New to BWG have some questions, thanks!

First off, I love the system. I love the flexibility and as a long time gamer of over 2 decades now, it’s awesome to see some of the aspects that we have stumbled upon through trial and error to make games engaging (collaborative world building/character building/ and roleplay focused around ‘beliefs’) put into the framework of the system.

So I’ve got a BWG version printed 2013 (I think it’s third edition?) and I decided to join the forums to seek some help.

Reason being, I keep feeling like I’m missing something…I’ve been trying to burn up a variety of spell casters and I’m running into some walls:

  1. Enchanting, it directs me to the magic burner
  2. Summoning, same thing
  3. Is there any necromancy? There is a walking dead example in the book…and the evil wizard has grave-yard wise…
  4. I haven’t been able to find the magic burner that is referenced to purchase. Is it on a different site? A friend said it wasn’t for BWG? I was confused by that because then why would it be mentioned in the BWG book? What am I missing?
  5. Are there rules for making new spells? I may have missed this…maybe I need to reread the sorcery section more carefully.

Also, I kind of feel the same for monsters…there are some examples in BWG, but I don’t feel like I have much structure or guidance to burn up my own…I can make orcs for sure, that’s very clear…but besides that I don’t know. And what are Roden (besides the obvious that they are “rat men”)? They are referenced multiple times and also sound like a playable race, but never given context.

I feel like reading this book I’m already supposed to be aware of a certain canon or system or have previously played the older versions. Is it possible I’m missing a key book that I don’t know about? Or am I just not embracing the free range encouraged by Burning Wheel?

Thank you!

The Magic Burner (and Monster Burner, which holds the Roden race) were supplements for Burning Wheel Revised that never got updated to Burning Wheel Gold. The Magic Burner holds pretty much all the stuff you’re asking about. (Monster Burner has rules for making monsters, as you might expect.)
I’m not entirely sure why the references were left in, though the old books are still mostly compatible with Gold if you can find copies. Regardless, you don’t really need those books to play BWG - unless of course you want to be a Roden or use magic outside of the core Sorcery rules or whatever.

I wish they would update the other three books as well (Monster Burner, Magic Burner, and Adventure Burner). All of these books have been quite useful to me.
I know that you can find some great stuff if you search old forum posts as well as the wiki.
If I didn’t have the Magic Burner
I would probably use Alchemy to brew poitions, similar to the way Apothecary is used to make medicine. I would set the poition obstacles at 4x their die effect (grants +1D for one atribute or stat for one scene would be an Ob4) and would take poition obstacles in days to brew.
I would use Enchanting to make spell like items at 2x their spell obstacle with out a cavet (^) and 4x their spell obstacle with a cavet as those with a cavet cost twice as much as those without in character burning. I would also make Enchanting take the Enchanting Obstacle in weeks to make an item…
But obviously, you would be better off if you could just get a copy of the Magic Burner.

As far as creatures go (without the*Monster Burner) you can still burn up some pretty good ones just by mixing and matching the various traits in gold (can’t find what you really want? just model it off of one you can find).
Again, you’re better off finding a copy of the Monster Burner, but between the wiki, forum, and your own creativity you can make it work.

Thank you for clarifying. I just found and ordered/downloaded the free bits that are available from the magic burner, got the death magic and enchanting rules, so that helps for sure, as they are pretty intricate rules. I think I would have made a mess comparatively.
That said, just having those supplements makes me realize there are even more types of magic lol, now I’m curious about spirit binding, artistic magic, summoning and others. But anyway, I’ll do as you suggest and try to find copies of these books. Has there been any talk of a gold version of these being released? Or maybe just restocking the old books on the website?

Thanks for the help and advice, I’ll definitely try to find full versions of the monster and magic burner. If you or anyone else has any suggestions where to find and purchase it would be appreciated!

The Enchanting and Death Art chapters are both available as free downloads from the Burning Store and from the wiki:

Thank you, I actually just downloaded them yesterday. As I was mentioning to the other posters, it made me aware of even more types of magic mentioned in those PDFs off hand that are in the Magic Burner (spirit binding, art magic etc) lol. I guess I just need to find a copy of it :slight_smile:

It is cautioned in the magic burner is to be careful mixing the different styles of magic in the same game, I haven’t tried it personally but I hear bad thing can happen pretty quickly.

Mixing magic in the same game is fine. I do it regularly. Too many types of magic all the time can cause magic overload, but otherwise it’s okay. Oh, and Practical Magic takes a very different flavor from the others and kind of doesn’t fit.

Which is the real problem, I think. Mixing many kinds of magic in one person is probably a bad thing. It gets confusing, it becomes too much of an everything-solving crutch, and it’s boring. Every wizard should do just one major kind of sorcery and maybe an extra side of Enchanting or Death Art or the like. Don’t mix Art Magic with regular Sorcery. (I wouldn’t mix those in one game, generally, unless emphasizing that a different magical tradition is very different.)

But I’ve played a game where there are peasant savants with Practical Magic and often Spirit Binding, highly trained sorcerers using Art Magic and Enchanting, and occasional bad apples creating hideous armies with Death Art that the priests then pray down with Faith. It’s fine.

