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### AuthorTopic: Another rules quandary  (Read 7046 times)

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#### AJD

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##### Another rules quandary
« on: August 22, 2011, 11:53:33 am »
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This is the opposite of the standard newbie Goons question.

What in the rules makes it clear that, when you have multiple Goons in play, you get multiple VP per buy? The card says "while this is in play, when you buy a card, +1VP". The correct interpretation is that if you have two Goons in play, the +1VP effects are cumulative. But what in the rules (other than the Goons FAQ entry, which does make this clear) rules out the non-cumulative interpretation:

"This card tells me that while it's in play, I get +1VP for buying a card. This other card also tells me that while it's in play I get +1VP for buying a card. I guess I definitely get +1VP for buying a card, then!"

I'm asking this because of the often-stated principle of Dominion that the card FAQs should be redundant; everything you  need to know how to carry out the effect of a card is on the card itself and the main rules (and expansion rules). Do the rules clear up this ambiguity? There are a couple of other cards which could be subject to the same misinterpretation—Hoard, I guess?
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#### guided

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##### Re: Another rules quandary
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2011, 12:10:15 pm »
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Sometimes the intent is more or less clear than other times, and the card FAQ is always the final word.

Personally I think this case is quite clear - I buy a card, I resolve the effect on one copy of Goons in play, then I resolve the effect on another copy of Goons in play - but again, the card FAQ is part of the official rules.
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#### DG

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##### Re: Another rules quandary
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2011, 12:13:34 pm »
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We know how the card is supposed to work. We know the cards and rulebooks are not going to be reprinted, even if you or I decide that there is ambiguity. Where does your question take us other than into some discussion with no practical result? Donald tries to make the card text clear, precise, and brief enough to fit into a box of limited size. I think he's done a decent job but the results will never satisfy everyone.

From reading the goons card text you can understand how goons work. Players will always however come up with different interpretations of cards for a variety of reasons. I see no harm in the rulebook providing a definitive ruling on more complex play that may occur with these cards.
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#### AJD

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##### Re: Another rules quandary
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2011, 12:27:23 pm »
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It's just that people keep saying 'the individual card FAQs are always formally redundant; all you need to know is that you do what the card says, in order, as much as possible'. I'm interested in testing to what extent that's actually true; we already know of a few exceptions.

Anyhow, we don't actually know that the rulebooks won't be reprinted, even if they won't be reprinted immediately. And discussions like this can in principle be useful for future rulebooks. (E.g., I'd imagine that the Hinterlands rulebook may still be in the editing stage; if so, my observation in the other thread that the rules don't spell out the timing of Reactions may be useful, if Donald or other appropriate people see it, in getting Reaction timing spelled out more explicitly in that book. Especially since Hinterlands has been announced as having a large number of Reaction cards in it.)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 12:38:42 pm by AJD »
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#### Buggz

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##### Re: Another rules quandary
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2011, 12:33:43 pm »
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In my mind it's the plus sign that makes the difference. It could say "Gain one VP chip when you buy a card", but the "+1" tells me it's cumulative in the same way markets are cumulative. You don't play two of them and say "Now I definitely have an extra coin and an extra buy".
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#### guided

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##### Re: Another rules quandary
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2011, 12:56:34 pm »
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the individual card FAQs are always formally redundant
Who are these people who said this?

The card FAQs are almost always formally redundant, and a whole lot of confusion that players often have comes down to failure to just do the things that the cards and rules (outside the card FAQs) unambiguously tell them to do. For example, there is simply no cause for confusion in resolving what Treasure Map does by precisely following the instructions on the card. In other cases the card text was streamlined to the point that perhaps multiple interpretations are possible - ordering of Trusty Steed effects comes to mind, for one - and in those cases you do what the card FAQ says, and the FAQ should at least be consistent with the text on the card.

In some really weird, subtle edge cases of multi-card interactions you cannot figure out what to do without reading BGG posts or whatever. And in those cases, honestly, if you don't know the official ruling then just do whatever your playgroup thinks is right. It's not going to meaningfully affect anybody's game planning strategy for the board in question.
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#### DG

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##### Re: Another rules quandary
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2011, 01:11:30 pm »
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Quote
It's just that people keep saying 'the individual card FAQs are always formally redundant; all you need to know is that you do what the card says, in order, as much as possible'. I'm interested in testing to what extent that's actually true; we already know of a few exceptions.
I suspect most people reading these boards already know the extent to which that is true. The cards are generally clear and yet some players will always get the interpretations wrong or need confirmation from rulebooks for complicated events in play. There is room for improvement in some card text but most players would rather see interesting cards with some FAQ than bland cards with only one possible interpretation. Black market is an interesting card and I'm pleased it exists even if it needs rulings and instructions that go well beyond a small text box.

