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When playing Elder Sign against Yig, I ran into a question I couldn't quite puzzle out from the rules and FAQ. Yig's card reads "Each time an investigator complets the task on a Cultist monster marker [...] the investigators lose 1 Elder Sign, if they have any."

This, in itself, seems straightforward. However, if you use the "Bind Monster" spell (the card reads "After rolling, discard to defeat 1 monster.") the cost of completing the monster task does not have to be paid, per the FAQ. Does this include the Elder Sign that would have to be discarded for Yig's ability?

In other words, do Ancient One effects count as "costs" to be paid when completing a monster task?

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No, it does not include the Elder Sign that must be lost per Yig's abiliy

The rules are not very clear on this matter:

Defeating Monsters with Items and Spells - Some items or spells instruct the player to defeat a monster. When using such an item or casting such a spell, the player chooses any monster in play and flips its marker facedown, ignoring all of its tasks. If the monster marker is in a partial monster task, the uncovered task requirements must still be satisfied in order to resolve the adventure. After either resolving or failing the adventure, the player collects the defeated monster marker at the end of his Resolution phase. (page 17)

Tasks are ignored (including costs), which might lead you to believe that Yig's Elder Sign loss wouldn't occur, but the FAQ says:

What do items mean when they say “defeat” a monster? - When a player uses an item/spell that “defeats” a monster, that player chooses a monster in play (not necessarily at the same adventure his investigator is at) and turns that monster facedown. None of the monster’s costs must be paid (such as advancing the clock or losing sanity/ stamina) and all of that monster’s tasks are considered to be completed. The monster is collected as a trophy when the player’s turn ends (and not before), whether the investigator succeeds at the adventure or not. Note that if a monster is only partially covering a task, any uncovered parts of the task are still uncompleted for purposes of succeeding at the adventure. (page 5)

The operative words there are "considered to be completed." Yig would trigger one time for each task on a Cultist monster defeated by Bind Monster, causing the investigators to lose one (or more) Elder Signs.

Each time an investigator completes the task on a Cultist monster marker [...] the investigators lose 1 Elder Sign, if they have any."

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Yes, they count as effects, but in this case, you do not have to pay them. When you use Bind Monster (or the flute Unique item with the same effect) the monster is discarded, which is different from completing it's task. Because you did not complete it's task, you do not have to pay. This makes the spell very useful against monsters with high or unusual costs.

My source for this info is the Elder Sign app.

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  • The main problem I have with using the Elder Sign: Omens app (which, ironically, I played after Arkham Horror and before Elder Signs) as a guide for how to handle corner cases is that it differs from the tabletop version in non-corner cases (namely, in the lack of penalties for investigators offering assistance in a failed adventure and the difference in how spells work that lock dice).
    – Michael
    Jan 21 '14 at 15:06

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