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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 807 posts (810 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 3 wishlists. 5 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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)


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Frencois wrote:
Doppelschwert wrote:
James McKendrew wrote:
By the way, I think it's the Tomb Raider who's Basic and can be acquired with Dex/Acrobatics.
Does it resemble Lara Croft though?
Nope, the fact that the art for the Tomb Raider card isn't a sexy sportive Indiana Jones babe with conversation below eye level is the single disappointment with MM. All the rest is awesome.

I think it would've been hilarious if it was a sexy, sporty tomb raider in a revealing pose, but was a dude instead.


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I think the big reason people don't like higher hand sizes at first is due to the nature of your deck being hit points. The larger the hand size gets, the fewer hit points you have, which makes you feel much more vulnerable (this is especially the case with a character like Seoni, which can easily burn through her deck in a couple turns, leaving you feeling like you're one bad roll from death). Over time, most people learn that having too small a hand size can just make your deck non-functioning, but early the idea of having to pay a feat to become closer to death is really scary.


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The whole concept of cycling does vary a lot based on many different factors. For example, the more players you have, the more essential cycling (and healing) becomes, since you just are required to use more cards per turn, mostly on exploration, in order to beat the blessing deck. Cycling is still useful in 1 or 2 player games, but you can cycle over the course of several turns and not get punished for it too badly.

Likewise, certain scenarios or AP's have different cycling requirements. For example, in WotR, you often want to hang onto an armor like Jim said, since there's so much damage dealt before/after you act that you need to account for. In S&S, it's much less of an issue, since you need to get to your barrier fighting cards or scouting, since what you are really worried about are the barriers or non-combat based monsters. Mummy's Mask further introduces overkill penalties as a major mechanic, which will often penalize you for over-using a weapon, or pumping a million blessings just for cycling.

I think in general, cycling is something you should always be keeping in mind. And once you figure out the right amount of cycling, as well as how amenable your character is to it (as Bard points out, with Balazar you really need to make a conscious effort to cycle unless you already have your good cards), and the needs of the scenario. I think this article works well as a first-level introduction to the idea, since a lot of new players can be scared of 'wasting' cards. However, in order to become a true expert, you need to be able to determine when cycling is right for your particular situation.


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We got the Mummy's Mask base set and character addon a few days ago, and started with our big six player group. Yesterday, we started a Sandstorm of Malevolent Will, and had the longest turn in history. Our Magus flipped the blessing at the start of the turn, and revealed sandstorm. Okay, now 6 players have to move to other locations, revealing the top card. As it turns out, two locations, the ruined temple and the hot springs, had the henchman on top.

Now for those who haven't played yet, the henchman has a trigger effect to discard the top card of the blessing's deck and shuffle in a sandstorm to replace it. So, the first time we do so we flip....another sandstorm. Now, with 6 players, it becomes a near inevitability that someone is going to hit one of the two locations again before we run out of sandstorms. And for whatever reason, we just keep drawing sandstorms off the blessing deck, and they keep getting shuffled right back in by the henchmen. We face 5 consecutive sandstorms, 8, 10. It just keeps going. Finally, on the 12th sandstorm, we go a while only flipping blessings. We get to the last character...and she rolls ruined temple...SANDSTORM!!!

We ended up facing 15 consecutive sandstorms, and over half the blessings deck was emptied due to finding Agash with all the sandstorms already being in the blessings deck. It was the most simultaneously amazing, hilarious, and frustrating moment we've had in the entire history of the game.

And yeah, we lost. Badly.


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Love the changes! I think it looks to be in a solid place. I've got a few notes, let me go down the line.

Skills look perfect now, I don't think I'd change anything.

For the scouting power, I don't think you have to specify non-empty. The game is smart enough to figure out that if you try to examine an empty location nothing happens, and I think most players will be too. I'm curious why you used the location's adventure deck number instead of scenario number. The vast majority of Locations are base set, and locations will only ever be from Base, 1, and the current set, so it could be somewhat awkward going from attempting a 7 to attempting a 13 in the same scenario. That being said, I've never seen a power use location set number, so it might be worth seeing it in action just for novelty. There's also some flavor in that base locations are often (but not always) more friendly and easier to explore.

I like the new power feat to make it easier to draw. With how blessing dependent you are, that will probably feel great in action. Overall, he is a lot stronger now. It's possible this is too much of a swing in the other direction, but I think it's still well within the correct power band. Good work!

Sensei looks good. I see you took my advice to add feats to the starting powers, which I think works well. You did a good job modifying the support power. I appreciate that you took my advice but didn't just copy/paste it, rather putting your own spin on it. It is a bit awkward that the second half of the power is only other characters, while the baseline part includes yourself, but if you think that is valuable for the flavor or power level, I think it's formatted well. Also, going straight from 2d4 to 4d4 on the non-combat role sends an odd message. You might consider having that be 2 feats, but it's by no means necessary.

Ki-Blaster also is looking pretty close. I do think it is a bit awkward that the first power goes straight from 2d4 to 3d6. It reads like a massive jump, even though it's barely larger than the sensei's 2d4 to 4d4 jump (and arguably is less appealing, since 4d4 is more consistent, which is usually preferable to spikey numbers). There isn't necessarily anything wrong with it, but I'd recommend playing with the numbers a bit before finalizing it. I see that you took my version of the overload ability, but you added a spin with the blessing bonus. I will admit, I at first misread it and didn't recognize that it was blessings that boosted to d6, but I don't think that's a major issue. Overall, I think the power works.

Great job on this! Personally, I'd be excited to play this character as is.


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Sorry, it's been a while, but I just got back into the forums and figured I'd provide advice in case you were still looking for it.

I'll be honest, I think Kurasamu is underpowered, and could really use a bit of a buff, particularly the baseline (the role cards are much more powerful). To explain, I'll compare him to Athnul, one of the Monks in the class deck, which I've used a lot of late. Their stats are similar (she has much higher Con, but lower Int and Cha to compensate), and she has 6 skill points to Kura's 4, with similar distribution. She has an ability to discard any card in hand to add Wis skill to melee, and that actually gives higher average damage baseline than Kura's first power, which requires recharging a specific card, and benefits more from skill points. Before adding the power feat, Kura's second ability is almost strictly worse than just having a hand size of 5, which Athnul has baseline.

