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Stride and Skulking Vampire


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

This just occurred to me while browsing the Obsidian forum, and I though there could potentially be a similar legal combination in the boardgame, so I'd ask:

Stride wrote:
During your turn, discard this card to move another character
Skulking Vampire wrote:
Before you act, succeed at Wisdom Perception 16 or the difficulty to defeat is increased by 2, or by 4 if you're the only character at your location

At what point does Stride become 'relevant' (i.e 'legal to play') in this encounter?

- Before you act? This is when the difficulty increase power is resolved, and when the potential increase 'happens' (if so - do I need to move another character before I roll Wisdom/Perception *without knowing* if I succeed/fail, or *after* - even though the BYA power has 'resolved')

- During your check? This where the potential difficulty increase is 'applied'

I find the second option more likely, as I feel like the failed BYA check doesn't 'set in stone' either a +2 or +4 penalty, but rather the increase is only calculated in the "Determine the difficulty" step. I can see the opposite argument however. (This is mainly important for combat casters, who won't be able to cast Stride if they used a spell to Determine Their Skill)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'd say it isn't relevant until you've failed. So definitely not before you've rolled.

But I think it is more likely during the actual check. That is how I'd play it.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I would agree with Hawkmoon, it is relevant in the actual check to defeat (not the BYA check), and only if you failed the BYA check.

One of the steps of a check is "Determine the Difficulty" and this is where I'd argue you would be able to play Stride on the check to defeat.


I think it comes down to when the condition "if you're the only character at your location" is evaluated.

If it's in the BYA step, then Stride is neither legal nor even helpful to play during the check to defeat. It would already have been determined that you're adding 4, because you were the only character at your location. In this case I believe Stride is of no use whatsoever, since it's not legal to play it on the BYA wisdom check either (unlike adding traits, Stride can't be construed as affecting the BYA check itself).

If the condition is evaluated when you make the check to defeat, then Stride should be both helpful and legal.

Linguistically, I think it's simply ambiguous. You can read it as equivalent to:
A) "... if (you're the only character at your location) then (the difficulty to defeat is increased by 4), otherwise (the difficulty to defeat is increased by 2)"
or
B) "... the difficulty to defeat is increased by (2, or [by] 4 if you're the only character at your location)",

I can easily come up hypothetical similar examples where it's clearly (A), and hypothetical similar examples where it's clearly (B), all of which have the same structure as what's written.

Considering intent is not helpful either, because it's clearly a corner case that wasn't considered, so there is no intent either way.

You could consider consistency, but I can't think of any analogous situations which have a ruling (though someone else might).

Impact is small either way (i.e. neither interpretation would break the game).

Failing all that, I'd fall back to flavour, and flavour-wise I'd go with (A). The vampire is sneaking up on you, and you have nobody with you to watch your back. Now, having failed to see it coming, it's taken you entirely by surprise. It's clearly too late to then summon someone else to watch your back.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

You're taken by surprise so the first thing that crosses your mind is to call a buddy over to help distract it a bit ;)

You don't apply the increase until the check itself, this much is unambiguous. I argue since you aren't applying the increase until the check itself, that you don't evaluate the portion of the power that increases the difficulty until the check itself -- in other words, the check itself is when you see if you're alone or not. This would be consistent with other aspects of the game, such as moving during the start of your turn to avoid a nasty start of turn effect at a location (that power is not "locked in" at the start of your turn; you choose the evaluation order and things that happen first can effect what happens after). Temp closing is another example, you are not locked in to deciding whether or not you want to temp close your location when the villain is flipped; you can decide that after others have already attempted to temp close.

Neither of those cases are perfect analogies, however, since in this case we're deciding whether or not to postpone processing part of a power that we've already begun processing since it deals with increasing difficulty on a future check. A more similar analogy would be that one spell from WotR that reduces difficulty while displayed by your Arcane skill (Transmogrify iirc). Intent is that you roll Arcane for each check rather than rolling once at the time you play the spell and applying that result to all checks. In other words, you don't process that part of the power until the determine the difficulty step of each individual check.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

I will fully support skizzerz on this one (as usual :-))

Say you have a blessing (e. e. Pharasma) that gives you +1 die or +2 dice if a spell was played on the check.

