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Dendros

Juyo Berserker questions

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I’m currently running a F&D group with 5 Jedi, one of whom has taken the Juyo Berserker, and just made it to Embrace your hate and Inner peace (he was stockpiling XP until he had enough to get both ranks of Inner Peace at the same time as both of Embrace. I tend to run long games, which often have multiple combat encounters.

My current player group consists of 4 light side paragons and 1 dark sider who’s trying to redeem, so when the destiny pool is rolled, there’s usually only 1 or 2 dark side points for the story, and my players will argue against receiving any conflict. I announce it based on the RAW, but I’m considering going to a blind conflict house rule, so they don’t get to argue every time they make a decision that’s morally ambiguous. 

This most recent session, the Juyo used inner peace once per encounter (there were three) and claimed his conflict was a -6, while the dark side pool was empty. Is there supposed to be a counterbalance for when players horde their lightside destiny points, and attempt to Meta out of conflict?

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As for Inner Peace RAW (I'm away from book so I don't have the full Talent text, just the Spec Tree text) I'd say to get the benefit of Inner Peace (the Conflict reduction) there has to be an actual conversion of dark side Destiny Points to light side (for each Destiny Point converted).

As for players gaming the Destiny Point pool that's just the game.  Discuss it with the players if it becomes a problem (the game encourages players and GM spending them on a regular basis).

If the 2 automatic Conflict per session from Embrace is pushing the player to max out Conflict reduction discuss that (it's really not that much as there's still an average chance of Morality going up).

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Your players should not have any say in what actions accrue Conflict, especially if you're referencing the RAW Conflict sources. Yes, moral is a somewhat subjective thing, but since you are the GM, you should also be the arbiter for what is morally acceptable in your universe. The rules advise you to give players a warning if they're about to do something that will increase their Conflict, so definitely do that, but don't let anything deter you from giving it out as you see fit.

 

Where does your Juyo Berserker player get the idea of "negative conflict" from, though? That is absolute nonsense from both a rules standpoint and a logical standpoint. You can't be less conflicted than "not at all". Ditching that idea will put somewhat of a cap on how quickly his morality increases (though, let's be honest, not that much of a cap).

Edited by EpicTed
Removed an invalid point

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2 hours ago, Dendros said:

and my players will argue against receiving any conflict...and attempt to Meta out of conflict?

Talk to them, let them know that Morality as a whole is technically optional. If they don't want you presenting them with moral challenges and fighting the light/dark balance... you can dump Morality all together. The game will still work. Indeed AoR and EotE both have the Force and no Morality and they still work. 

This is a common issue with things like Old Republic/Clone Wars campaigns where you have more formalized Jedi characters doing more "in service of the Republic" activities with less personal angst. In those cases going with Obligation or Duty (the similar mechanic for AoR and EotE) is often preferable to trying to shoe-horn in Morality in a campaign where no one really wants to play it.

2 hours ago, Dendros said:

Is there supposed to be a counterbalance for when players horde their lightside destiny points,

The most important rule is on FaD Core page 9:

"Finally, the GM is the ultimate arbiter of how the rules are interpreted during the course of the game, using them or breaking them as necessary to maximize fun and enhance the story."

If the players are hording lightside destiny point to try and deny you a resource... just apply the same penalties a D-point would apply when needed. You're the GM, you're allowed to upgrade a difficulty if you think it's a dangerous enough activity or jus think things need to get more exciting. The players can either use their Lightside D-points and keep you using Dark ones, or they can horde them and get no benefit from when you do do something to make life a little more interesting for them.

 

 

Ultimately these are both "talk to your players" issues. If they are really having this much trouble dealing with these two mechanics, make sure they understand the purpose of them. If they still aren't comfortable with them... dump them. Most players would rather use a D-point mechanic than not have that resource, but if the players are ruining the fun by fretting over them, then you can drop them.

