Have You Heard the One About…

You All Meet at an Inn… by Rebekah Bennington

Hello friends!

The Rumor Events Table in the Town chapter is perfectly fine, but if you’ve been running Torchbearer for a while, you might be a bit bored with it. Fortunately for you, Luke has worked up a brand new table to add a little spice to your trip to the tavern. It’s actually a combination of rumors and events.

Check it out, use it in your game and let us know how it goes!

Tavern

Travelers meet at the tavern for a drink, a meal and to share news. You can slake your thirst here, hire help and listen to the rumor mill.

Drink

✤ Drinking at the tavern satisfies your hunger and thirst. You may also make recovery tests (as per the normal rules) for angry and afraid, if you order more drinks.
Drinking Lifestyle Cost: +1 per drink
✤ Each drink you buy at the tavern earns you a rumor. Roll on the Tavern Rumors table.

Tavern Rumors and Events

After you buy a drink at the tavern, roll 3d6 for a rumor!

3 The strange elder. A kindly old woman approaches your table and…(GM chooses one)

  • Drapes an elven amulet around your neck.
  • Drapes a cursed amulet around your neck.
  • Gives you a basket of baked goods.
  • Implores you to avenge her son’s death.

4 A cloaked figure sits huddled in the corner, coughing blood. Beckoning you closer, you see something valuable clutched in his moribund hand.

5 Enemy expedition. Your enemy, well-equipped but secretive, enters the tavern with a motley group.

6 Rival crew. You meet unlikely and unreliable would-be adventurers looking to add to their crew. Will you join forces?

7 Sudden appearance. Your friend, bedraggled and disheveled from the road, bursts into the tavern with an incredible tale to tell…

8 Beware. As you leave, the hosteler warns you to look out for…

  • 1-2 Bandits, raiders from a nearby hostile holding
  • 3 Goblins, orcs or gnolls raiding near the settlement
  • 4 A troll who lurks under a bridge
  • 5 Ghosts who haunt the road
  • 6 A giant who straddles the river

9 The traveler. You meet an injured/terrified traveler arriving with a tale of…

  1. Abduction
  2. Robbery
  3. A terrifying detour
  4. A bizarre place
  5. A miraculous happening
  6. A frightening monster

10 An omen of things to come…

  1. An unkindness of ravens mocks you from the trees outside
  2. The moon is red/the sky is red.
  3. As you leave the tavern, the road is utterly silent—no bird, no insect, no animal makes a sound
  4. Thunder rolls and lightning crashes in the distance
  5. A stone carved with strange runes sits concealed in the brush just outside the tavern
  6. The wind seems to howl your name

11 Watch rumors. An old man who was on watch last night tells you that ghouls were seen digging in the grave pits last night. Roll for who was actually digging in the grave pits:

  1. Ghouls
  2. Grave robbers
  3. A desperate necromancer
  4. Foolish children
  5. A group of deranged wastrels
  6. A barrow wight

12 Job offer. You meet people (farmers, guildsmen, priests, nobility) looking for short-term muscle to:

  • Bolster a holding
  • Drive off some troublesome monsters (kobolds, bridge troll, restless dead)
  • Investigate a mysterious happening
  • Recover something from a recently overrun holding (a hostage, valuables, a keepsake, lore)
  • Safeguard travelers. Roll d6: 1 pilgrims, 2 merchants, 3 nobles, 4 priests, 5 regular folk, 6 a messenger
  • Settle a score
  • Re-establish contact with someplace lost

13 Dismaying news. You hear a rumor that strangely fits the details of your parents, their livelihood and an entirely credible calamity which has befallen them.

14 Messenger. As you depart the tavern, a messenger chases you down and delivers a sealed message from your mentor.

15 Bon chance. Your hosteler says she will foot your next bill if you would perchance help her with delivering a small package to her friend in a nearby town. If successful, you can stay at these accommodations for free for your next stay in this town.

16 Challenge. A drunk warrior holds the door and challenges all comers. If you dance with him, test your Fighter vs. the warrior’s Might 3, Fighter 6 and Level 3 Duelist trait or sit down.

