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Communal Shower and neutral/multi-faction characters


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#1 jhaelen

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 10:51 AM

Here's the card text:

Communal Shower
[Cthulhu] The Thing From the Shore F88 / Illustrator: Mark Winters
[Support] - Location.
Cost : 2
Game Text: Players cannot commit characters they control from different factions to the same story.
Flavor text: They took pleasure in the simple, routine things. Things remembered from what seemed like many lifetimes ago.

 

 

First the (hopefully) easier question:

Is it possible for a player to commit characters from one faction and neutral (i.e. faction-less) characters to the same story while Communal Shower is in play?

Now the somewhat weird, second question:

Does Communal Shower effectively prevent characters with multiple factions from committing to stories?

In case you're wondering, you can use e.g. Strange Delusions to temporarily add additional factions to a character:

Strange Delusions
[Neutral] The Path to Y'ha-nthlei F118 / Illustrator: Katherine Dinger
[Support] - Attachment.
Cost : 1
Game Text: Attach to a character or support card. Action: Exhaust Strange Delusions to give attached card a faction affiliation of your choice until the end of the phase.

 

 



#2 TheProfessor

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 11:57 AM

 Neutral cards do not belong to any faction.  So says the rule book.  So if I commit a faction character and a neutral, I am not committing characters from different factions - I am only committing a character with a faction and one without.  My take for what it's worth.

I think in the second case you could not commit a character with 2 factions, because you would have character(s) with different factions.

 



#3 jhaelen

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 07:38 AM

TheProfessor said:

 

 Neutral cards do not belong to any faction.  So says the rule book.  So if I commit a faction character and a neutral, I am not committing characters from different factions - I am only committing a character with a faction and one without.  My take for what it's worth.

 

I've found two other cards that use the formulation 'different faction':

Professor Lake:

Forced Response: After a player plays a card, until the end of the phase that player can only play cards that belong to a different faction than that card.

So, if I first play a neutral card and then want to play a second neutral card that should work, right? The reasoning would be that the trigger relies on the first card played belonging to a faction.

What if I play a card with any faction first, though? Could I play a neutral card after it? Belonging to no faction it doesn't belong to a different faction, hence it should not be allowed.

The third one is Uneasy Translator:

Action: Exhaust Uneasy Translator to choose a character. That character gains +2 skill for each character in play from a different faction from it.

Here, I'm pretty sure the chosen character doesn't gain +2 skill for neutral characters.

 

And what about cards that can only be played if all characters are from a specific faction?

 

E.g. Across Dimensions:

Play only if every character you control has the (Yog) faction.

If I control a neutral character can I still play this card? I suppose not since although it doesn't have a different faction it still doesn't have the Yog faction?



#4 TheProfessor

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 01:05 PM

jhaelen said:

TheProfessor said:

 

 Neutral cards do not belong to any faction.  So says the rule book.  So if I commit a faction character and a neutral, I am not committing characters from different factions - I am only committing a character with a faction and one without.  My take for what it's worth.

 

I've found two other cards that use the formulation 'different faction':

Professor Lake:

Forced Response: After a player plays a card, until the end of the phase that player can only play cards that belong to a different faction than that card.

So, if I first play a neutral card and then want to play a second neutral card that should work, right? The reasoning would be that the trigger relies on the first card played belonging to a faction.

What if I play a card with any faction first, though? Could I play a neutral card after it? Belonging to no faction it doesn't belong to a different faction, hence it should not be allowed.

The third one is Uneasy Translator:

Action: Exhaust Uneasy Translator to choose a character. That character gains +2 skill for each character in play from a different faction from it.

Here, I'm pretty sure the chosen character doesn't gain +2 skill for neutral characters.

 

And what about cards that can only be played if all characters are from a specific faction?

 

E.g. Across Dimensions:

Play only if every character you control has the (Yog) faction.

If I control a neutral character can I still play this card? I suppose not since although it doesn't have a different faction it still doesn't have the Yog faction?

 

I think Prof. Lake is easier to answer.

If you play a Neutral card, the next card you play must belong to a different faction.  Neutral cards don't belong to any faction, so a Neutral would not satisfy the requirement.  No, you could not play 2 Neutrals in a row.

