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Author Topic: Jedi: Leveraging Force & Destiny's Morality System  (Read 2290 times)

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Offline Iaera

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Jedi: Leveraging Force & Destiny's Morality System
« on: 06/25/15, 11:53:16 PM »
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I've posted a lot of ramblings and inane blather all over this forum on the topic of Jedi and RP, and it occurred to me, "Gee Iaera, you sure haven't spammed the forum much lately!" so here I am, remedying that.

On that subject, I've often noted that RPing a Jedi effectively can be difficult. It can be harder to find that 'edge' or 'spark' that makes a robe-wearing mystical laser monk interesting. And because I can't sing the praises of Fantasy Flight Games' new Star Wars RPG line enough, I thought I'd turn to them for some inspiration. One of the things they use in Force & Destiny (their Jedi-focused book) is the Morality system.

Contrary to BioWare's insipid, tedious interpretation of a Jedi's 'alignment,' the F&D Morality system is designed to speak more to your inner roleplayer and draw out just what it is about your Jedi that makes them good, or tempts them toward the Dark Side of the Force. While I won't get into the actual number-crunching and nitty-gritty mechanics of the system - that's for playing F&D itself - the core concept is sufficiently interesting that I thought it might be of value to those who play Jedi in some capacity. It can add that all-important 'edge' to your character, or maybe just add a little flavour to how they interact with the Dark Side.

In the F&D Morality system, a would-be Jedi selects an Emotional Strength and an Emotional Weakness. His or her Strength is an encapsulation of the Jedi's most virtuous traits, and represents how he or she best exemplifies the Jedi way. His or her Weakness, on the other hand, represents that character's potential darker nature, and how that Strength can be twisted and subverted into the insidious descent toward the Dark Side.

For example, Iaera's strength is Discipline - she prides herself on strict, martial focus and careful, controlled action, a paragon of self-control and determined, measured intent. This comes with her Weakness, however: Arrogance. She expects that same discipline and self-control from her fellow Jedi, and has little patience for those who don't measure up in her eyes. If she were ever to be tempted to the Dark Side, it would be through her Arrogance; her contempt for the failings of others turned into something ugly. (and for those of you who've been paying attention, you could perhaps see glimpses of this during her Juyo duel with Ran-del, and her flirtations with the Dark Reaper techniques!)

By defining the mechanism through which a character can turn ugly, you gain a powerful tool in focusing on that character's interactions with the Force and their very morality. It gives you something solid in your hands to play with, rather than the nebulous, indistinct threat of THE SPOOKY DARK SIDE. It highlights aspects of your character's personality that can sneak up on him or her when they're least expecting it, and provide an 'infection vector' for the insidious evils of the Sith - either to play up, or struggle against. Either way, it yields a more robust character!

Here is the F&D sample chart (minus the actual game mechanics, of course! All credit goes to Fantasy Flight Games' excellent system). Many of them are themed to match each other, but they work just as well (or better) when freely mixed and matched. Of course, nothing is stopping you from defining your own Moral dichotomy. You can even have more than one Strength and Weakness, but only do this if you feel it's vital to the character - the point is to hone in on what makes your character tick, and spreading things around too much can dilute the dramatic impact of your choices.

