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signoftheserpent

Morality

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It's the golden rule of roleplaying games, there's even a sidebar in FaD CRB: fun first, rules second. But this is obvious and has been overstated, and the premisses for this discussion seems to me to revolve around a very distinct and inflexible reading of the rules. That may sound patronising and arrogant, I hope you're not offended as that is the last thing I want - but I prefer to be honest. To me this kind of reading of the rule puts it in a vacuum and removes any form of agency, not just from the game as players and characters (which seems to be part of the issue with the system taken up here), but also from the mass of individuals engaging with the game on some level or another. It becomes a narrow, dogmatic and uncreative reading of the rules for a game that is meant to nurture and cultivate creativity, story-telling and spontaneity.

 

Yes, the mechanic is slanted towards being good-guys. That may not be to everyone's liking, but it makes sense in a game which theme is to fight bad guys and be good guys. On the other hand it doesn't, like earlier iterations, shoehorn the players into having to play good guys. They can choose, but it may require a bit of (different) effort to go evil.

  • Design flaw? Maybe.

 

Page 52 specifically calls out as a guidline that: (paraphrasing) if a character has not been in a situation where s/he was at risk of gaining conflict (but regardless of whether or not conflict was gained), no roll should be made. Of course, this is a guideline, but it's not a sidebar. So you could call it optional if you so want to, but I call it RAW as it's presented as a guideline for RAW. It's there to give the GM and players a better understanding of how to adjust the game as it goes on, to adapt it to how they play.

  • Badly written? Perhaps. Design flaw? I don't think so. Confusing? Possibly. RAW? Yes.

 

I agree that the d10 roll seems a bit arbitrary and it doesn't in any way take into account "good deeds" as negative numbers. I don't think that's needed though. Good deeds are important and are automatically rewarded by the morality system being slanted towards goodies. I'm not sure a cap on how much morality is gained over a session based on "good deeds" will serve the system or the game in a good way. It seems to be an unnecessarily strict and limiting rule.

  • Still, is this a design flaw? Maybe.


    Someone's calling it out, being a fan and biased (like myself) doesn't change the fact that they (at least serpentdude and lethal) have several valid points "against" this system. Sure, it's from their perspective, but isn't that just as valid as us fanboys'? Serpent seems to have played and he (I'm assuming gender, sorry) has presented some examples from what I assume is his own game. Lethal has also admitted that he's approaching this without having tested the morality system (at least I think I read that - I apologise if I got that wrong). Regardless, their concerns are valid, if perhaps seemingly minor to someone with a different perspective, or with different experiences, it isn't always as simple as some of the arrogant self-proclaimed gaming intelligentsia claims: "you're doing it wrong." That is simply very rarely the case.

 

As for the chosen Morality, emotional weakness and strength. The whole triggering thing for that seems silly to me, as optional or obligatory. Unless you negate the doubling effect and only let triggered moralities let you roll at the end of the session - accumulating conflict until the one session your morality is triggered and you're sitting on 32 conflict over the last 5-6 sessions... even with negative conflict, as separate points or something that just reduces conflict... neh.

 

This system presents to me the ample opportunity for GMs, the player and his/her fellow players, to play on, prey on and manipulate. I as the GM present moral dilemmas, one player's character can talk another player's character into doing something that can earn one or both of them conflict. If it isn't used by the players and the GM actively, it easily becomes a bad, repetitive and silly mechanic. As with advantages, triumphs, despairs and so on will become too if you only follow the supplied tables for how to interpret them, instead of taking responsibility for your own game, your own fun, and use what is presented as intended: to have fun.

