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Announcement: Defining the Darkness

JediRP Staff

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We have had, for a very long time, an ongoing debate among the community of our roleplay: "What is the definition of using the dark side?" Obviously, Jedi shouldn't be using the dark side, and Sith typically shouldn't be using the light side either, but it's far easier to say what is light and good because it is typically beneficial and extrinsically motivated in nature. By contrast, the dark side has typically been denoted with intrinsic motivations and typically used to harm or to otherwise hoard power. But when we look at the blurry point in the middle, a lot of people have had different definitions over the years, which has allowed a pseudo holy war to carry on for over a decade now. Before now, the Mods have allowed people to define the Force differently for each of their characters because we see a few examples of this happening in canon, but recently we've identified this lack of a definition to be the root cause of many problems facing balances and intentional and unintentional abuses to our system. Today we clearly define what it means to use the dark side, so writers can understand where the line is and when they cross it with their characters.

The dark side is specifically using the Force to cause pain for pain's sake, to kill or wantonly destroy, subvert the natural order, or for personal gain. It is not using the dark side when using the Force to subdue someone, or to perform simple or menial tasks. (Powers such as Lightning, Drain, and Pyromancy fit this definition of the dark side.)


There it is, that's it.

Questions This Will Likely Raise:


  • How does this affect my character?

    It affects them moving forward, but you're free to not "suffer punishment" if their past actions don't quite fit the above definition. Let's just say coincidentally all our characters had a small epiphany on the subject. If your character is built around using the Force offensively or in a manner that breaks the above definition but they're technically a "light side" character, then you will need to rework the character, and the Mods have acknowledged that they will potentially need to help these people brainstorm how to change their characters while retaining an appropriate theme and feel. The intention here isn't specifically to neuter players and their characters or factions, but rather to clarify and smooth an area that has caused us trouble for a while now.
  • Is [insert Force power here] now a dark side technique?

    Depends on how it's used as per the above description. We didn't want to limit characters to a list of specific techniques, or we would have simply published those lists. Doing so would make the stories told here a lot less interesting, flattening story for game mechanics and making everything feel more like a tabletop game or KoTOR rather than a collaborative storytelling effort. For example, let's look at Telekinesis, a typically neutral Force power. Can your Jedi use it to block an opponent, or perhaps injure them via a metal pole swung from their blind side at their leg to prevent their retreat and it's still considered light side? Sure. Can they use it to kill them? No, that is the dark side per the above definition, and Jedi should not be killing with the Force. If death is necessary, a Jedi should strive to resort to their lightsaber or other swift death.
  • Do Jedi have a serious disadvantage in duels now?

    Absolutely not. The Mods would also like to emphasize that this definition specifically applies to Force techniques only, not personal thoughts, actions not involving the Force, or use of weaponry. Jedi and other light side characters can still use their lightsaber or other weapons, and similar to the justification Mace Windu used to make the determination to kill Palpatine, you are allowed to use lethal means of stopping your opponent, just not with the Force. This isn't to say that we should have a bunch of characters running around acting like villains while only using the Force in a manner that aligns with the light side per the above definition, but in the sense that duels should be balanced and fair, Jedi are encouraged to develop and focus more on defensive and nonlethal subduing tactics when using the Force, while the Sith are encouraged to ignore defense over offense when it comes to Force usage. All other options, using any legal weapon or the terrain to kill or harm an opponent, is still free game.


Moving forward, there are likely other areas that will need clarifying and rebalancing. FUs will be given more leeway to incorporate weapons into their kit, but what that means when they face off against NFUs is still up for debate, and we're working hard to ensure that nobody winds up with the short stick in all of this. If you have any constructive ideas or commentary or want to point out something not addressed here, please let one of the Mod team know asap either via Discord or by PM.

Edited by Ary the Grey
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