Multiple instances of powers...

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ArcticNomad
ArcticNomad's picture
Multiple instances of powers...

On a team with Count Strahd and two Death Knights, Count Strahd hits with his basic attack: Claws: +20 vs AC; 20 Damage AND this creature heals 10 HP.

Death Knight 1 kicks in his Champion Power: Use when an Undead ally’s Melee attack hits: +20 Damage on that attack.

Can Death Knight 2 also add his Champion Power to the total damage done, or can only one instance of a Power be active at a time on the attack?

I would think both of them can add their damage, but am I right with this?

Thanks in advance for your help here!

plastic finn
plastic finn's picture

Only one (with the exactly same text) is my understanding.

ArcticNomad
ArcticNomad's picture

That is how we played it!

skyscraper
skyscraper's picture

Same here.

tried
tried's picture

Its in the rules under stacking. A CP power name is the same as the text of that power.
No stacking.

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Ira
Ira's picture

It's important to understand the details of this rule.

Specifically, the relevant rule here is the Duplicate Effects rule, which is listed a bit obscurely in the Bonuses and Penalties section on page 8. The next revision of the rules will highlight this rule much more clearly. Here it is:

Duplicate Effect rule wrote:
Duplicate Effects: A creature or player can't be affected by 2 or more uses of the same power at once.
So to answer if the duplicate power is allowed, you must ask: who is being affected by the power?

In this case, the creature making the attack (Strahd) is getting the damage bonus. That creature can't be affected by the same power at once, so only 1 would work (you could technically use both CPs if you wanted, but only 1 would have an effect).

This can get tricky, because if a power grants an attack, the creature that makes the attack is the one affected by the power (not necessarily the target of the attack). For example, look at Umber Hulk Delver's power:
Prey on the Weak-Minded: Use when a Confused enemy activates within Reach: Make a Basic Melee Attack attack against that creature.

So if two Umber Hulk Delvers are within reach of a Confused enemy that activates, do both Delvers get to make their attack from Prey on the Weak-Minded? I have previously ruled "yes," because Prey on the Weak-Minded is a power that affects the Delvers, not the target of the attack. If we thought that Prey on the Weak-Minded affects the Delver AND the target of the attack, then the proper answer would be "no."

If we do rule that being targeted by an attack is enough to be considered affected by a power, then it gets a little tricky with opportunity attacks. If a creature is adjacent to two of the same enemy, and provokes an opportunity attack from both, then by the logic of duplicate effects rule, only one of the attacks would work. And that's almost certainly not the intended design, which is how I got to my answer about Prey on the Weak-Minded.

For completeness, here's the second part of the Duplicate Effects rule:

The rest of the Duplicate Effects rule wrote:
Two powers are identical if they have the same name or, if they have no name, if they have the same card text.
And the last part of that, specifically for attacks is in the Collected Rulings:

If an attack has multiple options like -2 AC OR grants combat advantage (save ends), attacks are tracked as "attack name: attack text of the chosen mode". That is, via a previous ruling, you COULD stack -2 AC and grant combat advantage. That said, it's possible that ruling needs to be reversed, due to the more recent ruling that the Death Knight Baron's CP 1 does not stack with itself if a different type of bonus damage is chosen. I like the more recent ruling better for game balance, so perhaps the proper solution is that attacks are tracked as "attack name: attack text" including the OR, if needed. So it wouldn't stack with itself.

In fact, unless anyone has any objections, I think that old ruling should be reversed immediately, given the better Death Knight Baron ruling.

This stuff is complicated!

ArcticNomad
ArcticNomad's picture

Thanks all! We did not allow the stacking during the battle, just decided to check with the PtB to make sure of the reasoning. As it was, the extra damage from the second Death Knight's power would have been overkill anyway this time, since Strahd had already scored a critical hit! Love those 20s!!

tried
tried's picture

"If we do rule that being targeted by an attack is enough to be considered affected by a power, then it gets a little tricky with opportunity attacks. If a creature is adjacent to two of the same enemy, and provokes an opportunity attack from both, then by the logic of duplicate effects rule, only one of the attacks would work. And that's almost certainly not the intended design, which is how I got to my answer about Prey on the Weak-Minded."

Mentioning this strikes me as non productive. Its clearly not the case, and will only serve to confuse people's memory.


"That is, via a previous ruling, you COULD stack -2 AC and grant combat advantage. "

The results of attacks are effects on the target that occur instantaneously. These are two different effects, each applied after the trigger (Hit). No problem here.
An attack power CAN have a choice in effect, the effect resolves instantly, and is transferred to the target (be it damage or effect). The next time that attack power effect triggers ( ie., on a hit), the attacker can choose the effect that does not stack (because the target already has it!) or the one which transfers a different effect.

I was asked in europe when a player must declare the effect, if the attack presents a choice in outcome.
Many player have been declaring in advance for thematic reasons, but technically, the damage section triggers on a hit, so any attack with an "OR" section does not have to be decided until after the attack is resolved.

"That said, it's possible that ruling needs to be reversed, due to the more recent ruling that the Death Knight

Sigh.
No.
Baron's CP 1 does not stack with itself if a different type of bonus damage is chosen because it is an ongoing effect with the same name. The name of the power is the same, and therefore it is a duplicate effect.

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Ira
Ira's picture

I definitely like the Death Knight Baron CP 1 ruling, by the reasoning that even if you choose something different, the power has the same text (you just overwrite the choice).
Use at start of round: Until end of battle, this creature or an Undead ally has +5 fire, +5 cold, or +5 necrotic damage (choose 1).

This logic should also apply to attacks in the same way, which would be a reversal of a previous ruling. That is, the following attack uses the word "OR" and therefore shouldn't stack with itself, just like the Death Knight Baron's CP 1 doesn't stack with itself:
Hemlock, Master of Secrets
Ranged Attack Exploit Weakness: (minor action, range 10) +18 vs. Will; target creature has -2 AC (save ends) OR grants Combat Advantage until the end of its next turn.

That is, the text of the power that gets applied should be "target creature has -2 AC (save ends) OR grants Combat Advantage until the end of its next turn", regardless of which choice is made (just like Death Knight Baron CP 1). For attacks, each effect separated by "AND" is treated separately, but anything separated by "OR" should be grouped together to be consistent with the Death Knight Baron CP 1 ruling.

...

While we're discussing Duplicate Effects in detail, consider a bodyguard getting hit by an area attack. Clearly the bodyguard takes both its own damage and the redirected damage, even though the attack is resolving simultaneously. That is, the Duplicate Effects rule doesn't prevent the bodyguard from taking double damage. Clearly that's the proper ruling, but WHY is that the ruling? Maybe the answer is: because taking damage is an instantaneous effect. Alternately, maybe the redirect power creates a non-simultaneous resolution, which Tried mentions here, but I'm not convinced by that logic, and it doesn't seem like he is either.

Either way, here's another tricky example CP:
CP 1: Use at start of round: An enemy takes 10 damage.

If I have two different creatures with that exact same CP, could each of them use it and do 20 damage to a single enemy? It seems like the Duplicate Effects rule should protect the enemy, but maybe it doesn't, since the damage is resolved immediately? Actually, I think that gets back to my original point about how to properly use the Duplicate Effects rule: figure out which creatures or players are affected, but now there's an additional consideration given the difference between instantaneous and ongoing powers:

For effects with non-instantaneous durations (e.g. +5 damage until end of round), a creature/player can't be affected by duplicate copies of the same power.

For effects with instantaneous durations (e.g. take 10 damage), a creature/player can't be affected by duplicate copies of the same power within the same trigger window.

I like this additional step of considering instantaneous vs. ongoing effects, because it works nicely with attacks, as Tried mentioned above. Each attack that causes damage has its own separate trigger (the attack hitting is the trigger), and therefore never runs afoul of the Duplicate Effects rule, since damage from an attack is an instantaneous effect that will always have its own separate trigger (the attack hitting). This resolves the bodyguard issue too (two attacks, each either their own trigger -> can take damage twice). Nice!

Thoughts welcome!

tried
tried's picture

[1] I am convinced by the interrupt as a way for the same creature to take simultaneous damage. I think it is necessary as well. I just think it sucks to have to use this to rationalize it within the rules.

[2] Attack powers resolve instantly, transferring damage and conditions to an enemy.
The resilient effect of the attack is felt on the target. Stacking rules are to determine - AT THAT INSTANT - whether a given attack power effect occurs or not.

Other EFFECTS OR CONDITiONS may or may not apply under the duplicate effects depending upon whether the target already suffers from the effects of that attack/condition.

I attack using Bugaboo: 10 damage AND (choose one of: Slowed or Dazed).
At the INSTANT the attack hits, the target may only be affected by Bugaboo once.
(Note: hich is never a problem by our rules - creatures are never simultaneously hit by two attacks, except by the new fork lightnging on the human wizard - and that has text to guide the correct resolution of the attack).
Now, apply the damage. Apply one effect.
Bugaboo ends.

Another Bugaboo attack? Say next round before the target activates, or even the same round by another creature with Bugaboo?
Sure, it does damage, but if the creature is already dazed, you might not be wise to daze it again. It would not Stack. But Slowed would.

