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dvilswingman

Dice Number in Combat

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Do monsters' modifiers, like -2 to your strength test, happen before bonus dice are added in or after? If before, and you would be dropped to 0 dice or below, do you still get 1 die before adding bonuses? 

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I suppose my concern is really the point at which modifiers get factored in. I get that you always get the 1 die, but the total will be different depending on when the dice are subtracted. If you have 2 strength to start and the monster has a -2 modifier, you'll still have the one die. If that is the point you add in any bonus dice (let's say you have an item with +2 to strength in combat), then you will roll 3 dice total. However, if the monster modifier is added in after all your dice are totaled, the number is different. With the same +2 strength item and your 2 base strength, you would have a total of 4 strength, but if you subtract the monster modifier at that point you will have only 2 dice.

If the book means that you always roll at least one die, then the answer is implied to be in favor of the 3 dice in the above example, but the wording of the text in the rules isn't satisfactory to that end for me. Page 11 does say to roll the number of dice you have in the given stat, in this case strength, taking modifiers into account. In the next sentence it says to always roll at least one. I infer that to mean that all my available bonuses are factored in before the monster modifier, but still rolling 1 die if it drops me to 0 or below. If the monster modifier is factored in before modifiers, I lose both of the bonus dice from the item in the above example. If the monster modifier is factored in before my items, I still get 1 bonus die. 

I hope this makes more sense to anyone else with information. I have to wonder if I'm crazy to not be understanding what may well be painfully obvious.

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I know the 1 die isn't a bonus, it's a flat guarantee. The "bonus" was in reference to the dice added beyond what is printed on the investigator card. I compared all the factors and in the case of the example I gave, I still get 1 more die by taking the monster modifier before adding dice from items than if I take the monster modifier after totaling the bonus dice from the item.

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The best way to calculate is to add together all your bonuses first and then subtract any negatives.  Then if you are at 0 or less you get the one dice.

 

I saw a good example in a game recently.  Norman Withers had to make an Influence check (-2) from a gate locations card but he had the option to take an agreement and some other bonus which would add 2 additional bonus dice to his pool.

 

He has an influence of 1.  If he did not take the agreement he would calculate thus:

 

Inf: 1 then subtract 2 for the modifier.  this gives a modified value of -1 so he would get to roll 1 dice.

 

If he did take the agreement it would go like this:

 

Influence 1, add 2 bonus dice for 3 total then subtract 2 for the test mofifier for a total of 1.

 

Note that you would not first subtract the test modifier of -2 to give you the 1 dice minimum and then add on the additional dice to give you a pool of 3.

 

I have a house rule in my game that changes the 1 dice minimum slightly as I feel it is too genorous though not to the extent of the instant fail of Arkham horror.  If an investigator has a dice pool total of 0 or less then he gets a "Chance" dice which is 1 dice that succeeds only on a 6, similar to being cursed.  If blessed then you succeed on the chance dice on a 5 or 6 and if cursed then it is an instant fail.  by applying this to normans situation above if he took the agreement he would roll 1 normal dice and if he did not then he would be on a chance dice.

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Checkout Page 11 of the Ref Guide ... Tests .. to see how it's broken down.

(...) if the monster modifier is added in after (...) If the monster modifier is factored in before (...)

If you need the order of adding the modifiers, the Reference Guide provides it.

Isn't the "monster modifier" the "number that follows the skill icon"?

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Although this also does an excellent job of showing that you don't increase a pool of 0 dice to 1 until you've completely finished assembling it and actually tried to roll it. So in this case, the order in which you add and subtract doesn't matter, as stated above, it will give you the same result either way.

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