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Redemption?

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:59 pm
by Tolwen
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

Re: Redemption?

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:36 pm
by Blubbo Baggins
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.

Re: Redemption?

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:59 am
by Corvo
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.