Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Comrade Cosmonaut

Shall we discuss morality?

Recommended Posts

To open, I'd like to acknowledge that if you enjoy the Morality mechanic as it is, by all means have a blast.

That said, how in the hell is this accepted? I though the diametric scale of good v bad was antiquated when it was in KotOR and Fable, why is this accepted in 2016?

I disliked the mechanic for D&D as well with their nine point axis, I should mention as well.

I understand it makes sense to have a reference point for other players and the GM for ease of story telling and role playing, but it just isn't that simple.

Anyone familiar with Magic: the Gathering?

The colors.

White is order, at its best its a just and democratic state of being. At its worst, it's a tyranical martial law dictatorship.

Blue is knowledge and learning. It is inquisitve and smart. Or it's cold, calculating, and unfeeling.

Green is the natural order. It's neutral and beautiful. Or it's wild and untamed.

Red is passion. It's energetic and genuine. Or its furious and fiery.

Black is death. It can be natural and knowledgeable. Alternatively it can be cruel and hateful.

There's a post about homebrew rules on this board and this is mine here. Morality is one major driving for e, one primary choice of these five colors. It should color your perception for all your actions and decisions and thoughts. You should consider one or two other colors as minor modifiers to flavor it a bit.

You can easily go from a curious study to live animal testing if you are blue. It's simple to move from passionate to furious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is Star Wars is the short answer. At its core Star Wars is openly a relatively unambiguous space opera about good vs evil. While true morality is more nuanced than the Force is presented, that isn't what the Force is about. The Force and, by extension, Star Wars itself is all about the choice between being selfish or selfless. Good or evil. It is even a common thing in other fiction to reference (sometimes affectionately and sometimes mockingly) the clear nature of the universe in the setting.

While there is by no means anything stopping someone from adding more ambiguity, the idea that there is an objective good is one of the things at the heart of the setting. This goes triple once you introduce the Force (space Buddhism cosmic unity).

That said, it can be fun sometimes to ride the line.

I'm looking at you Edge of the Empire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You better batten down the hatches, a Lot of posters here insist that the rules work fine for everyone.

 

 

Snarkiness aside, can you give more information about your ideas?  If the rules as written are too diametric for you, what would be the advantage of a polymetric, five-faceted system be?  What would such a system look like mechanically?  Would this even be a system, or simply how you view the fictional world you play in?

 

And by far the most important, how would it benefit the GM and players at the table?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The colors.

White is order, at its best its a just and democratic state of being. At its worst, it's a tyranical martial law dictatorship.

Blue is knowledge and learning. It is inquisitve and smart. Or it's cold, calculating, and unfeeling.

 

You just described our Jedi Order.

 

 

Green is the natural order. It's neutral and beautiful. Or it's wild and untamed.

Red is passion. It's energetic and genuine. Or its furious and fiery.

Black is death. It can be natural and knowledgeable. Alternatively it can be cruel and hateful.

 

You just described our Sith.

 

 

Seriously, you can change Morality to what you like.  Yes, of course the black & white paradigm is a draw for many people, that's what they like about Star Wars, but you can make it what you want at your table. 

 

I don't use much canon, but our game feels more like the post-movies EU set-up -  Jedi vs Alliance, Imperial remnants - than anything else. No real good guys or bad guys.

 

Don't get me wrong - exploration of Morality is front and centre in my games. But we wanted nuances that went beyond 'give all my money to the orphanage, or burn it down'.

 

We play Morality a bit like Mass Effect's Paragon and Renegade system in some ways. Neither are necessarily 'good' or 'evil'.

 

(And don't get me wrong, there's a LOT of 'karma' in our games and bad things come around to bite you on the ass...)

 

To be honest, one of the things I loved about F&D was that 'dark side' doesn't make you a baby-eating puppy-murderer.  The twinned morality, the fine lines between something like 'Enthusiasm' and 'Recklessness'.  That was what we wanted to explore, but - surprisingly -  the F&D rules just didn't do it very well for us, only rewarding a straight rush to one extreme. So we just tossed that aside.

