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Looking ahead to "roles" (no, not prestige classes)


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#1
Philetus

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Looking ahead to the next patch (hopefully), and the addition of “role cards” (what the pen and paper version of Pathfinder would call prestige classes), I started jotting down some notes about what roles are a slam dunk, and which ones I would probably avoid. The more I got into it, it occurred to me to open it up to the community, and see what your opinion was. So, I’ve enabled comments; if you want to add something, comment here or on the doc. Thanks for taking a look.
 
 
Edit: All 11 completed. I am sure there are mistakes here, but that's enough for one day. Have fun.

Edited by Philetus, 17 May 2016 - 04:22 PM.

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#2
StormbringerGT

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I love seeing projects like this! <3


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#3
Blave

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Looks good! MIrrors my own thoughts in most cases (personally, I don't like Kyra's heal skill so I'd pobably go exorcist).

 

There's a few minor mistakes in Harsk's entry. His Verdict has text on Lem's roles and his Giant Lore is not +1/+2 vs. giants, but +1d8/+1d8+1 vs giants, making it still situational, but way stronger when it applies.

 

EDIT: You also forgot Kyra's power Dawnflower's Favorite, which besides having the same name, has a different effect for both roles. I actually think the Healer's version is better (shuffle the blessing into your deck) beacuse it allows you to get to your recharged spells and other cards faster.


Edited by Blave, 17 May 2016 - 12:17 PM.

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#4
cartmanbeck

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Exellent work, Philetus! I honestly hadn't even realized we had the option to look at the roles yet, and now I see where it is on the app and am going to be spending some serious time planning. I'll be watching this one intently.



#5
delpheki

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Looks good! MIrrors my own thoughts in most cases (personally, I don't like Kyra's heal skill so I'd pobably go exorcist).

I used to have the same opinion except I've found Kyra is sort of a beast to begin with, add a greatclub and the initial D6+1 and you hardly need any more benefit vs undead.  Once the heal starts having a higher minimum value though you can pull cure out of the deck for more utility like find traps and heat metal.



#6
Philetus

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There's a few minor mistakes in Harsk's entry. His Verdict has text on Lem's roles and his Giant Lore is not +1/+2 vs. giants, but +1d8/+1d8+1 vs giants, making it still situational, but way stronger when it applies.

 

Can you tell my eyes were starting to cross by the time I got to this point? Thanks for the catch.



#7
wakasm

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My only comment:  

 

Worthy Sacrifice: Banish an ally to draw three cards

 

This power gets stronger as the adventures go on... mostly because you can pull cards up to 2 adventure numbers than your current adventure if  you don't have enough.  So if you are in Adventure 5, you can pull from up to Adventure 3.  Maybe you like your poog or father vantus... let someone else hold onto them while you get some Allies ready to sacrifice!  You can also use this power to upgrade allies for the entire group in the same vein.  They can pass you an ally, and you can banish it at will before the game ends.  

 

However, in conjunction with the choose not to encounter a boon... (not implemented in the app) this combo can be really strong.   Just don't encounter allies once you sacrifice and you'll get your pick of the litter.  


Edited by wakasm, 17 May 2016 - 02:02 PM.

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#8
Philetus

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Maybe you like your poog or father vantus... let someone else hold onto them while you get some Allies ready to sacrifice!  You can also use this power to upgrade allies for the entire group in the same vein.  They can pass you an ally, and you can banish it at will before the game ends.  

 

However, in conjunction with the choose not to encounter a boon... (not implemented in the app) this combo can be really strong.   Just don't encounter allies once you sacrifice and you'll get your pick of the litter.  

 

Very valid point, but the reason I picked Poog and Zantus is that they are healing allies. I think Seoni is strongest when she is burning through cards; if she doesn't have some way to heal herself, she needs a divine ally at the same location (which, of course, lowers your chance to closing locations and getting an easier victory). While drawing cards is beneficial, banishing to draw does nothing to solve her healing dilemma.

