I didn't want to post this in the other character sheet thread, since this is more of a technical issue I've run into...
I was able to download the new versions of the character sheets for S&S, Class Decks, and the new S&S rulebook. Once downloaded, I put a copy of the PDFs onto my home server so any of the laptops/tablets/phones in my house could access them. And I even renamed some of the PDF files so they were easy to find in my file hierarchy.
However, when I downloaded the new Runelords character sheets to my desktop, the zipped folder and PDF files seemed to be locked or something. I could open and look at the PDFs, but I could not move/copy the PDFs anywhere else. And if I moved the actual zipped folder, then I could no longer open the PDF files within it.
Strangeness ensues. Anyone else experiencing a similar problem, or was it just me who failed my check to defeat this barrier?
The only way to Automatically close a location is to defeat a villain there. Otherwise you have to do what the card says.
Yeah. Sometimes you have a location that is impossible or very difficult for any of the members of your group to close. So a good way around it is to ignore it and chase the villain there (defeat him while temp-closing all other locations) and then encounter the villain again in the location you can't close. When defeated, you'll automatically close that location.
I've found that you need to be more tactical in a large group. When I play with 5 friends, we explore as often as we can and often have to give up on boons. When we don't explore to the max, those are the games we run out of time on. Having a way to replenish the blessings deck is almost mandatory, like a Holy Candle.
The tactics come into play by closing locations as quickly as possible. We'll often use more blessings and other ways to boost a check than may be necessary just to make sure we can close it. The trick is to find and corner the villain as soon as possible. We rarely close down all the locations, and will focus on spreading everyone out on locations that can easily temp-close. Then flush out the villain and hope to defeat him while everyone blocks him from escaping.
To expand upon what csouth said, each group of characters you play should use the whole set of cards. Don't let one group keep cards "reserved" while another group is in play.
Example, when I play with my wife and neighbors, I assemble the character decks based on what cards they each have (documented on the Paizo PDF character sheets you can print out.) When we are done, everyone records any card changes on their character sheets and all the cards go back into the box.
Then when I play with all my friends, I'll assemble those characters the same way. Some of these characters will use the same cards the first group had used, but since I disassemble the decks between games, this second group has access to the cards.
However, if you are playing with only one group of characters, and you want a card that one character has, the only methods within the rules to get the cards are for that player to give/trade them, or if that character dies all his cards become available at the end of that scenario for other characters to take.
The official adventure path ends once you finish the Perils adventure (part of the base set) and the 6-deck Rise adventure path. However, as Fenris said, there's a LOT of user-created content (scenarios, adventures, characters, rules, etc.) than you can get into to expand the use of the game.
S&S is designed to be a stand-alone base set, but there are threads in the forums that talk about ways to incorporate both games together. My though it that S&S will be better suited to play on its own, but if someone really wants to combine them, it can be done.
I find that in my groups of experienced and inexperienced gamers, we have enough things to remember to do each turn. It's unfortunate that we're already forgetting to check and apply location or scenario rules from time to time. Having to also check each card we explore from a location deck to see if we need to redraw would be difficult in all the excitement of the game, teaching and advice-giving, munching on snacks, socializing, etc. I'm sure we'd forget more often than not.
On the other hand, I find that I can prep the game between different groups in about 30-45 minutes or so. This setup time includes removing/adding adventure decks, assembling the character decks, creating the location decks and having everything ready so when folks arrive, we're ready to sit down and play. This may seem like wasted time, but I'd rather have things ready beforehand so we're not wasting our limited play time by building the scenario while everyone sits around. Besides, I'm tidying up the house and getting other things ready anyway.
The one thing I've not done yet is deal with culled cards. None of my groups have actually gotten that far yet! I'm bummed that we don't get to play often enough, but it's tough getting the groups together when real life, kids and families, and other obligations keep getting in the way. But I expect dealing with culled cards will only add a few extra minutes to my setup routine.
Hawk, thanks for bring up my epic fail. I was going to mention it if you didn't.
