PERMADEATH!!!


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


So with my basic set not showing up until next friday i am looking at videos and reading forums so i can get a jump on the learning curve. I had been under the impression that you ended a scenario badly by either running out of time or your PC dying, in either case you shuffle the decks including the PC's and try again. BUT that only goes in the 1st adventure! After that if your PC dies, he is gone for good and you have to start with Burnt Offerings again. Wow, in 8 months, halfway thru the last adventure of the path, my fighter dies, 1, the table will be possibly be thrown against the wall, 2. I will get horribly drunk, and the entire family will be expected to attend the wake. 3' I will miss a day at work ( sorry boss, death in the family ).

Even back in the day when i played D & D, our group played modules of different degrees of levels, and either used the canned characters that came with them or rolled a new one for that module. I had 1 character, that i used from module to module if his current level was correct that was referred to as " the black cat" because he died 9 times before i stopped using him ( it was a running joke everytime he me made an appearance especially if he died).

This is going to be a long week.....


In theory, I get what you're saying. However, in practice, I've played over 30 scenarios now and seen a death happen exactly one time. Its not that the game is "easy", but there are plenty of options if you start getting low on health (including just burning off the blessing deck and starting over). If you also play a character or two with some healing, that should help you to stay alive pretty handily (at least with the content so far).

In short, don't buy that funeral plot just yet!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yes and no. If your blessings deck runs out, you just didn't complete the scenario so take the cards you have and rebuild your character deck.

If your character dies, then you have to start over, but if you are far enough into the adventure path, the new one starts as if they completed up to 2 sets lower. So if you are on 4 and your character dies, treat them as if they already completed 1 and 2.

Grand Lodge

Not sure how the game plays but IN THEORY your cards didn't go anywhere and are still on the table, right?

The Paizo Police will not kick down your door. Just re-play the scenario as if you were playing it for the first time. I believe there is a re-shuffle etc so in effect you would be... minus the death.

Silver Crusade

Or you could easily house rule that death isn't perma-, and just treat it like a lost scenario. Kinda like RPGs that way - handle death any way you like in your home game.

edit: Heh. Ninja's by Helaman saying the exact same thing, 6 seconds sooner.


Fromper wrote:

Or you could easily house rule that death isn't perma-, and just treat it like a lost scenario. Kinda like RPGs that way - handle death any way you like in your home game.

edit: Heh. Ninja's by Helaman saying the exact same thing, 6 seconds sooner.

It is true that house rules can be used, but i do not like to abuse the privilege,so to speak. I noted in one thread someone stated that at the end of a scenario he preferred to pick his prize rather than randomly picking it since he thought he never got any useful. Nobody tarred and feathered him or rAn him out of town. I do like the go down two modules limit, that mitigates the loss somewhat, perhaps i will probably not throw the table against the wall after all :-)))


Yep, or house rules. No one came to my house to arrest me for idkfa'ing my way through Doom back in the day (though you could argue that it lessened the experience for me I suppose). A lot of people play with the "cheat-cdoe" variants of rules, and that's ok. Still, if you enjoy playing the game, dying and starting over might even be fun...


Of course playing with House rules to make a solo game easier is a bit ...

Cheating when playing alone make playing totally useless... Just read a book, or better invent your own story. Oh, and dibs on your dices since you wont use them...

Seriously, this game is EASY, absolute cake walk mode right now... If you manage to die, you choose to die.


Nathaniel Gousset wrote:

Of course playing with House rules to make a solo game easier is a bit ...

Cheating when playing alone make playing totally useless... Just read a book, or better invent your own story. Oh, and dibs on your dices since you wont use them...

Seriously, this game is EASY, absolute cake walk mode right now... If you manage to die, you choose to die.

It seems that some think this game too easy, with others arguing differently, but few if any saying it is too hard. Fine with me, if i want to lose a valiant effort i play Pandemic ( which i have yet to win playing with 4 of the cards that trigger outbreaks) or elder scrolls omens which i only win 25%. The point of a RPG is the trip itself, and growing your character. If it is so hard you are constantly starting over with new PC you can't get invested in them. IMHO, YMMV


Well... Except this isn't a RPG, perhaps a CRPG, but nothing more.

And game could challenging without being deadly, currently it is neither.


Playing with 6 characters is definitely challenging (if you're trying everything you can not to run out of time)... personally I think it's too easy with 2-3 characters, but 4-5 is better and 6 is best.

Alternatively, ensure that that your villains are in the bottom x (e.g. bottom 5) cards of each deck and that should give you more challenge.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

We play two characters, but locations dealt as if they're three. Even with that, we've only lose one scenario, but playing 2 characters with 5 locations keeps time pretty tight. I use my holy candle every game.

I hadn't thought about shuffling the villains and henchman into the bottom. That might be a good option, too, though it does cut down a little on the surprise.


