A few questions from someone new to Burning Wheel

Hello everyone, I have bought Burning Wheel Gold as well as the Monster and Magic Burners and I am planning to run a game with some friends from school once all get accustomed with the rules. I have read through all of the books and burned a few characters to see how the process works and a have a few questions. I wasn’t entirely sure which sub-forum to use so I hope this is the right one.

  1. If you have a grey shade bow does it do grey shade damage or do you need grey shade arrows?

  2. Some weapons in the weapon appendix are listed under basic weapons however I do not see a resource point cost for these, are they free?

  3. I really like the art magic system from the Magic Burner but I recall hearing that the rules for casting spells in revised were different than in gold, should I modify the OBs to make it more usable or just not use the system?

  4. This is more of a clarification than a question but under the skill list heading it talks about the Fey Blood trait and how it allows you to choose skill from different stocks. It says that characters who take the Loathsome and Twisted trait can use Orc skills that are not rooted in hatred and that you need hatred to use skill rooted in hatred but Loathsome and Twisted grants hatred.


  1. Technically, you’d need gray arrows.

  2. You don’t buy them in character burning. They’re for example only.

  3. Should work fine as is.

  4. Oops. That was a Gold adjustment. L&T grants you Hatred thus Hatred-based skills.


  1. The only system in the Magic Burner impacted by BWG is Abstraction and Distillation.

In BWG Fight and Range & Cover with Art Magic you have to bolt on weapon length for Destroy with Sorcerer Fire, Evoke and Arcane Action. It’s not really onerous, but that’s the only real stumbling block I’ve noticed.

“Bolt on weapon length?” Could you give an example Thor?

MY bolt always had the appropriate weapon length but then i… wait that didn’t happen

Well, for instance, you have to decide whether Destroy with Sorcerous Fire is Missile length like White Fire, Spear length like Fire Fan or Sword length like Fire Breath or something else. In Range & Cover, does it have the range of a Great Bow like White Fire, or the range of a pistol like Fire Fan and Fire Breath? We need to know what bonuses you get in the Vie for Position test when you have the advantage and what penalties you get to non-defensive actions when you’re at disadvantage.

Is Evoke Missile length like Call of Iron, Polearm length like The Fear or Sword length like Binding?

The easiest way to bolt it on is probably to assign range categories to the Breadth category of Art Magic. Self = Hands, Single Target/One Person = Sword, Group/Handful = Spear, Crowd = Missile, etc., depending on how granular you want the choices to be.

Is this a job for the Fletcher or the Blacksmith?

Yes, it is a job for the fletcher or the blacksmith. Either way it’s not a walk down to your friendly neighborhood Blacksmith or Fletcher type situation. I could see in game situations that could lead to either a fletcher or a blacksmith being able to produce grey arrows.

One doesn’t get giant metal arrows. Unless of course you do. Although I’d prefer Black Metal Artice for that. Or… I guess, you could get some great work out of White Metal Artifice…

But it’s going to be a fletcher thing.

Well, I was asking because arrowheads are one of the lower listed obstacles for the Blacksmith skill.

Wouldn’t you need Grey-shade skill to make Grey-shade arrows?

I wonder if an arrow can become grey by the bow user spending enough artha on firing it. Imagine someone who has a very special arrow which always hit its mark and efter each time it was fired he retrieved it with love. The artha could rub off on it. :stuck_out_tongue:

Would this be a legitimate instinct? Never fire The Black Arrow unless I spend artha on the test. (I guess it would be but it’s kind of pointless as that can be described by the player when they engage with the artha mechanics.)

An arrow doesn’t really survive getting fired at someone. (as far as i know)

By default no. You could add something like it if you want. But by the core you need someone with a Gray-shade Bowyer/Fletcher or equivalent skill to make the arrows.

“Always retrieve, repair, and reuse arrows that hit” is a really fun instinct. There’s plenty of artha in going after arrows at the wrong time, it says a lot about the character, and I’d feel pretty good about giving some of the arrows unique names and properties to see really how far I can make someone go to get an arrow back.