What would *you* change?


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game General Discussion

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zeroth_hour2 wrote:
OP is meant to be a consistent experience...... so in order for that variant to be official it'd have to be tested for all types of groups.

Which is why I mentioned that I would like it to be considered as a future change.

EDIT: This has not been as much of an issue in the current season. Mummy's Mask has been much better balance wise than the previous seasons. Like elcoderdude stated, RotRL was really underwhelming as far as difficulty. Was kind of sad, because I think I liked Adventure 1 of RotRL the most. Exploding goblins was awesome.


zeroth_hour2 wrote:
Slacker2010 wrote:
elcoderdude wrote:

I have to admit my OP group altered difficulty by adding locations. Season of the Runelords wasn't enough of a challenge for us, so we added 1 location, and eventually 2.

This is not a straight difficulty increase, as it does give you a greater exposure to boons; but it does add to the time pressure. (We had a four-player group.)

I wish our VC would have let us do this. That is a fair trade off I believe, increased difficulty in the form of time but you have chance for more boons. I would be cool with officially allowing that.
OP is meant to be a consistent experience. elcoderdude probably isn't reporting his group's sessions ...

Yes, this is the case -- we're off-label, so to speak.

(Please note: Vic has admonished us all, "Please do report your sessions".)


A house rule we use just 'cause it seems fair ...

If you have four players, adjust the timer deck to 32, so everybody has the same number of turns.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

I haven't been playing much PACG lately but here are my personal suggestions that mostly mirror what have already been said in this thread:

Adventure final rewards. Its hard to find a appropriate reward for completing the Adventure Path. The loot and rewards I get at the end makes me wish I could use them. Besides sending conquering heroes to WotR and other homebrews, I find the final rewards to be utterly useless and just flavour. My suggestion is making up with some sort of End Game mechanic. Maybe some sort of PVP? maybe a Bosses only Pack? Something to take your conquering heroes out of the AP to something else that's not another AP.

Side missions or Quests. I liked the idea suggested earlier about having side missions that are optional, either from the scenario itself , location, adventure, or even the character's story. Example: Mike's MM puzzle. Finding Sajan's sister.

Can be given out by encountered and acquired allies, which could mean filling the card with anything other than the generic discard/recharge power(s). Or it doesn't have to be an ally at all could be just a note or scroll whatever that wont be acquired, just a check to start the quest or not. It could be displayed next to scenario/adventure/AP

I think each location has its own mini side quest to close it maybe just presenting that to make it feel more like an actual mission rather than just a simple die roll.

More story. Pathfinder Society made it possible to have a lot more of this in PACG, but I meant within the AP itself. This is tied with more flavour texts.

Flavour texts. I think flavour texts add a lot to the immersion. I agree completely that because we have space issues adding flavour texts is not an easy feat. Which is why I think adding Icons or more keywords that would simplify things and just have a reference sheet if needed. Flavour texts could help put more story in the game. I get it, If we wanted more flavour and story just play the RPG. I don't have many solutions for this but I know having more story and flavour for PACG is definitely a common opinion amongst longterm fans.

More Interaction. One thing I really like is the dynamics of characters when they start to interact with one another. I like scenarios where you need to coordinate other than for closing locations. Helping out a party member in actions other than combat. Maybe a weapon or spell which require another character in your location? a dice roll with your party member.

Other objectives than corner villain scenarios. We have some scenarios now that are refreshing because they're not the simply find villain corner villain slay villain. I'd like to see more of those. I guess this is related to side missions and quests.

Better box insert, add on boxes, and storage solutions. Pretty much everyone who is invested in this game is using the Broken Token insert at this point. I'd also like to see a better storage solution for all the class decks we're starting to pile. I agree that the box design for the add on decks are a pain. Having two stacks side by side when packaged is okay, but once that is opened it isn't practical to use anymore.

B P C cards to 0. As mentioned before, having those letters put somewhere else and 0 in its stead would be better.

Less generic cards that you see in all 4 base sets like daggers and quarterstaves. I don't need 100 of these across all sets. More variety would be appreciated.

Less errata. This I don't think I need to mention because I'm sure the team is fully aware this is a problem, but I have to because it is a hassle.

Powers (images). In RPG format there is a lot left to our imaginations. However there is still art that help image the Pathfinder universe. I know this is not likely to happen but what I'd like to see are some images or art to help visualise the iconic heroes' powers. A lot of powers are straightforward like being able to use a weapon to assist in combat. Some powers need a little bit of translating to be able to visualise. Obsidian's app does help with this in a way with animation and sound. Some cards also already have art of the iconics doing their skill. I'd like to see more of the same for other Iconics in PACG. I know more text in cards is difficult to achieve but maybe even just the name of the ability or power would be a start. so that we can officially call it by what it is (heal) instead of "i'll shuffle x cards from your discard pile into your deck."

I know we don't like to have to refer to a booklet each time an ability is played or something, but if saving text by calling abilities by name, maybe it could translate into more stuff added into cards like flavour text or other things.

Some powers like heal are simple enough to identify and call it by their typical name, but some powers aren't. if we are talking presentation I think ability names or some sort of visualisation would help.

ETC:
As for my opinion about removing closed locations, I think it works as a scenario-specific mechanic rather than default.

With regards to place holders for henchmen, I am actually for it. I understand why people are put off by it. But I don't see much of the difference between that and banes with summon skeleton henchman. don't want to reveal the henchman until it is drawn? put it face down and only allow it face up when encountered. I think it does take away of the experience a little bit, but it would depend on whats replacing it. If it means more variety of loot rewards, or to accommodate for side quests, I am for it. If doing so doesn't net any meaningful gain then no thank you.

I apologise if some of these do not make sense. I am a bit sleep deprived and rushing to type this. I will add more later if I think of anything else. Thank you, dev team, for giving us the platform for our opinions to be heard. Kudos.


