Thoughts on the new S&S characters


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Hey everyone. I picked up my copy of S&S during Gencon, and since then, I've been able to test nearly every one of the S&S characters through the base scenarios and scenario 1 (either playing them myself, or watching someone else play them). In case anyone was thinking on who they wanted to play, I summarized my thoughts on them below and loosely categorized them based on how well they perform. Some notes about S&S in general, and what qualities are good for characters:

1. You need to be able to deal with more barriers than in RotRL. This is pretty much just a result of locations having an average of more barriers, and a greater number of them staying on the top of the deck if you aren't able to defeat them. As a followup to this:

2. Non combat checks are even more important. Not just for barriers, but a good amount of monsters and locations require noncombat checks or something bad happens. If you're at sea and encounter a ship, those are also resolved entirely through noncombat checks.

3. Wisdom is the most important ability (so far!). Every single ship can be defeated with a wisdom/survival check, and I see wisdom checks come up more often than any other ability. Characters with low wisdom will likely suffer.

4. Card quality is a bit different (in part 1 anyway). Weapons seem to be much stronger this time around, while there aren't as many attack spells out there. Blessings are also better this time around, with Blessings like Cayden Cailean basically being Torag and Sarenrae put together (there's also no Blessings of Desna, which I think is the worst blessing period). Armors are still eh, but there are some great items, both in basic and part 1!

Okay, with that out of the way, here are my thoughts on current characters.

Amazing:

Alahazra: She really has just about everything you could want. Her scouting ability is amazing, and she can use it fairly frequently since she has a hand size of 6. She does nasty damage with the basic Fireblade spell (1d12+2d4+4!), and can discard anything with the divine trait (that includes both blessings and divine spells) to get her attack spells back at the end of her turn. While she suffers with the physical ability scores, and doesn't have too many skills for noncombat use, she has a good wisdom score for fighting ships, and can gain access to plenty of support spells with her divine trait. Overall, she's just an amazing blend of support and raw power, that will almost never get into a situation she isn't prepared for; just watch out for those Fog Banks!

Damiel: Another character with loads of utility and a surprising amount of power. Damiel just about gets unlimited access to his alchemical cards, letting him blow up encounters with ease from bomb items, or just keep on cycling through healing potions to keep his deck healthy. Damiel isn't the only one who benefits from this though; he can discard any of his alchemical cards to add a whopping 2d6 to any nearby ally's combat checks. He also has access to just about every utility spell that's arcane or divine; if it doesn't have the attack trait, he can use it just fine. His combat checks can also be ridiculous... imagine using noxious bomb's power to add craft to his combat check, then discarding another alchemical card to add 2d6. That would be a total of 1d8+4d6+1d10+5, and that's not including anyone else helping him or any blessings.

Great:

Merisiel: She's really similar to her RotRL counterpart, but has a much wider variety of weapons to use, and gets an extra weapon in her deck. With all the sweet new items in the game, her big pool of items isn't as problematic as it was early in RotRL. Sadly, her wisdom is only a d4, but she can evade most enemies that would take advantage of this. Just watch out for the scenarios with sharks and grindylows; they don't let her use her incredible evade power.

Lem: He trades a spell for a weapon, and loses his amazing discard pile ability from RotRL, but he's still a very solid character. With the increased importance of non-combat checks, being able to boost any check by someone at his location is a fantastic ability. He's also better with weapons, now that he has proficiency and a finesse ability. but he's still not the one you want taking down the villain. Overall a nice character that provides much needed utility for his group.

Jirelle: In my experiences, Jirelle ended up much better than I thought she would. Maybe I just got lucky with her, but then again luck is kind of her thing with her re-roll ability. She also is one of the few characters with survival, letting her take down ships better than anyone. Unlike most fighters, she gets a hand size of 5, and is only forced to keep a single armor in her deck. Reducing structural damage is handy in a few locations or against certain enemies, and it comes up more than I thought it would. If you're going to play her, make sure to grab as many swashbuckling cards as you can find, especially the eye patch! Biggest problem with her is probably that she doesn't have much ability to help other character, and her favored card type: ally.

