Am I allowed to evade a Skeleton Horde?


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


Judging by replies I've seen in other threads (over on BGG and here), I think most people would say that you are allowed to evade a Skeleton Horde Barrier.

I suspect this is in fact incorrect, while you are allowed to evade the Ancient Skeleton Henchmen it summons, you are not allowed to evade the Skeleton Horde Barrier card itself. What I would like to get an official response for this and possibly an addition made to the FAQ (for whatever the correct answer happens to be).

If you are wondering what the difference is between evading the Skeleton Horde and evading the summoned Ancient Skeleton is, here's an example.

In a four player game, Merisiel encounters a Skeleton Horde Barrier. The other three characters are all located in open locations.

Scenario 1 (which I suspect most people do)
Merisiel simply evades the Skeleton Horde Barrier and it gets shuffled back into the location deck. The Skeleton Horde Barrier is not banished and no Ancient Skeletons are summoned.

Scenario 2 (which I think is the correct sequence)
Do what the card says, each character at an open location summons and encounters an Ancient Skeletons henchman. Merisiel evades her Ancient Skeleton henchman, she's good at doing things like that. The other three characters now have to either attempt to defeat their Ancient Skeleton henchman or, if possible, evade them. After this, all the Ancient Skeleton henchman are banished as is the Skeleton Horde.

Points to note:
In scenario 2, the Skeleton Horde is always banished at the end, the card itself is never evaded so it can't get shuffled back into the deck it came from. The Ancient Skeleton henchmen it summoned can be evaded.
The Skeleton Horde Barrier isn't the card that needs to be evaded, it's the Ancient Skeleton henchman that need to be evaded. It doesn't matter if the active player can or cannot evade the Ancient Skeleton henchman, any player at an open location still has to encounter their own Ancient Skeleton henchman.

Anyway, the above is my current understanding of the rules, I'm sure others have different views so it would be nice to obtain an official view on how the card should be played. I must admit, the example I outlined above come up in a game I played and we followed scenario 1 (Merisiel evaded the Skeleton Horde and it was shuffled back into the deck) but I now think sequence is incorrect. But what do I know :)


As a follow up to Skeleton Hordes, there is a similar question as to how do you deal with the Falling Bell Barrier.

Over on BGG, there is a thread in the Skinsaw Murders forum asking how to deal with the card if one or more character evades it. So far, there have been a number of replies, most of them giving a different viewpoint or answer.

Here's a copy of the reply I made.

The way I would deal with Falling Bell is just to follow the instructions on the card. It's not really any different to Skeleton Horde. The important thing to note is that you banish the card after you complete the instructions, it makes no difference if one or more characters have evaded the barrier or not.

The usual rule for when you evade a card is that it gets shuffled back into the deck it came from (or if it was summoned it is returned to the box). Due to the fact that Falling Bell (and Skeleton Horde for that matter) has the words "Banish this card" on it means the card is banished, even if the card was evaded. Text on the card over-rule the rulebook (i.e. the Golden Rule)

So, it doesn't matter how many characters are in the same location when Falling Bell was encountered, each character has to either attempt to defeat it or (if possible) they may evade it. If one character evades it, then any other character at that location still has to either attempt to defeat it or evade it. It makes no difference if one character does or does not evade Falling Bell, the text of the card applies separately to each character.

After the encounter, the card is banished. It doesn't get shuffled back into the deck for any reason. The card text doesn't say "Banish this card if defeated", it just says "Banish this card". Follow the instructions, don't bring the assumption that the card needs to be defeated to be banished. Even with the fact that an evaded card is "neither defeated nor undefeated", it makes no difference. Nowhere does the card say "Do not banish this card if undefeated".

For example, Merisiel and Kyra are in the same location and Merisiel encounters a Falling Bell. Merisiel evades the bell but Kyra (having no way to evade) still has to attempt the check to defeat the barrier. It doesn't matter if Kyra fails or succeeds at the check, the Barrier card Falling Bell is now banished.

Like most cases, follow the instructions on the card :)


But if you evade the card, you don't use any of the instructions on the card itself, just like a non-spellcaster discarding a spell without casting it.

I think you could evade either of these and they'll get shuffled back into the deck without doing anything and without getting banished.


