quick and dirty approach to playing multiple groups from one box


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion

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Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

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Generally, I'm pretty happy with the Pathfinder ACG. But there's been something I freely admit I didn't take into account anywhere near as well as I should have, and that's playing multiple groups out of the same box. As we were playtesting, we were swapping out characters at a crazy speed, and our outside playtesters weren't always able to run multiple groups simultaneously. So when the game made contact with the public, we discovered that we didn't have answers to questions about how to adapt the box to different groups playing at the same time.

I've thought about it a lot since then, and I'd be interested in folks' reactions to the following guideline:

If you are playing multiple groups out of the same box, do not cull cards. Instead, when you encounter a card:

  • Discard it and replace it with a random card of that type from the box if it's from an adventure deck higher than the scenario. Do this as many times as needed to get a card of your adventure deck number or less.
  • If it is a Basic boon, you may discard and replace it one time if your scenario's adventure deck number is 3 or greater. If it is a Basic bane, do this automatically.
  • If it is an Elite boon, you may discard and replace it one time if your scenario's adventure deck number is 5 or greater. If it is an Elite bane, do this automatically.

Again, this would be a totally optional guideline designed to normalize play at what I hope would be a small cost in time. I'm pretty sure this isn't the final version, so let me know what you think of that.

Mike


Is this to be INSTEAD of the 'removed from play' rule from the adventure path? If so, I like it :)

After spending some time keeping track of the specific cards I was removing, it seemed like it added unnecessary bookkeeping to the game. Something that seemed to be one of the things the game was avoiding in the first place. The cards that are usually removed aren't important enough usually to keep track whether it exists in the collection or not.

One question though; does it apply to 'Blessings of the Gods' as well? (i.e. does this rule trump the card's auto acquire?)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I think this is interesting, especially as someone running 4 groups from 1 box. Though like Ironvein is hinting at, it might be too much for Blessing of the Gods. Though maybe not, since you only get to redraw once and you still have a good shot to draw another BotG.

So, if you did this, the only record keeping and rebuilding when switching parties you would have to do would be for the characters themselves, since you wouldn't want cards to be unavailable to another group.

Question: I'm assuming that the card you apply this too should be kept out of the box for the rest of that scenario so that you can't draw them again. So basically remove it for the remainder of that scenario. Am I understanding that correctly?


Hawkmoon269 wrote:


Question: I'm assuming that the card you apply this too should be kept out of the box for the rest of that scenario so that you can't draw them again. So basically remove it for the remainder of that scenario. Am I understanding that correctly?

Doesn't seem to be necessary to go that far to me. When I setup up for each scenario, I end up shuffling all the bane/boon cards before dealing them out to the locations. This is so I can just draw the first card from the box of a particular bane/boon is called for. If you just put the discarded (banished?) card at the bottom of the appropriate deck, it is unlikely that you'd hit it again in that scenario.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

Maybe it should be restated as:
If it is a Basic boon that is not automatically acquired, you may set it aside and replace it one time if your scenario's adventure deck number is 3 or greater. If it is a Basic bane, do this automatically.


I don't think so, my instinctive answer to my BOTG question was that it WOULD get replaced once; since we are trying to get better blessings anyway. And like Hawkmoon says, it could still be BOTG after that. It's not like BOTG is impossible to remove from play currently (closing a location that has one would do it after all).


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Ironvein wrote:
Hawkmoon269 wrote:


Question: I'm assuming that the card you apply this too should be kept out of the box for the rest of that scenario so that you can't draw them again. So basically remove it for the remainder of that scenario. Am I understanding that correctly?
Doesn't seem to be necessary to go that far to me. When I setup up for each scenario, I end up shuffling all the bane/boon cards before dealing them out to the locations. This is so I can just draw the first card from the box of a particular bane/boon is called for. If you just put the discarded (banished?) card at the bottom of the appropriate deck, it is unlikely that you'd hit it again in that scenario.

Perhaps. But the definition for banishing a card technically requires you to shuffle it back in with the cards of the same type.

Rulebook v3 p9 wrote:
Banish: Put it back in the box, shuffling it in with the other cards of the same type (thus losing it for good).

And when you are required to draw cards, you are again required to shuffle and draw.

Rulebook v3 p13 wrote:

Rules: Dealing with Cards

Whenever you are instructed to choose random cards, shuffle the cards you’re drawing from and draw from the top.

So you are supposed to be able to encounter that same random monster every time or draw that same potion of gracefulness every time you draw a random item.

I think that is actually why Mike said to discard it instead of banish it in his proposal.

My good friend Calthaer usually does what you do, put the banished card at one end and draw the random card from the other. And it probably makes a nearly immeasurable bit of difference. It doesn't bother me when he does it. But if I play by myself or with a group where I own the box we play from, I shuffle. (Though usually just when drawing, I don't do it when banishing. Shuffling twice doesn't seem necessary.)


Wow really? Didn't realize it was that specific (hadn't looked at the rulebook for a while). But you're right; doesn't seem to make a huge difference either way. I just do it this way to not slow down the game shuffling cards all the time.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Mike Selinker wrote:

Maybe it should be restated as:

If it is a Basic boon that is not automatically acquired, you may set it aside and replace it one time if your scenario's adventure deck number is 3 or greater. If it is a Basic bane, do this automatically.

Do I have this right:

There are 37 BotGs. After Deck 6 there will be 112 total blessings (assuming you don't have the promo). So like 33% are BotGs.

You only get to redraw once.

Most scenarios don't have an amazing number of blessings in the locations.

Assuming a 6 chracter group who had 40 blessings in their decks (that is taking the most blessing intensive decks and giving 5 blessing card feats to the group). And assuming they had no BotGs.

That would mean about 51% of the blessing for building locations and the blessing deck would be BotG.

Assuming a scenario had 12 blessings in it (seems to be on the extreme end). 6 of them would be BotG. And of the 30 in the blessing deck, 15 would be BotG. That leaves about 16 of the 30 blessings in the box as BotG.

So you've got a 50/50 shot essentially of drawing another BotG, which you would be stuck with. (I could have just jumped here after I realized it was 51% two paragraphs above.) In the groups I've been doing, I think having 6 BotGs removed has been fairly common by deck 4.

So I don't think you actually need to accommodate BotGs at all. Just let the rule apply to them too.


Then there is that whether it is replacing a rulebook rule or just the adventure path power (unless it's going to be a standard adv path power). Then isn't a 'Golden Rule' thing (Path trump Boon)?


I recognize this doesn't qualify as quick and dirty but seemed like a good place to put it.

I haven't thought this completely through yet, and to some extent its not as exciting but this is what I would want.

One expansion box that gives me a set of randomizers like you use in games like Dominion and Thunderstone.

1) These cards could be used with every base set.

2) Less shuffling of my base cards saving me possibly from sleeving them

3) Other than set cards (Henchmen etc) Randomizers would be used to create the location decks.

4) They could be as simple as draw an item from the box or specific like draw a monster from adventure deck 2.

5) Certain scenarios could customize the randomizer deck to make some outcomes more likely.

6) In the specific case (draw item from adventure deck 3) you can keep your cards seperated by Adventure deck.

7) Randomizers might be used in other ways to add variety to the game.

My biggest issue is culling cards. My guess would be modify the randomizers as you advanced to include more later stuff.

I may even just proxy this myself and do it.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Ironvein wrote:

Then there is that whether it is replacing a rulebook rule or just the adventure path power (unless it's going to be a standard adv path power). Then isn't a 'Golden Rule' thing (Path trump Boon)?

Where would that apply? I'm taking Mike's suggestion to mean you do this the moment you encounter the card.

If, for example, you encountered a BotG at the Shrine to Lamashtu, you could replace it with another random blessing, but its still a blessing, so you are still going to be dealt damage.

The only effects you might avoid would be when cards with a certain trait are more difficult to defeat. But I'm not sure that rule is in effect for any basic or elite cards after you start removing cards. (i.e. goblin cards can be basic or elite, but you are long past the scenario where their difficulty is increased by the time you would apply this rule. Giants I think are not basic or elite, so you wouldn't be able to avoid encountering them.)

Glassworks might be an issue, but does it come up in any scenarios after you start Hook Mountain Massacre?


If this redraw/replace ability is an adventure path power, then it would override BOTG auto acquire as you do not technically encounter this boon, but another one.

Another thought: Does this apply to a random pull from the box as well? Like a summon monster or a treasure chest. Currently when we removed cards, the purpose was to improve the odds in all circumstances of stronger cards appearing; hence I think it should.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Ironvein wrote:
If this redraw/replace ability is an adventure path power, then it would override BOTG auto acquire as you do not technically encounter this boon, but another one.

