Torchlight is a solitaire role-playing adventure set within the ancient ruins of Arborell. This text edition has been developed for players who cannot use the card-based game system integral to the original game design and who wish to experience all the functionality of this popular role-playing series.
Quest for the Orncryst consists of three main components; a character generation and combat system drawn from the traditions of gamebooks and interactive fiction; a dice-based labyrinth creation mode that allows for the generation of unique role-playing settings; and a set of section references that provide all the information needed to conduct your adventure.
This game can be played in two distinct modes. The first is by following a set of purpose-built quest objectives that allow the player to act as a Dungeon Crawler of the Deep Guild, commissioned to obtain a most prized artifact of the Ancient World. The second is a Free Play Mode that allows the player to create an unlimited number of unique adventures, each that can be conducted without the need for additional players.
The Torchlight Text Edition - Quest for the Orncryst - is freely available for download from the Chronicles of Arborell website at www.arborell.com and does require a small amount of preparation before play. The following information will provide all the instruction required to begin your adventure.
Contents Of This Players Guide
Object of the Game
Notes on Mapping
Building a Character
Other Information on Character Sheet
Section Record Area
Playing the Game
Order of Indicator Priority
Room Generation Tables
A Note on the use of Sharyah
Traps and Discarded Objects
Retracing your Steps
Level Down Areas
Quest and Free Play Mode
Completing the Game in Quest Mode
Completing the Game in Free Play Mode
Free Play Mode Special Rules
Free Play Mode Objective Suggestions
Beginning your Game
Object of the Game
Here can be found a tale of centuries past, of how the Orncryst of the Trell'sara came into the possession of the Dwarvendim StoneKings. Do not think however, that this is a legend of Champions or Heroes, or indeed one of great deeds or potent magic. This is a story of one man alone, who braves the depths of a vast ruin to find a priceless artifact. In the world of Arborell that man is you.
It is the Year of Settlement 446, a time of peace in a world that has not seen war for more than a century. For you however, violence and death remain as constant companions, the realms of your existence found far beneath Arborell's quiet surface, and far from the thoughts of your fellow citizens. You are a Dungeon Crawler, one of the Brethren of the Deep Guild, charged with the job of finding artifacts for those who seek them, but who do not dare go find them for themselves. For the members of your profession life is both dangerous and lucrative, and inevitably short.
Unlike your brethren in the Guild, who will take on any commission that will turn a silver coin, you have spent your years in the single-minded pursuit of one artifact alone, the Orncryst of the Trell'sara. Known amongst the Guild as the Dragonclaw it is an axe of remarkable age, fashioned in a time before the arrival of Men in the world by a race of Beings long since lost to history. It is said that the axe holds within its design a single Dragon talon and that it is the one weapon in the world capable of killing such a creature. For those who understand the ancient ways of its creator it is a conduit of great power and a talisman worth a serious reward. For fifteen long years you have searched the dark places of the world, finding the clues that have led you to where you now stand, and as you wait quietly before a dark entranceway you believe you have finally found the hiding place of the Orncryst.
Before you spreads the vast ruined temple complex of Traebor. Ancient beyond the reckoning of Men, the ruins of Traebor hold the object of your long quest somewhere within their depths. It is your mission to enter this dark domain and find the Orncryst, your intention that it be brought back into the light of day and then delivered to those who will appreciate its great value.
To start your game in Quest Mode you need only set up the game, determine your character's attributes and equipment, then turn to section 1. The following instructions will help you prepare.
Torchlight requires some preparation prior to play. As a downloadable game system you will need to set up a number of items and understand how the game system works. This is a hyperlinked, text-based adventure that uses randomly generated dice-rolls to create unique role-playing settings. Almost everything you need is provided with the game but before starting play you will need to organise the following items.
If you are using a screen reader to access this game you will need:-
If you wish to use a paper-based map and a normal ten-sided die you will need:-
- your character sheet opened,
- your combat record sheet opened,
- an open spreadsheet page for mapping your progress (See the section on mapping your progress below for more information on this),
- any dice rolling program that simulates the roll of a 1d10 die.
One convention that is used consistently throughout Torchlight is the use of a ten-sided die, or its automated equivalent. Throughout the game these dice are referred to as 1d10 if you are required to roll one die, 2d10 if you are required to roll two dice, and 3d10 if you are required to roll three.
It should be noted that this adventure game is a part of a far wider range of gamebooks, novels, web serials and other materials that are also available from the Chronicles of Arborell website. A greater understanding of this world can be found at www.arborell.com.
Notes on Mapping Your Progress
It is important to state that mapping your progress within the ruins of Traebor is fundamental to success in this game. At the minimum all that is required is a piece of paper and a pen although a map sheet has been provided for this purpose. How you map your progress is yours to determine though I have found that at a minimum it is prudent to note the map section that corresponds to each room or passage that you uncover, and any exit you have taken to move through the Temple. Additional information can be included as you see fit.
If you cannot use pen or paper a spreadsheet program will suffice just as well. Open a new spreadsheet document and pick a point within the document that shall serve as your starting point. Generally a cell reference such as G30 will do and any mapping done from that point should be noted in the same fashion as for pen and paper.
There will be times in the course of your adventure that your map may turn in upon itself, and you will find a passage or exit that you have chosen leading directly into another room or passage that you have already traversed. If this previous area of Traebor has an exit at this point then you have found your way back into a familiar part of the ruins and you have the choice to re-enter that room, or turn around and find another way. If however, there is no exit in that part of the room or passage then you have uncovered a secret door and this discovery comes with a small benefit that you can take advantage of. Secret doors are unusual constructs of Earthmagic, common in many of the ruins of Arborell, that allow a traveller to pass in one direction only into a room beyond. As with a normal exit you can choose to enter the room beyond, or turn around.
If you choose to pass through the secret door you are in fact walking through an illusion sustained by Earthmagic, and the effects of doing so can be very beneficial. If this is your choice you shall gain a +5 increase to your endurance points, but only up to the maximum level of your endurance, though you shall not be able to return again through that door. Exits such as these are only one-way portals and this should be considered before you step through. Having said this secret doors can be used at any time, however the +5 bonus can only be gained once per level.
In concert with the rules regarding Secret Doors there will also be times where the Room Generation table will generate a chamber or passage that will not fit into the space available on your map. If this occurs a player is able to make a Judgement Call. Instead of the chamber generated a player may insert instead a passage that will properly connect the map together. This passage however, must include any modifiers, encounters, or searches that the original room may have indicated.
There will be times in the course of building your map that you may find it reaching beyond the borders of the printed page itself. If this occurs print another map sheet and continue your adventure from the corresponding point on the adjoining sheet. (This applies only to players using printed sheets.)
Torchlight requires that you spend a small amount of time considering the attributes of the character that you will be playing in this adventure. In this game you are a member of the Deep Guild, known to all of the Four Nations as a Dungeon Crawler, a delver into the unknown places of the world. It is your calling that you expend your life far below ground, searching ancient ruins and avoiding the ever-present dangers of the creatures that reside there.
It will suffice to say that you are a man, and that in your life you have found no place that can be called home. Your life is the Deep Guild and all else you need to know can be found as you progress through this adventure.
You will find a character sheet ( pdf version | rtf version ) provided with this game. It is upon this sheet that you must record your character's attributes, his strengths and weaknesses, and keep record of equipment taken and artifacts found on your journey. A separate combat record sheet ( pdf version | rtf version ) is also provided so that a record can be kept of the encounters you will have within the subterranean ruins of Traebor. Most important to your preparation for this quest is the consideration of your character attributes, and it is with these that we must begin.
At the top of the character sheet you will find a list of five character attributes; strength, agility, endurance, luck and intuition. Your character has fifty character points that you must distribute between these five attributes. You will notice that each attribute has a range of numbers given in brackets next to them. This is the minimum and maximum limits for points that can be ascribed to each. For example, the strength attribute allows for a minimum amount of 3 and a maximum of 8 character points. How strong you wish your character to be will be determined by the number of points you give him within this attribute. All fifty points must be used, but they must be spread within the limits given for each. Distribute these points carefully for it is not only strength and endurance that will see you through to this adventure's end.
Combat Value (CV)
Your character's combat value (CV) is one of his most important attributes. This value is determined by adding together the strength and agility values you have given to your character. This is known as your Combat Value sub-total. This sub-total can then be increased by obtaining armour and other items of equipment, or as a consequence of taking certain talents as your own. The adding of this sub-total and any armour or talent bonuses gives the total combat value for your character.
As an example, if you have given 8 characters points to your strength attribute and 7 to your agility, and have chosen to equip yourself with leather armour your combat value will be 8 + 7 + 2 = 17. Be mindful though that wearing armour comes with a loss of agility that can affect your character's ability to pass certain tests in the game. This penalty does not reduce your combat value, only your ability to pass some agility tests.
At this point you need not determine your armour or equipment as these will be acquired later in this guide.
Once you have determined your character's attributes and combat value sub-total, you may also provide your character with specific talents. These talents enhance certain aspects of your character's ability to survive the ruins of Traebor and should be chosen carefully. If you wish to do so, you may choose two of the following ten talents. Write these talents into your character sheet and include in the notes section the specific rules of their use.
1) Strong Back
A player with the talent of Strong Back may disregard all carry limitations. You may carry as many rations as you wish, and as many items of equipment or found objects as you think you need. Once you have exceeded the normal carry limits a penalty of -1 to agility and combat value applies however. An additional bonus to the Strong Back talent is the ability to automatically pass all strength tests that will save you from falling to your death. Experience has shown that this is a handy talent indeed.
2) Heroic Confidence
How many times has a supremely confident fighter entered combat only to find his opponent more than a match for him? If you choose the talent of Heroic Confidence you will obtain the advantage of +1 to your Combat Value purely due to your faith in your own abilities. This advantage lapses in each combat you begin when you lose your first combat round. At this time your CV will return to its normal level.
3) Back to the Wall
A character who possesses the Back to the Wall talent may ignore the -1 penalty to CV if they are caught by a pursuing creature. This talent applies to all combats fought during your quest.
4) Beast Slayer
If you choose the Beast Slayer talent you will have a +1 increase to your CV when fighting all creatures that are not Dreya'dim. Note that this talent cannot be chosen if you have elected to use a dagger as your primary weapon, or intend to choose either the Dreya'dim Bane or Weaponmastery talents as well.
5) Dreya'dim Bane
A player who possesses the Dreya'dim Bane talent will enjoy a +2 increase to CV during all combats with these spectral creatures. The cost of this advantage is the physical fatigue that will follow such a combat. A -1 to your strength attribute applies once combat is ended until you have the opportunity to eat. This reduction will apply every time you complete a combat with a Dreya'dim. The Dreya'dim Bane cannot be chosen if you intend to choose either the Beast Slayer or Weaponmastery talents as well.
6) Leap of Fate
The Leap of Fate talent allows a player to re-roll three unsuccessful jumping attempts. This talent only applies to attribute tests that require agility rolls.
7) Skin of the Teeth
Choosing the Skin of the Teeth talent provides a character with the ability to survive a reduction of Endurance Points to zero or less. This talent allows a player to survive one extra combat round after being reduced to 0 endurance points during a fight. If an opponent can be defeated within that last desperate round the player will survive, and be given 1 endurance point to continue their quest.
8) Shadar in the Making
A Shadar in the Making exhibits unusual affinity to the magic of all Talismans. This ability allows a player to re-roll 2 failed intuition tests in the course of any single mission played.
A player who chooses Weaponmastery will have a +1 increase to Combat Value for the length of their quest, but are limited in that until finding the Orncryst they can only use the weapon they start the quest with. If at any time a weapon is lost or changed combat value must be reduced to normal levels. Note: This talent cannot be chosen if you are intending to choose either the Beast Slayer talent or Dreya'dim Bane.
10) Blessed by Providence
If the talent Blessed by Providence is chosen, a player may re-roll any two failed luck tests in any single quest mission. This talent cannot be chosen if you intend to choose the Leap of Fate talent as well. Only one of these may be chosen in any single quest mission.
When you have chosen your character talents, and recorded their details on your character sheet, you must then consider the equipment you wish to take with you.
A further fifty character points must also be used to equip your character with the items you believe will be needed on your quest. It is important to note that the ruins of Arborell are the domain of many creatures, none of whom will suffer your presence quietly. For reasons that will become apparent later there are also many traps and devices that have been laid within these ruins as well, and with this in mind you should choose your equipment carefully. Please note that three torches are provided already on your character sheet. Any you purchase here will be in addition to those already issued.
The equipment items available are:
Weapons: (at least one must be selected)
||Can only cause one point of damage
||Cost: 5 points
||All round weapon without special bonuses
||Cost: 10 points
||All round weapon with some advantages
||Cost: 12 points
||Has its advantages against some adversaries
||Cost: 12 points
||Has its advantages against most adversaries
||Cost: 15 points
||Excellent weapon for most adversaries
||Cost: 25 points
Armour: (not essential but only one may be chosen)
||adds +1 to combat value
||Cost: 10 points
||adds +2 to combat value, -1 to agility tests
||Cost: 15 points
||adds +3 to combat value, -2 to agility tests
||Cost: 20 points
Note: Minus penalties on armour items only apply to agility tests.
Miscellaneous items (as many can be acquired as can be paid for)
||When used will blind adversary for 2 combat rounds.
-8 to foe's CV
|Cost: 8 points (max 2)
|Rope and Grapple
||Cost: 5 points
||Cost: 5 points
||Cost: 3 points
||+4 to endurance when eaten
||Cost: 3 points (max 6)
||+2 to endurance when eaten
||Cost: 2 points
Note: Many of these items have special rules that apply to them. These rules are given further within this manual.
