Weasel

Yewstance's page

Organized Play Member. 493 posts (2,033 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 10 Organized Play characters. 15 aliases.


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James McKendrew wrote:
Parody wrote:


Honaire should have been a Cohort
If Honaire were a Cohort, they've have to rebuild Estra to make her wussier, in order to account for the extra card in her deck. I found her to be extremely playable without needing another card. So, I'll respectfully disagree.

I agree, I think being an ally is important for a few reasons. A huge part isn't that it doesn't add an extra card to her starting hand or deck, though, but in that Honaire can be used with Ally-Synergy (such as utilized in her Spiritual Counselor role. In addition, being an ally is also is a sensible limiting factor that stops her using both Honaire and an ally to support a combat check (keep in mind Honaire already provides a generous bonus).

Instead of turning Honaire into a Cohort and having to re-write the Ally themes, I'd much prefer just there to be a statement in the Card Guild Guide that just says you cannot add a Loot card to your deck if it's not referred to on your character card, which could also be good future-proofing.


Alric the Slain wrote:
[...] Flenta, from the Fighter CD, starts with 3 Spells but has no Arcane or Divine skill. All but one spell (Masterwork) are banished anytime she uses them. [...]

Sorry to disappoint (as mentioned elsewhere, something I'm all too good at), but a FAQ for the Fighter Class Deck confirms that you have to banish Masterwork if you don't have the Arcane or Divine skill; the printed version is a typo.


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elcoderdude wrote:

+1 to redeux. I'm a bit surprised that a rules lawyer* like Yewstance is arguing you can disregard the extremely straightforward rule that you can't start a scenario with a card in your deck that has a higher adventure deck number than your current tier.

I don't think an argument along the lines of "I am able to take a feat of this type, and this is the lowest AD card in my class deck of that type, so I must be able to put it in my deck in Guild play" holds any water. Paizo would have made Cure a B card in the Monk deck if they wanted Monks to take it before they reached tier 3. (How would Paizo otherwise indicate the spell shouldn't be taken prior to Tier 3? The card feat mechanism has no 'delay this feat until such-a-such a point' feature.)

Eh... in all fairness, I actually agree with redeux, I just don't want to agree. Not because I like Athnul (or CD Monks necessarily), but because locking out card feats as an option to players feels so... inelegant and unintuitive. I also kind of thought that the Monk Class Deck was a great example of teaching players about how the Hierarchy works and why, especially since it's the only situation that's likely to ever come up where players will pick a non-B basic card as per the Hierarchy rules. I suppose it still is, but I'm usually conscious of character or deck designs teaching specific rules early in an adventure, not AD3+.

But the rules are clear, but it should also be noted that I have a bit of a bone to pick with the Card Guild Guide already, so I have a bias against it of a sort.

Bones to pick:
My issues have just grown in quantity over time. Such as the poorly-defined or inconsistent card removal rules, especially when interpreted literally. Or the incomplete definition or coverage of rules to justify/explain rewards like 4-P1 and 4-P2 and how they actually interact with a dozen other mechanics, including Redemption Cards. Or how it doesn't have a single line suggesting that Honaire (Occult Adventures 1 Character Deck, Loot Ally) is actually limited to Estra, which doesn't seem intuitive but there's nothing stopping any other character from taking him as a deck upgrade as far as I can tell.

In short "Yes it's written that way and that's dumb", is my opinion.

If we're taking the RAW as gospel, I'd just like to make the off-topic reminder that you can absolutely acquire/draw and use the permanent feat-giving cards from WotR, as long as you don't encounter them (not that hard to avoid; draw them randomly from the box or acquire them with a card like Planchette or an effect like Dominate). I don't believe the Card Guild Guide is flawless, or has ever been. I don't believe the Rulebook is either, technically, but I believe it is much closer to the cohesive, accurate truth than the Guild Guide by quite a margin.

elcoderdude wrote:
*I mean this mostly positively, this time.

As opposed to other times? You wound me, elcordude! :)


Dulcee wrote:
Doppelschwert wrote:

What Yewstance says is true for the most part, but I think he vastly underestimated the spells.

Athnul can learn to properly use spells in both roles and besides Cure (which you automatically get back every time you banish it pre-role, since it's the lowest AD spell)

Three months late on this response (I haven't checked the ACG forums in a long time due to lack of new material), but it seems like a couple people in this thread are doing this wrong. And I could have sworn there was a discussion on this before, but I found nothing from a search.

Athnul can't put AD3 Cure in her deck pre-role*. The adventure card guild rules specifically say you can't have a card in your deck higher than your tier. So choosing spell as a card feat prior to tier 3 isn't legal because you can't make a legal deck (unless you use an Ultimate deck in combination with her).

* Unless of course your tier 3 scenario offers a card feat as a reward (which I can't recall any that do) or after receiving your card feat at tier 3, you choose not to level up to tier 4.

Card Guild Guide, for reference wrote:
A character can never begin a scenario with any card that has an adventure deck number higher than her tier.

I'm aware that the Card Guild Guide has that rule, but I'd be outright stunned if that was the intent that you actually are not allowed to pick a card feat for a character.

I would have thought that would have been overruled by the Hierarchy rules which clearly indicate how you must fill an empty slot of your deck. What if you reported that you're taking a Spell Card Feat and then later looked through your deck and found that the Cure at the front of the Spell pile has "3" written on it? I also find it hard to believe that the average player would think that a feat option is actually illegal despite being on the card.

I would argue that the Card Guild Guide instruction regarding higher-tier cards is an impossible instruction and should be ignored, rather than saying that backfilling an empty spell slot from the Hierarchy is an impossible instruction and should be ignored. And whilst not taking a Spell Card Feat solves both issues, I've never seen an effect that limits what boxes on a character card are able to be checked when a feat is given (as long as they're done sequentially, when necessary).

Especially because, as-written, you don't actually run afoul of any rule stated in the Card Guild Guide until you start a scenario. You're absolutely allowed to have cards of higher tier in your deck in-between. Actually, strict reading might suggest (especially the use of "never") that you're allowed to pick a Spell Card Feat, include AD3 Cure... and then be perma-banned from playing that Athnul. Oops.


Hannibal_pjv wrote:
For example flying carpet allows you to fly away if you spot triggering effect, so it seems plausible.

Flying Carpet worked similarly to Cape of Escape, but these are completely different; they state that you evade an encounter and then move, rather than simply moving whilst potentially still being in an encounter. That can lead to some very odd outcomes, as specific henchmen/rules in WotR brought up, and it was pretty actively avoided by the devs with just about every movement power I can think of.


James McKendrew wrote:
Yewstance wrote:

Going to add another one here, though it's more of a boon ruling that a character ruling.

The Witch Class Deck includes 6 Cohorts...

Not to nitpick (heh), but Cohorts aren't boons. They're support cards. (This actually came up last night playing WotR. A character was hoping to remove the Corrupted trait from a Cohort, but the effect power specified "boon".)

Fair point, and that's an interesting situation it could come up that I never considered. :)

To doubly nitpick, I did say it's more of a 'boon ruling' than a 'character ruling'. I think it's pretty safe to say that Cohorts behave a lot more like boons than like characters. I did, of course, phrase my original sentence in that way completely intentionally, and it didn't at all slip my mind that Cohorts aren't technically boons. Nope. Nosiree.

EDIT: Actually, re-reading my original post, I notice that I said that Flying Squirrel's power could only be used outside of an encounter, is that actually true? Virtually every move effect (that isn't at the start/end of a turn) in the game says "You may not play this card during an encounter" or "If you are not in an encounter, you may move", but it doesn't actually say that. Is that rules-significant?

It does seem like it would be relevant to move during an encounter in a number of circumstances. For example, to get away from a BYA or AYA area-of-effect damage power triggered by someone else. I also recall there being specific rules (brought up during WotR) if you're no longer at a location when an encounter there resolves. Is this intentional, or should the Flying Squirrel explicitly state that you cannot move during an encounter with it?


I'm also going to bring up this one.
Slacker2010 pointed out in this thread that a ruling on CD Imrijka's power implies (albeit very indirectly), or at least points out, that certain other powers are non-optional, when it may feel to some players that they should be.

  • Olenjack (from the Rogue Class Deck, both Roles) has powers that allows him, after passing certain checks, to "draw a card ([ ] and recharge a card)". Given that it was pointed out that the rules suggest this is a non-optional power, aren't those power feats weakening those powers significantly, not strengthening them?
  • For the record, I raised a similar point about CD Qualzar before, with his written card suggesting that when you change his evasion power's mechanics the new "place the evaded card on top of the deck" is non-optional. After I brought that up, it was FAQed to be optional, which is another insight into design intent here.

  • Nyctessa (from Hell's Vengeance 2, Undead Master role) has the power "When you defeat a monster and would banish it, you may draw it instead ([ ] then you may shuffle into your deck a random card from your discard pile).... In relation to Imrijka's ruling, as linked above, that suggests that you cannot heal yourself unless you choose to draw the monster, correct? What if you are able to banish the monster, but unable to draw it due to the Golden Rule (most notably, summoned monsters) - do you get the heal?


  • Going to add another one here, though it's more of a boon ruling that a character ruling.

    The Witch Class Deck includes 6 Cohorts that each serve 2 purposes. Each gives certain skills to the Witch when displayed (most importantly, giving them their critical Arcane Skill), and has a second power that they can topdeck themselves to use.

    Of these 6, Daji and Flying Squirrel have powers that could only be used outside of an encounter. Compsognathus has a power that is only useful during an encounter, but it will wait until after the encounter before topdecking itself.

    The remaining 3, however, have powers that are primarily (or solely) useful in combat, but would topdeck themselves before you got to recharge your spells in most cases, and some would even topdeck themselves before you assemble your dice. Because topdecking them causes you to lose your Arcane skill, these lead them to have powers that is either critically hampered, or outright left unusable, for characters who fight with spells... which is the main point of Witches (who don't even have weapon slots). Specifically, this is a problem for Kasmir, due to various other aspects of the remaining characters in the Class Deck and the cohort mechanics. To be specific...

  • Centipede topdecks itself after you use it to add a boost to your combat check, as soon as the check resolves. By the rulebook, this means it will no longer be displayed by the time you get to recharge your spell, ensuring that any attack spell you use will be banished in the process. Is this intentional?

  • Snapping Turtle topdecks itself immediately to protect you from damage. If you used it on BYA damage, you would have no spellcasting ability for the check. If you used it on damage taken by failing combat, you will have no spellcasting ability for your recharge checks, causing you to banish any used spell. Is this intentional?

  • Flesh Poppet topdecks itself immediately to add to your combat check, once again costing your your spellcasting skills. If you use this, you will have no Arcane or Divine skill for your attack spell (leaving you with 1d4) and will have to banish any attack spell used. Is this intentional?

    -----

    There's a bit more to it than what I've listed, but the point remains is that - specifically for Kasmir - half of the cohorts he's able to use have almost unplayable core powers, as using any of them would remove his only means of combat (which is also the only time, generally, they would be usable in the first place). Over Discord, both Hawkmoon and skizzerz have expressed the opinion that this is likely not the design intent, but I've found no clarification on the matter by an official source, hence the ruling required.


  • Same issue with this table of mine.


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    I soloed (with definite difficulty) Olenjack through 5-1, requiring a couple of replays. Indeed, the common immunities to Poison were a significant pain, and I also hope that they either do not continue or, alternatively, there becomes a scenario/adventure reward that allows you to ignore undead immunities at some cost.

    As of now, poison-based Zadim and poison-based Olenjack are two characters I'm particularly interested in trying out right now (hence my current PFSACG Olenjack), but methods of overruling immunities to poison are extremely rare, especially pre-Role. It kind of hurts because in a lot of cases I don't consider the benefits of a poison-specialisation to be particularly high (depending on the character) in the first place, especially since it tends to demand a portion of your hand size be dedicated to the poisons themselves. To have a season (outside of the already undead-heavy, but also weapon poison and thematic boon-heavy, Mummy's Mask) feature it heavily might be increasingly awkward.

    More weaknesses of the Poisons mechanic, in my opinion, and as an aside:
    (Note, I just largely go on a rant or ramble here, but it does tangentially explain my point that poisons are already a mechanic set that has been awkward from the start and hardly needs another kick in the teeth.)

    Most characters with Poison-based mechanics feels incomplete to me when built around it, which is a shame because I really like the idea both flavorfully and mechanically. The latest - the Ninja, Reiko - feels the strongest in several elements, but the other three characters of note are Zadim, Olenjack and Emil. There's some other characters with light reference to it (MM Damiel and Wu Shen, for example), but none that would utilise or ever be dependant on weapon poisons in the same way that Zadim, Olenjack and Emil would be, at least with the right feats and Role choices.

  • Tears of Death (Boon): This boon really confuses me. It acts similar to the weapon poisons (Wyvern Poison, Embalming Fluid, Bloodroot Poison, etc) that this archetype is largely built around, with two differences. One, it can add non-Poison traits to your check. Two, it has the Alchemical trait (so does Embalming Fluid, but nevermind that). Three, it doesn't actually risk burying cards from the top of your deck, but rather hits you with poison damage and costs you your discard pile.
  • However, adding non-poison traits is very rarely helpful, because the card itself still has the Poison trait, and so is an illegal play against poison-immune enemies. There isn't truly a character who would be likely to use it and gains the benefit of the Alchemical trait on a card that's merely revealed, and there's no characters but Olenjack that can viably interact with it's "Poison Damage and bury your discard pile" consequence since the Zadim FAQ hit. And the Olenjack synergy has its own problem, as I'll get to. It feels like everything that makes it distinct or unusual also makes it either worse than other poisons (Wyvern Poison) or simply removes synergies without actually adding any. I think the only synergy of note I could really think of was the Cold and Acid synergy with Channa Ti or the Poison Damage synergy with Radovan - again, discounting Olenjack. We'll get to him.
  • To summarize; I don't see the point. It's a poison that either doesn't synergize very well with the poison-specialists, and is awful for almost anyone else.

  • Olenjack: Olenjack is in an awkward spot. For one thing, he has a post-role power feat that is almost triple the power level of Zadim's post-role poison-based power feats. He can turn cards buried from poisons straight into recharges and ignore poison damage dealt to him with a single power feat. He can't get around poison immunity (either with his Class Deck, and there's also almost no cards to help with that in Ultimate Add-On decks), but that's okay since he's able to evade and he's not supposed to be a versatile combatant.
  • However, the FAQ that applied to Zadim to prevent Tears of Death from being a full heal has not been applied to him, leading to the almost certainly unintentional combo working full well for him. Tears of Death is further available in Ultimate Equipment - a class deck that both featured poisons and Rogue-based tools - so I find it nigh-incomprehensible that Olenjack was not considered when designing Ultimate Equipment nor when FAQing that power of Zadim. But nor can I believe that he's supposed to be able to full-heal himself (and ignore Poison damage) by revealing Tears of Death immediately post-role.
  • Otherwise, no real complaints.

  • Emil: I really dislike Emil's design relative to his class deck. Besides already being pretty visibly weak compared to the other two HV2 characters, he specializes in cards that have the Poison trait, and not a single power on any of his cards benefits from simply having the poison trait on his checks. He can play a weapon poison and then choose to ignore the trait or immunities to it. He could play a weapon that inherently has the Poison trait (like Blowgun) and do the same. But he cannot play and discard/recharge a weapon that would only add Poison to the check, like Venomous Dagger and Venomous Heavy Crossbow, and get one sliver of an added benefit from any power on any of his roles or core card.
  • That's not inherently a problem, but it becomes one with the class deck design. Hell's Vengeance 2 features 22 weapons, with 6 weapons (27%) that can add the Poison trait to combat checks (or have that trait) and 1 weapon that inherently has the Poison trait. I don't really understand why those 5 other weapons are there, when he explicitly has no synergy with any of them (and most have no synergy with the Inquisitor or Wizard characters also in the set, except incidentally). Nor can he use a weapon poison with these cards to then get around poison immunity, since you have to choose how you're playing your weapon before using additional cards like a weapon poison. Again, he gets no benefit from adding the poison trait to his checks; the only benefit in terms of boons you get when your check has the poison trait is a single blessing (Blessing of Urgathoa) that becomes a tiny bit better.
  • And if the only benefit to Emil for using any of these poison weapons (which are primarily ranged weapons that are junk in the hands of the other characters of the set), then that's an even bigger failing because Emil is an expert at using the various Corrupted blessings of the set, which are all much more powerful than Blessing of Urgathoa even if he always had the Poison trait.
  • His role designs are similarly... bizarre. Red Mantis Assassin can discard a weapon for a poison attack (that, again, you cannot ignore immunities with his power due to the aforementioned rules), with an additional benefit with Sawtooth Sabre. Not an inherent problem, except it disallows him from using the actual item-based poisons in the deck that require the use of a weapon (which is all of them!) that is strongly encouraged by his core character power. Furthermore, he can spend another power feat so that the power gets a very small additional synergy if you discard a weapon with the Poison trait. Again, there's only 1 of those in the entire Class Deck, so you're spending an entire power feat to get to recharge instead of discard a single card that might not really ever be worth doing either for.
  • Just to add insult to injury? The 1 poison weapon in the set is actually a Melee weapon, and Emil is a Ranged combatant. Oh, yes, he can get the Melee skill... using his other Role card, further inhibiting any potential reason to even care that it has the trait. Ever.
  • Almost every single power he has that cares about the Poison trait is inhibited by the Class Deck boons or by a different power of his. You have to jump through so many hoops to gain any benefit from his powers beyond the simple, obvious weapon-poison synergy he has, and each power feat after the first is generally of very low impact to him, almost regardless of role.
  • Oh, and one of his roles can spend a power feat to decrease Poison damage dealt to him by 2, and then 4. Slightly synergistic with Tears of Death, but multiple other characters (Radovan, Olenjack, etc) can spend a power feat to make themselves immune to Poison, so having two feats that individually protect against a small amount of one of the less common damage types from enemies is absurdly weak.
  • I really just can't get over how there's a bunch of poison-themed stuff (a blessing, various weapons, a basic spell) in the class deck that don't work with the poison-themed assassin that comes with it, nor the other two characters. He's a pretty fine Corrupted boons expert who also happens to use poisons along with his weapons, but no matter how you build him there's just a wide series of awful, awful power feats and a huge bunch of boons in the character deck (mostly the poison-themed ones) which are pretty junk for everyone involved. Bizarre.
  • To doubly-clarify, he's not weak. He's basically Zelhara that trades spells and support for a bit more combat power with Weapon Poisons. I just don't know why each role have half of their power feats be so counter-intuitive, weak or harmful to his normal strategies, and I don't know why there's so many boons in the Class Deck that would never meaningfully work with him, even though they're visibly supposed to.

  • (Posting as just Yewstance intentionally here)

    Ah, yes; I wasn't counting and neglected to notice as I caught up quickly that there was no monster. I also neglected to really remember that you could use the Vault of Hidden Wisdom, since the overall majority of characters lack either skill for it so I often see it go unused.

    All in all, because I foolishly overlooked two elements when scanning over the details, I completely missed the significant contextual elements that would've led my decision to match yours.

    More Shrieking Plant stuff:
    In almost any other example - including if you couldn't utilize the Vault's power, even if there was a monster left in the deck - I would almost always go for the examine 3, though. A big factor is that I feel like the odds that I would find a barrier that my character was very poorly suited to fight or an excellent boon that my character wasn't suited to acquire in the top 3 cards are greater than the odds that the sole remaining barrier was a particularly hazardous Trigger.

    Besides Void Glyph, there aren't many barriers with the Trigger trait overall, and none that are particularly bad in my opinion. Several, like the First/Second/Third Law, are just free explores when examined (since you'd have to explore them and get the same effect anyway), some are harmless (like Malfunctioning Deathtrap) and some are non-impactful and also free explores (like The Evil Eye). Regarding that last one, note that I have a pretty hard and fast disregard for Curses, since I find most of them pretty light.

    Curse of Daybane, as long as you're not in a very small party, is only causing any effect a fraction of a time for a fraction of the party. Curse of Vulnerability only does anything if you have an armor and take damage of certain types that you would otherwise be able to reduce. Curse of the Ravenous... well I'd say you need to have a stuffed discard pile and bad luck and the intent to heal later and a few turns left for it to do much bad... but in Seoni's case it's actually a legitimately terrifying Curse due to her reliance on her discard pile, so that changes that.

    Any other curse is varying degrees of bad, though, of course.

    All in all; I missed the key elements, and I fully agree with your decision. I will generally continue to let that think fail and provide me what would normally be considered a highly beneficial effect in most cases, naturally.


    You're correct; there's nothing saying you can't select an upgrade higher than your tier. But since you can't start a scenario with a card of a higher AD# than your tier, I would imagine you'd treat any as banished and replace them as per the Hierarchy (which is the fix, unless you can take back your choice, such as if you haven't started another scenario yet).

    It's probably an oversight in the Card Guild Guide - not the only one - but it's reasonably well-defined.


    Oloch's fine, especially in a small party where he can most frequently reset his hand and happily provide (in the later game) +10 or more as static bonuses to any checks he wishes. He's fantastic at allowing characters to pass checks (like Survival checks against ships) that they'd normally never be able to.

    On his own turns, however, he has a very narrow focus and limited ability to explore much; but his support ability has always been extremely helpful in my experience.


    Frencois wrote:
    wkover wrote:
    For us it was partly a RAW vs. RAI issue...

    Mike made it clear that RAI means nothing in PACG :-)

    "The cards say what they say"

    Careful, that means you can't activate powers between explorations in PACG - at least not more than once. For example, if you're S&S Alahazra, you can't recharge 2 divine cards to examine two locations, because you're not "In-between steps", RAW. Nor could you examine a location, explore, then examine another location - you're all in one step, and the rules say you can only play a card or power once in a step.

    The RAI is explicitly different to that, mind, where Vic has pointed out that taking a new exploration is creating a 'new' explore step, but that is not stated in the rulebook at all. Which means a lot of people are breaking the rules by using cards and powers as they were largely meant to be played.

    ----

    Race Dorsey wrote:
    I don't necessarily agree that a reward should be nerfed for 100+ characters so that 2 characters can use their power feats in an arguably sub-optimal way. Regardless, my biggest concern for allowing multiple cards being added into your deck from a single instance of plunder is abuse. I am glad that the current reward phrasing limits it to 1 card and makes you consider the trade-off of whether or not you want to stash plunder card(s) or get a basic boon into your deck.

    That's fair, and I think I'll actually take back a lot of what I said. Plunder potentially is a bit more valuable in PFSACG, and there are definitely some occasions where you are given a metric ton of Plunder cards in a short amount of time.

    Furthermore, taking Plunder cards as normal becomes a bit stronger (and taking Basics from the box a bit weaker) as the game goes on, so the post-role powers that interact with gaining more Plunder cards aren't really changed much at all.

    Yeah, I think I've pretty quickly done a 180 on this. I'm convinced and retract my previous statements, largely. I still think that multiple S&S core mechanics were incredibly underwhelming in my playthrough of the base set, but that's just more of a reason to emphasise them in this Season such as with this reward.


    Firstly, I would not encourage power-gaming with Balazar; both versions of him are already very powerful characters in the right hands, and hardly need the support!

    Also, you're debatably not supposed to change Cohorts on the fly; I recommend picking one version of Padrig and stick to him. At least, that's pretty clear when playing with PFSACG/OP rules, since you literally replace the named card in your box with the one from the base set when building the character, if you so choose. In a home game, you can do whatever you want, in truth.

    ------

    With that said, I generally consider WotR Padrig a stronger Cohort, though not objectively. But let's look at the comparisons from the perspective of CD Balazar.

    COMBAT:

  • CD Padrig: 2d10+AD# (at best), eventually 2d12+AD#.
  • WotR Padrig: 1d12+1d4+AD#+STR/CHA Feats + Additional Bonuses.

    As soon as you get any skill feat, WotR Padrig starts pulling ahead in simple combat terms - admittedly at the cost of topdecking a card. Furthermore, CD Balazar is much more adept at drawing multiple monsters into his hand than WotR, since he can recharge spells for monsters - this allows you to feed large numbers of monster's to CD Padrig's ability for a bunch of 1d4s/1d6s with great ease.

    Additionally, there are other ways of utilising WotR Padrig in combat that aren't possible with CD Padrig. Depending on what your base set and class decks are, these may change around, but at the very least there's this...

    COMBAT, ADDENDUM:

  • Any non-Weapon means of enhancing a Strength check work fine. In particular, since you're playing Mummy's Mask, you can use the AD2 Loot Ally Neferekhu to use your Strength+1d8 in combat, and then use WotR Padrig on top of that for yet another +4.5 average!

    -----

    Whilst it does require a small cost with each combat (though note that Balazar should draw monsters from finishing combat anyway, which partially offsets the cost), I think it's pretty safe to say that WotR Padrig is much stronger in combat than its CD equivalent. So what about non-combat?

    NON-COMBAT:

  • CD Padrig can allow you to slot in your Arcane skill for non-combat Strength or Fortitude checks at the cost of a card recharge.
  • WotR Padrig can't support your Fortitude checks, but gives a larger bonus to any of your Strength checks, combat or not. Arcane+Strength+monsters banished.
  • CD Padrig gives you the edge in Fortitude checks, which is most frequently useful in preventing BYA damage and acquiring armor. Note that CD Balazar can prevent damage really well by banishing a single monster anyway, so it's likely that the only area in which the CD Padrig will consistently help CD Balazar in will be acquiring Armors.

    -----

    There are other things to consider. WotR Balazar has a role card that allows him to use his Strength skill for various other checks, each of which enables him to use Padrig for an incredible boost and versatility. CD Balazar can usually pass combat checks by banishing a decent monster with his own power, so having his Padrig also do that is not necessarily a big requirement.

