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NilAdmirari
20 February 2002, 03:22 PM
The Dark side, it seems to me, is MUCH more powerful than the light side. With all of the pluses that you gain when you fall the negatives seem inconsequential...ESPECIALLY since the ONLY light side power is Heal Another. An early level dark jedi can easily mop the floor with an early level lightside jedi.

My problem is that I'm GM'ing a game where a light side force adept will eventually be confronting his dark side force adept brother. The older dark side brother already has superior stats and abilities, but not to a degree where the younger brother wouldn't have a chance. The thing is once the brother falls fully he'll be getting plus 4 to any force grip, fear, or one of the other new skills in the DarkSideSourcebook. The young force adepts are both Level 4 at the moment and will likely be doing battle by Level 10 at the latest. The older brother will be falling, if all goes as planned, by next level.

On top of THAT how do I make a battle between the two exciting? I mean I don't want the older brother to simply force grip his younger brother and making him unconcious. I don't really care who wins but I don't want the outcome to be obvious.

Kobayashi_Maru
20 February 2002, 03:46 PM
My character is sorta in the same situation. My twin sister has fallen from the Jedi path and may even be recieving sith training. Three games ago, I was level 8 and she was level 9 and YES I was thoroughly introduced to her dble-bladed lightsaber. I survived and have since reached level 9; I'm hoping the next time we meet it won't be the same story! I have posted both Kobayashi and Aki on another thread http://holonet.swrpgnetwork.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=5059 :) .

But I might think of the battle between Skywalkers. Maybe Vader held back, maybe he had a bad day for rolls or maybe Luke's tactics worked better than one might think. Maybe there is somehting along the lines of Friendship vs. Fear for the battle against big brother.

NilAdmirari
20 February 2002, 03:57 PM
I love the idea of Friendship vs Fear...but the thing I am still worried about is the Force Grip bit.

Corsair
20 February 2002, 04:27 PM
That is the one thing I also have a bit of a gripe about ... the fact that the Dark Side is so beefed up and powerful that nothing can really measure up to it ... and that Force Grip is so deadly. I may actually implement a house rule when it comes to Force Grip.

I just hope when the Light Side Sourcebook (or whatever it will be called) comes out you will see something like a Jedi Warrior PrC .. something that can counter a Dark Side Marauder and things like that.

Wade Trenor
20 February 2002, 04:32 PM
Well, I play a Sol/DSM, and I've been whacked unconscious with a single Force Grip too. The best advice I could impart on you is to improve the FA's Will saves (ie take Iron Will, and improve their Wis ability when going to level 4/8/12...). Also take lots of ranks in Force Defense. The lightside is more about defense, while the darkside is about agression.

Also, there is a Jedi sourcebook being released in the next few months that will have new lightside powers so that there is a balance with the darkside skills. Looking at the skills there too, Illusion does not give darkside points if used with good intentions. A few ranks of that should be a great asset.

In addition, if the younger brother behaves heroically on missions leading up to the confrontation, while the older brother continues on the path to the darkside, then the younger brother should have more Force points to use during the showdown. This could be a great advantage while using Heal Self, Enhance Ability or Battlemind.

See, not all battles are one sided, they just have to be thought out is all. ;)

NilAdmirari
20 February 2002, 06:53 PM
Originally posted by Corsair

I just hope when the Light Side Sourcebook (or whatever it will be called) comes out you will see something like a Jedi Warrior PrC .. something that can counter a Dark Side Marauder and things like that.

By the way has anyone heard anything about the Light Side Sourcebook? I remember hearing a few things regarding it on the swrpgnetwork but I can't seem to locate the news stories. Any word on its release date? What it contains?

BrianDavion
20 February 2002, 08:17 PM
you forgot the two biggest differances between the two sides of the force...... the Darkside is a powerful path but it is also a LONELY Path.

the Lightside however is a path of friendship respect etc.


one who is with the light has ALLIES and friends, where the darkside is a very lonely path, with no true friends..


as for how to make it exciting, here are my suggestions


1) go for an exciting setting... luke skywalker and vaders sabre battle wouldn't have been as entertaining if it was on the middle stretch of a boreing desert rode. be vivid in your descriptions.

2) HAVE THE DARK SIDER HOLD BACK! how often in the moves did we even see much in the way of force powers coming into play. for the most part, barely at all other then to enhance natural abilities etc. at Bob Brown's star wars stuff page the section on lightsabre combat http://www.synicon.com.au/sw/ls/sabres11.htm suggests that lightsabre combat occurs on multiple levels. including mentaly (he's not suggesting that they duel on the Astral plane but suggesting that like master swordsmen elsewhere to maintain peak performance they must concentrae FULLY on their opponent and can't for the most part spare the attention to deal with using the force much). He suggest that Vader used the force against Luke on Bespin because Vader's mastry of the force was at a MUCH greater level. (mind you with force adepts I suppose use of the force would be MUCH greater:)
still, hold the darksider back, sure he's GOT force grip, but does he USE it? maybe he's got the Megatron syndrome and is obsessed with crushing opponents with his bare hands (especially those he holds in comtempt.

as a GM I would never have force attacks play a major roll in a Jedi vs Jedi Duel... it would be supporting, used to augment a Jedi, not for direct attack.. thats what it has always been like for the most part in the films after all

Ralzma02
20 February 2002, 08:18 PM
If you think of the situation outside of the rules, for a Jedi to become powerful in "actual" universe (Movies/books), then they would require a very powerful will. Because they must constantly repulse the dark side, and all of its temptations. Like Yoda said it is more seductive, but not more powerful.

My theory is that once a Jedi is strong in the light side their will power outmatches that of a dark jedi by a vast margin, because the Dark Jedi would succomb to every of life's little temptations, so in game terms force grip could be avoided due to the light side's powerful will.

This will take some roleplaying to create in game, because it is much easier to say your character ignores the temptation, than would it really be. So possibly everytime a jedi faces a situation, even the most minute, like being bought and alcoholic drink, or seeing a beautiful woman, they should make a will save, which would be low, with a set DC dependent on the temptation. If they fail, the move closer to the dark, and could temporarily lose some will save, and if they succeed the become stronger in the light, possibly gain bonus to will saves, which will help to counteract the grip. I feel that once a character in the game faces the dark side, and battles true temptation, they would become much stronger, and should gain a permenant bonus to their will, probably what I might start doing in my games now.

darth maim
20 February 2002, 08:30 PM
Originally posted by NilAdmirari
The Dark side, it seems to me, is MUCH more powerful than the light side. With all of the pluses that you gain when you fall the negatives seem inconsequential...ESPECIALLY since the ONLY light side power is Heal Another. An early level dark jedi can easily mop the floor with an early level lightside jedi.

My problem is that I'm GM'ing a game where a light side force adept will eventually be confronting his dark side force adept brother. The older dark side brother already has superior stats and abilities, but not to a degree where the younger brother wouldn't have a chance. The thing is once the brother falls fully he'll be getting plus 4 to any force grip, fear, or one of the other new skills in the DarkSideSourcebook. The young force adepts are both Level 4 at the moment and will likely be doing battle by Level 10 at the latest. The older brother will be falling, if all goes as planned, by next level.

On top of THAT how do I make a battle between the two exciting? I mean I don't want the older brother to simply force grip his younger brother and making him unconcious. I don't really care who wins but I don't want the outcome to be obvious.

You want balance? Well baby here ya go....

Pg. 40 DSSB ""Whenever a character of the dark [fully fallen] template attains a new character level, he or she immediately and permanently reduces Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution by 1 point. There is no saving throw for a dark character. The only way to offset this effect is to replace the lost point with an ability increase at the appropriate level... As with tainted characters no ability can be reduced twice in a row by dark side corruption. If a dark character eventually finds redemption, any ability decreases due to the corrupting effects of the darkside still remain." so... they're 4th lvl now, by 10th lvl the dark brother has lost a minimum of 4 ability points assuming of course you use the 8th lvl increase for a balancing effect. There you go.

Gulmyros
20 February 2002, 09:28 PM
Pg. 40 DSSB ""Whenever a character of the dark [fully fallen] template attains a new character level, he or she immediately and permanently reduces Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution by 1 point. There is no saving throw for a dark character. The only way to offset this effect is to replace the lost point with an ability increase at the appropriate level... As with tainted characters no ability can be reduced twice in a row by dark side corruption.This is a good point. But to be complete and thorough, tainted characters get a save to avoid the point loss, fully dark characters do not. So there's a good chance to lose a point per level for a while, then it's a done deal.

darth maim
21 February 2002, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by Gulmyros
This is a good point. But to be complete and thorough, tainted characters get a save to avoid the point loss, fully dark characters do not. So there's a good chance to lose a point per level for a while, then it's a done deal.

I was assuming he'd be dark because it was stated that he was going to fall to the dark side by next level not start down the path to the dark side ala tainted chars.

Kobayashi_Maru
21 February 2002, 11:27 AM
Donovan Morningfire has posted some force special qualities like expertise for diferent force skills. You might want to look thru there and see if there is anything that might even the playing field for your idea.

Along with Wade's idea of force points, force defense might be able to help with the WilSav. We incoporated the concentration skill for certain uses with force abilites like Force Grip, Whirlwind, Mind and others. Maybe keeping the older brother distrated with Whirlwind might keep the Grip from really being effective.

Gulmyros
21 February 2002, 07:10 PM
I was assuming he'd be dark because it was stated that he was going to fall to the dark side by next level not start down the path to the dark side ala tainted chars.Sure thing, maim.

You were tackling the specific issue with these two characters. I was just chiming in with something a bit more general in the Light vs. Dark issue. But your point is right on the money.

Lord Diggori
22 February 2002, 07:48 AM
All the rules angles given here are good and since legal are viable options. I would suggest going beyond the rules a bit though.

See according to the rules your PC seems screwed basically. And if the player knows the rules he'll expect this too. Build suspense by asking him what kind of new character he would make if this one died. I say design some sort of character flaw that the good guy can use to balance things out and slowly hint at them until the big fight. Childhood memories, ex-lovers, whatever. Have the darksider roll Will saves vs. the lightsider's diplomacy checks. Remember: "You cant do this Father! I can feel the conflict within you, let go of your hate." This will give you a way to add bonuses to the underdog based on role-playing.

According to canon thats the best way to fight the darkside, right?

BrianDavion
22 February 2002, 10:26 AM
yup. the dark side is a pretty powerful thing, but you have to keep in mind that is is a ROLE playing game, not ROLL playing:)


as I said, give this dark brother guy a few quirks. maybe he doesn't mind using the force to soften up an opponent but when the chips are down he has an urge to get his hands dirty and tends to like to punch kick etc.

I mean rather then have it "who can roll highest on force grip"

have the baddie centre on a lot of physicaly enchancing force powers and feats as well as give him the Martial artist feat. end result? rather then have a "lets see who can roll the highest force grip" contest you'd have a cool little force enhanced martial arts battle which could really be quite neat to describe. thats one thing you should keep in constant mind when planning this battle "what would look the neatest if they made a movie of it"

loudanddeep
22 February 2002, 10:51 AM
I think the key here is understanding that strength and weakness are a lot more than just BAB and stats.

you know how in movies (and just what is this based on?) the villian always has flaws the heros can exploit.
It can be vanity, fear, overconfidence, ego, what ever.

The lightside jedi does not fall to those weaknesses.
The dark side reinforces them.

An excellent sense of this is in Phantom Menace, when the force fields have spereated the three jedi.

Darth Maul, the one falling prey to the dark side, paces like a caged animal, waiting, and stalking. Only thinking of the obvious kill.
The young jedi student (obi won) is ready and eager, but still cautious.
The jedi master (quigon) is sitting meditaing, relaxed, and at peace, not letting his emotions control him.

Have your bad guys have flaws.
Have the bad NOT want to use force grip, becuase it is easy, and does not PROVE him superior. Kind of like playing mind games with an opponent.
"if you are so strong and superior, then kill me with your bare hands dark one". says the light jedi.
"Yes, I am powerful, and will PROVE to you I am not weak" says the dark jedi who is in deep need of therapy, and has repressed fears.

Remember, it is not about stats.
If you just want stats, play a war game, or something like that.
The characeters in my game are real, have fears and weaknesses.
My party once had to take on a really dangerous opponent, who, in direct combat, they could never defeat.
They played on the ego of that villian, and made the villian make mistakes, which removed his power, and the party was victorious.

All the powers in the world will not save you if you fail to use them.
Darth maul was overconfident, and did not even suspect obi won could defeat him. Maybe the gm could give the player a bonus to iniative, or somehthing.

I use morale checks, internal conflicts, and other methods in my games.
In the last adventure they were able to make the main bad guy boast about himself, and brag just long enough for the calvary to arrive.

If jabba did not have such a flair for the dramatic, and have the need to just prove to everyone that he had power of luke, he would have just had someone shoot him, and be done with it. but jabba wanted to see him die, in a humiliating and public way, and that is what killed him.

The emperor did not think that vader would turn on him in that instant, luke appealed to that, and won.

Theses are just examples of ways, but remember the villain IS supposed to be flawed.

