Burning Wheel is my white whale when it comes to games. It was the first game to really get me excited about playing a kind of RPG that was different from D&D. It was my gateway drug, in some respects, to other games I really like.
Yet I have never played a really awesome Burning Wheel game. I've played through some one-shots, and I've been in two BW campaigns. I've enjoyed it, but never as much as I wanted to, or as much as it seemed like I could.
Two friends of mine, James and John, both of whom I play with in a larger gaming group (currently playing Deadlands with Savage Worlds), are sort of in the same mindset, so we decided to start a new BW campaign and MAKE IT WORK RIGHT DAMMIT.
For our first session, we spent so much time discussing the what and how behind what we want out of the game, and what we did all wrong in our last BW campaign, and then so much time inventing the world we want to set this game in, we didn't have time to do any playing.
We did create two character concepts, as a group, and then James and John each chose one to actually burn and play. Which was pretty cool.
Some stuff we agreed on:
- The campaign will be short-form, three to four sessions.
- Brian (me) will GM, but if we enjoy the game enough to continue, we'll rotate the GM's role.
- We want to fully grok the Burning Wheel ruleset, so we'll try to a) bring game elements in slowly (Fight!, Duel of Wits, magic systems, etc) as we comprehend them in play. We will also try to stick pretty closely to the Rules-As-Written, by hewing to the default gritty, classic fantasy setting of the game, and not throwing out rules systems in favor of simpler ones (like the skill advancement rules from Mouse Guard).
- The game will be set in a single, ancient, fantastic city. The main element of the setting will be the New City, a clean and well-maintained military fortress built over the ruins of an ancient dwarven hold; and the Undercity, an endless, lightless warren of levels and streets and crypts that extends far down into the earth.
- The characters are searching for a mysterious group of violent insurrectionists in the Undercity.
This is probably a really dull AP, but it was such an unusual game session that I thought it might be worth posting. James' wife was perplexed that our game did not involve any game.
Mostly I am determined to play the game of Burning Wheel that I hear other people talking about, but have never experienced.