Wises, Declarations, and Saying Yes/No

Agreed to disagree! I shake your hand sir. :slight_smile:

If I understood well, you’ve had bad experiences sharing narrative authority. I suffered the same problem at least once. Playing Cthulhu Dark, the most interesting thing was supposed to happen on the return trip, but the spacecraft ended up crashing in Pluto, players contradicted things that they themselves had previously established, and a player asked me if the ship was like the Normandy from Mass Effect. I just stopped playing. I got up and left.

Maybe there is not right answer. It all depends on the kind of people you choose to play.

That might be a small part of why I have a problem with complete narrative sharing. But the real issue I have is summed up by Eero.


Somebody at Story Games suggested in relation to 3:16 (don’t remember who, it’s not really important) that a great GM technique would be to leave the greater purpose and nature of the high command of the space army undefined so the players could make this decision when and if their characters find it out. So maybe they find out that the great space war is a hoax or whatever. I find that this is completely ass-backwards for this sort of game: the players cannot be put into a position of advocacy for their characters if those same players are required to make the crucial backstory choices: am I supposed to myself decide that the space war is a cruel lie, and then in the next moment determine how my character is going to react to this knowledge? Doesn’t that look at all artificial?

The problem we have here, specifically, is that when you apply narration sharing… you require the player to both establish and resolve a conflict, which runs counter to the Czege principle.


Or in my Conan-pastiche serial game - telling the players that he is Set Possessed would have invalidated the Situation. There would have been little tension or drama for them to interact with. They knew the Situation was “people are being kidnapped off of the streets and some bodies have been found that suggest Sacrifice”. If they knew the mayor’s BITs none of my subsequent Bangs would have been interesting. And note I’m not even talking about the mystery of finding out whodunnit. I’m just talkin’ Bangs here.

I have a question Etsu Riot: do you, as a GM, come up with the complications for a failed roll or do you put it to group collaboration?

I guess I do have more to say. Darn it.

Bangs are integral to how I play not a contingency. And sharing narration in this instance would have ruined my reactions to events:

I was a player who had a character who was a Coward. The GM put me in a scene [Bang] where I could save a person or my own worthless hide. Easy choice, I started to move away. Then the GM lays it down: the person turns and I see it is my dearest friend [Relationship].

I say out loud, “crap!”. The GM smiles. I say, “I need a moment” and the GM spotlights another character.

When it gets back to me I say, “my character stands there in shock. He feels like someone just gut-kicked him. Deer in the headlights for a minute”. The GM says, “you need to act. Run or help?”.

“Dammit”, I say, “okay okay. I’m going to help but I’m still a coward…”. I lay out a plan that attempts to put my character in as little physical danger as possible while still trying to help my best friend.

I fail. My character takes some damage, is wanted by the authorities, and my Relationship dies, but I get away.

The next session I play my character as a caustic ass. Other PCs try to comfort my character, try to help him. He doesn’t want to hear it he spits and yells and insults them! But they understand [because I told them player to player what I was doing] and give him his space.

The next session I send my character to church. He is broken, he needs answers and doesn’t know where to turn. He doesn’t get any. The gods are silent. He curses them! And then says he will serve them if they give him an answer.

The character never got his answer. Never gained Faith. And in the end died not being a Coward and redeemed himself in his eyes.

It was excellent! I got to see my character change. I couldn’t have done that if I had been allowed to declare the gods answer his prayers or he gets revenge on the Baron or whatever.

That’s a weird question.

If a player fails, it is my decision what happen next. Because it’s a game, and I want to participate too. I’m a player. I want to play the game and say things. I say things when the other players fail their rolls. But if the other players have success, they say what happen. That’s why you have success and failure in this game: so no one has the power to impose his notion of “the story” over the others.

Great. So why would you declare such a thing? This is a social game, so everyone wants to collaborate and say interesting things. I find it quite annoying this notion that any contribution that is not mine is not going to be interesting enough.

Actually, you don’t know what would have happened if someone had said something else. I am confident enough on the game system and the rest of the players to believe that no matter what that would have been just as satisfying. Building on each other’s ideas, as Graham Walmsley would say.


