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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I would buy a Pawn Set with all the characters from the earlier games (except Rune Lords, of course) and the Class Decks in a heartbeat...

Scarab Sages

Loving the artwork and new layouts. Looking forward to playing with the new set.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I am mildly concerned that the text on the character cards will be difficult to read, but if the rules adjustments clear up ambiguities that will be a welcome trade-off.


How do we summon random cards from a type ? Don´t it would take too long to pull it off ?


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Only including one copy of cure is worrying. My favorite role to play is support, and I like focusing on effectively re-shuffling and recharging cards to get my healing spells into play as frequently as possible, and Grazzle is my favorite character by a huge margin. This seems like a move to reduce that style of play, which would hedge me out of playing.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Draco Bahamut wrote:
How do we summon random cards from a type ? Don´t it would take too long to pull it off ?

Well observed. All I'll say for now is that we're way ahead of you on that one.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Aratrok wrote:
Only including one copy of cure is worrying.

Don't worry—we didn't introduce the word "heal" only to use it on just one card...


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Aratrok wrote:
Only including one copy of cure is worrying. My favorite role to play is support, and I like focusing on effectively re-shuffling and recharging cards to get my healing spells into play as frequently as possible, and Grazzle is my favorite character by a huge margin. This seems like a move to reduce that style of play, which would hedge me out of playing.

I love playing support two but for a good portion of a campaign cures strength and the numerous copies meant staying with the same spell for a long time. Now I could get a bunch of different support spells without knowing in the back of my head that its worse than having a bunch of cures instead.


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I am very happy to see the use of proxies.

Still not a great fan of the cluttered backgrounds, but I'm guessing the improved gameplay will make up for it.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Great blog answering a bunch of questions....
Indeed it will help a lot when creating home adventures.
Good job. Was worth the wait.
Now for the main, why isn't the game on my table yet? :-)


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Quote:
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.

Ouch, that nerfs WotR Seoni's first power pretty hard. No more using the same spell on multiple combat checks. I wonder what other characters have powers that are going to be affected by this change?


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Xexyz wrote:
Quote:
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.
Ouch, that nerfs WotR Seoni's first power pretty hard. No more using the same spell on multiple combat checks. I wonder what other characters have powers that are going to be affected by this change?

Indeed, I'm curious too. A large number of characters are affected by that change. Anyone who temporarily gets spellcasting powers (S&S Alahazra and Arcane, every single Witch from the Witch Class Deck, etc) may find that the "gain Arcane/Divine until the end of the encounter" is leaving their spells being banished over and over from the recovery step. All 3 witches from the Witch class deck is a particular note here, because they can never use the powers on their Cohorts (generally) without permanently costing them all spells they played that turn, permanently.

It also interferes with other character powers which are intended to let you re-use or re-draw spells in some cases, like Zarlova and Crowe.

But, I'm honestly not too bothered by that. Core is clearly working under a different set of assumptions and rules, and I think that binding design decisions into the narrow space of "lets make sure no older character is negatively effected at all" would do a huge disservice and lead to a greatly inferior product. Some characters will remain viable, some - without extensive errata - may become a bit weaker. If you're playing with new boons/rules, of course.

And I love how proficiency now works. Its intuitive and opens up so much new design space. If Yoon was reprinted, she could have the Fire proficiency, for example, allowing her to potentially be good at Fire spells or even certain Fire armors and weapons (like Phoenix Cloak). That solves the design difficulty that has previously existed with her character, giving her spell-like powers without being a spellcaster, as per the RPG.

Occult Adventures 2 gave her the Arcane skill but tried to avoid packing the deck with too many non-fire or psychic spells. Now, if a fire-proficient Yoon existed, she'd slot into any set and only find herself casting spells appropriate to her character; as well as enabling some cool build options if there are other boon types with the Fire trait. Alchemists Fire? That bow made of fire in Wrath of the Righteous?

=====================================

I will say, though, that besides still being unconvinced about the merits (as opposed to drawbacks) of the "closed locations are banished" rule, my big gripe with this article is one of Amiri's power feats.

Core Amiri wrote:
"([ ] and after you close your location, you may draw a card)

That seems like such a deeply weak power feat.

