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The other Sharks have suggested that I tell you all that there will be some dissenting opinions (theirs) on which is the Best Character in the weeks to come. I'm sure that their posts will be witty, eloquent, well-reasoned, and incorrect. I'm looking forward to it already.
Further, it is my sad duty to report that the Paizo.com tech team, awesome though they are, was unable to accommodate my request to title the post "Seelah: You're the Best", and have it play this song after the page loaded.
Luckily, you're all singing it now.
To elaborate on what Mike said: sometimes we want an effect like "the monster you hit with this spell is less effective at dealing damage", and sometimes we want an effect like "the character you hit with this spell is protected from damage". These often produce a similar outcome, but not always. Thus, sometimes we prevent damage dealt by a bane, and other times we prevent damage dealt to a character. The first stops Structural damage, and the second doesn't. This is intentional.
It's not an accident that we put some cards that *can* reduce Structural damage in the set with Ships. It might be an accident if we put cards in RotR that effectively reduce Structural damage, and we'd like to hear about those.
Thanks for playing!
Ron Lundeen wrote:
I'm Ron! And I thought you could seize any ol' ship you encounter, unless it specifically says you can't seize it--but now I know better.
Ron has the misfortune to have learned a few of the playtest ship rules, and to be caught in the confusion over the several versions that we tried. I have a lot of sympathy for this pain, especially when someone asks me a detailed question and I have to say "I think I know the answer, but let's check the rulebook to see what got printed."
Thanks again to Ron and all of our awesome playtesters.
Casey Weston wrote:
Don't think of it as "piloting" the ship. On each character's turn, they are commanding the ship - that is, they are giving the orders, and the crew of the ship are carrying out those orders. A typical ship will have more crew than even the largest PACg game, and they're busy doing crew/ship things, not adventurer/exploration things. These things include sailing from location to location between turns.
This is also why many of the Task barriers let characters use as many allies as they have at hand - those specific barriers are the sorts of things where you benefit from having as many people as possible helping. Put another way: you don't want 6 people navigating, because no matter how many courses you get from those 6 people, the ship can only go in one direction. If you're swabbing the decks, though, the more the merrier (or at least, more effective-ier).
Casey Weston wrote:
So essentially the ships during movement only allow for extra movement on other players turns if you are in the same location an active player is when they move, you can move with them ... and that is it? Did I get that right?
All ships have a power that they give to the commander, and they collect plunder. They also allow the commander to bring characters along when they move. They don't allow characters at other locations to move anywhere, because those people aren't where the ship is. If you want to know why you can't "swing by and pick people up", the answer is "the same reason that you can't do that in RotR without a ship." During your turn you don't have time to run grab other people on your way hither and fro -- unless you do, in which case a power will tell you that you do.
The Attack trait is added to spells that directly target an opponent, like lighting them on fire or making them glow so it's easier to shoot them. Guidance and Magic Weapon empower your friends/stuff. Black Spot is the classic "alter the surroundings and circumstances, but not directly the enemy" ability to indirectly hinder your opponent.
For those with an RPG background, Attack works more or less like "should spell resistance or immunity apply to this spell?". As with RPG design, there are some effects specifically designed to avoid the issue (i.e. Black Spot), although they generally have a reduced effectiveness compared to Attack effects at the same level.
Robert Moncrief wrote:
If that is the case, then Flenta is very hobbled when playing Rise of the Runelords ....
Flenta never becomes a wizard; she's always a pretender. She casts spells from scrolls, and then gets more spells (on scrolls), and that's her schtick. If you want give her more spells in deck, she'll have more scrolls "ready" before she has to start rummaging around in the "what have I got handy" bag o' scrolls. It's not for everyone, but for many people, it's tremendous fun - she was very popular at the GenCon launch.
There are cards (including cards in the Fighter Class Deck) that have Arcane checks to recharge, and Flenta can be better at them. These cards aren't spells, though - those she's still going to banish - and then replace, with something.
If that's not the sort of game you want to play, you have a large number of options. Rather than adding a "house rule" to remove a character's schtick, might I recommend that you instead play one of the other fighters, or wizards, or bards, or sorcerers, or Seltyiel, or... well, there are about 50 options available right now.
Orbis Orboros wrote:
I'm curious why you think the order isn't:
These sorts of loops are still possible with multiple copies of the relevant spells, of course. There's a (large) degree to which my gut reaction to a character's investment into finding boons can reasonably be rewarded, especially if it doesn't actually make the game easier to win.