If you played a faction card first, again, the Neutral does not have a faction, so does not belong to a different faction.

 

Same logic for Uneasy Translator - since Neutrals do not belong to any faction, they are not from a different faction.

 



#5 jhaelen

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 11:39 PM

TheProfessor said:

I think Prof. Lake is easier to answer.

If you play a Neutral card, the next card you play must belong to a different faction.  Neutral cards don't belong to any faction, so a Neutral would not satisfy the requirement.  No, you could not play 2 Neutrals in a row.

If you played a faction card first, again, the Neutral does not have a faction, so does not belong to a different faction.

I guess, I need to elaborate on this one to explain why I am unsure how it works.

Professor Lake's response doesn't actually define what happens if a card is played that doesn't have a faction. Neutral cards don't belong to any faction, so playing a second neutral card is neither playing a card from the same faction nor from a different faction. It's playing another card without any faction.

Imho, since the triggered ability doesn't define what should happen after a card without a faction is played, nothing happens. It only has an actual effect after a card belonging to a faction has been played.



#6 TheProfessor

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 01:23 AM

 We have to looks at Lake's text carefully:

"...can only play cards that belong to a different faction than that card."

"belong" is part of the requirement.  Neutrals cards don't belong to a faction, so they can never "...belong to a different faction..."  A neutral card could never be played second when Prof. Lake is in play.

 

This is NOT equivalent to "...cannot play a card belonging to the same faction."  If it was written that way, you could play multiple neutrals.



#7 dboeren

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 03:28 AM

The only problem I have with this is that we're essentially saying "this is the type of null logic the game uses", when the game doesn't define that for itself.  In some logic systems it's valid to compare null to other values, in others not.  Sometimes one null equals another null, sometimes null never equals anything, it just depends on what sort of logic rules you're using.  I don't think we can assume what the designers had in mind unless we can find another ruling that implies an answer.

I do believe that TheProfessor is correct about Professor Lake & Neutral cards though.  That would fail no matter how nulls were treated.  Either nulls are not comparable, so it can't be "different", or it IS comparable, in which case it's the same value as the prior Neutral card, and it still isn't "different".

Uneasy Translator with two Neutral cards would be the same.

What I'm really not sure on is how to treat cards with more than one faction.  Also, it would be good for something to be added to the errata explicitly defining how to treat nulls in the game so we're not guessing.



#8 TheProfessor

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 04:43 AM

Here's how my brain is working on this one:  I don't think that neutrals belong to a "null faction".  What I mean is that when you ask the card "what faction do you belong to?",  it doesn't answer "null", it answers "that does not compute."

So when I ask "are you a different faction than X?", it can never say "yes" because it can't answer the question about faction.

I *think* this is consistent with a ruling from Damon about Y'ha-nthlei Statue and the Printed Skill of Insane characters.  He ruled that an insane character has no printed skill (makes sense).  But, that means it does not return any value at all - the question cannot be answered "Do you have skill 1 or lower?", so the statue ignores insane characters.

So I think the same logic should be applied to Prof. Lake. In order to play a card, it must belong to a different faction than the previous card.  So I know the previous faction, and I ask the Neutral card, "Do you pass the criteria to be played?  Do you belong to a different faction?"  It can't answer the question, so it can't come in to play.

What do you think?  Is that a reasonable argument?

 



#9 TheProfessor

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 04:44 AM

 **Note on my Statue example in the above post, the question should have read "do you have PRINTED skill 1 or lower".  Sorry! **

<I wish I could edit my own posts...>



#10 jhaelen

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 04:43 AM

TheProfessor said:

 "belong" is part of the requirement.  Neutrals cards don't belong to a faction, so they can never "...belong to a different faction..."  A neutral card could never be played second when Prof. Lake is in play.

This is NOT equivalent to "...cannot play a card belonging to the same faction."  If it was written that way, you could play multiple neutrals.

Good reasoning. I think I can agree with that!

