Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Burning Wheel House Rules


Most paperwork is generated via active play, but not practice! As such, I felt it prudent to streamline practice as much as possible. This was done by focusing on the cycle, which is the most important limiter in the practice calculus.

You can practice whenever your character is not actively engaged in the situation. Typically, this happens when a party member is recovering from a wound or taxed Forte, getting a job, performing a lengthy task, or instructing or receiving instruction.

Practice is measured in days. Spend days equal to that ability's cycle (BWG 47) to log one test of any difficulty. Treat each month in a cycle as 30 days.


Players determine their lifestyles up front instead of having the GM gauge their character’s financial choices over the course of a cycle.

For each Resources cycle:

  • Beginning: Pick a lifestyle with an obstacle equal to or less than your Resources exponent.
  • During: You enjoy assets equivalent to those listed under the chosen obstacle. Only test Resources for purchases not covered by your lifestyle.
  • End: Test Resources against your lifestyle obstacle.

Practical Magic

Practical Magic (Codex 263) replaces the standard mechanics for both Sorcery and Rituals of Night. I have modified Practical Magic as follows:

  • Sorcerous Skills: Practical Magic allows the use of all sorcerous skills. Sorcery tests proxying for sorcerous skills are never open-ended.
  • Subtlety Clause: Ignore the clause that Practical Magic must be subtle.
  • Push it to the Limit: A sorcerer can ignore the double obstacle penalty for not having tools by instead adding the test’s obstacle to their tax obstacle. Pushing the limit causes tax even on a success. 
  • Creative Thaumaturgy: A sorcerer can declare a wholly magical intent and task, then test Sorcery. These tests are never open-ended, cause tax even on a success, and carry dire magical consequences on a failure.
  • Destroy with Sorcerous Fire: Sorcery can be used as a weapon in Bloody Versus and Fight:
    • Bloody Versus: Counts as a longer length weapon and shield.
    • Fight: Power is sorcerer’s Will, VA 2, DoF as bow, length longest, range as bow. Add can be used to increase damage (+1 Power each), increase VA (+1 VA per 2 successes), or modify the DoF (+1 each).
  • Void Embrace: Sorcerers with Void Embrace can use Blood Magic (Codex 367).