Timing of "When" powers


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion

Silver Crusade

Salim has a power that states "When you defeat a monster on your turn, you may shuffle a random card from your discard pile into your deck." This does not pose a problem for me under normal circumstances, but I'm concerned about how it interacts with henchman closing powers, which we know must happen immediately after defeating. Does that mean that if I want to close my location, I can't shuffle a card from my discard pile into my deck? Or does "when you defeat" happen before "if defeated"?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Personally, I'd say that they happen at the same time. You have to do the immediate one first (attempt to close the location). After that, you can still do the other (shuffle a random card from your discard pile into your deck).

Silver Crusade

Thanks, Hawkmoon. Follow up question: Say the close check is to defeat a monster. So I then have defeated 2 monsters. Do the cards stack, so I am now able to heal two cards basically at once?

I think this correlates with a question I always had about WotR Kyra. If she played a blessing on her check AND used her channel power, could she shuffle two cards?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Well, now you are just making it tricky.

I don't see anything that prevents "banking" it until you are able to activate it, so I suppose you would indeed be healing two cards then.

The Kyra questions was discussed a bit here. I think I would agree you could shuffle two cards, once for each thing that triggered her power.

Silver Crusade

Thanks, Hawkmoon.

For the record, I was least enthusiastic about Salim when the inquisitor deck came out, but I think I'm going to end up liking him best.


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

Here's how I play them:

There are two types of When powers: powers that simply say "When CONDITION, ACTION" and those that say "When you would CONDITION, ACTION" (where CONDITION and ACTION vary).

I'm going to call the former class "trigger" powers and the latter class "replacement" powers (the Trigger trait is not equivalent to the class of trigger powers, although the powers that accompany that trait are indeed trigger powers).

For trigger powers, they happen immediately after the condition. For replacement powers, they happen instead of the condition (so the condition never actually happens).

If you have multiple such powers, replacement powers happen before trigger powers (and may cause the trigger power to not actually happen). Multiple powers in the same class are resolved in a player-defined order. Some powers use the word "immediately" as a way to indicate priority. If you have multiple trigger powers, and some use the word "immediately" and others do not, you must resolve all of the "immediately" ones before you can resolve the others.

I cannot think of any cases where carrying out one trigger power would prevent a second trigger on the same condition from also being applied. The action may be impossible (and thus the power does nothing due to that), but the condition still happened nonetheless.

In terms of nested trigger powers, I think the "Finish One Thing Before You Start Something Else" rule refers more to doing a depth-first traversal of power resolution rather than breadth-first. I say this because of well-defined sequences like villain encounters, where you finish closing the location (including everything that entails, like possibly encountering another card) before checking to see whether the villain can escape anywhere. The following is an example resolution chain of this using Salim's power, assuming the forum doesn't butcher the formatting. The vertical/horizontal bars indicate which condition each power is "chained" to; powers are resolved in numerical order, where C denotes the condition that triggered the power. Let's say the henchman's When Closing has you summon and defeat a monster.

C. Defeat a henchman
1. ├─ Attempt to immediately close the henchman's location
C. │    └─ Defeat the summoned monster (due to When Closing)
2. │        └─ Shuffle a random card from your discard pile into your deck
3. └─ Shuffle a random card from your discard pile into your deck

tl;dr I agree with Hawkmoon

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

If more than one thing happens "when" something happens, you get to determine the order... except when one of them happens "immediately," that one happens first. (If more than one thing happens "immediately," then you get to choose their order.) (And it looks as though the rules don't actually tell you that anywhere at the moment...)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

If more than one thing happens "immediately," do you get to choose the order in which to do them or do you only get to choose one of them to do? Once you have chosen to do one of the two things, then you have chosen to do something else instead of immediately resolving the other option. "Immediately" has to come before not-immediately or not at all, but does using one immediate power preclude using a second or is there an "immediately" step that can contain multiple immediate actions?


