Setting Details & Time

Just finished burning characters for the group, and I should be running soon. I was just wondering what you experienced BW GM’s typically do on the issue of setting details and time elapsing in game. Particularly, how much is defined before players begin to use their wises and Circles. How much is defined by you beforehand? And with regards to time, how much time is generally covered in a session and how do you deal with lengthy craft checks in games? I have ideas on what I will do, but figured you all would know better.

This thread has a list of questions that it’s good to answer about the setting before play begins. Typically, this is done collaboratively with the players.

Time can be quite fluid and always travels at the pace of story.
Cirlces and Crafting can be a matter of hours, days, perhaps weeks.
Some sessions can cover hours and others cover months, years. Depends on the action.

Awesome link! That advice by Luke is amazing. World I am using though is not unique to this game, so it’s more of running BW in it.

Yeah, I figured pacing went as such, just nervous because the only GM examples from my group have been in 3.5/PF and I’m a novice. But this was the only way to get BW in my group at all, and they want to try before I leave. Seems that my pacing will be much more oriented around the story than in other games I’ve played in.

Here’s a discussion of running BW in established settings.

If you’re playing with a group accustomed to the GM-defined world of D&D/PF, it can be overwhelming to start by putting so much authorial control in the players’ hands. Here’s a dirty secret: BW works just fine if players take no role in creation whatsoever. You give them a world, they can use Wises to ask questions of you. They write Beliefs about things and characters you provide. When they Circle they suggest only in the broadest way what they’re looking for and you fill in the details. It all still works, but sooner or later they’ll say, “Wouldn’t it be great if…?” and you can suggest that they make it so via Belief or wise or Circles.

It works, but it doesn’t have to be that way. One big advantage to BW’s sketch now, fill in later approach is that you don’t front-load either the work you have to do creating a world or the work they have to do understanding it. So strike the right balance for your group. You know them best.

Time is entirely a matter of taste. Take a look at Resources. Yes, you can have players scrabbling together rent money every week—or you can make them pay for their needs annually. It depends on the way you want time to feel in your games. My sessions tend to cover about a week at most, but sometimes there’s substantial downtime between sessions, and more rarely in the middle of one. That’s when players put in their training and crafting time—and healing from wounds. The amount of time characters spend recovering from injuries will do a lot to set the clock.

Agreed, you can make up as much of the world as you want, but concentrate on the bits the players show interest in through beliefs and their actions.

Thanks much for the help everyone. I hope to find a group of veteran burners soon, to help me learn the way of the wheel.