Strength
BraveryThe character's bravery is quite remarkable. Whether facing down a charging rancor or racing into a burning building to save innocents, he is always willing to take risks to help others.
LoveThe character has an open heart. While he may hold a special place in his heart for his companions or a significant other, he tends to genuinely like most individuals he meets. His love for others can make him charming, affable, and exceedingly tolerant.
CautionThe character possesses commendable prudence, willing to always look before he leaps into a new situation. His forward-thinking ways may have saved his fellows from dangerous situations on numerous occasions.
EnthusiasmThe character is always ready to try something new, and he approaches all of his tasks, even mundane ones, with excitement. He's not one to overthink a situation, lest he miss a great new opportunity.
CompassionThe character cares about the tribulations others face and wants to help those he comes across. His compassion may lead to self-sacrifice in order to aid those who need it.
MercyThe character shows mercy toward his foes, dealing with them fairly and honorably. He can spare the defenseless, will help a helplessly enemy, and generally does not abuse a position of strength.
CuriosityThe character is driven to learn new things, to seek out and discover new information, and to expand his knowledge and understanding of those things that interest him.
PridePride can be a powerful emotion and can push a character to impressive feats of personal accomplishment. He strives to be the best and to take pleasure in his skills.
IndependenceThe character believes in relying on himself. He does not count on others to perform tasks for him; instead he ensures that he can handle any situation he encounters. He refuses to be a burden on others.
AmbitionAn ambitious character sets a lofty goal for himself and then strives to accomplish it. The harder the task, the more willing the character is to take it on, and the greater the triumph when he finally succeeds.
JusticeThe character strives for just and deliberate actions in his life and in his interactions with others. He attempts to make the objectively right choice every time, knowing that justice is more likely to guarantee positive outcomes than sympathy or other emotional displays.
DisciplineRigorous mental and physical discipline come naturally to the character. He does not make choices rashly, and every action is precise and selected. Those who think they can goad the character into making foolish choices are sorely mistaken.

Weakness
AngerHot blood can easily lead to hot tempers. The character is quick to anger, and what he cannot deal with face to face can often frustrate him to the point of rage.
JealousyLove, if not given selflessly, can quickly turn to jealousy. The character's personality tends toward envy if his love is not reciprocated, or sometimes he simply envies others' accomplishments or possessions.
FearThe line between caution and fear is a thin one. Sometimes the character spends too much time concered about the potential problems of a situation to act in that situation at all. Other times, his caution causes him to flee when danger presents, when bolder action might reap real rewards.
RecklessnessOf course, sometimes a little thought can go a long way to saving someone from a major mistake, which this character may found out to his sorrow on more than one occasion. Reckless behavior can leave him in dangerous situations or at the mercy of more calculating individuals.
HatredThe galaxy can be a cruel and heartless place, and compassion can quickly turn to hatred for the individuals or situations that cause others to suffer. The character's mind can turn to simmering hatred for someone or something, a hatred that is all too slow to fade.
ApathyThere is a fine line between showing mercy to the foes and letting evil fester because one does not want to engage with it. The character may let bad things happen simply because it is too hard to deal with them.
ObsessionSometimes, interest in something can turn to obsession if not tempered with reason. The character can slip into an obsessive state over discovering information, accomplishing a goal, or even defeating a rival, ignoring all else until success is his.
ArrogancePride, among all emotions, is perhaps the easiest to fall to a darker form. Arrogance mirrors pride, but satisfaction is one's accomplishments is replaced with contempt for others' failings. It is not enough to succeed, the character also expects all others to fail.
ColdnessSelf-reliance can slip into isolation if one is not careful. A cold character doesn't just desire to rely only on himself, but he has nothing but disinterest for anyone else. If they can't help themselves, why should he aid them?
GreedAn ambitious character is only as selfless as his goals. Those who strive for worldly pleasures, whether power, wealth, or personal comforts, can quickly find their ambition turning to simple greed.
CrueltyAll too often, the cruel use justice to excuse their actions. If one stops himself from tempering justice with empathy and understanding, he can inflict great harm on others and feel justified doing it. Eventually he can grow to revel in the suffering of others, even as he deludes himself into thinking he makes the 'just' choice.
ObstinatenessDisciplined characters may fall into the trap of simple stubbornness if they are not careful. An obstinate character often refuses to consider any cource of action other than the one he chooses, unwilling to accept that someone else may have conceived of a better option.
"For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic." - Obi-Wan Kenobi

Fiat justitia ruat clum

Iaera Farworlder - Jedi Master, lightsaber instructor, Jedi Custodum
Sibyl-ko Tanaji - ex-punk, fighter pilot, Argent Squadron
also many alts i never play ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

Offline Aena

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Re: Jedi: Leveraging Force & Destiny's Morality System
« Reply #1 on: 06/26/15, 01:04:38 AM »
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This sounds pretty interesting! Can we choose whatever strengths and weaknesses we want? How many? Does the weakness always have to correspond to the strengths?





Offline Iaera

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Re: Jedi: Leveraging Force & Destiny's Morality System
« Reply #2 on: 06/26/15, 01:14:37 AM »
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This sounds pretty interesting! Can we choose whatever strengths and weaknesses we want? How many? Does the weakness always have to correspond to the strengths?

