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Ender07

Handing out conflict more often

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I really need to figure out either a new system or some new ways to give out conflict during my F&D sessions. I have 4 PC's and 3 of them are Paragons of Light because they consistently roll well during our monthly session and keep going up in morality. I have tried to give out conflict based on the chart in the CRB, but even if they get 8 conflict during a session they end up rolling a 9 or 10 and go up by 1 or 2.

Has anyone else had any issues with this? Has anyone made a house rule for conflict to make it more prevalent? I was debating on changing the end game morality roll from a D10 to a D6 to help lower the chance of going up in morality, but then I would be worried they would never even try to utilize the Dark side pips on their Force rolls and would start getting frustrated (as players).

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Give them bad choices constantly, where there is no way to come out a 'paragon' everybody ends up covered in crap at the conclusion.  Two choices, crap and crappier and they have to decide which one is which.  That will pile up more Conflict and is frankly more realistic.  I wouldn't tweak the mechanics because if they had 8 Conflict and roll a 9 or 10 you're just being a **** to take that away from them,

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So, 2P51, I know you tend to be more direct if any BS happens in game (at least from looking at your previous advice) so if a Light side Paragon straight up murdered someone would you count that as the 10 listed on the chart or would you say they are "insta-dark side" because of their horrible choice?

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1 hour ago, Ender07 said:

So, 2P51, I know you tend to be more direct if any BS happens in game (at least from looking at your previous advice) so if a Light side Paragon straight up murdered someone would you count that as the 10 listed on the chart or would you say they are "insta-dark side" because of their horrible choice?

I'm not a pirate, but this is exactly why I think the Morality/Conflict system is terrible.  But if I was forced to use it:  insta-dark.

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5 minutes ago, whafrog said:

I'm not a pirate, but this is exactly why I think the Morality/Conflict system is terrible.  But if I was forced to use it:  insta-dark.

That's more or less how I think it should be. You can't be this good and moral person, then suddenly kill a person because you don't want to deal with them...even though that would warrant 10+ conflict per RAW, I would say that something along those lines means you are instantly Dark side.

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1 hour ago, awayputurwpn said:

You could also just try not rolling every session. I routinely wait a few sessions before having my players roll their Conflict away. Not every session is going to allow for enough character development that a Conflict roll is warranted, IMO.

I think this would work with a weekly/bi-weekly game, my problem is that I have a monthly session that lasts between 5-7 hours...so after that is over usually there is enough time passing to warrant a roll.

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I also call for Morality rolls based on narrative time, not per session.

Super-murder=Insta-dark makes a lot of sense to me. If I felt compelled to keep within the existing rules, I'd at least double the recommended Conflict were a Paragon to do something obviously heinous. Whatever is so bad to drive an otherwise bastion of good to cold blood murder, I'd stack at least 20 on them. Definitely enough to pull them below the 70 Morality threshold and start them down the proverbial dark path.

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3 hours ago, Ender07 said:

I really need to figure out either a new system or some new ways to give out conflict during my F&D sessions. I have 4 PC's and 3 of them are Paragons of Light because they consistently roll well during our monthly session and keep going up in morality. I have tried to give out conflict based on the chart in the CRB, but even if they get 8 conflict during a session they end up rolling a 9 or 10 and go up by 1 or 2.

Has anyone else had any issues with this? Has anyone made a house rule for conflict to make it more prevalent? I was debating on changing the end game morality roll from a D10 to a D6 to help lower the chance of going up in morality, but then I would be worried they would never even try to utilize the Dark side pips on their Force rolls and would start getting frustrated (as players).

I made a house rule for my campaign that the higher your morality score the smaller die you roll. So for characters in the 90+ morality range, they only rolled a d4 at the end of the session. My rationale is that when you are up high on that morale pedestal it is harder to stay there. 

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1 minute ago, Magnus Arcanus said:

I made a house rule for my campaign that the higher your morality score the smaller die you roll. So for characters in the 90+ morality range, they only rolled a d4 at the end of the session. My rationale is that when you are up high on that morale pedestal it is harder to stay there. 

I think that would make sense, a D4 if you are 90+, D6 if you are 80+, D8 for 70+, and D10 for everything else...the higher you go the harder it is to stay there and you can't rely on lucky die rolls to save you.

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32 minutes ago, Ender07 said:

I think that would make sense, a D4 if you are 90+, D6 if you are 80+, D8 for 70+, and D10 for everything else...the higher you go the harder it is to stay there and you can't rely on lucky die rolls to save you.

I think you should also use a D4 if the morality is less than 10. It should be hard to be redeemed because the dark side is seductive. So D4 for 90+ and 10-, D6 for 80+ and 20-, D8 for 70+ and 30- and D10 for the rest.

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52 minutes ago, VanHippo said:

I think you should also use a D4 if the morality is less than 10. It should be hard to be redeemed because the dark side is seductive. So D4 for 90+ and 10-, D6 for 80+ and 20-, D8 for 70+ and 30- and D10 for the rest.

You don't need to lower the die size for dark side characters. In order to fuel their powers, they need to use Dark Side Pips, which still carry the +1 conflict per pip used.

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1 hour ago, Magnus Arcanus said:

I made a house rule for my campaign that the higher your morality score the smaller die you roll. So for characters in the 90+ morality range, they only rolled a d4 at the end of the session. My rationale is that when you are up high on that morale pedestal it is harder to stay there. 

NICE! 

*yoink*

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3 hours ago, Ender07 said:

So, 2P51, I know you tend to be more direct if any BS happens in game (at least from looking at your previous advice) so if a Light side Paragon straight up murdered someone would you count that as the 10 listed on the chart or would you say they are "insta-dark side" because of their horrible choice?

I'd need details of course, but short of those, if it was just flat out muder hobo silliness that's fine. I'd be more concerned about whether the PC has just decided to stop giving a **** about the setting and intends to be an @$$ in general going forward overall though. That's not a problem with mechanics as much as just dummassery...

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Personally if a person thinks it's acceptable to randomly murder a person, it's probably better to have a direct conversation with them about expectations as apposed to solve it narrative. Why did they do that? Bordum? Are they not immersed in the role of their character is playing? Murder without rhyme or reason would rank much higher then murder with reason as the darkside is all about the loss of empathy.

 

If there is no reason for it I would be actually inclined to adopt a firm "No" stance e.g. "No the action doesn't happen because your character would have no reason to do it, nor does doing it actually contribute to the story. or actually encourage the players to moderate that action; one of the most entertaining aspects of our sessions involve a great deal of internal conflict between the various force users; There's an emergent who quite frankly believes the Jedi are a bunch of manipulative cowards that don't have the balls to actually make the hard decisions war requires (and often makes those decisions despite the group, which leaves his morality drifting between 40-60), a Jedi trained assassin who is very much the observe and minimal interference type (earning criticism from the former), and the Gand demonetisation who honestly doesn't give two hoots about morality, yet ended up as a paragon by a lack of force powers and generally being a very precise worker.

Every one of these conflicts drives a interesting plot point of ideology but none of these actions are random. Every time the emergent murders someone in cold blood it's for a reason, be it a imperial scientist gladly showing off his "Tie Raptor collection" piloted by emulated Gand's. We are a fairly mature group who can deal with those consquences and use our morality to drive forward the consequences BUT  it does require the DM to look for opportunities 

Edited by LordBritish

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10 hours ago, Ender07 said:

I really need to figure out either a new system or some new ways to give out conflict during my F&D sessions. I have 4 PC's and 3 of them are Paragons of Light because they consistently roll well during our monthly session and keep going up in morality. I have tried to give out conflict based on the chart in the CRB, but even if they get 8 conflict during a session they end up rolling a 9 or 10 and go up by 1 or 2.

