Card costs not reducing for multiple gains of Inventor played with City-State

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Game #124001770 on tokyo.

Not sure if this has been discussed, but I couldn't find any related results.

I was playing Inventor, gaining an Inventor, playing that with City-State, sometimes, at least once, I did that twice in a row, so the sequence would be:

buy inventor
gain inventor
play inventor with City-State
gain 2nd inventor
play 2nd inventor with City-State
at this point, the card costs were not reduced by $1, despite having played and gained a card from the 1st inventor.
instead, once I resolved the 2nd inventor, i.e. by gaining a 3rd one (but not playing it), only then did the costs of cards reduce (by $2, $1 for each Inventor played).

It seems wrong to me that the cost wasn't reduced after the first Inventor gain.




That is unintuitive but correct behaviour.

Card text Inventor:

Gain a card costing up to $4 ■■■, then cards cost $1 less this turn.

Note that the time when you handle City-State (or other when-gain triggers) is marked in red, which is before the cost reduction happens.

So what happened was:

Buy Inventor#new_1
   Use City-State to play Inventor#new_1
      Gain Inventor#new_2
        Use City-State to play Inventor#new_2
            Gain Inventor#new_3 ■■■
            reduce costs by $1 from Inventor#new_2
      reduce costs by $1 from Inventor#new_1
<You may now buy more cards>

I marked the timing gap between gaining a card and the cost reduction happening in green for playing Inventor#new_1 and in red for play Inventor#new_2.

In other words, the cost reduction from the Inventors comes too late to be of use when playing a just gained Inventor.


Thanks, @Ingix for the detailed explanation and time cues.  I had mostly resolved myself to the idea that this would be the explanation, essentially, that the whole group of gains is treated as a single, chained-event (I'll say, not referencing the card type).

While I can accept this on one level, I don't think this is how anyone would interpret the card text during an in-person game.  I guess that's the "unintuitive" part.  At the least, arguments would ensue.

What I don't understand is why it's treated as a chain/recursion?  Probably a Donald X post somewhere that decrees, "make it so", which practically closes the matter.

Still, The gain has already happened, so why doesn't the reduction take effect as soon as the gain has occurred. In basic logical thinking, such as if-then, the "then" part happens as soon as the "if" is satisfied.

Anyways, thanks, as always, for your moderator work.  Next time I'll know what to expect in the game (if the combo ever comes up)  :D



Quote from: YooperJake on 01 June 2023, 05:30:53 PM
What I don't understand is why it's treated as a chain/recursion?
Any game that allows the "normal flow" of events to be interrupted, needs to decide how that works and when exactly to interrupt. One way is to do it immediately after (like Dominion does), another to wait until the whole card effect is done.

That seems to be the main options, each has advantages and disadvantages. If you wait until the card is over, you might have a lot of things to remember to deal with, for example when buying Invasion, an event from Plunder where you gain 3 cards and play one of them.

Usually gaining a card is a main part of an effect, and it usually comes last. This prevents the unintuitive behaviour Inventor has, because in most cases there simply are no instructions left to followed later when the trigger like City-State executes.

For Inventor that "design rule" is broken, because moving the cost reduction to before the gaining would allow to gain a "normally $5 card" already from the first Inventor. One could change the wording and make it an "up to $3", but that would make the card complicated to understand in the "normal case", where you just play one. So, in my understanding, the wording has been chosen to make it easy to understand in the normal case, and maybe unintuitive in the rare case of playing Inventor immediately after gaining it with another Inventor.