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Subject: What is an "attack action"? rss

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Viktor Blahut
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I found a lot of threads about attacking and evading, but couldn't find an answer to this particular question.
The rulebook says:

"An investigator must make an evade test against every monster in his space before moving or perform non-attack actions."

Is the use of Crucifix/Lantern/Flash Powder etc. considered an "attack action" in this case? They deal damage or stun, but there's no mention of "attack" on these cards, while weapons' actions read "Attack a monster...", and even the Shriveling/Bind Monster spells have an "Attack" keyword.
So I'm guessing no, but wanted to make sure.
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Maddock Krug
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Any activity of a player character that is intended to harm a monster/ creature/ humanoid monster is suppsoed to be an attack. That is: If you attack bare-handedly, with a weapon, use a specific "Action" of any item or cast a spell against a creature in order to harm it ... All this is an attack.
As soon as you do something else - move away, explore the room, use an item for different purposes -, you are entitled to evade.

All the best!
Mad

EDIT: Important note: Please in keep mind, that I only cover the general rule; as for specific items which are not weapons in terms of this game, the usage of those in order to inflict damage is not an attack action, but only an item ability action provoking evade-maneuvers.
Thank you Jordan Kane for pointing me towards this rather important detail.
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S. R.
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Basically, weapon cards would not need the "Attack" action being mentioned there. You just use your Action (not Movement) to choose to attack a monster. If you do not have ranged weapons, however, you can only attack monsters in your space.
When you do so, the Keeper flips the Combat cards according to the "Monster Class", and looks for the weapon you use (your choice before he does so). Even if you have no weapons.

So the "Attack action" reminders on the weapons are just that - reminders that you can attack with them.
Exceptions are, obviously, items that either are not weapons per se, have special rules, and the like...
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Dominic Lauke
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MaddockKrug wrote:
Any activity of a player character that is intended to harm a monster/ creature/ humanoid monster is suppsoed to be an attack. That is: If you attack bare-handedly, with a weapon, use a specific "Action" of any item or cast a spell against a creature in order to harm it ... All this is an attack.
As soon as you do something else - move away, explore the room, use an item for different purposes -, you are entitled to evade.


I disagree!! shake

Page 9 in the rules : "Attack action"

Quote:
Attacking a monster is a common action investigators perform. The
player selects one of his weapon or attack Spell cards and chooses a monster as dictated on the card. ... Attacking a monster is the only action that an investigator can perform while a monster is in his space (unless he evades the monster, see “Evade Tests” on page 14).


I think the only action, which doesn't need an evade check is to attack. The other mentioned actions are "Card Ability Actions" and therefore you have to evade.
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Maddock Krug
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Hi.

Jordan Kane wrote:
MaddockKrug wrote:
Any activity of a player character that is intended to harm a monster/ creature/ humanoid monster is suppsoed to be an attack. That is: If you attack bare-handedly, with a weapon, use a specific "Action" of any item or cast a spell against a creature in order to harm it ... All this is an attack.
As soon as you do something else - move away, explore the room, use an item for different purposes -, you are entitled to evade.


I disagree!! shake

Page 9 in the rules : "Attack action"

Quote:
Attacking a monster is a common action investigators perform. The
player selects one of his weapon or attack Spell cards and chooses a monster as dictated on the card. ... Attacking a monster is the only action that an investigator can perform while a monster is in his space (unless he evades the monster, see “Evade Tests” on page 14).


I think the only action, which doesn't need an evade check is to attack. The other mentioned actions are "Card Ability Actions" and therefore you have to evade.


Yeah, I only surfaced the general rule based on common understandings I read here and on the FFG forums.

But you are right insofar as any item that is not a weapon, but only an item (Lantern, Typing Machine, Holy Water, any item else?) may be used to attack, but not in terms of an attack action, therefore forcing you to evade if you use the special card ability. Obviously I did not care too much about this particular detail.

But plz forgive me that I won't support my words with emoticons.

All the best!
Mad
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Ken Dilloo
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An attack is when you attack. i.e. When your common sense says it is an attack. Fiddling with a typewriter, book, etc, isn't an attack, unless you are bashing a monster with said item.

Hope that helps.
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Maddock Krug
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bigloo33 wrote:
An attack is when you attack. i.e. When your common sense says it is an attack. Fiddling with a typewriter, book, etc, isn't an attack, unless you are bashing a monster with said item.

Hope that helps.


Ok.

