Torchbearer grind record

In Torchbearer, on every fourth turn candles go out and PCs gain a condition, on every third turn lanterns go out, and on every second turn torches go out. (Conditions are things like hungry, angry, and dead.) This is called the grind. I found that I wanted a nice record sheet that had this stuff on it, so that I could mark turns as they passed and know what was happening without needing to think about whether the turn was divisible by two, three, or four (and also because a record is nice to have).

So I made a grind record sheet, and here it is.

(The image below is kind of low-res, but if you click on it, you will get a PDF.)

Necropraxis Torchbearer grind record

Necropraxis Torchbearer grind record

6 thoughts on “Torchbearer grind record

  1. Vanguard

    I like it, but I wonder if it might be better to leave the turns blank so that players can record the turn on which a torch/candle/lantern was lit and track when it goes out more easily. Otherwise, I like it!

    1. Brendan Post author


      That gives me an idea. Leave columns for each type of light source, so that the referee could draw lines to represent the duration of specific lights. That way, it would be visually clear, for example, when a candle line reached four boxes. This would allow arbitrary light source duration offset. I need to think about how to map this to specific PCs though. Maybe initials at the top of the “burn line.” Expect a version 2.0 grind sheet soon!

  2. Michael Prescott

    Yes, it’s gorgeous, but I have similar concerns to Vanguard. (By the way, there’s a free PDF that comes with the game that is basically this sheet exactly. It might be in this set: There’s also a wrinkle with camp phase: it resets all counters. So if you camp every three turns, nobody ever gets hungry. (You ‘eat’ in camp of course, but that’s not part of the tracked inventory.)

    1. Brendan Post author


      I would assume that you would use a new grind sheet after every camp phase. (You could actually use the same physical sheet of paper, and just use a different kind of mark.) I do not think that players would ever be able to reliably camp every 3 turns unless you are running on super easy mode. For one thing, you would need to always be able to retreat with the number of turns remaining prior to the third turn, which seems unlikely. And camping in the dungeon… I do not think that is possible, if there is any degree of hazard. (Though I may be missing something here.)

      Why would eating in camp not consume rations?

      1. Michael Prescott

        @Brendan Yes, no way is a group going to be able to camp after every 3 turns. Though a well-organized party can get closer than you might expect – with a large party (e.g. 5 players), map can be done as an in-camp instinct, making travel to and from the ‘frontier’ much cheaper. (Re-reading your comment, you may need to look at how maps work – they can be used to essentially skip over travel and make it free, resources-wise.)

        In the last game we played, we had four instincts that all triggered in camp, so as long as we had a check and unhindered walk back to where our map left off, we could scamper back to our distant camp and buff up relatively easily. The main problem was that the passage of time (narratively, I mean, not in terms of game turns) meant we missed some opportunities.

        When I GMed, I tracked each light source separately – the group usually only had two or three going (e.g. a lantern, wizard lights, a torch). The GM’s sheet I was using looked a little like a calendar, so when someone lit a torch I’d just make a note, “Tim’s torch” and a line that extended into the next turn. Because of the massive dim light penalties, the group is usually fairly chatty about light sources, so I found I could get most of what I needed just by listening.

        Now, hunger and exhaustion schedules are all in lock step. Eating DOES NOT reset your hunger counter. Eating just gets rid of the hungry/thirsty condition. (Eating on turn 3 is therefore a waste.) The condition clock is party-wide, so that’s no big deal.

        Eating in camp totally does use up rations, for sure, if you’re trying to get rid of the Hungry condition. TB adventurers don’t need to eat “each day” or anything like that, so given the somewhat plastic nature of actual clock-time in the game world (a camp phase might be several days if that’s appropriate, but that uses up no rations since nobody’s hunger clock is ticking forward) I was just assuming that there would be “eating” of some sort, but not with any mechanical effect.

  3. Brendan Post author

    Yeah, this kind of assumes that PCs maintain the same light sources, relighting as necessary, as otherwise the timing will be off. That is, ah, something of a shortcoming, isn’t it? Back to the drawing board! No way am I going to be able to track X different light sources with Y different exhaustion schedules that are lit at t1 … tN.

    (I did see the GM aid sheet from the free PDF bundle before I created this, but that wasn’t enough for me.)


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