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Dave Riley wrote:
In many cases you won't have the option. A bunch of blessings, including the Basic one, force an examine before you explore.
Obviously Thoth doesn't allow straight-up exploring, but I figured the basic BotG and other non-basic blessings did. Alright. I guess they thought of that then.
I continue to worry about how much Triggers will actually be seen. My group always saw examining only as a need if you're up against the clock, but with a 3-4 person group in RotR and S&S we rarely had that issue (did not play WotR), so we rarely examined as it just seemed unnecessary and so didn't waste deck slots on cards that examine. Then again, it's a Catch-22 because we didn't value examine cards...so we didn't have them...and thus never examined...causing us to not value them....and so on. So maybe simply having cards in our decks that examine (as it seems there's going to be more multi-ability cards) may inspire us to examine more.
Of course, if the difficulty is much higher, examining may be a need to minimize combat and/or surprises, as i've heard about Wrath needing, but my gut reaction is it feels like one of those "oh, then i'll just not do it" things.
For Alkenstar blessing....why would i add a d4 when i could add a d12? most of the time guaranteeing a success is far more important than aiming for that "under 6" sweet spot for the recharge.
The only other reason I could think of is the few abilities that say things like "if you roll a 4 on a d4, count it as 6" or something.
I was skeptical of this intensity meter at first, but i applied it to my own custom characters, which I have spent far longer balancing them than creating them, and your scale holds up. (i used additive btw)
Char 1: 11, 12 = 23
I have no posted them yet, publicly, because I want them to be 100% done first and I have no gotten around to full campaign yet with them, but I'm glad this secondary source confirms my belief that they are pretty balanced.
I'm not a fan of power #5 for the Wanderer -- it's just a fancy and long-winded evade. There doesn't seem to be much else to it beside that. Duane is on to something in that the power should have a bonus effect in addition to the evade. Remember, barbarians don't like running from conflict!
I also agree with jones that the pre-explore moving is a little redundant. Obviously you can use this before subsequent explores, such that you can move before your 2nd or 3rd explore during a turn, but even then it feels a bit clumsy. You may want to change it to something like:
My bet on why PACG blew up is because it filled an otherwise empty niche. It's this niche that I, and my group of friends, found this game to fill. That niche is a middle-ground between board (or card) game and full-blown pen & paper RPG. As experienced gamers (of all types) we've played Dominion, Catan, etc, and wanted something a little more complex, but no one wanted to invest (time or money) into a D&D or Paranoia that required serious dedication as well as a DM/GM.
Although there are other attempts at making "shorter, card-based D&D" with games like Thunderstone, they all lacked the impetus of serialization (i.e. continuous stories / campaigns) that kept peoples interest.
Considering how long it took us to finish the Runelords campaign (note: very long), this level of required dedication is perfect for us while maintaining our interest because of developing individual characters.
I know the internet is very...liberal... with image usage, and I see deviantArt stuff all over the place, but I always assumed DA had some basic protection rights against people taking DA images and using them however they please (even if nobody follows them).
I'd also like to emphasize just how overloaded you get when there is one type of card your character doesn't get. for example, when i played seoni in Runelords, i never got weapons for her and just put deck points into blessings and allies. by the end of the campaign, i was way overstocked with allies in my hand. sure they're great for explores, but beyond that they were dead weight since most of them were for specific uses that don't come up that often.
i mention this because your dragons, without armors and weapons, is going to have A LOT of each other type of card so it might be prudent to have abilities that do something with them. i know you mentioned your summoner is going to use allies, which is fine, but i worry about your dragons.
cartmanbeck is partially right about the Weapons - they shouldn't be able to use weapons ever. I don't know much about the regular PF rpg but I'm pretty sure dragons don't wield axes.
these blogs about customization are really helpful, not only for directing brainstorming on custom cards but for understanding the overall design philosophy of the game itself. knowing this stuff can definitely help me appreciate the themes of the scenarios and extrapolate the "story" they are trying to convey in the scenario-specific rules for the regular game (not just customs).
the final point being made here is that the game is optimized for 3-4 players. so people shouldn't be going into this game expecting outlier setups to be perfectly balanced. this is to be expected. 2-player games find wombo combos and 6-player games can be(apparently) quite the drag. it's like how video games are designed for Normal, so Easy and Hard sometimes produce weird results/experiences.
