Using CD Characters with Older Base Sets: Overpowered Combinations?


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


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I was looking through class decks boons the other night pondering if I wanted to add them to our newly started WotR campaign (I have a WotR game, MM game, and playing the RotR app right now). I initially decided against it since some of the cards I thought might be too overpowering if used with characters outside of their class decks, but then I did a little research and found that many of those boons are naturally occurring in earlier base sets anyway.

Some examples:

Unearthly Aim wrote:

Unearthly Aim, Spell, AD2

Traits: Magic, Arcane

Banish this card to add 10 plus the scenario's adventure deck number to your combat check that has the Strength, Melee, or Ranged trait.

Now combine that with Damiel from the Alchemist Class deck:

Damiel wrote:
When you would banish a card that has the Alchemical trait or a spell for its power, you may recharge it instead.

So for Ranged Combat checks (Damiel's speciality, he has a d12 Dex), he can recharge Unearthly Aim to add 10 + the adventure deck number, trivializing almost any combat check.

As CD Damiel cannot play spells that have the Attack trait, this could spell could be errata'd by giving it the Attack trait, but that might have unintended consequences.

Zetha from the Summoner Class deck has even more fun combos with older cards. With her shadow-self cohort Ahtez she can use her Stealth skill for combat checks (if you don't play a weapon/spell), and she can banish a monster from her hand to use Stealth in the place of any skill. Which means cards like these...

Hat of Glamour wrote:

Hat of Glamour, Item, AD2

Traits: Accessory, Magic

Display this card. While displayed, add 2d6 to your non-combat Charisma or Stealth check. At the end of your turn, discard this card.

Cloak of Elvenkind wrote:

Cloak of Elvenkind, Item, AD2

Traits: Clothing, Magic

Reveal this card to add 1d6 to your Stealth check.

Recharge this card to succeed at your Stealth check.

Dwarf Caiman wrote:

Dwarf Caiman, Ally, AD0

Traits: Animal, Basic

Reveal this card to add 1d6 to your Stealth or Fortitude check

Discard this card to explore your location

...are a little overpowered. Not to mention Boots of Elvenkind, Snake, Burglar, Amulet of Fiery Fists .etc

At first blush she can recharge the Cloak / Boots of Elvenkind to succeed at her combat checks. Now, I seem to recall there being some rule where you can never auto-succeed at a combat check, but I can't find the reference right now. If I'm remembering correctly and she can't auto-succeed at combat, those cards are still very powerful for the reveals and her ability to use Stealth in the place of any other skill.

What do you all think? Game breaking, or just very useful?

What are some other combinations of Class Deck characters with cards from a base set that you've found to be overpowered?


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Unearthly Aim seems fine to me, it's recharged so you only get it for one check until you have to dig it out of your deck again. It's a good card, yes, but not game-breaking. The other cards also seem fine, the Cloak is the only iffy one, but consider Masterwork Tools which is a recharge to just outright defeat a barrier (not even having to make checks) that any character can use. The others just add a d6 or 2, which is nice but doesn't trivialize the game. More like a nice perk of finding a combo and building your character and deck towards that to be effective.

Silver Crusade

Re: Hat of Glamour, Zetha's not going to be able to use it on her combat check, because even though she's using her Stealth skill, it's still a combat check.

Re: Cloak of Elvenkind, she would not be able to use it on a combat check.


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skizzerz wrote:
The other cards also seem fine, the Cloak is the only iffy one, but consider Masterwork Tools which is a recharge to just outright defeat a barrier (not even having to make checks) that any character can use.

On that topic: Zetha may be using Stealth to fight, but it *IS* still a Combat check. And I seem to remember, somewhere between S&S and WotR, there was a discussion that going forward, all auto-succeed effects will NOT be playable on Combat checks, except if stated otherwise.

I can't seem to find such rule in MM Rulebook, so maybe it fell sideways, but I'm sure if Hawkmoon sees this thread, he'll be able to link to whatever the heck I'm talking about.

EDIT: A-and ninja'd, with the appropriate link at that :) I *still* can't find this rule in the MM though...


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Semi related but how does a Caiman make you more stealthy?

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Longshot11 wrote:

And I seem to remember, somewhere between S&S and WotR, there was a discussion that going forward, all auto-succeed effects will NOT be playable on Combat checks, except if stated otherwise.

I can't seem to find such rule in MM Rulebook, so maybe it fell sideways, but I'm sure if Hawkmoon sees this thread, he'll be able to link to whatever the heck I'm talking about.

