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#1 gran_orco

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 01:05 AM

  • I was answering a partner in the spanish forum about familiars and pits. First, rules say this: "The overlord player may not place a spawned monster in a space to which any hero figure on the board has line of sight (see “Line of Sight,” page 9-10). Exception: For purposes of spawning new monsters, other monster figures do not block a hero’s line of sight." But, as RAW, a hero in a pit block los to another hero figure, so as the hero in the pit has los only to the adjacent square, the OL can spawn monsters just in a straight line behind him, as you can see below:

XXXX

XHXX         (H) hero

XPXX         (P) hero in pit

XXXX          (M) monster

XMXX

XMXX

But later, I saw this answer from Kevin Wilson:

question: Do any figures block the heroes' line of sight for the
> purposes of spawning? No, figures never block line of sight for spawning purposes.
on Friday, July 11, 2008 at
> 03:26:14

So does it mean ANY figures? Was this rule changed to affect all figures, and not only monster figures? So the OL could not spawn behind monsters, heroes or villagers, for example, as they are considered miniatures...

 

  • Was the rule of staircases and familiars changed to allow familiars to cross them? Or are they still blocked? I remember an old post about Kevin allowing it, but I could be imagining it.


#2 Mestre dos Magos

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:43 AM

What Kevin said and what the manual says do not contradict each other.

You cannot spawn a monster figure in a place that a hero has line of sight. Normally, a monster will block line of sight to a spot behind it from a hero, like so:

 

SP

M2

M1

H

So in the above example, the (H)ero cannot trace a line of sight to Monster two (M2)

BUT also for spawning purposes, monsters do not block line of sight, in order to spawn other monsters. So (H)ero can see behind M2, and so, the Overlord could not spawn a monster at SP.

Now both phrases:

 

"For purposes of spawning new monsters, other monster figures do not block a hero’s line of sight."

"Figures never block line of sight for spawning purposes."

Have the same effect, because if you had something like:

 

SP

M1

H1

H2

Even though H1 is a hero, and it is blocking LOS from H2 to thelocation SP where the overlord wants to spawn a figure, H1 also is "seeing" SP, and so the overlord cannot spawn there.

 

About villagers: they are not figures! Figures are the plastic monsters and heroes, but in the case of the villager tokens, they block line of sight.

So I would say they do not block the overlord from spawning monsters behind them.

 

About the hero inside the pit, and your example of LOS: that is a good question... I think that although the hero outside can trace a LOS to the one inside the pit, the one inside will not block LOS to the other side, and thus, the overlord cannot spawn a monster there.

It would be thematically the equivalent of aiming down to hit someone bellow ground level, but you still could aim ahead...

 



#3 gran_orco

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 04:38 AM

Your example is totally different. Yes, your H1 can see SP; but in my example (see it carefully), H1 is IN a pit, so he can see only M1, not SP, because his los is restricted to adjacent squares, as per the FAQ: "Figures in a pit can see into the spaces adjacent to the pit". However, H1 is blocking los to H2. Rules says that monsters does not block los for spawning, but we cannot read anything about other miniatures or obstacles, so we must use normal los rules for them.

Therefore, is not the same saying "miniatures does not block los" (this statement implies all kind of miniatures) that "monster miniatures does not block los", as rules say (this sentence excludes all miniatures that are not monsters). And a miniature in a pit block los as RAW, no matter where it is.

And about villagers, they are miniatures as per the FAQ, page 15: "Villagers are figures, not map elements."



#4 Parathion

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 05:21 AM

Yes, any figure does not block LoS for purposes of spawning. Figures are heros, monsters (inlcuding Lieutenants) and villagers.

As for the familiars on stairs question, yes, these are still blocked by staircases as per RAW. The question is in the submitted document for the next FAQ on which KW is assumingly working right now.

You probably remember the answer regarding pits, which may be completely ignored by (non-flying) familiars, as per an old KW answer. Contained in said document as well.



#5 Mestre dos Magos

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 06:33 AM

gran_orco said:

Your example is totally different. Yes, your H1 can see SP; but in my example (see it carefully), H1 is IN a pit, so he can see only M1, not SP, because his los is restricted to adjacent squares, as per the FAQ: "Figures in a pit can see into the spaces adjacent to the pit". However, H1 is blocking los to H2. Rules says that monsters does not block los for spawning, but we cannot read anything about other miniatures or obstacles, so we must use normal los rules for them.

Therefore, is not the same saying "miniatures does not block los" (this statement implies all kind of miniatures) that "monster miniatures does not block los", as rules say (this sentence excludes all miniatures that are not monsters). And a miniature in a pit block los as RAW, no matter where it is.

And about villagers, they are miniatures as per the FAQ, page 15: "Villagers are figures, not map elements."

 

Yes but the other hero behind the one inside the pit does have LOS to that spot, and so, the overlord cannot spawn. Of course for each different obstacle the manual will say whether is blocks LOS or not. For example, pits do not, while rubble does. But as you said, the hero figure inside the pit would not have LOs beyond the first square outside. The only thing tracing LOS would be the hero behind it.

I stand corrected on the villagers. Thanks for the clarification.

 



#6 Steve-O

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:21 PM

Mestre dos Magos said:

Yes but the other hero behind the one inside the pit does have LOS to that spot, and so, the overlord cannot spawn.

No, he doesn't.  Not without Kevin's personal clarification, anyway.  That's the whole point.  Figures inside a pit still block LoS as they normally would, because the effects of a pit are limited to influencing the LoS of those inside.  A pit has no impact on figures who are not standing inside it, and the hero in the pit still occupies the space he's standing in.  There is no third dimension on Descent maps.

