Joshua Birk 898's page

Organized Play Member. 585 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 4 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.


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Longshot11 wrote:

In particular, I'll point a finger to the Agash henchmen. In a typical 6-player game, this gives you the unique opportunity to trash 7 player turns, just for playing a hero like Alahazra.

It doesn't just discard a blessing, it discards a blessing AND replaces it with a sandstorm card. That doesn't cause you to miss a turn (unless you know something about the sandstorm card that I dont), instead it throws an obstacle in your way.

So excited to reignite my love of this game.

Wonderful news!

I remember a time when cards weren't supposed to have memory, but that ship may have sailed some time ago.

Googam wrote:
Cogsnap could probably wrong a few sweet combats out of that cannon before giving it up.

By the time you get the cannon you have enough upgrade feats that you will fire every single turn. As long as you keep winning, you have the resources to never give it up.

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Tanis O'Connor wrote:
Joshua Birk 898 wrote:
It seems odd to pair him in the preview with a card he cant really use all that well.
but . . . it's a cannon. It goes boom. yay, boom!

Big booms are great! And I suppose that Damiel shines when using the second power. I think I just got thrown by "He can also throw alchemy bombs as kickers to his Ranged attacks," and was trying to find a way to make that true.

Your blog posts are wonderful, I just need to remind myself that they aren't canonical rules.

jones314 wrote:
Joshua Birk 898 wrote:
What am I missing? How can Damiel use things like the Flame cannon without a ranged skill?
Everyone has at least a d4 for Ranged. Throw 4d8 on top of that and you have a big boom. Or you put 2d8 on another combat check, Ranged skill or no.

Apologies, I did not clearly articulate the problem. Damiel's power requires him to make dex based combat checks. But he cant do that with the cannon without the the ranged skill. Does Damiel have some other way to allow him to make a ranged based combat check? It seems odd to pair him in the preview with a card he cant really use all that well.

What am I missing? How can Damiel use things like the Flame cannon without a ranged skill?

Not funny!

Longshot11 wrote:
Joshua Birk 898 wrote:
Can we stop pretending that WotR is hard? Yes, it is hard initially, but the difficulty drops dramatically by the time you hit AP3. If you look at the whole of the AP, S&S is just as hard, if not harder.
Can we stop pretending that one man's experience is indicative of all player's experience? There's plenty of evidence on these forums that a lot of player do find it RIDICULOUSLY difficult (or at least particular scenarios)and I can only assume you haven't been playing with 6 characters. (And sorry, but I don't find the approach "split your party for the near-impossible scenarios" as any less damning for the game - if it says on the box "6 players', it can very well expect to be judged on those merits)

It's not just one person's experience. The overwhelming response from veteran players (players who fiercely complained about the difficulty of the early scenarios) was that AP 3, 4, and 5 were quite easy (I'm not including 6 because I haven't seen as much discussion of it, not because of its level of challenge). The tools players have available at that stage of the campaign trivialize a lot of the content.

Can we stop pretending that WotR is hard? Yes, it is hard initially, but the difficulty drops dramatically by the time you hit AP3. If you look at the whole of the AP, S&S is just as hard, if not harder.

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No conclusions, but two observations

1) Mythic Marshal shenanigans are very powerful. I have a five person party that includes three mythic marshal's. Yes, you don't get funky powers, but the ability to consistently include a d20 in your core checks is very nice.

2) The five charge mythic archmage power is amazing, especially in two and three person parties. I have mythic archmage in a three person party and I almost always use the scouting power multiple times in each scenario.

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Orbis Orboros wrote:
I would only play it if I planned to operate in a support role. Recharging (best case scenario) two cards to draw one is a terrible reason to include a card in your deck. Allowing a friend to recharge a card to draw a card is worth considering for some builds, however.

Apologies for misconstruing your views, I just had to do something to conjure you.

And I would agree that the card works better in a supporting role.

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skizzerz wrote:
Keith Richmond wrote:
Thinking of it from the RPG side instead of card side for a second - let's say that it heals you for _1_ hp, and also makes you feel healthy and full like you ate a full day's worth of food. That definitely makes you feel better, but in card terms that 1 hp is so small it's rounded down in terms of the discard pile. That said, your hand likely improved, so that's feeling a bit healthier :)
So it's basically a sucky goodberry? The card seems mediocre at best to me, and I can't see why it merits a slot in AD2 given that. The best use for it I can think of is a case where you both need the top card of your deck and have a crap card in hand you want to get rid of. The card to me seems like a very situational pick, not applicable in the majority of situations. If I did pick it, I'd likely use it almost immediately just to get it out of my hand so I can hopefully draw something more useful.

Deck cycling is incredibly useful. If Orbis still haunted these forums he would be drooling about this card.

