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T3CHN0Shaman

The Issue with Morality Isn't Amorality, It's Motivation

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Is there any grounds to deny them that d10 roll so they have to treat the conflict they've garnered as their penalty to their Morality since that d10 doesn't sound like its intended to function as a wild die?

If you mean what I think you mean, then by the RAW no because it actually IS supposed to function as a wild die; not just determine how far down your character is dragged. A character who commits minor evil acts may actually find it strengthens his resolve to do good. Of course the fact that continuously using powers that are supposed to be objectively evil can actually RAISE your standing is one of my complaints with the mechanics of Morality.

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I have read through the pertinent section and my first thought was that 'Hey, this smells like Modernism!' 

 

After a few more moments of further consideration and with a realization that the game is not necessarily to be considered a proper theological treatise on human behavior and motivation I turned my attention to the question T3CHN0Shaman has asked though without realizing that this topic had previously existed.  I had not, after all, received my copy of Force and Destiny Beta until late last week and only begun to read it through until this afternoon.  First, I must admit that I take great delight in a modern role-playing game taking more of an interest in including such a mechanic.  A bold thing in today's post-modern society and FFG should be applauded in my humble opinion, for having done so.  The confusion of terms, that is equating emotion with virtue and vice, aside and reading through the 'Emotional Strengths' and 'Emotional Weaknesses', it seemed to me that the writers of the game were offering specific motivations for a character's practice of virtue that might discourage player agency, as it was described earlier.  I would have preferred simply a description of the virtue and its natural negative tendency and left it to the player to decide how each would materialize during game play.  For this alone I might have found cause to jettison the mechanic were it not for the specific milieu presented by the game itself, that is as a 'playground' for Force sensitive characters in the universe that sprang from the mind of George Lucas.  Still, Moralitytm seems a superlative overlay that could have easily been included in the previous iterations of FFG Star Wars Role-playing.  I understand T3CHN0Shaman's point, I think, in that unlike Obligation and Duty, Moralitytm does not appear to provide a clear expectation for the player or function within the game that the previous two accomplish in their respective games.  I might have included something akin to Honor or Destiny as T3CHN0Shaman has suggested in addition, perhaps, to Moralitytm though that might serve only to complicate the game even further.

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If they've only incurred 1 or 2 points of conflict then I would assume that the rest of the time they were being fairly heroic. So if the roll at the end works out positively, so what?

Apparently some folks don't think the players should be rewarded for being noble and heroic rather than self-serving murder hobos.

 

Which if you look at the list of actions that generate Conflict, they correspond with taking actions that aren't noble and aren't really heroic.  The 1 and 2 point instances are in the "light grey" range, and even the most noble and heroic of Jedi is going to occasionally going to have to commit such a "transgression" in order to accomplish a loftier objective, sort of a "needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few," while also avoiding the trap of "the ends always justify the means," which itself can be a difficult tightrope to walk.

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Just a quick query concerning what if your players are playing the system by committing evil acts but relying on rolling high on that Morality die so their 1 or 2 incurred conflict should result in them regaining morality when they've done nothing to merit that.

If they are committing "evil" acts they should be generating more than 1 or 2 Conflict.

1-2 Conflict is not even on "shady's" radar let alone evil.

What did they do to gain the 1-2 Conflict?

 

Is there any grounds to deny them that d10 roll so they have to treat the conflict they've garnered as their penalty to their Morality since that d10 doesn't sound like its intended to function as a wild die?

The system is working as intended. The problem is the system isn't working as you'd like it too.

I'm sure there are a few posters who'll be along in moment to tell you how wrong you are for questioning the system. ;)

 

 

I would think mechanically you could have light conflict and dark conflict, at the end of the session you grab a number of force dice equal to your light conflict and for each light force pip add a morality. Then for each dark conflict roll the force dice and each dark force pip deducts a morality.

You could represent "basic behavior" by allowing the player to pick to roll 2 extra dice on either roll.

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I would think mechanically you could have light conflict and dark conflict, at the end of the session you grab a number of force dice equal to your light conflict and for each light force pip add a morality. Then for each dark conflict roll the force dice and each dark force pip deducts a morality.

You could represent "basic behavior" by allowing the player to pick to roll 2 extra dice on either roll.

Interesting.

Not sure I'd use Force Dice, they aren't weighted the same, but not sure what other dice I'd use from FFG, since none of the Star Wars dice are weighted the same.

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I would think mechanically you could have light conflict and dark conflict, at the end of the session you grab a number of force dice equal to your light conflict and for each light force pip add a morality. Then for each dark conflict roll the force dice and each dark force pip deducts a morality.

You could represent "basic behavior" by allowing the player to pick to roll 2 extra dice on either roll.

Interesting.

