Feedback from a PFSACG group.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Society

Silver Crusade

So, the obligatory out of the way first. I do know this is a beta season, yes, but the only way things will get better is by offering feedback to Paizo, and starting a dialogue with them.

As far as the game itself, I've been a fan since the very beginning of Runelords. Our group played through the entirety of Runelords together, and gladly picked up Sword and Shackles as it was announced. I'm also one of the main coordinators for our local PFSACG group, and helped pull together our small, loyal cadre of gamers.

That being said, we've got several problems with this season, and we need to get them out there. We've already lost one dedicated gamer, and a few others, from lack of interest, and some of the problems with this season.

Along the way, there have been smaller problems, but still ones that make it seem that little playtesting has taken place on this season. Hirgenzosk being able to be shuffled into a location while the rules of the scenario state that you can't beat the villain at a location with other cards is a particularly egregious example, but Vailea as a loot, problems with and other things along the way have been a little demoralizing as well.

Our first large problem came with Scenario 2-D. This scenario came out of left field with the difficulty -- and in our minds, it's still the most difficult scenario in the PFSACG. In one fell swoop, you throw some of the highest difficulty non-combat checks at a group, where the players don't have free reign to tune their decks in advance as easily as you might in normal play. The scenario basically called for an absurd number of blessings and other dice tricks to manage, and frustrated our less dedicated players.

The last couple of scenarios, though, have been what have really tested us as a group. 3-D was a giant 'Screw You' to the players who could not make it to every session -- which included me, as life had interfered with making it to 3-C. I was already down a card feat, yet the designers decided it was appropriate to also penalize the entire table for me having been unable to make it the previous week.

The other screw you came in the form of Adventure 3 not giving us our role card. We all expected it to come at this point, and forcing us to take all four class feats (or do shenanigans to have more optimized characters by playing out of order) is a really frustrating move.

However, my biggest complaint through all of this, is just how unresponsive Paizo has seemed. There is a thread, started by Theryon Stormrune, asking about whether people want all four power feats. The first official response from Paizo in the entire thread...is Vic Wertz popping in to make a dick joke. The overall concern of the players has been ignored, even to this point. It feels like this is the typical response -- concerns are brought up, and then ignored.

Our group started as 10 strong. One player played a couple of sessions, just wasn't into it, and then we had 9. One player played up through Adventure 2, then lost steam -- and when he found out that Scenario 3-D would penalize him for not having come in the last few sessions, quit entirely. One player had missed several scenarios due to RL interfering. Finally, he made up the scenarios, and came and played 4-B...and his character died. He's dropping the game because he doesn't want to have to make up 16 scenarios now. The last simply hasn't had time to be able to make it to a majority of the sessions due to work interfering.

We've got 6 players left, and a few of them are already suggesting that they won't be coming back for Season 1. Two of them are trying to convince me to end the PACG entirely, and just run some other game in the timeslot instead.

I love the PACG, still, and I want to love the Guild, but I have these concerns. Any feedback would be appreciated.

Sincerely,
Darrel H., PFSACG coordinator for Bryan / College Station, TX.

Grand Lodge

Thanks, Darrel, for this.

I know that PFSACG VLs are supposed to provide feedback to the Pathfinder Society so it's good to hear from a coordinator and their experience.

What would make those players that are left want to continue on to Season 1?

How can things be made better (for them and for you)?

As far as my groups, make-up sessions for scenarios missed are becoming more and more significant. The holidays disrupted things and now there's going to have to be some clean-up and figuring out where people stand. I'm hoping to have all the people playing now finish out the season but I'm not sure. Interest is waning. Some of it is having to go back and help others catch up and on the other side, the ones having to make up scenarios are feeling like they're falling behind. And I'm stuck in the middle.


Brisbe Allinor wrote:
However, my biggest complaint through all of this, is just how unresponsive Paizo has seemed.

Not caring is not something I would accuse Paizo of. They seem dedicated to the product and player experience.

This is season 0, so some things may not work well. Paizo should correct these aspects next time out. There's been a lot of backlash against getting the role card after adventure 4, so I'm hoping that will change for next season.