Joshua Birk 898 wrote:
I have to say, I like the new Merisiel WAAAAAAYYY better than the old one. Hard to see myself ever going back to RotR version.
Great! She's a little more about the swashbuckling combat, and a little less about dealing with traps and barriers. The Rogue Class Deck Merisiel is different yet again.
It's my fervent hope that some people believe that the S&S Merisiel is obviously better than the RotR Merisiel, while others are sure that the RotR Merisiel is clearly superior, and still others know that the Rogue Deck Merisiel is the only true Merisiel.
KL Sanchez wrote:
You're going to find that tricky to pull off when you're burying a card every turn. Good luck!
Ken Liou wrote:
Yes, indeed. It's a powerful feat combination, for leaving behind presents (both boons and banes) for your friends.
You don't need to be at the same location to play Strength or Speed. We tried that restriction early on, and it just wasn't much fun, so we changed it. Sometimes we bend the edges of the RPG guidelines to make the game more fun, and sometimes we use creative explantations.
If you prefer to have RPG-compatible explanations, in this case just assume that the duration of Strength was enough for one of you to duck over, cast the spell, and then duck back before anyone noticed.
The combination which I would avoid to start: Lem and Merisiel. For whatever reason, this combo was commonly picked during playtesting, and while it can work, it ends up being troublesome for most new players, because Lem usually wants to be with another character, and Merisiel usually wants to be alone.
After that, I'd avoid any combination of characters that seem very similar (Seoni and Ezren, Valeros and Amiri) at first, and Lini can be tricky to figure out (but is very good once you do).
My #1 suggestion for new people, though, is this: we (intentionally) designed the characters to have very different play-styles, and some characters are just a poor fit for some players. If you're playing through and not having much fun, seriously consider trying a new character.
Thanks for playing! I hope you enjoy it.
1. Yes, they should do the Henchman thing. Absolutely. You know why they won't? That's a very good percentage of each AP meaning you'd be getting way less cards for the same price, or more likely, they'd have to drop the price.
I almost never get involved in monetary discussions (because it's not my part of the game at all), but I will bend a little to say this: almost everything you said in here seems pretty intuitive, but is wrong. The costs don't actually work the way you (quite reasonably!) assume, and neither price nor cost were part of that decision - it has everything to do with complexity.
To elaborate on that point: you and I understand how to play the game, having played it many, many times. We spent quite a long time playtesting almost exactly "the henchman thing", and it was a barrier to learning the game far more often than you'd think (certainly, it was a bigger barrier than I thought it would be).
I hope this helps. Thanks for playing!
I see animals able to help just as much as humans, after all they are allies, not wild animals
I don't usually comment on homebrew designs, but this one caught my eye, and makes me ask a question:
What about being an assassin suggests that this character would get a better benefit from allies?
As a simple card power, you could make it mechanically balanced, but I'm not seeing the flavorful, thematic element. I understand why an abstract character might want a bigger bonus from allies, but that seems (to me) more like a guild master, ringleader, of Captain of the Guard sort of character.
This is just my opinion, but I would recommend thinking about the sort of things that you want a theoretical assassin-type character to do first, then try to figure out how those things might map into the card game.
Good luck, and thanks for sharing your ideas!
As others have mentioned, hand size can be both a benefit and a liability. In general, a "tough" character will have a smaller hand size, leaving them less exposed to damage. An extremely versatile character will have a larger hand size, giving them access to more tools.
On the other size of the coin, you really want to look at the expected play patterns of the character. An early version of Valeros tended to `lock up' with a good hand, which made many people happy (once he reached a steady state, he was at least competent at the things he should be good at until something bad happened). It also felt a little too static to other people, so Valeros got a power that let him `cycle' his weapons into his deck if he wanted - giving him a chance to see more of his deck (and just more variety), without sacrificing his long-term longevity. This lets him stay tough without also making him too static.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have Ranzak... but you haven't seen Ranzak yet. :-)
Thanks all for your feedback. Bottom line the verdict is that indeed the base rules may be missing something to handle that but that's OK, we can do without with whatever suits you best.
There are a number of ways to handle character death in a cooperative game, just like there are a number of ways to handle it in a tabletop RPG. I doubt that we'll change the rulebook, since a single clear answer there has a lot of upside, and the answer we chose is both intuitive and matches the 'default' answer of the tabletop pathfinder RPG. That said, we've used different rules ourselves sometimes, and so long as they don't break your group, they don't break the game, either.
