[RotR] Difficulty slump in Act 2 due to Basics?


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


Disclaimer: I noticed after writing this wall I was using our group-specific lingo. We all played Diablo, so we just started calling the Adventure Decks as "Acts", it was easier. "Act 1" refers to Adventure Deck 1 : Burnt Offerings, and so on. (tl;dr at bottom)

Hello all,

Been a lurker for a bit, but my recent play session has me seeking advice. Fairly new to PACG but [my group are all] experienced board/card gamers. We got through four scenarios in our recent game session: Act 1 scenarios 4-5, Act 2 scenarios 1-2. We struggled with the turn count on a few of them, but all three of the latter scenarios none of us had any real challenges from a combat perspective. With our upgrades, single-digit combat has become consistently manageable without much effort, with only mid-teens power levels providing serious contemplation on how to approach (not counting special effects).

We know this is because we’re fighting the same Base Set monsters even though we now have better stats. Since we don’t start removing “Basic” type banes/boons until Act 3, then there is a statistical drop in difficulty for the remainder of the time we are still fighting all the Basic banes. Do note, the rule is to start removing the basics as you encounter them; so the first couple scenarios of Act 3 will keep this statistical easiness as Act 2 until we’ve removed a sufficient amount of banes through play. Do the later scenarios in Act 2 offset this challenge slump with significantly stronger villains? (We try not to examine henchman/villain cards until we use them).

Did anyone start doing the Basics removal before Act 3? I’m considering starting sooner (A2, S4 maybe?) and I was wondering if anyone else did this and can tell the tale of their experiences with this decision.

Some Misc Info for your thoughts:
Group of 4 – Seoni, Harsk, Merisial, Kyra/Lem [5 players, but usually one of these two can’t make it, so our healer is either of them].
Harsk and Seoni have +5 and +4 on their combat rolls usually, reducing a 9 power monster to 4-5 power (usually on a roll using at least 2 die).
Everyone has good weapons / attack spells (relative to the Act).

TL;DR : Basic banes not sustaining challenge. Anyone try starting AD 3's "basic bane removal" earlier than AD 3?


I didn't personally tweak the difficulty in anyway. But you could try that. Other common suggestions include adding 1 more location (so playing with the 6 player list even when there are only 5 of your or with the 5 player list when there are 4 of you). You might find some information in these other threads.


RotR is, in general, easy. Very often parties play the entire Adventure Path with no losses and no deaths. I'd say what you are proposing is worth trying.

You might also try adding a location.


Hawkmoon269 wrote:
I didn't personally tweak the difficulty in anyway. But you could try that. Other common suggestions include adding 1 more location (so playing with the 6 player list even when there are only 5 of your or with the 5 player list when there are 4 of you). You might find some information in these other threads.

Thanks for the links, Hawkmoon.

We certainly don't have it easy with the time limit; we often run down to the last 7-8 blessings in the deck before getting to the end. It was simply that we seemed to be outdoing the combat checks, even counting that I've been cursed with low rolling dice since I started playing RISK 15 years ago =\

Pathfinder ACG Developer

When I hit AD3 RotR I removed the Basics en masse. Partially for box handling reasons and partially cause I wanted to see how it went.

Seemed okay, though your mileage may vary. If you're finding combats too easy, removing the basic banes is certainly a good step to try.


Also, the middle scenarios (2-4 primarily) are recognized as the easiest in RotR. This, as I understand it, is because the designers underestimated the level of boon progression the group would have by the time they reached those scenarios, and thus created a parabolic difficulty curve. In truth, a linear curve was more appropriate, which was done starting with S&S.

So, in the end, expect things to be pretty easy for a while, before getting a major jump in the last couple parts (though some would argue still too easy; I thought they were fine).

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