CotcT Scenario 1B: Evidence VS The Golden Rules


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

A slightly technical rules question here, and I'd like to hear the community's response to learn whether I'm misunderstanding a fundamental PACG rule, or whether the (presumed) intent of this scenario doesn't match with the rulebook says.

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CONTEXT:

CotCT 1B is a scenario that - rather than closing locations - requires the party to find and display a large number of Evidence non-closing henchmen. Evidences are barriers that can be Triggered to make them much easier to defeat and display - giving characters who lack the Wisdom/Intelligence skills to easily defeat them a fighting chance if they can just be examined first.

The scenario gives players the ability to examine the top card of their locations every turn and move them around, in order - I assume - to speed up the ability to dig for Evidences and allow them to be Triggered so that any character has a fighting chance of actually getting these barriers displayed in a timely manner.

Relevant sections/passages...

Scenario 1B: The Ambassador's Secret, Scenario Rule wrote:
At the end of your turn, you may examine the top card of your location, then put that card on top of a location.
Evidence (Story Bane Barrier) Powers wrote:

When examined, encounter this barrier; add 1d8 to your check to defeat.

If defeated, display this barrier next to the scenario.

Core Rulebook, Page 3 wrote:

Rules: The Golden Rules

If the storybook, cards, or rules are ever in conflict, the storybook overrides the cards, and the cards override the rules.
Core Rulebook, Page 13 wrote:
Examine the cards in the order you find them, and put them back in the same order unless instructed otherwise. If anything would cause you to shuffle the stack you are examining, shuffle only after you put back any examined cards that do not leave the stack.

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ISSUE:

However, am I correct in the following observation...?

If you use the end-of-turn scenario power and examine an Evidence, then you must - as per the scenario power - place that card back on top of a location of your choice. Especially since the storybook overrides cards, this means that if you Trigger and encounter an Evidence, you'll have to return it to the top of a location after the encounter, regardless as to whether it was defeated (and therefore displayed) or undefeated, correct?

Specifically, this is my understanding of how it plays out...

Situation A: Defeated Evidence

  • Character ends their turn, examines Evidence with the scenario power.
  • Character encounters Evidence from it's Triggered power.
  • Character defeats Evidence and it is displayed next to the scenario.
  • Character is instructed to "put [that Evidence] on top of a location" from the scenario power. The card is still on the table (as opposed to banished) so it's picked back up and put on top of a location.

    Situation B: Undefeated Evidence

  • Character ends their turn, examines Evidence with the scenario power.
  • Character encounters Evidence.
  • Character fails to defeat Evidence. Page 13 of the rulebook clarified that you only shuffle examined cards back after they are returned to the location deck, but you're still in the middle of resolving the scenario power (which changes the placement of examined cards), so you shouldn't put the Evidence back in the location yet. (Not as sure about this one...)
  • Character is instructed to "put [that Evidence] on top of a location" from the scenario power. The card is picked back up and put on top of a location.

    After rules reading and re-reading, I'm not as certain about Situation B, as I can also see a reading that the Evidence is shuffled back during 'resolve the encounter' before you finish the second half of the scenario rule, which in turn would be impossible (you can't pick out a specific card from a shuffled location deck to place atop a location).

    I am, however, reasonably confident about Situation A. There doesn't seem to be anything that says that picking up a card displayed next to the scenario and putting it atop a location deck (when you effectively were just instructed to by the Storybook, which overrules cards anyway) is an impossible action. If it's not an impossible action - nor is the effect optional - then it seems like a displayed Evidence would be instantly un-displayed if you triggered it from the scenario power.

    Which... seems odd, since I'd have fully expected that the scenario power was supposed to let you Trigger Evidences...

    ...right? What am I missing?


  • Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    Good one.

    I guess the scenario would be clearer / work better if the scenario power would be written as:

    Scenario 1B: The Ambassador's Secret, Scenario Rule as we played it wrote:
    At the end of your turn, you may examine the top card of your location, then IF YOU DIDN'T ENCOUNTER IT put that card on top of a location.

    IMHO.

    Or it could also be
    Scenario 1B: The Ambassador's Secret, alternate possible Scenario Rule wrote:
    At the end of your turn, you may examine the top card of your location, then IF IT HASN'T THE TRIGGER TRAIT put that card on top of a location.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    Are you sure there's more than one Evidence story bane that can be encountered? I don't have my storybook here, but I thought that Evidence got mixed into the Shop, and the proxies were all for Thugs. The Thugs are non-closing until you have defeated a Thug (so presumably the first Thug is non-closing) or defeated the Evidence, after which they (the Thugs) are closing henchmen.


