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MasterZelgadis

Understanding conflict and morality

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Ok, a character starts at a morality rating of 50 and has a personal strength and a weakness. My shii-cho knight has the strength of justice, but the weakness of sometimes be very brutal ensuring this justice.

From my understanding, every time she does something bad she gets conflict. And at the end of the session a d10 determines, whether she shifts more to the dark side (rolling under the conflict score) or to the light side (rolling above the conflict score).

But is this the only way to shift to the light side? It is very confusing that doing something bad is the only way to get to the light side. Or the other way round doing something bad even shifts her to the light side..

What am I getting wrong here?

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You do not need to gain conflict during the session. You do need to have the chance to gain conflict, even if the character ultimately doesn't take the dark side option when faced with it.

By design your morality will tend to drift upwards as long as you aren't doing anything heinous, though most characters will generate some conflict here and there (and generating at least a little bit here and there is pretty much the design expectation), and thus float up and down a little even if their overall trend is upward. Still, dropping to the dark side isn't difficult if that's what you want to do - just do a lot of bad things in rapid succession and/or go nuts with using dark side pips for force power checks. It's just not something that's likely to happen by accident or by the occasional lapse.

Edited by Garran

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Ok so after every session I roll a d10 and resolve it, and when I got no conflict, I automatically get the d10 result as morality bonus, but if i gain conflict, I have also the chance to roll under that score and drift to the dark side.. correct? 

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2 hours ago, MasterZelgadis said:

Ok so after every session I roll a d10 and resolve it, and when I got no conflict, I automatically get the d10 result as morality bonus, but if i gain conflict, I have also the chance to roll under that score and drift to the dark side.. correct? 

Correct on both counts.

Bear in mind that if the GM is doing their job and putting morally challenging situations in front of your PC, it should be a bit of a challenge to come out with zero Conflict at the end of the session.  So in that case, your Morality would go up.

It's also worth nothing that per Sam Stewart, the system was very much designed with the idea that a PC is going to earn an average of 2 to 4 Conflict each session (mostly from using dark pips to generate Force points), so don't feel that you have to go full-bore Lawful Good Paladin and completely avoid any and all instances of earning Conflict.

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My player rolled to good in all 3 sessions now. 2 attempts to use a force power, both times rolled 2 light pips. But there sure will be some dark pips showing up in the future :)

Since we are all new to the system, and 1 player even new to roleplaying in general, I did not include morality / obligation in the first sessions. But now after we got a bit more familiar with the system, I will start rolling to trigger their obligation, and start including some morality decisions for the FaD player..

Although one situation in Mos Shuuta would have been perfectly fit for some conflict, when the party stole the YT-1300 and blasted off from the launch pad, the shii-cho knight boarded the gun turret and literally blasted the group of stormtroopers into oblivion. 80 damage with one shot (vehicle vs personal) for that poor minion group that didn't even had a chance to scratch the hull of the ship anyways :D

Edited by MasterZelgadis

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6 hours ago, MasterZelgadis said:

Ok so after every session I roll a d10 and resolve it, and when I got no conflict, I automatically get the d10 result as morality bonus, but if i gain conflict, I have also the chance to roll under that score and drift to the dark side.. correct? 

Your GM has the option to not allow a Conflict roll if there were no morally conflicting situations.

This should be rare, but GMs who find it hard to insert moral choices (or who aren't very good at identifying situations where Conflict could be awarded) should pursue this option.

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25 minutes ago, emsquared said:

Your GM has the option to not allow a Conflict roll if there were no morally conflicting situations.

This should be rare, but GMs who find it hard to insert moral choices (or who aren't very good at identifying situations where Conflict could be awarded) should pursue this option.

I am the GM

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On 4/27/2017 at 9:46 AM, MasterZelgadis said:

I am the GM

Then it's your call!

How you want to run it is up to you. Some cases will be pretty obvious. If a player wasn't able to make it to a session, or a character was incapacitated for the entire session then not rolling Morality adjustment on them is kinda a no-brainer.

If the players spend the entire session in the command center planning an attack, shopping for essentials, and doing other "book keeping" activities that are occasionally needed to help with adventure continuity then you may have to make a call. On the one had they didn't do anything bad, on the other they weren't really "adventuring" and didn't have a opportunity to earn conflict either.

Also just a word of advice:

If the players are going to make use of morality, and shifting alignment and morality events and engagement is an important part of your campaign design, then go with it. If those things aren't part of your campaign design, or the players are going to always make the good guy choice every time, then applying Obligation or Duty will probably give better results.

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I like to think this is one of the advantages of the lower Force rating numbers you are likely to have. If you are unwilling to spend the dark pips, occasionally, you might fail the overall objective your group is out to achieve, so you have to decide if you are willing to get a little dirty, and "take the quick, and easy, path", to try and accomplish the greater good, or risk damning yourself, and others, in order to maintain your spiritual purity. I haven't gotten to play this system, yet, but I have friends who are basically unwilling to do questionable things; they'll always come up with some reason, often an out-of-game one, like "they can just make a new character if this fails" sorts of BS, and it has made it very difficult to tempt them, if you will, in the past, in other systems, but here, I like to think, if you believe you need to use the Force, and you don't roll a whole fistful of dice, you might actually need to flip those pips, and then you DO get a little Conflict. I like to think that, as long as the GM can keep coming up with the occasional reason to flip the Fates back, so the party can use them to flip pips, from time to time, Conflict, in little increments shouldn't be a problem. Here's hoping I'm not looking at it wrong. ;)

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On 4/27/2017 at 9:46 AM, MasterZelgadis said:

I am the GM

Some GMs choose to have the Morality roll take place after an adventure/story arc instead of every session - so every 2 or 3 sessions instead of every session.  That slows things down and makes gaining Conflict more significant.

