Favored Card Type During Outside of Drawing Your Starting Hand


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

The recent blog post got me thinking about Favored Card types. Particularly Linxia and in particular about characters like RotR Lem or S&S Seltyiel that have multiple possibilities for Favored Card type.

So, what I'm assuming is that you can choose what your Favored Card type is each time that it matters. Lem isn't stuck with what he chose when he drew his starting hand. (Which makes Linxia and Lem an interesting team.)

Anyone else have thoughts on this? There would also seem to be implications for Ausetitha and other cards, but I couldn't find anywhere it was discussed before.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Sounds about right to me. I don't think it's what's *intended* from a design and balance perspective, but it definitely beats the implication that I'm supposed to remember my favored card type through several hours of play.


Related note:

Gronk has no favored card type. Not 'any', none. How does that work?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

If a character has no favored card type, no card is of his favored type.


Zhayne wrote:
Gronk has no favored card type. Not 'any', none. How does that work?

Someone who has no favored card type cannot play or acquire cards of their favored card type. Should be easy to go from there. (Edit: Ah, Vic the Ninja is back. :)

Some other notables: Ak (Goblins Fight), Ranzak (Promo S&S), Estra (MM), Ezren (MM), Ahmotep (MM), and Mavaro (MM).


Hmm. 'Favored Card Type: None' really does seem to be a penalty overall ...


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Longshot11 wrote:
Sounds about right to me. I don't think it's what's *intended* from a design and balance perspective, but it definitely beats the implication that I'm supposed to remember my favored card type through several hours of play.

+1

Unfortunately Vic did not answer the original question.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
If a character has no favored card type, no card is of his favored type.

Doesn't that make it rather hard to draw a starting hand?


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Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
JohnF wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
If a character has no favored card type, no card is of his favored type.
Doesn't that make it rather hard to draw a starting hand?

On the contrary, it makes it really easy. The first hand you draw is the hand you are forced to keep. This is not explicit in the rules, but I doubt anyone is confused on how a FCT of None works when drawing a starting hand (especially given that the pedantic interpretation of the rules says that such characters are unplayable).


I've been thinking about favored card types lately, and mostly ... why they're there. To date, I can't recall anybody feeling pleased if their opening hand doesn't include a weapon or spell. Is it intended as a drawback to have armor, item, ally, or blessing as your favored card? Or is it just for theme enforcement?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Zhayne wrote:
I've been thinking about favored card types lately, and mostly ... why they're there. To date, I can't recall anybody feeling pleased if their opening hand doesn't include a weapon or spell. Is it intended as a drawback to have armor, item, ally, or blessing as your favored card? Or is it just for theme enforcement?

I think Lini would be unhappy without an Animal ally in her hand.

Scarab Sages

Exactly, dahling. Who needs implements of war or balls of fire when you have friends? Especially friends who are more than happy to deal with such annoyances for you!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Zhayne wrote:
Is it intended as a drawback to have armor, item, ally, or blessing as your favored card? Or is it just for theme enforcement?

I can't speak to the intent, but it certainly FEELS like punishment, for every player I know. As far as theme - most player find it ridiculous that 4-cards-handed Seelah must start with Armor, and then potentially have to bare-fist enemies for a long time before getting her weapon (same with Merisiel - AKA Miss Dozens of Daggers- who apparently has to rely on 'backstabbing' monsters with her finely-maintained manicure, or otherwise waste timer/cards by evading them)

So, I'll bet on 'balance', and that the designers wanted to force different start-game strategies, like starting at common location and picking turn order, which would allow martials to pass on extra weapons. It never feels particularly 'flavorful' or encouraging though, obvious exceptions like Lini's Allies notwithstanding.

And then, there are some particularly absurd 'choice' combos, that *seem* to be intended as 'flavor', but are in fact 'choice' in name only - or at least that's the stance I'll support until someone testifies of ever choosing Imrijka's "Blessing" over "Weapon"...


I'm too lazy to do a proper analysis but my feeling tells me that favoured cards that feel like punishment are more of an issue for the earlier characters; I doubt the issue crops up often for the characters past RotR, SnS and the first 7 class decks.

