I'm having trouble understanding what appears to be a conflict in the text of how to handle attack rolls against a target's Toughness when they are shaken by a non-physical attack, such as a Test of Wills.

On page 76 of the Savage World Deluxe Explorers Edition, it states the following:

The damage of an attack is compared to the victim's Toughness just like a Trait roll ... With a success, the victim is Shaken. For each raise over his Toughness he suffers a wound as well, as shown below.

Success - The character is Shaken. If he was already Shaken, he suffers a wound and remains Shaken. To cause a wound, the latter Shaken result must come from a physical attack of some kind - not a Test of Wills or other maneuver.

Raise The character suffers a wound for every raise on the damage roll, and is Shaken. (When wounds are caused it doesn't matter if the victim was already shaken beforehand.)

Then in the example below it states:

Example - a barbarian hits an ogre with a Toughness of 11. The barbarian's friend, a rogue, has already taunted the beast (a Test of Wills, see page 86) and Shaken it.

If the barbarian's damage is 11-14, that's a success and would normally Shake the ogre. Since its already Shaken, he suffers a wound and remains Shaken.

If the barbarian's damage is 15+ - a raise or more - he'd simply cause wounds. The ogre is already Shaken, and since a wound was caused, there's no further effect.

It seems to me that in the non-raise example, the ogre was already shaken but not by a physical attack, so he would not suffer a wound from the barbarian's attack, but he would be shaken so that follow-on attacks that hit but don't raise would be able to cause damage.

Am I misreading something here? Is there errata or precedence somewhere from Pinnacle that clear's this up? Or is the example just disagreeing with the rules above?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Good call on the [conditions] tag. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 19, 2017 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


To cause a wound, the latter Shaken result must come from a physical attack

Here "latter" is used not to indicate the one referred to later, but the one coming later in time. Thus it does not matter how one got Shaken, but this rule prevents Tests of Will from inflicting actual physical harm (wounds) by applying Shaken again.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that "physical attack" means that it does damage to the target's physical body, not that it is from a physical weapon. So things like offensive magic (e.g. the Bolt power) still count for this. Also, there are sometimes exceptions to this "physical attack" rule like Backlash from Arcane Background (Magic), but they will always say something like "You become Shaken. This can cause a wound." \$\endgroup\$ Jan 19, 2017 at 18:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah - I noted that as well. Even though a magic bolt (or similar) is not a physical attack, it stands to reason that it would result in a wound when successfully hitting a shaken character. \$\endgroup\$
    – clyde
    Jan 19, 2017 at 21:42

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