Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: First Impressions

I'm the one you can barely see. Handsome bloke, aren't I?
Last year, Paizo released the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game onto the world. I've been dying to play it since I first heard about it. However, due to my usual status as someone who doesn't even have a penny to his name, I haven't had the ability to shell out the sixty or so bucks for the Rise of the Runelords Base Set.

Thankfully, while visiting my local FLGS (Halflings Hideaway) with three friends, I had the opportunity to finally give this card game a try and I'm happy to say that it was definitely worth the wait.

For those of you who haven't played the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, I'll give you an overview of the rules. The cooperative card game allows you to play a somewhat abstract version of a regular Pathfinder adventure. Each player has a specific character (I played Valeros the iconic fighter) which is defined by a small deck of cards that represent the character's weapons, armor, items, allies, spells, etc. During the adventure, your character can go to different locations and "explore" them, fighting monsters and collecting items. Winning the game requires you to defeat the main villain of the adventure before a certain amount of rounds occur.

Our group played the Brigadoom adventure and we unfortunately failed to find and defeat the wily Jubrayl Vhiski (who actually was a NPC in my Heroes of Sandpoint campaign). Even though our group didn't complete the adventure, I at least had a fun time playing the game. The rules are actually pretty easy to grasp while allowing for some interesting strategy. For example, my character had the ability to "recharge" weapon cards, allowing me to place them onto the bottom of my deck instead of discarding them, which is nice when most of the weapons you have grant bonuses when you discard them.

I also generally love cooperative games where I actually get to work with the people sitting around me, trying to complete some goal. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy playing competitive games just as much as the next guy (Munchkin is one of my favorite board games for a reason). However, I enjoy being able to team up with other players and combine our efforts so we have a better chance of succeeding.

The only thing that did annoy me was how long it took us to set up the game. I usually like to play games that can be set up rather quickly so we can either play more games throughout the night or multiple sessions of the same game. Its one of the reasons I'm rather fond of card games like Fluxx or Love Letter. However, the long set up time might have more to due with the fact that most of the people at that table were new to the game and the owner of said game had to explain the rules to us than anything else.

I honestly really enjoyed playing the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. The rules were easy to understand, the game allowed for a lot of strategy between players, and has a lot of replace value due to the cards and the fact that you can modify the base set with expansions. While the game's base set has a rather hefty price tag, I think it would definitely be worth it in the end and its going on my list of things to buy once I have a steady source of income.