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Space Monkey

Changing Morality rules a little?

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4 minutes ago, Space Monkey said:

Ok, I'm sorry that I didn't blindly follow the first reply that came along.

Do you even read the responses you get? No one had a  problem with you not following the first reply. No one. No one even cared.

 

5 minutes ago, Space Monkey said:

If I'm given a solution that I'm not happy with, I'm not going to accept it am I?

That's your business. Just don't complain to us that you're not getting the answers you want.

 

6 minutes ago, Space Monkey said:

I think I'm done with these forums if I can't even post a question but not be allowed to disagree with any of the answers.

No one cares that you disagreed. No one. You can disagree with the answers you get all you want. Just don't blame us for you not getting the answer you want. It's not our job to provide you with the answer you want. You'll notice that Daeglan and I disagreed on an answer in this very thread and we were able to converse with each other just fine. It's not the act of disagreement that created a problem. 

 

8 minutes ago, Space Monkey said:

Seems like a Dictatorship. Bye!

Buh bye. 

 

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3 hours ago, Aetrion said:

All the more reason to be an evil paragon of the light huh? 

Not actually possible. You can't climb up in morality with out actively wanting to. IE foregoing using darkside points flipping a destiny taking strain and using lightside pips to avoid conflict. 

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1 hour ago, Daeglan said:

Not actually possible. You can't climb up in morality with out actively wanting to. IE foregoing using darkside points flipping a destiny taking strain and using lightside pips to avoid conflict. 

You don't seem to understand the primary complaint about the system, which is that it's very easy to game the system to stay a paragon even when playing a character who is purely self serving and will commit murder when it's convenient. You just don't lie, kill and steal all the time, you reserve that to when there is a big payday in it, and you can reap the few really big payoffs from being utterly immoral while the game mechanically recognizes you as a shining example of balance with the universe.

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Wow, it is almost like planning to fool the system needs some kind of referee or games master to intercede and apply the rules as intended rather than blindly.

Narrative game with crunch still means the story and theme are just as important as rules.

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1 hour ago, HappyDaze said:

Bendu says you're wrong.:P

Bendu the creature still seems to have a very strong leaning towards the light.  If anything, his advice in the series has been more along the lines of letting go dogma (something that was a big problem for the Jedi Order) and act more in tune with the Living Force.  So he's not "the one in the middle" in that he's some sort of grey Force user, but rather in between the dogmatic extremes of the Jedi and the Sith, that knowledge by itself is ultimately just knowledge, but it's what you do with that knowledge that's important.  Ezra took knowledge from the Sith holocron and used it in the manner of the Sith to become both more effective and more ruthless, thus being out of balance as he never stopped to consider what the price of that knowledge would be.

Of course, being creatures of emotions, humans (and most Star Wars species) really are never going to find "perfect balance" unless one removes themselves entirely from the affairs of the galaxy, much as Bendu and even Yoda have done.

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2 hours ago, Tear44 said:

Wow, it is almost like planning to fool the system needs some kind of referee or games master to intercede and apply the rules as intended rather than blindly.

Narrative game with crunch still means the story and theme are just as important as rules.

exactly. Almost as if the Devs expected the GM to handle this rather than expecting some computer to be the judge.  We have GMs for a reason. 

Edited by Daeglan

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7 hours ago, Kael said:

Do you even read the responses you get? No one had a  problem with you not following the first reply. No one. No one even cared.

 

That's your business. Just don't complain to us that you're not getting the answers you want.

 

No one cares that you disagreed. No one. You can disagree with the answers you get all you want. Just don't blame us for you not getting the answer you want. It's not our job to provide you with the answer you want. You'll notice that Daeglan and I disagreed on an answer in this very thread and we were able to converse with each other just fine. It's not the act of disagreement that created a problem. 

 

Buh bye. 

 

I reject your reality, and substitute my own!

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5 hours ago, Aetrion said:

You don't seem to understand the primary complaint about the system, which is that it's very easy to game the system to stay a paragon even when playing a character who is purely self serving and will commit murder when it's convenient. You just don't lie, kill and steal all the time, you reserve that to when there is a big payday in it, and you can reap the few really big payoffs from being utterly immoral while the game mechanically recognizes you as a shining example of balance with the universe.

And we've all pretty much stated we've never seen this happen, ever.

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6 hours ago, Aetrion said:

You don't seem to understand the primary complaint about the system, which is that it's very easy to game the system to stay a paragon even when playing a character who is purely self serving and will commit murder when it's convenient. You just don't lie, kill and steal all the time, you reserve that to when there is a big payday in it, and you can reap the few really big payoffs from being utterly immoral while the game mechanically recognizes you as a shining example of balance with the universe.

Yeah the system for Morality is very plainly meant to be used as a tool for telling stories about Force users and Morality. As every dark side action is a choice the player must choose to take, it rests on them whether they go dark or light side. The GM is solely there to inform them if an action awards them Conflict and exactly how much.

 

It's a narrative game mechanic, meant for the player to tell a story of a jedi falling to the dark or a sith redeeming himself or any of the cool Force user stories one could think of in Star Wars.

Something I see way too often on here is people treating Morality like it's a punishment mechanic for GM's towards players. No. It's not. Stop thinking that way. It's a storytelling tool, much in the same way that Obligation is a tool to tell a story about a character's past and problems creeping back into their life until they spend the time and resources to resolve their problems or Duty which is all about your advancement in the military towards higher rank, resources and renown.

 

You can't "game the system" because it's a system that's specifically meant to be used that way by the players. Don't get upset that you can't arbitrarily force your players to go dark side as punishment. It is not meant for that.

This system encourages a cooperative narration of the story that your individual gaming table tells. I would highly suggest that GMs talk with and work with their players regarding the Morality story they would like to tell rather than force Dark Side on them as punishment. Sure, award Conflict as the rules say, you can even award up to 4 more Conflict for particularly selfish actions as well as come up with other ways that Conflict can be earned since the table on page 324 of F&D is specifically suggestions and isn't a hard rule of the only ways Conflict can be earned. Just don't get upset you can't force Dark Side on the player. It's their story to tell with their character.

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9 hours ago, Aetrion said:

You don't seem to understand the primary complaint about the system, which is that it's very easy to game the system to stay a paragon even when playing a character who is purely self serving and will commit murder when it's convenient. You just don't lie, kill and steal all the time, you reserve that to when there is a big payday in it, and you can reap the few really big payoffs from being utterly immoral while the game mechanically recognizes you as a shining example of balance with the universe.

 

Show me the game where this actually happens. Please. No one seems to have encountered this problem. I want to see the group where this actually occurs and isn't more than a theoretical worry. 

Also, if you're a darksider you did more than just lie, kill, and steal for the big payday moments. 

But seriously, I want to see in what game this actually occurs. Because no one has this problem. I want to see how they are handling Morality and how they are gaming and how the GM is GMing so it can be determined how we get to this odd situation that no one else seems to encounter in play. 

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28 minutes ago, Kael said:

Show me the game where this actually happens. Please. No one seems to have encountered this problem. I want to see the group where this actually occurs and isn't more than a theoretical worry. 

Also, if you're a darksider you did more than just lie, kill, and steal for the big payday moments. 

But seriously, I want to see in what game this actually occurs. Because no one has this problem. I want to see how they are handling Morality and how they are gaming and how the GM is GMing so it can be determined how we get to this odd situation that no one else seems to encounter in play. 

Yeah the only way this happens is if the GM is not applying all the stuff from the GM chart on morality and giving conflict for those things.  And the chart clearly states that conflict inducing actions are not limited to what is on the chart. The chart is a guideline. It is easy to become a paragon if that is a players goal and they avoid conflict. It is not intended that an occasional dark side act turns a character into a darksider instantly.  but if you consistently do dark side actions over time you will likely fall eventually. 

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3 minutes ago, Daeglan said:

Yeah the only way this happens is if the GM is not applying all the stuff from the GM chart on morality and giving conflict for those things.  And the chart clearly states that conflict inducing actions are not limited to what is on the chart. The chart is a guideline. It is easy to become a paragon if that is a players goal and they avoid conflict. It is not intended that an occasional dark side act turns a character into a darksider instantly.  but if you consistently do dark side actions over time you will likely fall eventually. 

That or you commit like 5+ counts of murder. Cuz that's 10+ per instance. I'd definitely give increasing Conflict returns if the player took the time to kill each of the defeated, unconscious adversaries.

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To be fair, I've seen players become paragon's by refusing any interactions with criminal society. Choosing an absence of choice, yet they never gain conflict by simply avoiding the path that might inevitabily put them in a difficult situation.

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3 minutes ago, LordBritish said:

To be fair, I've seen players become paragon's by refusing any interactions with criminal society. Choosing an absence of choice, yet they never gain conflict by simply avoiding the path that might inevitabily put them in a difficult situation.

Doesn't making that choice itself put them in more difficult situations (not morally, but practically)?

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1 minute ago, LordBritish said:

To be fair, I've seen players become paragon's by refusing any interactions with criminal society. Choosing an absence of choice, yet they never gain conflict by simply avoiding the path that might inevitabily put them in a difficult situation.