Ah. I see. I'd say that if you did this, it becomes the Adventure Path power instead of the regular Adventure Path power. So this would override the BotG. (Even if it didn't you decide the order if no order is specified, since both happen "when encountered" you could decide the order.)

Ironvein wrote:
Another thought: Does this apply to a random pull from the box as well? Like a summon monster or a treasure chest. Currently when we removed cards, the purpose was to improve the odds in all circumstances of stronger cards appearing; hence I think it should.

As written, Mike said when you encounter. So it would apply if you summoned and encountered a card, but not if you drew a random card that you didn't encounter (like if you defeated the Battered Chest.)

This should be playtested. And since I've just finished deck 5 with a group and am about to rebuild for another group, I think I'll give it a shot over the next week.


Well Mike did say this wasn't more than a first draft to address the issue... he is proposing a solution that simulates the 'removed from play' functionality though (at least that is what is making this tricky) and that kinda goes beyond encountered cards, but box draws as well.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Ironvein wrote:

Well Mike did say this wasn't more than a first draft to address the issue... he is proposing a solution that simulates the 'removed from play' functionality though (at least that is what is making this tricky) and that kinda goes beyond encountered cards, but box draws as well.

Indeed it does. I'm going to test it with just encounter for a couple scenarios then with any time I am faced with a card for a couple scenarios. I'll keep count and notes and see what happens.


Hawkmoon269 wrote:


Ironvein wrote:
Another thought: Does this apply to a random pull from the box as well? Like a summon monster or a treasure chest. Currently when we removed cards, the purpose was to improve the odds in all circumstances of stronger cards appearing; hence I think it should.

As written, Mike said when you encounter. So it would apply if you summoned and encountered a card, but not if you drew a random card that you didn't encounter (like if you defeated the Battered Chest.)

I can already see a flaw with this. If you are in a lower deck number (say 2 for example) and a chest gives you a deck 5 card; but the current logic, you'd keep it and that's not right or intended.

As much as I dislike adding steps to core systems, but maybe some kind of 'validate card' step is required here.

New thought: If you redraw an Elite card and get a Basic, can you opt to keep the Elite (or required in case of bane)?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Ironvein wrote:
Hawkmoon269 wrote:


Ironvein wrote:
Another thought: Does this apply to a random pull from the box as well? Like a summon monster or a treasure chest. Currently when we removed cards, the purpose was to improve the odds in all circumstances of stronger cards appearing; hence I think it should.

As written, Mike said when you encounter. So it would apply if you summoned and encountered a card, but not if you drew a random card that you didn't encounter (like if you defeated the Battered Chest.)

I can already see a flaw with this. If you are in a lower deck number (say 2 for example) and a chest gives you a deck 5 card; but the current logic, you'd keep it and that's not right or intended.

As much as I dislike adding steps to core systems, but maybe some kind of 'validate card' step is required here.

New thought: If you redraw an Elite card and get a Basic, can you opt to keep the Elite (or required in case of bane)?

Hmm... Then I think it should be amended to when you encounter, summon, or draw a card. I believe that would cover every instance of being faced with a card.


To be honest, I think we all intuit the intent of this 'rule'. Putting it into the proper terminology is the hard part.


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Taking a strike at a revision

If you are playing multiple groups out of the same box, do not cull cards. Instead, when you encounter, summon, or draw a card from the box:

  • Discard it and replace it with a random card of that type from the box if it's from an adventure deck higher than the scenario. Do this as many times as needed to get a card of your adventure deck number or less.
  • If it is a Basic boon, you may discard and replace it one time if your scenario's adventure deck number is 3 or greater. If it is a Basic bane, do this automatically.
  • If it is an Elite boon, you may discard and replace it one time if your scenario's adventure deck number is 5 or greater. If it is an Elite bane, do this automatically. If the replacement card is Basic however, keep the Elite card.

How's that sound, Mike?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Ironvein wrote:
To be honest, I think we all intuit the intent of this 'rule'. Putting it into the proper terminology is the hard part.

Yeah. I think so too. And Mike's suggestion is trying to fix 2 things:

1. Having to remove cards if you groups are on different adventures. The part about the adventure deck number not being higher than your current scenario addresses that. This one should definitely be unbreakable. You should never be able to have a card in play that wouldn't possibly be available in your scenario if you were playing normally.