Thanks for this post. I find it the must elucidating peak on to the workings of the game that you have given us this far.

Seoni [Corrupter] + Time Stop is going to be throwing down 22+ dice just from her blessings and corrupt cards, without getting into spells or help from other party members. 31 seems easily attainable.

deinol wrote:

I've been trying to play the base set solo. Every time I've died in scenario two. I've tried the summoner, inquisitor, and now paladin. Now I'm just curious if anyone has managed to.

I've been playing by the book, so dying means starting over. (Ok, it could also mean trying again with an unimproved character, but that seems harder.)

Try Hunter. She solo's quite well and should be able to handle the base scenarios without too much trouble.

"Playing Cards

Anyone can play a card whenever the card allows it. Playing a card
means using a power on that card by revealing, displaying, discarding,
recharging, burying, or banishing that card or by performing another
action specified by that card."

Andrew L Klein wrote:
Nocticula + Timestop = Win

Fixed that for you.

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ryanshowseason2 wrote:

I've heard the suggestion of going through AP1 first, but I'm not attracted by that in the least. The rewards for scenarios in the base set will get boring and inconsequential especially if we've seen all there is to see by that point. Also the challenge will be a drop in the bucket by that point.

Don't just start put off the base scenarios, I would encourage you to not play them at all. I firmly believe that they aren't well designed and that your gaming experience will be better if you pretend that they don't exist entirely. That being said, you will still find them challenging if you insist on playing them after AP1.

It (sadly) doesn't involve dinosaurs, but I had a wonderful moment last game when Seoni asked Arueshalae to borrow her Talisman of True Faith. After receiving it, Seoni promptly revealed a blessing of Deskari to give the Talisman the corrupted trait, turning it into another uber-powerful card capable of mirroring anything in the blessing deck, much to the abject horror of the now wailing Arueshalae.

Moral of the story: Never give your holy artifacts to someone who identifies as a 'Corruptor.'

As a fervent player who has finished Runelords with three parties, S&S with two parties, and is half way through Wrath with three different parties, the announcement of the delay comes as bleak news. I recognize that my pace of play makes me an outlier, but I had already started licking my chops with anticipation over Mask. I know that Mike and the rest of the team are charting the course that they feel will best serve the long term interest of the product line, but I am going to miss the chance to jump into the next set. I don’t have much interest in season of the runelords, and will probably be moving on to other games in the newly emergent genre to see if I can find something else to scratch my itch.

Hopefully the digital game will keep me engaged with PACG, and I look forward to diving right back into the game whenever Mask finds its way onto the shelves.

Thanks for the confirmation, Vic.

Your right. That's what I get for posting in the middle of the night

Longshot11 wrote:
Joshua Birk 898 wrote:
Are their other cards that use the "recharge... you may additionally discard..." wording?
Merisiel's Backstab power?

Different wording "If you are the only character at your location, you may recharge a card to add 1d6 to your combat check, or discard it to add an additional 1d6."

The weapon as written is mediocre, especially for loot. I certainly hope it's an error, but I am playing it (or, not playing it, i suppose) as is until I hear otherwise.

Are their other cards that use the "recharge... you may additionally discard..." wording?

I think its an error, because it goes on to so "you may additionally discard this card to add..." The option to 'additionally' discard the weapon only makes sense if you are revealing it, not recharging it.


I don't think Wrath supports your style of play particularly well, at least not in large groups. Characters need to play through adentures sequentially. You can't take a kyra with an early deck (she is still packing 5 basic spells, including things like viper strike) and doesn't understand how her powers and expect to succeed in in AP6. That character needs the earlier scenarios to develop her deck, and the player needs the earlier scenarios to understand their powers.

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Am I missing something? Can't you just use Kyra to on the acrobatics check? The army has both the demon and undead trait, so she can roll her divine check and steam roll the 23.

Alain - Combat
Crowe - Combat
Balazar - Arcane
Shardra - Knowledge
Andowyn - Divine
Kyra - Acrobatcis

The answer may depend on what character you are playing. For instance, as Seoni [Corrupter], I want an ascension blessing in the blessing discard pile ASAP, so I would never remove Ascension from the game. On the other hand, character actively seeking to match blessing cards might want to actively remove Ascension.

No spoilers here, but the end of the deck will be rough for Alain.

In Wrath, as always, scouting is key. If you want to mitigate 'random' death from barriers, use powers to make chance encounters a non-issue.

Winged Mounts in Wrath let Alain hit multiple locations in one turn. My memory of skull and shackles is that Ranzak tended to burn through single locations and before he needed to catch his breath.

I'm philosorapt0r's partner in crime and I can confirm walking-holy-candle factory that he has turned Imrijka into.