The long and short of it is, I think he needs another skill and another power (or buff existing ones). You specifically mention not having fort or acrobatics, but you could add something like survival or diplomacy. Alternatively, you could bump both skills to a +3. For an additional power, obviously you can go a lot of ways, but it should be something simple and which doesn't want a lot of power feats, since you already have those out there. A scouting ability might make sense, or possibly make the heal option from the draw baseline. Another option would be to move the first skill from sensei to be a baseline power, but that might be to powerful.

Aside from the power level issue, I do really like the card and the character. Once you give him a bit of love, I'm sure he'll be quite fun.

Let's get into the role cards. One point I'd like to make is that neither role affects your baseline powers. While that does happen, I feel like it is good to at least have one way of getting better at what you've already been doing, since some players enjoy that. I actually have a suggestion on this a bit later.

The sensei has mostly tried and true abilities, and they should play well. I think restricting the first ability to spells & blessings is smart, since it makes it clearly weaker than the bard's power (which should be the best of its kind), while still being useable pretty much whenever you really need it. One issue I have is that the first and second abilities read incredibly similarly. I understand that they're representing different class abilities, but from someone reading it, they're both just buffs. I'd consider trying to merge them together. Maybe something like the following:
You may recharge a blessing or a spell to add 1d4 (□+1)(□+2) to a check by a character at your location. (□ If the check is a noncombat Strength, Dexterity or Constitution check, You may instead discard (□ recharge) the card to add an additional 1d10 to the check.
There's obviously some differences (you need the first power to get the second, you can affect yourself with it, you only have to use once card to get both) but I think it's worth considering.

I have a somewhat similar point for the Ki-Blaster role. The first new skill in that role is essentially designed to be used with the base ki-blast ability. It might read better to just go ahead and add that to the first power. It removes interaction with other force-based combat, but I'm not sure how significant that is. I'd also consider buffing it a bit, since I feel this role should be very good at combat, and I don't think d10+5d4+4 for recharge 2 blessings is going to match up with even the decently powerful end-game fighters (as a comparison, RotR Valeros with a Greatsword+2 is d10+2d6+9 as a reveal, which has .5 lower average damage). Maybe up it to 2d4/4d4 or 2d6/3d6. Another possibility is to go all out on the idea of loading all your power into one shot, like the following (in this case, it would probably stay a separate power):
On your combat check with the force trait, you may recharge any number of cards. Add 1d4 (1d6) to your check for each card recharged this way.
That is obviously less powerful as a baseline single discard, but has the overload potential if you're fighting a current-adventure monster to just win, and removes the fail-state of not having a second blessing in hand (since you can use any card).

I like both the other abilities here. I really appreciate how each role has an ability to not lost spells, but which are flavorfully so different from each other. You're right that the second ability is very powerful, but I wouldn't be surprised if it felt a lot worse in practice than it seems on paper. The main reason is that you are going to be using a whole lot of blessings with this character, and I imagine there will be many times where you want to use this power but can't because you don't have enough blessings left.

Overall, I really like your execution in using multiple different archetypes to create a character that can go in two very different directions while still making sense at his base. I also really admire your restraint in creating a character that is clearly in line with power levels of actual cards, possibly going too far in the other direction. If you can get the base character to a sufficient power, and possibly clean up a few of my role suggestions, I think Kurasamu will be in great shape!


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I feel like one of my biggest issues with the perma-death rule is that it is much more punishing on newer players than more experienced ones. When you're a new player, you aren't thinking necessarily about exactly how many cards are left in your deck, what banes could take cards off of your deck, and similar. You also don't think about stopping exploration and restarting the scenario just in case, since that doesn't feel natural for the game.

On the other hand, an experienced player, especially one with metagaming knowledge (ie they read all the cards when a new adventure is added, check the Villain before they're shuffled in, etc) will know exactly when they are risking death by exploring. Because of that, and because there's no penalty for failing a scenario, an experienced player pretty much never is at risk of permadeath.

For me, what this results in is a rule that actually encourages Ivory Tower thinking. If a player dies, they 'played wrong,' even if it seemed logical at the time. I feel like if a rule is designed to make a game harder, it should be equally punishing across all skill levels, so when a beginner fails, the response is more 'yeah, that happens, and it sucks,' rather than 'well, its because you suck.'


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I think the most important lesson I got when I was starting out is to remember there is a reason the game is run by a DM and not just an automated simulation. The reason is that you, theoretically, know what your group likes more than the designers of the game. Because of that, you are not only allowed to, but in certain circumstances are expected to, adjust or ignore the rules as written. The most important time for this is when there is a rule uncertainty, but it doesn't deal with something important (say an enemy is about to die, and a PC is asking if he can do an awesome jump-attack finisher or something). In cases like that, it's probably better to make a ruling on the spot, since the time spent looking it up would likely take a really long time, and it would kill the flow and mood that is being set by the combat.

Also, as a DM, you have to be okay with losing. The entire point of the DM is to present a challenge for your PC's to overcome, but in the end to be overcome. At first, this will likely not be bad, and it can even be fun seeing the interesting ways they think of to screw over your efforts. However, after a long campaign, all the times you can overcome and outsmarted or beaten in one way or another can add up. If you can get competitive or salty, keep an eye on yourself and make sure you're not letting frustration get to you.

There's probably some other advice, but I'm already starting to enter TL;DR territory, so I'll leave you with those.


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Aldon Foxglove, while not the level of raging fury that was Coral Capuchin (only one, and at least mildly useful) showed up so much during our games that I think my group actually developed Stockholm syndrome. We've brought him with us to every adventure path since, and he just sits I the ally stack, occasionally popping out of a location with his trademark "hey guys, I'm here, too!"


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Klandestine wrote:
Frencois wrote:
then you have campaign games (real full ones I mean, that's why Zombicide belongs to the other group), where you really are into your character and the fun is more into the RPG than into the strategy puzzle or the " too bad you rolled 1 before getting the Holy Avenger so your are dead ".

