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Arkham Horror: The Card Game» Forums » Rules

Subject: Values below ZERO rss

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Benjamin Schoenheiter
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Printed values cannot be below Zero but will always be zero. Does that already apply at a test resolution? If a test has a difficulty of 3, my skill is 2 and I draw a -4 - am I now at -2 and fail by 5? or do I only fail by 3?
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Kelly B
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benji_online wrote:
Printed values cannot be below Zero but will always be zero. Does that already apply at a test resolution? If a test has a difficulty of 3, my skill is 2 and I draw a -4 - am I now at -2 and fail by 5? or do I only fail by 3?


You fail by three. While you can go below zero in the math for a value, it becomes a zero before you compare it to the value you are testing against. This threw us the first few times.

Edit: page 15 of the rules reference, under Modifiers.

Edit 2: Also see page 26. You determine the modified skill value before you compare it to the test.

This does mean that if a test has a target of zero, you only fail if you draw a tentacle.
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Mario Hocks
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If it van not go below Zero the test result is Zero. So you failed by 3. That is how I play it.
 
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Jimmy Pattaya
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happycatmachine wrote:
benji_online wrote:
Printed values cannot be below Zero but will always be zero. Does that already apply at a test resolution? If a test has a difficulty of 3, my skill is 2 and I draw a -4 - am I now at -2 and fail by 5? or do I only fail by 3?


You fail by three. While you can go below zero in the math for a value, it becomes a zero before you compare it to the value you are testing against. This threw us the first few times.

Edit: page 15 of the rules reference, under Modifiers.

Edit 2: Also see page 26. You determine the modified skill value before you compare it to the test.

This does mean that if a test has a target of zero, you only fail if you draw a tentacle.


I read pages 15 & 26 as you suggested, but I still can't understand how this works. You said: "it becomes a zero before you compare it to the value you are testing against". If it's now a zero (in the example above) and you draw that -4 chaos token, why would you fail by three instead of 4?

And how much does a test fail by if the skill test is 3 and your modified skill value is also 3 & you draw that -4 counter? This actually happened in my current game, and I gave Roland 4 horror tokens because I thought he failed the test by 4. But now that doesn't seem right because in the example above where the differential was less favourable to the investigator, you stated that he failed by 3?!?!

Please help me to understand this so I can complete my current Scenario.
 
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Kelly B
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Keeping it as simple as possible you have two numbers: your value and the value you are testing against.

You calculate both independently of each other and if either falls below zero after you are done adding or subtracting all modifiers then it becomes Zero.

You then compare the two.

Does that make sense?

Intellect 3, draw -4 token, this becomes -1, which then becomes ZERO.
Test against a shroud value of 2 with flashlight which modifies it to ZERO.

We succeed!

Without the flashlight, the shroud would have been 2 against our zero. Meaning we would have failed the test by 2.

Edit, clarity.
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Dan Likos
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This is also a very imortant distinction for the "Look what I found" card... which reads...if you fail a test by 2 or lessomething while investigating, discover 2 clues in your location
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Dee
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Another example:

Your investigator, Master Magu, has an intellect of 1. You are at a location with a shroud value of 1. You have a flashlight equipped.

You Investigate using your Flashlight. The Flashlight reduces the shroud value of the location by 2. The location's shroud value is now 0 for purposes of the final check (but it is -1 for purposes of applying any intermediary modifiers to the shroud value that might apply).

You have no cards to commit or play to aid you, so you pull from the Chaos Bag. You draw -4.

With your intellect of 1, this modifies your value to -3. But you cannot take negative values into the final check. Your 'check' result after the Chaos Bag's modifier is 0, which is successful against the current shroud value.
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Jimmy Pattaya
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[q="happycatmachine"]Keeping it as simple as possible you have two numbers: your value and the value you are testing against.

You calculate both independently of each other and if either falls below zero after you are done adding or subtracting all modifiers then it becomes Zero.

You then compare the two.

Does that make sense?

Intellect 3, draw -4 token, this becomes -1, which then becomes ZERO.
Test against a shroud value of 2 with flashlight which modifies it to ZERO.

We succeed!

Without the flashlight, the shroud would have been 2 against our zero. Meaning we would have failed the test by 2.


Thanks, Kelly, I think I finally understand how this works. But I still think it's confusing --- even though I'm a University grad & have been playing hundreds of boardgames all the way up to Advanced Squad Leader.

My original interpretation was obviously incorrect. I compared the 2 values, then added or subtracted to get the differential --- before applying the results of the chaos token. That was my mistake. I'm sure I won't be the only one to fall into this trap. There should be a specific warning given in the Rules Reference to prevent this from happening, because it's counter-intuitive.


Now, I understand how it's -3 in the Op's example. Therefore, in my example with Roland, if I understand correctly, I should have also added 3 horror tokens instead of 4. And yet, it's counter-intuitive because before Roland's test started, his skill value was equal to the test value whereas the Op's example was 1 lower --- and yet we both failed the test by exactly the same margin!
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Scott Hill
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What is perhaps confusing the issue here is the language being used.

The value doesn't become zero, rather it is treated as if it were zero.

So if a test value is 3, your skill value is also 3, and you draw a -4, then your result is, and remains, -1, but it is treated as though it were 0, and you fail by 3.

In short: you can never fail by more than the test value.
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Jimmy Pattaya
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Noaloha wrote:
Another example:

Your investigator, Master Magu, has an intellect of 1. You are at a location with a shroud value of 1. You have a flashlight equipped.

You Investigate using your Flashlight. The Flashlight reduces the shroud value of the location by 2. The location's shroud value is now 0 for purposes of the final check (but it is -1 for purposes of applying any intermediary modifiers to the shroud value that might apply).

You have no cards to commit or play to aid you, so you pull from the Chaos Bag. You draw -4.

With your intellect of 1, this modifies your value to -3. But you cannot take negative values into the final check. Your 'check' result after the Chaos Bag's modifier is 0, which is successful against the current shroud value.


Thanks for the additional clarification. It still seems strange to me that if you have the opportunity to use something as simple as a flashlight against a location with a shroud value of 2, that it really doesn't matter what horrors you pull out of the chaos bag (unless you get the tentacles).
 
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