Organised Play Questions regarding #4-P1 and #4-P2 Scenario Rewards


Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild


Strap yourselves in. There's a whole lot of questions coming, but I've tried to format it in a legible fashion.

For context...

#4-P1 Murder in the Marketplace; Scenario Reward wrote:
Each player may, for each future scenario, choose to exchange his character that completed this scenario with Lazzero from Hell’s Vengeance Character Deck 1. Lazzero gets the same number of skill, power, and card feats as the exchanged character, as well as all other applicable rewards that character has earned (including any valid deck upgrades and a role card if appropriate). Build Lazzero’s deck from the Hell’s Vengeance Character Deck 1 box using the Hierarchy from the Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild Guide. The exchanged character receives any rewards and upgrades from the scenario. Report the character as Unlocked Cleric Lazzero.

Special scenarios #4-P1 and #4-P2 have a total of 6 attainable rewards; including the one written above, as well as one for each other Hell's Vengeance Character Deck 1 and 2 character.

However, the scenario reward text told me a fraction of what I felt I needed to know about using such a reward, and I was left with a great deal of questions. Through very careful reading of the Card Guild Guide, plus the incredible help of the Play-by-Post table I'm currently on (in particular our Box Runner MorkXII), I've gotten answers to most, but not all, of my questions.

To make sure my presumed or discovered answers are all accurate (and to answer those I don't have an answer to), I'm re-asking all of my questions here so that the intent of this reward in Organised Play can be defined. I've covered each question individually in a spoiler (though the outcomes to some questions are reliant on other ones), and inside each question is another spoiler containing what I assume the answer to be, either RAW or RAI.

Question #1: Card Upgrades:
The reward states that your temporary character gains "any valid deck upgrades" from your exchanged character. Does this mean you may take every card upgrade you have ever earned on your original character (Spell B, Item 1, Weapon 1, Weapon 2, etc) and use any number of them in the process of building your temporary character's deck?

Does this include card upgrades that were later overwritten (such as a Weapon 1 that was replaced with a Weapon 2) or removed from your deck (such as a Banished card)?

On a related note, is an Organised Play character allowed to take a card upgrade they cannot legally use, so that their temporary character may use it? For example, if you are playing as RotR Sajan (no weapons, spells or armor, by default), can you pick up Weapon, Spell and Armor Card Upgrades - even though you have to throw them out to build a legal deck - so that you may use such upgrades when you switch to your temporary character?

My answer:

Spoiler:
There does not appear to be any precedent for "deleting" a Card Upgrade after it's listed, so even if a card is replaced or banished the original Card Upgrade may be used for your temporary character. I would argue this could allow some classes (such as Alchemists) to exploit this more than others, especially anyone that has effects like "Banish this card when you use it, then draw a new one from the box".

Page 10 of the Card Guild Guide never says that you must take a Card Upgrade that can legally be in your deck, and in fact the 'deckbuilding' and 'rebuilding' stage follows it, so it follows logically tome that you may take a Card Upgrade solely for the purpose of recording it (therefore allowing the use of it on a Hell's Vengeance temporary character) and dumping it.

I certainly hope so, because otherwise some characters can never use this character switch reward viably.

Question #2: Banishing Cards:
Is there any penalty whatsoever for banishing a card that started in your deck for a temporary character? Are you disallowed from using that Card Upgrade in the future for a temporary character, somehow?

My answer:

Spoiler:
There doesn't seem to be anything suggesting that it is possible to 'remove' a Card Upgrade or in any way strike it off. Nor are you trading cards from your class deck in order to build the deck of your temporary character. As a result, there seems to be no penalty whatsoever for banishing cards with your temporary character.

This seems highly exploitable, especially since both HV1 and HV2 have several highly powerful cards that are at least partially balanced by forcing you to banish them (including spells that can allow you to close locations and cards that let you restock the Blessings deck, as well as some particularly powerful blessings). The Asmodean Disciplines also comes to mind, though it's certainly a weaker example of how banishing being a highly temporary hindrance seems to significantly alter the value of cards in the Hell's Vengeance decks.

