Thoughts on the future of class / character / add-on decks


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game General Discussion


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Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

In addition to be absolutely essential to organized play, the class/character/add-on decks (hereafter referred to simply as “decks”) enhance the game by giving players variety. Getting tired of taking Kyra up against the Runelords? Try Tarlin. What would it be like to take a magus into the Worldwound? And a great thing about the decks is that they’re optional – they’re not a pay to win product. They’re fun and they both enhance the inherent replayability of the game and allow players to choose from characters that better fit their playing styles. Once we see all of the iconic characters hit some sort of deck (once the Ultimate ~ Add-On decks are released, the only iconic characters that will be missing will be Kess, Hakon, and Quinn) Paizo/Lone Shark could conceivably call it quits on these decks.

Personally, I’m not a fan of that. I like all of the characters. And I like throwing my money at Paizo/Lone Shark (martinis aren't free, after all). So I wouldn’t mind seeing them continue to produce to quality decks. In that vein, I’m here to offer my ideas on what I’d like to see come down the line, and I’m interested in hearing others’ ideas. I’m not going to go into specifics on characters – I’m focused solely on the entire deck. Also, while I’ll provide examples below, I’m not identifying which specific decks/characters I’d like to see as that’s a highly subjective warren of rabbit holes. The focus here is overarching paths that might be taken for development of additional official decks.

The first obvious choice is to eventually see a deck for each of the classes. So even though a version of Hayato was in the Ultimate Combat Add-On Deck, it would be nice to see a Samurai Class Deck. There are still quite a few classes for which no dedicated class deck has been released, so this alone could take us well into the future (and my dotage).

Another prospect is looking to PFRPG products for themes. So where the Ultimate ~ Add-On Decks followed in the wake of the PFRPG products with the same names, perhaps the various Pathfinder Player Companion books would provide a source for additional decks. My own Harrower Character Deck project was born of this concept, but it would be cool to see an official The Harrow Handbook Class Deck. There are presently 88 books in this series, and though some of them may have less potential than others, that’s still a wealth of ideas to draw upon. This incorporates an idea I’d proposed previously, where we might see decks based on races, with some characters that represent quintessential and/or special examples of each of the races of Golarion (e.g., perhaps a Halflings of Golarion character deck might include on Opportunist character and lots of items with the Ammunition trait for slings, jinxes, etc.; whereas a Blood of the Beast character deck might give us some animal race characters based on the archetypes in that book). It also ties in other ideas that have been bandied about (e.g., a Tian themed deck could draw upon Dragon Empires Primer). Demon Hunter’s Handbook could give us some new characters that would be especially suited to the Wrath of the Righteous AP, whereas Agents of Evil might give us some additional villainous characters (for those that don’t balk at the chance to channel their inner evil twin).

Naturally, Pathfinder Setting books also provide a rich trove of character concepts, perhaps less so than the Player Companion books, but some, such as Paths of Prestige or Path of the Hellknight could yield decent characters.

Previously, I’ve suggested additional decks for each of the classes, especially the early class decks. So we might see a Cleric Class Deck 2. These would obviously provide more examples and variety in the classes, and could also be used to shore up weaknesses in decks.

Pathfinder Tales also provides rich opportunity for additional decks. The Pathfinder fiction has a wide variety of characters that players would like to see realized in PACG format. The blog entry on the Pathfinder Tales Character Deck showed us some great characters from that fiction, but there are many others that could be given the same treatment. A bit more far-fetched, perhaps, would be to license other works of fiction (such as my homebrew effort at turning Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné into a PACG character). We’ve already seen such crossover in the Pathfinder Worlscape comics. That’s probably more of a pipe dream than anything, but it might be fun.

What would you like to see?

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

I would like to see a focus on themes. Things like a Blood of the Night deck, perhaps having a Vampire character, a Dhampir, and a vampire hunter of some type. A Dragonslayers deck, with several characters focused on fighting dragons, including a Dragon Hunter ranger, a Dragon Drinker sorcerer, and maybe a half-dragon character as well. A Blood of Shadows book with a Fetchling, a Wayang, and a Drow, full of shadowcraft weapons, would be super cool. A Blood of the Sea book, with some characters that would fit well in with Skull & Shackles, could be super fun and breathe some life back into that set.

I would also like to see a Pathfinder Society focused deck, consisting of some of the most well-known Pathfinder Society members, such as Janira Gavix, maybe a couple of the venture captains.

A deck focused on the Iron Gods adventure path, or items from the Technology Guide in general, would be super fun. An Android character, a Technic League member, any other Numerian type character, etc.

In general, though, I concur with you that any more character decks are a good thing. I would not want the line to end any time soon.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Heh! Well Lets see what we get. Personally I would like see not so much new characters but maybe modular adventure decks. Level1 adventure decks, level2 adventure decks and so on so that you can mix and match you own adventures From level 1 to level X.
With some themes From Dungeon gravling, to exploring the desrert, of rain forest, or town adventures or... just Name it. Several adventure packs to each ach types, so that you can make new mixes.
But I don`t maind of getting new characters! They Are fun and two thumbs up to new versions of the first 7. But there just Are so Many of those character decks that I need to adventures to play them first ;)


I think race decks (or ancestry decks to follow 2e nomenclature) would be a fun idea too...although some (is humans) are already well represented. I’m thinking that some decks could be devoted to a single race (who wouldn’t want a box full of lawn ornaments Gnomes), and one or two decks could support multiple rarely seen races (although it could be difficult to create a cohesive product from the latter.)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Deane Beman wrote:
I think race decks (or ancestry decks to follow 2e nomenclature) would be a fun idea too...

+1!

Or should I say +1000!
I've been asking for it since the very early days... ;-)


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Pathfinder Class Deck Subscriber

A Harrower deck is something I would enjoy without question! Also, no doubt quite a few other yet to be explored, classes. No doubt I'd buy them all... but there is no balance currently with product releases.

I am pleased to hear about future plans for this game (see Playtest New Version thread). Personally, I hope to see at least a few barrier, monster, scenarios, mini-path pack releases in the future.

It will be interesting to see the release schedule next year. I am not sure I will be able to spend on more than one pack release per month. Given that we will have a new adventure path and some form of universal set I am assuming that it will be difficult to fit in character set packs as well. Maybe the plan is just to add a character to every pack similarly to the Ultimate packs (who knows, I'm just guessing here).

In previous years when the adventure path schedule release has finished we have had the Character pack and Season of... releases. I am assuming that new products (to link with the universal set) will be released during this timeframe. Just how much character-based content we will see in the future remains to be seen.

Good luck with the Harrower Deck though, it's right up my street.


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

Since the new base set is designed to be modular, I’d love to also see mini-expansions—decks which have a character and 3 scenarios (can pull from the various modules and PFS scenarios, or come up with brand new short stories). Such a deck makeup would provide some additional variety not only in replaying old APs but also gives you brand new game to play, and I think it should be possible to fit all of that in 110 cards (rules insert card, 3 character cards, 1 adventure card, 3 scenario cards, 3 villain cards makes 11 cards, you’ll probably want 50ish boons to flesh out the character, which leaves 49ish cards for locations, henchmen, and other banes—if we do henchmen proxying a la OP then that gives even more space).


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

To be quite honest, I'd be more interested in the mini expansions skizzers is describing than another wave of class decks.
By the time all the Ultimate Decks are released, I'll have around 20 character decks, and that's all I'll ever need (I'd actually like to sell some of the older ones, but there's no one around that will buy them).

