Christian @BoardGameMonster
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OK, Vic has just put a great post on the Paizo forums and I wanted to bring it to everybody's attention.

The matter being discussed was "When can you play cards to help other people?"

For example:

- Thieves' Tools says "Discard this card to defeat a barrier ..."
- Blessings say "Discard this card to explore your location"

Can one character use these cards to let other character defeat/explore/etc?

It's been a long discussion (feel free to read the whole thread), which started with us piecing together some particular examples from Mike and Vic's posts on the forums. And culminated with Vic clarifying things once and for all

In short, the answer is "No, these cards cannot be played to help other characters".

The long version is that there is a subtlety in the language used on the cards (Which @QuantumNinja first pointed out) whereby the verbs should be read with the subject 'you'.

On other words, the cards should be read as:

- Thieves' Tools: "Discard this card (to allow you) to defeat a barrier ..."
- Blessings: "Discard this card (to allow you) to explore your location"

Other characters are not legal targets for these cards so you cannot play them to help others, only when you face the situation yourself.

I hope my explanation above, Vic's posts and the community's discussion in that forum can help everyone to understand where this is coming from, why it's not Paizo back-tracking or rewriting the rules and allows everyone to enjoy PACG even more (if that's even possible)!

Have fun adventuring!
 
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Mark Hatfield
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boardgamemonster wrote:
The long version is that there is a subtlety in the language used on the cards (Which @QuantumNinja first pointed out) whereby the verbs should be read with the subject 'you'.

On other words, the cards should be read as:

- Thieves' Tools: "Discard this card (to allow you) to defeat a barrier ..."
- Blessings: "Discard this card (to allow you) to explore your location"



Okay, I don't want to be indelicate, because I understand that you and Vic really are trying to clarify things. I hesitate to post at all.

But...

The notion of an implied 'you' as the subject doesn't illuminate anything at all. It adds far more shadow than light to the discussion, and has since day one. I realize the community has latched onto this concept and chants it like a mantra, but it's a house built on a foundation of vapor.

English 101
The subject of a sentence is the actor doing the verb. In the examples you state above...

"(You may) discard this card to explore your location."

and

"(You may) discard this card to defeat a barrier."

Yes, the subject is an implied you. BUT, and this is the thing, THAT WAS NEVER IN QUESTION. It's obvious that the person with the card is the one to discard (or recharge/bury/reveal/etc) it.

The thing that's in question is not the subject - it's the direct object. In the examples above, the direct objects are 'your location' and 'a barrier'. For cards involving skill checks, it is 'a skill check' or 'your skill check'.

Now, when it comes to the skill check cards, one can discern by the card exactly what skill checks are affected by the wording - which I think is the subtle nuance you refer to. If it says 'your skill check', it only applies to YOUR SKILL CHECK. If it says 'a skill check', it can apply to ANY CHARACTER'S SKILL CHECK.

Where it breaks down is that this pattern is not followed on other cards not involving skill checks. Thieves Tools simply has 'a barrier' as it's direct object. For consistency, it should say 'your barrier', or 'a barrier YOU encountered', or some such. This is where the confusion lies.

It has nothing at all to do with an implied subject.
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I'd say it clears things up perfectly. The 'you' is who has to take the action. So evade, discard, etc. are your evades, discards, etc.. But if you aid or add then the check you aid or add to can be anyone's.

These examples make the point better:

Quote:
Night Watch (2nd power):
Cost: [You discard] the card
Power: [You explore] your location.
Who can benefit from your exploring? Only you: "you explore."

Blessing of the Gods (2nd power):
Cost: [You discard] the card.
Power: [You add] 1 die to a check.
Who can benefit from your adding? Anybody making a check, because there are no restrictions stated on the check that you're adding to.

Thieves' Tools (1st power):
Cost: [You reveal] the card.
Power: [You add] 1 die to your Disable check.
Who can benefit from your adding? Only you: "your" disable check.


 
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Mark Hatfield
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Here is the way to look at it.

If the card allows you to add dice (or a flat modifier) to a skill check, check to see if it says 'your skill check' or 'a skill check' to determine if you can use it to assist someone else.

