Plea for new Class decks: New Core Rules break Society Play


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So I am at PaizoCon and played Fangwood Thieves, under the new rules, however everyone at the table was using class decks as per normal society play.

The key issue is the limit of only one card per type per check across the table rather than per player with you hand being old cards caused huge game play issues as a majority of the cards in hand were now dead on other players turns and we couldn't support well.

Contrasting this with 3 scenarios of The Dragons Demand I played in the evening with new characters with decks of new cards.

These games were much more enjoyable than the class deck games.

A lot of the new versions of old cards had support clauses now
I am going to be handing in my mixed table tickets to play more Dragons Demand over the weekend instead.

What I am to raise:
In my view the play experience of character decks of old cards using new rules will be a serious negative experience for players and will see a large drop off in Organized Play
I box run society play in two stores and I can't see them continuing with the class deck play under the new rules

What needs to be done:
Assuming the current date for switching to new rules
Either massive errata on class deck cards e.g. your class deck has Blast Stone, use the new wording for blast stone
or We play society play under old rules until New class decks are released

Society play has been 99% of my PACG play for the last two years and I want it to continue to grow and expand, however based of my experiences I will be withdrawing from society play if this issue isn't solved


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'm really sorry to hear that. I haven't any first-hand experience with using class decks in post-Core play - and I may not be the best person to judge difficulty in the first place, certainly not for attracting new players.

I'm really holding out for post-Core Class Decks (I've already been outspoken on my preference for not mixing pre-Core and post-Core cards). But, honestly, if this becomes a serious Organized Play issue for a sizable demographic of the playerbase then I'd just hope that those organising/running games will simply choose to play with old rules, at least until new Class Decks are released. (I'm aware the instructions above have been to use the new rules as of August, but if it's impacting player enjoyment on a wide scale then I think player experience should come first here.)

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

People have invested a lot into the class decks, some hundreds to have a complete set. I can imagine most of them will be exceedingly upset if all of that is now obsolete and in addition to buying yet another base box, and expansions for future stories, they have to replace their entire class deck collection. The card game is already at a sensitive place being that the rules were essentially revised into v1.5 and OP is very spotty. Adding a big price tag for continued participation is likely to hurt it even further.


Seems a bit unusual that Core-based PACS events were being run without the new Guide being released. (Or was the Guide released and I missed it?) It's possible that the new Guide fixes some of these issues.


Matsu Kurisu wrote:
The key issue is the limit of only one card per type per check across the table rather than per player with you hand being old cards caused huge game play issues as a majority of the cards in hand were now dead on other players turns and we couldn't support well.

Can you elaborate on this? From all my plays, the vast majority of times two or more players played a card of the same type on the same check, it was a blessing. Were players sitting on hands filled with blessings that couldn't all be played at the same time? What cards were "dead" on other players' turns because of that rule change?


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UPDATE
Sat with Mike S during the dinner and grilled him about the Society Play transition
The Loan Shark team are fully aware of the issues and have a plan to have a transition plan in place to handle the issues I raised.
They have several different thoughts that they are testing and will release something for August
I feel a lot happier and look forward to seeing what they come up with


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Shnik wrote:
Matsu Kurisu wrote:
The key issue is the limit of only one card per type per check across the table rather than per player with you hand being old cards caused huge game play issues as a majority of the cards in hand were now dead on other players turns and we couldn't support well.
Can you elaborate on this? From all my plays, the vast majority of times two or more players played a card of the same type on the same check, it was a blessing. Were players sitting on hands filled with blessings that couldn't all be played at the same time? What cards were "dead" on other players' turns because of that rule change?

Most new cards have templates of

Ally / Item- top power is local check not personal only
Attack spells - arcance +Xd or +Xd to others check
Ranged weapons - support power is freely

So there is a lot more options to support


Matsu Kurisu wrote:
The Loan Shark team are fully aware of the issues and have a plan to have a transition plan in place to handle the issues I raised. They have several different thoughts that they are testing and will release something for August.

Interesting. Thanks for the additional info. Does that mean that the new Guide is being delayed until August?

Various local Meetups have been advertising June PACS sessions with the Fanghorn scenarios, the new Core rules, and old class deck characters. Sounds like that may not be a good idea until these compatibility issues have been resolved - particularly since one of the stated purposes of the Meetups is to recruit new players.

Also, as you state in your other thread, it is certainly strange that they chose a siege scenario (Fanghorn A) to introduce new players to PACS. I'd think you'd want something more "normal" and fun for beginners.


Matsu Kurisu wrote:
Shnik wrote:
Matsu Kurisu wrote:
The key issue is the limit of only one card per type per check across the table rather than per player with you hand being old cards caused huge game play issues as a majority of the cards in hand were now dead on other players turns and we couldn't support well.
Can you elaborate on this? From all my plays, the vast majority of times two or more players played a card of the same type on the same check, it was a blessing. Were players sitting on hands filled with blessings that couldn't all be played at the same time? What cards were "dead" on other players' turns because of that rule change?

Most new cards have templates of

Ally / Item- top power is local check not personal only
Attack spells - arcance +Xd or +Xd to others check
Ranged weapons - support power is freely

So there is a lot more options to support

Well, sure, the new Core is made to have more interactions/ support between players; but, apart from multiple Blessings on the same check, how are the Class decks worse now than they were in pre-Core OP?

As for the Ranged Weapons, the new rulebook says that any "old" Weapon or Spell which adds to a check can be played freely, so you can still play your old Longbow, Strength Spell, or Aid on combat checks that are already using Weapons or Spells.


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Shnik wrote:
Well, sure, the new Core is made to have more interactions/ support between players; but, apart from multiple Blessings on the same check, how are the Class decks worse now than they were in pre-Core OP?

There's a few reasons why they may be, but it depends on a lot of factors, including...

  • Are you playing Seasons 0-5 with Core Set Rules (which will become the mandated ruleset in OP)?
  • Are you playing Seasons 0-5 with the Core Set added (I'm not sure this has been explicitly stated, but I would presume this is the intent, based on previous statement by Mike Selinker)?
  • Are you playing a relatively 'modern' Class Deck and/or using an Ultimate Add-On Deck, or are you using one of the older ones?

    Some reasons might include, depending on which of those factors is true...

  • Power level of Core and Curse cards - in every card type except blessings (arguably) - tends towards being a bit higher. This is perhaps most clear in most post-Core Weapon, Armor, Item and Ally designs (with Armor getting the most consistent boost in effectiveness).
  • Likewise, Core Set banes are a bit tougher on average than most previous seasons, with more aggressive use of the "Veteran" trait, a lot of instances of BYA/AYA damage or negative effects, Triggers and generally a lot less "Straight-up Combat X check with no other relevant text". In Core, these are easily mitigated with a variety of quality armor, starting weapons and spells that let you ignore these effects, etc, but the same won't exist in most Class Decks.
  • The early Core 'villains' - compared to early S&S, RotR or MM villains - are distinctly higher in difficulty, presumably in part because it's well expected that a Post-Core party would be hanging out at the same location and have tons of support across 5 of the 6 card types to help local combat checks, which wouldn't happen with Class Decks.

  • Also note that many seasons of play have scenarios that require players to make specific types of checks; like a "Perception/Knowledge 7 check" to defeat henchmen, or for scenario powers to allow them to close, or move, or various other key aspects. In Pre-Core, this is a way to make characters with specific skillsets shine, whilst other characters have to eat party blessings to pass some of these all-but-mandatory checks. It's much harder to force passes - sometimes just impossible - with a single blessing.

  • With the Core Set rules applied to seasons 0-5, a great many scenarios are rendered more difficult or unwinnable - a great many banes are also rendered more difficult. I keep referring to Lightning Storm as an example of a barrier that gets much more deadly when it can no longer go to closed locations, but it's not the only example of something increasing in difficulty (and there's almost nothing that decreases in difficulty with Core rules).

