Vika - Blacksmith in Season 4 of OP


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


I've looked and found a couple questions about using Vika's anti-bury Blacksmith power ("When you would bury an armor or weapon, you may discard it instead."). Generally, those questions seem to revolve around combining this with her other powers (to recharge discarded things). But I had another thought today that I wanted to check up on.

I'm currently using Vika through the Season 4 OP content (Factions Favor). Meaning, we have traders. And some of those traders require more than 1 boon as payment, with OP rules saying that anything past the first boon is buried instead of banished.

So, when I get to Tier 4 and become a Blacksmith, will I be able to use her power before the game even starts? If I want to buy something that costs 2 boons, can I banish one boon, and then bury a weapon boon for the second, and then discard that weapon instead, per her ability? That way I'd still be starting with the normal number of cards in my deck, but instead of starting with 1 buried card, I'm starting with one discarded card. I couldn't immediately recharge it, because all the recharge powers specific that you need to be discarding it "for it's power", and in this case I wasn't burying it "for its power", but for another reason entirely. But would this work?

I presume that the reason her anti-bury ability doesn't specify "for its power" is so that you can actually convert those other "bury a card" costs on other cards into simple discards (since she can always repair it, apparently), but I'm just not sure if this works because of the early stage of the game that you're trying to trigger it in, while you're still setting up the scenario.

Any thoughts?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

As-written, I believe the power applies.

MM rulebook p4: “Characters have skills, which tell you which dice to roll when you attempt a check; powers, which are special things you can do before, during, or after the game; and other details that make them different from one another” — note how it says powers can be used before the game.

Faction’s Favor: “You do not visit traders after winning a scenario. Instead, at the start of each scenario in this Adventure Path, before setting out the locations, you may visit 1 trader you have recorded on your Chronicle sheet.”

In game setup, you place your character card on the table as step 1 and build locations as step 7.

MM rulebook, p16: “Other cards on the table
Powers on cards on the table—including story cards, character cards, and displayed cards—are active whenever they are appropriate.”

Your character card is on the table at the time you visit traders. The power is therefore active when appropriate, i.e. when you bury an armor or weapon for any reason. When visiting a trader in Faction’s Favor, you return 1 card to your deck box (not banish), and bury the rest. As such, Vika’s power applies to those buried cards.

For bonus fun, you don’t draw starting hands until a few steps after traders are visited, and the rules for drawing starting hands includes this gem: “Once you have a full hand that includes your favored card type, shuffle any discarded cards back into your character deck.” That rule doesn’t care why the cards were discarded, so it would apply to Vika’s bury-turned-discarded weapons and armor as well.


That all looks pretty definitive, thanks! And I especially love that bonus fact, that the discarded cards are actually reshuffled after drawing starting hands... that's pretty awesome. And makes her so much better at the traders that requires 3 boons. Because she can just give them a couple weapons that she doesn't want in her opening hand, and end up with a full sized deck regardless of the cost. And with Weapons being favored, even with discarding a couple of them before drawing a hand, she'll always have one in hand anyway...

Okay, now I'm really looking forward to eventually getting my role card. ;-) Thanks for such a well-cited response!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Yeah, it all seems accurate to me. There are a few other characters that can also use their powers to ease the cost of traders by "digging up" their buried cards. But this might be the most immediate I've seen.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The designers see no problem here.

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