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Organized Play Member. 809 posts (812 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 3 wishlists. 5 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.


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Thank you all for the responses! For those asking, I do know that the negative levels aren't actually true lost levels, but the player was nervously treating them as such, and also was concerned about encountering another energy drainer. And yes, it was energy drain with consecutive failed saves (only needing a seven to boot).

Also, I think those are some great ideas. I hadn't even thought of the used restoration wand, and the group actually has already had an encounter with local fey, so it's a stones throw from there to having a diplomatic encounter for a favor like that.


I'm DMing a campaign for Ironfang Invasion, and one of the characters got permanent negative levels while still in the woods. Since they don't really have access to civilization for a while, I was wondering if they had any recourse that would be available to characters of that level. I don't want one character to be stuck two levels behind the rest of the group for another adventure and a half, but I don't want to just deus-ex-machina the problem away. Can you think of any suggestions I might give the players for ways to remove it that they could access?

Thank you!

I'll pop in my 2cp as well, since I just stumbled back on this after playing a few adventures in:

1. What do you think of the one-boon-of-a-type rule? Do you feel like you miss being able to toss multiple blessings at a problem?

We came into the adventure with this rule basically on probation, and were prepared to house-rule it away if it was too much of an issue. However, the upgrade to supportability of cards, particularly for allies and items, but also a lot of weapons and spells, meant that we've never strongly felt the urge to actually change it back. If anything, the rule may have improved our play since we may have been too aggressive throwing blessings at problems in the old adventures, which left us dry for more important checks later.

2. How much did your group use the Avenging mechanic? I feel like it's something that people often forget about, but it can be VERY useful in some situations.

We have been really bad about this, and I think have maybe used it once? I like it a lot in concept, but it's both hard to remember, and in general I'd just rather throw more support cards at the initial check.

3) How large is your party?

We play six characters, each player playing 3 each. It definitely causes games to slow to a crawl at times, but we find it fun. Overall, I think the new rules actually make large groups more fun, as it's not just a blessing-spam-fest (In most previous adventures, you always wanted to max blessings before getting any other card feats because you needed so much explore and cards to help others, and blessings were the best at both of those)

4) Which blessings do you find are better - the old ones (where you could custom-tailor your party with double-dice blessings for tasks the party is weak at) or the new ones (where you get a bunch of effect, but very few overlaps.

First off, we absolutely love the hour mechanic, so the new blessings win almost exclusively on having those. I think we also both agree that the variety instead of 5-of-a-kinds is also cool, especially since you can still stock up on certain deities if you want, they just have different names. I would like more of the old style double-blessings to be included, but not so much that I'd want to go back to the low-variety blessing count.

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Not dumb questions at all. I'll do my best to answer:

Yes, yo can play the Dragon's Demand campaign right out of the box with just core. It's a full adventure path, albeit shorter than most around here are used to, but you don't have any expectations coming in, so no worries.

Curse of the Crimson Throne adds a bunch of new cards and is a campaign more akin to what the previous adventure paths were, and more than twice as long as Dragon's Demand. If you enjoyed playing through DD, then getting Curse gives you a much more complete and in-depth experience.

The Character decks serve two major purposes. First, as you suggest, they give you access to new characters and cards that are good for the respective classes, which could spice up an adventure for your 4th or fifth play through. Second, they are needed if you want to participate in the organized play aspect of the game, which utilizes cards in existing APs to tell a new story, and each player will utilize their own class deck and cards, which means that players can swap in and out as they want since their deck is independent of the adventure itself. I'd recommend them only after you have both Core and Curse and know that you're going to be playing this game a lot.

Also, to give you my personal experience, my wife and I have been playing the ACG since the first set, and it is hands-down our most played game. I actually proposed to her by homebrewing an adventure for her birthday and playing through end with giving her the ring as a loot from winning. So, long story short, I recommend it.

Parody wrote:

This is why the Core Set says it's for 1-4 players. :)

Otherwise, yes, if you run out of Level 0 (or Basics, in the old sets) then you proceed to picking from the Level 1 ones. (Non-Basics in the old sets.)

You know, I almost checked if that was somewhere before posting.


My wife and I recently started a new play of Dragon's Demand, with our usual 6-character group, and I noticed an issue. For our particular set-up (Harsk, Seoni, Amiri, Meresiel, Seelah, Lem) we did not have enough level 0 allies or blessings. To keep the game going, I just shuffled the level 1 blessings and allies and randomly filled up the remaining decks appropriately. However, I wanted to know if there should be an official ruling for this case, since all of the level 0 card counts are right on the border of insufficient (we had I think 1 extra weapon and 0 extra items).

On another note, we found it generally unsatisfying that there were so many un-keepable boons when you have all of them available as it is in Dragon's Demand. I proposed house-ruling that by default all 1-level boons be chosen first, then supplemented with level 2 and 3, but I was curious what others' thoughts were on that proposal.

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Droogami reminds me a lot of the antagonist from Kung-Fu Panda now. I think it's the bigger shoulders and wider jaw that really emphasized it.

I'd also add you should try to have at least one character that can reliably have a good combat check. (Most characters are fine for this, but there's a few combos like Bard/Cleric that can have a bit of trouble). The other advice, which was brought up in the other thread, is it's more fun if the two characters have different niches, which will make more of the boons you pick up useful/exciting.

In my experience, Oloch is really only providing you a decent combat check and divine spellcasting. I don't remember off the top of my head if Feiya has divine in S&S, but if she does, Oloch is going to be mostly redundant, since combat doesn't get hard until the later adventures, and by then he'll likely be surpassed in that aspect by Feiya.

Damiel, on the other hand, is an absolute jack-of-all-trades, and will be very useful versus the myriad non-combat checks that will be the bane of early adventures.

This conclusion is almost entirely based on the set. In RotR or WotR, Oloch would probably be fantastic. However, similar to Selytiel, he's a combat character in a non-combat adventure, and greatly suffers for it.

