I'd argue that in the case of Mother Myrtle and attacks spells:
1) At the moment, RAW is a pretty unambiguous no. The rule says you can't do two skill replacements on the same check, which is what is necessary for it to work (or at least, for it to do reasonable damage).
2) RAI is a nearly-as-unambiguous yes. The fact that she has no reasonable options for engaging in combat *other* than attack spells, combined with the presence of multiple attack spells in the Alchemist class deck (which Damiel can't use at all and Cogsnap has few slots and little need for), makes a pretty strong argument that the design intent was that it work.
3) This is an area of active rule debate (see, the various threads that have been linked above).
4) The combination of the above three points makes it seem likely that the RAW will change at some point in the reasonably near future to reflect the apparent RAI. However, this has not happened yet.
So: if I were playing Myrtle in a home game, I would (and have) absolutely allow her to use attack spells with Arcane/Divine = Wisdom. However, for Organized Play, this probably cannot be assumed to be the case for the moment.
A lot of recharge functionalities (and other blessings-matching abilities) are instructions as well. I'm not sure if there are any corrupted spells, but under this interpretation if you played a corrupted spell as a blessing, you'd still be subject to the banish if you don't have arcane/divine instruction, and you'd still get to make the recharge check if you had the appropriate skill.
Seoni's corruptor role card has the following power:
"You may treat a card in your hand that has the corrupted trait as though it has the same powers as the top card of the blessings discard pile. This counts as playing a blessing"
My understanding is that this does not copy corruption effects from the top card of the blessings deck, because those are instructions rather than powers - this has previously been discussed in the context of Blessing of the Gods.
However, what's not clear to me is whether it still uses the corruption instructions on the card that you are playing. That is: if I play a (corrupted) Corroded Helm as a Blessing of Ascension off the blessing deck, do I still have to bury a random card from my discard pile in accordance with the instruction on the card?
I feel like the answer should be no, and that is the (unofficial) answer stated here; but it does seem a little odd, as, for instance, that would mean that if I played a Blessing of Abraxas, copying a Blessing of Abraxas off the top of the blessings discard pile, I don't have to pay the Abraxas corruption cost off either card. Is that the way it's supposed to work, or is there some subtlety of the rules I'm missing?
It feels to me that the rule should be "a given skill can only be replaced once" rather than "a given check can only have one replacement". Not sure if that's precise enough to go in the rulebook, but its the right sort of idea - parallel replacements of the same thing do not work, but nested replacements are okay (with the possible exception of cycles).
I guess I don't really think of PACG as an RPG. Its like... a related property that shares some characters and themes, but I don't feel the need to portray the character I'm playing the way I do when playing an RPG.
FWIW, I also think its reasonable to have preferences even within the context of an RPG - its not that you don't get into whatever character you happen to be playing, but people do still develop affinities for certain archetypes, and when I look back across the characters I've played there are definitely some that stand out more in my memory than others. If your favorite is always the current one that's great for you, but I don't know that its definitionally true for everyone.
For context: I usually play with a fairly large group - 4 to 6 players. I imagine my preferences might be different if I were playing with a smaller group. But what I have found is: its fun to be able to do lots of things. I enjoy having the capability to explore multiple times per turn, have options for dealing with whatever shows up, and occasionally lend a hand to my allies at key moments. As such, I'm a big fan of strategies that let you recharge a lot of stuff, and characters that lend themselves to this - because you get to play your entire hand over and over and over again, without risk of killing yourself.
So I think my favorite character experience so far is playing Lightning Thief Simoun through Mummy's Mask. With Horus->move->examine->maybe encounter->explore combos you get to go through a lot of location deck cards. You can stack knives to kill just about any monster. You have bonuses (and a good dex and int) to handle most barriers. There's a fair number of boons you can get, and when you run across the odd nasty barrier or a good boon you can't get you can just evade (and move, and examine, and maybe encounter something else instead) and let someone else deal with it. You can bless your allies at key times. And it all recharges, so you never have to worry about running out of things to do.
I enjoyed playing Mother Myrtle through Season of the RIghteous for similar reasons, though I will note that one wants to be a bit careful with that particular pairing. Myrtle with lategame WotR spells gets out of hand in a hurry, and while winning scenarios in one turn might be fun for you, its not necessarily fun for the people you're playing with.
