Hello everyone! It's your friendly cyber-neighborhood Venture Captain Tyler again, bringing you a quick discussion about the options that we have as players in the Pathfinder Adventure Card Society. (Note the new branding!). First I'll talk about the stunning number of characters you can choose from, and then I'll talk about the mindboggling amount of content there is to play through.
We have a LOT of character options now. So many that I found it a daunting task when I started typing all of them out. So, instead, I decided to do something a bit more fun… I made a graph! (Yes, I'm a huge nerd, we all are, deal with it!)
There are a total of 32 class decks and 162 characters you can play in PACS! (I'm counting Aric and the Red Raven as one playable character even though they have 2 character cards.) In the graph, I've listed the characters in the format "Name (Deck or Box)" in order to distinguish where they came from. I've also listed some specific scenarios, adventures, or other means of unlocking certain decks for certain characters. Altogether, the decks, characters, and means of unlocks make up the nodes of the graph.
The edges of the graph represent the way in which a character is available for any given deck. Most of these are yellow arrows with the word "Free" on the label. This means that you can use this character with the associated deck without any additional requirement. Obviously, you can use, the monk Rooboo with the the Monk Class Deck she came in. But the PACS Guide also says you can swap any character with any other character of the same class. For example, the Pathfinder Tales deck includes the wizard Varian, so you can replace him with any of the other 9 PACG wizards: Varian from Curse of the Crimson Throne; Darago, Ezren, Melindra, or Radillo from the Wizard Class Deck; Nyctessa from Hell's Vengeance 2; or Ezren from RotR, Mummy's Mask, or the Core Set. (The Tales deck also gives you free access to 9 rogues and 8 sorcerers—that's 27 "Free" characters to choose from!)
The new We Be Heroes? Free RPG Day adventure includes 4 new goblin characters: Crimsi the ranger, Grenek the barbarian, Pizazz the bard, and Siathorn the druid. The rule I described above means they can be played with the Class Deck corresponding to their respective classes, but thanks to a table on page 8 of the most recent PACS Guide, they can also be played with the Goblins Fight! Character Deck (Crimsi and Grenek) or Goblins Burn! Character Deck (Pizazz and Siathorn). Looking at the graph, you'll notice another connection for Crimsi: the Hunter Class Deck. This is thanks to a beautifully written adventure reward from Season of Factions' Favor Adventure 4: "Each player unlocks the ability to play all characters that have the Ranger trait using the Hunter Class Deck." This is one of several character unlocks that are achieved through completing specific sets of scenarios, with the best example of these being my buddy Mavaro from Mummy's Mask, who can be played with a total of FIVE different decks, four of them through adventure completion unlocks. These unlocks are represented on the graph by maroon or orange nodes with names in the format "S4A4" for Season 4 Adventure 4, or "S5-5E" for Season 5 Scenario 5E.
There are four new characters in the Curse of the Crimson Throne adventure path, three of whom don't have a matching Class Deck. But fear not! Page 9 of the PACS Guide gives us decks for these characters, with Kess the Brawler using the Barbarian Class Deck, Quinn the Investigator using the Ultimate Equipment Add-on Deck, and Hakon the Skald using the Warpriest Class Deck. (Crimson Throne's other character, Varian the Wizard, starts off with three deck options—Wizard, Tales, and Hell's Vengeance 2—so he's versatile from day one.) And don't forget that you can add an Ultimate Add-On Deck to a Class Deck or Character Deck, or add a Class Deck or Character Deck to an Ultimate Add-On Deck (as described on page 8 of the PACS Guide), giving you loads of choices for your card upgrades!
There's one more character on the graph that I'd like to specifically point out: Arueshalae from the Wrath of the Righteous base set. Arueshalae—or Aruey, as I like to call her (please don't tell her that)—was unlocked way back in season 1 for a few lucky convention-goers who were able to pick up a specific convention boon. It allowed them to use her with the Rogue Class Deck—but only in Season of the Righteous. Now, however, there is a new way to unlock our succubus friend, and play her in any scenario!
The Season of the Righteous Adventure 3 PDF was updated recently: the reward for that adventure now unlocks Arueshalae with the Hell's Vengeance 2 deck. This reward is retroactive, so if you have completed all 4 scenarios of Season of the Righteous Adventure 3: Lexicon of Paradox, you have already earned the following reward:
A huge number of players just gained a new character to play... and she's quite the character, with a cohort and several Owner boons coming along with her. I recommend adding the Ultimate Combat Add-On Deck when playing with her, for maximum arrow-based destruction!
I know a lot of our players out there are concerned with compatibility of the old class decks with the new Core and Curse cards. The folks at Lone Shark and Paizo have heard you, and they've been hard at work on some creative solutions. Make sure you check out the Conversion Guide, especially the Characters and Roles section.
Also, Vic recently made a post that gives us an option for trying out some new cards in our class decks, letting you swap any class deck card for any Core or Curse card that has the same name! You'll need to own copies of these cards, and you'll need to come up with innovative ways to make sure your cards don't end up mixed up with those of the box that you're using to play (I recommend a small sliver of colored Post-It Note stuck to your cards). Or, you can play online with us over in the Flaxseed On Deck play-by-post lodge, where your cards will never get mixed up because they're digital!
With so many character options, you'd think that we would run out of adventures to play them in. But you'd be wrong! Here are the currently available adventures for PACS play:
- Season 0: Season of the Shackles (Uses S&S; 6 adventures with 1 bonus scenario; Tiers 1–6)
- Season 1: Season of the Righteous (Uses WotR; 6 adventures with 2 bonus scenarios; Tiers 1–6)
- Season 2: Season of the Runelords (Uses RotR; 6 adventures; Tiers 1–6)
- Adventure #8-00—The Cosmic Captive (Uses RotR; 1 adventure; Tiers 2 and 5)
- Season 2B: We Be Goblins (Uses RotR; 2 adventures; Tier 1–2)
- Season 3: Season of Plundered Tombs (Uses MM; 6 adventures with 1 bonus scenario; Tiers 1–6)
- Season 4: Season of Factions' Favor (Uses MM; 6 adventures with 3 bonus scenarios; Tiers 1–6)
- Adventure #9-00—Assault on Absalom (Uses MM; 1 adventure; Tiers 2 and 5)
- Season 5: Season of Tapestry's Tides (Uses S&S; 6 adventures with 1 bonus scenario; Tiers 1–6)
- Adventure #10-00—The Hao Jin Cataclysm (Uses S&S; 1 adventure; Tiers 2 and 5)
- Season 5B: Season of the Kobolds (Uses Core and optionally Curse; 1 adventure; Tier 1)
That's around double the content that has been released in regular Adventure Path form! The last of these, released just this month, is a four-scenario adventure written by David Jacobson and myself, outlined and developed by Linda Zayas-Palmer, with rules text from Keith Richmond. Working on this was a blast, particularly since it let us draw inspiration from David's and my fan-made Adventure Card Game adventures that we've run at PaizoCon the past several years, including our own take on Season of the Kobolds.
Up next is Year 6: Year of Rotting Ruin (Uses Core and Curse; 6 adventures, Tiers 1–6)—the first adventure drops at Gen Con on August 1!
And it doesn't even stop there! The Dragon's Demand, Curse of the Crimson Throne, and We Be Heroes? have also been sanctioned for PACS play. Each product page below includes a link to a sanctioning document that details the changes that need to be made for PACS play:
- Core Set: The Dragon's Demand (Core and optionally any AP; 3 adventures; Tiers 1–3–but with unlimited replay at Tiers 1–6 for the random scenario, effectively giving you an endless supply of fresh PACS scenarios!)
- Curse of the Crimson Throne (6 adventures with 1 bonus scenario; Tiers 1-6)
- We Be Heroes? (1 adventure, Tier 1)
In addition, Linda announced at PaizoCon that we will soon be seeing some standalone PACS adventures that can be played at several different tiers, so stay tuned for more news on that front. There are so many new options for play, my head is spinning!
That's it for me today. I'm sure you can tell that I'm excited about all of the new content and character options that we have available to us now and moving forward, and I'm sure the comments section of this blog will quickly include a rousing debate over the best ways to play some of the characters shown in the graph. (I'll likely start off the comments by expanding my previous list of best secondary decks to add to any given character.) Thanks for reading, and I look forward to playing with as many of you as I can!
Tyler "Cartmanbeck" Beck
Venture Captain, PACS Online Play
So Much to Play in the Pathfinder Adventure Card Society!
Friday, June 28, 2019