 

There are other ways of using morality too, like with Obligation (and Duty?) you could provide bonuses on social stuff in some context for high morality, but negative in others... being of high moral means you'd rather not deal with some people, or you let it easily show through emotional weakness or something else, which can provide setback dice, but also perhaps even conflict? I think this system puts a lot of potential in the hands of the players and the GM. Choosing morality should matter, not just for game mechanical reasons, but also for roleplaying reasons. Although, I'm derailing. Sorry. :ph34r:

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Forgive me if I'm wrong, as I haven't purchased the released book and I'm still going by beta, but didn't the last beta update essentially suggest that you can ignore the morality system, or simply not use it if it doesn't suit your needs? 

 

I know morality is still a contentious topic, not just here, but on other forums as well; so while I understand people may get sick of it, I still think it's an interesting conversation to have.

 

I'm ambivalent about the system myself. On the one hand, I can appreciate what it tries to do, and it is an "interesting" idea on how to track dark side/light side progression; on the other hand, I personally think it's too ambiguous at times, and the reality is the system kind of seems unnecessary - for me and my group, at least. Unlike Obligation and Duty, there are far less mechanical or narrative benefits beyond the increases/decreases in strain and wound thresholds, and the flipping of dark side or light side points. 

Of course you can ignore it. Once again, that is not the issue.

 

 

I understand, however, at this point that may be your only option. The core is released, and what we've got is what we've got, unless a supplemental book concerning Force Users/Jedi/Sith would be made (which I would totally advocate) that gives alternative rules. I don't see the end game of your argument/position?  

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Context is the issue, which is why I made it a corporate compound and not an Imperial one.

 

The workman wasn't a superior foe, he's just a guy. 

The computer isnt a system of secret imperial bases, its the company mainframe, so the virus scrambles everything from lost valley info to health insurance plans.

The lost valley isn't an Alliance thing, its the players trying to track down a holocron or crystals like you see in the published adventures.

 

Yeah the company might not be the nicest of organizations, but its not the empire. And while you might need the holocron to help the alliance later or something, right here and now your kinda being a jerk to get it.

 

The rules specifically state that characters can do things that might seem objectively immoral, such as theft,but avoid being Conflicted over it because of the goal. If stealing a workman's tools helps them save lives then I would not award Conflict. I might do so if their plans came to naught, but that would be contentious and only in a more gritty game. It is very much the end justifies the means; in World War 2 if you were hiding some Jews when the Nazi's came knocking woud you feel Conflicted lying about who was currently in your property? I know I wouldn't!

 

 

Exactly. Context matters.

 

If the company in question was just some mining coop that happened to bumble across the Lost Valley and decided to sweep it under the rug rather then risk their claim by reporting it, then the conflict is going to be easy for the GM to apply. The company isn't doing anything wrong, or malicious, they are just keeping their heads down and not turning over proprietary information to any schmoe that shows up on their doorstep.

 

Negative conflict generating actions will always be subjective, that's the nature of the beast. Ultimately we're always going to be getting back to the CPoV problem. The GM can say you deserve conflict because the worker was just a guy, and the company wasn't doing anything wrong. The player can argue that they totally needed the (whatever) and so all the lying, cheating, and stealing was justified.

 

But then that's why the mechanic is slanted toward Light and the bonuses aren't that powerful. So the players can earn regular small amounts of Conflict without having to fear that they are one dramatically appropriate sucker punch away from going Darkside. They can be generally good in the bigger scheme of things and go up. Really obnoxiously good and shoot up. Or total rat finks and become darkside.

 

TBH that's what I've seen more issue with. In a game I'm playing in right now one player is concerned about the fact she's always earning conflict, and how that's going to impact her morality. But.... her character, from concept to execution is kind of a thug. She's coming to grips with it, and in another few sessions I suspect it'll all be fine. But I can easily see other tables where the game will end in a shouting match over 2 points of Conflict. Not because a little extra strain and a Dpoint are worth it, but because this is the "Jedi" thing and so it automatically becomes so much more important in the minds of many people... as this thread is clearly proving.

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Even if  a GM allowed for *passive* gain of morality, I still don't see that as some big negative. It is not like a characters "gains' much by it. He is not going to gain any benefit to activating powers or any ability that puts him above other characters. So where is the negative impact?

