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Ebak

Morality System - "Roleplay Policing"

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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

 

Actually, you start as neutral, neither light side nor dark side. If your morality goes below 30 you "go dark" and above 70 is when you're light side. 30-70 is the neutral zone. It's a pretty good mechanic that can be applied to anyone, regardless of Force-sensitivity—or lack thereof.

 

It's a mechanic that can be agreed upon by the table, and thus your character must use it…just like all Edge characters "must" have obligation or all Age characters "must" have duty, because that's what the table agreed to (lack of contention in this case is assent).

 

It's like the Paragon/Renegade scale/system in Bioware games…in the middle is just 'meh' but the extremes have specific and tangible benefits. However, there is very little benefit to being dark for no-Force-sensitive characters, as the main benefit is being able to use dark side pips without spending a DP or strain.

 

-EF

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I think there is a slightly higher chance of rolling a dark side point on the Force Die than rolling a Light Side.  I have not run the math, but there are, 7-8 dark showing faces, and 4-5 Light showing faces.  So, if they were all only 1 pip each, dark is a bit higher.  With the two pip sides, it may even out a bit over time, but I think Dark has a bit higher chance of existing than Light.  Light, when it exists, exists in greater quantity.  I am no Statistics expert, by any stretch, but that Dark Side may have a slightly better chance of _not_ having to pay strain to use points, than Light.

Generally, Eldritch is spot on. :)

 

Kevynn

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I think there is a slightly higher chance of rolling a dark side point on the Force Die than rolling a Light Side.  I have not run the math, but there are, 7-8 dark showing faces, and 4-5 Light showing faces.  So, if they were all only 1 pip each, dark is a bit higher.  With the two pip sides, it may even out a bit over time, but I think Dark has a bit higher chance of existing than Light.  Light, when it exists, exists in greater quantity.  I am no Statistics expert, by any stretch, but that Dark Side may have a slightly better chance of _not_ having to pay strain to use points, than Light.

Generally, Eldritch is spot on. :)

 

Kevynn

The math.

 

http://maxmahem.net/wp/star-wars-edge-of-the-empire-die-probabilities/

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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".

 

Nope. It's for Force and Destiny characters. There is nothing forcing anyone to implement it in their EotE or AoR games (the same as Duty and Obligation, so "yes" to your two questions). 

 

Feel free to use it for non-Force users, but it's a lot of book-keeping for little gain. The way most EotE games run, you may as well just lower everyone's strain threshold by 2 and call it a day.

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really long, really good post

 

Yes, I agree but I don't think I'd tell them beforehand. At the earliest after the scene is over. Or maybe at the end of the gaming session, somewhat as a recap, like in old cartoon series like He-Man. "today's episode was about helping people in need without fearing for ones security."

 

The idea that players form a team because you tell them to hasn't fully fledged in my group, but if you can handle it as a GM it's also fun if the group is rough around the edges.

Edited by derroehre

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Feel free to use it for non-Force users, but it's a lot of book-keeping for little gain. The way most EotE games run, you may as well just lower everyone's strain threshold by 2 and call it a day. 

 

This.  It's dirt in the game and dogpiling.  Unless someone turns FSE and starts walking the path of the Jedi, I don't see much value added.

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So, if the anti-Morality player's character gets his limbs hacked off one by one, what's he going to do? Black Knight it and argue it's just a flesh wound? **** happens in a game that affect your character and you role-play it. I can see the argument that a non-Force sensitive might not use Morality but if the GM/group wants to explore that, then deal with it.

A Mando player in my game was peeved when he failed with multiple Threat to resist Coercion. He explained that his character was going to make a comment as he left and I said, "No, you're going to walk away in silence". He was miffed but them's the breaks. It works both ways. He was like the aforementioned "fearless Wookie" insofar as being a "fearless Mando". Well, up your Willpower and/or Discipline, buddy! Or, take Enforcer and be scary and harder to scare (which he did).

The point is be it wounding, death, fear, seduction...whatever...the rules support an amazing amount of flexibility that lead characters in their actions. Morality is just another way to mechanically explore a narrative that's generally left solely to role-play.

The people I can see not liking it are murder-hobos, which is a demographic I don't want in my games anyway.

Edited by Alderaan Crumbs

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Here's what I think: Morality is very important for Force Sensitives. This is because they can feel the draw of the Dark and Light Sides more than those who are less attached to the Force. It is true that certain games would benefit from Morality, but say you're playing EotE. Your gang of thugs should not need to worry if they have to break a few pedestrian-shaped eggs to make a credit-omelet. However, your AoR operatives may need to worry about Morality, as they come into struggles of what is right and what is wrong. Finally, your FaD Jedi will definitely need to worry if they are Dark or Light Side.

