Yewstance's page

Organized Play Member. 431 posts (1,445 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 7 Organized Play characters. 11 aliases.


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wkover - Radovan wrote:
If "your cards" in OP means the same thing as standard play (deck/buried/displayed/etc.), then Redemption in OP is slow and painful and I'll probably avoid playing a character from HV in the future.

Keep in mind that Hell's Vengeance 2 does not feature a way to redeem boons... not that it matters, since the characters are designed to ignore Corrupted penalties (for the most part) anyway.

In Hell's Vengeance 1, there's a character that easily ignores corrupted penalties, and a second that works BETTER with corrupted cards, and so redemption is partially a downside. Asmodean Disciplines can be auto-added from Tier 4 onwards, but I hardly think Redemption would ever be mandatory in these sets, particularly because they also have a handful of cards that let you ignore the corrupted trait on the fly.

Also, if playing Season of the Righteous, you can get Redemptions out of, for example, specific location effects. But I remember Redemption being really slow in actual Wrath of the Righteous, particularly with the requirement that you have to hold onto the card to redeem it later, so having an Item 2 that I can keep adding seems many times more generous than non-OP play.

Also, in all seriousness, there's not that many corrupted cards, and not all of them are that good. There's heaps you can get away without redeeming; some of which are pretty bad with or without redemption and can be skipped, some which don't work with your strategy or character powers, and some which are powerful enough even when corrupted. Remember that the payoff is that they're usually stronger than a normal boon after being redeemed, so it makes sense to require some effort to set them up (even if you can just replay a scenario a few times to redeem all of the corrupted boons you want). But I digress.

Race Dorsey wrote:
Yewstance wrote:

One more point on what I was saying about "Setting aside" cards, also note that the fact that cards immediately go to a zone unless there's a check to change that is also supported in the wording of the Cure spell and similar, which has never changed.

I disagree. The rule i cited was not implemented when many of those cards you are referencing were released. the rule did not exist in RotR, SnS, and in WOTR it was even clarified that the action price must be paid Immediately. That text has now been updated to the rules i quoted above. Prior cards haven't been updated based on the new rules. I'd argue that no where in the MM rule does it say you don't set it aside to "limbo zone" if there isn't a check required. It simply says set it aside and resolve the actions first. There are threads in the rules forum that discuss this. One example, Lini doesn't bury allies at the farmhouse.

Shoot, really!? I had no idea that rule was changed in Mummy's Mask, since I've just used the MM rulebook for all of the physical (and nonphysical) games I've ever played, except for sections on Redemption and Ships. That prior cards still have outdated wording - whilst I knew could happen (Sphere of Fire in Ultimate Magic) - is extremely confusing.

Damnit, among other things this means I've been mis-playing Damiel in Mummy's Mask with Potions of Healing. In fact, this means I'm pretty sure I've seen at least four or five misplays by myself or other players in my PbP tables. Damnit all.

Well that at least explains the Asmodean Disciples, but now I need to re-assess some other cards.

Hawkmoon269 wrote:

Question 1: Codex of Conversations

I think it is a check against the ally. It might also be a check against the Codex.

MM Rulebook p11 wrote:
If a card refers to a check against another card, that refers to any check required by that card, whether it’s a check to defeat, a check to acquire, a check to recharge, or any other check.

So, question seems to be which card is requiring the check? You could make an argument they both are.

And I think it is a real check to acquire the ally. After all, it is called a "check to acquire" and it is an ally that has it.

I wonder if there's any cards or powers that would work weirdly with. "For your check to acquire an ally, do X. If you acquire that ally, place it on top of your deck." In that hypothetical situation, would you put the ally on top of your deck or would you recharge it as instructed by the Codex of Conversations? I would imagine you'd ignore the second sentence and just recharge it, because though it was a check to acquire, you did not actually acquire an ally.

It drives my literal thinking a bit crazy that we can call something a "Check to acquire an ally" when you don't actually acquire the ally by passing, but I recognise there's not really a good alternative wording option.

Anyway, being a check against both the Codex and the Ally could lead to some interesting situations. For one thing, that could invoke a number of relevant traits. This is actually seriously important for one of my characters; so I'd like to ask you directly, as the GM for a table where this will certainly come up.

Question for Hawkmoon directly, as a GM:
I will eventually be using the Codex of Conversations heavily with my Estra (OA1) character in Play-by-Post. Does this mean that any checks to 'acquire'/recharge allies made through the Codex of Conversations will invoke the magic trait, as a trait on the Codex? That's actually very impactful for one of my spells (Leyline?) if I recall correctly, as it allows me to add additional dice to those checks.

Hawkmoon269 wrote:

Question 3: Holy Phylactery

This seems similar to the Mythic Archmage conundrum.

I'd not come across the discussions about the Mythic Archmage; I'll have to look them up once the forums work properly. Looking at the card, I see the issue, though. You'd have to, for example, use an attack spell to make a combat check an Intelligence or Charisma check... but you can't legally play an attack spell that the target would be immune to, so you'd almost never be able to make use of its ability. Was there ever an official conclusion on that?

One more point on what I was saying about "Setting aside" cards, also note that the fact that cards immediately go to a zone unless there's a check to change that is also supported in the wording of the Cure spell and similar, which has never changed. "Reveal this card to shuffle 1d4+1 cards from your discard pile into your deck, then discard this card". Same with cards like Surgeon and even the very recently printed Forensic Physician and the like, so it appears to be made unarguably clear that cards are moved to their new zone before their power occurs if there's no additional check to make listed in their powers (or a character power of your own).

wkover wrote:
Just like Traders work quite differently in organized play, so does Redeeming. In OP, when you play something like Asmodean Disciplines, you can redeem any card listed on the Redemption card. End of rule. Doesn't matter if it's in your deck, in the deck box, in your closet, or under your bed. :)

I'm afraid and the answer to that is incorrect and explicitly called out in the rulebook and FAQs, and the wording is no different between normal play and OP. To quote the relevant passages from the rules I previously quoted:

Multiple Sources, including the official Card Guild Guide wrote:
[...]choose one of your cards that’s listed on that card and check it off.

This is the exact same wording as it used in the post-FAQ WotR rulebook, and it has been clarified in no uncertain terms that, and I quote:

Wrath of the Righteous Rulebook Page 10 wrote:
[...]your cards include your deck, the cards in your hand, and your buried, discarded, and displayed cards.
wkover wrote:
Thinking about it more deeply, keeping the Redemptions player-specific is the only thing that makes sense to me. Otherwise you could have a cheap situation where two evil characters in OP (possibly identical, like two Linxias) could play the same campaign, with one character redeeming half the cards and the other character redeeming the other half. It wouldn't be fair to "split" the Redemption card in this manner to benefit both/all characters. It would make sense to keep their Redemptions player-specific.

I can't say I agree; that's exactly how it works in Wrath of the Righteous, there's just not normally duplicates of Corrupted cards. But if you had, for example, mixed Class Decks in then that could come up downright frequently, since the table is always expected to share a Redemption card, just like Skulls and Shackles sharing their Fleet card.

For the record, I think it would be both less exploitable (Book of the Damned) and more enjoyable ("Damnit Urgraz stop redeeming cards that Linxia wants to be corrupted!") that Redemption cards are player-specific, but the rules certainly do not read that way. Furthermore, it does become a bit of a flavor fail if cards become corrupted and redeemed and corrupted again based on who's holding them. Has it been redeemed or not?

Also, it's not much of an exploit to redeem the party's cards faster. You still need to own the card in your deck to redeem it (as clarified above), and from Tier 4 you can redeem a new card every scenario thanks to just replacing the Item 2 The Asmodean Disciplines every scenario. You can also re-play scenarios for even more chances, and some characters (Linxia in HV1) and some spells have added benefits for NOT redeeming their cards.

I thought that rule effectively meant you put it aside for as long as it was needed, so that if there's an additional check to recharge it it can be done later. I was under the impression that cards are usually discarded/etc as soon as it is relevant to do so.

Previous rules threads have suggested, for example, that you discard/recharge a Potion of Healing before getting the heal off (if you have a power making that occur). Also, if you choose not to make a recharge check, spells are discarded immediately; this is even officially recognized by the design team, because that is the only reason (as far as I know) why the functional effect of Life Drain was changed via FAQ and reprints.

Race Dorsey wrote:
Regardless of where it is, I think given that it is on the redemption card is a pretty clear indicator that the intent here was for it to be able to be redeemed.

I don't feel that's a reasoning; that could just be for Season of the Righteous playthroughs or Wrath of the Righteous; all non-blessings with the Corrupted trait are listed on the Redemption card. After all, Hell's Vengeance 2 includes a Redemption card though there's not a single way to redeem them in the deck.

Two unrelated questions, though both shared in that they are rare to mean anything except when very specific cards are played with very specific characters.

Plus a third question that came up in a PbP I'm participating in, if only because I was struck with how incredibly underwhelming a card was.

Question 1: Codex of Conversations

Codex of Conversations wrote:
When you would discard for its power an ally that lists Diplomacy in its check to acquire, reveal this card, then attempt the check to acquire that ally. If you succeed, you may recharge that ally instead of discarding it.

Codex of Conversations is possibly my favorite boon in any of the Ultimate Decks, interestingly enough, but it raise a particular question for me. When you attempt the check to acquire an ally with it, are you making a check against the Item (Codex of Conversations) or against the Ally you're trying to recharge with its power?

On a related note, it says to attempt the check to acquire that ally, but is it treated as a check to actually acquire the ally for the purposes of other card effects?

These could generate different interactions with different powers and cards. For example, you could discard an ally to explore, then reveal the Codex to make a check to acquire it, then use the Bloodblade for your "check to acquire it" and then banish the ally to heal yourself. Also, whilst you are clearly making the 'check to acquire' listed on the ally, since you're not actually acquiring the ally as a result is it counted as a "Diplomacy check to acquire an ally", therefore enabling you to use the Menacing Backsword +1 on that check?

Question 2: Raise Dead (and variants)

Raise Dead wrote:

Discard this card and choose a dead character. That character shuffles 10 of his buried cards at random into his character deck and draws a new hand. That character is no longer dead.

