What character benefits most from being a Blackjack?


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


While there may be more to it that will be revealed later, Today's blog suggests that one character in your Crimson Throne adventuring group can become a Blackjack in addition to their chosen role.

You can see read the blog here.

It has some generically useful feats. Up to +2 hand size, A kit similar to Alric/Red Raven, The ability to take a local characters place when they encounter a monster or some barriers.
And, At the cost of 1 power feat you gain Dexterity: Acrobatics, Dexterity: Stealth, and Charisma: Diplomacy all at +3.

For now let's assume you won't get extra free feats and must choose between taking feats from this role or your normal role.

What character do you think would get the most out of this role?

Of the few characters I own I was thinking Ukuja would benefit a fair amount from it.

Other then discarding an animal to gain a bonus vs barriers and a bigger hand size there isn't much on the Animancer role that I want. But Ukuja has a d10 dexterity to take advantage of the stealth and Acrobatics skills. With the help of maxed out Wisdom and a Wendifisa Spear he is powerful in combat so would be good at taking someone else's combat checks. And the kit would actually help him get to his Wendifisa Spear faster. Assuming the hand size of up to 11 didn't.

But I suspect he isn't the best choice. Who do you think is?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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(I moved this thread from the Adventure Card Society forum because it'll be at least a little while before you'll be able to play Blackjack in OP.)

One correction: If you earn the opportunity to play Blackjack, you receive that role instead of another role, not in addition to it.

(One thing that may be tricky about this discussion at this point: as the blog mentioned, the Blackjack role comes with "several wonderful toys" that you haven't seen yet, and some characters will be better at using those than others.)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I've a lot of thoughts, but I'd mostly limit my theorycrafting them to post-Core characters until I learn if/when we can use it in OP. That said, off the top of my head there are certainly some notable pre-Core characters to use with this character, here.

Even the spoiled Amiri seems a surprisingly potent pick. Switching "Bury a card" cost to (presumably) a "reload a card" cost is a big improvement, and she's well-suited to taking on other player's checks against monsters. In fact, I presume this would allow her to take on Story Banes for other players, therefore getting opportunities to close locations off turn, which might be the only use I can realistically see her "draw a card when you close a location" power feat ever being worth the investment (not a fan of it, as I've stated before... but if you're closing locations from other player's turns as well, I suppose it might be okay rather than the "once, maybe twice, per scenario you may draw one extra card" as it currently reads).

Other things to note...

  • There's some Wizards and Sorcerers and the like with middling/good dexterity and/or Charisma, and if there's enough support for using Acrobatics and Stealth in combat then the ability to give a solid Diplomacy/Acrobatics/Stealth skill could be invaluable to help them pass more checks and even use weapons effectively. (There already exists weapons that support Acrobatics and Stealth in combat.) Take Valendron, for example, from the original Sorcerer class deck. Not a strong character nowadays, but has weapon slots, decent Dexterity and good Charisma, so should get plenty of benefits there (plus, you could reload Blackjack boons for your sorcerer combat power).

    In fact, Valendron has some interesting post-role synergies with Blackjack, too, including benefits for moving-outside-of-your-move-step, and benefits against Barriers.

  • Characters with benefits for making, or failing, checks against banes are a fantastic carrier for Blackjack since you can muscle in and take other character's checks against banes for them (or avenge them). If you draw defeated monsters or barriers into your hand, for example, this can help feed you - for example, WotR Balazar will draw defeated monsters into his hand, then can discard them to take on other character's monster checks to draw more monster, but one of his role cards also lets him expend monsters from his discard pile to various beneficial effects.

    Zvarbel, with her ability to draw cards from discard and even reset her whole hand when taking/failing checks can enable some pretty impressive loops here, too. Especially since she can go 'infinite' against very specific banes, which this allows her to find those banes more easily.

    Characters who greatly benefit from taking on specific banes will also like this - the Witch Raheli has a big reason with one of her Roles to defeat Undead, which this allows easily, too. Plus, she'll be able to use the dexterity-centric powers effectively.

  • I also note that the role immediately gives someone weapon proficiency, so never waste a power feat on that if you're going to get the Blackjack role anyway. Plus, the hand size increases can be an interesting thing to look at. The goblin Cutpurse Ekkie NEVER gets hand size increases from her character or role cards, because she already can easily 'draw infinitely'... but having a larger hand size certainly makes that playstyle more consistent. She's also a good carrier for some of the dexterity-centric effects, good when discarding cards for powers and even - I think - can take on someone else's encounter of a monster or barrier and then evade it with her other power anyway, if that's desirable.


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    When doing your min-maxing, don't forget that Vic said you get the Blackjack Role instead of one of your other ones, not in addition to it. (Notably, you'll want to be able to handle Combats with just your base skills and powers.)


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    Right, darn. I even remembered that and was thinking about it when talking about Amiri, but then instantly forgot it when talking about Valendron, Balazar and Zvarbel. Oops.

