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Looking forward to this game. Having said that, I'd rather they bring the product to market than to make changes like Rusty Chainmail or Blacksmith's Son.
A multi-player option over the internet with a good queuing system (where you could do other stuff while waiting for other players to join a game/scenario) is what would put this game over the top.
But I do wonder: how is time for RP calculated in when writing a scenario supposed to fit into 4 hours?
GM sets out approximately how long everything will take, so the RP has to fit into the constraints. If the RP is taking too long you have to cut to rolls or cut interactions to save on time.
RP can be quite fast and awesome, the key is to have meaningful and focused RP. And having the GM 100% prepared so the RP flows. Needs to include everyone, even PCs without RP skills. GMs shouldn't be reading much at all during the RP section, if they are everything feels disjointed and even good RP scenarios can feel... boring and run long (for all the wrong reasons). At times even I want the RP portion of some scenarios to end, and I love RP.
Just played several scenarios in season 7 this weekend and they were all deadly. Noobs will certainly die in them unless their GM softballs like mad (or doesn't understand the NPCs powers at all).
Season 7 so far is complex and I'm finding there is intense table variation because GMs are not running scenarios as intended.
At the very least though, I’d love to see us move away from this mindset of “something traumatic happened, roll to see how crazy you go.”
In 40 years, I've personally never seen this, I somehow doubt she plays the game.
The realities of mental health just plain aren’t reflected by rolls on random tables.
No s**^. Real life also doesn't have Cthulu gods or monsters or magic that can make you go insane and want to kill your friends. It's a game.
I worry a little bit about people who try to make the game exactly like real life. This is just someone with too much time on her hands ranting, I'm not sure why you're giving her the air time.
I just . . . I just wish people would come to PFS to play fun scenarios and hang out with friends and have a fun time. I never got the appeal of playing a jerk character that won't help others. And it is worse in PFS because those characters SHOULDN'T be in the society.
I've been to a lot of cons and everyone (for the most part) has been great. Friendly people.
If there's a character/player that doesn't want to cooperate at all in the scenario or mission, it's up to the GM to give him a warning, write the warning on his chronicle, and tell him this character concept isn't suitable for PFS. Possibly kick him from the table if the player himself is being disruptive. If it's any way PVP related you have even more leniency in how you handle it.
Personally if I find a player being disruptive and not playing nice, I have no problem giving them a warning and then booting them if it's ignored. They're just trying to ruin the game for everyone, and it's your job as GM not to let that happen.
In my home (PFS) game some of the players said their characters would never want to be part of the PF society. I told them I could mark their characters dead and we could start over with characters that actually did want to be part of PF society. They changed their tune pretty fast.
Many Fortunes is kind of a crap shot at the end and definitely relies on too much luck and party composition for my taste. Saying you can solo it doesn't mean anything when you know what is coming at the end.
I seriously have no idea what you're talking about. We're talking about TPKs here, not failing the scenario. The last encounter (at subtier 1-2) features a poorly made level 2 rogue (dagger +2 (1d4+1)) and single level 2 warrior with quarterstaff +2 for a whopping 1d6 damage. These turds can't even hit you. Even if they did render you unconscious, they wouldn't kill you. That's not what happens in cities.
Hillis Mallory III wrote:
No. It was just a freak accident that anyone died in these scenarios, perhaps super crappy characters, and a refusal for the other characters to run. Especially Many Fortunes, if you can TPK on that you can TPK on anything. You can solo Many Fortunes!
Hillis Mallory III wrote:
Yes. Even when talking about a scenario, it's often a certain tier that's deadly. For example, Storval Stairs is OK at 7-8.
It would be interesting if we could come to a consensus and make a list like this, including subtier. Would be helpful for those looking for a challenge.
A real mix of people play OP. On one hand, people who play the RPG are more likely to know about PFACG, so they are more likely to play.
But then there are plenty of people who like the card game on it's own. There would be more but they just don't know about it until someone comes in and starts running OP and offering to teach the game.
4B Result: Barely successful again
The game lasted a long time, I think it was my longest 2-player game so far. I believe it took 2 hours. Again we were down to 7 or less blessings.
The movement mechanic was annoying but we got lucky near the end and weren't moved. We didn't have anyway of ignoring it (except for burying my Badger). Healing was tougher because of this.
If we didn't temp closed our last location, I don't believe we would have won.
We also got hit with a number of very challenging monsters (AD3 and AD4) that really drained our hands. But that was my fault. Should be easy next time with AD1 and AD0 mobs in there.
4A Result: Barely successful
I already said in another thread, but I found the setup of 4A incredibly confusing.
Shamira was extremely tough and we took the charisma check which was sometimes fueled by Kyra's stat gem.
I encountered Shamira only one time and it cost us 6 blessings. Ouch. Not sure if I didn't make my check or if I was unable to evade.
Almost ran out of blessings, which hasn't happened before.
I also find blessing upgrades are few and far between. Almost everyone needs them and they're just rare. Next time the blessing temptation comes up, YES I am definitely tempted!
Am I doing it the right way?
Adventure Guild Guide - Preparing the Game Box (page 9) wrote:
If I'm playing AD4 that would mean removing AD1 and lower.
So it looks like I've been doing it wrong, I've been removing all cards. No wonder it's been so hard. Now the game will become more about the hunt for loot than challenge. Hmmmm...
OMFG this scenario was so long.
And maybe the toughest scenario so far, we ended with 5 blessings in our 2 player group, which is the lowest so far. Low on health too at points, risky.
We got lucky and didn't get moved often.
Apparently we didn't even play it right since we temp closed a shared location to win. I think this scenario would be too hard without doing that, it's already bad enough that encountering the villain early basically distributes blessings everywhere (potentially from the blessings deck).
I disagree that it's a good scenario for blessings. First of all, there are no new blessings in AD4 (unless our deck pack was wrong). Second, since there are only AD2-4 blessings available (plus Ascension), we're drawing Ascensions 95% of the time. So blessings upgrades are super rare.
And thank god for redeemed Black Robes.
This scenario was tough. Although Kasiya was tough because we basically discarded our entire hand to defeat her, the real killer is Yavaliska.
We encountered Kasiya early and then chased Yaval around, burying blessings and allies. Huge penalty for not defeating her, which I actually had to absorb once. Not sure how this would work with a 5-6 player game... I think it would be brutal and a character killer.
Ulkreths were easy, thankfully.
Not sure why this passage was included since (if I remember correctly) that's the default behavior for Ulkreths.
About locations: You start this scenario with two locations, the Abyssal Rift and one other. You have Shamira and the henchman Harvester shuffled into the two decks.
Thanks for this thread. We found this scenario super confusing and not very clear at all. This thread was very helpful.
Having said that, how do you assume that you start with Abyssal Rift and one other location? That's how we played it, but I see nothing to indicate that's how you start.
Also, when you build locations on the fly, in the past they've contained henchmen. We followed what you wrote here (and had no henchmen in the new location), but it wasn't clear at all.
This scenario took a long time and even in a 2-player group, we almost ran out of blessings (after losing to Shamira only once).
I'd love to hear your tips for keeping things going speedy (seriously), because I'm taking 3x longer than you are =\
Ah, well we're not comparing apples to apples. I was saying 20 minutes if everything is setup. It takes us 10 minutes to setup and 5 minutes to upgrade as well. So 35 minutes.
But... that's with a relatively simple scenarios (AD1 AD2). I just played through the AD3 and AD4 of Wrath and our scenarios were taking 1-2 hours, between trying to understand what the scenario wanted and encountering new cards. So yes, later scenarios with complex cards definitely take a LOT of time.
So if you're playing something in AD5 in 50 minutes, that makes you faster than us.
Playing solo is probably also slower, because everything is your responsibility. In a duo, my partner can start her turn and I can reset at the same time, saving some time.
