"I Do Not Seek Answers, But Rather to Understand the Question"

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Before I get into specifics, I want to thank Hawkmoon again for last week's excellent Best Character Ever blog, even though he was almost completely wrong. If you've got a pitch for a blog, hit us up at pacg@paizo.com!

Now, let’s talk monks. The design team loves to talk about what makes a monk a monk. Is it a desire for self-perfection and superior discipline? Ridiculous aerial gymnastics? The ability to punch something really, really hard? Nobody was willing to admit that one of these qualities was clearly more important than the other two, so we just used all three. Let’s meet the band!

Birdwoman, or (The Unexpected Virtue of Wing Nuance)


Fun fact: the design team immediately nicknamed this character “Rooboocoop” after I named her. These are the people I have get to work with.

First up is Rooboo, a tengu monk. As anyone who’s played Skull & Shackles through knows, tengu are Pathfinder’s bird people. You’ve seen the Tengu Rookery and the Jinx Eater, but never a tengu character.

My favorite thing about Rooboo is her avian power suite. She can fly away from situations she can’t handle, and, like a magpie, she’s good at grabbing shiny things. Movement is a bit of a thing with her, as you can see from her Flowing Monk role. Move twice on a turn? No problem. Dance away from trouble? Ain’t nothin’. She can even blow her allies out of harm’s way with some downdraft action.

You’ll also notice she has a very unusual combat power. We’ll get to that later.

When Your Fist/Elbow/Knee/Foot is a Hammer...


You may make the first strike. I shall make the last.

Athnul, named after a character I played in a campaign long ago, brings some old-school martial arts to the party. She’s a bare-handed terror who takes Runelords Sajan’s unarmed strike and gives it a twist. She’s not here to overcome barriers. Athnul is here to punch things until they die.

Her Keen Strike Monk role is based on an archetype from Inner Sea Races called the Hamatulatsu Master. This version of Athnul is about finding the most effective way to cause pain, and she’s willing to help her party members do the same. As a side note, I’m very fond of adding a little support to a primarily self-sufficient character. This is a co-op game, after all, and hybrid characters can show people the fun in playing a different kind of character than the type they usually select. This Athnul also gains some spell-like abilities, as represented by the Divine skill feat.

Kamas and Rochins and Temple Swords, Oh My


Who's the best character now?

We’ve also created a new version of our iconic monk Sajan for this deck, affectionately referred to in-house as Stabby Sajan. As you can see, he’s interested in weapons that have the Slashing trait, and he’s got a variant of his original blessing-recharge power that’s got a little more kick to it. This Sajan is rarely without the means to defend himself. Those who guard the temple don’t go unnoticed by the gods.

We wouldn’t give you a Sajan that wants weapons and then leave you with only a wellspring of resentment. Instead, we’ve created more than 10 new weapons in this deck, including a fancier temple sword or two.


Time to bust out your war fan katas!

These new temple swords use the Strength/Dexterity/Melee listing you might remember from the Iconic Heroes promo card, while the bulk of the new weapons in this class deck allow characters with the Acrobatics skill to show off a little. Any character with the Acrobatics skill can make use of these, so the Rogue Class Deck’s Wu Shen and the Sorcerer Class Deck’s Amaryllis just got a little love. (For a peek into the design crystal ball, consider what other sorts of characters might use such weapons.)

That’s it for this week. Next week, Paul Peterson returns with the goods on Wrath of the Righteous’s Adventure Deck 5!

Tanis O'Connor
Adventure Card Game Designer

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Tags: Class Decks Iconics Monks Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Sajan

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Whoa, all of those monks look awesome!

Seems weird that that Demonbane Temple Sword + 3 has the Owner:Sajan bit, though.


Interesting... Athnul adds different trait on Main and Role card. On main card she add Bludgeoning and on Role she add Piercing trait to her combat check.

I think this was the first time that base powers text on the Main and Role card is different... was that by design or is it a typo?


Having "Owner: Sajan" on a card with a set indicator 6 seems to be only flavor text. Sajan can treat this as a deck 6 card with the Basic trait, but I don't think that changes when or how he can add it to his deck.


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Come and get it b*~%+es!! I'll stab 'em!! Stab 'em all I say!!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Big big props to all the folks working on the PACG for my newest alias :-)

Edit: especially Tanis for the great blog post :-)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Like the first 6 seconds here. Love it, love it, love it. Can't wait to get my hands on it. Great class deck to support the best character ever. The awesomeness here only backs that up.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Teeeeeeeeeennnnguuuuuuuuuuu

I'm surprised to see Sajan without his Dex combat power. I expected that to be his "Alright he's basically always going to have some form of this". I do miss his old blessing power though. I'd rather play my whole hand than get a d12 from myself and others. At least the recharge is still there.

