Converting Classic wands


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber
Conversion Guide wrote:


All Wands should have the cost “Banish or bury,” and either bury immediately or get put into your recovery pile immediately.

Should proficient characters still bury them if they fail the check, or should they be updated to discard, to align with Core/Curse wands?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

Or, as alluded to in the thread on Balmberry are they now banished, if you fail to recover? This would seem to severely weaken Classic wands as compared to their Core counterparts.

As I read the conversion guide, the "wands and plants" exception would either:

* override ALL of the base item conversion template, in which case the thread is correct for plants, and wands would NOT follow the "if proficient, bury" template, causing even proficient characters to banish them if they fail to recharge, OR

* the "wands and plants" exception ONLY overrides the POWERS rules and not the DURING RECOVERY rules, and the thread is wrong for plants, and they could be buried if the recovery fails, OR

* I'm reading the document and the thread entirely wrong.

Not trying to force the ruling in either direction, just confused and wanting clarity.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

We haven't finalized the wording just yet, but we want them to work like Core/Curse wands.


Like the OP, I'm having trouble fully processing the conversion rules for wands and plants. A quick verification question about the Ultimate Wilderness plants (e.g., Angelstep)...

Under the old rules: The player could either banish or bury Angelstep, and regardless of his/her choice the card could be recharged.

Under the Core rules: If the player chooses to bury Angelstep, it's buried; recharging is not possible. If the player instead chooses to banish Angelstep, it might be recharged during the Recovery step; if it isn't, it's truly banished. Poof.

Is all of that correct?

Angelstep doesn't have a trivial recharge (Survival 9), which is partly why I'm using it as an example. Also because it's in my OP deck and we just switched to the Core rules, so I'd like to be sure that I'm using it properly. :)

Lone Shark Games

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I'm digging into this now, trying to make sure that we have a good, clear rule that works going forward and backwards.

The general concept we used for Wands and similar things is that there is a risk/reward element of pushing your luck, and that went over well in our testing. This approach also seemed to be a better match for where wands had conceptually gone in the Pathfinder 2 draft rules. Beyond that, there's the complication that PACG is an exception-based game, and there are a few special cases lurking in the darker corners of this conversion rule.

This is all by way of being clear about where I'm starting, but I'd also like to safety-check that it doesn't dramatically break important gameplay loops for a mixture of pre-Core and Core+ cards.

In summary: assume for the moment that the rule is some variant of "Wands and Plants can either be safely buried, or riskily banished-or-recharged."

Does this break anything?

Thanks in advance.

Lone Shark Games

Reviewing this, I see that I "crossed the streams" somewhat in looking at multiple versions, so I want to clarify how we're expecting Wands to work after conversion.

There's some variety in pre-Core wand functionality, but they mostly break down into something like this:

pre-Core wand wrote:

For/On some sort of check, bury to do something...

Afterwards you may succeed at a check to recharge this card instead of burying it.

This made wands available in that "eventually, not this scenario" category for most people, and gave appropriate characters a chance to get it back "soon". This works, but it brings up a bunch of "where is it in the meantime?" questions that we've tried to address with the recovery concept. A similar wand in PACG Core would look like this:

Core+ wand wrote:

For/On some sort of check, bury or banish to do something....

During Recovery: If proficient, discard this card; you may succeed at a check to recharge it instead.

For non-proficient wielders, this should usually function the same way -- you choose to bury the wand, and get it back for the next scenario. (You can choose to "burn out" the wand, but that's an advanced strategic decision that will quietly hide itself in the corner until and unless you're ready to consider it.) For proficient wielders, you can now choose to toss the wand into recovery. Then, at the end of the turn, you either get it back in your deck, or toss it into your discard pile (much easier to reclaim than your buried pile).

This does provide a bit of a (comparative) boost to wands, but we think that's ok, especially if it makes them easier to learn and play.

Does that make sense to everyone? (I'll talk about the Plants from Ultimate Wilderness next.)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Makes sense to me, and I'm happy with that change. Whilst I like the idea of risk/reward in various aspects (like proficient non-alchemists still sometimes losing their potions/liquids, so they will need to be finding and acquiring new ones), it can sometimes encourage un-fun gameplay.

