New to Burning Wheel...not so other RPGs.

Esteemed players,

I received today my copy of the Burning Wheel FRPG Gold. I also own Mouse Guard RPG, which I haven’t played yet. Being new to Luke Crane’s RPG systems, I would like to be a BW player before trying my hand at being a BW Game Master.
I would appreciate any advice on where in Burning Wheel to start. I have plenty of time, as I don’t know anyone in any of my gaming groups who are familiar with or play Burning Wheel.


Hi Carl!

I’d suggest looking at the Player Search forum below, and joining the G+ Burning Wheel community. Games start up ocassionally, or you could start your own.

Start reading the Hub and Spokes, and maybe check out some online play videos.

I loved Shaun Hayworth’s Burning Olengrav game. You can read the game setup and characters here:

and there are YouTube videos of the rest of the game sessions here;


Ignore the fight! range and cover, and duel of with to begin with - you can EASILY play really good games without them. Also, without those systems the game almost descends into rule-light territory and make it easy-peasy to run :slight_smile:

Hey Carl!

Good Luck with the new game, I hope you find a group soon. BWG is such a great game, Im sure you’ll love it.

As for your questions, I would just say more of what Valannor and Dionysus said.

Start with the first 76 pages or so, the “Hub and the Spokes”. Really are the rules you need to play a campaign are there. Especially with a new group dont feel forced to add in any of the auxiliary rules like, Fight!, or Range and Cover, etc. You can get to those when you’re ready. The Hub and Spokes has everything you need to create dramatic, tense, super charged games that will stay with you forever. I’d say play your first 4 or 5 sessions with just those rules until you feel comfortable with Task and Intent, Helping, FoRKs, and Advancement. Then one session sneak in one of the other systems, Fight! or Duel of Wits!

Also, when you do get ready to incorporate Fight! or Duel of Wits, dont be afraid to do it slowly. Dont be afraid to have your book beside you and as the players reveal their script, look it up in the book, read it to the group. This way everyone learns and it helps to keep the group invested in the Fight! - well, it did for my group anyway.

As said above as well Shaun Hayworth has plenty of good actual play videos on youtube, and I’ve spend many an hour, and they’ve helped me.

But just take it slow and remember above all to focus on BITs. The character’s Beliefs, Instincts, and Traits. Find ways to challenge the player’s BITs, to make them struggle with them, and by just using the Hub and Spokes, you’ll have a great game.

Let us know if you need any more help.

The only thing about the sticking to the hub and spokes (first 76 pages) is that it doesn’t do magic very well.
If you want to use magic, you pretty much have to learn the magic system.
My old group (rotating gm’s) split up the chapters in the beginning, each one of us learned a different system to teach the others in play as they came up.

We also ran several test scenarios to try out each system.

Welecome to the forum!

As a technicality @Larkin, you’re correct. In order to use the full extent of the magic in BWG, you’ll need to read through the magic chapter. Just like to get the full extent of combat you’ll need to read through the Fight! chapter, and for Debates, the Duel of Wits chapter. But those things are not 100% essential to play.

First off Carl, stick to challenging the player’s BITs. That’s the essential way to insure strong gameplay.

Secondly, as you’re learning feel free to stick with the standard task and intent detailed in the Hub and Spokes. It works for combat, debates, and even magic.

Want to kill the duke? - Test Sword (your task - killing the duke with your sword) for your intent (to impress the duchess), have the Gm set an Ob and roll the dice.

Want to debate the magistrate? - Test Persuasion (your task - convincing the magistrate) for your intent (to allow your friends release), have the Gm set an Ob and roll the dice. (Maybe a versus test in this case.)

Want to cast to spell? - Test Sorcery (your task - casting a spell) for your intent ( to bring fire from the sky, persuade the magistrate, turn your enemies to cinders, etc), have the Gm set an Ob (even the ones listed in the Character Burner) and roll the dice.

Remember to always state a failure consequence before the dice hit the table, and to challenge BITs.

It’ll work out.