Friday, November 03, 2006

Talkin' bout a Revolution (Part Two)

What thing revolve? Wheels. What things make my brain revolve? Burning Wheels!

I picked up Burning Empires last night and oh, is it a thing of beauty. £26 of pure gaming BLING! It's like a roleplaying version of the Gideon bible. Hard backed, novel sized and arted (so no worries about reading this bad boy in public!) 650+ pages of crisp, glossy, colour game with copious, relevant artwork. And with all these embelishments, it's still a fully functional and very well produced game.

What it does is take the Burning Wheel mechanic and graft.... no, graft is the wrong work - merge it with a very distinct setting. The human galaxy is being invaded by these little worm things called the Vaylen (very Mr Mind for the comics literate of you) who control bodies and subvert wills. Your characters for the central protaganists in the resistance against the almost unstoppable march of the Worm. Oh theres a whole lot more to it than that, but thats the central plot.

However, it is the realisation of the plot that makes this so sweet. As a group you 'burn' the world that the invasion takes place on - developing the exact physical, social and governmental structure that will fire your play. Your characters are all very experienced, central figures - 7-8 lifepaths (normal BW uses 4-5). The campaign structure is built around the progression of the Invasion - moving from infiltration of the populace to the usurption of the decision makers and then the military invasion. As a campaign it looks awesome. Reading the first couple of chapters just fills you with ideas and when you're done with the Worm-thing, I reckon the system and what it creates could well be used to model any number of plucky rebellions against the evil Empire of Doom campaigns.

It is a beautiful thing indeed. The sad thing is that with our teeth firmly into the Great Pendragon Campaign (Battle of Lindsey coming soon!) the chances of me ever getting to run this monster under our current structure is low. I'd either have to set up a second RP night (not likely considering the time constraints of this one) or find a new group of players to try it out on (and thats a hit and miss affair at best.)

One for the future maybe?


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