Harrow: Past, Present, and Future

Tuesday, May 27


Illustration by Cristian Chihaia

For years the Harrow has been the domain of home games, literature, and lore, but due to a combination of the soft time limits inherent in organized play, the range of ways in which someone might cheat with a deck-based mechanic, and a wealth of other considerations that predate my work at Paizo, most Harrow-based options were never allowed. When Mike and I heard that Pathfinder Player Companion: The Harrow Handbook was on the product schedule, we started pondering how we might share as much of this book as possible with the campaign. We bounced ideas off a lot of folks, and in the end we decided to make legal nearly everything in the book as well as several previously banned Harrow character options such as the harrower prestige class from Pathfinder Campaign Setting: The Inner Sea World Guide and the oft-requested Deadly Dealer feat from Pathfinder Player Companion: Varisia, Birthplace of Legends. Expect an update to the Additional Resources page that includes these additions.

Excited? Me too!

Let's discuss some ground rules for Harrow use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. These are intended to keep Harrow use from bogging down gameplay while also providing GMs some assurance that everyone's playing fair and showing off the beautiful new version of the Deluxe Harrow Deck.

  1. Using a Harrow-based character option that involves drawing one or more cards at random requires a physical Harrow deck. Substituting another deck of cards or using the dice-rolling option (such as the one presented in the harrower prestige class) is not an option. If you aren't using a character option that does not change based on which card you draw (such as just throwing cards with the Deadly Dealer feat), you do not need to have a physical copy of the Harrow deck.
  2. When you are using a class ability that involves drawing one or more cards at random, the GM always has the option to cut the deck before you draw from the top. This is just a quick consideration to minimize cheating. The GM can also examine your deck at any time, particularly if she believes there's anything wrong with your deck.
  3. Be considerate when performing a Harrowing. Many Pathfinder Society games are run in 4—5 hour time slots, so taking 10 minutes to perform an in-character harrowing might not be an option. Be prepared to flip cards, record results, and move on if the group is operating on a time limit. So long as you're exercising common sense and courtesy, there shouldn't be anything more to discuss here.

Lots of great options are about to be available. Go make something fun!

Happy gaming,

John Compton
Developer

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Tags: Cristian Chihaia Harrow Pathfinder Cards Pathfinder Player Companion Pathfinder Society
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3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Louisiana—New Orleans aka Duncan7291

I cant wait for this. I have bought the deck (with some card sleeves from Fantasy Flight), the two new books and Varisia, Birthplace of Legends. I just need yall to update the additional resources page so I can know what aspects are legal and which ones are not. Then its off to building my character.

As a side note, could we get an official PFS placemat for the reading with a little bonus (maybe once per game be able to redraw a card during a harrowing)? It could be similar to the Pathfinder mats for the card game yall have.

Shadow Lodge

A placemat would be cool, but I really need to find a case for the deck, perhaps something like a holster so I can have the deck at my hip.

3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Louisiana—New Orleans aka Duncan7291

Im also looking for a case. Its such an unusual size. I may just get a velvet pull string bag and put them in there.

Silver Crusade

Michael Brock wrote:
Tamec wrote:

Awesome thanks!!

*Anxiously awaiting on Additional Resources Update*

I will get the additional resources updated with the decisions John and I have made for all things harrow related when I get back to the office next week.

Yay!! *goes back to checking AR every 5 minutes*...Just Kidding :-)

Duncan7291 wrote:
Im also looking for a case. Its such an unusual size. I may just get a velvet pull string bag and put them in there.

I bought a 3x5 index card box (3"x5"x1/2")

Shadow Lodge

Duncan7291 wrote:
Im also looking for a case. Its such an unusual size. I may just get a velvet pull string bag and put them in there.

I might just go with one of these I especially like the purple one, but I am still trying to find something more like a holster.

Edit: Something more like This

Silver Crusade

I thought about that but was in staples and saw the index card box was $1.99.

Liberty's Edge

Dylos wrote:
Duncan7291 wrote:
Im also looking for a case. Its such an unusual size. I may just get a velvet pull string bag and put them in there.

I might just go with one of these I especially like the purple one, but I am still trying to find something more like a holster.

Edit: Something more like This

Two words, Renaissance Festival. I know I see these at the MN Ren Fest every year. Hopefully you have one near by and soon.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Dylos wrote:
thistledown wrote:

I hear there's some problems with the deck in that the player must know the alignment of their opponents at all times. So from a storytelling perspective it puts a bit of a limit when the GM has to introduce each character with their alignment.

Sure, the player can try to keep it divided from character knowledge, but...

I don't recall seeing any abilities that depend on your opponents alignment, just your own or your allies.

Cool then. That's what I get for trusting second hand information.

3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Louisiana—New Orleans aka Duncan7291

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Eta on additional resources update?

3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Louisiana—New Orleans aka Duncan7291

To borrow a phrase from the Event planning event yesterday, the updated Additional Resources page will be available.........."Soon." :) (Sorry, I couldnt help myself!)

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Changes have been sent up to the tech team. It falls in line behind other, more pressing issues. When they get to the update in their huge list of things to do, it will go up. Thanks for your understanding and patience.

