Burning YA Protagonists is kinda difficult!

Hiya folks! As a preface, my last attempt at a BW Solo Game floundered a little - the situation was interesting, but the beliefs weren’t tied to an immediate situation in any way that made sense, so it struggled to get off the ground. I’ve scrapped that situation, and for my next attempt, plan to do something a little different.

Rather than exploring the world with a single character, I’d like to do 3 - all young people (3 LPs, rough 17-19 years of age at the end) who set out on their own to make their respective fortunes come their name days. Think Ged from Earthsea, or Allanna from the Lioness novels by Tamora Pierce. Having 3 characters means if I ever get bored or stuck, I can bounce to another character and see how they’re doing. The schema I came up with: One Became a Mage, One a Soldier, and One Stayed Behind. 3 LPs feels solid, and a trait or two to get them into trouble feels good from a Drama standpoint.

Except it’s kind of hard to make a mage on 3 LP’s.

The Soldier was easy: Born Peasant > Farmer > Woodcutter, and drop my Trait Points into Gloryhound for “Chivalrous Reasons”

The One Who Stayed Behind was trickier: Born Peasant > Peasant Pilgrim > Fisherman (I didn’t have a faithful character and thought it might be interesting if things ever go that way) with trait dips of Loyal and Dutiful to explain why they stayed behind. I’m still not completely happy with this - if head of household didn’t add 25 years to your life, I’d take that instead fictionally.

The Mage is the hardest: I love my dumb BW lifepath skills, and so I"m being a little picky with my choices here - Born Peasant > Aurgur > Shepeard is the dream, because Augur has such interesting traits in Touch of Ages and Dreamer, but without a way to get Gifted I might be shafting myself in the long run.

Now, I am being somehwat picky here - everyone is Born Peasant, and if I can, I’d like to grab the Touch of Ages trait to play with it. I’d also rather not take Apt Pupil if I can help it - that fictionally to me seems to establish you already have someone teaching you, and finding someone to teach this girl how to be a wizard is the whole point of her as an excersise - dramatically, trying to convince someone to teach you sorcery is more interesting than having it already. Maybe it’s better not to have gifted, and earn it through a trait “vote” or something? (Sill not sure how I plan to do trait votes on my lonesome yet)

I could lower the requirements for magic in the setting (I was thinking about using Art Magic primarily) but I still want that Earthsea feel that wizards are special. Burning up Interesting Young People in burning wheel (I tried to make a 3 LP Joan of Arc and it was kinda a pain to pull off). What do y’all think I should do? This is more a general brainstorming thread as I work through the initial setup of this solo game.

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If you want Gifted you could go Born Peasant > Augur > Crazy Witch with, for example, that she Touched an ancient lay stone during an astrological conjunction and had her perceptions expanded and fractured.

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Trait Aptitudes: Anytime a character spends Artha, note the circumstances, goals, and results of that expenditure. Try to distill a trait from that notation. Multiply the trait’s cost by 5 to get its aptitude. Each time Artha is spent in circumstances where that trait would apply – including the first – log a mark toward its aptitude. Fate is worth 1 mark, Persona is worth 2, Deeds is worth 5.

Caution: The above method came to mind just now; don’t trust it!

For traits that can’t really be manifested in play by themselves, like Gifted, you gotta write a Belief about finding a way of receiving(/stealing) The Gift and hound that Belief to its conclusion.

Have you looked at Gifted Child from the Codex? It’s not Born Peasant, but it is a Born lifepath in the Peasant setting, so the character would be… Born… Peasant.

Born Peasant → Augur → Recluse Wizard (or, as DaveHiggins mentions, Crazy Witch over in outcast) is a solid mage. But yeah - if you can do the Codex, Gifted Child → Augur → Shepherd, if that’s your dream, that’s solid. Though that 20/28 age might be bad for you.

I am also a fan of using Spirit Binding from the Codex, which doesn’t need the Gift, and get sorcery voted on later (probably after filling a belief). Or the Folklore magic.

Personally, I am a big fan of deep setting spanning magic, with characters growing into more powerful magic later.

Spirit Binding doesn’t need the Gift, you say? I missed that completely in my reading - that’s fascinating. Got a page number handy?

Another idea I was toying around with was Gifted Child > Augur > Peddler, but Blank Stare as a trait kinda stings, flavor wise - It gets me enough trait points for Gifted and Touch of Ages though, and leaves me at 19, which is good enough. Unsure though.

If only there was another kinda mundane Villiage Trait - or if Shepeard didn’t grant “Cry Wolf”, I think I’d be fine.

Gifted, page 250 of the Codex: “Sorcerers, summoners, enchanters, and death artists all must be Gifted in order to work their wonders.” I think Silverwizard is referencing Spirit Binding’s absence from this list, but I’m not sure. That’s just what I’ve found.


Aha! That might be why - in my head I lump Spirit Binding in with Summoning, but you’re right, that’s not the exact wording. Thank you!

I’m debating digging up my old lifepath burning spreadsheet to create some new, interesting Peasant Lifepaths - but that’s outside the scope of this specific thread.

Post them – or their development – in Sparks Hacks, Expansions, and Mods! I’m sure lotsa folks would be interested!

I’d need to do some research, but I’ll see if I can carve out time in this week to do some prospective brainstorming!

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I think Silverwizard is referencing Spirit Binding’s absence from this list, but I’m not sure.

Erm - yes, I am.

I know you want to avoid apt pupil, but it could still work if whoever was teaching her died or was run out of town and now she needs to find someone to help continue her studies (and maybe unlearn some of what was wrong). You could even just not open sorcery. But that didn’t help you with the actual lp burning question.

That’s not a bad idea. I think at this point, it’ll have to do, just to have something to get the ball rolling.

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