Apart from armor and maybe items, the remaining card types can all be used strategically by choosing proper starting locations, as Longshot already remarked; whether these individual choices make sense needs a case-by-case analysis.

Also, look at it this way:
Changing the favoured card type from something you don't actually need to None hardly improves your chance to getting the card type you want in your starting hand.

On the other hand, changing the favoured card type of something you need to None would negatively affect a lot of characters, especially the ones with a low amount of that card type.

Therefore, having a favoured card type as a mechanic is on average much more beneficial than it detracts, and the details depend on the character.


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Doppelschwert wrote:
Changing the favoured card type from something you don't actually need to None hardly improves your chance to getting the card type you want in your starting hand.

In starting RotR Seelah's case (4 card hand size, 3 armours, 3 weapons) the favoured card type changes the odds of having a weapon in your starting hand from 63.7% (no favoured card type) to 56.2%*. So, it's noticeable, but not huge. Would typically make a difference every 13 scenarios or so. By 13 scenarios you would have improved your odds overall but the difference it makes is presumably still similar (I haven't checked this though).

I see favoured card type as being 100% a flavour choice, but which has balance implications. I would imagine (and certainly I would do it this way myself) they picked the favoured card type for flavour first, and balanced the other powers etc. with that in mind. So I think calling it a "punishment" is a bit misleading because it implies that they thought the character too powerful (first) and gave a sucky favoured card type to compensate (second), rather than the other way around.

It has a big influence on gameplay. For characters with a non-combat favoured card type I'll prioritise weapon (or spell if appropriate) card feats and hand size much higher. Whereas, at the other end of the scale, with Lem or WotR Seoni I'll deliberately avoid taking any weapon or spell (respectively) feats so as to maximise the average quality of the card I'm almost-guaranteed to always have handy.

I see this as a good thing overall by the way. It's a flavour choice leading to different deckbuilding priorities, and that's exactly how it should be. So long as the overall balance is intact, which I believe it is.

* Interestingly, none of the simple ways of calculating this value actually get it right, and I could only find that number by simulating the whole process. If you put a random armour in your hand and then draw 3 random cards you'd get 54.7%. If you reshuffled every time you didn't get an armour you'd get 57.6%.


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Oh, and about the original issue (with apologies for the double-post), my understanding is that there's no power (outside of the starting hand mechanic itself) which depends on your favoured card type and is "you must" rather than "you may"?

Personally I would have assumed that "is of your favoured type" is always true when the card matches any of your favoured card types. So I would think, for instance, that if Linxia's power said "must banish" instead of "may banish" that Lem (at her location) would have to banish all the cards he acquires. But Hawkmoon's interpretation, that you choose each time, would allow Lem to effectively dodge the "must" power by choosing a different favoured card type.

But I don't think the difference matters yet, because all the cards that refer to your favoured type say "you may", and choosing a different favoured type or just choosing not to activate the power regardless are equivalent.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Hawkmoon269 wrote:

The recent blog post got me thinking about Favored Card types. Particularly Linxia and in particular about characters like RotR Lem or S&S Seltyiel that have multiple possibilities for Favored Card type.

So, what I'm assuming is that you can choose what your Favored Card type is each time that it matters. Lem isn't stuck with what he chose when he drew his starting hand. (Which makes Linxia and Lem an interesting team.)

Anyone else have thoughts on this? There would also seem to be implications for Ausetitha and other cards, but I couldn't find anywhere it was discussed before.

The only time the rules tell you to choose your favored card type is in Setting Up (under Draw Starting Hands), so that's the only time you get to choose. Once you do, it stays chosen for the entire scenario.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
The only time the rules tell you to choose your favored card type is in Setting Up (under Draw Starting Hands), so that's the only time you get to choose. Once you do, it stays chosen for the entire scenario.

Respectfully, Vic, that's *not* what the Rules are saying, or at least - not the only interpretation. The exact quote is:

Rulebook wrote:
The character card also lists a favored card type; if more than one is listed, choose 1 type before drawing. If you didn’t draw at least 1 card of that type...

The way some people -me included- interpret that first sentence is that it says the equivalent of

Interpretation 1 wrote:
The character card also lists a favored card type; if more than one favored card type is listed, choose 1 of the listed favored card type before drawing.

