It’s fascinating to me how Burning Wheel—a game that i could barely wrap my brain around the first 2 or 3 times i read it—is starting to click reasonably well. The writing style is still occasionally annoying, but not nearly as excessive as i remembered—I was obviously conflating the original and revised editions. It still could use a little clarity—I love some of the work done on Beliefs since it was published, frex.
Anyway, this is about those few things that still haven’t fallen into place for me, yet. I’m not sure if it’s me or the rules, and i’ll comment or edit this as I figure it out or get answers.
So, whenever one of those things happens, roll Grief? or treat it as if a Grief test had been made (but don’t actually roll anything), for purposes of advancement?
But if Grief is never actually rolled—not actually tested—why does shade matter? And if it is rolled for Grief tests, what do failures and successes mean?
Let It Ride
Is there a particular reason that the repetitive checks required by Fight!, Range&Cover, and Duel of Wits (and perhaps other detailed subsystems—haven’t read everything yet) don’t contradict the Let It Ride rule?
I can think of several possible explanations:
- The constant changes of the situation, due to the opponent(s) actions, means conditions “legitimately and drastically change”. So it’s not actually a contradiction.
- These scenes/activities are sufficiently interesting [to the players] to merit ignoring the spirit [and letter] of Let It Ride.
- An entire Fight!/DoW/R&C scene is, essentially, “one test”, just with a lot more detail in the results. So it doesn’t violate the Let It Ride rule, because it’s only “one test” that produces “one result”, even if it is a whole lot of rolling to get there.
I’m just trying to get a feel for how the rules are intended to be played. What’s written feels hugely inconsistent, but it may be just a playstyle issue. To me, the change from tracking your quarry across the wilderness to tracking them in the city is a much bigger change of circumstances than the fact that your opponent is now parrying instead of lunging, yet the former is explicitly cited as an example of when not to reroll, and the latter would explicitly involve a new roll. Or, even more significantly, if two opponents happened to script strike, strike vs block, block, we’d see the exact same situation repeated in rapid succession, but be rolling for it both times.
But it might not be about consistency—it might be about interest: There aren’t equivalent systems for detailing/expanding Wises or tracking or climbing or whatever tests in a similar way, because there’s less interest, in general, among RPers. In which case, since combat usually bores me to tears—and the more detail, the more boring—while I find things like research or cat-n-mouse games much more fun to play out, I should just use Bloody Versus for combat, and use the extended test rules all the time for things like tracking, and it’ll be just as much in the spirit of the rulesas Fight! is—and no more, or less, of a a contradiction.
So, yes, it’s our game ultimately, and if we want to modify Let It Ride to allow multiple tests with less significant changes of circumstances than you would employ, obviously we can. But I’m trying to get into Luke’s head and understand the intended interpretation of the rules, so that we can at least try it that way, before we go modifying things—and so that any modifications are in the right spirit. Because I would rather try playing the way the rules intend, than just warp the rules to be in the same playstyle as everything else i play. Part of the appeal is playing something that is different.