Trophy Gold First Reading

Some feedback/questions after a first read-through:

A) Need more examples of play, especially around Hunt Rolls & Props/Traps/Treasures, Monster Defenses/Conditions in play, and casting Rituals. A good example: how can I decide to cast “Bolt” during combat? Squeeze in a risk roll between rounds? What effect would it have? Reduce Endurance by 2? Win the entire combat? Need guidance here.

B) In combat, why does the size of the party increase the potential for more ruin (because the number of dark dice you roll is based on the size of the party)? It also increases the chance of success, but this feels off, feels like it doesn’t factor into account a dangerous enemy. Maybe if the party fails to beat the monster endurance, roll dark dice equal to monster endurance, and assign ruin based on weak-point die as usual. The only thing I can think of is high endurance = many rounds = more dark dice each round = more ruin.

C) How do you backtrack through sets? How do you wilderness travel back and forth to the dungeon?

D) For monster conversions, why not use Hit Dice as the main method for determining Endurance?

E) How would you handle a combat with multiple groups of different monsters? Example: BBEG, his bodyguard, archers up high, and a summoned demon?

F) How and when do you use ranged and melee weapons? I.e. why take both?

G) In the conversion examples, Props/Traps/Treasure seem strongly correlated in the tables. Is that intentional, or can you design the three in relative isolation from each other?

H) Really want to see how B2 would run with Trophy Gold :slight_smile:

I) Could you vary the amount of tokens required to proceed to the next set? What’s the game design notes behind standardising at 3? Also, I assume this target is not necessarily a hard goal, like finding the secret door, but could represent a soft goal, like “the party is ready to move on”?

Overall I found TG to be intriguing, and I’m about to listen to Jason’s actual play of TotSK on YouTube. Good stuff, Jesse!


Added I), above, to keep everything together.

The main dissonance I have in my mind is between the “consolidation” of a module into Sets, vs the actual geometry of the map. Really need to see this in action to grok it.

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Cc: @jesseross in case he wants to chime in. I have some thoughts I may share a little later when I can catch a breather from this Kickstarter, haha

Thanks for all the great questions. I’ll share some thoughts on all of these today. Stay tuned!


I listened to your Kickstarter special:

Expanding Trophy to include Journey rules and more “Back at Home” stuff sounds great. My request for the Kickstarter is to please include examples of play that cover “edge cases”. For example, a combat against melee monsters where some players have ranged weapons and want to hang back and snipe. How Hunt rolls work when exploring a module that has a map with defined locations (including traps in specific areas). How Hunt tokens work when the Goal is to find a specific location on a map.

Am reading Trophy Gold in the context of using it to run B2 with - not that I have anything against B/X D&D (especially since OSE was published!), but TG might be different enough for a group of hardcore 5E players to sit-up and take notice (read: for my current group to be interested in playing “not-5e”. They have played Delta Green before, so there’s hope with Trophy Dark one-shots to start with.).

And my goodness guys - the Kickstarter video is sublime - who wrote the poetry? Jim Crocker? The voice actor is so-Darkest-Dungeon. The font-face for titles in TD is so Symbaroum!


Another thought after reading Trophy Dark and Gold previews - hot damn, “Trophy Mythos” is begging to be created to run Lovecraftian investigations.

Not sure what you’d do with the Gold/Burden mechanic, but Occupations/Backgrounds/Drives/Rituals/Ruin fit like a glove. The Hunt roll is basically an Investigate roll, most Sets goals would be a plot point discoveries, and Troubles can be antagonist reactions.

Could easily use that to run Trail of Cthulhu scenarios. It did be interesting to see if you can condense a scenario down into Sets.


@starmonkey, @jesseross

I actually had this same question about ranged attacks. It doesn’t make a lot of sense that someone sitting back with a crossbow thwanging away would take damage in the same or way an axe wielding fighter would.

In addition, what happens if a player uses their ritual lightning or whatnot to fight?

My thinking is that they would instead suffer a Risk roll rather than a Combat roll, where the risk is that the ritual goes wrong or it takes too long and they end up enmeshed in the fighting but that’s just my take at the moment.

I am curious to see what others have tried as I am starting to run my first game of Trophy Gold in a Play by Forum context.

The key with the Combat Roll is the first step, with the light die:

When you attempt to defeat a monstrosity, first say how you expose yourself to injury or attack, then roll a single light die. The number on the die is called your Weak Point, and represents the risks you’re taking to face the monster. If multiple treasure-hunters are involved, each rolls their own die.

Each player states how their character is exposed to injury or attack: that’s their entrance fee to the fight and how they contribute more dark die (thereby increasing the chance of success). Maybe the room is cramped, so the ranged character isn’t actually at a safe distance. Maybe they have to maneuver and they might slip too close. Maybe they stumble and trip on a rock, laying themselves out. The entire combat might be decided in a single roll, so a lot of narrative ground can be covered!
This follows for rituals. Since combat accounts for Ruin, you can just roll the Combat. The sticking point, I think, is if the character using the ritual is attempting to defeat a monstrosity or not — maybe their making it brighter to lower the monstrosity’s endurance; healing another character; solving a puzzle. Those would be Risk Rolls, with the narrative consequence an attack from a monstrosity while they were busy, instead of mind-warping magic.

Another option, you might combine the Combat and Risk Rolls: there’s already both a light and dark die, which satisfies the requirements for a Risk Roll. The player still determines how using this ritual in the midst of combat exposes [their character] to injury or attack, but then they have two ways to increase their Ruin: rolling at or above their Weak Point. Might fit the tone of your game depending on how dire you want it to be (or how bad magic is)!
ETA: an important piece I should’ve mentioned about that (homebrew) option above: the player whose character is using the ritual should be the one making the Combat Roll, since having another player roll and incidentally increasing a different character’s ruin is…not great imo


My understanding (and forgive me if I’m wrong and I’m making matters worse) is that Ruin isn’t damage. Ruin is the inability to adventure. It is losing control of the character.

It might be falling due to one’s wounds (perhaps the monster has missile attacks and is returning fire) or perhaps the monster is preternaturally fast and closes the distance before the archer can get away.

But maybe it isn’t a hit-point kind of damage at all. Maybe the treasure-hunter watches his friends get butchered from a safe vantage point and turns cold and monstrous. Maybe they watch a friend get eaten and lose the will to delve or maybe they watch a friend get eaten and wish they could have devoured their flesh themselves.

I don’t think of Ruin as the end of the character’s hit points but the end of that character as a protagonist.