 

Dude, I've already addressed everything you just said in this thread:

 

Paragon Benefits

 

I acknowledge that the mechanical benefit of being a light-side paragon is minor, only 1-2 strain points really.  However, if you think that's all that matters about morality, e.g. there is no non-mechanical benefit of high morality, then you're not getting the point of this being a narrative system.  High morality means you're playing a light-side character, which is pretty central to narratives of many, many PCs.

 

 

You're response is akin to saying "it's never important to play a light-side character".

 

No. My response is that I do not see the negative impact. Even if you believe that this is some weakness of the morality system, I do not see it as being so egregious that it signifies some huge failure of it. It's a role-playing tool. It is not a device for a DB GM to take away your character for your actions nor is it a device for some DB player to take advantage of in game mechanics form. It is a device that allows for the player to decide how he wants to take his character and allows for GM input too. DBs on either side of the fence can ruin any game so this is nothing new. All this sounds like is nitpicking on some outlying scenario that even if it came to pass would not be the end of the world.

 

If the system doesn't work for that's fine. As the saying goes you can not please everyone nor do I think FFG is even remotely interested in doing so. I think they are interested in creating a system which can be used or adapted for many play styles that allows for both light and dark side characters without intruding mechanically too heavily on the game.

 

 

I was directly addressing the fact that there are non-mechanical benefits to be labeled a light-side paragon.  If you want to ignore that and try to avoid the topic... fine.

 

Additionally, I never qualified the problem as "egregious" or a "huge failure" and the rest of the post is nearly just as hyperbolic, implying that anyone that isn't using the system "right" is a douchebag.

 

 

According to the rules Conflict is only removed if you roll lower at the end of the session, though even that isn't 100% clear. The book says you reduce your Conflict by an amount rolled.

 

If you roll above your Conflict, your Conflict isn't reduced but you gain morality equal to the difference between your roll and your Conflict. It may be that you always remove Conflict either way, but that isn't clear.

 

THis means that you can become more moral as a result of certain actions even though you are still conflicted by them. However if you do more severe actions they will be diminished over time, sooner or later.

 

 

I still don't see how hard the system is to understand... it might not be perfect, but it's fairly easy to use and understand.

 

1. At the beginning of the game, the GM rolls a D100, the player with the closest morality score triggers.... that means that like Obligation or Duty, the GM will have to add an event/encounter where his moral strength and weakness is put to the test.

 

2. During the game, the players gain Conflict by doing some actions like those listed in Table 9-2 at page 324, selfish acts or actions fueled by fear or hatred ; they can also gain Conflict by spending a destiny point (with strain cost) to use Dark Side Pips to pay the cost of activating Force Powers. The Players triggered morality will be face with an event that can earn him conflict depending on his reaction and how he handled the situation, so it's a Roleplayed conflict.

 

3. At the end of the game, the player has earned a number of Conflict (ex : 6 conflict) ; he then rolls a D10 and substract his Conflict to the result ; the end number (positive or negative) will now increase or lower his morality score.

 

Exemple : Player earned 7 Conflict during the game, he rolls 4 on his D10 at the end of the game : his morality score drop by 3.

 

 

Now... everything is subject to the will of the GM. Enclosed text "How Dark?" at page 325 tells that the GM should choose how severe he his in awarding Conflict.... One GM might award conflict for evil deeds, regardless of intent, others might now award conflict if those evil deeds a fueled by good intentions.

 

The last thing you should consider is using your own judgement. If the GM didn't add many events that could award Conflict, if the game didn't last long, or if the game span for many game sessions, then the dice rolled should reflect that.

- Scripted AoR game where no encounters test morality are included, don't roll for Conflict at the end of the game.

- Small 3hour game where players faced 1 minor conflict-awarding encounter, roll a D6 at the end of the game instead of a D10.

- Lengthy 15hours game over 3 game sessions where players earned between 7 and 18 conflict, make them roll a D20 instead.

 

I believe Morality is easier to plan then Obligation or Duty since you don't really have to draw into the players background or story, you can just plan random encounters and add some conflicting choices... In my next game, the players will find a Drug Dealer on the brink of death after an attack by a rival cartel gang. With his last breath, the dying drug dealer ask the players to avenge him, to give him justice and punish those responsible. What will my players do to bring him justice ? How will they punish those responsible ? How they handle that situation could award them Conflict. I didn't have to make that Drug Dealer the players cousin, assassinated by some evil Bounty Hunter to make a point and have the player feel the need to pay up his obligation.

 

Anyway, I hope it cleared a few things for you guys.

 

 

I don't think there's anyone here that misunderstands how the system works.  What made you think this needed to be explained?

 

Context is the issue, which is why I made it a corporate compound and not an Imperial one.

 

[...]

 

 

Yeah the company might not be the nicest of organizations, but its not the empire. And while you might need the holocron to help the alliance later or something, right here and now your kinda being a jerk to get it.

 

 

Not if the *intent* is more noble than simple gain.  The intent is as important (if not more so) than the target.  In neither post did you ever discuss the actual intent.

 

I'm out.  This has long since devolved into two sides of the argument talking past each other.  I get what the other side is saying, "use it right" and "It's not a big deal".  The other side doesn't seem interested in listening, and can't seem to comprehend you can criticize things as an attempt to improve them.

 

I'm done talking.  Great reminder of why I left these forums for the better part of a year.

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Context is the issue, which is why I made it a corporate compound and not an Imperial one.

 

[...]

 

 

Yeah the company might not be the nicest of organizations, but its not the empire. And while you might need the holocron to help the alliance later or something, right here and now your kinda being a jerk to get it.

 

 

Not if the *intent* is more noble than simple gain.  The intent is as important (if not more so) than the target.  In neither post did you ever discuss the actual intent.

 

I'm out.  This has long since devolved into two sides of the argument talking past each other.  I get what the other side is saying, "use it right" and "It's not a big deal".  The other side doesn't seem interested in listening, and can't seem to comprehend you can criticize things as an attempt to improve them.

 

I'm done talking.  Great reminder of why I left these forums for the better part of a year.

 

According to the way I read the RAW, intent only limits how much conflict is earned, it does not negate the earning of conflict altogether.  So theft still earns conflict but it is the character's intent that sets how much conflict is earned.

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So even if this perceived issue is an actual problem, how does it negatively impact the game?

The rule specifically states that intent should limit the amount of conflict earned, not that it should negate it.  Thus theft will earn conflict because it is theft, but the amount of conflict gained is based on the character's intent.

 

That is not the case at all. From the rules p.324:

 

Lying for Personal Gain: the PC tells a lie for selfish reasons or to benefit himself. Some lies can be told without penalty to benefit others, such as avoiding combat or protecting innocents.

Theft: the PC steals something that does not belong to him. The penalty can be mitigated in this case if the PC is stealing from a corrupt and/or wealthy authority, and does so to give back to those who need it.

Edited by signoftheserpent

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Page 52 specifically calls out as a guidline that: (paraphrasing) if a character has not been in a situation where s/he was at risk of gaining conflict (but regardless of whether or not conflict was gained), no roll should be made. Of course, this is a guideline, but it's not a sidebar. So you could call it optional if you so want to, but I call it RAW as it's presented as a guideline for RAW. It's there to give the GM and players a better understanding of how to adjust the game as it goes on, to adapt it to how they play.

Once again this is not the case; that section refers, quite specifically actually, to characters that are unable to do anything for the entire section, or players that aren't present. It does not refer to characters that simply haven't earned Conflict. This is quite clear.