Personally, I'd like to see this somehow addressed/changed with a rules clarification somewhere.

Question #3: Redemption Cards & Redeeming:
When you take a temporary character, presumably you now have access to their Redemption Card that is included with the Hell's Vengeance character decks. But this raises several more questions.

Does your temporary character 'remember' redeemed cards? If I switch my character for HV1 Linxia for several scenarios, do Redeemed cards remain checked off for her each time? That is, if I redeem Corrupted Helm, is it redeemed when I next unpack her class deck to use her from my same original OP character? What about if I play Lazzero, and also use the HV1 Redempion card? Are cards I redeemed as Linxia also redeemed for him, or does he have his own effective copy of the Redemption card?

What if your own character (pre-exchange) is from Hell's Vengeance 1? Do your swapped characters use your own Redemption Card, or their own 'copies'? This could be a good or bad thing either way; if I was playing Kyra I'd probably be trying to redeem as many cards as possible - That may help in many cases but it would also, for example, interfere with how good Linxia is.

What if your main character has a HV1 Redemption card and you swap into a HV2 character? Does your HV2 character still have your HV1 Redemption card considered in-effect (there are some boons which are on both Redemption cards, I believe)?

In short, are there any circumstances where cards redeemed for one character is also considered redeemed for another. And are cards redeemed for a character you've 'traded' to use temporary ever remembered as redeemed, either for future uses of that character or future trades to that Class Deck, or even for your own Redemption Card?

My answer:

Spoiler:
I've... got no real clue. I would hesitantly suggest that "all characters from b]a single Class Deck[/b] that are used for the scenario undertaken by a single Organized Play character share a Redemption card". So whether its your character or a swapped in HV1 character, you get the HV1 Redemption card and all are affected by the Redemptions listed on it. If you're playing a different OP character, you have a new Redemption card for swapping in HV1/HV2 characters.

I would additionally suggest, based on basically nothing: "Only 1 Redemption Card based on your Class Deck is ever in effect at one time in OP", so if you use a HV2 character you would ignore Redemptions listed on the HV1 Redemption Card in all circumstances.

Question #3b: The Asmodean Disciplines confusion:
Some of my questions above were triggered from considering The Asmodean Disciples item. What does "Redeeming" do for temporary characters? Is there any downside whatsoever to Banishing it when your character deck is temporary anyway? Is any of this exploitable? Do temporary characters ever have access to pre-existing redemptions, or is the Redemption Card considered non-functional?

However, this kind of overlooked a side-question. In the blog post that announced HV1, Mike Selinker specifically says:

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.)

...Which confuses me. I thought you could only redeem a card that was actively in your deck, according to an official rule (via the WotR FAQ)? Can The Asmodean Disciplines really redeem itself, when it's no longer a legal Redemption target once it's banished? Or is there some rule precedent that you're "Picking the target" before you pay the cost of the power, so it's okay?

My answer:

Spoiler:
Once again, no clue. Given Mike said it's okay, I guess I have to assume "You pick the card you're redeeming, THEN banish The Asmodean Disciplines".

Question #4: Changing Feats/Cards:
If you repeatedly switch into a HV1 character, you can rebuild them from the ground up each scenario, right? Build their deck as per your card upgrades, choose their feats and even roles based on whatever would serve you best?

My answer:

Spoiler:
The reward does say, in brief, to get a new character then give it all of the appropriate feats and build their deck. That seems to suggest they are hugely flexible on a scenario-to-scenario basis, since there doesn't appear to be anything stopping you from re-building their feats and decks entirely. In combination with effectively ignoring the long-term cost of Banishing cards, this reward is beginning to sound more and more exploitable.

Question #5: Add-On Decks:
Last but not least, can you actually use any Ultimate Add-On deck when switching into one of these Hell's Vengeance characters? If so, can you change your selected deck every time you build them, much like suggested by Question #4 above?

