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!
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.