What would *you* change?


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I think you can have some light penalties without making the game progressively harder. I've houseruled that if you die, you get a penalty of -1 per die until you survive through a scenario (win or losing). While that's quite crippling, you could easily introduce a penalty of -1 or -2 on acquiring boons for the next scenario if you lose; this usually won't hurt your chance at success, but is still unpleasant enough that you don't want it to happen. For book-keeping, there could easily be a support card that describes the penalty and is displayed next to your deck, similar to the curses from MM.

That being said, I'm actually not in favor of handing out penalties for losing, but a penalty approach seems fitting to replace permadeath.


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The people I play with, like myself, have such limited time available to play games that just losing the scenario is penalty enough in itself (for us) -- just the time "lost".

We do also ignore permadeath for the same reason -- we just don't have time for it.

Or really: we would ignore permadeath, if we ever had a character die. This has never happened - which isn't unrelated to "no penalty for losing". If losing a scenario was penalized, more characters would die, as the party would continue playing in edgy situations in which currently they would quit.


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elcoderdude wrote:
The people I play with, like myself, have such limited time available to play games that just losing the scenario is penalty enough in itself (for us) -- just the time "lost".

I'm in the same boat. My 5p party is a group of guys who get together once every two weeks, on average. (It's tough to get 5 people all in the same room at the same time, and we don't play unless everyone can make it. Don't split the party!) What kills us is that we only have time for one scenario per session, as 5p games naturally take longer and Mummy's Mask traders add more time to the game.

Assuming that we fail 5 scenarios over the course of the campaign, the campaign will last ~40 sessions. If we continue to play once every two weeks, that's an 80-week campaign for us - one and a half years of our actual lives. We definitely don't want penalties, and we're thinking of not even repeating failed scenarios, as that's just another week or two added to an already painfully long campaign. I almost wish that we could have started the campaign at the halfway point (Adventure 3 or 4) with the 5p group, though I have no idea how that would have worked.

Don't get me wrong. I love the long campaigns with my family, as we can play PACG nearly every single day and it's fantastically fun to watch your characters develop over 35-40 scenarios. But they don't work nearly as well for people who only have time for occasional gaming.

On the other hand, you could argue that PACG isn't meant for occasional gamers and people who only play one scenario at a time. Fair enough, but that's where shorter campaigns (once in a while) could really be useful.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
wkover wrote:
Am I the only person who opposes penalties for failing a scenario?

No, you're not, as evidenced by some posts above and below yours.

I'm aware some people like to derive pleasure by paying to be "punished", but I'd prefer they do that by consensual choice within their gaming group and in the privacy of their own gaming room, rather than having it imposed on everyone as an official rule.

This is why I prefer the Optional Objectives approach, where you'd actually *chose* to make the game harder, in favor of gaining some minimal rewards. The carrot before the stick, and all that.

And yeah, as Doppelshwertz says - some penalty would probably be tolerable to replace "permadeath", as nobody uses that as it is.

That being said, if you're really experiencing this:

wkover wrote:
New players just aren't very efficient, for lots of different reasons. They don't understand the subtleties of their character powers, they don't cooperate very well, they haven't developed effective closing strategies, they don't pay close attention to location effects, they don't always make optimal deck-building decisions, etc.

...you might be playing with the wrong people altogether. PACG is not to everyone's tastes, and while I have had such players as you describe - I've never noticed any improvement, no matter how patiently or repeatedly some rules are explained, and such people usually drop out of the campaign pretty quickly. On the whole, PACG requires a degree of analytical thinking and broader attention span, that some players just can't or won't dedicate to a game. Catering to those players will probably be sub-optimal for the rest of us, while, IMHO, it won't be nearly enough get them any more involved with the game.


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Longshot11 wrote:
...you might be playing with the wrong people altogether. PACG is not to everyone's tastes, and while I have had such players as you describe - I've never noticed any improvement...

This issue is actually related to my post immediately above. What's preventing most of my 5p group from getting any better is that we don't play often enough. Given that we only play every two weeks, it feels like every game is a re-learning game. They forget their character powers, the basic rules of the game, etc. (E.g., I've lost count of how many times I've had to explain what "invoke" means.)

I've also made the conscious choice not to micromanage the team. As an experienced player, I could always tell everyone exactly what to do, which would significantly increase our chances of winning. I could also tell everyone how to upgrade their characters, since (to me) some upgrade paths are clearly superior to others. But that's not the best way to learn the game - and it's certainly not the best way to enjoy it - so I let everyone make their own non-fatal mistakes. Though I will occasionally say, "If you do that, we will probably lose the scenario. Here's why..."

But sure, there are also reckless or inattentive players who may never get better. I wouldn't say that's the case in my group, though. Overall they're guys who are on the ball, love the game, and are fun to play with.

Lone Shark Games

Longshot11 wrote:
This is why I prefer the Optional Objectives approach, where you'd actually *chose* to make the game harder, in favor of gaining some minimal rewards. The carrot before the stick, and all that.

Do increased difficulty options have to include rewards?

I've had some experience with this option in the past, and my experience is that giving rewards for increased difficulty decreases the difficulty of future games, creating a not ideal cycle.


The "difficulty" issue is really interesting, but one that I imagine could be addressed with optional rules. There are a number of possible rules that would be easy to implement: (one at a time, not all at once)

- Add one additional location (e.g., in a 4-player game use the 5-player setup)

- Add one additional monster and/or barrier per location

- Start removing basic banes earlier in the campaign; perhaps starting with Adventure 2 rather than Adventure 3

- Decrease the number of blessings in the Blessings Deck (remove 6 cards with 1-2 players, 4 cards with 3-4 players, and 2 cards with 5-6 players?)

- Add characters that are expert-only (i.e., difficult to play, for whatever reason; perhaps an injured thief that gets healed as the campaign progresses?).

