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Call Ancient One then NO Doom Tokens


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#21 Tibs

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 09:30 AM

I thought sanity max was a good upper limit, and I know that spells take effect even if you go insane casting them (many of them, such as combat-bonus spells, don't matter in that case, because you're out). But could you cast a 2-cost spell with just one sanity remaining? Could you legally cast Bind Monster with just 1 sanity?

Also don't forget that the Ancient Language skill can automatically add one success to a spell check. Your modifier could be -13509 and you could still pass it.

How does a variable sanity cost spell work if Planetary Alignment is out? You have to pass the check before discarding the trophies, don't you? If the sanity cost of the spell is 0, then doesn't the modifier and the number of trophies you may discard have to be 0 too? Does 0 replace the X sanity cost, or is 0 plugged in as the value for X? I bet you know what answer I want to hear, but an intelligent debate is always welcome.

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.

Call Ancient One says that the Ancient One awakens, so yep. Azathoth at 0 doom tokens is still a dead planet, and a game lost by the investigators.



#22 Avi_dreader

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 10:01 AM

Tibs said:

I thought sanity max was a good upper limit, and I know that spells take effect even if you go insane casting them (many of them, such as combat-bonus spells, don't matter in that case, because you're out). But could you cast a 2-cost spell with just one sanity remaining? Could you legally cast Bind Monster with just 1 sanity?

Also don't forget that the Ancient Language skill can automatically add one success to a spell check. Your modifier could be -13509 and you could still pass it.

How does a variable sanity cost spell work if Planetary Alignment is out? You have to pass the check before discarding the trophies, don't you? If the sanity cost of the spell is 0, then doesn't the modifier and the number of trophies you may discard have to be 0 too? Does 0 replace the X sanity cost, or is 0 plugged in as the value for X? I bet you know what answer I want to hear, but an intelligent debate is always welcome.

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.

 

 

Call Ancient One says that the Ancient One awakens, so yep. Azathoth at 0 doom tokens is still a dead planet, and a game lost by the investigators.

Wellllll, if my interpretation is correct, you can't cast a 2 sanity spell and go insane if you only have one sanity.  Only if you have two.



#23 Whitechapel

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 11:15 AM

thecorinthian said:

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...

 

But this could never happen. As soon as Diana gets 4 allies she "Joins the Winning Team"  Once a cultist always a cultist. 



#24 Tibs

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 11:16 AM

Avi_dreader said:

 

Wellllll, if my interpretation is correct, you can't cast a 2 sanity spell and go insane if you only have one sanity.  Only if you have two.

How about this rigid order, when casting a spell?

  1. Roll your spell check (you have to discard your trophies first for CAO)
  2. Pay the sanity cost of the spell (this is where you are limited by your current sanity)
  3. Apply items and effects that are used instead of the cost of a spell (Crystal of Elder Things, Books of Hsan). These are like coupons. They reduce what you have to pay, but the spell's actual cost is unchanged.
  4. If the check was passed, the spell takes effect. Otherwise, it does not.

The Crystal of the Elder Things is used "to avoid paying the entire Sanity cost of a spell." You avoid paying the cost, but it still has a cost. If a character with 3 sanity wants to cast Call Ancient One, then s/he cannot pay more than 3 trophies, and it does not matter if s/he has the Crystal. The sanity's cost is at most 3, and if it's higher than 3, she can't meet the cost and therefore can't cast it.

Some notes:

  • Daisy's ability is different. She actually reduces the spell's cost, rather than avoid paying part of it.
  • I don't know how to reconcile CAO with Planetary Alignment, other than to say that all the Xs have to be 0 if the spell's cost is 0.


#25 Avi_dreader

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 11:47 AM

Tibs said:

  • I don't know how to reconcile CAO with Planetary Alignment, other than to say that all the Xs have to be 0 if the spell's cost is 0.

That could work.



#26 thecorinthian

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 12:13 PM

Tibs said:

The Crystal of the Elder Things is used "to avoid paying the entire Sanity cost of a spell." You avoid paying the cost, but it still has a cost. If a character with 3 sanity wants to cast Call Ancient One, then s/he cannot pay more than 3 trophies, and it does not matter if s/he has the Crystal. The sanity's cost is at most 3, and if it's higher than 3, she can't meet the cost and therefore can't cast it

 

Hee hee, this is getting to be fun... it's a maddeningly poorly-defined semantic issue!

I agree that the spell still 'has a cost' even though you avoid paying it. But saying that you therefore have to have the required amount of Sanity seems to imply that there's a sort of 'check' step during spellcasting, when you look to see if you've got Sanity at least equal to the Sanity cost, and if you don't, you're not allowed to cast the spell. There's no such step - the AH rulebook doesn't have that kind of nuance. It just says:

"...To cast a spell, an investigator must pay its Sanity cost and then pass a Spell check. To pay the Sanity cost of a spell, the player simply removes a number of Sanity tokens from his total equal to the cost of the spell. Players must always pay the Sanity cost of a spell, whether or not the investigator subsequently passes the Spell check."

