We had a question in our game last night that didn't seem to have a clear resolution in the manual.

So if you have an effort of two and are splitting it between attack and damage (one point to lower the difficulty of the attack and one to raise the damage) what is the cost from the related pool? (5 or 6)

We know that additional points spent on the same task only cost 2, but there was some question as to attack and damage being different "Tasks".

There was a secondary question--when you split effort, can edge still apply to both, but I think we resolved that as "No".


I use Onslaught and have an effort of 5 and an intellect edge of 5. I choose to use 1 effort on attack and 1 on damage.

Onslaught costs 1 point of int, but I don't use edge here because it's only 1 point--so cost 1 point.

I decide to apply 1 level of effort to attack this costs 3 points of int, and I apply my edge making it free (and wasting two points of edge)--0 points cost

I also apply 1 level of effort to damage and can't use edge so it costs me--this is the question, does it cost me 2 or 3?

And therefore is the total cost 3 points or 4, or did we get something else wrong?


2 Answers 2


I'll start with whether attack and damage are different "Tasks". No. The damage is a result of the attack task.

As for your main question, I think of it like this: Attack and damage are considered 1 action. Effort is calculated once per action, and so is Edge. If the cost of applying Effort for different aspects of an action was separated, then it stands to reason that Edge should also be applicable separately.

Page 22 of the corebook states:

When you apply Effort, subtract your relevant Edge from the total cost of applying Effort.

And just later,

Multiple Uses of Effort and Edge

If your Effort is 2 or higher, you can apply Effort to multiple aspects of a single action. For example, if you make an attack, you can apply Effort to your attack roll and apply Effort to increase the damage. The total amount of Effort you apply can’t be higher than your Effort score. For example, if your Effort is 2, you can apply up to two levels of Effort. You could apply one level to an attack roll and one level to its damage, two levels to the attack and no levels to the damage, or no levels to the attack and two levels to the damage.

I posted the same basic question on Twitter:

A #Numenera question: if I apply 1 Effort each for two aspects of a single action, does it cost 6 points, or only 5? @MonteCookGames

The kind people at @MonteCookGames replied:

@FailedGM If I understand your question correctly, 5 points. :)

Also note the following:

You can use Edge for a particular stat only once per action. For example, if you apply Effort to a Might attack roll and to your damage, you can use your Might Edge to reduce the cost of one of those uses of Effort, not both.

So the answer to the second part of your question is indeed "No".

  • \$\begingroup\$ Your last comment confuses me. You have 4 advances per tier. You can use up to 1 advance for effort and 1 for edge per tier so if you keep choosing the same pool for your edge and you start out with 1 effort and 1 edge, you would end up with effort 7 and edge 7 at level 6. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bill K
    Commented Mar 28, 2015 at 20:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also I agree with your assessment (that the additional effort is 2 points) but you noted that it's your opinion--and that's our problem, there doesn't seem to be a clear rule and we have two different opinions. I was kind of hoping someone knew of a clear, explicit example of this spelled out in rules, an FAQ or tutorial--it really must be quite common. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bill K
    Commented Mar 28, 2015 at 20:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can't have just 2 effort,I meant. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 28, 2015 at 22:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ OH, I see.. You are absolutely right. I'll go up and modify the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bill K
    Commented Mar 28, 2015 at 22:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BillK There you go, an official confirmation. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 18, 2015 at 19:28

Let's walk through the action one step at a time, using an example Nano with 2 Effort and 2 points of Intellect Edge. We'll calculate this as we're going along.

You're casting Onslaught, which has an Int cost of 1. Because your edge is 2, you could reduce the cost is reduced to 0 if you didn't want to spend it on Effort. That's probably not the best usage of points, so let's assume you're paying 1 Int for the Onslaught.

Next, you're deciding to apply Effort, a separate expenditure from casting your Esotery. You can use up to 2 levels of Effort, and decide to apply both. The first level of effort costs 3 points, and every additional level of Effort costs 2 points. The first level (3) + the second level (2) = 5 points. Now, you get to apply your Edge to the Effort cost. Your Edge of 2 reduces the cost from 5 points to 3 points.

Your total cost is now 1 (activation) + 5 (two levels of Effort) -2 (Edge) = 3.

Now that you've spent your Effort, you decide how to split the benefits. You can apply 2 levels to the attack roll to reducing the difficulty level by 2, you can increase the damage by 6 points by adding both levels to damage, or you can apply one level to each, reducing the difficulty by 1 step and adding 3 points of damage. The Int cost is identical whichever way you decide to do it.

Same thing that Adriano said, just in a step-by-step example using the same rules citations.


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