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So if I understand the Morality system correctly, players are essentially drawn towards the light side by 'doing nothing' in a session.

 

Starting at 0 conflict, a player in F&D that uses no force powers, and does nothing particularly nasty can end any short session at around 2-3 conflict, giving them a strong bias towards the 'light side' after every session.  If sessions run long, then the character is more likely to lean towards the dark side, but only entirely by the GMs doing.

 

Is this correct?

 

It seems like players should begin the session with 5 conflict, and either increase or decrease that number based on their actions during the session.

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Yep.  This comes up a lot (search for "march to paragon" and other Morality threads).  If you want to stick with the Morality rules (which many don't), the best solution I've seen is to roll for Morality/Conflict at the end of an adventure rather than at the end of every session.  This gives a longer period for the PC to generate Conflict before the roll.

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So if I understand the Morality system correctly, players are essentially drawn towards the light side by 'doing nothing' in a session.

 

Starting at 0 conflict, a player in F&D that uses no force powers, and does nothing particularly nasty can end any short session at around 2-3 conflict, giving them a strong bias towards the 'light side' after every session.  If sessions run long, then the character is more likely to lean towards the dark side, but only entirely by the GMs doing.

 

Is this correct?

 

It seems like players should begin the session with 5 conflict, and either increase or decrease that number based on their actions during the session.

 

You could totally start at 5 and make them achieve good works to lower their conflict.  The other thing is when a characters morality comes up in a session it can have a major impact (2-5 points) on how they shape their morality.  You can also consider 1 conflict point to be very subtle, and therefore very dynamic through a session. i.e. A jedi uses the force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.  So maybe if your force sensitive players attack some one they get conflict.  They could also get conflict for not attempting to talk through a situation, or killing an opponent.

 

Basically, make the game work for you.  A wholesale change should not be needed, but the rules should definitely be molded to help you and your group tell your star wars story.

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The GM needs to present situations where a character can't do nothing, or where doing nothing IS what generates conflict. 

 

My problem with this solution is then the entire game centres around that one mechanic.  I don't think this plays very well compared to the media.  Not every moment in the movies or TCW/Rebels is about that moral conflict.  It really only comes to play in the big dramatic moments, whereas the Morality mechanic (if you use it) forces you to nickel and dime your every emotion.  Just MHO, but my one foray* into the Morality mechanic left me feeling like I had to overanalyze every emotion and tamp down my supposed constant anger...it's just psychotic, and has nothing to do with the media.

 

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* no reflection on the GM, who handled it fine (you know who you are :) ), my complaint is only with the mechanics.

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The GM needs to present situations where a character can't do nothing, or where doing nothing IS what generates conflict. 

 

My problem with this solution is then the entire game centres around that one mechanic.  I don't think this plays very well compared to the media.  Not every moment in the movies or TCW/Rebels is about that moral conflict.  It really only comes to play in the big dramatic moments, whereas the Morality mechanic (if you use it) forces you to nickel and dime your every emotion.  Just MHO, but my one foray* into the Morality mechanic left me feeling like I had to overanalyze every emotion and tamp down my supposed constant anger...it's just psychotic, and has nothing to do with the media.

 

----------------

* no reflection on the GM, who handled it fine (you know who you are :) ), my complaint is only with the mechanics.

 

I think of it like Fallout (3 & NV & 4).  The major story lines should make you make a decision, and if the campaign is crafted well it should never be a comfortable one.  One of the things I've liked best about the Fallout series is that you can get cool stuff, but you have to ally with raiders or you can do the right thing for the common people with the minute men, but then you don't get the tech you would get with the more morally ambiguous brotherhood. etc

And those major decisions have major fallout.  Like a handful of conflict points instead of just one.  Or maybe both choices have conflict associated, but one has less.  Like kill one to save thousands = 2 conflict points, kill thousands to save 1 = 6 conflict points.

 

*Or something of that nature, I don't want to get hardover on semantics, I'm just giving examples.

Edited by flightmaster101

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The other thing I’d like to point out is that if you don’t get Conflict points, then you don’t make the Morality/Conflict roll.

No roll means that you don’t have an opportunity for your Morality to go up.

So, if the PCs really do stick to their “Do No Evil” plan, then they’ll never get any Conflict, they’ll never make the roll, and their Morality doesn’t change.

That’s just the way the mechanics of the system work.

I do like the idea of not doing a roll after every game session, but instead doing a roll at the end of every adventure arc. That would lessen the “March to Paragon”.

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First off i think part of the problem is wording and perception. a PC should be AIMING for 5 Conflict a session, unless they want to progress to Paragon. The idea that "No Jedi ever did wrong, or would do wrong" is preposterous.

I have been pondering a House Rule, the PC should only go up in Morality by an amount equal to or less than the Conflict gained in that session. So if they gain 0 Conflict they get no increase in Morality no matter the dice roll, this way they don't "float to the top"It also means the best they can hope for in a single session is 5, rather than 10. It will at least encourage a little conflict gaining action but not the drought thats usually possible. The explanation for this HR is that the character has to feel remorse to gain a deeper understanding of the Force.

