Starting The Fire [New Game Master]

Hi everyone,

My name is Andres, but my friends call me Tejedor (Weaver in English) , i am very good at reading in english… but usually i write like a drunken monkey. :stuck_out_tongue:

My expirience with Burning Wheel is very limited (Just a couple games of the revised edition version) but i easly love the game. I bought the Burning Wheel: Revised Edition just before the Gold Edition Release was annunced and try to run a game. BIG FAIL. Big story short me and that group ended playing another game… and finally everyone take his one road.

I also buy and play with the amazing Mouse Guard Box Set, and run a few games to a group of grils who want to get started in roleplaying games. they love it.

Now i have a new group of boys, a very good and small one and i want to run this game, i orderd 3 copys of BWG, 1 copy of Monster Burner, 1 copy of Magic Burner and 1 copy of the Adventure Burner form amazon.

I am still waiting for the books but i am going to start to sketching things up.

But why i tell you all this? Because i am not going to fail this time, and i looking for inspiration and ideas

Now i am searching for all the help i can get.

The idea of the campaign is that the players are form a ancient continent, belived to be the only one with almost no-magic, no monsters, and only one other race apart from the humans. the Dwarves.

The most powerfull nation is ruled for the only mages in the setting, somehow they discoverd that there is another continent and five nations start building new types of ships to achive the new world.

Nations styles: Commercial Oriented Nation (Dwarven Clans), Military Oriented Nation (players), Religious Oriented Nation, Asian Progees Style nation and the Empire (Ruled by the Mages). Each of them with his is unique agenda.

The players start the game in one of those ships, almost arriving to the new world.

May be just telling the concept you can detect some problems that i am going to have. (Resources for example?)

Well that’s all, i really hope you can read and understand this. :frowning:

Good seed for a campaign. Now take it to your players and figure out the next steps together, with everyone having equal input. This makes sure they all have investment into the setting and ensure that each has a stake in it.

What would be the goal of the PCs? To start a colony in this new world? Are they the first ship to arrive? Are there natives already in this land? Founding a successful colony is a FINE goal, by the way, and can be great fun, especially if the other nations keep interfering, or vice versa.

Just make sure that each of the PCs has a explicit Belief about starting this colony and they should have enough reason to work together without GM interference.

Use the questions in the Adventure Burner to figure out all the good stuff.

As a new BW GM, let me add one piece of advice. Well, more like emphasize a piece of advice that’s given elsewhere.


My experience has been that starting with running some of the “rim” systems has gotten my players to completely gloss over several key concepts in the game - FoRKs, advantage dice, helping, etc.

Don’t be dumb like me!

This is your Big Picture. But you also need a Big Situation. What I bolded above is a good basis for the Big Situation. Is there any way you can make it stronger?

The reason I say this is because you want the players to write most of their initial Beliefs based around the situation, not the setting. I made the mistake in my last campaign of not having a strong enough starting situation, and as a result, it took us a while before all the PCs had Beliefs geared towards the same story. Your starting situation is not bad, actually. I am just pointing this out to get you thinking about it. Start with a bang!

The other advice I would like to give is to plan a lot for the first session. Your first session is going to be a mostly pre-planned adventure. Unless your Big Situation is really dynamic and all the players are on the ball with their Belief-writing, the PCs’ starting Beliefs will likely be rather weak and/or scattered. They also likely won’t know what to do at campaign start. In these cases, you’ll have to start off with a pre-planned adventure that stems from the Big Situation, to get everybody to buy in to the campaign premise. Once the second session rolls around, the players can adjust their Beliefs to revolve around the story at hand, and you’ll have a much easier time as a GM from here on out. If Beliefs are nice and tightly focused, the GM doesn’t have to prepare much at all.

The only other thing I can say is that you’ll get the hang of it after a few sessions. Probably quicker! Just keep the action focused on those PC BITs, and everything will sort itself out. Don’t mess around with the complicated subsystems too much at the start either. Stick to the basics until you’re sure everybody gets the rules, then start bringing in the complexity bit by bit.

Good luck!

My biggest piece of advice: “No description, no dice”

As in, when helping, if they don’t describe it, they don’t get to roll.
For any action, if no desired outcome stated and no description of the method, no roll.


Not just with helps—also with FoRKs.


Thanks to every one for the amazing advices!

We are not starting yet, but we are reading the books and preparing every thing.

Thanks Again!