by Terence Jason Dorman, Ph.D and co-founder of RTFC
There is a very special member of Team Hopper whose name is Steve. Steve doesn’t come around much anymore due to getting busy with school and work, but for a long period of time he was an extremely dedicated Spoils player and still plays when he finds the time.
Steve has a horrible condition we at Grasshopper’s like to call “Stupid Eyes.” Symptoms include not reading cards and using them in ways that are flat out wrong. Steve has a very serious case. It’s so serious, in fact, that he one time played Delectable Boon so wrong that I was compelled to leave the store for fifteen minutes to collect my thoughts on life.
Team Hopper is comprised of a bunch of nice guys, but we love to yell at each other. Steve was no exception. Once we realized he had this terrible condition, we started yelling at him whenever possible. Our favorite thing to yell was “READ THE F*ING CARD!” and eventually we shortened it to “RTFC.”
We still yelled it, though, even in its abbreviated form.
While modern medicine hasn’t found a cure for Steve’s condition, there is still hope. The hope lies in judges. While Steve may be physically unable to read cards, judges are a special breed that are immune to this disease.
While most judges certainly like to flex their knowledge muscles and answer questions without looking at the rules or cards in question, this can be dangerous. Instead, all judges should heed Team Hopper’s sage advice and RTFC.
There really is no downside to the RTFC strategy. First and foremost, it brings you right into the situation in question and focuses your mind on the problem at hand. Second, it shows the players involved that you are serious about answering their rules question properly and demonstrates that you want to make the right call.
Third, and most importantly, it helps you make the right call. If Steve somehow became a judge, Delectable Boon would be the greatest card in the game because it would do magical, wonderful things, all because he wouldn’t read the cards. Sure, the players could appeal to the Head Judge, but what if someone like Steve was Head Judge? Terrifying.
Instead, though, the RTFC strategy makes sure people like Steve never ruin tournaments due to their medical conditions. Whether it is player or a judge with Stupid Eyes, RTFC allows those players and judges to participate in Spoils events without a problem, regardless of if their condition is inflamed or not.
If you know someone with Stupid Eyes, or fear that you may have the condition yourself, consult your local judge and talk to them about RTFC. Side effects include better rules knowledge, stronger gameplay, and an increase in win percentage.