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You've Got Questions? I've Got Answers - Straight From Damon Stone


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#1 Yipe

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:06 AM

Due to the number of increasingly complex rules questions popping up on the forums lately, I broke down and emailed Damon a list of questions to help resolve some of these issues. Here's the reply I received:

1) THE DOORWAY

Q: When can this card be triggered? This card doesn't have any trigger requirements, so can you exhaust it and return a character to your hand at any time?

A: Not precisely. It can be triggered anytime a disrupt can be triggered, that would be as any action, player or framework, is initiated, but before it resolves. Check the timing structure in the FAQ.

Q: Can I trigger The Doorway to return a character to my hand that was chosen to receive a wound from a lost combat struggle, and therefore avoid taking the wound? If I do this, must I assign the combat struggle's wound to another character I control, or has the wound been avoided/negated?

A: From the FAQ:

1. Framework Action is initiated.
2. Disrupts
3. Framework Action is executed.

The combat struggle resolution is a framework action, the character is chosen to be wounded at the point of initiation, The Doorway can be triggered, and then the framework action is executed. The character is no longer in play so cannot have the wound token actually placed on it. Because the designation of the character to be wounded happens at the point of initiation a new target cannot be chosen since that moment has already passed. This is precisely the same timing for canceling a wound with a disrupt effect during the combat struggle.

Q: Can I trigger the Doorway to return a character to my hand that was chosen to receive a wound from Khopesh of the Abyss? If I do this, does the character attached to Khopesh still take a wound or is the effect canceled entirely?

A: From the FAQ:

1. Action is initiated.
2. Disrupts
3. Action is executed.

Just like in the combat struggle resolution, the Khopesh of the Abyss effect is divided into two separate pieces, the initiation and the execution. In between these is a disrupt window where either character that is designated by the effect to be wounded could have that wound canceled or some other form of disrupt that keeps the wound from being placed on the character. This is again where The Doorway and any form of wound cancel would be triggered and resolved before the Khopesh's ability is executed. Because the effect removes the target from play (or in the case of a wound being canceled) but does not cancel the effect itself (just prevents the wound from being placed) the effect finishes resolving, in this case on the attached character.

It is worth noting that Invulnerability prevents the effect from even being triggered since it is illegal for any card to wound in any fashion a card with the Invulnerability keyword. Canceling the wound is not canceling the card's effect.

STAY TUNED!  More questions and answers to come…



#2 Yipe

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:08 AM

2) LABORING GUG

Q:  Can cards leaving play that have a Response respond to more than 1 trigger, or do they only receive 1 response option before entering the discard pile? For example, what happens when Laboring Gug is targeted by Short Fuse?

A:  There is no interaction at all if Laboring Gug cannot survive the wounds from Short Fuse. Cards can only respond "on their way out" if the card specifically states in a self-referential manner, that it triggers if the card leaves play. If Laboring Gug had a toughness of 7 it could respond to each wound from Short Fuse, as each wound would open up a response opportunity. If it said instead, "Response: After Laboring Gug receives 1 or more wounds, draw 1 card" It could only respond to each effect that caused it to be wounded, rather than the wounds themselves.



#3 Yipe

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:10 AM

3) PERFORMANCE ARTIST

Q:  Can I sacrifice Performance Artist to cancel Chess Prodigy's ability (or other passive abilities)? What about cards that aren't in play, such as Rampaging Dark Young's ability?

A:  No to Chess Prodigy and to Dark Young. They both have text that has a point of initiation which as the FAQ shows is followed immediately by a disrupt window and then followed by an execution of the effect (regardless of whether it is triggered or passive).

The difference is Chess Prodigy's character ability is a passive effect and passive effects cannot be canceled and Rampaging Dark Young's text can only be triggered after it is placed in the discard pile (versus when it leaves play) so it's a card effect not a character ability in game terms. It is a rather fine point, so I understand the confusion. I'd simplify it if I could, but it is part of the base rules of the game.



#4 Yipe

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:13 AM

This next question is from a situation that came up in one of our "Cthulhu is Calling" events. I ruled that Repo Man's passive ability can't be turned off - allowing a player to revert back to the normal combat struggle effects - and that is indeed correct.

