Which Dark Side mechanics do you prefer?

Discussion in 'Games: RPG & Miniatures' started by Blithe, Jan 19, 2007.

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  1. Blithe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2003
    star 4
    Between d6 and d20, which Dark Side mechanics more accurately reflect the Star Wars universe to you? Which one correlates the best toward you and your group's gaming style? What problems (if any) have you encountered with each system's method of showing the affects and seduction of the Dark Side? Has anyone ever made their own rules?

    I tend to lean towards the d6 rules, if only because the atonement process is stricter than d20's and less prone to munchkinizing. I hate the idea of using Force points to burn Dark Side points. When I GM, I only allow my players to burn-off a Dark Side point at moments of dramatic heroism, choosing to remove a Dark Side point rather than earn a Force point.

    You see, my group and I have been discussing recently on which Dark Side system is more appropriate, and so far, everyone is split down the middle. Some of us prefer the Dark Side to be more dangerous, like it is in d6, and some think it's more fair to have that "tainted" zone that d20 has (# of DSP = Wis/2), with more room between and actual fall and being "consumed." (# of DSP = Wis or a failed Will save on any particular DSP gained after being considered tainted)

    Thoughts?
  2. Jedi_Matt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2002
    star 4
    Heh,

    I don't really like what Wizards of the Coast have done to the dark side system.

    Ever since the potentium theories came about, they've published feats even allowing people to dodge dark side points, even though at the time it was accepted in the EU universe that the potentium was just wrong, and modified existing rules to still allow movie characters to be saints, rather than putting their acts down to desperation or ignorance.

    It seems really un star wars like to me, making it more a dnd modern in space, rather than the fight between clearly defined good and evil that it always was.

    d6 encapsulated perfectly the extra power it gives you, and it's seducing nature, then once it had you "BAM!"

    I don't necessarily agree with the rule about making a consumed character a GM character, but no system is perfect :)
  3. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    No wait, hold back your shock and surprize. I know, the suspense was killing all of you, but you can survive!


    heh, D6.


    OK, did anyone NOT see that answer coming?

    I think it's pretty funny that TSR's Ravenloft settings had a variation of the 6-steps to the Dark Side for PCs who enjoyed the Ravenloft setting "too much". Each step gave characters an escalating bonus and deformaty for "interesting" the dark powers. Actually getting one of those was another matter--There was like a max of 30% chance of the Demi-plane of dread actually taking notice, and that would be for a truly horrific deed of mind-numbing evil. the chances of "failing" 6 powers checks were extraordinarily slim.

    Don't know exactly how the d20 system worked going over to the dark side, but I gather it has something to do with wisdom and willpower saves, and that there are a lot more chances.
  4. Jedi_Matt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2002
    star 4
    You're not considered tainted until your DSP total is equal to or greater than half of your wisdom score, and not consumed until you're DSP total is greater than your Wisdom score.

    And yes, with the 'disciple of the unifying force' feat, you can make a willsave to avoid a DSP. I don't remember the exact mechanics on it
  5. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Hmmm... Sounds like "I call on the Dark Side. I make a save to resist the Dark Side."

    Again, I find the 3 Dead Trolls in a Baggie skit about Darth Vader's Employee Evaluation is going through my mind...
  6. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    In d20, you're "tainted" once DSP = 1/2 Wisdom. Once you're tainted, every time you gain a DSP, you make a Will save, DC = 10 + DSPs or you become "dark." You "auto-fail" that save once DSP = Wisdom.

    IIRC, that "Disciple of the Living Force" feat either gives you a bonus to the save, lowers the save DC, or you get some kinda save to avoid gaining DSPs. Regardless, I don't use it, because it's crap, and also it's been revealed in-universe that pretty much everybody who spewed that "no dark side" felgercarb was either an actual Sith or a Sith-wannabe.
  7. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    D6 had the better Dark Side system, hands down.
  8. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    Incidentally, how does the d6 mechanism work? I don't recall...
  9. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    For every DSP you have, you get a +1d to all force powers (the seduction)
    Every time you get a DSP, the GM rolls a d6. If the GM rolls lower than the number of DSP you have, your character falls to the dark side and is gone forever. (or they become NPC villains that the party will have to face another time...)
    Since you cannot roll lower than a 1, like most drugs, the first hit is free. After that, the Dark Side wants something for its efforts...

    Our house rule was that if your character goes over to the dark side, your replacement cannot be force-sensative until the old character was dealt with.
  10. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    It was fixed.
    You fell a ton faster.
    And it was permanent (from a PC-standpoint).
  11. Jedi_Matt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2002
    star 4
    Oh

    Also, you can't kill some guy because he's annoying and just go 'ah nevermind, i'll burn a force point', before looting his corpse.

