Some Thoughts After 1500+ Pathfinder ACG Threads


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game General Discussion

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Mike Selinker wrote:
Thanks. I'll probably continue being me for a while.

I want to see him dress up as Colonel Sanders with a wizard hat and a magic bucket of holding.


Twisted....


Hi Mike,

Thanks a lot for standing behind your game and taking the heat as well as praise for your work.

It's a breath of fresh air to see you on the boards so actively involved in the community.

Most company reps/designers disappear after a game has been released.

As a rookie game designer I have learned a lot from how you have handled yourself here.

Mike Vacco

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

Appreciated.

Sovereign Court

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Well, I've just bought PACG as my son (10 years old) watched me and my friends playing the Kingmaker AP last Saturday night (he enjoyed rolling the dice for the DM, and got far too many natural 20's ...)

I have the PF Beginner Box, but it is still in mint condition (and will most probably stay that way) and this seemed the best way to get him into Pathfinder :)

I'm currently reading the rules (I've been an RPG player / Board game player for over 30 years) so didn't see anything complicated about either the rules or the cards as written.

I admire anyone who listens to those who bought their game and give them feedback, so I doff my hat to you Mike :)

Keep up the great work, I'm sure this weekend will see my son hooked on Pathfinder and long may he enjoy playing games for the rest of his life :)

NGP


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Been playing for two weeks now. Have played solo, with small groups, and with large ones.

The game feels dynamic and tense with groups of all sizes. Have had lots of successful missions, and a few failed ones too, so the difficulty level is tuned just fine.

Thanks for making such a carefully crafted, intricately detailed game!

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

Thanks, folks.


Mike: Regarding Point 7: Look at the Greataxe. All it says is to roll either a Melee or Strength dice. We are left to extrapolate that this changes the check type. It should say this, and should be standard.

Because if a weapon doesn't tell you this then you get to the longbow, which tells you to roll two different attribute dice. You could equally determine that combat is now a strength check, a dexterity check, or both!

The rules aren't complicated. The cards that change the type of a check just need to say specifically what they are changing the check to. There will always be ambiguities but this really doesn't have to be one.


@porkupine - you need to understand the "Determine which die/skill you're using" action in the encounter step, then it will make sense.

Try here:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2q4t9?What-is-a-die#34

and here:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2q9ig&page=2?Encountering-a-Card-Revised#63

and hopefully it will be clearer.


1970Zombie wrote:


... In fact may of our suggestions and many card changes discovered during the playtest were incorporated into the game. The concept of ... removal of earlier cards as you add adventure decks,

What tells you to do that?


Read the Adventure Path card for Rise of the Runelords ;)


Oh. Still finishing the basic adventure, so not there yet.


Thanks for this post, Mike! Although I'm pretty sure that I've gotten all of the rules questions I had with the game sorted out thanks to the (mostly) great BGG community, it's always great to see the designer weigh in with rules clarifications and updates.

I've been harsh on some aspects of the game in some of my BGG forums, but I know that for every single rule or wording that bothers me, there are probably a dozen that drive you crazy. It's your baby, after all, and we are usually our own toughest critics when it comes to anything that we create.

Keep up the great work on the Pathfinder ACG. I was lukewarm on the game initially, but after seeing how quickly you've responded to problems and questions, I've gone from "I'll probably just play and enjoy this base game" to "I'm going to buy every adventure pack that comes out and probably whatever future big box games inevitably get added to this game." It's a great game, and I am confident that it will only get better.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I've added the metarules to the FAQ.


So I've been wandering the boards trying to figure out if I cheated when I used caltrops to help another player defeat a monster that was summoned for them to encounter on a third players turn.

The answers I have put together is yes, because I can't use a power (via card playing or not) which allows another player to defeat a monster (or evade, etc) according to the meta rules.

I believe I will have a difficult time convincing some of my fellow players of this given how the card (and others like it) is written without a "you/your" when compared to other cards which explicitly uses the word "you". I think the meta rules added to the FAQ do alleviate the problem but only if the meta rules are explicitly excepted from the "Golden Rule" where cards over right rules.

Additionally I do not feel that the meta rules are explicit enough to help new players see the distinction between powers that can't aid another character but don't use the word "you" in their description effect. Perhaps with the inclusion of the following sentence in the No One Else Can Take Your Turn for You section. I welcome criticism regarding if it is worded correctly or is even needed:

"Other players may not play cards or use powers to aid you in evading, defeating, acquiring, failing, or deciding what to do with an encounter or closing locations, unless the card explicitly says it can."

Or alternatively

"You may not play cards or use powers to aid another character in evading, defeating, acquiring, failing, or deciding what to do with an encounter or closing locations, unless the card explicitly says it can."

My biggest worry is that someone might construe this to mean you can't aid a check (to defeat an encounter for example). But I feel this wording is clearer and will help someone new to the game looking at caltrops realize they can only play it to aid themselves.

I also suggest adding a explicit example of not being able to use the card/power in this context. This alone might preclude the need to include one of the above sentences.

Thoughts?


Nojh wrote:

So I've been wandering the boards trying to figure out if I cheated when I used caltrops to help another player defeat a monster that was summoned for them to encounter on a third players turn.

The answers I have put together is yes, because I can't use a power (via card playing or not) which allows another player to defeat a monster (or evade, etc) according to the meta rules.

I believe I will have a difficult time convincing some of my fellow players of this given how the card (and others like it) is written without a "you/your" when compared to other cards which explicitly uses the word "you". I think the meta rules added to the FAQ do alleviate the problem but only if the meta rules are explicitly excepted from the "Golden Rule" where cards over right rules.

Additionally I do not feel that the meta rules are explicit enough to help new players see the distinction between powers that can't aid another character but don't use the word "you" in their description effect. Perhaps with the inclusion of the following sentence in the No One Else Can Take Your Turn for You section. I welcome criticism regarding if it is worded correctly or is even needed:

"Other players may not play cards or use powers to aid you in evading, defeating, acquiring, failing, or deciding what to do with an encounter or closing locations, unless the card explicitly says it can."

Or alternatively

"You may not play cards or use powers to aid another character in evading, defeating, acquiring, failing, or deciding what to do with an encounter or closing locations, unless the card explicitly says it can."

My biggest worry is that someone might construe this to mean you can't aid a check (to defeat an encounter for example). But I feel this wording is clearer and will help someone new to the game looking at caltrops realize they can only play it to aid themselves.

I also suggest adding a explicit example of not being able to use the card/power in this context. This alone might preclude the need to include one of the...

I agree with this rewording. I've been playing these cards wrong as well. The implied context that another player could not benefit from these cards was not clear at all.


I think that, hard as it might be, the best way to convey rules is not only to state them as unambiguously as possible, but also to provide an example, as not everyone is great at applying the abstract rule in a concrete context. This is why the gameplay example is great. And when examples occur (often from gameplay), where, despite first impressions, the rule doesn't apply, including this too can help.


I appreciate these errata and I'm grateful to the designers for being so active here. We're likely not going to use any of it though, referencing a rulebook or errata slows down play so we use the Munchkin rule: Whoever owns the cards is DM and makes final decisions on rules interactions. Any decisions create house rule precedent, like D&D.

It works a lot better and we can have fun decisions like "Hey can I add dice to this random treasure box roll with blessings?" "Yeah sure" :P


FAQ questions

Does Augury conform to the ruling on Detect magic & Detect Evil where it cannot be played on another player's turn?

Does Ezren's power to explore again when acquiring cards with the magic trait chain off of Detect Magic?

Does the starting round at the Temple location count as moving there to discard a card?

Potion of Ghostly Form - do you have to evade a barrier to use it to explore again?

Also was the goblin dog supposed to the have the Goblin trait?

Ideas

- It would be nice to be able to bank 1 card per character between adventures.

- It would also be cool to be able to intentionally bury/banish a card instead of discarding it. This would allow you to trim your deck for the purposes of retrieving items from discard pile or getting rid of a card that is now unwanted as you found a replacement while adventuring. (as you find a new magic mace and drop the old one on the floor).

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

Platypuslord wrote:
Does Augury conform to the ruling on Detect magic & Detect Evil where it cannot be played on another player's turn?

No.

Platypuslord wrote:
Does Ezren's power to explore again when acquiring cards with the magic trait chain off of Detect Magic?

No. The word "explore" is not found on that card.

Platypuslord wrote:
Does the starting round at the Temple location count as moving there to discard a card?

No. If you don't move there in the move step of a turn, you don't trigger the effect.

Platypuslord wrote:
Potion of Ghostly Form - do you have to evade a barrier to use it to explore again?

Yes.

Platypuslord wrote:
Also was the goblin dog supposed to the have the Goblin trait?

