Broken Token Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Box Organizer

Up front, I did not get this for free, I had to pay for it. That being said, if someone at Broken Token wants to send me one for free, I am all for that.

Disclaimer out of the way, what is the Broken Token Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Box Organizer and why do you need one (small caveat on need in a few)?

Let me start with a few questions:

Do you play Pathfinder Adventure Card Game more than once in a while…say like us, roughly weekend long marathon games?

20160909_143623Do you find the plastic insert provided with each base set slightly to more than slightly annoying for the following reasons:

  • rounded corners that bend card sleeves
  • not enough space for cards the further along a campaign proceeds
  • definitely not enough space for cards when you add cards from one or more Character Decks
  • no extra storage, if used as designed

Admittedly these are very minor gripes.

20160909_143651Have you found  yourself desiring a better way to store Pathfinder Adventure Card Game cards? Such as, when removing cards due to Adventure Deck progress, where do you store yours or for other reasons cards are removed?

If these things are issues for you, continue reading on. If not, good for you that you figured out a solution to those issues and please share for others.

For us card storage was an issue from day one; cards needed to be removed because they were not being used and cards needed to be added because a new Adventure Deck was in session. There never seemed to be enough room. Then after a campaign ended Adventure Decks needed to be stored, in sleeves.

Solution 1, put each Adventure Deck in a separate deck box. This meant we had 7 boxes for our PACG games: Base set + 6 Adventure Decks. This was not very efficient.

Solution 2, obtain a large card box, make dividers for each Adventure Deck and store them in there. Thus when a new deck was needed, pull from large card box and when cards, say Basics, needed to go away, put them into the large box.

Solution 2 was working until Wrath of the Righteous and two character decks. Solution 2 was not a great solution, switching decks and keeping them organized was annoying, but it worked. While setting up for Adventure Deck 2, I found myself with five spots with too many cards in them based on the space allocated for them. One of the best design elements of PACG, is once you learn where the cards in the box grabbing them or putting them away is instinctive. What could be a major slow down does not affect play at all…unless you have to rearrange the box so that cards fit, which I did. This DID NOT WORK.

20160909_143607Solution 3, search Amazon I found this listing: Broken Token PACG Box Organizer. It looks neat. Reviews are good, but the price..ick. Still, we had a problem which really did slow down our games, so I broke down and bought one.

  • Laser cut wood. Awesome.
  • Easy to follow instructions.
  • Assembles well and is solid, only tape needed on corners, which is suggested in the instructions.
  • Best part, fits in box and as you can see from the photo, EVERYTHING fits in the box now (Base Set, Add-On Deck, all 6 Adventure Decks, 3 characters in progress, promotional cards, and figures). Instead of two or more boxes for a game, we need one. When a new Adventure Deck is needed, there is spot for it right there.
  • The Box Organizer worked so well and impressed all us so much that I ordered two more for Rise of the Runelords and Skulls and Shackles. I will order a fourth for sure when Mummy’s Mask is released.

If you play Pathfinder Adventure Card Game as much as we do, I highly recommend the Broken Token Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Box Organizer. If you have other games that are need of organization hit up their website.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Buyers Guide II (link fixed)

A while ago, I wrote the first Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Buyers Guide. After moving and setting up for play again, and on the eve of Mummy’s Mask I thought it would be a good time to revisit that post.

Before making a purchase, I suggest that you visit here and download a rulebook. Plus you can see the support continually offered for Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. If you can, find a local game to try before purchasing. I suggest this because Pathfinder Adventure Card Game can become an expensive hobby. Best to try before buying.

Step 1: Where to Buy

The first thing that you need to decide is where to purchase. There are two options:

  1. purchasing through Amazon where the price tends to be cheaper
  2. purchasing from your local game store (we do not have a local game store)
  3. purchasing from Paizo, where if you sign-up for a subscription you get a 20% discount, promotional cards, and earlier access

Ultimately where you make your purchases is determined by your funds. If you can, I recommend signing up for a subscription through Paizo for the promotional cards, discount, and earlier access.

