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  1. #16
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    As the OP, and thinking about - we buy oil leases from Sauron. Trump, Biden - whomever is president (assuming a US portal) go over for a fist bump and praise his genius.

    If it's the Russians or Chinese - they will get along just fine. Will all be corrupted and our world taken over - perhaps - how could we tell except things might run more efficiently, given Sharps view of Sauron's executive abilities.

    BTW, if Sauron won - what did Tolkien say he had planned. Another move across the oceans? The movie had the Shire just becoming a big industrial plant - making what and for whom?

    Sauron sees export potential for cheap products and buying a good deal of tech?

  2. #17
    The Weeping Mod Sharpandpointies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Smith View Post
    As the OP, and thinking about - we buy oil leases from Sauron. Trump, Biden - whomever is president (assuming a US portal) go over for a fist bump and praise his genius.

    If it's the Russians or Chinese - they will get along just fine. Will all be corrupted and our world taken over - perhaps - how could we tell except things might run more efficiently, given Sharps view of Sauron's executive abilities.
    If by efficiently we get to a point where basically everyone is in forced, indentured servitude to Sauron's progress, then sure, it'll be more efficient. When I joke about 'nobody noticing', it's more that we seem to be heading somewhere in that direction anyway. But for us, in the end, it'll just be slavery. Control. Domination. No real living, just existing to work until one dies in a stratified society where the few people Sauron puts in authority lord it over the vast multitude who toil beneath them.

    It'll certainly be more efficient for whatever Sauron wants, but not a great situation for the world.

    BTW, if Sauron won - what did Tolkien say he had planned. Another move across the oceans? The movie had the Shire just becoming a big industrial plant - making what and for whom?
    For him. For his vision of Middle Earth and his rule of it. Whatever horrible thing that would be, but mostly him just running the show. He'd be a tyrant, a dictator, and people would not be free. Instead, he would control everything.

    However, Sauron can't go after Valinor. Number one, he doesn't have a chance against the Valar and their servants. The entire business of him getting the Númenoreans to attack Valinor was him completing his corruption and destruction of their civilization. It enabled to be top dog again in Middle Earth. Number two, he can't actually GO there. The way no longer exists since the world was altered by Eru, and only those permitted to take The Straight Path can make it to the Blessed Lands.

    Sauron, one might guess, does NOT have an R.S.V.P..
    Last edited by Sharpandpointies; 08-09-2022 at 09:16 AM.
    Why Are We Here?, by Pendaran

    "What's a silmaril?
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    - Nik

    "...dropping an orca whale made of fire on your enemies is a pretty strong opening move."
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    "Why throw punches when you can be making everyone around you sterile mutant corpses?"
    - Pendaran, regarding Dr. Fate

  3. #18
    Friendship's Shockwave BitVyper's Avatar
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    Honestly, I think assuming Sauron is going to have to do any actual manipulation to "beat" modern governments is being way too generous. I'm pretty sure if you just pick a world leader and tell them "put on this ring to become an immortal wraith slave" they have finished putting it on before you have finished saying "immortal." Hell, most of them, having seen the movies, will probably approach *him*. It's just not really a battle, it's "Sauron thinks he's died and gone to his own very specific heaven"

    TBH, he'd be a step up. Like you may get a horrible dystopia with Sauron, but he's at least motivated to step up on climate and stuff.
    Last edited by BitVyper; 08-09-2022 at 04:15 PM.
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  4. #19
    The Weeping Mod Sharpandpointies's Avatar
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    I wasn't going to come in here and say 'Sauron has a hilarious field day with our world leaders', but now that the ice is broken, sure. My feeling is like yours: he'll just pass out the Nine again and end up with a bunch of brand new Ringwraiths. One of whom will be an awkward wraith (with weird hair) that likes to make grandiose gestures with its tiny spectral hands.

