Infection sans Vaylen

I’m wondering, is it possible to have a BE campaign using the Infection mechanics without the Vaylen actually involved? Several of the Iron Empires (Urfan and Casiguran, for example) are far enough from the Vaylen border to be relatively safe from Vaylen incursion (for the time being), but may be actively feuding with each other.

When World Burning for such a campaign, how would one determine Dispositions? In a Human-Human conflict, would both sides get the same Disposition values based on the choices of the World Burning? Or would the 'Invaders" use the Vaylen values?

Has anyone tried this, and how did it work for them?


I’ve been toying with a more general idea for the Infection mechanics. Break the three phases into the development of the situation: Initiation, Escalation and Confrontation.

The parts I’m working on would be dispositions in the World Burner, as replacing “Vaylen” with some other name is not the ideal solution to a vastly different type of conflict. Appropriate skills to each phase are another point that merits discussion, as they are generally not the same.

The quick-fix solution for dispositions is to simply set as a group what you feel they should be. “Uh, Cyberpunks disposition for Phase one is going to be 26. Orwellian oppressors have 22, yeah, that sounds good.”
The solution I like so far is to have the players as a group descide which choices benefit which side the most at each step of world burning. For example: High tech may benefit the Cyberpunks in your campaign, but it would benefit the grunt staring at a monitor more, as it helps level the playing field against the freakish skill levels in that genre.

I haven’t had a chance to try it, but I’ve been thinking hard about it.

I would revise the World Burner for different conflicts, to refocus the issues and to match the sort of war going on. If there is a long standing open conflict the Phases and things that contribute to your disposition for them are going to be radically different than the current disease like shadow war.

That said, instability advantages the Vaylen. If there is a world under assault from a purely human menace, Vaylen sleepers that catch wind of it will begin to figure out ways to take advantage of it. Thus, the aggressors are working against the cause of humanity and can be used as the Vaylen side. I don’t think the rules require any Vaylen Figures of Note, or even any hullings to occur. It can be all the more horrible as implications, when the GM describes the triumph of the invading humans and their desperate need for resources, and new settlers, and what that leads to.

Thanks guys for the feedback! I may cook up some ‘third column’ values for humans-as-invaders scenarios, but otherwise wing it.

And Tim, you’re right, the Vaylen would take advantage of any such weakness. The inability of the Iron Empires to work together is one of the great tragic elements that makes BE so great.