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I always put the henches and villains down first when building the location decks, so they're on the bottom before shuffling. That'd be double-plus-ungood for me!
Off topic, but I stopped putting the villain/henchmen on the bottom of the deck because the other players would always look at the bottom of the deck I was shuffling.
Chad Brown wrote:
Without putting too big a spotlight on it, yeah, these scenarios turned out to be a little tougher than we had intended for the "natural second" scenario.
Just to be completely clear (since you quoted me), I have no problem with the difficulty in Wrath and I find it a refreshing change. When I played AD 1-2, we crushed it, although it was very close at times. We didn't fail in 13 scenarios, so for me, it could be a little harder.
I think the most important part of the game however is making cool and thematic stuff happen in the location and monster cards. So far I've liked what I've seen in AD 1-2.
I didn't say Disable was an important skill, I said that it helps to have characters with diverse skills. While Disable isn't a 'must have' skill, I do remember my Agna being stuck in the teleportation trap, and it sucked. It was the one time Agna almost died in AD 1-2.
If we're talking about optimization, I wouldn't want my main damage dealer to be a spellcaster in Wrath. There are too many creature immunities and the sheer number of (unexpected) combats can leave you without spells. With Enora's large hand size, that leaves her dead.
Imo, the most optimal combination in Wrath is Adowyn and Shardra. Rerolls are powerful.
That actually may shed some light : PFS modules are by definition "one evening games" with not much emphasis on campaign continuity...
In Pathfinder Organized play, the scenarios are every bit as much of a campaign than the card game. Card game it takes me a maximum of 6 hours to go to the next tier, in the RPG it takes me 36 hours (to go up 3 levels, which is the next tier).
When you die in the RPG it also sucks because you are permanently set back gold, which equates to deck upgrades in the card game, even if you get resurrected.
Anyway, those were tough scenarios in the RPG (in particular Elven Entanglement was a killer) and it seems like they are the same in the card game.
We assumed we got to pick something from the boon pile as you would normally do with acquired cards, and then a second time as part of the scenario reward. Hopefully that was correct?
The real question is, can a character:
1) Pick a card as a scenario reward that was also picked as an acquired card.
2) Pick a card as a scenario reward that was also picked by someone else's scenario reward.
Luckily we had no conflicts but it's an interesting question.
As I said in the other thread, we had no problem with this scenario, but it probably had a lot to do with our two spellcasters having Diplomacy. The only challenge was the villain.
It was kind of a loot run for me, so many weapons.
That's the great thing about OP, you learn something new everyday. I use Sorcs and Agna, so I haven't used stat gems excessively. I really misread stat gems.
So that begs the question, why all the fuss about Stealth checks against armies when you have 6 characters in the group, surely someone has a stat gem?
Misread the villain too, made it +3 more difficult when I ran it. That's a nice boost for big groups.
Thanks for the clarification.
I didn't find the Craft requirement that bad. Use a stat gemstone. It's also fairly easy to control when you fight her.
You still need the Crafting skill to do that. If you don't have the crafting skill, you're rolling D4s with a difficulty that is increased by +1 for every player. I think that would be very tough check to make for a table without the Crafting skill.
Keith, when a watch tower location is closed, should they continue spawning Corrupted Soldiers?
Someone posted a question in the Home Brew threads about adding additional blessing to the blessings deck for 5 and 6 people groups. I have considered this as well. A lot of the replies talked about how having 30 turns is the intended time limit. I feel like in 5 and 6 member groups, the blessings and allies are basically only for extra explorations. I feel like I never get to use any other effects on the cards. Does anyone else feel this way? Or if not, does anyone have any suggestions or strategies?
At home, I play solo, at conventions I've been playing 3-4 player tables, with friends 6 player tables. They are definitely different types of games with different challenges.
Yes, in 6 character games almost all blessings and allies are used to explore. You can't really hold back. Then again, we DO support other players with blessings during their turns, so it's really about how many blessings/allies we have LEFT in our hands when it's our turn again. So it's not like they are ALL being used to explore.
We still use allies to recharge key spells, but allies are not needed to close locations or defeat barriers since there are often lots of blessings available to help out. Holding an ally back and not using it to explore is a lost exploration.
You can use your allies for their recharge/reveal abilities, but a 6 character table really needs explores, and the timer is the real challenge in a 6 character game.
My 6-player group explores like Jones, we stack (as much as possible) and close out 1-3 locations and then spread out so that we can temp close locations if someone finds the villain.
Well, there's a lot of fighting in this scenario (which favors martials), but:
1) The Corrupted Soldiers can be defeated with Diplomacy (and a back rub), no spells needed.
2) If you failed, the damage from a CS is capped at 3 combat damage, which can be easily reduced or healed.
Basically we had 2 casters and 1 martial and quickly zipped through the watch towers. Both casters had Diplomacy and didn't use spells.
Really the only challenging part was the end villain, because of the bizarre checks that are needed. Luckily we had the right skills and finished with lots of time to spare. I can see several groups and solo players being stuck on this scenario if the characters don't have the right skills.
I actually LOVED this scenario because we ended up with 16 different weapons in the plunder stack (and 10+ armors) and this scenario offered a very good chance for martial characters to get weapon or armor upgrades. That's the very strong upside to fighting so many Corrupted Soldiers.
Thought it was a fun scenario.
When we closed a location, we didn't have the location spawn any additional Corrupted Soldiers.
Theme: Sounds like you know what you like.
Characters: Sounds like you know what you like.
The cohorts are ally cards that provide a boost to help you overcome the significant challenges in Wrath. They're still cards that are in your hand.
Difficulty: Wrath isn't just an increase in numerical difficulty, it's a different way of thinking.
There are more interesting effects on the creatures and locations. The challenges have increased but you'll also have lots of tools that will help you meet these challenges (mythic paths, cohorts, loot).
When I was playing, the only times we came close to failing was when someone made a strategic mistake in either deck building or play. At least the possibility of failing is there. Haven't failed yet however in AD 1/2. I believe it will get more difficult in AD 3+ unless Paizo gets unnerved by the difficulty feedback in the B set.
Scenario Variety: I think the scenario variety is good in both products. They're just different flavors.
Keith Richmond wrote:
For clarity, there are 3 armies in AD2. One is undead. One is demons. One is neither. (OP made no changes there)
I'm not sure what you mean by OP didn't make any changes? The armies I'm referring to were are in the OP scenarios themselves and needed to be proxied by other cards. Originally the OP armies didn't have the demonic trait but that was corrected by Tanis. Maybe reversed again but that's how it was when I played it.
We also encountered the army that didn't have either the undead or demonic trait (in AD 2 itself). It had demons in the illustration and was called something like Demonic Army, so to us it wasn't a very intuitive to us that it didn't have the demonic trait.
A few issues. 1. You don't get the banner until 2-5, the last scenario of AD2. 2. The armies don't have the Demon trait (weird, I know). 3. Those surges only work on your mythic stats, so they'd be worthless if you don't have the skill, or it's not the right mythic path. 4. I can't think of a single same-location synergy character in WotR, so if you're using characters from the set, being at the same location doesn't help. (I'm not using characters from this set currently, but I will in later runs).
Yes, I mean Mythic charges.
Sorry, everything I write is from an OP perspective.
2) OP scenarios fixed the problem and our armies had the demonic trait. I remember it being weird that the official henchmen didn't (especially with a horde of demons on the front of the card). Is that a mistake?
3) Right, I guess you need to get lucky with your skills.
4) We used class decks and the character synergy helped carry us through scenarios.
Like I said, if you're curing every time Enora discards a blessing or an ally, you've already lost. You won't have cures for anyone else and you've lost your own explorations. Time is tight in the scenarios I played, you'll definitely run out of time if you lose your 1st exploration each round.
And you certainly can't help her if she took an extra exploration and encounters a Carrion Golem.
If that strategy works for you, then great, but we took Amaryllis, Zarlova, and spellcasting Meliski through AD 1 and 2 and never had to do that.
The blog was about the overall power curve of the game, not just B. And Mirror Image is available in B. Even if you don't have Mirror Image yet, you could use Valeros or Alain to trade armor (or a weapon) to Enora, at least she'd have some protection. I don't expect beginners to do that, but veterans should be able to adapt.