Another poster opined that the penalty for 3-D exists because there is a RPG award for that scenario, and Paizo wanted to discourage people from dropping in just to reap that reward. There's been a lot of backlash against this too, so I expect that mechanic to be examined as well. There must be a better way to achieve the same end.

Tanis O'Connor, who runs OP, was out sick last I heard, so that may explain the lack of input from Paizo recently.


This feedback is good; if you dig around these forums I think we've all provided similar feedback (up to when we've played of course).

- I know the Hirgenzosk problem has been corrected by changing the location for the scenario (I forget whether the update is on paizo's site yet)
- 0-2D is legitimately too hard and I expect Tanis to make an adjustment to that
- The role card at the end of AD4 I think people didn't like either
- Makeup sessions/people not being able to complete stuff is a concern (it's just impossible for everyone to coordinate at once every other week - if that were the case I'd still be playing my home game). PFS is successful largely because you don't have to finish every scenario in a particular order.
- Character death, on the other hand, I'm not sure how to respond to. It's a legitimate part of the game, and there's no resurrection mechanism other than hoping your cleric or bard has a Raise Dead. I'm not going to say it's not painful losing all of your progress. I think it would help if there were groups at different levels.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

We are listening, but Tanis has been sick more days than not in January, and these issues can't be addressed without her.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Thanks Vic for the reply. I'm another member of Darrel's group, and the one that runs the second table whenever we have more than 6 people showing up. Your response brings me comfort that our feedback and the feedback of everyone else isn't simply being ignored, which due to the lack of any meaningful response to issues raised in other threads was a real concern of ours. I want the card guild to succeed, and I'm sure many others do as well, but when attempting to retain players whose interest is waning due to issues encountered, telling them that the only thing we're getting from paizo is radio silence is rather disheartening.

We went into the Guild expecting bumps along the way, this is after all a trial season where you all are still attempting to iron out issues. And while there were indeed issues, there were also certainly good experiences too. After all, if we didn't find this fun despite the issues, we would have stopped long before Adventure 4. I personally like how loot is handled as adventure rewards; by making it optional and able to be selected at the beginning of a scenario, it allows us to evaluate the scenario and choose the loot we believe best fits for the situation at hand, which is incredibly important and welcome due to the limited ability to upgrade our decks (both due to the one upgrade per scenario rule and the limited pool of cards to choose from in the class decks). I also like how you occasionally put scenario-specific cards on the PDFs, to give a new twist to the game beyond the cards used for home play. The PDF format also let you greatly expand on the lore and storyline versus the limited amount of space on a card, and I'm glad you took that to your advantage to provide a more in-depth and engaging story.

Most of my issues mainly revolve around the class decks. These can only hold so many cards, which means that aspects that make characters truly stand out from each other are lost or even actively harmed. One of my characters is Zarlova, and while I'd love to be able to take the feat that gives me the Arcane skill, there are exactly zero Arcane spells in the class deck. There are plenty of other characters across other class decks that are similarly hampered from using their most unique abilities. In my opinion, the class decks do a very good job of letting you build a baseline character, which is good. I think that it may be good to also offer expansion decks which contain cards that are more tailored to specific characters. That way you still have the affordable option of getting only the class deck, or you could get the class deck plus an expansion deck for a character you are really interested in.

Another issue I've encountered was due to the removal of Basics/Elites from the box beginning at adventure 4. The fighter in our group chose Flenta, who has an ability to recharge a random B Arcane spell from the box after playing a spell. In the home game, you have the option of keeping around Basic or Elite boons as they are banished if you so choose, however in the guild play they are always removed. This means that Flenta has exactly three spells she can get: two copies of Instant Armor and one copy of Speed. I'm not sure what the proper resolution for this is, but it is an example of where the differing guild rules once again hamper the uniqueness of a particular character.

My final issue is that the guild scenarios simply seem to have seen less play testing before being released compared to home game scenarios. Unlike the home game, however, guild scenarios don't require cards to be printed and thus have the luxury of being tweaked as they go along. Therefore, it is wholly possible to be play testing Adventure 3 or 4 while you are just making adventure 1 available to the public. Then those PDFs can be modified based on play testing results, still published on time for organized play, and you can spread out your play testing efforts to focus more heavily on one thing at a time. I don't know how feasible such a thing would be to implement, but it is an example of where the format of guild play gives you greater flexibility than is possible when you need to print every scenario and adventure deck all at once.

