Deadly Precision and Martial Arts/Boxing/Brawling

Two quick questions.

(1) Can the deadly precision trait be applied to the “Hand to Hand” skills? (Martial Arts/Boxing/Brawling) I would think so, but I’ve been wrong before.

(2) If someone grey shades their deadly precision weapon skill, does that then grey shade their deadly precision damage?

  1. I don’t see why not. Particularly if it fits your setting.

  2. No, as per page 545, BWG. To deal Grey shade damage you need either a grey shade weapon, a spell, or a dice trait which specifically grey shades your attacks.


And yet, Deadly Precision (5 pt. Die Trait, same cost as Chosen One) allows the character to use his skill exponent in place of his Power when factoring his IMS for weapons under that skill. (pg 320) that suggests a grey shade skill would allow grey shade damage by virtue of this die trait.

And if it can be applied to hand to hand skills, it could be used to allow a monk to shade shift his fists and feet into the grey.

To do grey shade damage with your fists, you need the Hands of Stone trait

The key words in that quote of Deadly precision is it allows the skill exponent. It does not say it allows the skill shade.

If you have grey power you do +2 damage, not grey damage.

So I guess if you had deadly precision and grey skill 4, it would be the same as strength 6.

Each effect of a trait has a cost. The base cost of any trait that shifts an ability is 10 points. 5 for “rule breaking” and another 5 to go grey shade. Chosen One is probably too cheap, to be honest, even presuming it has a big discount since it is restricted to men with Faithful.

If you use the +2 power add from say a G4 Power (giving your character a B6 mark damage for martial arts) and you don’t get enough successes, does your character break his hand or is it treated like natural armor (which doesn’t break).

Possibly, but then again, I think that faith should require a skill to use it properly too. (With great power there should be great knowledge to wield it properly).

But back on thread (my bad) there is no way in BWG for a player to train, burn, buy, develop, or otherwise aquire grey shade damage hand to hand skills without playing to their bits, and burning some artha. Thanks for the definitive guys!

This has actually been addressed before, with an official but laconic ruling here.

You apparently use the skill’s exponent and the weapon’s shade, with a possible +2/+4 for gray/white Power.

I don’t know, it seems to me that if you are choosing to use your skill to base your damage on rather than your power, you have decided to choose finesse over strength and should not be able to dip into your grey power for a +2 bonus damage.
The trait allows the character to use his skill exponent in place of his Power stat.
When figuring IMS, it should be one or the other.
Black shade weapon add plus, either grey Power with a +2 power shade bonus. Or weapon skill exponent in place of power without any shade bonus. Power or finesse, hack and slash or slice and dice, the choice is yours.

What do you think?

Exponent and shade are separate. As Luke said on the linked thread above, there’s a reason why “skill exponent” is emphasized. Sorcery is different, and accordingly has different wording.

What I meant by that was if you have a G4 power, a B5 sword skill, Deadly Precision with swords, and a black shade sword (+2 power) you should have to choose between using your power plus sword plus shade advantage to have a B8 Mark (G4 Power +2 for shade shift to black +2 for sword) and possibly break your black shade sword if you miss, or using your deadly precision trait to have a B7 Mark (Skill exponent 5 +2 for sword). Again, the trait says it allows the character to use his skill exponent instead of his power stat to determine IMS. If we are adding the power stat shade shift bonus to the deadly precision trait skill exponent we are combining instead of choosing at which point the character in my example would do a B9 Mark (5 from sword skill exponent, +2 from Power shade shift bonus, +2 from sword).
The problem I have with this is that the IMS rules apply to using your power as the basis for IMS and as such, if you shade shift your power that shade difference must be taken into account when you shade shift back to black to do damage (+2 or +4 depending on shade). But Deadly Precision bases the IMS on the Skill Exponent instead of the Power Stat so the power stat shade should not come into play to determine IMS. The only shade to consider for damage with deadly precision should be the shade of the weapon.

You replace the exponent of Power with the exponent of the skill. Where you had (B/G/W)(X) Power before, now you have (B/G/W)(Y) Power, where Y is the skill exponent. That’s it. That’s exactly how it works. It’s not skill exponent instead of power stat, it’s skill exponent instead of power exponent.

You don’t have to like it, but that’s the trait as intended.

It’s not a matter of like or dislike, but rather a matter of trying to get it right and understand it well enough to explain it to others. (And I really do appreciate you hanging in there to explain things)

Lets see if I understand this now.

Weapon Shade determines damage shade.

Skill Shade determines Dice Success ratios.

Power Shade grants a bonus to darker shade weapons, (+2/+4) this bonus depends on shade difference (one shade/two shades).

“Deadly Precision allows the character to choose one weapon skill that he favors. Use his Skill Exponent in place of his Power stat when factoring his IMS for weapons under this skill.” (pg. 320)

Regardless of that quote, if the Power shade is lighter than the weapon shade you still gain the shade shift bonus of +2 per shade difference as per the rules for “Power and IMS” on pages 545-546 in Burning Wheel Gold.

Do I have it right now?

Though the conclusion runs contrary to my expectations, the ruling is quite straight forward. Deadly Precision only substitutes the exponent, ie numbers, of the Power rating-- not the shading.

The trait is still quite formidable. Skills tend to increase much quicker than stats, and it frees up stat points-- during character creation-- to invest in other things, such as reflexes.


Larkin, you’re right except for one detail that I’ve also gotten wrong. It’s +2 for Power a shade higher than weapon and +3 for two shades higher (black weapon, white Power.).

Definitely an Awesome Trait! That’s why I wanted to be certain I got it right, it’s just too good to mess up.

And I was even referencing those same pages! (545-546) Thanks for catching it Wayfarer.
And thanks again to all for your patience, help, and understanding. You guy are great!