Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

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Butterfingers
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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Butterfingers » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:04 am

Ghorin wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:18 am

The Dwarf used his trait Knowledge of Enemy (orcs) to give the hobbit informations about what orcs usualy eat so that the orcs liked the food and eat much of it, and also get thirsty and drink more wine. The hobbit made a Craft roll and got a superior success and he was helped by his trait Herbs Lore for aromatic herbs.
Note : all food, ingredients and wine were owned by Dinodas (the hobbit prisoner they came to délivrer) and stolen by the orcs and goblins.
That's pretty clever way of using regular foodstuff, you don't actually need anything special, only salt etc. And all you need to do is make them very thirsty so they'll drink themselves silly. Boosting the wine with strong liquor would also help... well done that dwarf.

It's interesting to see how people see some things very differently:
Earendil wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:52 am
I think there's different degrees of being an accomplice. Egging them on, going, "yeah, slit that helpless orc's throat!" might indeed be as bad as the actual act itself. Just not trying to stop them or talk them out of it is not, in my opinion.
While I agree there are degrees, I think egging someone on to commit atrocities would be even worse, and if you are manipulated into doing something, then you'd be less culpable. Unless you're already wanting to do that? But I think if they specifically agreed to the killing, and not just unwittingly watched it happening, they're just a guilty. It's no way to avoid responsibility by letting someone do the actual deed? And they could have prevented it, but chose not to.

Faramir is quite an example of the ideal behaviour and morals. He passes the lure of the ring too, unlike his brother. Just as long we remember you don't have follow such lofty ideals to avoid shadow points. There's a lot of ground between the ideal and actual misdeed country?

Glorelendil
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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Glorelendil » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:43 am

Butterfingers wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:04 am
Just as long we remember you don't have follow such lofty ideals to avoid shadow points. There's a lot of ground between the ideal and actual misdeed country?
I would almost argue the contrary: even if you follow such lofty ideals, you're going to find yourself in situations where there is no "good" choice, and what you do could lead to Shadow points.

Let's say Faramir had never woken up Frodo, and had simply given the order to shoot Gollum by the pool. Justified? Yes. "Legal" (in these sense that it was their own law)? Yes.

And yet...even though Gollum wouldn't have died by his own hand, he would have been the one to give the order, and perhaps in his heart he would have wondered who this creature was, and whether he really would have deserved death. Maybe it was still necessary, but only the most hardened (scarred) of hearts could have done that without any self-doubt and remorse, while at the same time making it just that much easier to kill next time.

That's what the Shadow does in Middle-earth.
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Butterfingers
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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Butterfingers » Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:16 pm

Yes of course, the more strict your code is, the more it's going to be tested in real situations. Only stands to reason. And if you pass these 'tests', you can assume a moral high ground. But if you have voluntarily assumed a very strict moral code, does it automatically mean shadow points, if you fail to live up to it? Without exceptions?

In other words, do you have to be a sir Galahad all the time to avoid shadow points and misdeeds? There's no ground between 'good' and 'evil'? No white lies? And do then you apply the same high standards to everybody? Even if they weren't Gondorian nobility? I know many of you said misdeeds and shadow points aren't a punishment for being bad, it's just what tends to happen when you deal with the Enemy, violence or whatever. You get 'dirty'. And it makes the characters more interesting, sure.

I just think this is so very narrow path to take for the companions, even if they're not being punished as such. I am inclided to be a little more lenient, there can be white lies, you can threaten people to avoid actual violence, and so on. It's only when you have real malign intent that I would rule a misdeed.

In the case of Faramir, it's a little too convenient example, because the story requires that Gollum lives. It's a plot device to emphasise Faramir's character certainly. Ordering Gollum killed, would it have been a misdeed? Maybe so, but I don't think possible feelings of remorse or self-doubt have any bearing on the issue. Anyone can feel them whether the deed is just or not. More important is was the deed itself done for evil/selfish purpose.

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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Glorelendil » Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:20 pm

Butterfingers wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:16 pm
But if you have voluntarily assumed a very strict moral code, does it automatically mean shadow points, if you fail to live up to it? Without exceptions?
I don't think it is voluntary. It's not because you tried to be perfect and failed.

If it were, then somebody who set really low standards for themselves would never get Shadow.

And even Galahad will sometimes get Shadow because sometimes there are no good solutions.

Take the classic trolley problem: a train is hurtling toward 4 workers on the tracks. Do you throw the switch so that the trolley only kills one worker?

