finn might actually be ready to turn to the good side, which will make it three to three.

I'm guessing this movie really focuses on the bad guys, not the good guys.

You know, Star Wars really needs a good movie focusing on the bad guys, seriously. Showing how they became bad, how they went down that path. Why they decided to go evil. We need a movie that really shows their motivations, makes them more than just cardboard cutouts. Maybe this is what they are doing now?

No, I don't mean the prequel trilogy. I said a good movie, showing their motivations. Episode III doesn't do it. :-).

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

Ben's a bad guy now?? I guess Chewbacca was sort of bad but he wasn't directly working for Team Empire, and Ben didn't seem the type to pick bad guy to me. Also, Chewbacca was a lot more charismatic than Hux's first impression gives me. That's probably just the red and blue/white lighting giving Hux a very bad complexion though.

So now we've got Team Evil as: Sally as Kylo Ren, Ben as General Hux, and Jim as the brainwashed Poe Dameron. On Team Good we've got Pete as Rey and Corey as BB-8. This being based on a Star Wars movie, I can't see Team Evil as actually winning in the long run over the next three episodes. It looks quite bleak at the moment though with the vast disparity in resources. Evil's got an organization large enough to need multiple generals, plus the majority of the players. Good's got a presumably now smaller organization along with fewer of the players, and Rey seems kinda iffy on being Good as well at the moment.

I find myself wanting Ben to be playing a super-spy of some kind. It's probably only because of how he's always played a good guy, or relatively so, but six episodes worth of that style is a bit hard to mentally get over the characters as Ben and start thinking of them as only characters that were played for a long time by Ben. Another point against a spy theory; the practical difficulty in getting to be a General without getting outted as a spy by the leader that can literally make you spill your secrets if they think there's cause.


GM: Leaving the interrogation chamber, you find General Hux waiting outside.
General Hux: I assume from the screaming that the interrogation went well, Lord Ren?
Kylo Ren: Your new character is a bad guy, Ben? Very dark; I like it.
General Hux: If you can’t beat them, join them, as I always say.
Kylo Ren: But isn’t Phasma my general?
GM: It’s a big organisation. You have lots of generals.
Kylo Ren: Ooh! This just gets better and better!
Kylo Ren: I’ll have to make sure to keep you two on your toes.
General Hux: Shall I issue a General Alert?

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Published: Thursday, 06 August, 2020; 03:11:28 PDT.
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