I understand the argument and I think its valid, but I think there's also merit in the argument that cards are somewhat hard to refer to quickly as important pieces of information are buried in the middle of blocks of text. Perhaps keeping the full text but finding a way to highlight the key bits of information you may wish to refer to would be a reasonable compromise? For instance, if one is a caster, one pretty quickly gets used to the pattern of recharge checks, but (in my experience) one frequently needs to refer back to the card to look up the recharge DC. So if it read, for instance, "After playing this card, if you do not have the Arcane skill, banish it; otherwise, succeed at an Arcane 6 check to recharge this card instead of discarding it." it would still have all the information for those that need it but would also be quicker to refer to.
Not to throw a further wrinkle into these things, but doesn't Vic's comment here about damage reduction superseding the "one of each type" limit (which, admittedly, contradicts previous posts on the same topic) also apply to the Snakeskin Tunic case? It doesn't affect most of the rest of what we've been talking about, but I wonder if we're even still confident in the answer for that specific case.
Not sure if there are any cards that let you draw a card, but I think there are character abilities - as I recall, at least one version of Ezren gets to examine and sometimes draw the top card of his deck when he casts a spell. But yes, there are other pieces that would be needed for such a situation to exist, so no direct ruling on this hypothetical situation is likely forthcoming.
That said: I don't think any such ruling is necessary, either - the reason why I constructed this hypothetical situation is because its *obvious* what's supposed to happen. Its obvious you can't know which DoAD you drew, it's obvious that you should be able to play the card you draw if its unclear whether its the same one, and it's obvious (to me, at least) that whether you can play a card should not depend on (your knowledge of) the exact contents of your deck. So its obvious that you should be able to play the drawn DoAD in that case.
The reason why that case is interesting despite being purely hypothetical is: if we assert that shuffling and recharging should not be meaningfully different in this respect, then it is *also* obvious what happens with Dagger of Doubling. Now, I agree - there's a bit of a logical leap there. And if you disagree, that's fine; I just want to make sure we understand the implications of the argument that the recharged-and-redrawn Dagger of Doubling is still the same weapon. It means that there is a meaningful distinction between recharging and shuffling into deck in terms of card behavior. And it means that the rules you play by depend on how good your memory of your recharged cards is (but you're not allowed to lie). Good luck enforcing that consistently in Organized Play.
I find these conclusions unreasonable. I find it far more reasonable to assert that these scenarios are, in fact, identical. You are, of course, welcome to disagree. But I know how I intended to play it in my home games.
Thing is: my hypothetical example did not give any ability to choose.
If the wording were "shuffle into your deck to search and draw", then yes - having 2 copies allows you to assert that one of the two in the deck is the "other" one, and even if you don't know which physical card it was, they're identical, so you just pick one, designate it the "other" one, and there's no problem.
But if you have to shuffle and then simply draw the top card... you have no choice as to which copy you get. You cannot choose to have drawn the "other" one, because you didn't get a choice. Hence, you have a 50% chance of having the "same" one, a 50% chance of having the "other" one, and no way to know which. So how, then, can your ability to play it depend on which one you have? And if we posit that you are, in fact, allowed to play it despite the fact that it might be the "same" one, it seems odd that the behavior of a card depends on what else is in your deck - I'm not sure if there's any other mechanic in the game that works like that.
And yes, this is a hypothetical situation - I'm not aware of any exact analog to this in the game today - but there's nothing in the rules preventing such a situation. And its not at all clear to me that the difference between "recharge" and "shuffle into your deck" or "draw" and "search and draw" is intended to matter in this way. Sure, in this case, its simple to keep track of which card was the recharged one, but if other cards or mechanics were involved it could be harder to keep track. And it kinda seems to me that knowing the exact order of all cards you have recharged since last reshuffle should not be required to play the game by the rules.
I think I see where you're coming from. To try to make the argument a bit clearer: lets consider a hypothetical card, Dagger of Almost Doubling, that works like Dagger of Doubling, except the discard-to-search power is replaced with "you may additionally shuffle this card into your deck to draw a card". If I use this ability, and I draw a DoAD, can I play it for its other ability on the same check?
