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I've struggled a bit with what I consider to be somewhat vague sidebars on pages 252 & 253 in regard to Blocks. Thus I've written out other examples of how I think Blocks work and am hoping to get clarification on them. An answer along the lines of: "Example 1:Correct, Example 2: Incorrect—and then providing the correction" is highly appreciated.

1. Standard Fist Fight:

Attacker Fists Skill of Average (+1) who is punching a Defender using the Athletics Skill of Average (+1) to Defend. The Attacker Rolls [+,+,-,■] for a total of +2, vs the Defender's Roll of [-,-,■,■] for a total of -1. The result is the Defender taking 1 Physical Stress.

2. Guns vs. Armor:

First Exchange: Attacker Guns Skill of Fair (+2) who is using a Pistol (Damage: 2) targeting a Defender using the Athletics Skill of Average (+1) to Defend who also is wearing a Kevlar Vest (Armor: 1). The Attacker Rolls [+,-,-,■] for a total of +1, vs the Defender's Roll of [+,-,■,■] for a total of +1. The result is the Attacker successfully connects with the Defender, the Pistols Damage takes effect modified by the Armor resulting in the Defender taking 1 Physical Stress.

Second Exchange: (Same Attacker and Defender as in First Exchange) The Attacker Rolls [-,+,■,■] for a total of +2, vs the Defender's Roll of [+,+,■,■] for a total of +3. The result is the Attacker misses the Defender completely, the Pistols Damage and Armor have no effects resulting in the Defender taking Zero Physical Stress.

3. Weapons vs. Natural Armor:

Attacker Weapons Skill of Fair (+2) who is using a Dagger (Damage: 1) targeting a Defender using the Athletics Skill of Average (+1) to Defend who also has Supernatural Toughness (Natural Armor: 2). The Attacker Rolls [+,+,■,■] for a total of +4, vs the Defender's Roll of [+,+,■,■] for a total of +3. The result is the Attacker successfully connects with the Defender granting one extra stress from the attack itself and applying the Dagger's Damage as well; however, the Natural Armor reduces the damage by 2 resulting in the Defender taking Zero Physical Stress.

4. Guns vs. Evocation Blocking Spell:

First Exchange: Attacker Guns Skill of Fair (+2) who is using a Pistol (Damage: 2) targeting a Defender using the Athletics Skill of Average (+1) to Defend who also Blocking with an Evocation Shield Spell, Shifts of Channeled Energy of 5, split between 3 shifts for Block Power and 2 Shifts extended Duration for 3 Total Exchanges. The Attacker Rolls [+,+,■,■] for a total of +4, vs the Defender's Roll of [+,+,■,■] for a total of +3. The result is the Attacker's shot hits the Block, but doesn't bypass it. The Pistol's Damage is deflected.

Second Exchange: (Same Attacker and Defender) The Attacker Rolls [+,+,+,■] for a total of +5, vs the Defender's Roll of [+,+,-,■] for a total of +2. The result is the Attacker shot hitting the Defender and the Block, with the Pistol's damage bypassing the Shield spell—thus ending the spell one exchange earlier than the base duration paid for in shifts of power—and dealing 2 Physical Stress to the Defender from the Damage of the Pistol.

Third Exchange: (Same Attacker and Defender) The Attacker Rolls [+,-,-,■] for a total of +1, vs the Defender's Roll of [■,■,■,■] for a total of +1. The result is the Attacker's shot hitting the Defender (the Block is gone), and dealing 2 Physical Stress to the Defender from the Damage of the Pistol.

5. Guns vs. Evocation Armor Spell:

Attacker Guns Skill of Fair (+2) who is using a Pistol (Damage: 2) targeting a Defender using the Athletics Skill of Average (+1) to Defend who also Blocking with an Evocation Armor Spell, Shifts of Channeled Energy of 5, split between 4 shifts for Armor of 2 and 1 Shift extended Duration for 2 Total Exchanges. The Attacker Rolls [+,+,-,■] for a total of +3, vs the Defender's Roll of [+,+,■,■] for a total of +3. The result is the Attacker's shot hits the Defender, the Pistol's Damage is modified by the Armor, resulting in dealing 1 Physical Stress to the Defender. Armor Bonus Stays in Effect for the next exchange.