I've read through this thread, and I've seen some really nice ideas. I especially like the phrasing of "Block" instead of "Temporarily Close", and the usage of a generic base set which then gets expanded with AP-specific content.

I prefer the idea of using generic henchmen as proxies or placeholders, so that we don't need to fill up our boxes with a bunch of henchman that might never see use, depending on the size of a table.

I also hope to see "heal" as an action word, where it could replace all the "shuffle random cards from discard pile into deck", shortening a lot of text that's seen often.

Also on the subject of shortening text, I also prefer "Cost: Effect" formatting when possible, like what's used in most TCGs. I feel it makes things cleaner to read, especially for some of the common effects, although some of the more-invovled effects for spells, items, and whatnot might not be changed too much.

Here's a few samples of how I might shorten things.

Adjusting Longsword:
Longsword wrote:
For your combat check, reveal this card to use your Strength or Melee skill + 1d8; you may additionally discard this card to add another 1d6. If not proficent with weapons, the difficulty of this check is increased by 4.
Adjusted Longsword wrote:

[Combat] Reveal: Strength or Melee skill + 1d8.

[Combat] Discard: Strength or Melee skill + 1d8 + 1d6.

[Non-Proficient (Weapons)] +4 difficulty.

This type of change makes it more obvious how many ways the card can be used for a combat check, and separates out the single block of text into more manageable chunks.

Adjusting Lightning Touch:
Lightning Touch wrote:

For your combat check, discard this card to use your Arcane skill + 2d4.

After playing this card, if you do not have the Arcane skill, banish this card; otherwise, you may succeed at an Arcane 6 check to recharge this card instead of discarding it.

Adjusted Lightning Touch wrote:

[Combat] Discard: Arcane skill + 2d4.

[Recharge] Arcane 6 instead of discarding.

[Non-Proficient (Arcane)] After playing, banish this card.

This cleans up both the combat check and the second half of the card that deals with banishing and recharging the card. This could also expand the "Proficient" tag from the sample Longsword to also reference whether a character has or doesn't have a certain skill.

Blessing of the Gods:
I know we're several sets past them at this point, but this might also help the wording on Blessing of the Gods or any new cards that have a similar effect, since the powers of a blessing now include the "on match" effect in the "Powers" box of the card.

When I first read the errata for Blessing of the Gods, that it only copied the powers, and I saw the lack of the Recharge box in Skull and Shackles, the "read-as-written" part of me thought "This didn't fix anything. If it's in the Powers box, it's a power, and should be copied", even though I knew the intent was to not copy the recharge clause.

Assuming each boon has no "free" abilities, and each one has a cost, even just "Reveal" or "Display", any effect on a boon with a "Cost: Effect" format could be considered a power, and other effects starting with tags like [Recharge] or [Proficient] from my above examples or simply no tag would be considered "not a power", and, as such, not copied by effects like Blessing of the Gods.

For example:

Adjusted Blessing of Shelyn wrote:

Discard: Add 1 die to any check. This would be a power.

Discard: Add 2 dice to any noncombat Wisdom check. This would be a power.

Discard: Explore your location. This would be a power.

Recharge after playing if the top card of the blessings discard pile matches this card. This would not be a power.


Frencois wrote:

I constantly have to remind them - every single turn, every single round - that their location has some postive/negative effect that they need to attend to. Even experienced players do this semi-regularly, which is nuts.

I flat pick up the locations and read them to determine where I should go. If I'm at a location and no one else is, I'll typically move it right in front of me. I don't really see how the game could be playable without doing things like that.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
WoodManZX wrote:
Also on the subject of shortening text, I also prefer "Cost: Effect" formatting when possible, like what's used in most TCGs. I feel it makes things cleaner to read, especially for some of the common effects, although some of the more-invovled effects for spells, items, and whatnot might not be changed too much.

I agree with this 1000%!! So many of the cards are totally filled with text, much of which is boilerplate. This makes cards harder to understand, prevents having flavor text, and really slows down gameplay by preventing cards from being scannable. It also makes the game harder to enjoy for kids, English-as-a-second-language folk, and those with vision/reading/learning disabilities.

As WoodManZX's examples show, even B Basic cards are just filled with text! This is like if a vanilla Magic creature (like Grizzly Bears) had a paragraph of text explaining what it does. The numbers and icons in the card template should be enough to explain the most basic of cards.

Fortunately the content of most text should be standardizable, it's basically just effects, requirements, and recharge methods for spells. Even adding some basic keywords and templating (like Magic adds with every new base set) could help a ton with regards to legibility of cards.


Not arguing over the benefits and drawbacks of templating this way (though this is an interesting post by Vic), but I believe Mike or Vic had stated in the past that the reason for the "long" card text is that they didn't want people to refer to the rulebook or a "comprehensive rules" document every time they read a card, because there's already a crapton of terminology you have to learn to begin to play the game.

The other extreme would be a TCG like Gundam War where there are 4 phase timings with very unintuitive names (I think they're named Auto-A to Auto-D or something weird). Again, not judging but there is a danger in taking it the other direction.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Vic has previously stated that they are not going to move to a keyword-based system. While nothing is ever absolute, I do not anticipate this stance changing.

In WoodManZX's example rewrites, it leaves the timing of the actions significantly less clear. You would need a lot of extra rules in the rulebook in order to know which order to execute things in, and what things tie into other things and what do not. For a game as timing and context dependent as PACG, this would result in significant rules bloat. MtG is complex as well, but they also have a rulebook consisting of literally hundreds of pages explaining every keyword and timing nuance.

I do think there is middle ground to be achieved here, but it should not break a power up into multiple lines/paragraphs, whatever it is.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Reduction may seem like simplification and that it should therefore make things easier to learn, but it actually creates a barrier to learning. If you ever played with the first printing of Rise of the Runelords, you'll remember that we actually started with at least one thing that was more reductive than we have now: recharge checks.

