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Figures, Hero Figures and what affects them


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#1 Unknown X

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 04:10 AM

Recently, I was reading through some reviews on boardgame geeks about the overall balance of the various campaigns (after my hero players quit a Labyrinth of Ruin campaign after losing Ruinous Whispers, Gathering Foretold and Fury of the Storm) and there I came upon some comments on the "What's yours is mine" quest from Lair of the Wyrm, particularly, the notion of certain markers (person or quest markers) being treated as "figures" (The shadow run campaign usually uses hero figures instead).

 

My personal understanding was that figures should be understood as in "familiars treated as figures", thus, treated just like a hero with the exception of not drawing overlord cards or of course not counting towards any of those hero marker specific things.

 

 

However, in the thread below, there was a quote from an official fantasy flight response about this which was quite different:

 

http://boardgamegeek...rds-be-played-o

 

 

Justin Kemppainen wrote:
He's treated as a figure (which means he blocks movement and line of sight), but he doesn't have an affiliation, so to speak. This means that anything that specifically targets heros or monsters has no effect on him (Overlord cards, hero abilities, etc), but he is able to be affected by hero and monster attacks.

 

 

So, erh, really?

If something is just a figure and not a hero figure, you cannot use any monster actions, overlord cards or anything?

 

Despite the fact that the only time the rules talk about "figures", it is in the context of familiars treated as figures with the opposite ruling concerning what affects them?

 

If so, then what is the reasoning for this?

 

I can understand the ruling in many quests that certain figures are immune to conditions and succeed in all attribute tests (simply because it would otherwise make certain cards too powerful in those situations), but how is anyone supposed to come to this conclusion in absence of a definite statement in the rules?

 

I admit, I think it is very weird both thematically AND from a game balance point of view.

 

 

So, what is the experience you have with this in play?

How many of you play by this ruling (or know of it) and how has it played out for you on the gaming table?

 

 

And, on a more official note:

 

The most recent FAQ and Errata version explicitly states that allies, familiars and anything treated as a hero figure cannot be targeted by plot cards.

 

Again, I can understand that for many plot cards that reference hero markers, stand up actions and similar.

However, what is the sense in not being allowed to use cards like "Bolt from the Blue" from Merrick Farrows deck (which allows you to make an attack with fixed dices, surge abilities, etc. on your turn on a hero) on an ally familiar or hero figure?

 

Also, why is this distinction made between plot cards and overlord cards?

 

I do not have many plot decks where this WOULD apply, granted (usually, the effects to buff up the monsters seem the best), but again, why make this rather arbitrary decision?

 

 

 

To sum it up, I am a bit upset that this ruling, like quite some other seem to be so "counterintuitive" and at odds with the rest of the official rules.

 

I cannot help but get the impression that the fantasy flight staff does not really think their answers through all that much and it is a bit upsetting.

 

I like the game, but I really dread that it will turn into a "meta game rule festival" that more and more loses touch with what it actually is supposed to model.

 

I always thought that any game rule should be as "common sense-like" as possible, if only to make it easier for new players to understand them, so really, please think of your long term prospects when making such rules!

 

Even if it may make a more balanced game on the "pro level", if I may use that term, a game needs fresh players if it wants to thrive and I can definitely say that it is exactly rules like that which do turn away players at the introduction stage (well, that and too much of a "hard-core" player mentality from those they game with... ^^ ; )



#2 Zaltyre

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 06:42 AM

There is a definite statement of the rules, you referenced it before anything else. "______ treated as a figure" is just like a "familiar treated as a figure," and those things can be affected by hero/monster abilities, attacks, and OL cards that target a hero (depending on whether they're hero figures or monster figures.)

 

Jorem is a special case in that he is explicitly neither a hero nor a monster. In MOST cases, figures are either "hero figures" or "monster figures." Because he is neither, if a card says "hero," it doesn't apply to him. Likewise, if it says "monster" it doesn't apply to him. This ruling about abilities not working is a specific answer regarding Jorem.

 

Regarding plot cards, it could very well be that they're designed specifically to balance with no more than 4 heroes. Not all plot cards are as simple as a fixed dice attack, and it's too complex to make different rules for some plot cards than others. If plot cards treated all figures as heroes, what would that mean for threat and fortune tokens, for example? The plot cards are a distinct mechanic from OL cards, and FFG is entitled to give them whatever rules they think fit.

 

EDIT: Rereading my answer, I didn't really answer your questions. In my case, I've played the way that it's ruled above- if it's treated like a "hero figure" or "monster figure," it follows the rules of familiars treated as figures. That is, it can be affected by attacks, abilities, and OL cards. If it is treated as a "figure" but is not a monster or a hero, you can just attack it unless it says otherwise, or it can be affected by things that trigger on "figure," not "hero" or "monster." That has worked out just fine for my group(s).


Edited by Zaltyre, 24 June 2014 - 08:54 AM.

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#3 Steve-O

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 09:14 PM

So, erh, really?
If something is just a figure and not a hero figure, you cannot use any monster actions, overlord cards or anything?


It makes as much sense as monsters ONLY being allowed to attack heroes, or vice versa. I'm sure a crafty OL could come up with a few good reasons to attack one of his own monsters with another, but alas, the rules state that it cannot be so.

Despite the fact that the only time the rules talk about "figures", it is in the context of familiars treated as figures with the opposite ruling concerning what affects them?
 
If so, then what is the reasoning for this?


There are two separate qualities here. Being a "figure" generally means you block Line of Sight and movement. "Friendly" figures can move through you. Anything represented by a plastic model is implicitly a "figure" as these models are what FFG is referring to when they use the word.

Being "treated as a hero" means you can be targeted by monster attacks, abilities and OL cards.

The rules for familiars state that any time a familiar (in particular) is declared to be a "figure" then it is to be considered a "hero figure" - thus encompassing both of the above qualities. However, this is not necessarily true for other tokens in the game.

If the quest rules say an NPC is to be treated as a "figure" (without hero affiliation) then he just blocks LoS and movement. He blocks movement for everyone else because no one is "friendly" if he's not either a hero or a monster.

So, what is the experience you have with this in play?
How many of you play by this ruling (or know of it) and how has it played out for you on the gaming table?


We play using the above understanding of "figure" and "hero" and it hasn't been a problem for us. Thematically the assignment may seem random, but if you think of it like a movie, the assignment of terms like "figure," "hero figure" or "monster" are really just letting you know how much screen presence this person carries. An NPC who is not a figure is running around in the background doing something, but not generally impeding the main characters from doing what they want. The primary conflict is between the heroes and the monsters.
 

And, on a more official note:
 
The most recent FAQ and Errata version explicitly states that allies, familiars and anything treated as a hero figure cannot be targeted by plot cards.

Why is this distinction made between plot cards and overlord cards?


I don't really understand the logic behind that ruling either, to be honest. Although since I don't own any LTs (yet), it hasn't really come up at our table as a point of contention.

#4 Unknown X

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 06:47 AM

Well, reading the instructions and looking at them like a "if it does not say so, then it is a no", yes, he is said to be "a figure that can be attacked", though by that logic, familiars can also not be affected by monster abilities (but by overlord cards) because it says:

 

 

They may be
targeted and affected by monster attacks, hero abilities, and Overlord
cards that target a hero.

 

 

In short, all those extremely fiddly formulations do make me want to throttle a rulebook writer...

 

Why do we need to make this distinctions, why do we have to make the game so full of special cases that run counter to what people would expect?

 

After all, if we go strictly by the rulings, we could also run into the problem that since Jorem is just counted as a "figure", he would not be an "enemy" figure and attacks can only target enemy figures (they still can affect others of course).

 

Frankly, would this all not have been much cleaner if they used the same template (immune to condition, succeeds all attribute rolls, etc.) as they did for the NPCs in the Shadow Rune campaign?

 

Lastly, with the interpretation that he can only be attacked but not targeted by monster actions, where do monster actions that allow an attack fall?

 

 

What I want to say by this is mainly, please, could any designer reading this strive to avoid such a mess in the future?

All those cases where the game has to be stopped for looking up an official ruling on the net or arguing about interpretation are definitely not fun.