Small assessment of the power:
In a solo game, you'd use it twice per scenario, as a general rule (you would end the game on closing the third and final location), and that's 2 turns of possible 30 when you'd get an extra card, at best.

In a 6 player game with 8 locations, if you weren't cornering a villain (which would mean less closes are needed thanks to temp-closing guarding locations), each player would, on average, close 1.33 locations, or a card draw of about 1 card per scenario.

...Except Amiri isn't a particularly versatile character, and is likely not as capable of closing locations as, say, a Bard or a Druid. Furthermore, she doesn't have a large hand size, nor an uncommonly large number of allies and blessings, so she won't be exploring as much as some other characters, so she's less likely to be finding story banes to close locations off of anyway!

Seeing it happen more than once seems such a rare occurrence, for any party size, that I'd never, ever pick that power feat. It's not strictly worse than a hand size increase (for one thing, it's an optional draw), but it seems worse 99.99% of the time.

I make such a big deal about this because "dead" power feats (power feats which are so much less impactful than alternatives, particularly pre-role) are one of the single best ways to make me dislike playing or theorycrafting with a character, because it effectively gives them less options to build around. If 3 of a character's 4 pre-role powers are clearly objectively better than the remaining one, then it strips the players of any meaningful choice or decision making about how to apply all of their pre-role power feats.

And I am struggling to conceive of how any player could be jumping through enough hoops to make that power feat a worthy thing to take, irrespective of playstyle. So she basically only has 3 pre-role feats to choose from, increasing the likelihood that any two or any 3 Amiris would have been built and would play virtually the same.

Lone Shark Games

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Xexyz wrote:
Ouch, that nerfs WotR Seoni's first power pretty hard. No more using the same spell on multiple combat checks. I wonder what other characters have powers that are going to be affected by this change?

Thanks for finding that, Xexyz. We had not caught that one in our sweep through all the cards. In this case, we'd probably make Seoni able to reach into her recovery pile too. (Assuming we didn't find some reason to disallow that.)

We'll be building an online document that lists changes to previous cards. Our goal is to bring them in line with the new rules as closely as possible to their original intent, unless we have a reason to change that intent. So please note anything you think is worth updating on a card-by-card basis, and we'll consider it for that document.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Yewstance, I'm not sure your analysis is entirely accurate, simply because it's possible new Amiri is more of a closer. The fact that she can "chain close" locations when others cannot means she could be set up to have a big "mega turn" where she jumps from location to location, closing as she goes and drawing each time. Imagine, say a four player game where scrying and careful play have left henchmen on top of three locations, and she hops from one to the next closing each and getting a small hand refill each time.

I'm not saying it's great in all situations - in solo or 2p I'd say you're spot on - but in a 5+ player game I might take it over armor proficiency.

For those worried about the lack of Cures - well I have a zillion copies of Cure from all my old sets. Doesn't seem tough to mix more in if I want to. I'd assume, in fact, that if you're playing a campaign with Class Deck characters you'd still want to mix in their boons to make sure they're supported.

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 wonder what Mike will be blogging about next time? Also curious if there is a more firm release date than May yet?


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Morph147 wrote:
I wonder what Mike will be blogging about next time? Also curious if there is a more firm release date than May yet?

Release date is canonically during PaizoCon for new PACG sets.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I know it may be considered too early by the devs, but I'd still like to ask once again about more (i.e. any) information of Subscriptions, Promo Cards and shipping for international customers.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
ryric wrote:

Yewstance, I'm not sure your analysis is entirely accurate, simply because it's possible new Amiri is more of a closer. The fact that she can "chain close" locations when others cannot means she could be set up to have a big "mega turn" where she jumps from location to location, closing as she goes and drawing each time. Imagine, say a four player game where scrying and careful play have left henchmen on top of three locations, and she hops from one to the next closing each and getting a small hand refill each time.

I'm not saying it's great in all situations - in solo or 2p I'd say you're spot on - but in a 5+ player game I might take it over armor proficiency.

For those worried about the lack of Cures - well I have a zillion copies of Cure from all my old sets. Doesn't seem tough to mix more in if I want to. I'd assume, in fact, that if you're playing a campaign with Class Deck characters you'd still want to mix in their boons to make sure they're supported.

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 happy to be proven wrong. However, I would challenge the situation you presented.

Firstly; yes it's possible, through coordination with the team, to allow for story banes to end up on the top of multiple location decks, and Amiri would be the only character able to deal with them all in a turn.

But I feel there's a few flaws.

  • What was the benefit of Amiri dealing with the topdecked henchmen on her turn rather than the other 1-5 players doing so during their turns? Spending cards to examine location decks usually doesn't mean you can't explore again yourself.

  • Besides combat, Strength and maybe Fortitude or Survival (based on the location difficulty and her skill feats or boons), Amiri lacks any skill of note or character power to enhance her close checks, unlike characters such as Jirelle, Erasmus, RotR Lini, OA1 Estra, Varril, Ahmotep, RotR Seelah, Urgraz, WotR Balazar or any caster with Fire Snake. It should be rare that there multiple locations that she's well-suited to closing (combat checks, Strength checks) in a given scenario, more rare that these would be ones with the henchmen laid on top, more rare again that these wouldn't just be dealt with by the character who just brought them to the top (such as via Augury mid-turn).

    Players can provide support to help virtually anyone close a location, but if you're expending resources (usually discarding/recharging cards to help a sub-optimal player pass a check they're not well suited to making) then I wonder again why the party is angling for Amiri to do it rather than anyone else.

  • In this case, multiple hoops have been jumped through, which already make me question a boardstate where it could occur (or at least, occur more than once every adventure or two or so) in order for the power feat to draw, say, 3 cards. That's still not exactly worth a once-in-a-scenario event, in my opinion - other characters have had far more powerful and usable power feats that allowed them to draw cards (dating back to and including RotR and S&S).

    I can't say whether I'd take Armor proficiency over it or not until I see the Armor boons coming out of Core, to be fair. But I'm hoping to god that proficiency isn't so irrelevant to be comparable to a power that the entire team must literally build a strategy around in order for the barbarian to draw a couple of cards (bringing them up to a quantity of cards that, well, Wizards and the like usually have on a turn-to-turn basis easily anyway, and with the diverse options of using spells to solve noncombat and combat checks they're usually better closers as well).

    All in all, I will have to see Core to see if I'm right or wrong, but I'm finding it hard to mentally picture boardstates I've ever been in where I would want that power feat on me over any other option of hers. Here's hoping that her other role card lets her use her core power on checks to close - then it gets a bit better (though, again, the few times closing can come up for a given character in a given party in a given scenario would still make it seem like a bad feat option to me). Her current one that gives her a narrow, conditional heal does nothing to convince me of the power.

    I will be very eagerly playing Core when it comes out, and lurking in any play-by-posts of it... and I'm willing to make an actual bet with anyone whether I'll ever see an Amiri player draw 2 cards a turn off that power more than once per adventure. Even then I think that's generous.


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    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    Thanks for the blog post. I like the changes to proficiency in principle. Have to think more about potential impact.
    In fact I like all of the changes outlined esp resistance, vulnerability etc apart from removing closed locations. That one I still don't like. No ability to safe haven if you need to


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    Oh man... so much good crunch...

    Bury Pile could provide new avenues for Necromancy themed characters.

    I am curious for proficiency, seeing as how Amiri gains proficiency with Armor, I assume that some casters/rogues would gain proficiency with just Light Armor. Would also allow for Sanjan to get Monk Weapon proficiency too.

    Heal - Going to guess something along the lines of "recharge from your discard pile" so can have a whole series of spells: "heal 3 cards", "a local character may heal 1 card," or "when you heal a card it is reloaded instead of recharged."


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    I agree with Yewstance that amiris on closing power is about as usefull as nul. I supose that Amiri close about one location during one adventure, maybe twice if he has stone at later levels. Reminds be of Valeros old armor or shield power that was newer used...

    Intersting to see how those tokens and other new avenues work in the longer run!
    Even now there still Are cards that Are hard to new player. What happens to displayed cards at the end of turn? Should it be mentioned in the cards, even if They stay on board forever...


    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    On the other hand the two Locations we have been shown are "fight stuff" to close so perhaps she'll see more closing in this box? And its important to note that her other power gives her a chance even against those monsters that have non-combat parts of their encounter. She can angrily make perception checks etc.

    I can also see its usefulness varying depending on your chosen game length. Being able to explore 1 or 2 times more than you normally would is way more useful in a game with a shorter blessings timer. I've known many a game where this would have been a scenario saver (we've lost then looked at the next card for fun and found it to be the villain way more times than I can count.)


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    Mostly good stuff here (despite the ugly cards).

    Thoughts as I read:

    * 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.

    * Pawns: good!

    * Traits/favored/proficiency: good!

    * Recovery pile: OK, so a lot of spell combos are gone, shame. (Poor Radillo.)

    * Freely/global one-of-each-type: So you've made the difficulty of things a heck of a lot easier to make up for this, right? No more teamwork stuff of bow-from-another-location, only one assisting spell from anyone, etc? And to think a lot of the top complaints [not that I agreed with them] about the game was that it didn't have enough teamwork/cooperation.

    * Closing: WHAT?! Why no "permanently closed" bonuses? That was some of most fun parts of the game! That's A LOT of loss for a trivial potential gain on cleanup, which I don't count as a gain anyway. I'm not going to stop play to sort cards during play like that.

    * Danger: nice.

    * Proxy: I do not like this at all. I understand I'm in the minority here, but I prefer just to read the card as it comes out. But, more importantly, these particular cards will wear A LOT during shuffling. Are there going to be a dozen copies of each in the box so we can't just easily tell which card in the stack is the henchman proxy?

    * Duplicates: There's really no duplicates of any higher level cards? So if two people really do want the same spell or weapon, they're damned? I know what you were going for here, and I appreciate it, but some cards -- "staples" -- absolutely should have a couple copies instead of just one. This is even more true of monsters. I don't want the same chance of encountering a should-be-rare powerful (but still possible) monster as I do a more common foe. You're losing ability to set the theme and feel of scenarios with this, too.

    * Mob of Undead: This and everything else is making me feel that the new edition is more "Wrath of the Righteous" difficulty. Clarify?

    * Immunities/etc: Good.

    * Markers: Is it so hard to include multiple copies of the card to reduce all the cross referencing?

    * New coat of paint: No, please, stop trying to present it this way. It's a new edition, not just a new coat of paint.

    And on an even more important note: I'm still waiting for the character sheets and decklists for all the stuff that's already out that I haven't been able to play with for well over a year now...


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

    Love this. Should make a PDF of printable cards for the existing sets. Character cards in the new format. I'd print them out and slide them in the sleeves.

    Assuming the community use packages will be updated we can do it ourselves too, but official is always better :D


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    What worries me is that there’s nowhere to hide if you’re near death and need some turns to recuperate. I used to just move to a closed location to avoid most effects from other characters. Is there a way to do that now, or does everyone need to stop exploring while one person heals up?


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    enlightened0ne wrote:
    What worries me is that there’s nowhere to hide if you’re near death and need some turns to recuperate. I used to just move to a closed location to avoid most effects from other characters. Is there a way to do that now, or does everyone need to stop exploring while one person heals up?

    Especially toward the end of the game and there's a nasty location, or if you're a character with powers to help at other locations.


    Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    This looks fantastic. Amiri is an all star!


    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    To be honest I think the only time I ever stayed in a closed location was when I had no cards in my hand. Regardless of the location effect none of them was ever alluring enough to waste a whole turn making no progress.

    Dark Archive

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Looks so cool.

    Will you guys be updating the steam/mobile game with these changes?


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    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    emky wrote:
    enlightened0ne wrote:
    What worries me is that there’s nowhere to hide if you’re near death and need some turns to recuperate. I used to just move to a closed location to avoid most effects from other characters. Is there a way to do that now, or does everyone need to stop exploring while one person heals up?
    Especially toward the end of the game and there's a nasty location, or if you're a character with powers to help at other locations.

    ...or when they start dropping all those "mass location damage" Henchmen and Villains on your heads, so your in-danger-of-dying character will pretty much HAVE to die when being basically herded into the slaughter grounds of the final few locations... unless you want to forfeit the scenario, that is.

