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Kitbashing an alternate Morality mechanic

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The most interesting part about the OP was the desire to turn the Morality Roll away from the random D10, and to using the FFG dice system.  I kinda like that idea, but how to go about making that happen.  The base dice are weighted toward Light, rather than Dark, and we need to include the conflict earned into the roll, WITHOUT allowing characters to game the roll.

To me, this means the "Light" side dice (Green, Yellow, Blue) are a fixed roll, EVERY time, SAME number and kind of dice.  While the difficulty (Purple, Red, Black) vary depending on the Conflict earned.  Maybe take the Blue/Black to be Roleplay related dice (give them black if they portray dark side tendencies, give them blue if they portray light side tendencies, hell, give them both if they do both).

Just to throw out numbers, roll GGY.  This is generally professionally proficient in the system.  This level of skill can handle most tasks associated with a given profession at average difficulty.

 

Now we break down the Conflict to difficulty dice:

1-2 : P

3-4: PP

5-6: PR

7-8: RR

9-10: PPR

10+: PRR

Then roll the pool.  Success = +2, Triumph = +4, Advantage = +1, Failure = -2, Despair = -4, Threat = -1.  Add together, and adjust Morality.  This way, the roll may "succeed", but the player still drops in Morality because of all the threat he generated or something.  Gives it a little more variance, and probably will not give large swings (though it still can).

Literally, this is my very first thought on the idea; please lambaste this and chop it into little fishies to see where things go bad.  I have not done numerical analysis or anything like that on it... 

Kevynn

Edited by KevynnRedfern

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fatedtodie,

If you honest think that evileyesore's posts aren't worth reading and that they are an eyesore, then you're better off just putting him on your Ignore list and just skipping his posts entirely.  I'm tempted to do the same for many of the reasons you cited, and I know I'm not not alone in this as I've seen others post the same thought.  Or if you feel he's being particularly hostile to you or other posters, report said posts to the Moderators.  The FFG staff may not post on these boards, but they are aware of what gets posted here, and if the same person keeps getting reported by multiple times by multiple people, they're going to take notice.  Stooping to that particular level does nothing to help your own case, as after a while it begins to look like two small children having a tantrum at each other.

 

At least with ErikB/sylpheed, we know it's just trolling these boards for no reason than attempts to stir up trouble for it's own jollies, nothing else.  Evileyesore I'm not sure about whether he's actually genuinely trying to help or just pissing/moaning/ranting because it's not the game he would have written or if he's also just being a troll.  Given some of his responses, I'm kind of doubting the first option, as any critique of his "suggestions" is met with "you're wrong and I'm right" responses without any actual attempt to defend his suggestion.

Edited by Donovan Morningfire

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I think the core problem with making it a die roll using the narrative dice does ultimately come down to "what do I use to determine the positive dice?"

 

Using an established skill and its governing Characteristic runs into the problem of a player boosting that skill and/or Characteristic to ensure that even if they generate a truckload of Conflict, they'll have a pretty good chance of walking away with little or no Morality loss, thus gaming the system much as players did in the d20 systems, often staying just under their dark side threshold while still acting like puppy-kicking jerks and throwing around Force lightning as they please.  In short, they'll be gaming the system... which is exactly the sort of thing the usage of a d10 vs. Conflict score was created to avert.

 

But if you make it a set value that's independent of skill/Characteristic, you run into much the same problem that has folks up in arms about using a d10, in that the positive dice have no bearing on the character.  And that ultimately, you're adding more work by taking the Conflict points, converting them to a narrative dice pool, and then converting the end result back to a numeric value and applying it to the Morality score.  In effect, you're adding more complexity for no actual benefit, something that the FFG design team has sought to avoid as much as possible when and where they could.

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The most interesting part about the OP was the desire to turn the Morality Roll away from the random D10, and to using the FFG dice system.

Interesting.

If that can be done for Obligation and Duty (or something similar), I'm prepared to toss my d10s back into the bag and not pull them out again.

...WITHOUT allowing characters to game the roll.

