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MaitiMaus

To the designer: I need a ruling on this please!!!

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There is a discussion going on in the forms for this game on BGG. The question is can you fulfill a requirement for a card that makes you choose between two options, when you can only partially fill one option? For example, if I had to choose between spending 2 clues or taking 2 damage and I only have one clue to spend, can I spend that one clue to fulfill the two clues requirement? Please let me know!!!

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As the person arguing on the other forum, I'll let you know the designers won't reply here.  If you have a rules question, ask it here:

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/contact/rules/

 

:P

Edit, I should also say I asked this question already, waiting for an answer.  Probably we shouldn't barrage them with hypothetical questions though.

Edited by SuperMarino

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Matthew Newman responded, with much as I expected:

 

Unfortunately I cannot answer rules questions based on hypothetical (or fanmade) cards, only released cards. My apologies. I hope you understand.

Note, there was more to the e-mail, but this was the answer for the specific question.

 
So no final answer on how it would play out, but for those interested in the discussion, I'd say go to the boardgamegeek thread, rather than discussing here:  https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1699607/can-i-choose-option-i-cannot-fulfill

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I just posted on the BGG thread, but my interpretation would be that you could not choose to spend clues if you only have 1.  The rulebook doesn't specifically address the situation (which we shouldn't expect, since it's a hypothetical card).  In the absence of specific rule and the inability for the designers to comment, I think it's prudent to look at the rules for Lord of the Rings.  The LotR FAQ states:

 

If a card instead uses the structure “... must either X or
Y...” then the player may choose which task to perform,

although one of them must be performed in full, if able

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I am going to offer some insight based on my experience seeking rules clarifications on items the Rules Reference does not explicitly cover. I think Matt and the gang did the community a great service by implementing "The Grim Rule" on page 2 of the rules reference.

 
The Grim Rule
 
If players are unable to find the answer to a rules or timing conflict
in this Rules Reference, resolve the conflict in the manner that
the players perceive as the worst possible at that moment with
regards to winning the scenario, and continue with the game.
 
In the instance the OP references the investigator would suffer 2 damage if they did have 2 clues to spend.
Edited by malfak

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It's not even necessary to employ the Grim Rule. It's a very clear ruling (full disclosure: I am NOT a designer or affiliated with FFG in any way) - if you cannot fully pay one cost, you MUST take the other cost/penalty. That's my viewpoint, anyways.

Although I think I'm gonna pore over the rules reference to see if I can find language to that effect.

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@bigmac

 

With respect, If the answer cannot be clarified by the Rules Reference than please explain why it is unnecessary to employ the Grim Rule? This is precisely why the Grim Rule exists. Is there something in the Rules Reference that covers this or another precedent? 

Edited by malfak

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@bigmac

 

With respect, If the answer cannot be clarified by the Rules Reference than please explain why it is unnecessary to employ the Grim Rule? This is precisely why the Grim Rule exists. Is there something in the Rules Reference that covers this or another precedent? 

 

The Grim Rule isn't a real rule it's just to prevent an in game disagreement turning into an hour long discussion. Outside of the game there is no Grim Rule, just rules and day long discussions about them.

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Perhaps the ruling under Target is applicable:

 

  • If an ability requires the choosing of a target, and there is no valid target (or not enough valid targets), the ability cannot be initiated.

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Perhaps the ruling under Target is applicable:

 

  • If an ability requires the choosing of a target, and there is no valid target (or not enough valid targets), the ability cannot be initiated.

A lot of people mentioned this on the BGG thread, but I don't think it is valid.  Targeting means choosing who to attack, evade, etc.  Choosing an option in an either/or sentence wouldn't qualify as targeting.

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Perhaps the ruling under Target is applicable:

 

  • If an ability requires the choosing of a target, and there is no valid target (or not enough valid targets), the ability cannot be initiated.

A lot of people mentioned this on the BGG thread, but I don't think it is valid.  Targeting means choosing who to attack, evade, etc.  Choosing an option in an either/or sentence wouldn't qualify as targeting.

 

 

I didn't mean it directly answers the question, but it is relevant. This rule applies in cases like: "Choose 2 enemies engaged you and deal 1 damage to each of them." With only 1 enemy engaged, that player can't use the card. That's highly analogous to this situation - the trigger is targeting 2 enemies; or in OP's case, "targeting" 2 Clues. If that number can't be fulfilled, the trigger fails.

 

It's important to note you can always take 2 damage. Even 1 HP away from death, you can always apply as much damage as you want as part of a single effect. So in this hypothetical situation, the second choice will always be a valid trigger if the first (discard 2 Clues) fails.

