The Pathfinder Open @ GenCon

Pathfinder Adventure Card Society

Sovereign Court


I haven't posted much, but I'm an avid player of the ACG and I am stuck in Chicago for five hours. I thought I'd drop in to shout the praises of Paizo's ACG volunteers at GenCon, and rave about how much fun the Open was. If you aren't familiar, the Open @ GenCon is basically a "tournament," made up of new (and usually really hard) scenarios. There were qualifying rounds on Thursday and Friday, from which the top few teams advance. They play again in semi-finals on Saturday, and cut to the finals on Sunday. The scenarios come with a point system which is used to decide who advances, and who wins.

I'm not going to get into details or spoilers, because I hope they release it for download because it was fun. If your an PFS player (I'm not), it was based on the Bone Keep (I think), which we were told was infamous for it's difficulty. Making it even more challenging, we had to build our characters and decks as part of our play time, and didn't get much choice in which class and ultimate decks we used.

Each time of four could choose from five options:

Valeros from the Fighter Deck w/ Ultimate Combat
Kyra from the Cleric Deck w/ Ultimate Magic
Lini from the Druid Deck w/ Ultimate Wilderness
Merisel from the Rogue Deck w/ Ultimate Equipment
Lem from the Bard Deck w/ Ultimate Intrigue

Each class deck came with the B and 1 cards; the ultimate decks had B, 1, 2, and 3. (We were making Tier 3 characters at the start, no roles.) After building our decks, over the three rounds, we dealt with varying challenges like extra locations, being unable to move, and needing to rig the top cards of decks. It was a ton of fun!

In particular, I wanted to give a shout out to Jen (sorry, I didn't get her last name) who was running the ACG area and who wrote the Open scenarios. Our GM, Matt (again, sorry, no last name!) was fun, entertaining, and knowledgeable. Outside of the Open, my friends and I hung out and played a lot of ACG (5-1 is pretty cool) and it was great to see so many people also playing this awesome game.

The Open was really cool, and I'm really happy I was able to play. Thank you so much to everyone involved.


PS: Bonus shout out to player Cat (I'm really not good at getting last names) who played ALL FOUR characters in the qualifier and the semi-finals. She was awesome.

Not being able to cross the Atlantics these days, I'll miss all US conventions.

So i'd be VERY interested if someone post how the POINTS system works (not asking for a spoiler on the story itself) if it can be disclosed.
I'd like to run my own tournament in France with similar ideas.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Online—VTT

I didn't run the special so can't help with the exact scoring, but it works a little something like this:

10 for each permanently closed location.
40 for cornering and defeating the villain
20 for a special objective that is disclosed when building characters
And then at end of scenario/time limit 1 point for each card left in a player DECK (not hand/bury/discard)

This, of course, may have changed between rounds. I didn't make it past the qualifier xD

But yes, huge shout out to Jen, Matt Caulder, and rest of the HQ/volunteer staff. I had a blast both participating and running games for the ACG.

Also 1 additional point for each remaining blessing in the Blessing pile.

Solving the thing quickly nets you some, but usually better to close everything if you can.

P.S - I 100% agree, Jen did a great job on the scenario and running the ACG side of things in general. Matt was fantastic as a box runner, staying on top of what we needed and providing it at the appropriate opportunities. Thanks to all the HQ/volunteer staff, fantastic event!

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"Jen" is Jen McTeague, iammars on the forums. We had a blast running the Open. (I was "the other" BR at the event)

I am considering running the Open at PaizoCon 2019; but PaizoCon's shorter so it's much harder to do all 3 rounds (we usually have 2). I have some tweaks that'll make it interesting I think...

Just out of curiosity, which teams were you on so I have context?

I would say a big shoutout goes to Rigby actually, they were also ACG HQ and did a lot of the behind the scenes work to muster, organize paperwork, etc.

By the way, for context, B and 1 decks only for the base class decks was something we didn't intend - we intended B-3 decks for all base classes, but the class decks we used were the ones that were created for PaizoCon 2015 and those only had Bs and 1s. We will try to correct that during PaizoCon 2019.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 ***

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks everyone! Bonekeep has be in the works in some form for about 2 and a half years, so I'm excited it finally got to see the light of day. I would also like to give a huge shoutout to Rigby. They were an amazing second and really helped me manage the ACG area.

If people played in the Open and have feedback for me, both good and bad, please feel free to send it to me. (Just don't post spoilers publicly!)

Lone Shark Games

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As a solid disclaimer - Jen actually did a ton more awesome work on the Open than even the people playing it got to see. In the interest of time and proxies, I had to cut out a metric ton of custom locations, banes, and conditions when I did my Development pass.

Glad it went well! If anyone has feedback, please also send to me.

Thanks again to Jen and Jonathan and the rest of the PFS folks who took care of the ACG area this year. It's the first year I've been so busy I couldn't make it for the events, and I missed being there to congratulate the winners and see how the Special went.

Sovereign Court

I didn't interact with Rigby much, but I did take notice of them, and you're right. They did fantastic work and I apologize for the oversight.

@Jonathan, I and Rhynn were on Corporate Gamers.

My #1 suggestion is procedural and not to do with the scenarios: please, please, please, figure out a way/make time to re-organize the decks before each round. Cards were frequently in the wrong boxes, Mummy's Mask cards were in the decks, and in one case, cards were missing. It's a big quality of life increase for teams. I understand how few volunteers there are and how much they do, and that teams are often pressed for time. But this improvement would be very, very welcome.


MidnightLich, I didn't see your game, but from what I've heard you guys played a really smooth game. Congratulations, you definitely earned the win.

With regards to resetting the decks after each round, I know I tried to do that, though there was very little time between rounds. I'll make a note to leave a set of instructions to this effect when I run it during PaizoCon 2019. I did request most teams to at least separate out the cards by expansion so that it made that easier. That is also something I'll note for the PaizoCon run.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

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For PaizoCon (or, really, anywhere except GenCon) it might be a good idea to have enough decks to be able to run two rounds without re-using decks; that would mean somebody could rebuild the boxes used in the first round while the second round was being played.

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MidnightLich wrote:
PS: Bonus shout out to player Cat (I'm really not good at getting last names) who played ALL FOUR characters in the qualifier and the semi-finals. She was awesome.

Wait, when you say "played all four characters", are you saying she was a solo player? Nice!

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