"As If": This was added to the FAQ (v.1.7, March 2020) and then amended (v.1.8, October 2020). You can read the October ruling on the ArkhamDB rules page here. (I'm adding a hyperlink rather than retyping the rules in case in future the ruling is changed or amended - at that point, the rules page will be updated and all ArkhamDB FAQ entries will link to the correct ruling.)
Q: Can I play an Ethereal Slip in the Dream-Gate? What would happen if it could be played? A: If you played Ethereal Slip while in Dream-Gate, nothing would happen, because Dream-Gate prevents enemies from entering it. Swapping places would not be possible.
Q: After playing Read the Signs in Dream-Gate, can I still play Practice Makes Perfect during the Skill Test? Or, can I continue to play a Crack the Case after discovering the last remaining clues? A: To answer your other questions literally, there is nothing on Dream-Gate that would prevent you from playing Read the Signs and then Practice Makes Perfect to investigate there, at Dream-Gate. (It wouldn’t make sense to play Crack the Case”after this interaction, though.) Now, if you were asking about using Luke Robinson’s ability to investigate any revealed location while in Dream-Gate, that’s a little different. In summary, you would be able to play each of the cards you mentioned, so long as their conditions are met. Let’s say you are playing Luke Robinson and are currently in Dream-Gate. Per its ability text, Dream-Gate is connected to each other revealed location. Luke Robinson’s ability allows you to play one event each turn as if you were at a connecting location and engaged with each enemy at that location. “As if” is a phrasing that alters the game state in the manner described for the duration described—in other words, you can play an event card during your turn and essentially act as if you are in that location until the event card is fully resolved. You decide your event for the turn is Read the Signs, and thanks to being in Dream-Gate, you are able to investigate at any revealed location, and act as if you are in that location. There is a window of opportunity before the card fully resolves where you can play a “Fast” event card and create what’s known as a “nested sequence.” All of that to say, Practice Makes Perfect would be valid in the location you are investigating; you can resolve it while the “as if” condition is altering the game state. You could also play Crack the Case if the last remaining clue was discovered at that location during the investigation action of Read the Signs.
Q: If Luke Robinson's mini-card is located at Dream-Gate (Wondrous Journey) and he plays Drawn to the Flame as if he were at a connected location and draws a non-aloof enemy without spawn instructions off the top of the encounter deck, where does the enemy end up when Drawn to the Flame finishes resolving? A: If Luke Robinson were in Dream-Gate and utilized his ability to play Drawn to the Flame “as if” in a location, then he drew an enemy, that enemy would spawn engaged with Luke for the duration of Drawn to the Flame, since “as if” rules are treating Luke is being in the target location during that time. Once Luke discovers 2 clues at the location and Drawn to the Flame ends, the enemy cannot stay engaged with Luke while he’s in Dream-Gate, so the enemy would remain behind at the location Luke discovered clues at.
Q: Luke plays Read the Signs to investigate a connecting location with a ready, unengaged Young Deep One. Does he take 1 horror? (I think no, because he is considered to be engaged with enemy, but there is no timing point of engagement.) A: Luke playing Read the Signs on a connecting location would not cause him to engage Young Deep One or take 1 horror.
Q: Under The Silver Rule, "the encounter card takes precedence over the player card", does this include weakness with an encounter cardtype? For example, what happens if Luke is Entombed (or the location has No Turning Back attached) and he draws Detached from Reality? Does this mean, because of The Silver Rule, Luke cannot move into Dream-Gate? A: Because Entombed states that the person it’s attached to cannot disengage or move, this effect is absolute and must be followed. If Luke were Entombed and drew Detached from Reality, Luke would not disengage from enemies or move, he would only either flip Dream-Gate or put Dream-Gate into play.
Q: There's a ruling that states: "I would say that while Dream-Gate is in play, it is an encounter card, since it is a location and location cards are generally encounter cards. However, while it is set aside and out of play it functions more like a player card, for deckbuilding purposes and the like. So if Gate Box moves you, that is a player card effect moving you, but when Dream-Gate moves you, that would be an encounter card effect moving you." MJ says: "While Dream-Gate is in play, it is an encounter card", does this mean that when the effect of an encounter card conflicts with the Constant Abilities of Dream-Gate, The Silver Rule will itwork? For example, during Luke's turn, Luke is in Dream-Gate (Wondrous Journey) and draws a Dance of the Yellow King. The skill test fails, the nearest Lunatic will move towards Luke. If both cards are encounter cards, may I decide which takes precedence? If so, does the enemy stay in the same place? A: If Luke is in Dream-Gate, enemies cannot enter it, nor can enemies move closer to him, so Dance of the Yellow King would not move the enemy anywhere if Luke failed the test. The Silver Rule comes into play if two cards directly contradict one another in a way that is “impossible to reconcile”, but this is not an instance where the interaction is impossible to reconcile.