On a closing note regarding the character death: characters can die, and death is permanent outside of spells like raise dead. I like this aspect and is part of why I got interested in the card game to begin with. Indeed, paizo even offers concessions to those whose characters have died in the form of pregens; instead of needing to start completely over you can pick a ready-made character from a short list. However, in my opinion this system falls a bit flat. I think pregens are great for instances where you would "take one for the team" to apply the reward to your actual character, but they fall very flat for being used as actual characters themselves due to being locked to the very short list of characters and choices made for feats that may contradict that player's play style. I urge you to consider another means of making a character later on in the game without needing to replay every scenario this far. I have some thoughts on this, but they are best served for another thread.

Silver Crusade

Vic,

Thanks for the reply. That explains a lot, honestly -- I didn't realize that Tanis was sick. I admit that all of the 'unresponsive' nature that I have been feeling has definitely been since December -- so holidays, plus sickness, definitely could explain most of that. I just didn't realize there were extenuating circumstances.


Hey Darrel, I just moved up near North Houston, but I may be able to swing out your way if you need a Lem or Radillo to come help your group out.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

skizzerz wrote:
Another issue I've encountered was due to the removal of Basics/Elites from the box beginning at adventure 4. The fighter in our group chose Flenta, who has an ability to recharge a random B Arcane spell from the box after playing a spell. In the home game, you have the option of keeping around Basic or Elite boons as they are banished if you so choose, however in the guild play they are always removed. This means that Flenta has exactly three spells she can get: two copies of Instant Armor and one copy of Speed. I'm not sure what the proper resolution for this is, but it is an example of where the differing guild rules once again hamper the uniqueness of a particular character.

Whoa, hold on there! You remove Basics/Elites from the GAME box, not from your character's deck box.


Vic Wertz wrote:
skizzerz wrote:
Another issue I've encountered was due to the removal of Basics/Elites from the box beginning at adventure 4. The fighter in our group chose Flenta, who has an ability to recharge a random B Arcane spell from the box after playing a spell. In the home game, you have the option of keeping around Basic or Elite boons as they are banished if you so choose, however in the guild play they are always removed. This means that Flenta has exactly three spells she can get: two copies of Instant Armor and one copy of Speed. I'm not sure what the proper resolution for this is, but it is an example of where the differing guild rules once again hamper the uniqueness of a particular character.
Whoa, hold on there! You remove Basics/Elites from the GAME box, not from your character's deck box.

Whoa, hold on there! Have I been playing Flenta wrong the whole time. I assume when her ability says "...draw a random spell from the box that does not have an adventure deck number and has the Arcane trait and recharge it..." that it means the game box and not the Class Deck box.

If its the game box then Skizzerz is mostly right. When basics are taken out you are left with 5 options, Speed, Instant Armor x2, Call Weapon and Charm Animal. When Elites are take out Call Weapon goes away leaving 4 options for Flenta's ability.

If instead Flenta is supposed to draw these card from her Class Deck box (in Organized Play)... there are only two Basic spells in the Fighter Class deck and she has three spells in her starting deck so there are no basics left in the box (generally... unless she's upgraded her spells). If she uses a spell and there is no Basic spell in her Class Deck box what does she do?


Vic Wertz wrote:
skizzerz wrote:
Another issue I've encountered was due to the removal of Basics/Elites from the box beginning at adventure 4. The fighter in our group chose Flenta, who has an ability to recharge a random B Arcane spell from the box after playing a spell. In the home game, you have the option of keeping around Basic or Elite boons as they are banished if you so choose, however in the guild play they are always removed. This means that Flenta has exactly three spells she can get: two copies of Instant Armor and one copy of Speed. I'm not sure what the proper resolution for this is, but it is an example of where the differing guild rules once again hamper the uniqueness of a particular character.
Whoa, hold on there! You remove Basics/Elites from the GAME box, not from your character's deck box.

I think skizzerz assumes that Flenta's power draws from the game box.

Flenta wrote:
After you play a spell that has the Arcane trait for its power, draw a random spell from the box that does not have an adventure deck number and has the Arcane trait and recharge it.

