1-4B With A Bit of a Mind Flip

Pathfinder Adventure Card Society

This scenario reads:

1-4B wrote:
After you add henchmen to location decks, divide each deck in half to create 2 decks for each location card. Treat each as a separate location. When you close a location, banish both of its location decks.

When this same approach was used in the Season of the Shackles, the popular (but not official) view on this forum was a closing check had to be made for each of the split location decks.

1-4A is made more challenging due to the scenario power:

1-4B wrote:
At the end of your move step, if you are at an open location, roll 1d6. If the result is odd, move to the other deck for your location card.

Half the time you move to the unclosed half of a half-closed location, you will be moved to the closed half, and waste a turn. It's true you gain a lot of time from only having to go through half the location decks, but you could have a tough time cornering the villain.

Can we get an official ruling on whether you need to make a closing check for each half of a location deck?

Pathfinder ACG Developer

I'll take the blame on this one. I tried to use different wording to avoid this problem, but did not do so clearly enough.

So... stay tuned for Tanis or Vic to provide the final word, but I'd suggest not using the unofficial fix for SotS's scenario until you hear otherwise.

Keith, thanks for your comments, on this issue and the other one.

Tanis, can we have an official ruling?

Pathfinder ACG Developer

For full clarity, until it gets its update, I strongly suggest that everyone does not banish both location decks, leaving one open that needs to then be closed. In addition to being frustrating, you could banish the villain.

Instead, you should _close_ both locations when one would be closed, which requires checking for the villain.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Keith Richmond wrote:

For full clarity, until it gets its update, I strongly suggest that everyone does not banish both location decks, leaving one open that needs to then be closed. In addition to being frustrating, you could banish the villain.

Instead, you should _close_ both locations when one would be closed, which requires checking for the villain.

This is what I did when I ran through with solo-Seelah. Seemed to work fine.

What happens when you actually encounter the villain? Does the half that doesn't contain the villain close?

We ran through it tonight and won by the skin of our teeth - but that was because we spent a turn moving to the still open location.

Grand Lodge

We played it last night. We played it that both closed when one of them closed. Only the villain was left at one location and we turned that location into a single deck.

What was more interesting wss that the villain was discovered early. Harsk took him on and put the outsider down. Closed both locations but we didn't attempt closes because there were so many locations open.

Does one take the villain and blessings equal to the location cards - 1? That's what we did. Shuffled. Then put one card at each location card. Combined the two location decks. Shuffled and split them back to two decks.

This happened twice. Did we do right or is it one blessing per each location deck? (That would be devastating for an early loss to the villain.)

Also, does an attempt to close affect both locations or just the one you're at?

Pathfinder ACG Developer

When you defeat the villain, you close both copies of the location he came from (always close both copies of a location when you close one). That said, while open every location and its copy does count as a separate location for purposes of escape. So make sure to defeat the villain, temp closes to corner are very difficult, and you'll probably get a ton of blessings this scenario.

Grand Lodge

Okay, when I play this again, we'll play it that way. Each location will be separate.

I just have to say that if you encounter the villain early and defeat him, it still is a bad thing with so many open locations cause you're adding almost double the amount of blessings from the box. Just a thought.

(We had 4 players - 6 location * 2. First location I found him. That was 10 open location and the others weren't ready to close so soon to the start of the game. Even if they closed their 3, it is still 7 open locations. It ends up being a penalty early in the scenario to encounter the villain whether you win or lose.)

Pathfinder ACG Developer

The villain squirming away as you try to close the locations is the primary difficulty in this one, yep. If you _also_ have to close both sides of each location instead of both closing together, it'd be too hard.

So when you permanently close a location, you close both halves, but when you temporarily close a location, you only close the half you're at?

Pathfinder ACG Developer

That was the intent. It's possible that the final version of this will work otherwise, depending on the wording chosen.

Durr, my brain not work last night. I was suppose to ask the question elcoderdude asked.

Specifically though, I wanted to ask about the case where you try to perm close a location and you find the villain in the deck. The rules say the location remains open; does the other half close? If it doesn't, this means even if you have everyone in position to temp close, you still have a 50-50 chance of not being able to encounter the villain, which is not fun (we had 2 people set up to defeat the villain on our barely winning thing, and we had the resources to do it just we could have been easily screwed at a 25% that we had no control over.

Pathfinder ACG Developer

I believe no matter how it works, you've got the 50/50. That said, there's no randomness when you use powers to move, such as on a horse ally, so it is possible to ensure success there.

We had everyone setup at the open locations to temp close if the villain tries to escape (the grinder was the only open location at this point other than the Molten Pool where the villain was)

As it's currently constructed, because half a location is always open if you encounter the villain, this is correct. Horse Allies don't help - the random move is at the end of your move phase, and Horse Allies move at the end of the _turn_.

There are very few items to actually move during your explore phase. Potion of Flying in the Fighter deck; Droogami from Iconic Heroes #1 does it too but you need to use the Druid deck coming out in a month; Teleport/Spherewalker's Staff also work but Teleport is a 4 which means you only get 1 shot at them before 1-4B, and Boots of Teleportation would work except that it comes too late.

The Celestial Unicorn in WotR would also allow you to do it, but I think this particular scenario is Ally light; there's like 5-6 Allies for 4p IIRC.

Mythic Trickster I think also allows you to move after an encounter which uses DEX or INT, so that would work too.

Speaking as a member of zeroth_hour's group, I think it would be a solid idea to add some sort of catch to the movement roll, that if failed, allows the character to remain at that half (such as say, 1d4+1 reducible damage or 2 to 3 irreducible damage).

Call it mental anguish to remain steadfast or something, but it would allow players a little more agency in this scenario, be (potentially, if done correctly) flavorful, and not make it much easier.

Pathfinder ACG Developer

zeroth_hour wrote:
As it's currently constructed, because half a location is always open if you encounter the villain

Let's say the Villain is in the first Grinder; you can have a second character temp close the second Grinder. So there does not _need_ to be an open location.

In testing, it's easier to close split locations, which makes the scenario easier. On the other hand, it's harder to prevent the villain's escape, which bounces things back to normal; just in a crazier less controllable fashion.

Mental damage to avoid the random move sounds like a good home adaptation / option. I suspect it would get used pretty rarely, except in instances like ensuring you get the villain or when you know there's a henchman on top of one stack and several cards in the other.


OMFG this scenario was so long.

And maybe the toughest scenario so far, we ended with 5 blessings in our 2 player group, which is the lowest so far. Low on health too at points, risky.

We got lucky and didn't get moved often.

Apparently we didn't even play it right since we temp closed a shared location to win. I think this scenario would be too hard without doing that, it's already bad enough that encountering the villain early basically distributes blessings everywhere (potentially from the blessings deck).

I disagree that it's a good scenario for blessings. First of all, there are no new blessings in AD4 (unless our deck pack was wrong). Second, since there are only AD2-4 blessings available (plus Ascension), we're drawing Ascensions 95% of the time. So blessings upgrades are super rare.

And thank god for redeemed Black Robes.

Prior to Keith's clarification about temp closings, we won this one in a walk, with Zarlova, WotR Kyra, Flenta and CD Merisiel.

We did make it easier by temp closing both halves of a location at once. (This seemed a logical interpretation of Keith's directive "you should _close_ both locations when one would be closed"). Cornering the villain would have been much more difficult otherwise. I think we would have ended up fighting him at every open location, because it's so hard to have characters on each half of the locations to temp close.

Just to clarify, you don't have to temp close the other half of the villain's location if you beat the villain, because both halves close when he's defeated.

Pathfinder ACG Developer

Elcoderdude is indeed absolutely right about the villain close.

I'm honestly happy with however people try to do it; but I wouldn't mind getting some data either way. At some point the powers what be will probably errata it, and might as well make it the best it can be.

I forgot about the Pegasus, which will also allow you to move and explore; it's not only a 3 Ally, but it is also in the Paladin deck.

(Mentally adds list of things that might be useful when encountering a new scenarios)

I'm late to the party but I'm still confused about the scenario.

According to the scenario rules, the villain only enters the game when a henchman is encountered. But only half of the locations have the henchmen, and all these henchmen can be banished without being encountered by emptying the opposite halfs of their location decks.

Granted, this either involves a lot of luck or clever scouting, but this would make the scenario unwinnable.

Luckily, there is also an easy fix:
Once only two halfs of the same location are left open, don't permanently close the last location after emptying the deck without the henchman and search for the last henchman in the other half instead.

I'm just bringing this up to see if an unwinnable condition should be reachable in the first place.

Lone Shark Games

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I'm okay with people knowing how to win and choosing to lose.

Finished this one last night. The instructions were badly written and we felt we weren't clear on a couple of key aspects.

For instance, scenario tells you to treat both stacks as separate locations, but then tell you when you close A location to banish both stacks, which:
A) Doesn't seem to make much sense if the other stack is its own separate location
B) It is not clear if the two banished stacks are treated as TWO separate close locations (seemingly contradicted by "When you close A location...), or as ONE closed locations (seemingly supported by banishing both stacks with one location close). This is quite important for the Qlyppoth Runestone's "move to a random location" effect, as treating banished stacks as two locations greatly reduced our chances to be teleported somewhere useful and not waste a turn (only one character could meet QR's Wisdom 9 check)

The 50/50 random move mechanic, that you cannot influence at all was not fun. Several times our "closing guy" just had to go to an empty stack and close, but instead was moved to the full stack. We get that it's just a variation of "Henchman is actually shuffled on the bottom", but it felt frustrating and I can imagine it would be even worse if we actually had to waste full turns being moved from the Villain's stack to the neignboring empty stack, just because of bad luck rolls. Speaking of which:

- Seelah defeated closing henchman at Befould Altar and proceeded to close, finding the villain in the opposite stack. We FELT like we're supposed to still banish both stacks, leave the villain in Stack A and treat the empty Stack B as an open location - but this is because we tried to apply the general rules for closing A location, while the stacks are treated as TWO locations (with no instructions beyond a successful no-Villain-found close) - so we're not sure if we proceeded by scenario RAW, developer's RAI or either at all.

- Finally, elcoderdude suggests above that you DON'T need to temp-close the villain's opposite stack (which seems correct, as you close the defeated villain's location BEFORE you check if he escapes), but there's also Keith's Grinder examples that specifically says we're supposed to temp-close the opposite stack. So which is it (and if it's Keith's option - why? We could be missing something, but if so - there could be further rules adjustment needed).

All in all, we actually found the setup interesting and didn't find it particularly difficult (but as a shout out - F you, Melazmera!) , the main frustration was that we actually spent too much time in meta-discussions how the scenario is *supposed* to work. So yeah, if someone ever gets around to updating that...

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