Today, Lightning Touch says "After playing this card, if you do not have the Arcane skill, banish it; otherwise, succeed at an Arcane 6 check to recharge this card instead of discarding it." In the first printing of RotR, Lightning Touch's Powers box ended with "If you do not have the Arcane skill, banish this card," and then it had a box labeled "Recharge" that said "Succeed at an Arcane 6 check to recharge this card instead of discarding it." Just that amount of reduction confused so many people that it was just about the first thing we changed in the entire game. Switching to the wordy paragraph made the game easier to understand for a lot of people.

Another problem with reducing language is that it takes away the designers' ability to change things. For example, following the form of WoodManZX's examples, you could reduce "If defeated, you may immediately attempt to close the location this henchman came from" to something like "[Close]"... but that hampers the designers' ability to vary from the norm. Take the henchmen from Tomb Raiders Gone Rogue: "If defeated by less than 5, you may immediately attempt to close the location this henchman came from; if you succeed, before closing, you may draw any number of the boons in the location deck." Or Widow & Dearly Departed: "If defeated, you may immediately succeed at an Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma check with a difficulty equal to the number of cards in the panic deck to close the location this henchman came from."

Similarly, if a spell would say "[Recharge] Arcane 6 instead of discarding," how do you do something like Monstrous Physique: "At the end of the turn, if you do not have the Arcane skill, banish this card and bury your discard pile; otherwise, bury this card and your discard pile, or you may succeed at an Arcane 15 check to bury this card instead."


I understand the argument and I think its valid, but I think there's also merit in the argument that cards are somewhat hard to refer to quickly as important pieces of information are buried in the middle of blocks of text. Perhaps keeping the full text but finding a way to highlight the key bits of information you may wish to refer to would be a reasonable compromise? For instance, if one is a caster, one pretty quickly gets used to the pattern of recharge checks, but (in my experience) one frequently needs to refer back to the card to look up the recharge DC. So if it read, for instance, "After playing this card, if you do not have the Arcane skill, banish it; otherwise, succeed at an Arcane 6 check to recharge this card instead of discarding it." it would still have all the information for those that need it but would also be quicker to refer to.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

That's an interesting thought.

But Vic is right on a lot of fronts. Especially on the bit about helping new players understand the game. Magic: The Gathering has so many keywords that it's a bit daunting for newer players. PACG needs to grow and expand, and it isn't as huge as Magic yet - it can't afford to just throw up barriers and rely on its already-massive playerbase to absorb those barriers.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Thank you for the additional thoughts. I know this has come up before, and I appreciate your taking the time. I feel strongly about this since I'm teaching my daughter to play. :)

I understand that writing everything out allows more flexibility. I do enjoy the fact that there are many creative weapons and spells that affect checks in so many different ways. But I think this approach also impairs learning and playing speed. A new player has to read a paragraph to see how each card works. For Lightning Touch, it takes 29 words to explain recharging, the most basic and boring part of the spell. But you have to read it, because a card's exciting effects and boring administrivia are all mixed in free-text in there.

For experienced players, I agree with steve496, that it's hard to quickly parse card interactions when they all have a paragraph on them. Speaking of henchmen and closing: I can't count the times we've failed to notice the difference between "you may immediately attempt to close" and "you may immediately close," or "you may attempt to close, but this weird thing happens," or worse, failed to notice the *lack* of ability to close, since it's not templated and you just have to read everything that's there, and realize everything that's *not* there.

I would love to see the game explore some basic templates, even just for the more basic weapons and spells, even if they still have the full explanations written afterwards in italics. Just to provide a mental shortcut and scannability.

I don't think templates would designer flexibility, either. They can always break out of them when needed. Maybe Lightning Touch can get a "Recharge" box that says "Arcane 6", while Monstrous Physique says "Recharge: See below" and then busts out the crazy effects in the main box.

I think it would be great to think about design ideas like this, to increase the game's accessibility, ease the mental burden while playing, and to allow the really cool effects to stand out more, so players can focus on them.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

I will 100% support Vic because IMHO that point by itself seems to me the most important:

Vic wrote:
...reducing language ... takes away the designers' ability to change things...

I want Mike and Vic to keep surprising us.

If they can write new stuff in plain english, they definitively have way more room to play with that if we impose a strict limiting grammar.

And I would add one think: We play with a large groupe (4-6p), players have a lot of time during the other players' turns to read the cards in their hand or on the table. Actually, it gives them something to do.
And also, as the veteran of this forum know by now (I'm annoying on that), I see PACG more as an adventure than a puzzle to solve. If we missed something, is it THAT important? Certainly less game-killer than if the game was becoming an automatic usage of a limited set of programmed movement of cards. And I fear fixing the grammar mat push to that. IMHO.
Yes I have a lot of MTG cards and still don't like the game for that reason.


Wikwocket wrote:


I think it would be great to think about design ideas like this, to increase the game's accessibility, ease the mental burden while playing, and to allow the really cool effects to stand out more, so players can focus on them.

One thing I would like and kind of do myself is to color code the text in the box. When something catches me by surprise and it out of the norm, I take a light colored highlighter and color the surprising part.

If the text is all just left as is, maybe the different parts could be color coded so they stand out? Like recharge instructions are in purple, etc?


It might be noted that some of the suggestions for PACG are already being implemented in the Apocrypha Adventure Card Game, which was just released. So Apocrypha might serve as a test case.

Some examples:

- Apocrypha uses placeholder henchmen and villains in the location decks, with the actual henchmen/villains set off to the side for reference.

- Apocrypha uses a reductive symbology/keyword system (examples in this KS update) to explain what each card does.

- Apocrypha uses different scenario structures (printed on reference cards), with "Corner" being only one possibility.

- For now, Apocrypha has a special "surprise rule" that is different each day that you play (distributed via app).

Note: There are a number of significant differences between Apocrypha and PACG. But they are extremely similar in many ways.

