Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Adventure in the world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Learn more at our website: http://www.cubicle7.co.uk/our-games/the-one-ring/
Glorelendil
Posts: 5138
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:20 pm

Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Glorelendil » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:17 pm

Falenthal wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:04 pm
Butterfingers wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:48 pm
Imagine the amount of shadow points Luke would get in TOR for [destroyin an entire Death Star full Imperials (many if not most of them innocuous)] with you as the LM? :mrgreen:
:D

I would have to read about the possible traumas that afflicted the pilots of the Enola Gay for the rest of their lives to have a documented answer.
For starters, I don't belive they did sleep very well that night.
Growing up in a northeastern (former) mill town there was this "old crazy guy" we saw as kids who freaked us out. He walked everywhere around town with a helmet and a suitcase. As kids do, we made up stories, including that the suitcase was full of money.

One day my mom happened to find out more about him: he was a WWII bomber pilot who participated in the bombing of Dresden, and the guilt drove him crazy. The suitcase was full of newspaper articles about Dresden.
The Munchkin Formerly Known as Elfcrusher
Journey Computer | Combat Simulator | Bestiary | Weapon Calculator

Ghorin
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:20 pm
Location: France, near Paris

Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Ghorin » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:41 pm

Rich H wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:32 pm
Ghorin wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:02 pm
Thanks a lot to all of you, whatever your opinion was on that subject, our differences make our talks more intereresting :-)
You're more than welcome and I'm not speaking just on my behalf; I'm sure that we're all genuinely happy you've gotten value out of this and are a lot more confident about your approach when running the game. :)
You're right, now I know how I'll deal with that shadow subject :-)

User avatar
Rich H
Posts: 4072
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 8:19 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Rich H » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:00 pm

Glorelendil wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:17 pm
Growing up in a northeastern (former) mill town there was this "old crazy guy" we saw as kids who freaked us out. He walked everywhere around town with a helmet and a suitcase. As kids do, we made up stories, including that the suitcase was full of money.

One day my mom happened to find out more about him: he was a WWII bomber pilot who participated in the bombing of Dresden, and the guilt drove him crazy. The suitcase was full of newspaper articles about Dresden.
That's so very sad, man, but I'm glad you shared it. Poor guy.
TOR resources thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=62
TOR miniatures thread: viewtopic.php?t=885

Fellowship of the Free Tale of Years: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8318

Glorelendil
Posts: 5138
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:20 pm

Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Glorelendil » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:32 am

Rich H wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:00 pm
That's so very sad, man, but I'm glad you shared it. Poor guy.
Sorry if that was such a downer that I killed the thread...

Illustrative example though, I think.
The Munchkin Formerly Known as Elfcrusher
Journey Computer | Combat Simulator | Bestiary | Weapon Calculator

Ghorin
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:20 pm
Location: France, near Paris

Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Ghorin » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:50 am

It was a very sad story indeed but don't worry for this thread, we had already reached its conclusion.

Ghorin
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:20 pm
Location: France, near Paris

Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Ghorin » Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:21 pm

This is done : Tonight we played the next session and I gave the temporary Shadow points to the PCs, along with much explanation for which I've been inspired by our discussion here. I gave 3 points to the 2 PCs who killed innocuous orcs and 2 points to the PCs who looked without interfering. There was no problem for the players to accept them (with my detailed explanation). I have insisted that this isn't punishment and that, in case of bout of madness, this would be an opportunity to develop their characters.

Glorelendil
Posts: 5138
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:20 pm

Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Glorelendil » Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:43 am

Ghorin wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:21 pm
This is done : Tonight we played the next session and I gave the temporary Shadow points to the PCs, along with much explanation for which I've been inspired by our discussion here. I gave 3 points to the 2 PCs who killed innocuous orcs and 2 points to the PCs who looked without interfering. There was no problem for the players to accept them (with my detailed explanation). I have insisted that this isn't punishment and that, in case of bout of madness, this would be an opportunity to develop their characters.
Sounds like a great resolution. Hopefully they'll take it as a roleplaying opportunity.
The Munchkin Formerly Known as Elfcrusher
Journey Computer | Combat Simulator | Bestiary | Weapon Calculator

Artaxastra
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:57 am

Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Artaxastra » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:58 pm

Fascinating thread. And I think your conclusion was in the spirit of Tolkien, where the deaths of the innocent always have weight. (How many Shadow points did Maedhros get for his men leaving Elurin and Elured to die?) Heroism has a moral dimension as well as a physical dimension.

