Additional Burning Wheel Procedures

Note: This post has content disclaimers.

Over the past few months, I’ve been looking at Old School Renaissance (OSR) rules and procedures. With the arrival of the Burning Wheel Codex 🔍, I wanted to map some of the OSR procedures to Burning Wheel Gold 🔍.

Reaction

When introducing new Non-Player Characters (NPCs 🔍) that are not part of a Circles Test 🔍, consider their disposition based on their Beliefs, Instincts, and Traits (BITs 🔍) and any relevant reputations of the Player Characters (PCs 🔍). When in doubt consult Table 54: Reaction Roll.

Table 54: Reaction Roll
2d6 Result
2 Hostile
3–- Unfavorable
6–- Indifferent
9–- Favorable / Talkative
12 Helpful

Morale

When NPCs encounter stiff opposition, the Game Master (GM 🔍) should reference their relevant BITs to determine a response. This overlaps with Steel Test 🔍, however with a bit of modification, could help determine the response to a failed Steel test. When in doubt consult Table 55: Morale Check.

Table 55: Morale Check
2d6 Result
2 Routes
3–- Retreats
6–- Assess fight or flight
9–- Fight on
12 To the Death!

Initiative

If there are multiple actions in which timing is critical, leverage the following procedure for simultaneous declaration:

  • Players may declare task and intent (+1s for Speed tests).
  • Game master declares task and intent.
  • Remaining players declare task and intent (-1s for Speed tests).
  • All participants roll Speed to determine order of execution.
  • Resolve actions from most successes to least. Characters may cancel actions but not revise.

This is a refinement on - a conflict that involved 34 characters that took 20 minutes for talking, stabbing, and looting.