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Author Topic: Slow gaining Fast  (Read 5463 times)

Kelanen

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Slow gaining Fast
« on: November 06, 2016, 10:14:07 AM »
This stems from a discussion over on BGG, where Ivan corrected me on the interactions between Slow and Fast, but I wanted to post it over here for a broader discussion.

Now I know Ivan is Ivan thus almost certainly correct, but the problem is I just don't get that from the rules as written. I presume it's come up in playtesting at some time, and Ivan will be right, but in which case, I feel the rules need rewriting to clarify - it basically all hinges on the word 'Cancel'

The essence of this was can you give a SLOW creature, two instances of FAST (from different sources, no duplicated objects) and thus make it FAST. I said Yes, Ivan corrected me to No:

Quote from: Kelanen
Quote from: MrMT
Can I stack a fast effect to make a slow creature fast?

One 'Fast' effect doesn't make a Slow creature Fast - it just removes the Slow, making it 'normal' speed.

If you applied two DIFFERENT effects giving Fast, then yes - the first would make it 'normal' speed, and the second would make it Fast.

You couldn't use 2x Cheetah Speed but could use 1x Cheetah Speed, 1x Ballad of Courage for example.

Also remember that most Slow Creatures are non-Living/Psychic Immune, etc and can't receive most of these buffs. A few can like Hydra, Gorgon, Kraken, Leviathan...

Quote from: Zub3ri
Kelanen is wrong in this instance. There's no such thing as double fast. It doesn't stack. You either have the Fast trait or you don't. If you're getting it from two different sources, you still ONLY have the Fast trait. It'll cancel out the effect of the Slow trait, but you can never make a Slow creature Fast.

Traits are not Conditions. They do not stack, ever. Basically with a trait, you either have it or you don't. All traits are just single instances. However, if the trait includes a +/- variable, then they may be COMBINED to change the variable (see Page 7 of the rules about Combining Traits). So, if you have one instance of Melee +2, and another instance of Melee +1, you now have a single Melee +3 trait.

The only time they work like two different traits is when some traits come into existence mid action during a multi-attack action. Such as increasing your Melee +X trait between the first and second attacks of a Doublestrike. You're not allowed to apply Melee +X more than once, but the rules do specifically allow you to apply the new change to the second attack, working similar to a separate instance of the trait. But they are still in actuality a single trait. See page 5 of the Supplement. The bonus has increased and they are allowed to use this increase since it wasn't previously used, but it is still a single bonus. A single trait.

Quote from: Kelanen
Interesting..., although I agree with you completely in generalities, that doesn't appear to be how Slow/Fast are written...

Quote from: Zub3ri
There's no such thing as double fast. It doesn't stack.
Completely agreed.

Quote from: Zub3ri
You either have the Fast trait or you don't.
Agreed.

Quote from: Zub3ri
If you're getting it from two different sources, you still ONLY have the Fast trait. It'll cancel out the effect of the Slow trait, but you can never make a Slow creature Fast.
This is the part that has made me believe differently. I'm sure you are right Ivan, but in which case I think the entries need rewriting/FAQ, because I have just reread the relevant entries and still don't come to that conclusion...

Quote from: Codex 3.1
If a Slow creature gains the Fast trait, both are cancelled out

My take on it is that when you apply the FAST trait to a SLOW creature, they cancel out, and the creature no longer has either FAST or SLOW traits. This is why you can now apply a FAST trait to it again (since it doesn't currently have that) to make it FAST.

I guess the essence of this is whether a cancelled trait ceases to exist, or whether it's still there, but disabled? If it's been decided as the latter interpretation then I think the rules need to be much clearer on this. The general meaning of Cancel (admittedly not a keyword in this game, although it is in many others - perhaps why I am reading too much into it?) is that whatever is cancelled no longer exists.

It's a largely academic problem - I think there are only 3 different sources of Fast that could be applied, and you can't get 2 of them to affect most slow creatures (not to mention slow creatures often having full action attacks). I've never seen this done in a game, but I did think it was possible.

