Practicing with Grey Will

Hi All,

First off, this system is just superb. The way trouble, failure, advancement, and artha are all entwined is just lovely. Our 2 campaigns in this system have been the most suspenseful we’ve had to date.

Now. my question. I’ve had the only grey shade in my party for a while now, grey will, and have been learning grey math on my own. Past posts by all of you and the book itself have been useful, but some small gaps remain.

In this case, I am trying to determine how grey will effects the amount of practice a character can do in a day. Normally, players can practice hours a day equal to 3 times their will. Now in this case, my will is grey. In general, the book boosts grey stats/skills in situations where dice are not rolled, and grey and black would otherwise be equivalent. For example, when a grey stat or skill is used as a static ob for a vs. test, +2 is added to the exponent (+3 for white shade). Since will for practice pulls from a static will exponent, no dice rolled, I have been extrapolating this rule to (will+2)*3 hours per day of practice.

To my knowledge, this exact topic is not covered in the book, but from previous precedent, this solution seemed logical.

So do any of you know something I know don’t here? Please don’t hesitate to provide any manner of commentary.


The 3x Will exponent is already way too generous, IMO.

Also, the cases where you add to the exponent are explicitly listed. If it’s not there, you don’t do it. Factoring PTGS tolerances is another one.

oo i like how fast the replies come. thanks stormsweeper. anyone else have opinions?

I am in the opposite camp. You’ve got grey will. You can push yourself and maintain focus far longer than a normal person. That’s why I think the equation you wrote is correct.

There’s a lot of situations like this that the book doesn’t cover. I think extrapolating the general rule of grey= +2 is legitimate in all cases where that shade has an effect. Grey Speed effects the Reflexes equation, right? And Grey Will effects Mortal Wound equation, right?

I don’t have my book, so cannot quote pages.

I’m a BW Strict Constructionist. You already get the benefit of lower aptitudes and getting a gray-shaded skill.

I am not a constructionist. The book is not air tight, so to speak. But when things feel missing or slightly off, I try to envision what the intent of Master Crane might have been.

For the grey vs black, whenever dice are rolled, grey advantage comes out. When no dice are rolled, luke always writes in a way for grey to show its advantage over black. The examples are many: openning split skills, aptitude, hesistation, bleeding, IMS, any static Ob in any situation, duel of wits body, reflexes, mortal wound. Literally every place a grey stat or skill is used, it finds a way to distinguish itsself.

The more I re-read, the question I think becomes not whether there should be an advantage in practice time for a G4 vs B4 will, it is how great should that advantage be. The precedent for an advantage is clear. But the advantage in those examples is varied. For example a static Ob is acts as if the stat were +2, while aptitude only acts as if it were +1.

Therefor, it may be more reasonable here to make the equation (will+1)*3, more similar to the aptitude bonus given to the related stat.

If you give a bonus to both practice time and aptitude, you are double-weighting the benefit. The Grey Will already allows you to learn Will-rooted skills faster because your aptitude is lower.

I’m not sure if it that is true Thor.

The aptitude bonus is different from practice time calculation. If a character has a grey agility, his aptitude for agility based skills is reduced by one. As such, a grey will reduces will aptitude by one. However, the calculation of practice time is will specific. A grey agility does not factor in, because aptitude change is independent the calculation of practice time. Therefore boosting for grey will when calculating practice time would not be double-weighting.

Tyrs, it’s true that it doesn’t take less time to practice for a given test, but gray will means you need fewer tests. So gray will means you can open skills faster than black will. (Furthermore, they open gray, which is huge!)

Also, you can’t stack practice such that you’re practicing multiple routines for the same ability. You can practice different abilities within a given timeframe, but no doubling or tripling up.

both true.

stormsweeper, i don’t believe i claimed it was possible to double practice.

fuseboy, the point of my last post was that an aptitude bonus is granted for any grey stat, while practice time calculation is different and exclusive to the will exponent, much in the way grey agility provides an aptitude bonus to agility skills as well as a +2 boost when calculating reflexes.

For those reasons, I assert that an aptitude bonus for a grey will does not sufficiently address the practice time calculation issue.

It’s really fine as written. Reduce aptitude and use the standard times. Rendering shorter times in addition to reducing aptitude is game-breaking.

But no one is saying that Grey Will makes for shorter practice times, are they? Instead, I’m saying that a person with Grey Will can practice for a longer period of time in a single day. Grey or Black, they would still need the same amount of time to earn the same test. But a person with Grey Will might be able to focus on two skills in a day instead of just one.

It seems like treating Grey Will as 1 or 2 higher in any formula using Will is no more game breaking than having a Will of 1 or 2 higher, and no more double dipping than having more hours per day to train Will rooted skills with their lower aptitude.

Curious are there any specific exceptions in the rules that indicate that a Grey or White exponent is not increased to calculate something where the shade doesn’t factor in in some other way?


Not only game-breaking, but also time-breaking. My G7 will now means I can practice for 27 hours each day.

I’ve slowed down the matrix… :slight_smile:

That pun aside (and yes, I do realize that since it is only potential practice time and not real time, there really is no inconsistency), I fail to see how this is relevant? Anyone will only be able to practice at most 20 hours a day, perhaps, for a few days before collapsing from exhaustion. A more reasonable possible maximum time, allowing for sleep, rest and eating, might be 16 hours?

That’s a great point Storapan. There is an inherent cap at about 18 hours anyway.

Luke - I am not proposing reducing practice time, nor messing with the aptitude calcs. I am suggesting that, for calculating how much time a character can practice in a day, you use (will+1)3 instead of will3 if you have grey will. It seems consistent with your previous treatment of grey shade math to do this.

And I’m saying that I arrived at the x3 multiplier after years of thorough abuse of the practice time rules. And the x3 is still too generous. Change it at your peril.

lol well, you did write the book. guess that settles it. Grey math does not apply to practice time calculation, as it is too great an advantage to modify the 3x formula in any way.