On November 1st 2002, I published Burning Wheel as what is now known as its “Classic” form. It contained many good ideas, but was rough around the edges. After two years in print — and a vigorous critical and fan response — we pulled Burning Wheel Classic and transformed it into Burning Wheel Revised. The revised edition was published on May 5th, 2005. It was a leaner and meaner game, containing less cruft but more power. It served us well for six good years.
It is time now to introduce you to the definitive incarnation of Burning Wheel, the Gold Edition. Burning Wheel Gold is contained in a single 600-page, hard cover volume. While it is the same game as BWC and BWR, Gold is also much more: It has been reedited and reconfigured to reflect nearly a decade of intensive playtesting. Every loose rule has been tightened down. Every missing piece has been carefully added. This is the game that we play at Burning Wheel Headquarters. We are the most proud of this book; it is the culmination of a lot of hard work and even harder play.
Here’s what you can expect from Burning Wheel Gold: The entire text has been reedited for clarity; skill obstacles have been included for every skill; all traits and skills have been compiled into one list; all lifepaths list their requirements; Duel of Wits and Range and Cover have been clarified; Fight positioning has been simplified; and each Fight action has been explained; Sorcery was tweaked to make it simpler and less loonie; low obstacle Faith tests have been added; the Mounted Combat rules have been reimagined (and made useful). Those are just the changes from the top of mind. There are more!
We’ve decided to do something different for the preview for this edition. Rather than offer a few sample chapter, we’re offering the first 74 pages of the book — the Hub and the Spokes. This is, essentially, a completely playable game. Included in the preview are the Gold versions of the Sword characters so you can get started playing immediately. You can download that zip file here.
Let me try to anticipate some of your questions:
Is the game backwards compatible with Revised? No. And trust me, once you see the game, you’ll understand why—you simply won’t want to go back. The book is so much easier to navigate and reference, there’s no point in looking back.
Is the game compatible with the supplements? Mostly. Elements of the supplements that directly reference weapons, spells and Fight will prove problematic.
Will I be releasing a change log or update doc for the supplements? Probably not!
Will I release Gold versions of the supplements? Maybe.
To hear a more extensive explanation of Burning Wheel Gold, download the latest episode of the Jennisodes. Jenn asks a number of questions about BWG before mistakenly asking me about Greg Stafford’s Pendragon.
Thanks for your interest. I sincerely hope you enjoy our latest offering!
Preorders will be available in the beginning of July. We’ll also offer a limited edition t-shirt and laminated sheets for Fight, Duel of Wits and Range and Cover. The book will be available in stores in August.