    Not 100% sure about the climate change, thing; Sauron being just fine with Mordor, soot, too much heat, barren wastelands, etc. His servants were all about the same sort of thing. But hey, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe he just views the environment like everything else (ie, must be controlled).

    ...potentially wouldn't be WORSE, in any case.
    Last edited by Sharpandpointies; 08-17-2022 at 11:24 AM.
    Why Are We Here?, by Pendaran

    "What's a silmaril?
    Is it some kind of Pokemon?"

    - Nik

    "...dropping an orca whale made of fire on your enemies is a pretty strong opening move."
    - Nik

    "Why throw punches when you can be making everyone around you sterile mutant corpses?"
    - Pendaran, regarding Dr. Fate

  5. #20
    Friendship's Shockwave BitVyper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpandpointies View Post
    Not 100% sure about the climate change, thing; Sauron being just fine with Mordor, soot, too much heat, barren wastelands, etc. His servants were all about the same sort of thing. But hey, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe he just views the environment like everything else (ie, must be controlled).

    ...potentially wouldn't be WORSE, in any case.
    He's immortal and you can't have an dystopian industrial empire if the planet literally can't support a large scale industrial agricultural civilisation. Some kind of massive climate action beyond the scope of anything any major power is currently proposing falls way below the bar of very basic requirements for actually running business here beyond the level of "stripping all the copper wire out of the walls"

    I guess he might be self destructive enough to just keep running headfirst into, what would be for him, a very immediate collapse (it's really not that far off for the rest of us), but he does seem to actually want to sustain his empire.

    Edit: It'd be extremely funny if he got here thinking "this is everything I ever wanted," took over, and then found himself scrambling so hard to do something about the oncoming collapse that he forgot to be evil about it.
    Last edited by BitVyper; 08-09-2022 at 05:53 PM.
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  6. #21
    The Weeping Mod Sharpandpointies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BitVyper View Post
    He's immortal and you can't have an dystopian industrial empire if the planet literally can't support a large scale industrial agricultural civilisation. Some kind of massive climate action beyond the scope of anything any major power is currently proposing falls way below the bar of very basic requirements for actually running business here beyond the level of "stripping all the copper wire out of the walls"

    I guess he might be self destructive enough to just keep running headfirst into, what would be for him, a very immediate collapse, but he does seem to actually want to sustain his empire.
    He can breed servants who live in that mess. Or just...do 'enough' that people can continue to function in miserable conditions, but he continues to do whatever-the-hell engineering he wants to do.

    Or maybe he'll fix the climate - we haven't really seen enough of Sauron (other than Saruman and him polluting everything they touch, but maybe once things got really bad he'd reconsider and put in some kind of environmental engineering, who knows?).

    But one can bet that every living thing - animals, plants, whatever - would be considered to be nothing more than 'resources', and that means 'to be controlled and used'.
    Why Are We Here?, by Pendaran

    "What's a silmaril?
    Is it some kind of Pokemon?"

    - Nik

    "...dropping an orca whale made of fire on your enemies is a pretty strong opening move."
    - Nik

    "Why throw punches when you can be making everyone around you sterile mutant corpses?"
    - Pendaran, regarding Dr. Fate

  7. #22
    Friendship's Shockwave BitVyper's Avatar
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    He can breed servants who live in that mess. Or just...do 'enough' that people can continue to function in miserable conditions, but he continues to do whatever-the-hell engineering he wants to do.
    Can he breed people who don't need to eat? Mass-farmable crops that just don't care about soil or water or weather? Like that's the problem here: You might say "sure he'll just breed whatever" but that still only works if he's willing to accept a massive reduction in the scale of what he's being handed just by walking into this world (I'm running with the assumption that we agree conquering this word is trivial for him on the basis that he's pretty much already won in principle). That doesn't seem like something he'd want, to me, so if I assume he wants to keep this huge global civilisation, I have to assume he needs to do something about the climate, which leads into...

