I played the third session of Burning Hinterlands last night, the BW-via-Hangouts campaign I’m in with Rachel E.S. Walton, MadJay Brown, and Michael Miller. I had a lot of fun and managed to rack up a lot of tests — for some reason (i.e., Jay) my PC was at the center of a lot of rock-’em, sock-’em action. I also had two really nice tests where I spent artha and was rewarded for it, including one roll where a Fate point managed to get me four successes out of just three dice. Nice!
That said, I felt like I was a bit all over the place as a player. I’ll admit that I was tired; we play from 8pm to 10pm, which as a first-year father are pretty much the wee hours for me. Not to mention, I failed to make time to review the notes form last session. Heck, I even confronted an NPC about something I’d already confronted them about last session!
I also am still getting the hang of really embodying my BITs. I have one directly actionable belief that I tend to drive for pretty hard, to the unfortunate exclusion of the rest of my BITs. I felt like I tended to react to the pressure Jay was putting on me by simply thinking about what was expedient and not what was in my BITs that would drive artha rewards.
Granted, this attitude still resulted in some very juicy scenes, one in which I somehow managed to one-shot an assailant in a versus test — whipping a knife at their head and burying it in their throat. Very cool (I wasn’t even fully aware that was an option when I rolled, though I probably should have been; I’m whipping a knife at someone) but not at all the conception I had for the character at the outset.
But! The cool thing about BW, especially when playing 3 LP characters, is that you do a lot of bumbling around and getting into desperate situations. I wanted so bad to test a skill that wasn’t Beginner’s Luck that, in the above situation, I was pretty all “Fuck it, Throwing is one of my best skills, I’m gonna use it.”
So, now I’m looking to seriously re-think some of my PC’s beliefs. Maybe I mad the choices I did for a reason, and the character is not who I originally thought they were, and/or the events of the last two sessions have had a more profound impact on them than I thought.
I also find myself asking “WWRD?” I.e., “What would Rachel do?” Because, damn, she is a model BW player. Not that everyone in my group isn’t awesome, but I feel like Rachel has a real mastery of the player side of the game. She does such a great job of keeping not only her own PC’s BITs front-of-mind, but those of the other PCs as well. Seriously, in the second session she started doing all of this support work for goals other PCs were pursuing, stuff that hadn’t even crossed my mind.
So, yeah, I need to step up my game! I’m surrounded by heavy hitters! Hopefully I won’t be exhausted next session.