Some questions. mostly regarding Elves

We are starting a Silmarillion flavored campaign focused on Elves, and some questions have come up.

  1. We are starting with very young Elves. It is possible to begin with Grief 0. How is that advanced?

  2. One of the characters has Grief 1. According to BWG p. 41, “For an Ob 1 test on one die, the player may choose whether the test is routine or difficult.”
    If the player always chooses to treat Ob 1 tests as difficult, thus avoiding any routine tests, can they avoid advancing Grief?

  3. The Lament of the Westering Sun (BWG p. 147) takes a day to sing, from sunrise to sunset. A song can be sustained for the singer’s Will exponent in hours (BWG p. 144), and then passed off to another Elf who knows the song. What is the Ob of the song test “to pick up where the first Elf left off?” Assuming it takes two Elves to complete the Lament, how are the two song tests combined into a single result? Does only the last test result count?

  4. “Many Elven skill songs are variations of similar skills…the skill description indicates the skill they mimic.” (BWG p. 142) To what extent do they mimic the base skill?
    Do they have the same FoRKs as the mimicked skill? Do they act as FoRKs as if they were the mimicked skill?

  5. Generally, tapping into Grief is not easy, as it requires spending a deeds point. But Ballad of Rage (BWG. 145) is a very powerful way to tap Grief.
    Can any Elf learn Ballad of Rage in burning by using general skill points, even if they do not have any life paths in the Protector Subsetting?
    What are the limits for learning spell songs using general skill points?

  6. Care of the Eternal (BWG p. 141) is easy to overlook. It acts like a Die Trait, but is listed as a rule. Shouldn’t it be a Die Trait?

  7. If one character is instructing another character so the student can open the skill using Beginner’s Luck, since any test counts, the teacher needs only to give a Routine Ob 1 test to count towards Beginner’s Luck, yes?

Thank you in advance,
Smeelbo Baggends,
Abuser of BBCodes

  1. 1 routine tests gets you a Grief 1. You get obstacles by the Grief factors in the Elves chapter.

  2. Laments can only be sung alone and therefore probably ignore the “how long can you sing” rule.

  3. Yes and Yes.

  4. Yes they can.

  5. Yes. That is basically why normal people can train others in their job without them having the instructor skill.

But sustaining spell songs (pg.144) allows for the singer to pass the song off to another who knows it. The new singer just needs to make a successful song test to pick up where the first elf left off.
As each had sung their own part separately, I would count either or both of them as fulling their private lamentation to lessen their grief individually.

  1. I don’t think you get to pick the one that doesn’t advance you, especially for Grief. Two Ob 1 tests and you advance.

I don’t have the book in front of me, but doesn’t Grief mostly advance through situational tests rather than rolled tests?

Almost entirely, but it’s still comparing the Ob of the situational test to Grief. If you have Grief 1 everything but Ob 1 is a challenging test, and you could make all Ob 1 tests difficult, thus never getting a routine test and never advancing.

Of course you could still lower the effect of grief through careful application of lamentation to keep your
Grief Tests managable no matter how high the Ob the test, a successfully sung lamentation still lowers it one step (challenging to difficult).
But uf you’re not triggering grief tests to challenge yourself or your world you’re missing out on a lot.

This isn’t a situation of being unable to advance Grief, this is a trick by which one could, ostensibly within the rules, avoid ever being forced to advance Grief.

Yes, I can see that now.
Would this be one of those grey area group vote kind of rules thing then?
I mean as far as it applies to the game that’s focusing on this group of relatively young elves cast in the early years of middle earth.
Or is this a minor rules glitch that should be cleared up post haste (especially with 4th. edition coming up).

Of course that’s a question for Luke, but analogy to the “Series of Rolls = One Test” suggests that if you’re one test shy of advancement you don’t get to selectively not get that test.

This isn’t unique to Grief, by the way; it applies to everything. Nobody really wants to not advance anything but emotional attributes, though. I’d think that Grief is the safest of the bunch. It’s virtually impossible to hit 10D by accident. It’s hard to get there on purpose!

Off topic… but 4th Edition? When was there an announcement?

Sorry, That should have said 4th Printing rather than Edition.
I think that Luke said something about July (?).

There was a posting a while back asking for comments regarding corrections.

Does the Ob 1 rule on page 41 apply to situational tests?

edit: I see wayfarer answered above. Nm