We already know that Donald strives for clarity and brevity with the card text. If you could make positive suggestions for new wording it might help the designers more than a complaint about possible misinterpretation or a failure to meet standards they set for themselves.
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#### AJD

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##### Re: Another rules quandary
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2011, 01:55:54 pm »
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Well, I take you guys' point about the relative role of the card FAQs. I guess the positive suggestions I have at the moment are suggestions for addenda to the main rules (either for future expansions or for a reprinting or whatnot)—an explicit statement that, when multiple people have Reactions to reveal, they go in turn order; and possibly a clarification of the role of "while this card is in play" effects, since people keep stumbling over them.
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#### guided

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##### Re: Another rules quandary
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2011, 02:08:48 pm »
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and possibly a clarification of the role of "while this card is in play" effects, since people keep stumbling over them.
What clarification is needed? You've presented no ambiguity in this thread. Each copy of Goons resolves separately, and even if one imagines some reason that they should not resolve separately, the card FAQ will put that imagination to rest.
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#### Donald X.

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##### Re: Another rules quandary
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2011, 02:30:53 pm »
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"This card tells me that while it's in play, I get +1VP for buying a card. This other card also tells me that while it's in play I get +1VP for buying a card. I guess I definitely get +1VP for buying a card, then!"
The general answer for you is that the rulebook can only have so much in it. We have chosen not to include a language guide, an explanation of shuffling methods, and so forth.

The specific answer for you is that in all games, you follow all the rules. In games with rules components, you follow all of the active rules, whatever that means for your particular game. We don't have a meta-rule in Dominion that says "follow all the rules" because people should know that and do. It would be a waste of rulebook space to have the meta-rule, making the game more complex for nothing. People do ask about multiple copies of a card being cumulative so those things are in the FAQs. They would ask even if we had a meta-rule so we can't save on FAQ there anyway.

The meta-rule we didn't include that comes up the most is "in all games, inside game contexts, only things specifically permitted by the rules may be done." Some people like to say "oh the rules don't say you can't" to justify doing obviously illegal things. It comes up. But it still never makes sense to actually include this rule in the rules.
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#### Thisisnotasmile

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##### Re: Another rules quandary
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2011, 03:30:47 pm »
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The meta-rule we didn't include that comes up the most is "in all games, inside game contexts, only things specifically permitted by the rules may be done." Some people like to say "oh the rules don't say you can't" to justify doing obviously illegal things. It comes up. But it still never makes sense to actually include this rule in the rules.

We finally have an official ruling on the legallity of an automatic point counter?
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#### guided

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##### Re: Another rules quandary
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2011, 03:39:23 pm »
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My opinion (as someone who doesn't use the point counter unless my opponent brings it into the game) is that the point counter is not inside the game context - not any more than my brain's ability to track the score on its own is inside the game context. If the rules made explicit mention of the legality of whatever method of tracking public information, that would bring it into the game context, but they don't make any such mention.

I don't think Donald agrees with me though, based on BGG posting.
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#### Donald X.

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##### Re: Another rules quandary
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2011, 04:32:51 pm »
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We finally have an official ruling on the legallity of an automatic point counter?
A point counter is for sure a game variant, not allowed by the rules.

I encourage people to play whatever game variants they want, provided they comply with local laws and are agreed upon by all players.
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#### shraeye

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##### Re: Another rules quandary
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2011, 11:28:42 pm »
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I encourage people to play whatever game variants they want, provided they comply with local laws and are agreed upon by all players.

Ha, your style of humor is just wonderful.  Exactly what I needed at the end of a long day.
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#### Brando Commando

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##### Re: Another rules quandary
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2011, 04:50:22 pm »
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We have chosen not to include a language guide, an explanation of shuffling methods, and so forth.

And I have always thought that Dominion was the poorer for it. I'm going to start a thread about proper shuffling methods...

Seriously, I do have something to add to the response to AJD: While I agree with everyone else that it's perfectly clear that cards should each be resolved on their own, it is a bit confusing, since most cards (besides durations) resolve within some clear time frame and before anything else is resolved (unless it's an action like KC/Throne Room/Golem that tells you to resolve other actions).

However, I point to Outpost, which explicitly forbids you from accumulating extra turns beyond 1 extra turn...and thus implying that, generally, card effects accumulate.

I could care less whether this is made explicit in the rules; I just like thinking about the more abstruse interpretative possibilities in Dominion (which extremely redundant clarity would actually kill). Clearly, I am in the minority.
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