JUST TO BE 100% SURE that I've read correctly


One basic question, just to be sure I’ve read Burning Empires correctly (I’m the GM):

Simply put: For the game to work all right (run with the default set of rules, without house-rulings), the players & the GM have to be COMPLETELY open with each other (down to even giving explanations for each others’ motives for a certain maneuver). Also GM fudging rolls (etc.) is out. Right-y right right?

Does this also imply that the GM have to show the players the NPC sheets?

Anything else I’ve missed?


The GM and PCs can be a little bit cagey with each other regarding plans/motivations. But other than that, yes, EVERYTHING needs to be on the table.



I think there’s a couple things that get written down and revealed later (like your objective for the phase and for each maneuver), and like the poster said above, you can get cagey (plots within plots).

Yeah no dice fudging…all rolls out in the open.

I’d let everyone read each other’s sheets…but remember not everything is revealed at the start of play: who you are going to Circles up, what resources you’re going to bring in, etc.

Also, read through the essay linked in my signature. It’s a collection of useful stuff, not all by/from me, that’ll help you get through your BE game.

Everything is rolled in the open. There is no fudging, otherwise you could not create the competitive vibe the game requires. Everyone gets to see everyone’s sheets, but the game also requires a very strong player/character informational divide. If your players can’t play maturely and keep their knowledge out of their characters’ actions, BE will not work.

If the GM broadly describes what he has in store for a maneuver, that’s fine. You need to give the players enough of a heads-up for them to understand what the GM has in mind for the upcoming session. That is, if the GM really has a lot of Hammer action in mind and is kind of itching for a space battle, he might mention that. What he doesn’t have to say is “One of my FONs is going to start a conflict scene in space to create a distraction, allowing another FON to sneak into the naval base that’s been left unguarded.”



Thanks for the insight.

One last thing:
In the beginning, it’s:

The GM w/ 3 NPCs (FoN)
the players (up to 6), plus up to 2 NPCs (FoN)



In the beginning there are three rules to follow:

1: 3 Vaylen FON

2: 3 Human FON

3: All players start on the same side.

And that’s it.

NPCs working “for” either side are either bought as Relationships before play (1 point if they’re working for the other side, 2 points if they work for you).

The GM can play any FON on any side (this is usually invoked if you don’t have enough players to take all 3x PCFON rolls), but because it is a competitive game, handing control of one of your side’s FONs means you’ve just handed away victory. What would the GM’s motivation be to make the human FON effective if he’s trying to get the Vaylen side to win?