Per the rulebook, the hero in the pit BLOCKS the LoS of the hero outside the pit, both for attacks and spawning, because the rulebook only says monster figures are ignored for the purpose of spawning.  The hero outside the pit cannot see beyond the hero inside.  The hero inside cannot see beyond the spaces adjacent to the pit (per pit rules.)  Therefore two spaces ahead of the hero in the pit is NOT covered by anyone's LoS.

Kevin's clarification is actually an errata, as it expands the scope of what kinds of figures can be ignored for spawning purposes to include other heroes.  It's an errata I'm inclined to play with, personally, but the whole point of the OP's question was "how official is this ruling?"  It's not in the FAQ, as far as I know, so there may be some players who still consider it hearsay.

 



#7 Mestre dos Magos

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 04:16 PM

Oh well, one more rule to play correctly next time then :)

 

 



#8 Julia

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 11:08 PM

Steve-O said:

Mestre dos Magos said:

 

Yes but the other hero behind the one inside the pit does have LOS to that spot, and so, the overlord cannot spawn.

 

 

No, he doesn't.  Not without Kevin's personal clarification, anyway.  That's the whole point.  Figures inside a pit still block LoS as they normally would, because the effects of a pit are limited to influencing the LoS of those inside.  A pit has no impact on figures who are not standing inside it, and the hero in the pit still occupies the space he's standing in.  There is no third dimension on Descent maps.

Per the rulebook, the hero in the pit BLOCKS the LoS of the hero outside the pit, both for attacks and spawning, because the rulebook only says monster figures are ignored for the purpose of spawning.  The hero outside the pit cannot see beyond the hero inside.  The hero inside cannot see beyond the spaces adjacent to the pit (per pit rules.)  Therefore two spaces ahead of the hero in the pit is NOT covered by anyone's LoS.

Kevin's clarification is actually an errata, as it expands the scope of what kinds of figures can be ignored for spawning purposes to include other heroes.  It's an errata I'm inclined to play with, personally, but the whole point of the OP's question was "how official is this ruling?"  It's not in the FAQ, as far as I know, so there may be some players who still consider it hearsay.

 

Steve, that's a brilliant explanation of something I never thought about (I'm not a constant Descent player, sadly, no time, and the game is rather long).

I haven't read Kevin's clarification, so maybe what I'm about to say it's totally a houserule, but it's the way I feel more comfortable with in this kind of situation. There is no way I wouldn't consider the pit three-dimensional. If you're in a pit, you have LoS only on the adjacent spaces. This for me means you're inside the pit. If you're inside something that doesn't block LoS, then you cannot block LoS yourself in any way (if only your head were out of the pit, you'd have LoS on everything, as normal, hence you must be deep within the pit).

I hope this doesn't sound harsh, but I prefer playing in the way that seems more realistic (to me) to start lawyering about possible loopholes in the rules allowing "non realistic" solutions.


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#9 gran_orco

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 11:41 PM

Steve-O said:

Per the rulebook, the hero in the pit BLOCKS the LoS of the hero outside the pit, both for attacks and spawning, because the rulebook only says monster figures are ignored for the purpose of spawning.  The hero outside the pit cannot see beyond the hero inside.  The hero inside cannot see beyond the spaces adjacent to the pit (per pit rules.)  Therefore two spaces ahead of the hero in the pit is NOT covered by anyone's LoS.

Oh!! Finally, one person who understands me!

Steve-O said:

Kevin's clarification is actually an errata, as it expands the scope of what kinds of figures can be ignored for spawning purposes to include other heroes.  It's an errata I'm inclined to play with, personally, but the whole point of the OP's question was "how official is this ruling?"  It's not in the FAQ, as far as I know, so there may be some players who still consider it hearsay.

 

And finally, one person who answers my original question So I must understand Kevin's clarification as an errata and not official, for now. Thank you all.



#10 Mestre dos Magos

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:07 AM

I think that is a prime example of things I would like to see OUT of the second edition.

Rules should be simple, and not something you need to dig out of several different places, and dozens of FAQ pages.

Maybe it is hoping too much, but I wish second edition is a bit more pragmatic.



#11 Steve-O

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 03:28 PM

Mestre dos Magos said:

I think that is a prime example of things I would like to see OUT of the second edition.

Rules should be simple, and not something you need to dig out of several different places, and dozens of FAQ pages.

Maybe it is hoping too much, but I wish second edition is a bit more pragmatic.

For the record, I don't disagree with this sentiment.  I would prefer if second edition does away with this sort of nonsensical minutia as well.

It's an unfortunate fact that first edition's game balance is a house of cards that can quickly topple if one starts introducing house rules to patch up the illogical loopholes of the game, so I've become accustomed to just playing by the letter or the law, so to speak.  I just don't have the time these days to tear the game engine apart and rebuild it in a way that works AND makes sense.  This particular errata is probably not a dangerous one, which is why I mentioned I would prefer to play with it than without it, personally.

As I've said before, FFG is generally pretty good about learning from their past mistakes with new editions, so I'm hopeful that the "streamlining" of 2e's mechanics will, if nothing else, make the game reasonably logical while maintaining the core of the competitive nature of the OL vs Heroes dynamic.



#12 Mestre dos Magos

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:25 PM

I agree with everything you said, and also I would like to add that even though I am sure I have misinterpreted a few rules sometimes, Descent is still one of my favorite games, and all my friends who play with me will agree.

I trust on FFG, their track record is pretty good, and I hope second edition will not disappoint, and think the probability is very high, that it will be a great game.






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