Now I know this is a band aid solution to a broken leg, but I do think Morality should be a part of the game, and I really hate throwing Devs hard work out the window.

Edited by Richardbuxton

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There are a number of things Id like to point out, no chance to generate conflict and they dont get a roll is in the book. So if therr are no "hard" choices or other conflict creating events thrn no roll. Also look at page 374 iirc which calls that when you do generate conflict motive is also important so if someone uses a dark side point for selfish reasons (eg lets say influence to boost a social check to save money on buying something) theb its no longer just 1 conflict but more like 4 or 5, use misdirect to sneak up on a stormntrooper to kill him if you used a darkside point its 6 conflict not cointing the kill itself.

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I should point out that, if your players want to do so, it's very easy to bottom out in the Dark Side pool. What's really weird is that once they do so, they still have to keep fighting against their "natural buoyancy" to bob up to the surface of the Light Side.

This isn't so much an issue if you're also a heavy Force user.

 

I've played a Dark Side Seer whose primary method of combat was Bind. I was also trying to tell a redemption story for her. For this character, I had to suffer strain and use a destiny point for every attack if I didn't want to take conflict. That was no easy choice.

 

Obviously the easy solution is to take a Lightsaber discipline that catered to her strong characteristics, but that just wasn't the type of character she was.

Edited by kaosoe

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The other thing I’d like to point out is that if you don’t get Conflict points, then you don’t make the Morality/Conflict roll.

No roll means that you don’t have an opportunity for your Morality to go up.

You don't have to get conflict points, you only have to have the chance to do so.

If the PCs are out doing stuff and avoid conflict when the chance arises, they get the roll. If they're sitting on their hands doing nothing, they don't.

I'd discourage things like "start with 5 and work them off" for two reasons: morality isn't meant to be a penalty system, and playing dark side is a valid PC option in this system, so if the GM makes it difficult (or just sufficiently annoying) to have morality go anywhere but down, the players are liable to just shrug and use that option since it has been made the only practical one.

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I should point out that, if your players want to do so, it's very easy to bottom out in the Dark Side pool. What's really weird is that once they do so, they still have to keep fighting against their "natural buoyancy" to bob up to the surface of the Light Side.

Not quite.  So long a the PCs keep taking dark actions, they shouldn't have to worry too much about ever going over 70 on their Morality score; once a PC falls to the dark side, they're considered a dark sider even if their Morality rises out of the 20's.

 

Bear in mind that the game was written with the idea that Star Wars is a story where good ultimately triumphs over evil, and that the dark side is not inherently stronger than the light.  Whether one agrees with those sentiments or not, they are part of the core story, and something that the design team would have in mind when working on the Morality rules.  That FaD's Morality system is a lot more forgiving of what prior RPGs would deem dark side transgressions says something about them being wiling to acknowledge that some players like kaosoe are interested in playing villains who can be redeemed.

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You don't have to get conflict points, you only have to have the chance to do so.

If they roll a Force die and get only black pips and refuse to convert them, and they do that for each and every time they roll a Force die, then they never take any Conflict from converting a black pip.

And therefore, there should be no Morality roll that they can make.

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The way I see it, is that having the chance to have conflict is something where there is a choice between doing something easy and morally wrong , or a harder choice that isnt. For example putting yourself at grest risk where the outright murder of one person would mean a lot less hassle. If in this situation they manage to get through the game conflict free then they are definitely getting a roll.

Example they get to the base , and there is ab easy way in to free their friends but they have to sneak up on a Stormtrooper and kill him, the alternative involves 3 hours of play through death defying mountainous territory where the party has a strong chance of dying or failing the mission because of time constraints where if they are one round late the person they are rescuing will be executed. (Would be interesting if that person was a PC)

If they kill the stormtrooper they get 10 conflict, if they dont they need a perfect run or the otherbperson dies, and they know this from the outset.

This is just one idea, but im sure you get the picture

Edited by syrath

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I've toyed around with making a change at our table. Rather than just handing out Conflict (for "wrong" actions), I have been thinking about handing out Balance (for "right" actions). At the end of the night, only one score matters - either Conflict or Balance, whichever is higher. From there you do the Morality roll just like usual, only if you're rolling against Conflict, the character's Morality score can only go down, and if you're rolling against Balance, the character's Morality score can only go up.

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If they roll a Force die and get only black pips and refuse to convert them, and they do that for each and every time they roll a Force die, then they never take any Conflict from converting a black pip.

And therefore, there should be no Morality roll that they can make.

Which is not a narrative chance to gain conflict in the sense that I was referring to or that Syrath just illustrated in his post: that's the sort of situation where they could but don't, and it qualifies them for a roll.

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Page 323

"Challenging the PC's moral choices is central to Force and Destiny."

page 53

Cases when morality should not increase

If a player was not present for a sessions, his charscter should not have a chance to increase. Similarly, if a character had no chance to do anything in a session....then his morality should not increase.

.....

Characters should have a chance to earn conflict (even if they dont take it) if their morality will have a chance to change.

