Table etiquette / things that annoy


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game General Discussion


What do you like to see at the table?

For myself a few things:

- If you don't want a boon, survey the table to see if someone else wants it.

- We have a player in our group who always flips the blessings upside down when advancing the counter. Which leaves a bunch of upside down blessings in the box if I don't go through and flip them around.

- No drinks on the table! This has been disastrous


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I agree that it helps everyone to see if someone wants a boon and can help you get it. I sort of disagree on the flipping blessings, though. It's recommended that you discard blessings toward the player to help remember who went last, and make sure blessings draws aren't missed. I've found this super helpful, and I've just given up caring about blessings being all right side up in the box :p

Grand Lodge

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

#1 - Yes, you ask if people want a boon when it is flipped. Many times it is difficult to succeed at check(s) to acquire and require additional resources.

#2 - That one needs a pass. Some people like an orderly blessings discard pile and some turn blessings in the direction of the player. Go with the flow and reorder afterwards. I have others help shuffle the cards as I distribute them. Sometimes they end up upside down, too.

#3 - Sleeved cards help with the mess … just be careful.


There's counters to everything:

1) If there's a boon you like, speak up. Or say something if you want to look at it. Sometimes it's pointless as the character has a 0% chance of getting it anyway.

2) You want to flip it to your position to track that it was your turn. Sometimes people forget to flip and it's easier to go back if this is done.

3) I don't know, I've always had drinks at my table and have never spilled anything, so I guess it depends.

In general, the more kind and flexible you are, the better. This applies to everything in life.


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Jim John wrote:
- If you don't want a boon, survey the table to see if someone else wants it.

This isn't automatically assumed?

I'd probably leave the table [after the scenario] and quit playing with people who weren't team players.


Whenever I introduce this game to friends, I emphasize that it's a cooperative game. I find that if you do that, things go much more smoothly. I had one friend who, instead of flipping the top card of the location deck, picked up the top card and brought it to him so he could read it and no one else could. Kind of annoying. We were like, "Uh, care to share?"

Grand Lodge

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You get a lot of different backgrounds (game-wise) when you introduce the game to others. Over the weekend, I think I had 6 new players as well as a few that had played RotR then stopped.

Patience is always required before they get the hang of things. Not everything has to be explained up front. Usually new players keep their hands closed (like Magic) until they relax a bit and understand that everyone else is playing open-hand. Getting used to the sequence of events. It's a lot to learn but the game is easy to pick up. So the most important part of table etiquette is patience.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Actually we play very cooperative BUT with our hand closed. I found it was a good way to avoid one "know-it-all" guy starting to tell everyone what he should do and ends up playing alone and frustrating the others.

Grand Lodge

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

I always say (when teaching the game) that playing closed hand or open hand is up to the individual. Either is acceptable. Unfortunately, it is hard to teach the game and get them to understand the various abilities on the cards when I can't see what they have. I can usually gauge when I have to "help" things move along.


I find that the best groups keep their hands open and the worst groups keep their hands closed. Just an observation. I'd say the close handed groups were LESS team orientated by far.

If you have a know-it-all guy, it's just better to address that. I play open and yes, it has been annoying at times, but sometimes they have a point and sometimes you just brush it off and sometimes you teach them something too.

Grand Lodge

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

I agree with Jason. Whether amongst friends or just guild play, abhorrent behavior should be discussed and confronted. It falls under "Don't Bully Other Players" section of the guild guide.

If that doesn't work, there's always duct tape.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Fully agree that you need - like in every RPG - address bad behavior upfront.
Not a problem though in our group since we play together since... hum ... 1988 (yeah I'm that old). So we can totally have fun with hand closed (it's nice to somehow be able to jump in and save the day for a friendly character saying "guess what, I kept a Blessing of Desna for rainy days... just reroll").


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

I had a guy who would pick up everyone's card from their location decks, then read it aloud himself instead of handing it to them. I think he needed to see the card himself to process it, but God, was that annoying. He stopped after a session or two when he got more used to the cards.


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"Playing" attention is the one thing that gets on my nerves. That and not asking for heals when you need it. I don't care that you have a full hand; there's only two cards left in your deck and you don't have any armor! LET ME KNOW.

