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Re: the lure of the dark side

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  • Yeehaw
    ... One way I dealt with the dark side equivalent with a game I was doing in FATE was to put stress on the group as a whole; I wanted to emphasize the evil as
    Message 1 of 19 , Sep 8 5:03 PM
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      --- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, "howard_m_thompson" <hmthomps@u...> wrote:
      > How would you model the temptation toward the dark side of the force
      > in the Star Wars universe or the temptation toward evil in
      > Middle-earth using the FATE rules?

      One way I dealt with the dark side equivalent with a game I was doing
      in FATE was to put stress on the group as a whole; I wanted to
      emphasize the evil as something that would tear the group apart and
      cast it into conflict if it wasn't properly contained, or at least
      used sparingly. So I gave the evil person extra fate points.

      I didn't tell him they were coming from other players' pools. :)

      It provoked some interesting gameplay later on.
    • john does
      ... Would depend if the PC was trying to stay from the darkside or blatantly flirting with it. You said model temption and it sounds as the PC wants to be good
      Message 2 of 19 , Sep 8 6:45 PM
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        --- howard_m_thompson <hmthomps@...> wrote:
        > How would you model the temptation toward the dark
        > side of the force
        > in the Star Wars universe or the temptation toward
        > evil in
        > Middle-earth using the FATE rules?
        >
        >
        Would depend if the PC was trying to stay from the
        darkside or blatantly flirting with it. You said model
        temption and it sounds as the PC wants to be good so,
        why not just treat it as a normal aspect bidding on pg
        20 of Fate II with a few tweaks?

        1. Set the initial bid limit at the pertinant aspect
        level, say Jedi. If you're dealing with a 3pt Jedi
        aspect, your (GMs)limit is 3 Darkside FPs. I would use
        something like poker chips, whites normal FPs and red
        darkside FP for simplisity. Put the PC in a moral and
        ethical dilema and bid it out every chance you get.
        2. DSFP (darkside fate points) can be used for good or
        evil. Use them for good and they are gone for good,
        use them for bad and you gain 2 DSFP, 2:1 swap. (Evil
        grin - this should make sense in a minute)
        3. How do these DSFPs effect the game you might ask.
        Well, as the GM you set a limit of them based on your
        flavor. This "limit" only the GM should know! It could
        be a flat number or a ratio of FP:DSFP. What ever it
        may be, for every DSFP over the limit one level of the
        aspect becomes dark. This too should be tracked by the
        GM, NOT the PC! If all aspect levels become dark the
        PC has slipped and becomes part of the darkside (NPC
        or just an evil PC)
        4. Now the tricky part of my idea! I discussed using
        and losing DSFP, but what about DS aspect levels
        (DSAL)? Should they go away if the DSFP go down? I
        don't think so. I think they should remain dark to
        represent the growing grip of the dark side. So, again
        what about the DSALs? Normal aspect levels are used,
        well, normally. DS aspect levels (which the PC has no
        idea that he has and the GM is tracking) uses the DSAL
        thinking it is a normal use! If the PC is using it to
        do evil then add two to the result. Options: if the PC
        gets a MoS, that aspect level is forever dark or give
        him DSFP equal to the MoS, increasing the grip of the
        darkside. If its a MoF no change, it replenishes dark.
        If the PC uses it to do good then subtract two from
        the result. (DSAL dont like to do good) If even with
        the -2 the result ends up w/ a MoS then the DSAL
        reverts to normal and enough DSFP are removed to
        correspond. Losing any kind of FP could hurt but
        getting back on track should hurt! If it is used for
        good and results in a MoF, still reduce the number of
        DSFP by the MoF but the aspect remains dark.

        Dilema: On a MoF w/ a DSAL if you ask for DSFP from
        the PC then he/she will realize they have at least one
        DSAL. Any ideas/thoughts?

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      • howard_m_thompson
        ... I was well aware of Paladin when I asked the question. What do you think of treating any (scene appropriate personality) aspect as if it were a dark side
        Message 3 of 19 , Sep 12 8:47 AM
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          --- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, "Rob" <r_donoghue@y...> wrote:

          > ... PS - As a side note, Clinton R Nixon's pdf game, Paladin, does a
          > wonderful job with this sort of theme, and is well worth a looksee ...

