Situations where it would save you from death are kind of situational -- you need to empty your deck with Blessing of Khepri card in hand. Then, depending on the Blessings deck, you might have to reset your hand. (Resetting your hand with the other powers could be really helpful for continuing your turn, or maybe just kill you if you had a bad explore.)
Ezren uses his big hand to hold the 'reveal for +N items' so that he is guaranteed to recharge spells, and playing spells pull more spells into his hand. He wants to have a deck of only spells with useful cards in hand and everything else in the discard pile. Wand of Enervation will need to cycle through the deck, but it can slow down your turn.
I don't know about player enjoyment (there's a lot of fun in defeating the game as opposed to the adventure path), but it is right for the challenge level. Pretty much everything that made WotR hard is reasonable with sufficient scouting. Try Adowyn with a role card and cycle through her deck by recharging one card for every two scouted. Don't forget that you can do this on other players' turns, and do get mounts that change your location.* (I only used the ability to improve ranged attacks for the last combat in a session.)
*: Aargh, forced blind explores! Imrijka scoffs at anyone who thinks this is a problem. The downside of heavy scouting is that you become shy of actions that some people do several times a turn.
I guess my original question was this: this set now has disincentives for scouting with the triggers (mostly bad, but not all bad, kinda like barriers). So are there counterbalancing benefits to examining? Are there more rewards to scouting to match the new risk?
Scouting location decks was already too powerful (gone are the days of multiple Augury and Scrying spells), so there is no need to compensate for the much-needed additional risk. What the designers have done is add more opportunities to examine decks. (Don't forget that in addition to all the spoiled examine cards, Alahazra returns in this set.)
I'm also curious about the mechanics of traders - so look at Hadden up there. He says he offers spells, and costs 2 boons. I'm assuming that means you can somehow exchange two unwanted boons from the group pile at the end of the scenario to get a spell. But we don't know if it's a random spell pulled from the box, or if you get to pick in some way. I presume it's random; picking seems super powerful.
Read the flavour text for Hadden. It is pretty clear that it is a random draw. Traders with decent organization systems have probably sold all the good stuff before your campaign starts.
Going through a location in about a turn was pretty normal with solo Lini. In later RotRL, a fairly normal Ezren managed to go through multiple location decks in a turn, closing them despite the needing to pass Survival checks. My S&S Alahazra would scoop the boons off the top off all the decks and then kill the banes at 2 to 4 locations (Pterodactyls are great allies).
The main issues are:
* Augury/Scrying is too good when a character has multiples of them; you might need to make them discard/bury instead of recharge/discard to make them fair (although some characters want their favourite cards in the discard pile)
* Examining cards is too powerful without the compensating banes that will be in MM (you get enjoyment from mastery but lose the fun of pushing your luck -- at least in theory, in my games their was so much examination going on that 'OMG, are you really going to do a blind
* Many of the spellcasters have powers that let them go infinite
* Alahazra is just awesome
S&S Rulebook wrote:
When a card has multiple powers, you must choose one of them. A specific card’s power may only be used once per check or step.
Applied to character cards, RotRL Lini can do only one of shapechange, recharge a Bear and use an animal for a bonus d4 on a given check. Is that really how this is supposed to work?
There are cards that summon physical cards from the box and cards that summon copies of themselves (or particular cards for the deck/scenario). Assuming that the latter are worded to not go into self-recursive infinite loops (possibly through errata), there may be a fairly simple solution. Don't put cards back into the box until the end of the top-level encounter. If there isn't a copy of a card to pull from the box, you don't need to summon and encounter that card. (It only seems like there are an infinite number of Ancient Skeletons.)
This also solves what to do if your game is missing a card and makes having all the copies of henchman useful. If you hate a particular type of summoned card, Balazar can build up a collection of those creatures so that you can stop encountering it.
When does Alahazra choose to examine an additional card?
Assume that there is a location deck with 4 cards including a barrier and a villain, I've played Augury for monsters and I want to put the villain on top, but the barrier might have 'if you examine this card' text. I probably only want to go to 4 cards if the first 3 contained a barrier. Can I look at the first 3 cards before activating the power to examine one more?
