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Subject: Am I forced to steal? rss

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Smokin' OldAunt
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I got this encounter red card telling me that one guy of the sheldon gang is sleeping and I need to do a skill check to be able to steal his gun. If I fail I lost a lot of stuff.
I dont want the gun and I cant pass the check anyway.
I have the French edition and its not obvious if I'm forced to do the check or not???
 
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Preston Thomas
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I am not necessarily familiar with this particular encounter, but most like this give you the option of attempting the skill check or just ignoring it all together. I believe cards that force you to do a skill check just tell you to make a skill check then you are told the reward or the consequence after you roll. This encounter card sounds like it tells you the situation and allows you to make an informed decision to attempt or bypass the check.
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Christian Vetter
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In English it reads: "You find a sleeping Sheldon Gang member near the still. Make a Sneak (-2) check to try to swipe the shotgun he has dropped on the ground. If you pass, take a Shotgun from the Common Item deck if there is one. If you fail, the guard awakens. You are caught and beaten, losing 2 Stamina, but you escape with your life. Move to the street."

I own the german edition and it isn't obvious to me as well how to handle this kind of cards. We decided to not give a player the choice unless it is explicitly specified.
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brian
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The English "Make" implies a command. Treat it as "You must make." So they choice is not optional. You may only decline an encounter if it says "may" in the instructions.

Since you could not pass, you automatically failed and would suffer the consequences.
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John "Omega" Williams
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The card wording is just vauge enough to allow it to slide either way.
Personally I read it as you are presented with a choice of take a risk or not as opposed to you *must* take the risk.

If you want more challenge. Read it as "Must do".
If you want less challenge. Read it as "Option to do or not."

Now if it said domething like "Make a check to get past the sleeper." as opposed to, "Make a check to pilfer item off sleeper." I'd rule it as a must do.
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Smokin' OldAunt
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Omega2064 wrote:
Now if it said domething like "Make a check to get past the sleeper." as opposed to, "Make a check to pilfer item off sleeper." I'd rule it as a must do.


Exactly what I was thinking...its vague. I played it logically with the situation this time, so I made no test. But its interesting to see that the translation is finally accurate with the english wording...sadly its not a translation problem then

brian, I understand that the use of 'make' implies a command...but this command is linked to a possible choice (the word TRY):
'make a check TO TRY to steal the gun'...and since I dont want to try?

In french also it implies a command but the command is also related to stealing the gun...

There is too possibilities I see:
''youre trying to steal a gun, you should make a test, and if you fail you take a gun or loss 2 stamina''
or
'If you want to steal the gun, you should take a test, if you fail you loss 2 stamina'

the problem is actually the word: 'to try'...anyway...thank you for your help.

*PS - I won, playing 4 investigators against Yig!!!!

 
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Eric Miller
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I will agree with Brian on this one

The word 'Try' does not imply any choice in the matter it is a pass or fail attempt.

e.g. If you try to lift a heavy weight you make an attempt and you either lift it or you don't.

The link between 'Make' and 'Try' implies you must have an attempt and that there will be one of 2 outcomes either you are successful or you are unsuccessful.

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Smokin' OldAunt
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Its why im saying this card seems to force me to steal something I dont want, creating a ridiculous situation. I wasnt expecting to play tales of the arabian nights suddenly

Ok:

Making a test to try to pass the guard...I will understand we should take the skill test.

But to try to steal a gun...the problem with this card is that I dont want the gun, I dont need it. Its just that this card make no sense in the current situation of the investigator. Its the only strange card I saw so far, but I hope there are no other weird cards like that.

Since the card is telling you to take the gun ONLY if its available in the items deck seems to mean that you and brian are right and Im forced to steal a gun...even if it will not be available...making the situation twice as ridiculous...or maybe the gun I stole was broken???

Thank you again.

 
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Rauli Kettunen
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MatanteKiFume wrote:
Since the card is telling you to take the gun ONLY if its available in the items deck seems to mean that you and brian are right and Im forced to steal a gun...even if it will not be available...making the situation twice as ridiculous...or maybe the gun I stole was broken???

