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Acolyte Rivan

New FAQ posted

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James McMurray said:

One thing that didn't happen: the promised errata for Divine Favor. The minimum of one ruling didn't make it in.

Ha, you're right.  I think cause so many of us knew about it from KW making the statement on here that we overlooked it.

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I want to add that I am very glad that FFG issued this FAQ before the start of our Sea of Blood campaign. Many of the answers promote both fun and playability. A few examples:

1) The refreshing of "Glyph-skills" between weeks and hero deaths: + fun. They become a lot better, and they needed it.

2) Monsters can not operate the Revenge during Island levels: + playability, + fun. I am sure the first time our OL would have pulled that on us, we would have had an argument. After that, we'd probably always have left someone on the ship. That someone would have bored himself to death doing nothing.

3) Hero skills work with cannons, monster skills do not: + playability, + fun (if Tobin isn't in play). Ship battles should have rules so as to favour an ending in a well fought-out man-against-monster battle after boarding. If one side or the other is sunk too easily before boarding can occur, the fun disappears. Some monsters' high Sorcery and the Dark Priests' Dark Prayer were probably too strong to be used with cannons. No skills at all would have been fine too.

4) Master of the Hunt, Truthseer Kel: + playability. It seems the pre-FAQ situations for these two were near unplayable.

So FFG and all of you who helped with these fixes... Thank you very much! aplauso.gif

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Jonny WS said:

 

Wow!  lol  Okay then.  Yeah, I read it as the first one myself as well.   I don't know how you could mix that up or even think that the other way is possible, but then again, I used to Play Magic: the Gathering for many years, so it is pretty clear how to read things in games now. 

 

 

Misreading it is understandable, since it's a garden path sentence, but "Reading #2" is the ONLY grammatical reading.  If you're going to go strictly by RAW, #1 isn't even a possibility.

Reading #2 also still makes Knight worse than Unmovable, so it's not like you can rule it out as being overpowered, either.  The only reason I even suspect they might have intended to write something different is because spending 2 fatigue for half your speed in movement is usually a non-ability, and FFG can't proofread themselves out of cardboard box.

 

Reading #1 requires that you parse the skill text something like this:

When you declare a Battle action, you may immediately spend 2 fatigue to [gain movement points equal to half your speed (round up)] and [may make 3 attacks instead of 2 this turn].

But if that were grammatically valid, you could reverse the clauses and get something equally valid.  Doesn't work:

When you declare a Battle action, you may immediately spend 2 fatigue to [may make 3 attacks instead of 2 this turn] and [gain movement points equal to half your speed (round up)].

 

The only parsing that actually works is:

When you declare a Battle action, you [may immediately spend 2 fatigue to gain movement points equal to half your speed (round up)] and [may make 3 attacks instead of 2 this turn].

When you declare a Battle action, you [may make 3 attacks instead of 2 this turn] and [may immediately spend 2 fatigue to gain movement points equal to half your speed (round up)].

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Ispher said:

YellowPebble said:

 

 I doubt we're ever going to get a clear answer to the Knight question. It's just too hard (and takes too much text) to explain what the issue is.

 

 

It is actually very simple.

The current text on the Knight skill card is:

"When you declare a Battle action, you may immediately spend 2 fatigue to gain movement points equal to half your speed (round up) and may make 3 attacks instead of 2 this turn."

Whereas it should be:

"When you declare a Battle action, you may immediately spend 2 fatigue to gain movement points equal to half your speed (round up) and to make 3 attacks instead of 2 this turn."

Replace the second "may" with "to", and voilà - fixed! Knight works as we are used to! cool.gif

 

Its not too hard. Just provide answers for FFG to choose from...

