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Newbie questions


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game General Discussion

Liberty's Edge

I just bought my first ACG, Mummy's Mask Base Set. Some questions I had.

The character cards have leveling checkboxes. Am I supposed to write on the cards and erase if I start a new game?

Most of the card slots in the base set box are too big. For example there's about an inch of Henchmen cards, but the slot is like four inches big. Is this because you're supposed to mix in new cards from when you buy the adventure packs? If so, why is there a separate slot for the adventure packs? Are you supposed to store the adventure packs in the upper left corner big slot or are you supposed to mix them in with the base set cards in the bottom slots?

If I mix in the adventure packs with the base set cards in the bottom slots, does that mean I can encounter monsters and items earlier than I should? Like can I run into Pack 6 monsters and items when going through pack B?

Are non-iconic characters like Simoun and Channa Ti from some source or made whole cloth for the ACG?

What is the benefit to a player playing multiple characters? It seems like due to the blessings deck timer advancing every time the character changes, there isn't a similar action economy benefit as in the RPG. You get to take the same amount of actions, whether you play 1 character (getting to take 30 turns with the one character) or 3 characters (getting to take 10 each, still 30 turns). If I play solo, what are the pros and cons of playing more than one character and is there a general consensus in favor of playing multiple characters? Should I play as many as I can? If I solo play, should I get the add-on deck and play six characters?

When there are doubles of a character, like Alahazra is in Mummy's Mask Base Set and in Oracle Class Deck, why are they different? Is one of them considered canon? Can I use either Alahazra if playing Mummy's Mask, and only the Class Deck Alahazra if playing another adventure path?

What's a "summon"? I ran into a Geniekin card and it said to summon something but I don't know what that means. Is there an index of game terms somewhere, where I could easily look up terms when they show up?

What do you need to buy a Class Deck for, when the character sheets for the characters are freely available as downloads? Are the cards included in the Class Deck "So Much Better" than normal cards? If they're not, why not just use the free character sheet and pick your fifteen card deck from the many Basic item cards that you already have?

Can I bring in new characters between scenarios even if they haven't played up to that point? The rulebook said something about soloplaying a new character to "catch them up" to the group but can't they just join the group without having to go through the motions of having to do the past adventures?

Can a character go over their hand size temporarily and only have to discard down to their hand size when they're resetting their deck? Like if I give another character a card on my turn, and they go over their hand size, will they have to drop another card right then, or at the end of their turn?

Liberty's Edge

What happens if I go over what is listed as my "cards list". Like say, my character has 0 spells, but if I acquire a spell from a location deck, can I still keep it even though my deck isn't supposed to have spells?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Samy wrote:
The character cards have leveling checkboxes. Am I supposed to write on the cards and erase if I start a new game?

That's one option. Other options include using card protectors and writing on those or downloading the character sheets for your set from the resources page (http://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety/acg/resources) and printing those instead.

Samy wrote:
Most of the card slots in the base set box are too big. ... Is this because you're supposed to mix in new cards from when you buy the adventure packs? If so, why is there a separate slot for the adventure packs? Are you supposed to store the adventure packs in the upper left corner big slot or are you supposed to mix them in with the base set cards in the bottom slots?

You are intended to keep the cards from adventures you have not yet reached in their boxes. You start with Adventure B and only have the cards from the base set with an Adventure Deck "number" of B. (Optionally, you may have purchased the Character Add-On Deck and added the cards with an Adventure Deck "number" of C.) When you complete the B Adventure and move on to Adventure 1, you add all of the cards with an Adventure Deck number of 1 to their respective areas of the box.

Samy wrote:
If I mix in the adventure packs with the base set cards in the bottom slots, does that mean I can encounter monsters and items earlier than I should? Like can I run into Pack 6 monsters and items when going through pack B?

Continuing from above: you shouldn't encounter anything above the Adventure Deck number of the Scenario being played.

Samy wrote:
Are non-iconic characters like Simoun and Channa Ti from some source or made whole cloth for the ACG?

Looking at characters from across the Adventure Card Game product line: some come from the novels, some from existing Pathfinder RPG publications, some are characters from the Paizo staff, and some are new for the ACG.

Samy wrote:
What is the benefit to a player playing multiple characters? ...

