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The Insight token


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#21 griton

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 11:23 AM

As a clarification, I emailed Justin about the possible contradictions and he said that "AFTER" instead of "WHEN" is probably how the card should read, which would definitely change the mechanics involved.



#22 jadedbacon

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 12:09 PM

What contradictions are you referencing?


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#23 Inspector Jee

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 03:58 PM

As a clarification, I emailed Justin about the possible contradictions and he said that "AFTER" instead of "WHEN" is probably how the card should read, which would definitely change the mechanics involved.

 

That's a pretty egregious wording error on the part of the devs, then. 

 

Even so, I'm still not sure I buy it.  I can't find a compelling reason why a downed hero shouldn't be able to receive the insight token.  It's not an objective token and it's not an item.  It's an instantiated healing effect that requires no action by the target to take advantage of.  Every other healing effect in the game that doesn't require the target Hero to initiate it is able to be used on a downed hero.  Why is this one different? 

 

And devs, if you're going to arbitrarily make a declaration of mechanical in-congruence then say so on the damn card.  This ruling doesn't make any sense, and it cripples The Prophet pretty badly in the early game.

 

- Jee



#24 Cursain

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 04:36 PM

I guess the biggest question we should ask ourselves now is this:

 

What tokens, conditions, objectives or items can we give to heroes when they are not on the board, and instead just have a hero token.

 

Right now, I can't think of any.

 

I guess they made the Prophet card "Lifeline" for a reason.

 

-Cursain



#25 griton

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 10:21 AM

What contradictions are you referencing?

 

See my posts earlier for details, but according to the rules as written, healing abilities (any ability that allows them to recover wounds) may still target downed heroes and treat them as if their figure was in the space their token is.

 

FFG has basically said that this isn't a direct healing ability, but that it has a secondary healing effect that only happens AFTER they've received the token, while the card says it happens WHEN they receive the token.

 

Here's the quote I got back from Justin:

 

Because the insight token contains a number of uses in addition to the healing, the placement of it is considered to be separate from any other effects. I do agree that "after" would perhaps be a better word for it, but, regardless, the placement and effect is considered to be separate. Thus, a hero who is not considered to be on the map is not eligible to receive it.


#26 Inspector Jee

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 02:07 PM

It's true that there are effects that radiate from the dude with the Insight Token and that it might become confusing if said hero was downed.  But honestly, I think that situation is clearer than the explanation for this ruling.  If a hero is downed, he's not on the board unless something wants to heal him.  That logically applies to all location-based abilities, and so would for things like Battle Vision

 

- Jee



#27 Yongelbang

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 04:18 AM

Hi, I'm new to the forum. Can anyone tell me what the justification is for soothing insight not being usable on KO'd heroes in the FAQ 1.3?

I could understand if it was just done for balance reasons, but none of the justifications I have seen here or anywhere else seem to me to hold water.

 

The argument that the skill cannot target a downed hero because it does not technically count as a healing ability does not seem to me to hold. The rules do not say "heroes may only be targeted by healing abilities" (whatever they may be). Rather,  it states:on p.15: "...hero players may only target a knocked out hero with an ability that would allow the knocked out hero to recover any amount of damage."

 

Given that gaining the Insight token (i.e. the effect of Soothing Insight) would indeed allow a hero to recover an amount of damage, then according to the rule above it is possible to target a knocked-out hero. The only thing which contradicts this is the explicit ruling in FAQ 1.3, which seems entirely arbitrary on its own.

 

I love this game but I have to say I'm constantly feeling frustrated by the ambiguities in the wording of rules. The rules don't seem constructed in a way that would allow one to deduce a consistent result from existing rules if one isn't explicitly given. I don't mind getting arbitrary rulings handed down from on high if it's for balance reasons, but it bugs me that we don't seem to have the resources to reliably deduce the implications of existing rules.

 

 

 

P.S. I also cannot see that there is a coherent distiction in timing to be made between gaining the token and the effect that gaining the token has. "Gaining the token" and "the event which triggers its effect" are the exact same thing: gaining the token.

 

Even supposing that the healing effect occurs "after" gaining the token (for whatever "after" is taken to mean), gaining the token still implies healing. Using the skill implies gaining the token, so using the skill necessarily implies healing. Since using the skill would still result in recovering an amount of damage, the rules would permit it to be used on a downed hero.

Furthermore, Justin has apparently suggested that gaining the token is the "primary" effect of "Soothing Insight", whereas the healing is merely a "secondary" effect; but we have not been given any definition of "primary" and "secondary" classes of effect for abilities, and so we cannot distinguish between them. Nor is there any rule requiring that healing must occur due to the "primary effect" of a skill, so even if we were to make such a distinction, I do not see how it would have any bearing on the issue at hand anyway.


Edited by Yongelbang, 17 January 2014 - 06:11 AM.


#28 Steve-O

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 07:17 AM

P.S. I also cannot see that there is a coherent distiction in timing to be made between gaining the token and the effect that gaining the token has. "Gaining the token" and "the event which triggers its effect" are the exact same thing: gaining the token.


There's no difference in timing, but the two effects are actually supposed to be separate.

