Bruce the Cleric (made by an RPG novice)

so in order to test out the ease of making a character, i was able to convince my girlfriend to make a character with me. she has basically only the RPG knowledge that i’ve imparted with my nostalgic stories or recaps of nightly sessions.

as far as the actual creation of the character, i would say that this system certainly encapsulates the ease of Mouse Guard. she was able to make this PC with pretty minimal guidance. in particular, i thought the Nature questions were a great way to give her a sense of what it means to be a human in this world and what her character might be like. the inventory system was a little bit tougher, but that was to be expected. in addition, the character itself is not necessarily “optimized” but that is to be expected (hell, my first character wore mittens at all times). the only issues we came across was a general lack of the “tropes” that make up a longtime RPG player’s knowledge base: what a cleric is, what type of settlement someone in this game would live in, naming conventions, and life expectancy to name a few. also the beliefs and instinct aspects were difficult but i don’t blame her at all; i still have a tough time with those myself!

i would encourage the rest of you, if you have some people in your life willing to indulge you, to see how they feel about making a character in Torchbearer. after all, making a PC is really the biggest barrier most novices run into when considering sharing the RPG experience with their friends. feel free to post them here so we can see what Torchbearer looks like to fresh eyes and imaginations!

from this experience, i feel that Torchbearer could work as well on my current friend group as Dungeons and Dragons 2E did on me in middle school.

Name: Bruce
Stock: Human
Class: Cleric
Level: 1
Alignment: Law
Age: 40
Raiment: A rough-spun grey robe and cloak.

Home: Religious Bastion
Parents: Deceased
Mentor: Pankas (Manipulator)
Friend: Davlamin (Scholar)
Enemy: Jamen the Human Magician

Belief: “I can only trust myself and my gods.”
Instinct: Always save yourself first.
Goal: TBD

Allies and Additional Enemies: Roland the Dwarf Adventurer, Thurinrandir the Elf Ranger

Will: 5
Health: 3
Nature: 5 (Human- Boasting, Demanding, Running)

Circles: 4
Resources: 0

Ritualist 4
Theologian 4
Scholar 1
Fighter 2
Healer 2
Pathfinder 3
Orator 2
Manipulator 2

Wises: Politics-wise
Traits: Touched by the Gods 1, Scarred 1

Spells: Fury of the Lords of Life and Death

Keepsake (Brass Pinkie Ring, 1D Teasure), worn 1
Leather Armor, worn 1
Cloak, carried 1
Satchel, worn 1
Pouch, Holy Water, worn 1
Weapon: Flail, worn 1
Skin: Wine, full 1
Flask of Oil, pack 1
Torches, pack 1
Rations, Preserved, pack 1
Shoes, worn 1

The only technical thing that’s “wrong” is age. It doesn’t fit the guidelines in the book. That said, unless each level adds years to your life like lifepaths in Burning Wheel, or unless there are monsters that drain years of life/age you, it’s flavor and would only help Roleplay and offer interesting opportunities.

Also, I totally want Bruce in the party.

here is my rendition of Bruce the Cleric, gotta love Bruce!!!

@damiller thanks for the sketch! She absolutely loved it. Her exact text was “OMG”. In caps.

@theomnipotentsco she actually wanted him to be around 60-70. Which is when we talked about life expectancy and the rigors of adventuring… And then she crossed off “the old man” from her sheet.

glad she liked it!!!


Hopefully Luke or Thor will put it on the site!