Character Feedback Aendir- Elven Knight

So this is for a homebrew game i just joined and wanted some feedback on the character what can I do better? Does his lifepath choice reflect the concept well? In short the GM has said 4 lifepath maximum, other than that to go nuts. Also I have 4 general skill points and 5 resource points leftover that im not sure what to spent it on. My concept in short is an elven knight. The world i dont know too much about other than some big tyrannical emperor with insane amounts of magic took over the known world about 100 years ago, banned any form of magic and king of reminds me of dark sun a bit with how he acts. People are terrified of him for a good reason. Also in a bit of a bind with resources considering his station affording anything that reflects that station has been a bit difficult considering right now he has no armor, actually is a bit naked at the moment.

Name: Aendir

Concept/Bio: Born to the elven Fea, son of the prince of Greenwood; Aendir is an elf of an ancient lineage born to rule and feared among the other elves. He grew up as roughly the elven equal to a knight as he attended the cities protectors knowing one day he would assume the mantle of lord protector or even prince. His skill with a sword was impressive even for an elf. His father had offered him to the services of the lord protector of the city when the emperor declared war on the elves, the war was short by elven standards despite the magic and skill of the ancient elves it was no match for the sorcery of this monster. The very air became toxic as he witnessed friend after friend fall to his armies, he took the place of an elf’s second who had died in the war. By the time the elven kingdom fell his master had survived and the elves had surrendered. The new emperor had allowed the elves to keep most of their internal workings as they had been before the new occupation and elven lands remain off limits to humans. His inquisitions to follow were terrible, first he started in his own lands killing any who practiced openly. After that he went after gifted children and even clergy who were known to utilize magic. The elves grow worried as his gaze turned to them forcing the elves to accept their new edicts banning the singing of elf songs, this was a devastating blow to the spirit of the elves. They themselves were magic, Aendir was scared that he would soon eradicate them for their connection with natural magic. He gained permission from his father to leave the elven lands to see what the situation was in the human kingdoms, take his ancient family sword and plunge it through the chest of this tyrant.

Lifepaths: Born Etharch, Attendant, Second, Sword Singer

Age : 125

Stats: Wi: B5, Pe: B4, Po: B4, Fo: B4, Ag: B6, Sp: B4, Stride: 8

Attributes: Ref: B4, Ste: B4, Hes: 5, Hea: B6, MW: B10, Grief: B4, Circles: B2, Resources: B2

PTGS: Su: B3 Li: B5 Mi: B7 Se: B8 Tr: B9 Mo: B10


The elves are dying, and in order to save them the sorcerer-king must die.

Dark Elves are a disease among my kind, I will hunt them down wherever they are.

My sword is a sacred weapon, an heirloom passed on from the first elves in my lineage.


At the first sign of danger, draw my sword.

If I am told something important, I will write it down.

When walking, always stay out of weapons reach of others I do not know.

Traits: [Char] Aman, [Char] Born Under the Silver Stars, [C-O] Calm Demeanor, [Dt] Cool Headed, [Dt] Essence of the Earth, [Dt] Etharchal, [Char] Fair and Statuesque, [Char] Fea, [Char] Fealty to the Fea, [Dt] First Born, [Dt] Grief, [Dt] Keen Sight, [Dt] Lesson of One

Skills: Armor Training, Bow B3, Elven Script B2, Etiquette B2, Mending B2, Mounted Combat Training, Riding B4, Shield Training, Sing B2, Song of Bonding B2, Song of the Sword B3, Sword G4

Affiliations: 2D Elven Etharch

Reputations: 1D Elven Nobility

Relationships: Father, Prince (Significant, immediate family)

Gear: Elven Sword




So what to spend my last resources and general skills on and does anyone have a better suggestion on lifepath progression

My sword is a sacred weapon, an heirloom passed on from the first elves in my lineage.

It seems like your asking your GM to develop a plot line where the sword you are carrying is not actually sacred, not an heirloom and perhaps not passed on from the first elves?" If these actually are the facts, then they aren’t “beliefs”. Beliefs are to be challenged and tested. What are you aiming for with this belief game wise? You obviously want the sword to play a roll in the game, but I can’t tell what it is.