Basically that exactly is the question:
You say: You hit something with the typewriter (or lantern, holy water), then it is supposed to be an attack.
Jordan Kane says: These items are not weapons, you don't use them as an attack, but you "only" use the specific item ability and therefore provoke an evasion.

And basically that is the original question being raised by cirroid, right?

If I lack understanding in the various answers, please let me know. Thank you.

All the best!
Mad
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Ken Dilloo
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Writing a novel: not an attack
Bashing over the head with a typewriter: attack

Lighting a room with a lantern: not an attack
Lighting a monster on fire, by throwing a lantern at a monster: attack

Opening a door with an axe: not an attack
Swing an axe at a monster: attack

Opening a manhole cover with a crowbar: not an attack
Burying a crowbar in a monster's skull: attack

Reading a book: not an attack
Using the bind monster spell: attack.

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S. R.
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I am sorry, I was under the misapprehension that the Fire Extinguisher and the Crowbar were not defined as "weapon" on their cards.

Of course, you are right that using an item in general is not an attack action.

However, I deem the mentioning of "Action: Attack a Monster..." and so on to be redundant, because, as a weapon, it is (obviously) for attacking monsters. That's what I meant with the other half of my post.
Even more redundant, since you do not have a "Hands and Feet" item card with the description: "Action: Attack a Monster... - you have NO WEAPON!"
And that you can always do, even without weapons - if a monster is in your space.
...although most often this might be futile or even suicide...
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Maddock Krug
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bigloo33 wrote:
Writing a novel: not an attack
Bashing over the head with a typewriter: attack

Lighting a room with a lantern: not an attack
Lighting a monster on fire, by throwing a lantern at a monster: attack

Opening a door with an axe: not an attack
Swing an axe at a monster: attack

Opening a manhole cover with a crowbar: not an attack
Burying a crowbar in a monster's skull: attack

Reading a book: not an attack
Using the bind monster spell: attack.



I appreciate and like what you write here. And maybe this was on my mind, too, when I gave my first comment to this topic. (Not sure, though, 'cause it was more or less right after getting up ...)

But let's stick with the details:
The lantern and the type-writer are not considered "weapons" in terms of this game. Also you don't comment on the "holy water". What with that one?
In other words: Is it necessary for an item to be classified as a weapon in order to be used for an attack action? If not, well, that would be the "reasoning" behind the decision to handle those specific actions as attack-actions?
Especially Mansions of Madness is not know for being a game in which "common sense" is the way to think things through ...

And that is actually the point of Jordan Kane, right?, that these items cannout be used for attack actions, but that there special card abilities may be used against monsters - so like an attack, but not being attacks, because they are not weapons.
Yeah, this feels like picking on microscopic details, but details with a major impact on the rules ...

All the best!
Mad
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Ken Dilloo
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You may just be over-thinking it a bit, and lawyering a bit. I believe it isn't spelled out, in the rules, because it should be fairly intuitive what is an attack.

I would think of items (like the lantern) as improvised weapons, because they can be used as such. Or, weapons (like an axe) that can be used as items, like to open a door.

Edit: don't remember exactly what holy water does.
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Maddock Krug
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bigloo33 wrote:
You may just be over-thinking it a bit, and lawyering a bit. I believe it isn't spelled out, in the rules, because it should be fairly intuitive what is an attack.

I would think of items (like the lantern) as improvised weapons, because they can be used as such. Or, weapons (like an axe) that can be used as items, like to open a door.


I sympathize with this point of view. Really, I do.
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Rauli Kettunen
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To me, rules are clear-cut.

Weapon, Attack Spell or bare hands = attack, no evade.

Typewriter, Lantern = not attack, evade needed.

Even if the latter do deal damage, per rules they aren't attacks. On the plus side, you can bash a Cultist over the head with the Typewriter while wearing the Cult Robes and not lose the robes (discarded after an attack).

Basically, if it doesn't make you, by the rulebook, turn to pages about resolving attack with weapons/bare hands or spells, not an Attack.
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If you attack a Cultist while wearing the robes, you discard them because the attack has revealed you to be an imposter. If you tried braining a fellow Cultist with a typewriter, you'd be revealed as an imposter too. I'm not saying that this is strictly what the rules say would happen, but it supports the idea that using the typewriter is supposed to be an attack. It probably can't be called "attack" because to "attack" means to draw a combat card, which wouldn't work with the typewriter.
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Rauli Kettunen
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kungfro wrote:
I'm not saying that this is strictly what the rules say would happen


This is all that matters from my POV, RAW, Typewriter isn't an attack. End of story as far as I'm concerned.
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Yeah, I know that's what you would say about it, but I also have to consider rules as intended. Maybe the robes are supposed to be discarded when you harm a cultist.

