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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Familiar activation question rss

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Uku Licious
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Hi everybody,

yes, there has been already lots of dicussion about this, but I still have an - at least for me - important question.

According to mosts posts in this forum it seems to be obvious, that a familiar, i.e. reanimate, can be activated during the turn it is summoned.

But the rulebook clearly states: "Essentially, a hero player with a familiar must choose whether to activate his hero first or his familiar first." p.17
As the hero can't fullfill this "essential" requirement - the famliar isn't on the map and until the hero is activated and summones the reanimate - he IMO cannot activate the familiar during the same turn.

Later on it is stated: "When activated, a familiar may perform a move action following the same rules as heroes. […] The familiar may perform additional types of actions during its activation, as noted on its Familiar card. "
As the familiar can't be activated - due to the above mentioned requirement - it can't move and/or attack.

Does this make sense?



Best regards,
Mario
 
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Darren Nakamura
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The first quote you have refers to case when a Familiar is already on the board. In that case, the hero player may choose to activate the Familiar either before or after his activation.

What that quote doesn't do is say, "You must be able to activate your Familiar in order to be able to choose when to activate your Familiar." I don't see where you're getting the "requirement" part of it from.

Sure, the Familiar is not on the map at the beginning of a quest, for instance. After the hero player activates himself and brings out the Familiar, why would he then be denied the ability to activate the Familiar after his own activation? Just because he does not have the choice between a before-activation and an after-activation doesn't mean he gets no activation at all.
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Jan Probst
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You're misreading the word essentially there. it is not about anything being an "essential requirement" as you put it, its a turn of phrase meaning something like "in short" or "in summary" or "basically".

Edit: Essentially, english adverbs do not work that way.
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JH
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I'm sorry, but I have no idea how you're coming to this conclusion. You are choosing the order of activation. If your hero is KO'd you can still activate your familiar, and if your familiar is not on the board you are activating your hero first by default. Once your familiar is on the board, you are free to activate it second.

Here's the full rule with your quote in context, with bolded passages that should remove any doubt:

Quote:
A hero player may activate each familiar his hero controls once during his hero turn (either before or after resolving all of his hero’s actions) (this would include summoning —my note). Activating a familiar does not require an action, but it may not interrupt any other action. Essentially, a hero player with a familiar must choose whether to activate his hero first or his familiar first. Regardless, both may be activated during his turn.
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Rafal Areinu
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Other than the reasons above, even if you took only the sentence you mentioned you don't have a point...

The rulebook doesn't require you to choose who you're going to activate second, only who you're going to activate first.

So the player chooses to activate hero first. Done, your "essential" requirement is fullfilled.
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Smurf-o-Deth
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Ukulicious wrote:
...


I would say that is a particularly pedantic method of interpretation. Let's look at it from a different angle.

Necromancer's turn comes up, and he has to decide if he will activate himself or his Reanimate first. There is no Reanimate to activate, so he activates himself. As part of his activation, he summons his Reanimate. After his activation is complete, he moves on to his new Reanimate, who may now be activated. In essence, he chose to activate himself first, irrespective of whether there was a Reanimate or not. It's a bit like a flow chart:

1. Do you have a Necromancer and/or a Reanimate to activate? If so, activate one.

2. Do you have a Necromancer or a Reanimate that still has not been activated? If so, activate them now.
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Alexander Einich
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Ukulicious wrote:
Hi everybody,

yes, there has been already lots of dicussion about this, but I still have an - at least for me - important question.

According to mosts posts in this forum it seems to be obvious, that a familiar, i.e. reanimate, can be activated during the turn it is summoned.

But the rulebook clearly states: "Essentially, a hero player with a familiar must choose whether to activate his hero first or his familiar first." p.17
As the hero can't fullfill this "essential" requirement - the famliar isn't on the map and until the hero is activated and summones the reanimate - he IMO cannot activate the familiar during the same turn.

Not exactly. What that text means is that a hero who has no familiar at the beginning of his turn must not choose whether to activate his hero first or his familiar first, since he has no familiar. He just activates his hero (i.e. this "essential" requirement only applies to "hero players with a familiar", not to hero players in general).

