Burning Kingdoms

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Disclaimer: Burning Kingdoms is a style of play that revolves around antagonistic player authored territorial conquest supported by a GM free mechanical resolution system devised by Matt Weber and Jonathan White using the Burning Wheel and Burning Empires systems by Luke Crane without the consent or consultation of Luke Crane or Burning Wheel Headquarters. While it is inspired by the genius there, these rules are by no means sanctioned by BWHQ.

We have playtested the Conquest Maneuver’s successfully, have found them quite fun, and do stand by these mechanics, but advise you to use it at your own peril as GM-less play is not for everyone.

The system is specifically designed to represent the overall big picture narrative in a story of territorial conquest, whether it is a mountainside, a city block, an ocean or a whole continent.

Burning Kingdoms is intended for four or more players, but can be played one-on-one. We don’t suggest using three players, although that could make for some interesting backstabbing and double-crossing.

Structure of Play

Playing burning Kingdoms involves an organized style of play inspired by Burning Empires. The game is broken down into six segments of play: campaign, chronicle, session, maneuver, scene and conflict.


The campaign is the overall setting and time period in which the characters live and the conflicts arise. A campaign is often made up of a string of multiple Chronicles, but may also be made up of only one chronicle. A campaign can spread across multiple territories, kingdoms and even continents. A campaign ends when the conquest ends and the player's retire their character's from the world, but conceivably, a campaign can go on forever until the world is destroyed.


A Chronicle is focused on the conquest of one single territory. It is the segment of play in which a disposition is set and the last Faction standing has rulership over the territory in question and is able to move on to conquer other territories as they see fit. A chronicle takes multiple sessions to play out.


A session lasts for one day. It is the time the players meet to explore the chronicle. Depending on length of play and the number of players and Factions, a session can be made up of many maneuvers, but we suggest a four hour session to take one maneuver for 4 factions.


A maneuver is the segment of play which decide the steps taken towards Conquest using the Conquest Maneuver mechanics described later. At the beginning of each Maneuver, players decide their faction's intent, declare it privately. Then, they spend their scenes to tell the story and earn artha. A maneuver is made up of many scenes, which are the most common element of play.


A scene is a period of time in which a player holds the spotlight at the table. His agenda is the focus of play for the moment. There are four types of scenes in Burning Kingdoms, Color, Intersitial, Building and Conflict. Scene's are a limited resource and are part of the strategic mechanic of the game. They are the key to narrating the lives of the characters.


This is where the dice are rolled to resolve tests and disuptes. These scenes are where abilities come into play and the outcome of the player's intentions for their characters are decided by the scope of their abilities and the luck of the dice.

Territorial Conquest

In a game of Burning Kingdoms, each player will control a Faction Leader, a powerful or influential person at the head of a major group within the setting.

First, the participants must build the setting for the territorial dispute and the dispositions of each of the factions within. It can be as small-scale as gang-turf in a crowded city neighborhood or as large as a long mountain range stretching from sea to sea. The key is that we're painting the setting in broad strokes. The details will come during play, but the players are encouraged to think about how all the pieces fit together.

Use this Conquest Chronicle to fill out the applicable information and record your chronicle.

What territory are the factions fighting over? What's at stake here? For the example dispute, we'll choose a distant mountain and its surrounding areas.

Once the territory is chosen, each faction has to be attributed a numerical value to their disposition. These numbers represent that faction's power over the territory. Once the faction is left with no power over the territory, they can no longer make a maneuver to conquer the territory and have lost the campaign.

As you answer the following questions for each faction, tally their disposition based on the answers decided upon.

Step One: Territorial Relations

When determining the faction's presence in the territory, it is key to think about their social relation to the territory in question. Is the faction a Native power, a Secondary group, a Foreign entity or a Hostile group?

What groups are native to this terrain? Who would want to fight over it and why? How favorably would the main population react to the presence of this group in their territory? Rulership by one man or another means little to the main population, but rulership by a known flayer of flesh would not be so desirable.

Territorial Relation

Native - 3

This is a group that is considered the primary ruler of the territory. They are currently in power in all legitimate senses of the word; although their power may be false, it is they that the main population of the territory looks to for leadership.