 

As for choosing not to encounter a boon, "I don't think they exist." (Or, I don't think we'll see that implemented.)



#9
Borissimo

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Thank you so much for creating this sheet! It's an amazing resource. Of course, Pathfinder Adventures wouldn't be an interesting game if we didn't all have some respectful disagreement. :) Here's where I strongly agree and strongly disagree with you:

 

Lem

 

100% spot on. Anyone who doesn't take Virtuoso is a crazy person. The feat that lets Lem grant his 1d4 bonus to himself is one of the strongest power feats ever printed in the history of Pathfinder Adventures and certainly the strongest, most game-warping power feat in all of Runelords.

 

Merisiel

 

Totally agree. The Acrobat's ability to isolate the villain trumps everything else. It's mind-boggling that the developers also gave Acrobat an extra hand size. Easy win for Acrobat here.

 

Lini

 

You're right that the Wild Warden is the right pick, but I think you overvalue Divine Training (give +2 / +4 to your divine checks when playing spells). Wild Warden can go up to +4 on Animal Trick (Lini's base +1d4 ability) as opposed to the Shapeshifter's +3, and your comment on that is this:

 

I doubt very many people will spend four powers to top this all the way out, so I think the static one point is marginal.

 

Let me ask you a question: what would you rather have, +2 to your divine checks or +1 to all your checks? Would you rather have +4 to your divine checks, or +2 to every single check you ever make? Yes, normally, an extra +1 is minor. Normally. When we're talking about adding +1 to all of your checks, that's not "normal" -- that's bonkers.

 

So I disagree that the Wild Warden's ability to go up to +4 on Animal Trick is "marginal." The strongest Lini, in my opinion, simply takes hand size up to 7 and Animal Trick up to +4 with her four power feats after the role card.

 

Ezren

 

You give the nod to Illusionist on account of Mind Trick (when you evade a monster with a spell, you can put the monster on the bottom of the deck). I would agree with you on this ... except that I actually played Ezren in a live 6-player game, took Illusionist and Mind Trick, and simply found it underwhelming. I can't back up this claim with any kind of logic. It seems like that ability should be nuts, but I played with it and it simply wasn't. By the end, I deeply regretted not taking Evoker for that +1 hand size.

 

My verdict on Ezren: both his role cards suck. By the end, Ezren's likely to be holding a lot of cards in his hand (Sihedron Medallion for protection, 1 or 2 loot staves for the intelligence bonus, and conditional spells), and he doesn't have any abilities that let him profitably use cards aside from their power, so an extra hand size is crucial. I would take Evoker simply for the extra hand size and who gives a crap about anything else.

 

Harsk

 

I think you underestimate Reload ("recharge ranged weapons"). Harsk sucks at combat. After the fourth skill feat, when Harsk can no longer improve his dexterity, he starts to fall futher and further behind the monster curve, to the point where villains and even sometimes henchmen pose a serious risk to the grumpy dwarf. In a small (2-3) player game, where time is abundant and killing power is crucial, adding combat power is more valuable than getting rechargeable explorations.

 

Valeros

 

Here you fall for a logical fallacy. You give high praise to Close Quarters ("Melee instead of Ranged for ranged weapons") because it makes Valeros the best ranged character in the game. But it doesn't matter if Valeros with a ranged weapon is better than Harsk with a ranged weapon; what matters is whether Valeros with a ranged weapon is better than Valeros with a melee weapon. In this game, melee weapons are far better than ranged weapons. By swapping out all of your melee weapons for ranged weapons, you're wasting a power feat and a ton of effort to gimp your own character!!

 

That's not to say this power feat is never useful, but it's not even remotely the blockbuster you make it out to be. Valeros's role cards are both tepid, and other than maxing out his hand size it doesn't much matter what he takes.