Theryon, let me put it differently. I try to play characters to the best of their potential (modulo group makeup) and I have pretty much all the class decks. If I play through an OP path without using the class decks, will I end up having less fun because my characters become better than they were expected to be? Things are supposed to be balanced due each class deck having appropriate boons, but I think that a fighter using the class deck will probably be weaker than one that plays traditionally.
I may have written that it was overpowered, but that didn't stop me from making sure I had excellent scouting abilities (two of them were excellent at visiting multiple locations). Resource management and mitigating risk are the essentials of skillful play in PACG. Fun comes from mastery of skills (real and virtual), ownership, random die rolls, random encounters and pushing your luck. Two of the sources of fun are removed from all players once your scouting is sufficiently good. At that point players will can plot out their actions several turns in advance and only worry about rolling all ones (bah, that would never happen!).
Other than adding a bit of risk to scouting, scenarios/locations where scouted piles are shuffled at the end of each turn would decrease the edge it provides and make it hard for one character to remove all of the surprise from locations. Banes with random behaviour (mongrels and rolling a die for bane powers) also help in this regard.
In practice, I was able to do a lot of scouting with Adowyn in dangerous locations (both for herself and other characters). Sometimes I would acquire cards just to be able to scout with them. Once she has a role card she gets to scout two cards at a time and the power becomes awesome.
By the end of a turn I would be reduced to a single weapon (recharging the Barding was always an interesting decision). When I reset my hand, I would use one of the new cards to scout my current location. That might lead to other players coming in and exploring, allowing me to do more off-turn scouting at my current location. Most of my blind explores came from using mounts that were move+explore once I didn't want to stay at my current location.
Scouting is powerful because:
I think that scouting is overpowered in the existing adventure paths and makes the game less exciting because it minimizes risk (I say this because I've used it extensively in each path, causing my groups to almost never fail a scenario). Alahazra is back in the next path and in the Oracle deck, so I think that there need to be banes with negative effects when they are revealed (either examine or explore, even if evaded). Barriers with cursed glyphs and sanity-reducing monsters would be thematic. Exploration will still be good, but have risks. The risk will make each scouting action feel exciting even though the resulting explores are actually less exciting.
Damiel just comes naturally and this Balazar plan is trivial. A good Ezren deck depends on cards people usually don't keep in his deck. (My model infinite Ezren punches henchmen with spell immunities to death using displayed Strength spells and some other tricks. He needs a thin deck to repeatedly Augury but all his displayed spells go back into the deck at the end of his turn. They also make sure that he can pull everything he needs from a medium deck.)
Andrew L Klein wrote:
Yoda and I agree that that interpretation, hate, apprentices and Humpty Dumpty's approach to language lead to suffering. We suspect that bikini waxes could be added to that list, but too chicken we are to do (or even try) that.
Through the Looking Glass wrote:
I think that you would end up short cards if a card was simultaneously two types. That interpretation leads to suffering.
If 'this card is an item' doesn't need to last the entire rebuild then you could suck in items and then purge some of them later. However, the Druid deck seems to have so many B items and armors that this isn't relevant for Gronk (who doesn't actually have many item and armor slots). Maybe works with blessings.
The printed sheets for Gronk have two feats for 6 blessings.
If rebuilding includes upgrades (it seems to come afterwards), then the upgrade process needs to be FAQed as to whether upgrade cards have types.
If 'treat' doesn't mean 'change the boon type for all purposes' then we need errata to reword the power to explain what it does (gifting and negotiating don't make sense in this context).
The power on the card doesn't say 'if you have a shortage of armors or items (□ or blessings) you may fill those cards slots with Animal allies instead', so you should be able to temporarily exceed your card count for a boon type. Actually, the OP rules don't seem to handle the situation where you have too many cards of a type, either due to Gronk or something removing a card feat. We know you should remove cards down to your limit, but that part of the base rules is overridden.
The power doesn't say 'in your deck', just 'when you rebuild your character deck'. It also isn't clear if you can reclassify cards more than once given that rebuilding your deck isn't a step (perhaps you don't want all the non-Animal allies in your deck when you are done getting AD4 allies). I assume the power needs errata, but wording things to work with the OP rebuilding rules may be tricky.
