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Subject: Official FAQ and Guide for Reading the Rules rss

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Joshua Yearsley
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Hey everyone! Welcome to the FAQ thread. You'll find lots of useful stuff here.

Latest FAQ
First and foremost, if you're looking for more answers to common questions, you'll find our FAQ here.

Latest Law of Root
If you have a rules question, the first thing I'd recommend is reading the Law of Root, especially the first few couple chapters—they include important context for understanding the rules structure of Root. You can find the latest version of the Law of Root here: here.

3rd Printing Balance Changes
Starting with the 3rd printing, we will be including some minor tweaks to the factions. You will find all the changes in this thread.

Be Careful in Searching the BGG Forums
If you still have a Q, you can search for a related thread or start your own and ask away! One note: Be careful if you’re reading a thread started before June 2018. You may be reading about a rule that existed in an earlier PNP version of the game, but not in the final version.

Rules of Thumb
We’ve noticed that almost all of the questions that have come up so far can be answered by following a few rules of thumb, which are included in the welcome sheet in the 2nd printing and beyond.

For those of you with the 1st printing, we’ve included these rules of thumb below, along with some examples to show each rule in practice.

Q1. I’d like to do something, and the rules don’t say that I can’t do it. Can I do it?
A1. Within the confines of the action, you can assume yes! We have yet to encounter such an edge case that wasn’t as designed.


Example 1: When I hire Riverfolk mercenaries, can I start a battle with them even if I don’t have pieces in the clearing where I'm battling? It says I split hits with my own warriors in battle.
— If you don’t have any warriors there, there’s no one to split hits with. Go for it! Let the otters do the work!

Example 2: The Vagabond has formed a coalition with me. Can I activate a dominance card, even though the Vagabond can’t choose to coalition with someone who has already activated a dominance cards?
— Yes you can! Order matters—the Vagabond couldn’t coalition with you after you activated the dominance card, but there’s nothing saying you can’t activate one while in a coalition.

Example 3: The Vagabond is in a coalition with me. Can I still battle him? Can he still battle me? Seems strange for coalition partners to battle each other, but nothing in the rules says otherwise.
— Yup! Battle away. Maybe you’re the Eyrie and he’s helping you avoid turmoil? Who knows what that wily guy’s thinking.

Q2. Can another player not consent to a particular action?
A2. Root has no interactions that require consent. You just do the thing.


Example 1: Can I say no to the Vagabond from aiding me?
— Nope! The Vagabond gives you a card and takes an item if you have it, no questions asked.

Example 2: Can I say no to the Vagabond forming a coalition with me?
— Nope again!

Example 3: Can the Riverfolk refuse to sell you one of their services?
— Nope thrice!

Q3. It seems like something should happen, but the rule doesn’t tell me to do that thing. What do I do?
A3. Follow the word of the Law, not your instinct. Trying to interpret the rules beyond the words on the page will get you in trouble fast.


Example 1: As the Marquise or Alliance, when a building or sympathy token is returned to my board, do I lose the points I gained? The rules don’t say I do, but I’m not sure because I gained points from placing them.
— You don’t lose points.

Example 2: As the Vagabond, should I go Hostile with a faction when I remove one of their buildings or tokens, but no warriors?
— Nope! There are no witnesses to see you. Burn it all down!

Q4. A rule uses a specific term or action. Does it also includes another, closely related term or action?
A4. Nope, you can assume we do mean only the original term and not any related terms, no matter how closely related.


Example 1: The Armorers card says “rolled hits”. Does it really mean “rolled hits” specifically and not “hits”?
— Yes indeed! “Rolled hits” means only the hits rolled.

Example 2: The Marquise’s Keep ability says I can’t “place” a piece on its clearing. Can I “move” a warrior in?
— Yes! “Place” is different from “move.”

Example 3: The Vagabond says I gain Infamy victory points for removing pieces in battle. Does using Strike with a crossbow count?
— Nope! It must be in battle, and Strike is not a battle.

Example 4: The Alliance’s Outrage ability refers to warriors. Does the Vagabond pawn trigger Outrage?
— Nope! It’s called a pawn to distinguish it from a warrior.

Q5. How do I know when a given rule overrides another rule?
A5. Besides the cases in the Law in 1.1 Rules Conflicts, if you can fulfill both a general rule and a faction's rule, you must follow both rules. If you cannot fulfill both rules, the faction's rule overrides the general rule.

Example 1: As the Eyrie, I have the Charismatic leader, and when I Recruit I can place 1 warrior but not 2 warriors. Do I place warriors at all, and do I still go into turmoil?
— Yes and yes! You can fulfill both the maximum placement rule in 2.5 and the turmoil rules, so you should.