You can play it on any check.

Then say you play after a legal spell on that check (e. g. Agility).

I've always played that when assembling your dice you get two dice for the blessing. Because indeed you evaluate the check (difficulty, dice, bonus...) at that time.
So I don't see why the fact that you are alone of not (or any other thing impacting the chack for that matter) would be an exception and be evaluated at another time.


A lot of good points, but I'm still not convinced (either way). Though since everyone who does have an opinion says it's tested during the check to defeat that's what I'd play myself for now if it came up.

skizzerz wrote:
You don't apply the increase until the check itself, this much is unambiguous.

This isn't true in general. If you're at a location that says "the difficulty of checks to defeat monsters is increased by 2", and you have, say, caltrops to evade the monster, the increase is already considered to have been applied during the "apply evasion effects" step, which is well before "determine the difficulty".

Imagine the vampire's BYA check also said "If you failed the check by 4 or more the skulking vampire cannot be evaded". Now the BYA power happens in the "apply evasion effects" step. Are you telling me that if you failed the check by 2 you wouldn't then consider the difficulty to have increased for the purpose of caltrops?

Note that in general BYA difficulty-increasing powers do not effect evasion items, because you check for evasion before the BYA step. But there's an explicit exception for BYA powers that [can] prevent evasion (which is why I added that extra sentence for my example).

I think it's possible that the condition is not checked until the first time the difficulty is calculated, or that it is checked every time the difficulty is calculated, but to all intents and purposes the increase itself "happens" immediately.

skizzerz wrote:
A more similar analogy would be that one spell from WotR that reduces difficulty while displayed by your Arcane skill (Transmogrify iirc). Intent is that you roll Arcane for each check rather than rolling once at the time you play the spell and applying that result to all checks. In other words, you don't process that part of the power until the determine the difficulty step of each individual check.

Transmogrify is quite unambiguous in saying you add the skill, and adding the skill means roll every time. Transmogrify could have said "Roll your arcane skill. While displayed reduce the difficulty [of stuff] by that number" instead, and if so you would roll once only.

I don't think it answers this question because whereas Transmogrify is unambiguous, the problem here is that it's not clear which of those two things the vampire actually says. It does make an argument for the principle of "consistency" though, in that all you could have a general principle that all uncertainties are resolved "lazily" (i.e. when they're relevant not when they're activated).

It's an interesting thing to bring up as well, because intuitively I wouldn't expect you could combine Transmogrify with Caltrops, specifically because you don't make the roll until later. Though maybe it should still apply? I would certainly expect Swipe to help, because it's a fixed amount, except for the fact that I don't believe you have any opportunity to actually play swipe before the evasion effects step.

Frencois wrote:

Say you have a blessing (e. e. Pharasma) that gives you +1 die or +2 dice if a spell was played on the check.

You can play it on any check.

Then say you play after a legal spell on that check (e. g. Agility).

I've always played that when assembling your dice you get two dice for the blessing. Because indeed you evaluate the check (difficulty, dice, bonus...) at that time.
So I don't see why the fact that you are alone of not (or any other thing impacting the chack for that matter) would be an exception and be evaluated at another time.

The way I interpret this is that there's implicitly two steps:

1. Work out what cards you intend to apply to the check.
2. Actually apply those cards in the optimal order.

Since step 2 doesn't involve any physical action it's assumed to be applied instantaneously when you roll the dice, and up until that point you're in step 1 and hence not committed to playing the cards in any particular order. So you can make the decision to play Pharasma first, then the decision to play a spell, but technically you play them in the other order.

In particular, if there was a power on a spell which required you to have already played a blessing, I believe you would have to choose which of the spell and blessing to play first, you couldn't have it both ways.