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I’ve mentioned to them a few times that I’ve been lenient about conflict (mostly because I’ve been fairly forgetful on the “morally grey” type actions) but that if it starts becoming an issue, I may adopt a new stance. My main issue has less to do with making house rules, as I’ve done that with many other games I’ve GM’ed in the past, and more to do with the fact that the Juyo berserker seems to take the entire destiny mechanic and throw it out the window. I just wasn’t sure if there was anything in the books (aside from the stereotypical tabletop Rule 1 “the GM is god” bit) to actually balance out against Juyo’s unique ability to remove both the Dark Side points as well as their own conflict  


We are also utilizing the Obligation mechanic, as that’s one of my personal favorites, since it represents the place they’re in now (ex-padawans who were on a mission that wasn’t on the books during 66, and are now in the first year of the Imperial supremacy) and it’s been working well. 

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11 hours ago, Dendros said:

I’m currently running a F&D group with 5 Jedi, one of whom has taken the Juyo Berserker, and just made it to Embrace your hate and Inner peace (he was stockpiling XP until he had enough to get both ranks of Inner Peace at the same time as both of Embrace. I tend to run long games, which often have multiple combat encounters.

My current player group consists of 4 light side paragons and 1 dark sider who’s trying to redeem, so when the destiny pool is rolled, there’s usually only 1 or 2 dark side points for the story, and my players will argue against receiving any conflict. I announce it based on the RAW, but I’m considering going to a blind conflict house rule, so they don’t get to argue every time they make a decision that’s morally ambiguous. 

This most recent session, the Juyo used inner peace once per encounter (there were three) and claimed his conflict was a -6, while the dark side pool was empty. Is there supposed to be a counterbalance for when players horde their lightside destiny points, and attempt to Meta out of conflict?

I am not sure this post is really about Juyo Beserker. Sounds more like you have some players who are meta-gaming the Morality and Destiny point mechanics and you are wondering what, if anything you should do about it. 

For Morality, I might start by asking your players what they want out of it. It is both a mechanical system, but also a story telling device. F&D characters are supposed to have challenges of ethics and morality that tempts and challenges them. If they don't want to roleplay those types of situations, might just ditch it. 

Destiny Points are supposed to be a free flow back and forth. As the GM if you feel the players are hording them, you are well within your rights to just flip them back to Dark. Maybe the PCs investigate a Dark Side vergence or something. Essentially, they aren't there to be gamed by the players. Again, they are a story telling device. 

Your comments about them arguing conflict gains is interesting. While it is certainly fair to hear them out, the GM is the final arbiter, period. This isn't just the whole "The GM is in charge bit", you certainly shouldn't lord it over them. But if they earn conflict for their actions, they earn conflict. The system assumes the PCs will earn some along the way. It goes back to what I said above; if they really want to keep arguing about it, maybe it is better to just drop the mechanic. 

For your Juyo Berserker, the Inner Peace talent doesn't reduce conflict beyond what has been earned. If you are feeling generous, you can allow it to apply to 'conflict that hasn't been earned in the session yet'. But there is no "-6 conflict". It only reduces conflict earned in the session. If none was earned, there is no other benefit. Its also interesting how the player can state they have "-6 conflict" and yet all the DPs are Light Side. You need Dark Side pips to activate this talent. Certainly something to ensure is being understood properly.  

One last thing to remember: The Dark Side using character still earns conflict for using Dark Side pips. The only thing that flips when you become Dark Side is that you fuel your powers with Dark Side pips instead of Light (And need to use a DP to use LS pips, along with spending strain). The generation of conflict on Force Pips doesn't change; DS pips still generate conflict. This is part of the reason why it is so difficult to be redeemed; you have to stop using Dark Side Pips for most of your powers. 

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Unlike Obligation and Duty, Morality is a mechanic that highly depends on the players to use it.  Obligation and Duty have clear things to allow the GM to jump in and do stuff in the story that involve the particular PC.   Morality is a lot more difficult on that front because playing up Emotional Strength/Weakness is really up to the player - it's pretty much out of the GMs hands.  The GM's role is in assigning Conflict but gaining Conflict really isn't that much of a story-telling tool from session to session.  Falling to the Dark Side or redemption from the Dark Side is a story-telling tool but that's something that spans sessions/story arcs. 