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Page 52 specifically calls out as a guidline that: (paraphrasing) if a character has not been in a situation where s/he was at risk of gaining conflict (but regardless of whether or not conflict was gained), no roll should be made. Of course, this is a guideline, but it's not a sidebar. So you could call it optional if you so want to, but I call it RAW as it's presented as a guideline for RAW. It's there to give the GM and players a better understanding of how to adjust the game as it goes on, to adapt it to how they play.

Once again this is not the case; that section refers, quite specifically actually, to characters that are unable to do anything for the entire section, or players that aren't present. It does not refer to characters that simply haven't earned Conflict. This is quite clear.

 

Incorrect. I can see why you read it that way, but I disagree to such a specific and strict interpretation. It refers to what you say too (obviously), but it mentions an over all guideline, and I quote: "These cases are likely to be very rare, but a good overall guideline should be that Player Characters should have a chance to earn Conflict (even if they don't take it) if their Morality will have a chance to change." (my emphasis) To read that this (that is "overall guideline") is only referring the various examples listed above is to ignore the content and meaning of the sentence.

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So even if this perceived issue is an actual problem, how does it negatively impact the game?

The rule specifically states that intent should limit the amount of conflict earned, not that it should negate it.  Thus theft will earn conflict because it is theft, but the amount of conflict gained is based on the character's intent.

 

That is not the case at all. From the rules p.324:

 

Lying for Personal Gain: the PC tells a lie for selfish reasons or to benefit himself. Some lies can be told without penalty to benefit others, such as avoiding combat or protecting innocents.

Theft: the PC steals something that does not belong to him. The penalty can be mitigated in this case if the PC is stealing from a corrupt and/or wealthy authority, and does so to give back to those who need it.

 

Under the section titled: BESTOWING CONFLICT (From Beta, but I know it is in the core too)  (I am AFB so do not have a page #)

 

"Character intent should influence the amount of Conflict awarded, as some actions may be considered good in one situation and evil in another."  Emphasis mine.
 
Couple that with the chart you reference and it is easy to extrapolate that someone who steals should earn at least 1 conflict, more depending on their intent.
Edited by Inquisitor Tremayne

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Page 52 list examples, examples being "one of a number of things, or a part of something, taken to show the character of the whole". The book does not list every single instance of where this might be implemented. That paragraph is not the end all, be all list of scenarios.

 

If a player decides to make his character shove his nose into a book to research a problem that the party is taxed with, pulling the character out of the action, so to speak, but the other characters go and rob a store in the mean time, gaining conflict and then the session ends, the first character does not need to have his conflict resolved because he did not encounter a situation where he stood to gain or not gain conflict. On the other hand, if he knew of the crime his fellows took beforehand and did nothing, he would gain conflict and would need to resolve at the end of the session.

 

Also (As Tremayne pointed out) page 342 of the Core, under Bestowing Conflict, second bullet point, after referencing Table 9-2: "The GM can and should adjust the penalties to account for unusual actions or situations." The listed numbers in Table 9-2 are suggestions, but

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Page 52 specifically calls out as a guidline that: (paraphrasing) if a character has not been in a situation where s/he was at risk of gaining conflict (but regardless of whether or not conflict was gained), no roll should be made. Of course, this is a guideline, but it's not a sidebar. So you could call it optional if you so want to, but I call it RAW as it's presented as a guideline for RAW. It's there to give the GM and players a better understanding of how to adjust the game as it goes on, to adapt it to how they play.

Once again this is not the case; that section refers, quite specifically actually, to characters that are unable to do anything for the entire section, or players that aren't present. It does not refer to characters that simply haven't earned Conflict. This is quite clear.

 

Incorrect. I can see why you read it that way, but I disagree to such a specific and strict interpretation. It refers to what you say too (obviously), but it mentions an over all guideline, and I quote: "These cases are likely to be very rare, but a good overall guideline should be that Player Characters should have a chance to earn Conflict (even if they don't take it) if their Morality will have a chance to change." (my emphasis) To read that this (that is "overall guideline") is only referring the various examples listed above is to ignore the content and meaning of the sentence.

