Looking to confirm - class decks needed to org play?


Pathfinder Adventure Card Society

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent, Australia—NSW—Newcastle aka Tim Schneider 908

Hey guys,

Picked up new core ACG and the crimson throne expansion at paizocon after playing a demo & thought I had all I needed to take it back to Australia and try to get a bit of an org play acg thing going... however upon reading the guide it sounds like in addition to those sets you need a class deck per player to actually play in org play?

Just thought I'd check if I misunderstood anything here & the core set maybe counts as any or something like that? Pretty sure I've understood right but holding out hope since the game does have rules to make decks from that set...

Due to terrible stock availability in Aus for the card game (I've never seen any part of the ACG for sale anywhere) this kinda sucks & is quite a barrier for a new player (Not just walk up to the FLGS and grab one but buy a deck but get it shipped from america ordering it a month before the game, which I've heard some even had trouble with that for ACG stuff - massive delays getting it here). I was hoping with the core set+crimson throne I'd have enough to run some games. Worst case I just play with the set outside org play, but as a VA & with most the players participating in PFS & hopes of spreading beyond my local region at cons I did really want to bring the games under the org play banner.

Silver Crusade ** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 aka cartmanbeck

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Tim Schneider wrote:

Hey guys,

Picked up new core ACG and the crimson throne expansion at paizocon after playing a demo & thought I had all I needed to take it back to Australia and try to get a bit of an org play acg thing going... however upon reading the guide it sounds like in addition to those sets you need a class deck per player to actually play in org play?

Just thought I'd check if I misunderstood anything here & the core set maybe counts as any or something like that? Pretty sure I've understood right but holding out hope since the game does have rules to make decks from that set...

Due to terrible stock availability in Aus for the card game (I've never seen any part of the ACG for sale anywhere) this kinda sucks & is quite a barrier for a new player (Not just walk up to the FLGS and grab one but buy a deck but get it shipped from america ordering it a month before the game, which I've heard some even had trouble with that for ACG stuff - massive delays getting it here). I was hoping with the core set+crimson throne I'd have enough to run some games. Worst case I just play with the set outside org play, but as a VA & with most the players participating in PFS & hopes of spreading beyond my local region at cons I did really want to bring the games under the org play banner.

Hi Tim!

Unfortunately you're correct that players need to have a class deck each to play organized play. You could consider asking a local store if they can order in a few class decks, or you could always look on Amazon, I know that many of the class decks can be found on there for around $10 USD or close to it, but I don't know how that translates for Aussies.
If you have trouble getting them for a decent price, pm me. Spreading the gospel of PACG is very important to me. :)
Tyler

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent, Australia—NSW—Newcastle aka Tim Schneider 908

Thanks for the confirmation.

Guess I'll go look into shipping costs... but in general everyone hates Australia. Odds are it'll be about 3 times that price minimum, and that's after waiting 20 days for delivery. Will ask the local stores again, maybe with the new set they'll have more options but I've had multiple shops tell me they couldn't get ACG stock before. Wish I'd realised org play needed those, I'd have grabbed half a dozen while I was there at PaizoCon.

I might hold off for a bit, play through the 2 AP's that come in the box outside the Org Play banner first and see if I get interest locally & see if they release any new class decks for the new rules before I go ordering.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Can confirm that Class Decks and ACG is a pain to find in Australia (I'm living in Canberra at the moment and very interested in encouraging any further ACG play here). One of the biggest stores in the territory seemed to be entirely unaware that there was another set of the card game coming out - though to be fair, they stocked virtually no PACG merchandise historically anyway.

I will, however, say that Bookdepository.com has some of the most consistently good prices for PACG Class Decks for Australian consumers that I've seen - keep in mind they always offer entirely free shipping, unlike the oppressive cost of shipping even small goods with to this continent with Amazon.

(I cannot recommend enough not to buy on Amazon if you're Australian, at least not small goods like Class Decks.)

Sovereign Court *****

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

@Yewstance: Games Capital in Civic *did* stock a lot of ACG (well, Rise, Skull and Shackles, and Mummy's Mask, all of the expansions, and the class decks, including the Pathfinder Tales and Wrath decks), but they did not sell well, and ended up being 'remaindered' - you might still be able to find a few over on their discount wall, next to the M:tG singles.