I was running Pendragon once and had a similar situation. The players debated, and then Bobby said,"We don't do things like that, because we're the Knights of the Round Table." Which pretty much sums it up.

Racon
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:29 pm

Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Racon » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:01 am

Tl;dr: is shadow-taint personal and cultural experience or external mechanism (god-given).

It seems I missed the train when it comes to this conversation. I loved reading this thread and its well thought arguments back and forth. Not many other role playing systems would innately make its players to ponder complex mechanisms of ethics and morality. We chose the correct game to play :)

I re-read some of Tolkien's works recently as I am taking part of a Tor campaign at the moment. It made me to think closely about the way shadow works. On this conversation people have in my opinion compared it to post traumatic stress disorder or characters getting numbed to seeing suffering and a force of corruption which takes hold without caring about the characters culturally learned morality.

That in my opinion is the big question. Is the shadow something character invokes himself based on what he views right and wrong (taught morality) or is it an external force, which works ruled by a higher order (Eru Ilúvatar or mechanism created by it).

If we talk about self-invoked effect people born as sociopaths (if they exist in Tolkien's world) would be pretty much immune for shadow. On the other hand it would explain why Gimli and Legolas would not gather shadow points by competing who is the king of orc-slaughter fest. They are simply taught that killing orcs is right and they would not feel conflicted by it at all.

If we think that there would be an external force in play, shadow would gain hold on free people's souls based on the same mechanisms. An elf hating orcs by habit would gather just as much shadow by killing OP's sleeping orcs than a hobbit who might have no knowledge of orcs bad reputation and might feel no hate toward them.

I think we won't get a definitive answer on this question, but what would be the best way to GM the issue. If you ignore this issue you might miss an opportunity to delve into the true secrets of shadow.

User avatar
Tolwen
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 6:32 pm

Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Tolwen » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:10 pm

Racon wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:01 am
That in my opinion is the big question. Is the shadow something character invokes himself based on what he views right and wrong (taught morality) or is it an external force, which works ruled by a higher order (Eru Ilúvatar or mechanism created by it).
IMO it is neither wholly one or the other. Here a source is of crucial importance (or relevance) that cannot be quoted or obviously used in TOR for licensing reasons.
In the HoME there is a insightful essay about the nature of Evil and its agents (i.e. Morgoth and Sauron) in Arda. Here Tolkien compares Morgoth and Sauron and names all of Middle-earth as "Morgoth's Ring" (which is also the title of the book), since he poured a major part of his immense and vast power as the greatest of all the Ainur into the very fabric (i.e. matter) of Middle-earth (a technique similar to Sauron's strategy with the One, though Sauron concentrated this externalised essence in the Ring, whereas Morgoth dispersed it throughout all the matter of Middle-earth). Thus every single piece of matter in Middle-earth (however big or small) is tainted to some degree by this "Morgoth-element" (sometimes called the 'mordo'). Some material is less affected (e.g. silver) but nothing is wholly free of it. Thus every being born in Middle-earth and nourished by it contains some part of Morgoth's essence. This is an external source of 'Shadow' which affects every being in Middle-earth with some degree of taint.

Add to this the inherent weaknesses and failing of the Free People: Envy, greed, pride etc. (in addition to noble traits), which they exhibit throughout Tolkien's writings and which is a major driver for the overall drama. This is represented in TOR by your character's Shadow Weakness - something that external sources (the mordo) can use against you - though the weaknesses as such is not external, but part of your very own personality.

Thus, Shadow is a combination of both: Your morals and the "compass" of good and bad play a role in whether you know that something is right or wrong. Acting against this better knowledge opens a wedge in your "armour" of goodness which can (in addition to your own conscience) be exploited by the mordo to grant you Shadow (i.e. the game mechanic) more quickly. Without "evil" deeds the mordo has a much harder job to seriously affect you (i.e. gaining Shadow Points), but it may still succeed in giving you the occasional point.

In addition to this, the mordo can be much higher concentrated in certain areas or beings (or both), so that exposure to this concentrated mordo may grant you Shadow in itself (without doing anything wrong as such).

Best
Tolwen
Visit Other Minds Magazine - an international magazine for role-playing in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth.

Other Minds now also on Facebook!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest