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1 hour ago, edwardavern said:

 

 

 

Sorry to necro an old thread - I just wondered whether there were any updates on how using these alterations has worked since they were suggested here.  I think they're all things I would be interested in incorporating into my game, but it would be great to hear whether you've kept using them or ditched them for some reason.

Thanks in advance.

I kept my rule about dropping the Destiny Point requirement for using the Dark Side.  It worked great in the context of making it "quicker, easier, more seductive" to use those Dark Side pips and generate Conflict.  I do still require the Destiny Point flip in the case of a Dark Sider who is trying to redeem themselves, and is trying to use Light Side pips.  The road to redemption is a difficult one.

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8 hours ago, edwardavern said:

Sorry to necro an old thread - I just wondered whether there were any updates on how using these alterations has worked since they were suggested here.  I think they're all things I would be interested in incorporating into my game, but it would be great to hear whether you've kept using them or ditched them for some reason.

I don't have much more, but I will be starting a Sentinel-based campaign soon and do plan to use modified Morality mechanics.  The main assumption, of course, is the players want to be at least Jedi-ish, and aren't going to simply call themselves one while running around engaging in "slaughter of the innocent".  If that isn't the case then a) it's not a campaign I will run, and b) why bother having a Morality mechanic at all?

What I have so far is:

There is no Morality scale and there is no Conflict bean-counting.  Egregious moral conflict, or continual low-level dickery, causes a critical "Force hit" equal to 2 - 4 difficulty dice.  In all cases, getting rid of the hit requires a story-based resolution, and then a Discipline (or other suitable) roll to learn the lesson and remove it.  A rank 2 hit causes setback to all Charm and Negotiation tests, but can be mitigated by spending Strain (1 per setback).  A rank 3 hit upgrades the difficulty of Charm and Negotiation, though again Strain can be used to downgrade that effect.  A rank 4 hit does both, the Strain costs to modify are doubled, it adds a boost to Coercion, plus I'm considering allowing the PC to spend Strain to increase damage output in combat...but using Strain in this way makes it much more likely to generate another "Force hit".

I haven't decided whether the effects of hits stack, we'll have to see how it plays out, I don't want to go overboard.  At this point I will simply apply the effects of the worst offence, though they might stack if the PC has accumulated several hits.  Another option is to increase the rank if the PC keeps generating hits of the same kind, for example:  if the PC continually threatens merchants to get a good deal, that might eventually generate a rank 2 hit, and if they keep doing it it will be increased to rank 3 rather than generating a second rank 2 hit.

Taking a Talent that causes auto-Conflict simply means the PC takes a Force hit, rank 2, which can never be removed.

There is no "paragon" level.  The mechanical benefit of being "clean" is that you don't have penalties.  I figure most Jedi have a hit or two that linger...

Like KungFuFerret, I won't require a DP for using dark pips, but they will cause the normal amount of Strain.  However, dark pips have different effects with different powers, so those uses alone may cause a hit.

All the above said, I don't plan to micro-manage the PC's behaviour and conflict, and the above are only guidelines.  I think this is simpler than counting Conflict tokens, plus it gets rid of the *$&%* idea that you can absolve yourself of murder just by being nice for a while.

 

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On 2017-6-13 at 0:53 PM, KungFuFerret said:

I kept my rule about dropping the Destiny Point requirement for using the Dark Side.  It worked great in the context of making it "quicker, easier, more seductive" to use those Dark Side pips and generate Conflict.  I do still require the Destiny Point flip in the case of a Dark Sider who is trying to redeem themselves, and is trying to use Light Side pips.  The road to redemption is a difficult one.

I'm definitely using this one.  It's such an easy thing to fix, and instantly makes using Dark Side points so much more tempting!

I'm also considering altering the die used for Morality checks.  Initially I'm thinking about making it a d8, instead of a d10, but with the possibility that Paragons have to roll a d6 (as each egregious act weighs more heavily on their soul), while Dark-Siders below 30 still roll a d10 (as they shrug off the little acts of malice without a second thought).  Mechanically, this would just very slightly help drive Morality towards the centre, meaning that any players that really want to play Paragons and/or Dark Siders will have to commit to it that much more.

 

19 hours ago, whafrog said:

All the above said, I don't plan to micro-manage the PC's behaviour and conflict, and the above are only guidelines.  I think this is simpler than counting Conflict tokens, plus it gets rid of the *$&%* idea that you can absolve yourself of murder just by being nice for a while.

1

Interesting.  To me, that sounds like more work, not less - I like the broad idea of moral crits, but having to track these things across multiple sessions, having to establish whether or not they have successfully "resolved" their moral crit, etc. feels like making additional book-keeping.  Although I guess you pass that on to the players, in the same way as you do normal crits.

Keep me posted on how it goes - I'd be very interested to know if you think it works after a few sessions.

