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Subject: Some questions about Spellbind rss

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Frank Otte
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Please let me ask some questions about Spellbind. I will do this on the basis of the example "Elemental Wand", but most of my questions could be generalized, because most Spellbind objects work similar.

Elemental Wand says: You may bind a non-Epic attack spell from your Spellbook to Elemental Wand. As a quick spell, you may pay 3 mana to change the bound spell.

(1) If I bind a quick attack spell, can I use it more than one time per round (for example as quick spell and later as quick action during the action phase of my mage)?

(2) Am I allowed to cast the Elemental Wand without binding any spell?

(3) If the answer for (2) is yes, can I later bind a spell with the change ability? I ask this question, because strictly speaking, when no spell is bound, you cannot really "change" the spell (because you have nothing to change).

(4) You know, bound spells are laid out secretly until its first usage. Are you allowed to intentionally bind a wrong spell, for example an Incantation on the Elemental Wand, to bluff your opponent, like you are allowed with preparation of spells for Familiars and Spawnpoints?

(5) If your opponent becomes aware of the fact, that you bound a wrong spell (intentionally or by fault), what happens with the bound spell? Is it destroyed? Is it discarded? Is it taken back into the Spellbook? Or is it just kept bound, but cannot be used?

(6) Can you change the bound spell with "nothing", so leave the Elemental Wand with no bound spell left, for example when you fear, that your Elemental Wand is about to be destroyed, to rescue your spell?

(7) Are you allowed to intentionally cast Enchantments on illegal targets to bluff your opponent, like you are allowed with preparation of spells for Familiars and Spawnpoints?
 
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Nicholas Tolle
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Based on my understanding of the rules:

1. No. Bound spells may only be used once per round according to definition for spellbind in rule book.

2. I would say yes due to the word "may".

3. I would say yes. Just because you didn't bind a spell when placed does not mean you can't spend mana to later bind a spell.

4. No. The bound spell must match the parameters set by the card - in this case a non-Epic attack spell from your spellbook.

5. This should not happen for the reasons stated in 4.

6. This is an interesting question. I would say yes, because based on the answers I gave to 2 and 3 it seems you should also be able to spend mana to simply unbind a spell. However, I would be very interested to know what others think about this.

7. No. Enchantments also have parameters dictating what they can and cannot be cast on. The bluffing with prepared spells and Spawnpoints is not selecting cards that your mage or the Spawnpoint cannot legally cast. It is simply selecting spells that you have no intention of actually casting that turn.

I hope this helps.

edit: changed answer to #1 to no after realizing rule book specifically states that this is not allowed. Thanks to KonradT for pointing that out.
 
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Konrad T
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1 no, it's written in definition that You can use bound spell once per round.
2 yes,
3 yes, but only if the card with spellbind has such ability
4 no, that's cheating, also you can't prepare wrong spell for spawnpoint or familiar
5 if any spell is found to be incorrectly placed it's discarded without effect. It doesn't matter if it was wrong spell bound or mandatory reveal enchantment wasn't revealed.
6 from the games I saw online I would say yes.
7 no, that's cheating
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Frank Otte
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KonradT wrote:

4 no, that's cheating, also you can't prepare wrong spell for spawnpoint or familiar


Why do you think so? All familiars, I know of, have restrictions in casting certain spells. I cannot remember any card text of spawnpoints or familiars with restrictions on preparing or planning certain spells.

Moreover I don't know of any rules, which say, that you can only plan or prepare for a spawpoint or familiar a spell, which it is able to cast.
 
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Ivan Kidd
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Relevant rules can be found on page 21 of the 4e English Rulebook and in the Spellbind section of the Official Rules and Codex Supplement.

Konrad's answers are correct. I'm going to expound upon them just a little.

Questions 2, 3, and 6: You can certainly choose to not bind any spell to the spellbind object. I can not think of any reason why you would do this though, as usually the spellbind object is useless, or nearly so, without a bound spell and there is absolutely NO way to later bind a spell to it, unless the specific card gives you a way like Elemental Wand does. Most spellbind objects do not have such abilities. So you've just cast a useless object, wasting both actions and mana. Congrats. Similarly, I don't know why you would waste the mana and action to make the object useless if it does have an ability like Elemental Wand and Mage Wand. "Saving the spell" is definitely not worth it. If you were to do that, then your opponent just won't dissolve the wand. You are now out 2 actions and 8 mana with nothing to show for it, so they're already ahead in that exchange without having to do a thing.

Questions 4, 5, and 7: Intentionally breaking the rules is called cheating. This will get you kicked out of tournaments and probably result in people refusing to play with you even casually. You cannot bind an inappropriate spell to an object, prepare an inappropriate spell for an object, or cast an inappropriate spell on an object. If it is discovered that you have done this, it is at the judge's or your opponent's discretion how to handle it. I think the lightest penalty you can expect is losing the offending spell.

