Actual Play – Children in Inventory (7/24/2010)

GM: Sean Nittner
Players: Kristin, Fattig, and Shaun
System: Burning Wheel
Setting: Empire of the Golden Dawn


Every game should start with a failed circles roll. This one started with Siti (Kristin’s assassin) meeting a contact to drop off payment. Only the contact was dead and another customer was already waiting outside. This one wanted to hire her to kill a noble, specifically Fattig’s brother. And he had payment ready in advance.

Kristin’s twitter feed:

#burningwheel I assassinate people in exchange for children for my order. I’m stuck with this currently.

It got worse.

I have a baby and an 8 year old boy and if I don’t deliver them to my order, I’ll be assassinated myself. #burningwheel

Just had a moment where I thought @TheFattig yelled at @SeanNittner’s wife “You’re an ugly mother fucker!” She’s not part of our game.


Atreus was busy in the bazaar rounding up a magical cure all, a powerful portent to ward off the sway of demons. Sadly, this luminous elixir (which actually had flecks of gold in it) cost a small fortune to procure, and the merchant selling it was a brutal negotiator. Dismayed that his funds could not possibly cover such and expense, he bumped into an old friend amongst the gladiators.

The gladiator was great. He was such a callous jerk, happy to sell anyone out for a shekel. He was a huge brute with an utterly inappropriate nickname that inevitably led to sexual innuendo, which led to sex, which led to his troubles. His woman, the whore, had taken his gifts, his money, his heart, and left him for another man. The double standard that he slept with every whore he could find seemed not to affect his mindset in the least. He wanted to find this woman that broke his heart and kill her.

Somehow, I think perhaps just to prove to this ruffian that the spirits were powerful, Onerus agreed to speak with the spirits and find his lover. A strong wind picked up a bit of paper that was burning as a sacrifice and blew it through the city streets, leading the trio to a café filled with smoke, snake charming music and a beautiful woman dancing on the stage.

As the gladiator pushed forward to claim his prize (and cut off her head) Onerus demanded that Atreus stop him and boom, the duel of wits began. This was particularly cool for me because it became a question of identity for Atretus. Did he side with his old friend, who had killed men at his side and was clearly much more “kin” than Oneris was, or did he ally with his new team? In the end the team won and the woman escaped, but Atreus broke faith with his friends. This should make raising an army of gladiators interesting indeed.

What rocked

The game was pretty intense. We only had a few NPCs (Siti and Haroun showed up at the end to cap off the game) but they all presented some tough challenges for the PCs that banged on their beliefs and instincts pretty hard. I like that.

At the end, we felt good about leaving the Blessed Isle of Osiris for another city, which is the format we wanted to go for (in a rather Dogs in the Vineyard fashion). Next stop… Taking the head off Atreus’s brother. Man, nothing tastes like fratricide in the morning!

Siti’s equipment

Riska kept messing with the 8 year old boy, which is payment. This will continue to heat up as they go to the next city.

What could have improved

My memory of the game maybe. I’m doing this one a month out so I know I’ve got some holes in it.

Pitting Siit against Atreus’s brother may not have been a good move. It means that they’ll be little conflict between the player characters about what to do with the brother. Yep, I’m an instigator; I like it when the PCs are brawling it out with each other.

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