Torchbearer Rule Questions
A list of common questions about how to play the game.
Can a GM give both a twist and condition for failure?
No. The rules say one or the other. A Condition means they have achieved the objective but at a cost. A twist can either be 'resolved unfavorably' (the bridge collapses) or 'unresolved' (the rope falls down into a nest of griffins; or, you find the road to town but it is occupied by brigands).
Can a GM skip to a particular condition as a result of failure?
Yes. Each skill has guidelines for appropriate conditions resulting from failure (see Conditional Failure Guidelines, page 78). Generally, a GM should try to abide by the guidelines and the order of the conditions. However, as these are suggestions, a GM may determine that, given the situation, a more serious condition is an appropriate cost for a risky action.
Can other characters help with recovery rolls in camp?
No. Recovery is an independent test where each character is on their own. A character can spend rewards, tap nature, or use traits to benefit yourself. Wine can provide +1D to recovery from angry or afraid. A cloak can provide +1D to recovery from exhausted.
Is treatment for a condition considered “recovery”?
No. A character can go for treatment to alleviate a condition. Alchemist can treat angry, afraid and exhausted. Healer can treat injured and sick. Other characters can help in treatment.
Are the obstacle factors for Dim Light and Darkness cumulative?
No. Darkness increases the obstacle for a test by a factor of one.
Can you create Bright Light with two Dim Lights? If two characters hold a torch and overlap their Dim Light does the light stack to create Bright Light?
No. Choose which characters are in Dim light.
Can a torch be snuffed out or extinguished in a conflict?
Depends. Ordinarily, in a physical or combat conflict, no. If a player is knocked out of the conflict, the torch is considered to be “dropped” on to the ground to provide illumination throughout the conflict. A dropped torch provides Dim light for two. However, the GM decides if the torch is extinguished or dropped as appropriate for the situation. For example, in the context of a flee conflict and as the result of a spell or a change in circumstances, the GM can rule that the torch goes out.
Can torches be shuffled during turns?
Yes. As it makes sense for a situation and provided there is nothing inhibiting such a transfer, torches can be moved around freely.
Can torches be shuffled in reaction to a Twist?
No. You cannot move torches until the Twist is resolved. Light is determined at the time the Twist is triggered.
Can the light-bearing character choose to be in Dim light?
No. They are always in Bright light.
Do I have to roll Survivalist to light a torch?
Depends. In most situations, no. The player just announces it, marks off the torch on the sheet, and the GM updates the light tokens. However, there must be time to allow for the uninterrupted action. If some twist or obstacle would hinder such a mundane action, then, at the GM's discretion, the light could be extinguished leaving the party in darkness.
Weapons & Items
Does a Crossbow or a Hand Crossbow turn Attack vs. Attack into a versus test in a conflict similar to bows?
Do magic items have level requirements?
Depends. Officially, level requirements have been dropped. A future book might address this. However, GMs can keep them if it makes sense for their campaign.
How do level requirements for items work?
The level requirements for items have been officially removed. However, GMs can keep them for now, if it makes sense for their campaign. If so, a character must be of a certain Class level to use the item--the idea being that certain objects are too powerful for a starting character to wield.
Do you check for armor damage every time you are hit with a damaging weapon (like a mace versus chain mail) or only at the end the battle?
Yes. Check every time you are hit.
Do you check for armor damage when a character is attacked but not successfully hit?
No. If the character is not hit nor about to take damage from a hit, then the armor is not checked. When the character taking the action is hit in a Conflict and would ordinarily take damage, check for armor damage. Helpers do not use or benefit from their armor.
Can I use my armor if I help on an action?
No. Helpers cannot apply their armor to the action of another character. Only the character leading the action can use armor for that action. The helper's armor does not provide a benefit for the character leading the action.
Can my armor prevent excess damage from taking a hit?
No. If the character leading the action is knocked out and the excess damage rolls over on to your character with armor, your character cannot benefit from armor. Armor only helps the person that is the direct target of the attack. Armor only reduces an attacker’s successful or tied Attack or Feint action by -1s (see Armor, page 37). Armor/helmets do not benefit anyone that's subject to excess, or "splash," damage. Excess points of damage are removed directly from the player(s) (see Taking Hits, page 69).
