See also: Philosophy, The Dark Path

The Force has two aspects, one Light and one Dark. The Dark Side lurks in the shadows, whispering to Force-users, tempting them with quick and easy access to power. While seemingly stronger, The Dark Side is only easier. It consists of the destructive impulses of all living beings. Anger, fear, hatred, and aggression are expressions of The Dark Side, and such emotions can quickly lead a Force-user down The Dark Side's corrupting path. Early on in their training, a Force-user finds that The Dark Side greatly enhances their abilities. After a time, The Dark Side demands more and more of those in its embrace.

Dark Side Score[edit | edit source]

Your Dark Side Score measures the extent to which you've been corrupted by The Dark Side of The Force. A 1st-level character begins play with a Dark Side Score of 0. The only way to increase one's Dark Side Score is to commit evil acts.

A character who commits an evil act increases their Dark Side Score by 1. What constitutes an evil act is discussed under The Dark Side Transgressions, below. Regardless of how many evil acts a character commits, the maximum Dark Side Score a character can possess is equal to their Wisdom score. Thus, a character with a Wisdom score of 15 can have a maximum Dark Side Score of 15. A character whose Dark Side Score equals their Wisdom score has fully embraced The Dark Side and is wholly evil. A hero who falls to The Dark Side becomes a GM character (Unless the GM wants to allow the player to continue playing The Dark Side character as a sort of campaign anti-hero).

Dark Side Transgressions[edit | edit source]

The GM should use the considerations detailed below as guidelines for whether or not to increase a character's Dark Side Score. The guidelines are separated by degree: Major transgressions are acts that definitely deserve an increase, moderate transgressions are acts that probably deserve an increase, and minor transgressions are acts that could be considered dark but probably don't deserve an increase.

Major Transgressions[edit | edit source]

Any of the following transgressions should increase a character's Dark Side Score by 1:

  • Performing a blatantly evil act: This includes deliberately killing or injuring another character who hasn't done anything wrong or who honestly seeks redemption for evil acts they performed in the past.
  • Using a Force Power with the [Dark Side] descriptor: A few Force Powers are, by their very nature, evil. Examples of Force Powers with the [Dark Side] descriptor include Force Lightning, which channels dark energy, and Dark Rage, which feeds on negative emotions.
  • Using the Force in anger: Using the Force in anger or hatred is bad, but this can be hard to enforce. It's difficult to determine the emotion a character is experiencing. The GM should increase a character's Dark Side Score by 1 in these situations only when the player specifically states that their character is feeling fear, anger, hatred, pride, jealousy, greed, vengeance, and so forth.

Moderate Transgressions[edit | edit source]

Any of the following transgressions might increase a character's Dark Side Score by 1, at the GM's discretion:

  • Using the Force to cause undue harm: Many uses of the Force are not overtly of The Dark Side, but they can be harmful or even fatal in their applications. When a Force Power that isn't specifically tied to The Dark Side is used to harm living beings, the GM should consider increasing the character's Dark Side Score by 1.
  • Performing a questionably evil act: Some acts, while seemingly cruel, aren't necessarily evil. The GM should consider the intent behind the action before deciding to increase a character's Dark Side Score. For example, it may be a transgression to deliberately kill or injure (or allow someone else to kill or injure) a character known to have committed evil acts without remorse, but who is otherwise helpless.

Minor Transgressions[edit | edit source]

Any of the following transgressions might increase a character's Dark Side Score by 1, at the GM's discretion:

  • Performing a dubiously evil act: Increase a character's Dark Side Score only when the act is out of proportion to the situation. In most cases, the GM shouldn't increase a character's Dark Side Score for a single incident, but multiple incidents may indicate that the character has an unconscious cruel streak. For example, a hero who kills an opponent in combat while ignoring opportunities to end the situation without the loss of life might deserve an increased Dark Side Score, though a specific situation might not appear quite so clear-cut.

Atoning[edit | edit source]

A hero tainted by The Dark Side can work their way back to the light through heroic deeds, the use of Force Points, and by atoning for past misdeeds. A dark character's only path back to the light is to accomplish a truly epic act of heroism against the dark and in the service of the light.Effectively, the tainted character accomplishes this by reducing their Dark Side Score. A character can sacrifice 1 Force Point to reduce their Dark Side Score by 1 and clear one box on their Dark Side Score Tracker. This form of atonement represents a period of meditation, reflection, and absolution on the part of the character. If desired by the player and GM, this can be worked into the campaign as part of an adventure, but it isn't necessary. It can occur between adventures.

In addition, an act of Dramatic Heroism by the character- if performed without calling upon The Dark Side- reduces the character's Dark Side Score by 1 and clears one box on their Dark Side Score Tracker.A dark character can't reduce their Dark Side Score by atoning. Such a character's only option is an act of Dramatic Heroism.

