Situation Modifiers, Action tests and Initiative

Discussion on playing Earthdawn. Experiences, stories, and questions related to being a player.
Ferretmonger
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:02 pm

Situation Modifiers, Action tests and Initiative

Post by Ferretmonger » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:11 am

I was skimming through the ED4 Player's Guide when something interesting caught my eye. It's on page 389 in the Knocked Down gameplay example:
One of the undead lands a nasty blow, inflicting a Wound and knocking the Swordmaster down. Until he stands up, he not only suffers a –3 penalty to his tests—including his next Initiative test—but his Physical and Mystic Defense are also reduced.
I might have missed an important part somewhere in the rules, but I was under the assumption that Initiative was an Effect test, not an Action test? It also says "his next Initiative test". Does that mean that this is a Knocked Down special rule that only lowers your next Initiative if you've just been Knocked Down, or is this just an undiscovered typo?

I would love if someone could clarify this a bit.

Sharkforce
Posts: 376
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:39 am

Re: Situation Modifiers, Action tests and Initiative

Post by Sharkforce » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:29 am

an effect test is still a test, is it not?

Aegharan
Posts: 405
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:58 pm

Re: Situation Modifiers, Action tests and Initiative

Post by Aegharan » Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:17 am

This revives the old argument if "penalty to all action tests" reduces damage tests, which are not action but effect tests, and have already "suffered" from the attack itself not being as strong. The counter-argument being that dex handles the attack itself, strength handles the damage, 2 different attributes. Like with wounds, where you suffer a penalty to your attributes. Then this could be argued that wounds reduce attributes and not "action tests".

I personally would apply a modifier from being prone or Battle Shout or Taunt to all tests, but I wouldn't argue about it. In the long run it doesn't matter, as it is handled this way for both sides equally.

Also I wouldn't read too much into single words, especially with the player's guide being sent to printing as the first product with a lot of learning to be done.

Find a ruling how you like it with the people from your table and apply it consistently. The less time you spend arguing, the more you get to actually play :-)

Ferretmonger
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:02 pm

Re: Situation Modifiers, Action tests and Initiative

Post by Ferretmonger » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:54 am

an effect test is still a test, is it not?
Yes, it's an Effect test, not an Action test. Or are you actually saying that all tests are subject to reduction, even Initiative and Spell Effects tests?

Bonhumm
Posts: 418
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:43 pm
Location: Right behind you

Re: Situation Modifiers, Action tests and Initiative

Post by Bonhumm » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:52 pm

Ferretmonger wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:54 am
Yes, it's an Effect test, not an Action test. Or are you actually saying that all tests are subject to reduction, even Initiative and Spell Effects tests?
Well, the description states 'all tests', NOT all action tests thus:

Actions tests are tests
Effect tests are tests
Initiative tests are tests

Ferretmonger
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:02 pm

Re: Situation Modifiers, Action tests and Initiative

Post by Ferretmonger » Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:09 pm

Well, the description states 'all tests', NOT all action tests thus:

Actions tests are tests
Effect tests are tests
Initiative tests are tests
All true. Although on p.387, in the Situation Modifiers Table, it says Action Test Modifier, so it's a bit unclear (for me at least).

The real question would be, how do treat this in your games?

sigfriedmcwild
Posts: 259
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:59 am

Re: Situation Modifiers, Action tests and Initiative

Post by sigfriedmcwild » Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:29 pm

The table says “action tests”, but the description simply says “tests”. I’ve been assuming the table header is a typo and going with the description.

Ferretmonger
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:02 pm

Re: Situation Modifiers, Action tests and Initiative

Post by Ferretmonger » Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:39 pm

Would you then also use that wording on Frighten and other talents/spells/abilities that add a modifier to all tests?
If successful, the target becomes frightened and suffers a −2 penalty to all tests for each success generated by the adept.
I that case I'm rolling a Nethermancer right away! ;)

ChrisDDickey
Posts: 868
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:02 pm

Re: Situation Modifiers, Action tests and Initiative

Post by ChrisDDickey » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:09 pm

Supplemental reading for the interested student.
http://fasagames.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=568

Ferretmonger
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:02 pm

Re: Situation Modifiers, Action tests and Initiative

Post by Ferretmonger » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:46 pm

ChrisDDickey wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:09 pm
Supplemental reading for the interested student.
http://fasagames.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=568
Thanks! That cleared it up to some extent at least. Still not sure what to make of the initial game example where it states that you get as negative mod to Initiative as well? Just ignore it as an "old text that didn't get corrected" or apply all situational modifiers to Initiative?

Sorry if the answer might be obvious to you, I'm just a bit mentally drained today 🤪

Post Reply