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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Fire Breath Rule Clarification Needed rss

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Bryan Livingston
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So the master Shadow Dragon has a Surge for Fire Breath attack that reads like this:
Quote:
Starting with the target space, trace a path of 4 spaces in any direction. All figures on this path are affected by this attack. Each figure rolls defense dice separately.


So how is that path traced. I realize the dragon can target an empty space. Can the OL choose to walk it and turn it any way he wants? Or does he have to pick a straight line? If so, can he do diagonals?

Also, does it hit the target space? If it doesn't then there would be a minimum 1 distance.

I really like how it requires the bolt, so the OL has to hope for a surge to see if it's going to stretch.
 
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Matt Shinners
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While it doesn't say 'any single direction', that's usually the implication of it.

My ruling would be that the targeted space is hit, and then you hit the other spaces in a straight line (including diagonally).
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euhm since when can you target empty spaces?

and basicly you just take the target area and then you go 4 squares up, upright, right, down right, down, downleft, left or upleft.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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While it doesn't state it, I would play it as a straight line (partly because of the "in any direction" wording). Pciture it like napalm, it started here and then spread in onea like /that/ way. I don't think it needs to be orthoganl nor diagonal,just a path that follows as close to a straight line as you can, almost like you're walking 4 spaces away from the attack.

-shnar
 
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Jan Probst
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LoneCoder wrote:
I realize the dragon can target an empty space.

Typo i assume, attacks need to hit occupied squares.

Also, since the Flame Breath is a surge addon to a regular attack, obviously it would affect the original target square.

Since it talks about direction at all strongly implies to be that its a straight line (which could be a diagonal of course). A freely plotted course of 4 squares would require different wording imo.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Banemus wrote:
euhm since when can you target empty spaces?

Oh I forgot to mention that too, you cannot target an empty space, there must be a figure on that space (it could be a sacrificial friendly figure).

-shnar
 
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Bryan Livingston
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MattShinners wrote:
While it doesn't say 'any single direction', that's usually the implication of it.

My ruling would be that the targeted space is hit, and then you hit the other spaces in a straight line (including diagonally).


Yes. I think this is the right way to do it. Target square plus up to 3 more. If it hits a wall it ends.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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It tells you to trace a path of 4 spaces "starting with the target space". That implies that the target space is one of the 4, and therefore explicitly affected.



My initial impression upon reading this ability was that the path could turn and zigzag. If they wanted a straight line, there's lots of simple but specific language they could have invoked to make that clear (such as the words "straight" and "line"), but they don't. "Trace a path" sounds to me like a deliberate attempt to be more general than that.

I can kind of see the argument for requiring it to be straight based on the fact that "direction" is singular, but it seems like a bit of a stretch to me.

Suppose for the sake of argument that "in any direction" was not intended to require the path to be straight, but just to clarify that you get to make a choice. How would you have worded it to make it clear that it wasn't a requirement for straightness? "...in any combination of directions"? "Choose 4 spaces that form a single connected region"? Anything I can come up with would make the text significantly more complicated and technical; maybe they should have done it anyway, but I wouldn't read much into the fact that they didn't.


Either way, diagonals would be allowed by default, since everything else in the game (including movement, adjacency, and counting distance) allows diagonals.
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Jeremy Lennert
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shnar wrote:
Oh I forgot to mention that too, you cannot target an empty space, there must be a figure on that space (it could be a sacrificial friendly figure).

No, it couldn't.

"The target space must contain one enemy figure as the target of the attack." (page 12, Combat - Declare Weapon and Target)
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Bryan Livingston
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Antistone wrote:
shnar wrote:
Oh I forgot to mention that too, you cannot target an empty space, there must be a figure on that space (it could be a sacrificial friendly figure).

No, it couldn't.

"The target space must contain one enemy figure as the target of the attack." (page 12, Combat - Declare Weapon and Target)


I stand corrected!
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Jan Probst
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Antistone wrote:
How would you have worded it

I would not have used "trace a path" wording at all, maybe some "pick n connected squares within blah" thing or so. (not a native speaker though)

Something else:
Where did OP get the quote from? The act 2 card printed in the manual says 6 squares not 4. So skill texts can change between acts without the name having a numerical rating (Like Sorcery still does) or other changes. Interesting. Gotta pay attention when reading abilities and not make assumptions from act 1 versions then.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Antistone wrote:
shnar wrote:
Oh I forgot to mention that too, you cannot target an empty space, there must be a figure on that space (it could be a sacrificial friendly figure).