However, I would like to have more characters to play with all those class decks!
Since they can hardly sell single characters, mini expansions would be an excellent way to make the old class decks more valuable by including new characters while giving you new scenarios to play. That's not to say that I wouldn't buy something like a Jade Regent character deck if I really like the theme, but the ultimate decks already cover almost any class if you don't want to play OP.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
skizzerz wrote:
Since the new base set is designed to be modular, I’d love to also see mini-expansions—decks which have a character and 3 scenarios (can pull from the various modules and PFS scenarios, or come up with brand new short stories). Such a deck makeup would provide some additional variety not only in replaying old APs but also gives you brand new game to play, and I think it should be possible to fit all of that in 110 cards (rules insert card, 3 character cards, 1 adventure card, 3 scenario cards, 3 villain cards makes 11 cards, you’ll probably want 50ish boons to flesh out the character, which leaves 49ish cards for locations, henchmen, and other banes—if we do henchmen proxying a la OP then that gives even more space).

Some of us have suggested Bane Add-On Decks, so that if you want to make your own adventure path, however long, but want to do a theme other than mummies, demons or pirates, shorter modules would serve the same purpose.


Inner Sea Gods!

I'd love a character or fighting style based on the Bladed Brush fighting style. Granting bonuses based on actions (devotions) would be a cool mechanic.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

An expansion of the class decks would be the Hybrid classes, and make them usable by members of the core classes.

I have several ideas, playing off of themes mentioned here as well as my own concoctions. I'll be putting some of them up over at the home brew if any one is interested.

Basic idea plays off the new upcoming base set, to help with the modular idea. Decks would be themed, possibly based on book releases like the Dragons, or Blood of Night style books, could be regionally themed or also have ideas for some elemental themed decks. Each deck would have 1-3 characters fitting that theme, a selection of boons fitting the theme and characters, as well as locations and banes to help craft adventures with the base set. Each character would have an already released Class Deck they would be compatible with, and cards from both the Class Deck and the Add on Deck would be in their box, available to upgrade to.

Can't wait to see what more comes in the future.


Ive posted this elsewhere, but I’d like to see upgrade boosters for the Adventure Paths.

I love the way the Obsidian app presents rare / legendary / loot cards. Some of that can't be done in physical form (ie curly flourishes beyond the card) but some might be possible.

This heightens the sense of power growth in the app. My character goes from the standard edged cards to a set of rare, legendary, loot items. I have visual cues just in the card edge and appearance that this character is not to be messed with. And when I draw from my deck and see that flash of a gold loot item coming into my hand, I can't help but grin. The monsters aren't going to know what hit them.

I for one would totally buy a 50-100 card pack that gives me some unique looking cards for one of the past APs. A few ideas of what could come in that, using Skull and Shackles as an example:

* Foil versions of the existing Loot cards - I'm drooling imagining a shiny Svingli's Eye
* Favor / Unity / Prayer / Doctrine versions of blessings - maybe with a different color border. Would love to be able to have Besmara's Favor ;)
* A new rare / unique ship or two
* A few new rare or legendary style weapons / items / spells / allies


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
tocath wrote:

Ive posted this elsewhere, but I’d like to see upgrade boosters for the Adventure Paths.

I love the way the Obsidian app presents rare / legendary / loot cards. Some of that can't be done in physical form (ie curly flourishes beyond the card) but some might be possible.

This heightens the sense of power growth in the app. My character goes from the standard edged cards to a set of rare, legendary, loot items. I have visual cues just in the card edge and appearance that this character is not to be messed with. And when I draw from my deck and see that flash of a gold loot item coming into my hand, I can't help but grin. The monsters aren't going to know what hit them.

I for one would totally buy a 50-100 card pack that gives me some unique looking cards for one of the past APs. A few ideas of what could come in that, using Skull and Shackles as an example:

* Foil versions of the existing Loot cards - I'm drooling imagining a shiny Svingli's Eye
* Favor / Unity / Prayer / Doctrine versions of blessings - maybe with a different color border. Would love to be able to have Besmara's Favor ;)
* A new rare / unique ship or two
* A few new rare or legendary style weapons / items / spells / allies

That would require some extra difficulty to adventures so that those more powerfull cards would be balanced... but other vice, why not!

