Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Desslok

Dev Diary on the Morality system is up

Recommended Posts

Actually, that GM gave me a flat out +10 morality bonus doing that.

 

"...You've cited Yoda correctly. That's exactly what your supposed to do."

 

His rule is "If you can back up your action with something Yoda, Obi Wan, or another famous jedi actually said in a movie (Anakin doesn't count, but Luke does....) you gain morality."

 

As a GM, that resolution would strike me as adherence to the letter but ignoring the spirit of the Code. It's the same as a lawful good Paladin refusing to break the law to accomplish a greater good. And it's not even like "killing a baby." It's more like "trespassing on someone's property to save a dying innocent." Compassion, I would argue, is at the heart of any good law. And acting without compassion is absolutely conflict-worthy in my game. 

 

You're familiar with Jacen Solo's progression to Darth Caedus, yes, fellow EU junkie? At the beginning of the novel Betrayal, Jacen is rationalizing all these deaths that he's causing in light-side-Jedi terms. He's defending himself and Ben, and he basically tells himself that it's not a big deal that he's sending all these people shooting at him to their deaths. There is no death, there is the Force.

 

And then all throughout that series he kept praising Palpatine, of all people, for his adherence to the law, and how he went about gaining power through the appropriate channels. Eventually Jacen reaches the conclusion that the Rebel Alliance were the bad guys for breaking the law and throwing the galaxy into a Civil War. He slowly corrupted himself through his thought processes, all the while telling himself that he was the good guy. And finally he was able to drop all pretenses, divorce himself completely of the Jedi Code, and begin to act with impunity as a Sith Lord. 

 

Someone here already mentioned Atris from KotOR II. This is another example of someone who has striven so hard to maintain the Jedi Order that she has completely lost sight of its heart.

I wouldn't use Jacen Solo's idiotic fall to the Dark Side to justify anything but the need for better writers of EU books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't use Jacen Solo's idiotic fall to the Dark Side to justify anything but the need for better writers of EU books.

 

 

 

I think my point was that Jacen Solo's fall was, essentially, idiotic.

 

He was treating death as no big deal, pretending it didn't affect him spiritually-speaking. I was drawing parallels between his attitude and the attitude that "I should let my friend die rather than using my emotions to fuel my Force power, because 'there is no death.'" 

 

So, absolutely no justification being attempted there. Thanks for voicing your disdain, though. It's nice to know someone else agrees with me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, yeah, Jacen's fall was flat out idiocy.

 

Yoda: Ancient rule of Jedi. Be an idiot, you must not.

 

Still...one reason why I see Force Rating 3 as the minimum for Knighthood is that a Knight rarely has to make the choice to use dark pips at all. On 3d12, you're going to get at least 1 light pip most of the time. By the time a Master hits 5d12, it's a cold day on Mustafar before he has to use a dark pip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still...one reason why I see Force Rating 3 as the minimum for Knighthood is that a Knight rarely has to make the choice to use dark pips at all. On 3d12, you're going to get at least 1 light pip most of the time. By the time a Master hits 5d12, it's a cold day on Mustafar before he has to use a dark pip.

Hmmm. Sounds kind of boring to me. And stagnant. I'd rather the hills and valleys of going back and forth myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, yeah, Jacen's fall was flat out idiocy.

 

Yoda: Ancient rule of Jedi. Be an idiot, you must not.

 

Still...one reason why I see Force Rating 3 as the minimum for Knighthood is that a Knight rarely has to make the choice to use dark pips at all. On 3d12, you're going to get at least 1 light pip most of the time. By the time a Master hits 5d12, it's a cold day on Mustafar before he has to use a dark pip.

 

And you can play a character like that in this system.  And if you start in Seer or Sage you can get to FR 3 pretty easily.  With Knight Level play you could start play close to FR 3 (technically you could start with FR 3 but you wouldn't have many Force Powers or Skill Ranks).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't use Jacen Solo's idiotic fall to the Dark Side to justify anything but the need for better writers of EU books.

 

 

I think my point was that Jacen Solo's fall was, essentially, idiotic.

 

He was treating death as no big deal, pretending it didn't affect him spiritually-speaking. I was drawing parallels between his attitude and the attitude that "I should let my friend die rather than using my emotions to fuel my Force power, because 'there is no death.'" 

 

So, absolutely no justification being attempted there. Thanks for voicing your disdain, though. It's nice to know someone else agrees with me!

Apologies then.

I've felt that while the premise was sound, the execution was more "like a chicken, but not a chicken" than it should have been.

Bonus internets to whomever gets the quote first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Well, yeah, Jacen's fall was flat out idiocy.

 

Yoda: Ancient rule of Jedi. Be an idiot, you must not.

