Help and Laments

Can elves get Helping Dice when singing a Lament? I interpret the text on p. 156 Laments: Mitigating Grief to say no: “Grief is a private thing. Each Elf must lament and grieve personally.” On the other hand, the rule in the Paths of Spite for Spite to Grief p. 17 state that the character must sing Lament of Mourning with at least one helping die. Is this a special case, or may one normally receive help in a Lament?

I’d read that text to say that you may never test for anyone else’s Grief. Help… I don’t know, really. I’d have to defer to someone who has run elves long-term on that one. I’m not in love with the idea of turning it into something communal and procedural the way Lifestyle Maintenance* often is, but “don’t always help” is not the same as “no help ever.”

*That’s good, for Lifestyle Maintenance. It should be like that. Laments shouldn’t, IMO.

I agree that the flavour of elves grieving alone without help is better, but mechanically, there is the problem of routine tests. . .

Lunir has G5 Grief and a G4 Lament of Mourning. He gets, in play, a level 6, level 7, and a level 5 Grief test. Since he already has a challenging test marked towards Grief, he can safely ignore the 6 & 7, unless he is looking to advance Grief (he isn’t–I am trying to play him as unbreakable). THe level 5 would be a difficult test, so I would like to Lament to reduce it to Routine, and therefore ignore it. With a G4 Lament of Mourning, I can Work with the Care of the Eternal to get G6, which is still a Difficult test, whereas I only have Routine tests to mark towards advancement. From both a success and an advancemnt point of view, it makes sense for my character to request help from either his character’s NPC wife (who Song of Songs) or Countercheck’s character, Culhir, who also has Song of Songs, and is always happy to earn Helping tests.

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I feel that you ought to look at the Conditions of Help section. Can the players satisfy those conditions? Does it make sense to the players and the story? If so I think it’s fine. Those are the helping rules after all.