Magic Potions / items & level requirements

Hi all,
One thing that’s got me scratching my head is the whole issue of not being able to use magic items unless you have the required level.

In order to use a magical item, you must be of the requisite level listed with the item. TB pp146

I’m a bit confused as to why a character has to be level 2 or higher to use a haversack of holding (lvl 2).

I’m also confused as to why my first level character can’t drink a potion of healing (lvl 3), yet if he sips some poison (lvl 3) he will be poisoned (pp 147).

Am I over-thinking this?


That’s a good question…

I’m imagining that if a healing potion didn’t work you could at least use it as a tool for the recovery test. Still doesn’t answer much.

There are a number of things like this in Torchbearer that don’t have a root in the fiction. Your mentor will only teach you one spell each time you gain a level. You can’t capture a goblin you encounter as the result of a twist. You can’t fight in the dark. There are other things, too. Torchbearer falls more on the “gamist” style than other games, which favor the “simulationist” or “story” camps more. I guess you can play with the quirks or ignore them. It’s your fun, after all.

Wait, why can’t you capture a twist-goblin?

As for potions, the rule about magic item level requirements is under the heading “Magic Items”. “Potions” is an entirely separate heading (and potions and magic items are different in the Loot tables, too) without any mention of a level requirement.

That said, it’s not clear what potion levels are good for.

EDIT: And of course, none of this is canon. I’m just extrapolating in order to ignore surviving a level 3 poison because it’s simply “too good for the likes of me”.

Creatures that come in because of a twist can only be in conflicts that they have disposition for. The goblins don’t have a set disposition for Capture, so if a squad of goblins comes in via a twist the only conflicts the PCs could use against them are Kill, Drive Off, Flee, or Convince.

Ha! Awesome. Thanks.

Cheers guys. In the absence of anything official, I may simply have no level requirements to use a magical item / scroll / potion, but the level exists as a minimum level for the creator to construct that thing. I can’t imagine this having too much of an impact, considering that to a large extent, the GM is arbiter of what items exist within the environment. I shall ponder.

Well … this:

seems pretty clear to me. You just can’t, period. Obviously these items require some knowledge and correct handling from the user. And, as Ludanto points out, potions are not magic items, so everybody can use them.

It’s like using complex commands or programs (magic item, requires specialized knowledge and experience) vs. simply executing a ready-made script (potion – just pull the cork).

In a way, I can see that making sense. The goblins are sprung upon you, so you don’t have access to your full array of options.