Instincts = Free Rolls

Hey everybody,

I’m just one week away from our first World Burning session and 3 weeks (gotta break for GenCon!) away from our first session of BE. I’m supa-pumped.

It seems to me that one of the benifits of a well written instinct is that it can get you a free roll that doesn’t count against your Building Scene rolls. I just read an old thread where Thor gives an example of: “I use my instinct “Always Inconspicuous when on the “Job”” to make a free Inconspicuous roll and nail it.” while tailing someone.

That sounds pretty cool, I have a couple questions: Does that count for conflicts too? For example, the age-old Psycologst Instinct “When cornered, fry his brain”. If that instict were triggered, that would start a Psychic Duel of Wits. That would still count as a Conflict for that side, right? I’m assuming yes.

My second question is more general. If it is true that Instincts can get you free rolls like that, how about starting a list of Instincts that are good examples of this?

I’ll kick us off:

“Always do a background check before meeting a client” (could be a variety of skills: Bureaucracy, Security Rigging, etc)

“Always do a reading the first time I meet someone” (Psychology)

“Always meditate before confronting an adversary” (Meditation)

“Keep a spy in every rival’s ranks” (Circles? Is this a valid Instinct? Too broad?)

You could make an Instinct for a skill you start low at, to provoke free tests that throughout the game will eventually build that skill into a juggernaut by the end.

“Personally write the script for the weekly propaganda posting” (Propaganda)

“When in doubt, offer a compliment.” (Soothing Platitudes)

Your turn!

Cool thread! My character in our current BE campaign has:

[li]“Always check the crew roster and the cargo manifest.” (not really tied to a specific skill, could work for Security, Investigative Logic, Cargo-Wise, maybe even Circles. I did use it once as a free linked test into a Firefight disposition roll, since the FF was attacking a ship.)[/li][li]“When in doubt, torture the bitches.” (Torture)[/li][li]“Always assume they’re guilty.” (this one’s better for earning Fate than for free rolls, but it might work for a Wise or Investigative Logic.)[/li][/ul]
However, I think you have to be careful how easily you allow free rolls. Check Specific Actions to Specific Stimulus on p.120. Free rolls (i.e. that don’t use up 1 of your 3 builders) always need to be in response to something specific that’s covered in your Instinct. I actually think that in most cases, my “When in doubt, torture the bitches” is too vague to get a free roll*, and I never have – though I did get a Fate for torturing another PC, taking his eye and having him swear vengeance on me. But I should probably change it to something more specific like “when insulted” or “when I suspect duplicity”.

  • actually would be a special DoW instead of a single roll, see the Torture skill.

There are no free conflicts, unfortunately. Free single test, sure. Free conflict, no.