spaceships in space

What Burden is

Bounded campaign

Where other games' campaigns may slowly reveal their overarching plot and let things develop over time, Burden alway has its end in sight, known by all the players before they even begin to create their characters.

The game starts after they have set off, and ends when they arrive. Burden is about what happens along the way.
There is no rush to arrive, but the direction is always clear. The party may take a detour or make an extended stop, but they will keep the destination in mind.

A campaign of Burden should last around four sessions. Any less and we might not have the time to get to know our characters. Any more and we risk forgetting why we left off in the first place.
If the group wants to continue the story beyond Burden's bounded campaign, that will be a different story, a different campaign, and probably ought to be played with a different system.

Evil does not exist

Cruelty, selfishness, jealousy, desperation, and resentment may all exist. "Evil" does not.
People may stand in the way of the protagonists. People may commit theft and murder. People may stand idly by while others are in need. But they do so out of fear, retaliation, bullheadedness, or misplaced loyalty, not "Evil".


The lands around the destination are inhospitable, twisted and splintered.
Beaten paths are few and far between, and most have been torn apart. Roaming animals have taken on new forms and intersect many realities. Plants have evolved many times over, caught in whirlpools of time.

Travelling the shifting lands is an arduous, dangerous endeavour. Distances are difficult to evaluate, maps become obsolete in weeks. There always seems to be a new kind of obstacle, a new way to get hurt or lost.

Large stretches of the way will appear calm and stable, it is sometimes possible even to set up a small camp and rest for a while. A knowledgeable guide might occasionally be able to find a route from one place to the next staying entirely away from danger.
Do not let your guard down though, even the most experienced traveller cannot predict when or where a new challenge may appear.


The rules of Burden do not focus on fighting. The characters the players embody are travellers, not fighters. They may get into fights, but fighting is a poor way of safely getting to a destination.

Characters may scuffle often if they're particularly rough and tumble, and these scuffles may be interpreted as a more physical version of social interaction.
Combat on the other hand should be rare, are terrifyingly brutal. A character who fears for their life will act desperately. Injury and even death can happen in seconds when adrenaline runs high.

Inhabitants of the shifting lands

Villages and settlements

Oases of life and protection exist, taking advantage of stable areas, or using the mastery of tremor to keep them safe. People live there, and may be more or less welcoming to a rag-tag band of travellers.
Some may see travellers come and go regularly. They rely on trade and are happy to lend shelter, food and water in exchange for a good story, a little labour, or some interesting trinkets.
Others may be wary, and will need reassurance before they even consider opening the gate.
Occasionally, they will be outright hostile, and will fend off anyone who dare approach.
No village is a monolith, even in the friendliest place there will be those who would rather see you gone, and the most guarded of fortresses may have some sympathisers who may put a word in for you.


Outside of settlements, there may be other people roaming around. Traders, hunters, travellers, and