file Flesh of Marble and aggravated damage

08 Oct 2019 15:42 - 08 Oct 2019 15:43 #97297 by TwoRazorReign
I think you're thinking too much. Ankha defined "suffer" to mean something very specific (damage suffered = not prevented, but before losing blood or going to torpor). It means this in VTES and not any other preconceived definition you may have. I assume "dealt" also has a definition (it was used by Ankha in a previous post). And "handle" and "heal." I'd argue it's more pressing to have definitions for the terms actively being used by the rules folks rather than if we're choosing the correct word to fit in with timing windows (or whatever it is you're arguing).
Last edit: 08 Oct 2019 15:43 by TwoRazorReign.

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08 Oct 2019 16:30 - 08 Oct 2019 16:31 #97298 by LivesByProxy
I'm just saying, if I asked you to break down the steps involved in the process of damage resolution, and you leave out the step where damage is actually suffered or taken or whatever, or say it exists in this weird foggy realm of this other completely different step just before another completely different step, (that effectively, when a minion receives damage is not a step in the process of damage resolution!) it just seems like... maybe that contributes to the difficulty curve of this game, the constant barrage of rules questions, and the difficulty attracting and maintaining players.

Like, one of the reasons Magic is complex because it has 100 keywords and such, but at least its rules are written like a legal document and it is internally consistent.

VTES, on the otherhand, is unnecessarily complex because of poor card templates, formatting issues, and a book of general guide-lines masquerading as a book-of-rules. (No offense, Ankha.)

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Last edit: 08 Oct 2019 16:31 by LivesByProxy. Reason: formatting; spelling
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09 Oct 2019 02:52 #97305 by Kilrauko
I let this one sit for a while to ensure I didn't post it hastily and I still feel it's relevant enough and the examples should help people to understand the perceived issues and why there are people defending for and against. While this is not related to the mechanical aspect of Flesh of Marble and aggravated damage interaction, I feel it's not derailing to explore the importance of order of operations and the way they're handled elsewhere and in VTES especially when confusion has been raised that stems from VTES order of operations placing Flesh of Marble above Rulebook's 6.4.6.

LivesByProxy wrote: I agree with Mewcat.

Anson saying, "You get two Master phase actions." contradicts the rule(s): "A player gets one Master phase action."

FoM would seem to be operating outside the provided rules structure. In this manner, it reminds me of all the "Before range is determined," cards and Immortal Grapple and Taste of Vitae: they don't so much contradict the rules, but create timing windows on-the-fly where none previously existed (as per the combat structure outlined in the rulebook.)

But I guess we have our answer - by Imperial Decree as Mewcat predicted, no less.

I'm going to try to explain this in hopefully logical fashion where cause and effect follow each other. If one follows cause-effect thinking one can understand how and why order matters when it comes to certain things. It's akin to mathematics where we assign higher importance to exponentation, followed by multiplication and lastly addition, because order of operation matters. In VTES, the order is degreed to follow cards as errated card texts over rulebook. That's the function of 1.4. Rulebook is important but more important then it are the cards. "It's literally in the rules." I've personally always viewed LSJ's comments along with the people following in those footsteps as explanation what the design intent of the card is OR what the boost/nerf change to achieve aimed design intent is. I do not see it as any more handwaving rules as any group choosing what rules if any their group plays with. They bind one just as much as one wishes to, altough sometimes it's rational to be bound by certain rules more then others.

Now as in mathematics, it's perfectly reasonable to question whether or not rules (for example order of operations) should be followed and there are interesting hypothesis to be gained if one decides that exponentation or multiplication should happen after addition. But for world wide discussion certain terms have been agreed upon and while proclaiming 3+2x8 shoud mean 40 is fine in certain mathematic discussions, there should be no confusion why there are people who claim it actually means 19 and just that. And while it's fair to say that conclusion is reached by "Imperial degree", we've all kinda agreed to it due to certain mathematical rules and changing it would require us to change those (order of operations). For VTES, 1.4 determines cards (errated, non-misprinted to ensure there's no misunderstanding of my view point even when 1.4 does not exactly say that and could be understood to mean literally what it says) come before rulebook, order of operation is set there.

I would go as far as to say proclaiming certain changes as things that have always existed without providing concrete and solid proof of support is deliberately confusing. Imagine your own reaction if someone claimed during discussion that for the above calculation 40 is real answer because 19 is making up new rules. Even when it's the exact opposite and the answer that person has made concrete for themself is the product of them ignoring some old and existing rules in favour of others. Ones that have been put in place for a good reason in the first place to enable more mathematics (for VTES to ensure certain cards can be played in the fashion their design intent is, intent that in some cases pre-dates VTES usenet newsgroups, let alone this forum or the current rules iteration).

Now the important question, what we could do to make it easier for people to follow order of operations in VTES to prevent unintentional mistakes and make it easier for people to understand?

And please do not take this post as me going "you should not question things." On the contrary, things should be questioned but in rigorous manner with careful thought. If someone can come up with wording for Flesh of Marble and other cards that does not change the existing interactions or power balance of the cards and makes 1.4 irrelevant I'm all up for removing it from the rulebook. Not because I've set myself to oppose it but because it has been proven at that point to be irrelevant and it can be always brought back if a new design intent requires it. In the same fashion I'm all up for people rewriting the sections in the rulebook to enable easier understanding in the matters as long as it follows the design choices made for the cards and keeps the rulebook easy to understand. Perhaps include Flesh of Marble and aggravated damage example there as bits are cheap?

