Summon Monster + Veteran monster


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion

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This came up the other night:

In AD6S1, Lem encounters an ogre (combat 14), and since Lem has never been particularly effective at combat, it's a good thing he took the Summon Monster loot spell.

Lem plays Summon monster, pulling out an Enchantress (combat 8) whose text states (as all Veteran traited cards seem to) that her check to defeat is increased by the AD# (which in this case is 6). The question then becomes, does this increase count towards the value the enchantress is worth when fighting the ogre?

I was originally leaning towards the answer being "no", but the summon monster card does say you should use the highest difficulty to defeat for the combat check, not specifically the highest printed difficulty to defeat.

Thematically, if you encounter an enchantress (or other Veteran) in AD6, they are 6 points tougher to beat... would summoning such a monster inherently have to be weaker than the ones you're encountering?

I'm still leaning toward the answer being "no" here, but our Lem player did make some convincing arguments for interpreting the card in the way that would have won him the check. Though, if the answer is "yes" that potentially opens up other cans of worms...

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

I'm curious what other worm cans you think this would open.


I believe the effect of the card is 'always on;' it's not an ability of the enchantress, herself, as much as it is an overwriting rule effect in play and as such, the Enchantress's check to defeat would be modified by the adventure number, even if summoned by the Summon Monster card.

Otherwise, you could argue that things like the Thieves Tools would always work on a card just because its printed value is under the tool's limit, even if the adventure deck number added on would make it over.


The "can of worms" is in regards to that ability technically being classified as a power. Summon monster would seem to work in such a way as to not use any of the monster's powers when summoned, only it's difficulty to defeat. However, some powers on monsters directly modify that difficulty. The veteran case is perhaps a bit more clear cut, but what about monsters who have powers that say something to the effect of "make this check or the difficulty to defeat is increased by this much". Or even worse, if *this power* is being activated, what about powers that, for example, deal damage outside of combat. Would the Scout's before combat ranged damage be included towards the check as well? I'm fairly certain that's not the kind of thing that was intended when summon monster was thought out, but if one power is being activated, why not all?

There's also the question of what kind of precedent to set here, as future (or current?) design space may be interested in abilities which put monsters into players hands and may or may not have powers similar to Summon Monster.


Firedale2002 wrote:

I believe the effect of the card is 'always on;' it's not an ability of the enchantress, herself, as much as it is an overwriting rule effect in play and as such, the Enchantress's check to defeat would be modified by the adventure number, even if summoned by the Summon Monster card.

Otherwise, you could argue that things like the Thieves Tools would always work on a card just because its printed value is under the tool's limit, even if the adventure deck number added on would make it over.

It's not an issue with the tools because in that instance, the powers of the barrier you're encountering are clearly triggering, making the check to defeat easily determined. The question, at the heart here, is whether or not the powers of a monster summoned in defense (including others that don't directly modify the difficulty to defeat) would be active. In RotR, I believe this situation is quite unique, but S&S or future releases may delve into this summoning power more deeply.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So in general, you want to know if you summon a card (in this case, a monster) and that card is a Veteran card (Add deck #), does the Veteran power of the card apply?

I can understand the confusion because in a lot of cases, the powers of a summoned monster (or other bane) does not apply. (i.e. A summoned henchmen does not allow the player to attempt to close a location once defeated even if it say it so on the card.) So does the Veteran power apply?

Personally, I think it does. Part of the determining the difficulty of the check of the monster is adding the deck number of the scenario. And even though the monster is on your side, I'd still think this applies.

Again, from another thread, I'm applying the common sense rule that if you are summoning a monster to fight for you, and it has the ability to be tougher then it will be.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

This was actually discussed earlier.

In my opinion, you apply this rule:

RotR Rulebook p22 wrote:
Read any card as it is encountered or played, and do whatever it says as soon as it makes sense to do so.

So, as soon as it makes sense to do so is the key thing. And it makes no sense to apply anything related to encountering the monster you summon. But not all the powers relate to encountering the summoned monster.

So, let's look at the things that could possibly mess with the difficulty of the monster you summon.

