Hexes and Foes!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

It's Class Deck preview time again! Before we dive into the mysteries of the Witch, I want to note that the monthly parade of Class Deck releases will go on hiatus for a little while starting in November. We had originally intended to put Class Decks on hiatus during the six months that we're releasing Mummy's Mask, but production delays earlier in the year caused the Summoner Class Deck to slide into October alongside the Mummy's Mask Base Set and Character Add-On Deck. We're therefore starting the hiatus a month later than we had intended.

Now, on with the hexing.

Witch Design Brainstorming

We knew even before we started designing this deck that we wanted to do a version of the witch that played up familiars, and we already had the cohort technology to do it. We looked at the critters available to witches, to see what we wanted to do in addition to Daji, and the following exchange occurred:

Mike: Let's see... they've got access to the standard wizard familiars, so bat, cat, rat, weasel, to—
Tanis: I JUST SEARCHED FOR "FAMILIAR" IN THE BESTIARIES AND FOUND A DINOSAUR THEY CAN HAVE A DINOSAUR FAMILIAR WE'RE DOING IT WE'RE DOING IT
Mike: Hold that thought.
Tanis: Don't make me go get Gary.
Mike: Okay, fine, we're doing it.

Behold the compsognathus:


That's also the face I made when I saw the art.

As you can see, we decided to give the cohort some strategic implications by moving the witch's casting skill onto the familiar. This cleanly models the notion that witches gain their power through a pact with a patron represented by a familiar. The deck has several cohorts, and the non-Feiya characters get to choose which familiar they'll use at the start of each scenario. (Feiya has already chosen Daji, of course, but those of you who are QQing about that should look into her Beast-Bonder role.)

New Characters

In addition to a cohort-ified version of Feiya, we've added Kasmir, an itinerant healer who overcomes prejudice with his magnificent hair and many belts. Kasmir likes to use power efficiently, and his hex is similar to a selfish version of the original Skull & Shackles Character Add-On Deck Feiya's.

Kasmir is all heals, all the time. Cure spell in my discard? I'll take that. Get wiped out off-turn? No worries, I can still draw a card to get my heal off. He's fun to play and easy to kill, like so many of my favorite characters in the ACG.

We've also got the Blue Person, as the forums have noticed. She is indeed a Samsaran, and her name is Raheli.

The other thing that made me all-caps at the design team early in this process was the White-Haired Witch archetype. This archetype lets you fling objects at your enemies with your friggin' hair. If I had that power I would spend all day chucking pens, dice, and small action figures at my office-mates Vic and Lissa, so it's probably a good thing that magic isn't real.

Raheli's pretty much a one-trick pony, but since that pony is named Make Sure We Collect All the Boons, I think she's a pony you'll enjoy. Well, that got weird quickly. Onward!

Creepy Dolls

Since we're fond of designing cycles these days, I threw a set of creepy dolls into the Witch Deck that have a few different abilities.


It's got a ruined eye that's always open...

Since we're Paizo, we already had several creepy doll illustrations laying around, and they basically designed themselves. They sit there for a turn, do their creepy thing, and then act like spells.

The Witch Class Deck comes out at the end of the month. You can preorder yours here!

Tanis O'Connor
Adventure Card Game Designer

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Tags: Class Decks Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Witches
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While the witch deck is nice and all, the introduction is quite disheartening, even though I can understand the reasons behind it.
Still, Class deck on hiatus = no magus deck, no samurai, no ninjas in the near future? Q_Q

Silver Crusade

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I got to play Raheli at PaizoCon, and she was great! I've never had a character care so little about what the cards in her deck do. Or one who needs no cards that define a combat check. She's just recharging everything to throw things at you! (Or the monsters. I guess mostly the monsters.)

I may player again some day, but since I've grabbed dibs on the oracle and inquisitor decks, I told Rebel she could play a witch first.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah, the Raheli and Varril combo was fun to play and hard to beat.


Loving that Blue Person!


I'm interested to see the spells in this deck, as Kasmir doesn't have Arcane or Divine and therefore has to banish every spell he uses (unless I'm reading something incorrectly or they've changed how the spells work).

I'm looking forward to seeing the cards in this deck and trying to decide between Feiya and Raheli. C'mon, Raheli is just like Rapunzel from Tangled! Who's only my favorite character ever! :D Her hair is definitely prehensile. Also Raheli is beautiful.

