Pathfinder Cards: Tides of Battle

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Pathfinder Cards: Tides of Battle
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Master the battlefield with Pathfinder Cards: Tides of Battle! This exciting new combat expansion to the Pathfinder RPG turns your hero’s diverse strengths and talents into dramatic combat maneuvers, lethal opportunities, and surges of power when you need them most—all while provoking thrilling turns of fate. Add new excitement and danger to your Pathfinder RPG encounters by unleashing the Tides of Battle!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-607-2

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Cards Subscription.

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Decent tool for players

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I've recently DMed my first use of this product. I don't use the published rule set with the product but simply give each player one card. They can use a card once per day by declaring its use as per the trigger on the card. I asked them to describe/role-play what they did when they used the boon on the card rather than just read out the mechanics. If they use their card they get dealt a new one. They are not compelled to use the card every day any anyway some cards won't be able to be used every day e.g. some are for saving throws which might not come up. Its a simple mechanic. I don't feel the need as a DM to balance this by having cards for PC foes either. All in all a decent addition to player options and can be role-played reasonably well to add a surge/edge/scale tipping element to an encounter. I would buy a sequel or supplement.


Good idea falls flat

*( )( )( )( )

"This exciting new combat exapnsion...drmatic combat maneuvers...lethal opportunites....surges of power....thrilling turns of fate...." it says on the back of the packet. After reading that maybe it was easy to be dissappointed.

Most of these cards are 'play a card for a bonus to hit/save/confirm crit with occasionally the choice of taking a lesser bonus to be able to play a card again in the encounter, "continuing the tide" as they say. There are a few other cards (play to use an Attack of Opportunity to block an attack, play to make a 5' step to avoid an attack and some more) but it all seems unexciting. There's no sense of a 'tide of battle'.

Very, very few of the cards are about 'the team' and just give the card player a bonus for that player, and there's other mechanics available to do that. The cards are in suits but that's just to break the cards up into four catagories and they play no role beyond that. When players pick their cards there's no restriction - you just take the cards you like.

To stop things being stacked against the GM, the hand size is restricted by the encounter level and playing a card costs points which the GM can use to give his NPCs bonuses to hit or other minor benefits. (The top one making a player be unable to play any more Tides of Battle cards this encounter).

Maybe I was expecting too much but as I read through the cards one by one I just found them all very dull. I won't be adding it to my game.

Mark


Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Announced! Product image is a mockup, and will change prior to publication.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Will it be useful to get one of these per player? Or is it more like the condition deck which served multiple players?

Paizo Employee Designer

It would be more useful to get one of these decks per player (or rather it is something each player buys for themselves). It is possible for two and maybe three players to share the same deck, but only if they want smaller personal decks and each player wants a different card mix.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Thanks, Stephen. I'll pick up a couple of extras. Cheers.

Paizo Employee Designer

You're welcome.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Now this...this sounds really interesting.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Stephen, could you elaborate just a bit on exactly what the format of these cards will be? Does each card have a numerical bonus or penalty to some number (like "+1 to attack rolls" or "+1 to spell damage per damage dice") or is it less specific than that, letting the GM decide exactly what type of bonus the player gets based on the situation.

And are some cards good, while others are bad, for the player? Or is is more like they all have some bonus to the player but some of them also include text saying "the battle turns in the enemy's favor, they get +1 to attacks against you for the next three rounds"?

Paizo Employee Designer

Sure...at least without not giving too much away just yet.

The cards are basically similar to the hero point system at least in scope. They allow you a chance to change the course of battle. They grant you specific things in specific ways. They are not up to GM interpretation, they just allow you to do things based on what you drew and how you want to play the cards you have.

At the same time, some cards, after you play them, can give your GM perks that he can then use to augment the bad guys, traps, or other challenges. GM perks are a big more fluid and nebulous, easier for the GM to use, and lacking some of the cool effects of the player benefits.

This sort of give and take doesn't happen all the time, and you always have the choice whether or not to play a card that grants a GM benefit. It's basically a game with a number of carrots and sticks. Sometime if you want a carrot, you have to brave the stick.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I'll be keeping a eye on these, our group can't quite get the hero point system to do what we want maybe this will be our answer.

