Bonus momentum in struggles


I was reading the FAQ, and I do not get one section:

“Momentum is compared, with the highest amount of Momentum from the test deciding the winner. Bonus Momentum is added before comparing. Pool Momentum is not used in this comparison.”

Does it mean, that I can not use bonus momentum from the momentum pool, or I can use bonus momentum from the momentum pool, after the rolls were made. I just can not add the value of the momentum pool to the number of momentum rolled.

Also, can I pay 1 doom to the doom pool, to gain bonus momentum during a struggle?

Bonus Momentum refers specifically to any additional Momentum generated by talents or gear as a bonus for succeeding at a skill test in specific circumstances. The talent Lightning Reflexes is an example of a Talent which grants bonus Momentum (literally the first such example I found in the book), and it is specifically phrased as “bonus Momentum”.

Momentum from the group pool is not “bonus Momentum” by this definition.

So, to give an example.

A PC with Lightning Reflexes is ambushed. There’s a Struggle to determine surprise. Both sides roll, and generate the same amount of Momentum… but the PC has Lightning Reflexes, which grants 2 bonus Momentum for this situation, so the PC wins the Struggle by 2.

Momentum from the group pool is not used at all during the comparison (determining who has more Momentum) in a Struggle. If you win the Struggle, you can spend Momentum from the group pool normally, but it’s not used to determine who wins (NPCs don’t have a group Momentum pool, they use Doom instead, and that adds extra unfairness).

No. Not sure where you got the idea that this was possible.

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Thank you very much for the clarification! Just two more questions, for the Lightning Reflexes example: So the PC wins the struggle by 2 momentum.

1, Is the PC able to save these extra momentum into the momentum pool? (Or the NPC s to the doom pool, if they win by the extra 2 momentum, as 2 dooms)

2, In the description of the exploit action, it is written:

“The character nominates a target he is able
to perceive, and attempts an Average (D1) Observation test
(modified by distance, lighting, and so forth as normal for
Observation tests). If this succeeds, the character’s first
attack before the end of his next turn gains the Piercing
2 quality. If the character wishes, he may spend 1 point
of Momentum on this test to add one bonus d20 to the
attack’s skill test, and +1 to the attack’s damage.”

The extra momentum should be spent for the observation test, to gain the +1/+1 dice, or for the attack in the next turn for the Meele roll (PC attacks with a meele weapon)?

Connected to the above, if the struggle was an ambush, and the players win, they will have an exploit action for free. Can any extra momentum earned during the struggle (the PC win by 2 momentum) used immediately to gain the +1/+1 dice for the attack roll? (If I get the dice for the attack roll, and not for the observation roll).

Rules-as-written, yes, you can save any extra Momentum from winning a Struggle to the group pool. However, it’s a common house rule (and an official part of later 2d20 System games) that bonus Momentum can’t be saved - it has to be used immediately or it’s lost.

It’s a function of the Exploit action, so it’s spent on the successful Observation test (or whatever other test is used for Exploit, as GM’s are encouraged to be versatile with the action for different kinds of advantage gained). However, d20s bought for that attack when you Exploit still count towards the maximum number of dice bought on a still test.

If you’re taking a Difficulty 0 action as a free action, then no dice are rolled, no Momentum is generated, and no Momentum can be spent (this is to minimise the amount of effort spent resolving a free action - a Difficulty 0 test as a free action is “bare minimum success, no rolling”). So, if you reduce the difficulty of Exploit down to 0 and use it as a free action, you cannot spend Momentum on the Exploit action.

You could still buy extra dice for the attack, but they wouldn’t get the extra damage dice for coming from an Exploit action.

Thank you for the feedbacks! Your explanation for a free action variant was really useful for me.
I would be interested in the D1 ambush too.

My scenario is: a Group of 3 players are about to be ambushed by 3 deep ones. The deep ones form a team, the players assist each other for the observation roll.

The leader deep one rolls with two dice for stealth, rolls 1 success and 1 nothing. The two helper deep ones roll each one die, but no success in both cases. So the result of the deep ones is 1 Momentum.

The lead player rolls for observation with two dice: Both are successes. The two helper players roll with one die each, a success and a nothing. The result is 3 momentum for the players.

This happened in broad daylight, next to murky water, so both tests were D1. If it would be night, it would be D2 at least for the players. So, the players won by 2 momentum.

My question is, then, this 2 momentum can be saved, but the house rule sounds better, to be used immediately. (The players can not form a team, as far as I remember, during a battle, or can they?) So, the players will have two momentum for that battle, which they can use for skill rolls, or combat maneuvers.
Is it correct, like this?

OK, so by that example, the 2 Momentum earned by the players can be used as they see fit, including being saved. It’s earned normally from a roll, so it’s normal Momentum.

If we change your example so that the lead PC also had the Lightning Reflexes talent (2 bonus Momentum on an opposed test in a Struggle), then the PCs would have won by 4 instead of by 2 (the talent adds 2 to the Momentum they get for this situation).

If you were using the house rule I mentioned, then the bonus Momentum granted by the talent could not be saved (use it right now or lose it), but any Momentum generated ‘naturally’ could still be saved as normal and used later in the scene or on other rolls.

Hope that clarifies everything.

Thank you very mutch, it clarifies everything!

So in a surprise situation, is the default that you can exploit as a free action without rolling at all?

I typically allow players to apply the exploit action to their roll when this happens.

Rules-as-written, characters still have to declare and execute an Exploit action for the bonuses to take effect.

You are absolutely correct. The way that I do it is a bit of a homebrew ruling because I like to reward my sneakier pcs for doing their thing etc.