Recently purchased Miseries & Misfortunes, and I’m getting my head around character creation, to which end I’m looking to build a party of sample characters (in part because I’m suspecting having pre-generated characters might help the game concept go down easier for the player group I have in mind). I’ve run into a bit of a snag.
Here’s my problem: the motif I’d like to build the group around is Les étrangers, a group of social misfits in the chambre bleue society of the Hôtel de Rambouillet. Distinguished each by their own artistic – and other – talents, they’re united in their love of poetry, music and la belle vie, fierce in their loyalty to one another, and quick to raise a sword in defense of the King (for they are largely outsiders to the universe of feudal privileges being championed by the Frondeurs).
I like this idea because some of the most vivid, swashbuckling figures in real French history are poets and musicians, and a shared artistic background provides a solid reason for this flamboyant and unconventional band of duellists and adventurers to be a group. I have concepts in mind for characters conceived as early precusors to the singer Julie d’Aubigny and the violinist Chevalier de Saint-Georges; a fictionalized counterpart of playwright and novelist Cyrano de Bergerac; and a poet, Fabulist and occultist named Gabriel Dimant (based on Jean de la Fontaine but with the addition of a Jewish background and a second life as the sworn foe of an early precursor to the infamous black magic network of La Voisin).
However. None of the lifepaths offered by the game as it stands allows the creation of these characters, because there are almost no skills related to the arts (save among street urchin characters). I also note that art is fundamentally tied in to the “magic” system, insofar as great works of art can be a source of gnosis. So, my question is, how do I remedy this? Should the arts be considered a fundamentally occult business? I’m not experienced with Burning Wheel-based systems: can I simply create my own lifepaths to represent parts of lives like this, with the appropriate associated skills, and how should I go about doing so?