By the way, the LoTR coop card game has an "easy" mode. In that mode, among other things, the most difficult cards (which are gold bordered?) are removed from the game. PACG might do the opposite and include "difficult" cards that are optionally added to the box if players are looking to make the game more challenging.

P.S. For experienced players looking for a challenge, I recommend the Season... campaigns. We rarely lose scenarios in standard play, and we've only had one character die (in Wrath of the Righteous, but that character was revived with a Mythic Role power). In our at-home Season of the Runelords campaign, in contrast, we failed the first scenario three times! Some of it was due to bad luck (exploding goblins!) and character selection, but it was also partly due to less-than-optimal play on our part.


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Keith Richmond wrote:
Longshot11 wrote:
This is why I prefer the Optional Objectives approach, where you'd actually *chose* to make the game harder, in favor of gaining some minimal rewards. The carrot before the stick, and all that.

Do increased difficulty options have to include rewards?

I've had some experience with this option in the past, and my experience is that giving rewards for increased difficulty decreases the difficulty of future games, creating a not ideal cycle.

If you're including optional objectives, there should be SOMETHING that achieving that objective accomplishes. Perhaps it adds a twist in a future scenario, or perhaps it just gives you an extra card draw from the box as a bonus upgrade, but it should do something.

Instead of penalties for failure, I'd be much more receptive to a "fail forward" type of story. In other words, you don't need to win the scenario, you still move onwards if you don't. Depending on whether you win or lost, things may be different in later scenarios (such as the villain popping up again in a future scenario). Of course, this is a lot more design work, and would make it difficult to replay things after finishing a campaign (basically would be PACG: Legacy unless you severely limit the ways that you can modify future scenarios. For example, giving things extra powers would probably be out if you don't want it legacy-like, as that would likely involve stickers). In such a setup, things like feats would come whether you win or lose in order to keep you on track, but some of the more "fun" rewards like loot might be only available should you win. People who don't like that aspect can replay the scenario until they get their ideal outcome, whereas everyone else can just keep moving forward session after session without grinding to a halt replaying a scenario 3 times.


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(I was going to edit my previous post, but my editing ability timed out. Darnit.)

Come to think of it, for "expert" level, you might have the party roll a d8 before playing. The increased difficulty effect - which could be thematic - would depend on what was rolled.

Examples:

1: Tough Road: Add one additional location (e.g., in a 4-player game use the 5-player setup)

2: Rumors of your Arrival: Add one additional monster per location

3: Prepared Enemies: Add one additional barrier per location

4: Time-Sensitive Mission: Decrease the number of blessings in the Blessings Deck (remove 6 cards with 1-2 players, 4 cards with 3-4 players, and 2 cards with 5-6 players?)

5: Crippling Disease: Each character randomly removes one card (two cards?) from his/her deck before playing

6: Overlord Support: All banes have their difficulty to defeat increased by two

7: Promotion in the Ranks: The first time each turn that a player encounters a basic or elite bane, banish it and replace it with a random higher-level bane instead

8: Demonic Possession: A villain or henchman is considered to be undefeated unless the defeating player (all players?) has a blessing in their hand

What I like about this structure is that Pathfinder is all about rolling dice, and this is another crazy example of that.

Anyway, just a thought.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

+1 to the above.

It's easy enough to adjust the difficulty of the game today - there's no need to add "official rules" to do that.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
skizzerz wrote:
Keith Richmond wrote:
Longshot11 wrote:
This is why I prefer the Optional Objectives approach, where you'd actually *chose* to make the game harder, in favor of gaining some minimal rewards. The carrot before the stick, and all that.

Do increased difficulty options have to include rewards?

I've had some experience with this option in the past, and my experience is that giving rewards for increased difficulty decreases the difficulty of future games, creating a not ideal cycle.

If you're including optional objectives, there should be SOMETHING that achieving that objective accomplishes. Perhaps it adds a twist in a future scenario, or perhaps it just gives you an extra card draw from the box as a bonus upgrade, but it should do something.

^What skizzers said. I appreciate it can create a downward difficulty curve, but I trust you could implement it right so it doesn't feel this way (Skizzer's example of drawing a random boon: yes, it DOES make the game potentially easier, if you draw something good; it just as well might not, So, I'd figure this approach balances itself out in the end, just as an example)

EDIT: The above concerns the "Optional Objective" approach, which - to me- is a *totally* different being than a general "increased difficulty" approach. Also, I can't help but bring up that "increased difficulty" gave the cautionary tale of WotR....

wkover wrote:

Come to think of it, for "expert" level, you might have the party roll a d8 before playing. The increased difficulty effect - which could be thematic - would depend on what was rolled.

Actually, your example sounds a lot like the Wild Cards in the Pathfinder Adventures app. I don't particularly like those, as A) They have negative thematic impact; and B) They can create combinations that range from ridiculous to potentialli impossible (for example, consider your Demonic Posession example, in a party where you only have Corrupted blessings and your Henchmen are Herald of Iomeda ("This card is undefeated if you have a Corrupted card in hand" - shoul I just home-rule a reroll? was I supposed to clairvoyance that stuff so I throw out my Corrupted blessings in advance? Are the players going to enjoy this situation?... This is just an example, but it the random roll actually will make the designers having to account for ALL the possibilities, which will end up eating both their time, and a bunch of creative design space)

However, I think something like the "extra scenario powers", on the Heroic and Legendary difficulties in the app, sounds quite reasonable. They always represent some permutation, or riff off the Normal scenario power, so they're a good thematic fit, and the fact they're definitive makes for predictable and easier testing. (Ofc, the designer will HAVE to test the game on Legendary - something that was obviously omitted in the app, leading to some atrocious combinations, like in 5-4...)


