Core Principles: Rethinking Complexity in the Pathfinder ACG, Part 2

Friday, March 8, 2019

Last time, I showed you several of the new card frames and revised wordings in the upcoming Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Core Set. Let's keep that going!


Hey now.

Here's Amiri, our favorite barbarian. Hey—no more sideways character cards! In playtests, we enjoyed reading character and role cards like all the other cards. Paragraph widths your brain can handle. Pretty great.

We're using Wayne Reynolds' new iconic art for Amiri, which we revealed just this very week. We're proud that the Core Set is the first product that will include all 12 of Wayne's new iconic illustrations. (Yes, we said 12, not 11 like in Rise of the Runelords. There's a new Alchemist in town, and his name is Fumbus. More on him later on.)

The first part of Amiri's second power, "Closing your location does not prevent you from exploring," probably doesn't make a lot of sense to you just yet—we'll come back to that later in this blog.

Looking at the back of the card, you'll notice that the character's flavor text has moved here from the token card. That's because we no longer have token cards. Instead, you'll be getting pawns for each character, just like the ones in the Pathfinder Pawns line.

You may appreciate the clean phrasing of "Melee weapon." In previous sets, we would have to say "a weapon that has the Melee trait." Using traits as adjectives has value far beyond just making wordings more concise, though; we can now more easily use them as qualifiers throughout the game. For example, Amiri no longer has to be content favoring just any old weapon—she now favors Melee weapons specifically. And since favored cards aren't limited to types alone, "favored card type" has become simply favored card.

A change you could easily miss: characters don't have gender traits anymore. We've never actually used them anywhere in the game—not even that one time where we tried to make a Unicorn that cared—so we banished them to the ashbin. You can still figure out a character's gender from the pronouns in the flavor text (or not, as the case may be).


Enhance is the closest we got to naming a spell "Share Tattoo."

Spells and items got a very important overhaul. The most significant adjustment is how you recharge them after playing. One of the game's roughest edges—ok, it's a rusted razor blade—has been how and when you do that: these cards would go into a Schrödinger's cat-like abeyance zone while you finished whatever you were doing, then you could finally find out whether it was discarded, recharged, or banished. I've been wanting to fix this hiccup for years. So one day in the office, I quietly said, "I want to change what 'banish' means." Once everyone got done checking my forehead for signs of fever, I explained my new concept of recovery.

You will notice that Enhance gets banished when you're done using it; that's because all spells get banished now. But when you banish a recoverable boon for its power, you don't put it back in the vault—you put it into a recovery pile. At the end of each turn, anyone with a card in a recovery pile does whatever that "During Recovery" section says. Usually, this means applying your proficiencies and/or succeeding at a check to allow you to keep the card. If you aren't able to get your card back during recovery, then it goes to the vault. Recovery fixes a lot of the game's worst exploits, so we never have to worry about Restoration bollixing things up again.

And let's talk a bit more about proficiency. Previously, characters were proficient with card types, so when a card wanted to know if you were proficient with it, it would ask you by naming its card type. For example, a weapon might say "If proficient with weapons, you may add or subtract 3 from your result." But the first part of Enhance's recovery text just says "If proficient, discard this card." That's because there's now more than one way to be proficient with a card—in addition to being proficient with its type, you can be proficient with any of its traits. For Enhance, this means you're proficient with it if you're proficient with spells, or if you're proficient with Magic, Arcane, Divine, or even Veteran cards (not that any character is ever likely to be proficient with Veteran cards, but hey, you never know).

So if you're proficient with items, or with Alchemical or Liquid, you can try to recharge that Elixir of Energy Resistance. (Don't laugh about the Liquid proficiency, or Drunken Avenger Valeros will have words with you. Perhaps not entirely comprehensible ones, but words nonetheless.)

Also, check out that word freely on Enhance. That's an important word. There are new restrictions on how you play boons, most notably that the party can collectively play no more than one of each card type on each check. We'll talk about that in depth in a later blog, but the key is that sometimes we want you to be able to bypass those restrictions. So if you play a boon freely, you or someone else can play another of that type.


Sonja fit all that on one side of a location card. That’s A++ graphic design.

The first thing we need to explain here is "to close or to guard." We used to use the terms "permanently close" and "temporarily close" to mean closing a location either forever or just for the brief moment when the villain is trying to escape. But there were significant differences between those concepts, often requiring us to do some dancing to ensure that it was clear when we wanted something to affect just one of them. So "temporarily close" has become guard, as it is in Apocrypha, and "permanently close" is just close. No longer do you have to second-guess whether something that affects closing is supposed to affect temporarily closing too.

The next thing we need to explain is why we're not showing you the backs of those locations. Well, there is no back. When you close a location, you don't flip it over anymore—you banish it, then everybody there moves to a new location. There's no need for a "When Permanently Closed" power to appear on the other side of the card because there are never closed locations in play. This also means that the game cleans itself up as you go—when you win, there will typically be a lot fewer cards on the table, allowing you to get on with the next scenario that much faster.

This is also where Amiri's mysterious "Closing your location does not prevent you from exploring" power comes in. When other characters close their location, they move to a new one but are done exploring for that turn. Not Amiri—she can try to power through her new location like a raging barbarian should.

