Game Review: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Game Review: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

My latest gaming addiction is the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. The adventure in the game is based around the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path, which my gaming group is currently playing through.

We've had the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game for a few months now, and I lost count of how many times we've played through it.

I'll admit, when I first heard tale of Paizo creating a card game for Pathfinder, I was skeptical. I'm more of a board game person, or pen and paper role-player when it comes to table top games. But I'm a changed woman, and I can't stop playing this card game.

Being a fan of the Rise of the Runelords campaign, my perspective on the game may be different from someone who maybe doesn't play table top RPGs, or isn't familiar with the Pathfinder world. I get a kick out of seeing familiar locations, and NPCs that popped up during our campaign.

Game set up from the rulebook. (Paizo)

Game set up from the rulebook

After you buy the base set of the Adventure Card Game, which comes with nearly 500 cards, you may be overwhelmed. I watched reviews, and actual game play on YouTube before playing the game myself, which made the rules much easier to wrap my head around.

The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is a cooperative strategy game, where 1-4 players pick their characters, build their decks, and explore locations to find and defeat the villain before they run out of time.

After you complete scenarios, you gain a reward, and you rebuild your character decks with all the sweet loot you found during your adventure. The base set comes with 7 playable characters -- the bard, cleric, fighter, ranger, rouge, sorcerer, and wizard.

Base Set Characters

Iconic base set characters

Each character has their own unique powers, and are proficient in certain skills. The character's skills are represented with various dice. While someone could have a Strength of a d4, another character could have a d10 Strength.

It's definitely a different skill mechanic than traditional Pathfinder role-playing, but you get use to it, and sometimes you get to roll a fist full of dice for a single check (who doesn't love rolling dice?).

While you're exploring, you'll encounter allies, traps, spells, monsters, blessings, weapons, you name it. It's important to equip yourself with a deck that helps balance out your character's weaker abilities.

Character cards have your character's ability scores, and special powers.

Character cards list all your ability stats, and special powers.

I love this game. It's a lot of fun, and it's a great way to curve your Pathfinder itch between your gaming group sessions. There's no Game Master in the card game, because the cards literally tell you everything you need to know about what actions you need to take, and which dice to roll for the checks.

Although it's not exactly like playing Pathfinder the role-playing game, it does an excellent job of being an Adventure Game with familiar role playing elements. You might do a Charisma check to acquire an ally, or a Divine check to acquire a spell, but it's all streamlined in simple to follow cards.

If you're a big gamer, I recommend you buy the Character Add-On Deck right away. That expansion allows you to play with up to 6 players, and adds 4 more iconic characters to the table -- the barbarian, druid, monk, and paladin. My husband and I rarely play with that many players, but the additional character options that come with the Add-On Deck are some of our favorites.

4 Additional Characters

New characters that come with the Add-On Deck

We played and replayed this game countless time, with different character combinations. Every duo we play brings different challenges every time, because the character's skills and powers vary so much.

The deck your character has also serves as your Hit Points. So you have to be smart about how you play your cards, and be careful of discarding too many. If you can no longer draw card from your deck, your character is dead! You also have a limited amount of turns to find and defeat the villain. If you run out of time, you lose.

The last scenario we played really forced our characters to work together. With time running out quickly, we managed to close all the locations, corner and defeat the villain, and we only had a single turn to spare. We felt like rock stars!

I recommend this game to anyone who loves Pathfinder or RPGs in general. The base set comes with a starting adventure, called Burnt Offerings, which is a lot of fun. The real adventure is in the Rise of the Runelords card decks. Rise of the Runelords is an epic adventure that is divided into 6 parts. Parts 1-3 are available now, and part 4 will be in stores at the end of February.

This game is a huge investment, but in my opinion, it's worth it. You can play and replay this game over and over with different character combinations and have a different experience.

Visit Paizo's website for all the information on this amazingly addicting card game.

Ready for a night of adventuring!

Ready for a night of adventuring!

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