FoRKing skills about what you're facing

If my unarmed noble is facing an armed swordsman can he legally FoRK his sword skill into his brawling (he isn’t armed with a sword, but he is facing one) or is this taking FoRK’s to far?

At my table, that’d be a FoRK too far!

However, depending on the type of game, I might allow a -Wise roll beforehand.

e.g. Noble Duellist-wise - “he’s holding his blade to the left and has his weight on his lead foot, typical of someone trained by Master Cross. He’ll be vulnerable to a low attack if I attack NOW”.

We used to allow it. After all, knowing what a sword can and can’t do should help you in a fight against one, right? But in the fight against Forking-Bloat, it was since disallowed. Still, that was a personal choice and is completely up to you! I would allow it.

Seems like the unarmed noble is spouting “knowledge/wisdom about something” instead of using his own “skill at something” which to me sounds like a -wise. It’s not his skill with swords he’s relying upon, but his knowledge of the other guys skill with swords. That may, or may not, be an actual BW distinction so YMMV.

By analogy: a physician FoRKing his alchemy skill into a healing test on a victim because he makes a concoction vs. a physician who is not armed with any alchemical materials, but FoRKs his snake-wise into a healing test because he knows (aka is “wise about”) about how pit viper poison works.

Think of the fiction first of course: If I FoRK my sword skill into an intimidation attempt, I am using my swordsmanship to intimidate them, how would I narrate me intimidating them with my sword skill if I am unarmed and they are carrying swords? How is the unarmed noble describing his use of a skill aka the use of a sword to brawl when he is not actually using a sword? Unless having a sword skill automatically grants you a sword-wise.

If the players says, “I do X to his sword”, maybe.
If the players says, “I know X about what he will do with his sword”, no. that is a -wise.

With a good and short description it would probably be ok at my table but only the first time and only for that player. Trying to call the same thing twice is streching.

The idea was it is easier to attack and defend against a weapon that you are actually trained in then one that you only have common knowledge of but haven’t actually used before. If you are trained with a weapon you get to know its strengths and weaknesses. The better trained you are, the more aware of these strengths and weaknesses you become (the higher the skill, the bigger the FoRK dice advantage).
Where as a wise about your opponents style could aid you, but knowledge of his particular sword would not.

I guess for me, the easiest way to think about FoRKing skills is a FoRKed skill is a chained skill test in one throw. Any skill you can FoRK into another test is a skill you should be able to use on it’s own in that situation in it’s stead.

I have an enemy in front of me.

If I can stab him with my sword. Sword test.
If I can punch him in the face. Brawl test.
(If I can discern what type of fighting style he is using. noble dueling-wise test.)

If I can use my sword to help me punch him in the face. FoRK sword into a brawling test.
If I can use my fists to help stab him. Brawling FoRK into a sword test.
(If I can use my knowledge to my advantage. FoRK -wise into a brawling or sword test.)

So, without a sword, I would not allow someone to FoRK sword into a Brawling test.

Yeah, that’s not a bad guidelines.

To my mind, brawling already includes some know-how of how to avoid getting stabbed, so the extra FoRK from the sword skill doesn’t make sense.

I guess I’m looking at it from the other direction, no weapon skill, no weapon skill to FoRK (so, no knife skill, no knife skill FoRK against a knife wielding assailant).
Brawling assumes fighting bare handed as well as with whatever comes to hand as opposed to a specific weapon skill that imparts training with (and therefore, against) the weapon it applies to.

Sure, but the logic of that, if taken to extreme, says that if you have the sword skill and someone attacks you with a sword, you can FoRK your sword skill into your sword skill…i.e. someone has the same skill you have, therefore when they use that skill against you, you can FoRK that skill into any skill you use against them.

Anyway, staying with the fiction. If I say, “I parry his thrust with my sword and then, with the opening I made, I punch him in the face.” Brawling with a sword FoRK. That is literally using a Field of Related Knowledge, the actual use of that knowledge to help my brawling skill. When one attempts to FoRK sword into a brawling test when they aren’t actually using a sword, it becomes difficult to justify how they are actually and concretely using that skill.

