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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.

 

 

This just post hoc rationalization -- if the Dev made Heal & Harm different powers and decided you should accumulate Conflict for knowing Harm, it would be defended by the same folks defending the Terrify update.

 

Apart from the always-fruitless appeals to literature (10 different people will give you 20 different opinions), the main point of contention is "shoud there be Dark specs?"  Sam should just put up a poll or something.

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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.

 

This just post hoc rationalization -- if the Dev made Heal & Harm different powers and decided you should accumulate Conflict for knowing Harm, it would be defended by the same folks defending the Terrify update.

 

Maybe, but then we'd be arguing about why they're different powers :)

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Maybe, but then we'd be arguing about why they're different powers :)

 

 

I see your clown nose there, but FFG did something rather groundbreaking by ditching the d20/WEG established model of having powers and talents (and thus builds) be exclusively light or dark.

 

It feels like they're backsliding.

Edited by Lorne

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Backsliding, or creating the distinction in a different way, through the D20 equivalent of PrCs and classes.

 

But in all the d20 games, the dark "classes" were GM material at the GM's call to allow or disallow. Not a basic and expected player choice in the core.

 

Now, Dark Specs... Bring them on.  I like the idea.  But how about in a dark CAREER.  Aggressor, while flavorful, may not be the best inclusion in the core careers for the reasons I stated earlier.  In a splat, that's a different story.

 

Permanent impact of choosing dark side talents?  Bring it on, but don't make a character with 2-3 of these so difficult to redeem that the player says why bother and shuts out potential narrative arc and story potential.

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So in regards to Terrify...

 

Even before the change, how many players would honestly have taken that talent and not used it at least once per session?

 

From everything that I've seen, a PC that buys any given talent is going to want to use it as often as they possibly can.  And in the case of Terrify, since it's a Force-based talent, it's much easier to simply say "You have this talent, then you start each session with 1 Conflict" and figure the PC is still going to be using said talent in combat.

 

If any of the specs had an inherently dark side leaning from when the book was released, it'd be Aggressor, a Force user that operates by employing fear and terror. both of which are tools of the dark side (as well as the oft-unexpected Spanish Inquisition).  And Conflict ultimately reflects actions that push one to the dark side.  Terrify, by way of involving the user's Force Rating, is a force-based effect that causes fear, which in the in-setting lore puts it firmly in the realm of the dark side.  It's actually less punitive to the player to simply have the "1 Conflict at session start" than have it be "1 Conflict each time you use this talent."

Edited by Donovan Morningfire

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I think, what I would consider to be the biggest hiccup in giving Terrify the Conflict/session tax, is that why don't other force Talents give Conflict or negate conflict per session as per their Light-side or Dark-side leaning? If knowing how to cause fear merits a conflict point per session, shouldn't Calming Aura negate one? What makes Terrify so utterly bad that it is a permanent challenge to your moral fiber, beyond any other dark side leaning ability presented previously? Why isn't there a light equal to it? We need a Chosen One - I mean developer - to bring balance to the Force here.

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I think, what I would consider to be the biggest hiccup in giving Terrify the Conflict/session tax, is that why don't other force Talents give Conflict or negate conflict per session as per their Light-side or Dark-side leaning? If knowing how to cause fear merits a conflict point per session, shouldn't Calming Aura negate one? What makes Terrify so utterly bad that it is a permanent challenge to your moral fiber, beyond any other dark side leaning ability presented previously? Why isn't there a light equal to it? We need a Chosen One - I mean developer - to bring balance to the Force here.

 

1) Maybe because a d10 on your way from 50 to 100 is already fast enough progression? 

2) Falling to the dark side is fast and easy. The dark side is unnatural, seductive, and a quick way to power. But becoming a paragon of light is a slow process, natural, healthy growth, developing maturity. 

3) Consider that, in all the films, the "dark side" is mentioned 47 times, whereas the words "light side" are never even spoken.* It is either "the Force" or "the dark side of the Force." This should, IMO, be taken to mean that the Force is good, wholesome, natural; and the the dark side is twisted, corrupted, a perversion of the natural order of things.

 

Essentially, the natural progression into becoming a paragon is something that shouldn't be hastened in the same way that a fall to the dark side can be. (I know you can start with 29/71 Morality, but that is a different story altogether and involves playing a character who has already taken that journey)

 

The light and dark side aren't mirror images of each other, nor are they "equal opportunity employers." They behave differently. One of the hallmarks of the Jedi is patience; whereas Sith take what they want, when they want.  