And neither Raheli nor Kasmir have Arcane. Maybe their other roles give them that option.

Interesting...

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

I am also sad that the class decks are taking a break, but I hope that it means we'll see some other, exciting PACG content being made in their stead!

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Rebel Song wrote:

I'm interested to see the spells in this deck, as Kasmir doesn't have Arcane or Divine and therefore has to banish every spell he uses (unless I'm reading something incorrectly or they've changed how the spells work).

I'm looking forward to seeing the cards in this deck and trying to decide between Feiya and Raheli. C'mon, Raheli is just like Rapunzel from Tangled! Who's only my favorite character ever! :D Her hair is definitely prehensile. Also Raheli is beautiful.

And neither Raheli nor Kasmir have Arcane. Maybe their other roles give them that option.

Interesting...

Look at the Compsognathus familiar. If other familiars follow a similar style (and I believe they will) then having the familiar displayed is how these witches gain their Arcane skill, and another one to boot.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Happy to see a healing-focused witch, since the Cure spells are a notable addition to the standard Witch spell list in the RPG, with archetypes going even further.

Having the casting skill on the familiar is a really neat idea; I imagine what elements to put on the cohort is a cool design space to have, and definitely has me looking forward to the Summoner class deck in October. (I understand that the casting from the Familiar is Witch schtick, of course)

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

First World Bard wrote:

Happy to see a healing-focused witch, since the Cure spells are a notable addition to the standard Witch spell list in the RPG, with archetypes going even further.

Having the casting skill on the familiar is a really neat idea; I imagine what elements to put on the cohort is a cool design space to have, and definitely has me looking forward to the Summoner class deck in October. (I understand that the casting from the Familiar is Witch schtick, of course)

Yep, if Balazar from Wrath is any indication, the eidolon cohorts will have some very interesting powers that will break the mold. :-D

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Also, I'd just like to point out how excited I am to finally have some of these witch cards posted publically, so that I can start designing my own witch characters with a similar mechanic. :-D

Adventure Card Game Designer

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cartmanbeck wrote:
I am also sad that the class decks are taking a break, but I hope that it means we'll see some other, exciting PACG content being made in their stead!

We had so much fun working on the goblin not-quite-class decks that it made some sense to take some time and figure out what new and interesting things we can do. Now that we're almost done with Mummy's Mask, we'll be brainstorming new ideas for PACG Real Soon Now™.


I played Kasmir during PaizoCon. His "healing hex" ability was really cool and I loved the fact that he can use any card to do it.


...is there discrimination in the Pathfinder world against having many belts? If that was the case, most of the PACG heroes would be oppressed, I think.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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If anything, I'd think there might be discrimination against those who don't have enough belts.

Adventure Card Game Designer

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Vic Wertz wrote:
If anything, I'd think there might be discrimination against those who don't have enough belts.

If the Belt Registration Act is proposed by the United Nations of Golarion, Wayne Reynolds will be in the role of Captain America.


Vic Wertz wrote:
If anything, I'd think there might be discrimination against those who don't have enough belts.

So, that means you're going to have Tetsuya Nomura as a guest artist? :)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I too find it really weird that both of the revealed witches don't have Arcane or Divine. But I'm excited about Raheli, so I guess I'll just have to wait and see when I get it.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

See the bit in the blog that says "As you can see, we decided to give the cohort some strategic implications by moving the witch's casting skill onto the familiar. This cleanly models the notion that witches gain their power through a pact with a patron represented by a familiar." Then look at the first power of Compsognathus.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oh. That makes sense. Thanks. See, every time I look at that card, I go "HEY GUYS! HOW'S IT GOING?" with a ridiculous smile on my face and then I don't make it to the text box.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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(Try really hard not to get your cohort banished.)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I don't mind the Class Decks being on hiatus as long as the reason is because... VILLAINS DECKS! :3

But honestly my wallet can only afford so much at a time that I'm actually relieved.

I like the fact that Raheli is Dex based. I am also liking all the cohort reliant characters. Creates more dynamic. Except when everyone has a pet/companion, then it feels overplayed. Hypes me up for Summoner Deck, though.

Adventure Card Game Designer

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Iammars wrote:
See, every time I look at that card, I go "HEY GUYS! HOW'S IT GOING?" with a ridiculous smile on my face and then I don't make it to the text box.

