What's New With Obsidian's Adventure Card Game?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

We've been admittedly pretty quiet since we showed the game at Gen Con and then PAX back in August. There's been a fair bit of speculation about it. So I guess first I'll clear some stuff up.

We won't be releasing the game in fall 2015... and that's a good thing!

Time for context!

Back when we started this project, I worked out the scope of the game with the execs at Obsidian. André Nguyen created a great mockup of gameplay in Flash that helped get everyone at Obsidian and at Paizo on board (I may share some screens from that version at some point). We agreed on a pretty limited set of features to begin with—enough so that you could play through the Base deck of Rise of the Runelords. I knew a three-scenario game would be enough to prove the game out, but not enough to bring to market. As development continued and our confidence in the product grew, we kept building upon what we had piece by piece, carefully increasing the scope over time. With each additional piece, we added a lot more content and improved presentation—well beyond our original plans.

So that brings us up to today, and more importantly, a release date that we're moving to early 2016. Why is that a good thing?

Well, behind the scenes at Obsidian, we are now planning a better, stronger launch than ever before. And I gotta tell you, I'm excited! There are so many cool things in the works, including some that will let you experience the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game in new ways. First, there's this cool new...

Feargus (CEO, Obsidian Entertainment): Davis! Not yet!

Ah, right. There's a whole plan for talking about this.

In the meantime, I think there are some new things I can "leak."

We've been working closely with Paizo and Lone Shark to make this game as awesome as possible. In most cases, that means staying true to the original rules and intent. There are times where the limitations of interface (over a tabletop) mean it's better if we change the mechanics of the card to fit our game. A simple example of this comes from the "Cloud" spells.


"Don't you know that you're toxic?" ...yep, the card game blog got a Britney reference.

From a mechanics perspective, we removed the "when a character encounters" part of the spell and made it work more like other displayed spells such as Strength and Glibness. It’s a minor change in functionality, but a large benefit for our interface: instead of stopping gameplay whenever a bane is encountered in order to see if the character with this spell wants to play it, it’s now available before or after an exploration or on a combat check. You’ll also notice that we've made some changes to the card layout; for the most part, we've done this to give the card art a bit more room. We also introduced icons for the different card types, as there are places where our user interface really benefits from that. And Paizo has updated the wording where appropriate.

The folks at Paizo have also given us opportunities to add cards here and there that are unique to the digital game. Here are some of my favorites so far:


Rusted Chain doesn't care about your armor proficiency.

The original game has a lot of standard chain mail. We switched out some of them with minor mechanical changes and art revisions. As you know from playing the game, anything that adds to the thrill of discovery is a good thing.

And speaking of thrilling, our artist, Lindsey Laney, was inspired to create the art for a new card in her free time. I can only describe it as a move for gender equality.


In case you ever wondered what a half-orc with high Charisma looks like.

Now let me tell you about who's playable in the tutorial...

Feargus: Davis! Back to work!

Alrighty! Gotta go! More information to come.

Nathan Davis
Multiclass Designer-Producer
Obsidian Entertainment
@nathan_J_davis
(Previously Harsk in Rise of the Runelords and Ranzak in Skull & Shackles; currently Alain in Wrath of the Righteous)

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Licensed Products Obsidian Entertainment Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Rise of the Runelords
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Hawkmoon269 wrote:
True, but you can also play it outside of an encounter now this way.

Yeah, but that seems to be inferior in every way to playing it when you encounter a bane. Unless you're scouting you, generally, have no way of knowing if you will even need a cloud that turn before you encounter. And if your arcane caster has to fight something "at the start of your turn", no clouds for him in a single player game, and in a mp game he needs to be sure to cast it before the end of the previous players turn. Without the change from "end of this turn" to "end of your turn" the card would be fairly significantly nerfed, IMO.

I get why they made the change. The previous version made every encounter very cumbersome, especially in a pass & play form. But in an online MP form, I don't see how it would be much worse. Give players a few seconds to play a card or decline and then decline automatically.

Having said that, I am super excited for this and will be downloading it as soon as it releases and I hope the game is super successful and they get to support it for years with more APs and Class Deck characters. There are a lot of characters that I want to play around with in different APs, but I don't want to go through the hassle of setting up boxes just for that when I've already got a 3-player 6-character game going in WotR.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I am hopeful that there is a virtuous cycle of people buying the physical game and also the digital and getting more engaged, and people buying the digital and realizing they also want the physical.

Adventure Card Game Designer

FYI, someone asked me whether Pathfinder Adventures was "based on" the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Yes, obvs. It's the same game. But the name was changed because my board game's overly long title—especially when you add "Rise of the Runelords" and "Base Set" and whatever—doesn't actually fit on the app store's title list. So this is the new thing.


I am extremely excited to see a date. Been watching this since GenCon 2014. It looks like the wait will be well worth it.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Very interesting to see also how this digital version handles the real solo play difficulty of this game.
Most people who solo this game use 2 heroes. But in this digital version you have to manage by using only one. It can be done, but it requires some luck and good playing eye.

This also leads to quite several character deaths. Interesting to see how they handle the situation when one character die. Start from beginning (expect to see a lot of whining from non board gamers...), start two level below... (the same, I have seen this even among board gamers, not so much with roleplayers though) Or there is that magical reload button somewhere in the app...

The game will get much better, if and when they will release the multiplayer upgrade or add on. Let see if you have to buy it separately though.

Really interesting to see what remains the same and what will change in the digital version. The changes that I have seen so far, card variants and new icons are very good, but there is so much that remains to be seeing!

It is not easy task to make a computer version of board game, that has so much variation as Pathfinder adventure card game has. But it also means that digital version can be really interesting and good if done well!

I predict that we will see Valeros, Kyra and Lem in the free tutorial. :-)
" From the heart-of-gold mercenary on an eternal quest for the next drink to the intensely serious Cleric of Sarenrae, to the always optimistic and sharp-tongued Halfling bard" Obsidian page
Rest you have to buy separately as it seems to be.

If the pass-and-play version is ready from the beginning, then the solo playing is of course easier. No confirmation of that anywhere?


Hannibal_pjv wrote:

Very interesting to see also how this digital version handles the real solo play difficulty of this game.

Most people who solo this game use 2 heroes. But in this digital version you have to manage by using only one. It can be done, but it requires some luck and good playing eye.

You can play more than one character by yourself. The official site lists pass-and-play multiplayer with networked multi coming in the following months after release. Pass-and-Play is pretty much how you solo multiple characters in the TableTop game as well. Each char gets a separate turn.

I was playing it with two characters by myself at GenCon with no problem. I think it was Seoni and Merisiel on one of the demo scenario though I could be remembering it incorrectly.


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How does it work to play a card on someone else's turn?


Steve Geddes wrote:
How does it work to play a card on someone else's turn?

I assume this is one of their big hurdles in working out how to do network play.

Pass & Play will be simple enough (I predict open hands).

Maybe some kind of request system (will bog down the game a bit).

Developer, Obsidian Entertainment

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zayzayem wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
How does it work to play a card on someone else's turn?

I assume this is one of their big hurdles in working out how to do network play.

Pass & Play will be simple enough (I predict open hands).

Maybe some kind of request system (will bog down the game a bit).

The answer is: "very carefully."

I can talk about it a little in terms off Pass and Play (not saying much about online multiplayer yet). Our system allows you to make cards and powers available at the end of your turn for others to use. It also allows you to ask for help when needed.

When we play our weekly games of WotR, we've started using the end of turn system regularly...to the point of putting an exclamation point on a post-it and attaching it to our heads...

...which may make more sense when the game is released.


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Nathan Davis wrote:
zayzayem wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
How does it work to play a card on someone else's turn?

I assume this is one of their big hurdles in working out how to do network play.

Pass & Play will be simple enough (I predict open hands).

Maybe some kind of request system (will bog down the game a bit).

The answer is: "very carefully."

I can talk about it a little in terms off Pass and Play (not saying much about online multiplayer yet). Our system allows you to make cards and powers available at the end of your turn for others to use. It also allows you to ask for help when needed.

Cheers. That sounds like a good approach.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Yep, this seems to be a good solution. I was thinking something like total help pool where you could see all cards that could be usefull and the ask peräisin. In your system the card over make that. Desision of what is in the "pool",

Interesting to see how it works but soundi promising!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Hannibal_pjv wrote:

Yep, this seems to be a good solution. I was thinking something like total help pool where you could see all cards that could be usefull and the ask permission From the ovner. In your system the card ovner make that desision of what is in the "pool",

Interesting to see how it works but sound promising!

Terrible tablet auto corrections in the original post. It would be nice to make corrections to your own Messages...


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Some collected information in other Forum
http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/83881-answers-from-obsidian/


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

What do you think about Rusted chainmail?
It keeps that reveal and reduce 2, but lose lose banish to reduce to 0.
Does anyone else think, that it is now useless boon?
Reveal to reduce 1 and banish to reduce 5 would be usefull I think or something similar. Even banish to reduce to 0 alone would be more usefull than that reveal power.
Any ideas about that card?

It is cheaper so even d4 can get it though. But harder to avoid, if you don't want to have it ;-)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Hannibal_pjv wrote:

What do you think about Rusted chainmail?

It keeps that reveal and reduce 2, but lose lose banish to reduce to 0.
Does anyone else think, that it is now useless boon?
Reveal to reduce 1 and banish to reduce 5 would be usefull I think or something similar. Even banish to reduce to 0 alone would be more usefull than that reveal power.
Any ideas about that card?

It is cheaper so even d4 can get it though. But harder to avoid, if you don't want to have it ;-)

It's possible they limit your starting gear options, so you have to start with stuff like the Rusted Chainmail - then even the regular Chain Mail will be an exciting upgrade. OTOH, the Rusted still gives an accessible option to characters who're not even allowed to start with an armor; though, ostensibly my players never use the 'recharge; powers of armor - if we fail a check, it's usually by more than 2, so we just bury the armor, or otherwise we just discard it to non-Combat BYA damage, which is the far more regular occurrence.

As for avoiding it, if Obsidian haven't tampered with the rules - you can always chose not to acquire it, and in fact you're better off doing so post-Adventure Deck 3.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I think that you have to try to get it. It was confirmation by Paizo, that You can not choose not to try. But you can choose what skill you Are using, so sometimes you can use D4 if you really don't want to have a card and don't have one skill needed to get the boon.
You can not choose to fail the check automaticly.


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Hannibal_pjv wrote:
You can not choose to fail the check automaticly.

I guess it makes sense for an app. I suspect the 'removing Basics and Elites' will be handled by the AI, but I sure hope they don't go the easy way of removing all Basic monsters at start of AD3, for example. The randomness and the chance that you may still turn over a Goblin Commando in AD6, for example, is part of the charm of this game for me.

EDIT: Also, this decision will have some unpleasant gameplay repercussions at two RotR location - the ones that penalized you for a failed check and for successful check respectively.


Hannibal_pjv wrote:
I think that you have to try to get it. It was confirmation by Paizo, that You can not choose not to try.

Are you talking about a change of rules for the Obsidian game? Because in the card game, you definitely can choose not to try.

Wrath Rulebook p.10 wrote:
Attempt the Check. If the card is a boon, you may try to acquire it for your deck; if it’s a bane, you must try to defeat it

Banes are mandatory. Boons are optional.


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I am guite sure that some one asked this and there was different ansver.. Have to find it again... Sigh...


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I think that since RoR was a little "too easy", they may have decided to have the characters start wist lesser "rusted" equipment.

that would be a GREAT idea, multiplying the opportunity to say "great, I've just improved my armor" without unbalacing the game.
IMHO.


Hannibal_pjv wrote:
I am guite sure that some one asked this and there was different ansver...

You're right -- people did ask, and there was a different answer. It was different than what you thought it was. ;)

Here it is right from the official FAQ:

http://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1gk#v5748eaic9ral

Toward the lower middle:

"Attempt the check. If the card is a boon, you may try to acquire it for your deck."

Emphasis mine. Case closed!

I don't think making boon checks mandatory would actually speed up the digital game. You'd still have to pause to give the player the opportunity to choose the type of check, play cards to help, etc -- simply having a "forfeit" button here wouldn't cost any time. Prohibiting players from passing on boons wouldn't raise the difficulty that much, but it would add a significant "feels bad" mechanism to the game.

Suppose Ezren banishes his crappy old Frost Ray to close a location in AD 5, hoping to pick up that Lightning Bolt he missed from AD 3 after the scenario ends. If Seelah stumbles into an Inflict or some dumb crap, Ezren would kindly ask her not to roll for it. In general, if anybody finds an Inflict at that point, they'd usually rather it be permanently banished than continue bouncing around the box. Does being forced to roll for it make the game significantly harder? Not really. But it does feel annoying. So forcing players to roll for boons is a lose-lose: you piss off players AND you don't even achieve any substantive effect on the balance of the game. It would be a glaring violation of Game Design 101 on Obsidian's part to force boon rolls, and I hope they don't do it.


Hannibal_pjv wrote:
I am guite sure that some one asked this and there was different ansver.. Have to find it again... Sigh...

I think you may be confusing this with the similar but different question: are you required to attempt a check? And the related question, can you choose to fail a check?

If a power or a game rules tells you to make a check, in general you must attempt it, although you certainly don't have to try your hardest (you can pick your worst skill, not play cards to help, etc.)

Having said that, some checks are specifically called out as optional:

• Attempting to acquire a boon that you encounter is optional, as noted above.
• Attempting to temporarily close a location (which is often a check) is optional.
• Attempting to recharge a spell is optional (this was a rule in RotR when the "Recharge box" was a thing; now it's covered by the wording of each spell's power).

A few cards had a mandatory check where players thought that an option to auto-fail would make sense (the ally Slip from S&S comes to mind). I think that's what spawned a lot of the discussion.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Also, there are several allies later (Adv 5) in Wrath of the Righteous that you many now want to attempt to acquire. Their cost(s) are prohibitive at times.


Hannibal_pjv wrote:
What do you think about Rusted chainmail?

I'm not sure Rusted chainmail is meant to be a good card, or at least a card you don't want to upgrade. It is what it is, beginner armor.

In Runelords, armor is a non-desirable card, so this more so. This is an OK card in Wrath.

Glad the game is coming out soon, will buy an Android tablet just to play it. I'm a little leery of the demo being free, hopefully each AP isn't crazy expensive or I'll just stick to the actual card game.


Don't think anyone's shared this yet, but there's an AMA next week!


If I had the option to use either an Android or iPad tablet, is one better than the other for this game? Was equal development time spent on both apps? Are the graphics and gameplay the same? Probably not a question I'm going to get an answer to, but it's relevant (to me).


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Were hard to say. Depends on what target They get. Do you have to have relatively new tablet, or is 5-6 years old tablet minimum?
But all in all the low end Android tablet will be slover than the low end iPad From the same time period, so the Android version have to be developed a slover version considered.
But this is not a fps game, so the speed of the tablet is not so important.
Lets get to if-game... If iPad will run with first generation iPad mini, then the resolution of the game would be 1024*768 then the Android and iPad version would look a lot like the same. If on the other hand iPad mini 2 would be minimum then the resolution would be 2048*1536 then the graphic of iPad would be better resolution than Android device. But we have not seen the minimum requirements of this game, so there is no way of knowing.

But good ques would be that iPad version will be planned for higher resolution. But if there will be Apple TV support, then the minimum of resolution would be 1080P, but Obsidian have not been targeting that Device so far. Even modern Android devices can have really low resolution even total, so low ress graphic is a norm.


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Ooooh... an Apple TV version, had not even considered that. I got the latest Apple TV for Christmas and wouldn't mind playing PACG on the big screen. Obsidian, make it so ... please?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I have no intent of ever getting an Apple TV, and can't see anything ever changing that, but even still I think that'd be awesome to see!


vague answer from Obsidian re:AppleTV here: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/83042-apple-tv-compatibility/

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

The only tablet I'm even considering purchasing in the next few years is a Surface. We have an Android tablet, but it's older (and slower), and newer games don't work that well with it. I probably won't be getting this for a while.


