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FFG_Sam Stewart

Beta Update 7

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The cost is paid in advance, now you get to reap in the benefits.

 

You would still get conflict for the use of causing emotional distress to people, and any conflict from using dark side points to power the immobilization effect. So at minimum, you're probably grabbing 2 conflict per use as is, on top of what is currently 1 conflict per session.

 

The flat 'conflict tax' in the Talent as currently written is overall less punitive to the player, at least as opposed to doling out additional conflict per use. 2 Conflict per use +1 is often going to be preferable to 3 Conflict per use.  Granted, they're both more than the original draft of the Talent. 

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Daeglan is half right... The problem with the talent is not the wording of the effect, it is its name. I remember people having an argument over Convincing Demeanor talent working with opening locks with Skuldudgery. The effect says one thing, but the name implies another.

 

The effect of the talent Terrify is that it causes a target to be immobilized, or staggered with the improved version. Be it with terror or awe, the mechanical effect is the same. Maybe the opponent is suprised, impressed, awed, or even terrified, but he just stands there unable to move... that's the effect of the power.... The Conflict should be from the narrative of how the character used this power.... was it by using fear or awe... not just because he has that talent.

 

I'm against the automatic Conflict for this talent.... it reminds me of the talent Duelist's Training.... before the beta update, it added a setback dice when confronted with multiple opponents... they removed that part because it was stupid to have a talent (you paid with XP) give a negative aspect.... It is the same with Terrify !

 

I think there are some big distinctions between Terrify and Duelist Training.

 

First of all, a GM is justified in awarding Conflict for using Terrify.  Even most here who don't think you should get Conflict for just having Terrify have said they think it would be fine if you got Conflict for using it.  So, you're still "punished" for using something you purchased.  There's also force powers which auto-generate Conflict so there's already a precedence for gaining Conflict for using something you purchased.

 

And I don't think Conflict is a drawback.  Duelist Training was a direct penalty to your character in a common scenario.  A setback die - while not a huge deal - is a drawback.  Conflict is a narrative tool used to model the Dark Side and depending on your character concept gaining Conflict is a desirable thing.  It's only a real drawback (with a bonus) if you consistently accrue lots of Conflict and fall to the dark side.  (So even if you want to view Conflict as a drawback Terrify barely contributes to it, not on the same level of Duelist Training which in-and-of-itself gives you a drawback).  It seemed like the intent of Duelist Training getting a setback was to simulate the Makashi practitioner being poor at dealing with multiple opponents while on the flip side the Shii-cho practitioner being good at multiple opponents (but poor against a duelist).  I guess they decided it was awkward or unbalanced to model the Makashi duelist this way or didn't want to set the precedence of balancing lightsaber styles this way (give the Shi-cho Knight Talent Multiple Opponents a setback die too?, does every lightsaber style tree need this sort of thing?).  Modelling the lure and hold of the dark side using auto-generated Conflict doesn't seem unbalanced (it doesn't really an immediate negative effect, it just builds in a very minor tendency) and it's not awkward because it does a pretty good job of giving that character the feel of the dark side being there tempting you.

 

My issue is it gives you conflict for doing absolutely nothing. You could spend the entire game locked in your cabin on the ship and not interact with anyone and still get conflict. that is the problem. I do not mind conflict for using the talent. I mind conflict for doing nothing just because you bought a talent. 

 

 

I guess we see it differently (obviously!).

 

I don't look at it as "just buying a talent".  I see it as training in the dark side.  That sticks with you.  It changes you.  It's lurking there.  Beckoning to you.  Your darker emotions come easier.  The power is alluring.

 

Now, this can be roleplayed without this gain 1 Conflict mechanic but I think this mechanic helps the roleplaying and is a great little narrative device for the player.

 

One flaw with previous Star Wars RPGs in this regard is that players had near absolute control over when they gained dark side points.  They could carefully and strategically pick and choose when to call on the dark side and when not to.  This may not be very good roleplaying - depending on the character concept - but the system sorta included it as an option.  The typical way of gaining Conflict in FFG Star Wars is the same.  Which is fine.  

 

But what I like about the idea of gaining 1 Conflict "just for training in the dark side" is that it adds that little extra punch.  You chose the dark side and you don't get to walk away when YOU want to.  Not easily.  Not without a struggle.   I think this better captures the nature of the dark side than just gaining Conflict when your character does something.

 

As I said, this sort of thing can be done just by pure roleplaying (your character is played so that they do choose to do things that gain Conflict because that's the character) but I like the little mechanical hook into that.  It takes just a tiny bit of "control" away from the player - the character trained in the dark side and they don't get to totally control that dynamic because the dark side is working on them in a way it couldn't before.

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First of all, a GM is justified in awarding Conflict for using Terrify.  Even most here who don't think you should get Conflict for just having Terrify have said they think it would be fine if you got Conflict for using it.  So, you're still "punished" for using something you purchased.  There's also force powers which auto-generate Conflict so there's already a precedence for gaining Conflict for using something you purchased.