The suggestion I usually give people who hit an accidental death is basically what Orbis said above: build a new character with the same number of feats as the old character, but with a starting deck (using the rules in the book). This is good for covering truly exceptional situations, I believe. That said, it's important for some groups (I would say "most") that character death not become part of a strategy, and so I recommend caution and deliberation when using this lighter death penalty.
I hope that helps, and thanks for playing!
If you make/maintain a list of cards that you've removed from the game, then you can use that list to implement something like Mike's original suggestion, and leave all the cards in then box. It changes things in that removing one card removes all copies of them, but that's probably livable, with one caveat.
The trickiest part is he blessings, since you want to account for the blessings deck and Blessing of the Gods. There are a few decent approaches there:
Of those, the first two are my favorite. We've played quite a few AP's through without culling BotG with no ill effects.
Another good guideline for character design: you're obviously not restricted to things that can fit on a physical card, but it's a good constraint nonetheless. The 'no more than 11 skills' guideline is related: if you had the 6 standard skills and then 6 more, that's a lot of complexity, and a lot of vertical space on a card. Similarly, the more skills you put on a card, the fewer/shorter powers you want. If you build a character and think "there's no way this would fit on a card", then it's likely (not certain) that the result is too complex in addition to being too long.
Put another way: if we can get the ranger, bard, and rogue down to 11 or fewer total skills, your concept can probably fit in that same constraint.
To these guidelines, I would add "No individual bonus higher than +3, and only those in specific circumstances, including but not limited to 'not with a d12'."
The iconics should be good guidance for most skills, especially if you're familiar with the characters or their iconic-trope nature. For example, Valeros and Amiri are each both strong and good with melee weapons. Valeros relies more on training, while Amiri relies more on raw ability. A custom character that is also very good with melee weapons could have an effective Melee skill like Valeros's 1d10+3 or Amiri's 1d12+2, but should not have 1d12+3. Similar for Ezren and Seoni's Arcane, or Merisiel's suite of roguey goodness.
Interesting character skills design is usually more about where you want to put the weaknesses than the strengths, and making each character feel distinct. It's certainly not impossible to make a fun character with 3 d6's and 3 d8's, but it's not where I'd recommend you start.
Hope that helps!
I'm not saying that this idea is impossible, but take a look at the few cards we've made that have tables on them (Ogrekin, for example), and think about what this kind of card would need to say.
As a practical matter, we'd be more likely to give you a chest that did #4 on that list than have it be one of four possible outcomes. Something like "Summon and encounter a random monster from the box. If you defeat the summoned monster, summon and encounter 1d4 random items from the box." comes closer to fitting, but even that concept is missing some important mechanical support.
In summary, there are a lot of good, interesting ideas that are hard to pull off in a card game. As a guideline, if you can't fully express the idea in two tweets, then it probably won't fit on a card.
That said, I have a few different ways that we might see a Mimic. It's on my list. :-)
Orbis Orboros wrote:
I recognize the yellow circle part; where's "meat popsicle" in 5th Element?
After the "cops" tell Korbin Dallas to put his hands in the yellow circles, they ask him if he's human. He replies something like "Negative. I am a meat popsicle."
Orbis Orboros wrote:
I think they do have their own trait, and I want to say it is "stash," lol. It might be cache. I don't remember.
Yup, it's "cache". They're a currently a mixture of only-good, good-and-bad, and risk-and-reward. Originally, they were barriers because they didn't have the "If undefeated, you may banish this card." power, but it felt wrong that you couldn't just walk past them.
As it is now, I tend to think of them as a mixture of an old RPG trope about miserly DMs ("You find 4 copper pieces and a rusty spoon."), and a scene from the Charlie Brown Halloween special ("I got... a rock.") - at least, I do when I don't get something good from them. I often find something that someone at the table wants, and that's a good feeling, because I know it's going to help us in the future.
I'm kind of surprised that they didn't give belts the "belt" keyword and changed the wording such that you can use another item that's not a belt. Or have keywords in the rules like belt/ring/amulet/etc and specify that only 1 of each type can be played on a check.
We tried it; It was one more extra thing to remember and put on each card, and it made parts of the game less fun. Beyond that, you can totally wear multiple belts, and at least two rings, and we didn't have the time or inclination to make a paper-doll with item slots (although I do kid Mike about it now and then).