Never a truer word spoken. And I think that is what the developers have missed as they have transitioned from RotRL to other sets. This is not Zombicide where we might expect to wipe/lose a scenario. This is essentially a RPG adventure. You hope and pray that it allows you to build and develop your characters, from novices to "mythic heroes".

Out of interest, was the actual original Pathfinder AP as punishing as the card version? That would seem... odd for a RPG campaign.

Funny story. If you go to the Wrath sub-forum for the RPG here, there are actually myriad threads discussing how the campaign is broken because the players are completely UN-challenged. Granted, that's mostly for characters much farther along in the campaign, but it's still a funny parallel.


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I imagine it will help some, but it still can't turn an untrained skill into anything but a d4.


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Donny Schuijers wrote:

I do think that people are blaming Carrion Golem on totally wrong reasons.

First of all: The Monsters you encounter are pure random and have nothing to do with the Scenario they actually show up in. This is about the power curve of the Scenarions/Adventures, not a random card in a random deck.

Second: Every, YES EVERY, character who would fail a roll against a Carrion Golem is able to lose his starting hand + 3 from his/her deck. This would be a pain for all characters, not just characters. Trust me, if I play Alain or Seelah, and in the first exploration I'd lose half my deck, I'd be pissed too.

Third and Last: The Carrion Golem is not THAT hard to kill with Seoni or Enora. If you have an ally that gives you a combat boost or some blessings over the characters, or even a longbow here and there, then every character can Melee a Carrion Golem to pulp, yes, even Enora.

Golems have been in PACG since WotR and they have been immune to Spells since Long Before PACG in most Tabletop RPGs, just like Undead are immune to Mental and Poison. It's just logical and themewise for those monsters.

I'm sorry people feel that Carrion Golem is a pain, but it's here and it's a reason to think the game is Hard. The Game is Hard because of certain Scenario Rules and the fact that you need more than just Brute Force to clear a scenario. Also, when I say "Hard", I mean "Challenging in a good way".

I'm sorry, but I have to call you out on point 3. An ally that gives a combat boost and some blessings? okay, so I play a blessing, my ally plays a blessing, I play an ally that gives me a d4, and what the heck, maybe I used a Mendevian Crusader to explore so that's another 1. What's that add up to? 3d6+d4+1, which averages *drum roll* 13! Hey, you still have less than a 50/50 chance to win, after spending 3 cards, 2 of which were discarded, AND you were lucky in the exploration card you used. Golem IS that hard to kill with a caster. If it had been a 10 or even 12 DC, I don't think you'd have anywhere CLOSE to the frustration you're seeing here. However, 14 is right at that point where a group is spending a level of resources beyond what they'd be using when encountering a Villain with an unprepared character.

Every other point you make I agree with (I'd argue that golems have never appeared this early before, but that doesn't mean they can't). However, the idea that 'characters just need to put in a bit of effort' is foolish. The level of investment you need to put in is more than an average 1-2 person group could handle (you need 3 blessings to get to decent probability), and it's more exploration resources than a 5 or 6 person group can afford to spend (I haven't done the math, but I figure 6-player groups still need to spend at least 60% of their blessings/allies on explores even with average luck finding the henchmen). So, once again, if you're not in that 3-4 character sweet spot, you're boned.


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Mogloth wrote:
Joshua Birk 898 wrote:
I really think that the people struggling with difficulty should just give themselves a free card feat and jump to AP1. You will find the game much more fun.

This doesn't really help the overall situation. What are you going to tell the people who don't visit the forums if they get discouraged by the difficulty in the base scenarios?

The demonic horde barrier should not have been in the base set. Neither should Carrion Golem.

A barrier that, for the most part, requires EVERY character spend resources to defeat is not a good thing to have when players' decks are at their weakest. It would have been much better off to move that barrier to set 2 or 3. After the players have added a few cards to their deck.

And to have a monster in the base set that COMPLETELY negates 2 characters was not a good idea either. Again, this monster would have been better off in pack 2 or later.

In one of my first Wrath games, I encountered the Carrion Golem with Enora on her FIRST exploration. 1 turn in and she has 9 cards in her discard pile and no more deck to draw from. This should NEVER be possible in the first scenario.

The 'you can always make the game easier' mindset is really the biggest problem I have with this situation. Yes, you can make it easier. My play group has already done several things to make the game easier. You know who isn't going to try to make the game easier? New players who don't know about the forums. The same ones who are just starting the game and therefore are most likely to be absolutely DESTROYED in the first few scenarios.

Games should be designed so that it's easy for new players to get invested, and experienced players get a bonus for knowing more. PACG plays into that SO WELL, too, since it has a built-in aging curve, so you know exactly where the new players are coming in. And as others have said, things like Elven Entanglement and Demonic Horde aren't the fun kind of hard, they're the frustrating kind of hard. (Examples of fun-hard: Death zone in RotR6, S&S Scenario 6-5. In both cases, they were scenarios that you looked at and said 'oh gosh, this is going to be rough,' steeled yourselves, and persevered through.)
Since Demonic Horde is a random barrier, you don't steel yourself for it. It's just, 'darn, we flipped the bad barrier, let's roll the dice 30 times and if we fail once hopefully it gets shuffled below the henchman.' As was pointed out in another thread, as you get more characters, you also have more points of failure. Even if we give every character a 90% chance, there's only barely better than a 50% chance everyone will win. The end result is that you don't feel like you win, and you don't even feel like you survived. You feel like you got lucky.

Also, an interesting Carrion Golem point. Every base set has had a 14 DC monster, which I kind of like, since it shows that you can sometimes be surprised, and you need to be prepared for something nasty. But let's compare the 14 DC monsters: RotR: Hill Giant, a big strong thing with an annoying fail effect, but the big number was all there was to it. S&S: Sea Drake, a big scary monster that also could deal a decent bit of damage if you failed a moderate DC check, much tougher than Hill Giant, but not insurmountable. WotR: Carrion Golem, a monster that completely shuts down a class of characters, and has a tremendously punishing effect if undefeated. The difference from Sea Drake to Carrion Golem isn't so much in how tough they are, but rather how they feel. Sea Drake is a really tough thing that you really have to put an effort into overcoming. Carrion Golem just shuts down casters, which makes it feel much more cheap and luck-based. Sea Drake makes you mad at it. Golem makes you mad at the designers. I think that's actually a good summation of why WotR difficulty feels off. It's too blunt. S&S was much more subtle in the ways it screwed you over, so it was much easier to blame the game rather than the designers.


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Thank you for this explanation. It definitely does help to understand where you were coming from. I do wonder if this may be (and forgive me if this comes off as rude, it's late) a case of being too smart for your own good. I feel in some ways that the power curve is so hard to represent, and in as small a sample as the five scenarios per adventure it can be obfuscated a lot by luck. Further, the fact that the base set doesn't follow the story of the adventure is a big issue here.
If WotR is supposed to represent how scary s first encounter with a demon is, then why is the hardest part the one before the big demon outbreak? Frankly, I feel the Wrath power curve makes the demons actually feel far less scary than they otherwise would. You might consider judging the power curve starting in the first adventure , rather than the base set, so it's all done as part of the story


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While I agree with the first point, I have to ask, how much scouting is there available in this? There's Ring of Climbing and... Detect Demons? Outside of character powers (and you may not have one of those characters), that's all I can think of. (The lack of Augury or even a decent replacement is probably my biggest pet peeve about S&S and WotR compared to RotR. The challenge is much higher, and now I'm even LESS prepared for it)


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Jimmy_Weasel wrote:

I enjoyed the breakdown of bane ratio stats. It’s helpful to see them laid out so well. These numbers definitely demonstrate something. But do they necessarily mean the B scenarios are poorly designed? …Why?

You see, growing up on tabletop games, I remember well that the easiest time for a PC to die was generally in the early levels. This was sort of a given. Everyone just seemed to know it. There certainly was more chance to put up with early on, and just about everything was threatening to your character. In fact, it was a celebration-worthy feat getting through that first bottleneck, indeed. Endure the trials, and only then the world begins to reveal its boons. As with the fool’s journey, games often started out awful and merciless. Survive, and the game got easier. In fact, it only got hard again after our hero mistakenly believes that he’s mastered some aspect of the external world...

This is certainly a valid consideration, and one of the best points in favor of the higher difficulty. However, I think the problem with it is, simply, this isn't an RPG. The advantage RPG's have in this regard is twofold, 1. they are more storytelling medium than game and 2. there is a DM adjudicating the process. This means that losing isn't always a failure, and the game can be more easily tailored to different tastes (as a DM, I have fudged more dice than I can count to save PC's from the RNG gods). I believe (and you are more than welcome to disagree, as this is subjective) that with this being a Card-based (rather than role-playing) game, with no independent judge, that the design of the game itself has to provide a level of rising tension as part of the process.

Jimmy_Weasel wrote:
So I guess we've been doin' it in reverse now, and for many long years. Since the beginning of WoW, at least, we like our challenges to always be gentlemanly and wait until we are ready. That's cool. It's kind of like the duel between Inigo and the Man in Black, and THAT certainly was cool. But it’s not the only ‘non-broken’ way to have fun. Near perfect scaling is something that us gamers have simply been indoctrinated with, and so now we demand it or we feel that some mechanic is flawed. I’m guilty of this reflex, too. It’s just, my doctor would like to see me cut back is all.

This process far predates WoW, in fact I'd argue you could find it as early as Pac-Man (man those ghosts sure got faster as you leveled up), and became a staple by the time we saw Final Fantasy and Dragon's Quest in the mid-'80s. The reason I bring up Video games in the comparison (besides your reference), is the fact that they represent the most widespread use of the player-vs-independent-force construct that is used in this game. I would argue that we have seen years of testing the different methods of introducing players to this medium in Video Games, and the result seems to be conclusive in that a steadily increasing difficulty curve is the most popular method to attract players.

Jimmy_Weasel wrote:
But, could we ever consider this callous, nooblet-hating lethality of yore as a legitimate and potentially rewarding alternative these days? There was certainly a natural balance and benefit to our experiences with character loss tending to happen to us earlier rather than later. For one, catching up was much easier! Getting to experiment with a variety of novice builds before getting our footing gave us a larger picture of the game as a whole, and it didn’t put us too far behind our mates at that stage. As a bonus, a low-level character death or two helped instill a feeling of genuine threat at a relatively low time-cost (compared to the loss of a high level character)—yet we’d also somehow carry that memory with us, eventually far into the advanced levels; and thus was maintained the illusion of dire consequences even at the point where characters sometimes began to enjoy something akin to invulnerability.

You are correct. This is a perfectly valid alternative. Going back to the video game analogy, we see games like Super Meatboy and I Wanna be the Guy designed to punish the player. However, even in those games, the hardest challenges are saved for the end, since accomplishing the hardest parts early makes the rest of the adventure boring.

Jimmy_Weasel wrote:

Someone here made a point that the threat shouldn’t be so high when we are first acclimating to our characters. Feels like a solid point. But, what about acclimating to loss and recovery? That is part of this game, too. Would you rather get your first taste of having to restart right away or much later? I’m for now when I can catch up faster. What’s that? You say you’d prefer Nevar? I guess that’s good too.

On repeating scenarios, I could only repeat what I’ve said in another post, so I won’t. It’s also a much less fun discussion than death.

I agree again, this is a reasonable point. However, as I said before, if the hardest scenario is the first, then you aren't acclimating them to loss that they will experience throughout the adventure. You're acclimating them to loss that they will never experience again, which defeats the point.

Jimmy_Weasel wrote:
At any rate, if the B scenarios are really going to be many peoples’ tutorial experience with all of PACG, I hear what you’re saying. But then wait a minute. What about the group out there that shelved RotRL because they were outraged over what little fight was put up by ol’ Pillbug “Pushover” Podiker? Like, those guys probably exist too, right? Maybe if they started with WotR, they wouldn’t have had to give up and move on to skydiving with Bengal tigers or something… To think of the lives, and tigers, that Wrath may have even saved.