In any other case (typically cards that allow you to Defeat (direct object)/Evade (direct object)/ or automatically Succeed at a skill check), you can only use the card on yourself.

Play it that way, and you will be playing in accordance with designer intent, from everything they've posted so far. Don't worry about the 'implied you' business - that is simply a post-hoc rationalization. The fact is, the cards are indeed inconistently and poorly worded. And I say that without any malice at all (hey, this is a fun game, and I really, really like it!).

Suggestion for Paizo for future sets: Put a symbol on cards that can be used to help other characters. That will make it crystal clear, and eliminate the need to word everything perfectly (a difficult task, as is obvious from the current cards).
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Throknor wrote:
I'd say it clears things up perfectly. The 'you' is who has to take the action. So evade, discard, etc. are your evades, discards, etc.. But if you aid or add then the check you aid or add to can be anyone's.


Consider the following:

1. "Discard this card to add a die to a skill check."

and...

2. "Discard this card to succeed at a skill check."

In both cases, the subject is an implied 'You'...

"(You may) discard this card..."

In both cases, the direct object is 'a skill check'.

But one of them can be used to aid another character and the other can only be used on yourself.

Saying that the latter has an implied you as the subject simply obscures things - they both have an implied you as the subject.

Rationalize how you please, you will never get from point A to point B using proper English (and if you do, it is simply that - a rationalization). The cards are simply worded inconsistently. They function differently depending on the action involved - cards that let you add to a skill check are not worded consistently with cards that let you defeat/evade/succeed. I don't know how to make it any clearer.
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Jerry Tresman
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Faded wrote:
Throknor wrote:
I'd say it clears things up perfectly. The 'you' is who has to take the action. So evade, discard, etc. are your evades, discards, etc.. But if you aid or add then the check you aid or add to can be anyone's.


Consider the following:

1. "Discard this card to add a die to a skill check."

and...

2. "Discard this card to succeed at a skill check."

In both cases, the subject is an implied 'You'...

"(You may) discard this card..."

In both cases, the direct object is 'a skill check'.

But one of them can be used to aid another character and the other can only be used on yourself.

Saying that the latter has an implied you as the subject simply obscures things - they both have an implied you as the subject.

Rationalize how you please, you will never get from point A to point B using proper English (and if you do, it is simply that - a rationalization). The cards are simply worded inconsistently. They function differently depending on the action involved - cards that let you add to a skill check are not worded consistently with cards that let you defeat/evade/succeed. I don't know how to make it any clearer.


Totally agree and so does Vic as he stats in the post referred to that the real question is who benefits from the action.

My take on this is:-

The rule reads:-
If a card in your hand does not specify when it can be played, you can generally play it at any time, with the exception that during each step of attempting a check, you may only perform specific actions, so your ability to play cards may be limited.

Tome of knowledge requires changing / FAQ entry then so do any following its path and contradicting the above rule.

Basically anything that allows you to circumvent a check is an exception to the above role and can only be played by the active player.

The rule should be read as :-
If a card in your hand does not specify when it can be played, you can generally play it at any time with the following exceptions

1. To circumvent a check or close a location you have to be the active player carrying out a Defeat, Disable, Evade or Close action.

2. During each step of attempting a check, you may only perform specific actions, so your ability to play cards may be limited.
 
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Faded wrote:
If the card allows you to add dice to a skill check, check to see if it says 'your skill check' or 'a skill check' to determine if you can use it to assist someone else.

In any other case (typically cards that allow you to Defeat (direct object)/Evade (direct object)/ or automatically Succeed at a skill check), you can only use the card on yourself.


This sounds like a much more consistent and easy to follow rule of thumb. However, I think you can also play cards that add a flat bonus to a skill check, not just a die. It is also missing card effects that don't interact with checks at all.
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From the paizo boards:

Youperguy wrote:
The basic problem is that the Paizo folks thought it was obvious that only the active player could defeat, evade, or succeed at a check.