(chrome doesn't know the word "outlier" for some reason O_o)
Is the 4d4 + weapon enough to sacrifice that spell card? His Arcane is not the best, but it's not awful either, it's d8 + 2 and if you focus skill feats it can be formidable in itself without the need for a weapon. The combo requires two cards in hand, remember. I have not played the Wrath campaign so I do not know power levels, but I have been trying to figure out a way to make the Fiery Weapon (what amrael's base power is) spell (in Runelords) useful and, generally speaking, I'd rather just have a regular attack spell.
i love the simplicity of the first power but it may be too strong at d12 +2. the only character in Runelords close is Seoni who has to discard a card for it and the barbarian who doesnt have much else besides combat. even the weapons hoar-i mean, master, valeros, is d10+3. maybe make it like valeros at d10+3, especially since rivani has potentially 6 combat cards? she can basically hoard all the best with a constant d12+2. otherwise the base powers are great.
Open hand definitely makes the game go faster. Closed is like playing Go Fish and its tedious.
your base power uses weapons (and items) as fodder for her power. however, you only have 1 weapon. so most of the time you'll be trashing items, meaning most of those items won't ever do the things they are meant to do. as someone who has used RotR Seoni, its depressing when i have to sacrifice a Sage even though i know a wisdom check is coming up. and this base character (especially the duelist role), is discarding and sacrificing too many cards that you won't get to use them for their actual ability most of the time, creating a rather boring and flat character. as a side note, the only reason to get a weapon on seoni is for the stability and consistency of not having to lose a card every combat. it also seems redundant to sacrifice a weapon for a combat ability. if you're doing that consistently, you should just swap it for an attack spell slot. i know that's a bit of min/max'ing rather than keeping in-theme, but realistically people tend to min/max anyway, even if they are doing it subconsciously.
the duelist really does discard a lot of cards. this should be looked at and tested before you try her for real and it turns out she kills herself by turn 3. a hand size of 9 is pretty huge. 8 is, on average, the max.
there are a couple of other custom char's on here that try and merge weapons and spells, like kilazar the strength wizard a few threads down and a duskblade character in an older thread. you may want to check them out for ideas.
Hey guys, I made some changes to the Gambler (most are in bold). Additionally, I'm considering switching weapons/spell list to 3/2 over 4/1 to assist in his 2nd base power (for more scrying spells). so if you have thoughts on that, by all means.
the x's inside  are just to denote points from the base class, for easier readability of differences in advanced classes.
TEX - GAMBLER (name WIP)
Hand Size 5  6
1) At the start of your turn, you may discard the top card of your deck. If the type is... Weapon- Add 1d6(4 maybe?) (+1) to your combat checks this turn; Blessing- heal 2 random cards; Item- Add 2 to all non-combat checks for the turn. Other- No effect.
for the first Roulette power, i changed the wording because "auto-succeed at killing" does seem to be a bit taboo around these parts, and it does bring up many openings for questions about sequential combat, so i get it. now it just succeeds at that particular combat check, so you dont auto-kill multi-check guys.
Nice changes. The advanced roles feel a lot more focused and thematically cohesive. I really like that the roles have basically the same power but reversed skills.
swordslinger, the last power is great. it gives a reason to keep at the very least 1 spell (if not more). i know this role is more weapon focused but its good that it doesnt completely remove the magical aspect of the char. however, i'm confused about the grammar and wording on the 4th power. whose weapon is getting removed from hand? kilazar or the char doing combat?
punchmancer, good improvements. but being able to use arcane: strength for non-combat melee checks may be a bit too much. his strength is d12 (probably with +'s) so i dont think non-combat melee checks would be a problem that he needs help anyway, especially since the 5th power covers that already. but if you think it gels with the char, go for it.
overall the advanced classes are huge improvements. this seems to be at the cost of the base class a bit though. burying your only weapon (in AD1) after use, he'll probably struggle a lot, but hey, we dont want to make these characters too powerful, right? struggling will add some fun and intensity, and it pays off with great advanced roles.