There may very well have been people that were turned off by those easy scenarios. I think the general consensus was that RotR base set was too easy. But this is a false dilemma. The solution is somewhere between those extremes (I'd argue a bit below S&S as well, but others say that is about right, so we'll settle there). In addition, as I said in my previous post, there is an inherent expectation that challenge increases, not decreases, so it's much easier to sell 'it's easy now, but just wait until AD2' than it is to say 'I know you're struggling now, but once you get through the base set, it's all downhill from here!' (And actually, that brings up another point against this. If it's too hard, you have to replay the scenarios repeatedly, and it takes up a lot of time. If it's too easy, you breeze straight through and can get to the hard stuff faster).

Jimmy_Weasel wrote:
Well, I suppose all I really mean is that I’m not so sure I’d call these scenarios poorly designed. That kind of implies that the makers set out to achieve a mark and missed it. The scenario configs really seem to me to be a purposeful ‘choice’, rather. Perhaps it is the wrong choice. But I guess if it is a choice, it can only be wrong for some. That is, UNLESS the designers truly intended to start out mild and then gently and evenly build the challenge level. THEN, your table would present some damning evidence that the gods must be crazy, sure. But who among us knows a dev’s mind, eh? We don’t even have any in captivity to study—for they seem to know how to spot our tangle traps, you see (even despite the label stating “100% Unpredictable”). But until we’ve got one strapped to the examining table, I feel I must yield that even such a peculiar bane/boon ratio progression as that boils down to a matter of preference rather than Unintelligent Design or something. Peace, & thanks for a stimulating and informative analysis.

You may be right that this is the design they are aiming for. I believe everyone at Lone Shark Games knows what they're doing, so it's entirely probably you are right. If it is, though, my argument would be that it was a poor business decision on their part. Whether I'm right or not I can't say, but at least I can let them know...


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I wholeheartedly agree with you on all counts here. I don't necessarily have a problem with the overall challenge. I have a problem with this overall challenge happening so quickly. Even if we assume that this adventure path isn't designed for new players (everyone did S&S or RotR already), the base set is still when you're learning a new character, as well as new boons and banes, and trying to get better than basic starting gear. The level of difficulty should be set such that there is time to acclimate, which just isn't the case.

Honestly, I was really hopeful after the first scenario, since this had been a problem (though much, much smaller) in S&S (Even RotR had much higher bane counts in the base adventure, but made up for it with much easier scenario conditions). However, the absolute brick-wall-level leap in difficulty from B-1 to B-2 is just poor design. It feels like there's no difficulty slope.

One last point, perception does matter. At this point, everyone on these fora know that the Adventure gets easier once you get to the Adventure decks, for one reason or another. However, someone less invested in the game has no reason to assume that. So, if they feel that the Base set is too hard, they aren't going to look at the first adventure and say, 'hey, maybe we should try that, it must be easier.' They are going to say 'Well, I guess this game wasn't made for us.'
I think that's one thing I want to make clear, since I know I've been nagging on this way too much. I'm not bothered by the difficulty for the sake of myself and my players (we're entrenched enough that we can change the game ourselves), my worry is that the difficulty is going to be a barrier to entry for new players, which will make it harder for the game to grow and sustain itself. The game should get hard. Possibly balls-to-the-walls stupid hard. But if it doesn't start on the lower end of the spectrum, the hardcore players won't appreciate the raising of the stakes (the existence of RotR mitigates this problem somewhat), and the casual players will never get invested long enough to experience the triumphs.

TL;DR: If a game starts easy, there's some level of expectation that it will get hard. If a game starts hard, there's an expectation that it will stay hard, and likely get harder. A game that starts hard doesn't present a sense of escalation to hardcore gamers, and scares off casual ones.


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Keith Richmond wrote:

I love difficulty sliders, but they can cause their own problems as well. Among other things, it's tricky to playtest multiple at once and get good results and some people hate being classed into one set or another or resent the implications.

I'll say, it's something that a group already does when they select characters and feats. I'd hope any group that looks at the game and goes "It's a _great_ concept, except it's too frustrating or not dangerous enough" would change things slightly.

I feel like this is backwards thinking. If someone finds a game too hard, they are probably a more casual player, and are more likely to find another game. If they find the game harder, they are more hardcore, and it seems more likely they'd be the ones investing time in making changes. There's also the issue of human nature, where making something easier feels like cheating, and is generally frowned upon, whereas making something harder just shows how powerful you are.

While it's just anecdotal, you can look at the homebrew forums for evidence here. In RotR, there were at least a half-dozen threads discussing making the game more challenging. I'm not sure I saw one like that in S&S discussing reduced challenge.

I still do enjoy the game. However, I feel that if there were another game like it on the market, but with a more RotR level challenge, my group would have switched to that already.

Edit: Also, your point about difficulty sliders applies double to this. If a group resents the implication they're on 'easy mode,' how do you think they'll feel about the implication of 'I have to make this game even easier all by myself'?


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A player say, in character, "I need to apologize to the Kobolds. It was offensive of me to believe I could take on by myself something that they were scared enough to ask for help with."


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Tanis O'Connor wrote:
isaic16 wrote:
I'm torn... on one hand, definite portability issues. On the other hand, imagine having this set up at your house, and each room has one of the location decks in it, and you physically move yourself between locations. It's a workout AND a game.

Oh no, here comes the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game LARP . . .

says nothing about the Torture Pit location

I'm more scared/concerned/intrigued by the implication of the Halls of Lust location...


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SCKnightHero1 wrote:
isaic16 wrote:

Okay, I'm gonna spoiler these, since it goes all the way through:

** spoiler omitted **

I'm sure I missed some too. My group was pretty redemption-happy.

How did they redeem Terendelev?

This is an adventure 6 spoiler, so be warned before you read on:

Spoiler:
That might've been overstating it. She was turned into a Ravener by Khorramzadeh, and due to the party killing him before they encountered her, she started just going crazy. Once the Ravener was killed, Terendelev was able to be true ressurected again, since there was no undead restriction clause. In our campaign setting, the god of death does not hold souls accountable for their action is turned into undead, but even were that not the case, it should just take an atonement to get her redeemed.

Also, another one I forgot:

Spoiler:
Alderpash, who is now chilling in the realm of the god of redemption, doing community service


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Kalindlara wrote:
I think it was more a question of how you get a half-dragon succubus in the first place. :)

That feels like one of the least unlikely pairings that you can have. I guess there's the issue that Succubus children are usually Cambions, instead of Succubi, but if the parents are sufficiently powerful, I could see it working. If it's the mechanics you're worried about, I have faith that Succubi are...equipped...to handle more than the average woman of her size, plus at-will alter self on top of that.

