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RPR Archive ***** The Not So Black and White of Force Users ****

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource Archive' started by Ktala, May 22, 2008.

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  1. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    The Not So Black And White Of Force Users.


    "Luke, you are going to find that truth depends greatly on your own point of view..." Master Obi Wan Kenobi.

    So begins this article. I have noticed a great trend, and arguments lately in the different Force using groups, as to the different force users, and their points of view.

    To help explain some of this, I have collected many texts, and thoughts on a few of the various groups. Some of it is very cannon. Some is not. But I believe it will help those seeking to finding out more about the many different force users, and perhaps even doing their own investigations.


    Let us start at the beginning.


    Originally formed as a philosophical study group situated on the planet Tython, the dawn world of the Jedi. The Galaxy's best philosophers, priests, scientists, and warriors came together here long ago to discuss their discoveries involving the enigmatic and mystical Ashla.

    The light side of the Force, also commonly known as the Ashla or simply the Force, was the side of the Force aligned with honesty, compassion, mercy, self-sacrifice, and other positive emotions. For the most part, the Jedi simply referred to this as the Force.

    The dark side of the Force, called Bogan by the ancient forerunners of the Jedi, would become the primary tool of the Sith Lords, and was the more destructive side of the Force. Unlike the light side of the Force, dark force users draw power from raw emotions, both negative and positive; the power coming from strength or severity. Where the light side was associated with creation and life, the dark side was associated with death and destruction. A Force-user who followed the dark side was known as a darksider.

    The Jedi had the ability to sense the Living Force inside of life forms. Sick or dying organisms had little Living Force, while healthy ones possessed a certain level, that some said corresponding to their midi-chlorian count. The connection to the Living Force apparently also allowed Jedi Masters to retain their identity when they became one with the Force.

    Proponents of the Living Force view, such as Qui-Gon Jinn, espoused a philosophy of "living in the moment," relied heavily on their instincts and concentrated more on sensitivity to living things, rather than fulfilling destiny, which was one of the main tenets of the Unifying Force philosophy

    Emperor Palpatine (Darth Sidious) claimed that there was only one Force: the only difference worthy of note was that the Sith saw the Force as a means to an end while the Jedi saw it as an end in itself. This view was echoed by what Vergere taught Jacen Solo; she told him that there was no light side or dark side of the Force ? only the Unifying Force. Vergere also told Solo that "the Force was everything, and everything was the Force"; that the Force did not have sides and never took sides. Many Jedi were thought to be proponents of the Unifying Force, wherein they focused on the flow of time as a whole, ignoring primary use of the Living Force. Visions of the future were of particular significance to most Jedi. Yoda was one of the most adamant proponents of the Unifying Force.

    A proactive group left Tython to liberate other worlds.They founded a philosophical school on Ossus, defining the light side and dark side of the Force (equivalent, respectively, to the ancient Ashla and Bogan) as well as the Living Force and Unifying Force.

    So even at its very beginnings, there was separation. What followed next was bound to happen. In the event historians now know as the First Great Schism, dissidents who used the Bogan eventually arose, sparking the Force Wars of Tython. They discovered and used its powers to dominate and enslave the entire galaxy, changing environments as they saw fit. Eventually, around 25,200 BBY, this empire collapsed. It has been claimed that this collapse was a direct result of their use of the dark side. After this, the Jedi came into being, to make sure that such things would never happen again.

    So now we have the
  2. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    I do not think you're helping your case with this one.
  3. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Can someone explain what the heck people are angling for when they use the phrase "balance"? Because I'm getting this weird feeling that no one really has any idea that isn't a completely arbitrary one.

    "One who uses both the Light Side and Dark Side techniques and methods. Their methods consist of whatever will get the job done. They do not seek to restrict themselves. Balance is only a factor in personal relations, making sure they do not fall one way or another. They still help others, but have few restrictions in just how to help." (emphasis mine)

    What does this mean? Don't do too many good deeds, you might start to like it? Kill a few homeless people to make sure your dark powers don't desert you in your moment of need?

    What I've gathered so far is that working on the light side means that you're acting with compassion and concern, promoting life and the well-being of other living beings. Working on the dark side tends to be more about death and destruction. You state that the Dark Side draws on the power of emotion, positive or negative, but since I've never seen a dark sider draw on his overflowing love of humanity to throw a Super Happy Fun Ball that disintegrates the opposition, I think that argument is a bit weak, considering most of the powers associated with the Dark Side can best be described as "use your hate to kill dudes".