 

Amiri

 

Your comment on Thick Skin (reduce combat / all damage by 1) is "-1 to damage? That’s it?" Um ... yes? That's it? And it's frickin' incredible, dude! :) By the end of the game, unavoidable damage gets tossed around as if its going out of style. Blocking all incoming damage by 1 is stupendously good. I agree that the Berserker's ability to bury cards from the top of the deck is cool, but it just doesn't compare to universal damage reduction.

 

Sajan

 

Finally, someone who understands that Zen Archer sucks! My eyes nearly roll out of my head when I see positive comments about this role card, so thank you for pointing out how bad it is. :)

 

It is interesting to note, though, that the Drunken Master's Dodge (reduce non-combat damage by 1/2/3) receives not a word of comment from you, even though it's far and away the strongest power feat on Sajan's role cards. Yes, recharging potions is cool, but when every henchman you encounter does crap like, "Attempt an Acrobatics 14 check. If you succeed, take 2 damage ..." the ability to just shrug off damage is godly. I am totally happy putting all three power feats into Dodge. Related to my comment on Amiri, above, I think you undervalue damage reduction.

 

But other than that, I'm with you in your analyses. Great work on this project!


Edited by Borissimo, 18 May 2016 - 09:19 AM.

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#10
da_mayor

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Wow.  Yeah.  Class-deck Sajan's dodge (-1 or -3 to all combat damage) was AWESOME.  For early on, I was much happier with increasing his Slashing Melee rolls (and later on, in Season of the Righteous, he didn't even need to ROLL for combats whose difficulty was less than 20 if he had a Slashing weapon), but bouncing a chunk of all combat damage off of his manly pecs?  GOLD!  The ONLY real reason I considered Temple Guardian role was to have that apply to ALL damage, and that was VERY nearly almost reason enough.  But the Monk of the Four Winds seduced me, and I've only regretted it a little.



#11
Kgk4569

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I can see the appeal of Sajan's Zen Archer. One of his biggest advantages is as a blessing bank, holding bonuses for your other characters. Now he can offer ranged support (in addition to using it for himself) and blessings support. Stock him up with some Healing Rods, and some healing allies and you have an awesome support bot.


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#12
HPL_fan

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Very nice breakdown.  Thanks for the analysis and discussion.  


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#13
Brainwave

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To add to the Ezren Illusionist comments above - I also played him and took that role card and found it underwhelming. I think what I realized is that while the idea of evading and ditching monsters to the bottom that you don't want to deal with sounds neat, the reality is that the vast majority of the time it's really not that hard to just kill the monster. Sure there's going to be the rare occasion when Ezren specifically runs into something nasty that he doesn't have a good way to deal with, but taking a role card specifically for those scenarios is really overvaluing the need to avoid fighting stuff.

The only caviat I have is if you were playing Ezren solo, or maybe in a 2 man game, where he's having to fight a bigger percentage of stuff, that might make it more important. Ezren vs a Siren in a 6 player game, there's probably enough blessings to defeat it, or send someone else over who has a decent wisdom, but in a solo game with no blessings, that would be a problem.
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#14
Philetus

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Thanks for all the great feedback. One of the things I should have said in my intro is that this isn't the *right* analysis; it's just my analysis. I like getting feedback that disagrees more so than having everyone agree. Please keep the comments coming, and I'll try to update the doc soon with the counterarguments.
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#15
Longshot11

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Thanks for all the great feedback. One of the things I should have said in my intro is that this isn't the *right* analysis; it's just my analysis. I like getting feedback that disagrees more so than having everyone agree. Please keep the comments coming, and I'll try to update the doc soon with the counterarguments.

From you comment, I get the impression you think you need to max Lem's Performance, before you get Solo Performance, which is not the case. So, rejoice.

 

Otherwise, your analysis lacks the perspective of what's to come in future Adventure Decks, and also doesn't take into account party composition. In most cases this might not matter, but for a blessing-less solo Ezren, the Big Boss encounters of Adventures 5 and 6 basically require you to have a pretty much endless hand-size, for all the support you can throw on a check by yourself (and even then, Adventure 5's boss may prove impossible, depending on your deck composition). So, yeah, as cool as the Mental role might look, Hand Size +1 will tip the scales every time.

 

Cheers for the great work, this project is awesome!


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#16
chainsawash

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Borissimo mentioned increased hand size for Ezren's Evoker role a couple of times in his reply. The document does not list any hand size powers for Evoker though. I checked his roles in-game and indeed, max hand size is 8 for both. In the physical game, the Evoker role has a power to allow a max hand size of 9. Hopefully this is a bug, and not a change in the digital version.

 

Also, Longshot11 makes an interesting comment: "your analysis lacks the perspective of what's to come in future Adventure Decks". Those playing the game here for the first time technically wouldn't know what's coming next. Just as those who played the physical game as it was being released wouldn't know. Not saying meta-advise isn't helpful and it's hard not to let meta-gaming affect your decisions when you already know what's coming. However it is pretty interesting to see what people think without any knowledge of what's to come.


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#17
Longshot11

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Also, Longshot11 makes an interesting comment: "your analysis lacks the perspective of what's to come in future Adventure Decks". Those playing the game here for the first time technically wouldn't know what's coming next. Just as those who played the physical game as it was being released wouldn't know. Not saying meta-advise isn't helpful and it's hard not to let meta-gaming affect your decisions when you already know what's coming. However it is pretty interesting to see what people think without any knowledge of what's to come.

I completely agree. In fact, I would say than any character, in any party composition, with any build should be ABLE to complete the Adventure Path (sure, some will be harder than others). Unfortunately, I'm not convinced this is the case, and I think the game is heavily stacked against solo casters (I still have to reach the choke points and see if they're indeed impossible).  This is even more exacerbated by the fact that after a scenario - even an unsuccessful one- you're not allowed to rebuild your deck with cards that you think will give you a better shot at it.

Bottom line, I'm convinced that currently there are solo character builds and decks that will cause players to get 'stuck' once they reach some specific hurdles (and while this may be *somewhat* alleviated by grinding scenarios until you get the *proper* cards - btw, not condoned by the original game rules-  I don't think that should be the case in the first place, and some players may be left discouraged). Here's hoping I'm proved wrong.



#18
Borissimo

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I completely agree. In fact, I would say than any character, in any party composition, with any build should be ABLE to complete the Adventure Path ... I'm convinced that currently there are solo character builds and decks that will cause players to get 'stuck' once they reach some specific hurdles...

 

You're convinced that some solo builds will get stuck ... and so are the designers of the game. :) Which is why they wrote this text in the original rulebook:

 

Not all characters should be considered equal for solo play ... Ezren doesn’t have any blessings, so when no one else can give him any, his progress might be inhibited ...

 

We suggest you try solo play with 2 characters ...

 

Some cards are particularly difficult in solo play. If your character can’t ever get out of the Treacherous Cave, your scenario will grind to a halt. When you encounter such a card, remove it from the game and replace it with another card of the same type that roughly matches its power level but isn’t quite so impossible to overcome.

 

This is basically a fancy way of saying, "We know the game is broken if you play it solo, so when you get stuck because solo mode simply doesn't work, go ahead and cheat." Of course, the designers' suggestion of "cheat" can't be implemented in the digital game, so solo characters in Pathfinder Adventures are indeed just going to get stumped sometimes.



#19
Kgk4569

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Yes it can, they just need to identify the problem cards and have the logic not add them to any adventures that contain only certain characters.



#20
LunarWolf

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Its not "broken" if you play it solo... it wasn't designed as a solo experience. There is a huge difference. Quite honestly, the setup time and fiddliness of the physical version was prohibitive to solo play anyways, but now with the app there is no reason not to play with at least two or three characters.






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