Writing Beliefs about thinks that aren't established in the fiction

Can a player write a belief like

“A local fishermen asked for help in the Ingerimm Temple. He needs a new sail for a sailing contest. I will make him a nice and good sail and with this act i will improve my standing in the temple”

When the stuff with the fisherman hadn’t happened before in play? It was just a scenario we came up with in a discussion. Is it legal to do this or would he have to write his belief differently and cirlce the fisherman up beforehand?

Beliefs should be tied to the situation the GM presented, the player’s relationships, to another PC or past events from the game.

Is this a new character or one that’s been in play for a while?.

Perhaps give him a tip to make the Belief a bit less specific, so YOU can challenge it instead of him providing the entire outline of the challenge? Something along the lines:

“I must improve my standing with the Ingerimm temple - I will strive to help the locals and the priests in any way I can.”

He played one session. He is totally new to BW.

Thanks Storapan

My answer depends on whether you’re still burning the character. If you’re in the middle of a game, inventing NPCs is what circles are for.

If you’re still in chargen, I’d absolutely let him invent an NPC if the belief seemed cool to me and I knew how to challenge it in play. But if this fisher dude is important enough to feature in one of his beliefs, he needs to buy a relationship with him. Is he temple yours or is he adding that as well?

In any event, it sounds like the belief should be “I will get in good with the Temple. First I will show them my generosity by fixing what’s his name’s sail!”

The belief is about the temple, not about the sail. And I do like the irony of the self-serving reason behind this act of kindness.

It really depends.

I think introducing elements that make sense via Beliefs is entirely appropriate, especially at character creation. In play, it shouldn’t be used to sidestep Wises or Circles, but establishing color should be in bounds. So long as it relates to the situation, I don’t see a problem with it.

Something similar came up in the Burning Airships game. Fuseboy wanted to seek to reestablish contact with a military bastion in the elven empire, something that hadn’t come up. But given the elven trait “Sword of the White Tower” and the strong tradition element to the protector lifepaths it seemed natural that such a place would exist. Thus the White Tower became a feature of the setting, and the Lord Protector started aiming towards getting there as a step towards resolving the situation in play. It made sense, and the group ran with it. However, it started more general—as the idea that there was a need to connect with a place that was a military stronghold. It snowballed from there.

I don’t want my post to be interpreted as a rule against introducing specific elements to the game, I’m just suggesting that there might be better GM/player interaction if you avoid it. If this form of belief works for you and the player, run with it!

I do think it’s easier for the GM to introduce elements challenging several different player’s beliefs if they are kept a bit less specific however - unless, of course, the other players also write some sailmaking and temple beliefs.

If you both discussed ahead of time and it sounds good to you, it’s legit.

Mind you, there’s a couple of important steps to this:

  1. Does this belief (helping get a sail) really seem like something you both will have fun with in the game?
  2. Does this belief seem like something the player will -struggle- over? Beliefs are about struggles, and sometimes deciding to ditch the Belief altogether, because the cost is too high.

It seems somewhat like a fetch-quest rather than a Belief to me. (I dunno, though, maybe getting sail material involves having to fight the Hydra, or convincing a Queen to provide the gold threaded sail to reach the Sun or something.)

Here’s some fallback questions I use for Beliefs that might be useful: