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If you win Vigilance Initiative, did you attack first?

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48 minutes ago, KungFuFerret said:

 

Pretty much this.  If I, as the GM, have the troopers initiate combat, I wouldn't punish the PC's for defending themselves.  Even if Han got the initiative roll to go first, despite the ambush.   It's clear they are there to hurt him, and he does have a right to defend himself.    I'm a firm believer in non-violent resolutions, but that doesn't always work, if the other party has no intention of playing nice.  

This really. The force doesn't actually care much about life or death as long as it's done in a natural process. Murdering someone who is genuinely helpless for some degree of self gratification is very different from shooting at a corrupt law enforcement that works for the embodiment of evil. I mean Luke was perfectly fine blowing up a death star and eliminating millions in order to save countless billions. Morality is all about the emotional state of the force user after the event.

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40 minutes ago, LordBritish said:

Morality is all about the emotional state of the force user after the event.

I'd say it's a factor, but also there's something to be said for the brass tacks of the situation.  That is, what you do and how you do it can affect your "morality," regardless of your emotional state. For example: just because you don't feel bad about torturing that Imperial pilot for information doesn't mean that it wasn't a heinous act. 

So the "Conflict" mechanic really does shine as a measure of internal emotional state; but it can also handle those times where you didn't think you did anything wrong, but what you did was still demonstrably immoral. Even though you felt good about it, it was a small step closer to the dark side. 

Now, in the case of Luke vs. the Death Star, we're talking about a wartime thing. There are many reasons why what Luke did was not inherently conflict-worthy; for example, the Death Star had already destroyed an inhabited planet and was about to do so again. Also, he was given an order from a commanding officer, in an established military effort, during wartime, in a combat scenario, while their base was being assaulted. So...even though it was the death of millions, it was definitely nothing close to murder. 

But it Luke was feeling conflicted about causing all those deaths, even years later; I might be tempted to dole out a bit of conflict here or there, absolutely. His past actions coloring his current emotions and clouding his thoughts. Very cinematic, very cool. 

Edited by awayputurwpn

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24 minutes ago, awayputurwpn said:

I'd say it's a factor, but also there's something to be said for the brass tacks of the situation.  That is, what you do and how you do it can affect your "morality," regardless of your emotional state. For example: just because you don't feel bad about torturing that Imperial pilot for information doesn't mean that it wasn't a heinous act. 

So the "Conflict" mechanic really does shine as a measure of internal emotional state; but it can also handle those times where you didn't think you did anything wrong, but what you did was still demonstrably immoral. Even though you felt good about it, it was a small step closer to the dark side. 

Now, in the case of Luke vs. the Death Star, we're talking about a wartime thing. There are many reasons why what Luke did was not inherently conflict-worthy; for example, the Death Star had already destroyed an inhabited planet and was about to do so again. Also, he was given an order from a commanding officer, in an established military effort, during wartime, in a combat scenario, while their base was being assaulted. So...even though it was the death of millions, it was definitely nothing close to murder. 

But it Luke was feeling conflicted about causing all those deaths, even years later; I might be tempted to dole out a bit of conflict here or there, absolutely. His past actions coloring his current emotions and clouding his thoughts. Very cinematic, very cool. 

There is no reason he didn't get conflict for blowing up the Death Star.   To give a different example, lets use Ender's Game.  Similar situation, but the actions he did, without any actual knowledge that he was doing them, caused some MAJOR emotional problems for him, for the rest of his life.  I would say, that would translate to Conflict in this system.  And frankly, I would be worried about Luke if he didn't feel conflicted about killing millions of people.   Real life soldiers, right or wrong, struggle with the actions they do in combat all the time.  To kill on the scale he did, and not have at least SOME emotional ramifications?  That's honestly the result of a sociopath, not a healthy, stable person.   You shouldn't aim for not caring when you do something bad, that generates conflict, you should aim TO feel bad.  Showing regret and remorse for mistakes, and harmful actions, is a sign of empathy and compassion.  Not giving a crap at all, is a sure sign that you've slid down that slope into Dark Sideville.

Personally, I hate the way the Morality chart implies that conflict is basically a "Bad Actions Punishment" chart.   It's not supposed to be.  It's supposed to represent someone's struggle with their actions, versus their desires, versus their morality.    And frankly anything can cause conflict, or at least it should.    The fact that the chart only shows examples that involve the PC doing harmful things, is unfortunate in my opinion.