In this interpretation, to me it seems that Imrijka (for example) has both Favored Card: Weapon AND Favored Card: Blessing. What she then does in Draw Starting Hands is in essense say: "I want to draw in my starting hand THIS Favored Card instead of THAT Favored Card" - i.e. she's not *designating* A Favored Card, she's selecting which of her TWO Favored Card types to apply to the specific task of Drawing Starting Hand.

Also, the next sentence ("If you didn’t draw at least 1 card of that type...") in no way implies that she's making any scenario-long commitment; in fact, to me, it seems to further reinforce a distinction between "Favored Card type" and "Type of card you select for your starting hand")

As I said above, balance-wise what you said seems like the proper *intent* - I just don't see it suppoted wording-wise (and I'll appreciate if someone points out if I'm incorrect on not-being-a-native-speaker basis). What you describe as the RAI, sounds like it should be along the lines of:

Interpretation 2 wrote:
The character card also lists a favored card type; if more than one type is listed, choose 1 of them. This becomes your effective Favored Card type for the duration of the scenario.

IMHO. Again, I don't mind if I'm reading it wrong, but I'd like if I can be pointed out why.

EDIT: Also, the above means nowhere in the game you're allowed to CHOSE your Favored Card type. In regards to Hawk's OP and Irgy's post - yes, that would mean characters have multiple Favored Cards permanently, which - currently and to my knowledge- gives only benefits, but could certainly be a double edged sword in the future.

To be clear, I'm not pushing for a more beneficial change to the rules, I'm just saying I think the wording might use some massaging, if RAI is to be communicated unambiguously.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Longshot11 wrote:
In this interpretation, to me it seems that Imrijka (for example) has both Favored Card: Weapon AND Favored Card: Blessing... she's selecting which of her TWO Favored Card types to apply to the specific task of Drawing Starting Hand.

The back of her card says "Favored Card Type: Weapon OR Blessing." I genuinely don't follow how you justify turning "or" into "and."

The fact that it says "or" tells you that there's a choice to be made. Since the card itself does not tell you how or when to make that choice, you must look to the rules. And the rules tell you how and when to choose Favored Card Type just once, under Setting Up.

I'll turn it around to you: what in the rules suggests to you that you can choose it whenever you like?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Longshot11 wrote:
In this interpretation, to me it seems that Imrijka (for example) has both Favored Card: Weapon AND Favored Card: Blessing... she's selecting which of her TWO Favored Card types to apply to the specific task of Drawing Starting Hand.
The back of her card says "Favored Card Type: Weapon OR Blessing." I genuinely don't follow how you justify turning "or" into "and."

Well, that's one thing that I mist've gotten wrong: I took this to be one of your English "inclusive OR"s. On one hand, due to its use in other wordings on the cards; on the other - I saw this interpretation supported by the arguments below.

Vic Wertz wrote:
The fact that it says "or" tells you that there's a choice to be made. Since the card itself does not tell you how or when to make that choice, you must look to the rules. And the rules tell you how and when to choose Favored Card Type just once, under Setting Up.

I said why I didn't see the 'OR' as requiring a choice. As for Setting Up - I tried to explain in my original post, that I don't see the wording as making me chose a Favored Card type, but rather makes me chose FROM my Favored Card types - chose a single card type for the express purpose of selecting my starting hand...

Vic Wertz wrote:
I'll turn it around to you: what in the rules suggests to you that you can choose it whenever you like?

Nothing, really! That's entirely my point, also following from the arguments above: you DON'T chose form you Favored Card type, unless directed so by the Rulebook - and you're NOT directed so anywhere, except for the purposes of Setting Up (which, as I tried to explain, in no way communicates a relevance or permanence of that choice outside of Setting Up!). Therefore, ALL of your Favored Card type apply ALWAYS, for good or bad.

At any rate, if it's now not obvious where I'm coming from, I doubt I'll be able to explain it any better. If no one else is seeing a problem with it, it's possible there's some linguistics quirks at play here, that make me transpose reading comprehension from my own language. However, Hawkmoon's OP made me believe there's at least room for wording ambiguity even for native speakers, so there you go.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I think the only thing that gives me pause is that maybe I shouldn't even had used the word choose. For Linxia's power, why am I even choosing? If my card says "Weapon or Spell", what I expected was that any time my favored card type mattered, it applied to both. If something punished me for playing my favored type, I would be punished for playing a weapon or a spell. I wouldn't get to say "well I choose spell right now" and avoid the punishment.

