This is more like it! Had to use bb_set_current_user() to make that work if anyone’s curious. I also found that adding $bb_cache to the list of globals removed an error similar to the one I was getting with $bbdb (so adding
global $bbdb, $bb_cache is worth a go if it gives an error as in post #1).
Should work now, it’s generally nicer plus you can set the forum and excerpt length on a per-post basis if you want to. Hopefully stupidity on the scale above is avoided.