 

Where does it say that you do not roll if Conflict was not earned?

 

I have no idea why you are misrepresenting what is in the rules. To argue that it says something other than what it says makes no sense and is simply your interpretation.

 

We go on, once again, the rules as written. The rules as written do not say anything about rolling only when Conflict is earned, and specifically say that a roll is made regardless of whether no Conflict was earned. As I have already explained.

 

Do we really have to go around in circles over this? It's clear you don't like the RAW but you cannot make them say something different. Again, iof you want to change the rules for yourself that is entirely your prerogative and, again, we are not discussing that.

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Hi there. I haven't read all of this thread yet (but will), but just wanted to propose a suggestion that's come to mind.

 

How about if conflict each session starts at five points, bad actions add to it, good actions reduce it. This means that morality won't automatically go up for doing nothing, and you'd have to always be mindful of doing good deeds.

 

Might want to call it something other than conflict though... perhaps, "Balance".

 

My apologies if something like this has been suggested before in this thread.

 

 

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Page 52 specifically calls out as a guidline that: (paraphrasing) if a character has not been in a situation where s/he was at risk of gaining conflict (but regardless of whether or not conflict was gained), no roll should be made. Of course, this is a guideline, but it's not a sidebar. So you could call it optional if you so want to, but I call it RAW as it's presented as a guideline for RAW. It's there to give the GM and players a better understanding of how to adjust the game as it goes on, to adapt it to how they play.

Once again this is not the case; that section refers, quite specifically actually, to characters that are unable to do anything for the entire section, or players that aren't present. It does not refer to characters that simply haven't earned Conflict. This is quite clear.

 

Incorrect. I can see why you read it that way, but I disagree to such a specific and strict interpretation. It refers to what you say too (obviously), but it mentions an over all guideline, and I quote: "These cases are likely to be very rare, but a good overall guideline should be that Player Characters should have a chance to earn Conflict (even if they don't take it) if their Morality will have a chance to change." (my emphasis) To read that this (that is "overall guideline") is only referring the various examples listed above is to ignore the content and meaning of the sentence.

 

Where does it say that you do not roll if Conflict was not earned?

 

I have no idea why you are misrepresenting what is in the rules. To argue that it says something other than what it says makes no sense and is simply your interpretation.

 

We go on, once again, the rules as written. The rules as written do not say anything about rolling only when Conflict is earned, and specifically say that a roll is made regardless of whether no Conflict was earned. As I have already explained.

 

Do we really have to go around in circles over this? It's clear you don't like the RAW but you cannot make them say something different. Again, iof you want to change the rules for yourself that is entirely your prerogative and, again, we are not discussing that.

 

 

The book was probably intentionally written to leave that open to interpretation, as the game can vary so widely from one group to another. Some people will take it literally, and assume the character has to be totally removed from the game. Others will make the argument that a shopping and planning session doesn't provide enough opportunity to gain conflict.

 

If you want a solid answer, bounce the question over to the FFG Q&A line or write in to the O66 podcast next time Sam Stewart is going to be on. Then you'll know for sure.

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Incorrect. I can see why you read it that way, but I disagree to such a specific and strict interpretation. It refers to what you say too (obviously), but it mentions an over all guideline, and I quote: "These cases are likely to be very rare, but a good overall guideline should be that Player Characters should have a chance to earn Conflict (even if they don't take it) if their Morality will have a chance to change." (my emphasis) To read that this (that is "overall guideline") is only referring the various examples listed above is to ignore the content and meaning of the sentence.

 

Where does it say that you do not roll if Conflict was not earned?

 

I have no idea why you are misrepresenting what is in the rules. To argue that it says something other than what it says makes no sense and is simply your interpretation.

