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Some totems grant bonus dice for categories of magic. Like Dog grants +2 dice for detection spells. Are these dice usable for anything other than the spellcasting test?
I thought I knew but huh... its worded weirdly.

SR4a, p200: "A magician gains bonus dice when acting or using Sorcery or Conjuring skills in accordance to the mentorÔ€™s ideals."

I'd guess that since it adds to skills that means skill checks and not damage resistance tests but Bears adds to physical damage resistance tests, so uh... I dunno.
Screaming Eagle
I would be quick to point out that overcasting drain is not a damage resistance test, its a drain test so Charisma 8 Elven Bear Shaman is not the spell casting drain win forever...
But its your table.
I generally allow the bonus dice to be allocated as the caster sees fit between casting/summoning or drain though this is not RAW by a good distance unless I missed something. It's mostly to preserve a bit of the 1-3rd ed dice pool allocation rules and for an added bonus in exchange for the "shamanic mask" thing. Its "only" 2 dice, but then again I don't have anyone trying to push the rules envelope for more drain dice and drain resiatance in my game.
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