So the Mourner says “The player may add any amount to his starting Grief that he sees fit, up to a maximum of exponent 9.”
The elf is already at Grief B9 without this. Could I spend 5 points to Gray the Attribute and add enough points to bring it to G9? Is a player allowed to use Mourner to Gray his grief regardless?
Nope. It’s an exponent thing, not a shade thing. Those are two distinct components.
Cool. Thanks. To be clear, I’m interested in timing so please bear with me.
You buy the trait, Mourner, first (Step 6) and decide how many Grief points to add. Then in Step 7 figure Grief. Here’s the tricky part…
In Step 6 lets say you say “I take 5 points of Grief.”
When you figure out Grief you start with 6 instead of zero (max of 9, right?), then add everything and come to a Grief of 14. You can’t have higher than a Grief 9 so you spend 5 points to shift the shade to Gray.
Buy the trait in Step 6. Figure out Grief and it comes to 10 before adding anything from Mourner. Use 5 points to Gray the Attribute bringing it to G5 then add 4 points from Mourner to make it G9.
What am I missing?
Why are you factoring your Grief in Step 6? Factor your Grief in Step 7, answer the questions and then modify the result using Mourner.
Honestly, if you want a gray Grief, it’s easy to get. Or just ask and have the group decide.
Were I GMing, I’d say that the real crux is on the differential between the value it’s at after step 7 and a B9-equivalent Grief. If you’ve got a G4 Grief when you add Mourner, that means that you’ve effectively got a B9 Grief, in which case Mourner can help you no further. I don’t think this is out of step with what Luke said, but if it is I’m sure he’ll correct me.