 

Plus that, the Force isn't in balance in this Era. Due to Palpatine's machinations and Vader's willing servitude, the dark side is ever-present and ever-seductive. This is played out so well: more black-pip-showing sides on the Force die, Destiny Points being a constant and recurring threat, Conflict being given for simply doing questionable things, and now the Terrify talent.

 

Characters that want to remain true to their Jedi ideals have a hard road ahead of them. And this is as it should be.

 

*unless I'm very much mistaken...

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So in regards to Terrify...

 

Even before the change, how many players would honestly have taken that talent and not used it at least once per session?

 

From everything that I've seen, a PC that buys any given talent is going to want to use it as often as they possibly can.  And in the case of Terrify, since it's a Force-based talent, it's much easier to simply say "You have this talent, then you start each session with 1 Conflict" and figure the PC is still going to be using said talent in combat.

 

If any of the specs had an inherently dark side leaning from when the book was released, it'd be Aggressor, a Force user that operates by employing fear and terror. both of which are tools of the dark side (as well as the oft-unexpected Spanish Inquisition).  And Conflict ultimately reflects actions that push one to the dark side.  Terrify, by way of involving the user's Force Rating, is a force-based effect that causes fear, which in the in-setting lore puts it firmly in the realm of the dark side.  It's actually less punitive to the player to simply have the "1 Conflict at session start" than have it be "1 Conflict each time you use this talent."

 

That's assuming you have chance to use it each session. What if you have sessions that require no combat or situations that result in some sort of conflict? You're gathering 1 conflict for no reason. 

 

Again, the argument of it being inherently dark side is simply a misnomer because of the name. The talent's description gives no indication that it's something inherently dark besides the use of coercion. And just because it uses coercion doesn't mean that it's automatically an evil act. Using Influence to subvert a persons free will is an act of evil as well, objectively, but you don't get automatic conflict just for knowing it. Knowing combat skills can be construed as inherently evil because you can cause harm. You don't get automatic conflict for having lightsaber skill or knowing saber form talents. 

 

It all comes down to character and player choice. Knowing the talent does not automatically mean he/she will use it anymore than knowing Move, Influence, or whatever else. And if you want to start adding conflict to just knowing talents, then why not Intimidating Presence and Fearsome? Now you've got 3 auto generating conflict talents in the tree and getting 3 a session. Where is the line drawn? 

 

Justifying it using setting lore is not a good approach either. It's a forced morality mechanic. Don't force players to have to be penalized for spending xp and time gaining talents and abilities. No other book has done this, and if everyone wants to argue for balance, then it should be kept the same. It's not fair to add an additional tax to force users over something as arbitrary as "well I think that should be evil so you should pay for it"; the established morality mechanics already in play are perfectly fine enough to handle that. I will firmly always argue that belongs as a discussion at the gaming table. 

Edited by DeepEyes357

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That's assuming you have chance to use it each session. What if you have sessions that require no combat or situations that result in some sort of conflict? You're gathering 1 conflict for no reason.

 

Except it's not "no reason," unless you ignore many perfectly good explanations people have been trying to make for pages now.

 

Again, the argument of it being inherently dark side is simply a misnomer because of the name. The talent's description gives no indication that it's something inherently dark besides the use of coercion.

 

It's called "Terrify;" it can be used to disorient, immobilize, and even stagger opponents, and it uses Coercion and one's Force rating. The Aggressor's description uses the word "terrifying" when conveying their attitude. Finally, we have the "+1 Conflict per session" cherry on top. It seems silly to me to argue now that there's no reason to believe this is a dark-side-flavored ability.

 

And just because it uses coercion doesn't mean that it's automatically an evil act. Using Influence to subvert a persons free will is an act of evil as well, objectively, but you don't get automatic conflict just for knowing it. Knowing combat skills can be construed as inherently evil because you can cause harm. You don't get automatic conflict for having lightsaber skill or knowing saber form talents.

 

Influencing a person's free will is not an inherently evil act, not is the knowledge of how to do so. Knowing how to kill a man is different from actually killing a man, of course, but at the same time we are not talking about mundane knowledge. We are talking about a dark side Force technique here, not just about the knowledge of "how to kill" or "how to influence people." For these bits of know-how, it's what you do with the knowledge that determines your level of Conflict.

 

But Terrify is in a class all by itself. Its sole purpose is to instill fear. It is dark Force talent; a dark side technique. It beckons, it seduces, it corrupts. 