I wrote a wall of text but it was lost due to some interfering plugin on my part; I'll just write a summary now:

There are several ways to grant rewards for sidequests that are inconsequential in the long run. Examples are
- granting things from a list that won't be exhausted anyway (Ships Table in SnS / Redemption Table in WotR)
- giving access to loot that would be available in a later scenario anyway (Holy Avenger)
- giving access to new characters
- consumable ressources (die bumps)

Following skizzerz story route, these things can be combined. Generically, one could measure the performance over the first 4 scenarios of an adventure and give two variants for the 5fth scenario - a hard one for completionists and a normal one for everyone else, with the normal scenario granting all the missed loot anyway, so everyone is on the same page at the start of the next adventure.

I think there is a large design space for rewards in terms of the time you can access them rather than getting them in the first place (or not). The Melee trader in MM is frustrating only because the time frame to get him is so limited; I think if it was gained at some later point anyway, it would feel much more rewarding to get it early (although it would be a problem how to tell the player that it will be available later anyway).

I think my main point is this: Missables feel unrewarding because you feel forced to do them if you want to have the reward, while getting things early feels rewarding because you tricked the game into giving you something earlier than intended.


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

Ooh, or we could have checkboxes on regular cards, so you can "unlock" additional powers on boons/banes without requiring stickers. One could sleeve such cards and mark on the sleeves if they want to have the card survive multiple playthroughs. These cards probably won't have the same surface as the character cards since they are designed to be shuffled into decks, so the alternative would probably be felt-tipped pen or marker rather than pencil if sleeves were not used.

Then rewards would be to mark things off on such cards. Would probably be limited to just loot and villains. The former as a bonus for doing extra stuff well, the latter as a fail forward type thing. Failed to corner and defeat the villain in 1-2? It comes back in 2-2 with an extra power for revenge (and is treated as a henchman).

Or, corner and defeat the villain by 4 or less to have her realize the error of her ways and give you some token they had which helps you on the way forwards (perhaps scenario reward was some loot for beating the villain, but having the villain give the loot to you has her explain about some additional special power it has, thus unlocking an extra power on the card).

I don't share Doppelschwert's ideology. In fact, I'm pretty much the exact opposite: I like having things that are unattainable should you goof up. It raises the stakes and makes me more invested in the game. Sure, it's disappointing when I don't get it, but I'll have more chances to get other things later. That's why I think a crucial part of my fail forward strategy is choice: You don't require that people proceed to the next scenario upon success (so they can replay to get the unlockables they missed). At the same time, you don't require that people replay the scenario on failure (so they can move onwards with reduced rewards and feel their actions have consequences). Highlight both as options, and let groups decide for themselves which method suits them best.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

If I may, even if it isn't at all my right or duty, can I propose that we get back to the subject. Not that I'm not interested in the "penalty" discussion, but that doesn't feel like it belongs in that thread.

What I mean is that:

1) There are things that anyone of us can change easily without any change on the game components. Typically scenarios, difficulty, penalties....

2) And there are changes that impact main components (like banes and boons cards) that only Paizo can do if it spreads to more than a few cards (else there is Drivethru).

I feel that we should feed Vic with what we want on point 2).

IMHO.


Its true that there are things we can independently change to affect the difficulty of the game. However, I think its also true that difficulty could be added in more organic and interesting ways if its designed into the adventures rather than being grafted on at the end. I think it'd be a lot more interesting if *this* adventure has an extra villain, and *that* adventure has an extra scenario effect, and there's a branch in the story where you can pick between 3 easy adventures and 2 hard ones... as opposed to just "we'll pull 4 blessings out of the blessings deck and all checks are 1 harder". Its not that the end difficulty will necessarily be any different, but it will come in a more interesting form.

And that level of integration is much harder to do on one's own - thus, I think its a reasonable topic to discuss here.


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Frencois wrote:

If I may, even if it isn't at all my right or duty, can I propose that we get back to the subject. Not that I'm not interested in the "penalty" discussion, but that doesn't feel like it belongs in that thread.

What I mean is that:

1) There are things that anyone of us can change easily without any change on the game components. Typically scenarios, difficulty, penalties....

2) And there are changes that impact main components (like banes and boons cards) that only Paizo can do if it spreads to more than a few cards (else there is Drivethru).

I feel that we should feed Vic with what we want on point 2).

IMHO.

The thread topic is asking what we would change. Both types of changes you mention are valid feedback, and both belong here imo.


I do have one other suggestion. This one's easy, as it's straight-up formatting.

Is it possible to change the "named" font on the Class Deck cards? E.g., the "Summoner" font that appears on the Summoner Deck cards in the upper left hand corner?

I've been playing with a lot of different Class Decks recently, and I find the "named" font to be almost completely unreadable. I think the problem is a combination of the font itself (a type of outline?) and the background color.

Maybe it's just me...


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
wkover wrote:
Is it possible to change the "named" font on the Class Deck cards? E.g., the "Summoner" font that appears on the Summoner Deck cards in the upper left hand corner?

So the "Druid Class Deck" such as is seen on the Stag ally card or the "Summoner Class Deck" such as is seen on the Balazar character card? (I think of this as the "set indicator".) It's not the font so much as the combination of colors - the black text with white border on the varying dark red background. I agree that it is very difficult to read. The unique icons help in differentiating cards from the class decks. The legibility of the text doesn't really hinder game play in any way, though it may interfere when trying to sort cards.


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If I had to add my 2 (or more) cents)

1) Permadeath - drop it as a main rule and have it as one of a bunch of Iron Man type rules (if you want penalties for failing scenarios you can stick them into this as well). For my group, we would probably not use them as they are a buzzkill, and we do not play regularly enough for this to be anything other than an arse - but for others it could add new layers to a game they play a lot.

2) Stash - this is one of the single best changes in the app version of the game and something my group practically does already (we keep loot cards gaained in a sort of stash)

3) Building decks between games - currently there is a weird dynamic around not wanting to acquire crap cards just before you get a card slot. You coudl fix this by giving you the chance to pick Adventure Dexk - X or a particular type of card from the box as a reward for a particular adventure or scenario or closing a certain type of location (note not random)

4) Side missions - there are sveral types of these, character specific, team missions, adventure / scenario specific ones. These should be baked into character / scenario / adventure design by default (e.g. Character X is looking for their lost brother, certain cards that can be acquired over the course of the game may provide clues...)