In re: the questions about the change to locations, I think people are missing what is the actual primary reason. I'm betting that the locations are one-sided so two locations can fit on one card. They seem to be determined to have as many unique cards as possible (and no, they can't just 'print more cards'. that is not how mass printing works. they have a specific number of cards in each box and have to stick with that). This is also likely why they printed proxies instead of having multiple copies of the story banes. So, while we can disagree whether it was an appropriate use of resources, I disagree that there was absolutely no reason to change the location rules. The reason was to pack more total locations and/or other cards while staying within their allotted print limit.

(If I'm wrong and the locations are not one-to-a-side, an just have a standard back, then my point is null-in-void and I agree there is absolutely no reason for the change)

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I'm probably not the best person to say for certain, given that I have a very programming-oriented mind, but I wonder if, to some extent, the added keywords may actually make the rules more grokkable from a new player perspective.

One issue I had with the previous rules was the sometimes weird mix of common language and keywords. Discard just meant discard, but the result of a discard could mean multiple things - discard from blessing pile, discard from hand, discard from deck. It meant that you couldn't just learn 'discard' and be done with it. I think this flexibility of terms actually could make it harder for someone learning the game to reach the point where they were comfortable with quick-reading a card. How many times have all of us missed rules because we assumed shorthand reading that didn't apply on a particular card (e.g. Last paragraph of armor is the bury/banish to negate damage; extra rules text in the recharge statement of a spell). If we're adding more keywords, that reduces total wordcount, which also makes it easier to read the full card and not miss these kind of changes, and that's not even considering how keywords or lack thereof will be a big red flag that text isn't skippable.

Again, I am far from a new player, so I can only guess. However, I just wanted to point out that adding more jargon doesn't always make something harder to understand.

Diego Valdez wrote:

Hello Isaic16,

Your order is currently on a pick list. This means it is part of the batch of orders the warehouse is currently working on. Normal shipping times for us are between 1 and 7 business days.

Fantastic. As long as it gets out by Friday, based on normal shipping times that I've experienced, it should get in on time. Thank you!

I set the above order up last week, and I noted that it hasn't shipped yet. The order is part of a birthday present that I need by the 17th. If it's waiting for part of the order to come in, can I set it up to get all or most of it started, so I can get as much as possible in time for the event?

Thank you for your help!

Doppelschwert wrote:

Hey, I'l try to help you as far as I can.

Char 1:
- The skills add up to 44 instead of 42
- Knowledge in his power should have a capital K

Char 2:
- I think the rat ally power is too convoluted. It is strange that everyone at your location gets the combat benefit, but the rats go away only if *you* fail the check. How about this version:

At the start of your turn, you may display any number of allies that have the Rat trait; if you fail a combat check, recharge all allies displayed this way.

When a character at your location attempts a check to acquire ([]or to defeat), you may add the number of displayed allies to the check; if she succeeds to acquire a card, she recharges it.

Good catch! Like I said, I put them together pretty quick, so I'm not surprised I made such a careless error.

I like the way you wrote the second power, and will likely steal it. To explain it what is happening, the idea is that the rats will help you, but then will run off with whatever treasures they collect, and also will run away if they're threatened.

Hi all. I've just put together a few characters. I haven't done many update passes on them, so they're still rough, but I've got a deadline on getting them done, so I wanted them out in the public ASAP for review.

The character designs (names removed to protect the innocent) are essentially designs to represent myself and my girlfriend, as part of a birthday gift I'm planning for her, hence the not very archetypal concepts. I tied to still make them feasible characters in game, though, so let me know what you think!

Character 1:

Strength d8 [] [] []
Dexterity d6 []
Constitution d8 [] [] []
-Fortitude Con+1
Intelligence d12 [] [] [] []
-Knowledge Int+2
Wisdom d4 []
Charism d6 [] [] []
-Diplomacy Cha+2

Favored Card: Armor
Weapon: 1 [] []
Spell: -
Armor: 2 []
Item: 4 [] [] []
Ally: 3 []
Blessing: 5 [] [] []

Hand Size 5 []6
Proficiency: Light Armor
Recharge an Item ([] or Blessing) to use your knowledge skill in place of your Melee ([] or Arcane or Divine) skill.
When a character at your location encounters a monster, you may discard a card to reduce the difficulty of checks to defeat that monster by your diplomacy skill.

Character 2

Strength: d6 [] []
Dexterity: d4
Constitution: d6 []
Intelligence: d8 [] [] [] []
-Knowledge: Int+1
Wisdom: d8 [] [] [] []
-Survival: Wis+2
Charisma: d10 [] [] [] []
-Divine: Cha+2

Favored Card Type: Ally
Weapon: - []
Spell: 4 [] []
Armor: - []
Item: 2 []
Ally: 5 [] []
Blessing: 4 [] [] []

Hand Size: 6 []7
You may display Allies that have the Rat trait. Characters at your location add +1 to checks to acquire ([] or to defeat) for each displayed rat. If they succeed on the check to acquire, they recharge the acquired card and you recharge a displayed Rat. If you fail a combat check, recharge all displayed rats.
If a character at your location would fail a check, you may discard a card to allow them to reroll 1 die ([] or two dice) ([] and add 1d4).

Here are some of the house rules my home group implemented since we initially misunderstood the rules, then kept them as anti-frustration features. You may want to try them as an alternative to or in addition to your current rule:

1. When an enemy is encountered every character can take an action before the fight starts. This allows you to not feel punished for waiting to burn that cure spell in your hand.
2. Players can play cards that enhance a check up until the last die is rolled. This is mostly an anti-frustration feature to avoid those moments of needing only one above average roll and seeing nothing but 2's and 1's on your dice. It's easily abusable if you aren't careful, but if you're just playing for fun, it helps avoid the most anger inducing moments.