And, if all else fails, a Wizard did it. Wizards are pervs, never forget this.


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Okay, I'm gonna spoiler these, since it goes all the way through:

Spoiler:

I don't know if he counts, but Hogrgus went from N to G in Adventure 1 (and later married the rogue)
One of the Looters, I named him Paul :)
Nurah (later married the Cleric)
Arles Jestander (again, not sure if it counts, but just restored his faith. He didn't return to being a paladin, though, the entire party was chaotic, so they just converted him to Cavalier, and he became the Cleric's cohort)
Aron Kir (at least helped him recover from his addiction, if that counts)
Jestak
Joran Vhane
Jesker
Two Random Cultists that were caught napping in the Ivory Sanctum (Jef and Gary)
the two barbarian consorts from the Wintersun clan (Jaenic and Vanic, who formed a new clan under the group fighter, who also married Vanic)
A couple of the giants from the Midnight Fane
Arueshaelae, of course (Married the grumpy Magus)
A few of the captured humans in the Nahyndrian mines which were evil
The Herald(s) of the Ivory Labyrinth (My storyline necessitated that there be multiple, all of which were saved)
Aravashnial's parents (kind-of, it was an added scene while we were waiting for adventure 6 to come out)
Many, many souls that were lost due to the rituals that Jerribeth and others had conducted (see the Champion trait storyline)
Jerribeth herself (Pulled before the court of the god of justice for going back on her agreement to use her wish)
Terendelev
I forget his name, but the guy that got turned into goop after he betrayed Areelu Voresh when she was opening the Worldwound
And, finally, even though it didn't complete until halfway through the campaign AFTER this one (a Kingmaker campaign with the childred of these heroes): Nocticula, who is now the deity of Love and Rebellion in the local pantheon.

I'm sure I missed some too. My group was pretty redemption-happy.


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You have a very interesting character here. I have a major soft spot for Ratfolk, so I'm enjoying this. Standard disclaimer, then we'll get into it.

(Obligatory Note: I'm not a game designer. As long as you're having fun, it doesn't matter what I think. Until it's actually playtested this is just speculation, so take it with a big grain of salt)

Okay, here we go. As I said above, I love Ratfolk, and a Ratfolk Alchemist is awesome. Looking at skills, you have a very wide array here, with the end result being a pretty solid set. There might be too many secondary skills, especially considering they're all on big dice, but I'm not going to call it unreasonable at this point.

Cards and favored card type look like pretty standard fare for an alchemist. Perhaps more blessings than I'd expect, but it looks good. I do note that you have a spell to start out with and no way to not banish it on use. That's not a bad thing necessarily, but it's definitely a weakness to keep in mind (only previous character to do that was Ranzak).

And powers. Hand size and proficiency look pretty standard for an alchemist. You took the alchemical recharge with no variation. Not a bad thing, but you might want to consider if there's some way you can spice it up. Reducing Poison damage is a nice added bit of flavor, but unlikely to come up as far as I know, so probably doesn't cost much, so to speak.

Finally, there's your Alchemy Weapon power. Essentially, it's the Sorcerer spontaneous cast, but worse in every possible way. Since you're limited to alchemical items, it should be able to be a bit stronger, but you're only using your dexterity die, which means there's no initial modifier and it can't scale with skill feats. I feel using ranged skill is still reasonable and allows it to scale much better. It's still notably worse than the Sorcerer ability (only alchemical items, only +1 and not in your base skill), which is fine since it isn't your specialty.

Getting into the role cards, I notice a big red flag. The powers on the base card change going to the role card. Fire turns into Acid for the Plague Nurse, and into a whole bunch of things on Demo-Woman. This is not necessarily something that can't be done (there was a role card in one class deck that seemingly gave you a new power when you got it, but that was errata'ed away, though the door was left open to do that in the future), but I'm not sure this is the place to do it. The biggest issue I think I have is that I can see a player not understanding if the power feat is supposed to carry over to the role, since it's not the same power feat. And in this case, there's actually a quite simple solution. Take the power off the base card. You remove the ability to get the fire trait early, and it just becomes a role card feat, with no muss or fuss.

I like the ability to shuffle the alchemical items into the deck. Good evolution of the ability. Same with adding to checks to get alchemical items and to bury alchemy cards to open locks. Good simple effects that are still useful.

The last ability for Demo-woman, though, is a problem. I feel like it's just too breakable. Imagine if you've just had your last turn, and one of your buddies is going to fight the villain in a turn or 2, or perhaps you know you can't win the scenario. Well, in that case, you can just bury your hand and get something like 4-6 new items to choose from with no penalty whatsoever. Moreover, it's abusable for someone inclined to do so, as they can just do a solo scenario, never explore, then use all the cards in their deck to get new alchemical items until they have the perfect item list. Added to that is you draw the card into your hand. That means you can then turn around and proceed to do it again with the card you just drew. If you get to auto-success range (as easy as having a headband of Int+2 with 4 skill feats), then you can literally just draw every alchemical item from the box in one turn.
I think I'd make two changes. First, I'd limit it to once per turn, probably either at start or end. Second, I'd have you recharge the acquired item, so there's some penalty to your current hand for doing so. I think that takes the worst potential problems out.

For Plague-Nurse, the power feat to your poison reduction just feels like having your cake and eating it, too. The ability to reduce to 0 and the ability to use it on Acid should be two separate power feats. I feel putting them together just makes it feel clunky and forced.
The other 3 powers on Plague nurse I think are all quite good. YOu can simplify the animal empathy by just adding to checks against cards with the animal trait, as against is used for both checks to acquire and defeat. Also, is the poison check bonus supposed to be d6, d12 or d6 upgradeable to d12. It's unclear, so you should probably add an 'or' there.

Overall, I really like a lot of the ideas here, and I think it creates a more interesting card than your first. However, I think it's also going to need a lot more polish to really shine. Good Luck!


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Couple things:

1. On the power of Crowe's bury ability, not that he only gets to recharge if it has the attack trait, so essentially only spells. He's probably not going to have a massive number of spells in his deck, so it's going to be bury more often than not.

2. I'm calling it now, the Eidolon will have the ability to use monsters from hand to gain 'evolutions' (adding dice or possibly traits), so it's only truly effective with the summoner.

3. Really curious about corruption, because I'm genuinely not sure if Seelah's ability is upside, downside or both.


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Another note in converting from the RPG is that Acrobatics is generally used in place of Reflex, and Will saves are equated to standard Wisdom checks. (I do kind of wish there was a Will skill, or something equivalent, just because that makes it feel weird, but I think the game is way too far along to add something like that at this point).


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Mike Selinker wrote:
E is for Excelsior, in our Avengers: Age of Ultron expansion. We expect ALL THE DOLLARS.

Shut up and take my money!


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Hawkmoon269 wrote:

Y'all is problematic because "you all" can also be used for emphasis of the fact that the entire group has to do something. These two sentences have slightly different meaning, at least in terms of emphasis and tone:

"If you fail a check, y'all (simple plural 2nd person) must bury a card."

"If you fail a check, you all (emphasized plural 2nd person) must bury a card."

And "y'all all" just won't work. The Pittsburgh English solution is probably the most elegant, while sounding in someways the least elegant. I recommend the "yinz" version over "youns" because it blends better with words that might follow the second person plural.

"If you fail a check, you must bury a card."

"If you fail a check, yinz must bury a card."

"If you fail a check, yinz all must bury a card."

The proper terminology here in the south is:

"If you fail a check, y'all must bury a card."

"If you fail a check, all y'all must bury a card."


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This is intended as a casual thread where we, the players can ask questions about certain flavor or design choices and (maybe? hopefully?) get the designers of the game to come by and tell us about the reasons, if any. Or at least say they don't remember, which I would personally still enjoy hearing. (Because, seriously, the makers of the game regularly post here, which is just cool).

(P.S. If a thread like this is actually a bad idea, for reasons I didn't foresee, let me know that as well, please)

So, here, below, are some of the things my group has encountered in the game that we wanted to ask the designers (I'll add more later if this ends up being popular):

The scenario "Attack on Rickety's Squibs": two points, both related to changes from the AP as written. 1. Why did you choose to use the Sea Devils as the attacker of choice? In the Adventure, it was Giant Wasps attacking, and possibly Setessa as well. 2. The attack occurred during the first part of Raiders of the Fever Sea, before all but maybe the first scenario. Why did you choose to position it third in the adventure?

And one more: There is an Imp ally available in Adventure 3. I don't remember any Imps making an appearance (other than as a smear on the wall), so I was curious why you settled on that as an ally option.

THANKS again for being such an awesome design team and making such an awesome game.


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Actually, now that I think about it, there's a way for Nocticula to completely dodge Prot from Evil without the BS aura. Since you encounter her in her own realm, she'll have mythic. Just give her Beyond Morality and laugh in the face of Protection from Evil or Chaos.


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Troymk1 wrote:
Feiya - I still feel I am under utilizing Feiya's innate ability to reduce the difficulty of checks. This would help cycle her deck, which has been a problem and the Monkey being from deck 3 is a prime example of a card I should use. At one stage of the campaign I was caught without an attack spell when needed too often, and I believe I over corrected with at one stage six attack spells in her deck. I have now weaned that back down to four, by including Charm Animal and Animate Water. The Sapphire of Intelligence and Jalhazar's Wheel have made her quite a boon when it comes to various challenges, And her new +2d4 Fortitude ability as a Sea Witch will only solidify that (especially with the Sapphire) Having said all that I really enjoy playing Feiya and look forward to better utility Arcane spells for her in the future.

You and I play Feiya very differently...

I use her Hex ability almost constantly. I obsess over having the newest cards (I think the only cards I have under AD 2 are the Sapphire, one blessing, and an Ally I'm actively trying to upgrade). I also just got the +3 to the power, so when I need I can take 7! off of a check. For me, she's become similar to your discussion of Alhazra, where she's often empty by the time her turn comes around (Often times one Attack spell, an ally, and a blessing from 7 cards to start with). The upshot, though, is the orb spells, which are her sole attack spells, and which mean she can explore without fear of going too deep because one spell lasts the whole time. Because of this, she cycles at absolutely absurd speeds, and therefore will see amazing cards like animate water and control weather 3 or more times per game.

I'm glad to hear everything is going well, but I just had to take some time to gush about how much I've loved Feiya these last couple adventures (she started off slow, it wasn't until her second power feat that she really came alive).


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Jan Englund wrote:
Ron Lundeen wrote:


One thing that I liked about my layout was the ability to add more story than Paizo was able to use on their cards--I didn't have their space limitation. I was shooting for something a little tighter, word-wise, than their OP scenarios (if you want more story, I really recommend checking out those).

I really did not notice those OP scenarios before, but that's because I am allergic to Pirates (and Zombies) and I am staying away from Skulls and Shackles because of that. Hopefully they'll have scenarios like that released with Wrath of the Righteous after it is released.

And oh... I would like to have more story, especially when there is no space limitations like in cards. Maybe a bit, just a bit more story in your next Adventure Path then. ;)

It's pretty much been confirmed that you will have something very similar for Wrath. Skull & Shackles OP was designed to be a test season, with the first real season being for WotR.


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Wrath of the Righteous is my GF and my favorite Adventure Path. PACG is our favorite card game. And so, with these two elements coming together, we had to try to make our party from that Adventure as PACG cards. There are 6 total, so I'm going to get started on them. Please let me know what you think! I encourage all feedback.
(Note: the Blessings listed here are our homebrew world's gods. We generally translate the Golarion Deities over to our own when we play the card game. However, since we don't know what blessings are in Wrath, we couldn't determine those at this point, so we've left them with their original names)

Trillix:
Trillix is by far the oddest of the characters to include, and probably wouldn't be a character card unless we needed an even number. That being said, he does have an impressive tale himself. He is a quasit, and the familiar of the party cleric. He was a quasit strangely born good, and through a great journey protected the soul of the wizard that first summoned him. Since then, he has served in Jaren's court as, essentially, a training familiar for young Wizards and Clerics. over time, he became one of Jaren's favored demons, even earning a promotion to a greater demon form later in the adventure.