Let's talk about what it takes to close or to guard the Ruin: "Summon and defeat the danger." Every scenario lists a danger: one or more specific banes that a wide variety of effects can bring into play. This allows us to play up unique thematic elements in each scenario. Before, we didn't have a good way to throw lots of skeletons at you during a haunted castle scenario, but now we just define the danger as, say, an Ancient Skeleton, and it's restless dead till dawn.

The Graveyard has a new term: new. This just lets us bring in cards from the vault that—unlike summoned cards—stick around for more than one encounter.

And hey, all locations have traits now! Certain banes may be harder to defeat in an Urban location. Or you might be a power that serves you better at Wild locations, giving you a reason to gravitate toward them. That's a fun bit of storytelling.

Then there's the proxy card. We've been using proxies in Pathfinder Society scenarios for a long time now; bringing that concept to the Core Set means that we don't have to include six copies of a bunch of the henchmen. (Even the proxies themselves aren't truly duplicates—there are times when it's helpful to differentiate between them, so they each bear a unique designation, like our buddy A1 above.) This means we can give you more unique cards for your money. Proxies allow us to put 411 unique cards in the 440-card Core Set (and the duplicates are all level 0 and 1 blessings). It gets even better in the 550-card Curse of the Crimson Throne Adventure Path, which includes 543 unique cards (the duplicates are all of a single level 0 blessing).


These are not the nicest cards we've ever created.

This trio shows some of the many ways we hurt you. When we hurt you in myriad ways, we want to use the same verb, because we often do it multiple ways at once. Enter suffer, a word you will learn to loathe. You can suffer damage and you can suffer scourges, an evolution of the concept from Mummy's Mask. We also named the place you bury your cards the bury pile, which might lead you to believe we did so because we used it a lot. Probably don't worry about it. For all that suffering, we also coined the verb heal to describe the act of shuffling a random card into your deck from your discards—and yup, we simplified that to one word too. That'll help when you use the single copy of Cure we put in the Core Set. (More unique cards is good, right?) And while we're shortening things, "reset your hand" became just reset.

We might hurt you before acting or after acting. We changed those from "before you act" and "after you act." This should make it more apparent that these terms describe a time that something happens regardless of who actually does it. Castothrane hits you for Fire damage and gives another character a Wraith to fight, so it's clear that "before acting" can affect more than just you.

When you try to defeat ol' Ghost Rider here, you might notice his immunities, resistances, and vulnerabilities. You can't hit him with Cold because he hand-waves that away. Hit him with Fire and you'll subtract 4 from your result, because he's resistant. Hit him with Bludgeoning and you'll add 4, because Skeletons fold up like deck chairs when bashed with rocks. Hit him with a Flaming Mace and both of those apply, so it all washes out.

Oh, maybe the most obvious change: Castothrane isn't a villain or a henchman. He's a story bane, which lets him be used as either a villain or a henchman. Or as a danger, even. This flexibility lets us use these important cards for various purposes, such as Mob of Undead summoning a random Undead story bane. This will come in especially handy when you see the random scenarios that you can generate yourself.

You might be wondering about that white circle on the scourge. That's just one place where markers come into play. The Core Set includes 63 of these little discs; 7 each of 9 different designs. When you suffer a scourge, you put a marker on that circle, and you take a corresponding marker yourself. While so marked, that scourge's powers apply to you. Scourges can also mark locations, and if you're at a location when it gets marked, or if you end your turn at a marked location, you suffer the corresponding scourge. Scourges are just one fun thing we do with markers; frankly, we haven't even begun to scratch the surface with the possibilities. And wait until we tell you what's on the backs of the markers... in another blog.

As I mentioned last time, we're aware that these changes affect some extant cards. The vast majority of cards just work, and the conversion guide in the rulebook has simple rules that cover many more. For example, characters that have the Arcane or Divine skill count as being proficient with the corresponding trait—easy. A single sentence tells you how to play old rechargeable boons with the new recovery rules. And another sentence tells you how to easily determine whether effects that apply to closing locations should also apply to guarding.

A few cards will need more specific attention, though. The conversion guide includes the general rule that you ignore any effects that involve interacting with closed locations, but that might not be good enough for a few cards; when Menhir Savant Lini wants to use her Planar Tuning Fork in the General Store, we'll help her out. And we might want to give some cards additional powers to increase their usefulness in the new set, like letting some cards that currently affect Curses and Haunts also affect scourges. Let us know what cards you think need an overhaul.

Basically, you're playing the same game as before, just with a new coat of paint. A much spiffier coat of paint, in my totally unbiased opinion. We hope you enjoy playing with the new rules as much as we do.

Mike Selinker
Lead Designer, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Apophenia wrote:

People keep talking about moving when a location closes to be purely bad but I don't see it that way. As a player who commonly plays support characters that uses cards which can only be played targeting characters as my location (or local characters now) being able to move when a location closes and keep supporting people is a huge boon.

The is especially true if I would happen to close that location, get a new hand, and actually get to use that hand supporting characters. Sure this change might be a bit more risky but it is also lets players interact more.

