Wish Fulfillment

Last night, Kate and I were running around the edge of this orc camp up the Greenway a few miles from Bree. We’re leaving, but one of the guards spots her and takes off after her. She ignores him, figuring (correctly) that she can outrun him and he’ll give up the chase in a little bit.
Me? I stop.
“You stopped you shoot him, didn’t you?”
But let me clarify.
It’s not because I’m bloodthirsty or need the xp or anything.
I (a dyed in the wool Tolkien fanboy) am given the opportunity to plant an arrow fletching-deep into the back of a fleeing orc.
It is going to be a long, long, LONG time before that gets old.


  1. Does it help that there’s little moral ambiguity in that particular universe? (There really can’t be anything like a “good” orc, given their creation and nature.)

  2. It does, actually.
    Now, I’m all for some moral ambiguity — WoW has it in spades, with (to my mind) neither Faction being the clear good guy, and lots of arguments available to the contrary for anyone who wants to take up the debate. I like playing a noble orc — a tribesman hunter of a people who recently freed themselves from ages of slavery that went soul-deep.
    However, that’s WoW. In Lord of the Rings, there’s a right and a wrong; a perverse and a strong; the corrupt and commited. You can ‘play’ the bad guys in only a very limited venue, and even then there’s a sense that you’re really just giving the Free Peoples a more challenging opponent to test themselves again — really, doing them a favor… giving them a better sparring partner for awhile.
    When you see an orc, they are BAD. Goblins, wargs… wights… trolls… all bad. Clearly. Inarguably. Perhaps (like the haunted trees or, arguably, the wights) good at one point, but corrupt now and full of hate.
    If you’re on LotRO, and you’re playing your human or elf or dwarf or hobbit, you’re on the Right Side. Period.
    There’s a certain satisfaction in that.
    However, that’s only part of it.
    A lot of it is getting to (finally!) step into the world I’ve been visiting since I was in sixth grade (or earlier) and engage in some of the heroics I’ve been reading about for a quarter of a century. 🙂

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