 

Seriously, CC, I'd be interested as to how you'd implement it. I'd been toying with something similar, but decided to 'keep it simple' in the end.

Edited by Maelora

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You better batten down the hatches, a Lot of posters here insist that the rules work fine for everyone.

 

To be fair, this forum is better than most for RAW apostasy.

 

Even strong supporters of canon like Donovan have respected my right to do things differently.

 

Most of the 'you're doing it wrong' posts come not from tampering with the mini-games like Morality or vehicle combat, but with the core, stuff like character generation or ludicrously overpowered homebrew specs.

Edited by Maelora

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Star Wars at it's core has always had an absolute morality, with two points being light/good and dark/evil. It's been there since the very first film.  Han was the only "morally grey" character turning out to be a good guy at the end, so at best you've got light grey, with the Fetts representing a very dark shade of grey (given they willing worked as bounty hunters for evil beings).  The few times in Legends that an author thought to "expand" the morality scale in Star Wars with regards to the Force, those wound up getting shot down and internally shown as invalid.  And as a core part of the setting, the struggle between light/good and dark/evil, FaD's Morality system reflects that "simplistic" outlook.  But then again, Star Wars has since the very start ultimately been a fairy tale set in space.

 

In-universe, a PC can describe how they see the Force however they like, either as an ancient pagan religion or a coldly clinical arcane science, but the Force exists as an absolute morality with pretty set guidelines on what's good and what's evil, with zero f***s given as to what rationale you had for your actions; instigating a fight without trying more diplomatic methods to resolve the current dilemma is still a transgression (albeit a minor one) just the same as decapitating a vile serial killer who is completely at your mercy is a transgression.

 

Part of the problem for some may well be that in a lot of cases, the dark side has been treated as almost 80's cartoonish level of evil in the Expanded Universe/Legends, the point you'd half expect Skeletor to waltz in and start tossing out petty insults.  And Luke wasn't always handled well either, with some authors laying on the messiah metaphor way too thick.

 

That being said, the main question to the OP is what are you looking to accomplish by expanding the Morality scale from it's current white vs. black scale?  You've already said you disliked the nine alignment axis of D&D, and yet by using the color motif from M:tG, what you're essentially doing is adding a D&D-style alignment axis to FaD.

 

There's also the matter that if you do start splitting Morality away from the basic light vs. dark notion into rainbow alignments, you start moving away from one of the core aspects of what makes the setting feel like Star Wars, to the point that you might as well just deep-six the entire Morality point tracking portion of the system and just keep the Emotional Strength/Weakness as role-playing hooks for the PCs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You better batten down the hatches, a Lot of posters here insist that the rules work fine for everyone.

No, a lot of posters insist the rules aren't inherently broken, and can actually work pretty well as written within the context of the setting for which they were designed.

 

There's a fine line between Maelora's example of "these rules don't work for my group, so while I won't use them, that doesn't mean they don't work for others" versus the claim of "these rules don't work for me, so therefore they don't work for anybody!"  The first is perfectly fine, the second borders on sheer arrogance.

 

As I posted above, the Morality mechanic was written to jive with the core concept that Star Wars is a setting with an absolute morality and a fairly clear definition of light/good vs. dark/evil.  It's possible to play in the shades of grey of the setting (Edge of the Empire being a prime example of this), but even for EotE the PCs are assumed to generally be decent sentient beings as opposed to a pack of ruthless murder-hobos.  Han and Lando did some pretty sketchy things in their pasts, but they were still ultimately good guys.  So in terms of the absolute morality that the Force operates on, the Morality rules work perfectly well as they are written.  It's when the GM wants to go outside the absolute morality of the setting that the Morality/Conflict rules don't work so well, which is to be expected as those rules were written to operate within the setting's absolute morality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the thought that it's Star Wars, and that's why (reasons mentioned above). About it being "outdated," well...

