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Ebak

Morality System - "Roleplay Policing"

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Hey all! I really love the look of the morality system and have proposed it to my group. However one of the player is strongly against including it, believing that it is 'Roleplay Policing' since morality issues should be roleplayed and shouldn't have a mechanical basis.

 

He is a strong believed in not allowing skill checks against other players because the effect 'forces' an outcome on your character where they may not usually make that choice.

 

What are your thoughts on this people? I disagree with it, part of the understanding of a roleplaying game that if you roll for something or against something and it fails...you can't then just "roleplay" that it goes right because you failed. It's part of the randomness of the game.

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I agree with you on this one, Ebak. The dice offer limitations on roleplaying that reflect the fact we're removed from our characters. We've all had that moment where we know doing something is wrong, but we let other people talk us into it because we're caught up in the moment. However, at the table, we can maintain our analytic skills because of the cold distance we have from our characters; as a result, the players will stick to their own guns and not compromise, which grinds the game to a halt.

 

Instead, we have dice to regulate that sensation. The players might be removed from the situation, but the characters are living it. Therefore, a roll to convince a party member represents not so much the actual argument but the social pressure that results from having such conflicting views.

 

Morality is an extension of that, to an extent, but I'd call it the least intrusive way to monitor the changes that denote whether or not you fall to the Dark side.

Edited by CaptainRaspberry

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I think Morality provides a tool for helping to rein in the OP potential of Force using characters. In regards to dice rolls in general, it's a game of chance, albeit an elaborate one but that's what it is. In additional I agree a RPG should not be pass/fail but this one isn't. The dice results provide a varied level of staggered success particularly in social checks.

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HappyDaze, If the Force can act on the players via the Destiny Point system, it can act on all Players with the Morality System. It seems a bit strange to pick and choose what the Force can interact with. There are enough cases in Canon as well as EU how the Force messes with people for good and evil regardless of if they are a Force user or not.

 

Does Duty only affect Rebellion combatants?

Does Obligation affect only certain people?

 

Morality is the "next" all player mechanic. It is not a "this affects Bobby but not Billy".

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He is a strong believed in not allowing skill checks against other players because the effect 'forces' an outcome on your character where they may not usually make that choice.

I don't have the beta, but from what I've been reading there aren't "skill checks against other players", only a Strain effect and DP change. Did I miss something?

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HappyDaze, If the Force can act on the players via the Destiny Point system, it can act on all Players with the Morality System. It seems a bit strange to pick and choose what the Force can interact with. There are enough cases in Canon as well as EU how the Force messes with people for good and evil regardless of if they are a Force user or not.

 

Does Duty only affect Rebellion combatants?

Does Obligation affect only certain people?

 

Morality is the "next" all player mechanic. It is not a "this affects Bobby but not Billy".

All people are not equal in the world though, regardless of what social engineers would argue.  People in certain positions are under far more scrutiny and their actions are judged more closely and harshly than others.  Every word a politician utters is twisted and interpreted, every action a police officer takes or doesn't, is reviewed and second guessed, the simple advice a lawyer gives professionally is subject to review and potential censure. Many in society are not subject to that and I think Morality sort of reflects something similar in that a Force users actions are judged more intensely as their actions can have greater consequence.  With great power comes great responsibility.....

Edited by 2P51

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"Roleplay policing" you say? As in, "get your mechanics out of my roleplaying"?

In an RPG, roleplaying and mechanics don't exist as separate entities. The mechanics are there to support and enhance the roleplaying, which in turn should have a heavy effect on the mechanics. They work together, so much so that if you leave one or the other out, you're either playing a war game or make-believe.

This is, "your choices have real consequences." Upon taking Morality, you have the option of increasing or decreasing your standard 50 morality score to either 30 (DS threshold) or 70 (LS threshold)—whatever your vision of your character is. This is the mechanical balance for a true dark side player character. "You play however you want, and are legitimately evil? That's fine, have unlimited power, but were gonna reduce that strain threshold." Not game breaking, not immersion breaking, not stifling. Just a well-balanced consequence in a heroically-themed game.

