Abyssal Rift


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion

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Got a bit confused about this one, closing, and villains.

Obviously it doesn't stay closed, but apart from that, how does it interact with the villain.

Last night we played Vengeance at Sundered Crag, closed all the locations except the rift, and encountered the villain there.

If we defeat him there, is he cornered? Or do we still need to bury a blessing?

I know normally defeating a villain closes the location, but this one seems a bit of an oddity.

(Even assuming it did count as defeated, we ended up with 6 boss fights! We chased Thurl and Inaz from the Torture Chamber to the Rift, to the Abyssal River and back to the Rift, then Tancred from the Watchtower to the Rift)


Based on my reading, it can go one of two ways:

1. Tancred is toast, and you don't need to bury a blessing to secure it.

The situation is similar to a villain being defeated, and would be cornered but for other villains being at the location, which prevents the location from being permanently closed.

In the Wrath rulebook, this is NOT a temporary close situation:

"If any villains remain in the deck, banish everything except the remaining villains and shuffle the deck; the location is not permanently closed, but if there are no other locations for the villain to escape to, banish the villain."

While the situation at Abyssal Rift is different, it seems to me that the principle would be the same: if he's defeated and has nowhere else to run, he's done.

-OR-

2. Tancred escapes to the Rift.

You shouldn't be able to bury a blessing (ie, to play the location's power) during an encounter; if it counts as a temp close action, you still can't do it at the same location as the encounter.

Since the Abyssal side is always open, Tancred can't be denied the Rift.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I think I'd say the Rift is open. Even though you defeated him, he escapes back to the Rift. The question though is exactly how that happens.

WotR Rulebook p17 wrote:
If You Defeat the Villain, Close the Villain’s Location. You do not need to fulfill the When Closing requirement. Examine the location deck; if there are no additional villains in it, banish all of the cards. The location is permanently closed, and the location’s When Permanently Closed effect is triggered. Flip the location card over. If any villains remain in the deck , banish everything except the remaining villains and shuffle the deck; the loca tion is not permanently closed, but if there are no other open locations for the villain to escape to, banish the villain. If a scenario has multiple villains, the scenario card will usually list additional conditions for winning.

So, there is the step. And it all depends on you defeating the villain, which you did. We know there are no other villains. So, you'd normally then...

1. Banish all the cards.
2. Declare it permanently closed.
3. Flip the location card over.

If, the Abbyssal Rift can't be permanently close, do you...

1. Ignore the entire "If you defeat the villain, close the villain's location" step, since you can't close the location?
2. Still banish all the other cards because you defeated him, but do nothing else?
3. Banish all the cards and still flip the location card over, but it isn't permanently closed.

I think I'd banish all the other cards and have the villain flee back to the Rift. I wouldn't flip the card for defeating the villain. You'd have to then flip it at the end of your turn, and on the next turn explore and encounter the villain again and defeat them. At that point the location would be temporarily closed, the villain would have no where to escapes, and you'd win.


hmm Surely though, if they encounter and defeat the villain at the Rift, and all other locations are closed, "there are no other open locations for the villain to escape to". It doesn't matter if the Rift is closed or not; the villain can't escape to where he already is, right?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

There was some edge case in an S&S scenario where a defeated villain could escape to the location they were in, I think. Though I don't remember the exact circumstances.

Still, that location--to say nothing of the scenario it's in summoning an extra villain--requires so much fiddling around that there's no way we'd count it as anything but a W if you cornered the villain there. As it is, we had to spend a couple turns setting up our hands and flipping the Abyssal Rift to make sure it was closed at the proper time so we could defeat the villain elsewhere.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Riff Conner wrote:
hmm Surely though, if they encounter and defeat the villain at the Rift, and all other locations are closed, "there are no other open locations for the villain to escape to". It doesn't matter if the Rift is closed or not; the villain can't escape to where he already is, right?

That is exactly what the villain does when he is undefeated and there are no other open locations. Because the rules don't say "other" locations.

WotR Rulebook p17 wrote:
Check to See Whether the Villain Escapes. If any locations are not closed, the villain escapes... (Note that if you did not defeat the villain, there is always at least one open location: the one in which it was just encountered.)

I think a similar thing is happening here, just that you get to banish the cards at the Rift. Maybe. I'm not totally sure about the banishing part.


Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Riff Conner wrote:
hmm Surely though, if they encounter and defeat the villain at the Rift, and all other locations are closed, "there are no other open locations for the villain to escape to". It doesn't matter if the Rift is closed or not; the villain can't escape to where he already is, right?

That is exactly what the villain does when he is undefeated and there are no other open locations. Because the rules don't say "other" locations.

WotR Rulebook p17 wrote:
Check to See Whether the Villain Escapes. If any locations are not closed, the villain escapes... (Note that if you did not defeat the villain, there is always at least one open location: the one in which it was just encountered.)
I think a similar thing is happening here, just that you get to banish the cards at the Rift. Maybe. I'm not totally sure about the banishing part.

It does say 'other' though -- I copied that line from the previous bit of Pg. 17 you quoted. "If any villains remain in the deck , banish everything except the remaining villains and shuffle the deck; the loca tion is not permanently closed, but if there are no other open locations for the villain to escape to, banish the villain."

So that's precedent for it not being necessary for a location to be permanently closed to banish the villain, if the villain is defeated there. And while a villain can 'return' to his current location if he's undefeated, in this case he has been defeated, and that should certainly make a difference.

In any case, I think all this is trumped by "If You Defeat the Villain, Close the Villain’s Location", which is unambiguous; even if the Rift would reopen itself at the end of the turn, it would be closed at the moment of defeat, and therefore the villain is trapped.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Ah. Yes. There it does say other. Sorry. But that leaves open the question of "what part of that do you still do?"

This is also made interesting by what the rulebook used to say.

S&S Rulebook p16 wrote:
If You Defeat the Villain, Close the Villain’s Location. You do not need to fulfill the When Closing requirement. Examine the location deck; if there are no additional villains in it, banish all of the cards. The location is permanently closed, and the location’s When Permanently Closed effect is triggered. Flip the location card over. If any villains remain in the deck, banish everything except the remaining villains and shuffle the deck; the location is not permanently closed, but it is temporarily closed, and the defeated villain cannot escape to it. If a scenario has multiple villains, the scenario card will usually list additional conditions for winning.

Notice there is no "other locations" part in that version.

That change was made January 5, 2015. There is a good chance that this scenario was already finalized with the old rule. And since the location on that side says it is always open, it could not be temporarily closed. And since the Golden Rule says cards overrule the rulebook, you'd have an open location.


Huh! That is interesting. And you've got me on that "always open". Hmmm.

We do have a definite instruction to flip the card over, though. (Which could itself be terrible if it was already on the closed side...)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Yeah. If you are supposed to flip the card, then you'll need to encounter the villain while it is on the open side. If you aren't supposed to flip the card, you need to encounter the villain on the closed side. In one sense, that works out the same in that you must encounter the villain while it is on a certain side. It is partially due to that creating some unnecessary complexity that I don't think you flip the card.


I think the way I would play it (and I don't know how close this line of thought hews to official rulings) is that "defeating the villain" functions as an alternate equivalent to whatever the location's "when closing" requirement is, which fires at a different time from when the player could attempt that task voluntarily.

So: Rift is open side up. You beat the villain. "When Closing" activates, but the requirement (bury a blessing) is paid for by the villain's defeat instead. So the card is flipped, and the villain is trapped.

Rift is closed side up: You beat the villain. "When Closing" activates, and defines the location as already closed. The villain is trapped.

The "flip the location card over" instruction from the rulebook is ignored, because that's a general instruction that doesn't take into account the Rift's weird double-sided nature, and via the Golden Rule the Rift's specific weirdness overrides it. As worded there's really no contradiction between them, but it seems like a contradiction of intent.

However, there's no contradiction with "Examine the location deck; if there are no additional villains in it, banish all of the cards." (because that's predicated on a villain being defeated there, not on the location being closed), so the location deck does get emptied.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I think the open version stays open though for 2 reasons:

1. The rules say you don't need to fulfill the When Closing requirement, not that you treat it as successful. For example, if the requirement to close was a Knowledge check, if Shardra defeated the villain there she wouldn't get to examine the top card of a location.

Shardra wrote:
When you succeed at a Knowledge check, you may examine the top card ([]or 2 cards) of your ([] or any) location deck.

2. The When Closing Section says "Bury a blessing to flip this card." If you don't bury a blessing, you don't get to flip the card, just like if you don't discard a blessing, you don't get to add a die to a check.