    But I'm sure we're just being over-dramatic here. Hey, you get extra space for another bowl of chips on the table mid-game!


    Can someone tell me what the number sign on Enhance is suppose to represent?


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    Morph147 wrote:
    Can someone tell me what the number sign on Enhance is suppose to represent?

    It's the Scenario's adventure deck number. They talked about it in the Part 1 blog.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    emky wrote:
    I wish you'd...call it 2nd edition. This is ABSOLUTELY a new edition.

    I hate to admit it, but this is starting to seem like a fair point. I don't plan on printing out new versions of old cards as paste-ups or sleeved proxies, and I'd rather not consult a list of card changes when I play new scenarios (either organized play or standard) with older cards and class decks. And I suspect that new players aren't going to want to do this either.

    I'm curious how the new "party can only play one type of card per check" rule is going to back-translate into the old base sets. Those were designed with the party being able to play multiple blessings per check, for instance. (Unless all old cards are assumed to have the word "freely" on them.)

    Anyway, I genuinely look forward to playing with the new set. Fun will be had, to be sure. It'll just be odd if I have to play the old sets with the old rules and the new sets with the new rules.


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    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    I'm super looking forward to Pathfinder Core you have no idea.

    I'm also very optimistic about the new "global one per card per check" rule, especially if new boons and character powers are built around it. It makes character powers (such as combat support on Rangers or Barbarians) more relevant, it encourages having a suite of boons and a suite of support, rather than blessings just stomping over the other card types in terms of practicality, it prevents end-game villain encounters from being an auto-win, it means that combat-focused characters might actually be able to do things that non-combat focused characters can't, and so on.

    Plus, from the looks of the Elixer of Energy Resistance, and Enhance, it seems there may be more non-blessings with an emphasis on supporting team members at a higher level of value than previously existed.

    ...But I will completely concur on the following things that have been brought up.

  • I don't have much confidence in the backwards compatibility running well, without pages upon pages of errata. As a random example, removing locations can render a couple of specific scenarios unwinnable, and completely change the power level of various boons and banes (such as the AD0 Lightning Storm from Mummy's Mask, which becomes downright terrifying if you're down to 1 remaining location and it can no longer move to closed locations).

  • I also really wish they'd just call this second edition, and I've already gone on record saying that I'd prefer future design to not be bounded by pre-existing design in the first place.

  • Removing closed locations remains the only big change I've seen (rules-wise) that I don't understand why it was done, and I can think of numerous downsides to doing so (even aside from compatibility issues) and very little upside to the play experience.

    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).

    But it removes the idea of a 'safe haven', which is both practical to fundamental gameplay as well as thematic. What if a player on the verge of death doesn't want to continue to delve into the dangerous dungeon and just wants to lay low and heal their wounds? It causes a lot of compatibility problems (which I don't mind too much, because again I'd rather this just be a '2nd edition' anyway), it largely removes or hampers the design space of "While closed" powers on locations, and removes the design space of characters or boons that reference closed locations. It also somewhat decreases the power level of 'move' effects, since you will no longer ever be stuck at a closed location.


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    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    So true!
    Pathfinder adventures 2nd edition.
    I don•t mind that there Are compability rules. Many 2nd edition of board games does have them! But I definitely then want to have 2nd edition upgrade kit that contains all errated cards to new edition! The problem in here is that that kind of upgrade pack in here would be huge Gloomahaven sized monster box that would cost $150 or even more.
    So maybe 2nd edition just with compability rules (allthough I personally would definitely buy upgrade kit even if it would be expensive. We Also now need new 2nd edition character decks for pathfinder society games (and maybe upgrade kits Also, to those that don`t want to buy character decks again. But even there there will be huge amounth of cards, so pure new 2nd edition character decks with completely new cards and characters is better and easier solution.
    Then I would play old games with old character decks (I own them all) and new 2nd edition adventures with 2nd edition character decks (I don`t have those yet ;)


    Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    the gut sho seems to know what's coing at us" :-) wrote:
    That's because we no longer have token cards. Instead, you'll be getting pawns

    I hope that I can still shuffle whatever-card-is-represrenting-the-token-in-addition-to-the-pawn in a deck because that what a really cool idea in MM.

    We created home rules where one could be delayed by having his token card shuffled (or position at a specific rank) not only in the location deck, but also the blessing deck, or the character deck...
    Another fun idea we had with the new design is a bane forcing you to shuffle your role card somewhere and you don't get access to your role powers as long as you don't et it back. Fun...


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    Yewstance wrote:
    ...and completely change the power level of various boons and banes (such as the AD0 Lightning Storm from Mummy's Mask, which becomes downright terrifying if you're down to 1 remaining location and it can no longer move to closed locations).

    Funny you should mention this. We're doing a playthrough of Season of Plundered Tombs, and we recently played 3-2E (where locations are in a fixed order and previous locations vanish). We immediately encountered Lightning Storm in location #1, and it kept moving to either our current location or the next location. It was absolutely terrifying, and almost killed a few party members.


    Proxies sound like a good idea. Will there be at least 2 of each type such as 2 A1s so one can be kept next to the card it proxies?

    The loot item Letter of Marque will need an update due to locations being exiled.


    I'm a new, self-taught player to Pathfinder Adventure and I'm teaching a group of 3 other players. Here are my thoughts:

    Card layout: Vast improvement. Sectioned off blocks of information quickly draw your eye to things that matter. I do agree with some others that the card background could be less busy, but the benefit of traits and checks not hanging around with the art and the paragraphical text being narrower and easier to read are huge upsides. It will make picking up the game easier for new players.

    Few duplicate cards: It's cool that duplicates are cut down on some cards (bad ones) but I'm not looking forward to being in a game where two players are fighting over a boon and it's the only one in the box. In addition, it seems very unintuitive to use markers for Scourges rather than more physical cards. I guess we'll see in the later blog post just what those markers otherwise do.

    Remove When Closed: Seems silly. You get the speed benefit of returning 2-5 entire cards to the box early. There's no chance this was done to "aid clean up". How long does putting away 5 cards that are all going to the same divider take? And this is removing strategic plays from the game. When you're near death, you don't want to be exploring and you don't want to be with people exploring in case they accidentally trip an effect that causes damage to you. This change baffles me.

    Card Text: I'm a fan of all the new keywords and using bullet points is a massive improvement, but one thing can be improved still:
    Important phases like "Before acting" or "After acting" should be bolded, underlined, or somehow else changed to draw the eye to the text. You should be able to quickly scan a card for relevance, rather than have to read every word. It would speed up game times and decrease mistakes.


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    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Parabola01 wrote:
    Remove When Closed: Seems silly. You get the speed benefit of returning 2-5 entire cards to the box early. There's no chance this was done to "aid clean up".

    That *really* bothers me. We still haven't heard a single good reason for such fundamental change, and try as I might to wrap my head around it, I can only arrive at three possibilities, logically:

    A. This is an outright bad decision... - well, they wouldn't be doing it, if they thought it was all bad

    B. This is an outright good decision - except, they wouldn't be "hiding" the reasons for the change if it was really that good

    C. This is, in some mysterious way, a "good" decisions on devs' end, while unfortunately being a "bad" decision on players' end (while some arguments would clearly be subjective, the sharp cut in design space and tactical play (your characters have their autonomy reduced to friggin' lemmings, for Achaekek's sake!) are *demonstrably* negatives). But the opportunity to address this change was not taken, so personally I'm left waiting for the other shoe to fall, possibly when I get my hands on the final product... Though, frankly, if the reason wasn't seen as needing to be divulged in the first place, I doubt we'll ever get to learn the nebulous benefits it must bring some developers to warrant such apparently negative overhaul ...

    Or, they just wanted it to more closely mimic "Apocrypha" and that's that.


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    Longshot11 wrote:
    Or, they just wanted it to more closely mimic "Apocrypha" and that's that.

    "Make Pathfinder like Apocrypha" isn't the right take, I don't think, as much as "It tested OK in Apocrypha, and could work here."

    See this post from 9 months back:

    https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2v8um?I-havent-been-paying-a-lot-of-attention- to#19

    The thing is, there's a big difference between Pathfinder and Apocrypha.

    In Apocrypha, if you "die" you only slot a death - and it takes nine slotted deaths to actually expire. In PACG, if you die once you die for good. So life loss is significantly more painful in PACG, which is why safe havens (both empty locations and the spell) can be desirable.

    Apocrypha is an easier game than PACG. It doesn't have AD5 and AD6 massive damage scenarios and horrible SOT location effects that punish the weak & unprotected. Or the equivalent of a Wrath of the Righteous campaign.

    Honestly, I'm not sure that I was going to revisit the old campaigns with the new rules anyway. But I do know that I want to continue with organized play, and all the OP campaigns will be impacted by the new rules and the need for errataed cards. It's the class deck issues that have me most concerned, since as mentioned above I want to avoid paste-ups and errata lists.

    Though, to be fair, what would PACG be without errata? :P


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    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    So many scenarios, OP and otherwise, are massively rebalanced with disappearing closed locations, and a huge host of locations work differently (including at least one which had a custom interaction with Siege Scenarios whilst permanently closed - the one you could re-open by shuffling a boon into it).

    I'd love to see a blog post describing why it was done. The "move when you close a location" makes sense to me, but I don't actually see an upside for anything else. Maybe it's to clear up new player questions about "Can I explore at a closed location? Can I move cards to a closed location? What's the significance of a closed location?". And you don't need to have the extra word "Open" in a bunch of card texts, since any card that would say "Random open location" now just says "Random location"?

    I really really hope the change, which leads to a large rebalance of effects, a very large series of compatibility problems, the removal of safe havens, a shrunk design space and the nullification of a suite of boons wasn't just to save the word "open" from being printed a few times.

    To clarify, I think I'm only really upset about the loss of safe havens. The compatibility issues are massive, with banes and scenarios, even boons and character powers, all being rendered inherently faulty, unusable or broken if they are used with post-Core rules.
    However, again, 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.


    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    I think people might be misunderstanding the whole idea of set compatibility. PFACG2E doesn't need to answer "what happens to the old locations?" because those old locations doesn't matter anymore. "What happens in this WoTR adventure then?" doesn't matter anymore. Those sets can still be played with 100%.

    What the set compatability means is that I can take my old character contents (characters and boons) and still use them in the newer sets. The only time locations and banes matter is for people making custom adventures mixing old and new content at which point those questions can be answered by the person designing that adventure.


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    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Malk_Content wrote:

    I think people might be misunderstanding the whole idea of set compatibility. PFACG2E doesn't need to answer "what happens to the old locations?" because those old locations doesn't matter anymore. "What happens in this WoTR adventure then?" doesn't matter anymore. Those sets can still be played with 100%.

    What the set compatability means is that I can take my old character contents (characters and boons) and still use them in the newer sets. The only time locations and banes matter is for people making custom adventures mixing old and new content at which point those questions can be answered by the person designing that adventure.

    Unfortunately, the official position has been stated that the Core Set cards and rules can (and even should) be mixed into older Adventure Paths.

    Mike Selinker wrote:
    Let me make this unequivocally clear: The new set will be compatible with all previous Adventure Paths. We think the new base set rules will make Skull & Shackles and Wrath of the Righteous more fun, not less.

    There's additionally more remarks made in this blog post that suggest that interpretation.

    It's worth noting that, of course, players at home can feel free to play the game however they want, but those playing in the PFSACG (the official Card Guild play) are expected to follow the rules to the letter, and I strongly suspect that it will probably state that the latest rulebook (that is, the post-Core rulebook) should be used explicitly for all Seasons of play, in order to prevent ambiguity. Which is going to create large amounts of compatibility issues without pages upon pages of errata for boons, character powers, location powers and scenario rules.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Zalarian wrote:

    Proxies sound like a good idea. Will there be at least 2 of each type such as 2 A1s so one can be kept next to the card it proxies?

    The blog post was pretty clear that the cards were unique, I thought. Most probably Proxies A1-A4 all stand in for the same henchman, B1 is the villain, etc.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    wkover wrote:
    Longshot11 wrote:
    Or, they just wanted it to more closely mimic "Apocrypha" and that's that.

    "Make Pathfinder like Apocrypha" isn't the right take, I don't think, as much as "It tested OK in Apocrypha, and could work here."

