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Revamping Concentration
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
I think you're losing site of the fact that Luke is not a character in the game. He is a character in a film that was was made from a screenplay written completely ungoverned by game mechanics. Unless you are going to run a player in the game playing Luke in the film's Trench Run scenario for some weird reason, it can remain a special one-time metaplot event. I feel it should be a special event for this very special and unique NPC.

I haven't lost sight so much as I'm looking at it from a different perspective. Yes, Luke is not a character in the game, but he is a character in the Star Wars universe, which the game is trying to represent. As such, Luke should at least somewhat conform to the rules of the universe in which he exists. To me, this means that the power used to represent how he hits the exhaust port should functionally allow him to make the shot without violating the rules of the game, without requiring any GM handwaving. No, I don't expect the trench run to be duplicated in a game, but the manner in which it was done should comply with the rules of the universe.

The debate as to whether or not the WEG RAW is an accurate representation of the SWU is long-running and ongoing, and I will readily admit that it isn't perfect, but that's why we debate things here, trying to refine what is there to make a better approximation of the SWU as seen in the films.

Quote:
Finally, "Concentration" was always an incorrect interpretation of the film. Concentration is defined as "the action or power of focusing one's attention or mental effort." This is a conscious effort made by what Jung would call the ego. That is not at all what happened in the Death Star trench. On the Falcon, Obi-Wan said, "You must go of your conscious self and act on instinct." In the trench, Obi-Wan's ghost said, "Let go, Luke." Luke wasn't concentrating. Luke was letting go of his concentration. He was letting his unconscious mind take over. His instinct. This is the direct opposite of consciously focusing attention and mental effort.

My take is that a character's dice in Force skills is representative of the degree to which a character can "let go of their conscious self and act on instinct." A Force Attribute (if used) would be the degree of natural connection the character already possesses; a character with 1D would require a lot of training to be able to do so effectively, whereas a character like Luke or Anakin with a 6D or 7D Force attribute would find it came as naturally as breathing, and was in fact something they had been doing their whole life without really realizing it.

And I agree that Concentration is not the best fit for this; my first inclination is to throw it out entirely. Failing that, however, I'd prefer a version that at least allows Luke to do what the power says he can do without requiring an on-the-fly GM revision of the actual wording of the power just for Luke's sake.
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.

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CRMcNeill
Director of Engineering
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Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 12390
Location: Redding System, California Sector, on the I-5 Hyperspace Route.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill raised an interesting point that nothing we see w/r/t trusting the Force matches with the Concentration power as written. So what would Concentration look like as a power with a similar effect, but acting on instinct rather than an intense focus? What would it be called? Force Instinct?
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.

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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For one thing, I think it needs to be a Sense power rather than Control.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure what is meant by "trusting the force," but some scenes (the Yoda v. Dooku scene where he rescues Obi Wan and Anakin as Dooku makes his escape) seem to suggest a concentrated degree of mental focus/effort, even a degree of "exertion."

Another example of deliberate, focused effort could be Qui-Gon trying to affect mind on Watto.

There are also suggestions that "sensing" things takes deliberate, concentrated effort at times (such as when Mace and Yoda are "sensing stuff" and Mace says, "I think it's time we informed the senate that our ability to use the force has diminished.") Other times suggest that the force "grants" insight or knowledge unsolicited (such as Luke on Degobah learning that his friends are in danger, or Vader detecting the arrival of Obi-Wan, or Luke detecting Vader's presence during their attempt to infiltrate the empire).

Other scenes involve the character "relaxing" and then seeing an immediate improvement in results (Luke getting his lightsaber in the wampa's cave; similarly, Luke using TK on 3P0 during his captivity among the ewoks).
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Whill raised an interesting point that nothing we see w/r/t trusting the Force matches with the Concentration power as written. So what would Concentration look like as a power with a similar effect, but acting on instinct rather than an intense focus? What would it be called? Force Instinct?

I didn't mean that nothing anywhere in the films involves concentration. I meant concentration was misinterpretation of specifically what we see in the Luke's trench run. But it is true that I view Concentration as an unnecessary power, but it is not because there is never any "concentration" in the films.

And in the past in general, I've expressed that we don't need a power to represent every word of Jedi dialogue in the films. Preparation, CPs, and FPs can represent "trusting the Force" and "concentration" both. The dialogue is often just pure fluff for existing game mechanics.

But admittedly, I don't have a need to make Luke destroying the Death Star fully representative in game terms when a PC in the game will never be the son of the Chosen One or in that exact same situation. So I've got no horse in this race. I'm only even replied because one of my statements about the trench run was being generalized and could use clarification.

Naaman wrote:
I'm not sure what is meant by "trusting the force"

In Luke's trench run, Obi-Wan's ghost reminds Luke of his teachings on Falcon on the way to Alderaan. Let go of his conscious self, and act on instinct. Release the ego. Trust the Force instead. There is no hint or implication by dialogue or actor performance that Obi-Wan wants Luke to focus or concentrate. It's the opposite of concentration.

That isn't to say that there aren't cases of Jedi masters telling students to concentrate. Of course there are. But the trench run was not one of them.
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CRMcNeill
Director of Engineering
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Location: Redding System, California Sector, on the I-5 Hyperspace Route.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would argue that, in context, "concentrate" was "concentrate on the Force," and not "concentrate on the task you wish to accomplish." A lot of the WEG Force powers read like magic powers from AD&D, as opposed to the seemingly instinctive, symbiotic relationship with the Force that is pretty clearly implied by the dialogue of the Jedi themselves. The net effect of Concentration would seem to be better represented by a character concentrating on the Force, which in turn guides and directs the character as to when and how to perform the actions necessary to succeed at the task at hand.
_________________
"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.

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