Figuring Steel and P.T.G.S. with Grey Forte

How do you determine Steel and P.T.G.S. when your character has a grey stat like Forte (in this case, Forte: G5)
The Health, Mortal Wound, and Reflex Atributes were all well explained, and I suspect the same “grey math” would work here (treat as black +2 before averaging) except there’s nothing to average when determining Steel or P.T.G.S.
I checked past forums, Monster Burner, and Adventure Burner but haven’t found an answer.

For Steel, since there is a +1 for Forte of 6 or higher, I guess Forte G4+ would satisfy for the +1 Steel.

PTGS is bounded by Superficial (half Forte, so the +2 nets +1 Superficial) and Mortal Wound (average of Power and Forte plus 6, so the +2 nets a +1 Mortal). Forte affects the size of the steps between Superficial and Mortal. No double counting the effects of a grey stat…


Steel doesn’t get any special effects from this, I don’t think. The Steel question measures a specific threshold of your Forte and Will. Even if your Forte’s gray shade, it’s the quantity of your Forte that matters.

It’s another way that you pay the price for having a gray-shade stat in character burning.

What confuses me is that the grey scale starts to the right of the black scale, effectively making a G1 the equivalent of a B17, which would mean that any grey scale stat is greater than the black scale stats listed for determining steel (Forte has a +1 at B5, and an additional +1 at B7).
The standard seems to be that a grey stat is treated as a black stat with a +2 added to its exponent (mixing shades) That would place a G3 Power at a B5 Power instead of the B19 where it would normally fall if the shade scales were all one single line (which they are not). The shades represent more of the potential to do heroic or even supernatural feats by pushing into the grey or white scale respectively by achieving damage beyond exponent 16 on the current scale (B17 = G1, G17 = W1) so it’s kind of an abstract scale to demonstrate potential.
(An Abstract system?, In Burning Wheel?, OUTRAGEOUS! ).
I also know that the good folks at BWHQ prefer that grey stats be earned in play and so set the burning parameters on those assumptions but still gave us the basic instructions on “grey math” for a higher power game if we must. I don’t think they meant to penalized or make us pay for having a grey stat in character burning, I just think it’s just one of those things that happens so infrequently that the explanation did not seem necessary at the time.

I think the whole G1 > B16 thing is only meant to apply to the PTGS. I don’t think it’s relevant when comparing G3 Power and B5 Power.
Gray Mortal Wound seems pretty clearly explained on page 546, including how you figure out the rest of the PTGS. It’s all there in the paragraph on heroic mortal wounds.
Steel doesn’t appear to be affected by gray stats, but Hesitation is affected by gray Will, (8 minus Will instead of 10,) so Steel is indirectly made easier. (This is on page 545.)

Yes, Grey Mortal is well explained. But as this character (for a high power game) would have a B12 M.W. (G5 Fort + B4 Pow +2 Grey Math = B11÷2= B5.5 round up for Tough Dt. = B6 +6 for midi size human = B12 M.W.). So I can’t have a G3 Superficial Wound (1/2 Forte rounded down +1) so I would need to do grey math conversion (G5 +2 = B7) before I figured my superficial wound? (If so SU=B4, LI=B8, MI=B9, SE=B10, TR=B11, MO=B12)

If the grey math conversion applies to steel it would treat the G5 Forte as a B7 Forte (and subsequently add an extra +1 to Steel if it were dealing with Will instead of Forte) or it could convert a G4 Forte or Perception into a B6 and therefore qualify that stat fo the +1 Steel bonus from that stat, all of which seems right, but appearances can be deceiving.

The rules for higher shades are very particular about wording. There are rules for skills rooted in a stat and for several attributes. Steel isn’t one of them. It is modified according to the questionnaire by exponent and not by shade.

When calculating MW you get +2 for a single gray shade root stat. This affects all wound tolerances except Superficial, which is still just at half Forte exponent plus one. Su doesn’t move until MW is gray.

Very simply, a better shade does not change anything unless the rules explicitly say that it does. The benefits are powerful but limited.

So exponents only, no shade conversions, shade has no effect on determining P.T.G.S. or Steel in character burning. Pay more attention to the way things are worded (and watch out for rabbit holes!)
Thanks Guys!

Shade does have an effect on the PTGS. One gray root stat moves MW (and thus possibly every other tolerance except Superficial). Two gray root stats move everything including superficial.

Yeah, I got that part right at least.
I think I just make things more difficult for myself sometimes (like trying out new things at 3 in the morning) :frowning:

Having a gray MW does not make all your PTGS gray. It just changes how you factor it, as noted on p. 546. As noted above, shade doesn’t factor in to PTGS (besides where MW is), just the exponent. I made a calculator long ago that does the math for you:

So for a B12 MW with a B4 Power and G5 in Forte, your PTGS would be:

Su: B3 Li: B6 Mi: B9 Se: B10 Tr: B11 MW: B12

If both were gray-shade you’d have a G11 MW, and this PTGS:

Su: B5 Li: B10 Mi: G7 Se: G9 Tr: G10 MW: G11

As a final note, there is no general “add +2 if gray” rule. The instances where you factor shade in are listed explicitly.