I am about to start a campaign using SR5 rules. One of the things that I love about Shadowrun is that the threat of PC death is very real. Combat is often quite deadly. As a GM who likes to constantly remind his players of the dangerous work that they live in, I quite enjoy making my players paranoid by reminding them of the dangers of failing a surprise test with no armor on.

The problem that I have is that many of my players end up using Edge as their dump stat. I often times have a player who creates an elf or ork with only 1 Edge. I usually gently remind them that Edge is a powerful tool to have around as an attribute, but it didn't work this time.

The threat of death in a campaign is only a threat if it can be used. Having Edge to burn makes me much more willing to throw deadly situations at my players, because they can also CHOOSE to either burn Edge to stay alive, or just die and start a new character.

So, are players allowed to burn a point of edge if they only have 1 edge point? Can the Edge attribute drop to 0? I'd hate to throw a grenade into the PC's bedroom while they are sleeping in their PJs if I just KNOW they're going to die and can't recover.


1 Answer 1


The Edge attribute, as the core rulebook says on p.56, under Edge, does not change unless you permanently burn Edge, as detailed in Burning Edge, on p.57.

The Edge attribute itself shows you how many Edge points a character may have at a time: it's the maximum, the upper limit of the spendable Edge points.

A character who has an Edge (attribute) of 1 has a single edge point to use before she or he hits zero spendable Edge, at which point Edge will return only according to the rules presented, again, on p.56, under Regaining Edge

So, briefly: Yes, players are allowed to burn a point of edge if they have only one, even if their Edge attribute is 1. Yes, the Edge attribute can drop to zero, but not below that. You can even "regain" permanently burned Edge as per the advancement rules.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That's a really good explanation. It makes sense when you explain Edge as being, as you said, "how many Edge points a character may have at a time: it's the maximum, the upper limit of the spendable Edge points." Thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Funkytown
    Commented Jul 27, 2014 at 17:36
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ As a GM - if a PC perma-burned all their edge, it might be a bit of fun to throw plenty of bad-luck onto that character. Glitches have particularly bad results, their commlink is always the one hacked, etc. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 20:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I GM a Pc with the Unlucky Quality burn his single point of edge to survive. Every now and then, I have him throw a d6 prior to a roll (usually in case of an important one), and consider a 1 as a critical glitch, not even requiring a roll. But that's a particular example of houseruling for interesting concept. \$\endgroup\$
    – Liack
    Commented Sep 14, 2014 at 19:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Somewhere in the back of the sr5 core book there's a suggestion or rule that a "prime runner" npc can survive even being killed by the players (to come back later, recurring villain etc) by burning /all/ their edge. (It also suggests giving them permanant scars or other maladies). \$\endgroup\$
    – Weaver
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 19:02

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