No, it couldn't.

"The target space must contain one enemy figure as the target of the attack." (page 12, Combat - Declare Weapon and Target)

I was wondering about that, answered on my phone so didn't have the rules to double check, and so just assumed they allowed friendly figures to be targeted. Thanks for the clarification, and that kind of sucks, I think I might just have to house-rule that...

-shnar
 
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Bryan Livingston
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Weltenreiter wrote:
Antistone wrote:
How would you have worded it

I would not have used "trace a path" wording at all, maybe some "pick n connected squares within blah" thing or so. (not a native speaker though)

Something else:
Where did OP get the quote from? The act 2 card printed in the manual says 6 squares not 4. So skill texts can change between acts without the name having a numerical rating (Like Sorcery still does) or other changes. Interesting. Gotta pay attention when reading abilities and not make assumptions from act 1 versions then.


I just double checked and both Act I and Act II have 4 as the range. I think the manual might have gotten printed with an older card image.
 
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Jan Probst
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Thanks for checking. Seems better to me that way, "hidden" differences like that wouldve been fiddly.
 
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Dave Reeder
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How does this deviation from the 1e breath template make more since or speed up the game? Shouldn't the blast expand like a cone(anyone within cone takes damage) and when it hits the target shouldn't it effect a few spaces around it in a 360 degree radius? I think this 2e version gives the OL more freedom to choose which hero('s)he or she wants to target. Say there's a thief 4 spaces away to the NW of the target and a healer 1 space to the E. Am i to believe that if i choose to hit(trace a line to)the thief that the healer only 1 space away from initial target suffers no damage at all? What am i not seeing here?
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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DungeonMasterDave wrote:
How does this deviation from the 1e breath template make more since or speed up the game?

It required one less piece of cardboard printed, and thus saved on the costs of the game.

-shnar
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Jan Probst
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Dragons are also generally pretty big. (This model having its head down nonwithstanding)
Flame jet shooting down from overhead and strafing a path across the field is a workable representation imo, have seen it done like that in some media/games.
 
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Dave Reeder
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I can see your point but even so my argument still remains that this rule variation gives the OL to much control over which other heroes are targeted by the blast(instead of the path being more randomly generated as perhaps by a scatter template or die table to determine the direction of strafe or blast).I also still believe at least a 1 space minimum radius around the initial target should be affected.
 
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Jan Probst
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DungeonMasterDave wrote:
I can see your point but even so my argument still remains that this rule variation gives the OL to much control over which other heroes are targeted by the blast(instead of the path being more randomly generated as perhaps by a scatter template or die table to determine the direction of strafe or blast).I also still believe at least a 1 space minimum radius around the initial target should be affected.

I dunno about the control. See the discussion upthread that largely seems to have come to the conclusion that the jet strafes over a straight line. So heroes should often be able to avoid getting several of them damaged via positioning.

Same as in WoW really. If you stand in the fire (as a secondary target in this case), it's your own damn fault.

It's not like it's easy to miss that there's a big honking dragon over and anti-breath positioning is needed.
 
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Dave Reeder
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Weltenreiter wrote:
DungeonMasterDave wrote:
I can see your point but even so my argument still remains that this rule variation gives the OL to much control over which other heroes are targeted by the blast(instead of the path being more randomly generated as perhaps by a scatter template or die table to determine the direction of strafe or blast).I also still believe at least a 1 space minimum radius around the initial target should be affected.

I dunno about the control. See the discussion upthread that largely seems to have come to the conclusion that the jet strafes over a straight line. So heroes should often be able to avoid getting several of them damaged via positioning.

Same as in WoW really. If you stand in the fire (as a secondary target in this case), it's your own damn fault. :P

It's not like it's easy to miss that there's a big honking dragon over and anti-breath positioning is needed.
The wording on the card states to trace a path in "ANY" direction from target space correct? So as OL why would i trace a line with no heroes on it? I wouldn't! I'd look in all directions to see if any hero was within the 4 space radius and trace the path to that hero.If no heroes are traceable within the set parameters it really doesn't matter which way the blast goes.
 
