Special Damage

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Some forms of damage aren’t summed up in the standard attack rules. Different forms of energy and unconventional methods of impact can produce distinct effects or are measured in ways that defy the convention of Shadowrun rules.


Acid inflicts corrosive damage, which has a more potent effect against materials lacking basic compounds (basic in the context of the pH scale). While organic tissues are vulnerable enough, acid is most useful for its ability to eat through metals and plastics. This allows acid to ignore or weaken armor.

  • Default Damage: Energy Light.
  • Armor Negation: Acid damage treats your AV as if it were reduced by the acid’s rating. This reduction applies before applying AP and your damage resistance test.
  • Glitch on Defense Test: You take Corrosion with a decay duration equal to the acid’s rating.
  • Glitch on Damage Resistance Test: All damage you take is treated as having armor negation using the same rating as the acid damage you took. This effect has a potency duration equal to the unresisted damage you took from the initial attack. Multiple instances do not increase this penalty; apply only the highest acid rating.


Cold damage can be inflicted by artificially-cooled chemicals or extreme weather conditions. Some spells can also produce cold effects, but this form of damage is still fairly rare. Cold can be an extremely effective means of destroying mechanical devices by seizing up hydrolics, turning oils into sludge, and draining electric batteries.

1d6 Location
1-2 Leg
3-4 Arm
5-6 Torso
  • Default Damage: Energy Critical.
  • Glitch on Defense Test: You are Slowed with a decay duration equal to the cold’s rating.
  • Glitch on Damage Resistance Test: You are Disabled with a potency duration equal to the unresisted cold damage you took. If no body location is specified in the attack (such as with a called shot), roll on the accompanying table.


Powerful currents of electricity disrupt anything that relies on electromagnetic fields or electric signals. This ranges from motors to circuitry to human beings. While massive quantities of electricity can be fatal, electricity used as damage is most effective at incapacitation.

  • Default Damage: Energy Light.
  • Glitch on Defense Test: You take Shock with a decay duration equal to the electricity’s rating.
  • Glitch on Damage Resistance Test: You are Stunned with a potency duration equal to the unresisted electricity damage you took.


An unintended or uncontrolled free fall deals 2 Impact Light critical damage upon impact for every space you fell. This damage is cumulative. Softer landings (water, sand, mud, et cetera) act as a bonus to your damage resistance test against the damage. Thus greater heights diminish protection from softer landings. Controlled descents, such as jumping down or parachuting, can dramatically decrease if not negate all falling damage.

  • 2 I L per Space: You take 2 Impact Light damage per space you fall.
  • No AV: Unless you choose to fall Prone upon impact, you cannot reduce the damage of a fall using AV.
  • Automatic Knockdown: If you take any damage from a fall after your damage resistance test, you automatically fall Prone.

Free-Fall Acceleration

Pass Fall Dist. Total Dist.
1st 10 sp. 10 sp.
2nd +30 sp. 40 sp.
3rd +50 sp. 90 sp.
4th +70 sp. 160 sp.
5th +90 sp. 250 sp.

If you enter free fall, you accelerate rapidly, but your fall is not instantaneous. As you enter free fall, you immediately fall 10 spaces. At the start of your turn every subsequent initiative pass, the distance you fall increases by 20 spaces. You cannot fall faster than 300 spaces per initiative pass (unless you accelerate; see below) and cannot take more than 150 Impact Light damage from falling.
     Actions While Falling: You may perform any actions while falling and may choose at what point during your descent in an initiative pass that you perform those actions. The threshold for all active skill tests you make while in free fall increase by 1.
     Movement: While falling, you have some control of your lateral movement. You can move up to your normal speed using the appropriate actions, but you cannot take the Run action.
     Drag Area: You can shape your body to augment your speed. By assuming the Prone status before the end of your turn, you may reduce your fall distance by as much as half at the start of your next turn. Conversely, if not Prone, you may increase your next fall distance by up to double or by 100 spaces, whichever is less.

Collision Damage

When falling objects hit stationary objects, the damage is split. The same goes for characters. These rules are largely reserved for catching something to reduce falling damage to it.

  • Faller and Receiver: The faller is the subject that is falling, and the receiver is the subject it lands on. There may be multiple receivers, but each receiver handles their damage individually if the faller is physically larger than them. Otherwise, any damage to the receiver is split to all receivers equally (round up).
  • Receiver Applies AV: The receiver must always apply their armor against collision damage. The faller must choose to fall Prone on impact to use their AV.
  • Split Fall Damage: Divide the fall damage in half, with receivers taking one half and the faller taking the other (remainder applies to the faller). Each subject reduces their damage by their AV (if allowed) and adds that amount to the other subject’s total DV. If there are multiple receivers, the faller’s damage increases only by the highest AV reduction among the receivers, not the sum of them.
  • Damage Resistance Test: Both subjects roll a damage resistance test against the remaining DV, then applies the remaining DV to their health tracks. If either subject takes damage, the are automatically knocked Prone.
  • Readied Catch: The receiver may ready a Complex action to further reduce the faller’s damage by catching them. The receiver rolls Body + Reaction. Each hit scored may reduce either the receiver’s or faller’s damage (receiver’s choice) before rolling damage resistance tests. Optionally, this can be performed as an Interrupt Complex action, but the test has a threshold of 2 (only net hits reduce damage).


Fatigue damage cannot be resisted; it represents strain innate to your body’s components. When you take Fatigue damage, you do not reduce the damage by AV or with a damage resistance test. All Fatigue damage is Light damage (unless converted due to overflow).


Flame, intense heat, molten lava—anything that changes chemical state through increased temperatures deals fire damage. Flame typically damages living organisms more effectively than machines due to the naturally high armor of most mechanical devices.

  • Default Damage: Energy Critical.
  • Glitch on Defense Test: You take Burn with a decay duration equal to the fire’s rating.
  • Glitch on Damage Resistance Test: You take a dice penalty to all tests equal to the fire’s rating. This effect has a potency duration equal to the unresisted fire damage you took. Tests not subject to wound modifiers are not subject to this penalty either.
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Special Damage

Nymsilet Shadowrunners TheWaylander