I feel like I’m still fuzzy enough about the scene economy that either a) I’m having a massive conceptual problem with the whole thing or b) the rules and examples, as written, don’t work.
Point the first: Building rolls. Currently you get three of them, maximum, in a maneuver. They need not all be used in a single scene. The building roll function is to give mechanical weight to a bit of narrative, a way to set an Ob against someone else’s desire to do something.
Point the second: Built, but not rolled. Apparently BWHQ has an unwritten understanding that if you introduce something during a building scene, it’s considered “built” even if you didn’t roll to create it. This serves to speed up play, a commendable goal. However, in-book examples don’t clarify the difference between unrolled things that are “built” and unrolled things that are color.
Point the third: Color trumps color. Under one interpretation, if you haven’t rolled to give something mechanical weight it’s color. Under another, some things can be unrolled but “harder” than mere color. Mechanically a differentiation between them is needed, otherwise there’s no way to know when color can trump color.
My suggestions, based on my understanding of how BWHQ actually uses the system:
Rather than a “building scene,” you get three “building opportunties.” Up to three builds can appear in the same scene, or can be banked for later (other people’s scenes, as a hardening defense against color challenges).
A “building opportunity” may involve a roll or it may involve the GM saying yes. It can also be cashed in to create a Conflict scene.
If the GM says yes, and you’re using a building opportunity to do so, it uses up one of your three opportunities. It’s on you to keep track of stuff that’s harder than color but not yet rolled.
Anything created in one of your three building opportunities is “hard” and color-proofed. Challenging it requires a player use a building opportunity, which tactically may mean keeping a building roll in reserve during the Maneuver.
Anything created in-game is considered color, unless it was explicitly created in a building opportunity. There is no upper limit to how much color you can introduce in a color scene.
Since you can use building rolls at almost any time, simply eliminate the difference between color, interstitial, and building scenes. I’m not sure if it breaks anything if you simply get 3x scenes per maneuver, within which you have 3x building opportunities.
My second proposal is very close to the first, but completely eliminates the “harder than color” bit of extra book keeping required to keep different kinds of color straight. Under this regime, it’s absolutely color 'til you roll for it, and other color can make it go away…unless the defender has a building roll left in this maneuver (no banking from prior maneuvers), at which point he can harden the creation in question. I personally prefer this, and it’s how we’ve been playing, as it’s less to keep track of. I also think it’s the closest to how the rules actually read right now.
(Proposal #2 renders the Fortress and Ship Sensors examples invalid as written (you’d need to clarify there are building rolls left in the kitty to use, and then show them being used), but maintains the Pistol example’s validity.)
Those are my initial thoughts on the subject. I’d like to hear counterarguments!
I totally get that this tightening may not be in the spirit of how the game is played at BWHQ or among the old-timers. It’s something I feel must be clarified, at least in my own group.