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drbraininajar

Better Solution for Terrify

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With one of the most recent Beta updates, a clause was added to the Warrior(Aggressor) Terrify talent that gives Conflict every session to anyone who takes it.

While that would be interesting design space, I don't feel a talent is the place to put something like that, and seems to come more from the connotations of the talent's name than anything else. and essentially makes it a "Dark Side only" talent. It doesn't seem fair to incentivize avoiding a specialization's core talent, and it is more in keeping with the spirit of Morality/Conflict that whether the use of the ability deserves Conflict be handle differently. The book itself even notes in the description of the Aggressor specialization that using Coercion as a means to get hostiles to back down from an unnecessary fight is a legitimate and peaceful use of it, contrasting it with those who enjoy the fear they cause.

All the talent really needs is a name change, from Terrify to "Inspire Awe/Fear", allowing player intent, and which pips are used from the check's included Force Die, to determine whether it deserves Conflict. That makes for a much more compelling use of the talent, and doesn't scare people away from a specialization or it's core talent.

 

As a side note: I do believe that Conflict for merely choosing certain powers/abilities can be interesting design space, but this may not be the place or method to handle it.

Edited by drbraininajar

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I think this perception of the talent comes from an inflated view of 1 point of Conflict. Conflict is not "the dark side."

 

The PC gets this, and takes a Conflict each session. It's up to him whether he uses the talent for good or for evil, but the very nature of the technique makes it questionable at best. And questionable knowledge can earn you a conflict for knowing it. It can make you internally conflicted.

 
(there, I whipped out the TV tropes article again)
 

As has been discussed earlier, changing the name to "Inspire Awe" would be weak sauce. I really like the change, and think they should keep it in there.

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To Terrify is to instil fear on others. Fear is a Dark Side condition by it's very nature and Terrify's mechanical effect and cost in conflict is appropriate as far as I can see. The PC has chosen to instil fear in their opponents and gets a benefit for doing so, that's pretty much what the Dark Side is all about, however it's only a small weight on the scale and a PC that is vigilant in they're pursuit of the Light Side will overcome this tiny weight. For those that are not so inclined this weight may make the difference at some point along their path.

 

Basically, if you want this ability this is the cost associated with it based on the setting. Take it or don't take it, the path of the Lightside isn't supposed to be easy. :)

Edited by FuriousGreg

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All the talent really needs is a name change, from Terrify to "Inspire Awe/Fear", allowing player intent, and which pips are used from the check's included Force Die, to determine whether it deserves Conflict.

 

Just MHO, but "Inspire Awe" would be just as "dark side"...

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I get that Terrify is a talent that has definite Dark Side connotations, but consider that no other talent gives you one point of Conflict. While one point of Conflict isn't going to kill you, I do think this taints the Talent itself. No other talent comes with this stipulation, and while I wouldn't mind this clause if it was part of, say, a Sith Acolyte or Nightsister or Inquisitior talent tree, I don't really like that the Talent itself is inherently a dark side talent. It forces the PC to make an unpleasant decision--do you take the talent without using it, or do you take the long way around to get to the other talents on the talent tree? Either way requires a sacrifice on the PCs part which no other talent tree forces on the PCs. 

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I get that Terrify is a talent that has definite Dark Side connotations, but consider that no other talent gives you one point of Conflict. While one point of Conflict isn't going to kill you, I do think this taints the Talent itself. No other talent comes with this stipulation, and while I wouldn't mind this clause if it was part of, say, a Sith Acolyte or Nightsister or Inquisitior talent tree, I don't really like that the Talent itself is inherently a dark side talent. It forces the PC to make an unpleasant decision--do you take the talent without using it, or do you take the long way around to get to the other talents on the talent tree? Either way requires a sacrifice on the PCs part which no other talent tree forces on the PCs. 

Yes, well some things have a cost and in this setting using fear as a weapon costs Conflict.