RotR Lem is the situation that seems difficult, since it says your choice. But for anyone else, I'd think that unless I was told to choose, I couldn't choose, rather both types would apply.


Vic Wertz wrote:
Longshot11 wrote:
In this interpretation, to me it seems that Imrijka (for example) has both Favored Card: Weapon AND Favored Card: Blessing... she's selecting which of her TWO Favored Card types to apply to the specific task of Drawing Starting Hand.

The back of her card says "Favored Card Type: Weapon OR Blessing." I genuinely don't follow how you justify turning "or" into "and."

The fact that it says "or" tells you that there's a choice to be made. Since the card itself does not tell you how or when to make that choice, you must look to the rules. And the rules tell you how and when to choose Favored Card Type just once, under Setting Up.

I'll turn it around to you: what in the rules suggests to you that you can choose it whenever you like?

disclaimer: I'm only discussing the topic of unambiguous rule wording here, I think what to do is now clear enough, and what should be in the rulebook or FAQ'd is another topic with other factors to consider.

It's clear that there's a choice to be made, what's not clear is the scope of that choice. I think Longshot's point was that the rules say what to do in one instance of needing to make the choice, and there's two natural ways to generalise that:
1. Do the same thing any time it comes up.
2. Choose only when told to, and retain that choice until told to choose again.

As for how to turn an "or" into an "and", in this type of context "or" is actually a little bit like "and" already. It's easiest to explain by way of an example:

Adam: "What do you feel like for dinner?"
Bob: "Chicken, curry or pasta."

Now consider:
Q: What are the foods which Bob likes?
A: Chicken, curry and pasta.

Q: If you gave Bob a chicken-curry for dinner, would Bob reject it saying "No, I wanted chicken or curry!"
A: No.

Q: Bob was told to chose which favourite food to have for lunch, and chose chicken. Would Bob be happy to have a beef-curry for dinner (even though the food he chose when asked today was chicken)?
A: Yes.

Q: Imagine Bob had instead said he felt like "Chicken, curry and pasta". Would Bob be happy with a beef-curry on rice?
A: No.

The fact that you choose one favoured type means it's not exactly "or" or "and". If it was purely "or" you would keep a hand which contained any one of your favoured types. If it was purely "and" you would only keep a hand containing all of your favoured types. Choosing one is something else again. It's "Choose [with unspecified scope] from the set {x, y, z}", which is neither an "and" nor an "or". The character cards could have said either "and" or "or" and it wouldn't actually make any difference to what you do.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

For the record, the question "What is my favoured card type mid-scenario (if I normally have a choice)" is something that would not be intuitive to me, and I would seek forum/FAQ advice if it came up in-game.

The handling of "OR" can be a little inconsistent, and I can't think of a rulebook statement that highlights a non-inclusive OR. But even in passing, the english language has a tendency to touch upon the use of them, even in pathfinder card text, I suspect. The current wording for spells just falls shy, but consider that the following sentence: "If you have the Arcane or the Divine skill, do X;" would mean that a character with both, such as Lem, would not be counted if you treat it as a strictly non-inclusive OR (since he has both, not a single one or the singular other). The word 'either' in actual standard spell text is a major change that cements the interpretation.

Regardless, I can appreciate that the wording, as a native english speaker, of favoured card types does imply that you only have 1 at a time. On the other hand, I wouldn't have necessarily made the immediate connection that it's only selected once if there wasn't a rulebook (or FAQ) clarification on the matter.

For one thing, I may not have recalled which card type I chose to be my favourite at the start of the scenario - especially if we played a scenario over two days - and I may not have noted it down. There is nothing to suggest this is a piece of information that is mandatory to track (as a contrary example: Arueshalae's Gift requires 'memory' of a selected skill, and so it is designed to utilise a token to track that. The fact that I haven't been asked to track my choice of boon from the start of a scenario as Lem implies to me that it is not 'remembered', and so is not considered relevant information for the duration of the scenario).

