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1:34 AM
Morning all
As some of you may know, YouTube has changed it's Policies, which has basically removed their accountability when it comes to managing the site's integrity. Dozens of accounts have already been hacked due to this.
One such channel was the Astartes channel.
2:14 AM
@RedRiderX I think someone mentioned that, yes:
Nov 13 at 23:56, by V2Blast
Another great article by DC on D&D Beyond: Session Zero: A Foundation for Greatness
3:14 AM
Q: How can I make this labyrinth feel more alive/Daedalian and less like an RNG?

D. Ben Knoble Spoilers follow about the new D&D 5e Stranger Things Starter Set from Hasbro/Netflix. I've recently bought the Stranger Things-themed D&D 5e Starter Kit. I'm a vet of the edition, but thought it could make an interesting thematic introduction to D&D for some friends. The module promises to b...

@HotRPGQuestions Use Animate Objects
1 hour later…
4:17 AM
Q: When climbing certain terrains that require an Athletics check, do you need to make the check again every turn?

VictorWhen you are climbing certain terrains that require an Athletics check, do you have to roll the Athletics check on every turn you climb? Or just once?

2 hours later…
5:53 AM
Tere hommikust
2 hours later…
8:02 AM
Q: Exchanging control of a mount

sptrashcanThis is a situation that came up recently in a game I play in. Two player characters were riding an elephant in combat. The elephant was acting as a controlled mount under control of one of the riders, who was higher in initiative order than the second. During their turn, the controlling rider ha...

Yeah all, quick clarification, what are the mechanical benefits that come from blindsight?
For instance what if a normal regularly sighted adventurer or monster gained blindsight for 5ft (or 30ft) what would be different about theme mechanically?
8:27 AM
basically, perceiving invisible things
also works the same no matter what the light level is
8:40 AM
Tonight's dinner is a salad of hardboiled local eggs, a couple kinds of local lettuce, locl cucumbers, and non-local bell peppers, served on cold leftover whole wheat penne, with an orange juice and apple cider vinegar dressing.
9:14 AM
Good morning
9:37 AM
@Youjay Being able to see without light, I guess. (And yes, I think the usual consensus is that it counts as "sight" for the purposes of spell targeting etc)
So it's a massive advantage when fighting in darkness or thick fog or smoke
@kviiri Does it see through obscurement like smoke, blindfolds, walls etc.?
@vicky_molokh The ruels specify that it allows a creature to perceive its surrounding "without relying on sight", so blindfold and smoke ought to be fine. Walls are probably more divisive.
@kviiri That's . . . well, doesn't clarify the criterion at all.
Because fundamentally a blindfold and a wall are both obstacles. If the ability/spell/whatever allows ignoring insufficient brightness, but perceives unobscured objects (calculating obscurement using optical transparency), that's one thing. If it's a Lensmen-ish 'sense of perception' that just detects items in a radius regardless of other factors like obscurement, that's another.
@vicky_molokh Essentially, yes. You perceive your environment as if you could see normally in that radius. (...Assuming we're talking about D&D 5e here; that was never specified by @Youjay.)
"A monster with blindsight can perceive its surroundings without relying on sight, within a specific radius.

Creatures without eyes, such as grimlocks and gray oozes, typically have this special sense, as do creatures with echolocation or heightened senses, such as bats and true dragons.