First, lets consider the case where I have another DoAD in my deck. When I draw a new DoAD, there is legitimately no way to know whether the one I've just drawn is the one I played or the other one. So the answer as to whether I can play this DoAD again *cannot* depend on whether its the same one or not. Either we must say "you cannot play a card with the same name because it might be the same card", or we must say "you can play this card even though it might be the same one". Since the first is (hopefully?) clearly wrong, that means we must be able to play the DoAD we've drawn.
Now, one could argue that this case is only different because we don't know which DoAD we've drawn - and that if we only have one DoAD in our deck, and we knew it was the same one, the answer could be different. But... what if I can't remember? Should my ability to play the card I draw depend on whether I remember how many copies of a card are in my deck? I'd argue that the answer is pretty clearly no. So I would argue that, in this case, you have to be allowed to play the DoAD you draw, regardless of the state of your deck.
The question, then, is if the difference between DoAD and DoD is relevant - does the difference between "shuffle into your deck and then draw" and "recharge to search and draw" change the answer, and if so, why?
Thanks for the links re: setting aside. It does seem clear what the rule is supposed to do, regardless of the exact wording.
Yes, exactly. You must play "another" weapon. It isn't so much that you can't play the DD twice, as that you must play another weapon to be able to play the second power. So, yes, if you played Fate Blade or another card after defining your Combat check with the DD, then you could indeed play the DD a second time on the same check.
I kinda feel like this interpretation is inconsistent. It seems to me that one of two things should be true:
1. DD, after being recharged and redrawn, is a "different" weapon. In this case, you should be able to play it on itself, regardless of whether you play anything else.
2. DD, after being recharged and redrawn, is still "the same" weapon. In this case, I feel like you run afoul of "a specific card's power may only be used once per check or step" - so regardless of whether you play another weapon or not, there's just a blanket rule from playing the same card twice on the same check or step.
Splitting the difference and arguing that its a different enough card to avoid the "only play a given card once per check" rule but not different enough to count as "another weapon" strikes me as sort of a strange and inconsistent middle ground.
Has there been some ruling that makes clear that that's the rule's intent? I mean, the example refers to such a case, but there's nothing in the rule itself about needing to figure out where the card goes - its a fairly general statement about playing cards such that they leave you hand and how to resolve them.
Yes, you can draw it. No, you can't play it twice. See this thread. And while cards don't have memories, you do. The game does ask you to remember things from time to time. And you aren't being asked to remember much here, just that the card you put on the bottom of your deck has already been played.
The discussion in that thread seems to center on the notion of whether the card itself counts as "another weapon". If that's the limitation that prevents you from playing it on itself, would it change the dynamic if I played another knife in between? That is, I use a DD to use ranged + whatever for my combat check, recharge it to draw itself, and then use a Fate Blade to add to the check; at this point, whether or not the DD is "another weapon" relative to itself, the Fate Blade *definitely* is - can I now use the DD to add to the check as well, even if I couldn't before?
Two related rules questions came up in our game, around Simoun (or more generally, any character that recharges weapons instead of discarding them) and Dagger of Doubling. And in both cases, I can find sections of the rulebook that support each answer.
1. Can you use a Dagger of Doubling to draw itself? The idea being: you use the discard ability of the dagger ("search your deck for a weapon that has the Knife trait and draw it"), but your character ability to recharge instead of discarding kicks in at which point the dagger is now in your deck and is a valid target for the ability.
On the one hand: page 8 of the Mummy's Mask rulebook states "When you play cards... set them aside while you process their effects." This would imply that the Dagger is set aside while you're drawing a knife, only then recharging and winding up on the bottom of your deck.
On the other hand, lower down the page the rulebook states "perform the first action required by a power before performing any other action. For example, if a card says 'Recharge this card to recharge a card from your discard pile', recharge the card you're playing before recharging the card from your discard pile". Note that this is the opposite of what's implied by the previous rule - if you set aside, evaluate the effect, and then recharge the card, you wind up with the played card on the bottom. And applying this rule to our situation, the Dagger recharges before we search our deck for a knife so can target itself (or get shuffled into the deck if we target something else).
2. Assuming that the answer to question 1 is yes: can you then play the Dagger a second time on the same check, for the other ability?
On the one hand: the rulebook states "a specific card's power may only be used once per check or step". Which seems like a pretty clear no.
