Gamer Fergy

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PACG is a great game, I'm really enjoying it.

One vexing question I have is why can spellcasters (like wizards and druids) acquire and use armor (like half-plate) that they find during a scenario? I know they can't keep armor between scenarios, but it seems weird to me imaging a wizard throwing on half-plate to do battle with spells. Does this bother any other players? I would have liked to have seen "heavy armor proficiency required to acquire and use" (or something like that) listed on all heavy armor cards.

I thought Mike provided an excellant explaination for fighters acquiring and using spells during a scenario (they are like one use scrolls, etc.). To keep this game connected to its Pathfinder RPG roots, I hope Mike or others at Paizo or other players out there can provide a rationale for spellcasters (like wizards and druids) acquiring and using armor (like half-plate) that they find during a scenario. If we can't find a rationale, is a rule change in order?



 
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Andrew Warner
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I think the rationale is simply that this is a card game and not an RPG. While it has a lot of the ideas from an RPG influencing it and has lots of similarities to an RPG, its still a card game.

Rulebook v3 p22 wrote:
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND If you’ve played other card games, board games, or roleplaying games, you may find a lot of familiar concepts in the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. However, bringing in assumptions from other games—including the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game—can potentially trip you up.


I'd imagine they didn't want there to be a card that you could encounter and have no way to acquire no matter how many card you could theoretically play in your attempt to do so. And they also don't want there to be a card a character could have no possible chance of using. That is why everyone can use every skill. You just have a d4 if you don't have the skill listed on your card.

Mike or someone might be able to give you a rationale for how they see that working, like they did with the spells. But I'm sure they have no intention of changing the rules. But if you want to make that a house rule, you are free to do so. But the intention is that anyone can play an armor card, even a spell caster.

Rulebook v3 p22 wrote:
You can play an armor card even if there isn’t one in your deck list.


You'd have to remove that from the rulebook to do what you are suggesting.
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I'm not familiar with every Pathfinder RPG rule, but I played a lot of its predecessor D&D 3.5 and wizards CAN wear armor.

They can cast any spell without a Somatic component just fine. And even ones with Somatic components can be cast, they just come with a failure percentage.
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Scott Sinclair
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stevelabny wrote:
I'm not familiar with every Pathfinder RPG rule, but I played a lot of its predecessor D&D 3.5 and wizards CAN wear armor.

They can cast any spell without a Somatic component just fine. And even ones with Somatic components can be cast, they just come with a failure percentage.


Why shouldn't they be able to wear armor? Is it like one of those book smarts vs common sense? Sure they can memorize the incantation to vaporize a dragon but they can't figure out how to buckle on a chest plate.

I think it's pretty well balanced. Most armor requires a constitution check. Most of the arcane spell casters have crappy constitution die. This makes it hard for them to acquire the armor in the first place. I don't have the game in front of me but I seem to remember some of the armor is less effective if you don't have the skill.

Think of it this way, wearing armor is not the trick, anyone can wear something. Knowing how to use the armor effectively is a whole other matter. Knowing how to effectively use a shield or position oneself to allow chain to deflect a blow is a skill that must be obtained.

If yor thinking in terms of an RPG that gives some explanation like being incased in steel disrupts the the casters magic, sure I see your point. I think those types of rules are made to create balance and to ensure there is distinction between classes. Otherwise we would be running around skyrim like gods, wielding battleaxs and shooting fireballs out of our butts whistle
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Gamer Fergy

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Hawkmoon, good points---I'm not an RPG "purist" or anything, just looking at things that gives the best gaming feel possible.

Thanks for pointing out the explicit text on pg. 22 "You can play an armor card even if there isn’t one in your deck list"---I was looking for that!

I do think that a house rule for heavy armor could be interesting. I'd welcome others' thoughts on this idea too. If only those proficient with heavy armor could use heavy armors (or, it this approach is too much, one could list a restriction on heavy armor that if you are not proficient you could only use it to absorb 1 damage, or something like that.) I think this would make make things more interesting for spellcasters (the armor and other defensive spells becomes more imporant, perhaps). I've also seen some others complaining about the game being too easy. Perhaps some type of armor restriction for all those spellcasters (like the penalities for using weapons when you aren't proficient) would be a helpful addition and could make the game a bit harder.