Comments:

I've now played Apocrypha twice, and I can say that:

- Having the minions/villains set off to the side means that I sometimes peek at them ahead of time. In PACG, we would never look in advance (i.e., before encountering them in the location) because we wanted to be surprised. In Apocrypha I occasionally peek, such as when I briefly scanned the villain (True Threat) last game because I wanted to be as prepared as possible to avoid dying.

- We're all struggling with the symbology/keywords system, but some more than others. Most of us are slowly coming to grips with it, but there's at least one player is getting so frustrated that she's ready to explode. In her words, learning the Apocrypha "card effects" template is equivalent to learning a foreign language from scratch, and she doesn't play games to learn entirely new languages. She misses the longer "plain English" explanations, to be sure.

By the way, some card effects are sufficiently opaque (due to symobology and keyword shorthand) that not one of us could actually figure them out. That's... not ideal.

- The "surprise rule per day" invention is neat.

Anyway, I'm not trying to derail the thread towards a non-Paizo product. But it seemed worth mentioning.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Wikwocket wrote:
For experienced players, I agree with steve496, that it's hard to quickly parse card interactions when they all have a paragraph on them.

This is true. So far, the best response I have for that is that we've been moving more and more to reordering large paragraphs so that the first thing you read is when you can do a thing. For example, take the ally Social Climber:

Bard Deck, 2014:
Recharge this card to automatically acquire an ally that does not have the Animal trait. Then roll 1d6. On a 1, banish this card.

Upcoming Class Deck, 2018:
When you encounter an ally that does not have the Animal trait, recharge this card to automatically acquire it. Then roll 1d6. On a 1, banish this card.

While you will obviously want to read this card in full before adding it to your hand or deck, while it's in your hand, you can just read the first clause and say "Well, I'm not currently encountering an ally that does not have the Animal trait, so I don't need to read or think about the rest of that paragraph just now."

(This sort of reworking is generally confined to lengthier bits of text; with short sentences, the construction is simpler when you put the action first, so "Discard this card to add 2 dice to any check to acquire a boon" wouldn't be rewritten as "On any check to acquire a boon, discard this card to add 2 dice.")


I'm late to the party, I just wanted to lend my voice to a couple of suggestions already raised. For myself, I own all 4 base sets, have played them to conclusion and own all (right now) 22 Class Decks.

STORY - I love the OP's increased story. I'm playing a guild scenario at the home and it makes such a big difference to have a more involved narrative than can be given on a tiny card.

REMOVING CLOSED LOCATIONS - Not a fan, makes the world of the game feel smaller and would have negative consequences for game play I think.

STASH - I always thought it would be neat if some of the scenarios were more of a puzzle. For a simple example if all the locations needed wisdom survival to close. If you failed first time round, because the party has a stash, players could tweak their decks to add more Blessings of Shelyn etc. As it stands if you fail a scenario you can't tweak your deck to help your odds of success at all, you just have to go at it again with the same load out.

PROXIES - I really dislike proxies. I bought the drivethru cards for the guild season I'm playing for that reason, but I do understand if that's the way it has to go, especially if it reduces costs substantially to entice more players into the game.

DIFFICULTY - I prefer the simplicity of one difficulty setting, and feel like it would be hard to balance correctly. I despise increased difficulty where you basically just have to play something multiple times til you get lucky. For instance only being able to win if all henchmen/villains are in the top half of location decks because of a decreased blessings deck. I also agree with someone else's comment that making a "harder" difficulty will make some players feel like their completed run through on "normal" difficulty is invalidated.

TYPOS - I feel like a tiny bit more QC would make a big improvement. I do dislike the number of typos on cards. But I know Paizo is a small company so it has limited resources.

I love the game. Can't wait to see where it goes next. I really hope the new ideas can bring more people into the game so they can experience all the joy I have gotten from playing PACG.


Agree that the increased story in the Adventure Guild scenarios is very helpful to the RPG aspect.

I'm not a big fan of keywords and symbology to replace a simple easy to understand English (or whatever language) sentence. One of the great things in playing PACG with new players and even us veteran players is knowing you can always just pick up a card and read it to know what it does or can do.

Dave


Color-code the boons. It's far too easy to get stuff mixed up when every boon is light blue.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Wikwocket wrote:
For experienced players, I agree with steve496, that it's hard to quickly parse card interactions when they all have a paragraph on them.
This is true. ...

I'm not in favor of making paragraphs too automatic/easy to read. It' not a computer game when you have to react fast pushing always the same key. I like the idea that it's a bit of a roleplay where you reread slowly what you can do in such a situation. Like reopening your spellbook and going through what exactly the spell does and how it interacts with that specific defense on the other guy and that other spell that your teammate just cast.

IMHO.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

So, we've played all 3 and are in the middle of Mummy's Mask as a 6 player extravaganza each time. Some thoughts:

Right now, I'm bored with PACG. The card mechanics for the most part are static and stale. Triggered is cool, except now everyone except the Ectomancer or someone who has a built in evade simply just doesn't scout because, at least that I can remember, there aren't many beneficial (if any) Triggered Triggers. Combat is king. Smash big numbers and don't bring anything else to your deck. Why isn't there Combat Ranged X / Combat Melee X*2? Birds should be far easier to kill with a bow than a blade. Second to damage, Damage is queen. Fail a barrier, combat, shake the wrong lizard's hand and you're discarding / recharging some armor from your hand.

Secondly, spells. Undead Gremlin (made up example) has Combat 14 / Divine 8. Even if I have D10+2 for divine, I'm going to load my deck with Holy Light to roll 2D12+D10+2 because those numbers are more likely to hit 14 than my D10+2 to hit 8. If something is suspectible to magic, maybe have Combat 14 / Spell 10 and have your spells be for a Spell check. That's not the most elegant fix but I just know that for the most part, I've never done the (or) for a monster fight. It's always fire the most dice I have at the Combat check because that's the best odds. The only time I might consider the (or) is if I get caught without an attack spell in my hand.

The above has led to everyone at our table basically having the same decks just with different named cards for the most part. Flip a card with the mentality of making sure you can tank some damage, do the card and repeat.