5) Quests - slightly different from the above, a new type of card which asks you to do a particular thing (like get X number cards of a certain type for a cool reward) - these would be a card you can encounter in a location, but would probably need to be something you could carry over from one adventure / scenario to another

6) Location cards - make these a bit bigger (maybe of a stiffer material) and easier to read?

7) Location traits - midway through Wrath as my group currently are I suddenly noticed that these have very little impact on how we play. I don't know if it is the type of characters we pick, or we are missing something...

8) Include a camp location card? Something you can go back to to drop things off and do side actions rather than always be at a location?

9) More story, not quite sure how to do this - but the app does a good job of working this in

10) More killer hedgehogs, you always need more killer hedgehogs


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Some additional thoughts...

I'm not sure if this has been brought up already, but just in case it hasn't (or to provide support for the previous suggestions), the character token cards should have the back replaced with the normal card back, with the front including the character portrait and background text. The mechanic of tokens being placed in locations is an interesting new challenge and is something that I'd like to see appear in other adventure paths where appropriate. Having the normal card back facilitates the challenge, mitigating the tendency to "cheat" by recognizing a character token in the location deck.

I've seen at least one suggestion for the incorporate of mechanics that require marking cards, facilitated by sleeving. I recommend against any of these. Any change should work for all types of players and should be an "in the box" solution that doesn't require additional purchases (such as sleeves or miniatures) to implement. While many hardcore players are eager/willing to supplement their game experience with accessories, the solutions should appeal equally to more casual players.

I don't think that permadeath, whether for or against, should be incorporated into the game rules as a prescriptive element. The only level of "rules" for character death should be how to treat it during the game, including actions at the end of the scenario (so deck (re-)building, etc.). Whether or not to use permadeath should be a descriptive element, allowing players to choose the solution that works for them. In my primary group, which consists of me and my wife, I play permadeath and my wife does not. If one of her characters die, that character will be resurrected the next time we play the scenario (because she's not going to progress without earning the reward for the scenario). I, on the other hand, will replace the character with another (and I generally solo play to develop replacement characters concurrently, allowing me to replace dead characters right away). Some groups like permadeath and some don't - let's leave the rules flexible enough to allow both groups to continue without feeling that either is somehow changing the game rules.

Increasing game difficulty might be as "simple" (never a good word, I know) as implementing a mechanism such as we've seen in the Obsidian game, where scenario difficulty might be augmented by additional challenges. For the sake of discussion, I'll refer to this as a "challenge" card. Players might opt to increase scenario difficulty by drawing one or more challenge cards. There might be a handful of these that provide small challenges, drawn at random when setting the scenario up. There might have to be some descriptive guidance about challenges that conflict with the base scenario challenge. For example, if a challenge removes X number of cards from the blessings deck in a scenario that doesn't use the blessings deck, draw a new card. It would even be possible to scale challenges by including such cards in the adventure decks. The downside to this form of implementation is that, in a zero sum gain outcome, these cards would have to replace other cards that we already see. That's analysis that is up to Paizo/Loneshark, though, so I won't even bother trying to tackle it.


I haven't played the digital version of the game since very early on, but if I recall correctly, the "hard" difficulty just added a random effect or two: a deck of these effects would seem like a fairly simple thing to slot into a generic set, and players could opt to draw 1 (or more) at the start of a scenario to up the difficulty.


On a completely unrelated note, I know I'm probably getting into wishful thinking / PACg v2.0 territory, but I'm going to throw it out there, in case it can be incorporated:

I'd love to see more made of alignment. It always felt wrong to me to include Blessings of Lamasthu in Kyra's deck, (so I never kept them for her), but I'd like to see more made of it, than just those characters who have power feats relating to specific deities.

- As an example, have a sheet listing character alignments, and cards that you can place with your token to show that alignment.
- Add an alignment to Blessing cards (or again, this could just be a sheet showing the alignment of each deity).

If you play a blessing that matches your alignment, you may increase the size of the dice you roll (i.e. if you would add a d6, add a d8 instead, if you would add a d10, add a d12, etc).

If you play a blessing opposite your alignment (lawful if you are chaotic, evil if you are good) etc, reduce the size of the dice you would roll by 1.

If a blessing is opposite your alignment on both axes, you may not play it - i.e. lawful good characters cannot play chaotic evil blessings.

I know it's a bit clunky as it stands, but with some tweaking, I think it would really help add to the theme - it could even be sold as a separate product - a Lore book about the deities of Golarion, together with the cards needed to add alignment to any PACG game.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Building on MightyJim's idea for PACG 2.0, I would have liked that the character's card be split in an actual combination of cards. Typically, to build a character you would select one card of each type and there would be powers to check in any type (so you could decide when winning a power to take a race power or a class power or an alignment power for example). That would make the game much more versatile/replayable.
Granted, it's a mess for test guys, but we hate them anyway :-)

E. g. a character could be "created" by taking:
- a class card (cleric, fighter...)
- a race card (human, elf,...)
- a sex card (always fun to design related powers)
- an alignment card
- maybe a religion/guild/faction card

The good thing is that there is certainly a way to implement that while keeping all the existing boons/banes cards unchanged. You don't even have to print cards since we all play with pdf character cards anyway.
IMHO.


Brother Tyler wrote:
So the "Druid Class Deck" such as is seen on the Stag ally card or the "Summoner Class Deck" such as is seen on the Balazar character card?

Yeah, that's it. The text is readable in the digital images that you link to, but not readable at all on the physical cards.


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Brother Tyler wrote:
I've seen at least one suggestion for the incorporate of mechanics that require marking cards, facilitated by sleeving. I recommend against any of these. Any change should work for all types of players and should be an "in the box" solution that doesn't require additional purchases (such as sleeves or miniatures) to implement. While many hardcore players are eager/willing to supplement their game experience with accessories, the solutions should appeal equally to more casual players.

These mechanics already exist, namely in the form of character cards. Your feat checkboxes can be lightly marked off in pencil, or you can put a sleeve over it and mark the sleeve to keep the card in more pristine form. Or you could print out paper character sheets and mark on those.

My proposal was to add checkboxes to loot and villains as well. However, cards meant to be shuffled into decks have a protective coating on them which makes it more difficult to write on the card. Character cards do not have this coating as they are not meant to be shuffled in. As a result, it is unlikely that marking on the card lightly with pencil will work if the card is coated, which is why a felt-tipped pen or marker would be needed instead. Doing that would permanently modify the card (a la a legacy game), so I proposed marking on sleeves as an alternative. Printable sheets for these cards could work, as could putting the powers inside of a scenario booklet, but it has the same issues as proxy cards (need to consult something else rather than reading the card directly in front of you).

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
Brother Tyler wrote:

I'm not sure if this has been brought up already, but just in case it hasn't (or to provide support for the previous suggestions), the character token cards should have the back replaced with the normal card back, with the front including the character portrait and background text. The mechanic of tokens being placed in locations is an interesting new challenge and is something that I'd like to see appear in other adventure paths where appropriate. Having the normal card back facilitates the challenge, mitigating the tendency to "cheat" by recognizing a character token in the location deck.

I wondered about this myself back when I first encountered it, so I did some research.

It's not "cheating" - it's the way the Lone Shark folks expect you to play (or, at least, the way they play the game themselves).

See this post.

Mike Selenker wrote:

You are always allowed to know where your token is in the deck.

You can fan your cards in your location whenever you want, as long as you don't flip them over.
You are not allowed to shuffle the cards in a way that influences where your token is.
And, a few posts later, also wrote:
FYI, we sleeve our playtest token cards in colored sleeves to match our character decks. So it's very obvious to us where our tokens are.

Edit:

I was thinking about this from the point of view of an Organized Play coordinator. The easiest way I could see to keep the location of the token card a mystery would be to sleeve the cards (and even that is not a perfect solution - most card sleeves aren't completely opaque). While I choose to sleeve my Organized Play box (as well as using a Broken Token insert), sleeving the entire set of cards isn't exactly cheap. I was concerned that making sleeving the cards a requirement would be enough to prevent some people running Organized Play.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the posts I quote above, making it clear that knowing when the token card will come to the top of the location deck is perfectly fine.

Of course this does also provide yet another easy way to add a "hard mode" option if you're already sleeving your deck!


skizzerz wrote:
Brother Tyler wrote:
I've seen at least one suggestion for the incorporate of mechanics that require marking cards, facilitated by sleeving. I recommend against any of these. Any change should work for all types of players and should be an "in the box" solution that doesn't require additional purchases (such as sleeves or miniatures) to implement. While many hardcore players are eager/willing to supplement their game experience with accessories, the solutions should appeal equally to more casual players.

These mechanics already exist, namely in the form of character cards. Your feat checkboxes can be lightly marked off in pencil, or you can put a sleeve over it and mark the sleeve to keep the card in more pristine form. Or you could print out paper character sheets and mark on those.

My proposal was to add checkboxes to loot and villains as well. However, cards meant to be shuffled into decks have a protective coating on them which makes it more difficult to write on the card. Character cards do not have this coating as they are not meant to be shuffled in. As a result, it is unlikely that marking on the card lightly with pencil will work if the card is coated, which is why a felt-tipped pen or marker would be needed instead. Doing that would permanently modify the card (a la a legacy game), so I proposed marking on sleeves as an alternative. Printable sheets for these cards could work, as could putting the powers inside of a scenario booklet, but it has the same issues as proxy cards (need to consult something else rather than reading the card directly in front of you).

The important difference here is that you can easily replace all cards you don't need to shuffle into any deck by a piece of paper. Printing copies of cards you have to shuffle into a deck necessitates sleeves, which is not a good idea as pointed out by Brother Tyler. The only viable alternative I see is a table that gets displayed like the Redemption table, but as you pointed out, this shares the issue with proxies (in particular, if you want to have individual effects for cards). I don't disagree with introducing a tables of some kind, given that my homebrew uses such tables, but I agree with Brother Tyler that checkable cards that can not simply be replaced by paper would not work for all players.


1. I'd like to see the organised play 'season of ...' made into a proper product. Paying two companies for a complete product is less than ideal. I don't think this is unreasonable, the OP model is established and we already have 20 class decks, with more on the way. I am well aware of the arguement that these products need to be tested to lessen/eliminate any errors/ommissions etc. It would be beneficial for OP to link in with the main game in a more official manner (rather than as an enthusiast, as it is at present).

2. I'd like to see more variety with scenario objectives. The villain and henchman model is core (accepted) but there are many other avenues that could be employed along the journey. More of these would add variety and potentially add difficulty to the game as specific character builds could be found to be vulnerable when pitted against objectives other than the villain and henchman model.

3. Quite a few of us would like more flavour including me. I don't believe larger cards are the way to go though. I would like to see/have a printed page so that there is plenty of room for flavour, and any complex/specific rules can be laid out clearly in large type. I am tired of straining to read microscopic text on cards.
Interestingly the OP model has some good ideas in this regard.

4. I'd like to see at least 1 shorter adventure paths per new base set, but I am not sure at what level this AP should be set. This shorter path would not necessarily be connected to the main quest path, instead it could become a side-quest that need not be completed to proceed to the next level of the main AP.


Beagle wrote:
I would like to see/have a printed page so that there is plenty of room for flavour, and any complex/specific rules can be laid out clearly in large type.