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Actually, one of the things I LOVE about this game is that there is no randomness to the cards in the decks/boxes. Promos? No problem. Commons/Uncommons/Rares? Not a fan.

(Because seriously, who wants to have a shoebox full of nothing but Sickles?)


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Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

I would definitely not like to see any collectible aspect creep into the game.

Thematic add-on decks for existing APs would be interesting, but I would prefer if such were focused around giving character types that didn't exist at the time a fair shake. The easiest example is providing some AP-themed firearms for Lirianne (anti-demon firearms in WotR?), but the concept could be extended to other characters. However, this should really only be done when the boons in the related CDs (where such exist) aren't sufficient. I wouldn't want any of this type of deck to change game balance - merely level the playing field for all character types.


Brother Tyler wrote:

I would definitely not like to see any collectible aspect creep into the game.

Yeah, not what I was suggesting.

With what I'm envisioning, every box comes with the same set of cards - and card lists are published so you know what's in it.

But those specialized items join the rest of the box, and you have to come across them in locations decks just like anything else. That's where "rare" or "uncommon" comes in.

Booster is probably the wrong term for what I am thinking - it's really just an upgrade pack that has a specific set of cards - not random.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
tocath wrote:
Brother Tyler wrote:

I would definitely not like to see any collectible aspect creep into the game.

Yeah, not what I was suggesting.

With what I'm envisioning, every box comes with the same set of cards - and card lists are published so you know what's in it.

But those specialized items join the rest of the box, and you have to come across them in locations decks just like anything else. That's where "rare" or "uncommon" comes in.

Booster is probably the wrong term for what I am thinking - it's really just an upgrade pack that has a specific set of cards - not random.

Sounds like you're more or less discussing an Living Card Game (LCG) booster/pack vs Collectible Card Game (CCG) booster/pack. An LCG does not have rarity, when buying any particular pack you know exactly what cards you are going to be getting, and how many of each of those cards. A CCG on the other hand you know the possible cards and generally you know more/less your chances of getting a particular card.

I should note that many people consider the LCG no less cancerous than the CCG style of distribution.

I think we would need to tread carefully. There's already a lot of content out there for PACG and it can give decision paralysis if you're just starting out. I think new content that comes out should be meaningful and generally give someone enough that they can play with. Perhaps class-decks we can have more fun with this, but for general new content I think the content should be meaningful. Themed AP or bane/boon content with NO rarity.


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

The future of class / character / add-on decks is bane / location decks.

That's the one thing mising :-)!!!!


Frencois wrote:
The future of class / character / add-on decks is bane / location decks.

I could be wrong (and often am), but this would be such an unusual specialty item that I'm not sure many people would buy them. Same with the "boon" booster packs mentioned above.

If nothing else, I assume that Paizo does their research and has a sense of what the majority of players might purchase.

Though Paizo might go the print-on-demand route for certain specialty card packs, much like Fantasy Flight did for Death Angel, the Warhammer Quest Adventure Card Game, Lord of the Rings, etc.


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wkover wrote:
If nothing else, I assume that Paizo does their research and has a sense of what the majority of players might purchase...

I'm sure they did. As per the RPG, you'll always sell more books/decks that appeal to players (Companion books/character-boons decks) than those appealing to DMs (campaign setting books/banes-locations decks).

Because there are more players than DMs around the table.
So it makes sense to produce more character decks than banes decks... but not to the point to have 30 or so character decks and 0 banes decks.
IMHO.

So I'm not saying you should stop/replace character decks. I'm just saying a bit of banes decks may be a good idea.


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Additional locations in decks will really only work if there is an official structure for developing homebrew scenarios. You can't really add them to existing scenarios without screwing up balance. I suppose the developers could create some system of classifying locations is creating and new locations are identified as substitutes for specification classifications of locations. Note that I'm not in any way advocating for this to happen.

