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Zebulon Whateley Question

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Hello :)

 

I wanted to ask a question about the Dunwich Horror ally Zebulon Whateley.  His text says "Exhaust to refresh one of your spells".  This brought a very interesting discussion to the group.

 

Could one cast Shrivelling (which uses one hand), then exhaust Zebulon, and then recast Shrivelling.  This will give two Shrivellings, which is +12 to combat and still leave another hand free for a weapon, or another spell.

 

The group was divided.  Some thought it was ok, others that casting two Shrivellings would use up both hands, and others that it wasn't meant to be used in the same combat but for another combat on the same turn.

 

There is nothing in the rulebooks that contradicts the first (though seemingly overpowered) idea since the rules clearly state that the printed hands on the cards can't exceed two.  You're using Shrivelling twice but the printed hands are still one.

 

Is there a solid answer on this one?

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Considering that all spells refresh during Upkeep, the intent of Zebulon is to allow you to cast the same spell twice in the same turn. Hence, casting, exhausting the Ally, refreshing and recasting is certainly a plausible option. The "Any phase" wording on the Ally card supports this.

 

Point is that you cannot "occupy" more hands than those you actually have, and recasting the spell would still "use your hand slots" as usual. So, you can go with 2 Shrivelling for a +12, but you don't have any free hand left (unless you're Marie, but that's her default ability), and you certainly cannot cast twice in the same combat a Dreaded Curse of Azathoth. But in case you're in combat with 2+ monsters, and you use the Curse against the first one, then, yes, you can recast it against the second one.

 

Hope this helps

 

JULIA

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The intent of Zeb is to make available one of your spells that was exhausted. That's all.

 

A single Shrivelling spell can be cast multiple times in a turn. That is, if you fail your first attempt, or you would like to have it available against a second monster, you can refresh it.

 

However, it still only provides +6 for the use of one hand. A single spell can't be stacked on top of itself. You would need two copies for your two hands. Just the act of refreshing the spell will deactivate it.

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However, it still only provides +6 for the use of one hand. A single spell can't be stacked on top of itself. You would need two copies for your two hands. Just the act of refreshing the spell will deactivate it.

 

Even though I appreciate your interpretation, Tibs, would you mind providing a rule reference for this? I don't see any problems in casting twice the same spell and using it against the same monster in the same round of combat.

 

There's this FAQ entry (pag. 11):

 

Spells, whose rules text takes the form of “Cast and exhaust to gain +X to Combat checks until the end of this combat,” last until the end of the combat in which they are cast (i.e., for multiple combat rounds until the combat is over), as long as the investigator continues to devote the required number of hands to keep the spell going. If the investigator stops devoting the required number of hands, the bonus expires. Since the spell is exhausted at the time of casting, it can only be used to fight one monster each turn. In the final battle against the Ancient One, however, such spells must be re-cast for each attack (and can be, since they refresh at the beginning of each round of the final battle). Examples include Wither and Shrivelling.

 

It's not worded the spell lasts until you devote hands to it AND it's exhauted. Id est, refreshing the spell shouldn't end its effect. Hence, I believe it's perfectly legal to cast twice the same spell. It's enough that you remember the number of hands you're devoting to it.

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Joe,

 

considering where are you now, I admire your total devotion to this game and the community :) Kudos. And an extra slice of lasagna this Sunday ;)

 

JULIA

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Thanks everyone for your input.  We shall play it where casting the spell twice takes up two hands even if it is the same copy of the spell.  Enjoy your lasagna :)

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Julia,

Grazie! We've had Pasta Carbonara, Roman Style Pizza, and a variety of other Italian dishes, but I'm saving my Lasagna-time for Sunday!

Ciao,

Joe

Edited by The Professor

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No, I'm still not convinced. Of course there's no precedent to having a spell refreshed outside of the Upkeep phase, so I still think this is up for interpretation.

 

If you cast a spell and then refresh it and cast it again, you're getting its bonus twice simultaneously, so you're simultaneously using two Shrivellings. But you only have one. The casting are no longer independent.

 

Does that make sense?

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Ehm, sorry, for me no, it doesn't have that much sense. When you cast the spell, you release its magical energy. This energy remains as long as you can mantain them (=the hand(s) devoted, as per rules).

 

Refreshing allows to recast. Do you still have free hands? Yes? Then good, go with the second Shrivelling. Nope? Hey, too bad, you can't recast it now, but in case there's a second monster hiding here you can cast it later in the same movement phase.

 

I do understand, though, why you're saying this, but I don't see the need of multiple castings to be independent, and I don't see anything in the rules saying you cannot go this way. Especially because the limiting factor for spells is the number of hands: you cannot exploit this n-times at the same time, thus breaking the game.

 

Allow me a question: is it ok to cast Find Gate, fail, use Zebulon and recast the same Find Gate in the same movement? I think so. So, for the same reasons I should be allowed to cast Sigil of Hermes Trismegistus, pass it, use Zebulon and recast it, giving my buddy quite an interesting bonus on the check for closing gates. And here we have a single spell giving a double bonus, just like the Shrivelling in the example. But if we do not accept Zebulon + Find Gate, then, what's the sense of the Ally?

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Attempting Find Gate twice is not the same thing because they're not taking effect simultaneously. Two Shrivellings would be, as would two Sigils. The sense of the Ally, then, would be to allow two separate uses of the spell (so two combats for S or two closings for SoH).

 

But I'm not prepared to fight tooth-and-nail for my point: doubling a Shrivelling so long as you use two hands is not hugely game-breaking. However, you did say "the limiting factor for spells is the number of hands" yet no such factor would otherwise limit the Sigil, so it's not a water-tight argument.

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Yes, my bad, I intended "the use of combat spells has as additional cap the number of hands", sorry for this :)

 

No need to fight tooth-and-nail about a game ;) Just saying: nothing in the rules prohibits this, so I'm fine with that (I'm actually more worried by a double Sigil than a double Shrivelling, though).

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Julia,

It seems to me that the intent behind this Ally's ability lies in the Investigator's use of, especially, combat spells against a second monster.

(up early on the train!)

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We can talk about that face to face in quite a short time, I think :)

 

(beware, something went wrong tonight and now I talk funny like a giant seasoned smurf)

 

(cooking for today since 5.30 AM...)

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Julia,

It's nice to see Chris acknowledging the work of play-testers, albeit as part of a larger obituary to two incredible colleagues. I don't know if it really fits in the context, but it seems as though the company could take the time and profile each of the various groups identified in his "Remembering..." piece.

While it certainly would've been interesting and a different play-test environment to assist FFG from what I've known these past four years in the war-gaming arena, I think the talents and time expended in the war-game realm are held in much higher regard. It's a wonderful feeling to bring a game fully to life.

Cheers,

Joe

Edited by The Professor

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Joe,

 

yes, I was happy for Chris' post as well. It's like the ending scene of Gangs of New York: history often forgot the names of those who worked hard to allow a few to arise. I was happy to read that note.

 

Not so sure we can relate the wargame to the boardgame arena: too a different public, not only in terms of "numbers" but also in terms of "fruition"

 

Still, I'm totally happy to be involved in such an arena: helping in bringing a game to life is certainly something wonderful. Plus, it helps me to have more games I like :whistle: (joking, clearly)

 

 

JULIA

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Sorry, I accidentally hit the space key.  I've really been more interested, though, in the part about combat spells and Zebulon's ability.  Like Tibs, I'm bothered by the double usage of the spell, but maybe for a different reason.  It seems to me like a violation of the rule that a hand is taken up by a spell for one round of combat, whether or not the cast was successful.  To me, this rule equally implies that a spell is taken up by its hand (or hands) for that specific combat round.  Note that if the spell in question were two-handed like the Dread Curse, you couldn't even think of recasting it on that round, whether you had Zebulon, another refreshed copy of the spell, or whatever. 

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