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#1 HilariousPete

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 04:10 AM

Hello,

I just started collecting CoC, and while learning this game, some rule-questions came up. Any help on them is appreciated!

1) I'm thinking about when to discard event cards (FAQ 2.12). When does an action count as "resolved"? When it is executed to the last bit? This would mean that the "Call for Backup"'s Action is only resolved at the end of the phase I played it… by the FAQ, this should mean that the event card is discarded at the end of the phase that it has been played in. Correct? Seems a bit strange to me…

2) When a character cannot uncommit (e.g. Obsessive Detective), but would be destroyed by a game effect (e.g. because of a wound dealt in a combat struggle), it's obvious that the character gets destroyed (and therefore automatically uncommitted). But card text generally supersedes rule text, and the word "cannot" is an absolute… What's the proper reasoning that the Obsessive Detective gets uncommitted and goes into the discard pile despite of the word "cannot"?

3) Prof. Albert Wilmarth (Folklore Expert): Since this is a passive ability and is active all the time that character is committed, when does the player choose the struggle which doesn't resolve? (And why?) Could be important if "The Doorway" is in play, or if I'm afraid of an opponent having a "Shotgun Blast" or something like that in his hand… Do I have to decide the ommitted struggle at the moment Albert Wilmarth is committed, or may I wait just before the struggles start (the action windows are gone at this point), or may I even say "I will not omit the Terror struggle. After it has been resolved, I will tell you if I want to omit C, A or I struggle."?

4) The last question is about the timing scheme for actions in the FAQ in general. Several effects in it (which are not the action's effect itself, but e.g. costs for it) could lead to other possible responses/disrupts. Do they open a new timing scheme (like in programming, when a subroutine calls itself recursively)? Example: I have "G-AAMX" in play and my opponent "William Bain". I exhaust the G-AAMX (which is the cost for its Action, so the exhaustion should happen in step 1)e) of the timing scheme). May my opponent now trigger William Bain's effect, opening a new timing scheme like a subroutine, and my G-AAMX's action is put on hold (meaning he may manipulate his deck first); or may he trigger his response only in step 5) of the timing scheme for my G-AAMX's Action's cost, which means that my G-AAMX manipulates his deck first? I think the latter one is true, but I am not sure.
What would happen if William Bain's effect had been worded as a disrupt? Can costs be disrupted at all? Because costs are paid in 1)e), and disrupts may be triggered only later in step 2)…

Greetings,

Pete



#2 dboeren

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 07:28 AM

I'm no rules expert but I'll try…

1. My understanding is that the event is resolved once all of the current effects have happened (or failed to happen). A future effect set up by the card does not cause the card to be held up.

2. "If an effect has the word “cannot” in its description, then it is an absolute: Effects that attempt the described action will not affect any card that “cannot” be affected by such an effect. It is an illegal target and any card effect that seeks to specifically affect that card cannot be triggered."

Key point here is that destruction CAN target this character. The destruction event or wounding or whatever is not attempting to uncommit the character, so it passes the targeting restriction successfully. Now that the wound/destruction has happened the uncommitting slides through because nobody is trying to target anything anymore. There is no target check that "cannot" can make fail.

3. I think that you would choose when he commits, the FAQ says "Passive abilities are “always on,” and active whenever the circumstances of their text would indicate."  So, as soon as he commits his ability becomes active and a selection is required.

4. G-AAMX goes first, Bain's ability is not a Disrupt but a Response - so it doesn't take effect until your action completes. If it was a Disrupt Bain would go first.  You exhaust in 1e, then Bain triggers in 2, then G-AAMX's ability doesn't happen until 3.



#3 .Zephyr.

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 08:30 AM

 AD1 Im pretty sure this entry is just to clarify that cards that access discard pile don't have access to themselves, but are placed there after effect is resolved. If a card brings character to play it has resolved when character entered play. The duration of said effect (like "Return that character to your hand at the end of the phase.") is not "counted to" resolving effect IMO. I may be wrong, but this would be really weird and i dont really see a reason to wait that long before discarding an event.

AD2 Again, i cant quote any rule that says so. But i guess common sense will have to do. The idea of "cannot" is that it is more important than card or game effects. The idea of commiting is that character counts its stats at the story and can be hurt at the story. The idea of being dead is that you are dead… so if you are dead keeping you commited doesn't make much sense. Especially as cards that leave play and enter play again "lose memory" of any effects that they were previously applied. Arguing you cant die or go insane because you cannot be uncommited is too much of a rule lawyering for my taste, as this intepretation is as unintuitive as it gets.