It's very odd to see him weapon based when his last version was basically "Screw weapons"


It's not the same, but CD Sajan will sometimes be fighting using Dexterity, if the fan can be taken as an indication that there are weapons in the Monk deck which use the Acrobatics skill.

Adventure Card Game Designer

Ripe wrote:
Interesting... Athnul adds different trait on Main and Role card. On main card she add Bludgeoning and on Role she add Piercing trait to her combat check. I think this was the first time that base powers text on the Main and Role card is different... was that by design or is it a typo?

It's not a typo. Athnul actually changes her fighting style by committing to Keen Strike. She goes from hitting people with fists and feet to her hands being more like spears and knives. It's not pretty to look at.

So while we're not inclined to add a power for free when you take a role card (sorry, Wu Shen), we're not above changing the character card if the character concept radically changes (see Seoni/Element Master).

(This is where you ask me what happens when the Umbral Dragon makes her bury her role card, and I somehow evade the question.)


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elcoderdude wrote:
Having "Owner: Sajan" on a card with a set indicator 6 seems to be only flavor text. Sajan can treat this as a deck 6 card with the Basic trait, but I don't think that changes when or how he can add it to his deck.

It matters for if you mix in the class deck to the box for the home game. At that point in time, should you ever banish a Weapon in deck 6 and find yourself short at the end of the scenario, Sajan can pick that up because it's Basic for him.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

"Stabby" Sajan should probably reconsider his moniker. If he's stabbing all the time, he won't get to add that new +2 to his combat checks from Slashing weapons. D:

Rooboo and Anthul look awesome! My wife's out of the country til October, so we won't get to actually enjoy any of this stuff anytime soon, but I'm looking forward to spoiling myself on the whole Monk deck as soon as it arrives (and considering whether Dog Paladin, Bird Monk, or Punch Monk is more important to me, when we get into Season of the Righteous)


skizzerz wrote:
elcoderdude wrote:
Having "Owner: Sajan" on a card with a set indicator 6 seems to be only flavor text. Sajan can treat this as a deck 6 card with the Basic trait, but I don't think that changes when or how he can add it to his deck.
It matters for if you mix in the class deck to the box for the home game. At that point in time, should you ever banish a Weapon in deck 6 and find yourself short at the end of the scenario, Sajan can pick that up because it's Basic for him.

I thought of this, but I thought the deck number - 2 rule applied. Looking at the rules, you are right.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
elcoderdude wrote:
It's not the same, but CD Sajan will sometimes be fighting using Dexterity, if the fan can be taken as an indication that there are weapons in the Monk deck which use the Acrobatics skill.

Yea, I just meant not needing any cards for combat. Looking at a hand full of potions of healing and just saying "I punch him. Hard."


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Wow! That is pretty much all I can say. These last two class decks - Paladin and then Monk have just blown me away. I'm just getting ready to solo play Raz through RotR and now I really love Athnul. My son who played Sajan is going to love all of these Monks.

I really love the non-iconic characters in the class decks. My favourite chars from the first set have been Amaryllis, Olenjack and Tarlin. And now Raz and Athnul.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mike Selinker wrote:
(This is where you ask me what happens when the Umbral Dragon makes her bury her role card, and I somehow evade the question.)

What happens when the Umbral Dragon makes her bury her role card?

Adventure Card Game Designer

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Mechalibur wrote:
Mike Selinker wrote:
(This is where you ask me what happens when the Umbral Dragon makes her bury her role card, and I somehow evade the question.)
What happens when the Umbral Dragon makes her bury her role card?

Look, a monkey riding a dog!


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Wow ... Mike's role card really does have an evasion ability ...


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Oh man oh man oh man this sentence is what stuck with me: "(For a peek into the design crystal ball, consider what other sorts of characters might use such weapons.)" I think. I hope.

Silver Crusade

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The lady and I were perusing these last night. All I can say is, I can't wait until the latest submitted order goes from "Pending" to "Complete"- WotR Adventure Deck 5 and Monk deck! (Impatiently waiting.)

-- Steve


I have a hard time figuring out how to play CD Sajan

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
rex hahaha wrote:
I have a hard time figuring out how to play CD Sajan

You stab stuff. And the then you slash at it. Then poke it again. Then ask the gods to poke it for you. Then when you go Temple Guardian, you throw your sword at stuff to distract it so you can run away.


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Andrew L Klein wrote:
rex hahaha wrote:
I have a hard time figuring out how to play CD Sajan
You stab stuff. And the then you slash at it. Then poke it again. Then ask the gods to poke it for you. Then when you go Temple Guardian, you throw your sword at stuff to distract it so you can run away.

I knew Andrew was a fake.

