Why does the Eberron: Rising from the Last War bestiary include standard spell descriptions in action lists?

In Chapter 6: Friends and Foes, many of the creatures with spell lists include the note “(see ‘Actions’ below)” on a single spell. Often this is a cantrip, but the Undying Councilor has this note for a 5th level spell. When I first saw this I assumed that the creature would modify the spell in some way, but text given in Actions always appears to line up with the standard description of the spell and the normal spell attack bonus or spell save DC of the creature.

Why are these spells explicitly written out in the stat block? Especially in the case of monsters with multiple offensive spells (some of which are higher powered than the called-out cantrip), what should I as the GM take from this?

Player takes my fluff descriptions as equal to crunch, and when I disagree, says “You’re letting rules get in the way of the story” [on hold]

(Disclaimer: This is a hypothetical question in the sense that I’m not currently in this situation. However, it’s not entirely made up; it’s very closely based on a situation I saw someone else on a forum experiencing, and I found it so interesting I wanted to see what this community thought about it. So in the rest of this message, I assume a persona based on the GM who presented this situation to me.)

I GM mainly 3.X/D20 systems and other rules-heavy traditional systems. Most of my players seem OK with how I GM, and then there’s one guy. I’ll call him Kamina, because he loves “being cool” and shonen-anime-esque over-the-top-ness. He’s always trying to do stuff like this. Often I/we get into arguments with him over this, but I don’t think Rule of Cool is the whole issue here…

Kamina tends to take a long time on his turns. He likes adding colorful description and narration. To make it very clear, I’m OK with players narrating some stuff, adding to the conversation… so long as they realize how I GM. When I GM, I add fluff description myself, but (at least in these crunchy trad games) that’s all it is: fluff. I understand these systems as drawing a line between “rules” and “fluff”, and I hope my players can recognize that distinction. Kamina doesn’t. When players contribute narration, I hope they’ll expect me to treat it the same way I expect them to treat my narration; IE, a lot of it will be regarded as color that doesn’t impact future rules invocations. Kamina doesn’t. He spends lots of time analyzing every word I (and sometimes other players) say and then figuring how to incorporate those details into his narration and actions.

Kamina’s “creativity” mostly looks to me like trying to do stuff that’s totally outside the rules, or more insidiously, stuff that’s functionally already there in the rules. Like, he’ll describe his character aiming for a bad guy’s weak spot in a system where there are no called shot rules, and then he’ll get annoyed when I don’t give him a to-hit or damage bonus for it. I assume that, if there are no called shot rules, that aiming is abstracted into the standard to-hit and damage rules. I assume that characters can be assumed to be trying their best and that players don’t have to micromanage every move like that because it would just make already crunchy games take even longer. Kamina doesn’t seem to be satisfied with that.

There are other systems which might be better suited to Kamina. But he tells me, “You can totally play D20 systems my way!” and I think, “Maybe, but why should I?”

So my main question is, Can I (and my group) reconcile with this player, and is it worth the effort to try?

What are the relations between these two descriptions of let polymorphism?

In Types and Programming Languages by Pierce, there are two descriptions of let-polymorphism.

Sec23.8 Fragments of SystemF on p359 says

This has led to various proposals for restricted fragments of System F with more tractable reconstruction problems.

The most popular of these is the let-polymorphism of ML (§22.7), which is sometimes called prenex polymorphism because it can be viewed as a fragment of System F in which type variables range only over quantifier-free types (monotypes) and in which quantified types (polytypes, or type schemes) are not allowed to appear on the left-hand sides of arrows. The special role of let in ML makes the correspondence slightly tricky to state precisely; see Jim (1995) for details.

Sec 22.7 Let Polymorphism says

The first step is to change the ordinary typing rule for let so that, instead of calculating a type for the right-hand side t1 and then using this as the type of the bound variable x while calculating a type for the body t2, …, it instead substitutes t1 for x in the body, and then typechecks this expanded expression … We write a constraint-typing rule for let in a similar way:

enter image description here

In essence, what we’ve done is to change the typing rules for let so that they perform a step of evaluation

enter image description here

The second step is to rewrite the definition of double using the implicitly annotated lambda-abstractions from §22.6.

let double = λf. λa. f(f(a)) in let a = double (λx:Nat. succ (succ x)) 1 in let b = double (λx:Bool. x) false in ... 

The combination of the constraint typing rules for let (CT-LetPoly) and the implicitly annotated lambda-abstraction (CT-AbsInf) gives us exactly what we need: CT-LetPoly makes two copies of the definition of double, and Ct-AbsInf assigns each of the abstractions a different type variable. The or- dinary process of constraint solving does the rest.

What are the relations between the two descriptions?

Does each of the two descriptions imply (or lead to) the other? How? More specifically, do the first description’s

  • type variables range only over quantifier-free types (monotypes)

  • quantified types (polytypes, or type schemes) are not allowed to appear on the left-hand sides of arrows

and the second description’s

  • the constraint typing rules for let (CT-LetPoly)
  • the implicitly annotated lambda-abstraction (CT-AbsInf)

imply each other, and how?


Related to my previous question What is "Hindley-Milner (i.e., unification-based) polymorphism"?

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