No. It's not a goblin. It's a dog.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Mike Selinker wrote:
Platypuslord wrote:
Also was the goblin dog supposed to the have the Goblin trait?
No. It's not a goblin. It's a dog.

Actually, it's neither goblin nor dog. From the Bestiary:

"Despite its name, the goblin dog is in fact a species of rodent grown monstrously large. Their long-legged shape and proclivity to hunt and run in packs earned them their popular name, a name that many goblins take issue with, as it galls the average goblin to consider these, their favored mounts, having anything at all to do with actual dogs. Of course, being goblins, they haven't bothered to come up with alternate names for goblin dogs. Perhaps they don't realize they can."


Vic Wertz wrote:
Mike Selinker wrote:
Platypuslord wrote:
Also was the goblin dog supposed to the have the Goblin trait?
No. It's not a goblin. It's a dog.

Actually, it's neither goblin nor dog. From the Bestiary:

"Despite its name, the goblin dog is in fact a species of rodent grown monstrously large. Their long-legged shape and proclivity to hunt and run in packs earned them their popular name, a name that many goblins take issue with, as it galls the average goblin to consider these, their favored mounts, having anything at all to do with actual dogs. Of course, being goblins, they haven't bothered to come up with alternate names for goblin dogs. Perhaps they don't realize they can."

Pathfinder 'gets' Goblins like no one else ever has.


I just wanted to say a great thank you to Mike Selinker, Rian Sand, Chad Brown, Tanis O'Connor, Paul Peterson, Gaby Weidling and Vic Wertz for this great game.

I am late to the party but we started a 5 player campaign and we are loving every minute of it even if it is quite difficult. I am especially looking forward to my character growing in experience and getting loot.

I just wish there was a bit more background to the game and character. We purchased the 10th anniversary Rise of the runelords book which has helped in situating characters, but it is awkward reading for those of us not interested in the RPG game.

Again, congratulations on this game.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

You're welcome!


Mike Selinker wrote:


Platypuslord wrote:
Potion of Ghostly Form - do you have to evade a barrier to use it to explore again?
Yes.

Please add a rewrite of the text on this card to the errata. When we got this card, everyone agreed from the text that the two abilities were sequenced but independent.


Sorry for being a bit late to this thread - I received the game for Christmas and my wife and I have been playing it a bit (halfway through Skinsaw).

Now to start with, we both enjoy the game (as you can tell from us being halfway through skinsaw), but as someone who has played both RPG's, card games, board games and video games for years, I felt very confused at the start and even after reading the faq here, I'm still confused about a few subjects and have a couple of suggestions for clarification.

I'd also like to add, I'm not posting these because I'm trying to power game the system, if anything I felt the game was too easy with the rules as written and I was seeking clarification to whether we were playing it correctly, or cheating. I'm also not going to read 1500 threads, we've done a bit of searching, but I'm not going to spend multiple hours reading up every Q&A thread around, so apologies if this stuff has been covered. With that, I apologise for the wordy nature of this post.

The first thing I'd like to mention is, if you've the option of included a basic gameplay example in your book or a complicated one, always use the complicated one as it will answer questions that may not be evident in the rules.

Example 1: "Ezren and Kyra are both at the Temple location, Kyra explores and encounters the Arcane Runes Barrier. Ezren cannot attempt to defeat the barrier, Kyra encountered it, so she must solve the arcane puzzle. Ezren can't use his masterwork tools either as that would be using an item to defeat the barrier. If however, Ezren had a spell that gave Kyra a bonus to her intelligence or disable checks, he can play that spell. If Ezren has a blessing or card that adds a 'die (or more) to a check', he can play one card of that type on Kyra's check. Kyra can use one card of each type (if any apply) to assist her. She must then declare what effects she is using, roll the die (adding in any bonuses to her checks from Ezren) and suffer the consequences."

Example 2: "Ezren is at the Woods and encounters a Bunyip, Ezren must make a wisdom check before encountering the Bunyip. Ezren is not very wise and has asked for help. Kyra is over at the warrens with a handful of blessings, she discards a blessing of the gods to allow Ezren to add one die to his check. Ezren checks his character card and notes that his wisdom check is 1d8. The extra die from the blessing is therefore a d8. He will roll 2d8 (1 for his skill, 1 for the blessing) to try and outwit the Bunyip.

Example 3: "Oh no a wild villain appears! Ezren was happily exploring the dusty chambers of the guard tower when he stumbles across THE SKINSAW MAN. The skinsaw man is a particularly vicious villain who requires two checks to defeat. Luckily for Ezren, Kyra also happens to be at the guard tower as well and will be happy to help out in this fight. The Skinsaw man requires a 14 combat to beat THEN a 16 combat to beat. Ezren MUST attempt one of the checks and suffer all the consequences, but then Kyra can also assist on this fight and do either the first or second check, whichever Ezren doesn't want to do. She will suffer any damage from her check however. Ezren goes first as Kyra is particularly good at fighting undead, she's opted for the tougher check. Ezren casts Acid Arrow and rolls his dice (1d12 + 2 for his arcane die, +2d4 from the acid arrow spell). He gets an 8, 1 and 1 on the dice, +2 for his arcane skill. A total of 12, which is not enough to beat the check of 14. He suffers 2 pts of damage and cannot play Arcane Armour as he already used a spell on the check. Now Kyra must attempt the second check, even though The Skinsaw Man will not be defeated any way, BOTH checks on a card must be completed if the card involves a THEN statement."

So in the above examples, 1 clearly shows what items can and can't be used to assist other players, something we weren't clear on for ages. Example 2 shows that you can play cards from other locations to assist players that aren't with you at the same location. Example three goes through a combat where there is a then statement. It clears up a lot of rules confusion if there is pertinent examples of actual game play. You shouldn't need to youtube a video to learn how to play a board game, even a complicated card version.

I also really dislike the phrase 'just use common sense' when the game's core base does not involve common sense. By that I mean I should not be able to assist a player at another location with any kind of assist and I should be able to jump in and help them defeat encounters if we are at the same location. It does not make any sense that Kyra and Ezren can be both be at the farm house when Ezren encounters a skeleton and for Kyra not be able to mace it to the face with holy power. It also doesn't make any sense that Kyra can use a blessing on Ezren when he is in a completely different location. So I really struggle when someone has said 'use common sense' because my common sense is very different from the designer of the game, so I have no idea which is the correct or incorrect way to interpret things when that phrase is used. I mean according to this thread, I can cast augury at any time, but can only detect evil on my own turn. That's just weird. I also find it really confusing that we can't both try to acquire things when we're at the same location. If Ezren flips up a wisdom/constitution item and cant' make the roll, Kyra should be able to try if she's in the same place. Common sense tells me that when you party together, you encounter things together.

The last point (and I haven't checked yet) is, does the box have enough space to put protective sleeves on all the cards? There is an awful lot of shuffling (which I quite enjoy), but from what I can see the box has enough room for all six expansions, but not for card sleeves. I'd really appreciate future game box to have enough space for card sleeves. Some of our cards are already starting to feel worn and we're not even on the third adventure yet! This also gives paizo an option to start selling their own branded card sleeves. *wink*wink**nudge*nudge*

Again sorry for the long post, I'm on my lunch break at work :D


@ Foxiferous: Arcane Armour can be played; it is in the FAQ, here.


Thanks OberonViking, that makes the wife much happier. We were playing it that way till I read the faq yesterday and saw the following:

"Take damage, if necessary. If you fail a check to defeat a monster, it deals an amount of damage to you equal to the difference between the difficulty to defeat the monster and your check result. Unless the card specifies otherwise, this damage is Combat damage. For example, if the difficulty to defeat a monster is 10 and the result of your check is 8, the monster deals 2 Combat damage to you. See Taking Damage, below. Remember that players may not play more than one of each card type during a check, so if you previously played a spell to affect the check, you may not play a spell to reduce damage."

She was very unhappy that she could no longer use arcane armor! I didn't actually see the entry for arcane armor/mirror image and how they can be used in addition so thanks for pointing it out.


Yes, without the FAQ addition it seems like those two can't be played at all....


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I may be in the minority here, but one of the things that amazed me was just how EASY the rules are once I stopped over-thinking them. Maybe I'm actually playing the game incorrectly or maybe I'm just traumatized by years of the Lord of the Rings LCG and Magic: The Gathering with their million+ phases and timing effects.


skoon wrote:
I may be in the minority here, but one of the things that amazed me was just how EASY the rules are once I stopped over-thinking them. Maybe I'm actually playing the game incorrectly or maybe I'm just traumatized by years of the Lord of the Rings LCG and Magic: The Gathering with their million+ phases and timing effects.

