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RULES Q: Shorting

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  • RULES Q: Shorting

    As I understand it all failures when shorting are critical failures and as such cannot be rerolled, cost 1 fatigue, and drop all active spells.


    I have a player arguing a benny can reroll a Shorting failure.

    So let's talk this out, who is correct? I do not want to cheat him, but I do want to play roles as intended until we can get an official answer.

  • #2
    Shorting is risky. If a character fails a shorted arcane skill roll, it’s considered a Critical Failure!
    The attempt automatically fails and something bad happens—a weapon is dropped or gets stuck, the attack hits a friend, the vehicle crashes, spells misfire (see Backlash, page 151), and so on.
    Critical Failures cannot be rerolled, even with Bennies (see the next page).
    Backlash: A Critical Failure when activating a power is called Backlash. It causes a level of Fatigue and all currently active powers instantly terminate.
    Those are the three relevant rules sections.
    It reads like you can't reroll failed arcane rolls when Shorting, you get a level of Fatigue, and all currently active powers terminate.
    I'm not sure if that was the intent, but that's how it reads.

    So, RAW, you're correct. Barring the Dumb Luck setting rule, you can't spend a benny to reroll a failed casting while Shorting.
    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

    Comment


    • #3
      Any failed roll while Shorting is a Critical Failure. One of the parts of a Critical Failure is that you can't reroll it, even with a Bennie. Therefore, you can't spend a Bennie to reroll a failed roll while Shorting, because it's a Critical Failure.

      The logic is pretty simple - what's his argument?

      Comment


      • #4
        His argument was because it is not a real critical failure and not actually snake eyes he would be allowed to benny.

        Comment


        • ValhallaGH
          ValhallaGH commented
          Editing a comment
          Does he claim that being Incapacitated by Fatigue isn't "real" Incapacitation because it's not from Wounds?

        • Ndreare
          Ndreare commented
          Editing a comment
          lol, no not yet

        • Deskepticon
          Deskepticon commented
          Editing a comment
          Snake Eyes only triggers a Critical Failure. A Crit Failure is a particular mechanic. You could potentially write-up Hindrances or custom game mechanics that trigger Crit Failures on things other than Snake Eyes.

          The rules seem pretty clear: failing a Shorted roll results in a Critical Failure, with all the baggage that brings.

      • #5
        I'm inclined to allow a bennie if a Shorted Casting Roll fails. In my mind, Natural Critical Failures are *Special,* just like Aces (even more *Special* than Aces, because they are far more rare). However, that is NOT RAW, 'just my GM judgement. If I were writing the rules, I would have stated that the all Failures rolled with Shorted Powers trigger a Backlash (which might have been the intent). In Fact, I might be inclined to give the player a bennie if he accepts the failure and narrates it spectacularly.

        Comment


        • #6
          I wouldn't allow it. Shorting is a last resort and should feel like it. If characters wants more PP, he should invest in relevant Power Edges, otherwise, they might lose their appeal.

          Comment


          • ValhallaGH
            ValhallaGH commented
            Editing a comment
            It works as a first resort, if you're trying to save PP for a big expenditure later. Like healing with Greater Healing and Disease modifiers.

        • #7
          Yeah, a Crit Fail is a Crit Fail. It's not like they didn't know the risk before they made the attempt. At least they should have known the risk. If you allow a player to bennie out of one Crit Fail then you should just use the Dumb Luck setting rule and let everyone do it. Otherwise you aren't being fair to your other players.

          Comment


          • #8
            It's not snake-eyes, It's only after it has failed it is considered a critical fail, if it was rerolled it never failed, at least that's my interpretation.
            I would allow the player to reroll. Burning a benny is punishment enough, and I think it's more that they just intended the backlash on a failure, so there's a stronger consequence connected with Shorting and people don't do it all the time.
            And it's not like they are guaranteed success on the reroll. Elan would make it likely, but still not a guarantee.
            Compare it to them just trading a benny in for 5 power points as you can with SWADE, and I think allowing the reroll is the solution that feels fairer and more balanced.
            Last edited by Ibskib; 06-11-2019, 05:02 PM.

