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Official Rules Question Thread



Relevant rules reference bits:

[…] Only unrezzed installed cards can be exposed. […]

[…] Agendas cannot be rezzed. However, some agendas may be installed or turned faceup. Faceup agendas are not rezzed or unrezzed. […]


What are people’s thoughts on SMC and Flame-out? Can the credits be used on installing the program SMC fetches?

I think some people assume so, because SMC triggered ability instructs the install. Here is the “using” rule:

Using Abilities
Any time an ability is optional, regardless of whether it is a triggered ability or a constant ability, then the player is considered to be “using” that ability and the card it is on if they choose to resolve it. A player can only use an ability if its effect has the potential to change the game state. This potential is assessed without taking into account the consequences of paying any costs or triggering any other abilities.
(Rules Reference 1.0, p. 4, emphasis mine)

We know the ability is a triggered ability, because paid abilities are a subset, so it should count. But, there’s been questions about similar iterations and it seems the consensus was that you cannot: Multithreader and SMC, Multithreader and Customized Secretary. But I’m not sure if the “using” ruling was widely understood then.

Also, does the timing of the trash and the hosting relationship make the Flame-out + SMC interaction even more complicated?

I did post to ANCUR to see if they would respond promptly:


i think the general consensus is that you pay 2c to use SMC’s ability (which you can use from Flame-out), then you pay the install cost from your own credit pool (or from things like Net Mercur, Sahasrara, etc.)

Search your stack for a program and install it (paying the install cost). Shuffle your stack.

i would definitely not say that installing is an optional result of paying the cost of 2c and trashing SMC, so i’m inclined to agree that you can’t. the Customized Secretary ruling seems the same (a click ability vs credit + click ability)


It’s a paid ability, so by definition it’s optional as a whole. I’m not sure you can split it up into part optional and part mandatory. Is there a ruling you’re basing this on (FAQ or UFAQ of @jakodrako/Boggs/Damon)?


The last time I looked into this I found nothing at the level of RRG entries, FAQ, UFAQ, or utterances from official-type people to definitively state what I also found to be the general consensus: that you can’t use Flame-Out, or Multithreader, or whatever else to pay for the install cost of programs you install off of Self-Modifying Code.

Thanks for making moves, @tvaduva, toward getting us something more official than all that I was able to find, which was reddit threads with people talking about what the ruling was.


Does PAD Tap trigger off of Identities (eg Azmari EdTech or BABW) and scored agendas (eg Corporate Sales team or High Risk Investment)? What about stolen agendas like SSL Endorsement?


yes and no. so card abilities of any card (even your IDs and agendas) count.

but there is a distinction between gain and take

if a card says gain and what you do is grab credits from the general supply/token bank/whatever, pad tap will trigger

if a card says take, and you take credit tokens that are on the card itself, it won’t trigger

so azmari, yes. BABW (technically no i think, but only because the operation would trigger first, but assuming a transaction gives you no credits, yes). high risk investment. corp gains credits from the out of play supply, and pad tap triggers

SSL and corporate sales team, no, because the credits are placed on the card, and the corp takes them
this also applies to launch, adonis, and marilyn campaigns (and long-term investment if you see anyone ever play that card)
pad campaign triggers pad tap though because you grab the credit from the supply


Also, checked with StimSlack, and dragoonkin helpfully pointed out that there was a ruling for the conspiracy breakers for a similar interaction. I looked up Paperclip’s UFAQ and here is the relevant ruling:

Can the Runner spend credits on Cloak to install Paperclip from the heap?

No. While triggering Paperclip’s ability from the heap is considered using Paperclip, paying the install cost is part of the install action and not a cost of using the ability.

Since the wording is pretty much the same, I think this definitively covers it: Flame-out can only be used for cost of the paid ability (ie. 2 credits for SMC), but not for the install action cost that’s part of that ability.


If the Corp scores a Philotic Entanglement and the Runner has a single card in their Grip - an I’ve Had Worse - and two agendas in their score area, are they flatlined?

