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Since I got hold of Pathfinder Adventures on my phone and introduced me to the awesome world of the Pathfinder Card Game,the designer in me has been itching to do some creative work in this design space.

 

And since "monks" are my thing (I literally wrote the book), naturally I want the world to meet my take on the PACG monk. Conveniently on www.drivethrucards.com you can easily create your own card ideas (but unfortunately it's not so easy to see them properly):

 

182180.jpg

 

182184.jpg

 

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The art work comes from the body of art I commissioned for my book (Monk Unfettered), so I believe there is no rights violation with displaying this.

 

Edit: I forgot to mention, the "other" role for Mikiko is Sensei. Unfortunately www.drivethrucards.com apparently only shows the "front" sides of cards.

Edited by trashcondor
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I would recommend changing the play-verb in the first power from "reveal" to "display" as this is almost exactly what the "display" does.  Also, that first power is really broken, and I would recommend at LEAST changing the discard scenario to the end of THE turn, not the end of HER turn, so that she doesn't just display (or reveal) all her Blessings right after resetting her hand and then have them for all checks, on- and off-turn.

 

As for fitting the patterns of existing characters, all characters start with 4 available power feats before they select their role.  Mikiko has 5.   You may want to sneak one into her role.

 

Similarly, all existing characters have 8 MORE power feats opened up by their role.  Your role opens up 5.

 

Very few (but more than zero!) characters gain powers merely by earning their role card.  The third power on the role card should probably  have a check box in front of it.  (It's actually butch, and similar to a power that costs another Sajan version two power feats to gain.)  In that same power, instead of saying "...or the number..." I'd recommend specifying "...or the adventure deck number...".

 

Lastly, she needs a deck list/card feats matrix, favored card type, and a second role.  B-)

 

That's all purely technical observation.  That's actually a pretty cool character, especially for someone with only a week's exposure to the game.  The art reminds me a lot of yet another PACG Monk, Athnul.

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"I need a lie-down" is the new "I'll be in my bunk..."

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@StormbringerGT: you got the inside track, wrestle Nathan, add it to the game. It's in your power man! Believe in yourself!

 

I don't know if I'd need eye-bleach or popcorn for this.

Popcorn. Unless its Greco-Roman style. Then eye-bleach, a sacrifical goat, and a small nuclear weapon.

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I would recommend changing the play-verb in the first power from "reveal" to "display" as this is almost exactly what the "display" does.  Also, that first power is really broken, and I would recommend at LEAST changing the discard scenario to the end of THE turn, not the end of HER turn, so that she doesn't just display (or reveal) all her Blessings right after resetting her hand and then have them for all checks, on- and off-turn.

 

As for fitting the patterns of existing characters, all characters start with 4 available power feats before they select their role.  Mikiko has 5.   You may want to sneak one into her role.

 

Similarly, all existing characters have 8 MORE power feats opened up by their role.  Your role opens up 5.

 

Very few (but more than zero!) characters gain powers merely by earning their role card.  The third power on the role card should probably  have a check box in front of it.  (It's actually butch, and similar to a power that costs another Sajan version two power feats to gain.)  In that same power, instead of saying "...or the number..." I'd recommend specifying "...or the adventure deck number...".

 

Lastly, she needs a deck list/card feats matrix, favored card type, and a second role.  B-)

 

That's all purely technical observation.  That's actually a pretty cool character, especially for someone with only a week's exposure to the game.  The art reminds me a lot of yet another PACG Monk, Athnul.

 

Everything noted, and I'll make some adjustments in due time. My first attempt was based on eye-balling the various character cards that Google image search provides.

 

All the "missing" cards are technically there, but drivethrucards.com is a fairly generic card creation engine that unfortunately only seems to create the *front* of the card for convenient display. I can give the (current) missing details:

Card list: 
Weapon   1 [2] [3] 
Spell    1 [2] 
Armor    - 
Item     3 [4] [5] 
Ally     3 [4] [5] 
Blessing 7 [8] [9] [10]

Sensei (Role)

Hand size 4    [ ] 5   [ ] 6   [ ] 7
Proficient with [ ] Weapons

At any time you may display any number of blessings. Until the end of your turn, on each check, each currently displayed blessing applies to the check (as if it was played for the check). At the end of your turn discard all displayed blessings. ([ ] Additionally you may add the Magic trait to any check you make.)

[ ] Once a turn you may bury a card to shuffle one random blessing from your discard pile into your deck.

[ ] You may add your Wisdom to your combat checks.

[ ] When you succeed at a combat check against a bane you gain +2 ([ ] +4) on additional checks against that bane until the end of your turn.

