Pathfinder Adventures—Maybe the Coolest Collection of Ones and Zeros Ever

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Last week on Reddit, I alluded to our Pathfinder Adventure Card Game design team helping Obsidian Entertainment with its upcoming Pathfinder Adventures game. If you haven't heard, it's a digital port of PACG, but with a whole lot of new bells and whistles.

So, let me give you an idea of what it's like to work on this awesome thing. First, the crew. Chad, Vic, and I have been trading emails and phone calls with project lead Nathan Davis, designer Dave Williams, user interface designer Andre Nguyen, and artist Lindsey Laney for something like a year and a half now. They are freakin' sorcerers. They see everything we've tried to create in paper form and manipulate it to be even better in the digital world.

Gone is all the setup and teardown time, the limitations on numbers of cards in the box, the trips to Ikea for new Kallaxes to fit the awkward thing in your game room. In are variable boons, dynamically changing banes, and Andre's amazing animations. Rise of the Runelords feels brand new again.

Here are some screenshots you'll like. Below is the map for the Adventure Path. The star with the checkmark just south of Sandpoint shows that I've completed the B scenarios, and the bright star to the north indicates that I can take on adventure 1 in Sandpoint itself.


Follow the teal arrows. It's totally safe.

In each scenario, you'll also see a local map with all of the locations you'll need to visit, like the Brigandoom! map below. And when you get to some of those places, you'll see new art by Lindsey. For example, this is what the City Gate looks like.


Last one in, close the portcullis!

Designing for the Digital World

Because the digital world sometimes has different needs than the tabletop, we've been revisiting a lot of things in the game. For example, here's Sajan's Drunken Master role.


Among the rejected power names: "Buy Selinker a Mai Tai."

You will note that Sajan has named powers with the familiar checkboxes. I've explained before that we don't do that in the physical card game because it would create legacy presumptions on the players' parts, and it would also take up more precious space on what are already our most text-laden cards. But Obsidian needs to be able to refer to those powers in shorthand during the game. So Tanis brainstormed a whole bunch of names for these powers, Vic and the RPG team played around with them, and then voila, all the Runelords powers—every little checkbox—got a name.

Sometimes, they come to us with a hard challenge that we need to resolve. For example, last week we spent a bunch of time trying to figure out—again—how daggers and daggerlikes work. For the minutiae-uninitiated, the card Dagger has this text: "When playing another weapon, you may discard this card to add 1d4 to your combat check." For us, that's simple. You play a Greatsword, discard the Dagger, bingo-bango, +1d4.

For Obsidian, it's not so simple. For them the question comes when your first weapon is also a Dagger. Because then you can:

  • Reveal the first Dagger
  • Discard the second Dagger
  • And since discarding the second is "playing another weapon," you can then discard the first.

Which, y'know, is pretty much fine by me. You wanna toss two cards for +2d4, go to it. That all makes sense because you, the human with the cards, flips the card around and says "I'm playing this Dagger."

But in the Obsidian game, you click on cards to activate or deactivate them. So you click on the first Dagger to reveal it, then you click on the second Dagger to discard it, and then you click on the first Dagger to... wait a second. That first Dagger is already clicked on. So now when you click on it again, you'd be... deactivating the first Dagger? That's no good at all.

So we got out the scalpels. After a dozen false starts, our man Keith came up with this new wording: "When you play another weapon for your combat check, you may discard this card to add 1d4." Note the words "for your combat check" here. There's a step where you play the card that sets the skill for your combat check. That's only ever one card—in this case, the dagger you displayed at the start—so playing the second dagger no longer allows you to play the first again. From Rise of the Runelords through to the upcoming Gunslinger Class Deck, this change would affect almost three dozen cards, so errata-ing them for the physical card game would be both painful and pointless. So in the digital game, they'll work ever so slightly differently. And everything will be fine.

No, check that. Everything will be awesome.

Like This. This is Awesome.

Early in the process, Nathan came to me with a request for a tutorial scenario. I said something like "Dude, I have no idea what that is, so just write one."

