Sunday, April 1, 2012

T&T hacks - Burning Wheel

As the first post in this new series, I'm going to take a cue from Luke Crane's game Burning Wheel.

In BW you have these psychological traits called Beliefs. They are things your character are all about. It's things that define your character, and things that you can not miss or ignore when interacting with that character. In short, it's a great way to tell your GM what kind of game you want to play.

The second thing is Instincts. These are stylish markers for how your PC behaves. They are things that will work great for colour, but also short cut some of the "grind" actions you'll want to do. 

Let's show some examples. There's a great one in the BW rules about Beliefs, let's look at that. "People feel better when lied to". How about that? It makes it clear that your PC is somewhat of a cynic, and that you want to lie a lot. Excellent role playing tag, and a hint to the GM that you want to interact with people and lie to them.

To incorporate this into your T&T game, do just like in BW. Pick at least one, and up to three, and write them on your character sheet.

Next, let's look at Instincts.

An Instinct is a if < this > then < that > kind of routine. They will help your character stand out, and also help you not forget to do that thing, which might be a life saver. Again, let's look at an example. "I always use a glove when opening a door". There you go, it makes you look cool and it might save your hide when you encounter a contact poison. The GM could even allow you to make a SR after the fact to notice the odd powder or smell on your glove, telling you what you just evaded. Maximum game fun.

To incorporate this into your T&T game, list one or up to three Instincts on your sheet.

I guess I managed to convey the value of the Instincts, but what about the Beliefs? Well, in Burning Wheel they have many different flavours of what we call Adventure Points in T&T. I think the simplest way is to just say that every time your character in game acts upon one of her Beliefs, you gain 100 AP. It pays to practice what you preach, if you see what I mean?

If you feel a Belief has run it's course, save up 1000 AP and buy it off, exchanging it for something new. Don't make Beliefs something cheap. It will cost you to turn your back on something that defined your character!

I hope you think these hacks sounds interesting and inspire you to try them, or your own variant thereof, in your next T&T game.

Fight on!
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