Just to confirm, I can take this statement to mean that the intent is that you can display Evidence with the help of the scenario power? That means I won't rule against that in the Sanctioned CotCT table I'm BRing.
Confirmed, please do that.
Thanks to all of you faulty-four for bringing this up, and for playing (and also for running OP!)!
"Broken bottle" was one of the first things that came up when we were talking about it. Also goblins. "Can Kess use a handy goblin as an improvised weapon? Certainly! Are Goblins bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing? Does it matter which end she uses as the handle?"
For those of you who like to peek behind the curtain: in testing, the wording on Kess' power got pretty complicated, especially on role cards, because we wanted to be able to add traits via feats (some people here might remember versions of Kess that had 4+ dependent clauses). We wanted Kess to be playable by new people without too much text-overload (befitting both the general archetype and the specific character), so we ended up leaning towards fewer words, and we think the end result feels like (we imagine) Kess. Feedback welcome.
In a post-Core world, I would presume that would be modeled in a card as "Vulnerable to Slashing"
Often that, sometimes "Resistant to Bludgeoning and Piercing"; it depends a little on what we're trying to model (and, honestly, what fits on the card without making people's eyes glaze over when reading the power).
Reviewing this, I see that I "crossed the streams" somewhat in looking at multiple versions, so I want to clarify how we're expecting Wands to work after conversion.
There's some variety in pre-Core wand functionality, but they mostly break down into something like this:
pre-Core wand wrote:
This made wands available in that "eventually, not this scenario" category for most people, and gave appropriate characters a chance to get it back "soon". This works, but it brings up a bunch of "where is it in the meantime?" questions that we've tried to address with the recovery concept. A similar wand in PACG Core would look like this:
Core+ wand wrote:
For non-proficient wielders, this should usually function the same way -- you choose to bury the wand, and get it back for the next scenario. (You can choose to "burn out" the wand, but that's an advanced strategic decision that will quietly hide itself in the corner until and unless you're ready to consider it.) For proficient wielders, you can now choose to toss the wand into recovery. Then, at the end of the turn, you either get it back in your deck, or toss it into your discard pile (much easier to reclaim than your buried pile).
This does provide a bit of a (comparative) boost to wands, but we think that's ok, especially if it makes them easier to learn and play.
Does that make sense to everyone? (I'll talk about the Plants from Ultimate Wilderness next.)
I'm digging into this now, trying to make sure that we have a good, clear rule that works going forward and backwards.
The general concept we used for Wands and similar things is that there is a risk/reward element of pushing your luck, and that went over well in our testing. This approach also seemed to be a better match for where wands had conceptually gone in the Pathfinder 2 draft rules. Beyond that, there's the complication that PACG is an exception-based game, and there are a few special cases lurking in the darker corners of this conversion rule.
This is all by way of being clear about where I'm starting, but I'd also like to safety-check that it doesn't dramatically break important gameplay loops for a mixture of pre-Core and Core+ cards.
In summary: assume for the moment that the rule is some variant of "Wands and Plants can either be safely buried, or riskily banished-or-recharged."
Does this break anything?
Thanks in advance.
I was specifically thinking of the witch familiar that gives the divine skill, but im sure there are more examples.
We looked at these and tried to make the adjustments that we thought were needed. If you find cases that seem broken, please do let me/us know. In this case, I know that we looked at the Flesh Poppet, and I believe that we decided that it was ok as currently written (using the conversion guidelines). If you find a case where it seems like it isn't letting the witch recover Divine spells, please do let us know.
We considered it, along with things like Fire for Yoon. It's a group process, but I argued generally for trying to have fewer card changes when it seemed like it wouldn't matter. (For example, there is a case where adding "Mental" proficiency would add 3 spells to a character, none of which seemed like great matches to the character. In that case, maybe the overhead is too high.)