Morality is not meant to control, but to aid the players; if they want to be shot evil, that is allowed by the mechanics. If they want to be saints, that's also allowed. Both have benefits, but the Dark Side also has setbacks. It's up to the player to decide which one he'd prefer; the benefits of Destiny with extra difficulty, or easiness with poor Destiny.

I also think that making checks against PCs is not a good idea, especially with checks that affect ideas. If I say I hate the Moff, he shouldn't be able to Charm me.

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In my games I introduced simple "morality" system adapted from my friend's Mass Effect d6 system.

 

 

Paragon and Renegade points are introduced:
This game does not deal with the idea of “good” and “evil”, but of being brutal or gentle in various situations. It`s also about being selfish or selfless. If you're playing a morally good person who helps the locals fight off a slavers attack for no reward or personal gain, you could be awarded with a Paragon point for your efforts. If your character is greedy and selfish and demands payment after saving the locals, you could be given a Renegade point by a GM.
The Paragon and Renegade apart from showing the nature of the individual, give a bonus to skill checks.
Given for selfish or selfless and good or evil actions, the players can spend:
- 1 point to upgrade Deception, Charm, Leadership, Discipline, Cool and Coercion checks,
- 1 point to gain Boost die to any other (not mentioned above) skill check,
- 2 points to gain an extra Force die to a Force check.

Examples of use of the Paragon/Renegade points in case of the social check upgrades:
If you want to Coerce thugs and force them to back off or else, you could use only a Renegade point.
If you want to convince a Hutt that killing you will be bad for his buisness and profits, you can use only Paragon point, but a Renegade point could be used to convince him to murder someone else because he got the wrong person. In both cases Negotation/Charm.

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I disagree that social checks against PCs shouldn't influence roleplaying. If a player knows the Moff kills babies...sorry, younglings (:))...but your character knows him as Mr Stand-Up-Pants, then the player needs to roleplay the character's knowledge, not their's. Sure, it sucks when you're "punked" but it happens. So does flubbing a stealth roll as the super-sexy death-shadow assassin...or running into the asteroid as X-Wing Maverick...or missing the broadside of a Hutt's barn as a shooty-guy.

You don't have to look foolish failing, but you do have to go with it in a proper fashion.

Anyhoo, Morality, as has been pointed out, doesn't take away a player's choices, it lends weight to them. Your character may lose themselves to the Dark Side but you don't lose your character for it. And let's be honest, does anyone NOT think that an EotE or AoR character who continually uses the Force for nefarious/selfish/evil reasons, repeatedly gives in to fear or stands by while evil happens in front of their eyes shouldn't fall to the Dark Side? Now we have mechanics for it.

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@derroehre. Are you referring to my telling the PC group about getting 5 light sides/0 dark if they intervene?

 

This a tried and true thing to get my guys into combat. NO ONE has ever walked away from this encounter before. It is a harsh one. It really hits people where they live. As to my telling them about the LS/DS point thing. I figured I would go ahead and let them know since it was our first time dealing with them. I may on occasion let them know if you do "X" it could be worth LS/DS points. I guess maybe it is a hold over from other games where it was stated in the rules that a player should be warned before assigning DS Points. I definitely won't tell them every time, nor will they have the opportunity to raise/lower their Morality score every adventure.

 

As to the "Team" thing. I have just met these people, and most of them had never met each other. So I was just letting them know what kind of GM i am and what I like and don't like at my table. If I were to have a player tell me that he is a bounty hunter and he would turn in a force using PC, I would ask him not to play that kind of character. If he insisted that is what he is playing, then he won't be playing it at my table. (I have at least three other people wanting to play in my campaign, so I can be choosy) I don't want paranoid players trying to hide stuff each other at my table. I do not find that fun as a player or a GM. There are Zero Player secrets at my table, and everyone seems to be able to be adults and great role players. They can definitely keep player/character knowledge apart. Hell, I have everyone using a "Character Voice", so I can quickly tell what was said in or out of character. I also had them "Know" at least one other character before the start of the game. 

 

But like all teams, they don't always agree, and they don't have to. There is already some differences in what they want and how to go about getting what they each want. I just won't tolerate one player killing/hurting another player. My baddies are tough enough on them, they should not have to worry about the guy next to them shooting them in the back. But this is for my table, and what works for me and what I like does not work for everyone else. 

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I always assumed that the designers intent was to progress characters from Edge through AoR and F&D.  Sure they can also be stand alone, but I recall several interviews that stated you can progress characters through all 3 books to mimic the progression of the characters in the OT.  So it is boggling my mind as to why morality would not apply to non-Force sensitives if that was the intent.

 

I'm on the fence though.  I have yet to hear a strong case for either side why or why not it should apply to non-Force Sensitives.

