Daily Punch 11-19-13 Feral Flaw in Pathfinder

Some more ideas inspired by Blood of the Moon.  How about a character flaw…

Feral Child: You grew up far from man and it shows.  You were raised by a single parent deep in the woods or in a cave.  If you saw people, it was when on the hunt.  Now you don’t know how to fit in when you have to.  You take a -2 on diplomacy and bluff checks when dealing with any civilized people.


Blurbs from the Booth-What I want next in the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

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!

Daily Punch 11-18-13 Lycanthrope Haratage feat in Pathfinder

I recently read and reviewed Blood of the Moon for Pathfinder.  I loved it.  How about a feat that give you just a taste of the power of that book…

Lycanthrope Heritage

Somewhere in your family, someone wasn’t quite human

Benefit:Choose a skinwalker type, you may shape change once per day as that skinwalker.  You now count as a skinwalker for all requirements.

Ring Side Report- Review of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: The Skinsaw Murders Adventure Deck

Product-Pathfinder Adventure Card Game- The Skinsaw Murders

Producer– Paizo

Cost– ~$19

Set-up/play/clean-up– 1 hour per scenario

TL;DR-Good second offering, but I feel a little less engaged 68%


Summary– It’s the second installment of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game and this time it’s a plague of undead!  Players must defend Sandpoint from the horrors of the second part of the Rise of the Runelords adventure path-The Skinsaw Murders.  First the undead attack in mass in Undead Uprising.  Next, the heroes make their way to the outskirts of town to defend the farmers in Crow Bait.  With the undead somewhat quieted, the heroes go to the source and attack the Skinsaw Man himself in Foul Misgivings in a haunted house.  With the main source put down, you then move to putting down the cult supporting him in The Cult Exposed.  The climax of the quest is Angel in the Tower!


Theme– This adventure has a strong undead theme, and it’s fairly well done.  I did feel that the undead were nipping at my heels.  However due to the nature of the random monster draw, not all the monsters were undead.  It takes away a bit form the theme of an undead horde when I have to put down a goblin raid.  Also, I only get minimal story from the cards; there is not much written on the cards, so I don’t get the feeling of a coherent story between the adventures.  What would make this much better would be a deeper delve into the story.  Having not played the adventure path, I kind of feel lost in the fiction behind the card game. 3.5/5


Mechanics– The mechanics are fairly well done, but somewhat repetitive.  The basic mechanics of the intro game are how most of the scenarios play out. Explore, find henchmen, kill guy, close place, continue till all closed and fight villain.  It’s not bad, but it does get somewhat monotonous.  The real shining star of the game is the scenario Foul Misgivings.  This one has a crazy haunt mechanic that makes fights happen and made me really enjoy this game.  However, since the game doesn’t have any included instructions, the cool new mechanic that is introduced becomes somewhat hard to implement.  This led to my wife and I scrambling to several internet forums to find how to resolve an important issue midgame.  Again, I really want a single sheet explaining the scenario a little bit.  All and all, nothing is bad. It’s just not great. 3.5/5


Instructions– This pack came with no instructions whatsoever except for what’s on the cards.  I don’t really like how the base instructions explain the game, so now that we are adding several decks to the game, I’m not sure I’m playing the game right.  I don’t like mid-game having to scramble to boardgamegeek or paizo.com to figure out if I’m doing things right. 2/5


Art/Construction– The Art is good and well done.  Some of it comes directly from Paizo’s other properties.  Since this is undead crazy, the art is the right amount of unsettling.  It even unnerved my wife sitting at our kitchen table.  The cards are of decent stock, but after a few plays you will expect some corners to tear. 4.5/5


Summary-Not a bad second effort.  I like the core mechanic of exploration, but I feel it gets old fast.  I really enjoyed Foul Misgivings; this scenario gives hints of just how far this card game can be stretched in both rules and theme.  I’d prefer a few tweaks to really help me feel like I’m playing the Rise of the Runelords adventure path, but I’m basically getting the experience of the table top RPG.  I think a few changed would really make this game top notch.  If you have the base game, this is a pretty good follow up. 68%

Ring Side Report- Review of Pathfinder Player Companion-Blood of the Moon

Product– Pathfinder Player Companion- Blood of the Moon

Producer– Paizo

Cost– ~$13

Page Count-32


Summary– This book focuses on the “in-between” creatures called skinwalkers.  These creatures are not quite were-creatures, but are not wholly human either.  This book presents eight separate skinwalker races giving an rundown on where each might come from in the world, the background on their psychology and physiology, as well as a suite of powers and abilities for each one.  In addition the book give ways to become a lycanthrope as well as some gear/items that each were-creature might need or you might need to combat them.


Art/Layout– This is the Pathfinder art we know and love.  It’s well laid out and every skinwalker has a picture to show what they look like when they change.  I thought the art was well done in this one. 5 /5

Story or “Fluff”–  This one is fluff-tastic!  Every skinwalker gets a full, well done rundown and their own section.  You can make an extremely well rounded skinwalker from this book, and that is the sign of an excellent source book.  Also the addition of how true were-creatures interact with the various skinwalker does give some surprising depth to the book.  2.25/2.5


Mechanics or “Crunch”– Each skinwalker gets a great section on its own mechanics and its own traits.  Also there is a large section of skinwalker feats that any skinwalker would want.  In addition, each skinwalker gets an associated class that gets its own powers.    Mind you not every class can have powers/abilities in a 32 page book, but what’s there is done well.  Even better, most of the class powers/abilities/features are not limited to skinwalkers!  2.25/2.5


Execution– This book was well executed.  As a reader, I learned about a whole new sector of society and its background.  It felt natural.  Also, the background filled me in quite well.  Each section is self contained, and nothing in the book feels like it was tacked on.  Even the sections of complete fluff feel like they were needed.  5 /5

Final Thoughts –This is an excellent book.  I enjoyed reading this from cover to cover.  I want to play one of these confused, misunderstood monsters!  And honestly, even if you don’t want to play a were-thing, the extra class options really make this a well done book on its own. 97%