Thoughts on the new S&S characters


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion

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DirkSJ wrote:
nondeskript wrote:
DirkSJ wrote:
Her heal power was terrible in RotR and is still terrible in S&S. It's too expensive. You should never be skipping explores unless it's an emergency. I think in all of RotR I used the skip-heal maybe 4-5 times and we would have lived without it.
We used that much more. I think it depends on party make-up, size and playstyle.

Huh. I just don't see why you would. Cure spells are far more effective for no real cost.

If by "far more effective" you mean "equally as effective with no means of upgrading it" and by "no real cost" you mean "requiring extra cards in your deck" then I can definitely see your point.

I use Kyra's heal power a minimum of 4-5 times per scenario, and I love it because...
1) I don't need to actually have a Cure spell in hand to heal someone.
2) You can use over half your deck as a healing implement (Holy Water, Token of Remembrance, Inflict, etc).
3) You can upgrade it to 1d4+2/3 (3-6 or 4-7 cards) with Role.
4) You can give her spells other than just Cure.
5) If my Cures end up in my discard (or bury) pile, I can still heal.

The cost of my first explore is a small price to play, IMO.

I don't mind running a character sometimes with a heavy Cure spell list (Alahazrah, etc), but I feel I'm limiting the character.

I play solo with 1, 2 or 3 characters, so I don't mind Kyra taking her entire turn to heal (especially when it's Cure + her heal power to fully heal someone in one turn). I use those extra spell slots for Augury, of all spells. But if I'm playing her "wrong" then I'd be open to hear how I "should be" playing her...

I hate when people judge other peoples' play styles because it differs from their own, as if theirs is the only valid style.

Sovereign Court

Flat hit the nail on the hand for Kyra's power is more effective for some. I'd rather have combat spells than filling up with Cures when I can use any of spells or blessings to do, for even more healing. As rarely as a heal is needed, I'd rather not have one or two specific cards I don't need until then, and then hope I have one when I need it. I always kept one Cure in my deck just for those times where we were running slow and we needed all the explores we could get, but that was rare.

As for Dirk's comment about never skipping explores unless it's an emergency -- if too few explores is a problem often enough for you, instead of telling other people they're playing wrong by skipping explores, you should probably wonder why we're able to skip all those explores without issue, but you can't.

I've had a few groups, none of which ever failed more than 4 or 5 scenarios in the whole path due to time, and if we didn't run out of time, we weren't even close to doing so. Running Kyra and Valeros as a pair, I never ran out of time. It's not bad to skip explores. It's bad to skip them without need. You shouldn't be healing so often that it causes a problem. I usually healed 2, maybe 3 times in a scenario, and I always tried to have an extra blessing or two to keep myself from spending a turn to heal.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Flat the Impaler wrote:
I hate when people judge other peoples' play styles because it differs from their own, as if theirs is the only valid style.

You might have joined the wrong thread, then...it sort of seems like the point of it...


Andrew K wrote:

As for Dirk's comment about never skipping explores unless it's an emergency -- if too few explores is a problem often enough for you, instead of telling other people they're playing wrong by skipping explores, you should probably wonder why we're able to skip all those explores without issue, but you can't.

I've had a few groups, none of which ever failed more than 4 or 5 scenarios in the whole path due to time, and if we didn't run out of time, we weren't even close to doing so. Running Kyra and Valeros as a pair, I never ran out of time. It's not bad to skip explores. It's bad to skip them without need. You shouldn't be healing so often that it causes a problem. I usually healed 2, maybe 3 times in a scenario, and I always tried to have an extra blessing or two to keep myself from spending a turn to heal.

Two man Kyra and Merisiel(sp?) we never lost a single scenario. We reran 3 man adding Lem as well and never failed. We played blessings as self-only (incorrectly) so it was kinda hard-mode. We only ever got close to losing on some of those late scenarios where it was a really hard INT check to close and we had no INT to speak of. If we only had realized blessings were global lol...

The idea of running divine combat spells in RotR is just bizarre. Melee is far more effective and repeatable. If you want to do 3-4 explores each turn a weapon is really the only option.

Consider the cost of cure vs heal power this way: Blessings are explores. To use the power you have to display a divine card. If you display a divine spell then that's a total waste, it could have just been a cure and you wouldn't lose an explore. If I display a blessing then I am losing TWO explores.

You were probably closing locations when you hit henchmen. We never did unless the location was annoying and made you bury cards or something. We went to the bottom of every deck to get all the loot. We would even intentionally fail the boss encounter sometimes if we got him too early.


Calthaer wrote:
Flat the Impaler wrote:
I hate when people judge other peoples' play styles because it differs from their own, as if theirs is the only valid style.
You might have joined the wrong thread, then...it sort of seems like the point of it...

I know... I tried to stay away, but comments about Kyra being useless got me annoyed enough to chime in. ;)


Flat the Impaler wrote:

1) I don't need to actually have a Cure spell in hand to heal someone.

2) You can use over half your deck as a healing implement (Holy Water, Token of Remembrance, Inflict, etc).
3) You can upgrade it to 1d4+2/3 (3-6 or 4-7 cards) with Role.
4) You can give her spells other than just Cure.
5) If my Cures end up in my discard (or bury) pile, I can still heal.

#1,5 - Of course. They were the backup plan if I was super unlucky too.

#2 - You maybe have one spare item IF you skilled it...you have to run thieves tools if you want any chance of beating barriers. Inflict is a terrible spell eclipsed by the very first tier weapons. The only divine spells that are effective at all are the cures, swipe, and the scouting spells. The scouting spells are very unreliable, though.
#3 - All Kyras will have the +2 coming out of Deck 3 as the undead +1 dmg power feat is just bad. So really it's just the +1 extra heal you are talking about. Which is nothing to die for, really. Major Cure already effectively does the same healing as the +2 heal and Mass Cure tops it by a ton.
#4 - See #2, there aren't any other spells to give her. Two Swipes was plenty. Divine attacks were all terrible compared to melee weapons.

Flat the Impaler wrote:
I don't mind running a character sometimes with a heavy Cure spell list (Alahazrah, etc), but I feel I'm limiting the character.

Running a lot of cures doesn't mean you are filling the role of healer. Cures are just a mechanic to keep her deck cycling when you are spending 2-3 blessings every round exploring and discarding like mad to make sure you can get more blessings, get Swipe back up, get Tools back up, etc as they get used.

It's not really viable to just run all Serenrae blessings if you want to chain explore. You will need Gorums to fight and in a small party (which mine were) you will need the "close location" blessings as well to shore up weaknesses.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Calthaer wrote:
Flat the Impaler wrote:
I hate when people judge other peoples' play styles because it differs from their own, as if theirs is the only valid style.
You might have joined the wrong thread, then...it sort of seems like the point of it...

This thread is not intended to say there's only one to play any of the characters. All discussion regarding possible strategies are welcome, including disagreeing about which way is optimal.


Flat the Impaler wrote:
I know... I tried to stay away, but comments about Kyra being useless got me annoyed enough to chime in. ;)

Er...no. Kyra is amazing; she is a powerhouse. It's just Healer spec is useless and her first power is mostly useless (though a good backup).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DirkSJ wrote:
Flat the Impaler wrote:
I know... I tried to stay away, but comments about Kyra being useless got me annoyed enough to chime in. ;)
Er...no. Kyra is amazing; she is a powerhouse. It's just Healer spec is useless and her first power is mostly useless (though a good backup).

As someone who encountered literally 0 blessings of Sarenrae, I think Healer was actually the better choice for Kyra. The higher hand size was nice, and I played with her healing power in mind, having the first character burn a lot of cards for extra explores, while she pretty much negated the damage in a single turn.


Mechalibur wrote:
This thread is not intended to say there's only one to play any of the characters. All discussion regarding possible strategies are welcome, including disagreeing about which way is optimal.

I use hyperbole a lot but...yeah. I don't think I have ever said there is one way to play. I have just made arguments that my way is best and that other ways being touted are bad.

This game is easy enough that you can play all sorts of characters in all sorts of inefficient ways and still win.


Mechalibur wrote:
As someone who encountered literally 0 blessings of Sarenrae, I think Healer was actually the better choice for Kyra. The higher hand size was nice, and I played with her healing power in mind, having the first character burn a lot of cards for extra explores, while she pretty much negated the damage in a single turn.

I just popped downstairs and checked my Kyra deck. I only ran 3 Serenrae. They weren't really core to my strategy with her at all. I liked to have a lot of flexibility with blessings.

We both burned hard. He ran the two healing staffs on Mer and that one shamany sorta guy that kept him cycling. By mid game he would fall behind and almost always need a heal. Basically I just healed him whenever mass cure came up. Before I had that I would have to sometimes skip an explore for him if he got unlucky and I didn't draw a cure that turn. We kept to ourselves though (as Mer always wants to do). Every cure I drew, though, I cast immediately on one of us.

In general it worked out far better being split up as a ton of things hurt everyone at the location. Being together is quite a penalty in this game. When we played 3 man with Lem in the end we split up there as well. It just hurt too much to stack.


DirkSJ wrote:
You were probably closing locations when you hit henchmen. We never did unless the location was annoying and made you bury cards or something. We went to the bottom of every deck to get all the loot. We would even intentionally fail the boss encounter sometimes if we got him too early.

I actually play very similar to you; my main group is Kyra, Seoni, and Merisiel. I also farm each location for as many boons as possible, and rarely have I lost either. Where we differ though is that I don't intentionally lose against the villain (potentially cards off the Blessings deck).

It's interesting that despite the similarities, we have very different styles of play. We just place different values on different abilities and cards. And you know what? There's nothing wrong with that. (Which was the point of my first post, for those who seem to have missed it).

(Side note: "mostly useless" and "a good backup" are not synonyms.)


Are the people that feel Kyra's heal power is useless using it only when characters are close to death? Because if that's the case, I can understand why you'd think it's much worse (not that I agree) than a Cure spell. The most effective use I have found for it is to use allies and blessing to explore like crazy, then use her heal power as soon as there are five cards in her, or someone else's, discard pile; rinse and repeat. Used this way, giving up an explore to do it is simply an investment that pays off in even more explores.


Even though it's off-topic somewhat. I'm going to chime in with my overwheming support for Kyra's Healer roll being totally worth it. Kyra has a metric ton of blessings, moderate to good melee combat, decent armor and generally bad rolls for spell recharges. All this adds up to a really pretty good strategy whereby she takes all those really nice high recharge divine cards (like mass cure) and uses them like crazy after dumping blessings on everything she possibly wants.

Seriously, give her a +3 club (or even better Mokmurian's(sp?) club), 4 STR feats and as many blessing card feats as you can. When you get her mass cure(s) go heal the crap out of herself and another player; don't even bother with recharge checks. Play every blessing you have for exploring and helping with checks, you don't even need to worry about Sarenrae's recharge ability. Then, spend ONE explore to heal it all back (including the mass cure(s)). If you take the power, you will also get to draw a card after giving up your explore, which could easily be a card to let you explore. If anyone thinks that losing an explore or even two to gain back a ton of other explores and extra dice in checks between multiple characters is a bad idea, I can only conclude they never learned to count. You can even fill her up on spells like detect magic, aid, detect evil, etc. to support/explore even more. I personally can't see a decent line of reasoning to NOT take the healer roll, except if you were soloing with only Kyra (and even then I wouldn't be convinced).


