So I’m gearing up to run my first game of Burning Wheel. It’ going to be set in a world I’ve played in pretty continuously for about six years. Prior to this, it has always been run using D&D or some variation (Pathfinder most recently).
I understand that part of the character burning process is to generate the world together, but is this a requirement? That isn’t to say I won’t allow for player input, but the general feel of the setting is there, as well as some pretty specific instances.
Also, is it not recommended to have my party start unaware of each other? I’ve been doing this for years without ever resorting to the tavern trope, and I like how it creates group tension. They may not want to join forces with each other, but recognize that working as a group accomplishes their goals more easily. In a long enough campaign, they may go beyond camaraderie for the sake of convenience.
Here’s my pitch:
The game is set in Winterfel (I named my world this long before I knew of George RR Martin). Snow blankets the ground for the majority of the year. The Thaw, a 100-day period where the snow melts and the ground softens, is a time of celebration. In Valdor, one of the kingdoms of Man, this period is marked by 100 days of festivals. These festivities attract travelers from across Winterfel as contracts are arranged, apprentices seek masters, and people make their plans to survive the winter.
However, the beginning of the festival saw an ill-omen. The farms outside of the capital city found a good many of their livestock slaughtered. The knights of the realm have blamed the Orc tribes that exist beyond their borders and are trying to recruit some of the festival goers into the military to wage war.
I want my players to write beliefs about this, but also have some personal goals within the festival. The Knight Captain recently lost his right-hand man, and the reward for winning the jousting tournaments is to fill that role. There are contests typical of any festival. Players looking to pursue a craft can find masters of their profession peddling their wares and recruiting new workers.
Will this set-up work with the nature of this game, or am I still railroading them too much?