Keith's Best Character Ever: Enora

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Greetings! I'm Keith Richmond, the newest member of the Adventure Card Game design team. I joined during the middle of work on Wrath of the Righteous, but you'll see more of my work in the Class Decks and future sets. I'm super excited about the work I'm doing on a set I can't tell you about until next year.

Chad believes that Seelah is the best PACG character ever, even as he admits that no one agrees with him. Mike believes that Darago is the best ever, despite Darago's problems when he can't find enough undead minions. Enora, the best character in Wrath, is here to show you utterly deluded they are.

Enora is an arcanist, a class that blends the best elements of wizards and sorcerers. Her parents are both professors at the Occularium, and she grew up studying in its libraries. She's a super-smart halfling whose curiosity and luck led her to discover great cosmic power with hardly any downsides. It's true that her devotion to Nethys would cause problems for her back home, but what adventurer doesn't need a great reason to go on adventures? In terms of looks alone, she's already beaten Darago. Check out her sweet robes!

The true flaw in Chad's pick is that Seelah isn't a real caster. True casters are both the most powerful and the most versatile characters in the Pathfinder ACG, just as they are in the RPG. It's true that they require more care and planning, but that pays off in so many ways. Spells, especially the mythic ones found in Wrath of the Righteous, can be powerful because they're not just revealed. Instead, you choose when and where they're most effective.

The best casters—and Enora is the best of the best—never need to worry about failing to recharge their spells. You can set up a card engine, constantly cycling your deck as you cast spells. An optimal use of this engine, modified by the unique nature of each caster, enables you to have the right cards when they are most needed. Your greater hand size ensures you have more solutions available, and the added perception of danger makes the game more exciting. At the end of the day, being fragile only truly matters when you fail, and Enora has enough tricks to ensure success.

Enora uses her best skill, Knowledge, to acquire spells and items, the boons most useful to her. This can be a scenario saver when used to acquire Divine spells (such as Cure) that she can use as scrolls or to give to her friends. Enora is a caster's caster who never runs out of spells. Her second power is a beautiful cycle mechanic to recharge a spell from her discard pile whenever she casts a spell. This means it's safe to discard spells to absorb damage, since they'll be back soon enough. Check off a power feat, and she can even extend her magical shields to protect her friends. This is particularly helpful against "before you act" damage, a common trick of dragons and demons.

Enora's deck is unburdened by dead or filler cards such as armor or weapons. She can focus fully on her love of spells and items, and by items, I mostly mean books. Like Enora, I love books, but instead of using them to escape reality, she uses them to rewrite reality. How awesome is that? Many books are recharged with Knowledge, so she can cycle them just like spells. The remainder of her deck, allies and blessings, can be used for extra explorations.

My first development task when I joined the team was to brainstorm ideas for Wrath of the Righteous roles. I'll admit the rest of the team had some grueling work to hack my gibberish into sensible mechanics, so I didn't help as much as I might have hoped. That said, Enora barely required any modification. Everyone knew she was just too awesome to change. She has two solid role choices: expand her mastery of the arcane as an Eldritch Savant or grab a library card and learn all the things as an Occularium Scholar.

As an Eldritch Savant, Enora gains power feats to fine-tune her casting engine. She can learn to cycle spells into her hand and shuffle spells into her deck instead of recharging them. She also gains the ability to bypass any pesky defenses the demons of the Worldwound might possess by changing the energy types of her spells. This ability is even sweeter when you use it to exploit a monster's vulnerability.

Knowledge is power, and Enora the Occularium Scholar and her books hold all the knowledge. She can cite page and passage to overcome any barrier. With her divinations and tomes of lore, she can determine the optimal solution to any location's closing requirements and even do a little self-help. Thankfully, Wrath features many books—and codices, handbooks, journals, and tomes—for Enora to collect. I visualize her as venturing down into the Abyss while constantly pulling out relevant guidebooks (perhaps carried for her by Seelah or Darago.)

