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jhaelen

Communal Shower and neutral/multi-faction characters

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Look at the very last sentence of Damon's email, that's what I'm basing this on:

"Neutrals, as the rule you quoted says, do not belong to any faction. That solves all the questions you asked regarding neutral cards. You cannot compare something that does not exist to something else. Neutral cards have no faction so they have nothing to compare, in the case of Communal Shower that means you can commit a Cthulhu character and a Neutral character both to the same story, no problem. A Neutral card does not belong to the same faction as another Neutral card, because they belong to no faction at all.

Strange Delusions will give a character an affiliation of your choice but it does not say anything about removing existing affiliations, just adding one. So a card that was Cthulhu, could be Cthulhu Hastur. It would match both factions and treated at all times as if it were both factions until Strange Delusions effect ended with the phase it was triggered. If a card said Cthulhu cards cannot commit to a story, that card could not commit. If a card said non-Hastur cards do not count their skill, it would count its skill because it is a Hastur card. Communal Shower would prevent it from committing to any story at all since it is a character from different factions."

The character counts as a different faction from himself according to this.  Logically, I believe that means he is also a different faction from other characters that share his same faction(s).  If you want to put it into more precise terms, I would have to say based on Damon's reply that two characters are "the same faction" if and only if every faction of character A matches every faction of character B.

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 The two factions are different from each other, that means the character has two differing factions. That is why it is affected by Communal Shower. Uneasy Translator is looking at the faction of the chosen character and buffing it for each character with a faction that does not match. If it has 2 factions any character that matches either one of those immediately disqualifies it from being from a different faction.

If I hold dual citizenship of Germany and Britain I am a citizen of each nation. I am subject to both their laws, and if you were from Britain we would be countrymen. A german citizen and I  would be countrymen. Just because you are not from both Britain and Germany doesn't mean we aren't countrymen.

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Penfold said:

Professor Lake would let you play another card after a Neutral. Lake asks What faction is card X? The next card cannot match that faction. If it returns a null value, the next card just needs to be anything that is not null.
I can get behind your reasoning about the Uneasy Translator, but I still wonder about Professor Lake.

My reasoning is based on the following statement from Damon:

You cannot compare something that does not exist to something else.

So, if I play a Neutral card first, I end up with a situation that I cannot compare any card I might like to play with the first card I played. This effectively prevents me from playing any further cards because it is impossible to test if it is a card I am allowed to play!

Imho, this is similar to the ruling that Doppelganger cannot target an insane character because it is impossible to determine the target's printed cost.

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You can't compare it because there is nothing to compare. There is nothing to compare if you have not played a card either, you wouldn't say if you have not played a card you could not play a card, would you? As long as the neutral is the first card you played it won't be an issue.

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Penfold said:

There is nothing to compare if you have not played a card either, you wouldn't say if you have not played a card you could not play a card, would you?

That's a completely different situation because the trigger is: After a player plays a card...

If no card has been played, the trigger condition is not satisfied. If a Neutral card is played, the trigger condition _is_ satisfied.

What this discussion has definitely proven to me is this:

Stating that Neutral cards do not have a faction instead of saying they're of the Neutral faction creates a whole load of completely unnecessary complications and weird corner cases. What's the advantage of saying they don't have a faction?!

Adding a rule instead that cards with the Neutral faction don't require a faction match to play would have been a hundred times better.

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 Well, we have to accept that the rule book makes it clear that Neutral cards don't belong to a faction.  And it may be very intentional to put some restrictions on Neutrals...

This could only change with a change to the rule book, not a FAQ answer.

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Only the developers know why a rule was made the way it was.  I'm with you guys, I believe there was a clearer and less ambiguous way to handle these faction related effects but we don't get to make the rules.

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 Good point about the trigger, but I still don't see the logic behind the counter argument to "no faction card was played so any faction card played after would be different from that." My dietician says after I eat something it must be a different kind of fruit than the piece before it. I eat a carrot. Can I then eat an Orange? I say yes.

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 I think you're mixing up the faction requirement and the play a card requirement.

Your dietician says "After you eat something, the next thing you eat must not be the same kind of fruit."  Is an apple a different kind of fruit than a carrot?  No, it is not.

 

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 Actually yes it is. Any kind of fruit would be a different kind of a fruit from something that is not a fruit. It is a null, invalid comparison so is ignored.

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Penfold said:

 Actually yes it is. Any kind of fruit would be a different kind of a fruit from something that is not a fruit. It is a null, invalid comparison so is ignored.

I don't think so.  From my perspective, the answer to "Is an apple a different fruit than a carrot?"  is, in our game, "Unable to compute".  "Unable to compute" is not the same as "yes".

 

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TheProfessor said:

Penfold said:

 

 Actually yes it is. Any kind of fruit would be a different kind of a fruit from something that is not a fruit. It is a null, invalid comparison so is ignored.

 

 

I don't think so.  From my perspective, the answer to "Is an apple a different fruit than a carrot?"  is, in our game, "Unable to compute".  "Unable to compute" is not the same as "yes".

 

Exactly! You cannot play the doppelganger on an insane character because the answer to the question "What is your printed cost?" is not null, it's "Unable to compute."

The same reasoning should apply in this case. But I think I'll forward the question(s) to Damon. To be honest, I don't trust my or anyone else's judgement on this question. It's definitely 'tricky' enough to deserve inclusion in the next release of the official FAQ.

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Glad to see the FAQ was updated to ultimately answer the Professor Lake faction questions:

What happens if I play a Neutral card with Professor Lake (Forgotten Lore F3) out?

Professor Lake reads, “Forced Response: After a player plays a card, until the end of the phase that player can only play cards that belong to a different faction than that card.”

Neutral cards belong to no faction so any card with a faction would qualify as a card of a different faction. You could not play another neutral card however since the result returned by the check would be identical, of no faction, and hence could not be of a different faction. The neutral card must be played first for the same reason, if I played a Miskatonic card first, a neutral card would not be able to return a check of a different faction (as no faction is not a faction, and therefore not a different faction), so would be illegal to play.

As for this question --

...And what about cards that can only be played if all characters are from a specific faction?

 

E.g. Across Dimensions:

Play only if every character you control has the (Yog) faction.

If I control a neutral character can I still play this card? I suppose not since although it doesn't have a different faction it still doesn't have the Yog faction?

Yes, that's how I see it, too.

I take it that insane characters, which have no faction, would be treated exactly the same way..? So for instance, with a mono-Miskatonic field including Arctic Ethnologist which reads "While you control only [Miskatonic University] cards, Arctic Ethnologist gains a [Combat] icon and Explorer characters you control gain an [Arcane] icon.", if any of those characters went insane then presumably those bonus icons would be lost.

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I take it that insane characters, which have no faction, would be treated exactly the same way..? So for instance, with a mono-Miskatonic field including Arctic Ethnologist which reads "While you control only [Miskatonic University] cards, Arctic Ethnologist gains a [Combat] icon and Explorer characters you control gain an [Arcane] icon.", if any of those characters went insane then presumably those bonus icons would be lost.

That's probably correct, though a bit unintuitive. I've always wondered why it is ruled that an insane character has no faction.

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Conversation with Damon Stone on the topic...

As both neutral characters and insane characters are said to have 'no faction', are characters with no faction (e.g. insane characters) considered to be 'neutral' and can they be targeted by effects that target neutral characters like Path of Blood (Summons of the Deep F72) which reads: "Action: Choose a neutral character in play. Return that character to its owner's hand."?

Interestingly, Old Sea Dog (Summons of the Deep 116), which reads: "Action: Exhaust Old Sea Dog to choose a character. Until the end of the phase, that character loses all faction affiliations and becomes neutral.", suggests that having no faction results in becoming neutral, but I'm not sure if his ability is an exception.

No. A character with no faction is not neutral even though all neutral characters have no faction. It is a Ravens/Bird thing. All ravens are birds. Not all birds are ravens.

FYI, it was interesting for me to realise that if a character goes insane (and loses its faction) then you can no longer use effects that require you to have a field that consists of entirely that faction, such as The Black Goat's Rage (Dreamlands F16) or Arctic Ethnologist (Seekers of Knowledge F13).

Yep :)

Also FYI, there's some inconsistency as to how "faction" is referenced, as: "faction" (e.g. Professor Lake (Forgotten Lore F3)), "affiliation" (e.g. The Black Goat's Rage (Dreamlands F16)), "faction affiliation" (e.g. Old Sea Dog (Summons of the Deep 116)), "cards" (e.g. Arctic Ethnologist (Seekers of Knowledge F13)) or "type" (e.g. Thing from the Stars (Core F85).

In spite of the different naming convention, I assume they're all treated the same way, and all follow the lines described in the FAQ for Professor Lake (Forgotten Lore F3) when dealing with 'no faction' cards.

It is unfortunate they use different wording, but all are technically referring to the same thing, lack of faction affiliation. It is sadly what happens after a number of years of development, a large card pool with no rotation, and numerous designers and developers.

Edited by jasonconlon
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