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Extortion

Timing Question.

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My question is specifically about OL card and other game effects that are triggered during an attack but state they need to be used "before dice are rolled". If the attacker rolls his attack dice but the defender hasn't rolled defence dice yet, is the card/effect eligible to be used? In our group the defender always waits for the attack roll first because we're all a little superstitious and don't want to "waste" a good defence roll on a miss. Up until now, we've always played under the assumption that rolling attack dice made those kinds of effects ineligible and it was up to the defender to tell the attacker to wait after the attack has been declared but before he rolls to declare what cards/skills he is using. I know the core rulebook states that attack and defence dice are both rolled during the same step of resolving an attack which (to me at least) supports the notion that as long as defence dice have not yet been rolled, that step of combat is not yet complete and "before dice are rolled" effects are still valid but I can see it going either way. Most OL cards with that timing restriction are offensive in nature and it seems to me the point of that restriction is to make the OL commit to using the card before knowing if it will pay off or not. Not being able to see the defence roll doesn't make a lot of difference for a lot of these cards. So have we been playing all wrong this far? Basically, how exactly should this effect be worded?

1. Play this card before ANY dice have been rolled

or

2. Play this card before ALL dice have been rolled

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By the rules as written, attacker and defender roll dice at exactly the same time. Cards (on either side of the attack) that specify "before dice are rolled" are supposed to be played before anyone rolls dice. It is bad form (and not by the book) for the attacker to quickly roll dice to keep the defender from playing such cards, or the other way around.

 

Usually, these cards are more powerful, and so the attacker or defender must commit to using them and can't save them for certain destruction.

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Ok, this is how we've always played. Every once in a while a player gets a little too anxious and rolls dice before checking if the overlord has any cards/effects to play. These situations are easily resolved but it always makes me wonder if we're doing it correctly. Thanks for the clarification.

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OK this is where I finally kick my Decent love away for a second because I think a rule is pretty lame.

As I said in an earlier thread my group had been playing this wrong, rolling the defense dice after surges were spent (which gave us zero trouble by the way), so we changed to the correct way and instantly had to house-rule the system because of how some cards are worded. There are abilities that say "before defense dice" and abilities that say "after attack dice." The rules say they roll at the same time but we simply couldn't play like that if the cards were to be believed. So we roll attack THEN defense, just to add that timing step in the middle for the many abilities that require it.

 

Yea you could argue that "before defense dice" essentially translates to "before all combat dice" but I would shoot that argument down, because if they are truly supposed to be rolled simultaneously then you could easily say "before COMBAT dice are rolled" or some other similar wording to generalize the text.

 

It's just really fishy all around, and I feel like something big was missed here when developing the combat order in regards to using abilities and cards.

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I get the sense that there is something that was missed. A card that says before defense dice are rolled if it can be used after you see the attack result but before defense is thrown and surges spent is a good mechanic and I would like to see it played that way.

Likewise attackers still need to see the defense roll before deciding how to spend surges.

If we were to interpret "before dice are rolled" as you must play it before attack dice are rolled.. after attack dice are rolled as before defense dice are rolled and after dice are rolled as after defense dice are rolled, the world makes more sense.

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It's just really fishy all around, and I feel like something big was missed here when developing the combat order in regards to using abilities and cards.

Firstly, I agree that splitting up attack and defense can be fun.

 

Secondly, regarding the rules, I disagree. Shields that say "before defense dice are rolled" and worded that way because the point is you have to exhaust to add the shield before you know if you need it. Same with attack die- maybe you won't get a surge to return "expert blow" to your hand- that's the risk involved in throwing it down. Writing everything as before or after "combat dice" isn't necessary. "Before defense dice" and "before attack dice" mean exactly the same thing in the context of a normal attack. Additionally, there are some OL cards that just say "after dice are rolled,' but I think some of them may apply to either set of dice.

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Think about it one more step ... why would you exhaust your shield on an attack that missed.

Rules as written of course state that dice are thrown simultaneously. I think there is a better mechanic to be had if they were not entirely simultaneous.

We would need a descent 2.1 revision for that.

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Think about it one more step ... why would you exhaust your shield on an attack that missed.

Rules as written of course state that dice are thrown simultaneously. I think there is a better mechanic to be had if they were not entirely simultaneous.

We would need a descent 2.1 revision for that.

Sure, but you might duck behind your shield before you realize that the dragon's claw goes over your head. You also might wind up your sword for a big hit just to whiff.  I see no issue with simultaneous rolls whatsoever.

Edited by Zaltyre

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If you have ever held a shield when a large morning star or flail came down on it .. you would understand why your arm might be too exhausted to do it twice ;)

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 why would you exhaust your shield on an attack that missed.

 

I think the idea is that a hero needs to commit to the shield before they know if it is a miss or not, which is significant if that hero is going to be attacked multiple times before the start of their next turn.

 

 

Secondly, regarding the rules, I disagree. Shields that say "before defense dice are rolled" and worded that way because the point is you have to exhaust to add the shield before you know if you need it. Same with attack die- maybe you won't get a surge to return "expert blow" to your hand- that's the risk involved in throwing it down. Writing everything as before or after "combat dice" isn't necessary. "Before defense dice" and "before attack dice" mean exactly the same thing in the context of a normal attack. Additionally, there are some OL cards that just say "after dice are rolled,' but I think some of them may apply to either set of dice.

 

 

I think what AiriusTorpora is saying is that if "before defense dice are rolled" and "before attack dice are rolled" mean the same thing, why differentiate between the two? Wouldn't putting "before dice are rolled" for all of those instances reduce confusion and help streamline the game's terminology and language? 

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Zaltyre I very much understand the reasoning behind having to use defense abilities before you may know you need them. The way we were playing previously basically just sticks the risk-reward in a different place.

Example in the old way we played by spending surges before defense roll:
Hero attacks master goblin, master goblin has 4 HP left.
Hero rolls 5 damage and a surge.

Hero has to decide right now if that surge turns into stamina, or if he wants to go for the "sure kill" by adding damage with the surge. The goblin COULD roll a 2 or 3 on the defense dice and not die.

It's basically the same style of risk, but now much more on the attacker's side. Also to address pierce not being powerful in that method, oh it really is still pretty powerful, you just see it coming now. Also, you are "piercing" against a known dice, so the choice in using pierce or not feels good when you can decide before the proper dice are rolled. For quick example: if you were attacking a creature with a brown defense die, you might decide to just take stamina, assuming they would roll a blank or a 1.

Now, this all being said, we don't play this way anymore. We've switched over to the rules as they are with spending surges after all the dice have been rolled, but I feel this is less risky and not as fun. Most importantly are conditions. In the previous method we played, you would have to take a risk when you tried to poison or stun or immobilize something since you didn't know if you would be able to get the damage through. In the real way, you already know once the dice are down if you can "math out" an immobilize(barring OL cards and such). Think of how risky the geomancer rune is when you take double surge to immobilize after only doing 2 points of damage on the die. Better hope they don't block it!

The game is how it is though, and I'll gladly play it in this method, but if all dice are rolled at the same time then there really wasn't a need to differentiate the timing in when attack dice or rolled and when defense dice are rolled.

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I think what AiriusTorpora is saying is that if "before defense dice are rolled" and "before attack dice are rolled" mean the same thing, why differentiate between the two? Wouldn't putting "before dice are rolled" for all of those instances reduce confusion and help streamline the game's terminology and language? 

 

Honestly, as strange as it may sound, perhaps the wording could be there to prevent a hero from exhausting the shield when he's performing an attack, or a piece of gear (like the Mana Weave) that adds a surge while defending. The situations where that would be exploitable are very rare, but I believe they do exist. The current wording limits you to using a shield when you're defending, rather than when you may be attacking.

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OK I'm pulling this thread back form the dead for a moment. (OK only 3 days, but dangit I'm so darn ZEALOUS about this;))

Page 12

 

2. ROLL DICE

 

The sub-steps of this phase are written as individual paragraphs:

 

"Attacker creates attack pool and rolls."

 

"Attacker adds up the hearts and counts the damage dealt."

 

"Defender creates defense pool, if he has abilities to modify this he uses them before the roll. He adds up the shields to count his defense."

 

"Players can use re-roll abilities"

So you totally COULD wait to see the results of an attack (minus surge boosts), then before you rolled your defense dice you could use ability to pump it up if your ability reads: "Use before rolling defense dice.

 

Now whats super kooky to me is the italicized example right below that that gives the flavor(see what I did there?) that it all happens at the same time. But because the rules are so blatantly separating these steps into different paragraphs, I would rule that they go in order, and you could insert abilities in between them when applicable.

The rules as written seem to indicate that the 2 dice pools are NOT rolled simultaneously. Page 9 is more of a rundown, and even though it uses the word "while," I think that's intentionally (or mistakenly) non-verbose and a more meticulous description of the phase is given on page 12. I feel like page 12 is clearly saying "Don't roll at the same time."

 

 

 

Edit: OH BUT THEN PAGE FREAKING 14 EXAMPLE...

Screw that, that's a horrible contradiction and I'm not taking example text over pure rules text. No simultaneous roll...

Edited by Carbini

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There are abilities that say "before defense dice" and abilities that say "after attack dice."

But there are NO abilities that say both of these things, so there is no contradiction with rolling at the same time.

 

Think about it one more step ... why would you exhaust your shield on an attack that missed.

It's a balance thing. Cards with the same effect but with different timing are not the same strength. Being able to see if you need to or not is a power boost.

 

Wouldn't putting "before dice are rolled" for all of those instances reduce confusion and help streamline the game's terminology and language? 

It would, but extraneous wording is something FFG has always had a problem with. It's almost always better to follow them literally, even if it seems that there may have been BETTER wording, it doesn't mean that the current wording is incorrect.

 

2. ROLL DICE

 

The sub-steps of this phase are written as individual paragraphs:

There isn't anything in these paragraphs to imply that they happen sequentially, though. They are broken up because they are for different players and are different things that happen, but the rules in MULTIPLE places, specify that rolling happens at the same time.

 

Now whats super kooky to me is the italicized example right below that that gives the flavor(see what I did there?) that it all happens at the same time. 

italicized text does not always imply "flavor". In this case, and elsewhere, they are examples, which should be treated as just as important as rules text, especially when they are so explicit about them.

 

At this point, you're just being stubborn and trying to twist the rules to create a justification for your initial misunderstanding. Nobody's saying you SHOULDN'T do it the way you are doing it if that's how you want to do it, but especially with the examples and references that you've pointed out, there's no case for saying that the rules agree with you or that there's a contradiction. The only contradiction is when you are inferring things that are not implied and are explicitly stated to the opposite.

Edited by griton

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Oh trust me griton I see it, and I for sure see how I'm tearing my hair out because "Dang-nabit it should be 'X' way" and yea I'll probably play my way. But I'm just saying that without that example text that blatantly says "roll simultaneously" I would never assume it was meant to be that way.

 

Also as a compsci major getting deeper into mathematics textbooks and such, there are CONSTANT cases where an example text represents the rules(in this case a mathematical function) so specifically, that it doesn't actually capture the true intent. That is, in the examples listed, "rolling simultaneously" has no effect on the rules even if they were actually intended to be 2 separate rolls, given that in that same specific example, there are no OL cards or hero/item abilities being used.

 

This viewpoint is probably why I stare at this and bash my head against the wall with "why the bleep didn't it just say 'and then once the attack/defense pools are built, both players roll dice together.'"

 

Do you see where I'm coming from? I'm not really trying to fight it because I think my way is better, it just seems like there was no reason not to include something that specific in the official rules text instead of just in the example text that shouldn't technically be required (though obviously examples do well to help explain a process).

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Do you see where I'm coming from? I'm not really trying to fight it because I think my way is better, it just seems like there was no reason not to include something that specific in the official rules text instead of just in the example text that shouldn't technically be required (though obviously examples do well to help explain a process).

Yeah, also putting it in the basic rules section would've probably helped quite a bit.

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Page 4 breaks down the stages tho doesnt it? This is something my playgroup is talking about houseruling, but I think the rules are solid due to piercing etc.

______

1. Declare Weapon and Target

2. Roll Dice

3. Check Range

4. Spend Surges

5. Deal Damage

_____

 

Rolling dice happens at turn 2. Not attacking die or defending die.

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Page 4 breaks down the stages tho doesnt it? This is something my playgroup is talking about houseruling, but I think the rules are solid due to piercing etc.

______

1. Declare Weapon and Target

2. Roll Dice

3. Check Range

4. Spend Surges

5. Deal Damage

_____

 

Rolling dice happens at turn 2. Not attacking die or defending die.

 

Except when you spend a surge to add blast ... then you have more dice to roll :P

Edited by AiriusTorpora

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Page 4 breaks down the stages tho doesnt it? This is something my playgroup is talking about houseruling, but I think the rules are solid due to piercing etc.

______

1. Declare Weapon and Target

2. Roll Dice

3. Check Range

4. Spend Surges

5. Deal Damage

_____

 

Rolling dice happens at turn 2. Not attacking die or defending die.

 

Except when you spend a surge to add blast ... then you have more dice to roll :P

 

Yea but **** the defender! ;) This game surely is not straightforward ^^

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Yes Rothak but as I've said, page 12 breaks down each stage even further, and puts the requirement of counting the total value of hearts after the attack roll in a separate paragraph, and then in a 3rd paragraph gives instructions on how defense dice are pooled and rolled.

The fact that I can't perform the steps in paragraph two without performing the steps in paragraph one would seem to indicate that this is all done in the written order, putting the defense roll separate. No where in the rules for 2. ROLL DICE does it say they are rolled simultaneous.

 

And Arius points out the obvious break in the whole thing, that there is potential to roll dice outside the roll dice step with blast (or fire breath).

 

The OLD way I was doing it even before this discussion was putting defense dice AFTER surge spending and it actually covered blast/fire breath automatically. Now that was the incorrect way to play and I didn't realize it at the time, but it held together so well that I never saw the error until it was mentioned in another thread.

 

 

 

Again: IT'S COOL GUYS I GET IT. But I just think there was no reason to only include such a specific rule (because it REALLY matters for some skills) in example text and not in the proper rules section.

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I love fire breath... 4 squares any direction... off the backwall, off the ceiling, reflected off the dead skeleton in manacles on the torture chamber... nothing but hero.

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Yes Rothak but as I've said, page 12 breaks down each stage even further, and puts the requirement of counting the total value of hearts after the attack roll in a separate paragraph, and then in a 3rd paragraph gives instructions on how defense dice are pooled and rolled.

 

The page 12-13 stuff breaks down the page 9 instructions where it says "The attacking player rolls his dice pool while the defending player rolls all necessary defense dice." Not the page 4 instructions. It's still the same instructions just not.....god why have 3 different places with different ways of breaking down the rules...

 

I haven't played this or other FFG games for long, I can see the frustration building the longer one playes them from the fact that you think you have understood the rules and then someone else points out another way to read it which is just as "right".

 

Which is not to say that part 2 of combat, roll dice, is correct either due to surges being spent is part 4. So if you are a stickler for rules, you better roll all defense dice in part 2 in preparation for any potential surges spent for blasts/breaths/others. Cause it doesnt say in the rules that you are allowed to roll defense dice at the spend surges point ^^

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