Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Ineti

Kitbashing an alternate Morality mechanic

Recommended Posts

I'm more and more thinking that the beta Morailty system is a good idea, but fundamentally flawed. The d10 roll at the end of the session fits none of the game's established mechanics and doesn't use the game's signature dice symbol system. I think it really should--the game is built around those dice and Morality (or another name for the concept) is an important element of a F&D game. It really should use the same dice system.

 

I think the d10 die roll vs. amount of Conflict gained or not gained results in too much randomness for something so important to a Force-using character, and it creates too much of a potential swing in a character's Morality value from session to session. A careful player could gain zero Conflict in three sessions, roll a 10 on the d10 in all three sessions, and be at the Light side paragon level within those three sessions. Ideally. More realistically, if we take the average, it'd take them six sessions of Conflict-light or Conflict-free roleplaying, and good rolls on their d10.

 

Likewise for falling to the dark side. A character could gain 10+ Conflict in three sessions, roll a 1 on the d10 three times, and fall to the dark side within the three sessions. This just doesn't really make sense to me and doesn't seem to fit the movies, where a fall to the dark side is a gradual progression rather than a short crash. The dark side seems to reel you in bit by bit rather than having you jump into the deep end of the pool. I think the Morality mechanic needs to be a more gradual slide to the dark side or a more gradual climb to the Light side.

 

To that end, I think a character shouldn't be able to gain or lose more than a few points of Morality from any given session. Representing the slow climb to paragon, or the slow drop to the darkness. 

 

One thought is to track Conflict as detailed in the beta, and have the number of Conflict gained relate to the difficulty chart so that the character can make a Discipline check to see how much Morality they gain or lose in that session.

 

Something like:

 

Simple 0-1

Easy 2-3

Average 4-5

Hard 6-7

Daunting 8-9

Formidable 10+

 

So you determine how much Conflict you earned, and make a Discipline roll against that difficulty. You and the GM can spend Destiny as usual, and you can use any buffs on the skill check (except maybe the use of Twist of Fate and Sense Danger?). The GM and player can discuss using boost and setback dice, perhaps if the player had been roleplaying a certain way or if the character did some heroic or altruistic actions in addition to earning Conflict.

 

End result of the roll is to gain a number of Morality equal to successes, or lose a number of Morality equal to failures. Ignore advantage, disadvantage, triumphs, and despairs (unless they fit into the narrative somehow).

 

This results in the Morality mechanic using the game's core die rolling system and should result in a much smaller spread of bonuses or minuses to Morality from session to session.

 

That's my and my group's initial whack at it, anyway. Thoughts, discussions, etc. welcome.

Edited by Ineti

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's very difficult to gain 0 conflict, since even allowing a conflict-garnering action through your own inaction gains you 1 conflict. Also, there's always that lure of using the dark side to power that one Fore power in that one specific instance to do something very heroic…which will garner you some more conflict.

Second, the likelihood of rolling three 10s or 1s in a row is only 27%, if my math is right. And that's not even taking into consideration the fact that it would be dämn near impossible to go three entire sessions without gaining at least 1 conflict.

Third, what does your Disipline skill have to do with the morality of your actions? In Star Wars an evil act is an evil act, no matter how disciplined you are. Murder is wrong, period. The randomness of the d10 is there to prevent players from gaming the system. If you based it on a skill roll, it can be gamed.

Besides, if you're trying to incorporate the fancy dice, it makes no sense to me to ignore advantage, threat, triumph, and dispair. If you're going to ignore what makes the roll different than a binary d10 roll, you might as well just roll a d10 :P

-EF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems unnecessarily fiddly.  Conflict resolution is a meta-mechanic.  It's cleanup while everyone puts their books away and gets the hel out of my living room.

 

Only die tweak I've recommended is that you can adjust the d10 up (d12) or down (d8) depending on how strict or lenient you like your metaphysical ethics...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The d10 fits FFGs mechanics because the dice are used to determine if Obligation, Duty, and Morality trigger in any session. Also to determine crit results. So rolling one d10 isn't too "alien".

Second, if your character racks up 10 Conflict 3 sessions in a row, they are clearly either calling on the Dark Side so much or kicking so many puppies they deserve to fall.