    On the whole, though, WotR Padrig gives you better Strength checks (both combat and noncombat), opens you up to more non-weapon forms of combat whilst still boosting you and gives you higher combat rolls, and generally gets my strong vote.
    CD Padrig is more card-conscious if you're getting into strings of combat checks, and allows you to pass Fortitude checks.

    And yes, CD Padrig is a better carrier of blessings (assuming you're not post-role WotR Balazar where you can enhance the value of Blessings anyway) in combat (and in noncombat Strength), but I don't think Balazar will almost ever use blessings in combat; his average power is quite high, scales well and you'd probably rather burn monsters (which are easily gained by recharging Spells) to WotR Padrig's power rather than discard blessings if you want to get the most of your resources.


  • Oh, sorry. No matter which character I play, I'll not be playing for Tier Credit.

    Let me know if you need my character choice ASAP, but I was hoping to see our last player's character choice. If you absolutely need me to make a decision now, then I'll be playing Olenjack, as mentioned. I plan to finish soloing my character and providing a Chronicle Sheet over the next 2-3 days, at the latest.


    Sharing an Opinion:
    I must admit that's a bit disappointing, even though it makes the reward better.

    S&S will remain in the minds of the people I play with IRL as the set of wasted mechanics. The ship movement and damage mechanics were sufficient, but the actual functional differences of commanding ships were effectively wasted. By playing as a 6-character team, there was no effects worth burning a card from the blessings deck to use, and so the overwhelming majority of ships were identical to every other ship in our hands. Even the damage mechanics were largely nullified since we could easily discard cards if needed, and we had Jirelle in play and only took ships with passive damage resistance since we never used their activated powers.

    Plunder was almost an entire non-event for almost every scenario of the 35 or so included in the S&S AP. Besides some particularly plunder-heavy scenarios (when fighting numerous ships and the like), we almost never drew useful cards from Plunder, either because they were of undesirable boon types, playstyles or, more frequently, of undesirable AD#s. This is a critical weakness of the "help players progress" mechanic that Plunder was supposed to be that was solved entirely with the Trader mechanic in Mummy's Mask.

    Nevertheless, as a result, plunder-centric mechanics among S&S characters (such as "add or subtract 1 from your Plunder roll" or "stash an extra plunder card") were already weak uses of power feats. I would have strongly hoped that Season 5 would have improved the value of Plunder in various ways in ways that would support the use of these bad character powers, rather than weaken them further.

    As-written, choosing to shuffle a basic blessing or a Cure or something into someone's deck will take the place of stashing one or more Plunder cards, and as a result will nullify these already-weak (or at least incredibly narrow) character powers. It has made acquiring Plunder better, which is admirable; but it's made powers caring about Plunder weaker.

    I would have much preferred if it was written like this:

    For the rest of the Adventure Path, when you would stash any number of plunder cards; instead of drawing each card of the corresponding type from the box, any character may instead choose a Basic boon of that type from the game box and shuffle it into his deck.

    That means that character powers that cause you to acquire more than one Plunder card at a time, or modify the Plunder Table roll, will actually be potentially decent in this Season, rather than even weaker than they already were (which was impressively weak...).


    Still not sure which character I'll end up playing without seeing the fourth member of the team, but as I'm inclined towards Olenjack I've been soloing some scenarios to prepare him in case he's chosen.

    If Olenjack's my character, my preference will be for 9-00A. If Zadim's my chosen character, it'll be 9-00B. If I pick someone else, I'll need to decide at that time. Of course, I'll go with the group consensus!


    Well Season 5-1 being released is a fortuitous time to Tier-Up whoever I want to use. I'm leaning towards either Olenjack (Rogue CD) or Zadim (Inquisitor CD), and will be finalizing my choice over the weekend.

    My decision is still partially reliant on seeing what Marjim picks... but I'm inclined a bit more towards Olenjack when we have Oloch in the party. Olenjack provides potentially rapid explorations and strong versatility in everything but combat, and being able to hand those off to Oloch would be valuable.


    Shnik wrote:

    Available now!

    http://paizo.com/products/btpya22e?Pathfinder-Society-Adventure-Card-Guild- 5-1-Threads-Unravel

    Thank you! I was waiting for this and hoping it would hit long enough before the Gameday special to tier-up a PACG character with.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Agent Eclipse wrote:
    Your game knowledge is such a big boon in the other game I am playing with you.

    That's a really generous way of saying "Yewstance, you are the most literal-minded, nitpicky player of a card game I have ever met".

    Thanks, though. I'll be good and rein myself in, though; this special is all about having fun (well, the entire game is for that purpose, but let's not get hung up on that). :)

    P.S. You're able to re-use any character you've already got (from Tier 1, 2 or 3). Characters that play in this special can choose not to advance in Tier (but still get other rewards), and can then move onto other seasons or back to the one they were in, whatever you want.

    You can't use a character in two games at the same time, but otherwise you can jump back and forth between seasons and events as much as you want, as long as you're of a legal tier. No carrying Loot across, though.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Parody wrote:
    Carry on with the nitpicking.

    Literally my greatest skill!

    Spoiler:
    My parents must be so proud.


    Parody wrote:
    Yewstance wrote:
    How can The Asmodean Discplines (HV1) redeem itself?
    Note that in Guild Play, you don't need to have the card to redeem it. (Page 9 of the Guide to the Guild 5.0.)

    I've never heard of this before! Could you please reference the specific rule in question? Because my reading of the Card Guild Guide does not align with that.

    Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild Guide, Page 9 wrote:

    Redeeming Cards

    If your character deck includes a redemption card, when you are allowed to redeem a card, choose one of your cards that’s listed on that card and check it off. In any scenario that character plays, cards checked off on that redemption card no longer have the Corrupted trait.
    Mummy's Mask Rulebook, Page 9 wrote:
    Your cards include your deck, the cards in your hand and your buried, discarded, and displayed cards.

    Note that that passage in the rulebook (most notably the strict rules meaning of "Your cards") was explicitly referenced by a Wrath of the Righteous FAQ, which was made specifically to clarify to players that you can only redeem cards you have in your deck (or otherwise displayed/discarded/etc).


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I don't know the scenario power of the top of my head, so I can't answer the second question (though note that Scenario powers overrule card powers if there's an explicit conflict, as explained in the Golden Rule textbox towards the start of the Mummy's Mask rulebook).

    To answer your first question, however, Loot cards are automatically acquired when encountered. I think this is in the rulebook, perhaps under the Boon Types section. Sorry I can't reference a specific passage right now; I'll check when I get time so I can give references.


    Slacker2010 wrote:
    Yewstance wrote:
    A long-winded thread ultimately came to the official conclusion that "Varril's replace-any-skill-with-Divine" power could not be used with a weapon, because you may only use one power or effect to define what skill you're using on a check.
    Yewstance wrote:
    Rivani and Zelhara were explicitly overruled by an official source in the forums (as in, the intent was not in line with RAW), but Mother Myrtle and Weapon Master Valeros (as well as, possibly, other characters) are left in an awkward gray area that hasn't actually been clarified yet, and are awaiting a ruling. Really, none of the 5 listed characters (Varril, Valeros, Rivani, Zelhara, Mother Myrtle) have been given a ruling in a FAQ, so it's still only semi-official one way or another. RAW, none of their powers are useful in combat (except weaponless Varril), despite that contradicting the design intent of an unknown number of them.

    Do you have references? If it was the following post HERE , then I wouldn't call that official conclusion. It is the way they are leaning on a ruling, but as far as I know they have not made an official ruling.

    Now that I'm done playing devils advocate, I'm not sure it is as much an issue with Varril anymore with the additional of the ultimate decks.

    @Yewstance - The list above is an amazing collection. Good work.

    Thanks!

    And good point! It's fair to say that it's not really an official ruling, but it is an official stating that they are leaning towards one outcome, and having heard no contradicting/conflicting statement that I can find makes it seem like it's the only answer the community could feasibly interpret to be true.

    A rather more explicit ruling, or at least stated design intent, was pretty objectively given with Rivani at least, a character that was released around the same time as Zelhara, with both characters (in terms of artwork, class deck boons and wording) pretty clearly indicating that they're supposed to be proficient with the weapons listed in their powers, regardless of anything else.

    By the way; the Alahazra infinite-combo also applies with Ring of Climbing, which has the same text as the post-FAQ Climber's Gloves, or at least the relevant power thereof.

    I've also got a series of my own personal hangups that I didn't list above because they don't represent exploits or unclear or nonexistent rulings, but rather corner-case scenarios, PFSACG exploits/questions and apparently bad/useless cards. Summarised below.

    Various other questions (Corner Cases, Class Deck and PFSACG-centric):
  • When you use Codex of Conversations (Ultimate Magic), are you making a check "against" an ally or "against" the item, or both? Do you add the traits from both checks to it, what card type are you against? If it's a "check to acquire" the ally, can it trigger cards that occur when you acquire an ally, even though you're not acquiring it? These could seriously impact how certain characters may interact with these checks.

  • PFSACG Scenario Rewards for 4-P1 and 4-P2 raise so many questions it's hard to begin.
  • How do Redemption Cards work for temporary characters; and what if your original character has a Redemption Card?
  • If you're building a deck not by the Hierarchy, but based on your Deck Upgrades, then there's no way to retroactively delete a taken Deck Upgrade, right? That seems like there's nothing stopping substitute characters simply banishing whatever cards they like, then re-adding them to their deck the next time you use them. Combined with being able to rebuild their feat allocations on the fly, they seem objectively better than playing normal characters by quite a margin.

  • PFSACG rules state that if a card has a power that requires you to remove it from the game to use, you should replace that card with a random card from the box whenever it's encountered. This is clearly to prevent PFSACG characters from gaining bonus feats with the WotR cards that let you gain them, which is particularly important given that you wouldn't necessarily continue to play with a single person's Base Set/box with an OP character. However, preventing you from encountering them does nothing to stop you from randomly drawing such cards from the box or drawing them from your location deck; there are a number of ways to gather cards without encountering them! (Planchette, a basic item from the Occult Adventures 1 Character Deck, comes immediately to mind; but there's certainly a handful of character powers that can draw random items from the box, too)
  • Clearly it's unintentional, but the RAW do not cohesively forbid characters from stealing extra feats through these kinds of play. What's made even weirder is that the wording for replacing Basic/Elite cards during high-tier play never uses the word 'Encounter', and pretty clearly allows you to just replace them on the fly whenever you would see them, flip them over or otherwise draw or use them, and why the wording is different for the Remove-From-Game cards baffles me.

  • The Tyrant role of Urgraz and Book of the Damned alone is way too powerful, such that I'm not sure why they printed it and feel I must be missing something. Redemption applies to the whole party (clarified on close reading of the Redemption rules in PFSACG as well), so there's nothing stopping you from passing the redeemed Book to a player at your location, having them banish it to add Xd4 blessings back into the Blessings deck (where X = Number of Players), and then using your Tyrant power to add the Book of the Damned back into your own hand. To say nothing of the 'recharge instead of banish' exploit with Mother Myrtle.

  • How does "Before you play this card, if this card has the Corrupted trait, do X" be prevented by powers that say "when you play a card with the Corrupted trait, you may ignore the Corrupted trait on that card"? That seems to be the universal opinion, but I'm not certain as to how that even works.

  • Various questions as to what is and isn't considered 'directly affecting' a check. Can you banish a Curse of Vulnerability when you take damage so that you can play an armor? Can you play Caustic Fog and deal yourself 1 damage to add 1d8 to a check once you're in an encounter? I would answer "No" to both from literal interpretation of "only play cards that are relevant to the check you're making", but I think I'm in the minority, and I would argue it's poorly-defined in the rules.

  • Various seemingly-useless cards, like Holy Phylactery (WotR). Holy Phlactery can, admittedly, allow you to ignore the corrupted trait on a blessing you play or on top of the blessings discard pile, but that's an extremely weak effect for a discard power on an item and that appears to be all you can do with it; you generally can't prevent Corrupted penalties from using a weapon, because you have to use a Weapon before playing other cards, right?
  • This 'sequencing' limitation was compared by Hawkmoon to the Mythic Archmage issue, where Mythic Archmage allows you to ignore immunities by using its power... which could only be used after you've played the card that defined which skill you're using for a check (presumably, a spell), rendering the ability to ignore immunities completely useless. Both Holy Phlyactery and Mythic Archmage seem to imply an intent that you can use them earlier in a check than the rulebook suggests you're able to.

  • And more.
  • EDIT: Actually, I'm actually going to move one of the points I'd made in the spoiler above outside of it, because I think it's a pretty solid question to get clarification on. Admittedly, it centres around Redemption mechanics and only is relevant for a Class Deck boon, but it's still a pretty clear-cut question about a core set mechanic.

