Revealing the Ob

I recall reading in a BW post that some believe that after a test is committed the GM should reveal the Ob number, specifically for TB.

From an RP approach, I kind of like the idea of leaving the exact number in the GM’s mind but not specified for the party: “It is hard to tell, you might be able to…” or “Seems pretty straightforward to…” From a player side, ain’t it nice to know if I should be dumping in some Artha to ensure success?

It came up recently, in a session, that there were different expectations for describing the Ob. How should I approach this as a GM in TB and as a player, what should one expect.

I guess the problem is, I can see it either way, and I’m not sure if I found an answer in the RAW. But hey, we were having fun and find/search isn’t perfect on the PDF, hardcopy or the forums.


The Ob should always be clear.

Great! I’m sure I missed it. Where is that documented?

Read all of the paragraphs on Page 63, under the “Overcoming Obstacles” section leading up to “Test to Overcome the Obstacle”. In the example provided, Thor lets the player know the Ob.

The obstacle number is announced once the players have committed to the action. Help, wises, traits and rewards can still be mustered, but the characters are in action and the test will be made.

The problem with announcing the Ob (or DC or whatever) in other systems is that the players might wuss out. They can’t wuss out here because you don’t tell them the Ob until they are committed to the roll. Also, because a failed test either succeeds with a condition or fails with a twist that should generally alter the situation the players are in, they aren’t rolling the same test over and over again so the Ob information doesn’t really help them metagame the way it does in some other systems.

You should also keep in mind that you shouldn’t abuse this setup to have a “gotcha” moment with the players. If they’re about to try something incredibly hard, please point out that it’s an incredibly hard task before they commit, instead of saying “Well, you said you were going to try this, and the Ob is 10, TOO BAD!” It’s only being sportsmanlike. :wink:

I think I heard luke say this at one point, but you really want to be on the player’s side with TB. Root for them, because the game itself is already against them. It just wouldn’t be fair to gang up on them :slight_smile: