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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 75 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: So I finally bought this stupid game.  (Read 3942 times)
Brand_Robins
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« on: September 30, 2005, 10:13:29 AM »

I knew I did not need Burning Wheel. I have a very little interest in fantasy RPGs these days, and what focus I do have for them is well tended to by HeroQuest and the ports of it I've done for Game of Thrones and similar things. I also am (perhaps alone on the Forge) fond enough of d20, and have done enough work with the system to be solidly comfortable with its various permutations. The weepy little voice in the back of my head always wants to go back to the good old days of D&D (which, of course, never really existed except in nostalgic panegyric), and that didn't sound like what Burning Wheel would give me.

I knew I would not favor Burning Wheel's system. Scripted combat is a nice idea, but really, it sounded like a gimmick that would be more trouble than it was worth in the long run, and the lifepath system reminded me of the twinkiness of Cyberpunk 2020. The ranting little voice in the back of my head told me this game would bring out the worst in people I play with, and then I would have to set them on fire.

I knew that Burning Wheel's writing would annoy me. I hate it when people use Sanskrit terms in gaming, especially as they always use them wrong. I saw artha and just rolled my eyes. The lecturing little voice in the back of my head started a long didactic lecture about the artha/dharma/kama divide and assured me that this game would be WRONG FOR ME. 

Plus, I already had a fuck load (that's a big load, for those of you who don't know) of good games that I needed to play. Having had friends come back from Gen Con with copies of Polaris, and Prime Time Adventures, and Breaking the Ice, and all the supplements for Sorcerer that I didn't have, and Universals, and Enemy Gods, and With Great Power, and Conspiracy of Shadows … I just knew I would really have no time to play the game even if I liked it.

There was no point in me getting Burning Wheel. None.

So of course I bought it.

Why? Because I hate myself, really.

So I sit down with my books freshly taken out of the box and am impressed by the quality of the books first off. Then I dubiously open them, preparing myself for the hate. I read the opening section, I read the part about GMs and Players pushing the game, I read the lifepaths.

And I liked it. I liked it a lot. I felt like Luke was hitting my nail more directly and with greater applied force than any game since Dogs in the Vineyard (and before that… um… maybe Tribe 8). I especially liked the imps, who are so very like the voices in my head. They made me smile, they made me enjoy reading the game.

This was not good! This made my ranty voice angry! It demanded that I go look at the Artha section. Misuse of Sanskrit would surely ruin the game for me and make me hate it as I knew I must!

But, well, the Sanskrit isn't exactly misused. It makes sense in the terms of the game that it be artha. Not only that, it was a good feedback system with some very practical applications for driving and pushing a socially reinforcing game.

My last point of hatred was destroyed, burned down, leaving me weak and powerless. I, junky hapless addict again, read the rest of the game in a flying blur.

I'm starting a game of Burning Wheel in a pseudo-Indian setting next month.

So Luke: I love you man. Or I hate you. Probably both.

Either way, its one fine game.
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- Brand Robins
Keith Senkowski
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On A Downward Spiral...


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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2005, 10:19:49 AM »

Burning Wheel is like the mob.  Everytime you think you're out, they suck you back in.

Keith
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Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
Brand_Robins
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2005, 10:32:54 AM »

Burning Wheel is like the mob.  Everytime you think you're out, they suck you back in.

Not to mention its currently leaning on Conspiracy of Shadows and trying to rub out Universalis. I fear that it sent Exalted to sleep with the fishes.
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- Brand Robins
Valamir
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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2005, 10:41:18 AM »

That's ok.  You can use Universalis to generate all your plot and back story for CoS and BW and then everybody wins...

Of course then you'll realize "man...why did I bother to buy all those other games when I could just play the whole thing in Universalis" ;-)
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rafial
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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2005, 10:55:35 AM »

Slightly OT: Brand, I'm insane with envy/glee that you will be running BW in a pseudo Indian setting.  Mythological India seems like a fabulous setting for fantasy gaming that is massively underexploited, and I had had the same idea myself several months back.  Only problem is, it seems like there are NO gamer oriented resources or sourcebooks for such a setting I could plunder to supplement my limited knowledge.  Even the mighty GURPS line fails with but sad references to a canceled GURPS India.  Can you suggest good, easy to digest references for this peroid/place?
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Keith Senkowski
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On A Downward Spiral...