Mage Wars does have a bluffing element in that you are constantly trying to guess what your opponent is doing, but you both MUST still be playing within the rules. Cheating is not bluffing.

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Ivan Kidd
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Hermjard wrote:
KonradT wrote:

4 no, that's cheating, also you can't prepare wrong spell for spawnpoint or familiar


Why do you think so? All familiars, I know of, have restrictions in casting certain spells. I cannot remember any card text of spawnpoints or familiars with restrictions on preparing or planning certain spells.

Moreover I don't know of any rules, which say, that you can only plan or prepare for a spawpoint or familiar a spell, which it is able to cast.


Page 16 of the 4e Core Rulebook.

"If you control a Familiar during the Planning Phase, you may select a spell for it to cast during the round. The Familiar may have restrictions on the types of spells you may choose."

Similar wording for Spawnpoints. More to the point, it should be common sense that if it can't cast a spell that it can't prepare to cast that spell. You have seriously misinterpreted the "bluffing" element of this game.

That said, even if your method was allowed, I can't see the advantage of it. You can already prepare spells that you don't plan on casting, so this isn't giving you anything new.
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Konrad T
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Page 16 of core set rulebook:
Quote:
If you control a familiar during the planning phase you may Select a spell for it to cast during the round. The familiar may have restrictions on the types of spells you may choose.
It's implied that casting restrictions also apply to the planning phase.
 
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Frank Otte
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Zub3ri wrote:
I can not think of any reason why you would do this though, as usually the spellbind object is useless, or nearly so, without a bound spell and there is absolutely NO way to later bind a spell to it, unless the specific card gives you a way like Elemental Wand does. Most spellbind objects do not have such abilities. So you've just cast a useless object, wasting both actions and mana. Congrats. Similarly, I don't know why you would waste the mana and action to make the object useless if it does have an ability like Elemental Wand and Mage Wand. "Saving the spell" is definitely not worth it. If you were to do that, then your opponent just won't dissolve the wand. You are now out 2 actions and 8 mana with nothing to show for it, so they're already ahead in that exchange without having to do a thing.


Why do you spend so many words to explain me in detail the obvious, namely, that casting an equipment with spellbind without actually binding a spell makes no sense, if you cannot change it later? This is the reason, why I have explicitly chosen the Elemental Wand as example. Nevertheless you say, that my question makes no sense, unless you have equipment like the Elemental Wand?

Sorry to say that and nothing personal, but apart from that, I am really tired of the fact, that you get nearly always all over here in the BGG rules forums as first answer Why do you want to do that?, when someone asks "Is X allowed or not?". This is not the strategy forum, but the rules forum. The rules forum is about what is allowed and what is not allowed. The rules forum is not about, why do want to do this and that.

Sigh... And the answer to the counter question "Why do want to do that?" is almost always, that the OP is forced to invent some freaky example, to justify his simple and clear rules questions. You can read this kind of thread a thousand times all over the BGG-rules forums. Why don't you save your and the OP posters time, by just accepting rules questions and abstain from constantly counter-asking "Why do you want to do that?"

Ok... here is my example I am forced to present: You know that your opponent has "Dissolve" and you don't want that he uses it on your Elemental Wand. On the other hand, you suffer from some heavy mana reducing effects and must use your mana, because otherwise it would be sucked up.

Zub3ri wrote:
Page 16 of the 4e Core Rulebook.

"If you control a Familiar during the Planning Phase, you may select a spell for it to cast during the round. The Familiar may have restrictions on the types of spells you may choose."

Similar wording for Spawnpoints. More to the point, it should be common sense that if it can't cast a spell that it can't prepare to cast that spell. You have seriously misinterpreted the "bluffing" element of this game.


Page 16 of the english Core Rulebook: Tip: You should assign a spell to your Familiar, even if you may not cast it this round. In this manner, you can keep your opponent guessing your true intentions.

Page 16 of the german Core Rulebook (retranslation mine): Note: You may mislead your opponent by assigning a spell to your familiar, which you don't intent to cast (or you cannot cast at the moment).

If you are right, what is wrong: My interpretation of the bluffing element, based on the rules, or the wording of the rules?

Page 16 of the english Core Rulebook (emphasis mine): Usually, the Spawnpoint can only cast certain types of spells, as listed on the Spawnpoint’s card. - Where is the rule, which restricts the preparation or planning?

Page 16 of the english Core Rulebook (emphasis mine): The Familiar may have restrictions on the types of spells you may choose. - Ok, the rule is there, that the details are ruled by the card text. It is only, that there is currently no familiar with a card text, that restricts the choice.