4) REPO MAN

Q:  What happens when I win a combat struggle where Repo Man is committed, but my opponent doesn't control any support cards? Can I decide not to use Repo Man's passive ability to resolve the combat struggle normally?

A:  No. It is not an optional effect nor a triggered effect, it is a passive replacement effect.



#5 Yipe

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:16 AM

5) UNDERGROUND ASYLUM

Q:  Does this only protect against card effects that drive a character insane, or does it also protect against game effects (e.g. the terror struggle)?

A:  Underground Asylum does work when a player loses a terror struggle.

The question/answer in the FAQ is not written clearly enough to realize this, it seeks to provide a general distinction and then refers the player to the specific rules and definition section of the FAQ.

It is important to note the questions at the end of the FAQ are not rules themselves, but attempts at explaining how the previous sections of the FAQ which are rules would be applied. If there is a conflict between the two sections, the rules section takes precedence. In regard to this specific answer it would read better as the following:

"The word effect refers to different things depending on the context. Game effects are when the game rules cause something to happen. Card effects are when the text on a card causes something to happen. Generically, when a card text, refers to an unspecified effect it is referring to a card effect. When it is specific it refers to any effect that meets that qualification. (see Card Effect vs. Game Effect, FAQ)"

You can see how Underground Asylum refers to a specific effect, that which makes a character insane, and not an unspecified effect such as Arcane Tampering (Ancient Relics F64) "Response: After a character exhausts to trigger or pay the cost of an effect…"



#6 Surreal

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:43 AM

 Thanks for answers .  I have to say these are good answers ad make sense for me. Just surprised of that Khopesh wielder takes the wound if the Doorway is used but I feel this makes sense too.



#7 Penfold

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:22 AM

 Sweet, I think I called them all right except for the Underground Asylum… and I had no idea how to handle that one, but his ruling makes perfect sense once it was layed out that way. I like that he admitted that the wording in the FAQ was unclear. Rare to hear someone admit to making mistakes or being less than perfect in the corporate world.

Thanks for asking the questions Yipe.



#8 jhaelen

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 10:46 AM

Thanks for getting these answers, Yipe!

Some comments:

Answer 1) I'm a bit surprised about how The Doorway interacts with the Khopesh but I understand the reasoning. I still don't like that The Doorway doesn't specify a trigger because I'm sure if that card should ever show up in a tournament game it will cause lots of discussions followed by a time-consuming attempt to figure out if it can or cannot be played according to the timing structure. The card is destined to cause wrong judge calls - I'm already looking forward to it!

Answers 2) & 4) are fine and what I'd expected.

Answer 5) is also fine and I'm particularly glad about the (minor) revision of the FAQ text.

The part of answer 3) referring to the Rampaging Dark One, however, simply blows my mind. Of course it means that Surreal was right about the distinction between card effects and character abilities. However, searching the current FAQ for the word 'Ability' turns up several instances where the term is used incorrectly:

  • page 4/5: Working Effects (The Thing Behind You)
  • page 5: Card states
  • page 6: Put into Play vs. Play vs. Enters Play (The Terror of the Tides)
  • page 12: Dreamlands Fanatic

This is just sloppy.

I'm pretty sure this will also trigger a couple of new questions that now require an official response.

 



#9 Yipe

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:29 AM

jhaelen said:

I'm pretty sure this will also trigger a couple of new questions that now require an official response.

 

Damon answered my questions almost immediately (especially considering I sent him a fair amount to sift through), so I wouldn't hesitate to email him with any follow-up clarifications.

There's still a long, unanswered discussion going on about Expendable Muscle.  I simply forgot to include it in my laundry list, but I'll probably email him that question later today or tomorrow and update this thread with his response.

Glad I could be of help resolving some of these issues.  I mainly did it to make things easier on me and the other judges for our upcoming regional.  It is a daunting task to judge an official event for the first time.



#10 Surreal

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:31 AM


jhaelen said:

 

Answer 5) is also fine and I'm particularly glad about the (minor) revision of the FAQ text.

