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Subject: Advantage/disadvantage with pure element generation rss

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H Schonenberg
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Hi all,

I have a question regarding advantage/disadvantage in the case of pure (non-rolling) element generation cards. Are there any examples like for the rolling modifiers? E.g.

Advantage:
-2/-1/0/no damage vs element: element is better
+1/+2/2x vs element: damage modifier is better / ambiguous

Disadvantage:
If similar to rolling modifiers, the element will be ignored. If the player can decide, it can be quite ambiguous, because the element may be extremely helpful for next players or the next turn.

What is the way to resolve this? I could not find it in the rules book or FAQ.
 
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Per Erlandsson
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As long as it’s number vs a number you are forced to pick the higher/lower number. Otherwise the choice is considered ”unclear” in which case the players decide!
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Nicholas Shopoff
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perer005 wrote:
As long as it’s number vs a number you are forced to pick the higher/lower number. Otherwise the choice is considered ”unclear” in which case the players decide!


The players don't decide, in the case of ambiguity, you go with the first card drawn.
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Jason John
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From the FAQ:

Quote:

If I have advantage or disadvantage, how do I determine whether one attack modifier card is better or worse in the case of effects beyond the typical +/- modifiers? How do I know when something is ambiguous?
All added effects (negative conditions, elements, healing, etc.) have a positive but undefined value. Thus, these would be the rulings in the following cases:
+1 vs +2: +2 is better
+1 Stun vs +1: +1 Stun is better
+0 Stun vs +2: Ambiguous
+1 Stun vs +1 Fire: Ambiguous
+0 Muddle vs +2 Stun: Ambiguous


Elements are considered an added effect.
 
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Alex G
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I was shocked when I read the level of ambiguity with the status effects.

IMO:

muddle (attack weakly) < disarm (no attack) < stun (no attack, move or special

I realize there are corner cases where you WANT the enemy to attack you (retaliate) or where you might want them to move after you attack, but the same could be said about +1 vs +2. Maybe extra damage kills a weaker monster and lets a stronger monster attack. Maybe there is a battle or questions at stake. I feel like 95% of time it's not ambigious. It's not like it's an apples to oranges comparison. All three impact the attack I'm increasingly drastic ways.
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Des T.
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Oareo wrote:
I was shocked when I read the level of ambiguity with the status effects.

IMO:

muddle (attack weakly) < disarm (no attack) < stun (no attack, move or special

I realize there are corner cases where you WANT the enemy to attack you (retaliate) or where you might want them to move after you attack, but the same could be said about +1 vs +2. Maybe extra damage kills a weaker monster and lets a stronger monster attack. Maybe there is a battle or questions at stake. I feel like 95% of time it's not ambigious. It's not like it's an apples to oranges comparison. All three impact the attack I'm increasingly drastic ways.


You're exaggerating. This neither destroys the game balance, nor does it drastically effect gameplay. Most rules in the game take the KISS approach, and in this case, saying effects are a larger than zero, but undefined bonus makes sense.

Muddle isn't always worse than stun or disarm (retaliate is a good example, so is a heavily cursed mob deck).

With all stati being "undefined", the ruling will usually be in your favor, nerfing disadvantage on players slightly, while buffing it on mobs.
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Alex G
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I never said it destroyed the game, just that I was shocked. I'm glad there isn't a complicated system. But it takes a certain amount of unlearning to not think that +2 stun is superior to +0 muddle, at least for me.
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Jay Johnson
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if you can convince your game group to accept your status ranking, then you're free to implement advantage/disadvantage that way as a house rule
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Des T.
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Quote:
if you can convince your game group to accept your status ranking, then you're free to implement advantage/disadvantage that way as a house rule


Nope. His priority list is still viable in most cases, without house rules being needed. Because ambiguous.

Oareo wrote:
But it takes a certain amount of unlearning to not think that +2 stun is superior to +0 muddle, at least for me.


It's ambiguous. That means your group can decide on which is better. That's what makes the solution so elegant.

You have the option of looking at the game state and deciding which is superior. You don't have to unlearn anything and in the extremely unlikely situation where the +0 muddle is superior, the rules explicitely allow you to use it, instead of forcing you to use the other option.
 
