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Subject: Action vs Ability terminology rss

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Martin Ender
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After getting this slightly wrong on reddit, I've had another look at the FAQ entry on actions, attack actions and attack abilities. It's fairly clear, but it leaves a few things undefined and there's the issue of how this relates to monster ability cards. So can someone confirm that I've got this right now?

For characters:
- The top or bottom half of an ability card is one action, no many how many separate parts it has.
- Each line in the large font is one ability (I know there are exceptions where the small font is used because of size constraints, but basically each line that isn't attached to the previous one).
- An action is an attack action if it includes at least one attack ability.
- Granting other figures abilities doesn't generally mean they're performing an action (unless the card specifically says it grants an action).

For monsters:
- Each line in the large font is one action. In other words, a monster turn can consist of a variable number of actions, but each action always consists of only a single ability. Is this inconsistency with character terminology correct? I'm going off the wording on rule book page 29 here.
- Therefore, multiple attacks on a monster's ability card constitute separate attack actions (although one attack action can still consist of multiple attacks if it can target several enemies).
 
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michele c
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I think a monster ability card is ONE action and each line is an ability.

This action is an attack action if it includes an attack, or a move action if it includes a move or both if it includes both.
 
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Martin Ender
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I would have thought the same for consistency, but the rule book says (emphasis mine):

Quote:
All monsters will perform the actions listed on their ability card for the round in the order written. They will not move or attack unless these actions are listed on their card.
[...]
Before performing any action on their ability card [...].
[...]
[...] a monster will not move or attack on its turn, but it will perform any of the other actions on its ability card that it is able.

That said, I just found another explanation of the ability cards on page 10 where it clearly says abilities:

Quote:
A list of abilities. A monster will perform each of these abilities in the order listed (if possible) and then end its turn

That makes it seem more likely that the wording on page 29 is incorrect, and the usage of "action" and "ability" is in fact same the for characters and monsters.
 
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Jo Hohenberger
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I understand it as the other way around: The card as a whole is an ability (e.g. the Scoundrel's "Smoke Bomb" Ability). This consists of two halfs (no specific name for that, but top half and bottom half) and each half has one or more actions listed. These can be attack actions (if attack is part of this action), move actions (if move is included) etc. As a consequence, abilities can grant other characters actions (like attack or move), but actions cannot grant abilities (as these would equal the abiltiy cards)

For monsters it is the same: the card is the ability card (although these usually have no names) and consist of one or more actions
 
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Jay Johnson
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the distinction is important for characters because there are certain character abilities and items that augment entire "actions".

But does it really matter for monsters? I can't think of anything where it makes a lick of difference.
 
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Martin Ender
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Haltdeibabbm wrote:
I understand it as the other way around: The card as a whole is an ability (e.g. the Scoundrel's "Smoke Bomb" Ability). This consists of two halfs (no specific name for that, but top half and bottom half) and each half has one or more actions listed. These can be attack actions (if attack is part of this action), move actions (if move is included) etc. As a consequence, abilities can grant other characters actions (like attack or move), but actions cannot grant abilities (as these would equal the abiltiy cards)

For monsters it is the same: the card is the ability card (although these usually have no names) and consist of one or more actions

I think in the case of characters, the FAQ is fairly clear:

Quote:
Action, Attack Action, Attack, Attack Ability, [...]
What do those terms mean?
An action is the top half or bottom half of an ability card (or the full card for monsters), or an item or persistent ability that specifically says it grants an "action". An ability that grants another figure an out-of-turn ability (like move or attack) is not an action unless it says "action".

An attack action is an action that has an attack in it. It constitutes any and all attacks made with that specific action.

An ability is considered an attack ability if it has the word "attack" printed on the card.

An attack is a single attack on a single target that flips over a single attack modifier card. If your attack action is, say, "Attack 3," then there is only one attack in your attack action. If it is "Attack 2, Target 3," then your attack action consists of three separate attacks. If the action contains separate "attack" lines, all are part of the attack action. If the attack is an AoE, all attacks performed as part of the AoE are part of the attack action.

Unfortunately, it doesn't actually define "ability", but the rule book is very clear on that (page 7):

Quote:
Note that a single action can contain several separate abilities
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Martin Ender
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JayJ79 wrote:
the distinction is important for characters because there are certain character abilities and items that augment entire "actions".

But does it really matter for monsters? I can't think of anything where it makes a lick of difference.

Hm, that's a good point. I've only seen a fraction of all unlockable content (3 classes and prosperity 2), so I don't know whether there's something like an equivalent of the Leather Armor that affects an attacker's entire attack action. Still a bit odd to use these two words as keywords for characters, but then use them interchangeably for monsters.
 
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Jo Hohenberger
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m_ender wrote:
Haltdeibabbm wrote:
I understand it as the other way around: The card as a whole is an ability (e.g. the Scoundrel's "Smoke Bomb" Ability). This consists of two halfs (no specific name for that, but top half and bottom half) and each half has one or more actions listed. These can be attack actions (if attack is part of this action), move actions (if move is included) etc. As a consequence, abilities can grant other characters actions (like attack or move), but actions cannot grant abilities (as these would equal the abiltiy cards)

For monsters it is the same: the card is the ability card (although these usually have no names) and consist of one or more actions

I think in the case of characters, the FAQ is fairly clear:

Quote:
Action, Attack Action, Attack, Attack Ability, [...]
What do those terms mean?
An action is the top half or bottom half of an ability card (or the full card for monsters), or an item or persistent ability that specifically says it grants an "action". An ability that grants another figure an out-of-turn ability (like move or attack) is not an action unless it says "action".