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I think the problem, @KungFuFerret, is in conflating Conflict (the mechanic) with conflict (an emotional state). Like I said earlier, it's great when the two mesh, but that's not the primary thing that the Conflict mechanic is designed for. It's a much higher concept, in that it is a measure of how your actions can affect your moral being (independent of how you feel about your own actions). 

If Luke experienced some regret after the adrenaline from the battle (and subsequent accolades) wore off, I agree that this would be perfectly normal. And it could offer some really rich roleplaying experiences in future adventures, including actions that might be worthy of conflict as Luke wrestles with fear, anxiety, and the pull of the dark side to justify further killing "in the name of freedom" or some other motivation, and he turns more vigilante than Jedi.  

But then again, that's a grittier story than some people want to tell in the Star Wars setting. It could just be as simple as "the bad guys wanted to kill the good guys and control the galaxy with a big superweapon, and the good guys stopped them by blowing up their superweapon." Space Opera at its finest. And if you're telling that kind of story, I think your Conflict awarding is going to be much more "on the nose." You present your characters with a good choice and a bad choice, and make the bad choice seem appealing in some way.  Leave the dark emotions and brooding temperaments to a different setting ;)

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16 minutes ago, KungFuFerret said:

 

49 minutes ago, awayputurwpn said:

I'd say it's a factor, but also there's something to be said for the brass tacks of the situation.  That is, what you do and how you do it can affect your "morality," regardless of your emotional state. For example: just because you don't feel bad about torturing that Imperial pilot for information doesn't mean that it wasn't a heinous act. 

So the "Conflict" mechanic really does shine as a measure of internal emotional state; but it can also handle those times where you didn't think you did anything wrong, but what you did was still demonstrably immoral. Even though you felt good about it, it was a small step closer to the dark side. 

Now, in the case of Luke vs. the Death Star, we're talking about a wartime thing. There are many reasons why what Luke did was not inherently conflict-worthy; for example, the Death Star had already destroyed an inhabited planet and was about to do so again. Also, he was given an order from a commanding officer, in an established military effort, during wartime, in a combat scenario, while their base was being assaulted. So...even though it was the death of millions, it was definitely nothing close to murder. 

But it Luke was feeling conflicted about causing all those deaths, even years later; I might be tempted to dole out a bit of conflict here or there, absolutely. His past actions coloring his current emotions and clouding his thoughts. Very cinematic, very cool. 

 

16 minutes ago, KungFuFerret said:

There is no reason he didn't get conflict for blowing up the Death Star.   To give a different example, lets use Ender's Game.  Similar situation, but the actions he did, without any actual knowledge that he was doing them, caused some MAJOR emotional problems for him, for the rest of his life.  I would say, that would translate to Conflict in this system.  And frankly, I would be worried about Luke if he didn't feel conflicted about killing millions of people.   Real life soldiers, right or wrong, struggle with the actions they do in combat all the time.  To kill on the scale he did, and not have at least SOME emotional ramifications?  That's honestly the result of a sociopath, not a healthy, stable person.   You shouldn't aim for not caring when you do something bad, that generates conflict, you should aim TO feel bad.  Showing regret and remorse for mistakes, and harmful actions, is a sign of empathy and compassion.  Not giving a crap at all, is a sure sign that you've slid down that slope into Dark Sideville.

Personally, I hate the way the Morality chart implies that conflict is basically a "Bad Actions Punishment" chart.   It's not supposed to be.  It's supposed to represent someone's struggle with their actions, versus their desires, versus their morality.    And frankly anything can cause conflict, or at least it should.    The fact that the chart only shows examples that involve the PC doing harmful things, is unfortunate in my opinion.

i think in the particular case of the death star it could go either way. On one hand he did kill an entire insulation of people and on the other he removed a extremely evil weapon from the galaxy that had already killed billions of people. It's a behavour seen in  extreme stituations if they believe the enterity to be evil enough that they might not feel a thing about those million; they might have had families but in the end they chose to work on a space station that was designed to execute entire populations of people. No matter how bad an act is done, there are certain situations that it might be excused if it is one of those extreme situations. Luke also wasn't a soldier; he never got to see those people as anything more then oppressors and argubly felt much more conflicted in his survival complex; everyone in that flight team died but a Y-wing, Wedge and himself, his childhood friend died to give him that opening and I think that is a interesting consequence. That being said, I don't think a new Hope was that movie. 