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1 hour ago, edwardavern said:

To me, that sounds like more work, not less - I like the broad idea of moral crits, but having to track these things across multiple sessions...

For my group I don't expect a moral hit would even come up every session, and it would be no more complicated than adding Obligation and working the resolution of that into the story.  OggDude's character sheet includes a crit box, I'd just do something similar to track moral hits.

In any case, there are all kinds of reasons *not* to like the proposal:  no paragon snowflake status; having moral hits is a weakening with no upside, which darksider PCs might not appreciate; the stack-or-don't-stack issue is unresolved; and plenty more I'm sure.  These I'd get.  But "more work" doesn't make sense to me.  Keeping track of Conflict, sometimes with every use of the Force along with every GM story element that has the slightest moral conflict, rolling the dice at the end of every session, along with tracking the Morality scale and rolling the dice at the end of each session and the benefits/drawbacks related to that...somehow that is less work?

 

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To those that do away with the DP flip for using dark side points , this is something the group I play in used to use until it was realised that it empowers the light side to be much more powerful than the dark side. 

Consider this , you have no destiny points left , the darksider must roll dark side pips or they cannot succeed. The lightsider will always have a 100% chance of succeeding to get pips

On many roles the exact number of pips rolled doesnt matter as you get more FR, however for those rolls that really matter a paragon of light will always pretty much be able to call upon 1.5 *their force rating(rough average) pips, at the price of some perhaps negligible conflict, giving lightsiders more power, when it matters. Not exactly a balance, when I pointed this out to my GM he dropped the idea of allowijg darkside without a dp flip. For reference Im a guardian warden that has stayed on the straight and narrow with what I do, I have baleful gaze (1 conflict per session and played as 2 conflict per use) and thus far I've never turned down a dark side pip and about 8 sessions in ive moved from 50 to 47. We started with 50 earned xp and I started the game with Baleful Gaze.

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21 minutes ago, syrath said:

To those that do away with the DP flip for using dark side points , this is something the group I play in used to use until it was realised that it empowers the light side to be much more powerful than the dark side.

I'm pretty sure that was written on the assumption that PCs are light siders. If the PC was a dark side character then they'd be able to use light side pips without spending a DP. (It would still cost strain.)

This sort of thing should be limited to PCs though.

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31 minutes ago, Garran said:

I'm pretty sure that was written on the assumption that PCs are light siders. If the PC was a dark side character then they'd be able to use light side pips without spending a DP. (It would still cost strain.)

This sort of thing should be limited to PCs though.

Kungfu Ferret did specify he still required darksiders to flip, otherwise redemption becomes a whole lot easier, so if I were the GM and implemented the same rule, I'd definitely require dark siders to flip a DP which brinbs us back to the light side offering significantly(about double) more power available to them at those critical points they need it. It allows players to game the system. You could withhold using dark side pips until you reach the BBEG and then let loose with an unstoppable torrent of force powers from every PC some of whom will end with a few points of conflict, most of whom would not even go down in morality. 

Im not saying its wrong, after all, all games are different and thematically it is a great fit, which was why my group went with it. When I realised, that when it counted I could still use it with impunity unless you get repeated bad rolls.

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1 hour ago, syrath said:

Consider this , you have no destiny points left , the darksider must roll dark side pips or they cannot succeed. The lightsider will always have a 100% chance of succeeding to get pips

No it doesn't.  Especially for low FR rating PC's, the likelihood of getting nothing but dark side pips is really high.  My own experience at a table with all force users demonstrated that with just FR 1, if you want to use the Force regularly, you better be ready to eat a decent amount of conflict, every session.

And also, with the way the rules are normally, the lightsider would also have to roll light side pips or they cannot succeed.  This is in fact, exactly why I implemented this rule.  My players were in a very major battle, in the bowels of a dark side temple, battling a Dark Side Ghost possessed Force Sensitive.  I hadn't been paying attention to the destiny points (a common failing as I really just don't like that mechanic much), and didn't notice that it was all dark side tokens.  A player attempted to use the Force, and even commented about how his emotions were getting the better of him in the dangerous, scary place, and he was acting out of pure desperation.  Great, I thought, he rolled dark side pips, and I thought, awesome, I get to nudge him a bit into darkness, and help to insure this encounter sticks in their heads, as it was pivotal.   The player turns to me when I tell him to take his conflict, and says "I can't do it."   Me:"...what do you mean?"  Him:" We have no Light Side Destiny Points, so I can't use the Dark Side"  Me: "Really? Oh crap, that's right.  Well screw that rule, I'm officially stating you don't have to use Destiny Points for embracing the Dark Side.  Do what you want and take your conflict."    I wasn't going to let an oversight on my part, hinder a pivotal moment in the PC's arc.  And after implementing it, I noticed they were more free with their Dark Side usage, which is what I wanted, the temptation, the ease with which they could accomplish what they wanted...if they just gave in to their emotions, and chose the quicker, easier path. 