Locations Hypothetically, you summon a monster with the giant trait in the Giant Lair or a goblin the Goblin Fortress. Those powers are worded so that they seem to be immediately applied. They aren't worded to be part of the encountering a card sequence.

Non-veteran powers The Tickwood Boar for instance.

Tickwood Boar wrote:
Before the encounter, succeed at a Wisdom or Survival 7 check or the difficulty to defeat the Tickwood Boar is increased by 2.

Well, two things. First, you aren't encountering the Tickwood Boar. Second, when you summon the Tickwood Boar you are past the "Before the encounter" step anyway. So that doesn't apply.

Veteran powers These are like the location powers. Not tied to any step of the encounter, they make sense to apply immediately.

So, the things like the veteran power seem to change the card the moment you see it. So I'd apply them. But things like requiring a check or something, I wouldn't. You aren't encountering the summoned monster, so no step allows for space to do those kinds of things.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

Personally, I think it does too, but I am very interested in discovering actual cards that would break the game if we followed my personal belief.


Hawk, your opinion is pretty reasonable I'd say. There are still two possible problems I see with it, though.

1) It's a pretty complicated solution; players will have to themselves decide which powers they should be applying and which powers not to apply. In some cases, this is fairly cut and dry, but in others, perhaps not. The general ruling from the FAQ you stated is far from clear (for example, such a ruling could easily be used to argue that characters who gain the arcane skill when a spell with the attack trait is played must banish the spell after use, since when the spell is played they don't have the arcane skill, so the first thing that makes sense to do is banish the spell. As far as I'm aware, that's not how it is intended to work.)

2) What about monster powers that, for example, deal combat damage AFTER the encounter. The summoned monster would theoretically be able to use that power, as that particular stage will not have happened yet. As a general rule, I'd say powers only trigger when something is encountering the card with the powers... is anyone encountering the summoned monster? Certainly the player is not, but is the original monster from the location deck, in a sense, encountering it? In the case of the Enchanter, it deals damage both before and after the encounter; Even if we are to agree that "before the encounter" has already happened and so that wouldn't apply, would the enchanter deal its after the encounter damage to the player who summoned it? Or perhaps to the monster it was fighting? Or not at all?

Again, I think the resolution that fits best within the framework of the rules is that card powers only trigger when they're encountered, and since the summoned veteran is not encountered by any player character, I'd have to say the power does not go off (even though in the case in question it would actually help the player).


Honestly, what might have worked better (even though it's perhaps an ugly solution) is for the veteran power to have never been a power at all. The check to defeat could have said something like "9+X" where X is defined on the card to be the AD#. Or even better, paizo could make a symbol to always represent the AD#, the way MtG invented the "tap" symbol, and use it as often as it needs to (which is quite a bit).


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Captain Bulldozer wrote:

Hawk, your opinion is pretty reasonable I'd say. There are still two possible problems I see with it, though.

1) It's a pretty complicated solution; players will have to themselves decide which powers they should be applying and which powers not to apply. In some cases, this is fairly cut and dry, but in others, perhaps not. The general ruling from the FAQ you stated is far from clear (for example, such a ruling could easily be used to argue that characters who gain the arcane skill when a spell with the attack trait is played must banish the spell after use, since when the spell is played they don't have the arcane skill, so the first thing that makes sense to do is banish the spell. As far as I'm aware, that's not how it is intended to work.)

Actually, that is how it is supposed to work. Though I'm not sure anyone has that exact wording. Flenta is closest, and she does banish her spells when she plays them. Other characters that have "temporary skills" might specify how long they keep the skill, like with Alahazra. Damiel is a bit of a question, though if you check the threads you'll see what the intent is. Was there a particular character you were thinking of? Because there are enough now that I won't claim to be familiar with all their powers.

Captain Bulldozer wrote:
2) What about monster powers that, for example, deal combat damage AFTER the encounter. The summoned monster would theoretically be able to use that power, as that particular stage will not have happened yet. As a general rule, I'd say powers only trigger when something is encountering the card with the powers... is anyone encountering the summoned monster? Certainly the player is not, but is the original monster from the location deck, in a sense, encountering it? In the case of the Enchanter, it deals damage both before and after the encounter; Even if we are to agree that "before the encounter" has already happened and so that wouldn't apply, would the enchanter deal its after the encounter damage to the player who summoned it? Or perhaps to the monster it was fighting? Or not at all?