  • Core and Curse feature the return of Scourges as a core mechanic, and the overwhelming majority of Class Decks have no method of banishing curses. The good news is that most (all?) of the new scourges have some condition that can lead them to banish themselves if met, but lacking actual 'status healing' is certainly going to be a hindrance, for some scenarios more than others.

  • Not being able to spend multiple blessings on a check (particularly in large parties) from class decks that don't offer boons with the same variety of supporting options that post-Core boons routinely do, can seriously impact gameplay in some specific circumstances. A Dexterity 1d4 character will likely never defeat a Dexterity/Acrobatics 9 barrier if they're using most Class Decks under Core Rules. Under old rules, there's plenty of ways to force a success if it's sufficiently important by stacking blessings (or spells and blessings). In Core, there's plenty of support across at least 4 card types which routinely adds 2d4s, 2d6s or other similar bonuses against specific barrier types on cards that have other purposes (Acid Flask, Immolate, Fumbus character power, etc).

  • Character powers from older Class Decks may not work 'right', may not work at all (see Class Deck Lini's "Menhir Savant" role), or may simply be less valuable, as a result of Core Set rules changes - mostly regarding closed locations and the Recovery step. Light Armor proficiency is also now worthless to take as a power feat, as it's given to all characters by default as per the Transition Guide.

    In general, the Core Rulebook and balance assumes collaboration between party members to make use of various card types. This serves fantastically to improve party cohesion and strategy, and allows parties to make checks just as high - if not straight-up higher - in Post-Core gameplay than they could in Pre-Core, because of the new boon design directions. However, take away the 'new boon design' (which is largely the consequence of relying on your own as far as the boons you'll reliably get and use) and you're left with a rules system which is now a little harsher, and banes that are a little harder.

    With all of that said, I personally feel like it would massively depend on the party in question. I think plenty of OP groups would still breeze through Core Set scenarios under Core Set rules, but I also think that specific characters, specific class decks, or specific combinations of characters are going to have a harder time than ever before, even just playing Seasons 0-5 with new Rules and Core Set integrations.

    I'd also like to re-iterate that these are ways it might be harder. I am raising possibilities here in order to answer your question. We don't know the contents of the next Card Guild Guide, nor what Season 6 might be built around, and there's also a very limited sample size for me to pull on.

  • *

    Yewstance wrote:
    Are you playing Seasons 0-5 with the Core Set added (I'm not sure this has been explicitly stated, but I would presume this is the intent, based on previous statement by Mike Selinker)?

    Where'd you see this one? I haven't seen anything that suggests this.

    (And even if I have, I may not remember it. :)

    Lone Shark Games

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    wkover wrote:
    Seems a bit unusual that Core-based PACS events were being run without the new Guide being released. (Or was the Guide released and I missed it?) It's possible that the new Guide fixes some of these issues.

    We are testing the new Guide elements at PaizoCon and will release it when we decide the testing has produced the results we're looking for.

    Lone Shark Games

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    Yewstance wrote:
  • Are you playing Seasons 0-5 with the Core Set added (I'm not sure this has been explicitly stated, but I would presume this is the intent, based on previous statement by Mike Selinker)?
  • I do not remember saying this, and if I did, I was speaking out of turn. What we hope to see is people playing older OP scenarios with the Core Set rules.

    We are definitely still tinkering with the details (even having some meetings between Paizo and Lone Shark at PaizoCon on the subject), but we will get it all worked out real soon now.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Shnik wrote:


    Well, sure, the new Core is made to have more interactions/ support between players; but, apart from multiple Blessings on the same check, how are the Class decks worse now than they were in pre-Core OP?

    As for the Ranged Weapons, the new rulebook says that any "old" Weapon or Spell which adds to a check can be played freely, so you can still play your old Longbow, Strength Spell, or Aid on combat checks that are already using Weapons or Spells.

    That makes the weapons & spells fine.