          I was well aware of Paladin when I asked the question. What do you think
          of treating any (scene appropriate personality) aspect as if it were a "dark
          side" trait in the same way "The Dark Powers" is used in Rob's first
          response to the question (message 1191). Thereafter, the aspect is
          tainted.

          Consider the following quote: Gandalf said of the One Ring, "...the way of
          the Ring to my heart is by pity, pity for weakness and the desire of
          strength to do good ..."

          So, if every character has any aspect that can be tainted (in the
          appropriate circumstances), that is good enough. You might well ask, "He
          who gains the Ring gains a "dark side" aspect, so, why the need for the
          additional trait?" My answer is: I also want to model the evolution of
          characters like Boromir & Saruman.
        • Lydia Leong
          ... This approach is the one that appeals to me for Star Wars, certainly, where it is emphasized that it is, interestingly, one s ties to the world which
          Message 4 of 19 , Sep 12 9:28 AM
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            On Sep 08 06:41, Rob wrote:

            > Dave the Jedi has a few aspects in Jhianda, his childhood love. He's
            > a good guy and follows the code, so he can invoke her as an aspect to
            > protect her, heal her, or do other things that are basically "pure"
            > in her name.
            >
            > [...]


            This approach is the one that appeals to me for Star Wars, certainly,
            where it is emphasized that it is, interestingly, one's ties to the world
            which endanger a Jedi.

            Young Anakin Skywalker starts out with a couple of aspect points in his
            mother. He can invoke them to do good things in her name, like win a
            podrace, but when she dies, he can also invoke them to slaughter,
            in revenge. Etc.

            Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. And hate leads to the Dark Side.

            So it makes sense that each Star Wars character ought to have one or
            more aspects that he really cares about protecting -- and can fear for.
            Evolution along a Dark Side path thus follows the way those aspects are
            being colored by play.

            The One Ring is a slightly different kind of taint. It appeals to the
            lust for power, and thus to simulate its corruptive draw, characters
            need to have some aspect of personality that it can prey upon, or some
            goal that they want to achieve that the Ring's power would make possible.

            The draw of the Dark Side is one that is always driven by a player's
            choices, though -- the way he chooses to act when the thing he cares
            about is threatened. Conseqently the aspect modeling works well for it.

            However, the One Ring's corruptive influence exerts temptation in sort
            of a general mystical way; it's an ongoing temptation rather than a
            situational one. And stealing the Ring is a huge, story-altering choice.
            I'm not sure how to simulate this. Perhaps a character with a weakness
            for it gets a Fate point payout equal to his aspect strength in that
            weakness, whenever the opportunity arises to take it and he resists.

            Moreover, merely being the Ringbearer means that the Ring influences
            you by default. I think in that case, anyone who carries over the long
            term needs to pick it up as a specific aspect.


            -- Lydia
          • Adam Dray
            ... Aspects are a currency that represent the direction of the story in a direction that favors the person with the Aspect. When a character does something
            Message 5 of 19 , Sep 12 10:18 PM
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              At 11:25 AM 9/8/2003, Rob wrote:
              >The short answer is "The Dark Powers are _always_ willing to help".

              Aspects are a currency that represent the direction of the story in a
              direction that favors the person with the Aspect. When a character does
              something Dark, he's going against the protagonist side of the story, and
              thus he is paid by the game master in story currency: a free Aspect. But
              that comes with a price, and that is evil invocation, as the free Aspect is
              not under the player's control.

              Essentially, a Dark Aspect is a metagame bribe for helping the game master
              create conflict and tension.
            • Michael Schwartz
              Would that one could easily port a concept similar to Unknown Armies madness meters to Fate, except tweaked for Jedi passions... anger, fear, aggression, etc.
              Message 6 of 19 , Sep 13 9:50 AM
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                Would that one could easily port a concept similar to Unknown Armies' madness meters to Fate, except tweaked for Jedi passions... anger, fear, aggression, etc. Instead of being hardened, a successful Mind roll equivalent gives serenity... the Jedi has partially mastered his emotions. A failure leads toward the Dark Side, of course, and some regrettable action on the Jedi's part for which he or she must atone. Not certain how to implement it in Fate. :\




                --
                Michael Schwartz
                raconteurx@...
              • Rob
                ... Armies madness meters to Fate, except tweaked for Jedi passions... anger, fear, aggression, etc. Instead of being hardened, a successful Mind roll
                Message 7 of 19 , Sep 14 7:19 PM
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                  --- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, Michael Schwartz <raconteurx@m...>
                  wrote:
                  > Would that one could easily port a concept similar to Unknown
                  Armies' madness meters to Fate, except tweaked for Jedi passions...
                  anger, fear, aggression, etc. Instead of being hardened, a successful
                  Mind roll equivalent gives serenity... the Jedi has partially
                  mastered his emotions. A failure leads toward the Dark Side, of
                  course, and some regrettable action on the Jedi's part for which he
                  or she must atone. Not certain how to implement it in Fate. :\

                  I'm torn as to how much I would want to.