  • How can The Asmodean Discplines (HV1) redeem itself? The blog post announcing Hell's Vengeance, written by Mike Selinker, explicitly states that it can do so... but the rulebook says you play a card and go through its text sequentially. The rulebook raises an example, which points out that you would recharge Staff of Minor Healing, then recharge the healed card when using its power, but in this case doesn't that mean you would banish The Asmodean Disciplines and then redeem a card? You can't redeem a card that's not in your deck (or hand, discard pile, displayed or buried cards), as covered in the Wrath of the Righteous FAQ (among other places).


  • Pleasure to meet you all! Pleasure to play with you once again, Agent Eclipse!

    I'll be playing in the Special with a character I've played through up to Tier 2 in solo play; I was planning on soloing through 5-1 to do so but since the PDF isn't on sale yet I may have to scratch that, and I'd probably go with soloing through 1-1 instead.

    Question is; which character? I've got a few ideas to try, and some half-ready characters as-is, but I'd like to coordinate with the team if possible. I've got a large selection of Class Decks to pull from, as seen below.

    Owned Class Decks:
    *=Awaiting delivery of

    Rogue Class Deck
    Monk Class Deck
    Barbarian Class Deck
    Paladin Class Deck*
    Inquisitor Class Deck
    Gunslinger Class Deck*
    Alchemist Class Deck
    Warpriest Class Deck*
    Oracle Class Deck
    Witch Class Deck *
    Magus Class Deck
    Summoner Class Deck
    Hunter Class Deck
    Goblins Fight Character Deck
    Goblins Burn Character Deck
    Occult Adventures 1 Character Deck
    Occult Adventures 2 Character Deck
    Pathfinder Tales Character Deck
    Hell's Vengeance 1 Character Deck
    Hell's Vengeance 2 Character Deck
    Ultimate Combat Add-On Deck
    Ultimate Magic Add-On Deck
    Ultimate Intrigue Add-On Deck
    Ultimate Equipment Add-On Deck
    Ultimate Wilderness Add-On Deck

    I'll aim to pick a character that rounds out the team, but other than that I have a small interest in playing Olenjack or Zadim and going for a Poison-heavy strategy to put Ultimate Equipment through its paces from that angle. But if you have any particular interests as to a character or deck you'd like to see in action, or want to see how they may bounce off your own character's powers, just let me know!


    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    There's a few other characters which probably SHOULD get a FAQ, incidentally, but it's debatable how many of these are simply a matter of "Should" vs "Must". A few of these are more down to cards or general rules, too, rather than characters. Like I said, debatable.

    Off the top of my head, adding a few more...

  • Olenjack (Rogue CD), Spider Role has a power that allows him to ignore Poison Damage and recharge cards buried by Poison boon effects. Zadim (MM) had a FAQ that nerfed his similar (though significantly weaker) power, because it technically allowed him to full-heal from using the Tears of Death card, but no such FAQ applied to the much more powerful Olenjack power.
  • Note that Olenjack, even in OP, can use Tears of Death with ease thanks to Ultimate Equipment.

  • Reepazo's ability to add 1d6 and draw a card, even pre-role, with every single check she makes is probably far too powerful and probably not in line with design intent (see my proof-of-concept gameplay with her), but has not been touched.

  • Also, I can't find a conclusive FAQ that explicitly points out that you can't auto-pass Stealth, Fortitude, Acrobatics (etc) checks when you're using them in combat, as has been suggested. Some cards, like Potion of Fortitude and Potion of Vision, have been quietly retconned in print to say "Non-combat Fortitude/Stealth" checks, but there's plenty of older printings and non-retconned cards (like Boots of Elvenkind) that make things more confusing, and certainly suggest that some characters could consistently auto-pass combat with the right weapons or powers.

  • Several older characters have powers that refer to discarding, recharging or burying specific types of cards, without stating 'for their power'. Seltyiel (S&S), Marauder Role, for example, as well as Vika (Fighter CD), Blacksmith Role. This may be undesirable, due to how they can interact with other cards or effects, like taking damage or even using OP Mummy's Mask Trader rules.

  • Infinite combo technically exists between Alahazra (CD), Bride of the Sun Role, and the Climbers Gloves in the same class deck, with a FAQ existing that I think is supposed to close that hole, but doesn't seem to apply as the combo would usually turn up between steps, not during a step, and definitely not during a check.

  • The current (MM) Rulebook suggests that all explorations take place in a single step, and does not reflect statements made for some time that new explorations create a 'new' exploration step. As a result, you technically shouldn't be able to use the same powers (or cards, for that matter) more than once during or in-between explorations, which is definitely not in line with Rules as Intended.

  • Infinite combo with Skizza and Alchemist's Kit and various other alchemical cards, like Twitch Tonic, as described here, which is probably highly undesirable, mostly as it's an infinite-exploration combo that can't even be stopped by damage or hand-wipes due to its mechanic.

  • Probably some other things that I've forgotten for the time being.


  • The short answer is that, in my opinion, you're not making your characters overpowered by doing this. As long as you take the official PFSACG rules and only take one permanent card upgrade per scenario, based on the cards you acquired.

    By taking these rules, you tend to have a much greater chance that you'll find something to directly improve your character rather than the mishmash of boons you get in normal play. I personally feel like this somewhat limits the experience and your own personal creativity, but I can also understand the appeal of a more structured, defined 'progression' offered by the PFSACG rules.

    With that said, 'overpowered' is a relative term. The card upgrade rules are unlikely to seriously affect the game balance (except MAYBE in conjunction with Mummy's Mask Traders, depending on how you implement them), but which Class Decks you pick almost certainly will. If you play a Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, Sorcerer or even Druid Class Deck in Wrath of the Righteous or Mummy's Mask, you may find that your own Class Deck boons are quite measurably weaker than the cards in the actual box, and you may be playing with a weaker deck as a result. On the flipside, if you use Pathfinder Tales or Hell's Vengeance or an Ultimate Add-On deck in Rise of the Runelords, you're going to be playing with far stronger boons than the box will generally provide for you, with some exceptions.


    Stone Skin, then. Personally, Elemental Treaty is one of the two basic spells in MM I didn't remove, the other being Cure. Though we did have Ahmotep who exclusively utilised utility/non-attack spells and could recharge anything that didn't seem immediately helpful.


    I got some lucky early draws (hit Fly when I needed to, most importantly. I also repeatedly had amazing Wand of Detect Magic luck, though honestly it wouldn't have affected the progression of the scenario with or without that). Overall I think Reepazo was pretty lucky with that scenario, and I also burned blessings from the blessings deck with my Blessing of the Gobs cards.

    However; I'm quite certain that Reepazo could get turn 1 victories with the same deck, in various tier 2 scenarios, pretty consistently even without that luck. If anything, I was unlucky by encountering the villain as early as I did; seriously hampering my ability to draw up and prepare a big hand to start endlessly chaining together movement, explorations and cure spells with. And, of course, Reepazo would only get better and better with more AD2 cards, another card feat, and the traders or loot that players around the same point as her would actually have. On the whole, I still placed a lot of limitations on her; far more than Mother Myrtle (if only because of how early-game I tested Reepazo) and she still just had no real limit to what she could do.

    As an aside; I cannot stress enough how in favor I am of simply saying "bugform Reepazo doesn't add the Vermin traits to her checks" and calling it fixed. That would literally make her more fun to build a deck for and she'd still be strong, without being a fraction as broken as I demonstrated in my test. I also feel like that may have even been the designer's intent (for a few reasons), but that's pure speculation on my behalf.


    SUMMARY
    Once again; without Loot, without Traders, with only 2 AD2 boons in my deck, with barely any feats (2 skill, 2 power, 1 card), Reepazo is still able to clear a Tier 2 scenario on her first turn.

    However, I did eat 4 extra cards from the Blessings deck with my Blessings of the Gobs and The Shiny Bauble powers. However, I strongly believe that I could complete such a scenario with great ease even without using powers that ate from the blessings deck; I just used those effects because they made sense. The biggest weakness is needing Reepazo to start with some cards she can start drawing from and beating combat with with her mere 4 card starting hand.

    SO, REGARDING REEPAZO
    I'll be honest; I just think Reepazo is broken. Specifically the ability to draw a card every time she attempts a check that invokes the Vermin trait; a trait she can add to all of her checks. She's very similar to another Goblin promo character; Ekkie. Ekki ALSO features sort-of-infinite draw power, but has much worse stats, no magical ability (and thus, no real healing), the draw condition is much narrower and can never draw more cards than she spends (not counting acquiring cards, of course), unlike Reepazo's exceptional draw power.

    Encounters where you draw 0 cards are rare (but possible). Encounters where you draw 1 card is the expectation. In practice, however, drawing 2 or even 3 cards off a single encounter (or card use) is easy. Poisons, recharge checks, BYA checks, multiple checks to defeat; Reepazo actually often draws more cards and gains resources and momentum as her turn goes on, rather than losing it. She's weakest and slowest on her first exploration, then impossibly fast and strongest and able to indefinitely continue once she starts cycling like crazy by her third exploration or so!

    Take Locate Object as an example. Recharging it with some Wisdom feats and being in bugform (bonus 1d6) is easy. Acquiring boons (bonus 1d6) is also generally easy, which means usually it ends up doing more-or-less the following.
    "Reepazo recharges Locate Object, draws 2 cards (one from the recharge check, one from the check to acquire) from her deck, adds one additional card to her hand (acquired boon) and clears a card from the location deck (equivalent to an exploration)."

    A card that just said "recharge this card to explore your location and draw 2 cards" it wouldn't ever get past the editors, but that's largely what Locate Object is in Reepazo's hands.

    WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
    Not that much. Oh, with more AD2 and higher card upgrades she could have far better blessings (like Blessing of the Boss). In fact, Goblins Burn has multiple blessings that let you freely draw cards from your discard pile, allowing her to exploit Cures, Locate Objects or whatever else she wants even easier and make her draw-momentum even more consistent.

    As mentioned before we began, the Neferekhu ally is also a perfect fit; an ally that Reepazo can use in bugform, massively bolsters her Wisdom checks and proves even more draw power. In AD3 and beyond, Ultimate Magic starts offering 'cure'-variant spells that also clear off curses, allowing Neferekhu to chain together even more powerful effects. Such as...

    -Locate Object to effectively draw 2 cards, and encounter and possibly acquire a boon.
    -Use Neferekhu on the recharge check, drawing another card.
    -Use some other spell like Fly or Cure to draw another card. Use Neferekhu on the recharge check to draw another card.
    -Keep playing non-combat spells as much as you can (each one draws you 2 cards on use, so drawing your entire deck into your hand, if you so choose, shouldn't be that infeasible) then finish with Restorative Touch to heal you and clear your curse, and draw yet another card (or 2, if you want to use Neferekhu again).

    In higher tiers, with more card feats, more power feats and more cards to pick from; there's no end to the number of ways you can improve Reepazo... who can already turn-1 a scenario, so to what end I'm not really sure.

    WEAKNESSES OF THE STRATEGY
    Well, Reepazo's starting hand may not have the out-of-combat spells, or you may lack the support (or get unlucky dice) to take an early bunch of damage, therefore wasting a turn or two before you get started. But her small hand size, whilst a weakness in getting the combo started, also means that she isn't particularly vulnerable to anything too damaging until her combo starts working. Once her draw-combo is set up; you can hold all kinds of boons (armors, etc) and her evasion power up to keep her indefinitely safe.

    Oh, did I not mention she has a largely unconditional evasion power? Yeah, she has that too; I just didn't have the Power Feats for it.

    Honestly, I think Reepazo's probably more powerful than Myrtle. If I didn't have an Add-On deck, it'd have been way harder to get the same top-value noncombat spells to bolster her draw power, but quite frankly I think you could also achieve impressive turns with Goblins Burn alone that would leave any other goblin character in the dust.

    SUGGESTIONS FOR REBALANCE
    Reepazo's only weaknesses are her small normal hand size and her boon restrictions whilst in bugform... but once you can use Divine cards in bugform then virtually every card type is still available to you. In my deck, for example; Wand of Detect Magic and Armor of the Sands had the Divine trait; and you'd be spending her card feats on Spells and Blessings that (tend to) innately have the Divine trait anyway when playing as her. Allies are her hardest card type to utilise; since she has multiple slots of them; largely restricting her to the few Goblin allies in the Goblins Burn class deck, or the rare ally with the Poison trait here or there. Of course, one of her role cards can completely undo that weakness, too.

    Without the 'draw a card' power feat, I still think Reepazo is a bit strong with the added 1d6 to virtually everything, on top of having excellent stats with extremely useful 'unusual' skills (melee based on Dexterity negates the need for Strength in most cases, and Survival based off Charisma means that she can increase her skill at acquiring virtually all allies with one type of skill feat or skill boost). But, she certainly wouldn't be as broken as she is described here; and she would admittedly be held back by her small hand size, ESPECIALLY in the late-game. But her hand size is clearly a design consideration given her draw power, so how could that be worked around - if, indeed, we're looking to 'nerf' her?

    I think a better solution is to keep her ability to draw cards, but limit it in various ways. First and foremost, make it only work once per encounter.

