Is MCing into assassin legal?

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Hey, so they added the Shadow Initiate (assassin MC) feat to the compendium, even though it wasn't in the magazine.


Is it RPGA legal?


 


(/readies an action to Coup De Grace the first person to make a Warforged comment.)


UPDATE:


56282976 wrote:

Shadow Initiate is totally legal for play. It debuted in the Character Builder, thus it's good. 


Sometimes, you just need to think about this from a common sense perspective - is there a good reason why it shouldn't be allowed? 


Default for all content is it's allowed, unless we specify in either the content description or the Character Creation Guide that it isn't.



No idea.

It's clearly not actually in the player resource the Compendium (and Character Builder) claim it's in.

You could argue that the Character Builder and Compendium, as official rules sources, have the same ability as errata and official updates to add rules to a publication that didn't already include them, but I don't know whether that's true.

You could also argue that (unlike wilden and tribal feats), this material is truly debuting in the Character Builder, and the CCG allows all "D&D Insider Character Builder debut content", though it's commonly understood that what the CCG author really meant to say was "Player's Handbook 3 Debut Content, as published in Dragon Magazine articles".

More importantly, while the assassin article mentions ki focuses, it doesn't actually list any.  The CB/Compendium update adds vanilla magic ki focuses (sourced to the magazine), which assassins certainly might want to purchase.

I think a player could make a reasonable argument that the assassin MC feat and ki focuses are allowed, but the answer isn't particularly clear and the CCG is sufficiently imprecise that I can't really say with any certainty what was intended.

By strict rules no it isn't.  It was never in the compiled issue of Dragon.  Hopefully we can poke the Great and Terrible Tulach into saying otherwise.

Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf

Ok, well since it isn't clear, perhaps a better question is how many judges here would tell a player who MCed into assassin (and even went as far as power-swapping in assassin powers) that he couldn't play at their table?

If it isn't listed as legal in the LFR 1.9 doc then it is not legal for play.  Last check, it is not.


If it isn't listed as legal in the LFR 1.9 doc then it is not legal for play.  Last check, it is not.



You are sure?

Yes: "Content appearing in Dragon Magazine that is player resource-friendly (full racial write-ups, classes, paragon paths, epic destinies, powers, feats, magic items, rituals/formulas, and backgrounds) is available for access if present in the compiled issue and when the compiled issue is available for download... ."


The feat was never in Dragon, and it doesn't qualify under any of the other entries of Player Resources.  It isn't an issue of "it isn't clear."  By the RPGA rules it is very clear.  It is, unfortunately, something that fell through the cracks by not being in Dragon.

Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf


Yes: "Content appearing in Dragon Magazine that is player resource-friendly (full racial write-ups, classes, paragon paths, epic destinies, powers, feats, magic items, rituals/formulas, and backgrounds) is available for access if present in the compiled issue and when the compiled issue is available for download... ."


The feat was never in Dragon, and it doesn't qualify under any of the other entries of Player Resources.  It isn't an issue of "it isn't clear."  By the RPGA rules it is very clear.  It is, unfortunately, something that fell through the cracks by not being in Dragon.



Except that since it never appeared in any previous source, one can argue that it is a CB debut item, simply lacking an article(which isn't necessary per se).

Except that since it never appeared in any previous source, one can argue that it is a CB debut item, simply lacking an article(which isn't necessary per se).

The Assassin article was part of regular Dragon Magazine content, not part of the PH3 Debut series. I'm afraid RPGA rules on this are clear: the Shadow Initiate feat is not RPGA-legal.



The Assassin article was part of regular Dragon Magazine content, not part of the PH3 Debut series.




... which would have meaning if the CCG said "Player's Handbook 3 Debut Content".

The CCG chose to say that "D&D Insider Character Builder debut content" is legal for use in the campaign.  Not "Dragon Magazine Debut Content".  Not "Player's Handbook 3 Debut Content".  Not even just "D&D Insider Debut Content" (capitalized, which would imply a title instead of a description).

The fact that an article appears in Dragon Magazine is relevant only to whether it's part of that player resource.  To be technical (and I suppose we're trying to be), the PH3 preview material is not legal for use until it actually debuts in the Character Builder.

Hybrids, wilden and tribal feats all appeared somewhere else first, so I'm fine excluding them as not being truly debut material, but ki focuses and the assassin multiclass feat have a better claim as being "Character Builder debut content" than the seeker class does.

You certainly may have a valid argument about what the CCG author was trying to get across, but when telling a player that they need to change their character or they can't play an adventure, I generally want a better argument than that, when the clear wording of the CCG backs them up.

Except we have been over this many times.  Debut Material is very specific and labeled as such.  No amount of argument can change the Assassin material into Debut content.

Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf

One hopes we can get a "MC Feat and Ki Focuses are OK" nod soon, else my Assassin is going to be sad shortly. 1 more High adventure and I would be buying her a Ki Focus.

I don't see a reason why magic Ki Foci wouldn't be allowed... at least the vanilla kind.  Ki Foci are legal as are +X implement enhancements.  There'd be no legal way to get an enhancement other than plain magical, but you can at least get that.  (The Ki Foci are coming in December's Dragon)

Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf



Except we have been over this many times.  Debut Material is very specific and labeled as such.  No amount of argument can change the Assassin material into Debut content.




Yes, it is very specifically and clearly labeled in Dragon Magazine as "Player's Handbook 3 Debut Content".  Sadly, the CCG author decided to state that "Character Builder debut content" was legal.

You realize that nothing is actually labelled as "Character Builder debut content", right?  Saying that something labeled in Dragon Magazine as "Player's Handbook 3 Debut Content" is specifically and clearly the same as "Character Builder debut content" because they both use the term 'debut content' is like saying that the book "Arcane Power" is the same as "Primal Power" because they both end with 'power'

There's something just a little odd about declaring that our determination as to whether something is "Character Builder debut content" has absolutely nothing to do with the Character Builder, is based on a source other than the Character Builder and is decided by a label that never references the Character Builder.

I'm not saying that the author didn't have a "Well, you know what I mean" moment (though considering the CCG was swiftly revised just to change the title of this resource, one would think they'd get it right), but this is pretty much equivalent to the CCG listing the "Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting" as a resource for deity selection, and most players realizing that the only thing that makes sense is for the author to have really meant the "Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide".  We might all be correct, but a player showing up with a patron deity from the FRCS would have a rather good argument that it's allowed.

As I read it, the CCG clearly lists "D&D Insider Character Builder debut content" (note the lack of capitalization) as a description, not a label.  The fact that there is nothing in existence that has ever been labeled "Character Builder debut content" also tends to indicate that it's not a label, because if it is, there's nothing that falls under that category.

We're usually pretty precise about names.  If the Eberron Player's Guide is allowed as a player resource, that doesn't mean that the Eberron Campaign Guide or Player's Guide to Eberron are.  If Primal Power is a player resource, that doesn't mean that things labeled as "Primal Power previews" are.  Allowing Dragon Magazine doesn't mean you can use Dungeon Magazine.  Letting in Adventurer's Vault doesn't necessarily mean letting in Adventurer's Vault 2.

There is not a single rules item that has been labeled as coming from "Character Builder debut content".  So far, we've been fine with the answer that "Well, if it first appeared somewhere else (like a web preview or non-collected Dragon Magazine article) and then shows up in the Character Builder, it's not truly debut content", which lets us exclude wilden and the like.

However, if material that truly and honestly first appears in the Character Builder is not "Character Builder debut content", then I don't know what is.

On a second level, if the Character Builder is effectively being used to errata Dragon Magazine articles, I'd find it hard to argue that that's not within its ability as an official rules source on par with rules updates.



I don't see a reason why magic Ki Foci wouldn't be allowed... at least the vanilla kind.  Ki Foci are legal as are +X implement enhancements.




Why?  I think it makes perfect sense that a +1 ki focus costs 360 gp and does +1d6 damage on a critical hit, but there's nothing in any player resource that tells us that, and there are a lot of things that I think would make perfect sense that we don't allow purely because we don't have a rulebook explicitly telling us we can.  Perhaps ki focuses actually add +1d8 on a critical hit; maybe they use the extra critical hit damage dice of your weapon.  Until they're actually published in an official resource, we're just guessing.