See, in a digital game, you don't need to learn the game from a 32-page rulebook. Instead, you can learn how to play the game from the game itself. But for that to work, you need a play sequence that is tuned for the particular digital game. Since I'd empowered Nathan to make his own tutorial, I expected I'd see something like what we created for Brigandoom! or the like. I figured he'd just have Kyra and Merisiel beat up a bandit or three, and we'd be off to the races.

And then these showed up.


Ameiko: "Hold still, Orik, while I mold this shield around your face."

Yes indeed. That's Ameiko Kaijitsu and Orik Vancaskerkin—an ally and a henchman, respectively, in the Runelords set—who are your characters in the tutorial. Orik's got his own special shield and everything. And they're fun to have around. Here's some of Nathan's dialogue from the tutorial.

Orik: Bloody horse demon thing! I hate monster cults!
Ameiko: Huh. More equine than expected!

I'll bet you can guess what they're fighting. In the tutorial. The tutorial. Good luck with that.


Even Maester Grump has concerns!

Anyway, as I think you can see, this is gonna be glorious. But you don't have to take my word for it... Obsidian is running a Pathfinder Adventures Twitch stream this Friday, February 26, at 4 PM Pacific time; check it out for yourself at twitch.tv/obsidian!

And keep an eye out for the game next month. It'll keep your iPad or Android tablet humming for a long time to come.

Mike Selinker
Adventure Card Game Lead Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Licensed Products Obsidian Entertainment Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Pathfinder Adventures
1 to 50 of 64 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Shadow Lodge

I freaked out when I saw Ameiko and Orik as playable characters in one of the previews posted yesterday. It's so cool!

Also, looks like each Adventure is $5, with a Season Pass that is cheaper than $25 (but not known at this time.) That's a great pricing model. It also sounds like each Adventure will come out in a staggered release, hopefully monthly, rather than all at once.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

So, two things. First, I totally bought Kallax shelves, largely influenced by the size of the box for Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Second, you might actually get me to watch twitch for more the 5 minutes. That will be a first as well.


Now I want an Ameiko bard character I can use in OP

Developer, Obsidian Entertainment

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for the preview blog, Mike!

While there are great shout-outs above, I'd like to also give ups to my stellar programming team lead by Ottawa-based Kevin Smith; with Commander George Wang who wrangles each new rule with steely-eyed determination and our online team that are making magic happen, Nate McDorman and Keno SanPablo. Our QA team deserves extra special recognition, given the depth of the game, lead by Stephanie Bogart (who I couldn't do without) and assisted by new daddy David Lockwood (and very very recently Kevin Bellardi). Producer, Ryan Rucinski has jumped onto the team recently to help get us out the door. I've also been assisted on the Design side by Ryan Rodriguez. And another new addition to the design team, Michelle Flamm who's going keep you playing this game forever...

Also a super special thanks to our small band of elite external playtesters. We haven't been able to support a full open beta, so having a small dedicated group to test things while we work has been essential. We've asked them not talk about the game publicly just yet. For now, you should know that we love 'em!


Welp, looks like I need a tablet. Any suggestions? =D


Can not wait for this!


Now I'm even more happy I already own a tablet. All be it very small I own it.


Mike Selinker wrote:
From Rise of the Runelords through to the upcoming Gunslinger Class Deck, this change would affect almost three dozen cards, so errata-ing them for the physical card game would be both painful and pointless. So in the digital game, they'll work ever so slightly differently. And everything will be fine.

I understand why you did it. Of course, there's already errata on the three dozen cards of this type already, so there's already pain there.

And I'll get arguments from people who are used to the rulings in the digital version of the game sitting down at my tables in OP, but that's okay.

I also wish Ameiko had a Finesse Melee power, since she clearly holds a rapier in her art, but that, too, is okay.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Hawkmoon269 wrote:
I totally bought Kallax shelves, largely influenced by the size of the box for Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.

I know, right? They fit *so well*.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

I really hope we get those two characters in the physical game, the mere consideration that we might not kind of irks me.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

zeroth_hour2 wrote:
I understand why you did it. Of course, there's already errata on the three dozen cards of this type already, so there's already pain there.

