Actual Play – 15 Kobolds…Tricked! (12/11/2013)

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

Everyone is Here

Last two sessions we didn’t have everyone, but tonight we had a full house.

Prologue – Milton delivered a detailed and inspiring recount of last session. Painfully reminding us of the treasure lost and then frightful flight form Uttan the stone spider. After recounting the story to his friends he was no longer afraid.

Missing – Miles then told us what happened to him during the session he missed. He had captured by the Kobolds, who were now trying to cook him alive. Arguing of course over which bit to put in the fire first.

Corralling Kobolds on Air

Torchbearing by Turns

 Turn 10 – Miles, not wanting to be either cooked alive, or chopped up so he could be cooked in pieces, twisted and turned so that at the last minute, the Kobold went into the boiling water instead. [Fighter versus test. Success]

Turn 11 – Meanwhile, Milton concocted an alchemical bomb from sulfer and spider webs that would explode when thrown into the fire. [Alchemist Ob 2 (3 with exhaustion). Success]

Turn 12 – As the Kobolds surrounded Miles, both amused and irritated by Miles show of bravery. To prevent them from boiling him, Miles stepped into the fire, catching his bonds in fire (and himself along with it). Just then Milton threw his bomb into the fire. [Will Ob 4 (5 with exhaustion). Success!] The Kobolds ran around in a panic. Miles was knocked back by the explosion on fire. Some kobolds ran, some grabbed weapons to fight, and one not so clever one decided that if bombs were going off, more bombs should go off, so he grabbed a bomb.

Everyone was now hungry and thirsty.

Turn 13 – On fire, Miles stopped, dropped, and rolled to put himself out. [Health Ob 2. Fail. Condition: Afraid] Though he was able to stop the flames, Miles was no more immune to this sudden scare than the Kobolds were, and was terrified by all the cacophony.

Turn 14 – One Kobold, in a panic smacked into Thrallson, bouncing off him. He groped for his blade but Thrallson cut him down before he could act [Fighter versus test. Success].

Turn 15 – The others who saw this ran in fear. The leader, wearing a headdress and holding a spear withdrew warily. In Clegs peripheral vision, he caught the one lone kobold carrying a bomb running right at him, with no apparent regard for his own safety.  Cleg threw his axe and the suicidal kobold and planted it right in his head. The Kobold staggered back looking stunned for just a moment and then exploded [Fighter versus test. Success]

Turn 16 – Having routed them, the adventurers ran them down into the kitchen. Capture conflict! Kobold’s tried to feint with a bomb, but it turned out just to be a rock. Cleg ran them down but Milton heard the others shouting “Quick, tell Crooked Tooth” [Minor compromise]. In the room they found the body of Ronwald, killed by Kobolds.

Loot found

  • Sling and ammunition in Lizard Funk’s sock.
  • Headdress that served as a helmet.

Everyone was exhausted, and those that weren’t exhausted were angry!

Thrallson was beside himself, hating all these Kobolds. He put a kobold on butchers block and started chopping them up. His party, instead of holding him back, egged him on. It was a grisly mess.

Saw Back, the leader tried to plead for his life. He offered to trade the prisoner’s lives for his own. Then he offered to give the Crooked Tooth. As Thrallson was about to put him on the block as well, Milton stayed his hand. Saw Back offered to lure out Crooked Tooth so they could rescue their friends.  After some deliberation as to what to do, they heard a human scream and commotion echoing through the corridors. No time. Thrallson removed Saw Back’s head.

Seeing that there was a chimney in this room, they started thinking about ways out… or places to hide.

Turn 17 – Lizard Funk, who spoke human tongue, told them they had better run and hide. Milton tried to convince him to help them hide in the chimney and let Crooked Tooth’s soldiers run by. [Persuader versus test (Factors for being both Angry and Exhausted). Success]. Lizard Funk agreed to help them in exchange for his own life.

 Turn 18 – The war band on their heels, Thrallson cleared the logs out of the fire so they wouldn’t get cooked or smoked to death in the chimney [Survivalist Ob 1 (2 with Exhausted). Success]

Turn 19 – Wasting no time the dwarves shoved the humans up ahead of them and then climbed into form the base support to hold those above. [Dungeoneer Ob 5 (6 with Exhausted). Success]

Turn 20 – “Lizard Funk. WHAT HAPPENED HERE?” Clearly Lizard Funk was a bit out of his league and couldn’t answer, but the adventurers had an edge. Only he spoke human tongue, so they could quietly feed him lines. [A trick conflict via proxy! Total Victory!] The Kobolds charged ahead as the party tumbled down out of the chimney!

Thoughts on the game

Why isn’t “on fire” a condition? Light source for one person. Dim light for one other. After one turn remove this condition and take the injured condition.

It seems a little rough that when Milton scared all of the kobolds I gave every other party member some challenge to deal with (Miles putting out the fire that was burning him, Thrallson and Cleg defending themselves against crazed kobolds). The rolls were pretty easy, but there is a huge opportunity cost in Torchbearer for doing anything, and by making them make all those rolls, I wonder if I did them an injustice.

Things to know about Kobolds…they don’t like being grabbed by their crests!

Things also to know…under their scales kobold have a nasty funk that builds up… they shake on important deals with it.

Still it’s easy to forget about dim light and exhaustion (or really any factors that add to the Ob).

Is climbing up considered “delving”? I ruled no. Greedy dwarves seek to go every down, but don’t necessarily have provisions for getting back up.

This has to have been the best conflict ever. A trick from inside a chimney. I love it any time the players have to figure out bizarre ways of overcoming obstacles. This was the best.