Each displayed blessing adds [ ] +1 ([ ] +2) ([ ] +3) to any check.
 
 

 

 

Also, that first power is really broken, and I would recommend at LEAST changing the discard scenario to the end of THE turn, not the end of HER turn, so that she doesn't just display (or reveal) all her Blessings right after resetting her hand and then have them for all checks, on- and off-turn.

 

Regarding the power level, I'm happy to be educated: the scenario you describe is exactly how her power is intended to function. I don't have the experience and high-level play knowledge of the game to understand how it would play at later levels, but my calculations place the power level as just a tiny bit weaker than (original) Sajan's power to recharge blessings for combat checks. Where Sajan's peaks in general combat and sustain, Mikiko's would peak in multi-element encounters. The mediocre (d8) dice give incentive to use the power (for example to recharge or acquire boons), but the lack of (easy) blessing recharge should make wanton display of blessings a quick way to run out of cards. By my theory not being at least somewhat frugal with Mikiko's abilities will quickly cause her demise. Banes like the Enchanter will be particularly bothersome for Mikiko to handle.
 
Edit: note that the original images have been updated (the graphic link to drivethrucards.com is always "up to date"); so the character is a bit rebalanced
Edited by trashcondor
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Game balance is an art, not a science.  Sajan from the Monk Class Deck is pretty darn powerful.  After completing adventure 1, he could be rolling 1d10+1d6+9 with a basic weapon (the deck has several weapons that use Acrobatics for your Combat check).  Combine that with the Mythic Paths of the Wrath of the Righteous set, and the numbers get completely insane, especially with his Monk of the Four Winds role.

 

So, your opinion is just as valid as mine.  But having a handful of extra dice on every roll for a complete round of turns is REALLY powerful.

"I need a lie-down" is the new "I'll be in my bunk..."

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I'm happy to learn from you :) - knowledge and experience go a long way (I didn't even know about Mythic Paths for PACG).

 

The design intention was as follows:

  • Sajan can get one amazing set of dice each turn (limited to combat)
  • In contrast, Mikiko can get good dice on each check (limited to certain turns only)

To emphasize that intention you'll notice that I stiffened up her blessing recovery from before (she can now only recover 1 blessing once a turn).

 

The two roles diverge as follows:

  • Ki Mystic is considerably more tanky and gains another way to recycle blessings
  • Sensei is fragile but gains the ability to help allies
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Why does she have a spell? With no Arcane or Divine skills they are one use then banished.

 

 

Anywaysm using all base cards

 

Weapons: Faming Mace +1 & Mace

Spell: ANY completely irrelevant, but Cure if you must

Item: Spyglass, Codex, Masterwork Tools (Or all Healing Potions if you choose not to pick up any other items)

Allies: Father Zantus, 2x Delettante

Blessings: 5 Blessing of Gorum, 2 of any other.

 

Then pair her with Kyra:

Weapons: 2 mace

Spells: 3 Augery

Armor: Magic Half Plate, Superior Half Plate

Item: Ring of Rememberance

Ally: Shalelu Andosana

Blessings: 1 of each except "Gods", "Pharasma", "Gorum" and "Desna"

 

Kyra mills the location deck, cures the Monk, and hands her Blessings.

 

Mikiko slaps everything else into oblivion.

 

Using just basic cards I could waltz through all 0 scenarios, once I get better cards it will just get easier.

Edited by Kgk4569
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Yup, the intent is pretty well executed.  If you owned the card game, I'd suggest playing her a few rounds and seeing how she worked.  As I say, that first power will probably make her tough to beat.

"I need a lie-down" is the new "I'll be in my bunk..."

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@Kgk4569: in my experience the same is true for Sajan and Kyra.

 

@da_mayor: unfortunately I do not have the card game; making it a bit more difficult to playtest for me. How would you feel about this adjustment:

 

On her primary power: "At the end of your turn bury one displayed blessing and discard the remaining displayed blessings."

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Why does she have a spell? With no Arcane or Divine skills they are one use then banished.

 

That is intentional, after all her primary skill is quite powerful so other aspects of her need to balance that out. She'll still start out each scenario with (at least) one basic spell, which is adequate.

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If you would like a large pool of characters to examine, go to paizo.com and "buy" the character sheets for $0.00.  They'll be available for download as PDFs and you can see how not only the characters in the video game are put together, but the characters in the other sets and in the Character Decks.

 

As for burying one of the blessings, that does have the advantage of wheedling your blessing inventory down, but even one round of that power could be overbutch if you have a handful of blessings.  (Though it's not QUITE as bad as I think as that'll serious dig into his ability to explore multiple times.)  I dunno.  Being able to break the restriction on how many blessings you can play on a single check/step is a notable power.  Having even ONE blessing apply to multiple checks would also be a notable power.  Having multiple blessings apply to multiple checks is... huge.