Out of interest did everyone else understand this as possible or not possible?
« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 10:22:24 AM by Kelanen »

Halewijn

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Re: Slow gaining Fast
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2016, 10:20:06 AM »
I don't think it ever came up in a game, but I reasoned the same way as you.

Also, you can make slow creatures fast: [mwcard=DNI06]Zombie Frenzy[/mwcard]
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Re: Slow gaining Fast
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2016, 10:28:28 AM »
I've known about it since I first had to look up how they interact. I have a weird memory image that always helps me with that problem.
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Re: Slow gaining Fast
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2016, 10:44:43 AM »
I woud say:

slow and fast are traits.
conditions can add but traits can't.
hence 5 slow and 18 fast are slow and fast, they cancel each other.

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Re: Slow gaining Fast
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2016, 11:12:37 AM »
Giving a slow creature fast doesn't remove either slow or fast. They simply now have both traits, the combined effect of which is that they can now move LIKE a creature with neuter slow nor fast. Zombie frenzy doesn't make the slow creatures fast per se, it specifically states that those creatures LOSE the slow and lumbering traits then GAIN the fast trait. In doing so zombies become fast creatures, and only fast with neither the slow or lumbering traits to counteract the fast.
So if a slow creature gets fast by cheetah speed, then gets a ballad of courage it still has slow and then fast twice. Either way he's still stuck with one move like normal.
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ringkichard

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Re: Slow gaining Fast
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2016, 12:36:20 PM »
The answer to this question is that timestamps resolve the issue. If a creature has Slow, then you give it Fast, it has neither trait. Then you can give it Fast again, and now it has the fast trait.

If you give a Slow creature Slow, it's Slow. If you then give it the Fast trait, it has neither Fast nor Slow.

Quote from: FAQ
Effects
If  an object  is  affected by  multiple  effects, they  are  applied in order  from  earliest  to  latest  effects.  When  an enchantment  is  moved  to  a new  target, it  changes  its  order  it has  amongst  effects  in play,  and acquires  a  new later  “timestamp”.

Example:  If  the  Beastmaster  had  summoned  an  animal and  made  it his  Pet,  before  Deathlock  came  into play, the  animal  would be  able  to keep the  3  Life  it  had  gained from  being  a  Pet. However, once  Deathlock  is  in play, if  the  Beastmaster  attempts  to  make  a  new  Pet, the  new  Pet  cannot  gain 3  Life  if  Deathlock  is  in  play.

Some  rules  and effects  apply  modifications  to objects  that  apply  “continuously”  as  long  as  the  effect  is  active. For  example,  Eagle  Wings  gives  a creature Flying  as  long  as  it  is  attached  to  that  creature.  If  Eagle  Wings  is removed  from  that  creature,  its  effect  immediately  ceases  to  apply.   

Example:  A  Stonegaze  Basilisk, with a  printed life  of  10, is  enchanted with Bull  Endurance  (giving  him  +4 life.) He  now  has  14 life.  After  the  enchantment  is  put  on the  Basilisk, a  Deathlock  is  cast (giving  it Finite  Life.)  The Basilisk  will still have  14  life,  because  the  Bull  Endurance  effect is  applied  before  the  Deathlock  effect,  and Finite  Life  only  prevents  further  gain of  life;  it  does  not  remove  Life  already  gained.   If  the  Bull  Endurance  is  then moved to a  Timber  Wolf  (also with a  printed life  of  10)  , the  Basilisk will  go down to 10 life  (because  the  Bull  Endurance  effect  stops  applying to the  Basilisk)  but  the  Timber  Wolf  will still be  at 10  life (because the  Deathlock  effect  was  in  play  earlier  than the  Bull  Endurance, so the  Deathlock  gives  the Timber  Wolf  the  Finite  Life  trait first,  and  the  Bull  Endurance  attempts  to  give  the  Timber  Wolf  +4  life  but fails to do so due  to the  Finite  Life).  If  the  Deathlock  is  later  destroyed,  the  Timber  Wolf  will go  up  to  14  life (because the  Deathlock  effect  stops  applying, allowing the  Bull  Endurance  effect  to work.)