The game plays differently with different numbers of characters; the 30-card Blessing deck time limit is less of an issue for a single character than it is for six, but single characters are often missing some important skill or game function (like healing or always being able to fight) that you may need. So when playing by yourself, you may want to play with different numbers of characters to experience these differences, make the game easier on yourself, and/or just to see how the different characters work.

Samy wrote:
When there are doubles of a character, like Alahazra is in Mummy's Mask Base Set and in Oracle Class Deck, why are they different? Is one of them considered canon? Can I use either Alahazra if playing Mummy's Mask, and only the Class Deck Alahazra if playing another adventure path?

There is no canon. They're different so you have different versions of the character to try. Outside of Guild play, you can use any character you want with any Adventure Path, though you may find that some characters don't work as well outside of the AP for which they were designed.

Samy wrote:
What's a "summon"? I ran into a Geniekin card and it said to summon something but I don't know what that means.

A summary: summon means you dig a copy of the card out of the box and do whatever the card that summons it says (typically you encounter it). The rules for summoning cards start on page 14 of the Mummy's Mask rulebook.

Samy wrote:
Is there an index of game terms somewhere, where I could easily look up terms when they show up?

Many of the concepts are listed in the table of contents of the rulebook. For others I recommend downloading the PDF of the rulebook from the resources page so you can search it for terms. (http://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety/acg/resources)

Samy wrote:
What happens if I go over what is listed as my "cards list". Like say, my character has 0 spells, but if I acquire a spell from a location deck, can I still keep it even though my deck isn't supposed to have spells?

During the game you keep anything you acquire, regardless of what's listed on your character's card list. At the end of the game, when you rebuild your deck, you have to end up with the card counts listed on your character. This is covered in "Between Games", starting on page 19 of the Mummy's Mask rulebook.

Liberty's Edge

Thanks so much! The pointer to the PDF rulebook is AWESOME, searchability helps SO MUCH I want to cry! I totally missed that summoning segment in the rulebook but with searchability, ping and I'm there. OMG THIS HELPS SO MUCH!!!


You're welcome! The PDF rulebook is definitely a big help when trying to figure things out.

Have fun! :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Samy wrote:

What is the benefit to a player playing multiple characters? ...

I'll just quote myself from another newbie thread:

There're two challenges in PACG: the Timer, and your ability to handle checks (challenges). Both of these are directly influenced by the number of characters in the game, like this:

1-2 characters: the Timer (Blessings Deck) is negligible; usually you won't need to discard cards for extra explores, and you can even allow yourself some "empty" turns in order to heal/manage you hands. HOWEVER,you'll need the most fine-tuned deck possible, and your ability to help a check is extremely limited

3-4: MOST BALANCED OPTION. Timer is a threat, but you can still afford to play safe due to the number of cards granting additional explores. You can also allow for some overly-specialized cards in players' decks, and the team as whole should be able to offer some assistance to checks at any given moment

5-6: Party support is off the hook and you'll rarely fail a check you don't *want* to fail. HOWEVER, the Timer has you against the wall; you'll need to play very aggressively - most of your Allies and a fair deal of Blessings will probably have to go towards extra explorations.

With the above in mind, I'd recommend you start with 3-4 characters if you want 'easy mode'.
Then, you may add some characters, up to 5-6: the challenge will grow perceptibly , but you're still playing the same game, that you've now spent some time getting accustomed to, and changes to your playstyle will feel like a more natural extension of what you've been doing so far.
Finally, when you feel you've gotten the hang of it: pick yourself a cool character, and try to make it solo through the Rise of the Runelords. You'll quickly notice the severe change in playstyle required, and you'll have to reconsider the value of many cards (a lot of them are awful in big parties, but indispensable in solo, and vice versa): whereas big parties represent a mostly tactical and resource management challenge, solo play is all about the deck management.

(Personally, for me 6 characters feels like the "real" game - you have a well-rounded party of specialists and you run against the clock, while acquiring awesome treasure. Not having to agonize over having to throw out awesome cards at the end of scenario, because no one in my party can use them - that's a big plus for me :)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Samy wrote:
What do you need to buy a Class Deck for, when the character sheets for the characters are freely available as downloads? Are the cards included in the Class Deck "So Much Better" than normal cards? If they're not, why not just use the free character sheet and pick your fifteen card deck from the many Basic item cards that you already have?

