Damage Houserule


Homebrew and House Rules

Shadow Lodge

As it stands right now, damage is pretty simple. Take damage, discard a number of cards equal to the damage you took. If you didn't have enough cards, so what? Discard what you can and ignore the rest.

Somehow, back when we started Risemof the Runelords, we got that wrong. Instead of damage coming from our hand, we send cards from our deck into the discard pile. While we were all relieved, I noticed how easy the game became later on.

Now that I've got Skull & Shackles, I'm thinking about making our mistake a Houserule. What everyone think? Is it too much? Should any excess damage come from your deck instead of being ignore?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I've seen other people mention house rules with damage, particularly that if there is more damage than you hand size you discard from your deck (or sometimes just 1 more card from your deck, no matter how much more damage there really is).

If you haven't played Skull and Shackles yet, I'd play it a bit for doing a house rule for this. I've gotten Alahazra killed and pretty nearly gotten a few others killed. We've lost about 5 times and are in the middle of adventure 5 right now. I'm definitely taking damage at a more regular rate right in Skull and Shackles than I did in Rise of the Runelords.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I agree with Hawkmoon about being cautious with this rule.
There are some monsters that can easily cause 20+ damage to an unprepared character (like a mage without a spell).
Taking that much damage from your deck would one-shot kill most characters, or at least most of the ones that don't have an armor to with the ability to "reduce all damage to 0" in their hand.

Of course, this would make armor much more important, and characters with little or no armor cards would be in more danger.

Perhaps you could try something in between like one discard from deck for every 4 extra damage, round up.


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

There is a deck 6 villain that would be almost impossible to defeat with this houserule (in that it'd likely kill you before you kill it), so like the others I'd say play for a bit first. S&S as a whole is more difficult than RotR so you may find yourself challenged anyway. There are also plenty of cards with powers that have you discard or bury cards from the top of your deck if you fail, but that is usually limited to 1d4+1 cards at most from what I've seen so this would be taking it much further.

If you still find damage and the game in general too easy after playing a bit, consider a houserule where if you cannot discard enough cards you start burying cards at random from your discard to make up the difference (with no further ill effect once your discard is empty).


Part of the beauty of this game is the hand size limit. It mechanically limits what you can do in a turn sure, but it also limits the amount of damage you can take. Big beefy characters are defined by their small hand size allowing them to take multiple massive hits before they die.

I think if you add the house rule you don't get the advantage of the smaller hand sizes but still get the disadvantage of having limited options on a turn.

Sovereign Court

Khrojnos hit on a big reason for keeping it as is. The hand sizes have a reason. Your fighter has a smaller hand size than your wizard because your fighter is hard to hurt, but your wizard is very squishy.

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