Apart from players who choose the Strong Back character talent there are limitations to how much can be carried during a quest. You may equip yourself with as much weaponry, armour or equipment as you can afford with your 50 point allocation, but you can only hold up to six additional items that might be found within the ruins themselves. It will be up to yourself to hold or drop items if you reach this carry limit.
There are a few exceptions to this general rule. All talismans found are counted as a single item no matter how many you hold, and any Nahla bread found can be disregarded altogether. All carry limits do not apply to players who have chosen the Strong Back talent. Such a choice allows you to hold as many items as you find.
Other Information on your character sheet
Once you have determined your character attributes and equipment this information should be recorded on your character sheet. Your character sheet records more than just attributes and equipment. The following notes outline how each remaining section can be used.
Endurance points are the measure of how healthy your character remains as you progress through this adventure. When you have determined how many character points you wish to ascribe to this attribute it must be recorded on your character sheet. Because endurance points vary greatly as you play a section has been provided specifically to record the ebb and flow of your character's health. It is important to note that although your endurance points will go up and down over time they must never exceed their initial value. They will however, fall as you are injured in combat, or fall victim to the many traps and devices that litter the ancient ruins you will be travelling through. If your endurance points fall to zero you have died and you must then look to another attempt to finish your quest.
Torchlight incorporates one major quest adventure, with specific objectives, directions and outcomes. If you wish a section of the character sheet has been provided to keep an accurate note of what your quest entails and what you must do to achieve its end. You will find also when you read from the section references that you will discover certain information that will be valuable to you. Such information can be recorded here.
The ruins of Arborell provide fertile ground in which can be found many artifacts and talismans created by the Ancients. Any of these items found should be recorded here. If you are lucky enough to find one of these powerful Sharyah there is a reference provided for each that should be read before continuing play. You will find also in the appendices for this guide a number of background references that give more information on why they were created and special rules as to how they should be used. It is important to remember that talismans found can be kept by the player and used in any subsequent quest in the Torchlight game. It has been the experience of the Brethren that they are worth keeping.
Apart from the talismans mentioned above there are many other items that can be found within the dim corridors you will explore. Discarded equipment, stale food, old weapons and armour, all can be found and made use of if you so wish. When an item is found you will also find information relating to how it can be used, and the advantages it may provide. At any time however, you can choose to not take an item, or if you wish discard an item of your own. When this happens you need only record the change on your character sheet.
It is important to restate that a limit has been set on how many additional items a character may carry. After using your 50 points to purchase equipment you may only carry 6 further items that might be found on your quest. As mentioned before, this limitation does not apply if you have chosen the Strong Back talent.
Rations form the staple diet of a Dungeon Crawler on a quest. Each ration that you have in your possession can be eaten at any time except during combat. To eat a ration will return four points to your endurance level. It is wise to take as many rations as you can afford into a quest, but only up to a maximum of six.
Nahla Bread is the essential backup food for any traveller upon the wilds of Arborell. Light and nutritious, it provides a quick and effective meal for anybody who finds themselves far from habitation and fresh foods. Most Dungeon Crawlers always take a supply of Nahla Bread with them whenever they are at work. Each piece will restore two endurance points when eaten, and because of its light weight there is no limit to how much can be carried.
The one essential tool for any Dungeon Crawler is their torch. Without light a man deep within the earth falls victim very quickly to the predators that can be found there. A good supply of torches is mandatory for a player who finds all his torches extinguished will die. It is the policy of the Deep Guild, and a rule of this game that a minimum of 3 torches must be taken on any quest. Three torches can be added to your equipment without cost to your 50 equipment points but if you wish to purchase any more they will require the use of points to acquire.
These devices are the most sophisticated tools used by the Deep Guild. Each is an apple-sized explosive canister designed to blind or stun a larger adversary. Such devices have saved many Dungeon Crawlers from a grisly end, and to have a few in your possession is a prudent move indeed.
Section Record Area
The Section Record area of your character sheet is where you must note the number of any Map Section that can only be visited once in the course of the game. These sections are identified by an asterisk on the Room Generation Tables, and within the text of the sections themselves. If you find that you have re-rolled the same section number as one previously noted, roll again to find a new way forward.
Although the notation of these sections is mostly for the purpose of ensuring that certain areas are traversed only once in the course of the game the Section Record area of your character sheet does fulfil one further purpose. If at any time there are five sections noted in this area it allows a player to move automatically to the next level of the game if they wish to do so. A further five sections will allow movement to the next level and so on. The use of this facility is straightforward but is not allowed if you have already uncovered one of the Level Down areas and you have chosen not to use it yet. If you decide to make an automatic level down because you have five of these sections recorded you need only choose a valid exit but instead of moving to the Room Generation tables go to the Room Finder and click on section 53.