If a monster is naturally blind, it has a parenthetical note to this effect, indicating that the radius of its blindsight defines the maximum range of its perception."
yes i was talking about 5e
9:46 AM
> Blindsight lets you perceive your surroundings, including environmental phenomena, yet a phenomenon that impedes only sight (it doesn't provide cover) doesn't work against blindsight. You'd essentially perceive a person in heavy fog as if they were surrounded by static.
> "Does Stealth or Invisibility work within Blindsight range?" A creature can try to hide within blindsight range behind cover. [...] Blindsight lets you spot an invisible creature in range, but that creature can still try to hide behind something with Stealth.
Ah, so cover works normally, making smoke and blindfolds relevant.
Smoke and blindfolds aren't cover, they're just concealment
Or in game terms, the area'd be obscured by smoke, (lightly or heavily) which'd potentially blind a creature without blindsight, much like a blindfold would.
within blindsight radius, you can still hide behind physical obstructions (e.g. a column or wall); however, visual obscuration alone (e.g. fog or darkness) is defeated/overcome by blindsight
@kviiri They're objects that get in the way and are perceived by blindsight, from what the descriptions by V2 seem to indicate.
@V2Blast O_ò What kind of definition makes blindfolds aphysical?
@vicky_molokh Neither blocks attacks.
10:01 AM
@kviiri A thin carton wall doesn't block attacks either, yet you can't see through it.
Thin walls, windows etc are classical edge cases of the cover rules, but smoke and blindfolds are obviously not cover.
By DnD 5e rules, I mean.
Then again, the addition of echolocation into the mix is making things even less clear, because echolocation operates by principles very different from visual sensing.
Cover is something you can stand behind for safety: walls, trees, rocks, other creatures, et cetera. Stuff that blocks sight only is obscurement but not cover.
(again, in 5e terminology. I'm well aware real life usage doesn't follow half as clear definitions)
@kviiri Ah. Well, if it's a term of art, then at least that disambiguates things for people who are used to it.
And yeah, blindsight is sometimes explicitly echolocation (and therefore disabled by being deaf) but not always so
Vision rules are one of those parts of DnD that don't last too well if looked at too long
10:12 AM
Like darkvision used to be infravision.
The dungeon is full of infrared light, yes
10:57 AM
@kviiri Well, teechnically, depending on how magical the sensor is, and whether it covers both near and far IR, it can be a good substitute for visible-spectrum vision.
GURPS has a history of conflating the two subsets of IR. It finally took a step to supporting a playable approximation of the distinction in Powers: Enhanced Senses, but IMHO the point costs of 'less inaccurate' advantage variants are too high compared to the conflating variant.
2 hours later…
1:03 PM
@kviiri heat sources are all you need. I'ver operated a variet of IR devices from the 80's to the 00's. What's needed is a heat source, and more importantly, heat differential between one thing and another, or one thing and the background.
@KorvinStarmast But it won't help you against cold-blooded lizardmen !
@PierreCathé Depends on their heat signature compared to the background heat level.(and on the elegance of the display/delta logic)
@PierreCathé Near IR reflection though.
This is why 'which subset of IR, and how magically awesome the sensor is' are relevant.
1:31 PM
I am going to make a Homebrew Tank Class, any help with doing so would be greatly appreciated
Suggestions would be geat
What have you got so far?
and, then I got lost
could you get me some links?
Don't we have a class-building post somewhere? Meta maybe?
@RandomPerson What do you mean by tank (what would you like it to do) and why aren't the base classes working for you?
Q: Are there any online guides, official or unofficial, to help create new classes?

Gryphon - Reinstate MonicaI'm looking at creating a homebrew class for dnd-5e, but have had trouble finding resources to assist with this. The DMG includes guidelines for modifying existing classes, but there don't appear to be any official guidelines/rules for creating classes from scratch. Are there any online guides ...

Q: Are there guidelines for homebrewed content?

GOATNineI am going to be a first-time DM in the near future, and one of the players wants to run a homebrewed class that sounds pretty exciting. I'm eager to include the class, but some searching only turned up homebrewing guidelines for dnd-3.5e. Are there official dnd-5e guidelines for homebrew conten...

tank as in, take huge damage, deal smaller damage, outlast enemies
1:40 PM
@Someone_Evil yep, that's it. thanks
@RandomPerson What about Barbarian or Fighter don't meet those criteria?
I just wasted chat space didn't I
@RandomPerson shrug. Don't worry, Just don't over-do it
Well, this'd certainly be easier if we knew more about what you're going for.
But... I have a recommendation
If you want to homebrew a character around defense, borrow a DnD 4e PHB from somewhere and see how it implements Defender classes
@RandomPerson Every message I send wastes chat space, especially this one
@goodguy5 Easy to find now that there are way fewer homebrew-review questions clogging up the '[homebrew] [class] [dnd-5e]' search
1:44 PM
@RandomPerson - I'd look to start with a totem barbarian, and then play with tweaks to that if you want to add your own flavor. There are a lot of build guides for totem barbarians out there already.
And this one
And that
okay gtg
@RandomPerson Aaanyway. If you want to base a character around defense, it isn't sufficient that they have high HP and defenses --- the enemies also need a reason to try to hit you in the first place as opposed to your significantly squishier allies.
That's what 4e defender classes do, and I'd pick that as a defining idea of your tank class.
If that's going to be discussed any further can it at least be moved to NAB?
Sorry, Ash, I'm done.
1:49 PM
Yeah, I don't really need this either :P trying to wrestle my curiosity.
@KorvinStarmast I do, but I want to word it inclusively.