Captain Bulldozer wrote:
I personally can't see a decent line of reasoning to NOT take the healer roll, except if you were soloing with only Kyra (and even then I wouldn't be convinced).

The only thing healer role gives you is 1 extra card on default heal (and later a draw that MIGHT save you the cost by drawing a blessing) and a bonus to acquire divine that you don't really need. And an 8th card that you don't need.

Exorcist gets the much better Serenrae top-deck and a heal on killing undead of which there are tons (later you can add outsiders, there aren't enough of them to really matter though).

Turning a 3-6 heal (which both have) into a 4-7 heal is a trivial difference. The exorcist abilities are simply better. Serenrae on top is disgustingly good. With the undead heal and Mokmurian you don't need to heal yourself much at all.

Swipe and dominate in the last set are really the only spells worth taking (outside of cures). The detects are extremely unreliable. Often times you cast them to no effect. Consider: Every time you cast a detect you MIGHT get a free explore from it. If that card had instead been a cure you just DEFINITELY saved yourself a future skipped explore. It's just flat out better to run cure than detect.

The scry/aug are not much better, really. Commonly only 1 of the cards is even what you asked for unless it's a very heavy one sided deck. And if it is you probably didn't find what you were looking for since it's so one sided. I had that book you can bury to get 3 random spells every scenario and scry/aug were almost always a big waste of a cast.

If there were better divine spells (and I'm hoping there are in S&S) then things would be different. But all the attacks were garbage and the rest of the utility spells were inefficient, ineffectual, and/or random.


DirkSJ wrote:


Swipe and dominate in the last set are really the only spells worth taking (outside of cures). The detects are extremely unreliable. Often times you cast them to no effect. Consider: Every time you cast a detect you MIGHT get a free explore from it. If that card had instead been a cure you just DEFINITELY saved yourself a future skipped explore. It's just flat out better to run cure than detect.

The scry/aug are not much better, really. Commonly only 1 of the cards is even what you asked for unless it's a very heavy one sided deck. And if it is you probably didn't find what you were looking for since it's so one sided. I had that book you can bury to get 3 random spells every scenario and scry/aug were almost always a big waste of a cast.

If there were better divine spells (and I'm hoping there are in S&S) then things would be different. But all the attacks were garbage and the rest of the utility spells were inefficient, ineffectual, and/or random.

Ah, that makes sense. If detect, augur, and scry were terrible spells, then the best set of divine spells would be all cures. And if you're running all-cures, then Kyra's healing power is just unnecessary.

The value of detect, however, isn't just a chance at an explore---you should be casting it at times when, depending on what you see on top, you'll do better (expend fewer resources or acquire better cards) by going elsewhere so that another character can come by on their turn to more easily make the check.

Think of it this way: any time you hit a card with Kyra's first explore that requires you to play a blessing so she can make the check, but another of your characters wouldn't need it, then Detect (or whatever scouting) would have saved you an explore by preserving that blessing.

The larger your party, the more likely there's someone specialized in whatever type of check it is, so this is more useful in group-compositions other than your two-man Kyra/Merisiel, but even there the benefit of scouting isn't zero.

Augury/scry, on the other hand, straightforwardly save explores, in any party. It just sounds like you're overlooking the value of scrying monsters to the bottom of the deck.
Consider when you scry for monsters:
*If the henchman or villain is the 2nd card down, you save an explore by getting to it one card sooner. If 3rd, you save two explores. On a fresh location, there's a 10% chance of each, so that's .1 * 1 + .1 *2 = .3 explores right there. If you wait until you've explored a location a few times already (explore first, if necessary), this gets better (if you're halfway through, this chance is worth .6 explores). Catching the villain this way is especially good, as it lets you wait until you're perfectly set up to finish the scenario (not having the villain escape once is worth *several* explores).

*If there's no henchman/villain, but 1-3 other monsters, then you put them on the bottom, when you otherwise would have had to explore through them. Bam, 1-3 explores saved.
As long as you're scrying the smallest and/or most monster-rich deck, scrying for monsters > 1 explore, in terms of getting closer to finishing a scenario.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
DirkSJ wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
As someone who encountered literally 0 blessings of Sarenrae, I think Healer was actually the better choice for Kyra. The higher hand size was nice, and I played with her healing power in mind, having the first character burn a lot of cards for extra explores, while she pretty much negated the damage in a single turn.

I just popped downstairs and checked my Kyra deck. I only ran 3 Serenrae. They weren't really core to my strategy with her at all. I liked to have a lot of flexibility with blessings.

We both burned hard. He ran the two healing staffs on Mer and that one shamany sorta guy that kept him cycling. By mid game he would fall behind and almost always need a heal. Basically I just healed him whenever mass cure came up. Before I had that I would have to sometimes skip an explore for him if he got unlucky and I didn't draw a cure that turn. We kept to ourselves though (as Mer always wants to do). Every cure I drew, though, I cast immediately on one of us.

Are you my wife, secretly posting on these forums? That was our exact play (and exact number of Sarenrae, if I'm remembering right).

We burned the hell out of decks. If you weren't discarding, you were wasting time. Though I'm loving Damiel/Jirelle in S&S, Kyrasiel is still my first true duo love. :D


Good grief you guys were talkative this weekend.

