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jwdenzel

What can Mana and Kata do?

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 Can they pick up piles of gold or open chests?

I don't think they can, but I just wanted to check.  Can they pick up rune keys or relics that are lying around on the dungeon floor?

 

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Mata and Kata cannot open chests or open doors.

I'm not completely sure if there is a limit for what they can pick up. We play that they can pick up gold and rune keys, which is then immediately distributed/taken. Not sure if that follows the rules though.

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 Actually, they CAN open doors. If you look at the movement costs in the original descent booklet many of the actions have an asterisk or some such(don't have the book with me) and opening a door is something that does NOT have the "Hero character only" by it. Chests, and iirc gold does. As do rune locked doors. So, Mata and Kata can open non rune locked doors, and be handed, and hand off potions/items. I don't recall if they can pick up potions, but I think that they can. But if you check the movement costs table, it tells you what actions are hero's only.

 

They're particulaly useful if you have someone who LOVES to play envy on you. As that card can be a royal pain in the posterior.

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Mata and Kata cannot open doors, because familiars do not have movement points. Instead they can move a number of squares.

Doors are not opened only by heroes, because monsters can open doors as well.

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Siebeltje said:

 

Mata and Kata cannot open doors, because familiars do not have movement points. Instead they can move a number of squares.

Doors are not opened only by heroes, because monsters can open doors as well.

 

 

Then they would never be able to give ANYTHING to someone once they have it, since that costs movement points.

All familiars have movement points, since they all have a speed.  Mata and Kata however are the only ones who can actively do anything with the points other than move.  The description of Mata and Kata specifically says they can spend movement points.  pg 14 of JitD:

Mata and Kata
"These familiars are granted by a Wizardry skill card. Mata and Kata’s speed is 6. Mata and Kata are each represented by markers that move independently of each other. The familiars can each be given or pick up and carry one item (including potions). They can give a carried item to an adjacent hero (or each other, if they are adjacent) for one movement point."

Most familiars are exceptions to a rule in Descent.  Mata and Kata are the exception to familiars not being able to spend movement points on things other than movement.  I know they can pick up potions and items, carry items given to them by Heroes, but can not pick up gold piles because they are not items.  As for doors, to the best of my knowledge there is nothing that says they can not open doors since they can spend movement points and it costs to do so.  Also, as far as I know they can not open chests.

Mata and Kata are very useful in vanilla Descent, less useful in RtL since there are no potions around to pick up.  There's a common houserule for Mata and Kata that I favor where in RtL they become able to pick up gold piles for the Heroes.

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Mata and Kata cannot open doors:

"They can give a carried item to an adjacent hero (or each other, if they are adjacent) for one movement point."

Thats it.  Nothing more.  That does not mean "They have movement points that they can spend on other things".  They can ONLY spend a movement point to give items to heroes.  They CANNOT spend movement points for other things.

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Perfect example right there of why I put "as far as I know" in half my statements.  Paul Grogan is right, they can not open doors, I got confused with something that was talked about on the old forum.

Another advantage of Mata and Kata is that any item they are carrying is Crushing Blow proof, since you can't attack familiars.

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What about potions and gold piles though?

Afaik it doesnt cost mp to take, but then it's a movement action. If they cant take them, how can they carry stuff? only by being given items by another char?

I dont know what to choose between the two options. Taking runekeys is quite too much for me though.

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Flbbd2fl said:

What about potions and gold piles though?

Afaik it doesnt cost mp to take, but then it's a movement action. If they cant take them, how can they carry stuff? only by being given items by another char?

I dont know what to choose between the two options. Taking runekeys is quite too much for me though.

Potions, yes because they are items.

Gold piles, no because they are not items.

Rune keys, as far as I know they can't pick those up.

They can basically receive items from Heroes or pick up potions off the map.  They can then give them to Heroes or each other for one movement point.

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Flbbd2fl said:

I dont know what to choose between the two options. Taking runekeys is quite too much for me though.

There is no choice to make here.  The rules are clear.   Runekeys and piles of coins are NOT items.  A list of "what is an item" is in the rules somewhere.

Potions - it specifically says on Mata and Kata that they can pick up potions

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I also like the house rule in RtL where Mana and Kata can pick up piles of gold.   It's a reasonable replacement for there not being potions lying around in the dungeons.

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Well, in my set of rule it only says they can give items, and nothing about picking them up. I agree that they must have an use of some sort, but I am really not sure which one it is.

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Hi,

Flbbd2fl said:

Well, in my set of rule it only says they can give items, and nothing about picking them up. I agree that they must have an use of some sort, but I am really not sure which one it is.

In my Descent rules it says they can give and pick up items. And about their use: Protecting items from Crushing Blow, for example in the Overlord keep, is a very nice one.

 

-Kylearan

 

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They can pick up items.  However, except for relics, there are never any items actually lying around.  Any item dropped by a hero is removed from play unless it is a relic.

I think Mata and Kata are useful without RtL because there are potions on the board.  Also, treasures in vanilla descent are given out randomly, and then the players have to swap items between them.  Mata and Kata can help here too.

However, in RtL there are no potions on the map, and treasures from chests are distributed as the heros want at the time they get their item.   Therefore, Mata and Kata are a lot less useful in RtL.

I like the house rule which allows them to pick up piles of coins.  I said earlier they cannot do this - and this is true by the rules. However, this thread has got me thinking, and I think they do need to be given something extra in RtL.  Thanks for suggesting this.

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Even if they can take pile of coins, I don't think anyone would willingly take the skill in RTL. They were alreay near useless in vanilla, but in RTL, you just have no chance of getting them (you'd need 3 worse skills, or you'd have to pay gold and XP to train that. Not very likely).

I fail to see any scenario in which a player would end up with Mata and Kata in RTL (Who would take them over prodigy, quick casting, telekinesis, inner fire, spiritwalker, Boggs the rat?) , except maybe with a hero party wagering they can crush the OL with the single most ridiculous party composition ever. 

 

Even against Crushing blow, they are useless, as it only works on equipped items.

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Galdred said:

Even against Crushing blow, they are useless, as it only works on equipped items.

How are they useless against Crushing Blow, since it only works on equipped items?  They pretty much are a fool proof protection against an item.  You have the controller of Mata/Kata go first, bring the Weapon O' Choice to a Hero, give it to him.  That Hero goes, makes an attack or a battle action, and as long as they have either 1 MP or some fatigue left they can give it back to Mata/Kata.  The OL never has a chance to touch it.

For a weapon you really don't want to the OL to touch, like the Staff of the Grave that has a unique ability, that seems pretty darn useful to me.

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or you spend 2 MP and unequip the weapon without giving it to mata and kata. They only save 1 MP in the best case scenario. Not terribly useful I would say. But I was wrong, the item doesn't need to be equipped, you can crush a carried item, so I guess you can crush an item in the backpack, making mata and kata semi useful.

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grmbl... I hope they fix the no edit after a few minutes things. But back to Mata and Kata usefulness, or lack of, even if you get the skill ONLY to save a few items (which makes said items cumbersome to use), it is not even foolproof. All the OL has to do is play ambush + crushing blow, and pzzwww, the item you wanted to save is gone:

Player 1 activates his hero controlling mata and kata, giving the item_that_shall_not_be_crushed to player 2.

Overlord plays ambush, activates 3 monsters. The 1st one CB the item_that_shall_not_be_crushed on player 2, the other 2 kill player 2, and voila, the item is destroyed, and the heroes end up with a completely useless skill. Not all OL can use both CB and ambush at the same time, though, but Mata and Kata remains a poor way to struggle against CB (and CB remains way too powerful for its cost).

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Hi,

Galdred said:

But back to Mata and Kata usefulness, or lack of, even if you get the skill ONLY to save a few items (which makes said items cumbersome to use), it is not even foolproof. All the OL has to do is play ambush + crushing blow, and pzzwww, the item you wanted to save is gone

Nice idea, hadn't thought of that. Pretty expensive (3 event treachery to remove one item), but I can see how it can be useful for  removing "unique" items like the Staff of the Grave. And you're right, that makes M&K less useful.

 

-Kylearan

 

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Crushing blow works on all carried items: unequipped items are still carried.  Read the card.

Familiars cannot perform "Movement actions" unless specifically allowed to do so.  There was a ruling by KW a while back that allowed familiars to climb out of pits (technically a movement action) just in case the OL tried to prevent the non-flying familiars from advancing.

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I read the english version of the rules.. and found out that something had been lost in translation. French version doesnt mention about M&K being able to pick up stuff.

Guess next time i'll read both versions before posting ^^'

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It seems pretty clear now, what Mata and Kata 'can' do, and cannot do.

Now I wonder if anyone has an idea for a house rule for RtL, as I agree, that they have 'extremely' limited value there.

There has been a suggestion, that they can pick up gold piles, which I really like. Does anyone see any pitfalls in this?

(lastly, if anyone feels I'm trying to hijack the thread, then I do apologize!)

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I would not instate a house rule that would allow them to pick up pile of gold.  A house rule that would allow them to carry a single coin token has merit.  I have seen them used to relay items from ranged/magic user heroes to those battling on the front line and vise versa. 

 

If you can not see a benefit to having 2 extra items being able to be carried by a party as a whole leads me to believe that there are too many people that power game.  I play games to have fun.  Complaining that you can't find a use for a card/item you don't like doesn't sound like fun to me. 

Personal Challenge - Count the smiles on the other players faces when you see in the heat of combat a new use for that card or item that someone doesn't like or has been discarded as useless. 

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