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Treaty-of-champions

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I agree that there should be some narrative to the game function- otherwise, I wouldn't even be playing Descent, but chess or checkers all the time- much simpler rulesets. What I am describing I see as a balance between narrative and mechanic simplicity. My favorite example of this in Descent is line of sight; I really do like Descent's system, even if there are a few cases where you really shouldn't and do, or should but don't have line of sight. This is because determining line of sight is so easy, and in most cases, also very accurate.

It is not about using the official rules (my group uses one or two houserules of our own), it is about having the official rules be clear- at this point, pre FFG response, we aren't even sure which one of us is houseruling- I see that as a problem.

 

In terms of the knocked out heroes- they are off the map, and essentially out of play. They can't be targets of monster abilities for the same reason they can't be targets of hero abilities. They can't be targets of attacks also because it is impossible for them to suffer any more damage or fatigue.

 

EDIT: Omnislash- yes, the FIRST part of soothing insight would not work. The SECOND part of the skill is, however, passive- a hero can discard it to recover a wound. This is sort of what I'm talking about- even enabling certain skills causes you to consider which parts of certain abilities are allowed.

 

For Vampiric blood, I would argue that just because it's passive doesn't mean it's still in effect. For example, the bit about recovering fatigue for a knocked out hero is nonsensical.

 

Also, browsing through the unofficial FAQ, I found this:

 

"Q: If a Champion is knocked out, can other heroes still use valour tokens for "Valour of Heroes" (+1 damage) or "Glory of Battle" (+1 shield)?
 
A: This is a little tricky, but yes. Since the hero is receiving a physical "thing" that doesn't rely on the Champion being on the map to trigger, another hero would be able to use valor when the Champion is knocked out."
 
At least in an unofficial capacity there seems to be some precedent for the idea that the tokens continue to function.
Edited by Zaltyre

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Correct, the second part of Soothing Insight would work because The Token is already on another hero. The hero that has it now has the ability of discarding it for the 1 Heart recovery, regardless if the Prophet is knocked out. That's what I mean by the token being the source of the effect. 

 

As in the case of Vampiric Blood, sure the Fatigue effect would still trigger. But since the Necromancer is in the state of being Knocked out, then the Fatigue recovery doesn't happen because Knocked out heroes can't recover fatigue through the use of class abilities.  

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I think we really need to break this down into several parts. 

 

 

First: When Knocked out, is the hero still on the map? 

 

My observations and I still hold to this is that the hero is still on the map, but in the state of being knocked out. My reasoning for this comes from the first paragraph.

 

When a hero or monster suffers damage equal to or greater than its Health, it is defeated. Unless specified differently in a given quest, when a monster is defeated, it is simply removed from the map and is no longer in play. When a hero is defeated, he is knocked out.

 

There is a difference here in how a monster is defeated and how a hero is defeated. The monster is removed from the map. The hero is Knocked out.

 

When a hero is defeated, he immediately suffers fatigue up to his Stamina, damage up to his Health (if defeated by some other effect), and the controlling player removes his figure from the map, replacing it with one of his hero tokens.

 

What occurs here is the figure being removed, but it's replaced with one of his hero tokens.

 

Here is another part of the rules that I find interesting:

 

A space containing a knocked out hero (represented by a hero token) is considered to be empty to other figures for the purposes of movement. In other words, any figure may move through and end its movement in that space. Also, knocked out heroes do not block line of sight.

 

The space is empty to other figures for the purpose of movement only. The space still contains the hero, represented by the hero token. 

 

Therefore my conclusion here is quite simple: A knocked out hero is still on the map, but represented by his hero token. 

 

Second: Passive Abilities

 

So there is a line in the rules that says:

 

A hero cannot use skills or abilities while knocked out, unless an effect specifically allows it.

 

I admit that's pretty vague. Heroes can't use skills or abilities while knocked out, but oh wait, yes they can. What determines what is specifically allowed and what is not?

 

Passive abilities are effects that just happen. The hero isn't using the skill or ability, it's already in effect. This is one reason why heroes actually stay on the map. If the hero was removed from the map totally, those passive abilities and effects would go away.

 

That's why stat changes are also passive abilities. They are just there and effect everything and since the knocked out hero already started the quest with those stat changes, it doesn't wear off just because he's Koed. 

