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Brucewayne

A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.

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Ronin, that feels wrong to me. You can support nearly any action on that basis. It is not that Jedi get less conflict (or at leat not much less) when an action is "warranted". They choose to gain that conflict in order to serve what they perceive as the greater good.

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Another thing to consider in Yoda's speech is that Attack and Defense themselves are not absolutes either. Swinging your lightsaber at someone may actually be done in 'defense' of yourself or others. For example, a bandit is about to shoot a group of innocents. By going on the offensive you are defending that group of innocents. However, if you see a group of Storm Troopers blocking a bridge and your first thought is 'quick let's get the drop on them and attack now!' then that is a whole different ball of wax. That is why the sample conflict table as resorting to violence as a first option as gaining conflict, using excessive conflict gaining and the concept of excessive is up to the GM in that case.. Some primitive bully is about to throw a big rock at some kids and you shove him off the side of a cliff with force move, you might have gone a bit too far there.

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Ronin, that feels wrong to me. You can support nearly any action on that basis. It is not that Jedi get less conflict (or at leat not much less) when an action is "warranted". They choose to gain that conflict in order to serve what they perceive as the greater good.

 

I didn't mean to imply that a Jedi gets out of a Conflict award if they can warrant their actions.

Like ShiKage said - resorting to violence as a first option is something that gains Conflict.  Aside from the issue of whether or not using the force for attack is different than using a lightsaber for attack, this action that gains Conflict is an example of usinge the force as a weapon when it's not warranted.

 

When you're about to confront a Sith Lord on his own terf and you use the force as a weapon to knock out his two guards as Yoda did in Ep III seems like a case where it is warranted (one could reasonably argue that this isn't resorting to violence as a first option) to use the force as a weapon that would gain no Conflict.

 

In other words, I think the Conflict table and rules do a good job of covering the Jedi path of not using the force (and/or lightsaber etc) for "attack" and only for "defense".  The Conflict rules also include a section that says a GM can increase the Conflict award if they feel like the character is being particularly selfish or cruel, etc.  Seems like GMs can use this to fit the Jedi path into the feel of their games as well.

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Until this new outbreak of Morality versus the Force, I wasn't even thinking of some of my influences.  I realized it just before I read Jereru's observation.  Morality was a factor in the World of Darkness, and a very strong one.  And the more moral you became, the more stringent the rules of Morality became.  I think this is one aspect of it that is often overlooked, though personally, I'm glad there are not a whole lot of rules that are in place to further splinter the whole process.  I probably still abide by some of these without thinking about it.  

 

Kyla, in spite of the pink, you have a well developed sense of the Force and how to interpret it in a scene.  Not everyone will agree, but there are going to be differences of opinion on lots of things dealing in these areas.  I try to avoid most of these topics, because I feel a lot of people that have very strong feelings do not have a good way to look at perspective on issues of morality and separating good and bad from universal truth in light of personal truth.  You did very well in holding those constants and providing a view on actions without a bias of emotion.

 

Thanks (so far) for everyone participating in this conversation without devolving into attacks...

 

There is no emotion, there is peace

There is no ignorance, there is knowledge

There is no passion, there is serenity

There is no death, there is the Force 

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 So if we take Yoda's words to heart would that mean that a GM is justified in giving out conflict for any offensive use of Force powers such as using Move to throw something at a target or push them off a ledge? Yoda's words would imply that's the case, but I can't help but wonder what's the difference from pushing an opponent off a rooftop with the Force and slicing them with your lightsaber. They're dead either way. I'd welcome any opinions.

 

Well, the 'lil green guy also said "Only a sith deals in such absolutes", so I think there should be some laxity in the interpretation of "any offensive use".  This has been pointed out repeatedly above.

 

I would add that, in my opinion, the Jedi's state of mind should also factor into the consideration of awarded conflict, e.g. using the force for *anything* when the Jedi is experiencing anger or fear is a worthy justification for assigning additional conflict.  