2. Having to keep track of removed basic and elites. This one is tougher to balance, since they are removed at a certain rate.

In fact, I was just thinking about that. With this suggestion, the percentage of basics and elites you encounter is never going to change. Normally, it would change over time. But with this, the likelihood the card you end up having to encounter is a basic card will be the same in Hook Mountain Massacre as it will be in Spires of Xin-Shalast. Normally, the odds of encountering a basic by adventure 6 are going to be be quite minimal I think.

So maybe another thing to think about doing something that would remove some basic and elites before you build. Like maybe:

Once you have completed a scenario from Hook Mountain Massacre, before you setup the scenario, from each type of card draw a number of cards equal to the adventure deck number of the scenario times two plus the number of scenarios you have completed from that adventure. You may remove any boons with the Basic trait from what you drew and must remove any banes with the Basic trait, then shuffle the rest back into the box. If you have completed a scenario from Sins of the Saviors, do this with cards that have the Elite trait as well.

The math is a bit much for a game, but the idea is that the (mostly) get progressively more removed at the start of each scenario.

3.2 = 8
3.3 = 9
3.4 = 10
3.5 = 11
4.1 = 9
4.2 = 10
4.3 = 11
4.4 = 12
4.5 = 13
4.6 = 11
5.1 = 12
5.2 = 13
5.3 = 14
5.5 = 15
6.1 = 13
6.2 = 14
6.3 = 15
6.4 = 16
6.5 = 17

I think something like that might be interesting. Really, even just giving out a chart that said to to do that with a particular number based on the scenario you were on would work.

Though maybe that is getting back to the problem of it being to complicated. Mike's solution was quick and dirty, like he said.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Ok. How about this: You get to to remove and draw if you get another removable card a number of times equal to the adventure deck number minus 2. And for Elites it would be - 4.

So for Basics: During Hook Mountain Massacre you could discard and draw 1 time. For Fortress of the Stone Giants, 2 times. For Sins of the Saviors, 3 times, for Spires of Xin-Shalast, 4 times.

For Elites: During Sins of the Saviors, 1 time. During Spires of Xin-Shalast, 2 times.

And you take the lesser value of any card you draw. So if you were playing Spires of Xin-Shalast and drew a baisc, discarded it and drew an Elite, you've already discarded 1 time, so the Elite showing up means you can only discard 1 more time (total of 2). And if you drew Basic, Basic, Elite you would have to take the Elite since you had already discarded 2 times by the time you got it.

Is that too complicated?


I see your point, as I was doing something similar.

Instead of tracking specific cards, I just tracked the number of cards removed by type and then just remove that many cards when flipping back to that game.

Your math seems kinda low too; is that per type? And what about party size? Larger parties tend to cull more cards per scenario than smaller ones; I'd wager.

Maybe instead of just redraw once, it's a redraw up to the number of scenarios completed; draw one at a time and stops when a non disputable card appears?

So for example:

3-1: No chance to redraw
3-2: 1 chance
3-3: 2 chances
3-4: 3
3-5: 4
4-1: 5
4-2: 6
4-3: 7
4-4: 8
4-5: 9

Remember, this is the max number of chances, stop at the first valid card, so not likely to go that far.

5-1: 10 Basic/ 0 Elite
5-2: 11/1
5-3: 12/2
5-4: 13/3
5-5: 14/4

etc.

Although, now that I look at it.... it's kinda annoying as well. But we're brainstorming so there's that.

I think i prefer it simpler than this. Maybe we are just overthinking it at this point.


Hawkmoon269 wrote:

Ok. How about this: You get to to remove and draw if you get another removable card a number of times equal to the adventure deck number minus 2. And for Elites it would be - 4.

So for Basics: During Hook Mountain Massacre you could discard and draw 1 time. For Fortress of the Stone Giants, 2 times. For Sins of the Saviors, 3 times, for Spires of Xin-Shalast, 4 times.

For Elites: During Sins of the Saviors, 1 time. During Spires of Xin-Shalast, 2 times.

And you take the lesser value of any card you draw. So if you were playing Spires of Xin-Shalast and drew a baisc, discarded it and drew an Elite, you've already discarded 1 time, so the Elite showing up means you can only discard 1 more time (total of 2). And if you drew Basic, Basic, Elite you would have to take the Elite since you had already discarded 2 times by the time you got it.