I'm going to institute a rule tonight: no cell phones. If your phone rings or you get a text or you need to look up a rule or FAQ, that's fine, but I don't want you playing on your phone. It's extremely disrespectful and slows down the game.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Rebel Song wrote:

"Playing" attention is the one thing that gets on my nerves. That and not asking for heals when you need it. I don't care that you have a full hand; there's only two cards left in your deck and you don't have any armor! LET ME KNOW.

I'm going to institute a rule tonight: no cell phones. If your phone rings or you get a text or you need to look up a rule or FAQ, that's fine, but I don't want you playing on your phone. It's extremely disrespectful and slows down the game.

Someone this weekend played a Sorcerer (Seoni) for the first time. ummm ... Sorcerers Need Healin'. She couldn't do anything for the last two turns of the game except the final battle because she didn't have any cards to draw from and we couldn't spare the heals (instead of explores) at that point. We lost the scenario because of time running out.

I have to agree with your no cell phone and no tablets rule. I was playing with someone that kept checking their phone when it wasn't their turn and wouldn't be able to participate. Very distracting and very disrupting to co-op play.


At Guild games we've been good about sharing when a card has a high adventure deck number for the scenario. Bs and Cs, though, tend to get chucked overboard without much asking around. My home games have been just

We don't do the blessings towards the player thing. In Guild play our organizers are good at reminding people to flip a card if they forget. At home I've been taking on that role.

You do have to be careful with drinks; I've had other games damaged by spills. We're normally using card protectors in our Guild games because the organizers have them on their sets, but I haven't done them for my own set yet. (1200 cards is a lot of little plastic envelopes!)

Both at home and in Guild games my groups have been playing with closed hands and haven't had problems being cooperative. It's all about personalities and (to a lesser extent) available table space. I have had know-it-alls in other games, but so far not in this one.


Yes, this is a cooperative game, but when we play we are sometimes a bit individualistic and I think this is fine.

I feel that it is not normal or fun when one of the characters is much better than others and so he does multiple explores each turn while others mostly explore once a turn and keep playing blessings and cures on that character. Even if such a strategy would be more beneficial to the group as a whole, it is not fun.

That's why sometimes a player in our group may keep a certain card to himself even if it would be more useful to another character, and we accept this. Or he may give it up but ask for something else in return, this kind of thing. And we'd rather help a character who is falling behind than help the most "powerful" character to become more powerful still.

Each player should feel that he is actively contributing to victory, not just support others. Yes, some characters are more support-oriented, I did Lem and Oloch myself, but it is not normal or nice to exclusively limit some player to supporting others. It is not good if one player says "Guys, I'm better than you, so I'll use my blessing to explore and you will play yours to support me".

So in our group we accept reasonable selfishness :) We still try to help each other, but we are careful about keeping balance between our characters even if this sometimes may mean that we become less powerful as a group.

That being said, I wouldn't say that we are not successful. We played RotR twice without ever loosing a scenario. We did S&S twice and only lost three scenarios in AP6. In WotR we are loosing more often (which I personally enjoy because I like more challenge) but mostly we win, and no character ever died.

And yes, we play with our hands closed. We do tell others about our blessings and stuff when it's important, but we like keeping our cards private. It is also more handy for us because keeping cards face-up would require wider playing area.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
magnitt wrote:

Yes, this is a cooperative game, but when we play we are sometimes a bit individualistic and I think this is fine.

I feel that it is not normal or fun when one of the characters is much better than others and so he does multiple explores each turn while others mostly explore once a turn and keep playing blessings and cures on that character. Even if such a strategy would be more beneficial to the group as a whole, it is not fun.

That's why sometimes a player in our group may keep a certain card to himself even if it would be more useful to another character, and we accept this. Or he may give it up but ask for something else in return, this kind of thing. And we'd rather help a character who is falling behind than help the most "powerful" character to become more powerful still.

Each player should feel that he is actively contributing to victory, not just support others. Yes, some characters are more support-oriented, I did Lem and Oloch myself, but it is not normal or nice to exclusively limit some player to supporting others. It is not good if one player says "Guys, I'm better than you, so I'll use my blessing to explore and you will play yours to support me".

