Okay, long time GM first-time Wheel… Burner… Guy, here. Just finished reading Burning Wheel gold and I’m all fired up to run! I’ve had my players (two so far, my wife and my best friend) burn up their characters, and I’ve been prepping a quick intro adventure based on their characters; now, the time draws nigh to run my very first session of Burning Wheel.
I’m a touch nervous, even though I’ve been running games and telling stories for… Hmmm, longer than I’m willing to admit. I’ve never ran a game quite like this one before, and I want to do it justice so that everybody has a good time. Our time for games is at a premium lately (kids and school and work and all), so a new game has to compete with heavyweight player-favorites like Pathfinder and the World of Darkness at our table. If it’s not fun, or if we have a hard time with it, it gets banished to the land of wind and ghosts and I don’t get to run it again until another game ends.
In short, as this is both my debut running BW, and its debut at our table, I want things to go off without a hitch!
So, coming from a background of games as the above mentioned, I have a central question regarding the running of this magnificent game that will REALLY cramp my style if I can’t figure it out. Therefore, I throw my case before greater minds than mine, and plead for the aid of you marvelous forum goers!
Here goes: As regards the skill list (over 400 skills total! Wow!) How does one “call for” skill rolls in this system? I’m very used to having a character sheet in front of me with a complete skill list, which I glance over to determine what skill my players need to roll in order to accomplish a given task. The typical rhythm is something like:
Player: I want to do (something)
GM: (Glances at his cheat sheet) Okay, roll (Skill) at (Difficulty)!
Now I recognize that this system’s rhythm is going to go a touch more like:
Player: I want to do (Something)
GM: So, your Intent is to (Something)?
Player: Yeah, how do I do that?
GM: (looks at 400+ skills) OH MY GOOOOO-
So that’s got me worried. My instinct is to ask them HOW they want to accomplish it (referencing the skills on their sheet), but that leaves a scenario in which a player wishes to push his skills beyond his sheet in dispute. Do I need to open the book and painstakingly go through every skill, hoping to find one that lines up enough with the activity in question, so that he can write it down on his sheet? Should I just default to a stat test if nothing readily jumps to mind? Or should I just fudge a new skill, and make him test it untrained (I feel like Luke would scowl in disapproval through the very internet if I did that last one)?
Every technique has its merits and flaws (ha! White Wolf joke!). I’m curious if there’s something I’ve missed; I’ve been reading and trying to absorb the book (It’s densely written!) but I am but a man, and prone to human error, so perhaps there’s a crucial piece of advice I’ve overlooked.
So, I humbly beg for your advice; any and all is appreciated. Thanks in advance. Oh, also Hello!