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The Burning Wheel Fantasy Roleplaying System Gold Edition
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The Burning Wheel Fantasy Roleplaying System Gold Edition

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  228 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Hardcover, 600 pages
Published August 2011 (first published January 1st 2011)
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Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
An intriguing game that I would love to one day sit down and play, but will probably never get the chance. This is a heavy game - not mechanics-wise, but roleplaying-wise. The system is based on creating characters with dense backstories and following a journey that is more about personal development than accumulation of wealth and prestige. The basic mechanics are slightly complex, but nothing that a new player couldn't get their head around. The Character Burner and Lifepaths section are where ...more
Chad Steines
Jul 04, 2012 rated it liked it
This could end up being one of my all-time favorite games, if I could convince anybody else to get through the clunky and over-complicated mechanics of the system. The book itself is pretty poorly organized and full of "you will see this later" without saying WHERE later. It was VERY hard to muddle through and even harder to explain to my players.

Could be an awesome game once it gets going, but it takes an awful lot of willpower and hard-headedness to reach that point.
Shannon Appelcline
Nov 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rpgs
I found the Burning Wheel game intriguing from the first time I read about it. In part that was because of the deep, skill-driven roleplaying system, which reminded me of favorites like RuneQuest. However, what really won be over was its BITs system of beliefs, instincts, and traits, which could give the game emotional weight in a way that most classic games can't.

This new edition has all of these strengths, but it nicely combines together what were previously books 1 & 2, and which are
If you've played Lady Blackbird or Mouseguard, this is the original system it's based on. Like Warhammer Fantasy Role-play, it has a Renaissance Europe feel and has lifepaths in place of careers. Unlike Warhammer Fantasy, character creation can take hours upon hours, and each player really needs their own book. The advancement system, although revolutionary, is tedious at times and because of the paragraph/prose writing style finding rules can be extremely difficult. The downloadable GM screen ...more
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Burning Wheel is a fantastic system of rules for any fantasy rpg. It's only downfall is it's apparent complexity: The game can be broken down so that most of the rules can be picked up and learned over time, but I doubt that any but the most steadfast groups will ever implement them all. Nevertheless, the Burning Wheel is a worthy addition to any gaming library.
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, gaming
If I can talk people into it, I think this will be my go-to RPG system.

Because characters are defined/designed in terms of what they believe and what their lives have been like to date (rather than by some more formal notion of character class), and because character advancement is tied only to the things you do and specify during play (as opposed to being determined based on your character class), play is less reliant of physical conflicts: You can reasonably play a baker in a kingdom-wide
John Walker
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rpg
The layout for finding stuff isn't great. But the content is awsesome. Good solid system if you love role playing. Pleases both the role-player and the roll-player. Enough mechanics yo make a good political campaign and allow non-silvertongued players to debate with the best of them if their character has the skill.

Deep role-playing oriented drama where you can select the level of crunch you want for a particular encounter depending on importance.

The only thing is, I am a high fantasy oriented
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a review of the text of Burning Wheel, not of the game in play. I have only read the text (twice), not played the game.

The Gold Edition of Luke Crane’s Burning Wheel is no quick read. My copy is nearly 600 pages long, and there is not much filler in the text. Thankfully, it is a well-written text, with a conversational tone that values clear meaning over cleverness. It is also a well-organized text that presents the concepts of the game in a logical and helpful order, each thing building
NB: I picked up "the hub and the spokes" for free from the Burning Wheel website, I will pick up a physical copy of the book to add to my stack of esoteric storygames at some point in the near future.

Where to start? Burning Wheel has a reputation for being complex and pretentious. That could be the entire review. Because it IS complex and pretentious. Like, hella complex and pretentious. Burning Wheel is basically the post-structuralism of tabletop gaming.

Where to start?

Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of a rare breed of (tabletop) role playing game (RPG) rule books that is an interesting read even if you don't plan to play the game. Like many games, Burning Wheel has gone through several editions and this "Gold" version is a masterpiece of game design.

