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cdtatro
11 May 2002, 05:34 AM
Okay, two kinda dumb dark side point questions here. As I've said elsewhere, I'm getting ready to run my first d6 game so I want to be sure what I'm talking about.

1) Could a character start off with a Dark Side Point? Let's assume these characters are now absolute beginners but maybe the equivalent of 4th or 5th level characters if we were talking d20, not 1st level. The player has developed an interesting enough backstory that justifies his character having the DSP. Should I give the player any "bonus points" to offset this, as if it were a Drawback in some other game system? Maybe an extra die of skills (or for attributes)?

2) What "good" do DSPs do for Dark Side Characters? The rules are pretty clear that once you have 6 you're lost to the Dark Side, but why keep track of them beyond that? The Emperor has about 30 poitns according to the Trilogy Sourcebook. Maybe I'm just missing something, but what does it matter when you get beyond 6? Is it only to see how much effort it would take to turn someone back (if so, it seems Luke turned Vader pretty easily for someone with 20 odd DSPs). And how do you even determine DSPs for an NPC anyway - did the game designers just think 33 or so sounded like a good number for Palpatine? Just seems incredibly arbitrary.

Thanks for your patience and for the help,

Chris

JediStarWind
11 May 2002, 06:46 AM
I'm pretty sure as soon as you get a DSP you roll 1d... if you get below the number of DSP's you have you turn... it takes atoning or a "heroic event at the dramatically appropriate time" to get rid of them (Luke Cutting off Vader's hand in a fit of Rage then turning to the emperor and saying he wont fight anymore... or Vader chucking the Emperor off the deck to his death to save Lukes life) to answer your second question as to what good dark side points do for dark siders... well... i blieve Vagnard in "Record of Lodoss War chronicles of the heroic knight" said it best "Is it not right for someone Great and powerful to desire more power." when a dark sider uses a DSP to do evil he gains a second one back, granting even more power...

hope that helps,

Ken


Nice to see another GM from New Hampshire :)

GreenCape
11 May 2002, 07:40 AM
To answer your first question: in the back of the rulebook there is a template (the Failed Jedi) which specifically starts with a DSP. So yes, the rules allow it (and even if they didn't, it's still your game).
As to giving the PC bonus points to offset it, this sounds like a good idea, especially since the player has written a good background (in my games i give PCs free bonus points for good backgrounds. But that's just me).

As to your second question, that bugged me too when i first read it. The advantage to DSPs as stated in the rulebook is that DarkSiders only gain a CP when they gain a DSP (the whole Dark Side taking more than it gives set-up). The problem here is that an Evil Overlord type like Palpatine wouldn't hesitate to fry babies with Force Lightning before breakfast if he could get an advantage for it, which would tend to make that type of character very powerful very quickly. So i have included a rule in my games that states that whenever a DarkSider should gain a DSP, they must manage a Willpower roll with the difficulty being their current number of DSP (with a bonus modifier for truly horrible acts). This makes powergamers stop and think very quickly.

Well, that's how i run my games. I hope it helps and answers your questions.

JediStarWind
11 May 2002, 07:58 AM
nice touch with the will roll :D

Grimace
11 May 2002, 12:21 PM
As was pointed out, there are some templates that show that a character can start with a Dark Side Point. I've allowed it before in my games, and normally I forego the mandatory roll for the DSP. I figure that the person received the DSP well before he/she ever got to the point of the "adventure" (when they were made) and the "roll" was made then...and he/she didn't fall to the Dark Side. Of course a player choosing this is making it harder on themselves, so I usually give them the benefit of the doubt to start.

Giving out something of an offset is entirely up to you. I've done it sometimes, but normally I tell them what that offset is. Typically, when I give my players a "free" bonus, they put it into something that doesn't necessarily go along with their background. So I'll give them a bonus, I'll just tell them where they have to put it.

As far as the DSPs, what they actually do is dependent of what aspect of the rules you look at. In 2nd edition, they didn't really do anything, other than guage how bad you were. In the 2nd edition R&E GM's handbook (the insert that came with the GM screen), DSPs for characters that haven't dropped to the Dark Side gain 1D in Force Powers for each DSP they have. That's part of the lure of the dark side. Quicker, easier, more seductive. Once a person goes to the Dark Side, those added dice to the Force are taken away. As was also mentioned, the only way for Dark Siders to gain CPs is to gain a DSP. That aspect was mentioned in 2nd edition R&E. Other than that, I don't see what else DSPs do.

