Two factions in one gaming session

Hello! Firstly, i want to introduce myself, because it is my first post in this place. Im Deckard, i come from small country near Sachalin (yeah - european newspapers cannot make mistakes;) ), my english is very weak, and Ive got one question about BE.

My players like PvP game, so I think, that BE will be good choice 4 us, but… Is it possible, that in one game few players will be playing as Vaylens, and others as Humans (ok, i know that we`ve got Kerrn)? In pdf I read, that before stage of world burning players and GM must choose one side - Vaylen or their enemies. Is there another way?

There’s always another way.

We’ve had this same discussion in my group. One player was interested in playing Vaylen, the others Human, and there was a Kerrn character in the mix (though the Kerrn are predisposed to be on the Human side).

We discussed ways to make it work, and it can, but I would strongly recommend trying at least your first BE game with everyone on the Human side. Once you’ve been through at least one Infection Phase, then a player can feel free to switch sides. At least then everyone will better understand the systems and it’s a great time for allegiances to change.

“Get hulled, join the Vaylen, meet fascinating people across the galaxy and put a worm in their head.”

What Extrophy said, plus:

It can be done, but playing both sides at once pretty much turns all of the safeties off in the game. It becomes ultra-competitive and rigorously cutthroat – and not in a fun way.

Trust me when I say this!

BE is meant to play as a traditional RPG – players working as a party against the GM. Playing GMless and competitively PvP is possible, but it’s not part of the design of the game.


I was going to (as Extropymine said) run my game this way and I trust the player who wanted to play the Vaylen, but it adds another level of complexity to a game we’re already not 100% comfortable with.

Next time, maybe, we’ll give it a shot. If so, I’ll be sure to let you know how it pans out.


Ok - it was only an option, but if game doesnt support this style, we wont break or drift rules. We aren`t masochist :slight_smile:

Abzu: ask Drozdal about polish-style-of-play, where players always listen what GM says, and where playing against GM and his plans is a serious crime (under penalty of exile from group). In Your eyes it looks like nightmare (because it is a f…, endless bad dream), but in Poland after many years of playing i can tell, that GM vs players is not a “traditional rpg”.

Thanks for advice. :slight_smile:

Besides as far as my slow reading has determined it’s possible to play a Vaylen that is a human sympathizer, right? This way the player’s aren’t quite competeing but they are always guessing.

Possible to play, but jaysis why?

Think about it this way: It is possible to play a human who intentionally poisons his town’s water supply with thalidomide and lead so that all of his kids, and those of everyone he knows, will be born damaged physically and mentally and denied any opportunity in life.

That’s what it takes for a Vaylen to join the human side. It’s not a matter of wishing that we’d use less oil and get out of Iraq, or even of thinking that Europe needs to solve Europe’s problems and America shouldn’t get involved in WWII. Vaylen NEED human bodies and minds to achieve real maturity. Anything else and they live like animals. They also reproduce at a ferocious rate. Can you doom your next generation because SOMEONE ELSE thinks you’re doing something wrong?

(Remember, societies live by the morals they can afford. The Vaylen need humans too much to consider warring against them “wrong.” There are always moral deviants, but one who wants to stop taking humans is on the level of a human who advocates forced sterilization for poor people and euthanasia for the disabled: regarded as crazy or evil, rather than as differently principled.)

The other option for a Vaylen opposed to the other Vaylen is one who wants to interfere with a rival clan’s attempt on the world, so that his clan can swoop in later and claim the bodies. I don’t know how I’d run that.

:: on bended knee::

Will you marry me?


Luke, I thought you’d never ask.

welcome to the forum, deckard.

now we know why Drozdal came to the U.S.

polish play style = “do what GM says and complain about it after.”

this is the only true tradition.

i look forward to reading about how your group takes to Burning Empires - you’ll definitely enjoy the PvP more if you’re all on the same side (i’d suggest starting with the Human side first).

I’m gonna YASU you into oblivion for revealing my darkest secrets!

U got me. I can tell more - “do what GM says, or get hell out from here”.

