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Yewstance wrote:
If you have a card that says "discard this card to ignore a bane's immunity to the Poison trait", then it's clearly not relevant to play it unless you're adding the Poison trait to a check against a Poison-Immune bane, and so is not allowed to be played in a check whilst it remains non-relevant. But the RAW state that you cannot play a card that has the Poison trait against a poison-immune bane in the first place.

I think the intention at least is for ignoring an immunity to be considered to be affecting the check. Remember that just adding a trait is considered to be affecting the check, regardless of whether that trait results in more dice immediately or even ever. It's not purely just about adding dice. You're ignoring generally immunity *for this check*, which is qualitatively different from, say, drawing or fetching a card in the hopes of doing something useful with it.

Whether that's what the rules say (yet) or not I don't know but at the very least that's how I'd play it.

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There's no way on earth what dice you're rolling for a check to move matters when deciding whether you can play a card or not.

I think you "should" be able to play it at the Dam, from a design perspective. Impossible should mean essentially implausible, in that the action makes no sense to do, not that there's something which may stop you from doing it.

I think the crucial design principle is that you shouldn't need to predict the future to know whether you can play a card or not. It shouldn't depend on what powers you have, or cards in hand, or cards in other players hands, or anything else. Not being able to move because there is no other location, that makes moving implausible and I could accept that you couldn't play the card. Anything else though and it should be fair game.

Look at it this way, you can't see other players' hands (in theory), so you don't know for sure that another player doesn't have a card that lets you ignore location powers or movement restrictions. So moving isn't "impossible" at the dam. It's just unlikely.

That's all just how I think it should work though. How it does work seems to be just outright unclear, to the point that it can't even usefully be discussed, as far as I can tell.

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In my opinion, a bane having no BYA powers doesn't make it impossible to ignore all of their BYA powers. You can ignore something that doesn't exist. I do it all the time. I can, for instance, ignore all counterarguments that are made to this, whether or not anyone replies at all.

It feels different to me than moving when you have nowhere to move. Ignoring is passive not active.

Frencois wrote:
Mike Selinker wrote:
Shnik wrote:
The way my group plays these cards, if you aren't required to "do an action" with the displayed card (recharge, discard, etc.), displaying it and immediately using an optional power counts as a single "use" of the card, so can be done in response to a situation.
I would defer to Vic to issue a more elaborate explanation, but that is pretty close to the intent.

Hum... I absolutely hate arguing with Mike for whom I have the ultimate respect but if I may...

In situations where you can only play cards that DIRECTLY affect the situation (you know, the famous: I cannot during an encounter play a card that would allow me to play another card affecting the situation), I would argue that RAW you cannot "display the card" if the "while displayed" doesn't DIRECTLY affect (passive effect). If the "While displayed" needs you do do something else (recharge, discard, play another power from another source...) to affect then you cannot Display in the first place. IMHO.
Unless FAQed by Vic as Mike is (rightfully as usual) suggesting.

Seen from my little place across the pond, but I may have missed something.

We always played the Golem like that: you take your chances at the beginning of the turn typically, and display it if you think you'll need it.

I think what Mike is effectively saying then is that the intent is for cards with effects that are optional, but don't require you to do an action to activate, to be considered passive. Which to me seems reasonable in and of itself - an effect starting with the words "you may" passively triggers, and then you simply choose how to resolve it. The only problem I see with it is that it seems inconsistent with the rulings on whether you're considered to be "playing" the card or not, which as far as I understand is based on whether a choice was made not whether an action was taken.

Vic Wertz wrote:
We have finally solved this.


Now all I need to do is understand how that solution works. So, I'm going to assert the following things and see which ones someone disagrees with:

* Combat is now a skill (and a trait), albeit a skill nobody explicitly has. The combination of "The skill you chose from the list..." and "For example, if you choose combat from the list" just doesn't make any sense if combat is not a skill. If so, thank goodness, excellent decision.

* They have clearly gone with a "there's two types of powers" solution, rather than unifying them. This is something I can see I argued against, but I am willing to concede that it might have been necessary in order to achieve the next point.

* I'm willing to believe that the end result is what I think almost everyone wanted, in that Varril's power still won't combine with a weapon, but Zelhara's power will. This is possible because Varril's falls under "use a particular skill for a specific type of check" while Zelhara's falls under "use one skill instead of another". At least I hope this is true, without the exact wording for those characters handy it's hard to say for sure.

* I believe that it's now possible to do one of up to four technically different things, that all lead to the same outcome in most cases but which are all subtly different.

#1 is "use a particular skill for a specific type of check" e.g. "for your arcane check use your acrobatics skill".

#2 is "use one skill instead of another" e.g. "when you make an arcane check, you may use acrobatics".

#3 is to gain a skill, e.g. "Arcane: Acrobatics".

#4 is gain a skill equal to another skill (like Mavaro), e.g. "You gain the skill arcane equal to your acrobatics skill".

Among these, #1 is the only one restricted to once per check. #4 is the only one where the check will not gain the acrobatics trait (edit - actually, rereading, I'm wondering if #4 == #3, but if so then that's a change to Marvaro as far as I understand). #3 and #4 would let you avoid banishing arcane spells in my examples while #1 and #2 would not.

PS Gosh rereading this whole thread sure was a trip down memory lane...

elcoderdude wrote:
Irgy wrote: can't use the 2d4 from Incendiary Cloud, if they're immune to something they can't be affected by a card with that trait, regardless of whether the trait is added to the check or not.

Um... I apologize for muddying the immunity discussion, but if Incendiary Cloud was displayed during a prior encounter, the only reason you couldn't add Incendiary's Cloud's 2d4 to a combat check against a monster immune to fire is *because* Incendiary Cloud specifies it adds the Fire trait along with the 2d4. If it didn't say that, you could add the 2d4, because adding a static bonus granted by a displayed card is not playing the card. (This is the RAW for immunity. It's weird, but there it is.)

Ok sorry you're right about the clouds and the attack trait. I was actually mixing up this quote “If a card tells you to ignore something, the thing you’re ignoring never has any effect on you.”, and applying it to immunities rather than to ignoring. I guess it doesn’t work the same both ways!

The point is actually that Chain Lightning says “may”, and thus you are playing the card when you (re-) use it. So you genuinely can’t use it, just for different reasons than I said above.

Frencois wrote:

Determine Which Skill You’re Using:

The first paragraph says you get to choose any of the listed skills for your check. So you choose a skill (this is essential for the "Determine the Difficulty" step to function). In the second paragraph, we see that "A few cards that can be used on checks don’t use any of your skills; they instead specify the exact dice you need to roll or the result of your die roll." So even though you chose a skill, you don't use it for the check. Then the result of the sentence "The skill you’re using for the check, and any skill referenced by that skill, are added as traits to the check" is that no traits are being added to the check at this time.