Locations can still get shuffled so you can still be surprised :)


Well, too bad to have to ressort to thoses kinds of House rules to achieve challenge.

This dont change the fact the game is far too easy, especially for a coopérative game.

I will also point out that suggesting that the balance point is at 6 heroes in a game wich is supposed to be played with 1 to 4 heroes without add on is very suspect too.

This game is far too easy and not challenging. The only obstacle we face is the luck of the draw for the henchman and vilain, and even that could be controlled. There is no puzzle to solve, nothing to adapt or resolve. It is just close the first two location asap then split the remaining location end found the vilain. This game is the equivalent of a medieval fantastic solitaire card game, plain luck based, no challenge, no brain, no puzzle, just random card draw to set the difficulty... And it is still easier than the basic solitaire game wich have a higher failure rate than PAGC.


You guys that have had it easy, I'm wondering what characters you're playing as and how lucky you're getting with the random monster pulls. I had a scenario at the Town Gate (where losing a combat check adds another random monster to the deck) - I was playing as Seelah and had a Shadow in there (no magic traits to permanently kick it from the deck), a werewolf, a satyr, and a giant hermit crab. We (me and a friend as Seoni) finished the match scenario with 2 cards left in the blessing deck, and he had 2 cards left in his draw deck.

Winnable, yes. Easy? Well, as with all random based games - Each round varies. Even the luck of the draw having determined what you have in your deck up to that point will alter the difficulty. So say having a Greatsword versus a scimitar at that point. If we were finishing the match with full decks and 15+ in the blessing deck I'd agree. As it stands though, the thrill of death / loss was at our heels for that one.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I've lost a number of scenarios. Luckily enough, Paizo cater to people of my lowly level of skill. :)

Silver Crusade

PunkrawkBbob wrote:

You guys that have had it easy, I'm wondering what characters you're playing as and how lucky you're getting with the random monster pulls. I had a scenario at the Town Gate (where losing a combat check adds another random monster to the deck) - I was playing as Seelah and had a Shadow in there (no magic traits to permanently kick it from the deck), a werewolf, a satyr, and a giant hermit crab. We (me and a friend as Seoni) finished the match scenario with 2 cards left in the blessing deck, and he had 2 cards left in his draw deck.

Winnable, yes. Easy? Well, as with all random based games - Each round varies. Even the luck of the draw having determined what you have in your deck up to that point will alter the difficulty. So say having a Greatsword versus a scimitar at that point. If we were finishing the match with full decks and 15+ in the blessing deck I'd agree. As it stands though, the thrill of death / loss was at our heels for that one.

At this point, I've played about 30 times, with no deaths and no lost scenarios. I've played every character, and in groups of 3-4 with every character. I've even tried solo with 6 characters at once, which is the toughest way to play, and I won 3 scenarios that way. But I decided to give that up, because managing that many characters alone was a pain.

Some character combos definitely make it easier than others, but the game is always winnable for me no matter which ones I'm using.

I've had a couple of unlucky card draws that have made it tough, but that just means we spend lots of resources to overcome whatever that particular challenge is, and/or get down to the last few cards in the blessings deck. But usually, it's not even close. Finishing with 6-10 cards left in the blessings deck is pretty normal for me.


+1 with Fromper. Except I did lose one scenario, but it was a 5 players demo game at the club and some of the players did some pretty dumb choices I would never had done playing alone.


It's the first Adventure pack... hopefully it gets harder soon!


It will probably get harder, still got 5 more AP to ruin your party.


Yep, except that usually the harder part in a RPG like is the start, not the ending.

Playing 8 too easy scenario is not a good omen for a ramp of difficulty later on. Especially as all the AP have been written already and they cant tweak them anymore.

And it is a bad commercial move as it lower the incentive of people to buy the follow on if they bored their way through the basic set without breaking a sweat.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Having played the game during the play test (parts 5 & 6), I can attest that the game does ramp up in difficulty. The game is harder with more players as you get fewer turns per character. It is also difficult in solo play at least with certain characters. We lost several scenarios and had to replay. I do not recall any deaths in the 6 player games but there were some during solo, single character play.

Playing the current version, in a two player game, we failed a scenario which would have resulted in a character death had we played to the bitter end. Blackfang can be nasty if you roll poorly and do not have a means to deal with his breath weapon.


The difficulty thing is really tricky...

If you have a 99% chance of everybody surviving one scenario then that's only ~75% chance that they will all survive 30 scenarios.

(0.99 ^ 30 = .7397)

If, on the other hand, you made the game hard enough to risk killing somebody off 10% of the time then you'd only have a 4% chance of getting to the end without losing anybody...

