Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The One Ring RPG - Battle of the Ringfort

Map of the Wilderlands
Normally when we do the One Ring rpg, it's a fairly minis-lite theater of the mind style of game.  We have figures for our characters (pretty much a requirement as we are figure painters), but we really only use them for markers on the combat stance chart, or to get a relative idea of positioning.  The One Ring rpg is a more of a story telling game, so we don't get into the "props" of gaming like we do for Pathfinder/AD&D etc. and wargames.  When we found out that we were going to be involved in a battle in the ring fort, we decided to make the fort and do a more tabletop visual game.

** Be warned:  Spoilers Ahead for the One Ring rpg's adventure The Battle of Ringfort.**

Ock - Dwarf Treaure Hunter of Erebor
Nock -  Dwarf Slayer of Erebor
Kalla daughter of  Kol- Wanderer of Dale
Saelduin son of Cassulf-  Warden of Dale
Greensong - Elf of Mirkwood
Ebaric - Woodman Scholar

After wintering at Woodland Hall, the company decided in the early spring of 2947 to return to Dale and Erebor.  Ock and Saelduin's trade endeavors had proved moderately successful, and they had a store of goods from the Woodfolk that they hoped would sell in their homelands.  The others had engaged in a variety of activities during the winter, but for all of them, healing and rest after the journey to the hall was the most vital and welcome.

After preparing their pack train with provisions, they set off north to the Forest Gate and Elf Path of Mirkwood for the journey home.  Several days into the journey the company came across the newly constructed Easterly Inn.  The Battle of Five Armies had much reduced the threat of orcs in the northern regions of the Misty Mountains and as a result, more traveling, and with it trade, was occurring through the pass.  Dody Brandybuck and brother Dindy came across to (oddly for hobbits) seek their fortune in the Wild by opening an inn.  Beorn had given them his blessing for their endeavor and promised protection.  The Brandybuck brothers, helped by their dwarf friend and partner Frier, as well as their families, were doing their best to make a comfortable way station in the heart of Beorn's country.

The Easterly Inn

Conversation with Dody Brandybuck revealed that his brother had left the previous fall to get supplies from Bree and his party's return was overdue by several weeks.  Dody engaged the company to search to see if they could find out what became of Dindy's group.

The company's plan was to make their way to the High Pass, looking for any clues to the fate of Dindy, and then proceed on west through the mountains and west.  They traveled 90 miles south, crossed the Anduin and headed toward the pass.  Although prepared for a potentially long journey, the company found Dindy and his entourage trapped on a hill only a couple days walk from the ford...

Dindy's Caravan at the Ringfort
It was closing dusk.  Greensong's sharp elf vision saw the smoke of a bonfire on a hill a great distance away.  

Bill the Bowman, Andy Blackthorn, and Tom Lumpy were guards hired in Bree.  Igwar the Beorning (far right) was the caravan's guide and most experienced traveler.

The Company has found Dindy's caravan in a rather tough spot.

The company made its way to the hill.  Saelduin announced to Dindy's party that they had been sent by his brother to search for him.  Igwar the Beorning hailed them and bade them them come up.

All is not right....
Igwar, who had received a wound from an orc arrow, told the harrowing tale of the past several days.  Dindy's caravan had been harassed by goblins since they had entered the mountain region.  At first by only a few, but their numbers and boldness grew.  Some of the caravan pack mules had been killed and run off and supplies lost.  Igwar knew of an old and primitive defensive structure that they could try and make a stand at:  the Ringfort.  It was a steep hill with a dirt and rock berm ring at the top.  It was infrequently used by people journeying in the area as a campsite.

Igwar and the Breelanders were making a bonfire to illuminate the area.  Dindy was nearly incoherent with fright as he had no experience with this sort of violence.  He apologized for not making tea in all the excitement.  The party ordered him to make several types of tea to give him a task and take his mind off of what was to come.

Greensong looks into the gloom of the failing sunlight:  a large war party of orcs is gathering in the distance. 