Dramatic Heroism[edit | edit source]

A dark character may attempt to turn away from The Dark Side by performing an act of Dramatic Heroism without calling upon The Dark Side of the Force. Such an act should require extreme personal cost, be made in a selfless manner, and provide a significant benefit to the galactic balance. Darth Vader performed such an act of Dramatic Heroism at the end of Return of the Jedi when he sacrificed his own life to save his son and destroy the Emperor. Kyp Durron (In the expanded Star Wars universe) performed a similar act of Dramatic Heroism by destroying the Sun Crusher, a super weapon prototype. Additionally, Jedi history tells of a Jedi named Bastila Shan (From Knights of the Old Republic) falling to The Dark Side, but in an act of Dramatic Heroism she turned the Republic fleet against Darth Malak using a powerful form of Battle Meditation.

If the GM accepts the act as being appropriately heroic, dramatic, and selfless, the character's Dark Side Score drops to 1, and they clear all but one of the boxes on their Dark Side Score Tracker (So that they have a number of empty boxes equal to one less their Wisdom score). In addition, The Dark Side exacts a final toll by drawing away all of the character's current Force Points. Henceforth, the character must strive to walk the path of The Light Side.

Dark Side Score Tracker[edit | edit source]

The Dark Side Score Tracker is a useful tool for tracking a hero's devotion to The Dark Side. The Dark Side Score Tracker is represented as a row of 24 numbered boxes at the bottom of your Saga Edition Character Sheet.A character's Dark Side Score Tracker should have a number of empty boxes equal to the character's Wisdom score. Any extra boxes should be shaded in or blacked out.

SWS-Dark Side Score Tacker.jpg

Whenever a hero's Dark Side Score increases by 1, the player fills in one of the empty boxes on the character's Dark Side Score Tracker. When a character has no more empty boxes on their Dark Side Score Tracker, they are considered to be dark. They are now effectively lost to The Dark Side and have little hope of finding redemption.Whenever a character's Wisdom score increases by 1, they gain an additional empty box on their Dark Side Score Tracker. This box remains empty until their Dark Side Score increases by 1.

A hero who still has empty boxes on their Dark Side Score Tracker may be tainted by The Dark Side, but not beyond redemption. A tainted character can rid themselves of The Dark Side's taint by atoning.

Heroes and the Dark Side[edit | edit source]

A GM may decide to run a completely heroic campaign. In this case, the GM can rule that once a Force-using character becomes dark, that character becomes a GM character and is no longer under the control of the player. If you're the GM, consider this option carefully before implementing it, because it takes away player freedom. If you put this rule in place at the start of your campaign, then it just becomes part of the rules and everyone is aware of the consequences of walking down the dark path.

Beware the Dark Side[edit | edit source]

Most players don't want their Jedi characters to slip over to The Dark Side of the Force. If you want a campaign where all the heroes most constantly strive against the lure of The Dark Side, then the GM should increase a character's Dark Side Score for even the most minor of transgressions. If you want a campaign where the heroes have more room to explore options, or if you don't want slipping to The Dark Side to be a major theme of the campaign, then the GM should consider increasing a character's Dark Side Score only for major or moderate transgressions.

Sensing The Dark Side[edit | edit source]

You must be aware that your target has a Dark Side Score of 1+ to use Talents, Feats, or other abilities that depend on your target having a Dark Side Score. Witnessing a target performing an action that would earn an increase to one’s Dark Side Score (Such as using a Force Power with the [Dark Side] descriptor) satisfies this requirement. Gamemasters may also waive this requirement when you encounter an opponent that you know to have a Dark Side Score due to previous encounters (such as having past experience with Stormtroopers or Sith Lords) or for opponents taking no particular precautions to conceal the presence of a Dark Side Score (such as Thugs, Bounty Hunters, Crime Lords, etc.).

Additional A Helping Hand[edit | edit source]

Reference Book: Star Wars Saga Edition Jedi Academy Training Manual

Even though a Dark Sider might not seek redemption on their own, some people connected to him or her might feel differently. These people might include friends, family, or some loved one who seeks to pull him or her back before they meet a terrible fate.

Any character with a strong connection to the Dark Sider can urge him or her to turn away from The Dark Side. This requires a Persuasion check which can be made once per level for the Dark Sider. If the skill check equals or exceeds the Dark Sider's Will Defense plus their Dark Side Score, and they are actively listening to the plea, the Dark Sider's Dark Side Score is reduced by 1. Others can attempt to assist the character making the skill check with the Aid Another Action.

Additional Resisting The Dark Side's Call[edit | edit source]

Reference Book: Star Wars Saga Edition Jedi Academy Training Manual

The lure of The Dark Side is strong. It will tempt you in ways you never thought possible. Only the strongest of wills is able to resist succumbing to The Dark Side after being tainted by its power for so long.

If a character's Dark Side Score is equal to more than half of his or her Wisdom score, he or she can attempt to resist taking a Dark Side Point. If they make a successful Wisdom check (DC = 5 + their Dark Side Score), they avoid increasing their Dark Side Score in a situation where they normally would.