Actually the way this conversation has turned is right along some lines I was wondering about.

I’ve got a player who is looking to create what will eventually become an immortal witch king OR lich OR ascend to demi-god via sorcery, something along those lines…now I am having trouble with making sure his beliefs make sense vs “I’m a sociopathic meglamanioc for no reason” and ensuring they are structured to mesh with the other players and not just turn into conflict, backstabbing and evil wizard tropes etc., BUT I think I can work with him and the other players to make that work out…but, what I’m having trouble with is the mechanics of actually achieving his goals.

I currently only have access to the Death Art and Enchanting PDFs that you guys shared with me (thanks!), so, that plus the BWG sorcery rules and emotional magics/faith is what we’re going with in the game in terms of available magic.

So with my limited knowledge, I basically see 2 ways for this character to achieve his goal…and I’d love to get feedback to make sure I’m not missing other options:

  1. Make the character a low level necromancer (or low level sorcerer who achieves death art in play) to start. Has the goal of getting his liche on eventually, and to do so will make a pact with an orcish sorcerous aide, and use enchanting to give himself an amulet and a crown (or whatever), one which is imbued with the Orc’s Cold Black Blood Trait (which which would allow him to keep Death Art) and the other imbued with the Orc’s Void Embrace trait which would give him access to the Orcish magic, since he’d lose gifted, and thus sorcery…which doesn’t fit with the character concept…maybe just keeping death art would work, but some spell flinging should occur methinks for his concept to work for him.

  2. If he doesn’t want to do the lich thing, he could simply make a human with the fey blood -> cold black blood trait, and be immortal…but then he starts immortal and it’d just be a power grab vs the quest for the actual ascension to immortality…less interesting in my opinion. OR, start as a low level sorcerer with and have a quest to make a pact with the Orcs to get the enchanted amulet that gives him cold black blood, which would make him immortal, as he’s ambivalent about how he gets there…via liche-dom or immortality via orc blood…although I have a feeling he won’t like the idea of the item being his link to immortality vs it being who/what he is (although I love that idea lol)

am I missing any game mechanic paths for him? And also, anyone ever ran successful campaigns with a character who has such seemingly non heroic, conflict creating goals without it causing inter player conflict?

Would love advice!

  1. It’s not easy to be a Gifted liche.

  2. It’s surprisingly easy to be, or become, immortal, especially with Enchanting.

The more interesting path if these aren’t what you want is to declare up-front that you want to strive for this and agree with the GM that it’s possible. Maybe just agree that liches can keep Gifted, somehow. Add an Ob during the process, or even an extra process. It’s more interesting to, well, make it more interesting. Make it a quest with many barriers between you and the immortality you want, whether that’s the liche with Gifted or just being a wizard searching for the Garden of the Hesperides and the Fountain of Youth. Nothing says the books contain the sum of all magic.

Maybe a wizard could devise a spell or ritual to preserve life. Maybe even youth, too! But maybe it requires bathing in the blood of dozens of virgins every few years. Or eating the heart of a dragon. Or a pact with demons. Come up with something exciting, beforehand out of character or during play as seems appropriate. Write up the Belief. Gun for it.

If you write anti-heroic Beliefs in a heroic party you’re asking for conflict. Don’t do it unless you want conflict. It’s fine to discuss it beforehand and decide that’s something you’ll all enjoy, or maybe you’ll just all make characters who don’t object to evil overlordship. But going alone is a good way to have a campaign climax that involves someone trying to stick a sword through your throat. Which can be awesome, but not if it isn’t what you’re hoping to get out of the game.

  1. Yeah, seems like Void Embrace and Cold Black Blood enchanted phylactery type deal will be the way to go if he goes that way since I don’t have the MaBu to work out Art Magic or Summoning which seem to be the predominant paths suggested…question on that, in the liche threads I’ve read, preserving the cold black blood trait has been the recommended way of preserving death art…can you take Fey Blood->Void Embrace? It’s an option of having magic he can use before and after if he can re-get the trait…a human sorcerer of mixed orc ancestry secretly studying the forbidden tombs of the god of darkness and blood to unlock dark magics…probably should make a new thread on this lol

  2. Good point

Thanks for the help and ideas! :slight_smile:

Does the character care about anything?

I guess you could take Void Embrace with Fey Blood if you have 8 trait points to spend on it. So no, probably not.

I think the character would not be fully committed to the Void Embrace at the start, and then we’d see what happens in play…

The three questions: Who is my Master? Who controls thy fate? and What is the wellspring of thy power? I think only the last one would be answered correctly…meaning a) it would make the character less powerful to start, and more interestingly for roleplay, would provide opportunities for his belief/path to change…I don’t honestly think the straightforward “I’m an evil half orc necromancer and I want to become a liche” is very interesting or believable, so I think a very interesting background story and set of beliefs will need to be in place.

That’s a fair point…and I don’t know of any lifepaths that give Fey Blood as a Lifepath trait