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Daenarys

New comprehensive rulebook ..Is it time ?

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Having played for about two years now and thousands of games in total i still find the game a great deal of fun and especially enjoy when new decks are created.....however....it can be an arduous task revisiting the core book and faq and then these forums to get precise clarifications. This happens when you play more games, encounter more scenarios and become more fluid as a player.

 

 

I think a release of a hardback edition rule book that encompasses the core and faq with additional situational examples would be fantastic . Not only would it be a source of reference in one place ( i understand this would get less complete as new chapters are released ) but i think would appeal to collectors all things Game of Thrones, this in the same way as the house resins that serve no real purpose yet have a huge demand.

 

I'm sure if such a book was released for about £15 /$25 there would be a demand and could actually help bring new players in for the long term as they have one ( at least initial ) source for the game.

 

 

Thoughts ?

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Though this would be a good idea in the short run, with the new mechanics and rulings on specific situations coming out so rapidly, not to mention the errata on cards that are found to be worded incorrectly for their intended purpose, it would not be a fiscally prudent solution.

 

If they printed a hard cover edition of the comprehensive rules and released it every time something changes, they would ultimately end up losing money, because fewer and fewer people would buy them as they began to realize the frequency at which they were released.

 

On the flip side, even if they only released it on a regular schedule like with the current FAQ releases, they'd run into the same problem as they do with the FAQ. People would have questions in between releases that they would have to check the fora and/or ask rules questions via the link on the web site.

 

The current method of releasing digital, free, copies of the FAQ on a semi-regular basis is the most consumer friendly and fiscally responsible way for them to distribute this type of material. It just honestly makes more business sense.

Edited by stormwolf27

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I agree, the rules tend to be getting a lot of updates On the flip side, they could do it and have a "spirit of the rules" section to try and cut off any of the niggling things that come up a lot. It'd be cool as an art book with a rules update. I might buy it if the art was good.

 

There's a solid foundation they could clearly lay down, then they could throw on the "spirit of the rules" and add some art and you might be able to sell me on it.

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A website detailing comprehensive rules would be best. It could be updated whenever a ruling is made and players would see the changes as soon as they reconnect.

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Most issues seem to relate to quite basic rules / basic principles

 

The core rule book is pants - so little gems are easily overlooked

The FAQ is a bit disjointed and doesn't replace the core rules - things like basic flowcharts help but there is a lot of scope for improvement ... some actual written text explanations to fo with it would help

 

I'm remembering all the incorrect rules that I learnt at the start and areas poeple still have problems with - you have to wonder what it is that leads to e.g. the recent question as to what is the the correct thing to do with renown - where both options A and B were so wrong!!!

 

I was thinking about what I would do (for such a book)

 

I think I would start with full details of power - as that is the crux of the game

Then details of challenges, when they fizzle, when they don't, relevent of strength before resolution, at resolutiion... as that has to be the second most relevent thing

....

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First off, it should be well known that my views on the need for something like this are biased and suspect because I don't find the rules complicated. Voluminous, maybe, but not complicated. So take the rest of this with a grain of salt.

 

While I certainly agree that FFG has allowed the rules and rules documents to develop with a number of inconsistencies and unclear terms that invite confusion, I don't think that a new "comprehensive rulebook" - especially one that will be out-of-date almost before it is printed - is the answer.

 

For one thing, a great deal of confusion in the community seems to boil down to a lack of reading comprehension. I'm not sure what FFG is supposed to do differently with "Renown" in a "comprehensive rule book" to be clearer about how it works than what is already in the Core Rules (note that the recent questions were answered by quoting the Core Rules), and the timing example in the FAQ with Robert Baratheon.

 

Don't get me wrong: I'm not busting on the guy who asked the question. We all make mistakes and misread the rules from time to time. But when we go back and re-read them and find out we were wrong (and, as mentioned, having to unlearn the mistake), we are far more likely to say, "FFG could have said that a lot better" instead of, "Oh, I get it now; don't I feel silly." All I'm saying is that when we don't understand the rule, it isn't always because FFG said it badly (although yes, that does happen).

 

The other "problem" is that, as a community, we tend to be too literal, learning the specific example instead of the general rule. So if we run into the same situation with different cards, we don't always recognize it for what it is. People aren't always good at applying the rule to new situations. For example, when Shadows was first introduced, people refused to believe that cards that are returned to Shadows go through "moribund." They were focused on the specific example list in the FAQ saying "out of play states include the deck, hand, discard pile and dead pile," completely ignoring the general rule of "cards that transition from 'in play' to 'out of play' go through moribund." Admittedly: FFG didn't really help with that because they added "Shadows" to the list instead of reiterating the general rule.

