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emsquared

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About emsquared

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  1. emsquared

    Playing as a Grey Jedi

    Good ol' penpen... I agree, it's hard to plan out and implement specific Moral Strength/Weakness "challenges". That's why I don't do that. All you have to do is look for opportunities in your regularly-scheduled programming to their in the opportunity for them to start combat or to lie or coerce or steal or murder someone to make their PCs lives easier. Pretend like you're Mr. Robot, just look for any situation's and/or NPC's hack, it's usually right there viewable on a very basic level. "Ok, they want/need to break into this facility. Well I'll show them this Lieutenant out on the town, with his wife. They'll see they could coerce him through threatening her. Show them this clumsy janitor dropping his access card, they'll see they can steal that from him. Don't have that patrol immediately open fire on them have them start radioing in the PCs appearances, they're gonna want to stop that. Have that bounty hunter surrender he's a dangerous mofo that they're either gonna have to tow around now or murder." The list goes on and on, and/or repeats with slight variation. And if they use any of those opportunities, it makes their lives easier as Players, easier checks, less objectives to achieve, whatever. It's very easy - once your start looking at things this way, and assisted by the narrative dice - to casually insert significant moral choices when you just tie them immediately to what they're doing in any given moment. Combine these casual uses of moral choices with regular use of the Fear mechanics, and with making Force Power use attractive via just letting the Force do cool stuff, (along with getting buy in from players for intellectual honesty/assistance with implementing the mechanic) and it's much easier to have a functioning Morality mechanic. Yea, me too. Can't imagine why someone who sees themself as playing a "Jedi" would view being given "Darkside points" as an attack on their PC or RP. Really hard to understand that one. ... bee-ecause... no one can figure out how to account for an average result of 6? Good one. Says the guy who couldn't stand to be contradicted indirectly (I didn't comment on your specific proposed mechanic, indeed I've waived the Destiny cost myself for some games) and not say something. The general tone and angle of the thread at large was going in the direction of "you needed to 'punish' the players more for 'naughty' choices". I wanted to turn that around. Sorry your advocacy got caught in the middle.
  2. emsquared

    Playing as a Grey Jedi

    Oh my lawd, it's driving me crazy... This is not what the Morality system is for. This thought process is why so many people have so many problems with using it. Look at the mechanical "place" of Morality, in the Force and Destiny "system". It sits in the exact same spot as Obligation and Duty. Those mechanics are there to help create interesting story developments, and rp choices, and to assist the player in telling the PC's story. It's a meta-level, player-driven story mechanic. It is not supposed to be an adversarial, "gotchya" mechanic, where the GM is trying to "trick" the player into falling to the Darkside. This is not the intent. It is there for the player (and GM) to use mindfully, to show the ways in which their PC is light or dark. By design, by RAW, it is supposed to be 100% in the control of the Player (by RAW, the GM is supposed to notify them any time they're gonna do something that earns Conflict), whether or not their PC is light, dark, or in between. The vanilla game mechanic of Morality is not supposed to be a mechanical nor narrative slippery slope. It supposed to be a narrative ladder, or staircase, which the Player ascends or descends deliberately. If you want it to be that gotchya-mechanic, slippery slope, yea, you're gonna have to make some big changes to the way it works, and even then it's still probably not gonna work that way for you. As we see from accounts from players time and again here who try to use it that way. That wasn't it's design purpose, and frankly it's hard to use it in a way it's not intended. It's just unfortunate most ppl don't seem to understand the intent of it.
  3. emsquared

    Playing as a Grey Jedi

    This is something that should be done if the PCs are near a Darkside nexus, or even a situation where emotions are running high (an angry mob, a target who is very fearful, or raging mad). But it is broken (gameable) and devalues the above significant narrative circumstances to allow any "grey" this benefit at any time. To tempt Players to use the Darkside when activating Powers, you mostly just need to make sure the result of it is worth that Conflict (+Strain +Destiny). Just say, yes, you can do that, if there's any question as to whether a given result is within the bounds of a PCs given Power with it's current state of Upgrades. This isn't breaking the game - it may disrupt "your plot", or a given encounter, but that's the whole point of the Force. If it's no better than an analogous Skill, why use it? Force Users lag behind "normal" PCs in every other way, so let the Force be better than a Skill check, let it create shortcuts, let your Force Users be awesome when they use the Force, and they will seek to use the Force regardless of the cost.
  4. emsquared

    Playing as a Grey Jedi

    This is broken AF, and makes no narrative sense. As for the benefit of being a "Grey Jedi", as I see it, it is having the moral latitude to address any given challenge in a way that suits you. Rather than in a way that suits the Will of the Force. If you're not engaging the Morality mechanic very well as a GM/table, then that might not seem like any sort of benefit at all. But if you're using Conflict as a way to frame your game, and any given scenario, as a choice between the easy way (where if your Player(s) choose to take some sort of Conflict-worthy action it creates some sort of "shortcut" in the challenge or plot), and the hard way (using methods that generate no Conflict), then it can become a very significant benefit.
  5. emsquared

    Running a campaign with Sith?