 

I'm not against giving Conflict if Terrify is used to incite fear into a NPC... it easily falls into the "Inflicting Emotional Abuse" category and would warrant 2 conflict. My point is that some talents can be roleplayed and that it should affect how you interpret their effect. Fear is not the only way to make somebody stop in his tracks and unable to act.... presence, stature, innocence, vulnerability and many more...

 

 

For this example... let's rename Terrify for IMMOBILIZE.

Example #1 : A Rodian Aggressor is confronted by 4 ruthless thugs... the Rodian FU spits at the thugs and says that if they try anything, he will rip them apart and feed their flesh to his ravenous dogs ; he uses the talent IMMOBILIZE to make them unable to move.....

 

Example #2 : A young girl jedi padawan is confronted by 4 ruthless thugs.... the girl stands firm and holds her ground, telling the thugs that she is not afraid, showing her resolve and determination ; she uses the talent IMMOBILIZE to make the unable to move....

 

Example #3 : An older senator and a young brash senator are victim of a group of thugs that shot a rocket at their speeder.... After the explosion, the young senator jumps and tries to go after the thugs, the older senator tells him to stay and care for the wounded bystanders and that he will take care of the thugs, filling his voice with presence and leadership ; he uses the talent IMMOBILIZE to stop the young senator.

 

In these examples... only example #1 would warrant conflict points... examples #2 and #3 would not warrant Conflict even if they used the same talent.... The point I'm trying to make is that the power itself is not inherently evil, it depends on the way you use it.... You might think it's evil because of the name they gave it, change the name and it because something completely different.

 

 

You could rename it Immobilize instead and looking at the mechanics outside the context of it's actual name (chosen by the developers) and the Specialization it's in you could argue for it being a neutral force ability that may or may not gain Conflict.  It could be used to implement Morichro or Malacia.

 

But the developers obviously don't intend it to be viewed this way.  They named it Terrify and placed it in the Aggressor specialization which is explicitly described as using terror as a weapon against other people.  Looking at the other Talents in the Aggressor tree there's a big theme of purposely instilling fear in your enemies.  And they decided (for now) that it should also give you 1 Conflict just for using it.  The developers are explicitly making this a dark side ability.

 

They may release a similar but non-dark side ability in the future that is closer to Morichro or Malacia or awe or whatever but this isn't it.

 

You could house rule it easily enough (though it's place in the Aggressor spec is still odd).

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I'm going to throw this out there... how is the terrify talent worthy of 1 auto conflict a round session, but knowing how to resurrect dead people via stealing life essence from others (willing or otherwise) not? because harm has some nasty dark side nonsense to it, but it doesn't automatically corrupt the user... so why is terrify special in this regard?

 

The question is more directed at the idea that if dark abilities are corrupting, where is the line being drawn, because on the list of terrible dark side things accomplish-able in the FaD core, terrify is like the 5th worst one.  the others just happen to be bundled into "good guy" schtick, but they are clearly far far worse, in the corruption and force milieu.

 

Edit: I meant session when I first typed this.  d'oh!

 

I think that's a good question.  And I think there have been some good responses to it.

 

I'll just add that from the linked article discussing this update the devs have said they want to introduce the idea of gaining Conflict for just having a Talent so it can be used in future books.  So as to what deserves it and what doesn't...we'll see but it looks like they have an idea of the role this mechanic should play and where it belongs.

 

Also, I think Aggressor is the only specialization in F&D that seems to explicitly be built up around using the dark side so maybe that's the qualifying feature - they want it in specializations instead of force powers.  Or maybe we'll see force powers which aren't dual use that have the same effect.

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Cool, so... force power soul steal carries no inherent corrupting influence... force talent soul steal does...

 

tumblr_m5lgugMMOo1rrlrnjo1_500.gif

 

[caption for haley: animated gif of an evil spell being cast in a castlevania game]

 

(you'll have to excuse me, i couldn't find a gif of soul steal)

 

 

 

 

As a Force Talent, it's mechanically different from a Force Power/Upgrade and shouldn't have to abide by the same rules, for starters.

 

 

 

I suppose if that's the only distinction that can be identified, there you go.  I'd prefer a narrative reason, but not everything in a narrative game needs to support the idea of a narrative game.

 

 

IMO, it comes down to the fact that the sole intent and purpose of the talent is to use the Force to instill fear in your enemies. None of the other effects in the game are like that.

Also, the dark side powers carry with them an automatic +1 conflict per use that Terrify does not. It's just a different mechanic, and I guess I like it, in part, because it breaks the mold (such as it is).

 

 

I guess I just don't see the distinction between sole use and terrible use as being meaningful.  if a thing is capable of terrible things, that's still a thing capable of terrible things.  If I know how to crush a wind pipe with my mind, not using it doesn't change the fact that I know it.  Unleash is solely devoted to destruction, that it's bundled with protect is happy coincidence.  So just because terrify is only useful for terrifying, I don't see how that specific knowledge is different in it's core narrative concept from the other dark side mastery type powers in the game.  Agreed they're mechanically different, but then terrify suffers from being the arbitrary odd man out.

 

Again, this arbitrary change tilts the aggressor into a less generally useful spec.  Not much,but it's creating an arbitrary divide, and I haven't heard a good narrative reason why terrify is so much more corrupting than the other terrible abilities.  and if a good narrative reason for why terrify is different beyond the others isn't easy to explain, then it may be a bad mechanic.  at least in this application, not overall, because I like the idea of corrupting knowledge.

