Maybe it’s because I’ve been playing Skyrim recently that’s brought this to the forefront of my imagination — but I know my love affair with the “torch” began as early as the publication of Dungeonscape, and the “torch-fighting” style feat.

“Torch-fighting?” you ask. “Torch-fighting,” I say.

The announcement of Guild Wars 2 focus items like the torch and warhorn only exacerbated the situation. I mean, come on. How is a warhorn not awesome?

Link: Backpacks, Bedrolls, Rations
Link: Implementing Implements

I’ve written about incorporating more “mundane” equipment into the game, but there are a few things — like torches and warhorns — that are just too awesome to pass up. We’re also talking about potentially weapon-izing bard implements.

In the link above where I discuss the various implements according to trade well, it’s a little outdated. I’m thinking now perhaps that only a few things should be carried forward as “gear” — the torch, warhorn, waterskin, and satchel.

Each of those four items can be easily recalled — and each can also claim a sort of “elemental affinity.” The torch with fire, the waterskin with … water, the warhorn with air, and the satchel with earth. I will probably never capitalize on this, but I think it’s an effective mnemonic device nonetheless.

Additionally — each one of the items could be said to symbolize one of the four combat roles — the torch as a symbol of the striker, the waterskin representing the defender, the warhorn as the leader, and the satchel as the controller.

Come to think of it, they’re generic enough one could probably make a case for each item belonging to each of the four combat roles for different reasons.

The point then, would be that to use each would require the use of a hand — though the satchel could technically be worn, you’d need a hand to access its contents. Hey, the satchel could potentially represent a quiver of arrows!

So where am I going with all this?

Handedness, carrying capacity, limited equipment, fighting styles — leaving the players with fewer options limits their focus to those few options, which makes them easier to keep track of and swap between at a moment’s notice.

Maybe, if they’re easier to keep track of — a system for recovering arrows and wand charges would make sense and actually be fun to play? Weapon and/or armor durability might prove engaging for a tabletop game?

A rust monster would prove a legitimate threat, rather than merely a nuisance — or at its worse, a nasty means for the game master to strip away treasure?