Lone Torchbearer

I’m going to start this with a little bit of fan love (sorry all) and then proceed to a serious question.

I ran into burning wheel a couple of years ago. I then read most of all the forum posts and whatnots i could about it. Now, i game lightly these days, my main group i play with don’t live very close anymore. We grew up on the AD&D / 3.0 / 3.5 stuff and except for a couple white wolf games never got much beyond that. But with the wonder of the internet i started reading about all these interesting “indie” games. some i liked very much. some were ok. but for some reason BW and BWR and BWG caught my eye. And i read and enjoyed it. when mouse guard hit the shelves, i eventually shelled out the couple dollars for it, and i cannot do justice to how much it improved our gaming experience. More than that, just reading the “philosophy” that BW has, i believe i went from an ok DM to a decent GM. To the point of playing one shots, or couple games of 3.5 or pathfinder, and just taking what i read in the forums and applying them i’ve had people tell me, dude - you do a good job at DMing. Sure experience helps, but before spending way too many hours on this forum, i was still limited. (Other people probably didn’t need some of the pointers i picked up here - man i did.).

So when i bought Mouse Guard and played it with a few of the old school core group… well let’s just say it was an excellent experience. But in a cursed way for sure. Nothing like being a player in a 3.5 adventure and having one of the guys i played a couple mouse guard games with saying: so roll to see if you set up camp well enough versus this storm, cause otherwise i’m going to hit you with “conditions”.

Anyway, enough “hey these games are awesome” shite. So when mouse guard came out i started building a hack to play Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf books. But i’m lazy and never really kicked it off. I even tried playing a 3.0/3.5 version of his games, but i never put enough time into them to make them click.

When torchbearer went up for kickstarter i knew it would be perfect. See, Lone Wolf is very solo adventure, you’re the “chosen one”-esque. But the books were brutal and harsh. Also there was always this limited carrying space element that i found difficult to include. There was a you get hungry and tired reduce your “health” element to them. So when i saw torchbearer, and what it was good at i knew it would mesh well with the LW experience. This would be the machine that i finally introduced other players to that bleak, it’s you versus the world (though you’re the person that’s going to save it) feel that Lone Wolf had.

And i expect it to be awesome. So onto the more pertinent question…

In the Lone Wolf books you have 10 main attributes: Camouflage, Hunting, Sixth Sense, Tracking, Healing, Weaponskill, Mindshield, Mindblast, Animal Kinship, Mind Over Matter.

Now in my mind most of these overlap with skills that Torchbearer already includes (camo, hunting, tracking, healing, weaponskill, animal kinshipv(thanks d3nb3 and Jared for thoughts on that), but for the other four i’m at a little of a lost in how to include them.

I’m going to run this as a solo adventure, as the LW books are. And take those books and make them into what (i hope) will be wonderful torchbearer-esque adventures. (We are going to run this on a play by post thing on rpol.net)

But that being said, There are four of those i find difficult to deal with: Sixth Sense, Mindshield, Mindblast, and Mind Over Matter. For sixth sense i’m thinking of making it the starting trait for the character class, “Kai Lord” (Cause sixth sense works as a starting trait so well!). But for the other three i’m not sure how to approach them. I’m trying to be true to torchbearer/ being true to LW game and what i want is to create a “psionics” skill to let the player have the three abilities.

My idea is to introduce them as level abilities, as a choice. As a bad example: Level two: choose between Wilder (as an elf) or gain a level 1 psionic circle power (roll randomly from the three available?). And I feel ok with this, except how do i make the psionics powers work? i want them because they’re an important part of the Lone Wolf experience, but i don’t want to throw in two skills for psionics when one will suffice.

Basically, i think that the psionics should work mostly like cleric’s or mage’s spells/prayers, but i don’t want the player to have to tote around a spells book, and i don’t want to have a secondary skill to be able to “memorize /pray for” the psionic powers (the way you need theologian as the secondary skill for ritualist). I was thinking of invoking some type of will/health test-esque roll for how many times you could have the power in between camps/town phase, but i don’t know how to make it balanced. So i reach out to you, dear forum readers, to help me out.

In short, at a level increase (say two) choose to gain a “psionic power” (roll randomly?) but not start with the psionic skill - so at least a couple beginner’s luck rolls to have it efficiently. But how to bring the ol’ psionic points for powers into play?

Next post: Kai Lord character creator as i currently have it set up…