# Gray Math

In our last game, we noticed something odd about gray skills and attributes:

When you roll a black skill against an Ob derived from a gray attribute, you add two to the obstacle.
When you roll a gray skill against an ob derived from a black attribute, you count 3s as successes.

And, as far as we can tell, when you roll a gray skill against an Ob derived from a gray attribute, you count 3s as successes, but DON’T add two to the obstacle.

In short, if you have Gray Command, it is as easy to Incite someone with Gray Will as it is to Incite them if they have Black Will.

This seems wrong. Either you shouldn’t count 3s as successes when both skill and obstacle are gray, or 2 should be added to the obstacle no matter what.

Or am I missing something?

Edit: Having reread the rules I can see your point; when your opponent has a grey stat your own grey stat doesn’t help you at all. I guess that’s intended, so that when you’re fighting someone on the same shade as you the maths is kept to a minimum. If you need a reason in setting, I guess it’d be that the inherent superiority that normally raises the exponent when people try to incite you doesn’t work against another person with heroic abilities.

Not quite, Wurzel, he’s saying:

G4 Command vs. B4 Will rolls 4D, needs 4s
G4 Command vs. G4 Will rolls 4D, needs 4s.

A quirky edge case.

Yeah, I reread and realised I had the wrong end of the stick. Edited my post so I actually address the question

Not so edge when you’re playing in a party of 3 elves all of whom have grayed out Will and a penchant for arguing with each other!

I’m one of the elves. So, yeah… I figure that the rules could just as easily have been, ‘When you use a Gray stat as an Obstacle, add 2 to it’ and leave it at that (never mind what shade ability is targeting it).

That wouldn’t work very well in my opinion. Put a G4 skill vs a G4 stat as Ob and you go from a small chance of success (about 20%) to making success without Artha impossible. That doesn’t seem right for such a close match, especially since the chance of success is probably a bit low as it is in the RAW. It becomes even worse if you put W4 against the G4 stat.

Yes, of course, I didn’t work that out very well, did I?

To me, it’s intuitive to add +2 to the Obstacle when trying to dice against Grey shades. So this makes sense:

G4 Command vs. B4 Will rolls 4D, needs 4s
G4 Command vs. G4 Will rolls 4D, needs 6s.

Why are you all saying that G4 needs 4s and not 3s?

4s = “4 successes, requiring 3,4,5 or 6 on a D6”

“4s” in this case meaning “four successes.”

Sometimes abbreviations, they are not so helpful.

Alternately, when testing an ability against an ob of the same colour, you could treat both as black.

That approach leads to a different “problem”. In the Grey Skill verses Grey Stat Ob equals Stat, the person being persuaded now is easier to persuade than the equivalent Black Skill versus Black Stat. This stemming from the fact that the Grey skill successes are easier to come by.

Just leave as it is, I say. And your elves must be more dickish than the garden variety if you’re inciting each other all the time.

No, that’s exactly the “problem” we’re trying to avoid. If you treat both as black, you get successes on a 4 and take the normal Ob.

As for being dickish… we’re a Captain of a ship (and Etharch of a city), Major of Marines (and Lord Protector, who’s gone Spiteful), and Heir to the Throne (and secret agent) who wants to execute the Captain’s Niece. So yes. We’re all dicks.

I see what you’re saying.

1. If I have B4 Persuasion and you have B4 Will then it’s an Ob 4 test and has ~6% chance of working.
2. If I have B4 Persuasion and you have G4 Will then it’s an Ob 6 test and has 0% chance of working.
3. If I have G4 Persuasion and you have B4 Will then it’s an Ob 4 test and has ~20% chance of working.
4. If I have G4 Persuasion and you have G4 Will then it’s an Ob 4 test and has ~20% chance of working.

You want entry 4 to have less success than entry 3 but more than entry 2.

I’m not that bothered by this quirk. The skills matter more than stats as a general rule. So I’m with Stormsweeper in leaving it be.

I was bothered more by the changed practicals and second reading rules.

This is correct and intentional. You are encouraged to use your Gray Will in an active manner. If you want to feel its benefits, enter a Duel of Wits or make a versus test rather than using it as a passive defense.

Any discussion of hacking the game should take place in a new thread in the Sparks forum.

Well, yes. That’s exactly what I want. I think that G4 on G4 should have approximately the same chance of success as B4 on B4.

And, well, I think it came up twice last game =P. I foresee there being more incites, disarmings, etc.

Thor, does that mean that tests to convince someone to do something should be versus tests of persuading skill vs. will rather than persuading skill versus an obstacle of will, as we were playing? (I am playing the third–rather the first! elf, the Captain/Althing) Specifically, my character had an argument with his wife ( a well-inclined relationship) trying to get her to help heal Countercheck’s character. Is it the intent of the rules that I would test skill versus will or versus an obstacle set by will to win this argument and persuade her to do it my way, assuming that it is not a big enough deal to DoW over? This would address the Grey Maths issue in that both would roll grey dice, but is at the same time less advantageous for the person being persuaded, as she already counted as if all her dice were successes.