Desslok

Morality hit for letting terrorists blow up kids?

78 posts in this topic

Lets assume that you have Jedi having to deal with a more militant rebel cell (closer to Saw's radicalism than Mothma's idealistic beliefs) planning to go blow up an important, legitimate imperial target but has an extremely high probability of collateral damage - as in an almost certainty - that a crowd from the SAGroup (the Hitler Youth equivalent for the Empire) also gets caught as collateral damage. They themselves are not going on this mission, just that they find out about it when getting information from the Cell on a completely unrelated matter.

Now I have no doubt that my players will object and/or stop this plan in one way or another - but assuming they surprise me and stand aside while this mission goes down, what would you figure the morality hit would be? It's not actual murder, but it's allowing evil to happen through inactivity - and there's a great deal of Imperial Youths that will be caught in the crossfire, so there are numbers to consider. I'm thinking something 9-10-ish, perhaps a touch higher. But I thought I'd come to you guys and see what you thought?>>

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I vaguely remember a line about how allowing something to happen through inaction is worth half of what it would be if you did it yourself.  Mid-move right now, so the book's packed away somewhere.  So 4-5 if they actually have a reasonable chance to intervene.  Kinda depends on how actively evil you're portraying them as well (at least from the PC's perspective).  If they're actively participating in pogroms against non-humans, or have posed a direct threat to the PCs in the past, it might be lesser.

 

I try not to fix absolute good or bad labels on actions, "Conflict" is just that; could the characters be conflicted about it?  For this, I'd definitely say yes they'd get at least a little, but context matters.

Edited by Joker Two

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6 minutes ago, Joker Two said:

I vaguely remember a line about how allowing something to happen through inaction is worth half of what it would be if you did it yourself.  Mid-move right now, so the book's packed away somewhere.  So 4-5 if they actually have a reasonable chance to intervene.  Kinda depends on how actively evil you're portraying them as well (at least from the PC's perspective).  If they're actively participating in pogroms against non-humans, or have posed a direct threat to the PCs in the past, it might be lesser.

 

I try not to fix absolute good or bad labels on actions, "Conflict" is just that; could the characters be conflicted about it?  For this, I'd definitely say yes they'd get at least a little, but context matters.

Actually, Knowing Inaction is worth One Conflict. 

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23 minutes ago, Joker Two said:

So 4-5 if they actually have a reasonable chance to intervene.  Kinda depends on how actively evil you're portraying them as well (at least from the PC's perspective).

When they interact with the Cell, the mission is still just in the planning stages (with the plan to be executed in a day or so). So intervening at this point is pretty easy, from "Hey, dont do this!", informing the imperials that a hit is coming, to buggering up the explosives somehow or pulling out the guns to stop them more physically. Plenty of options on the table for stopping them.

As for how evil? I wasn't going to spin them as particularly evil - no more so than an IRA cell. Which, I suppose could be considered plenty evil - but I wasn't going to make them mustache twirlers cackling at the deaths of innocents or anything. Just very desperate, very hard people.

17 minutes ago, Tramp Graphics said:

Actually, Knowing Inaction is worth One Conflict. 

Really? That seems kind of light for standing by while easily preventable (if morality justified) mass murder goes down. I don't have my book close at hand, so I'll trust your word.

 

Edited by Desslok
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22 minutes ago, Tramp Graphics said:

Actually, Knowing Inaction is worth One Conflict. 

 

5 minutes ago, Desslok said:

Really? That seems kind of light for standing by while easily preventable (if morality justified) mass murder goes down. I don't have my book close at hand, so I'll trust your word.

It's important to note that those examples in the table are indeed just examples, not "THIS IS THE RULES OF HOW ALL CONFLICT SHALL BE BESTOWED UPON PLAYERS, SO SAITH THE DEVELOPERS." 

The rules even go out of their way to call this out. The numbers should be adjusted by the GM as the situation calls for.

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1 hour ago, awayputurwpn said:

This is knowing inaction involving mass murder. 9-10 Conflict, easy. 

 

1 hour ago, Desslok said:

When they interact with the Cell, the mission is still just in the planning stages (with the plan to be executed in a day or so). So intervening at this point is pretty easy, from "Hey, dont do this!", informing the imperials that a hit is coming, to buggering up the explosives somehow or pulling out the guns to stop them more physically. Plenty of options on the table for stopping them.