 

The result, anyway, is that a lot of people tend to look at the AGoT rules as a very loose framework with a lot of exceptions you just have to learn, when it is really a fairly detailed framework which doesn't rely on the details in the majority of situations.

 

Anyway, I'm not sure a "comprehensive rulebook" with more text and more examples would reverse those two basic trends (misreading and learning the example, not the concept) in not understanding the rules.

 

I think the better place to start, really, would be for FFG to do a complete overhaul of the language in the Core Rules and FAQ to make it more internally consistent and clearly move examples and illustrations of rules to example text (to help people stop mistaking the examples and illustrations for the complete rule). I think that, in the long run, this would be better than a prestige format rulebook that ultimately doesn't do much more than give more examples for the same stuff people are already confused by.

 

~ Maybe I could freelance that for them....

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~ Maybe I could freelance that for them....

 

That's a lot of work. I'm not sure how much it'd help the general perception, because there are still many cases where the templating on the cards is contributing to the problem, but I can think of a number of cases that could be clarified with a re-templating of the core rules. If it really is something you'd be willing to start, I'd be happy to contribute to the process.

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Well, by "freelance," I meant "hire me to do the project."

 

If we were to just sit down and start going through the docs (and yes, I have considered it), the best that could be said for the final product is that it would be a "officially unofficial." Is all the effort worth it for something that carries no real weight?

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I'd honestly be scared to buy a rulebook written by Ktom. You can be a little wordy in your explanations, especially when a simple yes or no will do.

 

 

And holy cow I can't see how people are getting Renown wrong. No offense, it's just crazy since it's really clearly spelt out. I guess 'participating characters' isn't obvious?

 

I think what would really benefit pretty much ALL of the rules is a bunch of yes or no questions in each section.

 

Robert Baratheon did not participate in a challenge that I won as the defender. Does he claim Renown?

No.

 

Greatjon Umber participated in a challenge and won while having Renown. I wasn't the attacker or defender. Does he claim a power?

No.

 

Eddard Stark participated in a challenge I won as the attacker. Does he claim a power?

Yes.

 

Literally no other answer but yes or no. If you have to explain the answer to any degree, rewrite the question. I feel like a lot of the times that simplicity and clarity is missing from the rules. Each answer to an FAQ question seems to be a paragraph long.

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Literally no other answer but yes or no. If you have to explain the answer to any degree, rewrite the question. I feel like a lot of the times that simplicity and clarity is missing from the rules. Each answer to an FAQ question seems to be a paragraph long.

 

That, by the way, is part of the point I was trying to make. Boiling it down to "yes" or "no" doesn't help people learn or apply the rules (which is why I rarely end with a "yes" or "no," even if that is the simplest answer). Spend enough time in this community and you find that if the question is...

 

Robert Baratheon did not participate in a challenge that I won as the defender. Does he claim Renown?

No.

 

... the next question is, "Eddard Stark did not participate in a challenge that I won as the defender. Does he claim Renown?"

 

Take your own recent example with Darkstar and Narrow Escape. We could boil that question down to:

 

I just discarded my hand to cancel Narrow Escape. The Darkstar was in my hand. Does he enter play?

No.

 

Did that answer really satisfy you? And does it help you answer a question like "I just discarded my hand to cancel Narrow Escape. Can I trigger the Response on Ser Gregor's Dog?"

 

 

I really think the answers need to be "Yes, because..." and "No, because...". That way, you have a chance at avoiding the need to answer the same question over and over again because people are more likely to clue in to the fact that it is the same question.

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That, by the way, is part of the point I was trying to make. Boiling it down to "yes" or "no" doesn't help people learn or apply the rules (which is why I rarely end with a "yes" or "no," even if that is the simplest answer). Spend enough time in this community and you find that if the question is...

 

I agree with you that lengthy explanations are needed. It's just that succinct ones are needed, too. I think you need both.

 

Here's an example of a bad explanation:

 

"Does Burning Bridges (Queen of Dragons F49) prevent a duplicate from being used to save a character?

 

Burning Bridges reads, "Players cannot trigger abilities on character, location, and attachment cards in play." It is referring to

triggered abilities printed on the cards. Because the saves granted by duplicates is a "gained" ability rather than a printed one Burning Bridges does not have any effect on them."

 

It lacks a 'No.' at the beginning and end of the explanation. A flat 'no' means that there is no room for someone reading it and going "Well was that a yes or a no?" Even "Burning Bridges does not prevent a duplicate from being used to save a character" would be better than the way it was answered.

 

Here's another example:

 

"Does Heavy Taxes (A Poisoned Spear F116) affect the gold counted before or after Black Raven's (A Song of Summer F2) effect has the players take 1 gold?

The players each count their plot gold and all the income bonuses they each have in play. If this number is greater than 4, the rest is disregarded because of Heavy Taxes. When the player takes the gold from the treasury Black Raven causes each player to take 1 additional gold token. The same is true of when White Raven is in play, all numbers above 4 are disregarded and then White Raven causes each player to take 1 less gold token from the treasury."

 

The opening line should be "Gold is counted, Heavy Taxes is applied, then the Ravens add or subtract from the new total and gold is taken from the pool" or something to that effect. Instead it gives an explanation of the rules with no clear and concise answer. The answer is obviously correct, but I would bet $100 that there is someone who read that and went "Wtf?"

 

The entry after Burning Bridges is a good example of how to answer a question, amusingly.

 

"Can a card with an "any House except X" restriction be used in a deck running the Neutral Faction House card?

 

Yes. Such cards may be used in any deck that is not using the House card specified by its restriction."

 

It answers the question clearly and succinctly, then explains the answer.

 

There are tons of good and bad examples in the FAQ. It is very inconsistent in it's ability to both clearly and succinctly answer a question, then explain it. A lot of times it answers the question by explaining the rules in depth and not giving a clear and succinct response.

 

It's not the lengthy explanations I mind. Those are obviously important. It's brevity, clarity, and succinctness for those who see the explanation and go "Wtf did I just read?" that I am concerned about.

Edited by mdc273
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For the Burning Bridges suggestion, my reaction was that if someone only reads "No" as the answer, they wouldn't really learn anything and would be asking a similar question for a similar scenario soon afterwards

 

Specific examples should only be considered as instances of more generic situations - ideally you want to identify the general rule / reason why something occurs

 

Then we have the Heavy Taxes ... I did read that original posting and did indeed think WTF! ~ so that made me chuckle :)

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It's not the lengthy explanations I mind. Those are obviously important. It's brevity, clarity, and succinctness for those who see the explanation and go "Wtf did I just read?" that I am concerned about.

 

Which made me think of another way we, as a community, tend to confuse ourselves. We have a tendency to answer questions that weren't asked. It's what I call - less than charitably, I admit - the "I want to post" or "See how smart I am" posts.

 

As an example, consider the question of "Can I use a dupe while Burning Bridges is out." Someone answers "Yes, because Burning Bridges only stops you from triggering text printed on the cards in play." Someone else will then chime in, "But you can still use Meera Reed or Core-Khal Drogo because they're not in play when you trigger them." And so on. We are now pretty far afield from "can I use a dupe," but we've made it look like all this other stuff needs to be considered as part of the answer to the dupe question.

 

Another example is when someone makes a statement like, "Yes, that can happen, but it tends not to be a big problem because (House) has so few ways to do (X)." Such statements invariably result in a list of all the ways (House) can do (X) - no matter how practical. None of it adds much insight to the original question/answer exchange that "it can happen, but it tends not to be a big problem," but at least everyone got to be part of the thread.

 

And yes, I see the irony of even posting this mini-rant to begin with.

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Haha. We're all guilty of it. I know I do it way too much.

 

For the Burning Bridges suggestion, my reaction was that if someone only reads "No" as the answer, they wouldn't really learn anything and would be asking a similar question for a similar scenario soon afterwards

 

Specific examples should only be considered as instances of more generic situations - ideally you want to identify the general rule / reason why something occurs

 

Then we have the Heavy Taxes ... I did read that original posting and did indeed think WTF! ~ so that made me chuckle :)

 

Oh I agree about Burning Bridges not simply being a no. It needs all that extra explanation. I just feel that the first thing that should be taken away is the clear and concise answer to the question, then the explanation of the answer.

 

You could always do the explanation and end with the clear and concise answer as a final stand alone sentence, too (e. g. TL:DR). I just think it's the main ingredient lacking in a lot of the weaker explanations.

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Fantasy Flight reprints the Core Set and Chapter Packs whenever products are low, or out of stock.

 

Sometime in December (2013) the Core set was scheduled to be reprinted. 

 

It seems to me that this would have been an ideal time to reprint the Core Set rules and to also fix cards with an errata such as....

 

Lannisport Brothel (Core) - should be Unique
Maester Cressen (Core) - title of card is missing the "t" in Maester"

 

I can not confirm as to whether Fantasy Flight corrected any of the errata, or if they updated the rules. If I were to go to my local gaming store today and buy a core set how would I be able to tell if it was a newly reprinted core set, or an older version ?

