Note: This is a continuation of the Intro To the Pathfinder Adventure Cardgame post. If you have not read that post, please refer back to it for an understanding of the setup of the game.
Further Note: I use italics to indicate a story moment; I have invented these moments, and included them as a window into the way the game might allow players to think dramatically–at least to themselves–about what is transpiring. If this does not seem like part of the enjoyment you would derive from gameplay, please feel free to pass over these sections.
I occasionally set apart easy-to-miss rules information in boxes such as this one.
Let’s look at a turn or two of gameplay:
Kyra hastened to the farmhouse, sensing the presence of the gods willing her onward. The farmer at her side seemed determined, as well.
“If I can,” he said, “I’ll help,” he said, ushering her inside the home.
She nodded, appreciatively. He had some armor and a blade at his house, but, in her appraisal, he’d make a better scout than a soldier. Still, help was help.
“I cannot promise your safety,” she told him. He waved his hand, dismissing her remark–too casually, she thought.
“If I’d wanted safety, I’d live in Sandpoint.” He paused. “Well, til this, anyway.”
He motioned for her to come outside.
“The bandits come from beyond the hills, just on the edge of my land.” The farmer indicated a westward knoll, as he stood in the steady lantern light.
“Then, that is where we will go.”
Sajan, meanwhile, rushes toward his ally, a troubadour he met at The Rusty Dragon; together, they had scouted the area around Sandpoint. Always they had the worst luck, showing up where bandits had been too late to make a difference. The man seemed dogged, however, and perhaps persistence had finally paid off.
“Hail. What news?” Sajan asked, regarding the man crossing the bridge, and glancing at the wood beyond it.
“One hears many things,” the troubadour answered; “not all of them are for your ears. Mind your business.”
Sajan shrugged. The bandits had planned well, but now well enough, if this troubadour was all they sent against him.
Sajan paced toward his onetime ally on the old bridge, and waited for the man to move…
The troubadour’s betrayal…
Starting the Game
In her haste, Kyra was not able to ready a weapon.
At the start of the game, each character must draw his or her hand.
Kyra’s starting hand is pictured above. Each character has a favored type of card. If the starting hand for any character does not contain that favored type, then the player controlling the character must redraw until a hand contains the favored card type.
For Kyra, I must have a blessing in my starting hand. Since I do, even though I would have preferred to have a weapon as well, I must keep this hand.
Sajan’s favored card type is an item.
His starting hand is much more promising, than Kyra’s, offensively, because he has the Amulet of Mighty Fists and a blessing. Weapons don’t mean much to Sajan; Kyra relies much more on them.
The amulet of mighty fists is quite the powerful item card, as we will see later on.
Sajan’s special abilities allow him to recharge blessings (put them on the bottom of his deck rather than discarding them), as well as using as many as he would like on a combat check.
His ally, the Troubadour, would allow him to explore again (normally, on a turn, you can only explore once, unless you have a card that allows you to do otherwise).
The potion of glibness, while a one-time use item, would possibly allow Sajan to acquire a powerful ally.
Turn 1: Sajan
To begin a turn, you must flip over a card from the blessings deck; this is the countdown timer until you either win or lose.
Sajan starts his turn by flipping a blessing. He then may flip the top card of the location he is at, although he is not required to do so. Since it is my first turn of the game, there is no compelling reason to leave a location unexplored. Unfortunately, rather than encountering a helpful card, I encounter an enemy. Let’s see how I deal with it.
As we saw in the short narrative above, Sajan has run into some trouble at the bridge. The Traitor enemy he encounters forces him to discard a random ally from his hand; seeing as he only has the Troubadour, he will not be able to use this ally to explore again on his turn.
Even though Sajan can roll his dexterity die (a d10 with a plus 2 bonus), I feared this would fall short of the 11 (this info is located on the right-hand side of the enemy card) I needed to defeat the Traitor.
As much as I would have liked to save the blessing to explore again, I played it on my combat check.
I was worried that Sajan could still roll badly enough to fail, and so I used one of Kyra’s blessings, as well, allowing him to roll a third D10. I have summarized the rule for playing cards on another character’s check below.
Each character may play one card of each type on a check, unless a card effect states otherwise.