    See this post from 9 months back:

    https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2v8um?I-havent-been-paying-a-lot-of-attention- to#19

    Yeah, I remember that. Problem is, "they think it tested will in *that* game" doesn't tell me why it's a good idea in *my* game. Did they actually make a focus group play both PACG and Apocrypha side by side and got an overwhelming "Apocrypha's way is better" response?! Did they just ask people, "How do you feel about those useless location cards NOT having to stay on the table?" - I can see how they would get a positive response to that.

    Let's be honest, the "safe haven" scenario in PACG comes into play rarely, BUT -and it's a bug "but"- when it does, it's a life-saver, literally - even if you only ever need a single "closed location" card for it on the table.

    However, a *much* more impactful dynamic is this: in "old" PACG, when a character closes a location, their hand is often pretty depleted (esp. in high-player games), so they wouldn't choose to explore another location even if they could. However, now they are staying in safe spot, so, for example, Player 2 goes and explores Location B, risking mass damge only to themselves; they don't find the Henchman. Player 3 Moves to location B, risking mass damage only to themselves and Player 2; they don't find the henchman. NOW, Player 1 can move to Location B - but was spared TWO WHOLE TURNS of being exposed to mass damage.

    Under the new paradigm, Player 1 would have to suffer ANY mass damage at location B, triggered in Player 2 and 3's turns. Basically, they would normally only want to move after closing if they could actually KEEP exploring - but no, that's expressly forbidden now (incidentally, I haven't seen it mentioned earlier in the thread but this basically *destroys* the usability value of "you can move" cards). So they get NO benefit at all from moving and ALL of the risk during other players' turns. I don't even want to imagine the number of times, under the new rules, that players will have to begin a turn with their hands emptied by off-turn challenges...


    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    Yewstance wrote:
    Malk_Content wrote:

    I think people might be misunderstanding the whole idea of set compatibility. PFACG2E doesn't need to answer "what happens to the old locations?" because those old locations doesn't matter anymore. "What happens in this WoTR adventure then?" doesn't matter anymore. Those sets can still be played with 100%.

    What the set compatability means is that I can take my old character contents (characters and boons) and still use them in the newer sets. The only time locations and banes matter is for people making custom adventures mixing old and new content at which point those questions can be answered by the person designing that adventure.

    Unfortunately, the official position has been stated that the Core Set cards and rules can (and even should) be mixed into older Adventure Paths.

    Mike Selinker wrote:
    Let me make this unequivocally clear: The new set will be compatible with all previous Adventure Paths. We think the new base set rules will make Skull & Shackles and Wrath of the Righteous more fun, not less.

    There's additionally more remarks made in this blog post that suggest that interpretation.

    It's worth noting that, of course, players at home can feel free to play the game however they want, but those playing in the PFSACG (the official Card Guild play) are expected to follow the rules to the letter, and I strongly suspect that it will probably state that the latest rulebook (that is, the post-Core rulebook) should be used explicitly for all Seasons of play, in order to prevent ambiguity. Which is going to create large amounts of compatibility issues without pages upon pages of errata for boons, character powers, location powers and scenario rules.

    Yes new cards can go back and old cards go forward. That means I can take new Seoni and play her in Wrath. I can add my boons to a new box or vice versa. Nothing goes against that. But that doesn't mean use new locations in old adventures or vice versa. Thus you don't really have to worry about how old locations work in the new system, because you won't be using them.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    But you do use old locations by using new rules in official Guild game... you just don`t mix locations (normally). Well we will much more dead characters in the future games. That is cool! Unless the whole company abandon the adventure when one character is low on cards. Nothing wrong in that. It is more thematic this way. Players can either risk losing some characters or give up as a team. So it definitely is better for roleplaying element in this games. It just means more characters, with no upgrades in their decks in the next episodes, plus some replay old scenarios. Thats cool! Game game will be harder and decks not too good!
    What is not cool is to remember all those errated cards. So I would only play new Guild adventures by using new 2nd edition class decks, or it can get really boring to see errata list after playing all cards by all players.
    So 2nd edition everything will solve this problem soon enough!


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    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    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.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    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)

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