    Still, Valendron and Ekkie are other nice non-obvious choices.

    Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

    I will argue that the most directly-beneficial character to become Blackjack is Aric/Red Raven, because your kit is only 3 cards but you get to ADD three cards to your deck when you become Blackjack, so it's essentially 3 extra card feats instantly. And of course the powers of Blackjack are going to match up well with Aric/RR anyway. Given that you can avenge from afar with a power feat, and do it by reloading a Blackjack boon with another power feat, this has obvious implications for Red Raven.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    cartmanbeck wrote:
    I will argue that the most directly-beneficial character to become Blackjack is Aric/Red Raven, because your kit is only 3 cards but you get to ADD three cards to your deck when you become Blackjack, so it's essentially 3 extra card feats instantly. And of course the powers of Blackjack are going to match up well with Aric/RR anyway. Given that you can avenge from afar with a power feat, and do it by reloading a Blackjack boon with another power feat, this has obvious implications for Red Raven.

    Actually, it looks like your Kit would be 6 cards, so your deck size remains the same - both your main character card and your Role card state that you draw 3 extra cards, and put 3 cards in your Kit, after all, and I don't see why they wouldn't stack.

    So the 'card feat bonus' argument applies to any character, it seems.

    Plus, you're giving up one Role card if you take Blackjack - rather than being able to further customize and specialize Red Raven and Aric with their two-sided simultaneous Roles, you just get one that they share. You'd have to spend each Power Feat for something that you hope will benefit both, rather than being able to spend one on both sides of your role cards.

    If your deck is so well-tuned that you can always switch back to Aric before the end of your turn, then hand size feats on Red Raven is wasted, for example. With Aric normally, you'd just put a power feat into Aric's hand size on his side of the role card, and a power feat into whatever else you wanted on Red Raven's. With Blackjack, you just have to spend a power feat on Hand-size, potentially wasting any benefit for The Red Raven.

    Basically, rather than giving up "your role powers for Blackjack", Aric/Red Raven is giving up two role card's worth of powers for Blackjack, so I'd consider him and Ak (who has a similar gimmick) to be some of the worst carriers for the role, personally.

    Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

    We'll probably need an official ruling on it, but I was under the impression that, since the two powers both create a kit, and you can only have one kit (referred to as "your kit"), therefore can only set aside 3 cards.

    But fair enough on your argument that you're losing two roles. I tend to think of them as two sides of the same coin, but that's a valid argument.

    Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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    You have one kit, just like you have one deck, one hand, etc. You still have to follow all the instructions related to that kit, so if you're using the Blackjack role with Aric/The Red Raven, you'd draw 3 cards for your kit, then you'd draw 3 more cards for it. So one 6-card kit.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    In my group, Sajan became Blackjack, which seemed the best fit. But, we have a question with the extra skills.

    Sajan took the power feat giving him Acrobatics, Stealth, and Diplomacy at Dex/Dex/Cha+3. But, Sajan already had Acrobatics at Dex+2.

    Do these stack, so Blackjack Sajan now has Acrobatics of Dex+5? Or does just the highest value get considered, so Blackjack Sajan has Acrobatics Dex+3?


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    I would say highest only not stacking


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Matsu Kurisu wrote:
    I would say highest only not stacking

    Technically, he should have both Acro:Dex+2 AND Acro Dex:+3. Though, I can't think of an example where applying the lower skill would be beneficial...

    Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

    Correct.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    (As an aside, in reference to the original questio, and following a lot more play and testing... I believe Hakon makes the best use of the Blackjack Role as far as Core and Curse characters go. Followed by Amiri and/or Quinn in no particular order.)

    (Whilst there are other characters I would consider the use of it with, I believe those three stand out generally in excess of most other options, with Hakon getting the most distinct improvements by the use of the Blackjack Role from my own metrics.)


    Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Longshot11 wrote:
    Matsu Kurisu wrote:
    I would say highest only not stacking
    Technically, he should have both Acro:Dex+2 AND Acro Dex:+3. Though, I can't think of an example where applying the lower skill would be beneficial...

    Could be. In Adventures like MM sometimes you want to succeed but not by a large margin.

    Say I have DEX = d6+3 and I have a Acro check needing 6 to succeed but something bad happens if I roll 5 above the needed result. In both cases I am sure to succeed, but if I use Acro:Dex+2 I reduce the chances of bad things happening.

    This is why "highest and not stacking" should be a strong rule. IMHO.


    Yewstance wrote:

    (As an aside, in reference to the original questio, and following a lot more play and testing... I believe Hakon makes the best use of the Blackjack Role as far as Core and Curse characters go. Followed by Amiri and/or Quinn in no particular order.)

    (Whilst there are other characters I would consider the use of it with, I believe those three stand out generally in excess of most other options, with Hakon getting the most distinct improvements by the use of the Blackjack Role from my own metrics.)

