Change in the rules for advancing to the next tier

Pathfinder Adventure Card Society

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

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I've recently had my attention drawn to new restrictions in tiering up in PACS play.

This now has to be done at the end of the scenario, after all earned rewards have been applied, but before Recovery; there is no other time to do this.

This is a change from the previous rule, which was: "Anytime after winning your fourth new scenario in any tier, you can choose to advance a tier; after winning your sixth, you must advance a tier."

This made it possible to leave the tier of a character that had won four scenarios undecided - the player could decide to tier up at the start of the next scenario played, for example (because that would put the character in a tier that could legally play in that scenario, or so that the character could earn deck upgrades at the new tier), or leave the character at the old tier (so it could still be played in a scenario at level tier-1, and maybe even earn rewards from completing an adventure)

This flexibility was valuable for players who couldn't guarantee to attend every play session, so didn't know if their next game would be at a catch-up session replaying an earlier scenario or a session playing a scenario from the next adventure level.

How can we keep that flexibility under the new rules?

Didn’t realise this!
+1 Vote for changing back to as before

On the one hand, I don't see a compelling reason to have changed it like they did (and, as you mention, somewhat inhibit flexibility).

But on the other hand, it might make reporting/recording Tier Ups in Chronicle Sheets a bit more clear and consistent, and saves people from asking specifics about what "anytime" means.

I don't have a strong opinion one way or another, but I wouldn't mind hearing the actual rationale for the change.

1/5 *

You can still play a Scenario from an Adventure one higher than your Tier. How often do players fall two Adventures behind a group unwilling to help them catch up?

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

If the answer to that question is anything other than "Never", then there's a potential problem. And, as I noted, not tiering up in case you get a chance to go back and play that tier-1 scenario now means you won't be able to tier up and earn tier-appropriate upgrades for your next scenario if the group had advanced to the next Adventure before you next played.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Huh, I've always played that you have to choose to tier up at the time you complete the scenario, and if you don't choose to do so at the time, you need to wait until you finish the next scenario for another opportunity. In other words, the new wording meshes with how I've always played/ruled it.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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I don't think that a gap between completing the scenario and advancing tiers was ever intended.

I realize that the word "after" can be understood in senses other that "immediately after," but that's not how it works in the card game: when the rules say thing like "After you attempt the check, deal with any effects that were caused by the check," we mean *right then*, not "sometime later, whenever you feel like it."

I also realize that the wording "anytime after" could be understood as "any time that occurs after that," but we certainly didn't mean that you could, for example, tier up in the middle of the next scenario. The intent of "anytime" there was shorthanding "after winning your fourth, fifth, or sixth new scenario in any tier."

I went back to older guides to see if I could verify intent. In the original version of the Tier system (Guides 2 and 3), we said this: "A character advances to the next tier in one of two ways: either after completing an adventure and gaining its adventure reward, or by choosing to do so after gaining the card feat for his tier."

So the actual rule didn't help much. But the example that followed it does: "She can choose to advance to Tier 2 when she completes a fourth scenario and gains a card feat, or she will automatically advance a tier when Lem completes either Adventure 1 (by playing Scenario 01-1C) or Adventure 2."

The use of "when" there makes it clear to me that "after" in the rule was always intended as "immediately after." And I don't have any recollection or other reason to believe there was a change in intent since then.

(FYI, one advantage of having tier advancement before upgrading your deck is that, if you were playing above your tier, you can take advantage of your new tier when you select deck upgrades.)

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