 

 

1 hour ago, syrath said:

On many roles the exact number of pips rolled doesnt matter as you get more FR, however for those rolls that really matter a paragon of light will always pretty much be able to call upon 1.5 *their force rating(rough average) pips, at the price of some perhaps negligible conflict, giving lightsiders more power, when it matters. Not exactly a balance, when I pointed this out to my GM he dropped the idea of allowijg darkside without a dp flip. For reference Im a guardian warden that has stayed on the straight and narrow with what I do, I have baleful gaze (1 conflict per session and played as 2 conflict per use) and thus far I've never turned down a dark side pip and about 8 sessions in ive moved from 50 to 47. We started with 50 earned xp and I started the game with Baleful Gaze.

I don't understand the point you are trying to make with this statement.   Yes, once you start getting higher FR ratings, you are able to more consistently roll light side pips, in quantities sufficient to accomplish stuff.  But the number of faces that have Dark Side pips is still more than the light side.  So more dice still means more chances to get dark side pips too.   Having more force die doesn't suddenly make the ratio of sides change, it just allows for more results on each roll.  A fact that applies for the dark side pips too.  If a player is playing a Dark Side character, then they don't have to worry about flipping DP's anyway when using dark side pips.   It's the other direction where they have to use a DP and take strain.   

So again, what is your point?   A light side character, who is trying to stay a good character, isn't going to embrace the dark side much, and thus earn conflict, because that does add up.  Sure, getting a point or two per session is generally not an issue, the devs have even said that it's expected to get a few points on a regular basis, even for Good characters.   A player how is making a character, with the intent of having them fall to the Dark Side, isn't going to care how much conflict they get, and in fact would want as much as they could.  So this allows them to more easily slip into the black, as it were.   And a good aligned character, who is a little too free with those dark side pips, will quickly see their Morality rating begin to drop, perhaps too low to gain the Paragon bonus.  And they either need to start reigning in their behavior (control their emotions, and act from a place of calm and serenity), or accept that they are not as "good" as they once were.

So really, what is the problem here?     It's very apparent, especially in low game play, that the Dark Side has the advantage, given how likely you are to roll a dark side pip result.  So by your logic, it's unfair for light side players in low level play, because it forces them to go dark more than they might like.

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Dont get me wrong I was actually completely for the rule , because at lower FR items and with us being lightsiders it seemed to work, but as the FR goes up it works less, but think of it this way, no matter the FR the lightsider ends up being guaranteed to be able to up there power with only a few or 1 conflict, the darksider can do so with only DP flip. It means that the lightsider knows that before activating the power that they will always be able to have pips , the darksider doesnt have that guarantee. 

At the end of the day if it works for you then it does , that is all that it matters. I originally loved the idea myself, and it works. Just be very wary that it takes the risk away from the lightsider who can always guarantee triggering a power when they choose. Whereas the darksider has the risk of rolling all white and has to spend a group resource to get that guarantee(albeit after the roll). I love the thematic behind it, ie that it makes the dark side more tempting, but this only gets more pronounced as the FR goes up. 

I use two powers with FR 2 , suppress and enhance (up to brawl as he fights with brawl) and use dark side pips whenever they come up and Im staying level. 

All I said is a small warning to be wary about it because no one noticed it in game, but ultimately it made us take it for granted we would always be able to trigger a force power , something that crept up on us unnoticed, it was only when the morality drops below 30 it makes a difference. Yes it makes the dark side more tempting, but it made us less concerned that we wouldnt be able to use our powers.

edit If I had to spend a DP to use dark pips, I would have triggered significantly less powers than I did , which ultimately seemed wrong to me as it removed that barrier , the rest of the group unanimously agreed even though it ultimately makes it harder on us to trigger the force powers.

Edited by syrath

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5 minutes ago, syrath said:

Dont get me wrong I was actually completely for the rule , because at lower FR items and with us being lightsiders it seemed to work, but as the FR goes up it works less, but think of it this way, no matter the FR the lightsider ends up being guaranteed to be able to up there power with only a few or 1 conflict, the darksider can do so with only DP flip. It means that the lightsider knows that before activating the power that they will always be able to have pips , the darksider doesnt have that guarantee. 

The Dark Side is fickle and petty, and will easily turn upon those who once called it ally.  I'm pretty sure that's why the Sith instituted that "Only 2" rule.  Because they kept killing each other.  So I don't see why the Dark Sider, who chose the easy path for quick power, should have a guarantee, when they try and turn away and use the Light Side.   Besides, it's been shown many times in the various canon materials, that once someone turns to the Dark, to try and NOT use Dark side power is hard.  They can't find the right balance of mind, the calmness, the serenity.  Because they are so Conflicted.   Which would translate mechanically to having to use a Destiny Point.   It's not the same the other way.  It's VERY easy for a Light Sider to embrace the Dark.  It's always easy for them, because the Dark Side always leaves that door open.   There is a price for embracing the Dark Side.

