Burning Wheel GM Apprenticeship

3 players at the table. Each player chooses one pair they like.

BW battle


Situation: The dukes are going to war and your manor is right on he border of two rival dukes on opposite sides. You must choose.


Situation: Your duke is going to war and is calling their sorcerer to their side. Your master was a trusted adviser and lived on the ducal estates but his children were raised in a religion that sees sorcery as sin. Will you answer the call?

Lady/Young Lady

Situation: The dukes are about to go to war, your castles are where these wars have historically begun and your lord is about to make a series of disastrous decisions that could get your noble house wiped from the ducal lists.


Situation: The dukes are at war and you must decide how the holy knighthoods will arrange themselves so that the church will best benefit.


Situation: Fucking dukes are feuding and your city is under siege. Gather food or make a run for it?

Bandit/Desperate Killer

Situation: The nobles are at war. The knights are busy. Time to profit.


What’s this now?

One person GM’s, other 2 players play characters. Rotate these roles as you come to satisfying chapter ends. All in the same world. Think of chapter-change-of-POV fantasy novels. Everyone should take turns GMing, playing the senior character and playing the junior character.

Rotate back, make sure everyone gets to play the tutor and the learner. Mix it up as needed. Things are going to get complicated. Lore for the world and an expansive list of NPC’s is going to get generated quickly.

The goal of this is to mix up the GMing so everyone gets a chance to GM for a small group. I would have never gotten the hang of running a game as dense as Burning Wheel if it wasn’t for the amazing players at my table helping me with rules questions. Right into my 20’s I told everyone I had no head for game systems.

If more people are going to GM, we have to set up games to help teach and mentor them to do so. It takes a table to run a game.

After some conversations about the mentoring that went into getting me to take up the GM’s seat back in the day and reflection on the people who have helped me get better at it over the years. I found myself wondering if we could structure games specifically so that the GM’s role is both modeled and handed over to our friends, hoping to de-mystify the process.



The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The Two Armies” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1530. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/d576ac40-e6d6-0132-8b89-58d385a7bbd0


3 thoughts on “Burning Wheel GM Apprenticeship

  1. So does this mean that you’re accepting mentee applications?

    In all seriousness, this is a great idea; especially because challenging Beliefs is challenging for those of us without a lot of experience doing it.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s