Every day in my office. Every day.


Vic Wertz wrote:
(Try really hard not to get your cohort banished.)

That is possibly the best advice to give a Witch. Safest method I can think of is to have the Witch go first and make sure they are not at a location that requires a "At the start of your turn" shenanigan.

Avoiding using the power that puts it on the top of your deck and then back into your hand when you reset it (thus vulnerable) is probably advisable as well.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Mike Selinker wrote:


We had so much fun working on the goblin not-quite-class decks that it made some sense to take some time and figure out what new and interesting things we can do. Now that we're almost done with Mummy's Mask, we'll be brainstorming new ideas for PACG Real Soon Now™.

Just throwing this out there, since you will be thinking up ideas, how about a not-quite-class deck with playable Orik, Ameiko, and Shalelu? You could put in cards that the Bard, Fighter, Ranger decks need to make the original class decks more viable. Even though you would need other decks to play one of these characters in organized play, I think that such a deck would sell and maybe make some people give those original class decks another look.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Wraithguard wrote:

That is possibly the best advice to give a Witch. Safest method I can think of is to have the Witch go first and make sure they are not at a location that requires a "At the start of your turn" shenanigan.

Avoiding using the power that puts it on the top of your deck and then back into your hand when you reset it (thus vulnerable) is probably advisable as well.

Maybe I'm reading too deep into your post, but it seems like you're thinking it needs to be YOUR turn to Display the cohort. Like Padrig, nothing on the card says you have to play it on your turn; the instant the blessing deck turns over for the first time, Mr. Compo is displayed. Thus (outside of shenanigans, like you mention) the cohort should really never be vulnerable during normal play.


Yeah, I remembered that just a bit ago.

I just keep remembering a cohort that doesn't have a display power, Donahan I think, and my friends lamentations in WotR when his cohort is thrown into his discard from an unfriendly barrier.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Ok, so, how do Witches GET their Cohorts? As I recall, they're "on loan" for the extent of the Scenario, added to your first hand just after you draw it. Compsognathus doesn't have an Owner. The Scenario cohorts are defined by the Scenario (Valais Durant has the text "I know I'm not in the scenario list, but add me anyway, I'll be good I promise")... None are acquired in play.

So how's that gonna work?

Silver Crusade

On their character card, it lists a cohort along with the rest of their deck. So like Adowyn and her wolfie or Balazar and Padrig. They just start with one.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Some characters "own" Cohorts, such as Balazar (Padrig), Alain (Donahan), etc. These Cohorts are permanently part of the character's deck (unless lost during game play due to shenanigans).

Ooh! Ninja'd by E.G. dangit!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Brother Tyler wrote:
Some characters "own" Cohorts, such as Balazar (Padrig), Alain (Donahan), etc. These Cohorts are permanently part of the character's deck (unless lost during game play due to shenanigans).

Yes, but those cohorts also have an Owner printed on their cards, which was a source of confusion. Leryn, for example, is Owned by Adowyn.

Brother Tyler wrote:
Ooh! Ninja'd by E.G. dangit!

Indeed. I guess these aren't uniquely "owned" by any one witch (if they were, they'd probably have names), but are still added to their hand by virtue of being printed under their card list.

It strikes me that it'd be cool to be able to make a choice of various Familiars with different abilities (one-time choice for a given iteration of a character), just to mix up play styles. So you could play Raheli through one AP bound to a Compsognathus, and another with a snake living in her hair, or some such. (Which, I guess, you can do if you want for home play, but it'd add a new dimension to OP, as well.)

Silver Crusade

If you're not Feiya, you can actually switch out your familiar every scenario. Though I think certain roles lend themselves more to certain familiars.

Pathfinder ACG Developer

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Indeed, at least one of the familiars strongly affects the cards you keep in your deck, so once you make that pact, you probably don't want to break it even for one scenario :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
If you're not Feiya, you can actually switch out your familiar every scenario. Though I think certain roles lend themselves more to certain familiars.
Keith Richmond wrote:
Indeed, at least one of the familiars strongly affects the cards you keep in your deck, so once you make that pact, you probably don't want to break it even for one scenario :)

This is (almost) EXACTLY what I was hoping for. So, it's not a SPECIFIC cohort that you get...

