"When you fail a check" timing


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


Zvarbel (Magus) has the following role power:

"When you fail a check, you may draw a barrier from the box or draw a random card from your discard pile ([] or both)."

Would this card draw occur before or after any damage occurred from the failed check? Or could I pick the order?

E.g., Zvarbel might fail a before acting check that deals damage, or she might fail a combat check. Does the damage or Zvarbel's power kick in first?

This is the relevant rules text, I'm guessing:

After you attempt the check, deal with any effects that were caused by the check. For example, if you failed a check to defeat a monster, suffer damage. If any cards played while attempting a check included their own checks, resolve the current check in this step and the new checks in subsequent steps.

P.S. The same question could be asked about Poog's "after the check" Leecher healing ability, when blessings are played on him.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Technically, I'd say it occurs at the same time with taking damage (both consequences of the "failed" condition that need to be processed), so you choose the order, but you'll usually prefer to resolve it after resolving the damage.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think RAW, "When you fail a check" happens before suffering damage as a result of a failed check.

Rulebook p12 (black+emphasis theirs, blue+emphasis mine) wrote:

Roll the Dice. Roll the dice and add up their value, adding or subtracting any modifiers that apply to the check. If a card is vulnerable to any number of traits that are used on the check, add 4. If a card is resistant to any number of traits used, subtract 4. No matter how many penalties are applied to a roll of the dice, the result cannot be reduced below 0.

Powers that allow or require you to reroll dice happen now; each such power can reroll dice no more than once per check. You may spend a hero point to reroll the dice once, on your own check only. If a power tells you to reroll dice without specifying which ones, reroll them all. You must take the new result unless the power says otherwise.

If the result is greater than or equal to the difficulty of the check, you succeed. If the result is lower than the difficulty, you fail.

Suffer Damage, If Necessary. If you fail a check to defeat a monster, you suffer an amount of damage equal to the difference between the difficulty and the result. Unless the card specifies otherwise, this damage is Combat damage. For example, if the difficulty to defeat a monster is 10 and the result of your check is 8, you suffer 2 Combat damage (see Suffering Damage on page 13). (Remember that collectively, the party may play no more than one of each type of boon during a check, so if someone already played a spell on the check, a spell can’t be played to reduce damage.)

The text I made blue and bold "If the result is greater than or equal to the difficulty of the check, you succeed. If the result is lower than the difficulty, you fail." is the point in time you actually succeed or fail at a check. This is when "When you succeed at a check" or "When you fail a check" powers occur. Note this happens before Suffer Damage, If Necessary.

This also means that "when you fail a check" is not the same timing as "after a check" -- after a check would be after you're done processing everything about the check, including suffering damage if necessary. Suffering damage as part of failing a check against a monster does not have the same timing as suffering damage as a consequence of failing e.g. a before acting check.


Thanks. Was wondering if "after the check" and "when you fail a check" might have different timings.

Zvarbel wants to keep Magus Arcana in hand, so drawing cards before taking damage could be useful to protect the cohort. We'll see...

I'd add that Zvarbel's power was more useful pre-Core, as she could intentionally fail spell recharge checks in the middle of her turn to draw cards. Now recovery happens at the end, so it's less useful.

Either way, I'll probably try the power for fun to see how it works out.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Card Game / Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion / "When you fail a check" timing All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion
Role Cards