The part of answer 3) referring to the Rampaging Dark One, however, simply blows my mind. Of course it means that Surreal was right about the distinction between card effects and character abilities. However, searching the current FAQ for the word 'Ability' turns up several instances where the term is used incorrectly:

  • page 4/5: Working Effects (The Thing Behind You)
  • page 5: Card states
  • page 6: Put into Play vs. Play vs. Enters Play (The Terror of the Tides)
  • page 12: Dreamlands Fanatic

This is just sloppy.

I'm pretty sure this will also trigger a couple of new questions that now require an official response.

 

 

I didn't realize there are so many wrong uses of ability in the FAQ. I don't think I have anymore questions about abilities but there still might be some. It is quite clear now that ability is only a triggered effect coming from a card in play and that card has to be in play when that effect triggers. Totally different thing is why there even needs to be an ability. Why just not to say that triggered ability = triggered effect and triggered effect = triggered ability always. Would clearer and only 3-4 cards would be slightly affected.

But I am still wondering about Underground Asylum. It says to cancel the effect. Lets I have Underground Asylum and two characters and opponent plays Lost to the Madness. I use Underground Asylum for one character to cancel the effect. Does the effect mean that whole card effect is cancelled or just effect on character I targeted with Underground Asylum is cancelled. But I will ask these questions later and couple more when have more time.



#11 jhaelen

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:54 AM

Surreal said:

I didn't realize there are so many wrong uses of ability in the FAQ. I don't think I have anymore questions about abilities but there still might be some. It is quite clear now that ability is only a triggered effect coming from a card in play and that card has to be in play when that effect triggers. Totally different thing is why there even needs to be an ability. Why just not to say that triggered ability = triggered effect and triggered effect = triggered ability always. Would clearer and only 3-4 cards would be slightly affected.

Yep, I kind of agree. I guess that Damon is simply reluctant to change any of the Core Rules at this point.

I've just searched for a few cards that might be affected by this ruling, here's two examples I found:

Dreamlands Messenger
[Shub-Niggurath] Spawn of Madness F13 / Illustrator: Anders Finer
[Character] - Servitor.
Cost : 3 / Skill : 2 / Icons: T
Game Text: While Dreamlands Messenger is committed to a story, each player cannot play events or trigger card abilities.

Since it refers to card abilities rather than card effects this would e.g. not prevent the following effect from working:

Living Mummy
[Yog-Sothoth] Core Set F104 / Illustrator: Matt Dixon
[Character] - Monster.
Cost : 4 / Skill : 4 / Icons: CCA
Game Text: Forced Response: After Living Mummy enters your discard pile from play, wound all characters.
Flavor text: The book had warned of this, mused Vaughn. He had succeeded in raising nothing but the liveliest awfulness.

Likewise

Eye of the Deep
[Cthulhu] The Path to Y'ha-nthlei F108 / Illustrator: J.P. Targete
[Event] -
Cost : 3
Game Text: Action: Choose every character in play with printed skill 3 or lower. Those characters are considered 1 skill characters with no abilities and CCA until the end of the phase.

While the characters would lose any abilities, they'd keep 'card effects' like the Living Mummy's.

 

This is really quite interesting and will definitely affect my choice of cards for my next tournament deck!

@Yipe: I just sent three rules questions to Damon (well actually it was five questions ). I'll post the answers in case they reveal anything new or surprising.



#12 Yipe

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 12:33 PM

jhaelen said:

@Yipe: I just sent three rules questions to Damon (well actually it was five questions ). I'll post the answers in case they reveal anything new or surprising.

Please do.  I think it helps to get out as much info to the general community as possible.



#13 badash56

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 03:05 AM

I am confused how Dreamlands Messneger works, a clarification on what it exactly prevents would be great.  I'm still not sure if Forced Responses would trigger. 



#14 AUCodeMonkey

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 03:28 AM

I had a comment about some card in the latest AP that my wife and I had a disagreement on. I'll let you know when I get back home and look at the cards again, and we'll have it out on the forums until one of us asks Damon



#15 jhaelen

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:15 AM

One of the answers I received my be of interest to others, so here it goes:

Museum Curator
[Miskatonic University] The Wailer Below F70 / Illustrator: Tom Garden
[Character] - Faculty.
Cost : 2 / Skill : 2 / Icons: A
Game Text: Response: After Museum Curator enters play, search the top 5 cards of your deck for a support card and put it into play. Put the rest of the cards on the bottom of your deck.