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I get that Terrify is a talent that has definite Dark Side connotations, but consider that no other talent gives you one point of Conflict. While one point of Conflict isn't going to kill you, I do think this taints the Talent itself.

 

The word "taint" has a bit of a strong undertone (especially to us gamer geeks), but sure I see what you're saying. And I think that's intentional. That's why I like it so much; it's different, and it has a unique flavor to it that is improved with the Conflict. 

 

No other talent comes with this stipulation, and while I wouldn't mind this clause if it was part of, say, a Sith Acolyte or Nightsister or Inquisitior talent tree, I don't really like that the Talent itself is inherently a dark side talent.

 

Again, a single Conflict point per session does not a dark-sider make.

 

It forces the PC to make an unpleasant decision--do you take the talent without using it, or do you take the long way around to get to the other talents on the talent tree? Either way requires a sacrifice on the PCs part which no other talent tree forces on the PCs.

 

Every talent tree is full of choices and sacrifices based on any number of reasons: XP budget, flavor, various in-character reasons, desire to reach a certain other talent, etc. Now we've thrown Conflict into the mix for consideration. Just one point per d10 roll. 

 

And let's look at the tree here: if you're meandering down the left side of the tree, skipping Terrify (and presumably Improved Terrify) will actually get you that nice shiny Force Rating faster, if you're not already beelining it and picking up some great talents along the way. And if you really want that last rank of Fearsome for 25 XP sitting directly under Improved Terrify...would you not have taken the 10 & 15 XP iterations first? 

 

Likewise, if you want Dedication fast, you can beeline it, grabbing Prey on the Weak 2, Grit, and Crippling Blow on the way. The paths to FR +1 and Dedication are completely unobstructed by Terrify. So it wouldn't cost you anything, except the talent itself, to skip it. 

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This discussion is very interesting to me (the morality of "Star Wars" and the reflection of it in game mechanics? Yes please!).

But I lack the basic information.

 

Anybody want to help a fella out and tell me what "Terrify" does, at this point in time?

I think this is the most recent text:

The character may take a Terrify action,

making a Hard (PPP) Coercion check and rolling Force Dieº

no greater than Force rating as part of the check. If

successful, one target per Success within medium range of

the character is disoriented until the end of the next

round. The character may spend 2 Advantage to increase

the duration of disorientation for all affected targets

by one round, and may spend Light/Dark Pips to immobilize an affected

target until the end of the next round.

 

Update:

Add the following sentence to

the end of this talent description: “A character who

has purchased this talent automatically gains 1 Conflict

at the beginning of each game session.”

 

I like the talent as it is in the update. Sure, the cost mechanic is a little different from using Strain to activate a talent, but if a PC is going to buy the tree, I have a hard time believing that he is not buying it specifically for the Terrify talent and would therefore be aware of the cost associated with it.

 

Edited by Dbuntu

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Again, a single Conflict point per session does not a dark-sider make.

No, but all conflict is impacting. Possibly not significant individually, but every single point of conflict is a point of morality not gained. So from one session to the next, if the gradual impact of this talent is seemingly meaningless, the actual impact to a character over a campaign could (and this is a big could) be one of the single largest conflict/morality decisions a character makes. (Say 20 sessions is 20 lost morality, etc.)

This is in because of morality's zero sum nature.

I get what you're saying away, but in the context of a campaign, there may be no larger decision in terms of morality than purchasing this talent. So to say that the effect isn't significant over the larger scale of a character, I disagree. And I don't know if purchasing any given talent should ever be one of the most important morality decisions a player/character makes. Opinions clearly differ.

That being said, terrify should be terrify, not awe, I like the mechanic, both the general terrify mechanics and the conflict generation. So you'll find no agruement from me here.

Edited by Thebearisdriving

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I was originally against the conflict for even owning the talent, but was swayed over to the Dark Side by others in the update thread.  I like the feel of Terrify as it is, changing to Inspire Awe just doesn't sound as cool to me.  I just built a hero level Enforcer/Force Exile/Aggressor, and I want them to be able to scare the crap out of people.

