Triforcebearer: Gerudo, Sheikah, and Yiga Hylian Class Variants



In truth, there is not much difference between the Gerudo, Sheikah (including their less honorable cousins the Yiga), and the native Hylians.  In the post-calamity land of Hyrule one can find plenty of instances of these various races living together in harmony.   While the art of the Ninja and Spellblade are closely guarded secrets of the Sheikah and the Gerudo respectively, the same is not true of the classes of the Hylians.  A Gerudo that devotes he studies purely to the mystic arts to the exclusion of her skill with the blade is practically indistinguishable in ability to a Hylian mage, likewise, a Sheikah might use their natural inclination for sneaking for less noble pursuits than their brethren who complete their training.

In addition to their unique stock classes Gerudo, Sheikah, and Yiga can be Clerics, Magicians, Paladins, Thieves, or Warriors.  If your choose to be one of these stocks with one of these classes, write the appropriate stock on your sheet, then follow the standard rules for character creation for these classes with the following exceptions:

  • All Gerudo are female.
  • Gerudo’s Will can not start Higher than their health, Sheikah’s Health can not start higher than their Will.  A Gerudo Paladin therefore must start with Will and Health 4.  After character creation these stats may advance as normal (with any restrictions for class).
  • Instead of the Human special skill, instead choose from the options appropriate to your stock (below), the chosen skill starts at 3, unless your class already has that skill, in which case it starts at 4.
    • Gerudo choose between Pathfinder, Survivalist, Laborer or Hunter
    • Sheikah/Yiga choose between Pathfinder, Criminal, Scout, or Peasant
  • Gain the appropriate nature descriptors and ask the appropriate nature questions accorting to your stock (see the Ninja and Spellblade pages for the relevant descriptors).
  • Gerudo whose classes grant them a shield or helmet have a special third option, described in variants below
  • Sheikah can not have a starting alignment or Chaos, Yiga can not start as Lawful UNLESS starting as a Paladin.
  • Upon leveling up, Gerudo, Sheikah, and Yiga have a few additional options taken from there base class that they may gain at certain levels.  See Variants Below

Racial Variants

In some cases, even those who choose to forsake the standard fighting styles of their people still incorporate some amounts of it into their own interpretation of the common classes.  The abilities listed below can be taken at the listed level in the listed class INSTEAD of a normal level benefit for that level.  However, there is no requirement to do so.

Due to only gaining spells or prayers at most levels, Magicians do not have a variant option, and Clerics only have the variant option at first level of Desert Flower Duelist for Gerudo.


Desert Flower Duelist: At first level, any Gurudo in a character class that starts with proficiency with a shield, may trade proficiency with a standard shield to gain the benefits of the level 3 Spellblade benefit of the same name.  If they do, they may start with a second sword in place of a shield or helmet.  Clerics must still be able to “present” their holy symbol to cast prayers.

Desert Guide: Gerudo Paladins, Thieves, and Warriors may take the Spellblade’s 6th level “Desert Guide” ability in place of their level 6 ability.

Gerudo Paladins

  • May take Bravdo as their 4th level ability.
  • May take “Daughter of Din” as their 10th level ability

Gerudo Thieves

  • May take Wilder as their 2nd level ability
  • May take “Desert Flower Duelist” as their 3rd level ability

Gerudo Warriors

  • May take “Gerudo Master” as their 5th level ability, if they do, they may choose two weapons instead of one.
  • May take “Daughter of Din” as their 10th level ability


After character creation, a non-Ninja Sheikah or Yiga follow the same rules for alignment as any other member of their class.  A Sheikah or Yiga Thief who becomes lawful may find a mentor among the Sheikah and become a Sheikah ninja instead of a Warrior.  A Sheikah who does this suffers no penalties, but a Yiga who does this follows the same rules as if they had previously been a Yiga Ninja that became lawful.  This option is NOT available to those that became Thieves by abandoning the path of the Ninja.

Sheikah/Yiga Paladins: Yiga who become paladins might retain (and struggle against) their base nature, but may take Sheikah abilities listed here in place of their paladin abilities

  • May take Bodyguard as their 3rd level ability.
  • May take Decoy as their 4th level ability
  • Both Sheikah and Yiga Paladins may take “To Die Without Leaving a Corpse” as their 10th level ability.  Sheikah and Yiga Paladins who attain the Spirit Warrior Condition though that ability ALSO gain the benefits of the Holy Avenger level benefits at that time (if you want the benefits while alive, that the Holy Avenger Level benefit instead).  The Holy Avenger counts as the magic item you leave behind for the Spirit Warrior condition.

Sheikah/Yiga Thieves

  • May take “Ninja Tricks” as their 2nd level ability
  • May take “Gone in a Flash” as their 5th level ability
  • May take “Technological Heir” as their 6th Level ability

Sheikah/Yiga Warriors

  • Sheikah may take Bodyguard as their 2nd level ability
  • Yiga may take “Going Bananas” as their 2nd level ability
  • May take “Ninja Warrior” as their level 7 ability
  • May take “Conservation of Ninjitsu” as their 10th level abilities.  Warriors with this ability count as Ninja for the purposes of that ability.

Current PaDC score: 30/31

Image from Wikimedia commons: link


Triforcebearer: Sheikah and Yiga Ninjas



With this, all my initial classes I had posted in my initial post on the Burning Wheel forums are not fully fleshed out to level 10.   I believe I would like to include rules (including racial variants) for Sheikah, Yiga, and Gerudo playing as Human classes, but I am going to save that until next time.

The Sheikah and the Yiga

The Sheikah have been residents of Hyrule for as long (or arguably longer) than the Hylians.  In ancient times they were said to be devout servants of the Goddess Hylia, and this devotion continued for generations upon generations of service to her mortal descendants, the Royal Family of Hyrule.  Yet, their devotion has not always been returned by the people of Hyrule.  Their secretive nature compels them to live apart from the rest of the residents of Hyrule, and the wondrous technology they created in ages past, was both looked upon in awe and called blasphemous at the same time.  The Sheikah were often honored when they were useful, and cast aside and distrusted in times of peace.