Example 2: As the Lizard Cult, can I use Convert or Sanctify to only remove a warrior or building, but not place my own warrior or building there? Section 2.5 says if I can't place the amount of a piece prompted, I just place the maximum amount possible, which could be 0.
— Nope! The Lizard's rules in 10.4.3 say, "If you perform Convert or Sanctify, you must complete the conspiracy." This rule conflicts with 2.5, and you cannot fulfill both rules, so the more specific rule ("...you must complete the conspiracy.) wins.

First-Printing Clarifications
These rules have been clarified in the 2nd printing and beyond.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
6.5.4.II. Marquise Must Always Rule to Access Wood: The language in this rule suggests that, when considering a connection of multiple clearings between your chosen build clearing and a clearing containing wood, you do not need to rule the clearing containing the wood. This is incorrect. You must rule every clearing in the chain, including the source clearing of the wood.

7.7.3.I. Flipping Over Eyrie Leaders: You flip all of your leaders face up during your fourth turmoil, when all four of your leaders are face down.

9.8.1. Double "R" Items and Exploring: In a game with two Vagabonds, you cannot have two identical "R" items, so if you explore a ruin with an "R" item that matches one you have, you cannot take it. You still exhaust the torch, but you didn't complete the action, so you don't score 1 victory point.

10.4.3. Spending Lizard Acolytes: When you spend an Acolyte as the Lizards, you return the Acolyte to your supply. Though “spend” is defined and used to mean this in relation to warriors elsewhere, we don’t define it in the Lizard’s section.

10.4.3.I. Crusade Requires Moving a Warrior: As the Lizards, when you crusade and use the second option (move, then you may battle), you must move at least one warrior in order to battle in the destination clearing.

Vagrant Vagabond Ability: When the Vagrant Vagabond uses his special ability to initiate a battle, he treats all hits from both attacker and defender as his own, and he chooses which pieces to remove from both sides (following the normal rule of warriors before buildings or tokens). As a result, he gains VP from removing buildings and tokens, goes Hostile if he removes a warrior, gains Infamy VP from removing pieces, etc. The defender chooses whether to play an ambush card, but the Vagrant gets to choose how to assign hits and gains VP for them if applicable. This has been clarified in the 2nd printing and beyond by adding "and chooses" to the Vagrant's card text.


First-Printing Errata and Additions
These errata and additions have been resolved in the 2nd printing and beyond.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Components Manifests: If you’d like to count up your components to make sure you have them all, all of the components in the core game are listed on the setup page (both in the learn-to-play and Law) and on the backs of the faction boards. A components manifest is included in the second printing and beyond.

1.1.3. Immediate, Simultaneous Effects During Battle: In the edge case of two game effects triggering simultaneously (the only set where order matters that we know of is the Marquise's Field Hospitals and the Woodland Alliance's Outrage), the current player chooses the order in which these effects are triggered. [This rule has been added as 1.1.3 in the second printing Law.]

3.1. Tied Score Win: In the case of two factions reaching 30 victory points simultaneously (which is so rare that we've never seen it), the active player wins.

7.4.3. Discrepancy on a New Roost: The Eyrie board says “fewest total pieces” but the rulebook says “fewest warriors”. The rulebook is correct. Though use of this rule is extremely rare, you'll find a sticker you can print out if you wish to correct your board here.

10.5.3. Lizard Scoring Spends the Card You Reveal: The language in this rule suggests you must spend a second card that has not yet been revealed—this is incorrect. You spend the same card you reveal, but you cannot spend a card that you revealed and used for a different ritual.

Mechanical Marquise Setup: The Mechanical Marquise will skip steps 4 and 5 (6.3.4, 6.3.5) of the Marquise’s setup if you’re reading the rulebook. As written, it instructs you to skip steps 3 and 4 of the Marquise’s setup, which is correct if you’re reading the setup instructions on the Marquise’s board. However, the step numbers don’t match between the board and setup steps in the rulebook, which includes the “Gather Warriors and Wood” step, causing this discrepancy.

Mechanical Marquise Board: The map on the Mechanical Marquise board is missing the path from clearing 9 to 12. This is an error and does not restrict the MM's movement. You'll find a sticker you can print out if you wish to correct your board here.

Discard Resolved Mechanical Marquise Orders: The Mechanical Marquise learn-to-play book does not state that you discard a card from the Schedule of Orders once it is resolved. You do discard it.


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RyuSora
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Do you plan for a revised digital rulebook or a living faq?
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Benjamin Schoenheiter
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Caedar wrote:


7.4.3. Discrepancy on a New Roost: The Eyrie board says “fewest total pieces” but the rulebook says “fewest warriors”. The rulebook is correct.


Can you make a printable sticker for that, so we might print & glue that over the faulty info?
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Joshua Yearsley
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ryusora wrote:
Do you plan for a revised digital rulebook or a living faq?

