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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 69 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: First Impressions of BW Revised  (Read 3018 times)
Michael S. Miller
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« on: April 22, 2005, 06:06:04 AM »

I received my preordered copy of Burning Wheel Revised yesterday. Everyone is gushing about it over on the BW forums, so I thought I'd gush over here.

First impression: it's beautiful. No doubt about it. I can probably count on one hand the games that are in the same league as this one as far as beauty of layout goes. I brought it into work today (I work for a type compositor) and showed it off to people who appreciate beautiful books. They were very impressed. I particularly loved the "extreme close-up" on some of the Ranting Imps. Gave me flashbacks of in-person Luke-rants. I also love the way that Luke re-uses artwork for the little chapter icons in the upper right. Good job on all counts, Luke!

I didn't have much time for actually reading the game, but I finished The Hub and The Spokes. When I got to the end of The Spokes and Luke says "Now burn a couple characters and run a quick scenario" I was surprised. I mean, we've barely started, right? But then I realized that The Hub and The Spokes are pretty much "Burning Wheel Lite." Very nicely done, Luke. I understood how the basic system worked much better in the Revision than when I read the comparable sections in BW classic.

Just looking over the mechanics in these sections, two things really floored me as revolutionary.

The first was "Let It Ride." I can see now why you felt the need to argue with Vincent about Task Resolution v. Conflict Resolution. You had just spent buckets of mental sweat figuring out how to get Task Resolution to also be Conflict Resolution, and "Let It Ride" is the lynchpin that holds it all together. It keeps the GM and the players honest about "this roll is for this thing and that's it." None of this "I failed, can I try again?" or "You succeeded once, but can you succeed again?" crap. This is just plain awesome. I loved the tracking example, too. It's very elegant to use the same number of successes against different obstacles based on a changing situation. I say again: very elegant.

The thing that absolutely floored me was something I should have seen coming. It was prefigured by the "Peer Review" step in the Monster Burner. In the section on Advancement Luke introduces an awesome concept: "Trait Vote." In essence, you may have the numbers needed to gain a new Trait (or simply discard an old one), but everyone playing gets to vote on whether you can actually changed, based on their perceptions of how you've played your character. This is awesome! It comes right out and says "Your character is yours, but he also belongs to the group." It encourages people to show and foreshadow Trait changes that they'd like to do, and puts a damper on discarding Traits that the player just "doesn't like." I love the idea that you might not be allowed to change your character's stats because you haven't convinced the group that the character has changed. Don't be surprised if something similar shows up in With Great Power... After all, I only steal from the best. 8^)

Anyway, I was very impressed by my first taste of BW Revised and look forward to delving more deeply.

PS--I may not be able to make it to 05.05.05, but I did get BW Revised #55, so that's very cool.
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Serial Homicide Unit Hunt down a killer!
Incarnadine Press--The Redder, the Better!
Luke
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2005, 07:35:43 AM »

damn it! I've been outed in the first post about the game. Thor and I were taking bets over how long it would take.

BTW, the trait vote is from the classic edition, we just moved it from the back of the book to up front where it belongs!

-L
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Thor Olavsrud
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2005, 07:44:54 AM »

Heh! Let It Ride is also from the Classic edition. I can't wait until you dig into some of the new stuff!

Oh, and by the way, that damn Vampire may have lost me on the town streets, but I eventually found that sucker and killed it! Too bad that only made things worse...
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2005, 09:00:32 AM »

"Outed"? As what? A Conflict Resolutionist? I just calls 'em like I sees 'em.

Be grateful I didn't mention that Flaming Narrativist get-up I saw in the BITs and Artha sections. Not a Timid Virgin in sight.

And, while the stuff I mentioned may have been present in Classic, I sure didn't see it on my read-through. Which means I wouldn't have run it that way. Which is just another reason that Revised is far superior.

BTW, about the bet? Do I get a piece of the action? ;^)
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Serial Homicide Unit Hunt down a killer!
Incarnadine Press--The Redder, the Better!
Thor Olavsrud
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2005, 09:42:17 AM »

I've been telling Luke for months that he's created an awesome Conflict Resolution game. To which his usual response is to put his fingers in his ears, jump up and down and shout, "shut up shut up shut uuuup!" ;)

All the Intent stuff, and especially the Failure section, show it clear as day though.

Also, check out the Beliefs and Instincts section in the Character Burner. They're even more to the point!

And you're right, Let It Ride and the Trait Vote have been given much more prominence in Revised. I'm really glad that they leapt out at you, because that was the intention. Peer Review in general has wormed its insidious way into the entire game. It's a big part of the Monster Burner as well, and will be very important in the Magic Burner when it is eventually released.

Personally, I'm waiting for you to latch onto some of the Author Stance stuff that is hidden in The Rim of the Wheel.
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Luke
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2005, 02:27:10 PM »

Quote from: Thor Olavsrud
Author Stance stuff that is hidden in The Rim of the Wheel.


::winces::

there he goes again, popping his mouth off.
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xenopulse
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2005, 06:41:08 PM »

Alright, Michael's post persuaded me, I put in my order yesterday.

And damn, I wish I could get number 55 (5 being my favorite number, 55 was my self-picked volleyball jersey number).  :)

Hey, maybe I'll get number 555? That would *rock*!
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Zachary The First
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2005, 11:55:17 PM »

Pity we can't specifically-request numbers of significance to us or our games.
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xenopulse
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2005, 11:55:55 AM »

Well, I got number 279, but it still rocks.

Burning Wheel Revised reads like a prime example of an RPG that takes theory seriously, and implements it wonderfully and very practically.

Michael has mentioned several of the highlights. I could add many more. There's obvious player-GM communication about What I Want This Game To Be About. There's positioning, as Vincent would call it. The reward system feeds back into it. It's like a whole big revolving Wheel! :)

Overall, very impressive. I have yet to see a more advanced Fantasy RPG.
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