If it feels like roleplay policing, perhaps the player in question may have been particularly stifled or stymied by a GM in the past, say with Saga Edition and Dark Side Points. I knew some Saga GMs that would hand out DSPs for getting angry, or for killing anyone ever, or for intimidating someone. Too much of that and your character turns into an NPC. (Talk about roleplay policing! )

In theory, this could be made to police PC actions and lead to roleplaying burn out. But that's true of any poorly-applied system (say like the GMs who dole out Obligation for PCs doing bad stuff). But appropriately applied by a judicious GM and embraced by a play group, this looks to be an incredibly rich resource.

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Hey all! I really love the look of the morality system and have proposed it to my group. However one of the player is strongly against including it, believing that it is 'Roleplay Policing' since morality issues should be roleplayed and shouldn't have a mechanical basis.

 

He is a strong believed in not allowing skill checks against other players because the effect 'forces' an outcome on your character where they may not usually make that choice.

Umm…then why is he rolling against NPCs? That's "forcing" an outcome the other character wouldn't make. As others have said, it's happened to each of us at one time or another, going along with "the gang" even if it wasn't the best of ideas. Besides, that exactly what the dice system is for! When two characters (PC or NPC, it doesn't matter) are at odds, the dice tells you who comes out on top.

 

What are your thoughts on this people? I disagree with it, part of the understanding of a roleplaying game that if you roll for something or against something and it fails...you can't then just "roleplay" that it goes right because you failed. It's part of the randomness of the game.

What do the rest of your players say? If the rest of the group wants to use morality, then the odd-one out either needs to suck it up or pack up.  Enjoy hanging out and playing with friends or play in another group, because his/her fun isn't any more important than the rest of the table.

 

Is this player a problem player usually, doing whatever they want regardless of what the group may want? If so, it might just be them being an âss. If they're not usually a problem player, there must be some root issue that is causing them to reject the morality system. If that's the case, propose to roll up some new characters to try out the morality system. See if you can get one player to start with 30 morality and one to start with 70 morality, so the table can see the benefits and drawbacks of being light side/dark side.

 

-EF

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However one of the player is strongly against including it, believing that it is 'Roleplay Policing' since morality issues should be roleplayed and shouldn't have a mechanical basis.

 

Hyperbole.  There was policing in the d20 and WEG systems -- earn too many DSP, and the roleplay police turn your character into a NPC.  But there appears to be zero actual policing going on with FFG's version of Morality -- there are tradeoffs between choosing light or dark side, but there is no mechanic that forces you to roleplay a certain way, and no one is going to turn your character into an NPC if they go dark.  On the contrary, there's alreay been disucsson here to the effect of "haters gonna hate" -- if someone wants to go darkside, then, well, they'll go darkside and...they'll be darkside.

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Sorry, also meant to reply to this...

He is a strong believed in not allowing skill checks against other players because the effect 'forces' an outcome on your character where they may not usually make that choice.

If you roll the dice and take the action, you're agreeing to play by the results. Roleplay it out! If you succeed with some threat on the negotiation check, OOPS! You got what you wanted, but you accidentally let something slip about that super-secret plan.

Again, we're not playing make-believe: "I shot you!" "Noyadidnt!" The dice are there, in effect, to "police" the game. Not to stifle or enforce, but to guide and direct and ensure that the game is fun for everyone since everyone's agreeing to abide by the same rules and trust the GM to bring fun times to the table.

 

What are your thoughts on this people? I disagree with it, part of the understanding of a roleplaying game that if you roll for something or against something and it fails...you can't then just "roleplay" that it goes right because you failed. It's part of the randomness of the game.

This is like that Wookiee player who got mad because his Wookiee started with a low willpower and no discipline, and he ended up rolling discipline for a Fear check and failed. He was complaining because he is "roleplaying" a fearless Wookiee. "Well then," some of us would say, "maybe include some of that in your character generation?"

Now that is a poor example, because that player's GM interpreted a simple Failure on the Fear check as "you run away." But in the world of good GMing, a setback on your checks due to Fear or a lowered Strain Threshold due to your dark-sidey tendencies becomes a tool for better roleplaying.

Dark side players, pick up the Resolve and Grit talents, and grab those strain-boosting armor attachments in FaD. -2 strain isn't going to break your game, and neither is the Destiny Point flipping rule, since Destiny Points are a zero-sum resource.

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The confusing thing to me is why people dislike Morality. Last I checked every single person on Earth, and in any fiction work has a morality that is weighted.

