Potion of Flying During an Encounter?


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


The discussion over here about what can and cannot be played during an encounter sparked a thought in my head. Since this is somewhat different than that (and has NOTHING to do with the OT on the thread of Balazar) I figured I should make it a new post. Here is the hypothetical:

There are two locations:
Location #1: You get -4 on all Combat checks
Location #2: You get +4 on all Combat checks

Damiel and Valeros are in Location #1 and it is Valeros's turn. Valeros explores and runs into a Scary Red Dragon with a Combat 30 check to defeat. We get to the "Play cards and use powers that affect the check" step of the encounter and Damiel recharges his Potion of Flying to move Valeros from Location #1 to Location #2.

Is this legal? My heart says, no you can't move during an encounter. But I can't actually find any rule that this is breaking, including the proposed sidebar from the previously linked thread. It will definitely directly affect the check, since Valeros gets a net +8 on his check.

If it is legal, would it be legal if Location #1 still gave a penalty but Location #2 didn't give a bonus?

Editor

My instincts agree with your instincts; this seems wrong.

I'm tempted to cite "finish what you're doing before you do other stuff," but I don't really think that that applies either.

If it IS legal, I'd be tempted to rule that playing the Potion of Flying would end the encounter, since you can't logically encounter a monster in a different location than the one in which it's located. This would make the Potion of Flying a sort of stealth-evade power, but WAY better, since you can use it after the encounter has already begun. That seems too strong to me, so I don't think it's intended. (Would "causing the encounter to end" count as a power that would affect the check? I'd rule yes.)

So, yeah, this SEEMS wrong, but unless there's a rule that says you can't continue an encounter in a different location than the one in which the encounter began, I don't actually see a rules problem here...TECHNICALLY. I'll look forward to the ruling on this, though, and I expect it to be disallowed.


Moving doesn't end the encounter. That was established earlier in discussions about banes that forced involuntary movement during an encounter. Additionally, Alahazra is all about encountering cards at other locations, if you choose the right role card.

Editor

nondeskript wrote:
Moving doesn't end the encounter. That was established earlier in discussions about banes that forced involuntary movement during an encounter. Additionally, Alahazra is all about encountering cards at other locations, if you choose the right role card.

Who's got two thumbs and needs to reread the FAQ? *points to self* This guy.


I don't think there was ever an FAQ on it, at least not one I could find with a quick search. There was this thread, which while not definite did at least have Vic strong implying that moving during an encounter did not end the encounter.

Grand Lodge

Here's the problem that I have:

Potion of Flying wrote:
Banish this card and choose a character at your location. That character may move; if it's that character's turn, he may explore his location. Any movement restrictions still apply.

I'm not sure you could play that during the encounter. It doesn't aid to a combat (or encounter) check. I'm not even sure it is a valid method of evading because the character has already is in the encounter. The thread about the Water Elemental is an ability of the elemental if undefeated.


I agree that it doesn't directly aid the check, but depending on location you are moving to or from, it can aid the check based on the "At this location" powers in play. The new sidebar proposed said that as long as a character didn't have to take a second action for it affect the check that it was legal. Since location powers are (generally) passive, there is no other action required and thus it looks legal, even though we would agree that it probably isn't legal.

I agree that it won't evade the combat and only linked the Water Elemental thread since it is the only thread I remember about moving in the middle of an encounter (the encounter with the Scribbler that summoned the Water Elemental) and whether or not that would end the encounter.


I should probably quote Vic's post from the other thread to make it clear what I'm basing my understanding on:

Vic wrote:

Rules: Affecting the Situation

In some situations, the rules limit you to playing cards or using powers that affect or otherwise relate to the current situation. In these cases, the things you do cannot require anyone to do something else for your action to be meaningful—the things you do must directly affect the check. For example, let's say that a character is attempting a check using a power that adds 1 to her check for each blessing in her hand, and a second character has a power allowing him to give the first character a card. He could give her a blessing, because that doesn't require any other action to affect the check. But he could not give her a card that allows her to draw a blessing from the box, because she would have to do something else—in this case, play that card—to affect the check.

The potion of flying meets the criteria of "not requiring anyone to do something else", but perhaps it fails the criteria of "must directly affect the check"? Not sure...

I think the desired result is that the power you are using (whether from a card in your hand, character card, location card or whatever) must modify the check itself. If it triggers another power that affects the check, even a passive power such as a location card, that doesn't make it legal. I'm just not sure that the rules convey that.

Grand Lodge

So you're saying that because the use of the Potion of Flying directly affects the difficulty of the combat check, you can use it?

And since you're already within an encounter and Vic stated that moving does not end the encounter, you could move to a more beneficial location to continue the encounter?

Personally, I would not allow it. It feels like a bastardization of the rules. And I still feel that the potion needs to be played outside an encounter.


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

Playing Potion of Flying would most certainly impact the check in such a hypothetical scenario, since the Location power affects the check and nothing else needs to be done to make that power kick in. The rulebook says "Players may only play cards or use powers that relate to each step (or relate to cards played or powers used in that step)." In this case, the Potion of Flying relates to the Location power used to modify check difficulty so it can be played by RAW.

Note that RAW doesn't offer a catch-all to play Potion of Flying during any encounter -- it must be used to move to a location that directly impacts the encounter in some way/shape/form. As for RAI, I'm pretty sure the intent was that it cannot played during an encounter due to the exploration wording, but I can't find any rules that forbid you to voluntarily move during an encounter. EDIT: In fact, I can find a power that explicitly allows you to voluntarily move during an encounter, see Raz from the Paladin Class Deck.

Sovereign Court

This is definitely one of those situations where this shouldn't be allowed, I know it's not allowed, but I can't explain why it's not allowed...


Hmmm... even just something that lets you move Valeros to the same location as a character attempting a combat check would raise the same issue (as long as he was RotR or S&S Valeros). Valeros doesn't have to do anything for his 1d4.


S&S Valeros even has a power that specifically allows him to move when an encounter happens, so it could be that this interaction is fine.

It really boils down to this: In order to use a power during an encounter, does power itself, regardless of other interactions, have to affect the check or is it legal as long as the end result of using that power affects the check?


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

S&S Valeros even has a power that specifically allows him to move when an encounter happens, so it could be that this interaction is fine.

It really boils down to this: In order to use a power during an encounter, does power itself, regardless of other interactions, have to affect the check or is it legal as long as the end result of using that power affects the check?

That question, at least, is clear. It's legal as long as the end result of using that power either affects the check itself or allows you to play a card or use a power that directly affects the check. See the rulebook quote I just made where that single level of indirection is explicitly called out, you can find it yourself on page 10.

Like Andrew, I personally don't believe it should be allowed (it seems to go against the intent of the card at least), but by RAW I see nothing that would prevent you from playing it as long as the act of moving itself is what allows you to play a card or use a power that directly affects the check.


skizzerz wrote:
That question, at least, is clear. It's legal as long as the end result of using that power either affects the check itself or allows you to play a card or use a power that directly affects the check. See the rulebook quote I just made where that single level of indirection is explicitly called out, you can find it yourself on page 10.

The specific quote you're referring to, I believe is:

WotR Rulebook, Page 10 wrote:

Players may only

play cards or use powers that relate to each step (or relate to cards
played or powers used in that step).

I don't agree with that interpretation because Vic's the proposed sidebar explicitly goes against the "the end result of using that power ... allows you to play a card or use a power that directly affects the check" meaning. Additionally, the parenthetical statement is past tense, not future tense, meaning that you it is cards you already played. I understand this to mean, you can:

(A) Play a card or use a power that directly affects the step or
(B) Play a card or use a power that relates to cards or powers used in (A)

That is what allows you to use, for example, Valeros's power to recharge a weapon you discarded for a combat check.

Vic's sidebar makes clear, for example, that using the Potion of Flying to move Damiel to another location to aid the combat check with a ranged weapon is not a legal move, though your interpretation would say that it is legal.


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

Yes, the quote from Vic makes it clear that it would not be allowed (playing a card to let someone move requires them to take an action -- moving to a different location -- to then impact the check. By that Vic quote, that'd be a no-no since your card play didn't directly move them there), however that quote is not currently in the rulebook as far as I'm aware.

It's really just arguing semantics at this point, I think everyone in this thread is in agreement that you shouldn't be able to use Potion of Flying. I'm just stating by RAW as it currently is (and posts that don't make it to the FAQ aren't in RAW) feasibly allows it.


nondeskript wrote:


It really boils down to this: In order to use a power during an encounter, does power itself, regardless of other interactions, have to affect the check or is it legal as long as the end result of using that power affects the check?

The answer actually is within the very post from Vic that you've quoted. In there, Vic specifically gives as a LEGAL example "...second character has a power allowing him to give the first character a card. He could give her a blessing, because that doesn't require any other action to affect the check..."

You will note that it isn't the first power itself ("give a card") that modifies the check; what modifies it is what you call the "end result": (the second power "add 1 for each blessing" + the fact that the encountering player has one additional blessing).

EDIT: And to clarify, on your original question - by the proposed Sidebar, you should most definitely be able to play the Potion in the situation you describe. Now, what I wonder is: is it OK for you to get an additional explore in the new location, as per the Potion's power, after you finish your encounter with the monster...


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

The proposed sidebar says "In these cases, the things you do cannot require anyone to do something else for your action to be meaningful"

Playing the Potion requires someone else to do something for your action to be meaningful - they have to move to the location that gives them the benefit. That means you cannot play the Potion since you don't get to choose where that person moves to.


skizzerz wrote:
Playing the Potion requires someone else to do something for your action to be meaningful - they have to move to the location that gives them the benefit. That means you cannot play the Potion since you don't get to choose where that person moves to.

Hm, you may be right. IMHO, it's not the 'move' part that would make it illegal though, but rather the 'choice'. I.e. if there was a card saying "Move a character to a location of your choice", I should be able to do play it on another character during their encounter, right?

But that gets me thinking, does 'choice' qualify for something you "do"? What if another is encountering a Pyro Goblin, and I have a spell that says "Display next to another character. That character may chose Fire or Poison and reduce all damage with the chosen trait to 0", would that be a legal play? I always thought of 'doing' as 'playing' - be it cards or powers.


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

That would similarly not be allowed by Vic's proposed wording. Again, in order for that card play to have a meaningful impact, someone else needs to activate a power on it which means it is also possible for that someone else to not activate it or choose the "wrong" thing. If it was worded "Choose Fire or Poison and display this card next to a character at your location. While displayed, reduce all damage of the chosen type dealt to that character to 0. At end of turn, if you do not have the Arcane or Divine..." then you can play it as you are the one making all choices on how it is used. Similarly if there was a hypothetical Potion of Flying where you get to choose where they move to, you could play that too.

It has nothing to do about "choice" but rather immediate consequences vs other people needing to also do things for there to be a consequence. Doing != playing, it is far more broad than that as it encompasses every action a player may take.


skizzerz wrote:

That would similarly not be allowed by Vic's proposed wording. Again, in order for that card play to have a meaningful impact, someone else needs to activate a power on it which means it is also possible for that someone else to not activate it or choose the "wrong" thing. If it was worded "Choose Fire or Poison and display this card next to a character at your location. While displayed, reduce all damage of the chosen type dealt to that character to 0. At end of turn, if you do not have the Arcane or Divine..." then you can play it as you are the one making all choices on how it is used. Similarly if there was a hypothetical Potion of Flying where you get to choose where they move to, you could play that too.

It has nothing to do about "choice" but rather immediate consequences vs other people needing to also do things for there to be a consequence. Doing != playing, it is far more broad than that as it encompasses every action a player may take.

I don't think this is correct. Nowhere in the sidebar does it say that whether or not the result could be invalid matter. It just says that you can't require a second action to have an effect. The example is using a power to give a card to give a blessing that affects the check simply by being in the player's hand vs using the same power to give someone a card that they could then play to draw a blessing. The issue is that in the second example, giving the other player the card doesn't affect the check at all. In the Potion of Flying hypothetical the only valid places to move to would be locations that affect the check. Movement to a location that didn't affect the check would be illegal, but that doesn't make playing the card itself illegal, any more than the fact that you could try to give a character in Vic's hypothetical a card other than a blessing makes using it to give a blessing illegal.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
nondeskript wrote:
I don't think this is correct. Nowhere in the sidebar does it say that whether or not the result could be invalid matter. It just says that you can't require a second action to have an effect. The example is using a power to give a card to give a blessing that affects the check simply by being in the player's hand vs using the same power to give someone a card that they could then play to draw a blessing. The issue is that in the second example, giving the other player the card doesn't affect the check at all. In the Potion of Flying hypothetical the only valid places to move to would be locations that affect the check. Movement to a location that didn't affect the check would be illegal, but that doesn't make playing the card itself illegal, any more than the fact that you could try to give a character in Vic's hypothetical a card other than a blessing makes using it to give a blessing illegal.

The act of moving itself is the second action. Potion of Flying requires a second action (the character it is played on to move) in order to have an effect. By your own argument, it isn't allowed for that exact reason. If the person playing the Potion chose where the character moves to, then there wouldn't be any issues here. However, in this case the character it is played on chooses whether or not to move and where they can move -- the act of that character choosing to move to a location that helps them is a requirement that someone else does something (moving) for your action (playing Potion of Flying) to be meaningful.

EDIT: I also can't help but feel we're actually on the same side of this argument but getting hung up on superfluous wording choices...


Looking at Vic's example of a player using a power to give a blessing card to another character, there is still a choice. It is just being made by the player activating the power. Would you see it as legal if the character making the check is the one who plays the Potion of Flying on himself?

I suspect we are. I don't think it should be legal, I'm just trying to figure out how a player knows what is and isn't legal when we get to powers/cards that affect the check as a result of the action of using them, rather than affecting the check innately. And if cards that affect/powers checks as a result of being used are legal, then I think this becomes legal also.


What if Valeros plays the Potion of Flying on himself to move to another person's location during their encounter, so that he adds his d4 + whatever? That should be legal, right? I kinda doubt that he would have one handy, but maybe.


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

What is forbidden by Vic's sidebar is, and I quote, "In these cases, the things you do cannot require anyone to do something else for your action to be meaningful—the things you do must directly affect the check."

The italicized portion is what I've been arguing and basing all of my decisions on this entire time. Nothing more, nothing less. If the thing is even one step removed from having an effect, it isn't allowed on the bus.

To have Potion of Flying take effect, the order is 1. Play Potion of Flying, 2. Character moves to location with benefits 3. location with benefits impacts the check.

This is not allowed by the sidebar due to the mere existence of step 2. It doesn't matter if all locations are beneficial, the fact there is a step 2 for the card to have any effect means you can't play it on a check.

If the resolution of the card itself is what confers some effect to the check you can play it. Potion of Flying on another player requires another action after playing it (moving) meaning it cannot be played. Simple as that.

For playing Potion of Flying on yourself, I would rule that is allowed by the sidebar as long as moving itself is what confers the benefit. For S&S Valeros, this would be the case because the 1d4 is a static benefit that always happens as long as he shares a location, it doesn't require any other action. As such, the act of moving as part of resolving Potion of Flying is enough to confer the benefit and affect the check.

For the blessing example, the power of the recipient is a static bonus that is always on. As long as there are blessings, there are bonuses. The recipient does not need to do any additional action for receiving a blessing to impact the check. For the sender, the power on the card they played is what lets them give another card -- they give the card as a part of resolving that power and not as its own step after resolving it. There is nothing else they need to do besides play (and resolve) the card in order to confer the blessing and +1 to the check.

To word it differently, for the blessing example:


  • "things you do" = playing card to give card to another player, and giving a card to another player as part of playing that card
  • If you gave a blessing, you or anyone else does not need to do anything else in order for the "things you do" to have an affect on the check, as such it is allowed
  • If you give a card that lets you fetch a blessing from the box, the recipient needs to play that card to have an affect on the check. This is "requiring anyone to do something else for your action to be meaningful" and as such not allowed

For Potion of Flying on someone else


  • "things you do" = playing Potion of Flying
  • Part of resolving Potion of Flying on someone else is requiring them to move, that is "requiring anyone to do something else for your action to be meaningful" and as such is not allowed, even though moving is part of resolving Potion of Flying's power.

For Potion of Flying on yourself when you are S&S Valeros


  • "things you do" = playing Potion of Flying and moving as part of resolving the power
  • You confer a static benefit by sharing a location with another player, and as such do not need to do anything else to affect the check -- they just get the d4. There is therefore no "requiring anyone to do something else for your action to be meaningful" and it is allowed

For Potion of Flying on yourself when you are S&S Lem


  • "things you do" = playing Potion of Flying and moving as part of resolving the power
  • Lem still needs to do something else (recharging a card) in order to give the d4. This counts as "requiring anyone to do something else for your action to be meaningful" (remember you are part of anyone), and as such is not allowed

I hope that makes my position and interpretation more clear.


The only problem with that position, I think, might be that the rules say it can not require "anyone" to do something else. Your interpretation seems to have make a distinction between moving yourself and having someone else move that I'm not sure is there. If the sidebar said "anyone else" instead of simply "anyone" that distinction might exist. But by being phrased simply "anyone" it also includes that it can't require you yourself to do another action to make what you did meaningful. So, I think you'd have to say that if moving is a second action (and I'm not totally sure it is any more than giving a card would be a second action), then I don't think it matters that you yourself would move or someone else would move.

Just my thoughts. Personally, I'm not really sure what is correct here.


I've been running through this in my head and I thing the PoF has to be legal with Vic's sidebar. In the only example that we have of anyone doing something else, that something else is actually using another power (the one on the hypothetical card that lets you draw a blessing). So in Vic's examples:

Example #1:

Action 1: Activate a power on character card. Power allows you to give a card to another player. Give blessing (which automatically gives a bonus on the check).

Example 2:

Action 1: Activate a power on character card. Power allows you to give a card to another player. Give card that can be played to draw a blessing from box.
Action 2: Activate a power on newly received card. Use power to draw a blessing from the box (which automatically gives a bonus on the check).

The second action is using a second power, not simply following the instructions of the first power.

You are saying that the PoF example works like this:

Action 1: Activate a power on the potion of flying.
Action 2: Move to another location.

In that case, Vic's example #1 would be:

Action 1: Activate a power on character card.
Action 2: Give a card to another player.

Which would make it invalid. Basically, playing the PoF and doing everything that the card says to do (disregarding the impossible explore command) is a single action, so Vic's sidebar does not make it illegal.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Hawkmoon269 wrote:
The only problem with that position, I think, might be that the rules say it can not require "anyone" to do something else. Your interpretation seems to have make a distinction between moving yourself and having someone else move that I'm not sure is there.

My distinction was that playing card + moving were both counted as part of "things you do" and there is no "something else" to be done after you do all of those things. See the Lem example for a case I picked out where "anyone ... something else" would apply to yourself in the sense that it requires an activation of an entirely different power rather than you yourself doing a bunch of things to resolve just one power. Resolving a power that requires other players to do things isn't part of "things you do" because you aren't doing those things, therefore they fall into the "anyone ... something else" category and are disallowed.

If you can't wrap multiple things into "things you do" then you couldn't play any card/power that required multiple steps to resolve on an encounter.


Hmmm.... ok, get your point now. It is fairly nuanced. Basically the difference between letting someone move and moving them yourself. If that distinction is desired in this rule, it will be interesting to review some movement cards to see if any are worded so that the player playing the card moves the other character. Because that would make a difference.

Given that the language Vic gave isn't final yet, it might depend on how the final version is worded.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

skizzerz wrote:
What is forbidden by Vic's sidebar is, and I quote, "In these cases, the things you do cannot require anyone to do something else for your action to be meaningful—the things you do must directly affect the check."

"Anyone" means "anyone." If we meant "anyone other than you," we'd have said "anyone else."


The only example we have of what doing something else means is playing a card. I posit that the only these things that count as "doing something":

Advance the blessing deck (at the start of turn)
Give a card (during the Give a Card step)
Move (during the Move step)
Free Explore (during the Explore step)
Close a location (after the Explore step)
End your turn
Use a power (whether from your location card, character card, role card, scenario card, adventure card, path card, etc)

During an encounter, the only one of these that would ever apply is using a power. So I am now reading Vic's sidebar as saying that you can only use a power that affects the check without anyone else having to use a power to be meaningful. If the power on the card had 13 steps and involved every single player moving and drawing and recharging a card, so long as the end result is 100% guaranteed to affect the check it would be legal. Moving after playing a PoF isn't doing something else, it is using the power of the card. You can't separate using the power and moving into two distinct actions.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
skizzerz wrote:
What is forbidden by Vic's sidebar is, and I quote, "In these cases, the things you do cannot require anyone to do something else for your action to be meaningful—the things you do must directly affect the check."
"Anyone" means "anyone." If we meant "anyone other than you," we'd have said "anyone else."

Yes, I never stated that the exclusion does not also apply to you (at least, I hope I didn't!). In fact, I gave an example with Lem where the exclusion would apply to you. Unfortunately, your sentence does not give any clarity as to whether my (admittedly very) nuanced reading of the sidebar is correct or not, and if not what the correct reading is.

I guess the question is: when carrying out the text on a power in order to resolve it, how much of that counts as "things you do" and how much of that (if any) counts as "something else" even if you are the person doing those things? My interpretation is "Anything you personally do when resolving the power is part of 'things you do'. Any other cards/powers that you may play or anything someone else needs to do all counts as 'something else'".

If you don't believe that is correct, feel free to correct me (even if said correction is disclaimed as unofficial, if that helps to explain your intent better without making any binding decisions). Alternatively, think of the 3 Potion of Flying examples I gave above and your remarks on which should and should not be allowed by the intent of the rule (again unofficial answers are fine if that helps things be more clear as to intent):


  • Playing Potion of Flying on another character. Both characters are currently at the Abattoir and that other character is encountering a bane.
  • S&S Valeros playing Potion of Flying on himself to move to another character's location to confer the static d4 bonus on a Combat check.
  • S&S Lem playing Potion of Flying on himself to move to another character's location so he can then use his other power to add the d4 to the check.

While I think my nuanced reading is certainly a valid one, having any sort of guidance whether that be official or unofficial I believe would greatly assist in getting everyone here on the same page.


