Do good rules have to be rigorous?

One of the things that’s bothering me about Four Colors al Fresco is the rules for rolling the dice (or, in game jargon, rolling the Planets). Specifically: when you roll, and when you don’t.

Some background:

The spirit of the rules is that you first look to the character’s Descriptors (which are pretty much what the name says—purely textual, non-numeric character stats) for any action, hoping to get a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer on that basis alone. Sometimes, however, the Descriptors won’t be definitive—you get a ‘maybe’. That’s when we roll the Planets. Continue reading

Grokking Burning Wheel

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. Continue reading

A list of names

Names matter a lot to me–nothing pulls me out of the fiction faster than a jarring name, especially a deliberately-humorous name in a serious setting. Well, ok, some other things do–but once a joke or comment is made, it’s done; names tend to stick around. At the same time, it needs to be possible for everyone to contribute to creating the setting for Burning Wheel–such as by creating proper nouns via Beliefs, Traits, and Wise rolls. So for our game,Ii hit a couple of name generator sites, and then combined, culled, and sorted, so I can produce the following lists from which people can select for place names. And as inspiration to start from for people names. Continue reading