Clarification on Rallying Cry


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


While playing Wrath of the Righteous at PaizoCon we encountered the barrier Rallying Cry. There was quite a bit of discussion about the wording, specifically "If any character fails, this barrier is undefeated; banish all the allies, and you may banish this barrier." Our point of discussion was whether banishing all the allies to banish the barrier was required if not all allies were acquired.


The allies are banished if anyone fails, no choice. You may choose if you want to banish the barrier, if you don't, since it is undefeated, it is shuffled back into the location deck.


dastels wrote:
While playing Wrath of the Righteous at PaizoCon we encountered the barrier Rallying Cry. There was quite a bit of discussion about the wording, specifically "If any character fails, this barrier is undefeated; banish all the allies, and you may banish this barrier." Our point of discussion was whether banishing all the allies to banish the barrier was required if not all allies were acquired.

It works like a cache barrier (eg, a Treasure Chest,) except that you know in advance what's inside. If someone fails, y'all don't get what's inside (the allies are banished,) and then you may banish the barrier.


Hey guys,

Rather silly question here on the Rallying Cry barrier...but if our whole group each succeed his/her ally acquire check, we literally each get to keep our ally/put it in our hands, right?

Also, if yes, and say your hand size is six but the newly acquired ally puts you at seven, you still get to keep the ally (i.e. You don't reset your hand until after your next turn is over), right?

A few of us successfully beat the acquire checks on some really great allies including the promo Chuffy goblin. But we just want to play it fair/right.

Thanks in advance for the wisdom +3,

Ben and the gang


Cheez wrote:

Hey guys,

Rather silly question here on the Rallying Cry barrier...but if our whole group each succeed his/her ally acquire check, we literally each get to keep our ally/put it in our hands, right?

Also, if yes, and say your hand size is six but the newly acquired ally puts you at seven, you still get to keep the ally (i.e. You don't reset your hand until after your next turn is over), right?

A few of us successfully beat the acquire checks on some really great allies including the promo Chuffy goblin. But we just want to play it fair/right.

Thanks in advance for the wisdom +3,

Ben and the gang

You're correct, it's an all or nothing proposition. Enjoy your Chuffy (unless "a few of successfully beat" means also "a few of us didn't manage to beat" - in which case Chuffy goes down the drain with all the other allies).

And yes, you get you hand +1 until your next end-of-turn reset.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cheez wrote:

Hey guys,

Rather silly question here on the Rallying Cry barrier...but if our whole group each succeed his/her ally acquire check, we literally each get to keep our ally/put it in our hands, right?

Also, if yes, and say your hand size is six but the newly acquired ally puts you at seven, you still get to keep the ally (i.e. You don't reset your hand until after your next turn is over), right?

A few of us successfully beat the acquire checks on some really great allies including the promo Chuffy goblin. But we just want to play it fair/right.

Thanks in advance for the wisdom +3,

Ben and the gang

An acquired card is an acquired card, it doesn't matter if it came from a location deck or if you were told to fetch a random one from the box. So, yes, you keep the cards if everyone succeeds.

Hand size only matters when you are told to reset your hand (such as at the end of your turn). You can have greater or fewer cards in your hand until you're told to reset.


New here. First post. I know this thread is old. Just starting Pathfinder of any kind (WOTR). Son & I ran into this card during our starter scenario. I'm stuck on the same thing as the OP and his Con-mates. It's as if RC assuming I know something that I just don't yet.

Unfortunately, I have too little experience to understand the answers given here so far. Summarizing:

"You may choose if you want to banish the barrier, if you don't..."
AND
"If someone fails ... and then you may banish the barrier."

So, here's my noob-confusion...

1) You may CHOOSE to banish this barrier? Why would one NOT choose to banish any bane? That seems like a choice no one would choose, thereby making it not a real choice.

2) You are allowed to banish the barrier if someone FAILS?

I guess when it comes down to the practicals of, "what should I do with this card?"... are we saying that:

A) This is a card that does not have to be defeated in order to banish it ... only contested once? Then you can "choose" to banish it, along with all the other attempted Allies (won or lost)?

B) Or does it have to be 100% defeated in order to be banished? (in which case, why would there be "choice" language in this line?)

C) Are we all supposed to banish any Ally cards from our hand in exchange for the right to banish Rallying Cry?

Son & I played this out as "B", so it kept coming up and one of us kept failing our checks, until it was 1 of 3 left at that location. We finally both did defeat it ... after burning through ~4 of the 30 Blessing cards to do so. So if there were better, intended options for that card, I'd like to resolve a different action vs. the wording.

Either our action (which doesn't 100% match the wording) was wrong, or the wording is unnecessarily ambiguous but our action was fine.

I can only see an "option D" -- everyone wins their random Ally, but you choose NOT to banish this barrier -- if someone can please explain why that would be advantageous to perform. Thanks!


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
AlliesLost wrote:
New here. First post. I know this thread is old. Just starting Pathfinder of any kind (WOTR). Son & I ran into this card during our starter scenario. I'm stuck on the same thing as the OP and his Con-mates. It's as if RC assuming I know something that I just don't yet.

Welcome to the game! I'll walk through the logic of the card to hopefully help you better understand it. None of your choices A-D are correct.

First, let's quote the card:

Rallying Cry wrote:
Each character draws from the box a random ally that lists Diplomacy in its check to acquire and attempts to acquire it. If all characters succeed, this barrier is defeated. If any character fails, this barrier is undefeated; banish all the allies, and you may banish this barrier.

Now, let's step through the actions it's asking us to take:

1. "Each character draws from the box a random ally that lists Diplomacy in its check to acquire and attempts to acquire it." This is slightly unusual wording; the words "summon and acquire" would normally be used here, but this means the same thing for all practical purposes. Each character grabs such an ally from the box and begins a new encounter with it. Resolve all of these encounters before moving on with Rallying Cry. If a character succeeds at all checks/requirements to acquire the ally, they add it to their hand. Otherwise, that ally is banished (just like a normal boon encounter).

2. "If all characters succeed, this barrier is defeated." If every character succeeded at acquiring their ally, Rallying Cry is defeated and banished (because you banish defeated banes). You keep all of the allies, and the encounter is over.

3. "If any character fails, this barrier is undefeated; banish all the allies, and you may banish this barrier." If at least one character failed to acquire their ally, every ally drawn by Rallying Cry is banished (so people who succeeded need to get rid of theirs as well). AKA nobody keeps any allies if at least one person failed. Rallying Cry itself is undefeated. Normally, undefeated banes are shuffled back into the location. However, you have the option of banishing the undefeated Rallying Cry instead of shuffling it back in. This gives you a choice between potentially finding Rallying Cry again and getting another shot at winning some allies or getting rid of it to move on with your life.

So, you either win, keep the allies, and banish Rallying Cry. Or you lose, don't keep any allies, and have the option of getting rid of Rallying Cry or getting a potential future shot at a rematch.

I broke out the text the way I did because punctuation matters a lot in this game. The phrase "banish all the allies, and you may banish this barrier" is attached to the phrase "If any character fails, this barrier is undefeated" via a semicolon. That means they are both part of the same instruction and it only comes into effect if someone failed at acquiring their ally. Each complete sentence (ending with a period/full stop depending on which side of the pond you're on) is a single instruction.


Thanks so much, skizzerz! This was the proverbial "lynchpin" right here:

skizzerz wrote:
3. "If any character fails, this barrier is undefeated; banish all the allies, and you may banish this barrier." ... This gives you a choice between potentially finding Rallying Cry again and getting another shot at winning some allies or getting rid of it to move on with your life.

There needed to be a benefit to keeping this bane around for this to make any logical sense, and that's what I didn't see: that someone may want to re-use this to try to gain Allies. Many thanks for opening my eyes to that. And also breaking my logic connection between "a bane can be undefeated" and "that bane can still be banished."

Actually, your final answer does fit my Choice A:

AlliesLost wrote:
A) "This is a card that does not have to be defeated in order to banish it ... only contested once. Then you can "choose" to banish it, along with all the other attempted Allies (won or lost)."

This is just a rewording of your fuller answer around #3. But my initial resistance to accepting that was: "too easy."

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OPTIONAL EXTENDED READING:
All that AND the English/grammar on this one is still a little misleading. Only read on if y'all are interested in why I say that.

I mean, I'm right there with you on strictly interpreting the punctuation. The language and other characters need to be exact and precise in order to convey accurate meaning, in writing, in a complex game, via one portion of a single card. (Much like writing a computer procedure via 1 line of code.) 100% agree.

Ordinarily, any sentence following this format is perfectly clear:

Quote:
"If any character fails, this barrier is undefeated; banish all the allies."

Here, "banish all the allies" is very clearly an instruction, not a choice.

But once one adds the

Quote:
"<comma> and you may banish this barrier."

then a new, just-as-possible (if not more common) English interpretation is created for the entire post-semicolon portion (while still being connected to "if any character fails"):

Quote:
IF you "banish all the allies" THEN "you may banish this barrier."

Because, as we know, English speakers commonly use this pattern with these assumed, embedded, bolded words.

e.g., a mother defining parameters for a 2yo: "Pick up your toys, and you may have a cookie." Same pattern; we add the IF/THEN in our heads.

Using that interpretation, being unable to think of another, immediately raises questions in one's mind:

Quote:
What do you mean "if you banish all the allies?" That means you can choose not to? And then, what should happen to the barrier if you choose not to banish the allies is not explained.

Bottom line point being that "<comma> and you may" changes the potential interpretation of what comes just before that.

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Yeah, that's a lot of reading. Maybe the better way to demo the language issue is in comparison with an alternative wording that may have ironcladed the intent against this misinterpretation:

Quote:
"If any character fails, this barrier is undefeated; banish all the allies, and also you may [choose to] banish this barrier."

(this could work with or without the [choose to], due to "may")

But in the end, it is what it is, and now I (and hopefully others with similarly thicker heads) can interpret this card as it was intended. Thanks again!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I interpreted your choice A as "you only get to banish the bane if you also banish the allies", which is false because you banish the bane while keeping the allies should you defeat it (and there is no choice in the matter there, the bane is always banished if defeated). Hence why I said what I did.

Anyway, glad it finally made sense to you :). You'll find similar text on any other banes with the Cache trait, e.g. treasure chests. If you beat them, you get some goodies, but if you don't you may be able to try again at the cost of burning more explores. And if you don't care about the treasure, you can ignore it and move on (aka banish it). They still count as undefeated even in that case, though, and some scenario or location powers may care when banes are "undefeated" or "not defeated" (two subtly different things because of evasion).

For grammar asides, you should pretty much always interpret the cards in the imperative sense. If the game offers a choice, it will always explicitly say that (via words like "choose", "may", or "or"). If it's not explicit that a choice is involved, there isn't a choice and you need to follow exactly what is written on the card. There will likely be grammatical ambiguities on other cards as well (somewhat unavoidable given English as a language combined with very limited space for additional words on a physical card and the choice the PACG designers made in omitting iconography), but that advice should help you figure out the correct interpretation.

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