Redemption?

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Tolwen
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Redemption?

Post by Tolwen » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:59 pm

Hi folks,
I've got a question that I'm pondering for some time now. Has anyone of you given some thoughts (and best - some mechanics) for redemption of corrupted people?

In TOR, there are excellent rules to manage the mechanics for a fall from grace (Hope & Shadow-rules) with the end result of corruption (and death by wretched existence or joining the ranks of the Enemy). IMO so far, so good. But what I was thinking about is the other way round. How could someone who has fallen from grace and been corrupted, be redeemed in game terms. Of course you could handwaive that, but given that there is a way down that road, it somehow doesn't feel right that there no mechanical representation for the way back (and consequently, you could also handwaive the fall from grace as well). There's no doubt that this would be much more difficult (almost impossible in many cases), but the chance should exist.

And apart from the inner logic of the world (this path is a two-way one - even if one road is much easier to go) it really offers extremely strong narrative/adventuring potential IMO.

For examples, Lobelia always come to my mind. How her character changed from a mean, greedy and selfish persona to a transfomed one who recognised her errors (after grievous losses) - and lived up to it. Afterwards she is respected by the people and lives out the rest of her days in peace and respect. Another example (not Middle-earth, but a similar constellation) is the one of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. It was quite easy to join the Dark Side, but *very* difficult and hard to get back again.

So, has anyone had thoughts about how this could be facilitated in mechanical terms?

Cheers
Tolwen
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Blubbo Baggins
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Re: Redemption?

Post by Blubbo Baggins » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:36 pm

Well, it would be unusual for a Redemption story to happen for a PC, since the PCs are supposed to be heroic in the first place. If someone wants to play a game with a dark hero, they are welcome to, but the game wasn't designed with that in mind. If you want to come up with some rules for that, we could, but I don't think that's what you're aiming for.

So therefore Redemption would have to happen to an NPC. But the Hope and Shadow rules are a bit foggy when it comes to NPCs. Or they aren't applied the same way/much more hand-waved.

However, I imagine that it would go along the lines of important scenes + Encounters. If the heroes succeed at the Encounter, the NPC could reduce their maximum Hope by 1. You would need to succeed at one important scene + Encounter for each point of permanent Shadow (reducing max Hope by 1 each time). The final scene would be the turning point.

Since it also would be an NPC you'd have to use the unusual situation of tracking an NPC's Hope score (I'm sure this does happen in some games, but isn't usually necessary). The dwindling Hope would make it more and more difficult to succeed in these important heart-change scene/Encounters.

I imagine such scenes could include witnessing the heroes show mercy, courage, or other character qualities in action. Or perhaps the NPC could be persuaded by the heroes to choose one option that is an alternative to their original, darker plan. Or the heroes prevent a major consequence from occurring as a result of the NPC's decision, and the fallout from that consequence would have put the NPC on a darker path, or the new consequence is a new relationship or bond with a people who add another reason for the NPC to act for the benefit of others.

Corvo
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Re: Redemption?

Post by Corvo » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:59 am

Tolwen wrote:
Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:59 pm
(...)
So, has anyone had thoughts about how this could be facilitated in mechanical terms?

Cheers
Tolwen
Hi Tolwen,

I think this is a most interesting idea. And most thematic.
I have no good mechanical suggestions at the moment, but your post brought to me one of most compelling scenes in The Darkening of Mirkwood (imo, of course).
I'm referring to Pity Stays Your Hand paragraph, page 104 of DoM (The Dying of the Light adventure).
It surprised me when I read it, and conveyed a real Tolkien feel to the book. This is one of those scene that could bring redemption to a Hero: sometimes that requires huge courage, disregard for conventional wisdom, and pity for a wretched, guilty monster.

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Tolwen
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Re: Redemption?

Post by Tolwen » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:10 am

Thanks for your thoughts guys. Of course it is neither an event that is likely to happen often or even regularly, but within the greater context of the world (i.e. how things work and are interconnected) it is something worthwhile to think about. Player characters who get over the edge (i.e. having had five bouts of madness) and thus leave active play, may play a role later when encountered by their former comrades as LMC's adversaries (i.e. having switched sides) in a future adventure. In that case it might be an idea to provide at least a chance for redemption for them over the course of some time. Even if they succeed, I agree that it'll be unlikely that they will again join the adventuring life with all the challenges by the Shadow, but as Corvo said, it can be a powerful background tool.

Furthermore, I'm thinking of making the Hope/Shadow mechanic interconnected with Hate in a way that they represent two sides of the same coin. That would make it possible to mechanically simulate the fall, use of Hate (instead of former Hope) for abilities. And in theory, it would also allow the way back as discussed above.

I'll give all that some more thought and perhaps come up with an article in OM dealing with it :)

Thanks
Tolwen
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Blubbo Baggins
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Re: Redemption?

Post by Blubbo Baggins » Mon May 01, 2017 10:17 pm

Connecting less Hope with the ability/temptation to use Hate (at the cost of "going to the Dark side") sounds like a great idea! Then if a PC falls and becomes an NPC, it would make for a very fun story for the PCs to try to redeem the former PC.

Hamarr
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Re: Redemption?

Post by Hamarr » Mon May 29, 2017 10:42 pm

I have a few ideas as I was reading the thread. We could make this more of a mechanical cost that players have to buy off. As they accumulate permanent shadow and flaws, they could have the option to use experience to get rid of the flaws. This could be a new undertaking called "Proving your worth" It could only be done at home and would require you to spend experience to buy off the flaws/and shadow. Perhaps 5 experience for the first flaw, 7 experience for the second, 9 for the third, and 11 for the fourth. These are all cumulative, we could just get rid of the flaws but not shadow. So while you could fall a few times, you never truely recover from the scars of shadow.

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