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Posts posted by Garran

  1. You don't need to create situations left and right in an attempt to guarantee that the character(s) end up with conflict, and trying to do so would be unnecessarily oppositional. You want to have a few things that present the possibility of gaining conflict, but if the PC(s) choose a path that doesn't grant them any then everything is working as intended just as much as if they choose conflict-granting paths.

    It's also okay to accept that some situations or storylines simply aren't likely to involve much conflict. If the party is essentially a bunch of white hats from the outset then no, they probably aren't going to be generating conflict very often, a rapid rise to light side paragon is to be expected, and the character would probably be better off using duty rather than morality.

  2. 35 minutes ago, Archlyte said:

    This would be like pointing to cavemen and saying, see they had the right answer. If the Jed'ai had it right how did there become a permanent error in using the force for the rest of history? Anger is a function of a state of physical arousal usually in response to danger or from a survival instinct. Becoming angry actually reduces blood flow to the cerebral cortex in preparation for the body needing that blood flow to lower brain functions and neuro-muscular use. In short, anger makes you stupid. Now if the Force somehow sees that as a good thing, well I just don't know what to do with that. I think the Force would have to base it's morality on sentient use of anger or calm. 

    I think the "Fell off the wagon" thing you are talking about makes sense, but not this idea that the duality of the force is somehow optional.

    How did all of the other traditions develop that had absolutely nothing to do with it or with the Jedi or Sith philosophies? Because there isn't one true way of the force and perspectives change over thousands of years. The movie-era Jedi had retreated into inflexible dogmatism, and were pretty bad at upholding even that. (IE: For all that they were supposed to avoid attachments, their unthinking attachment to the Republic was their biggest weak spot.)

    I'd be careful about citing biological responses - the setting doesn't think that deeply about those things but for all we know half of the species in the Star Wars galaxy could become more clear-headed when they're furious - but again, anger isn't a single thing and "motivated to action" anger is quite different from "lash out in blind fury" anger, to say nothing of how well trained someone is at dealing with it. (This was another weak point for the movie-era Jedi - they kept trying to suppress those emotions and it didn't do them any favors when those emotions finally welled up regardless.)


    Back to the main idea though: a "gray" force user is someone who taps into both light and dark without going fully over to either. In a purely game mechanics sense, someone who stays in mid-range morality rather than becoming a dark side user or a light side paragon). In a purely thematic sense a force user who fits the Byronic hero archetype would probably fall into the "gray" category, although that certainly isn't the only "gray"-suited archetype.

    Regardless of where they sit on the morality scale though, someone going on innocent-murdering sprees is behaving like a villain and ought to be regarded as such.

    The morality system is also one that easily breaks down in either direction - you can potentially have someone behaving horribly and still be light side but you can just as easily end up as dark sider simply by fibbing a lot, and that doesn't fit the bwa-ha-ha motif that "dark side force user" is supposed to be about. It's not *useless* as a system but when using it you have bear in mind that it was written around certain thematic assumptions, and those won't always be the ones at work in the game.

    Beyond that, it's only useful if the player actually WANTS to play out the idea of an internal struggle. If they don't, it's not worth using - duty or obligation are a better fit.

  3. 1 minute ago, Archlyte said:

    Ok so let me cede that there is not a widespread phenomenon. Do you agree that even one case of such disfigurement occurred, and that it was indeed caused by using the dark side?

    The only one that I know of in canon is Sidious inadvertently melting his own face, and that's not quite the same as "the dark side inherently makes you turn ugly".

    In any case, this came up because of the "character hit morality 25 and instant-Scarfaced" game event mentioned earlier, an outcome which isn't supported by either canon or legends.

  4. 2 minutes ago, Archlyte said:

    The character is somehow connected enough to the force to experience the duality, but is too dumb or obstinate to accept the duality.

    Or they play the duality for what it is. That's what the original Je'daii are portrayed as doing (F&D 378-379) because the force-vergence planet they were on otherwise got a bit temperamental.