After playing this card, if you do not have the Divine skill, banish it; otherwise, you may succeed at a Divine 14 check to recharge this card instead of discarding it.

Various variants of the spell, like Mythic Hierophant and Breath of Life, almost always work the same way; "shuffle 10 cards in, then draw a new hand. The character is no longer dead". So when, or how 'frequently', does the game check for someone dying, because what if a character has an 11 card hand size, like Tup?

It seems like it would go...

"That character shuffles 10 of his buried cards at random into his character deck and draws a new hand." -> Tup tries to draw 11 cards, and dies. -> "That character is no longer dead." -> Um?

Does that last part become an impossible instruction and is ignored, or does it then take effect, leaving Tup alive with 10 cards, doomed to die on his next hand reset if he can't get an 11th card? I think it's the latter, because he's still dead, even after the hand redraw, until that sentence "That character is no longer dead" occurs.

Question 3: Holy Phylactery

Holy Phylactery wrote:

The difficulty of the check to acquire this card is increased by the scenario's adventure deck number.

During an encounter, bury this card to ignore the Corrupted trait on a boon until the end of that encounter.

After playing this card, you may succeed at a Divine check with a difficulty of 5 plus the scenario's adventure deck number to discard this card instead of burying it.

If a corrupted weapon has a consequence for playing it ("before playing this card, discard the top card of your deck" and the like), you can't actually use the Holy Phylactery to prevent the downside, it seems. You have to play something like a weapon (or whatever defines the skill you're using) prior to playing other cards that effect the check, which is clearly outlined in the rulebook. Everything from Sacrificial Dagger, Rod of the Viper, Stalker's Crossbow, Traitor's Blade and plenty of other Corrupted weapons will never gain a benefit, and an extremely small number will ever get any upside.

However, does this line up with the rules as intended? Whilst there are other advantages to the card - notably you can ignore the corrupted trait on top of the blessing discard pile - it is overall an extremely restrictive card when it no longer helps with utilizing a good majority of Corrupted weapons, which in turn make up a very, very large portion of all Corrupted boons in the game that can be used during an encounter (blessings aside). Especially for a card that has to be discarded (at least) for its effect; it's power level is so low that I feel like it must be a case of the RAW not lining up with the RAI.

Note that almost the only effect I can see being half-useful (ignoring the Corrupted trait on top card of the blessings deck) is still incredibly weak, because the most common consequence that could ever have is a corrupted blessing forcing you to discard a card... when this item is being buried or discarded anyway, that makes using this item weaker than literally doing nothing at all. Kyra can turn a single one of her blessings into non-corrupted ones, but would that ever be worth an item that you're discarding to do so?

So I've listed some questions about PFSACG Hell's Vengeance characters in another thread, but primarily from the perspective of using them as 'substitute' characters from the 4-P1 and 4-P2 scenario rewards. Strictly speaking, I haven't gotten any official answer on those questions, but I have got cartmanbeck/Tyler's thoughts on them, which is as official as I need given that I only play PFSACG via play-by-post.

I've got a couple more questions just about generally using Redemption Cards in PFSACG that I'd like answers on, as they may affect decisions I make with at least one of the characters I'm playing.

Question 1: What can you actually redeem? - (This is actually a repeat of a question from the thread linked above)

So in normal Wrath of the Righteous, you can only redeem a card you actually have in your deck. However, in this blog post, Mike Selinker made a throwaway statement that seems to contradict that.

Not Half Bad Indeed: Hell's Vengeance Makes Its PACG Debut wrote:

[...]such as banishing that Asmodean Disciplines. (You can even banish that book to redeem itself.)

Assuming that wasn't a mistake; have you always been allowed to do that, because it's considered "in your deck" as you're banishing it?

Question 2: Is the card considered redeemed by everyone?

If I redeem a card, then hand it to another player, does it get the Corrupted trait back when used by them? On a related note, if I redeem a card and there's another player using the Hell's Vengeance decks, is it redeemed for them as well (whether they like it or not)? In normal Wrath of the Righteous play, the Redemption card is shared by all players, but what about PFSACG? Here's the only relevant rules I can find.

Pathfinder Society Card Guild Guide pg 9 wrote:

Redeeming Cards

If your character deck includes a redemption card, when you are allowed to redeem a card, choose one of your cards that’s listed on that card and check it off. In any scenario that character plays, cards checked off on that redemption card no longer have the Corrupted trait.
Redemption Card from Hell's Vengeance wrote:
Cards checked off below no longer have the Corrupted trait.
Class Deck Rules token from Hell's Vengeance wrote:


When you are allowed to redeem a card, choose one of your cards that’s listed on a redemption card and check it off on that card. Cards checked off on redemption cards in any scenario you play no longer have the Corrupted trait.

The rules, as written, seem to suggest that yes; a card redeemed by anyone in the party is considered redeemed for all players as long as that player is participating in the scenario. Hence "Cards checked off on redemption cards" and the like. Seems kind of rude that Lazzero trying to redeem his cards will be weakening Linxia in the process. Nevertheless, some confirmation of that would be appreciated.

zeroth_hour2 wrote:
You literally couldn't ID all the possible combos; that would bleed into the Starfinder IDs (which start at 2001 I think)

That just sounds like a challenge to me. Bring on Yoon with a laser rifle!

filch133 wrote:
Aspect of the Frog and Aspect of the Monkey are discarded at the end of turn, but Aspect of the Tiger ends at the end of the scenario?! Is that purposeful or a typo?

Intentional. Most aspects are turn-long, but some are not. Aspect of the Tiger would be a very unimpressive Deck 5 spell otherwise, in my opinion. As it is, its now more comparable to the end-game Shapechange spell from Wrath of the Righteous.

Scribbleface/Not-Scribbleface wrote:
I don’t really have much interest in any of the loot. Automatic unlock for 2d4 fire damage sounds Terrible.

Depends. If you have Sweet Dragon Costume in hand, it's just an auto-defeat, since that removes fire damage from you. If you have most normal armor, it reads "bury and armor and this" to defeat a barrier. Or if you run on few cards in hand.

I know some of my RotR teams would have killed for that card in AD6 when we seemed to endlessly hit Avalanches that nobody in the team had more than a d8 to defeat, and that barrier can basically freeze up the entire game until SOMEONE defeats it, as it remains on top. Awful stuff.

But yeah, not really good for this team. If only we had a Radovan player with immunity to fire.

Ah, I did not know about that reward! My apologies.

Is that really all 3 printings of him? Curious, but there's precedence for that with the "Rangers with the Hunter Deck" reward, I suppose.

Shnik wrote:
You're also missing all the Lems from the OA1 list.

Occult Adventures 1 features a Psychic, a Spiritualist and a Mesmerist. Lem is a Bard, and so cannot be used with OA1.

I believe he does exist in the avatar database, as do almost every iconic in the card game. However, a huge amount of them cannot be found if you try to use any filters, as I reported here.. In addition, you can't navigate between pages or see later 'columns' of avatars as reported here, rendering most of these iconics unable to be found or selected. But, again, they are actually 'available', there's just technical problems preventing them from being selected.

Can confirm this problem makes avatar selection range from "a pain" to "impossible", depending on what precisely you're trying to do. It's also worth noting that the issue I reported here in May is still present, and avatar pictures that were made available after a certain date (I believe at least a date one and a half years ago) are unable to be found with any filters. This, among other things, makes it impossible to search out a great many iconic characters, such as any image of the Spiritualist, Estra.

I am interested, and - as EmpTyger should know - I consider myself a reasonably active poster, especially if I can forgo flavor text every now and then when I have less time to post.

I would be planning to play Zadim (Inquisitor Class Deck) with Ultimate Equipment, and I'd solo my way through the scenarios up to this point, since I physically own the PDFs and the RotR set.

Let me know how many players you'd optimally want and if you have any particular preferences for a character or anything else.

Super cool, I love the math and the full listeing! But there might be a couple of errors in the full post. Under Hell's Vengeance 2, for example, you list (Formatting excluded):

Andrew Warner wrote:

Hell's Vengance Character Deck 2, Darago (Witch Class Deck), Unlock, x5

Hell's Vengance Character Deck 2, Emil (Hell's Vengance Character Deck 2), Open, x5
Hell's Vengance Character Deck 2, Nyctessa (Hell's Vengance Character Deck 2), Open, x5
Hell's Vengance Character Deck 2, Zelhara (Hell's Vengance Character Deck 2), Open, x5

I think the "Darago, (Witch Class Deck), Unlock, x5" is the result of some copy-paste errors. Unless there's some really big, super odd unlock reward I don't know of, since I only know Darago as a Wizard Class Deck character.

It doesn't make mention of the RotR Ezren, MM Ezren or WotR Imrijka that are possible to use with HV2 on account of being a class match, either.

Hawkmoon269 wrote:
The aspects are really interesting. I'm really wondering if the Aspect of the Tiger has a recharge check for a reason other than corner case proofing.

I can think of at least two cases in which it matters; Seltyiel (S&S) and Amaryllis (Sorcerer Class Deck) can attempts checks to recharge spells in their discard pile, so it allows you to discard it to damage (or to an effect or by choice) and recharge it later.

...Okay, so not great examples, because neither of those characters have Divine magic, but nothing a little Glamour can't fix! I'm glad to see the recharge check, anyway, due to corner cases like that.

Interesting; the Weretouched ability to manipulate the top card of the blessings discard pile makes it very easy to get infinite turns with WotR's Imrijka (Wandering Judge role). In Mummy's Mask it's particularly notable because of the reveal power for Blessing of Wadjet, but even with the tiniest amount of repeatable healing it's pretty trivial to turn every blessing of Imrijka's into a free bonus turn for the party with Zova's assistance.

I love Zova's design, though; it's probably a bit more extravagant than I expected, which is something of a relief. I've sometimes felt like there's an enormous overlap in design spaces across the 16 Hunters/Druids/Rangers out there, and I love this almost "Monk-meets-kineticist-meets-hunter" style of design.