For me, the When Closing on the open side comes into effect at three times:

1. If the villain is encountered elsewhere and someone is at the Abbyssal Rift to temporarily close it. They can bury a blessing to flip the card.

2. If someone at the location encounters and defeats a henchman, they can bury a blessing to flip the card. (Though they'd probably be better off just waiting until the end of their turn.)

3. If someone is at the location on their turn and it is empty, they can bury a blessing to flip the location during the "Attempt to close an empty location step." (Though again, they are better off just waiting until the end of their turn.)

I think I've brought my thoughts together as this: When you defeat the villain, you banish all the cards. Then you go to apply the "When Permanently Closed" effect. It says you can't permanently close the location, so you don't flip the card.

Looking at the rule again:

WotR Rulebook p17 wrote:
If You Defeat the Villain, Close the Villain’s Location. You do not need to fulfill the When Closing requirement. Examine the location deck; if there are no additional villains in it, banish all of the cards. The location is permanently closed, and the location’s When Permanently Closed effect is triggered. Flip the location card over. If any villains remain in the deck , banish everything except the remaining villains and shuffle the deck; the location is not permanently closed, but if there are no other open locations for the villain to escape to, banish the villain. If a scenario has multiple villains, the scenario card will usually list additional conditions for winning.

I'd break it out like this:

WotR Rulebook p17 wrote:
If You Defeat the Villain, Close the Villain’s Location. No other villains You do not need to fulfill the When Closing requirement. Examine the location deck; if there are no additional villains in it, banish all of the cards. The location is permanently closed, and the location’s When Permanently Closed effect is triggered. Flip the location card over.
WotR Rulebook p17 wrote:
If You Defeat the Villain, Close the Villain’s Location. Other villains You do not need to fulfill the When Closing requirement. Examine the location deck...If any villains remain in the deck , banish everything except the remaining villains and shuffle the deck; the location is not permanently closed, but if there are no other open locations for the villain to escape to, banish the villain. If a scenario has multiple villains, the scenario card will usually list additional conditions for winning.

So, pretend for a moment you weren't paying attention to what the card said. You defeat the villain and go through the steps.

1. You do not need to fulfill the When Closing requirement. Ok. So I'll just ignore that whole When Closing section on the card. Don't even want to know what it says.

2. Examine the location deck; if there are no additional villains in it, banish all of the cards. Ok. No other villains, so bye bye cards.

3. The location is permanently closed, and the location’s When Permanently Closed effect is triggered. Flip the location card over. Ok. Let me see here...What? This location can't be permanently closed? Dang it. Closing a location means flipping the card, so I won't be flipping no cards.

The whole thing about no other locations all fits in to this:

If any villains remain in the deck,...if there are no other open locations for the villain to escape to, banish the villain.

There are no other villains in the deck. So I don't even get to thinking about other open locations.

Then I check to see if the villain can escape. He can, because this location is open.

So, I guess it boils down to how connected "The location is permanently closed, and the location’s When Permanently Closed effect is triggered." and "Flip the location card over." should be. If you only flip because it is permanently closed, then you shouldn't flip. If you flip just because the rules say flip, then you should.

If you flip only when it is permanently closed, then you don't flip the open side when you defeat the villain, which gives the villain somewhere to escape to when you encountered him on the open side.

If you flip just because the rules say to flip, then you do flip the closed side when you defeat the villain, which gives the villain somewhere to escape to when you encounter him on the closed side.

I take flipping to be something you do when the location is permanently closed. But either way, there is only one side the card can be on when you can encounter the villain. If it is the other side, the villain can escape back to that location.

Grand Lodge

So, basically, it seems like the logical rule would be that if the Villain is encountered at the Abyssal Rift location, all other locations are closed, but the Rift is "open side up", they are going to run back to the same location.

The only way to win then would be to defeat the villain while the Rift is "closed side up."

Makes sense to me, and seems in-line thematically with the location. The villain hops to safety through the Abyssal Rift into the Material Plane.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

ThreeEyedSloth wrote:

So, basically, it seems like the logical rule would be that if the Villain is encountered at the Abyssal Rift location, and all other locations are closed, but the Rift is "open side up", they are going to run back to the same location.

The only way to win then would be to defeat the villain while the Rift is "closed side up."

