This Bridge of Khazad-Dûm scenario for The Fantasy Trip Advanced Melee and Wizard is loosely based on the scenario in the back of "Dragons of Underearth" (a 1981 Games Research Group publication) which was simply entitled "Battle of the Chasm". Taking that as a starting point I’ve tried to alter the stats to more closely match Tolkien's description of the combatants and the setting.
It's a tough scenario to play. The Fellowship player really only has two options. The first is to do what they do in the story and make a run for the bridge and defend the far end. Because it's only a one hex wide bridge it allows three Fellowship figures to hold the end of the bridge and take on the Dark forces figures three against one. That usually falls apart when the Balrog (being a 3 hex figure) comes across the bridge pushing everyone back. The second option is to try and hold the opposite end. As in the book I have two trolls place stone slabs across a crevice that has a wall of fire coming out of it. The Fellowship can try and hold these Dark forces entrance points until the Balrog shows up and the strategy once again pretty much falls apart and they must retreat to the far side of the bridge. (By the way knocking the bridge down is not an option.) And what of Gandalf? Do you risk everything in a one shot, 24 dice lightning bolt directed at the Balrog or do you conserve him until needed later in the game?
I'm still working on adjusting the play balance of this scenario so as to allow the Fellowship player a fighting chance. Consider this a beta test version of these rules. Note that the character sheets are set up so that 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 players can easily play depending on how you distribute the sheets. Each player will have somewhat if not exactly equal forces to play with.
Of course for us Tolkien “purists” let me state that in the story the Balrog and Gandalf (both being Maiar) are far beyond the fighting abilities of any of the other characters. To be true to the story in this regard would be to not have a playable game. So I'm taking liberties with the characters. I've also had to bend things slightly to fit into a TFT scenario.
Let me also state that this scenario is fan produced and is meant for limited, private, free distribution and personal use only, no infringement of any copyright is intended.
I would be very interested in any suggestions or ideas on how to make this scenario more balanced. I've constantly increased and decreased stats for all of the major characters and I think I'm getting close. I only ask that if you download this and play it please send me your comments or suggestions.
David O. Miller
The Fantasy Trip, Advanced Melee and Wizard ©1980 Metagaming. Game design by Steve Jackson.
Scenario loosely based on “Battle of the Chasm” first published in “Dragons of Underearth” ©1981 Games Research Group, Inc.
Miniatures ©2004 Games Workshop. “Lord of the Rings” ©2004 The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises, licensed to New Line Productions, Inc.
No infringement of any copyright by these fan rules is intended. For private, free distribution and personal use only.
The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm ©2004 David O. Miller.