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Help Incorporating Bendu Philosophy?

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Just to add an additional comment; I don't believe it's even possible to use the dark side and the "force" (I refuse to call it the light.) as some balance. Corrupting the force to your wim's is simply evil and using the dark side will corrupt someone rapidly, even if done for fair reasons. Just the Bendu suggests that knowing about those corruption powers isn't necessarily evil in itself, understanding is the first step on the path to enlightenment and none can ascend that path with pure ignorance alone as they would be unable to recognise when they are being manipulated. So that they know what to avoid and what is considered acceptable.

Just putting that out there; largely because I believe Grey Jedi are a crock of something unpleasent, and have almost always been identified as a secret darksider or as a term of slander (Qui-Gon). You either are a Jedi or not, or a sith or not. If you are not, then you are a force user or belong to another faith.

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Did Dooku appear to be suffering from any madness? Bane? The skywalkers? 

I sounds like you want to make the force to something cthulhu-esk , which is cool, but as anti-star wars as it gets. 

 

The way of the darkside is just the way of selfishness, passion and limitless freedom. The Son would say anything less than absolute freedom would be slavery, while the daughter say anything less than patience obedience to the force would be selfish and a way to the darkside.But the Bendu would say personal freedom ends when he restricts the freedom of others

The father looked up both, daughter and son, on Mortis, because both aspects of the force would have created misery for the galaxy and the bendu are simply aware of this and embrace both sides of the force. Ashla and Bogan, the light and the dark, yin and yang.

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54 minutes ago, SEApocalypse said:

Did Dooku appear to be suffering from any madness? Bane? The skywalkers? 

I sounds like you want to make the force to something cthulhu-esk , which is cool, but as anti-star wars as it gets. 

 

The way of the darkside is just the way of selfishness, passion and limitless freedom. The Son would say anything less than absolute freedom would be slavery, while the daughter say anything less than patience obedience to the force would be selfish and a way to the darkside.But the Bendu would say personal freedom ends when he restricts the freedom of others

The father looked up both, daughter and son, on Mortis, because both aspects of the force would have created misery for the galaxy and the bendu are simply aware of this and embrace both sides of the force. Ashla and Bogan, the light and the dark, yin and yang.

Well, sociopathy, narcissism, and psychopathy are designated forms of mental illness diagnosis.

So in a purely clinical sense, they were suffering from 'madness' when they succumbed to the dark side.  Luke's brief dalliances in RotJ are more akin to brief episodes of lapses in moral judgment, much like Ezra was early in this season of Rebels.  Meanwhile, the Son, as displayed in Clone Wars, would be most likely be diagnosed as a narcissistic sociopath with psychopathic tendencies in terms of psychological evaluation, with Palpatine being a similar case, especially considering his "scorched earth" policy that occurred in the wake of his death in Rotj.  Vader has very strong sociopathic tendencies, fueled by his intense self-loathing after being rescued from Mustafar, though as RotJ proves he's not beyond help.  Dooku very much became a narcissist after joining up with the Sith, but like many narcissists was able to hide it behind a civil, even occasionally pleasant veneer.

So to say the dark side is a path to madness isn't entirely incorrect.  It's just that not every dark sider (especially if they're a PC in an RPG) goes the obvious route of cackling villainous mania and winds up becoming the Joker.  But fully embracing the dark side (i.e. routinely taking actions that warrant 6+ Conflict per the chart of suggestions in the GM chapter) definitely places the character outside the generally accepted boundaries of what constitutes sanity in a purely clinical perspective.

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20 hours ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

Well, sociopathy, narcissism, and psychopathy are designated forms of mental illness diagnosis.

So in a purely clinical sense, they were suffering from 'madness' when they succumbed to the dark side.  Luke's brief dalliances in RotJ are more akin to brief episodes of lapses in moral judgment, much like Ezra was early in this season of Rebels.  Meanwhile, the Son, as displayed in Clone Wars, would be most likely be diagnosed as a narcissistic sociopath with psychopathic tendencies in terms of psychological evaluation, with Palpatine being a similar case, especially considering his "scorched earth" policy that occurred in the wake of his death in Rotj.  Vader has very strong sociopathic tendencies, fueled by his intense self-loathing after being rescued from Mustafar, though as RotJ proves he's not beyond help.  Dooku very much became a narcissist after joining up with the Sith, but like many narcissists was able to hide it behind a civil, even occasionally pleasant veneer.

So to say the dark side is a path to madness isn't entirely incorrect.  It's just that not every dark sider (especially if they're a PC in an RPG) goes the obvious route of cackling villainous mania and winds up becoming the Joker.  But fully embracing the dark side (i.e. routinely taking actions that warrant 6+ Conflict per the chart of suggestions in the GM chapter) definitely places the character outside the generally accepted boundaries of what constitutes sanity in a purely clinical perspective.

