I have an interesting relationship with RPGs. I used to play them a lot when I was in university but once I left I really got out of the habit. Despite an interest in them, especially the idea of world-building, the rules really leave me cold and the general amount of energy and time that you need to put in to them seems, to me, to be disproportionate to the amount of fun you get back.
That said, I also spend insane amounts of time building and painting miniatures and terrain for my games so…
I also am interested in RPGs because I know that Michelle likes them and I am always on the lookout for a game that both of us can play. Those are few and far between though so I was quite happy that I was able to finally pick up a copy of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.
If you aren’t familiar with it, the game is a mix of deckbuiler and RPG. The game presents players, each of whom have a character selected from the six in the boxed set, with scenarios that they need to complete to progress along an adventure path. The scenarios have a villain and locations and the idea is to explore the locations looking for the villain and then cornering them to defeat them.
From an RPG perspective it is a touch bland but each of the characters can gain equipment, spells and followers as they complete scenarios and each adventure you complete gives you skill points to help build up your character. Unlike one-off games like Thunderstone, the appeal here is that you can scratch an RPG itch by playing the game and customizing your character as you go. I read a review that compared it to Diablo more than a traditional pen and paper RPG and I think that is a pretty accurate description.
The boxed set has 500 cards that contain spells, items, armour, weapons, monsters, locations, henchmen and a basic three scenario adventure with villains. It also includes the first adventure pack of the Rise of the Runelords adventure which is a Pathfinder RPG adventure series that has been adapted for the game. The entire series has six adventure packs which means that there are about 30-40 different scenarios that you can play. Even just the boxed set contains nine scenarios which is a fair amount of gameplay.
We played through Brigandoon, the first scenario in the Lost Coast adventure, this evening and managed to successfully corner the villain before the scenario ended. While we weren’t really in an peril we did get quite close to running out of time and it was an interesting evening’s entertainment.
Michelle is still unsold on the game and I am looking to see how the next adventure plays out before I make up my mind but it certainly looks interesting and the idea of being able to take characters through a series of adventures that provide levelling opportunities as well as the threat of permadeath certainly makes the game a unique experience.