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Posted (edited)
On 3/22/2019 at 12:00 PM, Jedi Ronin said:

It's harder for a GM to engage the emotions (Strength/Weakness) because those are all internal to the PC and the GM shouldn't get heavy handed and dictate what a PC is feeling or thinking (I'm not suggesting you were recommending this).

I don't think it's heavy handed for a GM to indicate that a particular outside stimulus is engendering a certain emotional reaction.   That's what outside things do.  Besides, the fact is that most players are unwilling to let their PC's act natural when it comes to emotions, specifically negative ones, especially if that emotional reaction might have detrimental consequences for them.   

But the reality of being an organic being that has emotions, is that they are not 100% under our control, if hardly ever.  Self-control is mostly learning how to notice the emotions when they arise (of their own volition based on outside stimulus), and TRY and control them, to prevent them from influencing our actions.  But as anyone who has been alive for any length of time knows, that doesn't always work.   We've all seen, and had it happen to us.  Some situation happens, and our body reacts.  We feel hot with embarrassment, rage, shame, fear, etc.  Sometimes we keep our cool, sometimes we don't.  The GM is the person telling the player what emotion is effecting the PC, the PLAYER is the one who then determines the reaction to that outside stimulus.   And since the game runs on dice, to allow for variable results, that's when some kind of Discipline/Cool/Etc check should come into play.  If the player wants to resist it, and not just embrace the emotion (perfectly valid for a Dark Sider), then they would roll the dice.  If they succeed, then the PC acts in accordance to how the Player wants them to react.  If they fail, they didn't keep their cool, and end up having a negative reaction.  Which is something that happens to all of us.  Again, this is only an issue with players who aren't willing to simply embrace the light/dark nature of roleplaying, which is a large number of them in my experience.  They seem to forget that what makes the most cherished characters in history compelling are how they don't always win.  How they have flaws, and problems, and weaknesses, that enemies exploit to push the hero down paths they wouldn't normally have chosen.  The struggle is where the drama, and enjoyment in the storytelling lives.  

So to be mad at the GM for "telling me how I feel" is kind of a really lame excuse, one used by people who can't get past their own ego about what they want the PC to be, and see how the PC can change and develop as events effect them.  You know, like LIFE.  And how it will be even more satisfying to have them have to struggle to either climb back up from the pit they put themselves in, or the struggle to maintain their morality, when so many things seek to push them away from it.

I mean, let's use a scene from Civil War, the movie.  Major spoiler for that one person who hasn't seen the film but...

 

Tony is mostly on the side of the Winter Soldier up until the point where he sees the footage of him killing Tony's parents.   He is sympathetic to the fact that he's clearly being setup, and the fact that he was subjected to brainwashing to turn him into an assassin.  But none of that matters once the footage shows him his parents being killed.  He gets enraged, and seriously attempts to murder Bucky, and Captain America too.  Even when Steven says "This won't bring them back." he says he doesn't care.  None of that matters, because that guy killed his mom.  And he's going to murder him.

Now it's easy to say in that scene that the GM could respond with "this has enraged your PC."  with "nuh uh! You don't get to tell me how my PC feels!"  Instead of embracing the fact that it could lead to an awesome conflict between friends, the culmination of an entire campaign's tension and drama, and make for a gaming session that the friends talk about for years to come as one of those awesome sessions.

There is an episode of GM of the Rings that I think perfectly illustrates this.  The PC's are going into the Mines of Moria, and the GM tells them that they feel an overwhelming cold dread come over them as they enter the dark and dead caverns (you know, like what would happen to just about anyone who really does something like that.)   And one of the players says "no i don't."  the GM replies "What?"  "I don't feel afraid.   I've faced down Cthulhu's spawn and stared into the gaping maw of madness that is the eldritch horrors of the Old Ones!  This is nothing!  Let's go!"   In my experience, players have a hard time separating their own personal lack of fear (or any emotion really) of a situation, from the fact that they are sitting at a table, safe and comfortable, with friends, eating chips and drinking soda.  So since THEY don't feel fear, then they don't see why their PC should feel fear.   Basically, a lot of players try and meta their PC's emotions, based on their own emotional state.   

Eh, I'm going off too long on this.

TLDR:  Emotions aren't always under our control, that's just reality for anyone.  So it's perfectly reasonable for a GM to declare a PC is feeling a certain type of emotion, based on outside stimulus.  It's the player's right to then try and determine how the PC reacts to said stimulus.

Edited by KungFuFerret

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, KungFuFerret said:

I don't think it's heavy handed for a GM to indicate that a particular outside stimulus is engendering a certain emotional reaction.   That's what outside things do.  Besides, the fact is that most players are unwilling to let their PC's act natural when it comes to emotions, specifically negative ones, especially if that emotional reaction might have detrimental consequences for them.   

