Q: How does Snare Trap interact with abilities that trigger upon an enemy becoming engaged when the enemy is spawned at the location with the Snare Trap? Since enemies spawn engaged with the investigator who drew them (unless they have a different Spawn) does this trigger before the Snare Trap? For example, would a Maniac deal damage to himself and the investigator before the Snare Trap exhaust and disengages him? A: This question actually leads to a Nested Sequence, so in order to fully understand my answer it may help to take a look at rule 1.4 in the FAQ, “Nested Sequences.”
Each time a triggering condition occurs, the following sequence is followed: (1) execute “when...” effects that interrupt that triggering condition, (2) resolve the triggering condition, and then, (3) execute “after...” effects in response to that triggering condition… It is possible that a nested sequence generates further triggering conditions (and hence more nested sequences). There is no limit to the number of nested sequences that may occur, but each nested sequence must complete before returning to the sequence that spawned it. In effect, these sequences are resolved in a Last In, First Out (LIFO) manner.
Now let’s take a look at the cards. Snare Trap says “Forced - After a non-Elite enemy enters attached location: Exhaust that enemy, disengage it from all investigators, and attach Snare Trap to it.” This is a forced ability that triggers after the enemy enters the attached location. However, any time a ready unengaged enemy is at the same location as an investigator, it engages that investigator ("Enemy Engagement," RR page 10). This is a constant effect that the game is always checking and therefore has timing priority over Forced abilities. As a result, the enemy would enter your location and immediately engage you before you could trigger any “after” effects in response to the enemy entering your location. Then, since engaging you is a triggering condition for another ability, this begins a nested sequence. You must execute any abilities that respond to the enemy engaging you before you can return to the original triggering condition (the enemy entering your location). So then you would execute the Maniac’s Forced effect (as well as any other Forced effects in response to Maniac engaging you). Finally, you would return to the original triggering condition and respond to the enemy entering your location, triggering the Forced ability on Snare Trap. So, to sum up:
1) Maniac enters your location.
2) Maniac immediately engages you. This is a constant ability, so it has timing priority over “after” effects that respond to the enemy entering your location.
3) Execute abilities that respond to enemy engagement (such as Maniac’s ability)
4) Return to original triggering condition and execute abilities that respond to the Maniac entering your location (such as Snare Trap’s ability).
That’s a nested sequence for you! It would be even more complicated if you had abilities that responded to taking damage! (Those abilities would trigger in between steps 3 and 4, for the record.)
Q: Can you please illustrate how Snare Trap interacts with an investigator failing the test for Dance of the Yellow King? Two scenarios: a) A Lunatic enemy has the Snare Trap attached when Dance of the Yellow King affects them; b) a Lunatic enemy trips a Snare Trap on the way to the target investigator. Thanks for your help! A: Great question. Let’s look at the text of Dance of the Yellow King for a moment: “Revelation - If there are no Lunatic enemies in play, Dance of the Yellow King gains surge. Otherwise, test (3). If you fail, the nearest Lunatic enemy readies, moves (one location at a time) until it reaches your location, engages you, and makes an immediate attack.”
This effect forces an enemy to do 4 effects (ready, move, engage, and attack). Generally speaking, effects that are listed with the word “and” are not dependent on one another (for example, if an effect said “draw 1 card and gain 1 resource” I could still gain 1 resource even if I could not draw cards). However, in this case, some of these effects are dependent on one another simply by virtue of what they are. For example, if an enemy that is not at your location cannot move, it also cannot engage you, because engaging you would cause it to move to your location. Likewise, if an enemy was not engaged with an investigator, “make an attack” would not do anything, because the game has no way of knowing who the enemy attacks. (Note that this would be different had the card read “makes an immediate attack against you.”) That being said, neither movement nor attacks are dependent on the enemy being ready – enemies don’t normally move from the hunter keyword while exhausted or attack during the enemy phase while exhausted, but exhausted enemies can still move or attack from on card effects.
So, here’s what would happen in this circumstance: If a Lunatic has Snare Trap attached when you draw Dance of the Yellow King, it would not ready because it would instead discard the Snare Trap, but it would still move towards you, engage and attack, because these effects are not dependent on the enemy remaining ready. If a Lunatic is moving toward you from Dance of the Yellow King and enters a location with a Snare Trap, it would immediately exhaust, disengage, and have Snare Trap attached to it… But then it would continue moving towards you, engage you, and attack.
Man, Lunatics are pretty relentless when being manipulated by Him Who Is Not To Be Named, aren’t they?