Sword-Dancing Instinct

Ok, I’ve dropped the idea of a Mentor Instinct (for now). My character is a half-elf bard who is a sword-dancer (a fantasy version of fencing). My GM suggested the Instinct “When preparing for a fight, always determine the best dance for the situation”. (Similar to Inigo Montoya and the Man-in-Black deciding what fighting styles to use based on the geography.) I like the idea but am not sure how it would be implemented. His suggestion was to make either a Lore Master or Scholar test to determine what “dance” to use. Success would change my sword bonus from +1D to +1s. My issue is that I’m leery of using Instincts without solid, documented effects. Is this version ok? Would you handle it differently? Or do you have another suggestion for a similar Instinct?

“Challenge my adversary when provoked.” Anything else would be more akin to a level benefit or a spell effect.

How would that be handled, exactly? Sounds like he would be looking for a one-on-one conflict. That wouldn’t work with a team. Even if it included the whole team, that would be getting us into a conflict that we would likely have gotten into already. I’m not seeing the benefit of the Instinct.

Instinct don’t take a turn, conflicts do. So that’s the benefit. Isn’t the whole sword-dancing thing a one-on-one conflict?

Heh, I understand how Instincts work. But I thought they were supposed to benefit the group in some way. And be possible in most (if not all) sessions. I suppose my character being the only. One to risk his life is technically a benefit to the group. But I can’t imagine making the rest of the group sit out a conflict once a night. Or the GM giving that many opportunities for it to happen.

You can have selfish Instincts, you just aren’t rewarded for them with fate points.

I may be doing it wrong but have always rewarded characters with a fate if their instinct completely boned them, like the Instinct “If startled, STAB IT.”

That’s how it works in Burning Wheel, are you getting some rules leakage?

Yeah, that sounds like BW. In TB Instincts are rewarded ONLY if the Test is passed and the result benefits the party.

I think your idea would probably be more successful as a Wise, but you need to really narrow down its uses as the book calls out Fight-wise as being too broad. For example, if it was Fencing-Wise it would only apply when doing combat against opponents who were wielding a sword. Additionally, allies could only benefit from I Am Wise if they are also wielding swords. Even within that limitation, it will still be pretty powerful when you use Of Course and Deeper Understanding. I think this makes more sense as it fits within the rules framework as written instead of creating exceptions.

To follow up Jared’s note, your suggestion in the OP is much closer to a level benefit. You could always try making a class based around this concept, but I would only recommend it after having played and leveled up a few characters to make sure it is balanced.