EDIT: A-and ninja'd, with the appropriate link at that :) I *still* can't find this rule in the MM though...

We had to go another direction when we realized that that rule would make Potion of the Ocean useless. I think we're instead going to errata a subset of autosucceed cards to make them work only on non-combat checks, specifically: Quarterstaff of Vaulting, Lizard, Boots of Elvenkind, Cloak of Elvenkind, Spiritwalk Armor, Amulet of Fortitude, Potion of Fortitude, Mogmurch, Potion of Lucubration, Worn Leather Skullcap, Potion of Ruggedness, and Clockwork Owl. (This list may not be 100% accurate.)


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Pyrocat wrote:
Semi related but how does a Caiman make you more stealthy?

Real world crocodile-likes are stealthy. In the RPG, they have Skill Focus (Stealth) and Dwarf Caiman familiars give +3 to Stealth checks. Many of the animal allies reflect these sorts of bonuses even if they wouldn't normally transfer to you.

Alternatively, perhaps you throw one at the enemy and sneak around while the enemy is getting its nose bitten off. :)

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I've been playing it as if a card that let you auto-succeed at a check written on a monster would work, but if you use a power to change what type of check you're rolling you can't auto-succeed at that.

So, Potion of the Ocean would work fine, also you can use Crown of Charisma on a monster that lists Diplomacy in its check to defeat. But you couldn't use a power to change a combat check into Diplomacy then use the Crown to auto-win.

That seemed to me to be the intent of what they were trying to rule, anyway.


Not a bad approach, but it doesn't solve the basic problem: what to do with characters who use what was till now a standard non-combat skill (like fortitude) on their combat check.


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ryric wrote:
But you couldn't use a power to change a combat check into Diplomacy then use the Crown to auto-win.

Actually, the legality of this still hinges on the pending resolution of "what type is the check if *for your X check, you can use your Y skill*?" question, which Vic indicated is not easily solved. Our group plays it that the check becomes the new type and loses the old one (ex: Imrijka can use her STR for her Diplomacy check - we count this as STR only check, and not Diplomacy check, for all intents and purposes; though, it still feels wrong, for the purpose of effects like "If you succeed at a Diplomacy check...")

ryric wrote:
That seemed to me to be the intent of what they were trying to rule, anyway.

Actually, they were just trying to cut out items that were intended for auto-succeeding on no-combat checks (Vic's list above). For example, the new Shadow Summoner can use their Stealth for combat and then - auto-beat it with Elven Booths. This is NOT changing the check - it's still a *combat* check, you're just using a different skill than Str/Melee - and this is no different than playing a combat spell or ranged weapon.

elcoderdude wrote:
Not a bad approach, but it doesn't solve the basic problem: what to do with characters who use what was till now a standard non-combat skill (like fortitude) on their combat check.

I'm curious - is there a character that actually uses Fortitude for combat? In any of the CDs maybe?


Longshot11 wrote:
elcoderdude wrote:
Not a bad approach, but it doesn't solve the basic problem: what to do with characters who use what was till now a standard non-combat skill (like fortitude) on their combat check.
I'm curious - is there a character that actually uses Fortitude for combat? In any of the CDs maybe?

I was really talking about the design space, rather than a specific character. I won't say if we've seen any characters like this in playtest, because I can't....


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Longshot11 wrote:


I'm curious - is there a character that actually uses Fortitude for combat? In any of the CDs maybe?

A while back, I helped someone playtest a homebrew geomancer that used Fortitude for combat checks. Pretty soon, we figured out that she really wanted the Amulet of Fortitude.


Couldn't you just modify the rules from "you may not automatically succeed at a combat check" to "You may only automatically succeed at a check if the type of the check was printed on the card".

Yes, this would disallow some combos, but seems to fix all current problems?


I think I see your point, but your wording doesn't work -- basically every check has the type of check printed on the card you're making the check against...

I am struggling to re-word your suggestion. I have:
"You can never automatically succeed at a check, unless the power granting you success either mentions "check to defeat" or else mentions the listed skill for the check you are attempting. For this purpose, disregard powers which replace listed skills."

I'm assuming this would mean you can never auto-succeed at a combat check unless the card says "check to defeat", because the listed skill for combat checks is Combat.


Along the lines of suggestions that the problem really is with chained replacements, here's a thought. What if auto-succeed powers all happened during the "determine which skill you are using" step? Then the existing rule for only one such card would kick in.

