Dual Duel of Wits and Dangerous Stakes

Note: This post has content disclaimers.

Dual Duel of Wits and Dangerous Stakes is a game session report for Burning Wheel Gold. We played around the table on .



Chase, Margaret, and their sister Julia were released from Inquisitor Cedric’s captivity.

Peter received an order for a cake delivery in two weeks. An important client whom he couldn’t disappoint.

Margaret and Peter argued about leaving promptly to the family’s village…after all there was a wedding that needed to happen.

Eventually, Peter agreed to enchant the cake so it wouldn’t spoil.

Peter was going to extract the , with the goal of enchanting the cake so it wouldn’t spoil until cut.

Peter worked diligently, while Chase and Margaret gathered information about the dwarf.

About the Town

Chase and Margaret learned the dwarf’s name: Brick.

Brick was marauding through all of the taverns, inciting destructive bar brawls.

With a bit of investigation they found the likely location of Brick’s next tavern.

Back at the bakery, Peter was successful in his extraction, enchanting, and baking. I can only imagine what the failed consequences of a failed enchantment would’ve been when using imp’s blood as a component.

That evening, Peter, Chase, and Margaret went out for a night on the town.

Peter, Chase, and Margaret decided to stake out each of the taverns.

Margaret worked to circle up someone who had been tortured by Inquisitor Cedric…and failed, invoking the enmity clause.

As the tortured man came into the bar, Brick also came into the bar.

Margaret quickly gathered her siblings to return to the bar.

Brick was drinking…Chase joined in the drinking…and Margaret approached the tortured man.

Margaret attempted to seduce the tortured man, which failed, but did increase her Will from B5 to B6.

Duel of Wits – the First

Margaret: “I want you to tell me everything you know about Cedric and work with me to bring down Cedric’s.”

The Tortured Man: “Eat something I cook then go away.”

Table 15: Duel of Wits - Margaret vs. The Tortured Man
Volley Margaret's Action Margaret's Disposition The Tortured Man's Action The Tortured Man's Disposition
1 Feint 6 Obfuscate 11
2 Point 6 Avoid 11
3 Avoid 6 Point 11
4 Obfuscate 6 Obfuscate 11
5 Point 6 4 Rebuttal 11 9
6 Avoid 4 2 Rebuttal 9
7 Feint 2 Obfuscate 9
8 Rebuttal 2 Obfuscate 9
9 Obfuscate 2 Rebuttal 9
10 Feint 2 Avoid 9 6
11 Rebuttal 2 Obfuscate 6
12 Feint 2 0 Rebuttal 6
Compromise: Margaret agreed to eat some of his food, in exchange for information about inquisitor Cedric. She learned that he works directly under the regent, doesn't go out, part of failed noble house, lives in the barracks with the guards. Of course the tortured man poisoned her.


Chase is drinking with Brick Redguard, son of Clay, son of Loam (a bit of ancestral improv that I suggested).

Brick mentioned that Julia was at the bakery.

Brick was pushing drinks very fast. With Chase’s accelerated metabolism, , he was quickly knocked out.

We had an interesting exchange, how to resolve the poison Margaret was administered. Eventually we settled on opening “Resist Poison”, a Forte-based skill. The obstacle was Obstacle (Ob 🔍)3, doubled to OB6 for beginners luck, to resist the B7 wound.

Margaret failed her test by one, and took the Midi.

As Chase was collapsing into unconciousness, Margaret was convulsing from poison (stand and drool for 4 actions).

Peter attempted to pursue the poisoner but was unable to pursue in a timely manner.

As the siblings fell, the bar room situation began to degrade into a ruckus.

Peter and Margaret attempted to move Chase, but in their weakened condition were unable to extricate him.

Margaret and Peter solicited the help of some passerby’s, succeeding a Resources linked test, then persuading them to help.

With some stranger’s help, they managed to drag Chase back to the bakery.

Peter, mustering all of his apothecary and herbalism knowledge, along with Margaret’s Guts-wise, were able to treat the Midi wound, but it would be 9 weeks until it fully healed.

A Sort of Homecoming

Brick arrived early in the morning and drank copious amounts of coffee.

Brick would travel with the family to their home, to ensure that Julia was delivered.

Margaret opted to commandeer Chase’s blue box on the theory that time passes twice as fast for the wielder.

The siblings cajoled Claudio into traveling with them…apparently he missed conversing with others.

The trip home passed uneventfully.

Once home, the siblings looked up Julia’s fiance, William.

William was excited to see Julia…but delicately alluded to his engagement.

The siblings, Brick, Claudio, and Zoe went to William’s parents.

Brick was diverted by Margaret insisting on him going to the tavern. Margaret forgot that the tavern was owned by her brother.

Realizing the problem, Margaret closed the store and attempted to convince her brother to close the store.

Brick intimidated Margaret’s brother into opening the tavern, and Margaret failed to block William.

Margaret quickly caught up with the others as they approached William’s parents

They were let in, and a horrific duel of wits began…fighting to marry off Julia.

Duel of Wits – the Second

Chase, Margaret, and Peter: William will marry Julia in a week.

The Groom’s Parents William will not marry Julia.

Table 16: Duel of Wits - Chase, Margaret, and Peter vs. the Groom’s Parents
Volley Chase, Margaret, and Peter's Action Chase, Margaret, and Peter's Disposition The Groom's Parents Action The Groom's Parents Disposition
1 Incite 9 Obfuscate 9
2 Feint 9 7 Point 9
3 Point 7 4 Point 9 5
4 Feint 4 Feint 5 4
5 Obfuscate 4 Dismiss 4
6 Point 4 Point 4 0

There was insinuation that each party had staged Julia’s abduction, that family honor had become diluted with each passing generation, and that William had chosen Julia. After inciting anger, lies, and horrible persuasion, William’s parents agreed that Julia would marry William, though her dowry would be increased.

It was an ugly duel of wits, with a relatively painless compromise. Now only if Julia and William hadn’t been privy to the whole duel.


The Duel of Wits created pivotal moments, as they should be. Margaret found information vital to her beliefs, at the cost of a Midi wound. Julia would be married, at the cost of a cordial family relation.

The Midi wound is a blessing for character advancement. Margaret can now easily get Difficult and Challenging tests for advancement. A Midi wound reduces all (non-Health) exponents by 2D. A 5 Will drops to 3; Instead of needing 3 Difficult and 1 Challenging test, you’ll need 2 Difficult and 1 Challenging. For skills dropping from 3 to 1 means you’ll need 1 routine and 1 difficult or challenging test instead of 3 routine and 2 difficult or 1 challenging test. Injury is a chance to push your character and advance skills through fewer tests.

I am engaging in a careful balance of advancing Margaret’s Will, spending Artha on Will tests, and not opening Will-based skills. If this balance can be achieved, Margaret will be on the cusp of opening numerous Will-based skills at G3.