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My friend was level 4, and tried to play his Doppleganger card against a Puckachu, which grants an extra level for defeating it, "without using help or bonuses".

'Help', apparently, only means other players, and 'bonuses' are weapons, armor, or potions. Bringing in your clone, according to him, means beating it yourself.

Nobody agrees. Is his interpretation correct?

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Steve Jackson games has changed their mind quite a few times. If you look at the FAQ, you will find several instances of "this is a change from a previous ruling." This sort of thing is inevitable as the number of card sets increases and the complexity as well, see MtG. Your group can choose to play the game however you like. Perhaps with enough pleyaers playing it "wrong" SJG will decide to change their ruling. –  user1873 Mar 17 '12 at 15:48
    
Yeah one of the main guys in our group met up with me and we came up with a couple of house rules that goes into more detail when defining "help". We opened a whole new can of worms when trying to define "asking" for help with the Kneepads of Allure. Basically, asking for help is not the same as getting help. –  Droogans Mar 17 '12 at 16:50
    
Update: we have decided to consider the Pukachu's point of view in this situation from now on: if the enemy is cloned, and you, the Pukach, hold out on the terms of the "extra level bonus", you will see two individuals attacking you. It's your call to award the bonus, and by being beaten by two fighters, the Pukachu is not inclined to award the extra level to them... –  Droogans May 4 '12 at 4:03
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He is correct.

"Helping" in combat is clearly defined as one and only one other player joining you in combat.

"Bonuses" are granted by Items (as can be seen from the James Bomb card FAQ entry), or the rule books example of Mace of Sharpness or a Race as in the Warrior ability below. For example, the Pretty Ballons grant a +5 bonus to either the Monster side, or the Player side.

Pretty Ballons

From the Munchkin FAQ:

Playing/using a one-shot Item during a combat that aids the munchkins (and not the monsters) does not constitute "helping" in combat, as described in the rules. This means that in any given combat, any number of players can play cards to aid or hinder either side as often as they want, as long as they have the cards. Only one other player can actually join the combat as a helper, however.

Q. Does a Psychic still get his +2 "fighting alone" combat bonus if he has a Sidekick? A. Yes. Sidekicks are okay. A Doppleganger is OK. And if another player throws a grenade or something to hurt the monster and assist you, you don't lose your bonus. It's only when another player joins the combat as your helper that you lose your bonus.

Q. James Bomb says to fight him with only my Level and not my items. Can I use non-item bonuses in the combat, such as those given from trainings? A. That sentence should read "Level only, no items or other bonuses." So, no, your non-item bonuses would not count. (This is official errata.)

If a Warrior had already discarded a card to get a +1 combat bonus, and then stopped being a Warrior, he would keep the bonus, but wouldn't be able to discard any more cards for the Warrior bonus.

From the Munchkin Rules:

Anyone can carry any item, but some items have use restrictions: for instance, the Mace of Sharpnesscan only be wielded by a Cleric. Its bonus only counts for someone who is, at the moment, a Cleric.

To fight a monster, compare its combat strength to yours. Combat strength is the total of Level plus all modifiers – positive or negative – given by items and other cards.

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This actually brings up a point we discussed: the Pretty Ballons are marked as 'No Value', so we were wondering if that were considered a bonus. Then we saw the Dopplegengar, and it was worth 300 gold. Some really good points in your argument. –  Droogans Mar 16 '12 at 5:31
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That is clearly a different question. The answer is in the linked FAQ, if you had cared to read it. Some items are listed as No Value to indicate that they are items. "Q. Assuming I have at least 1,000 Gold Pieces in Items, can I throw in some Items with No Value as part of the sale? A. Absolutely. "No Value" is exactly the same as "0 Gold Pieces," so you can sell these Items unless the card says otherwise. (But "No Value" must appear on the card! If a card has nothing at all listed for a value, it is not an Item and cannot be sold.) –  user1873 Mar 16 '12 at 6:11
    
I was meaning to point out our discussion; does an item of value count as help? From what you've brought up, it means nothing. But then again, we didn't agree with the value-centric premise, either. –  Droogans Mar 16 '12 at 6:29
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@Droogans, "Does an Item of Value count as help?." Then you missed my meaning again. No, "Help" is defined above, and so is "Bonuses." Items cannot count as help, because they are not players that join you in combat. It isn't me that you are disagreeing with, it is the FAQ and Rulebook posted on Steve Jackson Games website. –  user1873 Mar 16 '12 at 13:21
    
Im not discrediting your answer. My comments simply reflect what our group was saying at the time. –  Droogans Mar 17 '12 at 13:29
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