Q: Luke draws Detached from Reality in the Upkeep phase and moves to Dream-Gate (Pointless Reality). Then in the next Mythos phase, if Luke draws an enemy that has no spawn instruction, how should enemies spawn in this case? Spawns engaged with Luke? Just discard this enemy? or something else? A: If the enemy cannot spawn anywhere, discard it.
Q: If Luke Robinson is already in the Dream-Gate and cannot move for some reason at the same time (for example, already in the Dream-Gate, the Mythos phase draws Entombed), at the end of the investigation phase, how is the forced ability of the Dream-Gate resolved? A: Unless explicitly specified, investigators cannot be at “no location.” If Luke is Entombed while in Dream-Gate when the investigation phase ends, Dream-Gate must be set aside, so you may ignore Entombed’s effect long enough to place Luke in a revealed location that’s in play.
Q: Suppose Luke, physically in location A, plays an event involving a skill test as if he were in location B. Can other investigators at location A commit cards to the skill test? Can other investigators at location B commit cards to the skill test? A: Because of the rules for “as if”, Luke should be treated as in Location B while playing the event in question, and so investigators in Location B could commit cards to a resulting skill test.
Q: Now say there's a Massive enemy in location A, and Luke (in location A) again plays an event as if he were in location B. Does Luke trigger an AoO from the Massive enemy? A: No, Luke would not provoke an Attack of Opportunity from a Massive enemy in Location A; he is considered to be in Location B while paying the costs of and initiating the event he’s playing.
Q: In The Essex County Express, it's possible for Luke to go to his Dream-Gate (say, during the enemy phase), and then during the Mythos Phase for the agenda to advance and remove the leftmost location from the game. If that location is the only revealed location, Luke is now stuck in his Dream-Gate for the duration of the investigation phase, since Dream-Gate is only connected to revealed locations. Then, at the end of the investigation phase, the Forced ability on Dream-Gate triggers, attempting to force Luke to move to any revealed locations - but there are none! FAQ entry 1.21 provides some guidance for this situation, instructing us "If an effect (such as a “cannot move” effect) would cause an investigator or enemy to not be at a location, ignore that effect." For example, this allows a Luke with Entombed in his threat area to temporarily ignore Entombed for the purposes of leaving Dream-Gate due to the Forced trigger. However, how should this be applied to Essex County Express? Do we ignore the part of Dream-Gate that says we can only move to revealed locations? If so, since all locations are equally unrevealed, does that mean we can move to any of them, including the Engine Car at the rightmost end? Even though that seems allowed by the rules, I'm concerned it's an abuse of a loophole and against the scenario's spirit. A: In the Essex County Express scenario, if somehow Luke is stuck in Dream-Gate when the only revealed location is removed from the game, then Luke should be defeated. We believe this keeps in the spirit of the scenario, and also makes it so the restrictions on the locations are properly followed.
Q: If Luke Robinson has Entombed in his threat area when the Forced effect on Dream-Gate triggers, what happens? A: While Entombed would prevent Luke Robinson from moving, an investigator cannot be at “no location” unless explicitly stated. When Dream-Gate’s forced effect would move Luke Robinson at the investigation phase, you may ignore the effect on Entombed long enough to place Luke in a revealed location. - FAQ, v.2.1, August 2023
Dreamer. Drifter. Wayfarer.
You begin the game with Gate Box in play.
You may play one event each turn as if you were at a connecting location and engaged with each enemy at that location.
effect: +1. Place 1 charge on Gate Box.
Luke Robinson - Back
Deck Size: 30.
Deckbuilding Options: Mystic cards () level 0-5, Seeker cards () level 0-2, Neutral cards level 0-5.
Deckbuilding Requirements (do not count toward deck size): Gate Box, Detached from Reality, 1 random basic weakness.
They FINALLY told us how to actually play him!
"(2.10) “As if…”
Some card effects allow an investigator to resolve an ability or perform an action as if a certain aspect of the game state were altered, using the text “as if…” to indicate the difference. The indicated ability or action is resolved with the altered game state in mind, but the actual game state remains unchanged.