If you can't pick any Add-On deck, can you use the one from your original character, then?

My answer:

Spoiler:
MorkXII read it as you could include Add-On decks, or at least inferred that intent, but the reward text doesn't strictly say that. The wording is "build [character's] deck from the Hell’s Vengeance Character Deck [#] box"... but then, this may be a conflict between RAI and RAW here, since this reward was written before the release of Ultimate Add-On decks.

As written, my reading would be you cannot use Ultimate Add-On Decks at all with these swapped characters.

Silver Crusade ** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 aka cartmanbeck

I believe that the intent is that banishing a card has consequences, so i think you're incorrect about both of the first two answers at least in part. If you banish one of the cards you chose as an upgrade, you should treat that upgrade as if it never happened, for both your "main" character and the HV one that you want to sub in.

I don't have any answers on the redemption questions, though I would like to see redeemed cards stay that way. However, you do have the option to rebuild the HV character from the ground up every single scenario, which I think would contradict any possible "memory" of redeemed cards.

Add on Deck question is similarly up in the air. I would allow someone to use one in my game until clarified.


Tyler Beck wrote:
I believe that the intent is that banishing a card has consequences, so i think you're incorrect about both of the first two answers at least in part. If you banish one of the cards you chose as an upgrade, you should treat that upgrade as if it never happened, for both your "main" character and the HV one that you want to sub in.

Ah! I'm glad to hear that the intent is that Banished cards effectively wipe the associated Card Upgrade. No arguments from me there; I just wasn't sure that was supposed to be possible/reportable (at least, the Card Guild Guide makes no mention of it; I think "Banish" is only used in one paragraph and that's in reference to Replacement cards, such as banishing a Loot or a traded card).

Speaking of, when I was double-checking the Banishing rules, I did re-read the paragraph on Redeeming cards in the Card Guild Guide.

My literal interpretation on Redemption Cards:

Card Guild Guide, pg 9, Redeeming Cards wrote:
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.

From literal reading, I'd say that your temporary HV1/HV2 characters is still "a scenario that your character plays". After all, you still get the scenario rewards and all progression up to that point, and you still report it under the same PFS ID# and all.

It still is murky. If we take the phrase "If your character deck includes a redemption card" to mean your core character, then that means that HV1/HV2 temp characters never get to refer to a Redemption card unless your OP character is also a HV1 or HV2 character. From another sentence, but implying the same outcome; The exact wording ("in any scenario that your character plays, cards checked off on that redemption card...") suggests to me that your core character, and your core character alone, has a Redemption Card, but it is in effect whether or not you exchange them at the start of the scenario with a temporary Hell's Vengeance character.

It leads to awkwardness where a swapped in HV2 character is using the HV1 Redemption card, or vice-versa, with precious few shared redeemable boons. But at least if you're a HV1 character subbing in another HV1 character you seem to be able to share Redemptions... albeit, again, this may actually be a bad thing. Lazzero and Linxia have very different expectations as to what they even WANT redeemed, let alone Linxia and RotR Kyra.

The Exchange

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Was there ever a resolution for this? My group is just starting these, and some of the questions may come up.


Unless we hear differently from a higher source (a developer or direct Paizo official, etc), we should take everything Tyler/Cartmanbeck says as gospel. That leaves us with the following answers for the time being.

  • #1: Not really defined, but a reading of the rulebook leads me to believe you're absolutely allowed to take a Card Upgrade that you're not using, just to list it on your chronicle sheet. All Card Upgrades - whether 'overwritten' later or even if never used - are valid for replacement characters.

    Though... honestly Tyler may have meant to contradict me on that, but the use of the word banish suggested that they were suggesting that Banishing has a cost - not replacing a card from your deck (which is explicitly distinct from banishing in the game).

  • #2: Banishing cards, according to Tyler, strips them from being used with your replacement characters. Since that might be hard to otherwise track, I guess it should be noted on your chronicle sheet if you ever banish a card you spent a card upgrade on.

