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FuriousGreg

Will Morality help end the reign of the Murder Hobo?

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The new Morality/Conflict mechanic in the F&D beta is pretty cool. I think adding it to EotE and AoR can discourage Murder Hobos and encourage alternative solutions, which could also encourage Players to spread their PC's EXP around to more than combat skills. There will need to be a little tweaking when dealing with setting and non-Force users but I think it's a great start.

 

Below are some of the ways to loose Morality and slip from Hero to Villain:

 

Knowing Inaction: The PC knows that an NPC or other PC will do something particularly bad (an action

that would earn 5+ Conflict points) and chooses not to intervene.

 

Resorting to Violence as the First Solution: When confronted with a problem, the PC defaults to

violent acts to solve it, without exploring any other options. This penalty can be mitigated if the PC is the

one being attacked.

 

Coercion and Threatening with Violence: The PC threatens someone with violence or coerces the

person to do his bidding against the person’s will.

 

 

Unnecessary Destruction: The PC destroys objects, property, or other items willfully and without good cause.

 

Unprovoked Violence or Assault: The PC assaults, beats, or otherwise attacks an NPC for no reason.

 
 

For those that haven't seen the F&D Beta yet here is the basic Carrot and Stick:

 

PCs start at Morality of 50 (through in F&D you spend this as you would Obligation and Duty)

  • When the character’s Morality score is below 20, the dark side Force user’s strain threshold is decreased by 1.
  • If the character’s Morality score is below 10, the dark side Force user’s strain threshold is decreased by another 1, for a total decrease of 2.​

  • As long as his Morality score is above 80, the light side Force user’s strain threshold is increased by 1.
  • As long as his Morality score is above 90, the light side Force user’s strain threshold is increased by

    1 additional point, to a total of 2.

It also can effect the Destiny Pool at the beginning of a session.  For each Dark Side PC (a PC that has dropped below 30) you flip one Light side DP to Dark side and for each PC with a Morality of 70+ you add a light side DP.

Edited by FuriousGreg

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It's a good start, sure. But murder-hobo's gonna murder-hobo. Morality might help remind those who only do it because that's what they're used to or because "everyone else is doing it."

 

But players who want to murder-hobo will murder-hobo. At a certain point it's a player issue not a game issue, and should be discussed at the table level. But hopefully it'll help cut down on it.

 

-EF

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It's a useful tool and a reminder that the character is part of the setting.  But it is still only as effective as the people at the table allow it to be.  If the GM is too harsh or too permissive in assigning Conflict for character actions, it won't have the desired effect.

 

Don't get me wrong; I think it's a wonderful mechanic, by far the best of the three (and parsecs beyond anything else I've seen in other games), but game mechanics alone cannot (and should not) eliminate a certain playstyle.

 

And there's something to be said for murder-hobo-ing; if the table is in agreement over it, it can induce hilarious laughter.  I ran a year-long Black Crusade campaign that delved so far into murder-hobo-ery it actually circled around and became plot again!

 

...Just as planned...

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I agree it's not a panacea but I think it'll be a good tool for everyone at the table to guide each other without it seeming arbitrary. Remember it's not wholly up to the GM to decide if an action is worthy of Conflict just like it's not just the GM who determines the effects for Triumphs, Despairs etc., the GM may have the final say but if a few of the Players say something I would also assign points. In fact I plan on making the players part of decisions when it comes to this.

Edited by FuriousGreg

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The whole murder hobos thing really just refers to the fact that PCs tend to be rootless adventures around whom people wind up dead. Like, a lot.

S'more a comment on adventure fiction rather than an individual players actions.

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The whole murder hobos thing really just refers to the fact that PCs tend to be rootless adventures around whom people wind up dead. Like, a lot.

S'more a comment on adventure fiction rather than an individual players actions.

 

I reserve murder hobo for the players who murder. And for them, I don't think a mechanic will mean anything.

 

The last murder hobo I met, for example, we had to ask him not to return because he was outright murderous. I was playing a millionaire playboy, his wife was playing a homeless destitute. My chauffeur wouldn't let his wife into my car, so he killed him. Literally cut the chauffeur's head off. His response to being asked to protect a town from pirates was to burn the town down, because if there was no town, there was no problem.