I'd find it tough to say that magic ki focuses are legal but the assassin multiclass feat is not; they both seem to be in the same boat to me.

However, if material that truly and honestly first appears in the Character Builder is not "Character Builder debut content", then I don't know what is.


The answer, and you're not going to like it, is things which are labeled Character Builder debut content somewhere.


So until either campaign staff or WotC does such, we can't claim that's what it is.


Course, as a frequent LFR DM, it's not like I'd do anything to someone who showed up with ki focus or multiclass.

Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director


However, if material that truly and honestly first appears in the Character Builder is not "Character Builder debut content", then I don't know what is.


The answer, and you're not going to like it, is things which are labeled Character Builder debut content somewhere.


So until either campaign staff or WotC does such, we can't claim that's what it is.


Course, as a frequent LFR DM, it's not like I'd do anything to someone who showed up with ki focus or multiclass.



With all do respect, did you read his whole post? He said repeatedly that nothing is actually labeled "Character Builder Debut Content" anywhere. That was the entire point of his post.

And that's why he's not going to like it, obviously enough. We don't have the power to declare things as something that we want them to be just cause we feel like it - that's up to other people.

Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director


And that's why he's not going to like it, obviously enough. We don't have the power to declare things as something that we want them to be just cause we feel like it - that's up to other people.




Again. Nothing is actually labeled "Character Builder Debut Content" anywhere. That was the entire point of his post.

Apparently I'm not being clear.


The fact that nothing is labeled such is immaterial to the discussion. Only once something is labeled such will it count as such. If that _never_ happens, then it never happened.


So it'd be really good if someone official - not me nor him - but someone from campaign staff or WotC, say, made a post/ruling to that effect.

Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director


Apparently I'm not being clear.


The fact that nothing is labeled such is immaterial to the discussion. Only once something is labeled such will it count as such. If that _never_ happens, then it never happened.


So it'd be really good if someone official - not me nor him - but someone from campaign staff or WotC, say, made a post/ruling to that effect.




So you're saying that Seekers, Psions, and Githzeri are not actually legal, since they wern't labled as Character bilder debute content? only as PH3 Debute content?

I think he argues that Seekers etc were labeled as 'debut' content somwhere, and the asasssin MC feat didn't.


It doesn't matter what kind of debut it is - as long as it is labeled 'debut'.


I am pretty sure that Ki Foci and MC feat are intended to be legal, but I agree that you can't just call them 'debut' to make them so.


Gomez

you can call the MC feat and KI focuses Character Builder (d)ebut (c)ontent, notice the small D and C, not capitalized like the title of an article, only the character builder is being referenced by name, the debut content is just a descriptor, so you take the actual definition of those words and apply them, so something that appears first in the character builer is making it's debut in the "Character Builder" thus it is legal, Bgibbons long post is the most logical and technically thought out interpretation of it I've seen yet.  Maybe that's why people are against it so much, this is the internet after all.

Blah blah blah


you can call the MC feat and KI focuses Character Builder (d)ebut (c)ontent




You can only call it that if it is listed somewhere as debut content. Otherwise, you are just making stuff up.

 

you can call the MC feat and KI focuses Character Builder (d)ebut (c)ontent

You can only call it that if it is listed somewhere as debut content. Otherwise, you are just making stuff up.


Exactly. I mean, I'm 100% totally for them being officially okay and approved. So the PHB3 stuff approved as debut content, there's even a clear line in both the sticky and wiki about PHB3 debut content... and the assassin itself is clearly in with everything that was in that article. But there are a couple things that _weren't_ in that article that are in the character builder, and they claim they're from dragon magazine, where they weren't in the compiled issue... and yeah, someone official could hopefully designate them something.


But random players and DMs can't do that.

Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director



you can call the MC feat and KI focuses Character Builder (d)ebut (c)ontent




You can only call it that if it is listed somewhere as debut content. Otherwise, you are just making stuff up.

 




He's not making stuff up, he is applying the English definition of the term "debut" and "content", since they are lower case, and are not specific keywords defined in the context of the game, the campaign, or anything else more specific than the English language.


It is quite literally and unambiguously Character Builder debut content, regardless of whether it is LFR legal.

Given that articles have been marked 'debut content', they are keywords in the game.


