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Great to see this listing! I'll add my own: if you're a fan of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, I have free materials--including two free alternate adventure paths--at welbybumpus.com. Everything there is published under the Community Use Policy, like Wayfinder.
Will locations FINALLY represent something other than a random collection of cards?
Do you really think this is the case now? I think most locations are finely tuned to display a feel based on the types of cards it includes, and how many of each; this is in addition to the "At This Location" power, the check to close, and the effects of closing. All those tell a story before you even flip the card over to read the flavor text on the back.
Cannibal Isle, as an example, has lots of dangerous critters (many monsters) and your allies might get eaten (bury an ally at the end of your turn). But you can fight your way into the cannibal camp (Str/Melee to close) and learn--oh, hey, my allies haven't been eaten yet, and I can save them! (on closing, add your buried allies to your hand) That, to me, tells a story and is much more than a random collection of cards.
I'd love to continue to see very thematic locations like this, in Mummy's Mask and beyond.
I understand the desire to adhere to the story; in the RPG, the PCs don't start out as mythic, but they get "mythicated" at the end of adventure 1. The PACG WotR retains that.
I'm wondering whether it doesn't make sense to introduce that mythic element earlier in PACG WotR. Perhaps at the very beginning, each PC gains a mythic path card (and B scenarios allow you to keep 1 mythic charge instead of zero, because that would defeat the purpose).
I see some advantages:
* It helps to mitigate some of the too-high difficulty of the B scenarios by adding an extra resource.
Unfortunately, the B scenarios were so un-fun for us that if I suggest to my group "hey, let's replay the B and 1 scenarios where we get a mythic path card and one charge each game!" I'm likely to get booed out of the room. I may have to try this solo.
We've just finished adventure 3, and I'm revising my analysis to "WotR is just too hard" to be "WotR has poor scaling".
We did the B scenarios first, and found them absolutely punishing, like you did. We are dedicated players, and the WotR B scenarios made us consider giving up the game.
It was refreshing to see AD1 and even AD2 get easier for us, but now the pendulum has swung the other way--we found every AD3 scenario to be easy--even too easy, as our 3-player group won each with at least 15 cards left in the blessing deck. Mythic powers even feel a bit like cheating, adding +3 to most of the rolls that matter for the whole game.
WotR monsters are often hard, and you have to fight them a lot (esp with multiple bane-spreaders). When you're low-level, those monsters are dispiritingly difficult. Now that we're mid-level, those monsters are dispiritingly easy. So we're finding the balance to be off.
I still feel positive about Paizo but I feel X-P about UltraPro at the moment.
Question from a foreigner:Does X-P stand for "ex-perienced"?
Why all those abbreviations?
I don't think I've seen it before, but I guess it's not an abbreviation, but an emoticon--look at it sideways as a face!
Rebel Song wrote:
I learned last night that I need to read cards better and stop assuming I know what they say. Imrijka's power to reveal a card with the Divine or Ranged skill to add 1d4 and the Magic trait isn't only to a combat check, it's to "a check against a monster." So I could have been adding d4s to my Wisdom or Knowledge or Perception checks. Agh. *headdesk*
Holy crow, I didn't realize this, and I'm almost halfway through WotR with my Imrijka!!
That sounds like a correct interpretation to me.
Or Shelyn's blessing.
(Lookit us, makin' game jokes!) :-)
Have the party fight him in an antimagic area; for extra drama, have the party find out that he will be in an antimagic area a bit earlier in the adventure, so they can prepare.
I wrote the final encounter for the Verbobonc region's Living Greyhawk campaign, and the final boss was a fighter. Just a fighter, no templates or other classes. I made the party fight him in antimagic, but based on favors they PCs had collected from previous adventures, they could each use a single magic item, spell slot, or similar in the fight. So although the PCs were mostly shut down, magically-speaking, they could make some judicial decisions about the upcoming fight.