No one is encountering the summoned monster. The player certainly isn't. And the monster you are trying to defeat isn't either, because banes never encounter anything. Characters encounter things, but other cards don't encounter things. Encountering is just a term. If we extrapolate it to real life clearly when I encounter a a living thing that living thing encounters me. But in PACG, its just a game term. And there isn't a mutual encounter.

So when you summon a monster, you don't do any of the "when encounter" or "before encounter" or "after encounter" stuff. Because that card isn't being encountered by anyone. It is just a card. And you compare the difficulty to defeat it to the difficulty to defeat the monster you are encountering.

That's my non-binding opinion at least.


There's still the issue of triggering powers on a monster that isn't being encountered though. Also, (and I'm not saying this is my thinking) summoned monsters who specify damage dealt after the encounter could be (as one of our players argued) interpreted to refer to the ORIGINAL encounter, since the word "the" is specifying a unique instance and as you say, there's only one encounter happening. His arguement even sort of works thematically; you summon a scout to help you with a monster, he fires a crossbow and hits you for summoning him (or he misses the monster target and has friendly fire).

For what it's worth, I don't disagree with your opinion, but its a pretty hard sell to say "apply this power of a card no one is encountering, but not this other one."


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Yeah. I get that you aren't disagreeing with my opinion (and even if you were that is fine).

I think it makes sense to say "don't apply any powers that relate to a step of the "encountering a card sequence." For instance, I would NOT apply this power from the Werewolf if I summoned it.

Werewolf wrote:
Before the encounter, examine the top card of the blessings discard pile. If the card is Blessing of the Gods, the difficulty to defeat the Werewolf is increased by 3.

That is part of encountering the werewolf. So it wouldn't apply. So in my play, Werewolf would be worth 13 and not 16, even when the top card is BotG, when comparing to the monster you are encountering.

Thematically, it might make more sense if it was 16, but I'm not applying any powers that specifically deal with a step of the encounter, so it doesn't activate.


Hawkmoon269 wrote:


Actually, that is how it is supposed to work. Though I'm not sure anyone has that exact wording. Flenta is closest, and she does banish her spells when she plays them. Other characters that have "temporary skills" might specify how long they keep the skill, like with Alahazra. Damiel is a bit of a question, though if you check the threads you'll see what the intent is. Was there a particular character you were thinking of? Because there are enough now that I won't claim to be familiar with all their powers.

I think I gave a bad example, as that one is pretty clear. Let me try a different one:

Suppose the swashbuckler has encountered a monster and must make a combat check. She plays a cutlass, which has the finesse trait. One of her skills is "For your check that has or is against a card that has the Finesse trait, you gain the skill Melee: Dexterity +2". Let's assume her foe does not have the finesse trait for the sake of argument. Now, when she plays the cutlass, one of the first things it specifies is to use your STR/Melee skill to make a combat check. However, when she plays the card, she does not yet have the Melee skill, so if you had to follow that bit of weapon text as soon as you possibly can, she's have to be making a STR check (something that was clearly not in the design).

In fact, this particular example might be important to that other discussion, as to me the swashbuckler being able to use her finesse melee option would seem to suggest that players gaining the arcane skill through similar means SHOULD be able to recharge the card rather than banishing it.

Back on topic, I don't disagree with Hawk's solution, but I also don't quite agree with it. I see it as a solution that let's my Lem player have his cake without choking on it, but from a rules perspective it doesn't seem to fit either, at least until someone like Mike (sidenote: is there really anyone like Mike who's not Mike?) chimes in with an official ruling.


Captain Bulldozer wrote:
Honestly, what might have worked better (even though it's perhaps an ugly solution) is for the veteran power to have never been a power at all. The check to defeat could have said something like "9+X" where X is defined on the card to be the AD#. Or even better, paizo could make a symbol to always represent the AD#, the way MtG invented the "tap" symbol, and use it as often as it needs to (which is quite a bit).

Wouldn't this idea also save quite a bit of text-space on the actual cards? Am I allowed to like my own idea? ;)


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Mike Selinker wrote:
Personally, I think it does too, but I am very interested in discovering actual cards that would break the game if we followed my personal belief.

Suppose the original monster only deals fire damage, and the summoned one is immune to the fire trait?

For that matter, would the summoned monster be adding it's traits to the mix as well, as the summoning occurs in the same phase that you're playing the spell in, and the spell *does* add its traits I believe. So, for example if you summon a monster with the fire trait, what happens if you're facing a monster that has a power like "add 1d8" if you check has the fire trait. By adding the 1d8, you're not using any of YOUR powers, only following the monster's text.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Captain Bulldozer wrote:

I think I gave a bad example, as that one is pretty clear. Let me try a different one:

Suppose the swashbuckler has encountered a monster and must make a combat check. She plays a cutlass, which has the finesse trait. One of her skills is "For your check that has or is against a card that has the Finesse trait, you gain the skill Melee: Dexterity +2". Let's assume her foe does not have the finesse trait for the sake of argument. Now, when she plays the cutlass, one of the first things it specifies is to use your STR/Melee skill to make a combat check. However, when she plays the card, she does not yet have the Melee skill, so if you had to follow that bit of weapon text as soon as you possibly can, she's have to be making a STR check (something that was clearly not in the design).

Except all that happens during "attempt the check", she plays the Cutlass during "Determine Which Skill You're Using". She'll activate her power during "Play cards and use powers that affect the check" and doesn't need really figure out what the dice are until "Assemble the Dice". So I don't think that is a problem.

Captain Bulldozer wrote:
In fact, this particular example might be important to that other discussion, as to me the swashbuckler being able to use her finesse melee option would seem to suggest that players gaining the arcane skill through similar means SHOULD be able to recharge the card rather than banishing it.

Well, Flenta is unique. She says "you may use the skill..." not "you gain the skill..." So she sort of never has the skill one way or another. And it looks like the rest are going to come down to not needing to banish it most of the time.

Really, if a power said "You when you do X you gain Y skill." But didn't have a time frame to say when you lost the skill, it would imply you had it the rest of the scenario. No one is like that. Everyone either has an end point of the power (whether that end point is clear or reflects intention or not) or is Flenta who never really gains the skill.


I've also wondered if the "veteran buff" should also apply for things like Tools or Caltrops.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Captain Bulldozer wrote:
Mike Selinker wrote:
Personally, I think it does too, but I am very interested in discovering actual cards that would break the game if we followed my personal belief.

Suppose the original monster only deals fire damage, and the summoned one is immune to the fire trait?

For that matter, would the summoned monster be adding it's traits to the mix as well, as the summoning occurs in the same phase that you're playing the spell in, and the spell *does* add its traits I believe. So, for example if you summon a monster with the fire trait, what happens if you're facing a monster that has a power like "add 1d8" if you check has the fire trait. By adding the 1d8, you're not using any of YOUR powers, only following the monster's text.

I think you aren't allowing for enough abstraction. Forget the "story" aspect of the two monsters encountering each other. You just compare the difficulties. The traits of the summoned monster don't matter. It's immunities don't matter. All that matters is "what is the difficulty number of this monster?" And you can't adjust the difficulty due to anything that would happen when you encounter the summoned monster.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Orbis Orboros wrote:
I've also wondered if the "veteran buff" should also apply for things like Tools or Caltrops.

I might've wondered that too back in the beginning of RoRL, but there's no question question it does. Not for me, anyway. If it's AP3, Ambush is a 12. It was never anything but a 12 in AP3. It's just a way to scale up and keep around interesting cards instead of wasting space on new ones. I guess I just think of it in like a videogame palette swap sort of way. My handgun does 15 damage when I shoot a zombie. Level 1 zombies have 10 health, dead in one shot. Level 3 zombie is identical in every way, but they tipped the health slider up to 20. Will my handgun kill it in one shot?

(I think Ambsh starts at 9, don't get mad at me if it's 8. :D)


Dave Riley wrote:
Orbis Orboros wrote:
I've also wondered if the "veteran buff" should also apply for things like Tools or Caltrops.

I might've wondered that too back in the beginning of RoRL, but there's no question question it does. Not for me, anyway. If it's AP3, Ambush is a 12. It was never anything but a 12 in AP3. It's just a way to scale up and keep around interesting cards instead of wasting space on new ones. I guess I just think of it in like a videogame palette swap sort of way. My handgun does 15 damage when I shoot a zombie. Level 1 zombies have 10 health, dead in one shot. Level 3 zombie is identical in every way, but they tipped the health slider up to 20. Will my handgun kill it in one shot?

(I think Ambsh starts at 9, don't get mad at me if it's 8. :D)

Don't get me wrong, I play as though it does (the added challenge is welcome).

I'm just curious if that's as intended.


If it wasn't intended, I think the Thieves' Tools would say "highest printed difficulty" instead of "highest difficulty."


Orbis Orboros wrote:
I've also wondered if the "veteran buff" should also apply for things like Tools or Caltrops.

Let's be clear here: the veteran buff applies almost always (and perhaps even always). Tools, Caltrops, holy water, etc. these all specify a fixed value, which when exceeded disqualify the card in question from being used and facing a veteran can easily cause that to happen. The question here is mostly over whether the veteran power (and other powers) applies when you're not actually encountering the card that has it.

Looking through the monster deck for RotR (I didn't look at chapter 6 yet) I don't see anything that falls outside the three categories Hawk laid out. I'm also currently too lazy to dig out my S&S playtest set to see if anything there might conflict. There is still the potential, however for ambiguity when describing the encounter.

For example, Ghoul Bat says "Bury any card with the magic trait played during this encounter, unless that card would be banished." Presumably (as I'm sure Hawk would interpret it) that would only apply to encountering the Ghoul Bat, but the wording "this encounter" could easily be extended to the encounter in which the Summon Monster card was played, of which the Ghoul Bat is now a part. There are other examples along these lines as well, and some other potential problems involving things like immunity.

Anything Game-breaking? I'm not sure... even with Hawk's proposed solution, it's a pretty confusing situation.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

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Captain Bulldozer wrote:
(sidenote: is there really anyone like Mike who's not Mike?)

Ahem.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Captain Bulldozer wrote:
Captain Bulldozer wrote:
Or even better, paizo could make a symbol to always represent the AD#, the way MtG invented the "tap" symbol, and use it as often as it needs to (which is quite a bit).
Wouldn't this idea also save quite a bit of text-space on the actual cards? Am I allowed to like my own idea? ;)

"Symbols vs. words" is a big philosophical deal, and we have elected to go for words in our version of this game.

Sovereign Court

Mike Selinker wrote:
Captain Bulldozer wrote:
(sidenote: is there really anyone like Mike who's not Mike?)
Ahem.

Our Mike is better than that one.


Andrew K wrote:
Mike Selinker wrote:
Captain Bulldozer wrote:
(sidenote: is there really anyone like Mike who's not Mike?)
Ahem.
Our Mike is better than that one.

We like our Mike, and this is why: Mike does all the work when the hills get high.


csouth154 wrote:
We like our Mike, and this is why: Mike does all the work when the hills get high.

csouth, you just made my heart grow three sizes.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

csouth154 wrote:
We like our Mike, and this is why: Mike does all the work when the hills get high.

I do not like this bed at all.


Vic Wertz wrote:
Captain Bulldozer wrote:
Captain Bulldozer wrote:
Or even better, paizo could make a symbol to always represent the AD#, the way MtG invented the "tap" symbol, and use it as often as it needs to (which is quite a bit).
Wouldn't this idea also save quite a bit of text-space on the actual cards? Am I allowed to like my own idea? ;)
"Symbols vs. words" is a big philosophical deal, and we have elected to go for words in our version of this game.