Thank you again.



Hey, you can't see from just looking and then quickly stealing it if the gun actually works or not. Those Woods-folk aren't too high on cleaning equipment you know. Maybe the barrels are rusted, bent or something and the guy uses it as a club laugh .
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brian
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MatanteKiFume wrote:
Omega2064 wrote:
Now if it said domething like "Make a check to get past the sleeper." as opposed to, "Make a check to pilfer item off sleeper." I'd rule it as a must do.


Exactly what I was thinking...its vague. I played it logically with the situation this time, so I made no test. But its interesting to see that the translation is finally accurate with the english wording...sadly its not a translation problem then

What's the difference? The formula is the same.

Quote:
brian, I understand that the use of 'make' implies a command...but this command is linked to a possible choice (the word TRY):
'make a check TO TRY to steal the gun'...and since I dont want to try?

You are reading too much into it. First off, "try" does not necessarily mean "optional." "Try to convince me you are right" is still a command, and if you do not try at all, then you have failed to win me over.

In this card's case, "try" is equal to "attempt." The "try" is stating you will attempt to steal the gun but whether you are successful is still to be seen. In the words of Yoda, "Do or do not. There is no try." But getting beyond the nuances of the langauge, which are notoriously lax in this game, follow this:

The "formula" of the check mimics just about every other encounter. When looking up this encounter, I ran into these as well:

Quote:
The Sheldon Gang needs someone to distribute the "product" from their hidden still. Make a Sneak (-1) check. If you fail, you are arrested. If you pass, you gain $3 and may search the Common Item deck for the Whiskey card and take it.


Quote:
You have stumbled onto a still owned by the Sheldon Gang. Make a Sneak (-1) check. If you pass, skulk away without being seen. If you fail, lose 2 Stamina as the Sheldon Gang works you over while escorting you from the woods. In either case, move to the street.


Same "formula" of MAKING a skill check. Maybe you want to, maybe you don't. But in game term's, you must do it. Does it make thematic sense? Not always.

Keep two things in mind:
1) The text is just there for flavor. It really just boils down to a simple binary test. It could just as easily be written:

Check: Sneak (-2)
Pass: Shotgun, if available
Fail: -2 Stamina; Move to Street


In fact, every encounter (with few exceptions) can be boiled down to this (with most Pass or Fail results being "Nothing Happens" since it is not listed on the card). But that's boring, so they add text and giv eyou a bit of a story...

2) Making sense of the story is your role. Putting you in that situation is the game's job. Explianing it is yours. The Sheldon Gang is a tough group. They aren't just some backwoods moonshine operation but a full blown criminal organization. The fact that they force you to be a mule in the one case and the other they beat you up as well.

So maybe you need to steal the gun as part of your escape because there are more guards at the perimeter of the woods. Maybe it was your grandfather's gun and you took it with you when you went into the woods. They swiped it off you when you were caught napping.

Whatever the reasons, you want that gun. The text does not give you a choice.

Quote:
In french also it implies a command but the command is also related to stealing the gun...

I can't help you with the French and can only tell you what the English says. If the French implies it was a choice, then it was mis-translated.

Quote:
There is too possibilities I see:
''youre trying to steal a gun, you should make a test, and if you fail you take a gun or loss 2 stamina''
or
'If you want to steal the gun, you should take a test, if you fail you loss 2 stamina'

the problem is actually the word: 'to try'...anyway...thank you for your help.

The right answer is the first one. The other possibility is not there. In the English "try" is not the focus of the sentance. "Make" is what is directing the whole thing and does not grant you an option.

Or if you are still hung up on "try" then read it this way. You MUST make a check. If you decide you do not want to "try" then you automatically fail. Take your 2 Stamina beating and move to the street. It's that simple.
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Justin
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I have to disagree with the prevailing opinion. To me, the card is giving you the option, though it's not worded in way that completely rules out other interpretations.

When it says "Make a skill check to try to ..." I parse this as "make a skill check in order to try to ..." rather than "make a skill check because you are trying to ...". Under my reading, the "make a skill check" is the clause indicating what you do when you are trying to swipe the shotgun. It doesn't say anything about whether you are trying to swipe it or not.

To me, I read the card text the same as "To try to swipe the shotgun he has dropped on the ground, make a sneak (-2) check", though this sentence has the property that there's no alternate interpretation.

This seems consistent with other card text. It seems to me that when there is no choice the card would say something like, "Make a sneak (-2) check. If you pass take a shotgun from the common item deck if there is one. If you fail the guard awakens, etc."

I can see how someone would come to the opposite conclusion that there is no choice, but that's not what a sentence of this form means to me (and others I expect). Short of an official clarification I don't see any hope of resolving this, as I can see how someone validly make either interpretation.
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Brian Mc Cabe
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Everything that Brian said is the correct interpretation.
Your are going to make the check; you are going to try to steal the shot gun.

In this case. the word try implies that you may not succeed. If you don't, you are beaten and come to on the side of the road after being unceremoniously dumped there by the Sheldon gang.

For the interpretation you want, the card would say you may make a sneak check.

To specifically answer the question as posed by your topic title: Yes, you are forced to steal.

Brian
 
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brian
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sheafify wrote:
When it says "Make a skill check to try to ..." I parse this as "make a skill check in order to try to ..." rather than "make a skill check because you are trying to ...". Under my reading, the "make a skill check" is the clause indicating what you do when you are trying to swipe the shotgun. It doesn't say anything about whether you are trying to swipe it or not.

The card says "Make a Sneak (-2) check..." There is no option. If there were, it would say "If you want to swipe the shotgun, make a Sneak(-2) check..."

This isn't about trying to figure out what it says after the "make a sneak" and interpreting intent. It is about understanding the form of the text.

These are all the Arkham Encounters in the base game that give you an option. They contain these phrases, which you will find most similar:

* If you accept, pay $2 and make a Luck (-1) check.
* If you agree, spend 2 Clue tokens and 1 Sanity to make a Lore (-2) check
* Spend 1 Sanity to make a Luck (-1) check.
* If you reach in, make a Luck (-1) check.
* If you read it, make a Lore (-1) check.
* If you want, you may pay $1 to make a Lore (-2) check.
* You may make a Will (+0) check if you want.
* If you open it, make a Luck (+0) check and consult the following chart:
* If you accept, lose your next turn and make a Lore (-2) check.
* You may make a Fight (-2) check to resist.
* If you choose to take it, make a Lore (-1) check.
* If you want to carry on the deception, make a Will (-2) check.
* You may choose to help an anthropology professor and his students decipher an ancient stone tablet. If so, make a Lore (-2) check.
* If you read it, make a Luck (+0) check and consult the chart below
* If you pay, make a Luck (-1) check.
* If you take it, make a Sneak (-1) check.
* If you offer to help him, make a Lore (-2) check.
* If you drink it, make a Luck (+0) check.
* If you do so, make a Luck (-2) check.
* If you buy it, make a Luck (+0) check and consult the chart below:

All choice encounters start with the "If you ..." statement before getting to the "make a check" part. There are only a couple exceptions that clearly show the word "may" or give you an option to "spend" Sanity.

All other encounters start with "Make a XXX (-Y) check" Some have text following it in the same statement, some don't. This additional text is for flavor. The resoltion is the same: make the check and follow the pass or fail results.

The card in question follows the format for non-choice encounters. The "try" is just there to describe what you are attempting to do. You MUST make the check. What check? A check to try to take the shotgun. If you pass, you get the gun (if it is available). If you fail, you lose stamina and get moved. If it was optional, it would follow the format of the other set of cards and clearly state 1of the following:

* You may make a Sneak (-2) check to try to swipe the shotgun he has dropped on the ground.
* If you want to try to swipe the shotgun he has dropped on the ground, make a Sneak (-2) check.

