So, I ran “Trouble In Hochen” tonight with a three player group, playing Gunter (the knight), Daniel (the hunter) and Brin (the wizard). Only one of the players (Daniel’s) had played Burning Wheel before.
So, we start the adventure with the trio arriving in Hochen, and being greeted by Marten, who invites them back to his home to rest after their jouney. As instucted in the scenario text, I describe Marten as appearing shifty, and looking like he’s hiding something. Brin immediately distrusts him, and refuses to go with him to his home, instead demanding that they talk in a more neutral place. Daniel suggest the local church, and Marten agrees. At this point, Brin’s player announces that (as per her instinct) she will be casting Touch Not Sublime Flesh. I explain that he (Brin’s player) should roll Brin’s B4 Sorcery against Ob 3, which he seems hesitant to do, noting that there is less than a 50% chance of success. He ultimately rolls the dice, generating zero successes. I then instuct him to roll a DoF to see if there’s a miscast, resulting in a 1, for and Unwanted Summoning. I then have him roll on the Unwanted Summoning table, resulting in an 11, for a Minor Deity. I decide to have Tawaret, the pagan fertility godess that the local cult has been worshipping, manifest in the room with them. I ask everyone make Steel checks to determine how they react to the sudden appearance of a giant, 8 breasted woman with the head of a hippopotamus. At this point, Brin’s player again complains that he has a negligible chance of actually passing the test, and questions whether its even worth it to roll. Sensing that one of my players doesn’t seem to be having fun, I call a halt to the game to talk things over.
Brin’s player again voices his frustration with the system, specifically with the magic system. I stress that accidentally sumoning a Minor Deity on your first spell isn’t a typical result, but he still seems upset that the obstacles for his spells are so high, meaning that his magic “should work slightly more than half the time”, with potentially disasterous consequences to failure. At this point, I’m not really sure what to say, except to mention that there’s an alternate magic system (Art Magic) that has less chance for cataclysic failure, and so might be more to his liking. His response is that he “won’t give up that easilly”, and that he would like to continue playing next week, but only hates giving up on things.
I’m not really sure how I should handle this. Help?