                  On one hand, I love the Madness meters. I think they're a great
                  system for what they do.

                  On the other hand, I'm suspicious of leaving such things in the hands
                  of the dice.

                  Thinking.

                  -Rob D.
                • browncoat
                  I ve been reading this thread with great interest. Isn t being tempted by the Dark Side an involuntary invocation of an Aspect by the GM? If so, this sounds
                  Message 8 of 19 , Sep 14 7:57 PM
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                    I've been reading this thread with great interest. Isn't being tempted
                    by the Dark Side an involuntary invocation of an Aspect by the GM? If
                    so, this sounds like a great time to use the Aspect Bidding model...

                    GM (sliding a point forward): You are standing very close to the
                    Emperor. You are certain without a doubt that you could strike him down
                    before he could sneeze.

                    PC (sliding a point forward): Yes, but Master Yoda warned me about this.
                    I should not kill him in anger.

                    GM (sliding a point forward): Yeah, but this is no ordinary thug. This
                    is the Emperor. Think of all the evil he's done.

                    PC (sliding a point forward): True, but that doesn't make it right.
                    Killing him is still killing him.

                    GM: (sliding a point forward): Okay, but keep in mind, this is the guy
                    who corrupted your father to the Dark Side...

                    PC: (out of points) You're right, he's history!

                    I think that will alleviate Rob's concern that the fate of the character
                    rests solely with the dice.

                    -- Chuck

                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: Rob [mailto:r_donoghue@...]
                    > Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2003 20:19
                    > To: FateRPG@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: [FateRPG] Re: the lure of the dark side
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, Michael Schwartz <raconteurx@m...>
                    > wrote:
                    > > Would that one could easily port a concept similar to Unknown
                    > Armies' madness meters to Fate, except tweaked for Jedi passions...
                    > anger, fear, aggression, etc. Instead of being hardened, a successful
                    > Mind roll equivalent gives serenity... the Jedi has partially
                    > mastered his emotions. A failure leads toward the Dark Side, of
                    > course, and some regrettable action on the Jedi's part for which he
                    > or she must atone. Not certain how to implement it in Fate. :\
                    >
                    > I'm torn as to how much I would want to.
                    >
                    > On one hand, I love the Madness meters. I think they're a great
                    > system for what they do.
                    >
                    > On the other hand, I'm suspicious of leaving such things in the hands
                    > of the dice.
                    >
                    > Thinking.
                    >
                    > -Rob D.
                    >
                    >
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                  • Mike Holmes
                    ... I completely agree. I don t see how you need anything other than the involuntary invocation rules to make this work well. Basically, the GM sets up an
                    Message 9 of 19 , Sep 15 7:44 AM
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                      >From: "browncoat" <browncoat@...>
                      >
                      >I've been reading this thread with great interest. Isn't being tempted
                      >by the Dark Side an involuntary invocation of an Aspect by the GM? If
                      >so, this sounds like a great time to use the Aspect Bidding model...

                      I completely agree. I don't see how you need anything other than the
                      involuntary invocation rules to make this work well.

                      Basically, the GM sets up an internal conflict for the character which is,
                      "do dark side thing, or walk away like you're supposed to in order to remain
                      on the Light Side". Internal struggles like this are normally automatically
                      successful for the character to accomplish. But then the GM uses involuntary
                      invocation of some appropriate Aspect to have the character fail to walk
                      away if he doesn't buy his way out. I'd allow the player to win if he goes
                      to the max. But eventually he'll run out of FP and then he's stuck. So he
                      has to constantly be generating FP somehow to make sure he can resist the
                      dark side, or occasionally allowing it to take him over. The other thing he
                      has to do is be resolving his problems so that the GM can't be using them
                      against him forever. Which makes for good pacing, IMO.