The way you describe it doesn't make any sense. The 1 die and 2 dice powers on the blessing are separate powers. If you had already actually played it for 1 die then playing a spell can't somehow retroactively change which power you played.

If it was a single power with a conditional, rather than two separate powers, then it's possible that it could work the way you describe, but then it becomes just the same question not an answer.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
MM rulebook, p11 wrote:
Determine the Difficulty. To succeed at a check, the result of your die roll and modifiers must be greater than or equal to the difficulty of the check. In checks to defeat a bane or acquire a boon, the difficulty is the number in the circle under the skill you’ve chosen. In other checks, the difficulty is the number in the text that follows the skill you’ve chosen. (For example, where a card’s power instructs you to attempt a Fortitude 7 check, the difficulty is 7.) Some cards increase or decrease the difficulty of a check; for example, if a card says that the difficulty is increased by 2, add 2 to the number on the card you encountered; if it says the difficulty is decreased by 2, subtract 2 from the number. When determining the lowest or highest difficulty to defeat or acquire a card, apply all powers from cards that affect the difficulty, but do not apply powers that happen before you act, while you act, or after you act.

Transmogrify is played When You Encounter (which is before Apply Any Evasion Effects). It does not state that it happens before you act, while you act, or after you act. As such, it would take effect when you need to determine the difficulty of the check for Caltrops.

Irgy wrote:
you could have a general principle that all uncertainties are resolved "lazily" (i.e. when they're relevant not when they're activated).

This is essentially my argument, yes. Unless the card or power explicitly says otherwise, figure out the end result when it is actually relevant rather than figuring it out right away and remembering that result for whenever it becomes relevant. While players can and do have memories, requiring you to remember less things is always better than requiring you to remember more things.

Note also that the part I bolded above says "apply all powers from cards that affect the difficulty" -- not "apply the results of all powers from cards that affect the difficulty", lending credence to my argument that you do not evaluate that portion of the power until it becomes relevant, and you may be evaluating that portion of the power multiple times should it be relevant multiple times. For example, let's say the vampire was a When You Encounter effect rather than a Before You Act. In that case, you don't have a buddy available when it comes time to play Caltrops, so the difficulty is 4 higher, but if someone joins you after that point then the difficulty is only 2 higher. In other words, you evaluate the condition each time it becomes relevant rather than remembering the result of a previous evaluation. This is consistent with Transmogrify and other powers that increase or reduce difficulty by the result of die rolls.

For Blessing of Pharasma, you choose which power to activate when you play the card. You can't play it for the 1 die power and later retcon that to the 2 dice power. The order you play cards in matters, so you do need to have played a spell first before you can Pharasma for 2 dice.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Irgy wrote:


The way I interpret this is that there's implicitly two steps:
1. Work out what cards you intend to apply to the check.
2. Actually apply those cards in the optimal order.

Since step 2 doesn't involve any physical action it's assumed to be applied instantaneously when you roll the dice, and up until that point you're in step 1 and hence not committed to playing the cards in any particular order. So you can make the decision to play Pharasma first, then the decision to play a spell, but technically you play them in the other order.

Let me guess... you play alone. Or at least with open hands. Or with players that aren't really into roleplay (i. e. I tell you what's in my hand).

Well it's your full right but by rules we can (and do) play with multiple players and hidden hands (and it's OK to play like that by the rules, see multiple Mike/Vic posts).
So there isn't at all "implicitly two steps" IMHO.
We like to surprise each others by playing cards one after another.
"Oh, you played a Pharasma? OK then I happen to have a spell I can play...."
I'm not saying you should play like that, just saying the rules allows you too which "implicitly" means you do not have to know "what cards you intend to apply to the check" before playing any of them.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
skizzerz wrote:
For Blessing of Pharasma, you choose which power to activate when you play the card. You can't play it for the 1 die power and later retcon that to the 2 dice power. The order you play cards in matters, so you do need to have played a spell first before you can Pharasma for 2 dice.

