file Mata Hari and Hakim's Law: Leadership

28 Feb 2019 14:19 #93776 by DJHedgehog

Nothing about the card phrasing or text would say "for the purposes of the entire action she becomes an Assamite". She plays the card breaking the normal rules, but she never becomes something else or stops being what she is.


Well, playing an action card is a process of fully resolving the action card. And that is actually quite a long process, during which many different cards can be played. "Playing an action card" doesn't end when you put it down on the table from your hand. You only pay an action cards cost after it successfully resolves, after all.

I think this is the main issue you have with this. Mata Hari is 'playing Hakim's law' for the entire duration of the action. This means that for the entire duration of the action the card sees her as an assamite. When the card finally resolves, the card still sees her as an assamite. I don't have an issue with this, and I have issues with MANY VTES rules as many may know xD. This just comes down to definition of what does "playing a card" mean.


I'm tired of going around in circles on this because it's clear that I'm in the minority of thinking the desired effect isn't clearly stated on the card.

Let's say she plays a Renegade Garou. The card requires a gangrel to take the action. It doesn't require a gangrel to complete the action. The process of the "action", as you've stated above, has no impact on bending the rules in this case. Based on how I read the card, I would have no problem with what is going on in this example.

The card requires a gangrel, so it checks if a gangrel is playing it. She plays the card as if she was a gangrel. Nothing else needs to be said here- if the action is successful the ally is put into play because it only mattered that she was a gangrel for the purposes of playing the card. AND THAT IS ALL HER TEXT SAYS. She may play the card as if she was a gangrel.

What the ruling is saying is that she becomes a different sect/clan for the entirety of the action until it is resolved. That's not what the card says. It says "play".

Let's look at another card that allows similar rule bending: Mouthpiece. "The acting minion may play cards requiring basic dominate as a vampire until the end of this action". This phrasing is quite clear on the intended effect of the card. From the point of this card being played until the end of the action, the acting minion can utilize that benefit.

Why would I ever assume, based on the text of the card, that Mata Hari's ability would last until the end of the action?

I'm not arguing the ruling. I'm saying the card allows ambiguity that needs to be addressed through means that aren't rulings I have to dig to find in 2-4 different sites. The phrasing and templating aren't consistent and they're confusing.

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28 Feb 2019 14:21 #93777 by DJHedgehog

That's just not true. She plays the card as if she met the requirements. If it stopped right there, rulings would be unnecessary.

Quite the opposite. Mata Hari is an exception. She can play cards that were not designed with her in mind. If you start parsing card texts to figure out what applies, then you open yourself to applying only some of the effects of a card that was designed to be atomic, and that can break the game in all kinds of ways. Just look at Vlad Tepes and No Secrets for an example. It is more robust to ensure that if a card can be played, then it works as designed.


Poor phrasing, wording, templating doesn't excuse other bad phrasing, wording, templating. It's sloppy and it's confusing and it's unnecessary.

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28 Feb 2019 15:07 - 28 Feb 2019 15:16 #93779 by TwoRazorReign

I'm tired of going around in circles on this because it's clear that I'm in the minority of thinking the desired effect isn't clearly stated on the card.


Trust me, you're not the only one thinking the effect isn't clearly stated. If one wasn't around at the time all these rulings were made, it's very, very difficult to figure out how playing things "as if" should work. It's to the point where I just avoid all cards like that. They're on my personal "banned list" because I think the effect fits so poorly into the game that having clear card text explaining the effect in a way where everybody reading it would understand exactly what to do is impossible.

I'm not arguing the ruling. I'm saying the card allows ambiguity that needs to be addressed through means that aren't rulings I have to dig to find in 2-4 different sites. The phrasing and templating aren't consistent and they're confusing.


