New player incoming, shooting the breeze and asking stupid questions.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game General Discussion


Hey guys. Nothing serious or pressing here, I don't own a copy yet; looking forward to it; and like to talk shop with fellow hobbyists.

I am a 31 y/o gamer father of four (one of which is autistic, so he practically counts as two. ;) ) on a shoestring budget who lives hours (110 miles in fact) away from anything resembling a "gaming community"
I usually overcome this with a hefty dose of PC gaming, but this year in an effort to get away from the screen a bit, I'mma bust into PACG with y'all. (My wife decided years ago to expedite matters by just having me pick my gift from her).

[u]Which Base?[/u]
So should I start with RotRL?, SnS, or Wrath? Subscribing is out, and I've no particular need to experience the adventure at the same time as everyone else or anything like that, and I'm nearly 98% sure this foray into a new facet of the hobby will be entirely solo for the duration.
My kneejerk reaction was naturally to start with Runelords. Since everyone says the rules "improve" or "clutter-up" or at any rate "change" with each iteration, the biggest part of me would like to experience the system itself in it's earliest form, to better appreciate the changes wrought in the following versions... however Wrath can be had for a pretty gnarly sale price in several places, at least until the 1st (and yes, that is a sizable consideration for my household); and Skulls can actually be had at a "nearby" (110 miles, but I have to head cityward for work semi-frequently), bookstore.
Furthermore the majority of reviews I've read say Skulls substantially improved the mechanics for the game, is that so? The Pirate theme suits me fine, should I just go ahead and start there? Does Wrath improve it farther?
What direction would you jump on that count?

[u]Portable?[/u]
Just for discussions sake, how feasible would it be to cut out your character deck(s) and the cards for the appropriate location and the blessing deck and carry them on a trip with you for a 30 minute session here or there if you wind up sitting for a time? Or is the game situated such that you really need to haul the box with you to play?

[u]Rocks?[/u]
Which die do you find twould be most practical to have extras of? (I'm thinking the d4, seems to be the most card-text added one)

...uh.. thanks for tolerating the pointless jabber.


I think the most recent set is always the best as they continue to evolve, innovate and streamline.

You have to pull cards from the box an awful lot so you pretty much need all the cards.

You can use a dice rolling app on your phone, you don't have to worry about having the right dice and adding them all up. You are going to roll your primary die a lot because of blessings so that's going to be d10 or d12 mostly. The d4's are only things you bother rolling if you didn't pass purely based on your main dice.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

All the sets are good. If you are on a budget, go for whatever one you can get for the least money. I don't know where are, but Skull and Shackles is available for about $25 from some sellers on Amazon. If you don't have a strong feel about theme, then get the most you can out of your budget.

You do need most of the cards because of random draws. You could however use a generic card box to make it more portable.


I think Rise of the Runelords is the best set because it has the strongest theme.

Skull & Shackles is the best set because it is mechanically more interesting and I'm predisposed to Pirates.

Wrath is the best set because it's got the most mature rules set and my favorite mechanic (cohorts).


There will always be a special place for Runelords in my gaming love. It was the first of the boxes and I played and is still the one I go back to from time to time when hubby and I are looking into gaming. As far as transporting the game, when we went to Japan, we put all of our cards in a portable box (like the one Hawkmoon linked) and it worked perfectly. We put little post it tabs in there so we could tell where everything was.
I'm always excited to hear about new people joining this game that takes so much of my time nowadays! I hope you enjoy whichever adventure you find.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Hello and welcome, juxstapo!

Which Base?

Before I tell you which set I recommend, I would like to first mention that any of the 3 base sets would be a fantastic choice and they are well crafted and will bring you excellent PACG experience. As Sir Hawkmoon suggests, getting whichever is cheaper or most convenient to buy is a sound advice.

Now, I want to mention some of the most popular reasons that people are turned off by for each set...
RotR: too easy, different printing cards
S&S: Pirate theme
Wrath: Base scenarios too difficult/punishing

But again, these reasons do not reflect the overall feedback of all players. If you really don't mind the pirate theme then starting Skulls would be a smart choice. But my personal suggestion is to start with RotR just because the mechanics are much simpler in my opinion. Ships, plunder, cohorts, corruption, mythic are all great and fun mechanics but I think starting with RotR will make you appreciate them more. So basically, I personally suggest you go with your knee jerk reaction. Just make sure you get all cards in the same printing or just sleeve them.

Portable?

No. You really need to have access to the box while playing as a lot of cards ask you to draw from the box or summon other things from the box.

Rocks?
It varies by character which dice you need more of. Some roll a lot of d8 some roll multiple d10 etc. It has been hard for me to foresee which dice you will roll multiple of constantly because it depends on group composition and other factors. So either get multiple sets of each or just play out your character(s) and go from there.

