Core Principles: Encouraging Teamwork in the Pathfinder ACG

Friday, March 19, 2019

Hello! My name is Chad Brown, and I'm here to talk with you all about the hows, whats, and whys of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, starting with the new Core Set, and continuing forward to the Curse of the Crimson Throne Adventure Path and beyond. Today I'm going to talk about teamwork: when both the players and the characters work together as an effective and exciting adventuring party. Mike's talked about many changes for Core, including broad concepts of what we were (and were not) trying to accomplish. I'm going to dive in one level deeper and provide some more specifics about a couple of those things.

There are two major pillars of the revision, which I'll call "Story" and "Challenge." This probably isn't a surprise; the two main areas of feedback we've received since launching Rise of the Runelords are various forms of "we'd like more story" and "sometimes, the challenge level is off."

From the story side, we've adjusted the game to enhance and encourage teamwork, bringing it to a level you might see in an RPG session, adventure novel, comic, or movie. In particular, prior Adventure Paths gave groups a lot of freedom over when to split the party and when to group up. As a game mechanic, we built a balance around the advantages and disadvantages of each, and changed that balance over time, from scenario to scenario. As people played more and developed greater mastery over the game system, they came to realize that the advantages usually leaned more towards having the group spread out over multiple locations. This led to fine gameplay but didn't always match the story as much as we might have liked.

On a smaller scale, we'd frequently see new people learning the game ask how they could help each other, especially when their fellows tried something and failed. The answer (some form of "check your character and boon cards") generally created good gameplay, but often felt like a poor match for a heroic adventure story. Simply put, people felt like they were playing cool, fun characters, but they didn't always feel like they were playing those characters in an adventuring party.

To address this, we've made some adjustments to how we design cards and scenarios in Core. More character powers apply to local characters, and typical boons—including starting boons—provide more options for helping characters, especially local characters. A few examples:

Ezren shows off his knowledge of spellcasting whenever anyone finds a scroll or recharges a spell.

Further, we've adjusted how we make allies and weapons, increasing their teamwork aspects. Allies now usually offer some form of help to local characters, giving you more options for helping your party. Similarly, more weapons have options to help others in combat, both nearby and far away.

The sage believes the pen is mightier than the sword, but is silent on throwing axes.

Those of you who've played PACG with groups of differing size know that the challenges the game offers to solo and two-player groups are often different from those encountered by five- and six-player groups. In particular, very small groups tend to feel very little time pressure, but individual challenges can be very tough. On the other hand, large groups usually have at least one character that is well suited to any particular challenge, so the group can bring a lot of help to bear at important moments... but they need to accomplish a lot in few turns, especially if they get unlucky at the wrong moment. In practice, this could feel almost like two different games: one for very small groups and another for very large. Up to a point, this is what we expected and wanted; after all, a giant Pathfinder RPG party does and should feel different than a solo adventure. As we (including you!) have gained more experience with the game, we've come to the conclusion that this split is often larger than we (and you) wanted.

This gave rise to the biggest rules change since Rise of the Runelords first premiered. Because PACG is a cooperative game, people naturally want to work together. The rules have previously allowed each character to play up to one boon of each type on a given check or step—that is, when someone's doing a thing, each player is limited to playing at most one card of each type. (For example, to help Lini's combat check, Lem can play either his Force Missile spell or his Viper Strike spell, but not both at the same time.) This ability to help other people was and is key to the cooperative aspects of PACG. Starting with the Core Set, though, we've adjusted that rule so that now the party as a whole can play up to one boon of each type:

Each character may play any number of cards, but collectively, the party may play no more than one of each type of boon; powers that can be played freely do not count toward this limit.

I'm going to be blunt: many of our playtesters were nervous about this change. When you read it in a PDF draft or a playtest forum, it feels like the sort of change that could totally change the game, and there were some people who enjoyed the "massive overkill" situations that the old rule would often create. What we found during testing, though, was that it doesn't change the game as often or as much as you might think. The major impact it has is to cut down on the situations where a group could unload nearly their entire hands at a key moment. What we were seeing is that large groups could, with a little planning and effort, reliably drop this sort of massive card play on key checks, so much so that they were frequently removing the tension from these dramatic points. With this small adjustment to the rule, plus the ability to sidestep it when we want to with the freely exception (it's used by a LOT of cards), we were able to leave in the option for overkill while restoring much of the tension to those key dramatic moments.