Vampire Squid disappointed me somewhat by the standards of a deck 4 ally, but that's largely because I've been spoiled by the deck B Hyaenodon from Mummy's Mask.

bbKabag wrote:
Oh boy! Imagine having to type out what Recharge means in every card? we would actually take 10 steps backwards and be extremely limited in what a card can do. Cards can only have so many words as it is.

"My favourite thing about RotR Seoni is that she automatically passes checks to put-spells-on-the-bottom-of-her-character-deck-instead-of-discard!"

I'm a serious fan of virtually every type of card game, and am well-acquainted with a great many varieties of the genre. That can potentially compromise my ability to judge what may or may not be 'too much' for a new player to learn, because a lot of elements come naturally to me that may not be representative of the target audience.

Personally, however, I completely agree with Axoq above. A common misconception with keywords - including in Card games - is that they mean you have to learn more. In truth, you often have to learn something different rather than something additional, and it often makes the game faster to learn as well as saving on card space. Magic the Gathering has very clearly-defined, simple 'evergreen' keywords that, when replaced with the full rules text, makes a relatively simple card appear complex and easy-to-misinterpret. To try to make a PACG abstraction, compare the following.

Example Item:
"Discard this card to add a die to a local check, or to evade a bane you encounter, or to reroll your check results."

Example Item:
"You may choose to discard this card whilst a character at your location is making a check to add an additional base die of a size equal to that of the skill being used for this check. No other items may be played on this check.
When you flip over a monster or a barrier, you may choose to discard this card to shuffle that card back into the deck instead of encountering it. It is neither defeated nor undefeated.
After tallying the results of a check made by your character, you may discard this card to reroll all dice rolled on that check; take the new result. No other items may be played on this check."

A discussion on that example:
Note that I have used at least one keyword from the playtest ("local") but otherwise used some shorthand elements, including universally accepted keywords/phrases like "Bane" and "add a die" in the first example. In the second example, I spelled out some of those terms, breaking them up into 'core' elements that would be less reliant on rulebook information (such as only playing one card per type onto a check - which is going to become stricter with the upcoming rules changes).

By removing any semblance of keywords, and assuming less knowledge by the player; not only have I made the card less readable I've arguably actually made it harder to learn. A new player needs to read and re-read about 120 rather than 25, and they need to untangle additional details which are normally ascribed whole paragraphs in the rulebook (like what "a die" is when its added to a check).

Obviously, the example is a poorly-conceived one for a few reasons, but I think it still helps paint a picture as to how keywords are the friends of new players as well as old, rather than the enemy. Players quickly grasp "what" a card does based on small clues rather than having to read large paragraphs and try to link them up with other paragraphs. Players pretty intuitively pick up that weapons are used in combat and what "For your combat check" means, and they pretty intuitively pick up that defeating Villains causes closes even though it doesn't say that on the card.

On the other hand, players (in my experience) often have trouble checking that "a character at your location" includes themselves, or "any check" includes characters at other locations. These can be clarified on the cards themselves, but you'd be almost doubling the card text on a given blessing, let alone something like Blessing of Maat, rendering a pretty elegant, understandable card with a replacement, post-roll add and defense functionality into a series of long paragraphs trying to define long-understood terms.

In my opinion, to sum up.
-Keywords have always existed, just not by that name. "Recharge", "Bane", "Boon" and "Evade" are obvious ones, but strictly speaking even words like "You" or "Any" or "Check" or "Defeat" or "Die" (as in, a singular dice) or "Dies" (as in, character death) or even "Discard" are all shorthand words to describe a particular condition or situation that players almost never have any issue with. With new keywords incoming to potentially shorten other common situations like "At your location" or "You may play another X on this check" the game actually becomes easier to remember and interpret in many cases, not harder.
-A major role of the rulebook, when well-designed, is to limit or eliminate misconceptions. When players are unsure; they refer to it.
-The sole role of a card, when well-designed, is to allow a player to do something or interact with the game. Spelling out the conditions and expectations in a wordy manner makes the card less readable and more confusing, even if it strictly allows for less room for misconceptions.

(As an example, since "Recharge" has been a keyword since the inception of the game, I'd be very happy to see a keyword introduced for "Place on top of your deck", which has become more and more common in design space in post-MM Class Decks.)

I admit I'm a bit confused about the idea that Nok-Nok can prevent Structural Damage.

This forum thread (specifically the post I linked) seems to confirm that Structural Damage can never be prevented by anything that prevents damage "To a player" inherently, according to Mike Selinker. To quote designer Chad Brown just a couple of posts lower...

Chad Brown wrote:

[...]Thus, sometimes we prevent damage dealt by a bane, and other times we prevent damage dealt to a character. The first stops Structural damage, and the second doesn't. This is intentional.

It's not an accident that we put some cards that *can* reduce Structural damage in the set with Ships. It might be an accident if we put cards in RotR that effectively reduce Structural damage, and we'd like to hear about those.[...]

There's a little gray area in Nok-Nok's power with the precise wording dancing around some concrete terms, but it certainly does say "you would discard as damage". That sounds like it's preventing damage dealt to him, or to use Chad's words; it sounds more like "damage dealt to a character" and objectively not "damage dealt by a bane", which were the two options floated in the quote above.

I feel like the intent would be that such powers could not reduce Structural Damage (if only because of how significantly it overshadows actual role powers from S&S which slightly reduce Structural damage), but I feel like there's a grey area in the rules. My guy is telling me that Nok-Nok should not be able to reduce Structural Damage, but I'm happy to be proved wrong.

No. At least one character, however (Warpriest Class Deck - Oloch) has an ability that allows them to do that, at a cost, but it is not a part of the standard rules at all.

Current playtest information suggests that a rule almost identical to what you're suggesting will be introduced with the next PACG Adventure Path, which will include some rules-changes.

Aric/The Red Raven is a pretty complex character, and not one I recommend for new players. He interacts quite closely with specific rules situations, but I'll answer some of your questions as best as I can, in brief.

Daniel Damasceno wrote:
1.Eric have 6 cards on hand, Ravin have 4. What is working the change between characters and about this quantity of cards?

Your hand size usually only matters at the very end of your turn, when you reset your hand. You reset your hand AFTER apply any other end-of-turn effects, and when you reset your hand you have to draw up to your hand size (or discard down to your hand size). This means that ending your turn as Aric will leave you with more cards in hand, and more options to play with.

Switching your character token mid-turn will not change the amount of cards that are currently in your hand (though it will let you exchange one card with a card in your Kit).

Daniel Damasceno wrote:
2.Yes, this character have one kit with 3 cards and could be used to change between Eric(Human) and Ravin (Avenger).

The Kit doesn't allow you to switch back your card tokens, it just gives you an extra stockpile of cards you can draw from when switching back and forth. This is so that you can have the right cards for the right character - having weapons that require proficiency aren't that helpful in Aric's hands, but excellent in The Red Raven's. A lot of allies aren't that helpful for The Red Raven, but are excellent for Aric.

Daniel Damasceno wrote:
3.Eric is better to find Ally, Item, Bless, (boon) while Ravin is better to find barrier and monster (Villan, Henchman)

As a general rule of thumb, yes. Aric is better at acquiring boons and exploring faster, and The Red Raven is much better at fighting monsters and is better against most barriers. (Some barriers will be better dealt with by Aric with Knowledge checks, but those are rare)

Daniel Damasceno wrote:
4.If I decide use Eric for my first exploration on location and found a monster, what´s the procedure to do? I could fight with monster if I have weapon like Eric or I need using one card of my kit and change to Ravin to encounter the monster?

You can only switch characters back and forth when a power lets you do so. Originally, they can only switch at the start of their turns, and in the process they swap a card with one from their Kit if they want. (Note; This means the Kit will always have exactly 3 cards in it, no matter what)

If you want to swap your tokens mid-turn, you'll need to use a specific card effect (Mask of the Red Raven, an item) or you'll need to take the Power Feat(s) that let you switch when you examine a card in a location deck. A strong strategy is to use cards like allies that say "Examine the top card of your location deck, then (you may) explore your location", like Psychic Investigator, so you can do something like this.

1. Explore normally (preferably as The Red Raven, because he can handle combat checks easier).
2. Discard a card like Psychic Investigator to EXAMINE the top card of your location deck. It's an ally with a Diplomacy check to acquire in the deck!
3. Use your power (if you've gotten the power feat) to switch your character token so that you're now Aric.
4. Psychic Investigator lets you explore, now that you've switched to Aric.

As you develop more feats, being able to examine cards before you encounter them is essential so that you can switch into the right character for the right purposes. As a general rule, though, on your own turn you should always stick as The Red Raven because Aric is very, very poorly suited to combat (which is a major part of the game).

Daniel Damasceno wrote:
Could you give me details, like a simulation step-by-step about one round and your variance/possibilities?

That would be more complex. As I said, I generally recommend sticking as The Red Raven early on, and then switching back and forth based on Examination effects once you can. If you end up having to fight as Aric, you'll usually need to discard weapons or get additional support (like blessings) to have a decent chance at passing combat.

However, Aric has a much larger hand size, an amazing Diplomacy check (which can be leveraged with boons like Quick-Change Mask in the Ultimate Intrigue deck) and is generally better at exploring with allies and acquiring boons.

Master Elodin wrote:


Are the other classes not included because you do not have them?


1. No. Searching is not examining - there's a rulebook line somewhere that even states the difference. After a search, you shuffle the deck, after an examination, you don't (unless stated otherwise). Searching will not cause Triggers to go off, etc.

2. Also no and no. You cannot play a card or use a power to examine a card that does not exist. On a similar note, you cannot play a card that would allow you to move if there is only 1 location in play (there's a few scenarios where this may be the case) and so you have nowhere to move to. You cannot play a card for an instruction that you know is impossible, basically.

You can, however, examine the same card in a location deck as many times as you want. This can allow characters like Adowyn (WotR) or Zadim (MM) to recharge any number of cards in their hand whenever they want (as long as they aren't at an empty location and it's not during a check).

Eesh, and here I was hoping that I was missing something. It still seems clear that other characters can play cards, at least.

If being 'ghouled' is representative of being paralyzed or knocked unconscious, then I find it amusing the idea that you could pass a combat check with your Strength/Melee (and being boosted by other player's blessings) whilst unconscious.

Many thanks!

Alright, so it describes to players that they're not forbidden from playing cards during the end of their turn if its relevant to the situation - an effect that says "at the end of your turn, examine the top card of your location deck" might cause an encounter to occur (via Triggers) after all, so it'd be useful to know that you're still allowed to play weapons and blessings even in this technical step.

Thank you, I'm sufficiently convinced by that interpretation, which had previously gone over my head.

Hawkmoon269 wrote:
[...]After the "first" instruction the next thing you do is reset your hand. No space in between for free play. Then the turn passes. No space there either.[...]

Yeah, that was always my understanding until I challenged my own understanding by mis-parsing the rulebook. There's no "space" between "End your turn -> reset your hand" for cards to suddenly end up being played.

The precise wording feels somewhat misleading to me; I would never question if I was allowed to play a card during a check, as long as it was relevant, so it's odd that it's clarified in this particular method to me. Perhaps it's simply a matter of how I mentally parsed it.
EDIT: Okay, whilst it still reads oddly to me, it does seem grammatically consistent... and reading that forum thread linked below does give me a certain appreciation of the various edits and rewrites this particular facet of the rules has undergone.

This does, however, bring up a new question.

"While you do this, unless a power directed you to end your turn, you may play cards and use powers."

Does this mean that if you're directed to end your turn (lets say, through the effect of the Ghoul monster), and that causes a non-optional effect to occur (like a scenario that says "When you end your turn, roll a 1d6. If you roll a 1, summon and encounter the Henchman Bandit Henchman", or something that made you examine the top card which could be a trigger), then you cannot play cards when resolving this effect?

If I'm forced to end my turn, and something else causes a check to be made (like an end-of-turn recharge on a displayed card, or a summoned bane), am I not allowed to play any cards or use any powers? If I summoned a Bandit, could I not reveal a weapon because this is something that's happened "while" ending my turn, but I was directed to end my turn by a power?

With some googling, I've found a rather long forum thread from years ago bringing up similar questions based on rules that were subtly different at the time, but I'm not sure how to correlate a specific statement (or which statement) in that forum that could confirm why I would - or would not - be able to play a weapon in an encounter that occurred during the end-of-turn, if that end-of-turn was forced by a power.

I suppose a clearer question would be thus. If I'm forced to end my turn by a monster effect, and the scenario power says "when you end your turn, succeed at a Constitution or Fortitude 4 check or bury your hand", am I allowed to play a blessing on that check, even though my turn was 'forced' to end? Why or why not? The rules seem to imply I cannot, but this could be a pretty significant issue when a weapon is expected to pass certain checks.

Can other people play blessings on such a check? I believe they can, because the rulebook only uses the magical word "You".

For reference:

MM Rulebook, Page 8 wrote:
End Your Turn: First, apply any effects that happen at the end of the turn. While you do this, unless a power directed you to end your turn, you may play cards and use powers. Then, reset your hand (see Resetting Your Hand on page 14). When you’re done, the turn passes to the player on your left.

I have always played that you cannot use cards or powers after you have declared the end of your turn, unless they are explicitly called out as being played at the end-of-turn. You call the end of turn, end-of-turn effects (optional or mandatory) apply, then you reset your hand.

However, reading the rulebook closely seems to contradict that assumption of mine. It says that you can play cards and powers there (without specifying that they must state anything particular), and other points of the rulebook make clear that you can play cards and powers at pretty much any point outside of an encounter (you can just only use them to explore during the exploration phase).

Does this mean you can use an end-of-turn effect, then use a card that does not specify a specific timing, between the end-of-turn and your hand reset? For example.

"Kyra discards Camel at the end of her turn to move from the Tarworks to the Brickworks, then uses Cure to heal Valeros at the Brickworks before resetting her hand."

I would have though that would be an illegal play, but the rulebook may have just pointed out to me that I may have been wrong on that this whole time. Is that the case?

eddiephlash wrote:
Ult. Wilderness has a bunch of alchemical cards that the Alchemist characters might enjoy.

I haven't gotten Ultimate Wilderness yet. Interesting; I suppose that's partially to support the druid, Channa Ti? The original Druid Class Deck had little that particularly suited her in that regard.

I find it hard to believe that Ultimate Wilderness could come close to Ultimate Equipment for an alchemist, though.

VampByDay wrote:

The thing is, I always assumed a combat check was 'any check that involves combat,' not a specific check. Because Combat checks can be strength, melee, or ranged checks, I assumed that they were just . . . like . . . a classification of checks, not a specific check. Let's see if I can explain it better.

So you have skill checks, which is a type of check, then you have a subset of skill checks called combat checks, then you have individual skill checks. I guess it would be like a trait. Yeah, think of combat checks as checks that have the combat trait instead of a specific type of check and you are fine.

That doesn't quite answer my question as to whether we such a solution would keep the "one replacement power per check" rule or not, but I assume we still keep that. Instead, this hypothetical solution would rule that using a weapon or spell for a combat check does not count as a skill replacement (because we're treating combat as a 'special case' rather than a 'type' of check) then that means Varril can use weapons with his Divine skill and, in fact, all of the 'problematic' characters work again (Except for Weapon Master Valeros, I think).

I still think it's misleading, though.

"For your combat check, use Ranged." -> "For your Ranged check, use your Knowledge skill instead." == Legal situation with your hypothetical rule.

"For your check to acquire an ally, use Ranged." -> "For your Ranged check, use your Knowledge skill instead" == Illegal situation, despite sharing identical wording besides that they care about a slightly different condition of a check.

Unless we remove the whole "One replacement per check rule" entirely, in which case there may be more issues in the future.

I think I'm slightly more in favour of errata'ing all of the five problematic characters (Mother Myrtle, RotR Valeros, Varril, Rivani, Zelhara) to clarify things. Perhaps when the RotR core set is released, one of the new keywords will be helpful for errata reasons like this? Like the "Freely" keyword that was floated in the playtest, perhaps you could "Freely" replace a check type, therefore not running afoul of the one-replacement-per-check?

I'd be interested in how the Errata plays out for Varril in particular, because he feels a bit too good to me if he can use his Divine skill with any weapon (Compare to Zelhara in powers and recall he can use his Divine skill for anything). But on the other hand, if he can't use his Divine skill with weapons, then he is an absolute pain for virtually anyone playing him if they don't own an Ultimate Add-On deck, due to the virtually complete lack of attack spells in the Inquisitor class deck. Without an Add-On deck, his combat skills are about equal to Aric, who was intentionally designed to be extremely weak at combat.

It feels like he was intended to be used with weapons (the boon variety of the Inquisitor class deck and his own Card List all but confirms that), but he rather overshadows both of the remaining inquisitors if he can do so, trading away slightly weaker combat checks and requiring more card usage in order to gain stronger support, stronger exploration potential, stronger boon acquisition, stronger closing checks, stronger spellcasting and stronger checks against barriers.

Dulcee wrote:
Yewstance wrote:
EDIT: I'm also a little surprised that Tyler didn't mention using Ultimate Magic with Arueshalae, when it's got quite a bit of Diplomacy-matters...

Sorry for the additional post quoting your message, but the site was acting up for me, and it kept crashing when I tried to edit the message.

I was curious about this, so I decided to pull out my Ultimate Magic deck to see if I'd enjoy using it with Arueshalae. Aside from the Codex of Conversations you mentioned, I wasn't able to find any other cards that utilized her Diplomacy. Maybe my eyes are tired and I'm completely overlooking them, but it seems like Intrigue might be a better fit if you're looking for Diplomacy-related cards. I'll take a look at it again later after I've rested my eyes. :)

No, you're completely correct. "Quite a bit of Diplomacy-matters" is entirely wrong. At most, it has the basic ally Chronicler, Binder's Tome and Blessing of the Seventh Veil as quality diplomacy or charisma-oriented cards. But I do feel like Codex of Conversations is in the top 5 most potentially build-defining boons in any Ultimate deck (okay, fine, maybe if I exclude Ultimate Equipment, which has some incredibly gamechanging cards like Alchemist's Kit and Robe of Items).

Intrigue certainly lets you substitute Diplomacy for noncombat checks, use Diplomacy in combat and has a couple of potent charisma/diplomacy oriented allies (albeit the latter of which far more suited to Charisma-based casters, as a whole).

I'd still be more interested in just Codex of Conversations and steal everyone's allies to just create an ever-growing cycle of neverending ally explorations whilst evading anything Arueshalae pleased. Codex of Conversations is why I took Ultimate Magic with OA1 Estra for a psuedo-infinite exploration combo, since she draws a card when passing Charisma checks with one of her roles (and can develop a killer Diplomacy skill).

However.... if Arueshalae can only be used in Season of the Righteous anyway, that significantly changes what you'd want out of her Ultimate Add-On. Intrigue's ability to improve her noncombat checks would be ideal to deal with Armies and the like, whilst it's also one of the few sets where you'll consistently be pressured to make huge combat checks, and so Ultimate Combat would be a meaningful improvement.

Dulcee wrote:
Yewstance wrote:
Dulcee wrote:
Yewstance wrote:
To be fair, only 1 of Arueshalae's roles makes any reference to the Desna trait, and it only references it once, in a single power that can actually be used with any blessing.

I'm not sure what you mean by her Owner cards having a very narrow purpose. I used them quite a bit in WotR, and I would make use of them a lot in OP if I had more Desna cards to work with them. (Well maybe not the staff so much, but the bracers and bow would still be useful in any OP adventure if she had some Blessings of the Starsong.)

Sadly, I haven't been able to play her in "official" games yet, so I'm very much looking forward to her becoming openly available.

If you play as her in OP, you don't get her Owner cards, in case you're not aware. If your character card lists a specific card on it (like a Cohort or Loot Ally), then you get to include it, but otherwise you're limited solely to boons from your Class Deck. Arueshalae never mentions her Desna-owned cards on her character card, so they are completely unavailable in Organised Play, and in no way can impact her build.
Actually you do. The boon that allows you to play her specifically says you also use her Owner cards when you reach the adventure level.

