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Gloomhaven» Forums » Rules

Subject: Round bonuses activation timing rss

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Felix Steffen
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Essen
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I am a little confused about how (when) round (or other) bonuses work.

The rulebook states:
Quote:
"Round bonuses will have this symbol [] on the card. The effect of the ability will be active from the time the card is played until the end of the round, at which point the card will be placed in the player’s discard or lost pile (depending on whether the action also contains an symbol)."


So I searched the rulebook for when a card is considered to be "played".

I found multiple references in the "Card Selection" section.
Quote:
At the beginning of a round, each player will secretly select two cards from his or her hand to play facedown in front of them.

Quote:
During a player’s turn, the two played cards will be used to perform actions and then are either discarded, lost, or activated, depending on the actions that were taken.

Quote:
Players must either play two cards from their hand or declare a long rest action at the beginning of every round.


And in the "Character Turn" section.
Quote:
On a character’s turn, he or she will perform the top action of one of the two ability cards played and the bottom action of the other.


All of the references define "playing" cards as puting down cards during "Card Selection". Whereas "using to perform" or "perfroming" cards are defined as executing the actions on the cards.


From RAW it would be clear to me that round bonuses should activate as soon as a card is played - even before any initiative is compared. I am unsure if this is the intended meaning, as monsters explicitly activate their bonuses on their turn. More importantly, the two actions of the card are not yet selected at the start of the round. So it is not clear what round bonuses will be selected on the turn. (From RAW all round bonuses should be active even if the action is not selected, because the only condition is that the card was played.)

The duration of round bonuses makes it even more confusing. They don't last until your next turn (which would make it a full round of effect) but only to the end of the turn. This also makes retaliate or shields useless against fast enemies. I cannot activate my bonus this round for an effect in the next round. This could also indicate that the RAW matches the intention.

What rule section did I miss?
Where did I missread something?
More importantly: what is the intended timing for round bonus activation?

English is not my first language. Please cut me some slack if I don't make sense.
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David Latimore
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Things that last until end of round (round bonuses) don't start until your turn comes and you use the cards.
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Greg
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Cards don't become active until they are played on your turn. So if you want to maximize a round bonus card, you have to weigh the options of when to play it.

If you are surrounded and want to play a Shield, or Retaliate card for defensive purposes, or an attack buff card for attacking, you will want to be sure to have one of your cards be low initiative number.

But sometimes you may hope that the monsters move closer to you for your round bonus card to work best, so you might gamble and play it with a high initiative card and hope the enemies doe what you planned for.

Interpreting the word "play" for placing your 2 cards in front of you is kind of a stretch. Sure it could have been "place" instead, but you don't play your move, loot or attack cards when you "play" the 2 cards in front of you, so why would you think that round bonus cards would be any different?
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CycyX
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Magny en Vexin
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Consider that the "till the end of round" bonus applies once the ability have been resolved.
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Felix Steffen
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Thanks for you answers. I also think this has a higher probability of being the intended rule. But from my perspective it is just a little over 50%.

Hahma wrote:
Interpreting the word "play" for placing your 2 cards in front of you is kind of a stretch. Sure it could have been "place" instead, but you don't play your move, loot or attack cards when you "play" the 2 cards in front of you, so why would you think that round bonus cards would be any different?


What really irritates me, is that the word "play" is only used for putting down cards in the rules. Activating the effect is called "use to perform" or "perform". Is there a reason the timing is not described as follows?

Quote:
The effect of the ability will be active from the time the card is played ability is performed[...]




Hahma wrote:
cards don't become active until they are played on your turn.[...]


From RAW cards are not played on player turns. Also, usually specific rules override general rules. So if cards generally don't become active until your turn comes up then it could still be different for bonuses.



Please don't get the following wrong this is not meant to devalue your help. For the following discussion it would be really helpful if you could tell me where you have the rulings from. Maybe there is some statement from Isaac or a rule text I missed. Otherwise, it is just a majority vote. I want to play the game as Isaac intended it not as the majority understands it. It is possible that both are the same but I don't know it yet.
 
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GAF Blizzard
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valbharion wrote:
From RAW cards are not played on player turns. Also, usually specific rules override general rules. So if cards generally don't become active until your turn comes up then it could still be different for bonuses.

From page 18, Rule As Written indicate that cards are played on player turns.

"On a character’s turn, he or she will perform the top action of one of the two ability cards played and the bottom action of the other. The leading card designation used to determine initiative is no longer significant. Either card can be played first for its top or bottom action. When playing a card’s action, the abilities of the action must be done in the order written and can’t be interrupted by the action on the other card."


I agree there may be some ambiguity between the words "play" and "perform" being used interchangeably here, but I personally feel the intent is pretty clearly to start activating your card on your turn, top to bottom, including persistent bonuses. I'm not sure if there has been a post by Isaac 100% confirming this since I think it's generally understood, but I'd welcome a citation.
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Felix Steffen
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GAFBlizzard wrote:
"On a character’s turn, he or she will perform the top action of one of the two ability cards played and the bottom action of the other. The leading card designation used to determine initiative is no longer significant. Either card can be played first for its top or bottom action. When playing a card’s action, the abilities of the action must be done in the order written and can’t be interrupted by the action on the other card."


Thanks! There is a reference that makes the definition of "playing" ambiguous. So we cannot get a 100% confirmation for the correct ruling from the rulebook.

I found a thread by manually searching all rules forum pages for hints (it was on the last page). In a question about bonuses on monster cards, Isaac replied he following:
Cephalofair wrote:
Right, just like the characters, the monsters don't do anything with their cards until their turn comes up in initiative order.


Given the context, I would assume this also means ability cards with bonuses "don't do anything [...] until their turn comes up".


I think this should be added to the FAQ.
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