Sunday, May 31, 2015

Imperial Ascendant

It was certainly a triumphant day for the Imperial forces. 

Not only had we managed to infiltrate the main rebel base on Naboo, we had successfully decimated their pitiful forces and captured most of their recalcitrant local leaders. One of whom was rumoured to be part of the fabled Jedi knights of lore, though I sincerely doubted that grandiose claim. After all Order 66, and the subsequent inquisitions, had sufficiently wiped out the last remnants of those pretentious watchdogs from the Old Republic.

Even those left who had run into hiding would be far too old to be of much use these days. So why had I been dragged out of my comfortable bed in Theed to attend the interrogation of said Jedi Knight? As the Special Imperial Agent appointed to the Monarch of Naboo, theoretically I was supposed to portray the glorified emissary fostering better ties between the newly crowned Queen and the Empire. In reality however, I served the Imperial Security Bureau to rightfully influence the decision-making of the puppet Queen - lest she also fall prey to the rebellious notions of the previous much lamented Queen Apailana.  

Perhaps they might have called on Darth Sade to handle the questioning but few would survive his more sadistic methods of coercion. 

Or even worse, they could have brought in his ruthless apprentice Katrah. If Darth Katrah had been by his side when the rebel base had been attacked, no doubt she would have viciously slaughtered even the handful of rebels we had left. Who could forget her depraved massacre of the Gungan outpost where she had strung up the ill-fated survivors over a fire to roast slowly and painfully. Persistent rumours that she had devoured the charred flesh of the vanquished after were still whispered in a horrified hush around the civilized halls of Naboo. 

Since Katrah hadn't seen any harm in regaling me with that atrocious fact - and had initially compared their flesh to the more gristly ones of the barbecued Mon Calamari, I could readily confirm it. No doubt she had seen the growing horror in my expression marking me as no ally of the predatory Sith. 

It was one of the reasons I had made sure she would remain off-planet during the initial strike on the rebel base. Not that I had any love for the boorish Gungans - or the even more tedious Mon Calamari - but we needed useful information about the rebels after all, and having the entire rebel crew apportioned as a carnivorous buffet would serve more as an encumbrance.

Not exactly the usual role-playing games associated with the Star Wars franchise.

Think my friends Sober Sam and Kitty Kat would much rather be in the thick black robes of the Sith. 

But then again, I doubt I would have fit in all that well with the oh-so-noble aspirations of the fledgling Rebellion. Something tells me I'd probably do better in the aristo-bureaucratic ranks of the stern authoritarian Empire instead; maybe an aspiring male Twi'lek looking out for his own unscrupulous gain in the Imperial Security Bureau?

Unfortunately not all my friends are into dramatic narration. True to their staid engineering calling, most of them generally want to succeed in their appointed mission, exterminate their enemies and achieve their specific goals. Roll dice, kill the baddies and win basically. Something entirely more malleable freestyle and purposefully vague in terms of team objectives like the pen-and-paper roleplaying games, replete with emphasis on non-combative roleplay and creating stories by exploring small towns, talking to the burly barskeep and flirting with the more attractive non-player characters (NPCs), definitely isn't in their gaming repertoire.

Don't even ask the about creating a character's background. Of course something tells me my somber, goal-oriented niece isn't all that big on spinning stories either. Future engineer perhaps?

So far our few experimental turns at pen-and-paper role playing goes something like this.

Paul : So there is a lone bandit standing in front of the den? 
Gamemaster : Yes, and he's smoking a joint.
Paul : I would approach him and try to charm him into telling me more. Maybe score a joint from him. Hope he's cute.
Gamemaster : Interesting approach but you have plenty of charm and presence. Roll the dice. 
Paul : Sure. 
Gamemaster : Looks like you just might make it. So the bandit smiles and talks to you - 
Madison : What's with all the talking! Let's get on with the battle. I'll just punch him.  
Sam : Let me throw my sword at his damned face. 
Paul : He was about to tell me something!
Madison : Let's storm the den and kill everyone!

So obviously there isn't much chance of continuing the story with most of the NPCs stabbed repeatedly with sabers. Makes me miss my role-playing schooldays of playing vengeful priests and slutty assassins in the most demented imbroglios ever.

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