Talking Combat 100: To Infinity And Beyond - Roll For Combat

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Talking Combat 100: To Infinity And Beyond

Jason recaps the events from Roll For Combat, Episode 100: How The Sausage Gets Made.

Episode #100. Kinda crazy if you think about it. I don’t want anyone to misread and think I expected this to fail, but I would’ve expressed at least mild surprise if you’d told me when we launched this thing that a) we’d still be going and that b) we’d still be on the first adventure path. I suppose my bet would’ve been on “gotten bored of the sci-fi setting and gone back to Pathfinder”, but I suppose we’ve still managed to scratch that itch here and there, particularly with Second Edition. So here we are.

Now about my fantasy football team… (Kidding, kidding.)

Now if we were really planning, Steve should’ve edited the episodes so that I got my new mic in Episode #100. Spoiler alert (or not, if you’re listening to our Plaguestone show), I do eventually get one, but it’s still another few episodes away. So for now, still broadcasting from inside a washing machine. Sorry about that. The end IS in sight, if that helps.

It’s funny to contemplate the flow of podcast time at moments like these. Right now, as Steve said, we’re sitting on a small mountain of surplus material in the can, and what we’re recording right now probably won’t even reach your ears for another month or two. And yet it hasn’t always been like that – we hit a stretch around the holidays last winter where breaks and aggressive edits burned through most of our recordings and were probably down to about 2 or 3 episodes before we might have to start recording live.

As I was listening to this episode last night, I heard at least one thing that is going to become REALLY useful sometime in the next two months, and one thing that WOULD have been really useful had we remembered its existence, but it kinda slipped our minds and represents a missed opportunity. I’m not going to tell you what those things are right now because it would be spoilery. For now, put a pin in it, and when we hit those moments in the show, I’ll try to remember to come back around and call those out.

As far as the game action, there wasn’t a lot going on in this episode because we hit the end of a block of story. I do have to admit it was low-key humiliating to have Akiro do most of the computer-based heroics this episode. Yes, defeating the countermeasure was still pretty slick, and Tuttle got the final roll at the end to put the evil AI back in its box, but still, I’m a little red-faced even with the built-in excuse of not reading the language. Computers and engineering are supposed to be My Thing. (And you’ll notice when it comes time to level, learning the Kish language becomes my highest priority.)

I noticed I actually had a little bit of a mental vapor-lock when we were discussing what to do about the two remaining sub-bosses. This wasn’t a case where I forgot something from the previous week; I literally lost my train of thought in the span of about 10 minutes. We establish that there are two sub-bosses, including Evil She-Tuttle in this complex with us. I even make a joke about getting Tuttle a girlfriend. But somewhere in there, we shifted the conversation to what awaits us on Moon #2, and somehow I transposed that conversation into the current complex and decided we only had to clear out a few maintenance bots in our current location. In fact, going back to spoilers for future episodes, I forget so thoroughly that at some future point, I speculate about where the female ysoki is, thinking she’s yet to be found. (Or maybe Steve will spare me some humiliation and cut that bit.)

As far as the decision itself, I get the logic of locking them in and hoping for the best – we’re out of resources to fight them, and we’re generally on a clock. One can argue the sense of it on merit, and at a metagame level, they’ve mostly served their collective purpose in the story. But I have to admit, leaving a mechanic behind seems like it MIGHT be a bit of a tactical error. The fighter type? Whatever. Punch the walls all you want. But leaving someone who potentially has Tuttle-level (or at the risk of being egotistical, 80% of Tuttle’s level) hacking skills as a fire in our rear seems like a questionable choice. Hope it doesn’t bite us later.

And OK, maybe I’m biased because it would put Tuttle front and center, but I feel like depriving the world of a drone-v-drone slapfight is a missed opportunity. If we can have a Hirogi-based bottle episode (totally in favor of that, by the way – Steve should let the rest of us play NPCs who try to kill him), maybe we can also go do one where Tuttle goes back and fights Lady DeathTuttle by himself.

As far as the “working session”… yeah, that doesn’t happen too often, but every once in awhile, it’s unavoidable. Steve’s generally pretty good about warning us when level-up is coming or ending an episode at a level-up, and we come back to the next session with finished characters. The one exception is loot/shopping: it’s hard to resolve EVERY buy/sell decision over email (and some things like serums come from group loot), so money tends to be a moving target until we’re back at the table. I think this hiccup was some combination of Steve being really busy in the middle of convention season (this was somewhere between PaizoCon and GenCon), or maybe he didn’t have us level because he expected us to be completionists and do the other two rooms, and we surprised him. I will say that historically, clearing the whole complex is more of an “us” move.

(The one other exception I can think of recently is when we blew through content too fast – during Iron Gods, we had a sub-boss fight which probably should’ve taken an hour, but was reduced to a triviality because the boss missed four straight saves on Hold Person and we were able to walk up to him and calmly coup de grace him. Oops.)

Lastly, the fact that we got to claim those Kish hoverbikes is pretty great. As much as Logical Me thinks they’re a party resource, Emotional Me is TOTALLY on Mo’s side – if anyone in this group should be founding his own motorcycle gang, it’s Mo Dupinsky. “Skittermanders of Anarchy”? Still working on that one. Reluctantly, I’d probably also admit that Hirogi would’ve been a good fit for one as well if he ever returns. I’m in the middle on whether Akiro and Rusty are biker types. Tuttle’s a hard pass, though.

So we have our little working session, but we don’t really get resolution or a full unveiling… just that Akiro is probably going to prioritize saving his own hide and Tuttle will turn into the Duolingo Owl. For full details… I guess we’ll pick it up there next week, and I assume we’ll make our way to Moon #2 to continue that story as well. I realize it will “only” be Episode #101, but I hope you’ll be back to join us next week. In the meantime, feel free to drop by the Discord channel or other social media and let us know what you think of the show. See you next week, and thanks for listening!