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Flute of the Outer Gods question


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#1 Argon

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 10:47 AM

I used the Flute of the Outer Gods ("Lose 3 Sanity and 3 Stamina and discard Flute of the Outer Gods before making a Combat check to defeat all monsters in your current area") to defeat the monsters on a "scientific experiment gone awry" rumour yesterday. It was very satisfying!

My question arises because I only had 1 sanity at the time. Now, I've read often on these forums that there is a difference between a "discard" and a "loss". If it said "Discard 3 Sanity and 3 Stamina" I couldn't have done it, because I couldn't meet the precondition; but since it said "Lose", I reasoned that I could take the loss of 3 stamina (reduced to 2 because I was Michael McGlen) and take a loss of 3 sanity, the first of which drove me insane and the rest of which had no effect---just as if it was a loss inflicted by an attack. So I got 6 monster trophies and went to the asylum. Yay me!

But ... was I right?

 



#2 mi-go hunter

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 12:25 PM

Argon said:

I used the Flute of the Outer Gods ("Lose 3 Sanity and 3 Stamina and discard Flute of the Outer Gods before making a Combat check to defeat all monsters in your current area") to defeat the monsters on a "scientific experiment gone awry" rumour yesterday. It was very satisfying!

My question arises because I only had 1 sanity at the time. Now, I've read often on these forums that there is a difference between a "discard" and a "loss". If it said "Discard 3 Sanity and 3 Stamina" I couldn't have done it, because I couldn't meet the precondition; but since it said "Lose", I reasoned that I could take the loss of 3 stamina (reduced to 2 because I was Michael McGlen) and take a loss of 3 sanity, the first of which drove me insane and the rest of which had no effect-just as if it was a loss inflicted by an attack. So I got 6 monster trophies and went to the asylum. Yay me!

But ... was I right?

 

First of all, very sorry to disappoint you, but the Flute of the Outer Gods doesn't work for the Terrible Experiment rumor. All the monsters on the card is not considered to be in any area in Arkham.

Other than that, well I always played it that way that even if you are unable to lose 3 sanity, you are simply reduced to 0 no matter how much you had at the time. So I think you played that correctly. But I'm not 100 percent sure about spells. If a spell has a sanity cost of 2 and you only had 1 sanity, would you be able to cast it, then go insane despite not fully paying the sanity cost?



#3 EcnoTheNeato

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 12:54 PM

I'm pretty sure that's how it goes from what you're talking about. Don't forget, though, that if it reduces you to both 0 Sanity and 0 Stamina, you're devoured :-x However: You aren't talking about "The Terrible Experiment," are you? Because the rules clearly state those monsters aren't actually in Arkham...or on the board (so to speak).



#4 Tibs

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 02:32 PM

You can't cast a spell with a higher sanity cost than your current sanity, even if you're able to reduce or absorb it.

Flute, on the other hand, is a different story. The sanity and stamina loss is an effect and not a cost. You don't necessarily have to have a minimum of 3 of both stats in order to use it.



#5 Argon

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 03:28 PM

 I was worried about the "cost" versus "loss" of the sanity effect, so I'm glad I got that right. I also agree that for casting a spell, the description clearly says "cost", so if you don't have it, you can't cast the spell. All very consistent and agreeable!

I wasn't worried about the fact the monsters are not "on the board", because while that might be true in a strict reading of the rules, common sense dictates that if you can get close enough to the monsters to fight them, as you can, you can obviously get close enough to play them a merry tune (or even a despairing tone of endless power) upon the flute. So I concluded that the words 'in your area" on the Flute must be interpreted in a more flexible way than just meaning your area on the board. This is often necessary, as applying it strictly in this case would mean that you couldn't use it in a Location, but only in a Street area. The terms are often used in a contrastive way, but often "area" just seems to mean "vicinity", as here. So I'm happy with my interpretation there.

Thanks, everyone!

 



#6 mi-go hunter

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 04:00 PM

Tibs said:

You can't cast a spell with a higher sanity cost than your current sanity, even if you're able to reduce or absorb it.

Flute, on the other hand, is a different story. The sanity and stamina loss is an effect and not a cost. You don't necessarily have to have a minimum of 3 of both stats in order to use it.

Alright I thought so. Thanks for clearing that up, Tibs!



#7 EcnoTheNeato

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 05:18 PM

"I wasn't worried about the fact the monsters are not "on the board", because while that might be true in a strict reading of the rules, common sense dictates that if you can get close enough to the monsters to fight them, as you can, you can obviously get close enough to play them a merry tune (or even a despairing tone of endless power) upon the flute. So I concluded that the words 'in your area" on the Flute must be interpreted in a more flexible way than just meaning your area on the board. This is often necessary, as applying it strictly in this case would mean that you couldn't use it in a Location, but only in a Street area. The terms are often used in a contrastive way, but often "area" just seems to mean "vicinity", as here. So I'm happy with my interpretation there."