Yep! (I added the word "and" in bold above.)


Will there be a FAQ entry/updated rulebook to eliminate the contradictory instructions for banishing the villain? First instruction is banish villain if no other open location, next paragraph says villain escapes if any open location. WotR rulebook page 17, not doing quotes because I am doing this on my phone.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Elezar wrote:
Will there be a FAQ entry/updated rulebook to eliminate the contradictory instructions for banishing the villain? First instruction is banish villain if no other open location, next paragraph says villain escapes if any open location. WotR rulebook page 17, not doing quotes because I am doing this on my phone.

I'm not sure there is really a problem. The one about banishing the villain only applies if you find another villain in the location deck.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The first instruction you're talking about is this:

Rulebook wrote:
If any villains remain in the deck, banish everything except the remaining villains and shuffle the deck; the location is not permanently closed, but if there are no other open locations for the villain to escape to, banish the villain.

That banishment occurs only in the context of the entire sentence—meaning only when another villain is present in the deck. (This rule exists to keep you from being unable to win if all of the villains in a multi-villain scenario end up in the same location, and that location is the only location that's not closed.)


Thanks for the clarification, that was a little unclear to me.


So related question, since it came up in my thought process.

Can flip locations (eg, Abyssal Rift) be flipped during an encounter, or during the temp-close "step" of a villain encounter? Or can that only be done when general actions can be taken (that is, outside of limiting parts of a turn such as start-of-turn, end-of-turn, and during encounters.)

I'm assuming that it's the latter, since flipping isn't the same as temp-closing (and the power that allows it doesn't relate to any encounter steps.)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I don't think there is any general rule about flipping them (if there is even more than this one). The location itself will have to tell you how to flip it.

In the case of the Abyssal Rift, the closed side tells you in the "At this location" power that you flip it at the end of your turn, or when the location is unoccupied.

The open side tells you in the "At this location" power that you flip it at the end of your turn. And it also has text in the "When Closing" power. The "When Closing" power says you can't permanently close it. Then it says to bury a blessing to flip it. That means that when the open side is up, you can bury a blessing when attempting to temporarily close locations to flip it to the closed side.


Ok, so only during a temp-close step. Sounds good to me. :)


Sorry to perform a little bit of thread necromancy here, but I had a question about how the Rift interacts with Henchmen and the cohort Vinst.

Last night we had someone at the rift encounter and defeat a henchman that allowed him to immediately attempt to close. He had Vinst in hand, but no blessing, and he wanted to return Vinst to the box to automatically close the location.

After some arguing and reading the rules, we determined that because the rift can never be closed permanently Vinst could not be used to close the location and the remaining deck could not be searched for villains and would have to stay there until it could be either burned through or temp closed each time the Villain appeared.

We're not sure if we played this correctly, so any insight would be really useful for next time something like this happens.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I think I would have played it just like you did.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

As an extension of Mawgrim's question, if you defeat the henchman, but DO have a blessing to bury, do you think you should examine the location, banish the cards, etc. or do you just flip the location but otherwise leave the deck there?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Don't figure you would. If the location can never be permanently closed, you wouldn't go through the steps that happen as you permanently close it.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'd agree. Basically, when you'd go to perform the "When Closing" you are told you can't close the location. Since you can't close the location, you don't succeed at the when closing requirement. Since you don't succeed at the closing requirement, you don't search the deck.

WotR Rulebook p15 wrote:
If you succeed at meeting the When Closing requirement, search the location deck for villains.


I like the Abyssal Rift location. Fun fun.


I just had the issue on Vengeance at Sundered Crag where the Villain, (Thurl&Inhaz) were in Aybssal Rift somewhere (the other 2 locations were closed after the villain escaped), and I defeated the henchmen (Unfettered Eidolon) at the rift. Normally at a location I would do the check to close the location, and if I did so, clear the location apart from the Villain. What happens in this case? The location was on it's flipped side.


You can't close the location; the "bury a blessing" only works as a temporary close check. So you can't enter the closing sequence, and so don't get to isolate the villain.

----

The difference with villains is that defeating the villain DOES count as a close check by itself; so you DO enter the closing sequence. In this case, you search for other villains / clear the location, and then run into the location's never when trying to finish the close.

