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Burning Empires
 
$45.00 $20.00
Average Rating:4.6 / 5
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Burning Empires
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Burning Empires
Publisher: Burning Wheel
by Abel V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/29/2009 15:21:50

The scan has some odd glitches if you try to read it with Foxit instead of Acrobat. On the table of contents page, a background image warps the text in front of it. Still, these aren't enough for me to take a star away.

An excellent game, filling a particular gaming niche. This is definitely a "hard" scifi, very detailed setting, which includes a very long history, several races of humanity and aliens, and a tremendous diversity of political, religious, and social institutions. No space opera here. The details and important in-game history are communicated mostly through descriptions of the traits, skills, and the alien races that are big players in the setting, which is a great writing move that gets the exposition done without the typical opening essay in most games.

The best comparison I can make is to Traveller; there are modules for world creation, character creation, creating new technology, and new forms of alien life. Each of these are games unto themselves, involving many choices taken in sequence, with strategic considerations at every step.

This is the game for you, if you want storytelling on an epic scale, where player characters are actors using resources and connections to struggle over "big picture" concerns that span weeks and months of time, and involve large groups of people: economic warfare, legal and political maneuvers, elections and high offices, criminal underworlds, and yes, huge fleets of ships bombarding enemy capital ships, firing missiles and scorching their hulls with bolts of energy.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Burning Empires
Publisher: Burning Wheel
by William H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/05/2008 18:45:22

Very pretty, very well written. The engine, however, is a major paradigm shift away from normal RPG's, and the book is not a good introduction to the Burning Wheel system. On the other hand, it does do what it sets out to do: evoke a setting by use of rules without having to use lots of exposition about the setting. The setting itself is based on the Iron Empires comics, which I have not read, but boils down to this: The remnants of a larger empire are collected into a group of smaller noblity-dominated empires, and are being invaded by a Go'uld-like alien race, but one operating by stealth rather than worship, and having the same technology base as the humans. The minimal setting exposition is wonderful, and rather than detail the universe, it encourages players to build their setting, and then their characters, and then the story arc. This game is not suitable for novice GM's, and while novice players may have no problem, it can take a good bit of digging through the Burning Wheel Wiki to grasp some concepts which are not covered in the rules. Also, the style of play expected includes a very strong meta-game/out-of-character element, including negotiating what kinds of scenes to play.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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