*GM makes it clear the PCs need to rescue an ally but their only option seems to be owing a favor to a Hutt for the information they need, time is running short & who knows what will happen to their ally, the Inquisitor is a brutal enemy that has killed their allies in the past*

Hutt: I'll give you what you seek, as long as you do me a favor later, no questions asked.

PC: Nah, I'm gonna find another way. You're a criminal and I don't deal with criminals. (OOC: I don't want to deal with a Hutt. They are criminals.)

GM: Ho ho ho. Suit yourself, young jedi. Just know that it wasn't my fault your ally was killed by the Empire. (OOC: You are actually refusing to deal with this Hutt? Okay...) 

*later, after the group wastes time figuring out how to find their missing ally*

GM: So you arrive at the scene, the ally is there, strapped into a chair, beaten, bloody & dead. Take 3 Conflict as you realize that you could have saved them whether you were truthful to Gorgonzola the Hutt or not about owing him a favor and that though you didn't do this, you may have had a chance to save your ally before it was too late.

 

There is no such thing as an absense of choice. If you choose to do nothing, you are still making a choice. Hera chose to do nothing regarding saving Kanan, so Ezra stepped up & dealt with Vizago, a criminal, behind her back to get information on Kanan's whereabouts in exchange for a favor from a Jedi. Hera of course decided to step in & help after that point because she really wanted to save Kanan but wasn't willing to compromise her beliefs. 

It's the classic trope of "make a compromising deal with criminals to save someone you care about" that's in a lot of film & television. If Ezra hadn't done it, Kanan would be dead.

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10 minutes ago, HappyDaze said:

Doesn't making that choice itself put them in more difficult situations (not morally, but practically)?

There was one example where it did, but there were two or more where it didn't. Often the paragons opt to go shopping whenever we get the smugglers moon, and likely will swap out into alts when an assassination on a vicious slaver dictator is enacted.

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1 minute ago, LordBritish said:

There was one example where it did, but there were two or more where it didn't. Often the paragons opt to go shopping whenever we get the smugglers moon, and likely will swap out into alts when an assassination on a vicious slaver dictator is enacted.

alts as in alternate characters?

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10 minutes ago, GroggyGolem said:

alts as in alternate characters?

Aye, one of the things with our campiagn is that we are part of a large alliance unit refered to as predator squad. One of our key functions was to preform unconventional missions to undermine the empire, which includes the destruction of their research and development programs. Tactics involved posing as capable outlaws  to be hired by the empire but was later changed to a more independent role where we conducted unconventional operations, this varied from commando raids to ensuring the Hutt empire survived intact when the empire tried to enact a swift takeover; an act that would have staved the alliance of major import.

Of course since this campaign has been going on for a good 4 years and a lot of us were blessed in having long lasting characters (mine has been around since the smuggling days with Lando Calrisian) we devised the alt system so that we could occasionally play something different; as otherwise we would be unable to experience new perspectives for a really long time. XD Each of us has one alt character, though admitively I rarely use mine as I much prefer focusing on one story at a time.

Of course in the grand scheme of morallity, this means characters could potentially avoid attending in sessions likely to generate conflict. Though we are only able to swap when approipriate and character swapping is one of those things that rules don't cover, thus my example is a bit of a outlier.

Edited by LordBritish

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2 minutes ago, LordBritish said:

Aye, one of the things with our campiagn is that we are part of a large alliance unit refered to as predator squad. One of our key functions was to preform unconventional missions to undermine the empire, which includes the destruction of their research and development programs. Tactics involved posing as capable outlaws  to be hired by the empire but was later changed to a more independent role where we conducted unconventional operations, this varied from commando raids to ensuring the Hutt empire survived intact when the empire tried to enact a swift takeover; an act that would have staved the alliance of major import.

Of course since this campaign has been going on for a good 4 years and a lot of us were blessed in having long lasting characters (mine has been around since the smuggling days with Lando Calrisian) we devised the alt system so that we could occasionally play something different; as otherwise we would be unable to experience new perspectives for a really long time. XD Each of us has one alt character, though admitively I rarely use mine as I much prefer focusing on one story at a time.

Interesting. While I like the idea of having another character one could use, I'd probably just run two separate "campaigns" in a sense. None of my groups really have the time outside of once a month for their first groups, so an alt-group would probably be reserved for when we move on from the current characters and storyline.

The way you described their use of the alt system sounds like they are trying to get around gaining Conflict for having to do difficult, Morally challenging tasks, which basically defeats the whole reason of playing a Force user beyond sweet, sweet space-magic powers.