But the reality of being an organic being that has emotions, is that they are not 100% under our control, if hardly ever.  Self-control is mostly learning how to notice the emotions when they arise (of their own volition based on outside stimulus), and TRY and control them, to prevent them from influencing our actions.  But as anyone who has been alive for any length of time knows, that doesn't always work.   We've all seen, and had it happen to us.  Some situation happens, and our body reacts.  We feel hot with embarrassment, rage, shame, fear, etc.  Sometimes we keep our cool, sometimes we don't.  The GM is the person telling the player what emotion is effecting the PC, the PLAYER is the one who then determines the reaction to that outside stimulus.   And since the game runs on dice, to allow for variable results, that's when some kind of Discipline/Cool/Etc check should come into play.  If the player wants to resist it, and not just embrace the emotion (perfectly valid for a Dark Sider), then they would roll the dice.  If they succeed, then the PC acts in accordance to how the Player wants them to react.  If they fail, they didn't keep their cool, and end up having a negative reaction.  Which is something that happens to all of us.  Again, this is only an issue with players who aren't willing to simply embrace the light/dark nature of roleplaying, which is a large number of them in my experience.  They seem to forget that what makes the most cherished characters in history compelling are how they don't always win.  How they have flaws, and problems, and weaknesses, that enemies exploit to push the hero down paths they wouldn't normally have chosen.  The struggle is where the drama, and enjoyment in the storytelling lives.  

So to be mad at the GM for "telling me how I feel" is kind of a really lame excuse, one used by people who can't get past their own ego about what they want the PC to be, and see how the PC can change and develop as events effect them.  You know, like LIFE.  And how it will be even more satisfying to have them have to struggle to either climb back up from the pit they put themselves in, or the struggle to maintain their morality, when so many things seek to push them away from it.

I mean, let's use a scene from Civil War, the movie.  Major spoiler for that one person who hasn't seen the film but...

  Hide contents

Tony is mostly on the side of the Winter Soldier up until the point where he sees the footage of him killing Tony's parents.   He is sympathetic to the fact that he's clearly being setup, and the fact that he was subjected to brainwashing to turn him into an assassin.  But none of that matters once the footage shows him his parents being killed.  He gets enraged, and seriously attempts to murder Bucky, and Captain America too.  Even when Steven says "This won't bring them back." he says he doesn't care.  None of that matters, because that guy killed his mom.  And he's going to murder him.

Now it's easy to say in that scene that the GM could respond with "this has enraged your PC."  with "nuh uh! You don't get to tell me how my PC feels!"  Instead of embracing the fact that it could lead to an awesome conflict between friends, the culmination of an entire campaign's tension and drama, and make for a gaming session that the friends talk about for years to come as one of those awesome sessions.

There is an episode of GM of the Rings that I think perfectly illustrates this.  The PC's are going into the Mines of Moria, and the GM tells them that they feel an overwhelming cold dread come over them as they enter the dark and dead caverns (you know, like what would happen to just about anyone who really does something like that.)   And one of the players says "no i don't."  the GM replies "What?"  "I don't feel afraid.   I've faced down Cthulhu's spawn and stared into the gaping maw of madness that is the eldritch horrors of the Old Ones!  This is nothing!  Let's go!"   In my experience, players have a hard time separating their own personal lack of fear (or any emotion really) of a situation, from the fact that they are sitting at a table, safe and comfortable, with friends, eating chips and drinking soda.  So since THEY don't feel fear, then they don't see why their PC should feel fear.   Basically, a lot of players try and meta their PC's emotions, based on their own emotional state.   

Eh, I'm going off too long on this.

TLDR:  Emotions aren't always under our control, that's just reality for anyone.  So it's perfectly reasonable for a GM to declare a PC is feeling a certain type of emotion, based on outside stimulus.  It's the player's right to then try and determine how the PC reacts to said stimulus.

Yes, real humans aren't in strict control of their emotions but players are in strict control of their characters.  Yes, it's good role-playing for players to play that out. 

No, it's not the GM's role to insist on it (and the GM can't do anything about it really if the player disagrees). 

Yes, a generic GM statement to the party of feeling "overwhelming dread" is barely crossing the line of the GM dictating to the player something about the internal state of their character, but it clearly indicates it's some sort of external thing (Moria), with a Star Wars equivalent with the Fear mechanics that's effecting everyone.

I'd say it's better GMing style to set a mood by describe the setting with "overwhelming dread" language and let the players decide what if anything to do with it.

Most (all?) Emotional Strength/Weaknesses aren't this.  They are a very specific emotional reaction to a specific event typically only targeting that one character in this way.  It still doesn't really solve the problem.  If the player disagrees with the GM about what the character is feeling and to/about what is eliciting the feeling they just wont role-play it out.  "Ok, I guess.  And?".  In fact if they don't engage it by going along with the GM prompt they're more likely to get double Morality gains if their Morality was triggered.  The Morality section in the player and GM section repeatedly says it's something the GM and player do together in agreement.  Maybe the GM and player had a pre-campaign discussion about Morality and they agreed that the GM would prompt this way and the player agreed to respond to it to make the game more immersive.  But that's also not the situation I was responding to.  If you want to presuppose in depth discussion and agreement between GM and players to make Morality work then Morality will work better (assuming everyone is on board).

