GC Extra - The Force
Since the nature of the Force is described in detail in many other published sources, we'll keep it simple here. The Force is the mystical energy that pervades all things in the universe. It may be more concentrated in some places than in others, but it's everywhere there is life. "Unalive" things such as droids, do not share a connection to the Force.
The positive, or Light Side of the Force is represented by creative aspects of life. The negative, or Dark Side of the Force is represented by the destructive aspects of life. The Dark Side is said to always be tempting Force users with quick and easy access to power by tapping into destructive emotions and energies. It is thought by Jedi that the constructive Light Side is a more difficult path, while the destructive Dark Side is the easier one, but neither side is truly stronger than the other.
The Force in the Game
Star Wars games are inevitably about right and wrong, good versus evil. This struggle can be an external one, internal one, and often both for the heroes. Whatever form it takes, it is always an adventure of titanic proportions, an epic tale of good versus evil. It is this epic struggle that gives Star Wars its most important flavor. Without it, it's just another SciFi game.
While it is the Storyteller's job to present a dramatic setting in which to tell the characters' stories, it's also useful to provide players some way to model that epic, internal struggle against the Dark Side.
A GM can use the following as a guide to decide when a character has flirted with, or crossed the line with the dark side of the Force.
Murder of an Innocent. Using the Force to kill is a major transgression and colors a character’s perception of himself and the world around him. It also colors his use of the Force. While killing in defense of oneself or others maybe acceptable, the act of using the Force to murder is not.
Use of Dark Powers. Using a Force skill or stunt that is described as dark side, is considered a major transgression.
Use of the Force for Vengeance. Sometimes a person might be angry when they use the force, but there is a difference between righteous anger when using the Force in defense of others and using the Force to take personal revenge. When a character uses the Force to strike back at a target when it’s not necessary to do so except to get revenge, this is a major transgression.
Using the Force to Torture. This is self-explanatory. It’s an evil act and that colors the character’s connection to the Force.
Minor transgressions describe a number of cases that aren’t obviously evil. They might be small acts of unkindness, or perhaps things that seem altruistic but might not be. For example, killing an evil Force user guilty of murder when he’s helpless might be protecting people from his wickedness in the long run, but it’s still killing. Whether it was necessary or not might be up to the situation and perceptions at the time. Thus, it could be a judgment call as to whether or not a dark side transgression occurred.
A GM has the option to let it go, but to make note of it. Repeated questionable transgressions might cause the GM to declare that they eventually amount to a major transgression in time. What kind of transgression should be related to whatever was the final “straw”.
Seduction of the Dark Side
When it’s determined that a major transgression has occurred, the character gains a Seduction of the Dark Side stunt and must pay for it by reducing his Refresh. If his Refresh ever drops below zero due to gaining Seduction stunts, the character becomes fully Dark and becomes an NPC controlled by the GM after the end of the current scene.
This stunt must be taken separately for each type of transgression a character might have committed.
- Seduction of Murder. This stunt is gained when a Force-using character murders the helpless or the innocent.
- Seduction of Dark Power. Gain this stunt when you use a dark side skill or power.
- Seduction of Pain. Gain this stunt when you use the Force to torture others needlessly.
- Seduction of Vengeance. Gain this stunt when you use the Force to get revenge.
The stunts all provide similar benefits but are applicable to their specific situation. When a Seduction stunt is first purchased, the character then gains a +1 bonus to any use of the Force or any action that would lead to a further major transgression of the same type. Committing the same transgression three times advances this stunt to grant a +2 bonus, but at the cost of another point of Refresh. In addition, you must change one of your aspects to a twisted version that reflects the nature of the transgression. Every three further times you commit the transgression, you must change another aspect, although the bonus gained and Refresh cost do not change. (So, the maximum Refresh cost for each Seduction stunt is −2.)
If you gain three or more Seduction stunts, you gain a further +1 bonus to use the Force for an action that is a major transgression. Thus, you could gain a maximum +3 bonus.