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Malcolm_Reynolds wrote:
If more than one thing happens "immediately," do you get to choose the order in which to do them or do you only get to choose one of them to do? Once you have chosen to do one of the two things, then you have chosen to do something else instead of immediately resolving the other option. "Immediately" has to come before not-immediately or not at all, but does using one immediate power preclude using a second or is there an "immediately" step that can contain multiple immediate actions?
Vic Wertz wrote:
(If more than one thing happens "immediately," then you get to choose their order.)

Look at my post for a longer explanation. I still believe it is 100% correct, as Vic's post does not contradict anything said in it.


I believe your reasoning is incorrect. Closing a location after defeating henchman is not a part of the encounter. See this and
this.

Other than that, there is still rule "Finish One Thing Before You Start Something Else" in power. So when you defeat a monster you must finish everything you are required to do plus as much as you like what you are permitted to do, before you start next thing (new encounter, closing location, ending turn.) All character powers are non-mandatory, so if Salim woundn't heal himself before his next move, the opportunity is lost, and you cannot "bank" your heals.


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

I believe your reasoning is incorrect. Closing a location after defeating henchman is not a part of the encounter. See this and

this.

Other than that, there is still rule "Finish One Thing Before You Start Something Else" in power. So when you defeat a monster you must finish everything you are required to do plus as much as you like what you are permitted to do, before you start next thing (new encounter, closing location, ending turn.) All character powers are non-mandatory, so if Salim woundn't heal himself before his next move, the opportunity is lost, and you cannot "bank" your heals.

Both closing a location due to beating a henchman and Salim's power are "When you defeat" triggers (technically the henchman is typically worded "If defeated" but it means the same thing in this case), meaning they happen at the same time. Ordinarily, you get to choose the order in that case, but the henchman one stipulates "immediately" whereas Salim's does not, so the henchman goes first. Once you begin resolving the henchman's power, you do everything it needs you to do (aka do whatever the When Closing says, which in my example requires you to summon and defeat a monster, upon defeating allows you to use Salim's power again because "When" powers happen every time the condition happens). Finish one thing is certainly in play here, but as I stated in my post it works in a depth-first manner, not a breadth-first. This interpretation is backed up by numerous other interactions in the rulebook, such as my above citation of the villain encounter sequence and closing the villain's location, as well as the fact you can have nested encounters and you fully resolve the nested one before returning to the original one.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
skizzerz wrote:
I cannot think of any cases where carrying out one trigger power would prevent a second trigger on the same condition from also being applied.

I'm not sure if I understand correctly what you mean here, but if I do - this is exactly how the Obsidian app treats closing the Sandpoint Cathedral through a Henchman.

- The Cathedral has the power "When you defeat a monster, you may shuffle a blessing from you discard pile into your deck"
- the typical Henchman has "If defeated, you may immediately attempt to close this location"

So, the app executes "immediately" first, but if you close the Cathedral - it 'closed' state does NOT keep the 'shuffle a blessing' power. So the app does NOT bank your second trigger from defeating the Henchman

I admit to playing the opposite in the card game (and if I'm reading it right, the consensus on this thread seems to support me) - I execute the 'immediate attempt to close' from the Henchman, but even if I succeed - I also execute the delayed 'shuffle a Blessing' - because (the way I see it) it was triggered when the location was face-up, and the effect was merely 'pending'; when I get to it, it doesn't 'check' anew if the face-down location still has that power.

Due to Obsidian's implementation though, I'm still not sure if I'm playing it correctly though.


It's a relevant example, but I for one do not accept the app as an arbiter of rules for the card game. (Not saying you ssid it was.)


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Longshot11 wrote:
skizzerz wrote:
I cannot think of any cases where carrying out one trigger power would prevent a second trigger on the same condition from also being applied.

I'm not sure if I understand correctly what you mean here, but if I do - this is exactly how the Obsidian app treats closing the Sandpoint Cathedral through a Henchman.

