Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

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Rich H
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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Rich H » Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:28 pm

Butterfingers wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:09 pm
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.
Isn't that what's important here? You don't think that killing orcs in their sleep should result in SPs and other people do because of reasons stated? Perspectives and opinions are all we have at the end of the day. It's great if you no longer think the awarding of SPs is a punishment. If that's where we've gotten to then I guess we've had a worthwhile discussion about how the mechanics work and what they are used for. Ultimately I'm sure this has all been of interest/benefit to the OP and reaffirmed his original thoughts on the subjest. I'm not sure what else is under discussion so I get the feeling its run its course; which is fine as its been a worthy discussion.
Last edited by Rich H on Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Falenthal » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:35 pm

Butterfingers wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:09 pm
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.
In that, I don't agree. I think the exact opposite: Shadow is NOT to be compared with a Dark Side. It is something that good people are not devoid of, but that is part of them. In this sense, it IS like sanity, depression, etc.

Maybe this different conception is why there are two different positions (that can't come to an agreement) in this discussion.

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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Butterfingers » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:58 pm

I dunno maybe that's it? What do you see shadow being then, other than the sphere o the Enemy's influence? Is not a real thing? Is it a metaphor? Do you read your Tolkien as an allegory rather than epic fantasy?

@Rich, I think it's form of punishment in the same way getting wounds in combat is a punishment for losing a fight. Or when you fail an important roll when you would have needed it. It's not punishment in the strict sense of the word but you pay for your mistakes in the form of consequences, the game rules make sure of that. So in a way, the entire game system is a big punishment mechanism... :mrgreen: I am joking here, of course. So like I said, I wouldn't get hung up on that particular word.

I have presented my perspective on the matter, you reject it and I am fine by that. But think a moment, if we all agreed that shadow points are in fact way of punishing the companions/players, would it change the way you use the rules on shadow and hope?

I feel it's good to throw ideas around, we don't always need to reach an agreement on things. Sometimes it's good to air your thoughts so you get a clearer perspective on them, or even an alternate perspective even if you don't take to it?

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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Falenthal » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:44 am

Butterfingers wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:58 pm
I dunno maybe that's it? What do you see shadow being then, other than the sphere o the Enemy's influence? Is not a real thing? Is it a metaphor? Do you read your Tolkien as an allegory rather than epic fantasy?
To me Denethor had failed to the Shadow (developed his 4th flaw) when he decided to despair and commit suicide. He did not turn to being an evil leader, or a minion of Sauron. He just despaired and couldn't hold on anymore to live as it was given to him.

Thrór also succumbed to the Shadow when the wanderlust overcame him, and decided to leave everything he had in this world (Erebor's map and key, and his dwarven ring) knowing he was to take a path that didn't come back home to his relatives.

Saruman, of course, did fall to the Shadow, but he didn't align himself with Sauron: he was only loyal to himself, and wanted to build his own world. He also rejected the world as it was, and wanted to reshape it after his own view.

The Master of Esgaroth fell to the Dragon-sickness when he not only wanted to hoard his gold, what became so paranoid that he fled the city into the Wilderness. Which was much dangerous, of course, but in his deformed view the real danger where other humans that (he thought) were all as eager for his money as he was himself.

Even I'd stretch it as much as to say that both Frodo and Bilbo succumbed to the Shadow in the end, as they weren't able to enjoy life anymore, and had to travel West as elves do.

Falling to the Shadow is, in my point of view, not the same as "becoming an evil and cruel Sith Lord that likes to kill everyone around him, and becoming the most powerful being of the universe". This could be one facet of falling to the Shadow, but not the only one.

Boromir, therefore, or Thorin II, didn't fall to the Shadow: they were able to rethink their actions and repent on them, accepting the world as it was. They had a bout of madness, but did not gain the 4th flaw, in game terms.