Since I have not been told to track or recall this information, I would simply read that I need to, for example, put a card of my favoured card type back into the box. From there, I would look at what is listed under my Favoured Card Type, read that I may choose any, and so choose on the spot. If I was Imrijka, I would at the time choose a weapon or a blessing - whichever was more convenient for me.


Irgy wrote:
<thoughtful discussion>

Interesting stuff, but the food example is a little off-target.

There's not much reason for a connection between the food chosen for lunch and the food chosen for dinner (except possibly a desire that they differ); but playing a single scenario of PACG is a consistent whole. It's reasonable for a choice made in setup to effect the remainder of the scenario. (Although, it goes against the grain of not requiring players to remember previous choices for longer than absolutely necesssary.)


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

For what it's worth, strangely in my group (which usually challenges some rules understanding), we never ever blinked on this one:
- Before starting a scenario (and obviously before drawing your starting hand), you select your favorite card type (if your character has that choice to make because of a "or" or "any"...).
- You live with that choice for the rest of the scenario. Anything you did not chose has no influence whatsoever on the scenario.

So definitively if you had "favored type: any" on your character sheet and a power would ask you to "banish all cards of your favored type", you would:
- Neither banish your whole hand
- Neither have the right to select on the spot a card type that you do not have in hand in order to avoid banishing anything
- But clearly banish any card of the same type of the one you selected before drawing your starting hand

... fun discussion but I definitively support Vic's interpretation (and therefore ruling :-))


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Time to break out the pen and paper when I'm playing certain characters, I guess. I frequently change what is in my starting hand based on the locations available in a given scenario, or as I develop new feats. Furthermore, my group frequently takes 2 days to do certain scenarios on account of limited free time.


So, you pick your favored card at the start of scenario? But why not at the start of entire Adventure Path, when you build your starting deck? I believe there are no rules that explain that fully. And what with "cards have no memory" rule? What if you don't play entire scenario at once, but take few day breaks?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
SimonB wrote:
So, you pick your favored card at the start of scenario? But why not at the start of entire Adventure Path, when you build your starting deck? I believe there are no rules that explain that fully. And what with "cards have no memory" rule? What if you don't play entire scenario at once, but take few day breaks?

Rules are explicit : you care about favorite cards when you draw a starting hand, and you draw a starting hand at each scenario, not at each adventure or adventure path or breaks....

Furthermore, as Mike said already twice, cards have no memory but players must have. For example when they have to remember not to play twice the same card on a check.

IMHO.

Lone Shark Games

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SimonB wrote:
So, you pick your favored card at the start of scenario? But why not at the start of entire Adventure Path, when you build your starting deck? I believe there are no rules that explain that fully.

Page 6:

Draw Starting Hands. Each character card includes a hand size for that character. Draw that number of cards from your character deck. The character card also lists a favored card type; if more than one is listed, choose 1 type before drawing.


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Since most of the time these things aren't remembered I probably would have also gone that you get to pick each time it comes up. (It's not something I've put much thought into, though; it's not a common mechanic.)

In the next rulebook you may want to make it explicit by adding something like: "...; if more than one is listed, choose 1 type before drawing to use for the rest of the scenario."


Parody wrote:

Since most of the time these things aren't remembered I probably would have also gone that you get to pick each time it comes up. (It's not something I've put much thought into, though; it's not a common mechanic.)

In the next rulebook you may want to make it explicit by adding something like: "...; if more than one is listed, choose 1 type before drawing to use for the rest of the scenario."

If you're going to do that, make it happen at the start of the scenario, not when you draw your hand. Otherwise someone will e.g. make a scenario which says "You must start at a location which contains your favoured card type" and we'll be left wondering how we do that before we've chosen what it is.

(I'm only going by the app here in terms of choosing starting location before drawing your hand, but it's the sort of thing that's visible enough that I'd expect them to have got it right)


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Irgy wrote:
I'm only going by the app here in terms of choosing starting location before drawing your hand. . .

Actually that's in the rulebook. I played I won't say how many scenarios not knowing this before Hawkmoon pointed it out. (See p.6 of the MM rulebook. "Place Token Cards" precedes "Draw Starting Hands".) Sometimes it's a real pain.

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