Puissant with martial abilities

does taking Puissant (Ability) in any combat skill give you a bonus to rolls with Defense or Damage or just for attack ?

P.s. I tried searching for this on the forums and got a LOT of results, but none had my answer

Don't know what the problem is, it's pretty straightforward.

By the rules, you "add 2 to (the) value whenever you use (an Ability)" (p. 48). So, for most purposes (see p 48), the Ability is simply treated as if it were +2 larger. For Combat Abilities, it adds to any total that includes that Combat Ability (p. 171).

Here, that's:o Attack Total
o Defense TotalAnd that's it. The word "Ability" only shows in those two, so there's your answer.

However, since Damage Total factors in the "Attack Advantage", and that comes from the Attack Total, Puissant does work its way thru to add to that - but you don't add it twice, once to the Attack Total and then again to the Damage Total. Adding it once to the Attack Total gives you a better attack, and that by itself results in better damage, done deal.

5th ed downplays melee combat in general, but some veteran SG's might have a residual kneejerk against "such a powerful virtue". Meh. It's a brutally lethal system in the long run - any character who goes toe-to-toe as a habit needs all the help they can get, imo.

[edited to say: Doh, Cuchul beat me to the punch again.)

The virtue as listed in the core rule book (pg 48 ) states quite plainly that the bonus from Puissant (Ability) applies to ALL totals which include that ability. Since combat is more than simply attacking, you simply use your adjusted ability score (for a given weapon category) for whatever rolls require it.

Having said that, do note that combat abilities are expressed as Single Weapon, Great Weapon, Missile Weapon(s) with a particular weapon being your specialisation in that field. Thus you don't really have +2 to all types of combat rolls, only those involving the weapon category you have chosen.

Puissant (Single Weapon) would thus not give you a +2 to any combat rolls with a bow or with a halberd (Great Weapon), but would with swrods, spear, club, axe (non-thrown), etc.

Im sure there are also a vairety of handwaves and House Rules that people apply to combat but this is the RAW take on it as far as I can see.