Not to mention all the Emotional Strengths/Weaknesses that aren't basic emotions like anger and fear, such as Disarray, Dogmatic, Vanity, Guardedness, etc.

TLDR: Ok, a GM can get away with some of that if they're careful but it's still up to the player to respond and run with it and without a Game 0 discussion about how this works at the table it isn't a very good GM tool (it's still mostly a PC tool).

EDIT: Going back to my original statement, I think I'm basically correct, but you do make a good point that the GM has some (a little) leeway in prompting PCs with their emotions.  Sounds like I'm more leery than you are with this, but I think my essential point stands.  The GM cannot do the work of engaging the Morality S/W of the character - that's primarily a players responsibility.  The GM can set up the circumstances and even prompt with emotional cues.  But for many Moralities even if the GM wanted to prompt the player with "your character is feeling X" it would still be very difficult.  I've mentioned some of the Weaknesses above this is true for, it's even more true for many of the Strengths ("You're overcome with a sense of Justice!").  If the players don't take Morality on as THEIR mechanic it's not going to really function, much less shine.

Edited by Jedi Ronin

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3 minutes ago, Jedi Ronin said:

I'd say it's better GMing style to set a mood by describe the setting with "overwhelming dread" language and let the players decide what if anything to do with it.

They try that all the time, and very often the players just look at them and go "ok...so what?"  Overwhelming dread isn't something you just shrug off if the player decides they don't want anything to do with it.  That's inconsequential dread, which just doesn't really exist.

 

5 minutes ago, Jedi Ronin said:

Most (all?) Emotional Strength/Weaknesses aren't this.  They are a very specific emotional reaction to a specific event typically only targeting that one character in this way.  It still doesn't really solve the problem.  If the player disagrees with the GM about what the character is feeling and to/about what is eliciting the feeling they just wont role-play it out.  "Ok, I guess.  And?"

Then why did the player choose those Emotional Strengths/Weaknesses if they weren't going to play to them when situations dictate it?   That's utter idiocy on the part of the player.   But again though, feelings aren't actions.  The player can still decide how they respond to the feelings, either to ignore them (you know, due to things like Discipline and Training), or to let them influence their actions.   The choice is still the players.

8 minutes ago, Jedi Ronin said:

 In fact if they don't engage it by going along with the GM prompt they're more likely to get double Morality gains if their Morality was triggered.  The Morality section in the player and GM section repeatedly says it's something the GM and player do together in agreement.  Maybe the GM and player had a pre-campaign discussion about Morality and they agreed that the GM would prompt this way and the player agreed to respond to it to make the game more immersive.  But that's also not the situation I was responding to.  If you want to presuppose in depth discussion and agreement between GM and players to make Morality work then Morality will work better (assuming everyone is on board).).

Why wouldn't there be a conversation about a fundamental game mechanic between the GM and the players?  This is a criticism I see come up a lot about the Morality system that just baffles me.  It basically boils down to "yeah but to use it, it requires me and the GM to like, talk about stuff and feelings!"   ...yeah?  And?  I fail to see how this is a flaw in the mechanic.  It's more a flaw in the players being unwilling to just sit down and discuss how a more ethereal and nebulous aspect of the game should be handled.  

10 minutes ago, Jedi Ronin said:

Not to mention all the Emotional Strengths/Weaknesses that aren't basic emotions like anger and fear, such as Disarray, Dogmatic, Vanity, Guardedness, etc.

 

No they aren't just basic emotions, they are more complex than that, just like how humans react is more complex.  I still don't see the issue, the examples are pretty self-explanatory, and again, are picked by the player.  If they are having trouble figuring out to play a Headstrong character who is Vain but Valorous, (which, I mean how is that hard?  There are like a bajillion examples of the various archetypes given in pop culture. That's why they are archetypes), then they should maybe just talk to the GM and ask for some advice.   "Play him like Tony Stark.  He's noble and virtuous, but also Vain and Egocentric."  And then all you have to do, is think to the times that Tony Stark made bad choices due to his ego (something Black Widow even specifically calls out at one point), to know how to roleplay it.   Or maybe if they don't like that pairing, pick another set.  Or mix them up.   I personally operate on the idea that you can mix/match any 2 from the chart.  They don't HAVE to be tied to the ones listed in the book.  They usually make more narrative sense, sure, but it's hardly always the case in storytelling.

The table doesn't exist in a vacuum.  It's incredibly easy to come up with guidepoints on how to act out the various traits, the player just needs to talk with the other people for advice.  And I know this works because I've done this very thing with one of my friends, who always has trouble expressing emotions.  We sat down and just brainstormed basic emotional triggers and concepts for his PC, and how they would likely respond based on that.  It took like 15 minutes (time we spent waiting for my other player to finish cooking his pre-game dinner), and boom, problem solved.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Jedi Ronin said:

TLDR: Ok, a GM can get away with some of that if they're careful but it's still up to the player to respond and run with it and without a Game 0 discussion about how this works at the table it isn't a very good GM tool (it's still mostly a PC tool).

