Interested in buying BW

Hi all,

Not sure where to post this so I’ll chance my arm here.

I’m interested in the BW rpg but I’m not sure which is the latest edition. I’ve heard one was recently released. Is there a way to determine if I’m buying the correct (i.e. latest) BW edition, what should I look out for? Also, when will it be released in the UK?

Thanks all.

Hi Ranger! Welcome to the wheel!

The most up-to-date edition is Burning Wheel Gold Revised. That’s the one that you’ll see in the BWHQ web store.

The “revised” part of the title isn’t on the spine but is on the front cover, under “Fantasy Roleplaying Game”. It’s also identifiable by the red cover with gold wheel design (as opposed to gold with red wheel of the non-revised Burning Wheel Gold).

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That’s great

Thanks Agnelcow!

So, if I wanted to use BW for Harnworld, or Middle Earth, or Warhammer, or any fantasy setting, and I had loads of pre made adventures, how would BW’s system and philosophy of play, interact with those adventures?

I get the impression that all BW adventures stem from character motivations, which propel the game forward. Wouldn’t pre published adventures with their pre plotted stories fight that? Or can both be integrated?

It’s not impossible to play Burning Wheel in a defined setting, but it is a lot easier if you’ve got some experience in the system.

The implied setting is essentially Middle Earth (with a touch of Earthsea and historical Earth). The assumption is that you will build the details of the setting around the characters. Using an existing setting works against that organic process somewhat. It’s not that it can’t work, it’s just a bit more challenging. The game wants to put a lot of creative agency in the hands of the players.

As a result, using a setting like Warhammer might lead to a bit of additional work modifying the character creation system. That work is best done by someone familiar with the way the game actually plays. So, you see the barrier there.

If what you want is “kinda-sorta Middle Earth” then I would say yes, 100%, pull the trigger. Once you see how it all fits together you can expand it to your liking, but that is the easiest starting point.


Hiya @Ranger.

I’ve quite frequently run Warhammer stuff in BW.

Yes, BW thrives on character motivation and intent. In game parlance, their BITs* propel them and the story. As a GM, you want to make sure that what they want intersects with the adventures you’re looking to run.

Beliefs - what drives them, the goals they want to achieve (“I will drive the bandits from Sherwood Forest”)
Instincts - what they instinctively do, what habits they have (Always hide a knife)
Traits - prominent aspects of the character (Stubborn, Faith, One-Eyed)

Quite often, it’s either a case of holding onto the core of the adventure lightly or setting up a very strong situation and getting player buy-in to the core conceit of the adventure / campaign.

So, for “Shadows over Bögenhafen”, for instance, you want the characters heavily invested in the events and mysterious happenings, potentially some of them having strong ties to the merchant houses, or their enemies, etc.

In your pitch to the players, you’d ask for them to create characters strongly tied to the town, asking that one (or more) of them write a Belief that puts them at loggerheads with one of the merchant houses. You’d ensure that one of their Relationships cares deeply about (say) the drunken dwarf, you might suggest that one of them have a Relationship with the magistrate, etc.

Given how terrifying (for characters) the Fight! subsystem is, then you’d look to resolve a number of the “filling the time” fights from published scenarios either with a quick dice-roll or by stripping them out.

On the other hand, that big finale fight against that Chaos Sorcerer for the life of their mentor? That’s an awesome thing to get into!

Hrm. Re-reading, I’ve probably jumped a few too many steps ahead, given that you’re looking to potentially buy Burning Wheel.

Can I suggest having a look at the (free PDF) of the Hub and Spokes?

This is the core “loop” of the game, and does a great job of laying it out.

The game (wisely) recommends using pretty much just the Hub and Spokes until you want to dig deeper.



Ok so in a nutshell, be sure to mesh a character’s BITs with the current adventure’s plot?

Yes, that’s absolutely the correct approach!


Thanks all for the feedback

Hiya @Ranger! Looks like you got the answers you needed, but I also wanted to offer this if you haven’t seen it: Burning Harn! It’s not 100% up to date with the newest Burning Wheel Gold Revised, but it should honestly be most of the way there.

Thanks Alfred.

I really like Harnworld so this is a great addition.

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