The second adventure part of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game recently came out, and I recently played through and reviewed my experience and posted my thoughts here. It’s fun, but I think some changes need to happen to make the game that much better. Right now it’s a fun game my wife and I play two nights every other month. I don’t tell my friends much about it, because it’s fun, but not the amazing experience I think it can be. Now, I think it’s pretty good, but a few things that honestly won’t cost Paizo that much to add or change could really make this the BEST co-op card game out there now. Let’s do a rundown of what I think needs to change.
BIG CHEAP FIX– one simple page-I want a one page, two sided piece of paper with a story, character, what’s going on, and better rule descriptions. I’ll go into depth below.
Story, Characters and Fluff– Rise of the Runelords is a phenomenal story arc. This game currently does an ok job of hitting the high points. But, as someone who hasn’t played this before, I don’t have a clue of what is going on. Right now I get, at best, two paragraphs describing what is happening on the back of a card. That’s ok in a simple card game where I roll dice, but I want to true RPG experience. I don’t know: what and where is Sandpoint? Who is the villain from the first adventure part? Why do I care about finding friends? What festival is going on? Adding a one page sheet (Heck post a PDF online) would really bring me that much more into the game. Introduce some NPCs, give some background, and drag me deeper into the world. My wife and I will read this aloud and know who we are in this card game. It will pay off in droves if I know who I am fighting and if I know I was betrayed. I will have “NO WAY!” moments that will hook me harder than a sea bass. I will want to tell my friends that you won’t see it coming. It will be awesome.
Instruction– When I reviewed the base box of the game, I didn’t really like how the rules were written. The expansions don’t have any extra rules besides what on the cards. Give me a sheet that explains the rules a bit more in detail. I HATE having to rush to board game geek or Paizo.com forums midgame to figure out how to play something. Giving me a good resource will really help with that. If I have that sheet or PDF handy, then I know what I’m doing.
Why the simple sheet? Well right now the biggest competitor to the Adventure Card Game is the Lord of the Rings LCG from Fantasy Flight. The Lord of the Rings game comes out every month with one adventure and gives both player and enemy cards. Right now I like the Lord of the Rings card game for a few reasons, but I think with a few changes the Adventure Card game can easily over take it. First is the sheet. The Lord of the Rings game gives a sheet with rules and story for each scenario. That sheet honestly stops all my rules questions and drags me into the world. The one sheet makes me that much more engaged in both theme and mechanics. However, there are a few other things I want to bring up that the Lord of the Rings game does that I think might help a bit. I realize that both games have different mechanics, but I think that some aspects could transfer quite well.
Different Decks-Right now, every deck is used for all the scenarios. This isn’t bad, but it’s kind of like using a random monster generator. Sometimes you get a hit where you roll to use an undead table and get a ghost in a haunted house. Sometime times you roll to use an aquatic creature in a desert. It kind of breaks the immersion in the game. I could see smaller decks like a 1-U for undead creatures in the first scenario pack. This would focus what monsters you encounter, but could still be mixed with other smaller decks to give some randomness.
Additional Mechanics-The general mechanics of the game work well. However, when you do this several times across an adventure pack, it does get a little stale. So far my absolutely favorite scenario is the Foul Misgivings. I loved the addition of the haunt and the random chance you could be attacked by the crazy ghost (I would like a bit more back story and some rule discussion, but that’s what I mentioned above). I think that shows that there is so much more potential for this game. Right now it’s the same action over and over, but that little bit of extra crazy made this so much more! Please DO MORE OF THAT!
Specialized Box and one quest sets- One of the more interesting aspects of the Lord of the Rings LCG is their print on demand sets and book boxed sets. Paizo has an amazing fiction, and I would love to play single mission or smaller boxed sets based on the books. I will give you more money! Want even more? Give me a battle interactive story pack that I can play at a con!
Those are some of my ideas. Overall, I love this game. I see it can be so much more. Honestly, just a few small tweaks will make this game awesome. The larger harder ideas I have I know will take some retooling. You have my money either way. At this game’s worst, it’s a fun way to spend time with my wife. Give me a reason to brag about this game to all my friends!