You're wrong on one thing. Evaded, non-summoned, cards go back into the deck that they came from. There are actually 3 states cards have--Defeated, Undefeated, and Evaded. The way you worded your statement is the old "Merisiel cleans out the Woods without breaking a sweat" interpretation because the Woods states that Undefeated non-henchman/villain monsters are banished. That doesn't work as it is neither defeated nor undefeated but simply evaded.

Now, for the Falling Bell, the same rule applies. If you evade a card, the card goes back into the deck. So, if Meri is the active player, she can either try to succeed at the check OR evade the encounter where the card goes back into the deck.

I think that you're missing where the Evade the Encounter step comes in the order. It comes BEFORE you do anything on the card. So, you flip the card and see what it is. Then, you immediately decide to encounter or evade that card. Importantly, nothing on the card matters until you decide to encounter it (other than if it is immune to Mental trait so you can't play certain spells that might let you evade it). So, in your examples, the Falling Bell and the Skeleton Horde are either fully encountered or evaded and sent back to that deck. The only difference is the Horde card gives you a separate encounter after the first one giving you a 2nd chance to evade just your monster. So, Meri could do either Scenario 1 or 2 there. However, Meri can't evade an already Falling Bell.


Having only seen Falling Bell once, briefly, I'm not 100 % sure on it, but I believe the options would be :

A-Evade it entirely (shuffle it back into deck, IGNORING the text that says to banish it, just like kysmartman says. That text would not trigger if it's evaded), or,

B- if it's not evaded when it is fist found, it has to be encountered by everyone(no having one person evade their individual bell while others encounter it).

Being more familiar with Skeleton Horde, I fully agree with kysmartman: either

A: evade the barrier, in which case, it is NOT banished, because that text never gets triggered, or
B: encounter the barrier, in which case, everyone gets a summoned skeleton, the individual skeleton can be evaded (back to the box), or encountered, by each person.

I think I basically just said the same thing, slightly differently presented. Oh well, not going to delete the post now. :)


Why say that if you evade a card then you ignore the text on the card? Nowhere in the rules does it suggest that you can (or need) do that.

Read the "Encounter A Card" sequence (in either the revised PDF rulebook or the FAQ). It's clear you have to read the card before you start any of the checks. You have to read the card to ensure it doesn't have any immunities to specific traits. Even if you plan on evading the card, you still have to pay attention to the text on the card.

I can't see a reason why you should need to have to ignore the text on the card if you do evade. If you evade a card then it is immediately shuffled back into the deck (or if summoned, it is returned to the box). Evading a card is before any of the checks so it doesn't matter at that point what the card says because it's no longer around. There is no need to ignore the text on the card.

The point with Skeleton Horde is that the card itself is a placeholder. Read the "Encounter A Card" sequence.

Quote:

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

Evade the Card (Optional). If you have a power or card that lets you evade the card you’re encountering, you may immediately shuffle it back into the deck; it is neither defeated nor undefeated.

"After you flip over the top card of the location deck, put it on top of the deck and read it". You read Skeleton Horde and it tells you that (at that point) you summon Ancient Skeleton henchmen and then banish Skeleton Horde.

Once you begin the "Evade the Card" step, Skeleton Horde is no longer present. You have summoned Ancient Skeleton henchmen instead.

The Skeleton Horde is always banished, even if the active player does evade the Ancient Skeleton henchmen. There is no other reason why Skeleton Horde has the words "banish this card" printed on the card. Do what the card says. It doesn't say "Banish this card if defeated", it doesn't say "Banish this card if not evaded", it just tells us to banish the card.

Skeleton Horde is just a placeholder for the Ancient Skeleton henchmen. It's the Ancient Skeleton henchmen that need to be evaded, not the Skeleton Horde.


@xris - here's my opinion on this...

Reading the card is not the same as doing what it says on the card.

0) Read the card - You *read* the card before the evade step. (I think this is just to check for immunities or if there's some other reason why it cannot be evaded)

1) Evade the Card (Optional) - if you evade the card it is immediately shuffled back into its deck (summoned cards go back to the deck they were summoned from).

2) Apply Before the Encounter effects.

3) Attempt the Check. If the card is a boon, you may try to acquire it for your deck; if it’s a bane, you must try to defeat it (see Attempting a Check, below). If a bane’s Check to Defeat section says “None,” look at the bane’s powers, and immediately do whatever it says there.

Note the bit in bold in #3... this is where the card is actually resolved. If you evaded the bell, Skeleton Horde (or any card) in #1 then #3 (and #2) never happen so the card text does not resolve.