On a side note, your elf seems pretty blood thirsty for a race that wallows in grief. Your traits seem somewhat paradoxical to you beliefs. “calm demeanor” “level headed” etc unless your aiming for a kind of stylized nazi from a Quentin Terrentino film (not a bad thing, it’s just that your character is coming across as a cold blooded exterminator).

You need a pair of shoes…

-The kill the emperor was supposed to be a plot tie in to the GMs world
-Dark elves was me trying to show that the emperors tyranny is literally killing the elves. This isnt out of passion, its a mercy.
-The book said you can include a belief about an item wasnt quite sure for a good third belief.

The elf itself if you read the first part was me going for a knight concept but with an elf instead of a human. I was trying to figure out some other stuff to add to the character to make him more tied into the world besides just a soldier but yes this was supposed to be an elf who wears armor and smacks people. Wanted to make him a bit more nobleish

Belief #1 is a broad tie-in to the GM’s world and what seems like the overarching plot. Here’s the trick: this isn’t something you can do in a single session. Not in a series of sessions. This the point of the campaign. It’s important, but maybe too big for one Belief. What you want is something that impels immediate action. Add another sentence. “The first step to bringing my sword to his black heart is…” and start small. Discuss that first step with the other players and the GM so you’re on the same page, and use it to define the first chapter, not the entire game!

Belief #2 is fine. Again, specifics are important. How do you intend to go about finding and killing Dark Elves? Or is this a carte blanche for the GM to make the Dark Elves important, necessary, and useful in a way that either challenges the Belief or pits it against, say, Belief #1. If you want it to be about the emperor killing the Elves, you need to state in the Belief that the Dark Elves are linked to or caused by the emperor and his actions.

I disagree with Opcero about #3. A statement Belief isn’t always grounds for trying to negate the Belief; in fact, I think that’s often counter to the intention of the Belief. But this one’s unfinished. Your sword’s important; fine. What’s the grounds for action? What does it require from the character? I really have no idea how to salvage this one, because it’s a statement of game world with no actual Belief in it.

Instincts are all fine. I’m not sure what you really want from #2. It can make life complicated, but it’s not an obvious complication-type Instinct. See how it works for you!

Again, I disagree with Opcero. Your Elf doesn’t seem bloodthirsty. He’s a warrior, sure, and one with Beliefs about death, but not a murder-machine.

I don’t quite follow your RP spending. You get a 1D affiliation with the Etharchal for free. You get a 1D student reputation if you have an important relationship with your sword singer mentor; make that your father and you’re good.

An Elven Sword, clothes, shoes, and finery will set you back 23 RP. Another 8 for a father reputation gets you to 31. Buy light mail for 6 and you’ve got 13 RP left to play with. You get another 1D affiliation or reputation and, say, a relationship A minor rival or romantic interest is always good!

There’s nothing wrong with the LPs you picked, but you could also consider going Born -> Rider -> Outrider -> Lancer for a heavy cavalry type. Or Born -> (Citadel) Soldier-Protector -> (Protector) Sword Singer -> Anything, which gives up the cavalry for being an armed, armored guy who has a free LP to do something else. Lieutenant lets you command, for example, or you could go Sea Captain and see the world. Of course there are tradeoffs, and your setup is just fine, but you can consider those alternatives.

Some more odds and ends: I hate gray anything in character burning. You can do it, but… ugh. Social skills are always great general point buys.

I am still a little new, how come you hate anything gray shade at character burning? Is it the point cost or is it just a little too power game-ish. Yeah i wanted to give him some more social stuff i think it would fit this type of character pretty well. I forgot about the bonus dice early on, still leaves him pretty hungry for resources. Also thanks for the constructive feedback helps alot more when you suggest alternatives.

I will look at the lifepaths consider dropping second and attendent for soldier protector and a command type lifepath. I kind of wanted the groomed for command type feel to the character

I don’t mean to imply I don’t like the character. It sounds like a great campaign.

