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Paizo's  PATHFINDER Adventure Card game RISE of the RUNELORDS Base Set is a new style of role-playing.
Games can be played solo or by multiple players, up to 4 with the Base Set, and for more players as expansions
are added.

When you open the huge (especially deep) box you may be a little disappointed as it looks practically empty, other
than a few blocks of sealed cards. The plastic insert has been specifically designed to hold the various card types
separately for ease of finding, though once again when you have opened the card blocks, sorted them into types, and
positioned them in their predetermined places, the box still looks very empty. This could be a creditable ploy by Paizo
to get you to quickly purchase more adventure packs and expansion decks or it could be that Paizo had the foresight to
create such a large box so that when you build the game up with said adventure packs and expansion decks you have
more than enough room to keep your collection together.

To begin with you have to create a character. To do this you select one of the 7 available in the Base Set:-
Seoni - Female Human Sorcerer
Kyra - Female Human Cleric of Sarenrae
Valeros - Male Human Fighter
Merisiel - Female Elf Rogue
Lem - Male Halfling Bard
Harsk - Male Dwarf Ranger
Ezren - Male Human Wizard
Each of these characters has three cards associated to it:
The basic character card that details Appearance by illustration, Name, Race, Class, Gender, mini background tale.
The character sheet card that has Skills, Powers, and the List of Card types available for the character.
The class type card, both sides contain different class types, such as Guardian or Weapon Master for the Fighter class.
Note: You only get the first two cards to begin with, you cannot choose the class type until you have gained experience.

If you play the game as it is supposed to be played you are likely to keep this character throughout all expansions and
adventures; therefore you should choose a character that you are happy with. The game has preset characters that you can
use, by preset I mean the cards that make up your character deck have been selected by the game's designer, but if you go
that route you cannot begin the next adventure with a complete new deck, only an updated deck using the cards discovered
during the previous adventure. During each scenario you are hoping to find new items, spells, weapons and armour etc so
that when the adventure is over you can build a new deck - sticking to the allowed card number and types - using any cards
left in your current deck and those acquired.

The Basic Game has two adventures. The second of these is BURNT OFFERINGS which comes in its own box and has 110
cards that create 5 scenarios: Attack on the Sandpoint, Local Heroes, Trouble in Sandpoint, Approach to Thistletop and the
finale, Thistletop Delve.

The first adventure is PERILS of the LOST COAST and it comprises of three scenarios: Brigandoom!, The Poison Pill, and
Black Fang's Dungeon. This is the adventure you should begin with whether you are playing with friends or solo. Brigandoom!
is the first scenario in the list and thus the first you should play. The Locations used depends on the number of players, so if you
are solo there are three locations: Woods, Waterfront and Farmhouse. For 2 players add the Wooden Bridge, 3 players Academy,
4 players adds Prison, 5 players garrison and finally 6 players Treacherous Cave.  As you will have noticed this goes up to six
players even though there are only cards in the box for 1 - 4. This is so that anyone purchasing character packs at the same time as
the box set can all play (well up to 6 can anyway).

Location decks are made up of encounters including a Villain and their henchmen (or is that henchpeople ?), weapons and other items,
spells, monsters and allies .........   These decks are shuffled, ensuring that the Villain and the Henchmen/People are divided amongst
them, and laid out ready for the adventure to begin. Players place their character cards at their choice of location. It is permissable for
the players to decide amongst themselves whether to go as a party or to split up - generally it is better to go as a group as the rules allow
players to play cards to help each other more if they are at the same location, though it is also possible to heal and aid from afar - not
sure how that actually works logically.

Each adventure lasts 30 turns  - the timer mechanic is quite clever as it uses Blessings cards. A 30 card deck is randomly accrued and is
shufled and placed face down. Each player turns over one of these cards at the start of their turn, though the action on the Blessing card is
not put into effect unless another card from the location activates it. The player whose turn it is flips over the top card at their location and
does what is necessary. This usually requires rolling a die or dice depending on the card. It may be a fight, it may be an item, whatever it is
there is almost always a character skill or trait plus a die roll involved - just like regular role-playing. The 30 turns is literally all you have to
complete the adventure - this mostly means finding, fighting and defeating the main Villain. If the time runs out the players lose. To win the
players have to close the locations, which can be done whether there are still cards at them or not.

