Actual Play – The A-Team (7/18/2013)

torchbearer-rpgGM: Sean Nittner
Players: Dylan Nix, Joey Richards, Josh Curtis, and Lindsay Nix
System: Torchbearer
Adventure: Under the House of Three Squires

Yay. More Torchbearer.

Warning: There will be spoilers in these write ups. If you intent to play Under the House of the Three Squires I recommend not reading the play synopsis.

I put word out a little while back that I was looking for a new group to play Under the House of Three Squires.

And a few days later!

 

Introduction to the game

As Torchbearer is still very new (to me as well), I spent a bit of time with the players talking about what the game did, and didn’t do. It seemed like everyone picked up on the vibe of the game very quickly. John Harper gave me the perfect quote that I think captures the themes of exploration and survival. “Think less Tolkien and more surviving Vietnam.”  Not only is that super apt, it sets the tone of the game perfectly.

Character Creation… on Air!

Although we made it a few steps into the Three Squires (a few precarious steps), most of the game was spent during character creation, which we have right here:

Character creation in this game is a lot of fun. There are some hard choices (like which skill and which gear to pick) and some really defining ones (like belief and instinct). Here’s what we we came up with.

Alwyn the Disciple

Stock: Human
Class: Cleric
Age: 23
Home: Bustling Metropolis
Raiment: A silver holy symbol shaped like an ouroboros.
Parents: None, orphan
Mentor: Jaina the Dungeoneer
Friend: Samwise the Steward
Enemy: Brigmore the Acolyte (Human Cleric)
Level: 1
Alignment: Chaos
Belief: It’s not what I can do for the Gods, but what the Gods can do for me.
Goal: I will drive out whatever darkness fouled this place, so the Gods owe me a favor.
Instinct: Always check for traps.
Raw Abilities: Will 4, Health 4, Nature 5
Town Abilities: Circles 4, Resources 0
Nature Descriptors: Boasting, Demanding, Running
Skills: Ritualist 4, Theologian 3, Fighter 2, Healer 2, Scholar 1, Haggler 4, Manipulator 2, Dungeoneer 2
Wise: Thug-wise
Traits: Touched by the Gods (1), Foolhardy (1)

Inventory

Neck: holy symbol
Hands

Worn: father’s gold ring (1D treasure)
Worn:
Carried: flail
Carried: shield

Torso

Worn: leather
Worn: backpack
Worn: (backpack)

Belt

Pouch: tinderbox
Weapon: flail
Skin: wine

Feet: shoes
Backpack

preserved rations
preserved rations
large sack
torches (4)
rope
(rope)

Nature Answers: Boast, Demand, Quest for treasure

Circles Answers: Has a friend (Samwise the Steward), Orphan (fathers gold ring), has a mentor (Jaina the Dungeoneer), has an enemy (Brigmore the Acolyte)

Fate: 0
Persona: 0

Alexander the Righteous

Stock: Human
Class: Warrior
Age: 43
Home: Religious Bastion
Raiment: Dark black leather
Parents: None, orphan
Mentor: Joroth the Cartographer
Friend: Sara the Theologian
Enemy: Zheen the Warrior
Level: 1
Alignment: Unaffiliated
Belief: A person can change, given enough time.
Goal: I will ensure my companions come to no harm.
Instinct: Always map our progress at camp.
Raw Abilities: Will 4, Health 4, Nature 3
Town Abilities: Circles 4, Resources 0
Nature Descriptors: Boasting, Demanding, Running
Skills: Cartographer 3, Commander 2, Criminal 3, Fighter 4, Hunter 3, Mentor 2, Persuader 2, Rider 2
Wise: Prison-wise
Traits: Heart of Battle (1), Scarred (1)

Inventory

Head: Helmet
Neck: None
Hands

Worn: Father’s Gold Ring (1D treasure)
Worn:
Carried: Two-handed sword
Carried: (Two-handed sword)

Torso

Worn: leather
Worn: backpack
Worn: (backpack)

Belt

Pouch: tinderbox
Skin: wine

Feet: shoes
Backpack

Large Sack
Torches (4)
Rations, preserved
Rations, preserved
Rope
(rope)

Circles Answers: Has a friend (Sara the Theologian), Orphan (fathers gold ring), has a mentor (Joroth the Cartographer), has an enemy (Zheen the Warrior)