The escape check is still done:

-If the villain has no other locations, he's banished; he can't go back to the Rift if it's his only option. If this triggers victory, good luck and good loot!
-If he has other locations, he escapes as usual.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Chimpy wrote:
I just had the issue on Vengeance at Sundered Crag where the Villain, (Thurl&Inhaz) were in Aybssal Rift somewhere (the other 2 locations were closed after the villain escaped), and I defeated the henchmen (Unfettered Eidolon) at the rift. Normally at a location I would do the check to close the location, and if I did so, clear the location apart from the Villain. What happens in this case? The location was on it's flipped side.

The way I would play it is (I think) the same way Mawgrim described it above -- regardless of which side Abyssal Rift is on you can never permanently close it by defeating a henchman which means you can never clear out the location deck of non-villain cards by defeating a henchman. You'll have to just keep burning through the location deck until you hit the villain, and hope that when you do finally encounter the villain that the card is on the flipped (non-Abyssal) side.


skizzerz wrote:
Chimpy wrote:
I just had the issue on Vengeance at Sundered Crag where the Villain, (Thurl&Inhaz) were in Aybssal Rift somewhere (the other 2 locations were closed after the villain escaped), and I defeated the henchmen (Unfettered Eidolon) at the rift. Normally at a location I would do the check to close the location, and if I did so, clear the location apart from the Villain. What happens in this case? The location was on it's flipped side.
The way I would play it is (I think) the same way Mawgrim described it above -- regardless of which side Abyssal Rift is on you can never permanently close it by defeating a henchman which means you can never clear out the location deck of non-villain cards by defeating a henchman. You'll have to just keep burning through the location deck until you hit the villain, and hope that when you do finally encounter the villain that the card is on the flipped (non-Abyssal) side.

Yeah that's what I figured. It takes a bit of tricky logic to work through, though!


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Hum... Just tried and failed B5 for the first time. I read this whole thread including Vic's comment and it is still unclear in my mind whether you banish cards when you defeat the villain in the rift depending on the side.
I would VERY MUCH appreciate if Someone at Paizo gives us what really happens in each case including banishing of cards, possibility to bury a blessing to close and what if you do...
A) The rift is on open side
A1) Defeating a hench in the rift
A2) Defeating a villain in the rift, all other loc temp closed
A3) Failing to defeat a villain in the rift
then B1, B2 and B3 same questions if rift on the temp close side

It's just not that easy to work out the rules interactions (or I'm gonna ask Mike to translate evrything in French ;-)).
Thanks in advance.


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

A1) If the henchmen allows you to attempt to close the location, you can bury a blessing to flip the card to its closed side. Otherwise, there are no When Closing effects that actually let you close the location, so you do not get to examine the deck or banish any cards from it.

If the henchmen auto-closes the location (such as the armies in AD2), I have absolutely no idea what should happen. I'd probably just do what I'd do for beating the villain in that you do get to examine the deck and banish all non-villain cards from it, but the location is still not permanently closed.

A2) Villain escapes back to the rift, examine the deck and banish all non-villain cards from it.

A3) Villain escapes, with the rift as one of the possible locations he can escape to.

B1) If the henchmen allows you to attempt to close the location, nothing happens since there are no When Closing effects that actually let you close the location, so you do not get to examine the deck or banish any cards from it.

If the henchmen auto-closes the location, see point A1.

B2) You win.

B3) Villain escapes, however the rift is not a valid location to escape to. If all other locations are closed, then you actually win the scenario despite losing against the villain because he has nowhere to escape to. Congrats!

May make a post later with my reasoning for all of the above points complete with references to relevant rules or past discussions if people want it, but a lot of that has already been discussed above.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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When you would have the opportunity to close the Abyssal Rift, regardless of whether that's from defeating a henchman or encountering a villain, you go to the rulebook and look at Closing a Location. It tells you to look at When Closing. When Closing tells you either that the location is always open or always temporarily closed. Neither side tells you anything you could do to close it. The open side allows you to bury a blessing to *flip* it, and that's the only option you might have.

Flipping the Abyssal Rift is *not* the same as closing it. All it does is change it from open to temporarily closed and vice-versa (and it swaps the "At This Location" power). "Temporarily closed" is only relevant when cutting off a villain's escape route—it has no other effect.

