Can you play any card during an examination?


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Hi everyone, answer is certainly in the rules but don't remember where:
I know I can only play relevant cards during an encounter, but is it also true during examinations that aren't encounters?
Example 1: I get to examine 4 cards. Card 1 and card 3 have a trigger, can I play cure between the resolution of the two triggers?
Example 2: Card 1's trigger is "when examined, succeed at Dexterity 13 check or...", can another character send me a bird token with a lottery urn so I can reroll?
And question 3 (already asked but if someone can remind me of the official answer): if I get for example to "examine three cards then put them back in any order", do I get to see the three of them before applying the trigger of the first card?


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

Examinations are not encounters, although examining a card may sometimes have you encounter it.

Example 1: No, you cannot. Finish One Thing Before You Start Something Else makes you finish examining all 4 cards (and dealing with any triggers if necessary) before you can do anything else (such as play Cure).

Example 2: Don't have cards on me right now to reference, so apologies if this is not entirely accurate. For a power to be considered related to the check, it cannot require someone to do some other action to have an effect. As such, someone cannot use a power to give you a blessing during a check, because in order for that power to impact the check, you would need to do something else (play the blessing). Each card must have a direct impact on the check itself, or an impact on cards/powers previously played on the check, to be considered relevant.

Question 3: I don't think it's been ruled officially either way, although it's strongly implied that you get to look at every card before you begin to resolve triggers. Triggers still resolve in the order you examined them (you don't get to choose the order). This FAQ with the new wording "any 1 of them that has the Undead trait" really only makes sense if you get to look at both cards before applying the trigger (if any) on the first, given that (iirc) there is a power feat for that power lets you ignore triggers on the card you encounter.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Frencois wrote:


Example 2: Card 1's trigger is "when examined, succeed at Dexterity 13 check or...", can another character send me a bird token with a lottery urn so I can reroll?

I don't know what a "bird token" is, but if it's anything like the Silver Raven Figurine ("You may play this card during an encounter.") - yes, you can:

Vic Wertz wrote:
Sandslice wrote:
Also, giving a card can't normally be done during an encounter; that's why Silver Raven Figurine explicitly allows it during when-you-encounter.
That's not quite right. There's no specific rule that says "giving a card can't be done during an encounter," but there are more general rules that say you can only do specified things during parts of the encounter, and the only things you can do "when you encounter" a card are things that specifically say you can do then when you encounter. So the text on Silver Raven Figurine lets that action happen at that specific time.

However, my personal instinct is that you should give the Urn *before* you make the roll and see if you need a re-roll. Can't really back it up with a specific rule though (that Finish One Thing Before You Start Another is vague as all Abyss... and is also kinda mouthful. Maybe we should come up with some forum shorthands for these terms...)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Bird Feather Tokens wrote:
On your turn, you may give this card to a character at another location; that character recharges it. You may additionally give that character a weapon, an armor, or an item.

The Bird Feather Tokens don't have the qualifier that Silver Raven Figurine has. Thus they are not exempt from the rule skizzerz quotes.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Bird Feather Tokens wrote:
On your turn, you may give this card to a character at another location; that character recharges it. You may additionally give that character a weapon, an armor, or an item.
The Bird Feather Tokens don't have the qualifier that Silver Raven Figurine has. Thus they are not exempt from the rule skizzerz quotes.

Hi Hawk,

That's exactly why I asked my question. See my Example 1 in the first post of that thread.
A) Following our unofficial discussions on Estra, in order to select the Undead you choose to encounter bewteen the ones with triggers, there must be a (as of today) non written rule saying:
"When you are told to examine N cards, first look at all of them before applying triggers in order"
B) Knowing that, I am aware of all triggers before applying them. Since this is an examination and not an encounter, there is no restriction on playing cards between checks IMHO. So If I know which card I'm lacking to take care of the second trigger (or to take care of the second check of the first trigger, or even to take care of the first trigger altogether), why couldn't another character send me that card through the bird feather tokens?

