“Peace is a lie, there is only passion.”
This is the first line of the Code of the Sith, a rather obvious antithesis to the Jedi Code. These are the words that the Sith live by during the Old Republic era and as a result the entire Sith Empire. Due to the unique position the Sith have in the Empire’s hierarchy many non-Force users have come to accept portions of the Code in how they handle their political and military dealings, whether they realize it or not.
Whether you play a cold-blooded Sith Warrior or Inquisitor, or perhaps an Agent or Bounty Hunter, the Code of the Sith can have a drastic impact on how your character interacts with the denizens of the Empire. Jump past the cut to find out how.
“Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.”
Interpretations of the Code vary from Sith to Sith, and it would be natural to assume that the dominant Sith’s viewpoint would be the one that was publicly accepted. The philosophy itself was based around the idea that Sith seek to challenge and dominate in accordance to the natural laws of the universe. A krath hound will hunt its prey and devour it, much like many animals in the galaxy, so why should the Force be used any different? Their mastery of their passions made them strong, unlike the Jedi.
This is the type of mindset your Warrior or Inquisitor will likely have. Even those who lean towards the light side will retain most of the might-makes-right mentality, as it is required to survive in the Sith hierarchy.
Though the Code would not be truly understood until the time of Darth Bane, the Empire made it an intregal facet of everyday politics. The Sith, with their elevated position within the society, are largely exempt from taking orders outside of the Sith Order, whereas the military and civilian areas are somewhat required to take orders from Sith. This is both a confusing and enlightening aspect of the Empire’s politics. If a Sith could exert his power over a member of the military or a civilian, he could do so without fear of repercussions. However, the Sith would be vulnerable to the repercussions of his actions; assassination attempts, angering another Sith who is potentially ranked higher than him, or jeopardizing potential allies. You may be Sith, but assaulting a commanding officer in front of his troops when you have no backup is suicide for the Sith. If they can take you down without anyone knowing about it, then in the eyes of the Empire you weren’t worthy of the title “Sith” to begin with.
Many acolytes working to become Sith (and players looking to portray Sith) may have a difficult time with this concept. At first glance, it seems like a free pass for the Sith to do whatever they like outside of the Sith hierarchy. However, Sith does not mean Stupid. Stupid Sith tend to be killed off, or used as tools for more intelligent Sith. All actions have consequences, and a Sith would know this. Attempting to command a general will get you murdered, but successfully leading a small squad to victory against the Republic will earn you allies and a reputation for success; both of which are more useful than a smoldering corpse.
Non-Sith can very well embrace the code, though many tend to pick up at the line “Through strength I gain power” and end before the line about the Force. If a soldier has his commanding officer assassinated with himself in line for the position, then he will be suspected of perpetrating the crime, but it would not be too heavily investigated. Backstabbing for rank and power is a common tactic and generally approved within the society. Your character may have reached his or her position by using these tactics. Agents are well known for these types of tactics against both opponents and allies, and Bounty Hunters are particularly useful given their outsider status. You may be conscripted by a Sith to take out a rival, or even by a fellow Agent or Bounty Hunter. Though you may not be Sith, taking advantage of the situation by putting them in a position of power and then blackmailing them about the assassination is very much the Sith way. Do be careful, as they likely will try to silence you first. Double crossing is one of the most interesting parts of any Sith Roleplaying plot.
Roleplaying within the Sith Empire has the potential for many interesting stories, many of which I am sure we will see more of as the game progresses on. Understanding the Code of the Sith is an important part of this because whether you play a Sith or an Agent or Bounty Hunter, these are the natural laws of the Empire. Strength gives you power, power brings you victory, and through victory your chains are broken. A victory means nothing unless it accomplishes something for you, and a smart member of the Empire will do well to make every victory count, whether it be against the Republic or their own political rivals.