Why and How in Beliefs

So in every Belief - maybe except for the “philosophical ones” - there should be a WHY and a HOW?


Why is necessary for a Belief to be a belief. That’s usually obvious.

How is so the game is focused and dramatic, not just faffing around and having thoughts about things. You want a hook that will grab your game and tank it towards fun stuff.

And to add more details to the HOW part entails clearer and more direct and precise ways for a GM to (attempt to) screw off the PC’s life, right?

Or to put it another way, more precise and direct ways for a GM to make upholding that Belief a challenging task. A massive part of Burning Wheel is making Beliefs challenging to uphold, so that players have to decide whether they’re going to rise to that challenge.

I look at it a bit differently. You can take a very traditional stance and just stick with the What part and leave it all to the GM. A good GM will still make the game fun and exciting and about Beliefs. (A great GM will do the same thing if you’re playing D&D with no Beliefs or similar mechanics at all.) But the How is the player’s input into the game. That’s how you get to say, “I want to do this thing and see how it plays out!” You signal explicitly to the GM what you think would be cool in the game and leave it to the GM to make it as cool as possible.

Split the thread. Sorry folks. That old thread needs its rest.