If the players aren't really interested in it you can just ditch it (meaning no Light side/Dark side paragons) and stop tracking Conflict/Morality and just let the PCs decisions play out in the story (this should be happening anyway).  They do evil stuff (falling to the dark side) then the world/story reacts to them as appropriate.  It removes the min/max accounting of the dark side as a story element that gets gamed and makes it more pure story/decision driven.  This makes Inner Peace less useful but still very useful because it still converts dark side destiny points to light side.

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8 minutes ago, HappyDaze said:

When played correctly,  Obligation is very player dependent. Duty is considerably less so. 

Yeah, the players should role-play it and engage with it but the GM has a big stick - "Bounty hunters show up!".

With Obligations the GM can pull off Obligation triggering without it being ham-fisted and stepping over the line because it involves stuff the GM is supposed to do every session (control NPCs).

With Morality there's not much there except awarding Conflict and even there the player had to do something to earn it first.  If a player isn't engaging their Morality Strength/Weakness there's not much the GM can do ("Hey, uh, don't you think you'd be really Angry in this scenario?").

But that's just my experience with it at the table.

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One way that might reduce the arguing about conflict is to warn the players when they announce an action that would give them conflict and give them a chance to do something else. That way, they always have an out and you don't have to budge on what should cause conflict.

Alternatively, if they successfully talk themselves out of any and all conflict a session, don't even roll for morality as, apparently, there wasn't any situations that challenged their morality.

No moral choices should mean no change in morality.

Edited by penpenpen

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On 2/14/2019 at 11:24 AM, Dendros said:

I’m currently running a F&D group with 5 Jedi, one of whom has taken the Juyo Berserker, and just made it to Embrace your hate and Inner peace (he was stockpiling XP until he had enough to get both ranks of Inner Peace at the same time as both of Embrace. I tend to run long games, which often have multiple combat encounters.

My current player group consists of 4 light side paragons and 1 dark sider who’s trying to redeem, so when the destiny pool is rolled, there’s usually only 1 or 2 dark side points for the story, and my players will argue against receiving any conflict. I announce it based on the RAW, but I’m considering going to a blind conflict house rule, so they don’t get to argue every time they make a decision that’s morally ambiguous. 

This most recent session, the Juyo used inner peace once per encounter (there were three) and claimed his conflict was a -6, while the dark side pool was empty. Is there supposed to be a counterbalance for when players horde their lightside destiny points, and attempt to Meta out of conflict?

When you roll the the destiny loot pool how do you roll it exactly since you siad there is usually only 1 or 2 dark side points for the story.  Our group is really random.  Out of 6 players who are all light side we a good 2/3 of the time are more darkside than light side cause thats how the dice roll.  Sometimes its mostly lightside sometimes mostly dark side. Some times its even.  I'm very sure whether you are lightside in this game or dark side it has no bering on how you roll destiny.  Unless of course gm has different rules than the book which is ok.

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On 3/2/2019 at 7:57 PM, Metalghost said:

When you roll the the destiny loot pool how do you roll it exactly since you siad there is usually only 1 or 2 dark side points for the story.  Our group is really random.  Out of 6 players who are all light side we a good 2/3 of the time are more darkside than light side cause thats how the dice roll.  Sometimes its mostly lightside sometimes mostly dark side. Some times its even.  I'm very sure whether you are lightside in this game or dark side it has no bering on how you roll destiny.  Unless of course gm has different rules than the book which is ok.

The paragon rules (of which 4/5 of my players are light side paragon) allow a free light side destiny point generated in the pool on rolling, which automatically means there’s a minimum of 9 points in the field, 4 of which are automatically light side. On top of that, my players generally have some very light-side oriented luck with their destiny pools.

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32 minutes ago, Oldmike1 said:

Seems to me you need to add conflict or something paragon should not be super common in my mind

 

I think this is one of the flaws of the Morality system - it's easy to slide to Paragon for the average PC and to stop it the GM would have to be constantly cooking up scenarios where PCs are in moral binds (catch-22 or 'do you gain conflict and save the villagers or let them die') where they're gaining lots of conflict.  One good suggestion I've seen is that the Morality roll (to gain Morality and then reset Conflict to 0) should only happen per adventure or campaign arc instead of every session.

