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Topics - epkan

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Dungeon World / DW Hack: Shadow/Corruption, please comment
« on: February 18, 2016, 09:09:03 AM »
Hi all.

Newcomer to this crowd.

I have been working on a smallish hack to fit DW on Middle-Earth (my players have been prompting me to nostalgia trip to MERP we played about 30-25 yrs ago :-), but I'm not wanting to touch MERP/RM anymore and somehow The One Ring doesn't ring my bell. I would love to try out DW on that. Basicly I am not aiming to any big mods, but want to have something that makes it fit better.

The one core mechanic I want to bring in is Shadow/Corruption. That's one thing I feel is beautiful in TOR, so I'm shamelessly stealing from it.

As I am not too experienced on AW/DW and not been hacking it before, I would love to have some feedback. This is the first writeup, so there must be problems...

As a background, there will be a Stat representing empathy, strength of characters conscience,  etc. I'm naming it Heart.
It derives a secondary Stat named Spirit, which represents the characters morality, straight of mind to aspire for good, the spark of Eru etc. Spirit is countered by Shadow, representing corruption and evil (I'm scrapping the Alignment rules).

Big part of this aims to fiction rather than mechanic. My goals for this is to present
- subtle descent to corruption, if the player wishes to succumb (=once you fall you risk sinking deeper)
- ever-present temptation to lean on shadow (= you can choose manifest your shadow to get benefit (also mechanically))
- everyone is not evil, you can fight it (=there's a way to stay untainted)
- it creates recognisable marks from ME Lore: even Heroes may carry taint, despair and hopelessness in face of shadow, elven grief, wanderlust, dragon-sickness, corruptive effect of power, etc.

So...Thanks in advance, looking forward to get any feedback


Dual stat SHADOW (starts on 0) <<<o>>> SPIRIT (derived from heart)
Value: 1 to 3.

Values do not counter each other. So shadow 1 spirit 3 gives you still spirit 3.

Everyone start with Spirit=Heart (modifier) and 0 Shadow, except:
• Common men are easier to fall...they drop spirit by -1 (to min. of 0).
• High men and Hobbits start with +1, elves with +2 spirit (to max. of 3)
• Mannish cultures living under shadow start with 1 shadow.

When you feel the Shadow
Whenever you encounter situation, where Taint of the Shadow is present: Spirit+roll.
On hit, you resist corruption. The spark of Eru burns bright in you: gain 1 spirit.
On 10+ choose 2, but if your Shadow is stronger than Spirit, choose only 1.
7-9 choose 1:
• Light of Valinor: remove 1 shadow
• You are not lured (if you are, -1forward to spirit or +1forward to next misdeeds, whichever happens first)
• You don’t manifest the taint of shadow you carry.

Miss: gain Taint shadow (see below for Taint).
If you must add shadow, you can always manifest instead. If you must add shadow, but can't (it's already at 3), you must manifest Instead.
The strength of manifest effect is scaled to current shadow score (by fiction).

Taint represents the power of Dark Lord affecting the people and lands. Taint has dual purpose:
- Whenever the characters encounter taint, in any form described below by their own actions or merely being in presence of taint, it triggers When you feel the Shadow -move.
- Taint has a score, affecting how strong effect it has on your character.

Tain is present in
0: Minor misdeed (cheating lying  etc. selfish acts of pure benefit). Accidental misdeeds. These are purely fictional, an opportunity for MC to make a soft move, to get things moving, spiraling towards darker deeds.
1: Harming fellow man (physicall/mentally/socially). Unnecessary cruelty towards minor servants of enemy (yes, even orcs). Taking by force. Violent threats. Cowardice, theft and blunder.
2: Killing or grievously harming fellow man in fair fight. Torture for 'greater good’. Orchestrating attack/war against ‘neutral’ people resulting number of deaths. Unprovoked aggression, abusing authority to influence or dominate.
3: Murder, malicious torture, assassination, betrayal
Automatic (adds 1 to 3 Shadow without roll): Killing close kin/friend, Oathbreak

Manifest (choose one that fits best the scene/your character)
• Lure of Power (resentful, arrogant, overconfident, tyrannical, evil in mind): you may choose to use your Shadow as a bonus to accomplish a goal (a scene, or string of actions with clear goal), but these actions counts as misdeeds then. Whatever you set to do, you do it with evil at heart.
• Curse of Vengeance: (spiteful, brutal, cruel, murderous, violent tempers): use any means as. possible to fight shadow. You fight without any restraint and show no mercy. Increase your harm by Shadow until next time you reduce your shadow. Note, that this results unnecessary harshness, which turns deeds more easily to misdeeds.
• Bout of Madness (rage, wretchedness, desperation, lust): you act without control. You will be prompted by CM. This affects your actions for duration of scene.

0: I'll news, spreading them, gossiping.
1: Entering land under shadows influence, old battlefields, places of blood, murder and destruction (ruins, Moria etc.), lair of orcs, cave of troll, den of thieves. Witnessing power of shadow; destroyed lands, fresh corpses, etc.
2: Entering land under shadows control (Angmar , Mordor, southern Mirkwood, lair of dragon, etc.) or evil old places (barrow downs, dark forests, deep caves). Being enslaved by Dark Lords minions. Natural/accidental death of close kin/friends
3: Entering stronghold of the Enemy (Dol Guldur, Carn Dum, citadels of Mordor, Minas Ithil or core of area ruled by Nazgul/Orcs). Inside ancient barrow. Witnessing power of shadow in action; attack of orcs on defenseless people, marks of wanton violence, torture, mutilation. Violent death of close kin/friends
Automatic (adds 1 to 3 Shadow without roll): Direct contact to shadow world, presence of high servant of shadow or Sauron himself (e.g. contact via Palantir). Entering core of evil (Barad-dur, throne room of Nazgul).

Manifest (choose one that best fits your character/you feel grows your characters story)
• Despair: Lose -1heart.
• Grief (elves only). If your spirit drops to 0 you will abandon everything and start travel west. Note, that if CM and you so agree, this may be a story in itself, and your spirits may be healed in process. However, once the grief sets in, it stays, and you always long for Valinor. Each time you Grief, the desire to leave grows stronger.
• Wandering-madness (idle, forgetful, uncaring, cowardly). You don't feel at home anywhere anymore. You don’t feel attached to places nor to people. If you stay in one place longer than a season, you grow irritated, morose and restless. -1forward if you stay.

Tainted treasure/Dark knowledge (also love/lust/desire of something you cannot get)
0: stealing, studying dark deeds, encountering dark lore. Performing magic. Unanswered desires.
1: Taken from hoard gained by misdeed: orc or troll-treasure or thieves loot. Money from Mordor. Studying dark lore.
2: Taken from hoard of Dragon. Performing dark magic.
3: Stolen from ancient barrow or stronghold of the Dark Lord. Legendary artefacts. Using cursed items.
Automatic (adds 1 to 3 Shadow without roll): Accepting gifts from the Dark Lord.
Items created by Elves are pure things and do not carry taint, even after rescued from tainted treasure.

Manifest (choose by category of desire):
• Dragon-sickness (grasping, mistrustful, deceitful, thieving): you must to possess it, by any means possible.
• Lure of Secrets (haughty, scornful, scheming, treacherous): you are drawn to secrets and dark arts.

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