Tricks and Tests of Wills are opposed rolls. The result is binary though: either the bonus/malus the "attacker" is trying to apply gets applied to the target, or it doesn't.

Opposed rolls on the other hand are trinary: the attacker can win, the defender can win, or you can tie:

In a tie, the two foes continue to struggle with no clear victor.

This doesn't give any guidance for Tricks or Tests of Wills though, since a tie non-result is effectively a win for the defender and makes them a "clear victor". A tie has to be either a win for the attacker or defender: but which one?

We had this come up in our Friday game, where twice a Trick or Test of Wills came up a tie. I gave it to the attacker, but that was just a ruling on the spot (adapting the ties rule from Fate).

  • \$\begingroup\$ From "continue to struggle" I could even see rerolling if it came to that. Traditionally I always just give ties to defenders, but that's because I started off with Shadowrun. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 5, 2013 at 18:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KyleWilley Out of combat that's the clear procedure for opposed rolls: describe the fictional tie, move the action onward, then roll again if/when appropriate. During a combat manoeuvre though, that process would necessarily play out over multiple rounds, which is still effectively giving it (for that combat action) to the defender. …'Course, it's possible that ties to the defender is the correct implication! \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 5, 2013 at 18:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ One potential outcome is that it forces the Defender and Attacker to engage each other again next turn in an exact repeat of what had happened, which may or may not have any real impact on their chosen course of action. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 5, 2013 at 19:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ What I usually say is that the situation stays the same in the case of a tie, which is another way of saying that defenders win ties (albeit, without the potentially confusing attacker/defender terminology). \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 5, 2013 at 23:35

1 Answer 1


I found the official answer on the forums: ties go to the defender.

This makes the opposed roll procedure make a bit more sense: the attacker rolls, using bennies until they're satisfied with their roll, then the defender uses that as the target number to resist.

On the other hand it disincentivises Tricks and Tests of Will just a tiny bit, so I can see house ruling it in favour of the attacker.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Also it should be noted that there is the "Killer Instinct" Combat Edge which makes the individual automatically win any and all opposed rolls that tie (as well as rerolling his skill die if it comes up as a 1). \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 5, 2013 at 23:32

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