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Burn Bryte


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The Purpose of Story Path Events

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Story Path Events are meant to make preparing and running the game easier. The events give each player a chance to shine during a game, like a personal scene starring them in a book, film, or TV show. Work with your players to tie these Story Path Events into the larger story of the campaign. 

When planning your Session, think about how you might introduce Story Path Events. There are three categories of events:

  1. Player active events rely on the player to take the initiative to accomplish the event. As the GM, you simply need to afford the player character some time to do this (perhaps while traveling through space). The “Blueprint” Create Masterpiece Story Path event is an example of this kind of event. The player character must create a plan to make a Work of Art. You can prompt the character to take on player active events with questions like, “You have some free time while traveling to Ardone. Do you want to make a plan for that musical you’re writing? If so, what does your plan look like, and how do you create it?” Prompts are great, but don’t force the player to complete the Story Path event in that moment. They may want to take some time to think about how they accomplish the event, so if they aren’t ready to complete it, don’t force them to do so.
  2. GM active events rely on the GM to create the setting and NPCs involved in the Story Path event. You must prepare a scene in which the Story Path event takes place. You might need a map, NPCs, and more to complete the event. The “Fight for Your Life” On the Run Story Path event is an example of a GM active event because it involves GM-controlled enemies tracking down and battling the player character. The GM must be the one to decide when and how these enemies catch up to the player character.
  3. GM prompted events rely on the GM to create opportunities and hooks the Characters can use to accomplish their Story Path Events. These events often benefit from quick conversations with your players about what their Characters hope to get out of such events. The “Teach Me” Mentor Story Path event is an example of a GM prompted event. The GM must create one or more potential students for the player character, but ultimately the decision of who to choose as a Student is up to the player character. As the GM you should create several detail-light options for completing the event. Instead of fully fleshing out one Student NPC who is a sure thing for the character taking the Mentor Story Path, you might create three potential students, each with a single-sentence of description. You can always flesh out the chosen student(s) as you play. Of course, asking your player what number and sort of students they’re interested in before the Session can also help you prepare.

Tying Story Paths Together

When you prepare to tie Story Path Events together, it helps to think of a mission that can encompass all of the characters’ upcoming events. Different adventure genres: battles, disasters, heists, mysteries, survival scenarios, and more make great backdrops that allow Story Path Events to occur. The events should fit into the overall structure of an adventure (or the story of an entire campaign).

When you’re planning your Session, ask yourself “Which category do the upcoming Story Path Events fall into?” You should provide some Downtime for player active events, have scenes ready for GM active events, and have a list of hooks ready for GM prompted events. The scenes and hooks you prepare should relate to your adventure’s overall story as well as the events.

Here’s an example of how you can tie the Story Path Events of a team of player Characters starting with the Battle, Create Masterpiece, Revenge, and Student Story Paths into the overall plot of the campaign. The mission is to investigate a distress signal from the Midbelt planet Schee, which is under attack by an evil cult called The Daylight. The GM prepares for the Characters to fulfill their Story Path Events in the following ways:

  • Jel’zak the Ror-nan colony is taking the Battle Story Path, which has the 1st event, “Pick a Fight and Side.” This is a GM prompted event, since the GM must provide the conflict, but Jel’zak must ultimately decide which fight and side is theirs. The GM prepares an obvious conflict between The Daylight and the Schee farmers, but then also prepares two back ups in case Jel’zak isn’t interested in the first conflict. The second conflict involves a centuries-long violent feud between kith’uk and ulran farming families. The third involves two rival crews of pirates hiding in subterranean tunnels beneath the planets having a war of their own. If The Daylight conflict doesn’t interest Jel’zak, the GM can introduce the other two conflicts. If The Daylight conflict does interest Jel’zak, the others may not be introduced to the story.
  • Culo Bregtyl the kith’uk needs to complete his 1st event for the Revenge Story Path, “Hurt.” This is a GM active event because the GM needs to hurt Culo bad enough to prompt the kith’uk to take Revenge. Since this is a dicey topic, the GM chats with Culo’s player about the kind of hurt Culo should experience, and the player expresses an interest in a more intense tale of Revenge. The GM decides that Culo’s friend lives on Schee. The GM prepares a scene for Culo’s arrival on Schee where the kith’uk finds his friend gravely injured in bed after battling The Daylight, giving Culo a reason to seek vengeance.
  • Layawah Marcella the glean needs to complete her 1st event for the Student Story Path, “Find a Tutor or Institution.” This is a GM prompted event because the GM must create a few options for Layawah to choose as a tutor. During a quick conversation with Layawah’s player the GM learns the glean wants to study medicine from a master healer. The GM creates four quick NPCs who fit that description and puts them on Schee as adventurers and locals helping those injured by The Daylight.
  • Vu the zivoy’s 1st event for the Create Masterpiece Story Path is “Inspiration.” This is a player active event, since Vu must decide what inspires them to create art. The GM does not even need to provide much free time for this event, since it’s all about what inspires Vu. The GM simply makes a note to remember to ask, “Does this inspire your art? If so, how and what does it inspire?” whenever something dramatic or interesting happens to the zivoy.

Longer or Shorter Games

Burn Bryte’s recommended advancement is that on average one player character achieves one Story Path event per 2 hours of gameplay. However, the size of every group, each GM’s pacing, and the length of Session varies for everyone. If you want to speed up or slow down this advancement, that is up to your gaming group and you.

If you deviate from the one Story Path event per 2 hours of gameplay guideline, it is recommended that you still advance all player Characters at the same rate. If one achieves more Story Path Events than the others, that character becomes significantly more powerful and could turn into the game’s star. Burn Bryte is game for ensemble stories.


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