You've skipped the part that says "When you play a card that does this, add that card’s traits to the check". This is the part that should add the cards traits to the check.

We all agree (by now) that "The skill you’re using for the check, and any skill referenced by that skill, are added as traits to the check" doesn't apply, that's not the issue in question any more.

Frencois wrote:
So you can use the chain lightning result on a bane that is immune to the attack trait.

Either way no you can't, as others have already said above. You can't for the same reason you can't use the 2d4 from Incendiary Cloud, if they're immune to something they can't be affected by a card with that trait, regardless of whether the trait is added to the check or not.

I would assume that it was worded without any consideration towards banes with multiple checks at all, since whichever way it's meant to work it could easily have been made clearer. So as far as intention goes it would be pure guesswork.

As for RAW, my interpretation would be that the first time you choose "combat" as the skill for any check, you must use the "Arcane or Divine + 3d6" power. Afterwards, you couldn't use it again on a second check.

You could, however, get help from another character at the same location for the first check then use this on the second. You could even decline to choose combat for any of the checks if you wished (even with just one check).

I could imagine being convinced though that the power is optional on any combat check. I could also imagine being convinced that it was mandatory on all combat checks.

The most natural interpretation of what Vic said is that the check has no traits whatsoever. His "surprised you find it counterintuitive" post below even somewhat confirms this. So that's how I'd (begrudgingly) play it for now.

However, it's entirely possible that all he actually meant was "The original check's traits aren't (automatically) added to the check", or even more narrowly that "the skill you originally used isn't added to the check". He never explicitly addressed whether the rule:
"Some cards may allow you to replace the required skill for a check with a different one; ... When you play a card that does this, add that card’s traits to the check;"
doesn't (separately) apply, so it still might. I don't personally see any good reason why it wouldn't other than Vic maybe indirectly having said so.

Well I saw this yesterday but had no idea how to answer. But, that's not going to stop me sniping at details in other people's excellent answers...

skizzerz wrote:

I'll quote Urgraz's power here for posterity to resolve Longshot's claim of ambiguity:

When a character at your location is dealt damage when you fail a check, you may increase the damage by 1 to draw a card after the check.
cartmanbeck wrote:
so you could potentially use this power six times if all six of you at the location failed the check and were dealt damage as part of that.

It says "when you fail a check", so other people at your location failing checks of their own would not trigger this ability.

I'm also dubious about the idea of using it multiple times from one failed check, even in cases where there's one check but it deals damage to each character at your location. Because it says "when you fail a check", and "when you fail a check" only happens once. But, this templating of "When X when Y" is unique as far as I know (it probably isn't really but first I've seen it) so there's no clear precedent for how to interpret it.

The power also seems terrible to me but that's a whole other story :) I can see that it interacts with armour it's just that "draw a card" has never excited me a great deal (I'm sure Yewstance loves it though).

Yay this is something I really wanted and wasn't expecting to get.

I just went to try and dig up where I asked for it in the "what would you change" thread, and only found myself saying that I want a recommended mode rather than a big list of options. So I guess I'm even happier that Vic, in the comments, says there will also be some preset modes.

One thought on this. "Fast" mode (smaller locations less turns) and "Slow" mode (bigger locations more turns) have one obvious balance difference that healing will matter a lot less/more. Is there any way to offset this? Or will it just be something to consider when building your party?

In that regard though, a similar healing imbalance already exists between different sized parties. If you put the two together, I actually wonder whether playing small groups (1-2) on "fast" and large groups (5-6) on "slow" will give different group sizes a more consistent feel than before.

Of course playing that way makes the time requirements spread out even further! But at least you have the choice.

Really looking forward to learning more.

JimmyJinNJ wrote:

In regards to the character 'Lirianne', her first Power says, "When you play a weapon that has the Firearm trait, if you would bury it or shuffle it into your deck, you may keep it and instead perform the required action with another card."

I understand the conditions of this power and the notion of keeping it in her hand, but I don't understand how the "instead" portion of the power then operates. It reads like Lirianne can use any other card in her hand, but how is the action performed, especially with non-weapon cards (if allowed), and then does she have to bury or shuffle that card instead?

Thank you.

So take Blunderbus for example. It says:

"... you may additionally bury this card to add another 2d6"

Lirianne may treat a Blunderbus as if it actually said:
"... you may additionally bury a card to add another 2d6"

Similarly, later it says:
"... on a 1-2, shuffle this card into your deck"

Lirianne may treat a Blunderbus as if it actually said:
"... on a 1-2, shuffle a card into your deck"

elcoderdude wrote:

Read the woids.*

In the OP, Merisiel never encounters the barrier. Someone else encountered the barrier on a previous turn and failed to defeat the summoned ship. Merisiel then moved to the location on a subsequent turn. The barrier's power instructs characters to encounter the summoned card as their first exploration, not the barrier. This is exactly the question addressed by the FAQ.

But to answer your question: Yep. If Merisiel had actually been the character who had initially encountered the barrier, she could have evaded the barrier, in which case the barrier would shuffle back into the location. OR she could have summoned the ship and then evaded that (which would be a curious choice, as it would leave the barrier on top of the deck, but could happen if the player realized they had a poor chance of defeating the ship.)

*This was the mantra of my 8th grade algebra teacher. (He was from the Bronx.)

Ok, my problem was that Pirate Hunting works differently to other similar barriers. On Pirate Hunting you encounter just the ship on subsequent explores, not the barrier itself.

But the title of the topic is "face-up cards", so it's still relevant what happens in the more common case. Let's say Collapsed Ceiling is failed and put top of a location deck. Next turn Merisiel comes along, explores, encounters Collapsed Ceiling, and evades it. Where does it go? I would think it gets shuffled back in to the deck (face down).

The FAQ seems to be answering a different question. If she evades the ship, then the barrier stays on top, that's kind of what I would have expected anyway (though I can see why RAW was different without the FAQ).

But what if she evades the barrier itself? I would have thought if she evades the barrier, the ship is never summoned to begin with, and the barrier is shuffled back into the deck, whether it came from the top of the deck or elsewhere.

eddiephlash wrote:
To me, the "BYA And AYA" effect seems to break the "cards don't have memories" cardinal rule. This could be alleviated by being a Display card instead.

Cards don't have memories, but you do. "Cards don't have memories" is only about what cards know, not a blanket "you never have to remember anything in the game". Heck even the original RotR had cards that add +1 difficulty to all your checks for the rest of the turn and then could end up shuffled back into the location.

