Category: Burning Wheel

04/11/10

Permalink 08:56:36 am, Categories: Burning Wheel, 874 words   English (US)

Concluding BW

Concluding our actual play about BW. This has been cross posted at the forge and to see our upcoming actions, you might go read the answers that followed.

Maybe just to conclude this thread and summarize our (Francis and I) common position following this play test. Please note that some of the issues I'm going to address are on the verge of publishing.

Burning Wheel
This is, in my opinion, one of the best system out there. It really helps out playing and provides rules that helps me, as a DM at the table ; I mean it helps me and my players focus on what we want to address.
Maybe the most enjoyable and eye opening mechanic for me was the character burner. And I'd like to talk a little bit about this.
The character burner, in my opinion, is quite different than the classical character creation. In what way ?
I do see the character creation as having a character sheet and completing it. Character burner seems to me like a different beast : you have a specific sheet, with a lot of little characters on it, that you use to create your character. In this process, there is a lot of emphasis about the character personal story. After this process, you moved some parts of the initial sheet to the final character sheet, the one you will use in play ; thus throwing away the character burner sheet.

Now, would I prefer a simpler character sheet for BW ? I guess, yes. I mean, yes, BW is great, but a little bit too complicated to my taste (read here "rules heavy"). BW is great, but better to use it with hardcore players. And do I have access to this kind of players ? Not really, see below.

Also, which is great for Avalanche, BW seems perfect to play campaign, which is the purpose of Avalanche.

Finally, I do feel that BW and Avalanche is almost a perfect match. By that, I mean I don't see any real reasons to have a separate version of BW for Avalanche or a single version of Avalanche for BW. According to this AP, do I seem right ?

What's next ?
So, here's my situation : Francis is going to leave for China in two months, and for some reasons (including friends of mine living oversea) I don't have access to hardcore players. Also, setting out a campaign might turn out to be very difficult. And, please, bear in mind that I intend to publish Avalanche somewhere this summer ; that means a lot of work, leaving even less time for playtesting.

That said, we intend to continue a little bit of playtesting until Francis is leaving ; at least two games, but with very specific purposes. We want to try out some "demo" stuff. That means single session introducing Avalanche. Thus, no real space here for character burning and we do see TSOY to be a better take for this kind of play. Do you feel that way ?
And note that this is not really a problem as Avalanche is presented as a multi-systems campaign.

Now, back to BW. I do see my options as follow (there are not mutually exclusive) :
- Continue, against all odds, to playtest BW, eventually to the sake of other type of playtesting, or even work on the final product. Is there much more to learn for me in that context ?
- Write down a review, to be or not, included to Avalanche. I do have other ways to propose it, in my blog for instance.
- Write down suggestions, or guidelines, on how to best use BW and Avalanche together (taken mostly from this AP).
- Try to find playtesters within the community of BW. That would mean for alpha testers (free version of Avalanche for those testers). And note that I see a difference between encouraging this kind of playtest and providing guidelines, getting customers who play BW and let them build a community. But I do want limited alpha testers. Is BW really where I want to put the efforts ?
- Putting out characters sheets for BW in Avalanche is not an option I can do alone : I need Luke permission. Should I "push" on that ?

Or, maybe, I should just not worry about it and do nothing ... Or maybe, I'm missing out something.

Our goal, our system
After much thoughts, we decided to come up with our own system. But, wait here : that is no big deal !!! We're going to do a variation of the solar system, which works well with Avalanche, we know that already. And the system works too, so it shouldn't be too much work (*cough*cough* ... see "risky" here). That said, we would like to introduce a kind of character burner in the solar system.

Anyway, the main thing is : time is limited. I would prefer to spend time working out on this variation and playtesting it than BW. You see my problem ?

But maybe, there could be a couple of very little things I could do to close down the BW issue that would really pay off. Any suggestions ?
And please, keep in mind that I want Avalanche to be open about systems. That is one of our main publishing goal.

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