Spirit Sword and BYA / AYA effects


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


Spirit Sword says the following:

When you encounter a non-henchman, non-villain monster that has the Undead trait, recharge this card to defeat the monster.

I've asked noted PAGS experts whether the Sword allows me to bypass Before You Act/After You Act effects, and I've received conflicting answers - hence the thread. :)

Step #1 of Encountering is:

Apply Any Effects That Happen When You Encounter a Card. If any powers on the card you’re encountering happen when you encounter the card, they take effect at this time. You may also use powers or cards that state they can be used when you encounter a card.

So Spirit Sword's power is activated during this step, and BYA/AYA effects never trigger? Is that the case?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I would play it as if BYA/AYA effects take place as normal, and recharging the spirit sword simply allows you to automatically succeed at your check(s) to defeat the monster. I think that the "when you encounter" phrasing is there to limit the effects to when your character encounters the monster, not allowing it to affect another character's encounter (i.e., it's not a "when" with regards to timing and the steps).


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Agree with Brother Tyler


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Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Rulebook, p10 wrote:
If a power allows you to automatically defeat or acquire a card, you may use it instead of attempting the check. Doing so counts as succeeding at all checks and requirements to defeat or acquire the card. You may not use such a power against any card that does not have a check to acquire or defeat, or any card that has a check you’re not allowed to succeed at.

So, automatically defeating just subs in for attempting the checks. You still go through the entire encounter step-by-step, so BYA and AYA are all applied.


Great. Thanks, everyone. Makes sense.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Actually I would add that RAW if I'm not mistaken

1) You do not play the sword before entering the check to defeat phase step(s), so BYA obviously happens before

2) You do not either play the sword to determine the skill used (if you did, you wouldn't be able to replay the same card later), so the first power of the sword is never used.

3) You do play the card for its second power only and that can only be when you play powers affecting the check. Not that this power can be used for any check to defeat (even if not a combat one).

4) Deafeated or not, unless a specific power tells it otherwise, AYA effects always happen.

IMHO.


Why is the rule stated in the OP not the time the card triggers? Should it not be activated prior to BYA/AYA powers?

This would run with the ability to Evade. When you Evade your encounter, doesnt it trigger prior to BYA?

Can someone explain the thought process behind this more?


The rule for evading a monster says you don't activate any other powers on the card that don't relate to being evaded. It happens after "When You Encounter" and before "Before You Act". (Pages 9 and 10 of the Mummy's Mask rulebook.)

Honestly, this sounds like an error on the Spirit Sword card (or just us being overly picky. :)


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

Evading explicitly tells you to ignore all the other powers on the card. Automatically defeating does not. You play Spirit Sword during the When You Encounter step, handle any evasion and BYA effects, skip over the checks because that's what the rules on automatically defeating tell you to do, then handle any AYA and encounter resolution stuff.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I've played it just like skizzerz describes. Entice has similar wording. That is where it has come up for me.


While I can see that interpretation of the rules, the first phase of encountering a card is

Quote:
Apply Any Effects That Happen When You Encounter a Card. If any powers on the card you’re encountering happen when you encounter the card, they take effect at this time. You may also use powers or cards that state they can be used when you encounter a card.

At this time, wouldn't I use the Spirit Sword and defeat the monster? If this is not intended then it should be better stated.


Can I expand on this? What if the monster has the text "if the check doesn't have the magic trait", he is undefeated? You are not even making a check. Does this mean the Spirit Sword doesn't work? Or would the specific text on the sword overrule the monster?


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Slacker2010 wrote:
While I can see that interpretation of the rules, the first phase of encountering a card is
Quote:
Apply Any Effects That Happen When You Encounter a Card. If any powers on the card you’re encountering happen when you encounter the card, they take effect at this time. You may also use powers or cards that state they can be used when you encounter a card.
At this time, wouldn't I use the Spirit Sword and defeat the monster? If this is not intended then it should be better stated.

Yes. That step you quoted is when you play Spirit Sword. But, where you are getting hung up is that calling the bane “defeated” at that point doesn’t mean you get to magically skip every other step of the encounter. You still go through all the steps, just in Attempt the Check you treat the check to defeat as successful without ever rolling any dice.

Evasion explicitly says the encounter is over and to ignore any other powers on the card. Automatically defeating something has no such rules.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Slacker2010 wrote:
Can I expand on this? What if the monster has the text "if the check doesn't have the magic trait", he is undefeated? You are not even making a check. Does this mean the Spirit Sword doesn't work? Or would the specific text on the sword overrule the monster?

Actually that is a very good point and we had a long discussion on this one.

