Thoughts on Caltrops?


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion

Grand Lodge

My players absolutely love caltrops. I informed them that they are about to be removed, due to being basic and starting adventure path 3 in Rise of the Runelords. They're...not happy. Seems like every time I turn around they're using caltrops hah. How do you feel about them?

NOTE: If I'm wrong and they're not basic, then...whoops. I don't have my set with me at this moment so I can't double check.


Khelthros wrote:

My players absolutely love caltrops. I informed them that they are about to be removed, due to being basic and starting adventure path 3 in Rise of the Runelords. They're...not happy. Seems like every time I turn around they're using caltrops hah. How do you feel about them?

NOTE: If I'm wrong and they're not basic, then...whoops. I don't have my set with me at this moment so I can't double check.

They are useful earlier on, and yes they are basic.

I'm surprised they're still using them into the 3rd adventure since there's so many better items around. Caltrops have a diminishing return as monsters get stronger. I'd take any elite item over caltrops.

Sovereign Court

Adventure 3 is about the point where monsters are powerful enough that Caltrops are borderline worthless, especially now that you're getting rid of the basics.

However, if you really want to keep them, remember that removing boons permanently is optional. Only banes are required.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

The key word here is you MAY remove boons with the basic trat.
So you can chose to keep them in circulation.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It is optional for boons. While we were playing through Rise of the Runelords, we'd ask if the card (boon) we were banishing should be removed before we did.


Huh. I have always found Caltrops too weak to justify taking - anything the caltrops can handle you should be able to handle. The numbers are too small.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

You don't have to remove boons at pack 3. you are required to remove the banes, but it is yours, and your co-players, options to remove the ones you want removed.

Seeing as there is no game master, in our group it would have to be agreed that NO ONE in the group still wants it in to remove a boon.


My question is how are you getting them back reliably?

They banish on use and you can only go to the box for items if you don't have any available among the group.

DO they just not acquire items during the adventure so they can always go back to the box? Or have you house ruled this (I've considered doing that just so more of the banish stuff gets used)


I take caltrops when I've run out of basic items, and get rid of it as soon as possible.

Generally speaking, anything that evades (the defeat power is too low to even consider) seems like a waste of a turn- I'd only want to evade in really specific situations, and carrying around a card or two just in case feels daft.


I find evasion cards to be really useful on characters like Lem, Seoni, and Harsk, etc. that can use them for other purposes. For example, Seoni can use that enfeeble spell as a fireball if she needs to, but when she finds the villain early, she can use it as intended to leave said villain atop the deck.


Ashram316 wrote:
I find evasion cards to be really useful on characters like Lem, Seoni, and Harsk, etc. that can use them for other purposes. For example, Seoni can use that enfeeble spell as a fireball if she needs to, but when she finds the villain early, she can use it as intended to leave said villain atop the deck.

I understand your point, but I just had to say that I would never waste one of Seoni's three spells on an enfeeble, or discard one of them if I could avoid it.


I despise caltrops and consider them one of the worst items in the game.

Ashram, if you want a card that will let you locate a villain if they are at the fore of the deck I think you will get more use out of spyglass and its upgrades than caltrops.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I too prefer scouting over evasion, except if it's a power feat like Merisiel's.

Seoni, however, is so tight on spell slots that I would not use a precious slot on that. I think 4 slots would be the minimum number with which I'd consider a utility spell like that. Having a Sorcerer class overuse their discard for spell ability can be dangerous.

I would entertain the idea of Seltyiel using Enfeeble, though, because it's an Attack spell and he can use it for another purpose.


zeroth_hour wrote:


I would entertain the idea of Seltyiel using Enfeeble, though, because it's an Attack spell and he can use it for another purpose.

But when do you want Seltyiel to avoid a fight? I'm not saying it never happens, but it is an incredibly rare corner case. Seltyiel is good at one thing; having him avoid that one thing seems counterproductive.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Early villain encounters. Even though it can be productive to defeat the villain before you can temp close all other locations (since blessings are added to the remaining decks), it's also cool that you can set up a victory right there.

And if not (because the villain is immune to Mental), you can still use the 1d6/2d6 add with his power feat.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I tend to find most banish on use items as fine when you get them as random treasure during a game, but I basically never keep them between sessions. I'd rather have a card I get to keep and reuse.

Obviously some of the class decks won't make this possible, at least at first.


On Seoni and evasion: It comes down to what cards are available, how many card feats she has, and which other characters are in the group.

In a small group where we rely on Seoni to nuke stuff, I probably wouldn't give her an evasion spell because she may doing a fair share of fighting. In a large group with Amiri/Valeros/Sajan to smash things and a healer to recover discards, she can afford to build more for utility. That's not to say that I'd take Enfeeble over say, Frost Ray or Lightning Bolt, but if I had a 4 spell deck, I could easily see carrying a combat spell, an evasion spell, and two utility spells. Bump her up to 6 spells and you can add in a cloud spell and another combat/utility spell (or Swipe, which is both).

Grand Lodge

Gary Johns wrote:

My question is how are you getting them back reliably?

They banish on use and you can only go to the box for items if you don't have any available among the group.

DO they just not acquire items during the adventure so they can always go back to the box? Or have you house ruled this (I've considered doing that just so more of the banish stuff gets used)

You know, I totally misread this. Glad I posted this. Totally my bad.

Rise of the Runelords Rulebook wrote:

If you can’t construct a valid deck from the cards your group has

available because you don’t have enough of certain card types,
choose the extra cards you need from the box, choosing only
cards with the Basic trait.

Also a valid point, you -may- remove, not have to, for boons. Thanks for the insight guys, we haven't started Adventure Path 3...yet. We just finished 2, so if Caltrops will be useful to them is yet to be determined.

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