 

I am starting to think I might pick and choose.  The FSE in my group would obviously gain Morality, the Wookiee marauder with strong Family obligation will probably keep that, the Slussi mechanic with non-human rights motivation would clearly accept some duty from the Alliance, and the assassin droid/aspiring crime lord would probably gain some modified Duty/Morality/Obligation mechanic.

Edited by Inquisitor Tremayne

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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.

Hiyas!

 

Pendragon has a "morality system" & is considerd a RPG gem.

 

V:TM stole Call of Cthulhu's "sanity" mechanic & developed it further w/the Humanity score & mechanic.  Both are views as masterpieces in the genre.

 

 

HtH

L

Edited by LETE

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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.

 

Hiyas!

 

There's at least one instance in the movies where Chewie is being chickenwookiee.

 

 

L

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I am not sure I can see what the problem is, I am not seeing any mechanic within the Morality system which forces you to do anything or even forces you to 'roleplay' something which you should probably be doing irrespective of the game system since that is the point of roleplaying.

 

From what I have read about morality you are only in danger of losing morality if you do morally questionable things. The more morally questionable things you do the more likely you are to lose morality. You don't even need to roll to see what your morality is, you can choose from the table or even create a whole new morality if you and your GM can come up with one.

 

When your morality is rolled for a session you can try to work your morality into the session and get a potential bonus to any morality you gain or lose, and unless you have been doing bad things you should gain morality relatively easily.

 

Could you give some more information as to the nature of the players issues that way we might be able to address them.

 

E

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Wow, so many responses, very helpful discussion.

 

This player is indeed my problem player. He is always trying to use abilities to do very...broken things. Like using his 'utility' belt feature to conveniently find a complete and fully working brain implant. He's minmaxed his pool so that pretty much any computers check and mechanics check he can pass, and moans when I give him Hard computers checks. Does not aid the group in combat, merely 'hides' even though I place things for him to use in the encounters with his computers and mechanics checks.

 

He plays a weak young (relatively, she's 23) Twi'lek girl who is an expert slicer and mechanic. She's very adverse to conflict and knows a lot of the underworld. The implication I get from all that is she is quite naive, yet one time when I had the Toydarian Merchant in our team make a skill check to convince her to fix the Bounty Hunters armor (which she was refusing because he didn't say 'please') he got all uppity when the Toydarian succeeded and thus she had to fix the armor. Not understanding that the Merchants thing is that he is charming and in some way managed to convince the nieve Twi'lek mechanic to suck it up and fix the armor for the good of the group "They should have roleplayed it" was pretty much the response.

 

In general he is my one and only problem player in the group. It's gotten to a point where I had to say a few weeks ago "I have made my decision, that is final and rule 0 is that the GM has final say." A card I definitely hate pulling on anyone.

 

Edit:

To clarify what I mean is this. He doesn't like it when something exists/happends to force your character to act in a certain way. The example with the Toydarian Merchant PC is a prime example. He dislikes doing rolls like that because it forces him to go against what his character would do. His argument written to me exactly as he typed it is "Not sure I am a fan of the morality part, that to me is part of the roleplay of the character." He thinks that having this emotional weakness and strength forces your character to act in a way they wouldn't. I don't get how, but that is his argument.

Edited by Ebak

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This player is indeed my problem player. He is always trying to use abilities to do very...broken things. Like using his 'utility' belt feature to conveniently find a complete and fully working brain implant. He's minmaxed his pool so that pretty much any computers check and mechanics check he can pass, and moans when I give him Hard computers checks. Does not aid the group in combat, merely 'hides' even though I place things for him to use in the encounters with his computers and mechanics checks.

 

He plays a weak young (relatively, she's 23) Twi'lek girl who is an expert slicer and mechanic. She's very adverse to conflict and knows a lot of the underworld. The implication I get from all that is she is quite naive, yet one time when I had the Toydarian Merchant in our team make a skill check to convince her to fix the Bounty Hunters armor (which she was refusing because he didn't say 'please') he got all uppity when the Toydarian succeeded and thus she had to fix the armor. Not understanding that the Merchants thing is that he is charming and in some way managed to convince the nieve Twi'lek mechanic to suck it up and fix the armor for the good of the group "They should have roleplayed it" was pretty much the response.

 

Edit:

To clarify what I mean is this. He doesn't like it when something exists/happends to force your character to act in a certain way. The example with the Toydarian Merchant PC is a prime example. He dislikes doing rolls like that because it forces him to go against what his character would do. His argument written to me exactly as he typed it is "Not sure I am a fan of the morality part, that to me is part of the roleplay of the character." He thinks that having this emotional weakness and strength forces your character to act in a way they wouldn't. I don't get how, but that is his argument.