So regardless of what a henchman (or anything else) says, you don't get to close the Abyssal Rift, so you don't get to do the things that then happen under "Closing a Location" in the rulebook, such as searching it for villains and banishing everything else. You can banish a blessing to flip it, but that's unlikely to be a worthwhile play except when you're encountering the villain.

As far as a henchman that would automatically close it, both sides of the location say "this location is never permanently closed." "Never" is one of the most powerful terms in the game—it can't be overruled. (But even if it *didn't* say "never," the Golden Rule tells you that locations trump henchmen, so that would also mean you ignore that power on the henchman.)

So defeating a henchman there is basically like defeating a regular monster or barrier there—the normal result is you banish the thing you defeated and move on.

Similarly, if you defeat the villain there, you do not get to apply the things that happen under "If You Defeat the Villain, Close the Villain’s Location."


Quote:
You do not need to fulfill the When Closing requirement. Examine the location deck; if there are no additional villains in it, banish all of the cards. The location is permanently closed, and the location’s When Permanently Closed effect is triggered.

I had thought that the instructions up to "banish all of the cards" were part of the process of defeating the villain - and that from "The location is permanently closed" were the part that Rift rendered impossible. I'll hold myself in error on that. It raises a question though.

So what happens if the Rift is on Material side, all other locations are closed (regardless of how,) and the villain is undefeated? Is it:

-The villain returns to the Rift, because "(Note that if you did not defeat the villain, there is always at least one open location: the one in which it was just encountered)" despite the Rift being a closed location;
-The villain returns to the Rift, because undefeated banes generally do;
-The villain is banished, because it has no valid locations to escape to.

And if the villain is banished: In WotR B-5, if this happens to Thurl & Inhaz, does the scenario become unwinnable, or do you summon the location for Tancred anyway?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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I'll get back to you on that.


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Sandslice wrote:
I had thought that the instructions up to "banish all of the cards" were part of the process of defeating the villain - and that from "The location is permanently closed" were the part that Rift rendered impossible. I'll hold myself in error on that.

I had thought that as well, which is why I said what I said above (after all, the rulebook tells you to banish all the cards before it even starts to talk about flipping the location or it being closed). I can see where you're coming from Vic but it wasn't what I originally thought when I read the rulebook. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like you're treating the bolded sentence "If You Defeat the Villain, Close the Villain's Location." as an instruction, with all the text in that paragraph as explanation for how to close the location. Since the location cannot be closed, you skip that entire paragraph (Golden Rule & all that). As such, the heading text in the rulebook serves as an actual rule/instruction rather than just a way to more easily break down what is happening.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The bolded parts are indeed instructions. If you *didn't* treat them as such, nothing would actually tell you to encounter the villain, or that you win when the villain is cornered!


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Touché :)


Hey Vic,

My wife and I just had to go thought this tortuous logic problem last night in Scenario AD2-1. Given how often you use the Abyssal Rift on scenarios (it's on AD2-2, and a few others in my quick shuffle) can we get a FAQ entry on the various permutations. Generally FAQ's are used for Errata, but I think having a singular reference for this complicated location would be worthwhile.

From my point of view there are three additional scenario's that this thread doesn't address, or address in conflict with the rulebook.

1. Henchmen that automatically close the location.
Just because this location can't be permanently closed does not imply that you wouldn't go though the 'Closing a Location' steps in the rulebook, and if the henchmen lets you bypass the When Closing requirement then why wouldn't you banish the location cards. In fact the rules give you a specific point in the process to apply the When Permanently closed power, and it's after you have examined (and potentially banished) the cards.

This is somewhat a rule book issue as the 'Closing the Location' section references banishing location cards twice, first at the end of paragraph two after When Closing, and again in paragraph 3 after completing the When Permanently Closed. By the rules then, I would get to clear out the location if we found a villain during the paragraph 2 search steps, but not if I didn't?

We can all agree that either way I get to examine all the cards at the location?

2. In the case when all locations are closed, villain is at the Rift with the closed side up, and you do NOT defeat the villain.?

The Note in the rulebook about the villain's source location being open is overridden by the card text ("This location is always temporarily closed"), and the first sentence of Villain Escape section states that 'if any locations are not closed, the villain escaped', followed by 'if the villain has nowhere to escape to you Win.' You could argue that the 'villain escapes' rule is impossible in this circumstance, and you just default back to general undefeated banes rules, but the "no where to escape, Win" instruction would still apply. Changing the rule book to say (as it does in After the Scenario) If you defeated the villain and it has no where to escape, you win would help.

