CD Alahazra extra card scout power and scouting cards


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

How does Alahazra's scouting power interact with scouting cards? Here's what her power says:

Alahazra wrote:
When you examine 1 or more cards from a character or location deck, you may examine an additional card.

So how does it play out when she uses Augury?

Augury wrote:
Discard this card to choose a type of card and examine the top 3 cards of your location deck. If there are any cards of the chosen type, set them aside. Return the remaining cards to the deck, shuffle it, then put the cards you set aside together in any order on the top or bottom of the deck.

Does the extra card she examines get included in the effect of the Augury spell? That is, if for example Alahazra choose monster, and the extra card she got to examine via her power was a monster, would she be able to put it either on the top or bottom of the deck [in any order with other monsters she may have found]? Or does her power simply allow her to examine the extra card without it interacting with the ability that allowed her to examine cards in the first place?

Also, does the extra card she examines always come from the top of the deck she examines via another card or ability or from the same place in the deck? If she plays a card that allows her to examine the bottom card of a location deck, does she examine an additional card from the bottom or from the top?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'd say yes, the extra card she examines becomes part of everything else you are doing. So, basically just replace the 3 in Augury's text with a 4.

And I'd say the extra card always comes from the same place as the regular cards she is examining. So, if she was examining from the top, she gets toe examine one more from the top. If she was examining from the bottom, she gets to examine one more from the bottom.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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What he said.

Silver Crusade

This makes CD Alahazra appeal to me even more. Imagine a magic spyglass in her hands! I was concerned about the discarding a card from the top of her deck power, but given the plethora of attack spells in the oracle deck and the presence of a handy haversack, I'm feeling like that could be manageable. Ramexes is still my choice for SotRu, but I definitely plan to give CD Alahazra a chance in the future.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Imagine if you played RotR with her and had the Revelation Quill + Brodert Quink. You could examine the top 6 and bottom 4.

Silver Crusade

Well, now I know who I'm playing when my home group does RotR.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Imagine if you played RotR with her and had the Revelation Quill + Brodert Quink. You could examine the top 6 and bottom 4.

Murphy-of-Golarion's Law says : if you have both the Revelation Quill and Brodert Quink, the villain will always be positioned as the 7th card in the pile of 11 cards.


What about the Wand of Treasure Finding?

The text is:
"Bury this card on your turn to examine your location deck until you find a weapon, an item or an armor; shuffle the location deck and put that card on top."

The wording on Alahazra's power is "when you examine 1 or more cards... you may" which seems to imply it's a power that you activate. So does that activation happen after the examine? Is the examine part an atomic action and then the shuffle part is an atomic action (in the "finish one thing before you begin another" sense), which means that you can activate the examine extra card right after the examine but before the shuffle?

(The question also applies to Maester Grump, which means that I will expect to field this question soon during SotRu)

What about Blessing of Nethys? It says:
"Discard this card to examine the top 2 cards of the location deck, put them back in any order, and explore your location."

Are the three of these actions an atomic action? Or is examine an atomic action, putting them back an atomic action, and explore an atomic action?

I assume the intent was that the examine would be applied immediately after the examine (and then you get to choose whether or not you do it, as things like Siren Caller do bad things to your examines.)

What happens if you use the power on a Detect Magic and reveal 2 blessings/boons with the Magic trait? Do both encounters occur? Is it possible to choose the order?

I searched through the archives for Eye of Serenity, which had a similar power: it seems that Andrew and hawkmoon both said (and Vic made it official) that the extra rider effects off the examine don't work because the effects _aren't_ part of the power that originally examined the deck, and the extra examine comes from the Eye of Serenity's power. Which seems to be contradictory with what hawkmoon (and Vic's official confirmation) is saying now. I'm confused.

(EDIT: There is 1 difference between these 2 examples, and that is that Augury with CD Alahazra's power refers to multiple cards and Seelah's power at the Eye of Serenity refers to a single card. That may be the difference. Though Illusory Wall, which allows you to examine the top card and return _it_ to the top or bottom, is still an issue here.)

What about Cyclops Oracle? It has the text "examine the top 3 cards of your deck, then recharge 1, discard 1, and bury 1." -you'd definitely want to examine a 4th card with Alahazra's power because you get more choices - do you get to?

-Why is the wording on Eye of Serenity "If you examine" (which is a rider on an existing effect) rather than "When you examine" (which is a triggered activated power, which can have weird timing issues)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Tricky one. Good candidate for the can'o'worms contest.

The general issue is: when a power tells me do examine a given number of card and then explicitely tells me what to do with each card up to that given number, how does it work with Alahazra extra examination?

I'm deeply in favor of a generic rule rather than FAQing a bunch of cards.