AD3 I think it should have been worded better. I'd play you choose when he becomes commited and you cant change while he is commited. But i don't really see a rule that would support this interpretation.

AD4 I agree with previous post. You looked at too much detail in executing action, and the general picture is that responses take place after all stuff associated with taking an action is completed. Take a look at general timing structure and where response opportunities are placed. With disrupt it would've been trickier as they happen before action execution and can modify it.



#4 Penfold

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 08:45 AM

 Uncommiting like commiting is a specific game mechanic that creates the committed state. Cards can have other effects resolve on them that may result in a card no longer being uncommitted, such as being destroyed, without violating the "cannot" rule.



#5 HilariousPete

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 11:03 AM

Thanks alot for your answers!

1) I didn't think of the possibility that an event card manipulating the discard pile could do something with itself, if it weren't for FAQ 2.12… Yes, this could be the reason for this ruling. And I think I can also see your point - Call for Backup sets up a future effect, and therefore counts as resolved and goes to the discard pile just after bringing a character into play and setting up the effect.

2) Ah, that's a good reasoning (supposing I got you right Penfold) - "uncomitting" is a well-defined act and usually happens before the end of the story phase. But there are other acts that can change a character's state from committed to uncommitted (like destruction of the character), which don't count specifically as the act of "uncommitting". And are therefore not forbidden by "cannot uncommit".

3) Making the selection just when his ability switches on makes sense. And changing the omitted story later would seem a bit unfair. I'll play it as suggested.

4) I asked myself if the timing scheme is resolved in 1 single block (so straight through the numbers 1 to 7), or if some acts could start a new timing scheme like a subroutine, putting the old scheme on hold… From your answers, it's just "1 to 7 and no new sub-schemes", ok.

Greetings, and thx again,
Pete



#6 .Zephyr.

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 11:19 AM

 "Subrutines" are started by Passive effects and Forced responses and they might be important for disrupts. Responses occur after all of them have been resolved.



#7 jhaelen

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 11:11 PM

The relevant FAQ entry to answer question 3) is the following:

When does the player who controls Chess
Prodigy (Summons of the Deep F25) name
what struggle is being replaced?

The player who controls Chess Prodigy
names the struggle after Chess Prodigy is
committed to a story. After the struggle
type is named, the replacement effect
(counting Investigation icons instead
of that struggle’s normal icons) will
resolve even if Chess Prodigy has been
uncommitted from the story or leaves
play. Once an effect has been initiated it
must be resolved (unless it is a triggered
effect that has been canceled by a
disrupt).

There's also an important general explanation about passive effects that are initiated at a specific time in section (2.3):

Some passive effects have a specific time
that their effect will initiate, this should
NOT be confused with them being
triggered effects.



#8 .Zephyr.

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 11:34 PM

 Chess Prodigy has completely different wording:

 When Chess Prodigy commits to a story on your turn, name a struggle type. Resolve that struggle type at that story by counting I icons instead of that struggle type's normal icons at that story this phase. The normal struggle effects still apply.

This one is clear. (The problematic part was "is effect cancelled when Chess prodigy leaves play" and FAQ clears that nicely) Professor says:

While Professor Albert Wilmarth is committed to a story, that story card loses an icon struggle of your choice.

And this clearly lacks any timing information on when you decide what icon is chosen and has this problem of "maybe i might change my choice to skip more struggles". I do think it doesn't work this way but wording isn't as clear as chess prodigy.



#9 Penfold

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 05:16 AM

 The answer is still in the FAQ, just look at the Timing Section. Committing is an action. His ability is a passive. All passives initiate the very first moment they can. Because it is not a player controlled triggered effect (Action: Response: Disrupt:) but a a passive it MUST resolve at that first opportunity. In other words once Wilmarth has been committed, before any other effects can trigger (except a Disrupt: that has a "When a character would commit" as its trigger), it must be resolved. There is no other time for it to do so, and nothing in the rules to support the player making the choice of when he wants to resolve it since it is not a player triggered effect.

NOTE: That last sentence is incredibly important when trying to figure out rules. Being able to argue that a thing does not happen when or how is one thing, sometimes the wording is complicated or not very clear. Being able to cast doubt on it is not the same thing as being able to provide an argument, in the rules, or another interpretation being supported over that one or even to the same level. In this example we could try and argue because it does not state specifically within the wording when it happens the player gets to choose, but there is literally nothing in the rules to support that alternate interpretation, where as the timing chart is very clear about when passives initiate and resolve and the definition of passive show clearly that it is a game function not a player choice when it resolves.