We want some staple challenges that are evergreen concepts in fantasy roleplaying games, and we think the Pit Trap is a good one. Sure, it can be easy to overcome if you bump into it later in the Adventure Path, but that’s ok - sometimes awesome characters are awesome (and sometimes you roll badly and fall into a pit). Just like some Barriers are more "opportunity for good things" than “chance for bad things”, sometimes we want you to smash an Ogre or laugh off a Pit trap on your way between Dragons and Archmages.
We’re not planning on issuing any errata, for the reasons above. If you're finding that the game is a little too easy for your group, and you want to make it a little more challenging, feel free to remove the pit trap from the box as if it were Basic; it certainly won’t break the game.
Thanks for playing!
Work with me here a little bit, while I talk about the wording of the power.
Caizarlu Zerren wrote:
When you attempt a check to defeat Caizarlu Zerren, after you make the roll, roll 1d6. on a 1 or 2, start the check over. Cards played on the previous check do not affect the new check.
Do you think that this wording conveys that intent? If not, how would you change the sentence to convey that idea? There are a couple points at play here; in particular, do you think that "duration spells" played earlier that the check should be treated the same or differently by the power than if they were played during the check?
Was it your intention that rolling a 1 or 2 after rolling to defeat Caizarlu Zeren should cancel any persistent (displayed) effects that were played during the previous check, or would those still provide their effects until the end of the turn?
What do you think? How would you change the relevant sentence(s) in each case?
There are two main strategies that you are expected to follow:
Those are good suggestions. You can also just use one of the other ways to close a location; it's what we generally do.
Without getting too far from the thread topic, it's important in the game that `you' be the hero on `your' turn, like the RPG concept of "spotlight time". Sometimes that means that your need to do X and your party member best at doing X won't line up; that's where the fun comes in. :-)
This is a general guideline for the game, and it's an important one; Without it, many co-op games fall quickly into a very common problem that goes by many names (the squad leader problem, the quarterback problem, the Pandemic problem, etc). At heart, the issue is this: if a one player with a strong personality, strategy, or opinion can tell everyone what to do, they will tend to do so; at that point, there's really only one person playing the game, while the others watch. This isn't always terrible, and the leader often has a great time, but it usually is a fun-killer for everyone else. The principle "You take your turn" doesn't stop that form happening, but it encourages people to take agency for the things that happen on their turns - which sometimes means saying "I got this.", and sometimes means asking for help (More help. A lot more help! Please?).
I know this thread has gotten long and forked into multiple things, so just to be clear, my question was more about "end of the turn" effects on cards and powers. With the FAQ updated as is, it seems you do end of your turn things after resetting your hand but before passing play to the next person. i.e. during the "end your turn" step of the turn sequence.
We're working on another update that will clarify things, but I suspect it you reconsider your questions with the understanding of when recharging spells happens, most of them go away.
There are a couple tricky points in there, though; we're looking at it.
I have another question concerning what happen when Muck isn't encountered in the Woods. The last paragraph of Muck's card says something like (from memory) "If undefeated, another random character at this location encounters this card ; put it at the bottom of the location deck." If no one has a way to add the fire trait to the check, what happens ? I'm guessing you don't have an infinite loop of encounters but is it A) the card is put at the bottom of the location deck after 2 characters encounter the monster ; or B) the card is put at the bottom of the location deck after all characters at the location encounter the monster.
The idea is that Muck tries to beat up one other character at the location, and then retreats to safety (i.e. the bottom of the location deck) regardless of the outcome of that second attack.
My general feeling on this is that the hardest character to play is the one that least suits your play style.
I would award this comment triple XP if I could; personal preference of play style is tremendously important, for fun and for success. Both the personal and the group's preferences can have a big impact, and I really recommend people who feel the fun quotient dropping try another character, even if you like the character you're currently playing in other circumstances (or just to try something else).
Thanks for playing!
To add some story to Vic's answers: The idea is that the Weaponmaster Valeros is really good with weapons, including ranged weapons.
When he uses a Longbow, he's not whacking people over the head with it. The basis of the check is still Strength, because that's how Valeros uses weapons, but he doesn't change the weapon itself, so the traits don't change.
Does that make sense?
You can usually just say "Power", since most of the things you care about are in "Powers" blocks on cards.