 

One conflict isn't that much, and won't have any major effects on the game.  If one point sends you spiraling to the dark side, you were probably heading that way anyway.  I could also go with one conflict every session you use it if people want a more diet version of the talent.

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Again, a single Conflict point per session does not a dark-sider make.

No, but all conflict is impacting. Possibly not significant individually, but every single point of conflict is a point of morality not gained. So from one session to the next, if the gradual impact of this talent is seemingly meaningless, the actual impact to a character over a campaign could (and this is a big could) be one of the single largest conflict/morality decisions a character makes. (Say 20 sessions is 20 lost morality, etc.)

This is in because of morality's zero sum nature.

I get what you're saying away, but in the context of a campaign, there may be no larger decision in terms of morality than purchasing this talent. So to say that the effect isn't significant over the larger scale of a character, I disagree. And I don't know if purchasing any given talent should ever be one of the most important morality decisions a player/character makes. Opinions clearly differ.

That being said, terrify should be terrify, not awe, I like the mechanic, both the general terrify mechanics and the conflict generation. So you'll find no agruement from me here.

 

But how many pure LS characters are going to be Aggressors? 

I'd think a Light Side character would more likely use Misdirect, Influence, or Sense

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Yeah... That ability seems, at it's most benign, to require a certain amount of aggression. 

 

Calling it "Awe" changes little as it just rotates "ego" in to the same spot.  "Bow before the awesome Jedi!"

This isn't a natural side effect, this is something you chose to learn how to do. At some point in your life you wanted to be able to do this to another being.  To make it cower before you.  That comes with a price tag, in this setting, and from what I am understanding about conflict it seems about right.

Either you feel that little ping of doubt/regret about where you were when you made that choice and what it says about you and you work against that side of you...  or you're fine with that part of you and that little ping may be the least of your conflict-related concerns.

 

 

Edit to add:

 

But how many pure LS characters are going to be Aggressors? 

 

 you'll find no agruement from me here.

 

 

I'd think a Light Side character would more likely use Misdirect, Influence, or Sense

 

And even the aggressors of the light side know what they are courting for the greater good.  Some make it and some don't and that conflict (dramatic and mechanical) is part of their story.

 

 

Edit:

It comes up a lot, the "morality" of Force powers. Some folks want it all, the cool abilities but with enough of a spin to not carry any guilt... any "conflict".

While not a Force user, there is a lot they (Jedi and Sith) can glean from a character like the Operative:

 

Operative:   I believe in something greater than myself. A better world. A world without sin.
Mal:   So me and mine gotta lay down and die... so you can live in your better world?
Operative:  I'm not going to live there. There's no place for me there... any more than there is for you. Malcolm... I'm a monster. What I do is evil. I have no illusions about it, but it must be done.

 

Edited by Aluminium Falcon

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But how many pure LS characters are going to be Aggressors? 

I'd think a Light Side character would more likely use Misdirect, Influence, or Sense

I'm not suggestin a light side character should take it. My point is that if you look at all the impacts to a character's morality over the course of a campaign, should a single talent result in by far the largest adjustment of the conflict/lost morality?

I would say the same of a power, or any other mechanical choice. I think the largest impact to a character's trajectory should be narrative driven and story related choices. Of course, this depends on the length of the campaign and the arc of the character, but over a year of bi weekly sessions, terrify would be the single most significant choice that player ever made over their character's morality, and that may be an end result of too much importance for a single talent. For any character, light or dark.

Again, the talent is a dark talent, is fear based, and should retain its flavor as such. Conflict per session is not inherently bad, but the current incarnation possibly, possibly makes the choice of choosing terrify too impacting on the character from a campaign level perspective.

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Admittedly, I want to see it in action overtime to really form an opinion, but in a game that specifically deals in the morality of the characters the choices a player makes should have a counterpart in the character's story.

As written, Terrify currently represents an active desire to the wrong thing (even when the greater good is the result).

