Are deleterious end of turn effects avoidable if I move to the location during EOT?


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


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Peakhope on boardgamegeek.com posed this interesting question:
The Mummy's Mask scenario 5E, "Tef-Naju's Bastion", says:

MM 5E Scenario wrote:

At the end of your turn, you may bury the top card of your deck to move.

At the end of your turn, if the location Five-Pointed Sun is unoccupied, add a monster from the box to the top of that location deck.

The (much beloved) location Five-Pointed Sun says:

5-Pointed Sun wrote:

AT THIS LOCATION

When you end your turn at this location, each character is dealt 1d4 Cold damage.

Peakhope is playing the Inquisitor Class Deck character Varril and has taken this Knight of the Rose role power feat:

Varril wrote:
At the end of your turn, if you are the only character at your location, you may move.

Peakhope asked, If Varril is alone at another location at the end of his turn, can he apply the end-of-turn effects in this order:

1. Apply the Five-Pointed Sun location effect, thus taking no damage.
2. Activate Varril's power to move to the Five-Pointed Sun location.
3. Apply the scenario effect, thus not adding a monster.
?


I am unable to find a definitive answer in the rulebook or forum.
My first instinct is to apply the rule "if the game does not specify the order, you choose the order", and to agree with Peakhope.
But, my second thought is to reverse that position, and instead adhere to what I will call the "skizzerz school" of end-of-turn effects, based on this post:

2015 skizzerz wrote:
I play start of turn/end of turn in PACG like I would play those phases in Sentinels of the Multiverse, where you evaluate the set of all available start of turn effects and then choose one of them to resolve. After that's finished resolving, you evaluate the set of all available start of turn effects (which may be different now based on what just happened) and then choose one of them to resolve. Lather, rinse, and repeat until you're out of start of turn effects to apply. End of turn works exactly the same way.

Applying this to Peakhope's example gives:

1. Varril's End Your Turn step begins
2. End of turn effects at Varril's current location are applied OR Varril moves away from that location before they apply
3. Varril arrives at Five-Pointed Sun
4. Because Varril is at the Five-Pointed Sun during his End Your Turn step, the location's "At This Location" power applies, so Varril takes 1d4 Cold damage.
5. The location Five-Pointed Sun is occupied during Varril's End Your Turn step, so the scenario's power does not add a monster to that location.
But. My final judgement is to switch back to agreeing with Peakhope, due to the scenario's first power. Why is it there? Burying a random card from your deck is *extremely* expensive. Isn't this power intended to permit the Peakhope maneuver? And also the more obvious "classic Amari-like dodge":
1. Lem (let's say), at the Five-Pointed Sun, begins his End Your Turn step
2. The Five-Pointed Sun is occupied, so no monster is added to the location
3. Lem buries the top card of his deck to move away from the Five-Pointed Sun
4. Lem does not suffer 1d4 Cold damage, because he is not at the Five-Pointed Sun
Belatedly, I just noticed that the Five-Pointed Sun's Cold damage applies to every character, regardless of location*, which makes burying a card to move away make a lot more sense, even if the downside is adding a monster. But I've spend over an hour on this & I have to start my day, so I'll leave it be.
*Mummy's Mask is a distant memory for me, apparently.


BTB you could do what you what I guess.
This said, I would apply Mike's principle of "cards may not have memory, but you have, and you know what you'll play next".
So if you applied a power that implied that at end of turn something happens, you cannot then play something that who make that power not valid anymore.

This means if I know that I'm gonna do next something that will make the EOT condition false, I cannot play a EOT condition that won't be valid anymore after my next move.

Note that this apply to powers that you decide to use.
For automatic mandatory powers, you would be able to use the "I can play EOT automatic powers in the order I want" trick.

A more restrictive house rule could be:
EOT mandatory powers happen (in the order of your chosing) AFTER EOT powers that you MAY use.


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Thanks for posting this, elcoderdude. And thanks for putting in so much time researching it!

One of my questions is about the specific wording of the location text. Why does it say "When you end your turn at this location". Is that supposed to set up a "when" trigger as mentioned in the rulebook? But the rulebook only applies that to "playing cards", not to location or scenario effects.

Or is it supposed to mean "when you choose to begin your end-of-turn phase"? Or "when your end-of-turn phase ends"?

Or is it just a different wording of an end-of-turn effect, which the active player can process in whatever order they wish, among other end-of-turn effects and powers?

My current guess is that my proposed sequence is legal according to the rules, but probably not what was intended.


My good friend Frencois - I hate to say this, but I do not understand what you are saying in your post.
(I'm sure if you posted it in French it would be crystal clear. I still would not understand it, but that would be entirely my fault.)


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

This post by Mike Selinker supports my position which elcoderdude quoted above. I haven’t changed my position since back then.