 

Still...one reason why I see Force Rating 3 as the minimum for Knighthood is that a Knight rarely has to make the choice to use dark pips at all. On 3d12, you're going to get at least 1 light pip most of the time. By the time a Master hits 5d12, it's a cold day on Mustafar before he has to use a dark pip.

 

And you can play a character like that in this system.  And if you start in Seer or Sage you can get to FR 3 pretty easily.  With Knight Level play you could start play close to FR 3 (technically you could start with FR 3 but you wouldn't have many Force Powers or Skill Ranks).

 

 

Yeah, if you picked the +10 XP Morality option at character creation, you could eke out some Force powers for a FR 3 character, with 25 XP to spend after your Knight Level bonus, plus whatever is left over from your species' starting XP. A standard for humans is to buy three 3's in characteristics, so you might be looking at 45 total XP to spend on skills and Force Powers after bee-lining the Sage's second rank in the Force Rating talent. 

 

At this point, you just need your GM to give your a Mentor (someone who, among other benefits, reduces the cost of your basic Force powers by 5 XP), and you can have a smattering of Force powers, with maybe an extra rank in discipline to use them better!

Edited by awayputurwpn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, yeah, Jacen's fall was flat out idiocy.

 

Yoda: Ancient rule of Jedi. Be an idiot, you must not.

 

Still...one reason why I see Force Rating 3 as the minimum for Knighthood is that a Knight rarely has to make the choice to use dark pips at all. On 3d12, you're going to get at least 1 light pip most of the time. By the time a Master hits 5d12, it's a cold day on Mustafar before he has to use a dark pip.

 

See, I think the better way to look at it is not that using black pips is using the dark side, but is overcoming the dark side.  That's why it costs strain.  Every time you see a character in the movies or cartoons straining when they're using a power, they're straining themselves by using dark pips.  Roll a bunch of white pips, the force is with you and helps you with what your doing.  Roll a bunch of black pips, the force is busy right now and you have to strain to get it to do what you want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think of using Dark side pips as drawing directly on the Dark side of the Force. Seems to me it's more an issue of using the Force while angry or frightened or stressed or otherwise emotional, which is antithetical to the Jedi way. That's why it's called "conflict" and not "Dark side points". How much you're getting closer to the Dark side is measured with Morality, not Conflict.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think of using Dark side pips as drawing directly on the Dark side of the Force. Seems to me it's more an issue of using the Force while angry or frightened or stressed or otherwise emotional, which is antithetical to the Jedi way. That's why it's called "conflict" and not "Dark side points". How much you're getting closer to the Dark side is measured with Morality, not Conflict.

 

But this assumes that rolling dark pips means your character is angry or frightened or stressed or whatever.  I feel like that takes the decision of roleplaying the character's state of mind out of the hands of the player and leaves it to the mercy of some dice roll.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I don't think of using Dark side pips as drawing directly on the Dark side of the Force. Seems to me it's more an issue of using the Force while angry or frightened or stressed or otherwise emotional, which is antithetical to the Jedi way. That's why it's called "conflict" and not "Dark side points". How much you're getting closer to the Dark side is measured with Morality, not Conflict.

 

But this assumes that rolling dark pips means your character is angry or frightened or stressed or whatever.  I feel like that takes the decision of roleplaying the character's state of mind out of the hands of the player and leaves it to the mercy of some dice roll.

 

I see where you're coming from, but I disagree. At the start of each session in EotE or AoR you roll a D100 to see if the PCs' strain or wound thresholds are affected because they're stressed (Obligation reducing strain threshold) or pumped (Duty increasing wound threshold). That's a dice roll "dictating" the players state of mind to them, and I don't think that diminishes the roleplaying aspect to any degree.

 

But by all means, I wasn't suggesting my interpretation of Conflict from Dark side pips to be some carved-in-stone definition, only an example of how the mechanics MIGHT be explained narratively. As opposed to saying that using a Dark side pip is always a direct effort and drawing on hate and anger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think its more you don't get to be Yoda by just going through the motions.

Right now Morality is just going through the motions with no real challenge.

This is why a good GM puts hard choices in front of their Jedi. They should be presenting the "Easy" way that is also the darkside way and the "harder" why that is the lightside choice. Have Sith surrender leaving them with the capture them and then turn them over to who? The police who will be not be equipped to handle a force user...leading to escape with more deaths... or kill them committing murder. 

If a GM is not presenting situations that involve hard choices for the morality characters you are kind of the problem. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't consider it roleplaying when your characters morality is determined by dice.  When I decide to save someone with the force it should be able to fail, but not because I magically rolled black pips that mean I have to be evil to save people. Bad dice rolls cause your morality to slide, but your not making the choice its being made for you when you roll a 1 and built up conflict because the black dice make you bad even when your actions are good. Its why the morality system is a failure and should be tossed. Any time your character is good or bad based on dice rolls is not roleplaying.

