Red Mr. Shiny Needs Idea Badly


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Liberty's Edge

One of my friends is running a Burning Wheel game in a few days, and I am drawing a F++#ING BLANK on character concepts. I NEED HELP. PLEASE.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Tell me what Burning Wheel is and maybe I'll be able to help.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Cool game, what's the story behind where you're playing?

Liberty's Edge

Burning Wheel is an RP-heavy fantasy RPG, in which your "life path", or backstory, determines your abilities rather than class. The setting is a basic, Tolkien-influenced fantasy setting.

Dark Archive

The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:
Burning Wheel is an RP-heavy fantasy RPG, in which your "life path", or backstory, determines your abilities rather than class. The setting is a basic, Tolkien-influenced fantasy setting.

You were a young babe when your family was massacred by [insert BEBG here]. Found by a childless gypsy couple you have spent a life on the road, learning how to look after yourself, stealing when you can, fighting when you must. The gypsy lifestyle has instilled a wanderlust and love of freedom in your soul, and you cannot stand to see anyone oppressed. Now that you have come of age, you have decided to set things right by avenging your parents death. How does that sound?

Liberty's Edge

David Fryer wrote:
The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:
Burning Wheel is an RP-heavy fantasy RPG, in which your "life path", or backstory, determines your abilities rather than class. The setting is a basic, Tolkien-influenced fantasy setting.
You were a young babe when your family was massacred by [insert BEBG here]. Found by a childless gypsy couple you have spent a life on the road, learning how to look after yourself, stealing when you can, fighting when you must. The gypsy lifestyle has instilled a wanderlust and love of freedom in your soul, and you cannot stand to see anyone oppressed. Now that you have come of age, you have decided to set things right by avenging your parents death. How does that sound?

Sounds awesome! That's exactly the kind of idea I needed. Thanks!

Silver Crusade

Now, take the inspiration you have been given and go forth, rolling dice in the name of the might Gygax.

Dark Archive

The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:
David Fryer wrote:
The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:
Burning Wheel is an RP-heavy fantasy RPG, in which your "life path", or backstory, determines your abilities rather than class. The setting is a basic, Tolkien-influenced fantasy setting.
You were a young babe when your family was massacred by [insert BEBG here]. Found by a childless gypsy couple you have spent a life on the road, learning how to look after yourself, stealing when you can, fighting when you must. The gypsy lifestyle has instilled a wanderlust and love of freedom in your soul, and you cannot stand to see anyone oppressed. Now that you have come of age, you have decided to set things right by avenging your parents death. How does that sound?
Sounds awesome! That's exactly the kind of idea I needed. Thanks!

I used to play Riddle of Steel. In that game you get xp based on how well you play to your characters motivations. You learn to come up with good backstories and motives pretty quick in that game.

Liberty's Edge

Alright, I've got another predicament:

I've been trying to come up with an idea for a high fantasy short story, and every time I make an attempt, my brain melts. Any ideas for a basic premise?

Dark Archive

Here, take some ideas.

This is a religious metaphor. The story is about stingy poets. It takes place in a crypt in a large city. The story climaxes with someone pretending to be someone else. The effect of magical races on business is a major part of the story.

This is a tale about how a utopia is possible. The story is about a chaste healer and a monk who is stalked by a sadistic outlaw. It starts in a hotel in a village. The story begins with the passing of a test. A magical artifact plays an important role.

The story is about an anxious king, a chaste trader, an opinionated teacher, and a poet. It starts in a small town. The story begins with a premonition.

The story is about an occultist who is constantly annoyed by a vocal official. It starts in a tavern. The story begins with someone getting a new hairstyle.

This is a tale about how even the smartest person makes mistakes. The story is about a watchman. It takes place in a magical alternate universe. An important bloodline plays a prime part.

If you want more, try here.

Dark Archive

I also like these.

A fusion of the story of the little Dutch boy and the story of Talesin.

The story of Alice in Wonderland envisioned as a modern-day erotic tale.

The story of Oliver Twist being about a group of cavemen.

The legend of Hiawatha envisioned as a vengeance tale.

The story of Ivanhoe envisioned as a costume drama tale.

The play McBeth rewritten as a space opera.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:
One of my friends is running a Burning Wheel game in a few days, and I am drawing a f%~!ING BLANK on character concepts. I NEED HELP. PLEASE.

Don't know enough about the system to say if this will work for you but here's one concept I've always wanted to try but never found the right game.

You were a villain, a truly despicable one at that. And then one day your past caught up with you. A mob of your victims, and their families, tracked you down and sent you to perdition by way of the rope. For three days your body dangled from that tree, and your soul writhed in eternal torment.

Then, a miracle. A wandering holy man came upon you and, against all reason, prayed that you get a second chance. You came back, your psyche still scorched, figuratively coughing ash and smoke.

Though grateful beyond measure you still tried to figure out the holy man's angle. For months you followed him around, all but badgering him to explain what you had to do to pay him back.

But he just smiled and said you already knew the answer to that question.

Eventually, almost by osmosis, one drip of pure decency at a time, it started to make sense. Now you spend your days trying to atone for your misdeeds, conscious that your former victims would not hesitate to kill you again if they learned you walked the mortal realm once more. Even worse, there's the certain knowledge that no one is beyond redemption. If you can find the path who's to say that some other villain might too if given the chance?

