Actual Play – Kobold Negotiations (9/25/2013)

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

Having just fled a cave in, our intrepid adventurers came face to face with a trio of kobolds. On a leash and collar the held a man captive, a man who begged the adventurers to leave and not cause any more trouble!

Prologue

Thrallson recounted the story of our adventurers journey Under the House! Discussion of how a prologue fits into the story itself. Do the adventurers stop to recount their story? Is it a voice over? “Now right about that time, the Duke brothers were in some deep kimchi.”

Negotiations on Air

Turn by Turn

I opened describing the scene. The large cavern made kitchen and four very startled figures. After depicting Ronwald and the three Kobolds in brief detail, I turned to the players and asked “what do you do?”

Turn 13 – Weapons were drawn, threats were made. Milton, speaking Kobold, addressed the Kobolds and made an offer “Let’s not shed blood if we don’t have too”.  We had some challenges figuring out what the stakes of the conflict were. First because Milton was lying to the Kobolds, so what he said he wanted wasn’t what he really wanted. Also, many of the others were advancing with weapons threatening them, which was intimidating but not ingratiating.

Milton and Berti, midway through the conflict took each other out. Their eyes locked in a fierce stare down, neither could take actions in the conflict until snapped out of it by their friends.

The conflict was a tense one. Three Kobolds apparently willing to kill the human captive they had to keep the adventurers at bay were a frightening mix. Several characters dropped out of the conflict and were brought back in through defends.

Final result, the adventurers one, freeing Ronwald, but suffering a compromise that the Kobolds took them up on their offers to offer them amnesty and protection from any wrath their respective tribes would incur.  Berti, Brot, and Kerp!

Conditions applied (a turn late, bad GM). Miles was now Exhausted. Everyone else was Hungry and Thirsty. Aranim’s torch burnt out.

Turn 14 – Thrallson wanted Ronwald freed, but the Kobold’s weren’t willing to give up their property. Yes they were allies, but allies didn’t give each other their own stuff! Specifically they wanted Ronwald because he can cook. Milton offered the ring off his finger and to have Cleg cook for them. [Versus test. Result: Success]. Kerp snatched the ring out of Milton hand and shoved the leash into it!

Milton removed the leash and was subject to much mockery from the kobolds for throwing away stuff. “You’re throwing away the thing we just traded for? Why would you do a stupid thing like that? Stupid Human.”

After the conversation Thrallson’s lantern burned down and Aranim lit a torch. The moved on and entered the chamber crammed full of loot stolen from the inn, including Ronwald’s desk!

The Kobolds told them that further ahead was Crooked Tooth (and back the way they came was Saw Back).

Turn 15 – Wary of being attacked by the Crooked Tooth on one site and the Saw Back on the other side, the dwarves set about to secure the camp. Blocking the passage in one direction and setting up an alarm of flatware from the other.  [Survivalist Ob 2. Result: Success. +1 on the Unsafe Camp events table].

Camp phase Achieved

[Camp roll 9 +1 (for survivalist) = Safe Camp].

Instinct – Cleg cooked a mean for the whole group (Ronwald and Kobolds included) [Cooking Ob 3. Result: Fail. Twist.] The meal tasted fine, some extra stuff from the limestone cavern slipped into the soup, but Cleg was sure everyone would be fine (This twist had a long tail, didn’t come into play until the next session).

Instinct – Aranim sung the songs of the ancients to ease the sufferings of others, to help them overcome their anger. [Nature Ob 4. Result: Success]. Hearing the songs and enjoying the food of Cleg, the revenuers anger was soothed, and Berti passed out (good food + music = sleepy kobold).

Instinct – Milton, making good use of the writing desk, took out his notes plus tokens acquired, and with these reminders made a map of their travels. [Cartography Ob 3. Result: Success]

Check – Aranim crafted a poultice to help Miles recover from his exhaustion [Healer Ob 1. Result: Success]. A bit of elf pipe weed was rolled.

Check – Miles, smoking the pipe, tried to recover from his exhaustion, but the fatigue cloyed to him [Heath Ob 3. Result: Fail]

 Thoughts on the game

It took us an hour to do a convince conflict, partially that was because it was our first conflict, and partially because the communication barrier led to a lot of creative emoting that took some time to think up. Also, there was some confusion on my part, as to what the adventurers were trying to achieve (to scare them or to befriend them, which it turned out to be a little of both).

I love kobold antics. It’s my greatest pleasure as a GM to play these little guys.