True. Forget my wrong example since it's 2 separate powers.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Irgy wrote:
It's an interesting thing to bring up as well, because intuitively I wouldn't expect you could combine Transmogrify with Caltrops, specifically because you don't make the roll until later. Though maybe it should still apply? I would certainly expect Swipe to help, because it's a fixed amount, except for the fact that I don't believe you have any opportunity to actually play swipe before the evasion effects step.

Swipe is specifically played on "a combat check" so no much wiggle-room there. Transmogrify however:

skizzers wrote:
Transmogrify is played When You Encounter (which is before Apply Any Evasion Effects). It does not state that it happens before you act, while you act, or after you act. As such, it would take effect when you need to determine the difficulty of the check for Caltrops.

The above is very much true in the instance of a Transmo that already has been displayed *before you flip over the presently encountered card*. In case *it isn't* - this raises an interesting question, which also applies to skizzers' following example:

skizzers wrote:
For example, let's say the vampire was a When You Encounter effect rather than a Before You Act. In that case, you don't have a buddy available when it comes time to play Caltrops, so the difficulty is 4 higher, but if someone joins you after that point then the difficulty is only 2 higher. In other words, you evaluate the condition each time it becomes relevant rather than remembering the result of a previous evaluation. This is consistent with Transmogrify and other powers that increase or reduce difficulty by the result of die rolls.

The question is: If you're currently in "when you encounter" and you want to play Transmogrify (or, in skizzers' example - you want to play a movement power without timing restriction - like Stride- to bring a buddy over; let's disregard for a moment the Wisdom check and assume the difficulty increase only cares for "ALONE /NOT ALONE") - you should be allowed to do so, as it's assumed to reduce the difficulty of your combat check (i.e. no other action is necessary - therefore the play s "relevant")

However, you play Transmo/Stride with the full knowledge that you won't be making combat checks - because you then play Caltrops and evade. Suddenly, it turns out your spell play only makes applied in the context of evasion - and since this requires "another action" (the Caltrops play) it means that the original Transmo/Stride play is now 'retroactively' illegal.

- Should you be allowed to play Transmo/Stride in such circumstance? i.e when they're "relevant" in and of themselves, but then a player's action may rend them 'irrelevant'?
- Should we look for possible player action here (we know the action can be rendered irrelevant, so we outlaw it), or for player *intent* (another player plays Transmo on my encounter - in Frencois' case, possibly not even knowing that I have Caltrops- he can't be required to know my intent, so his play is legal; at the same time, it's illegal for ME to play Transmo because I *know* I'll just abuse it to play Caltrops) ?
- did we just discover "Schroedinger's Relevancy" in PACG?


Pathfinder Class Deck Subscriber

I would argue that stride cannot be played at all during that encounter or any encounter for that matter.

At no time during the encounter are you legal/allowed to play Stride; not during the [Trigger/When you encounter] step, not during the [Evasion] step, not during the [Before you act] step, not during [Attempt the check] step either and not during any other step that follows during an encounter. Only powers or cards relating to a specific step or check may be played during an encounter. For example you wouldn't be allowed to play Cure during a combat and/ or non-combat check or any kind.

Stride would have to be played during the Exploration Phase but before the actual exploration of the Turn-player.

Now, regarding the difficulty. I am hesitating a little, but I believe that the difficulty is static, meaning that; At the [Before you act] Step, if you happen to be the only player at the location, and you fail the check required on Skulking Vampire, you will receive a +4 difficulty, even if you or another player find a revelant/legal power to move another character to the turn-player location.

That being said, I believe that a character like Zadim with his role Outrider, the last power(is written);

When another character encounters a bane that has the poison or trigger trait, you may move to that character's location.

Now, Skulking Vampire does not have the Trigger or Poison trait so that wouldn't work, BUT, the wording of that power would enable a character to move, at the [Trigger/when you Encounter] step which happens before the [Evasion] step and therefore also happens before the [Before you act] step. Which means that in the case of failure from the turn-player, the difficulty would be of +2 instead of +4.

