Letting it ride example

So in the game I GM, the following happened. Talking to a guy, getting him to confess his sins in religious ceremony. Test persuasion > failed. 5 minutes later, a different character is talking to the priest of the congregation and attempts to get him to tell of the first guy’s sins. Potential test suasion.

After some deliberation I called this a let it ride from the failed first test - that the goal of knowledge of this man’s sins is the same. Is this correct, or does having a slightly different method and different characters make this different enough that it does not ride?

Feel free to ask if more details are needed.

It sounds to me like there are two different intents: get someone to admit to his sins vs. get a priest to violate the sanctity of confession. I wouldn’t have let the first failure ride to the second intent.

Let it Ride is there to prevent people from trying to achieve the same intent with the same task over until they succeed, or to prevent a GM from making a player test over and over until they fail.

Let It Ride just says you can’t reroll a test unless the situation changes significantly, so I don’t see how it would apply here. If the character and the task are different its a completely different test even if it has the same intent, right?

Also, what was the failure result from the religious ceremony? There should never be a case in BW when the scene is idling, allowing PCs to walk up to an obstacle and try it one by one.

I think this depends on what level the intent is working at. If the intent is to get dirt on the man, it is the same - and the task of convincing someone in order to get this dirt is similar. If the intent is instead bound closer to the task, I can see how your example works. I guess I’m not sure where the line should be placed between intent as specific or general.

I’ll describe the situation more fully. A PC has made a deal with someone to get dirt on guard captain and has a belief about this. The group have helped with following the captain to a secret religious meeting, which is against the law. They decide to go inside and not immediately use this information since this is the persecuted religion the PC believes in. The priest of the PC group wises up a part of the ceremony that involves admitting your sins (but fails and so can only admit your sins to someone of equal importance to yourself). Using the context of this religious ceremony, the main PC goes to the captain and tells him of his sins and asks whether he has any sins (persuasion check, fail, result is the captain closes up and dismisses the PC). With this failed (perhaps the choice to do this falls into metagaming, since the priest character didnt know the failure of main PC), the priest PC now wants to use suasion (though on a separate note I think his description/RP was more persuasion) to convince the priest of the captain’s group to retell any sins the captain has admitted through this ceremony in the past.

Perhaps another issue with this scene was the not very failure-y failure consequence from the wises roll, but that’s not really a rules thing - just something for me to work on.

But… Let It Ride doesn’t say anything about intent. It just says you can’t reroll the same test twice. It just means the main player couldn’t attempt another persuasion test against the captain, and the GM couldn’t ask for one.
I don’t see how a different approach used by a different player could be considered a retest. In fact, encouraging the group to try to obtain their goal by other methods is one of the positive consequences of the rule! Approaching the captain directly didn’t work so they have to try a different method.

As I read this, it seems as if the priest pc is the only pc trying to convince (test against) the captain. It also seems that he first failed a Wise test before attempting to use Persuasion on the captain. He then wanted to try to get the information another way by using his Suasion skill.

If this is correct, I wouldn’t necessarily use Let it Ride as Suasion and Persuasion are two different, albeit similar, skills.

What puzzles me is why the Religion Wise and Persuasion weren’t FoRKed into Suasion in the first place.

Allow me to explain.

I was playing one of the PCs in this scene.

So my character, Jak, and the priest PC, Theo are in a new-found religious congregation together with the NPC guard captain in question.

I wanted to establish that in our faith, sharing your sins with a fellow in church is common practice. I think I rolled Doctrine to establish this, then went on to try and get the captain to speak to me and tell me his sins after I have spilled mine to him. I failed my Persuasion, and the guard captain calls me “scum under him” (Truth, I am. He’s a noble) and refuses to talk to me henceforth about anything. I shimmy away.

Theo (also a priest) later on begins to ask the priest of this congregation about the captain’s sins using Suasion.

The intent is pretty much the same: get the dirt on the captain. The task is very different though.

IMO, here, Let It Ride doesn’t apply.

It’s not Let It Ride:

One of the most important aspects of ability tests in game play in Burning Wheel is the Let It Ride rule: A player shall test once against an obstacle and shall not roll again until conditions have legitimately and drastically changed (Let It Ride, page 32).

LiR applies to a single player’s roll, not across multiple players’ tests.

Sorry, but there’s lots of confusion in there. Convincing someone is not a task, that’s an intent (it’s actually given as an example of an inappropriate task on Page 25). The intent is to convince him (to give you the dirt) and the task is “by asking him.” Thus, the GM determines that Persuasion is the skill to be tested. The character’s intent in Burning Wheel is a specific thing in the rules and is closely bound to the task, for one character.

When declaring an action for a character, you say what you want and how you do it. That’s the intent and the task…Clearly stating and linking the task and intent allows player and GM to determine what ability needs to be tested (Intent, Page 24).

Actually, not so.

A GM can not call for multiple rolls of the same ability to accomplish a player’s stated intent (Let It Ride, Page 32).


Whilst I am now seeing a consensus and can agree with it, I would like to respond to noclue.

Would I be correct in thinking that helping dice would tie the character’s fates together for this, as in failure consequences? Would that apply equally in the situation of a linked test?

As far as I can remember and the chat log shows it was priest pc making a linked wise into Jak’s persuade.

While it’s not exactly as the rules are written, I’ve always thought of LiR as pretty simple: you (the collective players) can’t try to do the same thing twice. One player can’t make the same roll over and over, and every player can’t make the same roll in turn. There are also times when a task has multiple plausible skills associated, and you can’t do the same thing with different skills. Ideally it’s because the roll should have an outcome with enough effect that the situation changes so that there’s other stuff that needs to be done anyway. (And, of course, the same goes for success; if the characters have accomplished something, the GM can’t make them have to do it again, even under the guise of similar but not identical rolls.)

Hmmm. Maybe. Probably?

The character’s fates are tied together by the fiction, by what’s happening. The fact that they’re helping each other certainly creates a higher probability that whatever happens will affect them all, but it’s not a hard rule like you would find in Torchbearer.