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Frequently Asked Questions

General rules

What are required targets?

Q. Are required targets only listed between the colons on an action?

A. No. Required targeting is listed on an action in two places: In the constraints block (between the colons), and in the effects – usually the first sentence. All required targeting must be met, including that given in the effects block, to take the action.

Example: Restoring Order reads, "Political Battle: Target one of your unbowed Magistrates: Move home a target Personality opposing him with Personal Honor less than your Magistrate’s Chi. Bow the Personality if he moved. Destroy him if he is dishonorable." This has two required targets: "one of your unbowed Magistrates" and "Personality opposing him with Personal Honor less than your Magistrate’s Chi." Both must be met to take the action.

Example: Rapid Deployment reads, "Battle: Target one of your Samurai Personalities at the current battlefield: Target two of your units not there. Move them there. If you are defending, straighten each of these units that moved." This has three required targets: "one of your Samurai Personalities at the current battlefield" and "two of your units not there." Because the action specifies two units outside the current battlefield, you cannot take this action at all when you have only one other unit elsewhere.

For more details, see Required targeting.

Is an action legal if an effect can't happen?

Q. Can I use an action that bows a card if it's already bowed?
Q. Can I use an action that straightens a card if it's already unbowed?
Q. Can I use an action that dishonors a Personality if he's already dishonored?
Q. Can I use an action that moves a card if it's already in the location it would move to or if it can't move?

A. All of those are variations on the same question: Do effects have to happen for an action to be legal?

No, they don't. (Costs and mandatory targets are another matter, though. Those have to happen. Remember that mandatory targets can be written in the effects.)

Example: Imperial Summons reads, "Political Open: Bow your Stronghold or discard the Imperial Favor: Bow a target Personality." Because the mandatory target is just a Personality, you could legally target a bowed Personality and play the action, even though the bowing effect would fail.

Example: Rout reads "Battle: Move home a target unit. Destroy one of its attachments (if any)." Even if the movement effect is negated (due to Winter Warfare, for instance), you can legally play the action, target the unit and destroy an attachment.

For more details, see Effects, particularly Negating effects, and Abilities and actions, particularly Announce the action and Action resolves.

One exception to this are actions that bring cards into play. You can't announce such an action unless you have a card you can legally play because of the Good Faith Rule.

If one effect is negated, will the others still happen?

Q. If one effect is negated, will the others still happen? For instance, if Flash of Steel is played (which bows a Personality, moves it, and creates an honor gain), but Winter Warfare is in effect (which negates movement), will honor be gained?

A. This is very similar to the question above. All effects are independent. Negating one does nothing to the resolution of all the others.

For more details, see Effects, particularly Negating effects, and Abilities and actions, particularly Announce the action and Action resolves.

What performs an action?

Q. How do I tell who performs an action?

A. Actions are performed by Personalities or Followers. If you think you have an Item or Spell or Holding and so on performing an action, you've gone wrong somewhere. Actions on such cards can result in a Personality performing an action, however.

Personalities and Followers perform actions printed on them, and actions where they are targeted between the two colons of an action.

Actions on Items or Spells are performed by their Personality.

Nobody performs an action if it targets only as an effect (that is, isn't printed between two colons) or doesn't target.

Some actions are performed by multiple cards: either multiple Personalities, multiple Followers, or some combination of both Personalities and Followers.

Example: Yoritomo Sunagawa reads "Battle: Bow your target Follower: Ranged Attack with strength equal to the Follower's Force." Sunagawa performs the action because it is printed on his card. The Follower also performs the action because it is targeted as a cost.

For more details, see Glossary, Perform.

Can bowed Shugenja cast spells?

Q. Can bowed Shugenja perform Spell actions?

A. If the spell does not requiring the Shugenja bow as a cost, yes. See here.

Does card memory end when a card is destroyed?

Q. Do cards forget what’s happened to them when they are destroyed?

A. No. Destruction alone isn’t enough; the card must also be face down for effects to end before their normal duration expires. For more, see Effects, Tracking Rule.

Effects created by a destroyed card, however, continue for their normal duration if their source card leaves play.

