New Skill: Deduction

This is a skill designed to reflect the fact that while players may not be able to piece events or ideas together, their characters may. It draws on the spirit of “Read a Sitch” in AW or “Puzzle things out” from tremulus – allows characters to think about what they know in order to discern more information about the world and its happenings.

What do you think?

Deduction______________________________ Per
This skill allows the use of reason to arrive at a conclusion that follows necessarily from the premises presented. The conclusion cannot be false if the premises are true.

Obstacles: Linking two facts, Ob 1. Understanding a simple social event or crime scene, Ob 2. Linking three facts, Ob 3. Understanding a complicated social event or crime scene, Ob 4. Connecting paltry trace evidence, Ob 5.
FoRKs: Philosophy, Research, Rule of Law, Strategy, Ugly Truth
Skill Type: School of Thought
Tools: No. |

Seems overly broad. I usually handle this sort of thing by having the player test an appropriate wise. For example, one time I had a player test Cult-wise to figure out who the secret cultist was. You can give them advantage dice if they’ve found clues and stuff. Alternately, you can represent the process of performing an investigation and gathering evidence as a series of linked tests.

Somehow that skill feels anti-BW to me. In “understanding the world” it’s wises, or a bunch of academic-type skills. Or social skills, for social situations. If it’s for characters understanding when players don’t… that’s just not the way I think the game should work. You tell the players, or you let the players tell you!

Mostly, though, I think this treads heavily on the toes of Perception when it’s needed.

Wises are typically used to recall facts or to make things true in the game. A different function, I think.

What about this skill feels anti-BW? Have a look at Ugly Truth – it offers a very similar use for determining the underlying truth of a situation. Deduction is meant to build on Ugly Truth by offering a similar skill that allows players to determine the connections between elements within a situation.

Perception is used for perceiving – I’m confused about how this would tread on the toes of perception. Could you give an example? If anything, I think it works splendidly into a linked test with Observation or Perception first (depending on whether or not things are intentionally hidden) and then Deduction to draw conclusions about what one finds.

I treat an investigstion as a long series of linked tests too. However, I could see an argument for a “detective” type to use the Driven call-on trait to aid their observation or interrogation skills. Perhaps even a Deductive Reasoning (Dt) to give a +1D to any skill utilized to solve a puzzle or crime.
Based on the Geometric (Dt) it would costs 3 pts.

I guess I’m looking for a skill that would allow players to ask questions like:

“How is the king’s murder connected to the rising price of grain?”
“What is the connection, if any, between the blood we found at the baker’s house, the tracks leading in the sewers, and the nightmares Ingruelle is having?”
“What was the duke’s purpose for hosting this dinner?”

I’m not very confident about the obstacles, but I think this skill starts to allow players to do this kind of thing.

Here are two old threads that might interest you:

Whodunnits in Burning Wheel and CR-driven murder investigation

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