For the record, I stated multiple times that I think the moving on closing is a good thing. (But that can be implemented without removing closed locations.)

I don't really see people saying that the move impact is bad, they're mostly saying that the loss of closed location is bad when it gets down to the last location and you can't move out of harms way.

Yewstance wrote:

[...]Auto-moving to new locations on close is good - it lets you get into position to provide support to allies, such as through Guarding or character powers - which in turn directly supports the idea that you can and should be actively supporting your team even when it's not your turn (which sitting at a closed location often limits you from doing).[...]

[...]The "move when you close a location" makes sense to me[...]

Lone Shark Games

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emky wrote:
I wish you'd just be honest and call it 2nd edition. This is ABSOLUTELY a new edition. there's almost no semblance of the original game. It might have some (challenging) backwards compatibility, but that doesn't mean it's not a new edition. I think you'll annoy people more if they get this expecting it not to be a new edition and seeing what it is now.

Hey folks, I know what it means to reboot a game and create a new edition. This isn't it.

I was a creative director on 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons, the first edition Wizards of the Coast put out. Now THAT was a new edition. I remember articulating a hippocratic principle in the first meeting I was in—I said "If you do nothing but make armor class go the other direction, you'll be doing the Lord's work"—and the team abandoned that stance immediately. Everything was on the table for changes in that edition. There wasn't any desire to keep any material from 2nd Edition compatible. We ripped up the ground and started over.

When Larry Harris and I rebooted Axis & Allies, we introduced completely new ways to win. We threw out all the submarine rules and started them over. We merged the two combat systems into one streamlined system. We had 18 years of frustration build into the system and we fixed it all.

When I created the Deluxe Edition of Attack, I threw out the original designer's entire turn sequence. The board still functioned the same way, but the cards now did totally different things. You couldn't play the original edition and the deluxe edition together if you tried.

When I convened the team to revise PACG, none of that was on the table. We expressly wanted everything to work as well as possible with earlier material. We've made more than 100 characters, and nearly all of them continue to function exactly as they did before. We've made dozens of adventures, and most of them play just fine with Core. Yeah, we had lots of things we wanted to fix and streamline, and we did all that, but the core of the game and most of its functionality is unchanged. In our files at Lone Shark, the entire game is listed as "PACG+". That comes from the principle that we are adding to the fun of the game, not replacing it. It's better now, in our opinion. Its graphic design is very different, and that might take some getting used to. But it's all built on what was there before.

As Vic notes, we’re not calling this a new edition because it’s fundamentally the same game, and isn’t going to make you stop using your old cards. I understand that there are people who think we’ve changed enough to call this a new edition, but as Vic again notes, there are people who thought we changed enough in Skull & Shackles to call that a new edition too. Trust me, when I want to make one of those, you'll know.

So yeah, I don't like the suggestion that I'm not "being honest" about this. My team and I have spent the last year trying to make a game that both honors what went before and improves upon it. The value of that work will be up to you to judge. But you should be clear about what my intent was. If Paizo had wanted someone to rip up the ground and start over, coming to me to do it would be a fine idea, because I've done that many times before. That's not what they wanted, and it's not what I wanted. I'm pretty happy where we ended up, and I hope you will be too.

Mike


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There’s plenty to like about all the new changes, but some of the artistic choices are still frustrating. Why in the world was it chosen to zoom way in on heroes/enemy faces, rather than giving more of a visual overview of the character/enemy? Looking at Amiri, I’ve got very little indication of what the character looks like below the neck (same to be said of enemies seen so far).

Part of the appeal of a character is the visual representation of the character, and most of that has been taken away on these cards. I just don’t get why someone would green light a decision like that (but a few of the odd art choices have been approved already....so it’s not entirely surprising...just disappointing).


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I don't understand people being afraid of there only being 1 cure. The designers obviously designed around this and have certainly added other boons/character powers/location effects that will also heal. We already have Potions of healing, Staves (staffs?) of minor healing, Poog, etc. There will certainly be ways to play support roles, and ways to heal yourself and other characters that don't explicitly require multiple copies of the same Cure we've seen since RotR.

Plus, more unique cards!!!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thetang22 wrote:

There’s plenty to like about all the new changes, but some of the artistic choices are still frustrating. Why in the world was it chosen to zoom way in on heroes/enemy faces, rather than giving more of a visual overview of the character/enemy? Looking at Amiri, I’ve got very little indication of what the character looks like below the neck (same to be said of enemies seen so far).

Part of the appeal of a character is the visual representation of the character, and most of that has been taken away on these cards. I just don’t get why someone would green light a decision like that (but a few of the odd art choices have been approved already....so it’s not entirely surprising...just disappointing).

While it doesn't hold for banes, I can make a reasonable guess that the character pawns will give a fullbody image.

Lone Shark Games

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thetang22 wrote:
There’s plenty to like about all the new changes, but some of the artistic choices are still frustrating. Why in the world was it chosen to zoom way in on heroes/enemy faces, rather than giving more of a visual overview of the character/enemy? Looking at Amiri, I’ve got very little indication of what the character looks like below the neck (same to be said of enemies seen so far).

All characters are represented in full body view on their pawns.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

That is nice!