So let me try it this way to explain my comments about this new system.

 

Let me take an example. On Reddit there is a guy who was posting about a "caper" where his GM allowed him to steal millions of credits. The "was this a good idea by the GM" doesn't matter to this story though. In an effort to steal this money they decided to kill the target's wife and kid, just because "they saw, and could turn them in". I would say that is (in the new Morality system) a clear case of the 10+ conflict points for the wife and the kid. The target, I wouldn't say was conflict because that was their target and was not "bad".

 

This is an example of how I would apply it. Nowhere in that doling out of morality points did a CARE if they were force users or not. Force users can feel non force users being killed. This is not disputable, and is canon. Unless you feel every single person on Alderaan is a force user, the force transmits bad acts. So what I would say it is affects non force users differently though. A normal person having the taint of the Dark Side may just cause force sensitive people discomfort and they may not know why.

 

Don't just throw away a wonderful "this is how your tiny little actions affect everyone" mechanic because it says "the Force!"

The force loves balance (this too is canon) and Murder is not balance.

 

So, do as you may, use it as it is, wait for the Beta to be final see if it changes, but I enjoy it as it is.

 

as to 2P, I judge by actions regardless of their role. A politician can be bad (Nixon) and can be good (I will refrain from examples as politics can get messy),

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as to 2P, I judge by actions regardless of their role. A politician can be bad (Nixon) and can be good (I will refrain from examples as politics can get messy),

You may, the world doesn't.

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Hey Ebak. Well, what i can tell you, is do what you think is fair and right. I know, not much help.  ;) What I can do to help is talk about my current group.

 

I have one Force User in my group and after getting his hands on FaD Beta, we decided to go with the Morality system. He is starting at 50, a touch down from the middle ground as he lives in on the fringe, and while maybe never committing evil, he has never really had to be the "good guy" yet. Until now. (Now being the game is starting, not that we are using Morality). I have encouraged my other players to keep track of their Morality as well, but I am not mandating it. 

 

One thing I did with my group was to let them know that they a "TEAM". they will work together for a common goal. That goal is up to them. I will not allow the bounty hunter to go turn the Force user for a bounty. I have already did an encounter where they two had to work together to start building their trust up. The Hunter does not yet know about the Force users abilities. (The players know, the Characters don't). By the time he finds out, they will be good friends and comrades. So will he even want to turn his friend? Also, none of them love the Empire, and after the Imps "confiscated" their medical supply shipment for "civilian hospitals" instead of them being able to complete the transaction with the intended buyer, leaving them indebted to the supplier. 

 

I am in no way forcing my players to use Morality, but I will be keeping track anyway. I am not using it to "police" their actions or "control" them. I am using it a gauge to see how heroic or evil they are being. It is no more than a thermometer telling the temperature outside. It has no bearing on the heat or cold, it is just a display device, that can help me make decisions. Should I wear shorts or a coat? Should the bad guys have heard of how evil they are, they never leave anyone alive, don't take prisoners, and chase down the ones that try to escape? Then we will fight even harder to stay alive, and not try to run away.  Are they somewhat benevolent, and allow people to escape combat? Then after 1/3 to 1/2 of the baddies drop, the others give up or run away. 

 

So far my guys are wanting more of the high action and heroics seen in the movies. 

 

WARNING ADULT CONTENT AHEAD

 

In my first encounter with them Saturday, they were on the planet Korbin. A hell hole that makes Nar Shadda seem nice and pleasant. They were walking b y an alley way and saw a tooku doll laying in the dirt. They guy that picked it up (the FU) wanted to look around to see if he could spot where the owner might be. The scoundrel was telling to leave it alone and lets go. the FU rolls perception but fails and gets a threat. the fail and threat is that the Scoundrel is in way talking to him telling to put the toy down. The others stop walking and are looking at these two. They start to look around. One sees a group of beings at medium range down the alley way. about 5 or 6 beings, all "appear" to be males, not all human. One sees that one has just dropped his pants...The last player sees this but can also make out there is movement from inside the circle, and can make out green flesh squirming around. The "next second" (we are not in structured time yet) they think they hear the screams of a girl. I also inform them they they will receive 5 light side points for intervening. If they choose not to, they will not get dark side points, as they are out numbered, and this really does not concern them. 

