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Discuss: The Paladin's Secret- PbFG (The Burning Wheel)


Welcome to the Index and Discussion of ‘The Paladin’s Secret’!

If you are here for the first time: Welcome! If you have any questions or would like to comment on something which is going on in the game, here is the place to do it as we are trying to keep the main thread just the story and relevant mechanic posts.

If you have been here before, well… this is the new introduction! Below is an index in chronological order and I will try to keep it as up to date as possible. I will also try and link important rules information in this post as well.

Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy yourself!

Important Information
Maps: The Paladin’s Secret - A Play By Forum game of The Burning Wheel
The Paladin’s Secret - A Play By Forum game of The Burning Wheel
Post with lots of goodies…

List of current players:

The Paladin’s Secret - Act 1:
Welcome to the Night Isles
Disembarking the ‘Hopeful’
A Cool greeting at the Caravan
The Exile and the Silent Forest
Leaving the Silent Forest
First Visit to Ur-zitz
A Battle of Wits
End of Day 1 in Ur-zitz
Acquiring the Salt…


My (real life) burning wheel game came to an end last night, and without getting into a long story that’s probably quite dull for people who weren’t involved in it, it has completely energised me!

Real life is out - the reason our game came to a close is because two of the four players are moving away next year and the other two are joining the formula one circus and will spend so much time travelling that we just won’t get the time to play anymore.

So play by forum is it for me for now - and as much as I’m loving Pendragon, and hopefully you are too, I don’t get the writing itch scratched - I can come up with subplots and mini adventures all day long, but I enjoy more than anything writing campaigns, and it just so happens, I’ve got one ready!

What I plan to do is allocate time to each main game - this one and Pendragon - I’ll start with alternating days and on that games day, I will give it close attention, have the books out etc - while the other game I’ll answer questions I know and light attention, but nothing too in depth, unless there are special circumstances or a crisis.

I’ve actually run a full month this way already to check that it works out OK - simply because after my mini grand prix travelling adventure, I was so behind I had to work intensively to catch up and I found that a day on and a day off was working well for me - I had a day where I could glance at the site and do the minimum, then a day where I was into the game while I pared back on my rendering and editing schedule - I feel this is sustainable without risking burnout and the game is getting plenty of play, so I’m confident when work returns to normal, I can run two games this way.

So what’s the game I’ve got planned?

There are some details to be confirmed, but the bulk of it is ready - It’s a game about a great hero, your employer, Conchubhar the Paladin (pronounced Con-coo-Var - with the c of coo being silent - Con-oo-var). He’s roamed the world and saved countess innocents, earned immortality from the gods, become an icon of the free world and celebrated everywhere he goes. He agreed to travel to The Night Isle, a place of myth and mystery, known only to the Elven Corsairs and the Orcish traders as a half way point between the human and dwarven lands and their own lands far across the sea.

The Orcs, who own it have sold the Southern part of the Island to King Bastian of Mankind, and the good king intends to settle the lands. The early waves of settlers have already crossed, and reports are positive, the lands are plentiful, life is - as far as it can be on the frontier - good!

The Hero, Conchubhar is to cross over and live there, he is to aid the settlers, keep them safe - as their numbers swell, they will attract the attention of dangers.

There is another, true reason the King is sending the Hero away. In his last adventure, to save the King’s son, Prince Kasper, the Hero fought a fell enemy, and was cursed in defeat. The monster had no intention of keeping the Prince, he was just the bait. The true intention was to lay the curse on the hero, and with his demise into ruin, so the humans would squabble and loose the strength of their unity.

Only you and the King know the truth, and you must keep it that way.

You are to cross with Conchubhar, settle him into the Fortress that has been build for him in a secluded spot, well away from prying eyes and do everything in your power to do deeds in his name, all while keeping his secret - that the Paladin has lost his mind, and can barely get himself out of his bed.

What deeds you choose to do - that really depends on who you turn out to be - and in character creation you literally generate your work history, so maybe you are the paladin’s baker. Maybe his apprentice. Maybe your deeds will be to keep the settlers safe with your sword in the wilderness, or maybe with your words in the council chamber. Maybe you will delve into ancient ruins and discover the secrets of the island, maybe mapping the coasts for the next villagers to settle. Or far more likely, a little of all of the above.

Elven Corsairs?

This world is not quite a Tolkein high fantasy. You know the Elves to be a dangerous and unpredictable people. They build the finest ships and the best weapons, and they do not use their advantages to keep the peace - they raid coasts and retreat to their hideaways. Legends proliferate of hidden pirate treasures, wealth beyond imagination buried and forgotten to all but those who hold the map to find them.

Yet Elves have a secret, their lives are blighted by grief, sorrow and sadness, against which every elf will one day lose their battle with. They live ageless lives, and can appear disconnected from the world and one day, they will all give up hope for good.

Orcs meanwhile are great merchants and traders. Once they did war endlessly with the elves, far away from human lands on their own continent but that was in the depths of history. It was Orcs who first crossed the Great Ocean, found the human tribes and traded with them. It is Orcs alone whose ships can withstand the corsairs and it is Orcs who founded the great trading cities along the known coasts of the lands.

