Got a horrible big pile of questions here and apologies in advance! Basically I’m a little bit confused about situations where you roll stats as…well stats and not because of Beginners Luck. The sections specifically on stats are pretty brief in BWG but it says things like…power is tested in a grapple, speed is tested for lots of movement things etc etc.
Also in scripted things like Duel of Wits, and Range and Cover the book is very specific about when you roll a stat instead of skill. However, I’m just wondering what other situations this is applicable?
There’s an example in the Fight! chapter that got me all confused. It concerns to characters lunging for a sword at the same time and the resolve this with a contested power test. Now, could one of these players say that actually what they’re doing is brawling the opponent. They don’t have brawling as a skill so the test is still a Power vs Power test just they have the option to mark this as test to open Brawling.
This then brings me to the confusion about versus tests where it’s Stat vs Skill and Stat vs Stat. In a normal situation where I haven’t got the skill and my opponent does then the Beginners Luck rules are very obvious. I have a double obstacle penalty so, in effect I need 2 successes for 1 of my opponents. In a situation where we’re both using the Beginners Luck rules then this essentially cancels out right? We now basically go back to a “normal” versus test situation.
But what about in this Power v Power example above. We’re going to grapple over this sword and I say that my intent is to brawl with this guy and get the sword before he does. I’m rolling Power as a stand in for the fact that I don’t have the brawling skill. He is apparently just rolling Power because…well I’m not really sure why to be honest. In this case do I have a double obstacle or, like in other Stat v Stat situations is it just a normal vs roll.
Essentially all of this text can be boiled down into two questions:
- Can someone explicitly tell me in what situations stats are rolled, not just in place of a skill but as their stat? (So DoW, R&C, fight, positioning tests and…?)
- Is stat vs skill always double ob to the stat and is stat vs stat always devoid of double ob penalties?
This brings me on to the second part of this quite long post (I did warn you!!).
Basically I just think I need a little bit of help grasping Versus tests as a way to simulate simple combat. I need to draw concepts from all sorts of different part of the book and it’s making my brain melt a little bit. Anyway here’s some examples so just wanted advice on whether these make sense, are wrong, or just aren’t the way you’d play this situation.
Lets say one of my players tells me he wants to sneak up on a guard and kill him. So his intent is to kill someone and his task is to do this using stealth. So I tell him to roll his stealth skill (which lets say he has) and I roll the guards observation. Lets say my player succeeds and then he gets to act out his intent. In one roll he sneaks up behind the guard and slits his throat. If my player fails then he gets spotted, the guard draws his sword and then we could shift into a sword vs knife versus test perhaps giving my player a disadvantage because he’s in a crouched sneaky position (or something to that effect).
That’s the simplest way I can envisage that situation but presumably I could do this as a series of Linked versus tests. Test one is the same as above, Stealthy vs Observation. The success or failure of that test then gives him an advantage or disadvantage to the next test - the actual art of killing. Once again lets say my player passes that first test with a few extra successes gaining him +1D on the next test. The next test would be Knife vs…something…here’s where once again I get confused and perhaps it goes back to the stats again. It wouldn’t be knife vs sword because the guard has been taken by surprise. Is it knife vs…power…speed…another skill I can’t think of?
Also of the two examples is one preferable or the other or are both fair ways to play out this situation? How would you play out this without using Bloody Versus or Fight?
Once again sorry for this tirade of questions. I basically feel like at this point I get the gist of Burning Wheel and I really like that gist!! Just the more I think about it and plan what I’ll be doing when I eventually GM it the more questions pop up in my head!