I agree that this is one place where the organized play model is better than the standard model.

An example: The rule that basic cards are removed in Adventure 3 (upon banishment) and elite cards are removed in Adventure 5 are clearly laid out in OP. In the box sets, this rule is hidden away on a small Adventure Path card. We initially missed this rule ourselves in Rise of the Runelords, and we houseruled our own basic/elite removal process until we learned about the official rule (much later) on BGG.

A rule that important really shouldn't be hidden away on a card. And since the rule is the same for all four box sets, I've always been baffled as to why this rule isn't in the rulebook itself. (Missing this key rule seems to be a common occurrence for new players, which - to me - indicates that there's a problem.)

IMHO, the rulebook could benefit from a small section that states this critical rule and the common ways for cards to be banished: when disposing of remaining cards in permanently closed locations, when failing to acquire a boon (which can be intentional), etc.


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DiePingu wrote:


2) Stash - this is one of the single best changes in the app version of the game and something my group practically does already (we keep loot cards gaained in a sort of stash)

I'll vote emphatically against this one. Managing your deck is an essential challenge of the game. The game is easy enough as it is -- I don't see any point in sparing players from difficult decisions about what to keep in your deck.

The stash is necessary in the digital game because the mechanics of the digital game already make stashing possible (you can move "mule" characters in and out of your party to hold certain cards). It's against the spirit of the game, but the game lets you do it. The card game doesn't have this problem.


elcoderdude wrote:
I'll vote emphatically against this one. Managing your deck is an essential challenge of the game. The game is easy enough as it is -- I don't see any point in sparing players from difficult decisions about what to keep in your deck.

To some extent, I agree, however adventuring and opening every box/cupboard/chest and selling/trading/stashing items is also a part of RPGing so it's inclusion in this game would add flavour. When the first base set was released I can remember asking for a stash mechanism on the BGG forum.

I do accept that this should be a limited/controlled mechanism if it were to be introduced. I think I originally suggested that a player would have to buy a chest with bounty cards and this would only hold 2/3 cards. Characters could store specific weapons that might be useful against giants, or have fire resistance for example. Access to the stash could be restricted to after the successful completion of an AP for example. This would fit thematically as adventurers would be resetting their card pools between games. This also fits thematically with the story being told, after all, if you are about to go and hunt a dragon down then it would make sense to pack your fire protection gear (if you have any in your stash). You would still have to make difficult decisions as to what to keep in the stash because it would be limited.

I would like to see some form of stash going forward.

EDIT: Another mechanism that could be used to limit the stash is a form of rent for your chest. After the completion of an AP, you would have to pay a bounty card to maintain your stash. If you don't pay then a random card is removed from your stash. If there are no cards in your stash then you lose your stash and have to buy it back again. A mechanism like this would add flavour to the game.


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elcoderdude wrote:
DiePingu wrote:
2) Stash - ... keep loot cards gaained in a sort of stash
I'll vote emphatically against this one.

Me too.

Not only keeping all the things you get (or at least all the nice things so you can beat any challenge) isn't roleplay but I have a real player issue with that:
It means my characters will pretty much always own the optimum deck.
So it will always end up be the same game anytime I replay a campain.
Bad idea for replay value IMHO.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

I'd also like to voice my dislike of the stash for one really critical reason... if you don't have enough cards of the right type that you acquired to form your deck at the end of a scenario, but you DO have something in your stash that fits that card type, EVEN IF IT'S A WAY HIGHER LEVEL FROM ANOTHER SET OF CHARACTERS, you have to add that before you can choose things from the box. This has forced me to add a deck 4 Loot card to my 1st-tier character already (I was able to switch it out in the next scenario, but this should NOT happen)!


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
cartmanbeck wrote:
I'd also like to voice my dislike of the stash for one really critical reason... if you don't have enough cards of the right type that you acquired to form your deck at the end of a scenario, but you DO have something in your stash that fits that card type, EVEN IF IT'S A WAY HIGHER LEVEL FROM ANOTHER SET OF CHARACTERS, you have to add that before you can choose things from the box. This has forced me to add a deck 4 Loot card to my 1st-tier character already (I was able to switch it out in the next scenario, but this should NOT happen)!

I would assume a stash for the physical version would be tied to one specific party, so that would be a non-issue (box doesn't officially support having more than one party built at a time). I liken it to a bag of holding, you can carry more niche things for situational stuff.

I also think it would make an already easy game way too easy. You can't balance things assuming players have X card as they may not have encountered it yet or it may have been banished for whatever reason. So, using stash as a balance aid isn't very tenable for this reason. That leaves its only use to expand the card pool and allow more fine-tuning of decks, which serves to reduce game difficulty.

So, -1 from me on stash as well. I'd rather see something more akin to the organized play loot rewards. At least with that setup you CAN balance assuming the party has access to X card.


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Things like stashes, difficulty changes, and non-permanent death are easy enough to implement as optional variants. If they were to get any official attention I'd prefer they were suggestions on the website or in the back of the rulebook.

In the digital game, I wish the stash and the option to use Treasure cards were choices tied to the party, not global options. :(


Parody wrote:

Things like stashes, difficulty changes, and non-permanent death are easy enough to implement as optional variants. If they were to get any official attention I'd prefer they were suggestions on the website or in the back of the rulebook.

In the digital game, I wish the stash and the option to use Treasure cards were choices tied to the party, not global options. :(

I agree, a stash mechanism if available should be able to be included or excluded. If it's optional then just don't include it for an added layer of difficulty. There is nothing lost by designing a stash mechanism for those that may like to incorporate it.

Any players or groups who don't subscribe to the mechanism need only omit this part of the game. No extra cards or components would be necessary for this change. It is merely a suggestion for another featured set of rules that could be added to the game at this point since there is a re-design in progress.

