Would You Pay the Terrible Price?

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:

Playtest rules for meeting death in Torchbearer.

Good luck. And remember, death is often a mercy.

New Cleric Prayers (Playtest)

Hello friends!

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.

We’ve put together this playtest document of new second and third circle prayers for clerics in your game. Play with them and tell us about it! You’ll be helping us to make even more prayers and to make Torchbearer a better game.


Thor & Luke

Taking Spells to the Next Level

Hello friends,

We know you’ve been wondering about higher-circle spells ever since we released the playtest draft of higher-level character benefits. Well wait no longer!

Here is a playtest draft of new Torchbearer spells, including some revisions and additions to the first and second circle, a suite of third circle spells and a couple fourth circle spells to whet your appetite for more.

We’re eager to hear what you think!


Thor & Luke

P.S. New prayers are coming soon.

Human Magician and Human Warrior (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.

Screen_Shot_2014-11-20_at_10.57.11_AMMagicians 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.

Screen_Shot_2014-11-20_at_2.11.30_PMWarriors 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:

Happy Holidays!

Thor & Luke


Halfling Burglar and Human Paladin (Levels 1-10)

SutaraScreen_Shot_2014-12-19_at_3.00.32_PMHello friends and Happy Holidays!

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!

Screen_Shot_2014-12-19_at_11.13.27_AMToday 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.

Here you go:

Happy Holidays!

Thor & Luke

Elven Ranger and Human Thief (Levels 1-10)

MidTaika2_CopymidTiziriHello friends and Happy Holidays!

We came out of the gate strong yesterday with the dwarf adventurer and human cleric, but there are still three days of holiday gifts from BWHQ.

Like yesterday, we started the day off with a poll at the Torchbearer Google+ Community. The competition was strong (though still no love for the poor paladin — don’t worry, Sutara has faith she will win in the end.)

For a time, it looked like the human warrior would carry the day, but the human thief — one of the bonus classes that we promised during the Kickstarter campaign — stole it in the end.


So here we go:

Dwarf Adventurer and Human Cleric (Levels 1-10)!



Hello friends and Happy Holidays! We hope this finds you well.

We’ve been a bit quiet lately, but the BWHQ elves are always hard at work even when you don’t hear them. It’s a not-so-well-kept secret that one of the things we’ve been working on is something to allow characters in your Torchbearer campaigns to progress beyond level 5.

You are all on the ‘Nice’ list (except for Dro), so we’ve conspired to put together 4 days of gifts to show our appreciation. Starting today, and through the 25th, we will release beta versions of two Torchbearer character classes that provide you with level benefits through level 10.


If you play any of these characters at higher levels, we’d love to hear which benefits you choose, why and how you find them in play.


Without further ado, and by popular demand, today’s classes are:

Happy Holidays!

Thor & Luke