A weapon for a giant

I was looking at the giant last night. I intend to run a game featuring one as a playable character, the situation would be about the problems the presence of the giant would cause the village and his human friends and what he’d do about it.

The hands of stone trait makes the unarmed damage of the giant grey to match the shade of his power stat.

I’ve not used a grey shade damage stat in a game before. So lets talk about the implications.

Using the fight mechanics this guy would flatten anyone but other giants. And we’re fine with this because when you use fight it’s because death is at stake for both sides.

Lesser intents than death are acceptable if we’re on simple versus tests. Correct? The trait would not affect that stuff.

As GM, when would I be able to suggest “How will you avoid accidentally really hurting this person?” as a new conflict? I can’t do this after a successful test as it’s implied in the player getting his intent. And I can’t do it after a failed versus test as it would mean the potential victim would be achieving his intent. Seems good for after a failed independent test. Would it necessarily be lethal?

As an aside if the giant equipped a man-size sword his damage would go down. I can imagine him trying to use it like a small dagger. Is that right?

If a giant was fighting another giant it would need a grey shade sword to kill the other outright. Is a sword of that size automatically grey or would you still necessarily need a grey shade blacksmith? Or would no sword of that size be possible by a black shade blacksmith?

Interesting questions.

Giants fight by plucking trees and swatting with them, throwing stones and good old fashioned fisticuffs. Impromptu & single use weapons and fists.

Black shade weapons can only inflict black shade damage. I tend to think that black shade weapons would shatter with the might of grey shade Power, they aren’t built to withstand it. Basically they become impromptu weapons.

Now, if we give your giant a Dwarven Shield as a knuckleduster, things are different.

You could invoke a +Ob penalty when the player is trying to use combat with a non-lethal weapon. And then give a +Die advantage if the player has a good way to not hurt the other person.

Non-lethal intents are fine in a versus test. In many cases I’d be tempted to make the failure condition of the versus be that they end up hurting them and either role up a wound or toss the Die of Fate.

Durand: the Giant in the MonBu is a more civilized fellow who gets some Grey shade weapons. That said, I would totally allow a Grey fists IMS critter to use a Black shade weapon to do Grey damage with the caveat that the weapon breaks after a successful hit.

Kalkraken: Burning Wheel doesn’t really support +Dice for Roleplaying, at least as far as I remember. It does however support +Ob for Harder.

As for the giant trying not to kill people. It’s perfectly reasonable in a versus test to set your intent as “incapacitate my foe” and have the failure condition be that you kill them because the question isn’t “do they get past” it’s “do they maim their opponent.” It’s like the lockpick example. If you’re talking Bloody Versus though, folks are gonna die if the blow lands.

In Fight (as opposed to BV) you can go with Lock, Tackle, and any other non-damaging maneuvers if you’re trying not to make jam out of them.

What about advantage dice?

“In the case of social skill tests, good roleplay, keen description or just good timing can earn the advantage die (Page 28.”

Barring James’ response (which is 100% correct mind you) advantage dice come from engaging the system. Simply describing something neat happening doesn’t automatically give you an advantage, you need to perform a linked test “I act really drunk so the guard comes over, and then I hit him when he’s checking on me” (conspicuous linked to brawling), fork in a skill “I’ve spent time around the orc legion so I know how they tend to post watches” (forking Orc legion-wise into stealthy), or have some other plausible method for generating the advantage “I’ve been camping out in this ravine for a week, I probably know the spots that have the best view of the area” (lobbying for an advantage die to Observation due to familiarity with the terrain). In all of these cases these are player to player conversations that engage the system and the game (which is why good roleplay helps with social skills but few other places). Also remember that forks and linked tests are just fancy, mechanically driven, ways of generating advantage dice.

He already gets a +2 to IMS for the shade, and increased reach due to his stature. No need to gild the lily!

You get a plus IMS even if you have Hands of Stone? I always read that as “Grey Power does Black damage at +2 IMS; if you have Hands of Stone you do Grey damage at normal IMS.” That said, I think HoS gives you Grey damage regardless of the shade of your Power so it makes sense to read those as two separate things (+2 for Grey Power, Grey IMS for HoS).

I meant with the black-shaded weapon. And we’ve seen in play a high-exponent character do low gray-shade damage already.

FWIW, I’m fairly certain that Hands of Stone does not grant gray damage unless you have gray power.

Colin, I have to disagree with you. If you’re leveraging another skill, that’s a linked test or FoRK. Help is also a source of extra dice. None of those are advantage dice! An advantage die, and you can have only one of them, is more based on leveraging the fiction. The example in the book is a slippery roof giving advantage to Power to push someone off. You can grab advantage by pointing out that by holding the stairs you have the high ground. A technique that can reasonably avoid dealing grievous harm isn’t an advantage, it’s a prerequisite for making the test at all—you can’t test to do the impossible!—but something that’s situationally helpful could be an advantage die.

I think this is spelled out in the rules, but I don’t recall where. Or maybe that was for grey shade weapon skill?

It’s on pages 545-546. It’s when you have grey power and you use a mundane weapon.

There we go!

I love that rule.