But if he gains a familiar later in the turn, the first line of that same paragraph kicks in: A hero player may activate each familiar he or she controls once during his hero turn (either before or after resolving all of his hero's actions).

Since the hero has already passed his beginning of turn, only one choice remains: activating his familiar at the end of the turn (or, if he wishes so, not at all, since the sentence uses "may").

Edit: Ninja'd by no less than 5 people! Boy am I slow!
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Uku Licious
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hi,

first of all, many thanks to your answers. I don't want to offend anyone here, but - even if pedandic - I'm not conviced by the different arguments.
I try to answer all replies seperately.

br,
Mario
 
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Uku Licious
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Dexter345 wrote:
The first quote you have refers to case when a Familiar is already on the board.


I cannot find this in the ruleboook. Is there a reference?
 
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Uku Licious
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Weltenreiter wrote:
You're misreading the word essentially there. it is not about anything being an "essential requirement" as you put it, its a turn of phrase meaning something like "in short" or "in summary" or "basically".

Edit: Essentially, english adverbs do not work that way.


thank's for your replay, but i don't agree with that.
as you're german, too. http://www.dict.cc/?s=essentially

 
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Uku Licious
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Sarcasmorator wrote:
I'm sorry, but I have no idea how you're coming to this conclusion. You are choosing the order of activation. If your hero is KO'd you can still activate your familiar, and if your familiar is not on the board you are activating your hero first by default. Once your familiar is on the board, you are free to activate it second.

Here's the full rule with your quote in context, with bolded passages that should remove any doubt:

Quote:
A hero player may activate each familiar his hero controls once during his hero turn (either before or after resolving all of his hero’s actions) (this would include summoning —my note). Activating a familiar does not require an action, but it may not interrupt any other action. Essentially, a hero player with a familiar must choose whether to activate his hero first or his familiar first. Regardless, both may be activated during his turn.


I wasn't talking about KO heroes. Sorry, if this came unclear.
I was talking about initial summoning.

As the rulebook states, that you have to "choose whether to activate his hero first or his familiar first" and there is noch familiar, it easily makes sense to me, that you cannot activate im any more during this turn.
 
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Uku Licious
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smurfodeth wrote:
Ukulicious wrote:
...


I would say that is a particularly pedantic method of interpretation. Let's look at it from a different angle.

Necromancer's turn comes up, and he has to decide if he will activate himself or his Reanimate first. There is no Reanimate to activate, so he activates himself. As part of his activation, he summons his Reanimate. After his activation is complete, he moves on to his new Reanimate, who may now be activated.


All above seems right to me, despite of the last part. As the hero player has to "choose whether to activate his hero first or his familiar first", and there was no familiar, he didn't met this requirement.


smurfodeth wrote:
1. Do you have a Necromancer and/or a Reanimate to activate? If so, activate one.

2. Do you have a Necromancer or a Reanimate that still has not been activated? If so, activate them now.


If this would be in the rule book, I would totally agree with you!
 
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Uku Licious
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Ispher wrote:
Not exactly. What that text means is that a hero who has no familiar at the beginning of his turn must not choose whether to activate his hero first or his familiar first, since he has no familiar. He just activates his hero (i.e. this "essential" requirement only applies to "hero players with a familiar", not to hero players in general).


Is this your personal interpretation or is there any reference from the game designers?
If it would be stated in the manual, as you described it, I would totally agree, but it isn't.

Ispher wrote:

But if he gains a familiar later in the turn, the first line of that same paragraph kicks in: A hero player may activate each familiar he or she controls once during his hero turn (either before or after resolving all of his hero's actions).


This statement doesn't make any sense to me. Why should a previous sentence in a rulebook should kick in, after some further sentences when a certain condition (the gained familiar) is achieved.
If this is a rule, that should "kick in", it would (or should) be described after this condition.

Ispher wrote:
Since the hero has already passed his beginning of turn, only one choice remains: activating his familiar at the end of the turn (or, if he wishes so, not at all, since the sentence uses "may").