Until proven guilty by the Higher Ones, we will house rule this way:

1) Alahazra examine one more card with the same requirements (i. e. with Wand of Treasure Finding she would examine until she puts aside 2 <weapon, an item or an armor>)

2) Within the cards she has (one too many), she select one. If the power says to shuffle some cards back in the deck where they come from, (Wand of Treasure Finding...) then that card is so shuffled. Else (Detect Magic...) it is put back on top of the deck where it comes from.

3) She applies the power as expected with the remaining cards (since she now has the required number).

At least it's simple, works, gives the expected boost to the Oracle, and avoids questions.

Until Mike, Vic or Hawk...


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

The power lets you examine an additional card during the course of the original examination -- it is not a second examination that happens after the first one completes.

Wand of Treasure finding: examine your location deck until you find a weapon, an item, or an armor, then examine the next card after that; shuffle the location deck and put the original weapon, item, or armor on top.

Blessing of Nethys: examine 3 cards, put them back in any order, and explore your location.

Detect Magic: You look at the top 2 cards. If the very first card is a Blessing or has the Magic trait, you may encounter it. The cards are then put back on top in the same order you examined them (this might only be the 2nd card should the 1st be a blessing or have the magic trait).

Cyclops Oracle: examine the top 4 cards of your deck, then recharge 1, discard 1, and bury 1. Put the remaining card back on top of the deck.

Context is everything: A power that deals with the top or bottom card of the deck still only cares about the top or bottom card even if you examine some additional ones; this is because the powers reference "the card", meaning the singular card the power itself had you examine. Powers that have you examine multiple cards however typically deal with all of the cards they examine, so they work with any extra cards as well. This is wholly consistent with both the Eye of Serenity thread (which only dealt with the singular card case) as well as Vic's confirmation above. For the Wand of Treasure Finding, that also deals with a singular card, which is why you cannot use the next card instead of the original one top put on top. For Cyclops Oracle, the 4th card is put back on top because that's what the rulebook tells us to do with examined cards unless we're told to do otherwise by the power. The power only deals with 3 cards, so the 4th hits the default rule of "put the cards you examined back in the same order you found them"

For Illusory Wall, you can likely apply the same framework above -- figure out what the power is referencing; if it is a single card then it only deals with that. If it is all examined cards, then the extra would trip. If the power doesn't tell you what you should do with the card, put it back in the same order you found it per the rulebook. If you want to post the card text I can reword it to include the extra examine.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

@Wand of Treasure Finding: I would read it as you examine until you find a weapon, item or armor, pull that card out, then you get to look at an extra one, then shuffle the deck and put the pulled out card on top.

@Blessing of Nethys: You'd definitely get to apply the whole power to the top 3 cards instead of the normal 2, so you can put all three in any order, then explore.

@Detect Magic: I would say you get to look at the top two, and if the top one has the Magic trait, you can encounter it. If the second one does, it gets left there anyway, per the answer given for Eye of Serenity and Seelah.

@Cyclops Oracle, you'd definitely get to examine 4, then do those actions with 1 each, and the last one would probably have to be shuffled in (though that's not explicit).


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
cartmanbeck wrote:
@Cyclops Oracle, you'd definitely get to examine 4, then do those actions with 1 each, and the last one would probably have to be shuffled in (though that's not explicit).

Examine is defined as putting the card back exactly where it came from.

WotR Rulebook p14 wrote:
Sometimes a card allows you to examine one or more cards—that means looking at the specified card and then putting it back where it came from.

Since you aren't instructed otherwise, it goes back exactly where it came from.

I'm personally a bit torn with the Seelah answer I gave before. Clearly, Augury at the Eye of Serenity would do the same thing as CD Alahazra, letting you examine and manipulate 4 cards. Augury's wording is very open ended: "If there are any cards of the chosen type, set them aside." It doesn't care that the number 3 was in the preceding sentence and make no "hard" reference to it.

Seelah's power is a bit more "hard" with its pronoun. "If it’s a boon" seems to still only refer to just the very top card. Had it been something like "If you examine a boon..." or "If the examined card is a boon..." then I could see is as more open ended.

At least, that is what I think.


When does Alahazra choose to examine an additional card?

Assume that there is a location deck with 4 cards including a barrier and a villain, I've played Augury for monsters and I want to put the villain on top, but the barrier might have 'if you examine this card' text. I probably only want to go to 4 cards if the first 3 contained a barrier. Can I look at the first 3 cards before activating the power to examine one more?


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
mlvanbie wrote:

When does Alahazra choose to examine an additional card?

Assume that there is a location deck with 4 cards including a barrier and a villain, I've played Augury for monsters and I want to put the villain on top, but the barrier might have 'if you examine this card' text. I probably only want to go to 4 cards if the first 3 contained a barrier. Can I look at the first 3 cards before activating the power to examine one more?