Secondary - 2

This is a faction that may have recently risen to some power, perhaps a secondary stock or family, a rebel general or neighboring ruler who now wishes to annex the territory.

Foreign - 1

This is a group with vastly differing customs, etiquette and ways of rulership. While not openly hostile, they are considered outsiders by the main population of the territory.

Hostile - 0

This is a group considered completely hostile to the interests of the population at large. Even though this might not be the case, they are perceived as enemies.

Step Two: Civilization Complexity

The more complex a civilization, the harder it is to conquer. Rules and laws act as boundaries that keep those who do not understand them or adhere to them at bay. These rules and laws are represented by the number of lifepath settings available to each faction's stock. Simpler societies have more difficulty conquering territories with complex laws and complex societies easily overwhelm the simpler groups.

Add 2 to your Disposition for each Lifepath Setting available to members of your stock, OR add 1 to your Disposition for each Setting AND each Sub-Setting, whichever is more beneficial for your faction.

This rule encourages close societal similarities among rival factions. Lifepath stocks are key to building a faction's disposition and reflect upon the choice of setting. This step also discourages players to stray too far from the main territory's population for their faction's stock.

Step Three: Mechanical Aptitude

The ability to use tools to control your environment is key to conquering enemies. The more adept a civilization or stock is at controlling their environment, the better chances they have to defeat their enemies.

Some populations might be tool users and builders, while others might only use their natural abilities to hunt or gather for survival. This might be a philosophical difference between two societies, or a physiological difference between two races.

Advanced Tool Users - 3

These are stocks that have been using tools to shape their environment for a long time. Dwarves, famous for tinkering and organized operation of mechanical objects with moving parts are considered advanced tool users, as are Humans in a black-powder era or a human society at the forefront of civilization. These are scientifically advanced stocks where a majority of the population understands and accepts the truth of rudimentary scientific laws.

Simple Tool Users - 2

The traditional Human, Elven, Roden, and Orc stocks use simple tools with straightforward purposes. While some individuals might have advanced understanding of mechanical parts, overall, these are very rare exceptions and do not reflect the society as a whole. The majority of these populations are satisfied with relying on more traditional, mystical, or classical methods of overcoming their environment.

Primitive Tools - 1

These are the stocks that, while they have prehensile thumbs, rarely have the mental aptitude to utilize or create more than the most rudimentary of tools such as weapons, ropes, and perhaps wheels. In some cases, they are simply too powerful in other areas to need tools, relying on mystical or natural abilities to overcome environmental obstacles. Trolls, Celestials, Damonim, Undead, Dragons, Tree-men and similar monstrous stocks fit into this category.

No Tools - 0

These are stocks that do not possess opposable thumbs or use any form of objects other than their own physical body. While some may be intelligent, they are forced to use their raw physiology to overcome environmental obstacles. Great Wolves and Great Spiders fit into this category.

Step Four: Mystical Ability

In a fantasy realm, mystical abilities are often key to coloring and flavoring the world. Magic allows some groups to succeed, live, thrive and survive where they might otherwise have failed. Magic is often the tool used to overcome and control the environment. While it is often relegated to a precious few, those few can be extremely powerful if put in the right place. Even if your Faction Leader utilizes no mystical abilities, consider if their faction, somewhere in the bigger picture, might benefit from a rogue wizard or heroic adventurer using their mystical skills behind the scenes to support your faction's cause.

No Magic - 0

If your setting concept or your faction's concept doesn't include magic, feel free to skip this step entirely

Each type of mystical ability available to members of your stock - 1

Elves have Skill Songs and Spell Songs, so an Elven faction receives 2 points to their starting Disposition for this. Dwarves have Dwarven Arts that count as natural magic so they only receive 1 point to their disposition. Humans have both Faith and the Gift of Sorcery, giving them 2 points to their starting disposition. Orcs have Hatred Skills, Rituals of Blood and Rituals of Night, giving them 3.

Step Five: Population

This section describes the nature of the faction's main population. It breaks the population down into two very broad categories, Growth and Density.

Population Density relates to the way the culture is spread out. Do they live clustered together for protection, thriving over all the cultivatable land, or do they spread out for reflection and retain only a loosely organized cooperative?

