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Thread: What do you shrug off with a Ob 5 Survival test?

  1. #1
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    Question What do you shrug off with a Ob 5 Survival test?

    So in the BWG skill list there is an example obstacle for Ob 5: "Shrug off a +1 Ob penalty". Does anyone know, what +1 Ob penalty is it referring to?

    I thought of the +1 Ob from Superficial Wounds which you can shrug off for a scene with an Ob 2 Health test. If that's the penalty meant here, what's the difference? Is it just the option to use a skill instead of Health? How much time does it take? Survival is Forestry type and thus is supposed to take anywhere from minutes to days. Does it also last only for the scene?

    If it isn't the Superficial Wound penalty, what is it then? Are PCs supposed to accumulate a +X Ob penalty from spending long time in the wilderness without adequate camp and supplies?

    P.S. How are you supposed to handle slow, grinding attrition due to long adventures in the wild? Throw +1 Ob penalties around? Just be creative and break their stuff at random, give them some improvised plagues? Tax their Forte and Health?

  2. #2
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    Giving out persistent Ob penalties is a pretty standard failure consequence, especially in situations where the characters are facing physical hardships - cold, weather, starvation. That sort of thing. I imagine the Survival Ob is about managing to scrounge stuff from the wild to mitigate those sort of things. You could have a situation where maybe you've gotten stuck out in a three-day rainstorm, and you fail a Health test to keep from getting sick from being out in it without shelter, and your illness manifests as a +1 Ob penalty to tests. The Ob 5 Survival test might be that you're able to find some makeshift shelter to recover in, or to find some sort of common remedy, like willow bark to make a tea from. Or something like that.

    There aren't really any solid rules or procedures in BW for being out in the wild, because a lot of that sort of thing gets glossed over unless it's directly challenging a Belief.

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