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Final Flute clarification ( I hope)


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#1 jackman51

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 12:21 PM

Q: How exactly does Flute of the Outer Gods work? Must you first make an Evade or Horror check or are those considered "Combat" checks as well?

A: Evade checks and Horror checks occur before the Combat check is made. The Flute of the Outer Gods only applies to the Combat check specified in step 2 ("Fight or Flee") of combat.

 

The above is from the FAQ.

 

The answer doesn't quite spell out precisely as to whether you do in fact have to make a Horror check on a monster before using it--it only makes clear that Evading and Horror checks are not Combat checks. I am inferring however that that yes, since you moved into the location or street area with the Flute you must use it during the Combat check portion of movement which would indeed require a Horror check against at least one foe first (and incidently is it okay to Evade in this case since even though you stay in the location there wouldn't be a Combat check?--seems like no you couldn't use the Flute if you Evade). This seems consistent with other forum posts here which predate this latest FAQ. Am I correct?

 

And finally I have read on other posts that, unlike spell costs, you need not have the full 3 stamina and/or sanity in order to activate it. It is a "loss" (lose) that can be partially negated for example by Michael McGlenn's ability. Is this the current understanding?

 

I apologize for raising this again but searches result in multiple threads with sometimes different responses and had hoped the issue was finally understood by all the same way now.



#2 Julia

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 04:39 PM

Indeed, this FAQ entry could have been clearly better worded. So, I'll tell you the way I play this (and I think this is also the way the community plays it; and sure, there is a lot of space for rules lawyery, but if we start lawyering on the card, we won't obtain any result). So.

 

The Flute allows you to instantly defeat all monsters in your area. Hence, you must be in the area with those monsters. And you have to deal with them somehow. It's also thematically consistent: you don't blow your flute at the Graveyard unless there is something nasty you're aware of. But if you're aware of them, you have to have seen at least one of them. Hence the Horror check. This is more or less the reason why the Flute should be played this way:

 

- you enter a location / street area with one or more monster

- you resolve the Horror Check against one of these monsters (you choose which one to pick)

- if you survive the Horror Check, you can use the Flute to instantly defeat the monster you just tested Horror against and all other monsters in the area

- by blowing in the Flute, your energies are drained: you don't have to have enough points of San / Sta to play the Flute, but on the other hand it's quite likely that you're devoured in the process. And indeed, this is because it's a loss

 

The Horror check to be done or not was longly debated. In the first draft of the final FAQ, it was said you could use the Flute before making the Horror Check; it was later changed, and this is why I'm pretty sure the above sequence is correct

 

Let me know if this has some sense :)


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#3 The Professor

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 04:58 PM

jackman51,

 

     Julia is "spot-on" ~ I have only a few things to add. 

 

  • Horror Check: may be "made" against something that doesn't even require a check, such as a Cultist
  • "Flute" may NOT be used to defeat all of the monsters associated with The Terrible Experiment Rumor 
  • As the Stamina and Sanity are considered a "loss" Michael McGlen's/Harvey Walters' Special Ability DOES work

     At least this is how I play it, along with everything Julia described in her post.

 

Cheers,

Joe


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#4 Julia

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 05:17 PM

Joe, you're certainly correct on all the points you touched :) I'll only highlight that the Flute may not be used to defeat ANY monster associated with the Terrible Experiment (no monsters of the TE is "on the board", hence no area, hence no Flute at all)


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#5 subochre

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 05:32 PM

Yeah; I dimly remember from the previous threads a lot of fruitless debate over what counts as "before" the combat check, but I don't think there's any way of reading the FAQ such that you're allowed to use the flute in Step 2 without having first weathered the horror check in Step 1.

 

That said, I'm surprised to hear you both say that it's a loss; even though it uses the word "lose," "Lose X to do Y" seems like pretty standard cost language*, although it would be very difficult to use if that were the case.  And, as I frequently mention, I've long since despaired of ever understanding the loss/cost distinction.

 

 

 

*cf. Lightning Gun, Blue Watcher, etc. (also, the discard pretty clearly has to be a cost for the usual Finn reasons)


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#6 jackman51

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:55 PM

Okay so yes a horror check  ( and evade is not sufficient?)  against one possibly really easy foe then literally blow them all away.
 
And I guess it seems agreement has been reached on the "loss" thing. I think... :blink:



#7 Julia

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 01:34 AM

Okay so yes a horror check  ( and evade is not sufficient?)

 

Evading allows you to avoid combat, not to start one. So, if you evade, you can't use the Flute.

 

As for the loss vs cost thing... I usually apply "losses" rules whenever I see a "you lose X" sentence


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#8 The Professor

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 09:56 AM

subochre,

 

     You're spot-on on one of the longest-lasting issues with FFG's editorial staff...if they have one.  I'm a play-tester of war games for several magazines (Strategy & Tactics and Modern War) in addition to managing 20 linguists in my full-time job.  In short, words matter!  Unfortunately, the "loss" and "cost" controversy will continue on...

 

Cheers,

Joe


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