Of all the questions we get asked about the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, one gets asked most often. It first showed up when we were coming close to releasing the last adventure in Rise of the Runelords, "Are you making any adventures for my characters who completed Rise of the Runelords?"
Then we got asked it again as we came close to completing Skull & Shackles. "Are you making any adventures for my characters who completed Skull & Shackles?"
And for the most part, that was true. But I said, as quietly as I could, so no one could hear, "Okay, but I might have some plans." In fact, it was...
A Cunning Plan That Cannot Fail
My plan was for my design team to do some shenanigans with the power curve on Wrath of the Righteous. Developer Chad Brown talks a lot about it in this blog on power curves. They have different curves: Rise of the Runelords is character-linear and difficulty-parabolic, while Skull & Shackles is difficulty-linear and character-parabolic. But both of them end in roughly the same place: a character who can go toe-to-toe with Karzoug the Claimer has a roughly similar chance against the Hurricane King. When you complete adventure 6 in either of those APs, you are a mighty hero indeed.
The thing is, those sets couldn't just keep climbing, because they had maxed out their story progression. There wasn't anything more we could add to the cards in those sets other than more dice and higher difficulties, and eventually, that would be unsatisfying. Sure, it's fun to roll 12 dice once in a while, but if you're doing it on every turn, the high will soon mellow out.
You would need something else to build a spike in difficulty beyond where we were at the end of those APs. Thankfully, Wrath had "something else" in spades. It had cohorts, it had a d20, and it had Corrupted cards. All of those tweaked the power level without increasing the number of dice rolled. (You may notice I left something off that list. We'll get to that.)
And as we designed it, we realized that Wrath is a perfect place to bring your conquering heroes from the first two adventure paths, maybe using some of that nifty loot you got from completing those final adventures. You just need a few small tricks and a whole lot of gumption.
How to Use Wrath as "Adventure 7"
First, finish another Adventure Path, whether it's Rise of the Runelords, Skull & Shackles, Season of the Shackles, or one of the many homebrews. Record the state of your character on your downloadable character sheet, if you like. If you haven't finished an AP, go to the Conquering Heroes thread or the Conquering Pirates thread and copy some of the ones you find there.
That's what we did, anyway. We grabbed Hawkmoon269's Ezren, Aolhelm's Kyra, and isaic16's Merisiel and Seelah. (Check out that not-so-paladinly weapons list!) Note that these were not optimized characters: Merisiel has some items that only work in Skull & Shackles, Ezren has a Divine spell, and so on. Where there was only one of something, we replaced it. (I particularly liked swapping the angel Ayruzi out for the demon Zuvuzeg on Seelah's list.) Otherwise, they went in as-is.
Second, get the Wrath of the Righteous Base Set and adventures 2, 3, and 4, plus the Wrath Character Add-On Deck if you have more than 4 characters (or just because you want to). Dump them into the box and then remove all the Basic cards. However, if there are Basic boons you specifically want to keep, do so. (I highly recommend keeping all the Blessings of Ascension. Trust me on this.)
Third, you know those mythic path cards I pointedly forgot to mention when I talked about Wrath's power curve? Yeah, screw 'em. You don't get mythic paths, because you're not the mythic heroes that blew up the wardstone in Wrath. You're the guys who beat Karzoug, for Pulura's sake. You don't need no stinkin' mythic paths.
But here's a tip: Even though you don't start with any mythic charges, you can still use them. Those Blessings of Ascension are great for generating charges, and every time you kill a mythic bane, you'll get one too. So when you find a Terraform or Anarchy Hammer, you can still power it up. Just get yourself some charges along the way. (A very small number of cards, like Lend Mythic Path, won't work at all. If you hit one of those, chuck it aside and draw a new card of the same type.)
Fourth, start with scenario 4-1: The Abyss Gazes Also. You're going into the Abyss! After defeating Karzoug or the Hurricane King, you were drawn through a magic portal that chucked you into the pits of despair. Will you find your way home? Run through adventures 4, 5, and 6 and find out!
FYI: While you can keep all of your cards from the previous AP, treat any card in your deck that has an adventure deck number higher than the adventure deck number of the current scenario as if it had the adventure deck number of the scenario. (So when you're playing chapter 4 of Wrath, treat those cards from RotR or S&S 5 and 6 as if they're from Adventure Deck 4.) Why did your hexing suddenly drop in power, Feiya? You're in the Abyss! Things are crazy there.
Fifth, when you get a reward, claim it! But hey, what about when you've already checked your last card feat or power feat and you're awarded another one? Just make it a skill feat. We've done the math, so you're good there. When you're done with the final scenario of Wrath 6, your set of feat boxes will be real close to entirely filled in. Now that's a hero.
It's possible some of your power feats won't be particularly great in Wrath. (I'm looking at you, Pirate Queen Jirelle.) Well, life's tough in the Abyss. But if you want to make some mods, swapping out a trait like "Pirate" for one like "Aberration," fine. Just don't make a habit of it. The idea is that you're taking your characters from those adventures into the Abyss, so it's up to you to see how you survive. If you want to play a character that's built for Wrath of the Righteous, then start a character (be it Ezren, Jirelle, Sajan, or Lini) anew and enjoy it. This is explicitly for people who want to see what their Rise of the Runelords or Skull & Shackles conquerors would do if they pushed on to even more perilous heights (or depths, as the case may be).
Oh, and hey, now you have something to do with that loot you picked up at the end of the previous Adventure Path!
So that's "adventure 7." If you haven't picked up Wrath of the Righteous and you're wondering what to do with your Runelords or Shackles characters now, give Wrath a try. You asked for a chance to adventure beyond set 6, and we've given it to you. It's your choice to take the plunge into the Abyss.
Don't say we didn't warn you.
Adventure Card Game Designer