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Reasons for being a Light-sided or "Grey" Sith

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Story and Lore
Reasons for being a Light-sided or "Grey" Sith

Eranis's Avatar


Eranis
04.16.2021 , 04:30 AM | #11
My more "light leaning" Sith (and here I mean light leaning in the context of the game choices, not as a philosophy) usually have a pragmatic approach. For example to not waste a potential asset. A lot of LS/DS choices are kill or imprison, alt. keep as an ally, where I choose to keep people alive for information or to keep allies when possible. Killing a devoted ally because they screwed up a mission is also a no go for such a character. It is also more effective to try to negotiate with an enemy than right on kill them. Maybe they have vital information one can use, and so on ...

My most light sided Sith is a SI who believes in strength and power through hard work and devotion to a cause (whichever cause that is). She believes that everyone who is strong should have the possibility to use that strength for the good of the Empire, so she is against slavery and discrimination of other species since she sees it as ineffective. But even she chooses DS options when appropriate.

EAFSAMWISE's Avatar


EAFSAMWISE
04.16.2021 , 07:08 AM | #12
Quote: Originally Posted by rashencyberspeed View Post
The Empire is home to plenty of perfectly good people who didn't ask to be born under the government of the bad guys. All it takes is a little imagination to think of how someone who was born in the Empire could develop moral values.
This is part of my issue w/ being a Light-sided Sith Warrior. It makes no sense to willingly be Baras' lackey and just follow his plan to start a war and assassinate random people. It gets even worse with LS Jaesa bc she criticizes the pragmatism of the LS Warrior and asks how I am different, if at all, from her former master Nomen Karr. Plus if she stays LS, it makes zero sense for her to betray the Republic but then turn around and follow the Empire with the same exact pragmatism which she saw in Nomen Karr and made her see hypocrisy in him. Again, it makes no logical sense but then playing as a DS Warrior w/ DS Jaesa makes me feel like scrap bc I seem to just be serving no higher purpose or ideal and it feels empty and wrong. Thus simply being "born into it" is the best explanation for an LS Warrior I'm my opinion, especially since the Sith Warrior seems to be someone from noble or privileged lineage by imperial standards and Overseer Tremmel really emphasizes this. Darth Baras basically forces the Warrior to earn their place and prove themselves via merit so perhaps blindly following orders could be seen as part of the Warrior's initial struggle to prove themselves

Ardrossan's Avatar


Ardrossan
04.26.2021 , 11:52 PM | #13
I have a neutral SW that takes the "honor" approach. It's easier on the SW since the storyline references honorable choices. As mentioned previously, you can take the Praven approach and seek challenges while sparing those weaker than you.

I also like that being honorable does NOT imply being rational or pragmatic, it means you believe in the higher ideals of what it is to be imperial or Sith. So you can be xenophobic and pro-slavery, for example, because those are the values that the Empire stands on. My SW had a lot of great convos with Vette where she'd say things like "yes, your people make good slaves!" and not intend to be cruel about it. That's just imperial culture.
Quote: Originally Posted by Severith View Post
You were loyal to EA/Bioware at a time when there was no reason to be loyal to them, and now that loyalty is being tested. If there is any justice in the world, you clearly deserve a special reward. Hopefully it happens, delivered on your porch in a brown paper bag, aflame with the light of justice.

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coruscantdweller
04.27.2021 , 10:22 AM | #14
Quote: Originally Posted by Ardrossan View Post
I have a neutral SW that takes the "honor" approach. It's easier on the SW since the storyline references honorable choices. As mentioned previously, you can take the Praven approach and seek challenges while sparing those weaker than you.

I also like that being honorable does NOT imply being rational or pragmatic, it means you believe in the higher ideals of what it is to be imperial or Sith. So you can be xenophobic and pro-slavery, for example, because those are the values that the Empire stands on. My SW had a lot of great convos with Vette where she'd say things like "yes, your people make good slaves!" and not intend to be cruel about it. That's just imperial culture.
I mostly agree with this, and I too play my Sith Warrior as an "honorable" character. I do diverge a bit on preserving the traditions of the the Sith Empire, and also on my character's precise motivation for showing mercy or generosity when appropriate.

