So I just got Burning Wheel Gold and I’m wondering if this game can be run as Play by Forum (PbF). Someone told me The Gift would make a good introductory story for Burning Wheel - especially since I’m not certain The Sword’s cut-throat Machiavellian scenes would make the best intro for players conditioned to play as a team.
Has anyone had experience successfully playing a Burning Wheel PbF game?
I don’t see why it wouldn’t work as well as a PbF game as any other system. In particular, you avoid the dickering over whether to make a test or not based on how difficult it is that other games might have–in BW you basically tell the GM what you want to do, and at that moment you’re committed. It’s only then that he tells you the Ob of the test.
You should note that both The Gift and The Sword are designed to highlight the fact that Burning Wheel handles intra-party conflict very, very well; as well as the fact that character decisions are based more off the character’s beliefs than optimal number-crunching. Neither scenario is your typical “party vs. external threat” situation.
One of the neat points about Burning Wheel for me is the social combat–particularly in that you have a way of handling intra-party conflict without relying on one of the PLAYERS’ ability to persuade the others (or just bully them into compliance).
Personal interaction is a huge part of Burning Wheel, and in almost every other RPG I can think of. I personally think that this can be interrupted slightly via communication through the forums. Thereby, it isn’t really preferable or the equivalent of tabletop play. Knowing that, forum play can also be really useful for long distance. So long as you and your group know each other nominally and can sort of understand the expected tone and mood of writing, forum play for BW can be great.
We have a PbF forum here and I have yet to see a successful game. Most last for a few “sessions” and then peter out. BW produces a high volume of complex interactions—stuff we don’t really even notice happening at the table. And most of this stuff can’t be translated into text.
I’ve never seen PbF work well for any game not really designed for it, and I think BW is, as Luke says, a particularly poor fit. But it’s not so uniquely worse that I wouldn’t give it a shot if you’ve made other complex RPGs work on forums.
If nothing else, I think you’d lose a lot of the tension that really does help BW chug along if you have the huge latency of response of forum gaming.
Yeah, PbF/P is really poorly suited for BW. I would recommend either IRC or Skype. BW really requires constant engagement to work.