I disagree, I think it's a great GM tool, as it informs them to the likely ways a PC will react, based on which traits the player picks.  It's a dual purpose tool, GM and player.  But it's an ongoing tool that encourages communication. 

 

Sorry about double quote post, hit send on the previous one too early by accident.

Edited by KungFuFerret

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EDIT: Going back to my original statement, I think I'm basically correct, but you do make a good point that the GM has some (a little) leeway in prompting PCs with their emotions.  Sounds like I'm more leery than you are with this, but I think my essential point stands.  The GM cannot do the work of engaging the Morality S/W of the character - that's primarily a players responsibility.  The GM can set up the circumstances and even prompt with emotional cues.  But for many Moralities even if the GM wanted to prompt the player with "your character is feeling X" it would still be very difficult.  I've mentioned some of the Weaknesses above this is true for, it's even more true for many of the Strengths ("You're overcome with a sense of Justice!").  If the players don't take Morality on as THEIR mechanic it's not going to really function, much less shine. (reposting from above)

Idiocy?  Yeah, sometimes players just put things down that are part of the character creation process but aren't too excited about it at the table.  Same could be said for Motivations.  Or they could disagree with the GM about how their character would emotionally react to a situation.

Yeah, some Moralities are complex just like in real life, so how do you prompt them?  "You're feeling awefully, dogmatic right now."  Joking aside, the more complex the emotion the more difficult it is for the GM to prompt them.  I still think the mechanics is primarily a player tool and is a minor tool for the GM assuming the player prioritizes it and chooses to really engage it.

The F&D core doesn't tell the GM that Morality really does require pre-campaign discussion to iron out how it's going to work and to what degree and how or if players want to engage it.   Maybe I'm a lousy GM because I didn't do that.  However, neither Duty nor Obligation require this kind of player sit down to make it work.

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Slightly off topic. Paladins haven't been restricted to lawful/good for a few editions now. In fact there's even an Oath that's very far removed from "good" alignment, Paladin of Conquest. Sorry for the interruption resume bickering. 

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To add a bit more...

With Obligation, typically that involves things external to the character.  Debt, favors, family connections, bountys, secrets etc.  Sometimes it's an oath or something internal like that.  These are really easy for the GM to engage and it's their responsibility to do so.  Debt gets called, favors called in, family asks for help, bounty hunters kick down the door, secret is discovered, etc.  Even Oath is easier to engage by setting up circumstances that directly address it.  And even then this aspect of Obligation is just a prompt for PC-centric story being called on and used.  There's no mechanics around it in the same way with Morality (where you presumably want to rocket up or down in Morality).

Same for Duty except more so.  Presumably Duty is closely tied to PC expertise, so putting in more of their chosen Duty missions is easy.  Duty does have a mechanic built around actually engaging it like Morality but it's straightforward.  And it's on a more reasonable scale of character growth and amounts to a real achievement.  You're not going to rocket to Contribution Rank 10 in 6 sessions.

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I will be honest I use obligations for all PCs thou I still have force users have morality just less rolls (to slow down the creep to light side) and I am a bit heavy handed with the conflict ie 5 points for tossing a yard keeper into a lake

 

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The proposed mechanics have been discussed pretty thoroughly, so I don't have anything to add there. Instead, since I see the Grey Jedi gundark has risen its ugly ears once more, I wanted to post this video. It's long, and a little unnecessarily esoteric at times, but it is in my estimation the absolute definitive discussion on the Grey Jedi concept. Folks are free to play the game however they want, of course, but FFG was quite correct to build the Morality system the way they did with "neutral" characters defaulting to Light Pips, and the video explains why it doesn't make sense to have a "Grey" zone in the middle of the Morality scale.

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If you think, like did FFG, that the Jedi view of the Force is the absolute truth and all other view are absolutely wrong, then you're right; There's no room for a neutral ground between absolute light and absolute darkness. If you think that the Jedi's view of the Force is only an opinion no more right or wrong than the Sith's one or Kreïa's followers's one, then you're wrong.

Then when I put together what the three trilogies, even if the 3rd isn't yet completed, I'm inclined to think that the Jedi were wrong about the Force and that the main reason of their failure and Luke following the way of the Jedi was also the main reason of his failure to restore the Jedi. So in my not humble opinion there's a lot of room for characters with a morality that isn't dealing in absolute light or darkness but in (a lot more than 50) shades of greyness. Calling them grey Jedi or whatever else doesn't matter. For this king of characters the morality system in F&D doesn't work very well.

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3 hours ago, WolfRider said:

For this king of characters the morality system in F&D doesn't work very well.