The only real answer is : "Sit and Meditate"


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
rex hahaha wrote:
I have a hard time figuring out how to play CD Sajan

Well, we can't see his card list, but it sounds like he'll have weapons in his deck. Particularly weapons with the slashing trait. Let's say he gets his hands on the Venomous Fighting Fan +1. He reveals it. He'll probably choose the Acrobatics skill.

The weapon lets him roll Acrobatics + 1d4 +1 or 1d10 +3 + 1d4 +1.
His "slashing" power adds another +2.
He plays a Blessing of the Gods to add 1d12 which he gets to recharge. (The d12 and the recharge are part of his power).
His friend also plays a Blessing of the Gods to add 1d12. (The d12 is part of his power. His friend doesn't get to recharge the blessing though.)

In total, he is rolling 1d10 + 1d4 + 2d12 +6 and 1 card has been recharged and one has been discarded (but not by Sajan). That is a pretty high role at a low cost.

Think about it like this, the Venomous Fighting Fan +1 recharges for an extra 1d12. The means Sajan can recharge the weapon alone to roll:
1d10 + 1d4 + 1d12 +6.

RotR Valeros (and I think every Valeros) using that weapon could roll:
1d10 + 1d4 + 1d12 + 4.

And Sajan also recharge a blessing to make it 1d10 + 1d4 + 2d12 +6. Valeros can't. That sound you just heard is Valeros weeping.

Also, this is amazingly a Melee, Dexterity, Acrobatics, Slashing, Finesse, Offhand, Magic (and maybe Poison) check.

With a power feat, he's adding 4 via his "slashing power" instead of 2. With a feat on the role card, if he succeeds at the check, he gets to draw a card. (Blessing cycle here we come!) He's going to love villains with 2 combat checks to defeat.

Lets say he fails by 1 and is dealt 1 Combat damage. He reduces that by 1, which makes it 0.

If Sajan ends up with no weapons in his hand, he can use his Melee skill (1d6 +2) and still using his blessing power to add d12s (and recharge the ones he plays).

Likewise, if he gets his hands on a weapon that doesn't use the Dexterity or Acrobatics skill, he can use his Melee skill.

Sovereign Court

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Frencois wrote:
Andrew L Klein wrote:
rex hahaha wrote:
I have a hard time figuring out how to play CD Sajan
You stab stuff. And the then you slash at it. Then poke it again. Then ask the gods to poke it for you. Then when you go Temple Guardian, you throw your sword at stuff to distract it so you can run away.

I knew Andrew was a fake.

The only real answer is : "Sit and Meditate"

No, it's this phony CD Sajan who is a fake. The real Sajan, who we met a long time ago in Sandpoint, would sit and meditate. Followed by kicking and punching the enemies into oblivion.

This impostor uses a blade. A BLADE!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I was going to suggest something Rooboos being the "tailless tea-lady" referring to Rooibos, but that's probably worse than Rooboocoop (nah, nothing could be worse than that.)

I also really enjoy the +4 skill.

Next, I tried to figure out whether or not Siwar, lady of fans, could use the fighting fan; it turns out she can't (sadness). Wu Shen already has Finesse Melee, so she doesn't strictly need the Acrobatics on it; but she can get a +2 instead of a +1.

I am also sad that the fighting fan does not have a weapon type trait on it - even the Starknife and the Kukri have the Knife trait. I'm not sure that the Fan is the only weapon that doesn't have a weapon type trait on it, but it might be.


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Andrew L Klein wrote:
This impostor uses a blade. A BLADE!

Have you checked your hand lately? And your belt? Or your profile?

The object on Sajan's belt looks like it's a Wushu Dart, but it's still a blade.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
zeroth_hour wrote:
Andrew L Klein wrote:
This impostor uses a blade. A BLADE!

Have you checked your hand lately? And your belt? Or your profile?

The object on Sajan's belt looks like it's a Wushu Dart, but it's still a blade.

That is RPG Sajan. He is weak. I am PACG Sajan The Mighty. I rule with an iron fist, he fails at ruling because he traded his iron fist for an iron stick.


Andrew L Klein wrote:
Frencois wrote:
Andrew L Klein wrote:
rex hahaha wrote:
I have a hard time figuring out how to play CD Sajan
You stab stuff. And the then you slash at it. Then poke it again. Then ask the gods to poke it for you. Then when you go Temple Guardian, you throw your sword at stuff to distract it so you can run away.

I knew Andrew was a fake.

The only real answer is : "Sit and Meditate"

No, it's this phony CD Sajan who is a fake. The real Sajan, who we met a long time ago in Sandpoint, would sit and meditate. Followed by kicking and punching the enemies into oblivion.