The part in the guide to organized play that seems to affect where you get cards from only seems to apply to rewards.

Guide to Organized Play wrote:
If you are rewarded with a card from the box, you will instead take a random card of the same type from your Class Deck box.

Are you saying that Flenta in organized play should draw from the class deck box with her power?


Vic Wertz wrote:
Whoa, hold on there! You remove Basics/Elites from the GAME box, not from your character's deck box.

Really? I was assuming you did, for the same reason that rewards that refer to "the box" are taken from your Class Deck box.

I thought that taking those Basics/Elites out of circulation later in the AP made sense. If you get, say, a random weapon reward in Adventure 5, you should be rewarded with a better chance of pulling a higher-level card, no? With the Basics/Elites still in there, you get diminishing returns as you level up. That seems off, somehow. (That said, my Kyra is happy to hang on to her humble Longswords for a goodly long while.)

And because all things circle back to Flenta… With this in place, why were Spell-2, 3, 4 and 5s even included in her deck? She can never reliably keep them. Say she casts both Strength and Call Weapon in an Adventure 4 scenario, banishing them. If Basics/Elites are removed, she can finally start filling spell slots with Spell-2s. If not, they just come back… UNLESS she spends an upgrade!

So let's say she does spend that upgrade on a Spell-4. Next game, she casts it, and it's banished. If she wants it back, she has to spend another upgrade on it. Repeat until frustration sets in. (Shouldn't take long…)

Ugh. It's seeming that poor Flenta was an attempt at something really nifty and flavourful that has just not quite panned out in the execution. And unfortunately, the resources put into that attempt has watered down three other characters.


Johnny Chronicle wrote:

And because all things circle back to Flenta… With this in place, why were Spell-2, 3, 4 and 5s even included in her deck? She can never reliably keep them. Say she casts both Strength and Call Weapon in an Adventure 4 scenario, banishing them. If Basics/Elites are removed, she can finally start filling spell slots with Spell-2s. If not, they just come back… UNLESS she spends an upgrade!

So let's say she does spend that upgrade on a Spell-4. Next game, she casts it, and it's banished. If she wants it back, she has to spend another upgrade on it. Repeat until frustration sets in. (Shouldn't take long…)

Ugh. It's seeming that poor Flenta was an attempt at something really nifty and flavourful that has just not quite panned out in the execution. And unfortunately, the resources put into that attempt has watered down three other characters.

The reason for the higher level spells in the Fighter Class Deck is Flenta and its rather well thought out.

Flenta Arcane Pretender Role wrote:
□ You may recharge a spell (□ or an item that has the Magic trait) to add 1 plus its adventure deck number, if any, to your combat (□ or non-combat) check.

This makes it worth spending upgrades on spells although you're not using the spells for their powers (unless you're desperate and a particular spell is the only option.) I'm looking forward to picking up this power ASAP.


Shade325 wrote:

The reason for the higher level spells in the Fighter Class Deck is Flenta and its rather well thought out.

Flenta Arcane Pretender Role wrote:
□ You may recharge a spell (□ or an item that has the Magic trait) to add 1 plus its adventure deck number, if any, to your combat (□ or non-combat) check.
This makes it worth spending upgrades on spells although you're not using the spells for their powers (unless you're desperate and a particular spell is the only option.) I'm looking forward to picking up this power ASAP.

Ah, OK, I did not notice that. That IS cool.

Still, 13 spells take up a LOT of real estate in the Class Deck for just one of the four characters. Two of each level (except 6)? When the "pseudo-caster" can only have five spells, maximum? Some of those cards could have been polearms for Tontelizi or bludgeoning weapons for Vika. And the other characters could actually use them too.

And I'm still bewildered by the Blessings of Pharasma...


Johnny Chronicle wrote:
Shade325 wrote:

The reason for the higher level spells in the Fighter Class Deck is Flenta and its rather well thought out.

Flenta Arcane Pretender Role wrote:
□ You may recharge a spell (□ or an item that has the Magic trait) to add 1 plus its adventure deck number, if any, to your combat (□ or non-combat) check.
This makes it worth spending upgrades on spells although you're not using the spells for their powers (unless you're desperate and a particular spell is the only option.) I'm looking forward to picking up this power ASAP.