It may well be that Paizo would like to attract some digital players to the board game and these players may find some form of stash interesting. It may well be a divisive mechanism digitally (I have no experience) but limiting it and careful rules settings in the this version of the game may make it workable and even attractive to some players.

skizzerz wrote:
I'd rather see something more akin to the organized play loot rewards. At least with that setup you CAN balance assuming the party has access to X card.

I like this idea too! The OP model has added to this game for sure and I would like to see it become a proper product, with tighter intergration to PACG set releases!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Parody wrote:
Things like stashes, difficulty changes, and non-permanent death are easy enough to implement as optional variants. If they were to get any official attention I'd prefer they were suggestions on the website or in the back of the rulebook.

+1

I don't see what's a lot of people's issue with the stash. At worst, you'll be forced to home-rule it out of your games since you don't like it. You know, like people who *whould like it* would've been forced to do 4 sets in a row now. It just strikes me like the tiniest bit egotistical to say "don't provide option for people who like to play in a way different then mine".

That being said, I think "Options" should be the operational word for Lone Shark going forward with PACG 2.0. As seen all over these forums, you can't make everyone happy, so rather than alienating this or that player group by setting in stone a particular non-core rule, just provide rules support for different player-required features in a dedicated Optional Rules text box (like a lot of games do for variant rules, number of players, etc..)

That way, no one will feel they're not playing "the real game" if they don't like the Increased Difficulty Options, and no one will feel compelled to use the Stash, just because it's in "the official rules".


Longshot11 wrote:
I don't see what's a lot of people's issue with the stash. At worst, you'll be forced to home-rule it out of your games since you don't like it. You know, like people who *whould like it* would've been forced to do 4 sets in a row now. It just strikes me like the tiniest bit egotistical to say "don't provide option for people who like to play in a way different then mine".

Hmm. That's a slightly insulting way to say that.

I play PACG by the rules*, and my groups play to win. I think the game should be balanced so that it is very challenging when you use every available option and strategy, and requires best play to win. I don't think I should have to nerf myself to make the game challenging.

As the first respondent in this thread to the stash idea, I hadn't considered a "Variants" rules section which specifies the use of a stash as a way to make the game easier, if desired. That's a different idea than just adding a Stash mechanism to the regular game. I'd have less of an issue with that, although I still think it is pretty pointless to make an frequently easy game much easier.

*My groups probably would not use permadeath, past a certain point in the AP, but it's never been an issue, because no character has ever died.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

wkover wrote:

The rule that basic cards are removed in Adventure 3 (upon banishment) and elite cards are removed in Adventure 5 are clearly laid out in OP. In the box sets, this rule is hidden away on a small Adventure Path card. We initially missed this rule ourselves in Rise of the Runelords, and we houseruled our own basic/elite removal process until we learned about the official rule (much later) on BGG.

A rule that important really shouldn't be hidden away on a card. And since the rule is the same for all four box sets, I've always been baffled as to why this rule isn't in the rulebook itself. (Missing this key rule seems to be a common occurrence for new players, which - to me - indicates that there's a problem.)

The main reason this text is on the AP card instead of in the rules is because we thought it might not be the same for each AP. And while it has been the same for all of the Base Sets, the OP Seasons have actually varied a bit—so your statement "The rule that basic cards are removed in Adventure 3 (upon banishment) and elite cards are removed in Adventure 5 are clearly laid out in OP" is not really accurate. Let's look at how it really works:

PFSACG Guide wrote:

The bulk of the preparation time for Adventure Card Guild

sessions lies in setting up the game box to be used for
the game. You may use the standard rules in the current
rulebook for preparing the box, but the following options
are designed to streamline your setup process.

...

Remove Basics and Elites When Adding Adventure
Decks:
Each season’s Adventure Path tells you when to
begin removing cards that have the Basic and Elite traits
from the game. To make things more interesting and to
help you remove the right cards faster, after completing
adventure 3, when you add a new Adventure Deck to your
game box, you may remove all cards that have the Basic
or Elite trait and an adventure deck number at least three
lower than the adventure deck you just added.

Remove Basics and Elites on the Fly: Alternatively, if you
can’t spend as much time preparing the game box before
play, you can remove the Basic and Elite cards as you find
them in the game. Just set everything up as usual, and
when you run into a card that meets the criteria described
on the Adventure Path, immediately remove that card from
the game and replace it with another card of the same type
from the game box.

So you have the default rules, and two alternatives.

The default rules are the standard rules, which refer you to the season's Adventure Path card:

• The default process for Season of the Shackles matches the "Remove Basics and Elites When Adding Adventure Decks" alternative.

• The default processes for Season of the Righteous and Season of the Runelords matches the process you describe.

• The default process for Season of Plundered Tombs matches the process used for the Base Sets.

Neither of the two alternatives are identical to the process you described.


elcoderdude wrote:


1. I play PACG by the rules*, and my groups play to win.

2. I don't think I should have to nerf myself to make the game challenging.

3. As the first respondent in this thread to the stash idea, I hadn't considered a "Variants" rules section which specifies the use of a stash as a way to make the game easier, if desired. That's a different idea than just adding a Stash mechanism to the regular game.

4. I'd have less of an issue with that, although I still think it is pretty pointless to make an frequently easy game much easier.
*My groups probably would not use permadeath, past a certain point in the AP, but it's never been an issue, because no character has ever died.

A response;

1. Once in the groove, I am sure all of us can whizz through locations and APs without issue. Have you considered that a stash mechanism may force you to spend longer at locations digging deeper to win bounty cards to pay rent to maintain a stash. This would make the game harder 'in-game'.

2. Then don't use this rules set. This type of mechanism could easily be either employed or not. As a player, you neither gain or lose anything if a set of rules is provided for this mechanism and others (e.g. the OP loot rewards).

3. I have read this entire thread several times and there are some great ideas for fixes and changes. I am not sure why many of you are so anti a variant such as this. It's just a suggestion for a ruleset that could be attractive to others (not anyone who objects to it).

