I do not know how many people who read Pathfinder Adventure Path posts who also play, but if there are any of you I would like to hear your thoughts on the following, if you have played both Rise of the Runelords and Skulls and Shackles.
Last night in a mini-Pathfinder marathon (there was some Rise as well) we played through the last scenario of Adventure Deck 5 and the first Adventure Deck 6 of Skulls and Shackles. We were going to play the second scenario, but Skulls and Shackles has been losing its luster with us, the scenarios over all are more difficult, but the rewards (at least to us) have not been…well rewarding. Good example, between the three characters there are three loot cards. Loot cards are supposed to be the reward for a well played scenario, the carrot to the difficulty stick of a scenario. In Skulls, the loot has been easy to ignore as something non-loot in the box is equal or better.
The thing that stands out to me, is that Rise characters feel more heroic in comparison to Skulls characters at the same point: i.e. comparing characters at Adventure Deck 3. Our Skulls characters struggle a lot more than I thought they would and death is always a possibility, something that Rise characters somewhat negate after a certain point. I don’t have a problem with the difficulty or the possibility of character death (4 characters dead so far), at least as a concept, but at the same time I do. By the time of Adventure Deck 6 our characters should be able to take on the challenges and have rewards that show what we have.
We definitely do not have rewards that show that other than in the form of checkmarks on character sheets. Rise characters have unique loot cards and checkmarks. Both give you that sense of accomplishment. In Skulls we have ignored the loot cards from Adventure Deck 2 on with two exceptions, both weapons. Maybe that is what is missing that sense of accomplishment that can be shown in the form of cards that have stories around them. I don’t remember where I picked up that Spellsword +2, but I do remember the game where I won the Robe of Eyes.
Looking forward, Shannon wanted to know if we were going to take our Skulls characters into Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Decks 4 thru 6 (also known as Adventure Decks 7, 8, and 9). I did not think so. To many Skulls characters are focused on the unique nature of the Skulls Adventure Path, ships are not demons. Plus, I don’t think that our Skulls characters are as capable as our Rise characters. I don’t know why I feel this, by the numbers they should be equivalent, but something about Skulls characters feels off.
I know when I compared Adventure Deck 6 loot from Rise and Skulls, I wanted Rise loot and so did everyone else. The Hurricane Crown is nice…as long as you are in an aquatic centric place whereas Chellan, Sword of Greed is useful in any adventure (maybe not the best weapon when compared to Karzoug’s Burning Glaive-also Deck 6 loot).
Anyone else feel this way, that Skulls characters feel less capable to take on the post game in Wrath?