New Products Coming Out?

Hi all. My first post. I’ve read a lot of great stuff here, thanks to all for the awesome info!

I was just wondering if there would be anymore new Burning Wheel products in the works or coming out soon?

Thanks,

Matt

Have you seen the Anthology? That’s pretty new.

I have. I am really looking forward to using the War rules soon. I have the main book, the codex and the anthology. I’ve downloaded the free scenarios. I’m hungry for more though.

Thanks for the response Gnosego

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What would you want to see added to the game?

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Hi Luke. That’s a good question. I suppose I would like to see a monster bestiary. It would be great to have a reference for monsters instead of making them up myself. More adventures to purchase. I understand it would be difficult to create adventures that tied into the BIT’s of every player, but it would be something I would buy. Other than that, it was a general question to see if anything was in the works.
I want to thank you for such a beautiful game! Burning Wheel is the game I’ve always wanted but could never find…until now.

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Thanks for the kind words Matt.

Tell me more about this monster bestiary. What scenarios are you inventing monsters for? What monsters have you invented?

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I was thinking of something on the same lines as the Monster Manual for 5E. You have the typical Kobolds, Ogres, Beholders, Owlbears and Ghouls. That sort of fare.

In my own games I’ve made a demon that needs certain items that its cult have to find to bring back the full power of the demon in the material world. I have come up with Dark Walkers that are something akin to a Death Knight in 5E and the dark creatures of the Sword of Shannarra. Then there is the Halfling Tinkerer/Merchant that is known for his trinket toys and information that is needed at just the right time.

The scenarios that I’m coming up with involve the Demon that isn’t at full power in the material plane right now. The demon is one of several signs that the Ancient One, a mysterious evil presence that has not been seen in the land in several hundred years, is awakening again. The Ancient One has Dark Walkers, (sort of death knights with spells), that are stalking the land in search of the items that will bring the Ancient One back. The players are opposing this and trying to find the relics of the Ancient One before the Dark Walkers do, while trying not to get into combat with them. All this is happening while the cult of the demon are helping to strengthen the demon. This will culminate in a war, using the Anthology War rules, between the forces of good and the Ancient One’s minion the Skeleton King who will raise an army of evil.
So in this adventure I have the Demon, cultists of humans, Orcs, Goblins and Ogres. Dark Walkers who are very powerful, an Oracle to aid the players, a Lich that is the Ancient One, Zombies, Fades that are partially of this world, a Pixie who is the gang boss for some Ogres and hill trolls, hell hounds and various humans of stations ranging from Dukes to peasants.

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I think your demon is more interesting than anything I could come up with.

As for Kobolds, Beholders, Owlbears and Ghouls…I’ve become quite leery of including Other Beings Designated to Die. Obdees? Othering creatures—depersoning them, to borrow Professor Arendt’s term—seems to me deeply problematic. These beings have hopes and fears, wants and needs just like humans, elves, dwarves and orcs do. They should be treated accordingly with their own motivations, even if they are often at crosspurposes with our protagonists.

In the early days of Burning Wheel, we adopted the stance that to be a “monster” meant simply that one was not human (as a species). But at the same time, we decided that all monsters were persons. They all had Beliefs, Instincts, Traits, etc. The immediate and intended effect of that decision was to allow players to take on the roles of these monsters in their games. The immediate unintended effect was high complexity and kludgy amounts of detail, bogging down play for both NPC and PC monsters.

I’ve yet to solve the complexity issue in Burning Wheel, though I’ve made a couple of attempts. Those attempts lead to new games, namely Mouse Guard and Torchbearer. Those games do solve the issue of complexity, but at the cost of removing the playability component. But when monsters become solely NPCs, they become true others and risk severe depersoning which, in turn, makes me upset. Because nothing exists in any of our games solely to be killed by the protagonists as a lark en route to a larger goal.