I just get the feeling from what you’ve said that you consider any “planning” [eg. Bangs, Scenes, Big Picture, NPCs and BITs, or whatever] as you forcing a story – and that just isn’t the case. You are a player, but it is not an equal collaboration either. The GM has the authority to put out scenes that challenge the PCs and see how they react.

I’ll quote Eero’s blog again:

What I described above as the problem is naive narration sharing, which is the belief that you can just take any old roleplaying game and execute its gamemastering role with an extra dash of mutual cooperative narration. It’s such a nice idea, isn’t it? We don’t want to be evil authoritative GMs, after all, so doesn’t that mean that we should be inclusive and bring everybody in on the authorities available? This is simply wrong as an universal claim: while there are games where narration-sharing is central, and there are games where you can add great dollops without breaking the game, there are also games that do not withstand it.

Can you see how this underlying fundamental structure is undermined by undiscretionary use of narrative sharing? The fun in these games from the player’s viewpoint comes from the fact that he can create an amazing story with nothing but choices made in playing his character.

… challenging revelations for the character, not asking the player whether he’s OK with it – asking him is the same as telling him to stop considering the scene in terms of what his character wants and requiring him to take an objective stance on what is “best for the story”. Consensus is a poor tool in driving excitement, a roleplaying game does not have teeth if you stop to ask the other players if it’s OK to actually challenge their characters.

And while I don’t think you are “breaking the game” – I do think you are changing the nature of it.

I’d like to restate something I said earlier here: When in doubt, ask the table for their opinion. This goes for everything, and even applies to the GM. The GM is under no obligation to comply with their opinion (though it’s generally a good idea), and sometimes you’ll reach an impasse where the GM just has to make a judgement call (the players want their friend to win, but you can see the eye-rolls and half-hearted "yeah, sure"s), but it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re all on the same page, all telling the same kind of story you’re all interested in experiencing. You’re all on this train together, and when contribution comes mainly from one person – be that the GM or a player – is when railroading begins. Avoid at all costs!!!

The whole Set incarnate thing is a prime example of something that I would have shared with the players – not the characters – to make sure it was kosher with them. It’s also a prime example of something my players would not have been cool with. If I just dropped that on them, they would have been annoyed.

And no, players having meta-information doesn’t “break the game”. In fact, Luke has been explicit about this being the best approach to using his rules in play.

I recounted a GMing mistake I made earlier where I tried changing the Big Picture and the players got upset. In particular, I tried making the gods relevant to the PCs, changing the Big Picture from “save the region from economic catastrophe” to “save the human race from destruction”. I had a bunch of cool ideas, and had been working up to this change for some time. But when I sprung it on the players, I realized that that was just not the kind of story they wanted to tell. They wanted small-scale conflicts, simple and believable. No prob. We eliminated that entire aspect from the game and continued on without regret.

My point is, there is no right or wrong way of playing when it comes to content contribution, so long as you’re all contributing equally and always in a way that everyone at the table agrees is proper.

Yeah, we’re running in circles here. Are you saying that Eero’s blog post is advocating for railroaded play? Because the blog post is what I’m advocating for myself.

And before my comment is taken out of context, let me emphasize: NO, you do not have to ask for consensus for “do you agree this is what should happen to your character”. Consensus must be met concerning “does this match your expectations for the game world and Big Picture?”

Not “Do you like it?” but “Can you dig it?”

I get the feeling you are thinking OMG-it’s-a-god possession, it was demon possession. Straight out of the BW books Traits.

Are you saying that it is never okay to keep a GM secret? Do I need to quote a page number out of the AdBu again?

And since my last post was probably not seen:

Not at all, but I would appreciate it if you toned down the snarkiness. I am interested in continuing this discussion, not devolving into a flame war resulting in a locked thread.

Fair enough, but you see my point, right?

Not at all. I said the group should be consulted when in doubt.

I read the article, and it is completely irrelevant to what I’m talking about here. I am not talking about shared narration. I am talking about:

  1. Advocacy of players using Wises and knowledge skills to make declarations. This is a part of the core BW rules, part of what these skills are for.

