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hall ro
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Hello all,

I'm completely new to Pathfinder & pretty much rpg games in general and have been watching Tox's great tutorial video on Critshappen. I'm trying to play this game with my family (my wife and triplet 13-yr-old daughters, one of whom has autism). I think my kids would all really get into the game once they learn it (& be gr8 contributers as they LOVE to write stories & draw/create characters) so I'm trying to learn it as best I can in order to reduce the learning curve for them as much as I can. (8 seconds of fumbling w the rules and I know I'll start losing them. Ahh, teenagers.) Also, I started by looking into the PF straight rpg game but it's complicated enuf (and requires a DM) that I thought the card game would be the best way to at least get started on the Pathfinder world.

In watching the video I'm seeing some things that I don't think will work too well in selling the kids on the game and am wondering if anyone has tried revising the game to make it play more "realistically" (IMHO!). This is a BIG factor especially in getting my daughter w autism into the game.

As an example, a big one that sticks out to me is that at first you have four cards randomly drawn from your deck to start a given turn. Tox's character in the video is a paladin (Seelah) and it simply wouldn't make sense to me that she wouldn't have her armor, shield and weapon in hand when exploring a location. But it appears that if you don't happen to draw those cards, she won't have them on that turn. Additionally, the characters can lose even the armor they're wearing in order to represent battle damage. To me, that'd take one giganto wallop for poor Seelah to get her armor knocked right off her in battle.

So my thought was to this: first, use hit-points for the characters instead of losing cards when taking damage and two, let players choose the cards they want in hand at the start of their turn. I was wondering if anyone's tried this or something similar. I think what I'm envisioning would come down to a combo of the card game & tabletop game. (I think some form of tabletop representation would be req'd for us anyway bc, if you're familiar with people with autism at all, they can be mind-boggling creative but some sort of visual reference definitely helps.)

I appreciate anyone's input and for taking the time to read this! BGG folks are amazingly giving with their time and insights. Thx!!
 
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Brian Olmstead
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Sounds like you'd be better off playing an RPG with them instead of this game.
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True Blue Jon
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It's the combination of hand size and number of cards in the deck that act as hit points in this game. For example, I have a wizard with an 8-card hand size. If he gets a super bad roll and has to take a ton of damage, he has to dump his hand and then redraw 8 cards, which is about half his deck.

But someone with just a 4-card hand size would only have to redraw 4 cards, about a quarter of their deck so they would not be as damaged.
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Kevin Rush
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This would make the game extremely trivial, there would be 0 challenge in beating any of the scenarios if you could pick what you wanted. Hit points would make cards that need to be discarded significantly stronger since they are not tied to your health, and recharge cards weaker for the same reason. Discardable cards are generally much stronger than recharge cards already because when you discard them, you are losing a piece of your health/stamina or the gear is breaking. Recharge cards last much longer, which is why they are generally a bit weaker in power than discardable ones, but they tend to stick around much longer.

Also, each character has a favored card, so you are guaranteed to start with at least one of those in your starting hand. Seelah starts with an armor every game. Second, armor is very likely to recharge (go to the bottom of your deck) instead of being discarded.
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Jeff Jones
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Allowing characters to pick more of their starting hand wouldn't throw the balance off too much, I would think. But you don't want to do that every turn. You say that you have four cards drawn randomly at the start of a turn. You only draw new cards at the end of your turn to get back up to your hand size. Seelah can keep her armor or weapon from one turn to the next, provided she doesn't discard them. Perhaps you are thinking of this game as a deck-builder; it's not.

Part of what makes the game great, in my opinion, is letting the cards tell the story. So if Seelah gets walloped by a monster and loses an armor or weapon, then there's a story to be woven about how she has to adapt and rely on help from her teammates until she can get her armor and weapon back or mended. If you think your family would like this style of game, borrowing elements from the rpg, then go for it! Since it's a cooperative game, you can help every one figure out what dice to roll for checks, etc.

Two more suggestions: download the Adventure Guide for stories to read before and after each scenario and think about using pawns or miniatures for which locations you go to instead of the cards provided (there's some nice standees in the file section).
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Drew
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I agree with Jeff just pick your starting hand in a way that makes sense to you. This game is not particularly hard to begin with and you just be making it a bit easier, which is fine for a friendly family game. Honestly for playing with kids you probably don't want to fail a scenario of have someone die because of bad draws in a game like this.

Boons like armor and weapons can stay around for awhile. A weapon can be reused if just used "normally" but if you want to really do some extra damage then maybe the weapon broke (discarded) or damaged (Valeros recharge until he can fix it).

Have multiples of the same weapon or armor in your hand could just reflect a better made single item, thus it can take more abuse.

Spells are memorized and forgotten when used or just require time to recharge.

You can make up lots of reasons.

Still overall this is very much a card game with some RPG trappings -- mainly in the leveling up a character over a campaign and keeping loot. It is really hard to find a RPG like experience in a boardgame box. Take a look at games like Mice and Mystic for a long campaign and great story sections to read with the game portion revolving around lite tactical combat with minis. My daughter loved the story at 8 and was fine with the combat portions. Mice and Mystics has a better sense of RPG realism.

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Neil Edmonds
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Do you need more card ideas for the D&D Adventure System games?
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The Adventure Guide might have the story content you desire.

There are also guides for the hero backstories and the Blessings Deck that will get you up to speed on all things Pathfinder relevant to the card game.
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Roland Sanchez
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Quote:
at first you have four cards randomly drawn from your deck to start a given turn.


OP, it sounds like you think that you draw cards and get a fresh hand every turn. You only discard your hand if instructed to, take damage you can't mitigate by revealing armour cards and the like, or choose to discard as part of your hand reset. As long as you don't take damage or something forces you to discard, you can essentially play the same hand of cards to whole game.
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hall ro
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Yes, I wasn't thinking in terms of turning whatever damage you take into part of the story. Great point! Seelah's armor is damaged to the point that she'll not want to depend on it in the fight but will want to use the other tools at her disposal. Like I said: I'm new to rpgs. Also, maybe Tox's game was unusually rough but he kept running into the arch-villain early on losing 3/4 of cards in his first battle of the game, then 4/4 on the next one. So maybe that was abnormal. Since we'll be playing cooperatively it might even teach my kids to come to each others rescue. Wow, what a concept!

One of my kids is actually very advanced for her age & I think she & I could play a few games to experiment with what might work for my fam as far as bending/altering the rules. After reading all your suggestions, maybe we won't really need to.

Thanks for taking the time!
 
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Freelance Police
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kleric42 wrote:
Sounds like you'd be better off playing an RPG with them instead of this game.


The game's also not too difficult to convert to an RPG. As said, have the players pick out their starting equipment. Tell them what their quest is, and have them go together to various locations doing stuff. Put cards at the location as you see fit (eg. goblins in the goblin lair). When the party visits a location, make up a mini-adventure that they have to overcome (eg. if there's a monster and an ally at the prison, the party has to defeat the monster and convince the ally to join their party). I believe the pictures on the PACG cards are also use by Paizo as RPG supplements for their own Pathfinder RPG game.
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