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Ispher

Conditional armor and swimming

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In Sea of Blood, some equipment like Wizard's Robe give you "conditional armor", that is armor only for a certain type of attack. What kind of armor do you take into account when you are swimming and you have to spend fatigue for every 2 points of armor you have?

a) Melee?

b) Your highest armor value?

c) Your lowest armor value?

I guess the more "realistic" ruling would be a), but it seems to me the wording would point towards b)... Is there a definitive answer?

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Ispher said:

In Sea of Blood, some equipment like Wizard's Robe give you "conditional armor", that is armor only for a certain type of attack. What kind of armor do you take into account when you are swimming and you have to spend fatigue for every 2 points of armor you have?

a) Melee?

b) Your highest armor value?

c) Your lowest armor value?

I guess the more "realistic" ruling would be a), but it seems to me the wording would point towards b)... Is there a definitive answer?

I'll start the discussion.  I would think, and this reasoning could be faulty, that in the case of "conditional armors" such as the Wiz Robe that it wouldn't count for swim.  The Wiz Robe doesn't grant the armor bonus until you are hit with a Ranged or Magic attack, of which Swimming is neither.  So unless the trigger is there to cause that armor bonus to apply, it doesn't apply.  So for swimming, it doesn't factor into the fatigue cost.

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Big Remy said:

Ispher said:

 

In Sea of Blood, some equipment like Wizard's Robe give you "conditional armor", that is armor only for a certain type of attack. What kind of armor do you take into account when you are swimming and you have to spend fatigue for every 2 points of armor you have?

a) Melee?

b) Your highest armor value?

c) Your lowest armor value?

I guess the more "realistic" ruling would be a), but it seems to me the wording would point towards b)... Is there a definitive answer?

 

 

I'll start the discussion.  I would think, and this reasoning could be faulty, that in the case of "conditional armors" such as the Wiz Robe that it wouldn't count for swim.  The Wiz Robe doesn't grant the armor bonus until you are hit with a Ranged or Magic attack, of which Swimming is neither.  So unless the trigger is there to cause that armor bonus to apply, it doesn't apply.  So for swimming, it doesn't factor into the fatigue cost.

I'll go with your 'faulty' there. Under that reasoning chainmail would only count as +2 armour bonus when targeted by a Ranged, Magic or Melee attack. I don't think armour has a 'trigger'...

I still have no idea what the answer should be.
Average (round down for thematic reasons)?

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Yes, but Chain Mail also isn't what could be called a "conditional armor".  It has no "trigger" as it always a +2 armor.

Some armor does have triggers.  Wiz Robe is +0 armor versus Melee, but +2 vs Ranged/Magic.  So if you are not being targeted by anything, what is your armor value?  Just walking around the dungeon or outdoor maps.  You have natural armor of 2, so you are a 2 (+0 from Wiz Robe: Melee) and a 4 (+2 Wiz Robe: Ranged/Magic) at the same time?

Skull Shield: +5 vs Blast, Bolt, Breath.  So this shield has a conditional armor value.  Would you then make the 2 armor hero a 7 armor for determining the fatigue for Swimming?

The Skill Parry: +1 Armor vs Ranged attack.  Clearly has a trigger, but its also an extra point of armor.  If armor doesn't have a trigger, this would be on all the time and impact Swimming.

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Corbon said:

I'll go with your 'faulty' there. Under that reasoning chainmail would only count as +2 armour bonus when targeted by a Ranged, Magic or Melee attack.

No, Chainmail just gives you +2 armor.  There's no condition listed, so that armor applies to everything.

A Wizard's Robe gives you +2 armor vs. Ranged or Magic Attacks.  So, the reasoning goes, that applies to ranged attacks, and to magic attacks, but does not apply to anything else.  Since swimming can only fit into the "anything else" category, it doesn't count for that purpose.  It's not really a question of a "trigger", or of "when" you have armor, it's that the armor explicitly counts only for specific purposes, and therefore doesn't count for any other purposes.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that you've really got 3 armor totals ("Melee Armor", "Ranged Armor", and "Magic Armor") and that +1 armor implicitly raises all three of those; there are no such statistics defined in the rules.  You can also get armor that's conditional on things other than attack type; for example, the Skull Shield gives you +5 Armor vs. Blast, Bolt, or Breath attacks.  How exactly do you propose to "average" that?

I agree with Remy; the reasonable way to read "+X Armor vs. Y" is that it increases the value of your armor by X only for purposes of interacting with Y, and has no effect on anything that is not Y.