 

Passive abilities are in effect when the hero gains the class card. When a passive ability requires a trigger, there is usually something that will set it off, but it doesn't have to be the hero who owns the class card. It can be anything that happens. Example:

 

 http://descent2e.wikia.com/wiki/Potent_Remedies

 

Any hero who discards an Elixir Token can perform this effect. 

 

What about the second effect? It requires the knocked out hero to perform an exhaust on the card in order to do it. That's not a Passive ability, but a triggered ability. So the knocked out hero can't use the skill or ability, it's not specifically allowed.

 

Third: What are Knocked out Heroes effected by? 

 

 

Unless revived by another hero, a knocked out hero may only perform one action on his next turn, and that action must be to stand back up (see “Stand Up” on page 10). A knocked out hero may still recover damage from other heroes through the use of skills, potions, and being revived (see “Revive a Hero” on page 10).

 

 Can only do a Stand up Action. Can recover damage from other heroes. This is another reason why the hero is not removed from the map. If the hero was removed, there would be nothing to target!

 

While monster attacks cannot target or affect a knocked out hero, hero players may only target a knocked out hero with an ability that would allow the knocked out hero to recover any amount of damage. For this exception, the knocked out hero’s hero token is treated as a hero even if another figure occupies the space containing the hero token.

 

Can't be targeted by any effects other then recovering damage from another hero. This is different from passive abilities because the effect first targets and is requires to trigger. This is also why Vampiric Blood does not work against knocked out heroes.

 

There ARE effects that allow heroes to recover fatigue, but they are usually associated with revive and Stand up Actions. Those are cases where the game actually specifically tells you what effect will happen.

 

Four: Crow Hag's LifeThirst Effect 

 

What initially triggered this whole discussion. There are several reasons this ability has me confused. For one, it doesn't say in the rules that knocked out heroes can't be effected by passive monster abilities which is what this ability is. It also triggers when a hero recovers hearts, which is one of the only few things that effect knocked out heroes! I can't give anyone a definite yes or no when it comes to an answer here, which is why the question was asked officially.

 

Hopefully my explanation of how I understand the rules makes sense to everyone.  

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Actually, upon examining Vampiric Blood further:

 

This is a passive ability. The triggered effect happens when the Re-animate defeats a monster. Since there is no exhaust trigger other then the defeat of a monster, then I would say the Knocked out Necromancer does indeed recover fatigue because it is more a reaction based effect then it is a targeted effect. This might be another question posed upon Fantasy Flight as it falls into the same realm as Lifethirst.  

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I disagree with your interpretation of knocked out heroes being on the map. On the contrary, consistently it has been ruled that hero tokens represent heroes, but they DO NOT count as heroes. A hero token is only considered to be a hero for the purpose of healing abilities. For example- "prayer of healing" considers the hero token to be an adjacent hero. However, the OL card "mistrust" absolutely would not trigger when a hero steps next to a hero token.

The way I see it, there are 2 types of abilities: triggered abilities, and abilities without triggers. Abilities without triggers are literally all the time "Apply +1 to your stamina" and the like. Some of the triggered abilities have no cost ("each time you suffer fatigue to gain a MP, gain an additional MP" or "each time you attack, it gains surge +1"). Some triggered abilities have a cost, but can be triggered repeatedly (use this card) while others can only be used once per round (exhaust this card.)

Vampiric Blood is shown by Dark Charm to be dependent on the necromancer, not independent to the reanimate. Perhaps that is the ruling that doesn't make sense, but assuming that is the intent, I don't think the reanimate should have his yellow die if the necro is KO.

 

I think it's definitely debatable whether or not "always on" abilities should persist when you're knocked out (health increases, permanent dice additions, etc) but if so, they should also be a part of dark charms and such. For example, if the Reanimate has the yellow from vampiric blood when you are knocked out, it should ALWAYS have that yellow, dark charm or no. Otherwise, it's a double standard. There are a few "triggered, no cost" abilities that probably should persist- namely, those that are token specific. Grim fate, etc. However, there are other "trigger, no cost" abilities that I firmly believe should not be allowed to be used while KO. For example, necromancer's "dark pact", which lets you take wound for your reanimate, or him take wound for you. It is "passive" in that there is no cost, but it only triggers when the reanimate (or you) suffer damage. However, if that's allowed to function while you are knocked out "just because it's passive," it creates a situation where you have a literally invincible reanimate (every time it suffers damage, you could just choose to suffer the damage instead, which will have no effect since you are knocked out.)