The mistreatment at the hands of ignorant people they were supposed to help caused many of the Sheikah to grow hateful of the very people they had sworn to protect.  In time, a large group of them broke from the main clan, swearing allegiance to the Calamity and vowing the ruin of Hyrule.  This faction came to be known as the Yiga clan, and the faithful Sheikah continue to do battle with them, sometimes covertly and sometimes overtly, to this day.

Sheikah and Yiga are fundamentally the same people, but the ideological divide is so strong they count as different Stocks in game terms.  Still, many feel drawn to the ideology opposite of the clan that raised them, and it is possible to change from one to the other during play.

Sheikah/Yiga Ninja

The Sheikah and Yiga martial arts were once one and the same, and while there have been many generations since they split, many spies and traitors on both sides have kept each apprised of the others secret techniques, and the two traditions have more in common than they’d care to admit.

The Sheikah developed the techniques that make up the Ninja class as part of their service to the Royal Family as their bodyguards and spies, while the Yiga clan has adopted more aggressive techniques, the core of the style remains.

When choosing this class, you must declare yourself to the Sheikah or Yiga clan, answer the appropriate Nature questions.

Class Name Class Overview Class name Starting Options
Sworn to the Shadows A Ninja serves best when no one even knows they are there, and have been trained from a young age to serve silently and avoid being noticed. This can make things difficult when the time comes for them to try to assert themselves or take on the reigns of leadership.
Raw Abilities Raw Abilities: Will 4, Health 4. Wises Choice one of Sheikah Technology-wise or Lost History-wise, take a second wise of your choice
Skills Scout 4, Dungeoneer 3, Criminal 2, Fighter 2, Lore Master 2, Scholar 2 Starting Weapon/Armor Dagger, Leather Armor, you do not start with a shield or Helmet
Starting Trait Sworn to the Shadows Alignment Sheikah Ninjas must be lawful.  Yiga Ninjas must be Chaotic.  See Ninjas and Alignment below.

Sheikah/Yiga Nature

Write Nature: Sheikah or Narture Yiga on your character sheet. If you are a Sheikah, your descriptors are Sneaking, Waiting, and Storytelling, if you are a Yiga, your nature descriptors are Sneaking, Deceiving, and Stealing. Both Sheikah and Yiga characters have a base Nature of 3. Answer the questions below appropriate to your stock to determine your final starting Nature score, and possibly some traits.

Sheikah Nature Questions:
When confronting a foe, do you strike from the shadows, or do you meet them head on?

  • If you strike from the shadows, increase your nature by one.
  • If you meet them head on, you may replace or increase your home trait with Bold or Honorable

When the calamity rears its ugly head do you retreat to safe places to await the return of the hero or do you take matters into your own hands?

  • If you await the return of the hero, increase your starting nature by one and decrease your starting Fighter skill by one (or health if you don’t have Fighter).
  • If you take matters into your own hands, your nature and fighter remain unchanged

Can you recount all the legends of Hyrule of olde, and recite the lineage of the princess Zelda back to the goddess Hylia?

  • If you tell the legends, increase your nature by one.
  • If you don’t put much stock in old tales, you may replace or increase your home trait with Jaded or Skeptical.

Yiga Nature Questions:
When confronting a foe, do you strike from the shadows, or do you meet them head on?

  • If you strike from the shadows, increase your nature by one.
  • If you meet them head on, you may replace or increase your home trait with Bold or Foolhardy

Do you lie even when it won’t gain you anything?

  • If you never tell the truth when a lie will do, increase nature by one, but you start with an enemy (in addition to any enemy you my gain from the circles questions).
  • If you only lie when you have something to gain, your nature rating remains unchanged, but you do not start with an additional enemy.

If you need something, would you steal it, even if it would hurt the person you took it from?

  • If you steal without caring what happens to the person you take from, increase your nature by one.
  • If you won’t take from those who can’t afford to lose, you may replace or increase your home trait with Generous or Compassionate (Middarmark).

Ninjas and Alignment

The way of the Ninja is as much about your state of mind as it is about your physical training.  Ninjas can swap between their starting alignment and unaffiliated without any penalty.  However, if a Sheikah ever becomes Chaotic or a Yiga ever becomes Lawful, the dissonance between the philosophy of their style and their new ideals causes them to suffer the following restrictions:

  • Can not level up (although still track rewards spent)
  • Can not use any [Sheikah] or [Yiga] level up abilities
  • The internal conflict this creates causes an additional factor in recovering from Angry or Afraid

These restrictions persist even if their alignment changes again.  In order to resolve this internal conflict, a Ninja can, do one of the following:

  1. Abandon the Path of the Ninja, losing all Ninja abilities, becoming a Warrior or Thief (if alignment appropriate) of the same Level.  This can be down as personal business in any town.
  2. Act in a manner according to the proper alignment for their stock (Lawful for Sheikah, Chaotic for Yiga), until their proper alignment is restored.  Then, they must seek out their mentor, or find a new mentor if they lack one, for retraining.
  3. Find a new mentor in the opposing clan.  Often this will involve a test to prove your sincerity.  Once inducted into the new clan, reduce your maximum nature by one, and change your Stock, Nature, and nature descriptors to reflect your new Allegiance.  Replace all existing [Sheikah] or [Yiga] abilities with a different ability from the same level (you may take [Sheikah] or [Yiga] abilities corresponding to your new clan).  Gain a new enemy in the clan you left.  It is up to the GM if you can take this option more than once.

