question about building Arueshalae


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


My group will hopefully soon be starting Adventure Deck 3 and as we have 6 characters one of them will be replaced with Arueshalae when she is unlocked. My question is though at the end of that scenario how does she construct her deck as I've seen conflicting opinions on this.

One person mentioned that, at the end of the scenario when cards can be traded, the character who is being replaced should be able to give Arueshalae any of their cards. But I've seen another person mention that technically the character who is being replaced just has their deck broken up and Arushalae, would have to construct her deck from the box (or from any gained cards during the scenario). Which is correct?


[SPOILER ALERT for Wrath of the Righteous - you've been warned.]

Hey forum folks - I sent this poster here from BGG because we're so marvelously helpful on this forum. Please chime in.

Restating the question:
The Wrath of the Righteous AD3 scenario "The Demon's Redoubt" directs the party to build the location "Tower of the Fourth Sphere". If the party permanently closes that location AND wins the scenario, then any player can begin playing the character Arueshalae (who set the PACG world on its ear when she showed up in the WOTR AD3 box). The question is: great, but what cards do you put in Arushalae's deck?

Surprisingly, I can't find an official answer. This is what the forum turns up for me:
A partial answer from skizzerz that seems to say you use the party's cards when the party rebuilds decks after the scenario
The blog about Demon's Redoubt doesn't address this question

Clearly, Arueshalae uses her listed cohort, and, since the party gained her Owner:Arueshalae loot by winning the scenario, they can give those to her. But is she otherwise stuck with whatever dregs the party picked up? Or can she build a deck using AD-1 cards from the game box? Or what?


A Demon God playing a Demon? What's the world coming to? :)

I'd go with what skizzerz said in the other thread: she becomes part of the party at the end of the scenario, so she builds her deck from the cards available (which would include the cards from her player's existing deck and her Loot card rewards from the Scenario) and you go from there. Hopefully the rest of the party would help by sharing cards that would work for her!

If you're short cards you get cards from the box, as normal.


ifurita12 wrote:
But I've seen another person mention that technically the character who is being replaced just has their deck broken up

I'm not sure where this idea comes from. Even if a character dies you can still scavenge their cards. The most relevant rules quote is this:

MM Rulebook wrote:
If you want to start a new character, you may, but it’s important that you do not keep decks for characters you’re not actively playing. Doing so would use up cards that you should be encountering during play ... If you switch characters for some reason, it’s best to write down the cards in the previous character’s deck

So although the replaced character's cards will end up back in the box before the next scenario, it's strongly implied that the character still has a deck, which you could even write down and come back to. This suggests to me that what you would do is this:

You gain Arueshalae as a new character. After that, you build decks at the end of the scenario as normal, including for Arueshalae, and including for the character you intend to replace. The upshot is:
* You definitely may use cards from the replaced character's deck.
* You definitely may include the new loot cards you've just acquired (there's no rule preventing you giving them to someone else though either).
* You definitely fill in any missing cards from the box, at AD#1 or less.
* You definitely can't get cards from the box if other cards of that type are available.
* But, you can (I believe) choose to give cards you actively don't want to the soon to be retiring character, so as to be able to be able to draw better replacements from the box instead.

So for example, imagine you have 6 weapons left over after the other characters have built their decks, and the character you're retiring has 5 weapon slots in their deck. You can give 5 weapons to the retiring character, leaving 1 for Arueshalae, and then take up to 3 more weapons from the box.

The rules seem fairly clear to me, I'm not even sure which of those points I list would be disputed?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I am not sure about the last part... if you use the cards from the leaving Person you have to use them all... tha5 means that Ariueshalaecan start with melee weapons even she can not use them very well...


Hannibal_pjv wrote:
I am not sure about the last part... if you use the cards from the leaving Person you have to use them all... tha5 means that Ariueshalaecan start with melee weapons even she can not use them very well...

So my argument was that you're still technically building a deck for the retiring character, because nothing tells you not to and the rules imply that you could write down what it is and come back to them later. So you are using all of that character's cards, it's just that you're using some of them in that character's deck.

Look at it this way, you don't have to replace a character at all. You can continue with a larger party instead (unless of course you're at 6 already or something). If you did that, you'd build exactly as I describe, the only difference being maybe caring a little more about what cards that character actually gets (which only changes what you would do not what you could do).

So all I'm really saying is that you can decide who and whether to retire after building the decks (though possibly with the intent to retire a character in mind while you do). If you think of it that way it seems quite clear what to do.