                      To incentivize the use of the Dark Side, I'd allow an automatic 1 bonus to
                      die rolls using the Force when the player uses the Dark Side. I think the
                      Dark Side is objectively stronger. They always win, and have just seem to
                      have more power. Darth Maul kills Quigon Jin (sp), it could be argued that
                      Kenobi uses the Dark Side to kill Darth Maul, Vader beats Luke a couple of
                      times until Luke uses the Dark Side to beat him down. When Luke doesn't kill
                      Vader, and goes back to the light side, the Emperor easily blasts him.

                      The way that the light side wins is not in direct Light Force to Dark Force
                      conflict. It's through changing the arena to feelings and getting the
                      participants back to the light side. Kenobi redeems Luke, Luke redeems his
                      father, who then defeats the emperor by surprise. So I think it's definitely
                      a cool idea to give bomuses for allowing the dark side to take over. This
                      has to be part of an invocation, however. The player can't just say that
                      he's using the Dark Side. There has to be some reason related to an Aspect
                      that he character has the emotional power to tap into the Dark Side.

                      I don't think that it's a good idea for the player to ever "lose control" of
                      the character. Luke goes to the brink, and then "his player" decides that
                      he's going to come back. It's much cooler as a player choice. The game makes
                      the Dark Side a reasonable option by making it cost a FP to resist ("Luke,
                      it is your Destiny!").

                      So, just to be clear on the whole climactic scene in RotJ, I see it going
                      like this:

                      1. The Emperor taunts Luke which the GM uses to activate Luke's "Hates the
                      Empire" Apsect. Luke's player accepts the FP and attacks.
                      2. Luke and Vader both burn up most of their FP on the next couple of
                      rounds. They both have the force at Epic, but Vader using the Dark Side is
                      effectively at Legendary. Luke, despite having taken the FPs is not using
                      the Dark Side. So Luke is losing to Vader, who scores a couple of minor
                      injuries on Luke.
                      3. The GM invokes Luke's Hate Aspect again as the Emperor taunts him as the
                      fight proceeds. Luke's player, desperate, takes the FP again.
                      4. This time Luke's player also decides to use the Dark Side for the bonus.
                      This and the new FP put him over the top, and Luke gets Vader on the ropes.
                      With the last couple of FP he could probably Kill Vader.
                      5. The Emperor makes an error, and tells Luke to kill Vader Involuntarily
                      Invoking the Hate Aspect, one time too many. Luke's player, thinking
                      carefully, and realizing that the Emperor is probably a nasty opponent
                      himself, and that he'd probably be forced to join him if he kills Vader,
                      decides to spend his last FP on not killing Vader, and turns off the Dark
                      Side.
                      6. Out of FP, wounded, and not usig the Dark Side, Luke is an easy target
                      for the Emperor who uses his Dark Side bonus and a his couple of FP to
                      maneuver Luke for the Coup de Grace.
                      7. Meanwhile, however, Luke appeals to his Father, who, seeing his mentor
                      has betrayed him, seeing that his son has spared him despite it meaning his
                      defeat, and finally showing some signs of humanity turns on the Emperor.
                      Essentially, the GM rules that he has involuntarily invokes Vader's "Loves
                      Family" Aspect (involuntarily invoked in Ep2 to make him kill the sand
                      people) and he has let it make him fail to remain loyal to the Emperor,
                      gaining him a bunch of FP.
                      8. Vader uses the new FP to surprise the Emperor, and chuck him over the
                      edge. Conflict resolved.

                      I think that would all work out pretty well.

                      Mike

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                    • howard_m_thompson
                      ... Each character needs to have an aspect that is a personality trait or relationship.
                      Message 10 of 19 , Sep 15 11:11 AM
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                        --- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Holmes" <homeydont@h...>
                        wrote:
                        > ... I don't see how you need anything other than the
                        > involuntary invocation rules to make this work well ...

