Aiden, Underground Wizard (Feedback Request)

I just wanted some feedback for my first burning wheel character ever. My concept is that of an underground wizard where sorcery is banned under threat of death, there is a rumor of a rebellion brewing in a corrupt kingdom.

Aiden was born in the village of Luxford Crossing a small town near the capital city of Luminous. His mother died in labor and his father took to raising himself but as he realized his son had the gift he tried to hide him from the world but was still unable to prevent rumors from spreading about the magical nature of his child. An old man who frequented the town for supplies heard about the rumors and confronted the father about them, in the end Aiden was sent to be raised by the wizard where he taught him how to conceal his gifts and control them properly among tutoring about responsibility, and other education basics. The old man was half mad but the apprenticeship benefited him greatly, when he finished his apprenticeship he moved to the city of Luminous because he heard of their libraries as a wellspring of knowledge. He learned first hand just how bad the ban on sorcery was after moving to the city and he survived his fair share of witch hunts over his years of study, usually under the guise of a private tutor or alchemist. His customers dont know the potions are magical but he rellies on his disgression. Thanks to his old mentor he met with some underground sorcerers where they would pass along discoveries and arcane knowledge to each other in the hopes of one day returning magic to the land. He has recently fell on hard times and acquired financial patronage from an influential merchant family, they do not yet realize what they are really funding.

Name: Aiden

Concept/Bio: Underground Wizard, Adept (definition from MaBu being the wizard with a lot to learn)

Lifepaths: Gifted Child, Wizard’s Apprentice, Hedge Wizard

Age : 25

Stats: Wi: B5, Pe: B4, Po: B2, Fo: B4, Ag: B4, Sp: B4, Stride: 7

Attributes: Ref: B4, Ste: B6, Hes: 5, Hea: B4, MW: B9, Circles: B2, Resources: B1

PTGS: Su: B3 Li: B5 Mi: B6 Se: B7 Tr: B8 Mo: B9


I will return magic to the land, by joining the rebellion

The secrecy of other sorcerers is of utmost importance, never divulge information about other practitioners of the sorcerous arts under any circumstances

Do not tolerate the presence of fools


If I encounter anything I am unfamiliar with, Research it at the first opportunity

Always keep my spell tome concealed and secret.

Always keep inconspicuous in public and cautious in private

Traits: [Char] Always in the Way, [Dt] Gifted, [Dt] Low Born, [Dt] Misunderstood, [Char] Strong Willed

Skills: Alchemy B3, Circination B2, Enchanting B2, Foraging B2, Obscure History B3, Read B2, Sorcery B5, Summoning B2, Symbology B2, Write B2



Relationships: Mentor (Significant, immediate family, forbidden), Father (Minor, immediate family, hateful/rival)

Gear: Clothes & Shoes

Property: Cottage

Spells: Fire Fan , The Fear


does this accurately portray my concept? Anything i could have done better or suggestions to make this character more believable?

It seems like your second Belief should be an Instinct and your second Instinct should be a Belief. Also, your third belief is weak (as is your secind instinct if you make it a belief). While it seems this character is more for practice than for an actual campaign, consider using your beliefs to tie the character into the game world and the plot fo the campaign. Tying them into reputations, affiliations, and relationships is a good start.

Other than that, have you considered redistributing your stats, perhaps like:
Will: B6 Perception: B4
Power: B4 Forte: B3 Agility: B4 Speed: B3

This will up your Agility root to 2 and your Wil root to 3, giving you a few more skill points to spend.

Finally, what are your traits? Also, you clearly purchased gear/spells/reputations/affiliations/relationships/property, you should include that as well.

Its supposed to be used in a campaign thats why i was trying to give the character some more polish. I was having some trouble coming up with instincts.

Honestly, I think the second Instinct works fabulously as an Instinct: Never have a discussion when you can start an argument instead. Lots of potential Duels of Wits, belligerent moments (walking away from a DoW), and the like.

“Always snatch a tome” might be a bit of a problem, depending on what sort of campaign you expect to play. Will there be tomes often?

The third instinct should probably be cut back, because it feels like two instincts in one.

For the second Belief, I’d dig a bit into the why: “I treat other sorcerers as kin.” This will inspire all sorts of actions beyond “keep their secrets”. Alternately? Make it an intra-party Belief. If there’s another sorcerer in the party, make it “It’s my job to keep X’s secrets.” If there’s a sorcerer-hunter, make it “I will distract X from other sorcerers.”

Well your instincts are pretty good. But let’s dissect them anyways

With this instinct, you’re telling the GM that you want your character to be in situations where there is not only a nice-looking tome on someone’s shelf, but where it could cause trouble for your character if you’re caught looking interested at the tome. You don’t want to be carrying around a tome of lost magical knowledge as you run into the head of the anti-sorcery police, do you?

As I said, this isn’t really an instinct. It’s closer to a belief, but its a weak belief and you would need to enhance it if you were to use it as such.

