The Burning Wheel is a fantasy role-playing game independently written and published by Luke Crane.
The game uses a dice pool mechanic (using only standard six-sided dice) for resolution, and a system of prior-experience for character generation which tracks the development of the new character from birth up to the point they begin adventuring.
Unlike many other RPGs — but explicitly like earlier games — The Burning Wheel does not include a dedicated setting. The setting implied by the rules and mechanics and the life-paths used in character generation suggests a fantasy world not unlike Tolkien's Middle Earth, though it can be easily modified for other settings.
The Burning Wheel core game consists of two digest-sized volumes (which are sold together):
The Burning Wheel
- This volume contains the rules and mechanics of the game, such as Circles, Resources, Fight!, the Duel of Wits, Range and Cover, and more.
The Character Burner
- This volume contains lifepaths for generating Humans, Dwarves, Elves, and Orcs as characters, providing each with unique exceptions or additions to the overall game mechanics. Humans have access to Sorcery and Faith, Elves have their Grief and spell-songs, Dwarves have Greed and Orcs have blasphemous Hatred. Rules expansions also allow additional races, such as Dark Elves, who have turned their Grief into murderous Spite.