    Which brings me to my next point, of wondering what these little fringe organizations are doing when they tap into the "totally not the dark side", because in my experience, it's usually "I kill dudes, but I'm totally justified in doing so." If they're not doing that, then what are they doing that's "totally not the dark side"?
  4. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    GREAT article, Ktala, and it actually helps me a lot, and will most likely help a lot of other people.

    Lightwarden, Balance is generally a term that is misconceived, like what you just did with it. This article, IMO, helps visualize a more logical definition of Balance. Balance is inside the user, and isn't the black and white meaning that you described it with. It generally means, IMO, that you can use aggression, but only to a selfless or honorable cause. Such as, killing a Sith Lord who is "irredeemable", or at least when there is no other option, to save the lives of countless innocent people.
  5. Jauhzmynn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 4
    THe post is quite susinct and clear on the definitions of the various 'veiw point' on fiction. It's all fun and good to use as a referance for roleplaying a charactor in one of these archtypes.
  6. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    And how is that "balance"? Balance of what? I could maybe see the phrases "temperance", "restraint" or "focus" used, but balance implies some sort of equilibrium. If you're using aggression, haven't you already made a mistake somewhere and haven't done as well as you could have? Couldn't you do something like... I don't know... take him alive?
  7. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6

    Actually, it helps quite a bit. Thanks for the link.

    ;)



  8. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    It is balance, as it is basically balancing what is deemed both good and evil into one action, even if it is all good to one person, and all evil to another. And, about the use of aggression, the fact about a mistake being made is all up to opinion. To one person, they made a mistake, and to the other they did the right thing. Also, taking him alive would be the most foolish choice. As Ktala said about the Grey Jedi, they do what is the best option logically, not morally.

    To me, shades of gray are shades of gray because of points of view that say they are one thing, where another point of view says they are completely the opposite. That means, IMO, that balance would be the compromise of those two points of view.
  9. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    It's a fanon article that says he's the distant descendant of Cade Skywalker, born 1180 ABY. I'm not sure if that's really relevant to your article, given that most games take place over a thousand years earlier. Plus the whole "Gray Force" article isn't very good (Hey kids, it's Exar Kun!). Especially since his "Gray Force" article consists of large amounts of powers whose sole purpose is... well... to kill dudes (but without guilt, 'cause there's no negative emotions involved!). Talk about shooting fish in a barrel.

    Just because someone has a contrary opinion, doesn't mean that they deserve anything resembling consideration. You yourself said as much when you stated that you should be killing a Sith Lord because he's going to threaten innocent people. You have just made a value judgment based on some ultimate creed of things that be good and things that be evil.

    And compromise for the sake of compromise is completely foolish.

    "I want to kill you."
    "I'd rather not be killed."
    "Ok, let's compromise and I'll just maim you."

    This should probably sound pretty stupid to you. This is because you are capable of thought and realize that there are some things that are inherently wrong (I could add "to you" here, but for crying out loud, what kind of idiot would say "sure, if their society supports the routine maiming of its citizens, that means we should respect it").

    Values. You have them, you make judgments on them. There's a whole series of clusterfrags that crop up when you try to pit them against each other, but I think all of us here agree that some of them are better than others, and switching it the other way around probably isn't the best idea. Since discussing the value of values requires an established set of values to judge it with, it creates a circular loop that means this aspect of the issue should be tabled for the moment.

    "As Ktala said about the Grey Jedi, they do what is the best option logically, not morally."

    What the? The "best option logically" is another one of those things that presumes some set of values. Basically, it's whatever one solves the problem most efficiently. If you have a moral problem, then there's a logical solution to that moral problem. And you have yet to tell me exactly why it is that killing this Sith Lord of yours is the optimal solution, given the sheer number of light side powers that can be used to take him out of commission without actually ending his life, completely eliminating the need for any of this.
  10. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    Just because someone has a contrary opinion, doesn't mean that they deserve anything resembling consideration. You yourself said as much when you stated that you should be killing a Sith Lord because he's going to threaten innocent people. You have just made a value judgment based on some ultimate creed of things that be good and things that be evil.

    And compromise for the sake of compromise is completely foolish.

    "I want to kill you."
    "I'd rather not be killed."
    "Ok, let's compromise and I'll just maim you."

    This should probably sound pretty stupid to you. This is because you are capable of thought and realize that there are some things that are inherently wrong (I could add "to you" here, but for crying out loud, what kind of idiot would say "sure, if their society supports the routine maiming of its citizens, that means we should respect it").

    Values. You have them, you make judgments on them. There's a whole series of clusterfrags that crop up when you try to pit them against each other, but I think all of us here agree that some of them are better than others, and switching it the other way around probably isn't the best idea. Since discussing the value of values requires an established set of values to judge it with, it creates a circular loop that means this aspect of the issue should be tabled for the moment.