There will be many times in the progress of your game where you will be required to roll dice to determine an Encounter, and confront creatures who wish to do you harm. In the ancient ruins of Arborell these creatures are your main nemesis, and you will be forced to defend yourself against them. Combat is resolved in the following two stage process:
Stage one: Determine if you need to fight.
Determine if the creature has any "creature aversions". If you possess a talisman named as one of these aversions you have the choice of using it to force the creature to retreat. If this is your choice the stone will be activated simply by speaking its name and making an intuition test. If you are successful, the creature will retreat and the Encounter you have rolled can be ignored. If you are unsuccessful, the creature has resisted the power of the talisman and you will be forced to fight. Go to stage two of combat resolution if this occurs.
If you do not have one of the talismans listed, then you do have the opportunity to retreat yourself. How successful you will be will depend on the motivation listed at the creature's information reference . If you choose to retreat, a Persistent foe will chase you, and you must test your luck attribute twice. If you are successful both times, then you have avoided combat but must find another path. If your foe is listed as Territorial then it will chase you for only a short distance. Test your luck once. If you are successful you have avoided combat. If your foe is listed as Ambivalent you can back out of a fight without any need to make an attribute test. In all these circumstances however, you will be required to find another way, the creature returning to its original location and more than ready to attack you once again.
If at any time you decide to retreat and fail a luck test, it will mean that the creature has run you down and you will be forced to fight. For the remainder of that combat you must fight at a disadvantage of -1 to your combat value as the beast has gained a psychological advantage over you. There is no penalty for running from a fight except if you are caught.
Stage two: Kill it.
If you must fight the following rules apply;
It must be stated that combats may be fought that require special rules, or additional bonuses or detractions from your combat value. This will generally happen when a room is modified or you gain additional items during a search. Any combats that are modified in this way will have full instructions given at the appropriate section reference within the game.
- Record the combat value and endurance points of your opponent within the space provided on the combat record sheet ( pdf version | rtf version ). Take note of any special rules or difficulty modifiers listed on the creature's information reference. Adjust either your combat value, or the combat value of your opponent, according to that information.
- Roll a 1d10 dice and add your combat value to what you have thrown. This is your combat strength for the round.
- Roll another 1d10 dice and add the number rolled to your opponent's combat value. This is your adversary's combat strength for the round.
- Compare both combat strengths. The higher combat strength wins the round and an amount of endurance points must then be taken from the loser's total endurance points. If the winner of the round has a combat strength four or more points higher than his opponent then he has struck a heavy blow and four endurance points must be taken. If the winner of the round wins by three points or less, he has struck a minor blow and only one endurance point need be deducted from the loser's endurance points.
- Combat continues until either yourself or your opponent's endurance points fall to zero. At that time the combat has been resolved and one of you will be dead.
In the course of play you may be lucky enough to find one of the ancient talismans known as Sharyah. Apart from the specific properties these stones afford their possessor they also have unique properties if you are required to combat the many denizens of the Underworld.
You will notice that many of the Encounter references given during play will list a creature's aversions to certain talismans. If a creature has an aversion to a particular Sharyah, and you have one in your possession, test your intuition attribute before combat. If you are successful the creature cannot stand the proximity of the talisman and will retreat from its potency. If this is the case you may continue on and disregard the Encounter you have rolled. If you fail the test you must fight the creature. All other rules regarding combat resolution apply as usual.
Testing your character's attributes
There will be times during your quest that you will be asked to test one of your character attributes. Whether it be your strength, agility, intuition or just pure luck you will be required to roll a 1d10 against them to determine success or failure in a particular activity. It is a straightforward test. If you are required to test against your strength for example, you must roll a 1d10 and then compare the number against your strength attribute. If the number you have rolled is the same or less than your strength points then you have passed the test and can proceed according to the directions given. If you roll higher than your strength points then you have failed the test and another set of directions will be given. All attributes except endurance can be tested and will be, often.
Section 1 of this adventure is where you begin, and everything you will encounter from that point on will be determined by the choices you make, and the dice rolls that will generate other aspects of the game outside of your control. Playing Torchlight is straightforward, most of the choices you undertake made using hypertext links. The main components of the game are listed below, with a short description to explain the part they play in your adventure.
Room Generator Tables
Discarded objects list
Torchlight is an adventure taken as a series of game turns, each beginning with the random selection of a Map Section that describes a room, chamber or passage that you have just stepped into. There are more than 90 map sections that make up the core of this adventure, and each is chosen by using the Room Generation table that will be described shortly. Each map section itself is divided into three parts. The first part provides a heading and series of short labels that describe the room, these being room type, exits and indicators.
