Singin' In The Battle

Adventure in the world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Learn more at our website: http://www.cubicle7.co.uk/our-games/the-one-ring/
User avatar
Ecorce
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:36 am
Contact:

Singin' In The Battle

Post by Ecorce » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:06 am

Hello comrades,

Thinking about songs and music in Middle-Earth and The One Ring, I couldn't find examples of songs to use for the Rally Comrades' action (using the Song skill).

From my (small) knowledge, in History, armies were rallied by battle instruments (horns and drums). But, do "battle songs" (with one or more singers) exist?

Does it mean that rallying comrades is only about playing a horn? (I can't find another instrument to perform that)

There's no time during a battle for a song with lines to sing, nor a music with complex rythms and melody, am I wrong?

From the books and the movies, I only remember Boromir's horn and Gimli using the horn of Helm's Deep. But no song.
Ecorce French TOR community

Thoughts about The One Ring : Les Carnets d'Imladris / Notes from Imladris

User avatar
zedturtle
Posts: 3180
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:03 am

Re: Singin' In The Battle

Post by zedturtle » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:17 am

I tell my players that I'm okay with "comic book timing", i.e. that somehow the heroes are at once engaged in a quick-bladed fight to the death, but they also have time to monologue at their enemies (or their enemies monologue at them) and sing songs, etc. No, it's not super realistic, but it's a lot of fun, and remember that the primary sources are stories about things that happened, not actual events. Éomer not only sings in combat, but composes a new song on the spot.
Jacob Rodgers, occasional nitwit.

This space intentionally blank.

Butterfingers
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 10:44 am

Re: Singin' In The Battle

Post by Butterfingers » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:18 am

I haven't looked too deep in this matter, but I assumed that using the Song skill could be more like shouting something inspiring and quite possibly poetic, like Theoden: "Now for wrath, now for ruin, and the red dawn. Forth, Eorlingas!" Rather than straight up singing? A bit like the Riddle skill is used for being crafty and cunning in general, depending on the situation?

That's not to say you couldnt' sing or play an instrument of course.

User avatar
Ecorce
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:36 am
Contact:

Re: Singin' In The Battle

Post by Ecorce » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:34 am

Butterfingers wrote:
Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:18 am
I haven't looked too deep in this matter, but I assumed that using the Song skill could be more like shouting something inspiring and quite possibly poetic.
Hmm, that should be an Inspire roll, no?

Song is quite unclear, but should it be used like a copy of Inspire (an inspired speech can contain poetry)? Song is about performing, Inspire too.
Ecorce French TOR community

Thoughts about The One Ring : Les Carnets d'Imladris / Notes from Imladris

Butterfingers
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 10:44 am

Re: Singin' In The Battle

Post by Butterfingers » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:10 am

Good point, I will let wiser minds answer this one? :oops:

User avatar
Rich H
Posts: 3738
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 8:19 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: Singin' In The Battle

Post by Rich H » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:43 pm

No problem here with characters using Song, and singing, to rally their comrades whilst in the middle of battle. In fact, that feels more acceptable than them stowing a weapon, pulling out an instrument and playing a few notes on their turn, and then putting it away and picking up their weapon again to attack. However, it's all fine for me; combat rounds aren't of a specific length and are subject to interpretation and I think it's absolutely okay for characters to sing as they fight and for that to rally their friends and comrades.
TOR resources thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=62
TOR miniatures thread: viewtopic.php?t=885

Fellowship of the Free Tale of Years: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8318

Summerhawk
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:31 am

Re: Singin' In The Battle

Post by Summerhawk » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:38 pm

Eomer's song of defiance upon spying the Corsairs at the battle of Pelennor Fields would be an example of using Song in battle. It might not be exactly an inspiring song, but he does use it in a moment of rallying his men for a last stand. Also, while we are not given the song, we're told that after the charge of the Rohirrim they sang as they fought.

You could also consider the occasions where a character will cry out a bit of Elvish verse when faced with a deadly foe. I would say Sam rallies himself with a verse in his battle with Shelob.

So this happens a good deal in Tolkien, but usually in moments of lull, or when gathering oneself. So you could describe the enemies drawing off and gathering for their next assault on the party when a player chooses to rally in this way.

Historically, there are sources that report that the Spartans sang as they advanced into battle, and one of their better known poets Tyrtaeus has some very martial surviving poetry that you can almost imagine being chanted in the midst of battle. Elsewhere, we find reports of Celtic bards playing and or singing to inspire their armies on to battle.

In my game, I do allow song to be used for poetry as well as musical performances, so that opens more options.

So there are some anecdotal historical examples of singing in the midst of a fight, but admittedly it does sound difficult to do while actually doing the fighting yourself.

User avatar
T.S. Luikart
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 5:10 pm
Location: California

Re: Singin' In The Battle

Post by T.S. Luikart » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:14 pm

"For morning came, morning and a wind from the sea; and the darkness was removed, and the hosts of Mordor wailed, and terror took them, and they fled, and died, and the hoofs of wrath rode over them. And then all the host of Rohan burst into song, and they sang as they slew, for the joy of battle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and terrible came even to the City."
TS Luikart
Cubicle 7

aramis
Posts: 428
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:17 pm

Re: Singin' In The Battle

Post by aramis » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:46 am

Singing on the march into battle was (until the 20th century) pretty much the standard for moving troops in units.

Singing while waiting for orders is less well documented, but perfectly reasonable.

Singing after the enemy routs is perfectly Tolkienian, as noted by T.S.

Note that the Song rules in the Rivendell book do allow for battle songs, and the Authors know Tolkien better than I, so heed their advice and let them sing...

for examples of the kinds of songs... well... some lampoon the enemy. Some inspire ones one side by tales of historic deed. Some inspire by reminders of what they fight for...

While not historic nor tolkien, March of Cambreadth (Heather Alexander) is a good example of a fighting tune.

Caller: Axes flash, broadswords swing
troops: shining armor's piercing ring
Caller: Horses run with a polished shield
troops: fight those bastards 'till they yield
and so on...

As a march in, it's just like a modern marching cadence (aka "Jody"); in battle, it's a forced reminder to keep breathing and fight at a steady pace... the battlefield is a test of endurance as much as strength and skill...

Otaku-sempai
Posts: 2729
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:45 am
Location: Lackawanna, NY

Re: Singin' In The Battle

Post by Otaku-sempai » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:19 am

I once had a friend who was in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) who told a story about marching into a mock battle with a group of companions, all singing Orff's "O Fortuna" in unison. It was apparently quite daunting to their opponents.

YouTube: "O Fortuna" from Excalibur
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 7 guests