Reading about Shadowrun 4th edition, I came accross the Extended tests rules. If I read correctly, extended test result doesn't matter because in the end it might take your more time than expected but ultimately you will succeed. So the only way to fail an Extended test is via glitches?

So to make an analogy with 3.5 (a system I'm more familiar with) an extended test is a take 20?


1 Answer 1


It's important to remember that an Extended Test is really a series of tests performed over time, and any one of those individual tests could be critical to the success of the overall endeavor.

p.58 of the SR4 rulebook:

The gamemaster can also limit the number of rolls under the assumption that if the character can't finish it with a certain amount of effort, she simply doesn't have the skills to complete it. A good limit is to allow a maximum number of rolls equal to the character's dice pool (so a character rolling 6 dice has 6 attempts to get it done). A character can also fail an Extended Text by glitching (see below).

Per your question, you can also fail by glitching. See p.59:

If the character rolls a glitch during an Extended Test, the task is not aborted, but the character should be inconvenienced in some way (broken tools, missing parts, or distracted from work by an annoying pest, for example). The gamemaster can also roll 1D6 and subtract this from the hits scored so far; if this reduces the accumulated hits to 0, the test fails.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If the character dice pool is 10 and is rediced of 1 each time you roll the test, could someone take over at some point to counter this problem? Aka. Abusing the wording \$\endgroup\$
    – user4000
    Aug 18, 2012 at 18:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think that would be a perversion of the test. Ultimately the test is your own, and can't be passed on to someone else halfway through. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 18, 2012 at 19:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Extended Tests focus more on when a Task is considered finished and how well, than on if it gets finished. Glitching, or accruing a total of 0 successes within the time allotted results in failure or the need to start all over again. They are the sort of tasks that a person will complete eventually, given the right tools, time, and talents. Teamwork per page 65SR4A can be applied, but as @ErikSchmidt states the task cannot be handed off, unless you set thresholds for individual stages of the task. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 19, 2012 at 1:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ To @Runeslinger's point, the way I think of it is that in game play the real issue is almost always time. Does the character have enough time to complete the Extended Test? That's where you can maximize the drama of it. In essence a short task either succeeds or doesn't, a longer series of tasks either succeeds in time or it doesn't. Not succeeding before the Troll merc squad arrives, for example, means that for all intents and purposes it doesn't matter that you could have succeeded given enough time. You failed to do it fast enough. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 19, 2012 at 1:31

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