Clinging Venom and blessings


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


The spell says that if I cast this spell against a bane with multiple checks then I can use the result of the first combat check for any additional combat checks to defeat it.

Does this include everything rolled, so if other characters play blessings to add to my combat check and I get a nice high total I can use this full total against a second combat check?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Yes, everything you use in the first check - cards, powers, modifiers - constitutes the "result" of you first check, and therefore - you use the same number for the second check.


Great, thanks. I wasn't sure if the "result" included everything or was just the skill+dice specified on the card.


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

The result includes the value of every die you rolled and any bonuses added on top (via skills, or just cards that add flat amounts to your check). The result does not include powers that reduce the difficulty of the check, so there is a distinction to be made there.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
skizzerz wrote:
The result does not include powers that reduce the difficulty of the check, so there is a distinction to be made there.

To comment on this further, prior to this kind of thing, I'm not sure there was much practical difference between a card that reduced the difficulty of a check and a card that added a bonus to the check (i.e. "Discard this card to reduce the difficulty of your Combat check by 3" and "Discard this card to add 3 to your Combat check" had the same practical outcome.) Now, since you can keep the result, there is a difference between the two. And I love it. I can't wait to see how else this will matter.


Hawkmoon269 wrote:


To comment on this further, prior to this kind of thing, I'm not sure there was much practical difference between a card that reduced the difficulty of a check and a card that added a bonus to the check (i.e. "Discard this card to reduce the difficulty of your Combat check by 3" and "Discard this card to add 3 to your Combat check" had the same practical outcome.) Now, since you can keep the result, there is a difference between the two. And I love it. I can't wait to see how else this will matter.

The only practical difference between adding X to check and reducing difficulty by X comes when you would play a spell that lets you evade monster of difficulty no greater that Y. So, another player may play Black spot to reduce difficulty, so you might play a spell like Web, or Sleep.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
SimonB wrote:
The only practical difference between adding X to check and reducing difficulty by X comes when you would play a spell that lets you evade monster of difficulty no greater that Y. So, another player may play Black spot to reduce difficulty, so you might play a spell like Web, or Sleep.

I considered that as well, but you'd play cards that reduce the difficulty of the check waaay after the encounter step in which you can play evasion effects, so...


Longshot11 wrote:
SimonB wrote:
The only practical difference between adding X to check and reducing difficulty by X comes when you would play a spell that lets you evade monster of difficulty no greater that Y. So, another player may play Black spot to reduce difficulty, so you might play a spell like Web, or Sleep.
I considered that as well, but you'd play cards that reduce the difficulty of the check waaay after the encounter step in which you can play evasion effects, so...

I never considered SimonB's tactic, honestly.

But...wouldn't it work?

MM rulebook p.11 wrote:
When determining the lowest or highest difficulty to defeat or acquire a card, apply all powers from cards that affect the difficulty, but do not apply powers that happen before you act, while you act, or after you act.

I think the fact you are considering playing Web or Sleep to evade makes the playing of Black Spot pertinent to the evasion step, and so playable.

Black Spot wrote:
Discard this card to decrease the difficulty to defeat a monster by 1 plus the adventure deck number of the current scenario, if any.

I think it has the effect SimonB states.


Note that Black Spot has a ruling that restricts it to a single check. Unfortunately there's no errata representing that ruling, but at a minimum it wouldn't help you evade some multiple check monsters.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
elcoderdude wrote:

But...wouldn't it work?

MM rulebook p.11 wrote:
When determining the lowest or highest difficulty to defeat or acquire a card, apply all powers from cards that affect the difficulty, but do not apply powers that happen before you act, while you act, or after you act.

I think the fact you are considering playing Web or Sleep to evade makes the playing of Black Spot pertinent to the evasion step, and so playable.

Good point. For some reason, I was thinking abot reducing the difficulty of the check, and forgot that cards like Black Spot actually affect the difficulty to defeat. I would rule that legal on my table in this case (and it even occurs to me that I had defended this viewpoint somewhere over at Obsidian's, lol. )

And if we assume the above is legal, the Blackspot/Web combo would also be valid for multi-check monsters, since you're playing Blackspot in the Evade step, to reduce (presumably) the highest difficulty to defeat - the only one about which Web cares.


Longshot11 wrote:
And if we assume the above is legal, the Blackspot/Web combo would also be valid for multi-check monsters, since you're playing Blackspot in the Evade step, to reduce (presumably) the highest difficulty to defeat - the only one about which Web cares.

It could help you, depending on the numbers. If the lower of two checks isn't over the Web/Sleep threshold, and Black Spot knocks the higher one down enough, it works. But for something like the Pig from Hell, you're out of luck.


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

By RAW, the Black Spot + Web/Sleep combo does not work. You are not allowed to play Black Spot or any other power that reduces the difficulty of a check during the Apply Any Evasion Effects step, unless that power also lets you evade (as part of the same power).

Relevant rules:

(A) MM rulebook, p9 wrote:
Characters may only play cards or use powers that relate to each step (or relate to cards played or powers used in that step).
(B) MM rulebook, p9-10 wrote:
Apply Any Evasion Effects. You may use a power or card that lets you evade the card you’re encountering. If any powers on the card you’re encountering relate to evading the card, they take effect at this time. If you evade the card, do not activate any other powers on it. Shuffle it back into the deck; it is neither defeated nor undefeated, and the encounter is over.
(C) MM rulebook, p9 wrote:

RULES: AFFECTING THE SITUATION

In some situations, you are limited 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 situation. 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 that allows 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 the card he gave her—to affect the check.

Per quote (B), we are explicitly allowed to play a card or use a power that lets us evade the encounter. Black Spot is not such a card. Furthermore, in order for Black Spot to relate to the step (in other words, to affect the situation of that step), we would need to play a second card after playing Black Spot that allows us to evade based on the now-reduced difficulty. Per (C), this is not allowed, and (A) backs this up. Note that (A) says "cards played or powers used in that step", not "cards you will play or powers you will use" -- in other words, the card or power it is relating to must have already been played for the second thing to be able to relate to it.

As such, we cannot play Black Spot during the Apply Any Evasion Effects step.


The logician steps up.

I've reviewed this carefully, and I find it very convincing. I had forgotten about the "what you do can't require something else to then be done" rule.

I'm bummed by this ruling, because I thought it was a neat combo, but it looks like that's the way it is.


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

The logician steps up.

I've reviewed this carefully, and I find it very convincing. I had forgotten about the "what you do can't require something else to then be done" rule.

I'm bummed by this ruling, because I thought it was a neat combo, but it looks like that's the way it is.

Just means you can't play it during the Apply Any Evasion Effects step. I remain unconvinced that you cannot evade an encounter during a check (indeed, there are powers in which you already do exactly that, although the evasion is generally a rider on some other check-specific thing like a reroll). It just means you need to suffer BYAs before you can evade. It seems against the spirit of the rules though, which is why I don't want to commit one way or the other. Should it come up at my table, I would likely just follow the most convincing argument and/or pick the way that seems the most fun for the group.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Logic is such a harsh mistress.

(Looks at "Estra retrieving Spells during Encounter" topic.)


So I played wrong that part :-P But I believe there are some character powers/ cards that let you reduce difficulty before apply evasion step. I just don't remember which ones. That black spot+web combo is still a longshot, because you need someone else to play black spot, as you can't play 2 spells by yourself. And black spot has some ambiguity in whether I can play it on someone else: "discard this card to decrease the difficulty to defeat a monster by 1 plus adventure deck number of current scenario". So it might go both ways.


I don't see any reason why you can't play Black Spot to affect another character's check to defeat a monster.

It's not equivalent to say, playing Masterwork Tools to defeat a barrier.


Yeah, that's how we played.
There is also no "for your combat check" clause, so you can play it anytime you want as long it is "relevant". So I wonder if you might play it in "apply evasion" step.


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

The only relevant powers during that step are those that explicitly deal with evading the card (whether it lets you evade, prevents you from evading, or has some trigger that happens when you evade). If the power doesn't mention evading, it is not relevant during that step and cannot be used*.

(* Slight simplification, see my above post for the complete rules).

You can certainly play Black Spot on someone else's check. It is played during the check itself. Masterwork Thieves Tools is similarly played during the check itself, as are the vast majority of other cards that you would be able to play in an encounter. This is because the only time the steps of an encounter give you the leeway to play whatever you want (relevant to the check) is during the check itself. All other steps of the encounter are very heavily restricted. For example, you can't play cards or use powers at all on BYA or AYA unless those cards/powers are reacting to something that happened that step.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Parody wrote:
Note that Black Spot has a ruling that restricts it to a single check. Unfortunately there's no errata representing that ruling, but at a minimum it wouldn't help you evade some multiple check monsters.

There's no errata on Black Spot because we felt that it worked as intended, as evidenced by the fact that multiple people in that thread came up with several different reasons why it should be interpreted as a single check, and we didn't think anyone provided any convincing rules-based rationale for interpreting it any other way.

That said, we did improve the phrasing when we reprinted it in the Witch and Summoner decks: "Discard this card to decrease the difficulty of a check to defeat a monster by 1 plus the scenario’s adventure deck number."


FWIW, our group (playing Season of the Shackles with characters from the first seven class decks) also interpreted it as all checks before I read those threads, because of how it was worded.

Since it's not in the FAQ/Errata, I expect a lot of groups would interpret it similarly and not think about it working differently unless someone in their group has done a lot of reading. ::shrug::

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