Soothing Insight grants two effects to the Prophet:
1) activate the card and spend fatigue in order to give the insight token to a hero.
2) any time a hero receives the insight token (from any effect, not just SI) he is healed. This effect is passive and "always on."

 

FFG is ruling that you cannot use the first part of the card on a KO'd hero because it's not a "healing ability" ("healing ability" is not actually a defined game term, but is a common shorthand among fans for "an ability that would allow the [knocked out] hero to recover any amount of damage.")

 

The second part is a healing ability, and would work on a KO'd hero just fine except for the fact that you can't target a KO'd hero to give him the insight token, and that's the triggering condition that needs to be met.


Edited by Steve-O, 17 January 2014 - 07:19 AM.


#29 rfisha

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 08:51 AM

We have placed a house rule in that knocked out heroes can only recover health by standing up or being revived.  It has added better balance to the game IMO and eliminates the concern over the ruling in these scenarios.  The results in our games are close, so I don't think we'll go back to original healing rules not matter how unambigious :)


Edited by rfisha, 17 January 2014 - 08:52 AM.

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#30 Yongelbang

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 08:53 AM

Honestly, it just seems like a really unsatisfying answer.

Q: When is an ability not an ability?

A: When it's part of an ability of course!

 

Ba-dum-tish!

 

For it to make sense we have to assume that "Soothing Insight" is not itself an ability but rather some other type of entity that is comprised of abilities.

 

Whatever effects "Soothing Insight" has, we can be sure that healing is one of them. However, since it has the effect of allowing a hero to recover damage, but (according to FFG's ruling) cannot be targeted at downed heroes, it therefore cannot be an ability! Otherwise, we would have a contradiction. Woudn't we?

I understand what the ruling is. My issue now is that it doesn't make sense. It's just an ad hoc adjustment, for which there is probably a good balance-related reason, but then there is this bizarre incoherent rationalisation for it just hanging out there. My other issue is that the rules contain so much needless ambiguity but this does make me wonder whether the rules are simply described ambiguously or whether they are ambiguous in their formulation.



#31 griton

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:42 AM

Honestly, it just seems like a really unsatisfying answer.

I kind of feel the same way, but I see where they are coming from.

 

 

Whatever effects "Soothing Insight" has, we can be sure that healing is one of them. However, since it has the effect of allowing a hero to recover damage, but (according to FFG's ruling) cannot be targeted at downed heroes, it therefore cannot be an ability! Otherwise, we would have a contradiction. Woudn't we?

However, you're not getting what Steve-O pointed out. Giving the token is an ability that doesn't have a direct healing effect. To me, "after" would have it make sense because "after" does imply that something must first successfully happen. The second paragraph is an ongoing effect (similar things are used with other tokens), and is triggered after (doesn't say so, but it's been noted that it probably should).

 

Here's a wording that would make it a direct healing ability: "You or 1 hero of your choice gains the insight token and recovers 1 (heart) and 1 (fatigue)." It doesn't say this, Soothing Insight's primary effect is giving the token, and the healing from receiving the token is a secondary ongoing effect that affects any ability that transfers the token (similar to how Valor of heroes has a primary effect of receiving a token from defeating a monster with a Melee weapon and an ongoing effect that applies to all instances of heroes having Valor tokens).

 

It may not be worded properly, but there are a lot of cases where the wording is judged to be incorrect, and we should treat it as such.

 

 

 

 

Grammar peeve warning: Don't read if you don't care.

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#32 Yongelbang

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 06:01 PM

Thanks for the grammar correction Griton.

 

However, you're not getting what Steve-O pointed out. Giving the token is an ability that doesn't have a direct healing effect. To me, "after" would have it make sense because "after" does imply that something must first successfully happen.
 
It seems strange that the usage of a skill is not so simple as just resolving all the text on a card. Rather, you apparently use the skill and then resolve each paragraph independently, as though it were the only text on the card.
 
In this case, the second paragraph of text on the skill card is not brought into play simply by using the card. It only has a chance to be resolved if the resolution of the first paragraph allows it.
 
Either that or we treat the second paragraph as though it's not really part of the "Soothing Insight" skill itself but instead just there as a convenient place to list rules relating to the token.
 
I suppose that, in an ideal world, the "Soothing Insight" card would only say "Exhaust this card during your turn. You or 1 hero of your choice gains the insight token." and then we would have a separate card for the token's special rules and effects.
 
The rule as it is written ("...hero players may only target a knocked out hero with an ability that would allow the knocked out hero to recover any amount of damage.") is problematic as a test for permission to use a skill if FFG intends to exclude certain healing events from occuring. The wording suggests, to me at least, that the determination is to be made by asking the counter-factual question of whether, if we were to use the skill, it would allow damage to be recovered. That's a broad criterion that permits any number of mechanics to be resolved since it does not place any restriction on how the healing occurs, only that it does.
 
I guess I just wish they could be more consistent in stating their rules to create the implications they intend.


#33 Steve-O

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 07:50 PM

For it to make sense we have to assume that "Soothing Insight" is not itself an ability but rather some other type of entity that is comprised of abilities.