So in our group we accept reasonable selfishness :) We still try to help each other, but we are careful about keeping balance between our characters even if this sometimes may mean that we become less powerful as a group.

That being said, I wouldn't say that we are not successful. We played RotR twice without ever loosing a scenario. We did S&S twice and only lost three scenarios in AP6. In WotR we are loosing more often (which I personally enjoy because I like more challenge) but mostly we win, and no character ever died.

And yes, we play with our hands closed. We do tell others about our blessings and stuff when it's important, but we like keeping our cards private. It is also more handy for us because keeping cards face-up would require wider playing area.

I agree very much with what Magnitt says here. Between scenarios in my group we'll discuss who gets/keeps what but for the most part if a boon would be useful for everyone than the person who acquired it gets to keep it. If someone wants to keep or take a boon that's clearly better for someone else - such as if a Kyra player wanted to hang onto the Ring of Regeneration instead of handing it over to Valeros - we'll speak up and discuss it.

I'd balk at playing with an open hand. I played another game open hand once and it was a very un-enjoyable experience. Other players would give me 'suggestions' and basically try play the game for me, which made it frustrating to learn to play. Also, we were playing with limited space and open hands sometimes made it difficult to tell which cards were in play and which cards were in peoples' hands. I very much dislike open hands.


I've always played this game with open hands, in both Organized Play and regular play, and everyone I've played with has played with open hands, except one guy. I've never run into a problem with one player trying to play for another.

Playing with open hands makes the game more interesting, as you can see what other players are considering. It's also a stopgap on overlooking something obvious. Most of all, it enables you to tell at a glance how many blessings are available to the party when considering whether or not to play yours.


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magnitt wrote:


I feel that it is not normal or fun when one of the characters is much better than others and so he does multiple explores each turn while others mostly explore once a turn and keep playing blessings and cures on that character. Even if such a strategy would be more beneficial to the group as a whole, it is not fun.
...

Each player should feel that he is actively contributing to victory, not just support others. Yes, some characters are more support-oriented, I did Lem and Oloch myself, but it is not normal or nice to exclusively limit some player to supporting others. It is not good if one player says "Guys, I'm better than you, so I'll use my blessing to explore and you will play yours to support me".

This is entirely a player style question. Some players (myself included) enjoy playing 4e d&d warlords, mmo healers, moba supports, and are perfectly happy to 'actively contribute to victory' through means other than exploration (buffing, scouting, healing, card passing, movement powers, etc.). Others don't, and prefer parties with everyone played mid-range. The fact that the game has characters (or builds of characters) that are good at being self-sufficient (Merisiel), characters/builds that are good at supporting, and those acting as fast exploring and/or bane-destroying 'carries' given adequate support (see: Imrijka/Ranzak/Alain) is a *feature*, not a problem. Playing Damiel as a hyper-support for someone else's Ranzak, feeding him Potions of Heroism, Flying, and Speed spells to help the party steamroll is a fun play-style for some of us. There is nothing 'abnormal' about it, it's just a matter of taste, just as some people enjoy playing lazy warlords (who fight by granting attacks to other characters), and others loathe them.

That being said, you're entirely right that no one should feel obligated to simply maximize party efficiency if doing so requires playing in a way they find un-fun. But the only problem is the player who says "you have to do [x] for me", not the fact that characters exist for whom optimal (in terms of party success) play is a style you find un-fun. Since (as your experience shows) it is perfectly possible to win with your preferred playstyle, there's no problem with the game supporting more role-specialization as an option as well.

(As an aside on character power-level---in looking at how explorer/destroyer characters synergize with more support-minded characters enabling them, it's simply incorrect to say that the heavy-exploring character is necessarily *better*. In many cases, it is the character with the healing/scouting/buffing that is the more essential one (the cleric can keep curing any random character's blessings/allies back to achieve fast enough party exploration to win, but Ranzak can only carry with the right comrades backing him up).


philosorapt0r wrote:
This is entirely a player style question. Some players (myself included) enjoy playing 4e d&d warlords, mmo healers, moba supports, and are perfectly happy to 'actively contribute to victory' through means other than exploration <...> There is nothing 'abnormal' about it, it's just a matter of taste

Yes, you are quite right. Being a long time with a group where everyone likes to explore things I just got used to the idea that it is "normal", but I agree that this is not always the case.

philosorapt0r wrote:
it's simply incorrect to say that the heavy-exploring character is necessarily *better*

You are right, they are not always better "as is", but note that they tend to become better as a result of exploring more often because they are more likely to acquire boons which are good for them. That's another reason why we like to let every character explore - magic users go to locations with spells and fighters go for weapons. This increases our chances to find (and acquire!) more good boons for everyone.