That paragraph doesn't bother to draw a distinction between being able to pay a San cost and the act of actually doing it. It simply tells you what you have to do, and as far as it's concerned it has therefore made it impossible to cast the spell unless you do it. The rule is simply phrased, and Crystal of the Elder Things flatly contradicts it. Whichever way you think Crystal works, it overrides the bit that says "an investigator must pay the sanity cost". With Crystal, you don't have to pay the San cost - you don't actually have to lose any Sanity, whcih is the one part that surely everyone agrees on. But once that rule from the rulebook has been repealed, there's no seperate rule which says "You cannot cast the spell unless you have the Sanity." The sanity is a cost, and a cost is a sort of check. If you're exempted from the cost, you're exempted from the check? Still with me?

 

Regarding CAO: your rigid order of spellcasting will probably work, but it is different from the one in the rulebook. Sanity cost comes first. Using CAO, the actual order of what happens is:

1. You discard X monster trophies and/or gate trophies.

2. You pay X Sanity (the first part of 'casting' the spell).

3. You make a Lore (-X) check. (the second part of 'casting' the spell).

4. You discard Call Ancient One.

5. If you passed the Lore check, the Ancient One immediately awakens.

6. Remove X tokens from the Ancient One's doom track.

At some point in that sequence of six events, the value 'X' has to be defined somehow. You cannot change the sequence of the effects, since they're made explicit by the card. So X needs to be defined in Step 1, when you discard trophies. That's the only bit which definitely happens first, since it's before the word 'then'. The only conceivable way to determine 'X' is for the investigator to choose how many trophies to discard. You can't define X in terms ot Sanity or Lore first, because you can't get to those steps until you've already resolved step one. This solves the Planetary Alignment problem, and any other problems to do with modifiers to the San cost or Lore check: by the time you get to those modifiers, the San cost and Lore penalty have already been defined, and those numbers can therefore be overriden and modifier just as easily as if they were printed on the card.

However, this is all based on a very literal reading of the card, and actually AH is not very clear on things like timing conflicts anyway.



#27 Gatha

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 01:02 PM

Dam said:

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. "
 

Maybe I'm playing wrong but if you've got, say, 7 Lore from that card wouldn't you still need 3 clues just to bring the -13 to 0? Or do you just start at 0 then add your clues to it?



#28 thecorinthian

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 01:25 PM

Gatha said:

 

 

Maybe I'm playing wrong but -

 

 

 

Sorry to be the one to tell you, but you are playing wrong! The rulebook does mention this, although it's tucked away in a corner somewhere, so plenty of people miss it.

The rule is:

When adding a Clue token, you always roll the extra die, even if your skill has been reduced to a negative number.

So if you had Lore 3 and were making a Lore (-13) check, spending a Clue would still let you roll a die, even though technically your Lore is at -10.



#29 Gatha

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 02:16 AM

Huh. Looks like the encounters are going to be much easier next time.



#30 PhilSandifer

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 04:01 AM

Just to follow up on this five years later, having found it Googling about this circumstance...

 

What is the logic on saying that casting the spell involves filling the Ancient One's doom track? Specifically, I note that the rules go out of their way to specify that you have to remember to fill the doom track for ways of waking the Ancient One besides the last doom token getting put on. And, for instance, if you fight the currently active Ancient One due to any of the dual-coloured Gate cards in Dark Pharaoh, you pointedly don't have to fill the doom track. It's of course possible that I've missed some rule somewhere - I've not memorized the rulebook at all - but I'm honestly curious whether this is a stated rule or an assumed one.

 

I agree that not filling the doom track risks making the spell extremely powerful, although I would point out that sometimes relatively easy victories do happen due to luck, and that if you happen to get this spell at a point in the game where it's usable as a victory, well, you've had a rare good day in Arkham Horror.

 

(This post brought to you by someone who spent the last few turns carefully arranging to awaken Shub-Niggurath with zero doom tokens by burning eleven monster trophies in an epic casting of this spell.)



#31 Julia

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:01 AM

There are several ways to farm the Spell deck. Also, playing with core Arkham + Black Goat only items will thin the decks considerably. Not saying you fill the AO's doom track would imply that any high-San characters wins every bloody time he draws that spell. Adding the "fill the doom track" clause simply kills any laundry attempt to exploit the spell and kill the game.


Edited by Julia, 21 August 2014 - 10:37 AM.

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#32 Tibs

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 10:34 AM

Don't forget that there are two Personal Story cards from Innsmouth that remove doom tokens when the AO awakens. Those would be exploits too if you didn't first fill the track.






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