Doubts About Help, Linked Tests and Beginner's Luck

Hello again.
I’m starting to get into the BW rules as I roleplay some more games, but I also encounter some difficulties in my path.

Well, the situation is the following: a group of tunnel-dweller wants to find it’s way through the tunnels and find the beast that they were searching for; then try to ambush it (or by some means have an advantage in positioning) and sneak to kill it. I ask them for a linked-test:

Orienteering + Tactics (vs. Observation) + Stealth (vs. Observation)

It would break down to:

Orienteering - Beginner’s Luck (Perception) + ForK + Help. I set the Ob 2 (night at familiar land), doubled it to 4 because of BL. So the player had: Per 4 + 1D (ForK) + 1D Help. The thing is, the ones helping didn’t have Orienteering but had Skills that could be used to help. So I imagined that BL only double the obstacle and didn’t negate the help.
Tactics - Almost the same. Beginner’s Luck (Perpcetion) + ForK + Linked Test Success + Help. It was a versus the beast Perception, so I couldn’t quite figure out how to do it. So it was: Per 4 + 1D Fork + 1D LT Success + 1D Help. This Help was totally my house-rule because none of them knew Tactics but all of them could help in some way. I just said that +1D would be enough. I know this is not written anywhere. And, they rolled against the beast and obviously won. What to do?
Steatlh - Again, Beginner’s Luck vs. Perception of the beast. Just said yes and didn’t ask for a roll and rolled a Steel test for the beast.

What’s the best way to deal with this?

The other question is handling a fight that everyone is involved. Following this scene, they sneaked and tried to kill it, but the beast didn’t die and engaged a Bloody Versus! with the guy down there (the rest were up in a bridge). My player’s wanted to help from distance, but I couldn’t also make a Range and Cover! because there was one guy too near. I wanted a more flexible system, where everyone would had a chance to do it’s actions in a space of time. I had to resolve the Versus! and then the other player’s actions.


Using a skill to help a BL test is totally legit. Skills can help stats, and Beginner’s Luck is a stat test. For the same reason, though, FoRKing into a BL test is not kosher; only skills can be FoRKed into, and as mentioned previously, BL tests are stat tests.

I would personally make shure what was the “Intent” of the players. The way you choose to make a Linked Test is absolutely fine from my perspective. But if the players succeed then, the beast is killed (if it was the initial intent). Maybe i would have done something like Traking, Stealth, Sword(or wathever weapon they got). But otherwise, stating to kill someone and fail could turn the story in something much more gritty like a full fight or someone being injured by the beast. I usually try to keep things quite simple and basics and when comes the time, get into deeper mechanics.

Also, if one of your player is stuck in a fight, maybe this is not the right time for a R&C… You could simply describe the guys position from the bridge, and let them help with their bows and arrows, or simply use the ranged attack rules from the Fight mechanic. Even as you’ve said, a Bloody Versus but with the help of the guys on the bridge.

Hope it helps :slight_smile:

You can help in a bloody versus like any test. The helper could have thrown a rock or shot a bow and given over a helping die.

(Not what you asked, but the use of a linked test in this case surprised me and I had to think about why. I think there’s a principle at work, which is that I’ll use linked tests only when I feel the story won’t squirm in an unexpected direction and derail the rest of the linked tests. I prefer it for complex tasks, but typically not exciting or dangerous forays into the unknown.)

okay, so we’ve addressed no FoRKs into a BL, and everyone with a relevant skill (not necessarily only tactics) can help. But, this “obviously won” thing…you did double the beast’s successes against the BL, right?

Hi guys,
thanks for the answers.

Thanks for the input! I used Stealth as the last test because they wanted to sneak first and then try to steal something from it (I remeber now), and the Intent was “sneaking to steal item Y from it”. It makes sense to use some weapon-skill as the last test if the Intent is to kill the beast; actually, having to battle it after a failed sneak attack is a good failure.

I see. The tests were: Orienteering - to find themselves in the dark corridors. A failed test would mean that they appeared in the place where the beast were but with some more beastly friends, or another, more dangerous part of the place, where they would eventually confront the beast again. Tactics - to ambush the beast. Failure would mean being catch by behind, appearing in front or in a disadvantageous position. Stealth - to sneak and try to steal the item. Failure is battle, or at least being perceived.

I understand that this could lead to some deadlock in the scene, where they would be standing with nothing to do. But I had this in mind and wouldn’t let a failed test lead to nothing.

No, is this the right thing to do? It seems right to me. Do I have to double even if the beast has the skill?
And everyone would give 1D, even if they all were BL.


Maybe, I misunderstood your post. I thought the player was rolling a Beginner’s Luck Tactics against the Beast’s Perception. I assumed the Beast was just rolling Perception to see the ambush, a Stat roll, but not Beginner’s Luck. If that’s the case, the player’s Ob would be set by doubling the Beast’s successes. If the Beast is also rolling Perception due to testing Beginner’s Luck, then the player still rolls vs. double the OB, but the Beast’s Ob would be set by doubling the player’s successes, as well.

I was presuming the beast had one of the many traits that allows its Perception to be tested as if it were Observation.

You probably already know, but the Stealth portion could have used the “slowest loudest” rule and forced the test to be made by the guy with the worst dice pool. The party isn’t as quiet as the practiced thief in soft fabric - it’s as quiet as the bulky warrior in metal plate.

Ah, I forgot to double the player’s Ob. That drastically changes the scene, damn.

Actually I didn’t know that. But I assumed Tactics vs. Perception anyway.

No, I didn’t know. Thanks man, that makes sense.

Thanks for all the answers!