 

It could be that the devs see Specializations as being more narratively important to your character concept than the force powers they pick up.  It looks like the designed force powers to have dual uses and are therefor neutral by default.  Whereas being an "Aggressor" is much more strongly themed with consciously training in how to use the dark side as a weapon.

 

I also don't think it's necessarily the knowledge that corrupts but rather the training (or perhaps how the knowledge was acquired).  Training to use the force to fill someone with terror is itself an experience with the dark side that stays with you.  Doing it again beckons to you.  The power you gain from it - and experienced - is much more appealing to you now.

 

But why isn't the same thing true for gaining Conflict the good old fashioned way (e.g., if you gain 15 Conflict in one session why doesn't this stick with you either and have lingering affects)?  I think they just wanted to add this one little feature to making the dark side more present for a certain kind of character and applying the concept universally would make it too overwhelming.

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 One flaw with previous Star Wars RPGs in this regard is that players had near absolute control over when they gained dark side points.  They could carefully and strategically pick and choose when to call on the dark side and when not to.  This may not be very good roleplaying - depending on the character concept - but the system sorta included it as an option.  The typical way of gaining Conflict in FFG Star Wars is the same.  Which is fine.  

 

But what I like about the idea of gaining 1 Conflict "just for training in the dark side" is that it adds that little extra punch.  You chose the dark side and you don't get to walk away when YOU want to.  Not easily.  Not without a struggle.   I think this better captures the nature of the dark side than just gaining Conflict when your character does something.

 

As I said, this sort of thing can be done just by pure roleplaying (your character is played so that they do choose to do things that gain Conflict because that's the character) but I like the little mechanical hook into that.  It takes just a tiny bit of "control" away from the player - the character trained in the dark side and they don't get to totally control that dynamic because the dark side is working on them in a way it couldn't before.

 

 

In previous Star Wars RPGs, dark side points were actual penalties because by RAW, you would lose your character.  This was a balance against making Force Powers insanely powerful vs. mundane character options.

 

That is not the case in this version.  There is no penalty for being Dark. The +1 conflict for knowing a talent is like nudging a kid towards chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla because some guy on the Internet wants them to.

Edited by Lorne

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Right.  Because flipping light side chips to dark ones is a great thing for the party.  It is as if the chocolate ice cream was made with high fructose corn syrup and other chemicals which over time breaks down your immune system or causes other life shortening effects and further distributes these traits in a cosmic way to your friends and families.  Nope.  No penalty for going Dark do I see...

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We're having multiple discussions on the talent, and approaching the arguments from different ways, which is a good thing really. It's good that this change has caused spirited debate in how the system works and the nature of morality and such.

 

However, the problem with the talent for me, more than anything, is the fact that it is forced morality. I'm not just talking about the morality mechanic itself, I'm talking about actual moral, ethical, and philosophical issues that the talent has introduced. You can see it in the many discussions already, what exactly the talent should be, how it should be interpreted, and whether it is in essence a darkside "evil" thing. We all have different opinions on what should be generating conflict, what should be considered darkside, or evil, or even how things like this should apply to our own games. These are discussions that should be had by the GM and his gaming group, and what their own ideas and expectations are.

 

That to me is the biggest problem with this talent. It's forcing a morality issue beyond the established base mechanics, and that is totally not cool. The talent is forcing me to have to accept a point of conflict every session. To me it's saying "you're somehow inherently tainted because of something you've "learned" and is outside your control, and not based on your individual actions." Like I said before, I'm not keen on this idea of some sort of inherent "original sin" being forced upon me via mechanics. 

 

You want to get into those ideas, you want to play out falling to the darkside, being conflicted, whatever, then do it narratively within your game group and RP.

 

No one has spoken to the concept I brought up about other abilities being inherently wrong. Influence allows you to essentially subvert the free will of a sentient. If you're talking about knowing something that is "corrupting", that fits the bill quite perfectly doesn't it? It's ripe for abuse, the ability to make people believe whatever you want, to influence their thoughts and emotions. It's a dangerous path, right? How about we start giving conflict just for simply knowing it?

 

I'm not a fan of the slippery slope argument, but you can easily start seeing things head that way with adding auto conflict like the Terrify talent. What else are they going to require an automatic conflict for? What about improved parry and reflect? Those cause you to counterattack a target. That's dangerous knowledge isn't it? What about all combat talents? Just knowing how to kill people is enough to garner a conflict? How about Fearsome or Intimidating Presence? Those invoke fear and intimidation purposefully, and just knowing those is bad enough, right? Let's add some auto conflict to that as well. Next thing you know it, it's not just 1 conflict you're automatically taking on, it's 2, 3, 4, etc. Then it starts to add up.

 

I can see where FFG may be going with this concept, and it's not really a bad one. If they're using this as a potential bench test for future supplements where there are more "dark side" careers and specialization say Sith Apprentice, Dathromiri Witch, or whatever else dark side flavored where the concept is "inherent knowledge of dark side abilities taints you". I think it's a neat concept. But don't make stuff cause auto conflict. I'm willing to concede that it should be conflict on use. Or, to make things more aligned with already established mechanics, make it so that talents have a dual purpose. A light side use or a dark side use just like the force powers. 