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Jan Probst
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Yes. So the heroes don't form a conga line and there should rarely be more than maybe 2 at once hittable.
 
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Dave Reeder
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Weltenreiter wrote:
Yes. So the heroes don't form a conga line and there should rarely be more than maybe 2 at once hittable.
True! But if there are 3 of us playing(1-OL+2-heroes)say both heroes are warrior types(melee)...Houston we have a problem!!! You can never tell what heroes someone will choose.With a randomly generated path direction(die roll on a path table)the OL would not automatically be able to target both heroes in the 4 space radius.The initial target would get hit but the second and only other hero would require some luck to hit instead. One 8 sided die for each of the 8 directions(N,NE,E,SE,S,SW,W,NW)would do fine to determine direction of blast after initial hit. If it hits a hero fine if not that's cool to.This strategy tends to favor the heroes(1 in 8 chance of hitting second hero) more than the OL i guess but it may help prevent both heroes from a simultaneous KO/Stand-Up/KO cycle. If any other monsters show up to this party time to break out some Bobby"Boris"Pickett "They did the mash...They did the monster mash.."
 
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Jan Probst
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DungeonMasterDave wrote:
True! But if there are 3 of us playing(1-OL+2-heroes)say both heroes are warrior types(melee)...it's trivially easy to avoid double burn by just assuming a chess knight pattern while wailing on the dragon.

Fixed your typo there.

I mean, sure this isn't a tailswiping dragon, but as far as i'm concerned, "tank to front, melee to sides" is so ingrained basic training that it's about reflex on all dragons in all mediums. whistle

I don't think random direction would be at all reasonable. Nonrandom breath placement that can actually be interacted with via careful positioning, LOS blocking and/or move blocking is the more interesting mechanic imo.
 
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Dave Reeder
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Weltenreiter wrote:
DungeonMasterDave wrote:
True! But if there are 3 of us playing(1-OL+2-heroes)say both heroes are warrior types(melee)...it's trivially easy to avoid double burn by just assuming a chess knight pattern while wailing on the dragon.

Fixed your typo there.

I mean, sure this isn't a tailswiping dragon, but as far as i'm concerned, "tank to front, melee to sides" is so ingrained basic training that it's about reflex on all dragons in all mediums. whistle

I don't think random direction would be at all reasonable. Nonrandom breath placement that can actually be interacted with via careful positioning, LOS blocking and/or move blocking is the more interesting mechanic imo.
LOS brings up another interesting situation. Doesn't the rule for LOS entail tracing a line in any direction not blocked by a wall or object? Would not the target space have LOS to the chess knight position? If you could trace LOS to that position you should be able to apply the same tactic to the breath blast right? OK let's say that one hero is in front of the dragon and the other is behind it according to the wording in the card text,assuming that the dragon is only 3 spaces long,OL could hit the target in front and trace a line through the dragon space's and hit the hero in back. Whether the dragon takes any damage i don't know. Maybe house rule it.Remember,the text on the card says trace a path "in any direction" from target square. So what is the difference between the OL deciding which way it goes vs a random role direction if the blast can go in any direction from the target. The card does not say the direction has to be on the same trajectory as the initial blast.As others have pointed out elsewhere in these forums the rules don't always make sense.(see stun!!!!) Why I'm not sure...lack of game testing maybe.Logic does not seem to apply here in this game. Man,Milton Bradly's HeroQuest was way less complicated and has never been duplicated. I love a good dungeon crawl but not if every 10-20 min.the game gets held up because of rules confusion between players.They may have fixed some of the old problems with 1e but seems they have created some new ones in 2e
 
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Michael H
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LoneCoder wrote:
So the master Shadow Dragon has a Surge for Fire Breath attack that reads like this:
Quote:
Starting with the target space, trace a path of 4 spaces in any direction. All figures on this path are affected by this attack. Each figure rolls defense dice separately.


Can the OL choose to walk it and turn it any way he wants?


This question was asked during play testing. Yes.


LoneCoder wrote:
Or does he have to pick a straight line?


No.

LoneCoder wrote:
Also, does it hit the target space?


Yes.
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