Actual Play – Argarak, my friend (1/31/2014)

torchbearer-rpgGM: Josh Curtis
Players: Justin Evans, Sean Nittner, and Greg Bailey
System: Torchbearer
Dungeon: Mines of Angocost

Back in the mines, and wondering what would happen to Karolina after the crocodile burst from the water last session and was poised to chomp!


Varg had been the victim of a sleep spell at the end of last session, so Karolina delivered the prologue, recounting their negotiations with the dwarves of Free Town and the impending doom.

Beliefs, Instincts, and Goals

Karolina changed her goal to “I will rescue Thurn’s daughter”

Varg changed his belief to reflect his pessimistic view of nature. I can’t remember the exact details but it was something to the effect of “we’re all gonna die.”

Adventure Time, er Adventure Phase

Instinct – As he was the only one watching Karolina’s back, Beren saw the giant beast that was going to eat her. He dove after Karolina to pull her into safety but his dense bones hammered down and pulled them instead into the pool itself! [Heath vs. Nature. Fail. Twist: In the drink!]

Spell – Floundering in the water, it looked as though we would have to fight the monster in it’s own habitat. But just before tooth and sword met, Varg caught the eye of the beast and cast an incantation to befriend he monster [Threat of Friendship vs. Nature. Success]. Instantly he knew the creatures true name “Argarak” and it ceased it’s assault and instead began the coil itself around Varg, as a puppy wold it’s master.

After ensuring that the pool was now safe, Beren dove back down to search the bottom or loot discarded by others that Argarak had killed. And loot he found! Silver! [1d]

Turn 11 – Knowing that the would have to proceed away from the light of the fungus, Karolina tried to relight Beren’s torch (which had gone out when he fell into the water) but the water level outside was rising and a drizzle started falling down making it impossible [Survivalist Ob 3. Fail. Twist: Water coming down, a factor in all rolls]

Giving up on light, we decided to explore with only Varg’s candle to guide us. We backtracked some, to go down those steps in a hidden passage, but they only led to a old fishing hole filled with discarded nets, line, and hooks. There was a hole that dropped down into a river below, and braver, might you say, more adventurous souls might have jumped it to see where it went, but we were having none of that.

We climbed back up the steps and crossed the pool. Argarak swam with Varg on his back, but the rest of us had to plunge back into the waters and swim to the other side. Eventually the water gave way to land and we pulled ourselves onto the far shore.. into the layer of the lizardmen.

Turn 12 – From here we saw four different winding passages going down, all filled with the echoing calls of lizardmen. Karolina listed down each hall to try and figure out if one was different from the other. The others aided but the echos made it confusing and by the end, she identified the hallway that contained the deepest, lowest, most booming voice, but was convinced that Lizardmen were all around her and would jump out at any moment. [Scout Ob 3. Fail. Condition: Afraid. Helpers gain condition: Hungry and Thirsty]

All of us were now wearier for our travel [Beren gained Exhausted, Karolina Hungry and Thirsty, and Varg Angry]. Karolina shared the water she had collected in her bottle, and they carried on, down the deepest, darkest, scariest (okay, channeling Karolina here) tunnel of them all.

As we descended we heard activity around us, growing closer and closer. The lizardmen were following us and closing in. When the tunnel opened up into a cavern we spotted the lizard man kin, a monstrous beast with a black head that towered over 8′ tall.  He sat on a throne and above him was a might warhammer that looked as though it was forged by dwarves. In his retinue were several other servants tending to him and a cage with a young dwarven girl in it, surely Thurn’s daughter. There was a great blackness, a window opening to an empty void in one wall and tracks form the days of King Agnocost leading leading out of it into darkness.

Turn 13 – The cavern was now filled with lizard men watching is and waiting on their leader to command them. He spoke in common tongue “Come. Tell us who you are before we eat you.” Varg approached and boasted that he was a powerful wizard and that he had ensorcled their pet Argarak, who now served him. We joined in and spoke of his might, and of the other mighty creatures he has under his command that would come down and destroy them if they challenged us.” 

We started a convince conflict that we won with a minor compromise, but the stakes of that conflict were the heated issue. Karolina wanted to rescue the girl. Beren wanted the dwarven Hammer. Varg wanted the scepter. Since Varg was walking forward and making demands he captained the conflict, which also meant he set the stakes. The king laughed at us and told us he would show us the scepter, but only because it amused him to do so. His god would devour us. And with great haste the lizardmen grabbed us and tossed us out the window in the wall, to the great back void outside.

Argarak followed and leapt out after us!

Thoughts on this game

Another great cliff hanger ending. This one being more like a fell off a cliff and falling ending, bu you get the idea.

Varg super saved the day this game. First by charming the crock, and then by leveraging that charm to convince the lizardman king. He was the most MVP of MVPs.

That said, Karolina is furious with him. She’s outraged that he traded the girl’s life for the scepter. She may be afraid, but she’ll take her chances against the wizard!

Walking down to the Lizardman Kig’s lair while we were angry, afraid, exhausted and injured. Brilliant!

3 thoughts on “Actual Play – Argarak, my friend (1/31/2014)”

  1. ‘Varg had been the victim of a sleep spell at the end of last session’…material components for that spell: 1 comfy couch, 1 iPad propped up in a hands-free position, 1 toddler.

  2. Your missing one turn. Turn 13 was a scout test to look around the great hall to find anything of use. A full description of the room including the two overturned but intact mining carts was given. Not sure who made this roll but I think it was Beren. Turn 14 was the negotiation conflict.

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