 
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Gamer Fergy

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Thanks guys for the points and discussion. I'm curios what everyone thinks about this subject. Again, I'm no RPG purist, but since the game does a great job of carrying some RPG ideas to a card game (Mike has referenced this in many interviews and I think he is absolutely right), I think it is worth bringing up.

You'll notice that Mike and the other designers didn't allow any spellcasters (except Paladins) to carry armor between scenarios. This comes from the Pathfinder system, I believe. Just for reference, the Wizard section for the Pathfinder Core Rulebooks says:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Wizards are proficient with the club, dagger, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, and quarterstaff, but not with any type of armor or shield. Armor interferes with a wizard's movements, which can cause his spells with somatic components to fail.

Not trying to cause problems, just raising some points.
 
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Craig S.
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By FAR the most useful, and commonly utilized, feature of armor is its ability to reduce any amount of any type of damage to zero. This power will result in the armor being destroyed (banished) when used by anyone without the proper proficiency. And, as you know, they can't remain in the deck between scenarios if you have no armor slots.

I think you'll also find that any character that doesn't have armor slots will prefer to immediately discard during the reset phase any armor they might acquire in favor of something more useful to them.
 
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Gamer Fergy

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Thanks C. South. With everyone's input so far in mind, my proposed House Rule would amend armor cards along the following lines.(Not need to change any rules, just cards.)

I'll provide half-plate as an example:

Half-plate
Traits
 Heavy armor
 Elite
 Check to acquire: Constitution/Fortitude 4
Powers
If you are proficient with heavy armor, recharge this card to reduce Combat damage dealt to you by 3. Otherwise, recharge this card to reduce Combat damage dealt to you by 1.
 If you are proficient with heavy armors, bury this card to reduce all damage dealt to you to 0. Otherwise, banish this card to reduce all damage dealt to you by 2.

Similar amendments would be made to light armor, shields and heavy armor cards. This would make light armor or heavy armor proficiency much more meaningful in the game. I'm open for input on the utility or usefulness of these changes to the armor cards.
 
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Andrew Warner
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GamerFergy wrote:
Thanks guys for the points and discussion. I'm curios what everyone thinks about this subject. Again, I'm no RPG purist, but since the game does a great job of carrying some RPG ideas to a card game (Mike has referenced this in many interviews and I think he is absolutely right), I think it is worth bringing up.

You'll notice that Mike and the other designers didn't allow any spellcasters (except Paladins) to carry armor between scenarios. This comes from the Pathfinder system, I believe. Just for reference, the Wizard section for the Pathfinder Core Rulebooks says:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Wizards are proficient with the club, dagger, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, and quarterstaff, but not with any type of armor or shield. Armor interferes with a wizard's movements, which can cause his spells with somatic components to fail.

Not trying to cause problems, just raising some points.


I don't think you are causing problems. Its fine to ask and discuss something. I haven't played an RPG for 20 years, and never Pathfinder. So I'm not super familiar with how they work.

The following chracters don't start Rise of the Runelords with armors in their decks: Ezren (Wizard), Seoni (Sorceress), Lini (Druid), Lem (Bard), Sajan (Monk). Of them, only Ezren and Seoni don't have an armor feat available to them for their card feats. So they are the only ones that can never have armor in their deck between scenarios.

Like csouth154 pointed out above, being proficient in armor makes it more useful in PACG. So a wizard could banish armor to reduce all damage to 0, but a fighter could just bury it, thus having it for when he rebuilds his deck.

And like others have pointed out, the better armors will be hard for Ezren and Seoni to acquire. (I think Divine spell casters don't have as much trouble with armor. Right?) But there are spells and allies that would help them, Swipe and Crow for example.

If you did make a house rule, I wouldn't prevent them from acquiring it. You'd want them to be able to acquire it and give it to another character. Plus there are too many cards that would loose their usefulness if they couldn't help everyone acquire armor. You could rule that they can't use it, but then if they acquire it, it will just clog up their hand or their deck if they discard it and get healed.

