white axe

We have a member of our group who wants his 5 LP dwarf to start out with W3 axes. Will this break the game? We’ve allowed a grey skill or stat to start with in the past.

It will make white skills and stats seem more ho hum. It will make grey skills and stats seem almost mundane.

Why does he want his 5 LP dwarf to start out with a W3 Axe?
a) because advancing skills is fun!
b) because having a god-like power is fun!
c) because he has too many skill points and is floundering for places to use them and thought “hey why not push this?”
d) because he wants to play a character superbly skilled in fighting
e) because he wants to play a character with the potential for better axery than anyone else has ever or could ever have
f) something else

I’d say disallow it if a, b, c, or d. Consider it if e, but frown a lot. Then there’s f.

Shades are part of the game, so using them won’t break it.

That said, I would nix that quickly. Part of the fun is earning a White shade in game. I think I’m the only one to do that so far with my PC’s Faith in Burning THAC0? From Black to White? There is no greater satisfaction than epiphanies. It’s what the entire economy of the game is geared towards. Play BITs. Get Artha. Spend Artha. Epiphany.

Especially with a weapon skill, where the types of test and result do not vary, I’d expect the player to get bored of it at some point. Unless he has a very good reason for having it and it’s reflected in a axe-related Belief, I don’t think it’s good for the character. There’s no axe-challenge he will fail at.

It would be a very challenging character to play because he has sunk so many of his Skill points into the single Skill. That is likely to lead to a very “flat” character that is going to get kicked around a lot. I expect they are going to be rather frustrated. This is someone you have played other games with? Do they have a history of highly min-maxing their character as a means to exert mechanical control? I do not think they will be happy with the outcome of this.

P.S. White is really good but he will still only be rolling 3 dice, base, out of the gate so that is going to feel sort of underpowered in some ways until the Skill advances.

Or if you DO do it, maybe you could play up stuff like “Yeah, but this axe is totally unworthy of you, right? I mean, it was only crafted by four dwarven forefathers, and the alloy is what, 60% mythril tops? Cheap junk!”

If the player’s interested in going that route, and making beliefs about not being willing to use any axe that doesn’t match his skill in epicness, and totally disdaining any axe that doesn’t meet his ludicrously high standards, and going on a long and noble campaign-long quest to get that one mighty and glorious axe that was forged in dragon fire and the blood of gods out of the First Stones that lay at the heart of the world… might be awesome, but even then, does it really need more than gray to make the concept work? Depending on how much gray you have floating around other than that, I guess.

When he uses his axe, he is Mozart possessed by God composing The Requièm Mass. (Or maybe he is a little Mozart, because he don’t have too many dice there yet.) If I were to play Mozart, I would give him a Gray Music Composition Skill, and a lot of FoRKs like Poetry, Piano, Violin, Drama-wise, etc, and the Greater Muse Die Trait, and would choose his father as his muse. Is this the kind of character the player wants to play? Because he is not only be good with an axe. He is going to be Thor.

White weapon skills are the Tarrasque of Burning Wheel.

I’m with Etsu. He’d be better off just buying grey shade + lots and lots of FoRKs. Wises for the win!

Two things…

  1. I’m pretty sure that there is no allowance made in the character creation process to go beyond grey.

  2. I’m pretty sure there’s a rule about white skills breaking black and grey weapons whenever you fail a test with the skill. So keep a backup or two. You’ll pretty much break one for each challenging test.

The first gets really into “if your GM lets you” territory, but I’m pretty sure something, somewhere, says you can spend ten points to shade shift to white.

I think point two only applies to W-shade weapons striking B/G shade weapons, and not the skills themselves.

I can’t find a mention of it on the forum, but isn’t it a BWHQ house rule that if one inflicts a gray wound with a black weapon, the weapon breaks? Was this codified in Gold? Having a gray or white weapon skill does not mean that the person inflicts gray or white wounds, as that depends on the wielder’s Power or the shade of his weapon.

You guys are getting it all confused. Breaking has to do with using a Black Weapon with Grey Power. Skill Shade has nothing to do with it.