The searching eyes of Nock the dwarf find a cave under some fallen rocks...

...that leads to the base of the hill.  A potential escape?  Or a flaw in the defense?

Dindy hides under the baggage.  Greensong keeps one eye on the cave's top entrance.  Hopefully the goblins will not discover it.

Igawar and the Breelanders defend one side.
The ringfort has two paths leading up to it on opposite sides of the hill.  It is decided that the caravan guards will defend one side, the company melee fighters the other, and the archers Kalla and Greensong stay behind the berm, looking for climbing orcs, and send arrows to either direction that needs help.
Ock, Nock, Ebaric, and Saelduin guard the other path.
A rain of arrows comes in on the defenders.  Kalla is injured slightly.  Greensong and Kalla return fire with their bows.
The goblins launch a probe attack to test the defenses.  The are quickly repulsed.
Igwar, Andy, Bill, and Lumpy battle the first attack.

Goblins ascend the path towards the company taking arrow fire.

Seeing the strength of the defenders on the hill, the orc Captain Ubhurz orders his forces in!  Kalla and Greensong take out 5 by the time they reach the hill.

The guards battle on as more goblins charge in.

Goblin forces contact!

Despite taking casualties the goblins press on.

Greensong spies a group of orcs scaling the side of the hill.

Igwar and the guards are pushed back...some goblin break through to the baggage.

Ock the dwarf comes over to try and hold the goblins off.  A goblin tries to backstab Greensong. 

Pushed back again!  Another goblin sneaks through.

Nock, Saelduin, and Ebaric slay some goblins, but are being surrounded by the mass.

Captain Ubhurz goes into melee with Kalla, Ock faces three goblins, and Greensong battles on.

Things are looking dire...

Ubhurz and Kalla in hand to hand combat.  She is hit hard by the wicked blade.  Between that and the arrow earlier, she is not doing well...

Ock makes his way to assist Kalla.  Ubhurz must die!

Another hit on Kalla.  She falls.  Ubhurz raises his blade for the finishing blow.

Ock uses his dwarven strength to push through the goblins and take a swing at Ubhurz. 

Andy Blackthorn falls to the goblin's blade.

Ock hits Ubhurz hard.  He lets out a growl, proclaims victory and "We've done what we want...get outta here!"  ...and orders the goblins to break off the attack?!
The guards sigh in relief at the retreating enemies.

The goblins that climbed the side of the hill break contact.

When things were looking the dark the goblins fled.  Ubhurz had saved his own skin.  The group does a quick assessment of how everyone is doing when Nock notices, "Where's Dindy?"

The orcs have taken him.


  1. Man, this is cool. I really should remove you from my blogroll though, if my players ever see this then they will start complaining that we play D&D like poor people.

    1. NoOooO Ripper -not the removal! :O

      I do a lot of non-mini rpgs, but I have never heard to it referred to as D&D like poor people. You have given me a nice quote now. It used to be "theatre of the mind." Yours is a bit more humorous.

      My mom brought me some painted Britains Ltd. toy soldiers as a gift when she on a trip to England in the 70s. There was a grenadier guard in a big bearskin hat (with a sentry box), a Beefeater halberdier, some highlanders, a "Bobby" policeman, and Life and Horse Guards. After getting those I really never stopped playing with toy soldiers.

      It was the Bicentennial year of 1976 I got my first wargame after reading an article about a Revolutionary War miniatures game in the newspaper. My parents took me to the Little Tin Soldier in Minneapolis. They bought me 6 British minis, 6 Americans and a set of rules. I felt very adult with the sophistication of the set. Like I said; it never really stopped. I just expanded my interests to rpgs (Blue box basic set in 1979), and as in the above game expanded my love of toy soldiers with that of rpgs.

      Listen, if you keep me on your blogroll I promise to give you the first choice of magic item or treasure if we rpg together. The caveat would be, as long as we are not slaughtered by the forces of evil.


  2. What an adventure! Most impressive terrain and figures!