And I agree that scouting can be extremely useful. Sometimes (with Alahazra) even a bit too useful. With her exploring became much less a thrill, it almost felt like a different game, much less exciting. But this is also the question of what you prefer. This is what is so great about this game - you can always customize it to suit your (and your group's) preferences.


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Jim John wrote:
If you don't want a boon, survey the table to see if someone else wants it.

I agree, but I also think this goes both ways. Yes, if you encounter a boon and don't want it, make sure no one else does. But also, if you aren't the one exploring pay attention so you can say that you'd really like that boon. Basically, as long as the exploring player isn't playing a super speed, there should be plenty of time for both the exploring player and the non-exploring player to speak up.

It might not always work in organized play where you aren't with the same group of players each time, but in our "home" games, it isn't to hard to know which boons other characters will probably want. "My Damiel just encountered this Melee weapon. Seltyiel, do you want to give me a blessing to help me get this if you want it? Otherwise, I've got no chance."

I think all three of your points can be summed up as "consider others (better than yourself)." Really, all etiquette can. If it isn't your game, ask about having drinks. If it is, and you don't want drinks at the table, say so but also try to come up with a solution. (Maybe another table near by with drinks on it.)

The one I'd contribute though, is don't take anyone's turn for them. I know that 4 of the people Calthaer and I play with don't own the game themselves and therefore can't possibly know the rules as well as we do. I try to be very conscious to both (a) not tell them how to play their character and (b) not call them for breaking every little rule. If they break a rule but I don't think it has a real impact on the game, there is no need for me to speak up. They occasionally ask if they can play a card a certain way or use a power, and if they ask I'll give my opinion. But if they don't and the thing they aren't doing isn't ridiculous, (ie playing Levitate for to determine a skill in a combat check), there isn't a reason for me to say anything. I'm very conscious of the fact that I could tend to be an "alpha gamer" but having people play with me is more important then having people play "right".


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We tend to play a mixture of closed & opened hands. When someone runs into a tricky bane, they just ask if anyone can help. Works pretty well for us so far.

My peeve is definitely cellphones. I don't want to hear someone start their turn in a game by asking "Ok... what's going on again?" Everyone else was paying attention and knows what's going on.


Hawkmoon269 wrote:
The one I'd contribute though, is don't take anyone's turn for them. I know that 4 of the people Calthaer and I play with don't own the game themselves and therefore can't possibly know the rules as well as we do. I try to be very conscious to both (a) not tell them how to play their character and (b) not call them for breaking every little rule. If they break a rule but I don't think it has a real impact on the game, there is no need for me to speak up. They occasionally ask if they can play a card a certain way or use a power, and if they ask I'll give my opinion. But if they don't and the thing they aren't doing isn't ridiculous, (ie playing Levitate for to determine a skill in a combat check), there isn't a reason for me to say anything. I'm very conscious of the fact that I could tend to be an "alpha gamer" but having people play with...

+1 for this

I am *very* cognizant of the above when I'm out at OP. I even go so far as to treat my daughter differently when we're playing at home versus at OP. She's 14 and is fully capable of mostly playing on her own, but she will ask and sometimes doesn't do the most optimal thing.

At home, she and I are both fine with her brother or I stopping her and saying "do you really want to do this?" or "have you considered doing this other thing?" or even "what were you thinking?!? that won't work!" :).

When we're at our OP, I tend to leave her make her decisions unless, as Hawkmoon points out, that she is doing something ridiculous. And even then I am more gentle than I would be at home.

