The concept of Beliefs that I am using was first introduced by Luke Crane in his excellent Burning Wheel system.

Beliefs are sort of like Mission Statements for your characters – they tie your characters into the world and give the GM an opportunity to create situations that test your character’s beliefs (in exchange for xp, of course). The typical format is along the lines of:

“Because of X, I want Y, and plan to do Z to achieve it”

So a belief might be “Because Lord Andoran once rescued me from a slave-caravan, I am obligated to them and will use my skill, and if need be my life to make certain that members of his family are kept safe.”

In general, I want three beliefs for each character, one about their own desires, one tying them to the world, and one about one or more of the other characters.

Beliefs and instincts act as a sort of a mirror into what you’re looking for from the game. Having a belief like the one I listed above says “We should have a story where a member of the house is threatened, and my character must risk his or her life to save them.” Likewise, having an instinct like “Always secure a source of water when traveling” says “I want a scenario where our survival is endangered by the environment.”

There is an excellent belief-writing workshop on the Burning Wheel wiki, located here


Raam is Burning. ivo_shandor