Editorial Note: Due to delays at the port, the Paladin Class Deck and Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Deck 4 release dates have been pushed back one week to September 2. To keep the Season of the Righteous in sync with the Adventure Deck, there will be no scenario released to Adventure Card Game Venture Officers next week. Scenarios 1-4A and 1-4B will be released on September 2.
When people find out I've been to 31 consecutive Gen Cons in the Midwest, they're always gobsmacked. "Mike, you must be so lucky," they say in unison, "to get to go to such an awesome show year after year!" And I am. But every year, I am reminded that Gen Con has a dirty little secret: It's a germageddon. If you're not lucky, you can bring a nasty little bit of Gen Con back with you.
And what we learned this year is that Tanis isn't a paladin.
See, in the RPG, a paladin becomes immune to disease. That would make her the perfect Gen Con attendee! But Tanis isn't a paladin, so she's real sick, and you should send her your best wishes. And believe me, she'd want to be writing this Paladin Class Deck preview blog for you, but I'm doing it instead so she gets better. Because Healthy Tanis is Awesome Tanis.
So without further heartstring tugging, let's talk about paladins!
Seelah: "Friend, You Look a Little Worse for the Wear"
When we released the Wrath of the Righteous Base Set, we made Seelah the front-and-center character. That Seelah had her hair unbraided and her shield out, so demons beware. If you want a Seelah that can punch an Abyssal pitspawn into next Thursday, Wrath Seelah is your paladin.
But what if you want a Seelah who not only knows how to mix it up melee-style, but is also the best friend anyone's ever had, you want Paladin Deck Seelah. Let me show you why.
This version of Seelah has a hunt-and-kill power similar to the one on Rise of the Runelords Seelah, where she will shove aside boons to get to the crunchy monsters hiding from her smiting. She also borrows a version of Kyra's healing power, except instead of burning explorations to help her friends, Seelah burns her own cards to make her companions healthier. And unlike the clerics, she makes her friends healthier in a predictable manner. Seelah knows every time that she can trade one card of hers for two or three of yours. That's every turn she takes. With a single power feat, that's every turn anybody takes. But what about characters at other locations? Check a box on the Faith Healer role, and she can bring you to her and heal you, so you can get around to taking your turn right then and there.
Keeping Seelah alive thus becomes the party's primary goal. And lookie here, her Faith Healer role has the best way to do just that. As long as she has a blessing or another Divine card in hand, she can recharge any Healing card she plays. That Mass Cure? Seelah says, "Don't worry your pretty little head about it—it'll come back before you know it."
Speaking of awesome, here's a couple tricks from the Paladin deck that Seelah likes a ton.
Koren: "We Should Kill That Because It's Weird"
Now, a half-orc paladin may not be your average paladin, but Koren isn't exactly average. He's got some orc in him, so despite being raised in a loving home by two upstanding half-orcs, he explodes in righteous vengeance a couple times a day.
Koren starts out all about helping his friends. He uses armor like Sue Storm uses force fields: Give him a shield, and he'll throw it in front of his buddies to absorb their damage or power up their attacks. That's all well and good.
But hey, select that Gilded Fist role, and all of a sudden this likable half-orc is glaring at Undead and Aberrations and Outsiders with all the fury of Sarenrae scorned. Bonus dice, Magic trait, recharging blessings—Koren turns into a multi-tool of weird-monster crushing. He’s also the spell-heaviest paladin in the deck, so that crushing is bolstered by spell and sword alike.
While we're at it, let's give Koren some more tools for that multi-tool.
Raz: "Who's a Good Griffon? You're a Good Griffon!"
Raz is already your favorite gnome paladin ever. That armored riding dog is just the cutest. And a two-foot-long lance! Adorbs!
Nah, she's gonna kick your skull in, and so's her little dog, too. Raz (short for Razzmatazz, our playtest name for her) is the ultimate mounted paladin, optimizing the deck's many cards that have the Mount trait. When she starts out, she can recharge a Mount from the top of her deck to boost her lance, and she can bury one to intercept another person's monster fight. One checkbox in, she can do the latter just by discarding a Mount.
However, she is subject to the mercy of her card draws... unless she's a Dog Rider Knight. The Dog Rider Knight just says "I would like a Mount please" and—poof!—one appears. What a faithful dog! And significantly, that role has the best flavor text Tanis ever wrote. Admit it, you want to toss aside whatever you're playing and play Raz right now.
Here's a couple of Raz's best friends. She's not just good with dogs, natch. Sometimes, you just gotta fly.
Those are our paladins du jour. In the name of all that's holy, go play them!
Adventure Card Game Designer