Failed tests in towns


I’m preparing to run my first Torchbearer session. However, when reading the Town section I was left confused whether failed tests in town should be penalized by conditions or twists, like in the adventure phase.

There are several activities that require a test of some kind, like Finding Work, Building Kit and testing Theologian when visiting a shrine. Should they impose conditions or twists? Or are all tests in town safe in that there are no penalties for failing, excluding the immediate Resource tests at Market and Lifestyle test when leaving town?

Hi there! All tests in the game are subject to twists or conditions on failure regardless of phase. The only exceptions are:

  • Recovery tests. When a player rolls Will or Health to get rid of Angry, Afraid, Exhausted, Injured, or Sick, don’t impose a twist or condition on failure. They just keep the condition. In the case of Sick and Injured, there’s the additional wrinkle that they now need treatment from a Healer (or an appropriate prayer) to get better.
  • Conflicts. This isn’t really an exception, but you don’t get twists and conditions from every roll in a conflict. You wait until the end and see how everything turned out and then apply a Compromise.

I should also note that Resources tests have a special condition that you have the option to apply: Tax. On a failed test you can tax the character, permanently reducing the Resources ability by 1 (though they can still advance it normally). You can still apply the other conditions or a twist on failure rather than Tax. Tax is just an additional option.

Circles has a special twist option: The Enmity Clause (see page 135).


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