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Marksman Talent query

The Marksman Talent states, "You perform Ranged attacks with precision. You may spend a Minor Action before attempting a Ranged attack, putting a little more time and effort into your attack. When you do this, you gain 1 additional Momentum for the attack.

I constantly have to argue with a player over the wording of this talent. With this talent a player gains “1 additional Momentum for the attack” , which means that a player has to make a successful Ranged Attack still test first, before gaining said 1 Momentum.

To my undersanding, the rules for gaining Additional Momentum are a successful test.

My player says that he gets the Momentum as a result of having purchased the Marksman Talent, and a successful Ranged Attack skill test is not required to gain the Additional Momentum.

Who is right?

Your player is correct. The Talent states a specific condition for 1 additional Momentum - the player choosing to spend a Minor Action before attempting a Ranged Attack…when they do, they gain 1 additional Momentum for the attack. Of course the other part of this is that that 1 additional Momentum must be used with the Ranged Attack, nothing else.

The MOST common manner for players to gain additional momentum is through a skill test, but it is not the only way.


Okay. he gets a free momentum for “aiming” during his quick action. But what does having a free momemtum do when you fail the associated attack? My player tries to use that free momentum as a point of success, and i say it is separate from that attack.

For Marksman talent specifically, what benefit does a free momentum have with a failed ranged attack roll?

For example, can the player put it into the Pool on a failed ranged attack roll?

Yeah, you can’t gain Momentum if you don’t succeed in a test. So is additional Momentum same as bonus Momentum? I don’t know but in the past I have ruled that it is.

And that’s my point. It is not Bonus momentum that you can use willy nilly, but “Additional” momentum; the wording of the text is key. I feel if they wanted you to use it for anything, they would have used the word Bonus instead of Additional.

If the Ranged Attack fails, then that 1 additional Momentum is lost. Marksman only grants that 1 additional Momentum for use with the Ranged Attack test for which the player used a Minor Action.

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And that’s my point. It is not Bonus momentum that you can use willy nilly, but “ Additional ” momentum; the wording of the text is key. I feel if they wanted you to use it for anything, they would have used the word Bonus instead of Additional.

Correct. I’ve always understood Additional, in regards to Momentum, as being granted if specific condition(s) are met for a specific purpose, such as the 1 additional Momentum granted from Marksman.

thank-you for the confirmation of rules clarification.

Thread Closed.

Not to beat a dead horse, but Pg 101, Generating Momentum:
“Momentum is never generated with a failed test, only when there are successes in excess of those required by the Difficulty.”
The way this is written, you could argue that don’t even get the additional unless you generate at least 1 momentum normally.

The reason I looked this up was because I thought maybe you could use the point of momentum on an Immediate Spend, but that section says IM spends come from the group pool or Doom.

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In this case you don’t generate the Momentum with extra successes, you’re generating it with your minor action.

If you must interpret "“Momentum is never generated with a failed test, only when there are successes in excess of those required by the Difficulty.” to mean that a player can never have Momentum, from any source, on a failed roll, then just think of it as the player using their minor action, but not getting the Momentum because of the failure.

You have to remember that Talents allow specific circumstances to ignore the need for an actual Task roll, successful or otherwise, to generate Momentum. Marksman is one such Talent - Spend a Minor Action to gain 1 additional Momentum to spend toward the Ranged Attack, with that Ranged Attack being the only place the 1 additional Momentum granted by Marksman can be used, that’s it.

Think of it in regards to the Law of the Conservation of Energy: Energy cannot be created nor destroyed only transferred. IN this case, the Minor Action (extra effort) used for Marksman changes into 1 Momentum for use with that Ranged Attack and may only be used for THAT Ranged Attack. It’s not generating momentum.

Or what J. Dukehart said.

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Wasn’t looking to start anything - as a GM I’d most likely allow the player to put the additional momentum from the talent into the communal pool if the player failed a test - but this post made me scrutinize the whole momentum section of the rulebook.

I don’t know exactly where the OP falls as far as RAW or RAI, but he/she seems like someone who follows strict construction of the rules.

Also, Page 101, Generating Momentum:
“Some talents, items, and circumstances grant bonus Momentum, which is added to the total Momentum generated by a successful skill test. The bonus Momentum doesn’t come into existence until after the test is successful.”

I don’t want to split hairs on whether bonus = additional, but this seems to support that if you fail your skill check, you’ve also wasted your Minor Action.
Again, if it were me, I’d allow the player to bank the 1M if the pool is less than 6, but that’s me.

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We play it like rschweik.

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I believe the intent of that Talent (and the way I run it in my game) is to allow the archer to spend a Minor Action to get a point of Momentum before the test is rolled. The archer can then choose to spend that Momentum on their Ranged Weapon test, either to Create Opportunity (+1d20 on the test), to Create Obstacle (+1D to enemies, say by shooting something to knock it over), etc. They may not spend it on anything else, nor transfer it to others directly, but in combat it often means Momentum going into the pool because the archer generated extra successes, so it can transfer Momentum indirectly.


I have been allowing the momentum generated with a minor action to be spent on providing an additional d20 for the skill test. Would be nice to have an official ruling on it.


You are playing it the way I’ve always played it and seen it played. I doubt you’ll get an official response from Modiphius on these forums. You might have more luck on the 2d20 discord but it is hit and miss there too. You’ll at least get feed back from very experienced players.

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The only reason I doubt my interpretation is the existence of talents which just plainly say that they provide an extra d20 to a skill check. As that is all the momentum generated by the Accurate talent is ever used for in my game, it’s nagging.

But, it provides just a little more flexibility and prevents you from using Quick Release in the same attack. When I was playing an archer, it was always a choice between Marksman and Quick Release since they both require the use of a minor action. It would have been a much easier decision if I couldn’t have used the extra momentum from Marksman for an extra d20. I would have went with Quick Release unless I was low on loads.

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I’ve only run two sessions thus far and the archer in my group does not have quick release, so I’m unfamiliar with it.

I understand and use it like that too. Bonus Momentum only comes into play after a successful test.
The wording “additional Momentum” is imprecise (some official clarification would help), but still is “additional”, not “free without any test at all” Momentum.

So to use Marksman Talent, you perform a Minor Action to “aim”, which gives you 1 Bonus Momentum to better overcome your target’s defenses or to be used for other combat Momentum spends.
No free Momentum that can be immediately used to add 1d20 to the pool. There actually are some Talents that explicitly state, that you can add d20s, this does not.

Marksman is a “cheap” Talent to acquire, Tier 1 = 200 XP.

I have more of a problem with the in the final edition of the Conan core rules “nerfed” Trickshot Talent. This one is quite expensive, Tier 2 = 400 XP, has a very high requirement of Focus 3, only gives you 1 Bonus Momentum that even has a restricted way of spending and cannot be saved in the Group Momentum pool at all.

In a pre-final version Marksman could be taken 3 times, giving 1 Bonus Momentum per Rank, and Trickshot could be taken 3 times, giving 1 Bonus Momentum (with restricted application) per Rank.
I can understand the change of Marksman to a single point of Bonus Momentum, because for such a cheap Talent gaining 3 Bonus Momentum would be VERY powerful indeed.
But for the more expensive Trickshot Talent I’d say, that should still be an option to take 3 times.
Comparing that with the immensely lethal Melee or Stealth Talents of similar tiers, Trickshot needs some kind of “upgrade”.