Scott Rogganbuck
United States
Woodstock
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About a year ago, I started a thread that compared the Arkham and Pathfinder card games. Now that I have had the opportunity to play through other scenarios outside of the core box for Arkham Horror, I thought it might be a good time to revisit my initial thoughts on the subject. Also, some other ideas have come to mind since that initial post.

Customization
Before: I felt that PACG had a better character customization.
I have learned that, over the course of the 8 Arkham scenarios, the tweaking of your deck is very nuanced. I wondered if the better cards would be the go-to choice every time. Some cards simply work better for certain characters than they do others. For example, the lantern and shovel are utterly ridiculous for the gravedigger, while simply decent for other characters. Although, I do imagine certain new cards will eventually push out some lesser cards as time goes by. The choices for starting builds have also become much more interesting, such as Mark Harrigan's ability to select level 0 tactic cards of any color. The ever-growing pool of cards from which to choose also adds a new twist each time you build a new character. I could have the same character with a completely new set of cards that were not available to you the first time you built that character. I also like the new novellas coming out that feature replacement cards.

Now: Despite everything just stated, I still enjoy the PACG customization better.
While I am certain that game balance plays in issue in this, I love the way you can mold your character over more adventures, including basic stats, in the Pathfinder game. With the additional card options of subsequent adventures and class decks, as well as the enormous choice of available downloadable characters from the Paizo site, there are many possibilities for character development.

Demoralizing Defeats
Before: My wife and I were frequently experiencing soul-crushing losses during the core box scenarios.
I played through the Dunwich Horror and am playing through Path to Carcosa with the same group of four people. While there were some hiccups along the way, we did ultimately win the Dunwich Horror with only one casualty (two, if you count poor Duke). Entering the scenario, A Phantom of Truth, we are in decent shape.

Now: While the game feels challenging on standard difficulty, it also feels like it is possible to succeed.
Although, my wife and I did go back and attempt the core box scenarios. The first was easy, the second yielded three cultists, and we were utterly destroyed in the final act.

The Sameness
Before and Now: The "sameness" many saw in Pathfinder also exists in Arkham cards.
I still feel that there are repetitive (and similar) mechanics to each game. I also feel that the replayability of both of these games remains the same - which is high, with less surprises. Last time I addressed this issue, I think that maybe I should have also mentioned the issue of storytelling.

Storytelling
I have heard many people say that the conveyance of stories in Pathfinder was lacking. I never had an issue with it.

Arkham Horror cards has really set itself apart with the way its scenarios are structured. I absolutely love the way in which a group of cards is seemingly transformed into a game board. With the accompanying narrative and array of possible outcomes tailored to your choices, it completely immerses into the storytelling. It also makes you feel like you are playing a different game, which is not always the case with Pathfinder.

Price
One thing I had not considered previously was the price these games will run you. It seems that the core box for each game and the respective adventure decks that go with them will run you about the same amount of cash. That said, Pathfinder will get you about 30 plays with one full adventure path. Arkham yields eight (eleven if you count the core scenarios). Still, I realize many would argue that Arkham gives you more bang for your buck, despite the amount of plays you get for the price. I don't know. I suppose it depends on the amount of time you are willing to invest into one of these adventures.

My hope is that both games will continue to make new content (c'mon Starfinder Adventure Card Game!). These campaign-style card games really are some of my favorite kinds of games. Guess its finally time to bust out those Dragonfire rules...

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Pauli Vinni
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Yep. I Also like both.
The arkham has very good edge in there with encounter deck, because it is always tailored to the story. In Pathfinder the location deck can be very random and only villain and hensmans Are scenario spesific.
But all in all it is not as bad as it would seems because all adventure packs has common theme, even it is not as tight as in Arkham.

And, Yep there is more room to these kind of card driven scenario/story/rpg/adventure games!

Hopefully other companies Also try this segment, so that we get more varioation in Style and systems.
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Eirik Uthus
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Nice comparison. Pathfinder is one of my favorite games and I own every set and class decks etc. And the little I've tried of AH really shines. I need more time to play AH though, and as I buy more packs, new ideas for decks are still poping up. I mostly solo both, and will probably still do that.

But the one thing that you mentioned that I also want. Starfinder ACG, yeah!

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