This really. Embracing the dark side brings out all a persons negatve traits and amplifies them. The key thing with the dark side is a loss of empathy, becoming able only to see other people as fools to swindle, opponents to crush and opportunities to manipulate. The empire was that ideology manifested as a unfeeling releme that thought nothing of blowing up a planet just to make a point. Or execution of officers for just failing, Dooku meanwhile manipulated a entire faction to war despite the fact he knew they would ultimately be killed off by palp, his flaw was that he didn't see his own head on the chopping block.

 

this isn't to suggest that they are inferior of mind, if anything the corruption of mind allow them to channel their passion to incredible levels, but it creates a critical flaw. Plapatine is unimaginablely cruel, to the extent of telling his superior navy not to engage immediately  so that he could show Luke exactly what the ds2 could do. Dooku meanwhile was exceedingly arrogant and close minded, and often disposed of people who outlived their use to him. Vader killed people who angered him frequently, I always had the impression that the only emotion he had to keep that in check was self loathing. Every dark sided without exception is a unbalanced individual though it affects each differently.

Edited by LordBritish
Clarification

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12 hours ago, LordBritish said:

This really. Embracing the dark side brings out all a persons negative traits and amplifies them. The key thing with the dark side is a loss of empathy, becoming able only to see other people as fools to swindle, opponents to crush and opportunities to manipulate.

This is a good point, as those who basically go full dark side become horrible people. Ironically, I feel like going too far to either side results in a loss of empathy be it due to overwhelming self-centeredness or overwhelming apathy. That's why Bendu interests me so much, because he seems to represent the healthy medium between emotional freedom and restraint. Essentially, you do have the right to extend your arm (unlike the Jedi), but it ends at the top of another person's nose (unlike the Sith).

In reference to your previous post, I see Grey Jedi and Bendu as two completely separate things. Grey Jedi are Jedi, but they see the Force itself as a higher authority than the council. Someone like Bendu is just a Grey Force user, a sort of non-faction. It's like a Stand-user who's not a maniac or a hero; just some normal guy with powers doing the best he can. Of course, this is just my personal interpretation, and I can understand suspicion towards the term "Gray Jedi," since it's sometimes used to justify iffy things by edgy players. But the way I see it, the entire Force is like Firebending, with the potential to be used for good or evil.

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Baiscally the Bendu is a force of nature; his concept of "balance" only applys so far to himself and he is entirely uninterested in the state of the galaxy, to the point of trying to murder EVERYONE on the planet when his peace was disturbed. I would actually argue that he isn't even a sentinat creature in the traditional sense, but more like a storm condensed in mortal form, a god that exemplifies an  extreme aspect of nature and it proves what has long been known; it is impossible to balance for the force and the darkside because because the force is balanced as it is; the dark is a sheer corruption that will muddy any pond it touches. The Bendu was consumed with itself and only assisted the Jedi as far as it would calm them so he could return to resting.

 

Does that mean he's imbalanced? Personally I would say yes in the same way that any other god is portrayed, someone mentioned Zeus in the Rebels thread (I give credit when I next scroll over there) and it's a pretty adapt example; he's the god of all gods but nearly all the problems start when he puts his **** in something. Every, single time without fail he will cheat because he is not a balanced being but an immortal embodiment of that cultures nature. Greek, Norse and gods of other cultures are limited beings by definition; even the Christian God is an exceedingly brutal omipotent ball of bad things and harsh lessons in the bible compared to his much more forgiving son. The Bendu shouldn't be considered a standard that mortals can look to be, but rather treated like a god, limited in nature by it's core premise.

Edited by LordBritish

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In my group we just tweaked morality to be awarded by GM based on his/her discretion. Similar to giving or removing obligation. If the GM thinks you started down the dark side then you might get a -5 or -10 if you were really bad. If you were good you'll get adds. Conflict is used as an indicator for the GM

It worked for our group. Everyone liked it better than the rolling which at times seemed arbitrary or counter intuitive. For your Bendu as long as they stay between 40 and 60 I would say they are on the right track. 

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I'm not a big fan of it being a good vs bad system. It's inner conflict. Its anger, its turmoil, its hate, its jealousy... Selfishness... Doing things at the expense of others. Not just if the deed itself was good or bad.

At this point you can view the stoic-ness of the Jedi is good or bad, however the above conflicts are still going on. Its still the light side.

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5 hours ago, TheShard said:

I'm not a big fan of it being a good vs bad system. It's inner conflict. Its anger, its turmoil, its hate, its jealousy... Selfishness... Doing things at the expense of others. Not just if the deed itself was good or bad.

At this point you can view the stoic-ness of the Jedi is good or bad, however the above conflicts are still going on. Its still the light side.

The thing is that the dark side and their actions are objectively bad. Torture, murder, lies, manipulation, mass murder, genocide, using fear to keep people in line, etc...