I completely agree, the game is brilliantly simplistic and most of the confusion comes from ambiguous wording here and there. It's amazing that they managed to fit so much depth into the game, I love it!

I also find it amazing how helpful everyone here is, whenever I have a question I don't know the answer to I can ask here and get a response within an hour or two, and as a result I try and help others when they need help

Dark Archive

I mentioned this in another thread, but I also look at it that if you are having fun then you are doing it right. Of course I try to adhere to the rules, and that may or may not always happen. Unless we are talking sanctioned play then if I'm DMing I feel free to adapt DCs, adjust rules, or do things on the fly if I don't know the full rules. That's always been a draw of Pen and Paper, even with the rulebooks, etc there is a lot of flexibility in how you follow through on those.

To date PACG is the closest I've found to a DM-less RPG experience. My kids and I played the base adventure and half-way through Burnt Offerings before they realized there was location text that helped tell the story. Just recently my youngest realized that the scenarios, adventures, and adventure path have flavor text as well. They are having fun, in what I would consider an RPG light system. AND that makes me happy. Thanks Mike, Lone Shark Games, and Paizo.


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I think the developers of this game were TRULY inspired. I've played both D&D and CCG games and this one takes the best (in my opinion) of both worlds while cutting away the worst of them.

I've always RPGs where you can leaves you the flexibility of interpretation (theater of the mind if you will). We just finished fighting the Scribbler and I imagined it like fighting Sai from Naruto (draws his summoned monsters, and the first fight with him was an ink clone). It avoids the drawback of RPGs that usually require a LOT of prep time to setup a campaign (time we don't necessarily have now that we are older), plus it's co-op and gm-less capability makes it so no one has to be the bad guy.

On the flip side, it keeps the enjoyment of a card game where you construct a deck you best feel will benefit you in the next game and can pull off some cool card combos during the game. But it completely negates the downside of a CCG where you will only use a small part of your collection ever and the rest is scrap. Here the entire collection is capable of being used at any time and that make me more comfortable with paying for cards (as opposed to buying a pack of cards and not finding a single card to help with your deck).

Best of both worlds, you guys are geniuses. Keep up the good work.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

Thanks!


Mike Selinker wrote:
In the first printing of the PACG, there are so far XXX unique cards ... that have functional, non-cosmetic problems....

1) This is a tremendous game Mike !

2) Since you are on your way to make additional 110-cards expansions for characters and so on may I suggest 2 options :

A) Wait 2 months for people to test the last adventure of RotR and feed-back broken things, then add a 110 cards errata extension that would correct/improve all broken cards of RotR. I buy it immediately along with the new expansion ones ! If you add in the promo cards until now that players may have missed (and maybe a few new generic banes/boons to get to 110 if needed) I'm betting you will sell enough of that expansion to make it wothwhile.

Or B) If you still have time, make sure you include in the 7 character expansions corrected versions of the broken previous cards so we can swap that in the box.

Just my €0.02 idea for a cheap way to have all of us forget about the fact that first version of that kind of game always needs a fix.


Hi Mike,i want to thank you for this game, this is the game I have been waiting for, I have many board games but none come as close as yours to an rpg, I had so much trouble trying to get it in England, finally got it while on a visit to Germany, on returning home ordered all the expansions for it, i love it, I don't have time now for rpg groups, but this fills the gap great, Thank you to you and your team for an awesome game.


Don't know if this has been talked about or not but i had a rules question. I encounter a redcap and its reads "If undefeated, shuffle the redcap into a random open location deck." But the problem is it was in the woods which says "Undefeated monsters other than villains or henchmen are banished" which one happens. I personally made a judgement call to keep the game going and said the redcap is banished. Was I correct?


ChronosZero wrote:
Don't know if this has been talked about or not but i had a rules question. I encounter a redcap and its reads "If undefeated, shuffle the redcap into a random open location deck." But the problem is it was in the woods which says "Undefeated monsters other than villains or henchmen are banished" which one happens. I personally made a judgement call to keep the game going and said the redcap is banished. Was I correct?

You were correct because of the Golden Rule hierarchy for resolving conflicts between cards.


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Mike Selinker wrote:

I’ve now read (and sometimes commented on) more than 1100 boardgamegeek.com threads and 400 paizo.com threads about the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. There are some themes running through those threads that I’d like to address, and then some major clarifications I’d like to issue. These are my opinions, and no one else’s. But first a caveat.