Paizo Employee Designer

Andrew Phillips wrote:
I'll be keeping a eye on these, our group can't quite get the hero point system to do what we want maybe this will be our answer.

Well I guess that depends on what you want the hero point system to do. Do you mind explaining why it falls short for your group?

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Andrew Phillips wrote:
I'll be keeping a eye on these, our group can't quite get the hero point system to do what we want maybe this will be our answer.
Well I guess that depends on what you want the hero point system to do. Do you mind explaining why it falls short for your group?

I guess I could say we want Hero Points to perform 2 different tasks. First, and this mainly my desire, Hero Points should be able to save PCs when they are being taken out of an encounter. As an example I've been GMing an adventure path for about 14 months and last week I get to be a PC and spend fully 1/3 of the session unconcious it would have been great to be able to spend Point to get back in the game "just this once". From the GM's chair I don't like to pull punches so Hero Points that let PCs avoid that "one bad situation" are good for me.

Also we want the points to give us bonuses when we really want them, for example the rogue finally gets into flank vs the BBEG, a bonus to hit is great but somehow something cooler would be nice.

Like I said the current Hero Point system sort of does both but neither to my satisfaction.

We've got 2 types of playes, those who save their points for when they are in trouble and those who spend theirs doing cool stuff then get into trouble later.

So I'm hoping the Tides of Battle cards will give us cool stuff to do and I can relagate Hero Points "save your bacon" type stuff.

Paizo Employee Designer

Andrew Phillips wrote:
So I'm hoping the Tides of Battle cards will give us cool stuff to do and I can relagate Hero Points "save your bacon" type stuff.

Cool. Thanks for sharing. You'll definitely want to check out Tides of Battle.

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

This, combined with the last few releases have me really reinvigorated about the cards. Just two questions Mr Radney-MacFarland.
1) My only concern with these is the effect on game pace. I love the critical hit/fumble decks, but late game they can slow things down and you select multiple cards, choose the one you want, tack its effect. Alleviated party by individual decks.
2) Why the iconic antipaladin for you avatar?


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Are these going to be sanctioned for Pathfinder Society?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

So, its already time to talk more about it ? It's like a Plot Twist Deck oriented to combat ?

Webstore Gninja Minion

Updated product image and description, added sample images!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
WeekendWarriors wrote:
Are these going to be sanctioned for Pathfinder Society?

Since Hero Points are PFS legal, I highly doubt these will be. (Which is a shame, since they look pretty cool.) Also, with the exception of the occasional chase scene, the AWESOME condition cards, and the meh buff cards no other cards are PFS "legal"


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I'm quite confused at what these are for. The second card sample references "drawing up to your hand size".

Grand Lodge

Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
WeekendWarriors wrote:
Are these going to be sanctioned for Pathfinder Society?
Since Hero Points are PFS legal, I highly doubt these will be. (Which is a shame, since they look pretty cool.) Also, with the exception of the occasional chase scene, the AWESOME condition cards, and the meh buff cards no other cards are PFS "legal"

I agree that no other cards as far as the crit and crit miss decks are not legal nor are hte plot twist cards legal. But you say that Hero Points are legal for PFS and that is not true either.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Just curious if we can get an explanation on how these will work, since they are showing up in a few months.

As always thank you in advance!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Are there any news about the cards?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Yeah I'd like a bigger preview please. I always like the rules expansion cards.


Looking forward to these. Just to be forewarned is one pack meant to be for a player or a group?

Cheers
Mark

Grand Lodge

It is meant for one person.


Looks cool, might pick it up if it arrives at my local gaming shop. Maybe after a couple of reviews as well.

Will there be an iPhone/iPad app for this?


Are there official rules for using it that explain the 1 deck/person idea? I play 3.5 and use the "Dork20" deck (its a similar idea - its pretty silly and sometimes a little overpowered but my group likes it) and we use only one deck for the whole group.

What about this deck makes it 1/person rather than 1/group? Are there not enough cards to go around?