  2. Advocacy of reaching a group consensus rather than just a GM decision when: i) the interpretation of rules are in doubt, ii) the veracity of the setting and/or game-world assumptions is in doubt, *or iii) a potential plot hook starts branching away from the PCs’ BITs or the Big Picture.

I game hard when I GM. I Bang them hard, and dish out the nastiest consequences I can think up, and I don’t give the players much choice in the matter beyond choosing which tests to risk (cities burn due to failed Read tests!). Sometimes either I or another player goes too far, stretching suspension of disbelief, or straying too far away from BITs and what-have-you, or attempting to use a skill or rule in an unconventional way. At such times, we pause, evaluate the situation, and then move on in as proactive way as possible.

There is no conch-passing. Only meaningful discussion when something threatens to break down.

There is no giving in to ridiculous declaration requests. Only meaningful discussion about whether such a declaration meets the expectations an assumptions of our game-world. And even that is not all the time, only when in doubt.

I’d like to revisit my original statement which seemed to have sparked off this whole debate: “Using a knowledge skill to declare new details is a better use of the skill than to assess for information.”

Revised for clarity. I stand by this statement, and here’s why. One of the most basic mechanics of BW is that the GM narrates consequences of failure, but the player narrates successes. With an assessment test, however, the player is handing the success narration directly to the GM. The player is in fact handing complete narrative control over to the GM for that test; succeed or fail, the GM can say whatever he wants.*In many situations this is not a problem, as the GM knows what the answer is beforehand. Sometimes it inspires the GM to something creative he hadn’t considered before. Other times it slows play down when the GM doesn’t know the answer and needs to consider the possibilities. And there is the possibility of the GM taking a successful assessment and using it to frame a nasty Bang.

The basic structure of a BW session revolves around the GM framing Bangs based on BITs, consequences of action, and occasionally even successes. PCs react to everything, fueling the Bang fire through their reactions. With assessments though, fueling the Bang fire with successes always seems like kind of a let down. I’ve seen it happen many times.

Declarations, on the other hand, are more proactive and truer to the core mechanic of BW. The players determine successful outcomes, GM narrates the failures. Note that this is NOT conch-passing. Complete narrative control is not being given to the player – he is only allowed to add a single detail to the setting, and that detail must be OKed with the GM before dice are ever cast. The GM is under no obligation to allow your declaration.

Furthermore, declarations that contradict pre-planned GM myths or the Big Picture do not mean the player is assuming narrative control. Again, the declaration can only pass if the GM allows it. And if it passes, all it does is give the GM a new hook to frame his Bangs around.

Does this provide a better explanation of where I’m coming from?

I keep saying this: we agree Dean. Seriously. The only times I’m scratching my head is when you move your goal post and agree with Etsu Riot.

My beef is with pretty much everything Etsu Riot has said and then you come in and I am totally nodding my head and saying “YES I totally I agree with that, so why do you think I’m railroading?”. And then the discussion devolves.

There is a huge misunderstanding going on here: I’m probably wrong in saying Etsu Riot is all pass-the-stick/conch with nothing ever being important to him. Like, say, NPC BITs. Which is were Eero’s blog post is important.

The most important common trait these games share is the GM authority over backstory and dramatic coordination (I talk of these two extensively in Solar System, which is also a game of this ilk), which powers the GM uses to put the player characters into pertinent choice situations. Can you see how this underlying fundamental structure is undermined by undiscretionary use of narrative sharing? The fun in these games from the player’s viewpoint comes from the fact that he can create an amazing story with nothing but choices made in playing his character.

Then there is the huge misunderstanding the other way: you all are assuming that I want to tell my story and I need some iron grip on the reins and that I have all these secrets and I’m against meta-thinking and so forth. And, again, I’m like woah there where did that come from?!

I don’t care about story. Seriously. I’m not thinking about story or plot or whatever. Where the sauce is for me is the interaction between the characters - NPCs and PCs, PCs and PCs - and the interaction between the players - and making those difficult decisions. For me “story” comes when we all talk about the game afterwards.

