First Adventure - Three Squires

Spoilers contained below. Read at your own risk.

So we gather together at 10am on a Saturday sitting around in a living room. We most often play table top games so the lack of a large table to gather around is unusual but enjoyable as the seating is most excellent with plenty of room to spread out.

Andy - Paladin (our GM had some download that offered the class).
Rick - Dwarf and most amicable host.
Sean - Cleric.
Steven - Halfling.
Matthew - Elf (me)

GM - Ross (who excellently made cards for items and conflict actions and printed out sheets for starting gear selection - this was crazy helpful!)

(Note about the group: we are a rather seasoned group and have played together in many different game iterations with most having gmed at least a one shot, or campaign. Two people had backed the kickstarter. )

We start off muddling through character creation, each trying to take a different route so we can widen our experience of the game. It takes us about 90 mins to work through everything including gear and all. We get a good mix of friends, enemies, mentors and parents.

Goal and Instinct setting was a bit of a challenge, at least for me. It was difficult to know what was or wasn’t vague.

GM starts setting the scene and a quick synopsis at which point we set goals. (I wanted my goal to be to find something unique or unusual because it fit my Curious Elf very well, but it’s a bit vague. Would love to find a way to reword it so I can use it in the future.)

We begin by looking around and find scales. Our first test! We fail and while figuring out they come from Kobolds, five of them get the drop on us. Our first conflict! We judge it to be a Kill conflict. The kobolds want us out, but we aren’t leaving.

The Elf Maneuvers with his dagger as the first move and while the Halfling covers him with his own sling, he manages to disarm the kobolds of their own slings while they hit us with a few penalties. The Cleric Defends an Attack next, and rolls well, no damage taken. The Pally aids the Dwarf who attacks and kills 2 kobolds.

Second round - the Dwarf opens with an attack (we realized this was a mistake after the fact as the Dwarf could not go again) and gets aid and kills the last 3 kobolds. ‘Man, killings things is easy. We should do this a lot.’ -Dwarf

This marks roughly two hours in, three turns.

We prep torches and begin down the steps. GM rules that being in dim light x2 counts as bright so we use two torches to light the whole group. (Rules advice welcome).

Cleric and Ranger set off a trap. The stairs collapse. Health test. The Pally and Dwarf are Injured. Suckers.

The Elf spends a turn using Survivalist to make a torch from some broken wood. Existential conversation abiut effective use of turns ensues. Perhaps the Elf should have made more torches all at once?

We briefly listen at one door, then remove the junk from the other door. The Dwarf succeeds at Laborer and we open the door. Torches begin burning out, no one is Fresh. Everyone eats/drinks.

We find a dog! The Cleric or Halfling, not sure which, befriends him with a failure. Kobolds lock us in the cellar and bar the door. Crap. We name the dog Hound and decide to search the room, find fout casks of beer and a rolling wall! The wall falls in the Halfling to Injure him, and the Pally and Elf become Afraid! Drink!

We find much loot and split it up. The Elf checks for traps with help from the Halfling. Succeeds and finds none. The Halfling goes to pick the lock and breaks a few picks in the process, becoming Angry!

We get back to the locked door and discuss smashing it open. The Cleric suggests we make a catapult to launch beer casks at the Kobolds, but no one can Carpenter. We smash the door! We needed five successes, the Dwarf, with help hits SIX successes! Everyone cheers. Dog is now named Bojangles?

(At this point we are roughly three hours and about 5 torches in. We sadly have no checks amongst us, as we keep forgetting to use traits against ourselves.)

We head into the next room and find assaulted pork. Or rats eating a salted pork. We aren’t sure which. Dog is now named Barkspawn.

Drive off conflict with the rats. We will lovingly call it a f@ck off conflict next time. Dwarf takes lead and woth help rolls up 6 hp to the rats 3. The Halfling goes first with his sling, and with help from the Elf and Pally rolls 5 successess on his Maneuver! He penalizes the rats next roll and boosts both the Dwarf and the Clerics next rolls. (Can you stack multiple bonuses on one character?)