This would work equally well with a rogue, I think, although having several methods for the rogue to ensure sneak attack (by flanking buddies, environmental effects, and so on) would be vital to making the rogue a serious threat.
One error we usually make is forgetting what the card was that was just scouted and having to re-scout. Or forgetting someone already scouted it and going 'DOH!' after wasting another scouting ability/card.
This is exactly why we started putting "scouted" cards back face-up--because we kept forgetting, too.
So far I have rocked Valendron in Skull and Shackles and Arushalae in Wrath. Val's ability to shuttle at the end of his turn was beautiful for those locations that did bad things when you start/end your turn there, especially with S&S ship rules allowing other players to ride with.
We call that the "Valendron Bus" in our Season of the Shackles games. E.g., "Hey, if we go over to the Sea Caves, can we catch a ride on the Valendron Bus at the end of your turn to get us all out of there?"
This works even on temporarily closing a location, doesn't it? (I don't have the card in front of me, so I'm only looking at the text above). In that case, how would you know which boon to take?
I have a trick we've started doing: When someone examines a card, we turn it over so it sits face-up on its location deck. That way it's not a memory game; we know just what it is, and each of us can tell by looking. (If we have to shuffle that deck, of course, we flip it back over before shuffling.)
I don't remember which group I played with had picked that up, but it's helped speed play.
Also, I've never seen the need for one of the big play mats, but we used those in the OP at GenCon, and my wife insists they lay everything out more intuitively. So we bought one, and have used it regularly since GenCon.
But Sajan is just so fun to play.
I'll second this. Your article (which is both well thought out and an entertaining read!) led me to reflect on all the people I've taught this game.
Everyone I've taught that played Sajan has gone out and bought the game.
(No one I've taught that played Merisiel, conversely, has ever bought the game, emphasizing the relative "fun" in (i) having no real weaknesses, and (ii) recharge, recharge, recharge.)
So if a character plays a Tier 3 pregen starting Adventure 4, she'll never be able to get a role card.
It's to save them from the Umbral Dragon.
Thanks for this summary, and for playing the adventure! Yours isn't the first group that I've heard of that managed to pull off beating the troll--that's not something I expected, but shows a great combination of luck and skill!
First World Bard wrote:
Good question; the rule about closing locations doesn't explicitly say so (that rule is below). We did just this, though (banished any remaining banes and stashed any remaining boons under the ship), and left the location open.
Bloodlust Corsairs Rules wrote:
When the ship location is permanently closed, examine all the cards remaining in the location. Banish any banes, then shuffle all the boons and put them face-down under the ship card itself. Those cards cannot be encountered; they are plunder cards you earn if you win the scenario. Even if some rule makes you re-open the ship’s location,leave those cards under the ship card.
My playtesting was with groups of one to three; I only tested a couple of scenarios with a larger group than that.
Our general sense was that it was about the same level of difficulty as Skull & Shackles. Some of the scenarios have trickier win conditions, but the presence of a ship (which is usually full of good things) seems to balance that, as does the "auto-win" of some fights when your lycanthrope card is showing.
Another factor that doesn't add directly to difficulty but seems to add to your chance to run out of time is the new movement rule: there were a couple of times where we desperately wanted to go from one location to another, but we couldn't because we needed to "stop at our ship" first. I see this as a few sailors ashore with only a rowboat, looking at another site on the horizon and thinking "man, we are *never* going to get there in time without our ship."
Like many criminals, they got caught because they were greedy. Meanwhile, over here, I'll just keep buying 10 quarterstaves at a time (for 0 gold) and selling them as 2 days of firewood (for 1 cp).
I found everyone involved to be exceedingly flexible, especially when I brought a group of players that were all Tier 1, with Adventure 3 tickets, and each with unique lists of scenarios they'd already played. I can't imagine the logistics to pull that off, but it was well and skillfully done all three times we came by to play.
Wow, was thinking of starting skulls and shackles with friends soon but this does skulls and shackles better than skulls and shackles does skulls and shackles.