 

I have to be honest with you, though he does sound like a real issue player, as a ref I would disagree with people rolling skill rolls to force players to act in a way differently. Having said that I can understand the frustration of a difficult player refusing to engage, I would suggest that you take him aside and see if you can reach some middle ground on his lack of engagement. Failing that perhaps someone else might pick up some of the skills the group needs so that the player refusing to help doesn't derail the game.

 

E

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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.

 

Never play the Pendragon RPG with this person :)

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Wow, so many responses, very helpful discussion.

 

This player is indeed my problem player. He is always trying to use abilities to do very...broken things. Like using his 'utility' belt feature to conveniently find a complete and fully working brain implant. He's minmaxed his pool so that pretty much any computers check and mechanics check he can pass, and moans when I give him Hard computers checks. Does not aid the group in combat, merely 'hides' even though I place things for him to use in the encounters with his computers and mechanics checks.

 

He plays a weak young (relatively, she's 23) Twi'lek girl who is an expert slicer and mechanic. She's very adverse to conflict and knows a lot of the underworld. The implication I get from all that is she is quite naive, yet one time when I had the Toydarian Merchant in our team make a skill check to convince her to fix the Bounty Hunters armor (which she was refusing because he didn't say 'please') he got all uppity when the Toydarian succeeded and thus she had to fix the armor. Not understanding that the Merchants thing is that he is charming and in some way managed to convince the nieve Twi'lek mechanic to suck it up and fix the armor for the good of the group "They should have roleplayed it" was pretty much the response.

 

In general he is my one and only problem player in the group. It's gotten to a point where I had to say a few weeks ago "I have made my decision, that is final and rule 0 is that the GM has final say." A card I definitely hate pulling on anyone.

 

Edit:

To clarify what I mean is this. He doesn't like it when something exists/happends to force your character to act in a certain way. The example with the Toydarian Merchant PC is a prime example. He dislikes doing rolls like that because it forces him to go against what his character would do. His argument written to me exactly as he typed it is "Not sure I am a fan of the morality part, that to me is part of the roleplay of the character." He thinks that having this emotional weakness and strength forces your character to act in a way they wouldn't. I don't get how, but that is his argument.

 

Ask him to give it a shot. He may like it. In our demo game we had one person who said they didn't like it for a similar reason. I am not sure he changed his mind (he left to go to another event near the end), but every other player really enjoyed it.

 

I was sold after talking to our GM about it.

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This is a social contract thing that should have been worked out before hand with the players. Some groups are ok with die rolls affecting how their character acts, while others aren't. Not only that, but what degree of control is ok varies from group to group (or in your case, player to player).

 

I would lay out the expectations for this kind of thing before the next session, and have a discussion about what the group as a whole is comfortable with. 

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This is a social contract thing that should have been worked out before hand with the players. Some groups are ok with die rolls affecting how their character acts, while others aren't. Not only that, but what degree of control is ok varies from group to group (or in your case, player to player).

 

I would lay out the expectations for this kind of thing before the next session, and have a discussion about what the group as a whole is comfortable with.

THIS. Do this. Do it multiple times.

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He dislikes doing rolls like that because it forces him to go against what his character would do. His argument written to me exactly as he typed it is "Not sure I am a fan of the morality part, that to me is part of the roleplay of the character." He thinks that having this emotional weakness and strength forces your character to act in a way they wouldn't.

 

The rules don't force anything other than a strain threshold.  It's a consequence like any other.  If he were a murder hobo, and the GM wanted to reign it in, they'd be well within their right to impose major social and institutional backlash in the form of Obligation increases, Duty reductions, bounties, arrest warrants, or a full out hunt.  None of those things "force" a character to act in a particular way either.

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Some groups are ok with die rolls affecting how their character acts, while others aren't.

 

Somehow this concept got injected into this thread, but unless I missed something the Morality mechanic doesn't do this.

 

So all talk of "die rolls affecting how their character acts" are just muddying the waters for the OP.

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I am not sure I can see what the problem is, I am not seeing any mechanic within the Morality system which forces you to do anything or even forces you to 'roleplay' something which you should probably be doing irrespective of the game system since that is the point of roleplaying.

The only real "problem" is adding Morality to an EotE campaign where characters are more likely to be shady and do shady things.

For instance I can guarantee my "Pacifist" Jawa would have lost and gained bunches of Morality over the last few months since he has no issue with whole sale murdering Imperial Officers and Stormtroopers, but goes out of his way to be decent and helpful to everyone else (including slavers and other unsavory folks).

As well, slavery was one of the things our campaign somewhat dwelled on, with a Jawa, a Twi'lek, and a Trandoshan PC things got muddied fairly fast.

 

 

Somehow this concept got injected into this thread, but unless I missed something the Morality mechanic doesn't do this.

 

So all talk of "die rolls affecting how their character acts" are just muddying the waters for the OP.

Since it was injected by the OP to explain why his player seems to think Morality "will be bad", it's rather germane.

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