Class Decks do contain *some* great cards that are "So Much Better" for their particular class. However, Class Deck are mostly necessary for the official Organized Play. For your home game, you can make do with printed PDFs, unless you're an absolute completionist or you want to support the devs.

Samy wrote:
Can I bring in new characters between scenarios even if they haven't played up to that point? The rulebook said something about soloplaying a new character to "catch them up" to the group but can't they just join the group without having to go through the motions of having to do the past adventures?

The Rulebook has a few odd concepts, that many players chose to house rule. Chief among them is the "perma-death", which is closely linked with the concept that you can't give feats to a character who was added mid-adventure unless you have *really*, *physically* played all the previous scenarios in order to level up. Frankly, this seem ridiculous to me, so I'd just give the new character the same number of feats as the other characters he's just joining. If you play it by the "rules' - yes, you can immediately join the group, but with *no feats at all*.

Samy wrote:
Can a character go over their hand size temporarily and only have to discard down to their hand size when they're resetting their deck?

Absolutely.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Longshot11 wrote:
Samy wrote:
What do you need to buy a Class Deck for, when the character sheets for the characters are freely available as downloads? Are the cards included in the Class Deck "So Much Better" than normal cards? If they're not, why not just use the free character sheet and pick your fifteen card deck from the many Basic item cards that you already have?
Class Decks do contain *some* great cards that are "So Much Better" for their particular class. However, Class Deck are mostly necessary for the official Organized Play. For your home game, you can make do with printed PDFs, unless you're an absolute completionist or you want to support the devs.

Several characters have Cohorts as part of their decks. Summoners, Witches, a few characters native to the Wrath of the Righteous set, and Tup (promo goblin character from Rise of the Runelords) are the ones that spring to my mind. Those characters will not play at all well without their Cohort cards, which come with the character cards.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Plus, while it is really nice of Paizo to make those sheets freely available, the did invest resources in creating those characters. Buying the class decks is how they are compensated for that investment. So buying the class deck helps make the product profitable. Which, if you enjoy the game and want future products for it, is one of the best things it can be.

Now, no one from Paizo or Lone Shark has ever come on here and said you shouldn't download those sheets if you don't buy the product. And I am not saying that either. Bit if you like what you get, you should consider paying for it so your​ odds of getting more of it increase.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

The PDF rulebook also contains errata from many (but not all) of the FAQs. If you haven't already, give the FAQ section for Mummy's Mask a perusal.

As for questions:

New cards: When you begin the game, the only cards in the box (the slots in front) should have deck numbers B and C. When you begin adventure 1, mix in all of your 1 cards and any promo (P) cards you may have. When you begin adventure 2, mix in all the 2 cards, and so on. Never remove cards when mixing in new ones. The Adventure Path card contains the rules for when you should start removing cards from the game.

Hand size: the only time this matters are when drawing your starting hand, resetting your hand at the end of your turn, and any card powers that explicitly refer to hand size. Outside of those times, your hand can contain any number of cards. Hand size is a double-edged sword. The lower it is, the more durable you are, however you have less options to play during the game. If it's high, you are squishier, but you have lots of options. This is because taking damage means you discard from your hand, and damage in excess of the number of cards in your hand doesn't do anything. Say you take 10 damage. A character with hand size 4 discards their 4 cards, then draws another 4 at the end of their turn, leaving 7 cards in their deck; they can sustain another hit like that and be totally fine. A character with hand size 6 discards their 6 cards, then draws another 6 at the end of their turn, leaving only 3 cards in their deck. They are very close to dying, and cannot afford to lose more than 3 cards (whether from damage or simply playing them).

Card list: The card list in the back of the card only matters between scenarios. During a scenario, your deck can have any number of any type of card that you manage to acquire or otherwise add to your hand/deck. After the scenario ends, you need to make a decision on which cards you are keeping and which you are getting rid of so that your deck conforms to your card list. Any cards you do not keep are returned to the box; the only way you'll ever see them again is by encountering them in location decks and acquiring them again. Note that they are merely returned to the box, they are not banished (this distinction matters in terms of removing cards from the game when banishing them).