Based on what you posted above about wizards, maybe instead of not letting them use it, you could make a house rule that you subtract one from any roll when playing a spell if they have an armor in their hand.

But I tend to think the "you have to banish it" factor that already exists (at least on most of the cards) works really well.

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Gamer Fergy

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Thanks Hawkmoon. Yes, I think changing the Banish rule on the Half plate armor card to being able to reduce just 2 damage (when you don't have the right proficiency) would be key. This would effect other characters that don't have heavy armor proficiency too. I think this would really help game balance in that armor proficiency would be more important than it is now.
 
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Scott Sinclair
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I think your question is completely valid. While I may disagree with a call for a change to the rulebook, it is a perfect candidate for a house rule. My point was to address your request for a rational explainTion for why casters can wear armor. I must admit, I have never played the pathfinder RPG. All of my RPG expirences are rooted in AD&D2nd ed. Even then casters were not allowed to wear armor (Druids could wear leather and clirics chainmail if memory serves).
For me, I find the game plenty challenging so I will take what help I can get. Half the time if I'm discarding an armor card I've just been hit hard. The casters bleed cards as it is so I'm ok with them throwing on some protection. Only seems prudent if you and your two friends are about to take on a demonic horde.
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Mike Selinker
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GamerFergy wrote:
I thought Mike provided an excellant explaination for fighters acquiring and using spells during a scenario (they are like one use scrolls, etc.). To keep this game connected to its Pathfinder RPG roots, I hope Mike or others at Paizo or other players out there can provide a rationale for spellcasters (like wizards and druids) acquiring and using armor (like half-plate) that they find during a scenario.


They cast Animate and the armor walks in front of them for a while.
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Craig S.
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mike selinker wrote:
GamerFergy wrote:
I thought Mike provided an excellant explaination for fighters acquiring and using spells during a scenario (they are like one use scrolls, etc.). To keep this game connected to its Pathfinder RPG roots, I hope Mike or others at Paizo or other players out there can provide a rationale for spellcasters (like wizards and druids) acquiring and using armor (like half-plate) that they find during a scenario.


They cast Animate and the armor walks in front of them for a while.


laugh
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They don't wear the armor they crouch behind it
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Gamer Fergy

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Mike,

Great to see you on the boards....you are too funny! You have put together a fantastic game, I'm a big fan....!

What did you think of my proposed change to heavy armor (for example, half plate below):


==========================================
Thanks C. South. With everyone's input so far in mind, my proposed House Rule would amend armor cards along the following lines.(No need to change any rules, just cards.)

I'll provide half-plate as an example:

Half-plate
Traits
 Heavy armor
 Elite
 Check to acquire: Constitution/Fortitude 4
Powers
 If you are proficient with heavy armor, recharge this card to reduce Combat damage dealt to you by 3. Otherwise, recharge this card to reduce Combat damage dealt to you by 1.
 If you are proficient with heavy armors, bury this card to reduce all damage dealt to you to 0. Otherwise, banish this card to reduce all damage dealt to you by 2.
=========================================

Seems like this would make heavy armor proficiency much more meaningful in the game. Did this or any similar restrictions on using heavy armor come up in play testing?

One other point..... You know how some people say the game is too easy? Among other things, I suspect this might be players using the heaviest armor possible for characters without heavy armor proficiency (thus avoiding combat damage). Of course, when you are able to avoid so much combat damage you would have more cards available to defeat the scenarios. So what I'm also suggesting is that restricting the ability of heros without heavy armor proficiency from using these armors so much might make the game a bit more challenging....those defensive spells would certainly become more important for all the spell casters....!


 
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Jeremie Miller
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In my head I have always used guyveroz's explanation: it isn't that they acquire the full plate, they are being attacked, see it coming, and jump behind a suit of armor in the room to absorb the damage.

Of course due to the roll needed to get armor I have only ever had armor on a spellcaster twice, so it doesn't come up much.
 
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GamerFergy wrote:
One other point..... You know how some people say the game is too easy? Among other things, I suspect this might be players using the heaviest armor possible for characters without heavy armor proficiency (thus avoiding combat damage).

