Terror effects are applied after a roll when you cannot complete a task and at least one of the dice shows a terror icon.

Is it possible to avoid the terror effect by 'securing' the terror die on a spell (assuming no other dice show a terror icon), effectively just failing the task and having to discard a die?

Or does the terror effect apply immediately?

EDIT: After reading the following in the errata, I'm leaning more towards my understanding that they are no longer in the pool and hence do not play a part unless I chose to use them.

Spells that hold dice are cast after a player’s roll, not before. The player looks at the roll, then, if he wishes to save a particular die, casts the spell and places the die on the spell. The ‘held’ die remains on the spell card until used to complete a task or until removed (as described below).

2 Answers 2


Page 9 of the rules here says

Terror Effects

If the player fails to complete a task and at least one of the rolled dice shows a terror result, he resolves all terror effects on the Adventure card, as well as any terror effects on the current Mythos card (see “Mythos Cards” on page 15). Terror effects occur before discarding a die due to failing a roll.

As mentioned in a comment to a previous answer, Elder Signs: Omens, the iOS game, does not remove the impending terror effect if you secure a die by using spells. The above rules text, if you take it strictly, states that if the rolled dice shows a terror symbol and you fail to complete a task, the effect occurs. Strictly speaking, if you secure a die, that die still shows a terror symbol.

I would say this literal reading combined with the behavior of Omens strongly suggests that the ruling should be in favor of having the terror effect occur even if you were to secure the die.


Per the rulebook as written, the terror effect directly results from the failed task roll with the terror result showing. It takes effect before a die is discarded due to the failed roll.

I would presume by that wording that they are trying to prevent exactly what you are describing - avoiding the terror by discarding the die. I can't find any errata to clarify the situation. There is clearly a gap in the timing, otherwise adding dice previously saved couldn't work and once a roll succeeds by that method the terror doesn't apply. Still, once a roll is clearly failed, the terror has to be done before you proceed.

The rules on focusing and assistance are clearer. Although they save a result and remove a die from the pool, they do so only after a failed roll has already been dealt with. Since spells can be played anytime on your own turn, this introduces a grey area. Still, there is nothing in the rules that states a failure can be avoided by removing dice from it, and a terror is part of the failure.

Putting it a better way since I ran a few searches - you generated a terror on a failed roll. Why would you not suffer an effect simply because you're saving the dice for later? That just confirms you rolled it.

So my answer would be, unless you can by action change a failed roll into a successful roll, you would have to go through with the terror effect.

  • I'm talking about using a spell to secure the die. That's different to the discarding due to failure
    – link64
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 23:15
  • 1
    Just to add more backup to this answer: According to the official Android/iOS app "Elder Sign: Omens" published by FFG, any time you roll a terror symbol on a task with a terror effect, and do not change it to something else and fail the task, you are hit with the terror effect, even if you store the die elsewhere. It's because the die (even though it's not part of the pool anymore) is part of the roll that failed to complete a task. Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 12:51

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