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

On the "only one type of card can be played this will reduce teamwork" I severely disagree. The prior best tactic largely meant it was best to hoard things like blessings and the dog pile significant challenges. For most turns, you wouldn't be helping each other unless the resource expentidure was cheap- free (such as when you could recharge a blessing.)

Restriction actually encourages you to spend the resources you have rather than hoard, because you can't nova so hard.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

I really like that there Are more variety of boons and banes! It makes each character and each item unique, one of its kind and that is nice!
I personally don`t like proxies, but otherwice it is a good thing. So there is only one cure. Nice! Its is something special. And as it has been said, we will get other healing too. It Also make character power based healing more powerfull. Who did use that old: Forfeit your turn and heal x...” noup... it was always cure, or creater cure or what ever. Now those could be very good, if there would be less curing in total... though I think that total amounth of curing is about the same as always. Just different and more diverce.

And if Mike thinks that there is not so much difference, then maybe we really do get an upgrade kitt that upgrades all the upgraded cards to new versions! That would be really nice!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I love the new Recovery rule. It seems to clean up a lot of the issues related to where cards go after they are played, and have the added benefit of having a split off section similar to the RotR recharge boxes that certain hawkmoons have been advocating for since S&S!

I think "freely" adds a lot to the design space, and expect to see it a lot more often than most people complaining about it seem to think (Surely Bows will freely add their 1d4 to non-local combat checks; I bet (all? most? at very least some?) blessings will all have "freely" on them.

Also, I LOVE that there will be fewer duplicates. One of my favorite things in the App version were the slight card differences they added, so instead of a bunch of copies of Leather Armor, they had a Battered Leather Armor and Superior Leather Armor which were slight alterations. If nothing else, this adds more flavor to the game. Plus this also allows for things like new Healing spells "Light Cure", "Strong Cure", etc. so we might still have more than one basic level 0 spell that heal, but they won't exactly the same.

One thing that removing closed locations improves, IMO, is the seldom used trade mechanic. In all the complaints about this, its always "What if there is a near death character that wants to hide in a safe place?". Well, now you are forced to move somewhere, and that somewhere can be where somebody else is at, and they can give you a card. I would love to see trading of cards increase in general, and I think that this is one case where there seems to be more incentive to do so.

Also, there's nothing that says that a certain particular location won't have text that says that it stays on the table after closed, or locations that don't contain any banes, or locations that are immune to ambushes, etc. that will act as "safe havens" for those rare instances that people need them.

I expect quicksand/shuffle-your-token-into-the-location effects can be easily handled by the proxy cards. I agree with others who have stated that this was a fun effect.


isaic16 wrote:

In re: the questions about the change to locations, I think people are missing what is the actual primary reason. I'm betting that the locations are one-sided so two locations can fit on one card. They seem to be determined to have as many unique cards as possible (and no, they can't just 'print more cards'. that is not how mass printing works. they have a specific number of cards in each box and have to stick with that). This is also likely why they printed proxies instead of having multiple copies of the story banes. So, while we can disagree whether it was an appropriate use of resources, I disagree that there was absolutely no reason to change the location rules. The reason was to pack more total locations and/or other cards while staying within their allotted print limit.

(If I'm wrong and the locations are not one-to-a-side, an just have a standard back, then my point is null-in-void and I agree there is absolutely no reason for the change)

I seriouly doubt they used one card to denote 2 locations, for the simple reason that this cuts down massively the number of possible combinations of locations for *every* single scenario that can be played with the set.

To my understanding, the goal of the base set is to cover basic situations and equipment so they don't have to be repeated in every other box, and putting additional restrictions on the locations that can be used together is the exact opposite of that. They would be shooting themselves in the foot if they did that.

My guess would be that they are leaving the back empty on purpose, ensuring an optional design space that was already explored with some locations in WotR, which changed properties when being flipped. It would also allow you to randomly draw locations, in case you would want to do that.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Class Deck, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Yewstance wrote:


I don't actually think that compatibility between pre-Core and post-Core should be a development focus or a design pillar, so I can't say that and then complain that it messes up pre-Core gameplay.

I think compatibility pretty much had to be a design pillar!

The whole of PACG Organized Play is built around players with hands built from character decks (with, maybe, a few boons from the current adventure). So, basically, we're going to have pre-Core characters playing in post-Core adventures (and eventually, if we get new character decks, we could have post-Core characters playing in pre-Core adventures).


Sorry if out of topic. I want to ask, is there possible in future new adventure path except Curse that compatible or need Core set to play? Thanks


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Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

All future adventures needs this new core.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Malk_Content wrote:

On the "only one type of card can be played this will reduce teamwork" I severely disagree. The prior best tactic largely meant it was best to hoard things like blessings and the dog pile significant challenges. For most turns, you wouldn't be helping each other unless the resource expentidure was cheap- free (such as when you could recharge a blessing.)

Restriction actually encourages you to spend the resources you have rather than hoard, because you can't nova so hard.

Strongly agree! Plus, as I've mentioned before, it makes characters powers far more relevant.

