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Analyze cards. Then, delete "if able", if able.


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#1 .Zephyr.

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 12:45 AM

Detailed :if able: analysys

Conclusions:

If able does much more wrong than good. There are only a few cards that benefit from if able - those witch don't need the whole "if able" section in FAQ because they're obvious. Cards that try to use it in a more complicated way end up in FAQ and confuse players. Not a single card depends on detailed "if able" semantics and doesn't need FAQ for explanation of what it does… Most just confirm obvious…

Suggestion:

Get rid of "if able" FAQ section, explain those few cards that use it in non obvious way and never use if able in a non obvious way in the future.

Research detains:

After a discussion of one new card effect i decided to check how important "if able" wording is.

A poll on carddb fount that 35 of 1068 cards have "if able" in their test box.

Out of those 35 vast majority doesn't really need this problematic part, as their cards like:

Telephatic cthonian Response: After a support card is destroyed, choose an opponent. That opponent must sacrifice a character, if able.
or
• Bokrug: Forced Response: After Bokrug is wounded as the result of a C struggle, choose and wound another character committed to that story, if able.

Those cards just say that if it is impossible to do sth you cant do it… great, like i didn't knew that already. But doesn't harm. No faq details needed.

Many cards say "must commit to story, if able" so it pretty much doesn't change much, but is nice as it clarifies precedence with cards that stop certain characters from commiting to certain stories. No faq details needed.

There are a few funny ones:
Response: After Unlikely Informant commits to a story, choose an opponent. That opponent reveals his hand, if able.
If you win this conspiracy, you may cause all characters in play to lose Willpower and then go insane, if able.
If you win this conspiracy, you may search your deck for any conspiracy card and put it into play, if able.
Action: Choose an opponent. That opponent gains control of The Dunwich Horror, if able. If control changes[…]
I completely don't get whats the clause for. No faq details needed.

 [EDIT] hmm Underwater is not clear because "if able" + "all characters"… [/EDIT]

3 characters forced responses that make clear you can play them even if nothing happens in response
(and i dont know if you couldn't if there was no if able… i guess you still could…) No faq details needed.

The cards that are left are:
Brain transplant, with [Action: Choose an insane character and a ready character controlled by the same player. The ready character goes insane, if able. Then, restore and ready the targeted insane character.]
that got a FAQ entry because of "if able" -> "then" that is completely unnecessary on this card.
[Action: Choose an insane character and a ready character controlled by the same player. Restore and ready the targeted insane character. The ready character goes insane, if able.] would be so much better, and have "good if able".

Byakhee Attack
Play during your operations phase. Action: Each opponent chooses and discards 2 cards from his hand, if able.
another FAQ entry…

Charles Dexter Ward
very nice "if able" clarifying this card is awesome :) and not obvious change to card text No faq details needed.

Initiate of Huang Hun
Response: After Initiate of Huang Hun enters play, each player returns a character he control to its owner's hand if able.
hmm needs FAQ IMO - "each" +  "if able" combo… does he return to hand if opponent has no characters of not; dont know scope of if able…

Initiation of Glaaki
Action: Choose an opponent. That opponent must sacrifice a character, if able. Then, you may put Servents of Glaaki into play from your discard pile.
needs FAQ. Is it like Brain transplant? If so get rid rid that stupid then… If you need sacrifice to get glaki servants back what's "if able" for…

Nightmares!
(only if its night) Action: Choose a character. That character goes insane, if able. Otherwise, return it to the top of its owner's deck.
nice if able, notice no then and Otherwise that's not a magic keyword but is clear No faq details needed.
(and nice card to get rid of ancient ones etc)

The Black Goat's Rage
Action: Each player counts the (T) icons on all readied characters he controls. The player who counts the fewest (T) icons must immediately chose two characters he controls to go insane, if able.
FAQ entry, and it makes card bad… as having only one character protects him from insane and this is definetly not what "if able" literal meaning suggests