(0.90 ^ 30 = .0424)

Silver Crusade

The game is fun, and my group has had a couple of close calls. My Ezren player got a bit too excited and got separated from Kyra, and ended up dying on like turn 3. Based on my experiences playing with my group, Seoni is really good but not unkillable. My group has almost run out of time many time, and if I hadn't had the holy candle to give us a couple of extra turns, we would have lost a couple of times.


I'm not sure if it's bad luck, but I always encounter stuff like satyr, siren, hill giant, werewolf, shadow, collapsed ceiling, explosive runes, monster in a closet etc. Not to mention that Black Fang, Gogmurt and Nualia are TOUGH.

I lost 3 of about 30 playthroughs, and had many close calls. One of these 3 losses I had to quit or a character could die, and the other 2 the Blessings deck ran out of cards (I was playing with 4 characters). I don't think the game needs adjustments in its difficulty level - it's good for me like just this.
Following h4ppy's calculations, if the chance of dying on a scenario is 2%, there's a 45% of losing a character before the conclusion of the Adventure Path, which would be pretty sad.


Ok, last one time Challenge and Difficulty are different than Deadliness.

Happy, the game can be low death rating but still high challenge, low odds to win.

@PunkkrawkBBob we play 4 heroes, usually Valeros, Seoni, Lini, Merisel. We did encounter the hardest monster repeatedly from the start (rating 14-15 challenge) we even joker than reaching Burnt Offering will provide us with a rest with all thoses low challenge gob for a change. We sometimes failed to close at henchman and had to clear the location.

But we are experienced boardgamers (30 years of RPG and wargame myself) and focused on the mission, we cooperate as much as possible but concentrate on winning over looting. The trick is also we are well aware of how the combat, damage and health work so we aren't affraid to discard a lot for extra exploration and concentrate on that over boosting check. Before rolling I add the average (rounded down) of each dice in the test and lets roll If I am +2.

We finished a lot of game with ample blessing supply and small character deck, but without really feeling at a risk of losing. And I just dont see how one of us could ever die because it is so simple to compute when to stop and rest and no fight can surprise kill you.


If you're finding the game to be not challenging enough, try adding one more of each card type present in the location deck. That is, if there's normally one weapon found there, put 2 in the deck instead. That will not particularly increase the odds of dying, but will certainly increase the odds of failing.

Silver Crusade

Captain Bulldozer wrote:
If you're finding the game to be not challenging enough, try adding one more of each card type present in the location deck. That is, if there's normally one weapon found there, put 2 in the deck instead. That will not particularly increase the odds of dying, but will certainly increase the odds of failing.

I've actually been thinking of trying out the suggestion I've seen elsewhere of just adding an extra location.


Fromper wrote:
Captain Bulldozer wrote:
If you're finding the game to be not challenging enough, try adding one more of each card type present in the location deck. That is, if there's normally one weapon found there, put 2 in the deck instead. That will not particularly increase the odds of dying, but will certainly increase the odds of failing.
I've actually been thinking of trying out the suggestion I've seen elsewhere of just adding an extra location.

Yeah that would work as well... I can see some trade-offs to either approach, but an extra location might actually be more fun. You could also shave a few cards off the blessing deck.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Going back to the original topic of the thread.

The extended character sheets indicate that the Scenario 5 pack will contain a spell called "Raise Dead" which implies that there will be at least one way to avoid having to start all over again if a character gets killed. There may also be others that we don't know about yet.


I've been playing Ezren solo. So far I have died three times. Never ran out of turns, it was always due to a series of unlucky rolls and taking too much damage.

I'm on my fourth run, just completed the Lost Coast Adventure again last night. I'm finding that it's important to find opportunities to cycle my deck in combination with moving between locations to make sure I have an answer to difficult threats. Especially since Ezren has no blessings to burn.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Nathaniel do you ever have anything good to say about this game...other than as a to set up you saying something bad about it?

I think Vic said it in an early thread that the game wasn't built to be too difficult. That they aimed for players to win most of the time. Think about it. You get all the way through 5 sets with the same 4 characters and then suddenly one of them gets killed or you have a complete wipe. For some people is a lot of time and energy they might feel was thrown down the toilet.

If you feel the game is too easy, then add 1 or 2 to all the checks in the game. Or cut down on the Blessings deck. I don't think the designers are going to go out of their way because a handful of 30 year RPG and wargame veterans are finding the game too easy.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
NariusV wrote:

I've been playing Ezren solo. So far I have died three times. Never ran out of turns, it was always due to a series of unlucky rolls and taking too much damage.

I'm on my fourth run, just completed the Lost Coast Adventure again last night. I'm finding that it's important to find opportunities to cycle my deck in combination with moving between locations to make sure I have an answer to difficult threats. Especially since Ezren has no blessings to burn.

Yea, Ezren is a pretty hard to play solo. Too much of a glass cannon for me. Besides, I'm not a big fan of playing solo characters. The RPGer in my just likes groups.

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