Whatever you choose as your first set, I hope you enjoy this fantastic game, and maybe your family will enjoy it too! :) And hopefully eventually you get all 3 sets and experience it all because: FUN!


On the question of portability:

For about the same price as the generic cardboard card box, you can get this:

1600 Card case at Amazon.com

There is one that has space for the entire game, and some smaller. If you aren't in need of the entire game at once, the smaller 650 card holder should be enough to make it portable.... I got the largest one but haven't used it yet, though it seems pretty nice.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

And, if you are going to try to make it as portable as possible, here is some info on what you will and won't need. First, let's define cards that are "in the box". As you play, you add cards from adventure decks to the box. You only start removing cards during adventure 3. That means that the cards that would be in your box will always be:
1. The same or less than as the adventure deck number of the scenario you are playing.
2. Not removed from the game starting in Adventure 3.

With that in mind:

Locations...
Locations from B and 1 can repeat in any later adventure. So you might use a B or 1 location in an adventure 5 scenario. For all other locations (2-6) they only appear during the adventure they come with.

Villains...
With only a few exceptions, you'll only need the villain for the scenario you are playing. For example, in RotR you need to keep the Sandpoint Devil around. In S&S, you need the Pirate Council.

Henchman...
They follow the same rule as the locations. Some barriers also summon certain henchmen, but that isn't too hard to figure out.

Monsters, Barrier, Weapons, Spell, Armors, Items, Allies, Blessings...
You'll need all of them.

I know others have basically used this idea to limit how many cards they sleeve (a very popular activity). They only keep sleeved the cards that could possibly come into play. So, if you really want to see how portable you can make the game, searching for those threads will be helpful.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Took a bit of digging, but here's my impassioned plea/love letter to S&S, still my favorite PACG set, somewhat because of theme, but mostly because its interesting mechanics are more immediately comprehensible than Wrath's (I look at Portable Exorcism Kit and my eyes glaze over; all that text for a +1 to Divine for one turn? zzzzzz) and it's got the best difficulty balance in the series. I like Wrath a lot but, barring the villain encounters (which are mostly solved by judicious scouting and 6d20 to the face as the final roll), its difficulty has slid down nearly to RotR levels--again, with way more fiddly bits, like having to recount your skill bonuses every check because you're getting like +16 to your roll from 4 different sources.


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

If you don't sleeve your cards and end up going with Rise of the Runelords, exercise great care that you get everything in the same printing, otherwise the differences in card backs and card sizes will be noticeable to the naked eye, which can ruin the game for some. The second printing of Rise has a bit more clarity to it, so I'd recommend that one (plus it's the one that matches later sets and the Class Decks should you decide to pick any of those up).

If you end up going with Wrath of the Righteous, note that the introductory (base) scenarios are frankly brutal, and give even experienced players a hard time. There is some advice on how to tweak them to make them less hard.

Per Hawkmoon, if you don't find any strong attachment to any set in particular, going with what best fits your budget is a great strategy. All 3 sets are stand-alone and do not require playing through previous sets in order to understand what to do.

Whatever you do end up going with, note that each set has a fair amount of errata. You can find that online in the FAQ (links below), and if you have any questions all of us here are nice and don't bite (much)! :)

Have fun with PACG!


skizzerz wrote:
If you don't sleeve your cards and end up going with Rise of the Runelords, exercise great care that you get everything in the same printing, otherwise the differences in card backs and card sizes will be noticeable to the naked eye, which can ruin the game for some.

Vic Wertz has said if you order the Rise of the Runelords products from the Paizo website, everything will be second printing.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
elcoderdude wrote:
skizzerz wrote:
If you don't sleeve your cards and end up going with Rise of the Runelords, exercise great care that you get everything in the same printing, otherwise the differences in card backs and card sizes will be noticeable to the naked eye, which can ruin the game for some.
Vic Wertz has said if you order the Rise of the Runelords products from the Paizo website, everything will be second printing.

Did we say that recently? Cause I got most of my Runelords set during the non mint sale, and it was mostly 1st printing...


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

To be clear, he said it excludes non-mint copies.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Hawkmoon269 wrote:
To be clear, he said it excludes non-mint copies.

Cool thanks for the clarification!


Wow. Thanks for the warm welcome and dearth of replies guys.

Chrimmas is on it's way. The wallet made the decision as I snagged a copy of Skulls from Amazon for $25 (on the veeery last day of a Cyber monday sale).

Say, can anyone attest right off if there is any difference between the RotR Merisiel and the SnS one?

After Christmas, I might snag Space Hulk: Death Angel as a portable solo card game, (unless anyone has any recommendations on this count)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
juxstapo wrote:

Wow. Thanks for the warm welcome and dearth of replies guys.