Step 2: What Do You NEED

For home games you will need one of the following Base Sets to play Pathfinder Adventure Card Game:

  • Rise of the Runelords: standard fantasy adventure (best set for introducing the game)
  • Skulls and Shackles: pirates
  • Wrath of the Righteous: war against demons
  • Mummy’s Mask (October): mummies

A Base Set is a large box that comes with the following:

  • Cards that you will use throughout all six Adventure Decks
  • A starter adventure consisting of 3 to 5 scenarios.
  • Adventure Deck 1. An Adventure Deck is 110 cards for 5 scenarios composing that adventure
  • 7 characters who are suited for the Base Set
  • Dice

Step 3: What Next

After a Base Set, there are plenty of accessories and add-ons to purchase:

Red: Necessary; Blue: Optional

Character Add-on Deck: Each Base Set has a Character Add-on Deck (110 cards) consisting four new characters, and extra cards that are immediately added to the Base Set cards. Character Add-on Decks expand the number of characters available to choose from and allow for players over four.

Adventure Decks: Each Base Set has five additional Adventure Decks 2-6 (remember 1 comes with the base set). Each Adventure Deck continues the adventure with new challenges and rewards.

Class Decks: Class Decks focus on one class, such as Paladin, giving players between 3 (first releases) and 4 (newer releases) characters and cards to support characters of that class. Unless you are like us, and love the game, start with Class Decks for Classes you like or use a lot. Class Decks are necessary for Guild Play.

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.

Game Mat: A large foam mat with spots for a 1 to 6 player game. The mat does not have spots for everything; such as new card positions that have been introduced since the mat was released (Skulls and Shackles ships come to mind). This mat is very helpful for keeping the game organized.

Iconic Miniatures: A box of six miniatures from the Pathfinder line. Each figure/character has a unique 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. Since the original post, Iconic Miniature came to a close after 6 sets.

Digital Game: I wrote about my experiences with the iPad version of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game here.

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, soon to be four, base sets?” Pathfinder Adventure Card Game has huge replayability.

  • Characters from any Base Set, Character Add-on Deck, and Class Deck can be used in any Base Set. On our second play through of Rise of the Runelords was completely different because of character choice.
  • 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 at home to play with, Paizo has Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild.  Official adventure Paths are made available for use in Guild play or at home. If playing in a Guild Game, a Class Deck is necessary.

Since the original post, plenty of material has been added to the game expanding the options and replayability. In October, Mummy’s Mask will be released adding another Base Set and more characters to the mix for more fun and options.

Skulls and Shackles, Ship Idea

This post will be of interest to people who play Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, specifically those who have played Skulls and Shackles and found the ships to be less than piratey or engaging. For some background, Skulls and Shackles is the pirate themed Adventure Path. As part of the theme, there are ships. Ships are represented by cards that don’t do much.

Ships can be used to move characters, when they are not docked at one location. Ships are used to store plunder underneath them, when you acquire plunder. Think of plunder as extra post game loot. Characters can encounter other ships, but instead of epic ship vs ship encounters with cannons blasting, heroic boarding actions, and other pirate themed ship stuff defeating another ship is a simple check, typically attribute or skill not related to combat. Ships can take damage, which can be offset by discarding cards from a character’s hand, any character. Ships despite being a central theme, the characters mutiny to take over their first ship, play little memorable role in the adventure path. Just another obstacle or thing to ignore.

I’ve been pondering a way to make ships more important and interesting and I think I may have hit upon something. Keep in mind this is a rough idea and I am aware that I have thought of every interaction that would be affected.

At the start of Skulls and Shackles Adventure Path, instead of choosing a class 0 ship card, players would choose from one of the following “starter” ships. Each ship has a card just like characters do, with attributes, skills, and power feats. I thought about using different names for attributes and skills, but did not want to create new rules. Instead the attributes have different meanings for ships.