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If AppleTV is not supported, you can always AirPlay from an iPad to it


My old Nexus 7 (2012) played The Room 3 just fine. I would imagine this wouldn't pose it much trouble. My wife has my old iPad 2, failing that.


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The AMA thread is live for asking Obsidian Entertainment questions that will be answered tomorrow between 10:30 AM and 2:00 PM PST.


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Preview was posted on BGG. I'm guessing they got an advanced copy or something.


Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Preview was posted on BGG.

And another Preview at GeekDad. It initially went up last week but was pulled as mentioned.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

One really cool thing I noticed from that review is that, at least in the Tutorial scenario, there looks to be a pair of brand-new characters... Orik Vancaskerkin and Ameiko Kaijutsu! Here's hoping we can get physical versions of them as well!


Whoa, that looks beautiful! Not that I thought it wouldn't, I just... I didn't expect it to be so pretty. :3

I really REALLY like the actual map with the locations on it.


cartmanbeck wrote:
One really cool thing I noticed from that review is that, at least in the Tutorial scenario, there looks to be a pair of brand-new characters... Orik Vancaskerkin and Ameiko Kaijutsu! Here's hoping we can get physical versions of them as well!

I believe they are a Henchman and an Ally respectfully


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cartmanbeck wrote:
One really cool thing I noticed from that review is that, at least in the Tutorial scenario, there looks to be a pair of brand-new characters... Orik Vancaskerkin and Ameiko Kaijutsu! Here's hoping we can get physical versions of them as well!

Not to mention Orik gets an Owner shield! And I'm pretty sure Ameiko will get her samisen then...

I'm not familiar with the RPG so I never imagined the Henchman Orik as a player-character material, but yeah, add my vote for seeing Ameiko in the physical game as well!

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

CockyRooster wrote:
cartmanbeck wrote:
One really cool thing I noticed from that review is that, at least in the Tutorial scenario, there looks to be a pair of brand-new characters... Orik Vancaskerkin and Ameiko Kaijutsu! Here's hoping we can get physical versions of them as well!
I believe they are a Henchman and an Ally respectfully

If you look closely at the top-right corner, you see that the player is playing AS those two in this image: Screenshot

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Any idea if the game will come out on consoles?

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Kevin Mack wrote:
Any idea if the game will come out on consoles?

They said in their AMA that they don't have plans for a console release at this time, but they are actively working on a PC version.


cartmanbeck wrote:
CockyRooster wrote:
cartmanbeck wrote:
One really cool thing I noticed from that review is that, at least in the Tutorial scenario, there looks to be a pair of brand-new characters... Orik Vancaskerkin and Ameiko Kaijutsu! Here's hoping we can get physical versions of them as well!
I believe they are a Henchman and an Ally respectfully
If you look closely at the top-right corner, you see that the player is playing AS those two in this image: Screenshot

We'll I'll be an Uncle's monkey and sit corrected.


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March is much earlier than I expected. Fingers crossed the PC version isn't too far behind..

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
cartmanbeck wrote:
One really cool thing I noticed from that review is that, at least in the Tutorial scenario, there looks to be a pair of brand-new characters... Orik Vancaskerkin and Ameiko Kaijutsu! Here's hoping we can get physical versions of them as well!

That's going to be really disappointing if we don't get them physical, with the same stats and powers. Not in a "Aw I wanted to play Ameiko" way, but an actual disappointment that it was decided to make a digital only set of characters.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Andrew L Klein wrote:
That's going to be really disappointing if we don't get them physical, with the same stats and powers.

They're not fully designed characters—they were made with only what they need for the tutorial. Which is to say if you had a physical card with the same stats and powers, you'd be very disappointed when you gained a feat reward and had nothing to check off...

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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That's alright, I'm sure someone here will take the concepts introduced in those pseudo-characters and flesh them out into full PACG characters. Probably me. LOL


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A video preview
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HwwbQrS7Axg

Not so good preview, but show's what the game looks like.

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