"Before I leave you to an uncertain and easily escpeable fate, I will tell you my master plan mr bond."

dp

NilAdmirari
22 February 2002, 11:51 AM
Originally posted by BrianDavion

as I said, give this dark brother guy a few quirks. maybe he doesn't mind using the force to soften up an opponent but when the chips are down he has an urge to get his hands dirty and tends to like to punch kick etc.


I'm not sure if I made it clear or not but both characters are PLAYER characters so I have no real control over how they want to roleplay their characters. At least not to the degree where I myself can say to the darkside bro, "You're pissed now and don't want to use your force abilities any longer...you should go hit him." I will work it in so that each brother will be trying to turn one another, and yet I want there to be combat. My idea is that they will beat on each other for a while, lower their VP's significantly and then start the real diplomacy aspects.

So the older dark brother is saying, "turn to the darkside..." the younger brother will be making will saves? Will the save be opposed to Diplomacy? Or opposed to Fear if the older brother uses the fear force skill? And what sort of penalty would this incure? A darkside point? So essentially we have a battle of Force/Dark points? Once the points begin to equal the respective players wills they will have to make saves or become tainted...either with the Light or Dark side...that seems like it could work and though dealing out points may seem excessive this will be the LAST session for the characters. I'm aiming to wrap up the game before the group goes off for summer break hence this will be a final and ultimate battle.

I have thought that I could get the young light side brothers friends involved with the end battle as I have 3 other player characters. My aim is to make the entire end session rather climatic and exciting as it decides the fates and futures of all the PC's, some will inevitably die, some will survive, brothers may kill each other or turn one another...I really want it to be a surprise, not only for the heroes but for myself as well.

darth maim
22 February 2002, 03:29 PM
Originally posted by NilAdmirari


I'm not sure if I made it clear or not but both characters are PLAYER characters so I have no real control over how they want to roleplay their characters. At least not to the degree where I myself can say to the darkside bro, "You're pissed now and don't want to use your force abilities any longer...you should go hit him." I will work it in so that each brother will be trying to turn one another, and yet I want there to be combat. My idea is that they will beat on each other for a while, lower their VP's significantly and then start the real diplomacy aspects.

So the older dark brother is saying, "turn to the darkside..." the younger brother will be making will saves? Will the save be opposed to Diplomacy? Or opposed to Fear if the older brother uses the fear force skill? And what sort of penalty would this incure? A darkside point? So essentially we have a battle of Force/Dark points? Once the points begin to equal the respective players wills they will have to make saves or become tainted...either with the Light or Dark side...that seems like it could work and though dealing out points may seem excessive this will be the LAST session for the characters. I'm aiming to wrap up the game before the group goes off for summer break hence this will be a final and ultimate battle.

I have thought that I could get the young light side brothers friends involved with the end battle as I have 3 other player characters. My aim is to make the entire end session rather climatic and exciting as it decides the fates and futures of all the PC's, some will inevitably die, some will survive, brothers may kill each other or turn one another...I really want it to be a surprise, not only for the heroes but for myself as well.

Gaining Force points isn't lightside specific and doesn't taint a lightside jedi when equal to their wis. Just wanted to point this out. There's no penalty like this for being a good guy.

Wade Trenor
22 February 2002, 03:58 PM
My suggestion is this: keep the other PC's away from the fight. That way it will be a lightside vs darkside conflict, and reminiscent of Vader vs Luke.
Use the advice given on this thread as to how to balance the combat (and give it as hints to the players). Also, its a good idea to use their surroundings to stretch out the scene and make it more interesting.
No matter the outcome, if the darkside player survives, he will be ostracised from the group, and he can begin playing his own campaign for a while, either adopting darkside prestige classes and gaining henchmen (to latter battle the heroic group), or he wil find redemption and return to the fold.

NilAdmirari
22 February 2002, 09:40 PM
Originally posted by Wade Trenor

No matter the outcome, if the darkside player survives, he will be ostracised from the group, and he can begin playing his own campaign for a while, either adopting darkside prestige classes and gaining henchmen (to latter battle the heroic group), or he wil find redemption and return to the fold.

The outcome is the ending actually...we've been thinking about starting a new campaign next semester in the NJO era and we might have cameos of the current PC's characters but the game will start off anew after all of this.

My question is this right now...how would you go about actually turning a dark player character? I mean ultimately it has been a randomized thing, with stats, saves, and feats altering the random aspect. But clearly the players shouldn't know what will happen and I'd rather not either. If I could maintain a neutral aspect, intent on keeping the story going smoothly rather than actually controlling the outcome, that would be ideal.

