Assassin Talent question?

Assassin Talent:

“you may spend 2 points of Momentum in order to count every die in the pool as an Effect, instead of whatever was actually rolled”

Ok so lets assume I roll 1,2,2,4 and use the Assassin talent with a weapon that has hidden and vicious 1.

Do I do

9 dmg (1+2+2+4 vicious)

4 dmg (4 vicious)

8 dmg (1+1+1+1+4 vicious)


It would be the 9 damage. The 4 counts as 0 for the roll but will count as 1 damage for the effect.


The wording of the Assassin talent is:

When rolling damage with a melee weapon that has the Hidden Quality, you may spend 2 points of Momentum in order to count every die in the pool as an Effect, instead of whatever was actually rolled.

Reading it as it is written, each die is considered Effect (1 damage + Effect). The key word is instead. The description also does not allow to pick which dice to be considered effects and which to remain as damage.

Therefore from the example with the 4 dice weapon with Hidden 1 and Vicious 1, the damage will be
1+1+1+1+4(Vicious). Total of 8.


According to the rulebook, a 5 or 6 rolled is “1 + Effect”, not just an Effect. So according to this interpretation, counting every die as an “Effect”, the damage would be:

0+0+0+0+4 (total 4)

This would be strictly according to the wording of the talent and the die results.

Personally however, I’d go with @Valyar’s interpretation because it makes the most sense. It’s also the more fun than the strict interpretation and when in doubt, choose the option that is most fun.


Come to think of it, I agree with Valyar.

So what you are saying, you can spend 2 momentum from the group pool and not have to roll?

@Shran No. According to the book 100% as RAW:

“Results of 5 or 6 are referred to as Effects. Specially-made Conan Combat Dice replace the
1 and 2 sides with success icons, and the Phoenix icon for the 5 and 6 faces, with the 3 and 4 faces left blank. An Effect adds 1 to the total, and also triggers certain abilities, such as weapon Qualities and other special conditions.” - Page 93.

IE the effect gives 1 damage not the die is 1 damage and it causes the effect. You are referring to the table which is strictly showing how much damage is done, simply writing effect there would be confusing. The rules are crystal clear in the text though. 5 or 6 = an effect. an effect = 1 damage+triggering effects.

So @Valyar is IMHO correct. All dice become an effect. If it had Vicious and you rolled 4cd you end up with 2 points of damage per die and 8 total damage.

@Stokar But you never have to choose to spend till after you roll. On a roll of 1,5,5,2 you already do 7 damage. Spending 2 points of momentum is a waste. There is no reason to NOT roll.

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Indeed, this is correct. I was referencing the table where it says “5, 6 | 1, plus an Effect”. So the 5 and 6 face of a die is called “Effect”, deals 1 damage and triggers “Effects”. A little confusing in the table, but as I said earlier, the Talent only makes sense with @Valyar’s interpretation which seems the correct one.


According to Page 93 Paragraph 7 , [ogedei] expleined it correctly , you cannot just go by the table as it may be confusing without the paragraph to explain it. “Results of 5 or 6 are referred to as
Effects.” “An Effect adds 1 to the total, and also triggers certain abilities, such as weapon Qualities and other special conditions.”

SO with certain Mercenary named Saltheart ;^)…If you have a 3d6 Ghanata (vicious1) knife Plus 2d6 for your strength bonus and Plus 1d6 for Death Dealer Talent. That makes your attack with this Ghanata(viscious1) knife 6d6.
E = 1+effect = 2dmg (if effect is Vicious)

E+E+E+E+E+E = 12

If you then also have the Anatomist Talent which gives you a +1 Vicious quality to your melee attacks that would be 3 dmg per die.

How can anyone be playing D&D anymore. nothing compares to the greatness of this game!


I have a question to do with the last clause in the talent description, instead:

You are practiced in the art of murder, and taking lives no longer carries any emotional weight. When rolling damage with a melee weapon that has the Hidden Quality, you may spend 2 points of Momentum in order to count every die in the pool as an Effect, instead of whatever was actually rolled. Additionally, you gain +2§Courage Soak.

It’s ambiguous, but I think it makes the most sense to interpret that as a Courage bonus whenever you make that Momentum spend. Interpreting it the other way, as a permanent benefit gained when you purchase the talent, means you could wind up investing a bunch of XP and rolling two 4s and get zilch, which sucks.

Assuming you do interpret it as a secondary effect of the Momentum spend, however, there is no listed duration. I’ve been ruling that it’s for the remainder of the scene, but I’m curious if anyone here is a) interpreting it the other way, as a permanent effect of the talent in which case I’d like to know if anyone has had to deal with a player rolling nils, or b) giving a duration longer or shorter than one scene and why/how long?

That would mean you ignore the rolled 1, 2, 2, 4, and instead use Effect, Effect, Effect, Effect.
An Effect result causes 1 point of damage and triggers qualities, that are activated by Effects, like Vicious.
So you now have Effect, Effect, Effect, Effect = 1+Vicious1, 1+Vicious1, 1+Vicious1, 1+Vicious1.
The total damage is 8 points.

This is the correct result.

That is a permanently active Morale Soak of 2[CD].
If you have to pay 2 Momentum, you could get 2[CD] Morale soak anyway, as per the standard Momentum spend “Confidence” (p118 core rules) of 1 Momentum per 1[CD] Morale soak, repeatable.

As this Talent requires a high Momentum spend to activate the damage part, it is rather costly. It would be even weaker, if the Morale soak would need this Momentum spend to activate.
Considering that this is a tier 3 Talent, 600 XP cost, this variable Morale soak is justified as a permanently active effect.

Weird thing: The variable soak for Resolve damage is called Morale soak, NOT Courage soak. Courage soak is the fixed number of Resolve damage soak. The Assassin Talent does not use the correct term set by the Conan core rules.

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It is a permanent effect, and that players roll Null on their Morale Soak dice happens all the time. As it is the case of players rolling Null on their Cover Soak dice for shields or other sources of cover. That is the unreliability of the variable part of soak, compared to the fixed and always reliable Courage Soak or Armour Soak.

Ah ha! Quite right. It never occurred to me that they intended to reference Morale, which makes total sense (given that you count that in terms of a § variable).

Thanks, Frank!

I also run the Morale/Courage Soak aspect the way Frank explains it. Additionally, I am currently playing an assassin type character with this Talent in another game and I use the +2CD a lot (we have a sorcerer in our party who keeps casting spells which require us all to make Discipline checks :stuck_out_tongue:). What I don’t understand is the reason behind this aspect of the Talent. Can someone please explain to me, or offer some narrative context which makes sense of it for me? Is it that with this Talent, you are so badass that you feel especially confident and sure of yourself that you get the Courage/Morale Soak? I like having the bonus. I just don’t understand why I have it :grinning:.

That is how I read it.

You are an Assassin, one who mercilessly kills people, usually defenseless people, not giving them a chance to fight, to defend themselves, simply killing them - usually for money.
That hardens your heart, so you are not that easily intimidated by anything, you fear less and less, because of the atrocities you committed yourself made you become something fearsome.


That’s pretty harsh. I’m actually a really nice assassin. I like puppies and I’m kind to old ladies and stuff :grinning:

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