I played in my first game today, organised through the Torchbearer community on Google+. We played via a Google Hangout, using the Roll20 app as a diceroller, turn counter, and shared inventory sheets. It worked fairly smoothly, and I think in future games the Roll20 setup will be refined further.
We went through character creation together and came up with:
Gregory the Dwarf (me)
Beorian the Elf Ranger
Marian the Human Warrior
The GM gave us the choice of playing 3 Squires, Ravenmoor (a Pathfinder module) or a scenario from the recent reprint of the Against the Slave Lords series (which we chose).
The game opened in the remote village of Darkhaven, where the local overlord offered us the chance to earn some serious coin by investigating strange happenings at a nearby quarry. To sweeten the deal, he said there was a rumour that there was gold hidden in the quarry tunnels, and we could keep what we found. That was enough and we agreed to help.
We set out and arrived at the quarry later that day. As we approached, we came to a fork in the path; one way went down to the quarry entrance, the other up a hill to a guard tower. Beorian’s instinct was to always scout ahead, so he headed up to see what was happening at the guard tower. There was nobody there, so we approached the building for a closer look. We saw no sign of activity, and the only entrance was a large wooden door.
We knocked: no answer. We tried to open it: it was locked. Marian (whose specialty was Criminal) said she would be willing to try to open the door, but not if we were being watched. We succeeded with another Scout test and realised that there was a group of goblins hiding behind the door waiting to ambush us if we entered.
Instead, we retraced our steps and took the other path to the quarry entrance. Another successful Scout check allowed us to identify two guards patrolling near the entrance, walking in a figure-8 around two pillars in the area. Beorian’s belief was something to do with fighting being best avoided, and as he was our leader we decided to sneak past. Another successful Scout test and we took the right-hand tunnel.
We found ourselves in a bunk room, with four beds with sleeping occupants and a firepit full of glowing embers. Marian searched a table but found nothing of use, I looked under the bed and found some fighting gear and a set of knucklebones, but we decided to wait for something more precious. I took the Scout test. It was Ob 3, I had Scout 2 and a helping die from
Beorian - he suggested this might be a good place to use a trait to earn a check, so I used my Foolhardy trait against myself the occupants seemed to be sleeping soundly, so I was less cautious than I usually would have been.
This moved the chance of success from “remote possibility” to “statistical impossibility”, so we braced ourselves for failure. The GM ruled that as we moved through the room, Marian tripped over something, scattering embers and crashing into the table. She wasn’t hurt, but had made a lot of noise—so much that the four goblins sleeping in the room woke up, and the two guards we had snuck past came running to see what was happening.
This was a “monster twist”, so we had to choose a conflict type from the Goblin list, and we elected to flee. Since the human guards were coming in behind us, we decided to try to flee further into the quarry. (OOC, Marian noted this was the equivalent of running upstairs instead of out the front door in a slasher flick.)
We’re hoping to get the Roll20 cards set up for next time, but this time we just had the GM write down his scripted actions before we discussed ours. We rolled 6 disposition, against the GM’s 6. I was the conflict captain and tried to script actions based on the fiction. Since I was foolhardy and Marian tripped over, that meant only Beorian could react quickly. Hopefully he would take out a few of the guards so they would lose some of their help dice in subsequent turns. Then I would try to Defend Marian (who had fallen over), and Marian would Manoeuvre to get up and away.
Beorian, Attack - 2 successes
Guards, Attack - 5 successes
This was a crushing attack. Beorian managed to loose a couple of arrows and incapacitate two of the guards, but they still swarmed forwards and injured us quite badly. Beorian was out, and so was either me or Marian. We decided it would be better if Marian was taken out (partly because it made story sense—she was on the ground—and partly because I had the Defend action scripted so might be able to bring someone back in).
Gregory, Defend - 5 successes
Guards, Manoeuvre - 3 successes
Lucky! I was able to push some goblins back and bring Marian back into the conflict.
Marian: Manoeuvre - 4 successes
Guards, Feint - 4 successes
Unfortunately, the guards prevented us from fleeing. Fortunately, we had earned a minor compromise. The GM ruled that Beorian and I were knocked unconscious (Injured condition), but because Marian had a decent roll on her action, she came off better (Hungry). We had all been captured though, and brought to some other place, presumably deeper in the quarry tunnels. Oh, and we lost all of our belongings. (We had planned to push as deep as possible as soon as possible, so I guess that’s something…)
We negotiated a compromise: Marian avoiding capture was too big for a minor compromise, but because she was not unconscious she managed to prevent the guards from finding some of her belongings. The GM let her choose two slots to keep, and she chose to keep her thieves’ tools and a tinderbox.
And that’s where we ended the session. There were a couple of teething issues: a bit of page-flipping to work out rules, and the fact that nobody took the +1D for Fresh—which might have made us less likely to throw in the towel in sneaking through the room, but oh well! It was a lot of fun, I can’t wait for the next session.