It’s a holiday today here in the US, so I’ll keep today’s post short.
I and the rest of Burning Wheel Headquarters wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful to all of you who support us in continuing to make games. We are thankful to all of the friends we have made through the years while doing this, and for the friends we hope to make in the years to come. We are thankful for all people out there that have taken and continue to take a stand against racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and all other forms of intolerance. We are thankful for all those who stand with our LGBTQ+ family.
I’m writing this from my brother’s home, surrounded by loving family and beautiful things. I’m thankful for how lucky we are, while recognizing that so many other people, here and around the world, are suffering. They lack adequate food to eat and water drink. They’ve lost homes and loved ones. They suffer the injustices of poverty, illness and war. I am thankful for each and every one of you that takes some small step to help mitigate this suffering.
The world of Torchbearer can be a dark and unforgiving one, but it is also one in which we can triumph by working together and supporting each other for a common cause. I remain hopeful the same is true of our own world.
As a special ‘thank you’, here are a handful of magic items for which Torchbearer characters would be very thankful.
I know many of you that missed the Kickstarter have been eagerly awaiting the release of Middarmark. Well the time has come. The Middarmark book+PDF ($20) and PDF ($10) are now available on the Burning Store, as is the new and improved Torchbearer GM Screen ($15).
For those of you who may have missed it, Middarmark is a setting supplement for Torchbearer inspired by Scandinavian myth and folktales. It’s chock full of adventure ideas to give you a jumping off point for your campaigns, along with new settlements, legends of infamous lairs and harrowing places, details on the more popular Hero Cults of the Young Lords, and, of course, new spells, magic items, monsters and more!
Contend with the slave-taking pirates of the Skera Strait and the Kraken that preys upon those waters. Explore the Trollfjells for signs of the chaos cultists of the Jotunn Hrym and the terrifying Temple of Black Skulls dedicated to him. Follow the legends of Sigrun, Lady of Battles, to the fog-shrouded barrow downs in hope of winning her war-magic. Aid the elves who quest ceaselessly for the Tower of Seven Dreams where the Erlking holds the key to ending their long exile. Seek the fate of the fabled dwarven kingdom Nidavellir, near the gates of Hel. Adventure awaits!
Middarmark opens new vistas of possibility for Torchbearer. Within you’ll find nature descriptors and questions for six human tribes, a new class in the form of the human skald, rules for steadings (a new form of town), rules for how various weather conditions affect your adventurers and much more.
Thor showed me this draft over four years ago. I told him it was amazing, but it wasn’t done. Since then, Thor has regretted that day and every day since. For I have born the lash against him, driving him to frenzy and madness.
But he finally did it. Middarmark is ready to enter this world.
Like all of our best work at BWHQ, this book has been a challenge for us. We’ve never done anything like it. Traditionally, we eschew setting and focus on evoking atmosphere through the rules. But Thor’s work is so powerful, so evocative, that it was worth breaking our own Beliefs. Even so, we made sure that every detail in the book is hooked back into the system in some fashion. Because, as ever, we don’t just want you to read, we want you to play.
In the days of old, a giant demon hand clawed its way up from the Pit to the mine of Whelcrag, scattering gleaming gold spoor in its wake. A man-eating ogre works for the Hand, bringing it souls to feed its demonic hunger! Will you dare the haunted mine?
The Secret Vault of the Queen of Thieves – a 3rd level, city-based adventure scenario for Torchbearer RPG by Thor Olavsrud is now available via the Burning Store in pdf format, featuring cover art by Peter Mullen, interior art by Todd James and cartography by Dyson Logos!
Tamar, secretive master thief of the port city of Highwater, is dead. The rumors say she dropped face-first into a bowl of soup yesterday while supping with her lover, Lady Attar, at the Three of Cups in Saltown near the docks. It happened just days after she stole the fist-sized jewel known as the Jackal’s Eye from the sinister Cult of Maata Re, Mistress of Plagues. Her lover has not been seen since.
Amidst the stories of conspiracy and murder, the underworld of Highwater is abuzz with tales of the secret vault of the Queen of Thieves, where Tamar is thought to have kept priceless trophies of her many adventures, perhaps even the Jackal’s Eye, along with deadly traps to guard them. The race is on to find the vault; whoever does may become wealthy beyond their wildest imaginings.
The Secret Vault of the Queen of Thieves is a short city-based adventure geared for 3rd level and higher Torchbearer characters, though even lower level characters are viable if played skillfully. It should take a session or two of play. This scenario is set in the port city of Highwater, but you can drop it into your game whenever the characters visit a Bustling Metropolis or Busy Crossroads in your home setting.
This first “official” Torchbearer scenario since The Dread Crypt of Skogenby features fiendish traps, a new monster, a new town for adventurers to hail from and two new town locations – the Docks and the Thieves’ Guild!
Purchase PDF for only $5 via the Burning Store, right here: LINK
This is a long time coming but we’ve finally picked our favorite Torchbearer adventure pitch! And our champion is…
Hand of the Pit by Todd James!
There were a lot of really great submissions, and choosing just one was most challenging! Honorable mention goes to Jim Morris’s Mausoleum of the Moderate Monk and Paul Jennings’ A Rising Tide.
Thor Olavsrud of Torchbearer RPG (and one of our esteemed contest judges) encourages everyone who made a submission to work on their adventures and release it under the Torchbearer Sagas or Torchbearer Dungeoneers & Dragonslayers licenses! “And I’m happy to provide some feedback on submissions to anyone that does want to finish their adventure and release it.”
Many thanks to all you bards out there who took the time to create such epic adventures and submit it! Twas a pleasure and an honor to read them all.
Well met, adventurers; especially all you bards out there!
BWHQ wants to commission exciting, dungeon-based fantasy adventures for the Torchbearer RPG. Luke and Thor will commission their favorite pitch for publication as a PDF. We will work with the author in an editorial capacity to develop the adventure and edit the text, and we will commission art for the adventure, including a pretty map. And we will pay you for your work.
All you have to do is fill out this form to enter!
What are we looking for?
The concept for the adventure
Some background on the dungeon
One or more hooks
Your vision of the adventure’s climax
A rough map of 10-15 areas
Feel free to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments!
We are part of the Admagic Megacorporation, at booth 565. But we’re listed as Burning Wheel in the program guide!
We will have Torchbearer, the Torchbearer Player’s Deck, the Torchbearer Gamemaster’s Screen, FreeMarket, Burning Wheel and Bloodstained Stars for sale. If everything works out as planned, we’ll also be running short demos from the booth.
When I’m not at the booth, I will be inhabiting Games on Demand, running Torchbearer for all you lucky scoundrels. I’m scheduled to run Saturday from 10-2 and again from 6-10, but I won’t be alone! A bunch of awesome GMs are offering Torchbearer games at Games on Demand throughout the day every day of the con.
There are an incredible number of other cool games on offer (in both two-hour and four-hour slots) at Games on Demand as well. Check it out!
Luke will be splitting his time between our booth, giving panels and doing stuff for Kickstarter. Here are some things you may want to attend:
Luke and I are doing a Q&A on Torchbearer, Friday night at 8 PM: Torchbearer Explored, Crowne Plaza, Grand Central D.
Thursday at 3 PM (in Crowne Plaza Conrail), Luke is presenting a talk on how he stays productive while working a job and living life.
Saturday at 4 PM (in Crowne Plaza Victoria C/D), Luke is presenting on the Shadow Economy of Tabletop Game Design.
Hope to see you at the show!
P.S. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @Burning_Luke and @Mimir9.