I really like our OP leader as I find that he is great at how he supports and suggests people in our group. I would hope to be like him when I'm leading a group, but I suspect that I'm still a bit heavy-handed when it comes to laying out strategies for scenarios and such.


magnitt wrote:


philosorapt0r wrote:
it's simply incorrect to say that the heavy-exploring character is necessarily *better*

You are right, they are not always better "as is", but note that they tend to become better as a result of exploring more often because they are more likely to acquire boons which are good for them. That's another reason why we like to let every character explore - magic users go to locations with spells and fighters go for weapons. This increases our chances to find (and acquire!) more good boons for everyone.

That's a good point, which I wasn't thinking about due to my own groups' habits regarding loot acquisition and distribution (throw everything at any meaningful upgrades, and pool everything new and divvy it up to whoever can best use it); if a group tends towards letting whoever finds something keep it (if they want to), or having people explore without enough backup to make difficult checks to acquire, then you definitely need to spread the exploring out to make sure everyone gets the fun of getting new stuff.

And yes, there's definitely tension between spreading loot so that everyone feels they're getting their fair share, and putting it where it helps the party most. While it comes up with high-exploring/carry characters (who will encounter more banes, and so benefit more than average from the latest-and-greatest boons), the more general consideration is that you want the most awesome cards to get played as often as possible, which means characters with large hand-size, fast-cycling playstyle (like Alhazra), and/or recursion abilities (like Lem/Feiya/Seoni/Alhazra) get more out of upgrades (other than cards like weapons that sit in your hand, and so are roughly equal for everyone who can use them). On the other hand, characters with strong abilities that use random cards (bard/rogue recharges, etc.), or low-cycling characters (low-hand-size martials, but also anyone with frequently-used put-on-top-of-deck powers) don't suffer as much from having low-power cards, so can afford to be lower priority in the upgrade queue. Player tolerance for this sort of approach to loot distribution, of course, will vary :).


philosorapt0r wrote:
And yes, there's definitely tension between spreading loot so that everyone feels they're getting their fair share, and putting it where it helps the party most.

Our games haven't had this tension and I'm not sure that it is entirely because it's been my son, my daughter, and I. In all three games, we've just naturally chosen three different characters that need three different things.

In RotR, we had Sajan, Seelah, and Seoni.
In S&S, we had Seltyiel, Damiel, and Lini.
In WotR, we have Balazar, Seelah, and Adowyn.

Each of those three characters has wanted different things - Sajan wants blessings, Seelah wanted good Melee weapons, and Seoni wanted Arcane spells. Seltyiel wanted Arcane spells and Swords, Damiel wanted potions, Lini wanted allies and ranged weapons (at least the way that my daughter made her).

The closest we got was Damiel and Lini arguing over crossbows and guns but theme actually won over as my daughter wanted Lini using crossbows over guns so Damiel got the guns. :)

I can totally see if you had characters that overlapped how that would cause some tension. Put Seltyiel and Jirianne together and you have arguments over swords. Some of the tension then could be alleviated by the initial choice of characters. Having said that, I wouldn't let that concern override my desire to have fun and play a certain character.


jduteau wrote:
philosorapt0r wrote:
And yes, there's definitely tension between spreading loot so that everyone feels they're getting their fair share, and putting it where it helps the party most.

Our games haven't had this tension and I'm not sure that it is entirely because it's been my son, my daughter, and I. In all three games, we've just naturally chosen three different characters that need three different things.

In RotR, we had Sajan, Seelah, and Seoni.
In S&S, we had Seltyiel, Damiel, and Lini.
In WotR, we have Balazar, Seelah, and Adowyn.

Each of those three characters has wanted different things - Sajan wants blessings, Seelah wanted good Melee weapons, and Seoni wanted Arcane spells. Seltyiel wanted Arcane spells and Swords, Damiel wanted potions, Lini wanted allies and ranged weapons (at least the way that my daughter made her).

The closest we got was Damiel and Lini arguing over crossbows and guns but theme actually won over as my daughter wanted Lini using crossbows over guns so Damiel got the guns. :)

I can totally see if you had characters that overlapped how that would cause some tension. Put Seltyiel and Jirianne together and you have arguments over swords. Some of the tension then could be alleviated by the initial choice of characters. Having said that, I wouldn't let that concern override my desire to have fun and play a certain character.