Ninja Level Benefits

Level 1
Ninja: Ninja may wield Bows, Daggers, Halberds, Polearms, Slings, Swords, and Two Handed swords. They may wear leather and chainmail armor, they cannot use a helmet or shield.

Some level up benefits are labeled [Sheikah] or [Yiga], you may only choose these abilities if you are the appropriate stock.

Level 2
Ninja Tricks: A hidden Ninja Star, a handful of needles, a bit of wire, a silk sash, a Ninja can always find or reveal an innocuous or hidden object that functions as a weapon. These ninja weapons count as weapons, but provide no bonuses.
Surprise Attack: As the level 2 Thief Ability

Level 3
Bodyguard [Sheikah]: In a Kill, Capture or Drive Off conflict, whenever one of your allies takes damage, before rolling for and applying armor, you may choose to take that damage instead, applying your own armor, if any. You take the entire amount, unless that amount is greater than you have hit points remaining, in which case, your ally takes the remainder.
Skirmisher: As the level 3 Warrior ability.
Going Bananas [Yiga]: In a Kill, Capture or Drive Off conflict, after both sides have revealed their actions on your turn to act, if you revealed attack or feint action, you may elect to take any amount of damage up to one less than your current hit points, if you do get +1s to your attack or feint roll per hit point lost on top of any other bonuses.

Level 4
Decoy [Sheikah]: Once per adventure, when your Party enters a flee conflict, you may declare yourself to be acting as a decoy, if you do, any of your other party members can choose not to participate in this conflict.  If you win the flee conflict, or lose it with any amount of compromise, those that did not participate escape without incident.  If you lose the flee conflict without compromise, this ability does nothing.
Hide in Shadows: As the level 4 thief ability
I Don’t Have to Outrun the Bear… [Yiga]: As the level 4 Burgler Oft Overlooked benefit

Level 5
Gone in a Flash: Through the clever use of Deku Nuts, Smoke bombs and misdirection, Sheikah Ninjas know how to make good an escape. Once per adventure, when you win a Flee conflict, you may downgrade the level of compromise you owe by one (Major -> Compromise, Compromise to -> Minor, Minor -> No Compromise). You should announce your intention to use this ability after the level of compromise is announced, but before the exact terms are declared (And the GM should give you a chance to do so).
Agile: As the Level 5 Warrior ability.

Level 6
Zelda’s Lullaby [Sheikah]: Gain Songbird and any other one other Song Ability from the Rito Bard’s List.
Technological Heir: +2d to all tests involving ancient Sheikah runes and ancient Sheikah technology.
Yiga Art of Disguise [Yiga]: Once per phase, you may use the First Circle Magician Spell Arcane Semblance.  You may use Scout instead of Arcanist to cast this spell.

Level 7
Protector of the Goddess [Sheikah]: As the level 7 Burglar Shoulder the Burden Ability
Ninja Warrior: Reduce the factors of all Dungeoneer tests you make by one
Blades of the Yiga [Yiga]: You specialize in the art of misdirection, even in combat.  You have +1s to the feint action in fights or battles.  This is in addition to any other bonuses you man have

Level 8
Blinding Speed: Use level instead of health for all chase and flee conflicts.
Ninja Scroll: As the level 8 thief Dilettante ability

Level 9
Heroic Ability: Choose Scout, Fighter, or Dungeoneer; tests with that skill/ability now succeed on 3-6.
Transformed: You may change one of your Nature descriptors to Fighting, Climbing, or Fulfilling (your duty).  If you change your base nature descriptors (due to changing from a Sheikah to a Yiga or visa-versa), you may choose which of your new nature descriptors to replace.

Level 10
To Die Without Leaving a Corpse [Sheikah]: If your Goal is noble, not even death can stop you, if you would take the Dead condition while perusing a righteous Goal, you instead take the special Spirit Warrior condition, described below.
Conservation of Ninjitsu: When you are alone or traveling with no other Ninja, gain +2 might.  When traveling with a single other Ninja, you have +1 might.  When traveling in a group of 4 or more other ninja, all of you have -1 might.  Enemy ninja have no effect on this ability.
Calamity’s Blade [Yiga]: When entering a kill or battle conflict from a concealed position, you may automatically kill any number of enemies of your choice with a combined might less than or equal to your own, do this before rolling disposition.  If after using this ability no enemies remain, there is no conflict, and it doesn’t take a turn.

Spirit Warrior

The ultimate technique of the Sheikah, the Ninja who invokes it will fulfill their mission, even if it takes them a thousand years.  The Spirit Warrior condition has the following effects:

  • Your Maximum and current nature becomes 6 when you acquire this condition, but can be taxed and depleted as normal.
  • You are immune to all other conditions (and therefore the Grind)
  • All tests reasonably in pursuit of your Goal are considered within your nature.
  • Track spent rewards separately from existing spent rewards.

When you accomplish, change, or abandon your goal the Spirit Warrior condition ends you dissipate into the Spirit World, unable to be revived by any means. Your next character gains all unspent rewards, all rewards spent while under this condition count towards your new character. Finally, if you accomplished your goal, one piece of your equipment takes on a magic property related to stealth, protecting the innocent, or defeating evil to be inherited by your next character.

Current PaDC score: 23/31

Image from Wikimedia commons: link

Triforcebearer: Traits and Hometowns



Still got the Sheikah Stock and Class to do in terms of playable character, but I figured I would mix things up if I was going to do two Triforcebearer things two days in a row, so today we’re talking about hometowns and their respective traits.  The towns chosen in this were lifted from BotW, and the map of Hyrule itself can changed from game to game, so feel free to modify these for the era you want to run.