I love how you felt the need to restate this. I run into an issue like that a lot here. I'll explain that something could be stated better and folks here think I don't understand the rules or something and explain what the rules are. And then I have to be like, "no, I totally get it, it's just that there's an issue here other than how the rules work that you're kind of dismissing because the rules work fine." Just because something can't really be fixed (in this case, card text explaining the effect fully) doesn't mean it should be dismissed. Those things probably should be the first thing to address.
Last edit: 28 Feb 2019 15:16 by TwoRazorReign.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Lönkka, self biased, DJHedgehog

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28 Feb 2019 15:18 #93780 by Bloodartist

I love how you felt the need to restate this. I run into an issue like that a lot here. I'll explain that something could be stated better and folks here think I don't understand the rules or something and explain what the rules are. And then I have to be like, "no, I totally get it, it's just that there's an issue here other than how the rules work that you're kind of dismissing because the rules work fine."


Welcome to the club.

A heretic is a man who sees with his own eyes.
—Gotthold Ephraim Lessing



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28 Feb 2019 16:12 #93782 by DJHedgehog

I love how you felt the need to restate this. I run into an issue like that a lot here. I'll explain that something could be stated better and folks here think I don't understand the rules or something and explain what the rules are. And then I have to be like, "no, I totally get it, it's just that there's an issue here other than how the rules work that you're kind of dismissing because the rules work fine." Just because something can't really be fixed (in this case, card text explaining the effect fully) doesn't mean it should be dismissed. Those things probably should be the first thing to address.


Literally every time.

*COUGH*JAMESZEPHYRANDANKHA*COUGH*

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28 Feb 2019 16:32 - 28 Feb 2019 16:42 #93785 by Ankha
I agree on improving wordings when they can be improved.

But first of all, let's say you don't start on the right foot when the first message is:

So what you're saying is that once she plays the card she becomes an assamite until the end of the action?

That's the dumbest shit I've ever heard.


Now, they are two different ways of seeing things:

1/ Mata Hari's special only apply to requirement
2/ Mata Hari's special apply to requirement and effects of the cards.

Clearly, you all three are pushing towards option 1 which is against a (large?) portion of the player's population way to understand the thing.

Furthermore, option 2 was ruled as the good one by the designers. You may understanding something else when reading the template, but it's a mistake game-wise.


Let's say she plays a Renegade Garou. The card requires a gangrel to take the action. It doesn't require a gangrel to complete the action. The process of the "action", as you've stated above, has no impact on bending the rules in this case. Based on how I read the card, I would have no problem with what is going on in this example.

The card requires a gangrel, so it checks if a gangrel is playing it. She plays the card as if she was a gangrel. Nothing else needs to be said here- if the action is successful the ally is put into play because it only mattered that she was a gangrel for the purposes of playing the card. AND THAT IS ALL HER TEXT SAYS. She may play the card as if she was a gangrel.


Sure, there are no issues with cards that don't reference the acting minion.

Now, if a card requires an Assamite and says "This Assamite gains 1 blood.", then it's logical to assume (at least for plenty of players) that if Mata Hari plays it "as an Assamite", she gains 1 blood.

Said otherwise, you read "play" as "meet the requirement" where the rulings read "play" as "meet the requirements and apply the effects".

Or, since you like when two things written differently mean different things, consider Vidal Jarbeaux:

Vidal can meet a clan, sect, or non-infernal vampire trait (e.g., Black Hand) requirement to play any card.

Your concern would make sense with Vidal's (crappy) wording (which apparently behave the same way as Mata Hari nevertheless groups.google.com/d/msg/rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad/hpFRDAmtSbA/httYmI5wpB8J)

Some interesting links about "why":

groups.google.com/group/rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad/msg/f5ba0a7b96c43ff7
groups.google.com/group/rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad/msg/03936c6504510308
groups.google.com/group/rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad/msg/8ba90dfb7aefa979

CthuluKitty wrote:
> As has already come up in this thread, the biggest problem I see with
> changing the current rule is a bizarre inconsistency that comes about
> with certain vampires. If an ally can play Torn Signpost (or similar)
> and use it as a vampire, then why can't Mata Hari play Raking Talons
> and use it as a gargoyle?
She would be able to. The change would be applied to everything which
uses the base rule as a precedent. Mata, Kemintiri, etc.


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Ratings Coordinator, Rules Director
Last edit: 28 Feb 2019 16:42 by Ankha.
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