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Ghoulish Self-Worshipper


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#1 Carioz

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 03:16 AM

Hello,

I have found an interesting kink in the text of Ghoulish Worshipper:

-- Shub-Niggurath --
Ghoulish Worshipper
-------------------
Type : Character
Cost : 3
Skill : 2
Icons : TTC
Subtype : Monster.
Game Text: Lower the cost to play Monster and Ancient One cards from your hand by 1. (To a minimum of 1.)
Flavor text: It bowed down in obeisance to its dark master.
Illustrator: Adam Bray
Collector's Info: Ancient Horrors F19
 

Now I think this card was intended to be played paying 3 and reduced the cost of playing successive Monsters and AOs by 1. Problem is the text is awfully similar to that of self-reducing cards:

-- Hastur --
Thing from Nightmare
--------------------
Type : Character
Cost : 4
Skill : 4
Icons : TCA
Subtype : Monster.
Game Text: Lower the cost to play Thing from Nightmare by 1 (to a minimum of 1) for each insane character in play.
Flavor text: The beast formed deep in the recess of her psyche, then spontaneously came to life!
Illustrator: Anna Mohrbacher
Collector's Info: Screams from Within F87
 

What do you guys think, Ghoulish does self-reduce?



#2 evilidler

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 04:23 AM

 Seems clear to me. The first card has text that won't be in play until it's in play - it's not in play when it's in your hand, is it?

The second card has a cost-reducing conditional to play.



#3 KallistiBRC

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 06:34 AM

+1 to evilidler's ruling. 



#4 Magnus Arcanis

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 08:49 AM

I also agree that it only applies to successive monsters and AO's while the card is in play.

However I think its the text "...from the hand." Thats does it for me.

This tells me that its no longer a condition to play the card but a passive ability.

Also, another thing that strikes me is that it doesn't list a condition for its 'modified cost.' I believe this is needed for cards like Thing from Nightmare otherwise the card would just have a lower printed cost unless a pre-exsisting effect (printed or not) that would make it benefitial for a card to have such text without a condition even though mechanically its not needed.

With those two points as evidence I would rule that the Worshipper's abiltiy doesn't reduce it's own cost and is a passive ability for successive characters played only.



#5 Carioz

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 08:01 PM

 @Magnus:

You know I love literal interpretation of cards, right? ;-)

Regarding the absence of condition, well, as much useless as it would be right now, I can think of a few instance where having a printed cost higher than the actual cost would have been useful/detriemental (take for example the cards which target or trigger on printed cost).

Also, what about:

Anthropology Advisor
[Miskatonic University] Core Set F25 / Illustrator: Jonathan Kirtz
[Character] - Investigator.
Cost : 3 / Skill : 3 / Icons: CAI
Game Text: Lower the cost for you to play Investigator characters by 1. Investigator characters you control gain I.

No instance of "from your hand" here. 

Now, it is perfectly clear to me that in the intent of the devs, neither anthropology advisor nor ghoulish would self reduce; however, from a literal interpretation, well, there is little that separates Anthropology Advisor from Thing from Nightmare.

I think a much better template for the two passive reducers would have been: "While -this- is in play, reduce...".
 



#6 Penfold

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 04:57 AM

A card that is self-referential lowers itself. A card that creates a condition to lower sub-types but does not refer to itself by name does not. It isn't really a case of the rules of English so much as the rules CoC-ish.



#7 Carioz

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 06:58 AM

Penfold said:

 It isn't really a case of the rules of English so much as the rules CoC-ish.

Care to point out which rules you are referring to?



#8 Magnus Arcanis

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 07:56 AM

Carioz said:

 @Magnus:

You know I love literal interpretation of cards, right? ;-)

Regarding the absence of condition, well, as much useless as it would be right now, I can think of a few instance where having a printed cost higher than the actual cost would have been useful/detriemental (take for example the cards which target or trigger on printed cost).

Also, what about:

Anthropology Advisor
[Miskatonic University] Core Set F25 / Illustrator: Jonathan Kirtz
[Character] - Investigator.
Cost : 3 / Skill : 3 / Icons: CAI
Game Text: Lower the cost for you to play Investigator characters by 1. Investigator characters you control gain I.

No instance of "from your hand" here. 

Now, it is perfectly clear to me that in the intent of the devs, neither anthropology advisor nor ghoulish would self reduce; however, from a literal interpretation, well, there is little that separates Anthropology Advisor from Thing from Nightmare.

I think a much better template for the two passive reducers would have been: "While -this- is in play, reduce...".
 

Man, I knew I should've researched this better. I tried to take it just on the originally posted examples and that was my mistake. Research must be done, for now I withdraw my original conclusion.



#9 Magnus Arcanis

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 09:41 AM

Magnus Arcanis said:

 

 

 

 

Man, I knew I should've researched this better. I tried to take it just on the originally posted examples and that was my mistake. Research must be done, for now I withdraw my original conclusion.

 

 

Ok, only thing I can find is that all of the (at least previously thought) self reducers have a condition.

Good call on the stuff against printed cost and I'll add Doppleganger to evidence.

However analyzing the individual card effects and their wording which honestly isn't very clear. I'd say.. that the advisor "for you to play" also tells me that its also only a passive ability to be used on successive cards. Really, even the "from the hand" text isn't really convincing and my only real supporting evidence is that it would be rather bad for this not to be true. As if it were the case then it would lead to many abilities becoming two types of ability. Currently we have somewhat clear identity of  cost conditions (including reduction and additional costs) , passive effect, and triggered abilities and if an effect would become multiple types it could create some really undesireable situations.

Though Guardian Pillar is a bit troublesome as its a passive abilty yet within the ability it has a triggered ability but isn't a triggered ability.  We have some rules that force a sqaure peg into a round hole but when it comes to that card it is making this debate increasingly difficult as it blurring lines that it shouldn't be blurred.

Really, I have a GIANT bone to pick with guardian pillar and this is actually one of the several problems I see with its current implementation. Thats another debate for a different day though.

Back on topic. bringing up Doppleganger its passive ability's wording also has me at a bit of a loss. It kind knocks out my "from the hand" ruling.

“When you play Doppelgänger from your hand, choose a nonunique character in play with printed cost X or lower. Doppelgänger becomes a printed copy
of that character.”

According to its clarification... this ability kicks in before it enters play in order for it to use play or enter play response effects. So by extention opens Pandora's box as it removes that last barrier I can come up with to say that it is only a passive ability that works on successive cards played.

After debunking (sorta) the "from the hand" theory, Fixer seems to debunk my "for you to play" theory as well.

Fixer 
Type: Character Faction: Syndicate
Cost: 3 Skill: 2 Icon: ©©(A)
Criminal.
Lower the cost for you to play Fixer by 2 (to a minimum of 1) if there is at least 1 Attachment in play.

So... yep. I'm out. The ONLY thing remaining is the lack of condition. Which is really really weak as it is not defined as something needed to seperate cost effects and passive effects. But thats the best I have to keep pandora's box closed.
 



#10 Magnus Arcanis

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 10:01 AM

Oh, I have one other weak defense. What if I were trying to argue that Thing from Nightmare is actually a passive effect and can only work on successive cards? ... I know I know... but bare with me.

 

If the condition defense is defeated then this discussion eventually would lead to an completely tangible intent driven defense as it would functionaly break

• Yog-Sothoth
In Whom the Spheres Meet
Type: Character Faction: Yog-Sothoth
Cost: 8 Skill: 8 Icon: (T)(T)©©(A)
Ancient One
Villainous. Invulnerability. 
Lower the cost to play Yog-Sothoth by 1 for each Spell card in your discard pile (to a minimum of 1).

As, by rule, you can't even begin to play another unique card.

Ok, actually I would be wrong...as a passive ability it would still lower opponent played copies as it doesn't specfically mention you...

Nevermind. I'm relying on the condition defense at this point unless someone else can come up with something better. 

I fear that this may lead to yet another awkward FAQ addition that only exsists to preserve poor wording as I guess an erratta to add "While this card is in play" to already (re-)printed cards could be quite sizeable. Unless I'm missing something.
 



#11 Carioz

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 10:34 AM

Oh, you know I love pointing out tiny flaws which erupt in game breaking scenarios (Brazier of Nodens) ;-)

Ok, I hope this doesn't come out too much confused but:

1) From a language point of view all passive (Ghoulish, Anthropology and Seeker as far as I can tell) or passive-looking (Fixer, Thing from Nightmare) reducers have the same structure: there are passive with "for you" and passive-looking with "for you". Cumbersome but easy fix: errata the passive adding "While this is in play" or/and the passive looking adding "When you play this card". Introducing a time frame when the passive ability works fixes the problem.

2) The lack of condition is not a discrimination: passive have a condition (lower the cost to play chars if they have such and such subtype). The only, very weak defense is: passive do not reference their own title. But putting out an errata saying that passive-looking which do not reference the title of the card are instead passive would break the game in half (I seriously hope that none in his right mind thinks this is a solution).

3) I agree, Guardian Pillar has a horrible template (should have been an action) and Doppelgirl too (the most easy errata would have been wording it response: when -this- comes into play, choose a non-unique char with cost X or lower. Do your stuff with it). As it happend in the past, the devs favoured putting out general rulings instead of errata and opened the can of worms for other cards.

 



#12 Magnus Arcanis

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 01:19 PM

Carioz said:

Oh, you know I love pointing out tiny flaws which erupt in game breaking scenarios (Brazier of Nodens) ;-)

Ok, I hope this doesn't come out too much confused but:

1) From a language point of view all passive (Ghoulish, Anthropology and Seeker as far as I can tell) or passive-looking (Fixer, Thing from Nightmare) reducers have the same structure: there are passive with "for you" and passive-looking with "for you". Cumbersome but easy fix: errata the passive adding "While this is in play" or/and the passive looking adding "When you play this card". Introducing a time frame when the passive ability works fixes the problem.