Not long ago, Hyrule was a great and prosperous kingdom, blessed by the goddesses, and ruled by noble line descended from the Goddess Hylia.  Until the day the Calamity came, bringing with it hordes of monsters and corrupting the ancient defenses and divine beasts.  Now, many have fortified themselves in their ancient ancestral homes, and all travelers must be wary for beasts and servants of the Calamity could be upon them at any moment, still, some all adventurers are from somewhere, and what follows is a list of notable towns in post-Calamity Hyrule:

New Towns

Only new traits are described below, traits marked with a single asterisk (*) are from the core rules, while traits with a double asterisk (**) are from Middarmark (But if you do not have access to Middarmark they are fairly self-explanatory).

Gerudo Town (Women only) Built around an oasis in the Gerudo desert, Gerudo village is a city that only allows in women, and the tough Gerudo guards are more than happy to enforce this ban.  Voe (male) guests seeking to do business typically have to settle for the nearby Kara Kara Bazaar, although, rumors say that the right outfit can work wonders…

    • Skills:Survivalist, Laborer, Pathfinder
    • Traits: Desert Flower, Fierce**
    • Haggler Obstacle: 3
    • Alignment: Chaos

Goron City Carved into and built on the Rock of Death Mountain, the Goron’s home is a sturdy one frequently rocked by earthquakes and other dangers of the Aptly named volcano’s activity.

    • Skills: Armorer, Stonemason, Haggler
    • Traits: Industrious**, Stubborn**
    • Haggler Obstacle: 2
    • Alignment: Unaffiliated

Hateno Village The largest Hylian settlement in the wake of the Calamity, Hateno maintains relative peace due to its distance from central Hyrule and its defensible location.  It is also home to the Hateno Ancient tech lab, one of the foremost research facilities (as far as that goes post Calamity) on ancient Hyrule

    • Skills: Weaver, Scholar, Lore Master
    • Traits: Obsessive, Generous*
    • Haggler Obstacle: 4
    • Alignment: Unaffiliated

Kakariko Village The home of the Sheikah, Kakariko village has moved many times throughout its history.  Nowadays, many Sheikah merely live out their lives working the land, but Kakariko is still a place of ancient tradition and duty.

    • Skills: Scout, Peasant, Theologian
    • Traits: Quiet*, Rough Hands*
    • Haggler Obstacle: 5
    • Alignment: Law

Lurelin Village A small fishing village in southeast Hyrule, strong southern winds provide Lurelin with a hot, humid climb compared to the rest of the region.  The people there live simple lives, just trying to get by and find joy where they can in the age of the Calamity.

    • Skills: Sailor, Peasant, Scavenger
    • Traits: Sea Salt, Stoic*
    • Haggler Obstacle: 3
    • Alignment: Unaffiliated

Rito Village Perched on a high rock on a lake in Northwestern Hyrule, Rito village is no place for one with a fear of heights.  Blessed with superb air currents and updrafts conductive to flying, the Rito can navigate the multi-level structure with ease.  Ground bound visitors and residents will instead get quite a workout climbing up and down the many staircases that connect one level to the next.

    • Skills: Hunter, Cartargopher, Pathfinder
    • Traits: Fearless*, Aloof
    • Haggler Obstacle: 3
    • Alignment: Unaffiliated

Zora’s Domain Sometimes said to be the headwaters of all of Hyrule, Zora’s Domain is the beautiful home of the Zora built right on top of the water.  The pure clean waters are renowned for their medical properties and it is a great place to practice your swimming.

    • Skills: Dungeoneer, Healer, Sailor
    • Traits: Thoughtful*, Clean
    • Haggler Obstacle: 4
    • Alignment: Law

New Traits:

  • Aloof: Some people just seem like they are above it all, this detachment can help keep them sane and calm in otherwise draining situations, but it isn’t likely to make them very many friends.
  • Clean: Going above and beyond in terms of hygiene and healthy food and drink can lead to a healthy body and mind.  On the other hand, they might not have quite developed the iron stomach needed to chow down on what adventurers call food, or deal with the very unhygienic places found underground.
  • Desert Flower: Skin tanned from the heat of the Gerudo Desert, some find it easy to have fun in the sun and know how to get along in hot or dry conditions, while the heat doesn’t seem to bother them, these desert adapted folks tend not to get along well in the cold.
  • Obsessive:  When some people set their mind to something, there can be no stopping them, not even sleeping until they accomplish their great work.  This great obsession can sometimes lead to them pulling off amazing feats, but can also blind them to any potential consequences.
  • Sea Salt: Some find themselves at home on the sea, they know how to read the currents, tie a knot, and don’t get seasick.  Still, when they turn to a life of adventuring, they may find that life above the water doesn’t really prepare them for life below ground.

Current PaDC score: 17/31

Triforcebearer: Rito Bard



Before I go into the bard, I want to talk briefly about about song magic and the Bard (And, since it is my blog, I get to talk about what I want).  Most of these stock/classes for Torchbearer are based on prominent NPCs of that stock, often from Breath of the Wild.  For example, the Gerudo were based on Ganondorf, Twinrova, and Urbosa, all of which had some combination of martial and magical might, and the forthcoming Sheikah are based on Sheik (an arch-typical example despite being a Hylian) and the various incarnations of Impa.  For the Rito, my choice of iconic Rito (while there are several other named Rito in the games they appear in) were Medli, Revali, and Kass.  Medli and Kass were both musicians and although Revali was not, I figured I could take the bardic theme and incorporate a few bits of archery into it.

