Players' Turn - Complex Obstacles or the economy of checks

So, let’s say it’s time for the Players’ Turn. And there I have my player with only 1 free check.

P: “I want to do a Scientist check.”
GM: “Why?”
P: “Because I want to craft a medicine.”
Note: Player’s Intent/What’s at stake: Craft a medince.
GM: “Ok, so you’ll need moss from Elmoss for that. That’s a Recources Test. And you’ll need to test Scientist to see if you succeed in making the medicine” -> complex obstacle

Question: 2 tests = 2 checks OR 1 obstacle = 1 check?
Assuming it’s the latter I’ll have a player who will most likely succeed in getting his supply (the moss) but will have to wait till the next Players’ Turn before he can start to make the medicine.
I can imagine my player being dissatisfied with that. After all, he wanted to make the poison, not to make a test. The test is just the mechanic/task for achieving the player’s intent.

Same thing:
P: “I want to look if I can find a cartographer.”
GM: “Why?”
P: “I want him to draw me a map for the trail between X and Y.”
GM: “Ok, make a Circles test.”
P succeeds.
GM: “Ok, fine, there’s Cee, the cartographer.”
P: “Sweet, I wanna persuade him to draw me a map.”
GM: “Persuader test.”

So, I’m asking myself: how much is a check worth?
Is it worth a simple test so you can at least get your Pass or Fail for that test and make a step towards what you wanted to achieve?
Or is worth an action for the player? Him getting his intent fullfilled?

i’d also like to hear feedback on this topic.


My answer is based on what you can find at the pages : 73-75 and mainly 261.

At p.261 it clearly states that 1 check = 1 test.

The only exception to this is found at page 75, where it is mentioned that for 1 check, you can start a conflict. But still, a conflict isn’t the same as accomplishing two different tasks.

I’m not the designer, but I can see at least 2 reasons why your player shouldn’t get to do both tests. 1) Advancement. Everybody is going to try to accomplish complex stuff from now on because with a single check, they could still log a couple of tests for advancement. (I know, you could still do it with a conflict or in the case of a twist if the PC fails, but in both these instances, there’s a risk involved of negative consequences for the PC.) 2) It’s made so that your players are hungry for checks and therefore are going to show their traits in a negative fashion more often. They’re going to put themselves in though situations during the mission. They’re going to show why, their characters being the way they are, things are tougher for them. Maybe they’ll even fail more often, creating new twists (and thus, new occasion to log tests for advancement, etc.)

Otherwise, where are they gonna find the incentive to use their Traits against them ?

Dominic has it

This example is slightly different. I would choose to factor “willing to help” into the circles obstacle. Then on a success you can say yes to the Persuader request.

If the player wants to instead buy a map you can say yes to the meeting a cartographer, the cartographer wants business after all (no conflict), and make it a straight resource test.

Thanks for clarifying, guys.
I think I’ll just have encourage my players for earning checks then.

Also, thanks to Glug for the suggestion on how to handle the Resources test. I definitely feel better about this solution.