 

11 minutes ago, syrath said:

At the end of the day if it works for you then it does , that is all that it matters. I originally loved the idea myself, and it works. Just be very wary that it takes the risk away from the lightsider who can always guarantee triggering a power when they choose. Whereas the darksider has the risk of rolling all white and has to spend a group resource to get that guarantee(albeit after the roll). I love the thematic behind it, ie that it makes the dark side more tempting, but this only gets more pronounced as the FR goes up. 

I disagree that it "takes the risk away" from the lightsider.  It tempts them to generate more conflict.  Just to clarify, in case this point was missed. They still suffer all conflict and strain costs for using Dark Side pips.  They just don't have the barrier of having to have a Light Side pip to do so.  In most games, having at least 1 Light Side pip is probably not an issue, but if you have a GM like me, that just really doesn't consider them, it could be an issue.  Regardless, it means that the lightsider is more likely to lose their current Morality score, perhaps going into Dark Side status, if they are using it every time it comes up...which is very likely at low FR.  

As to the darksider risking rolling all white, sure that could happen, but statistically it's less likely than rolling either some dark, or all dark.  This is because the number of dice faces that are devoted to the Dark Side, are greater than the Light.  So sure, more dice means there is a greater chance of Light pips, but an even greater chance of Dark pips.   So they are still more likely to get the pip type they want, and in greater numbers too, allowing them to do more stuff, again, just like the lightsider.

 

17 minutes ago, syrath said:

All I said is a small warning to be wary about it because no one noticed it in game, but ultimately it made us take it for granted we would always be able to trigger a force power , something that crept up on us unnoticed, it was only when the morality drops below 30 it makes a difference. Yes it makes the dark side more tempting, but it made us less concerned that we wouldnt be able to use our powers.

Sure you are ABLE to use the power, but are you WILLING?   Not everyone is willing to dip into the Dark Side, because of the thematic nature of their PC.   Maybe you are playing mixed games more than I assume the average party is, but my players don't make Dark Side characters, who are the only people who are potentially handicapped by this.  Since  most players are likely playing good characters, it's not even an issue.  And players who are Dark Siders, I would hope, would appreciate that they have an uphill climb to redeem themselves, without doing a Heroic Sacrifice.  

 

20 minutes ago, syrath said:

edit If I had to spend a DP to use dark pips, I would have triggered significantly less powers than I did , which ultimately seemed wrong to me as it removed that barrier , the rest of the group unanimously agreed even though it ultimately makes it harder on us to trigger the force powers.

Fine, continue to play it that way at your table.  At mine, you don't have to flip a DP, because I feel that the thematic nature of the game, is more important than making sure the mechanics (which are meant to simply be a tool to tell my story, and not the end goal themselves) are 100% equal and balanced across the boards.  There are pros and cons to both sides.   To be frank, if you decide to go Dark Side at my table, and don't expect to have a hard time of it if you are trying to embrace the Light, then you picked the wrong table to be a bad guy at :P 

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4 minutes ago, KungFuFerret said:

Fine, continue to play it that way at your table.  At mine, you don't have to flip a DP, because I feel that the thematic nature of the game, is more important than making sure the mechanics (which are meant to simply be a tool to tell my story, and not the end goal themselves) are 100% equal and balanced across the boards.  There are pros and cons to both sides.   To be frank, if you decide to go Dark Side at my table, and don't expect to have a hard time of it if you are trying to embrace the Light, then you picked the wrong table to be a bad guy at :P 

None of us have any i intention of going dark side although im the one more likely to fall sitting at 47 , we have a light side paragon who uses the pips when they she feels her character would be angry and emotional. The other has seek only but has used dark pips frequently in game and is over 60 morality. I would have thought giving my penchant for using fear I would have dropped by now between dark pips , baleful gaze and coercion but if dark pips are the only thing I need to worry about I can pick and choose when to use them and this ensures that when it most counts I can use every pip available to me. 

Either way to me is fine but I just wanted to make people aware that it can make you a little offhand with knowing that you will always be able to trigger the power, without affecting the DP pool. If it works for you fine, but the whole of my group agreed it had meant we take it for granted everytime we used a force power and the effect on morality wasnt profound, it leads to strategic use of dark pips.

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2 hours ago, KungFuFerret said:

Besides, it's been shown many times in the various canon materials, that once someone turns to the Dark, to try and NOT use Dark side power is hard.  They can't find the right balance of mind, the calmness, the serenity.  Because they are so Conflicted.   Which would translate mechanically to having to use a Destiny Point.

