Magic and Mystery—Oracle Class Deck Preview

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

In the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, the oracle is a divine spellcaster driven by devotion to an ideal rather than to a particular deity. The specific source of an oracle's abilities is a mystery, and each oracle is burdened with a curse of some kind, for power has a price. When we designed the first version of Alahazra the Oracle for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, we found ourselves drawn to the idea of prophecy and foresight. That idea carried through into the new character designs for the Oracle Class Deck.

In the Skull & Shackles Base Set, the blind Oracle Alahazra wielded the power of storms against her enemies, while using her divine abilities to open a brief window into the party's future. In her new incarnation, the Bride of the Sun calls down the daystar's light on anyone who gets in her way, and that dazzling illumination makes many things clear to even those who lack eyesight. (She also has a sweet hat.)


No, we don't know how she gets dressed like that without sight either.

That last role power works in combination with the second power, so Alahazra can provide a long term strategic view of what's to come by peeking at the bottom two cards of a deck. Cartmanbeck gave you a preview of her other role, Wandering Prophet, two weeks ago.

For the two new characters in the Oracle Class Deck, we decided to get freaky with our divination methods. Ramexes, as mentioned in that "Class Decks Update" blog, is a haruspex. That means he guts things and sees what's to come in their entrails. Since we're fully into fantasy stereotypes here at the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, we knew Ramexes had to be a pitborn.


He's not bad, he's just drawn that— ...well, actually, he's pretty bad.

Ramexes has a straightforward "kill 'em, cut 'em open, see what's coming" mechanic in his first character power. My favorite power of all time is his third character power, in which he cuts open his allies to gain prescience and bonus explorations. I cackle every time I play him, and he's one of my playtest characters for Season of the Runelords, so I play him a lot. The other folks in the office have gotten used to the frequent cackles that emanate from my cubicle. Or at least they've stopped asking about it.

The final character in our clairvoyant trio is Grazzle, a lizardfolk life oracle who practices ossomancy, or bone divination. He's slightly more fastidious/carnivorous than Ramexes, and prefers to use the whole kill rather than just the entrails.


Eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog... wait, wool of bat?

As you can see, Grazzle's focus isn't on scrying, but rather on healing his party through a little self-sacrifice. He can automatically recharge his spells, so he fights like a sorcerer, and the Bone Diviner can still do a little divination where his friends are with a mechanic similar to S&S Alahazra. The Bone Diviner also has a power that works with the variety of new diviner items that we've put in the Oracle Class Deck—but you'll have to wait and see those another time!

I showed off this deck to a playtester of mine, and he shuffled through the deck and gave me a look full of shock and misery. "Where's Augury?" he asked plaintively.

That's right, kids, the Oracle Class Deck doesn't contain the Augury spell. Doesn't have it, doesn't need it. Between the new items and powers we've jammed in there, these oracles will be examining decks like it's their jobs; they'll want to save their spell slots for other things. We encourage you to pick it up and try it out, and see what you think.

Until next time, Pathfinders.

Tanis O'Connor
Adventure Card Game Designer

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Tags: Class Decks Oracles Pathfinder Adventure Card Game
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Grand Lodge

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My gf played Grazzle last night for the first time (0-1A). He would have gotten killed if he hadn't noticed the "Perm Close" effect of Scar Bay (combat damage equal to the number of monsters left in the location deck: hadn't defeated any of the four there) so Graz just camped there and waited to temp close when the Villain was discovered. Hand size 6 is harsh...


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Played Ramexes and my wife played Brielle in the demo scenario for SotR last night. I think the "bury ally to explore" power is gonna be his sleeper hit. Obviously that's a great power on paper, but it hadn't dawned on me until we actually ran a scenario how he could use it to get 2x the benefit out of acquired allies AND remove them from play so they don't clog his deck (by Retainer, thanks for the viscera!) Furthermore, it might be worth looking into the bury allies power w/ a Seelah-type mindset: a way to slim his deck so the Divine cards he WANTS are in more frequent rotation. I haven't peeked ahead at the Oracle deck, so I don't know what the relative power level of his allies was (I do know the 1 Allies were the mildly unexciting Druid of the Flame (okay for Ramexes if he knows there's a fire-immune bane coming) and the downright miserable Social Climber). If it's mostly okay-ish stuff, I'd be cool just burying them on a regular basis if it meant getting his paltry number of spells back into his hand quicker.

Otherwise, Ramexes wasn't as all-powered as I'd hoped! His combat's pretty so-so if he doesn't have a Divine card in hand (which happened with surprising frequency--I think I only used the power twice). That, combined with the single Cure in the Oracle deck (which we were spending blessings to recharge because it was our only source of healing), means he's a bit of a slow mover. I expected him to play like a Divine caster flavored rogue. He feels more like a warrior with slight caster flavor (and I'm really disappointed he caps out at 2 items, especially with so many rad ones in the Oracle deck!) Seems like he might take a little work to get up to speed. Then again, scenarios before you have power feats are always a bit weird, so I'm taking it with a grain of salt.

(Clockwork Butterfly is xxxxxtremely cute)

On the other hand, Brielle is an astonishing power house. 2d8+d12+3 is a heck of a good combat roll for a fresh character, especially for only the cost of a recharge (provided you don't fail your check!) She and Ramexes have 100% identical stats, outside of Ramexes's Divine +1, so maybe they're not the best-best team, but we'll see. I'm mostly concerned that Ramexes kind of needs to be a Mythic Marshal for the +recharge on his spells, and wonder if that leaves Brielle to be a Mythical Marshal too and they can swap charges back and forth (but we almost never, ever pair up at locations in our games) or if she should try to cover one of our weaker stats with the Str/Dex or Str/Con paths.

Grand Lodge

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On a related note, did anyone note that Grazzle is (please correct me if I'm wrong) the first character to have BOTH Craft and Survival, making him the perfect combination gunner's mate and shipwright in a SotS or S&S game?


Pirate Queen Jirelle can learn the Craft skill (Charisma +3) with a couple of power feats, but I believe you are correct with Grazzle being the first character to have both skills by default.

Sovereign Court

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Dave Riley wrote:
(I do know the 1 Allies were the mildly unexciting Druid of the Flame (okay for Ramexes if he knows there's a fire-immune bane coming) and the downright miserable Social Climber).

Okay, I can't let this stand. Druid of the Flame is one of the best allies of all time! All time!

But seriously, it does everything you want an ally to do - it gives you an extra exploration with a bonus that will often apply, helps with piling static modifiers for monsters with high chances to defeat, helps get around immunities that would otherwise hand-wipe you, and synergizes well with scouting, which the oracle deck has plenty of.

Now, I still would put other allies ahead of it. Imp/Mastiff and Fortune Teller are both better allies, but that's the best rider you're going to get on an extra-explore ally. When I saw him in the Oracle class deck (and the Druid class deck iirc), I was super excited.

(I will concede that he gets better the less characters are currently playing. The nova consideration is not as large when you're playing with 5 or 6 characters and there's generally enough blessings/other abilities to go around to help a nova. But solo/2/3 characters he's amazing.)


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CD Alahazra's Spell Conversion also uses Fire and thus enables Druid of the Flame.

In contrast to the Druid deck, where all 3 Druids are in the deck. But other than spells, the Druids' immunity is only circumstantially used. Good thing the extra Combat is great.

Also, bury to reroll Allies are also quite powerful; Parrot and Wolverine are the two that come to mind. The reason for this is because you don't have to expend the resource until you fail, which is also why I like the Polearm weapons a lot for low level monster clearing.

Sovereign Court

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Iammars wrote:
Okay, I can't let this stand. Druid of the Flame is one of the best allies of all time! All time!

Yea, yea, calm down Kanye ;P


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Iammars wrote:
But seriously, it does everything you want an ally to do - it gives you an extra exploration with a bonus that will often apply, helps with piling static modifiers for monsters with high chances to defeat, helps get around immunities that would otherwise hand-wipe you, and synergizes well with scouting, which the oracle deck has plenty of.