I would reword it that the player that would roll for the check to forestall the next 'what about recharge for a spell during another's check' nitpicking, but get that straight and every card is perfectly clear as written.
 
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Christian @BoardGameMonster
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Maybe I should have just quoted Vic rather than putting my own examples in the OP...

In response to @Faded's latest comment, I think you need to look at it in this way:

1. "Discard this card to add a die to a skill check." = "Discard this card (to allow you) to add a die to a skill check". You can add the die to ANY check. Sorted.

2. "Discard this card to succeed at a skill check" = "Discard this card (to allow you) to succeed at a skill check". You can only succeed at a skill check you are facing yourself. Crystal!

That's rational and clear enough for me. I'm off to play the game

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Jerry Tresman
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boardgamemonster wrote:
Maybe I should have just quoted Vic rather than putting my own examples in the OP...

In response to @Faded's latest comment, I think you need to look at it in this way:

1. "Discard this card to add a die to a skill check." = "Discard this card (to allow you) to add a die to a skill check". You can add the die to ANY check. Sorted.

2. "Discard this card to succeed at a skill check" = "Discard this card (to allow you) to succeed at a skill check". You can only succeed at a skill check you are facing yourself. Crystal!

That's rational and clear enough for me. I'm off to play the game



Have fun and I am glad it is crystal to you. It doesn't apply globally and its subject when you add your to allow you in as to to allow others to.

That is why Vic is going to FAQ Tome of knowledge.

Do you agree with my suggested rule change above as this is clear where as your examples are jut as correct if you (allow others to).
 
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Jerry Tresman
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slacks wrote:
Faded wrote:
If the card allows you to add dice to a skill check, check to see if it says 'your skill check' or 'a skill check' to determine if you can use it to assist someone else.

In any other case (typically cards that allow you to Defeat (direct object)/Evade (direct object)/ or automatically Succeed at a skill check), you can only use the card on yourself.


This sounds like a much more consistent and easy to follow rule of thumb. However, I think you can also play cards that add a flat bonus to a skill check, not just a die. It is also missing card effects that don't interact with checks at all.


The issue is not with if it says your the issue is some of the 'a skill checks' should have an implied your etc.. Its knowing which ones and we need a strong rule not one that says generally or typically .

 
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Starman54 wrote:
slacks wrote:
Faded wrote:
If the card allows you to add dice to a skill check, check to see if it says 'your skill check' or 'a skill check' to determine if you can use it to assist someone else.

In any other case (typically cards that allow you to Defeat (direct object)/Evade (direct object)/ or automatically Succeed at a skill check), you can only use the card on yourself.


This sounds like a much more consistent and easy to follow rule of thumb. However, I think you can also play cards that add a flat bonus to a skill check, not just a die. It is also missing card effects that don't interact with checks at all.


The issue is not with if it says your the issue is some of the 'a skill checks' should have an implied your etc.. Its knowing which ones and we need a strong rule not one that says generally or typically .


I certainly agree with you there. I have been somewhat vocal about the vague rules, mainly because some people feel the need to assert that the rules are "crystal clear" as is. I can tell you this is a losing battle, the amount of rationalization going on is tremendous already.

However, I am all for having a rule of thumb that can be used to play cards correctly rather than relying on a huge FAQ.
 
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Mark Buetow
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slacks wrote:


I certainly agree with you there. I have been somewhat vocal about the vague rules, mainly because some people feel the need to assert that the rules are "crystal clear" as is. I can tell you this is a losing battle, the amount of rationalization going on is tremendous already.



Or, you know, because some people just aren't actually having much or any trouble with this game, as written, just from reading the cards and the rules. whistle
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Malacandra wrote:
slacks wrote:


I certainly agree with you there. I have been somewhat vocal about the vague rules, mainly because some people feel the need to assert that the rules are "crystal clear" as is. I can tell you this is a losing battle, the amount of rationalization going on is tremendous already.



Or, you know, because some people just aren't actually having much or any trouble with this game, as written, just from reading the cards and the rules. :whistle:


You can assert that all you want, but the fact is that this game has surpassed all other popular deckbuilding games in terms of pages of rules questions on BGG. The number of rules questions is still growing, and I think it will probably end up somewhere around Mage Knight.