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

    To provide a bit more clarity to what's actually happening (now that I have time to think instead of being blindsided by a tricky question on Discord and having to answer in real-time :P), the rulebook says the following as Yewstance quoted in OP: "Examine the cards in the order you find them, and put them back in the same order unless instructed otherwise."

    The quoted scenario power instructs otherwise: "At the end of your turn, you may examine the top card of your location, then put that card on top of a location." -- so, the instruction to put it on top of a location replaces the default action of putting it back on top of the same location.

    However, we are also "instructed otherwise" by a couple of other cases:
    1. The rulebook instructs us otherwise by telling us to shuffle an undefeated bane back into the location, to banish a defeated bane or unaquired boon, and to add an acquired boon to our hand. This is only relevant if the examined card is a Trigger that has you encounter it.
    2. The Evidence card further instructs us otherwise by telling us to display it if defeated (as it is encountered when Triggered).

    So, if we examine Evidence and defeat it, we are told to do the following things:
    A. The rulebook says to banish defeated banes
    B. Evidence says to display it
    C. The storybook says to put it on top of any location

    We have a conflict here, as there are 3 things we're told to do with the card. Per the Golden Rules, the storybook wins the conflict, and we put Evidence on top of any location.

    If we were to do a Trigger encounter with any other card, the storybook would still win that fight, so any Triggered encounters are essentially irrelevant. You can't banish any triggered defeated bane or undefeated boon encounters, you can't add any triggered acquired boon encounters to your hand, and you can't shuffle any triggered undefeated or evaded banes back into the location. They always go on top of a location.

    So, it's not that the storybook breaks Evidence, it just breaks all triggered encounters in general.

    Lone Shark Games

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Curiously, I've done this examine and move technique several times previous to this, but this question never came up in Organized Play.

    Please do the right thing for now and not break the scenario, and we'll kick the concept up for further discussion.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    swheels wrote:
    Are you sure there's more than one Evidence story bane that can be encountered? I don't have my storybook here, but I thought that Evidence got mixed into the Shop, and the proxies were all for Thugs. The Thugs are non-closing until you have defeated a Thug (so presumably the first Thug is non-closing) or defeated the Evidence, after which they (the Thugs) are closing henchmen.

    You're thinking of 1A, not 1B. 1B's setup clearly states to shuffle an Evidence into every location.

    Quite besides that, 1B would be literally impossible (except in a 1 character party) to win if there were only 1 evidence, it doesn't list Thugs as a henchman, and doesn't feature the Shop (I think).

    (A reminder that the first scenario of CotCT is confusingly labelled 1*, not 1A. So I'm talking about the 3rd CotCT scenario, not the second.)

    Keith Richmond wrote:

    Curiously, I've done this examine and move technique several times previous to this, but this question never came up in Organized Play.

    Please do the right thing for now and not break the scenario, and we'll kick the concept up for further discussion.

    Just to confirm, I can take this statement to mean that the intent is that you can display Evidence with the help of the scenario power? That means I won't rule against that in the Sanctioned CotCT table I'm BRing.

    Shadow Lodge

    Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

    Its not Yewstance's fault, BTW - I'm the one who raised this question.

    I think it's replaced the Thug's "You may ..." as my favourite example of where what the cards & rulebooks actually say is probably not what the designers intended.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    It's a combination of JohnF's 'fault', my 'fault' and Skizzerz 'fault'. JohnF raised the question, I stated an opinion (regarding undefeated Evidences), JohnF pointed out that my opinion would imply that displayed evidences also get moved, I asked Discord for answers and skizzerz affirmed that interpretation.

    After all that, here I am using the forum for a more public discussion which people can refer to in the future. :)


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    Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    Can it be my fault too? I hate not being part of the fun :-).


    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    Very well. It's especially Frencois' fault.

    Lone Shark Games

    Yewstance wrote:
    Just to confirm, I can take this statement to mean that the intent is that you can display Evidence with the help of the scenario power? That means I won't rule against that in the Sanctioned CotCT table I'm BRing.

    Confirmed, please do that.

    Thanks to all of you faulty-four for bringing this up, and for playing (and also for running OP!)!


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Quinn thanks you.

    With his Investigator's Lamp, a blessing of Kofusachi to dig it back out of his deck, and a checked-off power feat to examine at the start of his turn, he got to find a lot of Evidence during that scenario. He even managed to find two pieces on one turn!

    Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

    Added to FAQ.

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