As for how evil? I wasn't going to spin them as particularly evil - no more so than an IRA cell. Which, I suppose could be considered plenty evil - but I wasn't going to make them mustache twirlers cackling at the deaths of innocents or anything. Just very desperate, very hard people.

Really? That seems kind of light for standing by while easily preventable (if morality justified) mass murder goes down. I don't have my book close at hand, so I'll trust your word.

 

Page 324 of F&D lists Knowing inaction (knowingly allowing an action that earns 5+ Conflict to be committed) is worth one Conflict. 

45 minutes ago, awayputurwpn said:

 

It's important to note that those examples in the table are indeed just examples, not "THIS IS THE RULES OF HOW ALL CONFLICT SHALL BE BESTOWED UPON PLAYERS, SO SAITH THE DEVELOPERS." 

The rules even go out of their way to call this out. The numbers should be adjusted by the GM as the situation calls for.

Very true, I'm going strictly by what the RAW itself says however.

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2 hours ago, Desslok said:

Lets assume that you have Jedi having to deal with a more militant rebel cell (closer to Saw's radicalism than Mothma's idealistic beliefs) planning to go blow up an important, legitimate imperial target but has an extremely high probability of collateral damage - as in an almost certainty - that a crowd from the SAGroup (the Hitler Youth equivalent for the Empire) also gets caught as collateral damage. They themselves are not going on this mission, just that they find out about it when getting information from the Cell on a completely unrelated matter.

Now I have no doubt that my players will object and/or stop this plan in one way or another - but assuming they surprise me and stand aside while this mission goes down, what would you figure the morality hit would be? It's not actual murder, but it's allowing evil to happen through inactivity - and there's a great deal of Imperial Youths that will be caught in the crossfire, so there are numbers to consider. I'm thinking something 9-10-ish, perhaps a touch higher. But I thought I'd come to you guys and see what you thought?>>

I have no dog in the fight, but I'd point out that the Jedi served as generals in a galactic war which most certainly entails innocents dying.  I think if they speak up about the risk, suggest alternatives, warn about strategic consequences (hearts and minds, etc) and, don't even necessarily directly intervene, personally I think they're fine.

Unless a Force PC has chosen to live in a cave and not involve in the war, there's going to be unseemliness all the time.  I'm not sure it's very noble to consistently lop off people's arms with laser swords, there's an argument to be made that lightsabers are Conflict automatically, since there are both alternative weapons, open hand, and the Force that won't seriously injure but will stop.  I don't think there's a need to nitpick it to the point of moral microscopic accounting imo.

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Tricky question.

I'd say that as long as they make a concerted effort to avoid the unnecessary civilian casualties (the SAGroup might be the SW version of the Hitler Youth, but they're still a bunch of unarmed kids), then I probably wouldn't award them much, if any Conflict.  Sometimes what's more important is the active effort to "do the right thing" than actually being able to accomplish that task.

If they just raise a few token verbal disagreements but don't really do much to avoid the murder of children, then yeah we're talking guilt by association, and probably 5 to 6 points of Conflict since they're knowingly allowing innocents to be killed.

If a PC is striving to live by the idealistic example of the Jedi Knights (something even they couldn't always do), then they probably won't be associating with fringe groups like Saw's for very long.  Kanan, who does a pretty good job of keeping to the ideals of the Jedi, in Rebels is pretty quick to call Saw out when the later goes too far in the Geonosis episode.

Of course, if the PCs are very much embracing an "ends justify the means" approach, then they're probably already well on the way to being dark siders and may well not care about how much Conflict going along with such a plan would earn them.

Then again, it's a debate of morality for many freedom fighters both fictional and real.  How far does one go in pursuit of your goals, and how far is indeed too far?  Sometimes that threshold is all that separates a band of freedom fighters like the Rebel Alliance from being outright terrorists, which is the category I'd put Saw's fringe group from R1.  And notable part of the intent with Force and Destiny is deciding how your PC is going to act and react when faced with morale quandaries, and having to decide which side of the line they're comfortable being on.  After all, there comes a time when one must chose between doing what is easy, and doing what is right.  Heroes that are indeed worthy of being called such will make the chose to do what's right, no matter how difficult it makes things for them.

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1 hour ago, Tramp Graphics said:

Very true, I'm going strictly by what the RAW itself says however.

Eh..."Going strictly" by the examples in the aforementioned table here is, ironically, antithetical to the RAW :) 

Unless of course mass murder of youths is considered a common occurrence in your setting.

