I ended up working on Beliefs with two of my players this evening rather than Sunday. It was difficult - we spent a bit over two hours on it - and I’m still unsure about some of them. One of the players is also having a very hard time coming up with Beliefs.
Situation: It’s a Dune-inspired campaign. The characters, all nobles of a minor House, arrive on the planet YerShari in the guise of a delegation making a state visit. In truth, they have been dispatched by their liege Great House to investigate allegations of treason: that House Zodagon is experimenting with thinking machines and advanced technology for use against the Imperium in the coming civil war. They also want to take over the planet from House Zodagon.
The Bene Gesserit’s (think ultra-humanist witch) Beliefs:
[li]I will keep our purposes and intents secret (actively: we discussed this. She means covering up behind other players and the delegation, not passively avoiding the topic.)
[/li][li]I will investigate the potential of any thinking machines for human enhancement.
[/li][li]I will always be polite. (really an Instinct, but we were dead-ended)
I love the second belief, because it contradicts everything the Bene Gesserit stand for and she knows it (she wants to go rogue). The first one, I wish I could elicit some clarification about, but she doesn’t feel she can be more precise than that. She wants to be able to respond adaptively and have it still apply to the Belief. I know the third Belief is an instinct; she was discussing replacing it with one about investigating Imperial contacts on the world.
The Assassin-Swordmaster’s Beliefs:
[li]I will eliminate potential threats at the earliest opportunity.
[/li][li]In preparation for battle, I will conduct reconnaissance.
[/li][li](No third main belief yet.)
[/li][li](from Loyal trait) Always cover (the Bene Gesserit)'s back when in danger.
The Assassin-Swordmaster is having difficulty formulating any kind of non-military challenge he wants his character to face, and I’m not sure how to help him. He wants to break and enter and gather intelligence. That’s all he’s got at the moment. He wants to be preparing for a War of Assassins or invasion, but isn’t sure how to formulate that beyond what he already has. And he intentionally wants to avoid too many social situations, as he doesn’t think his character would be suited to them or want to deal with them. The first Belief seems impossible to challenge to me; the second isn’t great but at least I can give him the opportunity to do what he says he wants to do.
Thoughts about how to help them?