That is why it's a great strategy to take along characters with the "first-exploration-heal" power, at least in this set (you would need to import them). Your character choices are likely more constrained. Of course, character choices being one of the biggest elements of one's play style...
Clerics with that power don't really help. The problem is that the discard power takes you by surprise.
For example if you're playing Enora, you can't use a single blessing or ally for exploration or you could potentially die from the Carrion Golem (he eats 9 of your cards and you need to draw 6). A cleric shouldn't be curing every time Enora discards an ally or blessing for an extra exploration (if you do you'll lose on time).
Our solution was the spell Mirror Image. Our casters with large hand sizes didn't do extra explorations until MI or armor was in the spellcaster's hand. We used armor if the combat check or Mirror Image failed. Our caster often stacked on Valeros, which made it possible to beat Carrion Golems in melee.
Everyone with a large hand size needs armor to protect it. It's a different way of thinking compared to previous sets where we couldn't wait to recharge armor out of our hands.
Although I don't like the design of the Carrion Golem (and it shouldn't be in B), it's not an insurmountable obstacle. And you certainly don't need specific characters to beat it, or any challenge.
By AP 2, you should have the Banner loot item that allows +1d8 against banes (which includes barriers) with the Demon trait. In that scenario, it's probably best if everyone stacks on one location to take advantage of the banner, unless you're confident of your abilities to go without. Stacking would also give synergy with other characters (Lem, Valeros, Meliski, ...). This is what we did in these scenarios and I think it would be even more critical with 6 players.
Also, in AD 2 you have 2 power surges that can change a D4 into a D20. Seems like a good time to use it. If you're missing a skill, people can take turns at using power surges.
Of course you can always house rule stuff, but that's how I'd deal with it legitimately.
Donny Schuijers wrote:
I do think that people are blaming Carrion Golem on totally wrong reasons.
The problem with the carrion golem is the discards from your deck before and after the encounter. That's how you kill characters, because you can't even judge your mortality anymore by your hand size and the cards remaining in your deck. It's kind of cheap. If it didn't make you discard, I think we would see far less complaints about this card, if any.
Theryon Stormrune wrote:
I would like to know if people that stated RotR and S&S was too easy if WotR is a better fit.
I'm in that category, Runelords is definitely too easy, my 6 player group is just walking through the scenarios now, often with 15 blessings left. We're at AD 3. We're not even playing well IMO.
The important thing is not challenge however, it's that Wrath makes creatures and locations much more interesting and thematic. By thematic, I mean that creatures have special powers beyond their combat rating (that have an impact).
Wrath's challenge level is much better for me, and even with the increased challenge I've been 13/13, finished AD 2. In 2-4 player games, Wrath has been completely fine.
I've also seen a wide variety of characters be successful in Wrath, including spellcasters and characters that use poison. This entire "I have to use character X" argument isn't true.
Honestly not a fan of the Wrath characters (except Adowyn). There are a lot of spellcasters which is probably not helping in B. Also many of the martials are using D8s for combat (Seelah, Harsk), which doesn't help. It's possible that people playing OP might have an easier time merely because we're using better characters.
Anyway, I'm liking it.
Yeah, the army must be ridiculous with 6, it was bad enough with 3.
The worst part of checks that everyone needs to make is that *someone* is bound to not make it with 6 players.
Our Zarlova and Meliski never seemed to have trouble making combat 16 in AD2. Maybe it was the rerolls. Our Valeros, Agna, Tarlin, and Amaryllis never had problems with combat 16 either in AD 2. Again, rerolls and strong combat ability.
Running multiple characters (with checks for all characters) must need more concentration, making it less relaxing. In Wrath, might be an option to run with less characters.
Your suggestions for 6 players are valid, maybe they'll consider doing something in subsequent ADs.
Yes, I playtested in a 2-4 player group but it was really easy to see how a 6 player group would be considerably more challenging.
Yes the armies would be tough with 6. Once you've done them once though, everyone should know what check they're going to do.
Regarding combat, by the time you are in AD 2 you have surges which should make most combat checks trivial and they should use no extra resources.