The entire notion of being able to dodge powers in the way specified by the OP relies on a notion of a MtG-like stack, which it has been stated numerous times by the designers that PACG does not have. The only logical way to resolve powers in absence of such a stack is what I said in the quote above, and what Mike said in the link in my post (it’s the same thing, I was just a bit more verbose).

Does that make the scenario harder? Yes, but it’s also an E scenario and the final scenario of each adventure tends to have difficulty spikes.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
peakhope wrote:
One of my questions is about the specific wording of the location text. Why does it say "When you end your turn at this location". Is that supposed to set up a "when" trigger as mentioned in the rulebook? But the rulebook only applies that to "playing cards", not to location or scenario effects.

Things can happen “when” other things happen for any trigger point. The rule in playing cards is to let you know that such powers bypass some limits that are otherwise in place about using the same power more than once per check/step.

I would personally view that location power as some weird templating that snuck through editing rather than something intentionally different from “at the end of your turn.”

If you want to play as-written though I would rule that “when you end your turn” happens at the very start of the End Your Turn step, before processing anything in that step (so it’d happen before any end of turn powers). I have no support offhand for this besides that PACG has two timing-based trigger words: “when” and “after” (and “when you would” but that’s not relevant to this particular topic). After is obvious, so having two different words only makes sense if “when” happens at the beginning of a multi-step process instead of at the end of it. If you want more concrete affirmation you can probably find something more official by searching for when during an exploration that “when you explore” powers trigger—I’m confident you’ll find those are at the beginning of an exploration and not the end of it.

However, the wording is nonstandard so I’d be more likely to rule it at a table to be a typical end of turn power instead that can be sequences before/after other end of turn powers.


skizzerz - can you confirm that you are saying that both the Peakhope example and my Amiri-like Lem example are invalid? Or does the moving-away situation work differently here than does the moving-to?

EDIT: It seems the Amari-like dodge definitely does not work.
In this Shadow Clock discussion, Mike Selinker says the nearly-identical Shadow Clock end of turn effect cannot be foiled by moving away during the end of your turn*.
*Caveat: Mike wrote that in 2013. The official understanding could be different now.


I do agree the "When you end this turn at our location..." phrasing is odd.
Does this more-obvious wording have any problems?

Hypothetical 5-Pointed Sun wrote:

AT THIS LOCATION

At the end of your turn, each character is dealt d4 Cold damage.

This looks functionally identical to me.

Paizo designers - can you clarify if the "When..." phrasing is meant to convey a different meaning?
(Keith-signal activated.)


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
elcoderdude wrote:
skizzerz - can you confirm that you are saying that both the Peakhope example and my Amiri-like Lem example are invalid? Or does the moving-away situation work differently here than does the moving-to?

Note: all responses in this post are assuming that Five-Pointed Sun works like a normal "end of turn" power because that is what makes the most sense.

The sequence in the OP is definitely not valid because nobody is at Five-Pointed Sun in order to activate that power in step 1. You can't arbitrarily choose to activate something that doesn't apply to your situation.

The Amiri dodge also does not work, because once the Five-Pointed Sun is unoccupied, the scenario power suddenly becomes "active" and requires resolution. This is what I was referring to in that quote above with "which may be different now based on what just happened". Moving away means that the scenario power must also now be resolved because its conditions are met.

Using my system, I'll step through it.

End of Turn Step begins. Varril is alone at some other location (not the Sun):
1. Look at currently valid end of turn powers, these are {"At the end of your turn, you may bury the top card of your deck to move.", "At the end of your turn, if the location Five-Pointed Sun is unoccupied, add a monster from the box to the top of that location deck.", "At the end of your turn, if you are the only character at your location, you may move."}
2. Choose one of those 3 to resolve, let's say we picked Varril's power and moved to the Five-Pointed Sun.
3. Look at currently valid end of turn powers, these are {"At the end of your turn, you may bury the top card of your deck to move.", "When you end your turn at this location, each character is dealt 1d4 Cold damage."}
4. Choose one of those 2 to resolve. Note how the scenario power of unoccupied Sun went away (Sun is no longer unoccupied) but the location power of the Sun appeared. Varill's power went away because we resolved that one already. Let's say we pick the Sun's power so everyone suffers 1d4 Cold damage.
5. Look at the currently valid end of turn powers, these are {"At the end of your turn, you may bury the top card of your deck to move."}
6. It's the only one left, so let's resolve it. It's an optional power so we choose not to do it.
7. There are no more end of turn powers that require resolution. We now do everything cards in our recovery pile say to do during recovery (if using Core rules) and then reset our hand.

