Ben Coleman
United Kingdom
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I have a minor quibble about the Allies in the game.

It seemed like they were a way for a character to plug a gap in their skills, e.g. have terrible charisma - take an ally along good at Diplomacy, Low Dex? take a Burglar along, etc. Thematically that sort of makes sense too, banding together with people to have a range of skills.

However nearly all allies boost a specific Skill (not Attribute), such as Disable, Perception, Ranged, etc. which your character isn't going to have, this means you'll be rolling the base D4 + whatever the Ally gives (normally D10)
So in effect you're better off using the Ally with character that has the Skill, but those characters don't need the assistance as they'll be likely be rolling D10 or D12 + extra on those checks anyhow!

I've probably thought about this too much!
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Cambrian Epoch
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You mean the skill they boost is often related to the skill to obtain the card?

If so, unless you're playing a single character solo, its not a big deal; grab them if you can and trade them for cards with other players to round out your skill sets. The bard can really be helpful this way grabbing useful contacts for the rest of the party. Combine it with the ranger's ability to scout the next card and you can figure out who should be going where. Thematically this is excellent and stays true to pathfinder's division of labor in a party.

I might have misunderstood what it was you meant though...

I do agree boosting ranged attack, for say a Wizard, is probably of little use. I've found you want allies that boost skills that you need. So a wizard can blast away enemies with spells and simply ignore melee/ranged attacks. But the wizard will need to disable devices or make survival checks, and those are the more useful allies. That's not a big deal really because like almost any game it's just that some cards are better (in this case by being broadly useful) than others.
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Ben Coleman
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Cambrian wrote:
You mean the skill they boost is often related to the skill to obtain the card?

I'm talking about the boost the ally provides.
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Gamer D

Monroeville
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Actually even if you already have a d10 or d12 it can really help to have that extra d10. If you're up against a check of 6 for instance than with a d10 you have only a 50% chance of winning, whereas with the ally giving you another d10 you have 94% chance of winning. That's a huge difference!

Personally assuming my characters are in a party with a variety of skills I like specializing, having allies that boost the skills I'm good at. That way I can send the specialist to locations that use that skill somehow in their closing requirements or that had a bane come up that needs that skill to defeat it. That's more a matter of taste though, obviously using allies to cover a weakness can also be effective too.
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Tor Sverre Lund
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You are "better off" using allies that match your skill, in the sense that those will be more beneficial for you in terms of better base die, but I don't really agree with your point. Your ally with a boost to a skill you don't have, is giving you an extra d10! That's awesome! That's like most characters best base die. Essentially they are doing the check FOR you (speaking for you, attempting a disable for you, etc), and you're helping them (with your measly d4). I find this to be highly thematic and a great way to supplement your skills.
That being said, I usually ditch them and prefer to boost the skills I already am good it. I think this tactic is best in coop play. But in solo play, I would definitely prefer to have allies that broaden my "skill range".
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Ben Coleman
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I think part of my beef is they end up feeling more like weapons and items than anything else. They aren't distinct enough
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Fromper Fromper
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This is actually why I prefer going for the ones that boost the base skills (Sage for intelligence and wisdom, Troubadour for dexterity and charisma, etc) than specific detailed skills like stealth or perception. They're useful much more often, even though the boost is usually only 1d6 instead of 1d10.
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Alexander Mercer
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Burglar is one of my favourites as it boosts a check to defeat an obstacle.
Otherwise I tend to prefer Sage/Troubadour/Standard Bearer.
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Matt Roberts
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The basic allies that boost the six core skills are good and all, but seriously...Poog of Zarongel FTW. There might be better allies later, but he's the best one I've seen so far.
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Christopher Ebert
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North Fort Myers
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Solo Gamers are NOT lonely!
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JoyrexJ9 wrote:
I think part of my beef is they end up feeling more like weapons and items than anything else. They aren't distinct enough


Don't forget these are the base game allies. Allies that show up in later sets might be stronger and more distinct. The base game isn't going to be full of all the best and awesome stuff. It's like a first level module. Later adventure packs are higher level stuff with better gear and etc.
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Tyler Beck
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I think it's also important to remember that, in general, 1d4 + 1d10 is going to give you a higher result than 1d6 or 1d8 would by itself. The only exception to this is when you are up against a monster that makes you reduce your checks by 1 for every dice you roll.. in that case that 1d4 is more likely to hurt you than help you.
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M A
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OK, I know I'm responding to a thread that's coming up on 3 years old, but I just got the game myself and so I'm looking through boards trying to learn what I can about it.

In any case, I wanted to respond here so that this thread didn't end on a post containing inaccurate information.

When you are up against a monster (or in a location) that makes you reduce your checks by 1 for every die rolled, you're still better off with the extra 1d4 than you would be otherwise. With a 1d4 roll, the possible options are from 1 to 4, with the average value being added being 2.5 (the sum (1+2+3+4) or 10, divided by the number of options (4) - giving you 2.5). Therefore, even if you had to subtract 2 from every die roll, it would still be the case that an extra 1d4 is more likely to help you than hurt you. With a simple -1 to each roll, then the WORST case scenario (rolling a 1) is that the penalty wipes out any benefit... but you're still no worse off. And 3 times out of 4 you're going to be getting some help from the extra die.
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