The grind, twists and spotlight sharing.

In the last couple of Torchbearer sessions (and my first as a player) I’ve been a little frustrated with how the mechanics are interacting with the dynamics of our group. We have two players that immediately jump in with their characters’ actions the moment the GM has set the scene. They do this in more or less every game we play; they’re excited, invested and want to explore the scenarios we encounter. In Dungeon World or Labyrinth Lord this hasn’t been a big deal but in Torchbearer it feels like each problem the party encounters ends up with us hungry and thirsty before the more reticent players have even gotten a chance to speak. When I’ve been the GM I’ve tried reminding players of the grind and slowing them down but I’m feeling like a killjoy if I bring it up as a player.

Has anyone else encountered this issue? In many ways its a common RPG problem but I feel that the twists and grind of Torchbearer exacerbate it, since usually only one player gets a crack at a problem. We might need to describe our actions more mechanically-neutral, queries for information are often phrased in ways that beg for rolls (and associated turns and twists.). It !might also be growing pains for the group. The current GM and myself have had the most sessions (around six or seven) but some of the other players have only had one or two. Lastly the dilemmas our party have been facing have been outside the core TB experience, we’ve been outside and dealing with obstacles that are at least described as being time sensitive.

Obviously problems with group dynamics need to be addressed to the group but I’d like to be able to give some suggestions instead of just complaints.

Hi Owen,

Are you playing with a Leader as described on page 58? The Leader’s role is to take input from the party members about the next course of action and then choose what to pursue next. If someone disagrees with the Leader, then see Player vs. Player​ on page 118.

I think I would just try discussing it with them. They probably don’t reallize they’re hogging the spotlight and are likely oblivious to the fact that they’re consuming a limited and precious group resource: Turns.

We haven’t been playing with a leader yet. The last three adventures have been surprises while the party was nominally on their way someplace else (House of Three Squires and two home made ones) so no one had dug up the lead.

I also think i need to be a bit more forward since my usual play style is to hang back and jump in after a few suggestions and attempts have been made. That’s also not really compatible with TB.

Are you using the Teamwork rules enough? They usually help share Spotlight around I found.

If no one dug up a lead, I would ask the group to assign a leader for that adventure.