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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2005, 11:06:34 AM »

Not to mention its currently leaning on Conspiracy of Shadows and trying to rub out Universalis. I fear that it sent Exalted to sleep with the fishes.

It's a rough gig man.  Conspiracy of Shadows is like Bugs Moran to Burning Wheel's Al Capone.  I can only hope BW gets busted for tax evasion...

Keith
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Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
Brand_Robins
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2005, 11:22:09 AM »

Can you suggest good, easy to digest references for this peroid/place?

The best one volume history of India is "India: A History" by John Keay, the best single volume cultural reference is still (alas, for much of it is outdated and culturally biased, but where it is good, it is the best) "The Wonder that Was India" by A.L. Basham. Indian myth is a bit tougher, but I'd suggest starting with either  "The Sword and the Flute" (shorter and easier to read, focused on extreme ends to describe the whole) or "Hinduism: A Cultural Perspective" (longer and more full, but much more of a job to read), both by David R. Kinsley (actually, anything by Kinsley is good). "The Myths and Gods of India" by Danielou is good as an advanced reference, but near incomprehensible until you already understand what's going on. As for accounts of the myths themselves, William Buck's translations of the Mahabharata and Ramayana are the most readable, but not very accurate. They'll do for game stuff, though, and get the basic points across.

As for RPG stuff... there isn't much. Green Ronin did Mindshadows, which is heavily based on d20 psionics, martial schools, and a few other nifty ideas (yuan-ti bad guys and such). I've only skimmed it, so can't really comment on its quality at length. GURPS India's playtest files were interesting, but problematic, and probably not available anymore (it was on Pyramid's playtest boards for like two years…).
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- Brand Robins
Brand_Robins
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2005, 01:50:40 PM »

And, having just talked to my publisher, I can say that there will be a new psuedo-Indian setting (d20, but with the mechanics forming a small part of the total material) written by yours truely over the course of the last year.

It's called Suryamaya, and will be out sometime near the start of next year.
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- Brand Robins
rafial
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2005, 02:15:04 PM »

Very cool news Brand.  I will definitely be eagerly awaiting it.
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Luke
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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2005, 08:16:02 AM »

Jesus Brand, you sent my irony-ometers flying round in mad circles. Whoop, whoop! Danger, danger! Last time I saw irony that thick it was in my Don't Use this System essay for BW Classic. Gamers and irony don't mix, I tell you.


I'm very glad you like BW. I'll see what I can do to change your mind. There's nothing so soul crushing as loving something in a flash and then having that love slowly beaten out of you until all that's pumping through your veins is bitter vitriol.

;)

-L
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2005, 10:58:27 PM »

That's ok.  You can use Universalis to generate all your plot and back story for CoS and BW and then everybody wins...

Of course then you'll realize "man...why did I bother to buy all those other games when I could just play the whole thing in Universalis" ;-)

My wife and I did this for our playtest of BW Revised back when Luke was working on it. It worked *scary* well. Awesome, really.

Jake
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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MetalBard
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Posts: 40


« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2005, 10:04:59 AM »


I'm starting a game of Burning Wheel in a pseudo-Indian setting next month.


I'd really love to see some Actual Play on this, as well as an outline of the setting.  This sort of thing has interested me, since a friend of mine has been wanting to run an Angkor type of game for a while.  And yes, this friend is Khmer.
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"If you've ever told someone how your day went, you can narrate." - Andrew Norris at the Forge on player narration

My name is also Andrew and I have a  blog
Brand_Robins
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« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2005, 10:13:41 AM »

Well, MB, I've got an actual play coming up tonight. So this weekend I may get a chance to write it up and post it.

As for an outline of the setting, it shall be coming soon. At this point I have to wait for the publisher to make official announcments and press releases and such before I can give out too many details (silly NDAs), but it shouldn't be long.
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- Brand Robins
Kevin J. Brennan
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« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2005, 06:39:17 PM »

If you have questions about Mindshadows, I'd be happy to answer them (as I co-authored it). I'm hoping to be in a position to make some announcements regarding its future very soon.
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