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Hello there, I wanted to ask you a couple of questions:
- How do you handle morality when there is only one force-user in the party? For example, how do you perform the morality check? Are there any official rules about it?
- Do you know any alternative rules on morality other than official ones?

Thank you

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Posted (edited)

In regards to our group, who's force sensitive tendencies varies with time (we have had few as 2 force sensitive characters in a particular party, then up to the extent that we had to hard rule a period of "no more force sensitives" because literally everyone was making one the moment they dropped off the mortal coil. It was getting really immersion breaking to have these extraordinary characters joining this group of commandos.) we roll morality as it stands. They generate conflict in the usual ways, depending on how they respond to situations (which keep in mind, they can't be held responsible for matters outside their own control and generally are aware if they may generate conflict for their action/inaction). Then at the end of the session they roll as per the book. The only thing I would do is completely exclude rolling on the morality table as being the only member of the party they would trigger all the time. Just create a situation to challenge their morality strength and weakness which should be hard baked into any backstory and you will be doing well.

In regards to alternative rules, I don't know any. I know a good number of people whom have sworn off the morality system entirely. I personally find it moderately useful as long as both player and GM are aware that it is a story telling device and not a system of punishment. Without that understanding it can make for some tension at the table. I personally play into it, I've known some that try to avoid notice from the conflict table but it will always have to be something at the back of your mind if you intend to use it.

Edited by LordBritish

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Morality is really only useful if 'internal struggle' is meant to be the character's specific focus and/or the focus of the campaign, so if there's only one force-user and the game is otherwise centered on obligation or (especially) duty, you can simply ignore morality and stick to the other thing.

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I personally don't bother with the Morality roll, even with a party of just F&D characters.  I found it to be more hassle than it's worth, due to it being very easy for a player to simply decide not to engage with the Morality-based scenario that I've presented (which I had one player refuse to do thrice during a Beta campaign).  But with just one Force user in the party, it's probably best to just discard that rule since otherwise that one PC's Morality is going to constantly be triggered.

The main alternative rule to Morality is simply "just don't bother." There's been a number of ham-fisted/laughable and inherently janky homebrew attempts to "fix" the Morality mechanics, but none of them did what the poster claimed they were trying to do, and ultimately just made things worse mechanically when the root of the problem was the players involved.  EotE and AoR worked fine regarding Force users long before F&D introduced the Morality mechanic, so if the GM of your group feels it's too much hassle, they can simply handwave it away and instead focus on Obligation or Duty, whichever one the group is using.

Personally, I use Morality as more of a roleplaying tool, treating a PC's emotional strength/weakness as being akin to Motivations; if the player does a really good job of roleplaying their character's emotional strength and/or weakness during a session, I hand out bonus XP the same as if a character played to their Motivation.  I don't feel the bonus XP above what an EotE or AoR PC might get is a problem, as F&D PCs have so many different things to spend their XP on that it ultimately balances out.

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Thank you for your answers. What does not satisfy me of the morality system is the D10 roll at the end of the session. So it's too easy for a player to stay on the light side path and also create flat characters without an interesting inner conflict. Being careful, a character like that can use dark side points without ever risking falling into obscurity, or he can ignore someone's request for help. I generally appreciate conflict points, but not doing the wrong thing does not necessarily mean doing the right thing as this mechanic would.
On the other hand, however, I would not even use good points, like medals, to represent the rise of the Light...
For example, in my party, there is this player, who is not exactly a great performer, he is a jedi (Force Rank 4) to whom the Empire has killed his brother, and his emotional strength and weakness are: Empathy and Revenge. He is part of a rebel cell and uses only a few dark side points per session, and almost never gets conflict points due to his actions. His morality is 100, yet he never shines for courageous deeds and generous gestures to the rescue of his neighbor.

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Actually, I find conversely that morality is much easier to focus on the less force sensitives there are. It allows one to really tailor challenges to that particular set of players rather then having to plan for up to 4/6 potentially different options. It also makes the consequences of falling to the dark side more meaningful, since there are less players around who are likely to understand what had occurred. If your player is a moral wallflower, it is going to be difficult to apply without major consequence, or requires really tugging on someone he loves. Issue with Jedi is that unless they write up a backstory that has significant other NPC's then it's practically impossible to move a character like that.