With that said: Curses are nifty. We need more effects like that. That force you out of the normal do a roll, tank the damage, hunt and move on. Maybe instead of damage, creatures start shuffling other creatures into locations? Or Ogre Name #3 hits you, take 0 damage but place this card next to your character. Your hand size is -2 until healed. Maybe a barrier that if you fail, forces you to explore random locations?

Side note: Armies. Good pumpkins. Please save "ARMY" traits for bosses or at least giant cards meant to scare the life out of you. In Wrath, we were facing Armies what seemed like every 4th card we flipped and it was just unfun. Especially with the numbers they require.


Just another random issue, I think there needs to be a better and more consistent template for effects which cause cards, especially villains, to be "undefeated". You should only ever take cards from the blessings deck if you actually fail the check to defeat the villain. But what frequently happens is that the scenario designer wants you to achieve some secondary goal before you can win, and implements that rule as "If X the villain is undefeated", and the end result is often far too punishing. Some scenarios are completely broken as a result (e.g. BLT as printed), some are much more difficult than they ought to be (e.g. Toll of the Bell), and others are fine mostly except that every now and again you get completely screwed over in an, if not unavoidable (e.g. Eustoryiax being in the Chasm of Shadows), then at least difficult to predict or avoid way (e.g. encountering one of the villains who are always undefeated the first time very early on).

I think the neatest template is "If [condition is not met] then do not close [the villain]'s location". They're "defeated" for the purpose of side effects, you don't get cards from the blessings deck, but you still can't win the scenario without completing the "side quest" first.

I think a similar thing applies to some normal banes as well. Instead of a card being undefeated, it should just escape to somewhere. Actually a number of cards do this already (e.g. rats, giant flies), it just should be used more often in my opinion, e.g. on Spectres, in place of "is undefeated". The divine check to defeat on Spectres is particularly awkward - you successfully "turn" it but unless you're Kyra it still flings you to a random location.

The basic principle I'm getting at here is that "the check to defeat should (always) matter".


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I play in a 2 player Mummy Mask and 4 player Wrath of Righteous game. I can empathize with the experiences of KoalaMonk. The outcomes of the game always just feel... inevitable. This is especially prevalent once we close 3 locations in WotR, allowing us to block locations. Our group (smartly) has loaded up on blessings in WotR, and very often, there is no single check that cannot be overcame with the cumulative effect of multiple blessings. I would change the following:

1) Blessings. Change all basic blessings from "add to any check" to "add to your check". Non-basic, upgraded blessings could have power of "add to any check" with bury card (and XXX check to discard instead). All blessings add d8 instead of variable number based on skill being used. More powerful blessings take best result of two d8 dice on specific checks aligned with spheres of influence of deity.

2) Cure spell. d4+1 is too powerful, especially if you have 2 cure spells in deck. With good strategy (and some luck), you can be an unending battery. Have Cure spell recharge top 2 cards on discard pile (instead of shuffle). Make a upgrade Cure that recharges more discards and possibly a second upgrade that recharges ALL discard.

3) Additional effects for taking more damage than what is in your hand. Instead of ignoring the additional damage, maybe bury top card of deck or discard top of blessing deck?

More changes in mind but post getting too long.

Silver Crusade

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If you're looking for more PACG challenge and variation,* I recommend the organized play season scenarios. Season of the Plundered Tombs in particular provides some interesting challenges.

*This suggestion is not intended to in any way lessen your feedback. Trying to provide you some more entertainment for your current sets.


elcoderdude wrote:
Slacker2010 wrote:
elcoderdude wrote:

I have to admit my OP group altered difficulty by adding locations. Season of the Runelords wasn't enough of a challenge for us, so we added 1 location, and eventually 2.

This is not a straight difficulty increase, as it does give you a greater exposure to boons; but it does add to the time pressure. (We had a four-player group.)

I wish our VC would have let us do this. That is a fair trade off I believe, increased difficulty in the form of time but you have chance for more boons. I would be cool with officially allowing that.

Yes, this is the case -- we're off-label, so to speak.

(Please note: Vic has admonished us all, "Please do report your sessions".)

We have stopped reporting our sessions so we can go off script. Game is much more enjoyable being able to make small tweaks like adding an additional location. Aside from that we are still following the Society rules.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

We house ruled that you can only play blessings on checks at your own location. It makes the smothering of a key check with multiple blessings much more difficult to achieve.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
gavin kerr wrote:
We house ruled that you can only play blessings on checks at your own location. It makes the smothering of a key check with multiple blessings much more difficult to achieve.

We tried that out of the many tweaks we tried. It didn't last because it kills a good part of the "collaborative" side of the game (pleading for some help is so fun and puts your teammates in interestning choices, especially in large groups like us).

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

I agree with many of the points people have brought up, but the biggest change that should be made is the rewards for beating the following:

- The final Scenario
- The final Adventure
- The Adventure Path

It is bad enough that a character gets the perfect storm of rewards just when they should consider retiring the character, but there are certain rewards that should be avoided due to limited chances to use said reward:

- Loot cards. Seriously, it's like saying "here's cards you'll never use."
- Did I mention Loot cards??? Ok, well add any other type of card that is set aside until earned.

The only reward the Adventure Path card should ever have on it is flavour text that says in some fashion "You completed the objective successfully, well done." Maybe even include an epilogue. The Adventure Path card doesn't need a mechanical reward as the Adventure and Scenario cards give rewards. In fact, for the final Adventure and Scenario cards, the more trivial the reward, the better.


Vic Wertz wrote:

Irgy wrote:
...my friends still mock the phrase "adventure deck number B".
Cards have set indicators, which may be letters or adventure deck numbers. If a card's set indicator is a letter, you treat its adventure deck number as 0. "Adventure deck number B" does not actually exist as a phrase or even as a concept in the game.