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@steves71

 

With respect, the original poster had a rule question that could not be answered by the Rules Reference

The Grim Rule exists for this precise reason and should be employed in this instance or any instance that cannot be answered by the Rules Reference or any future FAQ

 

If players are unable to find the answer to a rules or timing conflict
in this Rules Reference, resolve the conflict in the manner that
the players perceive as the worst possible at that moment with
regards to winning the scenario, and continue with the game.

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@steves71

 

With respect, the original poster had a rule question that could not be answered by the Rules Reference. 

The Grim Rule exists for this precise reason and should be employed in this instance or any instance that cannot be answered by the Rules Reference or any future FAQ

 

If players are unable to find the answer to a rules or timing conflict
in this Rules Reference, resolve the conflict in the manner that
the players perceive as the worst possible at that moment with
regards to winning the scenario, and continue with the game.

 

That very last part, and continue with the game. So during the game you use the grim rule then outside of the game you find out what the correct answer is. If you do invoke the grim rule like you first mentioned in this thread you will get what most of us consider to be the correct answer anyway, that the OP can't choose to only fulfil part of an option. 

 

Edit- If I come across a bit abrupt I don't mean too, I've just seem far too many people keep quoting the grim rule as a solution to the most simple of questions. And I sometimes think that the designers decision to call it a rule was one of the worst things they did in this game.

Edited by steves71

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The grim rule is not about finding a proper ruling but to fall back on in lieu of finding a proper ruling therefore has no purpose in a discussion on rule interpretation.

 

Regarding the op "players must resolve as much of each aspect of the effect as they are able"

 

If you are able to fully resolve the aspect of A and only partially B, you must choose A.

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If you are able to fully resolve the aspect of A and only partially B, you must choose A.

 

This is what is not explicit in the Rules Reference, so can't be stated authoritatively. I do agree with you, but it's currently unsupported by the rules.

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Its very clear. Either discard one card or take 2 horror. Did you discard any cards? no you didnt so take 2 horror. Remember you cannot make a choice that does not change the game state.

Edited by Sindriss

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Hello Matt! Hope you're having a great time during the holidays! :)

A rules question about the RRG entry for "Must":

"- If an investigator is instructed that he or she "must" choose among multiple options, the investigator is compelled to choose an option that has the potential to change the game state."

Scenario 1 Agenda 1b "A Lapse in Time" says:

"The lead investigator must decide (choose one): Either each investigator discards 1 card at random from his or her hand, or the lead investigator takes 2 horror."

Can the lead investigator choose the option for each player to discard 1 card at random, if one of the players has no cards in hand?

I don't see why not, as the RRG entry for "Must" requires the potential to change the game state, not the successful resolution in full. So if at least one player has a card in hand, then choosing the first option seems like fair game to me.

To take this question a step further, let's look at the card "Hunting Shadow":

"Revelation - You must choose either (choose one): Spend 1 clue or take 2 damage."

Let's imagine that it says "Spend 2 clues or take 2 damage." Could I choose the first option if I only had 1 clue? Again, this would seem to comply with the requirement set forth by the RRG entry for "Must". But there are people who feel that there's something fishy about it... maybe we're missing some other RRG entry that would be relevant here?

Thanks Matt!

P.S. The RRG entry for "Target" says that "The term "choose" indicates that one or more targets must be chosen in order for an ability to resolve.", but I guess this was written without having the "choose one [option]" effects in mind? Meaning, options are not targets, right?

Greetings!

When dealing with choices, if the word “must” is present, you must choose an option that has the potential to change the game state.

"The lead investigator must decide (choose one): Either each investigator discards 1 card at random from his or her hand, or the lead investigator takes 2 horror.”

In this case, you may choose the former option as long as it has the potential to change the game state, i.e. at least 1 investigator has a card that can be discarded from his or her hand. If no investigators had cards in their hand, then you would have to choose to take 2 horror, but you may choose the former option even if only 1 investigator has a card in their hand to discard.

I can’t comment on hypothetical cards, but I’m sure you can extrapolate based on this example. The relevant rule here is that the option chosen must have the potential to change the game state. You need not choose an option that can resolve in full as long as you choose an option that can change the game state. Likewise, you need not choose the option that hurts you most. Although, as a co-operative game, your group might choose to purposely do so in order to make the game more difficult, if that is your thing! =)

The rules entry for “Target” applies when referring to game elements or entities, such as cards, tokens, or players. This covers effects such as “Choose and discard all but 1 card from your hand” (Amnesia) or "Choose an investigator at your location” (Encyclopedia). When you are choosing between two different effects, i.e. "You must decide (choose one): Either do X or do Y,” you are not “targeting” one of the two effects, you are simply deciding which of those two effects resolves and which does not.

Hope that helps! Cheers,

------------------------------------------------

Matthew Newman

Edited by mplain

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