There's a lot of supporting discussion on the internet about Lady Blackbird, but as yet there's much less about the sequels Magister Lor and Lord Scurlock. I am confused about some of the changes in the rules in the later games.

Specifically, the text talks about "doing well enough to pass the obstacle," but unlike in Lady Blackbird, there is no guidance about what an obstacle is. Instead of a list of obstacle numbers by difficulty (2 - Easy, 3 - Difficult, etc.) there is a table of hits vs outcome. These feel disconnected to me. Am I still supposed to set a specific target number as GM? Are the outcome levels referring to the number of hits that exceed the obstacle target number? Or is any 4-hit roll a superb result, and in some cases you need a superb result to beat an obstacle?

The first interpretation makes much more sense to me, but is not clearly spelled out in the rules at all.


Either interpretation can work

The problem comes from the fact that Lady Blackbird clearly refers to needing enough hits to pass the difficulty of an obstacle (see Rolling the Dice on each character sheet):

Roll all the dice you’ve gathered. Each die that shows 4 or higher is a hit. You need hits equal to the difficulty level (usually 3) to pass the obstacle.

While Magister Lor and Lord Surlock refer to "If you do well enough".

Roll all the dice. Each even number is a hit. The more hits you roll, the better your character performs. If you do well enough to pass the obstacle, discard all the dice you rolled (including any pool dice you used). Don’t worry, you can get your pool dice back.

So obstacles still have a difficulty, but what is meant by "well enough"? Is equal good enough or do you have to exceed the difficulty?

In the end you can:

  • Follow the spirit of Lady Blackbird and set a difficulty for an obstacles, for which the player needs to roll an equal number of successes to beat it. So something can be of an epic difficulty and if they roll 6 hits they succeed.
  • Count the number of hits that exceed the obstacle difficulty and go with the table to measure the outcome. If they beat an obstacle of difficulty three with three hits remaining, that would be a great outcome. If it had been four remaining hits, it would have been a superb outcome.

TL;DR If the first interpretation make more sense to you, then follow that rule. It's your game!

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think for the sequels the writers were trying to expand the consequence mechanics of the rolls by treating misses and hits differently based off of the number above or below the difficulty so that a miss by one might still succeed in the players objective in spirit if not in degree, and likewise a hit over the difficulty would increase the desired outcome to the players benefit. At least, that's what I understood by this change in the language of the rules in the (pr/s)equel. \$\endgroup\$ – SpaceCoyote300 Sep 20 '17 at 17:17

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