Things would be even weirder if getting upgrades is part of rebuilding your deck ('I take an AD4 Animal ally as an AD4 item'), but that doesn't seem to be correct.
Assume you are in AD4 and you take an ally card feat (total 5) and the above power feat. Rebuilding your deck will be fun! Declare all animal allies that you don't want to be items. This leaves the Apprentice and the three Druids as cards you are forced to treat as allies. Now you have an empty ally slot that can only be filled by a card that you want, even if is a deck 4 card.
Would people be happier with proxying cards if there were standard proxy cards to shuffle into decks?
7x Proxy Henchman H
Most scenarios would work with these 20 cards and nobody would forget to make the proxy substitution. Scenario rules could specify both a proxy letter and normal card. Seemed to work fine in Apocrypha.
Don't be afraid to take attack spells for Seoni early on before you have adequate healing. You can play the Seoni that nearly kills herself in combats that she wins or the one that has only crap in her discard pile and a hand/deck of awesome that she constantly cycles through. You will want to max out spells.
Mythic Guardian looks like it should be able to close the Rasping Rifts (ignoring the requirement to empty the location). Ball of Twine lets you create another location (probably the Maze), so in theory you can get into a situation where you are temp-closing Rasping Rifts. Using the ally that finds the villain, you might be able to complete the scenario with two combats if he escapes to the Maze.
I have a conveniently located vase of dice (forming a rainbow pattern), but it is on top of a glass tabletop.... Then there is the drawer of dice bricks of many colours that should be good for 500 dice; do I need to get them out of their plastic boxes? (The number of dice on the PACG tabletop is enough to beat any check if they all roll ones, anyway.)
In the scenario where you can shuffle boons into locations to explore, Blessing of Ascension and an empty location will get you as many charges as you want. Use the Marshall to give them away to other players so that everyone can have 100+ charges for their turns.
That was a great scenario for getting rid of cards we didn't want (banishing if basic or elite) and replacing them with AD3 cards (good way to get yourself a Tome and Tuning Fork combo).
Not only can Oloch give +10, he can decide that he won't be taking any damage due to all of his cards being on display. He was an invulnerable source of bonuses (particularly to the previous character in turn order) when I played. The downside was that he tended to have short turns.
I believe there is already a thread about Damiel being completely broken.
Alahazra was able to pre-scout everything and get rid of the unwanted boons, revealing dangerous surprises. Her combat abilities were sufficient to clean up the banes left on tops of decks (I used Pteranodons to take them out). I don't think that her scouting is reasonable when there are no banes with reveal powers; it is fun to play effectively but unfun to always be prepared.
Jirelle was really strong on water, but was relatively fragile until she got the Ring of Regeneration so that she didn't need to worry about healing. All of her weak cards were being cycled through the deck using Tessa. I do love my rerolls.
End result, every scenario completed the first time and only one came close. No character deaths. There may have been some challenge in figuring out how to make the best use of the characters, but once that was done the scenarios didn't provide real challenges.
As I mentioned earlier, I still blew things up. You can't scout with your allies, so after hoovering up the boons (or trashing them) and getting free explores because I had acquired an ally or whatever (using the power of the location where I stood) I would use my free explore and allies (including Pteranodons) to take out banes using a Sphere. Once you are a Stargazer your blessings are like souped-up versions of Detect Magic, so you don't want to discard them to explore. Most spells also meet that fate.
I also liked Blazing Servant for when I needed extra flare to my checks. I made sure that I had high-level cards when necessary, otherwise it was a good way to cycle non-Divine cards out of my hand.
I believe that I maxed out items and allies. There were too many good items to let them go away. (You want an attack item in case you are prevented from using spells, Besmara's Tricorn, then healing crystal if the other characters don't keep you from ever seeing it, ... if nothing else, there is alway Token of Remembrance for being Divine.)
The downside of Alahazra is that you rarely need anyone to explore blindly, particularly with low player counts. Usually we found the villain through scouting and left it on top of its location until the final encounter; henchmen could sit around until the right character was ready to fight and close. Barriers were similarly avoided. If we didn't like the bane on top of a deck, I would use Slip (?) to 'reveal' the top card and then I would 'fail' the Knowledge check to put the card on the bottom.
