If he only wants to affect one ghoul, then the ob is 3. If he fails, he can’t attempt to affect that particular ghoul again until he levels. It’s just to prevent you from spamming the prayer until it takes hold.
What’s the reasoning behind it working that way? It sort of feels like a double penalty. Like, not only is it harder to try to turn more undead, but even if you hit that harder obstacle it’s even harder to actually turn all the undead you were trying to turn.
Every other instance I can think of where the obstacle goes up for a wider effect (say feeding more people with cook or getting more people through a cavern with dungeoneering) just gets you what you want with that higher ob. It feels weird since it’s like "here’s this higher obstacle for the intent of turning more undead, but meeting that obstacle doesn’t actually turn them. For that, you need even more successes.
Furious cleric, 2nd game session: test Ritualist 4D, +1D Touched by the Gods, tap Demanding Nature +6D, +1D for wearing Finery, +1D help from the Paladin in your group. 13 dice, re-roll failures by spending Persona to use Undead-wise. Someone go do this.
I’m all for being forced to make a choice, but in this case the choice feels like “you can try for a higher ob to get more, but oh, did I mention that you don’t actually get what you’re going for by meeting the new Ob that was just set?” It’s like there’s 2 extra obs which feels really out of place. First you increase the difficulty to attempt to turn more creatures, but hitting that Ob doesn’t actually turn all the creatures.
It’d be like if Cook worked like this:
Ob 1 to feed yourself. Then +1 Ob per extra person to feed more people. But meeting that higher ob doesn’t actually feed them all, meeting it only feeds you and if you roll higher then every extra success feeds another person.
If it was just “higher ob for more effect” I wouldn’t be confused at all since that’s how the rest of Torchbearer works, but nowhere else is there a case of increasing the difficulty to do more, but then not actually getting the “more” by meeting the new higher ob. It’s like you’re setting the intent of “turn more undead” and that intent causes the obstacle to go up, but then meeting that Ob doesn’t actually get your intent. It’s confusing.
And I’m not totally sold by Jared’s example. That sort of thing could happen with any skill, not just Ritualist for turning Undead, so I still don’t see what’s so different about it.
I mean, that’s the rule and that’s how I’ll play it, but it’s still going to confuse me on why it’s that way and not like the rest of the game.