Keith here, to talk about something pretty darn shiny that we've added to the game. At the end of the day, we all like toys. And I'll admit that sometimes I've wanted to get them faster than the game has offered them. For instance, I love power feats, so waiting to win 10 scenarios in Wrath of the Righteous to get my first was frustrating.
We've been hinting for a while that we did something fun with the backs of all of those markers we added to the game. Time to spill the beans: The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Core Set introduces a new game mechanic and resource called hero points. They do a whole lot of fun things.
First, when you are rewarded with a hero point, you can immediately spend it to gain a card, power, or skill feat—your choice. Now, you can take those feats in whatever order is best for your character and your group. Just got a fantastic loot card? Maybe a card feat is in order. Botched a vital roll by 1 and it's bothering you? Skill feat. Or take one of those sweet power feats to spice things up a bit. This new reward system increases your ability to decide how your character develops, but it does have limitations to keep things from flying entirely out of control: the number of feats you can have of each type is limited to the # of the adventure you're playing. So while you're playing adventure 2, you can gain up to 2 skill feats, 2 power feats, and 2 card feats.
So what do you do with your hero points when you're not buying a feat? Use them to be heroic! Or at least luckier. During a scenario, you can spend a hero point to reroll all the dice on your check. Just missed on your check to defeat the villain, and failing it will mean you fail the scenario, or perhaps even die? Or maybe you've found that fantastic boon you've been chasing, and you botched the check to acquire. You'll be glad to have a spare hero point for a reroll.
You might also want to keep a hero point on hand for their most powerful use: If you die during a scenario, spend all your remaining hero points at the end, and you're no longer dead. This provides a reasonable compromise between those who feel death should never be permanent (always have at least one hero point on hand!) and those who think it should always be permanent (spend those hero points on rerolls, so you're not going down without a fight). Death still packs enough of a punch to add consequence to your choices, but not so much that a risky decision or moment of bad luck might derail your entire Adventure Path.
The number of hero points you collect varies by Adventure Path, giving each a different feel. The Dragon's Demand gives you just enough that dying too much will eat into feats, so play carefully. Curse of the Crimson Throne thinks you might need some of those rerolls, so it gives out a few more hero points.
Starting at PaizoCon, the freshly renamed Pathfinder Adventure Card Society replaces die bumps with hero points, and greatly simplifies its schedule for taking feats: every new scenario you complete gives you a hero point. This also helps cover for the occasionally missed scenario or mishap that might arise from playing with strangers at conventions.
Since we're talking a bit about feats, let's talk about roles. Remember when I said I get frustrated waiting for power feats? I also get impatient waiting for role cards. And I'm not alone. There are many discussions around which order to take power feats on a character before you get your role, because you generally have to take almost all of them, and you have to play for probably more than half your character's career before you open up more options with your role.
(Okay, so that seemed less dramatic the second time. Well, anyway‚ After extensive testing and gathering opinions, we've moved roles to show up a bit earlier. In Dragon's Demand, you gain your role as the reward for adventure 2, and Crimson Throne gives out roles after the first scenario of adventure 3. And the new Pathfinder Adventure Card Society reward structure will give you your role along with your third power feat. In all three cases, that means you'll select your third power feat from your shiny new role card.
So, your level 3 Kyra Smiter can always have a weapon or Attack spell or be great at avenging. Your level 3 Lini Wild Whisperer can wild shape her way through all sorts of physical problems or ensure she can always heal her Animal allies.
We've got a small mountain of blogs lined up for you to carry us through to release. I've got three open on my desktop now: one on how embracing randomness really opens up options; one on all of the awesome stuff in Curse like Harrows and Supporters; and a wrap-up of Season of Tapestry's Tide since the final chapter just got released this week! Jump on board, it's time to defeat a Voidlord. See you again soon!
Adventure Card Game Designer