Population Growth is dependant on stock and life-expectancy. For the most part, longer living creatures have smaller reproductive rates, while short-lived creatures breed more quickly. This can be translated to smaller factions. Rapidly changing societies or associations grow more quickly, while slowly developing groups grow more slowly. The advantage is given to populations that grow more quickly, because they have a better chance of overcoming their enemies with sheer mass of numbers. The larger and faster a population grows the more effective they are at overcoming obstacles.


Rural - 0

This is a loosely organized faction that meets only in the direst of events, often spending more time discussing who shall lead than doing what needs to be done. Great Wolves, peasant groups, Wild Elves and loosely knit clans often live in rural areas.

Villages - 1

These are groups that have a more strict organization. More tightly knit and geographically closer, they often come to a leader for direction and bind together more often, thus are more effective at acting as a unit in times of strife. Small estates, secret societies, Orcs and Roden usually fit into this type of population.

Cities - 2

These are populations where people are living on top of each other. Here chaos is a daily obstacle and thus order is imposed more often and more rapidly. Populations living so close to others are better at social interaction and are often forced to work together to survive. Most Dwarves, City Dwelling Humans, and Great Undernest Spiders fit into this category.


Slow - 0

These are populations that tend to live off the land, rarely increase their membership faster than they lose members. Elves, Great Wolves, small monasteries or poor villages are common examples.

Normal - 1 The majority of populations slowly increase, spreading out as needed, consuming land and resources as they go. Most Dwarves, Humans, and most generally successful societies fit into this population category.

Fast - 2 Sometimes, a population grows at an exponential rate, either breeding in vast numbers or mercilessly recruiting new members. These are rare, but orcs, popular gangs or cults and rich merchant leagues are other examples of a population with a fast growth rate.

Step Six: Political Placement

This is very specific to the Faction Leader's status within the territory. It is a measure of the Faction Leader's local reputation in regards to their control over the territory.

Currently In Power - 4

This Faction Leader currently rules the territory and is openly considered the most powerful member of the ruling group.

Highly-Placed - 3

This Faction Leader is a powerful entity in the territory, with ties to the current leadership.

Rival Faction - 2

This Faction Leader is considered a rebel, but has strong support for controlling the territory, whether military, civilian, or political.

Outcast - 1

This Faction Leader has been publicly outcast from the territory.

Foreign Entity - 0

This Faction Leader is a completely foreign entity, with little or no affiliations within the territory.

Step Seven: Factions

For the a game with three factions subtract 1 disposition from every faction. For a fourth faction, subtract 2 more disposition (3 total). For a fifth faction, subtract 3 more disposition (6 total).

For Six or more players, divide up into three two-player factions. The scene economy must be divided between the players. One player for each faction controls the building rolls, the second player controls the conflict scene for that maneuver.

Disposition Total

After deciding the faction's disposition, compare the final totals with the rest of the factions. If the numbers are too disparaging, players are urged to consider a different concept for their faction. Once every player is content, move on to character burning.

Faction Leaders

Each Faction Leader is controlled by one of the players and is the key to winning the Conquest maneuvers. When burning your Faction Leader, make sure to compare their skills to the skills required for the Conquest Maneuvers. Limiting your character too much will hurt you greatly in the Conquest Maneuvers.

This Faction Leader is built with anywhere from 5 to 10 Lifepaths depending on whatever fits the initial character concept. Your maximum exponent in any stat is 7; your maximum exponent in any skill is 6.

Faction Leaders (FL) with fewer Lifepaths are rewarded with more starting Artha, according to the table below.

10-LP Character  -  no starting artha
 9-LP Character  -  1 fate point
 8-LP Character  -  1 fate, 1 persona point
 7-LP Character  -  2 fate, 1 persona
 6-LP Character  -  3 fate, 2 persona
 5-LP character  -  3 fate, 2 persona and 1 deeds point

Mandatory Relationships

Seconds in Command

Faction Leaders are required to purchase a 10-point Second in Command relationship. Seconds in Command (2iC's for short) are fully burned up characters with two fewer Lifepaths than their faction's Leader, and a skill and stat exponent cap one lower. 2iC's can help FL's during scenes, or even make rolls in place of the FL in cases where the 2iC has a desired skill or ability and the FL does not. 2iCs can only benefit their FL if they are completely burned up. If your Faction Leader is lacking in a conflict area, the 2iC can be used to initiate conflict scenes and building scenes. In this way, you can have FL who is a master of courtly intrigue but has no combat skills, leaving the 2iC to participate in all the major martial conflicts.