 

We go on, once again, the rules as written. The rules as written do not say anything about rolling only when Conflict is earned, and specifically say that a roll is made regardless of whether no Conflict was earned. As I have already explained.

 

Do we really have to go around in circles over this? It's clear you don't like the RAW but you cannot make them say something different. Again, iof you want to change the rules for yourself that is entirely your prerogative and, again, we are not discussing that.

 

I'm not misrepresenting anything, please stop coming with baseless accusations. That is the rules as written; it is suggested that if morality should change (i.e. the roll) the PCs should also have been in a position where they could've earned some Conflict. It's there. Spelled out in that section. It's not a must-do rule, but it is a suggested guideline for the game, which is part of the rules as written. This in turn means that the rules as written can be used in two ways: either you always roll (which is what you believe is the only way presented in the book) or you can, as they also suggest on page 52, consider and determine whether or not a character should roll. Whether the character was not present, unconscious the entire session or did not face a situation where conflict could be earned.

 

Yes, in general the book and rules assumes you roll at the end of each session, but it also gives some examples and a suggested guideline for making judgement calls. It isn't superbly written, but I think it's safe to assume that most groups will face situation where Conflict can be gained, at least in a game like this.

 

Ignoring what the book spells out and accusing me of "making them say something different" isn't changing the fact that you're ignoring the text in the book and making it say something you can find a fault with to hammer on. Granted, if RAW was as you believe it to be, then we'd have to start to talk about house-ruling and changing it ourselves - for those that are so inclined. As things stand, aside from the randomness of the d10, the light side favouritism, the rules as written blatantly suggests having a guideline where the change of morality (again, that is the roll at the end of the session) should to some level or another be contingent upon whether there's been a Conflict-worthy encounter/situation/decision during the session.

 

I think RAW is great. Not superbly written perhaps, but you can't have everything.

 

We can't agree on this, that much is obvious in the way you attack me.

 

So to make sure one of us is correct (we're both convinced, but both can't really be correct can we?), I'll send a message to the Q&A.

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I don't have the book in front of me, so I can only rely on my increasingly shaky memory, but - don't you also generate conflict for using dark side pips on the force die?

 

My understanding was that morality was a multiplier for the actions you took. If you rely on the dark side to use your force powers, conflict points (and given that there are more dark side faces on the die, odds are that you will have to use them to succeed with a critical force power). If you do something inherently dark, like torture, conflict points. If you play to your strength or weakness, large numbers of points added/subtracted.

 

So, yeah, if you have a really combat-light game, where the characters aren't in peril and there's not much need for force powers to go off, then it's pretty easy to gain morality. But even if you just have a few close fights, players are probably going to have to use dark side pips a few times, which means that gains and losses would be more or less a wash in the long run if they aren't careful.

The Strengths/Weaknesses is supposed to function like Obligation; a complication that can come up and be RPed through, but not something that dominates every game session.

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Where does it say that you do not roll if Conflict was not earned?

 

 

 

 

 

It doesn't, and no one has ever claimed that.

 

It says you do not roll if there was no opportunity to earn Conflict. If the player chooses not to take the action that earns Conflict, the roll is still made, but not if no moral choices ever arise.

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p.51

 

"Over the course of a game session, a PC may earn no Conflict at all, as much as 10, or even more. At the end of the session, each player tallies up the Conflict has character has earned and then rolls."

 

p.52

 

"If a payer was not present for a session, his character's Morality should not have a chance to increase. Similarly, if a character had no chance to do anything in a session or spent an entire session incapacitated, then his Morality should not increase."

 

No mention of opportunity, You still make the roll in all cases, you just don't earn Morality (you might lose it) in the case of the latter quote. It says nothing about opportunities to earn Conflict. You roll regardless of how much you earn and your Morality might change, except it won't increase if the character couldn't do anything.

 

That is not the same as not having an opportunity to earn Conflict at all.  Not being able to do anything simply means the character is not punished in tems of Morality because he had no agency, such as being incapacitated.