Anyway, beliefs get you fate and persona, so a question that can be asked when writing beliefs is how easy or difficult do I want it to be to get that persona point? Getting fate shouldn’t be hard as long as actual fate moves you closer to the emperor, but it will take a very long time to earn a persona point for killing the emperor…persona points which would come in handy were you ever to be face to face with him.

“In order to being violent justice to the emperor…first I must find the one who can smuggle me into his court.” or something like that which can be accomplished. As Wayfarer said, think of the game as a book and each belief that is completed ends a chapter and at the end of each chapter you get a persona point. You are going to want a few chapters before the climax of the book. This, is in part, what leaves me scratching my head about the sword belief. How would you go about getting a fate or persona point from that belief? Maybe someone else claims ownership? Maybe you have to do something particular with it? (Think Aragorn reforging Narsil). Maybe the sword is famous enough that people recognize it and react badly to it like it is famous for killing a human hero or something.

I particularly like your “write important stuff down” instinct. Do quill and ink need to be bought with resources?

Oh true, yeah i guess rewording the first beliefs to “how can the GM challenge this” to work on a more regular basis. Sorry you just gave no alternative so was like, err thanks? Hmm, sword being more goal oriented. I was actually thinking Narsil when i grabbed the sword so it just wasnt just “elven sword” so i wanted to give it a name and a history with some sentimental value maybe. Maybe i can change the first belief to something that i get rewarded for causing destabalization of his regime whether its killing some of his lackies, starting a riot, or even just undermining his authority. So its not killing him but whenever im actively working against his faction.

I dont know, cant imagine writing stuff costs many resources id have to check elven script. Its kind of a cheap way to get a perfect memory. As much as i wanted to try the Fight! system in this game the Ranger lifepath is looking very attractive as well. To do the whole Legolas/Aragorn thing with a healthy supply of songs. So far it looks like the other player is campaign bonding to me as a retainer who might also be handy with a sword.

You can do Born Etharch -> (Citadel) Soldier-Protector -> (Wilderness) Forester -> (Protector) Ranger. That hits your resources a bit, but it gives you skill with sword, armor, bow, and stealth. You get the Song of Arbors, Lyric of Healing, Song of Soothing, and Threne of the Chameleon, so you can heal well, talk to trees, and sneak like no one’s business. Less majesty, less command-track, and a significant hit to resources. Forget having an Elven sword and bow. Actually, you’ll probably have to just go with run of the mill versions a the start.

You can give your sword a name and history for flavor without having a belief about it.

The first belief shouldn’t just be broader about how you destabilize, it should be specific. “I will destabilize the emperor’s regime, so I will X.” And X there is a kind of next step. You’re giving the hook of what you want to do to the GM. If it’s “start a riot,” then that’s what you’re gung-ho about seeing in the game. You can leave it generic, but then you’re leaving it up to the GM to come up with interesting stuff for you. It’s a more traditional stance. It works, if your GM’s willing to work with you, but it’s not really the BW way, and I think the game is more fun if you take it in your own hands by molding it with Beliefs.

Writing requires a tool kit. You could maybe argue to make due with found supplies, to an extent, but there’s no real substitute for paper for legible notes on the go. And… charcoal sticks for marking? Pen/quill and ink aren’t actually very mobile.

True. Hmm the GM for this game has okayed this progression im not sure if it hits what im looking for though.

Born Etharch -> Jump to citadel -> Soldier-Protector -> jump to protector -> sword singer -> jump to etharch -> Prince

Is this too quick for a prince? My inspiration for this character right now are the starks like Ned or Rob and Brienne of Tarth for the whole chivalry thing. Just reimagined as an elf instead of human. I would lose the Aman trait but think that is royal blood seeing as how you need it to be Etharch so might be for the best.

That’s a reasonable path to Prince. Keep in mind that princes are really important and powerful. They hold rulership. That’s going to give you a very different character and I’d be inclined to be skeptical of a prince-errant. But it’s not my game! Ned’s kind of princely, but really not in an Elfy way; Brienne has no similar lifepath.

