Fleeting Epiphanies and Artha Milestones

I wanted to bring Artha spending to be a bit more important, as epiphanies are unlikely to come up in my game, how do the following hacks sound?

Fleeting Epiphanies

When you are halfway to an epiphany in a stat, attribute, or skill (10 fate, 5 persona, 1 deed), you gain a Fleeting Epiphany in that stat, attribute, or skill.

You can spend the Fleeting Epiphany before one roll in that stat, attribute, or skill to shift it to gray for that roll.

Artha Milestones

At the trait vote, if you have reached 7 or 14 fate in a stat, attribute, or skill (since your last trait vote) you are entitled to an additional character trait in this vote.

At the trait vote, if you have reached 4 or 8 persona in a stat, attribute, or skill (since your last trait vote), you are entitled to upgrade a character trait to a call on trait in this vote.

At the trait vote, if you have spent a deeds points in a stat, attribute, or skill (since your last trait vote), you are entitled to upgrade a call on trait to a die trait.

These milestone traits are still voted on. Consider nominations for these based off of which stat, attribute, or skill has awarded you this or the belief or instinct has lead you to this milestone. Mark you have passed this milestone.

Check out the rules for Aristeia on BWG/R pg 68. Your first suggestion is basically to give them a Minor Epiphany for a single role. (But a Minor Epiphany is slighty cheaper and lasts for a whole scene). This seems okay if you’re trying to speed up the rewards, but if they have deeds points to spend, don’t forget this is a thing.

In the commentary about Trait Votes in the Codex (under Evolving Traits on 106), it’s mentioned that the trait vote is a totally valid time to upgrade traits as you see fit. There are no hard rules for it, but using Artha spending is a good guideline. Though I think it’s less about the Artha spent on the same skill and more about Artha spent on roles pursuing something like a belief. So if a player has spent a lot of Artha on a variety of rolls but they all reflect the same sort of behavior, then that should guide the traits getting voted onto them.

1 Like

Yeah the Fleeting Epiphany is a derivative of the Minor Epiphany, although it’s essentially different because it’s cumulative artha instead of spent artha and is similar to the Epiphany in that case.

You’re right about the trait vote as well. The Artha Milestones are a way I’m trying to codify the trait vote’s attempt to reward based off of where Artha went.

My reasoning isn’t quite the same as yours, but I use a few Artha hacks too.

Personally I find Deeds points to be kind of underwhelming, considering how rare they are and in contrast to Call-Ons which can function like a free ‘virtual deeds point’ every session. (I.e. call-ons work like saving grace, but for a specific ability, and it doesn’t contribute towards a long-term epiphany, once per session).

My hacks are as follows:

Saving Grace no longer acts as a mere call-on does. Instead, it simply will makes the test succeed—but you won’t get to mark advancement, and there’s no marginal successes. Basically, it’s for those “I don’t care about marking the test, I just wish I had passed that”. The Deeds point still contributes towards an epiphany.

Epiphanies for Skills only require 2 Deeds points to permanently shade-shift, not 3 like stats and attributes—you still need 10 persona and 20 fate though. This rule actually harkens all the way back to Burning Wheel Classic. I’m not really sure why they changed it the revisions.

I’m also debating adding an artha power that lets you add +1-3 Ob to static tests by spending Persona, like for social test at Ob = Will, where you can’t actually actively resist like you would in a vs. test.

I’ve also started emphasising the use of focus in my games. Did you know there’s an Artha power called Focus? I sure didn’t for the first two years I ran this game! I’m 99% sure that it’s there so that you can get an advantage die, and have it contribute to the test difficulty, to get more routine tests if you need them. It lets you work Carefully (+1D) and then you can spend a Persona if you fail the test, to nullify the additional failure consequence imposed by working carefully. Basically it’s a really circuitous way to get a normal advantage die out of a Persona point instead of the usual artha die (which doesn’t contribute towards the difficulty).

To address the issue you raised a bit more directly though (and I do this too), is that, if you want to see more epiphanies just hand out more Deeds. If you want a higher powered game, lower the bar for getting a deeds a little bit. I think my games see a deeds point given out at least once every 20 sessions, but usually more often than that.

I handed out a deeds just this week actually, for one of my players who saved a village from a corrupted werewolf sorceress. Just some random forgettable village, but he risked life and limb to save them, so I gave out a deeds.

Edit: And yes the other thing you can do is just shade-shift an ability during a trait vote, or perhaps by going on a special quest. Though I’ve not actually done this in any of my games before.