IMO this game should have about as many rules questions as the Marvel DBG based on complexity, but it is currently more than double that and growing.
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slacks wrote:
Malacandra wrote:
slacks wrote:


I certainly agree with you there. I have been somewhat vocal about the vague rules, mainly because some people feel the need to assert that the rules are "crystal clear" as is. I can tell you this is a losing battle, the amount of rationalization going on is tremendous already.



Or, you know, because some people just aren't actually having much or any trouble with this game, as written, just from reading the cards and the rules. whistle


The number of posts of repeated rules questions is still growing, and I think it will probably end up somewhere around Mage Knight.



FTFY.
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You are implying that the PACG playerbase is particularly bad at using the rules forum and/or interpreting rules. Is there any particular reason why you think that is true?

I should take my own advice and drop it though. These are the same bare assertions that are thrown out whenever someone criticizes the rules as being less than perfect.
 
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slacks wrote:
You are implying that the PACG playerbase is particularly bad at using the rules forum and/or interpreting rules. Is there any particular reason why you think that is true?

I should take my own advice and drop it though. These are the same bare assertions that are thrown out whenever someone criticizes the rules as being less than perfect.


I'm implying nothing of the sort. I'm simply pointing out the fact that there are a multitude of posts asking the exact same questions, many of which are, in fact, answered in the rules. (I notice the Mage Knight forums suffer the same multiplication of questions also answered in the rules).

I'm also saying that there are many players who have not had any problems with the rules or cards as written.

Let's face it: It's always easier to google something or make a new post than it is to actually read and absorb the information in a written document or do a lot of search work to track down something that has already been answered. This is true of many things in the internet age.
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James Anderson
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Malacandra wrote:
slacks wrote:
You are implying that the PACG playerbase is particularly bad at using the rules forum and/or interpreting rules. Is there any particular reason why you think that is true?

I should take my own advice and drop it though. These are the same bare assertions that are thrown out whenever someone criticizes the rules as being less than perfect.


I'm implying nothing of the sort. I'm simply pointing out the fact that there are a multitude of posts asking the exact same questions, many of which are, in fact, answered in the rules. (I notice the Mage Knight forums suffer the same multiplication of questions also answered in the rules).

I'm also saying that there are many players who have not had any problems with the rules or cards as written.

Let's face it: It's always easier to google something or make a new post than it is to actually read and absorb the information in a written document or do a lot of search work to track down something that has already been answered. This is true of many things in the internet age.


Your argument has very little basis though, unless you think there is something unique about the PACG fan base that simply can't figure out how to search while other deck builder fans are smarter and don't need to figure things out. There are repeated questions here, there are repeated questions there, there is more volume here because the cards are much less clear than they are there.
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The rules, and cards are very muddy. I have casual gaming friends that have tried Mage Wars; Runewars; and Civilzation with me. They did ok, but are tearing their hair out over this game's rules explanations.

It's not the player's faults or problem. It's the developer's/publisher's.
 
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slacks wrote:


This sounds like a much more consistent and easy to follow rule of thumb. However, I think you can also play cards that add a flat bonus to a skill check, not just a die. It is also missing card effects that don't interact with checks at all.


Good points. I edited it to add in the flat modifier. As for the other, I think the confusion normally has to do with cards affecting checks and defeat/evade/succeed cards. This rule of thumb will get you playing those cards correctly with minimal effort.
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Mark, I just wanted to say a big thank you for so succinctly summing up exactly how this works. Everywhere else I've tried to decypher the rules for helping others (including the designers noun-verb stuff in this thread) , I've been left confused and brain-numb.

But your dead simple
Quote:
If the card allows you to add dice (or a flat modifier) to a skill check, check to see if it says 'your skill check' or 'a skill check' to determine if you can use it to assist someone else.

In any other case (typically cards that allow you to Defeat (direct object)/Evade (direct object)/ or automatically Succeed at a skill check), you can only use the card on yourself.


is perfect!!! (also thanks to slacks for his addition!)
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