Bottom line is, as skizzerz says, you skip the checks so indeed the "if the check doesn't have the magic trait" sentence becomes impossible and by rule you then ignore it.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Slacker2010 wrote:
Can I expand on this? What if the monster has the text "if the check doesn't have the magic trait", he is undefeated? You are not even making a check. Does this mean the Spirit Sword doesn't work? Or would the specific text on the sword overrule the monster?
MM Rulebook p10 wrote:
If a power allows you to automatically defeat or acquire a card, you may use it instead of attempting the check. Doing so counts as succeeding at all checks and requirements to defeat or acquire the card.

Doing so counts as succeeding at all...requirements to defeat...the card.

If you play Spirit Sword, any power the bane had that said "If the check does not have the X trait, the bane is undefeated" doesn't matter. It is defeated. If the bane requires the Fire trait to be defeated, Spirit Sword still defeats it.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Actually it says in 5he rules that if so e power says you can not do something... you can not do it.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'm not sure what you mean by that.


skizzerz is correct. I am very hung up on the its already defeated in a previous step but we continue to move forward with encounter. That is not very intuitive ruling.

Side discussion to help me adjust: Why would use you trigger the card in the "when you encounter"? Wouldn't this be far more intuitive to trigger during the "attempt the check" phase?

Odd that you would use the spirit blade then do Before you Act phase, then do After you Act phase.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I think someone more official would have to answer the "why". The one advantage it does give you is that if the monster does something nasty before you act (like "Before you act, recharge your hand then reset your hand"), you have already played the card so you have already defeated it.


Just trying to understand the possible logic behind it. I dont expect a developer to explain his process to me. I was wondering if the community could shed some light on it.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

A reminder that if an effect allows you to defeat a monster during your check against it (the best example being the spell Death's Touch), then you still need to make the roll, and take damage if you fail. But you absolutely can use an auto-defeat card (like Thieves' Tools) in place of attempting a check to defeat, if you're allowed to do so - I'm not sure why Spirit Sword has the "when you encounter" timing that does not line up with several other auto-defeat cards (like potions or Thieves' Tools, etc).

See the quote from the rulebook...

Mummy's Mask Rulebook, Page 10 wrote:

Attempt the Check. Most cards require you to succeed at a check to

acquire or defeat them. If a card’s check section says “None” or “See
Below,” look at the card’s powers and immediately do whatever it
says there.
If a power allows you to automatically defeat or acquire a card,
you may use it instead of attempting the check. Doing so counts as
succeeding at all checks and requirements to defeat or acquire the
card. You may not use such a power against any card that does not
have a check to acquire or defeat, or any card that has a check you’re
not allowed to succeed at.

(Basically, the rules say that if you don't have to attempt the check if you can or have automatically defeated it. However, if you're already in the midst of a check (assembling your dice, etc) then the "Attempt the Check" step still occurs, even if the card ensures that you'll defeat the monster either way. It's absolutely possible to take damage from a monster by failing to meet its check to defeat, but still defeat it with a power.)

It's a matter of timing. As for rules intent and/or designer reasoning, I cannot say.

I will say that it's probably not very thematic to skip BYA/AYA effects, because they often reference things that an auto-defeat effect shouldn't be negating. For example, "Before you act, summon and encounter X" is often representative of you being attacked by a gang of thugs or a group or duo of some kind - auto-killing one shouldn't prevent that. "After you act, all characters at your location are dealt X damage" would often be representative of it exploding on death or something, or at least leaving behind some damaging aura or miasma.


I want to use your example of Death's Touch. This is not how my group understood or played it.

Quote:
For your combat check against a monster, discard this card to use your Arcane or Divine skill + 3d6+3. If it is a non-villain monster that has an adventure deck number of 4 or lower, it is defeated.

We took the "if" as to be an exchange for the previous power, if the condition is meet. There are plenty of other cards that the "if" triggers the following response in place of the previous.

Im ok if this is not the correct understanding (I kind of like it thematically. You failed the combat but due to still touching with death the monster dies after doing his dmg). But due to the way other cards play, I believe my interpretation of the rules is still valid. If this was not their intention they should be clear. Wording like: "If you fail the combat check and the monster is ADV 4 or less, it is still defeated."


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Slacker2010 wrote:
We took the "if" as to be an exchange for the previous power...

Nope IMHO.

Say you have a curse that hit you if you succeed at a check by more than 10. You will roll the check EVEN if the "If" applies in order to see if the curse triggers.
So the "If" happens AFTER the check not "INSTEAD" (Vic was very clear that if the word "INSTEAD" is not here, you can't assume it is - cards do what they say, cards don't do what they don't say...).

IMHO.

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