 

It's a storytelling tool, just the same way as MTG's colors are. And like all tools, it can be mishandled. Some writers (also including developers, seeing as we're talking about games) will use a relatively straightforward system because it's easier to implement, and if they're not inventive, it might feel bland and boring. This system, I think, fulfills what it was intended to do in regards to the setting it's packaged with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

That being said, the main question to the OP is what are you looking to accomplish by expanding the Morality scale from it's current white vs. black scale?  You've already said you disliked the nine alignment axis of D&D, and yet by using the color motif from M:tG, what you're essentially doing is adding a D&D-style alignment axis to FaD.

 

That's a good point, and I wondered about that too.

 

I like the concept, but it seems to add even more complexity to something I felt needed simplifying.

 

 

There's also the matter that if you do start splitting Morality away from the basic light vs. dark notion into rainbow alignments, you start moving away from one of the core aspects of what makes the setting feel like Star Wars, to the point that you might as well just deep-six the entire Morality point tracking portion of the system and just keep the Emotional Strength/Weakness as role-playing hooks for the PCs.

 

That's pretty much what I did.

 

Though if you're in the mood to debate, we could talk all day about how 'black and white' the morality really is.  For the most part, there seems to be shades of grey, but they are simply handwaved or ignored on the basis of 'it's a kid's film; nobody cares about that stuff'.

 

So - genuine question - would you give Conflict for the following things that happened in the first film (off the top of my head)?

 

1) Ben is usually touted as one of the most pure and iconic Jedi, but he does some odd things without any apparent moral quandary.  In the cantina scene, he makes a minor effort to get the tavern bullies to back down, but when that fails, he has no problems killing one and chopping bits off the other.  Yes, it was self-defence, but he could have used a mind trick or Force push or something (which might have actually been less showy than the lightsaber). In what way does this really differ from Han's treatment of Greedo? In both cases, it's self-defence, but Han's action is usually given as an example of how ruthless he can be.

 

Yes, the whole point of whipping out the 'saber is to establish the old man is a badass in a movie.  But would you give a PC conflict for it if there was a more peaceful way?

 

2) Ben has no problems lying to Luke about his sister and father, even though he's well aware this will put him at a significant disadvantage in his interactions with them?

 

Again, this is purely done for the film, to keep the audience in suspense (and one can argue that Lucas hadn't made these connections yet - the entire 'Leia as sister' thing seems to have come out of him realising Han Solo had nothing to do otherwise in the sequel).

 

Keeping the truth from his student seems to serve no purpose other than to mess with his mind.  Is that Conflict-worthy?

 

3) Blowing up the Death Star.  Considering the loss of life, this one is pretty much ignored in entirety. (It's necessary, no doubt, but it's not that far removed from having to destroy a civilian city to hit a military target)  Nobody seems to suffer any angst about it whatsoever. Is that kind of thing Conflict-worthy? What about Death Star 2.0, if there's even the possibility it might cause grief for the primitives and allies planetside? (Even at 14, I found myself wondering if the debris would fall on anyone...)

 

 

And let me stress -  I'm being genuine here.  Not trying to say you're wrong about the binary good/evil or 'the Alliance is the bad guys' or anything.

 

But these seem like examples from the original movie where the morality wasn't necessarily black and white... and was wondering if those who do use Morality as RAW would give Conflict for it?  

Edited by Maelora

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That said, how in the hell is this accepted? I though the diametric scale of good v bad was antiquated when it was in KotOR and Fable, why is this accepted in 2016?

 

I can't claim to know how it is today, but back during the SW d20 RCR era over a decade ago, it was made abundantly clear by the WotC designers of that time (GM Sarli, if I recall correctly) that anything they wanted to publish for Star Wars had to go through the line-by-line, commonly half-year-long scrutiny of Lucas Licensing to ensure that their publications did not deviate from canon. Essentially, this meant they could design game mechanics to interpret the current canon in any way they wished, but game mechanics could not be used to redefine anything that was already established by the movies and books in existence.

 

In short, they literally could not design a more complex multiple-axis morality system (even if they wanted to) because Lucas Licensing would reject any attempts to do so.

 

So, where GMs and players such as yourself see the diametric scale as 'antiquated', Star Wars game designers see it as a 'strict requirement' to get their game published (at all) with that all-important "Officially Licensed" label that practically guarantees sales.

