star Wars hack - Nature hacks?

Okay, rambling discussion about Nature hacks for Star Wars. There were some good side discussions in the other thread… I’ll try to move them over when I’m on my computer.

Hmmm. Dark Side as the Nature hack, as temptation of power & expedience. Thematically, I like it better, but it doesn’t mean I’m right. Would anyone be tempted to advance the Dark Side? Game-wise, that’s the tough part, I think.

Of course, if you’re doing the Mandalorean War thing, revisiting the Malak & Revan path, then maybe you do push the edge.

Light Side as the Nature hack, like an extreme version of Mouse-ly hibernation and retreat. Escape, Climb, Hide, Forage. Hmmmm…

Just brainstorming here. The Wookieepedia isn’t so helpful in capturing Jedi philosophy since it varies so much across the various sources. There are no definitive treatises, unlike Samurai… Maybe I need to rewatch Ghost Dog instead of Phantom Menace.

Rinzai-style non-attachment, no mind. This helps you decapitate thousands of Chinese civilians in Nanjing with a sense of clarity. It also says Jedi shouldn’t marry, should live like poor monks.

See, there should be no separation there, in the non-attachment (no Light and Dark dualism). The more you hold onto, the more useless you are as a retainer. Walk through the rain, or dash from shelter to shelter, you are wet nonetheless. Therefore, attachment is only a vanity, a burden. Love of self, of things, of people… all vanities.

Mouse Guard asks you to list parents, mentors, friends & enemies during Recruitment. Is there a space for these attachments when it comes to Jedi? And it isn’t necessarily people when you consider all of our vanities. Self-image, various things we own, the way we live our lives. Carrying a sword in an arrogant, vain way. Is there room for another BIG-type idea when it comes to these vanities?

Of course, tapping Nature as the Light… I like tapping and increasing the Dark, thematically. Quicker and more seductive, especially if you build up your Dark Side.

Okay… some quotes & concepts from the other thread…

(This would probably go faster if I wasn’t doing an Insanity run in Mass Effect 2.)

Maybe the jedi should not want to use his Nature. (Nature is the easy way, more dice to roll.) One must fight against his own nature to become a jedi. A good Jedi Master does not need to use his nature, but their skills. Should not follow their impulses, but what his teachings tell him.

A jedi is more pasive than active. He must not act, but wait. He must remain calm because violence is the last way of the Jedi.

I like Alejandro’s thinking. I like the idea of a tension between Nature and duty.

But as an audience member, I know that I love it when the jedi cut loose. And I’d want that in the game – there should be incentive to remain calm, there should be incentive to kick ass.

Their philosophy should be one of ideals, like chivalry. They are Jedi Knights, after all. And their power should be temptation.

Temptation is definitely a great thing, and an identifiable problem for Jedi. I liked the idea in theory when it came to the prequels, but the storytelling was so ham-handed…

Maybe temptation belongs as a formal method for challenging players. Maybe it needs to be a Hazard/source of Obstacles.

I know it’s there in Friends, family members, and Enemies in Mouse Guard recruitment… but it’s different with Jedi, isn’t it? Especially with Jedi non-attachment (so would you write about parents, friends, and enemies for Jedi?), and the only Jedi Moms in the movies being Anakin’s Mom (I forget her name) & Padme.

I’m still leaning towards the Dark Side as the Nature piece for Jedi.

Oh, I like that idea.

Maybe the dark side is simply using your power for evil – to cause wanton death, destruction and harm.
Maybe that arises from melodrama – conflict between ideals, loyalty and duty – not necessarily an EVIL mechanic.

The prequels are problematic. They reflect a very different perception of the jedi. Which is fine. But in the originals, the jedi were just the Good Guys who used power for Good. And shit like getting mad at your father and being a bigot or despot fucked them up. Those stories had much more of a pulp action feel. The newer ones are pastiche.

Okay, sorry. You’re doing a great job. Keep poking at this. I’m going to butt out!

Ditto. I can’t do Nature discussions anymore. It hurts my brain.

I’m going to self-aggrandizingly quote myself from the other thread.

The job of a Jedi Knight provides the incentive to kick ass, and tapping Nature, I feel, is a perfect way of doing that. Especially if you color tapping Nature as using the Force to kick ass, since the Force is a part of Jedi Nature.

I still say that if we go with that scheme as Jedi Nature, hitting Nature 7 means you retire to go meditate (which is why the Council is largely ineffective in solving the galaxy’s problems), and at Nature 0 you fall to the Dark Side. You’re still strong in the Force, but you have shown yourself to be incompatible with the aspects of the Jedi life which safeguard them from the Dark Side. You’re rash, impulsive, and you act based wholly in your (probably negative) emotions.