He ain't bad! But, not playing a lot of casters (and Ramexes certainly isn't one!), for me, overcoming immunities is mostly irrelevant, so Druid of the Flame was just a static +2 to a combat check. Better than no bonus, obviously! But, again, as someone who plays mostly martials, allies have got to be adding like a couple d6s before I start caring about their explore bonuses in the face of allies that add card draw, scouting, and so forth. Seeing the Oracle deck's Fortune Teller bumped up from an AP1 ally to an AP6 just about broke my heart! D:

(anyway I took him because why not--better than that icky Social Climber!--but somehow I don't think he ever ended up in my hand throughout the whole SotR scenario we played last night? :D)

Grand Lodge

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Dave Riley wrote:
Seeing the Oracle deck's Fortune Teller bumped up from an AP1 ally to an AP6 just about broke my heart! D:

That happened in the first class deck EVER! (Bard)

Adventure Card Game Designer

James McKendrew wrote:
Dave Riley wrote:
Seeing the Oracle deck's Fortune Teller bumped up from an AP1 ally to an AP6 just about broke my heart! D:
That happened in the first class deck EVER! (Bard)

That ally was actually designed for the Bard deck, and the Wrath team used it again in Wrath 1. We have a lively debate about its merits. :)


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Our Adowyn player has a nice combo going with the Fortune Teller and, I think, Leryn.


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Yuuuuuup, so did I! That's why I'm in love with her. With Adowyn, it was effectively an extra explore every turn that, at most, only cost you a recharge (and because it says "encounter" not "explore," you could use it to skirt First Exploration penalties sometimes!)

It probably *is* too good to be an AD1 card. 50-50 for a free encounter is pretty nuts. At the very worst, if you're in a scary location, you can just always say "boon," and then it's a free scout instead. However, I'm kinda sad to see it as AD6. Even in the class decks, where you have a lot more control over what you get, I tend to think of AD6 boons as "the cards I'll never actually get to play."


Dave Riley wrote:

"the cards I'll never actually get to play."

So true. I had a look through S&S 6 the other night. I barely remembered any of the cards.

but could probably recite the deck lists for 1-3.


Tanis O'Connor wrote:
James McKendrew wrote:
Dave Riley wrote:
Seeing the Oracle deck's Fortune Teller bumped up from an AP1 ally to an AP6 just about broke my heart! D:
That happened in the first class deck EVER! (Bard)
That ally was actually designed for the Bard deck, and the Wrath team used it again in Wrath 1. We have a lively debate about its merits. :)

Tanis a quick Clarify. I love the Fortune teller. But since that possible encounter occurs during the move step it doesn't forfeit your free explore I hope?


It actually doesn't. The fortune teller triggers an encounter, not an exploration. Therefore you are free to explore after encountering the card you examine. Since it happens at the end of your move step, you're stuck at your location, though.


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Ramexes is the best new character. A dude who kicks butt with melee weapons, and can tell the future! Sign me up!


The thing I like most about Ramexes has got to be the burying of allies in the discard pile. How many times have you picked up that "Athlete" or "Researcher" that did you absolutely no good except a free explore. Now, you can get TWO explores from that one ally. Perfect way to burn through a location that you failed to close when you encountered the henchman early on.


I've just sleeved my cards and counted them and discover I only have 107 (108 including the generic 'Using PACG decks for Society Play') Does anyone have a deck list, or even a card count for card types, so that I can try and determine which ones I am missing. I've recounted five or six times, but keep coming up with 107. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.


Ok sorry, Found them. I'd somehow doubled up and sleeved four cards in two sleeves! Sorry for the wasted post. Need to pay more attention next time!


Dave Riley wrote:

I tend to think of AD6 boons as "the cards I'll never actually get to play."

It's sadly true - I keep hoping for an AP that brings Blessings of Nethys in at a suitably low AP number to let Zarlova do repeatable scouting and bonus exploration


Nethys is the deck 2 blessing in Wrath. I had Zarlova in one of my Wrath groups and managed to pick up a handful of them. I can say that it's every bit as awesome as it seems to be able to continually scout/explore each turn.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Any word on when the Oracle deck character sheets will be available?

Grand Lodge

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Xexyz wrote:
Any word on when the Oracle deck character sheets will be available?

Yes, but nothing specific.


The_Napier wrote:

There's a slightly scary phrase hidden there:

Grazzle's role card said wrote:
...during this examination you may ignore any powers on the examined card
I've not yet seen any cards that do trigger when examined, have I?

While looking for something else completely, I accidentally stumbled upon this old post of mine. I feel I may have been rightly scared


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I wonder if Liz softly chuckled to herself when she read your post.

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