There's no right/wrong or good/bad here: but whatever you do somebody is going to die, and you are going to forever be haunted by your decision and wonder if you did the right thing. THAT is Shadow.
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Otaku-sempai
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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Otaku-sempai » Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:03 pm

Glorelendil wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:43 am
Butterfingers wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:04 am
Just as long we remember you don't have follow such lofty ideals to avoid shadow points. There's a lot of ground between the ideal and actual misdeed country?
I would almost argue the contrary: even if you follow such lofty ideals, you're going to find yourself in situations where there is no "good" choice, and what you do could lead to Shadow points.
And Faramir could receive Shadow points through absolutely no fault, choice or action of his own, just by being Anguished as a witness to horrific events (where Shadow works more like Sanity in Call of Cthulhu). For example, he and his Rangers might happen across the site of a massacre where the victims were mutilated and worse than mutilated (without going into details), gaining every member of the group at least 1--and maybe 2--point(s) of Shadow if a Corruption test is failed.

I'm not sure that some of the posters in this discussion haven't lost sight of the fact that both Anguish and Misdeeds are sources of Shadow. In effect, Shadow shares some elements with both Sanity and Dark Force points.
Last edited by Otaku-sempai on Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Butterfingers
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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Butterfingers » Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:53 pm

Sure, but we've been talking about misdeeds specifically, or are we mixing the two now?

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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Otaku-sempai » Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:59 pm

It just seems that the role of Anguish is gaining Shadow has been overlooked or marginalized in this discussion. Anguish helps to clarify the role of Shadow in the game.
Last edited by Otaku-sempai on Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Glorelendil
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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Glorelendil » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:02 pm

Butterfingers wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:53 pm
Sure, but we've been talking about misdeeds specifically, or are we mixing the two now?
Does it matter? If witnessing a disturbing thing can accrue Shadow, why shouldn't doing a disturbing thing, even if it's justified or the best course of action or whatever, have the same result?

EDIT: Yeah, what O-s said. I think Anguish helps illustrate that Shadow isn't punishment for being bad. It's the cost of doing business in a dark and morally complex world.
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Rich H
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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Rich H » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:18 pm

Glorelendil wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:02 pm
I think Anguish helps illustrate that Shadow isn't punishment for being bad. It's the cost of doing business in a dark and morally complex world.
... And failed Corruption tests from 'simply' negotiating the darker lands such as Blighted Places. I mentioned all this a few posts back; the whole of these rules need to be appreciated as one and what they are trying to do.
Also note that these traits can be accrued due to a player's character simply failing some Corruption Tests and never once committing any kind of Misdeed so the situation regarding these mechanics is far more complicated than you've described. I think the language you use in the above post is quite telling, if I'm being honest. You use phrases like "direct penalty for doing wrong", "GM can use against the player", "forcing your character to quit" which I think is quite telling. These kind of aspects accrued during play, for me and my players, are something that 'just happens' as part of adventuring in Middle-earth when the Shadow is on the rise across all lands, free or otherwise. It's pretty much like mechanics you may get in other games from characters' aging. They are penalties from a mechanical perspective but I don't agree with your viewpoint expressed through those phrases that they are punishments for doing wrong, etc as just stated. Also, for me and my players, they are something we embrace and use as a foil for roleplaying our characters better and telling stories together that are richer, more tragic, poignant and in keeping with Tolkien's work. They are part of the price paid for being a hero and stepping outside of hearth and home; sacrificing yourself so others can live safely or at least safer lives. They are an enabler for telling such stories. Based on my experience they therefore aren't a penalty "for doing wrong/bad things" but more something that is going to happen because that's part of how TOR has been designed. You fail corruption tests, commit misdeeds, witness works of the enemy and suffer a Bout of Madness by not Healing Corruption then your character is going to wear those scars and have to deal with them.
Dealing with these complex and demanding issues lead to a far richer and more satisfying experience at the table.
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Butterfingers
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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Butterfingers » Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:09 pm

Sure, but note that in all cases of anguish and blighted places, you (with one exception) you get to roll a corruption test, and potentially can avoid any Shadow points gained. Whereas in misdeeds you get the points automatically, since you actively embrace the 'dark side', as it were.

That's not just a technical detail, it shows that anguish and blighted places are things that happen to you, and in misdeeds it is you who is the active agent.

Don't get hung on me or others using terms like penalty or punish, because that's is just a matter of opinion and perspective. Even if shadow points aren't a penalty, I think we can all agree that they're not a good thing for the companion (even if they're good for the story)? Shadow for me is like the dark side of Star Wars, a physically existing evil force. It's not an abstract number like sanity, and it's not just psychological state like depression, combat syndrome, or whatever.

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