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Gillum the Stoor

Who Controls Player Cards Attached to Locations?

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There are some Event cards that may be attached to a location (e.g., Barricade).

Who controls such a card when it is so attached?  The owning player?  Or the scenario?

The answer affects the treatment of abilities that affect controlled cards.

For example, Crisis of Identity requires Lola to discard certain cards that she controls.

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Pretty sure that the owning player still controls the card. Under Ownership and Control in the RRG: "Cards by default enter play under their owner's control. Some abilities may cause cards to change control during a game. " There is nothing under the Attach To entry that specifies that the controller changes during/after the card is attached.

So I think Crisis of Identity could cause attached cards, such as Barricade, to be discarded.

Edited by Assussanni

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40 minutes ago, Assussanni said:

Pretty sure that the owning player still controls the card. Under Ownership and Control in the RRG: "Cards by default enter play under their owner's control. Some abilities may cause cards to change control during a game. " There is nothing under the Attach To entry that specifies that the controller changes during/after the card is attached.

So I think Crisis of Identity could cause attached cards, such as Barricade, to be discarded.

+1.

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A player card is always only controlled by its owner, unless it or a trigger specifically states otherwise(teamwork, a chance encounter, etc).  This is why the lvl 2 shortcut grants its triggering condition to the location it is attached to, otherwise the other players would not be allowed to utilize it.  This also why weaknesses are considered treachery cards when played, other wise other players would not be able to trigger the weakness' ability. 

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55 minutes ago, Donel said:

I would submit this to the devs. I would think an attachment is considered to be owned by the card its attached to

The rules for control are fairly clear.  RR pg 16.

Control is entirely held by either players or the scenario itself, never individual cards.  Control is defined by the card type and which zone it is in.  Unless something specifically changes control (and not much does) they remain controlled by the player.

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Theoretically, there could be a rule that any card attached to a location is controlled by the scenario.

If that were the case (and I am not asserting that there is such a rule), an attached card like Barricade would not be subject to a Crisis of Identity.

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6 hours ago, Gillum the Stoor said:

Theoretically, there could be a rule that any card attached to a location is controlled by the scenario.

If that were the case (and I am not asserting that there is such a rule), an attached card like Barricade would not be subject to a Crisis of Identity.

Correct. But there is no such rule. Except for encounter-typed weaknesses (which are controlled by the scenario while they're in play), cards are controlled by their owners until an effect explicitly says so.

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On 8/29/2018 at 10:27 AM, Donel said:

I would submit this to the devs. I would think an attachment is considered to be owned by the card its attached to

I did this.

I was told that the developers are currently studying how to define the control of attached cards (not just events attached to locations) and that the next FAQ will include a section explaining how control is determined in these cases.

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Ah, I bet the creature of this card spurred on that discussion:
https://arkhamdb.com/card/04270

I had similar questions regarding it. Can anyone detach it from a location once attached? Whose play area would it go to if someone else can detach it? Presumably it would return to the original owner as it is 'returning' but if that's the case it's hard to assume anyone else would be able use the ability to detach it

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There is a bigger issue than that with the Skeleton Key. If you control the Skeleton Key even when you are not at the location it is attached to, there's nothing stopping you activating the action at another location to attach it to your current location, using the first part of the action, completely side-stepping the need to detach it in the first place. Glad to hear it'll be addressed in the FAQ.

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I specifically asked that the following questions be considered:

1.  Can the owner of The Skeleton Key use its "detach" ability if the owner and asset are at different locations?

2.  Can a non-owning investigator at The Skeleton Key's location use the asset's "detach" ability (thereby taking control of it)?

We'll see what they say.

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It's a consistent rule across all of FFG's LCGs that cards are controlled individually, by their controllers unless an effect says otherwise. As the rules are written, the answers are Yes and No. However, the "yes" answer to the first question is deeply unsatisfying (making an ability on the card useless), so I expect a change in Skeleton Key's text at the least. A change in the rules of control or who can trigger abilities seems too broad to deal with a problem that only affects a single card). Here's a list of player cards that attach to encounter cards:

  • Barricade (level 0 or 3) attaches to a location and has only constant and forced abilities
  • Lure (level 1) attaches to a location and has only constant and forced abilities
  • Hiding Spot (level 0) attaches to a location and has only constant and forced abilities
  • Ambush (level 1) attaches to a location and has only constant and forced abilities
  • Snare Trap (level 2) attaches to a location and has only constant and forced abilities
  • Shortcut (level 2) attaches to a location and gives it a free triggered ability
  • Bind Monster (level 2) attaches to an enemy and has a reaction
  • The Skeleton Key (level 2) attaches to a location and has an action

Of these, control matters only for the last 2 (beyond what happens when their owner is defeated), since the first 5 only have mandatory abilities and Shortcut's ability is given to its location (making it inarguably an ability on an encounter card). Changing the control rule would be problematic for Bind Monster, forcing someone to stay with the monster.