You aren't technically building a deck for the retired character. You are swapping characters and building a deck for the new character.

Tower of the Fourth Sphere wrote:
If you win the scenario, a player may begin playing the character Arueshalae, who chooses a mythic path card and gains the same number of each type of feat that another character has gained.

The rules *do not* say that if you swap characters, the party can make use of the cards from the retired character. The rules don't even say that your new character can use the old character's cards.

Mummy's Mask rulebook p.19 wrote:
If you switch characters for some reason, it’s best to write down the cards in the previous character’s deck( or use the free character sheets posted online at paizo.com/pacg) and return the cards to the box until you want to play that character again.

This is in contrast to just holding the retired character's deck aside.

I admit the cited rule pertains to between scenarios while the current question regards and end-of-scenario deck rebuilding question; but I don't agree it's crystal-clear that the retiring character's cards can be used by anyone in the party, including Arueshalae.


My take is:
1) Arueshalae starts with whatever the party has left over from the scenario's acquire cards; hopefully, party members will swap cards into their decks from the acquired cards if doing so lets them pass Arueshalae cards more suitable for her.
2) Hopefully the party gives Arushalae the loot cards won in the scenario, since they are designed for her.
3) To fill any remaining gaps, Arushalae can take any card from the box of AD 1 or lower.

This is a bummer, though, because #1 means Arueshalae could have a really lousy deck for a quite a few scenarios.

I'll just note to keep in mind there are three ways to incorporate Arueshalae:
1) A member of the party stops playing another character & instead plays her
2) A player joins the party to play her
3) A player playing another character plays her in addition to playing their character


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

That Elcoderdude system Sounds more like I supose it should happen...


I'm totally with Irgy on this. Nowhere is it mentions that you "swap" an existing character with Arushalae. Perhaps, you will "drop" a character between "The Demon's Redoubt" and your next scenario, but at the time you are rewarded with Arushalae, you don't have to. My read is that she is just added to your existing party, increasing the number of character by one, and she arrives at the "Between Games" step:

Mummy's Mask rulebook, p.19 wrote:

Between Games

After each scenario, you must rebuild your character deck. Start by combining your discard pile with your hand, your character deck, any cards you buried under your character card, and any cards you displayed; you may then freely trade cards with other players. Your deck must end up meeting the Cards List requirements on your character card. Loot cards count as cards of their type. For example, if your character’s cards List specifies 3 items, and you keep 1 loot card with the item type when your rebuild your deck, your deck must contain exactly 2 other items.
If you can’t construct a valid deck from the cards your group has available because you don’t have enough of certain cards, choose the extra cards you need from the box, choosing only cards that have the Basic trait.

So, if you were three players playing three characters, you are now tasked with rebuilding four characters (your initial three + Arushalae) according to the existing rules. Since Arushalae has no cards when she arrives, her deck will need to be filled from whatever another character wants to give her, or the scenario reward cards, or the boons nobody wanted. I think that is why Irgy was saying that if you intended to "drop" a character before your next scenario, that character could "freely choose" to trade all his valuable boons to Arushalae and pick up whatever nobody wanted, or even fill in from the box if there is not enough valid card because he gave so many to Arushalae. In the same way, that "soon-to-be-dropped" character could keep some undesired boon, if it would allow Arushalae to get a better boon of the same type from the box.


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If you're permanently retiring a character, I would treat that retired character as if they had died. This means that their cards go into the pool to rebuild decks from, so you can grab cards from that character.

You do not rebuild the deck for a dead character, so in my opinion you wouldn't do that for a retiring character either.

When I played WotR, I added Arue to my party without dropping or swapping any characters, it was just a net +1 character. However, that may not appeal to some people, so if you're going to drop or swap I'd suggest using dead character rules as there are otherwise no provisions in the rulebook for losing characters (the rules state that you can note the decks of characters that are temporarily gone, but they don't state how to handle rebuilding that deck if parts of it are now belonging to other characters).


elcoderdude wrote:

You aren't technically building a deck for the retired character. You are swapping characters and building a deck for the new character.

Tower of the Fourth Sphere wrote:
If you win the scenario, a player may begin playing the character Arueshalae, who chooses a mythic path card and gains the same number of each type of feat that another character has gained.