Not quite. That one-word change affected 24 cards. This would affect all of those plus another 12 we've made since then—4 in Wrath, 5 in Alchemist, 2 in Gunslinger, and 1 in Iconic Heroes.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber
ThreeEyedSloth wrote:
Also, looks like each Adventure is $5, with a Season Pass that is cheaper than $25 (but not known at this time.) That's a great pricing model. It also sounds like each Adventure will come out in a staggered release, hopefully monthly, rather than all at once.

I think that price point is going to do great things for them. I'm not sure staggered releases will do well in a digital format for something that already exists elsewhere, but I don't know enough about it to really say.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Beargram wrote:
Welp, looks like I need a tablet. Any suggestions? =D

Check out Swappa.

Shadow Lodge

Andrew L Klein wrote:
ThreeEyedSloth wrote:
Also, looks like each Adventure is $5, with a Season Pass that is cheaper than $25 (but not known at this time.) That's a great pricing model. It also sounds like each Adventure will come out in a staggered release, hopefully monthly, rather than all at once.
I think that price point is going to do great things for them. I'm not sure staggered releases will do well in a digital format for something that already exists elsewhere, but I don't know enough about it to really say.

Episodic games are really hot right now, so it makes sense for them to go that route if they are going to charge per Adventure pack.

As long as the wait between each one isn't long. Because I'll tear through 5 scenarios in a single sitting probably.

Adventure Card Game Designer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I am bummed I can't participate on the Twitch thing this week. Of course, I'm in the Caribbean, so I am not *that* bummed.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber
ThreeEyedSloth wrote:
Andrew L Klein wrote:
ThreeEyedSloth wrote:
Also, looks like each Adventure is $5, with a Season Pass that is cheaper than $25 (but not known at this time.) That's a great pricing model. It also sounds like each Adventure will come out in a staggered release, hopefully monthly, rather than all at once.
I think that price point is going to do great things for them. I'm not sure staggered releases will do well in a digital format for something that already exists elsewhere, but I don't know enough about it to really say.

Episodic games are really hot right now, so it makes sense for them to go that route if they are going to charge per Adventure pack.

As long as the wait between each one isn't long. Because I'll tear through 5 scenarios in a single sitting probably.

I can't read that post without picturing Mugatu's "Hansel... he's so hot right now"


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

Why can't it be March 29th (I think that is the release date) already?!


Yep, can't wait.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Nathan Davis wrote:
Thanks for the preview blog, Mike!

OK I'll wait until after playing a couple games on my iPad to say it but Nathan your are the man.

... well just behing Mike and Vic who are godly ranked.
... and Hawk just doesn't play in the same league.
Bur still, you have no idea how much you gonna be loved by end of March.


I'm so excited for this game coming soon! And count me in with the myriad others who would love to seek playable Ameiko and Orik in the physical game!


Why exactly isn't this comming out for PCs as well as tablets and smartphones ? Doesnt seen to make much sense to me.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
DakonBlackblade wrote:
Why exactly isn't this comming out for PCs as well as tablets and smartphones? Doesnt seen to make much sense to me.

They're working on a Windows version. It's unfortunate that it won't be there at release, but hopefully it'll work out well and show up soon.

Beargram wrote:
Welp, looks like I need a tablet. Any suggestions? =D

If you use Windows at home, I would recommend waiting to see how the game turns out and, assuming everything runs OK, get a Windows tablet/convertible once it's available on that platform.

Otherwise get a tablet that matches your smartphone ecosystem, if you have one. There's no point in buying all of your applications again.

FWIW, I have an ASUS Transformer Book T100; it's a low-end Windows convertible that I've upgraded to Windows 10. It's not a gaming or computing powerhouse, but it works fine for most things. I wouldn't recommend it nowadays because there should be better devices available for what I paid for the T100 new and if you want to spend more you're looking at much nicer machines. Unfortunately I haven't been looking for a new tablet/convertible lately so I don't have specific suggestions for you. :(


Parody wrote:
DakonBlackblade wrote:
Why exactly isn't this comming out for PCs as well as tablets and smartphones? Doesnt seen to make much sense to me.

They're working on a Windows version. It's unfortunate that it won't be there at release, but hopefully it'll work out well and show up soon.

.....

Hope they make a Linux version, as I'm jumping off the Windows ship.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
DakonBlackblade wrote:
Why exactly isn't this comming out for PCs as well as tablets and smartphones ? Doesnt seen to make much sense to me.

I see this sentiment when developers release to the tablet platform and it doesn't make sense to me. As a developer myself, releasing for Windows, for the Mac, for Android tablets/phones, and for iOS tablets/phones are all really separate. There are some development libraries out there that make it easier to do cross-development, but there are so many differences that it takes much longer to test and can introduce many more defects that get undetected before launch.

It seems to me to make more sense to deliver for one platform, ensure that the software works, and then port/release for the next platform.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I tried looking through the website and the AMA, but couldn't find any info: when the PC version eventually comes, how would it handle existing purchases on tablets? Will there be any way to transfer content data, or if I'd play on my PC (which I prefer) I would have to buy everything a second time?

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Have you had any thoughts on putting bar codes or PIN numbers on the Iconic Heroes' special cards in the future allowing the cards to be of use in-game digitally? I know there are many apps that do something similar and might also increase sales of miniatures to those who otherwise wouldn't even buy them, possibly even getting more people interested in the rest of the PFRPG line that Paizo has.
I'm not talking about adding anything to previous releases either, just future ones. Just wondering (hoping).

Grand Lodge

Andrew L Klein wrote:
I really hope we get those two characters in the physical game, the mere consideration that we might not kind of irks me.

I really hope we get those two characters in the digital game for more than the tutorials. Ameiko is one of my favorite NPCs in Pathfinder.

ThreeEyedSloth wrote:

I freaked out when I saw Ameiko and Orik as playable characters in one of the previews posted yesterday. It's so cool!

Also, looks like each Adventure is $5, with a Season Pass that is cheaper than $25 (but not known at this time.) That's a great pricing model. It also sounds like each Adventure will come out in a staggered release, hopefully monthly, rather than all at once.

I was initially worried that price was going to be an issue. Looks like I needn't have. That said, some sort of incentive (say a discount) for those who buy the physical decks to also pick up the digital copy would be nice. Either way, I'm planning on a Day 1 purchase.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

If they're tutorial only that's fine. Tutorials have exclusive options all the time.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Longshot11 wrote:
I would have to buy everything a second time?

Most propably They Are separately sold, so you have to buy them second time.

I have some pinball games in steam for PC and iPad and I have to buy tables to each separately.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

You also earn Gold when you kill monsters, which can be used to purchase new Adventure Decks. Possibly new characters too. It's uncertain if all of the Runelords characters will be playable from the start.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber
ThreeEyedSloth wrote:
You also earn Gold when you kill monsters, which can be used to purchase new Adventure Decks. Possibly new characters too. It's uncertain if all of the Runelords characters will be playable from the start.

I do like in game currency being used to buy things that actually make sense to be bought with real money, this is definitely cool to have. I think not having all the base set characters playable upon purchase at least would be a big problem. I could see the Character Add On characters being unlockable with gold, regardless of whether or not it is a buyable pack with real money. As long as the in game costs aren't something absurd that basically says "Play non stop for 2 months and you can afford one adventure."


I can't wait to be able to play a solo game without having to shuffle all those cards after every scenario. I seriously spend more time shuffling and setting up the scenario than I do actually playing the game when I play solo (granted, I'm a bit OCD when it comes to shuffling, to make sure everything nicely randomized). It's not that bad with a group, where everyone pitches in on shuffling and setting up the cards, but half the time, I don't want to bother playing because I don't want to spend all that time setting it up.


jduteau wrote:
I see this sentiment when developers release to the tablet platform and it doesn't make sense to me. ...

