I was running mt first session of Torchbearer yesterday. The players were having trouble generating any checks to make camp. One of the characters got the sick condition and another character spent a turn and used the Healer skill to help them recover. Is this a correct use of the rules or would the party have to make camp first? Thanks for any help on this.
By the book, yes, this was an incorrect use of the skill. On p78, is says that treatment is to be done on in the camp or town phases. Not a terribly incorrect of the skill, but incorrect still.
But we had the same issues when we first started playing. Your players need to get out of the mindset that they must do everything they can to succeed on every test. Some simple ways to earn checks are:
Easy tests: Is the Ob 0, 1 or 2 and you’re going to roll three or more dice? You’ll probably make succeed, even if you roll one fewer die. Take the hit and earn a check.
Hard tests: Is the Ob 4 or more and you’re only rolling two dice? Even with help, tapping your Nature and using a Trait, you have to roll pretty good to succeed. What does one less dice mean?
Useless tests: Your captain expected an Attack and played a Defend when your party is a maximum Hit Points. But, your opponent played also played a Defend. Now, it doesn’t matter what you roll, you gain nothing. Roll one less die and earn a check.
Versus tests: In the above situation, your captain was right. Your opponent plays an Attack versus your Defend. But, when he rolls, he rolls all fails. Let him roll two more dice and earn yourself two checks. Worst case, he’ll roll two successes. Big deal. Best case, he’ll roll two more fails and you earned two free checks.
Big picture, you can’t be afraid to fail in Torchbearer. (In fact, you have to fail to advance skills!) For that matter, its really hard to “fail” in Torchbearer. You migh fail the roll, but, in most cases, you still get what you’re looking for, just with a twist or a condition. Fail the tests, get the treasure, get the conditions, earn the checks, then make camp and get rid of the conditions. Rinse and repeat.
Can you use this after the roll has been made? If so niiiice.
I might get corrected on this, but that’s the way we play it.
Not according to the rules as written.
First off, I should note that it isn’t just granting your opponent two extra dice. Its using one of your traits against yourself to grant him two extra dice.
Now, on to Thor’s correction. (I told you I might get corrected.)
Thor, is there someplace in the book that says you can’t use the trait after your opponent rolls? I’m looking on p23 of the book and it never specifically says when you apply the rule. Obviously, you can break ties in your opponent’s favor after the roll. If you must grant bonus dice before the roll, it doesn’t say in on p23.
It’s -1D to a roll or +2D to an opponent’s roll. Not -1D after a roll or +2D after an opponent’s roll. Obviously you can play it how you like, but IMHO changing the rule to allow checks after the roll when you can see what you’ve rolled and your opponent rolled makes the choice uninteresting.
That makes sense. Its just not the way we interpreted it. (We do take the -1D to our own roll before we roll. Just not the +2D to the opponent’s roll.) Its just not how we read it at first and how we’ve always played it. I’ll bring it up to my GM though and see how he wants to handle it.
However, I will point out that we enjoy the gambling aspect of the +2D. If we grant it before the roll, we can’t see how it effected the result. If we grant it after, we can see the effect. Did we make his roll a lot better? Did we make it just a little better? Or did he tank the bonus and we get two free checks? It would seem anti-climactic to not know the effect. (However, I do see the logic of granting the +2D before the roll so as not to cheat the system on low initial rolls. That makes sense.)
Hand the GM 2 dice of a color they don’t usually use. If you have a color of die you use and the GM doesn’t, that’d be perfect.
If it’s working for your group, don’t let me ruin it for you!