Which characters take a Condition as a compromise from a failed conflict?
Depends. Based on the situation of the conflict, the GM may decide to apply the same Condition to the entire party, apply to those that lost disposition only, or to apply the Condition to the Conflict Captain and lesser conflicts to the rest of the party. The GM has the discretion to apply the Conditions as would fit and make sense for the situation.
Does the GM declare the monster's weapon first?
Yes. The GM announces which weapon the monster is going to use in the conflict before the players chose their weapons. The players can use this information as they 'table talk' to craft a strategy for their actions. See Adventure Phase Procedures, page 183.
Does the GM select the monster's actions first?
Yes. The players and the GM choose actions privately. The GM lays down all three action cards face down before the players discuss their strategy to select their own actions. See Conflict Procedures, page 185.
Do monsters get to use traits?
No. Monsters don't have traits. See Monstrous Conditions, page 151.
Do monsters get free actions for using their instinct?
No. Monsters have an instinct that provides information for the GM on how to run the creature, but that does not provide free actions or a mechanical benefit to the monster. See Instinct, page 150.
Do monsters need skills?
No. Roll the monster's Nature for actions. Monsters only roll in opposition to characters. See Instinct, page 150.
Do I need to roll Cartography a second time to fast travel to a location after successfully making a map?
No. A single Cartography test creates the map and allows the fast-travel ability--provided that there are no new Obstacles that would prevent such travel, such as destroyed bridges, avalanches covering the cave opening, or a monster giving chase to the party. Once the map is created, it can be used without a test.
Can Cartography be used in the Wilderness above the dungeon?
Yes. Make a list of overland areas as well.
Do I test Cartographer again if I want to add more locations to a partial map?
How can I use Nature?
Can I chose to roll Nature if I have a skill?
No. If you have a skill, you can no longer choose to use Nature instead of that skill. If you do not have the skill, you can roll a number of dice equal to your current Nature. See Nature, page 133.
Can anyone help with the Lifestyle test when leaving town?
No. Lifestyle is an independent test that each character must make alone. Players may leave town whenever they wish, and the test for each character happens separately and without help (see Town Phase Procedures, page 184).
Can you help with Resources when someone goes to the market?
Yes. Characters can help another character make a purchase at the market using Resources. Helping characters are subject to Resource tax or to the twist as normal.
Can I purchase supplies from the Town Market during Adventure Phase?
No. Town activities, such as using the Market or Guild, require a full Town Phase. 'Going to town' encompasses everything in a Town Phase - each player must find accomodations while the player spends the day shopping around town trying to find a merchant to purchase the item. However, some GMs will put small towns inside a dungeon or add a steading along the road to keep the pacing of the adventure. Still, the group must enter town, pay Lifestyle, and then leave town. See Town Phase Procedures, page 184.
Can you Level Up Twice in the same Town Phase?
No. You can only level up once per town phase, one level at a time. The "next level" means the next "one" level.
Can you leave town, turn around, and immediately return to Town to Level Up a second time?
Depends. Yes, you can technically leave town and return immediately, though you'll be subject to town events and lifestyle all over again. However, the situation can by tricky. Once the Adventure Phase begins, the GM can choose to start the party at the door of the dungeon or choose to present a situation that would require a map or a Good Idea! to resolve. Some GMs start at new adventures outside of existing maps, or a GM might require the players go to a different town to level up again. The GM can also present hazards and obstacles before Entering Town as well.
Turns & The Grind
Does the Grind hit after the roll for the fourth turn?
Yes. After a player rolls every fourth turn during the Adventure Phase, the obstacle is resolved, the Grind hits, players take a condition, and then the next turn begins. See Adventure Phase Procedures, page 183.
After breaking camp, does the turn counter start at 1 again?
Yes. After leaving camp, the group begins on Turn 1.
If the party makes camp on Turn 4, do they suffer from the Grind?
No. If on Turn 4, the party spends a check to make camp, they begin Camp Phase. Since there was no test on Turn 4, the party does not suffer from the Grind. This is a common strategy for characters to retain the Fresh condition.
Can I recast, or immediately retry to cast, a failed spell or prayer?
No. Once a mage or cleric invokes a spell or prayer, it is removed from the inventory. The spell or prayer will have to be re-memorized to be invoked again.