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Subject: Designer's Errata rss

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Jeremy Lennert
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The game's designer, Richard Launius, has posted a great big FAQ for the game here. But the name "FAQ" tends to make me think that a file will only contain clarifications, whereas this document seems to include a lot of new or changed rules as well. The following is a summary of all the information that I do not believe I could have deduced from anything that came in my game box; hopefully it will be useful to others.

Note: I have only the base game. There's also a section in the FAQ on a "Barbarian" hero that may contain additional errata, but I've ignored it because there is no Barbarian in my game.


1) The quest reward from the "Find Magic Gate" (+2 dice), "War Banner of Valor" (ignore effects of losing), and "Amorak's Blessing" (cancel general's ability) quests may be used in battle against the general Varkolak, but "Amulet of the Gods" (+1 to dice rolls) may not.
(I don't see how I could get that just from "may not use special skills".)

2) The Cleric's "turn undead" ability happens before taking damage for ending your turn.
(That's what I would have guessed, but both specify they happen at the end of your turn, so it was ambiguous. See also #16.)

3) The Cleric's "turn undead" ability is optional.
(The text on the cleric's card doesn't say "may" anywhere.)

4) The Cleric's "sanctify land" ability only rolls 1 die per action.
(The ability text goes out of its way to use the name of the "heal the land" action verbatim, so I assumed it would work like that action except as otherwise specified, and it doesn't specify the number of dice to roll.)

5) The Eagle Rider's "ground attack" style can be used to re-roll all dice at once, but not to selectively re-roll some dice.
(His card says "may re-roll all dice once each"; the "each" makes no sense if they can only be re-rolled all at the same time.)

6) The Ranger's "archery" skill attacks all minions in one adjacent location, not all minions in all adjacent locations.
(Not surprising, but "may attack enemy minions 1 space away as if they were in the same location" doesn't really adequately communicate that.)

7) The Sorceress' "ambush" skill grants a bonus on the first attack during a turn, plus the first attack after each movement made during that turn.
(The card just says "on the first attack made". If you interpret that as "the first attack made against that enemy" you could maybe cover using it in new locations, though I think that's a stretch. But the FAQ allows using it again after moving back to the same location, which is definitely an outright change from the card.)

Follow-Up: Now I'm wondering whether she can use ambush against minions and then again against a general in the same location without leaving and coming back...

8) If you run out of minion tokens, the Sorceress can return the minion token on her hero card to the supply at the cost of suffering 1 wound.
(That's entirely new. I might have house-ruled the minion could be returned to the supply in the same way as minions used to track quest progress, but the wound is a bolt from the blue.)

9) If the Sorceress is forced to return to Monarch City due to losing a battle with a general, she automatically shifts back into human form.
(This situation clearly needed a ruling of some kind.)

10) The Wizard's "fireball" skill can be activated by discarding a card matching the color of any minions he is fighting, and is effective against all minions he is fighting.
(The skill text says "...matching the color of the enemy minions", indicating that mixed-color battles were specifically not considered when it was written.)

11) The Wizard's "teleport" skill can be used to travel to locations that could not be reached by magic gate travel even if you had access to every card in the game (e.g. to Monarch City, even when there is no magic gate built there).
(Why does the ability say "as if traveling by Magic Gate" then? You could simply delete that text from the ability and it would become clearer.)

12) If the Wizard uses his "wisdom" skill to discard the Monarch City darkness spreads card, you should still reshuffle the darkness spreads and hero decks. Another answer states that you do the same if Monarch City is drawn just for moving generals, so I'm going to combine these and say that drawing this card always forces a reshuffle, regardless of what other effects on the card are resolved or not.
(A logical design choice, but nowhere specified.)

13) The purple hero card "Magic Gate" (place a gate anywhere) may not be used to place a magic gate at an Inn.
(This is just a straight erratum.)