 

Ultimately you can use the Morality mechanic any way you choose.  You can decide what does and doesn't generate Conflict.  You can decide that you don't want Talents auto-generating Conflict and throw it out.

 

But Star Wars does have a very black and white view of morality in regards to the dark side.  Fear, anger, aggression, hatred, etc simply are evil and lead to the dark side.  

 

The book also says the Morality mechanic is meant to steer groups away from arguments about whether an action is evil or not or a player should be "penalized" for doing something.  It tries to clearly lay out what gains Conflict.  And it's in accordance with the fairly stark morality the setting establishes.

 

If play groups want more gray area they are free to do so and have these debates and monkey around with what does or doesn't gain Conflict etc but the rules, I think, do a pretty good job of representing the morality of the Star Wars universe as presented in the movies.

 

And part of good/evil is consequences - the Aggressor walks the path of the dark side and that changes you.  And training in how to fill someone with terror is not "doing nothing" and just knowledge.  The Aggressor is all about using terror as a weapon.  That's dark side.  As the article stated, the devs are mindful that too many Talents in a single tree that auto-generate Conflict would be too much.  But an iconic Talent for the Aggressor is a good spot to put it.

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 One flaw with previous Star Wars RPGs in this regard is that players had near absolute control over when they gained dark side points.  They could carefully and strategically pick and choose when to call on the dark side and when not to.  This may not be very good roleplaying - depending on the character concept - but the system sorta included it as an option.  The typical way of gaining Conflict in FFG Star Wars is the same.  Which is fine.  

 

But what I like about the idea of gaining 1 Conflict "just for training in the dark side" is that it adds that little extra punch.  You chose the dark side and you don't get to walk away when YOU want to.  Not easily.  Not without a struggle.   I think this better captures the nature of the dark side than just gaining Conflict when your character does something.

 

As I said, this sort of thing can be done just by pure roleplaying (your character is played so that they do choose to do things that gain Conflict because that's the character) but I like the little mechanical hook into that.  It takes just a tiny bit of "control" away from the player - the character trained in the dark side and they don't get to totally control that dynamic because the dark side is working on them in a way it couldn't before.

 

 

In previous Star Wars RPGs, dark side points were actual penalties because by RAW, you would lose your character.  This was a balance against making Force Powers insanely powerful vs. mundane character options.

 

That is not the case in this version.  There is no penalty for being Dark. The +1 conflict for knowing a talent is like nudging a kid towards chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla because some guy on the Internet wants them to.

 

 

Which leads to the greater question of "who or what really decides if a character falls to the dark side?" Is it mechanics, the player, or the GM? Do I HAVE to fall to the dark side because mechanics keep telling me I have to? "You've got x amount of morality, your character is now evil." Yeah, ok. 

 

Now like I've mentioned, I really do like the morality mechanics as is (besides this new addition to Terrify). It's a good consistent system, and allows enough flexibility to properly illustrate dark side temptation and "falling". I understand it's in a way an "implied contract" that by playing a game in the Star Wars universe, and specifically playing this system, that I am reasonably expected to play within the constraints of the system and universe. And that's fine, the system makes sense mechanically for the most part, and I (and by extension my group) have a good awareness of the universe and the types of stories it produces. If we weren't ok with it we wouldn't be playing. 

 

However, as a player who enjoys RPing, I essentially have control of my character and I realistically have a good idea of how I want him/her to develop. I know if I'm going to end up playing a character who falls to the dark side, or who could potentially fall. I'm going to be playing my character with that concept in mind. Therefore, I will use Terrify to instill fear in my targets in order to bully them. I'll skirt the established moralities and push them as far as I can. I'll be potentially using unleash, or bind, or whatever else which will end up causing conflict. But that ultimately is MY choice. And it flows from consistent and logically sound mechanics. I don't need things auto generating conflict and forcing me down a certain path "just because". 

Edited by DeepEyes357

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 One flaw with previous Star Wars RPGs in this regard is that players had near absolute control over when they gained dark side points.  They could carefully and strategically pick and choose when to call on the dark side and when not to.  This may not be very good roleplaying - depending on the character concept - but the system sorta included it as an option.  The typical way of gaining Conflict in FFG Star Wars is the same.  Which is fine.  

 

But what I like about the idea of gaining 1 Conflict "just for training in the dark side" is that it adds that little extra punch.  You chose the dark side and you don't get to walk away when YOU want to.  Not easily.  Not without a struggle.   I think this better captures the nature of the dark side than just gaining Conflict when your character does something.

 

As I said, this sort of thing can be done just by pure roleplaying (your character is played so that they do choose to do things that gain Conflict because that's the character) but I like the little mechanical hook into that.  It takes just a tiny bit of "control" away from the player - the character trained in the dark side and they don't get to totally control that dynamic because the dark side is working on them in a way it couldn't before.