Your example of taking it to the extreme is talking about FoRKing a skill into itself, which isn’t even close to using a field of related knowledge (sword) to assist another skill (brawling) to attack and defend against an assailant using a sword (the very field the particular knowledge relates to).
Yours was not a related knowledge, it was the knowledge.

This same idea could be used if facing an opponent wielding two weapons if a swordsman has a knife skill he is better prepared against the dagger/sword combatant then he would be if he had never picked up a knife skill.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it appears more to be trying to FoRK your enemies Sword skill into your Brawling instead of your own sword skill, because clearly, he is the one using the sword and you are not :smiley:

Having a sword skill I don’t think should automatically grant a character sword fighting-wise. You seem to be saying that someone with the knife skill also has knife fighting-wise.

I’m pretty liberal in allowing FoRKs. It’s not like FoRKing breaks anything. It presents the player with an interesting choice. Do I increase the likelihood of success, or do I shoot for a better advancement test? In this example, I’d for sure allow it. Knowing how to fight with a sword definitely helps when fighting someone who is using a sword. Granted you want to reward clever character burning or players who have invested heavily in certain skills, but if the player can come up with a reasonable description of how they are applying the FoRK and it doesn’t incredulously stretch the fiction, I’m usually ok with it.

Knowing how to fight with a sword means you’re better able to identify and predict what moves your opponent is using and are therefore in a better position to counter them. I don’t see what the big deal is.

  1. Having a sword skill in BW does not actually make you better at fighting other swordsmen as you suggest. Someone with a knife skill of 4 is just as capable as someone with a sword skill of 4 against a swordsman.

  2. Say our noble knows only two skills. Sword of 4 and knife of 4. Illogically, he will be a better off in a fight against a swordsman if he uses his knife and keeps his sword sheathed because he can FoRK his sword skill into his knife attack even if he never uses his sword, but he can’t FoRK his knife skill into his sword attack if his opponent isn’t wielding a knife. By the same logic, a noble with a sword skill of 4 and a brawling skill of 4 should choose, at every opportunity, to fight swordsmen barehanded.

Those aren’t issues unique to one skill. They kind of apply to the whole FoRK system. It’s just more apparent in combat because you have multiple related skills that can be used to achieve the same intent. This isn’t usually the case for other intents. I’m not going to hold up my game worrying about a corner case here, though. Yeah, in your highly qualified hypothetical example it can create a seemingly odd result. But in actual play, I’m just going to allow it and move on. If a player wants to always FoRK, that’s fine. His advancement is going to suffer. As the GM, what do I care if he passes this test? I’ll just move on to the next test or scene.

When you think about it, FoRKing is really just a subset of advantage dice. Players can lobby for advantage on any roll. Honestly, I’m more inclined to grant it than not. Like I said, what do I care if they pass the test? Either way, pass or fail, the story, the play, and the fun moves forward.

Edit in response to edit: Dropping your sword in a fight can grant disadvantages from length, etc. I wouldn’t let them try that move without consequences. Also, in Fight, if I recall correctly, not having a weapon limits the moves you can script. There’s always a choice. In general, taking a fist to a sword fight is a bad idea, so I’m not too worried about the extra 1D they’re arguing for.

Sure, If a player wanted to use his sword skill to cast a spell instead of sorcery, or roll his blacksmithing skill to make a flower bouquet, in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter the plot moves forward ¯_(ツ)_/¯ . You are correct. I’m not being sarcastic when I say I don’t have a counter argument to that.

Don’t strawman me. That’s not what I’m saying. The GM is still the final arbiter on what is a valid task and intent. If you’re that passionate about it, that’s fine. You don’t have to allow Sword FoRKs in your game. I’m at peace with that.

This does not take into effect weapon lengths, or other combat factors that would make drawing your sword favorable over a +1D from a FoRKed skill.

Whoah, buddy. I said I wasn’t being sarcastic. I wasn’t sarcastically saying I wasn’t being sarcastic!

I’m not being passionate, I’m being hypothetical. maybe that it devalues -wises? Or that it devalues Artha because if the player is trying really hard to FoRK in things for tests, presumably the test means something important to the character. Earning Artha then should be the players goal. So, in a way, it could possibly blur the focus of the game (playing beliefs) as the player doesn’t need Artha to get the things done that he wants done.