Q: The text on the knight skill can be interpreted several different ways depending on whether you pause (or not) at the 'and'. Is there any part of the skill that can be used without spending any fatigue, or does the entire skill only 'activate' when you spend 2 fatigue?
A1: If you have the Knight skill you may always gain 3 attacks when you battle. In addition, if you spend 2 fatigue you gain movement points equal to half your speed (round up). You may only use the Knight skill once during your turn. Note: this is a very strange reading but technically correct
A2: If you have the Knight skill you may activate it by spending 2 fatigue when declaring a battle action. If you activate it then you gain 3 attacks instead of 2 and you also gain movement points equal to half your speed (round up). If you do not activate it you do not receive any benefit from the skill. You may only use the Knight skill once during your turn.
A3: As A1 but you may use the Knight skill as many times as you pay the fatigue for. (note: previous FAQ answers ruled this out but we include it for completeness. )
A4:If you have the Knight skill you may activate it by spending 2 fatigue when declaring a battle action. If you activate it then you gain 1 extra attack and you also gain movement points equal to half your speed (round up). If you do not activate it you do not receive any benefit from the skill. You may activate it as many times during your turn as you pay the fatigue. (Note: We know this is wrong but it is included for completeness.

So then all FFG has to do is cut A1, A3 and A4 and remove the 2 from A2.
Q: The text on the knight skill can be interpreted several different ways depending on whether you pause (or not) at the 'and'. Is there any part of the skill that can be used without spending any fatigue, or does the entire skill only 'activate' when you spend 2 fatigue?
A: If you have the Knight skill you may activate it by spending 2 fatigue when declaring a battle action. If you activate it then you gain 3 attacks instead of 2 and you also gain movement points equal to half your speed (round up). If you do not activate it you do not receive any benefit from the skill. You may only use the Knight skill once during your turn.
 

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That's an extremely partisan phrasing of the question, IMO.  You're discouraging A1 for no clear reason (going out of your way to call it "very strange") and bolstering the others by implying (falsely) that they're consistent with RAW.

I'm pretty sure they're going to answer A2.  In fact, I want them to errata the card to A2, because I think it's closer to the average power of skills in the game.  But if you're going to encourage "forum majority" answers, you should do it in an open and consistent manner (e.g. by writing "this is the majority opinion on the forum" after one answer).  And I'm not sure that doing that is a good idea at all, since it seems likely to provoke fights over how "forum majority" is determined.

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Antistone said:

That's an extremely partisan phrasing of the question, IMO.  You're discouraging A1 for no clear reason (going out of your way to call it "very strange") and bolstering the others by implying (falsely) that they're consistent with RAW.

I'm pretty sure they're going to answer A2.  In fact, I want them to errata the card to A2, because I think it's closer to the average power of skills in the game.  But if you're going to encourage "forum majority" answers, you should do it in an open and consistent manner (e.g. by writing "this is the majority opinion on the forum" after one answer).  And I'm not sure that doing that is a good idea at all, since it seems likely to provoke fights over how "forum majority" is determined.

Sorry, I thought this was the forum majority answer! As you say, even you want it to be this way.
That first note was really for those who don't realise that it is the technically correct reading, for whom it is a strange and nonsensical reading. It probably should have said 'seems strange'. The other two notes were by way of apologies - we already know these are wrong, but since FFG seem determined to address this part of the question as well, even though no one is asking it, let them.

Anyway, this is an example of why the questions, and answers should be posted here first, discussed and refined, before sending to FFG. One person brings their own biases and misunderstandings to whatever they craft, but if everyone gets an opportunity to have their say then biases and misunderstandings can be eliminated, or at least reduced.

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Corbon said:

 

 

Sorry, I thought this was the forum majority answer!

I'm not saying it isn't.  I'm just saying that the question and possible answers should be phrased as neutrally as possible, even if there's a near-universally accepted answer.

Also, while I think that's likely what they meant, that's still not what the card says, and I think we should distinguish between things that are actually ambiguous and things that are confusing or erroneous.  If the extra attack from Knight is contingent upon spending fatigue, that's errata, not clarification.

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Antistone said:

Corbon said:

 

 

 

Sorry, I thought this was the forum majority answer!

 

 

I'm not saying it isn't.  I'm just saying that the question and possible answers should be phrased as neutrally as possible, even if there's a near-universally accepted answer.

Also, while I think that's likely what they meant, that's still not what the card says, and I think we should distinguish between things that are actually ambiguous and things that are confusing or erroneous.  If the extra attack from Knight is contingent upon spending fatigue, that's errata, not clarification.

Given how technically precise you need to be to read only one possible correct reading, I think that classing this as a clarification is acceptable, if not strictly accurate.
Casual, or even 'normal' language use definitely allows for either reading. I think you set the bar too high here basically. I mean, the average person (or at least 1/5 players) has to be able to jump it, even if it takes some effort. gui%C3%B1o.gif

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Corbon said:

Casual, or even 'normal' language use definitely allows for either reading.

