The Best 4 Days of PACG

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Paizo and Lone Shark teams just got back from an exhausting exhilarating Gen Con, and much Pathfinder Adventure Card Game was played!

We ran our third ACG Open! Our valiant leader, Mike Selinker, wove a grand tale called "The Vampire Devolutions," focusing on the Pathfinder Tales Character Deck characters Radovan and Varian, and their would-be nemesis, the vampire Prince Kasiya. Thank you to all our teams who made it to the Open! I know our final two teams had fun, since I got a chance to chat with them, and we'll put up some pictures of our finalists in a future blog post. (In previous years, the Opens had complicated designs that made them very difficult to release to the public. This time, the Open is much easier to set up and publish. I'm hoping to do a couple minor tweaks, then see if we can get it played at a lot more venues after the Tales deck comes out next month. Keep an eye out: we don't want to let the vampires win.)

Gen Con also featured our second Adventure Card Guild Interactive Special, 9-00: Assault on Absalom, kicking off the storyline for Season of Factions' Favor. This year's special inextricably wove the Adventure Card Guild and Roleplaying Guild together, with each guild tackling many of the same encounters in their own fashion, with each contributing jointly to the success of the endeavor. I wasn't able to see the Special last year, so I snuck onto a table to see how things went. This was a complex event, and there were some hiccups that we hope to improve on. That said, when there was an announcement of an achievement and we all got to pull extra cards from the box, or another table sent Reinforcements to our table, it felt awesome. It's very different playing PACG as a collaboration between many (many, many) tables! I encourage you to check it if it comes to a convention or game day by you: it's got some great stories and scenarios.

We've taken cooperation to the next level—or at least to the next table.

Season of Factions' Favor also premiered at Gen Con, with our fine Pathfinders chasing after one of the villains from Assault on Absalom. Your travels take you to Katapesh's harbor city of Okeno, where you join up with members of the Liberty's Edge faction to infiltrate a group of slavers. Each adventure in this season highlights a different faction within the Pathfinder Society, so we've introduced a new type of support card that gets shuffled into the blessings deck. Adventure 4-1 is rolling out to Venture Officers and participating retailers now, and will be available for sale in mid-September.

Wait, you mean good things can happen when we discard a blessing!?

After that, we're doing something completely different to support our upcoming Hell's Vengeance Character Deck 1 and Deck 2. The characters in Hell's Vengeance are not the nicest kids on the block. They do somewhat mean things to their comrades, like play with their discard piles, or discard cards from the top of their deck, or maybe they just enjoy standing around drinking in the sweet screams of their pain. You know: usual evil stuff. So we're going to release some special promo scenarios that help explain why the Pathfinder Society might want to work with these characters. On one hand, they're generally evil folks, but on the other hand, you're going after some specific evil folks, and they're really looking to get their vengeance on. Maybe you can stick together for a few adventures, for the greater good. At least till they (predictably) betray you.

Finally, on Sunday, John Compton, Mike Selinker, and I stumbled gamely into the PACG panel to make some announcements and talk to our fans. Unfortunately, Vic Wertz—the guardian and keeper who keeps this line sane, wasn't there to help out. Fortunately for you, he also wasn't there to keep us in line observing secrecy protocols. So what did we let slip?

  • The Pathfinder Tales Character Deck is chock-full of all-new allies, and they have some amazing synergies when you get characters from the same Tales together.
  • The Hell's Vengeance Character Deck 1 and Deck 2 characters love Corrupted boons like those in Wrath, and benefit from a few unfriendly mechanics that synergize well together.
  • The Hunter Class Deck covers the wide spectrum from tree hugging to rampaging through nature and includes some hard-to-pronounce savage weaponry, plus dinosaurs to ride. Dinosaurs! To! Ride!
  • The Occult Adventures Character Deck 1 and Deck 2 use some of our most crazy inventive mechanics yet, including new awesome uses for Fortitude and Perception and wild mechanics for Erasmus and Mavaro.
  • Ultimate Combat, Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Intrigue, and Ultimate Equipment follow those, and are filled to the brim with boons to complement other class decks. The iconic characters in these decks are the samurai Hayato, the arcanist Enora, the vigilante Aric the Red Raven, and the ninja Reiko.

