Board game reviews, strategy tips & session reports
No. of players: 1-4
Amount of time to play: 60 min
Age requirements: 13+
Set-up time: 10 min
The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is a cooperative game with a RPG feel. Your adventurers must go to locations, avoid traps and kill monsters to win. On the journey they gain loot, levels and power.
The first Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is called the Rise of the Runelords. It includes the base game and one adventure pack.
To start the game you select one of the seven characters to play. The game comes with suggested starting decks for each character. You can also fashion your own using any card with the basic keyword. There are six types of cards you can have in your deck: weapons, spells, armor, items, allies and blessings. Each character may only have so many of each card type in their deck to begin the game.
To set up the game you create location decks with monsters, barriers, weapons, spells, armor, items, allies and blessings. Different locations contain different cards and have nine cards in each pile. Then you randomly add the scenario’s villain or one of their henchmen to each deck and shuffle them. Your goal is to find and defeat the villain. You also create a pile of 30 blessing cards. This is the timer. If the blessings deck is empty you lose.
Each turn you flip over a blessing card. Then you can move to and explore a location. This flips the top card face-up. If it is a card you want you add to your hand you must to make a check to acquire it. Barriers can be bad or good. They might be a trap to be avoided or might be a chest that when opened grants you they treasure. Monsters require a combat check to defeat. When encountering a card you must make a check to hit a target number based on that stats die type plus any bonuses.
Defeating the villain is harder than it seems as they will run to a different location if any are opened. To close a location you must defeat the henchman once encountered or explore all the cards at the location. Then you need to meet the closing requirement.
Winning an adventure lets you gain some loot or increase your character’s stats. You can keep any loot you acquired throughout the game and even give cards to other players. But you cannot have more cards of a specific type than your character can have.
The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is a fun, cooperative game with excellent character development. You can start with a character and develop them to gain power and play to your style.
The cards and art for this game are high quality. The box is great with lots of room to hold all the expansion packs. Unfortunately the rules are a bit hard to follow in spots. The game is not hard to play but you’ll want to look for the FAQ before you try this out.
As I mentioned Rise of the Runelords is great if you like to see a character develop. Hoping to get better equipment and spells at locations is part of the fun too.
The way the different characters play and how they interact is really good too. Each character has powers that accentuate their class.
The game is not perfect. The combat feels kind of samey-samey and it’d be nice if the adventures played more differently.
All in all I really like playing the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. It is great for role-playing groups when the DM can’t be there or they are short players. It is fine for solo or group play. There is a lot of game in the box as you’ll want to try all the different characters. If this is the type of game you like, you should pick it up or at least give it a try.
Score and synopsis: (Click here for an explanation of these review categories.)
Strategy 3 out of 6
Luck 4 out of 6
Player Interaction 4 out of 6
Replay Value 5 out of 6
Complexity 3 out of 6
Fun 5 out of 6
Overall 5 out of 6