PBP Specials-Only Characters and Tiers 3 / 6


Pathfinder Adventure Card Society


With a number of us playing Specials-only characters, advancement (namely upgrades), works really well for characters on Tier 1,2,4,5. But characters on 3 or 6 cannot get cards of their tier. For a not, Specials-only character, no biggie. But if this is your only source of upgrades, it's less cool especially once you hit 6.

So the question is Can there be space to run a tier 3 or a tier 6 group during a special? (with Tiers 3/6 cards populating the table) From what I've seen so far, the Hench/Vills are mostly veteraned and the changes beyond deck composition between Tier 2 or 5 are minimal if any.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

When I learned that specials only ran at Tier 2 (1-3) and Tier 5 (4-6), I had assumed (without any supporting data whatsoever, I should say) that it was because there wasn't enough demand for higher-level tiers, and most play was at Tier 1. Rather than running, say, games at Tier 2 (1-2), Tier 4 (3-4), and Tier 6 (5-6), which would dilute the higher-level tiers' supply even further.

Although, I'm curious what happens if a Tier 3 character is forced to tier up mid-special into Tier 4. Do they have to move tables? Are they no longer able to play?

(I should admit that I find the tier system a bit awkward in general.)

Liberty's Edge

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EmpTyger wrote:
When I learned that specials only ran at Tier 2 (1-3) and Tier 5 (4-6), I had assumed (without any supporting data whatsoever, I should say) that it was because there wasn't enough demand for higher-level tiers, and most play was at Tier 1.

I assume this to be true as well, but more over, I think Tier 2 and Tier 5 are chosen simply because this way everyone can play, and if adjustments to difficulty are needed, then those are minimized as well (having to only edit one set of scenarios).

That being said, I would support getting a higher tier variant of the same scenarios, especially for Tier 6 since, as Nathan pointed out, Special-only characters are simply never going to get access to their coolest, most powerful cards otherwise.

Alternatively, could we figure out a way to allow higher tier characters to get tiers of their tier level with some kind of trade-off? Maybe the currently un-used 3rd, 5th and 6th games of a tier could instead grant a reward that went something along the lines of:

"Draw a random card from the box with an adventure number of at least your tier -1. You may add this card to your deck."


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I would fully support some way of allowing tier 3/6 characters to get tier 3/6 boons. I recently played through as a tier 3 player and it was a struggle to find things of interest to upgrade because the best I could get was tier 2 boons.

We did have one reward that allowed for a pick a card of your tier as reward, which was probably the one I was the most excited about since it allowed me to pick one to play with. Lots of debating ensued there.

Given that experience I'm highly doubtful of playing her clear through tier 6 as I'd miss out on all of those capstone cards.

All things considered, playing a Special at 3 and 6 doesn't end up being very special.


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As someone who has a Specials only character is coming up on Tier 3, I would love for a way for him to be able to get those level 3 cards during the next Special. I would really prefer not to play an entire Special and get zero cards upgrades because I'm pretty sure I'll have all the Level 2 upgrades I want before this special is over.


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I love the idea of having more options for tier 3 and 6 characters during Specials. I think two good options were suggested already:
1) Having Specials run with tables at tiers 2 (for 1 & 2), 4 (for 3 & 4), and 6 (for 5 & 6) and
2) Distributing scenario rewards related to a character's tier rather than the adventure deck number of the scenario/tier number of the table


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I would more be in favour of a greater emphasis of giving players deck upgrades equal to their Tier, rather than adding more variants of tiers to join - for the recent PbP Specials, it's been hard filling Tier-5 tables as-is; that problem would only be aggravated if the playerbase was split 3 ways rather than 2 ways.

However... I would appreciate a more challenging, "Tier 7"-like variant of Specials, where end-game PFSACG characters who have completed an entire AP can come out of retirement for a challenge, with a potential reward unique to them. But unique rewards are a careful thing to work around, because it leads to potential inequity in player experiences, so I recognise great caution and care would have to be taken to having an "End-game" option for specials included in the future.

Silver Crusade 3/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Online—PbP aka Redelia

In a previous special, I noticed this, but it did not particularly bother me. I played in a tier 5 game, with a character who had already finished an adventure path, so she had a lot of neat tier 6 cards already. Also, I added an ultimate deck to her at the start, so there were some worthwhile tier 4 and tier 5 upgrades I could choose.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
WilderRedbeard wrote:
2) Distributing scenario rewards related to a character's tier rather than the adventure deck number of the scenario/tier number of the table

I agree strongly with this. All it would take is

e.g. 8-00C2: Each character chooses a card from the box (your class deck box(es)) that has an adventure deck number less than or equal to the scenario’s adventure deck number character's tier and notes it on her Chronicle sheet.
Lower tier characters lose nothing as they can't keep cards that are greater than their tier and higher tier characters could access some of their toys

Venture-Agent, Online—ACG aka redeux

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I agree that there is an experience issue for tier 3/6 players when playing at tier 2/5. It's just not quite as fun and rewarding to play at those tiers in the current multi-table special format.

