In describing natural recovery on page 207 the test to recover Stun Damage is listed as Body + Willpower (1 hour) Extended Test. Under extended tests on pg 48 it is noted that "... to simulate this, with each successive roll on an Extended test, players should remove one die from their dice pool". However, back to page 207 the example with Full Deck in the second paragraph says "he keeps making the same roll each hour with his six dice". I suspect that this is just a careless error and that we are meant to remove dice from the pool as is typical under an extended test. However, I'm newly returning to Shadowrun and would like to be sure that I'm not misinterpreting, or misunderstanding something.

In short:

  • Does one always/usually remove one dice from the pool after each successive roll on an extended test? Or is this something that is done only at the GM's discretion?
  • If one does always or usually remove one dice from the pool after each successive roll... does this also apply to the natural healing tests?

2 Answers 2


Imho, natural healing isn't an extended, no threshold, hits on a single roll heal directly instead after a cumulative number of hits in a serie of rolls. Hence why I wouldn't remove dices.

In my interpretation of the rules, the natural healing test mentioned by the original poster shouldn't be an Extended Test.

Like CrystalBlue mentioned, the idea behind an Extended Test is to have an interesting "Fail" scenario. Healing as an extended test, with the dice being reduce by 1 a every test, would make for grittier play, and excessive book keeping. The management would probably have to be house-ruled. What would happen if you fail to heal your Stun Damage, you can't heal Physical Damage? When can you attempt to heal again? Would it be like the First-Aid/Heal spell, you can attempt to heal only once per set of damage? And what about players with average Body and Willpower (let's say a dice pool of 6). Typically, on 21 dice (6 first roll, 5 second roll.....), an average of 7 hits would be achieved, which barely covers the condition monitor. And if the player is unlucky in is roll, chances are he'll never get to heal his Physical Damage.

There is a lot of room for interpretation and adjustments if you go with the "Extended Test" version. For simplicity's sake, I personally use the natural healing as a Success Test (p.47), without a Limit (since it uses two attributes), and the duration for the test would be as specified in the natural healing rules (p.207)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi, welcome to the site. This looks to be a pretty good answer (though I’m not personally familiar enough with SR to be sure), but it’s worth noting that we are a very different site from discussion forums you may be used to. See our Tour. Since we are trying to produce a professional, authoritative resource, and each answer should be all that needs to be said on the matter, we do tend to respond more favorably to answers with a more professional tone. Losing the “Imho” and clarifying that first sentence may garner you more upvotes. Anyway, when you get 20 rep, feel free to join the Role-playing Games Chat! \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Sep 8, 2014 at 12:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good catch about it fitting the form of a Success Test better than an Extended test. I do love me some gritter game play, so I might work on a house rule at some point... but for starters I figure it is better to understand the rules as they are. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 8, 2014 at 14:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the only reason they would have been fitted in the Extended test is about the interval at which they are rolled, since most Success Test fit the Free/Simple/Complex action paradigm. \$\endgroup\$
    – Liack
    Sep 8, 2014 at 17:20

I think that this was just an oversight on making the healing test an Extended Test.

Healing tests should NOT be dropping one die each time the person needs to roll for it. It never has in the past and it shouldn't be done now. For the explanation of this, think of the rules as intended.

The reason that the "Drop one die for each extended test roll" was implemented was to keep players from auto-succeeding at a roll, given an unlimited amount of time. Why even roll if the person can just keep throwing dice at a problem? But with a healing roll, you are simply seeing how long it's actually going to take to get rid of your stun or physical damage.

However, playing devils advocate, I can see why dropping one die for each roll on an extended test could prove with some good role play. You could have them say that the player has tried to heal their body as well as they could, but the injuries are great enough that they either need to go to a doctor to get it looked at by a professional or they will be living with a limp or bad shoulder or whatever. That would make it interesting, in my opinion. It might even force a player to say "Screw it" and just install some chrome to get rid of that annoying flesh arm and get a cool new cyber arm with blades and stuff.

But, in general, I would say that the mechanics of a healing roll don't drop one die each time you make it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I also saw (and kind of liked) the devil's advocate point you made. Clearly sometimes to heal physical damage completely in the real world you need to see a professional... and sometimes that doesn't even get the job done. That being said, I was having trouble imagining what a professional could do to heal stun damage that wouldn't be accomplished with time alone. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 8, 2014 at 13:56

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