So again Dean, we are on the same page; I’m reading your most recent post and I’m nodding my head and saying, “yes exactly”, then I get confused why you and I keep going in circles.


I’m not sure I do - the limitations of internet discussions is hampering my ability to see clearly perhaps. Because all I thought was: you would ask your group permission to make an NPC with a Trait from the core books? (Which most likely isn’t what you were getting at).


For you and I: yes. Here’s the thing though: Etsu Riot and I are talking about shared narration when it comes down to it though. TO ME: Etsu Riot is saying that nothing is ever worth saying ‘No’ to because nothing he brings to the table matters and players can willy-nilly declare whatever they want. What he thinks Bangs are is particularly telling to me. That NPC BITs are irrelevant to him is telling to me. If NPCs are unimportant and Bangs are… I can’t even parse what he is saying with Bangs, because it was, like, the anti-definition of what a Bang is. See pretty much all of post #19. His view on Bangs and NPCs completely baffles me!

That is where I’m coming from on that issue with Etsu Riot. That has nothing to do with you, Dean.


Okay. I’m shrugging and thinking that’s fine. What I took issue with originally was the, possibly wrong, idea that your world (if you’ll excuse the word - you could substitute immediate surroundings if you want) is so undefined that you couldn’t give an answer if a player asked a question about, say, a town. I got the, possibly wrong, impression that you would just turn to the group and say, “I don’t know - who is the mayor, what is the major religion, and what is their principle produce?” and et cetera.

Or that you don’t provide situations where the Wise would be relevant because Wise skills are only relevent if a player can use the Wise to make a declaration.

I know, I butted into a conversation that initially didn’t concern me, and if I’m overstepping any sort of boundary here, I apologize. But I did so because the issue interests me, and because I actually agree with most of what Etsu says.

Ultimately, it seems we are talking about differences in GMing styles here. Since I don’t think any of us are “bad GMs” (there are some out there, but I don’t think we qualify for that moniker), I’ll assume you are generally interested in exploring differences in GM style. I mean, if that’s not the case, why is this discussion even taking place?

Here are the points that Etsu brought up that I agree with, in part or in whole, and my reasons. Note that this is just a commentary on my own GMing style, for the most part. You are free to disagree.

1. “A Bang is not a pre-plan. It is a contingency.”

A Bang is, by definition, a situation the PCs can’t ignore that incites them to action. Yes, you can pre-plan Bangs, and you definitely can and usually should start a game session off with a Bang. But further Bangs cannot be fully premeditated, as the GM can never be wholly certain of how the players will react to the first one.

Most Bangs are, therefore, a contingency. Possible problematic situations that the GM might be able to use to incite the PCs to take action. I dunno about you, but my game sessions run between 5 to 8 hours non-stop. I come prepped with a list of Bangs. One or two of them are to be used to get the ball rolling, and the rest are all just maybes. Many of them don’t even get used. And most of my best Bangs have all been stuff I came up with off the top of my head.

The GM can use NPC BITs to frame his Bangs with, but it isn’t necessary. A Bang can be framed in a number of different ways. NPCs are helpful but totally not necessary to incite the PCs to take action NOW. Which is all a Bang is.

2. NPC BITs are not important. Are just a guide.

I would not say they are not important at all, but I would definitely stress that they’re not anywhere near as important as the PCs’ BITs. An NPC’s BITs should never bog the story down, and should never detract from the fun. Use them to challenge the PCs, sure, but they shouldn’t be allowed to hog the spotlight. NPCs just aren’t that complicated (to quote Vincent Baker).

To tell the truth, most of my NPCs don’t even have any BITs, or at least not on paper. A campaign can have 100’s of NPCs. I’d say roughly 80% of the NPCs the players meet are just no-name Joe’s. Unless the PCs make them important somehow, these NPCs don’t need motivations beyond what is obvious for their station. NPCs that become somewhat important, or who seem like they’ll pop up in multiple game sessions, I give Traits to. 1 to 3 character traits is all they get, for the most part. Very rarely will I ever give an NPC Instincts and Beliefs, and only the most important ones get a full burn.

But even though I don’t allot Beliefs and Instincts to most NPCs, they still have “BITs” in a sense. I just kinda know what my NPCs are about. I don’t need to ascribe details on paper, because the basic framework for the NPCs is in my head. It is important to me that my NPCs remain flexible, so I am able to challenge the PCs and keep the ball rolling at all times. I keep it real, keep the NPCS realistic and flawed, but if changing an NPC “Belief” is important to keep the game fresh and exciting, that’s what happens.

So really, all I have is this idea of who these NPCs are, and this idea is often used as a guide to frame Bangs with. It is absolutely not a hard and fast rule though. The only hard and fast rule concerning BITs is that every scene should be framed with PC BITs in mind (which I often forget, bad GM Dean!).

3. A GM can share his secrets with the players, and it doesn’t break the game.

A GM doesn’t have to share his secrets, but I believe it’s a good idea to share at least some of what you’re planning, or at least drop some OOC hints. As the plot of a Burning Wheel story should always revolve around the PC BITs, the GM’s job is to come up with interesting and unexpected ways to challenge those Beliefs. Sometimes this can veer a story off in a new direction, and players might not always be able to anticipate what it is they are supposed to be doing in order to work towards this. Sharing of GM information with the players helps the players to play proactively, chasing their Beliefs instead of carrots.

Furthermore, sharing of GM information is something Luke Crane has stated multiple times is an important part of Burning Wheel. One of the core concepts of the system
is GM transparency. It’s not something that must (or even should) be employed all the time, but should be something that is embraced often.

So, yeah. I think that’s a good break-down of everything that’s been argued thus far, and I still don’t see any conch-passing tree-huggery. Nor do I believe you are wildly opposed to these views, so no, I don’t assume you run your games with an iron fist or anything like that. And as far as Saying Yes goes, I believe the ratio of Yeses to Nos in a campaign depends entirely on the group you’ve got. If you have a good group of players who respect each other, the story, and the GM, you rarely have to Say No.

Some further responses to your comments:

I am genuinely surprised to hear you say that. To me, story is the most important thing. By story, I am talking about three things: overarching themes (what is the story about?), structure (pacing of the story), and plot evolution (chasing Beliefs to their inevitable conclusions). Focusing only on character interactions usually leads to a disjointed story with no structure, and has a tendency to ignore theme. Fine if you are only interested in role-playing for the sake of enjoyment, but not so good for grand epic campaign arcs.

But that’s just me. I am running a long, epic campaign. The story is divided into arcs, each with their own themes, and each arc is divided into “chapters” with specialized themes for each one. I do not pre-plan this story, mind you, save for rumination of where it might go. But I do pay particular attention to pacing and story structure, and make sure themes are prevalent in each set-piece.

Not at all. My campaign world is something that’s been brewing in my mind for years now. I also invited all my players to contribute details to the 2000 square-kilometer region we’re playing in for an entire month before play began. We have tons of setting details fleshed out, including the regions beyond. One of the most enjoyable things about our campaign is the level of veracity the setting brings.

Yet, I still can’t tell you who the mayor of every town is, all their principle resources, etc. I’m not Tolkien, and I don’t flesh out to that degree. I can come up with little details like that on the spot, but some of the more intricate details are things that would take some serious consideration if I was asked of them in-play.

The basic advice in the AdBu is to paint your setting with broad strokes, and fill in the details during play. The ways to fill in the details is either by GM narration, or by player declaration. That’s what we’re doing. I just think that declarations are better practice than assessments, for the reasons I stated above.

No I wouldn’t. Nevermind, I misunderstood the original example you gave.

This is probably the last long reply I’m going to give. Takes too long to write up.

I’m enjoying the conversation as well. The only times I wasn’t is when I’m being called a “railroader” or a “dick GM” or any other rude and untrue name-calling.

Bangs: sure you gave the definition of a Bang and how I also use them. I’ve been reading, but not participating at the forge since around 2006 (before that I’d look and get cross-eyed, but I was still intrigued). Etsu Riot did not give the correct definition and so can’t be using them “correctly”. I agree with you. No qualms here. I’d like to know how Etsu Riot runs a game without them.