Trillix:
Male Quasit Familiar
Strength d4 []+1
Dexterity d8 []+1 []+2
Constitution d4 []+1 []+2
-Fortitude: Constitution+1
Intelligence d8 []+1 []+2
-Knowledge: Intelligence+1
-Craft: Intelligence+1
Wisdom d10 []+1 []+2 []+3 []+4
-Survival: Wisdom+1
Charisma d8 []+1 []+2 []+3 []+4
-Diplomacy: Charisma+2

Favored Card Type: Ally
Weapon: 1 []2
Spell: 1 []2
Armor: 0 []1
Item: 4 []5 []6
Ally: 4 []5 []6
Blessing: 5 []6 []7 []8

Hand Size: 6 []7 []8
Add 1 to checks made by other characters at your location. You may instead recharge a card to instead add 1d4 []+1 []+2 to a combat check if it was a weapon, armor, or blessing, or to a non-combat check if it was a spell, item, or ally.
You may evade your encounter.
When you play a spell and would banish it, you may bury it instead.

Chosen of Jaren:
Hand Size: 6 []7 []8 []9
Add 1 to checks made by other characters at your location. You may instead recharge a card to instead add 1d4 []+1 []+2 []+3 to a combat check if it was a weapon, armor, or blessing, or to a non-combat check if it was a spell, item, or ally. ([] If it was a Weapon, Armor or Blessing, you may add a d8 instead).
You may evade your encounter.
When you play a spell and would banish it, you may bury it instead.
[] Discard a card to use d12 ([]+2) ([]+4) in place of your normal die for a Strength, Melee, or Dexterity Check. ([] If the check was against a card with the Outsider trait, you may recharge instead).
[] When you play a Blessing of Jaren, you may recharge it instead of discarding it.

Team Parent:
Hand Size: 6 []7 []8 []9 []10
Add 1 ([]2) ([]3) to checks made by other characters at your location. You may instead recharge a card to instead add 1d4 ([]+1) ([]+2) ([]+3)to a combat check if it was a weapon, armor, or blessing, or to a non-combat check if it was a spell, item, or ally.
You may evade your encounter. ([] If it was a monster other than a henchman or villain, you may put it on the bottom of the deck).
When you play a spell and would banish it, you may bury it instead.
[] When another character at your location moves to another location, you can move to that location.
[] When you play a Blessing of Ayrie, you may recharge it instead of discarding it.


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I've gotten through this one with one two-player, two-character group, our other one is stuck, and we are strongly considering skipping, since it isn't an official run.

I love this scenario in concept. It's great to have that 'get away from sword and stab' feel. I think the problem I have is with the boats themselves. When you think about it, the game is balanced around the fact that you have cards from the current adventure, but mixed in with the previous ones as well. However, in this scenario, effectively 90% of 'monsters' are latest-adventure level difficult. This means you are going to have a lot of high dc checks, even without considering the different types of checks involved. Further, the ship that gives a pirate haunt is just painful early. In one run we had, it was the first, 4th, and 6th boat we faced. At that point, we were effectively dead, with over 2/3 of the blessing deck left. I feel this scenario would've been a lot more fun if there'd been a few more boats that were in the range of Man's Promise or Merchantman, and less in the Devil's Pallor range.

I hope that made sense, I think I rambled again. Summary: Love the idea of this scenario, in execution it was just not fun.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I think I agree with almost all of Magnuskn and Nobody's points implicitly, however, I had an extremely positive in-game experience despite that. Having followed magnuskn's game log from the beginning, as well as many other discussions, I think I have some ideas as to what contributed to that:

1. My player does not play for the challenge. She's only interested in telling a story in a fun way, so the fact that the later adventures could get blown through with little challenge was a feature, not a bug. I don't think there are many players like that, but if you have them, this adventure fills that.
2. I've found that 'taking a pre-written adventure and modding the heck out of it' is actually probably my favorite DMing style. Also, the fact that the only AP I had run prior to this was 4e's Scales of War, this was still a major time saver in comparison. Running this out of the box would not have worked. This is actually largely because...
3. My group LOVED having so many NPC's. We would literally take entire sessions doing nothing to advance the plot, and just spending more time on PC-NPC character interactions. Yeah, if you don't do anything with the NPC's beyond what's in the book, or you only fit on discussion with them where it normally fits into the adventure, they are going to be bland and dry. In fact, when Adventure 4 got delayed a month, in order to just keep the game going, we did an entire month-long Christmas special with the characters interacting, holding a tournament, and even hunting down a child who had turned into a Glabrezu due to a terrible ritual, and didn't know what to do about it.
4. I think you're right that the later adventures weren't able to pull off the story in the same way as the earlier ones. However, I felt Adventure 1 and 2 did such a great job of setting up the world and the characters, that whatever issues I had later on could easily be spackled over with elements from early on.

I want to stress, I do not believe that these differences mean that 'I'm a better DM' or 'You were playing wrong.' I'm quite certain that I am not as good a DM as most of the other posters here. However, I think there was a level of synergy with myself, my players, and this AP, which allowed a level of enjoyment we have not had in any other adventure. And, by exploring why that was, despite all the flaws, I hope to add to this review a way of seeing when it IS correct to play this AP, as a counterpoint to the well illustrated reasons listed of when NOT to play.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I made one scenario as a post-Runelords adventure for my girlfriend's birthday. Since then, we've discussed converting it into a part of a full-blown AP. We've done a lot of the initial design for it, but it's still really early on.

Also, as we get closer to the release of WotR, I'm going to be designing a set of characters based on the party we brought to that adventure, so they can be the first group we run for that. I'm hoping to start that up in earnest early next year.

In the meantime, I will try to provide feedback on anything that gets posted here, but I'm not going to have anything myself for a little while at least.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

One potential (and very minor) upside of removing spellcasting is that it could potentially free up that section of the character sheet if someone wanted to use it to track spirit influence. I feel like the Special abilities section doesn't have near enough room for it. Granted, it's probably still much better to just have extra pages with the abilities (similar to what I'm sure most people, myself included, do with spells), but it's a thought.

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