But it doesn't. So feel free to play it however you want. Just realize you are houseruling this as you are not following the established method for resolving encounters.
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David Matchen
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My house rule is, I dress up as a member of the Sheldon Gang and hit people with a nerfbat when they draw one of those cards. Removes a lot of ambiguity!

(Got hosed by the gang Friday--if you can't beat em, dress up like em and assault other players, I always say.)
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John "Omega" Williams
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The problem the original poster, and myself, have with the card isnt so much with the wording of the card - thats pretty clear really. Its the nature of the event.

You encounter a sleeper and he has a gun. You MUST try to steal the gun even if you'd rather just leave him be. The option of choice is totally removed from what should really be an optional thing.

As said before. Had the card said "make check to sneak past the guard and proceed." then thats a diffrent matter.

Or even "make check to sneak past the guard and snag his gun as you tip-toe by." Which in the end is what the card is really doing if you read it flat out. Someone just left out a bit of text it seems.
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John Anderson
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I do agree that in most similar situations, the card would allow you to choose whether to attempt to steal the gun or not. But this one doesn't, so you have to live with it and do as the card says. (Or make a house-rule.)
 
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Nurse Foxfire
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Omega2064 wrote:
The problem the original poster, and myself, have with the card isnt so much with the wording of the card - thats pretty clear really. Its the nature of the event.

You encounter a sleeper and he has a gun. You MUST try to steal the gun even if you'd rather just leave him be. The option of choice is totally removed from what should really be an optional thing.

As said before. Had the card said "make check to sneak past the guard and proceed." then thats a diffrent matter.

Or even "make check to sneak past the guard and snag his gun as you tip-toe by." Which in the end is what the card is really doing if you read it flat out. Someone just left out a bit of text it seems.


I agree. I was playing Sister Mary last night and got this encounter. Sister Mary STEAL something? Huh? Didn't make any sense, but you play 'em as they lie.
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Rauli Kettunen
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NurseFoxfire wrote:
I agree. I was playing Sister Mary last night and got this encounter. Sister Mary STEAL something? Huh? Didn't make any sense, but you play 'em as they lie.


Hey, Mary's a naughty little minx laugh !


What? That's just me blush ?
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Nurse Foxfire
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Dam the Man wrote:
NurseFoxfire wrote:
I agree. I was playing Sister Mary last night and got this encounter. Sister Mary STEAL something? Huh? Didn't make any sense, but you play 'em as they lie.


Hey, Mary's a naughty little minx laugh !


What? That's just me blush ?


SIGH! You AND my husband...sheesh!
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Rauli Kettunen
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NurseFoxfire wrote:
Dam the Man wrote:
NurseFoxfire wrote:
I agree. I was playing Sister Mary last night and got this encounter. Sister Mary STEAL something? Huh? Didn't make any sense, but you play 'em as they lie.


Hey, Mary's a naughty little minx laugh !


What? That's just me blush ?


SIGH! You AND my husband...sheesh!


I've always had good games with Mary in the mix (always use single random investigators). One time I even forgot to give her the Blessing during setup blush and she still rocked. She tends to keep her Blessing for a long time as well (all the way through the game isn't unheard of). I would like her even better if she had even 1 random Common Item (that Blessing is over-priced in terms of starting equipment IMO; ditto for Diane's STL Membership).

I'd say Mary still ranks as my personal favourite, though Ms. Versatility, Trish (from IH) is giving her a serious challenge for that spot.
 
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Nurse Foxfire
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Dam the Man wrote:
NurseFoxfire wrote:
Dam the Man wrote:
NurseFoxfire wrote:
I agree. I was playing Sister Mary last night and got this encounter. Sister Mary STEAL something? Huh? Didn't make any sense, but you play 'em as they lie.


Hey, Mary's a naughty little minx laugh !


What? That's just me blush ?


SIGH! You AND my husband...sheesh!