Ivan, I know, that you you give semi-official answers here, because you are involved in writing some material for Mage Wars. So, I don't doubt, that you answer like the rules might be intended.

But IMHO, you are not answering like the rules are currently written. And if you blame me to cheat and to bend the rules intentionally and to have a completely wrong understanding of some elements of the game, then I have to prove, that I did none of these, but rather tried to interpret RAW as best as I could.

And don't come with "common sense" in the context of complex games. That is the same as arguing with "theme" in complex games.

There are many games, where you can obtain, play or assign cards whose effects you can never perform or are not allowed to perform, just with the goal to fool, mislead and bluff your opponents.

Moreover there are many games, which follow the principle of "substantial denial", meaning that completely secret game mechanisms are either "uncheatable" or the opponents are given certain opportunities to prove, what a player claims. Viewing Mage Wars under this well known principle, would make my assumptions quite plausible and not devious at all.
 
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Konrad T
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Quote:
Page 16 of the german Core Rulebook (retranslation mine): Note: You may mislead your opponent by assigning a spell to your familiar, which you don't intent to cast (or you cannot cast at the moment).

Part about not being able to cast a spell at the moment refers to preparing legal spell that You can't cast because there's for example no legal target or You don't have enough mana.

You're not the first person to raise those issues. I remember that in the beginning of MW (2012 / early 2013) designers were active on official forums and they gave the rulings I posted. Unfortunately posts from that time were lost.
 
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Ivan Kidd
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Hermjard wrote:

Ok... here is my example I am forced to present: You know that your opponent has "Dissolve" and you don't want that he uses it on your Elemental Wand. On the other hand, you suffer from some heavy mana reducing effects and must use your mana, because otherwise it would be sucked up.


You are correct that strategy was not a part of your initial question. The reason I responded with a commentary on strategy is because rules questions usually stem from strategy. Wanting to do something is the reason people ask how things work. In this case, neither of those situations make sense. Wasting mana/actions to have an unbound spell is worse for you than letting it be dissolved or having your mana drained. You are literally spending resources to have a useless object. But you are correct that you can do it and if you don't want strategic commentary we can cease that discussion.

Hermjard wrote:

If you are right, what is wrong: My interpretation of the bluffing element, based on the rules, or the wording of the rules?


Your interpretation. Maybe it is a language/translation issue. In English it doesn't make any sense to prepare to do something that you are specifically forbidden from doing according to the rules. You can't plan to break the rules. You can't try to break the rules. If something isn't allowed, then it isn't allowed. I'm not sure how this logic is getting lost in translation.

Perhaps it is the nature of preparing a spell? The concept is that this is a spell that the creature is prepared to CAST. Therefore, it logically can't prepare to cast things that it is incapable of casting. That just doesn't make sense.

I hope that you don't misunderstand me. I'm not accusing you of purposefully trying to cheat. I realize that this is just confusion about the rules. But I am having trouble figuring out where this confusion stems from when the rules are so plain and you're quoting them yourself.
 
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Konrad T
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Quote:

Perhaps it is the nature of preparing a spell? The concept is that this is a spell that the creature is prepared to CAST. Therefore, it logically can't prepare to cast things that it is incapable of casting. That just doesn't make sense.

To expand on this I will add that it's written in the rulebook that in case that rules are unclear You should apply logic as if the magic was real. That's why preparing a spell a familiar/spawnpoint can't cast shouldn't be possible. Planning phase is about what You can do during the round. IMO leveraging game mechanics to prepare spell that F/S can't cast would break the theme.
 
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Frank Otte
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KonradT wrote:

To expand on this I will add that it's written in the rulebook that in case that rules are unclear You should apply logic as if the magic was real. That's why preparing a spell a familiar/spawnpoint can't cast shouldn't be possible. Planning phase is about what You can do during the round. IMO leveraging game mechanics to prepare spell that F/S can't cast would break the theme.


To apply logic as if the magic was real, is highly thematic and therefor pure imagination. Especially here, because thematically the rules of Mage Wars never explain, what preparing or planning a spell for a Familiar or a Spawnpoint thematically really means.

Note, that all spells planned for a Familiar or a Spawnpoint stem from the Spell Book of the mage. So you could very well argue, that it is the "intellectual property" of the mage, and the Familiar or Spawnpoint is only some kind of focus, catalyst or helper. But this catalyst is only of a certain power. The mage can "outsource" any spell of his mind to the catalyst, but it can can only "channel" spells of certain kind and/or power.

Otherwise, how do you explain thematically, that a Familiar or Spawnpoint can "carry" a spell, which it currently cannot cast because of lacking mana?
 
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Ivan Kidd
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You've gotten your answer. You've seen the rules. I don't know how you're continuing to misinterpret the rules, but they don't work the way you want them to. You are of course free to use house rules in your casual play.
 
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