NPCs: NPCs are my Bangs. Most of your NPCs don’t have BITs - mine do - or at least the ones I’m using for Bangs do! So by having NPCs with solid BITs I am upholding the PC BITs and acknowledging them! And sorry I do believe in character integrity, and even NPCs should have fidelity - which is probably the biggest issue I have with the responses I’m reading.

Secrets: yeah, I said the word ‘secret’ and everyone totally did the internet thing and blew it way the fuck out of proportion. It was taken wrong. So…
Here is the deal: you don’t come to the table and hand out or tell the players all of your Bangs for the session… right? So you are definitionally keeping secrets. That is all I was saying. The Possession thing was literally a Bang for one of the players. So was the Set thing. You’re saying I should have told them, “and guys, here are your Bangs for the session”? (I’m totally kidding and not being snarky, I know, or hope, you don’t do that. I’m not even sure what play would look like if a GM did that).

Other than that, sure, why keep secrets. But keeping one’s Bangs secret is okay, yeah? :confused:

Story: guess it depends on what you mean by story - what you are saying is closer to what I’d call Premise or maybe the GMs top-down view of the forest and not just the trees. What I don’t do is: “look out for story” or “do what is best for story” or anything similar. Story exists to my mind only after we make our difficult decisions. Sidenote: I love me some year long campaigns! They are the best. And only rarely do I get to game for more than 4 to 5 hours a session.

A good debate keeps my blood flowing. As long as it doesn’t devolve into name-calling. :slight_smile:

EDIT: for poor spelling.

Oh, and I want to hit upon this as well [emphasis mine]:

My experience is that most RPG-geeks think they are freakin’ stand-up-comics. Give them an inch and they take a mile – and suddenly your game is Monty Python, orcs in fuzzy battle-bunny slippers, and smelly chaimberlains. I wish I had players that don’t all think they are comic gold and force their horrible out of place kidding into the actual fiction of the game.

To bash myself, when I play, I’m somewhat guilty of it as well. I have a tendancy to make fun of character names, “oh the NPCs name is Vidal is it. Vidal Sassoon! How you been?” and so forth.

There is a thing where player and GM do have different views, or players expect the GM to keep the game on track, and they are silly. It’s not bad, but it extends from social roles and many roles in society work that way. If you want a fully Forge game, you need to have a 100% Forge table, otherwise, certain things happen, mostly players cutting loose. Play Penny For My Thoughts with a group, and it’s usually silly the first few times. But this happens whenever people hear “I can do ANYTHING!”. I think that’s another topic though.

As for secrets, and Bangs, I was in a conversation with someone about GMless games. He claimed they were bad, because there was no revelation, and games were good BECAUSE of revelation. He said he liked learning secrets as his favourite part of gaming, therefore, certain things, especially things important to specific characters might need to be hidden for player enjoyment.

If I am confusing things, say so.

I wasn’t calling you a railroader, a bit of internet misinterpretation there. I was talking about a general situation. To be fair though, you did create this thread specifically to challenge someone’s views, so you have to expect a bit of hotheadedness. Take it in stride, man. ^^

Bangs: We all use Bangs, whether we know what they are or not. Every time the GM does something that forces the players to react, that’s a Bang. It’s not a new thing, just a new(ish) term. Yes, it is easier to utilize them effectively when you are consciously setting them up, but it’s not necessary.

I am pretty sure Etsu GMs just fine, else he wouldn’t have a group to GM for, no?

NPCs: I care about character integrity too. I won’t change NPC BITs that have been established as fact. But if the BITs are still just “in my head”, whatever man, I just RP 'em however it makes sense to best drive the story forward. In my mind, NPCs are not important characters. They are expendable. They are extras. They are the villains who are meant to be deposed. They are the lovers who are meant to walk out on you. They are the children who will grow up hating you. They are all the other people.