We haven't tacked down exactly what will happen yet, but my expectation is that we'll update the PDF rulebook online once we're ready to start the second printing. I'll update this thread with any additional FAQ if it comes up.

As it stands, I'll only be tweaking a few words total of the game itself, so I wouldn't worry too much about it, but we'll see how things develop.
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Joshua Yearsley
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benji_online wrote:
Can you make a printable sticker for that, so we might print & glue that over the faulty info?

Sure can! Cole will post that when it's done.
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Caedar wrote:
Mechanical Marquise Setup: The Mechanical Marquise will skip steps 4 and 5 (6.3.4, 6.3.5) of the Marquise’s setup if you’re reading the rulebook. As written, it instructs you to skip steps 3 and 4 of the Marquise’s setup, which is correct if you’re reading the setup instructions on the Marquise’s board. However, the step numbers don’t match between the board and setup steps in the rulebook, which includes the “Gather Warriors and Wood” step, causing this discrepancy.
Isn't it more consistent to simply correct this to
Quote:
Follow the Marquise’s rules for faction setup instructions, but ignore steps 3 and 4.
since the step in the Law that's being modified (5.1.7) refers to the "faction's setup instructions", not the faction setup rules (6.3, in this case).
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Joshua Yearsley
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Aldaron wrote:
Caedar wrote:
Mechanical Marquise Setup: The Mechanical Marquise will skip steps 4 and 5 (6.3.4, 6.3.5) of the Marquise’s setup if you’re reading the rulebook. As written, it instructs you to skip steps 3 and 4 of the Marquise’s setup, which is correct if you’re reading the setup instructions on the Marquise’s board. However, the step numbers don’t match between the board and setup steps in the rulebook, which includes the “Gather Warriors and Wood” step, causing this discrepancy.
Isn't it more consistent to simply correct this to
Quote:
Follow the Marquise’s rules for faction setup instructions, but ignore steps 3 and 4.
since the step in the Law that's being modified (5.1.7) refers to the "faction's setup instructions", not the faction setup rules (6.3, in this case).

I'll probably just include the Law reference numbers it's referring to. There's not really a difference between "instructions" and "rules."
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Caedar wrote:
Example 3: The Vagabond says I gain Infamy victory points for removing pieces in battle. Does using Strike with a crossbow count?
— Nope! It must be in battle, and Strike is not a battle.

Oh, that's surprising, we were doing that wrong. I'll have to take care to do that correctly. To be clear, this means that the rules for going hostile are different than the rules for gaining infamy points, correct? Hostile triggers on removing a warrior in any way, whereas Infamy requires battle but triggers for all pieces?
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Joshua Yearsley
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Lucretiel wrote:
Caedar wrote:
Example 3: The Vagabond says I gain Infamy victory points for removing pieces in battle. Does using Strike with a crossbow count?
— Nope! It must be in battle, and Strike is not a battle.

Oh, that's surprising, we were doing that wrong. I'll have to take care to do that correctly. To be clear, this means that the rules for going hostile are different than the rules for gaining infamy points, correct? Hostile triggers on removing a warrior in any way, whereas Infamy requires battle but triggers for all pieces?

Correct on all counts!
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Caedar wrote:
7.4.3. Discrepancy on a New Roost: The Eyrie board says “fewest total pieces” but the rulebook says “fewest warriors”. The rulebook is correct.
If the clearing with the fewest warriors has no building slots open, what happens?
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Joshua Yearsley
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runtsta wrote:
Caedar wrote:
7.4.3. Discrepancy on a New Roost: The Eyrie board says “fewest total pieces” but the rulebook says “fewest warriors”. The rulebook is correct.
If the clearing with the fewest warriors has no building slots open, what happens?

I don't think anyone has ever seen this case happen, but select among clearings with the second-fewest, then third-fewest, etc.
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@Caedar

If no digital document, please comment on any updates. If just editing the top post, those who subscribed won't get a notification.
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Please add to clarifications:

"9.2.9.III Correction on Hostile Status: If you ever remove or cause removal of a warrior of a non-Hostile faction, their relationship marker immediately moves to the Hostile box. This faction is now Hostile."


"9.2.9.III.a Correction on Infamy: Whenever you remove or cause removal of a piece of a Hostile faction in battle, score one victory point. (Add this to points scored for enemy buildings and tokens. Do not score a point for removing the warrior that made the faction Hostile.)"


Without these corrections, the Vagabond only goes Hostile if removing pieces via Strike or Instigate and only gains Infamy when Instigating as Vagrant (in non-Instigate battles, pieces are removed by the person taking the hits, not the one dealing them).