I really like this guy, and not just because he's a ratfolk (though that definitely helps!) There's only one power I'm concerned about: [] When you recharge a card this way, you may draw a spell or item from the box that shares a trait with the recharged card. Getting that many free cards in a scenario might be op. If you're attached to it, you might require a notably higher DC, like this:

When you would banish a card with the Alchemical trait, you may instead attempt a Craft 8 check. If you succeed, instead recharge the card, otherwise discard it. ([] If the result of the check was more than 12, you may additionally draw a spell or item from the box that shares a trait with the recharged card)

I fully admit, my group often falls into the trap of 'I have no specific reason to move, so I'm not going to move' even when proper consideration would have led to the conclusion that another location would have been more beneficial.

That being said, there are definitely reasons that it's probably better for our group to not do that extra level of thinking. First, we generally play multiple characters. When you have that much going on, it's often good to simplify the less important decision trees, and staying or moving definitely is lower impact than, say, knowing when to play a blessing on a 60/40 close check. Also, at least one player in our group gets frustrated when players take too long on decisions and slow down the game, so taking extra time on move steps would probably exacerbate that issue. Finally, I think most of our players heavily gravitate toward supporting characters, so we generally have very strong incentive to stay with other characters, even when other factors would benefit moving.

Again, I think everything in this article is absolutely correct. I just wanted to put out a devil's advocate point on how shortcutting this particular decision is not necessarily the worst thing in the world.

Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
JohnF wrote:
Brother Tyler wrote:
My wife and I are playing Estra and Zadim (my wife) and Ahmotep and Mavaro (me). Our first run through any base set is always limited to characters from that base set, including the character add-on deck.

That's pretty much what we do, too.

For MM my wife is playing Drelm and Amhotep, while I'm playing Mavaro and Alahazra
We decided to play homebrew characters this time around, and while that's fun, I kind of wish we'd limited ourselves to the box characters first time around. There are so many little tricks in MM that the box characters help out with, and I feel like I'm not getting the full experience of the set. But I'll just make my group play it again with box characters. Okay, Rebel? ;-)

We played Homebrews in WotR, since that was our first full AP in the RPG, and still our favorite. Also, I think WotR was a better AP for Homebrews, since it's heavy combat focus is easier to build around sight-unseen than the crazy trap & precision based MM.

My girlfriend and I were both worried about the targeted roll effects when we started seeing them, especially after the painfully punishing cillain from S&S (I think it was Admiral Thrune?) However, we haven't had too many issues with it. The penalties haven't been overly punishing, and there's a lot of effects that can push your result back into the correct range. It's still far from my favorite mechanic, but as with most of Mummy's Mask, the level of polish makes it work and feel good.

Seriously, MM has continued to be exceptional so far. Kudos on the great work.

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Hawkmoon269 wrote:
2. I tend to like Melee over Ranged (not sure why).

For me, personally, Melee just feels safer than ranged. If I'm ever stuck without a weapon, I'm still rolling one of my best dice, whereas with Ranged, I'm in trouble without a weapon. And since Ranged weapons don't seem any more powerful or versatile, it tends to be all risk for no reward.

Frencois wrote:
elcoderdude wrote:
Hawkmoon269 wrote:
I don't think so on the Fire Gecko. You are "using" that power, which you can't do. True, you aren't playing the Fire Gecko during the encounter, but you are still using the power if you add the dice and Fire trait.
We did play that you can just not use the d4 + Fire in this case (because you can't), but still proceed with your normal combat check. Which seems odd.

Just for the pleasure of a little chat with you guys:

The Fire Gecko doesn't say "During this exploration, YOU MAY add 1d4 and the Fire trait to your combat checks." So the way we see it it's a permanent mandatory power. Every combat check will have the Fire trait.
Now if the bane is Fire immune, what now?

One could say: Well I just cannot use the Gecko power... except that you are not using it (as Hawk said). And since there is no "MAY" there is altogether no character's decision involved.

So it's just automatic application of the rules that say if something is impossible, forget it. Yes but you can see that impossibility two ways:
A) Since my combat+[1d4+fire] is impossible vs fire immune, I must remove the [1d4+fire]... If I combat, I won't have it
B) Since my combat+[1d4+fire] is impossible vs fire immune, I must remove the combat+[1d4+fire]... I am just not allowed to make a combat check

Suppose you meet a Fire immune bane that has for checks to defeat COMBAT 20 or DIVINE 10. Wouldn't it make sense to consider that since I took the risk of playing the Gecko, I am now stuck with having to roll divine?


I'm fairly certain this was also covered in the Incendiary Cloud FAQ, since as far as I'm aware, that is not a may condition either. It's been a long time since I read that discussion, but I believe the result was roughly, 'if something cannot be added to a check, it is ignored.

While I chuckled at your comment about being forced to use divine, the fact is, 80%+ monsters don't have an alternate check besides combat, and I think that goes double for fire immune creatures. In that case, do you just rule they fail, and effectively rolled a 0 and have to discard their hand? That's something that strikes me as clearly wrong.

Hannibal_pjv wrote:

Yeah, it definitely needs more cards, but even now it is fun to be killed in that game ;)

I feel like this is by far the most important thing to know. Obviously something like Arkham Horror requires you to lose far more often than you win, so you need to have losing be fun. With an LCG like PACG, that's less important, since you still win much more often than you lose, so having a negative loss experience isn't as big a dealbreaker (granted, losing in PACG is still not too bad, barring someone dying, which is a horrific play experience, but they don't have to go out of their way to make sure it's fun).

I have to join the chorus in saying this has been a fantastic set. Probably my favorite to this point as well. I can understand Borodino's concern, seeing as it does have a lot of little issues going on, but for someone like me that's done all the adventures, this has been a sublime experience.

Easily the most fun I've had since RotR (I don't have the same fond memories of S&S as everyone else here seems to have) and RotR had the new set smell and I'm sure wouldn't even compare were it the 4th set that I'd tried. Major thumbs up to the team here.