The very posting of these comments will incense some people. Board game designers are supposed to produce elegant works of perfection that need no clarifications, no errata, no commentary at all. We’re unique that way: trading card game players expect reams of floor rules, RPG players expect game masters will gloss over problems, and computer game players expect frequent downloadable patches. I like that high expectation of board game designers, as it keeps people like me on their guard for anything that might go wrong. Even when we do something as far off the beaten path as this game, those standards should be what we aim for.

My goal with this is to make sure that everyone is having fun playing my game the way it’s supposed to be played. I made some mistakes that got in the way of that, and you can call me out for it. As long as you’re observing Wheaton’s Law, I can handle whatever criticisms you have, and I can adapt to make sure we do things better.

In the first printing of the PACG, there are so far 15 unique cards (out of about 700) that have functional, non-cosmetic problems. That’s too much for my team’s taste, but perfection is always elusive. The more significant issues come in the rulebook, where we’ve learned that I made some assumptions I should not have made. The appearance of the same questions over and over makes me realize that some critical sentences were left out of the rulebook. These are high-level, 10,000-foot-view things about getting your mind right when you’re playing the game. These concepts exist in the rulebook, but nowhere near as clear as they should be. This game is incredibly...

I have read the messages on the board posts from the past few months. Is it just me or seem a little extreme that we have to point these things out? I felt like a lot of the rules you listed were self explanatory. I'm sure there are exceptions to everything. It's life and it happens. I'm not even sure if you read this anymore. I feel bad that you have to clarify things to such a extreme degree. Anyway, thank you for putting the time into this game. It's a great way to get my friends to play a semi-pen and paper game that doesn't take too much explaining after playing Pathfinder Role-Playing game.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hello Mike,

First, allow me to thank you and the team for bringing this great game to us. The fact that I've played this game with many people and they all loved it, all of them: gamers, non-gamers and even people that often don't like games, seniors and teenagers, pathfinder roleplayers and those unfamiliar with the setting. To me, that's saying something!

I don't feel the game or its manual are unclear per se, though of course with all the different options, there's bound to be some points that require interpretation. I actually believe most people will be comfortable enough with making these interpretations for themselves, but I do think the clarifications help.

However, when I ponder where all the questions come from, I feel it's got to do with a matter of definition. Some game elements are not made explicit within the manual. There're there, all right, but they just don't get a name. In my own experience, that increases the chance of details getting overlooked or misinterpreted.

When I noticed this, I tried to assemble a list of more explicit principles, which added up to a seventy-something items. While this was merely for my own amusement, I do believe some trends can be seen. Mainly when identifying game elements.

I love the distinction between boons and banes, because while they are much alike, giving them distinct names identifies the differences: a bane requires a check to defeat, a boon to acquire. Bane powers are automatically applied when encountered, but boon powers are only applied during the encounter if explicitly mentioned. Et cetera.

But there are other distinctions I think are important and there's no name for those: some powers are "activated" by the player. Others just happen to the player and thus are "Passive", even though conditional constraints may apply. Some cards cannot be played and thus are "Inactive". This distinction is there, but implicitly so. Also, it helps me to treat all things that the cards do, in the same manner. A power's a power, whether it's my own healing spell, or that nasty dragon's breath weapon, or that leaking hole in the dam that requires at least one finger to plug :P

To me, a "power" is an atomic part of a card's description. You press a proverbial button and stuff happens. Sometimes, one button press triggers several "effects". For instance, mass cure triggers two healing effects. That distinction between power and effect makes it easier for me to determine what happens when some powers are used in awkward situations: when can it be used but is its effect diminished and when can't it be used. The power may have some "conditional constraints", but the effects have "targets".

Need a healing? Then the effect has a discard pile as a target. Mass healing? Two effects, both with a discard pile as a target. One effect invalid, the second's still there: I'll just heal you even if I'm fully healed. All effects invalid, well then the power can't be played.

Sometimes, the effect is some kind of "cost". But there are two kinds of costs, one that is subject to the recharge check, one that is not. So I define a cost as when a power discards/buries/banishes that power's card itself. And when it recharges/discards/buries/banishes another card, I call it a "sacrifice". Distinguishing cost and sacrifice from effect, makes it clear that if the "primary effect" is not possible, the power cannot be used, even if the "cost" can be paid.

By naming "cost" and "sacrifice", then the recharge rolls are some kind of "cost reduction" and it's easy to state it does not apply to "sacrifices".