 

As for the spell, it might be best to make it an optional card feat and start with zero spells.  I can only think of a handful of characters who start with spells, but don't have access to Arcane or Divine skills to start.  All of them (Flenta, Crowe, some of the Alchemists) have powers that address the spells (except Ranzak, who is a messed-up case).  Whereas many characters have the option to pick up spells even if they'll never be able to recharge them.  Merisiel, for example, can pick up a spell with a card feat.,

"I need a lie-down" is the new "I'll be in my bunk..."

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The biggest issues here are:

- Your character walks into a scenario with weapons and spells. Then on top of it can boost them to a massive level. Senji needs to find weapons and spells, and succeed on the check if he is going to use them. Sure, it doesn't seem like a big difference, but it is.

- Your deck is slightly less than 1/2 blessings, meaning that you will probably have 1 blessing in your hand at all times. Being allowed to apply ANY blessing to ALL checks (instead of Senji's combat only) makes your stats look like this:

Str: 2d8 (Average: 9)

Dex: 2d8 (Average: 9)

Con: 2d8 (Average: 9)

Int: 2d6 (Average: 7)

Wis: 2d8 (Average: 9)

Cha: 2d6 (Average: 7)

Senji's weakness in this area is that if he needs to make multiple checks, be has to ration his blessings. Yes, they get refreshed, but that is just to keep him from dying quickly.

 

 

Actually, what could be a cool power?

 

Each turn the character can treat the blessing on top of the blessing deck as though it is in their hand.

 

This is powerful by ensuring that they ALWAYS have a blessing, but still allows for the 1 blessing per check limit.

 

Although "each turn" may have to be "on this character's turn" because having unlimited blessings to add to other characters would be VERY powerful!

 

Additionally, and this may be a better, less intense form of your power:

 

Each blessing this character plays on one of their own checks automatically grants +1 dice.

 

This way, you are still pretty powerful, but it still limits you to the number of blessings in your hand, forcing you to ration.

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Since I tend to play with small parties; I tend to think of the power as a lot more situational. A solo-Mikiko that has to ration her blessings over up to 30 turns is quite different from a 6-man party where Mikiko gets 5 turns. Furthermore, as da_mayor points out there is a trade-off between powering up checks vs the ability to explore.

 

Still, rather than thinking about alternatives to the mechanic - what would you suggest is a reasonable balance to make the suggested mechanic work? My current thought is to have one of the displayed blessings be buried at the end of turn. 

 

Here's another suggestion to address the power level: "When you fail a check discard all displayed blessings." Now consider your 2d8 check. Do you feel confident you can make that DC 10? Or even DC 7? How many blessings do you want to risk? If you put in more now, then you'll definitely have to discard them by the end of your turn. Do you cut your losses or go all in?

Edited by trashcondor
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Since I tend to play with small parties; I tend to think of the power as a lot more situational. A solo-Mikiko that has to ration her blessings over up to 30 turns is quite different from a 6-man party where Mikiko gets 5 turns. Furthermore, as da_mayor points out there is a trade-off between powering up checks vs the ability to explore.

 

Still, rather than thinking about alternatives to the mechanic - what would you suggest is a reasonable balance to make the suggested mechanic work? My current thought is to have one of the displayed blessings be buried at the end of turn. 

 

Here's another suggestion to address the power level: "When you fail a check discard all displayed blessings." Now consider your 2d8 check. Do you feel confident you can make that DC 10? Or even DC 7? How many blessings do you want to risk? If you put in more now, then you'll definitely have to discard them by the end of your turn. Do you cut your losses or go all in?

 

DC10 isn't too scary unless you REALLY need something, for the most part you can just burn through boons you don't want and save the check for fighting. Then if you built you deck around your fighting you'll have 3d8 (Average: 13.5), then you add weapons on top of that.

 

Sure you can mitigate this a bit by saying that blessings must be declared at the start of the turn, and would thus be applied to all checks, but that is easily covered by an ally with Augery, or anyone with Spyglasses. Additionally the modification that has been asked for widely to let you skip boon checks for ones you don't want would mitigate this small fix.

 

Maybe if the blessings apply at a reduced value (aka, can only give 1 die and each die will be reduced in value 1d4=no die, 1d6=1d4, 1d8=1d6, 1d10=1d8, 1d12=1d10) then making it apply to any check wouldn't be too bad.

 

Take the Delettante for an example, his ability can be applied to any check BUT it only gives you 1d4, so it is not too powerful.

