Hacking BE into a SF BW-like

Split from this thread: http://www.burningwheel.org/forum/showthread.php?14362-How-would-you-use-BE-to-play-it-like-BW -stormy

This is an old thread… but strangely, just this morning, I emailed two friends who are very familiar with both BW and BE this very question!

I did some more digging around on the top and found this thread from 2013.

In the thread the consensus, from both Luke and Thor, is that BE would be the perfect choice for converting to a BW-as-SF game, and that Burning Sands is the one that is too specific.

Specifically two posts caught my eye on the second page.

In the first, StanTheMan writes:

And then Luke replies:

This is sort what what I had assumed. To be clear, I’m not looking to play Traveller. More of a Traveller Imperium spliced with an emphasis on Dune-like noble-shenanigans focused on a noble house. (So, it’s not really Traveller I’m after. But, if Luke is saying it’s trivial, it’ll apparently get me very close very quickly!)

I’m looking forward to cracking open BE and seeing if this holds true.

I mentioned I wrote about this to a couple of friends about this question. My very smart friend, Jesse Burneko sent me this reply:

Here’s how I would do it.

  1. Ignore the Worms & Infection mechanics but where possible use Burning Empires rules as much as possible. This is because of things like the differences between Bloody Versus in Burning Wheel vs. “I Corner Him and Stab Him In The Face” in Burning Empires. They are similar but slightly different and I think Burning Empire’s version handles situations like, I’ve got a laser and you have a thermal detonator better.

  2. Compare the Artha awards and pick the versions you like best. I think they work slightly differently and some of those differences are because of the Scene Economy and Infection stuff in Burning Empires so the Burning Wheel version might be better in those cases.

  3. When rules in Burning Empires refer to “Maneuvers” replacing with “Session” should work just fine. Phases are trickier but I’d consult the rules for handing out Deeds points in Burning Wheel those are the guidelines for replacing “Phases” in Burning Empires. Scenes are well, Scenes and Conflicts are Duel of Wits and Firefights. No problem there.

  4. Use the World Burner in Burning Empires but run it yourself as the GM, ignoring worm related stuff or re-orient with an eye towards economics and politics. Here’s why I recommend just doing it yourself rather than as a group as Burning Empires suggest. In Burning Empires it is absolutely critical that the players be invested in the world out of the gate because they have to feel the tension between “What Do I Want For This Planet” and Stopping The Worms. That pressure is there immediately, you need that 100% buy in from the get go. But in Burning Wheel that investment can come a little slower. The GM is responsible for the Big Picture and the Situation. Player’s “buy in” by writing Beliefs about that GM pitch. So go ahead and built the world YOU want to play in and let the players meet you half-way.

  5. Some of the Life Path stuff is very Iron Empires Setting specific. Like Iron, Anvil, Hammers, Psychology and the social and organizational roles those play. You can probably recolor as necessary or just accept those political/social constraints. Or simply remove them.