 

 

In previous Star Wars RPGs, dark side points were actual penalties because by RAW, you would lose your character.  This was a balance against making Force Powers insanely powerful vs. mundane character options.

 

That is not the case in this version.  There is no penalty for being Dark. The +1 conflict for knowing a talent is like nudging a kid towards chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla because some guy on the Internet wants them to.

 

 

You can dislike this all you want but you can't even concede that it in some way models the way the dark side works in Star Wars?  You may not like the way it models and this may not be the only way to model it but it does model it.

 

If you want to go with ice cream analogies: you've only ever had vanilla ice cream.  It's good.  But you've now had your first cone of dark chocolate ice cream.  It was awesome.  In fact you've now learned how to make it.  And it's even better.  And now you have a hard time not eating it on a fairly regular basis.  But now you've put on a few pounds so you eat it less often.  But you think about it every day.  It pulls on you in the way that only dark chocolate can.  You've opened yourself up to something and it wont' let you go so easily.

 

When Yoda was instructing Luke about the nature of the dark side Yoda was not only talking about actions but mostly about motivations and strong emotions.  Things that get harder to control or resist the more you walk down the dark path.  Which is represented by gaining one Conflict.  You may not like - and I don't think this new game mechanic is essential - but it does mechanically represent this aspect of the force.

Edited by Jedi Ronin

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One of the things I like about the Morality system is that sense of temptation is built in to it. As Sam Stewart described on Order 66, it's really a baked-in part of the whole concept. The Dark Side is always tempting you.

 

Stewart describes his own GM style of bringing out that temptation--"what's a couple of Conflict going to hurt--you can use it to save these orphans..." and this was my own experience too so far in our first session of F&D play.

 

The players must contend with "what would my character WANT to do", versus their own abstract knowledge that they'll get points of Conflict and could potentially slide toward the dark side.

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 One flaw with previous Star Wars RPGs in this regard is that players had near absolute control over when they gained dark side points.  They could carefully and strategically pick and choose when to call on the dark side and when not to.  This may not be very good roleplaying - depending on the character concept - but the system sorta included it as an option.  The typical way of gaining Conflict in FFG Star Wars is the same.  Which is fine.  

 

But what I like about the idea of gaining 1 Conflict "just for training in the dark side" is that it adds that little extra punch.  You chose the dark side and you don't get to walk away when YOU want to.  Not easily.  Not without a struggle.   I think this better captures the nature of the dark side than just gaining Conflict when your character does something.

 

As I said, this sort of thing can be done just by pure roleplaying (your character is played so that they do choose to do things that gain Conflict because that's the character) but I like the little mechanical hook into that.  It takes just a tiny bit of "control" away from the player - the character trained in the dark side and they don't get to totally control that dynamic because the dark side is working on them in a way it couldn't before.

 

 

In previous Star Wars RPGs, dark side points were actual penalties because by RAW, you would lose your character.  This was a balance against making Force Powers insanely powerful vs. mundane character options.

 

That is not the case in this version.  There is no penalty for being Dark. The +1 conflict for knowing a talent is like nudging a kid towards chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla because some guy on the Internet wants them to.

 

 

Which leads to the greater question of "who or what really decides if a character falls to the dark side?" Is it mechanics, the player, or the GM? Do I HAVE to fall to the dark side because mechanics keep telling me I have to? "You've got x amount of morality, your character is now evil." Yeah, ok. 

 

Now like I've mentioned, I really do like the morality mechanics as is (besides this new addition to Terrify). It's a good consistent system, and allows enough flexibility to properly illustrate dark side temptation and "falling". I understand it's in a way an "implied contract" that by playing a game in the Star Wars universe, and specifically playing this system, that I am reasonably expected to play within the constraints of the system and universe. And that's fine, the system makes sense mechanically for the most part, and I (and by extension my group) have a good awareness of the universe and the types of stories it produces. If we weren't ok with it we wouldn't be playing. 

 

However, as a player who enjoys RPing, I essentially have control of my character and I realistically have a good idea of how I want him/her to develop. I know if I'm going to end up playing a character who falls to the dark side, or who could potentially fall. I'm going to be playing my character with that concept in mind. Therefore, I will use Terrify to instill fear in my targets in order to bully them. I'll skirt the established moralities and push them as far as I can. I'll be potentially using unleash, or bind, or whatever else which will end up causing conflict. But that ultimately is MY choice. And it flows from consistent and logically sound mechanics. I don't need things auto generating conflict and forcing me down a certain path "just because". 

 

 

As you say falling to the dark side is mostly a roleplay decision.

But mechanically and setting-wise falling to the dark side has real consequences which are "imposed" by the Morality mechanic.

 

1 Conflict per session is not forcing you down a path.  It's a small slowdown in how much Morality you can gain (or a slight speed up of how much you can lose if you're going that direction).  It's a very slight tendency.  Which is very consistent with the way the dark side is portrayed in the setting.  Someone mentioned Call of Cthulhu earlier and it's similar though not as intense as that.  Once you show an interest in evil it shows an interest in you.  IT has a hold on you.  In that sense you don't get to control it completely (you still have most of the control but you sacrificed a little bit for the power).  You chose to train in Terrify. That means the dark side gets to work on you.  Causing Conflict as it exacts just that little bit of a tole for the decisions you made and the experiences you decided to have and open yourself up to.