    Remember that Hell's Vengeance characters build their deck from the Hierarchy, then Card Upgrades, so they can't use "Current Adventure Deck - 2" boons inherently like player characters. So tracking Card Upgrades is critical (if you're a Tier 4 character, you can give an Ally 2 to your replacement if you took Ally 2 as a Card Upgrade... but not if you only had an Ally 2 because you filled it from an empty slot). It feels extremely arbitrary, but that's how the reward text seems to read.

  • #3: No conclusive answer, but Tyler's reading suggests that they cannot remember Redemption cards at all. My personal reading is that you can actually use the Redemption Card from your main character, if they have one, but that's all.

  • #3b: No answer. I suppose the fact that pretty much the highest authority said you could, so you can. I don't necessarily understand why, but I'm in no position to contradict Mike Selinker.

  • #4: You absolutely build them whenever you need to use them.

  • #5: Until otherwise stated, it seems you can use any Add-On deck you wish with them.

I can't say I'm particularly happy with some of the answers. Or the wording of the reward. Or the lack of clarification of a few things. But I encourage your table to make a shared assessment of how you will or won't use the character substitution rewards, as long as it doesn't contradict the rulebook or anything Tyler said, and stick by your assessment.


The reward states that your temporary character gains "any valid deck upgrades" from your exchanged character. Does this mean you may take every card upgrade you have ever earned on your original character (Spell B, Item 1, Weapon 1, Weapon 2, etc) and use any number of them in the process of building your temporary character's deck?

Honestly, I think an easier and more interesting way of handling the temporary substitution would be to keep the overall card distribution the same - completely ignoring card types.

E.g., I have a tier 4 character with two level 4 cards, five level 3 cards, eight level 2 cards, one level 1 card, and four level 0 (B) cards. It would be reasonable to allow "substitute Lazzero" to have the same distribution of card levels - regardless of what the cards actually are (weapons, spells, whatever). (Though, of course, the # of boons of a given type for Lazzero can't go below the minimum or above the maximum.) This also takes care of the Banishing issue, since all that matters is what is present in the original character's deck at the time of substitution.

Note: I'm not saying this is the rule. I'm just saying that this makes sense to me, and I wish it *were* the rule. :)

Also, there was the question of why an OP character can redeem any card in their box, and not only a card in their deck. The main answer is "that's the rule" (as you say), but the better answer is that it makes sense in the context of OP and it's more fun.

I'm currently playing Linxia (now Tier 4) in an OP campaign and I've finally redeemed every future card (through level 6) that I want to redeem. This means I'm free to strip Asmodean Disciplines out of my deck and replace it with another item - one that's more useful in future scenarios (e.g., Grappler's Mask from Ultimate Combat). Note also that evil characters don't necessarily want to redeem all cards, since Corrupted cards provide benefits for certain characters (healing powers, etc.) - and Linxia has ways of temporarily removing the Corrupted trait from cards anyway, when absolutely necessary.


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wkover wrote:
[...] Note: I'm not saying this is the rule. I'm just saying that this makes sense to me, and I wish it *were* the rule. :)

Oh I could think of quite a few rewords and changes I'd make that I'd wish were the rule. Amongst other things, I'd like these substitute characters to be one-use or perhaps once-per-tier, because otherwise I feel like it's very, very hard to prevent players from exploiting it.

"I want to play Linxia through Faction's Favor, so... I'll play as Valeros and, following the promotional scenarios, substitute her in for every game. That way I get to respec my character on the fly, every scenario."

The "Take your current card upgrades" I like, though I would still find it a little restrictive or perhaps slightly exploitable. Getting high AD# of certain card types is easier/harder than others, and meanwhile it hurts if you're playing a character who WANTS a deck B card all throughout the game, like Estra's non-optional Honaire or OA2 Yoon's potential Gom-Gom, or various other 'Owner' cards. That way your substitute always has to have a 'dump' deck B card.