One thing that can save time is to have your typical combat dice ready and separated, instead of picking everything out. Last night it seemed every combat was custom, so I was always picking out dice, and it was much much slower than normal.
Fair enough, and yes, I think 6p Wrath is needlessly brutal. If I was playing OP, I'd make one of my first card feats an armor (and would consider grabbing a second one too if I started with 0 and a 2nd was available).
That was the first card feat I grabbed for Agna, more armor. Was... unexpected. :)
Doesn't help much with Hordes though. The advantage of OP is while you don't have Andowyn's scouting, the scouting you do have is arguably better. Augury and Scrying let you actually manipulate the card order, and many characters have powers that let them automatically examine the top card at the start or end of their turn without needing to expend any resources.
Well, Harsk is one character of 24+ and his scouting is only comparable until AD3 when Adowyn destroys him in that department.
There is so much combat in Wrath that ironically spellcasters have limited amounts because they need their attack spells and defensive spells much more. It doesn't take much to kill Ezren.
As for AD2, I wouldn't play it with 6p even without OP.
Yep it's tough, for a lot of reasons.
How should we play this in OP? If I attain it, can I permanently raise a mental stat?
Also, if my friends were exclusively playing with the same box, we could remove it from the game box, but we play at a store so that's not an option.
Maybe it doesn't matter since we're almost already maxed out on all of our stats?
I didn't know how to handle it, so I just drew another item from the box. Since we're playing the variation where we removed all boons/banes lower than (tier - 2), would be nice to know since we'll definitely encounter this boon again.
I've found the best way to get good at it is being engaged as a player, reading the forums, and discussing things with your group.
There are lots of people who play this game in big groups that don't have system mastery of the game.
Part of system mastery is the ability to play quickly. Many people cannot resolve their turns quickly.
I found that playing solo allowed me to resolve my turn quickly.
The forums only help with edge cases.
I've had the opposite experience in my 6p games.
You're talking about 6 players with some experience.
When people are still learning the game in a 6 player game, there is at least 30 minutes between turns, which is a killer. It's boring. I've had new players hate the game in 6-player mode and (after I had to convince them to try again) actually love it in 3-player mode.
I stand by my statement, 6 player games are a terrible way to introduce the game to new players. I've done it 3 times, don't need to do it again.
I've managed to fail in every group size, it mostly depends on the scenario difficulty.
Mostly it depends on group size in Wrath.
I finished AD3 of Wrath with 2 characters/players and it was easy. Not even close to failing, had 15-20 blessings left each scenario. In my 5-player games, it's been nothing short of Hellish (pun intended).
Part of the difference is player skill, but it's mainly about group size.
If a solo 2 character game takes you 60 minutes, it would probably frustrate me if I were playing with you in a 6 player game. How long are 6 player games???
I can finish a scenario in 20 minutes with a good partner in Wrath.
Communication is key with larger groups. Have a strategy going into the scenario.
I wasn't really looking for tips, I know how to play.
First of all, I'm playing OP which you probably aren't. So I don't get the scouting power of Adowyn or some of the nicer boons.
Demonic Hordes are a problem because most characters can't evade without burying a card (which casters should be save for carrion golem) and if they fail (not everyone has armor) it wipes their hand. That means that 1 character's next turn will be extremely limited. Or even worse, that character can't possible make a skill check to beat any army, which again either significantly depletes the group's blessings or it makes us bury cards. Because of stats, it seems like someone always fails. There's only so much armor you can bury. And of course that means Demonic Hordes will go back into the location.
Question: Did you play AD2 of Wrath with 6 characters in OP?
Communication is not the problem. Statistics are the problem. The more characters you add, the more likely it is that at least one character will fail their check. With armies in AD2, this typically means the entire group is penalized, typically with burying cards.
It might have been better if armies made a maximum of 4 characters make the check. 4 players seems to be the game's sweet spot.
Is it really "lost" playing time if you're still having fun?
Also, when you can only get together to play every 2-4 weeks and you can only play 2 games per session, getting destroyed isn't fun. I'm sorry, but it does feel like a waste of time sometimes because it means replaying the scenario and not progressing.