I also believe that even if there is another character at the current location during the [Before you act] step, even if that character somehow found a way to move to another location, before determining the difficulty, even if the turn player failed the Skulking Vampire (before you act check), the difficulty would remain +2 because during the [Before you act] step, the Turn-Player was not alone at that location.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Longshot11 wrote:

- Should you be allowed to play Transmo/Stride in such circumstance? i.e when they're "relevant" in and of themselves, but then a player's action may rend them 'irrelevant'?

- Should we look for possible player action here (we know the action can be rendered irrelevant, so we outlaw it), or for player *intent* (another player plays Transmo on my encounter - in Frencois' case, possibly not even knowing that I have Caltrops- he can't be required to know my intent, so his play is legal; at the same time, it's illegal for ME to play Transmo because I *know* I'll just abuse it to play Caltrops) ?
- did we just discover "Schroedinger's Relevancy" in PACG?

Transmogrify begins with "When you encounter." This means it is always relevant whenever you encounter a card, and can be played then. What you intend to do during the encounter after playing it is not a consideration to whether or not you can play it. I would say this holds in general: future actions cannot make a card/power relevant or irrelevant to a check or encounter insofar as determining whether or not playing it was legal. The rulebook already explicitly states that you cannot perform another action for a card to be relevant (e.g. a power that lets you pass a weapon isn't allowed since the character would the need to do something else -- play the weapon -- for that to be relevant). The other way (that a future play cannot make a past one suddenly illegal) is just sensible. The past play may cease having an effect, but you don't get to "un-play" it and return it to your hand. There are no rules stating you get take-backs or can un-play cards if they stop being relevant, so once a card is played it is played. In other words, what your intent or plans for the future are do not matter one bit when determining whether or not it is relevant to play a particular card or power right now.

Arcaneumkiller wrote:
At no time during the encounter are you legal/allowed to play Stride; not during the [Trigger/When you encounter] step, not during the [Evasion] step, not during the [Before you act] step, not during [Attempt the check] step either and not during any other step that follows during an encounter. Only powers or cards relating to a specific step or check may be played during an encounter. For example you wouldn't be allowed to play Cure during a combat and/ or non-combat check or any kind.

Assuming that my above reading is correct (that you evaluate the alone/not alone condition each time it is relevant), Stride would be relevant to play during the check because playing it directly impacts the difficulty of the check to defeat. If my reading was not correct (once determined in BYA, that amount is static), then Stride would not be relevant during the check for that reason, but may be relevant for other reasons.

Upon further inspection, I believe I may be incorrect above. At first, I was thinking Finish One Thing Before You Start Something Else doesn't apply due to the dice rolling precedence in Transmogrify, but I realize that you roll each time not due to a loophole in Finish One Thing, but due to a separate rule on page 12 (in the Rolling Dice sidebar): "If a card calls for a die roll that affects multiple characters or situations (for example, if it says that each character at a location is dealt 1d4 damage), roll separately for each."

So, rolling dice to reduce the difficulty of checks is a special case handled by that rule, meaning that Skulking Vampire cannot make use of that special case. As such, I think Finish One Thing would apply here, meaning by RAW you fully evaluate the BYA power (including determining alone/not alone) and then that effect happens right then and there. So, the difficulty change would be fixed.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
skizzerz wrote:
In other words, what your intent or plans for the future are do not matter one bit when determining whether or not it is relevant to play a particular card or power right now.

While that would be the ideal interpretation for me, I seem to remember some opinions (including one from Vic) on the pre-FAQ 'Rage' that seemed to imply player intent totally *does* affect the legality of played cards, that's why I asked.


It makes no sense to say some play was "retroactively illegal". It was either legal when you did it or it wasn't. If you play Transmogrify "when you encounter" something, then you're not playing it "on a check" in the first place, so the question of being relevant to the check isn't even asked. You're playing it because it says that's when you can play it.