In step 6 if we chose to move away from the Sun, the scenario power of an unoccupied Sun would then reappear and need to be resolved, reloading a new monster into the Sun. So, if you really wanted to make things hard on yourself, you can have both negative effects happen. There's just no way to have none of them happen.

Let's step through the logic using the linked example from Mike. You're currently at Torture Pit ("When you start or end your turn at this location, succeed at a Constitution or Fortitude 10 check or bury the top card of your deck.") and have Jalhazar's Wheel in hand ("At the end of your turn, if your ship is not wrecked, recharge this card to move.")

1. Look at the currently valid end of turn powers, these are {"When you start or end your turn at this location, succeed at a Constitution or Fortitude 10 check or bury the top card of your deck.", and playing Wheel for "At the end of your turn, if your ship is not wrecked, recharge this card to move."}
2. We play Wheel to use that power and move away from Torture Pit to some other location that does not have any end of turn power.
3. There are no other end of turn powers that need to be processed, so we proceed to recovery (if playing Core rules) and then reset our hand.


skizzerz wrote:
Note: all responses in this post are assuming that Five-Pointed Sun works like a normal "end of turn" power because that is what makes the most sense.

This confuses me a bit, because players choose to activate powers, but this is more like an effect. For the purposes of this post, I'll refer to them as "mandatory powers".

Quote:
the scenario power suddenly becomes "active" and requires resolution.

So you are saying that this mandatory power lies in wait, triggering if the situation changes at any point to make it relevant. So the more accurate wording would be "If at any time during the end of your turn, the location Five-Pointed Sun is unoccupied..." Or, to recycle the "when" terminology, "When during the end of your turn, the location Five-Pointed Sun is unoccupied..."

I'll paraphrase your system as "At each point in time, consider all the legal end-of-turn powers that have not already been applied, and apply one. Repeat until there are none available." Plus, any "when" powers may be used more than once, if their trigger happens more than once. That's not unreasonable, but it is a more complicated rule than I would hope for. And I'm not seeing it in the rules as written.

Mike's comment about the Angel in the Tower, cited above, says "the intent is that the Shadow Clock cares about the absolute end of the turn, not the 'beginning of the end of the turn step.'" If that applies here (unknown), and if it the thinking hasn't changed in the last 7 years (unknown), then presumably the same logic would apply to both of the negative effects ("mandatory powers"). That would exactly align with Frencois's suggested houserule ("EOT mandatory powers happen (in the order of your chosing) AFTER EOT powers that you MAY use."

I ended up playing it that Varril could not outsmart the Sun. We still won.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
peakhope wrote:
This confuses me a bit, because players choose to activate powers, but this is more like an effect. For the purposes of this post, I'll refer to them as "mandatory powers".

Every paragraph of (non-flavor) text on a card or in the storybook is a power. Some are optional (such as using a power by playing a card in your hand), others are not (such as most storybook and bane powers). In Core and beyond, you have a booklet with the adventure and scenario rules instead of them being printed on Adventure Path, Adventure, and Scenario cards. This booklet is the storybook. If applying Core rules to a pre-Core set, treat the AP, Adventure, and Scenario cards as the storybook.

peakhope wrote:

So you are saying that this mandatory power lies in wait, triggering if the situation changes at any point to make it relevant. So the more accurate wording would be "If at any time during the end of your turn, the location Five-Pointed Sun is unoccupied..." Or, to recycle the "when" terminology, "When during the end of your turn, the location Five-Pointed Sun is unoccupied..."

I'll paraphrase your system as "At each point in time, consider all the legal end-of-turn powers that have not already been applied, and apply one. Repeat until there are none available." Plus, any "when" powers may be used more than once, if their trigger happens more than once. That's not unreasonable, but it is a more complicated rule than I would hope for. And I'm not seeing it in the rules as written.

Mike's comment about the Angel in the Tower, cited above, says "the intent is that the Shadow Clock cares about the absolute end of the turn, not the 'beginning of the end of the turn step.'" If that applies here (unknown), and if it the thinking hasn't changed in the last 7 years (unknown), then presumably the same logic would apply to both of the negative effects ("mandatory powers"). That would exactly align with Frencois's suggested houserule ("EOT mandatory powers happen (in the order of your chosing) AFTER EOT powers that you MAY use."

I ended up playing it that Varril could not outsmart the Sun. We still won.

Once again, PACG does not have a stack in the sense of MtG or other games. The "end of turn" phase is not one point in time, it lasts continuously until you run out of end of turn powers to process. While processing such powers, additional end of turn powers may become relevant and need to be processed, or end of turn powers that you haven't gotten around to processing yet may stop being relevant and no longer get processed. See the post I linked to by Mike in 2015, which confirms this.