I'm not saying that the game isn't worth playing. This is a rules-intensive system, but not hard to understand. The mechanics are so central to the play that the rules don't get out of the way of play - they are the way you play. In
Aj Comeau
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: roleplaying
It's a work of art. Beautiful, elegant, well-crafted, and you shouldn't ever touch it. Don't get me wrong, I loved reading the dang thing, and its potential is off the scale, I just know for a fact that if I ever run it, there will be no combat (the combat rules are the one chapter I couldn't finish), and I'll never use the Duel of Wits (social combat, run like real combat, see above). That leaves a fantasy game where characters talk and have feelings and jobs and that shapes the world. Do I ...more
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My favorite roleplaying game of all time. Even though I've only played it twice. The rules are smooth and conducive to deep character based paly. Also much more than D&D this manages to capture the feel of epic fantasy. Especially how the different non human characters are shown and treated. That is not to say that the system wouldn't work when playing in low fantasy settings (it's very good at those too) just that it truly shines when used to create character based epics.
Michael Boykin
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
As a roleplaying system? Phenomenal, and certainly a new favorite. It's also delightfully written throughout, with little winks and nods that make every chart and table worth scanning over.

But, as a reference book, this is not the best tool. In play, I know I'll be relying on unofficial cheat sheets to quickly refer to moves and rules. I wish the index and appendices were just a little more thorough.

But otherwise, I am actually mad I haven't found this system much earlier. Publishing
It's odd! Burning Wheel deserves a lot of credit for reinventing my homebrew RPG campaign, but it is at a remove. It is the stripped down rules in Mouse Guard that won me over, & Torchbearer is a little more my speed than Burning Wheel proper, I think. Which isn't a judgement but a matter of personal taste: I just fall more on Narrative over Game, on Fluff over Crunch. -MK
Mark Austin
Sep 05, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is at the apex of my list of games that are fantastic and interesting reads that I have no desire to ever run. It introduced to me or expanded my concept of progression being tied to skills rather than to levels, of needing successes and failures to advance, the idea of "let it ride" removing redundant "I try again" rolls that kill drama, a completely different stance to play in (I'm an actor with an interesting, complicated, and conflicted character vs I'm the hero who wins), and also ...more
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A phenomenal RPG system, although one suited for a VERY specific type of game and roleplayer. Delightful to read, even if you never table it.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The greatest roleplaying game ever.
Juho Pohjalainen
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If I want to actually play through a story, craft a real narrative with my fellow players instead of just having fun with deadly dungeons and hexcrawls, I turn to Burning Wheel.
Edward Johnson
Jun 19, 2012 rated it liked it
An interesting game system, one that I will keep. I appreciate the detail every character gets and the depth that apparently can be achieved during the course of gaming. It is a workable system that offers much to both player and GM. However, that having been said, I cannot actually say when (or if) I will play this.

From a GMing point of view, the system can offer unprecedented control over much in the game (which is as it should be in a fantasy rpg). The one thing that turns me off from the
Oct 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
A solid update of the Burning Wheel system. Fills in a lot of the holes in the earlier edition, such as explicitly dealing with combats involving more than two people. I very much want to get in more than just a one-shot game of this some time.

EDIT: I just have to add that the author's refusal to make PDFs of the game available is a major reason why I haven't been able to get it to the table. It makes me sad.
Mar 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: rpg, fantasy
This roleplaying system has an old school feel to it. I really like the character building system, which has you choose life paths that determine your skills and traits. Also, the old school RPG art is really appealing. On the downside, the combat system is a bit complex, which isn't helped by the way information is organised in the book. I'll be happy to play this if someone else is running the game, but I wouldn't want to be the GM that has to explain this to new players.
Caleb M. M.
Aug 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best role-playing game books I've ever read. Tore through it mostly in one week.
Nick Fowler
rated it it was amazing
Mar 18, 2015
Michael Evans
rated it it was amazing
Sep 15, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Jul 24, 2019
rated it liked it
May 18, 2017
rated it really liked it
Jun 15, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Mar 09, 2016
Victoria Scott
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Dec 02, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Dec 16, 2014
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