Has anyone else had any issues with this? Has anyone made a house rule for conflict to make it more prevalent? I was debating on changing the end game morality roll from a D10 to a D6 to help lower the chance of going up in morality, but then I would be worried they would never even try to utilize the Dark side pips on their Force rolls and would start getting frustrated (as players).

The conflict table isn't the beginning and end of all ways to earn conflict. It's mainly a guideline. You as the GM have the right to add in additional ways one can be awarded with conflict when playing.

Options for that I have considered adding in my own games:

conflict when using lethal force (the force is in all life, therefore destroying a life is acting against the force itself)

conflict each time you intentionally activate a critical hit (you're choosing to intentionally cause severe damage to someone)

conflict when you roleplay strong emotions, both positive and negative (this one would need the buy-in from the player because i would ask what their character is feeling at the moment and ask if they think it would be appropriate their character takes on conflict, incentive for such a thing would be additional xp at the end of the session for a particularly good roleplay of their character in the scene but with anything as GM you have the right to give out bonus xp or not so you can prevent people milking it for xp and encourage people to roleplay more)

 

9 hours ago, Ender07 said:

So, 2P51, I know you tend to be more direct if any BS happens in game (at least from looking at your previous advice) so if a Light side Paragon straight up murdered someone would you count that as the 10 listed on the chart or would you say they are "insta-dark side" because of their horrible choice?

I know you singled out 2P51 but I'm gonna take a crack at this myself.

I liberally use the option to add an additional +1-4 conflict for particularly selfish actions that a pc makes. as for murder, I generally make it 15 at the low end but 20+ is the usual sweet spot for the conflict I dish out for murder. That way, you're always losing morality with that. a paragon might see an even higher increase of conflict, possibly 30-40. It might not insta-darkside a pc but it will set them back a ways, lose them their bonuses as a paragon and it will certainly have an affect on the rest of the party.

 

I also run games monthly, so for conflict to work it needs to have a higher impact, usually meaning I need to award out more than the suggested amount in the books. That said, I never look at conflict as a punishment for players or a roadblock but I look at the entire Morality ruleset as a game mechanic that helps the players tell whatever kind of story they want to with their Force user, allowing us to continue putting narrative first and using the rules to back it up. This is generally what I tell the players when they choose to be a Force using character, so they are also in the mindset of conflict being a regular thing that comes with good roleplay and not a punishment for being a dark side character.

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23 hours ago, Magnus Arcanus said:

You don't need to lower the die size for dark side characters. In order to fuel their powers, they need to use Dark Side Pips, which still carry the +1 conflict per pip used.

I had forgotten about that :P yeah, i agree it is unnecessary to lower the die size for dark siders.

Edited by VanHippo

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Just a minor aside, remember that there are also talents that cost conflict to use, and even talents that give you a conflict each session even if you don't use them (Actually, only Terrify comes to mind, but still). 

 

The morality system, as well as obligation and duty, are a good example of why I have a love-hate relationship with this game. The way it works to tie characters into the plots is awesome, and one of the best parts of the game. But it breaks down badly in the details, especially if applied precisely as written. Fortunately everyone house-rules things to fit their campaigns, often without even realizing it. :D 


A couple ways to think about conflict that may help out. Remember that conflict is not dark side tendency, or even temptation. It doesn't come from evil actions, it comes from mental disturbance. It is literally internal conflict. 'I just shot a bunch of dudes, but I feel guilty because I don't feel guilty,' or 'I just saw my best friend get killed,' or 'I don't know how I'm going to pay this debt' all qualifies. The less mentally stable you are, the more likely you are to slide down the pole - the more likely you are to roll low at the end of the night. So instead of just giving out conflict for acting eeevul, hand it out when something mentally damaging happens. Big firefight and they gunned down a couple dozen baddies? Conflict. Open a closet and have a mutilated body fall on you? Conflict. Obligation triggers and they find out that [generic npc] is in danger? Conflict. If it helps, remember that this is why Anakin fell - it wasn't that he did slightly more evil stuff over time, it was that his worries for loved ones made him act out of fear/anger/etc. Anakin's conflict was his worries - not necessarily all the combat. 