In practical terms, these changes mean that the group will have to coordinate a bit more to make optimal use of their resources, and they also bring the typical experience of a small group much closer to that of a large group. There are still differences, and your group can use some newly provided tools to adjust the effective challenge level to match your desires, but the starting points are much closer together. We've mentioned before that Core adds several new ways to adjust both the difficulty and length of the game, both up and down: wildcards, adjustable size locations, more frequent use of scaling effects, and options for adjusting the size of the hourglass. You'll find that, in addition to helping everyone have more fun playing the game that they want to play, they also help you ensure that your characters are adventuring together as a team.

The other big thing we added to enhance teamwork is a new mechanic: avenge. When introducing the game to people, we would sometimes see players go up against a nasty bane of some sort, and then stumble due to bad luck, a bad matchup, or simply not being ready to tackle the challenge. When this happened, the unfortunate character's friends would invariably ask, "Is there anything I can do?" Core offers a new answer to that question: "You can try to avenge them."

Calistria, goddess of vengeance, approves of this new mechanic.

When a character fails to defeat a bane, another local character may attempt to avenge that encounter. The original character finishes their encounter, suffering the normal consequences of failure (including damage), but just before the bane in question would go away, the avenging character may bury a card to encounter the bane themselves. Sometimes you'll want Merisiel to get rid of that trap that chomped on Valeros before it shuffles back in, just so it doesn't chomp Val or Kyra later on. When smashing a villain, sometimes Amiri will manage to roll a lot of 1s and 2s on her handful of d12s (and not on the same die face!), and Seelah will need to step up to try to avoid a painful villain escape.

Each bane can only be avenged once (no stacking; this isn't a video-game monster vending machine!), and only by a local character, and by default the avenging character must bury a card in order to avenge. So it's something that you'll want to work out with your team. But when it works, it can be a beautiful thing indeed.

This may help you understand why we removed closed locations from the game, as Mike mentioned in the previous Core Principles column. This helps tilt the game back toward a middle ground between splitting up and staying together. Instead of hiding at a closed location when you get in trouble, you can instead rely on your friends to help protect you at an active location, using tricks like avenge, the new ally and weapon powers, and other changes you'll see as you play the game.

Before you go, we've got more to share!

Bonus Content: Making the Game

As Chad was working on this blog, I received this photo from our printer, Cartamundi, showing their "storyboard" for assembling the finished game. I thought I'd share it with you, giving me the opportunity to guide you on a tour of the Core Set.

Clockwise from top left:

  • The rulebook. Now expanded to 32 pages, and laid out vertically rather than horizontally.
  • Token sheets. There are 3 different sheets (they're overlapping in the photo), giving you a total of 12 pawns and 63 markers (7 each of 9 different designs).
  • The storybook. Its 24 pages present the Dragon's Demand: 9 scripted scenarios plus the tools you need to generate a huge variety of customized and/or randomized scenarios.
  • The Quick-Start Guide. Much like the one in Mummy's Mask, it leads up to 4 characters through a shortened version of the first scenario.
  • The box lid.
  • 4 packs of 110 cards, including the "Open Me First!" deck used for the Quick-Start scenario.
  • Small components, clockwise from top right: foam blocks (4 per game), divider cards (24 per game), dice (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12; 1 each), and pawn stands (6 per game).
  • The box bottom, packed with cards and small components.

You've probably noticed that there's no plastic tray. The tray was great for organizing a single Adventure Path that had a fixed number of each type of card, but it didn't work quite so well if you sleeved your cards, or if you wanted to add in a few class decks. And since the Core Set is intended to be the foundation for any number of Adventure Paths, there's going to be a lot less predictability in the card mix from here on out. So we've replaced the tray with a much more flexible solution, one capable of holding well over 2500 cards, and in a box about two-thirds the size of previous Adventure Path boxes. The 24 divider cards will keep your cards organized, and the foam blocks will keep them in place.

Vic Wertz
Adventure Card Game Project Lead

Thanks for reading! We're looking forward to seeing you all finally get your hands on both the Core Set and Curse of the Crimson Throne at PaizoCon 2019. See you there!

Chad Brown
Adventure Card Game Lead Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Totally awesome idea for cards storage!


<3 the card storage

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

I like the new teamwork mechanics. The lack of them had been a dealbreaker in my group.


Everything is really very nice and you did a lot of great work, but nooooooo, I see changes in Blast Stone! The least useful item I've met - except for Anchor, of course - is now forever ruined. </irony>
Yeah, OK, it was useful in Damiel's hands - sort of, as it is Alchemical.