I, personally, always go with the idea that after a person falls to the Dark Side, it becomes ever harder to "impress" the Dark Side and gain future DSPs. Therefore, the Emperor having 33 or so is actually an impressive thing, if you progressively make the DSPs harder after the person falls to the Dark Side. Remember, the Dark Side wants people to succumb to it's will, so initially it's easy, but after it has you in it's grasp, it's ease is gone and you are doomed.

cdtatro
11 May 2002, 05:00 PM
Originally posted by Grimace
As far as the DSPs, what they actually do is dependent of what aspect of the rules you look at. In 2nd edition, they didn't really do anything, other than guage how bad you were. In the 2nd edition R&E GM's handbook (the insert that came with the GM screen), DSPs for characters that haven't dropped to the Dark Side gain 1D in Force Powers for each DSP they have. That's part of the lure of the dark side. Quicker, easier, more seductive. Once a person goes to the Dark Side, those added dice to the Force are taken away. As was also mentioned, the only way for Dark Siders to gain CPs is to gain a DSP. That aspect was mentioned in 2nd edition R&E. Other than that, I don't see what else DSPs do.

I see now. The rules I have are 2nd edition, and thus DSPs looked completely useless. Someone in another thread pointed me to a listing of differecnes between 2nd and 2R&E, and I see the exact Lure of the Dark Side thing in there (I think it was also in the TOTJ sourcebook I just got, but I think it wasn't written as clearly and it completely confused me.). This is also certainly incentive for someone NOT to get even 1 DSP, since it would make Force skills tougher. Otherwise, you could walk around with 3 or 4 and not worry as long as you were careful.


I, personally, always go with the idea that after a person falls to the Dark Side, it becomes ever harder to "impress" the Dark Side and gain future DSPs. Therefore, the Emperor having 33 or so is actually an impressive thing, if you progressively make the DSPs harder after the person falls to the Dark Side. Remember, the Dark Side wants people to succumb to it's will, so initially it's easy, but after it has you in it's grasp, it's ease is gone and you are doomed.

I think I recall now that it says the difficulty to call on the Dark Side gets harder the more you've done it. Maybe that 33 is the difficulty he has to hit to get any more Dark Side points, and thus character points. Yowza.

I was temporarily thinking of subbing in the way Dark Side Points are used/called on in the d20 system (I know - heresy in this forum!) but I think this clears things up for me nicely. Thanks, all!

Chris

The Admiral
12 May 2002, 12:29 PM
I mentioned in a prior forum but reitterating, IMHO, the numbers of Dark Side points indicate the DEPTH of evil you've stooped to. You kill someone oin cold blood, that's like a 1. You could do this a dozen times, but you still only get your 1. You kill a child in cold blood, well, that's like a 3. Palpatine's quite willing to kill every living thing on an entire planet, THAT's a 33.

DSPs as used don't really give you a bonus (unless you use the interesting rules about skill boosting) they're more a measure of what you could do, if you didn't keep yourself in check. As such, I don't think you really need to offset it, it just makes a much more interesting character, and that in itself ought to be enough of a boost to a player,,,,

Slave-1
26 May 2002, 10:21 AM
I seem to recall that DSP's in first edition D6 allowed you +1D per point to any force atribute(ie. Control, Sence, Alter) but all difficulty #'s for doing 'good' deeds were +5 - + 10. I havent found this yet in 2ndEd R&E but its a good basis as the Dark side tries to lure you to do more evil acts and thus fall even deeper in to the dark side. One possable rule, i have done this only once with a very experienced player more as a test than anything, is if they do fall to the dark side, they lose all bonus's for there DPS's and the dark side and can lo longer call upon the force, unless there calling on the dark side, thus falling even deeper, until they are physicaly consumed by the dark side. The player we tried this with eventualy tried to create dark force lighting powerfull enough to take down a star ship, wich he did, but was consumed the powerfull energies. This is just one example of how they can be used to progress a story, the important thing is to not let the Dark Side characters unbalance the game, and for every one to have fun, with that in mind, anything is possible.