 

But I can see where you're coming from.  You may have a character who's fallen to the dark side mechanically and now you want to start the redemption arc.  So now you start getting less Conflict each session or maybe none so you start racking up Morality each session and moving up the scale.  You're in complete control as a player.  And so the 1 Conflict each session seems like an imposition on what you want YOUR character do to.

 

I look at it as a cool mechanic that represents in a very small way how hard it is to turn away from the dark side.  But I also like similar mechanics in other games like Cthulhu or Legend of the Five Rings (both of which impose much more severe and impossible to come back from consequences for falling which would be inappropriate for Star Wars where redemption is possible and encouraged).

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Ultimately you can use the Morality mechanic any way you choose.  You can decide what does and doesn't generate Conflict.  You can decide that you don't want Talents auto-generating Conflict and throw it out.

 

Well yeah of course. If this mechanic stays in I'll obviously be doing away with it. I'm ambivalent about adding more mechanics to established systems sometimes. I recognize sometimes it's good to add additional content and mechanics in to flesh things out. Other times it seems superfluous, cumbersome, or down right bad. Like the argument that resulted from allowing FUs to make sabers personal weapons and it giving the benefit. A lot of people were upset, but like anything you could just disregard that rule for your own game. But that discussion is for another time.

 

 

 

But Star Wars does have a very black and white view of morality in regards to the dark side.  Fear, anger, aggression, hatred, etc simply are evil and lead to the dark side.  

 

This I'm sorry but I respectfully disagree with. You don't need an advanced degree in philosophy to see the moral relativism in Star Wars. There are universal concepts, yes. Yoda and Obi-wan are the "good guys". Vader and the Emperor are "bad guys". But it's far from black and white. Yoda and Obi-wan purposefully kept the knowledge hidden from Luke that Vader is his father so he can kill him. They kept pushing him saying that "The dark side is bad and he's bad. You have to kill him." Luke made the hard choice, gambled, and ultimately won by bringing his father back instead of outright killing him. Who was the more Jedi-like of the bunch then? 

 

Plus, you've got Luke killing stormtroopers all over. He used the force to destroy the Death Star, which ultimately ending up ending the lives of countless of people. So how does that measure? Luke gets a +10 to duty, but what should we say, a -5 to morality? 

 

Moreover, the new Star Wars: Rebels has been established as the new canon. I don't know if people have watched it, so I wont be getting into too much detail due to spoilers, but watch the latest episode. The Jedi protagonist went pretty wild with his force powers and killed a whole bunch of stormtroopers in pretty aggressive ways. Even the kid with him (his apprentice) made a comment about it, "wow, you're not fooling around." How much conflict does he gain from that? Murder is 10 conflict, but it says only against innocents or those who pose no threat. So let's say it's 5 conflict instead for each stormtrooper. But then, does being part of the Empire, "an evil organization". Does wearing all white armor and being a faceless person in a giant military machine lower it? He is still killing so say 2 conflict instead. Is killing 5 stormtroopers the equivalent of murdering an innocent person? 

 

I think Star Wars isn't so black and white as people think. 

 

 

 

The book also says the Morality mechanic is meant to steer groups away from arguments about whether an action is evil or not or a player should be "penalized" for doing something.  It tries to clearly lay out what gains Conflict.  And it's in accordance with the fairly stark morality the setting establishes.

 

It also states that GMs should adjust conflict accordingly depending on actions. There aren't hard and fast rules. They're still essentially guidelines. The only thing that is a hard mechanic is using the d10. 

 

I'm not going to argue against the whole morality mechanics and nitpick every single thing. Like you said that's part of the play group discussion. Which is exactly why forcing morality beyond what has already been established is unacceptable. 

 

Again, making Terrify a conflict generating ability on use would be a perfectly acceptable variation. Unless it's made to be a dual talent like I said. 

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Ultimately you can use the Morality mechanic any way you choose.  You can decide what does and doesn't generate Conflict.  You can decide that you don't want Talents auto-generating Conflict and throw it out.

 

Well yeah of course. If this mechanic stays in I'll obviously be doing away with it. I'm ambivalent about adding more mechanics to established systems sometimes. I recognize sometimes it's good to add additional content and mechanics in to flesh things out. Other times it seems superfluous, cumbersome, or down right bad. Like the argument that resulted from allowing FUs to make sabers personal weapons and it giving the benefit. A lot of people were upset, but like anything you could just disregard that rule for your own game. But that discussion is for another time.

 

 

 

But Star Wars does have a very black and white view of morality in regards to the dark side.  Fear, anger, aggression, hatred, etc simply are evil and lead to the dark side.  

 

This I'm sorry but I respectfully disagree with. You don't need an advanced degree in philosophy to see the moral relativism in Star Wars. There are universal concepts, yes. Yoda and Obi-wan are the "good guys". Vader and the Emperor are "bad guys". But it's far from black and white. Yoda and Obi-wan purposefully kept the knowledge hidden from Luke that Vader is his father so he can kill him. They kept pushing him saying that "The dark side is bad and he's bad. You have to kill him." Luke made the hard choice, gambled, and ultimately won by bringing his father back instead of outright killing him. Who was the more Jedi-like of the bunch then? 