So plodding through an adventure just avoiding dark side points, will not allow you a roll at the end of a session. A moral choice woild have to be made. I would house rule this as well if just dark side points were the source unless they break a certain limit of DS points.

To me they have to make a moral choice, hkwever RAW you need to generate conflict through other means or have had a hard moral choice. Example my own character has baleful gaze but my GM woildnt roll just because I own Baleful Gaze, but if I used it 3 times ive got 7 conflict , just from that which means Im rolling.

The GM should put temptation the PCs way so that at least 5-10 conflict may be caused.

Even the most inactive groups should have a good chance to earn conflict or they shoildnt be rolling to gain.

So , no,, inaction is not an option either.

Edited by syrath

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I've toyed around with making a change at our table. Rather than just handing out Conflict (for "wrong" actions), I have been thinking about handing out Balance (for "right" actions). At the end of the night, only one score matters - either Conflict or Balance, whichever is higher. From there you do the Morality roll just like usual, only if you're rolling against Conflict, the character's Morality score can only go down, and if you're rolling against Balance, the character's Morality score can only go up.

Problem with that approach is that you're encouraging the players to "game the system" which is something that Morality as written was meant to avoid, primarily with the inclusion of the random die roll.

 

So instead of "fixing" what is frankly a non-existent problem, all you're really doing is making more work for you as the GM since now you have to determine what point value that good/charitable acts would have, and opening the door for PCs to try and do a bunch of smaller "good" deeds in order to offset the penalty of committing of "bad" deeds.

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Here's my two cents on the matter.

I look at morality, less that it's a huge mechanical aspect of the game like obligation and duty. I look at it like it's mostly a narrative aspect of the game. Whether a player character goes light or dark is entirely up to that player, per the rules. The GM is just there to rule out exactly how far that player goes towards one end of the light/dark spectrum. If it weren't a narrative aspect and the devs intended it to have a huge mechanical aspect on the game, they probably wouldn't have allowed F&D characters to start at one of the thresholds.

The idea that you can "game the system" with morality is preposterous when the system in place is left entirely up to player choice. It's meant to be a tool for the player to tell the kind of story they want (paragon, dark sider, fall from the light, redemption, wavering between two paths). I think the only reason why there is a mechanical aspect of it is so that the players can feel that there is a difference between the two extremes, besides a narrative one. Other than that, the system is basically meant to be gamed. It's all about reaching for the story you want to tell. It's not about an arduous, lengthy mechanical goal (you have that in spades with xp as a force user).

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First off i think part of the problem is wording and perception. a PC should be AIMING for 5 Conflict a session, unless they want to progress to Paragon. The idea that "No Jedi ever did wrong, or would do wrong" is preposterous.

I have been pondering a House Rule, the PC should only go up in Morality by an amount equal to or less than the Conflict gained in that session. So if they gain 0 Conflict they get no increase in Morality no matter the dice roll, this way they don't "float to the top"It also means the best they can hope for in a single session is 5, rather than 10. It will at least encourage a little conflict gaining action but not the drought thats usually possible. The explanation for this HR is that the character has to feel remorse to gain a deeper understanding of the Force.

Now I know this is a band aid solution to a broken leg, but I do think Morality should be a part of the game, and I really hate throwing Devs hard work out the window.

This is actually a pretty awesome house rule. And you're selling yourself short if it's only a bandaid on a broken leg... it's more like a makeshift splint held in place by a belt and a pair of crutches

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First off i think part of the problem is wording and perception. a PC should be AIMING for 5 Conflict a session, unless they want to progress to Paragon. The idea that "No Jedi ever did wrong, or would do wrong" is preposterous.

I have been pondering a House Rule, the PC should only go up in Morality by an amount equal to or less than the Conflict gained in that session. So if they gain 0 Conflict they get no increase in Morality no matter the dice roll, this way they don't "float to the top"It also means the best they can hope for in a single session is 5, rather than 10. It will at least encourage a little conflict gaining action but not the drought thats usually possible. The explanation for this HR is that the character has to feel remorse to gain a deeper understanding of the Force.

Now I know this is a band aid solution to a broken leg, but I do think Morality should be a part of the game, and I really hate throwing Devs hard work out the window.

This is actually a pretty awesome house rule. And you're selling yourself short if it's only a bandaid on a broken leg... it's more like a makeshift splint held in place by a belt and a pair of crutches

Well thank you. YMMV since it's completely untested.

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The GM needs to present situations where a character can't do nothing, or where doing nothing IS what generates conflict. 

 

We have for example a mixed group and our terrorists rebels have no scruples with killing unarmed enemies or hurting innocent bystanders. War really changes people. The group starts to become a constant source of conflict for our force user in the group who at the same time becomes more and more concerned about others … great character development. The force wielder used to be the tough guy of the group. 

 

 

Back to topic:

For sessions which have nothing going on really, you could always rule that no roll happens and you either roll at the end of the episode, end of the adventure or just at the end of the next session. Nothing speaks against adjusting the times of the roll based on what happens during a session. Our hobby is great for having actually one central story teller adjusting the rules on the fly when needed. 

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