Edited by Radon Antila

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dunno if those questions were posed directly to me or to the thread in general, but I'll take a stab at answering them.

 

1) I wouldn't assign Ben any Conflict in that instance.  He tried to talk them down, but they got violent, shoving Luke aside and then drew their blasters in a crowed public space.  Obi-Wan took the direct route and negated the immediate threat as quickly as possible.  Whether those two lived or died depends on how much EU/Legends you accept, but Obi-Wan did what he could to defuse the situation, and then reacted appropriately to the level of threat; two violent goons just drew lethal weapons in a crowded public venue, so he responded with an equal but far more precise level of force in the scant few moments he had to react.

 

2) I probably wouldn't give any Conflict for the "Darth Vader murdered and betrayed your father" line.  It's not like it had any real benefit to Obi-Wan, as he knew he was simply delaying the inevitable and didn't want to shatter all of Luke's childhood illusions at once.  Given how long he'd been watching over Luke, it's a parental sentiment, and I challenge any parent to not do the same if in a similar situation.  A similar example from another franchise is Dumbledore withholding a very painful truth from Harry for so many years simply because he'd come to care too much for Harry's general well-being (and likely hated himself for the role that Harry would have to play in order to defeat Voldermort once and for all).  I'm sure that Ben had planned to tell Luke the proper truth when the boy was ready for the burden he was destined to bear, but Obi-Wan died before then and Luke rushed off into the confrontation when he really wasn't ready for it, both in terms of skill and mindset.

 

3) With a name like the Death Star, and especially after the destruction of Alderaan, there's no such thing as a true "innocent" on that station anymore, and "just following orders" doesn't cut it as an excuse for homicide on a horrifically grand scale, especially against a population that had themselves taken no action against you.  And the only people on Death Star 2.0 where what amounts to government contractors, enlisted troops, and military officers, all of whom knew exactly what they were building and what it was meant to do.  So no Conflict for Luke in destroying the first Death Star (which was in the midst of getting ready to blow up Yavin 4 anyway, so not like he just flew up and decided to nuke it on a random impulse), and no Conflict for any F/S pilots that were tagging along with Lando when they nuked the core of the second Death Star either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Radon,

This was touched upon in the latest Order 66 by guest host Sam Stewart.

 

He mentioned that while the stuff that FFG publishes might not be canon, it is all vetted by Lucasfilm's approvals department.  So much like WotC, they have to play by the license owner's rules in terms of the material they publish.  And Sam even directly mentioned in relation to the show topic that Star Wars has been presented as a setting with an absolute morality.  So given those particular statements, it sounds like FFG wouldn't be able to produce a more "varied" Morality system even if they wanted to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think if you have players who are mature and creative enough then the Morality system, while possibly simplistic from a pure mechanical standpoint can become a nuanced and intricate system that contributes to narrative developments with the characters involved.

 

For example, two characters could have the same Emotional Strength and Weakness, but how they go about representing those can be totally different. One persons view of Justice may not be the same as another's, just as one person's Recklessness may not be the same as their companions.

Edited by StarkJunior

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think if you have players who are mature and creative enough then the Morality system, while possibly simplistic from a pure mechanical standpoint can become a nuanced and intricate system that contributes to narrative developments with the characters involved.

 

For example, two characters could have the same Emotional Strength and Weakness, but how they go about representing those can be totally different. One persons view of Justice may not be the same as another's, just as one person's Recklessness may not be the same as their companions.

We already see elements of this in the official material, with the descriptions found in Keeping the Peace for the repeated Emotional Strengths and Weaknesses being rather different than those found in the core rulebook.  If anything, this just highlights that there are multiple ways to portray each Emotional Strength and Weakness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry for the lack of response, I had work today.

Yes, I dislike the nine point axis of D&D and I think that the up or down chutes and ladders approach used in this game, while fitting the classic fairy tale feel intended for the movies, is lacking.

