So I thought I’d share that I ran my first session of Torchbearer last night here in Carmarthenshire, West Wales.
A party of three approached the House of the Three Squires, Brundle the dwarf adventurer, Harold the paladin and Dodger the Magician. Character generation went without a hitch I think and seemed to engage the players very quickly in the stories of their wanderers. There were no questions arising from the process.
They turned out to be quite a cautious bunch and so we didn’t get very far into the scenario, but it all worked out fine. They are all experienced gamers and we all enjoyed figuring out the system and giving it a go. There followed a drive off conflict with some giant rats and a convince conflict with a kobold patrol, lots of good role-playing, and wild gesturing around the table.
I would say that I think we have work to do on getting everyone to be richer in their descriptions of their actions, but I think we did okay and particularly after the second conflict I got the feeling that all the players were really engaged in the process.
One odd thing did happen though, nothing to do with the system. I had played with two of the players before but the third was a first timer with me. I could barely credit it, but went on without mentioning it: he turned a die over to give himself another success! It was smoothly done, but I saw him. I was into the game so let it pass, but I don’t think I’ve seen blatant cheating like that since I was a kid, probably 30 years ago!! I have to laugh and it didn’t ruin my evening at all. He was also the guy who talked the most, found it hardest to get his head around conflicts not always being combats, and wanted to second guess other players and me much of the time. I think he needs a little while to get used to the game and my style… hopefully he won’t try to cheat too many rolls, it could get embarrassing.
Overall, very much fallen for Torchbearer in a big way. I can’t wait for our next session.