I want to say "no" here (because of potentially wonky interactions but also because the alternative makes an already powerful mechanic -- scouting -- even more powerful since the extra card decision can be based on the other cards you looked at), but I think as-written the answer is "yes." The power is "When you examine 1 or more cards," not "When you would examine 1 or more cards," which implies that you already examined cards by the point the power applies.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

skizzerz wrote:
The power lets you examine an additional card during the course of the original examination -- it is not a second examination that happens after the first one completes.

Right—it's "when you examine," not "after you examine." Everything else in your post appears correct to me.

And if you want to opt in to that power during your examination, that's just fine, because you're still doing it "when you examine."

Silver Crusade

So my starting CD Alahazra deck has a clockwork butterfly, which reads "On your turn, recharge this card to examine the top card of your location deck; if it is an ally or a blessing, you may explore your location."

How does this interact with her power. I know I can examine the top two cards of the deck when I recharge the butterfly, but can I explore if either card is an ally or blessing?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I don't think so. The "it" still refers to just the top card.

At least, in my opinion.

Silver Crusade

That's what made the most sense to me, but I wanted to be clear, given this discussion. This also applies to things like detect magic.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
That's what made the most sense to me, but I wanted to be clear, given this discussion. This also applies to things like detect magic.

Yeah. I can see how it is indeed similar to Augury. The thing that makes it a bit different to me is that

1. The intent of the Clockwork Butterfly seems to be to let you explore and encounter the ally or blessing you saw. Since you wouldn't be able to explore and encounter the second card that you saw, it would seem odd.

2. Augury seems much more broad with its "if there are any cards of the chosen type" language.

But, now that you mention Detect Magic, which is not exploring, I could see Detect Magic letting you encounter the second card (since it isn't exploring). Though, it is worded very similarly to Clockwork Butterfly, saying "if it is..."

So, I guess I'm saying I could see it both ways.


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

From my post a while back: "Context is everything: A power that deals with the top or bottom card of the deck still only cares about the top or bottom card even if you examine some additional ones; this is because the powers reference "the card", meaning the singular card the power itself had you examine. Powers that have you examine multiple cards however typically deal with all of the cards they examine, so they work with any extra cards as well." For Clockwork Butterfly, the reference is "it" rather than "the card" but the same principle holds.

Clockwork Butterfly and Detect Magic bother refer to a singular card, namely the card that the power itself told you to examine. If you examine additional cards, that text does not apply to them. They are simply placed back wherever you found them.

So, for Clockwork Butterfly, the end result of using both powers is: On your turn, recharge this card to examine the top two cards of your location deck; if the first card is an ally or a blessing, you may explore your location.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

That's a good summation.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I could start another thread, but I think Skizzers' post above gives some context to the argument I recently had, so I'll try it here:

The Immortal Dreamstone says:
"Banish this card to add 3 random allies from the box to your hand. You may instead bury this card to display THE allies..."

So that 'THE' up there is causing some disagreement on my table. It appears to refer to the allies from the first sentence, so one argument goes that we banish the Dreamstone, draw and look at THE allies, and then we may bury the Dreamstone instead, to display the allies. I.e., before we draw and see the allies by banishing, there is no 'THE allies' to display by burying.

The counter-argument being - as recently ruled, when you do "instead' action, the action you do it 'instead of' never happens. I.e. you must decide to bury or banish at the time of playing (rather than treat it like a spell, where you discard for effect, but then you may turn the discard into recharge).

Thank in advance for the Widom +1.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Seems similar to the Emerald Codex. Mike said you had to decide first in that case.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Seems similar to the Emerald Codex. Mike said you had to decide first in that case.

Thanks, Hawkmoon! Though, there'll be much disappointment around the table now...


I was hosting some players during Dragonflight this weekend and I showed them the ruling of "it" versus "they". They were somewhat upset because of 2 things: it requires you to specifically determine the singular versus plural context (so it doesn't work consistently), and because they assumed that the powers on the cards were designed to work with Alahazra's extra examine.

So, yeah. Having played with enough people, I notice that PACG's ruleset is contextually-based - eg you can only play cards that pertain to a situation during that situation, this context-based ruling, etc. and while that really jives with RPG rulings (which make sense), it probably throws off the boardgame crowd who are used to exception-based rules instead.


What seems extra confusing about this is that the harmful effects of a trap would trigger, but the boon would not be given.

Is the ruling that for Alahazara's special ability it only gives the player the opportunity to look at the card, and that it will never be encountered? If it's a monster with a trigger nothing happens, and if its a blessing it also can not be encountered with Clockwork Butterfly?


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kieandra wrote:

What seems extra confusing about this is that the harmful effects of a trap would trigger, but the boon would not be given.

Is the ruling that for Alahazara's special ability it only gives the player the opportunity to look at the card, and that it will never be encountered? If it's a monster with a trigger nothing happens, and if its a blessing it also can not be encountered with Clockwork Butterfly?

You still examine all of the card, so any Triggers will happen. The above is how the original power that told you to examine cards deals (or doesn't deal) with the extra card(s) you examine.

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