    Or they have enough self-discipline to tap into volatile emotions and use them to further their own ends without getting overwhelmed by those emotions. ("There's a difference between using your anger and being used by it.")

    Or maybe they have a different idea of how those emotions stack up. (It's not a given that anger -> hatred. Anger can just as easily drive someone to make a positive change.)


    In any case, I agree with the other posters that "Gray" is not "D&D True Neutral", and that "Gray Jedi" is mainly about how someone is viewed by the council, whereas what we're mostly talking about here are gray force users in general.

  5. 1 hour ago, P-Dub663 said:

    Now look at the canon version of that article. Notice how the ugly stuck stuff is conspicuously absent? That's because, however widespread it became in legends material (originally due to people generalizing from Ep 4-6 when that's all there was), it isn't part of the canon lore around the dark side and is directly contradicted by canon sources like the prequels, which show dark side users looking perfectly normal unless they're disfigured by injuries, and who certainly don't pull an instant-Scarface when they become dark siders.

    For that matter, even the legends source doesn't support the instant-Scarface idea, presenting it as a long-term effect.

  6. Most of the crafting check results are capable of being self-contained (altering the item/mod in some fashion) so it isn't as much of an issue as it would be with other activities. In many cases the opening scene won't really prohibit them from doing it post-intro anyway so there really isn't much difference in the end, and if it's just one or two things and you really want to make narrative use of the results then nothing stops you from carrying the narrative effects over to the opening scene (or using them to set up an opening scene).

  7. 2 hours ago, Archlyte said:

    Someone posted on here that it's fun to be a Force user and not have to follow those Jedi rules. Someone else was trying to make the case that Dark side use does not affect your appearance.

    Have you even seen Star Wars?


    Yes, and the two primary examples - Sidious and Vader - were assumed to be indicative of Dark Side = Darth Hideous in the early going. It only became clear later that the two of them were scarred up because of other events - lightning to the face and a lava steam bath, respectively - and up until then they had looked perfectly normal, as did other dark side characters who didn't suffer extensive third degree burns or some equivalent trauma. So no, the dark side doesn't cause any intrinsic change in outward appearance, and most of them could present themselves as charming when they felt like it. (Vader couldn't, but that's because he'd never been capable of it at any point in his life. :P )


    As for being a force user and not following the Jedi rules: there were/are other force using traditions out there which generally don't care for (or perhaps even know about) the Jedi code and some of the Jedi themselves didn't follow the the Jedi code (or at least had a very different idea of what it entailed than the council did), so it's definitely not a requirement that you follow them to be a force user or to stay on the light side.


    Not following the Jedi code and being a dark side user are two completely different things. Likewise, dark side force users aren't automatically Sith because that's a specific tradition rather than an intrinsic concept of the dark side.

  8. 21 hours ago, P-Dub663 said:

    She hit a morality of 25 and when her eyes went orange and face looked like a melted candle,

    Umm, neither this system specifically nor the setting canon generally make the assumption that the dark side is also an ugly stick. That was a mistaken idea from the early days.

    1 hour ago, KungFuFerret said:

    But it's biologically impossible for living beings to be without emotion.  Despite the colorful wording with it's "deepening" meaning, I think it's more to imply that you don't let your emotions rule your judgement.

    Isn't that "there is no X, only Y" format essentially a corruption (or at least fundamentalising) of the original ideas anyway?

  9. 5 hours ago, Underachiever599 said:

    Star Wars is very much about quick falls,

    All it takes is one truly evil act for a character to be turned,


    Not really. The truly evil act is going to be the one that seals the deal, but that truly evil act generally comes at the end of a long chain of poor (or at least questionable) choices and wavering convictions (which the character may or may not acknowledge at the time). It's that process of moral decay that puts them in a position where they're willing to commit that truly evil act at the end. Moreover, morality - and I don't think it was a great choice of name - isn't just an evilometer; it's a mishmash of Star Warsy factors including how much that character is at peace with themselves - and on that account it's quite possible that someone wobbles (paragon -> not paragon ) and recovers ( not paragon -> paragon) their equilibrium rather than losing it completely (paragon -> dark side).