Webstore Gninja Minion

GregH wrote:

Are there official rules for using it that explain the 1 deck/person idea? I play 3.5 and use the "Dork20" deck (its a similar idea - its pretty silly and sometimes a little overpowered but my group likes it) and we use only one deck for the whole group.

What about this deck makes it 1/person rather than 1/group? Are there not enough cards to go around?

Each player gets "at least 12 cards," so you should have enough to go around for a standard four player group. However, this limits the variety of options at your disposal (as some mechanics allow for more draws), so each player with their own deck is ideal—but not required.


Liz Courts wrote:
Each player gets "at least 12 cards," so you should have enough to go around for a standard four player group. However, this limits the variety of options at your disposal (as some mechanics allow for more draws), so each player with their own deck is ideal—but not required.

Thanks Liz. The number explains it. We only allow 4 cards per player (I allow them to swap out and replenish back up to 4 at each new level). But as I said the Dork20 deck can be a bit higher powered than this seems to be (but it would be nice to see some more examples... :)

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

More of this kind of thing would be a good thing. Please and thanks! :)


Just curious: Why were the suits made "uneven?" Per the rules a PC's deck needs to have 12 cards and be worth at least 12 points. The Crown suit is exactly 12 cards worth a total of 12 points, but --

Wands is 12 cards worth 14 points; no variety possible, but seemingly "stronger" than Crowns;

Shields is 13 cards worth 17 points; allows for a slight variation in the hand;

Swords, ditto.

Counting the rules and the ad for Social Combat there are 55 actual cards in the box. I imagine 56 cards would have fit about as well (drop the ad and include a 13th Crown and Wand); what was the rationale behind differently sized and valued decks?


Liz Courts wrote:
GregH wrote:

Are there official rules for using it that explain the 1 deck/person idea? I play 3.5 and use the "Dork20" deck (its a similar idea - its pretty silly and sometimes a little overpowered but my group likes it) and we use only one deck for the whole group.

What about this deck makes it 1/person rather than 1/group? Are there not enough cards to go around?

Each player gets "at least 12 cards," so you should have enough to go around for a standard four player group. However, this limits the variety of options at your disposal (as some mechanics allow for more draws), so each player with their own deck is ideal—but not required.

Oh well. It's a no from me then. Running a 6 player group I could entertain the idea of getting two decks but I can't justify buying 6 and I can't demand my group buy a deck each. Wouldn't it better if such concepts were designed/packaged for a group instead? As for me I might dig out my old TORG Drama Deck and see if that can be adapted.

Cheers
Mark

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Norfolk wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
GregH wrote:

Are there official rules for using it that explain the 1 deck/person idea? I play 3.5 and use the "Dork20" deck (its a similar idea - its pretty silly and sometimes a little overpowered but my group likes it) and we use only one deck for the whole group.

What about this deck makes it 1/person rather than 1/group? Are there not enough cards to go around?

Each player gets "at least 12 cards," so you should have enough to go around for a standard four player group. However, this limits the variety of options at your disposal (as some mechanics allow for more draws), so each player with their own deck is ideal—but not required.

Oh well. It's a no from me then. Running a 6 player group I could entertain the idea of getting two decks but I can't justify buying 6 and I can't demand my group buy a deck each. Wouldn't it better if such concepts were designed/packaged for a group instead? As for me I might dig out my old TORG Drama Deck and see if that can be adapted.

Cheers
Mark

I actually have this deck. 2 decks would be a pretty perfect set up for a 6 person group with each person getting a small subdeck of atleast 12 cards. Maybe, just maybe you would want a 3rd deck but I don't think it would be necessary. Essentially the only reason you would want multiple decks is because there is only one of each card in a deck so if the 2 players wants the same card in their deck, their could be conflicts. The deck building rules actually PENALIZE having multiple of the same card in a single player's subdeck.

I am running a Reign of Winter game with 3 players and I was going to have each player create a 12 to 16 card subdeck from my deck. Running a full 50 card deck for a single character would be a bad idea as a martial character would find himself getting a lot of cards that boost up spells and casters would be getting unwanted weapon boosting cards. The smaller 12 - 16 card subdecks would work much better. The main problem is if multiple players want the same card.


