A Burning War

Hi Luke,

New rules are awesome, but just want to clarify a few things. Traits such as Mark of Privilege, Tonsured and Made Man give a 1D affiliation, should I assume this a mid power organisation and, rank and file membership? Also should players be allowed to just spend the difference in RP to increase the organisation scope? And finally on the mechanics should a player be required to buy a relationship for this trait based affiliations?

On the above comments and in the rules you mention that you can not use circles to find a person of a faction you do not belong to. However isn’t the historical opposition to why these factions exist in some cases. For example if you wanted a stone mason to build you a new cottage you would use the guild to find a reputable craftsman… so would it make sense that for secretive organisations, cults, cabals, criminal gangs & guilds, etc that yep you cant circle them up. But for craftsman’s Guilds and the major Church of the setting (for example) it’s easier to find a pardoner, stone mason etc as they actively advertise through there faction to the wider world.

Also when it comes to nobles, I can understand not getting access if you are a villager etc, so maybe there is a social class element. Any way keep up the awesome work.

The “I Don’t Know You” rule (where you need to share a lifepath or setting with a character to circle them up) and the +2 or +3 Ob penalty for circling up someone of higher station should reflect this pretty well already, I think.

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Hi Gnosego,

Agree, except in the new rules nobles would be a faction. And therefore not available to circle up at all, which I could understand. But you are right I had forgotten the ‘I don’t know rule’… so I suppose the question is, is there a further penalty for ‘and belongs to a faction’ ?

I’m pretty confident the intent is not for all nobility to be one Faction. I feel like you have to get pretty picayune to say that that’s what the Faction rules Demand. Affiliations, generally, require specificity: The rules for buying Affiliations on page 94 in BWGR require at least a sentence of description; “No, ‘1D army’ affiliations.” That’s the rule.

There may be exceptions, like with Mark of Privilege (though, I’ve seen GMs call for that Affiliation to be specified as well – and that might be the right way to do it regardless), but I don’t think subordinating general, new, and in-development rules to those exceptions is the right call.

I would either treat Mark of Privelege as granting an advantage die to circling up Nobility in these rules – think, “Affinity For…” – or have it grant access to a given Faction of nobility – a noble house or family seems appropriate.

Hey there,

So yep I like the interpretation, so I could circle up a clergyman or a mason but not belonging to a specific faction (I mean they might be, but the pc wouldn’t know that). And to your point could circle up a noble man but maybe not from a specific family. Yep like it. What’s your take on the factions that want to advertise though, make themselves found…

Yeah! We’re playing BW in a setting inspired by Yoon-Suin but a bit more grounded in our real world. We’re 23+ sessions in and the characters, a healer and a priest of the forbidden cult of green crane and a young noble woman that started the game broke and betrayed and now have become the new emperor’s right hand, have rallied forces to retake the Yellow City from what’s left of the clash between British East-Suin Company and an undead priest and her undead hordes there to revenge old sins of some of the noble houses.

We cut the last session just when everyone decided enough if enough and left the countryside and marshed towards the Yellow City, so these new rules will be excellent for the battles to come! Thanks Luke!


Sweet. I’ll post an updated version soon. There’s a weird edge case in the rules that allows for a complete deadlock. I think the fix is easy, but I want to cogitate on it.


Wow! Thanks for sharing Luke! I’m not interested in the rules for War honestly, but the rules for Heorism and Immortal Investment are perfect for our campaign.
By the way, I can’t wait to see what else you’re cooking in that whole set of things you call “new shit Luk has been working on.”

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It is worth clarifying that although I am not particularly interested in the rules of War, we are going to test them outside the campaign to experience them well. As soon as we do, I will post my observations here.

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Oh man, that Faction system looks juicy. I really want to engage with it. Between factions, warfare, and Heroism, I really want to play some Birthright


Been thinking a bunch about Fighting Arts and our paladin, and obvious questions come to mind:
What’s the root for Fighting Arts? Always Agility? Depends on the Art? Does Street Fighting root out of Power?

Do I roll the Fighting Art as a weapon skill in combat? So if I am wielding a sword, I presume I would roll my Seven Points of Agility?

What if I am unskilled? Do I beginner’s luck a Sword roll, or make a Beginner’s Luck Seven Points of Agility and just not record a test?

Let’s say that I am burning a Paladin (because I am thinking about one), and I wanna do SPoA. I have B6 Agility and Appropriate Weapons on my lifepaths (yay). I spend a point on SPoA, do I get Bare Fist, Sword, and Dagger, or do I have to spend resources points to get dagger? What if I spend a second skill point on it bringing it to B4? What if, I have it at B4, and bring it to B5 in play? Do I miss out on Dagger and Lance?

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The fighting arts obey the standard skill rules with the exceptions detailed in the chapter (forms and techniques).

Roots for FAs are according to the individual skills. Agility and Power are typical roots.

Unskilled uses the standard rules for learning, though you can only use the most basic form/weapon.

In character burning, you gain the first form for free: bare fist and sword in this case. Additional forms require the proper exponent and 1 resource point.

If you increase your exponent, use the rules on page 43 for learning new forms.


Ok! Back on that! So my Wizard, Morgan, (Power 2, Agility 3, listen, he’s 4 lifepath and got to 44 years old, he doesn’t have Physical points) was thinking about opening a fighting skill (which he will never use, but it’s comforting)

If he opens Seven Points of Agility at B1, I assume he starts with no forms and needs to be Instructed to B2?

If so, what can he Beginner’s Luck? He needs to Bare Fist or Sword to start, but then is still using those unskilled?

(Gotta admit, this one is a lot more hypothetical, Fire Fan exists)

Practice or instruction.
If he must make a test in action, apply a double obstacle penalty for not knowing any forms.