I don't doubt that the items are intended to be legal, mind. But I don't think they are 'debut content'. I think they simply fell through the cracks.


Gomez

Put another way... if someone at wotc screwed up and accidentally put some half-playtested, actually broken, content into the character builder. Would it be count as LFR legal character builder debut content?


Under any theory where it does, we can know that theory doesn't apply to LFR. Cause I can easily apply that (d)ebut (c)ontent theory to the above situation and it's legal. It's legal even if they release a patch the next day removing it. After all, it was in the character builder, it went on my character and printed. It was the first place it appeared. It was content. Score. I just have to be careful not to update my character builder. Right?

Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director



you can call the MC feat and KI focuses Character Builder (d)ebut (c)ontent




You can only call it that if it is listed somewhere as debut content. Otherwise, you are just making stuff up.

 




Yeah sure, you can ignore what I actaully said and cut off the quote of what I said there and make that statement, or you can read the entire line and see what I was saying.


Your call, but the way you are going about it really weakens your position in the debate.

Blah blah blah


Given that articles have been marked 'debut content', they are keywords in the game.


I don't doubt that the items are intended to be legal, mind. But I don't think they are 'debut content'. I think they simply fell through the cracks.


Gomez




 


Well, given that 'Construct' and 'Living Construct' are apparently completely different keywords, I'd expect "Player's Handbook 3 Debut Content" to be a different keyword from "Character Builder debut content".


I don't think it's too much to expect that I ought to be able to rely on what a document says.  The problem is that when I apply logic, precedent, and the plain meaning of English words to interpret the document, I'm told that my reading wasn't what the author meant, which I was apparently supposed to divine... somehow.  That gets frustrating very quickly.

Yeah sure, you can ignore what I actaully said and cut off the quote of what I said there and make that statement, or you can read the entire line and see what I was saying.

Your call, but the way you are going about it really weakens your position in the debate.




Actually, he's correct.  It is making stuff up.  It's trying to twist things to come up with a false interpretation of what is there.  It's enough to make a lawyer's heart grow three sizes this day.  ;)


It doesn't matter that it's lower case instead of upper case.  Debut content is something specific.  Arguing about capitalization is one of the weakest arguments I have heard in along time.  It's grasping at straws.


I'm all for them being LFR legal.  However, in answer to the OP, the answer is no by the campaign's rules.


I mean really?  Capitalization?  Come on.

Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf


Yeah sure, you can ignore what I actaully said and cut off the quote of what I said there and make that statement, or you can read the entire line and see what I was saying.

Your call, but the way you are going about it really weakens your position in the debate.




Actually, he's correct.  It is making stuff up.  It's trying to twist things to come up with a false interpretation of what is there.  It's enough to make a lawyer's heart grow three sizes this day.  ;)


It doesn't matter that it's lower case instead of upper case.  Debut content is something specific.  Arguing about capitalization is one of the weakest arguments I have heard in along time.  It's grasping at straws.


I'm all for them being LFR legal.  However, in answer to the OP, the answer is no by the campaign's rules.


I mean really?  Capitalization?  Come on.




I think you are missing the point that he was trying to make that instead of debut content being a title it is a description. Claiming that Character Builder debut content = content that debuts in Character Builder is not grasping at straws.

Put another way... if someone at wotc screwed up and accidentally put some half-playtested, actually broken, content into the character builder. Would it be count as LFR legal character builder debut content?


I'm not sure why not. The presumption is that if WotC puts something into Character Builder and only into CB, they meant it to be there. If it is meant to be changed, they'll change it. WotC, in my personal experience, has been extremely good about fixing obvious mistakes in Character Builder.


In 3.5, it was reasonable to assume the worst of CustServ and FAQ/errata. But if you haven't noticed, the person who is in charge of Character Builder regularly posts to the boards(and is clearly at least a theoretical optimizer). The guy who is in charge of Updates does Twitter and responds quickly to polite errata suggestions. Whole different paradigm.


After all, it was in the character builder, it went on my character and printed. It was the first place it appeared. It was content. Score. I just have to be careful not to update my character builder. Right?



If the rules are changed, you're responsible for having most current set of rules available. So, no...