The benefits being that it would fix all of these sorts of problems, in a more future-proof way, with no unwanted side effects (that I can think of yet haha), and using just a rulebook change rather than a massive errata. In particular it would fix the case of Zetha auto-passing non-combat checks via stealth, which the errata solution doesn't fix, and which I would think is worth fixing even if it might be forgivable to miss it.

It could be as simple as just stating that auto-succeed cards are played during that step. It's not that illogical, you are essentially replacing a skill with another, e.g. "acrobatics" with "automatically success". It feels entirely within the spirit of that rule as well, to me at least.

Something to think about anyway.


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Irgy wrote:

Along the lines of suggestions that the problem really is with chained replacements, here's a thought. What if auto-succeed powers all happened during the "determine which skill you are using" step? Then the existing rule for only one such card would kick in.

The benefits being that it would fix all of these sorts of problems, in a more future-proof way, with no unwanted side effects (that I can think of yet haha), and using just a rulebook change rather than a massive errata. In particular it would fix the case of Zetha auto-passing non-combat checks via stealth, which the errata solution doesn't fix, and which I would think is worth fixing even if it might be forgivable to miss it.

It could be as simple as just stating that auto-succeed cards are played during that step. It's not that illogical, you are essentially replacing a skill with another, e.g. "acrobatics" with "automatically success". It feels entirely within the spirit of that rule as well, to me at least.

Something to think about anyway.

The other thing that would change are the traits. With that change Crown of Charisma would give you Diplomacy check the Magic trait. That would reverse the Iesha Foxglove understanding.


Hawkmoon269 wrote:
The other thing that would change are the traits. With that change Crown of Charisma would give you Diplomacy check the Magic trait. That would reverse the Iesha Foxglove understanding.

Yes the traits is a functional change. I couldn't think of where it mattered though, offhand.

In that one example you mention it would actually be a really good thing, in my opinion. As it stands that whole situation is so odd that it causes people confusion, as they wonder why a whole bunch of text exists purely for Kyra's benefit (if they can even figure out that Kyra can trigger it), and then assume there must be some other way to add traits.

But I expect just the very fact that it's different is going to kill the idea in terms of it actually being chosen, even if it was all up-side (realistically I imagine there's going to be a case where the change is bad somewhere though anyway).


After the gunslinger CD was released, my group wanted to use it to play the SS gunslinger in WotR. Then we were curious if she was supposed to be able to single-handedly defeat an army with the power:

"You may discard a weapon to defeat a barrier that has the Cache, Lock, or Skirmish trait."

Since all armies have the skirmish trait, if memory serves, but at the same time if other characters didn't succeed their checks it should be undefeated... we sort of made a judgement call.

In any case, the difficulty CDs add is backwards in expansions too.


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Storn Bladebite wrote:

After the gunslinger CD was released, my group wanted to use it to play the SS gunslinger in WotR. Then we were curious if she was supposed to be able to single-handedly defeat an army with the power:

"You may discard a weapon to defeat a barrier that has the Cache, Lock, or Skirmish trait."

Since all armies have the skirmish trait,...

Today, the Gunslinger would probably get a more correct/practical wording like "...to succeed at your check to defeat a barrier..."

You can probably find in each set obsolete wordings that were good enough at the time, but did not (and could not possibly have) take into account stuff that showed up in later sets.

Still, it may be argued that even current rules cover your case:

"If a power allows you to automatically defeat or acquire a card,
... Doing so counts as succeeding at all checks and requirements to defeat ... You may not use such a power against ... any card that has a check you’re not allowed to succeed at.

So, a literal reading of the Gunslinger - and looking at the Italic part above - would mean your power automatically succeeds at all checks called for by the Army, and you indeed defeat it.

A more conservative reading -and looking at the bolded part above- may result in the conclusion that you're NOT allowed to play the Gunslinger's power AT ALL, since the Army has (the other players') checks you're "not allowed to succeed at". This *would* be supported by the explicit rule that
"Whenever you ... make a check, you—and only you—must resolve it. No other character can ... defeat it".

Finally, it can perhaps be argued that a "mixed' -and the most sensible- solution is allowed - you play the Gunslinger's power, you automatically succeed at the Gunslinger's check to defeat, but then you "ignore impossible instructions" - so you don't succeed at "all checks and requirements" and instead leave the other characters to take their own checks.

Grand Lodge

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Longshot11 wrote:
Today, the Gunslinger would probably get a more correct/practical wording like "...to succeed at your check to defeat a barrier..."

Or "Checks" if they wanted you to be able to take out a multi-check barrier with one use of the power. The key bit being "YOUR check(s)", keeping you from auto-succeeding other peoples' checks.

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