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Thoughts on all characters


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#1
ttoida

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So, I've completed all of the available content with the following party:

 

Merisiel

Kyra

Seelah

Seoni

Harsk

Ezren

 

Here are some thoughts on these characters.

 

Merisiel:

Good character, the only one who has strong Disable, which is pretty important.  Also has good Acrobatics and Stealth, which don't come up as often, but can be useful.  High Dex makes her very strong in combat, although she sometimes has trouble finding one of her weapons.  Fortunately with her Sneak Attack and a decent Strength score, she can often defeat an enemy without even using a weapon, and of course in a pinch she can Evade.  I try not to do this too often though, because it's important to get through the decks as fast as you can.  Biggest weakness is probably that she has a lot of Items, which aren't all that useful until you start getting some good stuff later on.

 

Kyra:

Good character.  Best Divine caster in the group, and with a decent Strength score she can hold her own in combat.  Her healing ability is ok, but again you need to get through decks as fast as possible, so you can't afford to skip too many explores.  Her bonus against Undead is very useful, and her high Wisdom makes her very good at closing a lot of different location types.  Weakness is her low Strength score, which limits the benefit of Blessings in combat.

 

Seelah:

Great character, with a very strong kit overall.  Good strength and melee, and the ability to add a d6 to any check is amazing.  More than makes up for her lower strength, as compared to Valeros or Amiri.  Not a great spellcaster, but can Cure herself to get back all the cards she's discarding with her Inspired Grace.  Crusade is situationally useful, good for burning through a deck looking for a villain/henchman.  Good Charisma is important for acquiring Allies and closing locations with Diplomacy.  Weakness is, as in the pen and paper game, a reliance on multiple ability scores.  Strength and Wisdom are both important to her, and both are only d8, but as noted above, her Inspired Grace can make up the difference.

 

Seoni:

One-trick pony, but is very very good at that one trick.  She kills stuff, regardless of what cards you have in your hand.  Not a lot of finesse here, just blasting stuff over and over until everything is dead.  High Charisma is useful for some things, and her Arcane triggers off Charisma as well, so she has two useful skills.  Weakness is that she is pretty bad at everything else.  With only three spell slots, you can't afford to carry a lot of utility spells, and her other ability scores are all pretty low.  She also burns through cards pretty quickly, and doesn't have a good way to get them back.

 

Harsk:

Wonderful support character.  Reliable in combat, since he pretty much always has weapons available.  Base Dex is only d8 though, so while he's generally good, he has the same issue as Kyra in that his base combat die is low.  He's much better as a support character, with two excellent powers.  Sniper's Shot is excellent, especially since it only requires a Recharge and not a Discard.  Scout Ahead is also great, allowing you to see what's coming so you can plan accordingly.  Weakness is that his skills aren't very good.  He has Survival and Perception, but with a d6 Wisdom they're just not reliable.

 

Ezren:

Versatile caster, has so many spells that he has a lot of room for utility.  There aren't a ton of great ones early, but later on things like Fiery Weapon are excellent.  Can hold his own in combat because he usually has a lot of spells available.  His Powers are all very good, Expanded Spellbook can extend his turn if he has stuff like Detect Magic available.  Eldritch Exuberance is amazing in certain locations, but he really needs this stuff because he doesn't have any Blessings to gain more explores.  He does have Allies for this though.

 


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#2
PinkRose

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Great review.

One note I would change.

"Weakness is that she is pretty bad at everything else.  With only three spell slots, you can't afford to carry a lot of utility spells"

Because she can use any spell for damage her 3 spells can all be utility. At least that's how I see it.


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#3
Dunesparrow

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Hey there.

 

Cool review

 

Interesting group make up.  Good to see that various six person parties can make it.

 

Are you planning on playing through again with the remaining 5 characters ?

 

Thanks



#4
wakasm

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The cool thing about this game is that all the characters are playable.  Rise of the Runelords is not as punishing as what is to come in this regard. However, there are some mechanics that are more OP than others... looking at cards/rearranging cards and evading are (IMO) among the top 2 things a character can do to really give you the upper hand.  

 

Because of this... Merisiel's evade is underrated in this post IMO.  

 

Evade is actually really powerful, and in later expansions, actually gets nerfed a little bit since most other characters that have evade (not in this version/rise of the runelords) have limitations to what they can evade or it costs them something to evade. 

  • Evade lets you handle any location where you have to summon a monster at the beginning of each turn
  • Evade lets you handle group traps/penalties where you have to summon a monster
  • It let's you evade the villain in most cases... which means you can really plan your next moves since you'll know what location it's in
  • It let's you farm for good items a lot easier... since if you see a really good boon, you can evade it, and then go after it with a character that can make the check much easier

and most importantly... when you unlock specializations later on (after Adventure 3 or in Quest Mode), if you take the Acrobat ability:

  • Let's you put evaded things back on top of the deck... which is both scouting AND strong for planning or bad pulls

Merisiel is great because she is one of the few characters you can guarantee to leave at a location solo and handle things.  

 

It is true, if you evade too much... you lose a lot of time.  So it's important only to evade when it's strategic.  But if she evades even 2 summoned monsters... it's generally a net win anyway since most other characters would in many cases have to burn a card to encounter (like spells, discared weapons, items etc). 


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#5
Brainwave

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Completely agree about evading. In addition to everything that you said, it allows Merisiel to explore in less optimal situations than Kyra for example. Just used up all of your cards except one good card you don't want to lose fighting a nasty monster, but got a free explore afterwards from a location special? If you're Kyra you might choose to forego that explore in case you run into something nasty, end up losing your remaining cards and possibly other effects on top of that. But Merisiel (mostly, of course there are some things you can't evade) can explore in a more risky situation and just evade if it's something nasty or anything boon you don't want to miss, etc.

#6
torm3ntin

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  • Evade lets you handle group traps/penalties where you have to summon a monster

Never realized that.

 

So if another member of my party gets that trap, or something that summon other monsters for everyone, i can simply evade instead of fighting it? (unless otherwise stated in the card, that you lose if one of them loses - if i remember there is a henchman like that) ???



#7
Hannibal_PJV

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Yep.
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#8
Brainwave

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Some of the later horde type barriers will say stuff like this card is not defeated if all the summoned stuff isn't defeated but for everything early like the Skeleton Horde barrier and there's a villain in the first pack who summons something before you fight her - it doesn't specify that those things must be defeated to defeat the initial card, so evade away!

#9
Borissimo

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This was a nice write-up! I agree with most of what you wrote, but of course, it wouldn't be an interesting game if we could all easily agree on everything. :) There were two points in your write-up regarding which I have a large quantity of respectful disagreement. One of which was your underselling of Merisiel's evasion, which Wakasm has already addressed. The other was this:

 

Seelah:

... Crusade is situationally useful, good for burning through a deck looking for a villain/henchman.

 

I'm not sure the phrase "situationally useful" does justice to this ability. May I suggest something more along the lines of "bonkersauce ridiculous?" :)

 

Every time you scout a boon, it's like you get a free exploration. When you upgrade Crusade so that it lights up at the start and end of your turn, now Seelah is getting 0-2 free explorations per turn. Unless you put her in a location with 6 monsters, it's almost certain that she'll get at least 1 free exploration out of this each turn. Imagine if her hero power read, "At the start of each scenario, put a Holy Candle next your character sheet that you can use whenever you want." That'd be pretty amazing, yes? Well, what she has is even better.


Edited by Borissimo, 05 May 2016 - 03:48 PM.

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#10
Dunesparrow

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Hey there.

I think the Crusade ability is great if you are willing to accept the loss of the boons that you run into or if you find yourself in a desperate situation to find a Henchman/Villain.

There are many Boons that are garbage, but I think that makes encountering the worthy Boons all the more important.

Rise of the Runelords is not especially difficult, but there comes a point where you can no longer improve your characters primary skill and you need other advantages, such as Boons.

It should also be noted that I greatly enjoy encountering and acquiring boons and upgrading characters decks, so I don't like missing out on Boons.

Thanks

#11
Hannibal_PJV

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Seelah is very important in legendary level.
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#12
StormbringerGT

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I could read these discussions all day!

But then I would be fired pretty quick!


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#13
Nathan Davis

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Seelah is the best character. That's just science.

giphy.gif


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#14
PinkRose

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Seelah IS the best character. 

I take back what I said about producers.



#15
269Hawkmoon

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Ezren:

Versatile caster, has so many spells that he has a lot of room for utility.  There aren't a ton of great ones early, but later on things like Fiery Weapon are excellent.  Can hold his own in combat because he usually has a lot of spells available.  His Powers are all very good, Expanded Spellbook can extend his turn if he has stuff like Detect Magic available.  Eldritch Exuberance is amazing in certain locations, but he really needs this stuff because he doesn't have any Blessings to gain more explores.  He does have Allies for this though.

 

You just need to turn your Ezren into an acquisition machine. These numbers are all based purely on the RotR cards, so Treasure Chests could change it. You'll notice that the last time you'll see a non-Magic armor is in B/C. The last time you'll see a non-Magic item is in 1 (there are 4 of them). The last time you'll see a non-Magic weapon is in 1 (there are 2 of them). From then on, every deck is just adding more possibilities for Ezren to get free explorations. Give him all the Codices you can. And the Monkeys you can. If you get that Smith ally from a treasure chest, give it to Ezren. Give him 3 Swipes if you can. 3 Swipes + 1 Monkey = 4 ways to automatically acquire a lot of stuff with the Magic trait. The Smith and the Codices will fill in the rest. And Haste if you need it. Honestly, you can build an awesome Ezren with almost 0 attack spells. Make him all about acquiring things and examining location decks. He's basically the second best character ever.


Edited by 269Hawkmoon, 08 May 2016 - 03:46 AM.