My initial draft of the Rito Bard just took certain Zelda songs, made them level up abilities, and called it a day.  This isn’t a terrible idea, and ultimately is basically what this draft of the Bard does. I hope that this produces a character that kind of gets the feeling of some of the musical songs found throughout the series… for the Bard.  Still, I felt like these magical songs should be something anyone can use, and could be given out like a magic item in loot, like how songs could be rewards for quests in some of the games.  But I wanted a system that:

  1. Felt right and Zelda-like and fit with the lore
  2. Felt right with the torchbearer limited resource/inventory economy
  3. Did not make the Bard feel redundant when anyone could do their main thing

Ultimately, the best I was able to come up with was to leave the Bard mostly as is (although I decided to throw in a lot more song abilities and let the bard choose to mix it up), and to just give out magical instruments that have a singly or limited amount of songs available to them (ideally not from the Bard’s ability list).  Treating them as you would any magic item or wand.  Maybe that’s the ideal solution after all, but I’ll keep thinking on it.  Ideally I would like a unified mechanic, so we’ll see if I ever revisit this later.  As no matter what I do that’ll involve changes to the Rito class, if I come up with something cool that satisfies points 1 and 2, but not really point 3, I’ll also consider reworking the Rio concept into something else entirely.  For now though, I believe I have something that works and is a playable, fun class. This one got really long, so click here to see the class and song abilities

Triforcebearer: Bombs, Bombflowers, and the Goron Merchant



Today in Triforcebearer bring you the Goron Merchant, as well as a few companion pieces of gear to go with it.  Gorons fill in the role of Dwarves in Zelda, and the Merchant kinda stands in for the Adventurer as well, although they don’t start out quite as good at fighting, they do start out trained in a wide berth of useful skills.

Bombs and Bomb Flowers

Bombs in Hyrule is the name of a certain type of explosive derived from the Bomb Flower.  Bombs are highly useful in destroying rocks and walls, either counting as a good idea or providing a +1D bonus on all tests to do so.  Properly made Goron bombs can be used as a weapon in a physical conflict, requiring one hand to use, granting +1s to attack, and turning all attacks vs attacks into vs tests, however, bombs are -1D to any action if the wielder is also carrying any light source, and any failed attack with bombs subtracts one disposition from the attacker.  Bombs are typically carried in a bomb bag (pack 2 full, 1 empty), but also can be carried lose as a pack 1 item.  Bombs are treated like ammo, not tracked, but expended as a twist, if this twist is explosive in nature, a bomb bag will contain that explosion, a normal bag or carrying bombs lose will not.

One of the many unique bits of flora found in Hyrule is the Bomb Flower.  The Bomb Flower is actually a weed, and can be found all over Hyrule, even sometimes in dark places where plants wouldn’t normally grow.  The Bomb Flower itself is more like an explosive fruit than a flower, being and has a strong tendency to explode, either when the stem had been damaged or when the fruit is ripe and ready to scatter its seeds.  The Gorons have domesticated the bomb flower, allowing them to grow varieties that last long enough to be turned into bombs, but other races generally (with few exceptions) aren’t tough enough to deal with the explosive results that come from dealing with even “domesticated” bomb flowers.  Bombflowers of all types function identically to Bombs, except that wild bomb flowers explode 1 turn after picking, while domesticated bomb flowers explode in 3.  A bomb or bomb flower exploding in your hands is grounds for a health test to avoid getting injured in the best case scenario.

A bomb bag full of bombs is ob 3 to but, while refilling it with bombs is ob 2, most stores will not sell you bombs without a bomb bag to put them in.  It’s a liability thing.

Gourmet Rocks

The most delicious rocks mined from the heart of Death Mountain. They can be eaten straight or made into a delicious Rock Stew.  Ob 2 to buy on Death Mountain, Ob 3 elsewhere.  Gourmet Rocks never spoil, are 3 servings to pack 1 inventory space, and can even be cooked with as though they were fresh rations to make a mean rock stew.  The only downside being, Gourmet Rocks, and any dishes made with them, are completely inedible to anyone but Gorons.  Gorons, on the other hand, can survive on human food… If they absolutely HAVE to, but they’ll probably complain about it.

Goron Merchant

A race that has remained almost unchanged since ancient times, Gorons are large rock-men that prefer to live in volcanic regions. While typically slow moving, Gorons are able to curl their bodies up into a wheel like shape and roll around at great speeds. Gorons eat rocks, but are highly selective about what rocks they consume, often starving or resorting to eating human food before eating a common rock. As a result of their search for the tastiest rocks, Gorons tend to dig large mines, hauling up ore and other valuables as a side-effect. Still, Goron will put this ‘side-effect’ to good use, and are known for forging powerful weapons and armor.

Goron Merchants often travel far from the Goron volcanos, selling Goron goods and bringing back any valuables they find. While by Goron standards, they may not be the toughest fighters, the Goron’s inate size and strength and a need to be able to defend themselves on the road leads to many Goron Merchants being able to hold their own among adventurers. Many whose main business has turned south often take advantage of this and choose to try to seek out rare treasures underground to bring to market.

Special: Goron Merchants count as Dwarfs for Abilities from core Torchbearer that care about group composition like Giant Slayer.

Class Name Class Overview Class name Starting Options
Heart of the Mountain Gorons are as slow to change as the mountains themselves. This can allow them to push through adversity with a rock-hard resolve, but also can make them stubborn to a fault, even when changing things up is in their best interest.
Raw Abilities Will 3, Health 5 Wises Chose one of Rock-wise or Valuable Trinket-wise, take a second wise of your choice
Skills Haggler 3, Dungeoneer 2, Fighter 2, Scavenger 2,  Armorer 2, Peasant 2, Laborer 2 Starting Weapon Mace. You may also take a shield as a secondary weapon
Starting Trait Heart of the Mountain Starting Armor Leather, if you did not take a shield, you may also start with a helmet.

Goron Nature

Write Nature: Goron on your character sheet. Your descriptors are Rolling, Dancing, and Crafting. Goron characters have a base Nature of 3. Answer the following questions to determine your final starting Nature score, and possibly some traits.

Goron Nature Questions:

1) When confronted by an enemy, do you curl up into a ball and roll away, or do you stand and do battle?

  • If you curl into a ball and flee, increase Nature by 1
  • If you stand and fight, you may increase or replace your home trait with Honorable or Foolhardy.