That said, this is a tricky thing to troubleshoot. Most of you at least have some experience with our online play-by-post multi-table specials, though I am unsure how many of you have been seated at an ACG multi-table special in a physical venue. One thing that the tier 2/5 structure of the current format is that it allows complete strangers get matched together 0-5 minutes before a start time of a game and they can have a good time because everyone can play at these tiers. When we do registration for online PbP we have the tables already there and people are signing up under a specific table, with specific other players and a specific BR. When signing up for the specials in a physical location you are just buying a ticket and then you are asked to show up early to get mustered. If you have friends, then you can get mustered with your friends but otherwise the information they are going to ask you is what tier you need to play at, and then they are going to sit you at a table. Not everyone comes early for mustering, some people come with a few minutes to spare. Other people come right at the start. For Hao Jin special I needed to flip my table from tier 5 to tier 2 literally right at the start of the event because we had more tier 2 interest than we had anticipated. That wasn't terrible, but it wasn't ideal either.

I mention all of this to say that whatever solution that is proposed needs to be somewhat aware of the constraints of a physical location hosting these. It needs to be easy to muster for the players, and it would need to be flexible. Also note for larger conventions like Gen Con the boxes were being prepped throughout the day and handed to the volunteer BR's ready to go. So that's where flipping boxes to a different tier gets complicated when last minute changes are being made.

Here are my suggestions (which I realize is a combination of some previously mentioned):

1. Incorporate more rewards that let you pick a boon based off of your current tier. Does not necessarily give a bonus deck upgrade. Doesn't have to be every scenario, but at least more than once. I think most players would be happy to have 2-3 cards current-tier cards per multi-table special. Pros is that it would make the experience more enjoyable for tier 3/6 players and everyone. Cons is that it may be too powerful handing out so many current-tier rewards? Historically these are not given out frequently across all of our current OP scenarios.

2. Suggest tiers 2 (1-2), 4 (3-4), and 6 (5-6), but leave it up to the organizer's discretion if they want to offer tiers 2 and 5 (or vice versa). This lets us try to accommodate players in advance for play-by-post with tiers 2/4/6 tables and maybe this would push a better sign-up process for physical locations. Downside is players might be hoping to play tier 2/4/6 at a physical location but end up only having tier 2/5 tables offered

I'd like to see these two suggestions together because #1 makes sure that the game rewards seem equitable to everyone regardless of the tiers, and #2 makes it so we can have fun and challenging games if we make reasonable attempts to accommodate players; meanwhile if a physical location thinks that the logistics are too hard, then at least #1 is still there so players don't feel like they got burned for sitting at a tier 2/5 table instead of a 4/6 (where tier 3 and 6 could get those valued AD3/6 cards that they don't have current access to).


redeux said wrote:


Here are my suggestions (which I realize is a combination of some previously mentioned):

1. Incorporate more rewards that let you pick a boon based off of your current tier. Does not necessarily give a bonus deck upgrade. Doesn't have to be every scenario, but at least more than once. I think most players would be happy to have 2-3 cards current-tier cards per multi-table special. Pros is that it would make the experience more enjoyable for tier 3/6 players and everyone. Cons is that it may be too powerful handing out so many current-tier rewards? Historically these are not given out frequently across all of our current OP scenarios.

2. Suggest tiers 2 (1-2), 4 (3-4), and 6 (5-6), but leave it up to the organizer's discretion if they want to offer tiers 2 and 5 (or vice versa). This lets us try to accommodate players in advance for play-by-post with tiers 2/4/6 tables and maybe this would push a better sign-up process for physical locations. Downside is players might be hoping to play tier 2/4/6 at a physical location but end up only having tier 2/5 tables offered

I'd like to see these two suggestions together because #1 makes sure that the game rewards seem equitable to everyone regardless of the tiers, and #2 makes it so we can have fun and challenging games if we make reasonable attempts to accommodate players; meanwhile if a physical location thinks that the logistics are too hard, then at least #1 is still there so players don't feel like they got burned for sitting at a tier 2/5 table instead of a 4/6 (where tier 3 and 6 could get those valued AD3/6 cards that they don't have current access to).

I like these suggestions a lot! I hope that it's possible for one or more of these adjustment in future Specials!


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Resurrecting this thread now that some of the post-Core changes have been announced, as it doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s radar. Although I do realize there’s currently already a lot up in the air.

As referenced above, Tiers 3/6 are awkward for upgrades during multitable specials. Now there’s an [at least currently] unresolved issue with feat rewards from specials conflicting with a new feat cap. And with the 3rd online multitable special Hao Jin Cataclysm for Gameday VIII is about to go into signups- I’m probably not the only one with a Tier 3 character. And while I don’t know what the rewards are for HJC, it would seem that my “reward” for continuing a character from AoA and CC is temporarily losing a feat with no tier-level upgrades.

I feel like these specials don’t really work with the Tier system?


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Resurrecting this thread again because the new Core rules have introduced an additional awkwardness for Tier 3 characters in specials.

PACS Guide wrote:

If you gain your third power feat, first, you are rewarded with a role. (see Roles on page 20 of the Core Set rulebook).

Use your role only when playing scenarios that have a # of 3 or higher.

Previously, roles could only be used when playing scenarios of 4 or higher. Characters couldn't gain a role until the start of Tier 4.

Now, characters gain a role during Tier 3, potentially as soon as after their first scenario. Yet during a special, a Tier 3 character must play at a Tier 2 table, which disallows roles.

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