In a side note, Occult Mysteries won't be included in the update because I am still undecided on what should and shouldn't be included. Feel free to start another thread if you care to discuss so we don't derail this one. Most, if not all, of the harrowing stuff will be updated and included once it goes live.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

For online games, you can all just roll a random number between 1 and 54, as there are 9 cards for each attribute, one for each aligment (LG NG CG LN N CN LE NE CE).
STR = 01-09
DEX = 10-18
CON = 19-27
INT = 28-36
WIS = 37-45
CHA = 46-54

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Right now, a normal deck of cards or dice rolling isn't a legal method for determine Harrow results. An actual Harrow deck has to be used. I believe some people in the online community have been looking into ways to use a virtual Harrow deck for online events.

3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Louisiana—New Orleans aka Duncan7291

Thanks Mike for the update. I know yall have more pressing issues with PaizoCon. I understand, its just that I want to play with my Harrower prior to Con so I can tweak it :)

Silver Crusade Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Bloomington aka Healerpuffs

(Heh... Sorry about the blank post; I misclicked.)
The list is up! Huge thanks to everyone who worked to get it up there, but I have to admit... I'm a little sad that Varisian Pilgrim isn't sharing in the harrow-love update. It's not a huge deal, but it's one of my favorite archetypes.

Either way, yay! I can't wait to make a Sczarni swindler. :3

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

gulliblemuffin wrote:

(Heh... Sorry about the blank post; I misclicked.)

The list is up! Huge thanks to everyone who worked to get it up there, but I have to admit... I'm a little sad that Varisian Pilgrim isn't sharing in the harrow-love update. It's not a huge deal, but it's one of my favorite archetypes.

Either way, yay! I can't wait to make a Sczarni swindler. :3

It was an accidental omission.

3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Louisiana—New Orleans aka Duncan7291

AR is updated!! You the man Mike. Pass along thanks to web guys/gals.

Edit, will the pilgrim end up being legal?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

Duncan7291 wrote:

AR is updated!! You the man Mike. Pass along thanks to web guys/gals.

Edit, will the pilgrim end up being legal?

Yes. Click on the link I just posted above your post.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

With Deadly dealer and Cartomancer now legal, how does enhancing card decks work in PFS?

Do you need deadly dealer to buy an enhanced harrow deck? (not sure why you would want one without the feat, but who knows)

Can a cartomancer enhance his spell deck (ala a wizard enhancing his bonded object? That is to say, pay crafting cost, not full cost?)

Can a cartomancer pay to have his spelldeck enhanced as ammo? (As per normal weapon enhancement rules.)

Can a cartomancer spend 200 gp / level, (as per replacing his familiar) to make a magic deck his spell deck?

what special materials, if any, can a deck be made from?

given that arcane strike (or magus equivalent) is required to enchant or to use a harrow deck, is it necessary to add +1 to a harrow deck before adding other enhancements?)

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Also, while I am at it.

What action is it to draw a card for throwing if you have a deck in one hand, and a free hand to throw

What action(s) is it to draw a card from a deck in a carry case

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Some of these, I can answer with 100% certainty.

FLite wrote:
Can a cartomancer enhance his spell deck (ala a wizard enhancing his bonded object? That is to say, pay crafting cost, not full cost?)

Not unless it's also a bonded object.

FLite wrote:
Can a cartomancer pay to have his spelldeck enhanced as ammo? (As per normal weapon enhancement rules.)

Yes.

FLite wrote:
given that arcane strike (or magus equivalent) is required to enchant or to use a harrow deck, is it necessary to add +1 to a harrow deck before adding other enhancements?)

Yes, it's required. Arcane Strike does not infer any kind of enhancement bonus or enchantment to a weapon. It wouldn't let you make a Masterwork +0 Flaming Sword, so it wouldn't let you make a Masterwork +0 Flaming Harrow Deck. Same exact principle applies for a Magus.

Silver Crusade 2/5

Cost is crafting cost. Items are generally sold for Price, ie market price.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

The Morphling wrote:

Some of these, I can answer with 100% certainty.

Some of these I was 99% sure of, I just want them on the record.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Hey John Compton and Mike Brock, there is a problem with the blog post;

Quote:
If you aren't using a character option that does not change based on which card you draw (such as just throwing cards with the Deadly Dealer feat), you do not need to have a physical copy of the Harrow deck.

The above sentance has a double negative that inverts it's meaning. Read literally, the above sentance says: "If you aren't using deadly dealer*, you do not need a physical copy of the deck."

* or another option that does not change based on what card is drawn.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

Thanks for pointing that out. I will get it corrected when we next update AR. We don't want to focus solely on deadly dealer (or any other single item) in the event another similar option becomes available in a future product.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Georgia—Augusta aka MatthewHudson

This may already be pointed out, but it was noted by Patrick Harris that the Feat: Harrowed is still listed as not being legal, but the Harrower PrC (which has Harrowed as a Prerequisite feat) is listed as being a legal option. Can somebody clarify this as an official post as to whether or not the Harrowed feat has been made legal?

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Georgia—Augusta aka MatthewHudson

Nevermind, I just found Mike's post here: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2oi02&page=15?Additional-Resources-Updates# 740

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