GM Prep for a Session of Burning Empires

So our friend Anthony is running a session of Burning Empires tonight and I nudged him a little bit tonight about his plan for the session. Even though Burning Empires doesn’t require much prep once World Burning and Character Burning are done, it definitely works better if you do some. So I thought I’d share the major questions I posed for Anthony. I hope it helps you guys out!

  1. Who’s your Figure of Note for the phase?

  2. What’s your Phase Objective?

  3. What’s preventing your Figure of Note from achieving the phase objective?

  4. What do you think the players will script next?

  5. Which maneuver do you want to use to counter that?

  6. How can the skills that your characters have for this maneuver further your goal of eliminating the roadblocks to fulfilling your phase Objective?

  7. If things go as planned, what’s your next step?

  8. What can you establish now that will help you in that next step?

If you answer these questions, setting the agendas for your figures of note should be a snap. You want to make sure they are taking steps toward achieving the Phase Objective in every maneuver.

Thoughts, questions and comments welcome, of course!

I am just prepping for my second session and used the following three things to judge whether the two agenda ideas I had for each FoN for the next maneuver were on target:

  1. Do the agendas move the FoN toward their ultimate aims?
  2. Do the agendas conflict with the players beliefs?
  3. Are the agendas manageable given what has happened in the previous session?

I found this useful as agendas should satisfy all three of these in order to ensure that the game is focussed, fast paced and engaging.

You know, I wouldn’t just use this myself (as the BE GM); I’d probably hand this list to my players for their first set of manoeuvres. Considering they’d have read less of the rulebook (and less often) than me, they’d be a little lost about picking manoeuvres!

Also, make sure to remember the “Your Majesty” etc traits. One of my FoN’s got totally pwned because of it!