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?
These spirits of the drowned long for the warmth and comfort of hearth and home, but it is forever denied them. They lack the sheer malevolence of other draugr, but their terrible loneliness draws people wounded in heart and spirit like a lodestone, where they, too, succumb to the embrace of the waters. Sea-draugr are revenants: rotting, bloated, blue- or black-skinned corpses with flesh picked over by fish and crustaceans.
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!
Since we’ve been talking about adding a shrine to the Dragonslayer to our Robber’s Bridge adventure, I thought we might take a deeper look at the cult this week and explore its most closely held secret. Note that the rules for the Mysteries of Lith have not yet been playtested. If you use them in your games, I’d love to hear about it.
A number of you have been patiently waiting for rules for overland travel in Torchbearer. Well, wait no longer. Here is a playtest draft of the rules. They are designed to interface with the weather rules in Middarmark.
If you’re playing Torchbearer, characters are almost certainly going to die. That’s the nature of the beast. But what then? By default, you start a new character at level 1. I’m a fan of that myself.
But there are alternatives!
Some of you have managed to raise your characters to level 5 or even higher. And some of you have met an untimely end in bad circumstances. After playtesting this a bit on our end, we wanted to give you a view into how we view death at Burning Wheel HQ. Behold:
Clerics have always been among my favorite classes. I know that’s not something you hear often, but they offer a great combination of melee potential and mystic might — even though magicians generally get the glory in the magic department.
In Torchbearer, the cleric has the potential to be everyones’ best friend; not just for prayers that grant the ability to alleviate conditions, but also for the ability to ease or eliminate many of the rigors of life on the road. Plus they’ve got access to some truly creepy stuff as well.
Hello friends! Last week we shared beta versions of levels 1-10 of all eight Torchbearer classes with you. For manageability, we’ve now collected the PDFs into a single document for you: Torchbearer Classes Levels 1-10.
Hello friends and Happy Holidays! We hope this finds you and yours well.
Today we present levels 1-10 of the last of Torchbearer’s eight classes. But they are in no way the least.
Magicians offer their parties incredible versatility and power, while warriors tend to be the reliable heart and soul of any adventuring party.
When we first started working on Torchbearer, the initial conceit was that there would be three classes: the cleric, magician and warrior. Halflings and dwarves would be warriors while elves would sit squarely between the magician and the warrior. There would be no thief because any character class could play the role of a thief (particularly if they worked on skills like Criminal, Dungeoneer and Scout). All very old school (aside from the skill selection stuff, of course).
In development the classes started differentiating themselves and dwarves, elves and halflings became very much their own thing, though closely related to their previous classes. This also meant that the warrior, in particular, could become very much her own thing.
Warriors excel at leading, but also at supporting. They are incredibly tough, capable of sacrificing their bodies to defend their friends and to remain standing when no one else can. A high-level warrior will be a force in your campaign world — she won’t play second fiddle to anyone (even a quadratic wizard).
That doesn’t mean we hobbled the magician to make it happen. The magician is one of our favorite classes and we hope you’ll agree. As some of you have intuited, the level benefits themselves won’t tell you much when it comes to the magician, since it really comes down to the spells at his disposal. Rest assured, we understand. The very next item on our agenda is to release a whole host of 3rd Circle spells (and some new 1st and 2nd Circle spells) to you so you can test them out and tell us what you think!
Anyway, enough chattering! Here are today’s classes:
We’re on our third day of releasing Levels 1-10 of Torchbearer character classes. Today, Sutara the Paladin finally has her day! Along with the thief, the paladin is one of the bonus classes we released as part of the Torchbearer Kickstarter campaign.
I have to admit that at first I was opposed to adding more classes. As far as I was concerned, players who wanted to be a thief could do that with any class just by picking appropriate skills. And what difference is there really between a paladin and cleric anyway? But in the end, I think we did a great job of differentiating them. I think both are a blast to play!
Today we also bring you the Halfling Burglar. This little guy is great! Having one in your party is a joy, and you really miss them if no one plays one.