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About Vondy

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  • Birthday 07/13/1972

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    Rehovot, Israel

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  1. Hyperspace communication

    For our game, we assume hyperspace communication equipment is expensive and restricted. In general, only well-funded organizations with logistical wherewithal will have access to it. The imperial bureaucracy, some planetary governments, major corporations, the rebel alliance, etc. And, even then, the Empire controls the Holonet and most hyperspace communications nodes that corps and planets rely on to communicate across hyperspace. Setting up private nodes or networks would be a quite a feat. Also, the amount of said equipment depends on how developed the world you are on is. On Coruscant there are probably private communications companies you can pay not insubstantial fees to send messages over the holonet (insofar as there is a receiving station on the other end). But out on the Rim? Good luck! This is not to say hyperspace transceivers don't exist or that players can't lay their hands on them, (our group has one on their ship). However, we generally assume its not the galactic norm. Most have to rely on the Holonet. Another limitation we imposed for our games is that near-instantaneous communication and alerts may be straightforward, but real-time updates of the entire Holonet? We treat that like major database replication-update on the Internet. That's a lot of data! It happens at scheduled intervals. And what is more, highly sensitive data may not be included in that update. Heavily need-to-know or classified information may require a courier and ship for secure transmission. As a result, the Imperials you are dealing with today don't always have the most up to date information. In fact, on a few of our character's operations, knowing the Holonet update schedule for a certain system was critical to the PCs slipping through the Empire's grasp.
  2. After watching TLJ I'm starting to think Chewbacca is a better pilot than Han. Han is a talented pilot who flies by the seat of his pants and relies on luck that he stretches like taffy. Hera, Lando, Luke, and Chewie all do more sophisticated maneuvers [not to be confused with damned fool stunts that skill won't cut the odds on]. And, god help the first order if Poe ever pilots the Falcon. But, overall, in terms of raw skill, I think I will now interpret all of Chewbacca's roaring when Han is piloting as terrified Shriiiwook for "Let me drive, dammit! I'm a better pilot than you! Let me drive!"
  3. You and anyone else who enjoyed that are certainly entitled to their opinion. Aesthetics and literary criticism are largely subjective. I am happy to simply disagree. But, to be frank, agrumentum ad numerum, is a logical fallacy that not only fails to impress, but weakens the impact of your argument. Why bring up that other people liked it? Just tell me why you liked it (as you subsequently did) and let that stand for itself. "And judging from the reactions of the other audience members I wasn't alone." So what? Mass appeal is certainly important for financial (box office) success. It has nothing to do with anything else.
  4. I don't have a problem with it conceptually. Yet, I found it deeply groan-worthy from an aesthetic and literary perspective. Not every criticism has to be about canonical verisimilitude.
  5. Here is the thing about Internet debates: nothing that matters depends on them. The same is true of most in-person debates, for that matter. People have opinions about things. People state those opinions in all sorts of ways. Most of those people and their opinions aren't relevant (including mine and this one). A lot of what people say, even eloquent with degrees, is overstated preference and prejudice. Taking offense and getting outraged over opinions wastes time and diminishes dignity. I mean, really, who cares what he thinks of how other people play? He's just pixels on a screen to you. "Some dude on the Internet has this opinion...." Yeah, that's a shocker.
  6. My feeling is that fans tend to ramp up the power levels for headlining characters beyond where they need to be.
  7. Let it go. People have opinions. Different strokes.
  8. I agree that dialogue, especially in the prequels, can be tortuous.
  9. I mentioned that she had them. Having a book and understanding how Jedi understood that book is quite another. Example: reading the Hebrew scriptures and being aware of thousands of years of rabbinic exegesis, interpretation, and commentary is another. Understanding how its applied in a traditional community is totally separate from the plain meaning of the text. Sure, maybe the Jedi left each student to find his own meaning, but I suspect their master's were guiding their lessons. What is more, they were learning withing broader culture, lessons, and mores of the Jedi. They had an extant Jedi community. Reading a book from a group does not make you an insider. They had a chain of transmission. Master to student, not book to student. Whatever Rey builds, and what she builds may be incredibly good, will not benefit from the living wisdom of a teacher she can interact with. Unless, of course, Luke is the most active force ghost evah!
  10. Of course I will still like it. It stands on its own merits. Bad retcons in later films only reflect the quality of those later films. If Abrams engages in hack retcons it will merely confirm he's a hack. The Last Jedi will still be standing there with its middle finger wagging back at him. As is proper and right.
  11. "Obi-Wan Kenobi! That's a name I have not heard..." My issue isn't with Rey so much as its with the "democratization" of the Force. What I mean by that is that when Kenobi tells Luke about the history of the Jedi we are swept up into a legendary past about an elite order of warrior force mystics with laser swords who stood between civilization and darkness. The Jedi mattered, and to be a Jedi, you had to be brought into the order and taught by a master. It was to aspire to greatness. A Jedi is, by definition, a special person. The identity of being a Jedi matters. That Rey doesn't come from the Skywalker line? That's fine. There were other great Jedi. But tearing down the past and throwing it out? That's the exact opposite of how we were swept into this drama in the first place! I'm not so concerned that she instinctively developed some force powers, mind you. Luke does that in the Wampa cave on Hoth with his lightsaber. So, we have a precedent for a Jedi manifesting powers instinctively. But, with Luke we had a connection to the past with Kenobi and Yoda who passed on the tradition before Luke took on the mantle. With Rey, who is as much a pure-hearted hero as Luke was when he was young, we have older Luke's curt lessons and nothing more. Is that all she needs? Maybe. She can read the wisdom in those boring old books Yoda pretended to destroy, but the need for a teacher to pass on Jedi tradition and identity? That's essentially lost in these films. I still love this movie, but this is something that didn't sit quite right with me. Luke, at least, had Kenobi's introduction and Yoda's tutelage in what the Jedi were all about. Rey? She's got folktales.
  12. Hyperspace fuel doesn't bother me. Its been canon for a good while. The WWII bomber analog is, realistic or not, classic Lucasian style. This is the guy who wanted space-hot rods. Star Wars is not science fiction - its serial space pulp. Rule of Cool is what rules. If you don't think its cool, throw it out. I will. Leia's force power? Yeah, I thought it was dumb, so... I ignore it. Slow space cruisers? We don't know if they were slow or fast because the pursuit speeds were relative. This is more of more pacing and directorial issue than an in-universe technology issue. Luke's power up was awesome, and would an entire force tree and committing all his force dice. I'm okay with that! Honestly, all SW films have weird fridge logic issues and fan-angst-wingefest points. I still loved it. But, for all that, my game is AU and set in 12 BBY. None of this happened.
  13. Imperial Army?

    I use stormtroopers primarily as "marines" and elite naval commando units. When the empire deploys a star destroyer to deal with an issue they are carrying stormtroopers. But, aside from garrisons are critical installations, most troops are regulars. As a result, Imperial army and navy troopers are regular sights in my games.
  14. Honestly, I don't care whether you buy into it or not. I was writing in "general terms" for "usual cases." And, I've been gaming since 1977 so appeals to experience aren't going to impress me. Sure, if you've had a stable group for a while you start to know how everyone's minds work.At that point an intuitive game-master can often predict what players will do and tailor their scenarios and scenes accordingly. By that same token, intuitive players with a sense of good citizenship will ken what the game-master is up to and play to the story. Not everyone has that stable group. Hence "general terms." However, for all that, its often the subtle rather than radical departures from the expected that can throw your plans out of whack. You take each session as it comes and you roll with it.