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So you'd rather save your two blessings for the combat? That is fine - but in that case wouldn't Sajan's ability to recharge the two blessings be a better option (to get 3d10 no less)? Unless you are specifically facing a foe that requires multiple checks - but even then you could rely on your party to make the other checks in Sajan's case.

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Well, not 2 necessarily, it could be as much as 4 at base, or 6 at max in your scenario. More if someone handed off cards to you.

 

I would most of the time, combat and barriers are the only two important things in each scenario as they refresh into the location deck. The boons are bonuses, but become much more important once you get away from the basic scenarios, and Sajan has just as much of a chance to get these as every other character. As you advance through the game, these become more and more powerful, and more and more necessary to acquire to be able to compete against the banes.

 

Your character would be the catch-all. You would reap through location decks, the game would no longer be as challenging as you would pull in every boon and defeat everything with ease. Spend a few times farming and failing a scenario and you could equip out a party nicely with ease using her.

 

It's almost like turning on god mode. Your only real challenge would not be getting horrible rolls. I understand wanting to make your custom character powerful, but it needs to be balanced.

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I seek to learn :) That is why I like discussions such as this. I'll ponder everything some more and see what ideas I can come up with; thanks!

 

Welcome. :)

 

I'm not trying to crush your idea or discourage your creativity. I love modding games and house ruling, I've been gaming in PnPRPG and board game form for years, and I broke A LOT of games in my early attempts with balance and rule creation.  (I even created the first fan-spansion for one of the games I love: https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/112243/xythis-expansion-rules-pnp )

 

If you are newish to board games and have never been on www.boadgamegeek.com I'd suggest heading over there. There are A LOT of resources for budding and expert gamers, along with resources people have developed and people will help you if you want advice on developing your own. :)

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I'm not new to board games, but my design work has up to now been mostly on Magic the Gathering, Pathfinder and DotA. I love the design space for PACG however, it's fresh and new for me.

 

I've "finalized" my ideas for Mikiko and screenshotted the design-time images over at drivethrucards; so I can finally show a "complete" set of cards. Enjoy:

 

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Edit: I suspect the Sensei may be too strong.

Edited by trashcondor
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Interesting choice, I have some questions. Are the displayed blessings only for your turn (discarded, refreshed, etc.)? Or is it more of a full turn long reveal, returning to the hand afterwards?

 

Is there any limit? For example if I start the game with a few characters together, Have her go last, hand X blessings to her so her hand will be maxed when she discards all non-blessing cards.

 

If there is no max, and they go back to her hand, you will have a character with effective starting stats of:

Str: 1d8 + 4d4 (Average: 14.5)

Dex: 1d8 + 4d4 (Average: 14.5)

Con: 1d8 + 4d4 (Average: 14.5)

Int: 1d6 + 4d4 (Average: 12.5)

Wis: 1d8 + 4d4 (Average: 14.5)

Cha: 1d6 + 4d4 (Average: 12.5)

 

At Max hand size:

Str: 1d8 + 6d4 (Average: 19.5)

Dex: 1d8 + 6d4 (Average: 19.5)

Con: 1d8 + 6d4 (Average: 19.5)

Int: 1d6 + 6d4 (Average: 18.5)

Wis: 1d8 + 6d4 (Average: 19.5)

Cha: 1d6 + 6d4 (Average: 18.5)

 

With Max power of "Each Blessing add +X" and max hand size:

Str: 1d8 + 6d4 (Average: 37.5)

Dex: 1d8 + 6d4 (Average: 37.5)

Con: 1d8 + 6d4 (Average: 37.5)

Int: 1d6 + 6d4 (Average: 36.5)

Wis: 1d8 + 6d4 (Average: 37.5)

Cha: 1d6 + 6d4 (Average: 36.5)

 

If the blessings are just revealed and returned to the hand you will have a character who never needs to draw a card, who can never die.

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I don't know how good the "end game" power level is; I assume it's "pretty good" :p

However, keep in mind that if you play her like that you get one exploration. And then you're done. You cannot play blessings while they are displayed, no discarded blessings on your dice, no blessings for your allies, no blessings to explore. And if you get hit by some form of unavoidable damage or forced discard/recharge/bury (Enchanter comes to mind) then suddenly your omnipotence falters. From my (limited) experience in Pathfinder Adventures with a team of 6, each character's turn needs to cover a lot of ground and each character needs to be meaningful for other characters too, a selfish Mikiko will not do that much to ensure a victorious scenario.

 

Edit: the displayed blessings last until the end of your turn (when your hand resets) - but you can in principle display them straight away after that (so they'd apply during other characters' turns too).

Edited by trashcondor
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