55 new posts? Normally I read up on them anyway, but they're all lengthy to top off the quantity... >.<


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
philosorapt0r wrote:
DirkSJ wrote:


Swipe and dominate in the last set are really the only spells worth taking (outside of cures). The detects are extremely unreliable. Often times you cast them to no effect. Consider: Every time you cast a detect you MIGHT get a free explore from it. If that card had instead been a cure you just DEFINITELY saved yourself a future skipped explore. It's just flat out better to run cure than detect.

The scry/aug are not much better, really. Commonly only 1 of the cards is even what you asked for unless it's a very heavy one sided deck. And if it is you probably didn't find what you were looking for since it's so one sided. I had that book you can bury to get 3 random spells every scenario and scry/aug were almost always a big waste of a cast.

If there were better divine spells (and I'm hoping there are in S&S) then things would be different. But all the attacks were garbage and the rest of the utility spells were inefficient, ineffectual, and/or random.

Ah, that makes sense. If detect, augur, and scry were terrible spells, then the best set of divine spells would be all cures. And if you're running all-cures, then Kyra's healing power is just unnecessary.

The value of detect, however, isn't just a chance at an explore---you should be casting it at times when, depending on what you see on top, you'll do better (expend fewer resources or acquire better cards) by going elsewhere so that another character can come by on their turn to more easily make the check.

Think of it this way: any time you hit a card with Kyra's first explore that requires you to play a blessing so she can make the check, but another of your characters wouldn't need it, then Detect (or whatever scouting) would have saved you an explore by preserving that blessing.

The larger your party, the more likely there's someone specialized in whatever type of check it is, so this is more useful in group-compositions other than your two-man Kyra/Merisiel, but even there the benefit of scouting...

I was going to go to bat for my pals, Augury and Scrying, but I think you covered it here. I have saved so many potential explores by scrying monsters to the bottom, or henchman to the top. Easily the most useful spells in RotR, ime.


I think the main reason I'm not as big on scouting as everyone else seems to be is that we (my play groups) tend to clean out nearly every location deck for the boons - if we're going through the whole location deck anyway, the scouting cards can be better spent on other things.


DirkSJ wrote:
Captain Bulldozer wrote:
I personally can't see a decent line of reasoning to NOT take the healer roll, except if you were soloing with only Kyra (and even then I wouldn't be convinced).

The only thing healer role gives you is 1 extra card on default heal (and later a draw that MIGHT save you the cost by drawing a blessing) and a bonus to acquire divine that you don't really need. And an 8th card that you don't need.

For future reference, if you start a sentence with "The only thing the healer roll gives you is ... " you really shouldn't finish the sentence with 4 (well, let's say 3.5, since I mildly agree with you about the extra divine pickup part) actually very useful powers. It just isn't a convincing argument when you do it that way ;)

1) ANY divine card allowing you to heal (for up to 7 cards) AND draw a card is amazing. Seriously, how many ways are there in RotR to actually draw extra cards? Very few.

2) If you use her healing ability in conjunction with a mass cure, you're healing up to 17 (not a typo) cards and at minimum 8 card for yourself and another player. If you play anything like my group, most of those cards will be blessings/allies which were used for extra explores. You're also almost certainly getting back the mass cure even if you didn't recharge it. Metaphorically, that's like Popeye eight-balling a can of genetically modified super spinach while also giving his spinach strength powers to a friend. It also means that the only spell needed to make all this work amazingly is a single mass cure spell, leaving room for the rest of her spells to be utility or combat (I recommend utility obviously). That can only be called "awesomely efficient". Cure spells are nice in general, but not when there's nothing that needs curing. Why waste hand space with a card that's not going to be used yet if you don't have to.

3) Given that most of Kyra's cards will be blessings or utility spells, having an extra card in your hand is far from something you don't need. AND its something that when discarded, you can easily get back. It's like extra gasoline for the fire... and if you like fire, that's a pretty good thing.


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I honestly don't know how to have a conversation with an experienced play who doesn't see value in scyring/augury. The ability to scout and sort a location deck is ridiculously valuable in this game. If you can't figure out a way to make these cards work you have an incredibly narrow play-style.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I think Kyra's built-in healing power has more utility in smaller groups. In a large party each explore is more important, but with fewer turns and more group support via powers and blessings you are less likely to take critical damage. So less damage and more need for explores = power less useful.

But in a small group the timer is less of a threat than a card you just can't handle - a villain when nobody has a blessing, for example. It's pretty easy to have an early game hand wipe and be facing a situation where you might have 10-12 more turns to play with very little leeway left in your deck. In that case trading an explore for a heal is a no-brainer.

And every spell slot in your deck taken up by Cure is a spell slot that could have been used to just not take damage in the first place. By no means is Cure useless, but I couldn't imagine running 3 of them in a 1-2 character game. That slot could be Augury or Aid or even Find Traps (barrier mitigation is a big deal when you don't have anybody good at them).


ryric wrote:
I think Kyra's built-in healing power has more utility in smaller groups. In a large party each explore is more important, but with fewer turns and more group support via powers and blessings you are less likely to take critical damage. So less damage and more need for explores = power less useful.

In my mind, you've got it exactly backwards. It's not about healing damage that is done to you by enemies. It's about healing damage that you do to yourselves by discarding to explore. If you discard five cards to explore, then get 2-5 (without feats!) back for the cost of one explore and one divine card to your discard pile...well, I just can't see what's not to like. She facilitates exploring when this power is used properly, making her more and more valuable as party size increases.


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Maybe a separate thread should be made for discussion of Kyra's roles? Seems to be a contentious topic.


Joshua Birk 898 wrote:
I honestly don't know how to have a conversation with an experienced play who doesn't see value in scyring/augury. The ability to scout and sort a location deck is ridiculously valuable in this game. If you can't figure out a way to make these cards work you have an incredibly narrow play-style.

[Note - this is all RotR experience I'm using here]

It's not that I can't make them work. It's that I tend to get better use out of other spells. We plow through the location decks fearing no banes and knowing exactly what boons we're looking for - if we don't want it, we don't acquire it. Rather than set up the perfect encounter, we just plow through - very rarely do we encounter a boon that we both want and cannot acquire with the help of blessings and other cards. Usually* a scouting card merely lets us choose the order of three encounters that we are going to have anyway; in such a case, the scouting spell is better off being a Haste, or a combat spell, or what have you. And this is saying nothing of the waste that occurs when you send something to the bottom and then the location deck gets shuffled.

It should be said that I do see the value in these cards. We always acquire Scrying and Augury when we find them, they just often don't make the cut for the deck. If we could have any number of any card type in our decks, then I would run these anyway (probably - a ton of blessings for a deck is pretty good I imagine). And if we're talking items it's a whole different story - they're competing with a different set of cards for deck space. Those Magic Spyglasses and Revalation Quills definitely get used. So does the Eagle. And once in a while Shalelu actually gets recharged (usually, more than 90% of the time, we just encounter it, but there are exceptions).

So, long story short, in RotR anyway, it boils down to just not needing them. We know they're good, we'd just rather take other things because they were'nt needed. This could change drastically however now that we have almost five times as many characters and a harder adventure path.

*There are exceptions - sometimes we don't encounter the henchman until we've cleaned out the banes, and then scouting can help. Scouting the Villain to the bottom of the deck with cards we want to acquire can be helpful. But more often than not, the scouting does nothing particularly valuable.


Mechalibur wrote:
Maybe a separate thread should be made for discussion of Kyra's roles? Seems to be a contentious topic.

What we really need is a topicless thread to just babble on about whatever. A chatbox, so to speak.


philosorapt0r wrote:

The value of detect, however, isn't just a chance at an explore---you should be casting it at times when, depending on what you see on top, you'll do better (expend fewer resources or acquire better cards) by going elsewhere so that another character can come by on their turn to more easily make the check.

Think of it this way: any time you hit a card with Kyra's first explore that requires you to play a blessing so she can make the check, but another of your characters wouldn't need it, then Detect (or whatever scouting) would have saved you an explore by preserving that blessing.

That's why you run Swipe. It doesn't matter what you found; Kyra grabs it for the party. Plus Swipe has a global range "reduce difficulty by 3" to help others...the spell is insane.

You still suck at Arcane spells but every char sucks at something. Taking a spell to shore up checks a single card SUB-type really isn't worth it. Spells aren't that common and Arcane ones are only halfish of them.

Dave Riley wrote:
We burned the hell out of decks. If you weren't discarding, you were wasting time. Though I'm loving Damiel/Jirelle in S&S, Kyrasiel is still my first true duo love. :D

<3 Kryasiel :). For S&S we decided to all change up our play a lot and the Lem player is with us for all games now. Players changed from/to: Mer->Alahazra, Kyra(me)->Feiya, Lem->Jirelle. So we are all a vastly different playstyle than RotR. Our first two seem like late bloomers, really, but Jir is already a monster.

isaic16 wrote:
I was going to go to bat for my pals, Augury and Scrying, but I think you covered it here. I have saved so many potential explores by scrying monsters to the bottom, or henchman to the top. Easily the most useful spells in RotR, ime.

Henchmen to the TOP? Sacrilege :). Mer ran a million spyglasses. This may have devalued Aug/Scry for me more than for you.


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Orbis Orboros wrote:

It's not that I can't make them work. It's that I tend to get better use out of other spells. We plow through the location decks fearing no banes and knowing exactly what boons we're looking for - if we don't want it, we don't acquire it. Rather than set up the perfect encounter, we just plow through - very rarely do we encounter a boon that we both want and cannot acquire with the help of blessings and other cards. Usually* a scouting card merely lets us choose the order of three encounters that we are going to have anyway; in such a case, the scouting spell is better off being a Haste, or a combat spell, or what have you. And this is saying nothing of the waste that occurs when you send something to the bottom and then the location deck gets shuffled.

It should be said that I do see the value in these cards. We always acquire Scrying and Augury when we find them, they just often don't make the cut for the deck. If we could have any number of any card type in our decks, then I would run these anyway (probably - a ton of blessings for a deck is pretty good I imagine). And if we're talking items it's a whole different story - they're competing with a different set of cards for deck space. Those Magic Spyglasses and Revalation Quills definitely get used. So does the Eagle. And once in a while Shalelu actually gets recharged (usually, more than 90% of the time, we just encounter it, but there are exceptions).

So, long story short, in RotR anyway, it boils down to just not needing them. We know they're good, we'd just rather take other things because they were'nt needed.

+1,000,000, said it way better than I've been trying to say it. Exactly our style. Aug is fun. Sometimes it lets to mess with a deck in powerful ways. But if I had a cure or a swipe then I am guaranteed to have an advantage in cycling or acquisition. Guaranteed is better than sometimes in limited card slots when you are not afraid of banes.

Orbis Orboros wrote:
What we really need is a topicless thread to just babble on about whatever. A chatbox, so to speak.

+999,999 :)

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

Orbis Orboros wrote:
What we really need is a topicless thread to just babble on about whatever. A chatbox, so to speak.

Who's stopping you?


Mike Selinker wrote:
Orbis Orboros wrote:
What we really need is a topicless thread to just babble on about whatever. A chatbox, so to speak.
Who's stopping you?

Apparently nothing XD

New thread here


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Back to Seltyiel, I've been playing him with Alahazra (my BF is running her) and it's been a great team. She focuses on support, healing and scouting and "directs" him to take out targets that she can't or doesn't want to.

All you have to do to shore up his non-combat skill checks is give him Blessing of Cayden maybe a Blessing of Sivannah, and an Abadar. Once you get to the 4th scenario in AP1, you give him Besmara's Tricorne and you say "yes sir, may I have another". Most survival/fortitude checks just became reliable for you. I had that hat for a while and loved every minute of it.

Every character is designed to do one or two things really well. Seltyiel fits VERY well with characters that like to explore a lot, but can't always defend themselves. I'll have him clear out the monsters for Alahazra and then let her go to town on the rest of the deck while he's working on something else.

Ranzak if you have him runs so perfectly with Seltyiel that it's not even funny. Ran has all the skills that Seltyiel doesn't, can make him fight for the goblin and can explore like no one's business. If you run those 3 together, I don't see anything stopping you.

Barring that, it's mostly a matter of enjoying his play style. Yes, he's not great with barriers until you get a few decent blessings or the tricorne. Well guess what, no one is unless they have the thieves tools/mwtt early on. Slap a find traps or 2 on a divine caster that's going along with Selt, and you rarely have to worry.

Unlike most other weapon wielders, he only has 1 armor. You keep the best, and the others never clog up your deck.


Our 6 player group is halfway through Adventure 2 and I've been thinking about my assessment of the characters to date. This is still quite early and by no means a final assessment as this game still has a lot to throw at us.

One thing to note is that, as many people have said, this game is harder. Combat checks seem to be at least 3 to 4 numbers higher on average than at the same adventure number of RotR. We are also 6 people which puts a lot of pressure on the blessings counter. This affects us in a number of ways:

1. You need to be able to do multiple explores on your turn if at all possible BUT
2. As you expend cards for those explorations, you need to be equipped to deal with the banes that do turn up.

Alahazra- When she hits, she hits hard, and her scouting power has come in handy a few times, but it doesn't feel essential (some scenarios we haven't used it at all). Unlike Seoni, who the Alahazra player ran in RotR , who can turn any card into a fireball, Alahazra needs to have her attack spells in hand to truly be effective, although she can pick them up at the end of the turn again. Overall extremely solid but can be hurt badly by tough barriers or creatures that force her to discard a bunch of cards.

Jirelle- An all star, can do all sorts of things well and her re-roll power is amazing. Her ability to auto reduce ship damage is also incredible. To date it must have saved our team at least 30 cards from being discarded. Can hit hard if she needs to, make closing checks, destroy enemy ships. Cant really ask her to do much more. To me, the best character in the set.

Lirianne - A heavy hitter. Our player with archer's braces, and a couple of skill points into dexterity is regularly shooting with a +7 plus whatever dice he needs to roll. High wisdom comes in handy, but very small handsize means she can be limited when it comes to multiple explores. Her ranged shot power to help others can be useful, but we find that a D4 is not that much of a difference maker when it comes to combat. Alhtough our Lirianne tends to use it just so she can cycle through her deck.

Damiel - The character I am most surprised about. Damiel can do anything you need him to do, just dont ask him to do it more than once. He can hit hard, cure, support other characters in massive ways etc. But almost anything he does involves recharging multiple cards, which leaves him very exposed outside of his turn or on with multiple explores a turn. NOT A GOOD PAIR WITH RANZAK, as Damiel cant really handle more than one or two monsters a turn. A very interesting design, and NOT AT ALL overpowered as I was fearing. Yes he can hit with the best of them, but he can also be caught out without the right cards in hand and needing to discard lots of cards to be properly set up for the next turn.

Ranzak- Im playing him and he is a lot of fun. With luck on his side, he can close out a boon filled location in one turn. I think the keys to Ranzak are pairing him with a weapons based character that can handle his own in combat (Oloch in my case) and empowering Ranzak to be more than a boon hoover. My Ranzak has the Tricorne and a Gem of Constitution which means he can close locations, destroy barriers and fight a monster or two if he needs to without any trouble. That 7 hand size though mean that literally every scenario your deck will be down to two or three cards not even halfway through the blessings deck. You have to be really smart with your risk assessment. I played Lini in RotR and she was great, but Ranzak is even more fun. Cant wait to turn him into a Klepto.

Oloch - An awesome, essential support/tank for large groups. The great thing about Oloch is that he is a d12 for strength, and can consistently hit hard no matter what he faces. He is literally the one character we don't ever have to worry about when exploring. Everyone else at a certain point in our adventure has come close to dying or desperately needed cures, but Oloch is just a rock when fighting banes. And if things do go wrong with a barrier or a bad roll, hes got a ton of armor to protect the good cards he does have in his hand. Yes like Lirianne he is not super mobile and cant explore multiple turns, but thats what hes got Ranzak for. His check support also shouldn't be underestimated, it has helped us out more than a few times.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hm, I actually had the opposite experience with Oloch: he missed more combat checks than anyone else, mostly due to him having the lowest modifier (he only has +1 for melee), but he was great at healing and giving bonuses to the rest of the party. Haven't done part 3 with him yet, but after his second power feat, he's really been an asset to the team.

So, I'm currently in two groups for the PACG, so I won't be able to evaluate all the S&S characters and their effectiveness in later parts of the game. Here are my thoughts on the characters I'm still gaming with:

Oloch: See above, basically. He really starts picking up when he gets power feats. Compared to Kyra in RotRL, he starts off worse, but has way better power feat options than she did. He seems optimal in a group of 2.

Damiel: I think he needs his own tier or something. He's just straight up amazing, especially with the new potions of flight. Potion of Heroism is also crazy when combined with the Man's Promise ship's power.