Is that too complicated?

I like this one. Not complicated to me at all.


Hawkmoon269 wrote:

Ok. How about this: You get to to remove and draw if you get another removable card a number of times equal to the adventure deck number minus 2. And for Elites it would be - 4.

So for Basics: During Hook Mountain Massacre you could discard and draw 1 time. For Fortress of the Stone Giants, 2 times. For Sins of the Saviors, 3 times, for Spires of Xin-Shalast, 4 times.

For Elites: During Sins of the Saviors, 1 time. During Spires of Xin-Shalast, 2 times.

And you take the lesser value of any card you draw. So if you were playing Spires of Xin-Shalast and drew a baisc, discarded it and drew an Elite, you've already discarded 1 time, so the Elite showing up means you can only discard 1 more time (total of 2). And if you drew Basic, Basic, Elite you would have to take the Elite since you had already discarded 2 times by the time you got it.

Is that too complicated?

Actually like that better. Now how to word it into the revision....

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I think simpler is better.

Also, don't worry about the words here—worry about the concepts.

Finally, we really don't want people to accidentally remove so many Blessings of the Gods that they can no longer build a proper blessings deck—I'd err on the side that leaves more of them in.


Vic Wertz wrote:

I think simpler is better.

Also, don't worry about the words here—worry about the concepts.

Finally, we really don't want people to accidentally remove so many Blessings of the Gods that they can no longer build a proper blessings deck—I'd err on the side that leaves more of them in.

Not sure it's possible to lose that many BOTGs, and you still have ALL the other blessings since none of them are Basic/Elite.

That being said, as of Deck 5; my main group of 4 characters has removed 12 BOTGs from the game total, if you're taking data. It has not hampered my ability to set up the next scenario as of yet.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:

I think simpler is better.

Also, don't worry about the words here—worry about the concepts.

Finally, we really don't want people to accidentally remove so many Blessings of the Gods that they can no longer build a proper blessings deck—I'd err on the side that leaves more of them in.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but isn't the whole point of this alternate rule that you will never remove cards from the box? And instead, you just re-draw as needed? In that case, there should be no chance of Blessings of the Gods being removed.

I definitely agree on simplest is best, and would personally go with Ironvein's earlier design:

If you are playing multiple groups out of the same box, do not cull cards. Instead, when you encounter, summon, or draw a card from the box:
Discard it and replace it with a random card of that type from the box if it's from an adventure deck higher than the scenario. Do this as many times as needed to get a card of your adventure deck number or less.
If it is a Basic boon, you may discard and replace it one time if your scenario's adventure deck number is 3 or greater. If it is a Basic bane, do this automatically.
If it is an Elite boon, you may discard and replace it one time if your scenario's adventure deck number is 5 or greater. If it is an Elite bane, do this automatically. If the replacement card is Basic however, keep the Elite card.

It covers all of the scenarios, and works as a very simple rule-of-thumb. It does mean that you're somewhat more likely to get the dreaded double-basic draw in later adventures, but then influx of new cards should make that increasingly less likely.

That being said, there is one potential issue to consider: the shuffle issue. If we aren't removing basics or elites from the Monster Deck, it is going to get massive by the end. Not a deal-breaker, but definitely something that needs to be tested.


Well I do like Hawkmoon addition to that, but we'd have to playtest it at this point to see if it happens enough to make it viable or not. There are, afterall, a lot of cards that are neither Basic or Elite, so there's no telling how often Hawkmoon's version would trigger.

And while we are calling this 'quick and dirty' rules, I'd think that most people want to be able to play this way without all the bookkeeping required between groups... it may be worth considering making a formal/official rule. Not sure this suffices or not, but something to think about.


isaic16 wrote:


Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but isn't the whole point of this alternate rule that you will never remove cards from the box? And instead, you just re-draw as needed? In that case, there should be no chance of Blessings of the Gods being removed.

You are correct, we are discussing simulating the 'removed from play' effect without actually doing so. Or having to breakup decks just to start over with new players.

isaic16 wrote:


That being said, there is one potential issue to consider: the shuffle issue. If we aren't removing basics or elites from the Monster Deck, it is going to get massive by the end. Not a deal-breaker, but definitely something that needs to be tested.