The terbutje. Don't even try to pronounce it. Certainly, don't make Mike try.

That release schedule takes us just about to Gen Con 2018. Now, Mike was very clear that these next two products are going to take us a while, and they may or may not be ready for that show, and may not even appear in 2018 at all. There's still a lot undecided about them. But this is what we're playing with now.

  • We are looking at a new core set that serves as a starter set for every adventure path going forward, providing a baseline of banes, boons, and locations that every set (and every PFSACG season) needs. We'll be looking to optimize your experience with this set, but in no way, shape, or form will it invalidate any existing product.
  • The first Adventure Path we're working on for that new core set is Curse of the Crimson Throne. The Crimson Throne RPG Adventure Path is dear to me, as I've run it three times, including a game I ran for PACG designers Chad Brown and Tanis O'Connor, and I've been itching to work on a PACG version of it for ages. It's full of Harrowing deeds and dire investigations all set in your (morally grey) home base of Korvosa, and we'll talk a lot more about it... down the road.

They may claim to be the good guys, but Fantasy Rules of Fashion beg to differ.

It was great getting a chance to meet and play with some of you at Gen Con, and I'd like to again thank our volunteers and Venture Officers for all the work they do to make PACG events happen. Thanks for reading, and if you're in Seattle next week, look for our team members at PAX!

Keith Richmond
Adventure Card Game Designer

P.S. Season of Factions' Favor doesn't lend itself to an immediately obvious shortening the way Plundered Tombs turned into PluTo, so I've seen all kinds of options. In the comments below, please tell us your favorite. I've heard so far: SoFF, SoFa, SoFac, FaFa, and Susan.

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Tags: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game
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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Huzzah!


Woohoo! I couldn't make it this year but it looks like some good things are coming out of the pipeline.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

This year was a blast! Looking forward to a great year of cards!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

I love the direction of Factions Favored, but oh my gosh. The scenario I played at Gen Con was really annoying and unfun.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Which base set(s) is/are required to run scenarios for Season of Factions' Favor?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
treidenb wrote:
Which base set(s) is/are required to run scenarios for Season of Factions' Favor?

Mummies Mask was said in the forums (somewhere). Don't know how this will make sense outside of osirion, but I guess we will see soon enough.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'm super excited about the possibility of new Corrupted boons in the HV CDs and how their characters interact with them!
October/November can't come soon enough :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Pawns, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

"Bob" seems to be the default when the need for a name exists in the forums. So just call season of Factions Favor, Bob.
I have no self-interest in this comment whatsoever. Trust me ;-)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I think SoFF is the most in line with all the preceding names.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Cool....
Nice to see Mike, Vic and others took into considerations some of our remarks.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Crimsom is a great choice! Looking forward to it!


I'm predicting some people will claim they can heal 2d4+1 cards when playing a Cure with a Silver Crusade Favor on top of the blessings discard pile...

My vote is SoFac. It has a more satisfying sound than SoFF.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

I'm not at all into Op so I have no clue how things may work but I like the "give this card to another table"
So the table will play it? Does it keep its "hand" under its "leg"? When does it take a turn if play goes clockwise around it? ;-)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Frencois wrote:

I'm not at all into Op so I have no clue how things may work but I like the "give this card to another table"

So the table will play it? Does it keep its "hand" under its "leg"? When does it take a turn if play goes clockwise around it? ;-)

That card was for the special, where there are multiple RPG and ACG tables playing (mostly) independently but working towards the same overall goal. As each table achieves things, they can unlock benefits for other tables to enjoy while the entire room works towards a shared success. This card looks to be part of that; a reward you can use to help your buddies at another table out.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Assault on Absalom looks interesting. I know I absolutely loved playing the Cosmic Captive, so I'm really looking forward to this one. I've got character that I've reserved for special only now.