It could equally be argued that the mechanical translation is them having to take strain, which is still going to happen without the DP-flip requirement.

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2 hours ago, Garran said:

It could equally be argued that the mechanical translation is them having to take strain, which is still going to happen without the DP-flip requirement.

Except that strain is easily, and very quickly recovered, usually with a small break, or a nap.  The Morality score however, is a much more long term reflection of their negative actions.  Besides, you can get strain doing all kinds of things that have nothing to do with embracing the Dark Side of the force.  That's essentially just being tired or stressed.  Conflict only shows up when moral dubious situations arise (or embracing the Dark Force to fuel your magic).  

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Since I ranted all those moons ago, we've pretty much given up on the morality gains/losses. There's one character of the three that tends to do naughty actions, so we'll roll for her - but the the others? Pffft, whatever.

I wonder if abandoning the requires a Destiny Point to flip would lure the others into using the Bad Pips more. Right now they tend to run away from using them like they were hot lava or something. I mean thematically it makes sense, that the Dark Side wants you to use it and the mechanical aspect of a flip kind of gets in the way of that desire. It might be too late for the current game, but it might be something to use in our next game, where there'll only be one Force User and I intend to lean hard on the "Using the Dark Side because he doesn't know any better" story arc.

I'll have to bring it up next time we get together.

Edited by Desslok

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I don't get the hatred for Conflict and the Morality system from some people. The F&D game I'm playing in is using it, and its actually working out quite well. Old Republic setting, group is three young Jedi.

One of the PCs is a generally calm, collected and smart person, who never lets emotion get the better of him. He's a lightside Paragon.

One of the PCs is a more adventurous guy, wanting to test his skills in the galaxy at large, but usually doing the right thing. Lightsider on his way towards paragon.

The last one - the one I'm playing - is an over-eager Cathar on the constant search for more knowledge, and quite reckless in his pursuits. His nature as a Cathar makes it very hard for him to reign in his emotions, and he is prone to using dark side pips more often than not to force activations of powers because of high stress and emotional duress. Sub-50 Morality but not TRYING to fall.

 

All of these characters are exactly where we feel they should be on the scale according to their own actions and behaviors.

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8 minutes ago, Silim said:

I don't get the hatred for Conflict and the Morality system from some people.

I think a significant part of the hatred is that unlike Obligation or Duty, Morality (and to an extent Conflict) requires buy-in from the players in order to be effective.

Your group has that buy-in, so there's little to no problem.  My own group are mature enough (generally speaking) to know that certain types of actions are darker than others, and such I don't need to warn them "if you do X, you'll gain Conflict."

With the RAW, part of the issue is that the GM is supposed to be warning players that if they undertake certain actions that their character will earn Conflict, which in sufficient quantities can push a PC to the dark side, and decades of Star Wars RPGs has reinforced the notion that dark side 'points' are inherently bad.  So a lot of players tend to shy away from doing things that earn Conflict, even though the game was designed with the idea that all but the most virtuous of characters will be earning at least a few points of Conflict each session.

In contrast, Duty and especially Obligation don't require any sort of player buy-in to be effective, and both of them can naturally provide plot hooks for the GM to use in their adventures, either as springboards or simply to tie the character future into the narrative.  Morality on the other hand not only requires the player buy-in, but also takes more work on the GM's part since a PC's Emotional Strength/Weakness fall more into the realm of ideological concepts, where Obligation and Duty are more tactile in how they relate to the campaign.

There's also the matter that assigning Conflict can be a judgment call; yes there's a chart that offers examples of actions that would earn Conflict and how much should be assigned to the offending character, but there can also be a lot of room for interpretation, and not all GMs are willing to deal with players that decide to argue that their actions shouldn't merit Conflict to begin with.  Add to that the d10 roll at the start of every session, and a GM can get the feeling that assigning Conflict doesn't really have much of a bit since a high roll on the d10 can wipe out any assigned Conflict and possibly even let the character gain Morality, while a low roll can result in a PC that only did a couple of very minor questionable acts losing Morality.

Personally, I've found that simply not warning the players ahead of time (and letting them know at the campaign's start that I won't be warning them) and only rolling Morality at the end of an adventure (usually 2 to 4 sessions) has helped alleviate some of the concerns I noted above.  That and simply treating a PC's Emotional Strength/Weakness as less a mechanical aspect of the character to be engaged, but rather as roleplaying hooks that can let the PC earn bonus XP if they do a really good job of playing to their Strength and Weakness during the course of the session.

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41 minutes ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

I think a significant part of the hatred is that unlike Obligation or Duty, Morality (and to an extent Conflict) requires buy-in from the players in order to be effective.