I had no idea it said that; and I don't know where a list detailing all the possible boons are.

My profuse apologies; I was debating from a position of ignorance and I didn't know it. In that case, I retract all of my statements and agree that it kind of sucks that there's no synergy there with any Ultimate deck.

Dulcee wrote:
Yewstance wrote:
To be fair, only 1 of Arueshalae's roles makes any reference to the Desna trait, and it only references it once, in a single power that can actually be used with any blessing.

I'm not sure what you mean by her Owner cards having a very narrow purpose. I used them quite a bit in WotR, and I would make use of them a lot in OP if I had more Desna cards to work with them. (Well maybe not the staff so much, but the bracers and bow would still be useful in any OP adventure if she had some Blessings of the Starsong.)

Sadly, I haven't been able to play her in "official" games yet, so I'm very much looking forward to her becoming openly available.

My analysis was served on the assumption of playing her in Organised Play, so only her powers or the boons available in a Class Deck with her matter.

If you play as her in OP, you don't get her Owner cards, in case you're not aware. If your character card lists a specific card on it (like a Cohort or Loot Ally), then you get to include it, but otherwise you're limited solely to boons from your Class Deck. Arueshalae never mentions her Desna-owned cards on her character card, so they are completely unavailable in Organised Play, and in no way can impact her build.

So unless you want to occasionally discard a non-blessing for her heal, she has no almost no synergy with Desna cards, and the trait shouldn't impact her choice of Ultimate Add-On deck at all.

VampByDay wrote:

The thing is, there are two obvious answers to this, and I'm not sure why they are hemming and hawing so much. It seems to me that the answers can be:

1)Errata everyone's ability to instead be worded like Mavaro's ability. You gain the X skill equal to your Y skill. Thus, when you make the check, your skill is STILL an X check. So bonuses to your Y check do not apply.

Whilst this would have its own issues, I'd generally be in favor of this. In particular, it prevents the developer-mandated desire to not be able to 'chain together' skill replacements, like "For your Diplomacy check, use your Strength or Melee skill" (Menacing Backsword) and then "For your non-combat Strength check, recharge a card to use your Arcane skill" (Class Deck Padrig).

The biggest issue is that you're sapping a character's ability to use effects relating to the 'core' skill. If Rivani gains Perception, Ranged, Acrobatics, Craft or Disable "Equal" to her Knowledge check, then the conversion looks a bit like this.

Rivani has Knowledge:Intelligence +2, and has 3 Intelligence Skill feats. Her Knowledge skill works out to be 1d12+5, and when making a Knowledge check she is making an Intelligence check.
Rivani uses her power to gain the Ranged skill equal to her Knowledge skill.
Rivani has Ranged:1d12+5. She's not making an Intelligence check, nor a Dexterity or anything else.

Mostly, this impacts the use of a lot of the 'typical' blessings from all base sets, which care closely about whether you're making Strength/Dexterity/Constitution/Intelligence/etc checks, where you get to never make any of them with a Mavaro-like power, for the most part. It would also really weaken a few boons in the Class Deck which are clearly intended to be used with Rivani, such as the Ring of Psychic Mastery, which supports your Knowledge checks.

VampByDay wrote:

2)Errata the rules to say something like "When you replace a skill, such as X with Y, it becomes a check for the new skill, not the old skill. So if Varril turns a melee check into a divine check, bonuses to his melee checks no longer apply (though it is still a combat check.) (BTW, this is how I run Varril. It's how his deck is set up.)

I'd like that, and honestly until the whole Varril thing came about I 100% thought those were the rules... but that leads to the awkward grey zone of "what is a Combat check". As you mention, you'd need to explicitly list as an exception. Unless players start thinking that it's no longer a combat check once they use a weapon.

But it still doesn't quite clarify that do you still want there to be only 1 replacement-per-check? Is using a weapon and then using his power two replacements or one? As written, it's two.

It's an awkward situation; there are some solutions out there but currently none have been formally communicated, so it's still this grey area in the rules where the playerbase has been waiting for clarification for a very long time. And we may be waiting for another very long time; I suspect it'll be finally cleared up with the Core Set release.

Slightly tongue-in-cheek remark:
Aw man, that's it? Then can I formally request that the Scenario 4-P1 and 4-P2 rewards be changed and/or reworded to avoid exploitation and clarify a number of rules gaps such as Redemption cards or Banishing cards that aren't "yours"? I can offer examples of alternatives that might work better if it would help.

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To clarify why more explicitly.

Using a card does not add that cards' traits to the check unless the card is being used to define the skill you're using for the check. So using an attack spell "For your combat check, use your Arcane skill..." will add all of its traits to the check (including the Magic trait, for example), but using a supportive spell like Black Spot or Good Omen will not.

Very important when it comes to fighting incorporeal enemies!

However, you still cannot play a card that has a trait that the card being encountered is immune to. If there was a creature that's Immune to Piercing, for example, you couldn't play a bow to add 1d4, even though you're not actually adding the piercing trait. From the rulebook:

Mummy's Mask Rulebook pg 9 wrote:
If the card you’re encountering states that it is immune to a particular trait, during the encounter, characters may not play cards that have the specified trait or use powers that would add that trait to the check.

Oh, and you two just discussed what I was talking about with armors before I'd posted. Ninja'd!

Valeros Z. wrote:
Looking through the Fighter Class Deck, I'm surprised by how underwhelming most of the tier 1 cards seem to be. Am I missing something?

(I'm posting as a player, rather than as a Box Runner here. This is all purely opinion, for the most part.)

As Grazzle pointed out; which card is 'good' partially depends on the character. I will make the following comments.

Weapons: It's worth pointing out that cards with the Magic trait are often beneficial, because monsters with the 'incorporeal' trait (ghosts and such) cannot be defeated unless you use a spell or a magic weapon.

(However, Mummy's Mask has almost no ghosts, oddly enough, so a bit of a moot point here.)

Armor: The Magic armors usually have a line of text that says "You may recharge this when you reset your hand", which is an extremely big advantage. A lot of players (especially in older sets) are of the opinion that Armor cards aren't very good, because they fill up your hand (preventing you from drawing more Blessings or Allies) and don't actually do anything most turns, and when they do something it's often not much (like protecting you from 1 or 2 damage, which you could otherwise discard fine).

Exactly how useful armors are varies with the player, the set and even the scenario, for certain; but the fact remains that a lot of players simply don't like filling their limited hand size with armors. So the ability to recharge them freely at the end of the turn is great; it gets them out of your hand so you can draw something better, but still leaves them in your your deck. Remember that cards in your deck are loosely equivalent to your 'Hit points'; since you only die when you've got no deck left and need to draw a card.

Even if you do like having armor in your hand, you probably don't want more than 1 piece of armor (since a single armor can generally be buried to prevent all damage anyway) at a time, so if you have 2 armors in hand you can recharge any redundant ones if they're magical.

Fighter Class Deck: However, it's also worth noting that the Fighter Class Deck is one of the oldest of the Class Decks (along with the Wizard one being used by Darago). The design of Class Decks changes a bit over time, and the average quality of the boons tended to go up in later decks. Personally, I have no doubt that Valeros will do perfectly fine with his Fighter deck for this adventure path, but if you are hungering for more options (and more powerful options) then you're allowed to use an Ultimate Add-On deck, such as Ultimate Combat or Ultimate Intrigue, alongside your Class Deck, if you choose to purchase one. Absolutely not necessary, but it's an idea if you think more cards will cause you to have more fun.

zeroth_hour2 wrote:

By the way, I found Tyler's parsing of the power correct from a rules standpoint, but actually backwards from a thematic standpoint.

You pick Item as your FCT and then you take _out_ Items because you love them so much that you're willing to put Spells in those slots? That's really backward.

I'm hitting this problem right now in my Hoarder roled Mavaro in 4-4. The bonuses are nice - but I have to choose between the thing I "love" and the thing I actually want to be more effective in.

I've certainly noticed that. It's really awkward that if you manipulate your deckbuilding with OA1 Mavaro, you do so by favouring a card type that you want to exchange AWAY for a different type. Which means his Hoarder role always becomes weaker if you in any way lean on his special deckbuilding rules.

I agree that it's pretty annoying; and the primary reason why I don't think I'll ever play an OA1 Mavaro Hoarder. In fact, I kind of think he's just a bit annoying to work around compared to the Mummy's Mask Mavaro in general.

zeroth_hour2 wrote:

One of my players used her in SotRunelords. She uses the Gorum blessings somewhat effectively, but the most fun part was seeing her use Fortitude for all the barriers.

"I smash it... with my head!"
"But that's an Invasion Plans." (note: I don't remember this ever happening)
"It doesn't matter. I still do it. It works."

I like to imagine that Fortitude checks simply represent her effectively demonstrating infinite patience towards - or simply ignoring or not caring - whatever it is that the barrier is causing or threatening.

Swabbing the decks? They shall not force me to exert any energy, nor will I require any.
Locked chest? Iron is weak; I shall wait for the lock to rust.
Taking on water? Water is an illusion. I'm sure it'll be fine.
An Avalanche? If I wait here until summer, the snow will melt from around me.

Daniel Damasceno wrote:

Sorry but I have a lot of doubts related to Ultimate Intrigue and how works the cards.

There is some link or some material to help me to understand this addition deck, like the user guide - one example of 1 or 2 rounds with these deck?

That's a pretty big question to ask.

How familiar are you with normal Pathfinder Adventure Card Game play? Which sets have you played?

If you are thinking of buying a Class Deck (or Ultimate Add-On Deck; they're basically the same), is it for playing in Organized Play (PFSACG) or to add to your boxes at home?

Do you have specific rules questions behind how specific powers and cards work that have been shown in the blog, or are you just unsure as to what the deck, as a whole, includes?

I'd recommend trying to ask very specific questions either here or in the Rules and Questions forum for the card game in order to allow people to best help you.

The closest thing to a user guide is the description on the Store pages for Class Decks.

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If something instructs you to add a monster to a deck; it still occurs unless the Defensive Stance overrules it (which it doesn't; that's only from monsters that came from the siege deck originally).

