Situation Mining: To Save a Would Be King

I learned about the Birchlegs in reading Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them by Nancie Marie Brown. I had little prior knowledge of Norwegian history, and found it rather fascinating.

It is an era of civil war in Norway. King Haakon Sverresson has died and the Baglers and Birchlegs vie for power.

Two armed men skiing. One cradles baby Haakon Haakonsson

Birkebeinerne by Knud Bergslien [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Birchlegs have entrusted you to deliver the 2-year-old Haakon Haakonsson to the security of Trondheim. Your journey starts in Lillehammer. You must cross dread ancient mountains and woods to reach safety.

Strider

Write a belief about:

  • How your devotion to King Haakon Sverresson makes you the natural leader.
  • Memory of a great wolf encounter and the measures you now take.
  • Your fellow rangers and how you’ll enlist their help.

Character sheet

Veteran

Write a belief about:

  • How your experience makes you the natural leader.
  • Why you fight for the Birchlegs and what you hope to bring about.
  • Preparations you are making for your arrival in Trondheim.

Character sheet

Foot Soldier

Write a belief about:

  • How you ensure the would be king is cared for during this journey.
  • Previous service with one of your companions and how you show kindred spirit.
  • Precautions you’ll take to avoid the trolls of your grandmother’s tales.

Character sheet

Scout

Write a belief about:

  • Being in this for fame, glory, and yourself.
  • What you hope to learn from one of your companions.
  • Previous service with one of your companions and how you show your frustrations.

Character sheet

Situation Mining: The Bargain of Burgundy

My prior reading of Blood Royal: A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Paris by Eric Jager inspired the following situation.

Louis's assassination on the rue Vieille du Temple. - Unknown

Louis’s assassination on the rue Vieille du Temple. – Unknown

Callous guards have pulled you from your cold and dank cells. You stand before the Duke of Burgundy and his guards. His deal settles in.

You will travel from Dijon to Paris and murder the Duke of Orléans. Upon your successful return to Burgundy, Duke John the Fearless will reward you wealth and land. You are certain the alternative is immediate execution.

Criminal

Write a belief about:

  • How you will play your part in assassinating the Duke of Orléans
  • Hedging your bets against a failed assassination
  • Acquiring necessary gear for the assassination

Character sheet

Desperate Killer

Write a belief about:

  • Your dismissal from Duke of Orléans court and how death is not enough for him
  • Convincing your conspirators this is a worthy cause
  • Preparing for your grant of wealth and land

Character sheet

Smuggler

Write a belief about:

  • How you will play your part in assassinating the Duke of Orléans
  • Laying in motion a plan to play both sides
  • Establishing a client-base in Paris

Character sheet

Student

Write a belief about:

  • How you will play your part in assassinating the Duke of Orléans
  • The change you imagine for France and how the play you wrote was the first step
  • What lessons you hope to teach your conspirators

Character sheet

Situation Mining: Dwimmermount

The ancient wards of Dwimmermount have fallen; At least that is what you heard from a wandering ascetic. There must be treasure and forgotten knowledge buried within that legendary mountain.

Dwimmermount Cover Image by Mark Allen.

Dwimmermount Cover Image by Mark Allen.

You stand at the door, knowing that with the wards failed, there will soon be others set on exploring and plundering Dwimmermount’s wealth.

Dwimmermount provides a rumor table. The GM may provide one or more rumors. In that case, consider adding a belief that addresses the rumor.

Bandit

Write a belief about:

  • What you will do with the wealth you gain from Dwimmermount
  • A cherished moment from your childhood and how you will reclaim it
  • One of your companions in this expedition

Character sheet

Itinerant Performer

Write a belief about:

  • Why you are called to explore Dwimmermount
  • When you realized your temple was a perversion and left in disgust
  • One of your companions in this expedition

Character sheet

For reference the gods of Dwimmermount are:

God Sphere of Influence Alignment
Anesidora goddess of grain, fertility, marriage, and law Lawful (Good)
Asana goddess of strategy, heroism, and science Lawful
Caint god of medicine, poetry, and music Lawful (Good)
Donn god of the dead Lawful
Mavors god of warfare Lawful (Evil)
Tenen god of travelers, craftsmen, and invention Lawful
Tyche goddess of fortune, prosperity, and destiny Lawful
Typhon god of judgment, discipline, and trade Lawful (Evil)

Rogue Wizard

Write a belief about:

  • What you hope to learn in the depths of Dwimmermount
  • Why you fled you master and how you are planning to revisit them
  • One of your companions in this expedition

Character sheet

Strider

Write a belief about:

  • What you hope to gain by exploring Dwimmermount
  • Why you’ve spent years in your lonely patrol of the mountains of Muntburg
  • One of your companions in this expedition

Character sheet

I generated the character sheets at the online Character Burner.

Situation Mining: the Black Plague

Adding to Judd the Librarian‘s Burning Wheel situations:

The Black Plague

"The Triumph of Death" - Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Year c. 1562

“The Triumph of Death” – Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Year c. 1562

Bursting from the fabled city of Kyzantham, the Black Plague – a horde of orcs, goblins, and wolves – has spread like wildfire. Death and famine have taken root as the Black Plague banner now flies over half of the continent. There are no signs of the Black Plague slowing.

You are just within the borders of the Black Plague’s control. It is a land of butchery and uncertainty. Those who have acquiesced to the Black Plague survive for now…but life is not improving.

Duke

Write a belief about:

  • When you realized your sworn oath to the Black Plague would not be honored
  • Rallying your people to rise against the Black Plague
  • Why your lands are important and how you keep them safe

Character sheet

Student

Write a belief about:

  • What you left when fleeing from Kyzantham and how you will regain it
  • Who you are teaching (player characters) and why it is important for ending the Black Plague
  • Your research and how it will break the Black Plague

Character sheet

Servant

Write a belief about:

  • What you are doing to repay your debt to the duke
  • How you are preparing for the day you pay off your debt
  • Gathering the resources and alliances you need for safety from the Black Plague

Character sheet

Freebooter

Write a belief about:

  • The moment you left the king’s army and why it haunts you
  • Why you pursue of wealth and holdings
  • How you are using someone else to pursue your ambitions

Character sheet

I generated the character sheets at the online Character Burner.