How Many Turns?

I know BWHQ players usually try to camp routinely after Turn 3 to keep the Grind off their backs and keep resource management under control, but not everyone can manage that.

My question for the forum is, what’s the longest Adventure Phase you’ve ever had?

My current PbP group just hit the beginning of Turn 13 as a result of a party split that advanced the clock very quickly, and while they don’t yet have piles of conditions (2 to 3 apiece right now), now that I reflect it does seem like a very long and dangerous time to spend out of camp. What’s your longest Adventure Phase to date and how or why did it happen?

My players seem to do about 10 turns max, though lately it’s more like 6 or 7 because they’re being reckless.

16 or 17 turns, I think. Just because we recommend a best practice, doesn’t mean we can always keep to it!

Unless things take a drastic turn for the better I think the 16-17 turn mark is well within reach for us. Somehow playing by post seems to deemphasize the urgency of camping. Something to do with time dilation on the internet maybe…

To be clear, I don’t recommend going 16-17 turns each time you head out from camp. That’ll exhaust supplies pretty quickly.

Also, everything is relative. We try to stick to a tight 3-turn Grind to protect fresh conditions, or to protect food and water supplies. Once the fresh condition is gone, and if we have a ready source of food/water, we can stretch it out to seven turns, or even 11 if we’re in really good shape with supplies.

But that gets very risky. All it takes is missing a trap or a conflict compromise that forces you to spend a few turns you didn’t anticipate and you will find yourself deep in the incident pit.

Also, consider that two to three conditions a piece is actually quite a lot! Let’s say you have a party of four characters; half of them have two conditions and half of them have three conditions. That’s a total of 10 conditions. Hungry/Thirsty is pretty easy to get rid of, as long as you have food or water. Generally you can get rid of it for free, unless someone has to cook and doesn’t have an instinct to do it. But for our purposes, let’s be generous and assume everyone can get rid of it for free. We still have six conditions that need to be dealt with.

Now it’s true that someone in the party might have an instinct that allows them to address another condition that someone has (a healer with an instinct to take care of the injured, for instance). And if you have a level 2 or higher Cleric, everything changes because they can really help to keep conditions under control. But barring that, we’re talking about 6 checks that the group needs to have amassed by this point to take care of those conditions. And there’s no guarantee that they will be successful in doing so. If you think about the incident pit I linked to above, you’ve reached a perilous part of the slope.

A good Torchbearer leader needs to keep track of how many conditions that group has, what kind they are and how many checks the group has accumulated. If the number of conditions start outnumbering the available resources to take care of those conditions, the group is in trouble and it’s time to find a place to hole up, stop the hemorrhaging and come up with a new plan for going forward.

To be clear, I don’t recommend going 16-17 turns each time you head out from camp. That’ll exhaust supplies pretty quickly.

Crystal clear. I had no intention of going this long without a camp. That being said, if your goal is creating narrative tension bordering on terror and/or despair, then we’re doing quite well for ourselves.

Thor: Thank you for introducing me to the incident pit. It wont help the party, but its a lovely piece of information and a beautiful graph.

It’s good to hear that even you guys at BWHQ get yourselves into serious trouble sometimes :slight_smile:

This group had made the decision to camp on turn 6, but then they just wanted to do “one more quick thing” and ended up splitting the party through a failed test and it took until turn 17 to get everyone back together and with access to a safe camping spot. A very good cautionary tale…

Camp! We did it! We didn’t die! (Knock on wood against camp disaster…)