Based on changes in the old buddies like Light Crossbow, Throwing Axe and Sage, the conversion rules for the older Adventure Path cards will be even more extensive than I expected. Well, it is surely in the interest of good playthrough - waiting eagerly till it hits the stores.


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So with the big rules change of 1-per-across-the-whole-table, how does that actually help cooperation? It hurts cooperation, which is what the crux of this article was about: changes to increase cooperation. In particular, it screams that is's going to exacerbate the "table jockey" issue. I'll play it, see how it goes... it'll probably be fine in my two-players-playing-three-each games, but it will probably go quite poorly in my 5-people-each-playing-one games.

Also, a shame to see a step backwards in card storage. The separated plastic insert areas made it a breeze to find the cards you need and keep everything upright/going. Big boxes like this will make it more painful to access during play. Hope there are a lot fewer "summon"s!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Our household is excited for the new game; we have been playing since RotRL, which was our introduction to the Pathfinder universe.

That said, I was a bit befuddled when I read this in the post:

"(For example, to help Lini's combat check, Lem can play either his Force Missile spell or his Viper Strike spell, but not both at the same time.)"

In our house, Lem couldn't play Force Missile on Lini's combat check because the card specifies "for YOUR combat check." We never play attack spells on other character's combat checks for this reason. Have we been doing this wrong?

I'd appreciate any insight from the fine folk here.

Grand Lodge

Huzzah! Let me at that Box!!!!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Hello, I like the changes and the fact they avoid overkill. Unclear to me how a big group will manage with that, also some bad ass of the previous boxes may be very hard to kill now. Still really don’t like the new graphics, for me the picture helps projecting into the game, who on hell decided to limit then in a top corner box should be sent to the goblins. ( hopefully I will get used to )


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Obligatory huzzah! And again, the more I see the new cards, the more they are growing on me.

Quote:
The separated plastic insert areas made it a breeze to find the cards you need and keep everything upright/going. Big boxes like this will make it more painful to access during play.

And the old box inserts were each tailored to the specific APs (i.e., none of the base sets had identical inserts). The way the revised PACG is going to work, you won't be able to have a one-size-fits-all insert - any insert would have to be generic in nature because the ratio of cards in each AP is slightly different. The new card storage system sounds a lot like the functionality of the third party inserts (e.g., The Broken Token), and those work great. The dividers will make it easy to find the cards you need and keep everything upgright/going.

Quote:

That said, I was a bit befuddled when I read this in the post:

"(For example, to help Lini's combat check, Lem can play either his Force Missile spell or his Viper Strike spell, but not both at the same time.)"

In our house, Lem couldn't play Force Missile on Lini's combat check because the card specifies "for YOUR combat check." We never play attack spells on other character's combat checks for this reason. Have we been doing this wrong?

You've been playing it correctly under the old rules/cards. The example you quoted is based on the new rules/cards, which will have revised rules (slightly different from the ones you're playing with).

"Your" check is the character in question. "A local character's" check is the check of any character at the same location (which includes you).

"Avenge" sounds interesting - a new action.


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emky wrote:
Also, a shame to see a step backwards in card storage. The separated plastic insert areas made it a breeze to find the cards you need and keep everything upright/going. Big boxes like this will make it more painful to access during play. Hope there are a lot fewer "summon"s!

The old boxes were bigger, I'm confused.

In addition, I had to abandon the square boxes because they never fit into my backpacks, and only the largest reusable bags would allow me to carry them. And the cards would slide out from the plastic insert when carried vertically, which meant that I had to reorganize the cards every time I carried that box.

If you got all 6 adventure decks, they'd only fit if you returned cards that were removed from the game back into the AD boxes. However, that's inconvenient in organized play where you'd often have to rearrange boxes from an AD1 configuration up to a AD4 configuration and back.

I'm glad the old solution worked for you.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Since we always play as a large group (5 or 6 players), we were really waiting to see how Mike's team would improve the game on large group specific issues (not enough turns, allies only used to reexplore thus losing interest on their specific powers, blessings piling up against the villain in a way that the bad guy was defeated without rolling any die, nothing to do while others were playing, and so on).

This look like improving in all those aspects. We won't know until we play but it definitely looks like worth trying.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
PhyllisSteen wrote:

That said, I was a bit befuddled when I read this in the post:

"(For example, to help Lini's combat check, Lem can play either his Force Missile spell or his Viper Strike spell, but not both at the same time.)"

In our house, Lem couldn't play Force Missile on Lini's combat check because the card specifies "for YOUR combat check." We never play attack spells on other character's combat checks for this reason. Have we been doing this wrong?

Nope but I guess the spells now say "on a local combat check". So two or more other players could add magic spells to your combat check (just like it was the case for blessings) if it wasn't for the new limitating rule.

It feels much more thematic now (cleric adds a blessing, mage adds a spell, barbarian adds a strike....).


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
emky wrote:
So with the big rules change of 1-per-across-the-whole-table, how does that actually help cooperation? It hurts cooperation, which is what the crux of this article was about: changes to increase cooperation. [...]

I would disagree with that, but mostly I think this is a great way to make each character feel more special, more unique, and be able to shine in their own unique ways a lot better rather than "anyone passes any check because 6 players all give them a blessing".

  • It encourages teams to rely on a varied selection of card types. This, in particular, means that players who rely on non-typical card types become more valuable for the party when they can offer support. When the alchemist offers some grenade-style weapon, a buffing potion or a Blast Stone, it's no longer just "worse than anyone else offering a Blessing" (which was pretty much always the case pre-Core). Sure, the bonus might be a little lower, but because you're limited to one-blessing-per-check (not counting "Freely" cards) then the Alchemist may be able to push you further than you otherwise would be able to. An ally-based character, like a Druid or a Bard, may also be able to provide additional bonuses that would normally be impossible with just a 6 player team, all holding onto blessings to help anyone force-pass any check (which I see frequently).

  • This kind of leads to component of Pre-Core; any player can complete any task with enough assistance. I have personally seen an Alahazra player (an oracle with a 1d4 Strength Skill) defeat a difficulty 28 villain in a 6 player team without an attack spell because everyone threw a blessing at the check, most of which added 2 dice. Post-Core, this is instead an issue where an actual combat-specialized team member, like a Fighter, will likely Avenge in to handle the issue. This example also stresses the importance of how character powers become more important relative to banes.

    If you have a power that says "Discard a card to add 1d4 to your Arcane check", then this power will quickly become worse and worse over the course of the game as the boons you include in your deck will be able to be discarded/recharged for far more important bonuses (blessings, allies, etc). However, with the one card-type-per-restriction laid on the team, character powers will be a completely unique extra bonus that won't count towards the use of a resource you may also find yourself needing for hard checks. I feel like this rules change allows characters to play their character a bit more - the Fighter can Fight more, the Barbarian has a reason to bury cards for bonuses rather than just ask everyone to throw blessings at them in large parties, the Rogue can actually deal with barriers more.

  • Rangers and Gunslingers using weapons or character powers to assist combat checks also becomes more useful, as another example, since they can allow a table to achieve higher combat results by using their powers in addition to a blessing. Again, making each member of the team more unique and useful - which is the fundamental point of co-operation, I would argue. I'd say this is a far more satisfying party dynamic than "Everyone stacks blessings together".

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

    If the post-core rules were applied wholesale to pre-core cards, I could understand the issue, especially because Blessings made up the overwhelmingly large amount of support for checks. However, more recent class decks and all of the spoiled cards are clearly showing that post-Core will feature a lot more supportive effects across a whole array of card types. Blast Stone is now good, Spells can often help people at your location, Allies are less narrow, etc.

    TL;DR: This rule change allows non-blessing-centric players to assist the team in new, important ways. It puts a bigger emphasis on individual character powers and abilities. It goes hand-in-hand with the new design philosophy of allowing each card to do more - not just for yourself, but for the team. It also encourages deeper thought on important checks, and absolutely allows characters and powers to shine who would previously be unable to assist with co-operation because they just didn't have many blessings in their deck, or their hand, which used to be pretty much the only indicator for meaningful support in a lot of parties.

    It's an exciting prospect to me that using bows or allies for support is no longer relegated to "just worse than carrying a blessing in hand".


  • Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    emky wrote:

    So with the big rules change of 1-per-across-the-whole-table, how does that actually help cooperation? It hurts cooperation, which is what the crux of this article was about: changes to increase cooperation. In particular, it screams that is's going to exacerbate the "table jockey" issue. I'll play it, see how it goes... it'll probably be fine in my two-players-playing-three-each games, but it will probably go quite poorly in my 5-people-each-playing-one games.

    Also, a shame to see a step backwards in card storage. The separated plastic insert areas made it a breeze to find the cards you need and keep everything upright/going. Big boxes like this will make it more painful to access during play. Hope there are a lot fewer "summon"s!

    Simply put, it gives an incentive to playing local to another character to make use of cards other than blessings. Perhaps you have an ally that can help with a local combat check but if you weren't local then you wouldn't be able to help. There are more local power feats, other cards have local abilities, etc.

    I'd also consider this change more of a "game balance" decision as well. They're addressing the issue where in a 6 player game you can get some really high rolls from stacking blessings whereas in a 2 player game you won't have 6 blessings to dump on a single check. It should end up making the game feel more balanced across all player counts rather than currently it really is more balanced around 4 player tables than other player counts.

    Re: Box - The plastic inserts were...not great IMHO. and the old box was bigger than it really needed to be (even with all AD's). The new design makes the box smaller, but will still let you have room to easily access your cards.

    RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

    zeroth_hour2 wrote:
    emky wrote:
    Also, a shame to see a step backwards in card storage. The separated plastic insert areas made it a breeze to find the cards you need and keep everything upright/going. Big boxes like this will make it more painful to access during play. Hope there are a lot fewer "summon"s!

    The old boxes were bigger, I'm confused.

    In addition, I had to abandon the square boxes because they never fit into my backpacks, and only the largest reusable bags would allow me to carry them. And the cards would slide out from the plastic insert when carried vertically, which meant that I had to reorganize the cards every time I carried that box.

    If you got all 6 adventure decks, they'd only fit if you returned cards that were removed from the game back into the AD boxes. However, that's inconvenient in organized play where you'd often have to rearrange boxes from an AD1 configuration up to a AD4 configuration and back.

    I'm glad the old solution worked for you.

    I always struggled to take a PACG to a con or a friend's house because the boxes are enormous and do a terrible job of keeping the cards from falling out of their bins.

    Lone Shark Games

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    emky wrote:
    So with the big rules change of 1-per-across-the-whole-table, how does that actually help cooperation? It hurts cooperation

    In testing, it actually increased cooperation. While it limits you from having six players throw six blessings on a villain check, it encourages you to go ahead and throw a blessing each on six different checks. Further, it encourages people to take more quantity and diversity of helping cards, since blessings no longer trump other card types.

    PhyllisSteen wrote:
    In our house, Lem couldn't play Force Missile on Lini's combat check because the card specifies "for YOUR combat check." We never play attack spells on other character's combat checks for this reason. Have we been doing this wrong?

    You've been doing it exactly right. The new ones - much like Blast Stone - are just more team friendly :)

    Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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    Brother Tyler wrote:
    And the old box inserts were each tailored to the specific APs (i.e., none of the base sets had identical inserts). The way the revised PACG is going to work, you won't be able to have a one-size-fits-all insert - any insert would have to be generic in nature because the ratio of cards in each AP is slightly different. The new card storage system sounds a lot like the functionality of the third party inserts (e.g., The Broken Token), and those work great. The dividers will make it easy to find the cards you need and keep everything upgright/going.

    Actually, the old insert only changed once: between Rise of the Runelords and Skull & Shackles, we added the well for support cards and enlarged the die slot so it could fit the extra d20 we were going to add for Wrath. Adjusting the tray involves remaking a very expensive steel mold, so it wasn't something we could do often.

    This meant that the design team had a maximum number of cards of each type that they could put into any Adventure Path (which unfortunately got away from us once—if you try to fit all the Wrath henchmen in the tray at once, it isn't pretty). The new box removes that design constraint.

    By the way, the new dividers will work great in Ultra•Pro's new Pathfinder Adventure Chest.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber
    Vic Wertz wrote:


    By the way, the new dividers will work great in Ultra•Pro's new Pathfinder Adventure Chest,

    Do you mean this chest? (Your link went to the category, not the product.) The last update I see for it is a comment that would seem to indicate the product won't ship, but if you're directing us to it, you may have more up to date information to share?

    Edit: I missed later comments that imply it might have been available briefly, but not for long. It would still be nice to get an update.


    Mhuirich wrote:


    Edit: I missed later comments that imply it might have been available briefly, but not for long. It would still be nice to get an update.

    Mini Market had it for a while; some Amazon sellers seem to have it right now if you want to buy it right away. Paizo doesn't seem to have it in stock currently though.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Mhuirich wrote:
    Vic Wertz wrote:


    By the way, the new dividers will work great in Ultra•Pro's new Pathfinder Adventure Chest,

    Do you mean this chest? (Your link went to the category, not the product.) The last update I see for it is a comment that would seem to indicate the product won't ship, but if you're directing us to it, you may have more up to date information to share?

    Edit: I missed later comments that imply it might have been available briefly, but not for long. It would still be nice to get an update.

    I have one I bought from CoolStuffinc.com


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    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    I feel the only 1 of each type rule increasing coop resource expenditure can be shown in an easy analog to computer rpgs. Who ends the game with 99 of each potion because you might need them for a bigger fight later? Do you think you'd be more inclined to use them if you could use each one only once per fight? I know I would as the maximum potential usefulness of having more than 1 has been reduced.

    In pacg terms how often have you not blessed something or explored because everyone wants to keep a blessing banked for potential villains. Personally this happens every game, often with multiple players keeping the same blessing in hand for several goes around the table. If the whole party only wants to keep a couple on hand at a time I'm much more likely to actually use the cards in my hand.


    Very happy with the new storage solution. I've often found the current trays lacking when character/class decks are added and play is in the 3 or 4 adventure deck. This solution offers much more flexibility.


    Looking forward to the rebalancing!

    Quick question, their site says that Paizo will be at the UK Games Expo, so assuming that's true, will we be able to buy copies of the core set there?


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

    Looking forward to the rebalancing!

    Quick question, their site says that Paizo will be at the UK Games Expo, so assuming that's true, will we be able to buy copies of the core set there?

    No idea if it will be for sale, but I have it on good authority that they will be demoing the Core Set there.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Supersting wrote:

    Looking forward to the rebalancing!

    Quick question, their site says that Paizo will be at the UK Games Expo, so assuming that's true, will we be able to buy copies of the core set there?

    Paizo have had quite a large presence at UK games expo the last few years but I don't recall them selling anything. More importantly given the date I would be more interested in an expo collect for subscriber content like they do for Americans and Paizocon...


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    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    I feel like "Avenge" helps flesh out the picture that "Freely" was starting to paint. Now when the fighter gets hit with the trap, instead of everybody praying and him magically disarming it, he takes the punishment, and the rogue who was with him steps in to disable it instead.

    Avenge allows for failure in a game that never really did before (except for occasional locations like the Woods). This alone makes armors a lot more exciting and useful, as it will cost fewer cards to just fail the check and have another character avenge than if would to pass the check. Limiting the amount your team can help actually encourages them to help more often.

    Each new drop of news makes me more excited to check out the new boxes!


    Is there a reason the second to last line of the blessing doesnt read: "Discard to Avenge" like the other powers?


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Slacker2010 wrote:
    Is there a reason the second to last line of the blessing doesnt read: "Discard to Avenge" like the other powers?

    I don't know this, but I have a personal theory.

    Any character (at a location) can avenge; it's a core mechanic of the game that requires you to bury a card. (This is, for example, different to Evading; where you need a power to tell you to do so.) So perhaps it's written like it is to suggest that discarding it is a replacement for your normal Avenge mechanic cost, rather than it "having a power that lets you avenge".

    Put another way, perhaps using that line of text isn't considered playing the blessing? Just like pre-existing cards that have lines of text like "if you would discard this card to damage, you may recharge it instead" or "if you would discard this card to damage, you may count this as up to 4 cards", this is suggesting (in shorthand) that "If you would bury this card to avenge, discard it instead". That would make it clear that it doesn't change the normal rules about Avenging (an encounter can only be avenged once, it can only be done from the same location, etc), because it's just replacing the cost rather than allowing you to play a card for its power.

    That's all a complete stab in the dark, assuming that the templating is intentional. It does rather look like all of the cards shown above are simply cost replacements. "To avenge, do X" rather than "do X to avenge", so there appears to be some important logic to the Avenge-modifier templating. I'd love to get clarification. (This would matter, for example, if you had a character that recharged blessings you played.)


    The armor also puts the action (avenge) before the cost (discard a card).

    Avenge is such a particular situation, I can see it being useful to put that information first. It makes it easier to scan for "avenge" when it applies and skip when it doesn't.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Slacker2010 wrote:
    Is there a reason the second to last line of the blessing doesnt read: "Discard to Avenge" like the other powers?

    My guess is that any card can be buried to avenge, so to differentiate, that particular card only needs to be discarded to avenge.

