History Main / MyopicArchitecture

27th Jul '17 2:35:40 PM TheBigBopper
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* Happens more often than you think in Tabletop {{Role Playing Game}}s; savvy players always check hinges, floors and walls when attempting a DungeonBypass, and inexperienced [=GMs=] don't always plan for this (though some crafty [=GMs=] may actually invoke this, ''especially'' when dealing with a group of savvy players). The oldest standby is the fighter as the back up lockpicker. If the thief can't make his lock picking check, the fighter can always bash down the door. Of course, a well-designed dungeon will make sure the noise alerts monsters and sets up ambushes.

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* Happens more often than you think in Tabletop {{Role Playing Game}}s; savvy players always check hinges, floors and walls when attempting a DungeonBypass, and inexperienced [=GMs=] don't always plan for this (though some crafty [=GMs=] may actually invoke this, this to lead the players into a trap, ''especially'' when dealing with a group of savvy players). The oldest standby is the fighter as the back up lockpicker. If the thief can't make his lock picking check, the fighter can always bash down the door. Of course, a well-designed dungeon will make sure the noise alerts monsters and sets up ambushes.
27th Jul '17 2:33:32 PM TheBigBopper
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** On the plus side, they depict the culvert in the Deeping Wall with a great big iron grille which mentioned in the book, but this is more than negated by the fact that the culvert in the movie is so enormous that orcs can enter two at a time, carrying bombs, without even having to duck their heads! Such a huge opening seems like total overkill to let out a stream that is only shown as being up to the orcs' ankles, and even if the designers of the fortress hadn't known of gunpowder, they should have at least expected that sappers would have tried to enter the culvert with picks and chip away enough rock to dislodge the single iron grille. Also just like in the book, they don't think to block up the culvert with rubble before the enemy arrives or pay enough attention to defending it until it's too late and the Uruk-hai blast their way in.
** While the book describes the parapets as being high enough that only a tall man could look over them, while the spaces between them allow for the shooting of arrows, the merlons of the crennelations in the film reach only up to mid-chest at most, exposing them to the attackers' arrows. Also, the fact that the Deeping Wall has only a single tower along its considerable length, and the battlements aren't machicolated to allow the defenders to shoot directly beneath them, means there would be blind spots and hardly any ability to hit the attackers with flanking fire.

to:

** On the plus side, they depict the culvert in the Deeping Wall with a great big iron grille which mentioned in the book, grille, but this is more than negated by the fact that the culvert in the movie is so enormous that orcs can enter two at a time, carrying bombs, bombs between them, without even having to duck their heads! Such a huge opening seems like total overkill to let out a stream that is only shown as being up to the orcs' ankles, and even if the designers of the fortress hadn't known of gunpowder, they should have at least expected that sappers would have tried to enter the culvert with picks and chip away enough rock to dislodge the single iron grille. Also just like in the book, they don't the garrison doesn't think to block up the culvert with rubble before the enemy arrives or pay arrives. They don't give enough attention to defending it until it's too late and the Uruk-hai blast their way in.
** While the book describes the parapets as being high enough that only a tall man could look over them, while the with spaces between them that allow for the shooting of arrows, the merlons of the crennelations battlements in the film reach only up to mid-chest at most, exposing them to the attackers' arrows. Also, the fact that the Deeping Wall has only a single tower along its considerable length, and the battlements aren't machicolated to allow the defenders to shoot directly beneath them, means there would be blind spots and hardly any ability to hit the attackers with flanking fire. Granted, the wall curves inward in a way that eliminates the visual blind spot, but it is long enough that effective flanking fire with bows of limited range would be rather difficult.
27th Jul '17 2:28:09 PM TheBigBopper
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** As for the Hornburg, it is accessed by a high causeway that helpfully forces the enemy to come a few at a time under the defender's fire. However, the fact that the builders didn't go the extra mile and put in a drawbridge makes this defense much less effective, and contributes to the orcs being able to bust their way in with rams and explosives.

to:

** As for the Hornburg, it is accessed by a high causeway that helpfully forces the enemy to come a few at a time under the defender's defenders' fire. However, the fact that the builders didn't go the extra mile and put in a drawbridge makes this defense much less effective, and contributes to the orcs being able to bust their way in with rams and explosives.
27th Jul '17 2:25:20 PM TheBigBopper
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** A wide culvert runing right through the bottom of the wall allows the Deeping-stream to pass out. Having this weak point is a pretty enormous oversight, and since the builders of the fortress were clearly capable of great feats of engineering there should have been more than one way for them to avoid this: one would be for them to divert the stream through underground pipes; another which might have actually enhanced the defensibility of the walls would have been to dig a proper moat for the stream to fill up and let the culvert be underwater with iron bars blocking it. However there is no moat, the culvert is accessible from the surface, and if there are any bars across the opening then the author doesn't mention them, making it sound like it's wide enough for an orc to fit through. While most of the attacking orcs with scaling ladders and grappling hooks are keeping the defenders focused on the top of the wall, some of them creep like rats through the culvert and get inside, requiring the Westfold-men to block up the inside of the culvert with stones under Gimli's direction as soon as they can. Why they didn't take the opportunity to block it up with rubble ''before'' the battle when they had the chance is left as an exercise for the reader. The rubble keeps the orcs out for a little while, but then the orcs blast through the blockage using the "fire of Orthranc" (presumably some kind of bomb), which also makes the hole much larger. The attacking hordes stream in and take the wall, forcing its defeneders to either fall back to the Hornburg if they can, or retreat into the Deep if they can't.

to:

** A wide culvert runing right through the bottom of the wall allows the Deeping-stream to pass out. Having this weak point is a pretty enormous oversight, and since the builders of the fortress were clearly capable of great feats of engineering there should have been more than one way for them to avoid this: one would be for them to divert the stream through underground pipes; another which might have actually enhanced the defensibility of the walls would have been to dig a proper moat for the stream to fill up and let the culvert be underwater with iron bars blocking it. However there is no moat, the culvert is accessible from the surface, and if there are any bars across the opening then the author doesn't mention them, making it sound like it's wide enough for an orc to fit through. While most of the attacking orcs with scaling ladders and grappling hooks are keeping the defenders focused on the top of the wall, some of them creep like rats through the culvert and get inside, requiring the Westfold-men to block up the inside of the culvert with stones under Gimli's direction as soon as they can. Why they didn't take the opportunity to block it up with rubble ''before'' the battle when they had the chance is left as an exercise for the reader. The rubble keeps the orcs out for a little while, but then the orcs blast through the blockage using the "fire of Orthranc" (presumably some kind of bomb), which also makes the hole much larger. The attacking hordes stream in and take the wall, forcing its defeneders defenders to either fall back to the Hornburg if they can, or retreat into the Deep if they can't.
27th Jul '17 2:22:06 PM TheBigBopper
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** A wide culvert runing right through the bottom of the wall allows the Deeping-stream to pass out. Having this weak point is a pretty enormous oversight, and since the builders of the fortress were clearly pretty great engineers there should have been more than one way for them to avoid this: one would be for them to divert the stream through underground pipes; another which might have actually enhanced the defensibility of the walls would have been to dig a proper moat for the stream to fill up and let the culvert be underwater with iron bars blocking it. However there is no moat, the culvert is accessible from the surface, and if there are any bars across the opening then the author doesn't mention them, making it sound like it's wide enough for an orc to fit through. While most of the attacking orcs with scaling ladders and grappling hooks are keeping the defenders focused on the top of the wall, some of them creep like rats through the culvert and get inside, requiring the Westfold-men to block up the inside of the culvert with stones under Gimli's direction as soon as they can. Why they didn't take the opportunity to block it up with rubble ''before'' the battle when they had the chance is left as an exercise for the reader. The rubble keeps the orcs out for a little while, but then the orcs blast through the blockage using the "fire of Orthranc" (presumably some kind of bomb), which also makes the hole much larger. The attacking hordes stream in and take the wall, forcing its defeneders to either fall back to the Hornburg if they can, or retreat into the Deep if they can't.

to:

** A wide culvert runing right through the bottom of the wall allows the Deeping-stream to pass out. Having this weak point is a pretty enormous oversight, and since the builders of the fortress were clearly pretty capable of great engineers feats of engineering there should have been more than one way for them to avoid this: one would be for them to divert the stream through underground pipes; another which might have actually enhanced the defensibility of the walls would have been to dig a proper moat for the stream to fill up and let the culvert be underwater with iron bars blocking it. However there is no moat, the culvert is accessible from the surface, and if there are any bars across the opening then the author doesn't mention them, making it sound like it's wide enough for an orc to fit through. While most of the attacking orcs with scaling ladders and grappling hooks are keeping the defenders focused on the top of the wall, some of them creep like rats through the culvert and get inside, requiring the Westfold-men to block up the inside of the culvert with stones under Gimli's direction as soon as they can. Why they didn't take the opportunity to block it up with rubble ''before'' the battle when they had the chance is left as an exercise for the reader. The rubble keeps the orcs out for a little while, but then the orcs blast through the blockage using the "fire of Orthranc" (presumably some kind of bomb), which also makes the hole much larger. The attacking hordes stream in and take the wall, forcing its defeneders to either fall back to the Hornburg if they can, or retreat into the Deep if they can't.
27th Jul '17 2:20:43 PM TheBigBopper
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This is CripplingOverspecialization applied to architecture. A designer puts immense effort and resources into a structure, most often a defensive point such as a wall, door, or window, but fails to notice a large weakness in the design that makes all of this easy to circumvent. The most common flaw being that for all that the door itself is indestructible, the wall around it is less so. This is especially so in Chinese and Japanese media where many walls are made out of paper. Often, the floor will also be vulnerable to burrowing. The door itself may not be that hard to open, especially if WeHaveTheKeys. Often played for laughs if the way through the apparently impenetrable defense is particularly obvious or easy. Sometimes serves as a RealityEnsues moment.

A common justification in-universe, and most RealLife examples as well, are cases of DidntThinkThisThrough.

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This is CripplingOverspecialization applied to architecture. A designer puts immense effort and resources into a structure, most often a defensive point such as a wall, door, or window, but fails to notice a large weakness in the design that makes all of this easy to circumvent. The most common flaw being that for all that the door itself is indestructible, the wall around it is less so. This is especially so in Chinese and Japanese media where many walls are made out of paper. Often, the floor will also be vulnerable to burrowing. The door itself may not be that hard to open, especially if WeHaveTheKeys. Often played for laughs if the way through the apparently impenetrable defense is particularly obvious or easy. Sometimes serves as a RealityEnsues moment.

moment for whoever thought that they or their stuff would be safe in such a place.

A common justification in-universe, and which is also the reason for most RealLife examples as well, examples, is that the designer DidntThinkThisThrough. However, the reason is sometimes that the ''writer'' is unfamiliar with secure design, in which case characters who should have known better are cases of DidntThinkThisThrough.
not called out in-universe for making an amateur mistake.
27th Jul '17 2:07:08 PM TheBigBopper
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** A wide culvert runing right through the bottom of the wall allows the Deeping-stream to pass out. Having this weak point is a pretty enormous oversight, and since the builders of the fortress were clearly pretty great engineers there should have been more than one way for them to avoid this: one would be for them to divert the stream through underground pipes; another which might have actually enhanced the defensibility of the walls would have been to dig a proper moat for the stream to fill up and let the culvert be underwater with iron bars blocking it. However there is no moat, the culvert is accessible from the surface, and if there are any bars across the opening then the author doesn't mention them, making it sound like it's wide enough for an orc to fit through. While most of the attacking orcs with scaling ladders and grappling hooks are keeping the defenders focused on the top of the wall, some of them creep like rats through the culvert and get inside, requiring the Westfold-men to block up the inside of the culvert with stones under Gimli's direction as soon as they can. That keeps the orcs out for a little while, but then the orcs blast through the blockage using the "fire of Orthranc", which also makes the hole much larger. The attacking hordes stream in and take the wall, forcing its defeneders to either fall back to the Hornburg if they can, or retreat into the Deep if they can't.

to:

** A wide culvert runing right through the bottom of the wall allows the Deeping-stream to pass out. Having this weak point is a pretty enormous oversight, and since the builders of the fortress were clearly pretty great engineers there should have been more than one way for them to avoid this: one would be for them to divert the stream through underground pipes; another which might have actually enhanced the defensibility of the walls would have been to dig a proper moat for the stream to fill up and let the culvert be underwater with iron bars blocking it. However there is no moat, the culvert is accessible from the surface, and if there are any bars across the opening then the author doesn't mention them, making it sound like it's wide enough for an orc to fit through. While most of the attacking orcs with scaling ladders and grappling hooks are keeping the defenders focused on the top of the wall, some of them creep like rats through the culvert and get inside, requiring the Westfold-men to block up the inside of the culvert with stones under Gimli's direction as soon as they can. That Why they didn't take the opportunity to block it up with rubble ''before'' the battle when they had the chance is left as an exercise for the reader. The rubble keeps the orcs out for a little while, but then the orcs blast through the blockage using the "fire of Orthranc", Orthranc" (presumably some kind of bomb), which also makes the hole much larger. The attacking hordes stream in and take the wall, forcing its defeneders to either fall back to the Hornburg if they can, or retreat into the Deep if they can't.