                        Each character needs to have an aspect that is a personality trait or
                        relationship.
                      • Iago
                        I think people have pretty much nailed it in thinking that the core aspect mechanic does the whole Light Side/Dark Side thing pretty nice and clear without
                        Message 11 of 19 , Sep 15 4:54 PM
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                          I think people have pretty much nailed it in thinking that
                          the core aspect mechanic does the whole Light Side/Dark
                          Side thing pretty nice and clear without much need for
                          extras. Really, when you look at it, any aspect that
                          represents a power or a set of powers (e.g., The Force) is
                          through its basic mechanics putting forward two powerful
                          and resonant story ideas, providing your given GM and
                          player are sensitive to them:

                          * With great power comes great responsibility (gritting
                          your teeth, giving the GM those FPs when the choice is
                          really tough, but right)

                          * With great power comes great _temptation_ (those FPs
                          look pretty damned nice if you can struggle towards a
                          tasty large quantity of them)

                          This latter is something I particularly like in the SW
                          universe, because it says that _everyone_ who is strong in
                          the Force is also fighting (or frequently giving in to)
                          the Dark Side, and that that battle is a really expensive
                          one (Luke's and, now, Anakin's, are the only ones we get
                          particular visibility into). Makes me look at Yoda as one
                          seriously put-upon green dude. How many FPs do you figure
                          he shells out to go all serene in the face of adversity?

                          Not to mention, a particularly evil GM could hopscotch
                          over to some other aspects as well to make the inner
                          struggle that much more acute (Luke's connection to Leia
                          as his sister -- dear gods, that boy had to have gone into
                          that room with the Emperor with a load of 'em to have held
                          out as well as he did). The Force would simply be the
                          touchstone aspect around which other aspects could be
                          twisted against the character's will.

                          One thing to think about is that this approach brings up a
                          lot of the "aspects in conflict" ideas we've discussed in
                          the past on this list. That's where any possible
                          additional mechanical complexity might come in. If The
                          Force is the one aspect you need in order to fuel any of
                          your Force Powers, but you can temper the calling of the
                          Dark Side by pitting your Serene aspect against it, or
                          give into it with even greater ferocity because you're an
                          Angry Youth, then all the better.

                          --
                          Fred Hicks <iago AT iago DOT net>
                          "Curse you iago and your fast fingers!" - Rob Donoghue
                          Fate RPG - http://www.evilhat.com/fate/
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                        • lance dyas
                          ... Yup to make complex relationships and personalities subject to mechanics.. .characters need to have them defined mechanically. -- Lance Dyas Google Me
                          Message 12 of 19 , Sep 15 5:14 PM
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                            howard_m_thompson wrote:

                            >--- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Holmes" <homeydont@h...>
                            >wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            >>... I don't see how you need anything other than the
                            >>involuntary invocation rules to make this work well ...
                            >>
                            >>
                            >
                            >Each character needs to have an aspect that is a personality trait or
                            >relationship.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            Yup to make complex relationships and personalities subject to
                            mechanics.. .characters need to have them defined mechanically.

                            --
                            Lance Dyas

                            Google Me under : Lost Worlds Roleplaying

                            -- Lance Dyas
                            Lost Worlds Roleplaying - at the Decision Driven Gaming Center
                            http://www.dyasdesigns.com/roleplay/LostWorlds
                          • Mike Holmes
                            ... That s true. And I agree that you have to have something relevant to the character to cause him to have an invocation episode . But I think you don t have
                            Message 13 of 19 , Sep 16 1:01 PM
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                              >From: lance dyas <lancelot@...>

                              > >Each character needs to have an aspect that is a personality trait or
                              > >relationship.
                              > >
                              > Yup to make complex relationships and personalities subject to
                              >mechanics.. .characters need to have them defined mechanically.

                              That's true. And I agree that you have to have something relevant to the
                              character to cause him to have an "invocation episode". But I think you
                              don't have to relegate this to only relationships. Anything that the
                              character cares about can be invoked. Including, possibly, the Force Aspect
                              itself. For example, I can see a situation where the Force fails the
                              character at some crucial test of it. Yoda asks Luke to lift something, and
                              he can't. The failure itself could contain the seeds of enough anger to
                              allow the GM to involuntarily invoke the Force Aspect itself in order to get
                              the character to use the Dark Side (I know that I've used the Dark Side of
                              my big boot to squash some inanimate objects that didn't deserve it before
                              when I've been frustrated).

                              So it doesn't have to be a relationship (though those are great). It can be
                              a threat to some cherished object, or another skill that fails the
                              character. Anything that might cause Anger to erupt. I mean, things like
                              "Hate's Bob" are obvious choices, but how about a character's racial pride
                              being insulted? Every Aspect has a "negative" side if you look for it long
                              enough.

                              Mike

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