Missions ruling.

  • 5 Replies


  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Omae
  • *
  • Posts: 510
« on: (11:49:50/03-28-18) »
I am not sure this is the right place for this as I want to know how a rule is used in missions and not what the rule is in general.

A player at my table asked if background count affected his adept power that automatically work but the results where based on his skill rating, FreeFall for example in Street Grimoire page 171. Rules as written would say no it does not affect it as it is not a skill test. Looking in the FAQ 1.4 for Chicago I could only confirm this ruling. Before I write him to tell him it is OK for the upcoming game I am running I would like to know if I am correct or not for missions play.

There are 10 kinds of people in this world, those who understand binary and those who don't


*Play-by-Post color guide*

« Reply #1 on: (11:59:56/03-28-18) »
Quote from: SRM Chicago FAQ
Can you clarify what tests Background Counts (Street Grimoire, pgs. 30-33) affects?
Background Counts apply their modifiers to all Skill Tests that are being affected by magic in any way. This means casting spells, tests to activate adept powers, any test that is being augmented through a skill or attribute boost, etc.
The adept power Improved Reflexes increases your Reaction, and will affect any skill test based on reaction. However, Initiative is not a skill test, so you do not take any Background Count related penalties.
Drain is a damage resistance test, so likewise does not suffer Background Count penalties.

That's the only answer any of us can give.

My synthesis:
If it's a skill test where any of the components of the test (skill, attribute, threshold, limit, interval.  SR5 pgs 47-48) are modified by or involve magic, then the BGC penalty applies.
« Last Edit: (12:01:29/03-28-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »


  • *
  • Freelancer
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2544
« Reply #2 on: (14:11:32/03-28-18) »
I think you made the correct call.
Killing so many sacred cows, I'm banned from India.


  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Ace Runner
  • *
  • Posts: 1174
« Reply #3 on: (18:00:27/03-29-18) »
I have a couple things to add to this. But I do want to start with "yes, background count will not affect a power like Freefall."

Any power that does not call for or modify a test in any way does not get affected by Background Counts. Missions has narrowed that classification further and apparently only has background apply to Skill tests, but that's a different matter.

Freefall does none of those things, it gives a unique ability, but doesn't affect any skills or call for tests. However, I would warn that player that some GMs may have background affect some jumping tests on an adept with the freefall power (though I would be hesitant to do so myself). And I could also see it applying to attacks that were made as a result of using the power (second to last sentence).

Notably, background does apply to any skill test that has been affected in any way by magic. That includes combat damage from killing hands or critical strike. It doesn't have to only include the numbers on the skill test itself.


  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 5
« Reply #4 on: (22:18:32/03-29-18) »
This topic have raised a question in my mind...

What about Focused Archery??

does that one make your archery skill be affected by background count?


  • *
  • Errata Coordinator
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2800
  • Scraping the bottom of the Resonance Barrel
    • Moth's Mad Path
« Reply #5 on: (22:39:10/03-29-18) »
It would, yes.  It allows you to ignore penalties from using a higher-rating bow, affecting your dice pool.
I'm Madpath Moth on reddit (and other sites).
Firebug's VU93 Profile
Jeeze.  It would almost sound stupid until you realize we're talking about an immortal elf clown sword fighting a dragon ghost in a mall.