Choose one of each - whatever you think fits best. You can pick more if you feel it's critically central to your character, but I recommend trying to stick to one of each.
"For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic." - Obi-Wan Kenobi

Fiat justitia ruat clum

Iaera Farworlder - Jedi Master, lightsaber instructor, Jedi Custodum
Sibyl-ko Tanaji - ex-punk, fighter pilot, Argent Squadron
also many alts i never play ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

Offline Zmaj

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Re: Jedi: Leveraging Force & Destiny's Morality System
« Reply #3 on: 06/26/15, 06:56:08 AM »
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This is too perfect! Been getting my feet wet (again?) in jedi RP after a long time, and it's a little difficult. This will really help.
Zmaj: 32, Chiss agent, lover of intrigue wine
Caesiallus: 34, Twi'lek bartender, info-broker
Varinas: 40, Human Darth, archivist, former "diplomat"

Seem: 38, Rattataki Jedi Master, resident grump
Vashya'ati: 34, Togruta Jedi Sage, small-time archaeologist
Ash'tana: 32, Miraluka smuggler, trouble-finder extraordinaire

Offline Cabochard

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Re: Jedi: Leveraging Force & Destiny's Morality System
« Reply #4 on: 06/26/15, 08:44:30 AM »
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Ohhh, I really like this! It looks great! And it's the first time I've been able to look at a thing like that once and immediately figure out which ones my characters fall into.

Offline Karmic

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Re: Jedi: Leveraging Force & Destiny's Morality System
« Reply #5 on: 06/26/15, 08:05:41 PM »
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Oooh, intersesting.. and would definitely be helpful for Sith too. Or any RPer really!  I'm already getting ideas for Karmic... 

Quote
"Gee Iaera, you sure haven't spammed the forum much lately!" so here I am, remedying that.

YOu are so right!!  Glad to see your discussions again!  :aww:

Anyway, on topic...

Do the lists match up together?

Or in other words - does the first strength go with the first weakness?  Or is it you can match up any in any combination?

History Posts:  Her Backstory , Darth-Hood

Offline Wymarc

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Re: Jedi: Leveraging Force & Destiny's Morality System
« Reply #6 on: 06/26/15, 08:37:41 PM »
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Oooh, intersesting.. and would definitely be helpful for Sith too. Or any RPer really!  I'm already getting ideas for Karmic... 

Quote
"Gee Iaera, you sure haven't spammed the forum much lately!" so here I am, remedying that.

YOu are so right!!  Glad to see your discussions again!  :aww:

Anyway, on topic...

Do the lists match up together?

Or in other words - does the first strength go with the first weakness?  Or is it you can match up any in any combination?


Yes. They do match up, but they can be used in any combination.
Jedi Master Telline - The Master of Shadows
Karia Zent - The Rising Hero
Captain Paric Aradenn - The Loyal Captain

Offline Aena

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Re: Jedi: Leveraging Force & Destiny's Morality System
« Reply #7 on: 06/27/15, 02:29:30 AM »
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I've read through the different strengths and weaknesses. On Jen'asha and Aena, most of the strengths fit with varying degrees; Pride and Independence do not really fit at all, and Ambition would only fit depending entirely on the goal. They are both Enthusiastic; but not too much, as they are also cautious. They are also Disciplined, but not to extremes.  And while they truly believe that second chances are great, they are not the most Merciful against those who have committed heinous crimes and would clearly do so again. The only strengths whose descriptions perfectly fit are Bravery, Love and Compassion.

As for weaknesses, they can both be quite Reckless, if the goal is to save innocents or something similar. Aena is not immune to Fear, and Jen'asha can be Arrogant at times. And they can both be a little obsessed depending on the goal.





Re: Jedi: Leveraging Force & Destiny's Morality System
« Reply #8 on: 05/28/17, 01:02:16 AM »
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I apologise for digging up this long dead thread, but i really like this idea as well. I'll have to give Force and Destiny a look.

For my Jedi I just made, I think Compassion is his strength, and recklessness is his weakness. This helped me figure out a bit of his character, so thank you!