 

Obligation does not need strain its ridiculous that you who is about to get screwed over has to take strain for something that hasn't even happened yet. You aren't stressed out yet and any GM worth thier salt can easily handle making obligation into something Interesting without making characters stressed out from a die roll about something that has yet to happen.

Edited by Decorus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The dice don't force you to roleplay Morality that way.  You choose whether to use a dark side power so that you do not have to deal with the consequences of your failure or not.   Perhaps I should have replied here instead of the Move / Power debate on the same thing:

 

 

 

If someone is trying to avoid one form of conflict or another (because, let's face it, that's the issue at hand), there are consequences to pay.  No matter how extreme the situation you make, there are going to be consequences.  Just like in our modern world, people do not want to look at consequences, so it carries over into the roleplay.  In the example above, saving your friend is difficult because you do not want to fail.  The consequence of losing the friend is difficult.  It is easy to justify our actions when we do not want to face the consequences of failure.  Funny how we're totally ok with facing consequences of succeeding.  Choosing to use dark side does not make it a good thing, it means you could not stand to face the consequences and accept the failure your action produced, so you choose a path that gave you power to make a difference in any circumstance.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.  The idiom is easy to remember for a reason.  

 

And then later I had a further realization... in the fourth paragraph on Yoda:

 

And yet by saying you cannot understand someone that would follow a path of Morality to a higher degree than you would, you take away the Morality mechanic as well.  Just because you roll the dice and would not save your friend by using the dark side powers does not negate the opportunity and consequence of roleplaying.  To suggest so seems to stem from a very Min/Max perspective on the world.  

 

You are also assuming that because someone tried to save someone else using the force and failed (because if you do not generate the light side points, you are failing your check) that they are not following a path of morality by attempting to make the save, even when it might endanger them.  Choosing to use your emotions (the same ones you feel when you read Troll Posts) to fuel the salvation "no matter what" is what forces you into the dark side.  Consequences.  You didn't like one consequence, you chose another.  Just because someone chooses differently at that moment, does not mean they are not following the mechanic and roleplay opportunities of Morality, even if that is your viewpoint on the encounter.

 

Now if they never take the roleplay into account and just say "oops... sorry, bud, the force was not with me" and walks away, feel free to namecall.  If that is not the intention of the player and they are bound so tightly by Morality that this would be equivalent to a "sin" in  our modern vernacular and they are going to feel the emotion of loss and tragedy in their roleplaying, then please be careful the words you use.  It is a valid and difficult way to play.  

 

The Yoda Question is a difficult one.  Personally, I don't think he would fail such a roll.  Whether he would use the dark side to save someone though... I would be hard pressed to think he would.  I'm not saying he wouldn't, but I do not see him pursuing that avenue.  Of course, he would probably get multiple attempts before someone could fall far enough for fatal damage, so it may be a moot point.  IMHO when looking at how Yoda would resolve a situation, I tend to try to think of the most difficult way for it to be resolved and go with that.  Saving with the force would be easy.  Jumping down himself and catching them would be very difficult.  I think he would jump off after them.  So maybe we have been looking at only two presented options when we should have looked for more options.  Shame on us.

 

As for dark pips as using the dark side... everything I have read points exactly to that.  It's not just conflict.  It's not just a simple one time issue.  Once you begin to use it, it becomes easier to justify it in the future.  Yes, it will be minor the first time and there may be times you should let your emotions get the best of you.  But you are still allowing your emotions to rule you because you do not want to face the consequences presented.  In time it will eat at your conscience and will be more and more of a temptation. 

 

For a different take (non Star Wars) on this type of issue and how consequences go hand in hand with choices, I really like how L. E. Modesitt, Jr. dealt with a vast scope of this in the Saga of Recluce books.  Perhaps there is a good space in Star Wars for some Gray Jedi (and heck, with my Username, I should be leading the charge, right?).  Doing practical things and using any power that comes their way to do the best good they see fit in the Galaxy.  I don't know of a temple that espouses this or a way of teaching, but there may be a space for it.  There are certainly enough people that feel it is the best way to play.

 

I will say, there seem to be a lot of Gray Jedi.  Actually, that is fairly well justified.  I would expect there to be more that struggle in the Gray realm than at either extreme.  It is difficult to be an extremist.

Edited by Grayfax

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why do people keep claiming there is a choice?

I want to use influence to avoid a fight.

Roll black pips

Well yay I'm going to have to be evil to avoid a fight..

 

Does that even make sense?

There is no choice its dice determining my morality when my Characters motivations were pure.

 

I use a few dark side activations, which were totally saintly in motivation saving people, avoiding conflicts, healing injured people you know being Darth Jesus. Then I totally roll a one on my morality die at the end of the Session. Well I guess my adherence to the jedi code and generally being a nice guy is rewarded by falling towards the dark side, because saving kittens from trees and stuff is totally evil due to me happening to roll black dice while using force powers...