Chrimmas is on it's way. The wallet made the decision as I snagged a copy of Skulls from Amazon for $25 (on the veeery last day of a Cyber monday sale).

Good purchase. And I want to one again highlight how awesome Paizo is for basically not carrying that you don't buy directly from them. I'm sure they had no issue with the recommendation that you buy from Amazon.

juxstapo wrote:
Say, can anyone attest right off if there is any difference between the RotR Merisiel and the SnS one?

Actually, you can check them out yourself via the character sheets. It is one of many free resources you'll find here. S&S Merisiel can use Finesse weapons (basically, they should be Strength based, but she gets to used Dexterity). Compared to RotR Merisiel, she also has Craft, lower Strength and Wisdom, and higher Intelligence and Charisma. She also looses the ability to discard a card when alone for extra umph in combat (though she can still recharge it for a little umph).


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Also, there is a lot of great community created stuff for free too. There is a lot of stuff on Board Game Geek. I'd call out the Adventure Guide and Accessories but there is other good stuff too. Also, keep this website in mind longterm: http://www.welbybumpus.com/. It will let you basically replay through Skull and Shackles with a new story and scenarios and stuff. But do the regular one first.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

You made the right choice; S&S is the best one.


...

O_O

...

Hawk, while attempting to placate an itch waiting for Amazon to hurry the drone up I went ahead and looked at welbybumpus... and now my mind is blown.


Grats on going for S&S! I recently started playing a month ago (mostly solo), and it's been a total blast.

Definitely check out the S&S FAQ as everyone has suggested. Though, it might actually help to play your first game solo just from the rulebook, then go over the FAQ as a lot of it might make more sense with some context. Eh, you might screw up or forget a rule here and there first few times out, but it seems like a rite of passage 'round these parts. Nonetheless, even played wrong, it's still a ton more fun than many other games.

Dice will vary. Once you find your favorite characters, it will be very apparent, though it won't become a major nuisance till maybe Adventure 2. But I'd say get at least one extra set for convenience from the start: a primary mechanic of the game adds an extra die to your rolls, so you end up rolling pairs pretty often.

Oh, and you REALLY don't have to complete Adventure B before starting Adventure 1. Consider yourself warned!


.oO(Hmmm... is there something I should be wary of in Adventure B?..)Oo.

Wednesday... it arrives Woden's Day.. Wednesday is like, Forever

Silver Crusade

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Nah, Adventure B for S&S is fine. It'll be annoying not to get any feat awards for so long, but it'll help you build your deck up and learn the game before the craziness that is Press Ganged.

Adventure B for Wrath of the Righteous is a whole different story.


So it finally arrived. Let my hectic house calm down, everyone get to bed (which is super challenging with the normal kids, with an autistic one it takes on a whole new degree of prestige feat). And sat down and played the intro thing with Jirelle and a wee bit of alcohol.

It took me nearly a third of the blessings deck to iron out my grasp of the rules, which I'm sure will be a continual process.
Despite my missteps and gaffes Jirelle did her level best with the barriers and challenges we encountered; even sharp-shot her way through the first few monsters with style and panache...
Then we hit the ghost, who did a sizable amount of damage before our frantic bully stick waving and gun discharging made him dissipate into the mist, cackling as he went. She and I realized he would remain undefeated until we smacked him with something magical and we were fresh out... actually we were never fresh in. For all she is a hero and champion in my eyes, my dear Jirelle had failed every check to acquire a spell we had encountered, although she claims that my s&&~e die rolling is to blame.

So we moved, there were but three cards left in our location and one of them was that damn ghost, we hightailed it to the next spot... and immediately smacked noses with the villain. The resulting panic attack flurry of pistol fire prompted his equally startled chondrichanthropic ass to vanish into the drink, heading back the way we had come; leaving a bloody froth in his wake and Jirelle swaying on her feet from blood loss and overexertion. Our only recourse being to drag on and hope for a cure spell or suchlike... instead we succumbed to the icy caress of another ghost. I lost Jirelle.

Had fun though! Been spending brainsweat at work trying to decide who I would add to the party. Thinking Valeros and Lem... actually was planning Valeros and Lem from the get-go. Figured Jirelle just had this one job she had to do before she took the Merchantman out to pick the boys up. Didn't realize it would kill her. I guess I'll have those two (or whoever trades places with them) head on out the intro quest themselves and see what befell her... avenge her, and resurrect her if needs be.

EDIT: Oh, and UltraPro's marketing technique here was both effective and diabolical.. much like a crack dealer. Including a mere 10 sleeves in the box just so you could appreciate how high-quality they are and how nice it would look and feel if All your cards were wearing them and Oh! Now you've got to decide which cards will be protected (I opted for my preferred character cards).