If you all find something that seems like maybe we missed, and would like to try it out in some of your personal games and report back to us, that would be appreciated. Of course, it's more interesting if you find that the change would be positive. :-)
My hope is that people can read this blog post to understand the idea behind the changes (including motivations, if that interests you), and then use the FAQ for the detailed card-by-card material. With that in mind, I think you won't need a reference copy of this post.
If that turns out to be wrong, please do let me/us know; it probably suggests something that we should add to the FAQ.
... In my games, the vast majority of significant upgrades are acquired, even if that means everyone throwing blessings.
While this is a big style-of-play differentiator between groups (and players, etc), it also brings up an excellent point: sometimes it's worthwhile to risk a temporary setback (that is, increase the chance that you'll lose the scenario) to gain a lasting deck upgrade.
Sometimes the math is even easier: spend a card to gain a card, then use the new card. For example, if there's a "good for a specific character" blessing or ally that someone finds, it's usually worth spending a blessing to gain it - if your trouble is time, you're spending time to gain time, with the upside that healing and eventual deck upgrades will make things better over-all.
Of course, it's best to get the upgrade and still win - but you don't need me to tell you all that. :-)
Agreed... Up to a certain point. In a 6p group you need most of the blessings for extra explorations else you will lose on the clock.
It's worth noting that what you're describing is a reasonable case, but not the only one - we've won many 6 character games without using blessings to explore.
Think about it this way: on average, 6 characters need to get through about 45 cards in order to win a typical scenario. Most characters have 3 or more allies. 30 turns in the timer deck plus ~18 ally explores gets you the chance to win in this hypothetical theoretical-average case.
On top of that, "scouting" locations is a big help, and spreading out to (strategically) temporarily close locations can cut that number down by a lot, typically by ~9-14 cards, if you're usually succeeding at the important checks. Of course, knowing which checks are important is a big deal. (Between you and me, armor is often a factor here, and is probably the least well-understood card type.)
Of course, this style of play isn't for every player, nor every character, nor every group - and we like to see people play different ways, as long as they're having fun. I'm just saying that the math probably isn't as grim as you might think.
Thanks again for playing!
Hello, everyone! I want to reassure everyone that we are watching this thread!
I haven't said much yet, because a combination of a redacted deadline and an anniversary trip took a big chunk out of my schedule, but we're watching.
One thing that I wanted to add (something that Keith pointed out to me but I wasn't able to get into the blog post in time) is that the ability to temporarily close locations is a big, big factor in favor of larger groups. Selectively choosing which locations to explore (especially after you know that your least-favorite banes are there) versus which to defend can have a huge impact on the timing and success of large groups. As Keith put it to me: in solo games, you're almost always closing every location. In 6 character games, you can usually leave 2-3 of them barely explored. Of course, more characters means more chances that someone can scout, which acts as a force multiplier for this effect.
More specific feedback to come, but meanwhile, thanks everyone for commenting, and thanks again for playing!
(And it does seem the recursive lancer with winged mounts will effectively neutralize the maze engine.. :D )
Alain is pretty good at getting around Blackburgh, but he likely has some trouble with Maze (Intelligence or Knowledge...), and even Alain doesn't like going through the Middle of Nowhere. :-)
Oh, and yes, the extra power feat is intentional. Enjoy!
I'd like to see a mixed group; two characters that slew Karzoug, two that defeated the Hurricane King, and two that got mythic from WotR AP1-3.
The three sets don't all use the same difficulty curves (I wrote a blog post about this a few months back), so you should expect a wide variance in power across that group. If you give it a try, please do post to let us know how it went!
I'd go a different way with the power feats though: When all of your power feat boxes are checked and you earn another one, select a different role card for your character and gain one of the listed abilities that has a version without a checkbox. Once you have all the basic abilities, you can start checking off boxes. Ignore any ability that is verbatim identical to an ability you have.
You can probably make this work with a bit of squinting and reasonable interpretation, but it will often make the game significantly less of a challenge, and there are some combinations that are confusing, bah-roken, or both. Again, if you give it a try, let us know how it works out!