Not sure I'd use Force Dice, they aren't weighted the same, but not sure what other dice I'd use from FFG, since none of the Star Wars dice are weighted the same.

 

If you're counting pips, it actually is. Which gets a little funky in the math department but it basically means over time you'll end up gaining/losing about 50% of the dice you roll for morality. A little more actually since there's more than one dot per face across the board; but a character who had equal amounts of conflict should balance out over time.

It might help the gameability problem, I suppose, but when it comes down to it, its really just a subjective determination with more moving parts.

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I think you somehow simultaneously agreed and disagreed with me. Interesting.  ^_^ Thank you for sharing your perspective!

 

Yes.  I am a 'both/and' kind of guy in many respects as opposed to 'either/or'.  It sometimes drives my beloved spouse crazy.  Your original post was a delight to read and I must admit that it was initially difficult to understand.  Once I relaxed a bit and read through the subsequent posts did I finally understand your point and even agreed.  As much as I liked the mechanic, your thoughts on the matter considering its inclusion and in the manner in which it was included, made a good deal of sense.

Edited by angelicdoctor

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I would think mechanically you could have light conflict and dark conflict, at the end of the session you grab a number of force dice equal to your light conflict and for each light force pip add a morality. Then for each dark conflict roll the force dice and each dark force pip deducts a morality.

I like this mechanic much better, but it does mean more dice rolling.

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Name me 1 gamer that hates rolling dice. :ph34r: :ph34r:

Hola. Mi nombre es evileeyore and I hate dice.

Or rather they hate me. I tend to roll very poorly, a bit of a statistical outlier.

Unfortunately not enough people want to play Amber or Castle Falkenstien... so I'm stuck rolling dice. C'est la vie.

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I was expecting that this game would actually use "Destiny" as a mechanism much like Obligation/Duty is a mechanism because this game is titled 'Force & Destiny' and thematically having a mechanism that delves into the Destiny of the character(s) makes perfect sense for Star Wars.

 

Destiny to me would be like everybody having a supposed Fate, and they have the choice to follow their supposed path, or ignore it. This fits in line better with Obligation and Duty than Morality does.

 

Morality is a very different mechanism, and I can see both sides of the argument for/against.

 

On the one side, Morality is a glorified Alignment mechanism given actual mechanisms to keep track of. Its basically a Corruption tracker, and this IS something that Force Users would have to be wary of. All Force Users would have to know how their actions affect their Corruption and if their Corruption reaches a certain point (in this case their Morality falling below 30).

 

Yet the problem/challenge with this as it is is that it does put more of a focus on the GM deciding what is and is not a Good/Bad action and if not everybody is on the same page with all the mechanistic interpretations of the Morality mechanism than it does have the potential to leading to 'alignment' arguments because in the end, the idea of Good and Evil or what's a good and bad action is entirely subjective to each person, culture a person is raised in, etc, etc.

 

So if FFG keeps Morality while also adding in something akin to Destiny and giving both of those as options to use, that would be for the best. I think Morality should be a GM option and the reason for that is because it is truly so subjective and individual whereas if they use Destiny, that's something that everybody could really have, much like everybody could have Duty and Obligation.

 

I also do state all this without having read the full rules in the Force & Destiny book as that book is supposed to be here later today/tomorrow and my words might change after reading it, but on the surface Morality is a mechanism that only has an effect on Force Users, and nobody else. Destiny would definitely be more for everybody, Force Users and Non-Force Users alike. That's why it would be a better overall idea.

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I would think mechanically you could have light conflict and dark conflict, at the end of the session you grab a number of force dice equal to your light conflict and for each light force pip add a morality. Then for each dark conflict roll the force dice and each dark force pip deducts a morality.

I like this mechanic much better, but it does mean more dice rolling.

 

I agree that the notion of using Force dice is interesting, but that it's an added dice roll at a point in time when the players may well be done with rolling dice for the night, particularly if your group is one of those that plays late into the night and aren't comprised of college kids.

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I was expecting that this game would actually use "Destiny" as a mechanism much like Obligation/Duty is a mechanism because this game is titled 'Force & Destiny' and thematically having a mechanism that delves into the Destiny of the character(s) makes perfect sense for Star Wars.

 

Destiny to me would be like everybody having a supposed Fate, and they have the choice to follow their supposed path, or ignore it. This fits in line better with Obligation and Duty than Morality does.

 

Morality is a very different mechanism, and I can see both sides of the argument for/against.

 

On the one side, Morality is a glorified Alignment mechanism given actual mechanisms to keep track of. Its basically a Corruption tracker, and this IS something that Force Users would have to be wary of. All Force Users would have to know how their actions affect their Corruption and if their Corruption reaches a certain point (in this case their Morality falling below 30).

