Core Design: Seoni

Friday, November 29, 2019

Our journey through the iconics continues with our third Core Set Quick-Start character, Seoni!

She’d rather you actually got with the plan, but at least get out of fireball radius.

Seoni’s art has historically been a bit flashy, but I really like her new serious and driven aesthetic in Pathfinder Second Edition.

Find some allies and monsters, and Seoni will show them who’s boss.

Rise of the Runelords Seoni could enjoy the fun of spellcasting without worrying about recharge checks, and also had a backup power for when she was caught without an Attack spell in hand. This made her a great starting character, which is handy since I remember her being very popular for new groups picking characters before understanding the mechanics.

With everything important based on Charisma, you’d get to enjoy the excellent d12 most turns, and picking skill feats was a breeze. Card selection and card feats could require more thought, though. After blithely ignoring weapons and armor, Seoni loaded up on 5 blessings, 4 allies, and 3 each of spells and items. This let her explore very well, but meant that you might quickly run into some difficult choices about what spells to keep around. If you didn’t take many Attack spells, you’d likely soon find out that her character power was a great backup option, but a little anemic for important combats.

As much Sorcerer-ing as Runelords, now with more Class (Deck).

Sorcerer Class Deck Seoni adds Knowledge to her skill list, playing up a bit more of the detail-oriented and planner side of her background. She also swaps her Attack power from Fire to Force. This makes her less good at killing some monsters like Trolls, but a whole lot better at fighting a number of Fire-immune monsters like Devils. She also trades out her automatic spell recharging power for a bonus to acquire Magic boons. If you’re used to playing other casters already, or you play in a large group, that’s probably a decent trade.

A slightly more Wizardy Sorcerer.

Wrath of the Righteous Seoni went off in a different direction from the previous two versions. She only recharges Attack spells (and items), and doesn’t have the power to do an Attack spell whenever she wants. In trade, she has an extremely nifty power to draw Arcane or Magic cards directly from her discard pile and occasionally draws extra cards on acquires. She’ll want to make sure to stock up on some good Attack spells; thankfully, Wrath of the Righteous has a whole bunch of awesome ones, and she has 2 more spells in her deck. She’s also swapped Diplomacy for Perception and can add armor to her deck. Probably a decent call for ventures into the Worldwound.

New style, same raw power.

Of all the Core Set characters, Seoni follows most in the footprints of her previous incarnations. Her Runelords powers just make her the perfect choice for introducing new players to spellcasting. That said, we can’t help but switch things up. Her Attack power is more reliable, especially at high level, and a single power feat makes it a lot cheaper to use. Another power feat lets her shuffle spells into her deck on recovery: a nice option once you know which cards you want to force higher in your deck.

Seoni is a bit more diverse in her skills than Runelords, starting with Knowledge and able to pick up Perception in a role. Her art has always had a staff and dagger, so she’s the first Seoni to start with a weapon. Thankfully, both the Dagger (assist a local combat) and Quarterstaff (evade an Obstacle or Trap) are pretty solid for her in Core and she can always convert them into an Arcane Attack.

That “freely” makes Deflect an essential tool in the Sorcerer’s box.

Spells are her bread and butter, and she doesn’t need too many Attack spells because of her power. This lets her take protective, utility, and assisting spells if she wants, or choose a greater variety of Attack options. With a single power feat, she can also pick up some solid Arcane items like the Wand of Enervation.

Giant Form makes a mockery of the words “Immune to Attack.”

Seoni can safely load up on the highest level difficult-to-recharge spells she can get her hands onto. Giant Form and Scrying are fun and effective options that Ezren and Kyra might have real difficulty consistently recharging. They also convert well with Seoni’s Attack power.

Pharasma: goddess of birth, death, fate, prophecy, rebirth, fighting undead, and making Seoni awesome at casting spells.

In character, Seoni has always been devoted to Pharasma, even leading us to adjust the Pharasman blessings in Rise of the Runelords to make them a better fit for Seoni. In Core, both Pharasma’s Knowing and Lady of Mysteries lean into the undead-fighting aspect of the Lady of Graves while also being useful for Seoni, allowing her to cycle her deck around to have the right cards in hand before pressing onward.

I also believe we can reach the morning light.

Seoni’s Celestial Runecaster role builds on the concept that she draws her sorcerer power from a celestial origin. This role builds on her Attack power, both in effectiveness and in adding the ability to deal Divine damage (useful for bypassing resistance or immunity). She gains bonuses when blessed and at thematically Sacred locations. She gains occasional (end of turn) flight, and resistance to damage like a celestial creature. All solid, effective options.

Her Dreamweaver role embraces her Varisian background and devotion to Pharasma to learn to see and pull the strings of fate. She becomes somewhat of a deckmaster, with powers to cycle her deck and ensure she can get her favorite cards back into hand. She can gain the Perception skill and assist her party against barriers. It benefits from a little more thought and planning, and occasionally your friends will screw up your plans. And that’s sometimes what being Seoni is about.

That’s our new Seoni! She’s still a straight-forward badass d12 chucker of energy magic and Diplomatic ways, but she’s got some new cool options to add complexity as she gains levels.

Keith Richmond
Adventure Card Game Designer

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Seoni is my favorite Pathfinder iconic since day 1 of the RPG, and Core has made my favorite PACG version of her to date. I still much prefer her original look, so I'm glad that it was still featured on some of the cards (such as Deflect up there), but I don't want to start a debate over that. Suffice to say, if new adventures are ever made, I'll probably still continue to take Seoni through them.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Thanks! Great writeup


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Runecaster seems neat with the auto-bless powers, but that Perception and barrier help from a single feat on Dreamweaver make it hard to pass up.
I've found the item recharging power to not have much use in early adventures, as there aren't too many low level arcane items, but there are definitely some doozies higher up!

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