 

Plus, you've got Luke killing stormtroopers all over. He used the force to destroy the Death Star, which ultimately ending up ending the lives of countless of people. So how does that measure? Luke gets a +10 to duty, but what should we say, a -5 to morality? 

 

Moreover, the new Star Wars: Rebels has been established as the new canon. I don't know if people have watched it, so I wont be getting into too much detail due to spoilers, but watch the latest episode. The Jedi protagonist went pretty wild with his force powers and killed a whole bunch of stormtroopers in pretty aggressive ways. Even the kid with him (his apprentice) made a comment about it, "wow, you're not fooling around." How much conflict does he gain from that? Murder is 10 conflict, but it says only against innocents or those who pose no threat. So let's say it's 5 conflict instead for each stormtrooper. But then, does being part of the Empire, "an evil organization". Does wearing all white armor and being a faceless person in a giant military machine lower it? He is still killing so say 2 conflict instead. Is killing 5 stormtroopers the equivalent of murdering an innocent person? 

 

I think Star Wars isn't so black and white as people think. 

 

 

 

The book also says the Morality mechanic is meant to steer groups away from arguments about whether an action is evil or not or a player should be "penalized" for doing something.  It tries to clearly lay out what gains Conflict.  And it's in accordance with the fairly stark morality the setting establishes.

 

It also states that GMs should adjust conflict accordingly depending on actions. There aren't hard and fast rules. They're still essentially guidelines. The only thing that is a hard mechanic is using the d10. 

 

I'm not going to argue against the whole morality mechanics and nitpick every single thing. Like you said that's part of the play group discussion. Which is exactly why forcing morality beyond what has already been established is unacceptable. 

 

Again, making Terrify a conflict generating ability on use would be a perfectly acceptable variation. Unless it's made to be a dual talent like I said. 

 

 

I didn't intend to say that there is no gray area in Star Wars morality but that there isn't any gray area in regards to certain things - like fear, anger, hatred, etc.

 

As for aggression goes...

 

Yoda told Luke to use the force only for defense, never attack.  But Yoda himself laid the smack down - using the force.  Was Yoda edging towards the dark side or even embracing the dark side while he was "aggressive"?

I don't think so.  For one thing - Star Wars is a piece of fiction written by and re-written and ret-conned etc - so some inconsistencies will crop up.  Or maybe some are inclined to interpret "inconsistency" as "nuance".

But I don't necessarily see as taking out the storm troopers or the death star using the force as evil.  I don't think the setting says that.  I think the setting says if you killed the storm troopers when it wasn't necessary (this tends to be my interpretation of aggression: using violence when you don't need to, not holding back from using violence when it is warranted) or in anger or hatred or use fear as a weapon then you are using the dark side and doing evil things.

 

Finally I'll add that Star Wars is a genre - descended from a genre - that is a bit uneven in terms seriousness and swashbuckling adventure.  You've got faceless imperial mooks and criminals that the heroes are expected to mow down.  Then you've got "serious" moments of internal reflection about the nature of good/evil and what's the best thing to do etc.  I don't think it will all necessarily mesh perfectly or that it's really meant to as a setting.

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I'm not going to argue against the whole morality mechanics and nitpick every single thing. Like you said that's part of the play group discussion. Which is exactly why forcing morality beyond what has already been established is unacceptable.

 

 

"You shall NOT PASS!!!"

 

 

*Gives conflict to angelicdoctor for aggressively standing in the way and scaring away DeepEyes*

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I'm not going to argue against the whole morality mechanics and nitpick every single thing. Like you said that's part of the play group discussion. Which is exactly why forcing morality beyond what has already been established is unacceptable.

 

 

"You shall NOT PASS!!!"

 

 

*Gives conflict to angelicdoctor for aggressively standing in the way and scaring away DeepEyes*

 

 

Was I Terrify-ing?  That conflict should have been given to me a long time ago, amigo.

 

Be not afraid!   Fear leads to...wait.  Deja vu.

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No one has spoken to the concept I brought up about other abilities being inherently wrong. Influence allows you to essentially subvert the free will of a sentient. If you're talking about knowing something that is "corrupting", that fits the bill quite perfectly doesn't it? It's ripe for abuse, the ability to make people believe whatever you want, to influence their thoughts and emotions. It's a dangerous path, right? How about we start giving conflict just for simply knowing it?

 

Because it's not about "simply knowing it".  For other powers and Talents, you have a choice as to how you use it.  If you understand how the Force works in living creatures, then by understanding that you can "do" or "undo"...the Heal/Harm knowledge can't be separated.

 

But with Terrify, there is only one purpose and function.  It's a very specific piece of knowledge which you *choose* to learn, with the full intent of inflicting Fear via the Force.  It's a big difference.  It's not about the knowledge at all, it's about your characters choices and intent.