If the Players know the mechanics... it's not possible to keep the munchkins from gaming the system. As it stands I could still just play a "goody-goody" and climb the Morality with little difficulty(or be a total vile Murder Hobo and plummet). That isn't something you can "solve" without adding a "for doing good deeds" aspect to the mechanic.

Evileyesore

LOL.

You wanna what I find funny about you Donovan? You pretend you're better than fatedtodie.

Pay more attention to 2p51, now there's a respectable fellow.

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

The best reason to toss out the Morality mechanic, IMO. :D Then again, this is coming from someone who finds the idea of an 'objective'/external light-and-dark to itself be an immoral idea... and now my brain just went and compared Star Wars to Triumph of the Will.

And at least you answered why -- to you it's not "a decent normal, mechanic that the wonderful men/women at Fantasy Flight Games spent their time and effort to design."

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.

And that's actually where I diverge from you -- as I've said elsewhere, the very concept of the Forms reeks of McDojo (though admittedly so does a lot of Star Wars in general), to the point where I'd rather toss out the concept in favor of renaming Shii-Cho "Managed Not to Kill Yourself" and Shii-Cho Technique to "Managed Not to Maim Yourself".

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.

Why not take a look at the wuxia vision as well, as per the quote you responded positively to? (The exchange was from the Chinese comic Blood and Steel.)

Considering what you said before, let me also suggest the idea of contrasting between NPC Outer Rim Imperial warlords who might consider a captive "ronin Jedi" their ticket to the Core and those who are content to leave be those whose ambitions seem no higher than quelling local bandits, so long as they don't act on "ideas above their station"...

Edited by Chortles

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Okay... the only way I can see it, is use something like 2p51 suggested; You gain Harmony for doing good things, Conflict for doing bad, and then at the end of the session, you roll your gained Harmony as positive dice and gained Conflict as negative dice. Maybe something like 1=G or P, 2 = Y or R, 3= GG or PP, 4 = GY or PR, something like that? Actually, probably better would be to only use Green and Purple dice, and upgrade all of them if in a session you engage your Strength/Weakness.

Boosts or setbacks can be gained for certain roleplaying things, maybe. Net success means you gain that much Morality, net failure you lose that much. It adds more bookeeping, but you could use Advantage and Threats to give you boost/setbacks the next time you roll. Not sure about Triumph or Despair yet. Maybe They could simply allow you to upgrade your next Morality roll once (or the difficulty for Despairs, of course).

 

This is just off the top of my head, though. I generally like the Morality mechanic as it is, though I do feel that there should be a benefit for doing good things (like, maybe you remove a little Conflict for selfless acts, like giving to charity, etc), but otherwise, it seems okay. We're only gonna start using it next session though, so you know, I'll see how it turns out.

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Evileeyore, perhaps you could work in the plot hook into your campaign from Blood and Steel of a surviving "Jedi" survivor who has the *ahem* not-exactly-fortune of having only a survive-for-the-sake-of-revenge-minded "Sith Hunter" for companionship...

Re: the McDojo bit -- alternately, rename every Lightsaber Form to "Bullshido".

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The most interesting part about the OP was the desire to turn the Morality Roll away from the random D10, and to using the FFG dice system.

Interesting.

If that can be done for Obligation and Duty (or something similar), I'm prepared to toss my d10s back into the bag and not pull them out again.

...WITHOUT allowing characters to game the roll.

If the Players know the mechanics... it's not possible to keep the munchkins from gaming the system. As it stands I could still just play a "goody-goody" and climb the Morality with little difficulty(or be a total vile Murder Hobo and plummet). That isn't something you can "solve" without adding a "for doing good deeds" aspect to the mechanic.

 

Well, players gaming the system because they want to be Virtuous Bastards, or Murder Hobos is called Roleplay for me.  I had no intention of not allowing their roleplay choices NOT affect how slowly or quickly they moved up or down the scale.  [Edit: Triple negative... go go gadget grammar nazi!]