 

Don't make me whip out the tvtropes link again! :)

And like Dono says, it's simple. I like simple. And it's flavorful. I like flavor. And it's setting-appropriate. I like feeling Star Warsy. 

 

It all comes down to character and player choice. Knowing the talent does not automatically mean he/she will use it anymore than knowing Move, Influence, or whatever else. And if you want to start adding conflict to just knowing talents, then why not Intimidating Presence and Fearsome? Now you've got 3 auto generating conflict talents in the tree and getting 3 a session. Where is the line drawn?

 

Intimidating and Fearsome are not Force techniques; they are passive talents. Terrify is the only talent in FaD that fits the bill for auto conflict. I would say, off the cuff, the line is drawn at dark-side Force talents.

 

Justifying it using setting lore is not a good approach either.

 

Sure it is. If there's any reason to justify something showing up in a Star Wars game, surely "setting lore" should be at least a contender for top place??

 

It's a forced morality mechanic.

 

Nooo, it's a forced conflict mechanic. By itself, it does nothing to your standing Morality score. It's conflict-y. 

 

Don't force players to have to be penalized for spending xp and time gaining talents and abilities.

 

+1 Conflict per session is not a penalty, even if you're trying to be a light side paragon. At the very worst, in a mechanical sense, it's a minor stumbling block. But if a player doesn't like the talent, and he's never gonna use it because he wants to be light-side, then why not just skip it?? It's very easy to bypass it, and skipping it doesn't delay access to the Force rating talent or anything else worthwhile.

 

No other book has done this, and if everyone wants to argue for balance, then it should be kept the same.

 

The key to failure: "Can't do it, it's never been done before." Lack of precedent cannot be a reason to not do something, especially when one is trying to be innovative. 

 

Balance is already not a factor here; there's never been a talent like Terrify before.

 

It's not fair to add an additional tax to force users over something as arbitrary as "well I think that should be evil so you should pay for it"; the established morality mechanics already in play are perfectly fine enough to handle that.

 

It's not arbitrary; it's the game designers saying, "Hey, look at this talent, it's evil, you'll get conflict for knowing it. It's part of the design of the game.

 

What is arbitrary is nearly everything else about the Conflict mechanic. Aside from a few specific instances in the rulebook & accompanying adventure, the GM is the one who sets the Conflict for any given action, with only a light set of suggestions to guide those decisions.

 

I will firmly always argue that belongs as a discussion at the gaming table.

 

Then how about this: the decision to take the Terrify talent happens at the gaming table. And the roleplay from that auto-Conflict each session can reflect that mechanic, at the gaming table.

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Eh. Really to me the whole Aggressor Tree SHOULD be dark. It ties into Yoda's words in Empire that a Jedi uses the Force for Knowledge and Defense - never to attack. 

 

It should.  What it shouldn't be is in the core book where it's the only specialization of eighteen that has any sort of force alignment.  I would much rather the specializations in the core be neutral and accessible to all to flavor their own characters as they like.  

 

If the developers opt to keep Aggressor as it is, I'll probably retool marauder or assassin to suit Force and Destiny and offer those as choices instead.  One spec that clearly leans towards the dark side impacts the whole career.

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That's assuming you have chance to use it each session. What if you have sessions that require no combat or situations that result in some sort of conflict? You're gathering 1 conflict for no reason. 

 

 

Why would the lack of combat in a session be a barrier to using this talent? I could see several ways it could be utilized outside of combat. Sure there are mechanics (rounds, range and maneuvers) in the text but if a player wanted to use it in a non-combat capacity all of that could be determined through narrative.

 

I misread the quoted section above. I don't think a player who took this would be suffering a lack of opportunities to use the Talent. It's applications are pretty vast, even outside of combat or otherwise tense situations. I mean, they could use it just to make sure they really got a bartenders attention so they could order a drink.

 

 

It all comes down to character and player choice. Knowing the talent does not automatically mean he/she will use it anymore than knowing Move, Influence, or whatever else.

 

Talents are more about who and what characters are while Powers, like skills and equipment, are just what characters have. Any character can have ranks in Piloting (space) and fly a starship but that's a far cry from being a character with the Pilot and/ or Starfighter Ace Specializations. The Talents from those Specializations greatly set a character who is a pilot apart from one can pilot. A Talent that is quite readily dark side would generate an automatic Conflict as it says something integral about a character (representing constant inner turmoil) while a Power with inherently dark side applications does not. 