There's another really important reason why Enora is the best Wrath character. Knowledge is the most important skill in Wrath of the Righteous. This won't be obvious until you get to see more of the horrible banes that await you, but many of them have a secret weakness that only the most knowledgeable can exploit. Whether you're facing Baphomet's minotaurs or Khorramzadeh's elder fire demons, Enora will prove that her pen is mightier than any sword.


According to page 34 of the Demon Hunter's Handbook, Mr. Demon, you die now.

So that's my argument for Enora as the best character ever. Accept no substitutes. We'll return to this debate in a month or so, because Tanis has some delicious things to share with you about convention season goodies!

Keith Richmond
Adventure Card Game Developer

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Tags: Arcanists Enora Iconics Pathfinder Adventure Card Game
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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Orbis Orboros wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Orbis Orboros wrote:
Sandslice wrote:

...and just asked the fellow I'm sure would be playing Enora. After describing the various power feats she has access to, his response: "what's her hand size."

I'd forgotten about that quirk of his: he only likes arcane casters because of the huge hand size, not the flavour or powers. In other words, if Seoni has 8 before the role card, he wouldn't even consider Enora.

But that's just a playstyle thing.

And he only plays Arcane casters you said?

What, has this guy not met our friend Ranzak?

Lisa has been playing Enora in our Wrath campaign, having previously played Ranzak through RotR, and she feels that Enora rides on the edge of dying even more than Ranzak does.

o.0

There's got to be something going on here.

Perhaps Wrath is just harder than RotR?

Maybe Vic just starts to roll out the red carpet for his personal best character ever


Vic Wertz wrote:
Lisa has been playing Enora in our Wrath campaign, having previously played Ranzak through RotR, and she feels that Enora rides on the edge of dying even more than Ranzak does.

How much of that is Wrath's difficulty, how much is Fortitude saves, and how much is simply luck? (Yes, I do see the potential weakness in d4 Constitution, one that doesn't exist in S&S because everyone has d6 or d8 there.)

Also, the d12+1 Arcane MIGHT not be as bad as it looks: if Enora has Mythic Archmage, she gets a bonus to Int and Cha checks based on the number of mythic power "charges" she has. (More information on that front EAGERLY anticipated.)

We shall have to see!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Orbis Orboros wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Orbis Orboros wrote:
Sandslice wrote:

...and just asked the fellow I'm sure would be playing Enora. After describing the various power feats she has access to, his response: "what's her hand size."

I'd forgotten about that quirk of his: he only likes arcane casters because of the huge hand size, not the flavour or powers. In other words, if Seoni has 8 before the role card, he wouldn't even consider Enora.

But that's just a playstyle thing.

And he only plays Arcane casters you said?

What, has this guy not met our friend Ranzak?

Lisa has been playing Enora in our Wrath campaign, having previously played Ranzak through RotR, and she feels that Enora rides on the edge of dying even more than Ranzak does.

o.0

There's got to be something going on here.

Perhaps Wrath is just harder than RotR?

I have a few theories:

1. I think Enora has a few more exploration cards than Ranzak, so once you account for those her stable deck size is smaller (I just made up that term, but it basically means 'the cards in your deck minus the cards that will usually be discarded/buried/banished on use').
2. Ranzak is exceptionally skilled at picking up boons, with his bonus d4, probably moreso than Enora due to her somewhat narrow boon bonus (Knowledge to Spells and, later, items). That increases his deck size over the scenario, especially when he picks up rechargeables, but also for not making him have to draw as much each turn.
3. d12+1 Arcane may just not be enough to handle recharge checks in WotR (due to Mythic, we may well see the recharge numbers go insane really early). In that case, even with her recycling spells power, she could see a lot of spells end up in discard.
4. Vulnerability to big hits. It's the same with any armorless character with bad physical skills. If they get caught without the means to fight (no spell in hand, target is immune, etc.) then they will probably lose their hand. Since Ranzak uses weapons, and can evade monsters onto his buddies, he's much less likely to get caught with his pants down and get a full hand wipe.
5. I find it less likely than the above options, but it could be that Wrath is just harder. I'm genuinely hoping not, since I feel that S&S should be the upper bound of difficulty, but we shall see.