As for slowing the game down, it really comes down to the slowest character at the table. We had most of the common henchmen out on the table at all times, we just briefly looked at it and did our checks. Took no time at all, same time as a single player check. But yeah, I play with some slow guys in my home game (of 6 players), so I know what you mean.
Optimally... any martial character with any support character (that has cure spells). Ideally both are versatile with skills (Diplomacy, Survival, Disable, etc). Scouting helps.
Will be tough with only 2 characters, there might be some scenarios you need to skip or modify. There are some villains with very peculiar conditions to defeat. With 3 characters, you have enough blessings to power you through, will be tough with 2.
I just played 13 sessions of Wrath last week and I generally enjoyed getting the AD 1 barriers. You get temptations and then other barriers like Rallying Cry... basically barriers with no downside and they all get banished after you encounter them. Yes I saw the cultist one rarely, but by far I saw many more temptations, so much so I removed my masterwork tools from my deck. Which I later regretted after encounter a certain trap in AD 2...
Try it first and see.
”Thoughts on Wrath in General”:
Wrath is different from the other sets, so to be successful you’re going to have to throw out some of your old ways of thinking.
You’ll want to stack skill feats on your primary combat stat as soon as possible. The combat checks are just too high and intense to do anything else. You cannot afford to “spread out your stats”. Combat is prevalent and intense in Wrath.
Spell immunities weren’t really an issue in the games I played. I saw immunity to electricity and poison a little, but even that wasn’t common. If you were careful with your spell selection (and exploration), you should be fine (our sorceress never lost her hand).
You will need armor. Armor is something you didn’t want in your hand in other sets, in Wrath you want it. If your hand size is 6 or more, you need 2+ cards that will absorb a hand wipe for you. The first card feat most of us got was armor. This includes my ranger, bard, cleric, and even a sorceress. Yes, it was surprising. With a hand size of 6, I don’t feel comfortable playing without armor. Without armor, the reality of death becomes very real.
When I say armor, I’m talking about the kind of armor that can reduce all damage to 0, not just a few points. I include Mirror Image in that list as well, which can be your “second armor” card.
Weapons. You’ll be surprised to note that casters who had a decent Str or Dex often got a backup weapon (card feat) or had something traded to them during the game. Just in case. With a few blessings, this actually worked out well for us. Yes it’s non-optimal (and eats a spot in your hand), but it can help prevent hand wipes.
Healers… you need them, or you need some (good) form of healing. You take more “before and after combat” damage in Wrath and you need something to keep pace with that and the cards you burn from fast exploration. To support a party of 4 you need a minimum of 3 cure spells (collectively on characters), more is desirable. Clerics are very good for this since they start with 3. My bard, who started with 1, could barely support himself.
I feel some of the basic monsters (Carrion Golem) and barriers (Demonic Horde, Arboreal Blight), are very tough. Once you add in AD1 and AD2, you will see these cards much less and the monsters might have higher difficulties, but are more reasonable (you need to make an Arcane/Divine check to use spells).
Especially with AD1, the temptation barriers are more like loot piñatas and you actually look forward to “facing” them. :) It’s not until AD2 that you will fear barriers again.
So the sooner you can start playing AD1 the better. Also the rewards in AD1 are substantial and will make things easier. Mythic charges make everything even easier.
”Thoughts on Wrath OP”:
First of all, I really liked it. The forums had me a little scared of Wrath but all in all I found it really balanced, fun, and challenging. I played 13 sessions and was successful in all 13 (although 2-3 matches did come down to the final 1-2 turns, 1 match down to the last die roll). No deaths. My close matches were caused because of extreme bad luck or non-optimal play.
I played 1-1A successfully with Valeros and no healer, and the other player had barely played PFCG before, so it’s not like you need to be expert.
I saw a guy complete Adventure 1 with Wu Shen, one of the last characters I’d expect to see, yet it was possible. He told me it wasn’t too bad at all (when I asked him about poison immunity).
I thought Adventures 1 and 2 were fair, not too hard, and I felt like we had plenty of boons to keep pace with the AP itself.
I know some class decks have lots of items in their deck and the items in general aren’t very good. The loot cards in Wrath will help in that regard and are desirable.