It is my perception that the Sith Empire values order, and it's rulers are well-equipped to stamp out corruption when they choose to do so (Empress Acina comes to mind, though I haven't actually played anything beyond Shadow of Revan yet, I just watched some of KotFE and KotET over my wife's shoulder, so I could be mistaken). It could be argued that such a system of government confers advantages to its populace, and it could further be argued that the traditions making that system possible and stable are worth preserving.

I diverge on issues like slavery and xenophobia, as there is no context in which such practices could be anything but wrong, but I think it is reasonable to say that every society has flaws and life (in an aggregate sense) is a never-ending quest to address those flaws. However, I have observed that the Sith Empire keeps at least xenophobia more or less in check, and as far as I can tell, non-humans/non-purebloods face fewer obstacles in the Sith Empire than I expected them to when I first started playing SWTOR almost ten years ago. That doesn't make it right that they face any additional obstacles, but if degree means anything in this context, the Sith Empire gets a little bit of credit for that.

As far as motivations go, my SW does value honor/pragmatism and will kill NPCs who clearly deserve it and also preserve potential resources, but in my mind some of her words and merciful/generous actions are motivated by compassion rather than honor or pragmatism. The Sith Code mandates passion, but the source of that passion is at the discretion of the individual Sith. Compassion and empathy are no less valid choices than the usual defaults of fear, anger and hatred. This is the source of my main criticism of the Jedi. Explicitly rejecting emotion and emotional commitments may clear the mind, but it can just as easily lead to devaluing people as if they are means rather than ends. In this era of the Star Wars universe, it wouldn't take much for the Sith to become unambiguously "good" and for the Jedi to become heartless.

EAFSAMWISE's Avatar


EAFSAMWISE
04.27.2021 , 03:39 PM | #15
Quote: Originally Posted by coruscantdweller View Post
I mostly agree with this, and I too play my Sith Warrior as an "honorable" character. I do diverge a bit on preserving the traditions of the the Sith Empire, and also on my character's precise motivation for showing mercy or generosity when appropriate.

It is my perception that the Sith Empire values order, and it's rulers are well-equipped to stamp out corruption when they choose to do so (Empress Acina comes to mind, though I haven't actually played anything beyond Shadow of Revan yet, I just watched some of KotFE and KotET over my wife's shoulder, so I could be mistaken). It could be argued that such a system of government confers advantages to its populace, and it could further be argued that the traditions making that system possible and stable are worth preserving.

I diverge on issues like slavery and xenophobia, as there is no context in which such practices could be anything but wrong, but I think it is reasonable to say that every society has flaws and life (in an aggregate sense) is a never-ending quest to address those flaws. However, I have observed that the Sith Empire keeps at least xenophobia more or less in check, and as far as I can tell, non-humans/non-purebloods face fewer obstacles in the Sith Empire than I expected them to when I first started playing SWTOR almost ten years ago. That doesn't make it right that they face any additional obstacles, but if degree means anything in this context, the Sith Empire gets a little bit of credit for that.