    This is where the Force & Destiny Morality system really shines: as a tool to help Players tell their PC's stories. It does not work as an adversarial, "Can I, as GM, trick you, Player, into falling to the Darkside?", let's-see-what-happens mechanic. That's not what it's for. It works best when used with intent and mindfulness of PC story-development goals. Sounds like that's where you guys are going with it and that's great. The situation you describe above improves your chances of having a positive experience out of all of this considerably, IMO. Still I could see it turning to PvP too soon, and/or unexpectedly (from one side or the others view) - long before you got through all the exploration of "the fall" that you wanted to, and everyone being like; "Whelp, you and you are dead, you're missing a leg, and we've all got two or three crits built up... how do we move forward from here?" I think having this be the kind of success you envision would require a large meta-level agreement; "That's the deal, gang. No PVP unless the whole table agrees to enter into it in advance, which means no taking actions that will cause PVP without everyone agreeing you can take the action in advance." Which may or may not impact your group's enjoyment of the game. I haven't played this type of campaign in this system, but I have in others, and this is really what it takes in my experience to be a success: abdicating some of your agency, so that everyone can enjoy the process of getting to that point in the story. What that looks like in-play is, PC1 says, "Screw this guy. I shoot him in the face." PC2 says, "Na na na na na na no, if you do that, I will have to try to kill you, and we're not there yet.", PC1 says, "Ok, I will just shoot him in the knee.", PC2 says, "Alright, I'll just have to restrain you then, do it!" It's not a complete loss of control of your PC, it's just an acknowledgement that the story at large and the tables enjoyment is more important than any one Player's, which in adversarial set ups like this means this kind of maturity. IMO Again, good luck.
  6. emsquared

    Running a campaign with Sith?

    1. RE: Playing with "Sith". The actual Sith (aka Vader and Palps) care no more for random Darkside Force Users than they do for random Lightside Users - they will try to find and kill them. They want NO ONE in the Galaxy to have mastery over the Force aside from them. So, unless your DSUs all plan on vying for the "right" (aka killing each other) to bargain to become Vader's apprentice (there can be only one), they will be hunted along with all other Force Users. Theymay be allowed to become Inquisitorious IF they're powerful enough. Which of course the plan is still to kill all Inquisitors once they've outlived their usefulness (eradicated the Jedi). This is literally the best they can hope for. UNLESSthey play it smart and stay as low-key as possible, like all other shadow Force Users in the Galaxy. If they do a bunch of stupid murdering and havoc-wreaking, the Big Boys will notice, and they'll frankly probably be more interested in putting them down then the Jedi themself, for to their blatant defiance and use it the Force. 2. The problem with having Lightside and Dark players in the same group is, the Darksiders will do things that cause the Lightside to go dark - ie to accrue Conflict and degrade their Morality, IF they (the Lightsiders) don't try to stop them (the Darksiders) - because if you don't try to stop bad ppl you know are doing bad things, the Force votes that as you being bad. So, you're gonna have a situation where players will likely be in constant conflict with each other over how to handle situations to maintain their "Sidedness"... Is it possible? Sure. If your Darkside aren't "Chaotic Stupid", they may be able to do their Dark stuff without the Light becoming aware of it, and thereby without having to argue over it, and without negatively impacting their Morality. That's the only case it might work, and it probably won't work all the time, cuz at some point they're gonna decide "I need to murder this idiot.", with your Lights right there, then it's PVP time. Important to remember, RE: Destiny Pool, the White Chips are the Player pool, always - it doesn't matter if the Player is Light or Dark, they flip a white chip to use a Destiny Point. This is important to know so they can't exploit the system and just "volley" Destiny back and forth, with you in the middle getting taken advantage of. Good luck. You're gonna need it.
  7. emsquared

