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Call Ancient One then NO Doom Tokens


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#1 Roneba

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 05:40 PM

 Hello Fellow Investigators,

Last session ended early: after a mission of Sacrifices do Make, and Marie Labeau unique ability, a sucesseful Call the Ancient One awakened the GOO with no doom tokens! So, we believed that Atlach-Nacha was defeated. Is that right?

 

 



#2 Dam

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 06:16 PM

Whenever the GOO wakes up, you fill in its doom track (if it didn't wake from doom track being filled). Using CAO, fill first, then remove. Since you didn't mention spending any trophies, I'd say A-N woke with 13 (or 12, BGG is down, can't check).


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#3 Svavelvinter

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 06:59 PM

(Atlach-Nacka has 13 tokens)



#4 Acebob

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 07:38 PM

I had a game recently where I managed to sacrafice 13 trophies against Cthugha to kill him instantly. That was nice.



#5 Avi_dreader

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 07:44 PM

Acebob said:

I had a game recently where I managed to sacrafice 13 trophies against Cthugha to kill him instantly. That was nice.

I don't think you can do that.  You can't make X higher than your sanity cost, and you can't have a cost that's more than your ability to pay (i.e. maximum sanity).  You could avoid paying that cost with a Crystal of the Elder Things, but you can't offer to pay with currency you don't have.



#6 Tibs

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 07:56 PM

Can't go higher than your maximum, eh? I like it. I was trying to come to terms with this spell and its potential sky's-the-limit problem exploitation. But if you can't pay more than your sanity maximum, even if it's canceled by the Crystal, that would place a strict limitation on its ability to be explioted (still there, just not as crazy).

Thanks, Avi!



#7 Avi_dreader

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 08:41 PM

Tibs said:

 

Can't go higher than your maximum, eh? I like it. I was trying to come to terms with this spell and its potential sky's-the-limit problem exploitation. But if you can't pay more than your sanity maximum, even if it's canceled by the Crystal, that would place a strict limitation on its ability to be explioted (still there, just not as crazy).

Thanks, Avi!

 

 

Yep ;') that card was driving me crazy for a while.  I knew FFG couldn't've designed it with the intention that you could just autokill an AO with a clue token or two— I mean, their game designers aren't *that* clueless ;') no pun intended.  It's still pretty horrid though.  I'd also like to know if you have to discard the trophies if you fail to cast the spell (I suspect you do, because it says "discard... then cast" but I'm not sure)?



#8 thecorinthian

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 11:45 PM

The rulebook isn't very specific about stuff like this. The spellcasting rules (p16) don't explicitly say it's impossible to pay more Sanity than you actually have. I used to think that this wouldn't matter, because as soon as you paid 13 Sanity with a 3 Sanity character, you'd go insane and this would prevent the spell 'resolving'. (You can tell I used to play MtG, can't you?).

But actually, Kevin Wilson's official answer on the old forums was that you could still make the Lore check and cast the spell, even if the sanity cost had just sent you to the Asylum. Of course, in the cases of most spells, this wouldn't help, since you'd have been removed from the situation in which the spell would be useful anyway.

Personally, I think the implication of many of the game's rules is that a 'cost' is distinct from a 'loss' and that if you want to pay a cost or spend something, you have to actually have that something. Even if you don't think there's any evidence for this in the scripture, it's surely an essential house rule.

Call Ancient One is an odd spell though. The order in which you perform the various actions necessary to cast the spell seems to imply that when you discard the trophies, that sets the value of X. The sanity cost becomes a fixed number, and you can apply modifiers to that number just like any other spell's Sanity cost. If you discard 13 trophies, you need someone who can pay 13 Sanity. Going with the interpretation of the rulebook above (which is the only sensible one I reckon), I don't think that's possible to pay 13 San with one character.

But you can get close. Harvey Walters (Max San 7), with:

Duke the dog (+1)

Open The Third Eye (+1)

The right Blessing of Nodens (+1)

The 'Changed' card from Kingsport (+1).

That gets you to 11, but it's pretty difficult to get all those things, particularly the specific Nodens card! I had a feeling that there's also an encounter somewhere which adds three extra temporary max sanity, but I can't find it now. Anyway, 11 Sanity paid will kill Yig, Ithaqua and Nyarlathotep. If you can get three more somehow, it'll defeat anyone. You'll need Clues to pass the Lore check of course, or the skill that adds 1 success.