 

It also comes down to what you think 'conflict' fundamentally represents: The *actual* use of the darkside, or the *risk* that the character pulled on the dark side, retroactively assigned.  If you adhere to the former, I would certainly increase or decrease morality substantially on a case-by-case basis.  If you adhere to the latter, smaller adjustments may be in order.  IMO it's actually tricky to figure out which was the intent of the design.  The more I look at it, the closer I am to the latter interpretation, but I'm still not sure.

 

Edit: People are saying good things about Kyla's interpretation, but I seriously cannot read a wall of pink comic sans...

Edited by LethalDose

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Edit: People are saying good things about Kyla's interpretation, but I seriously cannot read a wall of pink comic sans...

 

The Pink is there as my forum postie way to be Jedi vague ... *mimics Yoda's voice* Only a Jedi with deepest commitment, the most serious mind, with the Force as his ally, read my posts will.

Edited by Kyla

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The Pink is there as my forum postie way to be Jedi vague ... *mimics Yoda's voice* Only a Jedi with deepest commitment, the most serious mind, with the Force as his ally, read my posts will.

 

 

Or one with eyesight/tolerance for eyestrain better than mine.

 

It is physically painful to read that font/color/background combination.

Edited by LethalDose

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I believe it *is* the tool. Yoda does not say that a Jedi does not attack. He says that a Jedi does not use the Force for attack.

 

Okay, which is the better outcome: a Jedi using the force to slam two guards into the wall to knock them out or a jedi using his lightsaber to pop their heads off. He's not using the force to attack - he's just outright killing them.

 

 

I would add that, in my opinion, the Jedi's state of mind should also factor into the consideration of awarded conflict, e.g. using the force for *anything* when the Jedi is experiencing anger or fear is a worthy justification for assigning additional conflict.

 

 

That's the thing everyone is overlooking: the rest of the conversation where that line comes from. It's presented as a lesson, it's been prefaced by some other relevant knowledge nuggets, there's more to it than just that one sentence. 

 

"How do I know the good side from the bad?"

 

"You will know when you are calm, at peace, passive. A Jedi uses the force for knowledge and defense, never for attack."

 

AKA - if you're acting like a angry douchenugget, then you are likely to misinterpret when it is proper to use the force as appropriate to the situation.

 

Context, people!

Edited by Desslok

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Reasonable Force

Consider what is Reasonable Force and then apply it to your game.

I once heard someone trying to break in at night. I started shouting, stamped down the stairs and turned on every light as I went. Whoever it was ran off and never came back.

Reasonable. Protected myself and the house. No violence.

But if I sat silently by the door. Lights off. Holding a bat. Waiting for the culprit to break in then leap from the shadows to give them a good clobbering.....that would be unreasonable.

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Esentially what the Wall of pink said: It doesn't mean literally do not attack anyone ever as that response may be required for the defence of their duty (by extention, themselves) and their purpose. They would never plan to attack someone premptively as that isn't how negotiations works, but rather work with all the parities involved to allow the diplomatic mission reach it's logical conclusion without bloodshed, foul play or anything else. However they are obligated to use their powers and tongue to ensure that this is a educated decision as often many lives are at stake in the discussions they are asked to overview. They are servants of the republic first and foremost as defenders of the peace so if they can resolve it peacefully, they will regardless of the cost.

 

This is partly why the Jedi were unwilling to act on behalf of Naboo against the trade federation, as the diplomatic situation would have been solved most peacefully by handing over the missing queen and signing the peace treaty. Thus Qui-Gon active directly against the will of the Jedi by "attacking" the trade federation and stirring up a conflict by the return of the Queen to the gun-gans to form a resistance movement, even if strictly speaking liberating an entire planet against a repressive organisation that saught to strip them of their rights was the right thing to do, but not what the Republic wanted, needless to say if they had followed that train of throught Naboo would have never been liberated as both the Jedi and the republic were too passive to respond. "Attacking" includes disruption of the status quo on a planet at any cost thus in a planet with legalised slavery they are obligated not to liberate said persons for example.