I find that people in my groups tend to be stingy on helping out with blessings, and even other abilities. So it's a rarity to have overkill such as that. However, we've had a few scenarios come down to a hail Mary roll, either win or lose, and those can wind up pretty high. But that's fun! (Unless your hail Mary roll fails and you lose the scenario, which has happened to us more than once...)
I've found the amulet quite useful for the reasons others have stated. It adds magic, which in the beginning is a rare ability. Many times I've had to run between locations cleaning up banes others couldn't kill. I also find that my blessings wind up getting used for other things. Yes, it's nice being able to attack and add 4d10 (or more with hand size feats), but too often I don't have 4d10, or I need to save it for another explore or to help someone else.
The strategy we use in my group(s) is that everyone will split up and tackle a location they have a good chance at closing (or temp-closing.) That way we can burn down decks and close locations quickly, and if we run into the villain early, we may actually have a chance at cornering and defeating him.
However, we'll group up as-needed. If someone needs healing, if we know there's a bane that's better tackled with more than one person, etc. So I guess by default, we tend to work independently, grouping as needed. But on the other hand, a tactic exactly opposite may work just as well.
Let's see: I've rolled a 6 on 5d10. I think I closed 3 locations personally in my first 3 turns in a 6-player game. Can't really think of anything else. I usually wind up being the boring guy at the table, never collecting good boons, failing as many checks as I make, and generally being pretty average.
I suppose I should have said more. The location card says "you", meaning the person reading the card which it applies to. So yes, anyone on that location is going to read that card and will be a "you". But a person on another location would not be affected as they are not a "you".
Coming in AP6: Sheep characters and cards that say "ewe can not play..."
My guess is the timing on rewards throughout the entire adventure path was planned out with a specific balance in mind. So while one adventure may seem a bit sparse on the rewards, I'm sure the "big picture" requires that. My thought on house rules: Play the game beginning to end vanilla first. You may appreciate the way the designers planned things out. If you're still unhappy at that point, feel free to house to your heart's content.
Orbis Orboros wrote:
*looks around meekly*
Playing AD&D years ago as a low-level mage, we were embroiled in a battle in a room with some nasties. I remember declaring that I was going to jump up on a table for a better vantage point, then start clubbing things over the head with my staff. The DM had me roll a dex check (for the leap to the table) and an AC check on my target. I failed both. Miserably. I ended the battle unconscious.
After, my friends and future wife asked why I didn't just cast spells. My response was something along the lines of *facepalm* "Doh! I'm a magic user!!!"
(In my defense, I normally played a roguish swashbuckler type, and the mage thing was new to me.)
I'd like some clarification on Hawk's point: Can you die?
When you defeat a villain and he has nowhere to escape, what order are things done in?
1. Defeat villain
1. Defeat villain
This question is moot if the villain can escape, as the game does not end.
It's two different "powers" or effects.
"Banish this card to reduce all damage dealt to you to 0; if you are proficient with light armors, bury this card instead." would be used to reduce damage. Any damage. If you are not proficient with light armor, it is destroyed and is banished. If you are proficient, you can bury it instead, getting one use per scenario.
"If you are proficient with light armors, you may recharge this card when you reset your hand." is a completely different power. Say you have the armor in your hand, and you want to make some room for something else, you could typically discard any number of cards, then draw back up to your hand size. What this power allows you to do is recharge it instead of discarding it, as long as you are proficient with light armors.
I've come to the conclusion that Hawk is either a computer AI at Paizo headquarters designed to answer questions on the forums, or an alias account for all the Paizo folks to use when they want to answer questions anonymously! ;-)
As for the 7 on 3d10+1d4... that sounds like one of my typical rolls. Remember; I had the epic fail thread with my 5d10=6 roll! I've gotten to the point where I won't roll until my minimum roll is enough to make the check! (Well, not really. But I sure do roll crap a lot.)