Q) What happens if the only support card among the five searched cards is one that is (usually) attached to an opponent's character, but currently none are in play? E.g. Called By Azathoth or even stranger Infernal Obession?

A) The player must put the card into play (even if it means it is discarded. Not finding a card that is present is not a legal option. This is where good sportsmanship comes into play. If a player does not trust their opponent they should call a TO over to ensure that no cards meeting the criteria is present. I will include this in the tournament rules during their next update so every player knows that calling a TO over is something they can choose to do and that pretending not to find a support card when the effect would otherwise for you to put one into play is violation of the rules.

This is an interesting answer, because there are several other similar situations that might come up in a game.



#16 Yipe

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 05:42 AM

The following question was raised in the Deck Construction sub-forum.  I'm answering it here (and there) to get the conversation back to its proper place.

RE: EXPENDABLE MUSCLE

Q:  What happens when Expendable Muscle and another friendly character are committed to a story where all characters are wounded simultaneously (e.g. through Feeding Frenzy, Dynamite or Ravager of the Deep)?

A:  Expendable Muscle becomes an attachment that grants +1 Toughness to any character you control after it would receive the wound. Since all the other characters at that story have been wounded at the same time Expendable Muscle becomes an attachment unless they have Toughness already they will be destroyed and will not be legal targets to receive him as an attachment. If you would like I can show how this works in the Timing chart.



#17 Yipe

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 09:22 AM

Damon wrote me back with a detailed answer of the timing structure and how this interacts with Expendable Muscle's passive ability:

There is one simple thing that you have to understand in order to apply the FAQ correctly, and that is Expendable Muscle is a replacement effect, designated as such by the word "instead" (which the FAQ clearly states makes it a replacement effect). Once we know this then what we are really trying to figure out is what is it replacing and when does that happen?

1) ACTION IS INITIATED

After a player initiates an action, the timing window starts. For the initiation stage of any player action, a player must go through the following substeps, in order. The first step is always revealing the card or declaring the intent to use an ability.

THEN:

a) Determine the cost (to either play the card or pay for the card’s effect) or costs (if multiple costs are necessary for the intended action).

b) Check play restrictions, including verification and designation of applicable targets or cards to be effected. This is where Expendable Muscle's Passive is resolved on the wounding effect.

c) Apply any penalties to the cost(s). (Any effects that modify a penalty are applied to that penalty before it becomes a part of the cost.)

d) Apply any other active modifiers (including reducers) to the cost(s).

e) Pay the cost(s).

f) Play the card, or trigger the effect, and proceed to step two.


2) DISRUPTS

In clockwise order, players now have the opportunity to disrupt the action. If all players pass, then the action will be executed, and can no longer be disrupted.


3) ACTION IS EXECUTED

The active player now executes the effects of the action. If this action discards or destroys one or more cards, returns one or more cards to a player’s hand or deck, these cards immediately leave play. This is where the wounding effect having been altered by Expendable Muscle's Passive effect is executed. All characters wounded and Expendable Muscle becomes an attachment due to its passive effect having been resolved in step 1.



#18 Magnus Arcanis

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 12:49 PM

Yipe said:

Damon wrote me back with a detailed answer of the timing structure and how this interacts with Expendable Muscle's passive ability:

There is one simple thing that you have to understand in order to apply the FAQ correctly, and that is Expendable Muscle is a replacement effect, designated as such by the word "instead" (which the FAQ clearly states makes it a replacement effect). Once we know this then what we are really trying to figure out is what is it replacing and when does that happen?

1) ACTION IS INITIATED

After a player initiates an action, the timing window starts. For the initiation stage of any player action, a player must go through the following substeps, in order. The first step is always revealing the card or declaring the intent to use an ability.

