Using The Burning Wheel as inspiration for my game


I’m working on my own little system, and to be sincere, it is mostly inspired by The Burning Wheel. It is definitely different, thematically and also in the subsystems, but a lot of it is similar too. My question here is twofolded:

  1. How should I properly credit the inspiration? I have put “this game is heavily inspired by Luke Crane’s The Burning Wheel” in the text, but I wonder if that enough.
  2. Is it fine to use similar terms for similar concepts? In particular, the more “proprietary” terms of BW. The text and descriptions are all original, but I have things that are conceptually similar to Steel, Mortal Wound, Stats, Attributes, Beliefs, etc. Is it ok to name a thing “Steel” in my game to mean the same thing? Or use the Physical Tolerance Scale and Beliefs?

Here are some excerpts from my game as examples (granted, not the best examples since none of these are particularly unique to BW):


Stats are the most fundamental descriptors of a character. Other statistics are derived from them, but they are never rolled and never advance. However, some traits and other effects can modify stats.


Strength is the physical build of a character. It contributes to the power of their melee strikes and is part of their Health. Strength also determines their physical tolerance.


Will is the mental component. It is used as the base obstacle for mental and social tests against the character. Health, Steel, and sorcerous abilities are derived from Will.


This stat represents how fast is the movement and reaction time of the character. It is relevant in fights, chases, and ambushes.


The obstacle is the number of successes the player needs on a test to accomplish their intent. The player needs match or overcome the obstacle to pass the test. This book refers to obstacles using the shorthand Ob X, where X is the difficulty.

With 3 successes, the player fails an Ob 4 test.

Intent and Task

Behind every test in the game there is an intent and a task. This is fundamental to game. The intent is what the test seeks to accomplish, and the task is how the character does it. These are often clear from the narrative description of the action, but you should try to be explicit about them. Before rolling the dice, state clearly what your intent is, and what is your task. All else will flow from this.

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Hey hey Marcos!

This looks super cool and I’d love to talk more about what’s possible.

Credting the inspiration is super appreciated.

HMU on discord or send an email to if you want to talk more.

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Thanks! Sent an email a few days ago. Not sure if you got it