Something about Wise

Hi All,

Correct me if wrong but a character in Torchbearer can have only 4 wise at anytime. If he changes one when possible, he will have to choose one to discard.

Honestly, does it make sense? If I was wise in orc speech and because I decided to improve myself to have gold appraisal (for example), I will no longer be wise in orc-speech?

EDIT: I just bought and read the book and hope to start a game on it soon. Please advise me.

The mechanics follow the fiction.

You need to rationalise, in a way that is acceptable to you and your group, why your character has lost their ability to speak orcish. One option might be that there have been no orcs in your campaign, so you haven’t used that wise in a while, and if you don’t keep practicing a foreign language you lose your ability to speak it.

If you can’t come up with a good explanation, then you don’t get to swap it out. Pick a different wise to drop.

It’s not that you’re no longer wise in Orc speech, it’s that your knowledge of Orc speech no longer provides you or your friends extra dice.

Well, in the case of orc-wise things are a little stickier because your ability to communicate with a creature in their native languages depends on having the corresponding wise. Technically if you don’t have the wise then you can’t speak to them anymore. I think I’m on board with lowlymotion. If it doesn’t make sense in the fiction, don’t do it. If you can explain it away as getting rusty or suffering head trauma or changes in orcish dialects, then so be it, otherwise just pick another wise to lose.

This exact topic was discussed before, I wonder if I can find the old thread…

here it is

Beginners luck doesn’t apply? NM, found it. You can communicate with them. You can’t do arguments, riddles, speeches and other such negotiations.

Kinda strange though - even if this is fantasy and sometimes logic has to be suspended, basic foundations yet need to be adhered. In a camping situation, the character suddenly decide to lose a certain wise and gain another, well possibly to experiences accumulated but losing a wise?

Take for instance, I may once be an expert on the field of motor vehicles (since I tinker with cars and read all sorts of magazines and guide books, attend seminars, races, watch programs and even partook in a few events) but since I don’t do it any more, I am not able to keep up with the latest model, technology, techniques, etc but that doesn’t mean that I lose it altogether.

Moreover, if a person is more scholarly and spends more time on a certain aspect, should he has more wise in there?

I just think oversimplifying that each character can have 4 wise is well…not wise.

Back to the orc-speech example, I may not be up-to-date on the latest orc jokes, slangs, news but I can definitely still argue, solve riddle and negotiate right?

Thanx jovialbard - let me read it up. Guess I will house-rule it.

EDIT: Hard to convince my players if I myself am not convince :slight_smile:

Here’s the quote from Luke:

[i]"No one ever forgets anything ever—not in the game or in life.

It’s a great question. Personally, I’m comfortable with characters forgetting and the letter of the law there. Also, we designed this so you didn’t have to keep a separate list of languages known. You can just look at your wises. If it’s important for you to speak to kobolds, don’t change the wise. If you haven’t seen any kobolds in a few years, maybe change it to something more pertinent."[/i]

Actually, I fully agree with the first sentence (that we don’t forget things in life, just misplaced it) but the second paragraph is somewhat illogical.
It gives me the idea that this rule was designed merely to simplify a concept and its engagement in the game but not to make it logical.

Some posters actually mentioned that you forget a language if not in use for many years - true and false. It is true if the person who has knowledge in that language is at a beginner’s level and with many years of neglect, forgets it quite easily - note beginner’s level. However, if that person has a full in-depth knowledge in that language (or anything of that matter), it only requires a quick refresher before he is familiar and only a day or two before he is fluent and proficient in it again.

How can I be certain? Well, Mandarin is my mother tongue but I am taught to use English since young. Moreover, as secondary languages, I studied Japanese (3 years) and French (half year) and speaks Hokkien (sort of like a Chinese dialect). Malay Bahasa is commonly used in my part of the world too.

I never forgets Mandarin and English and even after many years of neglect, I still speak/read/hear Japanese quite well. Yet I had totally forgotten French.

I think it is similar to driving a car, riding a bicycle, swimming, etc.

Worry about it when your character is about to gain a 5th wise.

I wouldn’t worry about problems you perceive prior to playing the game, mouselim. Your concerns don’t really bear out in play, honestly. If you have a wise that is useful, you wouldn’t want to switch it. On the other hand, if you have a wise that is not so useful or is more situational, you may want to drop it in favor of something that you will use more often.

As to the making sense? Sure it does. Plenty of people study languages in high school and forget most of the stuff later on in life. Why did they forget it? Because they didn’t use it. I understand that one of the opportunities to change a wise comes as a result of using it, but it’s important to remember it’s a game. Letting players change a wise every session would be too much as some of the more powerful mechanics are tied to them.

As to the limit of 4 wises, let’s do some math. You can only gain a new wise during a Winter phase and characters start with 1-2. Let’s assume each adventure lasts an average of three sessions with the Winter phase being its own session. For Human characters, they would gain a 5th wise after 40 sessions of play. For Elves, Halflings, and Dwarves, it would only be 30 sessions. As stormsweeper said, I would worry about it when the time comes, which won’t be for a while.