 

Your interpretation is just fine ^_^ Just know that it's a houserule! Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course

 

EDIT: Added the quote so no one thought I meant to say that the Sanity cost/loss interpretation was what I was referring to :-x



#8 avec

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 06:14 PM

Tibs said:

You can't cast a spell with a higher sanity cost than your current sanity, even if you're able to reduce or absorb it.

Flute, on the other hand, is a different story. The sanity and stamina loss is an effect and not a cost. You don't necessarily have to have a minimum of 3 of both stats in order to use it.

But if you go insane or unconscious, you can't proceed to make the Combat check, right?  Which would negate the whole point of using the flute.  



#9 Krawhitham

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 10:35 PM

avec said:

Tibs said:

 

You can't cast a spell with a higher sanity cost than your current sanity, even if you're able to reduce or absorb it.

Flute, on the other hand, is a different story. The sanity and stamina loss is an effect and not a cost. You don't necessarily have to have a minimum of 3 of both stats in order to use it.

 

 

But if you go insane or unconscious, you can't proceed to make the Combat check, right?  Which would negate the whole point of using the flute.  

Lose 3 Sanity and 3 Stamina and discard Flute of the Outer Gods before making a Combat check to defeat all monsters in your current area

There is no combat check, you just succeed. It specifically says in the rules that if you use an Elder Sign and go insane then you still seal the gate and remove a doom token.

I'd even argue that the Flute works if you were to be Devoured.



#10 Tibs

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 12:08 AM

  1. Enter combat with a monster
  2. Survive the horror check
  3. It is this time that you'd make a combat check, so time to activate the Flute
  4. Whether or not you're still up and kicking, the flute has been activated, so the monsters are slain.


#11 Julia

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 01:59 AM

Argon said:

I wasn't worried about the fact the monsters are not "on the board", because while that might be true in a strict reading of the rules, common sense dictates that if you can get close enough to the monsters to fight them, as you can, you can obviously get close enough to play them a merry tune (or even a despairing tone of endless power) upon the flute. So I concluded that the words 'in your area" on the Flute must be interpreted in a more flexible way than just meaning your area on the board. This is often necessary, as applying it strictly in this case would mean that you couldn't use it in a Location, but only in a Street area. The terms are often used in a contrastive way, but often "area" just seems to mean "vicinity", as here. So I'm happy with my interpretation there.

Yes, you're right, they should be somewhere near the place where yo fight them. But there is a great difference between monsters on the Terrible experiment card, and normal monsters swarming Arkham. Basically, if there is a group of monsters in a street, you have to deal with all of them. With the Terrible experiment card, you're allowed to cherry-pick them. And this is a great difference. You enter combat with a monster, then you have enough of fighting and you simply stop entering combat with other monsters. You don't have to evade them. Or whatelse. So, even in case your interpretation is correct (and it's not, as Ecno said, simply because an area is, by definition, a street or a location, thus part of the board, and the Terrible experiment says clearly monsters are not considered on the board), you would be allowed to use the Flute only against the monster you're actually facing.


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#12 Julia

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 02:21 AM

Tibs said:

You can't cast a spell with a higher sanity cost than your current sanity, even if you're able to reduce or absorb it.

Was this changed? I've always thought that it was said you're allowed to cast almost all spells, regardless of your actual sanity; in most of the cases, the spell has no effect, simply because being driven insane hinders you to perform any further action. The only spells not following this rule, are spells with a variable sanity cost (a la Call the Ancient One); for those it's a non-sense saying you invest more sanity than the one you actually have. I've always seen this as a logical thing: the first type of spells (almost all) hits you with a blast of insanity as soon as you release the complete magic force, while the second one requires sanity to spend while casting. Thus there is a maximum of points that can be spent related to you actual sanity.


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#13 Julia

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 02:25 AM

Tibs said:

Flute, on the other hand, is a different story. The sanity and stamina loss is an effect and not a cost. You don't necessarily have to have a minimum of 3 of both stats in order to use it.

Another question at this regard: on the Wiki is stated that "The Strong Body ability only applies to involuntary losses. Voluntary expenditures to gain some benefit are not affected. (Source: Page 10 of The Dunwich Horror Rulebook) " Shouldn't this imply that Michael takes full damage from the Flute? Again, I've always thought this was a cost, and not a loss (even if the wording on the card says "lose"). Basically, it's a fixed amount you have to pay, it seems to me much more similar to a spell's cost rather than to a horror damage. And the sentence I quoted from the wiki seems to imply that you cannot speak about losses when the loss is voluntary. Is the Wiki wrong?