#10 HilariousPete

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 11:57 AM

Thx again for all the input, helps me understanding the subtleties of the rules a lot…

After re-reading the posts several times and also the respective passages in the FAQ, I agree with the interpretations. Pretty tough stuff.

Zephyr has nailed the cause of my problem: The usage of "while" (-> time interval) instead of "when" (-> 1 single point in timeline), which seemed to me that Wilmarth's passive effect it is just a lasting effect which is active or not. But you are right, it has to make the transition from the off-state to the on-state at a specific point in time, and this has to be step 4) in timing structure, ok. Though I would have never thought that conditional lasting passive effects (e.g. "while committed, all your characters get +1 skill") are actually considered to be triggered at some point in time!

@Penfold: What you say about "trying to figure out the rules" is true, but for a new player, it is sometimes hard to see which rule interpretation is "making things up" and which is "supported by the rules, interpreted in their context". At the end of the post comes another example in which I am unsure what is what.

While reading, I found out another very important thing (similar to jhaelen's quoted 2.3, but I didn't get the full meaning at first), and want to state it here in case another new player looks at this thread:

Although they can be triggered, passive abilities are no triggered effects! Sounds very paradox in the beginning, but is clarified in the FAQ: Step 4) of the timing structure (which is actually using the words "passive abilites are triggered") and this entry here:

Are stories triggered effects?
No. All triggered effects begin with
a bold word denoting what kind of
triggered effect they are, when and how
they may be triggered. Stories without
this bold trigger word are passive
effects. Passive effects will state if there
are a particular timing restriction to
when they initiate and how to resolve
that effect. This can be referred to as
a trigger for the cards passive effect,
but it does not make the story effect
(or any passive effect on any other type
of card) a triggered effect
(see Passive
Effects, FAQ. see Triggered Effects,
Rulebook.)
Emphasis mine.

So there actually is a difference between "triggered effect" vs. "an effect just triggered"… Another question raises from this: Can Ward Phillips cancel a passive ability?

Applying the "trying figuring out the rules" by Penfold, I am inclined to say yes, because by the Golden Rule, card texts (Ward Phillips' text) supersedes rule text (the FAQ entry that passive abilities cannot be cancelled). (But I'm not sure, you could argue that there is no direct contradiction between Ward's text and the rules, if you say that valid targets for his disrupts are only triggered effects, because of the FAQ-ruling about cancellation of passive effects. But this seems more as making things up than that he can actualy cancel passive effects.) Correct?



#11 Penfold

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 12:35 PM

 No. Passive effects cannot be canceled.

Page 10 faq -
"Passive abilities are “always on,” and active whenever the circumstances of their text would indicate. The main difference between a passive ability and a forced response is that a passive effect cannot be canceled."



#12 .Zephyr.

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 03:12 PM

 I do agree that step 4 is the best timing window to decide the target, and see no other reasonable option.

But i still think that it should have been stated on card: "When committing choose struggle icon. While …". Passive effects are sometimes really complicated and sometimes work in different ways and cards in general tend to be abused for most benefit. This one sentence would leave no doubt. Now its ok, but it needs some discussion IMO.

When / While i think is not interchangeable. With "while committed" it strongly indicates that character uncommiting from the story (for example leaving play or going insane) would end this effect immediately. With "when committed" it doesn't matter what happens to character, the effect has already triggered for this phase. (or do "when committed" effects also last even when character leaves story? i don't think so but i am not an expert on this)



#13 HilariousPete

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 08:02 PM

.Zephyr. said:

I do agree that step 4 is the best timing window to decide the target, and see no other reasonable option.

But i still think that it should have been stated on card: "When committing choose struggle icon. While …". Passive effects are sometimes really complicated and sometimes work in different ways and cards in general tend to be abused for most benefit. This one sentence would leave no doubt. Now its ok, but it needs some discussion IMO.

When / While i think is not interchangeable. With "while committed" it strongly indicates that character uncommiting from the story (for example leaving play or going insane) would end this effect immediately. With "when committed" it doesn't matter what happens to character, the effect has already triggered for this phase. (or do "when committed" effects also last even when character leaves story? i don't think so but i am not an expert on this)

Yes, with your formulation, I wouldn't have starting thinking about how to use the Professor. But as you said, now it's ok for me, too.