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Alex G
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[q="DeS_Tructive"]
Quote:


It's ambiguous. That means your group can decide on which is better. That's what makes the solution so elegant.

You have the option of looking at the game state and deciding which is superior. You don't have to unlearn anything and in the extremely unlikely situation where the +0 muddle is superior, the rules explicitely allow you to use it, instead of forcing you to use the other option.


I agree the rule is elegant. Giving players choice ensures the game never "forces" them to go against what they think is right. However I still need to use the rule to "make it right" for me, which shows I don't think the situation is actually ambigious. The game has a rather large space it considers ambigious. All that really means is the system "breaks" early to keep it elegant. Again I'm not saying I want complicated endless tie breakers or that it breaks it game. I like having a little control rather than it being 100% deterministic.

I personally don't always make my ambigious choices in the players favor, only their own actions. If it makes more sense for the monsters to choose A but B is better for the players, we choose A. If it is truly ambiguous we flip a coin or roll.

We've worked out what works for us. I'm sure other people choose differently. It's was just strange when I first read the rules that a situation that seemed clear to me (+0 muddle vs +2 stun) requires your group to "finish" the rules by deciding how you decide. The game doesn't say vote, it leaves the ambiguity rules ambigious.
 
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Jay Johnson
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DeS_Tructive wrote:
Quote:
if you can convince your game group to accept your status ranking, then you're free to implement advantage/disadvantage that way as a house rule


Nope. His priority list is still viable in most cases, without house rules being needed. Because ambiguous.

Oareo wrote:
But it takes a certain amount of unlearning to not think that +2 stun is superior to +0 muddle, at least for me.


It's ambiguous. That means your group can decide on which is better. That's what makes the solution so elegant.

You have the option of looking at the game state and deciding which is superior. You don't have to unlearn anything and in the extremely unlikely situation where the +0 muddle is superior, the rules explicitely allow you to use it, instead of forcing you to use the other option.

According to RAW, in the cases of advantage/disadvantage, in "ambiguous" cases, you use whichever card was drawn first. So changing that to a "players decide" or instituting some sort of ranking would be a house rule.

rulebook, top of pg 21 wrote:
If there is ambiguity about which card drawn is better or worse, use whichever card was drawn first. Ambiguity
can occur when comparing one or more added effects provided by attack modifier cards (e.g., elemental
infusions, negative conditions, etc.) All added effects should be considered to have a positive but undefined
numerical value.
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Des T.
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JayJ79 wrote:

According to RAW, in the cases of advantage/disadvantage, in "ambiguous" cases, you use whichever card was drawn first. So changing that to a "players decide" or instituting some sort of ranking would be a house rule.

rulebook, top of pg 21 wrote:
If there is ambiguity about which card drawn is better or worse, use whichever card was drawn first. Ambiguity
can occur when comparing one or more added effects provided by attack modifier cards (e.g., elemental
infusions, negative conditions, etc.) All added effects should be considered to have a positive but undefined
numerical value.


GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! That's it! I'm done with Gloomhaven.



Seriously, though. If this is the definition of ambiguity, what is the definition of the "when in doubt, players decide" rules in other ambiguous situations.
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Alex G
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Wait so by the RAW if you drew the muddle first and the stun second (both non rolling) you'd be forced to choose the muddle because they are ambigious and the muddle was first? I haven't unlocked all classes so not sure if that's possible (please no spoilers)

I thought in the case of ambiguity the players decide?
 
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Des T.
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On second reading...

It's basically saying "Players decide which draw is better or worse. If they can't decide, they should treat status effects as a positive, unspecified value. If they still can't decide, they should pick whatever card was drawn first."

I don't think the ruling is intended to say "X is an ambiguous situation. In such a situation, act in manner Y."

Note the use of "should" in the rules.
 
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Jay Johnson
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whatever helps you sleep at night
 
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Stefan
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Oareo wrote:
Wait so by the RAW if you drew the muddle first and the stun second (both non rolling) you'd be forced to choose the muddle because they are ambigious and the muddle was first? I haven't unlocked all classes so not sure if that's possible (please no spoilers)

I thought in the case of ambiguity the players decide?

