Demigod Lifepath or Traits?

I was considering what it would be like to have Demigods as active components in a BW game. Characters such as Heracles, Perseus, Beowulf, and so on.

Under normal circumstances I would assume the best course to go is to create a trait (or series of traits that could represent a unique stock via common traits for Demigods) and use the already existing lifepaths from the standard races.

I am unsure if BW is a good fit for having a game with such characters, however. If the characters (players) themselves are such beings, it may ruin the feel of BW.

But then again some of the best legends and stories, filled with challenge and conflict, are ones where the main character is a Demigod.

…thinking about it, this may br a good cause for an Emotional Attribute. Alot of Demigods are plagued with internal turmoil as they conflict with their deific heritage…and it gives a great opportunity to send them off from the game when the attribute reaches 10.

I’ll have to look into whether its worth burning the emotional attribute. Anyway, thoughts? Input? Is this the wrong system for this sort of thing?

IMO, Burning Wheel is a game about what more-or-less ordinary people do in extraordinary circumstances. Characters are rarely inherently special, but they become so through pursuing their Beliefs.

That said, if you want to play a game about characters that are inherently heroic or special, you could probably get some good play out of it, but I think those characters would be easier to create as monsters. Their circumstances tend to be outside the scope of lifepaths.

I’m all for “ordinairy heros, extraordinairy circumstances” situations, and agree that BW is better suited to that than the mythic level adventures playing a Demigod entails.

I had the idea more as a “what if” and “how could I do this in a game” sort of exercise. I may not even really attempt this, but considering it seems worthwhile.

What I am aiming for is more akin to the Kevin Sorbo Hercules TV series type character, with very real human qualities. But if its not a goof idea in BW, that’s something I was aware could be a possibility.

…I am not sure burning a monster is the best path for these types of characters when in essence they’re merely humans with some exceptional, godlike qualities. Seems a trait or two could do it…

I disagree with the above strenuously. BW is a fantastic game for Greek-style heroes, demigods or just larger-than-life. And the trick isn’t traits (although it’s a fine and defining character trait) or emotional attributes (although you could probably whip up a good one). It’s Obs, intents, and consequences.

Normally, taking out a guard would be Ob 3, and failure means you get captured or suffer a serious wound. The Ob for fighting an entire guard detachment? Forget it; not an achievable intent. In Greek mode, killing a guard is Say Yes. Killing a squad of guards is Ob 3, and failure means one manages to shout out an alarm before you cut him down. In gritty BW you might roll against Ob 5 to scale a small cliff at night to take your enemies by surprise, and failure means you lose your kit on the way up and arrive woefully unequipped. In Greek mode you roll Ob 5 to scale the Cliffs of Insanity in a hurricane, and failure means you do it too slowly and your enemy has already stolen a march on you when you reach the top. Normal BW lets you use Persuasion to get someone to do you a favor. Greek BW lets you roll Persuasion to get Atlas to take the weight of the world back on his shoulders. (And holding up the world? Probably much lower Ob than you might think. Maybe even Say Yes–whether he can hold the world up isn’t interesting, it’s the fact that he does it and lets Atlas wander off!)

I’ve played Burning Ilium. Standard rules. It’s just that what the PCs could do, at baseline, was always amazing.

This is the same trick that lets you do gritty BW with harsh Obs and consequences, cinematic BW with more forgiving Obs and expansive intents, swashbuckling BW where you look awesome even when you fail, and so on.

Everything Wayfarer said is totally doable. I say nothing that isn’t filtered through my own particular biases :wink:

I guess a lot ofnit depends on how you view Greek-style heroes. Are they fundamentally different from everyone else, or are they normal people with one or two exceptional qualities?

If the former, I’d use the Monster Burner, for the same reason that is use it for a supreme evil wizard, or a powerful king - they exist in a sphere that is outside the scope of the Lifepath system.

If it’s the second, you could make, maybe, a Die Trait to represent their divine heritage that shade-shifts a stat or skill, and maybe a new LP along the same lines as Gifted Child from the MaBu which can replace any other Born LP. Using heroic/supernatural shades would leave the baseline tone of the game the same, while making the characters exceptional.