Lirianne: With the higher level guns, she's an absolute power-house in combat. She can sort of cycle her cards by shuffling them in, but it messes up the order of your deck if you're paying attention to that. Her d12 wisdom is awesome, but sadly perception isn't as useful as survival. Decent character, but not amazing.

Jirelle: She seems about as good as I pegged her for initially. A few enemies punish you for using swashbuckling (or don't let you use those), so she may want a back up weapon like a musket or harpoon or something (I think all the finesse weapons in this set also have swashbuckling). She's an absolute master of ship combat, with only Lini coming close to her derring-do. Still annoyed by her favored card ally :/

Feiya: After her hex starts picking up, and is able to affect barriers, she gets pretty amazing. It does get annoying when she doesn't have any attack spells in her hand, though, as she doesn't have a fireball effect like Seoni. The orb spells are pretty awesome with the Man's Promise, so try that out if you can.

Seltyiel: He gets a bit better with combat checks after some power feats, but it still requires him having the right set-up in his hand. Being limited to one handed weapons isn't fantastic, and only being able to synergize with attack spells can be annoying, but he's decent at fighting without that power. Still doesn't offer too much utility, but maybe that will change when he gets a role card.


I'm having trouble squaring up our impressions of Damiel with multiple reports on these boards. How is he such a borderline broken character? Our experience of Damiel is of an extremely competent fighter, and excellent support character but all in spurts and all depending on the cards he has in his hand. He can very quickly find himself out of options even one or two explores into his turn due to his recharge reliant mechanic.


Also Oloch with an icy boarding pike on a ship is rolling a d12, d8 and a d4 without any help. Our Oloch player has put his skill feats into strength, so he is in a very good position. Oloch may be our most consistent fighter - certainly not the hardest hitting, but the one we don't need to worry about in most cases.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Ilpalazo wrote:
I'm having trouble squaring up our impressions of Damiel with multiple reports on these boards. How is he such a borderline broken character? Our experience of Damiel is of an extremely competent fighter, and excellent support character but all in spurts and all depending on the cards he has in his hand. He can very quickly find himself out of options even one or two explores into his turn due to his recharge reliant mechanic.

This has been my experience with Damiel as well. I've played him through AP2, and even with a bumped up hand size I rarely get off more than two explores per turn - having a maximum of 2 allies and 5 blessings limits his exploring potential. I have my Damiel with a potion of healing and two cure spells, so he's a healing machine and cycles through his deck like nobody's business, but like you I feel he's better off as a support character. I love giving someone who can get multiple explores in a turn (like Ranzak) a Potion of Heroism and watch him go to town.


We've found Oloch to be one of the most dubious characters. Not having a weapon as preferred card means that he often starts the scenario having to punch things, and ends up needing to discard cards just to cycle his deck. Also, we've never seen a character consistently roll so many 1s on a D12 (clearly, the poor-rolling itself isn't a design thing, but the fact that his melee bonus is only +1 is).

A lot of the S&S characters feel like the really need a couple of power feats to get going - Oloch to take his cards back in hand at the start of his turn, Feiya to add +2 when charging cards, and be able to do it against barriers, Lirianne just to get a usably large hand-size so she can actually recharge a card for d4 and/or explore more than once (we never had this problem with Harsk)


MightyJim, I play Oloch with Ilpalazo, and while it's true that not having a weapon to start off can be a hindrance, I've got the... I forget the name, the backpack/bag that lets you examine the top card of your deck and either move it to the bottom, leave it there, or bury the bag to take it. That's been helpful.


MightyJim wrote:

We've found Oloch to be one of the most dubious characters. Not having a weapon as preferred card means that he often starts the scenario having to punch things, and ends up needing to discard cards just to cycle his deck. Also, we've never seen a character consistently roll so many 1s on a D12 (clearly, the poor-rolling itself isn't a design thing, but the fact that his melee bonus is only +1 is).

A lot of the S&S characters feel like the really need a couple of power feats to get going - Oloch to take his cards back in hand at the start of his turn, Feiya to add +2 when charging cards, and be able to do it against barriers, Lirianne just to get a usably large hand-size so she can actually recharge a card for d4 and/or explore more than once (we never had this problem with Harsk)

I agree with you that Oloch is a slow starter, but I don't see the favored card as a problem. I always have Oloch as my last player. This allows other players to burn every explore card in their hand on their first turn. Oloch is guaranteed to have an armor, so even without a weapon he can dedicate his first turn to healing and play support cards. That makes him useful and cycles his deck to get out weapons in subsequent turns.


Xexyz wrote:
Ilpalazo wrote:
I'm having trouble squaring up our impressions of Damiel with multiple reports on these boards. How is he such a borderline broken character? Our experience of Damiel is of an extremely competent fighter, and excellent support character but all in spurts and all depending on the cards he has in his hand. He can very quickly find himself out of options even one or two explores into his turn due to his recharge reliant mechanic.
This has been my experience with Damiel as well. I've played him through AP2, and even with a bumped up hand size I rarely get off more than two explores per turn - having a maximum of 2 allies and 5 blessings limits his exploring potential. I have my Damiel with a potion of healing and two cure spells, so he's a healing machine and cycles through his deck like nobody's business, but like you I feel he's better off as a support character. I love giving someone who can get multiple explores in a turn (like Ranzak) a Potion of Heroism and watch him go to town.

If you've built Damiel as a healing machine, it shouldn't surprise you that he is better at support than combat.

Damiel's strength is that he does everything well. If you have a potion heroism and multiple Tot Flasks in your deck, you will be playing Potion of heroism on almost every turn. The potion of heroism bonus and a strong firearm are enough to get you through most combat checks, and you save your discard power for particularly tough foes. Bombs are a stop-gap for when you don't have your gun, or when your gun gets shuffled back into your deck. Following that strategy you shouldn't run out of options after your first explore.

One third of damiel's initial deck are extra explores and he has healing powers to shuffle those explores back into his deck. That should allow him to get off multiple explores every turn. He doesn't explore as well as Ranzak, but who does? Once you get potions of flying in AP3 he becomes an amazingly efficient explorer. Tee combination of recharge to explore, fast deck cycling and the ability to tutor for an explore when you need it give you options that no one else in game has. Being able to generate explores form his item slots is an amazing advantage.


Josh hit it right on the nose there - "Damiel does everything well." Or rather, he CAN do everything well.

Need someone to kill monsters? Close locations? Kill Barriers? Acquire cards? Heal players? Explore a lot? Buff his fellow players? You can build Damiel to do any of these well, and many of them simultaneously. His design is just so flexible. And consistent, too, thanks to Tot Flask.

It's probably a good thing that Resto isn't in S&S. The idea of Damiel with two of those and all his potion goodies makes me shudder.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Even when he's not built for combat, he can roll up some impressive results. The bomb items have the potential for ridiculous amounts of damage, which is balanced by the fact that they're banish on use. Damiel laughs at the downside, then adds an extra 2d6 from any other alchemical items he has on hand.


He can ue his power with an item to add d6,even if he already use an item (the bomb) to do the test?

We are planning to do the S&S campaign with Oloch and Dail, do you think it'll be a good combo guys? And we are also doing the Season of the Shackls, my GF wants to play Selthyel but I don't know which character to choose, maybe Jirelle... Any advice?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Lornis wrote:
He can ue his power with an item to add d6,even if he already use an item (the bomb) to do the test?

Yes, because his power doesn't count as playing an item, so he doesn't break the limit of 1 card of each type.


Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Lornis wrote:
He can ue his power with an item to add d6,even if he already use an item (the bomb) to do the test?
Yes, because his power doesn't count as playing an item, so he doesn't break the limit of 1 card of each type.

Thanks for the clarification!


I played Oloch for my first game, and I loved him. Having that d12+1 melee was nice, and more than once my boon-display power came in quite handy ... especially since our dice tend to hate us. If the only way you'll fail a check is to roll all 1s, you will.

I found him to be a nice blend of healing and facesmashery, with half his deck capable of healing and that mighty d12 strength.


Orbis Orboros wrote:

Josh hit it right on the nose there - "Damiel does everything well." Or rather, he CAN do everything well.

Need someone to kill monsters? Close locations? Kill Barriers? Acquire cards? Heal players? Explore a lot? Buff his fellow players? You can build Damiel to do any of these well, and many of them simultaneously. His design is just so flexible. And consistent, too, thanks to Tot Flask.

It's probably a good thing that Resto isn't in S&S. The idea of Damiel with two of those and all his potion goodies makes me shudder.

Orbis I think you're overstating things a little bit. Damiels base dice besides intelligence are all D8 or worse. In fact his spread looks worse than your most hated Seltyel. A barrier that focuses on constitution or strength (many of the S&S do) isnt going to be handled that well by Damiels D6 st or D8 constitution. Potion of Heroism I believe is an extra D6. That's not going to cut it with tougher barriers, and thats assuming you even have potion of heroism.

Acquiring cards - I hope you dont mean allies, because Damiel is basically never picking any of those ever.

Closing locations - hopefully not a fortitude or wisdom based location because thats a D8 or a D6 - not all star material. Sure he CAN close locations but so can most other characters with blessing help.


Ilpalazo wrote:


Orbis I think you're overstating things a little bit. Damiels base dice besides intelligence are all D8 or worse. In fact his spread looks worse than your most hated Seltyel. A barrier that focuses on constitution or strength (many of the S&S do) isnt going to be handled that well by Damiels D6 st or D8 constitution. Potion of Heroism I believe is an extra D6. That's not going to cut it with tougher barriers, and thats assuming you even have potion of heroism.

First of all Damiel's Constitution, Dexterity and Wisdom are better than those of the Magus. More importantly, his deck is chalk full of cards that can help him against barriers. If you want potion of heroism, you can use your Tot flask to have it on every turn. that will be enough to get you through easy barriers. If you are worried about tough ones, pack find traps. Damiel has the tools to deal with all of the circumstances you discuss.

Ilpalazo wrote:
Acquiring cards - I hope you dont mean allies, because Damiel is basically never picking any of those ever.

If only there was a potion that allowed you to auto succeed on diplomacy rolls. Yes, he won't have it all the time, but you can wait until you have it in your hand before you explore ally heavy locations.

edit: Also, charm animal is another great tool that allows Damiel to get additional allies.

Ilpalazo wrote:
Closing locations - hopefully not a fortitude or wisdom based location because thats a D8 or a D6 - not all star material. Sure he CAN close locations but so can most other characters with blessing help.

Again, with potion of heroism he doesn't always have to throw blessings. And a potion of fortitude lets you handle constitution checks (I don't consider that potion worth including in my deck, but your mileage may vary).


The argument that people consistently make for Seltyiel is that he can be a strong character when paired with Alahazra, who can ensure he reliably encounters monsters. First of all, this is a tribute to Alahazra, not Seltyiel. You could replace Seltyiel with any number of combat heavy characters and achieve the same results. If you replace Alahazra with anyone else, Seltyiel's effectiveness diminishes considerably.

Also, think for a moment about what Damiel can do if Alahzra scout's locations for him. I ensures he has the tools to deal with literally any card he will face. He is ridiculously versatile. There is nothing he can't do. The trick to playing him is to ensure you have the right tools at the right times.

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