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Jin Blooded character and the Command Spell

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#1 HarleyWarren



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Posted 26 April 2014 - 11:10 AM

The Jin Blooded character special ability reads:


"Whenever another character casts a Spell on you, your space or one of your cards, you may either gain 1 fate or spend 2 fate to bind that Spell. If you bind the Spell it has not effect on you and you may immediately cast it on a new target, ignoring Region and timing restrictions. If you do not use the Spell, it is discarded."


The question is...Does this ability apply in any way to the Command spell?  When this came up in our game last night, we ruled that the binding option can only apply to Spells that can be discarded. I am a bit less certain about the first option. Should the Jin Blooded be able to gain a fate each time the Command spell is cast?

Edited by HarleyWarren, 26 April 2014 - 01:26 PM.

#2 Artaterxes



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Posted 26 April 2014 - 11:32 AM

It depends entirely on the interpetation of the wording on the ability.

I don't think the "discarded" wording is relevant because the Command Spell, if it were a card, would be drawn and discarded every turn.

It could be argued that the Jin Blooded ability affects only spells which target him specifically, by literal interpretation of his ability, whereas the Command Spell has multiple or global targets. If we view that the spell must target ONLY the Jin Blooded, then his ability won't work. If we view that the spell must target AT LEAST the Jin Blooded, then he would gain a fate or could spend 2 fate to choose a single new target, similar to Reflection.

I am going to assume that it works on spells that target ONLY him specifically, as spells such as Counterspell, Reflection, and Hydra mention you can play them in response to spells that have "just been cast," not "just been cast on you."

So no, I don't think he should gain a fate or be able to bind the spell. But, it is ambiguous.

Edited by Artaterxes, 26 April 2014 - 11:34 AM.

#3 HarleyWarren



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Posted 26 April 2014 - 12:24 PM

The "discarded" wording is relevant in that it strongly suggests that this ability is meant to apply to Spell cards which infers that it would exclude the Command Spell.


I agree the targeting requirements are a significant part of the issue. The first question, as you stated, is can the Jin trigger the ability if he is not the only target? Second, if he is allowed to re-cast the Command Spell, how do we handle that targeting?


Personally, I would be a bit disturbed by a ruling that allows a globally or multiply targeted spell to become a single target spell. I don't think it should be assumed that the special ability allows for this kind alteration to the spell targeting. The new target must still be a valid target as interpreted by the spell itself except for the fact that the Jin ability specifically allows the Jin to ignore Region and timing restrictions. For a re-cast Command Spell, the targets would still be "all other characters" as is stated in the base game rules.

Edited by HarleyWarren, 26 April 2014 - 01:29 PM.

#4 Artaterxes



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Posted 26 April 2014 - 02:27 PM

Well, Reflection does turn the Command Spell into a single-target spell back at its caster.

#5 The_Warlock



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Posted 26 April 2014 - 03:10 PM

Surely the Jin Blooded can use his ability on the Command Spell. It is a Spell cast on him, after all.


He can either gain 1 fate or spend 2 fate to bind the Spell. It could be bound just to neutralize it (it cannot be discarded in that case, but I don't think we need to discard something that is not a card), or it can be cast on a new target. Here you can have different interpretations:


1) "A new target" means a single new target, so you can choose the Command Spell to affect only one character of your choice (including the one on the Crown)

2) "A new target" means a different configuration of the multiple targets the Spell may have, so you can affect all characters except Jin Blooded.



Well, Reflection does turn the Command Spell into a single-target spell back at its caster.


It's surely true that Reflection can be cast on the Command Spell (it is stated by the Spell itself), but I don't think it is granted that ALL characters except the caster do not suffer the effect. It might also be valid only for the character who cast Reflection, even though it is less probable. As defined, the Command Spell is cast as a single Spell on ALL other characters (check Rulebook page 20), but the problem is that normally a Spell has not more than 1 target. Command Spell and any Hydra Spell duplicates are the exception to the rule, but while Hydra Spell instructs to treat the Spell as if it was cast individually on each character, there isn't such a stipulation for the Command Spell.


Reflection is indeed one of the most poorly worded Spells ever (another is the Hydra Spell). Well, it's not the wording that lacks something, but it's the effect that is too general and undefined. Their infinite options make these Spells neverending sources of problems. The only way to handle such Spells is to realise the "intended use", instead of applying strict word analysis. If you check the words, you won't be able to cast Reflection on Mesmerism, but if you go by the "intended use", then you would be able to do it, as it is a meaningful and thematic effect.


Personally I prefer strict word analysis, as "intended use" is not something that allows setting a dispute during a game. Often the analysis cannot give a final answer, and sees me begging for a clarification (= someone officially entitled to decide which is the way to go).


If a FAQ entry would ever say a final word on Reflection against Command Spell, it should take into consideration Jin Blooded's ability as well.

Edited by The_Warlock, 26 April 2014 - 03:22 PM.

#6 HarleyWarren



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Posted 26 April 2014 - 03:38 PM

Well, Reflection does turn the Command Spell into a single-target spell back at its caster.

Must disagree here. The Reflection spell changes and addresses the targeting rules in the spell text and specifically mentions the Command Spell. The Jin's ability only mentions Region and timing. The Command spell in the base rules offers no options at all on targeting, it targets all other players.

Also, the fact that text of numerous spells specifically call out the Command Spell as in "including the Command Spell", it seems to support the interpretation that unless the Command Spell is specifically mentioned, then it is not included.

Reflection Spell:
"Cast as required. Any Spell that has just been cast, including the Command Spell, is turned back onto the character who cast it.
(The chosen target is unaffected by the Spell; the caster suffers its effects instead.)"

Edited by HarleyWarren, 26 April 2014 - 03:40 PM.

#7 Rigmaster



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Posted 28 April 2014 - 06:14 AM

I don't know if it's important for this disussion but I think I read somewhere that you cast the command spell when you roll the die, before you know if it has effect or not. You then have to use counter spell/reflect/hydra before the die is cast. This would mean that the Jin blooded gains a fate wheter he looses a life or not. True? Seems a bit too power-gaming for me. 


We very rarely play with the standard ending, so I might be missing something.

#8 Croonos



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Posted 06 May 2014 - 02:29 AM

In Counterspell an Reflection there is a clear text "including the Command Spell". Apart from this Jin Blooded abbility state that "If you do not use the Spell, it is discarded" (similar to Gipsy's abbility). From those reasons it is questionable if we can use Jin abbility on Command Spell

But if we say that this also applies to him accordind to the FAQ:

Q2: Can a character cast Counterspell to negate the effects

of the Command Spell or the Random Spell after the player

has already rolled the die?

A: No. Counterspell must be cast before the die is rolled.


and Reflection spell text:

"The chosen target is unaffected by the Spell; the caster suffers its effects instead."

In my opinion:
1) He can gain one Fate everytime the Command Spell is cast.

2) He can spend two Fate to bind the Command Spell only before the die is rolled and only caster suffer its eventual effects.


This seems to be powerfull and can bring a real damage to the person on CoC space, so I prefer option that Command Spell (as a special kind of Spell) is excluded from Jin abbility. But of course we have to wait for an updated FAQ...

Edited by Croonos, 11 May 2014 - 01:22 AM.

#9 scubasteve319



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Posted 08 May 2014 - 10:14 AM

In my opinion, FFG should have made the Command Spell a different entity itself so it cannot be treated as a spell (such as a 'curse' or 'force').... this would eliminate many other questions as well.  But then you would need to clarify the counterspell and other components of the game.

Edited by scubasteve319, 08 May 2014 - 10:15 AM.

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