[POLL] Limited Lifespan Torches

As a player, what are your feelings on Single-Player modules that use limited lifespan torches?

  • Love them. They’re a must for any module I play.
  • Hate them. Torches shouldn’t have a limited lifespan.

0 voters

If you like limited lifespan torches, note in the comments what your recommendations are for the lifespan. How long should a torch last?

Approximately 20 minutes torch lifespan

The poll is missing at least a third option: “Don’t care / Depends on how it’s done”.

Personally, I don’t love them and I don’t hate them. I’m fine with whatever the authors think fits their module best, as long as it doesn’t get so distracting that I’m more occupied with resource management than anything else. I think more important than putting a number on how long the torch should last is how easy or hard it is to get your hands on a new torch, whether their amount is limited, and what it actually adds to the game beyond an asserted realism (that might also call for frequent potty breaks … :wink: ).


1 hour and 15 minutes per the March 26 1887 Scientific American no. 586; preferably real-time rather than in-game time because the NWN default of 6 minutes per hour is wayyyy too short.

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I like the idea of unlimited use torches or easy to “refill/recharge” (using rags or something commonly available?), but maybe the process for lighting it back up takes a short period of time (~10 seconds).

I hate hunting for resources, myself, but don’t mind waiting for the “process” or activity required to “light” the torch or make a new one.

I’m OK with either option, but for the love of OBJECT_SELF, don’t make them run out in 2 minutes.

@Olivier_Leroux is right that limited torch time is no issue when you can easily find the next one or craft it, as long as this whole process does not become a game in the game. I don’t mind managing some resources (if I’m not penalized for not doing it). I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a module where you could cut a basic clothing into rags, though.

Some other ideas:

  • torch light diminishes over time (20m, 15m, etc), so it’s most useful at the beginning but doesn’t leave you in the dark in the end so to speak
  • torch doesn’t run out but consumes a resource every time it is equipped
  • torch gives massive penalties to hide skill
  • torch cannot be equipped during rainy weather

I prefer torches slowly getting weaker before going out. More realistic and provides a use for them.

I also prefer torches to be a resource that should be taken into consideration but not a game limiting resource.

Honestly having a lantern asset that could be refilled would work better.


Looking at LoCashes script right now. Lanterns are easily doable with the Q model and adding “lamp oil” as an item.

What I’ve come up with is this so far (assuming I go this route):

  1. Torches come in bundles of 10. Each bundle lasts one hour of real time.
  2. Everburning Torch - 100gp, never runs out.
  3. Lantern - burns one flask of oil, last for one hour of real time.
  4. Flask of oil can also be lit and thrown with a 50% chance of igniting on impact.

Is it a singleplayer campaign or a persistent world?

Is the fact that the torches wear out part of the gameplay design?

I think it makes sense on an adventure where having light is very important, but honestly, between the light spell and darkvision, torches have always been a very meaningless object to me.

However I still don’t understand why people still play the first nwn and haven’t moved on to the second.

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Lots of reasons, but that would be an entirely different discussion. :wink:


In my PW you can make bandages out of clothing items. You really need some form of oil to make a torch that lasts for any length of time, I think.

Also, you can use torches in the rain, assuming you can get them lit to begin with.

As to the limited time torches, that can be used, as others have stated, in places where darkness is an issue. The same can be said of other resources to manage, like thirst and hunger systems. There’s no real point in having a desert if you don’t have to worry about thirst. Having to only worry about it when you get to the desert seems odd to me so thirst systems has to be there from the beginning. But that’s just me. Same with torches, cold, spell components etc. It opens up the possibility for the environment and not just the mobs being part of the challenge.

I like the hide penalty idea. I hadn’t thought of that but it seems obvious now :slight_smile:

The poll asks what we prefer, as individuals. So, I prefer a game that has me pay attention to the details, including making damn sure I can see if I’m gonna take my human arse down into the dark places and explore. If it’s a single player module, anyone can spawn a torch anytime they want to, so to me it’s whether a person wants to ‘play as the author intended’, or do their own thing. Too often, people can see anything short of direct progress on the storyline, or simply combat, or whatever single element or elements of the game they enjoy, as a tedious chore that distracts from their enjoyment. To that, all I can say is that not everyone’s gonna like every DM’s style of play, and I view NWN (and other cRPGs) much the same way. If I don’t enjoy it, I don’t play it, or I tweak it to work the way I want.
I think it’s tedious if the torch runs out too quickly, and it’s costly or hard to get hands on. I agree with others on preferring a lantern, but lanterns and oil cost more up front.
My personal likes include that a torch ought to:
Be easily made by anyone with rags and a stick or bone.
Cost 1 gp for 5 of them.
Go out if you drop it.
Burn out after 20 minutes.
Make it impossible to hide in the dark.
Make it possible to light other flammable objects from a lit torch.
Require a flint and steel to light.

Lanterns need oil, and more rarely, wicks replaced. They stay lit when you set them down. Probably have a flint/steel lighter attached. Can’t easily light anything from them. Cost more. Last longer. Cast bigger light.


Single-player module - the OP has been edited to reflect that.

You’ll never find torches with a lifespan in my modules. Torches have a limited use as tool (to combust something …). Beyond that they are just useless items.

Thanks for the feedback. Got the info I needed from the poll.

My bad - meant to just close the poll. By all means, continue discussing.

Just in case this gives anyone any ideas, one of the ways I improved the utility of torches in my module is to allow them to inflict some fire damage. The scenario is that you have a melee weapon in your main hand, and a torch item in your off hand. If you hit with your melee weapon, the target gets a DC 13 reflex save to avoid also getting smacked with the torch. The base fire damage is 1d3+1. It’s mostly there to provide a way to overcome damage reduction like vs. Lernean Hydras and that kinda thing.

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I used limited life for torches in Shadewood because it was the only way you could keep the branches and roots of the contaminated forest from attacking you at night. You could find wood and either use it to start a campfire and rest, or use the wood at a saw horse to cut it down, then use a workbench with cloth and the cut wood to create torches. I felt it added a little more to being out at night when the wood came alive, and having your torch flicker down was a nice feature to create atmosphere. Never received any complaints about adding it.


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