"Move then explore" on an ally.


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


Hi,

I have a small question concerning some allies like Droogami who says:

"Discard to move, then you may explore"

According to the rulebook glossary, move is defined on page 6 as:

"Move: You may move your pawn to a distant location." (emphasis mine)

So we've played that I can play Droogami, refuse to move, and simply explore my own location. But then comes the card The Big Sky who says:

"Discard to explore, or to move then explore."

Which seems to imply that the "move" section would actually be mandatory.

So am I right in saying that Droogami doesn't force me to move, or would i only have a choice if it said "you may move" ?

Also, if moving is mandatory: i know that i can choose to move to my own location if it's the only one in play, but what happens if i'm entangled ? Can I still use Droogami to explore my own location without having to move ?

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

The definition of "Move" on page 6 is referring to your move step, which means the time during your turn when you can move without having to play any powers to do so. The "may" in that definition does NOT apply to other powers, like Droogami above.

If you look on the same page in the "Rules: Moving" box, it explicitly says that "other effects may allow or force you to move." Droogami's power is an example of this... in order to play Droogami's explore power, you must first more.

This also means that the situation you mention at the end of your post... there's only one location left... WOULD mean that you just can't use Droogami's explore power, except that, as you mentioned, you're allowed to move to the same location if it's the only one, as explained in that same callout box.


Ok so that's what I was starting to lean towards, thanks for the confirmation.

Would I be right in saying that I can use Droogami to explore my own location if i'm entangled though ? By the rules "If one effect
would move you while another effect prevents you from moving,
do not move", so I would definitely stay at my location, and nothing would stop me from resolving the rest of the card, right ?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Nope. From Playing Cards, on page 8: "You may not use a power that doesn’t apply to your current situation. For example, you may not play a card to reduce damage when damage isn’t being suffered, and you may not play a card to evade a monster when you are not encountering a monster."

If you can't move, you can't choose to use a power that's primary application is to move you.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
If you can't move, you can't choose to use a power that's primary application is to move you.

I've had similar discussions over my years of PACG, but that statement comes very close to answering something that's popped up over and over for me.

Is the "primary application" of a power always the first thing that power does? So if a card said "Discard to explore, then move." that would be allowed if you were entangled, but not a card that said "Discard to move, then explore."?

Similarly, you can use a card that says "Discard to examine the top of your location, then explore" on someone else's turn - you just won't be able to explore after you examine?

For most of PACG's history, I've thought of it like that - then I was contradicted on these forums by a veteran player, and then pointed to a source (which it would take some time for me to dig out) that suggested the entirety of a power had to be 'legal' to be played in the first place. In response, I pointed out that such a reading carried numerous oddities (including powers that you didn't know whether they would be legal or not until you'd applied part of the power).

I've had a lot of gray-area run-ins with the 'apply to your current situation' rule, so I'd love to hear anything else you have to say on the matter.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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The important thing here isn't really that it comes first—it's that there's an explicit dependency: The power says do A, then B. That is, you don't get to do B until you've done A, so if you can't do A, you can't use the power.

But it's important to note that the restriction I cited ("you may not use a power that doesn’t apply to your current situation") is placed on you solely in the context of determining whether you can choose to activate a power or not. If an active power (for example, from a scenario rule, or from a monster you're encountering) says "Do A, then B," there's no choice in it: you have to do everything in it that's not impossible.

So if a monster you encounter says "After acting, move to a random location then discard a card," and you can't move, you ignore the impossible part (per the Golden Rules), but you still have to discard the card.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
The important thing here isn't really that it comes first—it's that there's an explicit dependency: The power says do A, then B. That is, you don't get to do B until you've done A, so if you can't do A, you can't use the power.

(In advance; sorry for the long post, but this is the closest I've gotten to passing the largest barrier to me achieving a significantly greater understanding of PACG rules templates.)

Firstly, thank you for the answer, but it leads to a separate question. When does the word 'then' imply a dependency, and when is it separate?

I'd like to reference this post for a valuable design insight. See the quotes below...

CD Imrijka wrote:
When you defeat a monster on your turn, you may recharge a card (□ then you may draw a card).
Vic Wertz wrote:

[...] If the intent had been to make drawing independent of recharging, it would look like this:

"When you defeat a monster on your turn, you may recharge a card. (□ Then you may draw a card)."