[edit]

missed
Flare Gun
Response: After attached character commits to a story on your turn, pay 1 to choose up to two characters. Those characters must commit to that story, if able.
looked so innocent, but can target 2 characters. What happens when one of them becomes unable to commit… FAQ needed as again if able doestn say does it bind two characters or each of them has his commit "if abled"… FFG pls don relay on "if able" in any magick way, its so wrong…



#2 COCLCG

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 04:55 AM

.Zephyr. said:

 

Action: Choose an opponent. That opponent gains control of The Dunwich Horror, if able. If control changes[…]
I completely don't get whats the clause for. No faq details needed.

 

 

dunwich horror cannot be given to a player who has heroic characters as both cannot be 'owned'. that's my 2 cents.



#3 .Zephyr.

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 12:57 PM

And cant be given to player who already has Dunwitch horror. the point is that next sentence starts with "If control changed" so this "if able" clause does exactly nothing, as effect of triggering  him while it is impossible to transfer control is an empty action that doesn't affect the game…



#4 karat

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 07:49 AM

.Zephyr. said:

Brain transplant, with [Action: Choose an insane character and a ready character controlled by the same player. The ready character goes insane, if able. Then, restore and ready the targeted insane character.] 

that got a FAQ entry because of "if able" -> "then" that is completely unnecessary on this card.
[Action: Choose an insane character and a ready character controlled by the same player. Restore and ready the targeted insane character. The ready character goes insane, if able.] would be so much better, and have "good if able".

Wait a minute.  That is *not* what the FAQ says.  Maybe that's the accepted interpretation of that card, but that's not addressed by the FAQ.  I've spent several hours searching forums and scanning the FAQ trying to research that card and not gotten a solid answer.  You have no idea how frustrated I am with this.

The FAQ mentions brain transplant twice.  Once for "any phase" -> "action".  Once under targeting.  The targeting part says:

"For example, with Brain Transplant (Summons of the Deep F111) you may target one insane character and one ready character who are both controlled by the same player, as per the targeting requirement. If the ready character has Willpower or a @ icon, it is ineligible for the second part of the card’s effect (“The ready character goes insane, if able”), so that part of the effect is ignored."

The FAQ never says the insane character gets restored and readied in this case.  Of couse, it doesn't says that the insane character doesn't get restored and readied.  It's simply not there.  All that's said is that you can *target* those characters and that a character with Willpower or Terror icons doesn't go insane.  No mention is made of what happens to the other card.  Hence, my frustration.

Look at the card: "Action: Choose an insane character and a ready character controlled by the same player. The ready character goes insane, if able. Then, restore and ready the targeted insane character."

There is a "Then" qualifier.  The FAQ does say:

"Any time two effects are linked by the word “then,” the first effect must resolve in order for the second effect to occur."

What the FAQ doesn't say is whether "Do X, if able" is always considered "resolved" even if not able.  (Potential loophole: "Do X" is clearly not resolved, but perhaps "Do X, if able" is considered resolved by some interpretations of logic.)

I've been trying to figure out what the accepted community interpretation of the card is, but it's just not explicitly given in the FAQ -- much to my own frustration.  I still don't know what the community interpretation is, even after browsing all the posts I have.  (I was starting to lean the way opposite to what you said.)

If the community interpretation is what you make it out to be, then how do we generalize?  Does "Do X, if able.  Then do Y" always have Y take place (in which case, the "Then" is irrelevant)?

Perhaps 10 years of AI and logic has warped my sense of semantics, but this isn't obvious to me, one way or another.  The only thing I am adamant about is that this is not clear from the FAQ alone.

What is the accepted community interpretation of this card?