Treat "when you end your turn" as the exact same as "at the end of your turn" -- looking at past location examples there's no real reason for there to be a mechanical difference between the two wordings for location start/end of turn effects. Some cards use one wording and some use the other, and like many things in PACG it is not 100% consistent.

The 2013 post is Mike saying how it should work, not how it does work. And we do have standardized wording now for "absolute end of turn" -- that wording is "After you reset your hand." Five-Pointed Sun does not use that wording.

Finally, congratulations on your win!


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I must admit I wasn't clear... because as we can see the issue is far from obvious. The misleading factor comes - as you mentionned - that "At the End of Turn" has a double non consistent meaning :
- On one side it is a phase/step that has a duration in which many things can happen, mandatory powers happen, optional powers may be played, characters may be moved and so on...
- On the other side it has to be a precise unique timing point where some conditions have to be evaluated for some things to happen : "At the end of turn, if blablabla..."
The issue here is that usually, when the game requires a precise unique timing point where some conditions have to be evaluated for some things to happen, it is usually a "When...", which implies precisely at the time a condition is met).
All powers that evaluate a situation to trigger (like Pyramid powers discussed) should IMHO be rephrased to something like "When you would reset your hand at the end of turn..." or "Before resetting you hand at the end of turn...". Anything that would replace reference to an entire step "End of Turn" to a reference to a specific point in time would make evaluation precise.
That was just my point.


@skizzerz, My only issue with this process is you could benefit from two locations end of turn affects on one round. While it might be legal, just feels wrong.


Thanks for the clarifications, skizzerz.

My naive interpretation was: At the end of the turn, take inventory of all available powers, sort them in whatever order you want, and execute them. Some might fizzle.

I accept that the intended process is: At the end of the turn: 1) take inventory of all available powers. 2) Execute one. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until there are no available mandatory powers and no unused available optional powers that any player wishes to use. From what I can tell, this is not documented in rulebooks or FAQs.

Sidebar: The saying "there is no stack" makes it sound like the PACG approach is somehow simpler. And I suppose it is easier than a full stack. But it requires you to both remember which powers have already been used, and also to recalculate available powers at each step. Alternatively, my interpretation (above) had nothing to do with stacks. It's just a list, sorted and processed sequentially.

Anyway, thank you all for helping figure this out. I'm glad I erred on the side of making things harder, especially since Varril is such a powerhouse in this campaign.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
peakhope wrote:
From what I can tell, this is not documented in rulebooks or FAQs.

Unfortunately, it is not directly in the rulebook, only heavily implied.

The following rules combine to lead to the conclusion:

Rules: Timing (page 9) wrote:
When more than one thing would happen at the same time, you may decide the order in which those things happen. However, anything that happens “immediately” must happen before any other things.
Rules: Active and Optional Powers (page 10) wrote:

There are usually a lot of cards in play in the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. But you don’t need to worry about doing what all of them say all the time. Generally, powers on cards are only active in certain situations.

...
• Locations
Most powers on locations are active only when characters are at that location, but a few location powers affect other situations.
• Other cards
Powers on cards on the table—including characters and displayed cards—are active whenever they are appropriate. Powers on cards in locations, in the vault, and in your discards, buried pile, deck, and recovery pile are not active.
Things to Keep In Mind (page 28) wrote:
Cards Don’t Do What They Don’t Say. Each card’s powers reference specific situations, and if you’re not in those situations, you can’t play that card.

From the first quote, we see that we can choose the order that start/end of powers apply since there is no prescribed ordering inherent in that. From the second quote, we see that certain powers are only active during certain times, such as when a location is occupied.

The third quote talks about playing cards, but it's just as applicable to using powers on the table. If the power is not relevant to the current situation, you can't choose to apply it just so it "fizzles" -- you are not allowed to apply it in the first place.

In fact, the rules are completely silent about making a power "fizzle" in the first place; it is simply not part of the game. There is the rule "If you are instructed to do something impossible, like draw a card from an empty deck, ignore that instruction." but that applies to instructions, not entire powers (a power has one or more instructions).

The rules are also completely silent in the context of the second quote of delaying when powers become active. There is nothing that says "if you're currently doing a process, wait until that process finishes before re-examining the board and seeing which powers are now active or are no longer active." Given the lack of a rule to that effect, it means powers immediately become active or inactive whenever their conditions are met or cease being met.

In order for there to be a stack or a queue (what you described as "a list, sorted and processed sequentially" is a queue), there would need to be some way to have entire powers fizzle if the conditions aren't met, and for things like active powers to not be checked until you're done processing everything (so that new things don't get introduced into the queue).

Given all of this, the only other alternative is what I explained above in my previous posts.


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I always felt like the wording on Five-Pointed Sun was to try and avoid the questions that arose with Angel in the Towre in RotR. i.e. it was trying to care about the absolute end of the turn.

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