Pretty much the only reason we had for reckless blind explores were abilities to get free explores.
Scouting means that the right people go to the right locations and you don't waste cards blessing people so that they survive traps. Every explore counted. She could also scout on other characters' turns. Three Cures is just too many when she can pick them out of her discard pile. It also means you don't have space for spells like Find Traps. What did you do when exploring hit a barrier for which Alahazra didn't have the right stats?
Our group went through S&S without losing a single scenario.
Alahazra doesn't need three cures; she is going to recharge most of her hand scouting decks. Because you are constantly recharging cards from her hand you will get back to the spells you want. If you need a spell two turns in a row then make sure that it doesn't get recharged and discard a Divine spell at the end of your turn to take the spell back into hand.
One of her starting powers gives +2 on attack spells, so you will start the game with d12 + 4 + (2d4 or d6) on attacks. Soon, you will also have various Spheres of Destruction which will allow you to make several combats in one turn, just like a fighter with a weapon.
One of the best spells early on is Find Traps since S&S is full of barriers. Adding two dice to any check against a barrier is awesome and saves Blessings.
Usually I didn't attack monsters until things were well-scouted and there weren't many cards in hand (due to recharging to scout). Once I had Stargazer I would remove all the boons from the tops of decks (sitting at a location with a useful power) and then hit several locations with monsters on top using Pteranodons to move and explore with +d6 to my combat check.
I didn't read Robes of Besmara correctly so I mistakenly thought that an armour slot would be useful. Later, I used it for the Stanching Buckler so that I could turn damage into card draws, getting rid of useless cards in exchange for awesome Divine ones. I would have a massive deck so taking Before You Act damage was pretty much an advantage.
Powers 2 and 3 are not identical. Power 3 lets you recharge a card with no consequence. You can't activate power 2 without giving a card to someone.
Using the power on the displayed card is a separate instance of playing the card according to the FAQ. If you display Sphere of Fire (or one of the similar cards) on a check then you would be expected to also play it by using the power to affect the check. Are we playing one card twice? Does the initial display come with an automatic use that doesn't happen if you played it outside of a check? If I had a power that gave my checks a bonus for not having spells in hand, could I display it on a check without using it to attack?
Can Spheres of Destruction only be initially played outside of an encounter? I thought that it was supposed to be possible to use them during an encounter (going back to the original Rage discussions), but the FAQ that using the power on the card counts as playing the spell seems to contradict this (you would be playing one spell twice on a check).
There was a FAQ update for Fog Bank. Strangely, I had always played that as the designers intended while still using Alahazra to scan remote locations (ignoring their negative effects) from ones with positive effects. (Bonuses on checks to acquire or drawing cards whenever I made a check were awesome.)
Then I used Pteranodons to hop around fighting banes to make more remote viewing possible....
The rules fail to include a numbered step in which you select the player to make a check, but explicitly mention that you have this choice when there are sequential checks to be made. Is this actually a step on its own or part of a different step? Is it part of the encounter or part of the check? Can cards affect it? This isn't yet covered by the rules or FAQ. If Raise Dead or Potion of Flying explicitly mentioned a time period then that could make them definitely work, but the standard set with Rage and Sphere of Fire is much looser -- you can play a card to give you an option that affects a check if the active player will immediately use that option.
Prior to Tuesday, we didn't even know what happens if the character encountering a card dies mid-encounter; due to a change in the rules we know that that ends the encounter (apparently avoiding subsequent effects on the card). That answered whether or not the encountering player can be raised from the dead without improving our understanding of how selecting a character to make a check works.
This would also affect checks to temp-close locations.
The distinction for Raise Dead and Potion of Flying is that step 0 of attempting a check is to choose a character to perform the check (if there aren't sequential checks, you only have one choice). Can you play cards to affect that step if you will choose the newly available character? It would be similar to Rage, which can be played as long as the power is used. Reference. It is unclear if the check has even started before you pick a character to attempt it, however.
The other discussions were about playing cards to get cards you can play, but it seems that only things that directly let you affect a check will be allowed (as everyone has been playing) and there will be some errata on a couple cards to make them work.