I'm not sure I agree. I don't think it's a bug as much as an intended feature that the juicy bonuses are on the extreme ends. The middle already has the bonus of not requiring extreme commitment to a code of behaviour.

You don't have to eschew all wordly attachments and connections, nor will you turn into a homocidal emo rage monster, killing any one close to in order to excise weakness.

Even without any bonuses, I say that's a pretty good deal.

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3 hours ago, WolfRider said:

If you think, like did FFG, that the Jedi view of the Force is the absolute truth and all other view are absolutely wrong, then you're right; There's no room for a neutral ground between absolute light and absolute darkness. If you think that the Jedi's view of the Force is only an opinion no more right or wrong than the Sith's one or Kreïa's followers's one, then you're wrong.

Then when I put together what the three trilogies, even if the 3rd isn't yet completed, I'm inclined to think that the Jedi were wrong about the Force and that the main reason of their failure and Luke following the way of the Jedi was also the main reason of his failure to restore the Jedi. So in my not humble opinion there's a lot of room for characters with a morality that isn't dealing in absolute light or darkness but in (a lot more than 50) shades of greyness. Calling them grey Jedi or whatever else doesn't matter. For this king of characters the morality system in F&D doesn't work very well.

You have to separate the observed facts from the religious dogma that grew up around those facts. I will be the first to admit the Jedi of the prequel era were deeply, irrevocably flawed, and agree wholeheartedly that part of Anakin's destiny to "bring balance to the Force" was to wipe the slate clean of their narrow, dogmatic teachings. Their view of the Force, however, is not wrong just what they decided that view means.

It is fact in the Star Wars universe that the Force has a Dark Side, and this Dark Side is corruptive, seductive, and lures you into ultimate evil even if you initially use it for the best of intentions (this has been well-established both in-universe and by statements from the creators). Consider: the Force has always been presented as something of an enlightenment superpower, as you gain knowledge and wisdom in the Force you gain power. And the ultimate knowledge is knowledge of oneself. Thus, to achieve ultimate power in the Dark Side, one must, at some point, look in the mirror, realize that by every civilized metric one is completely evil, and be okay with that.

The Jedi, recognizing the corruptive nature of the Dark Side and the passions that lead to it, established the quite logical and completely wrong practice of forbidding all emotional attachments, removing a potential source if corruptive influence. Then comes Anakin, and they're totally unprepared to help this boy deal with his emotions, instead just telling him to cast them aside and ignore them, which he doesn't know how to do and probably couldn't if he did. Then comes Luke, who turns those passions and attachments into a strength, redeeming Anakin through his love. The old Jedi considered all emotions as potential paths to the Dark Side, and instead of teaching essentially emotional intelligence, they just tried to teach how to ignore emotions. I highly doubt Anakin was the first failure of this doctrine, just the last and most dramatic.

Basically, while the Jedi view of the Force is not wrong, many of the conclusions they came to about that view were. Just like real life. . . many observable facts have lead to many wrongheaded conclusions, ranging from highly amusing to utterly horrific.

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24 minutes ago, ErikModi said:

You have to separate the observed facts from the religious dogma that grew up around those facts. I will be the first to admit the Jedi of the prequel era were deeply, irrevocably flawed, and agree wholeheartedly that part of Anakin's destiny to "bring balance to the Force" was to wipe the slate clean of their narrow, dogmatic teachings. Their view of the Force, however, is not wrong just what they decided that view means.

I thought the official line on "bring balance to the Force" was that it had nothing to do with the Jedi, the Sith, or even most of the galaxy. Despite the misunderstanding of the Jedi, the role of the Chosen One was to intervene on Mortis and, IIRC, take the place of the Father. Anakin never fulfilled this destiny.

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2 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

I thought the official line on "bring balance to the Force" was that it had nothing to do with the Jedi, the Sith, or even most of the galaxy. Despite the misunderstanding of the Jedi, the role of the Chosen One was to intervene on Mortis and, IIRC, take the place of the Father. Anakin never fulfilled this destiny.

That's an interpretation, but I doubt it's the official one (since the Mortis arc wasn't even conceived until well after Revenge of the Sith, and thus after the saga was complete, as far as Lucas was concerned). Near as I can tell, the "official" position is that Anakin was to destroy the Sith, which he did by killing Palpating and suffering fatal injuries in the process. Fans frequently add in that all but eliminating the Jedi, erasing their narrowminded rules and strictures, was also something the Force had in mind. The dumbest interpretation (from my perspective) is that Anakin was to kill all but two Jedi and join the Sith, "balancing" their numbers ("balance" only in the crudest sense of the word). The Mortis arc was far more metaphorical in than literal in any event.

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2 hours ago, ErikModi said:

You have to separate the observed facts from the religious dogma that grew up around those facts. I will be the first to admit the Jedi of the prequel era were deeply, irrevocably flawed, and agree wholeheartedly that part of Anakin's destiny to "bring balance to the Force" was to wipe the slate clean of their narrow, dogmatic teachings. Their view of the Force, however, is not wrong just what they decided that view means.

