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James McMurray

Collected list of obstacles

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This stems from the discussion of Fly and what can be flown over.

There are a few calls I made in this that may need to be explained:

1) Crushing Walls are called obstacles by the FAQ, so I labelled them as such. The FAQ entry is about Crushing Block, but the statement is "This is a list of all relevant obstacles, current through the Road to Legend: Boulder, Crushing Wall, Rubble, Water. (Villagers are figures, not map elements.)" There is no "only for the purposes of Crushing Block" language.

If Crushing Wall is not considered an obstacle because of its placement in the FAQ, villagers should also only be considered figures for the purposes of Crushing Block which means, among other things, that they are very easy to spawn behind.

2) I left sharks and tentacles blank. They're definitely not obstacles, but are never classified as figures nor mentioned in regards to blocking movement or line of sight. Presumably they are supposed to be treated as figures.

3) I didn't classify deep water as an obstacle. It's never declared as such. This has the odd (and presumably unintentional) side effect that Zyla cannot fly over deep water. Monsters may or may not be able to, depending on if you adopt the Road to Legend FAQ entries for Sea of Blood games.

I couldn't find a way to format text for this forum software, so a text file is located here.

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This is the FAQ answer you're referring to?

"Crushing Block may never be played in a space adjacent to any token (or built-in map element) that blocks movement. The reason for this is to prevent the Overlord from sealing a hallway completely and preventing the heroes from ever progressing. This is a list of all relevant obstacles, current through the Road to Legend: Boulder, Crushing Wall, Rubble, Water. (Villagers are figures, not map elements.)"

The FAQ answer is internally inconsistent, since it says that it applies to all tokens and built-in map elements, but then later refers to the list as obstacles.  Also, villagers are excluded from the list because they are "not map elements," not because they are "not obstacles."  The wording on the Crushing Block card itself is apparently not relevant, since this is clearly an errata, not a clarification (unless you're going to argue that's an exhaustive list of every obstacle in the game).

So that's two references indicating it's a list of map elements that block movement (regardless of classification), and one indicating it's a list of obstacles.  The majority reference is also consistent with published rules, while the "obstacles" label is not.

You also have the fact that, unless you override the "count as walls for purposes of blocking movement, etc." stuff, having them count as obstacles has no game effect whatsoever, as far as I can tell (counting as obstacles is explicitly not a requirement of mattering for CB, as per this FAQ ruling, and the only other things that trigger off of obstacle classification are for movement or attacking--Fly, Acrobat, Precision--and therefore blocked by the "as walls" rule).

Dollars to doughnuts, the word "obstacles" there is simply a mistake.  I don't think it's even supposed to be "obstacles-for-purposes-of-Crushing-Block," but "map elements relevant to the errata'd version of Crushing Block".

There's probably a solid 3-4 questions for Thundercles' list in there, though.

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Antistone said:

This is the FAQ answer you're referring to?

"Crushing Block may never be played in a space adjacent to any token (or built-in map element) that blocks movement. The reason for this is to prevent the Overlord from sealing a hallway completely and preventing the heroes from ever progressing. This is a list of all relevant obstacles, current through the Road to Legend: Boulder, Crushing Wall, Rubble, Water. (Villagers are figures, not map elements.)"

The FAQ answer is internally inconsistent, since it says that it applies to all tokens and built-in map elements, but then later refers to the list as obstacles.  Also, villagers are excluded from the list because they are "not map elements," not because they are "not obstacles."  The wording on the Crushing Block card itself is apparently not relevant, since this is clearly an errata, not a clarification (unless you're going to argue that's an exhaustive list of every obstacle in the game).

So that's two references indicating it's a list of map elements that block movement (regardless of classification), and one indicating it's a list of obstacles.  The majority reference is also consistent with published rules, while the "obstacles" label is not.

You also have the fact that, unless you override the "count as walls for purposes of blocking movement, etc." stuff, having them count as obstacles has no game effect whatsoever, as far as I can tell (counting as obstacles is explicitly not a requirement of mattering for CB, as per this FAQ ruling, and the only other things that trigger off of obstacle classification are for movement or attackingFly, Acrobat, Precisionand therefore blocked by the "as walls" rule).

