Core Design: Amiri

Friday, January 17, 2020

The size of her sword is bested only by the size of her rage

I’ve always been a fan of Amiri as a character. I was drawn in first by her artwork, then by her story. It’s sometimes hard to justify why your barbarian is so damn angry all the time; Amiri’s tribe and brother tried to have her killed because of rampant misogyny. Yeah, my only question is if she ever stops raging.

First rule of Badass Club: Amiri wins. No more rules.

Amiri was in my party when I first played through Rise of the Runelords, along with Seoni and Lini. I played Lini, but I really appreciated Amiri’s toughness, always being ready for combat, and her ability to charge around everywhere. Especially when Amiri would take Lini along for the ride. I assumed Lini would perch on her shoulders to leave Amiri’s hands free for slaughtering. I imagine the player of Amiri assumed he was tossing a gnome in a backpack, or possibly just winding up and hurling her like a discus.

A lot of players balk at the bury cost for barbarian rage, but I usually consider it a feature. Especially with a small hand size, it’s nice to thin your deck to just the cards you care the most about. Amiri is also a fantastic character for everyone in the party to throw their unneeded boons to. All the easier since she can do whatever she wants on her turn, then move at the end of her turn to your location.

Ready to smash, right out of the box.

The Barbarian Class Deck was the first class deck that I got to work on from start to finish, so it has a special place in my heart. Class Deck Amiri takes the Runelords formula and, well, kinda just does everything better. She gives up a little bit of Survival to pick up Fortitude, which is thematically excellent and occasionally gives you more armor to feed to your rage. She’s better at barrier-busting and moving when her location closes (if you’re using Core Set rules, this Conversion Guide entry will come in handy on that front.) Perhaps most importantly, she has the best paired roles in the entire game: Unstoppable Force and Immovable Object.

Still unstoppable, but even shinier.

Core Set Amiri has a fairly recognizable first and last power, though with a couple key tweaks. First, her “rage” power has seen some dramatic improvements: It can scale with skill feats, giving her more reason to take Constitution. It has an option to bury from your discards, which should open the power up to even some of the most bury-averse players. And it works on any check against a monster. Amiri can’t dodge dragon breath, but she can scream and charge right through it. That’s more like it.

Her movement power is a lot like the Runelords version, except Core really emphasizes helping out characters at your location, so Amiri gets to take them along for free now. Her middle power to keep exploring after closing her location is entirely due to a Core rules change, leaving her in the special spot of being able to close multiple locations without nearly as many shenanigans as other characters.

Amiri gets a lot of weapons and knows how to use them.

Core Amiri also picked up a very nice change to her favored card, requiring it be Melee. Among other things, that means Amiri can include that bow in her art without potentially ruining her starting hand. She can use the bow much like a blessing for a friend’s combat, then bury it from her discards for her own combat.

Amiri likes lots of boons. You might want to give them to her before she has to take them.

Core really treats Amiri well for armor, with Hide Armors leveraging her skills and displayable armor getting out of her fairly small hand. Generally speaking, there are a lot of good things for Amiri at level 4 in Curse, too. Turns out that if you spend an entire level trying to impress Shoanti barbarians, it’s not only good to be a barbarian for generating Respect points, but the rewards also use your talents.

Smashmouth is the role name I most expected to be vetoed. [Vic notes: I let it pass because, hey now, she’s a rock star.

Resistance Fighter has an eclectic selection of power feats that do neat things like letting people bless her combat checks freely, letting her examine a card at her new location after she moves at the end of her turn, and protecting her hand (though not her deck) from damage. I suspect the feat that draws players the most, though, is the scourge removal when raging. Scourges are sometimes infuriating, so a trivial way to get out of them is invaluable.

By comparison, Smashmouth’s main draw is probably raging against barriers, often the bane of any intrepid barbarian. And encouraging your allies to recharge their blessings to bless you. It also picks up some extremely useful benefits to more weapon card feats by letting you add to local combat checks and reduce damage suffered to 0 with your weapons. When every problem looks like you can smash it, bring the right smasher.

That’s our new Amiri. She’s the fourth (and last) of the Core Set Quick-Start characters, so our series on the Core iconics could go anywhere after this! Feel free to suggest what Core Set character you’d like us to discuss next below, though I make no guarantees where the muse will take us.

Keith Richmond
Adventure Card Game Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game
Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Amiri is a great starter character because she is so straight forward.

I hope to hear about Lem next!


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Thanks. great to see these articles


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Still not a fan of Amiri's new art look but I'm glad we're getting all this new content so I guess I can't complain. ;)


Her tattoo wanders from cheek to cheek.


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Voss wrote:
Her tattoo wanders from cheek to cheek.

In some cases she's gazing into her opponent's reflective pool of blood, so you get a mirror image.

Lone Shark Games

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Rarely, a mirror image will pop up. Zarlova is a particularly notable example.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I played Amiri through Fangwood Thieves on PBP and absolutely loved her. She took a little bit of getting used to, but she really became a powerhouse. Giving her an increased hand size (thanks Storehouse!), allowing her Fort power to be activated by burying discarded cards, and some extra allies, blessings, or other exploration cards is crucial.

I'd love to play her again, potentially in the next special?! The role choice looks interesting, and there are some good powers on each side.

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