4. Think laterally here, we are discussing changes that should be considered for a new model going forward. The digital and OP variants of this game have explored new territory since this game model was first set. Also, everyone it seems is focusing on this mechanism making the game easier. Well hopefully if Paizo and Lone Shark have been reading all of our suggestions then PACG 2.0 is set to be more challenging and more diverse.

So why not let a proportion of the new PACG 2.0 population enjoy a thematically legitimate new mechanism that may add enjoyment and flavour to the game, for those that choose to employ some form of stash mechanism.


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Just a friendly reminder:
You all remembered to read the blog post in the entry post, right?

Quote:
But it's important to recognize that these big changes we're talking about are primarily about presentation, not game mechanics. We're not talking "PACG: Second Edition" here; we don't need to change the rules and mechanics much more than we usually change them for a new Base Set.


Vic Wertz wrote:
wkover wrote:
The rule that basic cards are removed in Adventure 3 (upon banishment) and elite cards are removed in Adventure 5 are clearly laid out in OP. In the box sets, this rule is hidden away on a small Adventure Path card.
The main reason this text is on the AP card instead of in the rules is because we thought it might not be the same for each AP.

Fair enough. I just want to suggest that the perceived positives of putting the basic/elite removal rule on the AP card are - I don't think - outweighed by the negatives that accompany the fact that some new players (20%? 40%? 60%?) miss this important rule.

(Apppropriately enough, literally two minutes after my original post a new player on BGG created a new thread asking where the rule for basic/elite removal was!)

Even if the rule were different for each AP, the rule could still be put in the rulebook itself - instead of on the card. The different rulebooks allow "what's different about this set" sidebars, which could address basic/elite removal - should the rule ever be different.

Anyway, for me, putting the rule on a small card is the equivalent of putting the rule on the outside of the game box or in a secret compartment in one of the d10s. It's been put in a place that I would never think to look, since - in my mind - a rulebook should be 100% comprehensive. It wouldn't occur to me that I should have to look for a key rule somewhere else.

All IMHO, of course. :)


wkover wrote:


Anyway, for me, putting the rule on a small card is the equivalent of putting the rule on the outside of the game box or in a secret compartment in one of the d10s. It's been put in a place that I would never think to look, since - in my mind - a rulebook should be 100% comprehensive. It wouldn't occur to me that I should have to look for a key rule somewhere else.

All IMHO, of course. :)

This. Agreed.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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Here's a minor issue, but it's something I've noticed now for both Wrath and Mummy's Mask - can we make sure there is enough space in each section of the box to store all the cards of that category? In both the most recent sets all the henchmen won't fit once you add AD6. Even without sleeves.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
MightyJim wrote:

On a completely unrelated note, I know I'm probably getting into wishful thinking / PACg v2.0 territory, but I'm going to throw it out there, in case it can be incorporated:

I'd love to see more made of alignment.

+1 and agree. There are several cool ways to do this such as the one you mentioned or during the Justifiable Diecide (sp?) from WotR there was a penalty mechanic for using cursed blessings (our play group felt this was directly related to alignments).


Beagle wrote:

1. I'd like to see the organised play 'season of ...' made into a proper product. Paying two companies for a complete product is less than ideal. I don't think this is unreasonable, the OP model is established and we already have 20 class decks, with more on the way.

I recently tried lobbying for this and was told that sales would need to be ten times what they are to justify it.


Jim Landon wrote:


I recently tried lobbying for this and was told that sales would need to be ten times what they are to justify it.

I'm guessing that because PACG has been around for quite a while now there are not a lot of new people being attracted to this game. Also, it is most probable that many of the people who bought the first set have long since stopped buying the successive sets. So the core people still buying this game are most probably people already buying other Paizo products at this point.

Maybe the falloff in sales over the years has reached the point that the main game set releases are in jeopardy. So a re-design/packaging/fixing of the product may attract new people to the game at this point. This is not a bad thing, let's hope it works.

I think the OP has come up with some great ideas which could be included in the main game and if this is going to happen then it makes sense to make OP a fully fledged part of this game going forward. One thing is for sure the OP model will always just be an enthusiasts product so long as Paizo/Lone Shark see no real value in it, other than a little bit of fun for long-term heavily committed players/buyers.


No, not talking the main game line, the conversation was about OP.


Perhaps I should have been clearer

A stash would be severely limited in maximum size and only for that party not across different ganmes / run throughs - and mainly there to aid experimental play and let people try out different strategies as the adventure path develops.

On the rpg side I disagree that it does not fit, it is completely consistent, hell in Skull and Shackles you have a ship to ride around on.


I do not read everybody's posts, so I do apologize if this has already been mentioned.

We get some pretty cool loot at the end of Adventure 6... that we do not use. What if a 110 card expansion pack was self contained to add a beefier "continuing adventure."

I.E. Adventure 7, 8, or 9, that was generic enough and self contained to be done after any adventure (any of the four on the market or after any OPAP).

Where we could do a "short adventure" that some people tend to imply they would like to see (where it is just stronger monsters and the like with its own set of locations), and continue on kicking monster butts. Plus this could allow more boxes to be checked in the "role" department and let us feel super awesome.

I tend to think right when I get to Adventure 5 or 6, I am finally awesome-ish enough... and then the AP is over. Plus, I got this cool loot... I never got to use. Some of the Adventure 6 boons never show up, so Adventure 6 is kinda stale.

If an Adventure 7-9 (or similar) was added and few boons were added (loot only), this should ramp up the difficulty with scaling monsters/henchmen/villians (for those that want a harder challenge). But we would get a chance to increase role variants and get those Adventure 6 boons, and have a chance to shine (or die).

Plus, it could be done after any AP from any Base set with any Character from any set... so the ability to replay Adventure 7-9 (hardmode) would feel equally unique based on which base set (or character deck) was used.

Just a thought.

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