The room type is a simple descriptor such as small room, cavern, passageway etc. The room type is important only as an initial indication of what lies before you and is expanded upon later in more detail. Any exits from the room are given as either ahead, left or right and these should be notated on your map before you proceed any further into the room. Please note that the exits described are those that stand before you, the exit that you have just emerged from is not listed. The last piece of information given in this first part of the map section is if the particular room has any indicators attached to it.
Indicators are the options available within a room that will make that particular room unique. There are three indicators used in Torchlight and are known as Modifier, Encounter or Search indicators. If a room has any of these indicators noted then there are additional aspects of the room that must be dealt with before you can continue. How each of these indicators are used will be explained shortly.
The second part of each map section is a detailed description of the room you have entered including any additional information relevant to your quest. It is here that you shall find directions and other options that you might wish to explore before you continue. If an option is given it will be hyperlinked within the text and also provided as an option in the last part of the map section.
It is important to note that the Room Generation table is made up of four separate tables, one for each of the levels you can traverse in this quest and one additional for Free play Mode. When using the Room Generator you must use the table that corresponds to the level you are currently on and then move to the next when you decide to take any of the available stairs to the next level. You will find that a link is given at the top of the page to each of these tables.
You will also find other rooms that are labelled with the term "Draw once and then discard". If you encounter a room such as this it means that it is a room that can only be visited once in the game. Once you are there record the map section number on your character sheet in the Section Record area and disregard any further selection of that map section. If this does occur use the Room Generation Table again and find another map section.
The last part of each map section is comprised of a short restatement of the options open to the player at that time, and a standard set of links that allows you to easily move to your next room, or alternatively exercise any other options given for the room. As an example, if a room you have entered has a modifier indicator you will be able to determine how that room is modified by using either the link given within the text, or by using the links provided in the options area and standard link section following that text.
If a map section indicates that a Modifier is attached to the area you have just entered it means that the environment of that particular chamber has been modified in some significant way. This usually means that an obstruction, or some kind of difficulty can be found within that particular part of Traebor. To find out what that Modifier is a link is provided to the Modifier List. Roll the number of dice appropriate for the level of Traebor you are on and then move to the number rolled. The information given will tell you how the room has been modified and what you need to do to pass through.
Please note that you can choose at any time to not enter a room that has been modified. If you believe it too dangerous to proceed you can retrace your steps back to the first available junction, and then take another exit and find a new path. Whether you enter a modified room is completely your choice and something that should be considered carefully. If however, you choose to not enter a room you cannot roll for an Encounter or Search in that room if they might be indicated. You must simply retreat and find another way.
If a map section indicates the possibility of an Encounter in a particular passage or chamber it is necessary to go to the Encounter List and make an Encounter roll. The ruins of Traebor that encompass this adventure are made of three separate levels, and the number of 1d10 dice you roll for an encounter will be governed by where you are. If you are on the first level of Traebor you will roll 1d10, the second level 2d10 and the third level 3d10. The number you have rolled has a corresponding link on the Encounter list which will take you directly to the outcome of your encounter. If you are confronted by one of the many denizens of these dark places the rules that apply to combat resolution, and also those rules that apply to avoiding combat should be followed to determine your fate.
A player has the option to run or to fight in most of these instances. If you choose to fight you must conduct combat according to the rules given and also to any special rules that may apply specifically to that creature. If you win the fight you will be free to move on with your quest, conduct a search if the map section requires it, or retrace your steps if the way ahead appears too dangerous. If you lose the fight then your quest has ended. It will be to another attempt that you will have to look for better luck.
Search indicators in any map section provide an opportunity for a player to conduct a search of that particular chamber or passage. If a search indicator is present then a search can be conducted but it is not mandatory. Searches can unearth useful items and artifacts but they can also expose hidden dangers.
A Search is undertaken by rolling dice and consulting the Search List. The Search List outlines what you may have found and in some cases the traps you have triggered or a hidden adversary you have awoken. There is much in the way of special items and discarded equipment that can be found. Be mindful however, that you also run the risk of causing yourself deadly harm.
Order of Priority of Map Section Indicators.
It is vital to the Torchlight adventure game that when indicators are present in a map section that they be actioned in the correct order. Modifiers are always explored first if they are present, followed by any Encounter indicators, and finally any Search opportunities. Within each of the options provided by these indicators there may be a number of challenges put before you, and each must be overcome before you can continue to any further indicators that may be present. Each of the lists used in this game provides links to the next indicator list in the priority order. If a room you enter is both Modified and has an Encounter or Search indicator present then each of the Modifier sections will also provide a link to those Encounter and Search lists as well. These links can be used to complete all the required actions in a map section before moving to the Room Generation tables to continue your quest.