Hmmm, I've deleted and retyped what I was going to say a few times because I just don't know. My first thought was there should be an "if undefeated" added to the 4th line. But then I thought that a roll of 4 would be a bad thing and force you to have to find him again. But then you'd think there should be a "and you may not close the location" tacked onto the end.
Um, actually yes... great movie indeed! My reference was to the high-level loot midget that would jump out of the loot chest in Borderlands (I forget which DLC). But then again, Borderlands was full of pop-culture references, hence being able to trace this one back to Fifth Element.
An obscure reference within an obscure reference! What do I win? (1d4 armor cards from the box, no doubt.)
Darn it! I live about 1.5 hours from Boston but am not going to PAX East because it's sold out. My friend who plays PACG with us is going with his daughter, which makes me jealous!
Mike, if you find yourself taking a spin down the Mass Pike (I90), stop by, I'll gather our group, and we can play! :-)
I have to agree that "friendly" barriers seem counter-intuitive to what a barrier card is. Barriers, by their very name, are something that gets in your way to block your progress. A pit trap or collapsing ceiling. Heck, even a bad case of the skeletons will stop you until dealt with. Something like a chest doesn't block your path, and the desire to open it would depend on your goals and needs.
In my (non game designer) mind, chests, runes, and other beneficial objects should be their own type of cards. But I understand that will never happen because of the added complexity and logistics of game design. Plus I don't think there are currently enough "friendly" barriers in the game to become it's own class of cards, let's say "Stashes" or something. And adding more would upset the balance, require another type of card on the deck setup, etc.
In the meantime, I've never run into a problem with friendly barriers. If you don't want the stuff, roll your worst skill for the check and don't add any dice. I tend to see failed checks even when trying to obtain the boons inside. And if you do get the stuff you don't want, there are ways to be rid of it: Give spells to non-casters to one-shot use. Use them as fodder when required to banish cards. Hide them under the bag of chips...
Well, on Saturday my wife and I wound up taking advantage of Amazon's sale on some tabletop games (deal of the day) and got the Dominion Big Box set and Seven Wonders for nearly half off.
After watching Gravity with some friends (excellent movie!) on Blu-Ray, we played Lord of Waterdeep since one of our friends brought it along.
My brother-in-law killed off his Seelah on one of the first "Perils" scenarios because he was overly aggressive with his card usage and burned his deck down, then taking a chance on an encounter and failing. Not truly tragic, except for the fact that he assumed Kyra could come along and cast a Cure to revive him before the scenario ended and he "died". (At the time, we all were thinking in RPG terms where when you hit zero HP you're not dead yet, and can be revived.)
The more tragic death was at the end of a tough scenario. My wife and I were playing with a friend in a 3-character game. Due to bad rolls, bad draws, and bad luck, we were down to the very last turn with one shot to take out the villain and win. Our friend, playing Lem, encountered the villain while my wife and I covered the other two open locations. We managed to temp close them, then aided Lem however we could. Our friend rolled absolute crap! Failed the encounter by one, and had no cards to draw. Needless to say, since he failed, he had to complete his turn, which meant resetting his hand and dying!
Orbis Orboros wrote:
Why didn't I think of that reference!? The only reference I thought of was the Dragonlance one as well. Borderlands is brilliant! I love the characters, especially Tannis in all her insanity(ly smartness.) In fact, my wife wants to cosplay as Tannis, since they kind of look similar! BTW, I think Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep is the best add-on ever!
(Sorry for the tangent.)
I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet. On the other hand, I had no idea this existed until I checked Facebook this morning!
My plans for Saturday: Having friends over to watch Gravity on the 70" HDTV. LOL. Oh well, another couple wants to come over as well, so maybe we'll throw some gaming in after the movie is done.
My character add-on deck is 2nd printing while all my adventure decks are 1st (so far.) I keep thinking about sourcing a 1st character deck just to make my game uniform. But then I think of how that would just be a waste of money.