2) The lack of condition is not a discrimination: passive have a condition (lower the cost to play chars if they have such and such subtype). The only, very weak defense is: passive do not reference their own title. But putting out an errata saying that passive-looking which do not reference the title of the card are instead passive would break the game in half (I seriously hope that none in his right mind thinks this is a solution).

3) I agree, Guardian Pillar has a horrible template (should have been an action) and Doppelgirl too (the most easy errata would have been wording it response: when -this- comes into play, choose a non-unique char with cost X or lower. Do your stuff with it). As it happend in the past, the devs favoured putting out general rulings instead of errata and opened the can of worms for other cards.

 

1. Good idea on the "When you play this card" Only needed for a handful cards would need an erratta as opposed to my first thought of all cards with a passive ability. Kinda obvious now that I think about it lol.

2. I agree to an extent. lack of condition 'could be' a discimination. Just not ideal or sensical. But really its no worse than using the word 'to' to sepeate cost from effect. Which isn't all that bad as long as you follow the same language patterns. It may also be linked to the mention of its own name. Meh. I like point 1 a lot better than this option though.

3. I would've went with "this card gains, Action: Exhaust to...." That alone doesn't solve all the problems, but I'm not quite done finding all of the problems yet.

All in all though, THIS is the kind of reason why erratta's exsist. When so many people have their hand in the pot mistakes like these tend to happen. Almost wish it could've been found earlier. Makes me wonder how many other wording issuses lay hidden within the card pool though. Me thinks we should go hunting ;) After all its better to find these types of incosistancies as early as possible especially if reprintings aren't completely out of the question.



#13 Carioz

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 08:01 PM

Magnus Arcanis said:

All in all though, THIS is the kind of reason why erratta's exsist. When so many people have their hand in the pot mistakes like these tend to happen. Almost wish it could've been found earlier. Makes me wonder how many other wording issuses lay hidden within the card pool though. Me thinks we should go hunting ;) After all its better to find these types of incosistancies as early as possible especially if reprintings aren't completely out of the question.

Well it was found earlier but it would have had no sense to post it while people had their feathers ruffled over magah bird being overpowered or not.

Also you can see how easilly the result of such hunts are easilly dismissed as: "It's obvious how the cards should be played, stop nitpicking", as actually some contributions were in the past, so I am rather not thrilled to post my findings on the boards.

As for how many, well, I can for sure count a way to have "floating" attachments, some rather obvious mistakes in the faq, a way to wound invulnerables not yet thought of... hmmm that's on the top of my mind.



#14 Penfold

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 08:05 AM

I sent the question in and got a response saying that self-referential cards lower themselves as they are being played, non-self-referential cards effects only operate when in play.

Sounds like splitting hairs to me, but there it is. So like I said it is a rule about how CoC templating is meant to be interpreted/read versus how an English sentence is interpreted or read. No idea if it will be put in the next FAQ or when that will come out (though I'd guess sometimes just before regionals at the earliest, and before Gencon at the latest.



#15 TheProfessor

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 08:17 AM

 Well, first of all, WOW!  You got a response to a rules question!!!

Second, I think that is the informal interpretation most of us apply to the cards - not based on any rules, but somehow it seems to make sense in terms of intent.



#16 Penfold

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 08:48 AM

Especially considering the event cards that are self-referential could not possibly work any other way if they were to work at all.



#17 Penfold

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 08:51 AM

I suppose if someone i actually checking the emails today, now is the time to send questions in. :)



#18 Carioz

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 07:28 PM

 Yep, getting an answer from FFG on a rules question is something really to be impressed on. Happened to me only once, and it was prompted by posting some rather un-gentleman like phrases on the forum.



#19 Carioz

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 09:20 PM

@Penfold:

It's a bit of a moot point since it has already been answered by the rules guys, but your Events argument doesn't hold water.

The crux of the question is:

Due to templating it is (was before the self-reference ruling) impossible to distinguish between a passive ability and a playing restriction (I am using restriction loosely here, including all prescription on cost and timing (lower the cost to play this, play this only if it is night, etc...)).

Since Doppelgirl faq basically allowed passives to work before cards get played (yeah, picture me thrilled), there is (was) no actual way to discriminate between the two.

Events do not actually enter the picture as they cannot, by definition, have passive abilities thus all the lower this text had to be a playing restriction.



#20 Magnus Arcanis

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 08:54 AM

Penfold said:

I sent the question in and got a response saying that self-referential cards lower themselves as they are being played, non-self-referential cards effects only operate when in play.

I got two main problems with this. One being that Advisor/Worshipper do refer to itself (and others). It doesn't refer to its title which is what (I assume) they meant but thats leads me to my second problem. That defense is about as weak as my condition defense (maybe a little stronger, but not by much).

However if that is what they are gonna go with then so be it. Really I don't have problem with cards playing the way they we all thought they did. Just more square pegs and round holes though which... I can't say that I'm a fan of as it may lead to another problem down the road.






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