Nathanael Cole / Alliterated Games

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Burning Wheel

Burning Wheel – The “Proxies of Torch” Campaign: Initial Setup

This week I met with three new players to start up a new Burning Wheel campaign. This one is based in a micro-setting I’ve had kicking around in my head for some time now, originally established for a game that never actually started. I’ll try and give it to you in a sentence: “In a near-industrial fantasy world where most everyone lives in massive isolated city-states, wars are fought not by armies, but by godlike warriors who duel with the powers of the heavens.” Each city-state has its chosen Proxy, and when conflicts arise, the Proxies duel it out to determine a victor.

This core paradigm extends all the way down into the deepest dregs of society, where even the most petty legal disputes are resolved by official bouts between representative warrior-proxies. While the Magnificantes themselves may be chosen chosen by the gods (at least, that’s what most of the peasantry and the new budding labor class believes), the proxies further down the scale are just top class warriors with official recognition, lawyers who represent by power of combat skill alone.

Torch is one such city-state, and within the dirtiest of its wrought-iron-encrusted streets is where our story begins. They’re all part of the underworld surrounding the lowest rungs of the Proxy fights, either directly involved with the shady dealings that pervade these bouts, or directly affected (victimized?) by them.

It’s kind of like The Wire meets The Lies of Locke Lamora meets Robot Jox. Read More »

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Timiro Nights: Let Me Tell You About My Burning Wheel Game

I know I’ve mentioned this game a few times before, but I’d like to take some time out right now to put some spotlight on one of my small handful of ongoing projects. The campaign I call “Timiro Nights” started as an extended playtest for my now-abandoned KnownWorld Palladium RPG rules hack. After only three sessions, I had grown tired of the cumbersome mentality of the mechanical source material – no matter how you package or rearrange its numbers, the Palladium RPG system is just a sad sack of unbalanced hackneyed crap.

But damn me if I can’t shrug off my love for the core fantasy setting! It’s straight-up old school fantasy excitement, and my love for it is nigh boundless. The lands are rich with adventure, the gods come down and fuck with mortal pawns like it ain’t no thang, social conflict and strife are everywhere, and ancient beings of infinite malignant power lie slumbering beneath the world’s surface. It’s just plain rad, if you ask me. Of course it also helps that this was the setting I first ever “officially” tabletopp’d in, way back in my middle school years.

Anyway, long story short: KnownWorld was getting old, Palladium’s core system blows hobos, and we switched to Burning Wheel. We’ve had a much better time since then. So allow me to introduce our heroes! Read More »

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Timiro Nights Goes Burning Wheel: Success! (and some musings)

This past weekend, I finally made the official complete switch, fully translating the events, characters, and setting from my KnownWorld “Timiro Nights” campaign into the Burning Wheel game system. This particular campaign is relatively new (only a handful of sessions so far since inception), but it has been a consistent source of gaming joy for me since getting the group together. It’s been a while since I’ve had a group this responsive, and this eager to extend the game talk well into our downtime. I’m glad to say that so far, the conversion to the new rules has been a success. I’d like to take a few here and talk about the juicy technical bits behind that conversion, and my own ideas of how the Burning Wheel system should work. Read More »

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