Watching Rachel write and re-write beliefs between games is what it must have been like watching Babe Ruth picking a bat before going up to bat.
She wrote the following belief:
Information on Amari, tech to scavenge, connections to make - I bet this place has it all. I will exploit every bit I can while I’m here.
The this place mentioned in the belief is a techno-magic prison that is where we will start the next game. It is a funky, “I’m going to get everything I can out of this place/happening/situation” belief. It is a “I will wring this setting like a wet towel and drink every drop” belief.
But it does its job in that it communicates with the GM. “Hey, I like this thing you are setting up, here. I’m going to play and get into trouble and roll dice - see what happens.”
I will engage with this setting. SRSLY, I am going to engage the shit out of this setting.
Rachel brought up one of Drew’s beliefs for Ivo that inspired it. Drew banged on this belief for almost a year:
I have watched nobles rule, I will show them the world a mere bastard can build. Taxes, responsibility, justice, propaganda - just watch what I can do.
The Riverlands’ knights are going to pay taxes next session and the belief, after months of play, is being put to bed.
I’m fascinated with those beliefs because I’ve seen them work, seen them inspire play, earn artha and set characters in motion. They are pretty much the player letting the GM know that they find the setting engaging and they are going to get their hands dirty.
This is one of my favorite compliments ever. <3
It’s been really interesting, with all the BW I’ve run in years past and all I’ve played in the last year and a half, to start playing more with the form and see what it happens. I haven’t been tracking Beliefs with scrupulous attention (but I would love to dig up old Beliefs and do more detailed analysis at some point). Sometimes a I try stuff and it flops. Sometimes I’ll write something that feels scary because of what it implies and it gets you and others excited too. That’s always fun.
This type of Belief though - it’s different and newer to me. It’s kind of a list-Belief. As a GM, I can see an annoying side to it in that a direct challenge of it is more elusive, but at the same time, it really is a promise that I’ll be looking to get into a lot of things and that I’m excited to do so. It encompasses more than a single pursuit, but it’s not at all passive. The listing of things points me at several possible targets, but with more active steps than just saying, “I’m going to exploit this prison.” General, short & simple Beliefs are nice aesthetically, but they don’t usually make me excited to act. This one has me excited to get shit done.
This kind also gives me motivation to drop into whatever situation ends up being interesting. My other Beliefs for Raven are about killing the fucking techno-mages and helping my new friend, so this list-Belief lets me explore interesting situations that come up as a result of pursuing the first two, or in pursing this one, I may find ways to feed the others.
I was iffy on this type of Belief before, but I’m kind of sold on it now. Not for use in all things. I’d say this kind is especially useful when there’s a lot going on, especially if you’re entering a new situation and don’t know what’s going to sing, but want to be prepared to explore it regardless. After poking around at different things, I’ll probably focus this Belief in on something more specific, but for now I can just engage the shit out of this setting and enjoy whatever comes.