I'm just generally unclear about a lot of things. Can you help?
Probably! We find that many of the issues people have when playing the game are easily solved when players understand the philosophy of the game's design. To that end, we've created a number of "metarules" that explain how to approach the game.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
If you’ve played other card games, board games, or roleplaying games, you may find a lot of familiar concepts in the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. However, bringing in assumptions from other games—including the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game—can potentially trip you up. Here are some guidelines you might want to keep in mind.
Cards Do What They Say. Read any card as it is encountered or played, and do whatever it says as soon as it makes sense to do so. Let the card tell you what to do, and don’t impose limitations that aren’t there. You can play an armor card even if there isn’t one in your deck list. You can play a Cure spell even if it’s not your turn. You can play a blessing on a check even if someone else has played one. Cards say everything they need to say.
Cards Don’t Do What They Don’t Say. Each card’s powers reference specific situations, and if you’re not in those situations, you can’t play it. If a card says it works on “a check,” you can play it on anyone’s check, but if a card says “your check,” it only works on yours. You can’t play a Cure spell to reduce the amount of damage you’re taking, because Cure isn’t about reducing damage. You can’t play Detect Evil to examine a location deck that has no cards. Your weapon doesn’t help you acquire new weapons. Each card tells you what it’s for, and you can use it only for that.
No One Else Can Take Your Turn for You. Whenever you encounter a card or make a check, you—and only you—must resolve it. No other character can evade it, defeat it, acquire it, close it, decide what to do with it, or fail at doing any of those things. If Sajan encounters a monster, Merisiel can’t evade it for him. If Kyra encounters a Ghoul, Seoni can’t attempt the check to defeat it. If Amiri encounters a Battered Chest, Lini cannot use Thieves’ Tools against it. If Valeros encounters a Spyglass, Harsk can’t attempt the check to acquire it. If Ezren defeats a henchman at the Sandpoint Cathedral, Seelah can’t discard a blessing to close the location. If the game tells you to do something, you have to do it.
Cards Don’t Have Memories. Cards forget they’ve been played after they’ve done whatever they do. So if you reveal an item to reduce damage dealt before an encounter, you can reveal that item again during the encounter. A monster isn’t affected by anything you did in a previous encounter with it. Even though you’ve played a card to explore again, after that exploration you can play another. Don’t ask your cards to remember what happened, because they’re just cards.
Finish One Thing Before You Start Something Else. You do many things in a specific order, and you need to finish doing each thing before you do the next thing. You move before you explore, not after. If a spell used in a check can be recharged, finish the first check before you begin your check to recharge it. If a villain requires two sequential combat checks, finish the first before starting the second. Don’t start a new process until you’ve finished the last one. (That said, if the game doesn’t specify an order for things, you decide the order.)
If It Isn’t Called Something, It Isn’t That Thing. Every term described in the rules and on cards has a specific definition. The Goblin Warchanter has the Goblin trait, but the Goblin Dog doesn’t, even though it has Goblin in its name. A Potion of Healing may sound like it’s magical, but it doesn’t have the Magic trait. A Ghost deals Combat damage when it damages you, even if you failed a Divine check to defeat it. Detect Magic doesn’t use the word “explore,” so you can play it at times when you can’t explore. Don’t make assumptions—just read the card.
Add Only What You Are Told to Add. If a card adds another die, that’s all it gives you: a die. It doesn’t give you your bonuses again. It doesn’t give you the skill associated with that die. It doesn’t give you the ability to recharge an Arcane spell if you don’t have the Arcane skill. When you play a Longbow to add your Strength die to a Combat check, you don’t get to play a Blessing of Gorum to add 2 dice, because you’re not attempting a Strength check. You just get a die.
Allow for Abstractions. Sometimes the story you imagine can get in the way of playing the game. Despite their aquatic nature, Bunyips can be encountered in the General Store. Caltrops work against Ancient Skeletons, even if they don’t have flesh on their feet. Harsk can fire a Heavy Crossbow from the Mountain Peak into the Deeper Dungeons. Don’t force the cards to fit your story; let the cards tell you their stories.
Choices Matter. Your choices have consequences. Once you choose cards for your character, you can’t trade them for other cards whenever you like. If a location makes you choose between attempting a check or banishing a card before closing it, you can’t attempt the check and then banish the card if you fail. If you roll too low on a Combat check, it’s too late to play a Strength spell to improve your result. Once you choose a side of a role card, you can’t switch to the other side. If something kills your character, your character dies. Every choice matters—take your choices seriously.
What if a card tells me to do something impossible, like examine a card from an empty deck, or draw more cards than there are left in a deck?
Ignore the impossible part—and only that part—of the card.
Resolution: On page 2 of the rulebook, at the end of the Golden Rule, add the following:
"If a card instructs you to do something impossible, such as examine a card in an empty deck, ignore that instruction. If a card tells you to do something with a specific number of cards, and there aren't that many cards available, use as many as there are. For example, if you're told to draw 4 cards from a deck that has only 3 cards, draw the 3 cards. (Regardless of this, if you need to remove any number of cards from your deck and don't have enough, your character dies; if you need to remove any number of cards from the blessings deck and don't have enough, you lose the scenario.)"
How do I read the d4? And can I really roll a 0 on the d10?
On the d4, read the number that’s upright when you look at the die. And the 0 on the d10 should be treated as a 10.
Resolution: In the "Rules: Rolling Dice" sidebar on page 6 of the rulebook, add the following as a new paragraph at the beginning: “The game comes with five dice: a 4-sider, 6-sider, 8-sider, 10-sider, and 12-sider. When you roll the 4-sider, use the number that is upright. The 0 on the 10-sider should be treated as a 10.”
I'm drawing my starting hand, and my favored card is one of the last cards in the deck. After all that discarding, there are only a couple cards left. Do I just start with a smaller hand?
No—just draw the last few cards, which will guarantee you've finally got your favored card type (as long as you remembered to actually put any in your deck!), then shuffle your discards and continue filling your hand.
Resolution: On page 7 of the rulebook, under "Draw Starting Hands," add the following, just before the last sentence:
"If you discard so many cards that you can't draw up to your full hand size, draw all of the remaining cards, then shuffle the discard pile into your deck and draw the rest of your hand."
Ezren's Illusionist role card says "▢ Add 2 (▢ 4) to your check to acquire a spell (▢ or ally)." I know I have to check the "Add 2" box before I can check the "(▢ 4)" box, but do I have to check the "(▢ 4)" box before I check the "(▢ or Ally)" box?
No, you may check the "(▢ or Ally)" box first, if you like.
Resolution: On page 7 of the rulebook, under "Feats," change the following:
"...you must check the unchecked box farthest to the left before you can check subsequent boxes"
"...you must check the unchecked box farthest to the left before you can check any immediately adjacent boxes"
Not if you don't want to. If you like, you can track your cards with the handy Character Sheets we created.
Resolution: On page 7 of the rulebook, under "Feats", change the last sentence of the first paragraph to end "...lightly check the feat boxes, or track your character with the free character sheets posted online at paizo.com/pacg."
Resolution: On page 8, at the end of the first paragraph under "Role Cards", change the following:
"…of the original character card."
"…of the original character card, and your role card counts as part of your character card."
I've just advanced the blessings deck. How do I acquire the blessing on top?
Resolution: On page 9 of the rulebook, under "Advance the Blessings Deck", add the following after the first sentence: “You never acquire this card, though some cards may refer to it during your turn.”
The rules say that if I have to advance the blessings deck and can't, my party loses the scenario. Does this mean that if the deck is empty, and something would cause me to remove a card from the blessings deck without actually advancing it, we don't lose?
No. You lose.
Resolution: On page 8 of the rulebook, under Advance the Blessings Deck, replace the entire text with the following:
"Flip the top card from the blessings deck faceup onto the top of the blessings discard pile. You never acquire this card, though some cards may refer to it during your turn. If you have to remove one or more cards from the blessings deck for any reason, and there are not enough cards to do so, the players lose the scenario (see Ending a Scenario, Adventure, or Adventure Path on page 18)."
Also, on page 18 of the rulebook, under Ending a Scenario, Adventure, or Adventure Path, replace the first sentence with the following:
"If, at any point, you need to remove one or more cards from the blessings deck but there are not enough cards remaining in it to do so, the scenario ends immediately, and your party of adventurers loses."
If something happens "at the start of my turn," does it happen before or after advancing the blessings deck?
It happens after. Advancing the blessings deck is always the very first thing that happens on your turn.
Resolution: On page 8 of the rulebook, under Advance the Blessings Deck, add the italicized text below:
At the start of your turn, flip the top card from the blessings deck faceup onto the top of the blessings discard pile. You never acquire this card, though some cards may refer to it during your turn. If you have to remove one or more cards from the blessings deck for any reason and there are not enough cards to do so, the players lose the scenario (see Ending a Scenario, Adventure, or Adventure Path on page 18). After advancing the blessings deck, apply any other effects that happen at the start of your turn.
There's a bunch of stuff I don't understand about resetting my hand and ending my turn, especially when I can and can't play cards. Can you help?
Yes! We've rewritten the "Reset Your Hand" section of the rules to help with that.
Resolution: On page 9 of the rulebook, replace the Reset Your Hand section with the following:
"Reset Your Hand: First, apply any effects that happen at the end of the turn; if a power allows or directs you not to reset your hand, you must still apply any effects that happen at the end of the turn. You may play cards and use powers unless a power directed you to reset your hand and end your turn. After resolving these effects, you may no longer play cards or use powers for the rest of the turn.
"Next, you may discard any number of cards. Then, if you have more cards in your hand than your hand size specifies, you must discard until the number of cards in your hand matches your hand size. Finally, if you have fewer cards than your hand size, you must draw cards until the number of cards in your hand matches your hand size."
On the Turn Overview on the back page, change the Reset Your Hand entry to:
Reset your hand—apply end-of-turn effects, then discard any number of cards; finally, discard down to or draw up to your hand size.
How do I know if I can play (this card) to (do this thing) (at this time)?
Just read the card. If it says it does something, it does that, and doesn't do anything else that's not specified in this rulebook. If the card doesn't say when it can do what it says, it can do it whenever the situation is applicable and you're allowed to play cards at all.
Resolution: On page 10 of the rulebook, under "Playing Cards", add this as the first sentence: "Anyone can play a card whenever the card allows it."
I have a power that lets me discard a card to trigger an effect. If I discard a spell, can I recharge it?
You may only recharge cards that you play; playing involves triggering an effect on that card, not on some other card.
Resolution: On page 10 of the rulebook, under "Playing Cards," change the following:
"Playing a card means activating a card's power by revealing, displaying, discarding, recharging, burying, or banishing the card."
to "Playing a card means activating that card's power by revealing, displaying, discarding, recharging, burying, or banishing that card. Doing something with a card that does not activate that card's power does not count as playing that card. For example, if Kyra discards a spell to activate her healing power, it doesn't count as playing that spell (meaning she also can't recharge it)."
I've just acquired a spell that says "If you do not have the Arcane or Divine skill, banish this card." My character does not have a required skill. When exactly do I banish the card—when I acquire it, or when I play it? Also, if my character isn't a spellcaster, can I actually play it?
You can play it—once—and then you have to banish it. (As for not being a spellcaster, think of it as using a spell from a scroll.)
Resolution: On page 10 of the rulebook, under "Playing Cards," add the following sentence to the end of the first paragraph:
"Any paragraph in the power section of a boon that doesn't involve playing the card for a particular effect is not itself a power—it's a mandatory action that you must take when you play the card."
Can I reveal two Belts of Incredible Dexterity over and over to add ∞ to my Dexterity?
Of course not. Any specific card's power can be activated once per check or step, and then it can't do that again until the next time you do something. So you cannot reveal a single Belt of Incredible Dexterity twice to add 2 to your Dexterity check, but you could reveal two copies once each; similarly, you cannot reveal a single Magic Shield three times to reduce a single instance of Combat damage dealt to you by 6, but you could reveal it once to reduce “before the encounter” combat damage dealt by a Scout, and then reveal it a second time to reduce Combat damage if you fail to defeat the Scout.
Resolution: On page 9 of the Rulebook, under Playing Cards, add the following sentence to the definition of Reveal: "You may not reveal the same card for its power more than once per check or step."
Can I play a card to reduce damage when damage is not being dealt, or play a card to evade a monster when I'm not encountering a monster?
Resolution: On page 10 of the rulebook, add the following as a new paragraph immediately after the example:
"You may not activate a power that doesn't apply to your current situation. For example, you may not play a card to reduce damage when damage is not being dealt, or play a card to evade a monster when you are not encountering a monster."
There's a bunch of stuff I just don't understand about encountering cards, especially when I can and can't play cards. Can you help?
Yes! We've rewritten the "Encountering a Card" section of the rules to help with that.
• On page 10 of the rulebook, under "Playing Cards", replace the paragraph that begins "If a card in your hand..." with the following sentence:
"If a card in your hand does not specify when it can be played, you can generally play it at any time, with the exception that during an encounter you may only perform specific actions at specific times."
• On the same page, replace the "Encountering a Card" section with the following text:
"When you encounter a card, you—and only you—can go through the following steps. No one else can perform these steps for you, though other players might be able to play cards to help you deal with the encounter’s challenges. During each of these steps, you and the other players may perform only the specified actions. Players may only play cards or activate powers that relate to each step. Each player may play no more than 1 card of each type during each step; for example, no one player may play more than 1 blessing while attempting a check, though multiple players could each play 1 blessing during that check. Each player may activate any power no more than once during each step. Players may not play any cards or activate any powers between these steps.
If the card you’re encountering states that it is immune to a particular trait, players may not play cards with the specified trait, use powers that would add that trait to the check, or roll dice with that trait during the encounter.
After you flip over the top card of the location deck, put it on top of the deck and read it, then go through the following steps in order.
Evade the card (optional). If you have a power or card that lets you evade the card you’re encountering, you may immediately shuffle it back into the deck; it is neither defeated nor undefeated, and the encounter is over.
Apply any effects that happen before the encounter, if needed.
Attempt the check. If the card is a boon, you may try to acquire it for your deck; if it’s a bane, you must try to defeat it (see Attempting a Check, below). If a bane’s “Check to Defeat” section says “None,” look at the bane’s powers, and immediately do whatever it says there.
Attempt the next check, if needed. If another check is required, such as if you played a boon with a check to recharge, or if your bane requires a second check to defeat, resolve it now. Repeat this step until you have resolved all such checks.
Apply any effects that happen after the encounter, if needed. Do this whether or not you succeeded at your checks. At this time, deal with any effects that were triggered by the checks. For example, If Ezren played a spell with the Arcane trait during the check, he may now use his power that allows him to examine the top card of his deck.
Resolve the encounter. If you succeed at all of the checks required to defeat a bane, banish it; if you don’t succeed, it is undefeated— shuffle the card back into its location deck. If you succeed at a check to acquire a boon, put it in your hand; otherwise, banish it."
• On the back page of the rulebook, add the following as a new list:
Evade the card (optional).
Apply any effects that happen before the encounter, if needed.
Attempt the check.
Attempt the next check, if needed.
Apply any effects that happen after the encounter, if needed.
There's a bunch of stuff I just don't understand about attempting a check, especially when I can and can't play cards. Can you help?
Yes! We've rewritten the "Attempting a Check" section of the rules to help with that.
• On page 11 of the rulebook, replace the "Attempting a Check" section with the following text:
Many times during the game, you will need to attempt a check to do something, such as acquiring a new weapon or defeating a monster.
Each boon card has a section called “Check to Acquire.” This section indicates the skills that can be used in checks to acquire the boon, and the difficulty of the checks. If multiple checks are listed on the card with “or” between them, choose one of them. If you succeed at the check, put the card into your hand. If you fail, banish the card.
Each bane card has a section called “Check to Defeat.” This section indicates the skills that can be used in checks against the bane, and the difficulty of the checks. If multiple checks are listed on the card with “or” between them, choose one of them. If there’s a “then” between them, you’ll need to succeed at both checks sequentially to defeat the bane; you must attempt both checks, even if you fail the first, because failure often has consequences. “Or” takes priority over “then,” so if a card says “Wisdom 10 or Combat 13 then Combat 15,” you must first attempt either a Wisdom check with a difficulty of 10 or a Combat check with a difficulty of 13, and then attempt a Combat check with a difficulty of 15. In the case of a bane that requires sequential checks, any character at that location can attempt one or more of the checks, as long as the character who encountered the bane attempts at least one of them. If you fail to defeat a bane, it is usually considered undefeated and is shuffled back into the location deck. If you fail a check to defeat a monster, you take damage (see Take Damage, If Necessary, below). If you defeat the bane, it is usually banished.
Many cards also require checks to activate powers or to recharge the cards after playing them.
Attempting a check requires several actions that are explained below. Remember that each player may not play more than one card of each type or activate any one power more than once during each check.
Determine which die you’re using. Cards that require a check specify the skill or skills you can use to attempt the check. Each check to defeat or acquire a card lists one or more skills; you may choose any of the listed skills for your check. For example, if a check lists Dexterity, Disable, Strength, and Melee, you may use any one of those skills to attempt your check.
Most monsters and some barriers call for a combat check. Weapons and many other cards that can be used during combat generally tell you what skill to use when you attempt a combat check; if you don’t play such a card, use your Strength or Melee skill. (A few items that can be used in combat don’t use any of your skills; they instead specify the exact dice you need to roll or the result of your die roll.)
Some cards may allow you to replace the required skill for a check with a different one; as part of this action, you may play only 1 card or use only 1 power that changes the skill you are going to use. When you play a card that does this, add that card’s traits to the check; for example, revealing the weapon Longsword +1 for your combat check adds the Sword, Melee, Slashing, and Magic traits to the check. (This isn’t the same as giving you a skill; for example, the spell Holy Light adds the Divine trait to your check, but it does not give you the Divine skill.) Even if your character doesn’t have any of the skills listed for a check, you can still attempt the check (unless you’re trying to recharge a card; see Recharge on page 15), but your die is a d4.
Determine the difficulty. To succeed at the check, the result of your die roll and modifiers must be greater than or equal to the difficulty of the check. In checks to defeat a bane or acquire a boon, the difficulty is the number in the circle under the skill you’ve chosen. In other checks, the difficulty is the number in the text that follows the skill you’ve chosen. (For example, where a card’s power instructs you to attempt a Fortitude 7 check, the difficulty is 7.) Some cards increase or decrease the difficulty of a check; for example, if a card says that the difficulty is increased by 2, add 2 to the number on the card you encountered; if it says that the difficulty is decreased by 2, subtract 2 from the number.
Play cards and use powers that affect the check (optional). Players may now play cards or use powers that affect the check. Players may not play cards that modify a skill unless you’re using that skill, and players may not play cards that affect combat unless you’re attempting a combat check. Do not add traits from these cards to the check; for example, playing the spell Guidance on a check does not give the check the Divine trait.
Assemble your dice. The skill you’re using and the cards you played determine the number and type of dice you roll. For example, if you’re attempting a check using your Strength skill, and your Strength die is d10, you’ll roll 1d10. If another player played a blessing to add a die to your check, you’ll roll 2d10.
Attempt the roll. Roll the dice and add up their value, adding or subtracting any modifiers that apply to the check. If the result is equal to or greater than the difficulty of the check, then you succeed. If the result is lower than the difficulty, then you fail. No matter how many penalties are applied to a die roll, the result cannot be reduced below 0.
Take damage, if necessary. If you fail a check to defeat a monster, it deals an amount of damage to you equal to the difference between the difficulty to defeat the monster and your check result. Unless the card specifies otherwise, this damage is Combat damage. For example, if the difficulty to defeat a monster is 10 and the result of your check is 8, the monster deals 2 Combat damage to you. See Taking Damage, below. Remember that players may not play more than one of each card type during a check, so if you previously played a spell to affect the check, you may not play a spell to reduce damage.
• On the back page of the rulebook, modify “Attempting Checks” to read as follows (and rename to “Attempting a Check”):
Determine which die you’re using.
Determine the difficulty.
Play cards and use powers that affect the check (optional).
Assemble your dice.
Attempt the roll.
Take Damage if you fail a check to defeat a monster.
If Ezren is attempting to defeat a monster that requires two checks to defeat, and he casts an Arcane spell in each check, when does he get to examine the top card of his deck, when does he attempt to recharge the spells, and how many times does he get to examine his deck?
After he attempts the first check, he gets to examine his deck. Then, he attempts to recharge the spell he played on the first check. Then, he attempts the second check required by the monster, and examines his deck again. Finally, he attempts to recharge the spell he played on the second check. (This assumes that both of his spells would have been discarded after being played. If a spell was instead displayed, he wouldn't attempt to recharge it until it would be discarded.)
Note that if he somehow managed to play two Arcane spells on a single check, he would only get to examine his deck once, as he can't activate the same power twice during a single step.
Resolution: On page 10 of the rulebook, under Encountering a Card, change "Players may only play cards or activate powers that relate to each step" to "Players may only play cards or use powers that relate to each step, or relate to cards played or powers used in the step."
At the end of Attempt the Check, add "After you attempt the check, deal with any effects that were triggered by the check."
Under Apply Any Effects That Happen After the Encounter, If Needed, delete "At this time, deal with any effects that were triggered by the checks. For example, if Ezren played a spell with the Arcane trait during the check, he may now use the power that allows him to examine the top card of his deck."
If I'm making a Perception check, and my Perception is based on my Wisdom, do cards that help Wisdom checks help my Perception?
Resolution: On page 11, insert this paragraph at the end of "Play cards and use powers that affect the check":
"Some cards and powers affect only specific types of checks, such as Dexterity checks, Acrobatics checks, or noncombat checks. If, on your character card, the skill you're using refers to another skill, both skills count for the purpose of determining the type of check. For example, if you're using the Arcane skill on a combat check, and your character card says that your Arcane skill is Intelligence +2, the check counts as both an Arcane combat check and an Intelligence combat check. Traits also determine the type of check; for example, if you're making a combat check and you played a weapon that added the Ranged trait, it counts as a Ranged combat check."
There's a bunch of stuff I just don't understand about taking damage. Can you help?
Yes! We've rewritten the "Taking Damage" section of the rules to help with that.
Resolution: On page 12 of the rulebook, before "Examining and Searching", add the following new section:
When you are dealt damage, you and other players may play cards and use powers that reduce or otherwise affect the specific type of damage you’re being dealt. If you’re being dealt Fire damage, for example, you may play cards that reduce Fire damage, or cards that reduce all damage, but you may not play cards that reduce only Electricity or Poison damage. Each player may play no more than one of each card type to affect damage to the same character from the same source. If a card says it reduces damage, with no type listed, it reduces all types of damage.
When you are dealt an amount of damage, choose that number of cards from your hand and discard them. If you don’t have enough cards in your hand, discard your entire hand and ignore the rest of the damage.
A card is telling me that everyone needs to summon and encounter the monster I'm fighting. Do I really have to go fetch cards from the box for that? And what happens if there are no other copies in the box?
The good news: You don't need to go to the box. The bad news: Even if the monster is unique, the rest of the party doesn't get to avoid it.
Resolution: On page 12 of the rulebook, under Summoning and Adding cards, replace the first paragraph with the following:
"Sometimes you will be told to summon a card and encounter it, or to add a card to a deck. When this happens, retrieve the card from the box. However, if you're told to summon and encounter a card that's already in play, just imagine that you have another copy of that card for the new encounter; this summoned copy ceases to exist at the end of the encounter. Summoned cards cannot cause other cards to be summoned."
Can I evade a summoned monster? What do I do with it?
You can. Like any other summoned card, it goes back in the box when you're done with it. But it's important to note that while most cards that summon things require you to "summon and encounter" a monster, there are cards that ask you to "summon and defeat" a monster for an effect. If you evade that monster, it's not defeated, so the effect won't be triggered.
Resolution: On page 12 of the rulebook, under "Summoning and Adding Cards," change the following:
"After encountering a summoned card, return it to the box..." to "After evading or resolving all checks against a summoned card, banish it..."
Do summoned cards ever get returned to location decks?
No. Summoned cards don't come out of location decks, so they can't return to them—they always get banished to the box when you're done with them.
Resolution: On page 13 of the rulebook, add the following after the sentence "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":
"Summoned cards are not part of any location deck."
If I encounter a Skeleton Horde and I don't have enough Ancient Skeleton henchmen cards in the box for all the players to encounter, what happens?
Resolve each encounter sequentially, including the part where you banish it at the end. This means that as long as there's one in the box for anybody to fight, there's one in the box for everybody to fight.
Resolution: On page 12 of the rulebook, under "Summoning and Adding Cards", after "...unless you're instructed otherwise," add the following sentence:
"If an effect causes multiple characters to summon and encounter cards, resolve the encounters sequentially, in any order you like, including banishing the card at the end of the encounter."
Shrine to Lamashtu's When Closing box says "Succeed at a Divine 6 check or banish a blessing." Can I attempt the check and if I fail, banish a blessing?
No. You have to make the choice and live with the results.
Resolution: On page 13 of the rulebook, under "Closing a Location", following the second sentence in the second paragraph, add the following sentence: "If the 'When Closing' text offers multiple options separated by 'or', you must make your choice of options before you make any rolls or play any cards.
The rules say that my character dies if I have to draw a card from my deck, but can't. So if I'm forced to bury a card from my empty deck, that doesn't kill my character, right?
He has passed on. This character is no more! He has ceased to be. He's expired and gone to meet his maker. He's a stiff. Bereft of life, he rests in peace. He's kicked the bucket, he's shuffled off his mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible. He is an ex-character!
Resolution: On page 14 of the rulebook, under Dying, change the first sentence to:
"If, for any reason, you are ever required to remove one or more cards from your deck and you don't have enough cards, your character dies."
Are the text boxes on story cards considered powers?
Resolution: On page 14 of the rulebook, adjust the following sentences as indicated in bold:
Under Story Cards:
The front of each story card includes powers for playing it. Some rules are used during play, and some are used as you set up a particular scenario, so make sure you read them right away.
At This Location: These are special powers that are in effect while the location is open.
When Permanently Closed: When a location is permanently closed, the powers listed here go into effect.
In the Rise of the Runelords rules, it says that if you do not have at least one of the skills required to recharge a card, you can't recharge it. But that rule has changed in Skull & Shackles. How do I apply that change to Rise of the Runelords?
Do the following.
Resolution: On page 15 of the rulebook, under "Recharge," replace the first two sentences with the following:
This explains circumstances under which you may recharge the card—put it on the bottom of your deck—after playing it; it usually appears on cards that you would otherwise be required to discard. Usually, recharging requires a skill check. If the card is a spell, and you don’t have at least one of the skills listed for the check, you will usually be required to banish the spell. Otherwise, you may attempt to recharge the card using a d4 as your die.
Also, on the back cover, under "A Few Rules That Are Easy to Forget," replace the third and fourth bullet points with the following:
• If your character doesn’t have any of the skills listed for a check, you can attempt the check using a d4.
When a card tells me to select a random card, how do I do it?
Shuffle the hand, deck, or pile of cards and then draw. Yes, this can indeed have major effects on the deck.
Resolution: Add a "Rules" sidebar to the rulebook (we will probably add it on page 15) that says the following:
"Rules: Randomizing Cards
Whenever you are instructed to choose random cards, shuffle the cards you're drawing from and draw from the top."
The die on some wands doesn't mention a skill—it's just a fixed die type. Can I use a blessing to get an extra die? What type of die do I add?
You can use a blessing; it will add more of the type listed on the card.
Resolution: On page 16 of the rulebook, change the last sentence of the "Blessing" section to:
"The dice added are normally of the type associated with the skill the character is using for the check; if a card instead specifies the exact dice to roll for the check, the added dice are of the type specified by that card."
Can cards like the Staff of Heaven and Earth be used to defeat a bane that lists the check to defeat as "None"?
Resolution: On page 17 of the rulebook, replace the "Check to Defeat" section with the following:
"Check to Defeat: This is the skill check or combat check needed to defeat the bane. If the check is listed as "None", the bane cannot be defeated. You normally take damage if you fail a check to defeat a monster (see Take Damage, If Necessary on page 12)."
Do temporarily closed locations really stay closed until the end of the turn?
No—just until the end of the encounter.
Resolution: On page 17 of the rulebook, under "Attempt to Temporarily Close Open Locations," change "the villain cannot escape there this turn" to "the villain cannot escape there during this encounter".
The rulebook says that if I fail a scenario, I need to try again. Can I move ahead now, and try again later?
Resolution: On page 18 of the rulebook, under Ending a Scenario, Adventure, or Adventure Path, change the last sentence of the first paragraph to:
"You do not earn the reward on the scenario card, and if you’re playing an adventure, you didn’t complete that scenario; you will need to replay it successfully before you can attempt the next scenario in the adventure."
In the Example of Play, the players are playing Black Fang's Dungeon, but the henchmen they're encountering are Bandits. Shouldn't they be Ancient Skeletons?
Yep. There are a handful of little issues with that example. Try this one instead:
Resolution: On page 20 of the rulebook, replace the "Example of Play" section with the following:
Edward and Monica sit down to play their third session of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, using the scenario Black Fang’s Dungeon. Edward has opted to play the mighty wizard Ezren, and Monica plays Merisiel, the rogue. After setting up the location and blessings decks, Edward and Monica decide to start their characters together in the location Throne Room, so they put their token cards near the Throne Room card. Both players draw their starting hands, but since Monica’s hand doesn’t include any item cards—Merisiel’s favored card type—she has to discard her hand and draw again. This time, she gets an item—a Blast Stone—so she keeps her new hand and shuffles the old one back into her deck.
Edward begins play by advancing the blessings deck, and then he chooses to have Ezren explore the Throne Room. He flips the top card over to reveal the spell Acid Arrow, which has a check to acquire of Intelligence or Arcane 4. Edward looks at his character card and sees that Ezren’s Arcane skill is d12+2, better than his Intelligence skill of just d12. He rolls a 7 and adds 2 for a total of 9, which easily exceeds the difficulty. Edward adds the Acid Arrow to his hand.
Since he has just acquired a card with the Magic trait, one of Ezren’s special powers triggers, allowing him to immediately explore again. Edward flips over the next card of the location deck to discover an Ancient Skeleton henchman! Monica and Edward are excited because they know that defeating the henchman will allow them to close the Throne Room and move one step closer to completing the scenario and winning the game.
The scenario’s special rule is “When any character encounters an Ancient Skeleton henchman, each other character at that location must summon and encounter an Ancient Skeleton henchman.” This means Merisiel must encounter one too, but Monica’s not worried—Merisiel has a power that allows her to evade her encounter, so she banishes her summoned Ancient Skeleton right away.
To defeat his Ancient Skeleton, Ezren must attempt a combat check. Edward opts to play the Acid Arrow spell he just acquired, which lets him roll his Arcane die—d12+2—plus 2d4 for his check. The difficulty of the check is 8, and Edward wants to make absolutely sure he’ll succeed, so Monica plays her Blast Stone to add another 1d4 to the check. Edward assembles 1d12 and 3d4, and rolls a total value of 12, then adds 2 (the “+2” from his Arcane skill) to get a result of 14. Now Edward can try to recharge his Acid Arrow. The card says he must succeed at an Arcane 6 check, so he rolls d12+2 and gets a 9. He puts the card at the bottom of his deck. Playing the Acid Arrow spell triggered another of Ezren’s powers: after he plays a spell with the Arcane trait, he can examine the top card of his character deck, and if it’s a spell, he can add it to his hand. The top card is the spell Levitate, so he puts it in his hand. Best of all, because Ezren succeeded at the check, the Ancient Skeleton is defeated; Edward banishes it.
Edward can now immediately attempt to close the Throne Room. To do so, he must attempt a Charisma or Diplomacy check with a difficulty of 6. Ezren doesn’t have the Diplomacy skill, and his Charisma die is just d6, so the odds aren’t in his favor. Monica sees that her friend could use some help, so she plays a Blessing of the Gods on Ezren’s Charisma check. Though Monica has 2 blessings in her hand, she can only play 1 card of any given type on a particular check, so she keeps the second blessing for later. Edward rolls 1d6 for Ezren’s Charisma die and another 1d6 for the blessing, and gets exactly 6. The Throne Room is now closed, and Ezren and Merisiel are one step closer to defeating Black Fang’s Dungeon.
He gained 2 cards and played only 1, so if he resets his hand now, he'll need to discard down to his hand size of 6. Instead, he plays his new Levitate spell to move to the Desecrated Vault, but rolls a 5 on his recharge roll, and discards the card. Since he played a spell, his power lets him look at the top card of his deck, which is a Codex. That's not a spell, so he puts that back on his deck, and the turn passes to Monica. Black Fang’s days are numbered!
The rulebook says that you can use the suggested deck lists to build any of the listed characters with any others, but there's only one Potion of Vision in the Base Set, and both Harsk and Merisiel have one; also, there are only two Burglars, but Lem, Merisiel, and Seoni each call for one. What should I do?
D'oh! This calls for adjusting the deck lists! (If you've already built a deck for any of these characters, don't worry about changing anything).
Resolution: On page 21 of the rulebook, replace Harsk's Potion of Vision with Holy Water, remove Seoni's Burglar, and give her a second Guide, and replace Sajan's Holy Water with Potion of Vision.
What does placing the weapons and armor "under this location" mean on the Garrison card?
We mean you should assemble a location deck out of them.
Resolution: On the location Garrison, change the When Permanently Closed text to read as follows:
"On closing, do not banish any weapons or armors from this location; shuffle any that remain into this deck."
I'm in the General Store, and the only card left is a monster that I can only beat if I roll really well. But once I'm out of cards, it can no longer hurt me, so I get to keep trying until I beat it, right? That's awesome!
You might enjoy it, but we know our friends would not be thrilled watching us repeatedly roll dice until we get exactly the result we want. Sorry—no wandering through the General Store empty-handed. (No cards? No service!)
Resolution: On the location General Store, change "At This Location" to:
"During your exploration, if you encounter anything other than an armor, an item, or a weapon, after the exploration you may reveal a card to explore again."
If I've already played a spell on a check, can I play Arcane Armor or Mirror Image to reduce damage?
Generally, you can't play a second spell on a check unless it says so. However, damage-reduction spells (and only spells, for the most part) should usually say so.
Resolution: On the spell Arcane Armor, add the following at the end of the first power: "You may play this card even if you have played another spell on this check."
On the spell Mirror Image, change the first power to the following:
"If a monster deals damage to you, you may display this card, even if you have played another spell on this check. Roll 1d4; on a result other than 1, reduce the damage to 0. Do this each time a monster deals damage to you. Discard this card at the end of the turn."
I've played a spell that has an effect for the entire turn, but I keep forgetting the effect because the card is no longer in front of me. Can you help?
Yes, we can!
Resolution: Change the following spells as follows:
Glibness: "Display this card and select a character. For the rest of the turn, add 3 to that character's checks that use her Charisma die. Discard this card at the end of the turn."
Strength: "Display this card and select a character. For the rest of the turn, add 3 to that character's checks that use her Strength die. Discard this card at the end of the turn." (This card also appears in the Character Add-On Deck.)
Earlier in the turn, I cast Strength on my character, and now I'm making a check. If I play Blessing of Pharasma, can I add 2 dice to the check?
No—the spell must be played as part of the current check for Blessing of Pharasma to add 2 dice.
Resolution: On the blessing Blessing of Pharasma, in the second power, replace "to add 2 dice to a check when playing a spell" with "to add 2 dice to a check if a spell was played during that check." (Note: This card also appears in the Character Add-On Deck.)
When Sajan uses his power to make a combat check without using a weapon, is it a Dexterity or Strength check?
Dexterity. When using this power, Sajan's combat checks benefit from cards like Blessing of Erastil and Belt of Incredible Dexterity, but not from cards like Blessing of Gorum or Belt of Giant Strength.
Resolution: On Sajan’s character card and both sides of his role card, change the first power under his hand size to the following:
"For your combat check, you may roll your Dexterity die (▢ and add the Magic trait) (▢ and the Fire trait); you may not play a weapon on the check." (This change has been made in the second printing.)
Note: this text has had further changes—see the resolution immediately below.
Does Sajan the Drunken Master have to attempt a check to recharge potions he would otherwise banish? And when he does so, does he do it before or after triggering the effect of the potion?
No, and after.
Resolution: On Sajan's Drunken Master role, change "When you play a boon with the Liquid trait, succeed at a Fortitude 6 check to recharge it instead of banishing it" to "After you play a boon with the Liquid trait, you may succeed at a Fortitude 6 check to recharge it instead of banishing it".
If I have to reroll every time I would defeat the Giant Hermit Crab, how do I defeat it?
You only need to reroll once.
Resolution: On the monster Giant Hermit Crab, replace the power with the following:
"If the Giant Hermit Crab would be defeated, reroll the dice. The Giant Hermit Crab is defeated
or undefeated based solely on the results of the second die roll."
Speed has both Arcane and Divine traits, but the checks to acquire and recharge it don't include Divine. Should Divine be an option for those checks as well?
Resolution: On the spell Speed, the check to acquire should be Intelligence/Arcane/Wisdom/Divine 6. The last sentence in the Powers section should read "If you do not have the Arcane or Divine skill, banish this card." And the Recharge text should begin "Succeed at an Arcane or Divine 8 check..."
I've played Speed, which has an effect for the entire turn, but I keep forgetting the effect because the card is no longer in front of me. Can you help?
Yes, we can!
Resolution: Change the spell Speed as follows:
Speed: "Display this card and select a character. For the rest of the turn, add 3 to that character's checks that use her Dexterity die. Discard this card at the end of the turn."
Should all shields with the Magic trait let you recharge them when you reset your hand?
We've decided that all shields that have both the Magic and Offhand traits should allow that. Also, we are similarly updating the Arrow Catching Studded Leather and the Snakeskin Tunic.
Resolution: On the armors Shield of Fire Resistance (Adventure Deck 1), Arrow Catching Studded Leather (AD 2), Deathbane Shield (AD 2), Spiny Shield (AD 3), Reflecting Shield (AD 4), Winged Shield (AD 5), and Entropy Shield (AD 6), and the loot Snakeskin Tunic (AD 2), add the following text: “If you are proficient with light armors, you may recharge this card when you reset your hand.”
Can I play another armor if I play Deathbane Shield to add the Magic trait to my check?
Yes, if you're proficient with light armors.
Resolution: Change the second and third powers on the armor Deathbane Shield to "Reveal this card to add the Magic trait to your combat check, or to reduce Combat damage dealt to you by 2. If you are proficient with light armors, you may play another armor on this check."
Is the monster on top of the Medusa Mask still part of the location deck? And do I really have to remember which deck it came from all the way until the end of the turn? Oh—and can I use the Mask to just completely avoid a summoned creature?
That was three questions! But fine—yes to the first, no to the last two.
Resolution: On the loot Medusa Mask, change the power to the following:
When you encounter a monster from a location deck, you may display this card next to that deck and put the monster atop this card. The monster is neither defeated nor undefeated; it still counts as part of the location deck except for the purpose of exploring. At the end of your turn, return the monster to the top of its location deck and bury this card.
Card Questions: Fortress of the Stone Giants (Rise of the Runelords Adventure Deck 4)
I'm playing Cleric Class Deck Kyra in The Ancient Library. I defeat the Headless Lord using a Sword, but I don't close the location. The Ancient Library shuffles the Headless Lord back into its deck as I draw an armor from the box, then Kyra's power lets me explore. So I do it again, and again, and again. Now all the armor in the box is in my hand! Yay?
Not yay. That's stupid.
Resolution: On the scenario The Ancient Library, change the second power to "If you defeat a henchman but do not close the location, shuffle the henchman back into the location deck, then end your turn."
In Under Jorgenfist, when you encounter the first villain for the second time, do you need to corner it? And if you fail the second encounter with the first villain, is the game over, or do you keep going until you defeat it?
When encountering the first villain for the second time, you don't need to corner it, but you do need to defeat it.
Resolution: On the scenario Under Jorgenfist, change the During This Scenario text to the following:
The first time a villain is defeated, do not to check to see if it escapes; instead, display it next to the scenario. When the other villain is defeated and cornered, banish it, then put the displayed villain on top of your location deck; a character at your location immediately encounters it. To win the scenario, defeat the first villain again.
On the location Courtyard, what exactly does "before any combat here" mean?
We mean before any combat check attempted by a character at that location.
Resolution: On the location Courtyard, change the "At This Location" power to "Before your combat check, each character at this location must succeed at a Dexterity or Acrobatics 8 check or be dealt 1d4 Combat damage."
If I display a card that has the Magic trait during an encounter with the Ghoul Bat, when does the Ghoul Bat's power make me deal with it?
At the end of the encounter.
Resolution: On the monster Ghoul Bat, replace the last power with "At the end of the encounter, bury any card played that has the Magic trait, unless that card would be banished or removed from the game."
Isn't it possible to nearly kill myself in order to run a sequence of two Restoration spells and some other cards to win most scenarios through a series of clockwork explorations, except when something knocks cards off my deck and actually kills me? I mean, not that I'd ever do that myself, but... Restoration is totally broken, right?
Restoration works exactly like we want it to work. If you play it like a living, breathing character on an adventure would, it works great. But Restoration (or rather, a pair of them) also allows you to do something else: intentionally come close to killing yourself so that you can break the game. No one wants you to do that: not your friends, not the game designers, probably not even yourself. You're taking turn after turn solely to get your engine going and not advancing the game one whit, just so you can end the game in a firestorm of activity on one turn. It's a thing you have to work hard at, yet it ends by making the game less fun for yourself. Since no one wants that, no one is likely to do it.
But leaving the door open to a joyless side-corner exploit and just saying "Don't do that!" isn't our style. We don't want to have a game which anyone can torpedo just because they can. So we're ruling that the card needs to be unavailable to you until the end of your turn, so that it's much harder to get the Restoration-Restoration-Robe of Runes-Augury-whatever engine going. If you're not trying to wreck the game, the card will play almost identically to how it did before. (If you are trying to wreck the game, let us know if you find something else you can do it with, so we can change that too.)
Resolution: On the spell Restoration, change the first power to "Display this card and choose a character at your location to draw 2 cards from his deck. Discard this card at the end of the turn. You may not play this card during an encounter."
Sihedron Circle says "Characters may not move to or explore the Sihedron Circle until all Stone Head locations are closed." But if I move there using a power that lets me ignore movement restrictions, and then use a power that lets me encounter a card without exploring, then I can just ignore that whole Stone Head business, right?
That whole Stone Head business is fun. Don't short-circuit the fun! Tell you what—you can still move there with your fancy Teleport spell, Mr. Smarty-Pants, but there won't be anything especially useful for you to do when you get there. (It's the perfect situation for someone trying to avoid fun!)
Resolution: On the location Sihedron Circle, replace "Characters may not move to or explore the Sihedron Circle until all Stone Head locations are closed” with "Characters may not move to the Sihedron Circle or encounter cards from its location deck until all Stone Head locations are closed.”
In The Road through Xin-Shalast, how does the weird villain setup affect the henchmen setup? And do the "when you defeat a henchman" and "when you attempt to close a location" powers apply even after Ghlorofaex has been added to a location deck?
Display Ghlorofaex next to the scenario before you add a henchman to each location. And those powers only apply while Ghlorofaex is displayed next to the scenario.
Resolution: On the scenario card The Road through Xin-Shalast, change "Villain: Ghlorofaex" to "Villain: None". Then replace the During this Scenario text with the following:
After building location decks, display the villain Ghlorofaex next to this card. While displayed, when you defeat a henchman, put it under Ghlorofaex, and when you attempt to close a location, Ghlorofaex uses his power.
When the number of henchmen under Ghlorofaex is at least equal to the number of characters, the next time you encounter a henchman, banish that henchman, add Ghlorofaex to the location deck, and encounter him. To win the scenario, defeat and corner Ghlorofaex.
Should Avalanche have the Task and Weather traits?
These traits weren't introduced until Skull & Shackles, but Avalanche sure feels like a Task, and it certainly describes Weather, so: Yes. And since we're doing that, we might as well also update the wording to use more standardized Task and Weather language.
Resolution: On the barrier Avalanche, add the Task and Weather traits, and change the power to the following:
When you encounter this barrier, if it did not start your turn faceup on the location deck, each other character at your location summons and encounters it. Each character who defeats the barrier is dealt 1 Cold damage; each character who does not is dealt 2 Cold damage. If any character fails to defeat the barrier, it is undefeated; leave it faceup on the location deck. While this barrier is on top of the location deck, characters at this location may not move or be moved, and encounter this barrier as the first exploration of each of their turns.
If a character at another location does something that causes me to encounter a monster, and I use Dominate, do I get to add a boon to my hand? If so, do I get it from my location deck or that other character's location deck?
You get to add it from your own location deck.
Resolution: On the spell Dominate, change "search the location deck" to "search your location deck".
When Ezren plays Dominate, and he has checked the power on his Illusionist role card that allows him to put an evaded monster on the bottom of the location deck, does that happen before or after he shuffles the deck?
He searches the deck for a boon (which means it then gets shuffled), and then he returns the monster to the deck (and because of his power, he does not shuffle it again).
Resolution: On the spell Dominate, change the first power to read "Discard this card to evade a monster; before you do, search your location deck for a boon and add it to your hand."
What are all the promo cards, and how and when will they be released?
Here's a list of all 8 promo cards for Rise of the Runelords:
Paizo Convention Promo
Poog of Zarongel
Blessing of Zarongel
Dance with Squealy Nord
Game Trade Magazine
Goblin Plate +1
Cards listed as "Retail Promo" will be available at game stores, and will also be inserted into selected paizo.com orders during the appropriate month.
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game subscribers will be shipped promo cards along with their subscription orders (Fire Sneeze and Poog of Zarongel shipped with the August subscription shipment; Blessing of Zarongel with the October shipment, Dance with Squealy Nord and Birdcruncher Crown with the December subscription shipment, and so on).
Can Birdcruncher Crown be recharged? It doesn't have a Recharge box like the other items.
It either gets revealed or recharged for its power, so it really doesn't need that box. While this inconsistency disturbs our design sensibilities a bit, adding that box would have left no room for the Goblin coronation song, and we like that song a lot better than the words "Recharge: None." Sorry.
Resolution: Treat the item Birdcruncher Crown as if it had a Recharge box with the text "None".