BrianDavion
23 February 2002, 07:28 AM
you don't turn a dark side char... well... not in the D20 system at least

a charcter completly consumed by the dark side can only turn back froma Heroic and selfless act that is done at a CONSIDERABLE risk to themself... they then can lose darkside poinds so his total is 1 less then half his wisdom score

Wade Trenor
23 February 2002, 11:49 PM
You can control a players destiny, be controling and shaping their environment. It is a difficult task for a GM, but if done well, the character will go where you want them to.

When you begin the new game, tell us how the confrontation ended, and what those characters are doing in this new era.

NilAdmirari
24 February 2002, 06:17 PM
Originally posted by Wade Trenor

When you begin the new game, tell us how the confrontation ended, and what those characters are doing in this new era.

Certainly...I'll let you know how I handled the turning aspects as well. I will have to devise some way for either character to turn the other...a sort of will vs will thing...maybe giving minuses to the character that has been beaten more. While not completely kosher I feel it necessary for this particular angle since both Jedi's are fighting to either redeem, make fall, or destroy one another. I do not really want the players to have ultimate control over their characters in this respect. They will be merely controlling their characters in order to bring about a desired outcome rather than refusing an undesired outcome. So even though Mr. Light Side PC doesn't want his character to become an evil Jedi he will not be able to flat out say, "No...my character IS NOT turning evil."

Personally I'd rather the older dark brother turn the younger one...it allows me to bring them back as the leaders of a dark jedi clan in the New Jedi Order.

Lord Diggori
26 February 2002, 03:49 AM
I didnt know these were PCs. This does make stuff difficult but it's still do-able.

The player is like the PC's ego: the will and decision maker. But as we know our emotions can greatly interfere with the ego's functioning. If the player doesnt want to give in to his feelings I say give him cumulative penalties to represent the conflict within. Start gradually at first but they should build the more incensed the PC becomes when fear and anger at his ultimate defeat approach.

I think this battle of wits can be reflected by using role-playing if you dont like using Diplomacy, Intimidate, Sense Motive, Bluff, and/or Will saves alone. Depending on the what is said set a Will save DC and for every 5 points by which it fails grant a virtual DSP or virtually redeem one DSP. Either the darksider will collapse in shame and sadness (all DSP virtually redeemed) or the Jedi will destroy the source of his anger/fear (virtually on the darkside). Both are nice dramatic ending , are they not?

NilAdmirari
26 February 2002, 05:00 AM
Originally posted by Lord Diggori

I think this battle of wits can be reflected by using role-playing if you dont like using Diplomacy, Intimidate, Sense Motive, Bluff, and/or Will saves alone. Depending on the what is said set a Will save DC and for every 5 points by which it fails grant a virtual DSP or virtually redeem one DSP. Either the darksider will collapse in shame and sadness (all DSP virtually redeemed) or the Jedi will destroy the source of his anger/fear (virtually on the darkside). Both are nice dramatic ending , are they not?

I think a large portion of the battle will rely on "virtual" force points...The heroes will not lose or gain the points permanetly...unless of course the dark jedi converts which will bring him down to 1 dark side point below being tainted. I like the idea but generally dislike instituting complex house rules but this is a sort of special occasion where there is no clear and cut way around it. This shouldn't really be a roleplaying battle, not in my eyes anyways, the characters for at least the end will kind of take place in an interactive movie. They get to control the actions but not the wills this time. I can't wait. I'll fine tune the virtual force point thing...likely just pitting force points against darkside points. Which on that note I believe the CR actually indicates that regular force points are light sided...at least they do in the sense that a force point can cancel out a darkside point statistically, at least before the Jedi turns completely.

frozenjedi
26 February 2002, 05:26 AM
seems like your going to have quite the encounter coming up .

to maximize the effort being put into it , make sure the final conflict has a truly epic setting , a large air shaft with apparently no botom , (cloud city , and even Theed Place in TPM) , High Tech lightshow , ( the battle outside the thron on death star 2 , or the energy beam conduits in theed palace ) and really amp up the description prior to the players even being able to make a move .

otherwise you really do have your hands full. i hope only the best outcome !

NilAdmirari
26 February 2002, 09:15 PM
Originally posted by frozenjedi
.
otherwise you really do have your hands full. i hope only the best outcome !

Yeah...not to mention I have 3-perhaps 4 other characters that I need to satisfy for endings as well. One of them I know what I'm doing, another I have an inkling, another I have no idea, and another I'm not sure if he's even playing yet...I'll let everyone know how it turns out...the least I could do with all the great responses...thanks everyone.