=This includes all steps of the indicated ability/action, including the paying of its costs, attacks of opportunity (where applicable), and resolving each aspect of its effect. =Other card abilities or game effects do not resolve with the altered game state in mind; only the indicated ability/action.
Example 1: Luke Robinson’s ( 4) ability allows him to “play one event each turn as if you were at a connecting location and engaged with each enemy at that location.” If Luke plays Barricade ( 38) as if he were at a connecting location, he would attach it to the location he is considered to be at, instead of the location he is actually at. Doing so would also provoke attacks of opportunities from any enemies at that location, since he is considered to be engaged with them throughout the playing of Barricade. That location has the following ability: “:Reaction: After an event card is attached to this location, deal 1 damage to each investigator at this location.” This ability would still trigger, but it would not deal any damage to Luke, because he is not actually at that location. He is only considered to be at that location for the purposes of the playing of Barricade.
Example 2: Luke Robinson ( 4) instead plays Shortcut ( 22) as if he were at a connecting location. This would allow him to move to a location connected to the chosen location. If there are 1 or more enemies at that location, they do not move with him, because even though the event is resolved as if Luke is engaged with him, those enemies are not actually in his threat area, and therefore do not move when he moves."
I think that Luke Robinson is an interesting investigator. I'm not sure about his power level, but starting in play with such a powerful asset greatly increases his potential during the game. Gate Box essentially gives him 3 uses of Elusive which is super powerful given that Elusive costs 2 XP with the Taboo List, so he basically gets 3 uses of a 2 XP card for free. To be fair, the effect he gets is a little worse than Elusive, as it actually costs an action to move to another location, while Elusive is actionless, but if he waits until the end of his turn, he automatically moves away for free. But that's already great power level anyway, so the action cost can't even count as a disadvantage. And what's more than that, he can add even more uses to his Gate Box with Enraptured and Recharge making that asset even more powerful!
His deckbuilding options are a bit weird, but interesting. Seeker class for a 3-Intellect investigator isn't great but offers him interesting options. I think he might fall in the same category as Roland Banks when it comes to investigating, arming himself with Flashlights and Working a Hunchs and clearing low-shroud locations with regular investigations and using auto-clues for the harder stuff. He can always use Rite of Seeking and Sixth Sense of course, but if he wants to use more physical means for investigating, I think his options are kind of limited.
His ability is also interesting. I think the engagement part is mostly useful for multiplayer, but he can generally equip himself with the right events to make it count. Banish, Storm of Spirits, Drawn to the Flame and Working a Hunch make some examples of some options he can include to make use of his ability, and I think he should also lean on events heavier in order to make it more worthwhile. What's interesting here is that he can combine his ability with Gate Box. Dream-Gate is connected to every other location in play, so he can use the Gate Box to move to Dream-Gate and deal with some enemies or get some clues from any location he wants and then move to any other location he likes! I think that's super neat!
Luke Robinson's weakness is relatively mild in my opinion. With his 9 sanity, I think that the 2 horror it deals to him is a minor punishment. It can even benefit him in some situations, by letting him move to any other location he wants. I believe the worst part of it is that it can lock you down and detach you from the rest of your team for a turn and that can be very punishing in certain situations. That's, of course, assuming that he can't take a successful 6-difficulty investigate test, which I believe will be the case most of the time, but if he somehow can, he can mitigate this problem. If he runs Mr. "Rook", though, he can use this weakness to his advantage, as Mr. "Rook" will give him more control of when he draws it and possibly turn this downside into a benefit, by letting him draw it at an unimportant time and allow him to move to any other location he wants for free.
As a final note, I think De Vermis Mysteriis becomes a lot better with Luke Robinson. All those mystic spells that fight or evade can now be used against enemies at a connecting location and let you avoid the attack of opportunity that De Vermis Mysteriis would cause. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the cost is paid BEFORE the ability is initiated, which makes De Vermis Mysteriis usuable while you are at a connecting location and when you initiate the ability you can choose to use Luke Robinson's ability and play the event as if you were at a connecting location, therefore making it usuable with events that fight or evade enemies while you are not engaged with anything. And, as a bonus, his combined access to Mystic and Seeker cards gives him good options to fuel the book, making it possibly a viable choice for him.
Luke Robinson is a pure mess of an investigator as it currently stand, everyone has their own interpretation of how his effect of playing events as if being at a connection location actually works.
