Marrying mechanics to fiction with traps

Hi All, First post. Played my first game of TB the other night, really love the system, and how everything is sort of out in the open.

I have a question about dealing with players failing to discover traps. Let’s say there is a hallway with some loose flagstones. As GM, I know that there is a trap here. If a players describes sliding something under them, testing weight, and otherwise looking for a trap, I give him a Scout(ob 2) test. If he passes, great! He finds the trap and the group can figure out how to either disarm or bypass it.

But what if he fails? The Character does not find a trap, but the player pretty much knows that one exists here because a roll was called for. Do we just have a twist and say the trap goes off? Do we inflict a condition (you find a trap, it has a hair trigger, and you are afraid)? I just want to avoid a situation where the player knows something the character doesn’t, and starts strategizing around it.


Move right into the twist or the condition. For a trap, it goes off or something similarly dire happens. There’s never a “you fail; nothing happens” moment in Torchbearer.

Alternatively you could have ruled his approach a Good Idea and let him discover the trap without the Scout roll.

Thanks! All makes sense to me.