I also mentioned that mechanically, for my table, morality is only used to determine which color dots can be spent to use the Force. But all characters have to have a morality. My friend's Wookiee isn't Charrluk the Mad Claw, currently at 45 Morality. It's Charrluk the Mad Claw, temperamental defender of justice. He's white/red. His view point is the invariable belief in justice and doing the right thing, but he struggles with rage.

The point is to take one of the colors (and boy do I suggest reading into them more and what they represent beyond the quick blurbs I posted above) as a sort of moral guideline to what the character is at their core. If you're a scientist, you will always be a scientist. You. Are. Blue. Nothing in the universe will make you be not blue. How do you approach life with this viewpoint, though? Are you studying the Force? Are you studying how it binds all things, flows through us all, and guides your actions? Then you're Blue/Green. Are you doing this work because you want to use this knowledge you've gained to strike down your enemies? Blue/Green/Black.

This isn't something I think should be used as a mechanic, but a role playing tool. How many times did you play a game with a morality system, or have players in your own games now, who either set out and said, "I'm gonna be a paragon of good!" and called that a day? We have seen the stories about players refusing the use dark side pipe to use Move to save a life because the life lost was worth LESS TO THEM THAN THEIR FAKE MORALITY POINTS. That is a mechanic that is driving the role playing and this should a role playing driving the mechanic.

As I said, nothing can take our scientist and make him not blue. He's always studying the Force. Always blue. But maybe, through the game play, he reaoizes that it doesn't bind us all together. He meets the Vong or whatever and he sees proof his theory is wrong. He's still blue, still a scientist; but he's probably not green anymore in addition. What is he now? He's blue. And maybe he's sad or angry and now he's Blue/Red. Or he wants to use this not living energy field to suit his own needs without consideration so use Blue/Black.

At the end of the day, his color or colors only matter as a reference guide and a way to quickly remind yourself who this person is that you're pretending to be.

Edited by Comrade Cosmonaut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dunno if those questions were posed directly to me or to the thread in general, but I'll take a stab at answering them.

 

Thanks for the response.

 

Not sure I agree :)  but I appreciate the insight!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

That said, how in the hell is this accepted? I though the diametric scale of good v bad was antiquated when it was in KotOR and Fable, why is this accepted in 2016? 

 

You do realize you're playing Star Wars right? Star Wars is a morality play at its heart. Good versus evil and all that jazz. Also it's acceptable because even though it's 2016 some games still like to have morally defined worlds. There is nothing wrong with an alignment scale or a morality scale or anything of that nature. If you want moral greys that's what the World of Darkness is for. Games like Star Wars and Dungeons and Dragons were built on the ideas that good and evil are quantifiable things. 

 

 

 

I understand it makes sense to have a reference point for other players and the GM for ease of story telling and role playing, but it just isn't that simple

 

Oh but it is just that simple. Also the color code system seems more complicated than it needs to be and as Donovan points out .... kinda replicates D&D's axis system.

 

 

 

You better batten down the hatches, a Lot of posters here insist that the rules work fine for everyone.

 

Nine times out of ten the rules actually do work fine, when used as intended. Most of the rules problems that people post about tend to involve some aspect of the rules not be used the way it was designed to be used. Morality seems to be the most common one and a lot of that has to do with people fundamentally not getting that Star Wars is a morality story at it's heart and that Force and Destiny was written to represent that.

 

 

 

1) Ben is usually touted as one of the most pure and iconic Jedi, but he does some odd things without any apparent moral quandary.  In the cantina scene, he makes a minor effort to get the tavern bullies to back down, but when that fails, he has no problems killing one and chopping bits off the other.  Yes, it was self-defence, but he could have used a mind trick or Force push or something (which might have actually been less showy than the lightsaber). In what way does this really differ from Han's treatment of Greedo? In both cases, it's self-defence, but Han's action is usually given as an example of how ruthless he can be.

 

It was self defense and Old Ben tries to diffuse the situation before he whips out ole blue. I'd only given him Conflict if the first thing he did was try to kill them. Same applies to Han, I wouldn't have given him any Conflict since it was obvious that Greedo was not going to let Han live. In that instance initiatives would have been rolled, Han gets the higher score so he gets to go first and he kills Greedo. If GM had rolled higher then we would have gotten the special edition scene edit. 