On the other hand, the following example re: Shock Lizard clarifies "You can do either, but you cannot do both; once you play the card one way, it's no longer in your hand for you to play it the other way" - but what if the card is, in fact, still in your hand despite being played, as with the Dagger?
More generally: it feels like preventing the Dagger from being played a second time violates the metarule "Card's Don't Have Memories". The card doesn't know that it was already played on your check; it just knows that "another weapon" was played, so why shouldn't it be able to be played again?
Its true that there are things we can independently change to affect the difficulty of the game. However, I think its also true that difficulty could be added in more organic and interesting ways if its designed into the adventures rather than being grafted on at the end. I think it'd be a lot more interesting if *this* adventure has an extra villain, and *that* adventure has an extra scenario effect, and there's a branch in the story where you can pick between 3 easy adventures and 2 hard ones... as opposed to just "we'll pull 4 blessings out of the blessings deck and all checks are 1 harder". Its not that the end difficulty will necessarily be any different, but it will come in a more interesting form.
And that level of integration is much harder to do on one's own - thus, I think its a reasonable topic to discuss here.
You raise an interesting point re: difficulty; I agree that increased difficulty as a penalty for failure is problematic as you don't want new players repeatedly failing, thereby making what follows even more difficult until the whole thing becomes unplayable; that said, it would be nice if there was *some* mechanism for making the game more challenging.
When my group first started we failed a number of missions, some more than once, and had a party member die and need to be replaced over the first dozen or so missions - and while partly that's because it was Wrath (which is notoriously challenging in the early decks), its mostly because we didn't know what we were doing. Whereas now that we've been playing for ~2 years, we very rarely fail, and we *never* die. I honestly couldn't tell you the last time we failed a mission. So while I think the initial difficulty level is appropriate, it would be nice if there was a harder difficulty level for more experienced players.
I can think of a couple of ways this could be implemented.
Not sure how this would all fit together from a narrative perspective, but it would be interesting to have the option of tuning the game such that even experienced players need to pay attention and play carefully if they want to win (or even survive).
I mean, I 'd agree that's what the wording says. I think people are more speaking about the intuition (either in a real physical sense or even the RPG underpinnings of the game) of casting chain lightning at a group of monsters and killing them all... but only having one of them take lightning damage.
So, (vaguely) related question: what happens if you get moved during a sequence of examines? For instance, if I use a Blessing of Nethys to explore a location, and the first examine hits something that moves me (I don't have the cards in front of me, but this came up with one of the early adventures - Sandstorm, maybe?). In particular:
a) Does my second examine hit my new location or my old location?
I think you want to be careful about scaling back Mother Myrtle's recharge ability too much, because the fact that you get to recharge all sorts of crazy stuff that isn't even on the map for most characters is a big part of what makes her distinctive and fun. The fact that you can build a deck almost entirely out of stuff that recharges and thus cycle through it aggressively, is fun. The fact that there are a lot of cards that are good for you but much less interesting for other casters gives her a very distinctive playstyle, which I appreciate.
Restricting her to things that are already theoretically rechargeable I think would be very hard to get right, as, for instance, the ability to recharge potions (which are normally banish only) is a big part of what makes her an Alchemist. And a number of the other banish-only cards and spells aren't really that concerning. Its really just Time Stop and one or two other cards (Book of the Damned, maybe?) that are problematic. It might be possible to fix by just changing "Banish" to "Remove from the game" for a couple of the really high-powered things.
Ultimately: while Myrtle does break the game in non-OP Righteous deck 6, I'm not convinced she's broken in any other context. Through the first 5 decks of Righteous, she was a totally reasonable casting character on par with other ones we played - a little weaker in raw combat ability though more versatile than someone like Ezren. And I'm not aware of anything in the other sets that would be problematic to the same degree. So while I totally understand the impetus to rein in the absurdity of Mother Myrtle Time Stop, I do think it would be important to do it in a way that doesn't otherwise disrupt her playstyle/capabilities very much.
Keith Richmond wrote:
Yeah. In a previous scenario where I only had one mythic charge adder (so wasn't escalating, but was still unbounded on explores) we counted 56 explores in one turn. Note that we didn't figure this out by counting as we went along - we just counted how many cards were left at the end and subtracted.
