Sunday, 12 March 2017

Lord of the Rings Campaign Structure

So, time for a bit of wordiness as regards the Narrative Campaign. At the time of writing I’ve already played six scenarios (we didn’t have an internet connection for the last few months so I’m only able to start posting now) the outcome of which I won’t spoil here, as I’ll be posting battle reports of each one up every fortnight so as to spread them out a bit.

The first group of scenarios make up Act 1: The Journey to Rivendell. I won’t say if Frodo (or anything of the others) made it to Rivendell or not, only that at the time of writing the Council of Elrond is in session. Should the Ring reach Rivendell, then the Fellowship will be formed to make the quest for Mount Doom and destroy it. Should the Nazgul get the Ring things will go a little differently; Aragorn and Boromir will travel to Minas Tirith via Rohan to prepare the defences, Legolas and Gimil will go back to their kingdoms to ready them for war, and Gandalf will accompany Aragorn and Boromir at least as far as Rohan. The Free Peoples will attempt one last stand against Sauron, even if the Great Ring has come into his grasp.

To put it simply this is a dynamic campaign: the outcome of one scenario will effect what happens in the next. Heroes keep a running tally of their Might, Will, Fate and Wounds and will be given an opportunity to replenish their stores between each scenario, following the rules described in the Journey Books (well, the one Journey Book I have anyway…).

A point about scenarios: I have access to a limited number that does not actually cover all of the events I want to depict, so many of them will be home grown ones based off of professional scenarios. Some will however be carbon copies of scenarios found in various sources: Sourcebooks, Rulebooks and a few from the old Battle Games in Middle-Earth magazines.

And mentioning Rulebooks I’m afraid I must confess that mine is, well, old. Very, very old. As in pre-Return of the King old. I do have bits and pieces of rules from later stuff out of Sourcebooks, BGM etc. This does mean of course that won’t be using some rules that are newer inceptions like Heroic Strikes and such. As the campaign goes on I’m hoping to get a more up-to-date rulebook, but for now I’m content to muddle my way through.

As of right now I’m not sure how I’ll be treating large scale battles. I know I won’t be playing any War of the Ring-my collection is waaaaaay to small-but I haven’t decided if I’ll play large battles as a single engagement, or as a string of scenarios. I’m thinking I may do Helm’s Deep as one large battle, but the Pelenor is likely too large and prolonged a combat to depict in a single clash of arms with the skirmish system. But the Pelenor is still some ways off, so I’m not too concerned just yet.

One last point is that I’m playing this whole thing solo, as none of my friends would want to sit around waiting for me to take down notes and take photos the whole way through each scenario. That is, if that’s of importance to anyone. Oh yeah, and this campaign is based on the books, not the films. This means no Warg Attack, no hobbits being dragged off to Osgiliath and no Elves at Helm’s Deep.

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