Regarding your comparison with 'Schrödinger's printed skill' of insane characters, I'm not entirely convinced if it's exactly the same situation - it is definitely similarly baffling, though

According to the current deck builder there's a total of 16 cards right now that refer to printed skill and thus ignore insane characters (including the dreaded Catastrophic Explosion). I think it's quite counter-intuitive that you first have to cure their insanity before you can destroy them with any of these cards

 



#11 dboeren

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 05:34 AM

TheProfessor said:

Here's how my brain is working on this one:  I don't think that neutrals belong to a "null faction".  What I mean is that when you ask the card "what faction do you belong to?",  it doesn't answer "null", it answers "that does not compute."[/quote]

I guess being a programmer by trade I'm led to think in these sort of terms :)

Actually, since we've established that a card can have more than one faction though, all our questions have to support sets.  So, I'm thinking the basic question you can ask a card is to return a set of factions, and then additional questions would have to operate by examining that set?
1.  What factions are you?  - return a set of factions, which may be an empty set in the case of Neutral cards
2.  Do you contain faction X?  - return true or false, no other values possible.  I use the term "contain" because "belong" seemed to imply a single faction.

 

"Are you a different faction than X?" then becomes the logical inverse of "Do you contain faction X?"  A neutral card would return that it does not match faction X, in which case the question of "are you a different faction" would be true.  Hmm, that may be an issue then because it's different from how TheProfessor is saying it should behave.  I think the problem is that the question "are you a different faction?" assumes that cards are single-factioned.  Is a card which is both Yog and Shub a different faction than a card that is only Yog?  I can't really say, because the question is imprecise.  It would be a lot easier if cards had only one faction at a time.

TheProfessor's method is to say that if a question is unanswerable, then it always fails.  That's workable, but you've got to be extremely careful to always ask the right questions, so it seems brittle to me.  The default failure could be right if the question is asked one way but wrong if the question is asked inversely.  I hate to rely on such a thing.

The logic of making "belong" part of the requirement is much better I think.  Now instead of having to make assumptions about how to treat an unanswerable question we can point to something very specific by turning "belong" from a general purpose English word into a game keyword.  I believe this is a much better solution.  Does it solve all the open questions about this, or are there some of them that do not use the "belong" keyword?  At least there is still Uneasy Translator to deal with I think.



#12 TheProfessor

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 09:00 AM

dboeren said:

DBoeren said:

 

I guess being a programmer by trade I'm led to think in these sort of terms :)

Actually, since we've established that a card can have more than one faction though, all our questions have to support sets.  So, I'm thinking the basic question you can ask a card is to return a set of factions, and then additional questions would have to operate by examining that set?
1.  What factions are you?  - return a set of factions, which may be an empty set in the case of Neutral cards
2.  Do you contain faction X?  - return true or false, no other values possible.  I use the term "contain" because "belong" seemed to imply a single faction.

 

"Are you a different faction than X?" then becomes the logical inverse of "Do you contain faction X?"  A neutral card would return that it does not match faction X, in which case the question of "are you a different faction" would be true.  Hmm, that may be an issue then because it's different from how TheProfessor is saying it should behave.  I think the problem is that the question "are you a different faction?" assumes that cards are single-factioned.  Is a card which is both Yog and Shub a different faction than a card that is only Yog?  I can't really say, because the question is imprecise.  It would be a lot easier if cards had only one faction at a time.

TheProfessor's method is to say that if a question is unanswerable, then it always fails.  That's workable, but you've got to be extremely careful to always ask the right questions, so it seems brittle to me.  The default failure could be right if the question is asked one way but wrong if the question is asked inversely.  I hate to rely on such a thing.

The logic of making "belong" part of the requirement is much better I think.  Now instead of having to make assumptions about how to treat an unanswerable question we can point to something very specific by turning "belong" from a general purpose English word into a game keyword.  I believe this is a much better solution.  Does it solve all the open questions about this, or are there some of them that do not use the "belong" keyword?  At least there is still Uneasy Translator to deal with I think.