- The Cathedral has the power "When you defeat a monster, you may shuffle a blessing from you discard pile into your deck"
- the typical Henchman has "If defeated, you may immediately attempt to close this location"

So, the app executes "immediately" first, but if you close the Cathedral - it 'closed' state does NOT keep the 'shuffle a blessing' power. So the app does NOT bank your second trigger from defeating the Henchman

I admit to playing the opposite in the card game (and if I'm reading it right, the consensus on this thread seems to support me) - I execute the 'immediate attempt to close' from the Henchman, but even if I succeed - I also execute the delayed 'shuffle a Blessing' - because (the way I see it) it was triggered when the location was face-up, and the effect was merely 'pending'; when I get to it, it doesn't 'check' anew if the face-down location still has that power.

Due to Obsidian's implementation though, I'm still not sure if I'm playing it correctly though.

This appears to be another case where the app is wrong, in my opinion (that is, I would still resolve the Cathedral's power even after flipping it). When the condition happened, that power was in effect, and even though by the time you get around to it the power is gone, you still do it. Cards don't have memories, put players do.

There is a rule "Cards often have instructions that you need to follow after you play the card; follow these instructions even if the card is no longer in your hand (even if the card is out of your sight, such as in the box or in a deck)." -- doesn't exactly apply to this case but is an argument that RAI for things like location powers work the same way for consistency.

An argument against consistency, and not really on topic here, but I make a distinction between triggers and phases that tell you to resolve a certain class of powers (such as start of turn). For the former, when a condition happens every active power that meets that condition happens right then. The fact they happen is set in stone, they can't suddenly not happen anymore (although they may ask you to do something impossible and thus be ignored), and new ones can't be introduced and retroactively trigger on the same condition as the others. The only variable is the order in which you resolve them (and you can change that order as things go on if you wish, in other words you pick powers one at a time instead of making an order at the beginning). For the latter, you re-evaluate after each power, which could cause new ones to show up or old ones to go away, and keep doing that until there are no more powers to resolve (favorite example is moving at start of turn to avoid a location that deals damage at the start of turn). I don't believe there's any official word as to how exactly things are managed, and I certainly wouldn't be opposed to everything being the latter way as it is much simpler, but imo the rules do not support triggers happening the second way I described.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
elcoderdude wrote:
I for one do not accept the app as an arbiter of rules for the card game.

And IMHO you are right to do so. For technical or gameplay reasons, the app follows a nearly-the-same-but-still-different set of rules.

Longshot11 wrote:
I admit to playing the opposite in the card game (and if I'm reading it right, the consensus on this thread seems to support me)...

There are different ways to deal with a list of cards that you have to deal with (e. g. you are instructed to examine or encounter X cards).

Some independent things must be taken into account when designing the rules of a game like PACG (understanding that a specific card can break the rules):

A- Is the order in which I have to resolve the N cards is mandatory or can I chose (and if so, must I chose the order before resolving the first card or can I change the order on the fly)?

B- Can I play a power/card when I'm resolving another power/card and if yes, does my interrupt 1) happens immediately but then I must after deal with the rest of the interrupted card 2) happens immediately and may cancel / cancels the rest of the interrupted card or 3) happens after I resolve the interrupted card?

C- Can resolving one of the N cards may change the list of remaining cards to be resolved or not?

D- If many things can/must happen "at the same time", is there a precise order to follow, a random one, or do I get to chose?

E- Do cards have "full" (anything that happened since the start of the game impacts how a card is played/resolved), "partial" (anything that happened since the card was played...), "limited" (anything that directly happened due to that card being played...) or "empty" (powers only take into account the current situation) memory?

In PACG IMHO answers are:

A: The order in which I have to resolve the N cards is mandatory (e. g. if I'm told to examine the top N cards, I must examine them from top to bottom).

B: My interrupt happens immediately but then I must after deal with the rest of the interrupted card.

C: Resolving one of the N cards may not change the list of remaining cards to be resolved (e. g. I set aside cards to be examined so if I'm instructed by the first examined card on top of a deck to return the top 3 cards of that deck to the box, the N-1 other cards to examine aren't consider to be in that deck for that matter).

D: If many things can/must happen "at the same time", I get to chose the order. This happen between powers that all lack the "immediately" word or all have it.

E: Unless stated otherwise, cards have no memory... but in fact most of the cards state otherwise and have at least limited or partial memory (e. g. most of the banes have a power starting by "if (un)defeated...").