The fall (or rise) of a character should not be a skill check; something you can train in or "game". It should be concious choice. The random d10 adds a bit of the Force's whimsy to the progress. Ultimately your fall is in your hand as the player, not the character's skill progression.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest part of the Morality mechanic that I like is that folks can't game the system in terms of whether they come closer to the dark side or not thanks to the random d10.  As DarthGM noted, if you keep acting like a first-rate jackass (such as Anakin in RotS), then you're going to eventually fall to the dark side, and it may happen sooner than you expect because you have no idea what that d10 result is going to be at the end of every session.

 

The dice mechanic of the system itself makes it nigh-impossible to "game" the system to the point where you can be 100% certain you'll succeed against certain degrees of difficulty, much as you could in any game using the d20 system.

 

And as has been noted, going a session without generating any Conflict points requires the PC to act in a matter befitting a saint.  Even Obi-Wan, noted as being a primary example of how a Jedi should generally act, undertakes actions that generate Conflict from time to time.  He doesn't do such actions frequently (unlike Anakin), but there are times where doing the right thing requires a slight bending of the rules (likely something he learned from Qui-Gon but didn't appreciate until after his master's passing).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems unnecessarily fiddly.  Conflict resolution is a meta-mechanic.  It's cleanup while everyone puts their books away and gets the hel out of my living room.

 

Only die tweak I've recommended is that you can adjust the d10 up (d12) or down (d8) depending on how strict or lenient you like your metaphysical ethics...

 

My biggest issue with that is there is no standard d8 or d12 in this game—they all have symbols on them, and not a one can be used to stand-in for a d8 or d12, since there are many repeat symbols on each die. As DarthGM said, the d10 is already a FFGSW standard die, so it's the best choice.

 

-EF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Seems unnecessarily fiddly.  Conflict resolution is a meta-mechanic.  It's cleanup while everyone puts their books away and gets the hel out of my living room.

 

Only die tweak I've recommended is that you can adjust the d10 up (d12) or down (d8) depending on how strict or lenient you like your metaphysical ethics...

 

My biggest issue with that is there is no standard d8 or d12 in this game—they all have symbols on them, and not a one can be used to stand-in for a d8 or d12, since there are many repeat symbols on each die. As DarthGM said, the d10 is already a FFGSW standard die, so it's the best choice.

 

-EF

 

 

Of course FFG will "have to" stick with the d10 because it's part of the already established set of dice used for the game, I'm just saying that all it takes for a GM to tweak the scale, if he likes, is to just reach into his other dice bag...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course FFG will "have to" stick with the d10 because it's part of the already established set of dice used for the game, I'm just saying that all it takes for a GM to tweak the scale, if he likes, is to just reach into his other dice bag...

I already have to do that... the FFG dice don't come with any d10s!

/ragequit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suggest every time a new FFG SWRPG book comes out, we spend no less than 3 weeks considering how it sucks and fails expectations before we bother to test it RAW. Then after the 3 week period we should look at doing it RAW and realize just how much easier/well tested their method was and how stupid it was to attempt to change it first.

 

Nah...

 

I like what the Pirate says better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or instead of spending months (or however long 2P51 insists on) using rules that interfere with my game, I just skip that headache and make changes.

Some of us have gamed for over 30 years. At this point I know what works for me and what won't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fully understand you have "gamed for over 30 years". Funny enough when a politician says similar I do not find that as something that leads me to trust their judgment.

 

Anyone that has done something that long is set in their ways. If you don't constantly expand and learn new ways to do things before forcing your flavor on it, you ruin it. What is infinitely worse you ruin the product for your players.

 

The funny part about all your complaints is you are by definition not their core audience. You are not a paying customer thus have ZERO standing on their "give a crap" meter.

 

Buy stuff (become someone that votes with their wallet) and they may care, and funny enough the community as a whole will care about your opinion.

 

Back on topic for the OP,

 

I see a lot of topics about how morality is this, morality is that, should I use morality for this, or for that.

 

I see very few "we tested morality for multiple sessions, it has had our smuggler turn dark sider" or "our group's ace pilot is pissed she is now having to walk on egg shells around the fights because she fears she will be a dark sider and hurt her group".

 

What I do hear a ton of is complaining and complaining and complaining.

 

I love ideas, Discussing on the rules is the point of these forums. I do like also to see how the mechanic worked for other groups so I can gauge my group's handling of the mechanics against theirs.

 

TL;DR: Lots of words, blah blah, do it normal before change, more words. Also apparently I say "funny enough" or "funny" way way too often.

