Torchbearer: The Story of a Hero

Torchbearer tells the story of a mythology being born; people tell stories, and some of the stories fade into obscurity, but other stories are remembered and retold and stolen from, and they become laws unto themselves, describing the inner workings of the world.

That is to say that a sufficiently strong story doesn't just end when its protagonist resolves his defining Conflict; instead, that story becomes a Torch, and in the next layer of the mythology, it becomes an element that the newer stories can resonate with. Oh yeah.

There are four possible closures for a character when his Conflict resolves:

If his story was weak,
he fades into obscurity.
If his story was ordinary,
he becomes an element of a Torch's symbology.
If his story was strong,
he becomes a Torch in his own right.
If his story was mighty to the point that it defines his people,
he merges with an existing Torch to extend its symbology and influence.

How do you determine this? In the simplest manner possible! A character who relies on Torch contributions, which is to say a character who's moving in lines already tread by older mythology, will have fewer Traits than one who is more self-reliant. Therefore, a character with fewer Traits than the number of Torches in play fades into obscurity; if he has at least as much Fuel as he has Traits, he's absorbed into the Symbology of a Torch he possesses. If he possesses no Torches or has insufficient Fuel, he fades completely, and doesn't have further impact on the mythology.

A character with at least as many Traits as the number of Torches in play entrenches himself into the mythology. If he has at least as much Fuel as he has Traits, then he may merge with a Torch he possesses. This means that the Torch acquires a new physical representation, and the character's Traits are added to its Symbology.

If he does not possess a Torch or his Fuel is insufficient, then he becomes a Torch in his own right, acquiring a physical representation, and converting his Traits into Symbology.


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