RulesFest: The First Rule of Sometimes

In today’s Rulesfest we talk about the First Rule of Sometimes: If you don’t move a bit when a card resolves, then that card doesn’t affect your Fortitude, Alcohol Content or Gold.

One of the most frequent mistakes we come across when demoing The Red Dragon Inn to newcomers is the following interation:

Zot Player: Huzzah! I got a Holy Water!
Deirdre Player: Let me help you with that. I play “Water into Wine” and add 2 Alcohol Content to your Holy Water.
Zot Player: I play “The stars say, ‘No!’ “ to ignore your card!
(Awkward silence…)
Deirdre Player: You can’t do that.
Zot Player: Why not?

There are many different cards that create very similar scenarios in the game. Today we are going to discuss the First Rule of Sometimes: If you don’t move a bit when a card resolves, then that card doesn’t affect your Fortitude, Alcohol Content or Gold.

Let’s take a look at the cards from our first example:


As you can see, Holy Water is pretty awesome. It heals your Fortitude and doesn’t come with any Alcohol Content, so of course Zot wants to prevent bad stuff from happening to his safe drink. The problem is that Deirdre’s card “Water into Wine” doesn’t actually affect Zot’s Alcohol Content. “Water into Wine” affects Drink Cards, and must be negated with more powerful cards like “I don’t think so!” or “The Wench thinks you should stop playing with the drinks.”

However, you might be saying: “But Deirdre’s card will cause me to gain Alcohol Content if I don’t stop it!” While that is true, we only have to look back to the First Rule to understand what’s going on. Ask yourself: “At the moment when Deirdre’s card resolves, will Zot’s Alcohol Content change?” If the answer is “No” then the card does not affect Zot’s Alcohol Content. In this case, when Deirdre’s card resolves it only changes the effect of a Drink card, and doesn’t actually move Zot’s Alcohol Content marker. Keep in mind that even if a lot of cards have been played in response to one another, they still only resolve one at a time.

The vast majority of these problems come up when people are altering other people’s Drinks. Remember, all of these cards that affect Drinks aren’t affecting you. There are some card interactions that do not involve Drinks though. Here’s another example:


Ozrik Player: I play “Recharging the Elements” to gain 1 Fortitude.
Joran Player: Sorry Ozrik. I play “I’m gonna save this healing for the dungeon!” to reduce that Fortitude gain to 0.
Ozrik Player: “Oh please. Your powers are no match for mine!” lets me Ignore your card!
Joran Player: No it doesn’t…

Unlike the above example, Joran’s card is actually affecting Ozrik’s card. However, Joran’s card does not directly affect Ozrik’s Fortitude. Once again, ask yourself: “At the moment when Joran’s card resolves, will Ozrik’s Fortitude change?” In this case, the answer is no because when Joran’s card resolves all that changes is the effect of Ozrik’s card and doesn’t move Ozrik’s Fortitude Marker.

Remember: cards really only affect you when they move your bits around as they resolve (and they resolve one at a time!). So when you sit down to your next round with those craft characters who mess with your drinks, make sure you’re holding onto those Ignore Drink cards!


Tagged on:

Leave a Reply