I'll be interested to see how Assault on Absalom works. I'm wondering what the ratio of reinforcements to number of tables is. Can't wait until the fall when I'll have a chance to play it.

Lone Shark Games

8 people marked this as a favorite.

I've been using "SoFa," just so I can say "The story SoFa..."

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

I vote SoFac. Having a consonant sound at the end is much more satisfying than "SoFa". Plus, Rick James might have something to say about Sofas. (Not gonna link it because it could offend... if you know the clip, you're awesome.)

Shadow Lodge

Nah, that was couches. BUY ANOTHER ONE!


This is the first year in 5 that I wasn't able to make either Origins or Gen Con, sounds like it was a blast.

So...is PACG coming to Pax Unplugged? (he says hoping the answer is yes)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Paizo will be at PAX Unplugged with organized play. See this blog post and this thread.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Cyrad wrote:
I love the direction of Factions Favored, but oh my gosh. The scenario I played at Gen Con was really annoying and unfun.

Cyrad, which scenario did you play? I played Scenarios 2 and 3 of Adventure 1 of Faction's Favor. One of them (I forget which) had a monster get added to a random location deck at the end of every turn. The key to that one was that it didn't go into a random *open* location, and hopefully you'd be able to close some locations early and start dealing those monsters into closed locations.

We started playing that one wrong, and near the end of the blessings deck I realized on average we weren't making any progress, so I checked the wording and realized the mistake we had made. (Thankfully, Keith was also around to confirm the intent).

Otherwise, I thought the 2 scenarios I played were pretty fun.

Lone Shark Games

First World Bard, that was 4-1C: The Unfettered Frenzy

It has a reduced number of locations and gives you extra allies you can discard for explores. It is pretty important to focus on knocking down locations as quick as you can, though, so the monsters start shuffling into closed locations.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

First World Bard wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
I love the direction of Factions Favored, but oh my gosh. The scenario I played at Gen Con was really annoying and unfun.

Cyrad, which scenario did you play? I played Scenarios 2 and 3 of Adventure 1 of Faction's Favor. One of them (I forget which) had a monster get added to a random location deck at the end of every turn. The key to that one was that it didn't go into a random *open* location, and hopefully you'd be able to close some locations early and start dealing those monsters into closed locations.

We started playing that one wrong, and near the end of the blessings deck I realized on average we weren't making any progress, so I checked the wording and realized the mistake we had made. (Thankfully, Keith was also around to confirm the intent).

Otherwise, I thought the 2 scenarios I played were pretty fun.

That was the one.

We played it correctly. However, each new monster kept getting added to the final location anyway. This combined with the effect that added new monsters whenever we overkilled a bane resulted in the final location taking more than an hour to close. Since the henchman in that location did not allow us to close the location upon defeat, we had no other choice than to go through the entire location deck. It was all worsened by the fact that many monsters in this set have ways that screw with you, deal damage before you act, aren't killed unless you kill them in a specific way, or have triggers. We ended up going over the time slot and completed the scenario with only a single card left in the blessing deck.

The worst part is that we were crushing this scenario before this happened. We closed a location on the very first turn.

Lone Shark Games

Oof, that's some awful luck. Still successful, though. Good to know.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Ah, I love those first turn closures. Even better when you get the streak going, closing locations each turn.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

When you close a location on your first turn of the game, we call it a Chadturn, after our friend Chad, known for his reckless exploration.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I played organized ACG for the first time at GenCon. I very much enjoyed scenarios A-D. My Radillo had a bit of trouble with overkill, but the Harsk in the group just kept hitting checks on the money. Harsk has finesse.

We were lucky with 4-1C. We closed one location pretty quickly and kept rolling to add monsters to that location.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Thanks for the great experience this weekend, everyone! The open was a great challenge, a ton of fun, and I'm now in love with Talitha. (PLAYING Talitha. Playing. Ahem.)