It is fact in the Star Wars universe that the Force has a Dark Side, and this Dark Side is corruptive, seductive, and lures you into ultimate evil even if you initially use it for the best of intentions (this has been well-established both in-universe and by statements from the creators). Consider: the Force has always been presented as something of an enlightenment superpower, as you gain knowledge and wisdom in the Force you gain power. And the ultimate knowledge is knowledge of oneself. Thus, to achieve ultimate power in the Dark Side, one must, at some point, look in the mirror, realize that by every civilized metric one is completely evil, and be okay with that.

The Jedi, recognizing the corruptive nature of the Dark Side and the passions that lead to it, established the quite logical and completely wrong practice of forbidding all emotional attachments, removing a potential source if corruptive influence. Then comes Anakin, and they're totally unprepared to help this boy deal with his emotions, instead just telling him to cast them aside and ignore them, which he doesn't know how to do and probably couldn't if he did. Then comes Luke, who turns those passions and attachments into a strength, redeeming Anakin through his love. The old Jedi considered all emotions as potential paths to the Dark Side, and instead of teaching essentially emotional intelligence, they just tried to teach how to ignore emotions. I highly doubt Anakin was the first failure of this doctrine, just the last and most dramatic.

Basically, while the Jedi view of the Force is not wrong, many of the conclusions they came to about that view were. Just like real life. . . many observable facts have lead to many wrongheaded conclusions, ranging from highly amusing to utterly horrific.

 

I must be one of the few fans who doesn't view the prequel era Jedi as some lost cause of spiritual and/or political corruption.  I'm not sure what definition of dogma you're using, it's one I've seen commonly used though, but dogma actually means received wisdom and not unyielding opinion.  That received wisdom might be wrong or have flaws (or the rules build up around that received wisdom like the Jedi Code may have flaws or tradeoffs) but I'm not sure that really applies to Anakin's situation.  According to the Jedi Code - and Yoda - Anakin should not have been trained for the very reasons Yoda feared.  Maybe the Jedi should have developed ways to handle emotional intelligence, as you say, but this "truth" of the Jedi Code is the very point Lucas was trying to make and has stated about Anakin and the prequels - he was creating a moral play about attachments (in part), so he baked it into the story and the setting.  Also, there's remarkable similarity based on this of Shmi's advice to young Anakin leaving his home and mother ("You can't stop the change any more than you can stop the suns from setting...Now, be brave and don't look back, don't look back.") and Yoda's advice to Knight Anakin ("Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.") which when ignored, leads him to destroy that which he was attached to (Padme and their marriage).  Yoda (and the Jedi) is not more emotionally intelligent than his own mother.  Lucas was intentionally making a point about out-ward focused (selfless) desires and inward focused (selfish) attachments.

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7 minutes ago, ErikModi said:

That's an interpretation, but I doubt it's the official one (since the Mortis arc wasn't even conceived until well after Revenge of the Sith, and thus after the saga was complete, as far as Lucas was concerned). Near as I can tell, the "official" position is that Anakin was to destroy the Sith, which he did by killing Palpating and suffering fatal injuries in the process. Fans frequently add in that all but eliminating the Jedi, erasing their narrowminded rules and strictures, was also something the Force had in mind. The dumbest interpretation (from my perspective) is that Anakin was to kill all but two Jedi and join the Sith, "balancing" their numbers ("balance" only in the crudest sense of the word). The Mortis arc was far more metaphorical in than literal in any event.

I've found the Mortis arc interesting if also somewhat confusing and I'm not sure what point it was really trying to make is (other than foreshadowing), but Lucas was involved with it as Clone Wars was something he actively and directly oversaw at every step of the way.  He goes back and re-edits things he created in the late 70's so I'm not sure that "saga was complete" really applies to him =)

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8 hours ago, WolfRider said:

If you think, like did FFG, that the Jedi view of the Force is the absolute truth and all other view are absolutely wrong, then you're right; There's no room for a neutral ground between absolute light and absolute darkness. If you think that the Jedi's view of the Force is only an opinion no more right or wrong than the Sith's one or Kreïa's followers's one, then you're wrong.

Just thinking something is one way, doesn't mean it's true.  Just look at Flat Earthers or Moon Hoaxers.   You can very easily have an internal model that seems consistent to you, but doesn't actually match with reality.  

I'm not saying that's the case with you, just pointing out that the wording you used is incredibly shaky justification for saying that "it's ok to dabble with Dark Side".   Canonically, pretty much all of the franchise creators have been pretty clear that it's Very Bad to mess with the Dark Side in any capacity, regardless of the reasons for it.   It's a tainted well, the road to heck is paved with good intentions, making a deal with the devil, pick whatever famous quote you want.    The whole "from a certain point of view" , which honestly boils down to the same kind of logic used to justify "Alternate Facts", and other crap.   

