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Ok, I am a newbie Shadowrun player. I decided to play a magical adept. One of the abilities I have selected is Nerve Strike. I have attached a description of the ability below. My big question is, what does the defender roll? Does the defender roll the same thing, but instead of applying the damage to the condition monitor, damage would be applied to quickness.

Suppose an unarmed combat situation. Would the defender roll Body + Unarmed Combat + Available Combat dice? Would the defender roll something else? Would the defender roll at all?

Nerve strike allows an adept to inflict damage that affects a target’s nervous system. The adept makes a standard unarmed attack against a base Target Number of 4 plus the target’s Impact Armor Rating. Rather than inflicting damage, every 2 net successes reduce the target’s Quickness by 1. If Quickness is reduced to 0, the target is paralyzed. Lost Quickness is recovered at a rate of 1 point per minute. Nerve strike is most effective against human and metahuman opponents. When used against critters, the base Target Number is 6 (or higher, if the critter has an unusual anatomy). Targets that lack a functional nervous system, such as machines, spirits and zombies, are immune to this power.

Source: Shadowrun, 3rd edition. Magic in the Shadows, page 150

Thank you!
Kren Cooper
I've always read this as follows:

The player character and the opponent make their normal melee attack rolls. Target number is base 4, modified by reach, situational modifiers, wounds etc - all the normal things.

If the opponent wins the roll, work out damage normally.
If the player wins the roll, they make a second unarmed attack roll (using their base martial arts skill, combat pool if any left, any other appropriate modifiers) against 4+Impact armour to see how accurate / strong / penetrating their attack is. The defender does not get to roll to resist or soak this special damage.

1) The attacking adept rolls his unarmed combat skill against tn 4(+ impact armor rating +other penalties)
The defender rolls unarmed/armed combat skill + nothing (its sr3, so the test are skill only, not skill + attribute) against a tn of 4 (+penalties)

2) If the attacker scored net hits, the defenders Quickness is reduced by 1 for every two net hits.

I don't see an indication for a body test for the defender, which makes sense as he is not taking any "real" damage
yeah, the defender does not roll Body according to the description. He only gets to roll his skill dice + combat pool during the counter attack. Its ok though because it still takes 2 successes to get any results, which can be tough to get against a similarly skilled opponent. Incidentally it has to be unarmed which means you only get reach to help you if you are a troll, or use the close combat maneuver (which is a good idea since your damage code won't matter). Its a nice ability, especially since it drops your opponent's combat pool.
Is it too late to drop the power? I highly recommend it—you basically get to attack the opponent, but you don't do any damage even if you hit, you take a TN penalty based on opposing Impact Armor, and the penalty you do cause is less impairing than the TN penalty from wound mods.

QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Oct 6 2010, 10:41 PM) *
Is it too late to drop the power? I highly recommend it—you basically get to attack the opponent, but you don't do any damage even if you hit, you take a TN penalty based on opposing Impact Armor, and the penalty you do cause is less impairing than the TN penalty from wound mods.


I considered it but I know it is a very situational ability. I would never use it to try and go toe to toe with a troll without some modifier help. The idea is to knock out enemies after sneaking up on them or surprise them. When the nerve strike paralyzes them, then I would knock them out to make it last longer. Plus, it bypasses body, which is better for those burly trolls if I can sneak up or get some helpful modifiers. I use trolls because they tend to be high body and strength, low quickness. If the GM recommended dropping the ability, I would definitely reconsider. The game starts in a few hours, so that would be unlikely.

Thank you everyone for helping me to understand. smile.gif It's going to be fun.
If you want to sneak up to and then stun an enemy it is way easier to just attack him from behind
with standard melee attack. your victim then only gets his body roll to reduce damage but no
defense roll. this makes it easy to bring him to deadly stun.

- lets say you attack standard melee (tn 4), achieving 6 successes. this lets you deal (str+1)D stun.
two successes for the victim to keep standing.

- then nerve strike: you attack, using the power against a tn of 4+impact armor, achieving the same
6 successes (which is highly unlikely due to the higher tn).
your victim does not get a defense roll either (so you get full 6 net hits) and has a quickness
of maybe 4, this means he loses 3 points of quickness, leaving him standing with quickness of 1, able
to call for help.

i am assuming that your gm doesnt allow for defense rolls when attacked from behind and surprised
(i dont know, if thats actualy a rule or if we just use it this way because it makes sense), even if he
did, this would not change the facts much:

nerve strike is only useful on targets with low quickness
but these very target are highly unlikely to have a high melee skill, so you will be able to defeat them
with the same ease in normal melee combat.

in my opinion nerve strike is mechanically useless, but adds flavor to your game. if it fits your style, take it,
but trust me, you wont really be happy with it.
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