The Dwarf goes next and takes a hit to the helmet while driving off two rats. The Cleric rolls no successes. The Ranger drives off the last rat. We have used 7 torches now and have no checks for camp…however…

The GM wants to run a camp anyway, to get a feel for it. We get a minor inconvenience of rats getting into our gear but the Cleric’s instinct is to always keep his gear safe. The GM rolla randomly to see whose gear they went for it, and it landed Cleric so his stuff was safe. Nice!

The Hafling makes some food. The Dwarf fails at healing the Injured condition ‘Thanks, Obama.’ And we wrap up our session.

We didn’t do session ending stuff because if we run a campaign, Ross will do his own thing and we will likely roll new characters.

We were all very happy with the game!

Few other questions:
How many wises do Humans get?
Do you need to call bonuses and traits and such before the roll, or after?
Ex. I roll to search for traps and succeed, could I use my Loner trait at that point against myself, or did I need to call it beforehand? If the Halfling rolls to befriend the dog, can the Cleric add his animal wise after the fact if the Halfling had failed?

All in all, great game!

Thanks for writing, Matt! I think the only real important detail would be to say that none of us had any Burning Wheel or Mouseguard experience whatsoever, so a lot of the basic functions of the system which are undoubtedly familiar with many forum folk here are part of the learning curve for us.

Something that I noticed was that the session took about 3.5 hours of time, but it felt much shorter and that we could have kept playing if it weren’t for having places to have to be.

Great game!

Humans get 1 Wise at the start. Elves, Dwarves and Halflings get two, though one is limited to specific options.

All dice bonuses need to be added or subtracted before the roll is made. If you could use a Trait against yourself after the roll, you’d do it every time you failed, because why not.
A Wise can be used to Help by adding +1D before the roll, and thus would need to be declared. Deeper Understanding and Of Course! only work if the character with the Wise made the actual roll.

Couple points:

If there are no traps to find you don’t need to ask them to roll or use up a turn. But wait, if you ask them to roll then they know there are traps? Yep, but it’s also too late to back out, they either find the trap or get a twist for failing, the obvious one being that they set it off while bumbling around. But wait, won’t they always just say I search for traps then? Yep, but they have to do it explicitly: how are they searching for traps? A good deal of the fun of a dungeon delving game is describing how you explore the dungeon, and when in their description they do something that might reveal a trap, that’s when you give them a test and use up a turn. There’s more discussion of this in the questions board, it’s definitely a departure from tradition d&d style.

The maneuver bonus is to the next action in the conflict, not the next action for a character. So whoever takes the next action for your team in that conflict will get that bonus.

eta: I like reading other people’s adventures because I haven’t had a chance to play yet and it helps me get a sense for what I need to look at for and it cements the rules in my head, so thanks for posting, enjoyed reading it.

It may not be clear, but I’m pretty sure we handled the bonuses mostly correct. I think once or twice we gave the bonuses to more than one person. Like the Halfling maneuvered and gave the Elf and Dwarf bonuses to their next roles. If that’s not possible, does that mean we should stack bonuses? So if the Halfling gets 5 successes, he might give the next player +4D?

Actually, you can’t do either.

“You can’t use the same effect twice on the same action.”Maneuver Effects, page 71.

On a successful Maneuver, you can spend a maximum of 6 successes: You can Impede your opponent’s next action for 1 success, you can Gain Position for your team’s action for 2 successes, and you can Disarm a member of your opponent’s team for 3 successes.

You cannot Gain Position twice or Impede three times. Other than that, you can spend your margin of success as you like. If you have a margin of success of 3, you can disarm your opponent, or you can choose to Gain Position and Impede your opponent.

Then there’s cheatin’ elvses at Level 5 who get to double the effect…

Many thanks. Must’ve missed that when I was reading through!

Elves always cheat!

No worries! Sounds like you guys had a great time. That’s the important thing.

I think my next Belief will mention cheatin’ elvses.