The Veil offers 3 end-of-session XP awards, the first of which is that if a belief "was tested or challenged", you get 1 XP (p268). Getting into trouble because of a belief nets you 2 XP, and resolving a belief is worth 3, both of which make perfect sense to me and seem like things I can easily play towards. The first one, however, frustrates me. I'm not sure what to do with it as a player.

The book defines "challenging" a belief as, in a nutshell, bringing it up in play to find out of the character really believes it or not. I've played Burning Wheel, and it seems pretty clear to me that The Veil is using essentially the same set of concepts for what "beliefs" are and how they're used in the game - so this is all clear and familiar to me. The problem is that presenting those challenges is the responsibility of the GM/MC, not the players.

So what am I supposed to actually do to earn this XP award? Am I supposed to challenge my own beliefs after all? Or is there nothing more I can do than have easily challengable beliefs and make sure I bite whenever the MC dangles a hook? Or am I misinterpreting the rule somehow?

We're not very far into the game, but I've had multiple sessions already where I worked proactively to fulfill my beliefs, but received no XP because they weren't tested and I didn't get in trouble. This is frustrating to me. I can try harder to get into trouble, but it's not clear to me how to try harder to have my beliefs be tested, short of pestering the MC at the social level.

My current Beliefs:

  1. To fully understand humanity and myself, I must successfully upload a complete human mind. I need a living brain to study.
  2. I must stay safe. I'll find or create a place to hide from my stalker.
  3. I must evade Neurotech for good - I'll get Mr. Honest to delete the tracking software.
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have some experience with this difficulty from the GM side in a Burning Wheel game. My experience might not be transferable enough to write an answer, but it does suggest to me that this question might be more easily answered if you shared the specific wording of the belief. Could you edit that in? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 23 '17 at 17:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I'm concerned that would be inviting non-PTBA non-The Veil experts to provide a solution, which often winds up meaning we get players who've never glimpsed a game outside the D&D paradigm saying "well I've never played PBTA but...". I feel a question like this, about reliably handling a mechanic each session, definitely ought to require an answer that leans on personal experience with The Veil, so leaving the minimum bar for being able to answer at "you have to have the book" is sensible. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Oct 23 '17 at 17:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener I see that concern. But… A common trouble with this style of mechanic, since they're freeform and player-written, is "unactionable" Beliefs. As GM with experience with this type of mechanic in both its parent games (AW and BW), I think knowing the exact wording (required to trigger the XP) may be necessary to diagnose and correct the problem. It's akin to "I keep dying in D&D 5e, how do I get the GM to stop accidentally killing me" without knowing PC hit points and level. Or "my GM never compels my Trouble" without telling us the Trouble aspect. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 23 '17 at 19:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I can add them if you want, but I'm less concerned with "how do I write challengable Beliefs" and more with "what do I do in the game to proactively trigger the conditions for this reward, given that it's written in the passive voice and describes something I thought the GM was supposed to do, not me." It could be the answer is "Write challengable Beliefs to make it easy for your GM to do their job, and yes, during play it's up to the GM to trigger this XP reward, not you." If that's not it, and I'm supposed to manufacture my own Belief-tests as a player... how do I do that? \$\endgroup\$ – SeaWyrm Oct 26 '17 at 0:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Those are a couple of big “if”s. Are other players having their Beliefs hit? If they are, then the exact wording of the one of yours not being triggered is probably relevant to helping solve the problem. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 26 '17 at 0:17

Not sure which version you have (always tough to tell with a kickstarted project where people may be playing a dev version) but p.268 in mine talks about the 1/2/3 xp awards for beliefs as coming after a table discussion, not just an up or down vote from the GM, no further questions.

The intent seems clear here - it's hard to imagine a situation where a belief could get you into trouble but not be tested, or be resolved but not be challenged. The 1 XP is, as you're guessing, for leaning into trouble or a resolution but not having things work out that way in the end.

It is the GM's call, ultimately, whether you convinced them to pass you the XP or not, but you'd make the case in discussion for 1 XP the same way you'd make it for 2 or 3 - point at what you did during the session and how you were trying to bring your beliefs into question by doing it. If that's not enough, it's not wrong to ask for at least an example of what is, because obviously you and the GM have a different idea of what counts.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.