I agree that with 3p parties (and some carefully chosen 4p) you can mostly avoid overlap for str/dex/arcane/divine, and to a lesser extent items/allies based on slots (or via specialized items like S&S's stat-gems). Characters like Damiel & Sajan (whose desired cards aren't high priority for others) are especially awesome for this.

Mostly, this comes up in bigger games (where weapon/spell overlap is unavoidable), or with boons that are great for everyone (Besmara's Tricorne!). Moreso for spells than weapons, as there's diminishing utility for upgrading your 2nd/3rd/4th best weapons, compared with having at least one really good one. Picking who gets the shapechange/steal soul/Dreamstone Fragment will have a real effect on whose character has a bigger impact on scenarios. Some people care, others are in a more chill/cooperative mode where power differential isn't a big deal to them.

Adventure Card Game Designer

I'm pretty sure I have never played open-handed.
I'm pretty sure every other member of the design team plays open-handed.

Pathfinder ACG Developer

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I like playing open-handed, but I try not to pay _too much_ attention to what others have. I also try not to have turns that are too long; this is extra important if you're a high-explore character and you've got at least one low-explore character in the mix.

Both of those points erode the closer the game is; if the blessings deck is tight or someone is in danger, I'll turn off casual mode and start trying to optimize my turn, and maybe everyone else's. No one's ever called me on it, so I don't think I overdo it, but it's always a concern.

I'm pretty happy with everyone playing open or closed, but I tend to want to know the following things:
1) Can you fight
2) Can you easily assist (blessings, etc)
3) Are you in any danger of dying

If I can pretty much tell that, then do what you gotta do. Though please make it clear what you're encountering. Stealthily picking it up and reading it to yourself is less fun for me.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I even push it to the level that if I play a high-explore character and someone else plays a low-explore one, I always check if I cannot give him a blessing or ally at the start of my turn. He usually will have a better use of it.

Grand Lodge

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

There's a balance all of us have to hit when playing. There are always going to be differences between OP and home play. I don't like pushing people to do things while running OP but I also have to point out options so they can become better players and see the different ways of doing things. Like looking around the table can also mean what blessing is on top of the discard pile. BotG is a powerful blessing especially when copying that. When you have low-explore players that aren't cycling their cards effectively, maybe you don't point it out early in the game but if they've been fairly ineffective with multi-explores or helping others, it might be time to cycle/discard the cards that aren't useful. But it's a balance.

And one thing I've pointed out game after game is that you need to read your cards. They have options on the powers that may be key to certain conditions. Know when to take loot cards and when not to. Banner of Valor is not very effective if you're up against aberrations and hags.


We did have one fellow in OP that consistently used up all of his cards and is constant need of healing. We all joke about it and it doesn't hurt us too much. On one scenario, he got hoisted on his own petard. We were actually doing quite well and had chased the villain to one location which was the only location left. He didn't have many cards left and there wasn't much he could do after his initial explore. I strongly hinted that he could just reset and then just be in a support mode for the rest of the turns. We had something like 10 blessings left in the blessing deck, so it was a given that, assuming no massively bad barriers occurred, he would be okay. Instead, he explored one more time. Okay, that's fine. Then he explored *again*. Out came a bad monster or barrier (can't remember which), and bang he was dead. He had to discard a bunch of cards and no matter how much healing we gave him, he didn't have enough cards.

My daughter and I went on to find the villain and beat him up and win the scenario. If he had just listened! :)


Mike Selinker wrote:

I'm pretty sure I have never played open-handed.

I'm pretty sure every other member of the design team plays open-handed.

We hadn't played open-handed until our first OP. After that, we just started doing it at home. I can remember that my son was initially opposed to it but now gets mad when my daughter wants to go close-handed. :)

Paizo Employee Contributor

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I have a trick we've started doing: When someone examines a card, we turn it over so it sits face-up on its location deck. That way it's not a memory game; we know just what it is, and each of us can tell by looking. (If we have to shuffle that deck, of course, we flip it back over before shuffling.)

I don't remember which group I played with had picked that up, but it's helped speed play.

