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A Question on Power Activation Rolls

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  • A Question on Power Activation Rolls

    The rules state that "A roll less than 4 means the power doesn’t activate." This has caused some "interesting" discussions. We would like the intent of this clarified. Does it mean:

    A) The die roll itself must be a 4 or higher to activate the power, ignoring any potential bonus or penalties unless a 4 or higher is rolled on the dice, in which case any bonus/penalty is applied?
    B) The die roll plus or minus all bonus or penalties specific to the spellcasting skill must be a 4 or higher? That is, some bonus/penalties apply to the roll, others only apply if the roll is successful?
    C) The die roll plus or minus all applicable bonus or penalties must be a 4 or higher to activate the power?
    D) Something else entirely.

    Examples:
    Casting a spell at a creature with a Scale of 2. Would the Scale bonus apply to the roll to determine if the result is a 4 or higher, or does it only apply after the die roll is a 4 or higher … thus giving the caster a better chance for a raise?
    Casting a spell at a vulnerable target. Since the bonus is for Actions and attacks, and spellcasting is an Action, this would add to the die roll, before determining if it is a 4 or higher. correct?

    I think in most cases, it appears that penalties apply to the spellcasting roll itself (assuming the correct answer to the question is option B or C above), but it's not so clear for bonuses.

  • #2
    Your "roll" is always your total after all modifiers are applied in Savage Worlds, unless it's specifically mentioned that you're looking at the number on the die. So per the Activation section on p. 151 of SWADE, it's just looking at the roll. The reason bolt is called out in that section is there's times when you're trying to hit Parry, rather than a 4 to succeed.

    So if my spellcaster is in melee with an opponent who has Parry 7, and I attack with bolt, I can miss my target with a 4, but the bolt still activates and goes whizzing by.

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