If  an object  has  conflicting effects, one  of  which causes  it  to  gain  a  trait or  ability,  and  the  other  to  lose  that trait or  ability,  the  later  effect  always  takes  precedence. Example: A creature  that  is  not  naturally  Flying is  enchanted  with  Eagle  Wings  (enchanted  creature  gains Flying)  and is  later  enchanted with  Maim  Wings  (enchanted  creature  loses  flying). Since  the  Eagle  Wings  came into  play  earlier,  the  Eagle  Wings  gives  the  creature  flying  and then the  Maim  Wings  makes  the  creature lose flying, so the  creature  will  not  have  flying.   If  the  Eagle  Wings  is  moved to another  creature  and then back to the  first  creature, the  Eagle  Wings  will then occur  later  in the  order  of  effects.  Thus  the  Maim  Wings  will  be applied  first  (and  have no  effect,  since the creature  does  not  have  Flying to start  with)  and the  Eagle  Wings  would  apply  to give  the  creature  Flying, so the creature would  have Flying.

If  an  effect, spell, or  condition says  this  creature  loses  and  cannot  gain  “X”, then that  creature  cannot  have  “X”, regardless  of  what  other  effects  were  put  on it, and in what  order.   Example:  The traits  Rooted,  Restrained,  and  Incapacitated  say  a creature “loses  and  cannot  gain  Flying”.   A creature with  one or  more of  these traits  loses  and  cannot  have  or  gain  Flying,  regardless  of  what  other  effects were  put  on  it,  and in what  order.   If  it  gains  an  Eagle  Wings  enchantment later,  it still will not have  Flying.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 12:38:03 PM by ringkichard »
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Zuberi

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Re: Slow gaining Fast
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2016, 04:08:25 PM »
I want to start by saying that I am sticking with my initial statement, but I also want to apologize to Kelanen for dismissing his statements out of hand. I misunderstood his reasoning and must admit that his thinking is a valid possibility. He is correct that if the creature loses both traits, then he could apply another instance of Fast to achieve the desired result. This would work as described in the Supplement, quoted by ringkichard, where it discusses losing and gaining traits (using the Flying traits as an example).

However, the codex entries for these traits doesn't say that they cause you to lose them. They say "both traits are canceled out." I don't think it has actually been well established whether this means they are suppressed or whether it means you lose both traits, but I'm going to argue for the former. My reasoning is simply that I believe they specifically use the word "lose" whenever traits are considered to have gone away. So, essentially I think they would have said that you lose both traits rather than using "both traits are canceled" as some kind of synonym. Instead, I interpret cancelled to mean they are suppressed. You still have them, but their effects are cancelled and no longer function.

Kelanen

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Re: Slow gaining Fast
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2016, 06:01:47 PM »
Also, you can make slow creatures fast: [mwcard=DNI06]Zombie Frenzy[/mwcard]

I agree that's an exception to the normal possibilities, but I don't think it has a direct bearing on this situation. Zombie Frenzy specifies that the creatures 'lose Slow', which we all seem happy with since ZF works. The question is whether 'cancelling Slow' is the same as 'losing Slow'...

I want to start by saying that I am sticking with my initial statement, but I also want to apologize to Kelanen for dismissing his statements out of hand.
Don't worry Ivan, I hadn't taken your comments dismissively at all! They are very welcome as always.

I only moved the debate over here because this is a better place for esoteric rules arcana being discussed than BGG where people generally ask a question and want an answer, but not all the debate on the finer points.

I misunderstood his reasoning and must admit that his thinking is a valid possibility. He is correct that if the creature loses both traits, then he could apply another instance of Fast to achieve the desired result.