    Zombie damage/stress & resistance

    p. 36, first paragraph of second column of text RAW says "The stress suffered by your target follows all the normal rules of sustaining stress, such as being reduced by resistance...", IMO this includes accumulating Resistance, which is a normal rule of stress. Zombies are supposed to be really hard to kill, and that's what's reflected by this mechanic, IMO. It's been awhile since I played, and I forget if this was a house-rule of mine, or if it's only in a specific Scenario/specific zombie-type (I never ran a book Scenario, only my homebrewed "Last of Us" setting), but when we played I feel like most zombies were killed by headshot (uncanceled, paired successes), not damage. But also, it's a reminder how zombies are sometimes best used as environmental-type challenges. Which is to say, if your PCs think they can just gun down a hoard of zombies, they're gonna quickly find themselves becoming a part of the crowd. When there's a large group of zombies you run, period. And as GM you use this game-mechanical fact to prevent the PCs from getting too comfortable in any one spot. Putting them into other kinda of physical - but non-combat - challenges. Terrain navigation. Barricading. Driving. etc. Also, if the PCs are ill-equipped, and struggling to kill even lone, or paired zombies, this reinforces the importance of the cooperation mechanics (taking your turn to give a bonus die to the got with the biggest gun), and of the PCs using the world and narrative and getting creative, to position themselves advantageously in the fiction to get bonus dice. i.e. it makes them play the whole game instead of just the "shoot everything" game. Embrace it.
  8. You gotta remember, they're a millennia-old organization, largely responsible for connecting the Galaxy - solar-system to solar-system - the first intragalactic travelers were Jedi, their organization transcends states and planets and systems - it spans a Galaxy, and (before Order 66) they DO have an army. Really all they ARE is an army. An army of space wizards that has done whatever they wanted for 1000s of years, because literally no one - except other space wizards (the Sith) - have ever proved that they can stop them. An army that, again, has 10s of 1000s of years of history of using that militaristic might to push around many many many different galactic bodies and organizations (albeit for what they see as "moral reasons").
  9. emsquared

    Fighting a force user

    Something that is important to fighting a Jedi, by RAW anyways, is a good Discipline. Most opposed Force Power checks test Discipline by default (Move, Influence, etc.). That said, there is latitude in the rules, found in some side-box somewhere that - like any Skill check - you can use whatever Skill can make narrative sense. I've allowed Adversaries to make Athletics checks to "break out" of, or basically dodge Bind and/or Move attacks. Resilience to resist Harm (and not just the Crit Control upgrade). Cool to resist the Mind Control Influence Upgrade. Probably other examples could work. Adversaries are meant to be spectacular individuals just like the PCs, so don't be afraid to use the narrative license this system gives you over the mechanics. Maybe establish it early in play though, allowing PCs the same latitude with relavent Skill tests. As for the question at large, yes, there's a reason why Bobba Fett had a Jetpak, flamethrower, rocket launcher, etc. (and half a dozen Jedi braids on his belt) just like people are recommending to you.
  10. emsquared

    Question about Morality

    The ways in which I've got the Morality mechanic to work, as written, is employing it over the following ways: 1. Present the Darkside as "the easy way" through any given campaign arc. Look for opportunities in your campaign as play goes along, for where performing a Conflict-worthy action (lie, coercion, stealing, initiating combat, ignoring evil, destroying property, and yes, murder) could present a "shortcut" to your player (s). 2. Use the Fear mechanic. Fear is one of the biggest themes of how people supposedly fall to the Darkside, yet my own campaigns are virtually the only places I've ever seen anyone use it. First time they take a nasty Crit? Fear. First time they see an ally go unconcious? Fear. First time they kill, possibly (depending on campaign premise and character concept)? Fear. First time they gave a Sil 2 (and then 3, then 4) enemy? Fear. First time their ship is disabled? Fear. So on. And spend the narrative symbols to cause Conflict. 3. Allow the Force to achieve great things. The results of using the Force have to be better than an analogous skill, otherwise why would they "risk" (even though any given single incurrence of Conflict is hardly a risk) Conflict? So you have to let the Force let them be awesome. Give them a reason to seek out that power. 4. Get buy-in. Tell your players you want Morality to be a big theme of your game (of you so want that), and ask them to engage the mechanic mindfully. Ask them for help on implementing it. Let them know you're not gonna use it to "make them" turn to the Darkside, but rather that it's just a tool for them to tell their PC's story. That they will be in control of where there PCs go Morality-wise. Do as the system describes, and warn them before they incur Conflict. And have/let them identify places where Conflict can arise if they want. Furthermore, ask them to be intellectually honest when they RP, and ask them to tell you when their PC is angry or afraid, and tell them that they can make checks (Discipline? Cool?) to avoid Conflict in those cases. Ask them when you think their PC is afraid or angry. So on... This mechanic isn't supposed to be a trap. It's not supposed to be the GM tricking the Players into being a Sith. It's not designed to be an adversarial meta-mechanic. It's just like Obligation and Duty, a mechanic that brings the PCs story to the forefront occaisionally to complicate their PCs lives and make the game more interesting. I've been using the "vanilla" Morality mechanic for years now with great success, using these simple guiding practices. D10 roll and all. At elevated XP ranges, I really usually can stop using these practices because by then the Force Users tend to have upgraded Powers to such a point that they need to use a Dark Pip or two on any given Force Power check to get the result they want. YMMV of course. Good luck.
  11. emsquared

