Sergeant Matthias

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Revision as of 06:21, 15 December 2007 by Illegible Smudge (talk | contribs) (Traits: Changed "Weak Willed" to Uncertain. It's a better description.)
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A character in the Belstead PBP Burning Wheel game.


As the village sergeant, Matthias is a well-known figure in Belstead, and compared with some other village sergeants such as Sergeant Karas from the next village over, he's a relatively decent sort. A humble and approachable man, he is not without his faults, and is seen by most as something of a soft touch, lenient to a fault. He is also somewhat prone to laziness, with plenty of jokes about him being in such a hurry to get back to the gambling at the watchhouse that his patrol walk becomes a patrol run. Unassuming and diplomatic, he is known to strongly favour compromise and a few quiet words over forceful confrontation, to the point that some quietly whisper that he shirks from the hard but necessary decisions that come with the job. Others are just thankful that he is at least relatively honest and amendable to reason, and that he attempts to resolve things fairly rather than on the basis of who is offering him more.

This weak-willed aversion to confrontation stems largely from Matthias' self-perception of himself as a failure. He was originally apprenticed to the village smith, but though he had the requisite talents he was too soft and lazy for the rigours of the job, and though the smith had something of a soft spot for the lad, he ended up gently and firmly telling him he'd be better off in another profession. That failure has stayed with Matthias ever since, especially since he has seen his childhood friends leave the village only to return with grand stories of their travels and exploits. Even his elevation to Watch Sergeant didn't shake that perception from him, and instead only reinforced it, with the young man wracked by his belief that he isn't up to this job either. As a result, he is extremely leery of making bold and controversial decisions.

Matthias is a man who hates chaos and change, and who is extremely reluctant to bring it about, even if it might be necessary. This conservative attitude is exemplified by his love of mantras such as "Caution and compromise are the best policy" and the old "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". As a result, his outlook on the future is quite glum, with powerful forces now threatening to destroy his neat little world. As far as he's concerned, things in Belstead were good under the reign of the King, and that's the way he wants it to stay. Anyone threatening to disrupt that harmony might end up waking a sleeping bear.

He lives with his younger sister Beth in a small cottage on the outskirts of town, and she is the dearest thing in the world to him. Their parents died of the pox five years back, leaving the two to fend for themselves, and forcing them to sell their old family home. Matthias still bears the pockmarks from the disease, though Beth has managed to escape that fate. His moral centre and source of cheer in dark times, he doesn't know what he'd do without her merry presence. Indeed, he dreads the day she gets married, and given her wider popularity in the village, that day can't be too far away.


Age 25 Stock Human


  • Village Born
  • Apprentice
  • Village Guard
  • Village Sergeant


Will B4
Perception B4
Power B5
Forte B4
Agility B4
Speed B5


Health B4
Steel B4
Reflexes B4
Resources B1
Circles B2


Armour Training TR
Blacksmith B2
Brawling B3
Command B3
Gambling B2
Guard-wise B2
Intimidation B2
Mending B2
Persuasion B3
Shield Training TR
Sword B4
Village-wise B2


  • Broken In
  • Poker Face
  • Thug
  • Uncertain


Superficial B3
Light B5
Medium B7
Severe B8
Traumatic B9
Mortal B10


  • Relationship (minor family): Beth– His 19 year old kid sister, a cheerful and plucky milkmaid
  • Affiliation: Village Watch – A loose-knit band of part-time guardsmen, drunkards and inveterate gamblers.
  • Gear: Tools of the Trade - Run of the mill sword (with weighted pommel), reinforced leather breastplate and buckler. Clothes and shoes.
  • Property: Hollyoak Cottage - The small, homely but comfortable cottage on the edge of town that he and his sister live in.


  • Caution and compromise is the best policy.
  • The village elders made a mistake making me Sergeant - everyone is disappointed in me. I'll never be anything but a failure.
  • Beth is the only family I have left - she is more important to me than anything.


  • Always keep my poker face up and hedge my position.
  • Always opt for diplomatic efforts over violence.
  • Never go anywhere without a friend for backup.