You are generally right, and I'm always happy to be corrected where my understanding of something is faulty, my issue here, is I still think I'm right RAW (which may not be RAI) - very happy to admit I may be wrong, but I think a clarification is certainly warranted.

I've discussed this in the past with a few players, when chewing over theoretical stuff, and I think they've always thought similarly, I don't remember it being contested, and I think I would - it was something I was quite sure on. It's at least gratifying that a number think similarly here, so I'm not the only one!

At it's essence, it's a bit like the issue with 'events' - 'cancel' is meaning different things to different people. In many games cancelling a text makes it blank and not there (and a search for a trait wouldn't find it), and cancelling a spell or ability makes it never resolve. now what other games do isn't necessarily a barometer for what's right in MW, but if something is not defined otherwise, we have to be aware of the baggage of interpretation it brings with it. For another example - when you cancel something out mathematically it's not there - you remove something from both sides of the equation.

Whilst yesterday I was sure of the answer to this question, I'm now not, because likewise I do see where you are coming from. I think 'cancel' was a poor choice of words if that was what the designers intended, but it's entirely possible that's right. In their defence, I'm struggling to find a better wording to express that scenario, but my mind may be a bit stuck in the groove of it not working that way...

On balance, I still think a cancelled trait is not there, and can't be found by anything referencing it, I agree we're all calling it based on our gut feel, and it needs a ruling.

My reasoning is simply that I believe they specifically use the word "lose" whenever traits are considered to have gone away. So, essentially I think they would have said that you lose both traits rather than using "both traits are canceled" as some kind of synonym. Instead, I interpret cancelled to mean they are suppressed. You still have them, but their effects are cancelled and no longer function.

I can't see why you would ever want suppressed non-functional traits still there?

Whilst you put the difference in phrasing as deliberate and meaningful, I'm afraid I'm a cynic, and think it was non-specific sloppy wording, but it could be either.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 06:10:06 PM by Kelanen »

ringkichard

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Re: Slow gaining Fast
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2016, 07:57:13 PM »
Ok, a few things.

It is entirely possible to have multiple instances of a trait that doesn't stack.

Quote from: codex
Regenerate X
This object heals (removes) X damage each Upkeep Phase. The Regenerate trait does not stack or combine with other Regenerate traits. If an object acquires more than one Regenerate trait, use only the highest one. The Finite Life trait prevents regeneration.


The rules don't say that you can't gain multiple instances of a trait, just that if you do, only the highest one counts.

[Quote="Rules]
WHAT IS A TRAIT?
Spells, creatures, objects, and attacks may all have a number of special abilities called traits, printed on their card. These traits may allow you to act in ways not normally allowed, such as moving farther during an action phase.

Traits are listed on the lower half of a spell card or inside the attack bar. Some spells and abilities may also add traits to an object. For example, you might cast an enchantment to give a creature the Fast trait.

Many traits are followed by a value. For example, the Highland Unicorn has the Regenerate 2 trait. This number shows the strength of the trait. Regenerate 2 means that the Unicorn will heal 2 damage every Upkeep Phase.

Sometimes, this strength value has a plus or minus sign. Multiple traits of the same kind with plus or minus signs can be combined on the same object. So, if a creature with Lightning +1 is enchanted with a spell that gives Lightning -2, those two traits combine and the creature now has Lightning -1.

If a trait does not have a plus or minus sign, it does not combine with other traits that have the same name. Only the trait with the highest value counts. If the same unicorn was enchanted with a spell that gave it Regenerate 3, it would only heal 3 damage every round, not 5.

In these rules, and on the spell cards, traits are always capitalized. See the Codex at the end of this rulebook for a list of all trait effects.[/quote]

So, if there were a rule that prevented you from gaining multiple instances of the same trait, this is where that rule would be. But instead there is a rule that says that if you *do* have multiple instances of the same trait, only the highest one has an effect. And there's no rule here that says that e.g. two instances of Regenerate 2 is somewhow different than one instance of Regenerate 2 and one instance of Regerate 1, because traits without +s don't combine.