Ace Calhoon
26 May 2002, 01:02 PM
The effects of the 2nd edition R&E DSPs are as follows:
When a character with DSPs uses a force skill/power that character recieves +1D per DSP to his role. HOWEVER, if he doesn't act with the purest intentions (i.e. he uses TK to cheat at a dice game, stuff like that) he recieves an additional DSP. A character may choose to ignore this bonus (most likely to occur if the character is attoning) but all difficulties are increased by one full level.

Once he crosses over to the Dark Side, he no longer recieves these bonuses.

evan hansen
28 May 2002, 05:45 AM
I actually always had quite a problem with the DSP rules in D6. It would seem that the thinking behind the system was that if you were to a certain point, the dark side consumed you and you had no control over your actions -- the dark side controlled your actions.

It seems to me that that's one way of explaining it in game terms, but it paints a pretty incomplete picture. It would seem that it isn't so much the "will" of the dark side that's pushing you somewhere but your own insecurities, powerful desires, etc... Kind of a slippery slope effect. Once you have the power to experience certain levels of power and such, you simply want to continue doing it. So perhaps the "dark side" is a term that explains that slippery slope. Once you start, it becomes very hard to pull away from those goals. But those goals still are YOURS.

That's just kind of how I envisioned it, so I never understood why the WEG rules required that you lost your character. It's obvious that Palpatine, for example, wasn't just following the will of the Dark Side. He was probably spanked a few too many times as a child, and he had an authority issue that just got a little too out of control. ;-) Seriously though, he was definately acting out what he wanted. At least to me.

Anyhow, those are my thoughts on the Dark Side. I might make a rule that says something like after you get DSPs that equal 6 times your number of D in Willpower, the Dark Side kills you... because it looks likes Palpatine ages TREMENDOUSLY as emperor. The worse he gets, the older he looks. So perhaps you age faster and the evil takes its toll on you. Just a thought on that rule (example - player has 3D willpower, he can get up to 18 DSPs before he dies. But maybe it takes twice as many CPs to increase willpower once you have 6 DSPs or something)

Just some thoughts on revisionary rules. :-)

Grimace
28 May 2002, 07:41 AM
The reason why the WEG system originally suggested that the GM took away a character that turned to the Dark Side was due to the fact that the game was designed to be Good vs. Evil, and the players were supposed to play good.

It never seemed "heroic" to me to play a bad guy who's intent was to go around and kill people and do bad stuff to others. Nearly anyone can do that. It's more challenging to play the hero who has to make the tough decision to resist evil temptations and stop the tyrrany that threatens the universe.

That's just me, though. ;)

evan hansen
28 May 2002, 07:44 PM
*chuckles*

I've had this conversation a dozen times with everyone ranging from Kevin Perrine, Pablo Hidalgo, Landon C. Darkwood, and others to my own gaming group at home.

People are all over the map on this one. But I always found it to be an interesting role-playing situation -- be it against the concepts in the WEG books or not (which it is -- Grimace is right). I find the challenge of a GM breaking down all the things we know to be an interesting idea. By that, I mean that I find it interesting to think about how a GM can portray a unit of Imperial personnel as honest people trying to carry out work for a grand Empire. While people like Palpy and Tarkin seem pretty inherently twisted, there are so many good ways to play evil characters. And, indeed, sometimes it's just a nice change of pace to play the other side of the coin, especially if you only play SW-RPG and need an outlet for those more aggressive tendancies.

I can certainly see Grimace's point though. It's hard to get used to the idea of playing the opposite of what we associate with Star Wars.

Slave-1
30 May 2002, 04:01 PM
I agree, this topic has come up more times than i can count, and personaly i can't say that one idea is 'wrong' or 'right', it all depends on the GM and players and how the GM chooses to advance his story for the players. If the GM chooses to let player play someone truely evil that is his right as GM of the game, the trick for the GM is to keep the dark sider under a certain amount of control. After all Luke alowed himself to be controlled by the dark side only to come back from it and finaly defeat palpy once and for all. The galaxy is a large, wonderous, and dangerous place for any one, and for some even more so. It had infinite possabilities, and the chances for evil seem to be more common than good, even tho good always wins in SW, what would a campain be like if the rebels had lost at Endor? I am currenty setting up such a campain ;) should be fun :)