The only time I'd see intent mattering is when you're using powers purely to recharge cards, and even then I understood it to be frowned upon but still technically legal. And even so, if I play "Agility" mostly because I want to recharge it away, whether I then happen to need an agility check later in the turn isn't going to change whether I was allowed to do that or not.

Frencois wrote:


Let me guess... you play alone. Or at least with open hands. Or with players that aren't really into roleplay (i. e. I tell you what's in my hand).
Well it's your full right but by rules we can (and do) play with multiple players and hidden hands (and it's OK to play like that by the rules, see multiple Mike/Vic posts).
So there isn't at all "implicitly two steps" IMHO.
We like to surprise each others by playing cards one after another.
"Oh, you played a Pharasma? OK then I happen to have a spell I can play...."
I'm not saying you should play like that, just saying the rules allows you too which "implicitly" means you do not have to know "what cards you intend to apply to the check" before playing any of them.

I'm currently doing each combination (solo, group with open hands, group with closed hands) with different parties/boxes/people.

Just to be clear, I never said you have to follow the two step process I described. Also I expect that almost nobody who does acknowledges it as such. I think normally people would see it as more like a harmless take-back:
"I'll use this blessing of pharasma."
"I have an agility spell"
"Oh in that case I'll use the two dice power"

In fact often it would involve changing which blessing was played in the first place, or we might take back the blessing entirely if someone else's less resource-spending power will cover it. In generally we allow take-backs of anything that didn't reveal hidden information. "Hidden information" including dice rolls of course, but not including our hands since even though they're not open they're not secret either. But, what I was getting at, is that even though take-backs are fine anyway, it's not even a take-back if you haven't actually "played" the card yet.

If you want to consider yourself committed every time you show a card then you're welcome to, but to me it's not just a matter of having closed hands but more like being pathologically careless. I mean, you can have closed hands but still say "I have a blessing I could use?" rather than "I'm using this blessing right now".


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Of course you should say "I have a blessing I could use?" rather than "I'm using this blessing right now". Just pointing to the fact that the rules do not ask you too. was just reacting to the "implicit" rule/steps you were mentioning.


Frencois wrote:
Of course you should say "I have a blessing I could use?" rather than "I'm using this blessing right now". Just pointing to the fact that the rules do not ask you too. was just reacting to the "implicit" rule/steps you were mentioning.

Yeah sorry I didn't mean to make it sound like it was part of the rules or something. I just meant it's a thing people are usually doing, without always being conscious of it.

Um... back on the original issue, I'm fine with "lazy evaluation" of conditionals as a general principle, and playing that Stride works on the check-to-defeat, but an official word would be nice given the best we have is guesswork and speculating general principles to follow.

Of course I admit it's also probably not the highest priority issue given how rarely it would come up...


Pathfinder Class Deck Subscriber

I would also like an official statement on that,

Also I you were reffering, about the lazy interpretation, not sure, I did not take offense but I still want to valide my point by adding that I was basing myself on what is written word for word in the Base set Rulebook,

Page 9 and 10. Mummy's Mask
10 and 11 in both Wrath of the Righteous and Skull and Shackles.

At page 10 (Skull and shackles)

Under;

Encountering A Card (paragraph, it is written word for word);

... During each of the steps, you and the other palyers may perform only the specified actions. Players may only play cards or use powers that relate to each step (or relate to cards played or power used in that step).

going a bit further; it is written word for word;

After you flip over the top card of the location deck, put it on top of the deck and read it. Then go through the following steps in order.

Apply any effects that happen when you Encounter a Card.
If any powers on the card you're encountering say they're triggered when you encounter the card, they take effect at this time. You may also use powers or cards that state they can be used when you encounter a card.

As for Stride, is not written on the card; When you.. or when a character..etc.. it does not specify when it can be played so it can be played at anytime. EXCEPT During an encounter, unless an effect during an accounter would allow you to play any card even cards that do not relate to the specific step or encounter. Which is not the case with Skulking Vampire.