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Antistone said:

Corbon said:

 

I'll go with your 'faulty' there. Under that reasoning chainmail would only count as +2 armour bonus when targeted by a Ranged, Magic or Melee attack.

 

 

No, Chainmail just gives you +2 armor.  There's no condition listed, so that armor applies to everything.

A Wizard's Robe gives you +2 armor vs. Ranged or Magic Attacks.  So, the reasoning goes, that applies to ranged attacks, and to magic attacks, but does not apply to anything else.  Since swimming can only fit into the "anything else" category, it doesn't count for that purpose.  It's not really a question of a "trigger", or of "when" you have armor, it's that the armor explicitly counts only for specific purposes, and therefore doesn't count for any other purposes.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that you've really got 3 armor totals ("Melee Armor", "Ranged Armor", and "Magic Armor") and that +1 armor implicitly raises all three of those; there are no such statistics defined in the rules.  You can also get armor that's conditional on things other than attack type; for example, the Skull Shield gives you +5 Armor vs. Blast, Bolt, or Breath attacks.  How exactly do you propose to "average" that?

I agree with Remy; the reasonable way to read "+X Armor vs. Y" is that it increases the value of your armor by X only for purposes of interacting with Y, and has no effect on anything that is not Y.

+1.  Thank you for articulating that much much better than I was.

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Big Remy said:

Yes, but Chain Mail also isn't what could be called a "conditional armor".  It has no "trigger" as it always a +2 armor.

Some armor does have triggers.  Wiz Robe is +0 armor versus Melee, but +2 vs Ranged/Magic.  So if you are not being targeted by anything, what is your armor value?  Just walking around the dungeon or outdoor maps.  You have natural armor of 2, so you are a 2 (+0 from Wiz Robe: Melee) and a 4 (+2 Wiz Robe: Ranged/Magic) at the same time?

Skull Shield: +5 vs Blast, Bolt, Breath.  So this shield has a conditional armor value.  Would you then make the 2 armor hero a 7 armor for determining the fatigue for Swimming?

Conditional, yes - for lack of a better term. Trigger, no - there is no trigger (that is the faulty reasoning). Just because sometimes the armour counts as one thing and sometimes it counts as another thing doesn't actually create a 'trigger' for the change - we simply have no idea how it works.

Like I said, I don't know the answer, but the reasoning here isn't sound.
Take the 'conditional' armour that is +1/+3. By your reasoning it wouldn't count at all because the +1 only counts during a melee attack and the +3 counts during a Ranged or Magic attack while swimming is neither. Whereas I believe that +X is always on, it is just that we don't know what the value of X is.

Antistone said:
I agree with Remy; the reasonable way to read "+X Armor vs. Y" is that it increases the value of your armor by X only for purposes of interacting with Y, and has no effect on anything that is not Y.

The conditional armours don't say 'vs Y attacks', they just say 'vs Y'. The armour is always 'on' (it doesn't just trigger vs attacks), it is just that we don't know what the value should be at any particular time that is not  an attack because it is variable during certain effects (attacks) and there was no requirement for any other value when the card was written.
I don't think it is entirely reasonable to assume the value is 0 just because were weren't told what the value should be when it interacts in an entirely new way due to a new effect not envisaged when the armour card was written.
It might be the answer given by FFG. It is at least as likely as 'highest' and possibly as likely as 'lowest'. But I think it definitely needs a question, rather than trying to read from the cards a situation they were never written to cover.

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Corbon said:

Like I said, I don't know the answer, but the reasoning here isn't sound.
Take the 'conditional' armour that is +1/+3. By your reasoning it wouldn't count at all because the +1 only counts during a melee attack and the +3 counts during a Ranged or Magic attack while swimming is neither.

Yes, that is exactly what my reasoning would imply.  And I'm OK with that.  But then, I don't have any plans to play SoB, so take that with a grain of salt.

Similarly, if the next expansion includes a new "psychic" attack type that is distinct from melee, ranged, and magic, the armor total would be zero against that, as well.

Corbon said:

The conditional armours don't say 'vs Y attacks', they just say 'vs Y'. The armour is always 'on' (it doesn't just trigger vs attacks), it is just that we don't know what the value should be at any particular time that is not  an attack because it is variable during certain effects (attacks) and there was no requirement for any other value when the card was written.

By your reasoning here, we don't know how much armor a hero with the Parry skill should have against a magic attack, because Parry provides +1 armor vs. Melee attacks but doesn't specify what it provides in any other situation. That's silly.

If we had a hero whose base armor was specified to be "X vs. melee attacks, Y vs. ranged or magic attacks", then we would have no clue what the value is supposed to be in any case not explicitly covered.

But when we have a card that says we get plus X armor against melee attacks, then we implicitly know what the armor value is against everything else.  Armor items are exactly like any other items except for the equipment slot they occupy, and it's not as if we don't know how much armor a Dagger provides simply because it doesn't say.  Heroes have a base value for armor, and items may provide bonuses on top of that, but if they don't say they provide a bonus, then you just use the base value.

Corbon said:

I don't think it is entirely reasonable to assume the value is 0 just because were weren't told what the value should be when it interacts in an entirely new way due to a new effect not envisaged when the armour card was written.
It might be the answer given by FFG. It is at least as likely as 'highest' and possibly as likely as 'lowest'. But I think it definitely needs a question, rather than trying to read from the cards a situation they were never written to cover.

What exactly do you suppose that "highest" or "lowest" would actually mean?  If you mean the minimum or maximum sum of bonuses that might apply with any attack published to date, then it can't necessarily be calculated without an encyclopedic knowledge of every card, monster, and quest in the game, and it might change any time they release a new expansion (for example, there are currently no "Melee Breath" attacks, but nothing to stop them from publishing one).  If you mean the minimum or maximum sum of bonuses that might apply to any attack that could theoretically exist, I don't see how that's different from saying "everything added up" (so your +1/+3 example would count as a total of +4) or "no conditional effects at all" (which is the same as my proposal).

This may seem pedantic, but seriously, try to rigorously express how you think it should work.  I suspect you'll find it's a lot more complicated than you expect unless you just make magical rules for the exact cards that currently exist.

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Antistone said:

snip

 

1. By your reasoning here, we don't know how much armor a hero with the Parry skill should have against a magic attack, because Parry provides +1 armor vs. Melee attacks but doesn't specify what it provides in any other situation. That's silly.

snip

2. If we had a hero whose base armor was specified to be "X vs. melee attacks, Y vs. ranged or magic attacks", then we would have no clue what the value is supposed to be in any case not explicitly covered.

But when we have a card that says we get plus X armor against melee attacks,

snip

3. This may seem pedantic, but seriously, try to rigorously express how you think it should work.  I suspect you'll find it's a lot more complicated than you expect unless you just make magical rules for the exact cards that currently exist.

1. I didn't say it wasn't silly, and I wasn't using it as reasoning to provide any particular inferences

2. Part of my point was that the 'conditional' (perhaps 'variable' would be a better term) armours do not say "+X vs Y attack". They don't mention 'attack' at all, just "+X vs Y" - thus there is no 'trigger' for deciding when a value should change.

3. I don't know how it works. I've said that twice already. I just don't think that there is a sound basis for assuming that these armours should count as 0. I am suggesting we should just make magical rules in this case - or rather that we apply to FFG for magical rules rather than decide our own rules on an unsound basis - particularly an unsound basis that creates unintuitive results.
I do think that 'no value when swimming' is a possible solution, I just don't think that it is necessarily the best (or worst), nor entirely reasonable given that the armour cards (including non-variable armours) simply weren't written with this rules-wrinkle in mind.

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2.  Ah, I misunderstood.  Still, I don't think it can be convincingly argued that the swimming rules are any one of melee, ranged, or magic, so I don't think that affects the end result.

Also, the skill cards (such as Parry) actually do use the word "attacks."

3.  Well, you're actively suggesting alternative rules that might be used (at least 3 so far, I think), but none of your descriptions are actually detailed enough to understand what those alternative rules would do.  I don't know what you actually mean by any one of "highest," "lowest," or "average," so commenting that you think they are more or less likely or reasonable than anything else is meaningless.

The only obvious options I see are:

  • Play by RAW, even if it's unintuitive and was written before the swim rules existed
  • Say that the swim rules count as an "XYZ attack" for purposes of calculating armor, for some value of "XYZ"
  • Errata a bunch of individual cards to explicitly state how they should each interact with swimming
  • Don't play SoB until FFG makes a ruling

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I actually had been wondering the same thing and come up with my own answer and was going to pose it here to see what other people thought.  Basically I agree with Big Remy and Antistone in that the Wizard's Robe and the other armor items like it count as 0 for the purposes of swimming. 

Antistone said:

 

A Wizard's Robe gives you +2 armor vs. Ranged or Magic Attacks.  So, the reasoning goes, that applies to ranged attacks, and to magic attacks, but does not apply to anything else.  Since swimming can only fit into the "anything else" category, it doesn't count for that purpose.  It's not really a question of a "trigger", or of "when" you have armor, it's that the armor explicitly counts only for specific purposes, and therefore doesn't count for any other purposes.

I agree with Remy; the reasonable way to read "+X Armor vs. Y" is that it increases the value of your armor by X only for purposes of interacting with Y, and has no effect on anything that is not Y.

I think this sums up my view on the subject best, although I do agree a question should probably be sent in to FFG, since the Wizard's Robe (and like armors) were designed pre-SOB.

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Antistone said:

2.  Ah, I misunderstood.  Still, I don't think it can be convincingly argued that the swimming rules are any one of melee, ranged, or magic, so I don't think that affects the end result.

Also, the skill cards (such as Parry) actually do use the word "attacks."

3.  Well, you're actively suggesting alternative rules that might be used (at least 3 so far, I think), but none of your descriptions are actually detailed enough to understand what those alternative rules would do.  I don't know what you actually mean by any one of "highest," "lowest," or "average," so commenting that you think they are more or less likely or reasonable than anything else is meaningless.

The only obvious options I see are:

  • Play by RAW, even if it's unintuitive and was written before the swim rules existed
  • Say that the swim rules count as an "XYZ attack" for purposes of calculating armor, for some value of "XYZ"
  • Errata a bunch of individual cards to explicitly state how they should each interact with swimming
  • Don't play SoB until FFG makes a ruling

2a. The skill cards are removed for SoB so not relevant. If they were not removed, they would still not be a problem because they specifically only give their bonuses during attacks of a certain type - unlike armour, which is always 'on' and specifies only what the values are under undefined circumstances (which clearly are intended to be attacks, or at least attack types, but perhaps just as clearly non-attack requirements were never needed to be addressed so their intent is completely unaddressed).
No half-pedantry please. If you are going to pedantically insist on using the exact wording on the armour cards then you have to use the exact wording - which is undefined. gran_risa.gif

3. I wasn't suggesting that any of these options be particularly chosen though (because I can find no compelling reasons to choose any of them) so that's not quite the same thing as saying 'do it this way' and having to back it up - which is what you asked for.

Oh, and I think you are quite certainly the only person who has read the thread who would pretend to not understand the casual usage of "highest", "lowest" or "average" in context. lengua.gif   I know you were making a point, and technically correct, but... so what.

Of your options:

  • I don't think the RAW are well enough defined to determine exactly what they should be - especially when the most sensible 'nearly-RAW' provides unintuitive results
  • clearly we have no basis for deciding that the swim rules are any sort of attack at all
  • errata-ing a bunch of cards is not particularly practical or elegant, though it is possible
  • clearing simply not playing is not a viable option...                      so I'll add...
  • determine for your group, by consensus, a house rule that provides a general rule that works with variable armour values
    eg "Variable armours count as the lowest value bonus printed on the card for the purposes of movement in deep water."

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Kartigan said:

I actually had been wondering the same thing and come up with my own answer and was going to pose it here to see what other people thought.  Basically I agree with Big Remy and Antistone in that the Wizard's Robe and the other armor items like it count as 0 for the purposes of swimming. 

So you think it is reasonable that the silver/gold armours that provide +1/+3 or +1/+4 or +2/+4 (they aren't on www.descentinthedark.com. and I can't remember the details but I am sure they exist) count as 0 'weight' just because their wording (which isn't actually specific to any actual event or time) isn't specific to a random interaction that didn't exist when they were designed?

I'm not saying its completely unreasonable but I don't see it as any more reasonable than a number of other potential options.

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Yes I would say that is reasonable from a rules perspective certainly, and if you are saying it is unreasonable from a balance perspective, it is no more so than most of the game is already.  Although, as I mentioned, I do think it would be a good idea to send in a question about it to FFG since the armors were designed before the expansion, but in the meanwhile that is the way I will play it.

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Corbon said:

Oh, and I think you are quite certainly the only person who has read the thread who would pretend to not understand the casual usage of "highest", "lowest" or "average" in context. lengua.gif   I know you were making a point, and technically correct, but... so what.

I am not confident that I could correctly guess what answer you think would be produced by each of those options under all circumstances.  Thus, I don't know what you mean.  You have repeatedly declined to rigorously specify what you mean, which is starting to give me the impression that you don't know either.

If you can't give me an algorithm for it, then it's not an option.

Corbon said:

Of your options:

...

determine for your group, by consensus, a house rule that provides a general rule that works with variable armour values

I was listing rules that you might actually choose to play by.  That's not a rule, it's a process for creating a rule.  Though you also discarded one of the possible house rules I listed because there was "no basis" for using it, which makes me wonder what basis you think exists that covers the use of unspecified house rules but not the use of that specific one?

Corbon said:

"Variable armours count as the lowest value bonus printed on the card for the purposes of movement in deep water."

So the Skull Shield counts as 5, then?  That seems kind of harsh.

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 My group is playing with 0 for items like these. Don't know what they intended (more likely they never thought of it at all) but it felt better not to have the hero with the cursed shield auto-die if he entered water :)

Seemed like the simplest solution, and it makes it so that its mostly the heavy tanks that will have problems with water, which seems to fit the theme.

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I agree "all conditionals counts as 0" is the most logical (and closest to RAW, though as Corbon says I don't think the rules are clearly enough defined to be quite sure what RAW *are*) solution, and even perhaps the most thematicly reasonable one.

"Average" is clearly unworkable- it's too hard to define what that means. I don't see any particular problem with "lowest" or "highest", though I'd prefer not to use either.

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I also agree with Sigma and Antistone that conditional armor values don't count against swimming (unless someone finds a card whose condition is "+X armor when swimming.")  Flawed or not, it's simple and it keeps the game going.  Until and unless FFG comes down from on high with a different answer, that's what we'll be using.

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One could guess that the reasoning behind armor causing fatigue is the extra weight the armor puts on the hero. I would also postulate that there are certain pieces of armor that provide protection via mystical means, and thus generate no weight.

Besides, give the heroes a break....swimming's already pretty tough!

My 2 copper is this: any armor who's value is "conditional" would be counted as 0 for swimming purposes. So for example:

+2 Armor vs. magic / ranged would count as zero.

But armor that provides constant protection would count as whatever the constant is:

+1 vs Melee/+3 vs Magic & Ranged would count as one. (since it provides +1 across the board, and and extra +2 conditionally)

 

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Thundercles said:

what about the conditional armors that have +1 vs Melee/+3 vs Magic&Ranged?  I don't really feel that it's fair for those to count as 0.

The lowest of the bonuses? (in this case, it counts as 1)

-shnar

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Thank you all for the replies (we are starting our SoB campaign on Easter Monday and I wanted to clear that up beforehand). I now have a little better understanding of how it could work.

I will propose my group a ruling based on the principle "when in doubt, take what's best for you", so that heroes will be able to choose the lowest value of their Armor vs any of the three types of attacks (Melee, Ranged or Magic) when swimming.

I will however not go for the "any conditional armor = 0" possibility for two reasons: 1) it is counterintuitive that an equipment that gives at least +1 armor against any kind of attack (except Psychic lengua.gif) like the +1/+3 Robe of Kellos should count as 0 for swimming; and 2) once more, like with Knight, I am convinced the wording of the equipment in question is flawed as soon as game rules need to check for a basic (or minimal, or unconditional) Armor value, which seems to be the case with swimming in SoB.

Here is what is written on the Robe of Kellos: +3 Armor vs. Ranged/Magic. +1 Armor vs. Melee.

Whereas if it would be written: +1 Armor. +2 additional Armor vs. Ranged/Magic, there would be no problem at all.

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Ispher said:

Thank you all for the replies (we are starting our SoB campaign on Easter Monday and I wanted to clear that up beforehand). I now have a little better understanding of how it could work.

I will propose my group a ruling based on the principle "when in doubt, take what's best for you", so that heroes will be able to choose the lowest value of their Armor vs any of the three types of attacks (Melee, Ranged or Magic) when swimming.

I will however not go for the "any conditional armor = 0" possibility for two reasons: 1) it is counterintuitive that an equipment that gives at least +1 armor against any kind of attack (except Psychic lengua.gif) like the +1/+3 Robe of Kellos should count as 0 for swimming; and 2) once more, like with Knight, I am convinced the wording of the equipment in question is flawed as soon as game rules need to check for a basic (or minimal, or unconditional) Armor value, which seems to be the case with swimming in SoB.

Here is what is written on the Robe of Kellos: +3 Armor vs. Ranged/Magic. +1 Armor vs. Melee.

Whereas if it would be written: +1 Armor. +2 additional Armor vs. Ranged/Magic, there would be no problem at all.

By RAW I don't think that is the correct way to play that.  But I DO think that is the way the designer's probably intended it to be played and that is more important.  I would expect this to be FAQed to be the lowest armor type is the one that counts, even though I believe RAW is they count 0 for swimming.

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