A collection of questions

Hello again! I’m back, and with some more questions for you kind folks to answer if you would, this time on Character Burning.

  1. Is “Son of a Gun” a “born” lifepath? I mean, straight off the bat, you’d say no, because it doesn’t begin with the word "born…but there’s a lot to suggest that it is. The very name falls in a very similar vein, being concerned with the background of your parents, with the implication being that you are the son of some spacefarer. Plus, it’s the first lifepath in the setting, has no requirements, provides only general skill points, and takes 12 years, which is in the same timeframe as most of the other “born” lifepaths. So…should it really be read as “Born in Space!!”

  2. In terms of Vaylen-side FoN, should I be letting the players see their sheets/stats? I’m assuming so, since it only seems fair and it helps everyone if we all know who has what beliefs and relationships etc, but I just wanted to make sure before I did anything irreversible.

  3. Do Vaylen characters have to take a year surcharge for moving from their Clan setting to their next setting, be it Ksatriyen, Human or whatever?

  4. Do Vaylen characters need to take the Planetary Attitude and Empire traits? Or are they exempt, being infiltrators from off-world after all, who know very well that Vaylen are on the world?

  5. When rounding skills down to get the roots, is this the case even when you’d get a .75? Eg, you have a skill derived from two stats, with values of 4 and 3?

  1. Yes (it’s called “Son of a Gun” as a holdover from BW, where that is the name of the Born Lifepath for the Seafaring Setting)
  2. Yes
  3. Don’t know
  4. Don’t think so, but not sure
  5. Yes, you always round down in BW/BE, unless there’s something specifically telling you not to.


  1. Yes, it’s a “born” LP. The version in Burning Wheel has an explicit note to that fact, but you picked up on the earmarks.

  2. Sure! Much of those NPCs should already be known to the players, since you came up with the conceps together in World Burning.

  3. Yes.

  4. On my reading they should take them, though I have never seen this in practice.

  5. Yes. Given stats at 3 and a 4, you’d open the skill at 1.

  1. I’d say fake it: If they’re in the hulled body of someone from that empire/attitude, they have the option. It doesn’t make much sense for Ignorant, but Paranoid vs Experienced would be nice color.

Empire no. Attitude, only if they’ve spent time on planet.

Thanks everyone - you’ve been really helpful. :slight_smile:

I must admit, I’m surprised people would go for Attitude and not Empire traits, rather than vice versa, since it makes sense to me that Vaylen would try and fit in with the culture but know better when it came to planetary attitudes.

I don’t see that Attitude traits make any sense, either. What’s a poor paranoid Vaylen to do when he’s worried the Vaylen have infiltrated his planet? :rolleyes:


Agree! attitude does not make any sense for the Vaylen. In our game we even had characters who came from off planet have different traits (Such as the Ambassador). The Vayen should try to show the Cultural Traits (those who do not are likely to be seen as outsiders, but they should not get them for free.

this of course does not count for Humans on the Vaylen Side.

Vaylen are strange creatures.

Vaylen are still half-defined by whatever host they’re in. I think it’s fair to give Human-bodied Vaylen the appropriate traits but I will yield to Luke here.

Well…at first blush, a Vaylen with hysterical fear of the Vaylen is incomprehensible to me. Or paranoia, or ignorance, or frankly anything other than “educated”. Nor do I see any in-play juice coming from acting on these sorts of self-referential character traits.

But then again my grasp of Vaylen personalities and motives isn’t great. Maybe worth a separate thread?


Those traits are not necessarily about Vaylen.

Also, remember that the human that was is still very much in that skull and aware, even if it can’t control the body. The worm knows what that human is thinking and feeling.

Well, to my reading the book sez the character trait is explicitly related to the planetary attitude toward the Vaylen (p. 54). And if it’s not – that is, the planetary attitude gives you traits like “paranoid” but it’s still up to you to figure out what they mean to your character – what the heck are you supposed to do with traits like “personal experience”?

I could see a Vaylen acting scared or paranoid to fit in, but actually feeling scared or paranoid doesn’t even seem to fit the canon. Come to think of it, experiencing the feelings of the host seems to be abstract at best (i.e. the hottie Vaylen in the beginning of Sheva’s War).