So until some FAQ on him is released I would say he is close to unplayable, you will be making up rules and spending insane amount of time trying to read the current rules to determine how his ability interact with them or reading conflicting intetperetations of how his ability works in given situations on both reddit, BBG and other places . Being consistent with what ever rulings you might come up I personally found to be extremely hard.
Some questions can be answered, but others like what happens to enemies already or becoming engaged with Luke during the event work when played at a connecting location work? - there are no clear answers in the rule book, under Engagement it only talk about enemies in the Threat area when moving, so what happens when you are not really moving but are just there as if. Do they follow you or disengage? - What if they already are engaged with you when you play the event - you are considered to be as if your are at the connecting location when playing the event so did the already engaged enemy "follow" you? or do they disengage and reengage? Do they do Attack of Opportunity?
Luke is an interesting mystic in that he's best when played to full hi-jinx and shenanigans. His stat line for both Mystic and Seeker is mediocre, so you're going to be most successful looking for ways to grab clues from the Dream-Gate that require little or no testing, and using his dippy do dah to avoid monsters and traps, or cause them to fizzle.
Some fun suggestions:
Gate Box + Vantage Point + Seeking Answers combo to pull two clues from a high shroud location with only auto-fail to stop you. With Seeking Answers (2) this can be done in one action. If you can boost the Camera while doing so, awesome! Play Enlightened on this Investigate to turn a card into a charge on anything but auto-fail.
Gate Box + Pathfinder to instantly teleport to any revealed location as a free action. You can set up some serious crazy with Shortcut, 2xPathfinder, and your Gate Box where you can Pathfinder into an unrevealed location, Shortcut into a second (use Shortcut second in case a monster spawns), then Gate Box shenanigans and use the second Pathfinder to pop out wherever with a full turn's worth of actions remaining and two additional revealed locations.
Alyssa Graham + Gate Box + Drawn to the Flame to pull two testless clues from a high shroud location when you find an encounter that can't spawn at your Dream-Gate. If you are the lead investigator, Alyssa can do a lot of work for the team by identifying location attachments, treacheries where X is based on shroud, and irritating no-VP monsters for you to negate. (Just remember to use the Gate Box during upkeep player window!).
Hemispheric Map + Gate Box + Read the Signs for an 11 skill test as long as four locations have been revealed (See Pathfinder/Shortcut above) - another two clues on basically anything but auto-fail. If you're rocking the Camera from earlier as well this could mean even -8 is no biggie.
Working a Hunch basically any time you're at the Dream-Gate and won't be using your once per turn ability on something else.
I have found that when I play Luke my partner is often annoyed that it's STILL MY TURN because I'm doing so many free trigger actions. That's typically the best sign of a successful shenanigan - your game group can't believe you still have actions left.
There are a lot of good combos with him (some were already mentioned before):
- Crack the Case when a fellow investigator finishes the last clue at a connecting location, and as his ability is per turn, you can also use an other event in your own turn.
- Unfotunatelly Vantage Points doesn't work for his weakness, but you can also use it with the Box. It makes his location 0 shroud so it is auto-success other than auto-fail, and you can get a clue from any location to it. It pairs very well with Hawk-Eye Folding Camera. When you investigate the dream-gate you trigger the camera. You can do this multiple times in a game (ofc you need to put a clue on it to work) as per rules Limits and Maximums every time the Gate enters play it is a new instance. Alternatively you can use Dr. William T. Maleson or Quick Study to put a clue on your location. The later can greatly help if you want to investigate the weakness side of the Gate, and makes the investigation meaningful.
- Barricade non-elites.
- Shortcut(0) by wording causes a double move.
- Time-warp an other investigators action from a connecting location (doesn't take up your turns event). You can even pull the other investigator back to your self if he/she moves away. Good if revealing location wasn't such a good idea, or if you only want to troll a little.
- My favorite for a multi investigator game is Open Gate. You want to get your teammates from an other location? Or send them away? Put down a Gate on your location, enter the Box, then put down an other gate anywhere on the map by using his ability. You can even end up on a third location (and put a Gate there too).
- Open Gate has an other good use. If there is already a Gate in play, when you draw your weakness, put down a Gate in the pointless reality, so you can move away without investigating. Its fast so you only have to move. Ofc you lose one of your Gate cards, but if you weren't ready for investigating the location it can be a good alternative. Edit:
- Knowledge is Power is awesome to use shrivelling on neighborhood enemies.