An attack action is an action that has an attack in it. It constitutes any and all attacks made with that specific action.

An ability is considered an attack ability if it has the word "attack" printed on the card.

An attack is a single attack on a single target that flips over a single attack modifier card. If your attack action is, say, "Attack 3," then there is only one attack in your attack action. If it is "Attack 2, Target 3," then your attack action consists of three separate attacks. If the action contains separate "attack" lines, all are part of the attack action. If the attack is an AoE, all attacks performed as part of the AoE are part of the attack action.

Unfortunately, it doesn't actually define "ability", but the rule book is very clear on that (page 7):

Quote:
Note that a single action can contain several separate abilities


Hm, I should read the FAQ mor thoroughly... But I agree, it does not really make sense to have two terms for the same thing, especially if they may mean something else in another context.

m_ender wrote:
JayJ79 wrote:
the distinction is important for characters because there are certain character abilities and items that augment entire "actions".

But does it really matter for monsters? I can't think of anything where it makes a lick of difference.

Hm, that's a good point. I've only seen a fraction of all unlockable content (3 classes and prosperity 2), so I don't know whether there's something like an equivalent of the Leather Armor that affects an attacker's entire attack action. Still a bit odd to use these two words as keywords for characters, but then use them interchangeably for monsters.


Wait a second. Does this mean that if an enemy uses an AoE and only ONE character uses his/her leather armor, the whole attack action gets disadvantage, not only the attack on the person with the armor (I don't have the wording of the armor here right now).
 
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Martin Ender
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No, the Leather Armor only affects a single attack (i.e. only the character using the armor).
 
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Tobias
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Actually according to the rule book, an ability card has the name of the ability on top so it really has one ability consisting of two actions that consist of one or more abilities.

Actually I think there wasn't much thought put in the distinction of actions and abilities when the rule book was written.
 
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Jay Johnson
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therobbot wrote:
Actually according to the rule book, an ability card has the name of the ability on top so it really has one ability consisting of two actions that consist of one or more abilities.

Actually I think there wasn't much thought put in the distinction of actions and abilities when the rule book was written.


this is easily fixed by inserting one word into that text:
"an ability card has the name of the ability card on top"

So it is an "ability card" that contains two "actions", with each action containing one or more "abilities".
 
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Tobias
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Yeah, but that's not what it says and they didn't bother to change it in the second printing even though it was pointed out.

All I'm saying is that different from the FAQ, the rule book isn't very careful with its use of abilities and actions. So I don't think it's so surprising that the use of the phrases for the monster cards is confusing.
 
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Jay Johnson
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It is almost as if the game was created by a physicist instead of a lawyer.
Of course, if the game was created by a lawyer, the rulebook would be about a hundred pages longer and even more difficult to read.

Personally, I don't find the use of the phrases for the monster cards confusing, because in the case of the monster cards "ability" and "action" mean the exact same thing.
 
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Alex Florin
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The monster's cards are a single action, made up of one or more abilities. I agree that the rulebook could be more consistent with the use of some terms. I think a glossary would have been a REALLY good idea.
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eldur
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aflorin wrote:
I think a glossary would have been a REALLY good idea.

I would pay to help fund a kickstarter for a Glossary add-on. You would make an excellent person to create such a Glossary.
 
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Alex Florin
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eldingar wrote:
aflorin wrote:
I think a glossary would have been a REALLY good idea.

I would pay to help fund a kickstarter for a Glossary add-on. You would make an excellent person to create such a Glossary.


I did create one (unofficial of course). It is at the end of my Rules Summary file. I've been meaning to update the file to try to squeeze in more of the FAQ entries but haven't done so yet.
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Martin Ender
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JayJ79 wrote:
the distinction is important for characters because there are certain character abilities and items that augment entire "actions".

But does it really matter for monsters? I can't think of anything where it makes a lick of difference.

Not sure whether you're getting notifications for this thread, but after seeing some more content I found some scenarios where it matters. E.g. 35 and 36:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
These have monsters who are allies to the players but still use their usual monster ability card decks. Since there are character abilities which affect the attack actions of their allies, the distinction becomes important.
 
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Alex Florin
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Heard from Isaac.

Each separate (non-connected) ability in a monster's ability card is considered a separate action
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Martin Ender
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Well that's an interesting turn of events (but I'm glad to hear that the wording in the rule book is correct then). What would connected abilities be though? Aren't there just effects attached to abilities?
 
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Alex Florin
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m_ender wrote:
Well that's an interesting turn of events (but I'm glad to hear that the wording in the rule book is correct then). What would connected abilities be though? Aren't there just effects attached to abilities?


Actually, I don't think monsters have connected abilities (that was my wording). I didn't include it in the FAQ. I was thinking about character's cards with abilities that are connected.
 
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Daniel Frey
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aflorin wrote:
Actually, I don't think monsters have connected abilities (that was my wording). I didn't include it in the FAQ. I was thinking about character's cards with abilities that are connected.

I think the following 'Deep Terror' card might be an example of a connected ability:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
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Alex Florin
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Yep
 
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Martin Ender
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Isn't it just one ability with an additional effect attached to the attack?
 
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Alex Florin
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Summon is an ability, not an effect. But in this case, the summon ability is tied directly to the attack.
 
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Martin Ender
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In that case, what is the definition of ability? I thought it was each line that is either written in the larger font or sufficiently vertically separated from the previous line.
 
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