I love the concept of this character, and I think this is a reasonable way of doing it. (Not to say Doppel's idea is wrong or worse, but I see no reason not to stick with this method, as it's equally useable). One thing I did feel the need to ask, is can Vigilante's actually change their ability scores when changing roles? I find it odd that it switches, particularly the degree to which it happens, and I'm curious if that is just me not understanding the basic rules. (I also feel like changing the secondary skills, and possibly the feats, while keeping the base dice the same emphasizes the different characters, but if that's not how the rules work, then it's probably not enough of a reason to change).

As to the cards, I'm guessing you went through a lot of iterations, because there's a number of sloppy mistakes that I know you wouldn't normally make. First, Aric has 44 points in base skills, while the Red Raven only has 40. Not only does that not jive with the 42 point standard, but if you did want them to deviate, it would make substantially more sense for the higher number to be on the alter-ego, not the normal man. Second, on Aric's base card, his last power can be upgraded so that it adds 2d6 to checks against barriers, but the Galtan Lord role adds +2/+4 instead. I understand powers can change going to roles, but this seems nonsensical, and I imagine was not deliberate.

Okay, now to get to the individual elements. I think all of your secondary skills on each card look about right, both in number and that you spread them out across different dice. One oddity that I'll get into more in powers is that you have ranged on Red Raven, whein he also has a power to get Melee: Finesse, which I don't think has ever happened before.

Card feats, likewise, are fine. Blessing count is concerningly low, but you at least have a high ally count to make up for it, and as we discussed elsewhere, exploration power may not be as restrictive as it once was.

Now for powers. My first thought is that you have a lot of discard here. A discard is required on each transformation, and several powers on Galtan Lord/Shadow of Night discard or bury. I worry that he's going to be a frustrating character for other people at the table to play with, since he'll need a lot of healing for fewer relative explores if you want to fully take advantage of his skill set. Also, he's probably going to be really hard to solo with, since he has no innate healing. I understand that the discard is important to keep the power level of having effectively twice the skill sets of other characters in check, but I'd look for some way to maybe limit the discarding to only one direction.
I also want to take a moment to discuss the Finesse power. Like I said, I don't think I've ever seen it on the same card as a character with Ranged, and I also don't think I've ever seen it requiring a power feat. I'll be honest, I think there's a good reason for that. Finesse weapons are not noticeably more powerful than ranged weapons in general, and ranged weapons are much better for the Aric side (especially if they don't require proficiency). In the end, I feel the Finesse feat looks like a trap, since you're getting only marginal benefit compared to the normal value of power feats, and it actually leads you to taking weapons that are actually worse for the character as a whole. Maybe there's some aspect I'm missing, but I think it'd be better to either go the finesse route or the ranged route, but not both. If you go finesse, I'd make the power baseline, with the feat to get the movement bonus (possibly buffed to compensate). If you go ranged, that feat should be some buff to ranged attacks to further solidify that Red Raven is the combat character of the two.
The last comment I have on the base cards isn't necessarily an issue but it does risk a feel bad moment. The only power on Aric's card besides the transformation is to assist against barriers. However, he never gets the ability to transform back to Aric when encountering a Barrier. I can see this catching a careless player off guard and make them regret taking that feat. I'm not sure if there's a way to avoid that play experience while keeping the character balanced, but you should be aware of that.

Getting to the role cards, I think they're mostly on-point, but there are a few things I want to note. First, in Galtan Lord, every single new power added by it either requires you to, or gives an extra ability if you, bury a card. That's a lot of redundancy, and means you may have to pick and choose because getting too many of those powers will just make you accidentally kill yourself (in the literal you have no cards in deck sense, not the figurative sense). I'd try to adjust at least one of those powers down to a discard, or even a recharge if you want to nerf it that much (my personal recommendation would be the last power, make it a discard, but put it back on top instead of encountering). And, on the other side, Shadow of Night. Almost everything looks good, except one power. That acrobatics for recharging an armor ability. Why do I have to recharge an armor to effectively gain Acrobatics: Dexterity+0? Why do I have to use a power feat to get what would be a bad skill, and then only have it conditionally? I think this is genuinely one of the weakest powers I have ever seen on a role card. I know you need to balance for all the versatility, but this power needs a buff in the WORST way. At minimum, I'd recommend just giving Acrobatics: Dex+1 as the baseline feat, and then the second feat allows you to recharge the armor for an extra bonus (possibly that same d6, possibly more. It's acrobatics, I don't think you're at risk of breaking anything).

For Mesmerizing Dilettante, you've got a good idea, but need some refinement. First, I'll talk generally about the use of spells. Right now, you have a power to let you take spells in place of blessings, and another to allow you to recharge Mental Arcane spells. I think that would be an interesting way to go if the character had a bunch of blessings, but they have at most 3. With that few, and with the inherent power of blessings, both for support and exploration, I feel that most players wouldn't want to replace more than 1, maybe 2 blessings at most. And, at that point, it's probably more reasonable to just have one card feat for spells, similar to most rogues. I understand this gives the other role access to potential spell slots, but since they will always just banish it, I don't think that's an issue, same as with the aforementioned Rogues. Also, the second half of the recharge power is supposed to allow you to overcome mental immunity. However, since it's at the second half of a power that only activates after you play the spell, I'm not sure it even works. I think it may be easier to just keep those as two separate powers. Warlock also has a good idea, but needs a bit of cleaning up. First, I don't get why the power that gives arcane then has two seemingly completely unrelated powers attached to it. I assume it's to have a feat chain effect, but it reads really weirdly. At the very least, you should have the combat ability use arcane instead of Charisma. The other issue is the ability to use Aric's Diplomacy. I only point this out because it says you can use it for any Charisma or Diplomacy check. Are you intended to be able to use Aric's diplomacy on a non-diplomacy charisma check? That also gets into the question of can that be used to help with Arcane checks, since they're also charisma checks? I'd consider simplifying it to just diplomacy on both sides.

Wow, I ended up writing a lot more than I expected. Again, I think this is a great character concept. However, I think he's missing a lot of the polish that I've come to expect from your characters. Once he gets the proper amount of love, I'm sure he'll be great.