That said, we have lovely lifepaths for orcs and goblins, and ogres can be created rather easily using the Troll lifepaths found in the Codex. And the Burning Wheel contains a small bestiary in which you’ll find some templates you can modify to suit your needs. The Codex also enumerates a few options for undead creatures that might suit your needs.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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Hi, Folks.

Luke’s last post stirred a thought I’ve been nibbling on for a while. I’ve been considering designing a resource to create complex, three dimensional monsters on fly. Something to make the monsters feel like they belong in the world as much as the player characters do; as well as something to distinguish the monster from others of its kind. The idea is to take a generic monster monster and tweak them just enough to make each encounter feel unique and laden with potential story hooks that could lead to further adventures. Naturally, this resource would work best with low-fantasy settings where every encounter is potentially dangerous.

I think such a resource would mostly take the form of random tables. In BW it might take the form of a resource similar to character lifepaths. However, it would be difficult to make generic tables for monster motivations, quirks, backstories, and secrets that would work for all monsters. A motivation for Kobolds might not work for Dragons, for instance. Perhaps this could be corrected by designing a resource that accounts for monster age? e.g. you have to be “devoured own siblings (10yrs)” before you can be a “haunter of mountain passes (20 yrs)” before you can be a “livestock stealer (20 yrs)” before you can be an “infamous menace (50yrs)” before you can be “rests upon golden hoard (100 yrs).” And since Kobolds don’t live to be 100 they can’t become an Infamous menace.

This idea is mostly inspired by books like the Hobbit, the Odyssey, and Beowulf. I would certainly say the monsters in those books feel like they have their own concerns, goals, and agenda. Many of them have almost endearing qualities in spite of their obvious wickedness. The heroes also face dire consequences for killing the monster even long after the monster is defeated–another factor that could be used to make each encounter feel unique.

Anyways, if anyone has any thoughts on my rambles I’d love to read them.

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This is why I love you.

I’ve been playing Burning Wheel for only a few months, but have been absolutely
enjoying the system. It has quickly become my favorite game system by far! So forgive me if I may have missed a few things when creating monsters. (Monsters is used loosely to describe any creature that is at odds with the players and that could cause a fight, DoW or any other situation the puts the players at odds with the monster.)

  1. I start with a description of the monster. Then a bit of backstory on where they came from.
  2. I then create any special qualities they may have such as blending in with their surroundings. I might create an attribute for this so that I can have a versus test for the creature to be seen by players. (Just an example of how I would create interesting qualities. This could be anything really.)
  3. I then go to skills for the creature. If they are a powerful creature that weilds a sword I might give them a sword skill at B7, or an appropriate level that will challenge the players, or not, depending on the scene and if this creature is something that could be bested by the players or not. This would be where I would include anything else such as a spell list if the monster can cast spells.
  4. I create one belief for the monster so that I can properly role-play the creature. One instinct, again to help roleplay the creature. I might throw in a trait if I think of something that is plausible.

It’s at this point that I feel I have enough information to be able to run the monster/creature and it has enough depth that I can embellish whatever conflict might arise from meeting with this monster. Usually this only takes me about five to ten minutes once I have a grasp of the type of monster I want to portray.

I write this because I think it is a fairly fast and streamlined way to create monsters without have to create some sort of rules structure outside of the rules for creating a character. So taking a monster idea from one of the books you mentioned, I could have a creature/monster created on the fly in a few minutes.

It would be very interesting to see what you come up with.

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@Matt

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really like your approach. I’ll give it a try.

Burning Wheel is a funny game because it’s best moments always seem to happen spontaneously on the fly. Yet it requires at least some prepared content by the GM to hold the story together. It’s hard to create stellar content without getting bogged down in time-consuming prep or making my players feel railroaded. I hope borrowing your monster creation process will me find that delicate balance.

Hi Finnway!

I agree. It can be difficult to create meaningful creatures and content on the fly. To that end I use some of the stats for creatures that are listed in the book keeping them close at hand. Then I can switch around a few details, traits and skills as needed on the fly.

If you do create a resource for creation please share. I would really like to see that!