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#14 jgt7771

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 03:39 AM

Julia said:

 

Tibs said:

 You can't cast a spell with a higher sanity cost than your current sanity, even if you're able to reduce or absorb it.

 

Was this changed? I've always thought that it was said you're allowed to cast almost all spells, regardless of your actual sanity; in most of the cases, the spell has no effect, simply because being driven insane hinders you to perform any further action.

That's the last I heard about it, too.  Not that I ever agreed with it, but that's where I thought the rules had landed.

I get the feeling that Avi and Tibs treat the Proto-FAQ "Gag Order" differently.  Avi says, "I know, but I can't tell you," whereas Tibs says, "This is how I play it."  Completely noncommittal and unofficial, but Tibs is becoming increasingly "unquestioned" when he throws out stuff that maybe we "ought to know already."


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#15 EcnoTheNeato

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 03:51 AM

I think that may have referred to costs HIGHER than your sanity, instead of equal to your sanity. So you could cast Bless to bless someone then go nuts if you had 2 san, but if you had 1 sanity you couldn't cast it at all. This is something that doesn't come up to often, but I agree with it, especially with their clarification of what a "cost" is versus a "loss." So I'm not sure if it's official, but I'll sure be playing it that way ^_^ (I'm pretty sure this was brought on by the one Call Ancient One spell...)

 

I play the flute the same way, even a spell or two, (haven't tried it with bind monster yet, but I'm thinking it'd work the same way?). Basically you go insane/unconcious/devoured at the same time the card is activated. The cards aren't reliant on their user to be sane (though I suppose you could argue your new location is the hospital/asylum?), and even still, if an effect happens simultaneously, the player(s) get to choose what order they go in! And that last part is actually in the rulebook :-D



#16 Julia

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 04:11 AM

jgt7771 said:

 

 

Was this changed? I've always thought that it was said you're allowed to cast almost all spells, regardless of your actual sanity; in most of the cases, the spell has no effect, simply because being driven insane hinders you to perform any further action.

 

That's the last I heard about it, too.  Not that I ever agreed with it, but that's where I thought the rules had landed.

I get the feeling that Avi and Tibs treat the Proto-FAQ "Gag Order" differently.  Avi says, "I know, but I can't tell you," whereas Tibs says, "This is how I play it."  Completely noncommittal and unofficial, but Tibs is becoming increasingly "unquestioned" when he throws out stuff that maybe we "ought to know already."

 

 

Yeah, I have the very same feeling Jgt.

If I'm allowed to say something polemic (don't want to start a thread, but I'm fed up with this stuff, so apologies to everybody if this doesn't sound like the typical Julia nice-post with flapping eyes and whatelse), I think that this FAQ thing is a complete mess. And not for Avi's or Tibs' fault, of course. But:

almost all FFG top selling games have their FAQ updated on a regular basis. A couple of weeks ago, it was released the new FAQ for Call of Cthulhu, which is something *immense* since you have to consider all the possible interactions between - dunno - something like 2000 cards? New games, as Battles of Westeros, have their FAQ ready. Even small games like Constantinopolis or Civilization - IIRC. Arkham is one of their top product (do not tell me Constantinopolis sells as well as Arkham), and I believe it should deserve a better service.

So, I don't see why

a) they are not out yet (after all, they were revised by three good guys that worked for FFG for free. They did a job that should be done by game designers and they were not paid for it. And wanna now what I think about this? That probably none else in the world could have done this better than our triumvirate, simply because they know the game, and they love it much more than any FFG game designers. Otherwise we won't have had gates moving into vortices or crappy cult mechanics)

b) there isn't any official words from FFG saying "FAQ will be available of MONTH DAY YEAR". This would be a sign of respect towards the community AND towards those who spent several hours of their life working just to help people to play better

c) these poor three guys had to sign a contract forcing them to not reveal the stolen FFG nuclear secrets (sorry; bit sarcastic here, but hey, it's a game!). So the FAQ is almost ready (or already ready?) but for some mysterious reasons we cannot know ANYTHING from the guys who worked on it.

And everytime something new emerges, there is a complete mess. For the Flute, it was said you have to do a Horror check before blowing your breath in. Fine. The first draft of the FAQ said you don't have to do the Horror check. Fine. Now Tibs says you have to do the Horror check. Thus it seems to me it changed again. But for God's sake, say it out loud. Most of the debate will stop. And at least we will have some clear rules to follow. Otherwise answer according to the old way of playing

As an additional point, most of the things I think there will be in the upcoming FAQ seems to change radically (and without reason) some aspects of the game. Someone told me long ago (there's a calm before the storm? ::laughing::) in a different thread it was probably not possible to return to Devil Reef from LiTaS. Why? It's not in the rules. Now this stuff about spells. Changed. But why?