Just a thought option on large deck shuffling: Break the deck into smaller decks; shuffle each, cut them and spread the cuts to other decks; shuffle each; cut or stack randomly; done. :)

The deck isn't quite to that point for me yet, but it's the most straightforward way I could devise; could also have the other players help with cutting and such to divide the work.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

Ironvein's version is cool by me.


Personally I'll stick with maintaining a list of removed cards and resetting the box when playing with another group. It takes a little time and effort but I'm cool with that. I think I'd rather do it this way than potentially slow down actual gameplay.


Yeah, I'm happy to stick with lists for now as I only have two groups and I love a good bit of admin.

I'd also be worried about spoiling the game for newer groups if they for instance drew a really cool boon or scary bane but then I say "Ah- no sorry we can't use that, it's from Saviours take this quarterstaff instead". I can see the immersion being damaged possibly (same reason I like the current set up with boatloads of henchmen and not a 'henchman stand in' card but that's a whole other topic).

If I was to play with a lot of groups, or with groups who are not new to the game then I would consider the proposed changes to quicken set-up. I can see it coming in handy for organised play down the line.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Well, we'll probably be starting our 4th group soon, and will probably be giving these rules a try. I'll let you know how it goes.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Developer

If you make/maintain a list of cards that you've removed from the game, then you can use that list to implement something like Mike's original suggestion, and leave all the cards in then box. It changes things in that removing one card removes all copies of them, but that's probably livable, with one caveat.

The trickiest part is he blessings, since you want to account for the blessings deck and Blessing of the Gods. There are a few decent approaches there:

  • Use Mike's redraw-once for BotG.
  • Never cull BotG.
  • Cull BotG according to the old rule, and live with the overhead.
  • Build a chart for how many BotG should be in the blessings deck, per adventure.

Of those, the first two are my favorite. We've played quite a few AP's through without culling BotG with no ill effects.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

isaic16 wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:

I think simpler is better.

Also, don't worry about the words here—worry about the concepts.

Finally, we really don't want people to accidentally remove so many Blessings of the Gods that they can no longer build a proper blessings deck—I'd err on the side that leaves more of them in.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but isn't the whole point of this alternate rule that you will never remove cards from the box? And instead, you just re-draw as needed? In that case, there should be no chance of Blessings of the Gods being removed.

You make an excellent point. :-)


Ironvein wrote:

Taking a strike at a revision

If you are playing multiple groups out of the same box, do not cull cards. Instead, when you encounter, summon, or draw a card from the box:

  • Discard it and replace it with a random card of that type from the box if it's from an adventure deck higher than the scenario. Do this as many times as needed to get a card of your adventure deck number or less.
  • If it is a Basic boon, you may discard and replace it one time if your scenario's adventure deck number is 3 or greater. If it is a Basic bane, do this automatically.
  • If it is an Elite boon, you may discard and replace it one time if your scenario's adventure deck number is 5 or greater. If it is an Elite bane, do this automatically. If the replacement card is Basic however, keep the Elite card.

How's that sound, Mike?

Just one last thing, I think.... it may be better to consider the bullet points as steps rather than just whichever triggers first.... maybe it was already considered that way, but it doesn't read that way initially to me.

For example: assume we have deck 6 in the collection, but playing deck 5 scenario.

1) Encounter a Deck 6 card so replace and get a Basic
2) Replace once and get an Elite
3) Replace once again and get a card that is neither.

At least that would be my interpretation.... but having in bullet points may have people stop at point one (kept the first Basic) or maybe point two (no redraw for the Elite).

Thoughts? (Bullets or Steps)


Vic Wertz wrote:
isaic16 wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:

I think simpler is better.

Also, don't worry about the words here—worry about the concepts.

Finally, we really don't want people to accidentally remove so many Blessings of the Gods that they can no longer build a proper blessings deck—I'd err on the side that leaves more of them in.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but isn't the whole point of this alternate rule that you will never remove cards from the box? And instead, you just re-draw as needed? In that case, there should be no chance of Blessings of the Gods being removed.
You make an excellent point. :-)

I know it takes some of the randomness out but we play with a set deck of blessings based off percentages. (we include all the blessings it doesn't make that big of a deal) When you need to use cards from blessing deck we discard them and pull from the box. (I have different backs on the blessing deck) It was saving us a little bit of the set-up maintenance. It also made sure we always have a mixture of all blessings in blessing deck since they can't get pulled and put in someones deck.