Bah. I'll stop whining and wheedling, and wait 'til my deck arrives. However, I am currently powerfully awesomed.


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Excited to see what kind, and how many other cohorts will be included in this deck. Trying to think of the craziest cohort that could work with a witch.

Improvised Cohort. Picture is just an old shoe.


Kasmir...

"At the end of your explore step"

I'm not so up on terminology. How does this interact with extra explores? Are each of these an explore step? Or are all explores under a single step during which exploration happens?

The difference between "He heals once a turn" and "He can heal however many times he explores a turn"


Eliandra Giltessan wrote:

I got to play Raheli at PaizoCon, and she was great! I've never had a character care so little about what the cards in her deck do.

I can see this happening as well.

It seems like her favorite power feat will be hand size so you can chuck more d4's at whatever problem arises.

In plainer terms for her:

Don't care, have hair.


Explore step is not the same an exploration. No matter how many times you explore step there is still only one.

Having played Kasmir I will tell you one per step is more than enough.

Silver Crusade

zeroth_hour2 wrote:

Explore step is not the same an exploration. No matter how many times you explore step there is still only one.

Having played Kasmir I will tell you one per step is more than enough.

It's a really good heal. Better than Kyra's, cuz you don't lose out on an explore and you can discard any card. Great use for things you acquire but don't want! Not Grazzle good, but still one of the best healing powers in the game.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I am super excited about all the neat things we are seeing in this class deck:

Cohorts
Temporary skills
Dinosaurs
Boon collecting
Creepy dolls

This one looks to be awesome.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I am actually excited that they are going on hiatus for class decks because I would far rather see them do something awesome than to churn them out for the sake of churning them out. These last few decks have been / look like they will be heads-and-shoulders better than the first seven.


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Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Boon collecting

I know someone ^^^^^ who likes boon collecting. ;)


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You guys are getting good at this ;)


Calthaer wrote:
I am actually excited that they are going on hiatus for class decks because I would far rather see them do something awesome than to churn them out for the sake of churning them out. These last few decks have been / look like they will be heads-and-shoulders better than the first seven.

My sentiments exactly. I'd go even farther to deck 10 though. Barbarian really started adding things with new and interesting mechanics, and from then on the creativity hasn't let up.

I look forward to these previews and when I finally get my grubby paws on the complete deck.

Silver Crusade

I agree on the keep getting better front. I was underwhelmed by the inquisitor deck at first, and now I'm playing Alahazra, and I kind of wish I were playing Varril. (This may be related to Alahazra's constant near death tonight. Did you know 3d12 can roll a minimum of 3? It was like oracular snake eyes taunting me.)


I have not played Wrath, and I do not fully understand cohorts.
With that being said, would I be correct in saying that any cohort based character will not pair well in either RotR or S&S?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Any cohort based character should take their cohort with them into any adventure path they play.


I'm actually using Arueshalae (Did I get that right?) in RotRL. Use of her personal cohort creates no problems. I cannot really see any other cohorts causing issues either. They didn't have cohorts tied to the scenarios (which would have been cool to use Shalelu and some of the other recurring characters), but they don't create problems.

Now I have more scenarios and things I want to design into RotRL.


I suppose I should read up then... Onward to Wrath Rules...

If I am understanding cohorts correctly:
Cohorts are tied to specific characters/character sheets and if they are played in previous iterations of the game, then it is perfectly acceptable to use cohorts.

Interesting.... looking at you Gnomish Dog Lancer Raz...

The plot thickens... Off to ask the wife for money!

Adventure Card Game Designer

Playing a cohort with a non-cohort-using character generally only can happen if the scenario tells you that you get a cohort (this only happens in Wrath).

In theory you could play any character with any cohort. Just be aware that we balance a character that is assigned a cohort on her character card to be less powerful than any other character if neither has a cohort. So that means that if you play a non-cohort-using character with a cohort, you might have a more powerful character than a cohort-using character with her assigned cohort.

YMMV, as always.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Rebel Song wrote:
Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Boon collecting
I know someone ^^^^^ who likes boon collecting. ;)

Stop making it sound... dirty...

CD-Lem's a pretty decent boon hound (ok, NOW I know why it sounds dirty). In SotRi, one of the AD3 Scenarios, he actually doubled his deck size (17), and got boons in all 6 categories.

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