Isn't this EXACTLY what makes the suggestion one of the "presentation" suggestions you were asking for? I only mention it because I've heard the exact same mockery at my gaming table.. well, that and I had some initial confusion about "B" and "basic" cards when I first started. We don't need some massive rules change here, just different presentation.

I also hear some griping about boxes not being big enough to fit a full set of sleeved cards.

I had a wild thought that sprung to mind as I was reading other people's thoughts about replay value and more in depth stories. Would it be good/possible to make "character decks" which contains a single character and both boons and banes and even some locations and such.. the idea being that a person would be able to buy a "character deck" and use that deck alone to play through an "introductory adventure" which tells that character's backstory. It would also include cards to play that character in other adventures (perhaps not being as versatile as the current class decks), but it would also include banes and/or sidequests which could be added to adventures, making it feel more like you're playing Feiya or Alaine (for example) through an adventure as opposed to just playing some guy through an adventure.. I'm picturing Feya doing Mummy's Mask and suddenly she finds out that some nearby hags have kidnapped a child and she must rescue the kid.. Or Alaine has to drop what he's doing and put some uppity peasant in his place. What I'd hope for is that a game should feel both like it's telling the adventure story AND like it's telling the character story. Finally, the "character deck" might include a "final encounter" in which the fully leveled character finally faces their epic challenge. I'm not sure I worded this very well to get my meaning, but I also wanted to keep the idea loose enough that people could build on it and manipulate it.

On a more mechanical note, the permadeath thing, I'm of a split mind.. on one hand, if a person can earn permanent rewards, than permanent setbacks should also be a thing.. (and also it adds to the "role-playing" and "drama") on the other hand, permadeath requires that a group replay stuff they've already done (not fun), or that one player be significantly underpowered compared to everyone else (not fun). Essentially, the THREAT of permadeath is something I enjoy, but the REALITY of permadeath is something I disdain. To this end


+1 to black rabbit’s permadeath threat/reality gap. IDK the solution.


elcoderdude wrote:
+1 to black rabbit’s permadeath threat/reality gap. IDK the solution.

I just sat down to play this game. Played SnS "Islands of the Damned". I am, damned careful (pun intended) with my characters and play style. I even made little cards with death heads on them to warn me when a character is down to their hand size in their deck. I literally could not play this game any slower and more cautiously.

Jirelle, a key character to advance in SnS met a Vrykolakas. Horribly unlucky rolls despite throwing everything available.

Whoops, Vrykolakas doesn't just damage you, it BURY'S the top 1d6 cards.

Welcome to permadeath for a key character, 75 hours and one year into playing this game. This really, really pisses me off and makes me not enjoy the game.

"So what?" some say. "Just house rule that you don't perma-die". Ok, so why don't I just house rule that I beat the whole game? There, I won! Weeeee...

I really, really don't get why perma-death is not an option and something less punishing is the default rule.

What am I meant to do now? Alahazra going to finish the game alone? With no Survival skill?


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Yep or start support character with zero level. I like a lot rule From pathfinder society game, where you collect die bumps that you can use to Rice or reduce dice results or use 3 of them to resurrect character From death.

Sometimes stuff just happens...

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

You can change a rule to make the game more fun for you. There are many options in between perma-death and no consequences.

In the RPG, you pay money and gain negative levels to be raised from the dead. What are ways you can represent that in the card game?

1. Lose one each skill/power/card feat
2. Banish all cards with AD number equal to your current adventure from your deck, you may not keep any such cards when rebuilding your deck.

Either the penalty lasts a few scenarios, or you have to pay a cost to remove the penalty (such as banishing a high level healing spell).

I think it would be neat to have some optional ways to deal with death. I think most of them are too involved to be default play, however.


I didn't really get into the perma-death problem in the last post because I think all the solutions would be mechanical, but I like King's suggestions.

I might also be tempted just to say that character doesn't die if there's another character at their location who has cards in their deck.. something like this might promote characters not splitting up as much.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber
IronGiant wrote:
"So what?" some say. "Just house rule that you don't perma-die". Ok, so why don't I just house rule that I beat the whole game? There, I won! Weeeee...

These are not exactly equivalent. The perma-death mechanic in this game is well, terrible. I hate it and I've ignored it ever since I read it. I try not to die because having a character die makes it harder to complete the scenario. But I still play the game because I enjoy playing the game. If I'm playing some other game that I don't enjoy playing I can just stop playing it. (Which I think is more in line with your notion of a house rule that you win)

I find that the perma-death rule just doesn't respect your time and I find that disdainful. When a game asks me to repeat a few dozen hours of content for no good reason I feel slighted because there's a lot of other things I could be doing with my time.

Something else I don't really enjoy in the game are cards that punish you when you succeed. Or unavoidable damage in general. I understand that without these, armor cards are even more useless, but its an aspect of design I don't care for.


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I agree with Kasoh. If a game has a "perma-death" feature built in, and it's a character that I've spent a long time developing and have grown attached to, then I will hand-wave any death as not having happened. There's nothing worse than a game basically erasing all the time you spent on something, as if you have nothing better to do with that time. It's even worse in video games since you can't just pretend it never happened. (I believe there was an MMORPG once that included permanent death as a feature. I never touched that game.)

Since I have very little free time, I'm opposed to any game elements whose design is solely to waste that time. This is what annoyed me (and the rest of my gaming group) about Wrath of the Righteous so much. Barriers such as Demonic Horde and Arboreal Blights just slowed the game down to a crawl. Demonic Hordes were especially bad because they could wind up hitting the same person repeatedly, forcing the rest of us to play all our blessings to help them get through it. And if there was one failure, it meant not only did we waste playing those cards, but we'd have to spend an entire round recovering from it, then end up facing it yet again. That was the most "unfun" we've ever experienced in this (or possibly any) game.

