Passive Conditions Primer

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zarathustra
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Passive Conditions Primer

Post by zarathustra »

Passive Conditions Timing Primer v. 2.0


Here are some scenarios in which timing rules are important. Notice how the order in which the cards are played considerably changes the results.

Some Ground Rules:

The definition of a passive condition from the CRF (collected rulings file) reads:
A passive condition causes an action to happen as stated on a card already in play.”
Annotation 9 reads:
If a card specifies that an action is to occur as a result of some specific passive condition, this action becomes automatically the first action declared in the chain of effects to immediately follow the chain of effects producing the passive condition. The passive condition must exist when this resulting action is resolved in its own chain of effects, or the action is canceled. Note that actions in the strike sequence follow a different set of rules.
Annotation 10 reads:
If more than one action is required to be the first action declared in a chain of effects, the player whose turn it is chooses the order in which they are declared. No other actions may be declared in this follow-up chain until the multiple required actions have been declared.
In CoE Digest 51, it was ruled that when hazard events are in play that have effects that are triggered passive conditions, Annotation 10 kicks in when these effects are triggered.

What it All Means:

The definition: A passive condition is the thing that triggers a card already in play, making it “go off.” For example, Smaug Ahunt basically says that if anyone is fool enough to travel up north, he gets toasted. The “if x, then y” logic of Smaug Ahunt says that if x is satisfied, then something happens. Satisfying x is equivalent to being a passive condition. So, if I am traveling up north, as soon as I flip over my site card and announce the relevant regions, Smaug Ahunt checks those regions (the passive condition) and gets triggered.

Annotation 9: This means that, if I play a card C that specifies a passive condition by which it is triggered, that triggering can only take place after the chain in which C is involved completely resolves. What this means can be easily illustrated by the following scenario: I’m traveling to Mount Doom through Nurn (say I came from the Easterling Camp), and my opponent throws down Mordor in Arms, which essentially says I’m gonna get crushed by orcs and trolls. I allow Mordor in Arms to resolve, and then – after it resolves – my movement becomes the passive condition that triggers the attacks associated with Mordor in Arms. This triggering of Mordor in Arms begins a new chain of effects, to which I am free to respond. I do – with Marvels Told, zapping Mordor in Arms. Now, my opponent doesn’t want to see me skip all those nasty attacks, so he plays, in response to my Marvels Told, In the Heart of His Realm. However, he’s made a goof, and I’m safe. Why? According to Annotation 9, In the Heart of His Realm can only be triggered by a passive condition after everything else in the chain of effects in which it was played resolves. So that means that (assuming no one plays anything else) In the Heart of His Realm resolves, then Marvels Told resolves, zapping Mordor in Arms, then the triggering of Mordor in Arms tries to resolve, but the card that set up the triggering is no longer around, so it is canceled. At this point, In the Heart of His Realm is triggered by the passive condition of my moving in Gorgoroth, starting a new chain to which I may also respond with another Marvels Told. Assuming nothing else is played in this third chain, my Marvels Told will resolve, zapping In the Heart of His Realm, then In the Heart of His Realm will try to be triggered, but since it’s no longer around, it can’t and is canceled. All hail Marvels Told!

Annotation 10: This has to do with cases where multiple passive conditions trigger multiple effects at the same time. A good example of this involves the play of undead creatures boosted by The Moon is Dead and Plague of Wights (with Doors of Night). If The Moon is Dead, Plague of Wights, and Doors of Night are all in play and resolved when an undead attack is declared (say, a Barrow Wight), then the resource player decides in which order the passive conditions are trigger their effects. So, both The Moon is Dead (+1 strike, +1 prowes) and Plague of Wights try to trigger (double strikes, +1 prowess), and the resource player gets to choose the order. Unless he’s suicidal, he’s going to want to have as few strikes as possible, so he chooses to let the effect of Plague of Wights be triggered first (doubling the number of strikes from 1 to 2), then The Moon is Dead (adding one more strike to go from 2 to 3). If for some reason he wanted to die, he could let them resolve in the reverse order: The Moon is Dead (+1 strike from 1 to 2), then Plague of Wights (double strikes from 2 to 4). As you can see, this makes quite a difference.

If you’re sneaky, however, you can force the resource player to face 4 strikes from the Barrow Wight. One way you might be tempted to try is illustrated below; however, it doesn’t work, as we will point out:

Example of Failure: The Moon is Dead and Doors of Night are already in play. My opponent moves to a shadowhold, and I have Barrow Wight and Plague of Wights in my hand. I play the Barrow Wight, and then in response, I play the Plague of Wights. Assuming nothing else gets played on this chain, the Plague of Wights will resolve, then the Barrow Wight, creating an attack. At this point, Plague of Wights and The Moon is Dead both try to trigger, so Annotation 10 kicks in, allowing the resource player to choose the order in which the effects are applied. Thus, he can choose to face only three strikes instead of four.

Example of Success: Here’s another example that does force the opponent to face 4 strikes: The Moon is Dead and Doors of Night are already in play and my opponent travels through a shadowland. I have Barrow Wight and Plague of Wights in my hand. I play the Barrow Wight, and it resolves (i.e. nothing more is played in response). The attack is created and The Moon is Dead is triggered (note: my opponent cannot invoke Annotation 10 at this point because only 1 passive condition is being triggered). The attack sequence starts at this point, and I play my Plague of Wights, since either player is allowed to play cards during an attack that affect prowess, body, or strikes. It resolves without a hitch. It then is triggered by the undead attack, and it doubles the number of strikes from 2 to 4.
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CDavis7M
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Re: Passive Conditions Primer

Post by CDavis7M »

Did anyone read this? There are a bunch of errors in this description of passive conditions and especially in the examples. Some of the errors are a result of failing to recognize when Annotation 26 applies instead of Annotation 10, others result from failure to recognize the difference between an on-going effect and an effect triggered by a passive condition, and most of the failures are based on ignorance of the ICE rulings.

The definition of Annotation 9 (passive conditions) mostly okay but partly wrong and the description of Annotation 10 (passive conditions) are way off, causing problems in the examples.
zarathustra wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:40 pm
Annotation 10 reads:
If more than one action is required to be the first action declared in a chain of effects, the player whose turn it is chooses the order in which they are declared. No other actions may be declared in this follow-up chain until the multiple required actions have been declared.
In CoE Digest 51, it was ruled that when hazard events are in play that have effects that are triggered passive conditions, Annotation 10 kicks in when these effects are triggered.
CoE 51 (overruling CoE 50) is wrong. CoE 50 is right. I've noticed a few cases where the CoE Netrep half-remembered how the game used to be played under ICE but then apparently got convinced otherwise by people that didn't know/remember the ICE rulings.
It's true that Annotation 10 does apply in many situations. But Annotation 26 can also apply to the same situations where Annotation 10 would otherwise apply.
Annotation 26: If at the start of a movement/hazard phase there are multiple effects in play such that their net effect depends on the order
they are applied, the player who is currently not taking his turn decides the order in which they are to be applied. Once this interpretation is established, all further actions are applied in the order they are resolved for the rest of the turn.
This means that if 2 effects would be applied at the same time (e.g., both are triggered by a passive condition) then the order is decided:
  • By the HAZARD player if the order matters AND those effects were in play at the start of the movement/hazard phase
  • Based on when they came into play, if the order matters and the effects were not both in play at the start of the M/H phase
  • By the resource player, if the order of applying the effects doesn't matter.
This has been the reasoning applied in numerous ICE rulings. This is also an example of Annotation 26 in The Wizards Companion book (Morgul Night and Fell Winter both triggering at the same time, by the revealing of a site establishing the passive condition, and the hazard player deciding the order these 2 effects are applied).

ICE rulings using Annotation 26 instead of Annotation 10 (see also the even longer list of ICE rulings below):
From: ich...@cstone.net (Ichabod)
Subject: Re: Chill Douser
Date: 1996/12/13
>2)Also, if I have a series of attack modifiers, such as Plague of
>Wights, and The Moon is Dead, in what order should I apply the
>modifiers? Do I double the number of strikes AFTER I add the
>extra strike from The Moon is Dead? What about if I follow it
>up with a Chill Douser? Is that modification applied AFTER
>Plague of Wights doubles it? Does the order of play determine
>this? These and other questions keep me awake at night.

That depends. If both were in play at the begining of the m/h
phase, then the hazard player decides which order they are applied
in. All other effects are then applied in the order they resolved
during the m/h phase.

----------

From: ich...@spamblock.cstone.net (Craig Ichabod O'Brien)
Subject: [MECCG] Rules Digest 53
Date: 1998/03/06
Bane of the Ithil-stone, which would double the CPs. In that case
it doesn't matter which was played first, he has 12 corruption points.
Ouch. When the play would matter is with Rumor of the One, The Balance
of Things and a character with only a 2 CP ring item. If they were both
in play at the start of the movement/hazard phase the hazard player would
decide the order they were applied in, otherwise they would be applied
in the order they resolved. If Rumor of the One is applied first, the
CPs would be 6, if Balance is applied first, the CPs would be 5.
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zarathustra wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:40 pm
The definition: A passive condition is the thing that triggers a card already in play, making it “go off.” For example, Smaug Ahunt basically says that if anyone is fool enough to travel up north, he gets toasted. The “if x, then y” logic of Smaug Ahunt says that if x is satisfied, then something happens. Satisfying x is equivalent to being a passive condition. So, if I am traveling up north, as soon as I flip over my site card and announce the relevant regions, Smaug Ahunt checks those regions (the passive condition) and gets triggered.
This is fine.
zarathustra wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:40 pm
Annotation 9: This means that, if I play a card C that specifies a passive condition by which it is triggered, that triggering can only take place after the chain in which C is involved completely resolves.
This is fine.
zarathustra wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:40 pm
What this means can be easily illustrated by the following scenario: I’m traveling to Mount Doom through Nurn (say I came from the Easterling Camp), and my opponent throws down Mordor in Arms, which essentially says I’m gonna get crushed by orcs and trolls. I allow Mordor in Arms to resolve, and then – after it resolves – my movement becomes the passive condition that triggers the attacks associated with Mordor in Arms. This triggering of Mordor in Arms begins a new chain of effects, to which I am free to respond. I do – with Marvels Told, zapping Mordor in Arms. Now, my opponent doesn’t want to see me skip all those nasty attacks, so he plays, in response to my Marvels Told, In the Heart of His Realm. However, he’s made a goof, and I’m safe. Why? According to Annotation 9, In the Heart of His Realm can only be triggered by a passive condition after everything else in the chain of effects in which it was played resolves. So that means that (assuming no one plays anything else) In the Heart of His Realm resolves, then Marvels Told resolves, zapping Mordor in Arms, then the triggering of Mordor in Arms tries to resolve, but the card that set up the triggering is no longer around, so it is canceled. At this point, In the Heart of His Realm is triggered by the passive condition of my moving in Gorgoroth, starting a new chain to which I may also respond with another Marvels Told. Assuming nothing else is played in this third chain, my Marvels Told will resolve, zapping In the Heart of His Realm, then In the Heart of His Realm will try to be triggered, but since it’s no longer around, it can’t and is canceled. All hail Marvels Told!
This example is wrong. Down with Marvels Told. All hail In the Heart of His Realm.

First of all, the Designers knew what they were doing. The card works. The rules work. Why are there so many people convinced that they know better than the Designers? Why would they design a card that doesn't work?

While Mordor in Arms triggers the attacks using passive conditions, In the Heart of His Realm's effect that "no character in/moving... can use rituals" is an on-going effect. It is NOT triggered by a passive condition. I see why there is confusion - it looks similar to many other effects triggered by passive conditions. The key difference is that "No character at a site in a Dark-domain or Gorgoroth, or moving with a or Gorgoroth in his site path, can use spells, light enchantments, or rituals" does NOT trigger an action based on a passive condition. There is NO ACTION performed by this effect. Instead, this effect negates other actions. There is an example of how this works in The Wizards rulesbook on p. 63 (Tookish Blood played in response to Call of Home simply Negates Call of Home, there is no need to trigger the effect of Tookisk Blood. And if Tookish Blood's effect were triggered, then it would fail. But it doesn't fail, it works. In The Heart of His Realm also works.).

"An action in a chain of effects is negated if the conditions required to perform it are negated by another action that is resolved before it in the chain of effects" (METW, p. 63). So, if In the Heart the Heart of His Realm is played after Marvels Told, its on-going negation-effect will resolve before Marvels Told. Then, when it comes time in the chain of effects to resolve Marvels Told, it cannot resolve because the conditions required to perform it have been negated by In The Heart of His Realm. Nothing needs to be triggered by In the Heart of His Realm.

In the Heart of His Realm works the same as Bane of the Ithil-stone -- they both have on-going effects that negate conditions without triggering an action. Bane of the Ithil-stone clearly does not trigger (in the following chain of effects) using the rules on passive conditions becasue otherwise it would never prevent any searching. Same with In The Heart of His Realm. The effect would never work if it had to trigger a cancellation action. Again, METW p. 63 explains how effects can negate other effects.

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zarathustra wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:40 pm
Annotation 10: This has to do with cases where multiple passive conditions trigger multiple effects at the same time. A good example of this involves the play of undead creatures boosted by The Moon is Dead and Plague of Wights (with Doors of Night). If The Moon is Dead, Plague of Wights, and Doors of Night are all in play and resolved when an undead attack is declared (say, a Barrow Wight), then the resource player decides in which order the passive conditions are trigger their effects. So, both The Moon is Dead (+1 strike, +1 prowes) and Plague of Wights try to trigger (double strikes, +1 prowess), and the resource player gets to choose the order. Unless he’s suicidal, he’s going to want to have as few strikes as possible, so he chooses to let the effect of Plague of Wights be triggered first (doubling the number of strikes from 1 to 2), then The Moon is Dead (adding one more strike to go from 2 to 3). If for some reason he wanted to die, he could let them resolve in the reverse order: The Moon is Dead (+1 strike from 1 to 2), then Plague of Wights (double strikes from 2 to 4). As you can see, this makes quite a difference.
Wrong. Annotation 10 does not apply to The Moon is Dead and Plague of Wights. Annotation 26 is used instead. The resource player never gets to decide. Instead the decision is made by the hazard player or it is set by the order in which the effects were resolved.

ICE has ruled on this same situation (PoW and TMiD) and similar situations multiple times:
From: ich...@cstone.net (Ichabod)
Subject: Re: Chill Douser
Date: 1996/12/13
>2)Also, if I have a series of attack modifiers, such as Plague of
>Wights, and The Moon is Dead, in what order should I apply the
>modifiers? Do I double the number of strikes AFTER I add the
>extra strike from The Moon is Dead? What about if I follow it
>up with a Chill Douser? Is that modification applied AFTER
>Plague of Wights doubles it? Does the order of play determine
>this? These and other questions keep me awake at night.

That depends. If both were in play at the begining of the m/h
phase, then the hazard player decides which order they are applied
in. All other effects are then applied in the order they resolved
during the m/h phase.

----------

From: ich...@cstone.net (Ichabod)
Subject: Re: [METW] 3 Q's, and The Hunt
Date: 1997/01/07
>I have a few questions:
>
>1) The Moon is Dead and More Alert than Most are both in play.
>I attack with Wisps of Pale Sheen, which has originally 1 strike,
>attacker chooses defending characters. Now I can choose to apply
>MATM first, which has no effects since WOPS has only one strike,
>and then apply TMID, giving it an extra strike, resulting in
>the attack having 2 strikes. Am I Correct?


Only if both The Moon is Dead and More Alert than Most were both
in play at the begining of the movement/hazard phase. Otherwise
they are applied in the order they were resolved.

----------

From: ich...@cstone.net (Ichabod)
Subject: Re: [METW][MECCG] Undead Modifier Question
Date: 1997/01/22
>A Question on the effects of The Moon is Dead and Plague of Wights :
>TMiD is a Perm-Event granting +1 strikes to Undead attacks.
>PoW (with Doors of Night in play) doubles the number of strikes for
>an Undead attack.
>Which card modifies an Undead attack first?

If two cards are in play at the begining of the movement/hazard phase,
the hazard player decides which order they take effect in (if it even
matters). Otherwise, effects are applied in the order they resolved.

----------

From: ich...@spamblock.net (Ichabod)
Subject: Re: (METW) Clarification Needed
Date: 1997/06/06
>I need help with a situation which recently occured.
>Here is the setup.
>Doors of Night, The Moon is Dead, and Plague of Wights are all in play and
>locked in by The Will of Sauron.
>Now, my question is...if plague of wights doubles the number of attacks
>and moon is dead adds +1 attack, which happens first? If I use an undead
>which gets 2 attacks, is it +1 and then doubled (6 attacks) or doubled and
>then +1 (5 attacks)?

It depends on when the events were played. If both events were in play
at the begining of the company's movement/hazard phase, then the hazard
player chooses the order in which they are applied. Otherwise, they are
applied in the order in which they resolved.

----------

From: ich...@spamblock.cstone.net (Craig Ichabod O'Brien)
Subject: Re: [MECCG]: Some rules questions...
Date: 1998/02/23
> 1. When you have multiple hazard strike enhancers in play (permanently,
> with Will of Sauron) like The Moon is Dead and Plague of Wights, which takes
> place first? This is important since the Plague doubles the attacks (which
> is even worse after you play Chill Douser).

If both are in play at the begining of the movement/hazard phase, the
hazard player decides what order they take effect in. For the rest
of the phase, effects are applied in the order they resolved.

----------

From: ich...@spamblock.cstone.net (Craig Ichabod O'Brien)
Subject: [MECCG] Rules Digest 85
Date: 1998/05/21
>2. If Doors of Night, Plague of Wights and The Moon Is Dead are in play, is
>the hazard player who gets to choose the order in wich the effects are
>applied, or is there any other order to be followed?