Since I'm posting anyway... just want to comment re Yewstance's argument that card-draw is the most powerful thing. Card draw is only the limiting factor because Cure (with some help from other healing powers) is so good. If you take away card draw, Cure is still good, but take away Cure and card draw is rubbish. I've honestly never got excited about card draw effects, though admittedly they're rare in the first place anyway. Just my opinion though, and I agree they're the key ingredient to breaking things.

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The downside of cloud puff is that it takes up an item slot in your deck with an effect that's potentially quite narrow. It also leaves your hand when you use it, possibly for the rest of the game, which is a down side compared to any reveal-to-use card.

I think you've made a great case that for the purpose of ignoring BYA and AYA powers, it's the best card in the game. And by a margin which also might be hard to replicate with a different type of card. But to get the mantle of "most powerful card in the game" you need to make the case for why ignoring BYA and AYA powers is important. Which you haven't even tried to do, you've skirted the question entirely by just declaring any other effect a "different category" of card. But not all categories are created equal.

Here's some evidence that BYA and AYA are a less important category of effect. What percentage of cards have a BYA or AYA power at all? Of those, how many are critical as opposed to just annoying? A BYA or AYA might cost you a few cards, but failing your check against a monster will often wipe your hand (not if you have armour, but good armour also works, often more cheaply, against most BYA/AYA powers as well), while also shuffling a presumably unpleasant monster back into the deck. In fact the time BYA matters most is when it impacts your ability to defeat a monster. Defeating a monster is clearly a more important effect, which is in turn why nothing defeats a monster as hard as Cloud Puff defeats BYA+AYA. Is it better to do an important thing well, or a less important thing perfectly?

The other evidence that it's a small effect is that it's often a rider on other cards. I don't think of Unshakable Chill as an AYA card with a side effect. I think of it as a (bad) attack spell which is barely improved by an almost always irrelevant AYA side-effect. You mention Arcana Theft as being a BYA card that also happens to add two dice. I say adding two dice to a check against a monster is what Arcana Theft does, ignoring BYA is the side effect. If I can get ignore-BYA/AYA from a card that I'm already playing for its other power, then why do I need a card that only ignores BYA/AYA? It's not taking up a slot in my hand (though it is on the turn after I first draw it), but it's still taking up a slot in my deck. Whereas the BYA power on Arcana Theft isn't taking up a slot in either, because it's a rider on a card I was already playing for its other power. If you're only going to do a narrow effect and nothing else, then you need to do that effect well, and at low opportunity-cost, just to catch up to cards that do something more broadly useful.

So I honestly don't think it needs fixing. I think it's at the level a narrow card ought to be in order to be playable. The game is chock-full of cards too narrow to be worth putting in your deck because they don't live up to this standard, and I'm pleased that design is finally catching up by providing narrow cards that are actually worth playing. So please don't let's go back to the old days of narrow cards no-one ever uses other than the once in a blue moon when they just happen to acquire the card and haven't managed to get rid of it before its effect comes up.

My alternative suggestion for most powerful card would be Cure.

Cure is also a basic. Cure has no negative traits, and being divine is an upside for a number of characters, and I think "healing" is a net positive as well. Cure never needs to take up space in your hand either, because you can use it in between drawing it and your next reset (and if you don't it's only because the card is so critical). Cure can't be used on anyone at any time, but since it's not used on a check you still don't need to be in the right place at the right time in order to use it. Using it on whoever most needs it can still be arranged. Cure has a higher recharge check, but one good solution to that is more Cures! Cure is banished without the divine trait, but banished is barely worse than buried for a basic, and Cloud Puff is also buried 3/4 of the time unless you have one of the relevant non-base skills (yes you could spend blessings on the recharge check but, well, let's just say I for one would never choose to). In both cases you can give the card to someone who can recharge it before you need to use it - Cure is slightly ahead there because you're more likely to know whether it's worth doing so. Cure is eventually obsoleted (except for the recharge check) by other cards, but if you want to say those other cards are better feel free, otherwise we can agree that its availability puts it ahead.

So I'd say it's only slightly behind in terms of how "conveniently" it does what it does. But now let's look at what it does. Healing:
* Prevents you from actually dying (admittedly this is the one case where the "at your location" clause can bite you).
* Gets back those cards you lost to a BYA/AYA power.
* Lets you keep exploring at times that would otherwise have been too risky.
* Is worth 1d4+1 additional blessings on other checks that you can afford to play, or alternatively is worth 1d4+1 additional explores.
* Shuffles your deck. Many characters regularly put their best cards on the bottom of the deck. In particular, I'm often pleased to shuffle my previous Cure off the bottom.
* Makes the blessings deck the only thing stopping you from winning.
* Transforms the game to makes cards in hand/hand size more important than cards in deck+hand (i.e. makes draw useful and shrinks the gap between discard and recharge).

Now for some indirect evidence of how important healing and Cure are (at least to me). Cure is the only spell I've put in the deck of the wrong type of caster. In determining whether a party is balanced, the number one question is "does someone have access to Cure?". Cure is the only boon I (always) choose not to remove from the box. Anyone who has access to Cure is given spell card upgrades over anything else, until they can't take any more. Cure is the only card I ever spend cards on the recharge check for. Cure is the only basic card I'm still happy to play in deck 6. Cure is the only card I would visit the basics-trader in MM for. Cure is the only card I actively track the location of. Healing generally is the effect I'm the happiest to find on cards that non-divine characters can use.

Incidentally I'm also a big fan of Blessing of the Starsong. I try to play every check against a bane at over 95%. At that point, unless you can hit actual 100% (which is pretty hard against those 40+ checks you start getting at that stage), the ability to reroll far surpasses any other bonus available. I'd probably swap a Cure for this blessing given the (unlikely) choice, but I'd try pretty hard to get it back afterwards.

PS I'm only arguing because the thread title goaded me into doing it. It's an excellent, well researched and well structured post you've made! Cure is the dullest choice of most powerful card ever, yours is much more interesting. And for all I'm doing what you asked and trying to prove you wrong, I actually honestly think BYA powers (AYA not so much) actually are a huge deal. They're the biggest reason to take armour, and the biggest weakness of almost every party I've ever had.

elcoderdude wrote:
Irgy wrote:
It just feels like there's one way to handle the situation that's simple, well defined, covers all cases, is perfectly fair, and is supported by the rules.

The RAW don't say that you can distribute the cards of a retired character among the rest of the party. It makes thematic sense, but it's a house rule. That's the crux of the matter.

+1 to Brother Tyler's astute comments.

Which is exactly why it (implicitly) adds the new character before the deck rebuilding step. If you added + retired after deck rebuilding then it would also be clear what to do, but as far as I understand the timing at least is settled.