Remember however, that if a room seems too dangerous you do not need to enter it, you have the option of finding another way. It is not necessary for you to fight every creature you encounter as you have the choice to run, or to use talismans to force an opponent to withdraw. Similarly, if a search is given as an option you do not have to do so, you can just as easily leave the chamber alone and move on quickly.
Room Generation Tables
Fundamental to this game are the Room Generation Tables. For each level of Traebor a table is provided to generate the randomly selected chambers and passages that you shall be journeying through. A quick look at these tables shows that they are formatted as a 10 x 10 table and that each table cell holds a room number that is hyperlinked to a specific map section. To use these tables you need only click on the link to the correct table for the level you are on and then roll a 2d10. These two numbers are the grid reference for the room that has been selected, and you need only click on the link within that grid reference to move to that section. As an example a 2d10 that has rolled a 4 and a 7 requires the player to move down the side of the table by 4 rows, and then move across the table by 7 columns. The map section link within this cell is your next challenge and with each exit you will take in the game you will come back to the Room Generator to determine the next part of Traebor you will be confronting.
Please note that if you are using a screen reader to access these tables there is a series of row links available to ease navigation. If your screen reader treats tables as long lists the row links provided will cut down a lot of the tabbing or down keying needed to reach the right room link. Roll your 2d10 as per the instructions above and click on the row link that corresponds to the first number thrown. This will take you to the right part of the table from which you can down key the second number thrown to the correct room link. As mentioned before this only applies if your screen reader presents tables as lists.
A Note on the use of Sharyah
There is the chance if you conduct a search that you shall find one of the many Sharyah that have been discarded within the dark passages of Traebor. These talismans were designed by the Ancients for very specific purposes and are powerful tools when used properly. They are however, dangerous artefacts in the hands of the unwary and special rules do apply regarding the use of these items.
The most important of these rules is that you can only hold one of each type and no more than three different Sharyah at any one time. For reasons known only to the Ancients themselves Sharyah become highly unstable when held too close together and these rules cannot be disregarded. If you find a Sharyah of the same type as one you already have in your possession you must leave that chamber immediately. To have in your possession any more than three at any one time will lead to a devastating explosion and the end of your quest.
The Search List will give you all the information you need to use these artifacts if they are found, but their use does rely on succeeding in an intuition roll to do so. A high intuition attribute can be very useful if you wish to harness the power of these devices.
More information regarding the nature of the Sharyah can be found in the Appendices section of this adventure.
Traps and Discarded Objects
As mentioned searches can uncover more than just useful items, and traps are a common problem in ruins converted by the Hordim as Proving Grounds. (See appendices for more information on this.) Both traps and items of discarded equipment that you may find have specialised lists of their own that will determine what you have found and how you must deal with them. Follow the information given by the lists and hope that luck is also on your side.
Retracing your Steps
There will be many times when it will seem prudent to not enter a particular room and instead try and find another way forward. A Room Finder list is provided so that you may move quickly between rooms and in doing so retrace your steps to a point where you may take a different exit. Any Modifiers that may have applied to a particular room you have previously travelled through still apply, but all encounter or search indicators can be disregarded. When passing through already visited rooms you need not re-read map sections or undergo any specific attribute tests that may have been required of you before. It is only when you take an exit that leads into a new area of Traebor that all the rules regarding map sections re-apply.
Please note that it is when you need to retrace your path that your map becomes most important. Each area of your map should hold all the information you have recorded regarding what you have found, and especially the exits available to you. Only by maintaining this map will you have the ability to retreat from unwelcome encounters or dangerous areas of the ruins.
Level Down Areas
Scattered through each of the levels of Traebor are Level Down Areas, rooms that allow an adventurer to leave the level they are currently on and descend to the next level below. When such a map section is selected the player has the choice of immediately taking the stairs down or alternatively noting the room on their map and returning to it at a later time.
If you decide to take the Level Down then the map for the level you are currently on must be put aside and a new map created. Please note that it is in the nature of Torchlight that everything becomes harder the further you descend into the ruins. Adversaries become more formidable, the rooms more difficult and the traps more deadly. On the other hand you will also gain access to more powerful talismans and also better methods of healing yourself. For a Brother of the Deep Guild it is in these more dangerous environments that the greatest rewards can be found, but it takes both luck and skill to find them.
Quest and Free Play Mode
As has been mentioned previously Quest for the Orncryst can be played in two different mode - Quest Mode and Free Play Mode. If you are playing in Quest Mode then all the section references given are necessary to play the game. As each room is generated within the adventure you will need to consult the appropriate reference to determine what you have uncovered. It is very important that these references are read and acted upon. Your quest to find the Orncryst depends upon it.