Sovereign Court *****

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

@Tim Schneider: The next time you are down in Sydney for a Con, try Games Paradise on Pitt Street - the last time I checked (which was, admittedly, a couple of months ago), they still had class decks.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Luke_Parry wrote:
@Yewstance: Games Capital in Civic *did* stock a lot of ACG (well, Rise, Skull and Shackles, and Mummy's Mask, all of the expansions, and the class decks, including the Pathfinder Tales and Wrath decks), but they did not sell well, and ended up being 'remaindered' - you might still be able to find a few over on their discount wall, next to the M:tG singles.

I know - I was the person who bought their last copy of RotR, and their last copy of 2 Class Decks, and they never restocked any of it (or indeed any more PACG merchandise at all). Wasn't exactly discount prices at the time; more expensive than I found online.

I appreciate the thought and response, though, thank you!

Sovereign Court *****

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Ah, fair enough. I remember it being 'half retail' when I picked up the Mummy's Mask expansions, and the Radovan class deck, but that *was* some time ago...

Venture-Agent, Online—ACG aka redeux

As an alternative solution, I know some groups in the past have made a deck or two available for newcomers. Those players can "take one for the team" and play a pre-generated character, then transfer it over to their character once they get the class deck.

I generally carry 1-2 extra decks with me when I attend OP sessions for this reason.

Still gives you the problem of obtaining some decks to begin with, but it would at least help make the barrier to entry a bit easier for other players until they decide it's something they'd like to continue playing.

Sovereign Court *****

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Yeah, part of the problem is that the ACG never really took off, locally - I mean, when the Skull and Shackles ACG Box is selling for '$5 when you spend $50 in store!', you *know* they are trying to offload it...

(Which is a shame, because I quite liked the Mummy's Mask set.)

Shadow Lodge **** Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

Race Dorsey wrote:

As an alternative solution, I know some groups in the past have made a deck or two available for newcomers. Those players can "take one for the team" and play a pre-generated character, then transfer it over to their character once they get the class deck.

I generally carry 1-2 extra decks with me when I attend OP sessions for this reason.

I've been told I tend to go a bit overboard on this sort of thing :-)

I have a box set up with around half the published class decks (16 the last time I checked) which I take with me to game stores where we're running PACG games. I also have all the published pregen deck lists printed out and kept in the same box.

I enjoy the card game, and I've been trying to encourage other folks to play it ever since Season of the Shackles.


Another place you might consider is ebay. If you keep an eye out you can get some pretty good prices on there.

Shadow Lodge **

As a person who will be helping to organize this sort of thing for local stores, how many decks would you estimate to have a 'lending library' on hand? My FLGS is really interested in adding PACG to their weekly events lineup, and

I was thinking maybe 2 or 3 of each deck for the core classes (Fighter, Barbarian, Rogue, Wizard, Sorcerer, Cleric, Paladin, Druid) and then maybe one each of the more specialized non-goblin decks (Ultimates, for example).

Would that make sense, or am I kind of crazy? The store wants to establish this so that they have the ability to accept walk-ins without having to say 'Yeah, you need to buy a 20 dollar item we have to order first'.

Shadow Lodge **** Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

I'd say just having half a dozen decks should be more than enough. I'd stick to the basic classes, and wouldn't bother with the ultimates. The pregen builds don't use ultimates, anyway.

Once somebody has decided they like the game, they can buy their own deck. If the game store doesn't carry any stock to sell off-the-shelf, though, they're likely to lose the sale to Amazon or eBay.

Lone Shark Games

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While it's not Organized Play, it may still be worthwhile to just play some games in the normal fashion. It'd be a decent way to find a few people who are interested without everyone needing to invest in a class deck.

Liberty's Edge ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Fairview Heights aka Freedom Snake

So here comes the new guy questions.

In PFS and SFS you can go into a store, grab a pregen and experience something fun and new, which could potentially result in sales for Paizo. Why is the PACS policy that the GM or another player has to buy things out of their pocket or else tell the curious walk-up player there is a minimum $20+ store purchase required to even see if they like it?

It’s very off putting to force GMs to buy decks for walk-ups to use. It’s very off putting for a new player to be told to fess up $20 if they want a seat at the table.