Not for advantage or disadvantage. Otherwise the positive effect of advantage would outweight the negative effect of disadvantage, because there the players do not decide either (would be difficult to implement).

But without spoilering (I don't know all of the modifier cards out of my head) and just applying common sense: The perks are more or less balanced to be equally strong, so that you really have to make a choice each time you chose one. Do you honestly think, that you will have +0 muddle vs +2 stun to chose from? I would not even want to have a +0 muddle card in my deck because it worsens my average damage as soon as I removed atleast one of the negative cards, while only supplying a minor status effect. So more reallistically, you will have something like add +0 stun vs add +2 muddle as perks, and that really is ambigious when drawn. In some situations, the +2 muddle would kill your oponent, in other situations it is better to have it stunned instead of just dealing 2 more damage.

In general, advantage should not be understood as "draw 2 cards and chose one of them". It is more like the game decreasing the likelyhood of drawing bad cards in the same way that the opposite is done for disadvantage.
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Des T.
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JayJ79 wrote:
whatever helps you sleep at night


Being reeeaaally helpful there...



Snark aside, I'm being serious. There's a difference between "ambiguous" used in a discriptive manner or as game mechanic.

The rules describe exactly what advantage and disadvantage mean, even bolding them as keywords. Ambiguity isn't bolded, so we must assume it isn't a fixed rule mechanism. If we look up ambiguity, under page 32, we get

Quote:
If the rules make any moster action ambiguous because there are multiple viable hexes,...
...the players must decide which option the monster will take.


again, ambiguity is not bolded.

In the FAQ:

Quote:
...If curses are distributed at the beginning of a scenario, distribute them as evenly as possible to all those affected, with players deciding cases of ambiguity...

...+1 vs +2: +2 is better
+1 Stun vs +1: +1 Stun is better
+0 Stun vs +2: Ambiguous
+1 Stun vs +1 Fire: Ambiguous
+0 Muddle vs +2 Stun: Ambiguous...

(right in the next section, btw)
Ambiguous or Tied Situations

In cases of ambiguity where players decide the outcome, how should the players decide? Should they do what is best for themselves or worst for themselves?
It is up to you. That is why you are deciding. It is assumed that you would decide whatever is best for you, but, again, it is up to you.



Ambiguity always resolves in "players decide".

What's being described in the rules are aids to help you decide which is stronger, based on context. "Whatever is drawn first" is to be used as a final tiebreaker, after all other comparisons have failed.
Saying, "yeah, it's always the players decision except in this one specific case" is against the logic Isaac uses almost everywhere in the rules. He always looks for the simplest solution and, when in doubt, lets the players decide.

Edit: I asked in the main FAQ thread. Hoping to get an official response.
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Alex G
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danom wrote:

Do you honestly think, that you will have +0 muddle vs +2 stun to chose from?


This example is straight from the official FAQ and is used to explain that all added effects have a positive but undefined value.

The reason this example exists is because it's counterintuitive, but correct as per the RAW. There are just so few cases where muddle is at least "+3" better than stun (to outweigh the +2), it seemed strange to me at first.

 
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Alex G
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Now I'm confused.

If you end up in a +0 muddle vs +2 stun situation (where you feel like one option is 99% of the time better) you must take the first one?

Meaning the game only chooses the second option if it's strictly better. If there exists any effect weighting value that could make the first option better, it will be chosen. Since any effect could be deemed to have a value of +999, the second option must have a higher base modifier AND include all the effects of the first option to be chosen. Otherwise being first "resolves" all that ambiguity.
 
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Chris Sauro
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DeS_Tructive wrote:
Ambiguity always resolves in "players decide".
Not true. In fact, you missed something important in your quote from the FAQ:

aflorin wrote:
In cases of ambiguity where players decide the outcome, how should the players decide?
Advantage and Disadvantage are not cases of ambiguity where players decide the outcome. They are cases of ambiguity where the rulebook very clearly states that the card that is drawn first is used.

Oareo wrote:
If you end up in a +0 muddle vs +2 stun situation (where you feel like one option is 99% of the time better) you must take the first one?

Meaning the game only chooses the second option if it's strictly better. If there exists any effect weighting value that could make the first option better, it will be chosen. Since any effect could be deemed to have a value of +999, the second option must have a higher base modifier AND include all the effects of the first option to be chosen. Otherwise being first "resolves" all that ambiguity.
All correct.
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Des T.
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Oareo wrote:
Now I'm confused.

