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

Subject: When activating a monster... rss

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Daryl Geddie
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Frenzy and dash say "when activating a monster...". Does this mean I have to declare and play that card before I take any actions or can I take my two monster actions and then play frenzy or dash? Confused
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Thomas Thompson
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When you activate the monster you must use the card. If you activate a monster, then take an action, it becomes too late to use that particular card.
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Daryl Geddie
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So then do I have to declared both a frenzy and dash if I wanted to use both with the same monster? Could a monster ever use two frenzys if attacking two separate targets? Thanks!!
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Patrick Phelan
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Really? It says "when activating", not "before activating". Surely I can declare such cards as Frenzy after I see the results of a monsters attack?
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Matt Albritton
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We've been playing those cards like Thomas. We think Frenzy is a little too good if you can wait to see your combat results to play it.

My reasoning: See page 16 of the rulebook. Notice the Frenzy card near the "Overlord" section. It says "Play this card on a monster during your turn." Apparently it was ok during testing to play it after seeing the combat results.

The card wording now is "Play this card when activating a monster..." It seems like a deliberate change to make Frenzy less powerful to me.

Also, you can't play the same named card on a monster that you already used in response to the same trigger.

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Patrick Phelan
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Maybe I've misunderstood what activating means? It seems that from a game perspective that we are saying...

Activating means to point at something and declare your action?

Bizarrely, actually pushing figures around and rolling dice during a monsters activation phase is not classed as "while activating."

Really? Seems a bit crazy to my simple mind.


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Udu Tont
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Activation is an ambiguous game term. However, in my opinion the best interpretation would be that activation happens just before you take actions with a figure or use other game effect, such as moving with fatigue. In other words, you have to play Frenzy before you attack (or move or use a monster’s special action etc).

The rules passage that supports this can be found on page 10
Quote:
The majority of the overlord’s turn is spent activating his monsters.The overlord player may activate each of his monsters on the map once during his turn. He may perform up to two actions with each monster he activates. Each monster may only perform one attack action per activation.


See also p 17
Quote:
A hero player may activate each familiar his hero controls once during his hero turn. /../ When activated, a familiar may perform a move action following the same rules as heroes.


However, this not entirely clear. For instance, we are told several times (p 8, p 16) that monsters are activated in groups, which implies that monsters are not activated individually or that there are two activations: one for a group and one for each individual monster. Also, activation may mean the entire "handling" of a monster etc
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Afterswish wrote:
Bizarrely, actually pushing figures around and rolling dice during a monsters activation phase is not classed as "while activating." Really? Seems a bit crazy to my simple mind.


Bizarre? Clumsy, I would say. First you activate, then the monster is activated and you perform actions with it. "While you activate" means that you have to do it before taking actions. It would have been better to actually write this on the card, you know like "Before you take actions with a monster" but this is FFG.shake
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Kubigaruma wrote:
My reasoning: See page 16 of the rulebook. Notice the Frenzy card near the "Overlord" section. It says "Play this card on a monster during your turn." Apparently it was ok during testing to play it after seeing the combat results.

The card wording now is "Play this card when activating a monster..." It seems like a deliberate change to make Frenzy less powerful to me.


Not necessarily. The earlier wording meant that you could play frenzy on an Ettin while you were moving the dragons. So they "cleared" it up In other words, while I suggest that activation happens as the first step in "handling" a figure, it could still mean the whole "handling". We have to wait for FAQ. Yay!
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Andy Mills
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Cruelsader wrote:
It would have been better to actually write this on the card, you know like "Before you take actions with a monster" but this is FFG.shake


-drink-
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Hugh Grotius
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Apologies for reviving a slightly old thread. Once I've activated a group of monsters, I then select a monster from that group. I assume that each monster must perform both its actions before I can move on to another monster in the same group; right? I.e., that monster must perform both its actions consecutively, right? Or can I jump to another monster in the same group, perform one action with it, then jump back to the first monster?

Thanks in advance.
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Oscar
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Yes, you need to finish whatever you want to do with it, as once activated you can't go back to it again and "reactivate it".
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Hugh Grotius
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Thanks! I thought as much.
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Ian Kelly
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Mandlbrot wrote:
So then do I have to declared both a frenzy and dash if I wanted to use both with the same monster? Could a monster ever use two frenzys if attacking two separate targets? Thanks!!