So yeah, we have no problem house-ruling away permanent death.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

These Are the official rules for die bumps

- - - -
die BumPS
A die bump is a single-use reward usually given to characters that complete an adventure (See Earning Scenario Rewards on page 10).
Your character can use a die bump to add 1 to or subtract 1 from the result of a check. Multiple die bumps can be used on a check, and multiple characters can use die bumps on a check.
If a character dies, at the end of that scenario, the party may collectively use 3 die bumps to resurrect that character back from the dead. Players may not be coerced into using die bumps for this purpose. The resurrected character is no longer dead and gains rewards as if he had not died.
When you use a die bump, mark it off on your character’s Chronicle sheet.

When you have completed all of the scenarios in an adventure, in addition to the adventure reward, you also gain a die bump (see Die Bumps on page 9). Record it on your Chronicle sheet.

- - - - -
This rule could easily be in next core box rules! There would still be perma death, but Also a cost to deal with it! And it is not too complicated to include Also to normal Pathfinder games. It works quite well in organized games, so why not in home games too.


One other thing I would like to see change is the utility of allies. I really haven't given it enough thought to offer any suggestion, but currently in my group (6 players), all the text printed on allies are a waste of ink. The only power we ever can afford to use them for is to explore again.

It might be more a problem with the fact that the countdown timer (the blessings deck) wasn't designed to scale to 6 players. 30 cards with 6 players means that we each only get 5 turns (as opposed to the 7.5 turns that 4 players have), so extra explores each turn becomes more of a necessity. So while it would be fun to hold on to that ally to use its other powers, instead it immediately gets discarded to explore again. (And even then, sometimes we still run out of time if the Villain ends up as the bottom card of a location.)

(Amusingly, I just came up with an idea while typing this.) Perhaps instead, allies can be displayed to explore again. Then you can still discard them to use their other powers. At the end of your turn, if it's displayed, discard it.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Dulcee wrote:

One other thing I would like to see change is the utility of allies. I really haven't given it enough thought to offer any suggestion, but currently in my group (6 players), all the text printed on allies are a waste of ink. The only power we ever can afford to use them for is to explore again.

It might be more a problem with the fact that the countdown timer (the blessings deck) wasn't designed to scale to 6 players. 30 cards with 6 players means that we each only get 5 turns (as opposed to the 7.5 turns that 4 players have), so extra explores each turn becomes more of a necessity. So while it would be fun to hold on to that ally to use its other powers, instead it immediately gets discarded to explore again. (And even then, sometimes we still run out of time if the Villain ends up as the bottom card of a location.)

(Amusingly, I just came up with an idea while typing this.) Perhaps instead, allies can be displayed to explore again. Then you can still discard them to use their other powers. At the end of your turn, if it's displayed, discard it.

I think you're just seeing an artifact of playing with 6. When I play solo or with my wife, we almost never use the explore power on allies; it's all about the skill bonus. So for us really the allies we don't like are the ones with super-specific skills - "recharge for +d6 to Craft" or such. If you don't have Craft suddenly having a d4+d6 on the few times it comes up isn't going to help much and isn't worth the deck slot.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

That seems like the intended design space for allies. Their utility changes with the size of the party. Smaller parties have fewer blessings/spells/abilities around the table and are more likely to use allies for their powers. Larger parties have enough support already, but need to use extra explorations.

Regarding death: While superficially mechanical, how death is handled in the game is as much or more about the experience of the game. Gameplay experience seems close enough to presentation to be relevant to this thread, and I think that some more forgiving optional rules would make the game slightly more appealing to many players.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Dulcee wrote:
(Amusingly, I just came up with an idea while typing this.) Perhaps instead, allies can be displayed to explore again. Then you can still discard them to use their other powers. At the end of your turn, if it's displayed, discard it.

This... actually sounds pretty good. It would break the status quo where Blessings (Explore OR Conditional 2 dice) in 6-p are strictly better than Allies (Explore OR Nothing even close to adding 2 dice to a check, generally speaking), as "your" allies would be able to give explore AND additional benefit...

(Although I'll admit the above problem was slightly rectified through the sets - in MM our party actually maxed Allies and didn't max Blessings; just as with Items, however, this was due more to the Allies "coolness" factor, rather than to a mathematically sound calculation)


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On Perma Death, I have played the Souls Series of video games (Dark Souls). These games are supposed to be hard and difficult and stress inducing. You know going in that if you died, you did one minor thing wrong. It had nothing to do with luck.

In PACG, I do not expect that thinking. I have had bad throws where we have said "unless I throw all 1's... lol"... and then I do... and I lose everything?

In Souls, I am given the option to attempt to get back to where I was to retrieve my hard work for a mistake. Lying on the ground in a sort of jest.

PACG just tells you to pack it up and go again... from the beginning of the game. Yeah, so I ignore it. Waste of my time.

If and when we have a player die, we stop the scenario right there. Rebuild our decks with our upgrades and start that scenario again. Now, we are more prepared. We view it more as getting so far on a video game level. We die, respawn, and get to go at it again from the last checkpoint (beginning on the scenario).

On allies. When my wife and I play two players, we tend to use allies for their specific powers since we need a bit more diversity and assistance. With my six player game, we tend to use them for explores since we have enough Blessings and versatility to go around.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

I concur that the Permadeath rule has been the most group destroying mechanic of the game. I've lost count of how many of mine have collapsed when we have gotten just far enough to upgrade our characters skills and powers, just to have one of us die to a set of bad rolls/unfortunate card draws. The group just folds because the one that dies isn't interested in restarting with an underpowered, new character...and the rest of the group doesn't want to continue with out them. Could we house rule it? Sure. But that kills the group subtly as well...as several now feel like we've cheated.

I would love to see some sort of earlier mechanic that lets you resurrect party members earlier in the game (I know they exist in the higher level APs). Possibly spells or items...scenario rewards...priests who res after scenarios for a cost. Should there be penalties for them (one time usage...rezzed character has some sort of hindrance in the next scenario)? Sure, that could work. But telling someone who has pushed through 15-20 scenarios that 'Sorry, have fun starting over,' is overly penal in my opinion.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I love this post and have worked my way through the comments. I have some thoughts on some of the issues various people have raised that I want to point out here.

