Redux: Witchburner

Originally posted on Google+ in October of 2018:

I don’t recall how exactly I came across this — I think while googling Burning Wheel stuff, honestly — but I have been swept up in it. A village suffering under ill omens enlists witch-hunters to root out who among them is practicing the dark arts; it’s a simple premise, but the book sells it hard and sells it well.

You’ve got bios, agendas, relationships, and facts about 30 key members of the community, including their loyalties, their religions and politics, and their dreams. In fact there’s appendices of local gods and neighboring areas, and they’ve got just enough detail to really embellish what the townfolk feel.

You’ve got a 30 day calendar of events, weather, spooky happenings, and its all divided up into four watches so you can track where your PCs go, what they do, and when.

There’s simple, quick rules for: what happens when you doggedly pursue answers and it costs you sleep, when you mingle with the townfolk and drink with them, how you can convince the powers that be that someone is a witch, just how bad it is if you piss folks off and get an angry mob on your ass.

Most of this stuff is mechanics-less or system agnostic, and frankly I’m dreaming about how easy it would be to use this as a Burning Wheel scenario. At the same time, I think I’d love to grab World of Dungeons or Black Hack and throw some PCs into this powderkeg and see how that goes… I’m always here for complex social dynamics in my D&D.

This thing feels very, very Broadchurch: here’s a town, here’s her people, you’re going to break everything before the truth comes out. I love it.

This link actually leads to the free preview of the final product — which I immediately bought after flipping through the preview. It’s just so well put together.

Witchburner, from WizardThiefFighter

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