  • Strength and Melee: size and skill of the ships crew for boarding actions
  • Dexterity and Ranged: number, accuracy, and power of cannons
  • Constitution and Fortitude: durability of the ship
  • Intelligence and Knowledge or Craft: complexity of ship, ease of repair, etc.
  • Wisdom and Perception: functions of the ship (not sure what I mean by that) 🙂
  • Charisma and Diplomacy: intimidation/wow factor of the ship

The ship’s Attribute die and skill bonus would be used by anyone on the ship when they encounter another ship or aquatic monster or barrier (this would require some modifying of cards to make complete sense). This would represent the crew of the ship on the ship tackling the challenge instead of just the character on the ship tackling the challenge.

Power Feats examples:

  • Hull Armor: Reduce damage to ship by 1, 2, or 3 (2 and 3 would be check boxes)
  • Barrage: Increase range damage by 1 or 2 and add fire (2 and fire would be check boxes)
  • Long Boats: Characters at the same location can move to another adjacent location, even if ship is docked
  • Increase plunder capacity by 1, 2, or 3 cards (all would be check boxes)

Ships would have a deck consisting of plunder equal to their starting class, this deck is called capacity. It is a combination of end game loot and life points for the ship. All ships start out with one plunder card per current rules, additional plunder cards are added as per current rules. A ship can carry a maximum plunder cards equal to its capacity rating. Damage inflicted on a ship cannot be reduced through character discard, although character abilities (such as the swashbuckler character) can reduce damage. To represent damage taken by the ship, plunder cards are discarded. When all of the plunder cards are gone the ship has sunk; the ship has died. At the start of the next scenario players start with a new ship or another ship from their fleet.

It’s a rough idea, but one that our group will explore during our next playthru of Skulls and Shackles. As I mockup cards and work on the idea I will post more. If you have any thoughts please share them.

 

Pre-Easter Mishmash

Happy Pre-Easter. I wouldn’t remember Easter, let alone pre-Easter unless something happened. In this case, I got a yellow octopus as part of a new tradition around here. The new tradition, celebrating Easter or at least the giving of candy and stuffed animals to the kids in fun and useful baskets. Apparently I am a kid. I am fine with that.

Holiday out of the way, I move on.

We finished the last three scenarios of Skulls and Shackles. We did not enjoy ourselves. The last three scenarios felt more like “screw you” than fun. The easiest way to explain this is that we did not feel challenged we felt like someone was trying to drain our resources and by doing that, we would be challenged. Okay, good idea in theory, except that the resource drain, such as a location that caused the player to bury their discard pile, were annoying and constant. If you have ever played Magic the Gathering against a Mill Deck (your opponent is trying to win not by beating you, but by causing you to discard all of your cards), then you know what I am talking about. The last three scenarios became more of a race to find and beat the villain before we were decked (MTG term :)), thus eliminating a lot of the preparation and character building we had done to that point.

But I can now say, that after three different attempts to play through Skulls and Shackles, I have done it. Moving on.

This weekend we celebrated our girl’s birthday. Her birthday was in the middle of the week, never a good time to celebrate a child’s birthday. She wanted as she always does “toys” and “sushi.” Toys was easy, in that she wanted some Lego Elves and she got some Lego Elves. Interesting to me is the Elves kits are more focused on Dragons, but not called Lego Dragons even though each kit came with a really cool dragon.

Sushi might have been an issue, you know dead rice cooker and all. However, we did get a new rice cooker and while the Cuckoo has been banging out the best rice of ever for a week or so now, how would it cook sushi rice? It handled sushi rice excellently. The directions violate EVERY sushi rice cooking lesson and recipe I have. Yet, the rice is great. Individual grains, little if any clumpage even after dressing is applied, and so on.

This will explain to you how we are on our second day of sushi and 7-cups of sushi rice. Part of that is I went overboard with ingredients. I love practicing my knife skills and finding new things to put into sushi that the kids may like and I want to try. Plus our standing list keeps growing with each new success.