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No one has spoken to the concept I brought up about other abilities being inherently wrong. Influence allows you to essentially subvert the free will of a sentient. If you're talking about knowing something that is "corrupting", that fits the bill quite perfectly doesn't it? It's ripe for abuse, the ability to make people believe whatever you want, to influence their thoughts and emotions. It's a dangerous path, right? How about we start giving conflict just for simply knowing it?

 

Because it's not about "simply knowing it".  For other powers and Talents, you have a choice as to how you use it.  If you understand how the Force works in living creatures, then by understanding that you can "do" or "undo"...the Heal/Harm knowledge can't be separated.

 

But with Terrify, there is only one purpose and function.  It's a very specific piece of knowledge which you *choose* to learn, with the full intent of inflicting Fear via the Force.  It's a big difference.  It's not about the knowledge at all, it's about your characters choices and intent.

 

 

 

Right.  Because 'Knowing' is half the battle within.  Sorry.  I just.can't.help.myself to 1980-isms...

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Beckoning!!! That was the word I was looking for earlier. Thanks everyone for finding it :)

And...I think this thread has gone around in circles enough for me. So...

*Uses Move to cause the bridge across the chasm to break, killing DeepEyes and angelicdoctor. Then uses the Dark Side to resurrect them both. +10 Conflict for everyone!*

Yay!

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@ Jedi Ronnin

 

Work computer and quoting don't like each other, so I'll add in the quote later.

 

Of all the arguments I've heard, the idea that terrify being an endemic and integral part of the aggressor tree and spec leading to it's status as apparently the ultimate (so far) of corrupting knowledge is the best narrative argument I've heard.  May haps terrify is less a learned skill and more an instinctual application and that is the narrative piece that's sort of sliding under my radar.

 

Again though, It's not that I have a problem with the mechanic, but the fact that there is no choice once obtained (a minor quibble) and it's place in the Core product (a more significant quibble).  Warrior becomes a sort of truncated career, as the three specs in it are wildly dissimilar unless you want to play darth vader (or some similar copy).  Otherwise, starting out as a warrior who has no interest in the dark side means being a pilot, or being a (currently) generalist melee fighter.  The career has none of the flair or variety that soldier or hired gun had.

 

So in terms of railroading players, I think there is enough consequence from the beta changes to aggressor as a whole beyond gaining auto conflict.  Again though, it's a minimal issue, not game breaking or unplayable, but maybe starting to approach trap choice, which is never good.

 

Edit: What if instead of auto conflict, "dark side" talents reduced your maximum morality?  So rather than giving that slow draw down, it limits how maximally aligned with the light you can be.  This has the side effect of potentially being more impacting in terms of overall morality, w/o the issue of auto conflict that makes people as cranky?  Just another way to view the corrupting knowledge aspect theme that is being designed.

Edited by Thebearisdriving

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This is a very interesting thread.  Personally, I think every choice made on that character sheet for skills/talents/class were made by the character.   To me the character is a person and they made the decision, I'm just the one relaying the story.

 

The important part though - Now I want chocolate ice cream.

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@ Jedi Ronnin

 

Work computer and quoting don't like each other, so I'll add in the quote later.

 

Of all the arguments I've heard, the idea that terrify being an endemic and integral part of the aggressor tree and spec leading to it's status as apparently the ultimate (so far) of corrupting knowledge is the best narrative argument I've heard.  May haps terrify is less a learned skill and more an instinctual application and that is the narrative piece that's sort of sliding under my radar.

 

Again though, It's not that I have a problem with the mechanic, but the fact that there is no choice once obtained (a minor quibble) and it's place in the Core product (a more significant quibble).  Warrior becomes a sort of truncated career, as the three specs in it are wildly dissimilar unless you want to play darth vader (or some similar copy).  Otherwise, starting out as a warrior who has no interest in the dark side means being a pilot, or being a (currently) generalist melee fighter.  The career has none of the flair or variety that soldier or hired gun had.

 

So in terms of railroading players, I think there is enough consequence from the beta changes to aggressor as a whole beyond gaining auto conflict.  Again though, it's a minimal issue, not game breaking or unplayable, but maybe starting to approach trap choice, which is never good.

 

Edit: What if instead of auto conflict, "dark side" talents reduced your maximum morality?  So rather than giving that slow draw down, it limits how maximally aligned with the light you can be.  This has the side effect of potentially being more impacting in terms of overall morality, w/o the issue of auto conflict that makes people as cranky?  Just another way to view the corrupting knowledge aspect theme that is being designed.

 

Like many things there is a reasonable middle ground to be had somewhere. Hence why I say if you want to make Terrify give conflict, then make it on use instead of auto generated, and/or make it a dual talent with a light side factor and a dark side factor. 

 

I had suggested after the base effect of the power (the coercion check to Disorient), allow it to use either light side pips to cause setback dice to everyone under its influence, and dark side pips to Immobilize. 

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Beckoning!!! That was the word I was looking for earlier. Thanks everyone for finding it :)

And...I think this thread has gone around in circles enough for me. So...

*Uses Move to cause the bridge across the chasm to break, killing DeepEyes and angelicdoctor. Then uses the Dark Side to resurrect them both. +10 Conflict for everyone!*

Yay!

 

If I get resurrected I'm coming back as a lich! Star Wars game is now over, and we're going to DnD 4e! 

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