In other words: Evaded Hordes do not summon Skeletons and are not banished. I'm >95% certain of that!

---

Falling bell says "Each character at this location encounters this barrier", which is a whole new kettle of monkeys.

Does that text only kick in if the first character encounters the card? Or is this text an example of an exception which should happen even if the first character evades the bell?

My guess is that this affects the evade step, so DOES happen before the evade step, but I'm only 51% sure on that...


@ h4ppy

My point of view is centred around the fact that Skeleton Horde never makes it to the "Evade the Card" step. What you say in your point 3) is good (the best argument I've seen) but since Skeleton Horde isn't around at that point then it doesn't apply. It may well apply to a card such as Pit of Malfeshnekor but not with Skeleton Horde (because by then the Skeleton Horde has been replaced by the Ancient Skeleton henchmen).

I'm using the guideline set out on page 22 of the new rulebook.

Quote:
Cards Do What They Say. Read any card as it is encountered or played, and do whatever it says as soon as it makes sense to do so. Let the card tell you what to do, and don’t impose limitations that aren’t there.

"do whatever it says as soon as it makes sense to do so". My interpretation is that is does make sense to implement what Skeleton Horde says at the point before the evade happens.

BTW, Falling Bell does have a "Check to Defeat" so your point 3) doesn't apply to that card. But as you say, Falling Bell is another can'o'worms, one I would also like to see better defined.


It all depends on whether the card's text is resolved in step zero (when it is read) or in step 3 (during the check part of the sequence).

When we get an official answer I'll update the turn sequence docs if it changes anything.


Evading the card generally prevents that card's effects from triggering. If you evade a Skeleton Horde, it goes back into the deck without being resolved.

It's still important to read the card, because cards can contain rules that override the general game rules.

The real Falling Bell ambiguity lies in the "shuffle the card back into the deck" part of evading, since the Falling Bell says that other characters actually encounter it, rather than summoning a copy of itself for those encounters.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

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When you read the card, you are looking first for one thing:
Does the card say anything that would stop you from doing whatever you do to evade it?
If it doesn't, and you have the power and desire to evade, you shuffle the card back in the deck. There are no additional rules that come into play then.

So, Falling Bell at a location with Merisiel and Amiri, on Merisiel's turn:
Merisiel evades it, it shuffles back into the deck.
or
Merisiel declines to evade it, encounters it, Amiri encounters it.
but not
Merisiel evades it, Amiri encounters it.

Falling Bell on Amiri's turn:
Amiri encounters it, Merisiel evades it.
or
Amiri encounters it, Merisiel declines to evade it.
but not
Merisiel encounters it, evades it, it shuffles back into the deck.

Same with Skeleton Horde. To stop this from occurring, a card would have to say either "This card cannot be evaded" or "You cannot (X)," where X is "play spells" or "play items" or "use character powers" or whatever it is that allows you to evade.

This confusion might be happening because you haven't seen any cards that explicitly cannot be evaded yet. In adventure 3, you will start seeing those, and I think it will be clearer which cards can and cannot be evaded.


Wait, if I read that correctly, when you said "Same with Skeleton Horde", wouldn't that mean you can't have Merisiel encounter the Skeleton Horde, but evade the Skeleton Minion? I can see why that can't be done with the bell, but if that can't be done with Skelton Horde, I am going to have to rethink some stuff...

Also, good to know if a different character encounters falling bell, Merisiel can evade her copy of the bell.


@Mike: OK, so I was 49% right ;)

I think my gut feel was correct on this - namely that

- you only 'read' the cards in #0 to see if they prevent evasion
- if you evade then nothing else happens

It's just that I wasn't sure if Falling Bell's wording was meant to affect the evasion as well.

@Markon - There are two separate encounters with Skeleton Horde: one with the Horde (barrier) and one with the Skeleton (monster). Each encounter has an evade step so you can evade either. So, yes, Merisiel can encounter the Horde, not evade it for some reason and then evade the Ancient Skeleton it summons.

And Mike already clarified that Merisiel can evade her copy of Amiri's Falling Bell, it just doesn't get shuffled into the deck (since she's just dealing with an ethereal copy rather than the card itself).

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

I'll say it again, this time with Skeleton Horde.

