The end is near

14 March, 2008 at 4:31 pm (Burning vikings, Burning Wheel, game mastering)

Some Wednesdays ago was the second-to-last session of the Burning Wheel game. It might have been possible to make it the last, but the price would have been significant. There has been some time between the game and the write-up, so details are very much not present.


There was a short summary of the recent events due to the significant break. I have a bad habit of forgetting details I don’t consider significant, but at least Thalin seems to remember them and think they are valuable. Makes one wonder…

I started generally ramping up the consequences of rolls in this session; since the end is nigh, significant rolls to any effect are unlikely to totally spoil the play for anyone and they add some tension to the rolls.

Scene 1

Mori (Thalin’s char) is in the village, hears that Leif and some others are preparing to go and rescue (more-or-less) Gilla Brunhildrsdottir from the clutches of the evil witch. His response is, as normal, to poison them. The game is approaching the end so I try to have many rolls have pretty high stakes; as in, fail the roll to poison them and you will be caught and clearly be guilty. Of course the roll was successful. (Though some fate artha was used). Leif and his best warriors are enjoying a fine diarrhea.

Mori also finds out that all the crew members are busy preparing the ambush site.

Scene 2

Halvard, Brunhildr and the five warriors are near the village. Brunhildr starts moving towards the ambush site while Halvard and the others go to the village, meeting Mori on the way. Leif’s fine plotting that resulted in sending all Halvard’s men away does not bear fruit. There is some dialogue, almost a duel between Halvard and one of Leif’s men, inspiring speech from Halvard to the (not too friendly) audience, and orders to get Thorvald’s body moving. Halvard also manages to lose Grímr’s trust by being a bit secretive about Gilla and not good enough a liar to pull it off. Halvard starts moving towards the ambush site. His men carry Thorvald’s body in hiding and use another way.

Brunhildr arrives at the ambush site and talks to the crew members. They are not very happy at her having “deserted” them to do some petty quest. I have trouble playing them properly because the hostility is due to the sword and the in-game justification is a bit too shoddy. Idea of the sword is good, but I am not sufficiently skilled at playing the effects.

Brunhildr starts moving back towards the village to find Halvard.

Scene 3

Mori seeks Nifur (the giant), finds him after some wandering, tells about what is happening everywhere, and heads back towards the village.

As it happens (damn these coincidences; credit goes to Thalin, more-or-less), Nifur happens to meet Halvard (but not his men) while Mori and Brunhildr meet elsewhere in the woods.

Mori and Brunhildr wander towards Nässla’s hut for some time. Brunhildr gets suspicious about how long it will take (she should be at the ambush site); dice are rolled. It is draw, so I let Thalin decide from two options: Either Brunhildr notices Mori has been misleading her and is within an arm’s reach but she doesn’t have time to get to the ambush site or that Brunhildr does make it to the ambush site in time but Mori was not obviously misleading her. Thalin dutifully avoids the issue as well as he can, eventually arriving at the latter decision.

Scene 4

Halvard and the giant. Halvard leads Nifur to the village first (Nifur goes and immediately checks the temporary tomb, finding it empty, which ought to be suspicious), then start moving towards the ambush site. Nifur knows what is there.

And during the next session

Our intrepid heroes shall confront a giant over the corpse of a dead hero. Or maybe they will be poisoned and die a painful death while the giant feasts. Who knows?

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