FoRKing -wises in conflict scenes

Hello people,

I am seeking advice on arbitrating the re-use of broadly applicable -wises, particularly in high intensity scenes, such as conflict scenes with the use of Duel of Wits, Fight, or Range and Cover.

To what extent do you require your players to narrate (describe) the use of -wises in scenes where they are applied many times?

A typical example might be Orc-wise in a fully blown fight against a Black Orc Lieutenant.
Would you permit a player that has justified its use once to apply it to all subsequent rolls, not unlike Let it ride, or would you require each use to be narrated?

Currently I have adopted a strict, if not conservative, view that each use must be justified. In the interest of speeding up play, I am considering changing my stance on this topic.


I always require the justification of all FoRKs, if for no other reason than it’s the best way to keep dice-mongering to a minimum.

Plus I want to know how his knowledge of orcs is helping him kill the lieutenant. If he can’t be bothered to make up cool stuff about orcs, I can’t be bothered to give him a die :slight_smile:

But your charakter does know more about Orcs then you do right? I think when fighting a X you can get the stuff from your X-Wise.

He can’t invent stuff about the Lt because the Lt is right there in front of him, smashing his face in.
I might allow him to take one die once in the conflict for knowing a little something about ALL Orcs when facing this particular enemy.

I’m not talking about writing a thesis on Orc psychology, just a little color to show how this dude’s Orc-wise gave him insight in this moment. It’s not even justification in my eyes. The Orc-wise is relevant. But this is a game where we describe things to each other so we can see it.

I think BW needs fiction to support dice-rolling. Sometimes we can’t figure out how to help (fast enough). Though luck, but maybe the tester get’s a diff.-/chal.- test.

Like in movies/books. Fiction needs constant building and reincorporating. Storytelling is new, but familiar fun! I’d let orc-wise be FoRKed every time it was justified with some interesting/appropriate (and new) fiction!

The quickest way to bring the dice-mongering under control is to make the player rationalize the FoRK. Does it make sense in the fiction? Is it something they could plausibly assert?

It’s easy and cheesy to throw yourself +1D every time you punch an Orc in the head because you have Orc-wise. Not so easy if the GM wants to know what it is about punching an Orc that’s so special.

Thanks for the replies.

I have taken what you’ve written into consideration, and decided to return to the more conservative ruling for FoRKing. In the process, I think I have identified a bad habit around my table. The trouble is what I call retroactive FoRKs, that after the action is described, the player scours his character sheet for extra dice–now given my rather creative and experienced bunch players, this will almost always turn up something.

While I am not opposed to creative solutions, and leveling the odds, permitting players too much time to mull and ponder disrupts the fiction. The same thing sometimes happens when other players offer to help, ie., too much negotiation and not enough natural grooving roleplaying. Next session I will experiment with a Chess rule, once dice are PICKED UP*, the narrative stops. Unless help has been described, FoRKs indicated, none are available.

Don’t get me wrong. Retroactive FoRKs isn’t breaking my sessions.

*open for some interpretation.

Applied said houserule last Sunday. Worked great.

It had become something of a bad habit to spend too much time negotiating and justifying FoRKs and Help, during dice rolls. I am of the habit of announcing failure consequences before a roll, however retroactive FoRKs could sometimes invalidate, or render the consequence impotent. For instance, a Persuade test with a Falsehood-FoRK is very different from one with a Conspicuous-FoRK. Retroactive help and FoRKing therefore forced on-the-ball modification of consequences.

While not game breaking, it got to the point where I felt that our creative energy was being channeled in an nonconstructive direction. I mention this as a small tidbit from our table, and for other storytellers that feel the energy of the table disrupted.


Good to hear!

I whoeheartedly agree. On trick for retroactively adding FoRKs is to add additional failure consequences appropriate to the FoRKs used.

Player: IC: “So that is our case, my Queen, why why think going the opposite direction will actually save time in our endeavour. Now we only hope you will trust your infinite Wisdom and grant us the ships needed!”
OC: “So that’s Persuade B3 and Etiquette and Soothing Platituded ForK…”
GM: “OK, her will is 5. If you fail she’ll insist you make a trip to the Cannibal Archipelagos first. Roll!”
Player: “UH-oh, can I add my Sea-Wise? No? What If I wink suggestively, I’ve already buttered her up with sweet-talk, for an Seduction-FoRK?”
GM: “Sure, but if you fail not only will she insist you visit the Cannibals, the King will take unkindly to you and for starters grant you a lesser ship.”

Neat idea. Another tactic I’ve seen espoused is to have the player describe their actions, then only allow FoRKs that are already justified based on that description.

That’s actually in the rules as of BWG - Page 37 at the top of the page. In BWR the exact nature of how FoRKS’s change the game was a lot looser

Holy cats, I have got to read Gold more closely sometime.