Discard from top of deck (DFTOD) is an odd cost, in that it's close to discard, but both better and worse. In the short term, it's substantially better. You get a bonus (often a strong bonus) without spending anything from your hand, and without having to keep a bad card in your hand like with reveal. If you're on your last turn of the game, unless it will kill you, DFTOD is literally free. On the downside, it's random. Whereas discard from hand is always going to be the worst card in your hand, there's a substantial range that the top of your deck can be (from the best card in your deck to the worst card). Therefore, in the long term, it's a bit worse than discarding from hand. All told, I'd argue that DFTOD is about the same as discard, maybe slightly worse, but it's value increases as the game passes.

That being said, very few DFTOD effects are just that. Most have a secondary effect that allows you to recharge instead of discard (ie Seelah can do this with blessings and spells if I remember right). What this does is allow you to enter a state where DFTOD turns into RFTOD (recharge from top of deck) well over 50% of the time. In those cases, the value skyrockets from slightly worse than discard, to probably better than recharge, since you aren't hurting your card quality or your hand quality. For me, that's what makes Seelah's power so much better than it looks. It's a cost that reads like 'possibly worse than a discard for barely better than Lem's recharge' but actually ends up being 'better than Lem's recharge with even less cost'.

I'll be honest, reading this card, I had a fairly strong negative reaction, that I cannot really begin to explain. I think there are a few legitimate critiques to make, but my post may be influenced by that reaction, so bear that in mind when considering my response. Overall, it's a solid design, as usual.

As is often the case with you and other's characters, all of your secondary skills are tied to your largest dice. In general, characters with more than two skills will tend to have at least one attached to a lower die skill to balance out. I don't know if there's a particular flavor reason to tie Survival to Con for this character (ie a Kineticist ability) but if not, I'd strongly consider moving that somewhere else, possibly increasing the bonus to compensate.

Your first power I think may be a bit strong. It is almost exactly comparable to the Sorcerer blast ability at the baseline (d12,d6+2 vs d10,d8+2). The Sorcerer power can upgrade in damage slightly faster, since it uses both power and skill feats, while yours is more than made up for by allowing a recharge. Also, since you are a weapon user, I think the power should lean slightly weaker, as that does normally seem to be the case. A common method to do that might be to restrict card types that can be discarded/recharged for the power. (Another comparison might be Athnul from the Monk Class deck. She is also able to add a skill to her basic combat check, but only starts at d10,d6+2, and can never get weapons, which means she is essentially required to use the power, which justifies her getting to recharge)

I'm also a bit unsure about a power that allows you to reduce combat damage at a very minimal cost -- revealing a card, a type of which you should have heavy access to (I was going to rant about the interaction with the 'reveal while displayed' wysps, but you fixed that interaction, so no problem there). I may be being overly cautious here, but I'd definitely monitor this interaction closely.

I'm not a fan of the third ability, but I'm also not a high-risk, high-reward player, which this is obviously designed for. Given the overall strength of the rest of the card, I worry that this puts him over the top, but the ability itself is fine.

For Wysp Channeler, I'm a bit confused how the last power would work, particularly when you tried to put out a 3rd Wysp, and I'd consider re-writing the whole mechanic.
On thw Wysp cards, I'd write:
Display this card. Then, if you have more than one card with the Wysp trait displayed, recharge all but one of those cards.
Then on the role you could have:
When you display a card with the Wysp trait, you may recharge all but two cards, instead of all but one.
I don't know if that works, but I think it's closer. (Also, there's some rules oddities that come up if a Warpriest gets ahold of these things. They can display them using their power, which doesn't trigger others to be recharged, but then if they play a Wisp normally, it theoretically would still see the ones displayed for the Warpriest power and force a recharge. It's weird)

Another interesting asymmetry I noticed was that Wysp channeler gets access to extra elements for defense, while Dark Elementalist gets more for attacking. If this was deliberate symmetry, it works. However, Channeler adds 3 elements to defense, while Elementalist only adds 2 elements. I think it would read much better to even those out, one way or the other.

On the second to last power of Dark Elementalist, I think the added power feat may need some extra oomph, especially after the buff you gave to the first part. Recharging 2 cards is almost as good as preventing 3 damage, since it's like damage prevention you can do retroactively, and with the draw a card bonus, I can't see ever using that second power, much less spending a power feat on it.

For the last power on Elementalist, are you supposed to be able to use it yourself? The way it's written right now you can, but I had initially interpreted the flavor as you stealing power from an ally to get that extra boost. If so, I'd recommend making that 'another character' instead of 'a character'.

Again I apologize if I was over-critical. Hopefully you can get some use out of my feedback. Good luck!

(On further self-reflection, I think what got me is spelling Wisp with a y. I'm sure it's something that was actually in the beastiary and everything, but it really bugged me for some reason. Again, I apologize that I let a minor issue cloud my overall opinion.)

Oh, I missed that! It came down when I wasn't following the forums so closely. Thanks!

Ron Lundeen wrote:
Vandrair wrote:
I'm intrigued. What exactly will the "Servitor" trait mean in your Adventure path?

Servitor demons are shuffled into locations, just like any henchmen (not all scenarios use them, as there aren't very many). From my rules:

Servitor is a trait on some henchmen. Servitors are particularly loyal demonic minions, willing to protect their masters fanatically. If you would banish a henchman with the Servitor trait from a location deck, put it next to the blessings deck instead. When you would defeat a villain while a henchman with the Servitor trait is displayed, return a Servitor henchman to the box and the villain is undefeated.

I'll be honest, any forced 'undefeated' condition on a villain makes me nervous. Especially in larger games, if you get bad luck and end up encountering the villain before you've had a chance to properly spread out, it can cause a scenario to become very hard to win when there was little the group could have done about it. Maybe something like 'locations can't be temporarily closed' could be a significant drawback without requiring an unlucky team to lose 5+ turns.