Most of my experience was with a party size of 3, which I believe was optimal. I believe that party sizes of 6 will have a lot of problems, especially with threats that require everyone to make a check (and all checks need to be successful). Part of the fun is that extra challenge, but just be aware of it.
I can see the scenario challenge level beginning to increase in AD2. It was still reasonable.
I’m very interested in continuing play in AD3+.
All in all, Wrath has been a great experience and I’ll be purchasing it in the near future. The concerns about my character dying or it being too hard were greatly exaggerated. Finally we have something that is challenging.
You get skill, power, and card feats depending on how many scenarios you successfully complete in a tier (1, 2, and 4 respectively). You also get other rewards, such as loot, and more. These are written on the OP scenarios and adventure itself.
Completing 0-3a, 0-3b, 03-c, would not get you a card feat, you need 4 scenarios. And I'm not sure how the 0 tier is supported by OP, I didn't play them.
You don't get roles until completing adventure 3. No, you can't save up power feats while waiting to get a role. I'm not sure I understand your other questions.
After playing Adventure 1 and 2, I can say with certainty that the base set cards are actually harder than AD 1 and 2.
Especially barriers. The AD1 barriers are all temptations and Rally, with mostly just upside.
Everyone just needs to hang in there. Things get even easier once you get your Mythic path (+2 to all prime attribute rolls tend to help). And more interesting.
Yup, Wrath is awesome and a must buy. Just spent 4 days and 13 sessions (26 hours) playing it, and it's so much fun.
You're right, you need to adapt. You need armor to protect large hand sizes. People who wouldn't even normally get armor (card feats), like Sorcerers, were getting armor.
My ranger Agna selected armor as his first card feat, something I thought I would never do.
Weapons. Characters who would normally not get weapons, like Zarlova or Sorcerers, were getting weapons either through a card feat or trading.
Yup, it was a weird week, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
All I can say to the people who are struggling with Carrion Golem or Arboreal Blight is that it get's easier as you add AD 1 and 2, since they become more rare. Nasty cards. As a matter of fact, barriers become so weak (the temptations), they becomes more like loot piñatas.
In summary, loving Wrath.
So I went to Origins 2015 and my sample size is fairly low, but just for kicks will state my observations.
Jason S wrote:
How many players did you have at your table? Did you ever have a solo or 2 player table? How often did you have a 6 player table?
Most of the time I had 3 players at my tables, but occasionally we had 2 players or 4 players.
There was low attendance, so that's the reason for 2 players tables, as well as the fact that certain players needed certain scenarios.
Jason S wrote:
What level was the player skill? Better than expected? Less than you expected?
For the majority of players (and certainly the guys I hung out with most of the time), better than expected. They play fast, smart.
Was also surprised the more casual players didn't understand the basics of deck building.
Jason S wrote:
Did anyone roleplay? :)
Tiny bit, was funny. :)
Jason S wrote:
Did anyone at the table misunderstand a rule and then have it corrected by playing OP? (I think this is one of the greatest benefits of OP).
Only with a beginner player. Wrath is so new (and were beta testing adventure 2), we frequently asked questions.
Jason S wrote:
Everyone was really awesome at teamwork except in one circumstance (where the player screwed me out of an upgrade for no reason).
The players who had their hands open at all times were the best at teamwork.
Jason S wrote:
Did players try to work as a group or did some players "go rogue" and start exploring locations that benefitted them in terms of boons (but perhaps they couldn’t close the location)?
Mostly as a team, I think everyone trusted that everyone knew what they were doing. Sometimes it made sense to stack, sometimes not.
Jason S wrote:
Did you ever have time to harvest locations for loot (by not closing a location on purpose)?
OH YEAH! (Mansion House, I'm looking at you!)
Jason S wrote:
Were there any characters archetypes that were played more than others? Were Seoni and Kyra really common? :) Were any class decks more common than others? Were any class decks rarely seen?
Did not see a single Seoni or Kyra oddly.
I saw a lot of Meliski's (3 in fact, in a small sample size). Thought this character was bad, but he's quite good.
Bard, Cleric, and Fighter decks were popular. Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, not as popular (1 character each). No wizards!
