*So, this is the final chapter in the Tales of the Jedi Companion. After all the info about stats and characters and rules, we are given the chance to play out a sort of tutorial RPG, very, very simplified, really a slightly different Choose Your Own Adventure story.
*So, I am introduced to Keval Raffaan, given a brief back story on him and his stats. He’s a seventeen year old Jedi Apprentice on his first mission. I am to make all his decisions for him, which dooms him, I am quite sure, to an ignominious and embarrassing death.
*The book explains all the rules about rolling the dice and what all the numbers mean. This may be simpler than I had feared.
*We are then introduced to the planet Muzara, where new settlers are clashing with the indigenous population, the Muza. My master has dispatched me, by which I mean Keval, to intercede between the two groups.
*So, then there’s a brief introduction. I arrive on planet but the Muza refuse to recognize my authority since I’m seventeen and, going by the drawing on my stat page, look kind of like a dork.
*In order to prove my authority, I must venture into the titular ruins and retrieve a bag of coins that has been hidden there. If I can do this and return safely, the Muza will allow me to intercede.
*So, this is set up via a series of one paragraph sections, all numbered, from one to eighty. So, when I arrive in the ruins, I can choose to investigate a nearby cave, a stone well, a dark pond of water or a pyramidal monument and depending on which I choose, I go to either number 1, 2, 3 or 4. At the end of each section there is a choice to make or a task to complete via a dice roll. Based on my choice or my roll number, I proceed to another number.
*We’ll just play straight through this once and then go back and look at the different paths, I guess.
*So, I chose the stone well, discovered a hidden ladder and went down into it. Once there, I ran afoul of some worms that launch themselves out of holes in the wall. My dexterity roll failed me, not once, but twice, resulting in Keval expiring at the bottom of the well, a worm firmly attached to his rib cage.
*Did I not frigging tell you?
*So, anyway, as I pressed on with the well plot, I discovered that if I had looked for something to plug the holes with instead of attempting to battle the worms with my lightsaber, I would have survived and found the bag of coins at the end of the tunnel. So, I did make the right choice.
*You know, before I died from a worm chewing its way into my small intestine.
*Why did I pick the well? It just seemed right. It just . . . I just knew that the coins were down the well. I’m not even kidding. My instincts, you know.
*The instincts that led to me dying while a worm . . . oh, skip it.
*Anyway, the cave contains a monster that you have to battle. Obviously, the coins aren’t there.
*The dark pond of water is a total wash with the exception that if you splash around in it (what idiot would reach into a dark pond of water in a ruined city?), it turns your skin grey.
*Maybe that’s what Chalmun meant when he said Qui-Gon was a Grey Jedi.
*The pyramid is a trap, complete with a fake bag filled with pebbles. Just like in Raiders, when you grab the bag, it sets off a weight based mechanism and the pyramid starts sinking into a watery grave.
*Basically, lots of ways to die here and lots of ways to waste time. It’s kind of annoying that, like a laser, I shot to exactly the correct location, skipped all the messing around on the surface, found the hidden ladder immediately and then died with the bag of coins just around the corner from me.
*GOD WHY WOULD ANYONE PLAY THESE
*So, then we get three other possible scenarios that you can create and play out in the ruins of Kabus-Debah, including a battle with the monster in the cave after he begins a murderous spree, an attempt to find the source of the grey water and, most interesting, a battle between some Jedi and a couple of Dark Siders who have come to Kabus-Debah searching for Sith artifacts.
*Since I’ve had enough of worms leaping onto my body with bloodthirsty yowls, I did not create these scenarios.
*Well, there we go. My first RPG experience, but not my last.
*It was fun. I enjoyed it.
*CANONICAL STATUS: This work is NOT RECOMMENDED as a historical resource.
** ½ out of **** stars.
George R. Strayton
*Next time, it’s back to Chronicles of the Old Republic to set the stage for our next big villain (har har) as we look at The Shadow of Freedon Nadd!