    Not what I meant. I mean in your own conscience, not others.

    What the? The "best option logically" is another one of those things that presumes some set of values. Basically, it's whatever one solves the problem most efficiently. If you have a moral problem, then there's a logical solution to that moral problem. And you have yet to tell me exactly why it is that killing this Sith Lord of yours is the optimal solution, given the sheer number of light side powers that can be used to take him out of commission without actually ending his life, completely eliminating the need for any of this.

    Well, you don't always have access to those lightside powers. Not everyone has a gazillion tricks up their sleeves, especially if they don't specialize in one side. If you specialize in both sides, generally, you are more versatile, but not as strong in general use of one power or technique.
  11. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Earlier: It is balance, as it is basically balancing what is deemed both good and evil into one action.

    Not what I meant. I mean in your own conscience, not others.

    So, wait a minute... you're intentionally doing things you believe to be wrong for the sake of balance? Again, what are you balancing? This still sounds like those pointless "balance for the sake of balance" shticks.

    Well, you don't always have access to those lightside powers. Not everyone has a gazillion tricks up their sleeves, especially if they don't specialize in one side. If you specialize in both sides, generally, you are more versatile, but not as strong in general use of one power or technique.

    Actually, you're more versatile if you stick to light side and general/universal powers, because as we've established, most of the dark side powers are used for killing dudes, which kind of makes most of them redundant. And it's not your powers, it's how smart you are with them. The sheer variety of things you can do with just telekinesis is staggering, which should leave you plenty of room to hone your abilities with powers that don't involve killing people (because they can be used in far more situations). Besides, if you don't have tricks up your sleeve, you're probably not very good at this sort of thing.

    The dark side offers nothing.
  12. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    However, that's exactly why most people aren't suited towards this sort of thing. As it isn't just an excuse to use both sides of the force. It actually has nothing to do with that. All in all, its just a different philosophy on the force. That being, that there's more to the force than using it for obvious causes, such as using it for selfish or selfless reasons. The ideal way to use the force, in my opinion, is to give back to the force, and do what you think the force wants you to, whether it be deemed by society to be right, or even completely wrong. You have to listen to the force, and tone everyone else out.

    This is why this belief is so controversial, as it both selfish and selfless at the same time. You get shunned for not doing what you want, because its also something that the general public wants as well.

    Furthermore, back onto the topic of role playing, I think that this means that Force Users in this category should be complete loners, or at least not be able to have positive relationships with people not like them, but not the angsty type of loner, because the reasoning is completely different with this. Furthermore, it makes this type of Force User rare, as nobody likes to be hated for doing something somewhat against their free will, and the fact that it is a hard path to follow.

    However, not to say that there isn't rewards, as there is - and that is most likely obvious.
  13. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Problem here is that the "Force" your character is listening to is just you. This means that the odds of you actually acknowledging a character's wrongdoing are slim to none.

    This is why this belief is so controversial, as it both selfish and selfless at the same time. You get shunned for not doing what you want, because its also something that the general public wants as well.

    Furthermore, back onto the topic of role playing, I think that this means that Force Users in this category should be complete loners, or at least not be able to have positive relationships with people not like them, but not the angsty type of loner, because the reasoning is completely different with this. Furthermore, it makes this type of Force User rare, as nobody likes to be hated for doing something somewhat against their free will, and the fact that it is a hard path to follow.


    ...

    ...

    ...

    Please tell me you see the problem here.
  14. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    You do realize it is possible to play a loner character, right? Its just that barely anybody plays them right.
  15. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Yes, but what you just presented sounds suspiciously like "no one knows the depths of things I must do for my patriotic love of all living things and thus they shun me for it, so I must move with my own kind who will not judge me wrong for the magnificent things I do", which sounds all but a shoddy haircut away from certain social scenes.

    If you're playing a loner character "right", I think it'd be someone who just likes the calm of being alone, not someone who was all but driven away from society.

    Seriously though, how does listening to the Force equate to killing a guy with dark side powers? You think if the Force wanted someone dead using the Force, it'd just do it itself, were it not for the whole "you're using the Force to injure a living being, who is part of the Force."

    Being that life and the Force have a symbiotic relationship, you'd think that the listening to the Force would sound something like "DON'T KILL ANYONE!"
  16. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    Well, not exactly. The character type I presented, they still long for social interactions with others, and they attempt to do so as well. Its just that they are usually shunned. And, who's not to say that everybody will know what they believe, and thus shun them?