That's one reason why our schools moved away from using english long division method to the one being currently teached (german I believe). They did not change order of operations but instead fiddled around with the framework to make it appear "easier" for people (children in the case of school math) to understand. Naturally parents and older people who were taught the "real way" had the "but you cannot change maths!" moments for a while until they realized it was not changed, just the visual aspect of it. As had their parents back when we changed from italian to english long division. In the same fashion their kids had "but you cannot calculate it like that, math says otherwise, it's not correct to put the numbers there!" moments.

I personally have no trouble understanding what 1.4 means compared to rest of the rulebook in order of operations sense, neither was I inherintly opposed to "various maths" when I first saw them. But I also understand and emphasize the viewpoint of people wanting to make it "simpler and easier". Day to day usage in VTES rarely needs 1.4's order of operations and I think getting rid of it in VTES would lead to more "down to earth" in design. When was the last time you used exponentation in mathematical way in day to day life where order of operations mattered? It's easy understand claim that only addition and substraction matter as multiplication and division are just them being glorified for no reason in everyday use while exponentation and root extracton are not used at all. Or when was the last time your casual game had to google some newsgroup or forum posts instead "handwaving" a rule at the spot from quick ponder of "what was written in rulebook" and just running the evening with it? Making it "simpler" has it's own merits, but at the same time we have to properly balance the design intents and possibilities lost with that route. That's why I personally go the effort to seek later what the "design answer" to handwaved "let's play it like this" ruling is. If people are not willing to go that trouble, they are free to settle to their own comfort level and live with the rules of their own choosing, that's the beauty of life, live and let live.

I hope this helps to understand why I feel like I do and why I argue for my viewpoint. It's why I said only choosing to follow part of the rulebook can lead to confusion. 40 or 19. Can there be logic in some things being more important then others? Is Rulebook 1.4 poor design or necessary design? Does Rulebook 1.4 only hinder things or enable more? Or can we perhaps add something to 6.4.6 to make it appear easier while keeping the order of operations(or figure out a way to rearrange words in cards that keep their design intent)? Why I cannot make short and precise comments and always resort to long rambles that nobody reads?

PS. Here's linked image to hopefully bring chuckle out. It's why order of operation and rules might matter. Or it might not. You decide.

Trust in Jan Pieterzoon.

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09 Oct 2019 14:55 #97311 by Mewcat
That's a lot of words.

There are 2 main schools of thought here:

1) I can memorize the rulings if they are provided

2) I want to be able to read the cards and rulebook and the answers should be clear.
2.1) ideally this would involve a simple rulebook with as few steps as possible
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09 Oct 2019 15:42 - 09 Oct 2019 16:02 #97314 by LivesByProxy
@Kilrauko: I do not think anyone here is arguing for Rule 1.4 being removed, or saying that it's a bad rule or wrong way to approach things.

I just want consistency. Almost all the CCGs/TCGs/LCGs since Magic have a similar "Golden Rule". It is necessary in these kinds of games. Magic also has an important addendum to their Golden Rule:

101.2. When a rule or effect allows or directs something to happen, and another effect states that it can’t happen, the “can’t” effect takes precedence.

But that's an aside. The issue is that the rules are not being contradicted if the card is making up rules as it goes. There is nothing in the rules about this, and 1.4 does not cover this.

Here is an example: Eagle's Sight. Minion Cards - Reaction Cards A ready unlocked minion can play a reaction card in response to an action taken by another Methuselah's minion (an action taken by one of a Methuselah's minions cannot be reacted to by any of her own minions). A minion cannot play the same reaction card more than once during a single action. A reaction card does not lock the minion using it.

And also relevant to this example: Who May Attempt To Block: If the action targets one or more other Methuselahs (or things controlled by other Methuselahs), then the action is called directed, and only the Methuselahs who are targeted (or control the targets) may use their ready unlocked minions to attempt to block the action (going clockwise from the acting Methuselah, as usual). If the action is not directed at another Methuselah (or at something controlled by another Methuselah), then the action is called undirected and can be blocked by the acting Methuselah's prey or predator, with the prey getting the first opportunity to block.

Note how Eagle's Sight still follows Rule and directly contradicts Rule in it's card text: This vampire attempts to block the current action, ignoring the normal prey, predator or target restrictions for blocking actions.[/i]

Now, compare that with Flesh of Marble, which we pretend operates within Rule 6.4.6 but factually contradicts nothing in this section - it just seems to skirt around how the damage resolution step works. Edit: And yet it still seems to exist in this grey limbo realm of "after this step, but before this step," and uses a term unused by any other card but itself.

Now, maybe this section can be rewritten. Maybe FoM can be rewritten. Gryzbas had a nice suggested wording. Who knows.

I mean, it should be clear that if Ankha is having to explain how FoM works by evoking steps and explaining words that aren't listed or explained, respectively, in the rulebook... that something is wrong here.

Edit: I guess I give up though. No point dying on the hill of clear and concise rules when we can just memorize and internalize how everything is suppose to work.

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Last edit: 09 Oct 2019 16:02 by LivesByProxy. Reason: 1. clarity; 2. surrendering & admitting defeat
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09 Oct 2019 16:41 #97315 by Mewcat
That reason for editing is amazing

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