I just discovered Burning Wheel. The first thing I did was get online and purchase the three Burner books (Monster, Magic, & Adventure). I have yet to purchase the core rulebook yet as I was hoping I could track a copy down locally. After having no luck I decided it was time to purchase the core rulebook online. This is when I found out about the Gold edition. Given that I have already invested in the burner books (Adventure Burner cost me $88 on Amazon, that was the only copy I could find online) being able to use them is a big concern.
I came across this blog post which states a few things that give me great concern. I’m trying to decide on whether I should go with Revised which is guaranteed to be fully compatible with my Burner books or if I should take a leap of faith and hope Gold edition is worth the extra trouble I’ll have using said books. Here are the quotes form that article which give me concern. Any comments, feedback, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Let me try to anticipate some of your questions:
Is the game backwards compatible with Revised? No.
Is the game compatible with the supplements? Mostly. Elements of the supplements that directly reference weapons, spells and Fight will prove problematic.
Will I be releasing a change log or update doc for the supplements? Probably not!
Will I release Gold versions of the supplements? Maybe.
I replied to your RPGnet thread, but you can see this topic discussed here
For reference in case anybody else comes asking the same questions in future:
I appreciate your feedback. I’m a bit jaded from switching from GURPS 3E to 4E (vehicles, favorite supplements, crunchy settings). I just didn’t want the burner books to fall into that category where all that really remains useful is the ideas or fluff presented, but little of the mechanics contained therein. sigh of relief :o
I’ve been on this long quest recently to find my grail of fantasy games (70+ reviewed). One of the things that really sold me on Burning Wheel was the Burner books because it appeared to give you the nuts and bolts of the system so you could modify, tweak, and create without the need for lots of research online. I’d have it all in one place. This was a massive selling point. Add on me spending my entire game budget for the next few months on the Burner books and my focus has switched more to these supplements than the core game itself.
Team Covenant BWG Promo (basic overview of whats new in Gold)
Which burners are superceded by BWG? (covers burners still being useful with BWG)
I have Burning Wheel Revised, why should I get Gold? (covers mix of BWR vs BWG and burner book questions)
Burning Wheel Gold Errors and Changes (list of what has changed from revised to gold, but really just the first page)
I’m sure many people here would like to know where did you find the AdBu online.
It popped up on Amazon Marketplace for $88. It was in used condition with a dent on one of the corners that can be seen throughout half of the books pages, but since it seems pretty rare I went ahead and went for it.
The (brief and most definitely incomplete) rundown on compatibility issues between Burning Wheel Gold and the other books:
MonBu: Speed Multiplier doesn’t exist any more. Speed Multiplier * 2 is roughly equivalent to Stride. Some other stuff will seem weird and take some work to fit into BWG but it’s doable. Nothing is broken, just things don’t quite feel right.
MagBu: Casting spells is no longer Sorcery + Will, so some things (primarily Abstraction & Distillation) are a lot harder than they used to be. This change doesn’t affect most other magic as they were either straight sorcery or used some other skills.
AdBu: Very little is really incompatible though much of the advice is for Revised as a big chunk of the Adventure Burner was intended as a handbook of BWR best practices. A lot of the rules (as well as a great deal of the advice) has been incorporated into the BWG text itself. The only stuff that’s technically incompatible is the list of 3 and 4 lifepath characters, and those are only going to be off by a point or two.
As for BWG vs. BWR, the biggest up-front stuff is that Fight has been pretty heavily worked over and Range and Cover has been expanded (both for the better). There’s little changes and tweaks all over the place but those two are the most in-your-face changes. Of the two, BWG is definitely the stronger game but with a bit of on-the-fly thinking getting supplements for BWR to work with BWG isn’t terribly difficult (and the benefits outweigh the cons).
My advice is definitely go with Burning Wheel Gold. I’ve got the other three books too and you can still use them with BWG (w/ minor adjustments here and there). BWG is much more streamlined and easier to play, especially the extended mechanics for combat and social interaction. No doubt about it.
The Monster Burner is very much still usable with Gold. The only real point of difference is Speed Multiplier versus Stride; my experience has been that both stats rarely ever come up (or came up, in the case of the now obsolete Speed Multiplier), making the case where it comes up in a way that conflicts with the two rulesets doubly unlikely. I can’t speak to the other supplements as I don’t own them.
For the casual player, it’s not going to matter which - characters for one look just like characters for the other, except for a handful of little used tertiary data points, and the weapon stats. WIth the cheat sheets, it plays pretty much the same, too.
For the die-hard burner, well, I’m not one. Sure, BE completely altered my approach to RPG play… but I can’t speak to the die-hard view. I ran my last BW game with BWR, because I’d not had time to go through BWG for the changes. I do like the changes, and my next BW game will be BWG unless I’m running Jihad.
I’ve got MoBu, MaBu, TBAF, and Jihad, and can easily see using them with Gold without major issues. I can see a bunch of minor ones, tho’, with Jihad and Gold. Enough that it will just be easier to use BWR instead, for the matching rules. I’m lazy.
I just answered your RPGnet thread but I’ll say it here too:
Everyone already said but I’ll chime in - the changes in Gold are very, very good, and they make the game even better. Also, for me as a GM, the biggest advantage Gold has is that it took a clue from Mouse Guard and put example Obstacles for skill; THAT, alone, makes it worth the purchase. With example Obstacles there for typical actions, it’s just easier to describe what a skill does, or for edge cases, to assess how high or low the Obstacle should be.
For me, Gold is also, simply, easier to read. So…get Gold. As other said, the minor changes for using the supplements ARE minor. I’ve got the Monster and Magic Burners, using them now for my game, and the only issue I’ve had is the Speed Multiplier/Stride issue. Everything else, like Traits and Monster Skills and such work as is just fine.
P.S. - Just remembered, Gold also makes magic more “fair.” Specifically, in BWR you rolled for spells by Sorcery+Will against the obstacle. But then your rolled Forte ONLY to deal with the Tax (and no Will, right?). So, you had wacky situations where you’d roll to cast your spell with like 8-10 dice, but rolled to resist Tax with 4 or 5. Or do I misremember?