** In ''The Bellmaker'', the heroes are able to escape their prison cell by hacking the hinges (which are on the inside) off. Which is [[JustifiedTrope justified]], as the heroes' "prison" was a peaceful residence, and was invaded only weeks back. The occupiers locked the heroes into the tallest tower, i.e. the place with the least chance of escape (but it is heavily suggested -because of it being the ''tallest'' tower-, that it probably was the keep, and hence built defensively. Therefore, the hinges naturally were on the ''in''side).

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** In ''The Bellmaker'', the heroes are able to escape their prison cell by hacking the hinges (which are on the inside) off. Which is [[JustifiedTrope justified]], as the heroes' "prison" was a peaceful residence, and was invaded only weeks back. The occupiers locked the heroes into the tallest tower, i.e. the place with the least chance of escape (but escape, but it is heavily suggested -because suggested--because of it being the ''tallest'' tower-, that tower--that it was probably was the keep, and hence built defensively. to keep people ''out'' rather than in. Therefore, the hinges naturally were on the ''in''side).''in''side.
27th Jul '17 2:01:58 PM TheBigBopper
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** A wide culvert beneath it allows the Deeping-stream to pass out. This is a pretty enormous oversight, which presumably could have been avoided if they had dug a proper moat for the stream to fill up and let the culvert be mostly underwater with iron bars blocking it, but there is no moat, and if there are any bars across the opening the author doesn't mention them--making it sound like it's wide enough for an orc to fit through. While most of the attacking orcs with scaling ladders and grappling hooks are keeping the defenders focused on the top of the wall, some of them creep like rats through the culvert and get inside, requiring the Westfold-men to block up the inside of the culvert with stones under Gimli's direction as soon as they can. The Horburg is accessed by a raised causeway which forces the attackers to come a few at a time under the defender's fire, but for some reason they didn't take the opportunity to add a drawbridge, which would have prevented the orcs with battering rams from getting up to the door. That keeps the orcs out for a little while, but after a while the orcs blast through the blockage using the "fire of Orthranc", which also makes the hole much larger. The attacking hordes stream in and take the wall, forcing its defeneders to either fall back to the Hornburg if they can, or retreat into the Deep if they can't.

to:

** A wide culvert beneath it runing right through the bottom of the wall allows the Deeping-stream to pass out. This Having this weak point is a pretty enormous oversight, which presumably could and since the builders of the fortress were clearly pretty great engineers there should have been avoided if they had dug more than one way for them to avoid this: one would be for them to divert the stream through underground pipes; another which might have actually enhanced the defensibility of the walls would have been to dig a proper moat for the stream to fill up and let the culvert be mostly underwater with iron bars blocking it, but it. However there is no moat, the culvert is accessible from the surface, and if there are any bars across the opening then the author doesn't mention them--making them, making it sound like it's wide enough for an orc to fit through. While most of the attacking orcs with scaling ladders and grappling hooks are keeping the defenders focused on the top of the wall, some of them creep like rats through the culvert and get inside, requiring the Westfold-men to block up the inside of the culvert with stones under Gimli's direction as soon as they can. The Horburg is accessed by a raised causeway which forces the attackers to come a few at a time under the defender's fire, but for some reason they didn't take the opportunity to add a drawbridge, which would have prevented the orcs with battering rams from getting up to the door. That keeps the orcs out for a little while, but after a while then the orcs blast through the blockage using the "fire of Orthranc", which also makes the hole much larger. The attacking hordes stream in and take the wall, forcing its defeneders to either fall back to the Hornburg if they can, or retreat into the Deep if they can't.
23rd Jul '17 6:22:41 PM TheBigBopper
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** For example, while the book describes the parapets as being high enough that only a tall man could look over them, while the spaces between them allow for the shooting of arrows, the merlons of the crennelations in the film reach only up to mid-chest at most, exposing them to the attackers' arrows. Also, the fact that the Deeping Wall has only a single tower along its considerable length, and the battlements aren't machicolated to allow the defenders to shoot directly beneath them, means there would be blind spots and hardly any ability to hit the attackers with flanking fire.

to:

** For example, while While the book describes the parapets as being high enough that only a tall man could look over them, while the spaces between them allow for the shooting of arrows, the merlons of the crennelations in the film reach only up to mid-chest at most, exposing them to the attackers' arrows. Also, the fact that the Deeping Wall has only a single tower along its considerable length, and the battlements aren't machicolated to allow the defenders to shoot directly beneath them, means there would be blind spots and hardly any ability to hit the attackers with flanking fire.
23rd Jul '17 6:21:40 PM TheBigBopper
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* {{Justified|Trope}} with Helms Deep in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'', as the designers could not have anticipated that Saruman would use explosives, mostly because he apparently invented them just for this battle.