Coming from a Magic: The Gathering background, my group usually plays things with Magic's "The Stack". When you play things in response, they get put on the stack, then you resolve from top down. If you're playing Val's power in response to encountering the villain, we'd let him complete his move first, then the encounter can continue.
The question, then, is what do you mean about temp-close timing being changed? You referring to the rulebook in Wrath? I don't have Wrath yet so I'm not sure of a lot of the tweaks to the rules that have come with it.
Is this character meant for Runelords, S&S, or Wrath? Just looking at his stats and powers, he will overkill everything in Runelords (and probably S&S).
SWORDSLINGER: I think it's cool that you can share spell slots with weapons, and it's an interesting way to get around the Deck List limitations, but it feels like a core ability (and theme) of the character, but he doesn't get it until halfway through the campaign?
PUNCHMANCER (this name...lol): Doubling up on the same subskill feels like it would break something. In my gut. Not sure what though. Especially since it's not temporary like the Melee Dex fighters in S&S.
PS: You're also missing a bunch of skill checks in the advanced classes. Should have 4 base and roughly 8 advanced for 12 total.
Overall, I like the idea of a magical fisticuffs fighter, like a Strength version of most RPG Monks. It seems like a bit crude though and still in its early stages. Polish it up a bit, tweak the scaling, balance the advanced role a bit, and it could be pretty cool.
I'm working on updating the powers. As I said, it's been a struggle finding the right mix of harsh-ness and bonuses. And considering that there is very little established material similar enough to base the wording off of for the powers, I was struggling with finding the correct syntax.
ecloderdude, what i meant by "double non-skill die" was when i use a spell for "arcane + 1d6+1" i meant double the explicitly stated dice rolls on the card, which is a d6. a spell that gives you 2d4 would give you 4d4. arcane is not explicitly stated, its a pointer reference word to whatever your arcane sub-skill is. but as we both agree, i need to find better wording here.
vandrair, you're right about the roulette's last power. my goal was, first, to find an ability use for his acrobatics but also to somehow give a static bonus to his roll. (i realized post-fact about the impossible to get 1 or 2, which i did account for on the high end).
TLDR summary; a few power consequences are not harsh enough, and the scaling probably needs to be better, as well as articulation. I will get to work on it and report back.
I was challenged by a friend to create the most ridiculous character that was still somewhat balanced, within the confines of the PACG ruleset. [Character is made for Runelords]
The only real choice, then, was a luck-based character.
His abilities are very wordy. I have not playtested him yet, expecting him to have some fundamental flaw that breaks him on Turn 2. So I was hoping some more experienced eyeballs could find something before we test it. I don't know if I would ever run him through a full Campaign, because I don't have the steely resolve for such intense dice rolling.
TEX - GAMBLER
Str d8 +1-4
Hand Size 5  6
1) At the start of your turn, you may discard the top card of your deck. If the type is... Weapon- Add 1d6 (+1) (+2) to your combat checks this turn; Blessing- heal 2 random cards; Item- Add 2 to all checks for the turn.
2) Before your combat check, you may examine the top card of your location deck. If it's a bane, increase the difficulty of the current combat by 2; if it's a boon, examine the top 2 cards of your character deck, you may put them on top/bottom in any order.
ROLE - This first role is more combat-focused where the Gambler is a nimble jack of all trades fighter, thus his ability to use anyone else’s weapon.
Sleight of Hand | Hand Size 5  6  7
ROLE - Second role is more the high risk-high reward design. Thus so much Con usage, testing your mettle against the enemies in a deadly game of chance. The first Role power is meant to be used on weaker monsters since his Con, at best, is 1d6+4, without help.
Roulette | Hand Size 5  6  7
It was daunting trying to balance some of these numbers and keep skills and checks within theme. Some of them may seem like the penalty is too weak, but considering how many 1's my group rolls, I'm sure our Tex will be dead before we leave Sandpoint.
oh wow. i just had this situation two week ago when my group bought AD4. literally the same two issues. my friend said he found the pack for cheaper than normal online so when we opened it to find the cards darker and taller i assumed it was a misprint or erroneous print line. good to see we're not alone. we've decided to just deal with it for now even though its very obvious when the next card is an ad4 card. we were hoping maybe to get ad5 and 6 in darker too so that we eventually dissolve the issue within itself.