I think FAQs should clarify things, not change rules, unless something must be changed in order to give the game a kind of inner coherence.

As a last note, let me stress the point that knowledge must be shared.


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#17 Julia

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 04:19 AM

EcnoTheNeato said:

I think that may have referred to costs HIGHER

Nope. It was changed. Trust me Ecno. You're relatively young here in this forum. I'm not talking about your gaming experience or knowledge, of course, but simply you're a constant presence on these halls since not such a long time. Months before you entered our community (and this is why I think you don't know what I'm referring to), there was a huge debate on this point basically because of the Call the Ancient One spell. You can search the forum for that thread, if you want. And DragonTurtle suggested to limit the amount of Sanity of variable-cost spells to the actual number of Sanity the caster had at that time. I'm 100% sure about this. I'm not saying that what Tibs said doesn't have a sense. I'm saying that it was changed. And reading Jgt post, it seems to me he also have the same perception of the thing.


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#18 Tibs

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 04:25 AM

Sorry. I'm careful not to indicate what's on the FAQ, so maybe I'm just confusing what I thought was ruled that everyone could see with what I might have concluded was the ideal scenario.

In any case, it is a sanity cost, and if you can't pay the cost, clearly you can't cast the spell. The "even if it can be absorbed" might have been my own personal interpretation, in light of how hard Call Ancient One and Shroud of Shadows could be abused.

Could you imagine:

Using the Crowbar to try and appropriate items
Casting Shroud of Shadow for your sneak check and setting the sanity cost ridiculously high (100,000,000)
Absorbing all of it with the Crystal of the Elder Things, and claiming that the cost has been paid, so you can legally cast the spell
Acquire the entire common item deck

No thanks. The limiting factor should be whether or not you actually have the sanity to cast the spell, irrespective of the Crystal or other reducers.

Julia said:

Tibs said:

Flute, on the other hand, is a different story. The sanity and stamina loss is an effect and not a cost. You don't necessarily have to have a minimum of 3 of both stats in order to use it.

Another question at this regard: on the Wiki is stated that "The Strong Body ability only applies to involuntary losses. Voluntary expenditures to gain some benefit are not affected. (Source: Page 10 of The Dunwich Horror Rulebook) " Shouldn't this imply that Michael takes full damage from the Flute? Again, I've always thought this was a cost, and not a loss (even if the wording on the card says "lose"). Basically, it's a fixed amount you have to pay, it seems to me much more similar to a spell's cost rather than to a horror damage. And the sentence I quoted from the wiki seems to imply that you cannot speak about losses when the loss is voluntary. Is the Wiki wrong?

The stamina and sanity loss from the Flute is not voluntary. It's a loss, not a cost. The same applies to the Pact cards (they are losses, not costs).



#19 Julia

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 04:38 AM

I take your points about the right scenario, but really, sometimes it's confusing. Nonetheless, I cannot take your point about the limit. I mean, I accept the limit for all those spells whose cost is special. As I said, it fixes Call the Ancient One. And it fixes also Shroud of shadows, just to avoid breaking the game in the way you highlighted. There is no reason why this should be applied to "normal" costs of spells. Like a Greater Banishment or the Dreaded curse of Azathoth. In the first case, you go insane, but some monsters are erased. In the second case, you go insane and the spell is worthless. I don't think this is unbalancing or breaking the game in any way. There are only two "special" cost spells in the whole game. I think it should be easier fix these two spells rather than changing "scenario". Or at least, this is the way I see this matter.

As far as the Flute thing is concerned... I don't understand why it should be said it's not voluntary. It is voluntary. You know that you're going to lose 3 sanity and 3 stamina before blowing into the Flute and you choose to do so. And I'm not polemic on this point, Tibs, I really don't get the point. In my distorted view of Arkham, it's identical to a spell. Cast and spend Sanity. Blow into the flute and spend Sanity and Stamina. Could you explain me where the difference is? Apart from the wording on the card, I mean (some cards have a poor wording, so I'd like to understand the reasons of this, without trusting blindly the wording)


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#20 Avi_dreader

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 05:12 AM

Julia said:

As far as the Flute thing is concerned... I don't understand why it should be said it's not voluntary. It is voluntary. You know that you're going to lose 3 sanity and 3 stamina before blowing into the Flute and you choose to do so. And I'm not polemic on this point, Tibs, I really don't get the point. In my distorted view of Arkham, it's identical to a spell. Cast and spend Sanity. Blow into the flute and spend Sanity and Stamina. Could you explain me where the difference is? Apart from the wording on the card, I mean (some cards have a poor wording, so I'd like to understand the reasons of this, without trusting blindly the wording)

Heh...  There's a much easier answer to the flute question than this whole voluntary/non-voluntary thing.  The cards says "lose," hence it's a loss ;')






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