I'm not saying you can redistribute the cards from a character when you retire them either. In fact I'm quite sure you can't. I'm saying you can redistribute the cards from a character who played in the current adventure, before you retire them. And also, that you can't retire them before you finish all the steps of the scenario they were in.

elcoderdude wrote:

MuffinB asks why #1(stop playing a character to play A.) is so, then as an alternative says you could do #3(play A. in addition to your character). Irgy echoes that you could do #3 for just the rebuilding phase, then in fact do #1.

*Of course* you could do #3, if that's what you are really doing, as I said above. But I'll repeat: it's duplicitous to say you are doing #3 when really you are doing #1, and that kind of sleight-of-hand-for-my-own-benefit has been officially prohibited in other cases where it's been called out (as in the Cohort example I gave above).

I think we've established that how Arueshalae is built requires enough rules interpolation, and fosters enough disagreement, that an official clarification would be helpful.

To me it's about as "duplicitous" as ordering a large meal even though you don't intend to eat it all.

In any case I want to make another distinction between "not playing" a character any more, and that character and their cards ceasing to exist entirely. Just because you've switched to another character, the character you had is still there. They still played the scenario, and they still need to tidy up afterwards by deciding what's actually in their deck along with the rest of the party. It's like when you've finished playing Pathfinder, you're not playing it any more, but you still need to pack it up and put it away. You don't just tell the family "I'm not playing that game any more so none of that stuff on the table exists now".

It just feels like there's one way to handle the situation that's simple, well defined, covers all cases, is perfectly fair, and is supported by the rules. And it matches everything the location says and nothing it doesn't - that a player starts playing the new character.

Then there's another way to handle it that's completely undefined, and no-one can agree on what it means and how it works. And the reason is that the rules don't describe it at all. And the reason the rules don't describe it is because they don't need to describe it. The rules never tell you to make a character disappear mid-scenario, so they don't need to tell you what it means to do that. But we're all stuck on working out how do it anyway.

I played Salty Elf myself in a 2-player party and someone else played him in another 6-player party. Totally agree that he's horribly narrow with regards to combat. He has Melee, Arcane and Craft. Arcane might not just be combat, except you're kind of pressured into taking all combat spells anyway. Craft was in theory an important skill in S&S, except if you let your ship get wrecked in the first place you're doing it wrong. And if anyone's going to wreck the ship it's Salty Elf himself, with his d4 wisdom, and then you've lost all your plunder before he gets a chance to repair it.

When he gets a role card he can take a power that works against barriers and ships, and becomes more versatile. But it's a long time coming.

There's exactly one utility spell he can take without working against his main power. I forget the name, but it adds 1d8 to any ranged combat check. It's a fine choice but it's also still only helping combat! I also took the arcane heal spell (Safe Haven or something) for a 2 player party.

The other guy just doubled down on combat and took the other role card for even more ridiculous combat bonuses. We tried (with reasonable success) to send the villains his way. That was fine for a 6 player party. He was happy with his choices but he liked being narrow.

James McKendrew wrote:
If it helps communicate, the game term is "Plunder".

Um, no? I don't think anyone was talking about plunder. "Plunder" is a much more specific term. It refers to specifically to boons acquired by way of the plunder table, which generally sit under your ship, though occasionally you're instructed to put one straight into your hand. If the game asks you to take a plunder card from the box, you can't just pick whatever boon you like, you're supposed to roll on the table.

Pretty sure they were just talking about boons acquired during the scenario through any means, which includes plunder, loot, and boons you encounter.

Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Sure. You can do that, as long as you aren't using more than 6 characters in a scenario. You'll also need to be aware that in order for a character to gain the adventure reward that character needs to complete all the scenarios in that adventure. You can always make a house rule for that though.

This is maybe more relevant to another thread, but, there's something fundamentally off with this adventure in that regard. If you complete the other "in any order" scenarios before picking up Arueshelae, then she effectively gets the rewards from those scenarios (because if the other players have more feats she starts with more feats). But she technically hasn't completed those scenarios, and so she can do them again herself and double-up on the rewards.

I originally just thought of this as an abuse, and in that case, the solution is simple - just don't do that. But now, with what you're saying (and it seems correct), if you don't go back and double-up on the scenario rewards, you instead miss out on the adventure reward. Which means there's no "fair" option at all - your choice is either an abuse (getting more than the rest of the party), or missing out (getting less than the rest of the party). You can avoid it by doing her scenario first but that undermines the whole design of being able to complete the scenarios in any order.

It also raises the question of whether she's completed her own scenario? I would guess no, but it's a bit disappointing to have to play it again.

There's a very simple solution by the way. She should be immediately considered to have completed all scenarios that the character whose feats she copies has completed. Fixes both the abuse and the missing out, and still even works if other characters have completed different sets of scenarios.

elcoderdude wrote:
The OP's question is my option #1 (stop playing a character to play Arueshalae), and I've been addressing how that works. Options #2 and #3 don't pertain.

Ok, I'm going to split option 1 into:

1A) Your current character magically pops out of existence taking all their cards with them.
1B) You end up with option 1 but in a way that ends up equivalent to adding her as an extra character then retiring one after building the decks.

My point is that 1B makes 1A redundant in two ways. The rules don't need to support 1A because 1B achieves option 1 already. The players also don't need 1A because it's almost always worse than 1B. These in turn make me more willing to question whether the rules even do support 1A in the first place.

And the players don't need option 1A either, because as I said 1B is almost always better anyway.

Parody wrote:
MuffinB wrote:
With all due respect, I don't get why you say a player stops playing their character.
Because the most likely playstyle across all groups that play the ACG is one character per player. If someone is going to start playing Arueshalae, they're probably going to stop playing their current character. You don't have to do that, of course.

That's why they choose to stop playing their current character at some point before the next adventure starts. But I think what MuffinB wants to know (and certainly what I want to know) is why people interpret the rules as implying that a player immediately stops playing their character. Because the rules say nothing of the sort.

The rules don't support making a character disappear in the middle of a scenario. Having one character per player isn't a rule, it's a convention, and one that the players enforce. The players need to enforce that convention within the rules. And nothing in the rules supports making a character disappear. Nothing in the rules needs to support it either, for the reasons given above.

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wkover wrote:

I'd also point out that the PC/iPad versions let you replay scenarios as much as you want (again, without taking rewards).*

Not that the video version is an authoritative source, but presumably the video game designers received at least some guidance from the original designers.

*Per elcoderdude's comment, I definitely appreciated this. In at least one campaign I added a character a few scenarios into the campaign, and being able to catch up that character by replaying scenarios was extremely useful.