With all the new cards, decks and expansion packs, there is plenty for players to do. Obviously each game may feel similar but only in the same
way that each tabletop role-play session is similar.  There are some oddities for a card game, such as you are expected to physically tick (with a
pen or pencil) boxes on your cards in certain situations or that cards are often not discarded from your character's deck but banished. Banished
cards may not be selected for your character deck again (even at the end of the adventure) unless you acquire more during a scenario.

The rules are possibly not the clearest you will ever have read - there is a rewrite on the Paizo website which shows they agree - plus there are
hundreds of FAQs and answers on the same site written by players and Paizo staff. I guess you could say that the game is broken because of all
the correspondance about it, or maybe you can say that the game is ultra popular for the same reason.  I see it as a good attraction to role-
players with limited time available as it has many of the hallmarks they enjoy and for board gamers who like a little role-playing for fun.

PATHFINDER ADVENTURE CARD GAME 2013'S GAME OF THE YEAR

The Best of 2013 Year-End Lists Are In, and the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is a Universal Hit

REDMOND, WA (January 9, 2014): Paizo Inc., creators of the world's best-selling Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, is pleased to announce today that the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, which debuted in August 2013, topped or charted on many Best of 2013 lists among top-tier gaming media outlets.

"#1 game of 2013." – Dice Tower listeners and co-host Eric Summerer

"In a year dominated by excellent cooperative games, the Pathfinder card game set itself apart…If you've got a gaming group that loves playing story-driven RPGs, but no one to gamemaster your group, the Pathfinder card game is a perfect choice." – Game Informer, Top 10 Tabletop Games of 2013

"Board Game of the Year" – GeekDad's Jonathan Liu

"A wonderful game that offers the thrill of a traditional roleplaying game without the need for a game master." – Deseret News, Top 10 Tabletop Games of 2013

"RPG publisher Paizo certainly made a grand entrance into the board gaming end of the business this year with the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Pathfinder pretty much has anything you could want in an RPG-style card game and then some. I think Pathfinder was my most-played game of 2013."

– No High Scores

The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game was also included on the Best of 2013 lists by All Us Geeks, Maximum Pixelation, and GeekMom, among others.

The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game (PACG), created by Mike Selinker and Lone Shark Games, translates the world's best-selling Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (RPG) into an entirely new breed of card game, where players adventure, battle monsters and villains, and acquire new feats, items, weapons, and allies – all without a Game Master. The first game, PACG: Rise of the Runelords, made its debut at Gen Con Indy 2013, where it sold out in the first four hours. The follow up, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles, based on the pirate-themed Pathfinder RPG Adventure Path, is currently in playtesting, and is scheduled for release at Gen Con Indy 2014.

About Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game is the world's best-selling tabletop roleplaying game, in which players take on the role of brave adventurers fighting to survive in a world beset by magic and evil. The Pathfinder RPG is currently translated into multiple languages, with hundreds of thousands of players worldwide. Players need only the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook to play, but Paizo Inc. produces a wide range of books and accessories, from hardcover rules compendiums to complete campaigns to packets of beautiful, full-color maps. The Pathfinder brand has also been licensed for comic book series, graphic novels, miniatures, plush toys, apparel, and is being developed into a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game. For more information, please visit paizo.com.

About Lone Shark Games

Lone Shark Games is a design studio in Seattle headed by designer Mike Selinker. They are responsible for the design of the games Lords of Vegas, Unspeakable Words, Pirates of the Spanish Main, and Harrow and the Titanic Games board game line for Paizo. Their game books include The Kobold Guide to Board Game Design, Dealer’s Choice, Puzzlecraft, and the upcoming puzzle novel The Maze of Games.

About Paizo Inc.

Paizo Inc. is a leading publisher of fantasy roleplaying games, accessories, board games, and novels. Paizo’s Pathfinder® Roleplaying GameTM, the result of the largest open playtest in the history of tabletop gaming, is currently the best-selling tabletop roleplaying game in hobby stores. Pathfinder Adventure PathTM is the most popular and best-selling monthly product in the tabletop RPG industry. Paizo.com is the leading online hobby retail store, offering tens of thousands of products from a variety of publishers to customers all over the world. Since its founding in 2002, Paizo has received more than 50 major awards and has grown to become one of the most influential companies in the hobby games industry.

 

 

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015