My first impressions

Well then after being persuaded to part with my money by all you good people on this forum I picked up the rule book yesterday.

This morning I opened it to read and spent over an hour lovingly peeling back each and every page, due in part to the fact that reach page was slightly stuck to the next, don’t get me wrong this wasn’t a production fault it was purely because it was new, had never been opened and a kind of static effect had occurred between the pages. The result was that for an hour I read nothing of the book but gazed in stunned disbelieve at the art work . The coloured plates are amazing but the brown pencil sketches were fantastic. That alone confirmed to me I had made the right decision to buy.

Another thing about the book is it’s size, it feels right in the hand, it is comfortable to hold and even though it is heavy after a while you don’t feel it. The cover being matt gives it a warm welcoming feel when it’s picked up and you just get so engrossed from there on in.
For the first time ever I turned it round and round just looking at it, then I realised what was missing, there were no nasty cut marks down the edge of the pages, something that annoys me no end. The whole book is a master piece of production and even though I’ve read on the forum that people have experienced the glue coming away from the binding it looks so well stitched that I believe it will hold up to some rigorous use.

So to the written context, as I’ve already stated I’ve not read any of it yet but if the writing is as well put together as the book then I have no doubt that it will become one of my all time classic RPG games.

Here’s hoping.


Oh yeah, the content deserves its container. Both can knock a grown man on his ass. Though, with the writing, there’s slightly less blood involved.

Jamat, congratulations on your purchase. I was going to reply to your other thread but you made up your mind pretty quick.

What I find most impressive about BE is the way it, more than any RPG I’ve seen, actually communicates how to play the game in a specific way. Obviously each group will be different but there is a foundation play-style built into the rules and supported by the all the guidance offered. For example, the scene mechanics! They ensure the game will be fast-paced, that each player will have the same opportunity to contribute, that the story will build towards conflict, etc. etc. (I’ve played D&D with some people who have no concept of scenes or scene framing, with whole sessions where nothing at all happened - no fights, conflicts or story advancement at all - despite being great role-players. I think this game would be very educational for them.)

Similar hard-wired play-style stuff can be found in other mechanics, like World-Burning (ensures player buy-in to the setting), Circles (enmity clause!), Resources (esp. the color vs hard tech stuff), even the rules for knowledge skills/wises (being able to state a fact and roll to see if it’s true).

The end result is a game that is meant to be played a certain way, whose text and rules really guide you to playing that way. It’s not for everyone - some people don’t want so much player authority, for example. But for those of us who enjoy the way it plays, it’s a godsend.

Good luck getting a game together for it - it’s meant to be played. (My group’s in that limbo state right now where we’ve burned the world and characters and are just trying to get our schedules to work out for the first real session.)

  • Mike

Groovy. Once you are ready to digest it I recommend reading it from page 1 through. I found the order fo the book to help explain the ideas as they were reached.

Also, if you ever feel a little intimidated by the number of mechanics have a read of my comments on this LJ post: It may help put things in perspective.

Ok I’ve finally read the book and love it. That said it is not something I will be running anytime soon.

Please don’t get me wrong this is probably one of , if not the best, RPG out on the market and my previous post already commends it’s production quality.

I found it an easy and entertaining read, my problem with it is difficult to put into words so having thought it through this weekend I have come up with an example that reflects the job I do as an architect.

Some years ago the construction industry had a shake up in Britain with reference to health and safety. A law was bought in that put the health and safety building design in the hands of the architect, this meant that an architect had to provide a risk assessment for a part of a building that may course a safety issue for the person building it and further down the line the end user of the building. It laid down the architect’s responsibility in writing.
In reality it just confirmed on paper what architect’s had been doing for many, many years as a natural process of designing., even this was the case it had the effect of making the natural design process unnatural for the architect.

Now lets get back to the game, I see all the aspects in the rules that I have used in role-playing for over 20 years, designing worlds (albeit without the input of the players) the creation of figures of note, campaigns, adventure, missions sense, all these are a natural process for a GM.
Having read the book I find seeing this process laid down in writing that it has made role-playing an unnatural process for me when trying to use these rules. It just feels too pigeonholed for me to use to its full ability.

I hope the above makes sense in some way, I do really love the game and will read it often over the years, it will be definitely up there with the best games I own, I will just never play it as it feels too ordered and unnatural to my way of role-playing.

I will still visit the forum and may even participate in some debates, I hope that it goes from strength to strength and know it will be a classic in years to come; unfortunately it’s not for me.



So you didn’t actually try the game out? As in play it?

Dr. Seuss said it best:

“You do not like them.
So you say.
Try them! Try them!
And you may.
Try them and you may, I say.”

I am currently running a game with 3 grognards. They would all agree that there is something very unfamiliar with BE. However, they also all agree that exploring that feeling has been one of the most fun things they have done in RPGing for a long time. Despite the unfamiliarity, BE really does work.

As such, I understand your feelings. However, I recommend trying it before giving up on it. Something new can not only be a lot of fun, but it may teach you some new tricks to take back to your more familiar ground of RPGing.