Previously, if a Ranger, Bard or Assassin or Gunslinger had a power that said "discard/recharge a card to add 1d4 to another character's combat check", then it would become less valuable if they also had boons that said, for example, "Recharge to add a die to a combat check" (look at the newer Ultimate Add-On Deck blessings, for example). Now, however, they have a greater relevance and allow characters to do unique things beyond what boons they carry, by allowing them to work around standard restrictions.

JohnF wrote:

I think compatibility pretty much had to be a design pillar!

The whole of PACG Organized Play is built around players with hands built from character decks (with, maybe, a few boons from the current adventure). So, basically, we're going to have pre-Core characters playing in post-Core adventures (and eventually, if we get new character decks, we could have post-Core characters playing in pre-Core adventures).

That's a big reason to do so, but I still think, on balance, that I would personally prefer to err on the side of "new design and ideas" than on the side of "maintain compatibility", if it has to be a choice between the two, more often than not.

Personally, if/when they produce post-Core Class/Character decks, I know I will attempt to exclusively use them for Post-Core organized play seasons, despite owning almost every Pre-Core Class Deck. I honestly don't think I can find a single Class or Character Deck that isn't already made a little worse (or at least rebalanced) by the new rules - the Recovery Rules and Closing Rules in particular massively effect no shortage of characters.

For example, every single Witch from the Witch Class Deck can virtually no longer use the secondary power on any of their Cohorts, because in doing so they'd lose their Arcane power before their end-of-turn, causing them to permanently lose every spell they cast during their entire turn. Things like this - and Zarlova being made more awkward, and Menhir Savant Lini not working, and powers becoming nullified (like S&S Feiya being able to move when she closes a location), and dozens of other issues - can be solved with errata, but it will be a lot of errata to work through unless there's support for getting new errata cards printed on demand via DriveThru or something.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
eddiephlash wrote:
I think "freely" adds a lot to the design space, and expect to see it a lot more often than most people complaining about it seem to think (Surely Bows will freely add their 1d4 to non-local combat checks; I bet (all? most? at very least some?) blessings will all have "freely" on them.

That might be the case, or perhaps ranged Rangers and some others will have an ability to freely play Ranged weapons on non-local checks. Alternately, I know Harsk had a similar power to that shown on many ranged weapons, so a new variant of that could say it counts as freely playing a weapon on the check.

As for blessings, the two previewed so far do not say freely, but one of them references only your checks and the other references local checks. Just so few cards shown so far to know for certain.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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Duplicates: "Too many duplicates" only became a problem for me with class decks as it feels bad to spend 20 bucks when a large percentage of the cards were already in the base set. And the decks seldom had enough duplicates for all the characters anyway.

Terms: Liking all the new terms to simplify the language.

Location Banishing: Banishing locations has significant effects on gameplay and denies the underused mechanic of closed effects. It also seems baffling to do this to reduce clean up when picking up 7 cards of the same type on the table takes no time at all. 80% of set up and clean up comes from assembling and disassembling location decks, the latter always being done after a location is closed anyway.

Layout: I hate to be negative, but I'm really disappointed in the new card layouts. Most of the cards don't have a clean flow of information from one section to another. Even on a screen, the text is hard to read. The layout also blocks the artwork and has a lot of wasted space. The aesthetics feel more like a rough draft or placeholder and don't come close to competing with those of other adventure card games such as Dragonfire, Arknam Horror, or even Apocrypha for that matter. I also expected/preferred to see a Pathfinder card game with cards that match the Pathfinder brand.

I'm interested in seeing changes to how narratives will run and whether some other rules (like perma death) are getting removed or changed.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

After seeing more of the cards, the new layout is growing on me. One thing I particularly like is that the card type color is displayed prominently in multiple locations, and the story banes include the appropriate card type (e.g., orange for monster, yellow for barrier). I also noticed that most of the card types are seeing slight shifts in their colors, presumably to make them more distinct (e.g., spells changed from a light purple to a darker purple). I also really like the adjustment to the character cards. My only concern after comparing computer images on my monitor is that the text on the cards appears to be slightly smaller (1 point?) than previously. The font has changed, too, though it appears that this change preserves legibility (as well as allows for more text to appear in the same spaces). Overall, I think we're definitely seeing a huge improvement in terms of the cards.

I voiced my objections to removing locations as they were closed in the "What Would You Change?" discussion, and my opinion remains the same (and the same points have been raised by multiple players in this discussion, so there's no need to beat that dead horse).

I'm looking forward to more details on the adjustments to the turn sequence, terminology, etc. From the sound of things, many issues will be much more clear. There are going to be some hiccups as we transition into the core set rules, but I get the sense that these are much-needed improvements.


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I really like a lot of the changes being made. There are a couple questionable ones (like the location banishing), but I can't say whether that's good or bad without some context in how new cards will interact with that.

The one thing I wish the team would stop spending its energy on is trying to make this game backwards compatible. There are enough changes being made that likely HUNDREDS of cards will need to receive errata.

