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Need help with Deadly keyword


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#1 Style75

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 01:02 PM

Hi, I'm new to the game (but am an experienced gamer) and have a specific question. The keyword Deadly... there's lot of debate among my friends as to how this is exactly supposed to work. I would really appreciate it if someone here could post a link to a good description of exactly how deadly works with some examples from play. Thanks!



#2 ktom

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 02:05 PM

What kind of link are you looking for? Is there a particular question you're getting stuck on?

 

From the basic rules, Deadly is defined as follows:

- "During a challenge, if the attacking player controls the most participating characters with the 'Deadly' keyword, the defending player must choose and kill a defending participating character after the challenge resolves."

 

From the FAQ, the timing of Deadly is clarified a bit:

- When do you resolve deadly?

Deadly is resolved during the passive resolution step in the Framework Action Window.

 

That, in turn, requires an understanding of the Framework Action Window for resolving challenges. An understanding of that window tells us that resolving a challenge involves the following (in order):

A) Determine winner by counting/comparing attacking and defending STR.

B) Resolve claim effects for the challenge (if attacker wins)

C) Award bonus power for "unopposed" (if appropriate)

D) Award Renown (to characters with the keyword on the winning side)

E) Passives to everything in A-D resolve

F) Players take turns triggering Responses to anything that happens in A-E, in any order

 

Note that, as with any Framework Action Window, there is no chance to play any non-Response effect until all of these things are done. (This is a huge stumbling block for people coming from other games. They want to interrupt things between initiation and resolution, creating LIFO stacks that don't exist in this game - short of cancels.)

 

The other major stumbling block for people coming from other games is that they want to do passive effects and Responses for A before B, for B before C, etc. But that's not the way this game works. You are not allowed to do passives/Responses for any of the framework steps of challenge resolution until ALL of them are done. You don't get to Respond to "winning" or "losing" a challenge until after claim, unopposed, and Renown. 

 

 

 

Those 3 pieces of information really do tell you everything you need to know about Deadly and how it works. All you have to do is put it together. Specifically:

1. The basic definition tells you that the attacker does not have to win the challenge in order for Deadly to kill something.

2. The basic definition tells you that ties in the Deadly count "go" to the defender (since the attacking player must control the MOST participating characters with Deadly). 

3. This also means that only one character can ever be killed for Deadly per challenge because the Deadly count is a matter of comparison. Three Deadly attackers will only be able to kill one defender. And with 3 Deadly attackers, having 0, 1 or 2 Deadly defenders will not change the outcome or the number of characters killed. Deadly is a yes-or-no question: Does the attacker control most Deadly characters in the challenge? If yes, kill one defending character.

4. The character killed for Deadly must have been participating in the challenge. Characters that were not declared/defending are not eligible targets.

5. The character killed for Deadly is chosen by the defending player - and does not necessarily need to be controlled by the defending player (since "defending participating character" is the criteria, not "defending participating character controlled by the defender").

6. The FAQ entry tells you that, since Deadly is resolved as a passive effect, it is checked/resolved after claim, unopposed, and Renown are awarded. (In a military challenge lost by the defender, the character killed for claim is killed before the character is chosen for Deadly.)

 

Those 6 points answer the vast majority of questions about Deadly. But here are some examples to drive it home:

 

>> Ex. 1:  Player A declares a MIL challenge against Player B with 1 Deadly attacker. Player B does not declare any defenders. Player A wins and Player B chooses a character to die for MIL claim during challenge resolution. Then, when they get to Deadly during the challenge's passive step, Player A wins the Deadly count, but Player B doesn't have to kill anyone because there are no eligible targets (i.e., a participating defending character).

 

>> Ex. 2:  Player A declares a MIL challenge against Player B with 1 Deadly attacker. Player B declares 1 defender, non-Deadly. Player A wins and Player B chooses a character to die for MIL claim during challenge resolution. He chooses his 1 defender to die for claim. Then, when they get to Deadly during the challenge's passive step, Player A wins the Deadly count, but Player B doesn't have to kill anyone because there are no eligible targets (i.e., the only participating defending character is already dead for claim; nothing in claim or Deadly requiring the defender to choose someone else for claim just so that there will be someone to kill for Deadly when you eventually get there.) <--- This, by the way, is why Deadly means a lot more during INT and POW challenges than it does in MIL.

 

>> Ex. 3:  Player A declares a MIL challenge against Player B with 4 Deadly attackers. Player B declares 1 defender, Deadly. Same result as Ex. 2. (It doesn't matter whether you "win" the Deadly count by 1 or 100; the result is the same.)

 

>> Ex. 4:  Player A declares a MIL challenge against Player B with 1 Deadly attacker, STR-1. Player B declares 1 defender, non-Deadly, STR-3. Player B wins the challenge and so doesn't have to kill anyone for claim. Then, when they get to Deadly during the challenge's passive step, Player A wins the Deadly count and Player B has to kill the only participating defender - the STR-3, non-Deadly character that just "won" the challenge for him.

 

>> Ex. 5:  Player B declares an INT challenge against Player A with 1 Deadly attacker. His plot is Frey Hospitality ("After a player loses an INT challenge, that player must choose and kill a character under his or her control."). Player A declares 1 defender, non-Deadly. Player B wins the challenge and discards a card from Player A's hand for claim. Then, when during the passive step, there are two conflicting passive effects (Deadly and the plot, Frey Hospitality), so the First Player decides the order in which they resolve. Player A is the first player, so he chooses Frey Hospitality to go first and chooses to kill his defending character. Then Deadly goes and, although Player B wins, Player A doesn't have any participating characters to kill for Deadly (his one participating character is already dead for Frey Hospitality).

 

>> Ex. 6:  Same as Ex. 5, except that this time, Player B is first player. He decides to have DEADLY go first, so Player A must choose and kill a participating defending character. Then, Frey Hospitality resolves and Player A must choose and kill a character s/he controls. Since that character can be any character, not just a participating character, Player A ends up losing two characters (Deadly and plot), not just the one (plot) from Ex. 5.

 

 

Any other specific, tricky examples or situations that are tripping you?

 

The big thing most people quickly discover and have trouble with is that since Deadly resolves as a passive, after claim, the defender can kill his 1 chump blocker for claim and avoid Deadly altogether in a MIL challenge. Thinking that with a name like Deadly, it should be better than it really is, it's not unusual for new players to struggle with this.


Edited by ktom, 21 April 2014 - 02:12 PM.

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#3 Polybios

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 03:37 PM

That' a superb explanation, ktom!

 

I just realised that we used to play a few things not according to the rules. Thank you for providing this brilliant overview!



#4 yipster1986

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 04:21 PM

Awesome stuff here about deadly ;-)


'The winters are hard, but the Starks will endure. We always have.'

 

- Eddard Stark





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