Ah, OK, I did not notice that. That IS cool.

Still, 13 spells take up a LOT of real estate in the Class Deck for just one of the four characters. Two of each level (except 6)? When the "pseudo-caster" can only have five spells, maximum? Some of those cards could have been polearms for Tontelizi or bludgeoning weapons for Vika. And the other characters could actually use them too.

And I'm still bewildered by the Blessings of Pharasma...

The Pharasma Blessings are useable by Flenta when she takes the upgrade to be able to use attack spells, not many attack spells in the class deck but she can go picking them up. But more importantly, They are there to give your fighter some utility and you can buff your casters pretty good (it IS a co-op game after all). I'm going to be taking them on Flenta, but not really for myself (I'm going out of my way to take "scrolls" that give me utility), just to buff the casters I play with. I mostly use my blessings to explore again as opposed to blessing my combat checks, so I didn't see a problem with this.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Shade325 wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
skizzerz wrote:
Another issue I've encountered was due to the removal of Basics/Elites from the box beginning at adventure 4. The fighter in our group chose Flenta, who has an ability to recharge a random B Arcane spell from the box after playing a spell. In the home game, you have the option of keeping around Basic or Elite boons as they are banished if you so choose, however in the guild play they are always removed. This means that Flenta has exactly three spells she can get: two copies of Instant Armor and one copy of Speed. I'm not sure what the proper resolution for this is, but it is an example of where the differing guild rules once again hamper the uniqueness of a particular character.
Whoa, hold on there! You remove Basics/Elites from the GAME box, not from your character's deck box.

Whoa, hold on there! Have I been playing Flenta wrong the whole time. I assume when her ability says "...draw a random spell from the box that does not have an adventure deck number and has the Arcane trait and recharge it..." that it means the game box and not the Class Deck box.

If its the game box then Skizzerz is mostly right. When basics are taken out you are left with 5 options, Speed, Instant Armor x2, Call Weapon and Charm Animal. When Elites are take out Call Weapon goes away leaving 4 options for Flenta's ability.

If instead Flenta is supposed to draw these card from her Class Deck box (in Organized Play)... there are only two Basic spells in the Fighter Class deck and she has three spells in her starting deck so there are no basics left in the box (generally... unless she's upgraded her spells). If she uses a spell and there is no Basic spell in her Class Deck box what does she do?

I also assumed that Flenta would draw the new spell from the game box and not the class deck as well (because if it was from the class deck; there would be zero choices for her to choose from sometimes, which doesn't really make sense -- let's say you banish a spell 1 and all of the Bs are already in your deck, you couldn't pick anything up then). We *did* only remove the basics/elites from the game box and left the class decks intact :) -- I also somehow missed Charm Animal when going through my spells for the initial listing, sorry about that. So 4 options instead of 3. Still not great unless there's something I'm really missing here.

RE: Pharasmas, I think they're fine. They are useful for explores or to buff the casters at your table (yay cooperative games!). That being said, after looking through the fighter class deck it could probably use another Gorum in it, since it seems to only have 2 of those yet 3 Pharasmas (probably exchange one of the Blessing 2 Pharasmas with a Gorum to give Fighters better upgrade options in adventure 2)

Pathfinder ACG Designer

*waves*

I very much appreciate the feedback, y'all. Season Zero is referred to internally (in my cubicle anyway) as "Throw Everything At The Wall And See What Sticks." Some things will stick, and some things won't, as you no doubt expect.

Some responses to what I'm seeing here:

Flenta has run into a variety of problems in Season Zero, since she's a very different character tied to three characters that function pretty similarly to each other. She also suffers from some unintended consequences re: box updating and Basic spells. Totally legit concerns, all, and any future class deck design will take that experience into account.

For each piece of feedback about how players hated 2-D, I get a piece of feedback about how players loved 2-D. Happily, it's only one scenario in a season of many, but some people really do enjoy the change of pace and different type of challenge. Difficulty numbers were definitely a trifle high, but that "truth" is largely dependent on character assortment.

If I try something like 3-D again, it will be in the form of a reward for people who have completed previous scenarios, rather than a penalty for people who haven't. Very good feedback there.