Edited by Ray Ray Boxer

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To be fair, there's been no name calling, no real bickering, and I was pleased with my small discussion with Jedi ronin, because he gave me a potential answer to my question that, while I don't whole-heartedly agree with, makes more sense then "because."

 

This is the hallmark of a good discussion over something (clearly) that can be controversial.

 

Chrislee66 has succinctly summarized my core issue with the change in post #156, which goes along with my final thoughts.  It's not bad, it just may not be appropriate for the core, which sucks, because I think the aggressor was a nice piece to the core and to warrior.

Edited by Thebearisdriving

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What it shouldn't be is in the core book where it's the only specialization of eighteen that has any sort of force alignment. I would much rather the specializations in the core be neutral and accessible to all to flavor their own characters as they like.

To say that there are no real light-side-aligned Specializations is, I'm sorry, just plain wrong. Healer, Sage, Peacekeeper, and Protector all have a very strong light side flavor to them. However, there are character concepts that anyone could easily drum up that would put a dark side character into the role of a healer or a sage (Darth Plageus), a peacekeeper (Darth Revan), or a protector (Darth Vader).

I think, though, that the issue of "alignment" might be an area where synopsis is needed.

1) Going along with the idea that we only really have "the Force" and "the dark side of the Force;" this game, like the Star Wars films, doesn't have a "neutral" distinction. There is no "good/neutral/evil" axis of alignment here; there are "good guys," and there are "bad guys." For sure, there are perks for being a "paragon" of virtue (that comes with some real restraint on the PC's part), but PCs that are anywhere on the scale from 30-100 are considered "the good guys." This is explicitly called out in the rules. There is no neutral ground, as far as the Force in this game is concerned. There's no "gray" Force point pip, no "neutral" Destiny Point.

2) In the Core Game, we have 18 specializations, one of which has one talent that gives 1 per-session point of Conflict (among a few other talents of questionable moral use). But this does not make an Aggressor PC a dark side PC. Also, although the Aggressor is the most obviously dark-flavored, it is not by any means a "dark side" specialization, nor is it the only one where a dark-sider could thrive.

Of all the specs, I find the Shadow, the Advisor, and the Hunter most suited to the dark side, along with the Aggressor. But that doesn't mean that a PC can't be a paragon of virtue and still have access to any of these trees. As shown earlier, Mace Windu could easily include Aggressor in his build; Jedi Shadows of the Old Republic were also Hunters of Sith; and most of the Advisor tree really says "Obi-Wan Kenobi" to me (especially Know Somebody, Contingency Plan, Smooth Talker, Nobody's Fool).

TL;DR:

As a paradigm, there is no "neutral" in the game, just good guys and bad guys. And there are no light side or dark side specializations; it's what you do with them that makes them light or dark. There are also several specializations that carry a distinct flavor to them (whether light or dark), but are not only suitable for that type of character.

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What it shouldn't be is in the core book where it's the only specialization of eighteen that has any sort of force alignment. I would much rather the specializations in the core be neutral and accessible to all to flavor their own characters as they like.

To say that there are no real light-side-aligned Specializations is, I'm sorry, just plain wrong. Healer, Sage, Peacekeeper, and Protector all have a very strong light side flavor to them. However, there are character concepts that anyone could easily drum up that would put a dark side character into the role of a healer or a sage (Darth Plageus), a peacekeeper (Darth Revan), or a protector (Darth Vader).

I think, though, that the issue of "alignment" might be an area where synopsis is needed.

1) Going along with the idea that we only really have "the Force" and "the dark side of the Force;" this game, like the Star Wars films, doesn't have a "neutral" distinction. There is no "good/neutral/evil" axis of alignment here; there are "good guys," and there are "bad guys." For sure, there are perks for being a "paragon" of virtue (that comes with some real restraint on the PC's part), but PCs that are anywhere on the scale from 30-100 are considered "the good guys." This is explicitly called out in the rules. There is no neutral ground, as far as the Force in this game is concerned. There's no "gray" Force point pip, no "neutral" Destiny Point.

2) In the Core Game, we have 18 specializations, one of which has one talent that gives 1 per-session point of Conflict (among a few other talents of questionable moral use). But this does not make an Aggressor PC a dark side PC. Also, although the Aggressor is the most obviously dark-flavored, it is not by any means a "dark side" specialization, nor is it the only one where a dark-sider could thrive.

