Keep Rolling, Rolling, Rolling!
Roll your way through adventure, loot and battle in Obsidian Entertainment’s Pathfinder Adventures! In the last few years board games have been on the rise again and digital board game conversions have started to become a reality. Pathfinder Adventures is a digital version of Paizo’s hit 2013 Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelord (P:ACG). I have been looking forward to this game since it was announced in August of 2014, as this board game is arguably one of my favorites. The hard copy version of this game currently ranks 164 overall and 48 thematically on BoardGameGeek. It is currently available on iOS and Android tablets. You can download it on mobile but it is not supported. That being said, Obsidian has indicated that there will be a mobile version coming out shortly.
What is it?
Whenever I describe P:ACG to a friend I always call it Dungeons & Dragons (D & D ) Lite. It is a complete cooperative card based game with D & D mechanics. Many steer away from D & D because it seems overly complicated and they don’t like to role-play. Pathfinder ACG does away with the dungeon master and replaces it with card deck mechanics. Role-playing is not needed in this game but there is a light layer of role-play in terms of how the game plays. The game is set in the Pathfinder universe, a popular pen and paper RPG from Paizo. What this means is that you’ll find many familiar classes, enemies and items from that universe throughout your travels.
Each game has a Scenario which requires a set up of usually a Villian, Henchmen and various Locations. The main objective of the game is defeat the main villain without letting him escape to an open location. To close locations you will either need to defeat the Villain in that location, defeat a henchmen to give you an opportunity to close a location or mill all the cards from that location to complete the closing location check.
The Blessing deck is filled with 30 random blessing cards and is used to control how many rounds players have to complete the mission. If the blessing deck is empty the mission is failed. Character decks and cards represent the player’s life and if a character runs out of cards to draw they die. Each Location is built out of 9 cards plus either the villain or a henchmen. These cards consists of random Boon and Bane Cards determined by the location card on how many of each type will be in the deck. Boon cards consists of Item, Weapon, Armour, Blessing and Spell cards. These items can help and boost your character. Bane cards consists of Monster and Barrier cards, which are generally obstacles you must overcome or face consequences. To acquire boons or defeat banes you will need to use die to roll specific skill checks either equal to or better to defeat the card. If a scenario is defeated you will get rewards anywhere from leveling up your powers and stats to gaining boon cards.
You can play anywhere from one to six characters at a time. Each character that you play with opens up more locations within the game, up to a maximum of 8. The individual characters have specific stats and class skills. When you progress throughout each game there are stats and skills that you can level up to make them a bit more unique. The characters and classes include Merisiel (Elf Rogue), Kyra (Cleric), Seoni (Sorcerer), Valeros (Fighter), Lem (Bard), Harsk (Ranger), Ezren (Wizard), Seelah (Paladin), Lini (Druid), Sajan (Monk) and Amri (Barbarian). Each character’s deck counts as the character’s health pool. If you need to draw cards and there are none left to draw your character is dead and out of the game. If you fail the mission you can still continue on with the character unless you chose the permadeath option under hardcore.
Story and Quest modes are the two types of games you’re able to play in this game. In Story Mode you play the Rise of the Runelords, a game which consists of playing through a predetermined prologue and 6 adventure packs. Each adventure consists of several Scenarios that you must complete to advance to the next one. Quest mode is unlocked very shortly after playing Story mode, and in Quest mode you play a random scenario with a random villain using any character that you have created. In terms of multiplayer, pass and play seems to be the only option as of now. Multiplayer seems to be in the works as there is a grayed out option in the menu. There are three different types of difficulties: Normal, Heroic and Legendary.
You start off the game with Merisiel and Kyra and the prologue Adventure unlocked. All other characters and adventures must be purchased with in-game coins, which can be earned by grinding in the game or purchased in the in-game store. Each adventure costs 4000 gold, however the first adventure pack Burnt Offerings does have an 80% discount of only 800 gold. Each additional character costs 1500 gold and the character add on pack which includes Amiri, Lini, Seelah and Sajan and Deck C for 10,000 gold. As you can imagine that is quite a lot of gold to grind. For those who want to buy the game outright, they can purchase the Rise of the Runelord bundle for around $25, which may seem like a lot for some people to pay for a digital game. If you compare the price of the digital game to the real life board game which is around $59.99, where the base game and each adventure pack is about $13 dollars, it’s actually quite a good price. You can also buy individual treasure packs using gold that will give you random loot cards.
I personally love this game because I love the board game equivalent. I’ve been looking forward to this since it was announced. The one thing that I really like about this game is that in the story mode they added a bit more fluff, whereas in the board game version you may not seem to care much about the story. The graphics and drawing in this game are very pretty and done very well. There are some issues with bugs in this game, which if you don’t know how to get around can be very frustrating. The game does not let you pass some points without having done certain tricks and sometimes your gold gain is giving you -1. Yet from what I can tell, developers have been very active in the bug forums and are looking to patch it fairly frequently. In terms of dice rolling there will be times where you might find it frustrating because you may feel like RNJesus is not with you. As an owner of the real board game there are many times where the dice rolls feel like the world is against you. I think in terms of board game conversions it is excellent. I religiously play this game everyday on my way and from work and before I go to bed. It is currently my favourite mobile game and would recommend everyone to try. I already made the bundle purchase with qualms about it. For those who are unsure if they are willing to spend money then I urge you to try the free options available on iPad and Android devices.
Images and Video Copyrighted to Paizo and Obsidian Entertainment.