So yes, you can have monsters - via the effect of cards like Burning Child or Corrupted Staff or Dance of the Dead - put into location decks even in siege scenarios, as rare as it is. It's actually beneficial for the players, since they might be banished in place of boons later on.

Remember that the siege deck is not a location, and you generally won't be adding anything to it.

As for your last question, I'm not entirely certain... I'd be tempted to say you DO banish from the location deck, because that sounds like a part of 'resolving the encounter' to me, and I'd rule that the game doesn't completely end until a player has finished their encounter.

I don't know the Ranger deck cards very well, but it seems likely that Ultimate Wilderness will do most to help out, since it will certainly be an Animal-and-Divine-Magic themed deck. The Ranger Class Deck was one of the "original" class decks that came with 4 characters, and are widely considered to not have an adequate selection of boons to support all of those characters equally. This was a big push for the Ultimate Add-On decks in the first place. (To be fair, the original Class Decks were more designed to be injected into Base Sets so you could play, say, a Ranger in Skulls and Shackles or something)

It's also worth noting that by playing through Season of the Righteous, you earn the ability to play with any Ranger (Base Set or Class Deck) with the Hunter Class Deck (instead of the Ranger Class Deck) in Organised Play. I strongly believe that this is anticipated to be a strict upgrade; the Ranger deck (at a glance) has a lot of low-impact cards, spells and forgettable boons, whilst the Hunter deck is chock full of very high quality ones.

You may have problems utilizing Off-Hand cards, though, and there's not many Attack spells to choose from in the Hunter Deck, but the general boon quality is much higher.

bluestacks wrote:
Anyway, I hope I am not opening a can of worms here as this is all speculation and I would always give the designers the benefit of the doubt that they won't break anything and have good reason to do a change.

(Emphasis added)

You're entirely right, of course. Despite my immediate reaction being negative... and my continued analysis of it also being negative, it is something I haven't actually seen in progress yet. Of particular note, it's likely that the design of cards and powers will change over time, and they'll become more in line with the new ruleset, of course. In particular, this particular rule may allow for something entirely new and creative to take its place; I'm just not quite sure what.

I'm absolutely, unreservedly, look forward to the upcoming Adventure Path and Core Set. A lot of my negativity comes from confusion, but it's largely restrained because of my trust in the designers, and my lack of hands-on experience. I'd love to have the pros I haven't noticed pointed out to me, because I'm certain they exist... though they may be tied into other mechanics and rules we've yet to see.

bluestacks wrote:

I apologize if this is considered off topic.

What are the pros and cons of changing the new rules to make closed locations no longer a thing?

I assume there are a lot more pros. What is the main thinking behind this change?

I am in no way disputing it, I just truly would like to learn what the reasoning(s) is behind this decision.


I should first state that I have not participated in the playtest and a lot of what I understand about the rules is hearsay. I do not know what the rules currently look like, nor do I know how they'll change, so this is all guesswork.

With that said, I would imagine the pros include the following.

  • Because old locations are cleared off the table, it's less to keep track of.
  • Because the table is effectively shrinking as you approach the end of the game, it may do a lot to make players feel like they're approaching the end, that they're closing in on the villain.
  • Because when a character closes a location, they get to move somewhere else, it means they can be in helpful positions or move with their team to help support them (there's going to be a LOT more cards that can only benefit characters at your own location), making them feel like they're being more useful for more of the game even when it's not their turn, rather than being left in a useless spot.

In my opinion, cons might include the following.

  • Cards and powers that allow you to move your character are weaker, because one of their uses has always been to move away from closed locations.
  • Some character powers that refer to closed locations are rendered entirely nonfunctional (Class Deck Lini's "Menhir Savant" role is hit harder than any other). Some cards, like Planar Tuning Fork, will also be rendered nonfunctional.
  • This rule will be difficult to apply to older Adventure Paths... or have to be outright ignored. Not only do locations that have permanent effects when closed (or keep certain cards in play when closed) have issues, but virtually any card that says "shuffle this into a random location" or "display this next to a random location" have functionally changed a lot.
  • A good example is Lightning Storm from Mummy's Mask, a barrier which you often deal with by rolling the dice a few times until it moves to a location you've already closed; that barrier would be a brutal, significantly harder barrier when there's no closed locations to move to. Some scenario rules are designed to get easier - or harder as there are more closed locations, and they may be interfered with heavily as well.
  • It somewhat shrinks design space. There can't really be powers or cards that refer to closed locations any more. Whilst closed locations could still have effects (just say "Display next to the scenario card"), it seems less likely they'll have more complex effects regarding the possibility of being re-opened, or having cards remain in the deck.
  • Auto-moving characters from closed locations make infinite-exploration combos (or things that are close to it) more powerful than they already are. A lot of those are limited to clearing one location a turn, whereas presumably now they can just end the entire scenario in one turn due to the auto-movement.
  • If a character wants to remain safe from area-of-effect attacks ("all characters at your location take 1d4 Fire Damage") and choose not to explore and stay at a closed location so they won't die (say, they have no cards left in their deck and there's no healing cards left), then they no longer have that option. If there's only 1 location left open, I assume they have to sit there and risk death, even if they explicitly do not want to explore or risk anything.

This remains the only change I have heard of from the new Pathfinder which I do not like the sound of. Everything else seems quite positive except for this particular element, and I don't fully understand the rationale. I look forward to the changes being brought as a whole, but I just do not see the same advantages to this rule as I see in every other change that has been mentioned. I mostly see a smaller design space and a pretty radical unbalance of a very large amount of pre-existing powers.

bluestacks wrote:

Sorry for the newbie question. What do you mean missing deck lists and character sheets?

Are you referring to the character PDFs that are available to download and use? Thanks!

There's a free PDF download available on Paizo, widely used, which lists all characters available in various Class Decks, as well as naming the boons that make up each class deck (hence the "Deck Lists"). There's also PDFs to download for the Base Sets.

The PDFs for the Class Decks were consistently updated for every class deck... until the Magus, since then, there's been no updates for the Magus or Hunter Class Decks, nor any of the many Character (or Ultimate Add-On) Decks that have since been released.

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Hannibal_pjv wrote:

So what ultimate deck would be best for her. Ultimate Magic? Or maybe ultimate item... Hmm... interesting to hear opinions. It is interesting how ultimate decks makes some under utilised characters more useable!

I LOVE theorycrafting with Ultimate Decks! It can lead to some really surprising interactions and synergies, and I've thought about writing full posts/documents on them, in fact. Linxia, Zadim, Zvarbel, Talitha, Poog, Zibini, Alase and (WotR) Seoni are all examples of characters with powers that are completely transformed by things that Add-On decks offer.

Since you asked, and I own all of the Ultimate Decks (sans Wilderness), I had a look through the Monk Class Deck, plus every Ultimate Deck I own, and here's my assessments. I've made a lot of long, meandering analyses, so you may want to just read the summary, or the sections you're interested in.

Athnul, her Roles and Boon Selection:
As mentioned, Athnul is awkward to find card upgrades for because she's barely reliant on her cards, and only uses 3 types of boon by default. This means she will very, very often be skipping on card upgrades, which I personally find a bad feeling (as it robs me of the sense of 'progression').

She can use up to 1 weapon and up to 2 spells, but I would imagine most Athnul players will spend her first 3 card feats maxing out Blessings, an already excellent card type that only become even better in her hands. Because she can only use 1 blessing per check (which will only add 1d6s), her normal combat of 1d6+1d0+2 (+ skill feats) will not always be enough to pass combat, certainly not against villains, as it only averages out to 11 and she can't increase that further with power feats. In other words, she'll usually need items and the like to further bolster combat - thankfully, her decent hand size means that they shouldn't be hard to find and hold onto, like the "Amulet of X Fists" cycle in the Monk Class Deck itself.

Whilst she has no specific anti-barrier powers (until Keen Strike Monk), Athnul's high Fortitude and Wisdom scores often give her a good starting point against a lot of barriers... just sadly her mediocre Dexterity limits that quite a bit.

The Monk of the Ki Fist role allows her to 'cheat' into not-banishing spells, and otherwise gives a bunch of options to improving her combat checks. There may be synergies if Ultimate Decks have any "banish-only" spells! (If you have the Faction's Favor keystone player reward, you can add Hell's Vengeance banish-only cards, like Desecrate, to her and exploit this, but you can do this anyway by exploiting the lack of low-level spells in the Monk Class Deck to just re-add it to your deck every scenario anyway). There's also her ability to examine the next card of a deck after encountering a monster, and that information can really allow her to turn "Explore, add X to your Y checks" powers into something far more consistent and powerful! If only you could give her Occult Adventures "Sign" blessings, that would be so good!

The Keen Strike Monk role allows her to develop an actual Divine skill, based on her strongest stat, as well as allowing her to beat Barriers more effectively and further bolster any combat check at her location, including her own, by an impressive 3d4 (averaging out to +7.5). There may be synergies here with weapons or other cards that say "when you roll an X on a 1d4, do Y".

Athnul and Monk Class Deck:
It's difficult to accurately judge what Ultimate Decks add when you don't first cover what the Monk Class Deck already offers, so lets see.

Weapons: Generally, Athnul will never need to take a weapon slot; there may be some Loot weapon you really want (there's some odd ones out there, after all), and the Class Deck just offers ways of using your Melee or Dexterity/Acrobatics skills in combat, which isn't her forte' when she'd have to give up her her power and Wisdom skill in the process.

Of the weapon options they do have, there are only 2 standout options for Athnul:
The Invigorating Temple Sword +2 (Weapon 3) is an acceptable weapon - especially if Athnul hasn't sunk all of her skill feats into Wisdom (perhaps to fill a team's poor Strength rolls or to prepare her Fortitude for her Role), which allows for slightly stronger attacks if you have a blessing to recharge. In addition, however, it also acts like weak Staff of Minor Healing, which allows Athnul to spend blessings more frequently.
The Keen Butterfly Sword +2 (Weapon 4) can be topdecked for a melee attack which might be a bit more powerful than her unarmed attack on the dice alone. However, the real significant point is that a 4 on any d4 acts like a 6, turning the "Average" value of a d4 from 2.5 -> 3. If you're using the Keen Strike Monk and "add up to 3d4 to a combat check", then the Butterfly Sword finally becomes meaningfully better than using her character power... if only very slightly (though it does provide a very high minimum value roll).