Jason S wrote:
Were healers frequent or were people flexible enough someone would play one if no one else was playing support? Were there ever too many support characters at a table? Did you ever play in a group with no support characters (and were you successful)?
There were so many people playing support, I was unable to play my support character. That's in over 4 days of gameplay. I was shocked.
Yes people were flexible but people also had characters they wanted to play.
Wrath almost demands you have a healer in the party, unless you have the Herald cohort available.
Yes, my first table had 2 support characters out of 3. Too many, but it allowed me to open up and play recklessly, which is fun.
Yes, I played several (4) tables with no support characters successfully, but Wrath almost demands support, and the only reason we were able to do this was because of the Herald cohort and/or the Sacred Prism loot item.
Jason S wrote:
I imagine players are very flexible with what characters they play in adventures 1+2, but in adventures 4+ do the trends in the paragraph above still hold true?
As you get into adventure 2, people are less flexible for the simple reason that they don't have a character of that tier.
Jason S wrote:
Was there anything else you were surprised by?
Was surprised that some people would stick to their group of 3 and never offer to take another player. Always thought the point of OP was to play with (at least some) players you don't usually play with.
In general though I was very pleasantly surprised by the majority of people I met and only wish they were around locally.
Yes, they can explore.
But there's also the social contract to consider. I think it's well within your rights to ask them not to explore as long as a heal is coming in the short term.
Also depends, if there are no remaining barriers at a location, then you're obviously not going to have that problem.
Having said that, in Wrath, it's not just barriers that can send problems to your friends.
It's really up to the Seoni character to also protect herself with things like Mirror Image or even armor.
The first card feat I got for Agna was actually armor, because you NEED to protect your hand when the size is 6 or larger. Was shocking to me that I'd get another armor, but you need that kind of insurance.
This week at Origins, something like 10 base sets were out at all times. And there's no way Tanis could have watched every box or even what we were doing at our tables.
Having said that, I think 99% of gamers are a good bunch and wouldn't steal cards.
You either need to trust them or play with them.
Did 1A 3 times on three different characters with week, at Origins. Was a piece of cake. Second game was with a player who had never played PFCG before.
Herald makes a huge difference, a support character isn't even needed.
At Origins this scenario was changed from "+1 damage" to "-1 damage". I can see how the "+1 damage" version could be hard.
Amaryllis beating a DC 18 demon to death using a hatchet (D6 STR). Halfling power!
Winning on the last turn of the last encounter of the last check. After failing her combat check, Katie used her Ivory Dice to pull out the lucky 50/50 win! Awesome!
Winning on the 2nd last turn with Rogue and Dan.
Watching Valeros (Dan) get eaten by 3 blood demons (nom nom nom) thanks to a Demonic Horde (right, that NEVER happens).
Farming the Manor House. Close this location, no way!
Everyone avoiding the Lava Core, lol. And crossing our fingers on the Torture Chamber.
Realizing surges put you over the top and that you don't need to be afraid of Wrath.
Ron Lundeen wrote:
Put another way, are there conditions under which you can do either "trigger" action (gain a card feat, or complete an adventure) but not go up a tier?
Unless you complete all of the scenarios in an adventure, you have a choice if want to increase your tier.
I just finished both adventures 1 and 2, and believe me you WANT the rewards for completing each and every adventure. I don't think being gimped would be a wise move going forward, it's quite tough.
I just wanted to thank Tanis and company for coming out to Origins and supporting OP there. For me, that was the perfect way to spend most of my week. It turned a horrible week into something very relaxing and fun. Thanks!
Also want to thank the guys I met while playing OP all weekend, Mike and Len (who I played through Adventure 1 with) and Rogue and Dan (who I played through Adventure 2 with). Loved playing with you guys, hopefully will see you next year.
Btw, 100% success rate! :)
1) There are feats that are as good or better (when in combination with other chain feats) than don't depend on someone else.
2) Non-teamwork feats don't depend on someone else, so you're not stymied as often. It's like Magic the card game, why would you depend on a 2-3 card combination when you can get the same results from a single card? You're setting yourself up for failure.
3) Don't depend on others. It would suck if that player didn't show up or left the gaming group.
Despite the drawbacks, not sure why they're not used *sometimes*.