 

 

The basic rules do not really have "neutral figures", so far I only saw them in Lair of the Wyrm, so if you introduce the concept, it would really have been a nice idea to give it more thought than some very short instructions in the quests.

 

 

 

 

Regarding the Plot Cards:

 

It is sufficiently clear that like with Overlord cards, you do not gain threat for defeating familiars, NPCs and such.

That also applies to any of those effects that reference knocking down heroes and hero markers, as said before.

 

But what this means is that any card that activates When attacking a hero" or any such thing does not apply to familiars, allies and NPCs.

So, when all other game aspects of attacks, abilities and such treat such figures like heroes, Plot Cards do not...

 

Luckily, I have not played any plot card that does anything but strengthen monsters or overlord cards ((mostly Belthir), but I can tell you, this will be such a wonderful mess to explain again...



#5 Zaltyre

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 07:13 AM

First off, the bit about monster abilities was handled in the FAQ- it clarifies "hero or monster ability." Admittedly, that wasn't clear in the original rulebook. Secondly, Jorem is an (almost, I can't think of any other examples right now) one-of-a-kind example- there aren't crazy variations of neutral NPCs all over the place- and everywhere there are NPCs, the guidance is the same- if they're treated as hero or monster figures, that's one set of rules, but those can be overridden by anything specific to that quest- the things about being immune to conditions and whatnot isn't an NPC rule, but it's a quest specific condition. 

 

Also, I think you may be misreading the answer from Justin about Jorem- he doesn't say that Jorem can't be affected by hero or monster abilities- what he says is that any abilities that specify "hero" or  "monster" have no effect on Jorem. This makes perfect sense, because Jorem is neither a hero nor a monster. However, the elemental has a monster ability "Fire: perform an attack targeting all figures adjacent to this monster. Each figure rolls defense dice separately." That ability would work on Jorem. However, the merriod's "Flail: When attacking, this monster may target up to 2 separate heroes" would not include Jorem.

 

I don't have a good answer about the deal with plot cards and "targeting a hero." I agree with you that doesn't make a lot of sense outside of the specific ruling that plot cards are not overlord cards and new rules apply to them. However, that's the ruling that has come out- apparently plot cards are a different mechanic, and it was decided that they're restricted to "genuine" heroes and monsters in their definitions. I can live with that. If you can't it should be a simple matter to house rule.



#6 neodruid

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 01:17 AM

Hello all,

During the paly we also have problem for clarification how to treat a familiar, hero figure or figure. (example reanimate). In instruction states “They may be targeted and affected by monster attacks, hero abilities, and Overlord cards that target a hero.”

My questions:

1.     Hero Abilities are only this on cards or also class cards? If yes, then Knight can use “Oath of honor” including familiar to do it?

2.     In instruction “Similar to monsters, if they are required to make an attribute test, they automatically fail. Unlike normal familiars, these types of familiars are susceptible to the effects of terrain during their movement and may be affected by conditions.” So they can be affected by condition only by attack not be monster ability?

3.     Can by affected by OL cards like web trap?



#7 Zaltyre

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 07:16 AM

Hello all,

During the paly we also have problem for clarification how to treat a familiar, hero figure or figure. (example reanimate). In instruction states “They may be targeted and affected by monster attacks, hero abilities, and Overlord cards that target a hero.”

My questions:

1.     Hero Abilities are only this on cards or also class cards? If yes, then Knight can use “Oath of honor” including familiar to do it?

2.     In instruction “Similar to monsters, if they are required to make an attribute test, they automatically fail. Unlike normal familiars, these types of familiars are susceptible to the effects of terrain during their movement and may be affected by conditions.” So they can be affected by condition only by attack not be monster ability?

3.     Can by affected by OL cards like web trap?

1. Yes (as far as I am aware, or I've been playing wrong.)

2. As per the FAQ, monster abilities also work on the reanimate, and yes, they're affected by conditions.

3. Absolutely. That's what's meant by "OL cards that target a hero." When an OL card says "a hero," you can read it like "a hero (or a familiar treated like a hero figure)..."


Edited by Zaltyre, 04 July 2014 - 07:17 AM.





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