After I finished reading The DM of the Rings by Shamus Young, I stumbled upon a webcomic that takes a similar look at Star Wars. It’s called Darths and Droids, and it’s written by a whole host of people, a list of whom can be found in the website’s FAQ. Darths and Droids was started in September of 2007. Unlike the GM from The DM of the Rings, the GM in Darths and Droids is not trying to force the players into a particular direction. Instead:
“Our GM is an easy-going guy who most of all wants his players to have fun. He’s not straitjacketing them into his preconceived story; he gives them free rein to do pretty much anything they want, and then builds (more or less) logical consequences on top of that. He allows his players to improvise and invent some of the details of the setting, so long as they don’t conflict too badly with what he’d originally planned, and that it can be worked into the story somehow.”
Thus, the writers of Darths and Droids are still following the material of the films fairly accurately. This leads to a very interesting alternate story where the word Jedi has been corrupted to Cheddar; the stop on Tatooine isn’t necessitated by repairs, but instead used to install weapons on the Royal Cruiser; and the driving plotline involves The Lost Orb of Phanastacoria, an important Gungan artifact.
The first two comics demonstrate how different this GM is than the in The DM of the Rings.
Furthermore, this webcomic makes heavy use of the players’ outside knowledge. It’s clear that Ben, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s player, and Jim, Qui-Gon Jinn’s player, have some level of physics/engineering knowledge.
Of course, this doesn’t stop them from trying to bend or break the laws of physics in order to make game play easier:
Play progresses just has in the films until they meet the Gungans. At this point, the writers decided to throw a curveball and rewrite the plot to include a typical tabletop RPG trope: finding the MacGuffin (or shiny object of great importance):
By including a physical object as a goal—and promising great reward for its return—the writers are able to keep the players on task.
The GM even learns to improvise with the players’ antics throughout the course of this webcomic. By the forty-first installment, he has already learned not to plan more than ten minutes ahead for the plot:
After this, the plot gets derailed slightly as the players decide to stop on Tatooine to install weapons to their ship. The characters meet Anakin and Shmi Skywalker and free Shmi Skywalker from her slavery. When she discovers that Anakin has killed another slave boy, she trades her freedom for his. From here, the plot lines up very nicely with that of the film; only some minor points are altered.
After Qui-Gon Jinn dies, his player takes over Padmé’s character. And, at the end of the film, the Lost Orb has been recovered, and the entirety of Naboo is celebrating:
While I’ve only reviewed Episode One here, the webcomic is currently on installment number 813 and is approximately a quarter of the way through Episode Four. Updating every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, this is a webcomic you won’t want to miss.