And sometimes losing means a character dies. How fun is that? We had that happen twice now to a tier 1 and tier 2 character. I play OP only, so it's not like we can just ignore the death or start a new character with any number of house rules that allow her to catchup quickly.
Character death has meant replaying AD1 and I've done it 7 times now. I'm ready to move on from AD1.
You can explore all you want in 3p, but you'll have less blessings or other abilities to throw around when it comes to those checks you can't or don't want to fail.
I find I have lots of blessing support in a 3 player group. And because there are less explorations before my turn, my hand resets so that I have more blessings to provide.
In Wrath 6 player games, I feel depleted and often have nothing to provide.
Individual resources must be managed more carefully with a smaller size because there are overall far less of them.
When a bane affects all characters, it's actually the opposite. In large groups we have less blessings and support because we have to wait longer (there are more explorations, more banes encountered, and more checks) for our hands to reset.
I think both small groups and large groups are equally fun, and put different spins on the game.
My post wasn't about whether 6 player games are fun.
My point is that 5-6 player games didn't need a substantial increase in difficulty. In Wrath, the increase in combat check difficulty alone had a significant impact on 5-6 player groups.
Keith Richmond wrote:
I always assumed that the "choose a character" clause was there to prevent more than one character from being able to use the loot item.
I also assumed that you would still need to earn the reward to replace a boon in your deck. In other words, Soulshear can't find it's way into a new character deck.
I guess we need to know the design intention?
My opinion on the matter is that I think you should be able to use any boons (loot or otherwise) you gain in AD2 in AD1, after all it's not like you're going to strip out your other AD2 boons just because you're playing AD1.
Regarding Solo Play
I started introducing people to the game using 6-player groups and it’s just a disaster since everyone’s turn takes too long. There’s just too much sitting around twiddling your thumbs, which leads to more inattentiveness and apathy. 6-player games are great when the turns are completed quickly.
In fact, we found that larger groups tend to win scenarios a little more often than smaller groups.
I find the exact opposite. I can’t fail in 2-3 player groups (even with inexperienced players) and with the right character I can solo without failing as well (and without being in danger). Not only that, but we can finish a game in 20 minutes compared to a 2 hour 6 player game.
We fail all the time in 6 player games mostly based on time pressure. And it takes only 1-2 characters that can’t explore quickly (or inexperienced players) to make it so that you can’t beat the timer.
It's also easy to fail if you encounter too many banes that demand high difficulty checks or require everyone to attempt and succeed at a check (Demonic Hordes, armies), which is common in 5-6 player games.
Please also consider that if you lose a 6-player game, you’ve not only lost the game but you’ve "lost" 2 hours of playing time. If you lose a 2-player game it’s only 10-20 minutes "lost". If 6-player groups are more successful, maybe that’s not a bad thing? Promoting the game to more people (instead of supporting 1-3 player games) might be better for sales.
To succeed in a 6 player game you need characters that can explore very quickly, ideally without much healing aid. If you then bring a character like that into a game with 1-3 characters, the timer aspect is a complete joke and you have more resources to succeed at all of your checks as well (which decreases the difficulty).
Fast exploration is a powerful ability that should have been controlled more tightly. The three key abilities in this game are healing, hand size/restoration, and fast exploration. In OP you’ve obviously recognized the power of healing, but in Wrath you created Alain, which is just over-the-top in terms of exploration.
Remember that large groups have a much greater ability to succeed at "important" checks.
This was true in the past, but in Wrath the check difficulties are so high that most characters need a boost and there’s only so many blessings to go around. Most times we barely have enough blessings to be successful at defeating one army (we failed to beat 3/4 armies last game when we had 5 players), let alone helping people with other banes/boons or even other armies. In a 6 player game, telling someone to stop exploring because you've already encountered 1 army isn't really an option, you don't have the time.
