Thousand Stings Whip question


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

For Context:
It came to my attention quite recently that the intent appears to be very strict (more strict than MTG, for example), that a power that is "partially" illegal/unplayable cannot be used, full stop.

See here and here.

For example, if a card says that to "Explore your location, then move", you wouldn't be able to play it if you were at a location that you were not allowed to/able to move from, even though the first instruction is valid.

It's not how I've played in the past, but something I'm more aware of now and have been pretty strict about since discovering.

======================

The Question:

Thousand Stings Whip:
Weapon 4
Traits
Whip
Melee
Piercing
Poison
Finesse
Magic

Check
Strength
Melee
11

Powers
Reveal this card when you encounter a monster to ignore any non-villain, non-henchman monster powers that would trigger before you act, then for your combat check, use your Strength or Melee skill +1d8+1. If proficient with weapons, you may add or subtract 4 from your result.
If you would fail this check, and you are proficient with weapons, you may discard this card to ignore the result and evade the bane.

As a result of the aforementioned intended ruling, this weapon cannot ever be used against anything except a "non-henchman, non-villain monster that has a BYA power", correct?

The card only is able to be played when you encounter a monster (which is prior to the check-to-defeat), which is non-relevant for combat. Besides, it has two instructions (one to ignore BYA, one for combat), and the first instruction will always be illegal if it's against a henchman, a villain, or a monster without a BYA power.

Is this accurate and in line with the intent of the card, however? Whilst I recognise a weapon-that-also-negates-BYAs is potent, the rarity of it being even a remotely legal play seems an incredibly harsh limitation (especially for a weapon with the massive drawback of having the Poison trait inherently, and so cannot be used against Constructs, various Outsiders, or Undead).


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Yes, your interpretation of the posts by Vic and Mike and the subsequent interpretation of the Thousand Stings Whip appear to be correct; and I agree that that would seem to be extremely, and unreasonably limited.

In this case, I hope that an errata changes it to something like:

Quote:

Reveal this card when you encounter a monster to ignore any non-villain, non-henchman monster powers that would trigger before you act.

For your combat check, reveal this card to use your Strength or Melee skill +1d8+1. If proficient with weapons, you may add or subtract 4 from your result. If you would fail this check, and you are proficient with weapons, you may discard this card to ignore the result and evade the bane.

(Using old form wording since I'm not well-versed in the rewording that the new core set will drive.)

That separation of powers would remove the extreme limitations.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

This months winner of the Can of Worms!
Agreed, by RAW I think you have it correct i.e. cannot plan unless the monster has a BYA power

I think RAI was When you encounter a monster, reveal for
option a (if applicable)
option b (if applicable)

Hopefully the powers that be will chime in


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

IMHO, I would slightly disagree, although I get your point.

The Whip says
Reveal this card WHEN you encounter a monster TO ignore any non-villain, non-henchman monster powers that would trigger before you act, THEN ...

It doesn't say
Reveal this card WHEN you encounter a non-villain, non-henchman monster that has powers that would trigger before you act TO ignore those powers, THEN ...

Nor does it say
Reveal this card WHEN you encounter a monster TO ignore any non-villain, non-henchman monster powers that would trigger before you act AND ...

I mean the reveal trigger is the fact that you encounter a monster. any monster. That part Applies. Then if there is no BYA powers, then you skip the part of the sentence that is impossible as usual, up to the THEN. And then you apply the rest (because it's a THEN and not a AND so it's a different instruction).

IMHO

+1 for the Can'O'Worms candidate


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
"Frencois", emphasis added wrote:

I mean the reveal trigger is the fact that you encounter a monster. any monster. That part Applies. Then if there is no BYA powers, then you skip the part of the sentence that is impossible as usual, up to the THEN. And then you apply the rest (because it's a THEN and not a AND so it's a different instruction).

It's the bolded part that is the issue, to my understanding. Whilst this was not my original understanding of rules intent for the longest time, it was since brought to my attention (from a very high authority on the matter) that you cannot play a card unless every instruction on the power is legal (or at least believed to be as you play it).

If it said that you may ignore BYA powers, or if it said..

Reveal this card when you encounter a monster to ignore any non-villain, non-henchman monster powers that would trigger before you act,, and if there are any non-villain, non-henchman monster powers that would trigger before you act, ignore them, then for your combat check, use your Strength or Melee skill +1d8+1.

Then it would be fine.

The "And" and "Then" distinction is not relevant based on my understanding of 'legal play' rules as linked in my original post. You only ignore impossible instructions if you're forced to by circumstances outside of your control - you cannot intentionally use the power of a card where one of the instructions is impossible, no matter how useful it may otherwise seem.

To directly quote Vic, though I already linked him earlier...

Vic Wertz wrote:
The way I read it—and indeed the way I have intentionally been constructing things—"Bury this card to ... evade an encounter and then move" is a single instruction. If I had thought the intent was to allow you to evade an encounter even if you couldn't move, I'd have broken it into two instructions, as Orbis said above.

