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Episode 2043: Looking a Gift Curse in the Mouth


Destiny can work in fiction because the author has sole control of the story. In a game, it's different, as the players like to feel that they have agency and can control their own fates. So often players will rebel against the idea of a character having a pre-ordained destiny. Or at the very least stubbornly refuse to get into situations where you can easily get away with saying, "This is what your destiny was leading to!"

As a variant, maybe try implying very strongly that a character has a destiny, but don't tell them what it is. Maybe they'll get curious and try to find out, seeking all sorts of obscure arcana and the wisdom of sages and prophets. But whatever they do, they can't get a good lead on what the destiny actually involves. This gives you a useful Schrödinger-like quantum destiny which you can then reveal at any point for greatest effect. And guaranteed "This has happened just as was foretold!"

Commentary by Keybounce (who has not seen the movie)

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

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

Ahhh, Destiny. A tricky thing to deal with. If one has a destiny to do something, then the second best thing to do is figure out how to make it happen on one's own terms. The first best thing of course, is to figure out if destiny is real and needs to be worried about. In a TTRPG, this would be a tricky thing to navigate between what the player wants and what the GM wants - as Corey seems to have found out with his game. Making things even more complicated is when other players like the idea of having something happen and work towards that path/goal as well by dragging or pushing the target of destiny there.

Here, I'm not exactly sure why Pete doesn't want the LSoD. Rey would be under no obligation to do anything with that particular laser sword except carry it around until figuring out where it's meant to be returned to. It also doesn't seem to bestow anything except (a) random creepy visions and (b) being a laser sword. As such, I really like the juxtaposition between the dialogue in the first two panels with the last panel's image. Who's gonna notice it first! Turns out that's not a laser sword snuck on Rey's back like I thought it was, that's her silly looking blaster. So it's probably still back with Kanata at the bar. All the more reason for BB-8 to quickly roll to meet up with the rest of the party then! If Rey doesn't want it, BB-8 could take it. Who wouldn't want to see an astromech droid wielding a laser sword! And it would probably allow Rey to get out of the woods as well, as woodland navigation seems like the sort of skill Pete would dump for extra piloting and repair points at character creation, having started on a desert planet.


BB-8: So. You’ve been offered a Laser Sword of Destiny. Why not take it?
Rey: Destiny is just another word for railroading. Look what happened to Frodo when he accepted the Ring.
BB-8: You think the sword is cursed?
Rey: Well, no. It’s a path. It’s leading towards something. We want to get whatever’s at the end of that path, but it has to be on our own terms.
BB-8: It’s a quest item. Surely we’ll need it.
Rey: Ah, see, this is what you thought your campaign would be.
Rey: One big combo mecha. We had to break the mould you put us in.
BB-8: Is this why Sally argued to let you have your way?
Rey: Yes! And look how great it turned out!
BB-8: You almost died!
Kylo Ren: {interjection} Oh yeah!!
BB-8: And I had to have them construct a whole new mecha so Ben could pilot one too.
Rey: Well, no plan is perfect.

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Published: Thursday, 02 September, 2021; 02:11:04 PDT.
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