Since I'm pretty new, I'm not really qulified to answer your question… But I would think that if the Professor's text had been stated "When he is being committed, chosse a struggle which doesn't resolve" means that even if he would leave play before struggles start, it is not cancelled. It's the same with "Call for Backup" - the event card leaves play after you put a character into play. But the "return him to hand" effect is still valid and resolves at the end of the phase, with Call for Backup being in the discard pile.

Penfold said:

 No. Passive effects cannot be canceled.

Page 10 faq -
"Passive abilities are “always on,” and active whenever the circumstances of their text would indicate. The main difference between a passive ability and a forced response is that a passive effect cannot be canceled."

Yes, I know this, but I also know the Golden Rule:

If the rules text of a card contradicts the text of this rulebook, the
rules on the card take precedence (with a few exceptions, as listed
in the rules).

Take e.g. The Silver Key: According to the rulebook, only non-exhausted characters can commit via exhausting them. And The Silver Key:

The Silver Key's passive effect contradicts the rulebook. But it works, because of the Golden Rule. Since the cited FAQ passage about the un-cancellability of pasive effects doesn't say anything like "this is not affected by the Golden Rule", It should be the same for Ward Phillips, shouldn't it?



#14 Penfold

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 07:46 AM

 But cannot is absolute. Nothing that uses the word cannot can be trumped. Cards with willpower and terror cannot be made insane. So despite the fact that a card says choose a character, that character goes insane, you cannot choose a character with willpower or terror. However there are cards that remove one or both of those from cards which allows them to then be made insane. Also it should be noted that passives are not triggered but resolved. They may have points of initiation but from game terms are not effects that are "triggered."



#15 .Zephyr.

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 08:42 AM

 Can someone confirm or reject my intuition behind "While" being the condition on which effect is granted? Its also important for cards like Marshal Greene:

"While Marshall Greene does not have any wounds, all of your characters committed to the same story as Marshall Greene gain Willpower."

I think that willpower disappears immediately when he gets hit or uncommitted. Or am i wrong and characters keep it till the end of phace even though condition stopped being true?



#16 HilariousPete

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 08:57 AM

Penfold said:

 

 But cannot is absolute. Nothing that uses the word cannot can be trumped.

 

 

I could try to make a point that the "cannot is an absolute" ruling is a rule itself and therefore can be trumped by the Golden Rule. But then the Golden rule would have to give precedence to Ward Phillips over 2 rulings: that cannot is an absolute and that passives cannot be cancelled. And I think this is too much of a stretch. Ok.

Penfold said:

 

Also it should be noted that passives are not triggered but resolved. They may have points of initiation but from game terms are not effects that are "triggered."

 

But the FAQ document is using such a formulation literally:

Timing structure:

4) Passive abilities are triggered
Any passive abilities that are triggered
as a result of the action (or a disrupt
response hereto), are now initiated.
… Remember that if
two passive abilities are triggered at the
same time, their order of resolution is
determined by the active player.

5) Forced Responses
After any passive abilities triggered as
a result of the action or disrupt are
resolved, …



#17 Penfold

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 10:33 AM

 You are correct in what you are saying, but I may not be making the distinction clearly, and the FAQ is a bit weird in the regard. The FAQ talks about actions and actions, but makes a distinction between them when one is a player action and the other is an Action: effect. Triggered effects and effects just triggered are synonymous and both refer to the type of effect, not any effect that has a trigger (which could be argued to include the reward/penalty for winning/losing a struggle).

Damon should probably be consulted for specifics or made aware so the wording is made more explicit one way or another.



#18 jhaelen

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 10:03 PM

HilariousPete said:

Yes, I know this, but I also know the Golden Rule:

If the rules text of a card contradicts the text of this rulebook, the
rules on the card take precedence (with a few exceptions, as listed
in the rules).

You have to be careful about trying to invoke the Golden Rule. It can only be applied if the card text explicitly contradicts a rule. In the case of Ward Phillips, this means his ability would have to say that it allows you to cancel passive effects.

Having said that, I doubt we will ever see such a card. There's a reason the rules use the word 'cannot'. Imho, the implications of being able to cancel passive abilities would be too complicated for the rules to handle because there are so many different types of passive abilities.



#19 Penfold

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 04:58 AM

                               ^^^THIS +1^^^



#20 HilariousPete

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 06:05 AM

I just got a super-fast reply from Damon. You were right Penfold, passives are only "initiated" and "resolved". He will include this in the next update of the FAQ.

@jhaelen: I think your reasoning is similar to my "there is no direct contradiction between Ward's text and the rules" reasoning. Which I did dismiss at first ;-)  

Greetings,

Pete






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