On the whole, though, Athnul never needs to take a Weapon Slot with her class deck.

Spells: Athnul is the only Monk that even pretends to have competence with spells. Whilst that's mostly for post-Role options, if she uses no Ultimate Deck she can certainly pick up Spell feats and start every scenario with Cure... which is definitely a viable and strong strategy! Hey, it's better than a Potion of Healing, you can hand it off to a divine spellcaster on the party if you want to, and it lets you discard a bunch of blessings happily with the knowledge they'll be drawn right back post-Cure.

Both of her role cards can effectively use Steal Soul with a single power feat, and I highly recommend that fill a spell slot. Augury or Find Traps is an acceptable second spell, but I'd generally stick with Steal Soul and Cure if I was using both spell slots, regardless of my power feats.

Armor: Hahahaha-No.

Items: Athnul doesn't care for the Dexterity-boosting cards in the deck, nor the Wisdom boosting ones, since she's not making a "Wisdom Check" even when she uses that skill with her power. There are, however, multiple "Weaponless combat boosting" items that she'll be reliant on a lot of the time, including the "Amulet of X Fists" cycle (capping out with the excellent Amulet of Furious Fists (Item 4) that adds 2d6 to her unarmed combat!).

Of other note, the Potion of Fortitude and the Ring of Wave Walking should remain valuable for the entire game if she takes the Keen Strike Monk role and is able to use Fortitude to defeat barriers. Potion of Fortitude becomes a "defeat any barrier you encounter" once per scenario, and Ring of Wave Walking is no longer an extremely conditional benefit when it's useful against every barrier! If you don't think you're going to need them (not many barriers left?), just recharge them to your power in combat!

Ring of Energy Resistance is a fan favorite card, for good reason, but I'm not the biggest fan when Athnul can evade-and-explore anyway... depending on what Base Set she's in, though.

Allies: The Monk Class Deck has a lot of allies. Some standout ones include the Evangelist, the Imp (a personal favorite of mine in almost every single deck), the 'psuedo-blessing' Exalted and and the better-than-Cure Pious Healer. If Athnul's having problems with combat, she's also got the Rogue Ape.

On the whole, though, just about all of the good allies are discard-only, and none have particular synergies with Athnul over the other Monks. If you're a Monk of the Ki Fist, then Exalted is excellent if you've taken the "Anti Henchmen/Villain" feats, but those checks are infrequent enough that you can usually save enough resources to pass those with or without those feats. The Monk Class Deck has "Good" allies, but nothing that fundamentally changes what Athnul can already do well (except maybe Pious Healer).

Blessings: Bleah. My biggest complaint about the Monk Class Deck is that, for a class all about blessings - they have crappy blessings!

Well, that's not exactly true. There's actually a good variety of solid blessings, but they're almost all the standard "1 dice to X, 2 dice to Y" blessings that made up almost all blessings in Rise of the Runelords and Skull and Shackles. The only slightly unusual ones are Blessing of Nethys and a single Blessing of Asmodeus. More modern Class and Character decks more frequently have rare and powerful blessings, sometimes unique to a deck, which usually represent "better" versions of these older blessings, and can sometimes provide more precisely-defined but extremely powerful abilities.

Perhaps more meaningfully, none of the Monk blessings recharge by default, making Athnul reluctant to overuse them without a method of healing; which holds her back as a main blessing user!

Ultimate Combat:
A lot of weapons-and-armor based stuff, so not a promising start for a Monk... but there is a small amount of monk-specific synergies, just they don't work particularly well with Athnul.

Weapons: Nothing of note... except maybe, just maybe, Pillaging Mace (Weapon 4) with Monk of the Ki Fist. Why on earth would such a mediocre weapon want to be used by Athnul? Because the Monk of the Ki Fist can examine the next card in the location deck as soon as she encounters a monster. If it's a boon, she gets a bonus to her combat check... and then can play Pillaging Mace. The combat bonus offsets the weak nature of the mace, and it means she never fails to use its power for a free acquire (and effectively a free 'exploration')! It's actually quite a compelling synergy, since it means that plenty of monsters end up providing a free explore-and-auto-acquire. But the weapon does mostly suck, so she'd better have other support cards or blessings to spare.

Spells: Bad. Mostly focuses on combat spells, which Athnul will always be bad with, and simply having Ultimate Combat means she can't automatically backfill a Cure spell. It does have the acceptable Burst of Glory and Summon Infernal Host as powerful deck 5/6 spells, but I think I'd still just prefer Soul Steal.

Armors: If Athnul COULD use armors, the late-game ones that can be revealed or recharged to improve Fortitude/Constitution checks would be excellent, but she lacks proficiency and has no armor slots, so nevermind.

Items: Some alright late-game stuff. If you're using the Fortitude-centric Keen Strike Monk, there's the Grappler's Mask (Item 3) which is "okay" for her, the Ring of Stony Flesh (Item 5) which is very good for her against barriers (bad against monsters, because it stops you using your Amulet of X Fists), and the Belt of Physical Might which is very good for her against both monsters and barriers without creating the one-item-per-check issue.

I can certainly see myself using at least 2 Ultimate Combat items at almost every part of the game with Athnul, particularly Keen Strike Monk.

Allies: Some good options here! In particular, Ultimate Combat has some allies that significant support your combat checks, often by being recharged, like Hatchetbird and Dragoon. That can lessen the strain of combat for late-game Athnul and allow her to carry only 1 Amulet of X Fists and just recharge allies when she needs the boosts until she draws it.

The early-game Allies are much better than most offered by the Monk Class Deck, but that's going to be true of most Ultimate Add-On decks.

Blessings: YES! Much improved blessings! Rechargeable Blessings of the Samurai and Shizuru! Explore-with-benefits of Blessing of the Father of Creation and Lord in Iron! The ultimate Blessing of the Oathkeeper (Blessing 6) which will add 2 dice to your combat checks and recharge! These are the most compelling reason to take Ultimate Combat, whichever your role!

Ultimate Magic:
So... Athnul can barely carry spells. Is there enough here to justify Ultimate Magic over Ultimate Combat?

Weapons: Nope, bad. NEXT!

Spells: A second Cure spell can let you just hammer every check with blessings and still keep your deck topped up. There's more late-game heal options if you're taking her down the "Divine skill" route, there's some spells that will bolster combat (like Summon Hellhounds), there's some attack spells that don't rely on your own Divine skill if you want the occasional powerful check...

I don't think there's much here that's really going to be better for her than just giving her more Curing options. The ultimate Deck 6 spell Rejuvenation is the most powerful single-target cure out there, in case you really do just plan to empty your hand of blessings by using them to support yourself or your allies or for explorations as much as you physically can. There's a couple of cards that can be recharged with Perception (which Athnul has a bunch of), but they're not particularly good with her, so nevermind that synergy.

Armors: You know the drill. Nope. Shame, I like Phoenix Cloak...

Items: There's no items really worth speaking about here. Some of the best ones, like the early-game Binder's Tome, interfere too much with her much-needed (and stronger) Amulet cards from the Monk deck.

Allies: There's a couple of the 'generally good in any deck' allies, like Cleric of Nethys (Ally 2), but nothing that really works closely and powerfully with Athnul. It does give you means of adding the Magic trait to your combat checks in the early game, in case you don't wish to take that power feat and you're having problems with incorporeal enemies... but you know, Athnul has an evasion skill for a reason, so I doubt you really need to pick an Ultimate Add-On deck just for that.

Blessings: Not as great a haul as Ultimate Combat. There's the strong Blessing of Qi Zhong, the amazing Blessing of the All-Seeing Eye and the conditional Blessing of the Lady of Graves (most useful for forcing Triggers out of a location for a couple of 'explorations', especially impressive in Siege Scenarios, and useful to combine with Athnul's evasion). Everything else is 'meh'.

Ultimate Intrigue:
Ultimate Intrigue is mostly designed for Stealthy or Diplomatic characters, and Athnul is neither. Will some boons jump out regardless? It does have an excellent suite of allies, which she carries plenty of... let's see.

Weapons: Not much. The 'backswords' help her use her mediocre Melee for non-combat purposes, but only barely. Nothing impressive here.

Spells: There's not a great deal here, but there's 2 cards of note. Charm Person (Spell 1) has a small synergy with Monk of the Ki Fist, which can force the bury-or-banish only spell to instead be discarded, but that's a very late-game synergy (2 power feats on a role card) for a small payoff. Yes, with healing you can just repeatedly Charm Person and spend your turns grabbing Ally upgrades, but you could just spend the time re-playing an ally-heavy scenario for the same outcome.

Seek Quarry, the ultimate Deck 6 spell, is a mighty game-ender by finding and isolating henchmen or villains. Is that Athnul's job to do that, though, with her limited spell slots anyway? Probably not, but at least she can evade most cards she triggers, so there's a small synergy there.

Armors: No.

Items: Basically nothing of note, except the Vestments of False Faith (Item 5) which is a strong card in a blessing-heavy playstyle. You could double-up on Rings of Energy Resistance, though I have no clue why you'd want to.

Allies: Some generally high-quality allies, serving a variety of purposes. Most of them, though, are perhaps most well known having "better exploration" powers, where you gain some additional bonus rather than a mere exploration when discarding them to do so (Secret Broker, Eyebiter, Isiem, Thrune Agent, etc). In particular, if you want to tune Athnul as a barrier-hunter with Keen Strike Monk, these allies will service you well... but in general, if you find yourself discarding allies for explorations all the time with your Athnul playstyle, then Ultimate Intrigue has some compelling arguments here at every AD#. That playstyle works best when playing with Cures and frequently recharging blessings to evade-and-explore.

A lot of powerful allies also work particularly well when you explore a specific type of card with them, like Secret Broker. Monk of the Ki Fist, with its ability to examine a card that follows a monster, is a great way to make the most of these effects! The Fortune Teller - an already great ally - becomes even better with this power, too.

