Can an Elf Lament a Routine Grief test?

I’ve got a low-Grief Elf that’s learning a Lament. I circled up an instructor for the first test, and now I’m trying to earn Beginner’s Luck tests.

Can an Elf Lament a Routine test? If so, what happens on a success—is the test dropped? There isn’t a “lower” test than Routine.

Edit: I assumed incorrectly that Laments were rooted in Grief.
If a successfully Lamented Routine test is dropped, which seems a little odd but not unreasonable, then the regular Beginner’s Luck rules should work.

If the test isn’t dropped, is there no point to Lament it, since there’s no real consequence from a success other than earning a Lament test? It doesn’t make sense to roll for something that doesn’t matter.

Or perhaps learning a Lament doesn’t matter until Grief is at least exponent 5, where converting a Grief test to Routine starts to make sense, since then a Routine Grief test (usually) won’t count toward advancement. If that’s the case, only practice or more instruction can give me the BL tests I need to open the Lament before Grief 5.

You could lower Difficults to get the Routines you need to advance Grief!

Ah, this led me to a mistake on my part. I was incorrectly assuming that Laments are rooted in Grief, but they appear to be rooted in Will (BWG 143).

I am still interested in the fundamental question of whether one can Lament a Routine Grief test, though. I’m guessing not.

Hi Tresi!
I think the intent of the RAW is that Routine tests can’t be eliminated. But if you play it that they can be, please let me know how it affects your Grief advancement.


Thanks for the reply, Luke! I’ll ask our group how we want to proceed.

If Routine Grief tests can’t be Lamented, it’s impossible for this character to earn BL tests toward learning a Lament! What’s Difficult for Grief B3, Ob 3, is still Difficult for Will G4. Even if these tests advance Will to G5, that only leaves a Grief Ob 3 as a “useful” BL opportunity, and that small window goes away again if Grief advances to B4.

It does make some sense for an Elf to Practice for a couple of years to learn a spell song or, if they make the opportunity, earn the tests via Instruction.

You can Work Carefully for an extra die (or two as an Elf? How does Care of the Eternal work?) That drops your Ob 3 (or 4) Lament tests to Routine.

You can also get Help or any general advantage (maybe sing us a verse?).

Further… Non-routine Beginner’s Luck tests… Will go toward advancing Will! When your Will advances, it (basically) counts as a test toward opening your Lament. Devour that funky, funky advancement cheese.


Care of the Eternal is +2D!

The real lesson for me here is that I’m so used to making desperate Beginner’s Luck tests, where I don’t have much in the way of advantages and the doubled Obstacle is the main disadvantage, that I only use those numbers (with undoubled Obstacle) to factor the test. What I should be doing is factoring the dice rolled (with help, advantage, but not artha) versus the (undoubled) Obstacle plus disadvantages. That is, exactly like a normal test except for the undoubled Obstacle.

Thank you, @Gnosego!


Yeah! Happy to help!

Do note that the player can only get appropriate Help from an Elf with the same Lament or Song of Songs.

Since this situation is Beginner’s Luck, it would be a Will test.

One wrinkle is how to interpret

Each Elf must lament and grieve personally.
and whether and when help for Laments makes sense.

That will be a good discussion for our group. With an emphasis on personal and the Spite example, my suggestion is to allow it if the helper was involved in the event that earned the Grief test.

What in-character action would be appropriate to Help with such a test?