Ok here goes
Our DM says to us make some beliefs and we all did so before starting play(everyone got some great ones about what they wanted for their characters). The DM looks them over and approves them.
We start play and we get into the sewers and end play there.
Next time the DM says … make new beliefs regarding the sewer situation(and an upcoming fight).
Thats not the way its supposed to be is it? having us change beliefs every play session to reflect the situation we are in?
As I understood it … .you make beliefs and your DM fine tunes them and then he has to challenge your beliefs by providing the scenes in form of hooks or whatever for the players?
I am wrong here … still new to BW so I could very well have gotten it all wrong.
What about our old beliefs? Those were the things we wanted for our characters?
Yeah, that’s not ideal. Most people seem to prefer to do it like this:
The players and the GM collaborate to come up with a “big picture” situation - a conflict in progress, usually. “The bishop has dispatched a group of priests to root out a witch, and the thane fears it will end with more of his land seized by the church.” “Two powerful families fight to control the black market in the city of Haven.” “Orcs sweep in from the coast, seizing human cities, butchering the strong and putting the weak to work as slaves to build their awful citadels.” Whatever, but everybody should be into it.
Everybody makes a belief about the situation. “Better to share land with the witch than be a tenant to the church.” “The Capulets’ time is over - we’ll wipe them out.” “The orcish armies will fall to infighting if we can kill their chieftan.”
Everybody makes more beliefs which might open subplots, relate to other PCs, etc. These could connect to the Big Picture, but don’t need to.
In play, the GM doesn’t so much make a plot and get you to follow it as he throws stuff at you related to your beliefs and the story evolves from your actions and the consequences of your failures. The Big Picture is important because it gives the PCs reasons to be together, or at least to intersect.
Seems like your GM has it backwards. It’s his job to make new situations that fit beliefs.
There is a standard process where as the plot evolves your PCs’ beliefs will evolve with it. Sometimes that’s minor changes, and sometimes you discard one belief in favor of a new one. If in the course of your game it turns out the sewers are really important you might start having beliefs about it.
The GM is absolutely overstepping his authority when he starts telling you what to have beliefs about, however. Beliefs are how you tell him what story you want. As soon as he starts dictating beliefs you’re not playing the game you want, you’re playing the game he wants, and BW has broken down. How this should work is collaborative. If he says he wants to have a game where the sewers are playing a big role (say, they’re key to smuggling and you’re working for a criminal outfit), and you’re amenable, you make beliefs about it—but you have to agree to that, up front, before the game.
You should be changing at least one Belief per session. So you’re writing one tailored to what’s happening and the GM is introducing situations that tug on your higher-level Beliefs.