|James Sinnett Venture-Agent, Oregon—Corvallis aka HikariStarshine|
So, my OP group just wrapped our *third* failure to clear 5-1E under Core rules, and it's becoming a bit of a frustration. I just want to make sure that I have everything figured out and we're playing everything as intended.
For reference, the party makeup is CD Estra/Ultimate Magic, CD Imrijka/Ultimate Intrigue, UC Hayato/Barbarian, and Pathfinder Tales Celeste/Ultimate Magic.
1: Scar Bay location decks are consistent issues, with monsters being added every turn. It isn't safe to be there if you don't have some kind of combat ability, and if you aren't very armored, an early close of any location is going to wipe your hand out. Additionally, we are finding that under the new one-blessing-per-check rule, the only one of our players able to reliably make the closing check is Estra. This is a problem as that player is rarely the one finding the Henchmen.
2: The new rule that attempts at closing a location force the end of your turn means that hitting a henchman in your first exploration cuts off your ability to mill the location, slowing progress through the decks. Again, when the Scar Bay locations don't stop refilling, this is a huge issue.
3: Celeste seems pretty well designed to shine in this path, what with the pirate theme and everything. So, of course, any turn that she begins without combat spells of some kind in hand, she has to go hide in the one other location, because her unarmed combat ability is useless in Scar Bay. Can't poison undead, after all. Bad shuffles result in a lot of wasted turns as a result.
4: Lack of boon variety: the location decks here give you items, allies, and blessings. Great. Celeste needs *spells* in order to adjust her deck to be more useful in this scenario, and isn't getting any. The only spells we're seeing are as plunder, and those just go away when we fail the scenario.
We've failed three times due to clock-out, now. Every time, it can be directly blamed on having had two failed closing checks in Scar Bay locations, and not having the turn/exploration economy to mill through to the bottoms of the decks.
Anyone have some suggestions of what we could try in order to get past this thing and move on?