Some questions about recovery

I’ve been playing BW for a few years now, but I just played my first MG session the other day. I was GMing and a disagreement came up. Does it cost checks for a PC to use the healer skill on someone in the party during the GM’s turn? My players think not because it is just a skill test like any other, but the way I read it, I thought that anything that functions as recovery costs checks. Also, if it costs checks who spends them, the person healing or the person being healed? I suppose this question could also be extended to the question of testing to get food during the GM’s turn as well.

Also, I know the book says conditions must be recovered in order. Does this apply if you’re not rolling? In other words, if a friend gives you a place to sleep for the night, can you alleviate the tired condition even though you may still be angry?

Off the top of my head, I believe the answer is “you have to wait for the Players’ Turn to make that test”. During the GM’s turn, the guardmice patch things up as best as they can, but keep pushing forward against the next obstacle that the GM has for them. Remember that during the GM’s turn, the GM has the initiative! The GM says “this is the problem you’re facing, how are you getting around it?” and the players say what skills they’re using to solve the obstacle.

It’s only during the Players’ Turn that the players get to choose their obstacles and do what they want. So, choosing to forage for food and choosing to heal party members has to wait for the Players’ Turn to happen, because it’s player-initiative action. Guardmice have a hard-knock life!

In terms of who spends checks, it’s the mouse making the test. During the Players’ Turn, you spend a check to make a test, no matter who’s on the receiving end (if anyone) of the test.

RE: conditions recovering in order, I think that’s always true. (I don’t recall any circumstances where you can automatically recover a condition without a roll; it exists in Torchbearer, but only for the Hungry and Thirsty condition, which is the first condition. Anyhow, think of it this way: just because you got sleep doesn’t mean you’re not Tired! Maybe your mouse is angry enough that they can’t get a restful sleep.

Unless healing one of their own (or someone else) is one of the obstacles the GM puts before the players in the GM’s Turn (i.e., it’s one of the GM’s Weather, Wilderness, Animals and Mice challenges), the players can’t attempt to heal someone during the GM’s Turn at all. If it is one of the GM’s obstacles, it does not require a check during the GM’s Turn. See Pressure’s On on page 67. Incidentally, that means no foraging for food during the GM’s turn as well, unless it is one of the GM’s obstacles.

Note that use of the Healer skill to treat someone is not the same as Recovery. If a healer test is attempted and failed, Recovery is no longer an option. You lose the Injured or Sick condition, but permanently reduce one skill or ability of the GM’s choosing by one. See Injured on page 128 and Sick on page 129.

As for who spends checks, it doesn’t really matter. The players that earn the checks control them, but they can pass them to other players if they wish. They’re more of a communal pool. See Passing the Checks on page 74.

As for recovery order, yes. If you go to bed angry, you toss and turn and can’t get any rest. You’ve got to recover in order.

Note that since treating injury or sickness with healer is not recovery, you can use it to get rid of those conditions even if you’re hungry/thirsty, angry and tired.

Thanks for the help.

This definitely makes sense to me, but in the book it seems there can be an exception to this. On page 126, in the first paragraph under Recovery, it says, “These tests may be made in the Players’ Turn at the cost of one check each or in the GM’s Turn for two checks.” Is there ERRATA that did away with the rule of spending 2 checks to do stuff in the GM’s turn? Do I possibly have an earlier printing of the book that is incorrect?

Huh! I’m gonna have to check my 1st Edition PDF. I do not remember reading that paragraph! I’ll have to see what the context is.

I’ve got a slightly different feel for recovery order. If I as GM play out their friend, enemy, parent, contact, etc. giving them a place for rest, food to eat, drink to quaff, then I’m specifically calling out whether that recovers a condition or doesn’t recover a condition. And I’ve done that plenty during sessions; mostly I’m doing it just at the beginning of a GM Turn or just at the end of a GM Turn.

Once the Player Turn is going, they have to make attempts in order; if they attempt to overcome Angry, yet fail, I’ll still allow them to attempt recovery from Injured or Sick. If they want to attempt the Injured or Sick before Angry, et al, that I will not allow. I encourage players to attempt recovery before calling upon a Healer, but I also allow that a player will attempt to heal a friend just as they might 'source up food, drink, or shelter for the entire patrol. If the one player rolls Resources for enough to cover everyone in the patrol, then they’ve helped everyone recover just a bit. Usually everyone will Help the Resources roll anyway, so they are all in it together.

While in the GM Turn, if some player actually gains the checks to buy recovery, I would require recovery in order. I haven’t seen that in play at a table or otherwise.

Also, If they recovered from a condition during an early check in the PT, but failed a test later in the PT, I’l totally give them the condition again without feeling guilty. If they needed to clear one, such as Angry, before attempting Injured, then regained it, I’ll still let them attempt the Injured recovery. Kinda goes along with my habit of requiring they attempt recovery in order.