Yellow Mold

I’m looking at converting an adventure for Torchbearer. How would you handle good ol’ Yellow Mold? I am thinking it would be a successful test (Dungeoneer, Scout, or Survivalist, perhaps?) to pass through the contaminated passage without disturbing the mold. Failure is an Ob 3 Health test to avoid contracting the Sick condition.

Feedback encouraged.

I’m pretty sure that I would go straight to the effects of the failure (Sick), rather than failure = another test.

Hey Daniel. First, you’ve correctly intuited that something like Yellow Mold is a trap. We know from D&D that Yellow Mold can only be killed by fire, it eats through wood and leather (but not metal or stone), and it only becomes dangerous when disturbed (which includes touching it with a torch). When touched, it has a 50% chance of filling a room with a cloud of spores. People caught in the spores must save vs. Death Ray or choke to death within 6 rounds. That’s all in D&D. Here’s how I think I would stat up the Yellow Mold trap.

Yellow Mold
Yellow Mold is a bright yellow, toxic fungus found in dungeons and other dark, damp areas.
Yellow mold becomes dangerous when disturbed, which causes it to deploy a deadly cloud of spores. Detecting its presence requires a player to describe searching the area. If the players don’t search, the spores erupt when they walk through the area (see Trap below). If a player searches before moving through the area, call for an Ob 1 Scout test to spot the mold. If the Scout test is failed, the GM may give the characters involved a condition (we suggest Afraid), or invoke a twist: the characters realize they are completely surrounded by the mold.

Navigating a mold-filled area without destroying the mold requires each character that attempts it to make an Ob 3 Health test. Suggested failure result: Condition (Angry, Exhausted or Afraid) or Twist (the spores erupt).

Destroying the mold once it’s detected requires an Ob 3 Survivalist test or an Ob 2 Alchemist test. If the players fail the Survivalist or Alchemist test the GM may choose to invoke a twist: the characters disturb the mold and cause the spores to erupt.

If the spores erupt, affected characters must pass an Ob 6 Health test. If the test if failed, the GM may choose the sick condition and allow the character to pass through the mold-filled area, or invoke a twist that spreads the mold to adjoining areas (and requires anyone in those areas to make their own Health tests). Other twists: ruin exposed non-metal or stone gear (including spell books and backpacks) of all characters in the affected area. Any character that is already sick or injured and who fails the Health test dies.

Thanks, Thor. I’d forgotten that yellow mold could eat through some materials—that’s a good twist. In Torchbearer, would burning the mold require an appropriate expenditure of equipment, like using up a torch to do so?

Well, I would require a lit torch or oil + fire to make it happen, so yes. In general, you’ll already be using a torch for light and the test to burn the mold would require a turn. I don’t think I would double-dip on the expenditure. You just spend a turn burning the mold and mark a turn off your torch. Does that make sense?

It does indeed. Thanks again—this is awesome.

Nice trap write up there Thor. I really like that you gave some suggestions for twists with each roll. That is super helpful for me as I’m thinking of appropriate twits for encounters like this.

There is a green slime that turns someone into a green slime after 3 turns. I think I’ll write it up as a trap in the same manner. Hopefully up here soon.