TORCHBEARER: Session 2b (Drow Elf Negotiations)

Alioth has stepped forward, taking charge of the situation and attempting to bully a malicious Elf warrior from the depths of Dunmer. Overconfident, he gets up close to the cunning hunter and let's his guard down. Standing inches apart, the Dunmer Elf snatches Alioth's arms quickly, the bow dropping to the floor. Alioth is physically overpowered and hauled down to the floor face down. Within second, he finds himself hog-tied and bound with tight rope.

The Elf then stands back up, peering at the rest of the part, "I take this one now."

What do you do?!



The four dungeon crawlers find themselves in the bowels of Dragon Keep, a once-mighty fortress and temple now laid waste from the passing of a thousand years and the abandonment of its original defenders from attacks on all sides.

Rumors of forgotten treasures and a mighty magical artifact, The Lost Crown of Tesh-Naga, have lured the unemployable Mithras the Adventurer, Fendrol the Paladin, Alioth the Magician, and Rothschilde the Thaumaturge into this deep dungeon in search of loot. Now, they find themselves lost in a maze of caverns and crumbling ruins far below the mountain surface, skulking behind Hobgoblin warchiefs and killing their Goblin servants in the dark recesses. Staying this long underground and braving these difficult tasks is beginning to take its toll and everyone.

You are now back in the kitchen. Goblin bodies lie face down around you. The stove still burns hot (oil for two more Turns). In one alcove to your left, a dumbwaiter which you have used to send wine upstairs. The next alcove holds a spiral staircase leading to a set of three more doors. To the right, a staircase leading up that has partially collapsed, leaving a 10 - 15 ft chasm. Behind you, twisting tunnels and side passages lead, eventually, back to the portcullis room where you were dropped into after the sliding chute trap.

What do you do!?
Character Sheets +

Begin Session 2!

A big change to how this session will play out, besides of course your increased familiarity with the rules, is that you all have Fate and Persona points. These are rewards that you have earned that will allow you to beat the odds and boost your tests.

Before the Roll

  • spend Persona to add +1D
  • spend Persona to add +D equal to your taxed Nature (Nature gets taxed if outside your Descriptors)

After the Roll

  • spend Fate to explode 6's into new rolls
  • spend Fate to reroll a single failed die roll if the test is within your Wises
  • spend Persona to reroll a all failed dice if the test is within your Wises


TORCHBEARER - Session 1e (End of Session)

At the end of a session of Torchbearer, we reward the adventurers for their deeds. You earn rewards for the way you play your character in a session. Rewards are accrued in points. There are two types of points: fate points and persona points. These points are used to modify dice rolls and activate wises.

For this post, I need everyone to Comment in starting with their Belief, Goal and Instinct and then answer the folowing questions.
Then, post any Beliefs, Goals, or Instincts that you would like to change starting on the next session.
Lastly, one person may post a summary of the past sessions events within a strict 140 character limit. This is called the Prologue. If it is sufficiently entertaining, the DM will be pleased and you can alleviate one of your conditions — hungry & thirsty, angry, afraid or exhausted (and in that order) — or restore a point of tax on your Nature.


Did you take action in service of your character’s Belief during the session, even though it may not have been the wisest or easiest path to take?
Did you play against your Belief in a dramatic fashion — if you made a decision in the game that’s counter to what you believe — and
you let everyone know about your inner struggle through your performance of your character?

Did you work toward accomplishing your Goal, but didn’t quite accomplish it?
Did you accomplish your Goal during the session?

Did you use your Instinct and that benefited the party?

Who was the MVP of the session? MVP stands for “most valuable player.” Who made the crucial roll so the party could face down the big problem besetting it in the session.

Who was the Teamworker, the player who worked the hardest to keep the group together and in good shape?

Who wins the Embodiment award? Who roleplayed in a believable and entertaining manner throughout the entire session — describing all their actions in vivid detail or bring their Belief, Goal,Instinct and alignment into play in a new and entertaining way?


TORCHBEARER - Session 1d (Down to Goblin Town)

The group finds themselves ambushed by Goblins! A brutal FIGHT TO THE DEATH breaks out in the larder, a corner of the dungeon with chiseled walls and soot-covered ceilings. A smoldering fire roasts a hunk of oxen, a tough piece like a shoulder or something, with iron pokers propped against the wall. The three Gblins leap out from under tables and from on top of shelves, pouncing, bearing knives, meat hooks, and one of them is about to smash you in the face with a bottle (+1D Feint, easier Maneuver like a dagger).

You have now entered a KILL CONFLICT.

Conflicts are like protracted, complicated tests. You get one skill advancement at the end, and it takes up one Turn. However, there's a whole lot of rolling. Here's the basic layout.

Start by determining hit points. In a Kill Conflict, the guy you decide is Conflict Captain (and it should really be Mithras to suit the fiction, but it doesn't technically have to be) rolls Fighter, adds in your Helps and Wises and his Traits, and then adds number of successes to his Health value. That makes total hit points for the group, which is then evenly distributed. For Fighter tests, I'm usually hard to convince that anything besides Fighter Helps, but if the scenario is special and it makes sense, then I will allow it. Characters may choose to abstain from this event entirely if they really want.

this art is not mine!
For these Goblins, Fighting is in their Nature and a predetermined Conflict type, so they have a total of 8 hit points (3, 3, 2).