Until proven guilty, I would rule you can do it. Because it's neither during an encounter nor during the resolution of a specific check.


I believe, if you examine two or more cards, you must examine it one at a time, not all at once. And Trigger trait forces you to do something: so Finish One Thing Before You Start Something Else - finish all "when examined" part, then examine next card, and so on. And you must complete all chain of events started by examining cards, before you may play spells like Cure.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
SimonB wrote:
I believe, if you examine two or more cards, you must examine it one at a time, not all at once....

See another thread: if you do that how do you play Estra's power:

Estra wrote:
On your turn, you may recharge a spell to examine the top 2 (□ or 3) cards of your location deck. If one of the examined cards has the Undead trait, you may encounter it (□ and you may ignore any power on that card that happens when examined).

To be able to "ignore any power on that card that happens when examined" (typically triggers), you must first determine if "one of the examined cards that has the Undead trait". I. e. you must look at all the examined cards in order to potentially select one to encounter. Indeed, if you already resolved the triggers of the first cards when you get to know the following ones you cannot play the "no trigger" part of the power.

So either you have to FAQ Estra to say something like

Possible rewording wrote:
On your turn, you may recharge a spell to examine the top 2 (□ or 3) cards of your location deck. You may encounter the first examined card that has the Undead trait (□ and you may ignore any power on that card that happens when examined).

Either you have to assume that "When you are told to examine N cards, first look at all of them before applying triggers in order"


Yes, I remember that, but what about any other character? Should they examine all cards at once? Could they pick which trigger handle first? I don't think so.


On my phone right now, but I'm sure Vic said on the forum that you process Triggers as you examine cards, and this happens one at a time.

Does Estra need to see all the cards before deciding to ignore a trigger? Can't she be forced to decide as she goes?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Ok then so I guess if you examine cards one by one, it means for Estra that when she examine an Undead she has to decide then to encounter it or keep her power for a later examination (with the risk it won't apply).
Why not.


I think I am thinking of this quote, which refers to the online MM rulebook.

Although, Vic does say in that thread they are still refining the rules.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Frencois wrote:

See another thread: if you do that how do you play Estra's power:

Estra wrote:
On your turn, you may recharge a spell to examine the top 2 (□ or 3) cards of your location deck. If one of the examined cards has the Undead trait, you may encounter it (□ and you may ignore any power on that card that happens when examined).
To be able to "ignore any power on that card that happens when examined" (typically triggers), you must first determine if "one of the examined cards that has the Undead trait"...

Actually, Estra's power wording -for me- was as simple and straightforward as it gets. It literally had you going through the motions:

1) Examine card 1; is it Undead? YES - go to 2) NO - go to 5
2) Do you want to encounter it via Estra's power (REGARDLESS if the card makes you encounter it via Trigger - this is in case the Trigger does something else bad and you want to avoid it) ? YES - go to 3) NO -
3) You can no longer chose to use Estra's power during this examine; does the card have a Trigger? YES - go to 4) NO - go to 6)
4) Do you want to ignore the Trigger? NO - go to 5) YES - go to 6)
5) Deal with any Triggers; if they make you encounter the card - go to 6); if not - go to 7
6) Resolve the encounter with Examined Card 1; go to 7
7) Examine card number 2...

Since this wasn't clear enough for some players, the FAQ was issued and it now (yet again) confuses the whole understanding about how the Examine process works, as it implies that you FIRST examine all the cards and then make any decisionns. IMHO, this is a case were the FAQ just has a really unfortunate wording that has far stronger repercussions than making Estra's wording more clear, while preserving the effect of her power (it didn't preserve it, it made it a lot stronger - as now Estra will have information of all the cards she examines BEFORE she has to deal with any decisions regarding Examined Card 1; as I said - this comes at the unfortunate price of making Examine as a whole more obscure)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

This FAQ has been updated. We can now safely go back to the notion that you examine and deal with each card in sequence.

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