    But one can bet that every living thing - animals, plants, whatever - would be considered to be nothing more than 'resources', and that means 'to be controlled and used'.
    Absolutely. He's a fascist in the worst way, but.... well people need to be able to get around whatever awful factory cities he builds, and it can't really be with cars. He needs control, but... our world's massive global military and its infrastructure are such major polluters that they're a driving force in all this without even getting into the abstract, so that needs to change. Like there's a lot of problems here where the answers just don't allow him to be anything but better unless he's going to be self destructive - things like eco-fascism are mostly based in delusion and lies. His problem is that in THIS world, we're already dealing with the very limits of his personal philosophy. We're AT the point where it backfires completely. We might be just the cautionary tale he needs.

    It reminds me of a campaign I played in where our high level characters went to Athas. I was playing a very social darwinist noble bitch from our home setting, and after a couple months in Athas she finally had to be like "oh okay, I guess this doesn't actually work." And on that day, Lucinda ticked from Lawful Evil... to Lawful Neutral.
    Last edited by BitVyper; 08-09-2022 at 06:13 PM.
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  8. #23
    The Weeping Mod Sharpandpointies's Avatar
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    Valid points, here. It doesn't MEAN that Sauron won't go staggering over the edge into the world shutting down harder than it is now, seeing as Morgoth was perfectly happy destroying the world (while understanding crap-all about its systems and such - Tolkien was pretty specific about that in his notes, that while Melkor had a lot of power, he didn't try to understand anything beyond 'how can this serve my purpose' and if it didn't it wasn't important), Sauron was fine working for him while not exactly agreeing with that point, and that Sauron didn't exactly show a lot of wisdom. Push for 'improvements', crafting skill, strategies, etc, but not wisdom. Was kind of his stumbling block. He was even given a chance to change, at the end of the First Age, after watching what happened to his boss and all of his boss's power when the Valar finally stepped in. He didn't take it - ran off in fear rather than submit to judgement, then started up his crap again once the Army of the West left.

    So yes, I can see him hurtling pell-mell into destruction while thinking 'yeah, with my power and control I can make sure it doesn't destroy my little world'. Just like the people these days who go with the idea of 'we can continue to abuse our resources, I'm sure our glorious technology will find a fix!' (Sauron basically being the patron saint of that kind of human...).

    However, as I said, valid points, and I can see it going the other way. So maybe Sauron would do something about the climate. However, he's the sort of guy who would only do what was needed (or worse, see below). If he kept things at a shitty level where he could continue to work and change all of the natural world into something under his control, and cover the world in his 'technology' and whatever he feels is progress, while setting up his perfect little dictatorship, that's what he would do. We wouldn't have nature any more, we'd have a world where climate hell was kept at bay while everything nature was brought into line and used. We wouldn't have 'climate', only something controlled as best Sauron could manage. The world wouldn't be saved from Climate Change or anything, he'd just stop it from progressing (anything more would be 'wasting' resources) or take control of it, somehow, and bend it to his will. Like he does with everything.

    Not to save the world, again. But to ensure that a climate crisis wouldn't bring down the thing he was making the world into.

    And I suspect our descendants would be sitting around thinking 'Remember the stories that talk about the time before Sauron, back when we at least had hope we could do something to change the world even if it seemed pretty grim?' Because once his boot was on the world's throat, he would never let it get pushed off.
    Last edited by Sharpandpointies; 08-10-2022 at 02:41 AM.
    Why Are We Here?, by Pendaran

    "What's a silmaril?
    Is it some kind of Pokemon?"