Technically, Soothing Insight is not an ability; it is a "skill." This skill is, in fact, composed of two abilities. There are actually quite a number of skills that have two independent effects, if you sit down and read them all. Soothing Insight is only special in that its two effects synergize so well that it becomes difficult to pull them apart.

For what it's worth, I do understand your issue with the ruling. It took me a while to realize the second part of SI was a separate "always on" effect at first, too. Now that I understand that, though, I can live with FFG's official ruling myself.

Edited by Steve-O, 17 January 2014 - 07:51 PM.


#34 Yongelbang

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:10 PM

Ok. Thanks for that Steve-O.



#35 Zaltyre

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 04:34 PM

 

For it to make sense we have to assume that "Soothing Insight" is not itself an ability but rather some other type of entity that is comprised of abilities.


Technically, Soothing Insight is not an ability; it is a "skill." This skill is, in fact, composed of two abilities. There are actually quite a number of skills that have two independent effects, if you sit down and read them all. Soothing Insight is only special in that its two effects synergize so well that it becomes difficult to pull them apart.

For what it's worth, I do understand your issue with the ruling. It took me a while to realize the second part of SI was a separate "always on" effect at first, too. Now that I understand that, though, I can live with FFG's official ruling myself.

 

While I agree, I would add that "Focused Insights" should be allowed to target knocked out heroes, if the token is adjacent to a hero who gains the insight token, as you pointed out earlier.



#36 Steve-O

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 08:07 PM

While I agree, I would add that "Focused Insights" should be allowed to target knocked out heroes, if the token is adjacent to a hero who gains the insight token, as you pointed out earlier.



Weeellllll... :P

That depends. Focused Insight says it affects "adjacent heroes," but if your hero is KO'd, the figure is not on the map. If your hero is not on the map, he cannot be adjacent to anything. Your hero token is on the map, which is not itself a hero, but a placeholder to remind you where your hero went down.

Personally, I'm fine with Focused Insights working on KO'd heroes, but I'm not sure how FFG would officially rule if asked.

Whichever way you personally rule, keep it in mind for other things as well. If a hero token counts as the hero itself for adjacency, it means the OL can win Death on the Wing by surrounding a KO'd hero with figures/boulders, for example. I don't know if FFG has weighed in on that one, but I think the common consensus among fans is that the hero token is not the hero.
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#37 griton

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 12:29 PM

That depends. Focused Insight says it affects "adjacent heroes," but if your hero is KO'd, the figure is not on the map. If your hero is not on the map, he cannot be adjacent to anything. Your hero token is on the map, which is not itself a hero, but a placeholder to remind you where your hero went down.


Personally, I'm fine with Focused Insights working on KO'd heroes, but I'm not sure how FFG would officially rule if asked.

Whichever way you personally rule, keep it in mind for other things as well. If a hero token counts as the hero itself for adjacency, it means the OL can win Death on the Wing by surrounding a KO'd hero with figures/boulders, for example. I don't know if FFG has weighed in on that one, but I think the common consensus among fans is that the hero token is not the hero.

 

Focused Insights reads "When a hero gains the insight token, each hero adjacent to that hero recovers 1 (heart) and 1 (fatigue)."

 

This is another passive effect that modifies what happens when the Insight Token is received. But as it specifically refers to healing, and the condition for it has already been met (an adjacent, conscious hero received the token), I think it would work on knocked out heroes. Death on the Wing's victory condition isn't a healing condition, so the token doesn't count as a hero.

 

At least that's how I'd read it.



#38 Zaltyre

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 01:15 PM

 

That depends. Focused Insight says it affects "adjacent heroes," but if your hero is KO'd, the figure is not on the map. If your hero is not on the map, he cannot be adjacent to anything. Your hero token is on the map, which is not itself a hero, but a placeholder to remind you where your hero went down.


Personally, I'm fine with Focused Insights working on KO'd heroes, but I'm not sure how FFG would officially rule if asked.

Whichever way you personally rule, keep it in mind for other things as well. If a hero token counts as the hero itself for adjacency, it means the OL can win Death on the Wing by surrounding a KO'd hero with figures/boulders, for example. I don't know if FFG has weighed in on that one, but I think the common consensus among fans is that the hero token is not the hero.

 

Focused Insights reads "When a hero gains the insight token, each hero adjacent to that hero recovers 1 (heart) and 1 (fatigue)."

 

This is another passive effect that modifies what happens when the Insight Token is received. But as it specifically refers to healing, and the condition for it has already been met (an adjacent, conscious hero received the token), I think it would work on knocked out heroes. Death on the Wing's victory condition isn't a healing condition, so the token doesn't count as a hero.

 

At least that's how I'd read it.

 

That's how I would read it as well. The adjacency is allowed for the exact same reason a health potion can be used on an adjacent knocked out hero. Also, to use the skill, the prophet only needs to target the currently standing hero to give the token, and the healing effect is the "ability" which very definitely is primarily about healing, using the terminology that's been discussed.

That being said, the only situation I can see this type of healing being useful is on a hero who can summon a familiar for some purpose, in which case the action to summon and the fatigue to spend may be more useful than the hero remaining standing.






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