Skull and Shackles: Getting Started and Need Help with Party Composition


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game General Discussion


Hello everyone,

I've finally completed my solo run of RotR. I've just picked up S&S along with all the extras, and I am ready to get started. However, I am having issues picking a well rounded party. I like to run three characters. I find four to be too overwhelming at time and anything less than three can make things difficult.

Anyway, I know two of the characters I'd like to use: Damiel and Oloch. I'm not too sure who else I should add to the group. I'm kind of against Valeros this time as I find his roles a bit boring; the whole pirate them in general is kind of unappealing to me, but I am hopeful. I also don't care for Lem.

So, any help, advice, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Grabnar

P.S.
I'm not totally against running four characters. I just don't like how cluttered my gaming table looks.


My advice: if you want an easy time of the game, take Alahazra and Damiel and Lirianne. Alahazra can pretty much find everything by scouting ahead and Damiel can kill anything with potions. Lirianne has Survival and Swashbuckling to defeat the ships. Make sure you get some armors (you WILL need them for AD5...).

Oloch I liked a bit, but he died partway through my game and then I found I didn't miss him much.


What roles did you pick for each of them? That sucks about Oloch. I enjoy half orcs especially paladin-esque ones.


Oloch is fine. If you enjoy him, play him. His small hand size is the main drawback for me, but it makes him tough to kill. Small hand size won't be as big a problem in a 3-character party as it is with 6 (my typical party size).

Jirelle is stronger than Lirianne in my experience -- Jirelle is better versus ships, and allieviates structural damage -- especially considering that Damiel and Oloch won't need Lirianne's remote combat support as much as some characters might.

Still, what's most important is your own playstyle and what characters you enjoy playing. In this set, I consider Damiel and Alahazra to be the most powerful characters, and Seltyiel the most limited (although strong in combat).


Oloch's fine, especially in a small party where he can most frequently reset his hand and happily provide (in the later game) +10 or more as static bonuses to any checks he wishes. He's fantastic at allowing characters to pass checks (like Survival checks against ships) that they'd normally never be able to.

On his own turns, however, he has a very narrow focus and limited ability to explore much; but his support ability has always been extremely helpful in my experience.


So, I realize that I kind of want a party like I had in RotR. I had a melee, a caster, and a healer. What are the roles of the characters in S&S? I’m having issues discerning who is more support oriented and what not. I have a feeling that I won’t be using an arcane caster this time.


Have you taken a gander at these two topics?

[Skull & Shackles] snapshot of your characters at the midpoint
[Skull & Shackles] We Need a Snapshot of Your Conquering Pirates!


Brother Tyler wrote:

Have you taken a gander at these two topics?

[Skull & Shackles] snapshot of your characters at the midpoint
[Skull & Shackles] We Need a Snapshot of Your Conquering Pirates!

Ahh my friend, you are a lifesaver.


Guess I'm kinda going to be necroing this thread, but I still have no idea what characters or how many to play. I know I'd like the number count to be 3 because it takes up less space, but like four as well due to being almost any weapon/armor/etc.

As for the some of the classes, the whole pirae thhing doesn't float my. It does seem that some of best roleas arepirate0w

Based upon that information which chaarcters would be the most synergistic and not get stomped. Please note, that I am going to be using Dam because who doesn't like throughing boms?

Again, I really thank everyone for their continued support for this new and his acnnoying OCD.

Cheers,
Grabnar


Well, it is an adventure where you're playing pirates, so you'd hope the piratey characters are pretty good. :)

My buddy and I are playing Jirelle and Alahazra in S&S. Any other character you think looks fun should go well with them.


Parody wrote:

Well, it is an adventure where you're playing pirates, so you'd hope the piratey characters are pretty good. :)

My buddy and I are playing Jirelle and Alahazra in S&S. Any other character you think looks fun should go well with them. [/ it isQUOTE]

Yes, I am sure that anyone can look at the box art and discern, "Hey I bet there are going to be pirates in this set." I was just asking if there are any "no go pirate teams: that still do well; hell I want one pirate-esque character to keep with the thematic feel of the set; I just don't want to be bombarded with pirates as my PC's

The only character I am sure for set on is Damiel and then maybe Oloch. I'm not really interested in playing Seltyiel or Lem. The remainder of the party is up in the air.I'd like your typical fighter, caster, healer, and suppot.


If you're going to be playing 3 characters that kind of makes it difficult to fill every role perfectly. That said, this should do you pretty good:

Damiel - You've already settled on him, So we'll base the rest of the party on the other 2 roles.

Caster - You don't want Seltiel or Lem. So that leaves Feiya if you want arcane. She is a fantastic Caster and her hexxing power feat makes her a strong support as well. She was definitely a valuable party member when I went through with Lini, Valeros, Meris, and Feiya.

That leaves healer/Fighter. Oloch makes the best candidate for this,and you seem to have a slight preference for him already. So go for it. You could also do a melee Lini build, but that might be a little more difficult to pull off. I personally went with a melee/healing Lini but at 2 max weapons in her deck I had to supplement it with spells occasionally, and I had to make sure I was cycling her deck to get to a weapon. Oloch would be more straightforward for this role.

TLDR - Damiel, Feiya, Oloch.


redeux wrote:

If you're going to be playing 3 characters that kind of makes it difficult to fill every role perfectly. That said, this should do you pretty good:

Damiel - You've already settled on him, So we'll base the rest of the party on the other 2 roles.

Caster - You don't want Seltiel or Lem. So that leaves Feiya if you want arcane. She is a fantastic Caster and her hexxing power feat makes her a strong support as well. She was definitely a valuable party member when I went through with Lini, Valeros, Meris, and Feiya.

That leaves healer/Fighter. Oloch makes the best candidate for this,and you seem to have a slight preference for him already. So go for it. You could also do a melee Lini build, but that might be a little more difficult to pull off. I personally went with a melee/healing Lini but at 2 max weapons in her deck I had to supplement it with spells occasionally, and I had to make sure I was cycling her deck to get to a weapon. Oloch would be more straightforward for this role.

TLDR - Damiel, Feiya, Oloch.

Thanks for the awesome reply, Redeux, and I am going to appologize in adavance my numerous questions. Dam, what is his role? His he ranged or supportive?

Feiya, I haven't read much about her except she has a fox familiar. Other than that what is her playstyle like? Would Seltiel be better than Feiya although I heard Seltiel is only good at combat? Also why didn't you mention Alahazra?

Finally, what roles would be the best for the characters you and I have listed above?

Once again, thank you friend,
Grabnar

EDIT: I should have asked ifDam wadex or supportive.


Sigh... I still have no idea what characters play with. I know I'd like theesperiene more well rounded, good ol' fighter, thief, mage, cleric trope.

As for the some of the classes, the whole pirate thing doesn't float my *ha ha ha*. Get it? Float? It does seem that some of the pirate-esque characters are more popluar and other stuff; popular may not be the right word.

So for my team size: 3 0r 4
Characters: Damiel (still unsure what his role is)
Oloch (seems pretty cool)
?
?
Who will be the pirate-esque character?

Again, I really thank everyone for their continued support for this and my OCD.

Cheers,
Grabnar number count to be 3 because it takes up less space physcially, but four would allow one to explore different locations and such while making the

Well, I hope the original part of this post explains why you shouldn't go online forums while on opiods. I'm at the hospital, so no I don't abuse drugs.


Bumpity bump please? I am in the hospital at the moment, and I really can't wait to play some SS.

So, are three or four characters better? Work characters should I use alongside Damiel; I might use Oloch with Damiel. Who shold be my thematic pirate, who has the heals, and I guess Damiel fills the range aspect though?


redeux wrote:

If you're going to be playing 3 characters that kind of makes it difficult to fill every role perfectly. That said, this should do you pretty good:

Damiel - You've already settled on him, So we'll base the rest of the party on the other 2 roles.

Caster - You don't want Seltiel or Lem. So that leaves Feiya if you want arcane. She is a fantastic Caster and her hexxing power feat makes her a strong support as well. She was definitely a valuable party member when I went through with Lini, Valeros, Meris, and Feiya.

That leaves healer/Fighter. Oloch makes the best candidate for this,and you seem to have a slight preference for him already. So go for it. You could also do a melee Lini build, but that might be a little more difficult to pull off. I personally went with a melee/healing Lini but at 2 max weapons in her deck I had to supplement it with spells occasionally, and I had to make sure I was cycling her deck to get to a weapon. Oloch would be more straightforward for this role.

TLDR - Damiel, Feiya, Oloch.

Sorry I missed your post Redeux. Thanks for the advice. The only reason I said no Seltyiel is because I've heard is only good at combant and not much else; is there any merit to this whatsoever? Also no mention Alahazra? I thought she was supposed to be pretty awesome. Same goes for Jirelle.

Grand Lodge

I liked Jirelle. She's like Merisiel with some functionality removed and replaced with ship-specific abilities that are pretty darn useful.

I've never played S&S Alahazra, but scouting can make a huge difference in any game. (If you have the Oracle Class Deck, Grazzle is also a good character, 'cause he starts with both Craft for repairing a ship, and Survival, which is an option for, I believe, every single ship combat.)

I played Oloch last time, and found him to be eminently mediocre. He could do things, but he usually needed help, and I never used his healing ability. Alahazra is probably a better choice for Divine casting.

Damiel is pretty badass, with all the alchemical gear in the AP. I haven't tried Lirianne, but there are a fair amount of guns to be had.

I like bards for having both Divine and Arcane at decent levels off of a single (Charisma) skill. Going to a spell-heavy location and having your Divine caster find nothing but Arcane spells is annoying. However, S&S Lem is not that great. (Class Deck Lem is one of my overall faves.)

I have no input on Feiya. She looked underwhelming, but I'm sure someone who knows how to play her can kick major butt with her.


Master_Grabnar wrote:
Damiel, what is his role? His he ranged or supportive?
He can be both, he is really good. Alchemical items in his hands are one of the strongest combat roles you can get. In addition, he has plenty of support he can bring with spells and Alchemical items.
Master_Grabnar wrote:
Feiya, I haven't read much about her except she has a fox familiar. Other than that what is her playstyle like? Would Seltiel be better than Feiya although I heard Seltiel is only good at combat?

She is an amazing support. I had a blast playing her in Society play. With her spells she can bring a lot to your team.

I have not played Seltyiel but I have heard the same thing. I feel that is a little basis. If you loaded him up with utility spells he could use them for utility or to power his combat. I think properly played he could cover the arcane and front line role.

EDIT: Just reread Seltyiel, appears you have to use attack trait spells to fuel his combat. This does appear to limit him. I would ask if anyone actually played him for advise.


I played Salty Elf myself in a 2-player party and someone else played him in another 6-player party. Totally agree that he's horribly narrow with regards to combat. He has Melee, Arcane and Craft. Arcane might not just be combat, except you're kind of pressured into taking all combat spells anyway. Craft was in theory an important skill in S&S, except if you let your ship get wrecked in the first place you're doing it wrong. And if anyone's going to wreck the ship it's Salty Elf himself, with his d4 wisdom, and then you've lost all your plunder before he gets a chance to repair it.

When he gets a role card he can take a power that works against barriers and ships, and becomes more versatile. But it's a long time coming.

There's exactly one utility spell he can take without working against his main power. I forget the name, but it adds 1d8 to any ranged combat check. It's a fine choice but it's also still only helping combat! I also took the arcane heal spell (Safe Haven or something) for a 2 player party.

The other guy just doubled down on combat and took the other role card for even more ridiculous combat bonuses. We tried (with reasonable success) to send the villains his way. That was fine for a 6 player party. He was happy with his choices but he liked being narrow.


Irgy wrote:

I played Salty Elf myself in a 2-player party and someone else played him in another 6-player party. Totally agree that he's horribly narrow with regards to combat. He has Melee, Arcane and Craft. Arcane might not just be combat, except you're kind of pressured into taking all combat spells anyway. Craft was in theory an important skill in S&S, except if you let your ship get wrecked in the first place you're doing it wrong. And if anyone's going to wreck the ship it's Salty Elf himself, with his d4 wisdom, and then you've lost all your plunder before he gets a chance to repair it.

When he gets a role card he can take a power that works against barriers and ships, and becomes more versatile. But it's a long time coming.

There's exactly one utility spell he can take without working against his main power. I forget the name, but it adds 1d8 to any ranged combat check. It's a fine choice but it's also still only helping combat! I also took the arcane heal spell (Safe Haven or something) for a 2 player party.

The other guy just doubled down on combat and took the other role card for even more ridiculous combat bonuses. We tried (with reasonable success) to send the villains his way. That was fine for a 6 player party. He was happy with his choices but he liked being narrow.

Agreed. I like many aspects about Seltyiel's design, but pre-role he ONLY shines at combat, and precious little else. His combat is probably the most consistently excellent in S&S for Tiers 0-3 (on average slightly exceeding Alahazra... who has way more other benefits), but he has little variance in boon options and is mediocre for barriers, boons or closing most locations. And, of course, is tied with Merisiel for the worst Wisdom/Survival score of the entire selection of S&S characters, leading to the worst ship-to-ship combat abilities of the set.

Besides, having ludicrous combat is hardly a requirement in S&S (certainly not in the early tiers). Wrath of the Righteous this isn't.

With that said, I'm perfectly fine with him post-role, if not necessarily for the right reasons. Spellblade is a great "standard" choice, allowing his combat checks to be pushed so high just be revealing a sword for combat that he can finally start freely using all of his spell slots for utility and supporting magics and still run perfectly fine. Plus, he can finally start getting bonus explorations in weapon and spell heavy locations, allowing him to run smoother in a large party. He can control his hand, easily re-use spells, and alltogether just can play with a lot more cards in a much more satisfying and widely useful manner.

And Marauder is the role I like for the 'wrong' reason. Drawing 2 cards when he discards or recharges a Pirate or Swashbuckling card (it doesn't even specify "For its power") completely transforms his character, allowing him to make a good attempt at going infinite - or at least churn through 10+ cards of his deck in a turn - with the right boons and/or right healing support. He can potentially fill his weapon, item and ally slots with the right-traited cards, plus one of his blessing slots.

It does also have that ability for him to support any check against a barrier or ship, which is phenomenal, but really I just kind of switch-off from most of his powers and just turn to exploiting one of the most powerful draw engines that existed at that point in PACG history once it's available.


Alahazra is an incredible healer. People always talk about her ability to look at locations, but IMO, her best ability is this: "At the end of your turn, you may discard a card that has the Divine trait to add a card that has the Divine trait from your discard pile to your hand." I used cure every turn by never recharging it. At the end of every turn I'd pick it up again and have a reliable cure engine without sacrifing explorations. And her combat isn't bad either, any spell getting d12+4 to start.


Ysalmari21 wrote:
Alahazra is an incredible healer. People always talk about her ability to look at locations, but IMO, her best ability is this: "At the end of your turn, you may discard a card that has the Divine trait to add a card that has the Divine trait from your discard pile to your hand." I used cure every turn by never recharging it. At the end of every turn I'd pick it up again and have a reliable cure engine without sacrificing explorations. And her combat isn't bad either, any spell getting d12+4 to start.

While that is a great amazing ability, knowing every card someone is going to encounter does more for your team. Later she can clear boons she scouts by encountering them. Completely making the time a non-factor. I have her ranked as one of the best characters created.


Slacker2010 wrote:
Ysalmari21 wrote:
Alahazra is an incredible healer. People always talk about her ability to look at locations, but IMO, her best ability is this: "At the end of your turn, you may discard a card that has the Divine trait to add a card that has the Divine trait from your discard pile to your hand." I used cure every turn by never recharging it. At the end of every turn I'd pick it up again and have a reliable cure engine without sacrificing explorations. And her combat isn't bad either, any spell getting d12+4 to start.
While that is a great amazing ability, knowing every card someone is going to encounter does more for your team. Later she can clear boons she scouts by encountering them. Completely making the time a non-factor. I have her ranked as one of the best characters created.

I played with her in a three-character party, so I guess planning out explorations wasn't quite as crucial.

Scarab Sages

So many good combinations in Skull & Shackles, it's really hard to go wrong.

It's also kind of hilarious for me to see so many people have such strong opinions on Seltyiel these...what...four years later? He was one of my favorites. My favorite trifecta was Seltyiel, Alahazra, and Lirianne.

But you can succeed with just about any "balanced" cast of characters...which means you need one divine caster (Lini, Alahazra, and Lem might do in a pinch), one fighter (Valeros or Seltyiel), and then another support character - maybe Lem or Feiya, and Oloch has some supporting powers, too. If I recall, Damiel was considered one of the more powerful characters in the set, and he's versatile - he can become almost anything (healer, support, damage dealer).

There are also a lot of class deck characters that are great in Skull & Shackles, if you're inclined to branch out. Heggal from the cleric class deck and Valendron from the sorcerer class deck come to mind, although there are many others.


Curious, why do you think Valendron is great for SnS? I only see one power on a role card that looks like it was made for SnS, and its also limited to Obstacle barriers.

Scarab Sages

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Slacker2010 wrote:
Curious, why do you think Valendron is great for SnS? I only see one power on a role card that looks like it was made for SnS, and its also limited to Obstacle barriers.

There are some nasty locations in S&S that have you doing something at the start of every turn - Con / Wis / Survival check, fight a Hammerhead Shark or Draugr Captain, whatever. All Valendron has to do is recharge a spell to move at the end of his turn - and, with the ships, he can take everyone else along with him.

A team of people can move to one of these evil places on their turn, explore, and then Valendron can whisk them all away before any of them has to have a "At the beginning of your turn, experience pain and agony" moment. I hate these types of locations and therefore love that Valendron can basically turn any spell into a party-wide Levitate for a recharge.


I agree the ship causes that power to be better than normal. Several characters can move at the start or end of their turn. These could be added to the list.

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