New things this time:

  1. Red Bell Pepper
  2. Asparagus, blanched
  3. Chicken Fries…yes, you read that right. Instead of fried chicken the shape of which has made rolling difficult at times, chicken fries (the “good” ones) are uniform in shape with similar taste profile, plus kids love them

 

At The End of Skulls and Shackles…

As Skulls and Shackles comes to an end, last three scenarios tonight, I look forward to another attempt at Wrath of the Righteous and continuing our run through Rise of the Runelords. Skulls and Shackles has been fun and I see the improvements over Rise of the Runelords. The difficulty increases in a mostly pleasant arc, there were only a few times where I felt our characters were not ready for the scenario. This could easily be attributed to our character selection and the luck of the draw; meaning how lucky we got at finding loot. This is unlike Rise of the Runelords were characters quickly power the scenarios, even with bad luck.

Skulls has some interesting scenario set-ups that provided some much needed variety to play. Along with that were villains and henchmen that did more than wait for the heroes to show up and kick their butts. Many villains and henchmen, throughout the Adventure Path, have abilities that affect characters before they can act and after they act, forcing players (read us) to plan out more than which weapon we would use.

Monsters were fun. I mean that. The aquatic theme was used well to convey being at sea, on an island, or in port. Rise has a lot of generic monsters that you will find in any fantasy setting. Skulls had a lot of enemies that only make sense in a pirate or at sea theme, such as our favorite the anemone. I say our favorite because in one scenario, in one location, every monster was an anemone. The puns flew fast and furious…”with anemones like this who…”

Loot cards were a bust. I know other people feel differently, but other than being thematically good, the vast amount of loot went unused by our group. Most loot cards got looked at and then put back in the box for storage in favor of something else. Sad thing to me is that each loot card looked and read interesting, but in play most were limited in use, requiring you to encounter something aquatic, pirate, or something else. The loot allies had the most possibility, but other than the ally who got banished for a skill point saw little or no use at all.

Ships. What can I say about ships? Having played through most of Skulls and Shackles, I don’t get the point. Theme wise ships made a lot of sense. Play wise, ships were easy to ignore, a free source of end of scenario cards, and other than that…never saw use. I don’t know. Maybe it was an our group thing, but it did not matter what ship we had, what ship we encountered, weather we were on the ship, or the ship was at sea nothing interesting happened. We toyed around with making a ship character card, where each time you get to choose a new ship class you can choose a ship ability.

We will likely play through Skulls and Shackles a second time and knowing what we know now, choose non-Skulls and Shackles characters…the ships may end up in the box though.

Pathfinder Power Level Perception Problems?

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?

 

Just Like Captain Hook, A Pathfinder Short

Tick Tock…Tick Tock…

It seems that crocodiles and pirate captains have a destiny outside of Disney films and stories. Our resident pirate queen, a queen is higher than a captain and she was captaining our ship last night, discovered this destiny in spades.

Captain HookThe photo is the pirate queen being comforted by stickbot with the nemesis of all pirate captains and queens, a crocodile. Over the course of many games, our pirate queen has vanquished many a foe without any problems. To the point that something like an combat check 13 crocodile was an afterthought, as in after I roll my fist full of dice I will think about discarding the crocodile and continue on with my turn…

wait…

what just happened…

I’ll reroll…

….

Silence as our resident pirate queen had her hand wiped. Yep, had to cough up her entire hand of cards to the crocodile who proceeded to return to the deck from whence he or she came. We began to eye our pirate queen, she was mortal after all. Vowing vengeance for her lost hand she went after the crocodile who reappeared two turns later…

No longer an after thought, our pirate queen mustered all of her resources, except a blessing she was saving for a rainy day, and rolled…

FUCK!

She rerolled with gusto…

Silence again…

The crocodile took her other hand. Not even Captain Hook lost two hands to his nemesis. The good news, there was a cleric on hand to heal her wounds, but the shame of losing twice to the “lowly” crocodile stung. Stung so much…

that when she encountered the crocodile today, she spent the blessing, and defeated the crocodile.

Moral of story, there isn’t one, just play your damn blessings and don’t assume a lowly “crocodile” is ever a “lowly” crocodile. They will take off both your hands given a chance. 🙂