The rules you've quoted don't say anything about "swapping". It just says a player may begin playing her. You yourself have described three ways to do this, of which only one is "swapping":

elcoderdude wrote:

I'll just note to keep in mind there are three ways to incorporate Arueshalae:

1) A member of the party stops playing another character & instead plays her
2) A player joins the party to play her
3) A player playing another character plays her in addition to playing their character

So here's my argument, as a set of simple steps:

1. You can, if you wish, choose to add her as an additional character.
- You already agree with this as quoted above (both of options 2 & 3)

2. If you do so, then deck rebuilding works exactly as I described earlier.
- I can't see any other way it could work, and as far as I can see no-one has said it wouldn't work that way in that case. They're just trying to tell me that replacing a character works differently in the first place somehow.

3. You can choose, if you wish, to retire a character after the deck rebuilding step is finished.
- You're certainly not forced to decide what party you're using next scenario at the end of the current one. What if someone doesn't show up the next week?

4. And this is the crux; There may be other choices of ways you could do it. But... there's (almost*) no advantage to doing it any other way!
- Doing it this way gives you access to their cards, while still letting you dump one deck's worth of cards on them. That's better (for you) than any other option described here, save the one case I discuss below.

So, it doesn't even matter if you could also choose to "immediately" replace the character instead, because you're better off doing it the way I describe anyway. So don't ask "does it work that way?" about steps 1-3 but instead ask "can I choose to do it that way?". And I really can't see any reason why not.

* So what we're left with is this one case you might want to handle it differently. Imagine the soon-to-be-retiring character has more cards than fit in their own deck (because they acquired them during the scenario - or indeed people may have deliberately dumped bad cards on them). You don't want any of that character's cards, and you don't want those additional bad cards in the pool. So you somehow get that character to run away with all of the detritus before the deckbuilding step. If this is true then it's a genuine second option you may sometimes wish to take. But, I really don't think this trick works. You absolutely certainly can't do it in normal circumstances (you can dump junk on a character, but not more than would fit in their deck). And I really don't see anything in the wording of "Tower of the Fourth Sphere" that enables this trick.

skizzerz wrote:
If you're permanently retiring a character, I would treat that retired character as if they had died. This means that their cards go into the pool to rebuild decks from, so you can grab cards from that character.

One of the "few" differences between being dead and retiring is that when you're dead you don't need (and also can't stop people looting) your belongings. So while I might agree that their cards are (and indeed must be) available anyway, I also can't see any reason why you couldn't also choose to let them keep some of their own cards (you might not have been saying otherwise anyway).


I'm starting to feel Irgy and I are beating a dead horse here, but...

The OP's question is my option #1 (stop playing a character to play Arueshalae), and I've been addressing how that works. Options #2 and #3 don't pertain.

Breaking up a retiring character's deck as if the character died is a rules interpolation - not an unreasonable one, but I'd say it is more of a house rule than RAW.

This is order in which things occur when you win a scenario:
a) Determine you have won
b) Earn rewards
c) Rebuild decks

So, when my option #1 is chosen, a player stops playing their character and starts playing Arushalae at point (b), not (c). The other character, with their deck, is gone before you reach (c).

Adding Arushalae to your party, as if you were doing my option #3 (add a character), when you really intend to do my option #1 (stop playing another character to play Arueshalae), just so you can then pass cards to Arueshalae from a character you really mean to retire (most likely leaving that character without a legal deck), is gaming the system IMHO. To me it's not unlike using a power to search your deck for a Cohort, when you know there's no Cohort in your deck, just to shuffle your deck.

In the end, most of us we'll just do what the group wants, I figure, RAW be damned. (I will also note: no matter how many times I type Arueshalae, I still misspell her name 75% of the time.)


elcoderdude wrote:
So, when my option #1 is chosen, a player stops playing their character and starts playing Arushalae

With all due respect, I don't get why you say a player stops playing their character. This is nowhere in the rules, and on the Tower of the Fourth Sphere it says that "a player may begin playing the character Arueshalae" without any reference to stopping using your previous character. I think it is well known that one player can play two (or more) characters and I think that Tower of the Fourth Sphere accounts for that. Like Skizzers said, Arueshalae can end up being a net +1 character to your party.

With this in mind, I think there is no problem in rebuilding deck at the end of Demon's Redoubt following the usual rules, even if you have a net +1 character in your party. At the beginning of your next scenario, the whole party will have the opportunity to decide how many characters form their party. Do they keep their party with a player playing two characters, or do they leave one character in the box...?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Sure. You can do that, as long as you aren't using more than 6 characters in a scenario. You'll also need to be aware that in order for a character to gain the adventure reward that character needs to complete all the scenarios in that adventure. You can always make a house rule for that though.