Some of us can't help but probe what was going on in the designers' heads.
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Ken Dilloo
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Dam the Man wrote:
kungfro wrote:
I'm not saying that this is strictly what the rules say would happen


This is all that matters from my POV, RAW, Typewriter isn't an attack. End of story as far as I'm concerned.


It is easy to imagine this argument being followed up by complaints of those quirky thematic/rule situations.

"No, your honor, that wasn't an attack, I was simply using the skull splitting feature of my typewriter".

Or, "No, fellow cultists, don't worry about me, our fellow cultists are mearly resting. It had nothing to do with me bashing them over the head."

This is a thematic game, not a Euro. Common sense, within the framework of the theme, should win out over rules lawyering. But, it is your game, play it how you will.
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Rauli Kettunen
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bigloo33 wrote:
This is a thematic game, not a Euro. Common sense, within the framework of the theme, should win out over rules lawyering.


Thematic arguments for rules aren't a very good type of argument. I could say that maybe the investigator with the Typewriter was carrying it and dropped in on the Cultist's toes (2 dmg), easily can be argued that wasn't an attack, nor is he revealed as imposter. Hell, maybe the investigator writes a scathing paragraph that totally bums out the Cultist (2 dmg for reduced morale), but in a way the looks like standard cult-backstabbing going on. Same for Lantern, carrying it, stumble, it flies and crashes against the Cultist (or even the floor/wall next to the Cultist). Could easily argue it was an accident, not deliberate.

Quote:
But, it is your game, play it how you will.


RAW please.
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Ken Dilloo
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Well, if there isn't an official ruling, there isn't exactly RAW, right? Personally, I would rather win a game by smart play, not rules loopholes ambiguously written rules. Since there aren't really MoM tournaments, it is really what your group will tolerate, or rule on. Hence, play it the way that makes sense, to you, move on and have fun.

Obviously, we have a difference of opinion on this.
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Technically, it appears to be written that the Typewriter's attack use is a "card action" and not an "attack action." So RAW would be to exempt the Typewriter hit from "attack" status.

It is up to those of us who are not satisfied with this conclusion to determine if it was supposed to operate differently.
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The "it could have been an accident" argument gets fuzzy when you consider the Brass Knuckles item from Silver Tablet and `Til Death. Beating someone senseless with Brass Knuckles is unambiguously a deliberate offensive action, but the card doesn't say "Attack", so it is not an attack.

As written, it's only an "attack" if the card actually says "attack". That's how the word "attack" is defined.
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Rauli Kettunen
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Let's compare two items, shall we?

Take the Guitar for example. It is a Blunt Melee Weapon with printed dmg of 3. If FFG meant the Typewriter to be an attack/used as a weapon, why not make it Blunt Melee Weapon with printed 2 dmg, as per what its action inflicts? If I had a pick between a guitar that I know will break in a single swing and a heavy, solid, steel typewriter to bash someone over the head, I know which one I'd pick. Could it be FFG didn't intend the typewriter to be a weapon/attack?

Furthermore, if you allow the typewriter action to count as an attack, you are making things a lot more easier for the investigators, not to mention changing a key game mechanic. One, there is no negative for missing (failing your skill check) with it, whereas if it were a weapon, failing your check on a combat card could have a negative effect on you. So now, the typewriter, that's not a weapon, is somehow less risky, but more reliable (can't break, can't drop it as a result of a roll, etc.) than a weapon? Does not compute. Two, perhaps because it isn't a natural weapon, you have to put more effort/focus into it when using it in an offensive manner (given that it doesn't break like the guitar in the game, could be you wield it in such a manner that it doesn't break), thus the opponent has more time to react, which is simulated by forcing the investigator to make an Evade test prior to using it.
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For a more thematic and realistic gameplay ...

Just play EARTH REBORN !!!
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Ken Dilloo
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Hmmm....all valid points, for sure. Any chance at getting an official ruling on this? Looking back, there are several threads with similar questions.

This game tends to favor the keeper so much, that I seem to always rule on the side of the investigators, unless it makes no sense, at all, to do otherwise. Best to keep the game/story moving, as this is where the game shines. It seems to be keeping with the spirit of the game to do so, but it certainly would be nice to have an official letter of the law, regarding these quirks.
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Maddock Krug
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Jordan Kane wrote:
For a more thematic and realistic gameplay ...

Just play EARTH REBORN !!!


Sure. That helped in this discussion.
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