So I'm trying to apply the rules as stated in these forums as clearly as possible to try to understand character powers, and I may be missing something because I occasionally find oddities. For example...

MM Ezren wrote:
On your turn, you may discard a spell (□ then you may move). Then explore your location.

If you have the first power feat checked, is the exploration conditional on having chosen to move?

Additionally, is the exploration conditional on having discarded a spell in the first place?

That's clearly the intent (as opposed to Ezren just announcing "I take a free exploration" whenever he wants), but as far as parsing that from a rules standpoint it seems less clear.

In the Imrijka example above, the 'rewritten' power that makes recharging a card optional fit the following syntax...

{condition}, {optional effect}. {independent optional effect}.
{When you defeat a monster on your turn}, {you may recharge a card}. {Then you may draw a card}.

Applying this to MM Ezren's power, he's describing the following...

{condition}, {optional effect} {dependent optional effect}. {independent optional effect}.
{On your turn}, {you may discard a spell} {then you may move}. {Then explore your location}.

The above is assuming that that "When you defeat a monster on your turn" and "On your turn" are both conditions, and everything else is simply an effect, whether dependent or not. With that reading, it looks like MM Ezren can explore whenever you want without paying any cost on his turn, which is clearly not the intent.

There's no meaningful identifier between the 'effects' to determine which are a cost and a benefit, since "recharge a card" (Imrijka) and "recharge a spell" (MM Ezren, Spell Sage Role) are virtually identical. So if the issue is with me as opposed to the template, that must mean I'm misunderstanding what defines a condition. That "when you do X" is different to "during your X" or "On your X", and I'd love clarification on this.

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

Similarly, I'd like to parse the intent and functional reading of some other powers.

Aric wrote:
At the start of your turn [you] may replace your character and role with the Red Raven's. Then you may exchange a card in your hand with a card in your kit.

Similar question; is the exchange conditional on replacing your character card?

If MM Ezren's exploration is conditional on discarding a spell, then I suppose the kit-switching is conditional on switching character cards.

However, based on the suggested rewrite to CD Imrijka in the forum linked above, it looks like the full stop and "Then" is supposed to indicate that the second part is independent of the first - that is, you get to exchange a card to/from your kit whether or not you changed character cards.

What's the intent here?

Core Amiri wrote:
At the end of your turn, you may move (□ then examine the top card of your location); any local characters may move with you.

As per the CD Imrijka ruling, you must move before you get to examine the top card of your location; if you elect not to move you do not get an examination.

Is that the intent, and have I read that right?

Rooboo wrote:
When you encounter a barrier (□ or a monster), you may evade it, then move; then end your turn.

So here's an example with a 'then' preceded by a comma (common on boons) and then a semicolon, rather than a full stop or a space.

Even so, it looks like both comma and semicolon function similarly to spaces (from a rules standpoint, rather than a grammatical one). If you do not choose to evade, you may not 'activate' the power and thus you do not move or end your turn. Once you have chosen to evade, you must complete all of the listed instructions as best as you are able (even if something prevents you from moving, you still end your turn, for example).

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

In summary...

Trying to apply rules-lawyering based on how MM Ezren appears to work, vs how CD Imrijka has been stated to work, is difficult for me, and appears (to my eyes) to list contradictions. However, between these cases (assuming preceding commas are not handled differently to spaces) they do seem to cover the entire scope of how the terms "then" and "may" are handled in PACG, so I'd consider it invaluable for me to learn how to resolve these apparent contradictions.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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I'm not sure MM Ezren is worded correctly.

If he didn't have that power feat in there, he would have been worded "On your turn, you may discard a spell to explore your location." Adding the move power before that made chronological sense, but broke a dependence that needs to exist. A more appropriate (but perhaps more confusing) wording would be "On your turn, you may discard a spell to explore your location. (□ Before that exploration, you may move.)"


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Alright. That sufficiently clears up a long-standing confusion for me, and I think - taking some of these statements together - I have a stronger grasp on optional vs required effects than I've ever had before. Thanks again!

I will assume that my interpretations about the other characters were correct (Aric doesn't need to change character cards to access his kit, Amiri only gets an examination if she chooses to move).

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