And YES CRIMSON THRONE. Keith, that campaign was one of the first I thought of that would be a great setting for this after I learned they were making new boxes for the ACG. That will be amazing! All hail Blackjack!


Cyrad wrote:
I love the direction of Factions Favored, but oh my gosh. The scenario I played at Gen Con was really annoying and unfun.

I can't say much about the overall direction, but I did play one scenario in SoFF and it was annoying. It involved the Mirage (4-1D, IIRC) and it sucked due to bad "encounters" with the "Villain", bad closing checks, and overkill piling on. We barely squeezed out a win, but it was frustrating.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Ah, I love those first turn closures. Even better when you get the streak going, closing locations each turn.

First turn closings are no predictor of scenario results. (I'm looking at you, 3-3C with 6 players.)

Silver Crusade

Hopefully the new base set includes Adventure Guide, from which you can follow the story of the adventure path. As we all know, the small cards are not enough for telling the story.

It is a shame that we are missing most of the great stories of the real RPG books, but fans have been doing a great job making Adventure Guides to the card game.

But isn't that your job, Paizo, to make the product better, not just leave it abstract with couple of sentences story in the cards?

Shadow Lodge

If you've played the AP, you've already heard the story. If you haven't, do you really want the story spoiled? Maybe you only play the ACG, but others play more.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

By that logic, the PACG mobile app and the upcoming Kingmaker PC game shouldn't exist either because "others play more" and they already know the story.

I worked on the guides, and it's not just Jan Englund asking for more story. Paizo and Lone Shark wouldn't invest the time and money if it was just a few people asking for it.

Customers needs aren't identical, nor do they buy everything a company offers.

Shadow Lodge

Nor are you the only one allowed to weigh in. I've shared my piece, and I hope Paizo will be able to accommodate as many people as they can.

Lone Shark Games

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The model going forward will probably look a lot more like the one-sheet per scenario story treatment we do for Organized Play than the third of a card per scenario treatment we've done in the box sets up til now.

Lone Shark Games

Keith Richmond wrote:
The model going forward will probably look a lot more like the one-sheet per scenario story treatment we do for Organized Play than the third of a card per scenario treatment we've done in the box sets up til now.

Caveat: We don't really know what the final form will be. But we're learning a lot from our organized play experience.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
TOZ wrote:
If you've played the AP, you've already heard the story. If you haven't, do you really want the story spoiled? Maybe you only play the ACG, but others play more.

I totally get not wanting the story spoiled if you plan on playing the rpg adventure path. I've always wondered how many people that play also play the rpg adventure paths and how many only play the card game. I am a card game only person and have longed to understand the story more. I bought the Pathfinder Legends of Rise of the Runelords for that reason, but finances have conspired against me getting the other ones.

I for one think you could go a little further than what organized play has. For example: an index that tells me more about the allies that have proper nouns. For example: Mayor Kendra Deverin, Ameiko Kaijitsu, and Shalelu Andosana. Just free sentences about who they are and how they relate to the story of the adventure path would be great.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

I definitely hope more backround story for card game because I don't play the rpg version.
The spoil part works both ways. If you already have played the rpg, it spoils the card game version... so the spoil is there one way or another. It can not be avoided. One of the games is spoiled in anyway if you play the both versions.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I don't play the card game for the story. Or rather, I'd play the card guild scenarios, since that is a different story.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

While I don't play the card game for the story, I still want it to have one. It helps me get more attached to my characters, and also get other people I play with involved. In that regard, having more text I can read or give to others that explains things would be very welcome, and I love the PFSACG scenario sheets in that regard. I just wish there was even more though :)

I'm the GM for my Pathfinder RPG group and that is unlikely to change ever, so being "spoiled" on an AP is less meaningful to me since if our group were to play an AP, I'd be the one running it anyway.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I have played Rise of the Runelords, start to finish. As such, if I were to play the RPG version, I already know at least one character that I should not trust when we encounter them. The flavour text is not the only source of spoilers.