    This has to do mainly with the "When you would recharge, shuffle, discard, or bury a boon for your character or role power, you may reload a Blackjack boon instead." power? It is rather powerful even you can only blend it with powers that only appear on your character's base card.

    (Quinn also gets a benefit by getting Weapon proficiency with the role, and the extra skills are pretty useful as well.)

    Now to create a rules thread specifically about that power, since it's a little freeform.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    zeroth_hour2 wrote:
    Yewstance wrote:

    (As an aside, in reference to the original questio, and following a lot more play and testing... I believe Hakon makes the best use of the Blackjack Role as far as Core and Curse characters go. Followed by Amiri and/or Quinn in no particular order.)

    (Whilst there are other characters I would consider the use of it with, I believe those three stand out generally in excess of most other options, with Hakon getting the most distinct improvements by the use of the Blackjack Role from my own metrics.)

    This has to do mainly with the "When you would recharge, shuffle, discard, or bury a boon for your character or role power, you may reload a Blackjack boon instead." power? It is rather powerful even you can only blend it with powers that only appear on your character's base card.

    (Quinn also gets a benefit by getting Weapon proficiency with the role, and the extra skills are pretty useful as well.)

    Now to create a rules thread specifically about that power, since it's a little freeform.

    You're right on all accounts with why I think Quinn and Hakon are good fits. However, Hakon also gets the largest possible hand size with Blackjack (as opposed to his actual Roles), which hugely enhances him particularly due to his unique ability to draw cards from his discard pile as long as he has a boon of the same type in his hand. More cards in hand means way more effective chances to draw the exact card you want from your discards every turn, whether you just want to Cure every turn or keep getting back some ideal Harrow blessing or ally or the like.

    Plus, he can also enhance his Diplomacy with Blackjack (and get two other skills in the process, for what moderate value they have), which directly enhances his powers.

    But yeah; reloading Blackjack boons to enhance local checks against monsters and/or local strength checks by his Diplomacy is pretty incredible, and he's a good fit for the "take checks for other players" aspect of half of Blackjack's powers as a beefy melee character.


    Fumbus just became our Blackjack, and I highly recommend that choice, though we had been acquiring cards with this future in mind....

    His combat goes from 'wants bombs and attack spells' to 'I'm a stealth-for-combat machine'. Getting Dex+3 stealth (and weapon proficiency) means that Blackjack's Daggers and Seeking Shortbow are perfect weapons, so Glamered Leather is a basically-free +d4 to every combat (pick it up, then re-display after the encounter), invisibility on a friendly caster is a huge (+2d10) combat buff, and Smoke Bombs is now a signature self-combat buff (add your stealth *again*). Cerulean Mastermind becomes really nice, too.

    It really frees up his item slots for utility/healing, and he can either invest further feats for combat rerolls (discard to reroll 1(2) dice on stealth checks), or just up his hand size to see more of his tricks.

    Also, it's Fumbus as Blackjack!
    "These look interesting! How do they work? Oh, you put on the bat-suit, drop a smoke bomb, and put the pointy end in the bad guy? Fumbus can do that!"

    Lone Shark Games

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    I feel like Fumbus sees himself as Batman, and I'm seeing it as Darkwing Duck.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    Let's. Get. DANGEROUS.


    Scion of Cheliax-Varian is currently carrying Blackjack’s rapier, mostly to show off to all the hip urbanites. “Why yes, I *am* a close personal friend of Blackjack. Oh, he’s much taller in person! Some people think he’s half-giant! <takes +d4 + 4 on a check at an urban location>”. The story that flows from these mechanics is something.


    Interesting discussion.

    I wouldn't choose Hakon for the Blackjack role, as IMHO it would overwrite his best role card power - the ability to discard any card to draw a spell/blessing from his discard pile. With that power, Hakon was a support dynamo and healing machine in my CotCT campaign.

    I didn't end up choosing anyone to be Blackjack in CotCT, but in retrospect it should have been Quinn. His role card powers seem to be the weakest.


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    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    I've been playing Nok-Nok as Blackjack in my solo home game of Curse. He makes great use of the Daggers which are stealth and knife based, and he is a general combat and barrier powerhouse with his innate bonuses, so the encounter instead and avenge powers are very useful for him. Gaining Acrobatics opens up the weapon pool to even more finesse-traited weapons, of which there are many in Curse.


    I'm replaying Crimson Throne with an all-goblin party: Fumbus, Crimsi, and Pizazz.

    I skipped the Blackjack role my first playthrough, so I had to use it the second time around. My 'jack choice: Pizazz.

    Pizazz is a fun option. It opens up offensive weapon capabilities, spells can shift into more of a support role, and his Diplomacy modifier for instrument work becomes even better. It's nice to add 1d6+7 to local checks for companions, to be sure.

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