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Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:10 pm
So one of my players posed a rules question on me.
Player attacks possibility rated "bad guy". Proceeds to use a Hero card, Drama card and a possibility. Then plays the Maelstrom card to stop "bad guy" from soaking his wounds.
The question is this: Is that legal?
In the rules it states that you must SPEND a possibility to attempt to soak, and the sequence for card play is okay, so my gut says yes, it is legal, but something about beating a tough foe using a, albeit clever, card trick, seems off.
What does everyone think?
Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:06 pm
Players have control over when cards get played, so... I can't see any reason why it doesn't work. Maelstrom is highly situational, though - it can be very hard to use in a way that doesn't harm the party more than the bad guys, especially since PCs are 100% Possibility Rated. So the fact that it's very good where it works doesn't seem too terrible to me.
I won't pretend I don't have some hesitation, just given how many other places the rules specifically stop short of allowing anything to stop Soaking, but Maelstrom seems to be the exception.
Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:10 pm
Yes, that's exactly how it works.
He needed 3 turns to get those cards into his pool, so is probably doing it on a minimum of the 4th turn.
Or doing a critical moment and losing all his other cards.
either way, success or failure, the person who played it and all his buddies' characters can't soak either. if the big bad wasn't taken out or other threats still there, they had a chance to put some hurt on the heroes.
*I stand corrected. See Torghacker's reply
Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:52 pm
Soaking is a free action. So the villain can declare the Soak before the Maelstrom gets played.
Soaking Damage is near-inviolate, and otherwise this becomes a fairly easily acquired "I Win" button.
Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:25 pm
I guess another way to get a similar effect would be to play the Maelstrom first and hope to hit well enough and then add a bunch of Coup d'etat cards.
Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:01 am
Thanks for the clarification. I'm glad that my initial gut feeling toward the ruling was right. I just couldn't figure out where the disconnect was.
Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 3:04 am
That makes sense, but I'm not sure it actually fits RAW. Soaking is a free action, but it happens after damage is rolled, so as long as Maelstrom is played before rolling damage it seems like it would happen before they can declare Soaking.
Of course, even after getting an Outstanding Attack, you're not guaranteed a big damage boost; sometimes those Bonus Dice come up 1s.
Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:06 am
So far I've always resolved it in order of announcement (leaving a short pause between the player announcing damage and me announcing "the villain tries to Soak"). If they announce Malestrom before I announce Soak, the villain doesn't get to Soak.
I have to disagree on the "I Win" aspect of the card. In my games it has been "50% Win/50% Lose", especially when the villain just takes the damage, remains standing, and now it's their turn and the PCs can't Soak either (or boost their Defeat tests)
Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:58 pm
I've been playing this wrong then. Knowing that there is only one of these cards in the deck, and that playing it is also sort of a free action, I interpreted it as "the I win" card, not really "an I win" card, so I was okay with it and we've had a couple of fun epic moments with it. I might keep playing it the way I've been using it, but maybe not. It's a good point that you still have to get a good roll and probably spend other cards too to still win against a tough villain. I'll have to think about this one.
Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:44 pm
Personally I prefer this ruling. I don't want to create a "timing mini game" at the table, where it's a race to announce things. If Maelstrom is in play before the attack is rolled there is no chance to soak and if not, then there is. Nice and straightforward.
Also, it makes the decision of whether to play Maelstrom far more interesting. Obviously everyone can run their tables how they see fit, but this makes sense to me (and I shared it with a couple of my players who also though it was a much healthier way to run it).