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I have a question about the called shots under special rules on page 232 of the core rules.

A creature automatically attempts a called shot using the weapon it is currently wielding as its next action whenever the companion attacking it fails his attack roll and obtains a "eye symbol" result on his Feat die.

So I get that rolling the eye symbol is the important part here, but its the failing the attack roll that I am confused about. Once players start getting into 4+ success dice its possible for them to still frequently meet TN's of 14.

So does the success dice total also have to fail to meet the TN in order to provoke the adversary's called shot, or simply by having rolled an eye symbol is this triggered?

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No, rolling an Eye of Sauron on an attack roll does not always provoke an adversary's Called Shot

The rules in The One Ring (p232) state:

A creature automatically attempts a called shot using the weapon it is currently wielding as its next action whenever the companion attacking it fails his attack roll and obtains a "Eye of Sauron" result on his Feat die.

The 'and' makes it clear that the two conditions must be met:

  1. Attacking Hero fails the attack roll
  2. Attacking Hero obtains an Eye of Sauron

Note that the TN for an attack roll is dependant on the Hero's chosen Combat Stance and the Adversary's Parry Rating and may well exceed TN 14 (e.g. for a Hero in Defensive Stance (base TN 12) attacking a Hill-Troll Chief with a shield (Parry Rating 7), the attack roll TN is 19 (12+7))

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