We're also working on improving and buffing up the Guild scenario playtesting process, so the Season One experience will be smoother.

Thanks again for the feedback--keep it coming!

--Tanis

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Shade325 wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
skizzerz wrote:
Another issue I've encountered was due to the removal of Basics/Elites from the box beginning at adventure 4. The fighter in our group chose Flenta, who has an ability to recharge a random B Arcane spell from the box after playing a spell. In the home game, you have the option of keeping around Basic or Elite boons as they are banished if you so choose, however in the guild play they are always removed. This means that Flenta has exactly three spells she can get: two copies of Instant Armor and one copy of Speed. I'm not sure what the proper resolution for this is, but it is an example of where the differing guild rules once again hamper the uniqueness of a particular character.
Whoa, hold on there! You remove Basics/Elites from the GAME box, not from your character's deck box.

Whoa, hold on there! Have I been playing Flenta wrong the whole time. I assume when her ability says "...draw a random spell from the box that does not have an adventure deck number and has the Arcane trait and recharge it..." that it means the game box and not the Class Deck box.

Okay, seems more clarity is needed on my clarification.

The rule about removing Basics (and eventually Elites) applies to the game box, not your character's deck box.

The word "box" in the rulebook or on any card means "the game box" in OP. (It's probably a good idea to add that sentence to the Guide somewhere...)

So Flenta does not cull her deck box, and when she uses her power, she pulls cards from the game box.


Vic Wertz wrote:
So Flenta does not cull her deck box, and when she uses her power, she pulls cards from the game box.

I don't think he's misunderstanding, although he did miss one "0" spell. Charm Animal is also Arcane. That gives Flenta 4 spells in the box if the box has the Character Add-On Deck, and only 2 if the box doesn't have the add-on. So those are the only cards she'll be able to get back into her deck whenever she uses her power once Adventure 4 starts. And there is the possibility that some or all of these cards could end up in locations or as plunder.

There is a thread in the VO forums about this issue and this is a very long post I made about it:

Spoiler:
Yeah, I don't have a Flenta player, but I have been worried about how her power would mesh with later adventures. I didn't know quite how bad it was until I read what you mentioned, though. For a spell focused Flenta, it can become impossible for her to get an appropriate replacement spell, regardless of if the "0" spells are in the location decks or not. If she took two Spell card feats and played all five of her Class Deck spells, there will be no replacement for the fifth spell no matter what.

Personally, I thought the power was a little too underpowered anyway. Maybe she can have her power changed to something like this:

"After you play a spell that has the Arcane trait for its power, draw a random spell from the box that has an adventure deck number lower than the current scenario, if any, and has the Arcane trait and recharge it."

Or

"After you play a spell that has the Arcane trait for its power, draw a random spell from the box that has the Arcane trait and recharge it. The adventure deck number of the spell must be at least 2 lower than the current scenario, if any."

Unfortunately, these suggestions would increase the power's character count by 31 or 56 when the original power is already rather wordy and I know that tends to be a major concern for the developers. I really can't think of any better way to reword them, though.

But yeah, without any changes to the power, I think the only option you have for the situation is to follow the Golden Rule:

"If a card instructs you to do something impossible, like draw a card from an empty deck, ignore that instruction."

So if Flenta searches every single spell in the box and there is no B, C, or P arcane spell available, she just doesn't get a replacement spell to recharge. Kind of sucks.

It is also worth noting that after mentioning B, C, or P just now, I went ahead and checked the spells in my box as well. Out of the 4 Arcane non-adventure-deck spells that Mike mentioned, 2 of them are C spells. That means if someone is running an OP game without the Character Add-On Deck, Flenta will only have 2 appropriate replacement spells starting with Adventure 4: Speed and Instant Armor. Now that would REALLY suck for her.

--------------------

EDIT: Just thought of a way to reword the power suggestions that might work to cut down the character count a little:

"After you play a spell that has the Arcane trait for its power, recharge a random spell from the box that has an adventure deck number lower than the current scenario, if any, and has the Arcane trait."

Or

"After you play a spell that has the Arcane trait for its power, recharge a random spell from the box that has the Arcane trait and has an adventure deck number of at least 2 lower than the current scenario, if any."

