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Episode 1996: Mass Effect Innovator


The classic Paranoia adventure "Into the Outdoors with Gun and Camera" (included in the Second Edition rulebook) puts the PCs into a situation where they need to control a vehicle. Except none of them have ever driven this kind of vehicle before. Instead of giving them a difficult dice roll to attempt, the adventure provides an illustration of the vehicle's control panel, with about 40 different levers, knobs, buttons, dials, joysticks, and sliders. They are numbered.

The players have to describe which controls they are activating or fiddling with. The GM has a list of what they all do, and describes the results accordingly.

You can adapt this sort of thing to any situation where the heroes are trying to do something unfamiliar. Defusing a bomb? Don't just let them make a Disarm Traps roll. Give them a picture of the countdown timer, a bunch of switches, and a bunch of coloured wires, and ask the players to describe what they do with it.

Fun for everyone!

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

Wow, that is significantly closer than the previous movies. As if being able to warp from the inside of a hangar bay wasn't special enough; the directors really wanted to show off how special the modulator is I guess. And maybe a side of Han is a great pilot who doesn't need to worry about the safeties. Rey doesn't seem happy about something here if it's not Han's piloting. In-game, I'm hardly surprised Yanni is having trouble piloting. Again. One needs to be careful with what stats get dumped after all.

Looking at the planet during the comparison to the Endor moon, it struck me as how odd it is. It looks like all the waterways are connected, but there's no large concentrations of water like the oceans on Earth, assuming the blue patches are water. There's either very sparse cloud cover, or no clouds at all with some snow-covered mountains as the white patches, which feels very off for the amount of water shown. Maybe it's a terraforming project with weather controllers? I bet Jim is going to have something to say about the probability of Takodana turning out like this if it's not.

Commentary by Keybounce (who has not seen the movie)

[Keybounce's comments will appear here when received.]


GM: Later, you’re approaching Takodana. It’s time to drop out of lightspeed.
Yanni: I disengage the hyperdrive.
GM: <roll> You hit a control, but nothing happens.
Yanni: I was sure it was that one. I hit the adjacent buttons.
GM: <roll> The wipers come on.
Rey: It’s that lever there.
GM: The nav comp indicates you’re getting within Takodana’s mass shadow.
Finn: That doesn’t sound good.
Rey: Don’t disengage now! We’ll be—
[SFX]: Yank!
GM: The Falcon drops out of hyperspace much closer to the planet than you’ve ever experienced before.
[SFX]: shwoooo...
GM: Common wisdom says that should not be possible without destroying the ship.
Finn: Whoa!
Yanni: I always knew Wisdom was overrated.

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Published: Sunday, 16 May, 2021; 02:11:10 PDT.
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