Edited by fatedtodie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fully understand you have "gamed for over 30 years". Funny enough when a politician says similar I do not find that as something that leads me to trust their judgment.

Which is why when people come in here and say "Hey this rule, do not like, alternative?" a helpful response is not "I think people should try a couple few months of just playing the game RAW before they choose to reinvent it" which is pretty much the only response from a few of you.

Granted it is polite, but also not very helpful.

Helpful? Reminding the OP that d10s are part of the base system.

Helpful? Pointing out the flaw that Dicscipline (an already heavily used skill for Force Users) has little to do with "what is right and what is wrong".

In regards to the OP, I have issues with he Morality mechanic as well. I can't see an easy, useful way to fix it. So I'm tossing it and making the whole "Dark Side, Light Side" thing purely Narrative. I'll decide if the character is sliding into the Dark. I'll negotiate those effects with the players. There will be no benefit to being a Paragon of Goodness aside from being a 'good guy'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see very few "we tested morality for multiple sessions, it has had our smuggler turn dark sider" or "our group's ace pilot is pissed she is now having to walk on egg shells around the fights because she fears she will be a dark sider and hurt her group".

Funny thing is, with a group like that I'd forego the Morality mechanic altogether, like evileeyore is, not least because such a group might be better suited for the Obligation and/or Duty mechanics anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Evil,

 

Have you tried using the morality mechanic "as is" even 1 session? Did your players get so mad they threatened to revolt and impeach you as GM?

 

I can fully understand not using a mechanic at all if it doesn't fit your story, but creating a Frankenstein type monster without giving your players the chance to experience a decent normal, mechanic that the wonderful men/women at Fantasy Flight Games spent their time and effort to design.

 

I don't agree with the Pirate on the "months" thing, but at very minimum you should do it once! A good recommendation would be 3-5 sessions worth to experience highs and lows.

 

So.. until the forum gets a useful summary of a session report showing the mechanic in use, I say boo to your alternative. Boo and hiss. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds more like he's flat-out not interested in what FFG is proposing insofar as the lore behind the mechanic... but then again, see my own proposal to just use whichever pre-existing mechanic suits the group more, and others' to just go forego Morality altogether for all-narrative-no-mechanic.

 

VVV EDIT: Pretty much what I'm recommending. VVV

Edited by Chortles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Evil,

 

Have you tried using the morality mechanic "as is" even 1 session? Did your players get so mad they threatened to revolt and impeach you as GM?

 

I can fully understand not using a mechanic at all if it doesn't fit your story, but creating a Frankenstein type monster without giving your players the chance to experience a decent normal, mechanic that the wonderful men/women at Fantasy Flight Games spent their time and effort to design.

 

I don't agree with the Pirate on the "months" thing, but at very minimum you should do it once! A good recommendation would be 3-5 sessions worth to experience highs and lows.

 

So.. until the forum gets a useful summary of a session report showing the mechanic in use, I say boo to your alternative. Boo and hiss. 

Going from his any of posts regarding the material, it doesn't sound like he cares one whit for anything that FFG has done in regards to Force and Destiny, to the point he's probably better off just ignoring it and sticking with EotE and AoR material for his games.

Edited by Donovan Morningfire

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you tried using the morality mechanic "as is" even 1 session?

No. The previous GM's campaign (purely EotE) is winding down in a few (maybe one more?) sessions and I'll be picking up a few weeks to a month thereafter*.

* Mostly because he's come to hate the loss of GM Narrative control in this system. I however think this system's dice mechanic will compliment my "loose as a goose" style of running and make things easier on me. He won't mind gaining the Narrative as a Player... but he's very much a "railroady" GM and just couldn't adapt to this system's style. Also he was making "I think I'll be switching the game to the d20 system after we wrap this part of the campaign" and I hate D&D so much I'd rather run something else (I do 90% of GMing in this group) than play in it (and I don't think the game would survive being transitioned - the other player agreed with me).

 

I can fully understand not using a mechanic at all if it doesn't fit your story...

It fails the first test: It doesn't fit my view of the Force.

My View:

The Force is just an energy, it permeates all things, living and unliving. Some "blessed" (or accursed) few have the gift to sense it, interact with it, and shape it. The Force is not sentient. It does not care. Like air or water or land, it is unconcerned with how it is used, however, the manner of it's use shapes and "flavors" it when and where it is used.