Why do I believe this? Because, the story is not about the NPCs. The way I look at it, PC BITs are what direct the story. Players write their Beliefs to say, “Hey, Mr. GM, these three statements indicate the story I want to explore for my character. Please, deliver.” And that’s my job, delivering a story based around exploring and challenging PC BITs. That’s the entirety of my job. What business do I have saying, “Hey, my 300 NPCs all have Beliefs too, so we need to explore those stories instead?” NPC BITs, IMHO, are meant to be used to compliment and/or contrast with PC BITs. Nothing else is important about them, save for providing the challenges for PC Beliefs. Sure, you can Bang those NPC BITs. It works well when combined with a PC’s Belief. But it isn’t the only method of challenging Beliefs, and changing up your challenge types can make for a refreshing session.

As an example of what I’m talking about: The PC party in my campaign consists of a badass knight, a “paladin”, and a court sorcerer. All pretty awesome PCs with excellent BITs. They hired a small army to do a bit of privateering, one member of which became a fourth PC. I made up the full roster of NPC retainers, and gave them all a bunch of traits – almost entirely negative traits scrounged from the professional soldier lifepaths. The result was a hilariously awesome contrast, the valiant heroes leading this ragtag bunch of misfits through the swamps. The players loved the contrast so much that we ended up playing four or five sessions just leading this army around and causing mischief. Note, however, only a few of these retainers had Beliefs that created serious Bangs. The others were mostly just flavor, and I created Bangs through other methods, such as environment, and repercussions of PC actions. Etc.

Secrets: Yeah, no, like I said, I misunderstood. I thought you had possessed one of the PCs with a God. No, I won’t reveal my Bangs before the session. What I was trying to say is that if a GM has some ideas for future plot developments, running them past the players is sometimes a good idea.

Story: What I do is push my Bangs in such a way that it hopefully creates a good story. Doesn’t always work, but usually does. Sort of like, I have an idea about how to get the players from point A (Beliefs are written) to point Z (Beliefs are completed), and I try and plan my Bangs to prompt them along in that general direction. And I try to pace it, do it in a reasonable timeframe. That’s story creation.

Yeah, I love big campaigns too. I am finding though that I prefer my games in seasonal chunks. We are over six months in, and are about to finish up our third major story arc this coming Saturday (Lord Kirsch is going down!). We’ve decided after that we will take a hiatus for at least the summer and play Apocalypse World for a bit. We will definitely continue the BW campaign afterwards though. We have this whole issue with the Tristeid Guild to sort out!

As for the Forge, I am familiar with most of the ideas there through other sources, though I don’t visit the site. Forums piss me off in general, though the BW one is OK. ^^ I do frequent Vincent Baker’s blog though, from time to time. I like the way he thinks.

You might be confusing things.

Yeah, I don’t care about that type of “exploration” in a Burning Wheel game (if it is there, fine, but it certainly isn’t necessary). It is necessary for, say, old school D&D. Like I wouldn’t want to know what the dungeon looked like and what was in every room and what every trap was - it would defeat the purpose of that style of play.

I just saying: wouldn’t it be weird to not keep Bangs a secret? Like if the GM literally handed out index cards with today’s Bangs on them to every player, “here you go, are they okay? Tell me if I need to change anything. And think about how you are going to make the scene cool when/if it happens”. Or even handed out all of the NPCs for the session and said, “okay look them over and tell me if I’m on-track with my NPC BITs for possible Bangs for the session. I gave an NPC sorcery, I hope that is okay”.

I can’t even think what the upside to that would be. If people do that I’d love to hear how it works!

I was going to give an example, but yeesh - I’d practically need full write-ups for the PC and the context of the games Big Picture to show what I’m talking about. Too much work for a throw-away example.

I think you’re getting a bit ridiculous there. Nobody does that, man. Nobody.

But that was how my statement was taken! I said ‘secrets’ and the internet was like OMG! SECRETS! Even though every single one of us keeps secrets.

The secret is that GMs keep Bangs secret - so therefore they are keeping secrets!

Yeah, we get it now. I think the communication breakdown wasn’t just one-sided though. You also overreacted to lots of our statements. Say Yes to everything? WTF ARE YOU CRAZY MAN!!! Lol… Pink marshmallow rain indeed.