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
skizzerz wrote:
Look at my post for a longer explanation. I still believe it is 100% correct, as Vic's post does not contradict anything said in it.

I agree with you. I'm wondering about powers specifically designated as happening "immediately". Other than henchmen powers allowing you to close, are there any? If not and we won't see two powers happening "immediately", then my question was purely hypothetical.

skizzerz wrote:

This appears to be another case where the app is wrong, in my opinion (that is, I would still resolve the Cathedral's power even after flipping it). When the condition happened, that power was in effect, and even though by the time you get around to it the power is gone, you still do it. Cards don't have memories, put players do.

I asked a similar question a while ago, and Mike said since you process effects one at a time, if a second would no longer trigger due to processing the first, you don't do the second. Specifically, moving away from the Torture Pit at the end of your turn does not trigger the Torture Pit's end-of-turn power. Funnily enough, while searching for that I found another thread where you said the same thing. I'm not thrilled about it this case since it means you can't defeat a henchman at Sandpoint Cathedral, draw a blessing from your discard pile [apparently Obsidian changed the Cathedral's power], then use that blessing to close the Cathedral because you have to close it first and then the Cathedral's power doesn't trigger because it's closed. That's okay, because I'd rather avoid nasty effects if I have to choose between that and double-dipping good effects.


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Malcolm_Reynolds wrote:
I agree with you. I'm wondering about powers specifically designated as happening "immediately". Other than henchmen powers allowing you to close, are there any? If not and we won't see two powers happening "immediately", then my question was purely hypothetical.

Sorry, I didn't quite understand what you were saying at first. The only other "immediately" powers I can think of are those that state to explore your location -- even if the power itself doesn't say "immediately" the rulebook stipulates that those powers go off before anything else: "If a card grants you an additional exploration, after you finish what you are doing, you must immediately use that exploration or forfeit it."

Malcolm_Reynolds wrote:


I asked a similar question a while ago, and Mike said since you process effects one at a time, if a second would no longer trigger due to processing the first, you don't do the second. Specifically, moving away from the Torture Pit at the end of your turn does not trigger the Torture Pit's end-of-turn power. Funnily enough, while searching for that I found another thread where you said the same thing. I'm not thrilled about it this case since it means you can't defeat a henchman at Sandpoint Cathedral, draw a blessing from your discard pile [apparently Obsidian changed the Cathedral's power], then use that blessing to close the Cathedral because you have to close it first and then the Cathedral's power doesn't trigger because it's closed. That's okay, because I'd rather avoid nasty effects if I have to choose between that and double-dipping good effects.

See the last paragraph of my prior post. I believe that the rules regarding "trigger" powers (using the word "when") work differently than "phase" powers (start/end of turn) due to the combination of the rules "If a power says it may be used when something happens, you may use it every time that happens." and "Cards often have instructions that you need to follow after you play the card; follow these instructions even if the card is no longer in your hand (even if the card is out of your sight, such as in the box or in a deck)."

The first one can be extrapolated to mandatory powers as well (forcing you to use them when that thing happens), however that rule only applies to powers that fire when something happens. Start/end of turn powers don't fall into that category because the rulebook explicitly tells us to activate such powers during defined places in the turn order; in other words, we're activating it because we were told to do so, not because we're reacting to some condition happening. Due to the lack of the rule telling us to activate such powers every time that condition happens, we get to the sequencing used in that post by Mike you link instead.