 

Yet the problem/challenge with this as it is is that it does put more of a focus on the GM deciding what is and is not a Good/Bad action and if not everybody is on the same page with all the mechanistic interpretations of the Morality mechanism than it does have the potential to leading to 'alignment' arguments because in the end, the idea of Good and Evil or what's a good and bad action is entirely subjective to each person, culture a person is raised in, etc, etc.

 

So if FFG keeps Morality while also adding in something akin to Destiny and giving both of those as options to use, that would be for the best. I think Morality should be a GM option and the reason for that is because it is truly so subjective and individual whereas if they use Destiny, that's something that everybody could really have, much like everybody could have Duty and Obligation.

 

I also do state all this without having read the full rules in the Force & Destiny book as that book is supposed to be here later today/tomorrow and my words might change after reading it, but on the surface Morality is a mechanism that only has an effect on Force Users, and nobody else. Destiny would definitely be more for everybody, Force Users and Non-Force Users alike. That's why it would be a better overall idea.

Well, Morality is largely meant to be used for Force users, since if the GM is only using Force and Destiny, that's all the group is going to be since every career provides the PC with Force Rating 1, and droids aren't listed as a species in this book.

 

Obligation and Duty are by their nature and definition more broad, simply because they have to be to cover the broad gamut of character types in those games, and even then they have a focus.  Duty is tied to the Alliance, or a similarly large military organization.  Obligation is much broader, since it's a "where did you come from and what ties to your past still linger?" kind of thing, but much of it is still tied to the shadier side of life in the galaxy by default.

 

I think there's also the point that Destiny can itself be a fairly nebulous thing.  Yeah, Vader and the Emperor make a lot of talk about Luke's "destiny," but even then it's not really certain which way he's going to go until the very end.  Yoda and Obi-Wan simply note that Luke's "destiny" is that he must confront Vader, and have learned enough since the events of the prequels to put more trust in the Will of the Force than trying to exert greater control over the boy's actions (if nothing else, they saw how well that didn't work with Anakin).

 

With the PCs being sensitive to the Force by default, I think "destiny" is already covered in that these folks are going to be involved in much bigger things than the average person.  It's kind of like how Jolee Bindo described the notion of "destiny" in the first KOTOR game: sometimes "swirling destiny" is just "swirling destiny," and just gets old coots like him a little too over-excited without really meaning a whole lot of anything.  The example he gave of a huffed-up Jedi that was supposed to have a "great destiny" was hilarious, and puts a pretty big pin in the idea that "destiny" automatically equals greatness.

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I would think mechanically you could have light conflict and dark conflict, at the end of the session you grab a number of force dice equal to your light conflict and for each light force pip add a morality. Then for each dark conflict roll the force dice and each dark force pip deducts a morality.

I like this mechanic much better, but it does mean more dice rolling.

I agree that the notion of using Force dice is interesting, but that it's an added dice roll at a point in time when the players may well be done with rolling dice for the night, particularly if your group is one of those that plays late into the night and aren't comprised of college kids.

The above is mechanically equivalent to rolling each time you acquire positive or negative conflict. I'm not weighing an opinion on this, but just wanted to point out that you could make the rolls at conflict-time, rather than waiting until the end of the session.

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I was expecting that this game would actually use "Destiny" as a mechanism much like Obligation/Duty is a mechanism because this game is titled 'Force & Destiny' and thematically having a mechanism that delves into the Destiny of the character(s) makes perfect sense for Star Wars.

 

Destiny to me would be like everybody having a supposed Fate, and they have the choice to follow their supposed path, or ignore it. This fits in line better with Obligation and Duty than Morality does.

 

Morality is a very different mechanism, and I can see both sides of the argument for/against.

 

On the one side, Morality is a glorified Alignment mechanism given actual mechanisms to keep track of. Its basically a Corruption tracker, and this IS something that Force Users would have to be wary of. All Force Users would have to know how their actions affect their Corruption and if their Corruption reaches a certain point (in this case their Morality falling below 30).

 

Yet the problem/challenge with this as it is is that it does put more of a focus on the GM deciding what is and is not a Good/Bad action and if not everybody is on the same page with all the mechanistic interpretations of the Morality mechanism than it does have the potential to leading to 'alignment' arguments because in the end, the idea of Good and Evil or what's a good and bad action is entirely subjective to each person, culture a person is raised in, etc, etc.

 

So if FFG keeps Morality while also adding in something akin to Destiny and giving both of those as options to use, that would be for the best. I think Morality should be a GM option and the reason for that is because it is truly so subjective and individual whereas if they use Destiny, that's something that everybody could really have, much like everybody could have Duty and Obligation.