I'm betting 3 is the most likely. Ranzak will generally only lose his full hand if he doesn't have a weapon and either he's alone or the enemy can't be evaded. That happens rarely enough that you can generally assume he's going to be able to save himself.


isaic16 wrote:
...it could be that Wrath is just harder. I'm genuinely hoping not, since I feel that S&S should be the upper bound of difficulty, but we shall see...

Remember that the comparison was Ranzak in RotR to Enora in Wrath. Wrath could very well be harder than RotR, enough so to make characters appear squishier, without being harder than S&S.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Orbis Orboros wrote:
isaic16 wrote:
...it could be that Wrath is just harder. I'm genuinely hoping not, since I feel that S&S should be the upper bound of difficulty, but we shall see...
Remember that the comparison was Ranzak in RotR to Enora in Wrath. Wrath could very well be harder than RotR, enough so to make characters appear squishier, without being harder than S&S.

Oh, I missed that it was RotR. In that case, yeah, that's much more likely to be a factor.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I think it's probably mostly the non-evading vulnerability.

Also, until she gets some feats, assume that she's going to have maybe 3 of her 6 spells in her hand at any given time, meaning her deck consists of the other 3 spells plus whatever non-spells she hasn't played yet. Towards the end of a scenario, if a lot of those non-spells are no longer in her deck, those few spells aren't much margin against a hand-wipe.

Adventure Card Game Designer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
OnkelZorni wrote:
Maybe Vic just starts to roll out the red carpet for his personal best character ever

Vic should totally write a Best Character Ever blog. It would start with "A rare instance of the design team turning over a character that fit on the card before it got to editing, my favorite character is…."

(Just joking. That has never happened.)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Mike Selinker wrote:
"[...] A character that fit on the card before it got to editing, [...]."

If a character is so complex awesome that it cannot fit on the card then it's not simple enough for a good card game just make the cards bigger!

(Just joking. That would never happen.)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Set after Wrath - Tarot sized characters?


Andrew L Klein wrote:
Set after Wrath - Tarot sized characters?

Nah, son.

Image

Vic used to work on MtG, right? XD


Orbis Orboros wrote:
Andrew L Klein wrote:
Set after Wrath - Tarot sized characters?

Nah, son.

Image

Vic used to work on MtG, right? XD

What size sleeves do I need for those?

They'll need to re-design the box insert too


MightyJim wrote:
Orbis Orboros wrote:
Andrew L Klein wrote:
Set after Wrath - Tarot sized characters?

Nah, son.

Image

Vic used to work on MtG, right? XD

What size sleeves do I need for those?

They'll need to re-design the box insert too

They'd need to redesign the whole box. Each card is bigger than the current box...


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'm torn... on one hand, definite portability issues. On the other hand, imagine having this set up at your house, and each room has one of the location decks in it, and you physically move yourself between locations. It's a workout AND a game.

Adventure Card Game Designer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
isaic16 wrote:
I'm torn... on one hand, definite portability issues. On the other hand, imagine having this set up at your house, and each room has one of the location decks in it, and you physically move yourself between locations. It's a workout AND a game.

Oh no, here comes the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game LARP . . .

says nothing about the Torture Pit location

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Am I the only person thinking "Ok, forget PACG, I need to find those Magic cards!!!"?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Tanis O'Connor wrote:

Oh no, here comes the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game LARP . . .

says nothing about the Torture Pit location

I hear when you character dies, you die.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Tanis O'Connor wrote:

Oh no, here comes the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game LARP . . .

says nothing about the Torture Pit location

I hear when you character dies, you die.

Only in an Organized Play LARP.

Pathfinder ACG Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Shh. Don't spoil the Gen Con surprise for them!

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Tanis O'Connor wrote:

Oh no, here comes the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game LARP . . .

says nothing about the Torture Pit location

I hear when you character dies, you die.

