Enter the Ninja

Thursday, June 21, 2018

As I write this, I'm deeply wrapped up in design and development on the next major version of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game—the new PACG Core Set and the Curse of the Crimson Throne Adventure Path. And while I'll be talking a lot about those in the weeks to come, this seemed like an appropriate time to look at the Ultimate decks, since in some ways they're both the oldest and the youngest PACG expansion material.

Once upon a time, we were putting together the very first Adventure Path. Then, as now, we were deep in development and testing, and it became clear to us that if you all liked the game, we'd be making more someday: more Adventure Paths, more characters, more everything. During a conversation about possible next steps, I pitched to Paizo's Publisher Erik Mona the idea of PACG products built around the expansions to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook—specifically, Ultimate Combat, Ultimate Magic, and Ultimate Equipment; the Advanced Player's Guide; and the Bestiaries. It seemed like a natural fit. We bandied about some ideas, and then got back to work on Rise of the Runelords, then Skull & Shackles, Class Decks, and so on.

Fast forward a few years, a few Adventure Paths, and a few (okay, 27) Class Decks. We were already looking ahead to a potential revision of the game—not a new game, but a chance to clean, clarify, and streamline various bumps and corners. This was to be a big project, and in the meantime, there were issues that we wanted to address. Iconics both old and new had yet to officially appear in PACG, and several seasons of organized play had turned some seams and imperfections in the existing class decks into cracks. (To be clear, I intend no disrespect to the class decks! As a developer, there are always "seams and imperfections", and the earliest class decks were built as well as we knew how, but with very little real data to go on.) So it was that, looking at new-ish concerns and expecting potentially large new changes on the horizon, we turned to the old idea of decks based on Pathfinder RPG expansion material, and added a new twist: these decks could also be added to existing class decks. This set would also give us a chance to try out some ideas we had for the upcoming Core Set. As it had when talking to Erik and Vic way back when, it seemed like a natural fit.

Anyone familiar with the Ultimate books knows that they're not all created equal. Each focuses on a different area, with plenty of room for overlap. In this month's Ultimate Equipment Add-On Deck, we wanted very broad coverage—a deck that could be useful and interesting when combined with a very wide range of characters—ideally, for anyone who cares about having just the right tool for the job, regardless of the job. To that end, the cards in Ultimate Equipment focus not on the how or the why, but the what. In other words, it's all about the stuff.

For your blog-viewing and card-playing pleasure, we have…

...stuff for breaking things and/or beings:


These are delightful all day long.

...stuff to help you find more stuff:


Oh, so very stylish!.

...even stuff to help you with your other stuff!


Who needs a utility belt when you have spells, friends, or divine intervention?

Of course, in PACG, stuff mostly means items, and Ultimate Equipment has scads of 'em. As our general "utility, miscellaneous, other" category, items include a grand number of juicy, desirable cards (something that people are very fond of pointing out to me whenever I bring up the awesomeness that is Seelah). There are items aplenty no matter what character you're playing, including new items at every adventure number. Here's a peek at new Alchemy, Clothing, and Accessory items!


As Scoutmaster Scar might say: Be Prepared!

Finally (both at the end of the post and after many years of waiting), we get to bring you Reiko, the iconic Ninja.


Sadly, I was thwarted in my efforts to introduce this character in Skull & Shackles.

You might recognize her as an alternate take on the rogue class, or you might just see a deadly shadow, but either way she should be a fun new option for sneaking, stabbing, and solo-guarding whatever nasty locations show up in your next PACG session.


If a ninja vanishes in a combat, is someone already dead?

That does it for our peek into Ultimate Equipment. Next month, we'll take the clichéd "walk on the wild side" with Ultimate Wilderness. Until Then!

Chad Brown
Adventure Card Game Lead Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Ultimate Decks

Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Stuff! And then more stuff to help manage the stuff. That sounds all too real.

The master cartman sounds pretty cool, if you’re playing someone who can hoover up boons. Collect a bunch, then hand them off for somebody else to use. I like it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Elinnea wrote:

Stuff! And then more stuff to help manage the stuff. That sounds all too real.

The master cartman sounds pretty cool, if you’re playing someone who can hoover up boons. Collect a bunch, then hand them off for somebody else to use. I like it.

In a word, 'Ranzak'. :)


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Ha, I saw the title and thought this was a PF2 sneak attack!


Awww, you left out arguably the best card in the class deck!