I'm not entirely sure I understand your meaning Vic. After all, things like "7", or "2" are symbols. It's not as if I'm suggesting some Race-for-the-Galaxy type use of symbols, all I'm suggesting is that in this particular instance, if the check to defeat were listed as something like "9+A" rather than having listed as just 9 which a POWER to increase the difficulty by "A" then the original question wouldn't have existed, as it would have been clear that the veteran power is always active (it would also save card space, and presumably printing costs).

Clearly we see veteran players struggling with the written description as it is (hence the tools/caltrops question above), so would something like what I suggested really get in the way of the design philosophies that much?

Obviously this is just a suggestion, I'm not trying to tell you guys how you should design your game. I'm just someone who comes from a world were clarity and precision are paramount, which means for me things that are even the teensiest bit vague tend to stick out like a sore thumb... and also someone who would really like to see this game continue to be successful.

Also, on the subject of other Mikes: It's not that I have anything against other Mikes... particularly the one the Mike I was referring to linked, but it is certainly the case that I would be far more interested in hearing "our" Mike talk about PACG than any other one.


One Mike to rule them all, one Mike to defend them, one Mike to bring them all and in the Errata mend them!


Firedale2002 wrote:
One Mike to rule them all, one Mike to defend them, one Mike to bring them all and in the Errata mend them!

You, sir, have just won... if not the internet... at least the paizo forums for today. I salute you!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Captain Bulldozer wrote:
I'm not entirely sure I understand your meaning Vic. After all, things like "7", or "2" are symbols. It's not as if I'm suggesting some Race-for-the-Galaxy type use of symbols, all I'm suggesting is that in this particular instance, if the check to defeat were listed as something like "9+A" rather than having listed as just 9 which a POWER to increase the difficulty by "A" then the original question wouldn't have existed, as it would have been clear that the veteran power is always active (it would also save card space, and presumably printing costs).

(re: That last sentence: Cards cost the same no matter what's printed on them.)

If you're going to argue that "7" is a symbol, we're going to be talking past each other, so I need you to step back on that and stick with the definition of "symbol" that I know you know is what I'm talking about: things like the "tap" or "mana" symbols on Magic cards.

In games, I think symbols work best when the entire universe of symbols is in heavy use, meaning you usually see *all* of them several times per game, which reinforces you mapping them to whatever it is that they're a symbol for. As the use of any particular symbol decreases, the odds that you'll need to look it up in the rulebook increase, and that stops the fun. (I would also argue that it makes the game harder to learn for many people.) This is why many games that do use symbols, such as Magic: The Gathering, usually don't use symbols for less common concepts such as "flying," "first strike," or "trample," which is pretty similar to the concept you're asking about.

If the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game encompassed a small set of frequently used concepts, symbols would make sense, but we are very much the opposite of that game—we have a large set of infrequently used concepts, and that argues for avoiding symbols.

There is a middle position to the "symbols/no symbols" philosophy, though, which is that you can take a specific category of commonly used things and convert them to symbols, like Magic: The Gathering does for activation costs. On one hand, they're not creating symbols for "flying," but on the other hand, they're not spelling out "Spend two blue mana and tap this card to do a thing," which would be more like what we're doing.

If we were that kind of game, the appropriate design space for symbols would be replacing common card actions like "reveal," "display," "discard," and so on... but that actually limits what you can do in that design space. Using words rather than symbols gives us the flexibility to do things like this:

•Discard this card to...
•On your turn, discard this card to...
•For your combat check, discard this card to...
•For your combat check to defeat a monster, discard this card to...
•When a weapon is played on a combat check, discard this card to...
•Discard this card and another card to...

This flexibility is really hard to implement with symbols, at least without turning the game into something that looks more like a 747 flight simulator.

So we're not a game that uses symbols. (You might point out the set symbol on the upper left corner of every card is a symbol, and you'd be right, but it has no actual use in gameplay, so it's beside the point. You might also point out that color-coding the card types is a sort of symbol, but it's also an irrelevant one, because it's merely an aid that backs up the card type that's still spelled out in words on every card.)

Interestingly, the prototype of the Obsidian PACG app *does* use symbols for card types, but the fact that they have to put a user interface on top of our mechanics gives them different requirements where these things make sense. But even then, it's just UI, and the text boxes on the cards are text.