Well, this post is getting a tad on the long side, but I think the general idea is clear. I'll emphasize, though, that I'm perfectly content with the current state of affairs. Of course, I'm making my own interpretations in some regards, but that's to be expected when working with descriptions in natural language. I expect that in the minds of you and your team, there's some nameless definitions floating around that could help people get an even firmer grasp on how to interpret the rules and cards, in case you'd wish to appease even the most mathematically inclined gamer out there ;)

To finalize, an example of a question I tried to answer myself: "If a bane is immune to a specific trait, does an effect that adds that trait to the check, result in an automatic failure, or are only the effects that add the trait ignored."

Example: Valeros is outmatched against a big nasty monster and there's a significant chance of him getting damage. He hits it on the head with a long sword and recharges the sword for extra damage. If he also has a poison dagger, he could recharge it, but that would add the poison trait. If the result is that the dagger does nothing but the rest of the damage gets through, the recharge may be better than the discard resulting from damage. However, if using the dagger would nullify the entire attack, wasting the little chance he'd have at besting the beasty. In that case, risking a discard might be preferable.

This might even be more interesting if Sajan were to shoot with a Poisoned Crossbow. As a Zen Archer, he might get the damage from the initial effect, then the recharge from the secondary effect which would add the poison trait.

And what if Ezren put down an Incendiary cloud earlier this turn and now he's fighting against a fire immune creature. Would pummeling it with a quarterstaff be useless due to the fire trait?

My own statement would be, For Valeros: the primary effect is useless against a poison immune monster, so no-can-do. For Sajan: The effect is either a lot of damage and a poison trait (cost recharge), which is invalid against the immune target so no-can-do at all, or the simple shot without the poison trait, which is valid (cost reveal). For Ezren, I'd state that the effect of the cloud is invalid against the target and thus that entire effect is ignored, no added damage for the cloud. The quarterstaff still hurts though.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Rulebook wrote:
Some cards may allow you to replace the required skill for a check with a different one. As part of this action, you may play only 1 card or use only 1 power that defines the skill you are going to use.

The Longsword and the Venomous Dagger +2 both define the skill you're using, so if you've played the former, you can't play the latter.

But for the sake of illustration, let's pretend that the above rule doesn't exist for a moment.

Rulebook wrote:
If the card you’re encountering states that it is immune to a particular trait, players may not play cards with the specified trait, use powers that would add that trait to the check, or roll dice with that trait during the encounter.

So Valeros is simply not allowed to use any power that would add the Poison trait to the check.

In Ezren's case, the spell has already been played, and the immunity can't make you un-play the spell, so it does technically add 2d4 with the Fire trait to his check—but since you're not allowed to roll dice with that trait during the encounter, it doesn't matter.

(Also, please post rules questions in the Rules Questions forum.)


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Rulebook wrote:
Some cards may allow you to replace the required skill for a check with a different one. As part of this action, you may play only 1 card or use only 1 power that defines the skill you are going to use.

The Longsword and the Venomous Dagger +2 both define the skill you're using, so if you've played the former, you can't play the latter.

In this example, I was thinking about the second power of the dagger:

Venomous Dagger +2 wrote:
When playing another weapon, you may discard this card to add 1d4+2 with the Poison trait to the combat check.

Though of course the conclusion would be the same.

I added this finishing question to try to illustrate how answering such a question depends on the perspective on the game, especially on which definitions of game elements you have. The next bit of your answer happens to be a great illustration of this.

Vic Wertz wrote:

... but since you're not allowed to roll dice with that trait during the encounter, it doesn't matter.

In my head, I did define "check" and gave a check some traits. Also "power with traits". But you now provide me with the alternative to actually define "dice with traits", which is indeed a very handy way to go about it.

Vic Wertz wrote:
(Also, please post rules questions in the Rules Questions forum.)

While it was simply intended as an illustration, it might indeed be useful to post a summary of the question + answer there, so others can find it. I'll do that.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to respond!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Mike & all - game is unique, beautifully designed and executed. Your responses and dedication have been exemplary and most importantly my players have had loads of fun playing it. As expected some parts needed concepts to sink into head but once the basic premise has been understood there was little that stood in the way of effective gameplay and enjoyment.

Please consider to continue to develop more past mummy mask! (I just read/glanced at hell's vengeance from the last email update - pacg play as villians? Hell yeah... )

Adventure Card Game Designer

<hat tip>

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