The Power and the Word

Hello friends! Note that I’ll be at PAX East next Thursday, so there likely will be no post next week.

The Fury of the Lords of Life and Death is a potent prayer given to first-level clerics. But perhaps it doesn’t quite fit the concept of your character? Just for you, here are seven alternative prayers for your cleric.

Choose one blessing. Your cleric knows this blessing in place of Fury of the Lords of Life and Death. Your cleric may use this blessing once per phase. Breadth determines who gets the advantage dice. Each blessing has a duration of one turn.

Blessings

Dowsing Rune

With a prayer to the Water Witch, the invoker ties a blindfold about the eyes and uses a forked stick to feel the way to water.

Dowsing Rune Effect

Grant advantage to Survivalist tests for locating potable water.

Factors

Advantage (start counting at 2): +1D, +2D, +3D
Breadth (start counting at 1; self is free): Other person, small group

Gift of Hospitality

Spilling a libation of mead to the ancestors and spirits of hearth and home, the invoker lays a blessing upon the hearthfire.

Gift of Hospitality Effect

Grant advantage to Cook tests when cooking for friends, family and guests (who have properly invoked the Rites of Hospitality). Strangers must first be made friends or acknowledged as guests or the blessing automatically fails.

Gift of Hospitality Factors

Advantage (start counting at 1): +1D, +2D, +3D
Breadth (start counting at 1; self is free): Other person
Diners (start counting at 1): Family and friends, guests

Heike’s Cunning Needle

Calling upon the Jotunn Heike, who surreptitiously uses her needle to unweave threads from the Skein of Destiny, the invoker causes locks to spring open and bonds to come undone.

Heike’s Cunning Needle Effect

Grant advantage to Criminal tests for picking locks and slipping bonds.

Heike’s Cunning Needle Factors

Advantage (start counting at 2): +1D, +2D, +3D
Breadth (start counting at 1; self is free): Other person, gang, guild

Inspiring Aura

With a shout, the invoker calls upon the Lady of Valor to steel hearts and minds.

Inspiring Aura Effect

The subjects of this invocation gain advantage to Will tests to resist fear and terror or recover from the Afraid condition.

Inspiring Aura Factors

Advantage (start counting at 2): +1D, +2D, +3D
Breadth (start counting at 1; self is free): Other person, two people, small group, warband

Merciful Balm

With a gesture and word, the invoker begins to glow with the inner light of Hyresti, Lord of Mercy; no spirit of disease or plague can stand before Hyresti’s gentle light.

Merciful Balm Effect

Grant advantage to Healer tests to treat fevers and illness.

Merciful Balm Factors

Advantage (start counting at 2): +1D, +2D, +3D
Breadth (start counting at 1; self is free): Other person, enemy

Poison Tongue

Smearing honey on lips and tongue, the invoker’s words begin to drip with sweet poison.

Poison Tongue Effect

Grant advantage to Manipulator tests when goading someone to betray their family, friends, followers or those to whom they owe loyalty.

Poison Tongue Factors

Advantage (start counting at 2): +1D, +2D, +3D
Breadth (start counting at 1; self is free): Other person

Winter’s Winding Path

Intoning a prayer to the Lady of the Winter Hunt with eyes closed, the invoker allows their skis to take them where they will.

Winter’s Winding Path Effect

Grant advantage to Pathfinder tests when in the wilderness and lost places.

Winter’s Winding Path Factors

Advantage (start counting at 2): +1D, +2D, +3D
Breadth (start counting at 1; self is free): Other person

The Sea Awaits

Sjøtrollet (The Sea Troll) by Theodor Kittelsen, 1887 

Hello friends!

In the Icelandic sagas, draugr are malevolent beings. It was said that you could tell who was likely to become a draugr in death because they died sitting up — in other words, alone as a miser rather than in bed and surrounded by loved ones. Sea-draugr are something else again. Though they share many characteristics of their land-based ‘cousins’, the tales seem to reflect the loss and guilt felt by those left behind when their loved ones were lost at sea and unable to be laid to rest with their ancestors.

In these stories, the sea-draugr often seek to return home and take up their old lives, only to be refused and shunned by their living families. The living are left with feelings of guilt and shame from these encounters, while the dead must return to their frigid, watery graves.

The sea-draugr play an important role the Bridge of the Damned adventure, so here’s a first look. What do you think?

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Begin by Being

Hjalmar’s farewell to Örvar-Oddr after the Battle of Samsø (1866), by Mårten Eskil Winge

Hello friends!

I’m still recovering from the Bridge of the Damned Kickstarter, so we’re going to keep this week’s post short and sweet.

I know some of you have been wondering how to make higher-level starting characters in Torchbearer. This is for you.

This is playtest material. We’ve made lots of characters up to third level and been pretty satisfied with them, but we haven’t tried heroes of even higher level in play. If you use these rules and bring the characters to the table, let me know how they play!

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The Bridge of the Damned: Under the Bridge

Hello friends! Happy Torchbearer Thursday! This post has been cross-posted with my Bridge of the Damned Kickstarter project. Please back it if you’re interested in seeing the finished project!

The amazingly talented Kurt Komoda sent me some concept sketches of the Bridge of the Damned cover yesterday and I wanted to share them with you.

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Adventure Design: Robber’s Bridge (Part VIII)

Atilla and his Hordes Overrun Italy and the Arts (detail), between 1843 and 1847, Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix

Hello friends! Today’s Torchbearer Thursday post is a couple days early (we’ll actually probably have another post on Thursday). It has been cross-posted with my Bridge of the Damned Kickstarter project. Please back it if you’re interested in seeing the finished project!

You can catch up on the project here:

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Adventure Design: Robber’s Bridge (Part VII)

Aerial view of the remains of the Viking ring fortress of Trelleborg, near Slagelse in Denmark, by Thue C. Leibrandt

Hello friends! Today’s Torchbearer Thursday has been cross-posted with my Bridge of the Damned Kickstarter project. Please back it if you’re interested in seeing the finished project!

You can catch up on the project here:

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The Bridge of the Damned

Castle Erobring by Kurt Komoda

Hello friends!

We’re excited to introduce the Kickstarter for our latest Torchbearer project: The Bridge of the Damned. Follow the link to back this project and help me bring it to fruition!

The Bridge of the Damned is a new adventure targeted for characters levels 2-3. It’s based on the amazing contributions all of you have made in the Robber’s Bridge series of posts right on this blog:

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One More Day

Hello friends!

My apologies, but if you’re here for the announcement of the new Torchbearer adventure Kickstarter, we’ve opted to push it back by a day. Sorry if you’ve been waiting with baited breath, but thanks for your interest!

We’ll launch tomorrow instead (Monday, Feb. 18). I’m not sure what time, but we’ll make sure to post here, on the Burning Wheel HQ forums, the Torchbearer RPG Facebook page, the Torchbearer subreddit, and I’ll post it on my Twitter account too.

Talk to you tomorrow!