At least as far as I am concerned, the rule are pretty solid and clear regarding that point. And that is coming from me, someone who is often complaining to his friend because I find sometime, too often, that their choice of word, often lead to the reader's interpretation. Which often makes us (my friends and I) argue around the table as we understand different things reading the same effect on a card.

If this happens to be false and Stride could/can actually be played during that encounter or any Encounter; Well I really hope Paizo can update their Next Base set Rulebook to include something along the lines of; Even if a card does not specify when it can be played, card power like moving a character, can be played even if the effect is unrelated to the step , and not does specifically refer to a certain step during an encounter.


Pathfinder Class Deck Subscriber
Arcaneumkiller wrote:

I would also like an official statement on that,

Also I you were reffering, about the lazy interpretation, not sure, I did not take offense but I still want to valide my point by adding that I was basing myself on what is written word for word in the Base set Rulebook,

Page 9 and 10. Mummy's Mask
10 and 11 in both Wrath of the Righteous and Skull and Shackles.

At page 10 (Skull and shackles)

Under;

Encountering A Card (paragraph, it is written word for word);

... During each of the steps, you and the other palyers may perform only the specified actions. Players may only play cards or use powers that relate to each step (or relate to cards played or power used in that step).

going a bit further; it is written word for word;

After you flip over the top card of the location deck, put it on top of the deck and read it. Then go through the following steps in order.

Apply any effects that happen when you Encounter a Card.
If any powers on the card you're encountering say they're triggered when you encounter the card, they take effect at this time. You may also use powers or cards that state they can be used when you encounter a card.

As for Stride, is not written on the card; When you.. or when a character..etc.. it does not specify when it can be played so it can be played at anytime. EXCEPT During an encounter, unless an effect during an accounter would allow you to play any card even cards that do not relate to the specific step or encounter. Which is not the case with Skulking Vampire.

At least as far as I am concerned, the rule are pretty solid and clear regarding that point. And that is coming from me, someone who is often complaining to his friend because I find sometime, too often, that their choice of word, often lead to the reader's interpretation. Which often makes us (my friends and I) argue around the table as we understand different things reading the same effect on a card.

If this happens to be false and Stride could/can actually be played during that encounter...

Edit:

Regarding that Page 9 Side bar

Affecting the situation

How far does it goes ? you can play whatever card/power that would alter any given situation aside from affecting the check directly. I know that VIC said they need to remain a bit vague so they have room for expansion later but this is one very shady, left to interpretation rule.

So you could basically have played a card to move him from the location, or bring someone else or anything that would affect what is happening, even if it does not respect the steps ?


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"So you could basically have played a card to move him from the location, or bring someone else or anything that would affect what is happening, even if it does not respect the steps ?" -- only if moving them directly impacted the check in some way. For example, an At This Location power of "The difficulty to defeat monsters is increased by 4." would make playing a card to move yourself to a different location valid, because moving to a different location directly impacts the check (by removing that At This Location power from consideration).

Moving during a check would not be allowed in conjunction with a character power such as "Recharge a card to add 1d4 to any check by a character at your location." because that would require something else -- the character activating that power by recharging a card -- in order to impact the check.


Arcaneumkiller wrote:
Also I you were reffering, about the lazy interpretation, not sure

By lazy evaluation I meant this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazy_evaluation

In this context I meant evaluating the difficulty of the check (and thus processing the conditionals) as late as possible. It's not a perfect analogy since proper "lazy evaluation" is meant to be invisible, but it was the best I could come up with.

As far as your argument goes, the case for Stride is that (in the case where the difficulty depends on who's there during the check itself) it directly affects the check because no additional action which needs to be taken in order for the difficulty change to occur. Skizzerz explained the distinction.

Personally I'm on board with the idea that it affects the check if it modifies the difficulty (even indirectly, so long as no other action needs to be taken). I think it would be next-to-impossible in fact to reliably distinguish "direct" from "indirect" any other way than whether another action is taken, so it's a good place to draw the line.

It's whether Stride can modify the difficulty in the first place that I think is unclear (and I'm starting to suspect it might be requiring some discussion on the developers' side as well).

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