Most folks don't use a ton of platforms and thus don't care whether or if a desired product appears on the other platforms. Similarly, folks don't like to see their chosen platform's version of a program as a second-class citizen. Given the choice between a program appearing on my chosen platform along with a bunch of others at the same time and it not appearing on my platform (perhaps until later, perhaps never) I'm going to vote for a simultaneous release.

You have a point about the cross-platform development issues; there should be better cross-platform development platforms. However, users aren't developers and usually don't know and/or care about the development issues involved with any particular type of program.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Twitch stream is running now.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

I jumped on when it looked like someone messed up the game, will this be available to watch later?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I missed it, got home from work too late. But it's on demand now on their channel.

http://www.twitch.tv/obsidian/v/50982845


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber
hfm wrote:

I missed it, got home from work too late. But it's on demand now on their channel.

http://www.twitch.tv/obsidian/v/50982845

Thanks for the link, time to watch

Shadow Lodge

It looks great, and I love the difficulty options. I'm going to be running a 6-person Legendary permadeath playthrough on my Twitch channel when it finally comes out.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

Looks awesome! Can't wait until it is released. I will definitely be playing on the hardest difficulty with permadeath.


Twitch stream shows that Lem's choices did not include Loot for his Favored Card Type. I am sad (but hoping it's only because he didn't have a loot card in his deck).


Watched the stream live. It was hott.

Yes, with two 't's'.

Really impressive stuff from what has largely been the work of a five-person team.

Shadow Lodge

zeroth_hour2 wrote:
Twitch stream shows that Lem's choices did not include Loot for his Favored Card Type. I am sad (but hoping it's only because he didn't have a loot card in his deck).

But Loot cards are actually other types of cards, like Weapons and Items. Loot is simply a designator on a card that says "There's only one of these boons, and you only earn it through some sort of reward."

But if you choose Weapon and draw Brine's Sting in your opening hand, you're good, because its a weapon.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Cough, cough.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Wow, yeah that's pretty awesome. I had never even considered using Loot as his favored type.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
ThreeEyedSloth wrote:
But Loot cards are actually other types of cards, like Weapons and Items. Loot is simply a designator on a card that says "There's only one of these boons, and you only earn it through some sort of reward."

This is why I don't think Loot should be a legal choice, FWIW. (But apparently it is.)

Shadow Lodge

Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Cough, cough.

Huh! Missed that one.

Sorry, I was mistaken. Then yes, I hope that functionality is coming!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I absolutely can't wait for this. I will be stealing my wife or son's tablet in less than a month.


One concern popped into my mind as I read the dagger problem/fix. It shouldn't be an issue, if I'm picturing the power-activation actions right, and I'm curious if the play-thru made it clear...

Lini can reveal an ally, then discard that ally to use beast form.
Or reveal it, then recharge it for its own power (Bear, Sabre-toothed Tiger, etc).
Is it clear that the app will allow that re-use of the same card?
Did anyone try something like this at Gen Con last summer on the early version that was there?

Thanks!

Developer, Obsidian Entertainment

Iceman wrote:

One concern popped into my mind as I read the dagger problem/fix. It shouldn't be an issue, if I'm picturing the power-activation actions right, and I'm curious if the play-thru made it clear...

Lini can reveal an ally, then discard that ally to use beast form.
Or reveal it, then recharge it for its own power (Bear, Sabre-toothed Tiger, etc).
Is it clear that the app will allow that re-use of the same card?
Did anyone try something like this at Gen Con last summer on the early version that was there?

Thanks!

Lini can reveal an animal and then use it for another purpose. You activate her character power first to reveal the animal.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Apparently my boyfriend didn't know this was a thing that was happening. I told him about it and he said I'm not allowed to spend more money on this game (lol). So I hope it won't require TOO much replaying of the base scenarios to unlock the next adventure decks. We'll find out soon I suppose! :D

1 to 50 of 64 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Card Game / General Discussion / Paizo Blog: Pathfinder Adventures--Maybe the Coolest Collection of Ones and Zeros Ever All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.