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Swapping A Characters Dash Stat

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Is there any rule that stops Bayushi Yunako from swapping a character with a dash for an attribute?

The following is the only thing that I can think of:

"If a character has a dash for a skill value, that skill value cannot be modified or otherwise changed by card abilities and effects."

Does this prevent him from swapping that characteristic stats and removing him from the challenge bowed?

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Yes

Action: ... switch that character's base MIL and POL

RR page 5 - Dash - If a character has a dash for a skill value, that skill value cannot be modified or otherwise changed by card abilities and effects.

A dash stat cannot be modified +/- or switch, they cannot participate in a conflict (which also means they cannot be moved to a conflict) and they cannot be challenged to a duel of that type.

If a skill value for a dash character is required to resolve a card ability (outwit / rout) treat that card as if it had an unmodifiable skill value of zero.

Edited by shosuko

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I didn't see it mentioning anything about switching on page 5.

Your argument is that that is considered modifying the ability or changing it?

Because that is not how I understand that to be interpreted.

Edited by Bronze

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Objection! If it is changing, it is not necessarily modifying. Swichings two things does not modify them. But it does change what your military and political skill values are. And dash values cannot be changed.

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FWIW this specific question came up at the Gen Con events, and @LuceLineGames was kind enough to provide a list of rulings from judges at those events (this one is #3 on the list). Take them at whatever value you wish, I thought there was an official ruling from one of the game devs as well, but not sure where/when to cite it. 
 

Spoiler - the ruling made at Gen Con was no, a character with a dash skill value cannot have its skill values swapped. 

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3 hours ago, Zesu Shadaban said:

FWIW this specific question came up at the Gen Con events, and @LuceLineGames was kind enough to provide a list of rulings from judges at those events (this one is #3 on the list). Take them at whatever value you wish, I thought there was an official ruling from one of the game devs as well, but not sure where/when to cite it. 
 

Spoiler - the ruling made at Gen Con was no, a character with a dash skill value cannot have its skill values swapped. 

That is sufficient for now then thanks. 

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8 hours ago, Bronze said:

I didn't see it mentioning anything about switching on page 5.

Your argument is that that is considered modifying the ability or changing it?

Because that is not how I understand that to be interpreted.

How would you interpret it? It used to be one thing, but is now another. That's a change.

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1 hour ago, DarwinsDog said:

How would you interpret it? It used to be one thing, but is now another. That's a change.

Ah, interesting. I guess when I read the following sentence:

"If a character has a dash for a skill value, that skill value cannot be modified or otherwise changed by card abilities and effects."

I put an emphasis on the "value" part of "skill value" in that sentence.  The value itself is not changing, it is just now a restriction on the character's other conflict value; and the wording was a switch.  Whereas if I put emphasis on the "skill" part of "skill value" in the sentence then I can see that you shouldn't be able to change the skill of that character's conflict attribute.

I am not by any means strong at understanding specific wordings. So, I am sure that it is what has been described.  But, that was how I interpreted the restrictions for dash on a character, and it seemed to fit nicely with Bayushi Yunako for an occasionally powerful ability instead of the standard -1 -2 to the encounter.

Edited by Bronze
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12 hours ago, mplain said:

Objection! If it is changing, it is not necessarily modifying. Swichings two things does not modify them. But it does change what your military and political skill values are. And dash values cannot be changed.

When we're talking about stats it essentially is modifying them.  The modifier is to set each stat to what the base value of the other stat is.  It doesn't switch what MIL and POL are beyond being a value, or else other modifiers would change which stat they effect too.

This is different then - say "switch the position of 2 characters" where the characters do not receive any modifiers, but just change positions.

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How exactly do you modify a dash in order to get a 4? Or how do you modify a 4 to get a dash? What modifyers are you applying?

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5 hours ago, mplain said:

How exactly do you modify a dash in order to get a 4? Or how do you modify a 4 to get a dash? What modifyers are you applying?

It doesn't matter if you want to call it a modifier or not.  RR page 5 - Dash - point 2 - If a character has a dash for a skill value, that value cannot be modified or changed by card abilities or effects.

a.k.a - Did the value of - change?  If yes, then no.  You cannot do it.

All Yunako does is switch each skill to the base of the other skill.  It is essentially a modifier to set each skill.  See RR page 11 - Modifiers - point 3.

Edited by shosuko
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20 hours ago, shosuko said:

All Yunako does is switch each skill to the base of the other skill.  It is essentially a modifier to set each skill.  See RR page 11 - Modifiers - point 3.

This?

  • When a value is "set" to a specific number, the set modifier overrides all non-set modifiers (including any new non-set modifiers that are added during the duration of the set value). If multiple set modifiers are in conflict, the most recently applied set modifier takes precedence.

This bullet point refers to Set modifiers. If an effect does not use the word "Set", then it is not a Set modifier, and this bullet point does not apply. You can see examples of a Set modifier on AGOT cards Burning on the Sand and Strangler. Also, if Yunako's switch acted as a Set modifier, it would not work with Way of the Lion the way it does (see ruling). The ruling says doubled military carries over to political, while the rules entry for Set modifiers says Set overrides any other modifiers.

To clarify, I agree that Yunako cannot switch skills if one of them is a dash. Because dash cannot be changed. I just don't think switching qualifies as modifying. But in practical terms it is irrelevant.

Edited by mplain

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2 hours ago, mplain said:

This?

  • When a value is "set" to a specific number, the set modifier overrides all non-set modifiers (including any new non-set modifiers that are added during the duration of the set value). If multiple set modifiers are in conflict, the most recently applied set modifier takes precedence.

This bullet point refers to Set modifiers. If an effect does not use the word "Set", then it is not a Set modifier, and this bullet point does not apply. You can see examples of a Set modifier on AGOT cards Burning on the Sand and Strangler. Also, if Yunako's switch acted as a Set modifier, it would not work with Way of the Lion the way it does (see ruling). The ruling says doubled military carries over to political, while the rules entry for Set modifiers says Set overrides any other modifiers.

To clarify, I agree that Yunako cannot switch skills if one of them is a dash. Because dash cannot be changed. I just don't think switching qualifies as modifying. But in practical terms it is irrelevant.

It certainly would work the same way with WotL.  If you WotL Toturi to 12 MIL and then Yunako it to a 12 POL it doesn't matter whether you use the shorthand Switch or do the long version which is essentially "set the base MIL to the base POL, and the base POL to whatever the base MIL was."  They are functionally identical since they both update the bases.

It doesn't matter what its called, and you can get into a semantic fit if you want but what I said holds true - did it change?  Yes?  THEN NO, you can't do it.  It changed, it modified, it anything you want to call it, you can't do it to a dash stat.

Edited by shosuko

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Just to clarify, the rrg does say modify OR change, so simply changing the skill value is sufficient, regardless of whether or not semantically it's considered modified. Also worth noting, the Card Anatomy section of the L2P and rrg label political skill and military skill, and proceed to define them as political skill value and military skill value. So at least in terms of card anatomy, "skill" and "skill value" are synonymous. 

Edited by Zesu Shadaban

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9 hours ago, mplain said:

Actually yeah, I thought about it and, if switch worked as set, Yunako + WotL would still work.

Wait, i think what i meant was this: the RRG entry for Modifiers says that a Set modifier would override any non-Set modifiers, including new ones that apply after the Set modifier. So if we were to apply this entry to Yunako + WotL, then you wouldn't be able to double mil skill with WotL *after* you used Yunako to switch skills - the pre-existing Set modifier would override the new doubling modifier. However, the dev ruling says you can use Yunako and then double new mil with WotL. So yeah, switch != set.

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12 hours ago, mplain said:

Wait, i think what i meant was this: the RRG entry for Modifiers says that a Set modifier would override any non-Set modifiers, including new ones that apply after the Set modifier. So if we were to apply this entry to Yunako + WotL, then you wouldn't be able to double mil skill with WotL *after* you used Yunako to switch skills - the pre-existing Set modifier would override the new doubling modifier. However, the dev ruling says you can use Yunako and then double new mil with WotL. So yeah, switch != set.

This is the kinda semantic tangent I wanted to avoid as the answer to the question is very simple - no you cannot use Yunako on a dash, or use anything else that changes or modifies it.  

Yes Switch is not explicitly worded as a Set modifier - but in the first line in RR page 11 for Modifiers is says "Some abilities ask players to modify values."  Would you say that Yunako is not modifying values?  Or that WotL isn't modifying it?  When I said "Modifying" in my first comment I was meaning it in the simple English sense - Did it change?  Was it modified?  I don't think anyone genuinely misconstrued my sentiment.

The game tries to do this thing with Base values where it doesn't include any change of Base values as a "modifier," which is why it states that all modifiers are applied "to the unmodified base."  They are trying to do something elegant with the rules but they are likely going to need to come in and update the FAQ for it.  They had to do the same thing with the Stronghold and their elegant solution to have the Stronghold simply be a card that is in the Stronghold province.  The fact that they never said it couldn't be moved, or that you would lose if your Stronghold Province was broken while not clearly defining what the "stronghold province" was were problematic.  Currently the Base Value is the wild west, where there is no order of operations and things can, and will get messy.  I think it would be wise to come back and give an order of operations to the base, and include it in the modifiers area so that things simply make sense as you read them.

Currently it only works the way Nate says it does because technically neither of these are modifiers, because there are no modifiers to bases, even though the text reads "some abilities ask you to modify values" and nothing says "base value appendix II - modifiers to base values is a lie."  The first bullet point clearly describes when to apply a doubling effect, starting from "unmodified" bases and you could think this is some type of nested hierarchy like PEMDAS and the equation is something like Base(add/sub then mult/div) then add/sub then mult/div = value.  It isn't - when it says Unmodified Base it actually means the Printed base with all base value modifiers applied in play order (which aren't modifiers, to be technical for you.)  This "unmodified" base is then modified by Modifiers, but anything that happens before that point is a quick draw shoot out for what constitutes the "unmodified base."

Edited by shosuko

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The way I understand the English word "modify", it means do something with one value so that it becomes another value. The way I understand Dash ("-"), it is an absence of a value. A character with Dash for military does not have a military skill value. This is why I feel that the word "modify" does not apply here - because assigning a value to something that does not have a value is not modifying a value - there was no value to modify.

Although, as it was pointed out by Zesu Shadaban above, the rulebook doesn't seem to make a distinction between "military skill" and "military skill value", so I guess you could say that a character's mil skill value is dash / null / n/a.

The point is that it's not 100% clear whether switching stats would be considered as modifying skill values. Thankfully, we don't need to concern ourselves with it, because skill values cannot be changed. So this whole conversation is purely theoretical and dealing with linguistics, not any relevant game mechanics. But I have linguistics background, so I'm curious.

As for modifying a base value, I think a contradiction between WotL and the RRG definition of base value can be solved by reading that RRG definition to mean: Base value = current value before any modifiers to the current value are applied. But the base value itself can still be modified.

Edited by mplain
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4 hours ago, mplain said:

The way I understand the English word "modify", it means do something with one value so that it becomes another value. The way I understand Dash ("-"), it is an absence of a value. A character with Dash for military does not have a military skill value. This is why I feel that the word "modify" does not apply here - because assigning a value to something that does not have a value is not modifying a value - there was no value to modify.

Although, as it was pointed out by Zesu Shadaban above, the rulebook doesn't seem to make a distinction between "military skill" and "military skill value", so I guess you could say that a character's mil skill value is dash / null / n/a.

The point is that it's not 100% clear whether switching stats would be considered as modifying skill values. Thankfully, we don't need to concern ourselves with it, because skill values cannot be changed. So this whole conversation is purely theoretical and dealing with linguistics, not any relevant game mechanics. But I have linguistics background, so I'm curious.

As for modifying a base value, I think a contradiction between WotL and the RRG definition of base value can be solved by reading that RRG definition to mean: Base value = current value before any modifiers to the current value are applied. But the base value itself can still be modified.

Page 5 of the RR under dash says "If a character has a dash (–) for a skill value, that character
cannot participate in conflicts of that type" (emphasis mine). According to that the dash is indeed a value.

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19 minutes ago, DarwinsDog said:

Page 5 of the RR under dash says "If a character has a dash (–) for a skill value, that character
cannot participate in conflicts of that type" (emphasis mine). According to that the dash is indeed a value.

- What's his mil skill value?

- There's no number, just a dash...

- So, no mil skill eh.

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I can read "has a dash for a skill value" as "has a dash instead of a skill value". I have a cardboard box for a home. I have this rock for a pillow. I have forest animals for a family. 

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Helpful guideline for rules discussions (co-opted from another site with horrendous rules debates):

Dictionary definitions of words are not always a reliable source of information for rules debates, as words in the general English language have broader meanings than those in the rules. This is further compounded by the fact that certain English words have different meanings or connotations depending on what part of the world a readers/writers English originates (United States, Great Britain, India, etc). Unless a poster is using a word incorrectly in a very obvious manner, leave dictionary definitions out. 

I think it is time to let this discussion die since we have an official ruling.

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