Essentially I’m asking, with the way the card is worded (“do 1 net damage for each agenda in the Runner’s score area”), does the Corp do X “packets” of 1 net damage, or one “packet” of X net damage (where X is the number of agendas in the Runner’s score area)?


yes. philotic does one instance of damage, not 1 damage several times. you finish resolving all of the current instance of damage, then i’ve had worse would trigger, but philotic kills them and ends the game here first


Thanks for the reply, good to know. Can you point me at a rule, FAQ or ruling which confirms this?


i mean it’s just the way it’s worded. there is probably a ruling somewhere, but i have no idea which card it’s attached to, but it works exactly cortex lock


Understood, I just think the wording can be interpreted in either of the two ways I suggested above, so was wondering if it was every clarified anywhere. I don’t see any rulings relating to this for Cortex Lock either unfortunately.

Not questioning that you’re right - now I know how cards phrased this way should work at least, so thanks - just wanted to find something “official” that confirms or clarifies further.


I would refer to page ten of the Revised Rules Guide, which describes how lump sums of damage are dealt out, and has an example that specifically deals with the I’ve Had Worse situation:

If the Runner suffers more than 1 damage of any type, then
cards are randomly trashed from the grip one at a time
to maintain the order of the heap, but all of the cards are
considered trashed simultaneously.

Example: The Runner has 2 tags and four cards in their grip,
one of which is I’ve Had Worse. The Corp plays BOOM!,
dealing 7 meat damage to the Runner. If the Runner cannot
or does not prevent at least 3 of the incoming damage, they
immediately flatline as they have suffered more damage than
they have cards in grip. If the Runner does prevent enough of
the damage to survive, the Runner randomly trashes one card
at a time for each damage suffered. After all the cards have
been randomly selected and placed in the heap, I’ve Had Worse
triggers if it is among those cards trashed to the damage.

This is generalizeable to any large sum of damage, whether it is High Profile Target, Psychic Field, Philotic Entanglement, or Cortex Lock.

It isn’t generalizeable to several single instances of damage like with an ice like Komainu, since unlike Psychic Field, which does net damage equal to the ice in your hand, Komainu does one net damage X times, where X is the number of routines it gaines.


I think any ambiguity comes down to use of “for each”, and this is clarified in the Rules Reference.

When the resolution of an ability involves an effect repeated “for each” of a quantity, the full effect of the ability is first calculated, and then the ability resolves. A “for each” effect does not affect each specified item one at a time, but instead applies a single resolution of the ability as described. If the ability would resolve on an empty set or a value of 0, then nothing is counted and thus the effect does not resolve.

Applying the above shows that you first calculate the total amount of damage and then apply it for Philotic.


Thanks so much for taking the time to find those references, that all makes sense.

However, I still don’t see anything that specifically clarifies that cards like Philotic Entanglement or Cortex Lock do X net damage like BOOM!, or many instances of 1 net damage like Komainu?

Is there some statement within the official (or unofficial) documentation which states that any time this sort of scale-able damage is done, it is considered a single instance of X damage, as opposed to X instances of 1 damage each?

I’m not going mad that you could read these cards (Philotic, Cortex Lock, Psychic Field) either way, am I?

Just to be clear again, I’m not arguing that the interpretation which has been provided is not the right one (or at least the accepted one), I’m just seeking somewhere where this is explicitly stated without ambiguity.


Perfect, I think that’s exactly what I was looking for, thanks!

Pages 12-13 of the current Rules Reference:

“For Each”
When the resolution of an ability involves an effect repeated “for each” of a quantity, the full effect of the ability is first calculated, and then the ability resolves. A “for each” effect does not affect each specified item one at a time, but instead applies a single resolution of the ability as described. If the ability would resolve on an empty set or a value of 0, then nothing is counted and thus the effect does not resolve.

Example: The Runner encounters a Cortex Lock and does not break the subroutine. If the Runner has 2 unused MU, both of the net damage can be prevented with Biometric Spoofing because Cortex Lock does a single batch of 2 net damage, not 2 batches of 1 net damage each*. If the Runner has no unused MU, then no net damage is dealt because there is no MU to count, and Tori Hanzo does not meet its trigger condition.

*emphasis mine

(We played it wrong btw if anyone cares, but not because I insisted as such, we actually asked a couple of other experienced players and they said it worked the other way, so lesson learned!)


Sorry for my own misunderstanding in what you were asking!


No apology required Sanjay, thanks for taking the time to reply! :slight_smile:


How is the ruling on The Turning Wheel and Divide and Conquer?