One situation that might help is regularly making an easy path/hard path system to objectives that require venturing into the cities undercover. It's easy to put a bomb up the governers behind, but that act of easy terrorism is likely to hurt many innocents, maybe there is another rebel cell that has come to the conclusion that this is an acceptable cost and shares it with the party at some point. This puts the Jedi into a direct moral quandary between duty and desire.


Again, I feel it's a system that I feel that the GM has to commit to, the player has to desire it and that the GM must be prepared to enforce consequences on the character on a regular basis. If it's designed to be a more light and casual campaign? I wouldn't bother.

 

What you might do however is eventually throw Vader at him. If this is during the dark times or the rebel civil war this is when the Dark Lord of the Sith is at his most active, especially if the Jedi has made a name for himself. This then begs the ultimate question; does he let Vader have free rein to tear up the rebel faction in search of these rumours and hide, gaining potentially ton's of conflict for forsaking his duty in fear? or does he come out to challenge the ultimate lord of the sith to buy them time to move out? My traditional view to handling Vader is that it isn't so much that he is invincible, but he has a good support network around him and is cunning enough to engineer situations that would put him in a one on one confrontation.

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With the d10 roll, one thing to keep in mind is that the writers wanted to try and prevent players from "gaming the system" and thus ensuring a certain result to increase (or decrease) Morality, and so added the element of randomness to the game.

Best ways to address the issues that brings up are to only allow a player to roll for Morality in incidents where their actions at the very least had the potential to generate Conflict; if they didn't do anything that could have earned them Conflict, then they don't get to roll the d10.  You may or may not want to exclude the Conflict from using dark pips to generate Force points; it is taking an action that generates Conflict, but a player could easily metagame things to earn one Conflict from a minor usage of the Force and then just avoid potential Conflict-earning actions the rest of the session, and thus largely ensure a Morality boost, but that's a decision for the GM to make based upon the nature of the player.

The second change that helps alleviate concerns of dramatic Morality increases while better enabling those who want to go dark side the chance to do so is that instead of rolling for Morality at the end of each session, you instead roll at the end of the adventure (or major story arc/act for longer adventures).  This way, those players that want to head for Light Side Paragon will need to be mindful of how much Conflict they earn over the course of each session, while those who want to go dark side aren't as likely to have all their Conflict gains wiped out in a single roll.

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12 hours ago, Grievous999 said:

Thank you for your answers. What does not satisfy me of the morality system is the D10 roll at the end of the session. So it's too easy for a player to stay on the light side path and also create flat characters without an interesting inner conflict. Being careful, a character like that can use dark side points without ever risking falling into obscurity, or he can ignore someone's request for help. I generally appreciate conflict points, but not doing the wrong thing does not necessarily mean doing the right thing as this mechanic would.
On the other hand, however, I would not even use good points, like medals, to represent the rise of the Light...
For example, in my party, there is this player, who is not exactly a great performer, he is a jedi (Force Rank 4) to whom the Empire has killed his brother, and his emotional strength and weakness are: Empathy and Revenge. He is part of a rebel cell and uses only a few dark side points per session, and almost never gets conflict points due to his actions. His morality is 100, yet he never shines for courageous deeds and generous gestures to the rescue of his neighbor.

The ways in which I've got the Morality mechanic to work, as written, is employing it over the following ways:

1. Present the Darkside as "the easy way" through any given campaign arc. Look for opportunities in your campaign as play goes along, for where performing a Conflict-worthy action (lie, coercion, stealing, initiating combat, ignoring evil, destroying property, and yes, murder) could present a "shortcut" to your player (s).

2. Use the Fear mechanic. Fear is one of the biggest themes of how people supposedly fall to the Darkside, yet my own campaigns are virtually the only places I've ever seen anyone use it. First time they take a nasty Crit? Fear. First time they see an ally go unconcious? Fear. First time they kill, possibly (depending on campaign premise and character concept)? Fear. First time they gave a Sil 2 (and then 3, then 4) enemy? Fear. First time their ship is disabled? Fear. So on. And spend the narrative symbols to cause Conflict.