Aaaaaaand /thread


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

https://xkcd.com/180/

Also obligatory bad movie reference


Andrew L Klein wrote:
Am I the only person thinking "Ok, forget PACG, I need to find those Magic cards!!!"?

Yes.

>:(


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Tanis O'Connor wrote:
isaic16 wrote:
I'm torn... on one hand, definite portability issues. On the other hand, imagine having this set up at your house, and each room has one of the location decks in it, and you physically move yourself between locations. It's a workout AND a game.

Oh no, here comes the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game LARP . . .

says nothing about the Torture Pit location

I'm more scared/concerned/intrigued by the implication of the Halls of Lust location...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
isaic16 wrote:
Tanis O'Connor wrote:
isaic16 wrote:
I'm torn... on one hand, definite portability issues. On the other hand, imagine having this set up at your house, and each room has one of the location decks in it, and you physically move yourself between locations. It's a workout AND a game.

Oh no, here comes the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game LARP . . .

says nothing about the Torture Pit location

I'm more scared/concerned/intrigued by the implication of the Halls of Lust location...

"Oh dear, that was not the ally I wanted to encounter."

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Orbis Orboros wrote:
Andrew L Klein wrote:
Am I the only person thinking "Ok, forget PACG, I need to find those Magic cards!!!"?

Yes.

>:(

But... giant... game... of Magic.

Adventure Card Game Designer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Andrew L Klein wrote:
But... giant... game... of Magic.

When I worked at Wizards, one of my long-term goals was to snag one of the giant cards, even if it was just a basic land. The Magic R&D pit has them all over the walls, just standing there, tempting a girl.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Tanis O'Connor wrote:
Andrew L Klein wrote:
But... giant... game... of Magic.
When I worked at Wizards, one of my long-term goals was to snag one of the giant cards, even if it was just a basic land. The Magic R&D pit has them all over the walls, just standing there, tempting a girl.

I think I still have my giant Black Lotus somewhere. :)


I have an oversize Vesuvan Doppelganger in my pile of "art I should put up one of these days". :(

Last year at Gen Con I played Tsuro with the giant set Calliope Games had in their booth. It had neoprene tiles (like a fabric mouse pad) and you are your piece. (Everyone lost.) That'd be fun for conventions.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Frencois wrote:
Mike Selinker wrote:
"[...] A character that fit on the card before it got to editing, [...]."

If a character is so complex awesome that it cannot fit on the card then it's not simple enough for a good card game just make the cards bigger!

(Just joking. That would never happen.)

Héhé never thought my joke would launch such thread on giant cards. Love it. Now the question is : would giant cards be a few inches bigger if first printed in China? Yeah I know, bad joke... but so tempting... forgiveme, me French :-).


Andrew L Klein wrote:
Orbis Orboros wrote:
Andrew L Klein wrote:
Am I the only person thinking "Ok, forget PACG, I need to find those Magic cards!!!"?

Yes.

>:(

But... giant... game... of Magic.

That's all very well, but not at the cost of forgetting the PACG!


Keith - Ok I'm going to ask since no one else is. How do you get the occularium Vestments card shown. the Iconic heros sets 1-3 do not have it and there was not an announcement for set 4. Also I see a P on the top right corner so I am assuming its a promotional card?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Iconic set 4 or later... to be announced when he cool mini provider is done bribing Mike with cocktails (and reverse).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

WizKids has full reign on the schedule of Iconic Heroes Sets. However it is Paizo that is designing the promotional Owner cards. I would hazard a guess that Paizo has already worked out the owner cards for most if not all of the Iconic figures they know are going to be used.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

We finished the cards for sets 4–6 last October!


Vic Wertz wrote:
We finished the cards for sets 4–6 last October!

Hmm, so does that mean there's at least one version of every iconic hero designed long ahead of when the last ones appear in APs, or that the iconic boon will have been designed before the character?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Probably more the latter. Though I think lots of the boons are things associated with the character thematically. And they probably have a decent sketch idea of what a "Slayer" or "Investigator" or all the other things will do, at least enough to create a single card for them.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

That.

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