I think you are putting too much value into armor usage.

1) Acquiring armor does not happen that often. Most locations don't have it, those that do generally only have 1 card, and there's only one barrier that gives you armor (and it goes away half-way through the adventure path).

2) Given a choice between holding onto an armor and not having an attack spell, or discarding it for an extra draw to potentially get an attack spell, I will pitch it every time. I would much rather hunt for an attack spell that is going to use my larger die & better modifiers - or a spell that lets me locate / evade monsters - than be left rolling only my meager strength but with the safety net of not taking any damage when I fail (which is more likely to occur since I am not using my most powerful skill check).

Obviously you can tailor the game however you like, but in my experience the mages rarely acquire armor and even when they do they often discard it to get at a more useful card for them.
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Agreed - I rarely, if ever, even try to acquire something that my Adventurer can't use (unless I can give it to a party member after the Scenario) and even then it is likely to get immediately discarded so I can something from my Deck into play. Of course that rule is bent out of shape if the "something" has the magic text "discard to explore your location" - then I don't care what it is, I'll try for it (and likely immediately use it).
 
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GamerFergy wrote:
Great to see you on the boards....you are too funny! You have put together a fantastic game, I'm a big fan….!

Cool.
GamerFergy wrote:
What did you think of my proposed change to heavy armor (for example, half plate below):

I almost never weigh in on variants. We have a lot of things in the pipeline, and I see a much longer view of the game than the current incarnation. So giving my opinions of what people come up with can be very tricky.

But I do like it when people come up with stuff.
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GamerFergy wrote:
PACG is a great game, I'm really enjoying it.

One vexing question I have is why can spellcasters (like wizards and druids) acquire and use armor (like half-plate) that they find during a scenario? I know they can't keep armor between scenarios, but it seems weird to me imaging a wizard throwing on half-plate to do battle with spells. Does this bother any other players? I would have liked to have seen "heavy armor proficiency required to acquire and use" (or something like that) listed on all heavy armor cards.

I thought Mike provided an excellant explaination for fighters acquiring and using spells during a scenario (they are like one use scrolls, etc.). To keep this game connected to its Pathfinder RPG roots, I hope Mike or others at Paizo or other players out there can provide a rationale for spellcasters (like wizards and druids) acquiring and using armor (like half-plate) that they find during a scenario. If we can't find a rationale, is a rule change in order?



Hey Fergy,

I imagine it this way.

Spellcaster picks up half-plate on the side of the road. "Hmm, what's this? It's heavy but it could be valuable, I'll strap it to my pack and drag it along with me."

A few hours down the road the spellcaster gets ambused by a troll, who smacks her on the back. The majority of the armor crumbles into uselessness, but it served it's purpose.

Or

Spellcaster picks up armor. "Hmm, what's this?" As the spellcaster is evaluating it's worth, a troll leaps out onto the road and says "PUNY HUMAN, THAT SHINY MINE."

Startled, the spellcaster throws the armor at the troll to distract it, while he manages to launch a missile of pure flame at the troll.

It's all in how you decide to view it. It CAN make sense, if you want it to.
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Gamer Fergy

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Thanks all, good points. I've put together a House Rule variant that I'll put under a new post. Look forward to any thoughts you have on that.

The House Rule variant will be more about proficiency than whether you are a spell caster or not. Take a look.
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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GamerFergy wrote:
One other point..... You know how some people say the game is too easy? Among other things, I suspect this might be players using the heaviest armor possible for characters without heavy armor proficiency (thus avoiding combat damage).


When you're not failing checks, you don't have to avoid damage in the first place. Out of the 20 or so plays, I think a non-armor user has used armor once (Lini acquired Chain Mail and banished it to avoid damage after whiffing a roll).

Armor is already very rare in most setups, you can go, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 for all locations, sometimes you'll have 1 among them. And I'm not trading off armor from people who can actually use it to non-proficient ones.
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Craig S.
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GamerFergy wrote:
Rauli,

In your games, to what extent are light armor proficient heros using heavy armor? Just curious.