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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Ghorin » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:40 am

Falenthal wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:44 am
Butterfingers wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:58 pm
I dunno maybe that's it? What do you see shadow being then, other than the sphere o the Enemy's influence? Is not a real thing? Is it a metaphor? Do you read your Tolkien as an allegory rather than epic fantasy?
To me Denethor had failed to the Shadow (developed his 4th flaw) when he decided to despair and commit suicide. He did not turn to being an evil leader, or a minion of Sauron. He just despaired and couldn't hold on anymore to live as it was given to him.

Thrór also succumbed to the Shadow when the wanderlust overcame him, and decided to leave everything he had in this world (Erebor's map and key, and his dwarven ring) knowing he was to take a path that didn't come back home to his relatives.

Saruman, of course, did fall to the Shadow, but he didn't align himself with Sauron: he was only loyal to himself, and wanted to build his own world. He also rejected the world as it was, and wanted to reshape it after his own view.

The Master of Esgaroth fell to the Dragon-sickness when he not only wanted to hoard his gold, what became so paranoid that he fled the city into the Wilderness. Which was much dangerous, of course, but in his deformed view the real danger where other humans that (he thought) were all as eager for his money as he was himself.

Even I'd stretch it as much as to say that both Frodo and Bilbo succumbed to the Shadow in the end, as they weren't able to enjoy life anymore, and had to travel West as elves do.

Falling to the Shadow is, in my point of view, not the same as "becoming an evil and cruel Sith Lord that likes to kill everyone around him, and becoming the most powerful being of the universe". This could be one facet of falling to the Shadow, but not the only one.

Boromir, therefore, or Thorin II, didn't fall to the Shadow: they were able to rethink their actions and repent on them, accepting the world as it was. They had a bout of madness, but did not gain the 4th flaw, in game terms.
Agree with all of that. Still concerning Boromir and Thorin II, even if they didn't fall completely, they were very close to it and had IMHO (in TOR mecanisms) several permanent Shadow Points.

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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Butterfingers » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:42 am

Denethor was driven insane by the Enemy, using Palantir to feed him images that made him despair. That, and losing first Boromir, and then Faramir (apparently), his remaining heir. The desperation/anguish was planned, and it was a big victory for Sauron. I guess he's a prime example of succumbing to the shadow mainly through anguish?

Just because Saruman didn't align himself with Sauron in his mind didn't mean he wasn't working for Sauron, even if unwittingly... he coveted the One Ring after all. Like Galadriel said, even if the mightiest and purest person who gets the ring has all the best intentions, in the end all their work turns into evil. Which is in itself a victory for the Enemy. And One Ring being of the Enemy, eventually the holder would either become Sauron 2.0 or succumb to his will? I think we can say that Saruman fell to the shadow purely through misdeeds?

I don't think falling to Dark Side is all about becoming a Sith Lord, it's not as simple as that either. Simply by resorting to negative feelings, like anger and hate, you become the vessel of the dark side. And it's so easy to resort to feelings for power. That's the lure of the dark side, not just some 'silly' Sith title. In the films we see the dark side being used only by the main baddies, but in the RPG it's readily available to everybody, and it's a slippery slope too. You dont' have to be a Jedi or have a high midi-chlorian count or whatever the heck it was. The Dark side is for everybody.

Falling to the shadow doesn't have to mean you join the Enemy, but your spirit is beaten by it anyways.

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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Falenthal » Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:37 am

Agreed on all of it.

That's why killing innocuous orcs should, in my opinion, grant Shadow points.
As you very well say, "simply by resorting to negative feelings, like anger and hate you become the vessel of the dark side".

When a hero has a goblin before him that is asleep, or has surrendered, or whatever, and chooses to kill him (for the greater good or whatever other justification, the same as Boromir justified to himself taking the Ring from Frodo), he is resorting to his negative feelings instead of to the positive ones. Bilbo stopping himself from backstabbing Gollum is the quintaessential example of the opposite.

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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Glorelendil » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:33 pm

Falenthal wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:37 am
Agreed on all of it.