    The more I think of this mechanic, the more fun it seems. I can envision an Aric/Red Raven 2.0 that has a power that allows RR to Avenge a card that Aric just encountered. I can see a Reiko who can avenge when not local and/or gets a +2 to checks when avenging. So many possibilities!

    Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

    Mhuirich wrote:
    Vic Wertz wrote:


    By the way, the new dividers will work great in Ultra•Pro's new Pathfinder Adventure Chest,

    Do you mean this chest? (Your link went to the category, not the product.) The last update I see for it is a comment that would seem to indicate the product won't ship, but if you're directing us to it, you may have more up to date information to share?

    Edit: I missed later comments that imply it might have been available briefly, but not for long. It would still be nice to get an update.

    That's the one—thanks for the correction. I'm not sure why our distributor doesn't seem to have it yet—checking into it. It is definitely out now.

    Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

    deny_conformity wrote:
    Supersting wrote:
    Quick question, their site says that Paizo will be at the UK Games Expo, so assuming that's true, will we be able to buy copies of the core set there?
    Paizo have had quite a large presence at UK games expo the last few years but I don't recall them selling anything.

    We don't sell directly—a local retail partner sells our products. I'll see if I can find out if they'll have the Core Set.

    Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Slacker2010 wrote:
    Is there a reason the second to last line of the blessing doesnt read: "Discard to Avenge" like the other powers?

    With Rise of the Runelords, the grammar for the card game was generally of the form:

    [Take this action] [to do this thing].

    For example, "Recharge this card to add 1d4 to your Combat check."

    As the game has evolved, timing has become more important and more specific, and over the last few sets we started to rework many templates to this form:

    [At this time] [take this action] [to do this thing].

    For example, "On your Combat check, recharge this card to add 1d4."

    This form has the added benefit of making it easier to scan multi-power cards to see if a power can help you at any particular moment. Before, you'd have to read (and process) that entire power before you could determine whether it applied to what you're doing at the moment; now, if you're not making a Combat check, you'll stop reading after the first phrase.

    If you look at all of the cards we've posted so far, you'll see we now hew pretty hard to this format.

    "To avenge, discard" may at first glance appear to break that format, but it really doesn't—"to avenge" is communicating the timing as well as what you're doing. (It's really saying "When you avenge, discard to avenge," which would be really awkward.)

    The other apparent exception is powers that have very broad timing allowances, like exploring and healing. In those cases, we don't need to state the timing, so it looks like the old template, but it's really the new template without the timing. For example, "Discard to explore," or "Banish to heal a local character 1d4 cards."


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I can't help but notice that a lot of cards previewed in this blog use the names and images of existing cards, but they all have different powers to the original in some way. How does that fit with the previously-mentioned design policy that cards with differing powers should be uniquely named? Will it be possible for players to have two cards in hand with the same name but differing powers, or will there be errata released for a lot of older cards to bring them in line with the Core version?

    I feel the latter could be problematic for Organized Play? (-"A Wisdom check, I'll play my Sage to add 1d6." -"Sorry, the Sage can't do that anymore." -"In that case, I'll play my Teamster to add 1d6." -"Sorry, the Teamster doesn't do that anymore either. Didn't you bring and read the mandatory 250-page errata along with your 110-card Class Deck?")

    Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    Shnik wrote:
    I can't help but notice that a lot of cards previewed in this blog use the names and images of existing cards, but they all have different powers to the original in some way. How does that fit with the previously-mentioned design policy that cards with differing powers should be uniquely named?

    That policy is no more; it has ceased to be. It is an ex-policy.


    The avenge mechanic sounds great, and this was a pretty good article, up until the very end that described the box. Then it was the best article I've read for this game.

    Now I can sleeve everything and fit it all in one box, without buying an extra insert or printing a new set of dividers. And it came out right after I was trying to figure out what to do about the storage.

    Great job!


    Vic Wertz wrote:
    Shnik wrote:
    How does that fit with the previously-mentioned design policy that cards with differing powers should be uniquely named?
    That policy is no more; it has ceased to be. It is an ex-policy.

    I hadn't noticed that. Another point to "2nd edition".

    Vic, should we give up on ever getting the rest of the 1st edition character sheets and deck lists?


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    emky wrote:
    Vic Wertz wrote:
    Shnik wrote:
    How does that fit with the previously-mentioned design policy that cards with differing powers should be uniquely named?
    That policy is no more; it has ceased to be. It is an ex-policy.

    I hadn't noticed that. Another point to "2nd edition".