In my opinion (and I'm not sure how unpopular an opinion it would be), instead of generating a mountain of errata to fix the old cards, new versions of the old cards should be reprinted for use in the new "edition". This would give a chance to revisit the old class decks and bring them up to the current power level of cards. Those original seven class decks especially need some updating. I would much prefer to have a new version of the class deck to buy (with some all new characters included) to constantly referencing errata. It would also allow the cards to match the new style and save a bit of frustration for those of us with OCD. And it shouldn't require too much effort since many of the cards can be reused with minor adjustments to fit the new rules.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Yeah. I Also hate that ”read the every card errata before plaing it” I definitely want to have reprint of every errated card! Like Dulcee mentioned above.
I. An see a game play... I play this to do that... wait I will check the errata... no it does not work like that any more instead... ok the I will play this card to help in this check... hmmm what errata says... ok not like that but like this... it can make games 3 to 4 times longer than normal, unles everybody plays everytime same deck and remember all erratas by memory...
so yeah, definitely reprints to everything!


Hannibal_pjv wrote:
so yeah, definitely reprints to everything!

From the start, the designers made it clear that they didn't want to invalidate old cards and make fans repurchase all of their old products, so I'm not sure this is happening anytime soon.

Though if the new version does invalidate a bunch of old products, I'm not sure where that leaves us. :P Perhaps they could offer Drivethru versions of specific cards?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'm in full agreement with Dulcee. There is not a single base set and almost no class or character deck that doesn't have at least one character power affected, nerfed or become unusable without errata - that's before even touching on the boons and banes and scenario rules. (Recovery rules, if applied to all spells, is the single biggest change of note that we've heard about for these purposes, and I could list probably at least 2 characters per base set that have at least one power greatly affected by it, but there are other rule changes atop that.) This would require an incredible quantity of errata, which is sounding more frustrating than helpful to even begin to consider the scope of.

Like I said, I'm not set on there being a need to maintain compatibility in the first place. But - as mentioned by others - at least some will need to be held for PFSACG play, at minimum, and it has been stated as a design requirement, more or less.


I think now we know why Paizo never bothered to release character sheets for most of the recent class decks. Because they'll be redoing many characters anyway to be compatible for the new ruleset.

At least, I hope that's what they're doing. :)

(I'd like to have electronic access to the old and new versions of the character sheets anyway, so I'm glad that fans jumped in and finished off the sheets. Much obliged!)

Silver Crusade

If you are truly concerned about the removal of closed locations, simply add a houserule. Something like, "When a location is closed, you may optionally leave the location card in play. If the closed location is left in play, characters do not move. No more than one closed location may be in play at a time."


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
sowhereaminow wrote:
If you are truly concerned about the removal of closed locations, simply add a houserule. Something like, "When a location is closed, you may optionally leave the location card in play. If the closed location is left in play, characters do not move. No more than one closed location may be in play at a time."

I'm more concerned for Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild (PFSACG) play, which does not (and should not) support houseruling in an official capacity.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Class Deck, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

For any home game I suspect that when playing older adventures I'll be introducing a house rule that simply ignores the instruction to banish closed locations - I feel this change is too disruptive. And while adding the ability to move when a location is closed is nice, letting everybody do it isn't really fair to anyone who checked off a power feat to gain that ability.

As Yewstance notes, though, for Pathfinder Adventure Card Society play (see today's blog, which introduces the new name) I don't have that option.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

I personnaly think the easiest fix would be to issue a compatibility deck with just the key cards impacted characters/scenarios/locations and maybe unique boons.

My guess is that could add up to a standard 109 card box and I would buy it immediately.

Silver Crusade

Yewstance wrote:
sowhereaminow wrote:
If you are truly concerned about the removal of closed locations, simply add a houserule. Something like, "When a location is closed, you may optionally leave the location card in play. If the closed location is left in play, characters do not move. No more than one closed location may be in play at a time."
I'm more concerned for Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild (PFSACG) play, which does not (and should not) support houseruling in an official capacity.

Which is why I threw it out there as a house rule. In official play you'll just have to face a much higher chance of character death or match loss.

Assuming the predictions are true, of course. It could simply not play out that way. If it does become an issue, I suspect we'll have a rule change down the line. We'll have to wait and see.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
JohnF wrote:

For any home game I suspect that when playing older adventures I'll be introducing a house rule that simply ignores the instruction to banish closed locations - I feel this change is too disruptive. And while adding the ability to move when a location is closed is nice, letting everybody do it isn't really fair to anyone who checked off a power feat to gain that ability.

As Yewstance notes, though, for Pathfinder Adventure Card Society play (see today's blog, which introduces the new name) I don't have that option.

It isn't really a house rule to play with the rules for that box. The new boxes rules won't apply to old boxes, just like old box rules won't apply to new boxes.


Malk_Content wrote:
It isn't really a house rule to play with the rules for that box. The new boxes rules won't apply to old boxes, just like old box rules won't apply to new boxes.

Not true for current Guild play:

Guide to the Guild 5.0, p. 7 wrote:
This means you need to adhere to the latest version of this guide and the latest version of the rulebook (deferring to the rulebook for the base set you’re using for any rules specific to those cards), augmented by the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game FAQs at paizo.com/pacg. House rules are not allowed in Pathfinder Society play.

What will matter, though, is what they put into next year's Guide to the Society (or whatever they decide to call it). We know that the game designers made using the new rules with the old sets a design goal; will the folks overseeing the Society agree?