It's much worse in the computer implementation, because there's no setup time. For the card game, we eventually figured that the thing that balanced abusing banish-to-close locations was the fact that you technically have to spend 15 minutes setting the whole thing up, and longer still going through the motions to find a henchman etc. When you consider that the only cost of failing a mission is to spend time setting it up again to replay it, you're actually not ahead at all on average, compared to just having a slightly worse deck and pushing on with it.

Whereas move it online and all of a sudden every inconvenient abuse becomes trivially easy. Rather than try and stop it, they decided to just let people have their fun, and went (too far) the other way entirely, such as with the whole "stash" mechanic. I actually think stash is a great idea mind you. The too far part is when I'm literally forced to put an AD6 card in my new party because it's left in the stash from a previous party (but I guess I'm getting a little off topic here).

All that said, I did also have the impression that the original implementation at least was meant to match what you were technically allowed do in the card game, give or take a few corner cases, bugs, and excepting where it explicitly didn't match (such as with banishing->removing basic cards).

JimmyJinNJ wrote:

I've played S&S before, but starting playing solo from the beginning using Merisiel & Seltyiel; I've played Merisiel before, not Seltyiel.

Not sure why but this issue never seemed to surface playing Merisiel, so sorry for such a basic, elementary question.

Seltyiel encounters the Weapon 'Blunderbuss' (on his first turn of the scenario) which has a 'check to acquire' that has three traits, one of which is 'Craft'. This is a skill that he has as "Intelligence: Craft: Intelligence+1". There aren't any deck resource cards in his deck that mention Intelligence or Craft. His current hand has 2 weapons, 1 spell, 1 armor, 1 spell. Can I role a '1d8+1' as a check to acquire without having/playing a card from my hand that indicates Intelligence or Craft, since nothing in my hand (or deck) has these traits?

Thank you.

Yes, you can roll 1d8+1, and you (or Merisiel) can still use blessings, or other cards which relate to "any check" or "any check to acquire" or similar to help acquire it.

The card lists craft as an option to acquire, and your craft skill is 1d8+1, so if you choose craft then that's what you (must) roll. Every check works that way, you never have to use a card on a check at all, you can always just roll the dice corresponding to the skill (and then add blessings etc). Even if you don't have the skill listed at all you can roll a d4 (for instance sometimes d4 divine is better odds than the alternatives for acquiring a blessing).

The only type of check that sort-of works differently is combat, and even then that is only because nobody has the "combat" skill (and I think it's not technically considered a skill at all, even though it behaves a lot like one). But there's a rule saying you can use either of melee or strength instead, so you still don't actually need to play a card for a combat check either. Indeed quite recently my daughter was playing Lem in WotR and used 1d4+7 strength to punch a ghoul in the face, rather than bothering to play any of her cards.

elcoderdude wrote:

You aren't technically building a deck for the retired character. You are swapping characters and building a deck for the new character.

Tower of the Fourth Sphere wrote:
If you win the scenario, a player may begin playing the character Arueshalae, who chooses a mythic path card and gains the same number of each type of feat that another character has gained.

The rules you've quoted don't say anything about "swapping". It just says a player may begin playing her. You yourself have described three ways to do this, of which only one is "swapping":

elcoderdude wrote:

I'll just note to keep in mind there are three ways to incorporate Arueshalae:

1) A member of the party stops playing another character & instead plays her
2) A player joins the party to play her
3) A player playing another character plays her in addition to playing their character

So here's my argument, as a set of simple steps:

1. You can, if you wish, choose to add her as an additional character.
- You already agree with this as quoted above (both of options 2 & 3)

2. If you do so, then deck rebuilding works exactly as I described earlier.
- I can't see any other way it could work, and as far as I can see no-one has said it wouldn't work that way in that case. They're just trying to tell me that replacing a character works differently in the first place somehow.

3. You can choose, if you wish, to retire a character after the deck rebuilding step is finished.
- You're certainly not forced to decide what party you're using next scenario at the end of the current one. What if someone doesn't show up the next week?

4. And this is the crux; There may be other choices of ways you could do it. But... there's (almost*) no advantage to doing it any other way!
- Doing it this way gives you access to their cards, while still letting you dump one deck's worth of cards on them. That's better (for you) than any other option described here, save the one case I discuss below.

So, it doesn't even matter if you could also choose to "immediately" replace the character instead, because you're better off doing it the way I describe anyway. So don't ask "does it work that way?" about steps 1-3 but instead ask "can I choose to do it that way?". And I really can't see any reason why not.

* So what we're left with is this one case you might want to handle it differently. Imagine the soon-to-be-retiring character has more cards than fit in their own deck (because they acquired them during the scenario - or indeed people may have deliberately dumped bad cards on them). You don't want any of that character's cards, and you don't want those additional bad cards in the pool. So you somehow get that character to run away with all of the detritus before the deckbuilding step. If this is true then it's a genuine second option you may sometimes wish to take. But, I really don't think this trick works. You absolutely certainly can't do it in normal circumstances (you can dump junk on a character, but not more than would fit in their deck). And I really don't see anything in the wording of "Tower of the Fourth Sphere" that enables this trick.

skizzerz wrote:
If you're permanently retiring a character, I would treat that retired character as if they had died. This means that their cards go into the pool to rebuild decks from, so you can grab cards from that character.

One of the "few" differences between being dead and retiring is that when you're dead you don't need (and also can't stop people looting) your belongings. So while I might agree that their cards are (and indeed must be) available anyway, I also can't see any reason why you couldn't also choose to let them keep some of their own cards (you might not have been saying otherwise anyway).

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The statement about not getting rewards again always implied to me that you could replay scenarios. I don't entirely agree that it's a case of you can't because the rules don't say you can. I'd apply that principle to in-game actions but outside the game I'd normally assume that by default at least you can play any game you own.

That said, every reason I can think of for wanting to do it just seems like an abuse to me:
* Replaying scenarios to farm loot (probably the most benign but still messes with game balance).
* Replaying an old, easy scenario which has a lot of "banish to close" locations, and using it to banish bad cards that you want to replace with basics (there was a great candidate for this in RotR-B).
* Replaying finished scenarios to pick up side-quest loot that you missed.
* Escorting new characters (e.g. after a permadeath) through old scenarios (i.e. power-levelling)
* Unlocking Arueshelae, then replaying all the past scenarios that gave feats to give her double-feats.

So I'd be perfectly happy for someone to say you can't do it. But I suspect the one big reason I left out above is what's holding them back from explicitly saying not to: Replaying a mission just for fun, because it was a fun one. I can see why they'd not want to tell people they can't do that. Gloomhaven has a whole system called "casual mode" to handle this situation (or similar situations anyway).