Paizo Employee

Chad Brown wrote:

If you make/maintain a list of cards that you've removed from the game, then you can use that list to implement something like Mike's original suggestion, and leave all the cards in the box.

Or maybe simplify this a bit and just track the number of each type of card removed from the game, like 2 Basic Spells, 1 Elite Spell, 10 Basic Weapons, 0 Elite Weapons, etc. Then when a Basic (or later Elite) card is encountered it gets replaced from the box, continuing this process until you use up the number of removed cards for that type, exempting cards that you chose not to remove permanently.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I think one of the things Mike is going for is not having to do anything before the scenario. Plus, there is a a good chance in later adventures you would never be able to use up the number of redraws because there would be that many cards of that type in the scenario.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

It's more "administrative overhead" to run multiple groups from one box - especially after one starts to remove banes & boons - but I think I'd still prefer keeping track of the status of the box and "resetting it." I get a small sense of personal satisfaction when I remove basic and elite cards from the game, doing so with the knowledge that I've "permanently upgraded" the odds of good cards for this particular set of characters.

The next best thing to winning good cards is removing "meh" cards; it still feels like a win. The Longsword and Short Sword and Guidance and Standard Bearer cards, and those like them, really seem boring and bland once AD3 rolls around, and getting those things out of circulation feels great. Same thing goes for elite cards when AD5 comes: it's a mad dash to eliminate bland boons so that the great cards from AD5 & 6 get added in, they actually have a chance of showing up.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

We just played our first game with a new group, testing out the revised rule. From a technical standpoint, they worked out fine. We lost the scenario, but that frequently happens early on. The game time was probably right around average, even with the overhead of swapping cards out.

However, there is a potential issue that I hadn't really thought of that reared its head. There's a certain joy in flipping over a card and seeing something you really want. Unfortunately, when we were playing, that seemed to largely be followed by "oh yeah, that's not available yet". Case in point, the first two draws out of the Academy were Haste and Scrying.

I don't know if it's game-breaking, and I think we had especially bad luck in this one. However, flipping over a card and not knowing if you're really getting it did serve as something of a downer.

All that being said, we've only done one scenario so far. We're going to keep trying it a bit longer, and I'll let everyone know how it progresses.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

The way to avoid that, of course, is to start by fanning the decks, putting all the cards of an adventure deck number higher than your current scenario on the bottom, and then shuffling the rest.


I find that in my groups of experienced and inexperienced gamers, we have enough things to remember to do each turn. It's unfortunate that we're already forgetting to check and apply location or scenario rules from time to time. Having to also check each card we explore from a location deck to see if we need to redraw would be difficult in all the excitement of the game, teaching and advice-giving, munching on snacks, socializing, etc. I'm sure we'd forget more often than not.

On the other hand, I find that I can prep the game between different groups in about 30-45 minutes or so. This setup time includes removing/adding adventure decks, assembling the character decks, creating the location decks and having everything ready so when folks arrive, we're ready to sit down and play. This may seem like wasted time, but I'd rather have things ready beforehand so we're not wasting our limited play time by building the scenario while everyone sits around. Besides, I'm tidying up the house and getting other things ready anyway.

The one thing I've not done yet is deal with culled cards. None of my groups have actually gotten that far yet! I'm bummed that we don't get to play often enough, but it's tough getting the groups together when real life, kids and families, and other obligations keep getting in the way. But I expect dealing with culled cards will only add a few extra minutes to my setup routine.


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So, I finally gave this a try tonight. I used my redraw suggestion, so since we were just starting Fortress of the Stone Giants we drew up to two times to replace basic cards.

One issue we had was that it would be extended to examining. I was playing Harsk so if I examined my location and saw a basic I drew to replace it. And we played Mayor Kendra Devrin and replaced basics then too. Otherwise the knowledge you gain from examining isn't very useful. Of course that means you have to do some keeping track of what you haven't replaced already.

Acquisition wise, it worked out well. I think we only kept 2 or 3 bind we'd acquired.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Just to be me coherent with my thoughts here (it was late last night and I was tired and using my phone when I posted):

1. Knowing what is coming is a pretty important thing. So being able to replace the basic cards any time you examine a card would be important. But it creates the need for memory. We acquired Mayor Kendra Devrin and used her on a location that had 9 cards in it. 2 of them were Basic. I replaced them since I felt it was important we really know what was coming. But that meant that if they ended up being replaced with Basic cards I had to remember that I'd already replaced them.