As someone who enjoys writing prose, i've been thinking about how to add novelty to PACG scenarios. I'm a bit confused by the wording of OP. Are you saying that the scenario is Quest for Crimson Tower but the tower only shows up if you happen to draw that one barrier? Seems a bit redundant, as well as it being an inevitability, since you probably can't finish the quest without the tower showing up, thus not making it a side quest. Wouldn't it be more appropriate if the scenario was about climbing some Wizard's Spire and you may, by chance, find a magic map (the barrier) that opens up a whole new wing of the building (summons new location deck) if you have someone in the party who can decipher it (knowledge 13 check). This way, if you kill the Henchman and close the location before the barrier is encountered, the new wing is missed completely.
I can understand the appeal of making a "dead end" quest because as we all know, the heroes sometimes don't find what they're looking for. (jk! they always do).
This is what I hope for when it comes to custom / homebrew scenarios and adventures. While I will always appreciate more content, the point of homebrew, for me, is adding novelty.
Seems like only last week that people were complaining about how hard Wrath is...wait, it was. The good ol' days, eh?
I will back up Slappy's claim that 3-4, which is clearly the number of players the game is designed for, is the easiest player count.
Donny Schuijers wrote:
I haven't played in a 6 person group, but from what I can tell, everybody needs to pull their own weight and probably needs to explore at least twice per turn. So a full support character who doesn't explore a lot seems a hindrance for OP, whose in a 6 man group. So your strategy might not work for him/6-char groups.It seems important, for a 6-man group, that everyone is self-sufficient; and specializing is more of a luxury than a recommendation as you increase the player count.
I don't have WotR yet, but my group usually plays PACG as "it is only optional if it says 'MAY'. if it does not, it is a requirement and must be done." the only exceptions are power feats. where the ( and fire trait) or something is a choice.
I didn't personally tweak the difficulty in anyway. But you could try that. Other common suggestions include adding 1 more location (so playing with the 6 player list even when there are only 5 of your or with the 5 player list when there are 4 of you). You might find some information in these other threads.
Thanks for the links, Hawkmoon.We certainly don't have it easy with the time limit; we often run down to the last 7-8 blessings in the deck before getting to the end. It was simply that we seemed to be outdoing the combat checks, even counting that I've been cursed with low rolling dice since I started playing RISK 15 years ago =\
Disclaimer: I noticed after writing this wall I was using our group-specific lingo. We all played Diablo, so we just started calling the Adventure Decks as "Acts", it was easier. "Act 1" refers to Adventure Deck 1 : Burnt Offerings, and so on. (tl;dr at bottom)
Been a lurker for a bit, but my recent play session has me seeking advice. Fairly new to PACG but [my group are all] experienced board/card gamers. We got through four scenarios in our recent game session: Act 1 scenarios 4-5, Act 2 scenarios 1-2. We struggled with the turn count on a few of them, but all three of the latter scenarios none of us had any real challenges from a combat perspective. With our upgrades, single-digit combat has become consistently manageable without much effort, with only mid-teens power levels providing serious contemplation on how to approach (not counting special effects).
We know this is because we’re fighting the same Base Set monsters even though we now have better stats. Since we don’t start removing “Basic” type banes/boons until Act 3, then there is a statistical drop in difficulty for the remainder of the time we are still fighting all the Basic banes. Do note, the rule is to start removing the basics as you encounter them; so the first couple scenarios of Act 3 will keep this statistical easiness as Act 2 until we’ve removed a sufficient amount of banes through play. Do the later scenarios in Act 2 offset this challenge slump with significantly stronger villains? (We try not to examine henchman/villain cards until we use them).
Did anyone start doing the Basics removal before Act 3? I’m considering starting sooner (A2, S4 maybe?) and I was wondering if anyone else did this and can tell the tale of their experiences with this decision.
Some Misc Info for your thoughts:
TL;DR : Basic banes not sustaining challenge. Anyone try starting AD 3's "basic bane removal" earlier than AD 3?
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