I...don't know what that means.

You think there is an alternate set of linguistic rules used in less formal communication but that is nontheless clearly defined, so that it is possible to say that it "allows" or "disallows" something?  If so, care to explain these rules as they apply to this case?

You think that a substantial number of people will, in actual practice, parse it differently when they try to read it?  Yes, because it's a garden path sentence, as I said.  That doesn't mean their reading is consistent or valid, it just means the sentence is confusing.  Though I'm honestly surprised that so many people misread the card, I don't remember having much trouble when I read it for the first time and concluded that you got the extra attack whether you spent fatigue or not.

There do exist sentences you can write that are outright ambiguous, either syntactically or semantically, but the Knight text is neither.

And I don't think we should encourage the writers to try to claim that their mistakes are actually the fault of players misreading the rules; that seems like it can only be bad for the quality of rules and answers we get in the future.

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It's colloquial speech, just like how to interpret a negative response to a negative question. What's "proper" English doesn't entirely matter if the vast majority of people interpret it a certain way (probably one reason why they say languages are alive and constantly evolving).

And as for reversing the statements, a lot of us feel you can reverse the statements, like this:

"When you declare a Battle action, you may immediately spend 2 fatigue to [make 3 attacks instead of 2 this turn] and [may gain movement points equal to half your speed (round up)]."

I'm not trying to say one interpretation is right/wrong, just pointing out how some can interpret a different way. The real point is that it's obvious that this card can be interpreted two different ways and FFG should clarify it (i.e. this is literally a frequently asked question and deserves a response).

-shnar

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shnar said:

And as for reversing the statements, a lot of us feel you can reverse the statements, like this:

"When you declare a Battle action, you may immediately spend 2 fatigue to [make 3 attacks instead of 2 this turn] and [may gain movement points equal to half your speed (round up)]."

 

The phrases you deliminted for reversal are not the phrases you actually reversed:  you've got the "may" following "and" inside your grouping marks, but you didn't move it.

And if you exclude "may" from the phrases being moved, you void the entire test:  the point is that the phrase "X and Y" is legal in a place where either "X" or "Y" would be legal alone, and therefore "Y and X" must also be legal.  The phrases you pick must be touching the word "and."  There is no general rule that "X and may Y" can be substituted any place "X" or "Y" is allowed.

 

Pick up the box.

Pick up the ball.

Pick up (the box) and (the ball).

Pick up (the box) and may (the ball)...  I don't think so.

 

Languages do change and evolve, but that doesn't mean that any arbitrary interpretation people come up with to one specific phrase becomes correct, even if it's popular.  "Negative question to a negative answer" follows a specific pattern that you can abstract, and name, and apply to other, similar cases.  The same issue occurs no matter what the question is about, or where in the question you insert the negative, and you can anticipate what will happen based purely on the structure of the question and answer.

If you can identify a pattern that the Knight skill text fits, and argue that people would have the same reaction to that pattern regardless of the context in which it appears, then I'll grant your point.  Otherwise, you're just canonizing a popular mistake.

By the way, who is "a lot of us," and when did you take this poll?

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I feel the need to chime in.

I was kind of a huge grammar nazi, until I started working with people in linguistics.  Turns out that English "correctness" is actually decided by consensus, just like Shnar says.  If enough people misspeak a certain phrase and then enough people misinterpret the error to not be an error at all, the phrasing simply becomes "also correct".  The originally correct phrasing may even fall out of use and therefore become archaic, even "incorrect".  This normally just applies to grammar, but, in certain cases, can come to affect word meanings as well.

In this case, there's only one way to read the knight skill if you're using a logic-based parsing of the language, by which I mean parsing the language as it is used in mathematical definitions.  However, if you parse it as if it were colloquial language, there are at least two ways of reading the Knight skill "correctly", and the logic-based parsing way may not even be the most commonly held "correct" way for colloquial parsing.

Essentially, there's a circular logic to how "correct" English is defined: if you can imagine saying that concept that way, then it's correct.  Antistone's use of the language is very rigid, hence his assertion that there's only one "correct" way to read it, but the reading that the second "may" is not a parallel clause to the first "may" is, in fact, "correct".

This is because people are stupid.  This I have learned from linguistics professors and doctorate students.

EDIT: By the way Antistone, I completely agree with you and argued for a clarification review of Knight based on the grounds that the only correct way to read the Knight skills is by making the may clauses parallel.  I agree with you deep down inside.  However, my linguistics coworkers disagree.  I cannot claim to know more languages than them.

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Thundercles said:

I feel the need to chime in.

I was kind of a huge grammar nazi, until I started working with people in linguistics.  Turns out that English "correctness" is actually decided by consensus, just like Shnar says.  If enough people misspeak a certain phrase and then enough people misinterpret the error to not be an error at all, the phrasing simply becomes "also correct".  The originally correct phrasing may even fall out of use and therefore become archaic, even "incorrect".  This normally just applies to grammar, but, in certain cases, can come to affect word meanings as well.

In this case, there's only one way to read the knight skill if you're using a logic-based parsing of the language, by which I mean parsing the language as it is used in mathematical definitions.  However, if you parse it as if it were colloquial language, there are at least two ways of reading the Knight skill "correctly", and the logic-based parsing way may not even be the most commonly held "correct" way for colloquial parsing.

Essentially, there's a circular logic to how "correct" English is defined: if you can imagine saying that concept that way, then it's correct.  Antistone's use of the language is very rigid, hence his assertion that there's only one "correct" way to read it, but the reading that the second "may" is not a parallel clause to the first "may" is, in fact, "correct".

This is because people are stupid.  This I have learned from linguistics professors and doctorate students.

EDIT: By the way Antistone, I completely agree with you and argued for a clarification review of Knight based on the grounds that the only correct way to read the Knight skills is by making the may clauses parallel.  I agree with you deep down inside.  However, my linguistics coworkers disagree.  I cannot claim to know more languages than them.

Our group never questioned how the skill Knight worked: we always paid 2 fatigue to get both movement and attack. I do agree however that this is not what the card says. However, my reason tells me that this is what the card should say because spending two fatigue to gain absolutely nothing for all heroes who have less than 5 speed would be, well... Completely useless, thus stupid.

Here we have an example where rationality (except, surprisingly, for Antistone) has "auto-corrected" the correct English reading of the card, which I find to be reassuring.

As for language evolution, we should ask ourselves the question: how do we want language to evolve? Do we want it to evolve in a direction where everything written and said can be interpreted in various ways, with the "best" way being the way of the majority, or do we want our language to become better and more precise at communicating our thoughts to others?

I would rather be able to express my thoughts as precisely and unequivocally as possible. Evolution should mean progress; if an evolution in language makes it harder to express thoughts precisely and unequivocally, it should be labelled as "wrong" and fought by all possible academic means.

All this to say that the text on "Knight" should not remain as it is.

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I think the bottom line (though I'm personally mostly in Antistone's camp) is that everyone agrees (more or less) than the wording on Knight is confusing and ambiguous (in intent, anyway, if not strictly ambiguous in literal meaning), and therefore ought to be clarified.

I would add that I don't consider rulebooks or rules text in board games to be a very good place for "colloquial" or loose language. In fact, it would be hard to think of an objectively less appropriate place.

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YellowPebble said:

I think the bottom line (though I'm personally mostly in Antistone's camp) is that everyone agrees (more or less) than the wording on Knight is confusing and ambiguous (in intent, anyway, if not strictly ambiguous in literal meaning), and therefore ought to be clarified.

I would add that I don't consider rulebooks or rules text in board games to be a very good place for "colloquial" or loose language. In fact, it would be hard to think of an objectively less appropriate place.

Unfortunately, almost the ENTIRE Descent collection of rulebooks, skill cards, etc are written in "colloqiaul" language, as is most of the FAQ.

Hence why we have a 19 page FAQ at this point and its only going to grow.

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Pick up the box.

Pick up the ball.

Pick up (the box) and (the ball).

 

I think this should look more like this:

You may pick up (the box).

You may pick up (the box) and (the ball).

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Fizz said:

 

Pick up the box.

Pick up the ball.

Pick up (the box) and (the ball).

 

I think this should look more like this:

You may pick up (the box).

You may pick up (the box) and (the ball).

 

 

Actually, to be more appropriate to the context, it should be:

"You (pick up the box) and may (pick up the ball)"

Antistone, chill. I'm not saying what's right or wrong, I'm saying that it's obvious this sentence can be interpreted two different ways, and therefore needs clarification.

-shnar

(edit: forgot to have a "not" in my sentence, bloody English language :P)

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shnar said:

 

Antistone, chill. I'm saying what's right or wrong, I'm saying that it's obvious this sentence can be interpreted two different ways, and therefore needs clarification.

-shnar

 

 

 

 

As Antistone has mentioned many times, the sentence has ONE meaning. It's commonly mis-read, but it actually does only have one meaning.

The fact that people interpret it different ways isn't really an issue. The issue is that there's almost a consensus that the incorrect reading is actually the reading intended by the writer.

There are many instances where it's common for people to interpret rules in a way other than they are written, such as:
- pierce (Is pierce actually "piercing damage" or "armor reduction"?)
- blast (Does "all targets take full damage" mean this attack ignores armor?)

I think we can agree that those cases above don't need to be FAQ'd, because the correct reading of the relevant rules also seems to be the intended reading of the rules. This is not true with the Knight skill.

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It seems pretty simple, the way the card is worded and looking at other skill cards you have to pay the cost (2 fatigue) and then get the full benefit of the card. 

If they wanted it read and understood in the other way that is causing this forum argument they would have structured the card like this:

When you declare a battle action, you may make 3 attacks instead of one.

When you declare a battle action, you may spend 2 fatigue to gain movement points equal to half your speed. (rounded up)

These two lines would be separate paragraphs on the card.   

I also think there comes a point when you need to stop beating the dead horse...

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The point of contention (correct me if I am wrong) is:

With this skill, do you always get 3 attacks instead of 2 when declaring a battle action, regardless of the fact that you may or may not have spent fatigue to also move (which you would not normally be able to do).

The FAQ answer on page 5 is really crappy, but it eludes to the fact that *IF* you spend fatigue (to get the movement) you get the extra attack.

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Thundercles said:

I feel the need to chime in.

I was kind of a huge grammar nazi, until I started working with people in linguistics.  Turns out that English "correctness" is actually decided by consensus, just like Shnar says.  If enough people misspeak a certain phrase and then enough people misinterpret the error to not be an error at all, the phrasing simply becomes "also correct".  The originally correct phrasing may even fall out of use and therefore become archaic, even "incorrect".  This normally just applies to grammar, but, in certain cases, can come to affect word meanings as well.

This is all true, but I think you're misapplying it.  That doesn't mean that whatever people think a sentence means when they read it is automatically correct; that would mean that there was literally no such thing as an incorrect reading, ever.  I could say that I interpret the Knight skill as meaning that I automatically win the game if I'm wearing an orange shirt and, by that line of reasoning, you'd be forced to admit I was correct.  By that standard, every sentence ever written by anyone anywhere is ambiguous, and all attempts to clarify them will also be ambiguous.

Language is a collection of rules, and those rules can and do evolve, but in order for a different interpretation of a sentence to become "also correct," there needs to exist some set of rules that are being applied to get that alternate interpretation.  No one has yet suggested anything resembling a general rule that gives the alternate reading of the Knight text.  It would be crazy to argue that most of the players of the game have seen that exact sentence before, in its entirety, and have memorized a specific meaning that applies only to exactly that sentence, so the only other options I can see are that there's some alternate set of general rules they're following that gives the other parsing, OR that they all made a mistake.

Even if you wanted to claim that we're seeing the birth of a new rule of interpretation at this very moment, it's stupid and abusive to judge the wording of a sentence by grammatical rules that didn't exist before it was written.

shnar said:


Fizz said:

 

 

Pick up the box.
Pick up the ball.
Pick up (the box) and (the ball).

 

I think this should look more like this:

You may pick up (the box).
You may pick up (the box) and (the ball).

 

 

Actually, to be more appropriate to the context, it should be:

"You (pick up the box) and may (pick up the ball)"

And I think neither of you have a clue what's being discussed.  There obviously exist certain cases where you can the word "may" into a sentence legally.  There even exist cases where inserting the word "may" won't change the meaning of the sentence, though neither of you wrote one.  But those are both completely irrelevant to anything under discussion.

The challenge I made is to describe some rules that can be used to parse the Knight skill text that fulfill the following requirements:

  1. They allow the Knight skill text to mean that the extra attack is contingent upon spending fatigue.
  2. They can be applied consistently to other English sentences to generate reasonable meanings.
  3. You can claim with a straight face that a significant number of people followed the rule prior to the Knight skill card ever having been written.

I have identified a very simple grammatical structure that I believe is universally observed in English and that allows the sentence to mean one thing and not the other.

No one has suggested an alternate parsing that even meets condition #1.  So far, your counter-argument is basically "I read it this way, but I'm too oblivious to figure out why I read it that way and too arrogant to consider that I might have made a mistake, so I'll just assume it's valid."

If anyone can explain to me how they are parsing the Knight skill text to get the alternate meaning and show their work (rather than just giving me a paraphrase of their final answer and asserting that it's correct), I'm extremely interested to hear it.

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Let's not forget that the word "and" can be used to indicate the last item in a list by the rules of grammar and usage when used as a conjunction.

When you declare a Battle action, you may immediately spend 2 fatigue to gain movement points equal to half your speed (round up) and may make 3 attacks instead of 2 this turn.

That statement can easily be viewed as a list presented with "and" as a conjunction

When you declare a Battle action, you may immediately spend 2 fatigue to:

List Item 1) Gain movement points equal to half your speed

AND

List Item 2) May make 3 attack instead of 2 this turn.

I know my knowledge of the rules of grammar are not the best in the world, but I honestly don't see why this isn't a grammatically correct reading of that sentence if the AND operates as a conjunction to indicate that being the last item in a 2 item list.

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The problem is that unlike mathematics, language has no binding rules for conjunctions like "and" and the likes. There are two ways to bind the parts of this sentence:

  • When you declare a Battle action, you may immediately spend 2 fatigue to [[gain movement points equal to half your speed (round up)] and [may make 3 attacks instead of 2 this turn]].
  • When you declare a Battle action, you [may immediately spend 2 fatigue to gain movement points equal to half your speed (round up)] and [may make 3 attacks instead of 2 this turn].

It seems that the second appears more reasonable from a rules point of view - otherwise, Leadership is too strong. However, this is clearly the grammatically less correct. That "may" there does not fit in there at all; leaving out the first bit would then lead to "you may spend fatigue to may make 3 attacks", which is silly. If the rule were like this:

  • When you declare a Battle action, you may immediately spend 2 fatigue to [[gain movement points equal to half your speed (round up)] and [make 3 attacks instead of 2 this turn]].

Then the two interpretations would both be correct from a grammatical point of view.

What us humans are really good at is correcting small mistakes in things we hear or read. Somebody saying "he went from reft to light" would be interpreted as having meant "from left to right" by most listeners. The same is true here - it appears clear that such a big benefit as an additional attack should not come at no cost, so we automagically and subconsciously correct the grammatical error.

Still, there is a grammatical error. As such, there should be a grammatical errata.

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Big Remy said:

Let's not forget that the word "and" can be used to indicate the last item in a list by the rules of grammar and usage when used as a conjunction.

When you declare a Battle action, you may immediately spend 2 fatigue to gain movement points equal to half your speed (round up) and may make 3 attacks instead of 2 this turn.

That statement can easily be viewed as a list presented with "and" as a conjunction

When you declare a Battle action, you may immediately spend 2 fatigue to:

List Item 1) Gain movement points equal to half your speed

AND

List Item 2) May make 3 attack instead of 2 this turn.

I know my knowledge of the rules of grammar are not the best in the world, but I honestly don't see why this isn't a grammatically correct reading of that sentence if the AND operates as a conjunction to indicate that being the last item in a 2 item list.

...Except that if one reads the sentence with only your 2nd item (which should be possible), one gets  "[...] you may immediately spend 2 fatigue to may make 3 attacks instead of 2 this turn", which is gibberish. sad.gif

The sentence's structure is "you may do this to do that and [you] may do a third thing." Antistone is right in this aspect. My argument, however, is that it is very obvious that it is mistakenly written and ought to be corrected (by leaving the second "may" out), not clarified.

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