I had one question on the godcaller cohort, and specifically, how it would interact with characters that already have a cohort. In the rules, players draw their hand, then add their character's cohort, then could potentially add a scenario Cohort. Does the Godcaller count as the character cohort, the scenario cohort, or something else entirely? I'm hoping it doesn't overwrite the character's cohort, since that would essentially invalidate a large swath of characters from the AP. If it's the scenario cohort, then you potentially have to list it on every scenario after you acquire them, and you can't have any other cohorts at all. If it's something else, then it's a much bigger rule change, and if you still have the scenario cohorts, that could lead to a character having as many as 3 cards over the starting hand size.

I also want to second the 'Display' wording, especially if you are adding a secondary power after it is used. It makes it clearer that it stays active, and from a psychology perspective, doesn't feel as severe, and so a less experienced player would probably be more willing to use it.

Also, keep in mind that the henchman says 'You may attempt to close the location this henchman came from.' As far as I'm aware, there's no rule that you still have to be at the location in order to attempt to close it. So, by definition, you'd still be able to close even if, due to some circumstance, you were not still at the location.

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Just to clarify, since I wasn't entirely sure:

When you pay for a trader, you put one card aside, back in the box, and bury the rest. Then, at the end of the scenario, you get rid of the card you bought (meaning you can't use it for upgrades), your buried cards go back in your deck as usual, and then the card you set aside in the box gets returned as well?

If this is the case, it seems a bit convoluted to have exactly one card set aside. Is it that big a difference between that and either burying all or setting aside all of them? I had to read it 3 times before I was confident enough in the interpretation to even ask.

I found Ahmotep to be good enough early, and becomes an all-star once she can share the +/-2 with others at her location. I've loved all 3 characters I've played (Drelm, Ahmotep, Alahazra), but she might be my favorite.

The staves are good because I can focus her in Arcane, and still pack almost entirely support spells, since if the going gets tough, I just use the staff to turn them into attack spells. There are even some staves which reveal to do the spell cast, which means you can use it repeatedly.

Baldrekr wrote:
So characters with scouting abilities are now at a slight disadvantage, because they have an ability that now works only some of the time and backfires part of the time, but paid full cost for that ability out of their character design power budget.

Not necessarily. You can look at it as it works some of the time, backfires some of the time, and is super-effective some of the time (since you can get a 'free' explore if the trigger causes an encounter, or you could get one of the few beneficial triggers). Also, in an AP like MM, with lots of traps, scouting tends to be OP, see Alahazra in S&S.

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Wow, it's amazing how much better he looks with just a few changes. Examining makes sense (I'm guessing after a few fire spells, the next encounter or two are pretty well lit). He's still going to have a bit of trouble exploring (much less so in MM, at least, since he'll love torches and compasses), but scouting alleviates a bit of that.

I do want to point out a couple issues/suggestions. I'm not sure, but it may work out better to change the recharge a spell powers in pyromancer to just recharge a card. Recharging to add 1d4 to combat checks at your location is often only a single feat (see Athnul from the monk class deck, and I believe also Tarlin from the Cleric deck), so if it's going to cost two power feats it should be at least close to the same level. Alternatively, you could keep it as a spell but not restrict it by location, which would probably put the power level about in line.

For the recharge in Artificer, you need to clarify the wording a bit. There is no specification as to what damage is prevented, or to whom (The fire damage prevention in Pyromancer has a similar issue here). I'm acting under the assumption it is all damage dealt to you. Assuming that is the case, try the below wording:
[] Recharge a spell ([]Or any number of spells) to reduce damage dealt to you by the number of cards recharged this way.
I'll be honest, this power is a bit problematic in another key way: other than discard from deck or bury effects, it effectively makes you immortal. However much damage you take, once you only have spells left in your deck, you can just recharge your hand and move on with life. I'd consider capping it, maybe jump to 3 with a power feat. If you want to push it, add a power feat to go to 5 (But do a LOT of testing of that). Those will make dying very hard, and take a long time, but it's not quite as broken.

Overall, I'm impressed with the direction you've gone. I feel like you're on the right track, and in a few more iterations you'll be ready to start the serious testing.

Longshot11 wrote:
skizzerz wrote:
C. "To defeat this barrier, all of the summoned henchman must be defeated." -- There were 0 summoned henchmen, so therefore 0 of the summoned henchmen must be defeated. This statement is always true, so the barrier is always defeated.

I agree with all of your other statements, and they match the consensus reached on our table.

However, this last part (while probably being closer to intent in such extreme edge-case) does contradict classical logic. We can look at this sentence as:

"For A (barrier is defeated)) to be True, all of B (X number of Henchmen) must be C (are Defeated)"

Now, even if X=0 , i.e. no Henchmen are summoned, then still none of these 0 Henchmen can acquire a Defeated status.

Again, I'm not so much arguing on intent (in the rare -if not impossible, in WotR- circumstance where it would matter, I'm sure most people would house-rule the barrier is defeated), as I'm wondering if there's some official reference that would patch this 'logic gap'.

Well, looking at set theory, I think you're still fine. You could say it as For A (barrier is defeated) to be true, Set B (the set of all henchmen encountered) must be equal to Set C (the set of all henchmen defeated or evaded). Since both Set B and Set C are empty sets, they are equal, and therefore, the requirement of A is met.

Longshot11 wrote:
Keith Richmond wrote:
Hawkmoon269 wrote:
So, you are saying you can only examine these trigger cards from certain locations?
Yeah, other times my examine is wasted!
My location is in a whole different scenario (or are continents Adventures?), so I hope they fix this without me having to cast "Summon VPN"...

I hope not, I'm pretty sure "Summon VPN" has the evil descriptor.

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When we were playing the 4th scenario of the base set, we'd had a really rough start. Failed to close two locations after defeating the henchmen due to cursed dice, which in a 6-player game is near a death sentence. We were running out of time, and still had 4 locations open. I believe it was Zadim that runs into the villain, but we still have one location no one is posted at. Villain escapes, and we keep going, leaving a character at each location, and anyone we can spare goes to the villain's location.