 

I also do state all this without having read the full rules in the Force & Destiny book as that book is supposed to be here later today/tomorrow and my words might change after reading it, but on the surface Morality is a mechanism that only has an effect on Force Users, and nobody else. Destiny would definitely be more for everybody, Force Users and Non-Force Users alike. That's why it would be a better overall idea.

 

As a parent of 8 kids who also happens to be a gamer, Morality is a positive mechanic especially as it may assist me in supporting the values I and my wife are tying to impart to them.  Having this game as a teaching tool in this respect is, dare I write, a blessing.  As a mechanic which is supposed to be along the lines of Obligation/Duty, however, is somewhat problematic as has been already noted and highlighted in your post.

 

But, then again, perhaps the authors intended it this way on purpose?  Something somewhat similar to the previous two games but at the same time innovative?

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As a parent of 8 kids who also happens to be a gamer, Morality is a positive mechanic especially as it may assist me in supporting the values I and my wife are tying to impart to them.  Having this game as a teaching tool in this respect is, dare I write, a blessing.

As much as I appreciate that media has an impact on perception, this is more broadly shaped by the story you write and the in-game (not mechanical) consequences you impose. After all, in the real world there's no GM who's going to call a time-out on the universe and tell us clearly and unambiguously what consequences our actions will have on any part of lives. Or at least that's not how I understand decision making to work.

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Yet the problem/challenge with this as it is is that it does put more of a focus on the GM deciding what is and is not a Good/Bad action and if not everybody is on the same page with all the mechanistic interpretations of the Morality mechanism than it does have the potential to leading to 'alignment' arguments because in the end, the idea of Good and Evil or what's a good and bad action is entirely subjective to each person, culture a person is raised in, etc, etc.

 

 

That depends, the conflict chart gives you a very good example of what the game considers the kind of thing that should earn Conflict. In fact the system as mentioned in the book is specifically designed to avoid the kind of differences of opinion that something like this can bring to the table, especially when a player thinks that they have an 'legitimate' excuse for the action for which Conflict is being awarded. Apart from the slightly shady end of the table which consists of standing by while someone else does something wrong and being a bit quick to aggressive negotiation, the evil end is pretty much clearly evil actions. Lets face it, highest amount of Conflict awards include unprovoked violence (pretty much a nasty thing I'd say), unnecessary cruelty to a non-sapient animal (again pretty clear), Torture (never a good excuse for sticking needles under peoples fingernails) and lastly murder (specifically killing someone who is not a threat and/or is helpless).

 

The examples in both the Conflict table and the adventure seem to pretty much provide a clear framework. Also, there is no subjective Morality within the Star Wars universe for Force users. You can decide to insert that if you prefer since it is your game, but the Morality mechanic is designed for framework of the Movies not to match the individual gaming groups preferences or trying to fit real world viewpoints.

 

E

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I was expecting that this game would actually use "Destiny" as a mechanism much like Obligation/Duty is a mechanism because this game is titled 'Force & Destiny'

 

Good point -- there is definitely a precedent for that established in both Edge of Obligation and Age of Duty.

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I was expecting that this game would actually use "Destiny" as a mechanism much like Obligation/Duty is a mechanism because this game is titled 'Force & Destiny'

 

Good point -- there is definitely a precedent for that established in both Edge of Obligation and Age of Duty.

 

 

To be fair, I had also expected something similar. Mainly because a thread on one of the other boards had a very well thought out post laying out how Luke started with his revenge Obligation following the death of his Aunt and Uncle, he developed a Duty to the Rebellion in the Empire Strikes Back and then achieved his Destiny in Return of the Jedi.

 

Having said that, I can't easily see how a Destiny mechanic might work without being either too weak on detail or too rigid. With Destiny you would either have to say that the character had a Destiny to find 'something' and leave it at that, or make the Destiny to locate the ruins of the Great Library of Ossus and within it the Datacron holding the location of the Valley of the Jedi.

 

With the first method you don't have the almost spoilers-like railroading that something like that can cause but it is so light on detail it is almost pointless. "Captain Bob has a Destiny to do something, it might be to do with a lost planet but we are not too sure".

 

E

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I was expecting that this game would actually use "Destiny" as a mechanism much like Obligation/Duty is a mechanism because this game is titled 'Force & Destiny'

 

Good point -- there is definitely a precedent for that established in both Edge of Obligation and Age of Duty.

 

No, but they do have a clear motivational link between the theme of the campaign (disenfranchised characters, members of the rebellion) and the mechanic (characters need a reason they're disenfranchised; rebels need a way to help the rebellion). The problem is that the link in Force & Destiny is between Force Users and... what? A need to track whether or not your Dark Side? That's not a motivation; that's an effect. Destiny is just a good assumption of what might provide the same sort of motivation mechanic as the other two games; especially since the game contains zero other ways in which the Destiny half of the title is relevant.

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