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Aye, it became especially prelivent when during Gatekeeper supliment (there are no spoilers here) half of the party became detained after the party alcoholic discharged a firearm in the space port and the third force senstive stole the holocron and fled the planet. Despite, Travok the swave Trandosian decided to contact his inbred relatives for urgent assistance as only he and one other force user was still at large. Needless to say, a gigantic raiding party hit the civilian spaceport and captured a lot of civilians and created a opening for us to flee. Of course the force users weren't going to suffer any conflict for the action this was a choice that the non-force senstive took of his own accord; no one knew about before the raiding party hit.

The issue was a large number of security personal and misplaced civilians were captured and the paragons decided to do nothing about it; as they would have had to make a bad deal. The situation was only relieved when said Trandosian decided to act on his more cultured insticts; which lead to a mad max style brawl over the cages. The issue is the force users chose not to interact with that situation at all, chosing to stay on the ship because "too many wild things had happened today." I was a bit irritable over their tendency to completely void any attempt at dealing with that underworld element that makes star wars such a wild and fruity place.

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On 3/9/2017 at 0:42 PM, Daeglan said:

The Bigger problem is that you are not giving him HARD choices.  Do you stop the murder or save the slave? You can only do one. Which do you do? 

The problem is - and I've extensively gone into detail on why I hate the morality mechanic - is that constantly hitting the player with a Sophies Choice feels more like trolling than an important moment of decision.

My suggestion? Dump the mechanic all together. I did so some months back and it's been liberating.

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20 minutes ago, Desslok said:

My suggestion? Dump the mechanic all together. I did so some months back and it's been liberating.

We disregarded Morality for pretty much our entire first two F&D campaigns. We played it by the book at first, and we found it brought nothing to the game that we expected/hoped for out of the system. So in our first it stopped getting used, and in our second we never started. Just dropped it.

We found that the game fealt less Star Wars-like as a result, there was no mechanical reason not to do wetf we wanted, so we did were we wanted, and we were like - this doesn't feel right. We've just slapped a retro-futurism skin on D&D. We're just wizards in space now. Light/Dark is a huge theme in the media we know and love, and we've lost that in all but name.

So we started just rping "like a Jedi" or wherever our we wanted our PCs Force spectrum to be. Essentially enacting the Morality mechanic w/o a mechanic. Ok, we feel like we want again, kind of...  a lot of the group is pretty gamist, and like crunch, and we know there's this mechanic and there is supposed to be mechanical consequences to this stuff we're just handling narratively. How can we use it?

So we start - as players - looking for Conflict, or rather "un-Jedi-like" behavior. Anger, fear, causing suffering. And we started calling each other out. "Ooo, sounds like you're CONFLICTED...", "****. Brutal. Conflict dude." etc. as a part of our normal table banter and razzing of each other. The GM has so much going on that this was part of why we stopped using it, the GM couldn't keep up with it - of course we were focusing heavily on the Strength/Weakness choices - and it's hard to keep bringing that stuff in - to keep making up "Sophie's Choice"s to use your language, so it got left behind.

But once we started holding ourselves accountable, "Okay, Duke is getting pissed here. I'm gonna take a point of Conflict", and we became more aware of the very common things everyone does that is against the Jedi code, the easier it became to use the mechanic, cuz we could feel it and see it. In the player and in the PCs, and it became very easy to actually use the mechanic.

We just had to move beyond the books very basic guide.

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To be fair I don't think you're ever going to find the perfect "morality" mechanic. I've yet to see the Star Wars game where everyone agreed they had gotten the Lightside/darkside mechanic right. Personally, though I've found Morality and Conflict to be better than previous versions I've played under. It seems to be an evolutio. 

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On 10.3.2017 at 1:21 AM, Aetrion said:

I completely disagree with you there. Morality isn't a slippery slope where if you insult someone and don't feel sorry you're on a highway to genocide. That's simply nonsense. In fact, all the worst things humans have ever done were done by people who thought they had moral authority to do it, and viewed their victims as the evil ones. 

The way to genocide is a way that follows losing any respect of human life.  So yeah, that angry internet hate speech attitude we see these days so often is exactly the road towards. You seem to mix up here means to do something, with being emotional dead enough to do it. The force gives you the means and that's why it is so easy to fall. 

Besides, the current system tends to keep you right in the middle unless your character is making some active effort to strive into either direction. If this is not the case for your sessions than either what you consider rational behavior is rather outside the norms what the system considers normal or your play sessions are just too long and you should use a "bigger" dice instead. 

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