Your group has that buy-in, so there's little to no problem.  My own group are mature enough (generally speaking) to know that certain types of actions are darker than others, and such I don't need to warn them "if you do X, you'll gain Conflict."

With the RAW, part of the issue is that the GM is supposed to be warning players that if they undertake certain actions that their character will earn Conflict, which in sufficient quantities can push a PC to the dark side, and decades of Star Wars RPGs has reinforced the notion that dark side 'points' are inherently bad.  So a lot of players tend to shy away from doing things that earn Conflict, even though the game was designed with the idea that all but the most virtuous of characters will be earning at least a few points of Conflict each session.

In contrast, Duty and especially Obligation don't require any sort of player buy-in to be effective, and both of them can naturally provide plot hooks for the GM to use in their adventures, either as springboards or simply to tie the character future into the narrative.  Morality on the other hand not only requires the player buy-in, but also takes more work on the GM's part since a PC's Emotional Strength/Weakness fall more into the realm of ideological concepts, where Obligation and Duty are more tactile in how they relate to the campaign.

There's also the matter that assigning Conflict can be a judgment call; yes there's a chart that offers examples of actions that would earn Conflict and how much should be assigned to the offending character, but there can also be a lot of room for interpretation, and not all GMs are willing to deal with players that decide to argue that their actions shouldn't merit Conflict to begin with.  Add to that the d10 roll at the start of every session, and a GM can get the feeling that assigning Conflict doesn't really have much of a bit since a high roll on the d10 can wipe out any assigned Conflict and possibly even let the character gain Morality, while a low roll can result in a PC that only did a couple of very minor questionable acts losing Morality.

Personally, I've found that simply not warning the players ahead of time (and letting them know at the campaign's start that I won't be warning them) and only rolling Morality at the end of an adventure (usually 2 to 4 sessions) has helped alleviate some of the concerns I noted above.  That and simply treating a PC's Emotional Strength/Weakness as less a mechanical aspect of the character to be engaged, but rather as roleplaying hooks that can let the PC earn bonus XP if they do a really good job of playing to their Strength and Weakness during the course of the session.

There is also far too much reliance on the chart , I feel a lot of people flip through the rules with a glance and take the chart as fixed values , which they arent, It calls out in the text under the chart that each "infraction" also has to take into account the motive behind the act. So using fear has a conflict cost (as a Guardian Warden this is my largest cause of conflict, using things like Scathing Tirade , coercion skill, Baleful Gaze), so for most people I believe that the Gm looks at the chart and gives the player 2 conflict. 

Motive comes into play , because if the use of fear was somehow morally justified (unlikely since there are always other options open), then they might get no conflict. As well as being able to write off the conflcit if the player had non-altruistic motives they can apply additional 1-5 conflict for each act (including using DS pips).  So if I use coercion to save me from paying cash for services or goods rendered this can count as greed which may give me an additional 2-3 , if I do it out of malice I can add 5 to it so that's going to be 7, so while the GM is supposed to tell me im getting conflict I can only guess if it's 2 or 7 im getting for using fear. As a warden this can be for every time I use Baleful Gaze , the coercion skill ,Scathing Tieade action, as, in fact as well as the 1 conflict cost for knowing the talent , how many GMs give a blanket 2 conflict for using it each time you use a conflict talent (not sure what Mind Bleed comes under yet but the rest so far are all fear based talents with Terrify / Baleful Gaze / Terrifying Kill / Fear the Shadows, so the Gm should be handing out 1 / session + 2 minimum / use. Mind Bleed seems to feed off your own pain and revenge , so havent quite figured where that one should be.

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7 hours ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

There's also the matter that assigning Conflict can be a judgment call; yes there's a chart that offers examples of actions that would earn Conflict and how much should be assigned to the offending character, but there can also be a lot of room for interpretation, and not all GMs are willing to deal with players that decide to argue that their actions shouldn't merit Conflict to begin with.

Judging by what I've seen in other threads on this forum the reverse is also an issue: GMs who are overly enthusiastic about assigning conflict to the PCs. (These also tend to be the ones who later show up complaining that the PCs aren't willing to do anything because of conflict concerns. Go figure.)

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9 hours ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

I think a significant part of the hatred is that unlike Obligation or Duty, Morality (and to an extent Conflict) requires buy-in from the players in order to be effective.

Your group has that buy-in, so there's little to no problem.  My own group are mature enough (generally speaking) to know that certain types of actions are darker than others, and such I don't need to warn them "if you do X, you'll gain Conflict."

With the RAW, part of the issue is that the GM is supposed to be warning players that if they undertake certain actions that their character will earn Conflict, which in sufficient quantities can push a PC to the dark side, and decades of Star Wars RPGs has reinforced the notion that dark side 'points' are inherently bad.  So a lot of players tend to shy away from doing things that earn Conflict, even though the game was designed with the idea that all but the most virtuous of characters will be earning at least a few points of Conflict each session.