This impostor uses a blade. A BLADE!

yes, most probably he needs a lot of monk weapons that uses acrobatics

I just can't let go the thought that Sajan is the bare fist master with 10 dice in a battle

well at least CD Sajan get more bonus modifier from weapons and the acrobatics skill instead of the original +4


Just wanted to say that the design and mechanics for these characters was really well done. Looking forward to getting my copy.


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Athnul looks pretty awesome ... I'm going to assume she doesn't actually get spells without Card Feats, though, but I can deal.

I admit to having a hard time mentally envisioning a Monk with a d6 Dexterity (which I perceive as being an average stat ... a 10, in RPG parlance), though ... but whatever works. :)


Hawkmoon269 wrote:
If Sajan ends up with no weapons in his hand, he can use his Melee skill (1d6 +2) and still using his blessing power to add d12s (and recharge the ones he plays).

Actually he can only add one d12 and recharge that blessing.


Elezar wrote:
Hawkmoon269 wrote:
If Sajan ends up with no weapons in his hand, he can use his Melee skill (1d6 +2) and still using his blessing power to add d12s (and recharge the ones he plays).
Actually he can only add one d12 and recharge that blessing.

Other players could bless him also.


zayzayem wrote:
Elezar wrote:
Hawkmoon269 wrote:
If Sajan ends up with no weapons in his hand, he can use his Melee skill (1d6 +2) and still using his blessing power to add d12s (and recharge the ones he plays).
Actually he can only add one d12 and recharge that blessing.
Other players could bless him also.

And if he played a two-dice blessing he could add two d12s.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I did say the "ones" he plays, which can obviously seem to mean he is playing more than one at a time. I only meant he could be playing them on more than one of his own combat check while he waits to draw a weapon. Sorry I wasn't clearer on that.

I got to look at this class deck this weekend. Cartmanbeck had it. I only flipped through it, but even that brief perusal reinforced my hopes that this is the greatest class deck ever, of all time, infinity.


Cartmanbeck was easily rolling a few dice +9 on his combat checks. It was crazy.


This seems like the place to ask: Why didn't you include Spells for levels B, 1 and 2. two of the cards have a choice for earning spells as a card feat. This removes choices from the player. so how did this mistake get past quality control?

And before someone says you don't have the revelent skills to recharge or use them, you can always banish the spell and get it back at the end. so there should have at lease been a spell B in the deck.


My guess is in the RPG monks don't get spells at lower levels, so they don't intend you to take this card feat at lower levels.

This doesn't jibe with class decks like Rogue where you can take a Cure at level 1, but it does match up with the Paladin deck. In the RPG Paladins don't get healing spells at lower levels, so the first Cure in the Paladin deck is level 2.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

It probably has just as much to do with the choices they did offer as the ones they didn't. The number of people taking a spell card feat for a monk at all is probably low, let alone the number taking it early. If they are trying to spread out the deck numbers some what evenly, every spell reduces the number of other cards they can put at the deck number.

Besides, in organized play I think this might be an advantage. If you take a spell card feat, you will get a high number spell since you don't have any B, 1 or 2 choices. You can choose a 3. If I understand correctly.


Hawkmoon269 wrote:
If you take a spell card feat, you will get a high number spell since you don't have any B, 1 or 2 choices. You can choose a 3. If I understand correctly.

You can't have a card in your deck which is higher than your tier. But when you get to tier 3, as soon as you get take a spell card feat you can choose a 3 spell, if that is the lowest-level spell in your deck.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Ah. Ok. Well, all that means is that you need to realize you probably shouldn't take a spell card feat until you have access to deck 3 cards. (Or at least that you will soon.)


I would view taking a spell to get one cure for the deck as beneficial. In some of the games I've played that one spell is the difference between finishing or dieing. I took it for my rogue deck specifically for the cure. I believed it was to mimic use magic device.

I find it odd though and felt it wasn't completely correct. However having looked through it I believe taking the spell card feat early like that would be bad since all three monks have much better choices.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Yeah. I'm not saying it isn't a valid strategic decision, just that balancing the boons in the class deck by adventure deck number might make it hard to include some low level spells.


Athnul seems like her combat is pretty poor compared to the others, although her get out of encounters for free power could be handy.

At best her combat could be 2d6+1d10+2, and that's if she recharges a card and discards a blessing. Presumably she'll start with an amulet of mighty fists plus a caltrop bead, but still...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Rebel Song wrote:
Cartmanbeck was easily rolling a few dice +9 on his combat checks. It was crazy.

My group just got through 1-3. With the fan, I was rolling 1d10+1d4+15 (Acrobatics +3, Dexterity skill feats +4, Slashing bonus +4, Weapon bonus +1, Mythic Charges +3), meaning anything with a Combat 17 or lower was an auto-kill. I don't think I've played a blessing on a combat check the entire path...

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