Well, if there’s greatness in this process, it’s in the method & getting out of the way. Any appearance of good work is a reflection of the quality of the discussions here, I think.

What comes of the hack is only as good as what we can thrash out as a group… But, I’m preaching to the choir, since I think this whole thing (hacking this way) is just a variant of the BW methodology.

If you hit 0 in Jedi Nature, then what happens if you want to tap the Darker Side (cue Luke (the One, not that one) going bonkers when Darth Vader mentions his sister)?

Bottom line: I think there needs to be a method for using the Dark Side (fear, anger, jealousy, and so on) to boost your dice roll.

Personally, I still like the idea of ninja Nature dice (replacing Fighter in Attack moves, ferinstance) coming out of the Dark side, where the Jedi loses it… But, how this interacts with whatever Jedi/Force skills, I don’t know.

Is it a new mechanic, to use the Dark Side? I kind of wanted to avoid that. Now, we could look to Greed & Corruption in BW for ideas, but I’m trying not to go that way.

OR, do you ditch the Light/Dark concept, and get at a Hazard source? So, “Temptation” or something like that rather than Star Wars dogma about Light/Dark?

Been a long day, and the brain is a little fried…

Okay… Radical thought for the night.

Going along the Temptation route rather than Dark Side or Light Side mechanics through Nature…

What if the player defines the aspects of his or her character’s Temptation? Now, there could be an underlying, universal Dark Side aspect like “Aggression” (see Sith-Weasel Nature in Mouse Guard). That would be great.

What if the player defines the rest?

I think it would fix a lot of things for me/us to bang through in Recruitment if we could tie up the player’s melodrama into one of the game mechanics. It would be like introducing a new BIG element without having to make up a new one.

From a list, maybe?

I know I said the word “temptation” but I think having a Temptation ability way too on the nose. I think the temptation to abuse your power should arise organically in play.
I’d have a set of conditions like the Greed situational obstacles or Static in Lacuna Pt 1 – if the player engages in those situations, they trigger some game effect.

Yeah, I guess I’ll go look at the Emotional traits from BW & consider it some more. Those are probably closer to where we want to get to, anyway.

Any Dwarf players have insights into Greed?

I have never been much for roleplaying Dwarves myself… Just not in my personality type. I do think the Greed effects are not exactly what we want, but the general idea of them are pretty close to what we want.

Luke, are you suggesting triggers like Anger, Fear, Grief, Desire? In other words, such a situation arises in game and within that context a Jedi can tap Nature, a la Luke being triggered by Grief and shooting up all those stormtroopers after Vader “kills” Obi-Wan on the Deathstar, or when he beats the snot out of Vader on the second Deathstar after Vader threatens to turn Leia?

I was just talking general process, not specific content.


I’m afraid I’m still not followin’ ya. Any chance of an example?

Nope. I’m really bowing out of this discussion this time.

Forum design/design by committee isn’t my thing.

Stick to your vision, Beer!

I think you need to ask yourself what your goal is to have a separate source of power/dice you can tap besides Nature. What makes it different than just tapping Nature? If you ask me, having two things you can tap to add dice to a roll is redundant and probably not doing you any favors flavor-wise. The mechanics ought to feel different as mechanics, to my mind.

Once you answer that, then I think the question “How can we model this advancing/the fall to the Dark Side?” will become easier to answer.


Yeah, Luke, I hear the point about design-by-committee.

Of course, I think I needed it, where I was at in my knowledge of the system & Nature & hacking Mouse Guard in general… but I am at a point where I think I can throw it all together in a cohesive whole. I just have to write the thing now.

I think I will go with the Greed idea as the base for the Light/Dark-side conflict.

Odie, I’ve come back around to the Nature-as-Jedi-Nature. Your question: Why is it different than testing Jedi Nature? Excellent point… and now I understand that it doesn’t need to be.

Greed goes up independently from Steel, and the two interact. The degree of one doesn’t mean the other is lesser. This is where I had trouble with the idea of a single, sliding Light/Dark scale… but I wasn’t thinking about Greed and Steel at the time.

Nature (Jedi) and some sort of new attribute for the Dark Side… with Dark Side something like Greed, and Nature (Jedi) something like Steel in the Greed mechanics.

I think I now have all the necessary building blocks to crank out something close to what I want.

Ahhhhhhhhh, so kind of like Honor and Shame from Blossoms? That sort of interplay?