I am considering a 4 LP character (Born Noble/Page/Arcane Devotee/Religious Acolyte) all 11 lifepath skill plus purchase sorcery, all skills to open at B3. Traits would include gifted and faithful, (faith attribute to open at B3 as well) along with tonsured, mark of privilege, base humility, and curious. (Going for a “multiclass” or “jack of all trades” kind of feel).
Are there any rule breaks or specific pitfalls to avoid in this kind of character burn/conception?
The “faith system” is still up for grabs with this game, but it may mirror d&d or elder scrolls as we have used these before, or it could just be the generic “maker” idea.
And before anyone gets the wrong idea, I am not trying to “win” or build a “power munchkin” here.
I find the concept intriguing and believe that with the right beliefs and instincts it could be a great supporting character role, if he lives long enough he may even graduate from a sidekick into a hero.
Be warned that in long-play, this character will become the most powerful being in the entire world. (Especially if he worshiped the God of Magic.) Partner Turn Aside the Blade with Major Miracle. Partner Persuasion (the spell) with Suasion. He’d become Christ/Buddha/Muhammad/Muad’Dib-like with his ability to sway entire nations - and destroy those who opposed him.
I hadn’t considered the god of magic idea, that’s good. Over the top sure, but good all the same.
I was thinking more along the lines of a curious nobleman whose families wealth and position allowed him to study whatever he desired. His faith is genuine, but his beliefs are still trying to catch up to his reality.
Like many Jack of all Trades he hasn’t developed a true expertise at anything yet. He is nominally practiced and trained in anything he knows, he can get by in a lot of situations but he is best off in a support roll.
Which sounds pretty fun, so long as the campaign is centered on such large scale conflict. Playing such a character in a mundane, “go fight though the dungeon full of mooks” or “save the village from the ravaging barbarians” adventure would be overkill and not rewarding.
While your character will begin weak, they will grow quickly. Make sure that the scale of the campaign is appropriate for the great power that your character will eventually attain.
BTW, the character can be a Believer and have strong religious motivations without being Faithful, if you did wish to pare down the ULTIMATE POWERZ. A zealot wizard would be pretty interesting, I imagine.
Also, I recommend watching this video as an example of what your party will become after a while:
Allow it if and only if every other character has at least one of Gifted or Faithful. Mixing (potential) phenomenal cosmic power with ordinary guys is asking for trouble. (Okay, not for every group, and you should know the players at your table, but huge power disparities often lead to inter-player conflict. Which, unlike inter-character conflict, is universally bad.)
My goal for this particular character would be to further his jack of all trades training, learning as many different skills as possible and knowing enough to get himself into trouble, but not necessarily enough to get himself bsck out of it.
With enough skills to be tried and used it’s doubtful he would be able to advance any one of them very high and still stay within concept. And in most of our games, the more power you have the more likely someone (or something) will come looking for you (to challenge, bother, or destroy).
A bit of warning, though: I’m not sure you really get a “jack of all trades.” Faith is already immensely versatile. So’s Sorcery with the right spell selection, or using one of the Magic Burner alternate systems (like Art Magic or Practical Magic), potentially, though it might be more of a system mastery challenge to get there. You don’t necessarily gain that many more options by combining both. What you do get is massive synergy between the two; and I think they can very easily cover each other’s weaknesses.
So more so than the character who does a little bit of everything, I’d imagine, like, the sorceress who wields intense power by praying to Hecate at a crossroads or something.
I was looking at more of a Cleric/Magic User/Fighter/Thief (jack of all trades) kind of thing.
In other game formats, such characters tend to get quickly left behind as they can never hope to advance as quickly as those who specialize in just one thing. I would imagine that it would be the same, if not worse, in burning wheel. (There’s so many skills, and so little time) When you add in all of the non “class” skills the jack of all trades suddenly has a lot more to choose from (butcher/
baker/candlestick maker) I worry about keeping track of all of the beginners luck tests!
As far as faith and spells go, starting spells are goIng to be obstacle 2 max. and you can’t expect much with a B3 faith (it was the last thing he learned about himself pre-game) and gaining faith requires using faith, something he would only do as a last resort (only after all other options had failed).
It is his curiosity that drives him more than anything, that’s why he seeks adventure, and why he could never be satisfied with only one option, class, or trade. Of course, it could also be his downfall.
BW advancement doesn’t have the limitation of many other games where you have only so many resources (experience points, feats, whatever) to spend, and spreading them out means fewer for each individual area. You’ve only got so many tests in that games take a finite length of time and you only do so much in them, but it’s fairly easy to do more things for more tests. In fact, BW generally makes it harder to push for just one kind of test but easier to push for tests of lots of different things. Everyone ends up a little bit of a jack of all trades; Faith and Sorcery just give you a couple of very big, powerful areas to master. Like it or not, not all skills are created equal. Faith will be valuable more often than Ditch-Digging in most campaigns. Sorcery is also one of the really big ones unless your spell selection is tiny and highly specialized.
Faith is also fairly easy to advance. You choose the Obs for yourself with perfect freedom. You spend the artha as necessary. There’s little downside to relying on Faith in combat—it doesn’t even take up actions—or in general. Unless the GM starts having your annoyed deity start smacking you down, you can always just give it a try.
Another fun thing though, is that with multiple deities you run into multiple opponents. (For faith matters in these situations, I would prefer to test doctrine or faith specific doctrine to access faith. Maybe along the same lines as the tests for spirit binding or summoning as each deity has their own realm of power (right prayer, wrong deity) a supernatural circles test if you will.
And having to pay a price for service would definitely be in order (sworn feality, sacrifice, maintenance cycle tithes, perform a service, ect).
As it is Kaleb (just thought of the name) will have to be controlled through his bits and party actions.
Since only successful faith tests count towards advancement he would have to be in a situation where he was hopelessly out gunned/out numbered/out of options (the deities help those who help themselves) and even then, he would be more the minor miracle or less type. I may let his doctrine of various faiths determine how large his faith can grow (or doctrine successes to determine how big of a prayer he can try) that can keep faith from becoming a run away horse similarly to how keeping spell Obs low can keep sorcery in check.
If I were the GM, i would say that your character can believe in multiple deities, but can only be faithful to one, especially if these are deities of different faiths. In the case of a pantheon of deities, e.g., Greco-Roman polytheism, I would hesitantly allow the character to have access to multiple deities, but I would prefer the character to acquire that ability in game through a mechanism like the one you proposed
I think this is an interesting idea, both for gaining access to a new deity and for maintaining the favor of you chosen deities. As an added complication, if you fail the test for the tithe, your Faith becomes taxed – you’ve lost some favor with your deity, and you must repay them.
It would be great if you had to earn divine blessings like spirit marks, having to be in your deities sphere of influence, (realm, domain, temple, grove, ect) to have a chance to do the really big prayers. Also, some faith systems should require a holy symbol (tool) or suffer double obstacles.
As I am going for the D&D multi-class feel with Kaleb, I believe requiring “tools” (rods/staves/wands/symbols) for any types of “magic” is appropriate, but will have to check that with group.