Monday, 10 November 2014

A Stony Sleep, part 4

But I'm Wearing My Stealthy Yellow Armour feat. We Could Eat This Guy's Brain

This is a playthrough of A Stony Sleep from The Emperor Protects, so be careful not to let on to your GM that you listened to it. It does reveal one crucial plot event, and foreknowledge will inevitably affect the way you play this scenario. As always, be aware that the podcast is not really family-friendly, if that sort of thing bothers you.

Some episodes feature bonus material after the closing music, of varying interest. This is usually either teasers, or conversations that were sort of interesting, but not a bit tangential to the main episode.

Episode 4

The Episode

Return of crisps! Once again, I am really very sorry about the crisps.

Sometimes it's really hard to pick titles. With this scenario, I think for the first time, I went for (hazy approximations of) quotes from the episodes. Some have several tempting lines. Previously I've tended towards very basic descriptions. I'm still not sure what's the best option; you don't want to spoil an episode, you do want to summarise it, and quotes are sometimes memorable, but sometimes quite generic despite being good. I do think titles are essential to podcasts because if, like me, you have a few thousand floating around your hard drive, and potentially a hundred or more from a single podcaster (here's hoping!) then it's very easy to listen to one episode, come back a week later after binging on something else, and have no idea whether you listened to dgb_pod_00098 or dgb_pod_00064, or indeed "Episode 28" or "Episode 36". One day I must write something opinionated on podcast metadata...

The memory science I mentioned is Memory RNA. And despite this being entirely debunked years ago in a famous scientific turnaround, apparently it's still going on! I say this because my idle googling for a suitable link produced this article in an apparently legitimate journal, which appears to be literally the exact same thing.

It's horrifying in a way just how quickly a team of space marines can demolish a substantial threat. I don't think a single combat in the Fists campaign has lasted more than three rounds, and I believe in all cases that's purely been a case of mopping up horde survivors. Ah, maybe the diablodon fight was more than three?

It's kind of cool, but in a way I think it creates problems for Deathwatch in particular. The lethality we have discussed before means that it's very difficult to have meaningful drawn-out combats - anything able to pose a serious threat to the marines is reasonably likely to kill them through swing. One thing this tends to mean is that it very rarely actually matters what cool and interesting capabilities enemies have, as they rarely get to bring them into play. Most are lucky to get a single shot off. We have no idea what the cultists were capable of, and to some extent that makes it more difficult to create interesting memories. "Remember that time we killed everyone with a single round of heavy bolter fire?" "Wasn't that... every time?" I jest, but I think there's something to it. I just can't quite pin it down right now. In my defence, I'm ill today.

Brain-eating comes up a lot in this episode, but sadly there are always reasons to avoid it. I should really check into the canon on that - just how much do Marines worry about eating xenos brains, say? Because if you refuse to eat the brains of heretics, psykers and aliens, that doesn't leave you with much reason to have the ability.

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