If I managed to follow all that (not sure I did), it seems to get down to :

If the Potion power was something like

What could be a nice item wrote:


Banish this card and move a character at your location; if it's that character's turn, he may explore his location. Any movement restrictions still apply.

Then I would say you can play it and benefit from the impact on the check because the other character had nothing to do (he is moved against his own will).

But for me the whole deal is in the "may":

What is the current text unfortunately wrote:


Banish this card and choose a character at your location. That character may move; if it's that character's turn, he may explore his location. Any movement restrictions still apply.

So the chosen character has to decide to move (decision) and move (action). Thus taking an action and breaking Vic's sidebar. Hence non-legal during encounter.

Not really a can'o'worms, because it seems that the rules stand by themselves but I wish we had an "improved" potion of flying working as per my first quote.


Frencois wrote:
So the chosen character has to decide to move (decision) and move (action). Thus taking an action and breaking Vic's sidebar. Hence non-legal during encounter.

Using this logic, Vic's example of what IS legal has a character using a power (action), picking a card (decision), and then giving that card to another player (action).

Why is moving a separate action but giving a card isn't?

Grand Lodge

nondeskript wrote:
Frencois wrote:
So the chosen character has to decide to move (decision) and move (action). Thus taking an action and breaking Vic's sidebar. Hence non-legal during encounter.

Using this logic, Vic's example of what IS legal has a character using a power (action), picking a card (decision), and then giving that card to another player (action).

Why is moving a separate action but giving a card isn't?

I think the distinction is the Potion of Flying is giving (allowing) a player another set of actions -- moving and exploring. If the Potion of Flying would be worded "Banish this card and choose a character at your location. Move that character to a location you choose.", then the card would be okay to use. It's the options that the card allows that puts it in the non-playable area. The card-giving example is closer to the second.


This is what is being claimed are the two actions being taken:
Action 1: Banish PoF and choose a character at your location.
Action 2: That character moves.
That can't be two separate actions. Outside of an encounter, could you banish the PoF, choose a character, and have the character you chose not move and not explore?

Let's take this further and look at probable wordings for Vic's hypothetical power in the sidebar:

Hypothetical Power #1 wrote:
You may give a card to another character.

This is legal per the sidebar.

But how about:
Hypothetical Power #2 wrote:
You may recharge a card to give a card to another character.

Is this two actions? Recharging a card and giving a card? If not, why would banishing a card and moving be two actions?

Or this option:
Hypothetical Power #3 wrote:
Recharge a card and choose a character. You may give that character a card.

Is that now two actions, choosing a character and giving a card? It is mechanically identical to the previous option (and virtually identical to using PoF on yourself).

Or what if you use a Merchant instead of a character power:
Merchant wrote:
Discard this card to give any number of cards to another character.

Is this two actions? Playing the Merchant and giving the card?

I would say, per Vic's sidebar, that of course all of those are one action each. You can't separate banishing the card to use the power and using the power into two distinct actions. The movement is part of playing the card.

Grand Lodge

nondeskript, I think you're taking Vic's sidebar out-of-context, though.

Vic wrote:

We're considering this new rules sidebar (so it also applies to other cases where restrictions apply, such as damage prevention):

Rules: Affecting the Situation
In some situations, the rules limit you to playing cards or using powers that affect or otherwise relate to the current situation. In these cases, the things you do cannot require anyone to do something else for your action to be meaningful—the things you do must directly affect the check. For example, let's say that a character is attempting a check using a power that adds 1 to her check for each blessing in her hand, and a second character has a power allowing him to give the first character a card. He could give her a blessing, because that doesn't require any other action to affect the check. But he could not give her a card that allows her to draw a blessing from the box, because she would have to do something else—in this case, play that card—to affect the check.

The giving the card from B to A doesn't mean that A gets to use the card. It is specifically to give a blessing to A so that A can use (or increase) a power that affects the check in the encounter by the sheer existence of the blessing in A's hand. That's a big difference than using the Merchant/Merchant Lord to give A a blessing so that A can play that blessing during the check.

It's not the giving of the card that's "illegal" but the reason for giving the card. In Vic's example, the existence of another blessing directly affects the power being applied to the check. Let's go back to the original post and the location bonuses. If A and B are at location #2 where all Combat checks are increased by 4. Location #1 states that you may add 4 to your Combat checks at this location. If the Potion of Flying said "Banish this card and choose a character at your location. Move that character to another location of your choosing.", it would be legal to do this. You are directly affecting the check of the encounter. In this case, from making it more difficult to making it easier.