(Hint: it also the word Candle in it, just like Holy Candle from the RotR set.)


Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Farrindor wrote:
Elinnea wrote:

Stuff! And then more stuff to help manage the stuff. That sounds all too real.

The master cartman sounds pretty cool, if you’re playing someone who can hoover up boons. Collect a bunch, then hand them off for somebody else to use. I like it.

In a word, 'Ranzak'. :)

Precisely. :D


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

So looking forward to this deck to arrive! :)
Thanks for all the hard work chad!

Btw, this thread seems to be missing in the PACG forum.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

There is so much good stuff in this deck, and it is easy to see how a bunch of different class/character decks and specific characters might benefit from it. There are also multiple cards with the Healing trait, and they come in different varieties, allowing you to tailor your healing to the character you're playing. Another great deck!


Woohoo!! This looks amazing! Can't wait. Can see so many characters I want to play it with. And I definitely want to play Reiko!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

My copy just arrived yesterday, and I am very excited to get Reiko to the table. Any thoughts on good class decks to use with him? Something with a lot of poison cards maybe?


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

You would think that the Rogue CD would have a lot of cards with the Poison trait, but there weren't many. I'd look at Hell's Vengeance 2 as a possibility (not sure off the top of my head if they put enough in to support Emil, but he also has a power that needs cards with the Poison trait).

Reiko is a female. ;)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
eddiephlash wrote:
Any thoughts on good class decks to use with him?

Ahem. That's a "Her" there.

Othwerwise, Monk CD sounds like the natural fit. Plenty of Acro weapons there, AFAIK.

EDIT: Bwahahahhaa, of ALL the posts to get Ninja'd on, by LITERALLY a second... :D I should've seen it coming! Oh, wait....


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

You could always combine it with Tales and take the role/powerfeat that lets you treat "poison" as "Arcane". Lots of good finesse options in Tales CD and some pretty good items as well.

Overall I really enjoy the ultimate equipment deck. It has a good mix of everything and I think has been the much needed deck my SnS Merisiel with the Tales CD has been longing for. Strangely enough the Item Boardgame has been what has caught my interest the most. Being able to have a reliable way to shuffle location and character decks...Awesome!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Doppelschwert wrote:
Btw, this thread seems to be missing in the PACG forum.

Fixed.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
zeroth_hour2 wrote:

Awww, you left out arguably the best card in the class deck!

(Hint: it also the word Candle in it, just like Holy Candle from the RotR set.)

Agreed. I saw this card of which you speak (at least, I think we're speaking about the same card) and realized that it would go a long ways towards making high-level blessings easier to get in organized play.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Longshot11 wrote:
eddiephlash wrote:
Any thoughts on good class decks to use with him?

Ahem. That's a "Her" there.

Othwerwise, Monk CD sounds like the natural fit. Plenty of Acro weapons there, AFAIK.

EDIT: Bwahahahhaa, of ALL the posts to get Ninja'd on, by LITERALLY a second... :D I should've seen it coming! Oh, wait....

I have an interesting deck to use for her, though I'm interested in expanding that deckbuilding into a full blog post...


zeroth_hour2 wrote:
Longshot11 wrote:
eddiephlash wrote:
Any thoughts on good class decks to use with him?

Ahem. That's a "Her" there.

Othwerwise, Monk CD sounds like the natural fit. Plenty of Acro weapons there, AFAIK.

EDIT: Bwahahahhaa, of ALL the posts to get Ninja'd on, by LITERALLY a second... :D I should've seen it coming! Oh, wait....

I have an interesting deck to use for her, though I'm interested in expanding that deckbuilding into a full blog post...

That would be great! Love to see your thoughts

Lone Shark Games

zeroth_hour2 wrote:
I have an interesting deck to use for her, though I'm interested in expanding that deckbuilding into a full blog post...

DO IT.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
eddiephlash wrote:
My copy just arrived yesterday, and I am very excited to get Reiko to the table. Any thoughts on good class decks to use with him? Something with a lot of poison cards maybe?

I actually went with an odd choice for her deck... I went sorcerer... I know, I know, but here's the thing... Boots of elvenkind and surgeon. Sorc was the only deck I had with those in it. I probably would have gone druid if I had had it, but I don't yet. I blazed solo through the first half of the season of the runelords yesterday and I'm loving her so far. Undead are tough, but she's working well otherwise.

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