Rushlight: A rushlight provides dim light for one character, lasts for one turn, and may be blown out at any time at the discretion of the GM. A dropped rushlight may continue to burn at the GM’s discretion, but provides no light for anyone. A pack of 10 rushlights is pack 1 or hands (held) 1. A burning rushlight is hands (held) 1.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rushlight Sources give varying accounts of the length and burn-time of the average rushlight. The book of trades, or Library of the useful arts indicates that the average rushlight was 12 inches (30 cm) long and burned for 10 to 15 minutes. Gilbert White reported that a rushlight 28.5 inches (72 cm) in length burned for 57 minutes; he wrote, “these rushes give a good clear light.” There was much variation in the quality of rushlights; a 19th-century writer observed that “one might very well flicker and splutter for an hour, whilst a second was just as likely to flame away in ten minutes.”
A differently made rushlight in which two strips of the rind were left on the rush before it was coated with tallow produced a dimmer light but burned much longer. White referred to these as “watchlights.”
Die of fate?
1: the rushlight sputters and dies.
6: the rushlight provides dim light for two characters for 1 turn.
Watchlight: dim light for one character for 2 turns.
Also: Bioluminescence: dim light for one character per 5’ square.
My understanding is that it’s considered a good idea to light something flammable from an existing flame (when leaving camp, just before your last torch or candle goes out, etc), but I feel like lighting a narrow piece of wood or such wouldn’t exactly be easy without a convenient source of fire. I don’t think there’s a specific rule on that. It just seems like the convenience of such an item is primarily mundane, like having enough light to find your way to bed at night. As an adventurer it seems like such an item would only be useful if it were easy to light, like a match, but I didn’t think that’s what you were intending. Just thinking out loud mainly.
Usually it’s just done, although you may need a Survivalist test to make fire in bad (wet and/or rushed) conditions, with a tinderbox giving +1D. Anyway, homework: everyone read some Jack London and watch Cast Away.
I like how TB could become the game that does for light sources what Gygax & Co. did for types of pole arms.
Yeah, I wasn’t thinking these would be a primary light source, more of a back-up you could scrounge together from rushes and cooking leftovers or something in a pinch. Thinking of other light sources, there’s no regular old oil lamp in the book either. I guess that would just be a lantern without the protection, so more prone to snuffing out and more fragile.
I think it was intended to be an oil lamp in torchbearer. Though, honestly, an actual candle lantern would just be a cover for a candle. It would take up a hand but provide a little protection form the wind.