"Loaning" a Greed-begotten Sword

So, one our Dwarven players stumbled upon a beautifully crafted mithril long sword. He failed his Greed and chose the “I Must Have It” option. He snagged it and has coveted it closely ever since. Two sessions ago, he found out that it has some pretty fantastic enchantments on it that make it almost beyond price in this age of diminished magics.

Trouble is, he’s a Dwarf and doesn’t know how to wield a sword.

So, he asked me if he’d be able to loan the sword to one of the PC’s who can use it. Or, conversely, sell it.

I am very strongly leaning toward no on both.

That said, I am wondering: Once an item is achieved through the “I Must Have It” option, is there any way for the Dwarf to relinquish it?

I don’t think he can sell or loan it out.

Edit: maybe, if he had a compelling reason you could call for another greed test to relinquish it.

Duel of Wits maybe?

If it fulfilled a belief, sure, but otherwise, “It’s my PRECIOUS”. Hmm, now that I think of it, Gollum must have been a Dwarf, not a Halfling, and his Greed exponent is probably G9.

In my current campaign my Dwarf managed to get his hands on some Dwarven Mail. He pretty much immediately discarded his old leathers and started wearing the mail. Of course, he didn’t have Armor Training so he was suffering all sorts of penalties. But it was either that or not wear the mail, which was completely unthinkable. Eventually we had some downtime and I was able to get instruction for Armor Training and now all’s well.

So, yeah, I’d say unless there’s a Duel of Wits involved or a Belief riding on it, he’s not going to willingly loan out the sword. And even if he does it’ll still always be in his mind – probably always eyeing the other person, maybe even getting paranoid about it “Where’s my sword? What’d you do with it?!”.

Personally, if my Dwarf got his hands on an awesome sword, I’d quickly be learning the Sword skill.

No result is immutable in Burning Wheel. Each failure simply sets up another obstacle. That said, I don’t think he’s adequately suffered the consequences of his failed Steel test. He paid lip service to his Greed and now that it’s inconvenient for him, he’s looking for a way out.

Greed demands that he wields that sword. Folly demands that he rush into battle untrained. Fate demands…well, who knows what Fate demands. Perhaps he’ll survive his trial by fire, perhaps he won’t.*

Regardless, he’s keeping the sword.


  • Do remind him that he can tap his Greed when defending that sword—in combat and out.

Twice my Dwarven PC met with Dwarven Treasures, twice he resisted his greed. The first time he had greater goals in mind and simply gathered the normal loot while others squabbled over the sacred Thursus, an item of immense powers of leadership; the second time he had to kill the Orc wearing a Dwarven Princess’ Tiara for a Possession belief [Vengeance], later he had no-idea where it was but had assumed someone picked it up after he was done desecrating the corpse. Sadly, another PC got it hidden away while no-one else was looking, and now he paws his treasure in secret while the rest of us bewail our failure to recover it.

I’d think he should wield the sword, perhaps find a master to train him, even if it meant going to human lands to learn.

Perchance is said Dwarf a runecaster?

Well, forcing him to wield the sword will get him killed for sure. I’m not sure that’s an appropriate result of a single failed Steel test.

I’m okay just letting him covet it and not loan it out to anyone else or sell it, basically making it worthless.

Make him carry it everywhere.

Actually I would allow him to try to give it up, but the failure condition is he starts talking to it. :slight_smile:

Haha. That would be kind of interesting, isn’t it? If he does want to give it up / sell it, I suppose I could call for another (substantially higher Ob) Greed test. A failure would result in him becoming even more obsessed with it, forcing him to wield no other weapon.

At least then he’d know what he was in for if he failed. :slight_smile:

Just make sure that success is interesting too.

Well… The part I didn’t reveal to you guys is that the character he wants to “loan” the sword to is his other PC (who is a master swordsman). :rolleyes:

He has two PC’s? Why?

Two words: Mortal Wound. :wink:

(Additional words: His other PC is still on the mend, but he is hoping to loan / sell it to him when he’s up and about in, oh, six more months or so)

Anyway, the more I think about it the more I think “no.” His current PC has no real reason to give up the sword, especially given his cockiness. He probably thinks learning to wield a sword will be child’s play compared to learning to swing an ax.

Are you kidding, he has a bedridden swordmaster with nothing to do but heal and correct his form all day. He should be using this guy to train! The Dwarf should move his bed into the dojo and make him teach or no nurses will tend him.

I don’t have my BWG with me at work to look, but in the case where there is a treasure which the dwarf may not want to use (like a sword), couldn’t the dwarf gain a Trait to brag about his treasure? Perhaps, to make the plot more personal, a legend could spring up of a companion axe or hammer in this same set of weapons…

And he wants to collect them all…

dramatic music

Boo to players having one of their characters work against his interest to help out another of the same player’s characters for no reason. Like gold-farming in MMOs: multi-abuse.

Agreed, larkvi!