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The rules seem to be contradictory with respect to what happens with monsters who appear in an encounter and get defeated.

From p. 22 of the rulebook, "No matter how the encounter is resolved, the monster is never left on the board. The monster is returned to the monster cup, regardless of whether the investigator evades or defeats the monster, or is knocked unconscious or driven insane by it." To me this suggests that, if you draw an encounter card that says "a monster appears" and you fight and defeat the monster, you don't get its monster trophy (because it goes back to the cup).

But from the very next paragraph (still p. 22): "When a monster but not a gate appears in an encounter, the monster does not stay on the board. If such a monster is defeated, players may take it as a trophy (unless its special ability says otherwise)." To me this suggests that, if you draw an encounter card that says "a monster appears" and you fight and defeat the monster, you do get its monster trophy.

So, do you or don't you get the trophy?

I've always played according to the latter rule (keeping the trophy for any non-Endless monster you kill), and I guess this is also justifiable if you assume that more specific rules override more general rules. (Furthermore, many other bits throughout the rule book make reference to returning these monsters to the cup if you evade them, whereas this one spot on p. 22 is the only place that mentions returning to the cup if you defeat them; so it seems that keeping the trophy is more in keeping with the "spirit" of the rules expressed throughout most of the rulebook.) But I find this whole section rather confusing.

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Fantasy Flight has a Complete FAQ that seems to answer this. The short is that you do get a trophy.

Many encounters state that “A gate and a monster appear!” For these encounters, both the monster and the gate stay on the board. However, many other encounters state that just a monster appears. For example, one of the Black Cave encounters states “A monster appears!” and one of the Hibb’s Roadhouse encounters states “A horrible monster appears!” When a monster but not a gate appears in an encounter, the monster does not stay on the board. If such a monster is defeated, players may take it as a trophy (unless its special ability states otherwise). If the monster is not defeated, it is returned to the monster cup, regardless of whether the investigator evades the monster or is knocked unconscious or driven insane by it.

The above change has been incorporated into the rulebook included in the revised edition of Arkham Horror

Complete Arkham Horror FAQ v2.0 (December 2012)

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  • Thanks for the link; I vaguely remembered this FAQ was out there but didn't manage to find it before posting. The bit you quoted is the same as the second paragraph I quoted from in my OP. The source of my confusion is that the paragraph before it (in the rulebook, not the FAQ) directly contradicts it. I suppose that, given that this part is newer, I should just ignore the contradictory paragraph that precedes it. Oct 31 '21 at 5:54
  • This seems to also be the general consensus on BGG where the FAQ is deemed to overrule the official rulebook. 1 2 3 4 Oct 31 '21 at 6:10

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