Ok - weve got some time, because well be playing in next season (October–>June). i hope i ll have read BE few times until September :) (crap - im writing like 8-years old kid:/).

Some thoughts:

Why do it? Cause it’s fun, and if half my characters aren’t screwed up, that’s a lot of catharsis I’m missing out on :twisted:

People (and let’s grant the premise that worms think just like people) do all kinds of f-ed up stuff for all kinds of f-ed up reasons. Hell, some people do all kinds of stupid crap because they don’t sit down and think about the kinds of consquences you’re talking about. Which of course, as a character in a game sets them up for all kinds of fun, nasty shocks when they get confronted with the outcomes of their actions.

Plus, a Vaylen who’s a human-sympathizer is probably all flavors of hypocritical, which is both all too human a trait and also kinda fun to play, imo.

You might have some potential with a rare worm “going native” but I haven’t really thought about that much.

Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, the whole “OMG! We must have humans or we’ll be animals!” I’m not buying it. The way things seem to read to me, only the top of worm society (and undercover agents) gets humans, the vast majority of worms get all kinds of other bodies and there’s even a whole clan that prefers the (can’t remember the name) squid species.

In other words, humans are a friggin luxury. I mean, in character, sure I expect the Vaylen Philosophy to work out just like you describe above.

But out of character, it looks to me like we got ourselves a bunch a gott-damn worm-lovers here! :evil:

Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, the whole “OMG! We must have humans or we’ll be animals!” I’m not buying it. The way things seem to read to me, only the top of worm society (and undercover agents) gets humans

To an extent that’s true, but a human host isn’t a luxury like having the hottest new cell phone would be. It’s more like having a college education vs. a 3d grade education, or having a high-functioning mind vs. one that’s been burned out on drugs, or being able to see instead of being blind (I could go on… the idea here is that if you’re a Vaylen, you want your kids in Humans). The Makara are similar in terms of status. Everything else is “underclass” in the most profound and concrete sense.


Mukhadish are so ghetto.

(You may punish me now.)

::reaches for cat-o-9-tails::


It defintly took me a while to get through my head… that a Naiven is dumb. It is slow and stupid. and a Vaylen in a Goat is just a slightly more inteligent Goat that really would rather kill me. The whole “Human body= really inteligence” thing was stated over and over, but it did not sink right away.

I am REALLY REALLY curious how your comics show this. Hopefully they will be in my mail box when I get back from my vaction.

Is there allot of bitterness among the Clans about those who have human bodies? What about those who have better human bodies? or are the Vaylen so focused on the over taking of human Space that this is crushed?

It’s actually very subtle and understated. There is a scene in the second graphic novel where a human turncoat is conversing with his Vaylen handler. He calls all humans “insects.” His handler berates him, telling him that without humans, her people would be nothing.

The following part is pure interpretation on my part, so don’t take this as canonical.

I don’t think that Vaylen think of themselves as ‘using’ humanity. I think their leaders, the ones with human bodies, think of themselves as human. Their sentience is human. Their emotions are human. The memories they take from their hosts are human. If they leave their hosts, they lose sentience, emotion and memories (those that aren’t encoded, anyway). If they enter a different host, the quality of their sentience, emotions and memories are different.

Vaylen desperately want to be human. And they want their children to be human.

But at the same time, understand that they are creatures that gain sentience, emotions and memory all at once, in a split second of time. I imagine them as loving all emotion and sensation. At the same time, they do not have the direct experience that allows real humans to differentiate between good emotions and bad emotions, between good sensations and bad sensations.

The Ascetic that practices denial and restraint offers a path that is as interesting and sensation-ful as the Dilettante that pursues pleasures of all stripes. The Dilettante has the option of taking the Cannibal trait because the sensation of horror that emanates from the host when breaking that taboo is as delicious to the Vaylen as the sensation of sexual intercourse or drug-induced euphoria.

Unsurprisingly, I agree with Thor. When we were playing this winter, I had a number of Vaylen villains insist they were human. In fact, I would try to corner players into DoW to convince them that they were indeed human.

What do you do when your father has taken the worm but he’s telling you he’s human and more so?