  12. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Yes, and Force Points were a lot rarer and more powerful.
    You started with 1, or 2 if you were force-sensative.
    You might gain 1 per adventure, if you did something incrediblly heroic at the climax of the adventure.

    The Jedi Code was extremely limiting. ANY divergence from the code by a Force-sensative character risked a DSP, whether you had Jedi training or not.

    Also, Cybernetics interferred with your ability to use the Force and increased the effects of DSP (you gained them faster, depending on the level of cyborging).

    Wise players did not triffle with The Dark Side lightly.
  13. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    To be fair, we've adapted the rules for our own purposes such that you can burn one FP to control your DSPs regardless and can then only burn FPs when you gain new ones if you have been actively atoning during the campaign. SO we don't make it as easy as the normal rules might allow... [face_plain]
  14. Blithe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2003
    star 4
    That's a fair arrangement to balance things out a bit. One that only half my group would truly be satisfied with. Half of us are rules nazis, you know, and hate to use house rules... even though we eventually do. ;)

    Basically, here's the scenario that's been the object of discussion: (Not in a game-disrupting, group-shattering way, mind you; rather, just for mere sake of geek talk that we all love to enjoy and prolong our GM's short gaming sesions [face_beatup] ) My character (Dex 2D+2, Know 3D+1, Mech 2D, Per 4D, Str 3D, Tech 2D, Force Skills: Sense 1D Powers: Magnify Senses), a loner and space roamer with no direction in his life, seemingly plagued by a pre-cognitive sense and what is seen as a paranoid intuition, seeks out a Jedi Master located in the colony worlds for counseling (TOTJ-KOTOR era), whereby the Master tells him he's gifted with the power of the Force. I spend the first few months helping out around the academy and working part-time in the nearby asteroid mining facility, learning whatever I can from students (relying heavily on my Persuade or Con skill) or the Master himself. Initially, my character grew anxious and frustrated, thinking he'd might be accepted as full-fledge student of the academy, but after several months began to see his life was better even if he never learned the ways of the Force, with a honest way to make a living, and being allowed to sit in on lectures on Jedi Lore and ethics would help profit greatly on impriving my state of mind and well being.

    Seeing this newfound contentment, the Master offers me a chance at becoming a pupil by arbitrating peace talks between two races in the colonies, wanting to convert my "...efforts into a more tolerable energy." (My use of Perception-based skills had not gone unnoticed ;) )

    After succeeding in negotiating a fair arrangement between the two species, and stopping a fledglind Dark Side adept from harnessing the power of a Dark Side amulet, I was accepted full-time into the academy, and learned Control, and of course, Concentration after a few weeks of study.

    Then the Sith attack. First taking over the nearby mining colony and using a prototype gravity well device coupled with the power of the Dark Side, they begin bombarding the academy with small asteroids and force their way into the landing bay with hijacked mining ships. I come upon my Master, who was trying to divert most of the larger rocks from destroying key structural points on the station while the students defended the docking bay and civillian quarters (there were scholars from the core worlds at the academy, too) was ambushed by three darksider, and killed. At this point, with my character boiling with rage, and with no Character Points left (spent to learn Control), I use my remaining Force Point, and then call upon the Dark Side in order to get a Dark Side Force Point -- quadrupling my die codes -- and waste the three Sith, earning two Dark Side points. (One for using a Force Point in anger and revenge and one for calling upon the Dark Side)

    Though I didn't fall right then and there, I've still got a pretty good chance of being consumed by the Dark Side if I give in again, which is going to be hard considering I'm now hounded by the Krath/Sith, not trusted by the Jedi, and I've got a 2D bonus to my Force Skills because of the Dark Side points, and misuing the Force in the slightest, even without using the Dark Side, will spot me one more according to the rules. As far as atonement goes, it'll take at least two adventures, according to the rulebook
  15. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Hate to nit-pick, but you can't double double like that (I don't think). [face_shame_on_you] Essentially, what you did is the same as spending 2 force-points in one round. [face_hypnotized] I don't believe that's quite kosher. [face_thinking]

    Still, that might be open to interpretation.:-B Or it could be that I've been operating on a house rule for so long I've confused it for an actual rule. [face_hypnotized] I don't happen to have my rule books open and handy. [face_whistling]

    I had fun turning a quixotic jedi template into the Banack Slave priest from Farscape.
    "Light-side, Dark-side, Light-side, Dark-side. Light Side. Dark Side."
    He was a little traumatized by having Sense and Precognition from such a young age with no control over it. The Jedi, being a little concerned about the possible sanity issues, were disinclined to train him.
    Had to spend double skill points every time to advance Force Powers. Took a long time to save up the 20 points for 1D of control... Think I had about 5D of Sense before that happened.
    By then, everyone else hated the character, but he was just too useful to kill out of hand...
  16. Blithe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2003
    star 4
    "When a character successfully calls upon the Dark Side, he gets a Force Point wich he must spend immediately -- this is in addition to any other Force Points which have been spent that round." - WEG 2nd ed. rulebook, pg. 56, Calling Upon the Dark Side

    You probably were thinking of an existing house rule concerning that, which is a fairly common one amongst the d6 community. Yes, calling upon the Dark Side in that manner is insanely powerful, but it comes with a hefty price, and is, generally, something you'd only be able to pull off once without being consumed by the Dark Side. It's the penultimate example of the Dark Side's power in the game, and perhaps the most seductive aspect of it as well.