---

Also, I think it's worth distinguishing between a trait and the *effects of* a Trait. You're right that often when the rules want to make it clear that the trait goes away, they say that the object "loses" the trait. And also that these traits which "cancel each other out" seem different from that.

But it says that Slow and Fast cancel each other out as traits, not just as effects. If a creature that has the Slow trait gains the Fast trait, those two traits cancel each other. Why decide that this means the traits stay but we ignore the effects? That seems like the sort of thing the rules would explicitly note, if it were intended.

But why would that be the intended behavior? The rules aren't a trick on players. Why have a technically Slow creature that can move and attack?

Quote
Slow
This creature is very slow. If this creature takes a move action, its Action Phase immediately ends. It does not get to take a quick action after moving. If a Slow creature gains the Fast trait, both traits are canceled out.

To me, that sounds a lot like Lightning +1 and Lightning -2 becoming the Lightning -1 trait. They have different names, so it's not the identical situation, of course. But doesn't it seem reasonable to describe a melee +1 trait and a melee -1 trait as "canceling out?" And if you instead want to propose that they combine into Melee +0, why are we calling it that and not Melee -0?

I mean, if a creature were enchanted with both Cheetah Speed and Enfeeble, and there were a spell that could only target creatures with the Slow trait, why would the system be set up intentionally so that the enchanted creature would be a legal target?

I guess it comes down to what we think "canceled out" means. I'm inclined to treat it is "is stopped and has no further effect" similar to other uses of the word cancel in the rules. I mean, it's pretty clearly natural language, not strictly defined jargon, so it's not 100% clear. But all jargon has to have, at root, some sort of natural language explaination. And given the lack of exact definition of this use of "cancel out" why go with the interpretation that causes weird rules issues?
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Kaarin

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Re: Slow gaining Fast
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2016, 08:07:49 PM »
In future we may get cards interacting with slow or fast traits. I don't think that effect triggering on slow target should be triggered on target that has both slow and fast traits.
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ringkichard

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Re: Slow gaining Fast
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2016, 08:11:13 PM »
Also, this has been a frequent question on the rules board. E.g. http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=10439.0 in which Shad0w (who had the official power to make rulings) treats Darth's speedy affirmative  answer as completely non-controversial.
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ringkichard

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Re: Slow gaining Fast
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2016, 08:18:21 PM »
In a lot of ways, this set of rules reminds me of a recurent semi-philosophical rules question. "If you must pay X mana for an effect, and X is calculated to be 0, did you make a mana payment?"

I didn't have an opinion on that question until now, but in light of this, I'm now leaning towards "no."
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Zuberi

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Re: Slow gaining Fast
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2016, 09:55:25 PM »
Quote from: ringkichard
The rules don't say that you can't gain multiple instances of a trait, just that if you do, only the highest one counts.

You are completely correct. I was simplifying things a bit in my statements. You could in reality have two instances of the same trait, but for all intents and purposes you either have the trait or you don't. A creature that has the Flying trait and the Flying trait is indistinguishable from a creature that only has the Flying trait. If the trait has no numerical value, then duplication is entirely meaningless. If it has a numerical value, then either only the higher value counts and all other instances are essentially void, or you combine the values into a single trait.

This still all boils down to whether "cancels out" means you lose the trait or merely that their effects are canceled. It is interesting though how timestamps would play into things if losing the trait turned out to be correct. You can't, for example, put Cheetah Speed on a [mwcard=MW1C37]Thunderift Falcon[/mwcard] preemptively to prevent someone from slowing it down, because if Slow causes you to lose the Fast trait, you would lose all instances of the Fast trait with a single instance of Slow. Just like if you put Eagle Wings on a Flyer, Maim Wings would still bring it down.