As the owner of the game, and by reading these forums, I know about the card differences: 1st vs. 2nd, US vs. China, etc. And If I think about it while playing, I can pick out a character deck card from the rest. But NOBODY else in my several play groups has any clue. To date, difference in cards has made zero difference in play.
Besides, the cards get marked up with use anyway. Dinged edges, bending/warping, wear, etc. The cards are not going to remain 100% indistinguishable from one another. Yeah, I could sleeve them. But my thoughts on that are: 1. I don't want the added cost of the sleeves, 2. I don't want the added hassle of taking the time to sleeve them all, 3. I want to be able to utilize the box as-is, 4. Even in sleeves, cards can be damaged, 5. Sleeved cards will not run through my cheapo card shuffler, and finally 6. The game is not a collector's item so there's no need to keep it in pristine condition.
It's a shame that human nature tends to make such assumptions. Because naming the powers of the PACG characters would be very nice. I have plenty of RPG experience, but no Pathfinder RPG. But I also have the mindset that allows me to separate one thing from another, even if they are related at some level. Too bad not everyone can do that.
I have one friend, who despite playing for a few months now, just cannot comprehend his character's (Harsk) power to recharge a card, ANY card, to assist with a d4+x to combat at any other location. I'll tell him to "shoot an arrow/bolt", and he'll assume I'm asking him to discard one of his weapons to get that weapon's power. I'll try to clarify by pointing to his character sheet and saying "no, your character's power which is independent of your weapons and you only have to recharge ANY card."
It gets even worse when I try to tell him he can use some weapons to assist in another combat check (discard the weapon) AND use his power to assist in another combat check! That usually results in him stuffing several cards into his deck and/or discard while looking confused.
In my case, having Harsk's power named something like "Assisted Shot" might help clarify his confusion, since the only place something called "Assisted Shot" could be found would be on his character. Or not.
I've had issues with USPS before in regards to their tracking being horribly inaccurate, and their carriers being less than adequate.
Most notably when I ordered an adventure deck from Amazon. It was sent using FedEx Smartpost which is FedEx from Amazon warehouse to your local USPS distribution center, and then via the USPS for final delivery to the house. The package sat in my local post office for 3-5 days undelivered for no discernibly good reason I could detect.
Indeed? I stand corrected. Probably due to the fact that I haven't really played any characters that use armor. I.E. Sajan and Seoni primarily.
1. On a full 6-player game, there will be 80 cards on the table. And yes, even in 6-player games, 30 turns is enough. Remember that you can explore more than once per turn if you have cards that allow it. And you should do so, especially on games with more players. I've found that 6-player games tend to cut the time close much more often than 2-3 player games.
Also keep in mind that if you've shuffled each location deck, there is only a 10% chance on each location of having to explore every card before encountering the villain/henchman. I've been able to close a location on the very first explore, of the very first turn of a game simply by encountering a henchman as the top card of a location. On average, the henchman/villain will be somewhere in the middle of the deck, potentially cutting in half the number of cards you need to encounter.
2. Hawkmoon covered it pretty well. Basically each card and power will tell you what it can do. Just remember to distinguish the difference when it says "a" or "your", as well as what location(s) it allows. And also remember that each player can't play more than one of each type of card.
3. You will always have a minimum of 1d4 on any check. Without a weapon, you can make a melee, or failing having the melee skill, a strength check. The lowest die any character has for strength is 1d4.
This also applies to skills you don't have. Let's say you encounter a bane that has a check to defeat of Divine 9. But you don't have the Divine skill. You can still roll 1d4.
4. In most cases, correct. Hawk touched upon some of the exceptions.
5. Again, Hawk covered this one.
You can have more cards in your hand during a turn than your Hand Size specifies on your character card. So if you obtain cards from a barrier such as a chest, acquire cards you encounter, etc., they go into your hand. Only at the end of your turn do you need to make sure your hand size is reset by either discarding or drawing cards.
Now, let's say you get 4 random items from a chest. You put them in your hand and end your turn with 8 cards, but your hand size is 5. You discard any 3 cards to get back to your hand size. So some of those new cards from the chest may wind up in your discard.