  10. If you actually did buy the talent in another tree (and that's why those skill became career) then the usual already-bought rule comes into play and it counts as bought in the current one too. Offhand I know that Well Traveled shows up in at least two trees and some of the others may be similar.

    Otherwise you have to buy your way around it as per HappyDaze's post, or just buy straight through it (which isn't too big a deal if it's a 5-10 XP one).

  11. I think that part of the problem is that there's a tendency to try to build a 'boss battle' influenced by the way that the CRPG genre does it - a single super-enemy that's immune to everything of consequence and can only be (slowly) whittled down by piling damage on it over an extended period while avoiding all of its special attacks (which, of course, penetrate any usual PC immunities). That's fine for a CRPG but it makes for a lousy tabletop RPG scene, and even if it isn't expressly what the GM is trying to do it ends up affecting the way that people look at encounter design.

    Opponents aren't meant to work like that thematically or mechanically work like that. A single enemy WILL go down fairly quickly even if they're supposed to be a tough guy and that's by design. If you want them to stick around then you have to have enough distractions/threats (aka mooks) or alternate objectives that they can't reasonably be focus fired. This is as true of a top-end inquisitor (or even Vader - he doesn't bring along trooper squads out of sentiment) as it is of a run-of-the-mill pirate captain. Those types have command of minions for a reason.

  12. They sense all living things, not just the number of living things, so my impression is that they have a general idea of where those livings things are in relation to them. It isn't clear just how much info you get beyond that but I'd think it reasonable to at least have some impression of the general size/shape.

  13. Generally, anything like this should be a single roll rather than an over-and-over thing.

    In that vein I'd suggest that Failure with Triumph could result in it not being disarmed, but the character found some way to mitigate the damage when it goes off. The blast mostly goes in one direction; they found a convenient niche/hardened container/etc which blunts (not negates) the blast, etc.

    Success with Despair resulting in the thing being disarmed at the cost of the PC being injured by volatiles is a good one. That or it could wreck something else important in the area.

  14. To be honest, a no-win scenario sounds more fitting for a Trial of Flesh and/or Courage rather than Skill.

    I don't see why a Skill one has to involve fighting their mentor at the end, especially if the character isn't combat/saber-centric. I'm not sure if you have Disciples of Harmony but there are various skill-testing options described there.

  15. The book says that players spend advantages and triumph while the GM spends threat and despair. The problem with this is that it feels like it was written on the assumption that a PC was making the roll vs an NPC, and that obviously doesn't happen when an NPC is acting, with the by-the-book result that the players are spending their good symbols and the GM is spending their bad ones. So yes, I flip it around in that case - if it's an NPC, the GM spends the adv/tri and the players spend the thr/des.

    That said, my experience is that the ideas tend to be collaborative regardless of who is officially supposed to be spending them.

  16. It's a philosophical version of the "letter of the law" vs "spirit of the law" scenario, and an awful lot of the stuff the Jedi order was spouting toward its end falls on the 'dogmatic' side of the line.

    IE: Thou shalt never have attachments (because that leads to Fear/Anger/BadWrongDarkSide). Attachments aren't necessarily unhealthy though - they're only a problem if you won't let go of something whose time has come, and refusing to have ANY attachments makes it hard to relate to people. In that regard the order was both laden with hypocrisy (desperately holding on to things that really needed to be let go) and blinded to the reality of what was happening because they were detached from the things that really mattered.

  17. Side note: you're incapacitated (or otherwise out of the situation) when your strain exceeds your threshold, not when it equals your threshold.

    Mechanically, the system handles overexertion with Resilience: fail the check and failure/threat may inflict strain and/or add setbacks to skill checks until you do something to recover from the exertion. Your situation would be the latter.

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