Alessandro Coli c/o Eastbiz Corp.
United States
Hawthorne
California
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Hi, I just had a first go at this game, and I liked it a lot!

I had a look on the Paizo site and saw that TONS of expansions have been produced... Generally this happens when a game gets some attention and has huge success... so I am confused by the fact that this game splits reviews. Some say its boring as hell, and repetitive... some say its a great game.

So this leads to question 1:

1) Why so different opinions? I guess that players liking it are more than those disliking it, otherwise all these expansions wouldnt have been released....

------------

I already bought the expansions for the first cycle. But apart from playing scenarios sequentially, I really dont know how I am supposed to use the cards inside.

2a) If I am going to play the scenarios of the base game and I have the cards of the expansions, am I supposed to / should put the new cards of the expansions (monsters, items, so on) in the pool from which after shuffling i draw the contents of the location decks ?

2b) What about the opposite? If I am going to play the expansions' scenarios, am I supposed to / should "keep" the old cards of the base game (monsters, items, so on) in the pool from which after shuffling I draw the contents of the location decks ?

------------

3) Is it true that, even if a lot of scenarios have been released, the game rarely departs from the "corner the villain and kill him" formula? Or that was fixed starting with some adventure pack or the new base sets (Skull and Wrath)?

In comparison, LOTR LCG in the early expansions (Shadows of Mirkwood) didnt depart a lot from the core set formula, but that has clearly changed after Shadows of Mirkwood....

Thanks to anyone willing to help a new player!!
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Chris Gordy
United States
Eden Prairie
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1) I believe opinions differ in part based on what people believe the game should be. There are many that believe this should be a story telling RPG. These people will be somewhat disappointed as the story telling component is ehh, at best(though there is a great user created story supplement that you should be able to find here on BBG pretty easily). Those that don't have as much of an RPG in a box expectation, like the RPG lite feel of the game (character progression).

2. All of the cards get added into the pool as you start the first encounter in each deck. After a while, you will phase out the lower level cards. Once you start that encounter, all cards get mixed together to make a larger pool.

3. Honestly, this is my biggest gripe with the game. Each scenario plays out almost exactly the same. Unlike the LotR card game, or even Legendary, you don't get those mechanic or gameplay changing elements that really keeps the game fresh. Instead you get things like, restrictions for various locations, harder to hit villains, and some times two villains to fight, but it is the same gameplay over and over again.
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Kevin B. Smith
United States
Mercer Island
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I recommend not playing PACG without being aware of:

A Guide For New Players (which answers many questions like #2)
Rise of the Runelords Adventure Guide v1.7 (which fleshes out the storyline)
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Andrew Warner
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verdealex79 wrote:
Hi, I just had a first go at this game, and I liked it a lot!


Hi, and welcome to PACG.

verdealex79 wrote:
I had a look on the Paizo site and saw that TONS of expansions have been produced... Generally this happens when a game gets some attention and has huge success... so I am confused by the fact that this game splits reviews. Some say its boring as hell, and repetitive... some say its a great game.

So this leads to question 1:

1) Why so different opinions? I guess that players liking it are more than those disliking it, otherwise all these expansions wouldnt have been released....


I'm not sure I can answer that. Some people like it, some people don't. Enough people like it that production has continued beyond Rise of the Runelords. You should note, that the adventure paths (or "cycles") aren't continuations of each other. You can't play the "leveled up" character that completed RotR in S&S. You can take an unplayed character from RotR and use that character card in S&S. But when you start an adventure path, you are starting fresh as a character.

verdealex79 wrote:
I already bought the expansions for the first cycle. But apart from playing scenarios sequentially, I really dont know how I am supposed to use the cards inside.

2a) If I am going to play the scenarios of the base game and I have the cards of the expansions, am I supposed to / should put the new cards of the expansions (monsters, items, so on) in the pool from which after shuffling i draw the contents of the location decks ?

2b) What about the opposite? If I am going to play the expansions' scenarios, am I supposed to / should "keep" the old cards of the base game (monsters, items, so on) in the pool from which after shuffling I draw the contents of the location decks ?


The game is intended to be played sequentially, starting with the Base Set (B) adventure and then continuing into adventures 1 through 6. You don't add the cards from an adventure deck until you start that adventure. So when you are playing the B adventure, you should only have the B cards (and C if you have the character add-on deck). When you play adventure 1, you should only have B, C, and 1. When you play the 2 adventure 2, you should only have B, C, 1, and 2. And so on.