Blessings: Some diverse and pretty good blessings here, particularly benefiting Athnul as a support character. Blessing of Maat, Rovagug and Vaultmaster are all fine, Blessing of the Spy is useful all game if you mostly use Blessings to explore, etc. Blessing of the Mantis God and Blessing of the Vaultmaster are very nice exploration blessings if you're a Monk of the Ki Fist with your examination powers, too!

Ultimate Equipment:
As an Item-based deck, there's sure to be some advantages her... but it also closely is tied to various weapon, spell and alchemical mechanics which Athnul won't touch with a ten-foot Quarterstaff of Vaulting. Let's see...

Weapons: A great amount of Acrobatics-based weaponry and cards that previously appeared in the Monk Class Deck. Some strong options for the other Monk characters, but for Athnul? Nothin'.

Spells: Not much. Swipe if you really want it... and another Steal Soul. Honestly, the Steal Soul is a solid option for either role of Athnul, but it'll work best if you have someone else capable of healing you on the team (or you're in a small team where you rarely need to discard your cards for more explorations).

Armors: This isn't really funny anymore.

Items: There's a good number of 'generally good' items here, including a variety to grant explorations or one-off combat bonuses... As far as ones with specific reasons to use with Athnul though? Hmm...

Athnul's deck is almost entirely cards that she CAN discard to explore with. In a boon and barrier heavy location deck, the basic Wandermeal card will do a lot of work if you display it and then discard the rest of your hand for explorations. Speaking of discarding your hand, items in this deck include Staff of Minor Healing and Ring of Regeneration, the latter in particular supporting a discard-heavy Athnul strategy, and a very strong point in favor of this add-on deck!

The late-game Robe of Items is a generally excellent card for almost any character with 4 or more items in their deck, and Athnul already starts with that many. It's an extremely powerful quasi-heal and draw card that can help Athnul bring out her Amulet of Mighty Fists, plus a couple more cards that will either benefit her other checks or provide more explorations. Make no mistake, Robe of Items should be in just about every Athnul deck using this Add-On.

But the generally good items, like Wayfinder and Sacred Candle, are perfectly strong, great cards that support Athnul greatly. With Ultimate Equipment's many ways to turn items into explorations (or blessings or deck-searches), it's pretty trivial to kit Athnul out so that every single card in her deck can be turned into an exploration, which can be pretty amazing with a healer on your team. Or maybe just a Ring of Regeneration for "heal 2 every turn".

Allies: Once again, just a lot of 'generally good' allies here. Explore with benefits, self-healing, etc. Not the same variety as Ultimate Intrigue, but still a lot of similarly good options.

Blessings: The innocuous Blessing of Wadjet (Deck B) gets a special mention from me; a great blessing to hold up in Athnul's hand (for her evasion power) that keeps giving a bonus just by being revealed. Also another reason to like Monk of the Ki Fist's 'examination' power.
Blessing of Kofusachi lets Athnul search out her Amulet of Mighty Fists easily... or in the end game, her Robe of Items to then discard to add basically the remainder of her items to her hand for an epic early turn!
Blessing of the Savored Sting is already generally good, but it might be unusually good for Athnul, given her normal 'dice' in combat is technically just a 1d6, so Savored Sting's special "add this static number" is often going to be far more significant than a normal dice.

In summary:

Every single Ultimate deck has something to add to Athnul, but I'm pretty confident in stating that, unless you're really sold on just stacking her with healing spells, that Ultimate Magic is the worst for her.

Ultimate Combat does the most to improve her blessings in a relevant manner, and push her combat checks further with allies and good items. A strong option for either role.
Ultimate Magic can allow her to stack more powerful healing spells... and offers virtually nothing else good. I would personally never take this.
Ultimate Intrigue offers some great Ally options, and solid blessings. I would often take this with Monk of the Ki Fist, and will work best in larger parties where Athnul is expected to discard her allies to explore a lot.
Ultimate Equipment does BY FAR the most to improve Athnul's items, giving her exceptional self-healing and allowing her to build a deck where every single card allows her to explore again, if she so desires. There's also some synergistic blessings here, and okay allies.

I think they're all kind of viable in their own way, but Ultimate Equipment and Ultimate Combat get my personal votes. I suspect Ultimate Equipment is just a little bit better (just because the power level difference between the items it offers and those in the Monk class deck is so great), but I think Ultimate Combat or Intrigue look a bit more fun.

I'd take Ultimate Combat with Monk of the Ki Fist if I was playing through the Wrath of the Righteous box, where I'd need to really push my combat checks to keep up with the enemies. I think Ultimate Combat would also work best in small parties (3 or less players), where discarding cards for explorations isn't really required, and Athnul can spend her time just making sure she doesn't fail checks. The larger the party, the more inclined she is towards Intrigue and Equipment.

When digging through each and every card from the Ultimate Decks, the biggest thing I think I learned was "Wow, Monk of the Ki Fist's 'Examine' power is actually really decent!". It significantly improves the value of a huge array of allies - especially in Ultimate Intrigue and Equipment - and blessings, which are much better to explore with if you know what's coming up and can also get bonus dice to certain skills or other bonuses during that exploration. It also, as I pointed out in Ultimate Combat, it hilariously works really well with Pillaging Mace in hand, despite the low power level of that particular weapon in combat.

If there's sufficient interest, I could make an example of what I'd see as a Tier 6 Athnul look like with each Ultimate Add-On deck, but in practice it would depend a lot on the season being played, and also wouldn't take into account Loot options (or Mythic Paths, etc).

Alright, alright. I've finally developed my fledgling "Character Deck Ratings", based on the suggestions and requests made in this thread. Specifically, I've made two versions.

The first version was designed to be short, and ended up with about a paragraph-and-a-half description of each class and character deck that I own (including Ultimate Add-Ons), with a generalised 'difficulty' of each deck and each playable character in those decks. It worked out as 2 class decks per page, though most of that 'page' is just the headings and formatting.

The second was even shorter, cutting out some of the formatting and shrinking it down to a short paragraph describing each class deck, some as short as two sentences. That resulted in 3 class decks covered per page, though by shrinking/meddling with the margins and headings you could easily squeeze 4 or more class decks per page.

Both versions feature links to the 'preview' blog posts for a Character/Class deck, whenever one exists.

Please let me know what you think. I'm still interested in doing a more full-fledged review of various class decks, including a detailed look at each character, their role options and how they can be used with Ultimate Add-Ons, as well as which Base Set characters work well with them, but that will all be left for another time.



I haven't had a chance to check my deck; Steal Soul is HUGE, and definitely a big benefit to using Athnul! Also, if Cure is the lowest AD# spell (rather than Detect Magic, as I had thought), then that gives her a very good reason to take a spell slot even before she gets Divine.

Note that such a strategy fails to work if you have any non-Ultimate-Magic (or presumably Ultimate Wilderness) Ultimate Deck with her, then you'll be forced to pick a different spell after inevitably banishing one.

Speaking of, I wonder if Ultimate Wilderness' Zova could work with the Monk deck? I haven't seen her yet, but none of the other Ultimate Class Deck characters really work well with it; none care for the unique Monk weapons and, honestly, really underwhelming blessing and spells compared to later class decks.

I certainly agree - and pointed out - that Athnul doesn't rely on card upgrades in OP basically at all, and will always function well. But she won't CHANGE much in adventure-to-adventure, which may make her feel boring; she doesn't "Feel" like she's getting more powerful and more cool things as easily as other characters feel that way as they get more awesome spells (Glamour!) or awesome weapons (Dwarven Earthbreaker +1!) or awesome loot.

Rooboo's actually my favorite monk, though she's also, in my opinion, the weakest. Because I just want to try so hard to make her work right; use Ultimate Equipment or Intrigue to push the relevance of her Stealth skill (including in combat), use cards that encourage you to move around (what few of them there are), play her in Skulls and Shackles where she can move everyone at her location with her and stuff. But she's just generally kind of bad; weaker than Athnul and Sajan in combat, with a weaker evade than Athnul and no super impressive Role options. She's the best at acquiring boons, largely; that's it.

I can look through the Monk Deck to get a more cohesive response in the future, but I don't see the monks played very often - and if then, I often see Rooboo because of how unique she is (at least as a race, and the only character with a +4 skill) and Sajan as the most generally strong one.

Athnul is fine, but the single greatest limitation is that as the most 'pure' monk in the Class Deck, she doesn't use most forms of boons, and she requires very specific Items (and allies) to support her combat checks, which don't scale very well into the late game without Item support. This means she needs to fill effectively all of her boon slots with custom cards from her class deck.

...and has no space or synergy with almost any standard Loot card, little benefit of Traders and rather less to change based on her Ultimate Add-On deck. There's just not that many ways to play her, and honestly I'd get bored, in an OP setting, after the party is happily using 10+ different types of loot and I'm just sitting back going "I don't use weapons. I don't use spells. I don't want to switch out my Amulet of Fiery Fists."

In practice, she's fine. Also note that the Monk deck has almost no spells. It does have Cure. I seem to recall it was super weird in terms of spells; it like had AD3 Detect Magic, AD4 Cure, AD5 Augury and AD6 something, with no spells from AD0-3? Not sure, I'd need to open my box or check the card list to find out.

I do appreciate her means of using Fortitude against barriers, and she's very strong in low tiers and basically not at all reliant on her boon selection.

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Steve Geddes wrote:

Thanks very much for that, everyone. That's all very useful.

May I ask what the timeframe is (for both the subscriptions)? It seems to me that the expansions are stopping now for a time? Any idea when they will re-commence? Or when the new-improved base set will ship?

(I'm looking for an answer like "in the next twelve months" not "June 5th". Are we in position to know that yet?)

I was under the impression that "next year's Paizocon" would feature the release of the new AP and, along with it, the new Core Set. So less than 12 months from now(?)

I don't really know, but I would assume that there will be no other card-game merchandise, in terms of Class Decks and the like, released between now and then (or at least, not following Ultimate Wilderness). I suspect there may, however, potentially be new Organised Play/PFSACG scenarios, like AD6 of Faction's Favor, released in that time.

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