 

The rules also leave out how one loses Conflict.

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No mention of opportunity,

 

It's a line on Pg 52

 

These cases should be rare but a good overall guideline should be that Player Characters should have a chance to earn conflict (even if they don't take it) if their morality will have a chance to change.

 

 

Not exactly crystal, but it's there. Incapacitation or Absence is the examples, but the argument is being made that a session where the Players do something like just plan a major battle with no encounters or interactions would also qualify.

 

Ask the Devs, that's why they have e-mail addresses.

 

 

 

The rules also leave out how one loses Conflict.

 Pg 52, first two sentences.

 

Once a player has determined how much  his character's morality has increased or decreased , he resets his conflict amount to zero. This way, PC's start with no accumulated Conflict at the beginning of each session.

 

 You lose all of it by ending the session and doing your morality adjustment. Pretty clear there.

Edited by Ghostofman

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This may have been a change from the Beta to the release version, but in the Beta it actually calls out that, for the most part, the Emotional Strength and Weakness of the character are not mechanical in nature. They are there to give some flavor and a bit of insight on what the perceived mindset of the character is. For this reason they're an excellent hook when using triggered morality but by and large they are not intended to have a mechanical effect.

 

And I still have yet to see a clear indication on what is so bad about the general upward trend of a character's morality? So your GM doesn't really involve situations in which there is much opportunity to gain conflict. Your group as a whole is not doing anything bad, you're not using darkside pips and after a few sessions you are all lightside paragons and... what? How does this really negatively impact the game at all?

 

How can this system be an important system and narrative tool if it isn't being actually incorporated into the stories? And if it is being incorporated into the stories, how is it being done in such a way that there isn't at least the opportunity to gain conflict present? And even then, how is the result of gaining morality steadily actually negatively impacting your game?

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It doesn't say what you think it does. P.51 says that if you gain no morality you still roll, as I quoted.

I never disagreed with that.

 

I'm saying:

51 says a player rolls a morality adjustment if they earn conflict or not.

52 says a player that can't earn conflict due to absence or incapacitation shouldn't get a morality adjustment.

52 says a player should have a chance to earn conflict if their morality is expected to change.

 

So the question is:

Is the "chance to earn conflict" in reference to absence/incapacity or does it extend to (hopefully rare) sessions where the player, due to circumstance or situation, does not find himself in a position to reasonably earn conflict?

 

Is that a situation where his morality is "not expected to change" and therefore a morality check is not to be applied?

 

Or is it a situation where they merely "did not earn conflict" and the check should be made, in accordance with the mechanic's skew toward positive morality?

 

Both positions are perfectly valid.

 

 

So far no one has answered that with a sufficiently solid RAW response, and so again I suggest you just submit a Q&A. You'll probably get an answer form the lead Dev himself in a couple days.

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No.

What i believe is this: If a player finds himself in a situation where he could earn conflict, he rolls morality at the end of the session. Whether he earns it or not is largely irrelevant. He's made a moral choice, hence he rolls.

Edited by Jegergryte

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No.

What i believe is this: If a player finds himself in a situation where he could earn conflict, he rolls morality at the end of the session. Whether he earns it or not is largely irrelevant. He's made a moral choice, hence he rolls.

 

This. You don't have to actually earn Conflict to roll Morality; everyone agrees with that. But it's at least suggested that if you never even have a situation in which you COULD earn Conflict that your Morality should not change.

 

That interpretation seems to handle a lot of the "sleeping to paragon" issue, since it suggests you should be at least actively resisting temptation (and taking the harder choice) in-game in order for your Morality to increase.

 

Heck, serpent, I don't think your reading that Conflict doesn't reset to zero if Morality is gained is correct (someone already quoted a statement that Conflict always resets to zero after the roll) -- but if you did follow that understanding, again passive Morality gain would be much impaired, since Conflict would just keep building up until the character can't help but lose a little Morality.

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