This is a good utility instinct. I would change your skills to have the Inconspicuous skill to better utilize it. Basically, you’re saying “I don’t want to be followed. Anyone who tries has to beat my Inconspicuous roll.” The second part of this instinct is more tricky, though as a GM I would interpret it as “no matter how private a location is, someone might be spying on me. Don’t do anything that would divulge my secrets.” As a whole, then, this instinct tells the GM that your character is very aware that he must keep his abilities a secret, and if they wants to out your secret, they have to choose a method other than “you were spied on.”

This was one of your beliefs, but as I said, t could also work as an instinct. either way, it tells the GM that you don’t slip up in conversation, but more importantly, it tells them that you want your character to be put in situations where this is an issue. Do you stay quiet about your sorcerous allies at the cost of inprisonment or death? What about if one of your beliefs is on the line?

EDIT: I prefer this as an instinct because it’s not particualarly goal-oriented. While this is okay, its harder to play. That said, this would be a great belief to add if your character was arrested for use of magic.

I also note that you don’t have any spells. You should buy at least one in character burning, as they are difficult to learn during play. Furthermore, if you want the underground sorcerer group to be important, you should buy an affiliation with them. If you want your patron family to be important, you should buy a relationship with one of the family members. Also consider writing a belief about one or both of these groups, depending on which one you want to bring into the story first.

Added the spells forgot about that i grabbed Fan Fire and Fear for my spells left my character pretty broke in the resource department. Changed up the instinct, what about lifepath progression? Think it is a believable path for the what i chose? Not getting inconspicious was an oversight not quite sure what to change for it.

The important highlights for the character i wanted to keep was:

  1. Personally apprenticed under a master/mentor
  2. Magic is banned by the ruling class to keep their folk in line, he desires to return it to the people
  3. Sorcery is an integral part of who this character is so i want to keep that
  4. Reading/Writing and History

I was looking at other possible lifepath and skill combinations mostly to actually make him a bit younger so i dont feel so old and also feels less erratic. Scholar was taken because i didnt feel the other lifepaths gave me enough research abilities. Rogue wizard i also question because it feels more like fringe lifepath even to other sorcerers. I was considering revising the story/lifepaths to neophyte sorcerer > sorcerer then somewhere else.

Possible changes think i could change the “always snatch a tome” to something like “If presented with the opportunity to learn new magic, then i must take it”

Also been worried as a new player ive bitten off more than i can chew

  1. Apprenticeship is either backstory to LPs or reflected in relationships. You’ve got it covered.

  2. Campaign flavor. As long as the whole group understand that this is the game you’re playing, it’s understood, right?

3, 4. You’ve definitely got it.

Maybe you want some combination of Neophyte Sorcerer (City) or Arcane Devotee (Noble, Noble Court), Student (City, Noble Court), Sorcerer (City) or Court Sorcerer (Noble).

Born City -> Neophyte Sorcerer -> Student -> Sorcerer keeps you at 28 years old and gives you all your key skills and Inconspicuous. You lose out on Alchemy, but that doesn’t seem core to your concept.

Think i should rework the lifepaths? I do like your simple approach of just going neophyte sorc to sorcerer

Been brainstorming a bit

Village born > wizards apprentice > hedge wizard > speaker of names(or recluse wizard)

Gifted > apt pupil > rogue wizard > death artist

Noble court and nobility dont really fit my character concept kind of wanted a lowborn wizard. Potential destinations seem good for hedge wizard, recluse wizard, sorcerer, rogue wizard. Maybe im misinterpretting what rogue wizard is supposed to be it felt more like it was an “evil wizard” type of thing but either way it feels like the continuity from wizard’s apprentice to rogue wizard doesnt really fit well for the setting.

Oh, I dunno. That sounds like a great opportunity to train your Inconspicuous and get wonderful failures. :wink:

Though, I will say that the way you’re describing this sounds very Instinct-y. Instincts are the sorts of things that allow retroactive rolls like this. “Always be Inconspicuous in a crowd.” You can tell the GM “hey, I have this Instinct, I get an Inconspicuous roll against that dude who spotted me”.

For clarity, this was one of OP’s instincts. I must have mistyped belief instead. I’m fixing my post now

So what about the lifepath choices, do you think they accurately reflect concept? My biggest worry was “rogue wizard” for the sorcerer underground schtick it was almost like it was a path considered shady even by other sorcerers, and wizard’s apprentice looked like it took the other route of almost slapstick level of lighthearted. Or am i overthinking it?

They seem perfectly alright to me. Flipping from one lifepath to the other is totally acceptable, and you have some LPing in between.

Ask yourself this question: why did you veer from one route to the other?

So far it feels that scholar was happening along side the other paths. There is no actual university so maybe acquired knowledge from a secret society?

Updated my character to my latest outline, changed him to a hedge wizard lifepath and cut his lifepaths down to 3. My limit is 4 but this puts him at a better age for the concept im going for