            Comment


            • #9
              Originally posted by Ibskib View Post
              It's not snake-eyes, It's only after it has failed it is considered a critical fail, if it was rerolled it never failed, at least that's my interpretation.
              But that's a non-sequitur. The rules on Shorting state if the roll fails it's considered a Crit Failure... and you cannot reroll a CF. In other words, no reroll is allowed, period.

              I'm not saying you couldn't (or shouldn't) make a houserule, but there's no way to interpret the rule any differently.

              I would allow the player to reroll. Burning a benny is punishment enough, and I think it's more that they just intended the backlash on a failure, so there's a stronger consequence connected with Shorting and people don't do it all the time.
              And it's not like they are guaranteed success on the reroll. Elan would make it likely, but still not a guarantee.
              Compare it to them just trading a benny in for 5 power points as you can with SWADE, and I think allowing the reroll is the solution that feels fairer and more balanced.
              Shorting seems intended to be used in a niche space: the mage with no Bennies left and a sputtering PP pool that wants to get off one last spell before the combat ends.

              Of course, it can also be used in a more consistent way, such as by the stingy mage who Shorts 1pp off every spell he casts, just so he doesn't run low.

              But if you're low on PP and still have a Benny left, you're probably better off burning the Benny for +5pp and casting the spell normally than using the Benny to reroll a failed Shorting.
              _________

              It might be worth noting that Power Points in SWAE approach "handwavium". A Novice mage is fully recharged with just two or three hours of light travel. This means that the fear of running low on PP is mostly only relevent to Combat scenes. Character usually "recharge" before the next encounter. Shorting is then generally reserved for "Last Chance" efforts or pumping more power into a spell (i.e., tacking on modifiers then Shorting).

              If you want to get more out of the mechanic, instead of allowing a reroll, maybe offer an Edge that allows you to Short 2 PP per -1 penalty. I'd make it no lower than Seasoned Rank though.

              Comment


              • #10
                I think it will end up being a GM call. The wording of the sentence could be argued either way.
                Shorting is risky. If a character fails a
                shorted arcane skill roll, it’s considered
                a Critical Failure!

                So is this meant to mean that if you roll a failure it is critical failure right away, or it will be a critical failure if you cannot use a card, Edge or Benny to get a successful result?

                The issue with the wording (as will likely be argued by a player) is that the critical failure occurs when the character fails the roll, not when he rolls it. Rolling double 1's stops everything, but a roll below your TN can be retried, modified by Edge Card or Bennie.

                Arguing the other side is the reroll description on page 89 that says the Edges and Bennies can be used to reroll trait tests as long as the player does not roll a Critical Failure. Rolling a critical failure ends all attempts and becomes the result.
                So if a roll that is below the TN and therefore a failure is rolled, and failures are considered a Critical Failure then the player cannot use a Bennie to reroll. On the other hand if a roll below the TN but is not an actual double 1 then the trait test might not be considered over and the attempted trait roll continues until the player accepts his result and that becomes the result. If it is still a failure THEN it becomes a critical failure.

                I could see either side being an acceptable answer. Any chance the authors could say what their thoughts on the matter were and settle this?

                Comment


                • ValhallaGH
                  ValhallaGH commented
                  Editing a comment
                  If you roll a failure but spend Conviction and get a success then it's not a failure and not a Critical Failure.

                  Official answer on core rules have to wait until those forums reopen. Which is annoying.

              • #11
                I would ask the person arguing that if it's not a "real" Critical failure, is it a "real" raise if you only get it because e.g. you aimed and the +2 made the total an 8?

                Comment


                • Ndreare
                  Ndreare commented
                  Editing a comment
                  lol,
                  not sure he would value the snark as much as i do. But I try to be reasonable and get other opinions when I disagree with a player on rules.

              • #12
                SteelDraco has it right. A failure when shorting is a Critical Failure. Crit Fails cannot be rerolled. You can do whatever you want, of course, but that's the rule.

                Thanks

                Shane

                Comment


                • Ndreare
                  Ndreare commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks Shane, Glad to know i was not cheating him by not allowing the benny.
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