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Remember, a character doesn’t have to earn Conflict in order to be granted a Morality check at the end of a session. He has to be put in situations where there is the potential to earn Conflict. Whether he actually earns any is irrelevant.

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I feel like if you use it as written you must have a lot of “let the bad guy get away and save the villager or get the bad guy and let them die” type events or is that what you mean 

 

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7 minutes ago, Oldmike1 said:

I feel like if you use it as written you must have a lot of “let the bad guy get away and save the villager or get the bad guy and let them die” type events or is that what you mean 

 

Or just a lot of "do I use those Dark force pips I rolled or do I let myself fail?"

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2 hours ago, Tramp Graphics said:

Remember, a character doesn’t have to earn Conflict in order to be granted a Morality check at the end of a session. He has to be put in situations where there is the potential to earn Conflict. Whether he actually earns any is irrelevant.

Yes.  The point is that if that statement has any actual meaning then it still requires the GM to constantly push tough Conflict inducing situations on the PC to stop the natural slide to Paragon.  And this can come across as a heavy handed GM style - or the PC is playing a very angsty character.

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10 minutes ago, Oldmike1 said:

I feel like if you use it as written you must have a lot of “let the bad guy get away and save the villager or get the bad guy and let them die” type events or is that what you mean 

 

Something like that.  Morality will on average go up at a pretty quick clip (by RAW).  Maybe the PC chooses to gain some Conflict in activating Force Powers.  You'd still need to do quite a bit of that to stop the rise to Paragon, much less go down.

To go down with any consistency (e.g., over the long-term), realistically, it's not going to come from using dark side pips when activating Force Powers but rather from doing evil things and getting hit with bit Conflict awards.  Even if you do evil things like murder and have a session or two of gaining 10+ Conflict, if you spend several sessions just taking it easy on the Conflict you'll get back to where you were.

This is why I like the suggestion to roll for Morality at the end of story arcs - it spreads out the time before Conflict resets and lets those Conflict points from activating Force Powers (and all other sources) accumulate to be meaningful.

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3 minutes ago, Jedi Ronin said:

Yes.  The point is that if that statement has any actual meaning then it still requires the GM to constantly push tough Conflict inducing situations on the PC to stop the natural slide to Paragon.  And this can come across as a heavy handed GM style - or the PC is playing a very angsty character.

Not necessarily. IF there is even only one opportunity for the character to gain Conflict--which unless the character is asleep or otherwise completely inactive, should always happen as long as he's actively participating, simply from normal interactions--then he gets a Morality roll. All that means is there has to be the opportunity for a moral choice. 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Tramp Graphics said:

Not necessarily. IF there is even only one opportunity for the character to gain Conflict--which unless the character is asleep or otherwise completely inactive, should always happen as long as he's actively participating, simply from normal interactions--then he gets a Morality roll. All that means is there has to be the opportunity for a moral choice. 

Again, Yes, I know that.  And you're making my point for me.  "Hey, I went shopping and didn't murder a kitten on the way!" and whamo it's a session in which Conflict *could* have been gained - making it essentially meaningless.

And I've already stated by RAW you get one per session (unless your PC is comatose) but also why that leads to PC's rocketing to Paragon.

Edited by Jedi Ronin

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5 minutes ago, Jedi Ronin said:

Again, Yes, I know that.  And you're making my point for me.  "Hey, I went shopping and didn't murder a kitten on the way!" and whamo it's a session in which Conflict *could* have been gained - making it essentially meaningless.

And I've already stated by RAW you get one per session (unless you're PC is comatose) but also why that leads to PC's rocketing to Paragon.

I would call that a very poor example. A better example would be I went shopping, and ended up witnessing a mugging, and had a choice between helping the victim, taking extreme retribution on the attacker, or walking away and ignoring the situation. That is a legitimate situation where Conflict is possible. The point is though, that if a character actively participates in the adventure, then there should always be moral decisions, being made. And as such, he should get a Morality check at the end of the session. If that means "rocketing up" to Paragon, so what. If he manages to routinely make the correct moral choices, then he deserves to rocket up to Paragon status. 

