Say that my investigator currently has their Sneak score at 1. If I am called upon to make a Sneak (–2) check, that's a net result of –1. If I want to be able to roll one die, how many clue tokens do I have to spend? I have heard it two ways:

  • You have to spend a clue token to counteract each negative. Thus in this case you would spend 2 clue tokens to roll a single die.
  • Negative dice doesn't make sense, so you consider it having zero dice. Thus in this case you would spend 1 clue token to roll a single die.

Which way is correct?

1 Answer 1


You always gain bonus dice from clue tokens spent, regardless of how negative your actual ability check is.

So in your example you do not have to spend one to overcome the negative, then another to gain a dice, you would be able to spend one (or more) clue(s) to gain one (or more) dice.

From the rulebook (page 13 under Spending Clue Tokens on Skill Checks):

Important: Spending a Clue token always gives you the bonus dice that you are entitled to, even if the modifier has dropped the number of dice you can roll below 0.

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