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Madmartigan

Dark Charm and Monster Auras.

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Greetings,

 

This may have been discussed before, but I did a few searches on the forums and came up empty, and this issue did come up in a recent session.

 

I am playing the overlord and I had a master wendigo on the map, which has the freezing aura that causes any hero that "enters and space adjacent to" the monster to suffer one fatigue.

 

At one point I used Dark Charm on a hero and moved him across three adjacent spaces parallel to the wendigo. Because the character is a hero, and because he technically "entered" all three spaces adjacent to the wendigo, I ruled that he should suffer 3 fatigue.

 

There was some argument on this point. The only thing we found online was a discussion in which the wording of Dark Charm was cited, which states that the charmed hero is "treated as" one of the overlord's monsters when charmed. So, does this mean that the character is not a "hero" for the duration of Dark Charm, and is instead a "monster" for the purposes of monster aura immunity? This sounds suspect to me. It seems that the way it is stated, the hero is still a "hero" but is only "treated as" a monster for the purposes of who is controlling the figure, and so would still be vulnerable to monster auras.

 

What do you think?

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There's some wiggle room to interpret this case in either direction.

 

Personally, I consider "treated as a monster" to be something similar to "treated as a hero" for NPC tokens and the like.  That is to say, the DC'd hero counts as "a monster" for all hero abilities, monster attacks/abilities and Overlord cards for the duration of the Dark Charm effect. As such, I would say he's not affected by the Wendigo's aura while being moved by DC.

 

However, the argument that "he doesn't stop being a hero just because he's temporarily treated like a monster" is a difficult one to refute categorically.  You are right that nothing in the rules says he stops being a hero. Technically.

 

I prefer not to deal with "dual citizenship" because it just makes things messy, but you could always ask FFG for an official answer.

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I would say that the freezing aura would not be in effect, this is much in the same way that a hero can walk through other monsters while under the effects of dark charm (which is an incredibly useful tactic to divide and conquer heroes.

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I would say that the freezing aura would not be in effect, this is much in the same way that a hero can walk through other monsters while under the effects of dark charm (which is an incredibly useful tactic to divide and conquer heroes.

Agreed. During the "move" or "attack" action granted by dark charm, that hero is considered to be a monster- you can even use cards that trigger "when a monster attacks a hero (so long as you are not causing him to attack himself, because he can't be treated as a monster and a hero simultaneously.)

 

The only exception to this understanding (that I know of) is the specific case of Leoric's hero ability, which remains in effect even while Leoric is considered to be a monster, and subtracts damage from his own dark charmed attacks.

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The exact wording of Dark charm is as follows:

 

"Play this card on a hero at the start of your turn. The hero tests (willpower). If he passes, draw 1 Overlord card. If he fails, you may perform a move or attack action with that hero as if he were one of your monsters this turn. You cannot force him to suffer (fatigue) or us a Potion, but you may force him to attack himself."

 

The "as if" is important, if we are being careful about interpreting this rule. Treating something "as if" it is something else does not change the properties of that thing. If I treat an orange "as if" it is a cinder block, and try to use it to prop up the axle of my car so I can remove the wheel and examine the breaks, the orange does not suddenly take on the density of a cinder block and will be crushed by the axle. By this reasoning treating a hero "as if" it is a monster for purposes of control, does not necessarily mean it ceases to be a hero for all other purposes.

 

The contradictory rulings above are also troubling:

  1. That a DC'ed hero can move through monsters.
  2. That a DC'ed hero is able to be targeted by Overlord buff cards.

For 1., moving through other monsters seems thematically appropriate, because monsters may recognize that the hero is under the Overlord's power, and let him or her pass.

 

For 2., that a hero under the Overlord's power might benefit from a further buff spell also seems appropriate for the limited amount of time he or she is influenced.

 

What is more important in the case of the wendigo's freezing aura is that DC states that you cannot force a hero to suffer fatigue. This means either that moving a hero adjacent to a wendigo will not cause them to suffer fatigue, or that you cannot force a hero to move adjacent to a wendigo because he would suffer fatigue. I think it is the latter, because it makes more sense thematically. You cannot force a hero to do something that takes more effort than a simple move action or attack.

 

However, this does not solve the porblem with respect to other auras like that of a Demon Lord which causes a hero to suffer damage. So the question is can you move a hero and cause them to suffer damage? You can move them into an obstacle like lava, pits, etc. So it would seem that moving them adjacent to a damage aura monster is a similar case. And forcing a hero to suffer damage is what you do with DC when you force a hero to attack themselves.

 

So, according to my understanding, DC allows the Overlord to treat a hero "as if" it were a monster for one action, which may be a move action or an attack. During that action the hero's movement is not blocked by monster figures, and that hero may be the target of overlord cards that trigger when a monster takes a move action or performs an attack. And that hero may be forced to suffer damage by either entering spaces or a self-targeted attack, but that hero may not take any action that would force him or her to suffer fatigue, including entering spaces, or use a potion.

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Mostly, but not exactly correct. It has been stated that the intention for the "can't make the hero suffer fatigue" was to rule out the OL using hero skills. The Wendigo effect wouldn't trigger, because there isn't a hero moving adjacent to it.

 

I think the important point is that while the hero is treated as a monster (that is, during the movement or attack action,) he is not treated as a hero. That is, while a dark charmed hero may move through monsters, he may not move through hero figures. A dark charmed hero may not be targeted by "Pit Trap", because he is not "a hero" entering an empty space, he is a monster for the duration of that action. If you were to dark charm a hero and force him to attack himself, you could play "Dark Might" (play when you roll dice for an attack) but not "Expert Blow" (play when a monster attacks a hero,) because the latter triggering condition is not met. Make sense?

Edited by Zaltyre

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The only exception to this understanding (that I know of) is the specific case of Leoric's hero ability, which remains in effect even while Leoric is considered to be a monster, and subtracts damage from his own dark charmed attacks.

Just to muddy this already complicated rules discussion - please note that this is not an exception. He IS considered a monster - a monster who has an incredibly silly "All monsters do less damage" ability, which is significantly worse when he's a monster than when he is a hero. So there's no exception here; when Dark Charmed, he just becomes a monster with a dumb ability for monsters to have.

 

Silly, silly Leoric the Monster.

Edited by amoshias

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The only exception to this understanding (that I know of) is the specific case of Leoric's hero ability, which remains in effect even while Leoric is considered to be a monster, and subtracts damage from his own dark charmed attacks.

Just to muddy this already complicated rules discussion - please note that this is not an exception. He IS considered a monster - a monster who has an incredibly silly "All monsters do less damage" ability, which is significantly worse when he's a monster than when he is a hero. So there's no exception here; when Dark Charmed, he just becomes a monster with a dumb ability for monsters to have.

 

Silly, silly Leoric the Monster.

 

You're right that it's not exactly an exception- it's only that his "heroic" ability continues to be in effect even while he is at that moment being monsterous, and not heroic. 

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I understand your points. However, DC doesn't say that the hero is "treated as" a monster, as I erroneously stated in the first post, it says that the Overlord can take a move action or perform an attack "with that hero as if he were" a monster. And based on that subtle difference in meaning, I am inclined to maintain the conclusion I came to in my last post, that the hero does not become a monster for all intents and purposes, and that my explanation above seems correct.

 

Have there been any official rulings on these issues from FFG?

Edited by Madmartigan

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I understand your points. However, DC doesn't say that the hero is "treated as" a monster, as I erroneously stated in the first post, it says that the Overlord can take a move action or perform an attack "with that hero as if he were" a monster. And based on that subtle difference in meaning, I am inclined to maintain the conclusion I came to in my last post, that the hero does not become a monster for all intents and purposes, and that my explanation above seems correct.

 

Have there been any official rulings on these issues from FFG?

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/914552/dark-charm-pit-trap

 

The above thread from BGG contains a response from Justin stating basically what I did- for the duration of the action, the hero is treated as a monster, not as a hero. He clarifies things like moving through heroes, cards like "Pit Trap," "Dark Might," and "Frenzy." I based my answer to you on his response.

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If the hero is treated as a monster in regards to movement and can move through other monsters but not heroes.

 

How then does a hero not become treated as a monster in regards to movement because of a monster ability ?

 

It doesn't make sense, you cant have your cake and eat it too. The hero is rather treated as if he/she were monster in regards to movement, or not. There are going to be pros (such as moving the hero through monsters) and negatives (such as not being able to move the hero through other heroes) of treating the hero as a monster as far as movement goes, you cant just sit there picking the best parts about both by saying that "as if" doesn't mean he is really treated as a monster. If that were the case then he could not move through monsters because "as if" means that he really is still actually a hero

 

Also do not make the all too common mistake of dragging thematics into justifying rule interpretations. Themes are built around rules, rules are not built around themes - by dragging thematics into discussions it becomes possible to distort all sorts of rules into things never intended by the publisher. On the flip side by changing the theme to fit the rules you do not affect the intentions of the publisher at all.

Edited by BentoSan
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http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/914552/dark-charm-pit-trap

 

The above thread from BGG contains a response from Justin stating basically what I did- for the duration of the action, the hero is treated as a monster, not as a hero. He clarifies things like moving through heroes, cards like "Pit Trap," "Dark Might," and "Frenzy." I based my answer to you on his response.

 

That clears some things up. The phrasing would have been clearer, logically, if it said something like "...the hero is treated as one of your monsters for one action, this action may only be a move action or an attack action..."

 

If the hero is treated as a monster in regards to movement and can move through other monsters but not heroes.

 

How then does a hero not become treated as a monster in regards to movement because of a monster ability ?

Agreed, based on the official ruling. So my quote below would be altered as follows.

So, according to my understanding, DC allows the Overlord to treat a hero "as a monster" for one action, which may be a move action or an attack action. During that action the hero's movement is not blocked by monster figures, and that hero may be the target of overlord cards and affects that trigger when a monster takes a move action or performs an attack. That hero may not be the target of any ability or affect which affects a hero. And that hero may be forced to suffer damage by either entering spaces or a self-targeted attack, but that hero may not take any action that would force him or her to suffer fatigue,  or use a potion.

Edited by Madmartigan

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So, according to my understanding, DC allows the Overlord to treat a hero "as a monster" for one action, which may be a move action or an attack action. During that action the hero's movement is not blocked by monster figures, and that hero may be the target of overlord cards and effects that trigger when a monster takes a move action or performs an attack. That hero may not be the target of any ability or affect which affects a hero. And that hero may be forced to suffer damage by either entering spaces or a self-targeted attack, but that hero may not take any action that would force him or her to suffer fatigue,  or use a potion.

 

I would agree with that paragraph, though I would clean up the wording about suffering fatigue. The hero can suffer effects from moving into spaces- it doesn't matter whether it's damage or fatigue- assuming it's an effect that targets a "figure" or a "monster." The catch is that the OL cannot make the hero suffer a fatigue to gain a movement point, or exhaust any of his class skills, or even use any class skills that cost fatigue (hence, forcing him to suffer fatigue- moving him into a space that results in him suffering a fatigue is not "forcing him to suffer a fatigue.")

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"moving him into a space that results in him suffering a fatigue is not "forcing him to suffer a fatigue."

 

Isn't it? It is forcing him to take an action during which he "suffers fatigue". And only hero's have fatigue to "suffer", so, because we are not treating him as a "hero" during the action, but as a "monster" which cannot "suffer fatigue", there should be no circumstances under which a DC'ed hero would be able to "suffer fatigue" anyway.

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"moving him into a space that results in him suffering a fatigue is not "forcing him to suffer a fatigue."

 

Isn't it? It is forcing him to take an action during which he "suffers fatigue". And only hero's have fatigue to "suffer", so, because we are not treating him as a "hero" during the action, but as a "monster" which cannot "suffer fatigue", there should be no circumstances under which a DC'ed hero would be able to "suffer fatigue" anyway.

There may be no circumstances currently that cause figures to suffer fatigue when entering a space (I'm allowing for quest specific rules that say something like, "when a figure enters X space, it suffers 1 fatigue.") However, as stated in the rules, the reason monsters in general can't suffer fatigue is because they don't have a stamina value (pg 13.) DC'd heroes are unique to other monsters in that they do have a stamina value. Again, as stated in the BGG thread, the reason for the statement about suffering fatigue was put in to rule out using class skills (that, in general, cost fatigue.)

 

As a counter to your statement, consider the bleeding condition, which causes its victim to suffer a fatigue every time it performs an action. Are you suggesting that a bleeding hero would be immune to "Dark Charm" because any action the OL does would "force him to suffer a fatigue"? I think not.

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As a counter to your statement, consider the bleeding condition, which causes its victim to suffer a fatigue every time it performs an action. Are you suggesting that a bleeding hero would be immune to "Dark Charm" because any action the OL does would "force him to suffer a fatigue"? I think not.

 

 

 

It seems that we are now back into the confusion I started this thread with. If a DC'ed hero can "suffer fatigue" from bleeding, and entering terrain, then why the @#%$ not allow him or her to suffer fatigue when entering a monster aura that causes fatigue loss? It seems contradictory and nonsensical. Why would DC suddenly impart an immunity to any damage or fatigue loss that the hero would normally incur? It seems there are two choices:

 

1.  A DC'ed hero can never "suffer fatigue", as per a strong literal reading of the Dark Charm card.

 

     So either:

a.  He or she cannot perform any action which results in the loss of fatigue (which you

      pointed out would cause problems).

b.  He or she is considered to have no stamina, like a monster, and so would suffer damage

      instead from any affect that would cause a monster (not a hero) to suffer fatigue.

 

2.  A DC'ed hero cannot "suffer fatigue" to trigger skills or hero abilities, but can "suffer fatigue"

      due to any other affect.

 

For the sake of clarity I am inclined to embrace 2. and go all the way back to my original ruling at the top of this thread. But for the sake of consistency with the various rulings I am inclined to embrace 1.b. and treat DC'ed heroes "as if" (ha) they are temporarily monsters, and so temporarily have no stamina value, which is consistent with what you cited on page 13 of the core rules:

 

"Since monsters do not have a Stamina value, if a monster suffers any amount of fatigue, it suffers that amount of damage instead."

 

I am not trying to be rude here, logical consistency is my profession, and so, I get more tied up about this stuff than others might.

Edited by Madmartigan

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First things first- I agree with BentoSan- you should ask (looks like you did.)

 

But, if I may- the issue is not whether the hero is allowed to suffer fatigue at all. The issue (that I've been trying to address, and I think you understand) is that the Wendigo's ability doesn't trigger when the hero moves adjacent, because he's treated as a monster, not as a hero.

 

"Freezing" reads: Each time a hero enters a space adjacent to this monster, the hero suffers 1 fatigue.

 

When a DC'd hero moves adjacent to a Wendigo, he is treated as a monster, not a hero. There is no hero moving adjacent, so "Freezing" doesn't trigger.

 

If the Wendigo's ability read: "Each time a figure moves adjacent..." , then the DC's hero would indeed suffer 1 fatigue, and that would be perfectly legitimate.

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First things first- I agree with BentoSan- you should ask (looks like you did.)

 

But, if I may- the issue is not whether the hero is allowed to suffer fatigue at all. The issue (that I've been trying to address, and I think you understand) is that the Wendigo's ability doesn't trigger when the hero moves adjacent, because he's treated as a monster, not as a hero.

 

"Freezing" reads: Each time a hero enters a space adjacent to this monster, the hero suffers 1 fatigue.

 

When a DC'd hero moves adjacent to a Wendigo, he is treated as a monster, not a hero. There is no hero moving adjacent, so "Freezing" doesn't trigger.

 

If the Wendigo's ability read: "Each time a figure moves adjacent..." , then the DC's hero would indeed suffer 1 fatigue, and that would be perfectly legitimate.

 

We are in perfect agreement about that point. However, the question now is whether DC'ed heroes, treated as monsters, should be considered to temporarily have no stamina value, like any other monster, and should suffer any legitimate fatigue loss as damage accordingly, which seems easier and more consistent than considering them a special kind of monster which has a stamina value.

 

This would allow the overlord to inflict legitimate damage via movement, but not allow the overlord to use DC to drain a hero's fatigue, which is consistent with the wording of DC.

Edited by Madmartigan

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And we're in agreement that question is something FFG would have to answer. Personally, I am fine with the interpretation that the "no suffering fatigue" covers:

a) no fatigue to gain extra movement points on the DC move action

b) no exhausting of hero skills, or using any that cost fatigue. As shown by Leoric's hero ability, passive abilities would seem to still be in effect (for example, the Skirmisher's "Keen Edge" would still apply to a DC'd attack.)

 

Otherwise, the OL is allowed to make a move action that includes moving through monster spaces but not hero spaces, whether or not said movements would cause other damage (or in my opinion, fatigue) to the hero. Alternately, he can attack any hero in range (including the hero himself) and make all decisions during the attack, with the exception of the skills caveat listed above. (Also worthy of note, the rulebook does EXPLICITLY state that monsters cannot use "surge: recover 1 fatigue," though I have no idea why an OL would choose to do that.)

 

If it turns out that a hero's stamina becomes temporarily non-existent for the duration of DC (seems a little weird to me, but again, official word pending) I believe everything would stay the same as above, except any time the DC'd hero might have suffered fatigue, he would suffer a wound instead.

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You could argue the condition and not the OL is forcing the hero to lose fatigue in this situation... it's really up to FFG though

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First things first- I agree with BentoSan- you should ask (looks like you did.)

 

But, if I may- the issue is not whether the hero is allowed to suffer fatigue at all. The issue (that I've been trying to address, and I think you understand) is that the Wendigo's ability doesn't trigger when the hero moves adjacent, because he's treated as a monster, not as a hero.

 

"Freezing" reads: Each time a hero enters a space adjacent to this monster, the hero suffers 1 fatigue.

 

When a DC'd hero moves adjacent to a Wendigo, he is treated as a monster, not a hero. There is no hero moving adjacent, so "Freezing" doesn't trigger.

 

If the Wendigo's ability read: "Each time a figure moves adjacent..." , then the DC's hero would indeed suffer 1 fatigue, and that would be perfectly legitimate.

We are in perfect agreement about that point. However, the question now is whether DC'ed heroes, treated as monsters, should be considered to temporarily have no stamina value, like any other monster, and should suffer any legitimate fatigue loss as damage accordingly, which seems easier and more consistent than considering them a special kind of monster which has a stamina value.

 

This would allow the overlord to inflict legitimate damage via movement, but not allow the overlord to use DC to drain a hero's fatigue, which is consistent with the wording of DC.

Even when charmed, heroes have fatigue.

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