 

Thebearisdriving makes several valid mechanical points.  Is Terrify, currently, the only ability that comes with such a price?  While I think it is fine as is, I can see how it's unique mechanical status (despite not being overly powerful or iconic) makes it seem particularly... odd.

 

Edit:

If it were a strange, dark use of another power I would be inclined away from the automatic conflict just for having it. 

Just knowing telekinesis isn't inherently bad. Using that knowledge to choke someone is.

Edited by Aluminium Falcon

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Thebearisdriving makes several valid mechanical points.  Is Terrify, currently, the only ability that comes with such a price?  While I think it is fine as is, I can see how it's unique mechanical status (despite not being overly powerful or iconic) makes it seem particularly... odd.

 

Edit:

If it were a strange, dark use of another power I would be inclined away from the automatic conflict just for having it. 

Just knowing telekinesis isn't inherently bad. Using that knowledge to choke someone is.

 

Added a little bolded emphasis.  I think in the core, with the warrior career set up the way it is, is a big part of what really makes it stand out.  That, and of course they changed it in an update, so it seems like a much bigger change than it really is.

Edited by Thebearisdriving

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I think what away is getting at is that Conflict doesn't equal Dark Side points, as they appeared in earlier games. Conflict may result in reduced Morality, but it's not an auto-deduction. To be certain about reducing your Morality you need to acquire 11 Conflict, any lesser amount means there's a chance nothing will happen or if you accumulate less than 10 you may still increase your Morality, if I'm not mistaken.

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I think what away is getting at is that Conflict doesn't equal Dark Side points, as they appeared in earlier games. Conflict may result in reduced Morality, but it's not an auto-deduction. To be certain about reducing your Morality you need to acquire 11 Conflict, any lesser amount means there's a chance nothing will happen or if you accumulate less than 10 you may still increase your Morality, if I'm not mistaken.

 

New Morality = Old Morality + 1d10 - Conflict

 

That's the math.  People are saying "Conflict may reduce your morality" when they mean "Morality may decrease at the end of the session due to Conflict".  But Conflict always lowers your morality from what it would otherwise be every time. 

 

Conflict = Dark side points from previous games, they're just a) called something different and b) much more granular, approx. 10 to 1, which is about right -- murdering an innocent in a previous version would get you 1 DSP, here it gives you 10 Conflict, IIRC.  But with the extra resolution, there's now room for minor infractions like apathy and jaywalking.

Edited by Lorne

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Huh? Always lowers? How come? If you accumulate 1 Conflict per session (as you would with the Terrify talent) your Morality will most likely increase rather than decrease. If you acquire 5 chances are even for increase and decrease.

 

If you mean that you should really always have +1d10 that's silly, you should always get +1d10 - Conflict. The system is already loaded in the players' favour, where Conflict indeed may lower your Morality - not your potential desired new total Morality wherein Conflict plays no part, that would be ignoring a vital part of the system, which is sort of ... weird and goes against the design and spirit of the system as I understand it.

 

Looking at Conflict as an equivalent to DSPs from the earlier games is a simplification I cannot support because it doesn't take the system as a whole into account. Morality is the new dark side points, but it's also light side points (which we haven't had before). One's morality will always increase, unless you acquire Conflict at which point it may also decrease, or remain where it is, but unless you get a substantial amount of Conflict it's likely it will increase. Now, if as I touch upon above, the idea here is that one considers this one auto-conflict as a deduction from the potential 1-10 you could roll, and therefore this in turn counts as a deduction from this potential new total Morality ... then I wonder why you're playing the system, and not the game.

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There.

Corrected: Conflict always lowers your morality from what it could potentially otherwise be, if Conflict wasn't an integral and vital part of the mechanic.

 

 

Um, no. Conflict is a part of the mechanic and it always lowers your Morality.  If you earn no Conflict, your Morality score is always higher that what it would have been than if you had earned Conflict.

 

And please don't misquote people. It's deceptive and poor netiquette.

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