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The runner card Titanium Ribs reads:

You choose the card(s) from your grip to trash whenever you take damage.

The corp card Chronos Protocol: Selective Mind-mapping reads:

For the first net damage the Runner suffers each turn, you may look at the Runner's grip and select the card that is trashed.

If the runner has an installed Titanium Ribs while playing against Chronos Protocol and takes a single net damage (the first of a turn), which player chooses the card that is discarded? Also does the corp get to look at the runner's grip?

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Summary

The player whose turn it is takes precedence. In resolving their ability, the current players makes it impossible for the other player to resolve their ability, so the other player can't trigger it.

In the Runner's turn the Runner chooses, and the Corp does nothing.

In the Corp's turn the Corp looks at the Runner's grip and chooses.


Details

I will be referring to these rules. From page 21:

Triggered Abilities

In order to use a triggered ability a prerequisite must be met. This prerequisite is either a trigger cost that must be paid (PAID ABILITY) or a trigger condition that must be met (CONDITIONAL ABILITY). Once an ability is triggered, its effect is resolved immediately and can only be stopped by PREVENT or AVOID effects. Players must follow all restrictions on the cards when triggering abilities.

From page 22:

Simultaneous Effects

When one or more abilities have the same timing trigger or can be triggered at the same time, each player chooses the order his own abilities trigger. A player can trigger an optional conditional ability before a required conditional ability if they both have the same trigger condition.

If players ever want to perform simultaneous effects at the same time, the player whose turn it is resolves all of his effects first.

Both of the cards in question have conditional triggered abilities. For Titanium Ribs, this is "you take damage". For "Chronos Protocol", this is "the first time this turn the Runner takes net damage" (note that this is an optional ability).

The first time the Runner takes net damage each turn, both of these conditional abilities can trigger. If they do (the Corp chooses to trigger the optional ability), we must follow the rule for simultaneous effects (the player whose turn it is resolves all of his effects first), while keeping in mind the rule on triggered abilities (once an ability is triggered, its effect is resolved immediately).

Additionally, from the rules FAQ, page 3:

A player cannot trigger an action/ability unless he is also able to resolve it.

If one player has resolved his triggered ability and trashed a card, the other player will not be able to resolve their own ability, and so cannot trigger it.

Resolution during the Runner's Turn

  1. The Runner resolves all of his effects first:
    • Titanium Ribs:
      • The Runner chooses the card to trash.
      • The Runner trashes that card.
  2. The Corp resolves all of his effects second:
    • Chronos Protocol:
      • In order to resolve Chronos Protocol, the Runner must trash a card due to damage.
      • The Runner has already trashed a card for this damage, so Chronos Protocol could not be resolved in this situation.
      • Because of this, the Corp cannot trigger Chronos Protocol.

Resolution during the Corp's Turn

  1. The Corp resolves all of his effects first:
    • Chronos Protocol:
      • The Corp looks at the Runner's grip and selects a card to trash.
      • The Runner trashes that card.
  2. The Runner resolves all of his effects second:
    • Titanium Ribs:
      • In order to resolve Titanium Ribs, the Runner must trash a card due to damage.
      • The Runner has already trashed a card for this damage, so Titanium Ribs could not be resolved in this situation.
      • Because of this, the Runner cannot trigger Titanium Ribs.
  • I'm used to Magic, where replacement effects are a separate kind of ability. That said, I agree with the assessment that Titanium Ribs ability is a triggered ability, but I'm not seeing the trigger condition on Chronos protocol. Are you sure Chronos Protocol isn't a rules modification rather than a triggered ability? – Zags May 21 '15 at 16:02
  • Actually, Netrunner has replacement effects, according to the FAQ, but they must use the word "instead", which neither of the cards in question do. – Zags May 21 '15 at 16:28
  • @Zags Interesting question. We know by example that identities can have constant (Harmony Medtech), paid (Jinteki Biotech) and conditional (Exile) abilities. Chronos Protocol doesn't passively modify any properties or do anything constantly; it makes something happen when a certain condition is met, so I read that as a triggered ability. Later text explains that conditional abilities commonly use "when", but not that they must use "when". A conditional triggered ability simply needs a distinct, identifiable condition. It would be nice if cards explicitly identified their abilities, though! – Samthere May 21 '15 at 17:01
  • In looking at the FAQ I noticed that "A player cannot trigger an action/ability unless he is also able to resolve it." I'm leaning towards thinking this means the Corp can't look at the Runner's grip on the Runner's turn. – Samthere May 21 '15 at 17:09
  • You make a good case. I didn't realize the extent of the issues here. I edited the question to include "does the corp look at the runner's grip?". Given how involved this is, they will probably address it in an FAQ update after San San cycle has finished, so I'm going to wait on accepting until that happens. – Zags May 21 '15 at 21:19

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