Quote from: ringkichard
To me, that sounds a lot like Lightning +1 and Lightning -2 becoming the Lightning -1 trait. They have different names, so it's not the identical situation, of course. But doesn't it seem reasonable to describe a melee +1 trait and a melee -1 trait as "canceling out?" And if you instead want to propose that they combine into Melee +0, why are we calling it that and not Melee -0?

I would indeed propose that they combine into Melee +0. Describing it as plus or minus, I admit is fairly arbitrary, but let's try another one. Could a creature end up with Bloodthirsty +0 after combining all instances of the Bloodthirsty +X trait?

Quote from: ringkichard
I guess it comes down to what we think "canceled out" means. I'm inclined to treat it is "is stopped and has no further effect" similar to other uses of the word cancel in the rules.

That's exactly the definition I would go by too! I agree entirely! It's not quite the same thing as saying it no longer exists though, is it? I think we both agree on the fact that the Slow trait is stopped and isn't having any further effects on the creature. Where we disagree is whether or not it still counts as being there. It's been canceled, but has it been lost?

The thing is that Slow doesn't really have to cancel out the Fast Trait. The Fast trait will do that to itself. If you put Fast on a creature and that creature has the Slow trait, regardless of whether or not the Slow trait is having any effects currently, then the Fast trait will immediately cancel itself out due to how it's written.

Which leads into your hypothetical situation of an effect being dependent on the creature having the Slow trait and whether or not a suppressed and non-functioning instance of the trait should count as having it. It's not really hypothetical. It's exactly the situation we're discussing.

At the risk of hurting my argument, I will admit that referencing a non-functioning trait is probably unintended and you've got good support for your argument with your Shadow reference. However, I think the rules as written are vague on the subject and may indeed allow such references, especially with things like Melee +0 since you brought it up.

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Re: Slow gaining Fast
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2016, 10:01:23 PM »
There are already creatures with bloodthirsty 0. Zombie crawler at least. So yes after calculations something could end up with bloodthirsty 0.
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Kelanen

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Re: Slow gaining Fast
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2016, 06:51:16 AM »
Quote from: ringkichard
I guess it comes down to what we think "canceled out" means. I'm inclined to treat it is "is stopped and has no further effect" similar to other uses of the word cancel in the rules.

That's exactly the definition I would go by too! I agree entirely! It's not quite the same thing as saying it no longer exists though, is it? I think we both agree on the fact that the Slow trait is stopped and isn't having any further effects on the creature. Where we disagree is whether or not it still counts as being there. It's been canceled, but has it been lost?

I think this is the fundamental where we hit a natural language issue. I'd also agree with that definition, but I think it means something different to Zuberi, and (I think) the same as RingKichard...

But it says that Slow and Fast cancel each other out as traits, not just as effects. If a creature that has the Slow trait gains the Fast trait, those two traits cancel each other. Why decide that this means the traits stay but we ignore the effects? That seems like the sort of thing the rules would explicitly note, if it were intended.

But why would that be the intended behavior? The rules aren't a trick on players. Why have a technically Slow creature that can move and attack?

This restates a point I made earlier, but more eloquently. If Zuberi's reading is correct and deliberate, why on earth would the game want to work that way? It seems to be creating esoteric edge cases that you wouldn't want to work. If we create a card that says "Gain 5 mana for each Slow creature you control" would you really want it to count my Hydra with a Cheetah Speed on it? The natural inclination of most players I'm sure would be that it doesn't apply, so then they are all playing it wrong, and for whatever reason you are trying to count/compensate/incentivise the trait in question, I'm getting the bonus (or penalty!) when I don't really have a qualifying object in board presence terms.

I get that the language issue is unclear, and needs ruling either way. But one ruling leads to a naturally understood state of affairs, and the other to a convoluted mess that will trip up anyone that hasn't learnt the correct ruling. And to what gain?  Can anyone come up with a positive gain from handling it this way, that you couldn't otherwise have?