Instruction and Let it Ride

We’re in the odd situation of having a bunch of really skilled characters with totally different areas of expertise locked up in a small space for about 6 months. Our Spiteful Lord Protector has a belief about teaching the captain of our ship and the spymaster/heir to the throne how to defend themselves after an acrimonious duel of wits ended with the captain trying to slug the heir, and the Lord protector just held him in the air struggling until he cooled off (it was awesome - the heir won the DoW with a Point vs the Captain’s Incite, which meant they both needed to take steel tests, the heir for the Incite and the Captain for losing. The captain succeeded, and the heir failed despite winning the DoW, so the captain escalated to violence while the heir was hesitating, and the lord protector intervened, saving him from a pummeling. Hilarious.)

The question is, should we test instruction multiple times, like in the Sui Juk write-ups, or should we just let it ride for the entire trip? I think we tentatively decided that it should be a single test, though we threw around a lot of other ideas, like maybe a Duel of Training, or something.

What say you all?

Oh. And none of us have instruction. Failed instruction tests, I imagine, are wonderful for spiteful elves =)

Speak for your character! After failing to teach Lament of Mourning to the Spiteful Lord Protector, Lunir opened up Instruction (one of a number of huge-oversight skills needing to be opened).

The corollary to this question is the issue of what happens with the practice time generated by a failed Instruction test. If Instruciton for a Routine takes five days and fails, and therefore counts as practice. Does that still consume the whole day, interrupting downtime practice, or does it just count as two hours of practice per day?

Oh. Right. You and your bloody G7 will, or whatever it is.

On THAT issue, I have an opinion. Instruction takes “All day, every day” as part of the rolling process. Simply because you’ve failed doesn’t mean it takes less time.

Let It Ride protects against dysfunction - from inevitable failure, for example, from having to make five Ob 2 Stealthy tests, given by a GM who doesn’t realize that this is harder than a challenging test; all success gives you is a chance to fail at the next test. LIR also nudges story pace along - let’s move on and test something else more interesting.

I say treat it like an extended conflict, and roll several times, because this doesn’t fit either of those situations. Both success and failure have an interesting effect - the calendar advances, and we have a very meaningful ticking clock. Will we learn the skills we need before we reach the capital?

Rolling just once has weird implications, also. I don’t know Culhir’s will, but Derelion and Lunir will have an instruction time of 9 days. Roll successfully and you get… 20 tests for advancement?!

(On the other hand, treating it as an extended conflict does mean that we will only get one Instruction test out of it, which seems fair.)

I’d say yes, the instruction takes the whole time (e.g. five days), but it only counts as five days’ worth of practice at two hours per day.

This might be totally wrong, but what I would do is have a different instruction test not for each skill test, but for all the tests needed to advance the skill. So if you were untrained and needed 4 tests to learn then one instruction roll would determine if you could get those 4 tests. If you passed then you could roll again for the n tests you need to advance the exponent etc.

This might be too D&D style, but to me it feels like the right amount of weight to give to each roll.

That’s not a bad idea. A couple of ways to do it would be to set an Ob based on the number of tests being taught - so if you’re teaching someone 4 sword tests, then it’s an Ob 5 (Base 1 + 5 tests) instruction test. Alternately (and more generously) you could make it an Ob1 test, with tests taught based on the margin of success.

Be sure to check out the new Instruction rules in Gold.

Having just re-read the Gold instruction rules, are you referring to the fact that there is a +2Ob for Military skills, or is the implication that the instructor only rolls once for each type of skill test, and then may teach that level to the student without further rolling?