If both were in play at the begining of the movement/hazard phase, the
hazard player chooses the order they are applied in. Otherwise, they
are applied in the order in which they resolved.

----------
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/r ... n-GzD4BR8J
From: ich...@spamblock.cstone.net (Craig Ichabod O'Brien)
Subject: [MECCG] Rules Digest 86
Date: 1998/05/24
>Okay I am just a bit confused, so I'll give a scenario:
>1. I play Doors of Night, there are no other cards affected in play,
>nothing happens and Doors of Night resolves.
>2. I play Plague of Wights, my opponent does nothing, so it resolves and
>nothing happens.
>3. I play The Moon Is Dead, my opponent does nothing, again it resolves
>and nothing happens.
>4. I now play an Undead hazard creature. All the previous cards are
>already in play and resolved so I (the hazard player), can choose the
>order in which they affect the attack.

Wrong. They were not both in play at the begining of the movement/
hazard phase, so they are applied in the order they resolved: Plague
of Wights and then The Moon is Dead.

----------

From: Gnome <7633...@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: [MECCG] Rules Digest #528
Date: 1998/11/11

>>2. If all three of these cards are in play: The Moon Is Dead,
>>Doors Of Night, and Plague Of Wights; then Stirring Bones is
>>played, in what order do the three cards take effect for the
>>purpose of calculating strikes?

>The other guy was partially right. At least,
>back in the day, if they were both in play at the begining of the
>*phase* the hazard player chose the order. In any other case they
>were applied in the order they were resolved.
>Now, after looking at the CRF, there is nothing to support it, but
>there is also nothing to contradict it. Except Van, of course...

Sounds good to me! The CRF under Turn Sequence - Movement/Hazard
Phase - General - Annotation 26 says if at the start of a player's
movement/hazard phase there are multiple effects in play such that
there net effect depend on the order that they are applied, the
player who is not currently taking his turn (hazard player) decides
the order in which they are applied. Once that is established, all
further actions are applied in the order they are resolved for the
rest of the turn.
So, CoE 51 goes against ICE's rulings. The resource player never decides the order when the order matters. Meaing that the resource player never decides. Instead, it is decided by the hazard player if these effects were already in play at the start of a M/H phase. Or they are applied in the order they were resolved.

The resource player can decide the order when the order doesn't matter. For example, if both Thrice Outnumbered and From the Pits of Angband are in play, then the resource player can decide the order of retrieving a Man and Drake Hazard. But it doesn't matter.

It would have been nice if the CoE had bothered to review the ICE rulings. They have been accessible online since the beginning from Deja for a small subscription fee and they have been available free from Google (purchased Deja) since about 2001.

----------
zarathustra wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:40 pm
Example of Failure: The Moon is Dead and Doors of Night are already in play. My opponent moves to a shadowhold, and I have Barrow Wight and Plague of Wights in my hand. I play the Barrow Wight, and then in response, I play the Plague of Wights. Assuming nothing else gets played on this chain, the Plague of Wights will resolve, then the Barrow Wight, creating an attack. At this point, Plague of Wights and The Moon is Dead both try to trigger, so Annotation 10 kicks in, allowing the resource player to choose the order in which the effects are applied. Thus, he can choose to face only three strikes instead of four.
This is wrong. Annotation 26 is used instead of Annotation 10 because the order or applying the effects matters. In this case, both effects were not in play at the start of the M/H Phase. Therefore, the effect of The Moon is Dead is applied first since it was resolved first (it was already in play) and then the effect of Plague of Wights is applied second.
zarathustra wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:40 pm
Example of Success: Here’s another example that does force the opponent to face 4 strikes: The Moon is Dead and Doors of Night are already in play and my opponent travels through a shadowland. I have Barrow Wight and Plague of Wights in my hand. I play the Barrow Wight, and it resolves (i.e. nothing more is played in response). The attack is created and The Moon is Dead is triggered (note: my opponent cannot invoke Annotation 10 at this point because only 1 passive condition is being triggered). The attack sequence starts at this point, and I play my Plague of Wights, since either player is allowed to play cards during an attack that affect prowess, body, or strikes. It resolves without a hitch. It then is triggered by the undead attack, and it doubles the number of strikes from 2 to 4.
This example is easier to understand because there is only 1 effect being applied at a time. Annotation 10 doesn't apply and Annotation 26 doesn't apply. But note that the opponent would still have to face 4 strikes even if Plague of Wights were played before Barrow Wight, due to Annotation 26.

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