I'm thinking "Are there any light-producing spells that can produce a strong enough light to light a fire?"

needs work
@RandomPerson But if you want to spare yourself the trouble of homebrewing, the Barbarian class is already pretty much what you want. They have lots of hit points and damage resistances that make them last for ages in battle.
Otherwise a Samurai Fighter (XGtE) is very enduring
2:01 PM
@goodguy5 I found that spell in s different file, so I included it
@goodguy5 If you can c & p the dawn spell description into chat, I can fold it into the answer. I don't have complete books handy. SRD doesn't have it.
oops you said dawn
5th-level evocation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S, M (a sunburst pendant worth at least 100 gp)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
The light of dawn shines down on a location you specify within range. Until the spell ends, a 30-foot-radius, 40-foot-high cylinder of bright light glimmers there. This light is sunlight.

When the cylinder appears, each creature in it must make a Constitution saving throw, taking 4d10 radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. A creature must also make this saving throw whenever it ends its tu
@goodguy5 duration not long enough.
@KorvinStarmast hrm... idk..... a minute seems enough
@goodguy see the rules on magnifying glass that I included.
5 minutes
@goodguy that's in the PHB and Basic Rules
2:10 PM
oh! yea. you're right. I totally missed that
(Though I agree with you ... based on RL shennanigans with with the sun and magnifying gloasses)
I guess the 5 minutes accounts for the finnickyness of it and fluffing the pile just right
Huh. Estimates say a meter big magnifying glass could generate a ray strong enough to melt stone.
I want to go to there
5000 Fahrenheit
2:16 PM
Huh! What! How! I somehow jumped from 12 thousand something reputation to 22 thousand ! I have no idea how it happened. Is this a bug ?
@GaelL See the top pinned message
All questions doubled in value retroactively.
damn, you must've asked a lot of questions
Oh! That makes sense.
ooh, yeah. 240 questions vs. 6 answers - most of your rep is questions so that makes sense.
howdy howdy!
2:19 PM
Yah, I ask a lot of things but I don’t have much knowledge to share to help others.
Well... that is quite a surprise.
@GaelL Welcome to a whole new level of privileges. :)
I now have access to powers I don’t think I deserve ! So I’m not gonna touch them.
what does that jump actually let you do that's new
@GaelL I think you're assessment of your own knowledge is probably incorrect :)
Access to Trusted User tools and Protecting questions.
2:22 PM
oh, delete voting is the big one I guess
Yah, not doing that !
@JohnP Is your question on which spells can you use a magnifying glass basically just "which spells emit sunlight"?
@NautArch Or enough light equivalent.
@JohnP The rules state that it takes 5 minutes to light a fire with a mag glass
I wonder if there are other people like me who massively ask questions but rarely provide answers (and thus just received a humongus boost).
2:25 PM
@goodguy5 .... I hate the designers sometimes.
I mean, to be fair "Takes about"
one could argue that "1 minutes is about 5 minutes"
@GaelL I wonder if the api exposes the right data to look such users up
Dunno ! Maybe.
I'm sure there certainly must be other users with similar profiles
Apparently, people of 25 thousand something reputation can look at analytics.
2:26 PM
@GaelL We need you to wield your powers ... for Good. :)
can only mods see other people's deleted answers?
@GaelL Only some of them, though, and they're really boring ones.
the analytics aren't very detailed
@JohnP It seems like @KorvinStarmast's answer was suggesting you need sunlight and not just bright light.
@GaelL Yes, quite a few. That was one of the discussion points originally.
2:27 PM
@G.Moylan no, deleted answers are visible to anyone with 10k rep.
@Carcer ah 10k that would be it.
@NautArch Even the rules suggest that ...
@KorvinStarmast I will, Uncle ben !
@G.Moylan actually I guess there's a nomenclature confusion going on there -technically the 10k privilege is "access moderator tools"
@GaelL 8^D
2:28 PM
@Carcer by "mods" I meant diamonds
@G.Moylan yeah, I default assumed as much.
Well, consider me bamboozled.
Community moderation is a thing, and anyone with enough rep (I think over 1000) has at least some community moderation ability in the review queues ...
Ooh, it takes 250 to close vote and 500 to check the review queues
Flagging comes in at 15 rep and is an important part of the moderation
@KorvinStarmast yeah I have some access now. I was just curious. I was watching a particular question on Friday and I noticed that one of the answers was missing but I didn't see anything in the timeline, so I figure it was deleted
2:30 PM
I wonder, what’s after the 25 thousand mileatone (of seeing analytics) ?
Ho, so it’s the last one !
beyond that you're just playing for points
@GaelL Being elected for a diamond
2:31 PM
@GaelL You have achieved apotheosis in RPGSE
Well, this is a very informative day.
you unlock New Game+ and you can start rpg.se again from zero rep but with all the knowledge you acquired from the last time
@Carcer Wait, no save point?