I'm really surprised you are passing every check..... Seems like you might be playing something incorrectly. In just 2 scenarios I've missed several checks. It happens that you'll roll 1s and 2s sometimes....how is everyone in your party passing every check???


I'm sure he's talking about checks that might involve armor use, which would be limited to checks to defeat banes. Honestly, failing those is rare for players of reasonable competence. Checks to acquire boons, on the other hand, tend to be more challenging and are the ones that get failed most often.
 
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Craig S.
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GamerFergy wrote:

One other point..... You know how some people say the game is too easy? Among other things, I suspect this might be players using the heaviest armor possible for characters without heavy armor proficiency (thus avoiding combat damage).


How many scenarios do you have under your belt, Fergy? I only ask because I'm fairly confident that experience with the game will prove to you that the rules regarding armor are not what make the game as easy as many find it to be. Based on what experience I have, I would bet that it is a very rare occurrence for someone without armor slots to actually use any armor they may happen to acquire, rather than discarding it in favor of something else from their deck at the earliest opportunity.

People mainly consider the game easy because there are so many ways to ensure a fairly high roll during combat checks. You are correct, though, that this is not the case in single-character games. Also, you can choose not to explore if a scenario goes pear-shaped and you feel your character is at risk of dying. The rules clarify which phases of a turn are mandatory, and exploring is not one of them. If you time-out on a scenario, whether intentionally or not, you may still choose to keep any boons you may have acquired...you just don't get the scenario reward, and you don't get to advance to the next scenario if you want to play by the rules.

My suggestion would be to get more play experience before rendering judgement on the the way armor works. If house ruling it makes you happy, though, then by all means suit your fancy.
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A) Judging the game's difficulty based on the first scenarios when you have just the Basic cards versus what an effective party will look like when you hit AP2 or even AP1. That's why most people agree that the 3 intro scenarios are the hardest ones you face until AP3 (as always your results may vary though there is a pretty good consensus that AP2 is the easiest AP out of all of them). Armor has nothing to do with that so your "fix" is going to do next to nothing to address this.

B) The game is plenty difficult if your idea of difficult is a hard-fought scenario where everyone comes out alive with a little bit of time left on the clock. That's the difference between how many characters are in your party as fewer players means more time to explore thus running out of time is much harder to do but fewer blessings available from your friends to pass checks that character is bad at and vice versa with larger parties. Unfortunately, some people want that Ghost Stories/Yddrasil experience where you win about 20% of the time (or almost never with Yddrasil). This game is not for them, and quite frankly with the perma-death setting, this game would be horrible as people would hit AP2 or 3 then die and have to start all over. That sounds horrible to me.

C) Yes, sometimes in later scenarios some of the fighter characters can have a really powerful weapon (tough to get usually) that versus a lower-level character (the Skeletons, Zombies, and Goblins) means you don't have to roll to defeat, and the same is true with a spell-caster with a good spell (ditto tough to get). However, if you're dumping all your skill points into your attack skill, you're going to be weaker in everything else meaning it is harder to acquire better Items or Allies or even that Armor you're over-emphasizing. So, you can end up being Val who can smash really well but does almost nothing else worth a darn. And guess what? You get rid of most of those monsters by the 3rd or 4th scenario in AP3 and the rest (Goblins) by the 3rd or 4th scenario of AP5 all the while running across tougher and tougher monsters that you get with AP3 and 4.

I love Tim and Carmen of GreyElephant Gaming, and they do a pretty good job in their run-throughs. However, the reason they have so much "trouble" (again, they've failed one scenario which is the only "tough" one in AP2, Foul Misgivings, as they ran out of time mainly because they goofed up on closing locations which they admitted to) is that their acquire (and encounter too) rate on good stuff is way worse than any of my parties (I run 5 of them 2 6's, 5, and 2 3's). Thus they have more Basic and lower-quality non-Basic stuff, mainly weapons, than my parties had after the 2nd scenario of AP1 (so 5th scenario overall). So, if you want to handicap yourself that way, that will make things much tougher, but you have to factor in their poor dice rolling luck too as a lot of times they roll below average more than averages would tell you they should.
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