Banes are, in my opinion, a little easier, but still a bit tricky. Banes could be created for specific existing sets. This would preserve theme and balance, as well as rules mechanics. Some AP mechanics such as the Trigger trait might work across APs, but you can't transplant the Mythic trait into Skull & Shackles (unless you just ignore it), nor can you transplant damage to ships in Mummy's Mask (the overall threat of such a bane becomes watered down). With the upcoming revisions to the game, it would be (very?) easy to simply create bane add-on packs for the core set, but less so for specific APs (again, depending on the special mechanics built in to each).

And then the whole market perspective would have to be considered. In this, the Organized Play "Season of ~" cards are probably the closest analog to the notional location/bane decks. However, I think that there is room for additional character add-on decks for each of the APs, and this would actually combine the concepts of more characters and more boons and banes. In this way, the developers might give us additional characters with roles and boons themed to an adventure path, as well as new threats that are also themed (and balanced) to an adventure path.

Personally, I think that more players will find new characters a more attractive prospect; and this largely has to do with the aspects of the game that draw upon its roleplaying game cousin. Stock characters are a decent way to introduce someone to the game or provide a character for an unexpected player, but players enjoy creating their own characters. Since there isn't an official system for creating PACG characters, the alternative is to have a wider variety of characters. This gives players more to choose from in finding whatever it is they're looking for. They might only find a small segment of the available options appealing, but the more characters there are, the more of a chance there is that they'll find someone they like. At some point, new characters are simply going to be variations on a theme, but those small variations will matter.


redeux wrote:

Perhaps class-decks we can have more fun with this, but for general new content I think the content should be meaningful. Themed AP or bane/boon content with NO rarity.

The key idea I was trying to get at was making special boons like "Loot" feel more special in your hands by giving them the same kind of visual treatment they get in the app version.

So, "Loot" cards look like this in the app.

And perhaps it's the term "rare" that is causing problems.

Thinking instead of power levels, an "advanced" boon looks like this, while an "elite" boon looks like this.

For me, this heightens what Mike has mentioned as one of the core "funs" of PACG - which is acquiring better boons. When I start getting these advanced or elite versions of cards into my hand in the app, I start feeling like the characters have seriously bumped up. These are no longer generic boons that look just like everything else. These are hard won and unique treasures.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
tocath wrote:
redeux wrote:

Perhaps class-decks we can have more fun with this, but for general new content I think the content should be meaningful. Themed AP or bane/boon content with NO rarity.

The key idea I was trying to get at was making special boons like "Loot" feel more special in your hands by giving them the same kind of visual treatment they get in the app version.

So, "Loot" cards look like this in the app.

And perhaps it's the term "rare" that is causing problems.

Thinking instead of power levels, an "advanced" boon looks like this, while an "elite" boon looks like this.

For me, this heightens what Mike has mentioned as one of the core "funs" of PACG - which is acquiring better boons. When I start getting these advanced or elite versions of cards into my hand in the app, I start feeling like the characters have seriously bumped up. These are no longer generic boons that look just like everything else. These are hard won and unique treasures.

I just had a thought reading this. What if there were upgrades to more specialized cards. For instance:

From RotRL, the Deathbane Light Crossbow. What if there was a Deck 3 or deck 6 version. The better versions would have new art/borders and better bonuses on their rolls, perhaps even a new ability. You could also Banish the previous version of the card from your hand to automatically acquire the newer version.


Sarcastic Jazz Hands wrote:


I just had a thought reading this. What if there were upgrades to more specialized cards. For instance:
From RotRL, the Deathbane Light Crossbow. What if there was a Deck 3 or deck 6 version. The better versions would have new art/borders and better bonuses on their rolls, perhaps even a new ability. You could also Banish the previous version of the card from your hand to automatically acquire the newer version.

I like it! IE, the Deathbane Light Crossbow could become the Disrupting Light Crossbow +2, and now apply it's bonuses to both undead and outsiders!

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