 

The prophet's "Grim Fate" and the Stalker's "Lay of the Land" are abilities that are strange because another hero exhausts your class card. however, both of these skills are tied to class tokens. On the other hand, there are skills like the spiritspeaker's "cloud of mist." You obviously can't exhaust the card while knocked out, but say the card is exhausted when you get knocked out- what then (this one explicitly depends on the hero being considered "off the map")? While we're on the topic of narrative vs. mechanic, we have the conjurer, whose image tokens are not familiars. She clearly supports the tokens, as she suffers wound and fatigue when they are defeated- however, there is no rule causing them to be removed upon KO. Fortunately, as they are not familiars, at least they can't do anything but defend when the conjurer is KO (though with "illusory path" they are still movement obstacles.

Edited by Zaltyre

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In regards to the example of the elixir token being able to be used by a character as it is a passive ability, it actually suggests in the LoR rulebook that the effects of drinking the elixir token are on the character class as a reminder rather than the class card itself must be active to effect.  It seems they are more like an item:

'Any hero with an elixir token has the option of discarding it at any point

during his turn to recover damage. This ability is printed on the “Brew
Elixir” Apothecary Class card as a reminder. When a hero discards an
elixir token, he rolls one red power die and recovers damage equal to the
¥ rolled on the die. A knocked out hero cannot discard an elixir token
during his turn.'

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In regards to the example of the elixir token being able to be used by a character as it is a passive ability, it actually suggests in the LoR rulebook that the effects of drinking the elixir token are on the character class as a reminder rather than the class card itself must be active to effect.  It seems they are more like an item:

'Any hero with an elixir token has the option of discarding it at any point

during his turn to recover damage. This ability is printed on the “Brew
Elixir” Apothecary Class card as a reminder. When a hero discards an
elixir token, he rolls one red power die and recovers damage equal to the
¥ rolled on the die. A knocked out hero cannot discard an elixir token
during his turn.'

 

This has been brought up earlier in the discussion- each of the expansions contains a section that explains the new classes included in it. I see this more as an explanation of the new class mechanics (similar to explanations of new terrain mechanics.) The rulebook is explaining what the class skill does- that doesn't make the affect independent of the class skill. 

 

The unofficial ruling about valor tokens does suggest that token effects can be used regardless of whether or not a hero is knocked out. The larger question pertains to abilities that do not involve tokens.

Edited by Zaltyre

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For all the examples you've given, I'll explain how and why they work with my explanation.

 

Prayer of Healing

 

http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/descent2e/images/0/0f/Prayer_of_healing.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/180?cb=20140911054606

 

Rules: hero players may only target a knocked out hero with an ability that would allow the knocked out hero to recover any amount of damage.

 

This ability is legal to use on a knocked out hero because it allows him/her to recover life.

 

Mistrust

 

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/media/ffg_content/descent-second-ed/guest-articles/cards/mistrust.png

 

Rules: A space containing a knocked out hero (represented by a hero token) is considered to be empty to other figures for the purposes of movement

 

The effect of mistrust won't trigger because movement is taking place and the space of the knocked out hero is considered empty to other figures.

 

Grim Fate

 

http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/descent2e/images/2/2e/Grim-fate.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/180?cb=20140912053459

 

One of those examples where another hero uses the token to create the effect. The hero discards the token, the effect triggers. This is an extreme example of another hero exhausting someone else's class card. But the active hero can in effect still do it because the knocked out hero is still on the map. 

 

Lay of the Land

 

http://www.descentinthedark.com/2nd/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/lay-of-the-land.jpg

 

This is a token based effect that is not dependent on the hero who created the token, knocked out or otherwise.

 

Cloud of Mist 

 

http://www.descentinthedark.com/2nd/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/cloud_of_mist.jpg

 

This is a delayed trigger. The Spiritspeaker exhausts the card, the effect occurs, then the Spiritspeaker get's knocked out. The effect is still in play though and will continue to be in play until the card is refreshed on the Spiritspeaker's next turn. Thus why the hero is not removed from the map as the effect needs to still have a source. 

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-We are in agreement about prayer of healing. as it is a healing ability, it is able to treat a hero token as if that token were a hero.

 

-We are also in agreement about lay of the land and grim fate. Assuming that the response about valor tokens is accurate, these could both be construed as token effects.

 

-Good point about mistrust falling under the movement provision. Cards like "Exploit Weakness" would also not be targetable against a knocked out hero- but not because of the movement restriction.