In contrast, Duty and especially Obligation don't require any sort of player buy-in to be effective, and both of them can naturally provide plot hooks for the GM to use in their adventures, either as springboards or simply to tie the character future into the narrative.  Morality on the other hand not only requires the player buy-in, but also takes more work on the GM's part since a PC's Emotional Strength/Weakness fall more into the realm of ideological concepts, where Obligation and Duty are more tactile in how they relate to the campaign.

There's also the matter that assigning Conflict can be a judgment call; yes there's a chart that offers examples of actions that would earn Conflict and how much should be assigned to the offending character, but there can also be a lot of room for interpretation, and not all GMs are willing to deal with players that decide to argue that their actions shouldn't merit Conflict to begin with.  Add to that the d10 roll at the start of every session, and a GM can get the feeling that assigning Conflict doesn't really have much of a bit since a high roll on the d10 can wipe out any assigned Conflict and possibly even let the character gain Morality, while a low roll can result in a PC that only did a couple of very minor questionable acts losing Morality.

Personally, I've found that simply not warning the players ahead of time (and letting them know at the campaign's start that I won't be warning them) and only rolling Morality at the end of an adventure (usually 2 to 4 sessions) has helped alleviate some of the concerns I noted above.  That and simply treating a PC's Emotional Strength/Weakness as less a mechanical aspect of the character to be engaged, but rather as roleplaying hooks that can let the PC earn bonus XP if they do a really good job of playing to their Strength and Weakness during the course of the session.

Some things my group is doing that also help out a bit:

1. You only get to roll for Morality at the end of a session if you've had a moral choice in the session (not necessarily one where you chose the Conflict inducing result). And just using dark side pips to fuel a power once or twice a session isn't considered a moral choice at all in that regard. Neither is "I DIDN'T draw my Lightsaber as the first response". Definitely helps with a problem I've seen in other groups where a PC becomes a lightside paragon while they're exploring an archeological ruin for three sessions in a row without any interaction with NPCs.

2. Same as you, no note taken by the GM if an action will inflict Conflict or not - it gets discussed and assigned at the end of a session. Requires buy-in and mature players that aren't afraid of Conflict. I've personally argued to get MORE Conflict two sessions ago for murdering a Sith warrior that we had already defeated.

3. Potentially the biggest one, everyone needs to understand that Conflict, becoming a dark sider or not and even not being a paragon isn't about optimization. This ain't D&D, so not everyone is a paragon so you lose out on extra lightside destiny points? Tough luck. This also isn't WEG, so someone becoming a dark sider doesn't immediately turn them into an irredeemable monster that's instantly a NPC either.

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Well, after a year of rattling around in my head, we're kicking off a new game and my new concept. The TL;DNR version is that he is a separatist who saw a great deal of **** during the clone wars, spent time in a POW camp (well, really an Imperial processing center where they lost his file for two years) and generally playing a hard badass who is not necessarily a bad guy, but has no issue expediently dealing with someone. Pretty much cut from the Sabata/Sartana/Django/Man With No Name cloth, a generally good person (more or less) who shoots first. And last.

He finds a holochron that has a perfectly reasonable Sith ideology for a core. So instead of mustache twirling UNNNNLIMITED POWAAAAAH, it's all "Well, you could shoot that sniper but wouldn't it be far quieter and quicker if you just force pushed him off that roof?" Basically he falls to the Dark Side because he doesn't know any better. So I intend on leaning hard on the conflict and dark side pips here. I'm interested to see how the morality system handles using both sides as a tool instead of running away from anything remotely dark.

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Re-reading the book I noticed I had forgotten about one of the box outs where the gm is allowed to scale up or scale down conflict according to how much he feels would be balanced. So if you feel that your pcs arent getting enough conflict then you can scale it up, if its too much you  can scale it down.

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On 5/10/2016 at 1:27 PM, Desslok said:
After being in a Jedi heavy game for several months now and having run in that Jedi heavy game a handful of weeks now, I can say with authority that the Morality game mechanic sucks.
 
Consider Obligation - a nice, sold very defined parameter: you've angered a Black Sun vigo, so bounty hunters could show up at any time and now you need to take dubious jobs that you might otherwise skip because you need some money to pay him off. If you have to go to Nar Shadda, you have to be very careful where you go and who you talk to. There's plenty of story hooks and some great meat for even a lazy GM to spin off into lots and lots of games.
 
Duty, okay - we've only really started using Duty for the first time ever a couple of weeks ago, so the jury is still out on this mechanic. However on the surface, it still looks to be a very solid story telling tool.  It's easy enough for a GM to dangle tons of fish hooks throughout his game and see which ones the players jump at. "Well, you're sneaking across the airfield, and you notice that the way the spotlights cover the tarmac, you can probably sneak over to that troop transport, rig the hyperdrive to blow up when they jump out of system and still not fall behind schedule in keeping your rendezvous".
 