17 Drunk priest. A drunken temple priest babbles about propitiatory rites to the Jotunn to be held beneath the temple this very night. She says they will sacrifice (roll d6):

  1. An orphan
  2. A captive
  3. A terrible beast
  4. A book of knowledge
  5. A spell book
  6. A powerful item

18 Spurned lover. The irate paramour of one of the leaders of this place is in the tavern spinning tales. Roll d6. They talk about:

  1. Their lover’s tainted nature
  2. An incoming shipment
  3. A strange visitor
  4. Their charlatan behavior
  5. A terrifying ritual
  6. The dark secret of their lover’s spouse

Making Friends and Influencing People

Walhall, die Götterwelt der Germanen (ca. 1905) by Emil Doepler

Hello friends!

You’ve decided you want your next Torchbearer character to be all mysterious and edgy, so you’ve  chosen to be a loner, tough and cool. No friends, no parents, no mentor. But you do have an enemy that has it in for you. Oops.

Continue reading

Friends shall gladden each other

Walhall, die Götterwelt der Germanen (ca. 1905) by Emil Doepler

[41] Friends shall gladden each other | with arms and garments,

As each for himself can see;

Gift-givers’ friendships | are longest found,

If fair their fates may be.

[42] To his friend a man | a friend shall prove,

And gifts with gifts requite;

But men shall mocking | with mockery answer,

And fraud with falsehood meet.

Hávamál, from The Poetic Edda, translated by Henry Adams Bellows

Hello friends!

How much do you make use of relationships in your games? Do the PCs frequently call in at home so their parents will do their laundry? Do they lean on their friends for help? Do they seek instruction and guidance from their mentors? Do they seek out their rivals for a loan? Why not?

Continue reading

It’s a Trap!

Fall by Rebekah Bennington

Hello friends!

I want to apologize for this blog’s recent hiatus. Many of you probably don’t know that my other hobby (apart from making games) is coaching women’s flat track roller derby. 

I coach two teams in the Gotham Girls Roller Derby league: Manhattan Mayhem (a home team) and the Gotham Girls Roller Derby All-Stars (a travel team). Over the past six weeks, Mayhem has played twice (a victory against Queens and a loss to Bronx), and the All-Stars have played five games across two tournaments (victories against New Jax (Jacksonville, Fl.), Arch Rival (St. Louis, Mo.), Victoria (Melbourne, Australia), Crime City (Malmö, Sweden) and Dirty South (Atlanta, Ga.)).

As you can imagine, I’ve been a little distracted! The good news is that both teams are now headed into the post-season. Mayhem will play Bronx again for the local championship in August. The All-Stars still have a few more games ahead, but our success has put us back in the #2 spot ahead of Victoria, and we hope to reclaim the Hydra from Rose City (Portland, Ore.) at the International WFTDA Championships in Montreal this November.

In the meantime, I’ve got a little breathing room to think about games once again — which is good, considering that this time next week I’ll be at Gen Con (Burning Wheel will be at booth 2150; come say hi!). On to Torchbearer!

Continue reading

Get a Job!

Loot by Rebekah Bennington

Hello friends!

In the Guild Hall section of the Town chapter Torchbearer1Page 91 we note that adventurers can use the Guild Hall to find work. It’s a great option if adventurers find themselves short of coin while in town, but as written the jobs only pay out a pouch of silver and there isn’t much guidance for GMs about what sorts of jobs the guilds might provide.

Continue reading

Lords of the Land

The Wild Hunt of Odin, by Peter Nicolai Arbo (1872)
The Wild Hunt of Odin, by Peter Nicolai Arbo (1872)

Hello friends!

We know that settlements in Torchbearer often have temples and shrines to various Immortals—they’re among the locations you can visit  during the town phase. But the temples and shrines are generic. It’s left to the GM to fill in the details. By default, people in Torchbearer give devotion to many Immortals. Most are simply worshipped collectively as the “Lords.” But it is not uncommon for settlements to pay special attention to a Young Lord: say Yngve the Lord of Sowing, an incarnation of the Lords of Plenty.

Continue reading