 

I love me some ROLL playing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, the dissonant cry of the homonym "roleplay" versus "rollplay"...

 

I think we all forget that the two are intertwined. Especially in a narrative system such as this. Narration lends to building a better or worse pool of dice, and the results on those dice inform how things happened. The role playing lens has to be applied to both.

 

Gaining Conflict, losing Morality due to a die roll, Force dice not cooperating with you when you are supposedly "Calm, and at peace...", all are informed by die rolls. If you are not using those die rolls to narratively describe what happened, then its your loss at a chance to role play.

 

Characters we play in a game are not pre-defined and static. They should grow based on what happens in the game. Sometimes in directions we may least expect.

 

Authors writing of fictional characters are often surprised where they end up and how they act. Many times those character's make 'choices' later in the novel that didn't fit the author's initial concept of them.

 

And, good author's know that character's are driven, and revealed by Conflict.

Edited by JediHamlet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Black pips aren't evil, they're conflict. It's called "conflict", not "evilness". I can't see how this isn't obvious. And being a darksider isn't evil in the "OMG! It's Space Hitler!" sense. The dark side is a place of fear, anger and selfishness, which are negative aspects that lead a person to bad places. It's in those places that true "Evil!" lurks.

Just my opinion. Worth spit outside my group. :)

Edited by Alderaan Crumbs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So what your saying is your cool with the dice dictating the morality of your character.

You don't mind playing a lightside campaign where due to some bad rolls everyone is all darkside and angsty?

Or playing a darkside campaign where suddenly despite everything the players do are paragons of the lightside?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you really think that this system would cause that, just, smh.

 

You would have to generate QUITE a lot of conflict to go down very fast. More than the occasional use of a black pip here or there. And the players ALWAYS have the option to use it or not. conflict is only gained through actions. Sometimes its worth it. Sometimes it isn't. You have to decide if you are willing to reach into a bit of anger or fear to accomplish what you think you have to.

And in the other direction, I seriously doubt that a truly dark side character could manage to generate so little conflict as to go up rather than down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Decorus, the dice don't dictate. They present choices.

Do you actively fight the emergent (random) pip colours? Showing that your faith in the light or dark is stronger than mere chance?

You eat a bunch of black pip conflict points to enact your will; do you seek out redemption or retreat to better yourself? Do you embrace it and enjoy the ride?

You choose. The results maybe influenced by a slightly random mechanic. But  your character still has choice in how they live.

 

I never saw someone ascend or fall in Star Wars by accident. The dice "controlling" a players destiny just won't happen. This isn't Chartmaster.

 

Choices matter much more than pips and conflict rolls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So what your saying is your cool with the dice dictating the morality of your character.

You don't mind playing a lightside campaign where due to some bad rolls everyone is all darkside and angsty?

Or playing a darkside campaign where suddenly despite everything the players do are paragons of the lightside?

Do you know what Morality  does?

 

1) If light/dark is that important to you, pick it, it's an option at start. You can be a paragon from Day 1 if you like.

2) The mechanic makes minor adjustments to strain/wound/Dpoints, it does not dictate how you must actually play the character. Having a rank of Toughened doesn't require you to play your character as any more of a brute and confers a similar benefit.

3) The game favors light slightly depending on playstyle, and there's several simple solutions to balance it if you don't run designed adventures.

4) Duty and Obligation are options with similar (some could argue greater) benefits/penalties, how do you feel about them? The same? Why or why not? They both also dictate how you should play your character, potentially more so.

Edited by Ghostofman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed. I am one of those that firmly believes that the results should dictate a little about what the character is feeling "within that frame". How exactly they respond to it is up to them, but the best tales are told with an connection, obiglation particularly plays up to that well, especially if the player uses that obiglation to establish connections.

Of course, not everything has to be dramatised, a little flourish here and there tells a great story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So what your saying is your cool with the dice dictating the morality of your character.

You don't mind playing a lightside campaign where due to some bad rolls everyone is all darkside and angsty?

Or playing a darkside campaign where suddenly despite everything the players do are paragons of the lightside?

If you are that concerned with conflict via Dark Side results, I'd suggest only using "Commit a Force Die to…" powers and talents until you get to FR2. Then you are a lot more likely to get the Light Side results you so desperately crave.

Or you could realize that 1 or 2 conflict here and there isn't going to kill your character. Dipping into Dark Side results every once and a while isn't going to "make or break" your character's Light/Dark status. Another thing to remember is that unlike every other SWRPG, falling to the Dark Side doesn't immediately and irrevocably turn your character into an NPC. The character, and the choices you make, are completely within your control.

-EF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...