Day 13 & 14: #RPGaDay 2018 – “Evolution + Failure”

Week 3: Describe             Prompt 13: Describe the evolution of your gaming

Things will take time to right themselves after the sad events of the weekend for my family. In time, I may return to this prompt for a proper answer. In lieu of that answer, I present a partial answer on video that delves into this topic, which I have a great deal of interest in, but at present lack the time and energy to complete. The answer, partial only due to age contains much that I would have said here, in a different context.

I hope it will suffice, at least for now.

Week 3: Describe             Prompt 14: Describe a failure that became amazing

There are many routes to reach an amazing destination through the valley of failure. For example, one might dip into reservoirs of illusion, manipulating story elements in the background to ensure that a good ‘story’ manifests in a satisfactory way from a moment lacking in success. One might compare the feel of this to film or fiction and their heroes’ journeys through adversity to hard-earned successes. An example close to my heart is Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. One failure after another which taken together become a truly amazing tale. Like in cinema, the GM takes on the role of director, and adjusts things in such a way that the players are entertained, and their characters can return for more. This is a skill, and one as hard to develop as any other.

As I prefer to do something else which leads me to ignore non-RPG modes of ‘story,’ I will tell a tale of another failure, and how what came from it was amazing. This will be the short version. If you prefer to hear it in more detail, a video recap of the specific session, and a playlist of the entire campaign to date can be found on my channel.

Who are you calling a failure?

To be fair, in the strictest sense of the word failure, the only person who views this event as a failure is the player of the specific character in question. Rather, the rest of us view it as being overcome by overwhelming odds. Well-earned, long-time coming overwhelming odds, to boot. That defeat formed the basis of a new hope for a beleaguered people, and gave our campaign the light of hope that Episode VIII was gunning for.

In short, our Force Sensitive and his apprentice was cut off from the rest of our group and the specialized skills that they have and he does not.  The apprentice was an escapee from some sort of experimental program close to the Emperor’s heart and overseen by his special, well-trained, force sensitive Operatives. They in turn were backed up by all the stormtroopers they needed. Our Force Sensitive, Enree, was a member of a previous experimental program that had been abandoned and about which he knew almost nothing. He and his apprentice Tyra were in an unfamiliar city, far from the space port, in the grip of fearful premonitions about the future, and certain that pursuit was close.

Unable to evade capture or find risky escape routes without his companions, and growing more and more aware that his captors knew an awful lot about him, Enree found his options made even more limited by the Imperial troops herding the citizenry into the streets, placing them at risk.

Trapped, cornered, and vulnerable because of his new and untrained apprentice and his concern for the locals, Enree was forced into a situation which required surrender, or a battle he likely could not win. Having pushed hard against Destiny before and having come out ahead he pressed hard this time as well. No surrender. In so doing, he embraced the slim chance of success against the near-certainty of failure. In so doing, he inspired a moment in gaming that gave, and continues to give me chills in the full retelling. He gave us a moment, in the darkness of the post-Hoth galaxy, where a rebel comms operator broadcast in the open the heroic description of a lone Jedi facing down the Empire, white light sabre ablaze.

When he fell, the people rose.


In our third week, we are responding to prompts to ‘Describe.’ The prompt for Wednesday, August 15th – Day 15 of #RPGaDay2018 is to describe a tricky RPG experience that you enjoyed.


As has been my habit since the second year of #RPGaDay, I am also keeping pace with the prompts on video. The content of the videos and the blog overlaps, but is not exactly the same, and where the greater emphasis on detail resides varies from day to day.


This is the third week of the fifth iteration of the monthly roleplaying gaming celebration launched by Autocratik for all forms of social media. Share your responses however you prefer to share. If you want to get involved, grab and share the infographic with the prompts and jump right in!

2 Responses to “Day 13 & 14: #RPGaDay 2018 – “Evolution + Failure””
  1. Sorry for your loss.

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