2) Do you spend your time practicing your moves to impress your Goron brothers, or do you prefer to focus on more practical matters?

  • If they call you the Graceful Goron, increase Nature by 1, but reduce Armorer or Peasant by one if you have those skills, or Will if you do not.
  • If you prefer to do more important things, no ratings change.

3) Do you stand by everything you create and put your full effort into making it the best it can be, or does that sound like far too much work?

  • If you stand by everything with your name on it increase Nature by 1.
  • If putting all that effort in is just too much, you may increase or replace your home trait with Bitter or Skeptical.

Goron Merchant Level Benefits

Level 1
Goron Merchant: Goron Merchants can wield two handed swords, Warhammers, Maces, Crossbows and bombs. They can wear any armor (provided it was made for Gorons) and use a shield and wear a helmet.

Level 2
Unfastidious: While able to eat rocks, most Gorons are exceptionally picky about what rocks they eat. In a pinch, this Goron is willing to make do. This Goron may eat common rocks, sand, or even bits of mortar from the dungeon to alleviate the Hungry and Thirsty Condition, however, in doing so, the Goron gets the Angry Condition. A Goron may not use this ability when already Angry.
Shrewd: As the level 2 Adventurer Ability

Level 3
Stubborn: As the level 3 Warrior ability.
Goron Racer: This Goron is a particularly quick roller, it’s Goron roll can be equipped as a weapon in Chase conflicts, granting +2d to attack actions.

Level 4
Fists of Stone: A Gorons powerful arms and rock-hard fists count as a weapon, granting +1s to attack actions. If disarmed during an ongoing fight, a Goron may automatically switch to their fists.
Goron’s Special Crop: While in your hometown, you may make a free Peasant test at obstacle 3. Success indicates the Goron acquires a fresh supply of bombs flowers and can make a new bag for them if they do not have one.  If their bomb bag is already full, they can sell the extra bombs for 1D of cash. Failure gives the Goron the Angry condition, or Injured if they are already Angry. If they are already Injured and Angry, just increase their lifestyle cost by 1 to clean up the mess they made.

Level 5
Hard as Rock: Your skin counts as Plate Armor.  If this armor was damaged during a conflict, you gain the injured condition in addition to any other outcomes of the conflict (suffering no additional effects if already injured), the armor can only be repaired by recovering from the injured condition.  You can not benefit from another suit of armor during any exchange where you use this ability (but you can use a helmet).
Strong Back: You gain an additional Torso slot, however using this slot counts as a factor for recovering from exhaustion and you may not wear 2 backpacks.

Level 6
Sworn Brother: As the Level 5 Warrior Henchman ability.
Merchant’s Oath: The Goron Merchant always has access to the market, even when closed by town events, in addition, when rolling on the Haggling Events table after a successful haggler roll, he may add up to his margin of success plus one to his results (instead of just the +1 you get normally).

Level 7
Great Endurance: As the level 7 Adventurer Ability.
Dealmaker: Use Level instead of Will or Health, in any conflict involving negotiating over terms of a deal or prices.

Level 8
Word as Good as Rupees: Increase your Haggling and Resources caps both up to 7, you may advance them from 6 to 7 as per the standard advancement rules with seven successful and six failed tests.
Strong as the Mountain: Increase Might by 1 when you’re alone or in a group of other Gorons, Sheikah, and Warriors  (Count Dwarves and Halflings if mixing Zelda races with Standard races). Combine this bonus with other bonuses from spells and magic weapons.

Level 9
Heroic Ability: Choose Haggler, Fighter, or Health; tests with that skill/ability now succeed on 3-6.
Transformed: You may change one of your Nature descriptors to Conducting (Business),  Fighting, or Negotiating.

Level 10
Might of Din: Increase Might by one (From 3 to 4)
Secured Funding: Your Resources Attribute can never be taxed below 2, if your Resources Attribute is lower than 2 when you take this ability, immediately increase it to 2.


Current PaDC score: 10/31

Image from Wikimedia commons: link

Triforcebearer: Zora Invoker



Been just under two years since I posted the levels 1-10 of the Gerudo Spellblade, and I really intended to do the rest over the next few months after that.  I ran into some design blocks with a few of the classes as I tried to overhaul them, and then the project got put aside for other things.   Still, I do want to finish the levels 1-10 of all the classes at some point and so I might use this Post a Day Challenge as an excuse to re-tackle them and see which ones I can get out for you.

If you are curious, levels 1-5 can be found on the archived Burning Wheel Forums.

Today, we look at the Zora Invoker (Zora, in this case, referring to Sea Zoras, the friendly blue fish people, and not the similarly named River Zoras that are green and shoot laser balls at Link)

Zora Invoker

The Zora are a race of amphibious humanoids that make their home in the lakes, seas, and waterways of Hyrule. They are covered in scales and fins, and their heads often resemble sea creatures. Zora require clean water and will aggressively defend the waters in which they live against monsters or other races that would contaminate it. In practice, Hylians have found that respecting the Zora’s territory and their concerns about the water results in clean water for all to drink, and so the relationship between the two races tends towards friendly and cooperative at best to a respectful distance and indifference at worst.

In ancient times, it was said that Zora’s domain was home to a large guardian deity that took the form of a large fish, in modern times, Zora tend to worship gods and spirits of water, while some are strongly aligned with the Golden Goddess Nayru. In Zora society, those who can call upon the power of the gods are called Invokers. Invokers not only function as spiritual leaders, but train their body to defend the waters where they live from invaders and the minions of the Calamity.

