A situation recently came up in our Sea of Blood advanced campaign. During an encounter, Sir Valadir with the Hand of Death skill, attempted to use it against a normal shade.
Exact text of Hand of Death reads:
"Exhaust this skill instead of making an attack to target a normal unnamed monster in an adjacent space. Roll a power die. On anything but a surge, that monster is instantly killed. On a surge, you suffer 2 wounds (ignoring armor). This skill only refreshes when you (and only you) activate a glyph."
The overlords arguement went like this "Hand of death is essentially a special melee attack. You must use it instead of an attack, and you must be adjacent to your target, and the spirit of the skill sounds like you have to touch the enemy. You can't make a melee attack with adjacent figures with the ghost ability. It shouldn't work."
The players arguement went like this "It doesn't say it's an attack, you do it instead of making an attack. Even though it says you must be adjacent it never mentions anything about melee or touching the enemy. It's like a discharge of magical energy at close range. It should work."
We ruled it to work and it got us through the encounter, but not one session later, he again tried to use it against a figure with soar during another outdoor encounter. The FAQ's strictly disallowed it because of the adjacency requirement. We all agreed that it wouldn't work, but it does lend weight to the overlords arguement, again sounding like an implyed melee attack.
So which version sounds right/fair? I thank you for any clarification, as do my players.