Cards get removed by a rule in the game that is printed on the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path card. It has to do with the traits on the cards (listed near the upper left corner) and not the deck number of the card.

verdealex79 wrote:
3) Is it true that, even if a lot of scenarios have been released, the game rarely departs from the "corner the villain and kill him" formula? Or that was fixed starting with some adventure pack or the new base sets (Skull and Wrath)?

In comparison, LOTR LCG in the early expansions (Shadows of Mirkwood) didnt depart a lot from the core set formula, but that has clearly changed after Shadows of Mirkwood....


In RotR, most of the scenarios have the same win condition of cornering the villain. About 1/5 don't. In S&S and WotR, it gets more regular that you break from that mold. I find the RotR scenarios still have a variety due to the scenario rules, which might not always change the win condition, but do change how you have to play the scenario.

verdealex79 wrote:
Thanks to anyone willing to help a new player!!


You are welcome. You might find this guide useful (as Kevin already pointed out). Good luck on your adventure. Good luck on your adventure!
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Sébastien A
Canada
Montreal
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As expected, you can count on Hawkmoon on providing a very thorough answer .

For a more general take, I would say that the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is a unique mix of a pen-and-paper RPG campaign and a computer RPG. From the pen-and-paper side, you have the long-term development of your character, and from the computer side, you have the short quests and focus on combat and skill resolution.

It's true that you don't get much of a storytelling aspect within the game itself because your encounters will be mostly random, and there's only so much flavour text you can fit on a playing card. On the other hand, this can sometimes lead to memorable or hilarious moments ("When I ordered the crab soup, I expected the crab to be dead and not snapping its claws at me!").

Note also that Paizo couldn't be sure how the first adventure path (Rise of the Runelords) would be received, so they tended to be conservative when designing scenarios -- you should do very well if you focus on combat, scouting, and in the later scenarios, intelligence/arcane.

However, Paizo has gotten more creative with each successive adventure path (Skull & Shackles, Wrath of the Righteous) by introducing new mechanisms and varying the basic structure of a scenario earlier and more often, which really helps keep you on your toes.
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Bobb Beauchamp
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Volo
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Focusing on the split in reviews:

From what I can tell, people that like the game invest in the story unfolding before them. Yes, the flavor text is sparse...the referred to adventure guide helps fill in the missing details...but the story is not. If you've got a sense about how RPGs go, you should find yourself getting into the story as you go through the scenario. Players that put this aspect of the game first will tend to love it, replaying the whole Adventure path with a new crew of heroes as soon as they conclude the final scenario in Adventure 6.

Then there's the folks that hate the game. They can't get past the mechanics, which admittedly are pretty dry and dull. If all you see is:
Flip a card, determine target number, build dice pool, roll....

Chances are you won't be coming back, or maybe not even finishing, the scenario. If you take away the Adventure aspect of the game, you're left with Card Game, and so far as card games go, it's really very basic.

PACG doesn't give you the freedom of a full-tilt RPG, but it provides nearly the next best thing, especially for solo players. Instead of the the GM asking you what you do next, then describing the encounter, you get to say "Valeros will visit the general store, hoping to find a new sword." The deck replaces the GM, but the player can fill in the details:

While browsing, the clerk happens across a summon monster scroll, accidentally triggering it. An ogre appears in the middle of the shop...a very angry ogre...Valeros leaps to the clerk's defense!

But if all you see is (card flip) Ogre. Use long sword, discard for bonus, roll dice, victory....then you might not really be enjoying yourself.
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Michael Z
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verdealex79 wrote:

I had a look on the Paizo site and saw that TONS of expansions have been produced... Generally this happens when a game gets some attention and has huge success... so I am confused by the fact that this game splits reviews. Some say its boring as hell, and repetitive... some say its a great game.


I think you are not quite getting how this game is produced.

It is made in installments.

ROTR consists of
A base set + Path 1
Path 2
Path 3
Path 4
Path 5
Path 6

The moment they decided to make ROTR, these 6 "Path sets" were guaranteed. They are one single story-line.


That said the game has proved popular and viable - TWO expansions have been released

Swords & Shackles
& Wrath of Righteous
(and Mummy's Mask has been announced)

There is also a whole bunch of support materials - Class Decks, Play Mats etc.
 
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Erawen Lowhunger
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zayzayem wrote:
[q="verdealex79"]
That said the game has proved popular and viable - TWO expansions have been released

Swords & Shackles
& Wrath of Righteous
(and Mummy's Mask has been announced)


You cat call these expassions. Expansions are supposed to be incorporated into the game. These are standalones.
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