Caltrops and the Battle of Celduin Crossing

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/
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Celebril
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Re: Caltrops and the Battle of Celduin Crossing

Post by Celebril » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:27 pm

Wow this topic exploded since I last logged in! Awesome! Let me explain my motivation for creating this topic. I try very hard to make my games very cinematic. I play music, sounds, show pictures and try to flesh out the environments they are going through with great detail. For example, this battle is in a set location on a specific day. That gives me a chance to really paint the scene for the players. (Please bear with me, the following has a point) I know the moon phase for the first and second days of battle. Since Tolkien uses the 1941-42 moon phases in England for the Lord of the Rings that means for my battle I just need the moon phases for 1873 England. So the battle would start 1 day before Full Moon (December 3rd). I created backgrounds for the 25 npcs that stayed to help. I know who they are married to, son/daughter of, what is their profession and their description. I created an inventory list of all possible usable items in the town. I even wrote a combat generator in C# to handle large volleys of arrows from Orcs. The point of all this excessive preparation was to paint for the players the most realistic image I can in their minds of the situation in Celduin Crossing, from the people, the weather, the lighting and the literal sounds of battle. So when I asked for advice for handling caltrops I was looking for something that not only fit in the rules but could be translated visually to the players. I really like the idea of extra volleys and the +2/-2 hinderance modifiers. "The orcs shuffle onto the bridge, hesitantly moving forward as they pick their way through the sharpened contraptions that these would-be defenders have strewn around. 'They will pay for this', the orcs think as they move ever closer to toward those who dared to oppose them."

Adding extra battle dice is part of the mechanics but is really really hard to conceptionalize visually for the players and also for me.

I definitely, definitely don't want to open the "Shadow Points" can of worms with my players over caltrops. I have 3 out of 7 players that will argue incessantly with me about why they don't deserve shadow points because their actions were for the greater good. They really don't get that shadow points are more a representation of the weight of the world bearing down on you reinforced by all the terrible things you have seen and/or done.

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Terisonen
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Re: Caltrops and the Battle of Celduin Crossing

Post by Terisonen » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:25 pm

Celebril wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:27 pm
I have 3 out of 7 players that will argue incessantly with me about why they don't deserve shadow points because their actions were for the greater good. They really don't get that shadow points are more a representation of the weight of the world bearing down on you reinforced by all the terrible things you have seen and/or done.
That. Is. Awesome :D
Nothing of Worth.

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zedturtle
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Re: Caltrops and the Battle of Celduin Crossing

Post by zedturtle » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:14 pm

I totally understand the desire to go all in for your players. When I ran the scenario, I drew out diagrams of the bridge and then did (in pastels) an illustration of their defensive structure (they took local boats and turned them into cover/ways to make sure they only had to face a few opponents at a time. I was very happy when one of the players remarked that the entire battle had been very cinematic, as that's what I was going for too.

As for the Shadow and what it represents, while I understand the players and their hesitation/arguing for their own benefit, sometimes it's just necessary to embrace that part of the game and remind them of those who have fallen into despair.
Jacob Rodgers, occasional nitwit.

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Otaku-sempai
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Re: Caltrops and the Battle of Celduin Crossing

Post by Otaku-sempai » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:44 pm

Celebril wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:27 pm
I definitely, definitely don't want to open the "Shadow Points" can of worms with my players over caltrops. I have 3 out of 7 players that will argue incessantly with me about why they don't deserve shadow points because their actions were for the greater good. They really don't get that shadow points are more a representation of the weight of the world bearing down on you reinforced by all the terrible things you have seen and/or done.
Well, I'm not sure that the use of caltrops would deserve Shadow points unless the Hero went out of his way to use rusty, filth-encrusted things. Yikes!
"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."

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Jon Hodgson
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Re: Caltrops and the Battle of Celduin Crossing

Post by Jon Hodgson » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:56 am

What about when they return to Celduin next season to discover the limping children?

Seriously though - it's so important to tailor your game to your players. If inventing stuff like this makes their game more enjoyable, then I'm all for it! And discussion of how best to implement that for your players is all good.
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Rich H
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Re: Caltrops and the Battle of Celduin Crossing

Post by Rich H » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:49 pm

This battle is imminent in my campaign so thought I'd share a 'battle map' that LM's may want to use when running it: https://www.dropbox.com/s/tpsq8ecqqd0b6 ... n.pdf?dl=0. And an alternate version with some guidance notes for the LM: https://www.dropbox.com/s/nmj0b8y97tven ... 9.pdf?dl=0

Cheers.
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Terisonen
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Re: Caltrops and the Battle of Celduin Crossing

Post by Terisonen » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:25 am

That's fun :)
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