THEN:

a) Determine the cost (to either play the card or pay for the card’s effect) or costs (if multiple costs are necessary for the intended action).

b) Check play restrictions, including verification and designation of applicable targets or cards to be effected. This is where Expendable Muscle's Passive is resolved on the wounding effect.

c) Apply any penalties to the cost(s). (Any effects that modify a penalty are applied to that penalty before it becomes a part of the cost.)

d) Apply any other active modifiers (including reducers) to the cost(s).

e) Pay the cost(s).

f) Play the card, or trigger the effect, and proceed to step two.


2) DISRUPTS

In clockwise order, players now have the opportunity to disrupt the action. If all players pass, then the action will be executed, and can no longer be disrupted.


3) ACTION IS EXECUTED

The active player now executes the effects of the action. If this action discards or destroys one or more cards, returns one or more cards to a player’s hand or deck, these cards immediately leave play. This is where the wounding effect having been altered by Expendable Muscle's Passive effect is executed. All characters wounded and Expendable Muscle becomes an attachment due to its passive effect having been resolved in step 1.

I see what he did there….

However Damon should not use the word "resloved" in either the description of the ruling or the FAQ. Resloved should mean to completely reslove the effect.  To competely reslove EM's effect should invovle it being turned into a attachment. Also, the wording from EM does not lead to me to believe that this is how it should be handled. The text "would be" should not mean "when <card> is" in my opinion.

To achieve Damon's result I would then suggest an erratta to EM. "When EM is wounded or is made to go insanse, instead…." 

Likewise I would also ammend Richard Upton Pickman as his wording is pretty much identical.

To keep things intuitive.

would be = before step 3.

when ~ is = during step 3.

after ~ is = after step 3.

Or something similiar.

EDIT: when ~ is might not be the best solution. As there are cards that used "when" instead of "while."

In either case, I'm gonna chalk this up to poor wording. I do think cards should be used as written and not as intended, but that can create some odd non-intuitive situations as well, but I still think its better than going off of intent.

Kinda like Lady Lu Chu's effect. "When Lady Lu Chu is the only character you control at a story, she gains Fast and ©©." Is that supposed to be "While"? or does she gain extra fast and CC everytime she ends up being alone when intereacting with cards that move, commit and uncommit charactes from stories.

Naturealy I read that as a "while" effect. Reading it closer now, I'm not so sure.
 



#19 Penfold

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 10:49 AM

 I think at this point I have to ask if you are purposefully being difficult. You don't like the answer so you insist that it is wrong, despite his explanation being exceptionally clear. At some point you have to just accept that you are 1) wrong, 2) don't understand the timing structure as well as you think, 3) don't know what the definitions of the words are in game terms. And what the heck, 4) refuse to adjust your understanding of any of the above.

#4 for me is the most troubling. I can't even begin to understand why time and again you seem un-willing or un-able to adjust your understanding of the game. It is like you aren't even considering that your understanding is wrong. You'd rather blame it on bad wording rather than a bad understanding of the rules.

I mean those misinterpretations don't effect me, and thankfully with Damon being easily reachable and people here posting his replies, other players are not so duly influenced by said mistakes, but it does constantly imply that the game is at fault, or he is at fault, rather than you being at fault, and that is never a good face to put on our game and community for potential new players. I also have no idea how much your opinion impacts your local play group, but I wouldn't be surprised  if they end up conceiving of the game wrongly and echo your reluctance to refine or adapt their knowledge of the game.



#20 Magnus Arcanis

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 03:12 PM

Penfold said:

 I think at this point I have to ask if you are purposefully being difficult. You don't like the answer so you insist that it is wrong, despite his explanation being exceptionally clear. At some point you have to just accept that you are 1) wrong, 2) don't understand the timing structure as well as you think, 3) don't know what the definitions of the words are in game terms. And what the heck, 4) refuse to adjust your understanding of any of the above.

#4 for me is the most troubling. I can't even begin to understand why time and again you seem un-willing or un-able to adjust your understanding of the game. It is like you aren't even considering that your understanding is wrong. You'd rather blame it on bad wording rather than a bad understanding of the rules.