But the wording on PoF doesn't force a character to move somewhere else, it allows that character to move somewhere else. Effectively giving that character some actions within the encounter where there shouldn't be.


nondeskript wrote:


Hypothetical Power #2 wrote:
You may recharge a card to give a card to another character.

Is this two actions? Recharging a card and giving a card? If not, why would banishing a card and moving be two actions?

Or this option:
Hypothetical Power #3 wrote:
Recharge a card and choose a character. You may give that character a card.
Is that now two actions, choosing a character and giving a card? It is mechanically identical to the previous option (and virtually identical to using PoF on yourself).

Powers 2 and 3 are not identical. Power 3 lets you recharge a card with no consequence. You can't activate power 2 without giving a card to someone.


I've got to disagree with you that giving a card isn't illegal. That, in and of itself, would be illegal. It is only permissible in Vic's example because the card you are giving allows a bonus without being played. If you had to then play the card, it becomes illegal.

Can you play PoF without the target character either moving or exploring? If the answer is no, then the movement/exploration is part of the same action as playing the card.

If you start separating out doing what the card tells you from playing the card, then other valid plays start to become illegal. For example, when playing the Staff of Hungry Shadows, the person who plays it has to reveal then card, then discard a spell and roll their arcane die before it has an effect on the check. Are discarding the spell and rolling the arcane die separate actions from playing the card? Of course not.

Part of the problem, I suppose, is that the game doesn't clearly define what "taking an action" is. The only enumerated "Actions" I see in the rulebook are the actions you take when playing cards (Reveal/Display/Discard/Recharge/Bury/Banish). It also refers to the steps of encountering a card and attempting a check as actions, but I don't think that is relevant.


mlvanbie wrote:
Powers 2 and 3 are not identical. Power 3 lets you recharge a card with no consequence. You can't activate power 2 without giving a card to someone.

If that is the case, then you can banish (or recharge if you are Damiel) the PoF without anyone moving or exploring. That doesn't seem correct to me.


I expect that the intent of the card was that the affected character would do at least one of the two actions but brevity turned the card into a toy for Damiel.


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I think we are, perhaps, getting overly bogged down in the language. I take the rule's "something else" to mean something beyond what the card you played did. Having another character move is still the effect of the card you played. "Something else" would, in my opinion, only apply to doing something after resolving the effect of the card in order to make the card meaningful.

After all, if something else literally meant another player doing anything, then you couldn't play blessings, because the other player has to roll the dice you added. I know that is an extreme, but I'm just trying to illustrate the point.

Just my opinion of course.

Now, all that being said, you might say that you still can't Potion of Flying Valeros. Valeros still has to use his power to add 1d4 to the check. Even though the power has no trigger (like recharging a card or something), there is still a part of attempting a check where he has to "use" his power. But is that much different than having a power of +1 to your check for each blessing in hand? What if a location said "add 1 to your check for each character at this location?" This will be an interesting nuance to see figured out.


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

I took "something else" to include any actions by other people (including them moving as part of you playing the Potion of Flying) because the "something else" is contrasted with "things you do." Things you do explicitly has "you" in there, so if you aren't the one doing it then it automatically falls under "something else" due to having nowhere else to go. For things you personally do, I would agree with Hawkmoon in that something else only applies to things outside of the immediate effects of the card you just played or power you just used.

Your playing a blessing example I think is misconstrued because them rolling the dice isn't a "something else" for the blessing adding a die to the check to have an impact on the check -- the blessing impacts the check simply by being played. Rolling the dice happens in a later step of the encounter and is far out of the scope of this sidebar which covers (among possible other things) "Use cards and powers that affect the check".

If the Valeros example is disallowed because the d4 is its own power, then Vic's example of the +1 per blessing in hand would also have to be disallowed because that is its own power as well. Since we can assume an example Vic gives is meant to be valid, that means that the Valeros example has to also be valid in the sense that the static d4 would be a valid reason for playing Potion of Flying. The Valeros example may be invalid for some other reason, but not for the fact the d4 is its own power that just always happens. The nuance I settled with is that any "static" powers (e.g. powers that do not require you to do something in order to use them), are valid reasons for playing cards that are affected by those powers since nothing else needs to then be done for the power to take effect.

Sovereign Court

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This is part of my issue with the sidebar in general. None of these things directly affect the check. Passing a blessing, moving, none of it. Plus, it creates issue like this where either side can easily, and logically, claim whether it does or doesn't work.