This seems to me an arbitrary interpretation, the same way as mine interpreation. Do you have any reference? This would help a lot.


Ispher wrote:

Edit: Ninja'd by no less than 5 people! Boy am I slow!


Once more: Thanks again for taking time to reply!
 
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Adam H
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Ukulicious wrote:
But the rulebook clearly states: "Essentially, a hero player with a familiar must choose whether to activate his hero first or his familiar first." p.17
As the hero can't fullfill this "essential" requirement - the famliar isn't on the map and until the hero is activated and summones the reanimate - he IMO cannot activate the familiar during the same turn.


The sentence you mentioned ("Essentially,...) is a clarification of the previous sentence, providing an alternate way of looking at the statement that the familiar may not interrupt the actions of the hero. Like previously mentioned, the word "essentially" is simply used to refer to the basic or fundamental idea of something. While being based in the same root as the word "essential", it doesn't bear nearly the same weight.

Regarding the second statement, I agree with the other posters that if you choose to activate your hero before your familiar (who is not on the board), and your hero's activation brings out that familiar, after the hero has completed his activation it would be time to activate the familiar (since you decided to activate the hero before the familiar).

If the familiar absolutely needs to be present for the decision to be made, then if he isn't there you technically can't make the decision at all and couldn't start/continue your turn. If you accept that the familiar does not need to be present to make the decision (the only possible way to start your turn), then the decision to activate your hero first and familiar second has been made, and each will activate on your turn in that order (provided each is present).
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Jan Probst
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Ukulicious wrote:
Weltenreiter wrote:
You're misreading the word essentially there. it is not about anything being an "essential requirement" as you put it, its a turn of phrase meaning something like "in short" or "in summary" or "basically".

Edit: Essentially, english adverbs do not work that way.


thank's for your replay, but i don't agree with that.
as you're german, too. http://www.dict.cc/?s=essentially

Uh, ok.
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Smurf-o-Deth
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Let me try again. Going back to the text from the rules:

The Rulebook wrote:
A hero player may activate each familiar his hero controls once during his hero turn (either before or after resolving all of his hero’s actions). Activating a familiar does not require an action, but it may not interrupt any other action. Essentially, a hero player with a familiar must choose whether to activate his hero first or his familiar first. Regardless, both may be activated during his turn.


We can see that the rules clearly state that both the Necromancer and the Reanimate may be activated on the player's turn. As pointed out, not having a Reanimate does not prevent the player from choosing to activate his Necromancer, and nothing in the text states that the Reanimate must be present at the beginning of the player's turn to be activated; instead, it only states that both may be activated on the player's turn, and that the familiar may be activated before or after the hero's actions. So, let's play through a hypothetical turn:

The Necromancer's player begins his or her turn with no Reanimate. As such, the Necromancer is the only one the player may currently activate. As a part of that activation, the player summons the Reanimate and ends the Necromancer's activation. Now, since there is a Reanimate present, the player may activate the Reanimate, as indicated by the rules, since the player may activate both the Necromancer and the Reanimate on his or her turn.
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Darren Nakamura
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I feel like there is just some sort of language issue here. Let me try an analogy.

You are making pancakes. You have already made one serving. You may either:
A. Choose to eat that serving and then make another serving for your friend to eat.
OR
B. You could let your friend eat the serving that is already made and then make a serving for yourself to eat.

Before you can make this decision, your friend ate the serving.

Now you are in the position where the decision has been made for you. This does not preclude you from the effects of that decision. Just because you don't get to choose between Scenario A and Scenario B does not mean that you cannot still enact Scenario B.

To go back to the rules...

Descent 2nd Edition rulebook, Page 17, Familiars wrote:
A hero player may activate each familiar his hero controls once during his hero turn (either before or after resolving all of his hero’s actions). Activating a familiar does not require an action, but it may not interrupt any other action. Essentially, a hero player with a familiar must choose whether to activate his hero first or his familiar first. Regardless, both may be activated during his turn.


That last sentence may be key in convincing you about the correct handling of Familiars. It directly follows a sentence about whether the hero or the familiar is activated first. Regardless of which figure is activated first, both may be activated.