 

I also think it's a consequence of being a fairly light late 70's movie in that morality for such actions were never explored, I feel you do have a point with the ender game example largely because he was a very young child who suddenly found that he had been responsible for billions of people dying, yet never knew. He was a unwilling participant to war. The Ender's Game is a very different situation to Luke who knew what he was doing and had all the evidence to point to why he would do it. 

I think I have to re-valutete the way I see conflict; my PC is a war survivor who has thus far been attributed to the death of hundreds of imperial personal without a blemish on his consequence, he has seen the horrors that the empire commit every single day and thus while he attempts to keep collateral down doesn't really gain conflict from taking actions against such individuals. He usually generates conflict against his two hated targets; slavers and imperial scientists. On Kamino he sent scientists experimenting on tempest soldiers (mutated stormtroopers in power armour) to the bottom of the ocean with the moff with one well placed bomb being probably the most meanspirited thing he's done so far; though given they were also taking the population of gand and basically turning them into starship brains; his rage against the imperial R and D department is justified to him. That being said, our sessions very much play out like a 80's action movie, so it's different groups and different measuring sticks.

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I would normally agree, except when the discussion about what things can effect Morality came up, Sam Stewart agreed with GM Phil's statement about it's not just "Dark Side Cookies".   

And I would also agree that it's meant to be a simple system, for a very  black and white themed game.  Except for ALL of the tons of threads of people debating it, and saying why it should do this, or shouldn't do that.  It's clearly to simple for your average gaming table, and the complex morality dilemmas that are being presented.    People complain that they shouldn't be "punished" for doing certain actions, and I agree, but when you look at the stuff listed on the morality chart, it basically IS a punishment chart.  It doesnt' give examples of things like "You lose a loved one, +2 Conflict"  or "You are struggling with an addiction, +3 conflict"  It's all stuff that boil down to "You kicked X number of orphaned puppies, +Y Conflict".  Which, to be totally fair, does sort of justify player complaints that it's only talking about violent "bad" actions.   

 

And to stem derailing this into yet another Morality/Conflict debate, let's end it here guys?   As much as I love to ramble on about morality and ethics in gaming about space wizards and laser swords, I really try to avoid hijacking threads when I can.  

Edited by KungFuFerret

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I personally think and have pointed out several times that motivation behind the act is overlooked. it is called out that the conflict chart is just the beginning of conflict the reason behind the act can add significantly. Ive heard people say its too easy to become a paragon, essentially you keep conflct on average below 5.  Intent though is called out as adding 1-5 points to EACH act. So lets say you steal something , it is called out that a robin hood style theft of stealing from someone to give back to the original owner, or to compensate those who are being impinged on might get zero, if you steal and it is for altruistic reasons the you get the base 2-3, but if you are stealing for selfish or nefarious reasons you get an additional 1-5. So a range of 2-8 depending on motive,  the Gm does not need to say how much conflict he gives. So lets say the player uses influence to get a cheap rate on a blaster, this is selfish, so maybe not an 8, but definitely worth 6. Similarly murdering a stormtrooper is no longer just 10, but if it is because it makes it easy for the PCs and no other reason could be 14 or 15, 

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I ThThe selfishness of the action is one of the key element in determining conflict values of actions. Luke risked his life to blow up the Death Star, he did it to protect the innocents. Had there been no risk involved on his behalf then things would probably be different for Luke.

If had instead been ordered to bomb an unprotected imperial recruitment and training facility he would have earned Conflict, the facility offered no immediate threat. 

If the Death Star was instead a Peace Moon, a mobile senate for the galactic government to be able to visit important places for decisions to be made then Luke is a bad bad person.

If Luke was paid a million credits to destroy the Death Star he would probably gain Conflict.

If Luke instead delivered a biological weapon to the Death Star to wipe out the inhabitants do then the Rebels could take control of it? Oh baby is that worth some serious Conflict.

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conflict(mechanic) is not about you feeling bad about fully justified actions like destroying the death star...it 's about you doing immoral things if you feel bad or not...like killing an unarmed and beaten opponent. It is about your slide towards the darkside.

Ender is a different situation than Luke destroying the death star...Ender did not destroy a space station full of people out to kill planets full of people. He realized after they tricked him that he had committed genocide against a race who was beaten and no longer a threat.

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