8 hours ago, WolfRider said:

Then when I put together what the three trilogies, even if the 3rd isn't yet completed, I'm inclined to think that the Jedi were wrong about the Force and that the main reason of their failure and Luke following the way of the Jedi was also the main reason of his failure to restore the Jedi. So in my not humble opinion there's a lot of room for characters with a morality that isn't dealing in absolute light or darkness but in (a lot more than 50) shades of greyness. Calling them grey Jedi or whatever else doesn't matter. For this king of characters the morality system in F&D doesn't work very well.

If you're adopting a setting that is in contrast to the system set up by FFG, then yes their system doesn't work very well.    Not really a surprise since it wasn't designed for your viewpoint on how the Force works.    Also, shame on you for referencing 50 Shades, bad wolf, stop that.   

In my experience though, over the decades, most players who want to alter the morality system of any game (White Wolf's stuff was really infamous for this problem), it's because they usually want to play an Edgy Edgelord of Edgeness, so they can run around in all black with a blood red lighsaber and Force Choke people, but still call themselves a "good guy".   Again, not saying you specifically are doing this, but that tends to be the common motivation, when I actually look at the PC's that are made with this altered morality.   It's so they can do things like torture and murder, constantly lash out violently at everyone around them,  slavery (very popular among the Sith remember) and not be mystically/mechanically punished for it in any way.    Sure, it has the POTENTIAL to allow for a wide range of character concepts, but in practice, it's a factory for characters like Reaper from Overwatch.   

 

If you can pull off something more palatable, then I encourage you to go for it, it would be a refreshing change of pace.  :P 

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Perhaps I wasn't clear because english is a foreign language for me. But my point was playing a morally ambiguous character could be very interesting if the player is committed to RP it and not take it as an excuse to use darkside and lightside as they want. But the morality rules aren't designed for this kind of character. I regret it.

My other point was that we, the fans, should not take at face value what Yoda and other jedi said about the Force. But must compare their words with everything we learn about the Force in the 3 troligies and TCW and SWR too. What appears is the Force isn't only lightside with the darkside being a perversion of it. It isn't dual, divided only in a lightside and a darkside. But it is ternary composed of a darkside, a lightside and a balanced side. And the will of the Force, if it really exist, comes form the balanced side not form the lightside, not from the darkside. And perhaps the balanced side is the side that offer the less power with the Force of all three. That's why it isn't popular amongst Force user who prefer to ignore it completely. Still imo, that's the meaning of the Mortis arc and why both Jedi and SIth failed to understand the will of the Force.

Hope I've made myself clearer this time.😉

 

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That is more clear, yes. And one should certainly be able to play a morally ambiguous character, even a Force-Sensitive one. But the Dark Side is inherently corruptive, it pretty much the only constant in all Star Wars media. The only difference is in what one considers to be "the Dark Side."

Take the Bendu from Rebels, who calls himself "the one in the middle" and states the Sith Holocron can't make one evil. All he's really saying in the latter case is that no knowledge is forbidden, only certain practices. Understanding, intellectually, how to channel "OMFG I WANT YOU SO DEAD RIGHT NOW" into creating Force Lightning to make that happen doesn't draw one to the Dark Side. . . but actually doing it will. That, I think, is what he meant by "the one in the middle," he understands the Dark Side and how to use it. . . and thus knows better than the Jedi, who just say "don't do it" why it should be avoided.

The whole concept of the Force having a "neutral" side, neither Light nor Dark, also stems from the very same arguments used in favor of Grey Jedi: if a Dark Side then a Light Side, and those are opposites and therefore extremes, thus there must be middle ground of compromise. That's a logical fallacy, not every extreme position has a rational middle ground. The Empire wants to completely destroy Alderaan to make a statement. Everyone else would rather they not blow up whole planets. The middle ground is. . . only blow up half the planet? Still just as wrong as blowing up all of it.

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2 hours ago, ErikModi said:

That is more clear, yes. And one should certainly be able to play a morally ambiguous character, even a Force-Sensitive one. But the Dark Side is inherently corruptive, it pretty much the only constant in all Star Wars media. The only difference is in what one considers to be "the Dark Side."

Take the Bendu from Rebels, who calls himself "the one in the middle" and states the Sith Holocron can't make one evil. All he's really saying in the latter case is that no knowledge is forbidden, only certain practices. Understanding, intellectually, how to channel "OMFG I WANT YOU SO DEAD RIGHT NOW" into creating Force Lightning to make that happen doesn't draw one to the Dark Side. . . but actually doing it will. That, I think, is what he meant by "the one in the middle," he understands the Dark Side and how to use it. . . and thus knows better than the Jedi, who just say "don't do it" why it should be avoided.