Longshot11 wrote:
philosorapt0r wrote:
And, as Josh has pointed out, this also requires junking up Ranzak's deck with a fair number of boons you wouldn't otherwise want, making late-in-the-scenario Ranzak draws....unexceptional.
I'm not sure I get that part. It's common for our Ranzak to end his turn with 3-4 card above hand size, but then his turn ends and he has to discard all the junk he cleared from a location. Are you implying there's some mechanic that allows him to shuffle/recharge the trash into his deck?

If your Ranzak ever receives healing, those discarded cards make there way back into your deck and will eventually dilute your hand. Unless you can consistently banish the cards you acquire, ranzak ends up holding a bunch of junk.

Longshot11 wrote:
I'm not saying this isn't a valid way to play, but I usually have my decks pretty specialized, and every card in them matters, and call me weird, but no, in a 2 Barrier location deck, I'm not going to recharge my Masterwork Tools just to get another explore. So maybe that's why I'm not getting the whole 'thing' with the Lancer.

Are you actually playing 'Wrath of the Righteous'?

It's not that hard to figure out how to get 4 explores a turn. If you have a weapon and an armor (preferably one that lets you reveal to block combat damage), that's four cards that could be additional explores. If you acquire any cards during your turn, those are also additional explores. Even if you have to discard/recharge a card or two to win fights, you should be able t average 3 additional explores a turn fairly regularly.

Imrijka can't generate anything like that number of explores without discarding cards (though imrijka has other, even more powerful options, but that is for another thread).

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I had a different take on the Lancer debate. I don’t know if he should be changed or not, but I am convinced that that Lancer power in question should never have been made.

One of the central tensions of the game, particularly for large and mid-sized groups, is the balance between generating additional explorations and not getting your character killed. The most conventional approach to dealing with this tension is to discard cards for explorations and then you healing power to mitigate the damage from the discards. The interaction between playing cards to explore and using healing powers to recover those cards is a cornerstone of PACG, though not every group or player relies on it.

However, as characters gain more and more abilities, one of the most common and most desired, upgrades is to find ways to explore without having to discard. Different characters gain the ability to explore without discarding through a variety of different mechanics, and those mechanics present a series of mini-games, as players look for ways to maximize how often they can get these cheap explores.

- Cards that you can recharge to explore. In RotR, we had haste, a spell that gave you a free explore. S&S allowed Damiel to use potions in a similar fashion. Characters like Lini, Feyia or Kyra could all get five or six cards of a specific type in their deck and that allowed them to recharge to explore. These cards create a deck cycling minigame, where the player is incentived to trim their deck and draw through it as quickly as possible so that they can hit these ‘recharge to explore’ cards again and again.

- Some abilities allow you to explore based on encountering a certain of card. Ezren, Ranzak and Imrijka are all examples of this type of power. Here the player is encouraged to consider the composition of each location, reward for scouting powers, and incentivized to find ways to succeed at certain kinds of key roles to earn more and more explorations.

- Some of these additional explorations come with downsides. Ranzak can explore a ton, but he fills he deck and discard pile with giant troves of junk, making his deck less and less efficient the more he loots. Kyra can ensure she always has a hand full of blessings, but the cost is that her deck cycling ability grinds to a halt and she sees very few of her cards aside from those blessings.

All of which brings us to Alain and the Lancer roll. This power generates additional explorations, but does it far more efficiently than any previous option. You don’t need any mini-game to maximize the additional explorations, nor is there any down side or tradeoffs to taking them. As soon as you get your hands on winged mounts, every card in your deck becomes a better version of haste if you want it to be. The Lancer provides more reliable, more efficient exploration than we have seen from any previous power, and requires no work or thought on the part of the player.

Lancer isn’t just powerful, it’s mechanically uninteresting. It doesn’t require you to make any choices, or to rethink your approach your deck or the locations, or encourage working with yor team mates in any particular way. It just allows you to throw down four explorations, every turn, with no cost. It breaks one of the central tensions that makes the intriguing, and offers nothing mechanically interesting in return. From my point of view, that’s a design flaw, and I hope that Mike and the rest of the team will work to avoid replicating in future characters

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I'm not sure why this post has voting options other than 'Olenjack.'

It's not generally a good idea, but in a scenario like this one, where success or failure depend entirely on your ability to avoid the villain until just the right moment, it is well worth it.

That being said, I used it on Seoni [Corrupter], who can turn almost half her deck into Blessings of Ascension when Ascension is the top card of the discard pile. She can scout and then build the charges back up as long as she has healing.

More generally, you continue to produce the best reviews available of this AP. Keep it up!