In that Skull and Shackles is a card game recreation of an existing series of adventures, I don't know that I agree. :-)
But thanks for the kind words!
What do you do when you've gone through the entire Skull and Shackles adventure path for the PACG? Rearrange the cards and do it again!
The Bloodlust Corsairs adventure path is an entirely new 35-scenario adventure path with an independent story. It uses only the cards from the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull and Shackles base set and its six adventure decks--no need to print your own cards (but you will need all six adventure decks to play it). It includes two new rules: one for using your ship as a location, and another for playing any character as a wereshark!
You can download it from WelbyBumpus.com for free.
Get it, play it, and let me know what you think (and how I can improve it!).
Here's one I only just now discovered, by following another thread:
If characters A and B are at a location when another character elsewhere encounters the villain, they can each attempt to close the location. We've always played that only one or the other can try; if the selected character fails, the other one doesn't get a chance to try. (In practice, the character more likely to succeed is the one that makes the check.) One other way we've been playing in "hard mode," I guess.
Huh. You can play this game hundreds of times and still have errors, and I think I just stumbled onto one.
Are you saying that, if characters A and B are at a location when another character elsewhere encounters the villain, they can each attempt to close the location? We've always played that only one or the other can try; if the selected character fails, the other one doesn't get a chance to try. (In practice, the character more likely to succeed is the one that makes the check.) I see now that isn't the rule--and in fact, hasn't ever been the rule.
One other way we've been playing in "hard mode," I guess.
First World Bard wrote:
Alternatively, I might give the Shield of Rannick a try. If I try to solo it, I'd probably use Meliski; I've been itching to see how he'd do going Brawler with access to Amulets of Mighty / Fiery fists.
Well, Shield of Rannick is pretty awesome, I'll admit. :-) If you can wait a few days, you can try Bloodlust Corsairs--my adventure path with the Skull and Shackles set--and see what you think. I've honestly playtested very little of that with just a solo character (my usual group is 3 players), and I'll be interested to see what a solo run of that is like.
Andrew L Klein wrote:
I most interested in how a Vigilante would be built in the card game
Conceptually, that seems easy. You have two sets of skills (maybe even two sets of powers, but that seems to be going a bit far). At the start of your turn, you choose one or the other, and you have that for the whole turn. They're balanced, but not the same: one has Strength d10 with Melee +2, maybe, and the other has Strength of d6 with no Melee, but Charisma of d10 and Diplomacy +2. Perhaps you'll have the best skill for what you encounter, but perhaps not.
With careful scouting, you'll have a bit of a sense of which "side" would be more helpful, but even then it might not be entirely helpful. An example: "An awesome ally is the next card over there? Okay, at the start of my turn, I flip to the Bruce Wayne side, move to your location, and encounter the ally. Diplomacy of 12 for the win! I discard that ally to explore and then...ah! A Bunyip! What a time to not be Batman!"
Seems to me like a signature weapon.
Our RotRL Lem did this; he had his Deathbane Light Crossbow for most of the AP, and always made sure to pick "Weapon" as his card type, so he always started the game (and often, ended the game) with it in his hand.
I would expect this character to also have a Adowyn-type power to pull a weapon back from a deck or discard pile, in order to hammer home the "signature weapon" concept.
Am I right?
We've shorted the blessing deck more than once, although strangely never put too many in.
We've done that a few times, and I only just realized why.
When we play multiple games in a night, I just take the blessing discard pile, put it back on top of the blessing deck, and use those cards for the blessing deck of the next game. Saves time.
Problem being, if we failed to beat the villain in the previous game, the blessing deck in the next game has something less than 30 cards. And if that happens a couple of times...
There aren't any B boons (except Silver Raven and Fiery Glare) that are arguably good enough to put a monster back into play to begin with - especially not the Wights.
We put the wights back in whenever we could, and we didn't care whether the boon was good or not. It seemed just generally good sense to shuffle henchmen back into the location decks when possible. More henchmen in the decks means more opportunity to close them down that much quicker.