    Also, on the other point you brought up, this belief doesn't believe that the force and life are symbiotic to that point, but just that the Force created it. So, its sorta like a "smiting" type of thing, except that since the force works through its creation, it works through its creation to "smite" the other creation that ends another part of its creation.

    Or, it could be how a gardener prunes a bad branch off of a tree.
  17. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    The character type I presented, they still long for social interactions with others, and they attempt to do so as well. Its just that they are usually shunned.

    Are you sure you don't see the problem with this? ...This is pure teen angst!

    Also, on the other point you brought up, this belief doesn't believe that the force and life are symbiotic to that point, but just that the Force created it. So, its sorta like a "smiting" type of thing, except that since the force works through its creation, it works through its creation to "smite" the other creation that ends another part of its creation.

    Or, it could be how a gardener prunes a bad branch off of a tree.


    Wait, you have a belief system wherein people are smote for doing bad things by other people who are using bad means to do bad things to those people did bad things in order to punish them for the bad things they did via bad things?

    This does explain why I never get a straight answer.
  18. Ace_Aso Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2008
    Do Grey( or gray, I don't really care) Jedi actually have to dabble in the darkside of the force?

    I always thought they just didn't do everything the council said.
  19. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Grey Jedi believe in Sides. Grey Jedi practice both Light Side and Dark Side techniques and use whatever works best for the best outcome within the moment. Grey Jedi seek similar ends as the "Light" Jedi, but feel a Jedi should use whatever means are at their disposable to accomplish it.

    That's their definition, I'm just arguing that it's a silly excuse to use Dark Side powers instead of using your head. None of this Dark Side stuff is needed at all.
  20. greyjedi125 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2002
    star 5
    An excellent write up Ktala, Bravisima! =D= I haven't seen one of these posted here in forever. I should have guessed you'd be the brave one to post something like this. The content is quite informative and thought provoking, which I believe is the fundamental point. It is my hope that a more diverse group of folks in the RPF read it and chime in with positive commentary, in addition to Q&A and general discussion.

    I rather like what you wrote about the grey....err, gray jedi. LOL! If you recall in IBoP, my grey jedi charater would always say to Luke Skywalker, "The Force is One!"; it was nice to see that reflected here. The Light and Dark references were more for those who use such distinctions.

    But before I get carried away, I must also say, I enjoyed your mention of the Jedi origins, their philosophies and the subsequent breakdown in schools of thought. A worthy article indeed and a nice springboard for players of all levels. Those who wish to learn more will undoubtedly do the research, but there's more than enough information present to school even the casual gamer.

    So, thank you.

    MTFBWY


    ;) :-B
  21. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    If it wasn't already apparent from the lack of threadlock :p the presence of this topic in the RPR is approvalated. :D
  22. Mikaboshi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2005
    star 6
    That was an excellent read Ktala, thanks for putting it up.

    I already know that I am going to be reading this again, and hopefully I can walk away from the thread with a better idea of how to incorporate Force ideology into my posting.

    =D=
  23. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Yay it's up! Excellent read. :D


    ... omg, OPPM for the first time in years. :eek:
  24. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    I think I may be going to far with this, but I also think I may be on to something here.
  25. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    If you're on something, you might want to find a firmer position.

    The shunning isn't always the case though. If they are only known for actually doing something that people liked in a certain area, they could be viewed as a hero in that area. It all depends on what they do and where they do it. For example, if the force user in question helped liberate slavery in one place, they could be viewed as a hero, but not by all classes. Obviously, the former slaves would rejoice, and the former slave-owners would be pretty peeved.

    Actually, you could end up with even more people hating you than you realize if you just walk in, stab some slave owners, chop some chains and walk out. It'd be rather like a surgeon who's supposed to perform an appendectomy, cuts out the appendix and then leaves the patient to take care of the rest.

    Anyways, are you actually going anywhere with this thing? You made some similarly vague statement 16 posts back about shades of gray, different points of view, and compromising, and then you said something about it being in your own conscience. Plus, I'm not really sure how the negative opinions of some people who violated human rights have anything to do with a character being "normally shunned" unless we're in some bizarre fantasy world where this sort of thing is considered the highest form of offense to every being involved.

    No, not at all like that. It doesn't create a loop like that, as the force doesn't care if the "bad thing" was done using its will. It only cares if the "bad thing" is done AGAINST its will.

    How oddly convenient. So, as long as the invisible voice that only you can hear gives you its approval, you can kill, loot, maim, mutilate, demolish, torture, slaughter and burn to your heart's content, because hey, he threw off the plan, amirite? How heroic!
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