Dollars to doughnuts, the word "obstacles" there is simply a mistake.  I don't think it's even supposed to be "obstacles-for-purposes-of-Crushing-Block," but "map elements relevant to the errata'd version of Crushing Block".

There's probably a solid 3-4 questions for Thundercles' list in there, though.

I'm just explaining my reasoning. You are of course free to ignore any or all of the list / the FAQ / the game / the whatever.

Heck, I personally hope our group will be ignoring parts of it (such as Deep Water not being an obstacle).

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Big Remy said:

And the hellish Pandora's Box that is "What is an obstacle and what is Prop"  is once again opened....

God save the faithful....

Maybe if we open it enough times, FFG will eventually post a full list similar to this one. :)

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James McMurray said:

*snip*

villagers should also only be considered figures for the purposes of Crushing Block which means, among other things, that they are very easy to spawn behind.

Uh, figures don't block line of sight for spawning, according to rules answering persons from ffg.  If you want to contest it (again), I can add it to the list.

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Correct. What I'm saying is that by the base rules they are obstacles and they block line of sight, so they can be spawned behind. The entry for Crushing Block recategorizes them as figures, meaning they no longer block line of sight for spawning.

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so anything that lists "Blocks Movement - Yes" (that isn't disqualified by being a figure) is classified as an obstacle by the (completely stupid) FAQ answer that listed Boulders and Crushing Walls as obstacles.  This means that

Cage
Monster Egg
Statue
Weapon Mount

are all obstacles (if you follow my most hated ruling lengua.gif)

Additionally, the entry for Table is wrong: tables don't block Movement or LoS but are still Obstacles.
 

Sharks are listed as monsters on page 17 and have a monster card.  This means they are figures and thus block movement and LoS, but mainly it means that they don't belong on your list since they're not in the props list.  Tentacles aren't on the props list either, so take them off your list.

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Thundercles said:

so anything that lists "Blocks Movement - Yes" (that isn't disqualified by being a figure) is classified as an obstacle by the (completely stupid) FAQ answer that listed Boulders and Crushing Walls as obstacles.

 

This is one interpretation, but I didn't go that far. I only called out things as obstacles if they are directly referred to as such, either in the rules about them, the FAQ, or the inventory list for the various types of tokens.

I updated the file to include tables being obstacles. I left sharks and tentacles in because while they're treated as monsters, they are never referred to as figures, so the rules on them are incomplete. Treating them as figures seems the best thing to do, but per the rulebook they're definitely props (p. 2 in the inventory list).

I sent a link to this thread and the file via the rules question link at the bottom of the page, so maybe if we're lucky we'll get an official clarification or denouncement of the sticky bits in the chart.

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Dude, sharks are monsters on page 17 of the SoB rulebook.  Monsters are figures.  QED sharks don't belong on this list.

 

EDIT:

Forgot to mention: Where is the rule that says that Whirlpools are obstacles?

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Dude, sharks are monsters on page 17 of the SoB rulebook. Monsters are figures. QED sharks don't belong on this list.

Where does it say that all monsters are figures? I'm not disagreeing, but the closest I could find is that monsters treat other monsters as friendly figures for movement. The game seems to use the words monster and figure interchangeably, but never says that "if you're a monster, you must be a figure" either directly (albeit sometimes it's hinted at indirectly). I only had time to do a text search through the base rules for "monster" so if it's somewhere else please let me know.

And yeah, I'm aware of all of the insanity that can occur if you don't treat them as figures (for one thing, they're arguably immortal). :) I'm not advocating that they be treated that way, just trying to make the list reflect the rules, not what I think they should be.

Forgot to mention: Where is the rule that says that Whirlpools are obstacles?

The rules for what happens when you collide your ship with the whirlpool are under the heading "Colliding with obstacles" on page 29.