Last blessing is flipped on Alahazra's turn. She's already used all her blessings to examine, so only has 1 exploration, and there are still four cards in the location. Flips top card... blessing of the Ancients. Okay, second chance... It's the villain! It's right about then that I realize Alahazra has no spells in hand either. Oh well, we have to try, right! Blessings from everyone who has them, Damiel adds a d4, Ahmohtep is there just in case...

Doesn't matter, Alahazra rolls through the roof, every one of her d6's is 4+ and the villain gets wrecked. It was easily the closest win we've ever had.

((Sorry for the lack of details, it was a few weeks ago, so I don't remember many of the specifics. Hopefully the dramatic retelling was enough)

Rebel Song wrote:
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
Rebel Song and I have decided to turn our Mummy's Mask game, starting tomorrow, into a playtest of our characters. Rebel's making her own character, I'm playing Ollie, and our friend is playing Aurelia.
I'm playing a tomb raider. *wink wink nudge nudge* ;-D

Watch out, they may try to reboot your character in a few adventures.

Doppelschwert wrote:
isaic16 wrote:
I actually think you got the comparison to Zadim almost exactly right, except he starts at discard and needs a feat to recharge. In exchange, you further restrict to only swords, not any one-hander, which seems just about fine to me. I think the problem in the Selytiel comparison is actually Selytiel, who is probably one of the weakest characters in PACG history, and that needs to be taken into account.

Oh, I didn't realize that Zadim actually could boost any character at his location with his power. While I read his base once on the blog, it will still take 2 weeks to get my base set, so I'm sorry for suggesting the nerf.

I'll take back my suggestion about restricting the power to himself on the base then, as that seems to be the baseline for slayers.
I still think the additional 1d8 and the fire damage should only apply to himself though, and I'm still wondering why they made the slayer so much better at supporting combat checks than rangers are by default...

It's interesting that you think that Seltyiel is a really bad character. I only played him in combat centric APs like RotR and WotR yet, but he works nicely there and I like him thematically. However, I can see that he may not have much appeal for APs that focus on skill checks like SnS and probably MM, but I still have to play both of them.

Note, however, that he can be played quite versatile by using mostly utility spells and just completely ignoring his power related to using both swords and spells. He still gets his intelligence boost on spells with the sword trait on his spellblade role, so his baseline is the same power of a fighter with the spellcasting of any arcane caster.

I fully admit that the dislike for Selytiel is probably largely related to the environment he first appeared in. We actually did the strategy you mentioned of just ignoring his first power and using utility spells. The problem there is that the Arcane utility spells in S&S were, by and large, TERRIBLE, especially compared to RotR. There was no augury or haste, scrying came very late, there weren't as many buffs, and most of them were worse, since checks were so much less predictable. Also, ignoring that first power effectively just makes him a substantially weaker Seelah or Oloch, since divine generally has better support spells, and their powers are actually useful. The real nail in Sely's coffin, again entirely due to the environment he was in, was his d4 Wisdom. Wisdom was almost a God-Stat in S&S, due to ships and survival checks being on the majority of barriers, plus Will saves being on many high level monsters. He was the only character in S&S with a d4 wisdom, and that just killed him.

All that being said, I think he's still too weak even in a better environment. He has very few cards which explore (blessings/allies), which means that in large groups he will end up with fewer combat checks than his comrades, since he just is going to kick down the fewest doors. In general, I feel his character creates the worst kind of tension. You have to either build him to support his powers, which makes him a combat monster, but his player will be sitting on his hands most of the game, or you can build him as a support character, which ends with him completely ignoring his most powerful ability just in order to actually do something.

Caveat: WotR actually works so much better for him due to one simple reason: Support spells with the attack trait. In S&S, there were exactly 0 of them. In RotR, you had clouds, which would have been amazing for him. Wrath had some of those plus Steal Soul, which is just an amazing card. I still don't think they're enough to make him a character I have any interest in (he remains a liability in large groups), but I can see why someone would like him in that environment.

I actually think you got the comparison to Zadim almost exactly right, except he starts at discard and needs a feat to recharge. In exchange, you further restrict to only swords, not any one-hander, which seems just about fine to me. I think the problem in the Selytiel comparison is actually Selytiel, who is probably one of the weakest characters in PACG history, and that needs to be taken into account.

As to the character, I think it's working great. I agree with others that Heavy Armor doesn't make sense and should be removed. You may actually consider completely removing it from the base card, and then have it be a City Guard unique perk. If the roles are as unbalanced as Doppel seems to fear, you may even given the proficiency to City Guard for free without a feat required. I'd definitely test the recharge power as that is on the top end of power level, though I don't think it's over the top. I think the armor to explore power is probably okay, since your character has very little exploration ability normally, you kind of need that power to keep up in larger group games.

If Doppel hadn't pointed it out, I wouldn't have noticed the level of power potential on the Monster Hunter role, but it does take a whole lot of feats to get there. I think it may end up more reasonable than he fears, but I'd definitely test something like a high-level S&S or Runelords scenario, with appropriate feats acquired, to see how strong it feels. Since you generally only get about 7 feats in an AP (Wrath being the exception, and even then I think it only gets to 8), there's a limit to how many of the power enhancing feats you can get, which might keep it under control. Also, she has no non-combat utility in that role, so she really has to be a combat monster to not be underpowered.

One comment I do have to make is that the added fire feat on your first power in Monster Hunter needs to change. The problem is that it's right after a replacement effect (the damage reduction) and therefore, by PACG implied structure, refers to that part of the power, even though it's clearly intended to apply to the first part of the power (the bonus to combat checks). I'd try to put that power feat earlier in the power. It would have the effect of not making the damage reduction feat required to get that feat, but I think that is more than acceptable for sensible parsing. See below:

You may recharge a card that has the Sword trait and does not have the Two-handed trait to add 1d8 (□+1)( □+2) and that card’s traits (□ and You may add another 1d8 and the Fire trait) to a combat check by a character at your location (□or to reduce combat damage dealt to you by 2.)