What you really need instead.... is a Crystal of the Elder Things. With one of those, anyone can cast call AO for 14. Assuming you've got 14 trophies of course. You know, now that I think about it, it's actually a pretty good way of winning, if you're willing to trawl through the item decks.



#9 cim

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 12:11 AM

thecorinthian said:

But you can get close. Harvey Walters (Max San 7), with:

Duke the dog (+1)

Open The Third Eye (+1)

The right Blessing of Nodens (+1)

The 'Changed' card from Kingsport (+1).

That gets you to 11, but it's pretty difficult to get all those things, particularly the specific Nodens card!

Pass his personal story to reduce sanity costs for spells by 1.

Get the Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan from Dunwich, which can be exhausted to reduce the cost of a spell by 1.

That gets you up to 13, which will get anyone except Azathoth, Rhan-Tegoth with 2+ cultists, Bokrug with appropriate Beings of Ib, or Zhar's second form.

... or you could just wait for the Planetary Alignment environment to come up, which reduces the sanity cost of all spells to zero. Zhar's second form is I think the only one that can survive that.

I agree that you can't - even with the Crystal - spend sanity you don't have in the first place. I don't think Kevin's answer contradicts this: you can spend your last sanity and go mad but still have the spell take effect (which is often useless). You can't go overdrawn on sanity, though (so on one sanity you could cast Shrivelling but not Dread Curse)



#10 thecorinthian

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 12:24 AM

cim said:

 

I agree that you can't - even with the Crystal - spend sanity you don't have in the first place.

With the Crystal, I think you can. For example, if you're only on 1 sanity, you can use the Crystal to pay the cost of a Sanity 2 spell. That's how I've always played it - but if it can't be used that way, it's suddenly become much less useful in my view, even for ordinary mundane uses (like casting combat spells).



#11 Roneba

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 01:48 AM

 hummm, but if you have to fill the doom track what would be the advantage of this spell?

I thought its purpose was exactly to avoid a battle with a full strengh GOO. 



#12 Gatha

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 02:04 AM

Maybe I haven't had many cards that improve my Lore but how are you passing a -13 check? It might be possible if got some allies and the right skills but that would involve several lucrative rounds first.



#13 Dam

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 02:19 AM

Gatha said:

 

Maybe I haven't had many cards that improve my Lore but how are you passing a -13 check? It might be possible if got some allies and the right skills but that would involve several lucrative rounds first.

 

 

1 Clue token = 1 die rolled. With +1 Lore skill that's 2 dice you get (or if just Joe D).

Ancient Language skill:

"Any Phase: After making any Spell check, exhaust to add 1 success to the result.

Upkeep: This card does not refresh unless you spend all of your Focus to do so. "
 


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#14 Dam

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 02:21 AM

Roneba said:

 hummm, but if you have to fill the doom track what would be the advantage of this spell?

I thought its purpose was exactly to avoid a battle with a full strengh GOO. 

You do avoid full strength GOO, unless you cast it and sacrifice 0 trophies. In a 4-investigator game, each trophy you toss equals 4 less successes needed.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#15 thecorinthian

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 02:26 AM

Roneba said:

 

hummm, but if you have to fill the doom track what would be the advantage of this spell?

I thought its purpose was exactly to avoid a battle with a full strengh GOO.

 

 


Call Ancient One says that after the AO awakens (which always fills up its Doom track) you remove Doom tokens equal to the number of trophies you discarded when casting the spell. So it does get you an easier battle, but exactly how easy is dictated by the way you cast the spell, not by the status of the doom track when you cast the spell.

(There are a few other circumstances where you'd want the AO to awaken straight away, even if it meant a full doom track. For example, if a really tooled-up investigator was about to be devoured, and you reckoned he was your best shot at winning the final battle, it would make sense to bring about the endgame right away. Or in the case of some specific AOs, like Hastur, whom you want to awaken before their abilities improve too much. If the Terror level is zero, getting rid of Hastur's full Doom track is usually a cinch, so Call Ancient One can be quite handy there.)


Gatha said:

 

Maybe I haven't had many cards that improve my Lore but how are you passing a -13 check? It might be possible if got some allies and the right skills but that would involve several lucrative rounds first.

 

 

 

Clue tokens. That's it.