Of all the specs, I find the Shadow, the Advisor, and the Hunter most suited to the dark side, along with the Aggressor. But that doesn't mean that a PC can't be a paragon of virtue and still have access to any of these trees. As shown earlier, Mace Windu could easily include Aggressor in his build; Jedi Shadows of the Old Republic were also Hunters of Sith; and most of the Advisor tree really says "Obi-Wan Kenobi" to me (especially Know Somebody, Contingency Plan, Smooth Talker, Nobody's Fool).

TL;DR:

As a paradigm, there is no "neutral" in the game, just good guys and bad guys. And there are no light side or dark side specializations; it's what you do with them that makes them light or dark. There are also several specializations that carry a distinct flavor to them (whether light or dark), but are not only suitable for that type of character.

 

But yet, there is only one talent in one tree that carries a Conflict-per-session cost. That just seems... Off, to me. Why is this trait unique to this one talent?

 

Also, once you've gone dark, you're a bad guy anywhere on the scale from 1-70. So, 30-70 can be either good or bad. So, at 50, you could be rising, falling, or holding steady. Who knows? Without further information, you can't assume a 50 morality character is a good guy, a bad guy, or on their way between the two

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To be fair, there's been no name calling, no real bickering, and I was pleased with my small discussion with Jedi ronin, because he gave me a potential answer to my question that, while I don't whole-heartedly agree with, makes more sense then "because."

 

This is the hallmark of a good discussion over something (clearly) that can be controversial.

 

Chrislee66 has succinctly summarized my core issue with the change in post #156, which goes along with my final thoughts.  It's not bad, it just may not be appropriate for the core, which sucks, because I think the aggressor was a nice piece to the core and to warrior.

 

I think the discussion has been good and informative.  Civil and even friendly too.

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Eh. Really to me the whole Aggressor Tree SHOULD be dark. It ties into Yoda's words in Empire that a Jedi uses the Force for Knowledge and Defense - never to attack. 

 

It should.  What it shouldn't be is in the core book where it's the only specialization of eighteen that has any sort of force alignment.  I would much rather the specializations in the core be neutral and accessible to all to flavor their own characters as they like.  

 

If the developers opt to keep Aggressor as it is, I'll probably retool marauder or assassin to suit Force and Destiny and offer those as choices instead.  One spec that clearly leans towards the dark side impacts the whole career.

 

 

But it also opens up the option for someone who wants to play a dark sider to have a specialization that goes that direction in the core book.  Not that you can't play any of the specializations dark but I think it's nice to have one of the 18 options be dark side focused.  

And you're right - it does come at the cost of making the Warrior Career less optimal for many.  Shii-cho Knight is a very appealing spec for me but not Ace or Aggressor for that same character concept so I can certainly see the hindrance there.

 

I think a core should have a little bit of everything - especially since FFG broke out the whole system into 3 core books.

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But yet, there is only one talent in one tree that carries a Conflict-per-session cost. That just seems... Off, to me. Why is this trait unique to this one talent?

 

Again, my take on this is because it's a Force talent.

Look for another Force talent that has such a dark flavor. You won't find any. The rest of them have uses that can vary between light and dark, and are not inherently dark side. This one is all about terror. 

 

Also, once you've gone dark, you're a bad guy anywhere on the scale from 1-70. So, 30-70 can be either good or bad. So, at 50, you could be rising, falling, or holding steady. Who knows? Without further information, you can't assume a 50 morality character is a good guy, a bad guy, or on their way between the two

 

Granted, but a Morality 50 character is still either dark side or light side. And he could be trying to redeem himself (but consistently slipping up), or claim that he doesn't care about anyone but himself (but still has a heart of gold). But he is never "neither good nor bad;" he's never "neutral." That was my point.

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But it also opens up the option for someone who wants to play a dark sider to have a specialization that goes that direction in the core book.  Not that you can't play any of the specializations dark but I think it's nice to have one of the 18 options be dark side focused.  

 

 

And you're right - it does come at the cost of making the Warrior Career less optimal for many.  Shii-cho Knight is a very appealing spec for me but not Ace or Aggressor for that same character concept so I can certainly see the hindrance there.

 

It's interesting how the specializations in this book, much more so than in the other CRBs, are so disjointed from each other. Possibly another small balancing factor for the Force using PC? If you want an optimized character (for example, a high-Intellect PC might benefit most from Soresu Defense + Artisan + Sage), you've gotta pay the extra XP for the cross-career specializations.

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