 

 

 

2) Ben has no problems lying to Luke about his sister and father, even though he's well aware this will put him at a significant disadvantage in his interactions with them?

 

I wouldn't have given Obi Wan Conflict for that lie since he lied to keep Luke focused and on track, and to spare Luke the possibility of having to face his father before he was prepared to handle the truth. Knowing to soon may have caused a moment of doubt that could cost Luke his life and no one intended Luke to confront Vader that soon. I don't consider him lying about Leia though. He neglected to tell Luke, to be sure, but you don't gain Conflict for not offering up information that wasn't asked for in the first place. 

 

 

 

3) Blowing up the Death Star.  Considering the loss of life, this one is pretty much ignored in entirety. (It's necessary, no doubt, but it's not that far removed from having to destroy a civilian city to hit a military target)  Nobody seems to suffer any angst about it whatsoever. Is that kind of thing Conflict-worthy? What about Death Star 2.0, if there's even the possibility it might cause grief for the primitives and allies planetside? (Even at 14, I found myself wondering if the debris would fall on anyone...)

 

Given the good vs evil nature of the narrative no Conflict. They were all evil. It's rather simplistic I know but at the end of the day stark black and white worlds are simplistic and they are meant to make it easy for the hero to go through hordes of minions and not have to think about the moral consequences of their actions. 

 

 

 

This isn't something I think should be used as a mechanic, but a role playing tool. How many times did you play a game with a morality system, or have players in your own games now, who either set out and said, "I'm gonna be a paragon of good!" and called that a day? We have seen the stories about players refusing the use dark side pipe to use Move to save a life because the life lost was worth LESS TO THEM THAN THEIR FAKE MORALITY POINTS. That is a mechanic that is driving the role playing and this should a role playing driving the mechanic.

 

See it plenty of times. I'm honestly not sure what the big deal is though. If the GM is doing his job right, the person who decides to be the paragon of good from the start will have to make some tough choices along the way to keep that status. If a player refuses to use a dark side pip good for him, though his lack of inaction would have cost him more in Morality than the dark pip would have. I mean you make a big deal about it but that kind of situation is easily fixable by any GM worth his salt. 

 

Granted as a GM I would never put a player in a situation where the failed use of a Force power is going to cost an innocent life. I will however put them in a situation where using Move to save someones life will be easier and if that dark pip comes up then they can use Move to save them the easy way. If they opt to not use Move then as a GM I will give them a much harder way to save that life. But it's poor GMing if the only way for a character to save a life is to call on the darkside. 

Edited by Kael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lightside Darkside is an absolute moral system.

The game's system to represent it is anything but that.

 

I find a group of Storm Troopers hassling a street vendor demanding bribes or they will arrest them. So I try to talk them out of it with influence enhanced charm check I get yay 4 dark side pips. So my I'm trying to be a light side paragon good guy just went out the window, because my dice roll just turned dark not because of any decision I made, but random chance. Random chance is not an absolute morality its random. (Its actually got a 60% chance of coming up dark side so its not even that random). I don't have the successes with out those dark side pips so my I'm trying to be a hero moment was jacked by random chance into me going all darkside, not because I wanted to, but the dice gods demanded it. How is that a good system?

 

Mean while other character goes screw this and straight up kills them. Takes confict and at the end of the night rolls a 10 while I roll a 1 well **** it. Other dude is rewarded for darkside, but me I just dumped down further on the darkside tree. Not because I wanted to, but because random dice gods were not with me tonight. How is it that this is any less worse then straight up assigning conflict based on actions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lightside Darkside is an absolute moral system.

The game's system to represent it is anything but that.

 

I find a group of Storm Troopers hassling a street vendor demanding bribes or they will arrest them. So I try to talk them out of it with influence enhanced charm check I get yay 4 dark side pips. So my I'm trying to be a light side paragon good guy just went out the window, because my dice roll just turned dark not because of any decision I made, but random chance. Random chance is not an absolute morality its random. (Its actually got a 60% chance of coming up dark side so its not even that random). I don't have the successes with out those dark side pips so my I'm trying to be a hero moment was jacked by random chance into me going all darkside, not because I wanted to, but the dice gods demanded it. How is that a good system?