Class Name Class Overview Class name Starting Options
Water-born Zora are at home in the water, and are well suited to wet, damp, and humid climes. Away from the water, in very cold or very dry places, they tend to do much more poorly.
Raw Abilities Will 5, Health 3 Wises  Choice one of Hyrule Waterways-wise or Water Spirit-Wise, take a second wise of your choice
Skills Fighter 3, Ritualist 3, Theologian 3, Healer 2, Sailor 2, Scholar 2 Starting Weapon/Armor Choose a dagger or spear, you may take a shield as a secondary weapon.
You also start with Leather armor, if you did not take a shield, you may take a helmet.
Starting Trait Water-born Racial Benefit Zora are amphibious and may breathe in air as well as in fresh and salt water. They cannot breathe in stagnant or heavily polluted water. Zora who are not wearing armor or a backpack never need to test health for swimming, even in rough waters or fast currents.

Zora Invokers follow the same rules that clerics do for alignment.

Zora Nature

Write Nature: Zora on your character sheet. Your descriptors are Fishing, Swimming, and Protecting. Zora characters have a base Nature of 3. Answer the following questions to determine your final starting Nature score, and possibly some traits.

Zora Nature Questions:

1) Do you prefer to eat the raw fresh fish of the rivers and lakes, or would you rather have the exotic food and cooking of the land people?

  • If you prefer raw fish straight from the river, increase your nature by one.
  • If you have acquired a taste for cooked food and spices, you may replace or increase your home trait with Curious or Extravagant

2) Do you spend your free time swimming and relaxing in rivers and lakes, or do you spend it studying and improving yourself?

  • If you laze about in the water increase Nature by one, but reduce Lore Master or Scholar by one if you have those skills, or Will if you do not.
  • If you spend your time improving yourself, no ratings change.

3) In times of crisis, will you protect your home, your kinsman and all the waters of Hyrule?

  • If you’ll do your duty as a Zora, increase your nature by one.
  • If you have better things to do than stick your gills out like that, you may replace or increase your home trait with Bitter or Jaded.

Zora Invoker Level Benefits

When they gain a level, Zora Invokers choose between a cleric prayer (first circle for levels 2, 3 and 5, second circle for levels 4 and 6, third circle for 7 and 8, and forth circle at level 9) or a special level benefit. Only the special level benefits are listed here. Gaining new prayers is described in the Gaining New Prayers section (TB 113).  Invokers do NOT start with Fury of the Lords of Life and Death, but may prepare it as a first circle prayer, casting it any number of times from that same prayer slot.

Level 1
Invoker: You can wear any armor (provided it was made for Zoras), wield a Dagger, Mace, Polearm, Spear, and Sword and use a shield and wear a helmet.

Level 2
Bladed Fins: As the level 2 Warrior Brawler ability.

Level 3
Home in the Water: While in town, if the town has a clean, above ground water source, you may stay in it at no lifestyle cost. In Zora’s Domain, this counts as staying in a flophouse, in all other towns, this counts as staying in the Stables. Local laws may make this illegal, and town events may contaminate the water supply. Zoras without this ability who try this count as staying on the streets.

Level 4
Cool Headed: As the level 4 Warrior ability.

Level 5
Echolocation: You suffer no penalties or restrictions for dim light or darkness when underwater.

Level 6
Cold Blooded: You are not visible to creatures that use thermal or infrared vision to see in darkness (although any light source you are carrying may be).  Further, you can automatically hide without making a test or using a turn from non-aquatic creatures in any pool of water big enough to submerge yourself.

Level 7
Nayru’s Love: Once per adventure, you may remove any number of Afraid or Angry conditions from you and your allies.  This may only be done in camp, but does not cost a check.  Any further instances of Angry or Afraid incurred on this adventure must be recovered as normal.

Level 8
Blessing of Sacred Water: In camp phase, if you have access to clean water, you may conduct the Blessing of Sacred Water ritual to bless you and your allies’ weapons, by spending a check and testing Ritualist against the factors below.  Blessed weapons grant +1d to fighter tests, and, when doing battle against minions of the Calamity, +1 Might.

Level 9
Spear and Prayer: Choose Ritualist or Fighter, the chosen skill now has a cap of 7, you may advance it from 6 to 7 with seven successful and six failed tests.

Level 10
Heroic Ability: Choose Ritualist, Theologian, or Fighter, tests with that skill/ability now succeed on 3-6.
Ruler of the Sea: Increase Might by 1 in general (from 3 to 4) and an additional one when engaging in any conflict in or on the water.

Blessing of Sacred Water factors
Weapons Blessed: One Ally’s, Yours, Two Weapons, Whole Group’s
Duration (One test/Conflict is free): Until next Camp Phase, Until Next Town Phase
Water Consumed: One draught Per Weapon, One Draught, A sprinkle
You may use holy water in place of draughts of water, doing so counts as supplies for the test.  If there is a source of pure water available in camp, you may use that and not count any factors for water consumed.

Current PaDC score: 3/31

Image from Wikimedia commons: link

Triforcebearer: Hylians and Gerudo



Earlier this year, I posted a few homebrew classes/stocks for Torchbearer on the (now defunct) Burning Wheel Forums. These stocks were the Gerudo, Gorons, Rito, Sheikah, and (Sea) Zora all featured in the Legend of Zelda series, the most recent entry, Breath of the Wild, in particular. You can find the originals posts (levels 1 to 5) here.

While I personally find the idea of a Zelda hack for Torchbearer cool (or else I wouldn’t have put forth the effort to make one), I feel obligated to point out that the player characters of a Torchbearer game are, just by the nature of the game, not quite on the same heroic level as Link tends to be in the Zelda games. I’m not looking at changing the core game loop, so going into the dungeon will still be a harrowing experience that slowly grinds the PCs down. This is still a game for old school style adventures, set in Hyrule because the group thinks it makes a cool setting. It’s not really for telling a climatic good vs evil style epic in the style of the video games themselves. Such a story might emerge organically from the exploits of PCs who are both very lucky and very skilled, but if that is your primary goal for a game set in Hyrule, I advise you to look elsewhere.