Good:

Feiya: I really had a lot of trouble categorizing Feiya, especially since she seems like a character that gets really good later on. Right now, she has a decent number of options, but the low-ish number of attack spells, and a bunch of mediocre animal cards hurts her quite a bit. When she gets her spells, she has a fairly strong attack check, but she really struggles against barriers and other non-combat checks that don't involve her massive intelligence score.

Valeros: Good ol' reliable Valeros. He has one less armor which is awesome, and the weapons in this set seem better than the start of RotRL. He's great at combat checks, both for himself and for other characters, but he doesn't offer that much else. His low hand size sucks, as always, but at least he can cycle through weapons by recharging them... try to avoid weapons like the boarding pike that can only be discarded if you fail a combat check.

Lirianne: She's basically in the same boat (haha) as Valeros. Firearms aren't as easy to find as melee weapons are, so she might have trouble finding the weapons she wants. One great thing about her is her d12 in wisdom, which has proven to be very useful.

Lini: Not nearly as amazing as her previous version, Lini in this game suffers with her combat checks a bit more than she used to. However, she still offers a great amount of utility with her divine spells, and has a great wisdom score AND the survival skill which makes her useful in a number of situations. She starts with a weapon available this time, so you can give her a crossbow or gun, and use her power to boost her dex to a d12. She can also recharge all her animal friends for extra explores which is a godsend in large groups where running out of time is an issue (no Holy Candle this set!)

Okay (non of the characters are bad, exactly, but these two are nothing special yet):

Oloch: Hand size 4 and favored card armor are just a horrible combination. His healing ability is useful, and so is his boon reveal, but it prevents him from using those cards until the turn after his next. His options are just really limited, but he seems to have some really good power feats, the first one I gave him being hand size 5. I think he'll be similar to Feiya in that his power will grow exponentially as the game carries on, but for now, he really struggles with card management.

Seltyiel: He was the first character I tried, and he's probably one of the most disappointing overall. He offers almost no utility, and his power is only good at furthering his combat checks. The problem is, the power is only usable in specific circumstances: you need a one-handed weapon, a spell with the attack trait, and monsters who aren't immune to any of that spell's traits. Even then, it only adds a d6. Compare that to Merisiel who can recharge any card for that amount, or Damiel who can discard a card with the alchemical trait to get 2d6 to himself OR a friend's check. He can attempt to recharge spells at the end of his turn in his discard pile, but I've found this to be a minor bonus. It does offer the unique strategy of having him discard mostly spells for damage, so that he can put them back in his deck, but he can only do this once/turn, and still has to succeed on a check. He also doesn't have any stats higher than a d8, but still manages to have a d4 in wisdom, making him horrible against most ships.


Most of your findings mirror my own* except for Lini. I haven't played her in S&S yet, but I've played her all through RotR AP4 now and she was just terrible until I got her Restoration semi-loop** going (which doesn't exist in any form in S&S). She may be the worst character I've played when she doesn't have the Restoration combo. I'm surprised she is with your "good" characters. Harsh, but honest.

*Take this with some salt - I haven't played a game of S&S yet since I'm waiting on the character add-on, and I haven't played most of the new characters. BUT - and I'm aware this sounds conceited - I'm excellent at theory-crafting this stuff and am very rarely surprised by how things actually play versus how I worked them out in my head. My campaign with Lini, Flenta, and Amaryllis has had no surprises (save that Amaryllis' recharge power was a little better than I anticipated). They play exactly as I expected, and pretty much on the power level I expected.

**This is the Toad, Restoration, Top-of-deck-power combo that is really good and insanely good if you have doubles of both cards.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

She's in good, but still the 3rd worst overall. After playing her, she provides way more utility than Seltyiel or Oloch, and having the survival skill has proven very useful, so have consistent extra explores.