In the case of the beginning of a quest, the hero activates and brings out the familiar. He has activated first. By that last sentence, both hero and familiar may be activated during the turn.
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Rom Brown
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The rules, as written above,say...

A hero player may activate each familiar his hero controls once during his hero turn (either before or after resolving all of his hero’s actions). Activating a familiar does not require an action, but it may not interrupt any other action. Essentially, a hero player with a familiar must choose whether to activate his hero first or his familiar first. Regardless, both may be activated during his turn.

...So, it's only if there is a familiar already in play that the hero has to choose whether he or the familiar acts first.

..and the "Regardless..." statement is saying, if a familiar shows up during a hero's turn, it's going to get activated.
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Adam H
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Just looked in the Descent 2E FAQ, and they have the following in there:

Descent 2E FAQ wrote:
Q: Can the Necromancer activate his Reanimate familiar at the start of his
turn, voluntarily destroy it, spend an action during his turn to create a new
Reanimate familiar, and then activate this new Reanimate at the end of his
turn?
A: No, a familiar can only be activated once per round. Even though the
Reanimate was removed and placed again, it is still the same familiar.


While it doesn't specifically outright state that a familiar can activate the turn it is summoned, they imply it by saying that the familiar cannot activate in this case because it had already activated once on the turn (instead of just saying "You're being silly, familiars can't activate any time they are summoned, let alone a second time on a turn").
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JH
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Ukulicious wrote:
As the rulebook states, that you have to "choose whether to activate his hero first or his familiar first" and there is noch familiar, it easily makes sense to me, that you cannot activate im any more during this turn.

Again, if there is no familiar to start with, you are activating the hero first by default (to move and then summon a familiar, say). But there is nothing in the rulebook to suggest you cannot then activate your newly summoned familiar, and my emphasize lines serve to illustrate that you can activate both if both are on the board. The necessary factor for a familiar to be activated is that it is on the board during your turn, not that it was on the board when your turn started.
 
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Alexander Einich
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Ukulicious wrote:
Ispher wrote:
Not exactly. What that text means is that a hero who has no familiar at the beginning of his turn must not choose whether to activate his hero first or his familiar first, since he has no familiar. He just activates his hero (i.e. this "essential" requirement only applies to "hero players with a familiar", not to hero players in general).


Is this your personal interpretation or is there any reference from the game designers?
If it would be stated in the manual, as you described it, I would totally agree, but it isn't.

It is stated in the manual exactly as I described it and as you quoted it yourself: Rulebook p.17: Essentially, a hero player with a familiar [this is the subject] must choose whether to activate his hero first or his familiar first.
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Kelly Overholser
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Ispher wrote:
Ukulicious wrote:
Ispher wrote:
Not exactly. What that text means is that a hero who has no familiar at the beginning of his turn must not choose whether to activate his hero first or his familiar first, since he has no familiar. He just activates his hero (i.e. this "essential" requirement only applies to "hero players with a familiar", not to hero players in general).


Is this your personal interpretation or is there any reference from the game designers?
If it would be stated in the manual, as you described it, I would totally agree, but it isn't.

It is stated in the manual exactly as I described it and as you quoted it yourself: Rulebook p.17: Essentially, a hero player with a familiar [this is the subject] must choose whether to activate his hero first or his familiar first.


And just to clarify the rules quote there, English has a weird thing about using the same word for completely different meanings. In this case, the word "essentially" means the same thing as "in essence". It's not listing an essential requirement, instead using the word to begin a new sentence that clarifies how the activations work.
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Robin REEVE
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BTW, IIRC, only the Necro's familiar can be created and destroyed.
The other familiars (from the CK) I can recall of are allways on board and are not destructible.
 
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Rafal Areinu
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Geomancer's familiar not only can be created and destroyed, you can have multiple instances of them out at once.
 
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Robin REEVE
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Areinu wrote:
Geomancer's familiar not only can be created and destroyed, you can have multiple instances of them out at once.
That one comes in LoW, I think.
 
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