Hannibal_pjv wrote:
I am not sure about the last part... if you use the cards from the leaving Person you have to use them all... tha5 means that Ariueshalaecan start with melee weapons even she can not use them very well...

So my argument was that you're still technically building a deck for the retiring character, because nothing tells you not to and the rules imply that you could write down what it is and come back to them later. So you are using all of that character's cards, it's just that you're using some of them in that character's deck.

Look at it this way, you don't have to replace a character at all. You can continue with a larger party instead (unless of course you're at 6 already or something). If you did that, you'd build exactly as I describe, the only difference being maybe caring a little more about what cards that character actually gets (which only changes what you would do not what you could do).

So all I'm really saying is that you can decide who and whether to retire after building the decks (though possibly with the intent to retire a character in mind while you do). If you think of it that way it seems quite clear what to do.

ifurita12 wrote:
But I've seen another person mention that technically the character who is being replaced just has their deck broken up

I'm not sure where this idea comes from. Even if a character dies you can still scavenge their cards. The most relevant rules quote is this:

MM Rulebook wrote:
If you want to start a new character, you may, but it’s important that you do not keep decks for characters you’re not actively playing. Doing so would use up cards that you should be encountering during play ... If you switch characters for some reason, it’s best to write down the cards in the previous character’s deck

So although the replaced character's cards will end up back in the box before the next scenario, it's strongly implied that the character still has a deck, which you could even write down and come back to. This suggests to me that what you would do is this:

You gain Arueshalae as a new character. After that, you build decks at the end of the scenario as normal, including for Arueshalae, and including for the character you intend to replace. The upshot is:
* You definitely may use cards from the replaced character's deck.
* You definitely may include the new loot cards you've just acquired (there's no rule preventing you giving them to someone else though either).
* You definitely fill in any missing cards from the box, at AD#1 or less.
* You definitely can't get cards from the box if other cards of that type are available.
* But, you can (I believe) choose to give cards you actively don't want to the soon to be retiring character, so as to be able to be able to draw better replacements from the box instead.

So for example, imagine you have 6 weapons left over after the other characters have built their decks, and the character you're retiring has 5 weapon slots in their deck. You can give 5 weapons to the retiring character, leaving 1 for Arueshalae, and then take up to 3 more weapons from the box.

The rules seem fairly clear to me, I'm not even sure which of those points I list would be disputed?

Yes, it's a Charisma check and you get the bonus. Charisma is added as a trait to the check because the skill you are using is based on Charisma. If a check has the X trait, then that always means the check is considered an "X check" for the purpose of anything that asks (the converse may not always be true however).

This particular case is quite settled I think. The cases that cause controversy are more complicated issues. But I can certainly see why any thread you find would be chock full of people arguing about the more thorny questions.

There's a difference between being technically different, and "mattering" in the sense I meant it. Even if there's specific circumstances where the difference is critical, the game isn't better or worse designed overall if you can play that candle or not play it in that one case. What really matters is whether it's intuitive. Maybe what's intuitive to you and intuitive to me is different though (which is fine).

My guess would be that about 50% of people would play that situation wrong if it ever came up. Like I said though, I'll try and get it right if it ever comes up for me.

Re Alhazra and Climber's Gloves, sounds like the start of another entry to your power-combos thread!

As an even less related other aside...:
Speaking of between turns, I can still remember the first time someone, on MtG Online, activated an ability during the "end of turn" step, to create a creature that removed itself "at end of turn". Since the start of the "end of turn" step had already happened, it stuck around until the end of the next turn. They untapped and used the ability again to attack me with two of these things at once. Now there's a game that's properly unintuitive (which I love about it mind you)

I think my points before were a little poorly stated. Re when you can play cards, I was just trying to say "A does not imply converse(A)", I think people read more into that than I intended. Though I do genuinely feel like "I can play cards whenever I want" is a sensible default that should be explicitly disallowed, in a way that "I can win whenever I want" is not.

In practice, people play this "right" because they assume that the explore powers on blessings/allies function, at all. If the rulebook somehow doesn't technically support that without forum clarification, that's not going to be a problem for ordinary people, even if they could theoretically deduce it from cross-referencing different wording in the rulebook.

Similarly, it's also natural to assume that you can play other cards in between doing one thing and doing another. If you can play an ally to explore then surely you can play a different power to examine a card. So again if the rules technically suggest you can't, but actually you can for some complicated reason known only to forum readers, that's also not a real problem for any real people.

That said I'm all for the rules technically functioning as intended, and for that to happen without resorting to rulings in the forums.

I follow a fairly simple model in practice for whether I can play a general card like Cure (as opposed to one that says when to play it, one way or another)
- Am I in the middle of doing something else?
-case no- Then yes I can play the card.
-case yes- I can only play the card if it's explicitly allowed somehow with regards to the thing that I'm doing.

If I have to do something "immediately" then I go straight from being in the middle of doing one thing to being in the middle of doing another thing, so that works out the same.

I kind of feel like the whole "steps" and "between steps" model, with repeated separate explore steps, is just a messy version of the same thing. If they're ever different then to me the fault is with the "steps" model if anything. For instance, personally I think the fact that I can play cards in between steps, but not in between turns, is just dumb, and unless it serves a genuine purpose it could happily discarded to the bin of gratuitous irrelevant technicalities. Though if I ever find myself in a convoluted situation in which it matters, and notice, I'll still probably try and play it correctly, because I'm like that.

Yewstance wrote:

Resurrecting this thread from very minor encouragement from skizzerz.

It must be noted that the rules dictated in this thread (most importantly, that "Taking an additional exploration is creating a new exploration step") is still not found in the up-to-date Mummy's Mask Rulebook. The rulebook is pretty explicit that "Explore Step" is a single step (you can take multiple explorations in it, of course), and has no text at any point which indicates anything about additional explorations being seperate steps.

Fortunately, you'd have to be an avid rules forum reader to even suspect that you couldn't do that sequence of steps in the first place.

I always thought you could play whatever cards you liked during the explore step, so long as you weren't in the middle of an actual explore/encounter. If I understand you correctly, you're saying the official ruling is that you're playing those cards "between" steps, but that when you do so and it's a card which explores, you somehow re-enter the explore step (or make a new one). Which you're only allowed to do if its the most recent step. It seems needlessly convoluted to me compared to the (equivalent) way I'd been playing the whole time.

It says you can play whatever cards you like between steps, but that doesn't necessarily mean that converse, that you can't play whatever cards you like during the explore step. The relevant rule is somewhere else, that you haven't quoted, which tells you something along the lines of cards having to be relevant to what you're doing.