Oh, and what I neglected to respond to above: I don’t like gray out of burning for a few reasons. One, I think it’s more fun and interesting to spend skill points more broadly. Two, I don’t like frontloading power and think that shade-shifts should be earned in play. Three, I think it tends to pigeonhole characters too early; finding out where someone’s talents and interests really lie during the game gets messed up when one skill is so clearly head and shoulders above the rest.

All that said, I’m okay with gray-shade skills. It’s gray stats that I really refuse.

I was just curious, at first i pitched the path as something i was just suprised that i could do prince in 4 lifepaths but the GM said he actually liked that path idea but i dont know if he knows what he is getting into starting me with 130 resource points to spend and a kingdom. He says he wants a more dark and gritty world but the only restriction he has placed is a 4 lifepath maximum. Anything else goes apparently.

The resources would be very nice kind of made me think of legolas with being an elven prince in game. Honestly for story purposes i may end up enjoying my original lifepath setup the most, and yeah i see what you mean grey shading a stat and skill. I really wanted to try the various systems the game had to offer and the other player wants to make a bodyguard type i think he is actually taking ranger. Fluff seperated from alot of the terminology it has been a bit difficult to figure out exactly what kind of lifepath that is themed for. Plus i wanted to try things like Fight, Range and Cover and Dual of Wits.

Anyway that said this character if i took the prince route would lose his royal blood but keep his nobility if i read description of Aman and Fea correctly, so it kind of made me think of how ned was warden of the north. Ruling noble but not royalty? Or maybe it just makes very little sense to be a prince without Aman. I was trying to make the character a knight without being “just a beatstick” and getting a real feel for how the flavor of the elves are portrayed in burning wheel. But yeah “Wandering Elven Knight” is kind of what i had in my head when i made the character, prince would probably change that but im not quite sure what exactly the prince lifepath means considering you need Aman for Etharch.

If i understand correctly, Etharch = King. Prince = Local ruler usually, not necessarily royalty, Sword Singer = Knight, Second = Squire? Giving up free will or something like that with Lesson of One seemed harsh, and attendent reminded me of page. Although it makes me wonder why i can go from soldier protector to sword singer without having to take Second lifepath

Note the old BW admonition that to play an inexperienced knight, you don’t burn a knight, you burn a squire and say “Is it cool if I just got knighted?”

So you could be a young prince, fourth-in-line, that kind of thing without taking Prince – just focus on LPs that lead to it and the elven ruling-class traits. Might be a better way to mix “prince” with “gritty,” especially if “gritty” is supposed to imply a fairly small starting scope.

What, exactly, Fea and Aman mean is a topic of some debate.

You can’t really map Mannish LPs onto Elves; Men and Elves have different societies. Attendant is page-like. Second is Squire-like, but I think you’re misreading Lesson of One; it’s not about losing free will, it’s about a soul-deep bond with another Elf who will eventually probably be your equal, not your master. Knights are members of the militant gentry; sword singers are highly trained fighters, but they have no special status, and anyone can join their ranks with training. Not just Soldier-Protector, either; Soother qualifies! They’re not really a higher rank than spearbearers, necessarily, just different. Elven princes and Etharchs are expected to have served as sword singers, but most sword singers are not expected to be nobles.

Then princes rule but what or how is a matter for you to decide; they’re definitely sharing power with the Etharch, who’s really a king, and the Althings, who might be senators and might be lords. Maybe both.

FWIW, Rob and Ned are not princes by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe Ned is a Baron and Rob is Lord (who inherits his baronial title in play).

Although being able to trace your lineage back to Bran the Builder should certainly let you put “prince of blood” as a trait and is probably a good analogy for fea.

They aren’t princes, but what they are might be closer to the Elven Prince LP than anything else. Which is still not that close, because Elven society really doesn’t all that closely look like the feudalism of Westeros or Western Europe. Prince of the Blood is really for someone who’s in the line of succession to kingship, which the Lords of the North aren’t. Fea is more like a kind of nobility, which fits, but it’s different with Elves.

“It’s different with Elves” is actually probably a good thing to generally keep in mind. Trying to remake feudal society with 'em won’t work all that smoothly. They don’t have the gradations of nobility and the level of social stratification of Men.