By his own statement, if the intent was that you could use it in combat without negating a BYA power, then it would have been broken down into two instructions.

The comparison point here, of course, is that I'm stating that "Ignore a BYA and then use Melee +1d8+1 for combat" is a single instruction, and the meaningful templating is effectively identical to the Cape of Escape that Vic discussed so I'm quite confident of this.

Opinion:
I think the game would be much easier to learn and understand, and cards easier to design, if you simply ignored impossible instructions rather than having a single impossible instruction preventing a card from being played, even when it's not the first/primary instruction on it.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Hum...

Just for the fun of splitting hair... I guess it's a little more complicated than just applying "if a part is impossible, then ignore the rest of the sentence".

Let's take you example

If a card says that to "Discard this card to move or explore your location", would you say that you wouldn't be able to play it to explore if you were at a location that you were not allowed to/able to move from?
I doubt it.

So it means that the fact that it's a "AND" or a "OR" or a ", [and] THEN" has an impact.

So even if I follow Vic in saying "Bury this card to ... evade an encounter AND then move" is a single instruction, I would argue that "Bury this card to ... evade an encounter, [and] THEN move" is 2 separate instructions that must be assessed separately just like an OR.

IMHO.
Just for the Can'O'Worms fun of it.

Silver Crusade

And things like this are why consistency in language structure in card games is so important. Hence the new edition pending...

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
sowhereaminow wrote:

And things like this are why consistency in language structure in card games is so important. Hence the new edition pending...

I for one welcome our new Edition overlords. May they be consistent and fair.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

In my opinion, a bane having no BYA powers doesn't make it impossible to ignore all of their BYA powers. You can ignore something that doesn't exist. I do it all the time. I can, for instance, ignore all counterarguments that are made to this, whether or not anyone replies at all.

It feels different to me than moving when you have nowhere to move. Ignoring is passive not active.


I rewrote this post three times, but in the end what I have is:
+1 to Irgy.

The following is my verbose way of saying the same thing as him:
Note the weirdness of the weapon's usage. Say I am playing Harsk and I encounter a Bunyip.
The encounter goes like this:
1. When Encountered step <- HERE I play the weapon. Which is weird.
2. Evasion step (no evasion)
3. Before You Act step <- Ignore "any powers on a non-villain, non-henchman monster". You can ignore "any" powers even if there are none. You can ignore non-villain, non-henchman powers even when you are fighting a villain or henchman. (Were there such powers? Yes? Then ignore them. No? No problem - you ignored any that were there.)
4. Determine The Skill You Are Using step <- you already did that in step 1.
etc.

Compare Cloudburst:

Cloudburst (Ultimate Magic AD4) wrote:
When you encounter a card that lists combat in its checks to acquire or defeat, discard this card; if it is a non-villain monster that has a power that happens before you act, ignore that power. For your combat check, use your Arcane or Divine skill +3d6. After the encounter, you may move.

Cloudburst is more carefully worded, but note the whip only has room on the card for about five additional words. The whip's wording might be due to space constraints, or the spell's wording might be tighter due to being in a later set. Nevertheless, my rules interpretation of both is the same.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I appreciate that there's conflicting opinions by veteran players as to what RAW suggests here, because I think that proves that there's a problem that needs to be resolved/clarified.

Since being told of the rule that "An entire power has to be legal for you to use it" (which is not the same as my instinctive understanding, which is informed by a decade of MTG play - a completely different game, I recognise), I feel like I've just observed more and more situations which seem to make me question it's application entirely.

Take, for example, the WotR location Dark Forest...

Dark Forest wrote:
At This Location: When you explore, examine the top 2 cards. Shuffle 1 into the deck, and encounter the other.

Since the legality rule seems to suggest, for example, you can't examine a location with no cards, or (presumably) examine 2 cards in a location with 1; does that mean you cannot explore at the Dark Forest if it has one card remaining, rendering scenarios unwinnable in various circumstances? I'm sure that's not intended, but is that the consequence of the rulings linked in my original post?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Ignore what I just said; Skizzerz alerted me that it's actually covered in the rules, at least in that specific situation.

Mummy's Mask Rulebook, Page 25 wrote:

RULES: LIMITED RESOURCES

If you’re required to do something with a certain number of things
and there aren’t that many things available, use as many as there
are. For example, if you’re told to choose 2 characters at a location
occupied by only 1 character, choose only that character. If you’re
told to draw 4 cards from a deck that has only 3 cards, draw the
3 cards. (Regardless, if you need to do anything with any number
of cards from the blessings deck, other than shuffle it, and you
don’t have enough cards, you lose the scenario; if that happens
with your character deck, your character dies.)
Note that this only applies when you are required to do something.
If you have the opportunity to do something that requires a limited
resource, and you don’t have enough of that resource, you cannot
do that thing. For example, if you have the opportunity to close a
location whose “When Closing” says “recharge 2 spells” and you
have only 1 spell, you cannot close that location.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Dark Forest wrote:
At This Location: When you explore, examine the top 2 cards. Shuffle 1 into the deck, and encounter the other.