I've always had good games with Mary in the mix (always use single random investigators). One time I even forgot to give her the Blessing during setup blush and she still rocked. She tends to keep her Blessing for a long time as well (all the way through the game isn't unheard of). I would like her even better if she had even 1 random Common Item (that Blessing is over-priced in terms of starting equipment IMO; ditto for Diane's STL Membership).


It's an Upkeep roll, though, right? what I mean is, does she get anything special that makes her keep her blessings longer than the average [blessed] investigator? Or is this just a random coincidence that you've noticed? Also, since we're on the subject, does she have to roll for her blessing in the first full round of play (following the opening Mythos play)?
 
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Smokin' OldAunt
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jeppster wrote:
Omega2064 wrote:
Or even "make check to sneak past the guard and snag his gun as you tip-toe by." Which in the end is what the card is really doing if you read it flat out. Someone just left out a bit of text it seems.

Or rather, the players may be leaving out a little of the imagination. I'm with brian on this. The action is required in this case. If a card's theme seems out of sync with its action (Make the check), perhaps you are not creatively interpreting the theme correctly. Creative pseudo-roleplaying (for us) is where all the fun of this game lies, and that usually involves filling in the story gaps a little.


I agree with you Adam, and I like to approch this game like a roleplaying also...and its actually because I approch the game this way that this specific card seems weird...Im full of weapons, I know my stats are bad and I will probably fail the dice roll...so in pure roleplaying way, there is no way that Dexter will try to get the gun. Now, if you mean that I should see a big story not written on the card to justify the non-sense of the situation, its another story...
Its why I felt like I was playing tales of Arabian nights where you beat someone and he suddenly fall in love with you, or you give some gold to a poor fellow and you end up in jail...
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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NurseFoxfire wrote:
It's an Upkeep roll, though, right? what I mean is, does she get anything special that makes her keep her blessings longer than the average [blessed] investigator? Or is this just a random coincidence that you've noticed? Also, since we're on the subject, does she have to roll for her blessing in the first full round of play (following the opening Mythos play)?


Just something that happens with Mary mostly, though William kept his today for the whole game, got it on turn 1 to Pass his Personal Story, game lasted 12 turns (or GOO woke up at that point). Retainers are my Upkeep nemesis, if those starting Retainers last more than 1 roll I'm shocked.

No roll on the first Upkeep for any of them (Blessing, Retainer).
 
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brian
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MatanteKiFume wrote:
jeppster wrote:
Omega2064 wrote:
Or even "make check to sneak past the guard and snag his gun as you tip-toe by." Which in the end is what the card is really doing if you read it flat out. Someone just left out a bit of text it seems.

Or rather, the players may be leaving out a little of the imagination. I'm with brian on this. The action is required in this case. If a card's theme seems out of sync with its action (Make the check), perhaps you are not creatively interpreting the theme correctly. Creative pseudo-roleplaying (for us) is where all the fun of this game lies, and that usually involves filling in the story gaps a little.


I agree with you Adam, and I like to approch this game like a roleplaying also...and its actually because I approch the game this way that this specific card seems weird...Im full of weapons, I know my stats are bad and I will probably fail the dice roll...so in pure roleplaying way, there is no way that Dexter will try to get the gun. Now, if you mean that I should see a big story not written on the card to justify the non-sense of the situation, its another story...
Its why I felt like I was playing tales of Arabian nights where you beat someone and he suddenly fall in love with you, or you give some gold to a poor fellow and you end up in jail...

If this discussion is about the theme, can't argue much there. Not sure why it is worded the way it is. There was an instance in CotDP where a key sentance got cut. Possibly happened here.

I am jus tmaking my argument from a format perspective. Follwo what the card says, and you got's to do it. If you don't want to try, then it is an autofail.

Heck, use that for your story. You know you are going to wake the guy so might as well try to take his gun in the process.
 
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Smokin' OldAunt
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completely agree, its why the first time I read the card I said to myself: what? they force me to steal a gun??? But I wasn't sure. There are other card that give you a choice in a similar situation: for example, listening to eric colt.
 
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