 

Found it, finally. From the unofficial FAQ: 

 

 
 
 

 

In that interpretation, Cloud of Mist would cease to be effective once the spiritspeaker is knocked out. Since the spiritspeaker hero is not on the map, there are no spaces "within 3 spaces of her" in whioh "cloud of mist" will apply until she stands up.

Edited by Zaltyre

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For what it's worth, and bearing in mind my background in terms of other games I´ve played in the past, I agree with Zaltyre on the fact that a general rule should be stated covering all skills and abilities, even if it comes at the price of introducing new game notions. I´m not very interested if one or several skill/ability kick in/apply or not, I want the rule covering them all, and stating the exceptions (like skills requiring the presence of the hero on the map). I can live with specific rules covering a couple of really tricky skills that would require a special rules segment, but I would really want to avoid having to look up every single skill in the game for FAQ entries and unofficial BGG entries just to verify if common sense can solve the situation or not.

Otherwise we´ll have this conversation over again every time new skills are being released. That's why I didn't ask FGG for their answer concerning specific skill cards but to provide a rule of thumb for all of them. I personally don't see this as being a much daunting task, only they can clarify how skill cards source in-game effects and the effect of their owner being KO on these. I honestly don't believe FFG has a convoluted answer to this.

Edited by Indalecio

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Well you can't go against an official response. Going by that then, any delayed triggered effects won't happen if the source hero is Koed.

Yes but that last part of your sentence is a assumption we´d make based on a short reply to the question "does skill X apply or not". My point being that it would help if FFG could extend the scope of their response so that no doubt is left as for how similar skills work in practice. Otherwise they leave the job to us as for qualifying every skill in the game, often using non-official terminology, or even thematic reasoning (like the bond to a familiar being destroyed), and deduct what rules should be covering them based on a subset of official replies from FFG. I personally don't think that's enough.

For example:

Q: Can Elixirs be used even if the Apotecary is KO

A: Yes.

-> We can only assume the same is valid for Valor tokens, which has probably 99.9% chance to be true, but who knows if all types of tokens can be covered by this ruling.

I find many rules questions on BGG where the answer from the community is basically "We don't know, but FFG said <this> about a skill that looks similar to this one". If people are happy with that then fine, I personally think some effort could have been be thrown to fill the gaps in the rules in a more efficient manner rather than having to repetitively compare situations and make an informed guess as for how FFG would have thought that through and simply assume it's their official understanding of the rules. Even worse, consider it official and spread it to players asking on the forums.

I'd prefer the following:

Q: Do tokens created by an ability still apply even if the hero who owns the source of the token is KO?

A: Yes

-> All tokens in scope, end of discussion.

Or:

Q: Does the +4 health apply to the Wolf familiar even if the Beastmaster is KO?

A: Yes since it's a passive ability and passive abilties always apply for all in-game effects linked to it. Passive abilities are effects that always apply as long as the condition described on the card is fulfilled.

-> We now have a new concept called "passive ability" with its own definition, which can apply to many other skills.

FFG's answer tends to be just "Yes", unless there's already an explicit reason in the rulesbook stating why it's "No". I think some areas of the rules for that game deserve a more comprehensive answer.

Edited by Indalecio

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Indalecio, if I could "like" that comment multiple times I would. A ruling that is broadly applicable is much, much preferred to a specific yes or no for a single ability. In fairness to FFG, they often do provide justification for their responses, which is helpful for applying them to other situations, but not always.

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Yes sorry, I´m happy in general with FFG's support to rules question, but huge amounts of partial answers from FFG lie currently scattered around the web, BGG in particular. Even the FAQ is hard to use in my opinion, as I wish they could release full rules/quest books with version history that we could download. Or heck, even purchase as an add-on, if they ever reach a certain stability in the versions. Otherwise the amount of printed/online documentation that is necessary to have with you when you play is mental.

Justifications are provided from FFG (but not always, I must point out), but they keep the response in the same scope as the question. If multiple persons are asking about the effects of death in the game, maybe posting a clarification on these forums or in an article (or a new revision of the FAQ) might be a better solution than answering each question individually. Visibility is not great atm, and you can't trust anybody in their interpretation (although you Zaltyre are probably the exception ;) )

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Indalecio, if I could "like" that comment multiple times I would.

 

It seems you can. I had two notifications of your "like" on one of my posts:

http://imgur.com/xnv1dbY

Ha.