This rule means that Kyra cannot play two blessings, for example, on Sajan’s combat check.
Note that Sajan can only add his bonus of plus 2 to one roll with the D10, not to each roll a blessing allows him to make. Still, I roll an 8, a 7, and another 7, plus the bonus 2, for a total of 24, far above what I need to have.
Note that Sajan can only add his bonus of plus 2 to one roll with the D10, not to each roll a blessing allows him to make.
Adding the third die via Kyra’s blessing was probably not necessary, but hindsight is always 20/20.
Feeling confident, Sajan dodges beneath a sword swing, and chops the man’s wrist with his hand. The sword clatters over the edge. Sajan sees the fear in the man’s eyes, but this does not slow the two kicks that send the traitor over the edge after his weapon. He has dispatched with two instruments of evil, but many more are doubtless present this night.
Sajan must now end his turn, seeing as he has no means to keep exploring.
At the end of a turn, you reset your hand. This means that you take cards from your deck up to your current hand size (which is listed on your character card). If you have too many cards, you must discard down to the correct number.
Turn 1: Kyra
Kyra’s exploration is very good for her. After she flips a blessing, she encounters a large chest. The large chest is considered a “barrier” card, and if undefeated (i.e. if you don’t roll high enough), many barriers have an effect on you and are removed. Some of the nastier ones stay on top of the deck until defeated.
The large chest, if opened, will allow a hero to draw weapons, which Kyra needs.
She can either use her Strength or Melee stat (her melee stat is a D6 plus 2) or her dexterity or disable stat (an abysmal d4).
Let’s take a minute to talk stats. Have a look at Kyra’s card:
All there is to know about Kyra…
There are basic stats, such as Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. If a character is especially skilled in a particular area, he or she may have an added category, such as Kyra’s melee attack.
If a character is not skilled in an area (i.e. a particular skill is not listed), then that character can roll a d4 to attempt a check using a skill they do not possess; however his or her chances of success are very low.
So, that’s a summary of the character card. There is one more important note about skills:
If a card would effect a “Strength” check, it would also effect Kyra’s melee check, since her melee skill is based on her strength.
If you learn this rule now, it can save you a lot of headaches later.
In any case, the Large Chest is smashed apart by Kyra, who plays a blessing on her melee check to defeat it.
When defeated, I roll a d4 to see how many random weapons I acquire. Since this role is not a check, even if I had any blessings left in my hand, I could not play them to influence the outcome.
However, Kyra finds quite the stash!
Kyra draws four random weapons from the box; it just so happens that they are all useful for her. A ranged weapon, for example, would use her horrible dexterity skill.
Kyra’s haul from the chest.
Most of these weapons have penalties to use if a character is not proficient in weapons; Kyra is not, although she may become so after a later adventure. Nonetheless, the bonuses for using these weapons generally offset the added difficulty, so this is a winning turn for Kyra.
I reset her hand and prepare for more adventures…
Kyra and the farmer cautiously approach the hill; they creep up it. A cold wind under cold stars, sets them both on edge. Perhaps the farmer longed for the warmth of his hearth and home. She could not fault him, if so. Better than being in this place on this night, not knowing what lurked.
Still, the gods had sheltered her this far. She prayed to Saranae that it would continue to be so. The goddess was as silent as the night around them. No matter; it did not mean she was not watching. Perhaps, Kyra would find a sign.
A glint of metal in the darkness. An unguarded chest. She pointed, fearful that it was a piece of cunning to lure the unwary. When nothing stirred about the chest, Kyra walked up.
“You’ll be wanting a key” the man said. Kyra fixed him with a stare, and pried the lid with a grunt. Inside were weapons, such that Kyra had not seen; better by far than the training swords that she had left with.
She pulled out three weapons and strapped them on; there in the bottom, she saw it: the sort of weak blade that she had sparred with. She laughed and strapped it on to. The goddess had not forgotten her; she accepted the rebuke the sword represented. Her faith, too, must develop from humble beginnings, or she would fail.
Tonight, she could not afford to.
I hope you found this instructive. As you can see, the length of writing these turns involve is substantial. As a result, I will only highlight events that touch on rules or points of strategy we have not already covered.
Stay tuned for the conclusion of Brigandoom!