There is one thing in my previous post that I do believe is incorrect after further consideration. I previously stated that the henchman immediately happens at the same time as Salim's or the Cathedral's power, and only goes first because it says "immediately." In other words, I treated "if defeated" as equivalent to "when defeated." I no longer believe this is the case. Instead, I view this as a case of the second rule I just quoted "follow these instructions even if the card is no longer in your hand" combined with Finish One Thing Before You Start Something Else. You're still finishing resolving all of the powers on the henchman when you resolve the close attempt, and only after that is completed will trigger powers happen on the result of the encounter. So, if you had a power that let you immediately explore again, and you beat a henchman, you still need to do the henchman first even though they are both "immediately" because the henchman power is still part of resolving the encounter with the henchman, and you need to finish resolving that card before you can start exploring again. In that light, Obsidian's treatment of the Cathedral is correct, because by the time other powers (aka powers not on the henchman itself) get to see that the henchman is defeated, the location is already closed so that power is no longer in effect at the time the condition happens.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I think I follow and agree with you. I can rephrase my question as: If "immediately" means "before you do anything else", when you are simultaneously given the opportunity to process two different "immediately" effects, does processing one preclude processing the other since you would now have "done something else" (process the first) before processing the second?


Malcolm_Reynolds wrote:


I asked a similar question a while ago, and Mike said since you process effects one at a time, if a second would no longer trigger due to processing the first, you don't do the second. Specifically, moving away from the Torture Pit at the end of your turn does not trigger the Torture Pit's end-of-turn power. Funnily enough, while searching for that I found another thread where you said the same thing. I'm not thrilled about it this case since it means you can't defeat a henchman at Sandpoint Cathedral, draw a blessing from your discard pile [apparently Obsidian changed the Cathedral's power], then use that blessing to close the Cathedral because you have to close it first and then the Cathedral's power doesn't trigger because it's closed. That's okay, because I'd rather avoid nasty effects if I have to choose between that and double-dipping good effects.

What you suggest was never legal -- something that happens immediately happens before anything else happening at the same time, so you always had to close the location before drawing a blessing from your discard pile.

Your example indicates perhaps you shouldn't draw a blessing after defeating a henchman and closing Sandpoint Cathedral -- but getting back to the OP question, I don't think it means Zadim shouldn't heal twice. Defeating a summoned monster to close a location doesn't change the fact that he defeated a henchman.

EDIT: Ninja'd by skizzerz. Yes, I took forever to post this (work intervened).

Silver Crusade

Malcolm_Reynolds wrote:
I think I follow and agree with you. I can rephrase my question as: If "immediately" means "before you do anything else", when you are simultaneously given the opportunity to process two different "immediately" effects, does processing one preclude processing the other since you would now have "done something else" (process the first) before processing the second?

No, you can do both immediately things, and you get to pick the order. That's what Vic was saying and what is not mentioned in the rules anywhere at present.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
Malcolm_Reynolds wrote:
I think I follow and agree with you. I can rephrase my question as: If "immediately" means "before you do anything else", when you are simultaneously given the opportunity to process two different "immediately" effects, does processing one preclude processing the other since you would now have "done something else" (process the first) before processing the second?
No, you can do both immediately things, and you get to pick the order. That's what Vic was saying and what is not mentioned in the rules anywhere at present.

The current draft is "When more than one thing would happen at the same time, you may decide the order in which those things happen. However, anything that happens 'immediately' must happen before any other things."

So if four things happen when you do something, and two of those four happen immediately, first do the two immediate ones in whichever order you like, then do the other two in whichever order you like.

(And in the unlikely circumstance that one of those immediate things triggers a *new* immediate thing, that new immediate thing would have to happen before the old non-immediate things.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Malcolm_Reynolds wrote:
I'm wondering about powers specifically designated as happening "immediately". Other than henchmen powers allowing you to close, are there any? If not and we won't see two powers happening "immediately", then my question was purely hypothetical.

There are a handful of cards, most of which let you "immediately explore again" after something happens. (Attaching the statement of immediacy to an additional exploration is really reminder text, since the rules already tell you "if a card grants you an additional exploration, after you finish what you are doing, you must immediately use that exploration or forfeit it.")

But there a number of immediate things in the rules—your turn immediately ends when you die, the turn immediately ends when you can't advance the blessings deck, summoned things happen immediately, and a few other things.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Regarding the topic of defeating the henchman at Sandpoint Cathedral:

All "when something happens" effects should go off eventually (unless they become impossible, or unless something tells you otherwise). So you should be able to draw that blessing even though you flipped over the location card after you were told that.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

This has been a very helpful discussion, even knowing i had been doing something improperly. My thanks to you all!

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