I should note that my suggestion that Chad responded to when asking about specific cards didn't actually have anything to do with specific cards.
Absolutely true. It wasn't meant to be a direct response, but more of a question on the concept. I picked yours from several similar posts because yours was well-written, you've been involved and helpful on the forums, and your post was in front of me when I had time to write my question.
Sorry if it seemed like I was picking on you directly; I was just interested in feedback on the idea of `key cards' from people who've played the game a bunch.
Spell resistance in PACG could be interesting. If you attempt to use a spell against this monster, roll arcane/divine to see if the spell even works before rolling for the spell's result.
If you peek ahead at future chapters of the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path, or if you've played any high-level Pathfinder, you'll probably notice pretty quickly that Spell Resistance is really hard to avoid. In PACG, we did not avoid it. :-)
This question is only tangentially related, but I think it's interesting: If you play Pathfinder, do you typically play past 20th level?
I won't comment much in general on your creations, but this did bring up an issue that I think is interesting and general enough to talk about in public: characters that depend on specific cards. We tried very hard to avoid this in RotR, for a bunch of reasons (including but not limited to: dead cards for other characters, upgradability, variety, etc).
ASIDE: That's why there's no Droogami card for Lini. It would feel wrong to have the card anywhere but with Lini, finding it would be weird, replacing it with another card would be weird, etc. We could have made a series of Droogami cards, but that exacerbates several problems to solve one.
In general, we tried to keep those essential features on the character and role cards, rather than putting them on another card that we expect them to want. Thus, we expect Ezren to want Lightning Bolt, Amiri to want the Greataxe, and Sajan to want the Amulet of Mighty Fists - but we don't bind them directly to the character.
QUESTION: How do you all feel about having characters depend on very specific cards? Good, bad, complicated, or other?
... it would be a pretty sweet twist to throw in a monster that is resistant vs. magic (like some are with Piercing / Slashing) but normal from physical late in an adventure path...just for those characters that thought it would be a good idea to stack their deck with all magic weapons.
Do you know of any Pathfinder monsters that behave like that, offhand? We considered the benefits and costs of implementing Anti-magic Field, but I'm wondering if there are any monsters that are specifically immune to magically enhanced equipment but not mundane equipment.
The idea is only a problem if it does something that we didn't expect and didn't want. If we decided that we did want it, it actually causes very little trouble for the game, and it makes certain cards (allies and blessings, for example) more valuable. That said, we're not likely to do it without a solid reason, and we haven't seen that reason in Burnt Offerings or The Skinsaw Murders.
(If we were to implement banes like this in PACG, we'd probably spell it out on the card.)
I think the arcane casters want to know why you hate them. :-)
Seriously, though: these look solid. I'd be careful about adding Ezren at the end, though - presuming that the 6th player will be missing sessions most of the time, he can be a tricky character to wrap your head around. In particular, he's less likely to help other people unless he's has some time to adjust his deck (by acquiring new cards).
Thanks for playing!
That makes sense. I'm still playing with the Perils Of The Coast (3rd play-through?), so I haven't even looked at the the Runeloards stuff or cracked the seal on Burnt Offerings. I know AD2 is shipping though, so it got me thinking.
This is why the tray inside the box has the size and shape it does - it's designed to hold the entirely of the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path. In fact, there are some conclusions you can draw from just looking at the tray.
Thanks for playing!
Without opening the tricky question of whether or not the English common "or" is exclusive, I will say that the one feat increases checks with any combination of Force, Acid, and Cold traits (or instead Force, Electricity, and Fire traits), as long as at least one of the traits is present.
Hope that helps!
The game isn't designed to be a solo game.
This is not correct; the game is designed and tested all the way through all of the adventure path for solo play (1 and 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 characters). After playtesting, we included a note about playing solo but controlling two characters. We added this because there are a few specific points where it becomes really hard to succeed with only one character, but it's been done, multiple times. We also learned that some people find it un-fun to have to throw away a lot of cards that their one specialized character doesn't want.
Each character was designed to have a distinct play-style, and some of those are much more fun and effective when there are other characters present. For example, Lem, Harsk, and Valeros all have powers that let them help other characters, so these characters are weaker without companions. These characters are still capable of making it all the way through the Rise of the Runelords, and have done so.
I hope that helps!
ETA: Vic noted that you might be in the wrong forum, which is a good catch. I'll not delete this reply in case it helps someone else. Thanks, Vic!