3. Allow the Force to achieve great things. The results of using the Force have to be better than an analogous skill, otherwise why would they "risk" (even though any given single incurrence of Conflict is hardly a risk) Conflict? So you have to let the Force let them be awesome. Give them a reason to seek out that power.

4. Get buy-in. Tell your players you want Morality to be a big theme of your game (of you so want that), and ask them to engage the mechanic mindfully. Ask them for help on implementing it. Let them know you're not gonna use it to "make them" turn to the Darkside, but rather that it's just a tool for them to tell their PC's story. That they will be in control of where there PCs go Morality-wise. Do as the system describes, and warn them before they incur Conflict. And have/let them identify places where Conflict can arise if they want. Furthermore, ask them to be intellectually honest when they RP, and ask them to tell you when their PC is angry or afraid, and tell them that they can make checks (Discipline? Cool?) to avoid Conflict in those cases. Ask them when you think their PC is afraid or angry. So on... 

This mechanic isn't supposed to be a trap. It's not supposed to be the GM tricking the Players into being a Sith. It's not designed to be an adversarial meta-mechanic. It's just like Obligation and Duty, a mechanic that brings the PCs story to the forefront occaisionally to complicate their PCs lives and make the game more interesting.

I've been using the "vanilla" Morality mechanic for years now with great success, using these simple guiding practices.

D10 roll and all.

At elevated XP ranges, I really usually can stop using these practices because by then the Force Users tend to have upgraded Powers to such a point that they need to use a Dark Pip or two on any given Force Power check to get the result they want. YMMV of course.

Good luck.

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15 hours ago, Grievous999 said:

Thank you for your answers. What does not satisfy me of the morality system is the D10 roll at the end of the session. So it's too easy for a player to stay on the light side path and also create flat characters without an interesting inner conflict. Being careful, a character like that can use dark side points without ever risking falling into obscurity, or he can ignore someone's request for help. I generally appreciate conflict points, but not doing the wrong thing does not necessarily mean doing the right thing as this mechanic would.
On the other hand, however, I would not even use good points, like medals, to represent the rise of the Light...
For example, in my party, there is this player, who is not exactly a great performer, he is a jedi (Force Rank 4) to whom the Empire has killed his brother, and his emotional strength and weakness are: Empathy and Revenge. He is part of a rebel cell and uses only a few dark side points per session, and almost never gets conflict points due to his actions. His morality is 100, yet he never shines for courageous deeds and generous gestures to the rescue of his neighbor.

@Donovan Morningfire and @emsquared nailed it. With the D10 roll, if they have any Conflict, there is always the chance that their Morality score will go down. 

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On 3/2/2019 at 3:19 PM, Grievous999 said:

- Do you know any alternative rules on morality other than official ones?

Well there's always the rules from EotE and AoR. Keep the Destiny Point and Strain cost of using the other side of the Force, throw out the Morality and Conflict entirely. It works really well.

 

I prefer to just tell the players that a significantly important and dramatic selfish action will make them go dark and only a significantly important and dramatic selfless action would bring them back into the light.

When it came time for that the first time in the campaign I am currently running, it was a player choice: Accept Sith training and more power at the cost of going to the Dark Side or reject it and become a Paragon of Light. The party is half and half but through story reasons and their own desire not to betray one another, they have found reason to work together as a group.

At least one player has had the chance to go back to the Light since but had decided against it at that time.

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On 3/2/2019 at 2:19 PM, Grievous999 said:

Hello there, I wanted to ask you a couple of questions:
- How do you handle morality when there is only one force-user in the party? For example, how do you perform the morality check? Are there any official rules about it?
- Do you know any alternative rules on morality other than official ones?

Thank you

The same way they handled Morality in the Original Trilogy, since Luke was technically the only PC in that party who was Force Sensitive.   For his PC, questions about why he takes certain actions, have more significance than anyone else in the party.   

The rest of the team was mostly on the same morality axis as him anyway, so it didn't make for a lot of internal conflict with the group.  But it was important for his PC when he want off on his own little story arc with Daddy Vader and the Palps (...ok I'm coining that for a name for a ska/swing-band).   

As to the check, it should come up when the player does things that would reflect on the Morality of the PC.   This just means they accumulate some Conflict about whatever it was they did.   At the end of the session, they roll a d10 to see if they lose/gain Morality.   

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