Checkboxes: the rulebook recommends lightly checking the card in pencil. What I do is get clear sleeves for the character cards and the mark on the sleeves in sharpie. You can also download and print the character sheets from here, as was mentioned above.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
skizzerz wrote:
... Card list: The card list in the back of the card only matters between scenarios...

Welcome to the game Samy.

I have really nothing to add: the bunch of sages that already answered are part of the best vererans of the game (except Hawkmoon which is a strange alien belonging to no human-like category : Vic knows what we ignore, Mike knows what Vic still ignore, the Gods of Golarion shape what even Mike cannot foresee yet and Hawk knows better!).

This said, just to clarify:

Your card list ONLY matters when you END the POST-SCENARIO TREATMENT of your game.
You can end a scenario with any type/amount of cards. A that point, there is still a number of things you can do without caring of your card list (retrieve displayed, discarded and buried cards, get reward, visit traders, trade with other characters that played the last scenario with you...).
Once all that is done, then rebuild your deck as per the card list.
Pack it and go to bed.

Then on the next session, BEFORE you start a new scenario you can trade cards with other characters that will start the new scenario with you(*). But since at that time you cannot rebuild your deck again, you can only trade cards of the same type (e. g. 1 weapon for 1 weapon). So your card list is unaffected and you'll start with the good deck.

(*) If you play with the same characters, there is obviously no need, but in our home game, it happens that we keep a card of interest at the end of a scenario for a character that missed that game, and we make a trade at the start of the next one.

Liberty's Edge

Thanks for your answers everyone. This helps a lot.

Does a character die when, at the end of the turn, they can't refill their entire hand? Or do they start the next turn with a deficient hand and only die when they run out of those? I.e. do you need to run out of both your deck and your hand, or just your deck?

Banish means that card can never be encountered again in following scenarios, you throw it out entirely? Should there be a separate slot for banished cards then, because banishing happens a lot and if they have to be kept separate from cards that are still in circulation...?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Samy wrote:
Does a character die when, at the end of the turn, they can't refill their entire hand? Or do they start the next turn with a deficient hand and only die when they run out of those? I.e. do you need to run out of both your deck and your hand, or just your deck?

If your deck is empty when you need to draw (or get a card in another way) from your deck, you die. That includes not being able to draw all the way back up to your hand at the end of your turn.

Samy wrote:
Banish means that card can never be encountered again in following scenarios, you throw it out entirely? Should there be a separate slot for banished cards then, because banishing happens a lot and if they have to be kept separate from cards that are still in circulation...?

Banished means put back in the box. You could encounter it later in that scenario if you have to draw a card from the box. And you could encounter it in a later scenario.. "Removed from the game" means you can't encounter it again, even in a later scenario. The easiest thing to do is put them back in their adventure deck boxes (put all the Bs in the C box).

Liberty's Edge

Thanks Hawkmoon. If banished means returned to the box, what does the following quote mean?

skizzerz wrote:
Note that they are merely returned to the box, they are not banished (this distinction matters in terms of removing cards from the game when banishing them).


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

The Adventure Path card says something to the effect of "When you begin Adventure 3, when you would banish a boon with the Basic trait, you may remove it from the game. When you would banish a bane with the Basic trait, you must remove it from the game. When you begin Adventure 5, do the same for cards with the Elite trait."

So, putting something back in the box (without banishing it) doesn't trigger that power, so any Basic/Elite cards you acquired but don't want to keep don't get removed from the game. Similarly, cards left over in location decks at the end of the scenario are put back into the box without being banished.

Your character dies when you need to do anything with your deck but don't have enough cards to do so. This includes drawing cards, but would also trigger on powers such as "discard the top 1d4 cards of your deck" or "examine the top 3 cards of your deck" (yes, examining your deck can kill you if you don't have enough cards left in there to examine).

MM rulebook, p13 wrote:
If, for any reason, you are ever required to remove 1 or more cards from your deck and you don’t have enough cards, your character dies. Bury your deck, hand, and discard pile; your turn immediately ends.
MM rulebook, p2 wrote:
Regardless of the above, if you need to do anything with any number of cards from the blessings deck (other than shuffling it) and you don’t have enough, you lose the scenario; if that happens with your character deck, your character dies.

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