I'm a mathematician, so I'm with you on the logic, but we have to realize that we are working with the constraints of the game, not pure logic.
I'm OK with saying the card returns a set of factions, and the question is "Does your set of factions contain the element Faction X?"  But, I still think the problem will be that the null set is not considered a set within the rules of the game.  So if the card has no faction, it does not return the null set, instead it returns an error message.  Think of the card as a pointer, and the pointer to the faction of a neutral card is invalid.
 
We can't really apply the set theory approach until we understand the meaning of a null value.  From the insanity argument, a null value is the same as not being able to answer the question.  
 
If a neutral returned Null as it's faction, then the answer would be different and we could make comparisons.
 
So I think the question for Damon is whether the faction of a neutral is null, or if it is an unanswerable question.
 
 
 
 
 


#13 dboeren

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 09:53 AM

Wow, this forum software has the worst quoting system I've ever seen :)

I get that the game probably doesn't use mathematical set theory, but if it wants to allow a card to have more than one faction it's got to have at least some sort of abbreviated concept of sets or some sort of multivalued logic or else we don't know how to apply questions of "what's your faction?" to any card that has multiple factions.  It would be a heck of a lot easier to just change Strange Delusions to cause the new faction to *REPLACE* the old faction.  Then we'd be back to a simpler universe.  I think this would be a good first errata, then see what else is needed.

I guess I'm looking for a more formal description of "does not compute" and what to do when it occurs.



#14 TheProfessor

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 11:21 AM

 We are in agreement, and I think a rules request to Damon is in order.  You want to take the lead?



#15 dboeren

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 02:46 PM

Sure.  I'll go ahead and send it in.



#16 jhaelen

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 09:02 PM

dboeren said:

Sure.  I'll go ahead and send it in.

Thanks! (And I agree that this forum software leaves much to be desired...)



#17 Magnus Arcanis

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 01:06 PM

TheProfessor said:

Here's how my brain is working on this one:  I don't think that neutrals belong to a "null faction".  What I mean is that when you ask the card "what faction do you belong to?",  it doesn't answer "null", it answers "that does not compute."

So when I ask "are you a different faction than X?", it can never say "yes" because it can't answer the question about faction.

I *think* this is consistent with a ruling from Damon about Y'ha-nthlei Statue and the Printed Skill of Insane characters.  He ruled that an insane character has no printed skill (makes sense).  But, that means it does not return any value at all - the question cannot be answered "Do you have skill 1 or lower?", so the statue ignores insane characters.

So I think the same logic should be applied to Prof. Lake. In order to play a card, it must belong to a different faction than the previous card.  So I know the previous faction, and I ask the Neutral card, "Do you pass the criteria to be played?  Do you belong to a different faction?"  It can't answer the question, so it can't come in to play.

What do you think?  Is that a reasonable argument?

 

 

I can easily argue in both directions on this one. So I'll let Damon handle this one as both ways can make sense.

However, I AM bothered by his ruling or rather his explanation of the Statue vs printed skill of insane chararacters ruling.

From the FAQ under insanity:

An insane character’s skill, text box, cost,
and icons cannot be modified. Although
it still counts as a character under your
control, it is always treated as having 0
skill, 0 cost, no icons, no subtypes, no
text box, and no faction, regardless of
any effects in play.

The characters still have a 'printed' skill!!! The game treats them as 0. Really not much different than setting a skill to 0. But its printed value remains printed. So if I trigger things in the ground with the statue in play and reveal a Magnus and a Diseased Sewer Rat the rat should enter play (insane) and immediately be destoryed while Magnus would enter play (insane) and remain in play.



#18 Magnus Arcanis

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 01:19 PM

jhaelen said:

Here's the card text:

Communal Shower
[Cthulhu] The Thing From the Shore F88 / Illustrator: Mark Winters
[Support] - Location.
Cost : 2
Game Text: Players cannot commit characters they control from different factions to the same story.
Flavor text: They took pleasure in the simple, routine things. Things remembered from what seemed like many lifetimes ago.

First the (hopefully) easier question:

Is it possible for a player to commit characters from one faction and neutral (i.e. faction-less) characters to the same story while Communal Shower is in play?

Now the somewhat weird, second question:

Does Communal Shower effectively prevent characters with multiple factions from committing to stories?