As far as motivations go, my SW does value honor/pragmatism and will kill NPCs who clearly deserve it and also preserve potential resources, but in my mind some of her words and merciful/generous actions are motivated by compassion rather than honor or pragmatism. The Sith Code mandates passion, but the source of that passion is at the discretion of the individual Sith. Compassion and empathy are no less valid choices than the usual defaults of fear, anger and hatred. This is the source of my main criticism of the Jedi. Explicitly rejecting emotion and emotional commitments may clear the mind, but it can just as easily lead to devaluing people as if they are means rather than ends. In this era of the Star Wars universe, it wouldn't take much for the Sith to become unambiguously "good" and for the Jedi to become heartless.
This isn't entirely different from what I do with my LS Inquisitor except I tend to support reform on slavery and xenophobia. However aside from that, I basically choose to be the "cautious reformer who builds on tradition" instead of tearing it down. In a way as Darth Imperious, you have the potential to not simply tear down the entire system but instead prove that you're better and more efficient than Thanaton at keeping up the Sith traditions and axioms themselves while opposing the prejudice hereditary favoritism in the Empire which you feel are corrupting the traditions. Technically there's nothing in the Sith Code which justifies what Thanaton is doing in terms of his class and/or hereditary prejudice and there are ways to at least partially reform the way the Sith code is understood so that it can be followed in a "light" or "grey" way, which is part of what Ashara Zavros tries to do. Not to mention Thanaton breaks the rules of the Kaggath and runs away when you first defeat him, which you actually get a message about from one of the Moffs telling you he's a hypocrite in terms of his arch-traditionalism. I actually find it short-sighted that many people miss this and assume it's more "canonical" for the Inquisitor to be DS b/c in terms of the details, they could actually be either one and it could be justifiable. I also played the Story-Arc on Dromund Kaas with the Revanites and had my Inquisitor act sympathetic both to their cause (I made him lie about Darth Charnus to protect the actual leader) as well as to preserving Revan's Jedi/Light side history at the end and recognizing the value of pulling up the weak in order for them to be useful and a source of power since the character himself is a former slave.

coruscantdweller's Avatar


coruscantdweller
04.27.2021 , 05:57 PM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by EAFSAMWISE View Post
This isn't entirely different from what I do with my LS Inquisitor except I tend to support reform on slavery and xenophobia. However aside from that, I basically choose to be the "cautious reformer who builds on tradition" instead of tearing it down. In a way as Darth Imperious, you have the potential to not simply tear down the entire system but instead prove that you're better and more efficient than Thanaton at keeping up the Sith traditions and axioms themselves while opposing the prejudice hereditary favoritism in the Empire which you feel are corrupting the traditions. Technically there's nothing in the Sith Code which justifies what Thanaton is doing in terms of his class and/or hereditary prejudice and there are ways to at least partially reform the way the Sith code is understood so that it can be followed in a "light" or "grey" way, which is part of what Ashara Zavros tries to do. Not to mention Thanaton breaks the rules of the Kaggath and runs away when you first defeat him, which you actually get a message about from one of the Moffs telling you he's a hypocrite in terms of his arch-traditionalism. I actually find it short-sighted that many people miss this and assume it's more "canonical" for the Inquisitor to be DS b/c in terms of the details, they could actually be either one and it could be justifiable. I also played the Story-Arc on Dromund Kaas with the Revanites and had my Inquisitor act sympathetic both to their cause (I made him lie about Darth Charnus to protect the actual leader) as well as to preserving Revan's Jedi/Light side history at the end and recognizing the value of pulling up the weak in order for them to be useful and a source of power since the character himself is a former slave.
I believe I wrote poorly in my last post. When I play my Sith Warrior, I too support eliminating slavery and xenophobia when I have a chance to do so. My paragraph about xenophobia being kept in check was merely a comment on the severity (or lack thereof) of xenophobia in the Sith Empire. My post or comment was not meant to condone the Stih penchant for slavery/xenophobia.

Based on what you wrote, I feared you may have inferred something else, and I just wanted to get that out there.

Beyond that, I really enjoyed reading about your Sith Inquisitor, and I play my own Inquisitor in a similar way.

Ironically, I don't "RP" in most games, and if I do, it's just my own nebulous understanding of my own character that I rarely share or even think about, but SWTOR is basically a movie starring the player and it's hard not to get wrapped up in the characters.

I love this game.

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EAFSAMWISE
04.27.2021 , 07:33 PM | #17
Quote: Originally Posted by coruscantdweller View Post
I believe I wrote poorly in my last post. When I play my Sith Warrior, I too support eliminating slavery and xenophobia when I have a chance to do so. My paragraph about xenophobia being kept in check was merely a comment on the severity (or lack thereof) of xenophobia in the Sith Empire. My post or comment was not meant to condone the Stih penchant for slavery/xenophobia.