If you want to actually assemble an extremely-high-lore character, it depends on a lot of allies being available. There are four allies who give +2 Lore/Spell, and a further six allies who give +1, so if Diana Stanley gets all of them, the skills Linguistics and Lore, and the Glass of Mortlan, she can get to Lore 24...



#16 avec

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 05:33 AM

 Could this spell potentially be used to defeat Azathoth in a final battle scenario?  I guess it depends on whether he technically "wakes up" if CAO is used to remove all of his doom tokens.



#17 thecorinthian

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 06:30 AM

avec said:

 

 Could this spell potentially be used to defeat Azathoth in a final battle scenario?  I guess it depends on whether he technically "wakes up" if CAO is used to remove all of his doom tokens.

 

 

 

I was just about to tell you that this was wishful thinking... but actually a very strict reading of the letter of the rules does sort-of imply that it is possible. I know I'm on really thin ice here, but:

- The rulebook says that the following things happen "when the Ancient One awakens": investigators who are LiTaS are devoured and eliminated.

- But more significantly, the following things then happen "before the final battle begins": active rumors and environments are devoured.

That implies that there's a difference between the two timings. Abilities that trigger when the AO awakens (some items will discard themselves, for example) happen before abilities that trigger when the Final Battle begins. AOs have 'Start of Battle' abilities which aren't specifically mentioned in the rulebook, but it's pretty clear from the 'start of battle' name that they'd happen when the final battle begins, which is technically ever-so-slightly after the ancient one awakens.

There's no timing mechanism for interrupting a spell, or splitting up its effects. Its 'remove X doom tokens' effect would be simultaneous with the devouring of investigators who are LiTaS, but the AO's start of battle ability hasn't triggered yet, so the doom tokens will be removed. You can get Azathoth down to zero.

You don't have long to enjoy it, though: defeating the AO by removing its last doom token is part of the 'investigators attack' step of the final battle, so even if Azathoth has no Doom tokens, he still won't be defeated until after his start-of-battle ability has gone off - by which time he's won anyway. In fact, according to the letter of the rules, there's no way to defeat the AO in the final battle except by removing Doom tokens during the 'investigators attack' phase - so if you remove the last doom token at any other time, using Call AO or using another special ability, the Final Battle will never end. Spooky...

Except that this is all based on a very literal reading of the rules, while ignoring the obvious intention - which is that no matter what you do, Azathoth munches you down like a tasty Twix.



#18 Tibs

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 07:04 AM

Azathoth cannot be defeated by Call Ancient One, for two reasons:

  1. You can't spend more sanity than your maximum, even if you're canceling it all (with a Crystal of the Elder Things). I don't think any character can even go past 10 maximum sanity, let alone 14.
  2. Azathoth says that if he awakens, the investigators lose. So it would not matter if you could remove all the doom token. If he wakens, investigators lose.


#19 thecorinthian

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 08:12 AM

Tibs said:

 

Azathoth cannot be defeated by Call Ancient One, for two reasons:

  1. You can't spend more sanity than your maximum, even if you're canceling it all (with a Crystal of the Elder Things). I don't think any character can even go past 10 maximum sanity, let alone 14.
  2. Azathoth says that if he awakens, the investigators lose. So it would not matter if you could remove all the doom token. If he wakens, investigators lose.

 

 

 

Ok good point about number (2). For some reason I thought it was a 'Start of Battle' ability, but it isn't, so my earlier post is even flimsier than I thought.

About point (1) though:

- I understand that you can't spend more of anything than you actually have, but why would that only apply to maximum sanity and not to current sanity as well?  Are you saying that the rule does apply to current sanity, and that you can't pay a Sanity cost of 2 using the Crystal if you only have 1 Sanity left? Or is it that there's a specific FAQ answer on this? I can't find it in the rulebooks.

Saying the cost is 'cancelled' would imply that the cost happens and then is reversed, but the card says 'avoided' not 'cancelled', so really who the hell knows what that's meant to mean. I'm not saying you're wrong, but if you're right, it's a lot less useful an item than I thought it was.

And when you say that any character can't go past Sanity 10, do you mean that the game 'caps' you at 10? Because otherwise it seems like you can get to at least 11 (see above list of items/allies) with some characters.



#20 avec

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 09:08 AM

 Now I'm really motivated to find some way of defeating Azathoth in the final combat! 






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