    All in all, I can certainly see why there WOULD be a house rule for that -- play balance. I could only begin to imagine ways that rule could be abused if you're a fortunate munchkin who's managed to rack-up skills around 6D--7D, and that's not to even mention the powerful NPC in the books, like Luke and the Emperor...
  17. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Mmmm-mmm
    My that's darn tasty crow.[face_worried] [face_sick] :rolleyes:

    Guess I just got put in my place.;)
  18. Blithe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2003
    star 4
    Come to think of it, not only is d6's Dark Side more seductive, but it's way, way more powerful. When you compare the Dark Side powers, d6 comes out on top on almost every turn. With the case of Force Points, d20 gives a slight advantage to the PC when calling on the Dark Side, but it has to be done with a character's own Force Point, as d20 won't give you a free FP to be used right then. The only real factor that d20 has over d6 is that the Dark Side is quicker. (Most Dark Side powers can be used untrained) But the powers themselves aren't exactly powerful enough in their own right to warrant them as necessarily being the easier way out (see the nerfing of Telekinetic Kill/Force Grip, for example)-- quicker, in this case, might not be easier.

    And last time I heard, Wizards was considering nerfing Force Points down to something more Like d20 Modern and Eberron's action points... :(
  19. Blithe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2003
    star 4
    Something interesting to note in order to be fair -- which happens to be strikingly similar to dp4m's group's houserule -- is that the Living Force Campaign's erratas, House Rules, and Clarifications state that a player may burn only one Dark Side Point per adventure, subject to the GM's discretion.

    Even so, this rule is set in stone only for the Living Force Campaign, and as far as the RCRB alone is concerned, players can burn as many Dark Side points as they'd like, as long as they have the Force Points to do so; furtheremore, while WEG and the Living Force Campaign require a period of meditation, relfection, and proper role playing in order to remove a Dark Side Point, the d20 RCRB says a PC may remove as many as he's able to in between adventures... [face_plain]
  20. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    Hey, rules Nazi boy... isn't it 3 powers per 1D of Force skillage? One power per pip and 3 when you first learn the first 1D?

    :p
  21. Jedi_Matt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2002
    star 4
    no i's one for the first D, then one per pip

    i don't have my books to back that up though :-B
  22. Gry Sarth Ex 2x Banhammer Wielding Besalisk Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 1999
    star 5
    I concur with Jedi Matt.
  23. Blithe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2003
    star 4
    According to the 2nd ed. rulebook, that is correct; however, remember that we're playing during the TOTJ-KOTOR era -- and the TOTJ Companion is a R&E book -- and since my GM is even a bigger rule nazis then myself, he deemed it necessary to comply with its rules, which say one power per 1d, then one power per pip. :p

    First Koohi, and now dp4m; I've got four bullets left. Anyone else? :p

    I would've certainly enjoyed three powers, though... :oops:

    EDIT: Just another thought: How does everyone feel about Dark characters earning Force Points? In both systems, Evil characters obviously can't earn Force Points through dramatic heroism, but in d6, they can get them by committing Evil acts at a dramatically appropriate moment in the story. I recall a funny a story in one of the Jedi Counseling sessions where a GM asked JD Wiker if he should give Force Points to PCs in his Dark campaign for commiting dramatically appropriate Evil or the like. JD's answer was no, and that they should ask the Emperor why they don't get any Force Points. :p

    The point is this: d6 holds the view that the Dark Side is extremely rewarding, and because of this, it's best to take away a Dark PC to be used a NPC villain; d20 says that the Dark Side is only a quick path to victory, costing a person far more than they'd ever earn, and effectively weakening it's servants. Both of these are, canonically speaking, technically true, but which one works the best for you and your group? Again, d6 has a more seductive Dark Side when you enforce the rule to snatch any Dark templates. d20 has, overall, less of a reason to go to the Dark Side, but accurately portrays the emptiness that its users find inside.

    Thoughts?
  24. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    Well then you're both wrong, since I verified it last night in my SWRPG 2nd Edition core book. :p

    Also -- the TOTJ Companion came out the same time as the 2nd edition book, Blithe. You sure about it being not up-to-date?
  25. Blithe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2003
    star 4
    Both R&E and the TOTJ Companion came out in 1996. 2nd ed. was published in 1992.
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