Actual Play – Cave in! (9/11/2013)

torchbearer-rpgGM: Sean Nittner
Players: Chris Moore, Colin Madden, David Gallo, Mark Miller, and Max Külshammer.
System: Torchbearer
Module: Under the House of the Three Squires

Five awesome guys rolled up five desperate adventurers. Thrallson, the dwarf who’s name was taken from him by his own kin. Aranim, the elf who lost his wife, and in turn, his son. Miles and Milton, friends from the Wizard’s tower. Cleg, the son of merchants, trying to find his own way.

Adventuring on Air

 Turn by Turn

Turn 1 – Entering the inn, smelling it’s musk, they examined the inn and found the scales that had been shed. Milton looked at them further [Hunter Ob 2. Result: Success] His knowledge of Kobolds paid off! These were Kobold scales.

Thrawllson lit his lantern

Instinct – Before they went down the steps, Thrallson exampled them for traps [Scout Ob 2. Result: Fail. Twist] And he found them! But the trap found him too. Thrallson carefully inspected the steps and three down he found where they were sawed to collapse… and collapse they did.

Flashback to Aranim’s past – and see the tragic fate of his son

Turn 2 – Thrallson, with the aid of his dwarf-in-arms Cleg scrambled to leap up [Heath Ob 2. Result: Success]. He lept to the top, just as the stairs collapsed.

Turn 3 – The dwarves sent to making a safe way down. With rope and spikes from Miles, the built a rope ladder and secured it to the the floor of the inn [Weaver Ob 3. Result: Success]

Turn 4 – (what happened to turn 4?)

Tiresome work! Hungry and Thirsty. Rations eaten, water drunk! Thrallson’s lantern and Torch lit.

Turn 5- Hearing the whine behind the pile, the adventurers pull apart the giant pile of debris. Thrallson pulls the pile apart carefully [Laborer Ob 1. Result: Success]. After the door is open a German Shepard burst through.

Turn 6 – Aranim tries to sooth the dog with his ancient elvish words. Singing a soothing song [Nature (in place of Hunter) Ob 2. Success. Check gained]. The dog devoured the food and befriends Aranim.

Milton lights a torch.

Turn 7 – After recovering the casks of Sour Beer, Cleg investigated the wine cellar to see if anything else was there. [Scout Ob 3. Result: Fail. Twist: As the rack comes loose, a net trap falls on them].

Turn 8 – The Net trap falls and the party dives out of the way. [Heath Ob 3. Result: Success, they leap out of the way!]

Milton’s torch burns down and lights another. Lantern burns out and is relit [GM Error: This should have happened when the net fell, and made the Ob for escaping the net harder]. Loot found!

Clever Idea – Aranim used the smell from Ronwald’s helmet to help his dog sniff out his trail. Brilliant!

Turn 9 – Moving forward the dog ran into the pit trap set by the Kobolds. Aranim and friends had to dive to save him [Heath Ob 2. Result: Success]

Turn 10 – Crossing the pit, with some help of dwarven ingenuity! [Dungeoneering Ob 4. Result: Success]

Turn 11 – Making their way down a steep slope using the narrow steps, rope and spikes. [Dungeoneering Ob 4. Result: Success]

Turn 12 – At the bottom of the stone steps, Ronwald’s do lost his scent in the muck, however footprints both human and Kobold were found. Miles, taking charge set off to find the way. [Scout Ob. Result: Fail. Twist, his scouting was interrupted by a cave in!]

Fleeing the cave in the party stumbled right into a small group of kobolds, holding a man (Ronwald) by a leash! Startled by the quake, and the sudden presence of adventurers, the kobolds reached for their spears and slings!

Thoughts on this game

I botched all kinds test and turn order business in this game. I think I missed that Thrallson was using an instinct to scout for traps and accidentally applied conditions after turn 3 instead of 4. But then later I didn’t apply conditions after turn 8 or 12.

I really liked some of the players ideas (using the torch to mark passage and having the dog sniff it’s way to it’s master). I play with smart peeps.

And here is one characters’s backgrounds…

Aranim’s Story

Once known by another name, Aranim in his youth befriended a young human girl of unsurpased beauty and uncommon intellect. They soon fell in love and he would visit her often until one day she bore him a child and he stayed with her at the edge of the forest ot raise the boy. On his 13th year Aranim took his son Hrafnir boar hunting and he was mortally wounded. Unable to save him, Aranim rushed his son to the Elflands to beseech the aid of his kin. They were able to save the boy but for revealing their lands to a non-fey he was stripped of his name and banished forever.

Upon returning to human lands more years had passed they he and his son had realized for Elf lands have a strange effect on time; his wife had faded away her life being artificially extended by the Elf’s grace and his abscence and the grief she felt from his parting were too much to bare. Hrafnir was angry over this and developed a terrible grudge against his father, due partly from his mother’s death but equally from also knowing the beauty of the elf lands and knowing that he too, like his father, would never see them again.

Now Aranim wanders the land, longing for a life he cannot live and praying for death that he cannot bring upon himself.