Skeleton Horde at a location with Merisiel and Amiri, on Merisiel's turn:
Merisiel evades the barrier, it shuffles back into the deck.
or
Merisiel declines to evade the barrier, encounters a Skeleton, evades it, Amiri encounters a Skeleton.
or
Merisiel declines to evade the barrier, encounters a Skeleton, declines to evade it, Amiri encounters a Skeleton.
but not
Merisiel evades the barrier, Amiri encounters a Skeleton.

Skeleton Horde on Amiri's turn:
Amiri encounters the barrier, Amiri encounters a Skeleton, Merisiel evades a Skeleton.
or
Amiri encounters the barrier, Amiri encounters a Skeleton, Merisiel declines to evade a Skeleton.
but not
Merisiel encounters the barrier, evades it, it shuffles back into the deck.

Hope that helps.


Ok, my understanding of Skelton Hoard was right, I guess I just was (and still am) confused by the sentence "Same with Skeleton Hoard", because it doesn't quite look the same to me. I get how to handle both cards, I'm not sure if I would have handled Falling Bell right before all this, (I never thought much about it, Merisiel wasn't there the one time I encountered the card). Thanks guys!


Thanks Mike, those examples you give clear up the sequence questions I had and explains how to deal with Barrier cards like Skeleton Horde, Goblin Raid, Falling Bell and even Pit of Malfeshnekor. Cheers!


Mike Selinker wrote:

So, Falling Bell at a location with Merisiel and Amiri, on Merisiel's turn:

[...]
Merisiel declines to evade it, encounters it, Amiri encounters it.

Mike, what happens if Amiri evades the falling bell? By the card's text, she is encountering the Falling Bell, so evading it should shuffle it back into the location deck (it's not actually a summoned card).

Of course, it is also banished if another character encounters and does not evade it. For sanity, the only sensible move is to banish the card unless all characters evade it, but there are potential rules issues because all the characters are effectively encountering the same card (other abilities could muck with this, too).

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

Once your party has passed the initial-character-evades-or-not step, the card's powers take effect. So nothing is going to shuffle that back into the deck once that occurs. The next thing that's going to happen to the card is that it's going to be banished, as noted at the end of the card.


Also, it is becoming apparent from this discussion that a very valid course of action is to give Merisiel all your blessing and extra explore allies so that she can scout the entire location deck for you ;)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I was not aware there was another way to play Merisiel.

Of course, with a Masterwork Tools and a weapon in-hand, "scout" isn't really the word for it. Feels good clearing an entire location with Merisiel in a turn or two, especially if you've got Father Z and Healing Staves to recover with afterwards.


Captain Bulldozer wrote:
Also, it is becoming apparent from this discussion that a very valid course of action is to give Merisiel all your blessing and extra explore allies so that she can scout the entire location deck for you ;)

Except that you might waste all those extra explores... evading means you shuffle it in, and once shuffled, you may encounter the same card over and over again. Using the ability is great; trying to exploit it can backfire. My Merisiel has the scars to prove it.


Mike Selinker wrote:

I'll say it again, this time with Skeleton Horde.

Skeleton Horde at a location with Merisiel and Amiri, on Merisiel's turn:
Merisiel evades the barrier, it shuffles back into the deck.
or
Merisiel declines to evade the barrier, encounters a Skeleton, evades it, Amiri encounters a Skeleton.
or
Merisiel declines to evade the barrier, encounters a Skeleton, declines to evade it, Amiri encounters a Skeleton.
but not
Merisiel evades the barrier, Amiri encounters a Skeleton.

Wuuuuuuuutttt??? Merisiel can evade barriers!? I didn't know this! So OP! My party will no longer threaten me when I bump into <insert horde type here>. Wow!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Merisiel can evade -everything-.


Until we see the cards that say "can't be evaded"... I'm sure they will be harmless though :P


There already is one in AP2. It is one of the two Zombie barriers. It says that if everyone doesn't DEFEAT the Zombie, the barrier is undefeated. That means you can't evade your zombie like Meri can the other Summon barrier monsters. Of course, she can evade the card itself, but it goes back in the deck.


You could evade it though, say if Merisiel was close to death. The card will be back at some point (unless the location gets closed by henchman/villian being defeated), but she's still alive for now!


I can just imagine the look on everyone else's faces.

"Oh, thanks for beating all those nasty monsters the barrier created, but really, I just don't feel like it. Shuffle that barrier back into your location. If you hit it again, I'll just evade it again. Have fun guys!"

Heh. So rogue like.


I'd also forgotten about Monster in the Closet producing a Goblin Raider that has to be defeated to banish MitC so there's 2.

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