Also, IMHO, don't be afraid to just arbitrarily lower someone's morality score by a point or ten. If you can reasonably accompany a player's actions with the Imperial March, then it's probably ok. 

 

Last, for a dark-side user, consider flipping the white/black pips all the way. Using white pips costs a destiny point and gives conflict, the morality roll pulls you down, not up. If you use gradiated dice sizes, you'll need to reverse that. 

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That last paragraph makes no sense. Morality roll lowering your score means the force is inherently dark and taking conflict for using the light side but not for the dark means use of the dark side would be considered good and light side would be evil.

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2 hours ago, GroggyGolem said:

That last paragraph makes no sense. Morality roll lowering your score means the force is inherently dark and taking conflict for using the light side but not for the dark means use of the dark side would be considered good and light side would be evil.

For a darkside user only. 'Conflict' would tend to drive a character back towards the light side - Vader wanting to rescue his son was feeling conflict. The force isn't inherently dark, or light; but a darkside user in going to be inherently drawn farther down, not up. Same way a lightside user is drawn inherently up. 

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2 hours ago, Genuine said:

For a darkside user only. 'Conflict' would tend to drive a character back towards the light side - Vader wanting to rescue his son was feeling conflict. The force isn't inherently dark, or light; but a darkside user in going to be inherently drawn farther down, not up. Same way a lightside user is drawn inherently up. 

Nope. That just confuses things. It's better for Conflict rules to remain the same for all not a slew of "alternate" rules for some characters.

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8 minutes ago, Tramp Graphics said:

Nope. That just confuses things. It's better for Conflict rules to remain the same for all not a slew of "alternate" rules for some characters.

Just a thought. And it really isn't a slew of 'alternate' rules, it's just a full reversal, instead of a partial one.

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I mean, if they're getting lucky, then they are. That luck should turn eventually. However, a few thoughts. 

1.) There's nothing really wrong with having a few paragons of the light side, especially if they are generally keeping their conflict low. That requires some restraint and doing things the hard way, usually (at least, as the GM, you should make that the case. Always try and present an option that would make things a lot of faster and easier that would earn some conflict to tempt them). 

2.) How long are your sessions? The book generally suggests rolling Conflict after a four hour session IIRC. You can roll every other session if you don't feel like the balance is right. Or you can roll a 1d6 instead of a 1d10 if letting the conflict roll over session to session seems like something you don't want to keep track of. The only rule is fun, and if 1d10 conflict resolution isn't giving you guys the star wars feel you want, just shrink the die. 

3.) Hand out more conflict. The book table is a starting place of guidelines. And Conflict, by its very name, isn't just earned through evil actions. It can be earned by just being placed IN morally grey situations (in small amounts, usually 1-2 I'd recommend). If the paragons of light travel to a planet of slavers or otherwise witness evil acts everywhere (and they can't reasonably just free every slave they see, or intercede in every gamorrean death brawl they come across on Gamorr, or take on Jabbas entire palace, etc). You'd be wholly justified in handing out 1-2 conflict to all PCs present for every hour or day or whatever they endure that sort of environment without taking action. Witnessing something awful, even if the PC can't change it, can create conflict. Granted, when it's just low levels of conflict, it is generally going to be overcome with their roll, but if they should step out of line or call on dark side points at all, it might tip the balance the other way. 

4.) Talk with your players about what kind of game they want to play. Do your players WANT to be more challenged by the conflict/morality mechanic? Are there tougher moral challenges they want to explore and face in the game? Or are they happy to become paragons of light and stay the course? Fun is the first rule. 

Happy gaming!

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