Setting beliefs in the Burning Wheel style

Adam Koebel, in a video somewhere (early on in Roll20 Burning Wheel, I think), suggests you make your three beliefs be, in turn:

  1. About your past life
  2. About your current situation
  3. About another PC — how you relate to them

In StarCruiser, my main advice is that they should collectively be:

  • Resolveable in the space of the current arc
  • Things that will involve your PC with other PCs (even if only indirectly)
  • About things that you, the player, want to see in play

Paul Beakley, over on G+, presents his Best Practices for BW Beliefs (and Instincts, and Traits). They include  a list of what your Beliefs and Instincts should cover:

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Fundamental scarcity of attention

Attention is a critical resource to manage in game design. The enjoyment of players (and GMs) is contingent on getting it right. It’s particularly important when you want to move from “passable” to “excellent”. In design and prep and postmortem you will benefit from thinking hard about attention and where it’s going.

I know I’ve not been thinking about it enough because I’ve been distracted by other concerns in my designs and GMing (e.g. world simulation, inter-PC balance).

Design is about resolving conflicts between goals. And the biggest bottleneck in rpg design is attention. Primarily GM attention, but players too. And central to design is tradeoffs. For example:

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