If you end up in a +0 muddle vs +2 stun situation (where you feel like one option is 99% of the time better) you must take the first one?

Meaning the game only chooses the second option if it's strictly better. If there exists any effect weighting value that could make the first option better, it will be chosen. Since any effect could be deemed to have a value of +999, the second option must have a higher base modifier AND include all the effects of the first option to be chosen. Otherwise being first "resolves" all that ambiguity.


This is exactly why this ruling feels so wrong to me. The decision if a +999 stun is stronger than a +0 muddle is based on a coinflip, even though there's an obvious correct answer.
 
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Alex G
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It hasn't mattered yet but we've been playing wrong and I suspect des has too.

This is more of an issue for people that use the "two full piles" house rule for advantage, which we were also going to use once it came up. You would really need both rules for it to work properly, since even if you make two piles you'd end up "choosing" the first one too often.

I was wary enough with one house rule but now I'm thinking of going back to the RAW. Might be too powerful to have complete choice of two full piles.
 
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Jay Johnson
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the RAW were designed to make the determination as automatic as possible, without having to pull out some table ranking the "power" of different status effects and elemental infusions.

as far as the interpretation that +0 Muddle vs +2 Stun being ambiguous, I interpret that differently.
both status effects have a "positive but undefined" value, so I'd say they cancel each other out when looking at the equation, so you're left with a +0 vs. a +2, which is not ambiguous.

Any way you play it isn't really going to break the game, certainly not as much as doing the "two piles" house rule for advantage with rolling mods.
Especially if you use the same rule for both players and monsters.
 
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Stefan
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DeS_Tructive wrote:
Oareo wrote:
Now I'm confused.

If you end up in a +0 muddle vs +2 stun situation (where you feel like one option is 99% of the time better) you must take the first one?

Meaning the game only chooses the second option if it's strictly better. If there exists any effect weighting value that could make the first option better, it will be chosen. Since any effect could be deemed to have a value of +999, the second option must have a higher base modifier AND include all the effects of the first option to be chosen. Otherwise being first "resolves" all that ambiguity.


This is exactly why this ruling feels so wrong to me. The decision if a +999 stun is stronger than a +0 muddle is based on a coinflip, even though there's an obvious correct answer.
I believe, you think too much. As I already said, in reality you won't have such modifier cards. You will have something like a +0 stun and a +2 muddle and there it depends on the situation which one is better.

Advantage and Disadvantage are supposed to be equally strong. If you would be able to make a choice by yourself for advantage, it would buff you alot more than having disadvantage would weaken you. For a +999 stun vs +0 muddle it might be obvious to you, but in reality you get to chose between for example a +0 create element or a +1 muddle. Now which card is "better" is on one hand situational and on the other hand in most cases not even obvious, hence the simple ambiguity rule exists, that you have to use the first card. You are not happy, because it makes the positive effect of advantage less useful in your eyes, if the made up +0 muddle is favored over your +999 stun? No worries, if you are in that situation with disadvantage and draw it the other way around, the +999 will be chosen despite you having disadvantage which equally weakens the negative effect of that. Seems very fair to me.

DeS_Tructive wrote:
This is exactly why this ruling feels so wrong to me. The decision if a +999 stun is stronger than a +0 muddle is based on a coinflip, even though there's an obvious correct answer.
You are right, like any other modifier card drawing, drawing with advantage still results in a (a bit more complex) coinflip to determine the result. Just that the odds are a little bit more in your favor in this case compared to drawing without advantage.
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Alex G
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I guess I'd rather the game let me pick, like it is with other ambiguity.

If it's +0 create vs +1 muddle, those are very different, whereas muddle, disarm and stun are all in a similar vein. That choice is more tactical than it is about the "fairness" of advantage picking the seemingly stronger second option.

You can mirror it for disadvantage by just picking the one you don't want. Still probably won't do it though, as I'm sure theres a reason the first card advantage rule was made. Probably the "naive" solution of two piles, players pick was too powerful. It's hard to explain to people it doesn't work like that, though.
 
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