Fate: 0
Persona: 0

Astrafel

Stock: Human
Class: Magician
Age: 17
Home: Wizard’s Tower
Raiment: Blue cloak with silver stitching
Parents: Aster (father)
Mentor: Regina the Healer
Friend: Margaret the Scholar
Enemy: None
Level: 1
Alignment: Unaffiliated
Belief: Everything can be fixed by magic.
Goal: I will rescue any poor souls trapped below.
Instinct: Always tend the wounds at camp.
Raw Abilities: Will 5, Health 3, Nature 4
Town Abilities: Circles 4, Resources 0
Nature Descriptors: Boasting, Demanding, Running
Skills: Alchemist 4, Arcanist 2, Cartographer 2, Healer 2, Lore Master 2, Persuader 2, Scholar 3, Survivalist 3
Wise: Book-wise
Traits: Wizard’s Sight (1), Skeptical (1)

Inventory

Head: None
Neck: Spell supplies
Hands

Worn: Spell supplies
Worn: Spell supplies
Carried:
Carried:

Torso

Worn: Cloack
Worn: backpack
Worn: (backpack)

Belt

Pouch: mirror
Skin: wine

Feet: shoes
Backpack

Small sack (2)
Torches (4)
Rations, preserved
Rations, preserved
Spellbook
(Spellbook)

Circles Answers: Has a friend (Margaret the Scholar), Has Parents (Aster), has a mentor (Regina the Healer), no enemy.

Fate: 0
Persona: 0

Allen Losthome

Stock: Dwarf
Class: Adventurer
Age: 30
Home: Busy Crossroads
Raiment: Dwarven boots
Parents: Jane and John Weaver (adopted human parents)
Mentor: None
Friend: Benedictine the Rider
Enemy: Barleyman Hairback the Burgler
Level: 1
Alignment: Lawf
Belief: The only good kobold is a dead kobold.
Goal: I will vanquish the culprit behind these dastardly dreads.
Instinct: Always look for an ambush when entering an area.
Raw Abilities: Will 5, Health 5, Nature (Dwarf) 5
Town Abilities: Circles 4, Resources 0
Nature Descriptors: Delving, Crafting, Avenging a Grudge
Skills: Armorer: 2, Cook: 2, Dungeoneer: 3, Fighter: 3, Orator: 3, Scout: 3, Laborer: 2
Wise: Shrewd Appraisal-wise, Kobold-wise
Traits: Born of Earth and Stone (1), Quick-Witted (1)

Inventory

Head: Helmet
Neck:
Hands

Worn:
Worn:
Carried: Lantern
Carried:

Torso

Worn: Satchel
Worn: Cloak
Worn: Leather armor

Belt

Pouch: 2D treasure
Weapon Slot: Sword
Skin: wine

Feet: shoes
Satchel

Oil, flask (x2)
Rations, fresh
Tinderbox

Circles Answers: Has a friend (Benedictine the Rider), has Parents (Jane and John Weaver), no  mentor (2d treasure), has enemy (Barleyman Hairback the Burgler).

Fate: 0
Persona: 0

Enter the House of the Three Squires

We started with the brief introduction provided in the adventure:

…The evening is cold and blustery when you arrive at the stockade that surrounds the House of the Three Squires, and you have built up a powerful thirst for one of the famed Three Squires sour beers. The stockade gate stands open and unattended, occasionally slamming home with a great thud when the wind catches it just right. It does not take you long to realize that something is very wrong at the Three Squires…

Quickly the entered and investigated the House… and found it ransacked, with a trail or splintered wood and blood leading down the stairs into darkness.

Allen Losthome’s lantern lit, he and Astrafel examined the blood and near it noticed thin translucent scales…of Kobolds! Filled with an life-long hate for the dog-faced creatures, Allen charged down the stairs and thumped his dwarven boot right down on a step rigged to collapse!

Thoughts on the game

We left on a cliffhanger, before any dice were rolled. Technically a hunter check should have been made to recognize the scaled, but I telegraphed that a bit heavily and Josh quickly picked up where I was going with it, declaring them Kobolds before I said the word. I considered that a  “clever idea” and was happy to proceed with out a test (or turn passing).

So far we’ve just done character creation, so there isn’t much to say about the game as such, but I do think that since it took 90 minutes for generation, I’m going to bring the sample characters from the book (Karolina and company) when I run it at cons.