Helping with Nature in a Conflict

We played our first game of Torchbearer last night. I thought it went well overall, but I had a problem with PCs and NPCs helping each other in a Conflict.

Briefly, the party got into a Convince a Crowd Conflict with a group of human pirates (I was using the Sailor stats), after the party landed on the pirates’ island.

Because the pirates did not have either of the appropriate skills listed for the Convince Crowd Conflict actions (Oratory and Manipulator), I ruled that the pirates were acting within their human Natures of “Boasting” and “Demanding,” and could use their natures in their actions: for example, the pirates Maneuvered by boasting that the PCs they were “trespassing on the Pirate King’s Island”, and then Attacked by demanding that the characters surrender and drop their weapons…

I allowed the other pirates to help each other, but in retrospect I believe that was a mistake because they did not have the appropriate skill for the conflict actions.

  1. Was using the Natures of Demanding and Boasting (in place of Oratory and Manipulator) correct?
  2. Could the other pirates, with the same nature descriptors as the primary actor, help the primary actor by relying upon the same nature descriptor?


I think they are both sound “Yes”. If I remember well there is a paragraph that says something like “Attributes help Attributes, Skills help Skills.” and Nature is an Attribute, so…

You winged it great.

Stay cool :cool:

I would have further question:

Do Pirates, that ar not monsters and have skills, when using Nature follow PC Nature rules and get taxed from time to time, may switch to beginers luck etc?


I appreciate that.

The rules do say on page 66 that skills help skills, abilities help abilities, etc. And, “if Nature is being tested, helpers must have a descriptor that relates to the test.” But, page 72 seems to curtail that kind of help for conflicts to the named skills or abilities.

Thanks for your response.


I would think that they would, if you wanted to track it. I had planned for the pirates to just halve their dice for the tests, but then I noticed the human nature descriptors fell perfectly within the conflict, and used them instead.

  1. Yes. And as long as their speech involves either Boasting or Demanding, it is well within their Nature.
  2. Yes. You may Help with Nature if you have a descriptor appropriate to the task at hand.

The monster rules are meant for general NPC usage. You don’t have to worry about using full-on PC rules for anyone but the players. If they’re opposing the players, they use the monster rules.

Excellent. Thanks, Thor.