1. Rebuilding your deck after a scenario / Stash.

Many people have issues with this aspect of the game, but I find it one of the most fun parts! I think the trader rules in MM address some of the "I don't have any (good) x type cards, and the N-2 adventure deck level thing is confusing/bad" complaints.

I think the best "fix" for this would be to expand traders. We could include a trader that deals in Basic boons at a 1 to 1 trade rate (this has a similar effect of always being able to replace lost cards with basics, but is more flexible, with a bonus of being thematic). Certain characters getting discounts with certain traders, or even a character with a power that affects how they trade could be fascinating. What about a trapper character that burries all monsters (or just animal trait monsters) that they defeat, and then trade the "pelts" in between scenarios in for boons!

2. Side/optional quests.

In addition to the card guild doing a lot of cool stuff with scenario structure, I think this is already handled by location powers. Many locations have a "when permanently closed" effect that is a free boon, or bonus of some other type. These could of course be expanded upon to make the closing reward more exciting (maybe at the cost of an increasingly difficult closing check). Or have an optional harder closing check; for example closing a prison location requires a check of 10 to get a new ally card from the box, or a check of 20 to get a unique Loot ally card instead. Having certain cards only able to be defeated/acquired by specific classes or characters might be neat as well.

Additionally, there was some talk of removing permanently closed locations, and I agree on the (seeming) consensus that we shouldn't change this in general, but would be fine with it on a case by case basis. Perhaps specific locations could have "When permanently closed, send this location back to the box". This could be a fun thematic touch for a mirage/misty island location, and would have the fun of the "world closing in" that Mike mentioned, without it being in every scenario.

3. "Invoke"

To me Invoke should mean "A check invokes a trait if any skill, power, or card involved with the check has the trait." Which is what I think Vic's ruling invoked (ha). If any of the cards involved (bane, boon, character, location, scenario, etc) has a trait then the check invokes the trait.

Other random thoughts:

I love the idea of more involved scenarios. Track down and defeat a villain, but that then opens up 3 new locations that you summon and build on the spot.

Alternate victory conditions leading to alternate scenarios could also be neat.

Locations/barriers that require two different characters to pass two different checks could be neat. Think of two people holding up a door or an "I'll boost you up, then you pull me up" wall. Obviously these would have alternate (harder) checks if there is only one person playing.

I love the idea of larger (2x larger, sideways) adventure / location / scenario / character / additional utility cards. This would solve a lot of the minor quibbles that people have, increase accessibility/readability at the table, and allow for more flavor text.

Boo to the idea of random card packs. Yay to more things like the Ultimate decks. Yay to having all the "elementary" cards that are used in starting decks being separately available or at least not including the same cards repeatedly in expansions/ individual decks.

I do like the idea of adjacent location decks that the app uses, but I can't think of an elegant way to do this with the physical version (other than a multi-tiered scenario)

I think more parts of the game should take advantage of card traits and sub types. The two main being arcane vs divine spells, and melee vs ranged weapons. If I'm Ezren and gain a free spell card as a reward for something, I am disappointed if it is not arcane. This isn't a huge deal, but seeing more powers/events like "Draw a spell that shares a trait with a skill that you have" or "You gain a random item with the Liquid trait" might be fun.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

The adjanced lokations system is nicely implemented in Arkham horror Lcg, where every location tells what location it is Connected to. Including one way / two way Connections, so it is doable.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
eddiephlash wrote:
Additionally, there was some talk of removing permanently closed locations, and I agree on the (seeming) consensus that we shouldn't change this in general, but would be fine with it on a case by case basis. Perhaps specific locations could have "When permanently closed, send this location back to the box". This could be a fun thematic touch for a mirage/misty island location, and would have the fun of the "world closing in" that Mike mentioned, without it being in every scenario.

I like the idea of certain locations returning to the box. It's also a neat mechanic for specific adventures or scenarios.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Just wrote that in another thread. Thought it might fit in here too:

Healing is an issue in small groups and time (blessing deck) in large ones. One thing I "would" change would be trying to balance the game so that both are issues whatever the party size.


Frencois wrote:

Just wrote that in another thread. Thought it might fit in here too:

Healing is an issue in small groups and time (blessing deck) in large ones. One thing I "would" change would be trying to balance the game so that both are issues whatever the party size.

Please no. It's annoying enough to have to replay scenarios multiple times because we keep running out of time. If we have to have a healer run around healing people, that will mean even less time. Replaying an entire campaign because the group wants to try different characters - that's fun. But replaying a scenario when everyone wants to move on and continue the story - not fun.

---------------------------

Not necessarily a change, but something I would like to see added - more characters! Now that we have Ultimate decks coming out to supplement all the class/character decks, a character expansion set is completely viable. New archetypes for rangers, rogues, fighters, etc. etc. I've been hoping for a couple years now for my favorite divine hunter paladin to make an appearance (like the one in the NPC Codex that even has a miniature made already). Popular non-iconics such as Shalelu could be fun as well.

(I also considered having official OP rules for creating your own character, but creating a list of balanced power feats to choose from sounds like a bit too much work.)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Dulcee wrote:
Frencois wrote:

Just wrote that in another thread. Thought it might fit in here too:

Healing is an issue in small groups and time (blessing deck) in large ones. One thing I "would" change would be trying to balance the game so that both are issues whatever the party size.

Please no. It's annoying enough to have to replay scenarios multiple times because we keep running out of time. If we have to have a healer run around healing people, that will mean even less time. Replaying an entire campaign because the group wants to try different characters - that's fun. But replaying a scenario when everyone wants to move on and continue the story - not fun.

Sorry Dulcee I wasn't clear.

I totally agree it has to stay fun and should not at all improve the number or replayed scenarios or other unpleasant outcomes.
The difficulty should not increase.
It's a matter of balancing heal/time difficulties in a way independent of party size, not at all adding those difficulties.

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