On page YS207, it states about the standard maneuver action:

Against an opponent, a maneuver is performed much like an attack—you roll an appropriate skill against the opponent and try to beat the opponent’s defense roll. In an exchange, characters can defend against as many maneuvers as they want as a free action.

Oh page YS252, it states about casting maneuvers:

Performing maneuvers is a little trickier than attacking and blocking. By default, pulling off most maneuvers requires 3 shifts of power, but if the target has an appropriate resisting skill rated higher than Good (+3), that skill total determines the required number of shifts.

The first quote makes it sound like targets gets an opposed roll against maneuvers, while the second quote makes it sounds like you just use the targets skill rating, and they don't actually roll. Which is correct? Is it different for magic maneuvers vs. regular ones?


2 Answers 2


It is indeed different for spellcasting maneuvers, but not in the way that you're seeing it.

Spellcasting is a combination of a few things:

  1. First determine the number of shifts neededYS252
  2. Gather the power for that number of shiftsYS255
  3. Control the power gatheredYS256
  4. Target the power as normal for the effect, i.e. a weapon or a maneuverYS201/YS207

In the quote that you reference above, they're talking about determining the shifts of power required. So, if you're targeting the nameless hapless goon of the night master with Athletics +1 with your oil slick spell, your number of shifts required is three. If you're targeting the summoned skillful ninja of the night master with Athletics of Superb (+5), you need five shifts of power.

Then you compare your conviction to the number of shifts to see if you can summon that amount of power without exhausting yourself...

Then you roll your discipline vs the number of shifts summoned, i.e. if you're going against the goon, your target is three... if you're going against the summoned ninja, your target is 5...

Only then do you get to the opposed part. Your roll to control is also your roll to target, so if you rolled a +7 on your control roll, then the target would roll vs that to see the final effect.YS207

Note that this might seem redundant- having to gather shifts from the targets Athletics, then roll vs that number of shifts, then them having the opportunity to resist with their Athletics. The other point to realize is that these two don't have to be the same skill- but this will be based on the type of effect being generated, and the skill used to resist said effect.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie - I know what code formatting is, and I used it intentionally as I have been to differentiate between references and italics. Just something that I have been doing for a while. Posted a question on Meta in regards to this. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chuck Dee
    Aug 9, 2013 at 3:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ We already have a meta question about that, sorry, I should have linked it in the edit text: meta.rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/1483/… \$\endgroup\$ Aug 9, 2013 at 3:47

Turns out this is covered in Rick Neal's Q&As...

On the topic of using Evocation for maneuvers: Does the target get a defensive roll, or are you just trying to statically beat their defensive skill?

Fred got this one on the comment thread. Thanks, Fred! Just to elaborate how that meshes with the earlier comment about the power levels needed for Evocation, the target still makes a defensive roll, but the attacker needs that minimum amount of power to make the Maneuver take place. So, if you’re trying to tag someone with Blown Away, and they’ve got Great +4 Might, you need to have 4 shifts of power in your air Evocation for it to affect them, but you still need to roll to hit their Fair +2 Athletics, and they get a roll to dodge it.


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