Also since there are so many turns before you can get a turn again, these cards can drain your hand. If you encounter another "all character" bane in the same round, you basically have a 0% chance of completing any checks once drained. And you might not be able to do anything on your turn (except the free exploration which might be done without a weapon/spell, which potentially could further drain the rest of the party)!
There are many factors, but the biggest (I think) is the marvelous power of synergy.
Synergy is only a factor with concerns to getting blessing support to make important checks. Once you get 2-3 players, you have more than enough blessings to help at critical times. 6 players doesn’t help you any more than 2-3 players and is actually worse because you don't get to reset your hand as often (once you don't have further blessings).
Also, synergy is more of a factor where the synergy doesn’t require the characters to discard or recharge cards to help someone else.
6 player groups are punishing in several respects, I’m not sure why you want to make them more punishing. They were even punishing in Runelords.
Like I said, I find my blessings are being used on other characters much more than they are being used on me. If I use a blessing of Iomedae to explore or on someone else, I won't get a card recharged with the combat/chr power. Sometimes other players use blessings on me, but I'm healing them anyway so an untargeted 1 recharge is good but not great (I'd rather be assured a blessing). But maybe your games are different and you play with more support characters, in my group I am the support character, so that changes things.
Not sure why your local group think Tarlin sucks, he actually rocks. (All of the clerics are actually very good). He's also my secondary character in Wrath.
Starting out with 4 cards sucks (period) and Tarlin especially needs to get armor upgrades to get armor out of his hand (which is a priority with a hand size of 4/5). He also needs hand size upgrades as a priority. His ally should be the Sage so he can recharge his cure spells and he should start with 3 cure spells in his deck.
Tarlin's offensive ability is as good or better than most characters. If Tarlin has a problem, everyone has a problem (except for Alain :) ). Don't like Blood Demons? Then stack under a Banner of Valor, you won't even need a weapon.
Peacekeeper role is the best. So many good options to take. I'm almost at my role but so far I like:
1) Blessings of Iomedae recharge. With 4 Iomedae blessings, Tarlin won't have many cards in his discard pile and these blessings will get cycled into his hand more often (compared to healing them back to his hand). Allows him to explore faster.
Only downside is that I don't find Iomedae (Chr) buffs to be very useful compared to combat or Wis buffs. Mostly likely will be used for explorations.
2) Hand size 7. Hand size is a great power upgrades. More options and more opportunities to use blessings and pretty much everything.
3) Recharge weapons. I assume that with more 2H weapons I'll be able to use my heal ability more. I also assume I'll be discarding weapons to increase combat in AD3. I also assume that a hand size of 7 will let me have weapons "sitting in my hand" doing nothing without clogging up my hand too much. If that wasn't true, I'd get this much sooner since I sometimes discard weapons in AD2 to get blessings into my hand.
4) Other blessings heal friends. I'm already proficient at healing my friends, so this is only nice to have. Also, I find I'm using blessings on others a lot more than I receive in turn. :(
5) Exploration heal +2. You're still gaining cards overall and this is a great emergency heal.
6) Recharge armor to get a weapon. I don't think this is very useful for the simple reason that you NEED armor to protect your hand size of 7 and you only have 2 armor. Plus you can already recharge magical armor. More often than not I've buried 1-2 armors per game, no need to use them to heal myself when my healing abilities (from the prior powers) will already keep my discard pile empty. Already in AD2, I find that my discard pile is empty, with blessings of Iomedae recharging, weapons healing, and combat blessings healing me, I don't see self healing as a problem.
7) Recharge weapon to recharge an ally. Not very useful.
TLDR: Tarlin is awesome.
Team: Arabundi, Ezren, CD Valeros, Haggal, Tarlin.
Yup, tried this with 5 players and man, the armies are hard with 5-6 players. Couldn't even use the Banner of Valor with undead. Always seemed like *someone* would fail their check by 1-2 and then we would end up burying cards. Draining the location of boons helped in a way, but before we knew it we had buried 3 cards each which set the table for...
Arabundi dying. Yup, tier 1 character and wasn't watching his deck size. We had plenty of healing, but he had been playing Runelords, not OP. Welcome to OP!