Note that the interestning thing is that, the way we read it RAW, if there is only 1 card in the deck when you explore, it reads

Dark Forest with one card wrote:
At This Location: When you explore, examine the top card. Shuffle it into the deck.

, since the rest of the sentence AFTER the comma is impossible.

Which could be understood as you cannot explore the last card.

...
IMHO.
As previously, just for the Can'O'Worms fun of it.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

the location of void ;)
Your only hope is to Somehow drive the villain in there or encounter the hensman and not lose the closing... when there still Are two cards in that location... if you fail... you Are doomed to live the hedgedock day for the rest of your life! Unles there Are no other locations of course...


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Good point! The ruling doesn't fix the issue, because you explicitly encounter the non-shuffled card, oops.


Frencois wrote:
Dark Forest wrote:
At This Location: When you explore, examine the top 2 cards. Shuffle 1 into the deck, and encounter the other.

Note that the interestning thing is that, the way we read it RAW, if there is only 1 card in the deck when you explore, it reads

Dark Forest with one card wrote:
At This Location: When you explore, examine the top card. Shuffle it into the deck.

, since the rest of the sentence AFTER the comma is impossible.

Which could be understood as you cannot explore the last card.

Well, if you want to get technical... :¬P

The card doesn't say "When you would explore, examine the top 2 cards instead. {etc}".

So, by RAW, it would actually be the opposite that happens: when there are two or more cards in the location, you examine & encounter one from the location power, then ALSO get your regular encounter from exploration; when there is only one card left in the location, you examine it (no free encounter) then get your regular encounter from exploration!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

? Most like not that way. You do as much as you can... and it does not matter if it is free explore or explore from blessing. You take two (or one card) put one to the location and encounter what is left (0 or 1 depending on how Many cards you have.) it does not give any extra explore.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Shnik wrote:
Frencois wrote:
Dark Forest wrote:
At This Location: When you explore, examine the top 2 cards. Shuffle 1 into the deck, and encounter the other.

Note that the interestning thing is that, the way we read it RAW, if there is only 1 card in the deck when you explore, it reads

Dark Forest with one card wrote:
At This Location: When you explore, examine the top card. Shuffle it into the deck.

, since the rest of the sentence AFTER the comma is impossible.

Which could be understood as you cannot explore the last card.

Well, if you want to get technical... :¬P

The card doesn't say "When you would explore, examine the top 2 cards instead. {etc}".

So, by RAW, it would actually be the opposite that happens: when there are two or more cards in the location, you examine & encounter one from the location power, then ALSO get your regular encounter from exploration; when there is only one card left in the location, you examine it (no free encounter) then get your regular encounter from exploration!

Can O' Worms step 3... Nice one Shnik (indeed there is no "instead").

Yes it could be interpreted as, if 1 name A, B and C the top three cards of the Dark Forest (providing there is at least 3)
- I decide to explore, I flip card A and trigger the Forest power

Option 1 (Should you interpret that as soon as I flip the card, it is not the top card of the location anymore)
I then examine card B, then card C (handling any triggered effects), setting them aside
I then chose B or C to shuffle in the remaining deck (I have two cards set aside, A and either B or C)
I then encounter the card (B or C) set aside (possibly evading...)
And then I get back to encountering A (possibly evading...)

Option 2 (Should you interpret that when flip the card, it is still the top card of the location as long as I am not actually encountering it)
I then examine card A, then card B (handling any triggered effects), setting them aside
I then chose A or B to shuffle in the remaining deck (I have the other card set aside)
I then encounter the card (A or B) set aside (possibly evading...)
... and then since there is no "instead" I should go on with my exploration... but this is now impossible since I have no set aside flipped card to encounter, so it ends there.

Funny... I have to reread the rules to see how it's exactly written.

I guess we all understand how is was meant to work, but as Mike always says (unless I'm mistaken), RAI are meaningless, RAW should work ultimately.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I've actually raised that exact text to Mike (outside of the bounds of these forums), that the "When you explore, do X" doesn't explicitly say instead. He didn't think there was an issue with the wording, though, and thought it was clear that everything that happens after the "When you explore" is in the context of that exploration, rather than in addition to.

Not necessarily saying I agree (hence why I raised it to him in the first place), but just noting that I've individually received an answer to that long in the past.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

(A big thanks to bigguyinblack for bringing this to my attention.)

So apparently I missed that an identically named forum thread had already been made - and resolved - for this topic. Vic has already clarified the design intent explicitly.

I can see the templating difference between Cape of Escape and Thousand Stings Whip (it's literally the same words, but one has a comma and one does not), but I admit I find myself often lost between when it does and doesn't seem to matter, because I feel like no matter my frame of reference or mind I come across oddities. I think oxford commas (or something similar to them) is a hugely meaningful template detail in PACG, based on these rulings, though?

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