    some questions

    How much money ya got? 😜 IMO, the absolute "essentials" are just the Edge of the Empire core, and the Force & Destiny core. These two books allow you to play pretty much whatever kind of campaign that you want to within the Star Wars universe (the Edge Careers/Specs can just be re-skinned to cover anything in a Rebel/Empire campaign). I would recommend the Career supplement for pretty much any Career that you really like. I haven't found any of the setting books to be particularly indispensable, and also don't dig on any of the accessories (besides the dice - ask each player to buy their own set if they can). That said, I also tend to exclusively run custom campaigns, so if you're the type that likes to play through "adventure paths", there may be some good ones, I just don't know. I use Wookiepedia as my setting books and adventure supplements.
  12. emsquared

    Metro 2033 Setting

    All the ZA sessions I ran in this system featured combat prominently, as one might expect a ZA to do... It's a weird system for combat because of the way Resistance works/builds up. At a certain point, PCs don't have to worry about certain actions/threats/zombies (those that can only muster a couple dice). But it's also quite a lethal system the very first die over that line once you're facing anything that is actually capable of being a threat. It frankly feels kind of out of control. It's why I arrived at my houserules.
  13. emsquared

    Dark Force Ritual

    I just wanted to chime in to point out that there are LOTS of kinds of passion, and that Star Wars rarely (pretty much never, really, in my experience of the setting?) focuses on the sexual version. The primary definition of the word is; strong and barely controllable emotion. Broad passion; caring intensely about something. The use of the word in the Sith Code is not explicitly about sex, not even close. If you want your game to feel like Star Wars, I would recommend not listening to the above advice, and not inserting sex into it, but YMMV there. To comment further on your premise, I think the peace (you're spelling it wrong) that the Sith Code is talking about is the balance and serenity of the Jedi Code. The opposite of which, IMO, is more chaos and fear. Which while those are side themes of combat, I would make them the main theme for a Sith ritual. You haven't mentioned fear at all and you're completely missing one of the biggest tropes of the Darkside for it. I think the are better ways to evoke that, ritualistically, than making two people fight... Again, YMMV. Furthermore, if you read the Old Republic novels (which I realize is no longer canon, but is still the best look you can ever get into the Sith and the Sith Code), you get a very clear picture about how the Passion>Strength>Power>Victory "chain" is very literal. Time and again we have examples where Sith Lords use passion and strong emotion; whether that's the fear of others, or their own anger, or their own pain, etc. to generate literal strength and power via the Darkside (basically, Darkside pips in the mechanic). I would have my PC focus on these type of "cycles", and generating those "feedback" mechanisms. Good luck, have fun.
  14. emsquared

    Questions about the niman disciple

    Not that it's canon (anymore?), but if you/anyone has ever played the Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy game - it's the best lightsaber fighting game that has ever been, for reference and is available pretty cheap on Steam especially if you catch it on sale, but anyway - at higher/the highest skill levels, the thrown saber absolutely just sits out there at range and spins like a buzzsaw around the target, capable of hitting them multiple times before returning.
  15. Yea, sometimes it's a bad idea to bring even a knife made of plasma to a gun fight. It's an easy trap to fall into with this system; virtually everyone is a glass cannon. What Force Power(s) do you have, as-is? What's your Willpower/Discipline like? If you enjoy being the fighter and the face, and aren't too interested in going into a more utilitarian Force use role, Shien could of course round you out nicely with the full range of Reflect and other goodies, as well as having some more social skills synergy in it with the Cunning focus. Niman would be a good transition to a more Force-oriented role, cuz you could pick up Reflect and wouldn't be "forced" into any more Parry to do it, but it's a long XP path to that Force bump. Are you setup to be a competent Force User (good WIL or Discipline)?
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