RPG.net review of BWC by Seanchai
From Burning Wiki
This is a review of the first edition of Burning Wheel - Classic.
There are lots of good things to be said for Burning Wheel. The first thing that struck me was how well edited the game was. The layout is clean, the writing is clear, the illustrations tasty. In other words, for a game that boils down essentially to a system, it’s eminently readable. There are a couple of instances where I had to re-read a passage to make sure I’d figured it out correctly, but that was the exception rather then the rule. A good number of so-called pro publishers could do worse than study these two books and take a few lessons in writing, layout and editing. The added bonus for the most self-conscious amongst us is that they do not look like rpg books. You can safely read them in the public transports!
It’s difficult to do the game justice and describe its contents at the same time, but there are lots of nifty mechanics in there that I felt deserved mention:
- A failed Steel roll will sometimes make you run away or freeze up if the opponent is fearsome or once you’ve been wounded. None of that ‘we’re heroes, we never run’ malarky !
- Artha is a karmic reward that allows you to influence crucial rolls or have longer lasting effect on your character.
- Instincts and beliefs not only allow you to flesh out your character but have concrete in game effects in a way both clever and easy to grasp.
- There's a manoeuvre in combat called Moving Inside, which allows you to go inside the range of a long melee weapon. The spear wielder, provided he didn't anticipate you, is then well and truly buggered while you gut him with your daggers. Burning Wheel is the only game I have read to do the dagger justice.