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Episode 1963: Pole Position


You need to be very precise when acting as a GameMaster and describing the game situation. Players will just blithely assume they can do anything that you haven't expressly forbidden or indicated is impossible.

On the other hand, players, it's your job to blithely assume you can do anything that the GM hasn't expressly forbidden or indicated is impossible.

GM: The wall is 8 metres high, completely smooth, without any visible seams or protrusions, and coated with pork fat.
Player: I climb it.
GM: ... Um... how??
Player: You never said I couldn't climb it!

Commentary by Keybounce (who has not seen the movie)

So how many orcs can fit into a 10×10 room? Obviously, 4 groups of 99.

Can a 10-foot pole fit into a 3-foot crawlspace? Sure. Can you use it as a weapon? Well, maybe if you poke with it. Can a 10-foot pole really double as a staff weapon? That might be the least believable point in this whole thing. :-). (I'm not saying that any of this is believable, note).

One thing that the players need to understand is that even as they say "yes", the GM can still say "no". No, you can't take "tastes good to dragons". No, you can't have rocket jets. No, you can't have a 10-foot pole ready as a combat weapon while crawling in a three-foot crawlspace when it was left on a different ship. And no, you can't talk to each other when you are holding your breath in different ships landing on opposite sides of a planet.

One thing that the GM needs to understand is that even as you say "no", the players can just ignore you and act out of character.

The point of the game is to have fun. Not to follow rigid rules. I mean, imagine if the players come up with a wonderful way to take down the bad guy really early, and the GM had this massive detailed plot, but the players just want to end it here?

You might wind up with Friendship is Dragons #1497 (or #1498), just a week ago.

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

In ASCII format, "Yes" would be equivalent to "89 101 115" in Decimal. Being generous, we'll add them together instead of appending for a total of 305. If I got 305 distinct "Yes"s in 2 minutes as a GM, I'd let this slide for the silliness. If this was Jim, I would suspect him of not paying attention after the second question. But really, none of the things the GM brought up would be a problem if the staff is used more like a one-handed spear, except for that last question.

As it is, Pete never actually confirmed that the staff is currently on the Falcon, that it was left there in the first place, or that it would be a problem to ready it. It could have been left at the CCTV display! It could be a collapsible 10-foot pole! It could have a Recall-to-Owner bonus attached to it! It could be stored in a pocket dimension until needed! It could just not be accounted for until it's brought up again later or never seen again!

While any of those would be easily explainable in a tabletop game, this was originally a movie. And while hammerspace can be a thing in some movies, I can't think of any times that actually happens in Star Wars. Even the cross-section books with the internals of vehicles and droids were detailed enough (likely after the fact) to include everything seen in a mostly non-physics defying way. I suspect that Rey won't have a pole to fight with until they get back to the Falcon (GM says no way, period), or Rey will end up making a staff from some handy conduit (GM permits jury-rigging one).


GM: Under the floor grates, what are you doing?
Rey: We’re running—
GM: Crawling.
Rey: Uh... crawling really fast.
Finn: Find a hatch! We’re crawling ducks down here!
Rey: I ready my staff for combat.
GM: While crawling?
Rey: Yes.
GM: A 10-foot long pole?
Rey: Yes.
GM: In a 3-foot high crawlspace?
Rey: Yes.
GM: The staff you left on board the Falcon?
Rey: How many more times do I have to say “yes”?

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Published: Sunday, 28 February, 2021; 01:11:06 PST.
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