Here is the situation, our intrepid band of five adventurers was tracking down Black Fang, a Black Dragon terrorizing the livestock around Sandpoint, which upon reflection seems very low rent of the dragon. If this sounds familiar, then you have been reading a lot of our Rise of the Runelords Pathfinder Adventure Card Game reports. The big difference between this play through and others is a fifth player who was also learning the game. For our fourth play through, this was proving to be another unique experience.
Since the release of Rise of the Runelords there have been two other sets and at least 8 character expansion packs. For those wondering how we can keep playing the same base set over and over and never have the same time twice, it boils down to the size of the card pool and the characters chosen. This is a strength of Pathfinder Adventuer Card Game, you can mix and match characters from any set to play in any set. Some do better than others, but that is not that big of a deal. Our group has two characters from Rise, one from the Fighter character expansion box, one from Skulls and Shackles, and one from Wrtah of the Righetous.
I had been explaining to the new player that one of the cooler parts of Pathfinder Adventuer Card Game are the cooperative moments where the team of players either wins together or loses together. Up to the point I am about to describe that had not happened on a large scale. Mostly, the smaller moments when one player plays a blessing or spell to assist another character. Interesting, fun, and adequately displays the game’s cooperative design, but not “Holy crap! Did that just happen?”
There were three locations open: one with Black Fang, one that was about half way done, and one that a character was just starting to work on. We had just enough turns that with some luck we would win. One the turn before this set up, my character took on Black Fang, caused him to move to his current location, but left me with one card to draw. In Pathfinder Adventure Card Game if you cannot draw the necessary amount of cards, your character dies. Still there was hope…
New player takes their turn at the half-explored location, we are hoping for a henchman to close out the location. Nope and the number of available blessing went down. Meaning that unless something spectacular happened, one player had to take out Black Fang solo, while the remaining blessing were used to ensure that the last two locations were temporarily closed, trapping Black Fang and winning us the game. Not good odds.
Next to last player goes, flips over the Holy Candle, which if she can get will give us 1 to 6 extra turns. The player who was going to be last wipes their hand offering aid, blessing are dropped to ensure the next to last player has the best chance to get the HOly Candle. She does. She rolls a 5. We get five extra turns. This means that we can make a quick plan and I will get one last turn, which because I cannot draw enough cards my character will die at the end of the turn.
Looking at the situation, I move to the deck that is mostly full, with my last cards I find the henchman, defeat the henchman, and close the location. Then I draw my last card and expire. My sacrifice meant that the remaining players only had to focus on being able to temporarily close one location and kill Black Fang. Which they did. You could hear the whoops of joy.
The new player is hooked. It’s moments like that that keep us playing over and over again.