Then we will go through a series of rounds until one side has no more hit points left. THE LOSERS ARE BRUTALLY MURDERED! And even if you win, if you end the Conflict with damage, you'll get nailed by a host of nasty Conditions. If you end the Conflict with half total hit points or less, and Fendrol has taken any of it, I will hit you with Injured and FENDROL WILL DIE. Not. Even. Kidding.

Each round, we will do the following in order:

  1. I declare my weapons (I already did and will likely keep the same weapons throughout)
  2. If you have multiple weapons, you must declare what weapons you are using. Mithras (spear, long kinfe) and Alioth (magic missile, dagger) both do; and if you have a sword you need to declare what bonus it grants.
  3. I pick three moves to do and it remains hidden. My choices are Attack (a straightforward, but dangerous, action using Fighter, trumps Feint), Feint (a tricksy sneaky action, using Fighter. Gets trumped by Attack, but trumps Defend), Maneuver (flanking, getting into position, gaining advantage, disarming, etc.; using Health), and Defend (regrouping, healing hit points, rallying, using Health; gets trumped by Feint).
  4. The Conflict Captain then declares the groups actions and who is taking them in what order.
  5. We roll opposed or independent tests as per the action. Independent (A-A, A-F, D-D, M-M, M-F), Opposed (A-D, A-M, D-M, F-F), Trump (F->D, A->F). Opposed actions are safer and less swingy results, in general.
  6. Add in Helps, Wises, and Traits like a normal test. Add in bonuses (or penalties) due to the weapon you're using.
  7. Winner of opposed actions, winner of trumps, and both sides on independent actions then deal damage equal to number of success (or heal HP if you're using Defend). Armor and helmets can then reduce this. You guys have an Order of Might advantage (3 vs. 2), so you deal +1 damage on wins and ties.
  8. All characters must act before someone acts a second time, etc. You can't act twice in a row, unless you're the only one conscious.
Whoaaaaaaa! lotta text.

OK, Conflict Captain, tell me what you're rolling for Hit Points (aka Disposition).

Goblin #1 - 1/3 HP
Goblin #2 - 0/3 HP
Goblin #3 - 2 HP
====== vs. =======
Mithras - 2 HP
Alioth - 2 HP
Fendrol - 1/3 HP


TORCHBEARER - Session 1c (Camp)

Camp Events
Typical Underground: 5 6 = Minor Break
Natural Cave Minor Break, 4: Away from the spilling rainwater, the marble of the room seals away ground moisture making the area dry and comfortable. +1D to recover Exhausted.

Camp Strategy
Plan out who gets what checks and how are they spent.
Spend your checks to recover, improve your camp, find food and water, draw a map, make tools, research or read books, debate a course of action, create scrolls, pray or other acts that may be accomplished in and around camp.
You cannot spend checks to explore or fight monsters.
You may not make two tests in a row in Camp.
You may share checks with another player.
You can use Traits to help yourself in Camp. You cannot generate Checks while in Camp.

Break Camp
Magicians rememorize spells. Tell us what you choose.
Unspent Checks are lost.
It's a new Adventure Phase! Turn number resets to 1.


TORCHBEARER - Session 1b

Cold, hard rain beats down from blackened skies. A woven basket is lowered down from above, held strong by a series of ropes and pulleys, squeaking as it moves. When the basket settles on the ground, you can see crude splotches of tar and paint have been slathered onto the outside.

From above, the duped Hobgoblin sentry yells out, "OK, then sir, we can get yous twos ats a time."

The size of the basket, the strength of the sentry's arms, and the ingenuity of the pulley system are all perhaps far more disappointing than you would have hoped.

Shit. Now what do you do?

Oh shit, you done fell down a hole!


TORCHBEARER - Session 1a

Dragon Keep is an imposing structure built into the defensible hillside during the Age of Dhakaan by a long-dead empire of Tiamat-worshiping Hobgoblins. Before its fall, it served as a sanctuary and meeting place of the once-wealthy priesthood. Dragon Keep was said to be a focal point for divine power and direct connection with the torturous realms of the Five-Headed Goddess. It was here that unholy texts of dark power were stored. Legend tells that the final fall of the Keep was from an incursion of Dunmer Dark Elves boiling up from the lightless depths below to attack the Hobgoblin defenders who had grown soft and disorganized in their hubris.

The Lost Crown of Tesh-Naga is said to still be hidden in these ruins; a fabled silver crown bearing the nine shining jewels of the conquered lands of Skyrim and magical power to bend the will of the weak-minded.

The four of you have traveled to this remote dungeon and see its form breaking the horizon: a carved marble dragon's maw yawning out of the sheer granite cliff side.
What do you do?

Goals are statements of action that set your character’s agenda: I will… I must… I won’t….
They are immediate, something you could feasibly accomplish this session. They’re not long-term dreams. “I will be king one day,” is a bad goal (unless “one day” is “today”). And don’t write dumb goals like “I will light a torch.” There’s no reward for accomplishing dumb goals.
Example: “I will discover what happened to the innkeeper and his guests.
Example: “I won’t let the city fall to the dragon (that is attacking today).

For your first post, please state what your character's first goal is. If you stumble across what you think to be a better image of your character, feel free to send it to me and I'll swap it out for the placeholders I am using.

Goal Examples:
  • I will loot this place for all its worth.
  • I will drive off the Hobgoblin clan.
  • I will recover a lost Dhakaani relic.
  • I will uncover ancient, lost lore.
  • I will banish any lingering Daedra spirits.
  • I will sanctify this unholy place.
  • I will find the path into the secret realm of the Dunmer.
  • I will steal a fiery dragon egg.