I mean those misinterpretations don't effect me, and thankfully with Damon being easily reachable and people here posting his replies, other players are not so duly influenced by said mistakes, but it does constantly imply that the game is at fault, or he is at fault, rather than you being at fault, and that is never a good face to put on our game and community for potential new players. I also have no idea how much your opinion impacts your local play group, but I wouldn't be surprised  if they end up conceiving of the game wrongly and echo your reluctance to refine or adapt their knowledge of the game.

2) I definatley don't understand them as well I would like.

3) Game terms has become a challenge for this game (and increasingly so for me), and I'm trying my best to understand them as written. Which over the years, the intent has not always been accurately shown.

4) Actually I have adjusted. I had a bit of that Ah-ha moment with Damon's latest answer. Now I fully see how they saw it. All I'm doing at this point was pointing out that some of they're intent is not intuitively shown by some of the game terms used to decribe their intent. Granted, I am gonna apologize here in that I had originally meant to come off more constructive than defiant than I did in my last post. It was hastly typed and under extreme exhaustion. I blamed the 'bad' wording as the primary cause of why FFG and I seem to disgaree on this subject. Bad may not of been the best choice of words to descibe my meaning either, but lets face it. In the case of 'resloved' currently not having consistant meanings is…. bad? Slightly off? A slip of the tongue? Confusing?

I am more than capable of addmitting when I'm wrong. However, for that most part… I don't think that I am in that case. I'm not gonna apologize for continueing to provide evidence of my intreptation of the rules as written. And I'm not gonna apologize for taking anyone's ruling at face value (nor would I be if anyone did not take my word at face value). Not that I'm gonna immediately defy them, but before accepting it I prefer to come to my own conclusion. If my conclusion and the rulers' conclusion happen to be the same then great. Easy. That actually happens more often than you'd might think.

So, no. I'm not purposely trying to be difficult. However, I'm not gonna just roll over just because someone said so as long as I have solid ground to stand on (obvioulsy without solid ground I would already be at the conclusion that was I wrong). Most of this was an exercise in improving my knowledge of how this game is now to be ruled. Not to just to disagree. And I've learned a lot and believe that we're bascially down to semantics and subtle word choice at this point.

I can get more into how I'm getting to my newest conclusions, but I'll have to save that for another day. But I don't like the answer because I think it is wrong under the written rules and thus suggested a change so their intent is shown.

I encourage anyone who cares to really study, and I mean really study, the wording used and form their own opinion. Obviously we have Damon's ruling and we all should follow it until otherwise noted. Still, FFG can be wrong, can change its mind, and can be convinced. Just like everyone else (including me). I did take that long look at the wording used in both the cards and the faq and came to my own conclusion that I still don't think is incorrect. Everything lines up for me, and seeing Damon's latest explanation, to me, actually supports many of my claims. Again, I encourage anyone to do the same and hopefully together we can create a better FAQ for everyone.

If anything I'm trying to help the game by shooting for accuracy (again, apologizing for not being a bit more constructive in my disagreements, questions, and suggestions). This may be a little idealist, but inconsistant wording in this game's history is a problem on some very subtle levels and I hope to either help right the boat or at least gain an understanding how a rule is actually supposed to work.

As for my local play group. I encourage them to make their own decisions. If they ask me for a ruling, I give the most official one I can. If they ask for my explanation of it, and if it happens to be one I disagree with or simply can't explain how FFG came to this conclusion… I tell them that I don't know, and its just how it is ruled. And of course… we all follow the most current offical rulings and still manage to have a ton of fun and bring in new players! Side note, have a roster of ~8 players now. With possibly more on the way and I play at the epicenter of the '08 attack. Which speaks volumes in my opinion. ;)

With the exception of Damon (and those relaying his message) no one has offered any evidence to disprove my opinions other than… "Damon said it works <this> way and on some level it makes sense."

To end this on a positive note. Damon has done a lot for this game. True, I don't believe he's fixed everything, but I never expected him to. I, right here, and right now, rather give him credit and props for the improvements he has made for this game. As much as people (including me), complain, disagree, challenge, etc… Damon on certain subjects I'm quite certain that we all can agree that things, overall, have improved since he was placed in charge. Sure hes had help and what not, but when its all said and done the buck (i imagine) usually stops with him for many decisions. For me its always about improvement and thats what we've gotten.

 






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