I write a lot about Pathfinder Adventure Card Game and through my descriptions and infrequent pictures I show what we own. What we own is not what is necessary to play. So I thought I would give a buyers guide of sorts. Note: New buyers guide here.
Step 1: Where to Buy
The first thing that you need to decide is where to purchase. There are two options:
- purchasing through Amazon where the price tends to be cheaper
- purchasing from your local game store (we do not have a local game store), where you may get promotional cards
- purchasing from Paizo, where if you sign-up for a subscription you get a 20% discount.
However, you will be charged shipping and that tends to replace the discount. Why would you sign-up for a Pathfinder Adventure Card Subscription if shipping costs replace the discount?
Promotional cards and a tendency to get the newest product slightly before or on release day (unless you live someplace weird like here where two shipments went out-one six days before the other and both arrived together).
Step 2: What Do You NEED
You will need the following to play Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: a Base Set.
- Rise of the Runelords: standard fantasy adventure (best set for introducing the game)
- Skulls and Shackles: pirates
- Wrath of the Righteous: war against demons
A Base Set, comes with characters, a starter adventure, the first Adventure Deck, and dice. Yep, comes with dice so no need to buy them. The starter adventure is three to five separate scenarios. The Adventure Deck is the first out of six to complete the Adventure Path. Each Adventure Deck is 110 cards, comes with everything you need to play the five adventures inside each deck.
With a Base Set, you and your friends/family can see if you like the game. However, before you purchase see if there are any local game stores that run demonstrations or Guild Play where you can try the game out first.
Step 3: What Next
There are plenty of accessories and add-ons to purchase, but other than the Adventure Decks none are necessary for play.
Adventure Decks: Each Base Set has five additional Adventure Decks 2-6 (remember 1 comes with the base set), these continue the adventure with new challenges and rewards. These are necessary to complete an Adventure Path.
Character Add-on Deck: Each Base Set has a Character Add-on Deck, which is 110 cards, three new characters, and extra cards that are immediately added to the base set-Adventure Decks are only added when using the Adventure Deck. Character Add-on Decks are not necessary. They do expand the game allowing for more players and options.
Character Decks: Character Decks are a recent addition to the game. Each deck focuses on one class, such as Paladin giving players between 3 and 4 characters and cards to support those characters. Initially, Character Decks had 4 characters, new decks have 3. For play at home, Character Decks are optional. For Guild Play, a Character Deck is necessary.
Play Mats: Each Base Set and Character Add-on Deck has a set of play mats. These colorful foam mats show where cards are placed, making organization a bit easier. In addition, when using a play mat a player may discard a card to draw a card once a game. Totally optional purchase.
Game Mat: A large foam mat with spots for a 1 to 6 player game. The mat does not have spots for everything, as new card positions have been introduced since the mat was released. This mat is very helpful for keeping the game organized, but is completely optional.
Iconic Miniatures: Another new release, a box of six miniatures from the Pathfinder line. Each figure/character has a card that is specific to them. The miniatures replace the character tokens, making for a cleaner play area. The cards are nice, nothing game breaking. There is NOT a miniature for every character released to date. Iconic Miniatures are optional.
Digital Game: A digital version of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game has been announced and some details shared, but no specific release date yet. This could be another route to go for those who don’t have the time, space, etc for the physical game.
Step 4: Re-Playability
Okay, so you read all of that and may have thought, “What good is all of that if there are three base sets?” Pathfinder Adventure Card Game has huge replayability.
- Characters from any Base Set, Character Add-on Deck, and Character Deck can be used in any Base Set. We on our second play through of Rise of the Runelords and because of character choice alone the game is different.
- Cards from sets can be used to create your own adventures-there is a card creator for people who want to design their own cards and sites hosting fan made adventures.
- For players with a local game store or group to play with Paizo has Guild Play, which uses scenarios not found in any of the Base Sets. If a game store is running the game, players only need to have a Character Deck to play.
Lots of options for anyone interested.