14) When performing two "Rumors at the Inn" actions, you may change your called color between the actions.
(This would have been obvious, except that the description of this action is written in an unnecessarily complicated way that implies you can't.)

15) Minions defeated by the "Battle Fury" purple card count towards quest requirements, but minions defeated by other special cards do not.
(This makes thematic sense, but I don't see any plausible way I could have gotten it from the actual rules.)

16) Wounds for ending your turn in a space with minions actually occur at the end of the Daytime Phase, before drawing cards.
(Then it's not really for ending your turn there, is it? You could draw Hammer of Valor during the Evening Phase and play it immediately to end your turn at a different location, but that wouldn't change the wounds you take.)

IMPORTANT NOTE: In conjunction with #2 above, that means that the Cleric's "turn undead" skill must ALSO happen during the Daytime Phase.

17) Participating in an attack on a general is optional. You are considered to participate if you contribute 1 or more dice (whether from cards or quest rewards).
(Logical, but needed to be said.)

Follow-Up: Can the hero that initiated the combat choose not to participate, merely spending his action so the other heroes can attack? If not, can you initiate combat without contributing any dice?

18) The rulebook says Balazarg's ability corrupts red cards, but his general card says all cards. The general card is correct (special cards are affected).

19) Balazarg's general card says to discard a card for each 1 rolled, but the description of his ability in the rulebook implies (though does not clearly state) that you must discard the specific card you were rolling for. You must discard the specific card you were rolling for.
(So the general card and the rulebook contradict each other, and NEITHER is correct on all points...)

20) Gorgutt's "parry" ability triggers for each natural 1 rolled (that is, each die that is a 1 before applying any modifiers).
(Nothing else in the game works on "natural" rolls, and nothing either in the rulebook or on the general card would imply that this is different.)

21) If a general has multiple red wound boxes, then the general heals at the rate of 1 wound per round (rather than 1 per turn) until his health is no longer in a red box, even if that takes multiple rounds.
(That flatly contradicts the rulebook.)

22) The rulebook says that a hero with a Slayer card may spend 1 action to defeat all minions of that type in his current location, but the Slayer cards themselves state that this happens as part of a combat action (meaning you can also fight minions of other types at the same time). The card is correct.

23) Slayer cards do not work in combination with the Ranger's "archery" skill.

NOTE: The FAQ states this is because the Slayer cards state they only eliminate minions in the hero's location. However, the archery skill explicitly states that it works as if the Ranger and the minions he is attacking were in the same location, so this reasoning is flawed--going strictly as written, these abilities clearly DO work in combination.

Since the ability text was cited as support for the FAQ ruling, it's not clear whether the ruling should change because it was founded on an incorrect premise, or the abilities should change because they were never intended to work together.

24) If a hero is wounded as a result of losing a battle with a general, wounds are taken first from his unspent actions (reducing the number of actions remaining on his current turn).
(I can't find anything in the rulebook or on the general cards that would indicate this, and I most definitely would have guessed the other way around.)

25) At the end of the Evening Phase, all players must discard down to 10 hero cards, not just the active player (but you don't have to discard down to 10 until someone's Evening Phase).
(This is not indicated in the rulebook. It's not even the first thing I would have guessed if you told me that the timing of discards had been errata'd.)

26) Minions are never be placed on an Inn (question was "can Inns receive minions as a result of an overrun").
(The rulebook specifically says that Inns cannot be overrun or tainted, but doesn't say that minions can't be placed in them. And since the rules preventing overrun/taint would be completely superfluous if there were no way for them to receive minions in the first place...)

Follow-Up: Can minions be moved to an Inn as a result of the Cleric's "turn undead" ability? I would guess not, but that wasn't the question asked, and the wording of the answer doesn't necessarily forbid it...

27) When adding 2 minions at once to a single location, a maximum of one taint and one overrun may occur as a result.
(This seems like a very important rule, and the rulebook really does not address this case either way.)