With what I suggested, I _think_ the only way a player can affect the roll is through Conflict total, just as the current mechanic.  It just gets us away from the random D10, and moves us into a random FFG dice roll.  A bit more bookkeeping for the GM/Player, but should have about the same net effect.

 

Edit2: EE, were you referencing the initial roll onto the FFG dice, the one that determines whose Duty/Obligation/Morality comes into play?  I had not looked at that mechanic, but I can try...

 

Kevynn

Edited by KevynnRedfern

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So I enter this discussion from the following position:

Morality, as is, constitutes a perfectly funtional system but it is not the home run that Obligation and Duty were.

Obligation and Duty both deepen the experience in terms of aligning player-character motivation and by drawing the player deeper into the world and making him feel more connected. Morality doesn't do any of these things. I think the discussion needs to start here. If we can't define what's wrong with Morality then we will just spin our wheels coming up with a solution.

Also for reference I've played 2 sessions  with Morality so far (and have another tonight) and intend to continue with RAW for some time.


Additional feedback notes:

They system is currently very fast and very streamlined.

For some players being slapped with a conflict point feels very much like a punishment. This draws the game away from co-operative storytelling and towards gamey-ness, a line that EotE has always straddled beautifully for me.

Currently it seems very much like the Force is judging the character (as in a western religion) instead of the character coming to terms with themselves (as in a more eastern philosophy way). To me the second is very Star Wars and the first is very medieval fantasy.

The gravity of actions/Epicness of situations does not seem to effect the gaining of conflict, nor do selfless or good deeds help a character move towards the light side.

Please let me know if you agree or disagree with these points.

Edited by KCD5

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And at least you answered why -- to you it's not "a decent normal, mechanic that the wonderful men/women at Fantasy Flight Games spent their time and effort to design."

Actually, I've come to the conclusion that it is a decent system; it does what it sets out to do. In that regard I think the design is simple and to me simple is elegance.

It doesn't do what I want it to do. Which is properly represent drawing upon the Dark Side does to one's body and mind. To the environment. To even perhaps your companions (okay, flipping a Destiny is nice way to rpresent an increase in hazard and bad luck from hanging around with the shady scuzzbag, but not entirely what I mean).

 

And that's actually where I diverge from you -- as I've said elsewhere, the very concept of the Forms reeks of McDojo (though admittedly so does a lot of Star Wars in general), to the point where I'd rather toss out the concept in favor of renaming Shii-Cho "Managed Not to Kill Yourself" and Shii-Cho Technique to "Managed Not to Maim Yourself".

Sure. I can see that argument. But I'm fine with them as they are. Could they be designed a bit differently? Maybe. But it's a bit too much for my plate.

 

Considering what you said before, let me also suggest the idea of contrasting between NPC Outer Rim Imperial warlords who might consider a captive "ronin Jedi" their ticket to the Core and those who are content to leave be those whose ambitions seem no higher than quelling local bandits, so long as they don't act on "ideas above their station"...

Also there will be Sith Warlords who see the Ronin as troublemakers and threats... Gmablers who despise "do-gooders" looking into their business or whom want to manipulate them... etc. I'll be drawing heavily on the movies of Toshiro Mifune, the Zatoichi series, and Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo as my inspration...

 

 

Well, players gaming the system because they want to be Virtuous Bastards, or Murder Hobos is called Roleplay for me.  I had no intention of not allowing their roleplay choices NOT affect how slowly or quickly they moved up or down the scale.  [Edit: Triple negative... go go gadget grammar nazi!]

Thumbs up.

I only interjected as I've consistently seen the claim "the d10 roll being random means the Players can't game the system!" which is, well, false.

Though won;t be able to "game" the system I end up using since Narrative and Negotiation are the systems.

 

 

Edit2: EE, were you referencing the initial roll onto the FFG dice, the one that determines whose Duty/Obligation/Morality comes into play?  I had not looked at that mechanic, but I can try...

Yeah. That would be very interesting to me. I don;t think it can be done. as the mechanic is just so tied to d100 and the SW dice are so... not d100.