    "When you attempt a check that invokes the Poison, Swarm, or Vermin trait, add 1d6 ([ ] and after the encounter, you may draw a card)."

    Alternatively, restrict her bonus 1d6s to checks to acquire and defeat, so it doesn't include recharge checks and things like Neferekhu.

    "When you attempt a check to acquire or a check to defeat that invokes the Poison, Swarm, or Vermin trait, add 1d6 ([ ] and after the encounter, you may draw a card)."

    Of course, it does weaken her synergy with Poison cards, like Poison spells and Poison grenades and the like, which it would make sense that non-bugform Reepazo should get bonuses with. Also, giving bonuses to all checks against a BANE invoking Poison/Swarm/Vermin makes sense to me, because it again reflects normal Reepazo's expertise. The thing is, that the "synergy with Poison" and "bonus against banes with these traits" is completely rendered invalid when bugform automatically triggers these bonuses all the time anyway.

    Perhaps the second power is actually completely fine, and her first power should just not add the Vermin traits to her checks? Instead, she could have the Vermin trait (as in, on her character card), but that won't cause invoking rules to occur. That would leave her with a compelling reason to continue playing cards that, for example, invoke Poison (they'd draw her cards and she'd get bonus dice with them), and would still allow her to expertly dispatch Vermin and the like, without letting her just infinitely draw and add 1d6s to everything.

    "When you encounter a card, you may display a boon that has the Divine Trait ([ ] and you may recharge a card displayed by this power to evade your encounter). While displayed, your Constitution and Dexterity dice are d12, and you may play only boons that have the Goblin, Melee, Poison, or Vermin ([ ] or Divine) trait; you gain the Vermin trait. At the end of any encounter, you may recharge all cards displayed by this power."

    That last alteration, I think, would actually render Reepazo SIGNIFICANTLY weaker. She won't be throwing extra 1d6s (or 2d6s) at everything, and won't be constantly drawing more cards than she spends... but she'd still be a potent force. Cards like Rain of Frogs and Cape of Wasps (both in Goblins Burn) would add the Poison trait to her combat checks, allowing her to add bonus 1d6s and draw bonus cards as long as she keeps getting into combat; which is no different than, for example, Estra (from Occult Adventures 1).

    Honestly, I think my preferred solution is to just stop her from adding the Vermin trait to all of her bugform checks for free. It even, kind of, feels like that was the original design intent, since it would give her a compelling reason to use the poison-themed cards in Goblins Burn, and makes it far more sensible that one of her role cards allows her to recharge a card to add the Vermin trait to her checks (which isn't 'infinite-combo' level broken at all, for a defining Role power; though it is certainly is very strong! "Recharge a card to draw a card and add 1d6 to your check"!). Right now the weaknesses of bugform are so few that the role card powers that give you more benefits outside of bugform, like that, seem hardly useful.


    CONTINUING SALIM'S BOTTED TURN.

    All other locations are temporarily closed.
    Salim encounters Xanesha.

    Xanesha:
    Villain 2
    Type: Monster
    Traits:
    Lamia
    To Defeat:
    Wisdom 10
    OR Combat 14
    THEN Combat 17
    If you fail a combat check, you may not play weapons or spells for the rest of the turn.
    Salim reveals The Melted Blade for the first combat check and additionally buries Sharper to add another 2d4.
    Salim additionally reveals Snakeskin Tunic to add 1.
    Urgraz recharges a Blessing of the Archdevils to add another die.
    {1d8+4 (Melee) + 2d4 (Melted Blade) + 2d4+3 (Melted Blade Owner power and buried boon) + 1 (Snakeskin Tunic) + 1d8 (Urgraz's blessing) == 2d8+4d4+8}

    Combat 14: 2d8 + 4d4 + 8 ⇒ (5, 7) + (3, 3, 1, 1) + 8 = 28 -> First Combat Check passed.

    Salim reveals and additionally discards The Melted Blade for the second combat check and additionally buries Cure to add another 2d4.
    Salim additionally reveals Snakeskin Tunic to add 1.
    Urgraz discards a Blessing of Mazmezz (recharging his final unused card to ignore the Corrupted trait) for its power to to add another 3 dice.

    Combat 17: 4d8 + 5d4 + 8 ⇒ (7, 3, 8, 7) + (3, 4, 3, 4, 1) + 8 = 48 -> Second Combat Check passed. Xanesha defeated!

    Xanesha is cornered and cannot escape.
    SCENARIO OVER, we win!

    Salim wrote:

    Hand: Snakeskin Tunic, Patrician's Armor, Court Knight, The Melted Blade,

    Displayed:
    Deck: 12 Discard: 0 Buried: 2
    Notes: We win! A copy to this Deck Handler can be found here for reference.
    Sideboard cards:

    Skills and Powers:
    SKILLS

    Strength d6 [ ]+1 [ ]+2
    Dexterity d8 [X] +1 [X] +2 [ ] +3 [ ] +4
    (Finesse) Melee: Dexterity +2
    Constitution d8 [ ] +1 [ ] +2 [ ] +3
    Intelligence d6 [ ] +1
    Knowledge: Intelligence +2
    Wisdom d6 [ ] +1 [ ] +2
    Divine: Wisdom +0
    Charisma d8 [X] +1 [ ] +2 [ ] +3
    Diplomacy: Charisma +2

    Die Bumps: 2
    Factions Favor: Grand Lodge [ ] You may check an unchecked box that precedes this reward to automatically succeed at your check to temporarily close a location.
    You may use this reward up to 2 additional times if you fulfill the following requirements. When you fulfill the requirement, check the box that precedes it; when you use the reward, cross that line off.
    [X] Acquire an ally that lists Diplomacy in its check to acquire.
    [ ] Close a location on the first turn of a scenario.
    Favored Card: Weapon
    Hand Size 5 [X] 6
    Proficient with: Weapons Light Armors
    Powers:
    When you defeat a monster on your turn, you may shuffle a random card from your discard pile into your deck. ([ ] If it is a weapon, you may put it on top of your deck instead)
    [X] Add 1d4 ([ ] 1d8) to your non-combat check against a bane.


    Elemental Treaty to the rescue! :D


    BOTTING FOR SALIM'S TURN.

    Salim starts his turn.
    Blessing of Lamashtu is discarded from the blessings deck.
    Salim moves to the Catacombs of Wrath, and takes his free exploration.

    Catacombs of Wrath Card 1: Xanesha (VILLAIN)

    Xanesha:
    Villain 2
    Type: Monster
    Traits:
    Lamia
    To Defeat:
    Wisdom 10
    OR Combat 14
    THEN Combat 17
    If you fail a combat check, you may not play weapons or spells for the rest of the turn.

    Pausing for temp-closing checks.

    Salim wrote:

    Hand: Sharper, Snakeskin Tunic, Patrician's Armor, Court Knight, The Melted Blade, Cure,

    Displayed:
    Deck: 12 Discard: 0 Buried: 0
    Notes:
    Sideboard cards:

    Skills and Powers:
    SKILLS

    Strength d6 [ ]+1 [ ]+2
    Dexterity d8 [X] +1 [X] +2 [ ] +3 [ ] +4
    (Finesse) Melee: Dexterity +2
    Constitution d8 [ ] +1 [ ] +2 [ ] +3
    Intelligence d6 [ ] +1
    Knowledge: Intelligence +2
    Wisdom d6 [ ] +1 [ ] +2
    Divine: Wisdom +0
    Charisma d8 [X] +1 [ ] +2 [ ] +3
    Diplomacy: Charisma +2

    Die Bumps: 2
    Factions Favor: Grand Lodge [ ] You may check an unchecked box that precedes this reward to automatically succeed at your check to temporarily close a location.
    You may use this reward up to 2 additional times if you fulfill the following requirements. When you fulfill the requirement, check the box that precedes it; when you use the reward, cross that line off.
    [X] Acquire an ally that lists Diplomacy in its check to acquire.
    [ ] Close a location on the first turn of a scenario.
    Favored Card: Weapon
    Hand Size 5 [X] 6
    Proficient with: Weapons Light Armors
    Powers:
    When you defeat a monster on your turn, you may shuffle a random card from your discard pile into your deck. ([ ] If it is a weapon, you may put it on top of your deck instead)
    [X] Add 1d4 ([ ] 1d8) to your non-combat check against a bane.


    There's a couple of oversights in the Card Guild Guide, first of all.

    For example, Redemption rules for temporary characters given by the Season 4 Promotional scenarios are entirely undefined, and there's actually other flaws with that particular reward which I've listed elsewhere.
    As another example, there's nothing saying you cannot use a Card Upgrade, or refill an empty deck slot, with a Loot card in the Class Deck (though there's only 1 Loot card in any class deck that I know of, and that's Honaire). Enjoy your Rivani or Meligaster with the powerful Honaire ally which is supposed to make up for Estra being a bit weaker to start with...
    As yet another example, it doesn't seem to ever define the order of Traders vs Loot cards for Seasons 3 and 4 (nor do the Seasons 3 or 4 adventure books).

    From my perspective, you're correct. Rules-as-Written, it seems that you only don't remove Basics if the following is true...

    Card Guild Guide, Page 13, Emphasis Added wrote:
    You may use the standard rules in the current rulebook for preparing the box, but the following options are designed to streamline your setup process.

    Which, strictly speaking, suggests that the "Following Option" is, well, an option.

    Card Guild Guide, Page 13, following description of alternative methods wrote:
    Don’t Remove Basic Blessings: Regardless of the method you use, do not remove blessings that have the Basic trait.

    So sure enough. It seems if you're using the standard rules you absolutely can banish blessings (though standard rules do say it's optional to do so). I'm not sure that's the intent, but that's how I would parse the rules-as-written. With that said, I do think there are faults with the rules and I suspect it would be more in line with the expectation of how OP is run that you avoid banishing basic blessings either way.


    MTG Rule consistency:
    (Speaking as a Level 0 Judge, so admitting bias)
    Oh, there's a few things like that in MTG in general; online and physical. I will, however, state that MTG has been perfectly consistent in its rules for well over a decade (with very rare, and very, very corner-case exceptions). But it has also had 24 years to hammer out the kinks. And the 'core rules', which can be taught in as little as 10-20 minutes, or a well-designed digital tutorial (as in various MTG digital games), will cover concepts that will describe any concept that will be necessary in play 99% of the time (unless you go straight into a tournament). That's my personal opinion... and it's a super biased one, as I've played the game for more than a decade.

    As for the Alahazra and Climber's Gloves... that's really annoying, because I'm almost certain the FAQ post for it is literally designed to cancel the super-powerful combo that would otherwise exist with a character in the class deck that has the item.

    ...Unfortunately, I don't think the FAQ fixes the problem.

    The problem with the FAQ:
    Class Deck FAQ wrote:


    Can Climber’s Gloves be used every time I shuffle a location deck?

    Not quite. It can only be used once per check or step.

    Resolution: On the item Climber’s Gloves, add the following sentence to the end of the second power: "You may not use this power more than once per check or step."

    I don't see why stating explicitly that it can only be used once per step prevents it from being used over and over between steps, which the rulebook even calls out as allowing you to play cards without restriction, and also infers strongly that 'between steps' is, by definition, not a step. So when Alahazra, Bride of the Sun role, has the power...

    Class Deck Alahazra wrote:
    When you examine 1 or more cards from a character or location deck, you may examine an additional card (□ and then you may shuffle that deck).

    I really don't see, mechanically, why she can't examine 2 cards in a location deck, shuffle it, examine the top 2 cards with Climbers Gloves, shuffle it, examine the top 2 cards with Climbers Gloves, shuffle it, ad nauseam. However, unlike a lot of the other combos I've pointed out otherwise, this is clearly one that we have pretty clear clarification is explicitly unintentional. It appears to be a faulty FAQ, which is very different to me than a card that doesn't have a FAQ clarifying it at all (like, say, how Olenjack is broken with Tears of Death, since he's not affected by the same FAQ that explicitly nerfed the much weaker power available to Zadim). At least the presence of the Climbers Gloves FAQ would immediately suggest to a player that they're not allowed to infinitely re-use it.

    (As an aside, it's not an easy FAQ to fix. There's some inelegant fixes that would explicitly call out the 'between steps' rule or use awkward temporary Display powers or even change Alahazra's power somehow. I could write up some things that would close the exploit, but they're all incredibly clumsy, and the intent is pretty clear, I'd argue.)


    @skizzerz
    I know of the post you're referring to, but I'm not sure where. I think it was Irgy, and basically described the hierarchy of resource trade-offs, and how once you can trade 'up' the hierarchy rather than 'down' you start to risk infinite combos, or at least abuse.

    Also, in continuing my previous post...
    In terms of 'problem combos', I forgot to list Reepazo. Whilst in Bug-Form, she can draw X cards in a turn, where X is the number of checks she makes (and there's a LOT of ways to make a lot of checks in a turn; spell recharge checks come to mind), and add 1d6 or 2d6 to every single check in the process. There's actually a few more interesting ways to abuse it...