6. Guns vs. Evocation Block Spell and Natural Armor:

Attacker Guns Skill of Fair (+2) who is using a Pistol (Damage: 2) targeting a Defender using the Athletics Skill of Average (+1) to Defend who also Blocking with an Evocation Block Spell, Shifts of Channeled Energy of 4, split between 3 shifts for a Block Strength of 3 and 1 Shift extended Duration for 2 Total Exchanges, who also has Inhuman Toughness (Natural Armor: 1). The Attacker Rolls [+,+,-,■] for a total of +3, vs the Defender's Roll of [+,-,■,■] for a total of +1. The result is the Attacker's shot hits the Defender, the Pistol's Damage bypasses the Shield spell—thus ending the spell one exchange earlier than the base duration paid for in shifts of power, but Defender's Natural Armor absorbs the rest of the Damage resulting in the Defender taking Zero Physical Stress.

Any other examples you have that may help explain Block Function will be helpful as well.

Extra Credit, Optional Rule Example from Page 253 Side Bar: EC. Guns vs. Evocation Shield Spell in lieu of Athletics Dodge:

Attacker Guns Skill of Fair (+2) who is using a Pistol (Damage: 2) Has the Drop on the Defender who doesn't have their Shield spell up yet. The Defender rapidly casts their Evocation Block Rote Spell in place of using Athletics to Dodge. The Blocking Spell has 5 Shifts of Channeled Energy, all of it applying to a Block of 5 with no extra duration for a spell lasting for one Exchange. The Attacker Rolls [+,+,■,■] for a total of +4, vs the Defender's Newly Established Block, the shot hitting the Defender and the Block, the gun's damage overloading the Shield by 1 causing 1 Physical Stress to the Defender.

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  1. Defender takes 3 stress hit, which means stress is marked in the 3rd box ☐☐☒☐, assuming the defender has enough Endurance to have 4 stress boxes.
    1. YS200, Attacks: "If the attacker and defender tie, the attacker 'connects' with the defender, but without a weapon or some other stress-booster the margin of zero means no stress will be inflicted." So, yeah, this is correct.
    2. Yes.
  2. Also correct.
    1. Incorrect. In general, it's Block or Dodge but in certain circumstances a GM might allow both. However, you still don't get to add the two together. Assuming the GM does allow both, you're looking at 5 Attack - Greater(3 Block, 3 Dodge) = +2 shifts. Therefore our theoretical target takes 1 Physical Stress in the 4th box ☐☐☐☒. The spell is now broken as it has been bypassed.
    2. Were the result +5 Attack vs. +5 Defense, it would connect and the Weapon: 2 would result in a 2 Stress hit. That's not what happens, so if the spell were still active it would be 5 Attack vs Greater(3 Block, 2 Dodge) = +2 shift for a 4 Stress hit ☐☐☐☒ and the spell would be broken. Of course, what really happened is that the spell was already broken, so what you're looking at is +5 Attack vs. +2 Dodge = +3 shifts. With Damage: 2 from the pistol, that's a 5 Stress hit, meaning the character either has to take a consequence or be taken out. So ☐☐☒☒ and a Mild consequence.
    3. At this point the defender may have opted to be taken out, but otherwise this is really the same as the First Exchange of question 2. The defender takes another 2 Stress hit, leaving him at ☐☒☒☒ and a Mild Consequence. She might want to consider running.
  3. I wish I could see your math on this one because it went wrong somewhere. 3 Attack vs. 3 Dodge means, the Attacker gets 2 shifts, which is fully negated by the Defenders 2 shifts of Armor, resulting in a 0 Stress hit or as the rulebook puts it, your attack "connecting". Your final result looks like ☐☐☐☐. YS202, Weapons and Armor, "So, Armor:2 is intended to protect completely against most pistols — it’s probably a reinforced Kevlar vest or something."
  4. 3 Attack vs Greater (3 Block, 1 Dodge) = 0 shifts. Since the attack connects, the block is bypassed and the attacker does a 2 Shift hit with the Weapon: 2 pistol, which is reduced by 1 shift by the Defender's Armor: 1 natural armor. So after all that, the defender takes a 1 Stress hit ☒☐☐☐.

Extra Credit: The sidebar actually kind of says you shouldn't do this but since it helps clarify one of your critical misunderstandings, the gun's damage rating only comes into play after the target is hit. Since this is 4 Attack vs. 5 Block, the attack doesn't hit and the Weapon: 2 trait doesn't come into play.

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