The Low Nature Advancement Strategy

A character with low nature learns skills with Beginners Luck faster than those with high nature.

It seems like a clever idea to make your nature lower early in the game to get a wider selection of skills and then work to improve nature later on.

But seeing as nature is only used when you don’t have a skill and only advances when it is used, each new skill you gain makes it harder to advance nature.

For a character that has learned most skills what are the best ways of gaining nature tests? Tie breakers roll when testing Will or Health I’m pretty sure use nature. No conflict type uses nature for any actions like in Mouse Guard.

Has anyone got into the position I’m describing where nature tests become near impossible due to broad skills covering all of your nature descriptors? What do you do then?

There are also nature based tests in camp.

Merriment, for instance. Wouldn’t those give what you’re looking for?

Humans: Running would be Health, which isn’t a skill so you can use nature. There might be some edge cases where Boasting or Demanding can be used in a way that’s not persuasive or manipulative, but actually I’m having trouble thinking of them.

Elves: Singing isn’t covered by any skills. Remembering can be used for actually remembering something that happened to you, like remembering a pass-phrase or a sequence of numbers, which wouldn’t fall under Lore Master.

Dwarves: Delving might work, as long as it doesn’t easily fit under laborer. So if you’re just digging a ditch, no, but if you are mining a vein of ore, yes. Crafting is a maybe if it doesn’t fall under one of the existing craft skills, or if you decide not to take the craft skills since you already have all of them with your nature. Avenging a Grudge can be used in place of any Health or Will type tests as long as you have a grudge against your target.

Halfling: As mentioned, merriment. Riddling might also come up if Lore Master doesn’t apply, but it would have to be outside of a conflict…

Looks like it’s hardest to play the Low Nature game as a Halfling or Human and easiest as a Dwarf, particularly if you avoid picking up the craft related skills. Elves are somewhere in the middle.

The “cheat code” that my players use is taxing their nature with rewards and teach each others skills with Mentor (o Begginers Luck). They never tax their Nature to 0 so they recover it by giving the prologue or leaving Town. My advice, though tangential to the original question, would be that your players try to start the game with high Nature, and never deplete it.

Regardless, Boasting and Demanding are really helpful fora human that want to convince someone in a way that doesn’t fall in his chosen graces. Singin is pretty unique, so a creative player can find ways to test it (“I Look for someone that will pay us some cash for a song”, “These are even ruins, right? I try to Sing open the sealed doors”). Dwarfs Crafting is just awesome.

Stay cool :cool:

Taxed nature doesn’t affect how many tests you need to make to learn a skill with beginner’s luck. It’s based off the current maximum.

Sure, but the obstacle for Mentor is equal to the student’s current Nature.


Though, re-reading the post, I think I parsed it incorrectly.

Do you have a situation in which the player has driven down his Nature in order to learn skills and now can’t raise it back up again? I’m just trying to be clear.


Can others Mentor you in Nature?

No. I was thinking about how I would play if given the opportunity for campaign play.

I had overlooked that a Health or Will test for one character could instead be a Nature test for another. But I suppose it’s the player’s responsibility to point out when their nature applies.


Thinking as a GM now, can I just ignore nature and let the players tell me when it applies?

This example has got to be right:
Varg the human is running away from something, the GM asks for a Health test but Varg’s player then puts forward the case for it being Nature rather than Health. GM agrees and Nature is tested.

But I don’t know if this example is right:
Varg the human is running away from something, the GM asks for a Nature test but Varg’s player then puts forward the case for it being Health rather than Nature. GM agrees and Health is tested.

Only skills: “Using this skill, you can give your student a test for advancement in a skill.” (P. 140)

Nature always struck me as something which is substituted for something else, not the default for a roll. Unless the GM, on rare occasion, wants to make a particular point of having you roll Nature? I could see a weird edge case where it made sense, such as rolling Nature to handle a particular artifact which judges your integrity to self.

that was my instinct too. Good to have clarification.

For the most part, it is the player’s responsibility to use Nature. Though there are notable times when the GM can dictate it—in the event of a tied Will or Health test, for example.

I’m in the midst of running this very stunt with a character right now. I’ve learned four skills in seven sessions—Hunter, Fighter, Healer and Mentor. My Nature is 1 and I plan on learning a few more before I start the long slog back to humanity.

The trade off is significant. My persona points are only worth 1D each. And my Nature is perilously low. I can’t volunteer for anything outside of my Nature whatsoever. The risk will mean certain death. Personally, I love this constraint, but I can see how it might chafe some players.

Can’t you just beginners luck these rolls?