Matsu Kurisu wrote:
Re Mythic charges and no role card. I assume this means the charges are available to power items etc (ie do you have a charge or not) However have no other effect?
Charges are available for spending on cards that let/make you expend them. That's a good mix of banes and boons, but not any Mythic Path card. If you've not played far into WotR, you might not have seen many cards that let/force you to expend charges, but they're reasonably common in WotR4 and later, and they include some of the most "goes to eleven" cards in the set.
I appreciate and accept the apology, thanks. I do understand that things in WotR are more frustrating early-on for many people than we'd thought (and wanted, planned, hoped, etc) - and I appreciate that we're all trying to make it better.
Also, I can't fault anyone who references Paranoia, although I certainly don't know what you're talking about, because the Computer is my Friend. :-)
Using the B scenarios for the opportunity to introduce new and returning players is exactly what I am hoping for.
We certainly want to do this with some of the B scenarios. I'm curious if people think that this should be the main function of all 5 B scenarios, or not?
These obviously aren't mutually exclusive, and to some degree we try to do all of them (and other things) with the B scenarios. My questions on this topic are mostly about trying to figure out what's the best balance for future sets.
Thanks again for playing, and thanks for all the feedback!
Wait, so the knee jerk reaction to these B scenarios are pretty tough and not that fun for new players is to lessen the possible rewards and disincentivize them to play them?
I'm not sure how you took the last of several posts over several pages as a "knee jerk reaction" to anything. :-)
As I said above, we're also looking at the function of B in sets. If you think it serves just one function, that's great, but I assure you it serves a different function for different groups, as well as for different sets.
Thanks for playing!
Jason S wrote:
Anyway, those were tough scenarios in the RPG (in particular Elven Entanglement was a killer) and it seems like they are the same in the card game.
Without putting too big a spotlight on it, yeah, these scenarios turned out to be a little tougher than we had intended for the "natural second" scenario. In our playtesting it went fine, but that's always a risk in playtesting - at some point, the playtesters (especially our internal playtesters) are pretty good at the set (I assure you, there's an overlapping but different skillset for each AP), and so even on a fresh play-through, things end up balanced harder for the real players than we intended.
Like I said before, we're still looking at this to see if we need to take some sort of action (which would presumably errata of some sort), but in the meantime, I strongly encourage people who are feeling the fun flagging to press on past those scenarios for now, and come back later (or just leave them for a potential future).
We're also looking closely at the role of the B scenarios in teaching the game to brand new players, teaching the specifics of the AP to people who've have some other PACG experience, and also to providing an interesting on-ramp for people who've played PACG a lot (maybe this AP, maybe many others) and are looking to get into the story in an easy and fun way.
This ties deeply into the nature of the B scenario construction and the B scenario rewards. As a hypothetical example: if the WotR B adventure reward was something like "Each character chooses a type of boon other than loot and draws a random non-Basic boon of that type from the box." instead of "Each character gains a card feat.", would that be better? Probably, people would feel more inclined to just skip over B scenarios that they didn't like, but that's not obviously an improvement - we made those scenarios to be fun to play (remembering that there are many different kinds of fun and many different kinds of player), so maybe it's better to help people skip over the "intro", but maybe it's better to get people to complete the on-ramp instead.
It's a tricky question, and my exposure to board games, card games, video games, and demos of all of the above tells me that there's not yet One Right Answer. For my part, I'm sorry that some people aren't having fun with WotR, ecstatic that others are, and trying to figure out how to get more of the latter and fewer of the former. Thanks again for all your help, and thanks for playing!
To add to what Vic said above (especially "It won't cause any problems at home"), I'll say this: the Iconic Heroes promo cards are meant to represent things that are important to that specific character (while still being playable cards for anyone who gets them). I mean, sure, Enora could wear a Splendiferous Hat, but it's Balazar's Hat, so it's not like it's the sort of thing that she should start with (i.e. it wouldn't be Basic her her).
pH unbalanced wrote:
I had always thought that the reason the B scenarios for RotR got so much replay was because of the lack of other play options. With so many other scenarios existing now, I wouldn't think that would happen nearly as much.