I think I see what you meant now, thanks for taking the time for the lengthy reply!

I'm not really that attached to the idea of a symbol here, I only think it makes something clear that the current wordings don't. I'm sure every time I comment on this thread, at least half a dozen paizo employees/game designers roll their eyes, shake their heads and mutter "corner case!" to themselves... but there is still the issue that as the various paragraphs on a monster card are described in the rules as "powers" it seems as though the only proper rules interpretation here is that the part adding to a veteran's difficulty to defeat is a power as well.

Now, the rules typically are quite clear about when powers are (or can be) triggered: 1) When you play a card, 2) whenever it makes sense for you to use a character's power(s), so long as you don't use the same power more than once per step and 3) when you encounter a card, such as a monster or barrier.

I just doubled checked the text of "Summon Monster" to be sure. Here it is: "For your combat check, discard this card to draw a random monster from the box. Use the drawn card's highest difficulty to defeat as the result of your check, then banish the drawn card. No other cards or powers may be used on this check. If you fail the check, the monster is undefeated but deals 0 damage."

The wording is such that you are never playing the card (which sort of wouldn't make sense anyway, since it's a monster). Nor are you encountering the card, and obviously this isn't a character's power. So, none of the three specified setting for triggering a power apply here. Moreover, there's the additional wording that "no other ... powers may be used on this check" which adds an additional level of uncertainty (in fact, one of our group members claimed this line would possibly prevent the encountered monster from using its powers, though I tend to think that wouldn't be the case). So, I'm not really seeing any reason why that veteran power should be triggering based on the rules, other than Mike's having stated that he is leaning in the direction of saying the power does activate (and also perhaps the general guideline in the FAQ that Hawk mentioned). No doubt this is a minor point (though I hear Pathfinder has a summoner class as well, so it might be something to pay attention to if the summoning power of the spell were going to be re-used at some point), but it does seem to me that this is intended to work in a way that is contrary to what the rules state.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

In the text you quoted:
"Use the drawn card's highest difficulty to defeat …"

Why say that if it wasn't meant to kick in the Veteran power?

Second:
"No other cards or powers may be used …"

Other and not just "No cards or powers" which leads me to believe the designers wrote the card with the intent to use the Veteran power but no other power nor the ability to play cards on the check (difficulty vs difficulty).


Theryon Stormrune wrote:

In the text you quoted:

"Use the drawn card's highest difficulty to defeat …"

Why say that if it wasn't meant to kick in the Veteran power?

To cover monsters with more than one check to defeat on them. For example Ghost is something like Combat 12 OR Wisdom/Divine 8; Summon Monster would use the 12.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

But do you think that the Veteran power covers that as well?


No. If it meant that by "highest difficulty" then the veteran advantage would always be applied as if it was AP 6 as that's the highest it can go. Which is clearly not the case.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

But if you are playing in AD 5, then it wouldn't be rated at AD 6 level.


Its highest difficulty would be the AP 6 level though.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'd go highest printed difficulty, even though the card does not explicitly state that, which does not include the veteran bonus.

And let's be honest, if you were playing the Summon Monster spell and hoping to actually win a combat check with it, you must be crazy. I thought it was a funny card, but in reality the only combat you'd be likely to win is really easy combat you would win without that spell. It's really just a sorta-kinda-but-not-really-evade card.


nondeskript wrote:
And let's be honest, if you were playing the Summon Monster spell and hoping to actually win a combat check with it, you must be crazy. I thought it was a funny card, but in reality the only combat you'd be likely to win is really easy combat you would win without that spell. It's really just a sorta-kinda-but-not-really-evade card.

For this reason I think it should be a basic spell, not an AP 5 loot.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

So, lets think about some other ways the veteran trait can factor in.

Boons played to defeat
I encounter a "veteran" who has a Combat 7 check to defeat. But he's also a veteran and this is adventure 3. I'm thinking of playing Caltrops.

Caltrops wrote:
Banish this card to defeat a monster whose highest difficulty to defeat is 9 or lower.

Can I? The answer is pretty clearly "no." I would play Caltrop during the check and the steps of the check explicitly tell me to factor in the difficulty modifiers before I can play Caltrops.

