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.

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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?

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