The spending of momentum

Every actual play i’ve seen allows pool momentum to be spent when attacking in combat, which is wrong.
Accoding to RAW, to my understanding, momentum is played forward. Pool momentum adds d20s for the skill test and any momentum gained from that test can then be spent on “momentum spends in combat”.

Am I wrong in my understanding?

Does the GM gain a Doom when players spend pool momentum?

My understanding is this.

An attack is a Standard Action just like any skill test. Therefore, Momentum may be used to buy bonus d20s on the test. It’s no different than any other skill test. In fact, attacks use Skills (i.e., Melee, Ranged). The Difficulty for an attack is a minimum of D1.

Momentum generated from an attack can be spent either immediately or banked to the Pool, just like any other Skill Test.

Doom is not generated from players using Momentum. The two piles are not related at all, though players can “pay Doom” to the GM for bonus dice on Skill Tests (usually if they don’t have Momentum to spend).

Page 101

"Some Momentum spends are not tied to a specific test
and can be used freely as soon as they are required, spending
points directly from the group’s Momentum pool rather
than waiting for a successful skill test. These spends are
referred to as Immediate…

…During any successful skill test, a character may spend
Momentum saved in the group Momentum pool instead of
or in addition to any points generated from the successful
skill test itself, spending from either or both as desired."

Do you mean this on page 118

“Momentum is a key tactical resource during Action Scenes.
When a character generates Momentum in an action scene,
numerous options are available by which the character
can overcome enemies, empower allies, and bolster the
effectiveness of actions.”

I think that’s more explanation than an actual rule. The rule book doesn’t differentiate between actual rules and explanation or fluff though so it’s hard to tell.

I would certainly play you can use group Momentum for in combat.

They do not gain Doom when you spend group Momentum. What rule gives you that idea?

The momentum pool can be used for anything that a player might spend momentum on. This is by design to encourage the players to work together.

Also, no. The GM does not gain momentum when the players spend momentum. However, players are able to give the GM doom in place of momentum if there is not enough available.

I’ve heard actual plays where pool momentum is spent for many things not intended.

Looking at the momentum spends in the combat chart and thinking about what i hear podscasts doing when not using RAW, I’ve noticed there is only one Immediate momentum spend that pool momentum is allowed to be spent on during combat, which is the Second Wind spend.

Other momentum spends in combat must come from gained momentum during that test and Not from pool momentum.

The differences between Immediate Momentum spends and non-Immediate ones is that they can be done outside of “you’ve succeeded at a test, spend Momentum to affect the result” (which means using group Momentum as that’s the only available source), and that they can be paid for by adding to Doom instead of spending Momentum.

Momentum stored in the group pool can be used exactly like any other Momentum.

1 Like

So Momentum is depleted, loosing 1 after each round in an action scene, but what happens to left over Momentum after the action scene is over? I have played it that the characters get to keep their pool, but I also read somewhere that they still lose 1 after every scene (non action scenes).

Correct: one Momentum is removed from the pool for every Scene. When I started playing, I thought this would be hard to remember (and to determine what constitutes a “Scene”), but for my group it was quite intuitive.

It wasn’t clear in your question, so I also want to point out that there is only one pool of Momentum for all PCs. Any Momentum not spent directly after being generated is “banked” into this collective pool for all to use.

Thanks, that clarifies it for me. I like the depletion mechanism and the limit of 6 Momentum in the pool, it lets the characters build up some resources, but the momentum slowly goes away so the characters can’t hoard it all. That creates a nice ebb and flow akin to adrenaline flowing when in a crisis.

Thank-you so much for the clarifying explanation, @Modiphius-Nathan , @dusser and @Gebir It really helped a lot.

Since all vigor / resolve returns after a short rest after combat, what need is there to use Second Wind outside of combat? In other words, need for giving GM doom?

How does Fatigue / Despair fit into combat and momentum spends outside of combat?

For Immediate spends then, are there *any * besides the one from the chart called Second Wind anywhere? In any other sourcebooks?


Thanks for calling me out. I’m glad that our interaction has helped. Here’s what I believe are the appropriate answers to these questions.

In short, none. I believe that the utility of Second Wind applies only to combat situations, a desperate attempt to stay up through the fight to rest and recuperate, at one’s leisure, after emerging victorious.

I’m not sure I understand the question. In terms of Actions and Stress in combat, both these conditions might have an effect (i.e., Fatigue reduces Vigor, Despair reduces Resolve, so attacks against these values might be more effective). Outside of combat, the Momentum spends are detailed in the Core Book pp. 79-80 and 66, respectively. Essentially, one level of Fatigue or Despair is recovered per Momentum. Since you appear interested in playing entirely RAW, you will notice that this spend is not Immediate; therefore you probably would rule that Doom cannot be paid to the GM for additional recovery (though Doom certainly can be paid—via Create Opportunity—for additional dice for the Skill test, which could result in generated Momentum).

My group still is exploring the Core Book. We haven’t branched out into any sourcebooks yet, so I can’t speak to that part of the question. However, as far as I know, there is one more Immediate spend listed on the first page of the Rules Reference at the back of the Core Book. It is 2 Momentum (or Doom, therefore) for +D1 to an opponent’s Skill Test.

As a GM, I don’t really like this (I play slightly differently than the book*), so I might not allow it.

*So far, I don’t make myself pay Doom for such external things as summoning reinforcements or creating terrain effects. I do use Doom to spring traps on my PCs, though; that just seems fair, since, unlike D&D, PCs don’t get to avoid these traps [cue maniacal GM laughter].