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

Very entertaining recap, it sounds like you're enjoying the game!

If you're playing solo, I highly recommend playing with 2 characters; it smooths out a lot of the kinks and makes things mostly surpassable -- the same cannot be said if you only bring 1 character to the table. That said, playing 2 characters also introduces additional complexity, which may be a bit too much for someone just starting out. One of those 2 characters should ideally have the Divine skill so they can have one or two of the all-important Cure spell. Another option is seeing if you can get your wife and/or kids on-board to try out a scenario or two with you :)

Finally, if you're in a tight spot, don't be afraid to give up. Losing but staying alive is far preferable to dying, given the consequences of the latter. Many groups houserule death so that the new characters aren't incredibly disadvantaged should a death happen later on in the adventure, but the rules-as-written indicate that if you start up a new character after someone dies, they start from square 0 (meaning only Basic cards and no feats). Losing on the other hand is usually a simple matter of moving everyone to a closed location (or some other location that doesn't have a chance of hurting you even if you do nothing), then waiting for the blessings deck to run out. You then get to rebuild your deck with any cards you may have picked up during the scenario and try again.

As for the sleeves, be wary if you're on a budget -- sleeving the entire game can cost almost as much as the game itself, if not more! The included sleeves are almost great for the character cards though (the almost comes from that pesky hologram that likes to cover up card text, that hologram being the sole reason why I would never personally recommend ultrapro sleeves to anyone). But you can finesse it so that the hologram goes on the backside of the card where it doesn't cover up anything you probably care about. Once the card is sleeved, you can use a sharpie to mark off your feats directly on the sleeve so you don't need to worry about marking up the cards themselves. If you don't like the prospect of writing on sleeves, you can also print out character sheets and mark on those; they're available for free online on the S&S description page.


I have no issue with the Hologram Skizzerz, I always put it in a place that doesn't matter.

Also to save funds I sleeve the cards that are in play only. The cards in the box are not sleeved. If I acquire a boon I have a pile of sleeves handy to put them into.

That way the cards seeing the most wear are sleeved, otherwise not

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Another thought would be "penny sleeves"- such as UltraPro's.


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

The hologram bugs the heck out of me, I guess I'm just pickier than most when it comes to sleeves then :)

Also the ultrapro inner fits are nice sleeves (they're thinner than a normal sleeve so they fit the insert better and they're hologram-free); I use those for PACG when I have need of a clear sleeve (and dragon shields otherwise). I order my sleeves in bulk from a distributor to save on per-unit cost.

You can probably get by with 50 sleeves; enough for your character decks and some acquired cards from location decks. Bump that to 100 and you have enough for the location decks too, although that's a lot of sleeving/unsleeving to do during prep and wrap-up.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Do the inner sleeves work ok without bending the cards? I heard people say with RotR that they were tight enough to bend the cards a bit.


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

I think it depends on what brand you go with, the inner sleeves are a very tight fit, and you could see cards being bent if you have one that was cut a bit too tight and try to force a card into it anyway. I've personally used both HCD and UltraPro inner fit sleeves, and I've had many more quality issues with the former than with UltraPro (they've been very consistently cut to the correct size, maybe have 1 or 2 sleeves that are too tight in every pack at most). As I said in my last post, I use the inner fits for everywhere I need a clear sleeve, which is all double-sided cards (story cards, characters, locations, etc.). I have yet to encounter a single bent card, although I've tossed away sleeves that were a bit too tight-fitting and went for looser sleeves instead. I can see if someone tried to get every sleeve to fit, then they might experience some bending from the sleeves themselves or even from their own hand as they try to force the sleeve on (due to the nature of the fit, you need to be very careful when putting the sleeves on so you don't bend the cards due to exerting too much force).

Another thing with RotR is the difference between printings, perhaps the first printing had slightly larger cards, which would not work at all for inner fit sleeves.

My one "gripe" with the ultrapro inner fit sleeves (compared to HCD) is that their height almost exactly matches that of the card, whereas HCD extended above the card by a mm or so. That makes the card edge a bit more vulnerable to damage if handled roughly. The tighter fit is actually a boon however if you plan on double sleeving (e.g. putting the inner fit sleeve on the card upside-down, and then putting that inside of a normal sleeve), which may not be a horrible idea if you know you play with a lot of careless people who knock over beverages at your table.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I've used Mayday MDG-7041 sleeves and they're a better fit then most penny sleeves for about 2.5 cents each. Except for the henchmen, I can sleeve all the cards and make them fit in the original inserts. It's not a big deal to just sleeve and unsleeve the henchmen and villains.

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