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* {{Justified|Trope}} with Helms Deep in In ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'', Helms Deep has the same weaknesses mentioned below in "Literature", plus a few new ones, as explained [[https://youtu.be/GYaoKHGP0dc?t=14m22s here]] by Shad. While the book isn't as specific about the details of the fortifications and can be given the benefit of the doubt in some respects, the scale and form of the fortifications are more clear in the movie and therefore more open to criticism.
** On the plus side, they depict the culvert in the Deeping Wall with a great big iron grille which mentioned in the book, but this is more than negated by the fact that the culvert in the movie is so enormous that orcs can enter two at a time, carrying bombs, without even having to duck their heads! Such a huge opening seems like total overkill to let out a stream that is only shown as being up to the orcs' ankles, and even if
the designers of the fortress hadn't known of gunpowder, they should have at least expected that sappers would have tried to enter the culvert with picks and chip away enough rock to dislodge the single iron grille. Also just like in the book, they don't think to block up the culvert with rubble before the enemy arrives or pay enough attention to defending it until it's too late and the Uruk-hai blast their way in.
** For example, while the book describes the parapets as being high enough that only a tall man
could not have anticipated look over them, while the spaces between them allow for the shooting of arrows, the merlons of the crennelations in the film reach only up to mid-chest at most, exposing them to the attackers' arrows. Also, the fact that Saruman the Deeping Wall has only a single tower along its considerable length, and the battlements aren't machicolated to allow the defenders to shoot directly beneath them, means there would use explosives, mostly because he apparently invented be blind spots and hardly any ability to hit the attackers with flanking fire.
** The Hornburg itself has only one relatively flimsy gate that the Uruk-hai have to smash through before they're inside and able to wreak havok. If it had a proper gatehouse like most real castles did, they would have had to break through a portcullis as well, and then found themselves faced with another gate and portcullis while being funneled into a small passage where the defenders could shoot
them just for this battle.from holes in both sides and the ceiling. The arrangement of concentric walls does incorporate a very good idea from real life castles, which is having the gate in the outer wall lead into a 90 degree turn that would be difficult to fit a ram through, channeling the attackers down a long path where the defenders could shoot them from the battlements on either side, and then having the gate of the second wall be 90 degrees at the end of that. However, the inside of the outer walls are not crenellated to take full advantage of this, and most gallingly, there ''is'' no gate restricting passage through the inner walls; instead there's a huge frickin' archway that anyone could ride right through, which almost defeats the point of having an inner layer of walls in the first place!


Added DiffLines:

* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'': The Valley of Helm's Deep is protected by the mighty tower called the Hornburg perched on a great heel of rock, and the Deeping Wall running from the Hornburg to the southern cliff blocks the way into the gorge. The Deeping Wall is twenty feet high, so smooth on the outside that it offers no foothold, and so thick that four men can walk abreast at its top. Unfortunately, there are some problems:
** A wide culvert beneath it allows the Deeping-stream to pass out. This is a pretty enormous oversight, which presumably could have been avoided if they had dug a proper moat for the stream to fill up and let the culvert be mostly underwater with iron bars blocking it, but there is no moat, and if there are any bars across the opening the author doesn't mention them--making it sound like it's wide enough for an orc to fit through. While most of the attacking orcs with scaling ladders and grappling hooks are keeping the defenders focused on the top of the wall, some of them creep like rats through the culvert and get inside, requiring the Westfold-men to block up the inside of the culvert with stones under Gimli's direction as soon as they can. The Horburg is accessed by a raised causeway which forces the attackers to come a few at a time under the defender's fire, but for some reason they didn't take the opportunity to add a drawbridge, which would have prevented the orcs with battering rams from getting up to the door. That keeps the orcs out for a little while, but after a while the orcs blast through the blockage using the "fire of Orthranc", which also makes the hole much larger. The attacking hordes stream in and take the wall, forcing its defeneders to either fall back to the Hornburg if they can, or retreat into the Deep if they can't.
** As for the Hornburg, it is accessed by a high causeway that helpfully forces the enemy to come a few at a time under the defender's fire. However, the fact that the builders didn't go the extra mile and put in a drawbridge makes this defense much less effective, and contributes to the orcs being able to bust their way in with rams and explosives.
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