Does that wording still work? This would bring the re-writes to a 19 or 32 character increase.

5/5 **

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Just so I make sure I have this right...

If the rulebook or a card in play says "box" it is referring to the game box, but if the scenario says "box" (as in your reward is a random item from the box), that means your character deck?


Yes, if you're doing organized play, random card rewards come from your class deck box instead of the game box. From the OP Guide:

"The procedure for earning scenario rewards (or adventure rewards, or adventure path rewards) follows the standard rules with one exception: If you are rewarded with a card from the box, you will instead take a random card of the same type from your Class Deck box. The card you take cannot have an adventure deck number higher than that of the scenario you completed."

Also, back to the Flenta issue, I had an interesting thought. If a Flenta player has at least one spell card feat and is playing with a box that has the add-on deck, she can cast all of her spells and exploit a loophole with Charm Animal. Normally, real spellcasters have to bury the card so they can only gain one animal ally each scenario. Flenta, on the other hand, has to banish it, but can get it right back due to her power. So she can try to go fishing during a scenario and get as many of the animal allies as she can (7 at Adventure 4). Since she can recharge instead of discard her weapons and essentially auto-recharges spells after a point, she can cycle her deck pretty efficiently if played right. This can be enhanced further with role powers. But of course, bad luck with location or plunder pulls can screw the whole thing up.


Just putting it out there, the OP system is an excellent one for encouraging group play, and it's awesome if you're visiting somewhere to be able to drop in and likely play the right scenario for you with a totally new group of people.

But, fun is the primary goal of this kind of experience. If there's something causing the experience to be unpleasant then definitely provide feedback, but also fix it for yourself where possible until the system catches up.

My play group has encountered some similar problems. Here are some of the temporary fixes we used.

1. I usually just have people take feat rewards for scenarios they've missed. Not getting to upgrade their deck is plenty of incentive for them to make up the scenario or show up every week, setting them behind feats is just cruel to them and to the rest of us.

2. We ignored the penalties for missed stuff in 3-D. 4/5 of us has been to every session and we saw zero reason to make our lives substantially harder because 1 person missed a couple weeks, and no reason to exclude a player who wasn't able to show up regularly.

3. The role card... Yeah, I just let people hold a power feat in reserve until we finished Adv 4. I hope this gets moved back to Adv. 3 in the future, there's not much to be done for it beyond that.

I hope your group recovers and enjoys the game. I'm looking forward to the next season and seeing what changes get made. I've been constantly impressed by the PFACG staff's ability to innovate on the basic mechanics and present new and different play experiences within the same framework.


*Re-emerges from underground lair…*

Thanks, Shephel and skizzerz, for your thoughts on the Fighter Deck Pharasmas, and to Tanis for letting us know she's keeping an eye on this. Since she asked to keep the feedback coming, here are the thoughts that stem from others' comments…

Shephel wrote:
The Pharasma Blessings are useable by Flenta when she takes the upgrade to be able to use attack spells, not many attack spells in the class deck but she can go picking them up.

So, 1/4 of the characters in the deck might get the full benefit of the card as written, AFTER she takes a feat for it AND IF she manages to acquire some attack spells during play. That last bit is pretty chancy; I think there are like 8 arcane attack spells out of the 54 B, C, and 1s -- better hope that 15% are the ones that ended up in your locations. AND that you encounter them before closing the location. AND that you make the acquire check…

Shephel wrote:
…not many attack spells in the class deck…

Indeed. Two, to be precise. Both level 5. If the Pharasmas were level 4 or 5, I would think nothing of it. (Although, as Shade325 pointed out above, actually CASTING your spells might not be the best use of them.) But THREE of them at levels 1 and 2? There are way better options…

Shephel wrote:
They are there to give your fighter some utility and you can buff your casters pretty good (it IS a co-op game after all).
skizzerz wrote:
They are useful for explores or to buff the casters at your table (yay cooperative games!).

By that rationale, the Sorcerer and Wizard decks should have three Blessings of Gorum at levels 1 and 2 to buff the melee combatants. But they don't. Because that would be silly. Instead, they have blessings that are useful to the characters in the decks -- including Pharasmas of their own.