But Morality? So my hypothetical player has Courage and Recklessness. Um, okay . . . . so what does one do with that. It's narratively a dead fish. Give them a ton of stormtroopers at a guardpost they have to get past and hope the player jumps into the middle of them and starts swinging because they're courageously reckless? That's nice - can I get back to the Hutt threatening your family because they've fallen behind on their protection payments?
 
And so the players just kind of drift on up to paragon-ness.
 
Mind you, unlike some of the other threads that go "Oh my god! My players are Easy Paragons! Overpowered!", I don't particularly care about that status. They get an extra Destiny Point and a little bit extra strain. Big deal. The mechanic effects of Morality I have no issue with - just that it's a narrative cul de sac, a sargasso sea where good story telling goes to drift aimlessly until it dies.
 
I mean I guess I could hand out little bits of conflict here and there for every little thing - "You looked at that stormtrooper with anger in your heart. Have one conflict", but that sort of micromanaging bullshittery makes me feel like a nitpicking, heavy handed GM. I don't like that. And I hate the idea of having to come up with some kind of psychological torture for the players every episode just to get a rise out of them. "My master was just murdered by a sith, the hutts burned down my family farm last week, the week before we came across a blind nun being gang-raped. I wonder what terrible thing happens this week."
 
It feels like trolling.
 
There should be some kind of system in play for those big "I am a Jedi like my father before me" moments. Yes, absolutely! Moral choice is the whole cornerstone that the saga was built on. It's in the very DNA of every movie. But this mechanic simulates that very poorly. 
 
And I just cant abandon the mechanic, since the whole light/dark pip thing on the dice pretty much depends on it. Mind you, the Jedi of the group generally shun those black pips like they were covered in cooties or something.
 
The point of this? Venting, I guess. It's been something I've been thinking on for a while now, something I just wanted to put down and bounce my thoughts off you guys.

I disagree with this (haven't read all the other pages yet).

Now, I haven't really read into Duty and Obligation, since I'm not using them in my games, but Morality has just as much investment for players and GMs if handled correctly.

First, the players have to figure out their character's emotional strengths and weaknesses, which give them great hooks to latch into their character's personalities, and how to play them.  Players reviewing their sheets, deciding that this action is based off their strength or weakness, can create some compelling drama at the table.

Second, the Engaged Morality system requires the GM to add story hooks specifically for that character, to engage their emotional strength or weakness in the upcoming session.  I don't use it, personally, since I prefer to let the story I have in mind tell itself, but it could be done with a minor tweak to certain encounters, or dropping in a "sidequest" that operates off a specific character's personality.  It provides the opportunity to give a specific character a moment to shine at the table, to advance their personal narrative.

Used well, the system as written can enhance the stories told.  It's not an easy one to work with, I'll definitely grant that, and I believe it requires a more-than-average experienced GM to use it to its full potential, but it has just as many pitfalls and possibilities as the other two, from my understanding of them all.

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1 hour ago, ErikModi said:

I disagree with this (haven't read all the other pages yet).

Now, I haven't really read into Duty and Obligation, since I'm not using them in my games, but Morality has just as much investment for players and GMs if handled correctly.

First, the players have to figure out their character's emotional strengths and weaknesses, which give them great hooks to latch into their character's personalities, and how to play them.  Players reviewing their sheets, deciding that this action is based off their strength or weakness, can create some compelling drama at the table.

Second, the Engaged Morality system requires the GM to add story hooks specifically for that character, to engage their emotional strength or weakness in the upcoming session.  I don't use it, personally, since I prefer to let the story I have in mind tell itself, but it could be done with a minor tweak to certain encounters, or dropping in a "sidequest" that operates off a specific character's personality.  It provides the opportunity to give a specific character a moment to shine at the table, to advance their personal narrative.

Used well, the system as written can enhance the stories told.  It's not an easy one to work with, I'll definitely grant that, and I believe it requires a more-than-average experienced GM to use it to its full potential, but it has just as many pitfalls and possibilities as the other two, from my understanding of them all.

Not all players are going to want to predetermine what their character's emotional strength(s) and weakness(es) are going to be before the character even seen play. They would prefer to roleplay without such rails laid down beforehand and see what comes about as the character grows. You even mention that you do this yourself when you say, "I don't use it, personally, since I prefer to let the story I have in mind tell itself," so you have at least some agreement with the idea. If you take out the strengths & weaknesses, then Morality becomes just a measure of light vs. dark, and while it could be fine like that, it is far less interesting than Obligation (I don't much care for Duty myself, so I'm only going to discuss Obligation) in play.

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