The Terrible Price

New rules for death in Torchbearer.


Journey to hell is hella cool. The level 2 price, taking a friend as determined by GM reminds me of 0D&D reincarnation spell, insofar as the player doesn’t choose the class. Part of me would like the friend not to be determined by GM, that’s a lot of pressure on the GM to make the other player happy, but rather a randomized table.

I also like that, even dying at level 1, the player is granted some leg up on a restart. However, wouldn’t that incentivize some players to not spend any rewards until they hoard enough for level 2? As in, not spending any fate until you have 3 and then trying to use them as quickly as possible for fear of losing spent fate with death? It certainly sounds better to die with 3 unspent fate rather than 2 spent fate and 1 unspent.

I think the countervailing pressure to succeed and survive outweighs the hoarding impulse. In addition, you want your character to reach L2, which do by spending. Losing your advances from even just one session is a stiff penalty.

The Journey to Hell is an alternative to the level deaths, like the spell?

It sounds very cool, but puts a considerable onus on the GM to create a quest and a Hell that has the potential for consequences other than “the dead character’s soul gets rescued” or TPK. If those are the only options, that’s cool, but they should be more explicit, otherwise a problem in the social dynamic of the group gets hidden by a game rule.

Are the other characters also expected to drop everything to take a side-trip to Hell, and if not, what does the dead character’s player do in the meanwhile (apart from sulk)?

You’ll note the rules are silent on group dynamic or the construction of the actual quest.
The rule here states: Your campaign has a conduit to Hell through which souls can pass. You can journey along this conduit and retrieve your dead companion.

You’ll also note that retrieving someone from Hell restores them in their best condition (out of all the other options).

Presumably pre-quest would also fall under this: “For the quest, the player of the deceased may create a new character or take on their friend or mentor as appropriate(according to their level).”

I personally don’t think anyone would be “expected to drop everything” to save their lost companion. Like someone said above, the suffering player could run an alternate character in the wait time. But the decision to take a trip to hell to rescue the fallen companion should be a role playing experience, not just an incident where the player says “Hey, I died. Come rescue me.” Do the characters want to rescue their dead companion? There have been characters in my group that my assassin wouldn’t risk so much to rescue. At best, it would be a vote. If the trip was made, there should definitely be a risk involved. I don’t think it would only be “success” or “TPK”. Some might make it back. Some might not. That would be the risk.

Wicked awesome, all around. Just one question: how do you stat up the mentor? I’m guessing that they come in just like the friend does? Same level, but the GM chooses class and character abilities? I’m not sure, though. That’s the only option that I wasn’t entirely clear on.

Working on that right now!

I always thought the Mentor was 1 level higher than the character, that’s why it would be a “better” option than a friend.

Stay cool :cool: