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This post I authored months ago questions the use of the term "toughness". I recently found a reference in the Strange Remnants expansion that states:

If the active Mystery requires an Epic Monster to be defeated, place two Health on the card. The Epic Monster's toughness is reduced by one for each Health on the active Mystery.

The act of placing health markers strongly implies to me that it is to be treated as if one did 2 damage on the monster, yet the wording here clearly states that the markers reduce the toughness of the monster and do not necessarily do damage. This makes me question whether my original post regarding whether toughness was a measure of max or current HP was concluded incorrectly. The only way it could be valid is if this treatment of Epic Monsters when advancing mysteries is explicitly different from the normal course of doing damage to monsters, which seems less likely, given that I haven't found any actual supporting documentation that clarifies that toughness is max HP. Thoughts?

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Reducing toughness is very different from dealing damage.

Toughness tells you how much damage can a monster withstand. From the Reference Guide, "Monster" (page 8)

When a Monster has lost Health equal to or greater than its toughness, it is defeated.

Toughness almost never changes. Several monsters (mainly epic ones) have variable toughness. Barring that, advancing the mystery is the only effect that can reduce a monster toughness.

An official response from FFG (Nikki Valens) on this matter:

A Monster’s toughness is the printed value in the top-right corner on the token’s back (surrounded by green tentacles). A Monster’s toughness is unaffected by the amount of Health the Monster has lost.

In the case of advancing a Mystery that includes an Epic Monster, the Epic Monster’s toughness is reduced by a number equal to the number of Health tokens placed on the Mystery card. This effect specifically reduces the Epic Monster’s toughness; it does not cause the Epic Monster to lose Health. In this way, advancing the Mystery can bypass any restrictions the Mystery might have for harming the Epic Monster.

  • Reducing toughness would also prevent a monsters capability to heal as damage can (conceptually) be healed up to maximum toughness. Same for investigators really=) – joedragons Feb 22 '16 at 16:06
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    I had a ruling come down from FFG and felt it better to put the details in the accepted answer than extend the original question. – Joey Feb 22 '16 at 18:36

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