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#1 Thurhame

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 05:56 AM

In Curse of the Dark Pharaoh (Revised Edition), I have the spell Denying the Ancient One (sanity cost 2). Am I allowed to cast it if I have only 1 sanity left?



#2 The Professor

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:19 AM

Yes, you may cast the spell with less than the required amount, but conventional wisdom dictates (or maybe it's just me) you may not cast a spell with the requirement "spend 'x' sanity" if you have 1 Sanity remainnig and "spend" 5 or 6, wheether that corresponds to your maximum  value or not.


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#3 Julia

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:02 AM

The Professor said:

Yes, you may cast the spell with less than the required amount, but conventional wisdom dictates (or maybe it's just me) you may not cast a spell with the requirement "spend 'x' sanity" if you have 1 Sanity remainnig and "spend" 5 or 6, wheether that corresponds to your maximum  value or not.

Yeah, the Professor hit the spot :-) You are allowed to cast 2 Sanity cost spells even if you have 1 Sanity left (although I'm still wondering why you should go insane a character to cast "Denying the Ancient One"), but you cannot choose to sacrifice more Sanity than what you actually have while casting a "spend X Sanity" spell (this is not official but was the general consensum of the forum after a long debate on how Call the Ancient One could be exploited)


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#4 Tibs

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 05:06 PM

Allow me to disagree here. The sanity cost is exactly that: a COST. If you can't pay the cost, you can't activate the spell.

This cleanly sidesteps some Call Ancient One exploits, too.



#5 Julia

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 09:17 PM

Tibs said:

Allow me to disagree here. The sanity cost is exactly that: a COST. If you can't pay the cost, you can't activate the spell.

So, you can't use the Flute if you don't have the Sanity & Stamina required? Please, don't answer "the Flute requires a loss, a spell implies a cost": you always have to sacrifice points of something you don't have


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#6 Julia

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 09:39 PM

Julia said:

Tibs said:

 

Allow me to disagree here. The sanity cost is exactly that: a COST. If you can't pay the cost, you can't activate the spell.

 

 

So, you can't use the Flute if you don't have the Sanity & Stamina required? Please, don't answer "the Flute requires a loss, a spell implies a cost": you always have to sacrifice points of something you don't have

Even if I can sense what you'll be saying. The Flute drains your energies (thus, even if you don't have enough points, still you use it, and then suffer all the bad consequences) while a spell requires that you actively invest your energies, and if you don't have enough of them, then you can't sort out the desired effects. *SIGH*


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#7 The Professor

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:41 PM

 

Julia,

     I can understand Tibs' disagreement and the possible "side-step" regarding the Flute as a Loss vice a Cost, but I also try, where possible, to give the Investigators a bit of help.  For instance, the order in which an Investigator  casts a spell is as follows: 1.) Roll for Spell Check…if successful, exhaust spell and pay sanity cost; if unsuccessful, exhaust spell.  2.) Perform actions as dictated by the spell.  In either case (spell or Flute), I'll allow the Investigator to pay whatever they have available…they're going to pay much more than that extra Sanity or Stamina in terms of being rendered unconscious and ending-up either at St. Mary's Hospital or the Arkham Asylum with half their stuff or an Injury or Madness card.


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#8 allstar64

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 01:48 AM

For the record that order of spell casting is not consistant with the rules. This is what the rules says

 

To cast a spell, an investigator must pay its Sanity cost and then pass a Spell check.

 

To pay the Sanity cost of a spell, the player simply removes a number of Sanity tokens from his total equal to the cost of the spell. Players must always pay the Sanity cost of a spell, whether or not the investigator subsequently passes the Spell check.

 

So sanity is spent and you would hit 0 sanity even before you roll the die.



#9 The Professor

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 02:17 AM

Allstar 64,

     You're absolutely right, and I'm not advocating my variant.  From a thematic stand point, the Investigator has read the pages from the Necronomicon and either precisely (successful Spell Check) or imprecisely (unsuccessful Spell Check) uttered the incantation.  If the foolish Investigator has formulated the proper verbal and somatic component of the spell, one's Sanity is endangered.  If not, the Investigator has simply spent time to no avail.


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#10 Thomas Cartwright

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 02:42 AM

I'm with Tibs on this one and, in general, always make the distinction between sanity loss and sanity cost when deciding if an investigator can trigger an effect that will take them below 0 sanity. The official FAQ entry on professor Harvey Walters' "Strong Mind" ability indicates that sanity spent on spells is in the cost category:

"Q: Does the Strong Mind ability (reduce all Sanity loss
by 1) of the professor, Harvey Walters, apply to the casting
of spells?
A: No. The professor’s ability works on losses, not costs.
The same distinction applies to the gangster, Michael
McGlen, and his ability to reduce Stamina losses."

Professor, I was just searching for previous forum discussions of this topic and came across this recent reply you made to someone's lengthy list of questions, in which you seem to agree (www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp):

"[florrat] 21 Can you spend more sanity/stamina than you currently have? For example use bind monster on a very dangerous monster when you have only 1 sanity?

[Professor] You should not have the ability to spend more than you currently possess."

 



#11 jgt7771

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 04:15 AM

I never allow anyone to roll a Spell Check if they are at Sanity 0 after paying the cost.  You want to go insane voluntarily and get a free ride to the Asylum, be my guest, but you ain't successfully casting anything while you're staring blankly at the wall.  My dear Professor, dig ya and all your great works of resin and bone, but thoughts travel faster than words, and reciting the Necronomicon will drive you bonkers in your skull long before you can gibber it off your tongue.


Real answer to OP: No one knows.  We're waiting for a FAQ that may and may not exist.  Until then, on this issue, do what works for you.
 


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#12 The Professor

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:13 AM

 

@ Thomas   As we're in the election cycle, I don't want to appear as though I'm flip-flopping on the issue, but Bind Monster has a set Sanity cost of 2, which if memory serves is the highest fixed cost for a Spell (0, 1, or 2).  While I'm in favor of an Investigator casting a Spell where at most they'll be deficient by one Sanity (they'll have to possess 1 Sanity and the highest fixed cost is 2 Sanity).  I'm not in favor the spend 'x' variety and the have 1 Sanity, but choose to "spend" 2 or more Sanity.

 

@ jgt7771  I see your point, I'm simply stating that by making the Spell (ostenibly a special Lore) Check, you didn't comprehend what you were reading to have your Sanity stripped away. 


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#13 Julia

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 10:35 AM

jgt7771 said:

I never allow anyone to roll a Spell Check if they are at Sanity 0 after paying the cost.

Not so sure I'm with you on this one. Some spells allow you to interact with other players (Sigil of Hermet Trismegistus or Plague of Locusts, for example). I don't have any problems in casting those while reducing the Sanity of the caster to zero. He spend the Sanity in order to release his power, so the roll is allowed. I can accept Tibs's point about not casting spells you don't have the Sanity to pay for, though (actually, I cannot think of any situation where it happened to me, I tend not to use Spells, unless they are Find Gate / Alchemical process / Astral travel or I'm desperate for some other reason ::laughter::)


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#14 Thomas Cartwright

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:42 AM

Julia said:

jgt7771 said:

 

I never allow anyone to roll a Spell Check if they are at Sanity 0 after paying the cost.

 

 

Not so sure I'm with you on this one. Some spells allow you to interact with other players (Sigil of Hermet Trismegistus or Plague of Locusts, for example). I don't have any problems in casting those while reducing the Sanity of the caster to zero. He spend the Sanity in order to release his power, so the roll is allowed. I can accept Tibs's point about not casting spells you don't have the Sanity to pay for, though (actually, I cannot think of any situation where it happened to me, I tend not to use Spells, unless they are Find Gate / Alchemical process / Astral travel or I'm desperate for some other reason ::laughter::)

So now we're on to which spells still work if casting them takes you to zero sanity. To me, the main issue seems to be, can you immediately resolve the spell effect, or does the spell influence a future roll or action? Just like an Elder Sign that takes you to zero sanity still works, I'd say a spell like Heal that has an immediate effect is allowed, but a spell that adds +3 to your combat roll drives you insane without doing anything because you're no longer around to make the combat check.

This still leaves me uncertain on something like Bind Monster. If you're down to your last 2 sanity and successfully cast it, I'd say you go insane AND get to take the monster as a trophy. But what if you pay the 2 sanity to cast it and then fail your spell check? You've just gone insane AND failed your combat check. Do you suffer both the sanity loss AND the monster's damage (possibly getting yourself devoured in the process)? Harsh.



#15 jgt7771

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 12:12 PM

I’m just going by the manual, as Allstar stated. You pay your Sanity, then you roll your Spell Check. These two steps are two separate paragraphs in the manual. On that same page, there are the rules for Going Insane. Once your Sanity hits 0, you immediately lose items, proceed to the Asylum, yadda yadda yadda.

Once, long long ago, there was some discussion about the definition of “immediately”. Some chose to believe that casting a Spell was one fluid action, and could not be interrupted. In other words, even if you are sitting there completely bereft of Sanity, you still get to roll your dice and gain the benefits. I suggested there was nothing “immediate” about that. You’re insane, but you still get a monster trophy, or a Blessing, or a Skill, or a transportable friend, or every hexagon monster back in the Cup. You are performing activity while you are insane, as if going insane were a delayed reaction. I was dismissed, presumably because people really wanted to able to cast their Spells at the minor cost of insanity, and eventually this became accepted practice to this day, since we have no FAQ.

“Delayed reaction” does NOT equal “immediate”, and I do not subscribe to the accepted standard at all. But then I never choose to voluntarily go insane as a strategy, unless it involves an Elder Sign, which still takes effect as stated in the manual. Interesting how the manual doesn’t say that about Spells.


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#16 Thomas Cartwright

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 12:18 PM

jgt7771 said:

I’m just going by the manual, as Allstar stated. You pay your Sanity, then you roll your Spell Check. These two steps are two separate paragraphs in the manual. On that same page, there are the rules for Going Insane. Once your Sanity hits 0, you immediately lose items, proceed to the Asylum, yadda yadda yadda.

Once, long long ago, there was some discussion about the definition of “immediately”. Some chose to believe that casting a Spell was one fluid action, and could not be interrupted. In other words, even if you are sitting there completely bereft of Sanity, you still get to roll your dice and gain the benefits. I suggested there was nothing “immediate” about that. You’re insane, but you still get a monster trophy, or a Blessing, or a Skill, or a transportable friend, or every hexagon monster back in the Cup. You are performing activity while you are insane, as if going insane were a delayed reaction. I was dismissed, presumably because people really wanted to able to cast their Spells at the minor cost of insanity, and eventually this became accepted practice to this day, since we have no FAQ.

“Delayed reaction” does NOT equal “immediate”, and I do not subscribe to this at all. But then I never choose to voluntarily go insane as a strategy, unless it involves an Elder Sign, which still takes effect as stated in the manual. Interesting how the manual doesn’t say that about Spells.

Just took another look at the manual and I think you're probably right, though I can imagine an eventual FAQ ruling either way. So that would mean no effective spell casting unless you have at least the sanity cost plus one in reserve.

Still, I find it particularly Lovecraftian to cast the critical spell that defeats the monster, but at the cost of completely losing your mind. Oh well, there will be plenty of other chances to go insane with style.



#17 The Professor

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 02:49 PM

So, we (my girlfriend with the MBA and I) just discussed this and she's on the other side of the discussion from me, with the mantra, "You have to Pay to Play" (there ya go Tibs!)

She made the strong argument that your mind is shattered if you're even making the attempt to read a spell requiring 2 Sanity when you have only one remaining.  It's easy to conjure in your mind what it's like for someone beat to a pulp or completely wracked with 1 Stamina…now compare that to one's Sanity.

Frankly, I see her point..and those of Tibs, jgt7771, and others.  In the end, "You have to Pay to Play"

@ Thomas…for the love of a Guardian, let the individual go to the Asylum, if the Investigator fails the Spell Check…however, my girlfriend says, "Let the monster beat the crap out of you" and then go the Asylum or St. Mary's.  Her theory, why should the monster care that you failed the spell check…now THAT'S HARSH!


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#18 Tibs

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 02:58 PM

Julia said:

Tibs said:

 

Allow me to disagree here. The sanity cost is exactly that: a COST. If you can't pay the cost, you can't activate the spell.

 

 

So, you can't use the Flute if you don't have the Sanity & Stamina required? Please, don't answer "the Flute requires a loss, a spell implies a cost": you always have to sacrifice points of something you don't have

That is exactly the argument I would make. It requires a loss. The sanity and stamina loss is a side effect of using the Flute. You don't need to have the entire requisite up front, but using the Flute will incur damage.

You can extend the argument to an encounter that says you "gain 3 clues and lose 3 sanity." If you have 2 or fewer sanity, you wouldn't argue that this effect simply would not happen. Same thing with the Flute.

 



#19 Tibs

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 03:00 PM

Also, officially, a spell takes effect even if it drives you insane to cast. A combat spell does nothing, but something like Bless or Yellow Mist will still work. That means that you will still roll for them.



#20 The Professor

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 03:16 PM

Tibs,

     What do you mean by "a combat spell does nothing?"  Are you implying, like jgt7771 that once you've spent the Sanity, you don't get to roll the Spell check.  That would seem particularly peculiar, as why would you spend the Sanity if the outcome…insanity, is inevitable.  Maybe I misunderstood.


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