Consensus seems to be that you load up one location with as many boons as possible, while closing other locations one by one via emptying them out. When you get to the end of the scenario you head to the location that has the most cards, thus giving you the best chance at an early close.
To be honest, I've played this scenario once. I used this strategy, and it would have been successful had I not had some atrocious rolls down the stretch. Because of my limited schedule, I decided to just take the reward and move on rather than spend time replaying a scenario that I wasn't particularly a fan of.
Thanks for the insight. I'm still looking forward to grabbing the Evocation Staff for Balazar as the attack power is good enough to warrant keeping it around despite it being buried on use.
It's just the Staff of Cackling Wrath that doesn't seem that appealing to me. In hindsight, I wonder if you should have included Life Drain instead as it does the same thing and would be much less confusing to play.
I'd argue that the answer to question 2 could be "no" in the event that the item being played didn't itself count as the "spell", but rather, the "spell" being played was a nebulous card that doesn't physically exist.
We've seen instances where this is the case, the most common being the frequently appearing "for you combat check, you may discard a card to use your arcane skill plus....this counts as playing a spell." I know that I'm referencing a character power and not a card, but the situation is similar enough to warrant bringing it up.
If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but I really feel that value of the Staff of Cackling Wrath in the Summoner Deck is severely lessened if its cost to play is bury/banish instead of reveal.
I just want to make sure that I'm articulating my interpretation of the "this counts as playing a spell" text.
I fully understand that playing such card counts as both your item and spell for that check. What I'm not sure of is whether or not the card should be treated as a spell in the literal sense.
Are we certain that playing these staves is meant to trigger Zetha's banish power?
He only gets the bonus for the allies that he physically displays on his check to specifically activate this power.
He does not get a bonus for allies previously displayed, regardless of what caused the allies to be displayed.
That should cover your first two questions. I'm not sure about the third. My instinct says "no," but I can't really think of why at the moment.
I was under the impression that "this counts as playing a spell" means "pretend you have played your spell for this check/step, you may not play another," not "the card you are playing is treated as both a spell and an item (or whatever the card happens to be)."
Under this interpretation, I don't see why summoners would have to bury/banish their staves.
Contrast this with cards like the Buckler Gun which say something along the lines of "Treat this card as if it is a weapon" or something similar (I don't have the cards on me at the moment, so I don't have the exact text).
As much as I love Damiel, I couldn't bring myself to include him in my initial run through the game.
For whatever reason, this version of the character didn't seem as interesting as the other Dex/Ranged characters in the set (specifically, Simoun and Yoon). Ditto Ezren and Alahazra (characters I also love).
I think part of it has to do with the relatively recent releases of the Alchemist and Oracle class decks and the fact that I personally find the class deck iterations of the characters to be more interesting than the ones that appear in Mummy's Mask.
I tend to go with option 3, but I wouldn't recommend changing the feat progression.
I've played around with a few different variations, but the setup I'm currently using is as follows:
Each character chooses upgrades using the OP rules.
Class deck characters choose upgrades from their class deck.
AP characters choose upgrades from the game box.
AP characters should avoid having multiple copies of the same non-basic, non-blessing cards.
Loot cards can go to any character and may be freely traded between scenarios.
I will almost always allow CD characters to choose their upgrades first.
Also, after playing through the various seasons, I've noticed that a lot of times, you get a second card upgrade on scenarios that don't hand out loot cards, so I'd consider doing something similar in AP scenarios.
But...displaying the weapon for Mavaro's power isn't the same as playing that weapon. Therefore, he should have no issues revealing a weapon to set the check, then displaying it to gain the proper skill.
This is similar to Lini (RotR) revealing an animal to add 1d4 to her check, then playing that animal for its power.
What Mavaro can't do is display multiple cards on the same check to gain multiple sets of skills as character powers can only be activated once per check/step. Similarly, he can't display cards to gain skills that aren't relevant to the current check. For example, he can't display a cure spell during an encounter unless he is making a wisdom or divine check.
The alchemist characters tend to be pretty versatile, especially the version of Damiel in Skull and Shackles.
Mavaro from Mummy's Mask is the king of versatility.
Bekah from the Bard class deck is pretty versatile once she picks up a couple of power feats.
Olenjack from the Rogue class deck is worth checking out as well.
Siwar from the Bard deck is a favorite of mine. While she's not a character who wants to single handedly take down a bunch of monsters, she is awesome at making other characters around her more versatile (i.e. she let's other characters do all the work, then swoops in at opportune times to take the credit :P).
I generally play with 4 characters using variations on the Fighter, Thief, Wizard, Priest build, which usually translates to Strength, Dex, Arcane, Divine. I'll echo Calthear and say that I want at least one go to character for each base skill capable of rolling a d8 or higher.
For Mummy's Mask, I'm currently running Oloch (Strength), Simoun (Dex), Balazar (Arcane), and Estra (Divine).
The base skill breakdown is as follows:
Strength - Oloch (d10)
I'm playing Oloch through Mummy's Mask at the moment, and I want to make sure I'm playing him correctly with regards to the power feat that allows him to reset his hand at the beginning of his turn.
As I currently play it, he can only reset his hand at the start of his turn if he currently has cards displayed from activating the power on a previous check.
I'm making this assumption based on the fact that the feat is an upgrade to the display power. However, the fact that he can only use the display power on himself and that he can't spend power feats to increase his hand size makes me think that perhaps the intent is for him to get the extra hand reset to offset his low hand size.
I realize this is wishful thinking, but I thought I'd bring it just in case.
Hey, there. Let me see if I can help you out of the jams.
1) Yes, it is perfectly fine to do nothing on your turn. This is especially true if you start your turn with an empty hand or if the cards you do have are not helpful given the current situation (i.e. you are playing a low strength caster and you don't have any combat spells in hand). Just remember that the steps of your turn still technically happen (i.e. you still have a move step even if you don't move), therefore you will still need to apply any effects that happen during those steps. For example, if your location deals you damage at the start of your explore step, you will take that damage regardless of whether or not your explore.
2) No, that seems to be a house rule your friend made up.
3) No, you can use any character with any set, and yes, you would start fresh with no feats, only basic cards, etc.
4) To my knowledge, you wouldn't have to remove any character from the base set. I am not aware of any rule that says you can't have multiple versions of the same character being played at the same time. That is, you could play the class deck version of Alahazra while someone else in your group plays the Mummy's Mask version.
5) You use the role card that comes with the version of the character you are playing. If you use the Skull and Shackles version of Alahazra, you use the role card from Skull and Shackles. If you use the Class Deck version of Alahazra, you use the role card that came with the class deck, etc.
See also, Varril. Last night I was down to one card in hand on a combat check. I revealed my Deathbane Crossbow for Dexterity + 1d8 +1, then recharged it to swap Dex for Divine.
It boils down to the fact that revealed cards still count as part of your hand. So, in your example, once Lem reveals his weapon to set up his combat check, he is then free to use it for his recharge power because the skill for the check has already been set.
I follow the feat progression as it's set up for OP. I try to stick to the OP rules as much as possible when playing at home as the scenarios are all designed and balanced around players following those rules. That and I prefer most of the OP specific rules to those of the standard APs rules anyway.
You've got it right for cards that require sequential checks to defeat/acquire. Only the character that encountered the henchman can attempt to close the location, though.
One benefit of grouping together is that you close locations down more quickly by exploring the same location successively.
It also makes it easier to give cards to other characters.
@Doppelschwert: I see what you mean about not using the base set cards. Your approach seems like an interesting one. Personally, I have AP characters build their decks from the AP box and CD characters build their decks from their respective class decks. Of course, I'll make exceptions for loot cards or other specific cards that are granted by the AP.
For example, I'm currently playing through the Wrath AP with a group of Imrijka (CD), Brielle, Radillo, and Grazzle. I added Arueshalae once she became available. Arueshalae's deck contains all Wrath cards. All other character decks only contain class deck cards save for loot cards and corrupted blessings that we given as scenario rewards.
That makes sense. So, in effect, the "one card of each type" rule only applies when you choose to play a card, not when an action is required.
How then, does this affect the Blessing of Pharasma? I've always played it as displayed spells didn't let Pharasma add 2 dice unless the display action took place during the check being attempted. I'm assuming that now Pharasma will add 2 dice regardless of when the display action took place.
In regards to the change to displayed cards, is this meant to make displayed spells such as divine fortune, righteousness, and cloud spells much less useful to pure casters?
While divine fortune still has use outside of combat, casters (especially if you are playing a bard, wizard, or sorcerer in OP) being unable to buff their combat checks with cloud spells seems like a pretty big change.
This also seems to hit righteousness pretty significantly. Zarlova especially feels the pain as she now has no real use for the spell since it was ruled that you can't use the "recharge instead of discard when taking damage" power unless you first use the "add 1d6 to your combat checks" power.
You may also want to consider reading though the deck building rules for organized play and just use those. That way, you get to use the appropriate class decks, but don't have to go through the hassle of mixing in the class deck cards.
Personally, I prefer the way deck upgrades work in guild play. So much so that I use it in all of my home games regardless of whether I'm playing a guild campaign or a standard AP campaign.
Darago, like most of the class deck characters, doesn't have a pregen or suggested deck. When building your starting deck, you can choose any card that has a B in the upper right corner and the word "basic" in the upper left corner where the other traits are listed. If you don't have enough basic cards from set B, then you may choose any card from set B without the word basic in the corner.
For the Wrath B scenarios, make sure to read the FAQ for Vinst/Elven Entanglement before playing that one. Part of what makes that scenario hard is that the cohort Vinst, as written, doesn't do what he is supposed to do.
My only other advise would be to not mix in the C deck boons/banes unless you are playing with 5/6 characters.
I'm definitely with you on the scenario villain. There is definitely way too much going on in that encounter. That being said, I've been through this with various characters/groups, and I've found a few things that might be of use to you.
The first is to tackle the locations one by one and try to stay somewhat grouped up to allow Valeros and Damiel to chip on combat checks and to allow multiple characters to handle the villain's combat checks. If you end up spotting the villain early, you can then reposition for temp closing once you are ready to close out the scenario.
The second is that once you are in a position to corner the villain, actually defeating her ship no longer matters. Thus, if you can locate her via scouting, Valeros is probably your best bet for encountering the villain because his high strength/melee combo will give him the best shot at passing a combat check unarmed in the event that his weapons get randomly recharged.
Finally, in that last encounter, characters with armor in hand shouldn't waste resources on the summoned henchmen as defeating them gains the party nothing.
I'm with Hawkmoon. I look at it like Varril's power effectively adds Divine to the list of check options on the card. So if a card lists the checks to acquire/defeat as Dexterity/Acrobatics/Constitution/Fortitude, etc., Varril's power says he can use Divine instead of any of those. Thus, he isn't actually attempting the check listed on the card.
You've got it right. Your Hierophant card adds your charges to any charisma or wisdom check that you make, including your divine checks since your divine skill is based off of your wisdom skill.
While this may seem overpowered, you should start seeing progressively higher combat checks that will warrant the high bonuses (i.e. combat checks in the 40s and 50s). You will also start to run into instances where you will actually need to spend those charges.
I'll echo the sentiment here and elsewhere by saying that I'm not a big fan of bane spreaders in general as they really slow down the game with larger groups and can adversely affect support oriented characters (losing a bunch of cards on another characters turn isn't the best feeling).
I feel like there should be some kind of check to defeat that would allow the party to avoid the summoned banes, such as a stealth/perception check. That would make thematic sense as a stealthy or perceptive character would be able to sneak past a horde of demons or skeletons, etc.
This would give a party a broader set of tactics for dealing with this type of barrier and would make the stealth/perception skills more useful than they currently seem to be as neither check seems to come up all that often, at least in Wrath.
I've been playing PACG since a few months after the initial release of Runelords. I've gone through each AP at least 5 times with different combinations of characters (mostly 4 character solo runs, but I've played with other players in groups of 2-6). In all of that time, I've seen 2 characters die in Runelords.
0ne was Valeros after being hit with 2 different sirens at 2 different locations causing him to hand wipe on 2 consecutive turns. He would have survived the second hand wipe had he not had his final ally in the top 3 cards of his deck.
The other was Seoni on Approach to Thistletop. I was playing in a group with cursed dice. We were trying our 4th attempt at the scenario on a night where every goblin had it's difficulty increased by 4 and every combat check seem to fail by 1. We ended up playing more aggressively than we should have. Seoni died. We won on the last turn and let her come back at the end of the scenario because of how long it took us to beat the scenario.
Outside of those two deaths, I've seen 3 different characters die during the B scenarios of Wrath, though that says more about those scenarios than anything else.
Because death is so infrequent, especially among higher level characters, I tend to be in favor of ignoring permadeath and allowing characters to resurrect at the end of the scenario. I find the prospect of sitting out the rest of the scenario to be a big enough deterrent as it is. No need to spend hours upon hours replaying scenarios to catch up a player that was hit with poor luck.