Does moving affect a check? No. After you move, there might be something else that changes (like +2 per player at the location), but that's not the movement, that's not direct. Same with passing a blessing. Same with Valeros. Honestly, I feel like the sidebar just confused things even more and shouldn't be added. Or, at a minimum, don't specify that it must directly affect the check, because neither the topic of this thread or even the example in the sidebar do that. If the power used can't affect the check on its own, it shouldn't be a legal play.


Andrew L Klein wrote:

This is part of my issue with the sidebar in general. None of these things directly affect the check. Passing a blessing, moving, none of it. Plus, it creates issue like this where either side can easily, and logically, claim whether it does or doesn't work.

Does moving affect a check? No. After you move, there might be something else that changes (like +2 per player at the location), but that's not the movement, that's not direct. Same with passing a blessing. Same with Valeros. Honestly, I feel like the sidebar just confused things even more and shouldn't be added. Or, at a minimum, don't specify that it must directly affect the check, because neither the topic of this thread or even the example in the sidebar do that. If the power used can't affect the check on its own, it shouldn't be a legal play.

That would be my personal preference too. And anything that should break that rule could say so in the power (i.e. Balazar or Rage if desired). Though, I think if you said "The power itself has to affect the check" then Rage works as is, since resolving the powers does affect the check.

But, whatever happens, I'll live with it.


The way I had interpreted it before the Balazar discussion that lead to the sidebar was that any power you used had to be a power that would add a static bonus, die, trait or something along those lines to the check. Any power that does not directly add something to the check (such as moving or adding a card to your hand) should not be legal. PoF is just taking the counter-example to its logical limit based on cards that currently exist. I agree that any of these things that breaks this rule should be specifically stated that it can. Like S&S Valeros's power to move when you encounter a villain, even though normally you could not move at that point.

As far as "something else" meaning actions by other people, Vic is clear that it is "something else" by anyone, including the person taking the initial action. So who does the second thing (which may or may not be a second "action") can't be used to determine whether or not it is legal. If I played a card that let me draw a blessing and then played the blessing, it would be illegal even though I took both actions because it is clearly two separate actions. For the rule to work, you need to be able to tell what is and is not a second action simply by looking at what the characters are doing regardless of who is doing it. Otherwise you end up with a vague rule open to misinterpretation and likely requiring further errataing.

The difficulty of making it clear what is and is not permissible without limiting the paths they can take with future cards makes me glad that I'm not a game developer :)


nondeskript wrote:
The difficulty of making it clear what is and is not permissible without limiting the paths they can take with future cards makes me glad that I'm not a game developer :)

But that's the thing - they really wouldn't be limiting anything, as they can always add "You may play this power/card during an encounter". Admittedly, this is somewhat text-heavy (unless they come-up with a shorthand trait/phrasing like "Swift"/"At any time,...", for example), which I understand Vic & co. are loathe doing. However, this would force that the intent and function of the card/power are clearly determined at design stage and at any moment a cursory check with design documentation should reveal "Yes, this can be played during encounter" or "No, it can't". And that would be a great win for the game and player community as whole, in my opinion.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Andrew L Klein wrote:
This is part of my issue with the sidebar in general. None of these things directly affect the check.

The sidebar is clarifying what an already-existing rule means. Directly affecting a check is already not a requirement for playing a card during an encounter. The rule in question is "Players may only play cards or use powers that relate to each step (or relate to cards played or powers used in that step)."

The sidebar is clarifying what "relates to" actually means, since it isn't defined anywhere in the rulebook itself. And furthermore, note that the scope of the rule (and the sidebar) is on the playing cards/using powers level. It clarifies that, in the course of playing a single card or using a single power, that things that happen when doing so must meet certain criteria in order for the card play or power use to be valid during a step of an encounter.

The existing rule already allows for a one-step indirection, and I believe playing a card that lets you move out of the Abbatoir (which relates to the Abbatoir's At This Location power which relates to the "Determine the Difficulty" step) would therefore already be valid under the existing rule. The sidebar (in my mind) further clarifies and restricts exactly what actions a card or power can have you do and still be considered relating to a step or relating to a card played or power used in that step.

For the Valeros example, the thing that may prevent that situation from being allowed is that the rule above uses past-tense for "power used in that step" and not the act of moving itself. Valeros is moving to make his (static) power take effect, which would be future tense. The blessing example by Vic assumes the blessing power is already active, so past tense is still correct when passing a blessing over. I'm not convinced that the power order matters though (in that use of past tense may be there to make the sentence easily readable/understandable versus an implication that power ordering is important), but can see it either way. I can't think of any powers offhand beyond the Valeros example that would be impacted by enforcing power order with respect to the "relates to" clause.

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