I feel that in general having to remember things is something the design of the game tries to avoid (though not all together, some monsters require you to remember that your checks are harder for the rest of your turn). But having to remember something potentially for the most of the rest of the game might be a bit much. But I've got no suggestions for what to do about it.

2. In terms of acquiring boons, I feel like this group got about the same amount of boons that they wanted to keep as my other 4 person group did. Getting 2 or 3 boons that they end up keeping (which is what happened) was fairly normal at this point in the Adventure Path.

3. In terms of encountering banes, I feel like that was about the same too.

In the end I had replaced maybe 12 to 15 basic cards while playing.

4. In terms of game flow, there was something really interesting. I was playing with my wife. I spent about 20 to 30 minutes deconstructing our other group, recording their decks and removed cards, and then constructing these characters. I probably saved another 5 to 10 minutes by not having to remove all of this groups cards as well as deck 5.

While we were playing, my wife commented that she felt the replacing was kind of annoying and that it slowed the game down. But the amount of time it slowed the game down would be nothing compared to the amount of time it would take to switch the removed cards for different groups. So in essence, it will save time, but the only person who will notice the positive time savings will be the person who does the setup. People that play with that person will only experience a negative. In other words, it saved me time, it cost my wife time. (Though she would be fine with me having more time on my hands.)

5. Mistakes. We forgot to replace 1 bane that I noticed. Trapped Passageway. After Seelah defeated it I drew a replacement to see what we should have done. It was Pit Trap. In both cases she would have used Wisdom and in both cases she would have succeeded and in both cases she would have explored again.

Overall, I like it. I consider myself to have a "main group" which is the one that has finished Sins of the Saviors. But I have 2 other "minor groups" (the second one with my wife and a group I play solo) as well as an "occasional group" (who don't meet regularly or consistently). I think I'll do the "by the book" method for my main group. We tend to finish a new adventure deck in a week and I don't want to do anything when a new adventure arrives other than play that adventure, so I'm generally not switching groups when we are playing them. But for my two minor groups, I think I'll continue to use this method. It will make it so much easier to switch. For my occasional group, I'll probably remove cards. Though in truth, I'll probably be done with RotR for every other group and on to Skull and Shackles by the time they meet next, so they might be the only group in the RotR box at that point.

I definitely think you might want to consider this for Organized Play. I'm assuming that one of the players will need their S&S Base Set. Their will obviously be no way to keep track of what each group of organized players have removed, since they might be different each time. Something like this will be perfect for Organized Play.


I anticipate this sort of thing becoming less and less of a problem

At the moment, if I want to introduce someone new to this game, I need to deconstruct everything, and go back to Brigandoom.

Once we start playig Skulls and Shackles, I'd imagine that'll be where the majority of regular play is happening, but I can keep RotR ready to go for new folk.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Yeah, that is my hope too. Eventually I'll just play different adventure paths with different groups. That is why I think something like this needs to be figured out more for organized play. That is where it will matter most. But for organized play, since they aren't confined to card size for the scenarios, it could even be that the scenarios had a rule like this:

Before building the location decks, draw the following number of random card with the Basic trait from the box. From the drawn cards, the group may remove any of the boons from the box that they wish. You must remove the banes.

Monsters: 15
Barriers: 8
Weapons: 10
Spells: 10
Armors: 5
Items: 10
Allies: 12
Blessing: 3

And as you went further along, each scenario would increase the number to remove. You'd just include a new list with each scenario. And eventually you could throw Elite in there. That would let you remove a different number for each type and essentially keep all the groups at the same removal rate.

But that is just a suggestion. I'm sure they will figure something out. We know very little about how Organized Play will work anyway.


Wait Hawk, you redrew/replaced cards during a peek? My interpretation of the this rule doesn't include that.... just encounter, summon and drawing from the box. A peek doesn't do that.

I would have ruled it as the peek just let you know that there is a card the is replaceable coming up and if you had the opt to change the order; you'd have to decide when you wanted to deal with it. It may nerf peeks a little; but you can roleplay it 'misinterpreting the signs'.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

Clearly, whenever you first see a card, you should do this, and then not thereafter.

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