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Sir_Blacksoutalot

A couple Gathering questions for new player

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I just finished my fourth run through The Gathering. I've put myself on a rinse-and-repeat cycle until I quit bungling the rules. Getting smoother every time.

There's a certain morbid sense of humor in how things can go from okay to bad to really horrible in this game. Like in my last play-through. I drew three Ancient Evils in a row. How is that even possible? And I swear those cards were very, very thoroughly shuffled. My only solace is that the odds of that happening again must now be fairly low, if the laws of the universe work as I think they do.

So those Ancient Evils put three doom on the agenda which unfortunately was enough to advance it to Agenda 3b. I'd never had the agenda advance that far in my previous games. I have a few questions about the last two agenda cards.

QUESTION 1
In Agenda 2b, the card reads "Shuffle the encounter discard pile into the encounter deck. Discard cards from the top of the encounter deck until a Ghoul enemy appears. The lead investigator draws that enemy."

So if I had already defeated the Icy Ghoul and placed it in my Victory Display, does the Icy Ghoul get shuffled back into the encounter deck? I would think not because page 21 of the Rule Reference states the Victory Display is an out-of-play game area. Just wanted to get confirmation.

QUESTION 2
In Agenda 3a, the card reads "Forced -- At the end of the round, place 1 doom on the agenda for each Ghoul enemy in the Hallway or Parlor."

That's clear enough for the end of that round. But the the Mythos Phase follows right after. So do I need to then add another doom to the agenda at start of Mythos? It would seem so, as brutal as that is. Again, just looking for confirmation.

QUESTION 3
More of a general question related to skill tests, is it legal to use a free-trigger ability and also commit a card? For example, with Hard Knocks (an asset) I can spend 1 resource to gain a +1 combat. Can I also commit a card since Hard Knocks is a free-trigger? Hmmm....seems like this would require two separate actions. Could use a little help here.

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Question 1: Cards in the Victory Display do not get shuffled back in when you shuffle the discard pile back into the Encounter Deck. You only face those enemies once (unless scenario rules specify something else, but there aren't any such rules in The Gathering).

Question 2: Yes, you put another doom on the agenda in the Mythos phase. Things can get really brutal if you aren't careful at the end of this scenario.

Question 3: Neither committing a card, nor using a free-trigger require an action. You can do both multiple times in the same skill test (if I remember Hard Knocks correctly, you can even trigger it multiple times by spending multiple resources in a the same skill test). If you can only use a free-trigger action once, they will either state it on the card or have you exhaust the card as part of the card's cost.

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Just to expand on the answer to question 3: on page 26 of the Rules Reference is the timing for the steps of a skill test. Step 2 is when you commit cards to the skill test and there are player windows either side of this step. These windows are when you can trigger free abilities, such as those on Hard Knocks, so you can do this either before or after you commit cards to the test. There are no other player windows during a skill test, which is why you cannot use Hard Knocks after revealing the chaos token from the bag.

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Thanks, I appreciate those very succinct and spot-on responses.

I now recall reading that you can use free-triggers cumulatively (+1, +2, +3, etc), provided you have the resources. I really wish it stated this "cumulative application" on cards like Hard Knocks, because it seems like almost a hidden rule. Maybe on my fifth play-through, some of these more nuanced rules will finally start to sink in. These forum discussions certainly help!

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