3. If you do defeat a villain at the Abyssal rift, do you banish it's location deck? Again rulebook unequivocally says it does as you do not need to meet the When Closing requirement, and you banish cards before applying the When Permanently Closed effect.

I don't think there's a easy change to the Abyssal Rift card that can address all these issues, and I think that everyone who defeat's a villain at this location will run into the confusion around whether the location is open or closed for escaping.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

MSpekkio wrote:

1. Henchmen that automatically close the location.

Just because this location can't be permanently closed does not imply that you wouldn't go though the 'Closing a Location' steps in the rulebook, and if the henchmen lets you bypass the When Closing requirement then why wouldn't you banish the location cards. In fact the rules give you a specific point in the process to apply the When Permanently closed power, and it's after you have examined (and potentially banished) the cards.

This is somewhat a rule book issue as the 'Closing the Location' section references banishing location cards twice, first at the end of paragraph two after When Closing, and again in paragraph 3 after completing the When Permanently Closed. By the rules then, I would get to clear out the location if we found a villain during the paragraph 2 search steps, but not if I didn't?

We can all agree that either way I get to examine all the cards at the location?

Not at all. I'll be happy to step you through the rules.

You may earn the opportunity to close a location in a number
of ways. Usually you get the opportunity to close a location
after defeating a henchman from that location deck (the
henchman card will indicate if this is the case) or after that
location deck runs out of cards (see Your Turn on page 8).

One could argue that the sentence "This location is never permanently closed" on either side suggests that you can never "get the opportunity" to close the location. But one could also argue that it doesn't mean that, so we'll proceed as if it doesn't.

When you have the opportunity and want to close a location,
do whatever the location’s When Closing section says. Locations
often require specific checks to close them; otherwise, they list
specific tasks you must perform. (If a location says you may close
it automatically, you don’t need to do anything else.) If the When
Closing text offers multiple options separated by “or,” you must make
your choice of options before you make any rolls or play any cards.

So, what does the When Closing section say? Depending on which side is up, it says "This side of this location is always temporarily closed" or "This side of this location is always open. Bury a blessing to flip this card."

In the former case, there's nothing here for you to do. In the latter case, you can flip the card (or not). But in either case, there's no specific task listed for you to do—no requirement stated for you to meet.

If you succeed at meeting the When Closing requirement, search the
location deck for villains. If you find any, banish all non-villain cards
from the location deck. The location is not closed—but at least you
know where the villains are!

Because this begins "If you succeed at meeting the When Closing requirement," and there was no requirement for you to succeed at, you don't get to do anything here.

If you didn’t find any villains, perform the When Permanently Closed
effect: First, apply any effects that say “before closing.” Then banish all
of the cards from the location deck; it is now closed. Finally, apply any
effects that say “on closing” and flip the location card over. The location
stays closed for the rest of the scenario, so villains may not escape
to that location (see Encountering a Villain on page 16)....

You don't get to do any of this because you weren't even able to *look* for villains.

Regardless of whether you go the long way or the short way, you end up in the same place: Since you can never close the location, there's nothing for you to do here.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

MSpekkio wrote:
2. In the case when all locations are closed, villain is at the Rift with the closed side up, and you do NOT defeat the villain.?

This issue is yet to be addressed; the answer is that we want you to have to defeat the villain to win, but we haven't yet determined the best way to achieve that.

MSpekkio wrote:
3. If you do defeat a villain at the Abyssal rift, do you banish it's location deck? Again rulebook unequivocally says it does as you do not need to meet the When Closing requirement, and you banish cards before applying the When Permanently Closed effect.

Everything in the paragraph that begins "if you defeat the villain, close the villain’s location" depends on you first doing what that sentence says. Since the location is never permanently closed, you cannot do that, so you cannot do anything else in that paragraph.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

The weekly can'o'worms contest definitively won last week by the Rift (i.e. undefeated villain when all locations are closed) issue.
The weekly can'o'worms contest definitively won this week by the "Fringe" (i. e. moving before temp closing) issue.


Thank you for the detailed response sir, and for letting me beat this particular horse a little longer.

Vic Wertz wrote:
Because this begins "If you succeed at meeting the When Closing requirement," and there was no requirement for you to succeed at, you don't get to do anything here.

