The Burning Wheel

The Burning Wheel is known for highly detailed character creation, unpredictable combat, and an emphasis on character-driven narrative. In many ways this game is unique. It is not for beginners, and although more advanced elements can be introduced slowly, The Burning Wheel requires a careful read.

Although there is no default setting for The Burning Wheel, it was inspired by the works of Ursula K. Le Guin, Stephen R. Donaldson, and JRR Tolkien, as well as the medieval history of Barbara Tuchman and Desmond Seward. The game is well suited to gritty, highly-detailed, low-powered campaign play in a game world of your own creation.

Here’s how the publisher describes The Burning Wheel:

Burning Wheel is an award-winning fantasy roleplaying game in which players take on the roles of vibrant, dynamic characters whose very beliefs propel the story forward. Starting with a simple D6 dice pool mechanic, this game intuitively builds on its core concepts. The rules detail dramatic systems for task resolution, advancement, trials of belief, tests of nerve, searing social conflict, dangerous sorcery, miraculous faith, and brutal, gut-wrenching martial combat.

Three Things About Burning Wheel

  • Beliefs: Character advancement is tied to character beliefs. When a character is faced with difficult decisions and acts in accordance with their beliefs, they become more capable.
  • Combat: In addition to being quite deadly, the combat mechanics attempt to simulate the randomness and unpredictability of a fight by forcing characters to choose a series of moves, then comparing them against opponents’ moves.
  • Magic: Spell-casters don’t automatically succeed, and failure can be extremely dangerous to a caster and those nearby.

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Reviews

  • “Burning Wheel is one of those games I’ve played just enough to fall in love with, but not nearly enough to be sick of. Or even remotely satisfied.”Hilary McNaughton, Shut Up & Sit Down
  • “There are some parts of the game that I’m not a particular fan of (character creation, you giant pain in the ass you), but the things that Burning Wheel sets out to do it does so well that I’m in awe of it.”SpydersWebbing, RPG.net

Buy It

  • Download free Quick Start materials from Burning Wheel HQ
  • Buy the Burning Wheel Gold book from Burning Wheel HQ
  • Buy the Burning Wheel Gold book from Amazon

Community

See Burning Wheel in Action