For this reason, a beholder can do an eye rays attack and do ongoing damage,
and still, later, use (different) eye rays on that opponent to different effect.

This case is not any different than the Beholder.

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tried
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FWIW - start of turn effects are considered to occur simultaneously, even if they are declared in serial fashion, because start of turn is an instantaneous trigger.

With that information, you should be able to work the rest out...

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Ira
Ira's picture

I'm not sure I understand everything Tried is saying here, and either way, the current rule in the rulebook is obviously insufficient to explain all these details and oral tradition. I'm confident the next version of the rules will make the Duplicate Effects rule more clear and prominent.

Also, I think we should avoid simultaneous effects since they get very messy, not only because it hard to resolve them simultaneously during live gameplay, but also because any effect can be interrupted by an immediate action that will confuse the timing.

Regarding trigger windows, I'm not sure why the start of round trigger window would be different than the "ally hits with a Melee Attack attack" window. Trigger windows open, effects resolve, but there's no reason why all the effects in a given trigger window should resolve simultaneously. In fact, as mentioned above, I think they should resolve serially, and "start of turn" shouldn't be an exception.

tried
tried's picture

"but there's no reason why all the effects in a given trigger window should resolve simultaneously. "

Yes, they should. Because they are - you know - simultaneous.

And also - there is not difference in those trigger windows - I really don't understand where you are going with this.

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Ira
Ira's picture

We are far from the original topic now, but it seems worthwhile to continue the discussion...

Tried wrote:
Ira wrote:
but there's no reason why all the effects in a given trigger window should resolve simultaneously.
Yes, they should. Because they are - you know - simultaneous.
I appreciate your attention to theme here, but "Start of turn" (or any trigger window) need not be a single instant in time. Instead, it can be a small window in which things can happen, one after another.

For the next rules revision, I'm primarily focused on writing rules that can comprehensively address the various interactions in the game, without needing extra rulings.

If we say that effects in a single timing window resolve simultaneously, we're going to need a lot of extra rulings, because there are going to be weird interactions that are hard to figure out. Also, when we play, we can't actually do them simultaneously - we do them in order, one after another. For that reason as well, I like making the resolution sequential. Finally, I also think it's more tactically deep to have ordered declarations and resolutions vs. simultaneous resolutions.

Here is one example that would need a ruling from a judge (or a Collected Ruling) if the rulebook said "all effects in the same timing window resolve simultaneously."

Noble Bronze Dragon
CP 1: Use at start of an enemy’s turn: Push all living enemies within two squares of this creature up to 4 squares.

Solar Angel
CP 1: Use at start of this creature’s turn: All allies within 3 squares heal 20 HP.

These CPs are used in the same timing window. How do you resolve them "simultaneously" ? Assuming the Push effect would push creatures out of healing range, do they get healed or not? There is no way to resolve these effects simultaneously, as far as I'm concerned. If they end up healed and pushed, then you resolved the heal first. If they end up not healed and pushed, then you resolved the push first.

Alternately, if we wrote a rule that said "all effects are declared and resolved sequentially," not only do we give players an interesting choice to make (what order will you resolve your effects?), but also it avoids so many confusing rule situations. Just resolve each effect, one at a time. Once both players pass on the opportunity to trigger more effects within that window, the window closes and the game proceeds.

To be clear, with everything in this post, I'm discussing how I think rules v3 should handle trigger windows and effect resolution. The timing rules in v2 are murky enough that I'm not going to unravel them here (and hopefully that will be moot soon anyway).

tried
tried's picture

I guess we disagree on how to write these rules.

I'm trying to make this game GREAT again, and I think its clear I can do a super job, really super...
and you want a lot of regulations.

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Ira
Ira's picture

Awesome reply. Smile I look forward to seeing how it turns out...

skyscraper
skyscraper's picture

Notwithstanding Tried's last reply that I'll disregard as a momentary laspe of unreasonableless Smile, I think the two of you actually make a very good team, in the different approaches you both preconize. Now if only Tried can realize this we'll all be good Smile

tried
tried's picture

Not really.

Simultaneous actions have always been resolved serially with the caveat that no events which occur impinge in any way upon other events.

There is no conflict with the push and damage. They both occur, and executing one 'first' doesn't prevent the other. In some corner cases, it might be tough to remember which were where, and when, thus providing an obvious suggestion as to the most practical order to resolve the effects. For me, adding/expanding a simultaneous trigger order for these events (like the one at the start of a creature's turn) makes far more sense than allowing simultaneous things (like a fireball) damage creatures in a serial manner.)

Just for contrast to the simultaneous approach:

Serial and interrupting events do resolve serially, such that the events can and do influence the event tree events.

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