 

This was also the Jedi's greatest weakness as in that given role their abilities to actually make a difference to the universe was limited, they became pacified and withdrew from governing the republic itself, thus completely dulling any ability to act decisively against upcoming threats and let corruption fester in the republic like a cancer. It was precisely this passive behaviour that lead to them being grossly underprepared for the CIS movement and forced them to accept a clone army from someone they hadn't even spoken to in countless years. Needless to say they were indecisive and had grown complacent in peace to the extent they where ill prepared for war.

 

 

That being said, my character isn't a Jedi and despite his force sensitivity sees himself as a visionary first, a rebel hero second. Thus he has no real code about starting fights when he feels the need, much to the despair of the paragon Jedi in the party. (He also despirse them for their part in disrupting the second jewel of yavin heist on the smugglers moon planned by him, and his manipulation at their hands, but that's another tale for another day.)

 

Eh...The problem with this is it sounds exactly like what Anakin Skywalker might've said if you asked him. It also sounds like something Chancellor Palpatine might've told Anakin Skywalker.

 

Though to be fair, the NJO in Legends was significantly more proactive.

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I think that's the big problem with Yoda's line about knowledge and defense, is that people are too frequently taking it out of context and far too literally.

 

Desslok's pretty much hit the nail on the head in that Yoda's spiel was part of a larger lesson to Luke about how a Jedi should act.  In essence, don't go looking to start a fight or act out of ignorance, but make sure that you know as much as you can about the situation before you get involved in a fight, and then end that fight as quickly and humanely as possible.

 

Aside from the "certain point of view" in regards to Vader's identity, Obi-Wan remains a pretty solid example of how a Jedi should properly act.  And even his fib could be excused in that Luke wasn't ready for a harsh truth like that at the time; Yoda even said that had Luke stayed and completed his training, they would have told him the truth about Vader, when they knew he was ready for it.  It's just that Luke being Luke (and unlike his father) rushed off to be the hero, and instead made things worse, since it turned out his being there helped nobody and instead put his friends in danger as they had to go back and rescue him.  Had Luke done as Yoda asked, things might have played out rather differently, since Lando was already taking steps to betray Vader before Luke even set foot on Cloud City.

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Joking aside, I think it comes down to intent.  At the end of the day, you can't lie to yourself and you can't lie to the Force.  There is a bad man with a blaster screaming he's going to shoot down someone, anyone, NOW!  You can feel the turmoil in him, he isn't really going to shoot.  Cutting him down, or giving him a TK slap, is unnecessary and self indulgent.  Some force persuasion, or just talking to him like a real person, will settle this down in a few minutes.  To attack is to embrace the dark side.

 

Counter point:  Bad man holds his finger on the Big Red Button.  He is about to press it.  You know his intent is true.  To cut him down now, or force slam him away from the button and into a wall, is the only way to stop him in the half second you have.  You've used the force or your saber aggressively on a man that posed no immediate threat to you.  Never the less, striking him, even killing him was not just necessary, but the right thing to do.  You know the difference and so does the Force.  Anything else is just rationalization. 

 

Don't listen to the words Yoda uses.  He babbles like a brook.  Yoda knows that if you can't be honest with yourself and see what is necessary and what isn't, and do what is necessary and ONLY what is necessary, you're not a Jedi.  You're a punk with a lightsaber and some parlor tricks, and a future dark sider.

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Thanks for the insight and recommendations! Conflict and judging it seems to be one of the thornier issues I've encountered in Force and Destiny thus far.

To be fair, this sort of thing is nothing new in regards to Star Wars RPGs.

 

Adjudicating what actions were and were not worthy of a Dark Side Point in the prior iterations could lead to some pretty spectacular debates, frequently with the player trying to use all sorts of philosophical concepts of morality to justify why their character's most recent heinous action wasn't actually evil and thus not deserving of a DSP.  Got to the point that I adopted the personal guideline of "the more the player has to try and justify that what they did doesn't merit a DSP, the more that character deserves the DSP."  One of the best things done for GMs running Saga Edition was WotC's web article by Gary M. Sarli that pretty much established a check list to help GMs determine what degree of transgression an action was, and how likely it was to merit an increase to the character's dark side score.