Personally, I'd like to see them let you continue to use the old rules for Seasons 0-5 but that does make things more complicated. What they may do is give everyone some time (a year, say) to finish with the campaigns they have in progress under the old ruleset. We won't know for a couple months.

This only applies to people who wish to report their characters for Guild/Society tracking, of course. Feel free to play the various Seasons with whatever house rules you want! However, if you want to report those games you should follow the rules laid out in the Guide.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Parody wrote:

..

Personally, I'd like to see them let you continue to use the old rules for Seasons 0-5 but that does make things more complicated. What they may do is give everyone some time (a year, say) to finish with the campaigns they have in progress under the old ruleset. We won't know for a couple months....

Damn! Hadn't thought of those implications.

I really hope so as I have just started 4 different tables @ T1 that I would like to be able to finish out under the current rules


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Got a chance to talk to Mike and one of his cohorts (was introduced but with so much back noise didn't pick up his name) for a minute at Emerald City Comic Con this weekend while picking up his book The Maze of Games that I can't wait to dive into. They were really excited about the changes coming up :D

Really looking forward to see what comes of all the work of streamlining alot of the 'features' I had gripes with in the original release of the Adventure Card Game into a solidified Core Set that will be used with any expansion I want to drop in. Would be neat if there was a way to drop Runelords or Wrath of the Righteous into the new set. Even if home brewed.

I know they haven't been able to talk about all of the changes yet, closer we get to Paizo Con the more excited I am to get my hands on whatever news drops about the ACG.

Thanks for the work you guys and gals have put into this! It is appreciated!


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Hi, happy to see there is still life in this good old game.
So far I like what I am seeing.
Only caviat: I like the picture for immersion, and I am affraid that you are reducing too much the card "graphic real estate" for some kind of cute but boring enliminure ( like from 50% in the old game to 30% now ) texts and numbers dont make me dream, dont forget the graphics :). Sorry for my english, I am not native.


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I've got Mummy's mask. Will I be able to play The Curse of the Crimson Throne expansion with this or do I have to get the new core box as well?


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Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Curse of the Crimson Throne will require the Core box.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Yep. Crimson uses procy minions from the new core set and so on. It could be in theory possible to tweak the Mummys mask content so that it would be allmost the same as new core by leaving out all exotic cards that have Egyptiin fibe and something else, but you still need to make those new proxy minions and new locations by hand, so not worth of the work needed. IMHO.

New adventures after Grimon will Also use the new core. You just have to a) take of all grimson cards to get pure core or by new core to the adventure if you run several seasons at the same time...


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Even if you could technically do it, its' probably advisable not to. Design ideas like "Almost all cards are unique" and "only one type of card on each check" will drastically change the balance assumptions that went into designing the new set.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
ryric wrote:
Mob of Undead into a Castothrane seems...nasty. Each player takes d4 Fire, and a random Wraith summon each time? That seems super harsh at 4+ players, especially if someone ends up fighting 3 or more wraiths plus the castothrane. Echoes of that demon barrier from Wrath.

I'm going to necrothread a little to reply and say, when we playtested the new cards at Origins last year, I told them flat out not to print Mob of Undead as written.

In multiple runs thru Wrath, with entirely different play groups, Demonic Horde was the most unwelcome card across the board. And here it is in the core. Whee!

For one, it negates evasion by being undefeated if any summon is not defeated - there had to have been a way to phrase that so it looks for a failure to defeat or similar.
For another, it grinds the game to a halt while summoning N other monsters, complete with multiple random rolls.

I'm on the fence about the location issue - leaning towards being okay with it - and like all of the other changes, but that one. dang. card.
Oh, and the 'Extreme Closeup' art. ;)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Iceman wrote:
ryric wrote:
Mob of Undead into a Castothrane seems...nasty. Each player takes d4 Fire, and a random Wraith summon each time? That seems super harsh at 4+ players, especially if someone ends up fighting 3 or more wraiths plus the castothrane. Echoes of that demon barrier from Wrath.

I'm going to necrothread a little to reply and say, when we playtested the new cards at Origins last year, I told them flat out not to print Mob of Undead as written.

In multiple runs thru Wrath, with entirely different play groups, Demonic Horde was the most unwelcome card across the board. And here it is in the core. Whee!

For one, it negates evasion by being undefeated if any summon is not defeated - there had to have been a way to phrase that so it looks for a failure to defeat or similar.
For another, it grinds the game to a halt while summoning N other monsters, complete with multiple random rolls.

I'm on the fence about the location issue - leaning towards being okay with it - and like all of the other changes, but that one. dang. card.
Oh, and the 'Extreme Closeup' art. ;)

Personally, I don't mind the design. Perhaps I even like it.

  • By only affecting a random player at a location, it encourages teaming up together (a BIG design direction difference between post-core and pre-core). It's also worse in the early-game, but largely harmless in the late-game when there are few locations left - even only one location.
  • It adds to the number of barriers that aren't inherently bad for a fighter/barbarian or "straight combatant" with 1d4-1d6 Dex/Wis to encounter.
  • It totally allows for evasion, still. The fact that you don't defeat it by evading the problem is absolutely intentional, though - no different than evading a monster in a location deck doesn't make it go away, but it may still be desirable for plenty of reasons. Knowing where and when to push your luck or just shuffle it away for when you're all bunched together or trying to defeat the henchman above it all seem like good decisions to be making.

