Archive for the ‘Pathfinder Adventure Card Game’ Category

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game from Paizo is a cooperative cardgame for up to four players (up to six with the multiplayer expansion). The game is based on the Pathfinder roleplaying game, a variant of the open license Dungeon & Dragons 3.5. The artwork, characters, monsters etc. therefore are those of the original RPG (role playing game) adventure paths (i.e. campaigns).

So far two card games of this series are published based on the Rise of the Runelords and the Skull & Shackles campaigns respectively. Each of them has five separately available adventure expansions and one multiplayer expansion. I own the Rise of the Runelords cardgame and the first three expansions to it.


Why do I like this game?

Playing really feels a bit as some reviewers said “like playing a roleplaying game but without a dungeon master”. I would like to add that it feels like a “hack & slash” type roleplaying game there is obviously not much NPC (non-player character) interaction, plotting and scheming etc. included in this game. Almost all scenarios have as a goal to find and defeat the villain.

I still like it for it transports the leveling up and finding of loot elements of a RPG campaign very well.

The replayability is fairly good. I played the first adventure a couple of times with different heroes. Once you start mixing in cards from the expansions playing the initial scenarios becomes however difficult. I suppose if you really wanted you could spend the time to sort through the deck and remove the expansion cards again or draw new cards if you drew cards from a future adventure (but I have neither the time nor the patience for such things).


Single Player

I have not played the game multiplayer. I played it with up to five heroes and due to scaling it plays very different with each number of heroes. In my opinion the sweet spot in terms of difficulty is with three heroes. With fewer heroes each individual hero may take too much damage and may therefore die and/or you may end up lacking the right combination of skills to overcome the barrier and monster cards or close the locations. With more heroes you will often have difficulty not to run out of time. I actually never won a game where I played four or five heroes and didn’t even try to play six. The reason is that the players have basically a combined total of 30 turns, independent on the size of the group but for each additional hero a new location with 10 more cards, where the villain might be hiding, is added to the game.



One thing I find annoying is the large number of small decks (i.e. ten to fifteen cards), which you need to shuffle repeatedly. What I do now is: I lay out the cards of the location decks face down in a row. If due to the use of some items or abilities I know the top card of a stack, I put it face up aside. Otherwise when drawing a card I roll a die to pick one at random. That way the villain or henchman of each stack always comes up at a one, but the odds are the same as if I had shuffled the decks.