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The game has two aspects, the character + deckbuilding aspect, and the play of an individual scenario. Like most games that I enjoy, it's the rich interaction between those two aspects of the game that's an important part of the fun.

Having broken character builds spoils this in a number of ways. If your character is too strong, then the scenario play suffers. It's no longer a rich interaction, because one aspect of the game has obsoleted the other. But the character+deck building suffers as well. If there's a solution that's vastly superior to any other, then while it might be fun to find it, now other only moderately good character builds become less satisfying. Also, once you've achieved some overpowered combo, there's nowhere else to go with that character either.

How much the game suffers depends a lot on how tangential the strategy is, and how difficult it is to achieve. In normal play, if you had to dig all of those cards out of the box one by one, and it includes deck 5 cards which you'll likely never even see, I wouldn't have a problem with it. You're not going to be able to do it every time, and getting out of control near the end of the play through is still fun and won't ruin future games at all. But I have the impression that in Organised Play it's substantially easier to get the cards you want and this could be set up fairly reliably. In terms of being tangential, I haven't really followed the whole combo but I get the impression that every one of the pieces is a card you would plausibly want to have on its own. It's not so much a special case fragile loophole (like the Restoration combo was) but just the sum of a bunch of good cards.

I don't think it's helpful to just say you shouldn't play that way. Optimising builds is what you're supposed to be doing and what many of us enjoy doing. The game of "build a character that's just strong enough not to annoy your friends" is much less enjoyable as a game (than the game "do the best you can and game balance will stop you annoying your friends"). Again, it depends how tangential it is, but even if you can avoid a particular build, the game suffers for you having to do so.

So personally I think character balance is worthwhile, and finding these things is worthwhile as well. And how you play the game with your friends is your own choice and is separate to hunting down these combos. How much of a priority it is to fix things is up to the designers, but it seems as worthwhile addressing as the rules corner cases and the like that we post elsewhere.

Yewstance wrote:
I admit I'm a bit confused about the idea that Nok-Nok can prevent Structural Damage.

Nok Nok's ability isn't preventing damage in the first place. It's modifying the effect of damage. It says "would discard", and it's preventing/replacing discard. If something cares how much damage you were dealt, Nok Nok's ability doesn't change that value. So the rules you quote about whether structural damage can be reduced/prevented aren't relevant in the first place.

Nok Nok can prevent structural damage the same way as anyone else, by discarding cards. But when he does he isn't discarding them as damage. He's discarding them to prevent damage. So his ability doesn't apply.

I don't agree that it works on structural damage. The effect of structural damage is to wreck your ship (or lose blessings from the blessings deck if it's wrecked already). You don't discard any cards as damage for structural damage. Technically what you do is discard cards to reduce the structural damage (generally to zero).

Seoni vs Ezren: They're both good, I love the arcane characters generally. I personally find Ezren is both stronger and easier to play though.

The problem I find with Seoni is that early game she's hard to keep alive. Between a large hand size, discarding (with no recharge check) to use her combat ability, and having blessings that you can't help wanting to use, she's always the one running out of cards. Having Lini as your only healer exacerbates this, since Lini also chews through a lot of cards and needs to either run combat spells (reducing space for heals) or heal herself a lot (in fact generally both).

Both characters turn into absolute powerhouses in the late game, but the late game is the easy part. Even so, I also find Ezren more of a powerhouse. Seoni's combat ability falls behind the power level of combat spells, and is eventually only used as an emergency backup. Meanwhile, Ezren's explore-again power just keeps getting better, as the proportion of items, weapons and armours that are magical approaches 100%. With spells always magic, and allies and blessings giving explores (mostly) anyway, that's all the boons covered. Yes he has trouble with the checks-to-acquire on the weapons and armours, but there's always Swipe. Plus, if your teammates really want the card then they'll help you get it with blessings anyway, and getting an explore out of it means they can do that without feeling like they're wasting resources. The Haste spell also stacks multiplicatively in terms of how many explores per turn you get - i.e. Seoni only ever gets one extra explore from haste, whereas Ezren gets (on average) twice as many explores in a turn if he has haste.

The only thing to watch out for with Ezren is the classic no-combat-spell monster encounter. Just put a lot more combat spells in Ezren's deck than e.g. the recommended starting deck does, and only reduce the proportion when you feel on top of it.

For the dex characters, I find Harsk to be the best addition to any party of size 4+.

The whole temp-closing mechanic, plus the importance of being able to comfortably pass closing checks, as well as just having a lot of locations generally, means most characters are at different locations most of the time. This makes Harsk's combat bonus power significantly more useful than Valeros's (not that you're choosing between those two but just as a comparison point).

Sajan always feels to me like a fragile, one-trick pony. But for your party particularly, if you take Sajan, you've now got 3/4 characters who don't get/use weapons, meaning more boons no-one wants and making it harder to pass weapons to Lini early game (before she can take a weapon card feat herself).

Merisiel is fine, she's the most reliable and safest character in the game, never a liability. She just doesn't power up the rest of the party the way Harsk does.

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Frencois wrote:
Bigguyinblack wrote:
Bumping the thread again as there is still some confusion about revealing armor or an item that prevents damage when facing enemies that deal damage multiple times before you act.

I thought Vic's post above was pretty clear.

And it's a post from Vic, so unless you just won the soccer world cup, nothing beats that :-).

The point was there's another quote from Vic (here) saying basically the opposite. The one thing that can trump a post from Vic is another post from Vic. I'd go with the more recent one by default, but it would be nice to know whether there's been a change or whether (and how) the two are actually somehow consistent.

I think you're being too mechanical with your grammar. Yes, as a general rule of thumb, each member of an "or" (or "and") group should make sense on its own, but if you're just going to apply it mechanically then you'll find it's not a hard and fast rule. For example:
"A ten or higher of diamonds would win the trick."
"A higher of diamonds would win the trick."

"An eight o'clock alarm or earlier would wake me up in time."
"An earlier would wake me up in time."

As another example, I think the following wording would be unambiguous but still has the problem you describe:
"On your first ([] or any subsequent) check on any turn..."

I think the current grammar is a little awkward but I'd still consider it valid.

Keith Richmond wrote:
so you roll that expression (whatever it is - ex: 1d12+6+1d6) alongside your normal check. It doesn't even get your mythic bonus, since it's not a check.

When you say "alongside", I was under the impression that you roll Transmogrify first (during the determine the difficulty step?), and even have time to choose what blessings etc. to add based on the result of the Transmogrify roll. "Alongside" would imply that you basically just roll all the dice at once.

I'm still glad it exists and I still do recommend it to people (with some warnings), but I'm also very sad for what could have been, and indeed nearly was, compared to where it ended up. I couldn't really care less whose "fault" that is. There's plenty of sequences of individually sensible decisions that can lead to a mess anyway.