Free Play mode is essentially different. If you wish to play an adventure in this mode then the objectives of your quest are your own. You complete the character sheet as normal, but determine a set of objectives for yourself. It might be anything from finding a particular chamber on a particular level, to collecting as many of a specific item as you can in a predetermined number of levels, to seeing how far you can descend into the Underworld of Arborell before you are killed. A number of Free Play objective ideas have been given as examples further along in this manual. Whatever you choose as your objective should be written onto your character sheet and the game is then yours to play. In this mode of play the map references are not as important as they are in quest mode, the cues for action in any room generated taken instead from the indicators given at the beginning of each section. Modifier, Encounter and Search rolls will still need to be actioned in the same way, however any reference to the Orncryst can be disregarded.
One specific rule does apply in Free Play Mode. The number of 1d10 used for Encounter rolls remain the same, but once a player descends beyond the third level a further 1d10 roll must be made with each encounter. This roll will determine the number of opponents you will face. Rolling a 1, 2, 3 or 4 will indicate you face only a single opponent. Rolling a 5, 6, 7 or 8 will indicate that you face two of the same creature, a 9 or 10 that three opponents stand before you. Whatever the number rolled they must be fought one at a time until all are defeated.
Both modes of play are available, but it is recommended that a Player first complete the game in Quest Mode so that the process of play is fully understood.
You will notice as you refer to each of the map section references that some begin with an amount of text in brackets - (Draw once then remove from game). This means that the Map section is a very important area of Traebor that can only be visited once, and upon crossing its unique dangers should be disregarded for the remainder of your quest if it is drawn again. Such sections should be noted on your character sheet in the Section Record area. If any such rooms or passages are drawn again a new room should be generated using the Room Generation Table for that level.
If you are playing in Free Play Mode then the section references and draw indicators are not so important as the game's progress is determined completely by the player. See the section below on Free Play Mode for more information.
Please note that this first Torchlight quest to find the Orncryst is to be followed by a number of additional Quest adventures that will allow a thorough exploration of all the great ruins of Arborell. As a Dungeon Crawler of the Deep Guild there are many dark places in the world to explore, and just as many great treasures to be found.
Completing the Game in Quest Mode
In Quest mode Torchlight will be complete when you hold the Orncryst in your hands. Your game starts at Section 1 and continues as you explore the many levels that lay between yourself and your mission's end. It is very important when playing Torchlight in Quest Mode that you follow the instructions given in Section 1, and write the quest objectives carefully onto your character reference sheet. You will find that the successful completion of the quest will lead you to many challenges, and new section references that will explain further tasks needed to finally bring the Orncryst within your grasp. When you have it your quest will be complete.
Completing the Game in Free Play Mode
The Free Play Mode is a simpler but no less challenging way to play Torchlight. The game is played in exactly the same way as for Quest play, except that you determine your objective yourself. You start at the entrance section 1 and do not stop play until that objective has been completed, or you have perished in the attempt. The following special rules apply only to this mode of play:
Free Play Mode Special Rules
In Free Play Mode map section references must still be read but any reference to the Orncryst can be disregarded. The Entrance section (Section 1) has a reference that is specific to the Quest for the Orncryst. If you are playing in Free Play Mode this information is unnecessary and does not need to be read.
Rules relating to Level Down sections remain the same, except that information regarding the third level down can be disregarded. Because of this you may find yourself delving many levels further than you might in Quest play. If this is the case the Free Play Mode table in your Room Generation Tables must be used for all lower levels of the Deep Ruin.
Free Play Mode Objective Suggestions
If you wish the following suggestions for mission objectives can be used for Free Play Mode:
These mission objectives can be achieved using the materials provided with this game. If they are used you will find that many of them will prove to be quite challenging.
- Attempt to map out the entire first level of Traebor. To meet this objective a player must find at least three Level Down chambers and survive to tell the story.
- Descend as far as possible into the unknown levels of this ruin until you die.
- Search the second level of Traebor until you have found 3 different Sharyah.
- Engage and defeat 12 creatures that you find in the Deep Ruins.
- Locate and slay a Water Elemental, and live to tell the story.
- Find the Ancient Gardens on the third level of Traebor.
- Recover a single Stonewood shard.
- Find the Shrine of the Dreya Tree on the fifth level of Traebor.
- Locate the Helmet and both Greaves of a famous, but deceased Brethren of the Guild that have been lost in the ruins.
- Find and destroy the Pillars of Dissolution with a Force stone.
- Pray at a Taal on the sixth level of these ruins.
Beginning Your Game
If you understand all that has gone before you are ready to start. Make sure you have all your game materials open then turn to section 1. It is there that your quest begins.
The Torchlight Text Edition is the intellectual property of the author, Wayne F Densley, and all rights are reserved by him. Any questions regarding this title, or any other book in the Chronicles of Arborell series can be answered by emailing the author at firstname.lastname@example.org