Should I use the Burning Kingdoms rules for merchants?

So we are playing a bunch of traveling merchants. Each player is representing a different business or guild, and they are “Working together” (sorta) to establish themselves above the current regime. We got all the setting, characters, and general motivations set out for us.

Yet, as I look at it all I really feel that Burning Kingdoms rules would be a great addition to game. It will give us a meta level of game in the background, the players love the idea of it, and framing their own scenes (we enjoyed our BE campaign previously). What they are not too keen on, after playing Burning Empires, is the limited options you have in a scene.

I am going to chime in with the easy answer on this one. If it makes that game more fun for you and your players then make it happen. There is no right or wrong way to play a game and if the rules are getting in the way of the story that you want to tell then look at different games or modifying the system to make it work for you and your players.

Well, thing is that we do like it, for the most part, as it is. We enjoyed the Infection mechanics of our BE game. It helped keep us focused. I found it gave us a limited resources of “Screen Time” that we had to work with before the next wave “crap+fan.” But the was not so certain about the limited scene economy, as sometime they may just want to do a traditional adventure now and then.

i don’t think you need the burning kingdoms rules for your scenario. rival merchants are cool all on their own, and the BW mechanics certainly support hefty player to player conflicts without the overarching burning kingdoms campaign scale mechanics.

we designed that system because we wanted to play rival factions, with wildly disparate backgrounds but a shared goal. it was a good way to play really high lifepath characters from different stocks, but still force orcs and dwarves and men to have conflict scenes and share screen time.

a group of players who want to play a handful of rival merchants would probably find that the Burning Kingdoms hack would just get in the way.

unless you’re fighting on the kingdom level, i’d leave it be. (though we did playtest it with street gangs fighting for territory and it held up OK, but not as great as the big ‘this kingdom will be mine’ scenarios)

Part of what makes me really like this sort of meta level mechanic is that it stops me from leading the game in the “Group of adventurers saving the world” sort of game. When there is structure like this, it goes more smoothly, even if the play is actually more rigid.

Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but shouldn’t the characters’ Beliefs be leading the game? It’s your role to provide adversity to their goals as expressed through their Beliefs. If none of the merchants has a Belief about saving the world, then that’s not what the campaign will be about.

Well yes, but the GM can bait the players by presenting them with goals that, should they fulfill them, they get Persona for. They’re leaned on differently from GM to GM I’d assume. I, for one, always have a number of goals I’d like the players to complete during a session, and I make those goals very clear. Usually they try for them then, if only to get the Persona!

Correct, but players are lazy, and rarely want to play their character, they expect me to do it for them.
Which is why I like player driven scene framing, as it forces them to become more proactive.

When they frame their own scenes, they accomplish their own goals.
When I run it, they end up making the NPC’s goals become their own.