I don't think Class Deck design should make any assumptions about what else might be at the table; the nature of OP is such that if you're playing a Fighter, the only thing you know for sure is going to be at the table is a Fighter.

As for the Pharasmas providing "utility," that's true, but it's a pretty limited utility: the two-dice benefit enhances ONE type of check, and it's not one you're likely to make. What if those three Pharasmas were instead a Milani, Sivanah, and Cayden Cailean or Gorum? They would provide WAY more utility, covering a wider variety of checks, maximizing the benefits for the rest of the table as well as the Fighter.

But of course, y'know, this is all just, like, my opinion, man...


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Sure, I'm not saying they have to be pharasmas, just that it makes sense to not have every blessing in the class deck be exclusively there for the maximum benefit of the class. Sivanah for instance would be another good candidate as that helps for Charisma checks iirc which isn't a Fighter specialty, but also helps you buff any Bards at your table plus checks to acquire most allies. In that regard, you have the ability to give a good benefit to your teammates while also having a benefit to yourself (albeit more situational). In this regard a Sivanah is better than Pharasma, and there should definitely be less or even no Pharasmas in the fighter class deck as they don't offer that much utility compared to blessing choices in other class decks (maybe 1 for Flenta); but their replacements should not be (all) Gorums.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I think we have an accord! Please accept a hearty virtual handshake!

For the record, two people just had a reasoned discussion and came to an agreement... On the Internet. Something should be done to mark the occasion.


skizzerz wrote:
On a closing note regarding the character death: characters can die, and death is permanent outside of spells like raise dead. I like this aspect and is part of why I got interested in the card game to begin with. Indeed, paizo even offers concessions to those whose characters have died in the form of pregens; instead of needing to start completely over you can pick a ready-made character from a short list. However, in my opinion this system falls a bit flat. I think pregens are great for instances where you would "take one for the team" to apply the reward to your actual character, but they fall very flat for being used as actual characters themselves due to being locked to the very short list of characters and choices made for feats that may contradict that player's play style.

It would be very nice to have pregenerated characters to all class deck characters, instead of just one. So you at least could chose you favorite one, if you happen to die... That could be done quite easily!

Also an upgrade pack for class decks could help. Some extra cards to all decks, so there would be more options to all class deck characters. But that have to wait until all class decks has been published, or there has to be several upgrade packs. Maybe one for first 6 and one for last 7?
But it would give all class decks more cards that could be used to build the characters.
I would not mind having Wizard upgrade deck (with 110 cards) and Fighter upgrade deck (having 110 cards) and so double the card pool for each class type. But that is a far stretching hope.

Sovereign Court

The pregens are meant to be a quick and simple way to jump in.

Want a Ranger? Harsk
Want a Cleric? Kyra

It works out a lot better when all you need to decide is what class you want and you have your character.

As for upgrades, the new class decks shouldn't have the issues the old ones did that would need that. Also, what's nice about Organized Play is that you know your Rogue deck has the same options as every other Rogue. Your Alchemist (seriously, I need my Damiel class deck now!) has the same options as the next Alchemist. No extra purchases required. Now, that being said I wouldn't mind seeing something released after every class has a deck that brings the original six decks to the same level of customizability as we'll have with the new ones.


That is also a good idea. Some kind of class deck 2nd edition, like there were 2nd edition of the original Rice of the Rune Lords.
And then maybe an errata deck like there was for the base game, to those who have the 1st edition version... I would live with that.
Personally I would like to see some class deck expansion, but that 2nd edition of those first 7 would be almost as good! (I was expecting that there was only 13 class decks, but them i read that there would be 31 or more of them... Well that would be a lot of to expand... So an errata and/or 2nd edition would be much easier solution!)


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

With a new Class Deck coming every month, and with the new decks having only 3 characters and as a result much better-tailored boon support, I can see options opening up tremendously for Season of the Mask (or whatever it ends up being called).

I'm not so sure they'll make a new version of the original 7 class decks, but I can see branching off into related prestige classes or archetypes as new decks which cover much of the same ground.

Sovereign Court

I wouldn't compare it to the second edition or errata packs for the game. Those didn't change the game at all, they just clarified things and went to a new printer. Nothing was added or removed. Same cards, everything.

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