Is there a reason for banning the characters already built in the rulebook in the box?

I have the core set and crimson throne, but have only played once so far. There is interest in my store but it’s not fair to keep asking one of my players to supply all their personal decks to random strangers every week and with my late July shipment already in excess of $450 between PF and SF, I can’t add catching up on class decks for public use to my budget anytime soon.

Does OP have a process to bring in first time players?

What does OP offer? There are restrictions to playing. Is there any added benefit beyond consistency if you play card game at conventions? Which btw, is also not really a thing as far as I can see. Were there class decks for walk-ups at Origins or was there no support for society? I honestly don’t know, even though I was there. How about GenCon?

With PF/SF you can play a pregen core character and see if this is the thing for you within the society context. How does PACS support this aspect?

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Our organizers (and I expect most of them) already own Class/Character Decks that you can borrow if you don't have one and want to try Society play.

At Gen Con (and I assume any other convention with Paizo organizing events directly) they have a ton of Class/Character Decks you can borrow. There are card game slots available for most of the convention.

There's no reason you couldn't introduce players to the Card Game using characters from the box; you just wouldn't report it. It's easier, though, for each player to dig their pregen's cards out of the ~100 in a Class/Character Deck than it is to try to do a bunch at the same time from the box. (I expect many people would put together a couple Tier 1 pregens beforehand if they have the time.)

Honestly, I think the main benefit of having Society play is getting more Adventure Paths you can play with your existing sets. The secondary benefit is being able to run multiple groups using the same box. I don't play the card game much at cons so I don't see the same "play the same character with a bunch of different parties" benefit you see on the RPG side. I do play regularly with a group, but outside of our organizers using the same boxes at multiple stores and conventions I could take or leave the Society rules. (I expect that tonight we'll be discussing Society play going forward, since we're in the middle of an old box Season and would have to switch to the new ruleset in a month or so.)

Hope this helps.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

PACS characters are built around Class Decks because character advancement requires long-term access to a predictable set of cards that nobody else is using.

While I suppose we could create a rule much like "take one for the team" that allows people to play a character from the box short term, encouraging that is counterproductive to getting them where they need to be in the long run. (Also, they'd be pulling cards out of the vault that are supposed to be in play. This only becomes a real problem when there are more than 4 people doing that, but it's still not ideal.)

As Parody said, it's fine to teach them the game with a character built from the box—in fact, I highly recommend doing so using the Quick-Start version of the Rumble Road scenario—but since they're playing with something that can't function as an ongoing PACS character, you shouldn't count it as a PACS play.

Liberty's Edge ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Fairview Heights aka Freedom Snake

Thanks for the responses. We have one player at our store that is starting who owns anything at all. I didn’t want him to have to hand out his decks every week until we can convince people to buy their own or until I can recover from the cost of 2e launch plus a Starfinder hardcover to hand out sets to everyone else. At the same time this is our weekly organized play gathering and I’m trying to support organized play with PACS. I suppose there just isn’t a way to support PACS at this time and can hopefully convince the store to start stocking them.

Liberty's Edge ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Fairview Heights aka Freedom Snake

Follow up question. So that I can properly plan, what decks do I need to buy as a balanced minimum out of my own pocket as a VL to be able to kick off PACS in my stores and provide our players who want to try society play before making a financial commitment? I need to have a conversation with my wife and start budgeting.


For what it's worth, I asked a similar question a year ago when I first looked into hosting OP at local game stores. Go here for the thread.

Basic decks are fine to learn the game. This wouldn't be a bad starting set, for instance: Barbarian (or Fighter), Rogue, Wizard, and Cleric. You should also be able to find these pretty cheap.

I also threw together a one-page OP guide for new players. It's now out of date (pre-Core), but the document can be found here.

Good luck!

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Jacob Rennels wrote:
We have one player at our store that is starting who owns anything at all. I didn’t want him to have to hand out his decks every week until we can convince people to buy their own

I appreciate your consideration for your player, but if you asked I expect they would be happy to lend their decks for others to try out. A pack of sleeves or two is enough to protect the actively used character cards in a game and would make a nice gift of appreciation. Then you can buy character decks when you know which ones you'd like.

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