Based on what you wrote, I feared you may have inferred something else, and I just wanted to get that out there.

Beyond that, I really enjoyed reading about your Sith Inquisitor, and I play my own Inquisitor in a similar way.

Ironically, I don't "RP" in most games, and if I do, it's just my own nebulous understanding of my own character that I rarely share or even think about, but SWTOR is basically a movie starring the player and it's hard not to get wrapped up in the characters.

I love this game.
Totally agreed, I was just building off of what you said regarding xenophobia and slavery in the Empire. I do try to play both the Warrior and Inquisitor in a more realistic way but also one which is redeemable and/or conflicted. THIS in my view is what would make a Sith or DS character interesting, not simply making them a murderous psychopath. For example, I don't agree to remove the shock collar from Vette right away when she asks me the first time but I wait until perhaps the 2nd or 3rd time because it just seems too implausible. Again, it's hinted a lot that the Warrior is someone from a more privileged upbringing and background and most likely has a lot of Sith blood so they were probably born and raised in a culture where it was acceptable. However, I try to avoid meaningless cruelty or anything that makes my Warrior look *cartoonishly* evil. The privileged upbringing, combined w/ a desire to prove themselves to Sith leadership and "earn" their place despite being brought in due to preferential treatment, provide an excellent reason why a light-leaning Warrior would still be pro-Empire and help Baras with Plan Zero, for example. Finally, I also build it up to a sense of distrust of the Empire, with the Warrior becoming more distrustful or cautious especially after being betrayed by Baras in Chapter 3. The Inquisitor, by contrast, is someone who has come up from a harsh and oppressed background. They have the choice to become bitter and resentful and want to control others by becoming powerful or they have the chance to "reform" Sith tradition and seek to improve the way it is interpreted and practiced in light of the background they came from--this LS Sith in particular would be more conducive to Revanite teachings on helping the weak in order to become stronger, due to the slave background. Lord Kallig (the Inq's ancestor) being "oddly pro-alien" according to Talos Drellik, also paralleling Revan's stances, further cements this fit.

Ardrossan's Avatar


Ardrossan
04.28.2021 , 09:16 AM | #18
I mean, honor is not synonymous with pragmatism. In fact, a truly pragmatic sith would only take lightside options that benefited the Empire, NOT ones that showed mercy to conquered enemies. But that's something an honorable sith would do.

I see honor as being part of Sith and imperial culture, a tradition they are supposed to follow that few if anyone actually does. So, if honor is part of their culture then it makes sense to me that an honorable Sith is pro-slavery and xenophobia because those are also cultural traditions, and they connect very tightly to the traditional view of the Empire with its top down "one man leads and everyone follows", as well as the Imperial idea that only humans and purebloods are valuable, everyone else is excluded unless, like the Inquisitor, they can survive the obstacles in their way. To be accepted, aliens, even Chiss, have to be exceptional, and it's done on a case-by-case basis.

Why would an alien inquisitor want to reform the system to make it easier for aliens? If it had been done for them, they wouldn't have been forced to become as powerful as they had in order to defeat Thanaton. Why would a human/pureblood warrior want to reform the system to make it easier for aliens? His privilege got him where he was on Korriban, but it didn't make it easier, it made it harder thanks to Tremeth's scheming. The system WORKS.

The only thing that doesn't really work is alien Sith Warriors. I've made a couple but they just don't make a lot of sense for the story, and there's never any cues to explain how a Rattataki Sith could be so well-respected out the gate, while over on the inquisitor storyline, they are getting humiliated.
Quote: Originally Posted by Severith View Post
You were loyal to EA/Bioware at a time when there was no reason to be loyal to them, and now that loyalty is being tested. If there is any justice in the world, you clearly deserve a special reward. Hopefully it happens, delivered on your porch in a brown paper bag, aflame with the light of justice.