Sure! You'll need one High Priest Y'Ganok villain available here.
You'll need one Bhole Jaws villain available here.
You'll need players + 1 (that is, up to seven) Titanic Bulk henchmen available here.
You'll need players + 2 (that is, up to eight) Denizen of Leng henchmen available here.
Please give it a try and let me know what you think!
Well, I'm a professional game designer, and I wrote Shield of Rannick, a full adventure path with 30 all new scenarios for your Rise of the Runelords game. I also wrote Mhar of Leng, a five-scenario "Adventure 7" for Rise of the Runelords. Both are absolutely free at welbybumpus.com, and I suppose that sells very well! :-)
I'm working on a new adventure path for the Skull and Shackles set called Bloodlust Corsairs. I haven't yet decided whether my project after that will be an adventure path for the Wrath of the Righteous set, or a large cross-over requiring all three base sets. Probably the latter, I think.
When I put stuff from a closed location back in the box, the other players sometimes ask whether we "lost out" on anything good. They've learned I usually respond with only "no, nothing good," or "you don't want to know the answer."
I'd always ignored these mats, assuming they wouldn't work for our group: we play open-hand, and these mats seem to assume you don't play that way. But I got to thinking that there's no reason we couldn't lay out our cards on the table just above or just below this mat.
So my question is: does anyone else use these mats but also play open-hand by laying the cards down on the table as well? If so, how well does that work for you?
But, for me at least, it would crush me to see that boon that I've long desired and never had a chance to encounter banished from the location deck before I could get to it.
But that happens every time you close a location and put the cards that were still at that location back in the box, right?
I actually went with Hexer. That was largely because her hex power (reduce difficulty) was easily my most used power on her card, and the ability to further enhance it was too good to pass up. Also, having the less interesting blessing recharge power freed me up to take the even higher tier blessings without feeling obligated to keep the old ones.
This is why I went with Hexer as well. Eventually I was drawing on a Craft or Arcana check, which was very powerful.
We have only 3 players, so I don't have some of the 6-player problems that others have, but I'm very pleased to announce that we completed scenario B-2 on our sixth attempt last night. Glad to finally have it behind us, and a bit demoralized that we may have trouble with scenario B-4 as well--but we'll see.
Our decks have been tuned pretty well despite the repeated failures, though, so we have that going for us.
As I mentioned in the thread about lycanthropy rules, I'm writing up an alternate adventure path for Skull and Shackles called Bloodlust Corsairs. Bloodlust Corsairs uses two rules variants: the first is Lycanthropy, and I'm reworking that a bit based on the good discussion in that other thread.
The second rule uses your ship as a location in each scenario. This really foregrounds your ship as an important part of each scenario. In full disclosure, I intend to produce two versions of Bloodlust Corsairs: one with this rule, and one without it.
To most players, such abject failure to progress would be highly discouraging.
This is quite true. Let me give two data points from my own experience:
1) A year ago, I bought the LotR card game to play with my wife. We chose starting decks as recommended in the rules, and enjoyed the first scenario. We lost the second scenario in a quite demoralizing way, tried it again, and lost it again. I looked up online the next day, and found that a specific deck build--one not clearly presented in the rules--is necessary to win that particular scenario. We planned to try that deck trick someday, but that was a year ago-- we've shelved the game and haven't opened it since. I was telling someone the other day that I'm just not a fan of this game because it's crippling second-scenario difficulty lost me as a casual player.
2) My wife and friend and I are huge fans of the PACG. Despite the suggestion to play Adventure 1 before Adventure B, we've decided to go in the "normal" order. We loved scenario B-1 (The Godless Ones) and beat it on our first try. But we've lost scenario B-2 (The Elven Entanglement) four times and it's killed Kyra once. We will try it again for sure; but if we weren't already a fan of PACG, it would have been shelved just like the LotR card game for us.
I conclude that the uneven and harsh difficulty will cause people to shelve this game, unfortunately.