When the scenario ends, you collect all the cards in your discard, hand and deck and put them back together. Now you must "rebuild" your character deck, making sure you have the designated number of each type of cards. Any extra cards you do not want in your deck go to the center of the table and are up for grabs to the other players who are also rebuilding their decks. Anyone can rebuild their deck using any cards they've got in their deck and any cards up for grabs in the middle of the table. But you cannot have more of any type of cards than what your character's card list says.
Whatever cards are not used when everyone is done rebuilding their decks goes back in the box. The only time you can add more cards to your deck is when you complete a scenario or adventure that gives a Card Feat as a reward.
The "final battle" kind of boils down to whether the villain takes you by surprise or if you have the ability to scout it out and plan your attack. My last game, we had to defeat the Skinshaw Man. We discovered his location early, and then decided to close down 3 of 6 locations (4 players). We spent the end of the game preparing for the battle, by going around the table twice just moving (2 to encounter the villain, and 1 each on the open locations to prevent his escape) and by discarding cards to stock up on blessings and other cards to help in the final battle. Nobody did any explorations.
So when we were ready, my wife encountered the Skinshaw Man, our friends temp. closed the other locations, then she proceeded to do the first combat check. She needed a 15 (due to a Haunt) and rolled something like the high 20's. I did the second check and wound up rolling in the 40's! Because we had time to prepare, everyone contributed at least something to the roll. In the case of our Harsk, he added a blessing, 1d4 for his power, and 1dX for a weapon ability on each roll! No need to hold back if you know this will end the game.
Anticlimactic? Maybe. But I look at it as good adventurers strategizing and going in prepared. Too often when we encounter the villain by surprise, we wind up chasing him all over the board because he escapes or we fail our rolls. While a villain fight on the final turn of the game with a hail mary roll is exciting, it's also really disappointing when you fail it.
Hawk, I think your guide sheets are a bit more complex than I was suggesting. I didn't intend to suggest that text be added to the rules that specify that scenario or location effects will only happen when you are told to read them, hence having to make sure you cover every possible instance of a scenario or location effect. I just wanted something to remind players to review the cards they may normally forget to check each turn.
If you are reminded to review the scenario and location cards each turn, you're more likely to remember to apply any relevant effects when they do occur during your turn. Especially handy since you're unlikely to remember 8 distinct location rules throughout the course of a game.
However, the more I think about it, the less I think adjusting the turn reference would actually help. Once you have a couple scenarios under your belt, you're not likely to reference that turn order sheet again anyway. Having played as much as I have (three groups as far as AP2) it's incredibly rare to pull out the rules at all anymore. So I can only imagine those of you who've made it to AP4 are not looking at it either.
Another example is the Amulet of Mighty Fists. It has the Accessory, Magic, and Basic traits on the card. Yet because the Amulet doe not determine the die used for a check, you do not automatically apply those traits to your check. But because the Amulet says "Reveal this card to add 1d4 with the Magic trait" in the Powers text, your check will have the Magic trait added.
The felt would actually be a really nice touch for my group, so I will need to think about that a little. I bet it is not all that expensive, either.
I got the felt I'm using now many years ago from a Walmart fabric department. I think it cost a few bucks. But my felt is starting to pull/tuft up, so it's time for a replacement. I'll be looking for a type of felt more akin to a casino gaming table or a billiards table than what I have now. I still expect it not to cost more than a few bucks for a cut large enough for my table.
The key is the binder clips, or some other method for stretching the felt tight and keeping it from moving. Without an anchor of some time, you wind up with people inadvertently pulling the cloth off the table, spilling cards, drinks, dice, etc. or causing wrinkles that could flip over a card or interfere with die rolls.
An actual online version of the card game, or just an app companion tool for the physical card game (like character cards and card management)? I'd like both, actually.