@KorvinStarmast Plenty of cheat codes though!
@KorvinStarmast the stack exchange genre is always permadeath
2:33 PM
@Carcer Snort
Hrm... I wonder... could you find a diamond cutter in 5e that could cut a diamond specifically for Raman collection/conversion?
And here I was, wanting to delete my account not long ago due to a badly received question.
I thought you were going for Riemann before the edit
@G.Moylan No, I think you can create a laser using 5e RAW and a friendly DM ruling on diamond cutting.
Sunlight on a coin + permanency (The old flashlight trick) + diamond focuser = low power laser. Possibly add a mirrored spell tube to gather all available rays.
@JohnP >permanency
2:39 PM
@JohnP Which also presumes an industrial revolution and the educational and theoretical basis upon which laser light works ... in your game world.
Magic is a bit simpler. Like Eldritch blast.
there's also no general way to make spells permanent in 5e
Or scorching ray, if you want something like a laser ...
@Carcer They did away with the permanency spell? I missed that.
@Carcer Well, crafting a magic item sorta does ... but not like the old perm spell
they did
2:40 PM
@GaelL I went and checked, it's just a few graphs: posts-per-day, votes (broken down into up, down, both and accept) and page views (broken down into page views, visits and new visitors)
@RandomPerson Definitely interested in hearing more about your design goals (and whether existing options will do it) for your tank.
@KorvinStarmast Soemthing like a laser but that is always there without more spell expenditure.
@JohnP That's where you go the DMG and crafting magic items rules, and work with the DM to figure out something like that. Even laswers need an energy source.
Maybe a "want of scorching ray" with seven charges per day fits this? ?
It intrigues and amazes me to hear of previous/other editions, having only really played 5e.
@KorvinStarmast Seems a bit of overkill for essentially a pocket lighter. :)
2:43 PM
@JohnP For that you use presitdigitation. Cantrip. ;)
@GaelL 5e has IMO done a decent job of folding in some of the best bits of all previous editions.
@KorvinStarmast Or you can be a Rock Gnome and have a literal pocket lighter
@GaelL A complaint some people have is the Skill/Proficiency system, but I like where they went with this ... in this edition ... YMMV
@Someone_Evil That too.
I love 5e, and it keeps getting better ! Have you taken a look at the UA Class Features ?
@GaelL I dislike most of them, but I like a few of them. Particularly the two new Pact of the Tome invocations.
It is bloat; the fighter thing is OK, and the change of cantrips and spells is IMO directed at newbies
@KorvinStarmast Bah, joy killer. :p
2:45 PM
"Undoing trap optoins bad choices" more or less.
@JohnP I am not a fan of fixing what isn't broken.
The Ranger’s Rover feature, ahhh, what a treasure ! I love speed increases (as I once made a Speedster).
@GaelL Wait, you made a Range Rover in 5e? :p :p
@KorvinStarmast That is the death of innovation.
I made 2 similar “Speedster” builds, one for AL, one for a recent high level homebrew using this UA. Character’s not very powerful (no good damage, no high hit points or armor class, etc.), but he gottagofayst and that matters to me !
But I added a fun twist that he gotta constantly move or else his heart explodes !
My DM allowed me to do “high speed sleepwalking” (pacing while trancing) to not die from my first long rest, hahaha
2:49 PM
@GaelL So...essentially a land version of a mako shark?
Land speed shark
@GaelL isn't this the plot of Crank
A bit ya !
But with more speedz
So...what role does he fill? No HP, no damage... what does the heart explode tradeoff get you?
Some people build their speedsters to get a high instant speed and thus choose tabaxis & action surge & stuff... but I built that one for constant (or reasonably maintainable) speed instead, going so far as to take the Elk aspect of the beast to let the entire group share the speedforce in long travels.
What role ? ...uh, speed !
2:52 PM
So he's a one-trick racehorse ?
@GaelL I am NOT fan of that UA.
@KorvinStarmast I really really dislike that spell swapping.
Nah nah, not one trick ! He could do different things. I always play with the “never do the same thing 2 turns in a row” challenge. In this case, I was also partially a mystic and was doing “speed” related graphical effects like whirlwinds !
One of his main assets was moving teammates and/or enemies around. It was the right amount of utility & power & whatever for me : not under the curve too much such as the others would say that I’m a minus one, but not over the curve either ! It was a unique experience and I’m glad to have done it.
@GaelL He can go fast and go faster!
It was certainly a good test of “how creative can I be with this speed that I have”, with the intent of entertaining the other players and the DM with surprising new cool tricks.
Other than the “heart explodes if stops moving”, I also had added the “mouth shakes too fast to talk properly” so his method of communication was to run letters on the ground or in the air.
2:59 PM
Is anyone watching the Mandalorian? Got questions, but not sure if it's spoiler-worthy (about identity and timelines). I can open up a new chat if so.