 

Mean while other character goes screw this and straight up kills them. Takes confict and at the end of the night rolls a 10 while I roll a 1 well **** it. Other dude is rewarded for darkside, but me I just dumped down further on the darkside tree. Not because I wanted to, but because random dice gods were not with me tonight. How is it that this is any less worse then straight up assigning conflict based on actions?

 

Conflict is the possibility of a moral change. Rolling Conflict doesn't mean you're not a lightside paragon or that your chance of being a light side paragon is shot. Light side paragons are actually meant to get some Conflict here and there. Dark side pips aren't calling on the dark side of the Force but channeling negative and darker emotions to achieve a task. It's random because people are not 100% fully in control of their actions or feelings. We may think we are acting calm only to, after being out of the situation, realize that maybe we were a bit more angry at someone than we thought we were. 

 

That's the inherent problem, people view dark pips and gaining Conflict as a failure to adhere to the light. That's not what the system represents. It represents the struggle to adhere to the light. Sometimes we channel bad emotions. When you roll for Morality at the end of the adventure you are basically seeing how your character resolves those moments of Conflict. If your Morality went up your character has a moment of remorse, tries to figure out how to be and do better and mediates on the Force. If it goes down your character is ultimately ok with what he did. Again, it's random because the process itself is not 100% in our control. We have all done something bad in our lives and just not given a **** about it. And we've all done something bad in our lives and felt bad later. As people we are at the whim of our emotions. Players have a tendency to artificially decide that their character does the right thing at all times in all ways. The Morality mechanic and the system in play adds a bit of randomness to it that represents our inability to have full control over our emotions. 

 

At the end of the day, even if you're wanting to be a lightside paragon, dipping down in Morality a time or two isn't that big of a deal. In the long term most characters whose goal is to be a lightside paragon will get there. This mechanic just means it's not so easy to get there.

 

Some days it's gonna go down. Others it's gonna go up. One day the dice gods screw you. Another day it gives you a big reward. 

 

Also ....as an fyi .... you can still be a hero while gaining a few Conflict points here and there. The game is designed specifically to do just that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I call utter bs on that.

 

You can't use negative emotions to light side your way out of a conflict you are going to be using fear that pretty much the only thing that works in that situation. We all know fear leads to the dark side. So don't give me your wishy washy its just conflict speech that is not how it works.

 

I'd be better off using violence as the first resort then trying to rely on random dice that come up dark side pips more often then not and take my 1 conflict then trying to talk my way out of the situation and praying random chance lets me actually be the good guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lightside Darkside is an absolute moral system.

The game's system to represent it is anything but that.

I find a group of Storm Troopers hassling a street vendor demanding bribes or they will arrest them. So I try to talk them out of it with influence enhanced charm check I get yay 4 dark side pips. So my I'm trying to be a light side paragon good guy just went out the window, because my dice roll just turned dark not because of any decision I made, but random chance. Random chance is not an absolute morality its random. (Its actually got a 60% chance of coming up dark side so its not even that random). I don't have the successes with out those dark side pips so my I'm trying to be a hero moment was jacked by random chance into me going all darkside, not because I wanted to, but the dice gods demanded it. How is that a good system?

Mean while other character goes screw this and straight up kills them. Takes confict and at the end of the night rolls a 10 while I roll a 1 well **** it. Other dude is rewarded for darkside, but me I just dumped down further on the darkside tree. Not because I wanted to, but because random dice gods were not with me tonight. How is it that this is any less worse then straight up assigning conflict based on actions?

In this particular case I (and opinions will vary) would give conflict only if you used the dark pips anyway. You tried to resolve it peacefully, but in this instance it wasn't within your ability. You wouldn't get penalized for not stopping something you couldn't. I would also not count anything that could be gained by using a DP as 'within your ability' for this consideration.