That all said, I want to revisit those classes I made earlier and expand them to level 10. I will be cleaning up the first 5 levels as well, but you should still consider these classes an open playtest. If you ever take any of these for a spin, I’d love feedback about what worked and what didn’t.

This post will briefly cover Hylians, and then post the Gerudo Spellblade.

Hylians and Foreigners

Hyrule is predominately populated by humans. The three most notable groups being the ethnic Hylians, the Gerudo and the Sheikah. Gerudo and Sheikah are both represented by their own stock and class, and will be described later. Ethnic Hylians are notable for their pointed ears, supposedly so they can better hear the gods. They, along with round eared foreign humans (or of foreign decent), follow the standard rules for the Human stock in Torchbearer.

If you wish for the Human nature questions to more accurately reflect the setting replace ‘Elves and Dwarves’ in question 2 with ‘Spirits and Fairies’ and ‘Goblins’ in question 3 with ‘Bokoblins’.

Gerudo Spellblade

The all-female tribe of the Gerudo Desert, the Gerudo are known for their tanned skin, fiery red hair, and their martial and magical prowess. It is said that in ancient times the Gerudo were once in conflict with the Hylians, to the point where some claimed that the Calamity Ganon itself was Gerudo in origin. While nowadays Gerudo exist mostly peacefully with the other races, the Gerudo Spellblades carry on their mighty legacy, with a mix of martial skills and spellcasting ability.

This class most strongly draws on Ganondorf (various games) and Urbosa (BotW) as its main source of inspiration, as both were mighty warriors with strong magic. Mechanically, it serves much the same role in a party as an elf.  This class was referred to as the Gerudo Shaman in the original forum post.

Gerudo Spellblade Class Overview Gerudo Spellblade Starting Options
Born of the Sun and Sands Gerudo are a product of the harsh climate in which they make their home, tough and strong, they tend to rush at challenges head on. This can not only get them into trouble, but also makes them a little intimidating to outsiders.
Raw Abilities Will 4, Health 4 Wises Choice one of Desert-wise or Hylain Voe-Wise, take a second wise of your choice.
Skills Fighter 3, Arcanist 3, Survivalist 3, Lore Master 2, Pathfinder 2, Scholar 2 Starting Weapon Dagger
Starting Trait Born of the Sun and Sands Starting Spells One random magician/elf spell

The Image of the Desert Goddess

Whether by some divine act or quirk of biology, Gerudo mothers almost always give birth to daughters with strong Gerudo traits despite what should be generations of dilution of the bloodline. Males are extremely rare, with tales saying that a male child will be born to a Gerudo only once a century. In ancient times, such a male child would be destined to become their king, but in almost any era he would very likely be valued too highly to have to turn to a life of Adventuring, and is also likely to be a reincarnation of Ganon. As a result Gerudo PCs are all female.

Gerudo Nature

Write Nature: Gerudo on your character sheet. Your descriptors are Boasting, Demanding and Enduring. Gerudo characters have a base Nature of 3. Answer the following questions to determine your final starting Nature score, and possibly some traits.

Gerudo Nature Questions:

Questions 1 & 2 are the same as the Hylian Nature questions 1 and 2 as described above.

3) Do you thrive in the blistering winds of the Gerudo Desert, or do you seek out the cool breeze of other lands?

  • If you thrive in the heat, increase your nature by 1.
  • If you seek out other lands, you may replace or increase your home trait with Adventurous or Lost.

Gerudo Spellblade Level Benefits

Level 1
Spellblade: You start with a first circle magician spell, chosen at random. You can wield a dagger, bow, polearm or sword (but not two handed swords) and wear leather armor. You cannot use a shield (except as described below) or a helmet.  Each level, choose a level benefit or a new spell (following the same spell progression as an elf ranger).

Level 2
Wilder: as the level 2 Ranger ability

Level 3
Desert Flower Duelist: A pair of swords (one in each hand) can be used like a shield. Must be armed like a regular shield in a conflict. Further, you may cast spells with a sword in each hand, but still need one hand free to cast if you are holding anything but two swords.

Level 4
Bravado: The boldness, tenacity, and size of Gerudo fighters can be awe-inspiring, or, failing that, more terrifying than the enemy. As long as you do not have the Afraid condition, your allies may help you regardless of if they are Afraid.

Level 5
Gerudo Master: Double the benefits of using a polearm, sword, or shield in a fight: choose polearm, sword, or shield. A sword grants +2D per action; a polearm grands +2d to feint and +2d to defend; a shield grands +4d to defend. Note that picking shield does not grant you the ability to use a shield if you cannot already do so, but if you pick shield Gerudo Master does apply when using two swords as a shield with Desert Flower Duelist.

Level 6
Desert Guide: You never need to test or suffer an additional factor due to hot or dry weather. You may provide this benefit to any of your companions at the cost of one draught of water per test avoided or factor removed.

Level 7
Gerudo Steed: You receive a black Gerudo Mare with a fiery mane. As the level 7 Ranger Elven Steed benefit.

Level 8
Gifted: Increase your rank cap for your Fighter or Arcanist skill from 6 to 7, choose which when you take this ability. You may advance the chosen skill to rank 7 as per the standard advancement rules with seven successful and six failed tests.

Level 9
Gerudo Champion: Use Level instead of Will or Health as base disposition for Kill, Capture, and Battle conflicts.

Level 10
Heroic Ability: Choose Pathfinder, Health or Survivalist. The chosen ability becomes “heroic.” When rolling this skill/ability, 3-6 indicates a success (rather than the standard 4-6).
Daughter of Din: Increase Might by 1 (from 3 to 4), further, when you are alone or the highest (or tied for highest) might in a group, you may kill creatures with might equal to yours +2, and do battle against creatures with might equal to yours +4.

Image from Wikimedia commons: link