Use it to destroy a life and you "Darken" it. It becomes "easier" there to do so again. Use it to calm others, to bring together in harmony, and there it will become harmonious, calming.

Like ripples in pond though, these 'changes' will eventually fade away. Sometimes the shaping is so strong it will last lifetimes (reference: Dagobah).

Now, while the Force may permeate everything, and is touched by everything, things live, things die, the Force remains. Killing someone with a Blaster will create light ripples in the Force, but it won't change one's "relationship" with the Force.

A Jedi dispassionately killing a foe in combat might "stain" them slightly (nothing worth having mechanics for), but nothing like reaching through the Force and crushing their throat or stilling their heart. In those cases the Force user is connected to their victim through the Force, they feel their victims fear, their pain, their death. The Force User bears the full brunt of the changes wrought with the Force.

Channeling the Dark Side. First, simple put, there is no "Dark Side". A Jedi channels the Force through calmness and harmony, in this way the Force only lightly touches them, and only lightly touches those around them. If they need more direct, forceful action, they open themselves more deeply and channel more*. However if they need to injure, kill, or destroy they must often channel even more Force than is normally possible, thus must "augment" the Force with emotion. Raw, unfiltered emotion stirs the Force like a spoon in cup, drawing even more power into and through the Force User. This is what the Jedi refer to as the "Dark Side"**. It is seductive as it is simply more power. It is easier than slowly developing the talent to open yourself to the Force. And it is damaging. Like a needle scratching at a surface it wears grooves into one's behavior. It makes those emotion stronger, more likely to come to the forefront. More likely to dominate one's thoughts, feelings, and actions. To come to dominate one's destiny.

Now, having seen my view on the Force can you see why the Morality Mechanics fall completely flat for me? There is no "Use 'em till you come to like them as much as we do", I'll never like them, they'll never do the job I want them to do.

Would I use them? Sure, if I were running a short handful of games where the long term ramifications have no real bearing, or in a long campaign where I "just use someone else's vision instead of my own".

* No, I have no idea how to "more properly represent this than FFG is already doing". So I'm not worrying about this.

** Again, the Raw adequately reflects this.

 

...but creating a Frankenstein type monster without giving your players the chance to experience a decent normal, mechanic that the wonderful men/women at Fantasy Flight Games spent their time and effort to design.

LOL.

So what were GMs doing with Force Users before F&D came out? Maybe they were, oh, I don't know, perhaps using the Narrative and negotiating with the Player how the Dark Side was affecting them or whether they were really good Light Siders or really "vile and evil" Dark Siders?

 

I don't agree with the Pirate on the "months" thing, but at very minimum you should do it once! A good recommendation would be 3-5 sessions worth to experience highs and lows.

 

So.. until the forum gets a useful summary of a session report showing the mechanic in use, I say boo to your alternative. Boo and hiss.

Anyone who has played games for long enough, knows their group well enough, and is willing to roll enough d10, could whip you up a quick "prediction" of how it will go.

For my group: I predict if I used the system both PCs would slowly climb the Morality gaining roughly 3 points per session on average. Could the dice go horribly awry for them? Sure, but this is statistics, it is predictable (within a certain %).

;)

 

Going from his any of posts regarding the material, it doesn't sound like he cares one whit for anything that FFG has done in regards to Force and Destiny...

I really, really, really like most of the Lightsaber Form Trees, enough so that they and the Force Powers Trees are being kept largely as is* in my "no Careers, no Spec Trees" campaign.

They do almost exactly what I want them to do. Almost exactly.

* I'm adding a single 0EXP cost Talent at the top of the all the Form Trees called Shii-Cho Technique. I mentioned this elsewhere, it's gained as soon as the PC spend the EXP to pick up the Tree and represents being trained enough in Lightsaber combat to properly wield a Lightsaber.

I'm currently toying with the idea of tracking the "EXP cost" for purchasing the Forms and Force powers separately (IE if one has 1 the Move Power and 2 Lightsaber Trees purchased, buying a 3rd Tree would cost 30EXP, buying a 2nd Force Power would 20EXP). But this sounds to fiddly... it feels right and wrong to me at the same time.

 

...to the point he's probably better off just ignoring it and sticking with EotE and AoR material for his games.

Really makes it hard to run Force Users then... specially the vision of Samurai/Ronin vision I have for my game. Having the saber Forms fits some of the themes I wish to portray. The Ronin Jedi, masterless, wandering, perhaps following his own inner vision quest, his musha shugyō.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think people should try a couple few months of just playing the game RAW before they choose to reinvent it.

Except that would be the sensible approach to take, contrast to these folks that obviously know more about what the game should be than anyone else on the planet :rolleyes:

 

In case anyone missed it, that prior sentence was pure sarcasm.

 

The book's been out less than two weeks at this point, and it's not even in wide release.  It's one thing to spitball ideas on how things might be changed, but one should at least try the existing system before throwing the entire thing out and replacing it with some hodge-podge over-complicated nightmare mechanic.

 

Even my suggested alterations to Parry and Reflect was made after actually playing the game several times and seeing how the rules actually played when used as currently written.  And even they aren't a total re-hash of a perfectly serviceable mechanic.

Edited by Donovan Morningfire

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's sum up Evil's answers.

 

"try it once"

 

Evil = No, not just no, but hell no, and you smell like rotten prunes.

 

"if it doesn''t fit don't use it"

 

Evil = I wrote Star Wars so only my opinion matters and your idea is poo.

 

"try it once"

 

Evil = I have played games sooooooo long you all really should worship me, and probably I should get a statue or a medal or both. Also FFG is poo.

 

"don't use it then"

 

Evil = I won't because I prefer to steal stuff and complain.

 

"really don't ever use it"

 

Evil = Ideas other than mine are poo.

 

 

Obviously I paraphrased a bit, but that is the main thing he was conveying to everyone on this thread.

 

So to combat that. Evil, unless you try it once, to put things so you understand clearly... your opinion is poo. =)

 

Have a wonderful day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this discussion has turned in a direction that is very counter-productive. I don't hold the illusion that we're all playtesting the content for the sake of the beta, but the point of this particular topic is to discuss alternatives to the Morality mechanic, which some players are not fond of.

 

With that being said, I like the idea of adjusting the rate of morality increase/decrease by adjusting the die roll at the end of the session. I know that won't make it to the final release, but it's a simple tweak that may make for some interesting scenarios.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main issue is very few people have tested if it is even broken yet before determining to change it.

 

The other thing is anytime anyone tries to sanity check and say "what does this actually gain except more work" it devolves into what it is now.

 

There are a few schools of thought on the issue of Morality.

First, If you use it, you should only use it for Force users.

    People "for" this idea say the force somehow ignores people that aren't force users.

    People "against" this idea say the force affects everything equally (like is stated by Qui Gon Jinn in episode 1 which is as canon as you can get currently).

 

Second, If you use it you should have equal benefit/disadvantage to going full good or full bad.

    People "for" this idea say morality should allow them to pick their own path and the gauge should flip soon as they go bad paragon with no consequences at all only different benefits.

    People "against" this idea say morality should fit the Star Wars universe and dark siders are bad, light siders are good, Benefits for good, punishments for bad.

 

Third, It grows too fast.

    People "for" this have valid points and one of them started this topic. The problem is they haven't tested the mechanic or at least haven't listed information about that they have.

    People "against" this would like to see RAW in practice before changing it's "speed".

 

Fourth, I haven't tested it, but here is what I do.

    People "for" this are a problem and I am not sure I can respect this opinion.

    People "against" this prefer to test (aka Beta test like the people at FFG intended) before passing judgment.

 

then finally there is Fifth, I enjoy RAW so far, but I am still testing it.

    People "for" this are following the spirit intended by the Beta Test.

    People "against" this are confusing to me and I cannot come up with a way to rationalize this.

 

When group 5 talks it gets shouted down.

The other 4 groups are against anything group 5 says.

 

Unless there is a reason to comment further, that is about all there is to say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this discussion has turned in a direction that is very counter-productive. I don't hold the illusion that we're all playtesting the content for the sake of the beta, but the point of this particular topic is to discuss alternatives to the Morality mechanic, which some players are not fond of.

 

With that being said, I like the idea of adjusting the rate of morality increase/decrease by adjusting the die roll at the end of the session. I know that won't make it to the final release, but it's a simple tweak that may make for some interesting scenarios.

Agreed.  I do think a GM could track player actions with a ying/yang approach of counting Conflict/Harmony to come up with a fixed number Morality moves, although that is going to require quite a lot of bookkeeping and note taking.  Particularly if you have a group of 5 or 6 Force users.  The die roll at least injects enough unpredictability it does make gaming the numbers a lot tougher.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...