I have a feeling the first is unlikely at this time. Making an online version of a complex card game like this would be no small feat. MtG has done it over the years to varying levels of success. But the difference between MtG and PACG is the former is a series of single match games against different opponents, while PACG benefits from the socialization and strategics of a group of people who must work together scenario after scenario. Something that is difficult to reproduce in an online environment.
The second, helper apps, would be more likely. Though I expect they would come from the community, and not Paizo directly. I'm still waiting for an excellent character card/manager for an iPhone/iPad.
I've never thought the game was too easy. But on the other hand, if you lost characters often, and failed every other scenario, the game would lose much of it's fun and probably wouldn't have as many non-gamers actually playing it! I alone have converted 4 non-gamers into really enjoying this game!
Anyway, here's my thoughts on difficulty. I have three groups ranging from 3 players to 6, and anywhere from the Perils base adventure to AP2 so far. I think the game is harder with more people. It might be because you get less turns, or you have the same number of cards to help assist 5 other players rather than just yourself and one or two others. Most likely, it's both.
Local Heroes was a snap for my group of 3. Yet the group of 6 failed because they ran out of time (including the use of a Holy Candle!) The second attempt, we made it with one turn to spare, and we purposely focused on closing locations quickly instead of maximizing loot.
Dying doesn't happen that often. The two times it did were primarily due to misunderstandings of the rule. My brother-in-law burned through his deck recklessly under the assumption that a Cure spell could bring him back. The other instance, my friend burned the last of his cards in a hail mary attempt to defeat the villain, and failed, hence having to reset his hand and dying.
I would have to say that most of the posts about the game being too easy seem to boil down to rules not being followed due to misunderstanding or house rules. Yes, we all miss a rule now and then. It's a complex game and even after becoming fairly proficient with the rules, I still failed to remember to roll a d6 each time someone picked up a Haunt. We don't play at a table in a quiet room like we're taking our SATs, we're socializing and having fun and discussing strategy and rules and trying to teach the newcomers how to play (and which die is the d8. No... that's a d10!)
FrictionPF, you can use your strategy just as others have said. At the beginning of YOUR turn, give her a card. Complete your turn as you normally would, and reset your hand.
She will start her turn with one extra card (yours) in her hand. This could give her one more than her Hand Size if she didn't use any cards after resetting at the end of her last turn. If she starts the turn with 7 cards, the goal would be to use one card in some way before her turn ends to prevent that card from being "wasted".
If you can't burn (discard) that card by casting a spell (Seoni's power), getting an extra explore, etc., then you probably want to discard something that's not being helpful anyway to get a better card out of the deck.
In one of my groups, I play Seoni. I find that having only 3 spells (to start) with a 15-card deck is tough. But if you get those spells in your hand, you can automatically recharge them instead of discarding them as long as they are Arcane. Eventually, you can get a Power Feat to allow you to automatically recharge items with the Arcane trait. I also find it useful picking up boons whenever possible because it will give you fodder for extra explores or discards for her spell power. I do not intend to increase her hand size for quite some time.
But you're right... having a hand size of 6 is tough, especially in the early scenarios. On the other hand, I also play Sajan and was having a hard time with a 4-card hand and never having the card I needed in-hand. The first chance I had, I increased his hand size to 5, which seems to be a perfect compromise.
Exploring - Don't forget to read your location's power. Some locations allow you to explore again if you encounter a certain kind of card on your first (free) explore.
So, let's see if I can come up with an example from memory (my cards are not available to reference.) Let's say you're Harsk at the General Store.
Explore 1 - Free explore. You get this as part of your turn. You encounter an ally.
Note, other players/characters cannot give you another explore by discarding blessings or using other cards, unless the power specifically says it allows another character to explore (and I don't know of a card that does that.)
Note also, there are also ways to examine decks. A Spyglass will allow you to look at the top two cards and put them back on top of the deck in whatever order you like. Also, Harsk has a power to allow him to look at the top card of his location at the end of his turn. Seelah can look at the card before her turn, with the conditions that she has to put boons on the bottom of the deck.