Note: 2iC's can NOT help FL's with their Conquest Maneuver rolls, but they may substitute for the FL in the Conquest Maneuver test, if the 2iC has a needed Conquest skill that the FL lacks. In order to take advantage of this option, the 2iC must make either the majority (2/3) of the Building rolls for that Faction during the Maneuver, and/or initiate that Faction's Conflict scene.

Rival Relationships

FL's are also required to purchase two relationships with members of opposing factions. These can be 2iC's or other appropriate characters within the rival group. It is assumed per BW rules, that PC's already have a relationship with other PC's, thus these required relationships must be with NPC's. These relationships are likely to be inimical (-2 Resource Point cost), but it can be even more interesting if they are not.

For example, Grannir and Raddrim are two Dwarven brothers who are opposing Faction Leaders. Grannir is the mentor and teacher of his nephew Barlim, Raddrim's son. Barlim will likely be a focus of conflict between the brothers, as they both seek to win him over.


Each Faction leader gets to test one skill from the following list of open-ended Chronicle Maneuver Skills. The successes on this roll are added to their Faction’s Disposition. Starting with the player with the highest number of successes, the players may describe how their character used their influence, power and position to benefit their Faction in the Prequel to the Chronicle. Spellsongs and special racial skills can be substituted as applicable

Accounting, Administration, Artillerist, Archcraft, Architect
Bureaucracy, Brazen Horn of Despair
Counterfeiting, Cryptography
Engineer, Estate Management, Extortion 
Forgery, Fortifications
Law, Logistics, 
Mason, Munitions
Persuasion, Poisons, Poisonous Platitudes
Research, Rhetoric, Rune Casting, 
Seduction, Siege Engineer, Ship Management, Shipwright, Smuggling, Soothing Platitudes,
Stentorious Debate, Strategy  
Tactics, Theatrics, Torture 
Vile Poisoner 
War Art, War Engineer

Chronicle Objective

Once the territory is decided and the characters are burned and their Prequel’s established, with beliefs written and opposition setup, the conflict is about to erupt. Before it does, each player must declare his or her objective for the chronicle. Supremacy over the territory in question is inherent in winning the Chronicle, but each Faction may have an objective above and beyond that intent.

Perhaps they want to use this territory as a staging ground for the next conquest, or turn the occupants into slaves or fodder. Perhaps they want to change the predominant culture, ruling family or religious belief. Negotiate stakes and terms among the players until a Chronicle Objective for each faction is reached.

Maneuvering in the Chronicle

Maneuvers are macro actions that connect the conflicts among the players to the big picture. There are eleven maneuvers: Assault, Assess, Conserve, Ensnare, Fortify, Gambit, Harry, Infiltrate, Onslaught, Ploy and Sap. Each maneuver represents a different method by which your actions in the scenes affect the big picture.

At the beginning of each session, each Faction Leader should decide the direction they want to take the story for this session. How will they maneuver to accomplish these goals? Take the goals one at a time in small steps, building towards the final moments of the overall conflict in the Chronicle. How would your character go about conquering the territory in question?

Pick your Maneuvers privately, marking your faction name, the attempted maneuver and your intended target when applicable on a slip of paper. All players then fold their slips and put them in a shared envelope or box that will rest in the middle of the play space until all the scenes are played out.

Scene Economy

The scene economy is intended to provide a dramatic effect on the storyline while organizing and equalizing the playing field. With scenes as limited resources, there should be a build-up of intensity as players must choose to spend their scenes carefully in order to achieve their goals. Sacrifices must be made, deals must be bartered and conflicts must lead to another conflict. There should be the feel that there is never enough time to get everything done before the conquest ends.

Each Faction gets one color, one interstitial, and three building scenes. If the faction chose an offensive maneuver aimed at another faction, they must also direct one conflict scene at the targetted faction. The four types of scenes are described below.