And to an extent, if your morality is only going one way the adventure may not be going to it's full potential.

Edited by Rossbert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I call utter bs on that.

 

You can't use negative emotions to light side your way out of a conflict you are going to be using fear that pretty much the only thing that works in that situation. We all know fear leads to the dark side. So don't give me your wishy washy its just conflict speech that is not how it works.

 

I'd be better off using violence as the first resort then trying to rely on random dice that come up dark side pips more often then not and take my 1 conflict then trying to talk my way out of the situation and praying random chance lets me actually be the good guy.

 

You're not using negative emotions to light side your way out of a conflict. The Morality check is about how you resolve the inner turmoil caused by whatever you did to gain Conflict whether it be the use of negative emotions, wanton destruction, calling on the dark side, etc etc etc. If you use violence as your first resort then you're gonna gain lots and lots of Conflict. I can assure you a properly run game by a competent GM will be able to handle your proposed gaming of the system. Your way of approaching it only works when the GM is only offering you one conflict, one chance to use your powers, one fight. A good GM will be offering a variety of challenges throughout the adventure that will give the PC who decides that violence as the first resort plenty of time to rack up more than enough Conflict.

 

The occasional slip is not going to harm you. But if you set out to do bad you will get more than enough Conflict to sink your Morality. 

Also for someone who started a thread to complain about the use of a Morality scale you seem awful concerned now about "how it works". Oh and it's not wishy washy. I was actually explaining how this black and white mechanic represented the complexities of moral decisions. It amuses me to no end that you object to such an explanation after complaining about the black and white nature of the mechanic. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

3) With a name like the Death Star, and especially after the destruction of Alderaan, there's no such thing as a true "innocent" on that station anymore, and "just following orders" doesn't cut it as an excuse for homicide on a horrifically grand scale, especially against a population that had themselves taken no action against you.  And the only people on Death Star 2.0 where what amounts to government contractors, enlisted troops, and military officers, all of whom knew exactly what they were building and what it was meant to do.  So no Conflict for Luke in destroying the first Death Star (which was in the midst of getting ready to blow up Yavin 4 anyway, so not like he just flew up and decided to nuke it on a random impulse), and no Conflict for any F/S pilots that were tagging along with Lando when they nuked the core of the second Death Star either.

 

Couple of things about this point I wanted to speak up on.

 

First one is that for something THAT large, you're going to have civilians on board.  Janitors, electrical engineers, contractors in general.  The amount of "need to know" these people would have is minimal; remember that the cover for the "DS-1 Orbital Battlestation" was a mining facility on a massive scale.  The counter-truth to that bit of fiction may have filtered down to the troop level eventually, but do you think they shared that tidbit with Joe the Plumber?  Do you think he was just happening to look out the window when Alderaan was destroyed?  No, chances are that the only people in the galaxy who never found out Alderaan was destroyed were the civvy contractors on that Death Star.  Mainly because the news was squelched, and then they all died a day or so later.  But if they hadn't, other innocents would have died.  Essentially, what do you do when your enemy's massive planet-killing space station has innocents on it who are unaware of its sinister purpose?

 

Second thing is that you skipped over the issue of the 2nd Death Star and the Ewoks.  Destroying something that large that close to a moon is going to have a catastrophic effect as huge chunks of debris, some of it formerly a huge reactor, rain down from the sky.  The writers handwaved it by saying that the Death Star blowing up caused a wormhole to open up and suck out the bigger chunks of debris, but what happens when you DON'T make the universe bend over backwards to make sure the protagonists never make any hard decisions?  Is destroying the Emperor and Death Star worth the cost of wiping out the Ewoks? Or do you let the chance slip by and pay whatever price in planets that costs?  What's the Light Side option, here?

Edited by Benjan Meruna

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure that the OP has paid attention to the aspects of Morality, such as Compassion v. Hatred or Justice v. Cruelty. While the overall Force morality is one of good v. evil. the aspects you choose for your characters' struggles fulfill the same purpose as the OP's suggested color/element aspects from MtG.

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...