# +Ob1 VS -1D

Hi all,
reading the wound system I don’t unterstand why a Superficial Wound gives you a +1Ob while a Light Wound (which is worse) gives you a -1D.
I mean, speaking about averages, I need 2 dices to make a successful Ob1, so that the +1Ob is equivalent to a -2D, that is, a medium wound.
Now, I’m sure I’m missing something, but what exactly?

This puzzled me too, until I realized that you only take +1 Ob penalty for all Su wounds. So, one or two Su wounds, you only take +1 Ob total. Of course, at three Su wounds, the penalty goes up to -1D, but I think then it stays at -1D. It’s a flat penalty. All other wound penalties are cumulative. Two Light wounds means you take -2D. Finally, +Ob penalties don’t bring you closer to incapacitation. That -1D brings you one level closer to getting knocked out, which means a lot if your lowest stat is a B4. That’s 25% of the way to going down.

There’s also the fact that rolling less dice means less 6s to explode.

Also, bear in mind that light wounds provoke steel tests, whereas supies don’t.

http://burningwheel.com/wiki/index.php?title=Why_1_Ob_vs_-1D%3F

I’d asked the same thing. It’s a pretty common question.

Thanks, but still this doesn’t make any sense to me. I mean, I’d beg for that third Superficial Wound, it improves my expected behaviour instead of damaging it.
I must admit, however, that 25% of incapacitation sound pretty nasty. Another question, why exactly am I incapacitated when I reach 0 in a stat?

Edit: no, it makes perfect sense. Thank you all

And -1D reduces your reflexes, while +1Ob doesn’t. Same for, for example, Disarm (The obstacle is your opponent’s weapon skill, which is reduced by a Light but not by a Superficial wound.)

Because that’s what “incapacitation” means in BW. See “Zero Stats = Incapacitation” on pg 489.

Makes perfect sense now.
What a wonderful forum

Trust me, you won’t beg for Light wounds when you see how the Steel system works.

Or maybe you will. Who knows?!

One failed Steel test can ruin your whole day.

The wiki page that Silverwizard linked to states that “a light wound lowers the Ob for anything that uses your stats/skills as an Ob (Disarm, Incite, etc).”

Is this true?

I’ve been wondering about this. What about standard tests, where the obstacle is the value of the stat? In my campaign, I have ruled that light wounds don’t lower the actual value of stats, insofar as is concerned certain opposed Fight actions that use base stat values to determine the obstacles. My reasoning is that wound penalties give wounded dice, whereas the opposed Fight actions list the value of the stat as the obstacle. (ie. The wounded opponent does not roll dice, so wounded dice don’t count.)

Wounds temporarily (or occasionally permanently) reduce stats and skills. When a stat or skill is used as an obstacle, use the current value, not the maximum value.

One big reason I like the wound system: it’s quick, simple, and brutal.

For fun, try beating someone up until their will is reduced to one, and then make a falsehood test to convince them that your evil twin did it.

Taelor notes a valid tactic for weakening an opponent’s Will, but unfortunately his intent and task are ultimately invalid.

Well - sure - but you could do it with Force of Will - if you can hit Ob 7 with your Sorcery.

Strength of the Ox and Dexterity of the Cat get easier as well, and if you only have a Light Wound, you’d get more dice from them than you lost.

Not really sure where’s that’s going.

Trust me, there will come a day where your sorcerers say “Ob 7? That’s it?”

Ah, so I was doing it wrong. Thanks for clearing that up for me!