    ...but I may never do a full-fledged test on that. I do not own Reepazo, probably won't spend money on her alone when I worry she might be overpowered in practice, and I will never play in a game (digital or not) if I know I don't rightfully own the product in question.


    BOTTING FOR SALIM'S TURN.

    Off turn: Salim discards Blessing of the Gods to add a die to Ezren's Knowledge check.

    Salim starts his turn.
    Blessing of Sarenrae is discarded from the blessings deck.
    Salim chooses not to move, and takes his free exploration.

    Catacombs of Wrath Card 1: Diseased Rats

    Diseased Rats:
    Monster 2
    Traits:
    Animal
    Elite
    Swarm
    To Defeat:
    Combat 11
    OR Dexterity
    Stealth 9
    If undefeated, the Diseased Rats deal no damage; instead, succeed at a Constitution or Fortitude 8 check or discard the top card of your deck.
    Salim reveals The Melted Blade, and is its owner.
    Combat 11: 1d8 + 4 + 2d4 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 4 + (2, 1) + 3 = 14 -> Diseased Rats defeated. Salim randomly shuffles Blessing of the Gods from his discard pile into his deck, clearing his recharged pile.

    Salim discards Sorrowsoul to explore his location, adding 1 to all 1s or 2s rolled on checks.
    Catacombs of Wrath Card 2: Potion of Healing

    Potion of Healing:
    Item B
    Traits:
    Alchemical
    Healing
    Liquid To Acquire:
    Intelligence
    Craft 5
    Banish this card and choose a character at your location. That character may shuffle 1d4 random cards from his discard pile into his deck.
    Spending a heal here will increase the quantity of allies in Salim's deck, which will help speed up explorations, so recharging Quick-Change Mask to use Diplomacy, and reveal Patrician's Armor to add 1.
    Intelligence/Diplomacy 5: 1d8 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 3 + 1 = 7 -> Potion of Healing acquired.

    Salim banishes Potion of Healing.
    Cards Healed: 1d4 ⇒ 3 -> All 3 cards (Dandy Brute, Merchant, Sorrowsoul) in Salim's discard pile are shuffled back into his deck, recharged pile cleared.

    Salim ends his turn and resets his hand.

    Salim wrote:

    Hand: Sharper, Snakeskin Tunic, Patrician's Armor, Court Knight, The Melted Blade, Cure,

    Displayed:
    Deck: 12 Discard: 0 Buried: 0
    Notes: Turn over! A copy to this Deck Handler can be found here for Nathan to copy from.
    Sideboard cards:

    Skills and Powers:
    SKILLS

    Strength d6 [ ]+1 [ ]+2
    Dexterity d8 [X] +1 [X] +2 [ ] +3 [ ] +4
    (Finesse) Melee: Dexterity +2
    Constitution d8 [ ] +1 [ ] +2 [ ] +3
    Intelligence d6 [ ] +1
    Knowledge: Intelligence +2
    Wisdom d6 [ ] +1 [ ] +2
    Divine: Wisdom +0
    Charisma d8 [X] +1 [ ] +2 [ ] +3
    Diplomacy: Charisma +2

    Die Bumps: 2
    Factions Favor: Grand Lodge [ ] You may check an unchecked box that precedes this reward to automatically succeed at your check to temporarily close a location.
    You may use this reward up to 2 additional times if you fulfill the following requirements. When you fulfill the requirement, check the box that precedes it; when you use the reward, cross that line off.
    [X] Acquire an ally that lists Diplomacy in its check to acquire.
    [ ] Close a location on the first turn of a scenario.
    Favored Card: Weapon
    Hand Size 5 [X] 6
    Proficient with: Weapons Light Armors
    Powers:
    When you defeat a monster on your turn, you may shuffle a random card from your discard pile into your deck. ([ ] If it is a weapon, you may put it on top of your deck instead)
    [X] Add 1d4 ([ ] 1d8) to your non-combat check against a bane.


    BOTTING FOR SALIM.
    Start-of-turn hand is as follows:

    Salim wrote:

    Hand: Sharper, Quick-Change Mask, Patrician's Armor, Striking Wing Scimitar, The Melted Blade, Candle of Comity,

    Displayed:
    Deck: 10 Discard: 1 Buried: 0
    Notes: Thanks for the botting instructions and card texts! Makes my life easier. ~Yewstance
    Sideboard cards:

    YEWSTANCE BOTTING SALIM'S TURN. BEEP BOOP.

    Salim starts his turn.
    Blessings deck have been shuffled with 3 from Holy Candle. There's 24 cards; if the dice rolls a 22, 23 or 24 then I'll pick a random blessing of the ones we've discarded.

    Salim's Hour: 1d24 ⇒ 13 -> Blessing of Iomedae discarded from the blessings deck.

    I could use Striking Wing Scimitar now to move to the Catacombs, but that would also move him in harms way of the end-of-turn Mental Damage. I'll take the best of both worlds.
    Salim moves back down to the Glassworks. Salim explores.

    Glassworks Card 1: Merchant

    Merchant:
    Ally 2
    Traits:
    Hireling
    Human To Acquire:
    Charisma
    Diplomacy 7
    Discard this card to give a card to another character at any location.
    Discard this card to explore your location.
    Reveal Patrician's Armor and recharge Candle of Comity for a bonus 1d8+1 in total.
    Diplomacy 7: 1d8 + 3 + 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 3 + (7) + 1 = 17 -> Merchant acquired.

    Discard Merchant to explore.
    Glassworks Card 2: Glaive

    Glaive:
    Weapon C
    Traits:
    2-Handed
    Elite
    Melee
    Polearm
    Slashing To Acquire:
    Strength
    Melee 9
    For your combat check, reveal this card to roll your Strength or Melee die + 1d10. If you aren't proficient with weapons, the difficulty of this check is increased by 4.
    If you fail a combat check with this weapon, you may discard this card to ignore the result and reroll the dice. You must take the second result.
    Choose not to acquire. Banished.

    Salim recharges Striking Wing Scimitar to move back to the Academy. On Ezren's next turn, he'll move over to the Catacombs and will have passed the 'dead zone'.
    Salim ends his turn and resets his hand.

    Salim wrote:

    Hand: Sharper, Quick-Change Mask, Patrician's Armor, Blessing of the Gods 1, The Melted Blade, Sorrowsoul,

    Displayed:
    Deck: 10 Discard: 2 Buried: 0
    Notes: Turn over! A copy to this Deck Handler can be found here for Nathan to copy from.
    Sideboard cards:

    Skills and Powers:
    SKILLS

    Strength d6 [ ]+1 [ ]+2
    Dexterity d8 [X] +1 [X] +2 [ ] +3 [ ] +4
    (Finesse) Melee: Dexterity +2
    Constitution d8 [ ] +1 [ ] +2 [ ] +3
    Intelligence d6 [ ] +1
    Knowledge: Intelligence +2
    Wisdom d6 [ ] +1 [ ] +2
    Divine: Wisdom +0
    Charisma d8 [X] +1 [ ] +2 [ ] +3
    Diplomacy: Charisma +2

    Die Bumps: 2
    Factions Favor: Grand Lodge [ ] You may check an unchecked box that precedes this reward to automatically succeed at your check to temporarily close a location.
    You may use this reward up to 2 additional times if you fulfill the following requirements. When you fulfill the requirement, check the box that precedes it; when you use the reward, cross that line off.
    [X] Acquire an ally that lists Diplomacy in its check to acquire.
    [ ] Close a location on the first turn of a scenario.
    Favored Card: Weapon
    Hand Size 5 [X] 6
    Proficient with: Weapons Light Armors
    Powers:
    When you defeat a monster on your turn, you may shuffle a random card from your discard pile into your deck. ([ ] If it is a weapon, you may put it on top of your deck instead)
    [X] Add 1d4 ([ ] 1d8) to your non-combat check against a bane.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    This is awesome on so many levels I can't begin to even describe. I am so much in support of this you have no idea, thank you!


    Keith Richmond wrote:

    I'd personally be very appreciative of letting me know any obviously broken interactions. I can't commit to any particular schedule, but I would like to be able to look at the new sets for next year and make sure nothing similar sneaks in. In fact, ideally it'd result in a codified list of things that cannot be allowed to happen or are really easy to look for.

    For example, we flag automagically for review anything at all that allows you to draw multiple cards, draw from your discard pile, or to heal non-random cards. Sometimes our desire to let an awesome card or character exist can outweigh our paranoia, though.

    One problem with catching infinite loops is that it requires a certain type of tester. Some of the designers are better at catching them (and some are better at writing them), but as noted above there's only so many of us.

    It is a feature of the game that not every character is perfectly balanced against each other. Figuring out who to play, with what cards, in what set, is one of the fun parts of the game! The characters should be close enough that reasonable play results in everyone enjoying the game, even if one of them has a character that is better at certain types of scenarios or certain sets of the game. There's also an implicit social contract in basically every RPG or RPG-based multiplayer product that roughly goes "If you make the game unfun for the other people at the table, they won't want to play with you. So, don't do that."

    I can think of a few; I know there are more, but these are some which more recently caught my interest.

    Skizza, and Alchemists in general:
    The Skizza+Alchemist's Kit (+Twitch Tonic, but really any alchemical item, of any card type, that lets you explore will work) has already been brought up on the forums. Alchemists in general are a huge contender, largely because of cards like Twitch Tonic, and the particularly generous means of searching out or re-using liquid cards.
    Codex of Conversations and Olenjack or OA1 Estra:
    Codex of Conversations is another big one. Characters like Olenjack or Occult Adventures Estra can draw cards when they pass Charisma checks, so every time you play an ally you can recharge it and draw a card; with a deck with enough allies, that can infinitely chain together explorations. With the right allies, that can chain together movements and bonus dice and huge combat bonuses in the process. "Examine, then you may explore" allies combined with allies that can be discarded to move means you can infinitely cycle, infinitely (optionally explore) and selectively encounter whatever you want, and are even sometimes possible in PFSACG with limited cards.

    The Loot Ally Neferekhu can further push these particular abilities further, since that lets you make a Diplomacy check every time you make a Wisdom check thanks to its own unique mechanics; when Charisma/Diplomacy checks turn into card draws, there's a very big risk of infinite-combos.

    This isn't as bad as the other ones, because it still has a reasonably large element of risk and is critically limited by having enough - and having the right allies. I plan to be testing this out with one of my actual PFSACG characters to see if it is actually a problem or not.

    The combo might become stronger, or weaker, if it's ever clarified whether a check to acquire an ally from Codex of Conversations is a check against the Codex, a check against the Ally, or both. What card type is being used in the check and what traits are invoked could make a number of differences to what's possible. I'm pretty sure there are character that refer to "checks against items" or "checks against allies".

    Urgraz, Tyrant, or Book of the Damned in general:
    Urgraz's Tyrant role (which can allow allies to ignore banish/bury costs, and there's nothing stopping you handing your allies your own cards to do so with) is rife with countless methods of potential abuse, with dozens of ways to refill the blessings deck endlessly with it, particularly alongside Book of the Damned in his own class deck. Because of PFSACG redemption rules, it's particularly easy to do in organised play. Book of the Damned is a big issue in general; if Mother Myrtle ever got her hand on it, she could infinitely and trivially ignore the 'banish' costs too, because it has the Divine trait and she can recharge discarded or banished divine cards, though she'd need to get around the Corrupted trait in a way that wouldn't be as easily available to her as it is for Urgraz.
    Robe of Bones and Animate Dead:
    Also brought up on the forums some time ago, but basically it's an infinite-combo (sort of) that lets you drain the entire box of all nonbasic, nonelite monsters and bring them into your hand. Besides being absurd, it's not easily turned into infinite explorations or anything else more meaningfully game-breaking, but it can be. Robe of Bones allows you to banish a monster instead of discarding/recharging a spell from your hand, so since you've already got it in hand you can (basically) infinitely cast any spell you want, including something like Haste.

    As an aside, I believe my email has already been put forward with an interest to assist with playtesting a while back.

    zeroth_hour2 wrote:
    Yewstance wrote:
    "I've played my Tier 5 Monk, Athnul, for over 20 scenarios and over 30 hours of gametime. A new guy walks into the store, without a Chronicle Sheet, buys a Monk deck, and says 'I'm going to make a Tier 5 Monk' and just builds an identical Athnul in front of me in less than 15 minutes."
    This may or may not be a problem as that built Athnul doesn't have any feats (due to not being a pregen).

    For the record, I'm aware you actually can't do this. I was referring to a statement I made on another forum thread which was discussing why you couldn't do this (and how it biased people against starting high-tier characters). In that thread, I was justifying a potential reason why the designers didn't allow you to start high-level characters (aside from Pregens) without a serious drawback, in this thread I was using the same general statement as a reasoning why it can be thin ice to have significantly different levels of effort expended by different players to get the same reward, if the levels are of different orders of magnitude, because it can hamper the feeling of receiving that reward in the first place for some people.