 

Well, the scoundrel who has no ties with this NPC group, see it best to not interfere. They are out numbered. The other 3 players immediately jump into action. The scoundrel does have a Motivation to his comrades, so he will follow them into action, stating he will take the last initiative slot. 

 

Long story short, as they get ready to spring into action, a blaster bolt flies through the air, going cleanly through the baddies head that had his pants around his ankles. The baddies turn thinking it was the PCs who attacked, a couple try to run with the girl, who the PCs can see is a small twi'lek girl about 9 or ten years old. A couple of others pull out the guns and start fighting. Soon the fight is joined by three nondescript human, wearing a tan jumpsuits. It turns into a three way fight, and a sniper in one of the buildings. The Hunter catches up to the two holding the girl, and keeps them from escaping. In the end they win the day, they keep the girl from being harmed, and one their contacts shows up stating that she was supposed to be put into his care, but she never did arrive, so he went out looking for her. They only thing they found out was the baddies all had Black Sun tattoos on their arms, and the three humans in tan jumpsuits all carried 22T4 Hold-out blasters.

 

So my long story and example here does have some relevance. It shows how I am using this new metric in the game, but not as a "behavioral modification tool". If they would have choose to walk by, this encounter would not have happened, they would not saved a girl from getting...assaulted by Black Sun Thugs, and eventually "saved" and taken into custody by Imperial Security Bureau agents. They would never known about this or that this girl is the last surviving member of a Black Sun Viago's family, and is actually very wealthy and now loves the PCs. (they will find this out later)

 

So Ebak, explain to your player my post, and how this is not intended to make a player behave a certain way. It is a tracking tool just like Strain and Wound Threshold. If he still doesn't like it, then just track it yourself if you want to.  

 

And yes, a player can have skill checks done against him to have him lied to, conned, and swindled. That is the part of "playing" a role. You may not believe NPC X, but YOUR character does. The rules are not one sided. So if your player feels that he should not believe NPC X, the next time your players shoots someone and hits, just tell him he missed because you don't "believe" that he actually hit him...Same thing. I would tell this guy to grow up or go home. It's about the story, not "winning or loosing" Good luck Dude!! ;)

Edited by R2builder

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HappyDaze, If the Force can act on the players via the Destiny Point system, it can act on all Players with the Morality System. It seems a bit strange to pick and choose what the Force can interact with. There are enough cases in Canon as well as EU how the Force messes with people for good and evil regardless of if they are a Force user or not.

 

Does Duty only affect Rebellion combatants?

Does Obligation affect only certain people?

 

Morality is the "next" all player mechanic. It is not a "this affects Bobby but not Billy".

 

I haven't seen the Morality system, but I'd disagree that it necessarily affects all players.  Every character needs to have a system, whether it's Obligation or Duty or Morality, but it doesn't have to be the same system.  I'd say if a player doesn't think that Morality fits their character (say, they want a shady character without having to suffer from strain every session for playing him), they need to pick another system.

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Honestly there is nothing I type here that will change the way you are thinking. Instead I am happier if I just put the information out to people that are undecided about how to use it.

Morality is (in my opinion) a method that Force Sensitive people perceive others. So if you are a bad person a FS will perceive it in a small way or a large way. The Non force user may or may not suffer the same potentially, but a murder is a murder and it causes strain on the force.

Regardless of how you feel about the system, Destiny Points are clearly written as the ebb and flow OF THE FORCE. This acts on ALL CHARACTERS, not just force users. So you already accept that non force users are affected by the force. You can argue until you turn blue but that is accepted by every single person here just by using the Destiny Point system. So lets table this whole "The Force doesn't affect non force users" BS. To quote Sean Connery "here endeth the lesson".

 

So now that I cleared up that mistake, you don't have to use Morality at all. I find it makes the Star Wars RPG more "Star Wars-y" so I am using it already.

 

2P, "The rest of the world doesn't" ... I see you haven't heard the calls to try GW Bush for War Crimes, or ANYTHING in the middle east?

 

TL;DR, The force touches everyone, ignoring that means you misunderstand Star Wars. Also nobody here is saying you are a bad person if you use or don't use Morality for every single character.

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2P, "The rest of the world doesn't" ... I see you haven't heard the calls to try GW Bush for War Crimes, or ANYTHING in the middle east?