Gave up and went back to complete AD1 for two of the characters.
We run out of a box at a gaming store, so other people might be using it at any time. Also, different groups are at different tiers.
So we use option #2, but we purge cards on the fly. In other words, if we ever encounter a card that we shouldn't be able to encounter, we immediately draw another card of that type from the box (until we get a valid card).
I like option #2 also because it makes the game much more challenging. When I started AD3 we were no longer encountering zombies or rats, we were encountering dragons and things that can rip your head off. So yeah, much prefer to forget about the cards we've encountered a billion times before and start seeing new cards.
What I want to see is for the cards in the class decks to be more useful. Then we could have 4 characters again.
Class decks have a very limited capacity but yet I often find cards that aren't good for ANY character in the class deck! For example, putting Perception based cards into a class deck where none of the characters have Perception as a skill.
Or cards that you wouldn't even want to upgrade to. Like Cook or things that just aren't suitable for the class. Upgrades aren't upgrades if you don't want them.
Depends on party size and composition. Characters that "do everything" are annoying, but moreso in the RPG than in the card game.
Solo I'd say that Merisiel or Lini are the best. Merisiel because she can evade anything she doesn't like. Lini because she can basically do everything decently well and can heal her mistakes.
Solo with Lini I've basically waited 6 turns just to setup the perfect hand in order to beat a villain that didn't allow allies to be used. Not many characters can do that.
I find that the best groups keep their hands open and the worst groups keep their hands closed. Just an observation. I'd say the close handed groups were LESS team orientated by far.
If you have a know-it-all guy, it's just better to address that. I play open and yes, it has been annoying at times, but sometimes they have a point and sometimes you just brush it off and sometimes you teach them something too.
There's counters to everything:
1) If there's a boon you like, speak up. Or say something if you want to look at it. Sometimes it's pointless as the character has a 0% chance of getting it anyway.
2) You want to flip it to your position to track that it was your turn. Sometimes people forget to flip and it's easier to go back if this is done.
3) I don't know, I've always had drinks at my table and have never spilled anything, so I guess it depends.
In general, the more kind and flexible you are, the better. This applies to everything in life.
Characters: Agna and CD Kyra.
We completed adventure 3 and have the following feedback.
1) I really liked the story text. Good job! The names were initially a little confusing but it was great writing. More on this later.
2) "Things" are starting to get "real" in AD3. By that I mean that although we were successful, we were *barely* successful (ended with 10 blessings many times with only 2 players!). And we had some close calls with health. I think this AD will challenge a lot of players (including my 4 player group).
3) Although AD2 was punishing to large groups, I still noticed various mechanics that punished big groups in AD 3. Big groups are already punishing enough?
4) The Shadow Demon servitor demon was a complete non-factor in this adventure. There were so few abyssal locations, his main power of cold damage was ignored, so he was basically a combat 20 creature. While that's tough, we found the Blood Demons in the previous AD much more challenging.
5) I really like the cohorts and the story that went with them. Mechanically they were useful as well.
6) I used my Paizo t-shirt reroll for the first time in 25 scenarios and I needed to use it in each and every scenario. The increased difficulty combined with "high stakes" made it necessary. My partner didn't have rerolls, but I was exploring a lot more than she was.
7) Nice custom art (I assume) on the cards.
8) In general we had a lot of fun with this adventure.
Now for a review of the scenario. We finished with 12 blessings but weren't close to dying.
Grimslakes.... ugh. The Grimslake CON check is worse than the combat check! These things were fairly deadly and made me glad I picked Mythic Guardian instead of Marshall (used by D20 when we were out of blessings). I made all the Grimslake checks (thankfully!). I also liked the villain.
Andrew L Klein wrote:
Including them in the CD is the only way to guarantee everyone has an iconic.
Several of the players I play with have the class deck but play alternate versions of the iconics on a print out. Often the CD version isn't needed or desired.
Removing pregens might not work for other reasons, but for me it's more desirable.