GM new to Torchbearer, some questions

I’m reading this thread First timer with a few questions
I don’t know if there are conventions here I’m not following, e.g always make new threads
Apologies if I’m doing it wrong…


Can a PC help another PC attempting to remove one of their (the first of mentioned) conditions with a healer test?

Can anyone (not just casters) read a scroll and cast a spell from it?

Can anyone learn to be a spell caster in game? Gain the Arcanist skill and spells via Mentor tests? What about ritualist and prayers, can prayers be taught?


EDIT: just came across the answer to my last paragraph/question: no, because you can’t gain memory slots to memorise anything
https://forums.burningwheel.com/t/banish-and-abjure-the-same-or-different-conflicts/

Just for the record, I’m loving your posts, because it’s making me think about all the stuff I’m going to have to address as I may be starting to GM more than one shots soon with a crew of friends. It’s cool to see the vets help you, and onlookers like me hopefully :slight_smile:

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If there’s nothing to find, you just tell the players.

If the players say “I search for a hidden door in this wall” and there is a door, use the man-sized, location generally known factors.

If the players say “I search for a hidden door” but there is no secret door BUT there’s a tiny gem hidden in a crack of the floor near where they are searching, then you use the factors for finding that item and not the door.

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Can a PC help another PC attempting to remove one of their (the first of mentioned) conditions with a healer test?

Can anyone (not just casters) read a scroll and cast a spell from it?

  1. No. There is a difference between recovery (i.e., using your abilities to overcome a condition) and treatment (using Healer or Alchemist to get rid of a condition). Others can help with treatment. Additionally, treatment does not need to be done in order. There is no help with recovery, though you can get supplies from Healers and Alchemists that provide +1D. See the factors for those skills.

  2. No. See Scrolls on page 43 ("…the spell caster must be capable of casting a spell of that Circle.") and Prayer Scrolls on page 50 ("…the cleric must be capable of performing a prayer of that Circle.").

Note that even though you can’t cast/invoke, anyone can learn the Arcanist/Ritualist skills and use them to help.

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I note also that prayer memory slots are distinct from spell memory slots.

I’m sorry for being dense Thor, the “no” for point 1 was clear, but the helpful info following it makes me worried my question wasn’t clear:

PC X has the Injured condition
PC Y tests Healer to remove it from PC X
PC X cannot help PC Y in this Healer test - correct?

You can help healers with Healer tests to treat characters. You can’t help with recovery tests.

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Yes, cheers @noclue, I understand that. I wrote the original question poorly.
What I’m asking is can you help a another PC perform a healer test when you are the patient?

Yes, you can help even if you’re the patient.

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I see. Thanks Thor!

I am reading through all the posts in An Adventurers Essentials, because that’s the kind of masochistic fanatic I am, and because although I’ve come to realise that the guiding principles of TB can be counted on to get you through any situation, and also that over-analysing rules in situations is a bit pointless because you frequently end up looking at things that don’t actually occur/matter in play, I still want to be as prepared as I can be, it can’t hurt (I’ve now had three sessions - the first was almost entirely character creation, the second was a slow and clunky session with everyone fumbling with the rules that didn’t go very well, the third session everyone had a blast).

I’m taking notes as I read things, I will post them if anyone is interested, although I typed them on my phone and can’t imagine a scenario where I have enough time to edit them, and of course they are aimed only at my personal lack of TB knowledge so YMMV.


Enough blather, I actually came to ask this:

From Asymmetric Conflict Goals it seems quite clear to me but I would love confirmation - if the PCs encounter a dragon they can describe actions (“we run up and try to hack its head off”) that will put them in a kill conflict with the dragon, and of course as a result the dragon can kill them, but if the PCs win the kill conflict the result will be something short of death of the dragon.

Is that all correct?

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That is correct!

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