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The Better Part of Valeros: Brashness vs. Caution in the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Saturday, August 3, 2013

For this installment of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game blog, game designer Mike Selinker and developer Gaby Weidling stake out positions on whether it's better to be brash or cautious in the game. We join them in mid-session.

Gaby: My turn! Smashy smashy!

Mike: Hold on there, buckaroo. I know you want to break everything in sight, Valeros. Let me tell you why that's not always a good idea.

Gaby: No, let me. Less thinking, more doing. You get to jump right into the action, and you don't spend all your time talking like you do in an RPG. Instead, you just wade right in because you're Valeros, and you smash whatever you find. You've loaded up on cards that make you nearly invincible, so why waste your time acting like you're… um, vincible?

Mike: And then you run into an Explosive Runes and your hand is in the discard pile.

Gaby: There's like two Explosive Runes in the whole game! And so I lose four cards? Baw-baw-baw. I'm Valeros. And I've got some wimpy-ass healer who can put those cards back in my deck whenever I want.

Mike: No, whenever she wants. Saving your bacon is going to cost Kyra a turn. She has to burn an exploration to heal you.

Gaby: I'm the only thing standing between her and disaster. "There's a big scary thing over at the Old Mill, and oh no, I looked ahead and there's another one in the Woods!" Who's gonna go beat that up? They're not calling Ghostbusters. It's always Valeros.

Mike: Kyra can bristle up with monster-killing cards just like Valeros can. She's just smarter if she doesn't. OK, let me ask you another thing. What happens when you blast through the door and find a Wand of Shield? It's just gonna go in the garbage, because you're not smart enough to acquire it.

Gaby: I don't need no sticks!

Mike: I think I win that argument. You're on the side of the party, right? You want Kyra's turns to be effective, and you just made her worse by not knowing there was something she wanted.

Gaby: I'm on the side of the party if the party is on the side of winning.

Mike: Sigh. Let me see if I can explain a simple concept called opportunity cost to you. Let's say you take one of those item slots and put a Spyglass in there. Spyglass says, "Discard this card to examine the top 2 cards of your location deck and put them back in any order." Then, when you find the monster and the wand, you can crush the monster and leave the wand for the spellcaster.

Gaby: Let me explain opportunity cost to you. You're wasting a slot that could be used for an active item and replacing it with a passive item. What good's knowing what's there if you can't beat it when you find it?

Mike: It doesn't always have to be passive. Consider Ilsoari Gandethus, who—

Gaby: Yes, let's!

Mike: —is an ally with the text, "During your turn, reveal this card and put it on top of your deck to examine the top card of your location deck; if it's a monster, you may shuffle that monster back into the location deck." Even you'd admit there are monsters you'd prefer to shuffle back into the deck when you find them.

Gaby: Read the rest of the card.

Mike: I'm not sure that's—

Gaby: "After you play this card, roll 1d12; on a 1, summon and encounter the villain The Sandpoint Devil." Remember the time Paul Peterson was so careful about what he was doing that he summoned The Sandpoint Devil three times. Valeros is all about fighting the monsters that are there, but not about making extra ones.

Mike: To be fair, Paul did live through that. Barely. But okay, I admit you have a point.

Gaby: Yeah, you also have a point. Sometimes you need to know where the villain or a henchman is, and flailing about blindly isn't always the best way. It's not always about the smashing. It's often about knowing when to smash.

Mike: And who needs to be smashed. So we can agree we're both right.

Gaby: Finally. Can I take my turn now?

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Pathfinder Adventure Path Rise of the Runelords

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards Subscriber

OK, That Sandpoint Devil looks pretty cool. Having to beat it twice at a 20 both times certainly puts it in the top bad guy spot I have seen so far. I could see how that could chew threw the blessings deck pretty quick.


I must admit, the anticipation of getting this game in my hands is killing me. One more month to go and a few days.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Hm, that's ineresting. So the Sandpoint Devil is a villain, but he's not the villain of any particular scenario?


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

FWIW, there's some odd m-dash notation that slipped in there.

Osirion

Looking sweet!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Thazar wrote:
OK, That Sandpoint Devil looks pretty cool. Having to beat it twice at a 20 both times certainly puts it in the top bad guy spot I have seen so far. I could see how that could chew threw the blessings deck pretty quick.

Mainly, he'll just chew through your hand.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Mechalibur wrote:
Hm, that's ineresting. So the Sandpoint Devil is a villain, but he's not the villain of any particular scenario?

Correct—the only way he enters the game is if he gets summoned after playing Ilsoari. (This makes him a great candidate for villain of your own homebrew scenario, though!)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Thazar wrote:
OK, That Sandpoint Devil looks pretty cool. Having to beat it twice at a 20 both times certainly puts it in the top bad guy spot I have seen so far. I could see how that could chew threw the blessings deck pretty quick.
Mainly, he'll just chew through your hand.

OK - I thought any villain card that you failed to defeat would need to be reshuffled back into some locations and mixed in with blessing deck cards.

So if you had six locations and did not defeat him he would hurt you and lower your hand... but then you would have to pull 5 cards from the blessings deck and the shuffle... putting one card in each location. But I now see I missed the Banishing text so it makes more sense.

And Vic - Thanks for all the posting you do! :)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

What happens if you actually defeat the Sandpoint Devil?

A) Nothing, you don't take damage.
B) close the location
C) win the scenario maybe?

I am guessing A, but not sure

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

From "Summoning and Adding Cards" in the Rulebook:

Rulebook wrote:
If the summoned card is a villain or henchman, defeating it does not allow you to close a location or win the scenario—ignore any such text on those cards.

If The Sandpoint Devil shows up, the *best* possible outcome is that you avoid taking damage from him. The worst outcome is that he empties your hand. (Well, okay, the *real* worst outcome is that he empties your hand, and you don't have enough cards to reset your hand at the end of the turn, so you die...)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:

From "Summoning and Adding Cards" in the Rulebook:

Rulebook wrote:
If the summoned card is a villain or henchman, defeating it does not allow you to close a location or win the scenario—ignore any such text on those cards.
If The Sandpoint Devil shows up, the *best* possible outcome is that you avoid taking damage from him. The worst outcome is that he empties your hand. (Well, okay, the *real* worst outcome is that he empties your hand, and you don't have enough cards to reset your hand at the end of the turn, so you die...)

Of course, thank you!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'm confused why The Sandpoint Devil is a villain and not just a monster or random loot card if "A" is the correct procedure. If he is a villain then, according to the rules, the location should be closed (assuming the other villain is not in the location deck).

The scenario does not end with "C" because it is not the villain for this scenario.


Summoned villains and henchman cannot cause a location to close. The reason he is a villain and not a monster i assume is so when we make our location decks we don't have to deal with him showing up.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

micrex wrote:
Summoned villains and henchman cannot cause a location to close. The reason he is a villain and not a monster i assume is so when we make our location decks we don't have to deal with him showing up.

And also so you can always encounter it, instead of wondering whether it's in a location deck.

Silver Crusade

And it's not a henchman, because it takes orders from NOBODY!!! :P

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