Follow-Up: According to this post by the designer, only a single taint can occur per location for each "act of placing minions". Minions that are placed as a result of general movement are considered a separate act, but he's defined all other placements on a single card as being a single act, which means each location receives only a single taint crystal even if you have overlapping overruns.

28) When an Orc Patrols Darkness Spreads card calls for 1 Orc to be placed in each "empty" green location, a location with heroes and/or generals is still considered "empty", but a location with minions of ANY color is not.
(I have no idea how I could have gotten that from the card.)

29) However, when an Orc Patrols Darkness Spreads card calls for 1 Orc to be placed in each green location with "1 Orc and only 1 Orc", that means each green location with exactly 1 Orc, regardless of all other figures, NOT each location that is empty except for 1 Orc.
(...WTH?)

30) The purple card "Battle Luck" allows the active player to re-roll his combat dice. When fighting a general, whichever player is currently rolling is considered the "active player".
(I would tend to have assumed that the player taking his turn was the "active player", though there is some basis for this reading since the rules say on page 8 that initiating combat "also activate[s] all other heroes in the location".)
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Both the FAQ and the follow-up post you've linked were from the summer of 2010, Jeremy, and those of us who are active in this forum are well aware of them. We've provided links to the FAQ in lots of rules threads over the last year and a half.

My advice to anyone for whom this is news is to reference the actual FAQ, rather than the re-statement of parts of it above. By sticking with the official document, you'll be sure not to miss anything.
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Jeremy Lennert
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Sphere wrote:
By sticking with the official document, you'll be sure not to miss anything.

The official document is 19 pages long, rambles, and doesn't distinguish between clarifications and errata. Missing something on your first reading would actually be highly likely.

I'm aware the FAQ is from 2010 and I looked around first to try to see if someone else had compiled a similar list, but I wasn't able to find one. I didn't post this because I thought it was news, I posted it because I was making the list anyway for my own reference, and I wished someone else had compiled such a list to save me the effort, so I'm fulfilling my wish for the next guy to think the same thing.
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David Knepper
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Antistone wrote:
But the name "FAQ" tends to make me think that a file will only contain clarifications, whereas this document seems to include a lot of new or changed rules as well.


FAQ. These are clarifications by the designer provided in response to questions submitted regarding Defenders of the Realm rules.
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Jeremy Lennert
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Follow-Up for #12:

The FAQ specifies that you should reshuffle if the Monarch City "Darkness Spreads" card is drawn for general movement, or drawn and discarded with the Wizard's "Wisdom" skill.

The purple card "Dark Vision" lets you look at the top 5 "Darkness Spreads" cards, place them back in any order, or discard any you wish. Based on the above rulings, I would tend to think that I should reshuffle if I discard the Monarch City card as part of Dark Visions. However, if you shuffle immediately after rearranging the top cards of the deck, you would effectively undo all the other effects of Dark Visions, since the cards that you looked at will no longer be on top.

My inclination is to say that you would discard any of the 5 cards that you want, then (if you discarded Monarch City) shuffle all the Darkness Spreads cards except the other cards you are looking at, and then put those cards on top of the deck in any order. But I have no support for that interpretation except "that's how I would want it to work".
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Brian M
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I think there's a lot of value in seperating out the "errata" items from the "FAQ" items - thanks for taking the effort Jeremy.

Of course, it might also be worth for someone to write up a FAQ/Errata eliminating the strange errata items that don't make any sense, like the Sorceress taking a wound if she's forced to discard her shapeshift marker.
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Andrew S
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I also want to thank you for taking time to compile this. I find this very helpful in conjunction with both the rules and the FAQ.
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Nathan Woll
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Wow! Thanks for doing this. I've been playing Defenders a lot recently and out of curiosity I decided to check out this forum.

Since most of these directly contradict the rules I'm glad I found these. Jeremy is right that none of these are FAQ but are actually errata and shouldn't be mislabeled.
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