 

Uhhh, actually I have, and that's my point, POTUS is judged by what they eat for breakfast.  No one cares what a carpenter in Kansas does day to day.  Kind of what I was implying with force users and Morality being applied to them as they are not judged by the same yardstick as most.  I'm not sure what point you are making.

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There's nothing that says the Force will wear you out if you do bad things, which is what the Morality system does.  Everyone also has Obligations and status within some group (Duty), but the rules don't require you to use those systems with every character.

 

Also, people might be more persuaded if you lost the "I'm right but you're too dumb to see it; my word is the Truth and the Way" attitude.

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I have only read the Morality rules one time, and not really started to dwell on them yet.  They appear to be fairly neutral.  Everyone starts as a "Light Side Force User" and there is a way to become a "Dark Side Force User", and there is even a way to redeem oneself and become a "Light Side Force User" again.  Everything is fluid, and easy to switch between the "sides" mechanically (story wise, though, is another story).  What does this really govern, mechanically?  Well, it governs which force points you use, and which you have to spend a DP and Strain to use.  And if you are a paragon of either "Light" or "Dark" then you have an affect on the party, in addition to some affects you have on yourself.  Sure, they are not so nice to the "Dark" side, but this is Star Wars, where the "Light" side is supposed to win, so of course mechanically, the "Dark" side will have a harder time.  How is this shown?  Well, a little less available Strain (sorta lining up with ruled by passion rather than logic meme), and a slightly greater chance at the GM having more Destiny points to play with than the party in the beginning.

 

I would say give the mechanic a chance to work.  I would not apply it to anyone OTHER THAN a Force Sensitive Character.  Characters do not HAVE to have all of Obligation, Duty, and Morality.  They could _choose_ to have them, but I would not require it as a GM.

As far as the "roleplay policing" thing, that feels to me like a cop out on the part of the player in question.  I have been in plenty of games where roleplay had ZERO mechanical effect, and people's characters never had any consequence to their actions.  If my character is constantly killing innocents, or taking other actions that are "Dark side" flavored, eventually, the numbers will end up with them slipping into the "Dark Side Paragon" section of the spectrum.  This is only appropriate for the character, based on the actions taken.  The system does not take the character away from the player (as West End did), it merely changes the mechanic that is being used.  This, to me, is not policing, but showing the changes associated with being dedicated to "Light Side" principles, being generally neutral, or being dedicated to "Dark Side" principles.  If the player of a Force Sensitive character is not willing to roleplay the morality of The Force and how it affects the character, then maybe the problem is with the player, and not the system?  All taking away the Morality mechanic from the system will do is allow Force Sensitive characters to behave how they want without additional repercussions landing on their character's heads...  Where is the fun in that?

 

Kevynn

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Any mechanic can be abused. Use whatever system or systems best works for your group. The nice thing I've found with Obligation/Duty so far is that they can be interchanged or used in conjunction with each other and with all character archetypes. I would imagine, even though I've yet to put eyes on it, that Morality will be much the same.

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2P, I was going to write a long drawn out list of middle America people that have changed more than any president, or a list of just Good/Bad people but I know the proof that ripples happen regardless of your position would be lost on this thread.

 

I will state this;

Luke was a nobody until the Force forced his hand.

Han Solo was a semi scummy nobody until the Force forced his hand.

Leia would have been dead, but the Force, saved her life.

Lando was a backwater nobody semi scum, until the Force changed his life.

Anakin was a nobody until the Force changed his life.

 

Lando is not a force user, Han Solo is not a force user.

Jabba is not a force user, but I guarantee the force felt his actions.

 

What separates Star Wars from Firefly is the Force and Lightsabers.

 

So while people like to ignore episode 1 and midichlorians because they are stupid, tough luck buttercup they are canon and if you listen to Qui Gon talking to Anakin he says the force is part of EVERYONE, but I am perfectly okay with you ignoring a good portion of what makes Star Wars special.

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I don't think anyone is arguing about the fact that people can become better or worse people by taking good or bad actions :)

 

Just whether they would find that mechanic from F&D to be useful in a non-Force-user character.

 

The concept of Duty could certainly apply to all kinds of things, but personally I intend to keep Duty restricted to Age of Rebellion characters and their sense of Duty toward the Rebellion.

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