The Open was a blast, and the prizes were great. (If you want a piece of the action, look for "pathfinder tales acg" on ebay within the next two days...)

Also enjoyed the first few adventures in the new OP. After playing the Warpriest in the Open days 1 and 2, I just had to go downstairs to the Paizo booth and buy the character for myself. We played A, B and C that afternoon. And now.. for the life of me I think I've unpacked everything and I have no idea where my character record sheet and OP adventure log is. Time to go through all the luggage side pockets again!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Re spoilers, in my opinion...

I don't think the RPG spoiling the ACG is a real issue. Knowing the plot of the RPG would, if anything, enrich the ACG experience.

The main thing that can be meaningfully spoiled in the ACG is the villain mechanics. And even then, only for groups who don't read the villain until they encounter it (the app for instance displays them for you). But the villain mechanics are mostly determined by how the ACG developers have interpreted it, which is hard to guess even when it fits perfectly. And even after all that, I'd honestly say that if you ever did guess the gist of the mechanic from the flavour in the RPG, and adjust your strategy accordingly, that's a moment of awesome if anything. It's a positive, not a negative.

On the other hand, I expect the ACG spoils the adventure path horribly, even with no flavour text at all. Even with no mechanics even, just simply who is a villain/henchman and who is an ally is spoiling a lot.

So I'd argue there's no great spoiler-cost to adding more story text to the ACG, because going ACG->RPG is a write-off already. On the other hand, it levels the playing field for people who've gone RPG->ACG, since now we all understand what's going on. We all get the chance to try and guess the mechanics from the flavour and nobody even needs to feel guilty about it.

I can also say I've enjoyed the ACG a whole lot more since I found the story text over on BGG.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Actually spoilers are when you have played PACG and get to play RPG after.
It needs some imagination from the RPG DM to balance that by changing a few things in the RPG AP.

The other way around, I agree with Irgy: Knowing the plot of the RPG would, if anything, enrich the ACG experience.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My local group pronounces "terbutje" as "Aztec chainsaw." That's probably just us.

Lone Shark Games

The Macahuitl is the Aztec Chainsaw, right? Mind you, I tried to use that name first, before I noticed Terbutje had previously been published. It's a good ~year for Maori Sharksaws anyhow, what with Moana craze and all that.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I think we call every flat weapon studded with obsidian sharp bits "Aztec chainsaw."

Lone Shark Games

That's a philosophy I can get behind.


Overall, we had fun with the Special, though it was bumpy at times.
The tables were not set with the first scenario before we got there. That may have been a factor of how many acg tables there were, dunno. It was just too bad we weren't rolling right off the bat.
And having two of the scenarios called when we were only partway thru was frustrating, especially since that included the last one - I think we played that one for at most 20 minutes.

But we crushed the three we didn't have time issues with, and the general environment was cool. Like I said, we had fun overall and will likely be back next year.

The open was cool, though not as much fun as it was last year, as it was much more straightforward scenarios. Sure, you suffered 'level drain' for every monster you fought, which was an interesting challenge to deal with, but I missed the trivia, puzzles, etc from last year.
We advanced to the second round, and finished 3rd overall. Given that we tied with the 4th place team and both of us were only 2 points behind 2nd, I highly recommend a more dynamic scoring system in the future (monsters killed plus blessings left, really?)

Lone Shark Games

Good to know you guys were back, and were one of the teams that tied up on everything, including the tiebreaker for number of cards in decks. One of the tweaks will be to the scoring mechanic, but I don't know that it would have stopped you guys from tying in that particular scenario. When the scenario is released, I encourage you to knock out the 3rd one, since it is a bit less straightforward.


More story or less story, I'm glad to read most of the people commenting on this thread can appreciate the other side's viewpoint.

It's really great that Paizo has a Community Use Policy that allowed the guides to exist in the first place, that way fans could legally create the stories they wanted to see and share them with the PACG community.

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