Streaming tonight at https://www.twitch.tv/pintandpie as I work on a couple things. First, I’m trying to clean up the twitch-to-roll20 chat integration (allowing viewers to send commands to roll20). I’ll also be trying to figure out how the mechanics of Torchbearer actually work (conflicts, etc.). Please come join if you’re interested in helping me with either of those.
I really need some mentoring! The scenario and questions:
Barguth, a character largely based on the sample character Beren of Carcaroth, has been tossed ashore and told to clear a boulder blocking a tunnel entrance within a large sea cave.
Remembering that it’s just me and twitch-chat playing, and no one contributed from chat, all of this is a single person story (so far!).
The boulder was Obs 5 (3 + 1d4) but Barguth was clever: He used a board from the rowboat seat as a shovel to dig out a pit and then used his grapple to tip the boulder forward into it. He had a +1 for being Fresh but a -1 for working in dim light (only light is through the cave mouth). And now the questions…
I gave him 5D for his Nature, plus 1D for Dungeoneer Skill, plus 1D for Laborer Skill; is this correct? In hindsight he could have used his Trait Born of Earth and Stone to get an extra 1D, right?
There was one twitch follower during this time so I gave a +1 success for that.
He rolled 7d6 with 3 successes, failing by just one. In light of that, I chose to give a Twist: The stone was only partially moved, big enough to squeeze through but also wide enough to allow a Goblin to come through as well! Is that a Twist? Or should I have done a Condition?
Since he failed the test, I think he can take a failure checkmark on just one of either Nature, Dungeoneer, or Laborer; is that correct?
That’s where I am leaving the adventure, with Barguth back pedaling and a Goblin stepping out from behind the stone.
For the obstacles, usually, they range from 1 - 5. 5 is nearly impossible, because you would need to gather 10 dice for a split chance at success. Still, to move a boulder, it is not out of the question–it would depend on how big it was. But, let’s stick with Ob 5.
For a lifting test, that might be straight Laborer as the primary skill. Helpers could use Dungeoneer given the situation. Or you might rule that it is a straight Health test. You only use Nature when substituting for a skill the character does not have. For example, a Bjorning has a sailing nature and can use those dice instead of a Sailor skill.
When mustering dice, you take the base skill + trait + rewards + help = dice pool. So if it was just him, and he had a Laborer skill of 3, then he’s just rolling 3 dice. If he throws in his Crushing Strength trait that gives him +1D. If he taps nature by spending a Persona point, then he could add that Nature 5 to the dice that he musters. And +1 for the Twitch follower! And +1D for Fresh. 3 + 1 + 5 + 1 +1 = 11.
When someone fails your options are: 1) Condition - succeeds but at a price 2) Fails (unresolved) such as you did–a goblin comes in and now he’s got to deal with that first. 3) Fail (resolved unfavorably) the ceiling collapses and block the path–there is no redo–he will need to find another way. The choice, as to what is right, is solely up to the GM. The GM must balance a dozen factors such as pacing, the grind, the importance of the event, the level of effort from the players, other options or avenues in the dungeon, etc. All of that is the art of the GM and a part of the GM toolkit that you develop over time and with experience.
When a character tests a skill, they mark the primary skill being tested. In this case, he would mark a fail for Laborer or Health. If he didn’t have Laborer, and he used Nature to substitute for that skill, then he would mark the advancement for Nature. It is only one check mark for the one skill. Helpers do not get advancement either unless they spend a check before the roll takes place.
Unsure how to quote reply and inline questions… will google that next!
So in this case, Barguth would have used his Laborer skill (3), his Earth&Stone trait (+1), benefits from being Fresh (+1), hinderances due to dim light (-1), plus his twitch bonus (+1 success). Being on his first adventure, would he have any Persona points to spend?
Reading, I think I, as the GM, could award Persona for good RP? The player could use the Persona immediately after awarded? In this case, assuming the player (me!) did a masterful job of noodling over how to move the boulder, the GM (me!) could award a Persona point. The player could then spend it immediately to contribute their nature (5).
To take things a step further, were there opportunities for Barguth to play against himself to earn… checks? persona? fate? something else? At first glance, moving a large boulder out of a tunnel entrance would appear impossible! However, with some ingenuity the task became conceivable. Should the player of Barguth have taken the opportunity to put some stress on the character?