You can't use two Frenzies on the same monster in the same turn. As stated in the rules, you can't play two cards with the same name in response to the same triggering condition (the triggering condition in this case being activating the monster).

Frenzy and Dash on the same monster is perfectly fine, though.
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Cory
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Peristarkawan wrote:
Mandlbrot wrote:
So then do I have to declared both a frenzy and dash if I wanted to use both with the same monster? Could a monster ever use two frenzys if attacking two separate targets? Thanks!!


You can't use two Frenzies on the same monster in the same turn. As stated in the rules, you can't play two cards with the same name in response to the same triggering condition (the triggering condition in this case being activating the monster).

Frenzy and Dash on the same monster is perfectly fine, though.


What about dashing/frenzying 2 separate monsters in the same monster group? I think I had seen that it's not allowed from some people here, but it seems fine by me.
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Ian Johnstone
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Activating a monster group seems pretty clear.

The Overlord player has to choose which of his monster groups are going to activate next.

Then each monster figure in the monster group is activated in a turn order decided by the Overlord player

Activation for a particular monster figure starts when the Overlord player nominates a monster figure is going to act.

Activation for a particular monster figure ends when the Overlord player nominates to end the currently activated monster figures' activation.

Once the Overlord player nominates to end a monster figures' activation it cannot be reactivated again during the current game round.

Overlord cards like Dash and Frenzy could be played at any time during a particular monster figures' activation. ie, move and attack and then play Frenzy for an extra attack or move twice and then play Dash for an extra move.

This is similar to Grisban the Thirsty's Heroic Feat:
Use during your turn to perform 1 attack action. This is in addition to your 2 actions on your turn.
Grisban can attack twice then nominate to use his Heroic Ability to attack a third time.

In a nail-bitter last night, Splig was six spaces away from escaping and the Heroes had formed a wall to cut off his escape. Splig was activated and attacked a Hero. The Overlord had to use Dark Fortune to reroll a miss, Dark Might and Critical Blow to pump up the attack enough to kill the Hero. The Overlord then got to draw a card(Dash) and used it to move twice and escape through the hole that Splig had just made. Truely epic!


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Rauli Kettunen
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vorpal_Cortex wrote:
In a nail-bitter last night, Splig was six spaces away from escaping and the Heroes had formed a wall to cut off his escape. Splig was activated and attacked a Hero. The Overlord had to use Dark Fortune to reroll a miss, Dark Might and Critical Blow to pump up the attack enough to kill the Hero. The Overlord then got to draw a card(Dash) and used it to move twice and escape through the hole that Splig had just made. Truely epic!


Sounds like your OL cheated. Dash can only be used when the monster is activated and since Splig did an attack, time to play Dash (or Frenzy) were over.

Also, might not be the case with this example, but it's worth remembering that exiting costs a movement point, so 6 spaces away from the exit space would require 7 movement to escape.

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Joshua Siegfried
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I was also under the impression that cards like Dash and Frenzy had to be played when you actually activated the monster. So you would have to choose to play the card before performing any other actions with the monster.
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Robin Reeve
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Butaman551 wrote:
I was also under the impression that cards like Dash and Frenzy had to be played when you actually activated the monster. So you would have to choose to play the card before performing any other actions with the monster.
I agree.
Both cards' intructions say : "when activating a monster", which does not mean "while activating a monster" (which would allow an ambiguous interpretation) or "during a monster's activation".

EDIT : it seems that, after the p. 16 example (even if the card wording seems to have changed between the rules writing and the game's printing) that those cards can be played during a monster's activation, and not only at the moment it is activated (see the following vorpal_Cortex's post).
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Ian Johnstone
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I think we can all agree the overlord can play a card before a monster takes its' first action. The example on page 16 backs up the idea that the overlord can play a card before a monster takes it's second action.

Example: During his turn, the overlord player decides to activate his zombie monster group. After moving one of his zombie figures, he plays “Frenzy” on that figure, which reads “Play this card on a monster during your turn.”

