Blind Swordsman update? change in rules from old edtion?

I’m burning a blind swordsman from the blossoms are falling setting. I’m using burning wheel gold and I’m wondering if it needs to be updated
the blind swordsman skill allows you to ignore the +2ob for being blind in Fight! if you use the skill instead of speed for positioning tests.
But you don’t make a positioning test in the beginning of a fight and if you’re both using the same length weapon you’ll never make a positioning test.

In the old rules was this more useful or was it always a really fringe benefit?

If the rules have changed how would you update it?


1 Like

Hi @Johnny_Gaijin.

I’ve not dug too deeply into “The Blossoms are Falling” in recent times. It’s been quite a while, and I’ve ingrained BWG way more these days than BWR, so my apologies if I make a mistake in the following!

Glancing back, under BWR (p146 in Book 1), you’re positioning every Volley, rather than every Exchange (as you do in BWG).

Yes, under BWG, you don’t test for positioning if you and your opponent have the same length weapon.

However, if you’re facing opponents with a range of weapon lengths / one of you is disarmed part way through, etc. then I can see this coming into its own.

Negating the penalty from the Blind Trait in these circumstances is the big advantage of the skill.

It being a Skill (Blind Fighting, p108 in my copy of Blossoms) rather than a Stat means it’ll likely increase a bit faster initially (given that Routine tests become useful). It’s cheap (1 skill point / general skill point to open), rather than requiring further Trait points to acquire.

For my part, I’m not sure that it needs updating to BWG.

Yes, it’s only useful once every Exchange, but it shines where different weapon lengths are in play, and you can FoRK into a Positioning test, which is rather exceptional! Blossoms suggests FoRKs of Seifukujutsu and Observation.

I’d love to build a character around it, reveling in using the “wrong” weapon when facing my opponents, and then relying on my Blind Fighting skill to put them at a disadvantage in the positioning.

“Sure, you’re using your sword, but I’m going to use my fists and, if I win positioning, you’ll be at a penalty. So, I’m rolling my Blind Fighting + FoRKing in Observation / Brawling.”

1 Like

I think this is on-point. You may not get the positioning advantage every fight, but you will get to avoid the penalties which is cool.

Definitely go for the full meal Zatoichi deal and snuff out the candles with your sword before declaring, “Now we are all blind,” and imposing the blind penalties on your opponents!

Also, I had a trait for warrior poet types that acted as as call-on for Sword if the player could deliver a relevant haiku to the Fight! in question. Might be a cool idea for you to steal. I really enjoy the traits that call for players to do something fun (Rapier Wit, Where There’s a Whip, etc).

EDIT: To clarify, I suppose you would need to establish that you get to lift the penalty even if you don’t position due to equivalent weapon length. I feel like that’s just as well on it’s face… :thinking:


And welcome back to the forums!

1 Like

I actually just burned a blind swordsman NPC for my game using only BWG, and the thing is, you can just build your character to be able to deal with that Ob Penalty. It changes the way you need to play, but that makes very obvious sense. I actually think the Blind Fighting skill hampers the appeal, because positioning using a skill is unambiguously better than a stat: it will get higher, and can have FoRKs (you also don’t have +2 Ob to positioning from being blind). IMO having to play around a penalty makes it a lot cooler. If I were to make it easier, I’d probably make there be a trait that lessens the penalty to 1, which is extremely possible to deal with.

1 Like

It also encourages scrounging for advantage dice by describing what your guy is doing to get around the penalty, which is fun.

Great point, Helstadt.

1 Like

Fighting with penalties is something I learned as a player in my last solo game. Staying in defensive stance, positioning suboptimally to give your opponent disadvantage, using throws as much as possible, using beat and counter when in positioning disadvantage, disengaging, clearing the cobwebs, starting the fight with a crossbow/gun shot. There’s a lot that goes into Fight, but it’s really fun and rewarding.


Though if you want to negate the penalty, there’s a tricky way to do that in the system. Enchanting is a whole lot of fun, and negating a +2 Ob penalty is not actually that hard. I assume that’s not the concept, but it’s worth considering

1 Like

Yeah, it’s great!

Real boring, too (in my opinion, of course). I find using magic to perform really niche conveniences undermines the coolness of magic.

Unless you mean an enchantment that cures blindness. Now that’s some stuff! Though, yeah, super off concept.

Having played a game with white shade enchanting, I have some Big Opinions on Enchanting, generally speaking, but that’s a whole nother topic

I can see specializing in using mismatched weapons to force the positioning test but that doesn’t really jive with my character concept. I want him to fight with a sword! Against guys with swords!
Is there anyway to revamp the skill or should I just scrap it and make up a new trait like helstadt suggested?

I would recommend making a new (simple) trait and scrapping the skill, though if you’re into a power trip and don’t want to worry about details, you could keep it as is. The other benefit of a trait is that you can get artha if being a “blind swordsman” (or whatever you call it) takes the story in interesting directions, which it certainly will. Make sure you don’t make it too cheap though, cause reducing the penalty is a big deal.

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.