The phrasing is important, especially with the ruling that removing pieces as the Vagrant = choosing what to remove (which makes a firm connection between removal choice and removal that was previously not stated).
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Joshua Yearsley
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dsdhornet wrote:
Please add to clarifications:

"9.2.9.III Correction on Hostile Status: If you ever remove or cause removal of a warrior of a non-Hostile faction, their relationship marker immediately moves to the Hostile box. This faction is now Hostile."


"9.2.9.III.a Correction on Infamy: Whenever you remove or cause removal of a piece of a Hostile faction in battle, score one victory point. (Add this to points scored for enemy buildings and tokens. Do not score a point for removing the warrior that made the faction Hostile.)"


Without these corrections, the Vagabond only goes Hostile if removing pieces via Strike or Instigate and only gains Infamy when Instigating as Vagrant (in non-Instigate battles, pieces are removed by the person taking the hits, not the one dealing them).

The phrasing is important, especially with the ruling that removing pieces as the Vagrant = choosing what to remove (which makes a firm connection between removal choice and removal that was previously not stated).

I won't be adding this clarification, since it wouldn't physically fit in an updated rulebook and on balance will likely cause more confusion than it alleviates. I'll explain my reasoning in the thread about this.
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Caedar wrote:
I'll probably just include the Law reference numbers it's referring to. There's not really a difference between "instructions" and "rules."
Yes, but the general rule that is being modified (5.1.7) refers to the "faction’s setup instructions, listed in their rules section and on the back of their faction board" an though these are not in conflict, the numbering is different.
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Moved
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dsdhornet wrote:
Now that it has been established that the choice of removal in battle is had by the player taking hits (NOT the one removing the piece), can we update the Vagrant ruling?

David, could you move this discussion to the pertinent thread? Let's avoid overlong dissection of rulings in this thread—it's not helpful.
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Caedar wrote:
David, could you move this discussion to the pertinent thread? Let's avoid overlong dissection of rulings in this thread—it's not helpful.
Moved. I think if you could provide the relevant errata here (i.e. updated wording for card) then it would be helpful. Currently the item is listed as a "clarification", where-as it seems to actually be an "errata" (the full intent does not currently follow logically from the rules as written).
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The rulebook says that you gain 1 vp per piece removed in battle, but the despot card for the eyrie states that you gain 1 vp every time you remove a token in battle. does that mean that if the eyrie were to take out 3 cat warriors, the eyrie player would gain 4 vp (one for each cat, and one extra one) or 6 (one for each cat, twice?)
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also, can a player without warriors play an ambush against a battle? For example, if the marquis battles to kill a support token of the woodland alliance, can that player play an ambush if they have no warriors in tat field?
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Impermanent wrote:
The rulebook says that you gain 1 vp per piece removed in battle, but the despot card for the eyrie states that you gain 1 vp every time you remove a token in battle. does that mean that if the eyrie were to take out 3 cat warriors, the eyrie player would gain 4 vp (one for each cat, and one extra one) or 6 (one for each cat, twice?)

Most factions don't score points for removing warriors, only buildings and tokens. For discussion and an example, see this thread: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/29707401#29707401

Quote:
also, can a player without warriors play an ambush against a battle? For example, if the marquis battles to kill a support token of the woodland alliance, can that player play an ambush if they have no warriors in tat field?

Yup! Thread here: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2037527/defenseless-ambush

-

Also, as a general request to all posters: I've updated the OP to clarify that if you have a specific rules question not related to an erratum or clarification given here, please start a separate thread or reply to an existing one.

Posts here should be succinct and relate directly to clarifications or errata, as to not create too much confusion for people trying to read through our replies.
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Joshua Yearsley
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Updated to add clarification on taking duplicate "R" items in games with two Vagabonds.
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Caedar wrote:
Example 5: The Alliance’s Outage ability is prompting me to show my “hand”. Do I only show the suits of the cards?
— Nope! You show your hand of cards.

Presumably this ruling also applies to the Lizard Cult "revealing" cards? That is, all other players have the option to examine the cards for suit, crafting benefits, etc?
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Lucretiel wrote:
Caedar wrote:
Example 5: The Alliance’s Outage ability is prompting me to show my “hand”. Do I only show the suits of the cards?
— Nope! You show your hand of cards.

Presumably this ruling also applies to the Lizard Cult "revealing" cards? That is, all other players have the option to examine the cards for suit, crafting benefits, etc?

Indeed. All players can see everything.
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benji_online wrote:
Caedar wrote:


7.4.3. Discrepancy on a New Roost: The Eyrie board says “fewest total pieces” but the rulebook says “fewest warriors”. The rulebook is correct.


Can you make a printable sticker for that, so we might print & glue that over the faulty info?

You can find one here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1J6vh47_OmE3mTrcqE3_U3ts2koG...

(I'll also have Josh add it to the OP).
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