PS The preview of Feral Elder Thing is up, and that's really going to need clarifying: "Each player, do X, if able.  Then, each player do Y."  Does each player individually decide if they do X, or is it all or nothing for all players at once?  (another example of "each player, if able")  However, even worse than that is the "Then" -- who does Y under what circumstances?  Do all players do Y always (by the possible generalization above)?  Do only the players who did X do Y? (A horrible interpretation semantically, since that would make more sense as "Each player then" rather than "Then each player")  Do all players do Y, but only if all players did X? (Possibly the most logically consistent explanation.)



#5 .Zephyr.

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:24 AM

You are right…

and


WHO THE HELL WRITES FAQ LIKE THIS

YOU CAN TARGET… BUT NOTHING WILL HAPPEN… AND I WILL NOT MENTION THAT IN THE DOCUMENT THAT IS SUPPOSED TO CLARIFY RULES NOT CONFUSE PLAYERS MORE…

 

sorry for for introducing this stupid idea of "if able" into "then"…



#6 Penfold

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 04:42 AM

 If Able has its own defintion supplied in the FAQ. I still don't see why Zephyr keeps ignoring this fact and is trying to supply it with a new definition. Check that out and if you still have problems figuring out if the Then effect works we can work through it together.



#7 .Zephyr.

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 05:56 AM

My main problem with if able was that "if able" ->"then" when i thought then part does resolve in Transplantation.

If it doesn't then its less unintuitive so is not that bad.

 

My other problem is "when can you play the card", what stops you from playing the card and when can you play the card and just ignore the part of effect that doesnt do anything. When does the effect resolve as much as it can, and when all or nothing.

FAQ entries on If able, then, multiple effects, choosing etc seem to address this issue, but in a really confusing way… i guess its not the problem of if able, its a problem of rewriting FAQ to actually explain when exactly effect cannot be triggered and when exactly it is partially executed.

 



#8 karat

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 06:48 AM

Penfold said:

 If Able has its own defintion supplied in the FAQ. I still don't see why Zephyr keeps ignoring this fact and is trying to supply it with a new definition. Check that out and if you still have problems figuring out if the Then effect works we can work through it together.

The Byakhee Attack example is good (if you only have 1 card, don't discard it).  However, it doesn't explicitly answer my question.  I lean towards interpreting "Do X, if able.  Then, do Y" as meaning to only do Y if X was done.  However, there is a logical loophole that could be used -- claiming that while "Do X" didn't resolve, "Do X, if able" did resolve (analagous to elementary logic -- "If A, then B" is true as a statement, even if A is false).  Mind you, I still think the former (do Y only if you were able to do X) makes more common sense, but in LCGs sometimes common sense can steer you wrong.

 

I just want to know the commonly accepted answer -- if I play brain transplant and the ready character has willpower (or a terror icon), does the insane character restore and ready?

Also, there's still the whole mess of "Each player, do X, if able. Then, each player do Y."  There are something like 5 possible interpretations of that.



#9 .Zephyr.

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 07:29 AM

 Do X if able then Y as far as i understand it now means

Try to do X completely. If you cant do all of X do nothing. If you did X then do Y.

I was confused by faq example that should conclude in "character is not restored" but left if to the reader to figure out.

Sorry for spreading my confusion.

About Each X if able. Then Y i still dont know so im not even trying.



#10 Penfold

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 09:03 AM

 This is why I said to read the FAQ. It is defined in there in a pretty darn easy to understand fashion.

(2.19) “If Able”
Certain card effects contain the text “if able.” For these cards all normal rules apply for choosing targets and triggering effects, with one exception: If there is no legal target during resolution, there is no effect.

Do X if able = If X cannot be done nothing is done.

So Do X, if able. Then Do Y. X must have happened successfully in it entirety, not partially, in order for Y to happen.

Can you point out how with this definition of "If Able" from the FAQ could be interpreted in a fashion where Y will happen anyway? I'm not trying to be confrontational, my knowing this is the way it works may be interfering with my ability to see another side.



#11 .Zephyr.

