In the absence of our regular game this week I played PFACG by myself with Six friends – Amiri, Lini, Valeros, Merisiel, Seelah and Kyra – and we all set off to find Black Fang. Twice.
First time round we ran out of time. With 30 turns, each character is limited to only 5 goes. It became apparent that with 8 locations to manage, you really need to get stuck in and not worry too much about milking every location for boons, however with more characters there’s also more diversity to tackle problems.
Second time round I was less cautious with Blessings and Followers – Explore, Explore, Explore some more became my mantra and tracked down Black Fang with only 3 turns to go. Open locations duly closed and Valeros got stuck in; made his Constitution 7 Check (8), discarded a Longsword and played Blessing of Gorum (courtesy of Kyra) gave him 3d10+d8+d6+3. Smash!
Playing a few characters and having to put their powers to best use I spotted some stuff I hadn’t noticed before.
Valeros: Although it feels like overkill sometimes, you need to recharge weapons to keep your hand fresh – a 4 card hand makes for a slow explorer.
Merisiel: I’m finding that without a ranged weapon you’re scrabbling for dice in a fight – muster up d8 + d6 (if you’re alone) you probably want to add a blessing. Just to be sure. With a weapon you’re still looking to recharge a card to get d12 + d6 with no static bonus, the d12 can be a fickle mistress. Maybe this is just in contrast to the Heavy Hitters Valeros and Amiri. Oh, and Boots of Elvenkind are awesome in Merisiels hands (and even better on her feet).
Seelah: Don’t expect Seelah to pick up any loot. Send her to the Shrine of Lamashtu and use her Bane hunting powers to ignore all the blessings (and pain) in there. Problem solved.
Kyra: Her healing power is useful, other characters can explore a bit harder if they’ve got the resources, but trading a d4+1 heal against an explore feels like a bad deal (especially when you roll a whole lot of 1 on d4s like I have been). Give her a +1 Flaming Mace and send her after Ancient Skeletons and she’s happy, even without a weapon she’s got d6+d8+2. Having tons of blessing helps the rest of the party too – use them to boost checks, then heal them back.
Amiri: Get a Greatsword*. Hit things. That should deal with most monsters in the deck. Barbarian Rage is there to add a d10 and can help you cycle through cards to help with the limiting 4 card hand. End of turn movement can feel a bit gimmicky without a reason but get the right locations and it comes into it’s own: Closed the Mountain Pass? Go back to look at the top card of any deck. Or head to Sandpoint Cathedral to see if you can recharge a Blessing.
* Q: Why’s it called a Greatsword? A: Because it’s Great!
Lini: Keep an animal in your hand and you’re rolling at least 2d4 for any check, pretty handy. Get in a scrape? Go wild – discard a card, play a blessing (Kyra and Seelah can help out) and you’re rolling with a respectable 2d10 (+d4 for your Dog)