That's why killing innocuous orcs should, in my opinion, grant Shadow points.
As you very well say, "simply by resorting to negative feelings, like anger and hate you become the vessel of the dark side".

When a hero has a goblin before him that is asleep, or has surrendered, or whatever, and chooses to kill him (for the greater good or whatever other justification, the same as Boromir justified to himself taking the Ring from Frodo), he is resorting to his negative feelings instead of to the positive ones. Bilbo stopping himself from backstabbing Gollum is the quintaessential example of the opposite.
Thoroughly agree.

@butterfingers: I found myself scratching my head (figuratively) while reading your last post, because I can't figure out how you believe all that and yet arrive at a different conclusion about murdering defenseless orcs.
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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Otaku-sempai » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:20 pm

Falenthal wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:37 am
Agreed on all of it.

That's why killing innocuous orcs should, in my opinion, grant Shadow points.
As you very well say, "simply by resorting to negative feelings, like anger and hate you become the vessel of the dark side".

When a hero has a goblin before him that is asleep, or has surrendered, or whatever, and chooses to kill him (for the greater good or whatever other justification, the same as Boromir justified to himself taking the Ring from Frodo), he is resorting to his negative feelings instead of to the positive ones. Bilbo stopping himself from backstabbing Gollum is the quintaessential example of the opposite.
I wonder if a part of the disagreements here arise from semantics. I would never describe the Orcs in this adventure as 'innocuous'. They are temporarily incapacitated, but give them some time to recover and they would be perfectly happy to stick the heroes with something sharp and pointy. However, since the primary goal is to rescue Dindy, it's wiser to not further endanger the Hobbit by engaging in needless slaughter. The key here might be that heroes ought not to fight without need unless a higher duty (such as Wood-elves guarding their realm against intruders) calls them to do so.

Yes, things are a little different if you are considered to be a soldier during a state of war. Sometimes killing an enemy unawares is just good tactics, though it would be a despicable action under other circumstances. However, even if it makes sense militarally, such actions could still be counted as misdeeds for the purposes of Shadow-gain. And killing a surrendered enemy is never an honorable act.
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Re: Shadow for killing innocuous orcs

Post by Ghorin » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:12 pm

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:20 pm
Falenthal wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:37 am
Agreed on all of it.

That's why killing innocuous orcs should, in my opinion, grant Shadow points.
As you very well say, "simply by resorting to negative feelings, like anger and hate you become the vessel of the dark side".

When a hero has a goblin before him that is asleep, or has surrendered, or whatever, and chooses to kill him (for the greater good or whatever other justification, the same as Boromir justified to himself taking the Ring from Frodo), he is resorting to his negative feelings instead of to the positive ones. Bilbo stopping himself from backstabbing Gollum is the quintaessential example of the opposite.
I wonder if a part of the disagreements here arise from semantics. I would never describe the Orcs in this adventure as 'innocuous'. They are temporarily incapacitated, but give them some time to recover and they would be perfectly happy to stick the heroes with something sharp and pointy. However, since the primary goal is to rescue Dindy, it's wiser to not further endanger the Hobbit by engaging in needless slaughter. The key here might be that heroes ought not to fight without need unless a higher duty (such as Wood-elves guarding their realm against intruders) calls them to do so.

Yes, things are a little different if you are considered to be a soldier during a state of war. Sometimes killing an enemy unawares is just good tactics, though it would be a despicable action under other circumstances. However, even if it makes sense militarally, such actions could still be counted as misdeeds for the purposes of Shadow-gain. And killing a surrendered enemy is never an honorable act.
In this adventure, that's right that the Orcs won't stay innocuous for more than a moment (few hours I would say) and then they might run after the PCs and threaten them. But still at the very moment the 3 Orcs were killed, they were innocuous. And as already said, even a good decision might give Shadow points. And here that would be for some cowardy action as I believe the Dwarf and (lesser) the Hobbit won't boast in taverns of having killed a innocuous orcs that were disarmed, vomiting their guts and turning their back.

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