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That is an excellent point regarding Bind Monster. I imagine either that they will have to change the rules to require you to be at the location of an attachment, then errata Bind Monster to be a Forced ability that references the owner of the card (or simply has a line like "this ability may be activated when at a different location to attached enemy"), or they won't and they will have to errata Skeleton Key to include a clause like "if Skeleton Key is not attached to a location".

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8 hours ago, Gillum the Stoor said:

1.  Can the owner of The Skeleton Key use its "detach" ability if the owner and asset are at different locations?

The "detach" part of the ability specifically references "your location" so the answer is going to be "no", and you might not get the more general clarification about location and control as a result, unfortunately. 

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3 minutes ago, Khudzlin said:

The real question is "can the controller use the 'attach' part of the ability if The Skeleton Key is already attached to another location?"

Right. By the rules as currently written it would seem that the answer is yes, but if that is the intention I'd be very surprised. I expect to see an update for The Skeleton Key in the next FAQ along the lines of "Add the following text immediately after the action icon: 'If The Skeleton Key is in your play area...'".

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We may see a change to the rule that allows an investigator to use a triggered ability on "A card in play and under his or her control."

That rule may have been written assuming "in play under control" = in play area.

Perhaps it would be revised to apply to cards under control in the play area - or under control and at the investigator's location (by being attached to the location or an enemy present).

That would prevent detaching The Skeleton Key remotely, for example.

To me, it feels thematic to say that an event card attached to a location is controlled by the location.  According to Khudzlin's list above, none of these have triggered abilities.  (Shortcut adds one to its location.)  That means that they will not be discarded due to the owning investigator being eliminated (which seems thematic) or forced to discard cards under control.

It seems that Bind Monster is the only event card that can be attached to an enemy.  It differs from the others in having a triggered ability.  One could say that it also is controlled by the scenario (when attached) and that that ability can be used by any investigator at the attached enemy's location.

That may be thematic, depending on how one thinks about the spell.  (Perhaps it suffices for the spellcasting investigator to bind the monster and then any other investigator can use willpower to keep the monster bound.)

If that is not satisfactory, one could say that events bound to enemies remain under their owner's control.  Then (along with a revised "when you may trigger" rule - above), only the spellcaster (if present) could keep the monster bound.

(If it was intended that the spellcaster could keep the monster bound even remotely, something else would have to be done.)

The Skeleton Key differs from the others in that it is an asset.  If the rule above is applied to assets as well as events, any investigator at the location (again, assuming the revised "when you may trigger" rule) could detach and take control of The Skeleton Key.

If that is not desired, there could be a rule that assets attached to locations (or, perhaps, enemies) remain under the control of their owner.  In that case, only the owning investigator could detach The Skeleton Key.

I think that the revised "when you may trigger" rule - that you cannot use abilities on cards attached to other locations (or enemies at other locations) - would address the questions of detaching The Skeleton Key remotely, or attempting to attach The Skeleton when it is already attached somewhere else.

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10 minutes ago, Gillum the Stoor said:

We may see a change to the rule that allows an investigator to use a triggered ability on "A card in play and under his or her control."

That rule may have been written assuming "in play under control" = in play area.

Perhaps it would be revised to apply to cards under control in the play area - or under control and at the investigator's location (by being attached to the location or an enemy present).

That would prevent detaching The Skeleton Key remotely, for example.

To me, it feels thematic to say that an event card attached to a location is controlled by the location.  According to Khudzlin's list above, none of these have triggered abilities.  (Shortcut adds one to its location.)  That means that they will not be discarded due to the owning investigator being eliminated (which seems thematic) or forced to discard cards under control.

It seems that Bind Monster is the only event card that can be attached to an enemy.  It differs from the others in having a triggered ability.  One could say that it also is controlled by the scenario (when attached) and that that ability can be used by any investigator at the attached enemy's location.

That may be thematic, depending on how one thinks about the spell.  (Perhaps it suffices for the spellcasting investigator to bind the monster and then any other investigator can use willpower to keep the monster bound.)

If that is not satisfactory, one could say that events bound to enemies remain under their owner's control.  Then (along with a revised "when you may trigger" rule - above), only the spellcaster (if present) could keep the monster bound.

(If it was intended that the spellcaster could keep the monster bound even remotely, something else would have to be done.)

The Skeleton Key differs from the others in that it is an asset.  If the rule above is applied to assets as well as events, any investigator at the location (again, assuming the revised "when you may trigger" rule) could detach and take control of The Skeleton Key.

If that is not desired, there could be a rule that assets attached to locations (or, perhaps, enemies) remain under the control of their owner.  In that case, only the owning investigator could detach The Skeleton Key.

I think that the revised "when you may trigger" rule - that you cannot use abilities on cards attached to other locations (or enemies at other locations) - would address the questions of detaching The Skeleton Key remotely, or attempting to attach The Skeleton when it is already attached somewhere else.

The current rule is that, by default, a card enters play under its owner's control (with the exception that enemy and treachery weaknesses enter play under the scenario's control). No rule changes control of a card that attaches to another, regardless of who owns or controls either card. Note that Shortcut (2) gives an ability to its location so that any investigator in said location can use it, instead of its owner (and controller) in any location; if it was controlled by the scenario, the ability could have stayed on Shortcut.

The Skeleton Key's text already prevents detaching it remotely (because that part depends on it being attached to your current location). What it doesn't seem to prevent is attaching it to a location while still attached to another (though it might be prevented by the rule about having to detach cards explicitly).

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2 hours ago, Khudzlin said:

The Skeleton Key's text already prevents detaching it remotely (because that part depends on it being attached to your current location). What it doesn't seem to prevent is attaching it to a location while still attached to another (though it might be prevented by the rule about having to detach cards explicitly).

Having just read the “Attach To...” section of the Rules again, I think the ‘remains attached unless a card ability explicitly detaches the card’ probably does forbid attaching it to a new location without using the action to detach it first. In which case, the rules are fine as they are...?

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On 8/29/2018 at 9:09 AM, Assussanni said:

Under Ownership and Control in the RRG: "Cards by default enter play under their owner's control.

The rules on "In Play and Out of Play" say, "The cards that a player controls in his or her play area are considered in play."

This is consistent with the idea that the only in-play cards that a player controls are in his or her play area (and that cards attached to a location or enemy are not controlled by the player).

I think that it's further evidence that the rules need a tweak here, again to give someone a way to use the reaction-triggered ability on Bind Monster.

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13 hours ago, Gillum the Stoor said:

The rules on "In Play and Out of Play" say, "The cards that a player controls in his or her play area are considered in play."

This is consistent with the idea that the only in-play cards that a player controls are in his or her play area (and that cards attached to a location or enemy are not controlled by the player).

I think that it's further evidence that the rules need a tweak here, again to give someone a way to use the reaction-triggered ability on Bind Monster.

I disagree. The rules on In Play and Out of Play are telling you which cards are in play and which are out of play, not who controls them. They also do not include the word "only", so while these rules are consistent with your interpretation they also do not exclude other interpretations.

What we have is:

  • Attach To...: "It [the card] must be attached to (placed beneath and slightly overlapped by) the specified game element as it enters play."
  • Ownership and Control: "Cards by default enter play under their owner's control. Some abilities may cause cards to change control during a game."

Therefore, attaching a card causes it to enter play and it does so under its owner's control unless something specifically specifies that it doesn't. This is still consistent with the "In Play and Out of Play Rules".

There could be a rule which modifies the "by default" of the Ownership and Control rules for attached cards, but as far as I know at the moment such a rule neither exists nor is necessary. Of course, this could all change in a future FAQ/errata!

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23 hours ago, Gillum the Stoor said:

The rules on "In Play and Out of Play" say, "The cards that a player controls in his or her play area are considered in play."

This is consistent with the idea that the only in-play cards that a player controls are in his or her play area (and that cards attached to a location or enemy are not controlled by the player).

No.  Just because cards you control in your play area are in play does not mean that it's the only way you can control a card, just as it doesn't mean it's the only way a card can be in play.

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30 minutes ago, Buhallin said:

No.  Just because cards you control in your play area are in play does not mean that it's the only way you can control a card, just as it doesn't mean it's the only way a card can be in play.

The swans in my yard are white. Therefore, all swans are white, and all white birds are swans..... right? :D

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