    - Nik

    "...dropping an orca whale made of fire on your enemies is a pretty strong opening move."
    - Nik

    "Why throw punches when you can be making everyone around you sterile mutant corpses?"
    - Pendaran, regarding Dr. Fate

  9. #24
    My Face Is Up Here Powerboy's Avatar
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    The truly depressing part of all this is that it does seem we are moving towards the world Tolkien envisioned existing if Sauron won. Of course, this was always what he saw as the over-industrialized world of the 20th century but with total social economic stratification thrown in.
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  10. #25
    The Weeping Mod Sharpandpointies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerboy View Post
    The truly depressing part of all this is that it does seem we are moving towards the world Tolkien envisioned existing if Sauron won. Of course, this was always what he saw as the over-industrialized world of the 20th century but with total social economic stratification thrown in.
    Well put. Tolkien was somewhat about the economic stratification as well (or at least discussions of class), what with the comments about little people being just as important (if not more) than the seemingly grand, important types, the importance of living a simple life, etc.

    But now you've made me think. And I'm considering that with all of the environmental devastation happening, the violence and wars, etc, we're also - at least in part - heading toward a world Tolkien envisioned if Morgoth won.
    Last edited by Sharpandpointies; 08-10-2022 at 09:29 AM.
    Why Are We Here?, by Pendaran

    "What's a silmaril?
    Is it some kind of Pokemon?"

    - Nik

    "...dropping an orca whale made of fire on your enemies is a pretty strong opening move."
    - Nik

    "Why throw punches when you can be making everyone around you sterile mutant corpses?"
    - Pendaran, regarding Dr. Fate

  11. #26

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    If I may disagree with the prevailing opinion, I'm not sure Sauron has the time to do anything like that.

    My copy of Return of the King says the Fellowship departs Rivendell on December 25, and the Ring (and Sauron) are destroyed exactly three months later on March 25. The OP says the portal is discovered shortly before the Fellowship departs; let's say it happens on November 1.

    As a real-life example, the experiments leading to the discovery of nuclear fission happened maybe sometime in December 1938, but were not immediately understood. They were published in January. In February, Meitner published an article identifying it as fission. In August, Einstein and Szilard wrote their letter to President Roosevelt. Going from publication to president is six months. If this portal is discovered in November, by the time it reaches an authority figure, it could already be April, and too late for Sauron.

    Let's say this is a government-funded project, and the discovery reaches the president (let's assume the United States as the government most capable of projecting force) within 24 hours. Per Wikipedia, in the Second Iraq War, the CIA entered Iraq in July 2002 and the invasion began in March 2003. That's eight months. Iraq is a well-known country that the US would have had maps of and where the language and many details would be known. In contrast, Middle Earth is a complete unknown. It could easily take even longer to perform intelligence-gathering; after all, the real-worlders presumably do not know that they are in any sort of time crunch. If we assume the same eight months, Sauron is now toast 3-4 months before any real work is ready to begin.

    Even if we assume that all of that is already done and the real world government is ready to take immediate action in Middle Earth at the beginning of the scenario, they still have only four months to a) discover that the Ring exists, b) decide that they want it, c) find Frodo, and d) get it from him. I don't see much reason to think they would be any more successful than Sauron at this; if anything they might make it easier for Frodo, because an invasion of Middle Earth would surely distract Sauron from seeking the Ring even more than the War of the Ring already did.

  12. #27
    The Weeping Mod Sharpandpointies's Avatar
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    How'd I miss this?

    Anyway, it's a valid point - if the people from our world dither around a while, then sure, the story proceeds exactly as it did.

    As for making it easier for Frodo, I would argue that an invasion wouldn't necessarily do that. The issue is simple - Frodo failed. The ONLY reason things worked out the way they did is because Gollum fortuitously honked off the Ring enough earlier that, well, things got set up so that into the fire he goes (without Gollum being there, basically the good guys would have lost).

    If an invasion occurs, the potential for things to proceed exactly as they did becomes somewhat skewed, and it's possible we end up with Frodo at Mt. Doom WITHOUT Gollum (for whatever reason), in which case...well, Sauron gets Ring.