    However, we were not given the rule books so hand read the Weapon / Spell being freely and so played in slightly harder mode, but it rarely would have changed anything.

    The old Allys & items are still dead cards from a support view point whereas almost all of the new ones have a Local power and the balance is expecting these.

    Having played more Fangwood, if you are playing old class decks, with experienced players and reasonably optimised decks you are fine, however if you have inexperienced players/non optimised decks at the table they don't do well as you can't support them enough.

    All this being said, I am LOVING the new Core + Crimson when I play a character with new cards. This is now my number one preferred play ahead of Mummy's Mask


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Mike Selinker wrote:
    Yewstance wrote:
  • Are you playing Seasons 0-5 with the Core Set added (I'm not sure this has been explicitly stated, but I would presume this is the intent, based on previous statement by Mike Selinker)?
  • I do not remember saying this, and if I did, I was speaking out of turn. What we hope to see is people playing older OP scenarios with the Core Set rules.

    We are definitely still tinkering with the details (even having some meetings between Paizo and Lone Shark at PaizoCon on the subject), but we will get it all worked out real soon now.

    I profusely apologize - I was extrapolating from your previous statement that you believe adding the Core Set to previous sets will make them "More fun, not less", on the announcement blog for Core. I had inferred that the intention was to enable them for Organized Play as a result of that statement suggesting that combining them was desirable.


    Yewstance wrote:


  • Likewise, Core Set banes are a bit tougher on average than most previous seasons, with more aggressive use of the "Veteran" trait, a lot of instances of BYA/AYA damage or negative effects, Triggers and generally a lot less "Straight-up Combat X check with no other relevant text". In Core, these are easily mitigated with a variety of quality armor, starting weapons and spells that let you ignore these effects, etc, but the same won't exist in most Class Decks.
  • The early Core 'villains' - compared to early S&S, RotR or MM villains - are distinctly higher in difficulty, presumably in part because it's well expected that a Post-Core party would be hanging out at the same location and have tons of support across 5 of the 6 card types to help local combat checks, which wouldn't happen with Class Decks.
  • I've been noticing this, BYA/AYA is everywhere, and it seems like the percentage of banes in a location has increased on average. (From 4-5 to 5-6). A lot of the boon cards do have local benefits to balance this out, though there benefits often seem to be only applicable under fairly specific circumstances.

    I see the idea is that people are supposed to hang out at the same location a lot more, but the close/guard rules haven't changed to match this. Is the idea that if you find the villain in the first location when everyone is exploring, you just reset the game? Otherwise you're not going to finish in time.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Howard197 wrote:
    I see the idea is that people are supposed to hang out at the same location a lot more, but the close/guard rules haven't changed to match this. Is the idea that if you find the villain in the first location when everyone is exploring, you just reset the game? Otherwise you're not going to finish in time.

    In short... I disagree. Your team is playing very slowly if this is a critical issue for you.

    For one thing, if you find the villain in the first location - pre Core or post Core - then spreading out makes little difference. Guarding locations simply narrows down where he can go, it doesn't change the fact that defeating him will close a single location (and you shouldn't be able to cover all other locations before having closed any beforehand). Finding him in the first location just means you closed a location faster and some other location has 2 story banes in it now to close it, rather than 1 - it's a good thing to find the Villain early no matter which set or ruleset you're playing.

    Secondly, a lot of pre-Core scenarios - particularly in Organized Play, but they're in every AP as well - feature scenarios with the requirements to corner multiple villains and/or featuring no villains at all, usually with one less location and the win condition to be 'close every location'. These scenarios are not remotely 'impossible' - they're not even necessarily harder.

    Core and Curse feature less corner-the-villain scenarios than any previous set, but I wouldn't call the scenarios with villains noticeably harder (nor particularly easier). If your party is sufficiently slow that guarding 2+ locations to corner the villain is mandatory to win in time, then you can still use examination or evasion effects to narrow down where the villain is, and just have the non-guarding characters set up there to provide support.

    You can also kit out characters with boons explicitly built to support distant checks, too.

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