Attempting a Check wrote:

Determine which skill you’re using.

Determine the difficulty. <--Veteran-ness factored in here.
Play cards and use powers that affect the check (optional). <--Caltrops played here
Assemble your dice.
Attempt the roll.
Take damage if you fail a check to defeat a monster.

But, what if I'm with Feiya? Or I have the Wand of Enervation? If I play those first and reduce the difficulty enough, does that make it playable? Or does "highest" include that fact that it was, for a moment, higher than it is currently?

Boons played to evade
I encounter a "veteran" who is combat 13. This is adventure 2. I'm considering playing Caltrops to evade him.

Caltrops wrote:
Banish this card to evade a monster whose highest difficulty to defeat is 14 or lower.

Can I? I'm playing this during the "evade" step, which is well before the "attempt the check" step of the encounter.

Encountering a Card wrote:

Apply any effects that happen when you encounter a card.

Apply any evasion effects.
Apply any effects that happen before you act.
Attempt the check.
Attempt the next check, if needed.
Apply any effects that happen after you act.
Resolve the encounter.

Or does this rule apply?

Cards Do What They Say. wrote:
Read any card as it is encountered or played, and do what it says as soon as it makes sense.

Does it simply make sense to apply it during the evade step?

Personally, I think it makes sense to apply it as soon as it is relevant. So I'd not let caltrops evade a veteran that goes from 13 to 15+. And I also wouldn't let Feiya "weaken" the monster for you to make caltrops playable. And like I said earlier, I'd factor up the difficulty for Summon Monster. In fact, I'd almost say you have to in order to make it worth hanging on to.

Note:
Sorry to give anyone on the design team a headache. It just shows how much we love your game that we think about these kinds of things in our free time.


nondeskript wrote:

I'd go highest printed difficulty, even though the card does not explicitly state that, which does not include the veteran bonus.

And let's be honest, if you were playing the Summon Monster spell and hoping to actually win a combat check with it, you must be crazy. I thought it was a funny card, but in reality the only combat you'd be likely to win is really easy combat you would win without that spell. It's really just a sorta-kinda-but-not-really-evade card.

That was my original interpretation as well. Our Lem character was actually quite surprised that this *might* be a case where he could actually win a combat with that spell, which is quite possibly why he fought so hard to include the veteran's power ;)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

rules wrote:

Any paragraph in the power section of a boon that doesn’t

involve playing the card for a particular effect is not itself a power—it’s a
mandatory action you must take when you play the card.

It's possible a similar concept might need to exist for things other than boons.


Captain Bulldozer wrote:
nondeskript wrote:

I'd go highest printed difficulty, even though the card does not explicitly state that, which does not include the veteran bonus.

And let's be honest, if you were playing the Summon Monster spell and hoping to actually win a combat check with it, you must be crazy. I thought it was a funny card, but in reality the only combat you'd be likely to win is really easy combat you would win without that spell. It's really just a sorta-kinda-but-not-really-evade card.

That was my original interpretation as well. Our Lem character was actually quite surprised that this *might* be a case where he could actually win a combat with that spell, which is quite possibly why he fought so hard to include the veteran's power ;)

Lem can kill things! With help. Lem loves him some clouds.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Orbis Orboros wrote:
nondeskript wrote:
And let's be honest, if you were playing the Summon Monster spell and hoping to actually win a combat check with it, you must be crazy. I thought it was a funny card, but in reality the only combat you'd be likely to win is really easy combat you would win without that spell. It's really just a sorta-kinda-but-not-really-evade card.
For this reason I think it should be a basic spell, not an AP 5 loot.

Wouldn't that be really powerful for a basic spell? Auto-evade without the attack or mental traits (with a small chance to defeat the opponent instead)


Sanctuary is auto evade without attack or mental traits.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Not auto-evade. You can still be penalized for failing the combat check even though you don't take damage, for example if you try to defeat a villain. Also you would still have to deal with pre-action checks and damage which evade... evades.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Orbis Orboros wrote:
Sanctuary is auto evade without attack or mental traits.

Sanctuary has the mental trait.

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