Overall, I think I'm a lot more positive on this character than most. She does differentiate herself from Zadim in a meaningful way, and is a character I'd be excited to try. I think it is important to be very cautious and put in playtests at multiple tiers of difficulty to make sure she doesn't spin out of control any more than normal. Also, just as some personal advice, if you aren't sure about a card, don't show it to someone you intend to give it to until you've shown it to an independent party like the forums. It always feels bad to the person getting it if they end up with a 'nerfed' (read: balanced) version, and it's probably for the best if they don't know what they were missing.

If you misinterpret a rule to be too difficult, then learn it's actually easier, there is a sense of relief. If you misinterpret a rule then it turns out harder, there's a sense of disappointment or feeling cheated. I do not at all blame, and in fact encourage the developers, to err on the side of more restrictive for that sake.

It's definitely true that RP characters are often really hard to translate into cards. I've had that issue a lot. I think something you need to do is think of some iconic moment that the character had, and see if you can build a power around that moment. That power will often not last (it's generally too complicated or too powerful) but it can serve as inspiration for something that could be a centerpiece of the card.

You have a good start to a character, but I do have a few thoughts.

Your skills are fine. It's a bit over-the-top to have 3 skills tied to a d12 die, so you might consider bumping another one down to a +1 (compare to RotR Ezren). However, I don't think it's out of line, and considering some of the other things I'm going to mention, it may be a necessary power boost.

For your cards, I see one major problem. Darzec is the single worst character at exploring I've ever seen. Granted, with Mummy's Mask, exploration has become far less exclusive to blessings and allies, but those are still the primary methods to explore, and you only have 3 in your deck to start with. Any character who is even close to that low usually makes up for it with either some kind of exploration power or support power (RotR Ezren, RotR Valeros), but Darzec doesn't have any. The end result is that in any group larger than 3, he is going to feel like a serious liability to the turn counter, since he will consistently only explore once per turn.

For your powers, I don't think you need to nerf anything. If these are your only powers, they are more than fair. The major issue, which I alluded to in the character section, is that these powers aren't actually going to do that much. The bonus to attack spells is comparable to Alahazra's S&S card, but she pairs it with a borderline OP examining ability. A bonus to acquire spells is nowhere close.

To me, though, there is a bigger issue than the power level. This is definitely something that is more a feel, so if you disagree with me, feel free to blow me off. However, these powers are boring. Literally every power on his card, including role powers, is something that I can get from another character. 4 of your powers are just adding numbers to checks, 2 are damage prevention abilities, 2 give you a new skill, then you have one skill replacement, one immunity avoider, and one evasion power.

I think Darzec needs a hook. Some power or trick that makes me want to play him instead of any of the other arcane casters. I'd recommend doing your 1/3 change to the existing powers, and then give him a brand new power that separates him in some way. If he's a crafter, maybe give him some ability to transform spells into other cards (IE: At the end of your turn, you may banish a spell to draw a random item from the box). I don't know if that fits the character, and I put it together in just a few minutes, but I hope you get the idea.

Overall, you have a very sound design that hits all the basic needs. However, as a whole, the character suffers a major issue with functionality on a larger team due to lack of exploration, and the powers feel very cookie-cutter and could use a new spice to add excitement. I look forward to seeing where you go from here!

Vic Wertz wrote:
Normally, when you execute an instruction, all the variables are defined at that time, unless something tells you otherwise. In this case, you define "your location" at that time, but you can't define "the top 2 cards" at that time because the examine rules tell you you have to define them one by one..

Vic, in your opinion, how game-breaking would a house-rule be that set aside the top cards of the deck and then examined each one individually? I only ask because in larger games the time can run pretty long, and the examine each and do the thing method is slightly slower than drawing all cards at the same time. However, if there's a negative effect I can't think of, then it may be worth the extra time.

cartmanbeck wrote:
Fire Kukri +1 (Strength/Melee/Dexterity/Ranged) <- I think this one is a mistake, since it doesn't actually use Dexterity or have the Ranged trait.

Don't be so certain that is a mistake. There is precedence for opposite check applying (the most prominent I can think of is the Starknife from RotR). Also, since I believe it is a knife, it would make sense for Simoun to be able to have a good chance to get it, since she should be good with knives.

I agree with Hawkmoon that it's probably intended as one per curse total, but it is poor wording. That being said, I could see a group which feels the adventure is too easy house-ruling to the multiplicative version, and that'd probably be pretty fun for them.

One additional clarification that I don't think was explicitly mentioned:

When a card (such as these cohorts) say "Display this card," that is not an instruction, but is actually a power. Therefore, you can use it whenever you could legally play cards. So, if for some reason (I don't know why, but hypothetically) you didn't want to immediately display your cohort, you could hold it in your had for a while. Reading your question, it seems like you were treating the display as an instruction that you were required to perform as soon as possible, which is not the case. Hopefully, thinking of it as a power will make it easier to figure out.

I believe in the past they generally will wait until at least the sub copies have all been sent out, and its shelf date has hit. If I remember right, it's supposed to be officially on the shelves today, so it's about time for the process to start. It'll probably depend how busy the team is, and it'll be some time in the next month.

First World Bard wrote:
Longshot11 wrote:
(Funnily enough, we ended up never using WotR's "discard a spell to draw a monster" - it was too big of a cost for a measly benefit. A recharge is much more in line)
Huh, I end up using that power all the time: I typically discard the first spell I have to get a monster. From there, I typically use the monster on a combat check, and acquire the monster I've defeated. Monsters are totally a renewable resource, and discarding a spell solves the bootstrapping problem.

I'm somewhere between you two. Often Balthazar could win an early combat check without monster help, and then snowballed from there. However, the discard effect was used quite often simply because he could discard any spells he acquired, and those were often times junk that he was happy to discard.

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