 

And he honestly could not understand why the rest of us objected, both in and out of character. I highly doubt mechanics will incur any hesitation for people like that, especially if it's only 2 strain (I don't have the book, am just going on what was presented in the first post).

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If you are allowing players to act without consequence then using a mechanical process to change the behaviour is just plain terrible.

 

Players can't be grouped 24/7 perhaps one goes for a walk, a trip to the cantina or to the laundry. Have that player attacked by a group of 3-4 rival level bounty hunters and taken off to jail. You could capture just 1 PC or the whole bunch.

 

If they don't take the hint get tougher, capture them all, throw them in jail. Sure, you allow them to escape but this is a hard reset on things. The players have no money, no ship and no easy way off planet. What happens to obligations they can't meet? With no contacts they can't just take on some obligation and buy a new ship. Perhaps you can control the weapons they can buy, so nothing bigger than a blaster?

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In fact I plan on making the players part of decisions when it comes to this.

 

Oh, definitely.  Then not only is it in the rules, but they have a say in its implementation.  I think there is no better way to raise player awareness of almost any facet of the game than to give them (partial) control over it, especially if it's something that most traditional games would leave entirely to the GM.

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If you are allowing players to act without consequence then using a mechanical process to change the behaviour is just plain terrible.

I get this, I probably should have been clearer that what I was suggesting is that Morality can be a tool in addition to in-game consequences. The applying of Conflict points at the time of the transgression rather than just relying on an event a session or two later is what I think will be useful.

 

 

In fact I plan on making the players part of decisions when it comes to this.

 

Oh, definitely.  Then not only is it in the rules, but they have a say in its implementation.  I think there is no better way to raise player awareness of almost any facet of the game than to give them (partial) control over it, especially if it's something that most traditional games would leave entirely to the GM.

 

Yes, I agree, I already involve my players in these choices I just added that sentence to reenforce the points made earlier in that paragraph.

Edited by FuriousGreg

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Morality can be useful in reining in a group of Murder Hobos, but if you're looking for a mechanical solution to that particular problem I think you'll be better served by Obligation. Criminal and Bounty being the top two. Once they start running into law enforcement and/or bounty hunters every two or three sessions they might rethink their wicked ways. And that's not even considering the outcry you'll get when the group's Obligation passes 100 and they can no longer spend XP because they're too stressed out being hunted for umpteen counts of random murder.

 

But a mechanical solution is the second-best choice when dealing with such players, regardless of which specific mechanic you decide to use. The far superior solution is, as people have pointed out, to sit down and talk to the players. Explain that you don't want to run a serial killer campaign, and if they still insist on playing one you'll probably be better off in the long run by asking them to leave the group.

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I just want to throw in my $.02.

 

To get this out of the way now, I don't like the idea of the morality system outside of the RAW for force users. The games I run tend to run on the darker side of things unless the players are feeling heroic (or stupid), in which case I will oblige them. However, most of the Edge games I ran were you were more or less a criminal usually operating in less than pleasant enviroments which, at times, had you making a choices that there was no 'good' outcome. Sometimes holding a high moral standard could get in the way of you simply surviving, never mind getting ahead. Sometimes, you have to be the villian to get out the other end of things. Now how you deal with the consquences of your actions, denoted by obligation, is up to you (in the way of story hooks and plot devices usually) and the players.

 

As for the OP concern on waylaying murderhobo's, I think Krieger and others got it right. If its going completely off the rails and you, as a GM or fellow player, don't want to go for the ride, talk it out with everyone. If you, as the GM, want a mechanical solution then obiligation fits perfectly fine. I personally set up escalating 'gates' based on the value to trip certain events from low level bount hunter encounter (think Greedo and Solo in Ep.IV) to "Oh deary me, you've been interdicted and have come tumbling violently out of hyperspace. The capital ships and large number of fighters showing on your sensors, headed towards your position I might add, seem to indicate they're not intrested in taking prisoners." Now the latter event, the players will have plenty of warning that they're becoming a very visible threat and will end up in a bad way soon before that ends up tripping. But it is there.

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