Yeah, that's our hope, also. It's hard for us to predict ahead of time how such behavior will turn out, though. Remember that when we were designing WotR we didn't really know how (well) the new release schedule would work, nor how (well) the PFSACG OP seasons would work, nor how much people would replay earlier APs with new characters, nor how (well) custom scenarios would work in the era of DriveThruCards.
Put another way: we guessed that there would be less crazypants insane replaying of B and AD1 than happened with RotR, but we didn't know how much less.
I agree strongly with Longshot that weakening boons to thwart grinders seems like backward thinking.
This came up a few places, so please don't think I'm picking on you - yours was just the post at hand when I was ready to reply. :-)
In general, there seems to be some sentiment that Viper Strike is designed to be less potent than it should be; that is incorrect. Viper Strike follows exactly the normal progression for the spells of it's type - casting skill + 2d4 and a type of damage. Compared to, say, Fireblade, Viper Strike gets a little extra boost, in that it is easier to acquire and recharge. Sure, you don't care about the CtA very much, but the check to recharge is a real boon -- so says Ezren's "Add 2 to your checks to recharge" feat, anyway.
When I'm talking about planning for a bit more replay, I am not talking even a little bit about designing cards that are intentionally weaker than other cards; what I am talking about is how we allocate the cards that go into a set, and that go into a character's starting deck list. Specifically, if we expect that you'll have a large number of opportunities to upgrade a card, then we're likely allocate the starting deck lists differently than we would if we expected you to have a very few chances to upgrade cards. Because this is inherently a group process, larger groups have a generaly easier time at these upgrades, especially in earlier adventures (why? Because in the earliest adventures, almost any sort of extra resource expenditure will siginificantly increase the odds of acquiring the boon, whereas in later adventures, the gaps are large enough that it's far more common for a boon to just be out of reach. Put another way: many B boons can be acquired 2d4, and 3d4 gives good odds, while in AD6, 5d4 is still worse than a craps-shoot on the shinies).
Or, to approach it from a completely different angle: does anyone want to see a reprint of Guidance?
Yes but it doesn't give the Magic trait to Crowe... so doesn't help for B4.
I might be jumping in after too big a gap, but I'm confused -- if Crowe uses an Attack spell, it'll add its traits to his check (because it says "For your combat check..."), and it will have the Magic trait (and thus can defeat Karsos).
Altogether I agree with all your comments, but it still feels B4 isn't well tuned for 6p.
Yeah, you clearly had a bad experience, and you aren't alone. I'm certainly not trying to deny that, and we're still looking at the situation to see if we need to take any further action. In that post, I was just trying to address the specific point about the nasty location appearing at 6 players -- not trying to say that the total over-all effect is working correctly.
Thanks again for playing, and for your feedback!
Because the terminology might be confusing to someone who doesn't liveinside it at work every day, this is a reasonable thing to think, but it's not actually correct. B4 is the next to last scenario in the adventure; B5 is the last.
I said Adventure instead of Adventure Path intentionally. We increase the difficulty at the end of each "story step" for a large number of reasons, including pacing, narrative, and gameplay. Of course, we also generally increase the difficulty of later Adventures over earlier Adventures, as part of the difficulty/power curve design that I discussed in the post.
If you're talking about 1-2
Yep, I either typo'ed or thinko'ed that one.
that paragraph helped most characters and surprisingly hurt Seoni a bit due to it disrupting her best combat-readiness option.
Interesting! I know that we tested that scenario with Seoni, and I don't remember that problem, but it totally makes sense to me.
With Crowe, forgot about his rage. >.<
If you read his backstory, you'll find that that is excellent roleplaying. :-)
...I feel that the difficulty of Wrath is also a result of some generally underwhelming boons...
This is actually a really deep issue, and one that I will probably talk about in a separate, future blog post. The short (ish) answer is that we really didn't correctly predict how much people would play the B scenarios in Rise of the Runelords, and it had a big impact on the game (probably bigger than most people realize, since it's the first AP.
Frankly, people replayed RotR-B and RotR-1 a lot more than we had expected. This was an amazing problem to have, and we certainly weren't unhappy about it over all, but it did mean that people were going into the earlier scenarios in the adventure with decks that were more upgraded and more refined than we had expected. This was one of the factors (just one, but a real one) that made the start of RotR feel a little too easy for some players. In Skull & Shackles, we adjusted the B adventure, both increasing the number of scenarios from 3 to 5, and also making the scenarios later in S&S-B a little tougher, while keeping to the intentional power curve changes I discussed in the blog post.
I'm getting a little long here, so let me jump to the end, and I'll dig into more detail in a future post. The this-time-for-sure short answer is "We want to give you cards that you can use, but you want to replace. When you play/replay the early scenarios a bunch, then you get more chances to replace cards." One consequence of planning for people to play and especially replay early scenarios a lot is that we need to create a bigger range of desirability of those starting cards.
It's possible that we've gone too far in WotR -- it's a tough balancing act in the best of cases, and WotR already has a steeper power curve (being the mythic-epic-goes-to-11 set), so it's entirely possible that we over-corrected on some of the starting boons. Like my advice on playing WotR-B and WotR-1, I can only apologize and assure you that there is a method to our madness -- and you will absolutely catch up. This does suggest an alternative, for those hardcore players that don't like the idea of skipping B until after 1 -- if you find an adventure-B scenario that you like, you could always replay it a couple times to get some more deck upgrades before heading deeper into the adventure.
Thanks for playing!
The armies don't have the Demon trait (weird, I know).
There are multiple armies in the adventure, broken roughly into three different types for variety and strategy: the mostly-undead group, the mostly-demonic group, and the mostly-cultists-and-soliders group. As it turns out, the art for the Worldwound Cadre ended up more Demon-looking than we expected, and that is a little jarring. We might do something with errata on that, but it will not be a functional change -- it's intentional that there is an army with Undead, one with Demon, and one with neither.
4. I can't think of a single same-location synergy character in WotR, so if you're using characters from the set, being at the same location doesn't help.
FWIW, before Role cards are added, Kyra, Seelah, Adowyn, and Shardra all have same-location helping powers. (Once Roles are added, most of the characters have at least one, but you're not there in AD2, of course.)
Shardra, in particular, came out of development with the subtitle "Everyone wants a Shardra."
Aside: It's a little surprising to me that all 4 of the pre-role "helper" characters are female. I'm definitely going to keep an eye on that for the future.
And now I see that Keith and Mike already addressed the army-traits question. That'll teach me to not read all of the thread before replying! :-)
Thanks for playing!
Thanks, I'll take a look at that. I do much prefer feedback based on experience, as the playtesters can surely tell you. :-) If anyone happens to find one, send it my way or post it here. Thanks!
Don't forget that Crowe can "rage" on his Attack spells, and gets to recharge the card rather than burying it. It's not something you'll want to do every fight, of course, but banishing a basic spell + recharging a second card for 1d10+3d4 or 1d10+1d4+2d6 is pretty potent -- roughly as good or better than Balazar in the same circumstances.
Thanks for playing!
...B-4 having the Abattoir only for 6p is suspect...
We've always been open about the fact that the tougher effects are generally weighted towards larger groups (which have way more potential synergy) and towards the end of the adventures (when the characters are potentially much more refined and advanced), so this shouldn't be a surprise.
This is not to say that the specific combination of party, scenario, villain, henchmen, and locations is or is not too hard -- just that you should generally expect the nastier stuff to come in with more players, and later in the adventure.
Also: I won't break the spoiler tag, but I don't expect that you'll find 1-4 especially difficult. Maybe you haven't seen the third paragraph on that scenario yet?
various people wrote:
...much hate for Viper's Strike...
I'm going to have to look at this one a little closer, because it seems like the negative opinion is relatively widespread, but it performed reasonably well in our testing. Is there a forum thread someone can suggest where I can get up to speed on the thoughts on this spell quickly? (I apologize for not doing my own legwork first; I'm catching up from several days out of touch).
pH unbalanced wrote:
Well, as I said above, the biggest problem for us was lack of any Cure spells, despite having half our party being Divine casters (Imrijka and Adowyn). I can see Adowyn being without, but surely Imrijka should have had one.
The pre-gen character sheet we got for Imrijka didn't have Cure Light Wounds at 1st or 2nd level, so we opted for something different for her. Certainly, you should feel free to swap out a basic card for another basic card if it makes the game more fun!
(sorry about the delay in replying; I was out of town until this morning).
Thanks for playing!
While we're not jumping in too often at this point, I assure you that we're all looking at the feedback on this blog post, and on the forums in general. Part of the reason that my difficulty vs power post came now is that I hoped it would help answer some questions about the set.
In general, I will say this: if your group is finding that part of B is not to your liking, consider just jumping up to AD1 and then either coming back or not, depending on how much time and interest you have. If you're playing with a new group and really want the introduction, then play the first scenario in B (i.e. "B1") and jump to AD1.
Also, if you're coming to WotR from RotR or S&S, and finding that you're having more trouble than you expect, consider if a change of strategy and tactics will help get you through a rough spot. The main point of my post was that we intend the experience to be different (and also fun, of course).
Thanks for playing!
pH unbalanced wrote:
I assure you, they have all been "do"ed, as it were. I'm curious what specifically people find troublesome with the starting decks, given that all 7 characters are built from one source.
I mean, sure, you could build more customized decks by only building a few characters and making the others unworkable -- as it turns out, there's rules for that in the rulebook. :-)
I think my solo game will be a three-character run of Imrijka, Alain, and Enora. I did Kyra through Runelords and would prefer not to use her again, even though Imrijka's divine is weak (seems like you kind of need divine in this set - at least one). I'm tempted to pull in Tarlin; Blessing of Iomedae's in the mix.
That's a solid group, going with the splitting-up-specialties plan. I'd recommend that you give WotR Kyra a spin for a bit, though, and see what you think - she has a very different play-style than RotR Kyra. Shardra is also a good Divine option, if you need one.
And, of course, don't overlook Seelah.
The other Sharks have suggested that I tell you all that there will be some dissenting opinions (theirs) on which is the Best Character in the weeks to come. I'm sure that their posts will be witty, eloquent, well-reasoned, and incorrect. I'm looking forward to it already.
Further, it is my sad duty to report that the Paizo.com tech team, awesome though they are, was unable to accommodate my request to title the post "Seelah: You're the Best", and have it play this song after the page loaded.
Luckily, you're all singing it now.
To elaborate on what Mike said: sometimes we want an effect like "the monster you hit with this spell is less effective at dealing damage", and sometimes we want an effect like "the character you hit with this spell is protected from damage". These often produce a similar outcome, but not always. Thus, sometimes we prevent damage dealt by a bane, and other times we prevent damage dealt to a character. The first stops Structural damage, and the second doesn't. This is intentional.
It's not an accident that we put some cards that *can* reduce Structural damage in the set with Ships. It might be an accident if we put cards in RotR that effectively reduce Structural damage, and we'd like to hear about those.
Thanks for playing!
Ron Lundeen wrote:
I'm Ron! And I thought you could seize any ol' ship you encounter, unless it specifically says you can't seize it--but now I know better.
Ron has the misfortune to have learned a few of the playtest ship rules, and to be caught in the confusion over the several versions that we tried. I have a lot of sympathy for this pain, especially when someone asks me a detailed question and I have to say "I think I know the answer, but let's check the rulebook to see what got printed."
Thanks again to Ron and all of our awesome playtesters.