These scenes are purely about roleplaying, description and narration. In a color scene, one player takes the spotlight and offers a bit of narration, roleplay or description about his character, his actions or his background. These scenes are used to flesh out the world and incorporate interesting and engaging details. No rolls may be made during color scenes.


An interstitial scene happens when two players roleplay character interaction. A conversation, a chance meeting or an aside are all interstitials. Similar to color scenes, an interstitial involves no rolling, but it focuses on interaction between two characters. Interstitials are about roleplay and are used to patch the narrative together.

Building Scenes

These scenes are used to stage actions that a player uses to set up his plans, schemes and agendas, elements necessary for larger conflicts. In a building scene, the player states what he wants and how he intends to get it. He uses his abilities to build up to a more dramatic conflict.

Unless applicable Instincts come into play, the dice should only hit the table once per Building Scene. (Remember that each faction gets up to 3 Builders per maneuver.) Extended series of rolls fall under the Conflict rules, below.

Conflict Scenes

This is where the real action takes place. These are the fights, the blow-out arguments, the huge battles. Conflict scenes center on the moments when you, the player, want something and are prepared to go to the wall for it. This is where stuff happens, using the extended conflict resolution mechanics of Fight!, Duel of Wits, Range and Cover and Battle!

Optional Rule: Many Maneuvers require you to direct a Conflict scene against the Faction you are targetting during that Maneuver. However, if your intended target initiates a Conflict scene against you first (because that Faction is attacking yours at the same time as you attack them), you are not required to have a Conflict scene during the Maneuver; the requirement is considered fulfilled by the fact that your target attacked you.

Spending Scenes

Note that not every Faction has to spend all of its scenes every Maneuver. In some cases, Conflict scenes are not required. Sometimes, a Faction Leader may only need 2 Builders. And so on.

There is no requirement to start a Maneuver with a particular type of scene, and players do not have to go in a particular order. Generally such decisions are made organically as the story plays out.

Maneuver Resolution

The maneuver ends when all the players have spent their scenes. The Maneuvers are pulled from the envelope, revealed and resolved simultaneously.

Dice should be marshaled in order and the appropriate skill Tests should be rolled all at once. Then the maneuver results should be resolved clockwise around the table starting with the player who read the declarations. A player may succeed in the scenes, and fail their intended Maneuver. Often times, a player may succeed against one opponent and be defeated by another. This is the resulting chaos of conquest and is full of consequences.


Once the maneuver has finished and the results have been resolved, the player who had the most successful dice on the Conquest Maneuver roll gets to describe how and why the character’s individual actions in the scenes resulted in the big-picture results. This is an opportunity to tie the narrative together in a cool way. Consequence Scenes are basically Color scenes to describe the resulting big-picture effects and have no further in-game mechanics.

If any faction is reduced to a disposition of zero, then that faction is out of contention for the Chronicle, as noted above. Their story is not over, however. The defeated FL may either join the side of the person who defeated him, or join another rival faction. ("The enemy of my enemy...") The defeated FL then shares the scene economy of their new faction, essentially becoming a new, more powerful 2iC.

If a defeated FL joins a side other than the one whose attack finished off his faction, then the defeated FL loses all his Resource points and his highest affiliation. The conqueror inherits the Resource dice as an equivalent amount of Cash on Hand. The conqueror may decide to immediately spend the resource dice to buy the affiliation that his defeated foe is losing, without having to roll.

  • In the event that two factions jointly wipe out a third one, then the attacker with more successes is considered the conqueror. If both attackers have equal numbers of successes, then the defeated player may decide who counts as the conqueror.

Example: The Elves and the Orcs both Assault the Dwarves while they are busy Assessing the Spiders. The Dwarves had 13 Dispo, with the Elves getting 6 successes and the Orcs getting 7, so the Orcs are considered the conquerors.


In the story created by Burning Kingdoms, maneuvers are slammed together, one right on top of the other. There's no time to think, stop or even breathe. The only way to get breathing room is to generate downtime via the Conserve, Fortify or Sap maneuvers. Success in these defensive actions allows the winning side to buy time to regroup, replenish their resources and polish their skills while their enemies are still scrambling.