So, I have the full write-up of this somewhere with the exact dice pools and whatever if you're actually curious, but to give the general idea:
The fundamental question is how one gets enough mythic charges. Because once I tell you that I had 55 mythic charges (and 7 left on Verbovezzor), its easy enough to see how Elemental Bombardment gets to those sorts of numbers, as you gain 1d20+2 per mythic charge if you spend them all.
And the answer is: Reanimator Mother Myrtle and Time Stop. Myrtle doesn't have Arcane so Time Stop banishes instead of burying, which means it discards or recharges instead - so you can use it more than once. And thanks to Reanimator, every time you kill something you get to fish it out of your deck/discard pile. And with a couple Potion of Healings or Cures, you can make sure everything else stays in your deck and out of your discard pile. So its now basically a game of "every time you get in a fight, spend a mythic charge and draw your entire deck".
And at that point its easy. All you need is a way to gain mythic charges (Blessing of Ascension, Nectar of the Gods, etc.), a way to move mid-turn (say, Boots of Teleportation), and enough extra explores to get from one fight to the next - and now you can explore as many times as you want, at as many locations as you need to, each turn. And if you have more than one mythic charge gainer, you start gaining more mythic charges than you lose and they steadily accumulate over the course of your (arbitrarily long) turn. I was up to 3 mythic charge gainers so was netting +2 every time I fought something.
So, with two full locations as a run-up to the boss's location, I got up to 26 mythic charges. Then I dropped a Verbovezzor and the Mythic Marshall used the first 5 explores of the last location to give me his 6, plus 19 off the Verbovezzor. And I fought a few things in that last deck as well, bringing me to 55. With 7 left on Verbovezzor. And blessings. And so on. One Elemental Bombardment later.... 861.
My guess is that it doesn't take anything *too* weird to hit that sort of number. There's probably a Verbovezzor or something involved, but given that your average Elemental Bombardment in deck 6 cracks 100 if you blow all your mythic charges on it, it doesn't seem too unreasonable that with a good roll and some slightly more exotic buffs you could get up around 2-300. I don't remember exactly what my group's highest roll was playing through Wrath of the Righteous, but I'm sure it was well over 200.
Of course, if you *do* put together some more exotic combos things can get *really* out of hand. We later went back and played Season of the Righteous, and I *do* recall the highest roll we saw in that. Because it was an 861.
Thanks for the responses.
1) Yeah, I think its pretty clear that the rules say it doesn't work. That said, I would guess that the rule was written with an eye towards preventing, say, playing both a weapon and a spell on a check to replace your combat check both with melee + whatever and with arcane + whatever, because that doesn't make sense. So its plausible to me that its intended to mean that you can't perform more than one substitution per skill as opposed to one per check.
Then again, maybe the intent is just that she uses bombs and the like for combat.
2) So if I'm reading this thread correctly, I believe Myrtle is the uncontentious case, because she does not say "instead of" - the wording is identical to WotR Kyra, on which Vic was pretty explicit (here). So this is a different case than the debate regarding Varril in the other thread, right?
Question 1: Is Mother Myrtle intended to be able to use attack spells?
My initial impression upon reading the character was that you could use attack spells as part of your combat ability. In particular: you cast, say, Force Missiles to use your Arcane skill +2d4 for your combat check, and then use her ability to use Wisdom in place of Arcane to get some reasonable attack roll against things. And then her ability to recharge otherwise-banished arcane cards kicks in, and so you keep the spell in your deck.
However, reading the relevant section of the rules from the Wrath of the Righteous FAQ:
Some cards allow you to use a particular skill for a specific type of check, or to use one skill instead of another. (These cards generally say things like "For your combat check, use your Strength or Melee skill," or "Use your Strength skill instead of your Diplomacy skill.") You may play only 1 such card or use only 1 such power to determine which skill you're using.
This seems to imply that while I can replace my combat check with arcane, or my arcane check with wisdom, I can't do both due to the "may only play 1" restriction, which would significantly limit the value of such cards. Is this intended, or are you allowed to do "nested" replacements of this sort?
Question 2: When I use my Wisdom skill for an Arcane check, is it now a Wisdom check as well? For instance, if I'm playing Wrath of the Righteous, does a Wisdom Mythic Path apply to my Arcane checks? It clearly does if I were using a wisdom-based arcane skill, but its a little less clear if "using your wisdom skill" is the same as "making a wisdom check".