    Mark Seifter wrote:
    zeroth_hour2 wrote:
    If you want other builds, Mark Seifter's Cogsnap/Twitch Tonic build is similar. I'm thinking Twitch Tonic is the problem rather than Cogsnap or MM.
    I've actually played both Cogsnap and Mother Myrtle, and Twitch Tonic is definitely the culprit. Drawing 3.5 cards on average from the discard pile is probably fine on a banish, but once you can do it again, you can make a long (if not technically endless because eventually you probably won't find any monsters to sustain either CS or MM's engine, though I don't know what Robe of Items does as I played the alchs before the Ultimates, maybe it makes it endless) loop.

    Twitch Tonic definitely the primary issue. However, Ultimate Equipment provides 4 cards that let you search it from your deck (the item Robe of Items, a blessing and 2 spells), meaning that provides many more ways to re-use it in a turn if you're recharging it. It additionally provides 1 card that let you draw it from your discard pile (again, Robe of Items). Reanimator Myrtle can additionally search items (or spells, or allies) from her deck or discard pile selectively every time a monster is defeated. Strictly speaking, that alone with Twitch Tonic is 'infinite' with the right allies (and if you find monsters frequently enough).

    With 4 additional means of searching and re-using it, and Robe of Items searching out 3 items from your deck or discard pile every time its discarded, and Robe of Items being able to be re-used multiple times in a turn with Myrtle's reanimator powers, it gets nasty. It turns a strategy that was already more or less an 'infinite combo' (or damn close to one) to an extremely consistent infinite combo with additional searching powers to repeatedly find methods of attack and passing checks and movement as well as keeping the core combo going even more consistently than before.

    In post as my Mother Myrtle alias, I linked myself demonstrating how the series of interlocking search effects worked in practice. It turned a monster defeat into being worth 3.5 explorations into something more akin to 7 or 8 explorations.


    Irgy wrote:
    For instance, personally I think the fact that I can play cards in between steps, but not in between turns, is just dumb, and unless it serves a genuine purpose it could happily discarded to the bin of gratuitous irrelevant technicalities. Though if I ever find myself in a convoluted situation in which it matters, and notice, I'll still probably try and play it correctly, because I'm like that.

    For the record, I can think of heaps of ways it matters. This would mean you can play a card after redrawing your hand but before someone else does start-of-turn effects, and even before they flip a blessing. Examples of what would be allowed if you can play a card between turns include...

    • You're on the last turn of the game (0 cards are in the blessings discard pile), you discard your entire hand at the end of your turn to draw Holy Candle from your deck, then play it before the next turn starts and the blessing deck 'would' be flipped. This gives the players effectively another full hand draw worth to dig for a card that save's them.
    • Similar thing; if the card on top of the blessings discard pile is something you want, and you have a card in your deck that lets you draw the top card of the blessings discard pile, you can discard cards from your hand, redraw, then play a card to draw from the blessings deck before it's flipped over.
    • Any cards that refer to "this turn", or "End of this turn" or "current player" or anything to that effect become confused. If I play Strength on Character B, and it says "at the end of the turn, I have to discard/recharge it", does that mean it stays displayed indefinitely? "The" turn was never defined, since I played it outside a turn.

    You could, in this hypothetical, also play cards that you've just drawn before the next start-of-turn effects occur, giving you more openings to draw cards that let you or other players move away from hazards and the like. There could be other weird corner cases. For example, there would be ways to encounter a card whilst no turn is currently occurring (there's several cards that let you "examine and encounter" a card, which is not confined by exploration timing restrictions), which could lead to weirdness. What if a bane refers to the current player when there is none?

    I think the biggest thing that would get me is how gamey it would be to say that "This is the last turn of the game. I end my turn and redraw my hand, including Holy Candle. I play Holy Candle before the next turn, and now we have more turns". Also, for every collectable card game I can think of, cards are never played 'between turns' (partially because it would be awkward for any effects that last for 'a turn'); the conclusion to one player's turn is immediately followed by the start of the next player's, so it also is somewhat intuitive to at least some players coming into PACG.

    Long story short; I'm very happy that the rules never say you can play a card between turns, I'm pretty confident 99% of PACG players already are aware of that or play like that (I don't think I've ever seen anyone reset their hand, then try to play a card explicitly before the next blessing was flipped or before start-of-turn effects occurred for the next player).

    As an aside:
    This whole sideline about "The rules doesn't talk about you being able to have multiple exploration steps" started with me looking into why CD Alahazra and Climber's Gloves don't make an infinite loop of examining and shuffling a deck as many times as you want until you see every card and put exactly what you want on top. Besides the fact that it's obviously not rules-as-intended, I still don't actually know of a rules reason why you can't. I won't try to further derail the thread by analysing it here, though.


    Irgy wrote:

    Fortunately, you'd have to be an avid rules forum reader to even suspect that you couldn't do that sequence of steps in the first place.

    I always thought you could play whatever cards you liked during the explore step, so long as you weren't in the middle of an actual explore/encounter. If I understand you correctly, you're saying the official ruling is that you're playing those cards "between" steps, but that when you do so and it's a card which explores, you somehow re-enter the explore step (or make a new one). Which you're only allowed to do if its the most recent step. It seems needlessly convoluted to me compared to the (equivalent) way I'd been playing the whole time.

    It says you can play whatever cards you like between steps, but that doesn't necessarily mean that converse, that you can't play whatever cards you like during the explore step. The relevant rule is somewhere else, that you haven't quoted, which tells you something along the lines of cards having to be relevant to what you're doing.

    I'm just stating what the rulebook infers; for people who don't play with someone who has played the game before and don't read the forum, the rulebook seems to describe that 'normal play' is illegal.

    As a matter of fact, another section of the rulebook, which I didn't already quote, further attests to the fact that what I said before wouldn't be possible.

    Mummy's Mask Rulebook, Page 8 wrote:
    If a power says it may be used when something happens, you may use it every time that happens. Otherwise, a specific card’s power may only be used once per check or step.

    So, for example, with the S&S ship that allows you to discard a card from the blessings deck to explore your location, the above rule makes explicit that you would not be able to use that power multiple times in a turn, because the rulebook also states - or at least infers without opening to the contrary - that explorations take place in a single step. (Which we know from Vic's comments in this thread that they don't actually do so.)

    The specific rule you refer to about "cards have to be relevant" only applies when Encountering a card. As per the following quote which you inferred:

    Mummy's Mask Rulebook, Page 9 wrote:

    Encountering a Card

    When you encounter a card, you—and only you—can go through the following steps. No one else can perform these steps for you, though others might be able to play cards to help you deal with the encounter’s challenges. During each of these steps, characters may perform only the specified actions. Characters may only play cards or use powers that relate to each step (or relate to cards played or powers used in that step). Each character may play no more than 1 card of each type during each step; for example, a character may play no more than 1 blessing while attempting a check, though multiple characters could each play 1 blessing. A character may not activate a given power more than once during each step, other than effects that can be used each time something particular happens. Characters may not play any cards or activate any powers between these steps.

    The rulebook is clear - and accurate - that the rules on playing cards is different when inside and outside of an encounter. As quoted in the spoiler under my previous post, under Taking Your Turn it does say that "You can play cards and use powers without limit in between these steps, as long as they don’t say they can only be played at certain times."; which is correct, when applied to the steps of a turn. As quoted above under Encountering a card, it does say "Characters may not play any cards or activate any powers between these steps.", which is also correct; when applied to the steps of an Encounter.

    Irgy wrote:
    It says you can play whatever cards you like between steps, but that doesn't necessarily mean that converse, that you can't play whatever cards you like during the explore step.

    I'm not sure I agree, because that would infer "because the rulebook doesn't say you can't play a card here, therefore you can", which would, for example, suggest you could play any card during your start-of-turn step (formally called "Advance the Blessings Deck"), which I know for a fact you cannot. But it never explicitly states you can't.

    You can play a card or use a power - say, Cure - in between steps all you like (so between "Advance the Blessings Deck" and "Give a card", or between "Give a card" and "Move", or between "Move" and "Explore"), and the rulebook supports all that, and most people inherently play that correctly... but the same rules which define, in objective language, why that is the case also explicitly state that "Explore" is a single step, so you would not be able to play Cure (at least not freely) in between explorations.

    Perhaps 'explicit' is an exaggeration; but there is no text at any point which implies that you have more than one Exploration step at any point. Which means that you're never in-between steps of a turn when taking more than one exploration, which means you can never play cards freely. I'm quite certain that the clarifications behind when you can legally use cards and powers, as were discussed heavily in the first page of this forum, have never made it into any variation of the rulebook.


    A big thank-you to Irgy, who just summed up many things I'd would have liked to have said, in a much clearer and more concise manner than I was able to.

    Probably worth noting that even just Reanimator Myrtle + Twitch Tonic is a pretty trivial combo that can extrapolate into a turn-1 victory, as long as you get into combat with a monster once every 2-5 turns. The rest of it (Robe of Items, searching cards) just make things more efficient. Given that Twitch Tonic is a set B card in Mummy's Mask, this is probably easier - not harder - in non-OP play (as long as you're in the latest Base Set).


    The short answer is; I keep looking over my class deck to go "Oh, that boon is awesome!"

    Then I realise I don't want to play with it because of power level reasons, so I end up playing with a partial set of boons, limiting my options. For Linxia, I'd play her with Ultimate Combat and choose not to use Corrupted blessings or Corruptive Half-Plate or Corruptive Full-Plate (to use on a weapon to heal as many cards as I make combat checks) if I wanted to nerf her, but then I'm not playing with any blessing outside of Ultimate Combat (mostly). Actually, I can't legally make that deck, at least not to start with, due to how many Basic blessings I have to choose from.

    For Mother Myrtle, I'd probably play without an Add-On deck at all... or I'll pick one just for more Blessing choices. Even so, I'd still keep avoiding Twitch Tonic, despite being basically built for her, and I have this awkward Tier 3 where there aren't really Item upgrades and I keep playing with a lot of the same items for a long period of time, whilst I highly value ever-changing builds and strategies to keep me interested. Part of the reason I love Ultimate Add-On decks, to give me as many boon options and feasible card upgrades as possible.

    I've tried it in singleplayer games hundreds of times. A restriction I have to will myself to maintain (which usually shrinks overall decision-making) is always less fun than a restriction placed upon me to work around. The latter I can analyse from multiple angles to try to minimise its impact, the former is a more flexible concept which tends to frustrate rather than inspire new creativity. An example would be XCOM: Enemy Unknown; I'm not a big fan of trying to avoid specific classes and powers just to increase the difficulty (because, again, it feels like it's shrinking decision making or punishing me learning the game best), but I'm happy with bumping up the difficulty of the game or, better yet, modding the game to rebalance it (see: Long War mod).

    Again, all of these are personal issues or faults of mine, and I'm not trying to shield that. The point still stands I'd rather pick from 5 equally-powerful characters than pick 1 character that I feel is more powerful than the other 4, and then work to try to limit the strategies I undertake with them. I'd also happily pick one of the other 4 if I felt they were equally powerful, but then I've got less choices of character to play in total.

    EDIT:

    Also, note, that you quoted me saying, amongst other things, "I wouldn't play Lancer Alain". I'd happily play his other role, Glory Hound Alain. That is entirely a limitation that I'd happily put on myself, because I think he's pretty much just right in terms of power level there, and can still do some cool things. Playing Skizza and then trying to avoid his absurd Alchemical synergies doesn't make me feel like I'm playing Skizza, but if I let myself toy around with them he starts excelling far too much. Linxia is a powerful fighter with the most powerful self-healing powers on almost any character, and some small Divine skill to boot, which pushes her ahead of any other actual printed Fighter in all senses I can think of (plus having a far better selection of boons in PFSACG than the Fighter Class Deck provides), so it feels very hard for me to work with that without just basically stripping whole powers from her.

    Although, in truth, I'd probably be happy playing with Skizza as long as I avoid Ultimate Equipment. Linxia is way harder, because I think its cards in her own class deck and one of her core powers that push her beyond the power level of characters with comparable skill sets and deck compositions (Fighters). And Myrtle has Twitch Tonic in her own class deck, which is arguably the key synergy with Reanimator. Though, like Alain, I could just avoid that role of hers, though I don't think her other role has much depth or choices to it.

    EDIT #2:

    Bleah. I feel like this thread has just ended up making me look like an un-fun person to play with, which is unfortunate. I love to learn, grow and optimize; tabletop games, strategy games, grand strategy, card games. I've often experienced legitimate competitive environments (MTG, mostly) which further stresses the mindset; I have most fun when I'm learning and improving, I have the least fun when I'm rendered unable to push things further. Having a large array of characters and boons to choose from is a wonderful, wonderful thing in that regard, as it gives me thousands or more of potential combinations and strategies to consider, build, prepare, plan and test.

    Furthermore, as I've stated several times; nobody has fun when one person on the table is playing the co-op game like a singleplayer game.