In a succesful Conserve or Fortify, the winner gets one 3-month resource maintenance cycle for free per success allocated to downtime and the rest of the players are required to make resource maintenance checks. In a succesful Sap, the winner gets one 3-month resource maintenance cycle for free while the targetted loser is required to make a single resource maintenance check with an added Obstacle equal to the winner's margin of success.

Downtime can be used to get a job and recover taxed resources.

Downtime is the only time skills and stats may be practiced in the game.

Downtime can be used to recover fully from any wounds.

Wound Recovery

Each maneuver allows enough time to recover 1D worth of wound penalties.

A character who takes a 2D midi wound during a Battle or Fight, must act at -2D until the next maneuver. At the beginning of the next maneuver, that character will be at 1D if they've made a succesful Health Test. At the beginning of the following maneuver, they will be fully healed.

By earning downtime, a character can fully heal before the next maneuver.

Note: The way this rule is written right now messes with the Health rules. What does the Health roll even do? An alternative would be to keep the Health roll from the core book, and say that each Maneuver represents one month of play-time.

Independent and Versus Maneuvers

Maneuvers can be opposing or completely independent of another. With independent maneuvers, both can be won or lost. With versus maneuvers, only one side may succeed.

If a versus test is tied, and both sides agree, a tie-breaker roll may be made by testing the root stats for the skills used. Extra successes count as if they were extra successes for the maneuver skill.

Multiple Opponents

Many of the maneuvers account for multiple targets. Defensive maneuvers count as defenses against all incoming versus attacks unless otherwise specified. Offensive maneuvers are directed at one target which must be written on the initial maneuver slip at the beginning of the maneuver, unless otherwise specified.

The intricate part of the mechanics is derivative of rival play. With multiple opponents, each Faction may find they are attacked by all sides. If this does happen, it should happen organically and teach that player a lesson for making too many enemies. There has to be a lot of trust at the table, and there should be no discussion of Chronicle Maneuver tactics between players during, before or between sessions. Cooperative tactics may be discussed between characters in-game, though. How they play out in the maneuver mechanics should be separate and secretive.

Conquest Maneuvers

Each maneuver is listed with appropriate skills that can be applied to it. Chose the most appropriate skill for the action that occurred in the maneuver. War Engineer may not be rolled on an Assault if the action in the scenes involved a public debate and not a Battle!

FoRKs may only be used from other skills in the maneuver’s list. Helping dice can be, but are not required to be, given between Factions if those Faction's Leaders lent each other helping dice in a scene during the Maneuver. This rule encourages teaming up with your rivals and backstabbing them later. Enjoy it!


Special requirements

In order to Assault an enemy, you must have first successfully Assessed the opposition in a previous maneuver.


Artillerist, Bureaucracy, Extortion, Intimidation, Oratory, Rhetoric, Siege Engineer, Strategy, Tactics, Torture, Weapon Skill, War Engineer


An assault is a direct and forceful attack. Test appropriate skill plus FoRKs and any help. Whether independent or versus, net successes are subtracted directly from the targets disposition. This action requires a conflict scene is directed at the intended target.



Accounting, Aura Reading, Cryptography, Disguise, Logistics, Inconspicuous, Interrogation, Observation, Research, Rune Casting, Ship Management, Strain of Far Sight, Streetwise


Your faction devotes its assets to looking for signs of weaknesses in one of your enemies. You must declare the intended target with your maneuver. If you win the versus test, you spot your enemies actions before they come to fruition. If scripted against an independent maneuver, an Assess is an Ob 2 test.

To use a Gambit, Assault or Onslaught on a target, you must have previously successfully Assessed that target in any previous maneuver. Each target must be assessed individually. A conflict scene cannot be used when using an Assess maneuver.


Special Conditions

This is a strictly a defensive maneuver, only rolled against a versus maneuver. Do not roll Conserve against Assess, Ensnare, Fortify Harry or another Conserve.


Accounting, Administration, Animal Husbandry, Archcraft, Architect, Bastions of Hatred Architect, Cryptography, Engineer, Estate Management, Fence Building, Foraging, Fortifications, Hallmaster, Instruction, Logistics, Mason, Rhyme of the Gatherer, Round of Harvest, Shipwright


A Conserve action allows you to use the momentum of opposing forces to buy time and reorganize your forces. Successes from a Conserve subtract from all versus actions. If the successes from a conserve reduce all opposing actions to zero, the action is stopped. Extra successes can be allocated to increasing your disposition or generating downtime for your faction. A conflict scene cannot be used when using a Conserve maneuver.