(I do think that Ned’s a lot more than a Baron. He rules a huge swath of Westeros, and Robb can eventually put forward a credible claim to kingship. Duke seems more fitting to me.)

I realized that elven hierarchy was not the same as a human one, so there isnt a perfect analogy for it. We do have the luxury here of being able to ask luke what he meant when he wrote that, but i figure at the least the etharch is at least similar to a type of nobility even if there position is more executive on their part. Keeping the character removed enough from royalty but close him enough to have a good bit of status is definitely a plus. I really kind of am stepping out of my comfort zone here with this character i dont really do warrior oriented characters my first instinct would have been to make a ranger so its a bit new to me. Depending on the other player doing taking a wildly different route and going wilder > ranger then just grabbing sword or something on the side so i can use the Fight system and explore it might be more appropriate considering the nature of the game ill actually stat up that character now just to see if it will work.

“My blade must pierce the heart of the human god-king, so i will take the first step by exploring allies in the kingdom of men and elves”

“My companion is a servant of the Fea and my father the prince asked him to protect me in my journey, but i will not let him fight in my place so i will accept all challenges issued to me so he does not have to”

“One day I will be prince, possibly Etharch so it i must learn the arts of peace as well as war”

There, so belief 1 ties me into the setting and gives me a relevent goal regarding the metaplot that i can do short term ill build on it from there. The second belief ties me to my companion (right now we are a party of two) even though he was sent to protect me i wont let him fight in my place. Could be some fun rp can probably get into some trouble with it. And the third one i found since me as a player was wanting more peace time skills that my character maybe hasnt had a chance to develop them because he was born so close to an era of endless war. Knowing his place in the world that he is going to be have a position of leadership wants to develop skills that would make him a better leader in times of peace.

Belief 2 is good.

Beliefs 1 and 3 are still missing immediacy. Exploring allies in the kingdoms of Men and Elves is al well and good, but it’s also vague. Succinctly, it’s “I’m going to find allies,” and leaving it to the GM to make allies to find. You can do that, but you can also take more authorship than that. “…so I will take the first step by establishing an alliance with Count Oureme.” Now you at least have a specific target. Or even “…so I will take the first step towards alliance with Count Oureme by earning his respect at the tourney he hosts.” Even more specific, and you’ve just created an event for the campaign. The same for arts of peace as well as war. That’s vague, and while it’s something to do, it’s not really something to challenge. What art of peace do you want? “I must earn renown at the table of diplomats as well as on the field of battle” is better. “I will show myself a diplomat as well as a warrior by making peace between the feuding baronies of Valenne and Teumont” is better still; you’re pushing a particular story and giving really solid hooks. Those baronies don’t have to exist before you declare them, nor do you have to make up anything else about them. You’re just saying that you want to have feuding baronies and you want to get involved, and that’s real fuel for the GM to get the wheel burning, if you’ll excuse the metaphor.

Finding it hard to do that because i have very little knowledge of the campaign world. What i posted here is about what i know about it. Also really getting used to the idea of having any creative control over the story outside of my character’s actions.

What you said: “I am going to find allies, so i will take the first step towards alliance with Count Oureme by earning his respect at a tourney he hosts” I actually really like that is it okay if i steal this one?

and yeah belief 3 was supposed to be about learning diplomacy and wisdom. Being young and inexperienced for an elf, 200 years or so is still young. Having trouble keeping in mind beliefs need to be something more immediate for them to be good. Little bit of meta since i was given a bit of insight into the introduction of the story where we are staring i can probably make a belief about an ominous book im going to acquire at the start of the campaign. As in opening sequence of the first session i imagine. “Discover the origin and contents of the book”

By all means, steal away!

How much authorship you seize in Beliefs is a decision to be made group by group. Some groups, especially new to BW and used to more traditional games, prefer to have Beliefs built around established game world facts. And that’s fine, but it’s hard to get off the ground like that. Consider discussing with the GM what might make a good target for initial Beliefs.

“Discover the origin and contents” once again has no oomph. [i]What[i] is important for a Belief, but How is just as important. What’s the next step to unraveling the book? You’re allowed to state what will work, and if the GM doesn’t like it you talk it over, but it’s on you to make that first overture.