    So on the whole, I try to avoid the characters I think are too strong, which I find more appealing than trying to play a character I know is stronger than I'd like without making the most of their powers and unique traits. But that does leave me with effectively a smaller number of characters to pick from; again, is why a rebalanced character feels equivalent to having introduced a new character, at least from my personal interests.

    To clarify, again, I'm not suggesting that this should be the priority of the designers, nor do I suggest that any of my personal motivations or reasons reflect those of others. But I do see a certain imbalances with what some characters can do relative to others, and I do feel a compulsion to bring these up - if only to prevent similar things occurring in the future.


    Resurrecting this thread from very minor encouragement from skizzerz.

    It must be noted that the rules dictated in this thread (most importantly, that "Taking an additional exploration is creating a new exploration step") is still not found in the up-to-date Mummy's Mask Rulebook. The rulebook is pretty explicit that "Explore Step" is a single step (you can take multiple explorations in it, of course), and has no text at any point which indicates anything about additional explorations being seperate steps.

    Rules as Written, I'm pretty certain you cannot re-use various powers and cards in ways you are intended. To use a Mummy's Mask character as an example; Zadim can recharge a card to examine the top card of his location deck. RAW, the following series of actions is still illegal unless a player goes online and finds this forum to get clarification otherwise.

    1. Zadim explores his location.
    2. Zadim recharges a card to examine the top card of his location deck (it was a trigger and he banishes it).
    3. Zadim recharges another card to examine the top card of his location deck. (Against the rules; the rulebook suggests he's still in the same step, and not 'Between Steps', where it allows powers to be used freely and repeatedly)
    4. Zadim explores his location by discarding a blessing.
    5. Zadim recharges a card to examine the top card of his location deck. (Again, he's still in the same step, RAW, and cannot do this due to step 2 above).

    If I've missed some key paragraph somewhere in the Mummy's Mask rulebook or FAQ, I would love to be proven wrong here.

    Relevant Rulebook page:
    Mummy's Mask Rulebook, Page 7 wrote:

    Taking Your Turn

    Take your turn by going through the following steps in order. You can
    play cards and use powers without limit in between these steps, as
    long as they don’t say they can only be played at certain times.

    Advance the Blessings Deck: At the start of your turn, discard the
    top card from the blessings deck faceup onto the top of the blessings
    discard pile. You never acquire this card, though some cards may refer
    to it during your turn. If you have to remove one or more cards from
    the blessings deck for any reason and there are not enough cards to
    do so, the party loses the scenario (see Ending a Scenario, Adventure,
    or Adventure Path on page 18). After advancing the blessings deck,
    apply any other effects that happen at the start of your turn.

    Give a Card: You may give 1 card from your hand to another player at
    your location. (Other players cannot give you cards on your turn.)

    Move: You may move your token card to another location. Moving
    then triggers any effects that happen when you enter or leave a
    location. When you choose to move, you must always select a new
    location, although it is possible for some effects to move you to the
    same location you came from. If you do not change locations, your
    character is not considered to have entered or left a location. Some
    effects may cause you to move whether you want to or not, and
    other effects may restrict you from moving. If an effect would move
    you while another effect restricts you from moving, do not move.

    Explore: You may explore your location once each turn without
    playing a card that allows you to explore; this must be your first
    exploration for the turn. You may never explore outside of your
    explore step. When you explore, flip over the top card of your current
    location deck. If it’s a boon, you may attempt to acquire it; if you
    don’t attempt that, banish it. If it’s a bane, you must try to defeat
    it (see Encountering a Card on page 9). Many effects allow you to
    explore again on your turn, and there is no limit to the number of
    times you can explore.
    However, during a single exploration, no matter how many
    different effects allow you to explore again, treat them as granting
    one additional exploration, not a series of additional explorations. For
    example, Drelm has taken the Keymaster role, and has gained the
    power feat that lets him explore his location after he defeats a barrier
    that has the Obstacle trait on his exploration. During his exploration,
    Drelm encounters Falling Rubble, a barrier that has the Obstacle
    trait and a power that says “If defeated, you may explore your
    location.” Drelm defeats the barrier, but he gains only one additional
    exploration, not two.
    If a card grants you an additional exploration, after you finish
    what you are doing, you must immediately use that exploration or
    forfeit it.


    Agreed on everything wkover just said. In particular...

    Yep; characters that single-handedly can do everything are far more of an issue to me than ones that need to work with teammates to excel, particularly because one of my primary concerns with 'broken' characters is that they cause other members of the party to have less fun or feel less important.

    As an aside, a memory:
    I recall that Harsk player at my physical RotR table - my first experience with PACG outside of the digital game - had the least fun on the table because he was worse at combat than Ezren, didn't scout as well as Ezren (Augury/Scrying), had almost no Loot cards suited to him and couldn't offer the same support as the Kyra player. He's not even particularly underpowered... he's still relatively well-rounded, especially against barriers, but the primary Divine and primary Arcane casters ended up overshadowing him (especially since we often threw barriers to the bottom with Augury and Scrying anyway).

    Probably mostly hurts that his strongest die, Constitution, is of little value in that set, and good ranged weapons were pretty hard to come by. And, again, no loot besides Snakeskin Tunic suited to him in the slightest, unless Ezren who walked around with something like a static +10 to his Arcane checks when combining all of the bonuses from skill feats, items and Loot cards.

    Also, post-role power levels aren't as much of a problem, though I still think it's excessive if a character can single-handedly turn-1 scenarios without some serious risk or compromise or limitation holding them back.

    I will say that I think Linxia is too powerful even without ever taking cards from another player, both because of the high quality of boons in her character deck as well as the fact that an incredible portion of her deck (all of her blessings, at minimum) represent a constant string of healing, causing 'discards' to be virtually costless to her beyond their impact for the current turn. I can link actual (PFSACG-official) play-by-posts where I played as Linxia as a substitute character (Season 4-P1 reward) and cleaned up 7+ cards a turn and ended the first scenario of Tier 3 with a combined deck and hand of more than 30 cards and no discard pile. But she has a limited hand size and minimal means of overcoming that core restriction, so whilst I think she's too powerful I wouldn't call her "Broken" in the same way some other characters can be.


    EmpTyger wrote:

    Yewstance:

    It's moot (I had already looked and it's a Forbidden Text), but I'd think that we'd not want anyone to put anything in the Vault until after you could move the Rolling Sphere away from there at the start of your turn?

    Good point; I was just frustrated because it seems the Rolling Sphere is interrupting my intent to aggressively examine my location, and I CAN defeat it (with some effort) thanks to Honaire.

    Not sure if you're referring to the henchmen in the location Skizza just closed or that Qualzar is presumably closing (laboratory). If its for the Alchemical Laboratory close, I'm interested in having either Elusive Knowledge or the actual 'normal' henchman shuffled into the Vault regardless, anyway.

    Assuming nothing's shuffled into my deck; where should I drop the Rolling Sphere?


    elcoderdude wrote:
    Obviously, you and I differ. You didn't quite say this, but I have to wonder if the status or peer recognition of your achievement is a factor.

    A fair question. From my perspective; I'm looking for my own recognition, more than anything else. I like to find ways of challenging myself - setting difficulties as high as they can get, trying over and over and bettering myself to beat something even if there's not particularly a given reward for it - but I find the drive quickly is lost if, again, I feel it's "against myself" rather than "against the game". I suppose I need an antagonist, as it were.

    I'm also very aware that this is not a widely-shared opinion, but it does drive a certain hyper-awareness to perceived 'balance', whether in a singleplayer game or not.

    Whether my answer reflects my actual psychology is another question. I don't believe I care about peer recognition in my gaming - and doing so would appear to conflict with other things - but I cannot objectively, conclusively demonstrate otherwise; at least not from a PACG-centric perspective.

    elcoderdude wrote:
    Regardless - Paizo hasn't been able to find the time to do useful things like release PDFs of all the released characters. They are working flat-out to design new stuff, including a new Adventure Path and an entire revamp of the game. I for one do not want Vic, Mike, Keith, et. al. expending their scarce resources eliminating overpowered corner-cases just so players have the satisfaction of knowing that no one else can play them.

    I will completely agree there! I don't think these are a priority in the slightest, but I'm still intrigued by looking into them. I'd be primarily interested in playing a 'nerfed' or 'fixed' version of Myrtle, because her design interests me; I just feel it's too strong.

    I think seeing a character reimagined - buffed, nerfed, etc - is like a 'new character' to me, a new set of restrictions and opportunities to test with. I'd love to see new characters even more so, of course!


    An excellent question. As a counterpoint, I'm strongly in favor of errata to prevent game-breaking combinations, at least in PFSACG, loosely due to the following reasons. (Note: All of these reasons are highly subjective in nature.)

    • It lessens the sense of achievement of difficult challenges if they could be trivialized - and may have been trivialized by others - by making specific build options. An almost-identical argument was raised in another forum talking about starting high-tier characters in Organized Play. Currently, you're penalized hard for doing so, and when people were discussing "Give players the feats they would normally have gained if they had leveled it through" I brought up the counterargument which was more or less as follows:

      "I've played my Tier 5 Monk, Athnul, for over 20 scenarios and over 30 hours of gametime. A new guy walks into the store, without a Chronicle Sheet, buys a Monk deck, and says 'I'm going to make a Tier 5 Monk' and just builds an identical Athnul in front of me in less than 15 minutes."

      Whilst it doesn't objectively impact the experiences I've had up to that point, it certainly lessens the apparent achievement to me of having a 'high-level' character. Much like - for players interested in video game achievement hunting - they are probably going to be more proud of the achievement that 00.02% of the playerbase has than the achievement that 55% of the playerbase has.

      A sense of achievement is an entirely illusory value in a game, but a huge part of making games immersive or satisfying is built on illusions (illusion of choice, illusion of progression, illusion of reward, etc). That's game design. Giving person A something quickly when person B gets the same outcome for ten times the effort can seriously hinder person B's enjoyment when they learn about it.

      In this case; "Wow that was a hard scenario, but we worked together and we just did it, just barely, with all of our effort and down to the wire" gives a great sensation which is, perhaps, compromised if one of the party members goes "Yeah... we could've also just turn-1ed that scenario if we were playing Mother Myrtle".

    • By keeping power levels at least at least vaguely equal between characters, you're increasing the value of player's strategy and choices, as well as increasing the likelihood that they feel like a valued member of the team. If someone is able to play with 10 characters based on the Class Decks he owns, each of those 10 are equally legitimate choices, but someone is less likely to feel bad about their choice down the line if all of the ten are at least on a comparable power level. Finding out in Tier 3 that Melindra (Wizard CD) is just kind of bad and doesn't really do anything particularly well is a disappointing thing to discover if the RotR Ezren player in the same party, with the same boons, is doing far more on every turn.
    • (Purely Selfish Opinion) I personally am strongly in favor of making PACG a significantly harder game. I love to have down-to-the-wire games, but almost never encounter them unless I'm intentionally inhibiting myself. Intentionally handicapping myself doesn't feel fun; again, partially because it lessens the sense of achievement if I have to go out of my way to make things harder in a way that isn't acknowledged or inherent to the game. Perhaps a better way of putting is that "I'd prefer to work on the game designer's restrictions, rather than my own". Why? Because I'm playing "against the game", I don't want to play "against myself". I want to win and be challenged, not enforce arbitrary conditions.
    • (Purely Selfish Opinion) It means I'm more likely to play far more characters if some are nerfed. I don't think I'll ever play an Alchemist, nor Linxia, nor some Oracles, nor will I ever play Skizza with Ultimate Equipment. These are all characters or combinations that I think let me do too much, too well, and therefore limiting how much I'm challenged as a player, as well as risking overshadowing other players. Nor will I play Lancer Alain in WotR for similar reasons; because I find it less fun to play as an overpowered character. If some of the more egregious combinations were nerfed, I'd feel like a burden had been lifted and I'd be free to tweak and theorycraft and play with characters I'd otherwise soft-banned myself from using.

    I probably ended up going on an unintentional ramble there; but I'm strongly in favor of encouraging as balanced design as possible (at least among comparable groups - I'm less bothered that WotR and RotR have different power levels, but I'd like WotR to be pretty consistent compared to itself) in games, even singleplayer games and even co-op games. (As an aside, I think Mummy's Mask probably has the most balanced cast of characters to play with, and I love it for that!)

    If players want to challenge themselves, I'm in favor of offering higher difficulty levels or optional additions, rather than leaving it to the player to think up handicaps if they want to. Again, 'playing against the game' rather than 'playing against yourself'.

    It may be worth pointing out, why do I so eagerly theorycraft and test out 'broken' builds if I want to be challenged? Because I love poking holes in game mechanics. I was a big combo player in MTG, and I love tinkering and finding often-overlooked or otherwise unconsidered combinations and finding out how far I can push them. I'd prefer it if my results were more "gimmicky; it works but has serious weaknesses or requirements" rather than "congratulations, you've broken the game", just for my own selfish method of enjoying games.

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