Oh, and it'd need to be clarified for how it would be used with Aric/The Red Raven, that has a non-standard deck size (3 more cards than normal).

I'd still prefer your solution to my current reading, though.

wkover wrote:
[...] Note also that evil characters don't necessarily want to redeem all cards, since Corrupted cards provide benefits for certain characters (healing powers, etc.)

Yep, I think I mentioned that a couple of times in my posts, actually. HV2 characters don't have a built-in option to redeem cards at all, and have benefits for playing Corrupted cards or can ignore the penalties anyway.

For HV1 characters, Linxia is the only one with inherent benefits for playing Corrupted cards (her self-heal), but the other two can ignore the Corrupted trait in some circumstances, and there are still some cards that work better with more Corrupted boons in your deck, which are present in both decks.

To be fair, that's part of the problem I mentioned. Some cards you want to redeem for one character, but you wouldn't want to redeem for another character, so sharing Redemption cards is awkward. But not sharing them implies they're temporary, completing removing their mechanical impact.


Yewstance wrote:
Amongst other things, I'd like these substitute characters to be one-use or perhaps once-per-tier, because otherwise I feel like it's very, very hard to prevent players from exploiting it.

I may be in the minority (probably am), but potential exploits like this don't bother me much. If someone gets their kicks from doing crazy stuff with their character every game, I don't have a problem with it. As long as it's in the spirit of having a good time, it doesn't make the game less enjoyable for anyone else, and it doesn't technically break any rules, I'd let them have their fun. PACG is fully cooperative, and unless "Lazzero reconfiguration" causes the game to crash and burn I wouldn't mind.

Of the people I've played with, most/all are attached to their characters anyway and aren't keen on swapping out.

Silver Crusade ** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 aka cartmanbeck

Yewstance wrote:

Unless we hear differently from a higher source (a developer or direct Paizo official, etc), we should take everything Tyler/Cartmanbeck says as gospel. That leaves us with the following answers for the time being.

  • #1: Not really defined, but a reading of the rulebook leads me to believe you're absolutely allowed to take a Card Upgrade that you're not using, just to list it on your chronicle sheet. All Card Upgrades - whether 'overwritten' later or even if never used - are valid for replacement characters.

    Though... honestly Tyler may have meant to contradict me on that, but the use of the word banish suggested that they were suggesting that Banishing has a cost - not replacing a card from your deck (which is explicitly distinct from banishing in the game).

  • #2: Banishing cards, according to Tyler, strips them from being used with your replacement characters. Since that might be hard to otherwise track, I guess it should be noted on your chronicle sheet if you ever banish a card you spent a card upgrade on.

    Remember that Hell's Vengeance characters build their deck from the Hierarchy, then Card Upgrades, so they can't use "Current Adventure Deck - 2" boons inherently like player characters. So tracking Card Upgrades is critical (if you're a Tier 4 character, you can give an Ally 2 to your replacement if you took Ally 2 as a Card Upgrade... but not if you only had an Ally 2 because you filled it from an empty slot). It feels extremely arbitrary, but that's how the reward text seems to read.

  • #3: No conclusive answer, but Tyler's reading suggests that they cannot remember Redemption cards at all. My personal reading is that you can actually use the Redemption Card from your main character, if they have one, but that's all.

  • #3b: No answer. I suppose the fact that pretty much the highest authority said you could, so you can. I don't necessarily understand why, but I'm in no position to contradict Mike Selinker.

  • #4: You absolutely build them whenever you
...

Oh dear, I've never had someone suggest my word should be GOSPEL for anything! LOL

Remember that my interpretations are in no way official, but I do plan to use those interpretations to resolve any issues that may pop up when playing PACG Org Play online, until we are told otherwise by a higher power. {see what I did there? :)}


Tyler Beck wrote:
Oh dear, I've never had someone suggest my word should be GOSPEL for anything! LOL

At this point in time, I don't think there's any other source that's chimed in on any of these questions, so the Venture-Captain for Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild Online Play is definitely the best we've got. :D

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