I do realize the wording in the rule book is different than the wording on the card but it could just as easily state:

Example: During his turn, the overlord player decides to activate his zombie monster group. After moving one of his zombie figures, he plays “Frenzy” on that figure, which reads “Play this card when activating a monster during your turn.”

The triggering condition is the action. So the overlord would have to decide to use a card like Dash or Frenzy before a monster used an action.

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Joshua Siegfried
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vorpal_Cortex wrote:
I think we can all agree the overlord can play a card before a monster takes its' first action. The example on page 16 backs up the idea that the overlord can play a card before a monster takes it's second action.

Example: During his turn, the overlord player decides to activate his zombie monster group. After moving one of his zombie figures, he plays “Frenzy” on that figure, which reads “Play this card on a monster during your turn.”

I do realize the wording in the rule book is different than the wording on the card but it could just as easily state:

Example: During his turn, the overlord player decides to activate his zombie monster group. After moving one of his zombie figures, he plays “Frenzy” on that figure, which reads “Play this card when activating a monster during your turn.”

The triggering condition is the action. So the overlord would have to decide to use a card like Dash or Frenzy before a monster used an action.



That is a very interesting point. Something else I did notice though, I was looking for images of Dash and Frenzy cards on Google when I first read this thread, and found that the older Dash and Frenzy cards contained the text "during your turn", which was changed to "when activating a monster".

I had assumed the change in text was deliberate in order to clarify that these cards could only be played at the beginning of the activation. But it is also possible that they changed the wording simply to prevent people from playing those cards on a monster they had activated earlier in the round, but wanted to use again for some reason.

The example in the book clearly seems to support what you are saying. I think you may have actually converted me over to your way of thinking.

Plus....I like your avatar.
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Ian Johnstone
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The interesting thing that this can produce is a situation where the Overlord could play Frenzy on Splig allowing him to attack twice during his first action then play Dash on Splig allowing him to move twice during his second action.

It's good to be the Overlord!
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Rauli Kettunen
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vorpal_Cortex wrote:
The interesting thing that this can produce is a situation where the Overlord could play Frenzy on Splig allowing him to attack twice during his first action then play Dash on Splig allowing him to move twice during his second action.

It's good to be the Overlord!


In FG, I'll much rather use Dash + Frenzy on Splig for 3 moves + 1 attack (Knockback FTW).
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Robin Reeve
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vorpal_Cortex wrote:
I think we can all agree the overlord can play a card before a monster takes its' first action. The example on page 16 backs up the idea that the overlord can play a card before a monster takes it's second action.

Example: During his turn, the overlord player decides to activate his zombie monster group. After moving one of his zombie figures, he plays “Frenzy” on that figure, which reads “Play this card on a monster during your turn.”

I do realize the wording in the rule book is different than the wording on the card but it could just as easily state:

Example: During his turn, the overlord player decides to activate his zombie monster group. After moving one of his zombie figures, he plays “Frenzy” on that figure, which reads “Play this card when activating a monster during your turn.”

The triggering condition is the action. So the overlord would have to decide to use a card like Dash or Frenzy before a monster used an action.

Good catch.
So "when" would have a "while, during" meaning rather than "at the moment".
I stand corrected.
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Ian Johnstone
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Dam the Man wrote:
In FG, I'll much rather use Dash + Frenzy on Splig for 3 moves + 1 attack (Knockback FTW).


That does open an interesting situation that brings to light what FFG means by triggering condition (p.16). I think it means the type of action (move or attack) to keep in theme of what Dash or Frenzy infer.

To clear things up, what if I told you Dash can only be used when taking a move action and Frenzy when taking an attack action. I think that's probably the intent or at least this will be my house rule until I see something in the FAQ.

What does this leave us with?

(1 move + 2 attack)
first action play standard move
second action play Frenzy to attack twice

(2 moves + 1 attack)
first action play Dash to move twice
second action is a standard attack

(2 moves + 2 attack)
first action play Dash to move twice
second action play Frenzy to attack twice

(3 moves)
first action play Dash to move twice
second action is a standard move

(4 moves)
first action play Dash to move twice
second action play Dash to move twice
 
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