Vice and Virtue
I was looking for a way to mechanically enforce those concepts. Because they are at the heart of Narnia, for it was built on a very specific set of laws. Mechanically it may be a bit clunky, but I am trying to enforce a specific set of ideas for playing in Narnia. Now that I think about it I would probably not have players choose a Virtue and its associated Vice. But let them pick as would best fit their conception of their character. Nonetheless, while conviction might be great, it didn’t really work for the concepts I wanted to enforce.
For example, when I looked at the rules for gaining Conviction, I was not really satisfied. In True 20 conviction can be regained for following either nature. I didn’t like that. It didn’t represent Narnia to me. This is because Narnia is not about personal convictions of right and wrong. By this I mean the modern concept of right and wrong being a personal or culture idea, not the more ancient concept (and the one which Narnia is built upon) that the world itself is built on immutable laws that a person either denies or affirms. Narnia is about upholding the laws of its universe, and you either get in line with those or you’re the bad guy.
Steadfastness, as opposed to conviction, puts the emphasis of right and wrong on something other than the individual person. It is great to have conviction. The White Witch had conviction, but in Narnia, that is not as important as steadfastly upholding the laws of the Universe. I see it as a kind of moral hierarchy, conviction is great, but it is not the pinnacle, steadfastness is closer to that top. But even steadfastness is not the top. At the very top (most likely, I don’t know I can’t see that far) of that moral hierarchy are those immutable laws making steadfastness and conviction so important.
In a second way I didn’t like the idea of rewarding vice. There is no reward to vice. Not in Narnia. In Narnia, unlike our world, good is rewarded “immediately”, there is no bye and bye pie in the sky. (Of course on the flip side it may also be said that evil also gets its reward immediately) The good guys do not finish last in Narnia, the bad guys do. There is no disconnect between being steadfast, true and reward. That disconnect comes from being wavering and untrue. In Narnia, those that choose to be untrue have the harder time, not the other way around.
But that goes back to my fundamental belief about Myth, which Narnia is. To me Myth reveals the reality of the Universe. And that reality is: Wavering and Untruth cause a disconnect, separate people from others, and leave them at the mercy of their enemies. At this present time, we don’t see that. How many times have we seen the fact of the proverb “nice guys finish last”. But the fact does not prove it is reality. To me, myth is about unveiling the Real, and giving us, mere mortals, a chance to see behind the scenes so to speak and giving us the strength to fight on knowing that this present time is not the reality of the universe. But then again, I am, unabashedly a Christian.
Therefore in summary, mechanically, for me, in Narnia, it SHOULD be harder to be evil, to be untrue, there should be no phat lewt for going evil. It should be a pain in the ass to be a bad guy in Narnia, because that is how Narnia works. It is harder for those who want to be untrue and mean. Rewards should be heaped, and indeed are, upon those who are true, steadfast, AND those who return to those virtues.
In fact it warms my heart (and yes I even get a little teary) every time I think of King Edmund’s title. He is called the Just, and he was anything but that when the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe started. And yet, through all of that, through the Recovery, Aslan gave him the title of Edmund the Just. In Narnia, it should be hard to be alone; it should be hard to be evil, because the Good is so very Real.
If you can't trust GOD, who in the Hell can you trust?
Myth: the thirst for the EXTRA-ordinary and the non-literal.