Under Angmar's Shadow

Under Angmar's Shadow
The Game

Under Angmar's Shadow


This page introduces Under Angmar's Shadow and gives details about how it will be played. The game background and rules will be provided prior to the game by e-mail as booklets in pdf format, along with your character sheet. They will also be provided in printed form at the game itself.

This page contains the following three sections:

  • Characters: what sort of characters there are in the game
  • Game vs Real Time: how to fit four months of game time into 12 hours of real time
  • Game Space: the locations in the game and how the game space will be arranged


Although Under Angmar's Shadow is set against a backdrop of politics, it is first and foremost a character-based roleplaying game. As with all my other games, you will be provided with a detailed character, with his or her own motivations and aims. The main way of achieving your character's aims will be by interacting with the other players and roleplaying your character.

Since this is a game of power and politics, there are elements within the game to represent your character's power within the Middle-earth. Characters may have economic and/or military resources under their control which can be used to influence (bribe, support, threaten, invade!) other characters. You will also need the support of other characters in order to achieve your aims. No-one in the game will have everything they need to achieve their aims on their own!

A good example of this is the question of the Princess Nirnandel's forthcoming marriage. While many characters may have the goal of marrying the Princess, this is usually a means to an end (eg ensure the stability of Cardolan, seize power, etc). Since at most only one character will end the game being married to the Princess, for most other characters, the game is one of how best to achieve your aims in the likely event you are not the lucky suitor. Who do you support? Who do you actively block? Perhaps instead of marrying the Princess, you will become the King-maker. The possibilities are almost endless.

However, please note that it is not possible to either "win" or "lose" the game by simply manipulating the economic/military resources (indeed I contend that there is no winning or losing of a roleplaying game: the enjoyment is in how you manage to achieve or fail to achieve your character's goals). If you are looking for a board game in the form of a roleplaying game, Under Angmar's Shadow is not for you! Similarly, do not expect to find a complicated economics simulation or an involved wargame. There are rules that deal with the economic and military elements, but these are there purely to determine the outcome of any in-game actions.

Having military or economic power without the ability to do deals, build alliances or outwit your enemies is not going to get you very far in this game!

Game Time

Since the game takes place over a period of four months in Middle-earth (the months of September, October, November and December in the year 1642) but only lasts 12 hours, we will be splitting the playing-time in four two-hour Sessions, with the following breaks:
  • 10:00 - 11:00 Game Set-up and Briefing
  • 11:00 - 13:00 First Session (September)
  • 13:15 - 15:15 Second Session (October)
  • 15:15 - 16:45 Meal Break (catering will be provided)
  • 16:45 - 18:45 Third Session (November)
  • 19:00 - 21:00 Fourth Session (December)
  • 21:00 - 22:00 Game-wrap and Breakdown of Game Space
There will be breaks of 15 minutes between the first/second and third/fourth sessions.

Game Space

The game is set in the city of Tharbad, the capital of Cardolan. All the characters in the game are present in the City. The Game Space will be made up of several specific Places.

One such Place is the Royal Palace, the residence of the Princess Nirnadel. Each of the Hiri will have a Place representing his or her Town House, while each of the Ambassadors will have a Place representing his or her Embassy.

There are two other Places, one representing Tharbad in general and one which is the Referees' Space, which can be used by the Referees to represent any other part of Cardolan when required.

The main Place will be Tharbad, where all characters are allowed to freely move. Since each Session repesents a month of the game, characters who wish to visit other parts of Cardolan may easily do so. The linkage between Real Time (the two hours in the Session) and Game Time (the month) is fairly fluid, so characters will not be penalised for going off to other parts of Cardolan.

Note that due to the distances involved, characters cannot easily visit locations outside Cardolan. However, since all the characters in the game will be in Tharbad and the game is esssentially one of character-to-character roleplaying, there will be very few occasions when characters will need to leave Tharbad.

Under Angmar's Shadow
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