Note: A disposition can never be increased beyond the highest starting disposition of all the factions (post-Prologue-roll).


Special Opposition

Like Conserve, Ensnare is a special defensive action and is only rolled against a versus maneuver. Do not roll against Conserve, Fortify or Gambit.


Bureaucracy, Cartography, Conspicuous, Counterfeiting, Cryptography, Disguise, Etiquette, Extortion, Falsehood, Forgery, Mimicry, Munitions, Poisonous Platitudes, Poisons, Seduction, Strategy, Streetwise, Tactics, Theatrics, Torture, Trapper, Vile Poisoner


Ensnare is a risky defensive attack that takes the enemy’s momentum and uses it against them by sacrificing some of your own resources. In a successful versus test, the enemy’s successes hurt their disposition and the ensnaring side must sacrifice disposition equal to the margin of success.

The intended target must be declared with the Ensnare maneuver and a conflict scene must be directed at that target. Ensnare successes against any other target only act as defensive successes and may not harm the opposing side.



Administration, Architect, Bureaucracy, Engineer, Estate Management, Fence Building, Fortifications, Hallmaster, Instruction, Links, Logistics, Munitions, Oratory, Rhetoric, Soldiering


Fortify is defensive maneuver that allows a side to strengthen their disposition by gathering materials and protecting their assets. In versus test, the fortifying side's disposition increases by margin of success. If used to defend against multiple attackers, the fortifying side must overcome all the attacker's successes and uses the smallest margin of success to increase their disposition. The fortifying side may opt to use their successes to buy downtime instead of increased disposition, at a rate of 3 months' downtime for every success spent.

In an independent test when no other side is attacking, test vs. ob 2. This is a very powerful maneuver if one side can manage to pull it off without being attacked by enemy factions.

No conflict scene.

Note: A disposition can never be increased beyond the highest starting disposition of all the factions (post-Prologue-roll).


Special Requirements

In order to make a Gambit, your side must have successfully Assessed the intended target in any previous maneuver.


Bureaucracy, Cryptography, Counterfeiting, Extortion, Firebombs, Forgery, Logistics, Munitions, Poisons, Seduction, Smuggling, Strategy, Tactics


A Gambit is a special attack in which your side risks some of its disposition to gain an advantage over the intended target. Sacrifice 3 points of your disposition when your action is announced at the end of the maneuver.

Test the appropriate gambit skill with FoRKs and help. Successes from the gambit are subtracted directly from opponent’s disposition. The true power of gambit is that it is independent of Ensnare, Fortify and Harry. When using this maneuver, describe both the assets being sacrificed and how the risk is being exploited for gain. A Gambit requires a Conflict scene against the intended target.


Special Opposition

The defense counters successes of opponents who targeted you with an Assault, Assess, Infiltrate, Onslaught or Sap and your attack dice go unnaposed against Assault, Assess, Conserve, Infilatrate, Onslaught or Sap. Fortify successes counter your Harry. Test your attack dice versus an Ensnare. Do not test your defense dice against Ensnare, Gambit or Ploy.


Accounting, Counterfeiting, Doctrine, Forgery, Law, Oratory, Rhetoric, Orienteering, Poisons, Smuggling, Tactics, Strategy, Ugly Truth, Vile Poisoner


The Harry maneuver uses an aggressive response to defend against invasive maneuvers. You harass the enemy while they are attempting to get at your assets, thus saving yourself and diverting their attention by worrying away at their forces.

When Harrying the enemy, divide dice between defending your disposition and attacking your enemy. Your defense successes reduce all versus enemy's successes and your attack margin of success reduces the disposition of all attacking enemies. A retaliatory Conflict scene against an enemy that targeted you with a conflict is optional.

Special Requirements

You must divide your Harry dice fractionally when you declare your Harry before the maneuver begins. There must be at least 2 dice in each pool.



