I dig the time & light rules. In a first game with my group, after the last torch burned out, a player said, “I re-light the torch.”
I responded: “There’s nothing left to light: your character is holding a charred stick.”
“I look around for some moss or other combustible material.”
“Well, it’s too dark to look for anything, but you can feel around. You hear the sound of water dripping from the stalactites into puddles on the floor, and everything you run your hands across is damp and slimy.”
That’s the point when the players actually felt a little scared, effectively alone in an underground cavern. Their characters were already hungry & thirsty from their first encounter earlier (not to mention cold & wet, which was a perfect excuse to add the exhausted condition after the 4th turn).
They retraced their steps and emerged into the rainy night, but they hadn’t earned any player checks to make camp. They encountered a peddler on the road and tried to sell him a copper bracelet they had rescued from a corpse in the cavern, but they failed their haggling conflict and were accused of being highwaymen and threatened with violence. They decided to head back to town and try starting all over… with more torches in their packs.
in the rules as far as I can find it says when in darkness the group can only flee, riddle or argue, otherwise no tests can be made. it seems to me weird that they can’t just light another torch, but I wanted to know if I was reading that right, and just make the players flee to a place that has lighting?
Not quite damiller. The only conflicts you can engage in while in darkness are flee, riddle or convince conflicts. If you run into monsters, those are the options you have. Outside of conflicts, the only limitations are that you cannot read or draw, and thus you cannot make Cartography or Scholar tests. Additionally, darkness is a Factor in all tests except riddling. See Darkness on page 61.
If you have a tinderbox, you and are in normal conditions (i.e., not in immediate danger, reasonably dry, not terribly windy, etc.) you can light a fire (or candle, lantern or torch) without a test. You just say you do it. If you don’t have a tinderbox, lighting a fire is an Ob 2 Survivalist test (as per the factors on page 142). It’s also an Ob 2 Survivalist test if you’re in bad conditions (soaking wet, in the middle of a storm, etc.). You get +1D to that test if you have a tinderbox.
Some of my favorites:
Always keep the torch lit.
Always map our progress when we make camp.
Always locate fresh, sweet water before making camp.
Always keep an eye out for secret doors.
Always keep my eyes open for traps.
Always haggle when in town.
Always scribe a scroll when we make camp.
Always tend my friends’ wounds in camp.