I think I got it....

BE puts the personal story of the greatest struggle in the character’s lives front and center. That struggle is wrapped up with the invasion of their world (it’s the spark and fire) but it’s really about their personal struggles.

Explaining the system mechanics to my friend made me realize that while yeah, the characters are caught up in this struggle, they’re not going to single handedly turn back the tide. They may be able to influence it’s outcome to varying degrees, but the real focus of the game is on their personal beliefs and struggles. The real focus is on whether or not they can bring their own personal struggles to a successful conclusion.

I guess it’s kinda like, “Hey, yeah, I just used my Hammer’s weapons to reduce a Vaylen infested city to slag, but what about getting my brother’s claim to the throne?” And what do I do when I find out my brother’s been hulled, and one of my beliefs is to protect him at all cost?

It’s remarkable to me that you could have a game where those emotions/beliefs/ideas are invoked, and still have fire fights/intrigue/etc.


I guess I came to this conclusion when I was thinking about burning up a Forge Lord, and I kept thinking, “But how is this going to be exciting? The guy’s the head of the military, he has all kinds of power/resources at hand. I know he could have his friends/family hulled and that hurts, but he’s just going to answer all attacks against him with overwhelming military force…how boring is that?” And then I realized that hey, this isn’t about how he handles those issues (I mean, sure, he’s going to send in the Marines to deal with a lot of problems), it’s about how he’d never hurt his daughter who he loves with all his heart after his wife died in childbirth and his daughter…:eek:…is, unbeknown to him, a Vaylen agent.

I think I got that right. Over and over again I look at the character burning/infection mechanics and I think, "Yeah, there’s this big struggle going on that you fight in…but it’s really about you…who you are…what you do…how you’re changed (that whole “you will pass through the fire/you will be changed” thing from the back of the book (which, by the way, was one of the big reasons I bought the book—wow, no false advertising here!) :slight_smile:

Oh yes. Oh yes you did…

Thanks man! Shit like this makes my day.

Thanks goes to you Luke, for putting this baby together.

I was explaining BE to my hardcore Dnd friend this weekend and he was skeptical at first, but the more I talk about the importance of characters and their central role in the game, the more excited he got.

In the course of discussing RPG gameplay and moments from games that he liked, he mentioned a moment from his current Dnd game where his two minions/henchwomen (who are, or course, in love with him) hesitated to help each other in a fight because of their jealousy of each other. My friend says he went home w/ a big grin on his face 'cause it was such a great “moment.”

And I’m thinking, “Yeah, but you had to wade through five hours of combat to get to that moment…five hours of roll roll roll your boat…and with BE, you could have moments like that (dare I say it to him?) all the time.”