 

The Morality/Conflict system is going to play out in a pretty similar method, though hopefully in a yet-to-be announced career sourcebook we'll get a Chapter 3 that delves a bit more into adjudicating Conflict (sounds like something for the Warrior book given they have the Aggressor spec).

 

For the sake of each GM's table, it's probably best to talk with the group ahead of time and establish how you're going to handle Conflict, and how much wiggle room (if any) you'll allow.

 

Of course, one of the nice things about the Morality/Conflict system is that unless a PC is trying to reach LS Paragon in as few sessions as possible, you can get away with minor transgressions and not suffer any significant consequence as it'll take a long time (and some very bad dice rolls) in order to fall to the dark side if your character only generates 3 to 5 Conflict per session.

Edited by Donovan Morningfire

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I always took Yoda's instruction to Luke as presenting ideals, the kind of thing you want to impress on a student as a goal to be striven for, rather than confuse them with a lot of grey-area "well, if this happens, you could do this" replies. Ideally, a Jedi uses their connection to the Force only for knowledge and defense. It's not an ideal universe, as everyone knows.

 

Ultimately, the Force itself determines the value of one's actions: if you attack a dangerous enemy to protect others in immediate danger from that enemy, you're doing the right thing. If you ambush the same enemy while he's sleeping and murder him, you have transgressed.

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Edit: People are saying good things about Kyla's interpretation, but I seriously cannot read a wall of pink comic sans...

 

The Pink is there as my forum postie way to be Jedi vague ... *mimics Yoda's voice* Only a Jedi with deepest commitment, the most serious mind, with the Force as his ally, read my posts will.

 

Or if one uses the correct theme. Not the white one.

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Esentially what the Wall of pink said: It doesn't mean literally do not attack anyone ever as that response may be required for the defence of their duty (by extention, themselves) and their purpose. They would never plan to attack someone premptively as that isn't how negotiations works, but rather work with all the parities involved to allow the diplomatic mission reach it's logical conclusion without bloodshed, foul play or anything else. However they are obligated to use their powers and tongue to ensure that this is a educated decision as often many lives are at stake in the discussions they are asked to overview. They are servants of the republic first and foremost as defenders of the peace so if they can resolve it peacefully, they will regardless of the cost.

 

This is partly why the Jedi were unwilling to act on behalf of Naboo against the trade federation, as the diplomatic situation would have been solved most peacefully by handing over the missing queen and signing the peace treaty. Thus Qui-Gon active directly against the will of the Jedi by "attacking" the trade federation and stirring up a conflict by the return of the Queen to the gun-gans to form a resistance movement, even if strictly speaking liberating an entire planet against a repressive organisation that saught to strip them of their rights was the right thing to do, but not what the Republic wanted, needless to say if they had followed that train of throught Naboo would have never been liberated as both the Jedi and the republic were too passive to respond. "Attacking" includes disruption of the status quo on a planet at any cost thus in a planet with legalised slavery they are obligated not to liberate said persons for example.

 

This was also the Jedi's greatest weakness as in that given role their abilities to actually make a difference to the universe was limited, they became pacified and withdrew from governing the republic itself, thus completely dulling any ability to act decisively against upcoming threats and let corruption fester in the republic like a cancer. It was precisely this passive behaviour that lead to them being grossly underprepared for the CIS movement and forced them to accept a clone army from someone they hadn't even spoken to in countless years. Needless to say they were indecisive and had grown complacent in peace to the extent they where ill prepared for war.

 

 

That being said, my character isn't a Jedi and despite his force sensitivity sees himself as a visionary first, a rebel hero second. Thus he has no real code about starting fights when he feels the need, much to the despair of the paragon Jedi in the party. (He also despirse them for their part in disrupting the second jewel of yavin heist on the smugglers moon planned by him, and his manipulation at their hands, but that's another tale for another day.)

