Head first into a conflict


I finally got to test Torchbearer yesterday! I always suck with applying rules on the first try, so we were checking the book every five seconds, aside from that we had a great time. But I stumbled upon a problem that I think has more to do with criteria that with hard rules, here’s the situation:

The adventurers were delving into the natural caves under the House of the Three Squires and heard the loud screams of Joerg from area 8, and without second thought run to slay whatever creature is torturing the poor man. They trigger the tripwire and sound the alarm in area 7, and clash with the kobold guards sword and dagger on hand.

The thing is I didnt knew WHAT conflict should I declare because the players were obviously going for a Kill conflict, but they had sounded the alarm, basically failing the Scout test to detect the trip wire and jumping to the twist, so my first impulse was to choose from the listed conflicts in the kobold stats BUT it wasn’t a twist because there never was a test!

Anyway I decided for a Kill conflict, it was the most logical thing in the fiction, but it got me thinking: what do you do when characters take a course of action that takes them to failure without test. Do you, as GM, introduce the twist/condition anyway? What to do when a Wandering monster is on the line, and a clearly benefical Comflict can be triggered?

What do you guys think about it? How would you play out the situation?

Stay cool :cool:

Failing a Scout test and not bothering to scout at all are two different things.

It seems to be the intention that you shouldn’t give the PCs a condition without a test (outside of the Grind, of course). For example, if you blunder down some trapped stairs without checking for traps, you don’t get a Condition, you get a Health test to avoid dying. If you fail, then maybe you get the Injured Condition.

As for triggering a Twist without a check, that’s a good question. It could go either way. I would say it’s not a Twist, because there was no test, but if it’s not a Twist, can you spring another Obstacle on them? Can you break their gear? Can enemies force their hand?

Hitting them with another Obstacle is obviously legitimate, because… well, because. Breaking their gear, though? I don’t know. If you fall through the stairs without a test, can I say that you lost your torch? No? Maybe? And finally, your question about non-Twist Twist conflict types. I don’t know, either.

In the heat of the moment, though, I’d probably just play non-Test failure as a “Twist”.

The consequence of them activating the trap is that 1 kobold can run away to alert the others. They still can kill who else is in the room.