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re monsters != figures:

First of all, if you're not advocating that they be treated like props, maybe don't include them on the prop list.  Second, the matter of their prop status is a completely separate point than the one you're trying to make here.  Basically, even though there is "no evidence" that shark fins are figures (aside from "the game doesn't make sense unless they are"; why the destruction of the internal logic of the game isn't a good enough reason is beyond me) there is, in fact, zero evidence that fins are props or terrain. The only thing we can say for sure from the rules is that they represent monsters (also, sharks).

If you persist in including them, you'd have to ask if lieutenants are figures, 'cause that's not in the rules or the FAQ either (although I believe that answer already exists in the GLoAQ, so it's probably not necessary). 

 

re whirpools:

Good catch, I didn't notice that.  Would that mean that Acrobats ignore Whirpool death?  I know Flying creatures can just ignore terrain altogether unless it blocks movement, but I'm not sure Acrobats get the same luxury if they land on a spot.

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there is, in fact, zero evidence that fins are props or terrain. The only thing we can say for sure from the rules is that they represent monsters (also, sharks).

The rulebook lists them with all of the other props, or I'd have left them off the list entirely.

Good catch, I didn't notice that.  Would that mean that Acrobats ignore Whirpool death?  I know Flying creatures can just ignore terrain altogether unless it blocks movement, but I'm not sure Acrobats get the same luxury if they land on a spot.

Under the current rules an acrobat be able to avoid being pulled into the whirlpool. Though they'd still have to swim over to it, since "Deep Water" isn't categorized as an obstacle and hence can't be Acrobat-ed past or flown over.

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James McMurray said:

This stems from the discussion of Fly and what can be flown over.

There are a few calls I made in this that may need to be explained:

1) Crushing Walls are called obstacles by the FAQ, so I labelled them as such. The FAQ entry is about Crushing Block, but the statement is "This is a list of all relevant obstacles, current through the Road to Legend: Boulder, Crushing Wall, Rubble, Water. (Villagers are figures, not map elements.)" There is no "only for the purposes of Crushing Block" language.

If Crushing Wall is not considered an obstacle because of its placement in the FAQ, villagers should also only be considered figures for the purposes of Crushing Block which means, among other things, that they are very easy to spawn behind.

snip

1) No, go back and read it again and follow all the evidence not one part-sentence in isolation.
First, in WoD and AoD Crushing Walls and Boulders respectively are explicitly Traps and explicitly not Obstacles.
Second, the FAQ answer is specifically referencing what 'counts as an obstacle for the purposes of crushing block'. Note FFG's bad habit of only answering the precise question and not answering 'generally'. This means that to take a FAQ answer outside of it's explicit purpose and make a 'general rule' or an implied 'rule-change' is dangerous and really requires supporting evidence and/or a complete lack of counter-evidence. Note then, that the FAQ answer still does not explicitly name crushing walls or boulders as Obstacles, but merely includes them in a list of 'relevant obstacles (relevant means 'counting for the purposes of crushing block'). If the writer said something like "since Crushing walls and Boulders are Obstacles, and prevent movement, they count for crushing block" then it would be a stronger case, but they are just included on a list, lazily using the same language as the question but covered by 'relevancy'.
So to summarise, we have clear and specific rules stating that these items are Traps and not Obstacles, then we have a vague reference in a FAQ answer that indirectly characterises them wrongly but is suitable sloppy language in FFG's usual style and specifically relates them to the question answered (relevant) - in other words the question was 'wrong' but it was easier to answer simply in context than go deeper and be technically precise.

As an aside, the Villagers thing is a) not part of a list 'relevant to the question' (and therefore with a specific context), b) a direct, explicit statement, and c) the only evidence for how villagers should be treated.

Note: you are still free to play your own way. I'm just explaining why your stated reasoning is flawed. If you are publishing a flawed list that others will use, it does need to stand up to public scrutiny a bit more than just a personal choice...

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Cool. Like I said, play how you want. I'm not looking to change the list, since the sentence I quoted says it's an obstacle. Hopefully the ongoing debate will add more reason for someone official to chime in and create a comprehensive list with no need for confusion since it's "wht the man said."

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James McMurray said:

Cool. Like I said, play how you want. I'm not looking to change the list, since the sentence I quoted says it's an obstacle. Hopefully the ongoing debate will add more reason for someone official to chime in and create a comprehensive list with no need for confusion since it's "wht the man said."

The sentence says its is relevant (to the question, which incorrectly asked about obstacles), which is not the same thing as directly calling it an obstacle. As I said, your logic is flawed because you didn't examine the whole context.

if you requote your flawed logic back at me again without any counter argument I'll hold back anyway next time (in this thread at least). gui%C3%B1o.gif

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My argument is simple: if something is a "relevant obstacle" it must, by the rules of the English language, be an obstacle. I don't know if they intended to redefine any game pieces, and I doubt they did. We've never played a map with those pieces, but if it comes up in our games and goes to a vote, I'll probably vote that they not be counted as obstacles, since it doesn't seem to be what was intended. But the fact of the matter is that there is an official source which clearly calls them obstacles in no uncertain terms and so if the list is to be technically correct, it must categorize them that way. Unless you can explain how something can be an <adjective> <noun> without being a <noun>, I'm not sure where else we can go beyond ye olde "agree to disagree."

Obviously I disagree with you so I won't be changing the list. The arguments are here for anyone to see and I've consistently recommended that people play how they want, so nobody is at any risk of being screwed over by it. What more can I do?

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James, the published rules are contradictory.  You aren't simply deciding to follow the rules to the letter, you're deciding to prioritize one rule above another.  The list cannot be technically correct according to all existing rules simultaneously, and using that as the goal is madness anyway in a game whose rules are so poorly edited.

This is the Internet and it's not like anyone can force you to change what you post, but to claim that the list MUST categorize them the way it does is simply a lie.  It's not that one choice is "technically correct" and the other is "technically wrong", it's that the rules are a giant mess and you made a personal subjective decision to go one way instead of the other.  And your decision of which way to go is eminently questionable.

Also, I can very easily explain how something can be an <adjective> <noun> without being a <noun>:  a <noun> can have multiple definitions.  Several nouns in Descent very specifically do have multiple definitions, and you cannot possibly understand or apply the Descent rules without caving to that fact.  So it is in fact very easily possible that something can be an "obstacle" without being an obstacle, even making the ludicrous assumption that the writers never make errors in wording.  It wouldn't even crack the top 10 stupid wording choices in Descent.

Your argument is about as convincing as saying that (if we're going to be "technically correct") the "Ghost Armor" item has to be listed as an armor, not as an "Other" item, because it can't be a "Ghost Armor" without being an "Armor" by the rules of the English language, and so any other listing would be in violation of the rules.

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James McMurray said:

Agree to disagree?

...with the Twin Titans of Descent rules discussions?  You'd better have an unassailable argument, or be talking about a decidedly ambiguous area of the rules.

If Antistone and Corbon are both on the opposite side from you in an discussion, you should, at the very least, review your logic.

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Thundercles said:

James McMurray said:

 

Agree to disagree?

 

 

...with the Twin Titans of Descent rules discussions?  You'd better have an unassailable argument, or be talking about a decidedly ambiguous area of the rules.

If Antistone and Corbon are both on the opposite side from you in an discussion, you should, at the very least, review your logic.

I've already said that I agree with them logically and in what I believe the developers meant. But the wording of the FAQ entry is clear, and the context argument is not strong enough IMO to make an "unassailable" position, so I'll leave the controversy in there and hope it might help to trigger an official response.

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I found this topic as I was searching for a list of "obstacles" as we were wondering if ICE would be an obstacle for the crushing block card. But with this question, we started to question exactly what is an obstacle. We took the lose explaination that anything that BLOCKS movement, besides figures, would be an obstacle.

 

I'm not able to find anything for crushing block card that says you can play it next to a pit, ice, table so if anyone knows that answer :D

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You can not do that, it says on the card that you have to play it on an empty space that is not adjacent to any other obstacle.

That prevents from blocking an entire coridor or even dungeon !!!

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