Dark Archive

The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:

Alright, I've got another predicament:

I've been trying to come up with an idea for a high fantasy short story, and every time I make an attempt, my brain melts. Any ideas for a basic premise?

Related to the above Tolkein-esque world or just 'high fantasy?'

'Cause if it's more general, I always like to take some old reliable and turn it around a bit. The story could be from the point of view of a pair of hunters in the woods, chasing down a stag that they've sighted, and deal with an encounter with an 'elf' who is more of an old-school fey sort of elf, all wispy and alien, both in appearance and attitude. A twist could involve the elf actually being the stag (a glamer that she has adopted, to lure the humans deeper into the woods), or that elves reincarnate and she's trying to use trickier to help the injured stag (whom she regards as kin) to escape the hunters, etc. She might be limited to inoffensive magics, deceptions and tricks, and be physically unable to cause harm to the hunters, being a creature of fey nature, barely more physical than a wisp of smoke.

A twistier tale could be about traditional dwarves, legendary crafters skilled in creating weapons so fine that they seem enchanted, but accepting only nontraditional payment from the sunlit races who come to trade with them. After all, what use have the subterraneans for gold or gems? They have all of those that they could ever desire, deep below the earth. No, the Dwarves only take payment in abstractions, such as the accepting of a geas to serve them for a set amount of time, indeed, perhaps even a lifetime, with the weapon being reclaimed at the end of that time by these greedy folk. It may be discovered at the end, after the hero has slain the dragon with the sword provided him by these dour folk, and lies dying, mere days after agreeing to give unto his last breath to the craftsmen, that the dwarves took that oath very seriously, arriving as he gasps his last to bottle 'a hero's dying breath' to use to enchant another item of power...

Then there's the formula.

Boy. Probably adopted. Not especially great at what he's supposed to be doing, not at all content to be a [farmer/cook/stableboy] like his kindly step-father. (Very important. Fathers and stepfathers are fine salt-of-the-earth folk, mothers and stepmothers almost never exist, having died long enough ago that the character doesn't remember them. It's a running gag that Disney characters like Aladdin, Jasmin, Pocahontas, Belle, Little Mermaid, etc. have only fathers, and no mother...) Stuff happens, perhaps the farmstead is attacked, perhaps a wandering auger predicts strangeness about the lad, perhaps the kingdom is dragged into war and people get conscripted into a peasant militia. In any event, the boy discovers something shocking about his heritage (son of legendary hero, son of legendary villain, heir to great power, spoken of in some prophecy that has BavMorda all in a tizzy) and develops great power as a result, after lots of adventure and narrow escapes.

And now I'm in the mood to see a Willow sequel, where the baby is all grown up and Madmartigan is her grizzled advisor...

Dark Archive

There was the Chronicles of the Shadow War trilogy written by George Lucas and Chris Claremont that functions as a sequal to Willow. I would love to see them made into movies.

Spoiler:
Among other things, we learn that Elora's father is a dragon.


David Fryer wrote:
In Hero you get xp based on how well you play to your characters motivations. You learn to come up with good backstories and motives pretty quick in that game.

What?! You mean…actually…role play? Blasphemy!

Dark Archive

CourtFool wrote:
David Fryer wrote:
In Hero you get xp based on how well you play to your characters motivations. You learn to come up with good backstories and motives pretty quick in that game.
What?! You mean…actually…role play? Blasphemy!

Worse, the system bribes you to role-play, so it isn't *pure* starving-artist style role-play, but crass commercialized incentive-based roleplay!


Set wrote:
Worse, the system bribes you to role-play, so it isn't *pure* starving-artist style role-play, but crass commercialized incentive-based roleplay!

Bah! Who would need such strong armed tactics. No one would ever create an orphan PC whose only skills are killing and stealing.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
David Fryer wrote:
There was the Chronicles of the Shadow War trilogy written by George Lucas and Chris Claremont that functions as a sequal to Willow. I would love to see them made into movies. ** spoiler omitted **

Yikes! David changes his avatar...

Cool ideas!

Dark Archive

CourtFool wrote:
Bah! Who would need such strong armed tactics. No one would ever create an orphan PC whose only skills are killing and stealing.

Does it count as stealing if the previous owner is dead? Technically, most adventurers don't 'steal' so much as 'pillage the corpses.' I suspect that that property rights are waived by decapitation...

There is a whole lot of trespassing and home invasion to the craft, 'though.

Really, adventuring is a big ol' crime-a-palooza.

Nick Logue had to work pretty hard to make the bad-guys eviler than the 'good-guys' who were bustin' into their places, killin' their wimminfolk and stealing their kit!


Set wrote:
Really, adventuring is a big ol' crime-a-palooza.

I would be happy to take this to another thread. I am sure that sounds more like some kind of challenge than it is meant to be.

I fear, in the end, we will just agree to disagree. It seems to me, you and I (and a whole host of others on this board) have vastly different play styles.

Dark Archive

Hugo Solis wrote:

Yikes! David changes his avatar...

Yeah, I never liked the turkey. I just used it for a while because my three year old daughter wanted me to. This seemed a little more me, since it is my character patron diety.

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