Actual Play – That is “Sir” Blue Blood (5/9/2012)

GM: Shaun Hayworth
Players: Sean Nittner, Kristin Hayworth, Justin Dhiel, and Noam Rosen
System: Burning Wheel
Setting: Burning Theorsa

Action – Reflection – Response

Yay! First off, very fun game. In response to my previous game write up, we started this game having some discussion of intent and expectations. I mentioned the ideas that I had namely that I want everyone to play bold, getting into danger characters, and that I want us to shine the spotlight on our characters with a sympathetic eye.  Just like heroes of stories, the lens that we view our characters through makes all the difference.

Shaun pointed out that all characters in Burning Wheel are like Walter White. They are melodramatic, and it is their successes (and failures) that drive the story forward, not an external plot.

Noam also established some expectations for his character, namely that he wants the payoff of a showdown with Baldric or Moya (or both) to be something he builds up to. My hope is we can have many “minor” squables along the way.

Recording

Wow, everything on the internet is forever. Our games are now streamed on youtube. Sadly my video decided to die when we started this. We actually had lots of technical difficulties. It’s sad because I get pretty crazy eyed and emotive during play, especially tonight. Hopefully you’ll be able to see my pretty mug in the future.

To see this game (and others) hit up Shaun’s youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/shayworth

The play is the thing

Well, you just watched two hours of us playing, right? So no point in detailing it here. HA!

Duel of Wits!

We started off (once we got started) with Baldric meeting Moya on the battlefield as she joined him to parley with the King’s men. And I opened it up with a fight “Why have you abandoned your post on the hill?” A gnarly accusation if there ever was one. Sure enough Baldric and Moya were fighting over who was in command. Baldric wanted Moya to not only recognize his command, but also support it. Moya wanted a non-drunk to lead the army.  Baldric had some point, that morale would suffer if she took over, but mostly this was pride talking. Moya was cool and logical. She was loyal to the duke, not to Baldric. If Baldric got in the way of her serving him, she was going to remove the obstacle.

Moya’s statement of purpose: Baldric isn’t fit to lead. I’m taking charge of the army.

Baldrics statement of purpose: Moya will not only follow my orders, but she’ll enforce them to the troops as well.

Result: 0/0 We both went for the jugular. Moya scripted Incite, Point, Dismiss. Baldric did Point, Rebuttal (missed due to incite), Point.

Compromise: Baldric stays in command, for now. The moment he takes another drink, he’s OUT!

Dude, dude. I can’t wait for the will test I’m going to impose on myself after the battle. Of course he’ll want to drink. Can he resist though? Can he resist at +1 ob because of his hang over. What if he’s wounded and has dice penalties?

Parley

Moya held up her end of the bargain. She rode back up the hill and even sent Ayernand down to treat with Baldric. She even did it with vigor. “Ayernand, take my horse and get your ass down there.”

Baldric, as representative of Duke Roderick and Ayernand, as representative of  Redvale rode down to treat with Sir Adalon Toryn, cousin of king Kentigern.  Kentigern’s kin offered us terms of surrender. He was a reasonable guy actually, and Baldric found himself really wondering how the usurper king had all these honorable people (Sgt Telgarn, house Toryn) who flew his banners. It’s something worth further investigation in the form of a future belief about the king. For now though, he gave us a chance to surrender. Their numbers were overwhelming and redvale was hardly defensible. If we bent our knee to the king, no blood had to be shed.

Ayernand spoke. Though the village would be saved lives, he personally would never bend a knee to the Silver King. And Baldric pretty much echoed that. He warned the knight that his army was on the other side of a choke point and that fiery death would rain down upon them if they tried to cross.  He offered to duel the opposing lord, but as his reputation had not spread to house Toryn, the elder knight saw this only as a boastful jest. He did not think it fitting for noble blood to be spilled over such an inconsequential battle.

Ayernand tried to goad him. If he would not accept a duel with Baldric, at least he would meet him in the field of battle. A reasonable request, but offered as an insult to his bravery (Sir Blueblood), this only served to incite the knight to launch his attack early.  “Archers! Fire!” Woot, beginners luck intimidate.

To Battle

So, some pretty awesome things happened.

First off, Moya and Afon tried to get their people under cover. She got most of them moving, but in doing so, was the last to seek cover and suffered glancing blows from arrows lobbed up on the hill. Woot, beginners luck command.

After the first volley of arrows, Toryn sent his foot to charge across the bridge. Everyone knew it was the major obstacle. If he could rush across , he could take the field and wreck us. This is where everything hinged. Baldric needed to use the bridge as a choke point to hold off the bulk of his forces so that Moya could split them apart with her rain of fire. Woot, beginners luck strategy. Wait, no. This was a roll that REALLY mattered. I mean, Aldon’s intent here was that they crushed our line and moved across the bridge, foiling all our plans. Thanks to 3 Persona, several helping dice, AND Aura of Determination, Baldric pushed forward with his foot behind him and met the kings men in battle, holding the bulk of their forces (at least for now) on the opposite side of the bridge. Woot!

This was Moya’s cue. She was one casting away from being able to do her second read of “Rain of Fire”, but that still meant her Ob was 6. 7 because of the superficial wound! The last of the persona spent, FORKing and casting carefully, she pulled it off. B9 traumatic wounds all around. The horribly brutal thing is that most of these soldiers probably had a B10 Mortal wound. Which means that most of them probably didn’t die from the spell, but instead were horribly, horribly, burned, and would die very painful deaths very soon, but probably not soon enough.

Afon, perched on the hill, made the final act of the game. Looking at the wreckage below he saw something moving in the water. Huge lumbering forms hiding in the river. “TROLLS!”

Epilogue

We were still in the middle of the action. Ayernand had not yet really reacted to seeing the devastation of Moya’s spell, Moya and Afon were going to ride down to fight the trolls and Baldric had spotted Sir Toryn (and vice versa) and the two charged at each other.  So, basically, as Shaun she, “Normally I’d award arta here, but we’re still in the thick of the shit!”

Thoughts on this game

I was really happy that we both talked about what we wanted before game and in game, we went to the dice, allowing each side to state their intent.

Looking forward to Fight! next game. But damn, Trolls! Oh, and the cavalry are coming. Shaun is playing hardball. Hell yeah!