 

Eh...The problem with this is it sounds exactly like what Anakin Skywalker might've said if you asked him. It also sounds like something Chancellor Palpatine might've told Anakin Skywalker.

 

Though to be fair, the NJO in Legends was significantly more proactive.

 

Precisely. But circumstances has a lot to do with it.

Issue is, the Jedi had chosen to abstain from interacting with much of the universe and thus was forced to play by Palpatines fiddle, as such they were surrounded by killers up to the day they died. Being proactive isn't about acting hastily, being proactive is about engagement to ensure that things are being done in a proper manner.The issue was that Anakin had no real role models, just boring men who did precisely what their teachings taught without compassion. This is partly why I don't entirely trust Yoda as while his messages are idealistic, a rare and wonderful thing in this universe, they are lessons and the greatest students are not the one that come away with every word, but are the ones that criticise and make an informed decisions on the subject matter. Unfortunately, the Jedi were all students that didn't ask questions in class and thus were ill prepared for the exam, they had no compassion nor real allies, no one missed them when they past. That was their greatest mistake.

 

Which is the same reason why Jedi that chose to abstain from any sort of action should gain conflict at times, because theres a huge difference between acting rashly and acting precisely. The moment you let the other side dictate the terms, the field of play and the rules of engagement, then they have already lost.

 

Of course, my PC isn't a Jedi and thus will likely fall unless he has guidance. That guidance hasn't been made available thus far.

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1- Yoda got soft in his old age. 
2- At least with the Legends continuity of Knights of the Old Republic, we can surmise that the Jedi Order of the Republic is pro-active because the Jedi Order of the Old Republic was passive and, because of that passivity, it gave rise to a reborn Sith Order and a massive Galactic Civil War. 

In any event, a passive Jedi Order falls under Edmund Burke's aphorism: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. A passive Jedi Order might as well effectively not exist: It cannot protect the population of the galaxy from tyranny or evil. The Jedi Order of the Republic at least acted - even if it did so recklessly and without thought or reason. The old saw about acting, but acting wrongly, being better than not acting at all comes to mind. Instead of peacefully maneuvering the galaxy through the rocky shoals of the near failure of democracy and the edge of the collapse of the Republic, the Jedi jumped head first into a fight with the Separatists, choosing to attack the Sith and plunge the galaxy into war over seeking to solve the underlying issues leading so much of the Galactic Republic to declare their independence and elect a Sith Lord as their chancellor. But a Jedi Order that did not react would be weak and ineffectual and easily brushed aside by Palpatine in his efforts to rise to leadership of the entire galaxy. 

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Jedi's did all the time in the films, under the guise of "the greater good" no doubt.  Despite only sith dealing in absolutes, Yoda made a few absolute statements, so perhaps the little green guy was sith secretely.

 

 

A very relevant post here in relation to playing F&D RAW, the players are not necessarily Jedi.  Maybe some have chosen to be those who have escaped Vader's hunt to this point, but in essence you are playing force sensitive characters.

 

In deed it seems the main goal is to scavenge Jedi artefacts, and perhaps maybe the campaign plot will bring it around to a New Jedi Order.  In some ways I would say the abandonment of the jedi code makes the game fun, and I am pretty confident that at least one player will attract significant conflict every session.

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The Jedi are depicted leading assaults, raids, and ambushes in Episodes II-III and The Clone Wars TV series. Yoda himself goes to confront Sidious and is the initiator of that battle. As a result, Yoda's understanding of "offense" is clearly nuanced and needs additional clarification beyond "never initiate and attack." I think, "a Jedi only initiates violence judiciously and justly," or "a Jedi only employs violence out of absolute necessity, or when other means have failed or are likely to fail"  and "only when other means have failed or are likely to fail" is a better way of expressing Yoda's intent.

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