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#16
Hannibal_PJV

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So true. It is easy to underestimate Ezren because he does not have blessings... Who needs them in anyway?
Well actually blessing Are usefull, but why carry them along, just find them From the locations as you go!
:-)
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#17
Hastur

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I've just gotten into the second pack with my party of six.  My first party was with four characters.  I still haven't played with the monk.  So, there will almost certainly be things that I don't understand.  After all, I needed the app to show me things that I was doing wrong with the card game. Then again, I only recently acquired the card game also.  As an aside, imagine going through Perils, Offerings, and the beginning of Skinsaw rebuilding every deck with only basic cards and the cards we'd gotten as random.  Add on to that experience the fact that I insisted that my group play with every character from the basic set and the character add on pack.  It's a wonder they haven't killed me yet.

 

Anyhow, my observation having played only as far as the app lets me play, but at least through legendary, is that Ezren is a killing machine.  Someone mentioned boon acquisition above, which makes sense, but I've actually found that I tend to put Ezren in tough spots.  This might be playing him wrong, although I will say that any hiccups haven't come from Ezren in the first place, but he's the most reliable character for putting the hammer on bad guys.  He virtually always has an offensive spell and can get once quickly if he doesn't.  From the beginning of Offerings, he's my go to guy for bad places.  The one and only exception is the that undead chick who needs a divine check to completely defeat.  Other than that, I look for the hardest location in terms of combat checks, stick Ezren in there, and use him to beat the crap out of bad guys.  Granted, I'm forced to eschew allies like acolytes in order to take folks who allow me an extra exploration, which might statistically disadvantage me compared to some other players.  Frankly, while I like Seelah, I just find her kind of boring.  But it doesn't matter whether or not I'm playing the other characters wrong, I'm certainly playing Ezren right, because in the party that has Ezren, he closes locations fast and hammers mobs with a huge amount of damage without extra support.

 

Then again, before I act like I know what I'm talkin' 'bout, in the card game, I mistakenly thought that only one person could use any card type in any situation.  Imagine how much easier it was when I realized that everyone could use a blessing in the same battle assuming everyone had access to one!  Hot damn, that's good stuff.

 

Ultimately, it doesn't matter which character is best.  As long as you can finish with the characters you enjoy playing, it's all good.

 

As far as Merisiel, I have to say that even a noob bastard like me knew to use her in that one place that summons a bandit henchman at the start of every turn.  A free evade is pretty damned awesome.


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#18
wakasm

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Hey there.
I think the Crusade ability is great if you are willing to accept the loss of the boons that you run into or if you find yourself in a desperate situation to find a Henchman/Villain.
Thanks


You aren't losing the boon, you are just scouting it and putting it on the bottom of the location. Now you know it exists and you focus your efforts for it. When the time comes that the greatest Boon you have been looking for gets scouted with crusade, all you have to do is not close the location and go through the deck. Or find a way to shuffle the deck, like evading a monster... You'll have time since crusade has been saving you blessings anyway as you find a potion of glibness for the 300th time.

Meanwhile.... Crusade gets to be ridiculous useful the other 99 times you don't find that great boon.
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#19
Hastur

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Hey there.
I think the Crusade ability is great if you are willing to accept the loss of the boons that you run into or if you find yourself in a desperate situation to find a Henchman/Villain.
Thanks


You aren't losing the boon, you are just scouting it and putting it on the bottom of the location. Now you know it exists and you focus your efforts for it. When the time comes that the greatest Boon you have been looking for gets scouted with crusade, all you have to do is not close the location and go through the deck. Or find a way to shuffle the deck, like evading a monster... You'll have time since crusade has been saving you blessings anyway as you find a potion of glibness for the 300th time.

Meanwhile.... Crusade gets to be ridiculous useful the other 99 times you don't find that great boon.

 

I completely agree... unless the next draw is the villain.  Then you've banished the deathsbane x-bow.  Yes, Seelah is a statistical boon for closing locations.  Fair enough and the 'science' proves it.  However, 'fun' isn't always 'science.'  I know some folks like to talk about the cold hard numbers, but if there were any one character everyone must play in order to succeed, the designers at Paizo did a poor job crafting their game.  If the all knowing designers at Obsidian tweaked Paizo's game in order to make it so, then they've done a grave disservice to the intellectual property.  Sure, the so called 'science' might indicate a logical path, the illogical human, which is every person on the earth, might not always take it.

 

Strong letter to follow.  I will point out, in closing, that I'm not the Pathfinder card game guru in the room, but I've been enjoying games for a long long time and I know what's fun.  The strategy that ends up in victory most often isn't always the one that's most fun.  ...Or, to put it another way, I might not always fight for the winning side, but I've never fought for the wrong side.



#20
wakasm

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There isn't any one character one must play to succeed, but this was a thread about all the characters, which it needed to be pointed out which gameplay mechanics are strong, which crusade is. Play a lem with swords or Merisiel with spells... you'll still be able to beat the game. Have fun with whatever build you want!
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