Cryptography, Counterfeiting, Disguise, Falsehood, Forgery, Etiquette, Extortion, Foreign Languages, Inconspicuous, Interrogation, Mimicry, Orienteering, Poisons, Seduction, Smuggling, Soothing Platitudes, Stealthy, Streetwise, Poisonous Platitudes, Vile Poisons


This maneuver uses underhanded measures to get behind enemy lines, whether politically, economically or physically. Independent Infiltrations are tested against the opposition’s base circles exponent, representing the attempt to get through to their resources undetected. Whether independent or Versus, you gain an advantage to your next maneuver against that opponent equal to your margin of success.

A successful Infiltrate is required before a Ploy or Sap can be attempted on a target faction.


Special Requirement

In order to hit your enemy with an Onslaught, you must have successfully Assessed the target in a previous maneuver.


Artillerist, Siege Engineer, War Engineer, Munitions, Strategy, Tactics, Torture, Weapon Skill


Onslaught is an all-out attack using every available resource to overwhelm your opponent. Onslaught grants +3D to the appropriate skill for the test. Successes are deducted from the target's disposition.

If an Onslaught fails to completely deplete the targets disposition, the side performing the onslaught hesitates for the next maneuver and cannot act or defend their disposition, although the player may participate in scene's and conflicts.


Special Requirement

To perform a ploy, your side must have successfully Infiltrated one of the two target factions in a previous Maneuver. You must expend 3 of your own Disposition points in order to activate it.


Counterfeiting, Cryptography, Etiquette, Falsehood, Forgery, Heraldry, Intimidation, Persuasion, Poisonous Platitudes, Oratory, Rhetoric, Seduction, Soothing Platitudes, Tactics, Theatrics, Ugly Truth


A ploy is a two-sided attack which spreads your assets thin in an attempt to pit two of your opponents against each other. When you declare your Ploy you chose two opponents. To damage them, you must overcome their roll for the Maneuver if the Ploy was scripted against a versus action. An Independent Ploy must overcome the opponent's Exponent for their chosen skill for that Maneuver in order to damage that opponent. Any target you beat loses a number of disposition points equal to your margin of success.

However, Ploy is a risky Maneuver. If the Ployer fails to generate enough successes to damage either of the targets, then the Ployer's faction cannot act in the next Maneuver, although the FL and 2iC may still participate in scenes.



Accounting, Administration, Brass Trumpet, Brazen Horn of Despair, Counterfeiting, Extortion, Firebombs, Firebuilding, Munitions, Poison, Siege Engineer, Strategy, Tactics, Torture, Tree Cutting/Pulling, Vile Poisoner, War Art


A Sap is a strategic maneuver in which you attempt to immobilize and incapacitate an opponent by sapping their assets. The margin of success is subtracted from the target’s next maneuver.

An Independent Sap is tested against the target’s skill exponent for that maneuver.

At the end of the next maneuver, if the target doesn't have an applicable skill exponent higher than the number of Sapped dice, they may not roll for that maneuver. (Don't count FoRKs or Help Dice). If you succeed in reducing their skill below 0, they take additional damage to their disposition equal to your extra successes. In addition, when you have successfully Sapped an opponent, you get one increment of Downtime and they are forced to make a Resources Maintenance Test.

Example: An Orcish Faction Leader targets his Elvish rivals with a Sap, ordering his minions to pull down their beloved trees. The Elf leader, meanwhile, had scripted an Assess against a third faction, the Dwarves, using her Logistics skill of B6. Assess and Sap are independent, so the Orc's Obstacle is a 6. If he gets 8 successes, the Elf faction is not only unable to roll in the next Maneuver, they take 2 damage as well.


Independent and Versus Maneuver Matrix
MANEUVER Assault Assess Conserve Ensnare Fortify Gambit Harry Infiltrate Onslaught Ploy Sap
Assault I I V V V I V I I V I
Assess I V I V I I V V I V I
Conserve V I I I I V I V V V V
Ensnare V V I V I I V V V V V
Fortify V I I I I I V V V I V
Gambit I I V I I V I V I V I
Harry dV dV I aV aV I V dV dV I dV
Infiltrate I V V V V V V I I I I
Onslaught I I V V V I V I I I I
Ploy V V V V I V I I I V V
Sap I I V V V I V I I V I