    Demonic Horde was a LOT rougher than this barrier, both because Servitor Demons were often quite nasty and that it affected all players (Rather than just 'one player per occupied location')... even so, I think that the these kind of barriers provide a cool curveball to barrier abilities, and lets the fighting-centric characters (who don't need to expend cards like spells to do so) shine. The more ways that extra monster summons will occur, the less Fighters lag behind Wizards (which I tend to feel is often the case in PACG - good players will take so many advantages with the larger dice, flexibility and hand size of casters that melee characters often feel underwhelming).

    And hey, with more methods of supporting each others' combat checks than ever before, it leads to great 'crossroads' moments when the team assesses how much they're going to throw at each check... or just start taking hits to armor and evading and looking for other ways to avoid the barrier later (or at least until they're ready).

  • Lone Shark Games

    Iceman wrote:

    I'm going to necrothread a little to reply and say, when we playtested the new cards at Origins last year, I told them flat out not to print Mob of Undead as written.

    In multiple runs thru Wrath, with entirely different play groups, Demonic Horde was the most unwelcome card across the board. And here it is in the core. Whee!

    It only summons one undead _per location_, so you can arrange for it to be very few fights at all. You also can't have multiple on one character. It's significantly friendlier than Demonic Horde.

    There's also only one of them, so you'll hit it a lot less often.

    I do want to reassure folks that Mob of Undead will never summon Castothrane. My chance blog shows what's on the Undead table.

    Edit: I got ninja-ed by Yewstance!

    Silver Crusade

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    I’m loling at Yewstance’s post because this is the first time I’ve heard someone apply caster-martial disparity to the card game.


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    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
    I’m loling at Yewstance’s post because this is the first time I’ve heard someone apply caster-martial disparity to the card game.

    I don't often bring it up, but I've noticed it in PACG since I started with the digital Pathfinder Adventures based on RotR. Hand Size is the single limiting factor as to how much you can do in a turn (the downside of being able to take more damage in a given turn is very rarely actually relevant, and easily allayed in countless ways... which having a bigger hand size better allows you to carry cards TO allay that issue anyway). How many boons you can throw at a problem, how high a check you can beat - heck, you can even heal yourself more if you're carrying, drawing, recharging and shuffling more cards that will be healing you, as your hand size allows.

    Literally all of the downsides of a large hand size can be solved by... having a larger hand size to carry the cards that solves those problems. :)

    Since casters tend to have higher hand sizes than fighters and barbarians - yes I suppose I am applying caster-martial disparity to the card game. Except rogues also tend to have large hand sizes, and there's the outliers of Goblin characters, so not all of the time... just I'm going to say that the typical Valeros will consistently have less impressive turns than the typical Ezren. ^^'

    (As an aside, I think this is probably known to the designers... since almost literally every change made with the Core set works more in favor of fighter-style characters than straight casters. Recovery Phase hinders casters, Move-on-closing benefits supporting abilities of many fighters, Avenging benefits the use of armor and weapon-oriented characters, etc.)


    I'm fine with Mob of Undead. We've had barriers that summon monsters in previous versions...including Rise of the Runelords. I don't know if I've heard anyone complain about Skeleton Horde, Goblin Raid, or the cultist barrier. The great thing about those barriers is that they don't mix random into who is fighting who. That's where Demonic Horde gets a lot of flak. If you played WOTR where each player always fought just one servitor demon, yeah, it would stink, but it would be significantly better than the current version where one player could have to fight 3 treachery demons in a row, or your spell caster has to fight more than one demon off turn. But if I have to summon a random undead from Mob of Undead? I don't see any inherent problem with that.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Keith Richmond wrote:

    It only summons one undead _per location_, so you can arrange for it to be very few fights at all. You also can't have multiple on one character. It's significantly friendlier than Demonic Horde.

    There's also only one of them, so you'll hit it a lot less often.

    I do want to reassure folks that Mob of Undead will never summon Castothrane. My chance blog shows what's on the Undead table.

    Edit: I got ninja-ed by Yewstance!

    I know it's only one per location. And sure, new mechanics will encourage less spreading out.

    And I'm not saying DH is back. I'm saying that was the most NPE card from any box - in my players' opinion - and this is reminiscent.

    Plus, playing the playtest as Merisiel meant I was flying solo. And felt obligated to fight the stupid Vampire so that maybe the other player wouldn't shuffle the undefeated barrier back onto the top of his two-card location. Again.

    But it's good to know that the summon has a cap - I might not have said anything if it weren't previewed next to Castothrane. :)
    And good that there's only one.

    Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    Keith Richmond wrote:


    I do want to reassure folks that Mob of Undead will never summon Castothrane. My chance blog shows what's on the Undead table.

    Ah, I didn't know about the table for random encounters at the time. My previous experience with "summon a random bane" is to shuffle all the cards of that type and draw one, so that's what I was envisioning.

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