    I guess there are four most likely possibilities:

    1. Invasion/contact takes a long time to get started. Story proceeds normally. Ring go boom.
    2. Invasion/contact takes a shorter time to get started. Frodo makes it to Mt. Doom with Gollum anyway. Ring go boom.
    3. Invasion/contact takes a shorter time to get started. Frodo makes it to Mt. Doom without Gollum. Sauron probably gets Ring. This is bad.
    4. Invasion/contact takes a shorter time to get started. Invaders bomb Mordor to shit, and the Ring likely gets taken 'for study' because hey, we 'got' that guy. Sauron has a field day corrupting our world.
    Last edited by Sharpandpointies; 08-17-2022 at 11:25 AM.
    Why Are We Here?, by Pendaran

    "What's a silmaril?
    Is it some kind of Pokemon?"

    - Nik

    "...dropping an orca whale made of fire on your enemies is a pretty strong opening move."
    - Nik

    "Why throw punches when you can be making everyone around you sterile mutant corpses?"
    - Pendaran, regarding Dr. Fate

  13. #28
    Rumbles Moderator Guy1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpandpointies View Post
    How'd I miss this?

    Anyway, it's a valid point - if the people from our world dither around a while, then sure, the story proceeds exactly as it did.

    As for making it easier for Frodo, I would argue that an invasion wouldn't necessarily do that. The issue is simple - Frodo failed. The ONLY reason things worked out the way they did is because Gollum fortuitously honked off the Ring enough earlier that, well, things got set up so that into the fire he goes (now, there's some argument against the point of the Frodo/The Ring commanding him to throw himself in and that's why it actually happened, but still, without Gollum being there, basically the good guys would have lost).

    If an invasion occurred, the potential for things to proceed exactly as they did becomes somewhat skewed, and it's possible we end up with Frodo at Mt. Doom WITHOUT Gollum (for whatever reason), in which case...well, Sauron gets Ring.

    I guess there are four most likely possibilities:

    1. Invasion/contact takes a long time to get started. Story proceeds normally. Ring go boom.
    2. Invasion/contact takes a shorter time to get started. Frodo makes it to Mt. Doom with Gollum anyway. Ring go boom.
    3. Invasion/contact takes a shorter time to get started. Frodo makes it to Mt. Doom without Gollum. Sauron probably gets Ring. This is bad.
    4. Invasion/contact takes a shorter time to get started. Invaders bomb Mordor to shit, and the Ring likely gets taken 'for study' because hey, we 'got' that guy. Sauron has a field day corrupting our world.
    Knowing our luck it'll be #4.
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  14. #29
    The Weeping Mod Sharpandpointies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy1 View Post
    Knowing our luck it'll be #4.
    Probably.

    But again, would we reeeeaaally notice a difference in our lifetimes? Maybe not!
    Why Are We Here?, by Pendaran

    "What's a silmaril?
    Is it some kind of Pokemon?"

    - Nik

    "...dropping an orca whale made of fire on your enemies is a pretty strong opening move."
    - Nik

    "Why throw punches when you can be making everyone around you sterile mutant corpses?"
    - Pendaran, regarding Dr. Fate

  15. #30
    Extraordinary Member Cody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpandpointies View Post
    But one can bet that every living thing - animals, plants, whatever - would be considered to be nothing more than 'resources', and that means 'to be controlled and used'.
    And this is any different than our current world leaders...how?

    Honestly, I'm of the opinion things would improve with this guy in charge. With our level of tech I can see him taking full advantage of automations, technology, etc to do a lot of what he wants, and see him manipulating the masses to want to work for him if he is even slightly better than what we currently got.

    If an invasion occurred, the potential for things to proceed exactly as they did becomes somewhat skewed, and it's possible we end up with Frodo at Mt. Doom WITHOUT Gollum (for whatever reason), in which case...well, Sauron gets Ring.
    Ah, but it won't just be Frodo and Sam there. The entire fellowship might be there if they weren't split up by the Uruks. As such, I can see Aragorn taking it off of him or Gandalf bonking Frodo on the head and getting it done that way.
    Last edited by Cody; 08-17-2022 at 10:14 AM.
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