Additional Temptation of the Dark Side[edit | edit source]

Reference Book: Star Wars Saga Edition Force Unleashed Campaign Guide

The lure of The Dark Side is great, and even those Jedi who walk the path of the light often stray into darkness from time to time. Though it is easy for a character who wants to be willfully evil to do so (By selecting Force Talents or Force Powers that draw upon The Dark Side for power), some Gamemasters might want to introduce rules that make The Dark Side more tempting for even those Jedi who have never chosen to dabble in the teachings of The Dark Side. These rules are optional, and should be included only if the GM wants to make the threat of falling to the dark side more tempting.

As a Free Action, any character who has the Force Sensitivity Feat can spend a Force Point to add any one Force Power that has the [Dark Side] descriptor to his or her active Force Power Suite. That power can then be used as normal. However, when the power is used (Or at the end of the encounter), it goes away entirely and may not be recovered by any of the normal means (Including resting for 1 minute, spending a Force Point, making use of the Force Recovery Talent, or rolling a Natural 20 on a Use the Force check).


Similarly, any character who has the Force Sensitivity Feat can spend a Force Point as a Free Action to temporarily gain the use of any Force Talents from the Dark Side Talent Tree, the Dark Side Devotee Talent Tree, or the Sith Talent Tree. A character must meet all the prerequisites for one of these Talents to be able to use it, and the character can spend more than 1 Force Point over the course of an encounter to gain multiple Talents from those Talent Trees. Talents gained in this manner temporarily count toward the prerequisites of other Talents, and the effects of these Talents last for the remainder of the encounter. Additionally, at the conclusion of the encounter, the character increases his or her Dark Side Score by a number of points equal to the number of Force Points spent in this manner.

For example, in the first round of an encounter, a Jedi could spend a Force Point to gain the benefit of the Power of the Dark Side Talent for the remainder of the encounter. In the following round they can spend another Force Point to gain access to the Swift Power Talent, since they temporarily have access to its prerequisite Talent. At the end of the encounter, the Jedi loses access to these talents and increases their Dark Side Score by 2.

Optional Rule: Atonement[edit | edit source]

In addition to making The Dark Side more tempting, some Gamemasters might want to make it more difficult for a character to reduce his or her Dark Side Score. Any GM who wants to make atonement more meaningful can use the following optional rule to reduce the heroes' ability to avoid the effects of their misdeeds. Any character who wants to spend a Force Point to reduce their Dark Side Score must spend at least 24 hours in meditation, contemplating the effects of The Dark Side. Additionally, all characters can spend a Force Point to reduce their Dark Side Score only once per level.

Additional Variant Dark Side Rules[edit | edit source]

Reference Book: Star Wars Saga Edition Web Enhancements (Jedi Counseling)

Q: Is there any real reason for a character to be tempted to go to The Dark Side? It doesn't seem as if it would happen other than by deliberate choice on the part of the player. Even if they get close to falling, they could always stop when their Dark Side Score is 1 less than their Wisdom.

A: There are several ways that you might gain a benefit by doing something that increases your Dark Side Score:

You might gain a situational benefit from performing an evil act. For example, you might be tempted to kill an unconscious or captive enemy to avoid the complications of having a prisoner in tow or the dangers of leaving that enemy unattended.

You might learn and use [Dark Side] Force Powers.

You might have the Corruption Destiny, gaining the listed Destiny bonus every time your Dark Side Score increases. (This gives you more of a reason to do both of the above.)

You might face a Sith Lord who uses the Temptation class feature. In this case, you might choose to accept an increase to your Dark Side Score instead of moving -1 step on the Condition Track.

All of these are tangible benefits, but I agree that many of these require prior planning, a deliberate effort to make the "Wrong" choice, or the intervention of an enemy. If you want a game mechanic that provides a more spontaneous tangible benefit, I would suggest the following variant rule.

Calling on the Dark Side[edit | edit source]

If your Dark Side Score is less than your Wisdom, you can call on The Dark Side to gain a temporary Force Point. If the Force Point is not used before the end of the encounter, it is lost. Calling on the Dark Side is a Major Transgression (See above). Only heroic characters can call on The Dark Side.

If you want to add the element of chance so that turning to The Dark Side might come as a surprise, you could also use either or both of the following variant rules.

The Measure of Evil[edit | edit source]

When you commit a Dark Side Transgression, your Dark Side Score increases by a random amount: 1d6-3 for Major Transgressions, 1d6-4 for Moderate Transgressions, and 1d6-5 for Minor Transgressions. (This never reduces your Dark Side Score, even if the result is less than zero.)

The Threshold of Evil[edit | edit source]

When your Dark Side Score increases, roll 2d4 and add your new Dark Side Score. If the result exceeds your Wisdom by 5 or more points, your Dark Side Score increases to your Wisdom score, and you turn to The Dark Side.

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