Edited by LordOWar

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Just checked and yes, both Lannisport Brothel and Maester Cressen have been fixed. So that means that there are multiple versions of the core set, some with the older printing and some with updated errata printings. So why don't they use the opportunity to reprint the core rules whenever they re-print the core set, or have they ?

 

Is there a bar code that is different on newer versions of the core set ?

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I don't know if I like the idea of reprinting the core rule book with changes.  We already have an FAQ that is dynamically updated and having multiple physical versions of core rules floating around not only feels redundant, but also feels like it can cause even more confusion.

 

If anything, the core rule book could be updated strictly to provide references on how to find the latest FAQ and locate rules question references(which I don't know if it already does or not).  What would an updated core rule book look like?

Edited by Bomb

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What part of the Core Rules do people think need to be updated or corrected? 99% of questions have to do with the FAQ and advanced interactions between cards not in the Core Set. Why introduce those advanced concepts before someone has learned the basics?

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What part of the Core Rules do people think need to be updated or corrected? 99% of questions have to do with the FAQ and advanced interactions between cards not in the Core Set. Why introduce those advanced concepts before someone has learned the basics?

 

They should definitely include the timing structure in the core rules. That's about the only thing I think needs to be added there off the top of my head. That's the one glaring item missing. It's in the Netrunner rulebook and should be appended to new versions of the Core Set Rulebook for sure.

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For starters I think the Core Rules should be updated to include the new things introduced in the game with the later cycles, seasons, shadows, melee, joust, cards at command, prized, naval enhancement and whatever else I missed. It's hard when having to look things up to go find the right piece of paper etc. The FAQ has most of that though when playing and needing to look things up it's much easier when it's in the rules because the quality of the printing is so much better. Also the new player may buy things out of order. I know I had many cards with shadows and ignored them for a bit because I didn't know how they worked.

 

I would like to see a short glossary of terminology that is used in cards. I know this is in the FAQ but I feel a page of definitions would be quite helpful for the new player. I would have looked at that when first starting out before I read the FAQ because that intimidated me with its denseness and flowcharts etc. There were several cards that I ignored at first because I didn’t understand them and didn’t want to worry about them during a game. For example I didn’t get from the rules that an event card was a triggered effect so having immunity to triggered effects meant immunity to events.

 

To me, the reason the core rules are harder to use is that they were written teach the game to a novice. It’s a completely different set of goals than writing for an experienced player. For example this means that they are ordered differently, a general flow with basic turn instructions followed by advanced info at the end. When we’re looking at the rules to resolve some issue usually we need the detailed description of exactly what happens rather that the simplified version that the novice needs.

 

Maybe a better way to approach the problem is to expand the FAQ to be an authoritative rule set rather than needing the core rules + the FAQ.  I would like to see it have all the rules in one place. So for example have the flow charts then explain what exactly happens in each Framework Event. That would go a long ways towards having a single place with all the info we need. I would then update the FAQ with each new addition from the new cycles at the same time I’d say they should split it into two parts, FAQ-rules, FAQ-errata/restricted.

 

An interesting example that of something that I didn't see in the rule book (I bet it's there somewhere but I don't know where) when I was just starting out was the fact that triggered effects, specifically responses, are completely optional. I was looking at Dragon Thief and thinking wouldn't this be risky, what it I played him and I had a attachment while my opponent didn't, would I have to discard that attachment? It was actually surprisingly hard to answer this question at first. I didn't know what to look for in the rules and trying to just find that info in the FAQ is next to impossible when I didn’t understand all the terminology. Eventually I was reading the FAQ through and found the answer in section on Card Effect Interpretations in the definition of Triggered Effects. But until I understood what triggered effects were there was no way I would know that a response is a triggered effect and to look there. This goes back to my point that the Core Rules should have a short glossary.

 

These are my thoughts being a relatively new player without knowing anyone else to help me learn the rules.

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I can understand why FFG doesn't want to include Shadows, Melee, Joust, Naval, etc. in the Core Rules. There are no cards with those mechanics in the set, so why confuse people. We already get questions every couple of months or so asking what is wrong with their Core Set because they can't find the Agendas. All of the sets and chapter packs that include those mechanics come with rule sheets, so yeah, since the assumption is that the Core Set is being bought as an introduction, the rule book needs to not overwhelm.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't on that one. Sounds like another vote for "overhaul the FAQ."

Out of curiosity, what rules are there for "seasons" that could be included anywhere?

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