Instincts and earning Artha

This is really for Luke, Thor, Dro or anyone else involved in the design process. Why was the opportunity to earn Artha by causing conflict with one of your instincts removed? It seems that BE only allows Artha to be earned from instincts when they are ignored.

I have a player who took (and I encouraged it) an instinct which states, “Never come to court sober.” That’s awesome, conflict will be oozing out of his ears and I love it. I want to encourage it and give him Artha so unless I’m convinced otherwise I will definitely be doing so.

Coming to court drunk is its own reward.

Burning Empires is about a game about change. Playing your Instinct is expected and doesn’t encourage change. Rewarding someone for playing against an Instinct gives an incentive for growth and change.

If you want to reward your player for an interesting performance, use the embodiment reward.

Either the player needs to spend 1 trait point during in character generation on the character trait “Drunkard”; Or once they play it up a couple of times during play they should be awarded it during the trait vote. Then they can mine the trait for fate points by causing themselves difficulties, and leading the plot in interesting directions.

I had a similar problem with a character - during creation I established that one of the character’s liuetenants was hulled, and I wanted to play up the trust relationship; I originally thought of an instict “Always trust my liuetenants” - thinking like BW that when I chose to trust my hulled liuetenat and caused my character trouble, I would earn fate - But that isn’t how insticts in BE work. So I had to write a different instict and write up a belief instead that expessed the situation.

It seems to me that Instincts were perhaps a bit to close to Beliefs in BW, and that in BE they were separated somewhat so that they are not - in some ways - interchangeable artha-engines.

Beliefs seem to be mechanisms to reward interacting with the story in some way - either to advance the agendas in the Beliefs or to work against them.

Instincts are more ‘useful’ in the immediate, and so reward a player only when they choose to forgo the benefit.

I sometimes still choose Instincts because I want to indicate to others something about the nature of the character; particularly because I tend to be running the NPC FoNs and I am trying to provide interesting ‘grips’ for the players to riff on. For example: I have recently a perceptive investigator who, despite this, remains blind to the fact that his superiors are Hulled due to his Instinct to always obey his religious superiors. I didn’t want to make this a Belief, because it seemed too passive, but I still wanted it represented in some mechanical way so that the players notice it and, maybe, make use of it.

Caveat:I started with BE and then picked up BW so my perception of things could be a little skewed.

That makes sense from a design and thematic cohesion stand-point but it feels very boring.

I took an instinct with an NPC “Never pass up an opportunity to educate the ignorant.” And with another, “Never address the Royal line by title.”

Mechanical instincts like “Never be caught without my weapon.” are ok in small doses but when taken as a whole are not nearly as interesting as those which cause conflict.

This was one of those slight rule changes which I didn’t notice until after we created characters and I know my player’s will shit a brick if I tell them they won’t be earning artha for applying instincts in such a way (especially since I don’t necessarily love the change) so we’ll probably just stick with the BW instinct rules.

Oh well! We’ll just have to disagree on this one.