The whole concept of the Force having a "neutral" side, neither Light nor Dark, also stems from the very same arguments used in favor of Grey Jedi: if a Dark Side then a Light Side, and those are opposites and therefore extremes, thus there must be middle ground of compromise. That's a logical fallacy, not every extreme position has a rational middle ground. The Empire wants to completely destroy Alderaan to make a statement. Everyone else would rather they not blow up whole planets. The middle ground is. . . only blow up half the planet? Still just as wrong as blowing up all of it.

Otherwise known as the argument to moderation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_to_moderation

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4 hours ago, WolfRider said:

Perhaps I wasn't clear because english is a foreign language for me. But my point was playing a morally ambiguous character could be very interesting if the player is committed to RP it and not take it as an excuse to use darkside and lightside as they want. But the morality rules aren't designed for this kind of character. I regret it.

No you were perfectly clear, it's just not a new argument for removing a games Morality system.   It's literally been the same basic premise people have used for decades, in ANY game that bothers to include a Morality system of one kind or another.   And again, while sure it's POSSIBLE, for such a removal of limitations to allow the creation of a really interesting character, the actual evidence suggests that very few players actually do that, and they just make a character who is all edgy and brutal when they casually want to be, because there is no ramifications for their actions anymore.     

It frequently boils down to "Well I don't think this action is inherently bad, so I don't think my character should be punished for doing it."  

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5 hours ago, WolfRider said:

My other point was that we, the fans, should not take at face value what Yoda and other jedi said about the Force. But must compare their words with everything we learn about the Force in the 3 troligies and TCW and SWR too. What appears is the Force isn't only lightside with the darkside being a perversion of it. It isn't dual, divided only in a lightside and a darkside. But it is ternary composed of a darkside, a lightside and a balanced side. And the will of the Force, if it really exist, comes form the balanced side not form the lightside, not from the darkside.

I think a lot of the appeal of a "balanced side" is a refusal of the Jedi, at least as the perfectly moral good guys, and that's understandable. I'd argue it's even something of the point of all three trilogies. This does not mean that the light sight (or just plain "the force", in my book) is wrong. It means that the Jedi are wrong.

So I'd argue that there is the force (or light side, if you prefer), the dark side, and then there's where most people, including the Jedi end up, with an imperfect understanding of the force. You might see this as a third side, but I'd say it's just not the complete side of the first.

Of course, being perfectly in tune with this means a complete, detached selflessness and objective altruism. Few people could ever hope to achieve this and perhaps even fewer would want to, considering what you would need to give up. Even the Bendu fails in this; even while nearly severing all attachment, because he fails to act. Of course, he redefines his lack of perfect understanding, or even rejection, of the will of the force as moderation.

Some might argue that you can't be perfectly selfless and at the same time completely unattached, and perhaps that is correct. Therein lies the rub. It's impossible to be a "perfect lightside paragon", and perhaps, that is intentional. It's an ideal to strive for, not a goal to reach.

 

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3 hours ago, penpenpen said:

I think a lot of the appeal of a "balanced side" is a refusal of the Jedi, at least as the perfectly moral good guys, and that's understandable. I'd argue it's even something of the point of all three trilogies. This does not mean that the light sight (or just plain "the force", in my book) is wrong. It means that the Jedi are wrong.

So I'd argue that there is the force (or light side, if you prefer), the dark side, and then there's where most people, including the Jedi end up, with an imperfect understanding of the force. You might see this as a third side, but I'd say it's just not the complete side of the first.

Of course, being perfectly in tune with this means a complete, detached selflessness and objective altruism. Few people could ever hope to achieve this and perhaps even fewer would want to, considering what you would need to give up. Even the Bendu fails in this; even while nearly severing all attachment, because he fails to act. Of course, he redefines his lack of perfect understanding, or even rejection, of the will of the force as moderation.

Some might argue that you can't be perfectly selfless and at the same time completely unattached, and perhaps that is correct. Therein lies the rub. It's impossible to be a "perfect lightside paragon", and perhaps, that is intentional. It's an ideal to strive for, not a goal to reach.

 

This. . . this is truly beautiful. Thank you.

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I've tried to explain why a player might prefer to a Force-user character that is not the archetypal lightside Jedi or the archetypal darkisde villain, that choice being supported by SW canon lore. But you continue to belittle this choice. I won't repeat myself again and again since you're not going to accept another point of you than yours. When I'm a GM at my table, a player can choose to play any kind of character even a grey Jedi or a lightside Jedi or a darkside Jedi. And a player plays his / her character as he / she wish, even a Force-user that think he / she can use darkside Force Pips, Powers or Talents without having a price to pay. Then that player will soon discover this behaviour is an highway to the darkside, the more use of the darkside the faster that destination is reached.

The changes to the Morality system to play grey Jedi are few and simple : no need to flip a destiny points to use darkside pips or lightside pip but  strain cost for each Force pips used darkside or lightside and conflict taken for each darkside pips used and one serenity taken for each lightside pips used. I use the serenity table found on this forum and I modified the Morality roll accordingly. So far it works well and smoothly to prevent characters to slide naturally toward lightside paragon.

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