I’m starting soon a BW campaign, and a way I’ve found to get myself hyped is to create some new rules, lifepaths, you know, stuff for the campaign.
While rereading the rules for new songs, I’ve thought about this one. Tell me what you think.
SONF OF NAMES:
When sung, the elf recalls ands signs a fragment of the Song of the World, which contains all the True Names of things, as well as their fate. By reciting this fragment, elves learn a useful detail about the topic they’re singing about.
True names are long and composite, but reveal deep truths about that, which they name, and sometimes a tragic fate.
The Song of Names may be sung instead of any wise test, even if the character doesn’t have the appropriate skill. The player may not declare in their intention what they want to discover by singing, although they can formulate a question they seek to answer, or the bit of information they seek to “remember”. In case of a success, it works just as the wise test it replaced.
In case of a failure, the GM may declare the elf didn’t remember properly the song, or instead reveal a hurtful or tragic truth. If the GM chooses to do so, the elf gets a test towards grief, whose Ob is equal to the Ob of the failed spell song test. The category of the test for grief advancement purposes may not be lowered by any lament.
Obstacle: same as the wise test it replaces, although the GM may impose a +2 Ob if the topic is so narrow it already has a name (like “the castle of Namrok”, or an individual person, f.ex.), and/or +1 Ob if the topic is recent and didn’t exist when the Song of the World was written. This song works best for ancient and abstract or generic topics, like betrayal, wolves, the moon, and such.
+1d for coming up (the player) with an actual True Name for the topic, and explaining the parts or morphemes that compose the True Name. For example, Lehesdraum meaning, for wolf, “the trumpet of the moon”.
+1d for reusing a previously introduced part or morpheme, like, f.ex., Lehes, for moon, in another word, like mountain, Lehestagai.
It is responsibility of the player to keep track of the roots used, if he wants to attain the last bonus.
for Ob 1, 12 actions.
For Ob 2, 60 actions.
For Ob 3, 180 actions.
For Ob 4+, actions are equal to a 100 times the Obstacle.
A few notes:
The Song of the World is akin to the Ainulindalë, obviously. It’s the song that describes the whole of the creation and the history of the world, and only sung, not written, it’s fragments dispersed among many elves. It is so fundamental to the elves, any one of them will recognise a True Name or a fragment of the Song of the World, even if they don’t know it themselves.
The precision of this song often degrades as it abandons the early ages of the world, which is why it’s harder to recall fragments from recent times.
Things often have many True Names, not just one, and the singer may recall one that suits the question he’s asking.
What do you think? is it too punishing for grief advancement, or too easy to just spam this song and never use wises?