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Cubano

Elusive monester appearing as a result of an encounter.

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@ Mi-go Hunter: The problem I have with your explanation there is that you are making a rules call based on flavor text. You simply can't do that because the flavor is often abstract and not meant to be used that way. This is like drawing and encounter that says "A hideous monster attacks" drawing from the cup a child of the goat then redrawing because you don't think the child is hideous. In this case we are not looking at flavor, only rules and like I've said many times before, prior to the encounter the token was not at the site, now it is.

@ Avi: I smell a scenario there.....gotta include Bast for good measure.

@ Subochre: Your first example is shaky because it interacts with the "Gate replacing location" clause in a shady way. Your second is a good point but on further review you will see that that rule is specifically about how the stalkers movement works. Technically speaking a card that says to do something normally against the rules will trump the rules in that instance anyway, hence all the monsters attacking you in other worlds.

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I think this conversation has revealed an interesting philosophical difference between some players, including Veet, and other players, including myself.  If I understand Veet correctly, he thinks that anything related to theme is essentially "flavor text" that is irrelevant to the game's mechanics.  I think that the theme, or at least some of it, is the theoretical basis for the mechanics.  Therefore, the mechanics do not make sense without the theme.  

As an example, we know that monsters emerge from gates.  However, monster chits cannot emerge from gate tokens.  The chit and the token are roughly the same size, and anyway gate tokens do not have holes in the middle that would allow stuff to emerge through them.  So we place the monster chit on top of the gate token with the understanding that the monster represented by the chit has emerged from the gate that is represented by the token.  Without this understanding, we would have to conclude that "emerged from" must mean the same thing as "laid on top of."  But then we would be further confused by situations where, for example, a gate opens, a shoggoth is placed on top of the gate, and then a cultist is placed on top of the shoggoth.  If the shoggoth emerged from the gate, does that mean that the cultist emerged from the shoggoth?  Perhaps we need a special rule stating that "emerged from"="laid on top of," but only when a monster chit is laid on top of a gate token.  In practice, however, we don't have this kind of misunderstanding because we realize that monsters, being monsters, can quite easily emerge from a gate, but do not usually emerge from each other (barring some kind of "Alien" scenario).  Therefore, our understanding of the theme informs our understanding of the mechanics.  

Another example is that monsters usually can move under their own power.  Monster chits cannot.*  When we move a monster chit, we understand that the corresponding monster has not been picked up and placed down again, but has moved itself.  Our understanding of how monsters behave affects our understanding of what to do with the chits on the board.  For example, if a monster is supposed to move from The Woods to the Uptown Streets, and the monster chit is indistinguishable from the monster itself, then if you pick the chit and place it down again, it would result in the monster briefly leaving the board. We might conclude that for a moment, the monster wasn't in Arkham, and would therefore be susceptible to game effects with the wording "while the monster is in Arkham."  But this is clearly wrong.

I don't want to put words in Veet's mouth, but my guess is that he doesn't see things this way.  When deciding how to interpret the rules, Veet (I think) is part of the school of thought that says we should only look at the chits, tokens, cards, etc., and not at the things they represent (actual monsters, actual items, etc.)  I think that approach is unsustainable in such a complex game.  It works in simple games like poker.  We don't need to research Kings to find out why they outrank Queens, or why Hearts outranks Diamonds.  They just do.  But with a game like Arkham Horror, I think we need some kind of theoretical understanding of what's supposed to be happening in order to make sense of the game.  

To bring it back to the current discussion, there seems to be agreement that monsters cannot be located in the monster cup, but that monster chits can be located there.  If you make a distinction between a monster and a monster chit, it is easy to conclude that a monster can be in The Woods while its chit still resides in the monster cup.  Or more technically, once the chit is placed in The Woods, we retroactively decide that the monster must have been there all along.  If you do not make such a distinction, then the monster could not possibly be in The Woods until its chit was placed there.  In my opinion, a strictly literal approach can lead to some very strange interpretations of game mechanics.  

Veet, I hope I'm not misinterpreting you.  If I am, please feel free to correct. me. 

* Though word is the next expansion will feature wind-up monster chits.  Unless I just made that up.  

 

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That's not really what I'm getting at and besides I think you are confusing flavor text for theme. The mechanics are there to dictate the behavior of the game which in itself is a big part of the theme, the flavor text is there to tell your minds eye what it looks like, similar to a picture.  A problem occurs when you start using the flavor text to dictate the behavior of the game because it's not established how many turns of phrase might affect the game. Sure the text of a few encounters might say that a monster was hiding in ambush in the site but others sat they are summoned from elsewhere and even more don't say at all. Saying that every monster was hiding there all along simply because a few encounters say they do is not interpreting anything correctly flavor or mechanics, and saying that some were there all along and some weren't is ignoring the fact that most don't say at all forcing you to make a judgement based on information you don't have. My interpretation is not saying that the monster was there or not beforehand, only that in the face of unknowable information it is easier to base your calls on the knowable, in this case interpreting the game effects based on the behavior of the tokens not on flavor text which may or may not be present.

What you are talking about in your example with the gate is simply key words being used as short hand to invoke mechanics. In your specific example the rules are covered in the main rule book with a few clarifications in the FAQs of some of the other rule books. They are in the rules and therefore part of the mechanics. True they used a flavorful word to be the trigger for that but it was because writing "opens" hundreds of times is easier than writing "take a gate marker off the top of the gate marker pile and place it at this location" hundreds of times. However, this would mean nothing if it were not covered in the rules. See my example about the "hideous" monsters appearing for a situation in which words are there but mean nothing (in fact that is covered in some of the FAQs). If we want to further explore that particular example we could see how that flavor could be made into a key word to trigger an effect if say there was a madness cared called "Myxophobia" which says that when and investigator runs into an encounter in which a "slimy" monster appears they lose 2 sanity. The application of a mechanical rule changes that into a key word, not the inverse where rules spring into existence because of the flavor text.

Ultimately this comes down to something that is even only relevant in a few situations, situations that I should point out are not out of theme to interpret the way I've been arguing for. In fact given the original situation of the werewolf I would say it is much more in theme for the werewolf to deal it's damage when appearing during an encounter than just jumping out and saying "boo" and running away. Really the only reason to interpret otherwise is because you want to avoid these consequences, not because of theme.

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I think you're placing too much emphasis on the argumentative significance of the claim that the monster may have been there all along.  What's at stake is whether the default assumption should be that, in all cases, the monster walked into that location from somewhere else (or, if it'd help convince you that we're not merely being led astray by flavor, I'll put it in more purely mechanical terms: "that all appearances are entrances") or whether that's not necessarily so.  All we're saying is that the mechanics don't provide any evidence for the former (unless one takes it as an analytic truth that every token placed in a location has entered that location, which, as I've claimed, leads to absurdity (okay, if clues can enter locations, how about Rumors?  Surely you don't think that when you place an activity token that the Rumor (or anything else) has entered a location...)), and, here's the real interesting part of what avec was saying, any substantive attempt at interpretation (including your own, I believe) is necessarily going to commit the "confusion" that you're accusing us of.  I mean, why would one even entertain the possibility that entering is a necessary constraint on appearing, unless one has (flavor-motivated) assumptions about the ontology of monsters?

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Custom content is house rules. Don't count.

Ultimately because of the fact that we can adopt house rules to suit our tastes (see The Lurker at the Threshold) you guys are free to interpret this as you like, but I am going to make fun of you for flinching when the werewolf shows up instead of taking the hit like a real investigator.

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As long as we get to make fun of you for trying to block a surging gate with Pentagram of Blood, which is...probably...less common. serio.gif

Actually, this raises another theoretical question that, all things considered, I'm reluctant to get into now, but hey why not?  What, in y'all's opinion, is the scope of Arkham's Razor?  My approach is usually to try to guess which of two general interpretations would be most likely to hurt the investigators overall; so, if this were a case where it was applicable, we would weigh the overall costs and benefits of, for example, the werewolf and the pentagram and everything else we can think of...and yes, would probably decide that "appearing=entering" tends to hurt the investigators more.  The way a friend of mine does it, on the other hand, is to handle everything individually, so she'd interpret the rules one way for the werewolf, and the opposite way for the Pentagram.  This has the virtue of making sure the investigators are never not being maximally hurt, but it terribly upsets my sense of an orderly, rational universe.  Which, okay, Lovecraft, but still. lengua.gif

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Curator said:

Lol. I dear say. You gentlemen remind me a a bunch of rich guys with monocles debating.

And I still say that one could take a common girl and make her presentable to society while circumnavicating the globe and you could do it all in eighty days! lengua.gif

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Veet - It sounds like you're pretty serious about trying to get the game to work without taking theme into account at all.  In that case, I suppose there are no monsters, only chits.  At this point all I can say is, I hope it works out for you.  I'm skeptical, but who knows.

subochre - I like your use of "ontology."  I think it encapsulates what we're talking about nicely.  In this case, an ontology might tell us that if a monster exists, it must have a location.  

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