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:05 AM

 (1.8) Eligible Targets

 
In order to target a card with an effect, that card must meet the targeting requirements. Any part of the effect for which that character is ineligible is simply ignored.For example, with Brain Transplant (Summons of the Deep F111) you may target one insane character and one ready character who are both controlled by the same player, as per the targeting requirement. If the ready character has Willpower or a T icon, it is ineligible for the second part of the card’s effect (“The ready character goes insane, if able”), so that part of the effect is ignored.
 
This entry. It is an example so i thought it illustrates some useful interaction. In this case i thought that first part is ignored but second will occur. The faq didn't say anything about second part though… I dont get why they chose as an example a more complicated interaction of "choose + if able + then" explaining only part of it. I thought they mentioned it because it was unintuitive, turns out i just got confused.
 
Now i have no problem with "Do X if able, then do Y." as before i got this completely wrong and that was the cause of my reaction to if able.
 
I still have problem with
Each players does X if able.
pay 1 to choose up to two characters. Those characters must commit to that story, if able. (what if one of them is not able) [edit] changed to actual card text [/edit]
 
And when exactly is targetting requirement not met so you cant play the card, and when is it just ignore the part you cant do and do rest as much as possible. When there is no if able. Because if able means "all or nothing, but you can play anyway" but what to do when there is no if able. I think there should be general rules that need no "if able" or "if able" should appear on all cards that can fail but you can still play them.


#12 TheProfessor

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:24 AM

Penfold said:

 This is why I said to read the FAQ. It is defined in there in a pretty darn easy to understand fashion.

(2.19) “If Able”
Certain card effects contain the text “if able.” For these cards all normal rules apply for choosing targets and triggering effects, with one exception: If there is no legal target during resolution, there is no effect.

Do X if able = If X cannot be done nothing is done.

So Do X, if able. Then Do Y. X must have happened successfully in it entirety, not partially, in order for Y to happen.

Can you point out how with this definition of "If Able" from the FAQ could be interpreted in a fashion where Y will happen anyway? I'm not trying to be confrontational, my knowing this is the way it works may be interfering with my ability to see another side.

So you are arguing that "resolve" is the same thing as "some effect"?

"Then" requires that the first effect must resolve before carrying out the second effect.

The fact that nothing might happen as a result of "if able" doesn't mean that the first did not resolve, did it?  I would argue that it resolved with no effect.



#13 Penfold

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 12:44 PM

 That argument would not be based on the rules though in regards to successfully resolve. The effect actually must happen to successfully resolve, no effect is not successfully resolving the effect. No effect/effect… it is right in the words we are using.



#14 .Zephyr.

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 02:03 PM

I dont think this is important anymore. I think what is important that i

- usually get rules really fast

 - re reed FAQ 6 times 

 - i tried really hard to get rules

 - still dont know details on using Core set card Small price to pay…

guess ill just write down stuff i have problem with when i play and ask here, trying to get general rules of this game is pointless.

 

edit:

about this discussion.

"That argument would not be based on the rules"

seriously, when you teach someone you try to present knowledge in a way that is acessible, not in a random order FAQ that splits information about one thing in random fashion and while not being exactly wrong fails really hard at making rules clear.

I want rules that say when can you play a card and when you cant play a card.

I want rules that say when effect is ignored and when it is carried out as far as possible.

Theyre split all over the FAQ… and interaction of FAQ fragments is harder to get then actual card interaction….

 

FAQ has paragraph about

(2.25) Resource Match 

Card effects that grant a resource match do not affect other costs, such as Steadfast. Resource match effects do, however, affect Loyal cards unless otherwise stated in game text.

Is there a single card that provides resource match in the pool?



#15 TheProfessor

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 03:58 PM

Penfold said:

 That argument would not be based on the rules though in regards to successfully resolve. The effect actually must happen to successfully resolve, no effect is not successfully resolving the effect. No effect/effect… it is right in the words we are using.

Certainly it is clear that the rules require resolution of the first effect.  But, resolution could be "nothing happened." I don't think it is crystal clear from the rules or FAQ as to whether or not something that failed, but was under an "if able" clause, has resolved or not.

