Questions after first session

I ran the first session of my first BW game (Burning Moria) last night. We did character creation, and jumped straight into a short session of play afterwards. I’m trying to introduce the subsystems slowly, but since they are going to be underground for the next couple sessions I wanted to give them a chance to use their Resources and Circles before leaving civilization. A couple questions came up.

  1. During character creation we noticed one of the Dwarves had zero Greed. How does that work? Does this mean they are unaffected by Greed? Can they ever get Greed 1? Should they have Greed 1 as a minimum at character creation?
  2. The Chronicler wanted to invent the detail that she had a map of a secret entrance given to her by her older brother who had gotten lost in the mines years before. I suggested that this could be a wise test, using her Obscure Text-wise. The map would exist either way, but the stakes were whether the entrance would be safe or whether there would a problem when they got there. She wanted to know if she could fork in Cartography, and another player wanted to fork in Obscure History. I had a hard time evaluating whether these were appropriate forks/help because I wasn’t clear what task is represented by using a wise to invent a detail. Obviously the character isn’t narrating this detail into existence, the player is, so what kind of help can other characters give?
  3. The group had some expensive purchases to make and were trying to find ways to scrounge up additional resource dice. They were curious whether Circles could be used to find a better deal. I made the call that they would only need to make a Circles test if it might be challenging to find a seller (rare or illegal goods). Later we came up with the idea of Circling up a sympathetic NPC with specialized knowledge of the goods who could make a “finding a deal” roll on their behalf. Thoughts?
  4. One of the players had a backstory involving them being hired for one mission and diverting the funds to another goal. They took their employer as a 10 pt hostile relationship. I didn’t like the idea of a background element providing a mechanical advantage, but thought the idea was cool, and would make interesting conflicts down the road, and they had paid a lot of rps for a hostile relationship, so I gave them a 2D fund to represent the money the employer had given him to complete a different job. Does this seem like a good way to handle it?
  1. Those FoRKs/help sound okay to me. I think, though - and this could just be my preference - that there’s a difference between having a thing a nd knowing a thing. A more appropriate intent from the Chronicler might have been that he’d seen an old map in an ancient text, rather than actually possessed the map. The thing to remember with help and FoRKs is that they have to be incorporated into the fiction in order to be valid, so when the player helps with Obscure History, she/he needs to also invent an obscure historical detail and describe how that’s helping with the roll.

  2. Sounds like a perfect use of a linked test to me. Circle up a merchant that’s likely to give them a better deal. There 's no guarantee, of course, because the advantage die is predicated on exceeding the Circles obstacle. There’s always Haggling to fall back on, though, if they need to try to lower the Resources Ob. I wouldn’t let an NPC make a roll in their behalf, though. If the Circles roll was successful, but they didn’t get the linked die, I might grant an advantage for the haggling test.

  3. I would have made them spend the RP in character burning to start with extra cash. Otherwise, assume that the money’s already been spent.

A 10 pt hostile relationship should already be worth the cost. It really doesn’t need a 2D cash dice sweetener. But, no biggie.

Well, it kind of happened the other way around. We came up with the idea that he had diverted funds as he was making the character, but couldn’t find a way to represent that mechanically. The hostile relationship was meant as a justification for the fund. Is there a good way to represent a character who comes from a poor background, but has temporarily come into some wealth? Maybe a trait? How would you recommend handling this, or is it just not something you can do well with this character creation system?

Shaun, I think you are probably right a check to have seen a map, possibly followed by checks to acquire it, would have been a better way to handle it. My biggest problem was not having a clear idea of what task was being represented by the roll, and that would have helped.
Also, I really like the idea of treating a Circles test to find a merchant as a linked test. On a related note, what skills would you allow to be used with finding a deal? One player wanted to use Survival to help find a good deal on buying climbing and caving gear, I allowed it but was worried that it was stretching too much.

So does anyone know how Greed 0 works? Will it raise to Greed 1 the first time he is exposed to something that triggers Greed, or is it permanently 0?

  1. A single Greed test will bump the character from Greed 0 to Greed 1. Check the Greed and Advancement rules on page 123-124. If the character does any of the things listed in the Situational Greed Test Obstacles, the character immediately gains Greed 1. Even a perfect sunset could do the trick.

Thanks. I suspected that was the answer, but I remembered that it was difficult to get Resources from 0 to 1 because you couldn’t roll without at least one die. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t the same here, but I guess the difference is you don’t need to make Greed rolls to get greed tests for advancement.


Well, I’ll need to unpack that question. First, character generation has a lot of restrictions baked into it that I really like. I like the fact that picking certain LPs leads to tangible consequences like my guy is poor. So, I’m always hesitant to just find a way to give a character an additional resource like cash on hand. If the player wanted to play a guy that had diverted funds and made an enemy out of an important individual, that’s totally cool. That’s awesome. That costs 10 RP. What happened to the funds? I’m dying to know. Why’d they take it? What did they do with it? Because, they sure as shit don’t have it now :wink: There’s good stuff buried in those questions to build the game around.

That being said, the wheels aren’t going to come off the game because you want to let him have a couple of cash dice. That’s a personal decision. And the best way to accomplish that is the way you did. I’m just not that nice.

You will have fun hammering that hostile relationship.

Thanks for the feedback everyone! I’ve posted about the first session as [BWG] Burning Moria in the AP forum if you’d like to hear more.