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Some armors, talents, or techniques grant a soak, which represents the amount of damage you (or your armor) reduces before it affects your HP or AP.

For example, if your armor grants a 2 soak, and you are dealt 5 damage, you only receive 3 damage. If your soak is equal to or greater than the damage you are dealt, you take 0 damage.

Successive Sources of Damage

A high enough soak might make it seem as though you are immune to sources of damage that are lower than your soak. However, to simulate the unpredictable chaos of battle, your soak can only reduce damage to 0 on every other successive attack roll.

For example, if you have a 2 soak and are dealt 2 damage from a single source of damage, it's reduced to 0. But if the next source of damage would deal 2 damage to you again, you receive 1 damage instead. This happens with each subsequent source of damage, alternating in this way throughout the encounter: a third source of damage that deals 2 would be reduced to 0, and a fourth dealing 2 would be reduced to 1, and so on. It doesn't matter how many rounds occur between the sources of damage; as long as they occur in the same encounter, the rule of successive sources of damage applies.

Stacking Soak

If you are granted a soak from multiple sources (armor vs. a technique vs. a talent, etc), only the highest soak applies. So if you have a 2 soak granted by armor and a kit ability that grants a 3 soak, your soak is 3 not 5, unless the ability says otherwise.

Soak & Magical Perils

Even if you reduce the damage you receive from a source of damage to 0 via your soak, you are still subject to the effects of its peril.

For example, the psychic maleficence renders the victim “confused (they may act with disadvantage) and can’t cast spells until after their next action” when it deals damage. Even if your soak reduces the damage from this attack roll to 0, you’re still subject to its stunning effects. Similarly, if the damage from the fire maleficence is reduced to 0 by your soak, you still receive the burning status, and will suffer cumulative damage over time.

Damage-Over-Time & Soak

If you are afflicted by a status effect that deals damage over time, you can soak the damage, however the rules of successive sources of damage still apply. For example, if you take 1 damage from a venom peril and have a 2 soak as a Clockwerk, you soak the damage (it is reduced to 0 damage) in the first round. However, in the second round, you take 1 damage, and then in the third, 0 damage, and so on.

(Keep in mind that soak in this instance would only apply if the source of the soak originates in your body, as opposed to being conferred by armor, because venom in particular bypasses AP when rendering harm against you.)

Soak and Poisons

There are two types of poison in the game: mundane poisons and venom (which is typically caused by maleficence or other magical effects). Mundane poisons are major perils that have ongoing, permanent effects as determined by the poison, whereas venom is a minor peril that wears off by itself.

If you reduce the damage you receive from a source that would deliver the effects of a mundane poison to 0, you are not subject to the poison or its effects. (However, if you receive 1 damage per the rules of successive sources of damage, then the poison affects you.)

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