I understand it differently than you - I take the "if able" clause to mean something akin to "even if this effect would normally not happen, you can consider it resolved with no effect."  But that is certainly not in the FAQ - that is my personal take on it.  Otherwise, what would be the point of "if able"? Given an effect that cannot be paid, it doesn't resolve - that's in the FAQ.  The purpose of "if able" must be to create a different situation?



#16 jhaelen

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 08:42 PM

TheProfessor said:

Otherwise, what would be the point of "if able"? Given an effect that cannot be paid, it doesn't resolve - that's in the FAQ.  The purpose of "if able" must be to create a different situation?
That's my problem with 'if able' in a nutshell.

Take for example Y'Golonac:

Action: Pay 1 to choose and ready a character. That character must commit to the same story as Y'Golonac, if able.

What's the effect of 'if able' on that card? What would change if you just omitted it?

And if there actually is a change, wouldn't there be a more intuitive way to describe how the ability is supposed to work?

 

 

Actually, I have the impression that on many (or most) cards, the 'if able' isn't used in the way it's defined in the FAQ. It seems to be more a case of it being added 'for good measure' in a colloquial sense, rather than being actually required to exactly define its effect.

 

'Byakhee Attack' is one of the few cards where I actually get why it uses 'if able'. Incidentally, it's also the example used in the FAQ.



#17 .Zephyr.

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:12 AM

113 out of 1000 cards use "then" 

35 out of 1000 cards use "if able"

Brain Transplant, Horrid Dreams, Initiation of Glaaki, Polar Fog, The Endless Investigation, The Underwater Conspiracy use both words

Brain Transplant, Initiation of Glaaki, The Endless Investigation are the only cards that base their "then" execution where previous effect includes if able.

3 cards in the pool of 1000, this combination of effects almost doesn't happen. So those few cards could have been worded clearly instead on basing their mechanics on confusing hard to grasp special words.
 

If albe -> then [How can you get confused by faq to get the opposite of working ruling]

FAQ "Any time two effects are linked by the word “then,” the first effect must resolve in order for the second effect to occur. "

And there is no clear definition of resolves. Does this mean it actually changed the game state? Or it was not cancelled? Or what?
(Example about discarding 2 cards suggests it hes to take full effect, i still think there should be a rule not an example that you have to get the rule from.)

FAQ on if able "If there is no legal target during resolution, there is no effect."

So the resolution of  text with "if able" on not good target is no effect, i can completely resolve "nothing happens" without much problem. So when "then" was based on it i did resolve, so "then …" should also happen.

One of the 3 (sic) cards that have this interaction is in the faq and it doesn't break this interpretetion…

FAQ "For example, with Brain Transplant (Summons of the Deep F111) you may target one insane character and one ready character who are both controlled by the same player, as per the targeting requirement. If the ready character has Willpower or a T icon, it is ineligible for the second part of the card’s effect (“The ready character goes insane, if able”), so that part of the effect is ignored."

It only says that part is ignored, if that part is ignored it did resolve in its whole "no effect happens" way. And cards dont have perfect wording, so thinking this interaction would not have "then" in card text is not enough of an argument.



#18 .Zephyr.

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:35 AM

 There are a few things use of if able changes:

===== "you can play a card for no effect" - great, is this important enough to have a new special word, maybe just write it on a card; and it only affects targetting requirement not eny other effects, so it would be leagues better to have "try to choose" meaning you must choose good target if available, but it there is none this part of effect is ignored; and there are only a few cards like this so why general rule?

===== "all or nothing behaviour" - this is completely unintuivive as literal meaning of "if able" does not suggest it should work this way and needs FAQ for explanation of basic idea; Byakhee Attack is the only card in pool that has this effect…

there are more cards that might, but i think they do just opposite of that

 

Flare Gun Attachment.
Response: After attached character commits to a story on your turn, pay 1 to choose up to two characters. Those characters must commit to that story, if able.