I'm considering this for my own game.

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On 4/27/2017 at 9:46 AM, MasterZelgadis said:

I am the GM

Something I've warmed to more and more is using a smaller dice for the Morality roll, depending.

Maybe the only "opportunities" they had for generating Conflict in a session was through Force Power usage - so i.e. it was 100% under their control how much Conflict they took.

Then maybe only have them roll a d6, instead of a d10. Or a d4, even, if you know your players will otherwise just game the mechanic.

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3 hours ago, Jedi Ronin said:

Some GMs choose to have the Morality roll take place after an adventure/story arc instead of every session - so every 2 or 3 sessions instead of every session.  That slows things down and makes gaining Conflict more significant.

I'm considering this for my own game.

I've been using that for my current Force and Destiny campaign, and it's worked out pretty good.  Makes the PCs take more consideration of "do I really want to earn Conflict for this?" as opposed to the "eh, I can afford to take a point or two of Conflict" mindset the standard approach of rolling at the end of every session engenders.  Also cuts down on PCs quickly reaching Light Side Paragon, which can be a problem if you've got a PC that earns little to no Conflict each session and gets some high results on the d10 roll.

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That's only a problem if you expect LS Paragon to be something super-special and hard to reach, which in this system it isn't.

**

On a general note to the OP: while there are plenty of suggestions floating around here and elsewhere about how to push more conflict on the PCs and/or increase the effect it has on morality, that's something you need to be really careful about doing. If it comes too easily and/or doesn't get much offset from the die roll then you're liable to end up with one of two undesirable outcomes: the game stalls because the PCs (and players) don't want to do anything that would risk generating conflict, or they simply shrug and disengage from the system. ("Fine, we'll all start using black pips since that's clearly what you want.")

As stated earlier, the morality system is completely dependent on player engagement to be effective so if they feel it's too easy or too difficult to deal with conflict or to move one way or the other on the morality track then the system needs to be tweaked to suit THEM.

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Ok, friday was our next session, and I started to hand out conflict. Maybe I still don't fully understand it, because it took the player like 5 minutes to figure out, that decisions favoring her weakness gets her conflict and such a chance to drift to the dark side, so in future she only uses her personal strength, doing good... What's the benefit in giving in to her weakness and get conflict? Bonus xp?

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26 minutes ago, MasterZelgadis said:

Ok, friday was our next session, and I started to hand out conflict. Maybe I still don't fully understand it, because it took the player like 5 minutes to figure out, that decisions favoring her weakness gets her conflict and such a chance to drift to the dark side, so in future she only uses her personal strength, doing good... What's the benefit in giving in to her weakness and get conflict? Bonus xp?

To be honest, I've found it easier to have the PCs use their Emotional Strength/Weakness as RP hooks, things that inform the way they would act.  If the PC plays their Strength and Weakness during the course of a session, I give them a bonus 5XP.

Per RAW, they don't really do anything unless you're using the optional rules in the GM chapter about how the morality die value is doubled if your Morality gets triggered for that session.  Frankly, I found said rules to be more hassle than they were really worth when it was a core function of Morality in the Beta, and have no intent to implement them at my table.

I don't have my book handy to check, but pretty sure that there's no tangible mechanical benefit (apart from if your Morality gets triggered) to acting in accordance to a PC's Emotional Strength or Weakness.  Thus, why I treat it as more of a roleplaying hook.

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Generally, playing to the weakness should be the easier route, while playing to the strength should be the more difficult one. This won't happen in every circumstance, but it all comes down to character narrative over mechanical impact. This is why the morality system is so dependent on player investment.

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6 hours ago, Garran said:

Generally, playing to the weakness should be the easier route, while playing to the strength should be the more difficult one. This won't happen in every circumstance, but it all comes down to character narrative over mechanical impact. This is why the morality system is so dependent on player investment.

That last statement is probably why so many groups that have played EotE or AoR have so much problem with Morality.  Obligation and Duty don't really require much of an investment on the part of the player beyond a sentence or two to flesh out what they are, such as what sort of Debt Obligation you've got as well as to whom, or how tackle your Counter-Intelligence Duty.

Conversely, Morality requires the player to, as you said, make far more of an investment into how it impacts their character.  If they don't, and just simply treat it the same as Duty and Obligation, something to write a brief sentence about and then otherwise forget, then it does fall flat.

On a side note, if a GM is using the "triggering Morality" option from the GM chapter, it probably is best that the GM make the roll well before the start of the next session, so that they have some time to figure out how to work that player's Morality into the next adventure, generally by providing them with a scenario that forces them to choose either the easy path (giving into their Weakness and probably earning a healthy amount of Conflict for doing so) or the right path (sticking to their Strength, largely averting Conflict while generally making things more difficult).

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