I was rereading BWG in preparation to run my first game, and I noticed an oddity regarding the generating of Mortal Wound (Pg. 90) and Superficial Wound (Pg. 98). If you assume that the Shade of your Forte is conserved when calculating your Superficial Wound (the way Shades are conserved generally) and you have a Grey Forte (and only a Grey Forte), you end up with a Superficial Wound to the right of your Mortal Wound on the PTGS. I think the obvious, common-sense solution is to make the Superficial Wound Shade the same as the Mortal Wound Shade, but it was something that caught my eye, and I got curious. Am I wrong on any of this? Is there anything I’m missing from the book or should know from somewhere else? What do you folks think?
Here’s an example for clarity:
If you have a B4 Power and a G2 Forte, you get a B10 Mortal Wound - That’s (4 + 2 + 2[For Grey Shade]/2) + 6, Black because Black is the darkest ability involved. Your Superficial Wound is G2 - That’s 2/2 +1, Grey because Forte is Grey. G2 is equal to B18 in the PTGS.
I’m just trying to remember without the books with I think for black superficial wound is half Forte rounded down +1. For grey I think it’s just exponent, no halving (not sure about the plus 1…). Same for the space between wounds on the tolerance scale, the forte isn’t halved.
So G2 Forte superficial wound is B2.
Light would be B4.
Your light and midi would be better if you had B4 forte. Plus if you took a midi your G2 would hit zero and you’d go down.
So unless you have a way to get forte tests (by being a sorcerer) it’s more like a detriment.
While to me it seems pretty obvious that the intent is to place the superficial at [half the exponent +1] in the black scale (so a G2 forte is placed at 2/2+1 on the black scale, B2), when I think about it the rules seem pretty easy to misinteprete here.
I’ve just quickly checked the relevant parts of the book about this, but I couldn’t find where it says to do this. Only thing I could find was multiple places telling me that when calculating MW, you add 2 before averaging if either stat is grey. In other words, unless your power is also grey/white, a GX forte is effectively a BX forte for all non-MW tolerances.
A pointer if I’ve missed something, please?
Thanks for taking the time, especially when you don’t have the books easy to hand. I went and tried to poke through Gold for where that might have been clarified. It struck me to check the “Heroic and Supernatural” chapter (It probably should have struck me sooner). The only relevant bit I saw was that if you have a Grey Mortal Wound, your Superficial Wound is your full Forte Exponent in Black (then add Forte to that again and that’s the Light Wound). Dunno if that jogs your memory at all.
Yeah, like I said, it seems like that answer is pretty common-sense, though it would be cool if having a Grey Forte gave you a li’l some’in’-some’in’ here considering how rarely folks seem to see Forte used otherwise (though I’m really not familiar enough with the game to make that kind of judgement).
Grey forte does actually have a unique effect: bleeding times are doubled. Can be found in the heroic and supernatural chapter.
This is actually itself unclear to me, since bleeding is worded as “the wound must be treated before the end of the session/second scene/scene after/current scene” before bleeding to a worse wound, which aren’t really time measurements and thus can’t be doubled.
Perhaps I should make a new thread about that question though.
That’s how we’ve been treating it so far. Would be cool with a full explanation, since I’ve heard that wound bleeding used to be measured in in-game hours rather than meta-time and I think this may be a carry-over from that.
Yep, I think this is a case where you’re extrapolating specific rules into general ones. The shade of your Forte is factored into the mortal would calculation. The tolerances are only based on the bare Forte exponent, with the spacing determined by the shade of the mortal wound.
So the tolerances for a character with a B4 power and a G2 forte are identical to those of character with a B6 and B2.
There’s definitely some wonkiness with low grey stats in these calculations, though. Generally you can fit in all the tolerances, but the superficial will end up being lower than it should.
I think I was more deducing from the “Shade” entry on page 13 about ability numbers always coming with a letter. In this case, it seemed like that letter would be G since that’s Forte’s letter. But you’re saying the G already got in there at the Mortal Wound level? Interesting. And that’s how you folks play at Burning Wheel HQ?
That certainly doesn’t sound right. That section is a subheading of Ability Ratings. Ability Ratings is broken up into Exponents and Shade. Its sibling headings include things like Using this Book, Dice, and Voices in my Head. This is foundational text, upon which lies the rest of the work.
Shade doesn’t just describe what to do when rolling; it defines what Shade is in the context of the game, and it does so before describing the rolling procedure. And before even that, it says that every ability number in the game has a shade. I believe that order reflects the nature of the section as a definition.
I think, “Every ability number in burning wheel is accompanied by a letter,” is meant to illustrate that Shade is integral to ability ratings by definition. You don’t have a velocity without a speed and a direction, and you don’t have an ability rating without an Exponent and a Shade. I think this reading is supported by the statement being true outside of the context of rolling dice: Every ability number in Burning Wheel is accompanied by a letter; Shade plays a part any time an ability is factored numerically. At least as far as I know. Again, I’m pretty new. The only example I can think of where this isn’t the case is Superficial Wound (maybe, hence this thread). Stride, maybe, but that is specifically called out as not having a Shade.
Can anyone else think of an example where an ability’s Exponent is called for but its Shade is not?
Hmm… The language there is pretty clear about using the just the Exponent: “If the exponent of the helping ability is 4 or lower[…]” Comparing that to the writing of the steps in the Character Burner, yeah, the Character Burned has a more brusk writing style, I think. Comparing the Mortal Wound step and the Physical Tolerances step in that light has proven useful: Mortal Wound reads, “A character’s mortal wound tolerance is the average of his Power and Forte, rounded down plus 6. If Power and Forte are black shade[…]” We see the abilities standing in for the numbers in the math, then that math is modified by the shade in the next sentence. The Superficial Wound calculation is presented the same way, only there is no next sentence. The bit of structure where Shade would be addressed is vacant. So, yeah… Looks like Shade is left out of this factorization, and I think that’s probably the best way to interpret the text. Thanks.
You’re remembering this from the Monster Burner (Revised). On page 369:
There are a few things in the Monster Burner about rare shade situations that never made it into Gold, the Codex, or Gold Revised, that I think were oversights, not deliberate rule removals. This is one of them, along with how to average multiple mixed shades (p. 367–8).
MonBu might not be available to new players, but I think its rules on shade should be considered essential errata for Gold and later.