Thanks for that. My interest has been rekindled and it's back on my purchase list.

Cheers
Mark


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Question for those at Paizo.

Are the GM bonuses used against the players added before the die is rolled or after?

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Damon Griffin wrote:

Just curious: Why were the suits made "uneven?" Per the rules a PC's deck needs to have 12 cards and be worth at least 12 points. The Crown suit is exactly 12 cards worth a total of 12 points, but --

Wands is 12 cards worth 14 points; no variety possible, but seemingly "stronger" than Crowns;

Shields is 13 cards worth 17 points; allows for a slight variation in the hand;

Swords, ditto.

Counting the rules and the ad for Social Combat there are 55 actual cards in the box. I imagine 56 cards would have fit about as well (drop the ad and include a 13th Crown and Wand); what was the rationale behind differently sized and valued decks?

I don't think you have to take cards from the 1 suit. You can use severl suits to vary benfits - some offence, some defence, some magic etc

Paizo Employee Designer

Segallion wrote:

Question for those at Paizo.

Are the GM bonuses used against the players added before the die is rolled or after?

After. The trigger is the d20 roll, you get to add the bonus after the trigger.


I'm rather confused about the whole "Tide of Battle" rule.
Can one enter it at will by playing any card or just a "Tide of" card? Does one leave Tide of Battle if one can't play a "continue the tide card" or if you can't play any card?
What does the rule mean that while you're in Tide of Battle mode "you can play only other cards from your hand?"

The cards seem great (and an improvement on the Dork20 cards my group has been using, which often give seldom-used bonuses) and I'll probably try them with my group this weekend. But I know they'll ask about the ToB rule and I want to be able to explain it.

Thanks.


Pathfinder Cards Subscriber

The one sample card seems a lot like a 4th Edition Power. Many of the powers added something to an ally's attack, or defense, or some sort of healing. If many of the cards are like this one, looks like it adds synergy to combat. I really like that about 4th Edition combat. The powers make the party more of a cohesive team, allowing one character to make an attack, but also give a buff of some sort.

I like these cards. Are all of them as system neutral as the sample?

Dark Archive

Is this a new line? Sequels/expansions already planned? Or just a real test? See how it sells, then maybe another year or two down the line, might revisit?

Any suggestions on letting a player use the cards at a cost of a feat if the other players don't want to chip in to buy extra decks?


I've given my impressions on the Product Review. Sorry.

Cheers
Mark


I was hoping this product to be more informed by the Books of Martial Action by Necromancers of the North West, which actually give martial characters something more interesting to do than power attack + full attack every round. Ah well.

Sovereign Court

GrumpyGM wrote:
What does the rule mean that while you're in Tide of Battle mode "you can play only other cards from your hand?"

I was wondering about this, too. It either means nothing at all, or there's a rule missing about playing cards from another player's hand. Or it means you can't take any actions on your turn, you can only play cards.


I just got this deck and I'm actually really confused about some of the rules. Mostly about when and why you'd enter a tide, and what that actually gets you.

If I'm understanding tides right, starting a tide with a tide card allows it to last indefinitely until you're stopped by one of the listed conditions?

The rules state that you can begin a tide any time you want using any card. If it's not a tide card, the effect only lasts until your next round. You don't even gain any benefit for being in a tide (if anything, it's a detriment). I don't see why you'd start a tide with a non-tide card.

Being in a tide indicates that you can only play cards from your hand. What does this mean? Normally you replace a card when playing it, so do you stop doing that and just keep your current cards until your tide ends? Do you discard the one you just played? Do you discard each one you play until you're out? Or is this referring to something else? Am I missing something?

You stay in a tide until you play a card without a continue effect. But if you do play another one, do you start stacking all those continue effects? Let's say I start with a bonus +1 to Fort saves, then play a card for +1 to dodge, then play one for free rerolls for half damage. Do I get all three of those until the GM stops me?

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