Adding a new player to an ongoing campaign


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

We're currently in the middle of S&S AP2 and we have a friend who wants to join our game. He's only played once but he liked it a lot. He doesn't own the game and we only play twice a month, at a location that he has to commute to. So my question is: what's the best way to integrate him? We can have him do the normal character creation step, but I'm concerned that if he joins our game with zero card/power/skill feats and a bunch of basic cards he's going to be *severely* behind the curve.

It seems like the only official way to 'level him up' is for him to play the game solo, or have us run through the previous adventures with him. Both those seem like bad options due to the situation: not his copy of the game, time constraints, solo difficult for a new player, boring for the other 4 players especially considering how infrequently we play.

Is there another way to get him to relatively our power level? I'm guessing we'll have to do something other than the official rules, but I'm struggling with coming up with a way to do it fairly.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Definitely nothing in the official rules. But I'd suggest this:

FEATS: Give him all the same feats you have earned.

CARDS: This is the one where you really need to make a decision. You could either (1) Have him start with Basic cards. He'll probably quickly catch up to you all, because not only will he be acquiring his own cards, but all the cards that are better than basic, but not quite good enough to replace cards for the other players, he can pick up. So he should quickly ramp up to "just a step below the rest" and then gradually move into being on the same level as you. or.... (2) Figure out the average number of deck 1 and deck 2 cards the rest of the players have and let him have the same average.

I'd suggest just going with basics first, then if after a game or two his cards really haven't improved, grant him a few card upgrades.

Just my thoughts.


This situation actually came up for us the other day. We tallied the total rewards for each scenario and adventure deck and allowed random fate to reward the player with weapons, armor, items, etc. as they were rewards for completing certain scenarios. Because we were beginning adventure deck 2, they were not allowed to acquire any deck 2 equipments because we did not have them either. In the and they were pretty balanced with a few elite items and all the accumulated power feats and card feats. By the end of the first scenario they had even better equipments as we picked up a few deck one items.


Actually we have played a full RoR and are in the middle of S&S with some permanent characters and some visiting that manage to play from 20 to 60% of games.
Some players decided to just play a standard basic and be OK to have less skills, feats or deck... Guess what, no issue with the game and they are having fun. Mostly because they get the same boons and loots as the permanent characters. So true they are late in check boxes on their character card and lack the role card but doesn't bother anyone.
For those who want a kind of catch-up system, we decided that you are entitled to a minimum of one less skill feat, one less power feat and one less card feat that you would have had if you played the same number of scenarios that you did play, but without skipping any. And you get the role card after having played 20 scenarios.
This balance between those lucky ones who only show up for scenarios with feats rewards and those who show up for scenarios with cards rewards.


I let people make new characters and give them the matching feats of the other players, but they must start with all basics.

I do the same thing if someone dies during a scenario and wants to keep playing with a new character. I think it's a balance between fairness for the players who worked their way up, letting the new player enjoy him or herself, and preserving everyone's pride.


In RotR, we had a guy play Brigandoom! and The Poison Pill, the entire Hook Mountain Massacre and Fortress of the Stone Giants, and then Spires of Xin-Shalast. We swapped some cards between our decks to help him out a bit, but didn't give him a single scenario reward he didn't earn. He was totally happy with it, and it became a source of pride in the party that we got through everything we faced with an under-strength character among us.

Wouldn't work for every group, probably even most groups, but just a thought


Sorry for dredging up this older thread.

Pyrocat wrote:

We're currently in the middle of S&S AP2 and we have a friend who wants to join our game....

So my question is: what's the best way to integrate him?

About to run into this. Pyrocat, how did it work out for you?

If anyone new wants chime in and let me know their experience, that would be helpful. I will have to make a decision this weekend.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

As a group we decided the cleanest solution was to give him the card/power/skill feats but otherwise have him roll up his character as normal (only taking basic cards). However due to scheduling conflicts we have yet to run a scenario with him in it, so I don't have any results to report yet.


Our group did something similar to Pyrocat's group. When someone joined the group late we had them choose feats to match those that the group had earned.

I have a new group that effectively adheres to the same principal. We play once per week with a group of six assuming that we'll have at least four people per week. When someone is out during a session they miss out on any of the scenario rewards other than feats.

Liberty's Edge

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My thought would be to use the "standard" rules for adding cards to your deck when you don't have enough cards to rebuild your deck -- namely that you can pull cards from two decks lower.

i.e. so if you add someone in Deck 1, they can only pull "basic" cards still
Adding someone at deck two though they can use ANY card in the base set - not just basic cards.

I think that way the player is still "behind the curve" for where your group probably would be, but if you add someone at a later deck (ie deck 4 or 5 when you've probably banished a good deal of basic cards) there is adequate equipment to make a starting deck, and to have the character not be completely overwhelmed.

Sovereign Court

Actually, using that rule, even Adv2 is still basics only. Two lower doesn't start till 3.

I've done this with two characters in separate groups, and giving the feats and using rebuild rules worked out fine. No one was underpowered, and they caught up quickly.


Jonah G wrote:

I let people make new characters and give them the matching feats of the other players, but they must start with all basics.

I do the same thing if someone dies during a scenario and wants to keep playing with a new character. I think it's a balance between fairness for the players who worked their way up, letting the new player enjoy him or herself, and preserving everyone's pride.

We did this. Worked out well. His deck caught up really fast.

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