Plot Armour

Very interesting!

  1. An Imperial enemy with the level of plot armour of the Rebel Alliance has will drive your players bonkers.Unless the players ARE part of the Rebel Alliance… in which case, the Referee will have to work fast to keep things unexpected and interesting, instead of things shifting o the Boring Invincible Hero levels of Mary Suedom.
  2. Of greater interest is the Halo universe, where a hero (…or a small PC team…) has to carry ALL of the plot armour of the good guys. This can be good storytelling, if you can make their victory unpredictable. “Earn your happy ending!”
  3. As for anti-plot armour, on the scale of the prequel’s Old Republic vs the CIS… I would suggest that the Rebellion Era Imperium has a good dose of it, with an idiot, Emperor Lucan, rising to the throne at the critical moment.But it isn’t truly completely unexpected.Looking at the long history of the Third Imperium, I would suggest that the Imperium has a good helping of plot armour, simply to last 1,116 years with only one (not very destructive) civil war, and only one significant secession movement (the Solomani Movement).

    Moreover: the Imperium certainly has some incompetent leadership from time to time, but only one incompetent really did damage (the last one, of course). And that last one was a matter of bad timing.

    Had Lucan rose to the throne in more normal, peaceful times, things would have carried on much as before. More wild parties at Capital, more prompt executions for annoying military officers, and a greater push for Sylean cultural supremacy (as opposed to the Solomani/Vilani mix), but nothing the Imperium hasn’t easily survived before.

Lesson: “Plot armour for empires thins over time, getting more brittle. Gotta keep it thick and flexible!”

Addendum: Battlestar Galactica’s 12 Colonies has plot armour… just not enough of it.

There’s only enough plot armour for one obsolete capital ship, 84 civilian ships and ~50,000 people.

The rest of you billions are just out of luck. Sorry.


About Alvin Plummer

I'm working to build a better world, a world that blesses Christ and is blessed by Him. I hope that you're doing the same!
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One Response to Plot Armour

  1. Timothy Newman says:

    The Solomani Rim War technically counts as a civil war, and certainly seems to have been plenty destructive. The Ilelish Revolt involved six subsectors and seventeen years of low-intensity conflict, largely because the Imperium was very restrained in the level of force it employed – and that still ended with the equatorial zone on Ilelish being sterilised by orbital bombardment. I suspect the relatively laissez-faire Imperial approach in leaving worlds to govern themselves while acting to discourage them conquering each other makes for local rivalries being more significant than hostility to the Imperium, and allowing ‘cultural regions’ that are largely homogeneous to form under one leader (hello, Archduke Dulinor of Ilelish, what a surprise to see you here next to the leaders of the Solomani Autonomous Region) is a mistake that has a significant chance of leading to a conflict too large for Imperial forces to handle easily. Half a sector in revolt is one thing, a conflict with a whole domain or similarly large grouping is rather harder.


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