She's in a weird place. Really useful in some areas, and really mediocre in others.


Seltyiel seems to have all his power in feats. He only starts at a +d6, but the next feat adds another d6, rather than just +1. And his Maurauder role is incredible. Adding extra dice to defeat barriers is great, and drawing off of swashbuckling cards is very powerful indeed.

Boy does he start out lame, though.

Oloch seems to be in a similiar boat. With a few power feats he looks to be really solid. He's off to a super slow start, however.


I would put Jirelle into the amazing category, specifically for the skull and shackles set. Why?

A) those rerolls. Yes, she only re-rolls Swashbuckling checks, but in practice, that means she rolls almost everything. Once you get the "old Salt's Bandanna" you can add swashbuckling to every check.

B) Those skills. With Acrobatics, Survival and Fortitude, she excelles at three of the five best skills in the game (diplomacy and perception are the other two that come up a lot in the base set). Combine that with those rerolls and she handles barriers like nobodies business.

C) I would argue that she does help the other players, because of that ability to reduce structural damage (assuming I am correct on how this power functions, but that's a question for another thread). I've been surprised how good that power is. It's been the difference between winning and losing in two of my play through thus far.

You should also think about where Razak fits into the equation. I would rate him as [edit: GREAT!]. His min/maxed stats are a huge benefit, especially if you can get him gems for constitution and dexterity. He is capable of single handled burning through an entire location in a turn, and gets some of the best benefit in the game from having a strong healer. He plays very well with other characters who want to stack (Lem, Valeros, Oloch, Feiya), and lets you take advantage of characters who are particularly good at taking out monsters or barriers. His huge hand size and flexible deck list make him the perfect character for using static cards that would clog the hand of other characters (like Nautical charts) or for quick cycling cards that recharge.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That's what I'm thinking too. This list is only taking their early game (base set and set 1) since that's all we have right now.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Joshua Birk 898 wrote:
A) those rerolls. Yes, she only re-rolls Swashbuckling checks, but in practice, that means she rolls almost everything. Once you get the "old Salt's Bandanna" you can add swashbuckling to every check.

This is the primary reason I put her in great. I don't think it's enough to put her on the same level as Damiel and Alahazra though.

Quote:
B) Those skills. With Acrobatics, Survival and Fortitude, she excelles at three of the five best skills in the game (diplomacy and perception are the other two that come up a lot in the base set). Combine that with those rerolls and she handles barriers like nobodies business.

I honestly don't see Acrobatics come up very often. Fortitude is fairly frequent, and survival is of course fantastic. Her ability to deal with barriers is definitely better than most weapon based characters.

Quote:
C) I would argue that she does help the other players, because of that ability to reduce structural damage (assuming I am correct on how this power functions, but that's a question for another thread). I've been surprised how good that power is. It's been the difference between winning and losing in two of my play through thus far.

It's really good in solo play, but I actually haven't found much use for it in a group. Usually being able to beat ships with combined blessings isn't too much of an issue. And with the exception of 2 monsters and locations, the structural damage really only comes up when you're losing, and discarding a card to reduce it *usually* isn't a big deal.

So her lack of interaction with other players, and favored card type ally are two of the reasons I didn't put her at the same level as Damiel and Alahazra. Those two are just in a league of their own.

Quote:
You should also think abotu where Razak fits into the equation. I would rate him as good. his min/maxed stats are a huge benefit, especially if you can get him gems for constitution and charisma. He is capable of single handled burning through an entire location in a turn, and gets some of the best benefit in the game from having a strong healer. He plays very well with other characters who want to stack (Lem, Valeros, Oloch, Feiya), and lets you take advantage of characters who are particularly good at taking out boons or banes. His huge hand size and flexible deck list make him the perfect character for using static cards that would clog the hand of other characters (like Nautical charts) or for quick cycling cards that recharge.

He's something else, and I guess I didn't rate him because 1. he's a promo, and 2. his usefulness is erratic, especially depending on group composition.

Despite both being meh on their own (Ranzak solo play is not something I'd recommend :P), I've found Oloch and Ranzak (Roloch? Olzak?) to be a ridiculously powerful combo. I don't have much experience with Ranzak though, since a few of my fellow players don't really like him, or playing with him... he's sort of a selfish character.


Just be very open with him and your strategies and he's fine (on the selfish topic). Pretend everything says "if the group's okay with it."

On the evade part, treat him like someone you send with Valeros - squishy and desiring of that d4 - only the ability is on Ranzak instead. Pair him up with a hoss of a character and everyone's happy.


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Yeah, I know he's fine when the group is all on board, but I'm respecting my fellow players' requests :)


Try to talk them around. He's funny and cool - it's a shame to miss out on him. Discuss what feats you're going to take beforehand, and always make sure they're okay with sending off the monsters.

Point out that having someone who acquires boons like RotR Lini did is helpful to them.

And, once again, find a tank to pair him up with. If he's with an aror toting super strong weapon user the evade thing is no biggie.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We're having plenty enough fun without him. Maybe when we start a new game.

Edit: Oh, and to answer the original question, I'd say he averages out to "Great"


Well, yeah, I wasn't saying you should add him to your campaign or anything XD

Also, from a strategy standpoint, he's firmly in the "squishy supportive" category with the Bards and Druids that can't display for d4+x - you don't want to run him and Lem in the same game unless it's big or something like that. I started to play him with Lini and Flenta until I realized that only Flenta was reliable at combat and I started over with Amaryllis instead.


One thing that I would not for Razak, is that he fights so rarely, that he tends to bring the pain when he finally gets into combat. I think I have buried a firearm in at least 90% of his fights, and the times I haven't it was because I was getting enough extra punch using my harpoon against an aquatic foe.

In short, he is better at combat that I anticipated, but, as orbis noted, still super-squishy. I may actually get a second armor card for him someday.


It should be noted that I was playing him in RotR, and therefore using crossbows over guns.

Healing cards like the Surgeon and Staff of Minor Healing seem more important. Especially since, if you really want that armor, he can acquire it pretty handily.

Let's roll that Fortitude two check on 1d12+1 +1d4+x... XD


If you were playing him in RotR, that also means no gems. Gems make him much stronger. They are great all around items, but they help him more than any other character (because of both his stat distribution and high hand size).


I only just got my base set yesterday, but my early impressions are that you can not use RotR experience to judge characters and their impact in S&S. I'm shocked at the difference really. In scenario 1 (twice) I had Lirianne with pistol in hand and literally didn't get to use it in the first time through, and didn't end up using a weapon in her hand until more than halfway through the second time through. Combat checks are much, much more rare it seems.

I really appreciate the difference in feel. Now of course this could change mightily very early, especially with me only just starting the game, but to me it seems as though Utility >>>>>>>>> Combat Skills.

That being said, Seltyiel is very dissapointing for me at first glance. I could see making him an absolute house in RotR... in S&S he is very mehhhhh.


JBiggs78 wrote:
I really appreciate the difference in feel. Now of course this could change mightily very early, especially with me only just starting the game, but to me it seems as though Utility >>>>>>>>> Combat Skills.

I don't think I like this...

Maybe I'll have to sit down and play some even though I don't have the character add-on yet (I'm really wanting to get all the goodies in there before I try, not least because I want to use Damiel).

Grand Lodge

I thought I would love Jirelle... I was fairly bored playing her, though. Maybe it was just the initial first-play clunkiness I felt of the "Swashbuckling" powers and cards, and it'll become a lot more exciting once that initial hurdle is cleared.

Damiel is awesome, though. I really enjoyed him and if I get the chance to play through the whole thing, I'll definitely be using him.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Hard for me to believe all the negativity surrounding Seltyiel. I believe we will all have cause to re-evaluate him once everything's said and done. He is definitely one of the more challenging characters to play, but that comes with concomitant rewards. A lot of this involves having a party who can coordinate their moves, explorations, and attacks to position Seltyiel, as the most powerful cannon in the party, to obliterate the powerful, difficult foes that might be otherwise quite challenging for other characters.


Seltyiel may become good later one, when you do things like ditching attack spells to boost your roll against ships and barriers or recharge a pirate/swashbuckling car to draw 2 cards, but for S&S base set and AP1, he is an awful character. 'Okay' is a very generous rating.


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Again: all ratings are based on part 1. I'm not evaluating characters' effectiveness in scenarios that haven't been released.

As it is though, only being good at combat checks does not make a character great. I'll have to see which banes are in the end game before I cam make an informed decision.


Joshua Birk 898 wrote:
Seltyiel may become good later one, when you do things like ditching attack spells to boost your roll against ships and barriers or recharge a pirate/swashbuckling car to draw 2 cards, but for S&S base set and AP1, he is an awful character. 'Okay' is a very generous rating.

Seems to me a lot of people are upset because of the lack of a d10 or d12. Looking through his stats are not that much worse than most and with a blessing can make a lot of checks.

My guess is it just takes some creativity. I would consider not using many attack spells at first. He has four weapons/armor and proficiency in both. Use spells for utility now and rely on his weapons to win combat.

Haven't been able to play S&S yet so my opinion doesn't count for much, but from a creativity and flavor standpoint I think Seltyiel shows a lot of promise.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Gary Johns wrote:
Joshua Birk 898 wrote:
Seltyiel may become good later one, when you do things like ditching attack spells to boost your roll against ships and barriers or recharge a pirate/swashbuckling car to draw 2 cards, but for S&S base set and AP1, he is an awful character. 'Okay' is a very generous rating.

Seems to me a lot of people are upset because of the lack of a d10 or d12. Looking through his stats are not that much worse than most and with a blessing can make a lot of checks.

My guess is it just takes some creativity. I would consider not using many attack spells at first. He has four weapons/armor and proficiency in both. Use spells for utility now and rely on his weapons to win combat.

Haven't been able to play S&S yet so my opinion doesn't count for much, but from a creativity and flavor standpoint I think Seltyiel shows a lot of promise.

I think he's clearly a beast in combat checks, especially if you go Spellblade and can get as much as 1d8 + 1d6 + 11 from revealing something as weak as a short sword. Then recharge a spell for another 1 to 3d6? Jeeez. In RotR he would have owned. The problem is that S&S appears to have many more non-combat checks. And there he kinda sucks. Almost have to go Marauder for the extra 1 to 2d6 on checks against barriers/ships. Otherwise his maximum of 2 items and 2 allies, d4 Wisdom, d6 Dex and lack of useful skills make him a drag on the party.


Gary Johns wrote:


Seems to me a lot of people are upset because of the lack of a d10 or d12. Looking through his stats are not that much worse than most and with a blessing can make a lot of checks.

My guess is it just takes some creativity. I would consider not using many attack spells at first. He has four weapons/armor and proficiency in both. Use spells for utility now and rely on his weapons to win combat.

Haven't been able to play S&S yet so my opinion doesn't count for much, but from a creativity and flavor standpoint I think Seltyiel shows a lot of promise.

If you use his spells for utility, you lose access to one of his main powers, a power that you are going to be forced to spend feats to upgrade. And if you are giving up on half his powers, why are you playing this character?

As for his stats, its not just the lack of d10s and d12s (though that is a problem. His not good at any thing and he cant use gems to cover weaknesses). It's that his wisdom is d4, his charisma is d6, and his dexterity is d6, and he has no useful non-combat skills. When those stats come up, and they come up a ton, he is going to be auto-failing everything in the first AP (6+AP# is a very common difficulty) if he isn't burning cards, and will still have a huge failure rate if he does.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I've been playing Lini in a two player group with my girlfriend playing Feiya. Lini has a rocky start - we had a lot of trouble with the starting scenario, due to only sometimes having a d12, and not consistently being able to have a weapon or attack spell.

However, now that I've gotten some better animals her ability to shuffle animals in when they would otherwise be buried or discarded is really coming in handy. I especially like the Parrot (bury to reroll if you fail by less than 4) and the Dodo(bury to look at top card of location deck and then can explore). Plus there are all the extra explores. I took weapon proficiency for her first power feat but I'm looking at top decking that Parrot for my second one.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

It's interesting to me to hear everyone opine on Seltyiel as if he were a solo adventurer. He's clearly not designed for that kind of play experience - he doesn't have to handle all possible banes, if you're pursuing a strategy that involves scouting. Since PACG is a cooperative game, there are definitely other characters to put with Seltyiel (e.g., Alahazra) that will allow him to do what he does best and avoid those things at which he's not so great.

Someone also mentioned the stat gems for Ranzak. Those can also help mitigate some of Seltyiel's more notable weaknesses. He will never be great at barriers, but if you can scout well, Seltyiel can be an incredible asset.


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Something that's killed us about Freiya and Lini and that, without the Character Add-On, there are no basic animals in the S&S box. I guess you can proxy, but we haven't, so the only options are Parrot and Dolphin, I think, which are both Elite.

I left off Lini anyway, since she's one of my wife's favorites. She picked up Freiya for our second run through. Not having an animal is less of a nerf for her, but we definitely threw a bunch of blessings at that Parrot acquire check.


Dave Riley wrote:
but we definitely threw a bunch of blessings at that Parrot acquire check.

Don't feel bad about that, I do that sort of thing all the time. When I encountered my first Resto in my game with Lini, Flenta, and Amaryllis with Amaryllis and her d4 Wisdom, I used 3 blessings and an Aid, followed by burying a card to reroll it with an extra d4.

When you've gotta have that boon, you've gotta have that boon lol.

No basic animals, huh? I didn't notice that (but I don't have the add-on yet either).
...They really tried to keep Lini in check this time around XD


Calthaer wrote:

It's interesting to me to hear everyone opine on Seltyiel as if he were a solo adventurer. He's clearly not designed for that kind of play experience - he doesn't have to handle all possible banes, if you're pursuing a strategy that involves scouting. Since PACG is a cooperative game, there are definitely other characters to put with Seltyiel (e.g., Alahazra) that will allow him to do what he does best and avoid those things at which he's not so great.

Someone also mentioned the stat gems for Ranzak. Those can also help mitigate some of Seltyiel's more notable weaknesses. He will never be great at barriers, but if you can scout well, Seltyiel can be an incredible asset.

Stat gems are a horrible choice for Seltyiel because a) he only starts with one item and has a maximum of two items, b) his highest stat is a d8, so he gets less benefit from them any other character in the game. He is literately the worst character in S&S to give a gem too.

Seltyiel is a playable character, he is just a worse playable character than every other character in the set. Yes, if you always know the card that you are going to draw you can give him favorable match-ups, but that's true for literally every character in the entire game.


If you built him totally for combat and not even for exploration he could be Ranzak's travelling companion (I'm reaching, I know).

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There are basic animals in the add-on (I have it from Gen Con). They are a bit cruddy. There is a turtle (reveal to reduce combat damage by 1), there is a dwarf caiman(recharge to add d6 to a couple skills, don't recall which ones). The elite animals are much better.


Oh, that's good to know. I'm at some point going to play S&S with RotR Lini*, and she just wants any animal ally to start with no matter how cruddy.

*Yeah yeah, she's almost too good, but I just love her. Especially that huge spell pool...


I'm so sad to hear that Oloch is at the bottom of the list. I fell in love with this character and his backstory as soon as I looked at the characters in the rulebook and on the character sheets. I may have to reconsider. I am planning on playing him with a 4 person group though. Any thoughts on whether that would make him worth it? I really like almost everything this character has to offer. However, if combat checks are going to be as rare as constitution checks were in RotR, I may have to change characters.


Oloch isn't awful, he is very slow to start. But the character will develop into a strong character once he gets a few feats under his belt.


GamerCerina wrote:
I'm so sad to hear that Oloch is at the bottom of the list. I fell in love with this character and his backstory as soon as I looked at the characters in the rulebook and on the character sheets. I may have to reconsider. I am planning on playing him with a 4 person group though. Any thoughts on whether that would make him worth it? I really like almost everything this character has to offer. However, if combat checks are going to be as rare as constitution checks were in RotR, I may have to change characters.

Check out this thread.

In it we discuss strategies to make Oloch playable.

The short version is that, in theory, he's just VERY slow to start and is actually quite good after three well-placed power feats.

EDIT: Ninja'd!


Thanks so much! I'll check it out.


I can personally attest to everyone's doubts with Seltyiel. That is who I have been playing through our 6 person group of S&S and it was ROUGH just through the Adventure in the base set. When it came to combat, he shined... when it came to absolutely everything else, he fell short. As mentioned, he has no stats other than Craft that are not combat related (Melee/Arcane) and not having any dice higher than a D8 is a much bigger deal than it seems.

In any case, I will be rebuilding my deck and continuing with another character as his shortcomings are too much for his combat to make up for.


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It's gonna take half the game to get him there, though. And since he's a 4 hand character, you're almost obligated to put the first feat in hand size, which means his power won't see much play until AP2 when you check the "beginning of turn" box.

Or you defy the gods and throw caution to the wind, check that box first, and play through all of AP1 and some of AP2 with a hand size of 4.

I can't imagine a worse fate. ;_;

I do want to try him, though. I'll pick him whenever the party composition seems conducive to it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Calthaer wrote:

It's interesting to me to hear everyone opine on Seltyiel as if he were a solo adventurer. He's clearly not designed for that kind of play experience - he doesn't have to handle all possible banes, if you're pursuing a strategy that involves scouting. Since PACG is a cooperative game, there are definitely other characters to put with Seltyiel (e.g., Alahazra) that will allow him to do what he does best and avoid those things at which he's not so great.

Someone also mentioned the stat gems for Ranzak. Those can also help mitigate some of Seltyiel's more notable weaknesses. He will never be great at barriers, but if you can scout well, Seltyiel can be an incredible asset.

Actually, my ratings are based on group play, and Seltyiel still struggles in group play. He has no powers that help out teammates, and if he focuses on noncombat spells, he'll have trouble using his character power. He basically relies on other players to even be halfway decent.

And as has been mentioned, he is literally the worst candidate for the gems.


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GamerCerina wrote:
I'm so sad to hear that Oloch is at the bottom of the list. I fell in love with this character and his backstory as soon as I looked at the characters in the rulebook and on the character sheets. I may have to reconsider. I am planning on playing him with a 4 person group though. Any thoughts on whether that would make him worth it? I really like almost everything this character has to offer. However, if combat checks are going to be as rare as constitution checks were in RotR, I may have to change characters.

He's not unplayable or anything, he just might have a little bit of trouble early on with his limited options. At the very least he can still contribute to the group with his healing and revealing.

My friend enjoys playing him, and she got lucky early on when she found the strength topaz :)


In the play-test for S&S, I started out with Seltiyiel, actually. At the time, his dice were somewhat different then the final version (he had some d10s and some d4s which eventually got modified to d8s and d6s) but even then I found him very difficult to play in small parties. If he has a lot of friends around he does ok, and could be an absolute monster in combat, but then combat is quite a bit less frequent in S&S (though to be sure, some of the combats in S&S will be even harder than anything in RotR). In short, by the middle of chapter 3 I gave up on him since he had already died several times. I have a hunch he's a character that needs a very particular strategy to be successful, but I myself wasn't able to find one I liked. He definitely is not for everyone.

Oloch, on the other hand, will be super useful by the time people are hitting chapter 2 or 3, so even if he feels a little sluggish at first, I certainly recommend sticking with him. Also, as I've said elsewhere, do NOT underestimate the power of abilities like Lem's (and Oloch's) to add to ANY check, nor cards like the captain that allow you to repeatedly gain extra dice for INT/CON/WIS checks. Quite a few nasty barriers were nerfed before release, but anything that scales with the AD number and involves WIS/CON, etc checks will grow to be a real pain pretty quickly.


I have used Oloch through the first 7 scenarios so far. While he is a "slow" character, he more than pulls his (considerable) weight. I group him with Ranzak, Jirelle and Feiya . Between the increased danger of S&S and the fact that Ranzak can put himself on the brink of death in a single turn, I have found his healing essential. I think I used his healing power more in my first seven games that I used Kyra's power in the entire RotR campaign.

My plan is to not get hand size until the third upgrade. I would rather double the value of the display cards and be able to return them to my hand when the turn starts. I know some people will consider this insane, but I haven't missed the huge handsize with him. He is a stable character who gets a weapon in hand and slowly and methodically plods through his deck, enabling the rest of the team to shine. The fifth card slot will make him better, but I don't miss it as much as I had anticipated. He doesn't need the fifth card slow the way someone like Seelah does, because he packs an additional weapon and has other things to do with his armor cards.


Joshua Birk 898 wrote:
I have used Oloch through the first 7 adventures so far.

You meant "scenarios," right? Or did you play him through RotR?


Sorry, scenarios.


I wouldn't have said anything except that there are exactly 7 adventures in RotR. A large coincidence.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'm looking to probably use Oloch too. And I'm planning on taking the choice to pickup his displayed cards before I take hand size. I might even take the +2 before I take hand size. Get his armors out of his deck by healing, then suddenly you've got a fist full of cards that are either +2 (weapons and blessings), spells, or your 1 item. He's got great strength, so get him that gem if you can and watch him go.


Hawkmoon, another thing to remember is how well he works with boarding pikes. Normally you don't want too many polearms, because, though they have a great power, they end up clogging your hand. But, as you point out, Oloch doesn't mind being 'stuck' with a fist full of weapons, so they make a great choice for him.


I've been playing solo with Seltyiel, Lem, Lirianne, and Merisel. It seems like having Lem follow Seltyiel around for help with barriers and such makes for a deadly combo, especially since Seltyiel handles combat with little to no assistance.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ashram316 wrote:
I've been playing solo with Seltyiel, Lem, Lirianne, and Merisel. It seems like having Lem follow Seltyiel around for help with barriers and such makes for a deadly combo, especially since Seltyiel handles combat with little to no assistance.

I suppose, but in my experience, Valeros is better at beating combat checks than Seltyiel because A. he has a better strength die, B. he can use two handed weapons (usually stronger) without interfering with his powers, and C. he can recharge all his weapons for a nice boost instead of discarding them. He's also slightly better out of combat with the fortitude and diplomacy skill, and he provides a combat boost for his buddy (very good with Lem).

A lot of people are saying Seltyiel gets better with more characters, but so does everyone! The difference is Seltyiel is going from mediocre to decent, while someone like Valeros is going from decent to great.


I would also like to add, that in most scenarios stacking characters is dangerous. Their are lots of barriers that everyone at the location has to check against, banes that damage everyone at a location, etc. So, while Seltyiel may benefit from being a stack, the stack itself creates greater risk, and no one else in the stack (with the possible exception of Raznak), benefits from stacking with Seltyiel.

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