The Hand of the Pit

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?

skulls2Riddled with mind-bending illustrations, The Hand of the Pit, by writer and illustrator Todd James, is a new, 2nd level adventure for Torchbearer. You can download a PDF of the adventure for just $5!

New Torchbearer scenario now available: The Secret Vault of the Queen of Thieves!

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


All Hail Our Bardic Champion, Winner of the Torchbearer Adventure Pitch Contest!

Well met, dear adventurers!

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!

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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.

Your fellow bard,


Do You Have an Idea for a Torchbearer Adventure? Want Us to Publish It?

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?

  1. The concept for the adventure
  2. Some background on the dungeon
  3. One or more hooks
  4. Your vision of the adventure’s climax
  5. A rough map of 10-15 areas

Feel free to e-mail with any questions or comments!

Gen Con Bound!


Hello friends!

Luke and I will be attending Gen Con in sunny Indianapolis!

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.

A Sneak Peek…

The printer’s proof of the Torchbearer GM screen came in the other day. Here are some pictures!

As you can see from the first picture (with a die balanced on top of the screen), this sucker is super heavy-duty. Also, note the numbers on the inside of the screen. You can use sticky flags or paper clips to keep track of turns. I recommend using flags of different colors to represent light sources. Place the flags on the turn the light will go out; when the turn flag reaches the light flag, the light goes out!


GM Screen Proof 1 GM Screen Proof 2 GM Screen Proof 3

A Birthday Gift!

Hello friends!

Today marks one year since the end of the Torchbearer Kickstarter campaign, and what a year it’s been!

With your help and support:

We couldn’t be more thrilled, and we owe it all to you, our backers and those who’ve joined us since. Thank you!

We have a lot more plans for Torchbearer in the coming year. We’re still hard at work on the Middarmark setting gazetteer. And there are plans for other offerings as well, including adventures and more.

But right now, we’re ready to announce the newest Torchbearer product: the Torchbearer Game Master’s screen!


Impenetrable Defenses

The Game Master’s screen is with the printer right now. It features a huge, full-color illustration on the front face by one of our favorite fantasy illustrators, Russ Nicholson himself! We think this is one of the best pieces of fantasy RPG art we’ve ever seen. Click here to decide for yourself. But those dragons dare you to disagree…

The GM Screen in action!

The version in the photos below is a mock-up; the final version will feature super heavy-duty cardstock. There are a number of useful tables and a handy turn-tracker along the top.

Can Dwarves Forge a GM Screen?

Designing a good GM screen has been a surprisingly challenging endeavor. Like the cards, we wanted to be sure to consider how you would actually use the thing in play. Therefore, we tested it a lot and tweaked details that we hope you appreciate. Not only did we consider what information to include on it, but getting the shape of it just right was of paramount importance to us.

For example, the central panel of the screen is nine inches wide, just wide enough for you to lay a piece of paper—your notes, or a map—inside the screen. We also made the wings—the left and right panels—extra long so you can configure it to conceal hidden information to the side, but also to open out and still remain stable. Neither did we want this to become a barrier to you and your players, so we kept the height to just seven inches.

The Wait Is Over, the Waiting Has Just Begun

We can’t wait for you get your hands on it and start playing with it. Nor should you have to. We’re making the printed screen available for preorder today. Those who preorder the physical version will also get a print and play version at no additional cost. The physical screens will ship in August.

You guys are the best. Here’s to another great Torchbearer year!

—Thor & Luke

One Year and Counting


Today marks a year since we launched the Torchbearer Kickstarter. It’s been a wild ride and there’s much more to come! For now though, we just want to say thank you to all our Kickstarter backers and those of you who have bought and played the game since it became available. You’re the best. Thanks!