The most current version of the made up rule in question is the one from before it was removed, the one where it debuted. They didn't provide a more recent version. They just removed it. An honest mistake, even one quickly realized and fixed, is not debut content. Unless it's labeled as such.


I mean, we're all for assassins getting this stuff. I'm sure they eventually will. Some day. When someone official says so. Personally, I'd hold off on playing an assassin in LFR for a bit myself or just make sure to play it with an accomodating DM and not, say, at a con.

Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director


I think you are missing the point that he was trying to make that instead of debut content being a title it is a description.




And I believe the opposite: that 'debut content' is a label to be applied to an item or aricle. It's the most logical way in how to classify something - by giving it a label.

Gomez

The most current version of the made up rule in question is the one from before it was removed, the one where it debuted. They didn't provide a more recent version. They just removed it. An honest mistake, even one quickly realized and fixed, is not debut content. Unless it's labeled as such.


The reason why Compendium/Character Builder can be used as a reference source is that it can be looked up and confirmed. If your made up rule is removed, then it can't be looked up and confirmed. So it isn't usable unless it exists in some other current rules source, such as a Dragon magazine or hardcover.


Shadow Initiate is currently in Compendium/Character Builder. It showed up first in there, though it looks like it was supposed to be included in Dragon.


If you really want them to fix it, just email the bug team for Character Builder/Compendium and ask them why it says Dragon 379 on Shadow Initiate because you can't find the feat in Dragon 379. That should fix the problem faster than arguing about it here.


Actually, he's correct.  It is making stuff up.  It's trying to twist things to come up with a false interpretation of what is there.  It's enough to make a lawyer's heart grow three sizes this day.  ;)




If anybody's making stuff up, it's the people assigning a special meaning to the phrase "debut content".  There's no definition given in any official document, so the only reasonable thing to do is to use the plain English meaning of the words.


You're starting with what you assume to be the correct conclusion, then interpreting the text in such a way as to reach your desired result.  That's not a valid approach, but you don't seem to realize that.  In fact, you go as far as accusing people of "twist[ing] things" up, not because there's anything wrong with their reasoning, but because their conclusions disagree with yours.


I'm not a lawyer, but I am a student of law, so take that for what you will.

Shadow Initiate is totally legal for play. It debuted in the Character Builder, thus it's good. 


Sometimes, you just need to think about this from a common sense perspective - is there a good reason why it shouldn't be allowed? 


Default for all content is it's allowed, unless we specify in either the content description or the Character Creation Guide that it isn't.

Chris Tulach D&D Program Manager Wizards of the Coast http://community.wizards.com/wotc_tulach http://twitter.com/christulach

I will also endeavor to make this much more clear in the next iteration of the Character Creation Guide (2.0, which will have a lot of changes to formatting to make things much easier to understand). 

Chris Tulach D&D Program Manager Wizards of the Coast http://community.wizards.com/wotc_tulach http://twitter.com/christulach

Thanks Chris!!


A very clear and definitive answer... that should be stickied and applied to all similar discussion threads in the future.


Laughing



Default for all content is it's allowed, unless we specify in either the content description or the Character Creation Guide that it isn't.




Wow.  That's a bit of a change from the ordinary way we look at things, which is that any character creation options not expressly allowed are forbidden.

Does this include material like the wilden race and tribal feats, which are included in the Character Builder (sourced to Dragon Magazine), but actually were first published in web preview articles that did not make it into the final compiled Dragon Magazine?  (Or, to put it another way, can the Character Builder essentially errata Dragon Magazine, as with ki focuses, to add material that didn't actually show up in the magazine?)



I will also endeavor to make this much more clear in the next iteration of the Character Creation Guide (2.0, which will have a lot of changes to formatting to make things much easier to understand).




For CCG v2.0, might I suggest starting from scratch with a new document?  The incremental nature of the current document means you end up with orphaned concepts and rules (for example, the emphasis on the regionalization of the campaign, the way backgrounds are presented and the special access rules), which doesn't help the clarity.

And, hey, you might find of the CCG an interesting look for another way of formatting the rules.

Yay, everyone got what they wanted
1) An official response
2) Clarification of the doc
3) The assassin gets the toys he needs

Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director