In case you're wondering, you can use e.g. Strange Delusions to temporarily add additional factions to a character:

Strange Delusions
[Neutral] The Path to Y'ha-nthlei F118 / Illustrator: Katherine Dinger
[Support] - Attachment.
Cost : 1
Game Text: Attach to a character or support card. Action: Exhaust Strange Delusions to give attached card a faction affiliation of your choice until the end of the phase.

*cracks knuckles*

If a character has two factions, we'll call him character D for dual factioned.

I cannot commit characters they control from different factions to the same story. 
- If I commit D alone, then there is nothing different from him. So D commits
- If I commit D with a neutral character (N), neutrals do no count as a faction so nothing is different than him. So D and N commit.
- If I commit D with a single faction character that shares a single faction (S), S has a different faction than D even though it shares one as well. So S cannot commit with D.
- If I commit D with another D (D2), D2 does not have a faction that is different than D's. So D and D2 commit.

Under communal shower characters don't have to share a faction, they just can't be different. As soon as something is different, it can't commit. Otherwise, it works.

At least, thats how I think. However, Damon could easily come out and say that "not different = share" which would bunk my explanation. Till then... I would rule the above.



#19 dboeren

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 04:57 AM

Just got an answer from Damon.

My original question I sent:

"1. If Strange Delusions causes a card to gain a faction affiliation, is that in addition to its printed faction affiliation? If so, then we need to know how to answer questions about whether a card belongs to, doesn't belong to, or is the same/different faction as another card. There are many cards that this could affect. Is a multi-faction card from a different faction than a card that shares only one of its factions for instance? Two multi-faction cards that share one faction? Maybe that faction is Neutral?

2. How are Neutral cards treated? The rule s say that a Neutral card does not belong to any faction. But we're not sure how this fits with some cards. Is a Neutral card "a different faction" from another card? (example: Communal Shower or Professor Lake) Does it matter if the other card is also Neutral? What if the Neutral card has another granted faction from Strange Delusions?

3. Is a Neutral card from the same or different faction than another Neutral card?

What we're looking for is a consistent way to answer all faction related questions about Neutral cards, and also all faction related questions about multi-faction cards (one of which might be Neutral) - provided that you rule that multi-faction cards exist from Strange Delusions.?"

 

And then the reply:

"Neutrals, as the rule you quoted says, do not belong to any faction. That solves all the questions you asked regarding neutral cards. You cannot compare something that does not exist to something else. Neutral cards have no faction so they have nothing to compare, in the case of Communal Shower that means you can commit a Cthulhu character and a Neutral character both to the same story, no problem. A Neutral card does not belong to the same faction as another Neutral card, because they belong to no faction at all.

Strange Delusions will give a character an affiliation of your choice but it does not say anything about removing existing affiliations, just adding one. So a card that was Cthulhu, could be Cthulhu Hastur. It would match both factions and treated at all times as if it were both factions until Strange Delusions effect ended with the phase it was triggered. If a card said Cthulhu cards cannot commit to a story, that card could not commit. If a card said non-Hastur cards do not count their skill, it would count its skill because it is a Hastur card. Communal Shower would prevent it from committing to any story at all since it is a character from different factions."

 

Magnus, this mainly differs from your post in that Damon is saying that a 2-faction character is (in effect) a different faction FROM HIMSELF.



#20 jhaelen

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 08:31 PM

dboeren said:

"Neutrals, as the rule you quoted says, do not belong to any faction. That solves all the questions you asked regarding neutral cards. You cannot compare something that does not exist to something else. Neutral cards have no faction so they have nothing to compare, in the case of Communal Shower that means you can commit a Cthulhu character and a Neutral character both to the same story, no problem. A Neutral card does not belong to the same faction as another Neutral card, because they belong to no faction at all.

I suppose that means that a Neutral card also does not belong to a different faction than a Neutral card (because it doesn't belong to any faction)?

I'd also like to note that there _is_ a card that will remove a character's faction(s):

Old Sea Dog:

Action: Exhaust Old Sea Dog to choose a character. Until the end of the phase, that character loses all faction affiliations and becomes neutral.

 

 






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