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It seems pretty clear to me.

I don't see how you get "on your any check". The check boxes always add extra text, they never replace text. That knocks out a bunch of your sentences. The final text is:

"On your first or any check on any turn to acquire an ally, add 2."

and the intended grouping is:

"On your (first or any) check (on any turn) to acquire an ally, add 2."

A second trick to interpreting it, is that adding the extra words cannot change the parsing of the sentence to something inconsistent with the original parsing. I think that knocks out some of your other possible interpretations.

I think the only alternative that's still plausible then is this:
"On ((your first) or (any)) check (on any turn) to acquire an ally, add 2."

But, if that was the intention, they would have written this:
"On your first ([ ] or on any) check on any turn to acquire an ally, add 2."

Axoq wrote:
I will point out: the folks at Paizo have precisely zero to do with the production of the game you guys are complaining about.

So? We're not trying to get someone to fix it, it's just a topic of interest to people who play the physical game.

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They did some great things with the interface and the basic implementation, but I get the distinct impression that the rules engine is a massive pile of spaghetti and god help anyone trying to sort out the corner cases in it. I haven't seen the code myself but the bug frequency, types and time to fix strongly give that impression.

Still so long as you're not being too purist about it you can play to the implementation even when it's wrong, and just put up with things going crazy occasionally. Most engine explosions recover when you restart. Just don't whatever you do put permadeath on. If you want permadeath (like I do), implement it yourself manually (i.e. just stop playing the character), characters perma-dying to bugs (or indeed even just misclicks) is not pleasant.

You can play the digital game in a way that comes out the same as the physical game. I'm definitely not a fan of the way the stash is implemented nor the treasure chest cards, but you can ignore the whole microtransactions aspect entirely if you so wish.

I do agree that it's a shame they've set it up in such a way as to only ever have RotR though.

I would be inclined to play Life Leech the same as Life Drain. It depends whether the wording change in the FAQ and newer versions was a change in functionality or a clarification of existing functionality. Personally I think reality is somewhere in between - it was a change in wording to avoid having to sort out how the card should have worked with the original wording in the first place.

Even if it was a change in functionality, I strongly suspect the same change in functionality would be on the way for Life Leech as soon as anyone with the power to do so takes notice of it.

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Frencois wrote:

I don't have any example in my head where not announcing which step you are in when playing a card (providing it's valid) would have any impact.

Maybe some tricky case where you would actually be playing AGAINST the other players (and you could argue that the card played AGAINST you is not valid because you aren't yet/anymore in the step where it is valid to play it?).

So if you have such precise example, please give it. Else I don't see your point.

I'll try and spell out the example here more clearly:

If you play Clockwork Butterfly at the start of your turn, you can move to another location if you don't like the card you examined, but you can't then use the CB's power to explore .

If you play Clockwork Butterfly in the explore phase, you can't move to another location, but you can use the CB's power to explore.

If you play Clockwork Butterfly without specifying the phase, then you can do both - if you don't like the card you see then declare it to have been the start of the turn and move, if you do like the card you see then declare it to have been the explore phase and explore.

As I've said there's no real advantage gained here, because the CB's explore forfeits your normal free explore anyway. But you could easily turn this into a real example if, for instance CB (or more to the point a card similar to CB) gave any sort of bonus on that explore, or if you'd forfeited your free explore already through some other means (or a scenario or location power etc.)

I feel like I'm making too big a deal about this for how much it actually matters, but I'm mostly just trying to clarify what I've said...

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Frencois wrote:
Irgy wrote:
Am I the only one who thinks it's ever so slightly cheating to not say which step you're using the CB in?

I don't think at all it's cheating because :

A) It doesn't give you any advantage

I'm specifically talking about cases where it does give you an advantage though, that's my whole point.

It's not entirely such a case here, because there is another way of achieving the same outcome (as I described already). I'm mostly responding to this comment (plus the replies that implicitly accept it):

Hannibal_pjv wrote:
you can use it at any phase, but if you use it to explore, it starts the explore phase.

Skipping ahead after having already played the card isn't a thing you can actually do. It works most of the time as shorthand, but this is a case where it doesn't.

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Hannibal_pjv wrote:

Yes, it is cheesy, but rule wice it should be ok, unless there will be errata to the rules that prevent that. There allways has been differences between what game developer means and how the players use cards :)

I don't really get you at all. Cheesy would mean it's taking advantage of a loophole in the rules. But there's no loophole in the rules. The rules imply that at any given time you're either in the explore phase or you're not. The rules in no way allow you to be in Schrödinger's turn-phase. So rules-wise it's not in the least bit ok at all.

The thing it's taking advantage of is a loophole in the shorthand we use to play practically. The shorthand I mean is that, rather than sit there saying "I now enter the move phase. I choose not to move. I now enter the explore phase" like idiotic robots, we just say what we're doing, and the phase is implied. Which is fine and necessary most of the time.

But the fact that there's a loophole in a system of shorthand which is entirely outside the scope of the rulebook to begin with doesn't somehow make it become acceptable within the rules of the game. It's up to the players to realise that their shorthand doesn't work in this case and be more explicit about it.

To be clear, I wouldn't exactly be losing any sleep over playing this wrong. But I'd make at least some effort to do it right once I'm aware of it. And everyone is also welcome play their own game that's similar to Pathfinder ACG but modified so that the most convenient shorthand always plays correctly, I'm not going to stop them. I just think it's worth pointing out when it happens.

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Am I the only one who thinks it's ever so slightly cheating to not say which step you're using the CB in?

I would have thought that technically you either use it in the explore step or you don't. If you use it in the explore step, you can't then move (for instance) if you don't like what you see. If you use it before your explore step you can't use the explore part of the power because it's not your explore step.

I'm all for little take-backs (especially when no new information has been revealed in the meantime), and all for not explicitly announcing what step I'm in until it matters, but deliberately not saying what step I'm in until information is revealed which might change a decision I should have made earlier would cross a line for me.

Of course what you can do, guilt free, is use it at the start of your turn, forfeiting the explore from the CB itself, then choose to either move or use your free explore (that you would have lost otherwise anyway) after that. Which works out the same anyway. Though personally I'd almost always explore (free+blind) first, and then use it to scout+explore again anyway. Don't want to waste explores!

Seems pretty clearcut to me, he's using the artwork published on the blog. Using only a subset (crop) of that artwork doesn't suddenly make it not qualify as the permitted activity of using that artwork.

(I also generally don't know why we'd go out of our way to worry about this issue on their behalf, at least not once it gets to the point of being at worst a loophole and not any sort of genuine ethical issue)

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