An explanation/example of such a phenomenon:
PACG, for a lot of players, isn't hard enough that risking a (mostly) permanent loss of a desirable item by banishing a wand isn't quite worthwhile, for the only possible payoff being recharging it (giving you a minutely larger deck and granting you a low chance of seeing it at least once more during the scenario).

As a perfect example, the Loot Item Wand of Enervation from RotR requires an Arcane 8 check to recharge - without additional powers or boons, that's too high for the RotR Wizard or Sorcerer characters to automatically succeed at even with maxed out skill feats, so it can come down to (let's say you have 3 skill feats) "try to recharge this wand, with a 1/6 chance of losing that Loot item forever", or "bury this wand for its effect", or "save it for a better time". In most cases, people would pick one of the latter two options - it'd be very pressing for you to risk the first if you actually like having that wand.

Unfortunately, such behaviour would mean that the wand is rarely any better for an actual Wizard than, say, a Fighter (let's ignore the fact that the mentioned wand reward you for having the Arcane skill). Scenario-to-scenario, you usually won't be running your deck so thin, or pushing to pass combat checks so difficult, that you would risk a boon forever disappearing just for the small benefit of the recharge.

The "If proficient: Discard or check to recharge" is an errata that, in my opinion, benefits the game and the experience of playing it more than the 'risk-reward' the current Conversion Guide implements.

(Side-note; Will there ever be a FAQ confirming that plant's "while you reset your hand" powers don't actually stack? As-written, it certainly reads like if I reveal 2 plants for Angelstep's last line of text, and then reveal 2 plants for Cloud Puff's last line of text, then my hand size should be increasing by 4, even though I only have 2 plants in hand. I believe that "when you" and "while you" effects are not limited to one-per-step, so I don't know of a rule that prevents that reading.)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Chad Brown wrote:
Does that make sense to everyone? (I'll talk about the Plants from Ultimate Wilderness next.)

It makes a lot of sense to my group of players. especially as it boosts up a bit the wands that weren't sexy enough pre-core in our opinion.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber
Chad Brown wrote:
Does that make sense to everyone? (I'll talk about the Plants from Ultimate Wilderness next.)

Makes sense for wands, and works as I would expect and want it to. The current conversion guide is not stated this way, but I will refer to this thread until there is a revision.

Looking forward to the ruling on plants.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Yewstance wrote:
Will there ever be a FAQ confirming that plant's "while you reset your hand" powers don't actually stack? As-written, it certainly reads like if I reveal 2 plants for Angelstep's last line of text, and then reveal 2 plants for Cloud Puff's last line of text, then my hand size should be increasing by 4, even though I only have 2 plants in hand.

We are considering changing that power to "While you reset your hand, reveal this card to ignore all cards in your hand that have the Plant trait when determining the number of cards in your hand." (Or, with Core wording: "While you reset, reveal to ignore all Plant cards in your hand when determining the number of cards in your hand.")


It might be easier to issue a FAQ entry about plants. A similar entry was made for Curse of Poisoning, if I remember correctly.

My reasoning: I don't actually know any players who think that the plants work exponentially (including new players). As far as I know, everyone thinks they work like they're supposed to work.

Also, the original wording seems clearer and more intuitive.

Anyway, just my two cents.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Unlike other games, which issue FAQs telling you how to do things without fixing the problematic wording, PACG FAQs result in a resolution that fixes the wording so the problem doesn't exist anymore.

(Also, the original power in question is broken in a totally different way, though I think I'm the only one who has noticed. The Active and Optional Powers sidebar says “Powers on cards in your hand are active only when you choose to play them.” Playing Cards says “Playing a card means using a power on that card by performing an action with that card that is specified by the card itself.” That power as currently written doesn’t actually require you to perform an action with the card it’s on, so it’s actually completely busted: cards in your hand can't just make things happen because they say so. Hence the new requirement to reveal it.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Added to FAQ. (Note the text is not exactly what I said a couple of posts back.)


Just FYI, there's an extra "have" in the FAQ entry:

Does the reset power on plants stack? That is, if I have a bunch of plants, can I reveal them all as many times as I have have plants?

Looks like the haves stack, even if the plants don't. :)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Fixed—thanks.

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