Also, I've never seen the need for one of the big play mats, but we used those in the OP at GenCon, and my wife insists they lay everything out more intuitively. So we bought one, and have used it regularly since GenCon.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

If by "explores a card" you mean examine, we have always done that as well. Our games are usually accompanied by a lack of sobriety, so there is little chance that we will all remember what the card was, especially if it is a card we aren't familiar with, after a few minutes of focusing on other locations and what not.

We take it a step further and if we know which location the villain is in, we'll mark it with a die or a mini so that everyone remembers not to explore there until we're ready to wrap up the scenario.

Paizo Employee Contributor

nondeskript wrote:
If by "explores a card" you mean examine, we have always done that as well.

Oops, yes, fixed.

Grand Lodge

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

Same about Examine. If someone examines the top of the deck and puts something back on top, we flip it so we all know what's waiting. (Sometimes we forget what we've placed second or third, though!)


jduteau wrote:
I really like our OP leader as I find that he is great at how he supports and suggests people in our group. I would hope to be like him when I'm leading a group, but I suspect that I'm still a bit heavy-handed when it comes to laying out strategies for scenarios and such.

Thank you very kindly, sir. Your cheque's in the mail.

But seriously, that's really nice of you to say, as well as awfully reassuring; I've been reading through this thread thinking, "Ugh, is that ME?"

I've tried -- especially with new players -- to offer helpful suggestions without being, as you say, heavy-handed. Like, if someone has a Lightning Touch and a Force Missile, and they run across a monster that actually ISN'T immune to electricity, I might remind them of the fact that there are lots that ARE when they're choosing what spell to use.

It's most heartening to hear that it comes across as helpful rather than overbearing. I have no interest in playing other people's turns for them... I sometimes feel like I can barely handle my own...

I'm on Team Open Hand. I love those "If you do that... with my this... and HIS THAT, this Spectacular Thing(TM) could happen!" moments.


Open hand definitely makes the game go faster. Closed is like playing Go Fish and its tedious.
HOWEVER, it has affected the mechanics of the game. Most of my group has upgraded to 6 card hands. I want to go to 7, but with open hands, we simply don't have room on the table for it. Technically it has affected us, but it doesn't seem like that huge a deal.


We play open hand since day 1. Mostly due to sobriety issues and the healers/assist/pseudo-gm always keep an eye on other members. We don't leave cards face up unless told as there's a mechanic for that and memory is part of the game.

Annoyances (nothing major.. Some are funny) :
- Taking bio *just* when it's your turn ( he he .. When ya gotta go.. Ya gotta go..)
- Reckless risks without considering team members (want to blow through & explore everything on his own turn..."hey you've got a heal.. Cool .. I can blow ahead...")
- Not paying attention and dying (despite repeated repeated repeated points made to always count deck & ask for help)
- he who forgets to put a card into location deck due to not-paying-attention causing everyone to rebuild the scenario.. (Usually followed by much heckling, booing & hissing ...easily rectified by a round of beers..)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Ron Lundeen wrote:
I have a trick we've started doing: When someone examines a card, we turn it over so it sits face-up on its location deck. That way it's not a memory game; we know just what it is, and each of us can tell by looking. (If we have to shuffle that deck, of course, we flip it back over before shuffling.)

We do the same thing.

I do have an issue if people try to rush in on an explore when it's clear they didn't actually think about it, (though I've been guilty of it myself and I hate myself when I do it) but I don't do much more than gently remind them.


nondeskript wrote:
My peeve is definitely cellphones. I don't want to hear someone start their turn in a game by asking "Ok... what's going on again?" Everyone else was paying attention and knows what's going on.

So much this. It doesn't help when it's your wife either.

It's particularly annoying when they ask how the game ended when they were sitting right there but on their phone.

Open hands are the way to go for my group though. I really couldn't imagine playing another way. There are definitely times when I've forgotten about something I *could* do and my team mates remind me that I've got that ability with a card in my hand. Same goes for my team mates and reminding them of their cards that can help or their character abilities.

"Hey consider the wisdom check you've got besmara's tricorne in your hand, you get two dice."

"You should pick up that trash boon anyways you can use it with feiya's recharge ability and we know that monster is up next."

Half of the game is remembering how everyone can help.

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