Orcs too hold a great secret, a darkness in their hearts. There are very few elderly orcs, and they never reveal as to why, despite their mostly peaceful lives.

Dwarfs and Humans are as one people, where you find men, you also find their cousins the dwarfs. At least, that’s what everyone thinks. The truth is that men and dwarfs are as different inside as chalk and cheese. Dwarfs have a seed that grows into a greed, an avarice that means if they don’t get what they desire, they can cut a bloody swath through the land, while humans have seemingly mastered their minds through faith and can perform miracles.

Interested? All you need to do right now is choose a concept - Conchuvhar recruited his household from everyone, everywhere, from every creed and from every level of society.

Example: (I’m The Paladin’s shoe-shine, an ex-elven corsair who now finds happiness in this simple service):

Then tell me, if you are a dwarf, were you born into one of the great city clans who vie with each other, a guild perhaps, into the family of an artificer, or into nobility

Perhaps you are an elf, if so tell me, were you born on the high seas on one of the great ships, in a corsair citadel on a wild island far from anywhere. Perhaps you were born into leadership, a Pirate Prince, or maybe you were one of the wild elves who live on the land, on the forests.

If you are a man, perhaps you were born into a peasant family, or were you a villager - or a city dweller in your childhood. Perhaps you were a noble’s child, a slave from before they were freed by Conchubhar

For your first character, no orcs, they are special!


Merlin, it sounds like you might be hinting that events in the GPC are already shaped or something?

I’m game.


Frankly this sounds like a great excuse to actually admit the western marches are dead


:frowning: I was actually factoring in upping fropm every other adventure to all of them - and I made changes to try to ensure it didn’t strike “west marches” chords


I haven’t got time. I’ll explain in other thread.


Just wanted to add - the world we’re creating - it’s perfectly feasible that some characters will never need to own a weapon. It’s unusual to see civilians with weapons in fact - you’ll probably want one character who is good enough to keep the party safe, but perfectly feasible to have a group head out with tools of their trade that are not related to combat and fighting.

I’ll put challenges in front of you that create dangerous situations, but I want your ingenuity to shine, I want you to tell me how the baker uses her baking knowledge to drive off the bandits (poisoned bread perhaps) and I’ll allow these answers to shine.

Of course if you want to go full murder hobo, that’s fine by me, but I want you to know that the option is there and viable!


My first thought was maybe a wild marsh elf, a fisherman; his main concern is simply trying to catch enough food to feed people.
How does that sound?


Pretty much spot on! Of course there will be times when he or she is asked to do more than simply feed the people, as long as they are up for that (assuming the people are fed) then perfect!

So born a wilder elf then, you spent the first 20 years of your life growing up in the marsh.

The next decision for you to make is how many life experiences you’ve had - the more you have, the older and more skilled you are. A typical beginner character will choose 2 or 3 lifepaths, you can achieve your aim of fisherman in just two - one more. If you think you might have tried other careers first or maybe even tried out life in a citadel, those experiences can add to your story and to your skills and you can choose three or (not recommended for your first character) even one or two more.


Three lifepaths then to add some wrinkles and hard won experience.


So did they become a fisherman then moved on for some reason, or did they do something else, then become a fisherman - or perhaps they did a double fisherman lifepath?

Also, slight correction to the above - 2 lifepaths are not recommended, 3-4 is the default for a starting character - and above 4 is not recommended for beginner players


Let’s double dip the fisherman lifepath.


(This is a shame. Mainly because I really wanted Kyla to reach level three and learn the Vomit swarm spell.)


What if they were postponed?


The west Marches? I could certainly suspend it for 4 months.


Yep the West Marches - that would surely be preferable to declaring it dead?




@Scribbs - Your elf is a youthful 120 years old. and now has 9 points to put into your mental abilities and 15 to put into your phyical abilities.

Mental abilities are:

Perception and Will

Will is the social stat - it represents a characters strength of mind, empathy and social intelligence

Perception is the awareness and mental acuity stat. It’s rolled all the time in the game!

Physical abilities are:

Agility, Speed, Power and Forte

Agility represents the hand-eye coordination of the character. It is tested when a character must keep hold of something, snatch something or toss an object. It is also the basis of many martial skills

Speed is a bit of a quirky stat. It represents how fast a character moves and how co-ordinated overall. It’s rolled a lot in the game, from fleeing to ducking a blow. it’s also the basis for dancing, stealthy and climbing skills. :confused:

Power represents physical strength, its rolled when pushing something over for example or grappling with someone. It’s the basis for damage in melee attacks

Forte (pronounced Fort) represents the characters physical mettle, how tough and durable they are. Forte is rarely rolled, but is crucial for working out important health based stats.

When it comes to dividing your skill points, for your first characters, don’t have any stat lower than 3 or higher than 6 - if you have so many points, that this would be impossible (shouldn’t happen), set aside 5 and allocate your points, I’ll explain what to do with those 5 at the time.


Will 4
Perception 5
Agility 5
Speed 4
Power 3
Forte 3


Can I be a foundling, abandoned on the steps of a guild as a baby?