When stats change, are bonuses reapplied?

Q. Moto Xiao gives his followers +1F. If the force of followers is reduced to zero – say by Nerve Strike targeting a unit – do Xaio’s followers have 0F or 1F?

A. Zero. When stats are set to a new value, do not reapply existing bonuses. See Setting stats to a value.

Example: A 3F Follower has a +1F bonus. An effect reduces the Follower's Force to 0. The Follower's Force receives -4F to bring to the current Force value to 0. Because the +1F bonus was already part of the Force stat, it is not reapplied.

Do I have to pay?

Q. Obfuscation allows me to attach a card from my hand, but doesn't say anything about costs. Do I have to pay for the attachment?

A. Yes. The Empress wants her tax. You must pay to play unless the card effect specifically say you don't. For more, see Mandatory costs.

Specific cards

What happens if the target of Dramatic Assassination is changed to a unit with a different total Gold cost?

Q. What happens if the target of Dramatic Assassination is changed to a unit with a different total Gold cost?

A. Usually, Dramatic Assassination produces no effects and is discarded.

The "usually" qualifier is important. For example, the person paying the cost of Dramatic Assassination has the option to try to generate enough Gold to use on the new target but is not obligated to do so.

For more details, see Abilities and actions, pay costs.

Does Justly Earned Victory stop token bonuses?

Q. Does Justly Earned Victory negate bonuses from tokens?

A. Yes.

Justly Earned Victory specifies no duration, so it is an ongoing effect that lasts until the turn ends. Tokens are continuous effects, and an ongoing negation effect suppresses a continuous effect but this continuous effect re-asserts itself after the negation effect ends. For more information, see Duration and scope of prevention effects and Continuous effects.

Also note that permanent non-token Force bonuses are ongoing effects, not continuous effects. Justly Earned Victory will squelch them until the turn ends, then they re-assert themselves.

Does gaining honor from Houhou’s ability stop me from gaining honor during my Dynasty Phase?

Q. If I use Houhou’s ability and gain honor from it, does it prevent me from buying a Clan-aligned Personality for honor during my Dynasty phase?

A. No. See here.

Can I draw a card when I use Imperial Artificer to pay for a Farmlands follower?

Q. If I use Imperial Artificer to pay for a Farmlands follower, do I get to draw a card?

A. No, because you are paying for the cost of Farmlands Limited action, not a follower. That said, once you have paid for the action, you are allowed to overpay the created Follower’s zero gold cost using Imperial Artificer and gain its benefits that way. For more, see here.

How does Border Keep work?

Q. When using Border Keep, what order are cards removed, put on the bottom of the deck, and replaced in?

A. Determine which cards are being removed simultaneously, and remove them all from their Provinces simultaneously. Because it is physically impossible to put all cards on the bottom of the deck simultaneously, the order is chosen by the player. The Provinces are also all refilled simultaneously, because multiple effects created by a single piece of text are simultaneous.

What Ranged Attacks do Arrows Do Not Falter affect?

Q. What Personalities have a "base" Ranged Attack that can be used with the Focus Effect on Arrows Do Not Falter?

A. "Base" generally means physically printed in ink on the card. Personalities who have an Item with a Ranged Attack do not qualify, nor does one who has been given a Ranged Attack ability by a of card effect.

Can Strength of the Bamboo negate Chi death?

Q. How can Strength of the Bamboo stop Chi death? The Personality still has 0C!

A. Strength of the Bamboo can negate death from 0C, but there are qualifiers.

First, Strength of the Bamboo can do this because does not just negate destruction, but creates an ongoing effect that stops any attempt by an given effect to destroy the card. This also means that it doesn't negate destruction from an effect forever, because Strength of the Bamboo only lasts until the end of the turn.

Second, keep in mind that the source of the Chi penalty matters. It has to be an effect from an action for Strength of the Bamboo to work. The way Strength of the Bamboo is worded means that if the Personality gets a second Chi penalty from a new source, the negation of the older effect by Strength of the Bamboo doesn't matter, and the personality will die immediately.