If you can, wunderbar! If not, don't sweat it. I'm really okay with keeping the ten-siders handy.

 

 

Morality, as is, constitutes a perfectly funtional system but it is not the home run that Obligation and Duty were.

Agreed.

 

Obligation and Duty both deepen the experience in terms of aligning player-character motivation and by drawing the player deeper into the world and making him feel more connected. Morality doesn't do any of these things. I think the discussion needs to start here. If we can't define what's wrong with Morality then we will just spin our wheels coming up with a solution.

Interesting. New spin I hadn't seen.

 

For some players being slapped with a conflict point feels very much like a punishment. This draws the game away from co-operative storytelling and towards gamey-ness, a line that EotE has always straddled beautifully for me.

Hmm. I hadn't xpected that. I mean the system deosn't work for me... but I figured it wouldn;t get in the way with the Narrative for others.

Maybe holding back the Conflict points till the end? Don;t bring them up in game, let it flow, and then make the post session wrap up be a "looking back" sort of thing?

 

Currently it seems very much like the Force is judging the character (as in a western religion) instead of the character coming to terms with themselves (as in a more eastern philosophy way). To me the second is very Star Wars and the first is very medieval fantasy.

I can't ditto this hard enough.

 

The gravity of actions/Epicness of situations does not seem to effect the gaining of conflict, nor do selfless or good deeds help a character move towards the light side.

This too. It means a particularly Epic/Heroic session earns as much Morality as a "and today all we accomplished was fixing up the starship and going shopping" (we had a few session like that).

PLEASE EXCUSE THE TERRIBLE SPELLING. In a hurry today, no time to refine my mind-to-screen babble.

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

 

Granted. we played one session with RAW, but that plus the group's collective projection and extrapolation were sufficient to tell us that the system RAW doesn't work. Hence a desire for something else.

 

Thanks for your feedback, all. I'm disappointed at the directions the thread went in, and I'm grateful that FFG provides an email address with which to send beta feedback direct to the designers.

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Sure. I can see that argument. But I'm fine with them as they are. Could they be designed a bit differently? Maybe. But it's a bit too much for my plate.

In my case there's no good way to redesign them except to throw them out because the very idea of Forms as anything approaching genuine is antithetical for me... but then again this was the Jedi Order in its twilight, dogmatic, and dare-I-say-senile years...

Also there will be Sith Warlords who see the Ronin as troublemakers and threats... Gmablers who despise "do-gooders" looking into their business or whom want to manipulate them... etc. I'll be drawing heavily on the movies of Toshiro Mifune, the Zatoichi series, and Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo as my inspration...

I'd definitely recommend taking a look at wuxia (particularly the "wall of separation" that I alluded to) for a both complementary/contrasting perspective that can supplement your existing lore/galaxy-building, not least since both of what you describe can be found in wuxia as well. And hell, more lifting from Blood and Steel:

"I still can't understand why you agreed to take her along... and teach her the Force!"

"Idiot! We're talking the daughter of the syndicate's boss! Willingly. Going. With. Us! She's like a walking credchip, we'll never have to worry about food and lodging again! And even allowing that we could slip through the government checkpoints, it's still easier to have the syndicate pave the way..."

"That's... not a good thing, okay? It feels like we're using her..."

"... if you feel that way, then why not just teach her the Force seriously?"

Currently it seems very much like the Force is judging the character (as in a western religion) instead of the character coming to terms with themselves (as in a more eastern philosophy way). To me the second is very Star Wars and the first is very medieval fantasy.

I can't ditto this hard enough.
This has so, so much to do with where I irreconciliably disagree/diverge with canon/FFG.

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

 

Granted. we played one session with RAW, but that plus the group's collective projection and extrapolation were sufficient to tell us that the system RAW doesn't work. Hence a desire for something else.

 

Thanks for your feedback, all. I'm disappointed at the directions the thread went in, and I'm grateful that FFG provides an email address with which to send beta feedback direct to the designers.

 

 

A thread is a lot like a child.  You try your best to start them out well in the world, then they come home with Lindsay Lohan.  

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