The light side may not be objectively bad like the dark side but they aren't paragons of goodness. Jedi lie, manipulate, kill when they think it's necessary, actions that of themselves are generally bad.

 

It's kind of an odd situation because the dogmatic Jedi view themselves as good vs the evil of the dark side, the dark side views the jedi as just another side of the same coin, everyone else just wants them to stop their drama that is ruining the galaxy but are too scared to say it because the force users have psychic powers and laser swords.

 

I'd say more than anything it's not a good v bad system but it's a selfless vs selfish system with Morality, which is what the difference between the light and dark sides is supposed to be. Being selfless is usually good, though Jedi don't always stick to their code and there are loopholes they exploit when convenient, whereas being selfish is usually bad depending on the degree you take things to.

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I agree that the conflict actions on the chart are meant to be objectively bad, but a fair number of forum discussions have involved interpretations that I feel are problematic - the murder one tends to be the prime culprit there, with some posters pretty much including any instance of killing as being covered by it, which I don't think is the intent.

The trouble is that you don't really have to do anything evil or even selfish to end up dark side - just being afraid or angry a lot is sufficient (dark side pips and/or fear checks), and those aren't inherently evil/bad/selfish emotions. What you DO with or because of them might be, but they can also be channeled in positive ways. (There are also numerous variations on the saying that courage is about acting in the face of fear rather than because you lack it.)

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On 3/30/2017 at 10:02 AM, Metushelah said:

What are your thought now after the last episode of this season? Is the Bendu still healthy or not?

I think the episode actually helps, seeing as we have an example of the Bendu using powers associated with the Dark Side to combat Thrawn, something I'd definitely consider good. I don't think him attacking Kanan made him "evil" in any sense, since it was Kanan who insulted him, and the Bendu was still portrayed as a hero in the end of the episode. The Rebels brought war to Atollon, and the Bendu fought back. This is consistent with his character as a force of balance, as the war itself brings imbalance. It's much like the philosophy the Lurmen leader held in The Clone Wars, that war is war regardless of who's fighting it. The dark side is anger, and passion in general (including love), but those emotions can be exerted in positive ways, as the Bendu showed.

am trying to avoid this thread devolving into a "That's not how the Force works!" discussion, however, so here's a report on how my homemade system's been working so far! It's been slow going, since we've only just started and my Force-user character can't use that much of the Force yet, but he's got the right mindset for it. My system naturally evens a player out at around 0 if he just uses whatever pips he rolls, but it'll be harder for him if he wants to specifically go Light or Dark, since he'll have to ignore opposite pips and might not get as much use out of his Force powers, with the tradeoff being that he gets increased stats. I still want to make sure the benefits and drawbacks between Light and Dark are balanced, but so far it's been going well!

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If you want my take on it, if you want a morality system that rewards balance and "both sides are equally bad", I'd do this:

-Can use Dark Side pips without flipping a destiny point as you pull from both sides equally.
-Still take conflict and strain due to the emotional strain.
-When at 45-55 morality, +1WT and ST. At 30-44 morality, +1 WT, At 56-70 morality, +1 ST. You are strongest when in balance and weaken as you are pulled to one side.
-When at 29- or 71+ morality, must flip DP to use LS and DS respectively. Take a penalty to WT equal to 1 at 80+ and 2 at 90+.  Take a penalty to ST equal to 1 at 20-, 2 at 10-. Being too close to either side weakens you.
-Must go to or past the 50 morality threshold to restore balance and be able to use LS/DS freely again. I.e., if you were under 30, you need to hit 50+ to restore balance and, if you were over 70, you need to hit 50-. You have your own form of redemption.

This system, as far as I see, rewards and reinforces balance and punishes imbalance: you want to keep your morality between 30 and 60 and avoid going too close to either side. Stray too far to either and lose versatility and take WT and ST penalties. This encourages dabbling in both sides of the force. As conflict rolls are random, it avoids gaming the system and keeps players on their toes over morality.

It also keeps the Force dice mechanic balanced (strain still limits things and stops every force power from being an auto sucess) while keeping to the narrative (emotional strain tiring you out and the increased versaility of not marrying yourself to one side). If conflict is the only cost for using DS points, force users would be OP. This opens their options but keeps them balanced. 

Should work for any Balance centric Force traditions.

Personally, I let players pick and chose individually which system to use. I feel the penalties and limits are somewhat mental and this helps the one guy who wants to play a balance centric tradition without missing out on benefits. Letting people pick still lets people to play closer to the movie's depiction.

Can help reinforce different takes on the force this way and lead to interesting discussions and roleplay, like in the EU.

RAW morality and gray morality should be in balance as the increased versality comes at the cost of having to be much more active in regards to morality and keeping it balanced. You can't sail to paragon or sin to Dark Side, you got to tow the line and hope conflict rolls don't screw you.

Edited by Covok

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