MuffinB wrote:
With all due respect, I don't get why you say a player stops playing their character.

Because the most likely playstyle across all groups that play the ACG is one character per player. If someone is going to start playing Arueshalae, they're probably going to stop playing their current character. You don't have to do that, of course.


elcoderdude wrote:
The OP's question is my option #1 (stop playing a character to play Arueshalae), and I've been addressing how that works. Options #2 and #3 don't pertain.

Ok, I'm going to split option 1 into:

1A) Your current character magically pops out of existence taking all their cards with them.
1B) You end up with option 1 but in a way that ends up equivalent to adding her as an extra character then retiring one after building the decks.

My point is that 1B makes 1A redundant in two ways. The rules don't need to support 1A because 1B achieves option 1 already. The players also don't need 1A because it's almost always worse than 1B. These in turn make me more willing to question whether the rules even do support 1A in the first place.

And the players don't need option 1A either, because as I said 1B is almost always better anyway.

Parody wrote:
MuffinB wrote:
With all due respect, I don't get why you say a player stops playing their character.
Because the most likely playstyle across all groups that play the ACG is one character per player. If someone is going to start playing Arueshalae, they're probably going to stop playing their current character. You don't have to do that, of course.

That's why they choose to stop playing their current character at some point before the next adventure starts. But I think what MuffinB wants to know (and certainly what I want to know) is why people interpret the rules as implying that a player immediately stops playing their character. Because the rules say nothing of the sort.

The rules don't support making a character disappear in the middle of a scenario. Having one character per player isn't a rule, it's a convention, and one that the players enforce. The players need to enforce that convention within the rules. And nothing in the rules supports making a character disappear. Nothing in the rules needs to support it either, for the reasons given above.


Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Sure. You can do that, as long as you aren't using more than 6 characters in a scenario. You'll also need to be aware that in order for a character to gain the adventure reward that character needs to complete all the scenarios in that adventure. You can always make a house rule for that though.

This is maybe more relevant to another thread, but, there's something fundamentally off with this adventure in that regard. If you complete the other "in any order" scenarios before picking up Arueshelae, then she effectively gets the rewards from those scenarios (because if the other players have more feats she starts with more feats). But she technically hasn't completed those scenarios, and so she can do them again herself and double-up on the rewards.

I originally just thought of this as an abuse, and in that case, the solution is simple - just don't do that. But now, with what you're saying (and it seems correct), if you don't go back and double-up on the scenario rewards, you instead miss out on the adventure reward. Which means there's no "fair" option at all - your choice is either an abuse (getting more than the rest of the party), or missing out (getting less than the rest of the party). You can avoid it by doing her scenario first but that undermines the whole design of being able to complete the scenarios in any order.

It also raises the question of whether she's completed her own scenario? I would guess no, but it's a bit disappointing to have to play it again.

There's a very simple solution by the way. She should be immediately considered to have completed all scenarios that the character whose feats she copies has completed. Fixes both the abuse and the missing out, and still even works if other characters have completed different sets of scenarios.


MuffinB asks why #1(stop playing a character to play A.) is so, then as an alternative says you could do #3(play A. in addition to your character). Irgy echoes that you could do #3 for just the rebuilding phase, then in fact do #1.

*Of course* you could do #3, if that's what you are really doing, as I said above. But I'll repeat: it's duplicitous to say you are doing #3 when really you are doing #1, and that kind of sleight-of-hand-for-my-own-benefit has been officially prohibited in other cases where it's been called out (as in the Cohort example I gave above).

I think we've established that how Arueshalae is built requires enough rules interpolation, and fosters enough disagreement, that an official clarification would be helpful.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
elcoderdude wrote:
I think we've established that how Arueshalae is built requires enough rules interpolation, and fosters enough disagreement, that an official clarification would be helpful.

This might be an area where the designers haven't been prescriptive because they are allowing gaming groups to play the game their way, relying on common sense and varying intents to shape outcomes.

Also, while the introduction of Arueshalae into the WotR happens in a specific way, the actual method might be applied to any character in any AP. So if official clarification is provided, it should be generic in nature.

Even then, I think that such clarification might be a bit descriptive, rather than prescriptive, in nature.

Replacing a character mid-AP? Here are your options...

Adding a character mid-AP? Here are your options...

Players/groups looking for a more difficult challenge might opt for the more limiting option(s). Meanwhile, players/groups looking for less of a challenge might opt for the least limiting option(s). And I think we've already described the range of options in the discussion.


elcoderdude wrote:

MuffinB asks why #1(stop playing a character to play A.) is so, then as an alternative says you could do #3(play A. in addition to your character). Irgy echoes that you could do #3 for just the rebuilding phase, then in fact do #1.

*Of course* you could do #3, if that's what you are really doing, as I said above. But I'll repeat: it's duplicitous to say you are doing #3 when really you are doing #1, and that kind of sleight-of-hand-for-my-own-benefit has been officially prohibited in other cases where it's been called out (as in the Cohort example I gave above).

I think we've established that how Arueshalae is built requires enough rules interpolation, and fosters enough disagreement, that an official clarification would be helpful.

To me it's about as "duplicitous" as ordering a large meal even though you don't intend to eat it all.

In any case I want to make another distinction between "not playing" a character any more, and that character and their cards ceasing to exist entirely. Just because you've switched to another character, the character you had is still there. They still played the scenario, and they still need to tidy up afterwards by deciding what's actually in their deck along with the rest of the party. It's like when you've finished playing Pathfinder, you're not playing it any more, but you still need to pack it up and put it away. You don't just tell the family "I'm not playing that game any more so none of that stuff on the table exists now".

It just feels like there's one way to handle the situation that's simple, well defined, covers all cases, is perfectly fair, and is supported by the rules. And it matches everything the location says and nothing it doesn't - that a player starts playing the new character.

Then there's another way to handle it that's completely undefined, and no-one can agree on what it means and how it works. And the reason is that the rules don't describe it at all. And the reason the rules don't describe it is because they don't need to describe it. The rules never tell you to make a character disappear mid-scenario, so they don't need to tell you what it means to do that. But we're all stuck on working out how do it anyway.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Well the rules say that when you start new character it starts level 0 and have only basic cards and no any powers, or skill upgrades. So there is no anything strange in there, but when new character comes to play in the middle of scenario it gets Little fushier ;)


Irgy wrote:
It just feels like there's one way to handle the situation that's simple, well defined, covers all cases, is perfectly fair, and is supported by the rules.

The RAW don't say that you can distribute the cards of a retired character among the rest of the party. It makes thematic sense, but it's a house rule. That's the crux of the matter.

+1 to Brother Tyler's astute comments.


elcoderdude wrote:
Irgy wrote:
It just feels like there's one way to handle the situation that's simple, well defined, covers all cases, is perfectly fair, and is supported by the rules.

The RAW don't say that you can distribute the cards of a retired character among the rest of the party. It makes thematic sense, but it's a house rule. That's the crux of the matter.

+1 to Brother Tyler's astute comments.

Which is exactly why it (implicitly) adds the new character before the deck rebuilding step. If you added + retired after deck rebuilding then it would also be clear what to do, but as far as I understand the timing at least is settled.

I'm not saying you can redistribute the cards from a character when you retire them either. In fact I'm quite sure you can't. I'm saying you can redistribute the cards from a character who played in the current adventure, before you retire them. And also, that you can't retire them before you finish all the steps of the scenario they were in.


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Hey everyone.

Firstly thank you to everyone for your suggestions, theories and input on the matter. It's greatly been appreciated. I wish the wording on the card could have been a little clearer as to how it works if you replace a character with Arueshalae but I think Brother Tyler does make some interesting points for why they might not have done that and have left it a bit vague.

As there's so many varying opinions, ultimately, it most likely comes down to probably utilizing some house rules based on what the group decides.

Realistically I personally think that the character who is being retired should take all of the cards with them, because if you think about it from a story point of view, they're leaving the party and aren't going to just say to their replacement "Oh hello there. Take all my stuff as I won't be needing it anymore because you know, it's not like this world's full of monsters, traps, barriers and the like." After all Arushaelae will be in the party so at least she will have help but poor Athnul, who is the character leaving, will be on her own to fend for herself.

That said from a gameplay perspective I think that when it comes time to do the replacing, which will hopefully be next Monday, the group will likely decide that Athnul should be able to pass her cards on to Arueshalae should she wish to do so. And as the player who is retiring Athnul plans on also playing Arueshalae I think that outcome all the more likely.

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