A minor quibble. Any mythic archmage with a blessing of ascension or grouped with a Marshal has a great scouting option. I think it is worth blowing the charges in that scenario.

w w 379 wrote:
Joshua Birk 898 wrote:

Which mythic path do you use?

edit: Nevermind, just saw it. Still not sure how you beat non-demon, non-undead since you can't roll d20s against them. But maybe you just get a ton of help from your team mates.

Well, looks like I just learned something. Time to pick up the sword of iomedae :PP

Everyone is maxed on blessings though. Many Shaxes and Baphomets.

Sword of Iomedae is so amazingly sweet. The only down side of it is that Seelah, Kyra and Imrijka all want to have it to themselves.

Which mythic path do you use?

edit: Nevermind, just saw it. Still not sure how you beat non-demon, non-undead since you can't roll d20s against them. But maybe you just get a ton of help from your team mates.

Purging basic/elites may mitigate some of the problems, but there are still a large number of very easy monsters that you never banish.

Longshot11 wrote:

I don't mean to argue, but I'm genuinely curious: does that mean Ranzak is illegal in OP ?

As far as I know, Ranzak is illegal in organized play. At least, until we get a goblin deck or some specific scenario rewards allow you to play him.

I'm sure it will slip a lot of people's minds, considering the power sounds useless on paper, but blowing 5 mythic charges to have your archmage scout the blessing deck seems super useful on this one.

nomadicc wrote:

That's good to hear, that they are aware of the issue. If WotR was meant to be "expert" level, then a little head's up on the advertising would be appropriate. I felt S&S was a pretty good challenge, tough in spots but not a chore. I don't want to play games that are a chore.

I'd like to push back on this a bit. WotR isn't "expert" level. It has ridiculously hard base scenarios, and the scenarios in AP2 pose particular problems for large groups of players. But, once you get past those initial scenarios, the set isn't significantly more difficult than other sets. I am finding AP3 & AP4 of wrath easier than S&S, and I haven't seen anyone posting data that suggests their experiences with these later sets is different than mine.

Longshot11 wrote:

I ... can see why it's coming off that way.

Actually, for me, it's not so much about needing Alain to 'win', as it is about some well-deserved relief for the party, so than not every scenario is b@lls-to-wall, down-to-the-last-card hard.

What annoys me personally is that as soon as there're cries of "game too easy!" - here come the official FAQs. However, when people where complaining about cards and scenarios being absurdly difficult with 6 players - we were basically told "home-rule your game" (the AD1 before the base adventure thing) or with no response at all. It's this perceived (admittedly, maybe only by me) double standard that irks me. Then again, maybe I'm just a bad person for thinking I'm *entitled* to some fun with my game as much as the rest of the players...

If it's any consolation, I totally agree with you that the things like elven entanglements and army card sin 6 player games need an errata.

Longshot11 wrote:

You probably meant "Alliteration's post".

And those barriers have everything to do with the statement that a 6-person group you has 10-12 more cards to burn, when in (my experience with) WotR that is too often not the case, not to mention off-turn total hand-wipes. And everything left is usually not a resource you can 'burn', but rather cards you need to hold to, just so your character doesn't kick the bucket.

Alliteration already made the point why extra explores are crucial to 6-party, especially in a set where resource preservation is at a premium.

Apologies for mixing up my posters.

Yes, demonic hoard and arboreal blight suck, but they suck most early in the campaign when the barrier deck is smaller and the party has less tools to mitigate them (through scouting, evasion, damage reaction, etc.). how often are you seeing those cards in AP4+?

Those barriers are 6 cards in a 45 card deck. Even in AP4, which is a very barrier heavy portion of the adventure path (averaging of 12 barriers per scenario), you will only have, on average, 2 of them in your location decks. And since you don’t have to explore every card and should have some scouting ability, you shouldn’t be hitting both of them every game.

You’re making it sound like you are hitting these barriers every few turns. You should be hitting them once or twice a game. And at that level of rarity, they don’t massively skew the math of the game.

Several people seem to be arguing that because that because Wrath is so hard on large groups, players need to have the Lancer being able to turn every card into an explore to succeed. I have a couple of responses.

a) If you need alain to be able to win, that suggests some fundamental issues with the design and confirms that he is out of balance with other characters.

b) Are people actually losing a lot in AP 4 and 5? I know every large group got kicked around early in the AP, but are you still having problems in the second half? Performance in the second half of the AP is the only thing that matters for evaluating lancer.

I'm personally ambivalent on the changes. Yes, Lancer is stupidly powerful because it gives ridiculous combinations of moving, healing and exploring for minimal cost. But I am not convinced that that Lancer is actually more powerful than the other ridiculous characters in the set (Andowyn and Imrijka), which makes me wonder about reducing its powers.