and if folks are interested
mando is really good
@NautArch yup, watching. What do?
@NautArch I had a discussion on GiTP with someone who pointed out why that was newbie friendly, especially to sorcerer players. And WoTC are already going there with Artificer "swap a cantrip' ability ... (no, I don't like that)
3:13 PM
@KorvinStarmast on the subject of Unearthed Arcana, does one of the 12 subclasses inspire you ?
@GaelL What inspires me are the two new tome lock invocations since I am about to begina tome lock in my brother's campaign. :)
they come at a cost but are a great way to support party/team play.
The Spell Versatility thing is something I've been pondering quite a lot.
Having to lock in spells at level up is definitely something that intimidated me away from playing Memorized Spellcasters when I first started playing 5e.
I think I've said this before, but I feel like 5e didn't give enough perks to Memorized Spellcasters in general: the one major advantage they had over Prepared Spellcasters in 3.5e (not having to specifically prepare each use of a spell in advance) was given to those other classes, without really giving them anything comparable in return.
@G.Moylan I don't really understand how it's boba.
isn't he currently residing inside a sarlacc?
@Xirema except the general power of spellcasters over martials
And the other neat tricks they have to work with their spells.
@NautArch In this context I'm comparing Wizard vs Sorcerer, not Sorcerer vs Fighter.
3:28 PM
@Xirema they don't have to spend money on spells/book. That's an advantage, but how it is implemented varies per campaign.
@Xirema Well, the sorcerer's meta magic is a pretty big deal. That's the trade-off in my mind.
@NautArch To be fair, people like me keep trying to write homebrew to fix Metamagic/Sorcery Points/Sorcerers in general, so my stance is more "Metamagic could have been a pretty big deal" than it would be to just state that it balances everything out.
@Xirema Well, there's people trying to homebrew a lot of mechanics or 'fix' things. But from my experience seeing sorcerers in play, the metamagic options they have make them pretty powerful.
@NautArch My experience has been that Metamagics can make a Sorcerer extremely good, but only if the player is willing to adopt a highly utilitarian, powergamer approach to character optimization. Especially because Heightened/Quickened/Twinned Spell often feel like a "Metamagic Tax" because if you don't take them, you're willingly forgoing significant casting power.
I usually skip heightened and quickened
Twinned is too much fun, though
3:39 PM
@goodguy5 Subtle is one of my go-to's, but that's partly because it's got tons of RP potential, so I'm not 100% certain its exempt from the "Metamagic Tax" status.
I have to look at this list
I think I usually go Twin, Distant, and Empower
@goodguy5 I've run the numbers on Empowered Spell too many times to be particularly impressed with it. =P
It's a backup. I don't always want it, I don't know for sure I've ever actually used it. But when I roll something and get 3 1s, I want to reroll it
@Xirema Well, the same could be said for spell choices as well. But yeah, there are "must-have" options and meh options. That' snot a good balance. Similar things could be said around GWF builds for martials. THey're intrinsically better.
Meta Magic: I think sorcs should get one more than they do from all the choices. I think adding another one at 7 would fix them.
3:45 PM
@goodguy5 Our sorcerer had those and used them all consistently. Reroling dice is fun :P
And quickened was pretty amazing, too.
Origin Metamagics, folks. I'm not saying the ones I came up with are good (LOL) but it's a far better solution than just giving Sorcerers Origin Spells, which is what most homebrew does to "fix" them.
@NautArch it's not, to my knowledge. This guy is a relative rookie, and he's still earning his armor - some of his current gear is still salvaged Shoretrooper kit. Boba Fett was trapped in the Sarlacc but in LEgends he escaped. No word yet on whether that's new canon or not
@G.Moylan Then how does he have a flashback to the death of his father?
@NautArch he has a flashback to when his home is being raided but I saw nothing to indicate the death of Jango
Jango wasn't even a real Mandalorian, he just wore the gear
@G.Moylan I could have sworn there was a flashback to the arena fight scene in episode 2 (of the movies)
including young boba
3:49 PM
Not to my knowledge. He fought something (a mudhorn?) that looked similar to a Reek from Ep. 2, but I don't recall a Fett flashback
@G.Moylan i'll have to retwatch it, but I'm pretty darn sure there was a flashback.
Part 2?
@G.Moylan I think it was in the 2nd episode, but could have been the first. Watched them back to back.
It's not boba
He has a flashback when the Armorer is forging his new pauldron, but it's all non-specific "my village is under attack" stuff
3:50 PM
But there was almost definitely a flashback to that Attack of the Clones scene.
I personally find it hilarious that Boba Fett has such an out-sized biography in Legends and was considered such a badass by the fandom that Lucas retroactively made him the template of all the prequel clone troopers yet his part in the original trilogy is so lackluster.