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12 minutes ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

If a PC is striving to live by the idealistic example of the Jedi Knights (something even they couldn't always do), then they probably won't be associating with fringe groups like Saw's for very long.  Kanan, who does a pretty good job of keeping to the ideals of the Jedi, in Rebels is pretty quick to call Saw out when the later goes too far in the Geonosis episode.

Or the example of Mace Windu objecting to the murder of the Zillo beast. Windu pulls a lightsaber to get the Dugs to back down, the Dugs are like "whatchu gonna do about it?" And then GM Filoni steps in and is like, "But the Zillo beast just climbs it of the pit and now your army is under attack!"

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42 minutes ago, awayputurwpn said:

Eh..."Going strictly" by the examples in the aforementioned table here is, ironically, antithetical to the RAW :) 

Unless of course mass murder of youths is considered a common occurrence in your setting.

Well, you could still nail him for each youth potentially killed, but...

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2 hours ago, 2P51 said:

I have no dog in the fight, but I'd point out that the Jedi served as generals in a galactic war which most certainly entails innocents dying.  I think if they speak up about the risk, suggest alternatives, warn about strategic consequences (hearts and minds, etc) and, don't even necessarily directly intervene, personally I think they're fine.

Unless a Force PC has chosen to live in a cave and not involve in the war, there's going to be unseemliness all the time.  I'm not sure it's very noble to consistently lop off people's arms with laser swords, there's an argument to be made that lightsabers are Conflict automatically, since there are both alternative weapons, open hand, and the Force that won't seriously injure but will stop.  I don't think there's a need to nitpick it to the point of moral microscopic accounting imo.

Yes but it should be pointed out that in the clone wars they explicitly said that this war is burning them, not just through Jedi dying, also through bending and deforming them, Jedi are no generals, guerrillias or assassins. In the novel about Asajj Ventress even the Jedi council points out that the war is crawling in their hearts and is pulling them to the dark side step by step.

AND Jedi were not the best Generals, maybe in a war where peace is a real option they would have been, but not in this and maybe also not vs the empire. Tarkin points several times out that the jedi were great leaders (by example) and fighters, but not strategists.

So yes, i would expect from a Jedi definitly to at least talk them out of such things. They should be the consience and balance of rebellion, otherwise they are just warriors with fancy weapons.

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Yeah, it sounds like the raising objections, offering an alternatives path of reasonableness as a method of resolving the issue sounds like a good course to follow. And who knows how this will play out. No battleplan ever survives contact with the players or so I've heard.

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1 hour ago, Tramp Graphics said:

Well, you could still nail him for each youth potentially killed, but...

Hahaha!

Actually that would be a cool story element to include to kind of narratively cement the conflict. The gravity of a holonet announcement numbering the deaths, and talking about how  most of them were adolescent, could be heavy indeed.

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It's a  legitimate target, the youths aren't the target, they're just collateral damage, and other than being old enough and not too senile to know the difference between right and wrong there isn't an age limit on evil.  If these "Hitler youth"  kids are teenagers, I honestly wouldn't give any conflict for not preventing the strike on the legitimate target that accidentally kills them.  When you visit or dwell at a legitimate military target you become a legitimate military target.  Civilians work on military bases, I'm one of them (I work at a national lab on a military base), if said base gets attacked and some civilians die, yes it's a tragedy (all loss of life is), and it's an act of war.... but it's not an act of terror.... though shalt not murder is a commandments  (if you follow that belief system) killing in war isn't necessarily murder.

Me I don't doubt that I could kill someone if I had to (say to protect my wife or child) I do doubt my ability to live with myself afterwards though if I was a soldier and killed during war.  Drone strikes are incredibly effective but i don't believe that the collateral damage is justified... the difference is that the legitimate military target moves into the vicinity of unaware innocent civilians, they didn't go to the legitimate military target.

In my opinion snipers (a "surgical strike" option) are about the maximum amount of force justifiable for attacking mobile legitimate military targets (i.e. people/terrorists) in a densely populated urban environment.

Back to the thread topic, if  the "Hitler youth" are visiting a military base or similar legitimate fixed location no conflict, it's kind of like the social contract when you roll a pool of narrative dice, you saw the difficulty pool before you rolled,  but if the target is a person visiting the Hitler youth ato their scool academy.... then maybe conflict is in order....

Just my 2 decí creds.

Edited by EliasWindrider
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Don't forget that in this game, enough Advantages or Triumphs might allow the bombers to blow exactly who they want without doing any significant collateral damage. OTOH, Threats and Despairs might mean you actually took out the SAGroup of pregnant teens and new mothers...

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So you know the funny thing? Not only was there no moral problem to work around - the players didn't even notice the terrorist plans. They went to the cell, talked to the leader who had the intel they needed, noticed the other cell members pouring over some plans, helped the contact they were meeting steal the chemicals that would make the bombs - and I was betting that someone in the team would go "So what are you guys doing?"

But no - they had their own mission to deal with, so they never bother to interact with the rest of the cell. And the leader was not going to bring out the details of his plan if there was no need to. So yeah, they read about an explosion in a munitions factory on the planet they were just at that unfortunately killed a SAGroup tour group. And here I thought for sure that they were going to be nosy! All well, best laid plans and all that. 

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4 minutes ago, Desslok said:

So you know the funny thing? Not only was there no moral problem to work around - the players didn't even notice the terrorist plans. They went to the cell, talked to the leader who had the intel they needed, noticed the other cell members pouring over some plans, helped the contact they were meeting steal the chemicals that would make the bombs - and I was betting that someone in the team would go "So what are you guys doing?"

But no - they had their own mission to deal with, so they never bother to interact with the rest of the cell. And the leader was not going to bring out the details of his plan if there was no need to. So yeah, they read about an explosion in a munitions factory on the planet they were just at that unfortunately killed a SAGroup tour group. And here I thought for sure that they were going to be nosy! All well, best laid plans and all that. 

If they didn't ask, then they were smart and roleplayed well. Cells work best when only the people that "need to know" put their noses into the business of other cells. Bravo to them for not assuming that they "need to know" just because they're PCs.

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13 hours ago, Tramp Graphics said:

 

Page 324 of F&D lists Knowing inaction (knowingly allowing an action that earns 5+ Conflict to be committed) is worth one Conflict. 

Very true, I'm going strictly by what the RAW itself says however.

"The RAW" is not just the table, it's all of the book.

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Aye that's just it really; they are "working on the same team on individual missions." is a mature point. Just because cells are working together doesn't mean that they should learn everything about each other; as the information learnt by one could be potentially interrogated out of them if they were ever captured. On the flip side this story might not be the end; the rebellion might want to get in touch with one cell to dismantle another "this group by targeting children no longer represents our new republic e.c.t Destroy them before they turn the favour completely against the republic.". The Republic is a hypocrite in that sense that it wants to appear above the desperate attacks, even if their dangerous situation meant that alternatives weren't available.

Keep in mind just because Luke was a Jedi, didn't mean he was compelled to act in every campaign of the war; infact, he completely abstained from the war after a time to focus on Jedi artifacts and probably remained free from conflicted, with the Sith dead the war would run it's course with or without him; he had something more important to set up for the future generations. As such it wasn't his job to be the morality police; sure there might have been a lot of conflicts he might have resolved if he was there but at the end of the day he's his own person his own missions and was more then content to let the force be the arbiter on this one. The same can sometimes be said for the PC's sometimes, they might witness things that they might never have the chance to intervene.

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6 hours ago, LordBritish said:

Keep in mind just because Luke was a Jedi, didn't mean he was compelled to act in every campaign of the war; infact, he completely abstained from the war after a time to focus on Jedi artifacts and probably remained free from conflicted, with the Sith dead the war would run it's course with or without him; he had something more important to set up for the future generations.

Is that from the new books or the old ones?

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Fairly certain it was the old books, though I wouldn't be too surprised if he did it in the new books either; we probably won't ever know until the force awakens Trilogy has run it's course.

That being said, I may be wrong on that.

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On 16/09/2017 at 11:15 PM, Tramp Graphics said:

 

Page 324 of F&D lists Knowing inaction (knowingly allowing an action that earns 5+ Conflict to be committed) is worth one Conflict. 

Very true, I'm going strictly by what the RAW itself says however.

Strictly what raw says is that knowing inaction is BASE 1 conflict , althouth the adjustment of +1-5 is for motive, so acting selflessly is +0, you could argue that their knowing inaction is selfish (self preservation rather than stopping something  morally wrong) , which is about the half way morak so +2-4, so a range of 3-5 for knowing inaction, due to selfishness. 

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