    Vic, should we give up on ever getting the rest of the 1st edition character sheets and deck lists?

    I would hesitantly suggest that the Core Set's release might be exactly what triggers those characters sheets finally being released, as opposed to shelved. If a comprehensive set of errata is released for pre-Core characters to fix powers that no longer function correctly (and fixing up wording/templating in the meantime), then making amendments on produced digital character sheets seems a sensible way to deliver such errata.

    But that might just be wishful thinking on my behalf.


    Yewstance wrote:
    emky wrote:
    Vic, should we give up on ever getting the rest of the 1st edition character sheets and deck lists?
    I would hesitantly suggest that the Core Set's release might be exactly what triggers those characters sheets finally being released, as opposed to shelved.

    I'm sorry, but I'm sitting on this giant pile of boxes I *HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO PLAY* (or even open to make sure they're complete!) because necessary product support never happened, in well over a year. That's not exactly the way to encourage folks to stick with your stuff, is it? It's actually exacerbating my distaste for PACG 2e [that might not even be there if they'd done things right in the first place]. You have it backwards.

    And I don't want just "updated for 2nd edition" ones. I just want what's there now. (Fine if they do both, but just 2nd edition changes isn't right.)


    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    If it helps, there have been enterprising individuals who have composed card lists (see the PACG wiki) and character sheet PDFs (see Boardgamegeek) for all decks that are missing official support. I'm not sure there's any reason you shouldn't be able to play with any given deck.

    I don't disagree that I'm disappointed in the lack of digital decklists and character sheets for a couple of years or so, but I don't think it should be barrier to play.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Mhuirich wrote:
    Vic Wertz wrote:


    By the way, the new dividers will work great in Ultra•Pro's new Pathfinder Adventure Chest,

    Do you mean this chest? (Your link went to the category, not the product.) The last update I see for it is a comment that would seem to indicate the product won't ship, but if you're directing us to it, you may have more up to date information to share?

    Edit: I missed later comments that imply it might have been available briefly, but not for long. It would still be nice to get an update.

    Just to point out that yeah, my post you linked to on that product page is 1.5 years old so it seems at some point this product got un-shelved or the greenlight

    Yewstance wrote:

    If it helps, there have been enterprising individuals who have composed card lists (see the PACG wiki) and character sheet PDFs (see Boardgamegeek) for all decks that are missing official support. I'm not sure there's any reason you shouldn't be able to play with any given deck.

    I don't disagree that I'm disappointed in the lack of digital decklists and character sheets for a couple of years or so, but I don't think it should be barrier to play.

    Paizo thread with links to all the community made character sheets (Most are in Mr Jacket Potato's post, and then I added a few more in the replies). You can also find these on Boardgamegeek by searching for the class/character deck and then going to the files page.


    Love the pawns.

    Will we eventually get minis to replace the pawns for which minis do not already exist?


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    Most likely not... but who knows there Are so may heroes in this game.
    Reader miniatures may have most of them I think. But I would like to get prepainted ones, so it depends on witzkids.


    Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    A Paladin In Citadel wrote:

    Love the pawns.

    Will we eventually get minis to replace the pawns for which minis do not already exist?

    Nearly all the prepainted minis for the iconics already exist in the Pathfinder Battle product line.

    I'm pretty sure they will issue the remaining ones (Kess...) soon.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Frencois wrote:
    A Paladin In Citadel wrote:

    Love the pawns.

    Will we eventually get minis to replace the pawns for which minis do not already exist?

    Nearly all the prepainted minis for the iconics already exist in the Pathfinder Battle product line.

    I'm pretty sure they will issue the remaining ones (Kess...) soon.

    Also, pre-painted minis for ALL iconics exists in the Iconic Heroes line - where you also get some nifty Owner cards for most of the iconics!

    Lone Shark Games

    Frencois wrote:
    I'm pretty sure they will issue the remaining ones (Kess...) soon.

    She's in here.


    Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Keith Richmond wrote:
    Frencois wrote:
    I'm pretty sure they will issue the remaining ones (Kess...) soon.
    She's in here.

    Thanks Keith. I feel bad, I had the mini in front of me while I was typing and I guess I was just dreaming...


    Oh thank the gods you've abandoned the card tray liner, I'm trying to sleeve up the Rune Lord box and 3 packs, and damned it just doesn't fit those cards into those little slots!

    It'll be worse once I get the other 4 adventure/expansion packs for that set!

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