<you_tube_mode>

Smash that like button, guys. If we ever reach 500 likes I´ll send out some D2E giveaways.

</you_tube_mode>

EDIT: Andrew, maybe the reason is that Zaltyre first liked your post, then thought it was a poor choice and clicked "unlike", then had regrets and re-liked again? :)

Edited by Indalecio

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I'm sorry if I have been overly technical in this topic, though I hope perhaps some of what I've said makes sense. I agree that FF doesn't really have a broad generalization of how things work. I honestly wish they would just say in the rules for example " Overlord cards do not effect Knocked out heroes". However, nowhere in the rules does it specifically say whether they do or not. 

 

There is something else to consider here also. There are times when heroes actually do move off the map through the quest design. In those cases, if the heroes leave, what happens then? I think it's only sensible to assume passives won't work unless it's a token (still technically on the board.) That's a whole other matter entirely and I don't want to complicate the issue more, but as you can see there is always something else to take into consideration. 

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Omnislash- determining mechanics like this requires technical discussion- what we are trying to do is understand how the game rules function in very specific circumstances. If you want to determine why a rubber block grips a slanted glass surface but a metal block slides you can't just say "because gravity" or "because friction"; you need to establish that different materials have different amounts of friction because of their structure, and it is a combination of that, gravitational force, and angle of incline that determines whether or not it will slide.

I think the question of whether or not lifethirst works on a recovering KOed hero and how to treat Ko heroes in general requires that we know:

-If a KO hero token is targetable by monster abilities, OL cards, etc.

-If a KO hero is on the map.

-Which hero abilities, skills, etc are in effect for that hero or other heroes use while the hero is knocked out (or off the map, or if that is the same thing).

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Rules question: Does the crowhag's lifethirst affect knocked out heroes? What about the OL card "Trading Pains"? I suspect no on both counts, but would appreciate confirmation. Thanks!

 

Answer:Yes, both the Crow Hag’s Lifethirst and the OL card Trading Pains affect knocked-out heroes. Because these heroes can be targeted for healing abilities, abilities that affect healing would still affect the healing of knocked-out heroes.

 
Thanks for playing,
Kara Centell-Dunk
Game Developer
 
That's a surprise to me, but we have our answer for this ability. Crow Hags are apparently one of those monsters the heroes just can't afford to ignore. The explanation makes sense. The healing ability is treating that token as a hero, and the healing-nullification triggers off of the healing. That is, it can target a hero token because it is sort of a "negative-healing" ability.
Edited by Zaltyre

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Rules question: Does the crowhag's lifethirst affect knocked out heroes? What about the OL card "Trading Pains"? I suspect no on both counts, but would appreciate confirmation. Thanks!

 

Answer:Yes, both the Crow Hag’s Lifethirst and the OL card Trading Pains affect knocked-out heroes. Because these heroes can be targeted for healing abilities, abilities that affect healing would still affect the healing of knocked-out heroes.

 
Thanks for playing,
Kara Centell-Dunk
Game Developer
 
That's a surprise to me, but we have our answer for this ability. Crow Hags are apparently one of those monsters the heroes just can't afford to ignore. The explanation makes sense. The healing ability is treating that token as a hero, and the healing-nullification triggers off of the healing. That is, it can target a hero token because it is sort of a "negative-healing" ability.

 

 I'm honestly not all that surprised. ( My reasonings are stated above.)

 

That being said, Crow Hags are utterly broken. There is no way I can condone a situation where heroes can be on a KO lockdown. KOs happen, no matter how much you prepare for them, as an errant Surge, OL card, Blank Dice roll, can land someone there. A player is not going to enjoy the game watching everyone else play while the Hags just keep him out of it all. 

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While I am also skeptical of lifethirst's balance, I'd like to see it in play. What remains to be seen is whether the power of lifethirst is offset by the fact that the OL is choosing a group of otherwise wimpy monsters (act 2 master attacks b,y) with a group limit of 1 master and 2 minions.

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Their wimpyness revolves around their attack dice. One Blue, One yellow. I've seen Goblins Hit Heroes pretty hard even with those dice. They have a Surge of +2 heart. They're extremely fast, and their attacks are ranged. 

Then you take their defense Dice. That's a Black Die, known for rolling really high Shields. The Master adds a grey. Combined with some very high Life, that's going to make them extremely hard to kill. And if they can be reinforced? You'll be fighting them all day if your not KO-locked. 

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