I think I can argue that I did meet those requirements by defeating a auto-closing henchmen or villain since the relevant rules 'you don't have to meet the When Closing requirements'. I don't see a difference between not having to meet any requirements, and the card not having any requirement. I can easily imagine a card design whose When Closing requirement says something like "you fail to meet this requirement" and can only be closed by defeating a villain.

Vic Wertz wrote:
Everything in the paragraph that begins "if you defeat the villain, close the villain’s location" depends on you first doing what that sentence says. Since the location is never permanently closed, you cannot do that, so you cannot do anything else in that paragraph.

The issue we are dancing around is that the When Permanently Closed power triggers at particular times, and isn't a ambient effect. Instructing the player to 'do what the cards and rules say' but then expecting them to read ahead on the card and somehow know to back apply that to the rules is a step too far.

If the Abyssal Rift's At This Location power said that it couldn't be permanently closed, I think the situation would be different.

If the When Closing power said, this location cannot be permanently closed, you'd still have an issue since Henchmen that auto-close and villain's ignore power (and no, ), but at least you'd have clear instructions in the cases where you are evaluating the power.

Talking it over with the squad, here's our revised card text.

Open Side
At this location:
<Blessing power>. Ignore any power or rule that instructs you to permanently close this location. This location is always open. <flip text>.

When Closing:
Bury a blessing and flip this card.

When Permanently Closed:
This location is never permanently closed.

Closed side:
<Blessing power>. Ignore any power that instructs you to permanently close this location. Treat this location as if it is always temporarily closed. <flip text>.

When Closing:
This location may not be closed.

When Permanently Closed:
This location is never permanently closed.


Vic Wertz wrote:
MSpekkio wrote:
2. In the case when all locations are closed, villain is at the Rift with the closed side up, and you do NOT defeat the villain.?

This issue is yet to be addressed; the answer is that we want you to have to defeat the villain to win, but we haven't yet determined the best way to achieve that.

MSpekkio wrote:
3. If you do defeat a villain at the Abyssal rift, do you banish it's location deck? Again rulebook unequivocally says it does as you do not need to meet the When Closing requirement, and you banish cards before applying the When Permanently Closed effect.
Everything in the paragraph that begins "if you defeat the villain, close the villain’s location" depends on you first doing what that sentence says. Since the location is never permanently closed, you cannot do that, so you cannot do anything else in that paragraph.

Seems like the easiest solution is to add a rule that says: "If you do not defeat a villain at any location open that location." This rule is unfortunately confusing to new players as they struggle to find a situation where a villain is in a closed location. In this case you'd flip over the location to it's "open" side and now the villain sequence works as intended.

Grand Lodge

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

Actually, the easiest solution is to leave the card as written.

As you progress through Wrath of the Righteous and Season of the Righteous, you'll find that the locations are not always conducive to completing the scenario. The Abyssal Rift is such a location. It is never permanently closed. It requires timing when encountering the villain.

And the bigger issue is that when you have the Rift as a location, you have the potential of losing if not played well. I don't think the card needs changing. You don't always win. Sometimes the game gets the better of you.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

The Rift is a real pain in solo play, because you basically have to corner the villain there, while the "closed" side is up. (If you leave it flips to the "open" side)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
ryric wrote:
The Rift is a real pain in solo play, because you basically have to corner the villain there, while the "closed" side is up. (If you leave it flips to the "open" side)

Agreed. But that can fall under "You don't always win."


ryric wrote:
The Rift is a real pain in solo play, because you basically have to corner the villain there, while the "closed" side is up. (If you leave it flips to the "open" side)

I'm now paranoid I'm not playing right.

1. You make sure the Abyssal rift is flipped "temp closed" side.
2. Leave.
3. Rift no longer flips because no one is there.
4. Encounter villain somewhere else.
5. Villain can't escape.
6. Win.

Cornering the villain into the rift seems the least effective strategy out there.


zayzayem wrote:

I'm now paranoid I'm not playing right.

1. You make sure the Abyssal rift is flipped "temp closed" side.
2. Leave.

At this point the rift is not occupied, so you flip it to the always open side. At the end of the turn you'll flip it back, but if the location is not occupied you'll put it back again. The At This Location text always applies, even if nobody is there. (p. 21 of the WotR rules)

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