EAFSAMWISE's Avatar


EAFSAMWISE
04.28.2021 , 11:30 AM | #19
Quote: Originally Posted by Ardrossan View Post
I mean, honor is not synonymous with pragmatism. In fact, a truly pragmatic sith would only take lightside options that benefited the Empire, NOT ones that showed mercy to conquered enemies. But that's something an honorable sith would do.

I see honor as being part of Sith and imperial culture, a tradition they are supposed to follow that few if anyone actually does. So, if honor is part of their culture then it makes sense to me that an honorable Sith is pro-slavery and xenophobia because those are also cultural traditions, and they connect very tightly to the traditional view of the Empire with its top down "one man leads and everyone follows", as well as the Imperial idea that only humans and purebloods are valuable, everyone else is excluded unless, like the Inquisitor, they can survive the obstacles in their way. To be accepted, aliens, even Chiss, have to be exceptional, and it's done on a case-by-case basis.

Why would an alien inquisitor want to reform the system to make it easier for aliens? If it had been done for them, they wouldn't have been forced to become as powerful as they had in order to defeat Thanaton. Why would a human/pureblood warrior want to reform the system to make it easier for aliens? His privilege got him where he was on Korriban, but it didn't make it easier, it made it harder thanks to Tremeth's scheming. The system WORKS.

The only thing that doesn't really work is alien Sith Warriors. I've made a couple but they just don't make a lot of sense for the story, and there's never any cues to explain how a Rattataki Sith could be so well-respected out the gate, while over on the inquisitor storyline, they are getting humiliated.
Fair enough on all counts. I guess my point with the Sith Warrior is less that they'd want to reform it and more that they would be swayed to treat Vette nicely and be more moderate due to personal experiences combined with a sense of honor. I wouldn't necessarily say they'd be all about abolishing slavery or giving aliens equal rights but their personal experiences could lead them to question things or make exceptions. In the Inquisitor's case, being more pro-alien and possibly favoring at least a reform of the system regarding slavery and treatment of lower classes would be due to hypothetical Revanite influence. His pro-alien stances could also parallel those of their ancestor Kallig. Again, I wasn't saying this **had** to be true but I saw good potential in it. Also, the system "working" for the Inquisitor would not automatically mean they would just simply "go with it" but that they may try to reform things for the sake of efficiency. The Inquisitor actually has to jump through hoops and deal with inconsistent treatment during their trials from ppl like Overseer Harkun whose corruption they may come to see as a strain on the system. The fact that Zash basically stepped in the stop the Overseer from making corrupt deals with other acolytes to kill the inquisitor only further proves the point. The system was in fact not efficient. Acolytes killing each other? Okay. Overseers discriminating based on heritage, lineage, background? Not efficient. And it stunts potential growth. The Inquisitor seeing this great potential unleashed in themselves and proving the system wrong would very much want to change it in some way. The real question is whether they'd want to be patient and reform it or whether they'd want to just tear the whole system down in rage. That is their ultimate dilemma

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JuventusAndFCK
04.29.2021 , 06:47 PM | #20
My light side SW is that way because he's a genuinely empathetic man. Sure, honor is a part of his philosophy but honor can be bent to suit the morality of an individual too, for example the Mandalorian clans appear to have somewhat variable codes of honour.

He's a pragmatist too though, but not in regards to lives lost or taken. He's a pragmatist in the sense that he knows how the empire works and what he needs to do to attempt to reform it. He is a Sith, he believes in power and strength and that those who are willing to lead should be able to if they prove their worth. He beleives however, that those with power has to follow codes of ethics, that those with less power aren't just tools to further the goals of the selfish.

Ultimately he becomes disillusioned with the Empire and wishes to join the republic. If he could be allowed to he would form a new force-school to challenge the Jedi (who he generally views as cultish, like the imperial Sith) within the legal framework of the Republic.