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4 minutes ago, Tramp Graphics said:

I would call that a very poor example. A better example would be I went shopping, and ended up witnessing a mugging, and had a choice between helping the victim, taking extreme retribution on the attacker, or walking away and ignoring the situation. That is a legitimate situation where Conflict is possible. The point is though, that if a character actively participates in the adventure, then there should always be moral decisions, being made. And as such, he should get a Morality check at the end of the session. If that means "rocketing up" to Paragon, so what. If he manages to routinely make the correct moral choices, then he deserves to rocket up to Paragon status. 

My "poor example" is a joke Tramp.  But your "actual" example again demonstrates exactly what I'm talking about: any normal game session is one that qualifies and will rocket you to Pargon.

You don't have to care if PC's are rocketing up to Paragon (it happens by RAW as you've so amply demonstrated for me) but the context of this conversation is what if you don't want that to happen.  What if it's sucked of much of it's meaning being so trivial and hard not to do and amounts to no real accomplishment?  As I've said above, what if you want something between getting to Paragon as the default setting of the rules unless you're playing a total murder-hobo and a more meaningful experience using the Morality system?

Theoretically the Morality system is trying to get the players to engage with the Strengths/Weaknesses of the PC and put morally interesting and difficult situations into play.  I think the system as typically played avoids all that.  (Again) If the GM wants to stay with RAW then the only option is throwing out *tough* moral situations nearly every session (way above and beyond the vanilla "actual example" you gave) and/or the GM has to be so strict and Heavy-handed-GM-rules-lawyer that practically every decision the PCs make in every encounter are fraught with hair trigger gains in Conflct as the GM carefully parses each and every thought, feeling and action of the PC and dings them if they even get close to a "Conflict infraction" on the table.  "Dude, you totally murdered those Stormtroopers, 40 Conflict, you could have stunned them instead or used Influence, I don't even know why you bother using a lightsaber anymore" [HINT: this is also a joke to demonstrate my point].

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4 minutes ago, Jedi Ronin said:

My "poor example" is a joke Tramp.  But your "actual" example again demonstrates exactly what I'm talking about: any normal game session is one that qualifies and will rocket you to Pargon.

You don't have to care if PC's are rocketing up to Paragon (it happens by RAW as you've so amply demonstrated for me) but the context of this conversation is what if you don't want that to happen.  What if it's sucked of much of it's meaning being so trivial and hard not to do and amounts to no real accomplishment?  As I've said above, what if you want something between getting to Paragon as the default setting of the rules unless you're playing a total murder-hobo and a more meaningful experience using the Morality system?

Theoretically the Morality system is trying to get the players to engage with the Strengths/Weaknesses of the PC and put morally interesting and difficult situations into play.  I think the system as typically played avoids all that.  (Again) If the GM wants to stay with RAW then the only option is throwing out *tough* moral situations nearly every session (way above and beyond the vanilla "actual example" you gave) and/or the GM has to be so strict and Heavy-handed-GM-rules-lawyer that practically every decision the PCs make in every encounter are fraught with hair trigger gains in Conflct as the GM carefully parses each and every thought, feeling and action of the PC and dings them if they even get close to a "Conflict infraction" on the table.  "Dude, you totally murdered those Stormtroopers, 40 Conflict, you could have stunned them instead or used Influence, I don't even know why you bother using a lightsaber anymore" [HINT: this is also a joke to demonstrate my point].

In any normal game session, there should be several tough moral choices needed to be made. The characters' moral strengths and weaknesses should be triggered routinely. IF the GM doesn't do this, then he should not be surprised if his players' characters rocket up to Paragon. No matter which mechanic is in effect (Duty, Obligation or Morality, or any combination thereof) the GM and players should be actively engaging in these mechanics and using them to their fullest. This means, that for the Morality mechanic to be used to its fullest, the PC should face multiple tough moral choices. However, they should not be put into situation where Conflict is unavoidable. Even if that moral choice is between using a DSP or not to power a Force power, the GM and players should actively be playing up the morality mechanic, not simply play it lip service. 

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