He appears in two scenes: one where he's recruited by Vader and Vader has to tell him not to disintegrate his target which seems like a massive fox pass for someone who's a *bounty hunter not an assassin* and one where he Wilhelm screams into a pit.
(see full text) is again pointless
is there a bug request we can do about that?

I hate it so bad.
@Yuuki He was made popular by what is now the Legends lore. That and he was stated to be the most badass of the bunch that Vader hired to find Solo
@Yuuki haven't seen legends yet.
@G.Moylan He was popular well before legends.
@NautArch Legends is just a catch-all term for everything outside of the movies before Disney bought the franchise.
3:52 PM
@NautArch He was, but his fame was solidified by the novels
Books, animated series, etc.
@Yuuki that doesn't change my statement
There's a ton of extended lore that is now under the Legends banner about Boba and that's where all the general badassery comes from with him
@G.Moylan Maybe? as someone who never really read a lot of the novels and who was always enamored by Boba (as well as many of my contemporaries), i'm not sure that's accurate.
3:53 PM
@NautArch i'ts where all the stories of his "Deeds" come from
It seems more that Lucas recognized that a large part of the fan base always liked Boba and then decisions were made to give him a larger role because of it.
My generation just assumed he was awesome. And that was enough! Now get off my lawn!
His armor definitely looks cool but it's kinda funny to me how an entire warrior culture, one that fought a war with the rest of the galaxy and nearly won, sprung up around a single character with two bit parts that featured for roughly ten minutes tops through the entire original trilogy.
What I'm trying to say, apparently badly, is the fandom liked the character in the movies, partocularly Empire, and some authors brokered a deal to write stories about him. Everything about his exploits and accomplishments are from those extra stories, canonically, whethere assumed or not
@Yuuki he wasn't madalorian, Jango stole the armor or killed a Mando and took it
@G.Moylan Lucas and co. would have never created Mandalorians if everyone didn't collectively fall in love with Boba Fett.
@Yuuki Yeah, can't explain it. But shows the power of visual character design.
3:57 PM
@Yuuki I can't be certain that that culture hadn't already been detailed prior to the character. I don't think we can make that statement with such certainty. A LOT of background lore was written for certain pieces of Star Wars that we never saw until much later
Someone cynical might say that Lucas just made a random side character, and then realized that adding some grand backstory would lead to more merchandising. Kids would rather buy an action figure of "awesome bounty hunter" than an action figure of "nameless imperial agent"
A lot of it was made up on the fly or ended up being changed, but there was definitely a lot of thought put into stuff like the Force and the Whills long before the scripts were finished.

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