 

Initiate of Huang Hun
Response: After Initiate of Huang Hun enters play, each player returns a character he control to its owner's hand if able.

Misguided Dreams
Action: Each character must commit to stories this turn, if able.

I think its not all or nothing here becouse if able refers to the effect that happens for each entity rather than whole each statement. So there is one card that is based on FAQ suggestion… and 3 that directly contradict faqs sugesstion… but its confusing and i dont know if im wrong again. If one of chosen characters becomes unable to commit is the other one forced to? I think yes, but i don't see the rule that clears this. If so this is just the opposite of good use of if able. Initiate enters play fires response (he doesnt have to) and opponent has no characters can he return one of his own? I think yes, so its another ruling the other way than Byakhee. Byakhee is >>>the only card<< that uses this rule. It has special general rule created for it… how awful way of explaining rules is that… [edit] sorry, black goats rage also uses this rule, 2 cards… [/edit]

===== "random confirmation of general rule that if it is not targeting requirement, but some effect cant occur, you can still play the card and this part is ignored" it is generally really bad, as it suggests other cards behave in other way. If it was on all cards that can fail this wouldnt be a problem. This is on a small subset only, and other cards still behave like this… this is really confusing.

If you just throw away all if able and just write in a faq "must commit" - this effect means the player cannot chcoose not to commit this character if character could have been commited; if character is unable to commit he will not commit; for example if he is exhausted or commit window for controlling player is already closed.



#19 dboeren

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 05:58 AM

TheProfessor said:

 

I understand it differently than you - I take the "if able" clause to mean something akin to "even if this effect would normally not happen, you can consider it resolved with no effect."  But that is certainly not in the FAQ - that is my personal take on it.  Otherwise, what would be the point of "if able"? Given an effect that cannot be paid, it doesn't resolve - that's in the FAQ.  The purpose of "if able" must be to create a different situation?[/QUOTE]

That is exactly how I interpret it as well, and if it DIDN'T work that way, then I agree - "if able" doesn't really do much.  But, when I tried to advance this same theory in another thread there were objections so I don't know…

I understand Zephyr's frustration.  He wants clear, precise, and unambiguous definitions, and the game does not always have them.  Even if they tried starting today, I think it would be impractical to go through and update all the old cards to match.



#20 karat

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 01:36 PM

TheProfessor said:

Penfold said:

 

 That argument would not be based on the rules though in regards to successfully resolve. The effect actually must happen to successfully resolve, no effect is not successfully resolving the effect. No effect/effect… it is right in the words we are using.

 

 

Certainly it is clear that the rules require resolution of the first effect.  But, resolution could be "nothing happened." I don't think it is crystal clear from the rules or FAQ as to whether or not something that failed, but was under an "if able" clause, has resolved or not.

I understand it differently than you - I take the "if able" clause to mean something akin to "even if this effect would normally not happen, you can consider it resolved with no effect."  But that is certainly not in the FAQ - that is my personal take on it.  Otherwise, what would be the point of "if able"? Given an effect that cannot be paid, it doesn't resolve - that's in the FAQ.  The purpose of "if able" must be to create a different situation?

… and that's why I've been frustrated trying to get a clear answer how brain transplant works.  There are two interpretations consistent with the FAQ and rules.

Feral Elder Thing is a nightmare to interpret: "Each player does X, if able.  Then, each player does Y."  There are 5 possible interpretations.

1) For each player A: (If A can do X, then A does X and Y.  Otherwise, nothing.)

2) For each player A: (If A can do X, then A does X).  If all players did X, then all players do Y.  Otherwise, no players do Y.

3) For each player A: (If A can do X, then A does X).  All players do Y, regardless.

4) If each player can do X, then all players do X and Y. Otherwise nothing.

5) If each player can do X, then all players do X. All players do Y, regardless.

 






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