October Game of the Month – Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

The Game of the Month is a new series which will highlight one of the many games in our library at Ravenwood Castle.  We will briefly describe the game, how to play it, and why we like it.

Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Publisher: Paizo Publishing

When Steve, Jacob and I attended GenCon this August, one of the games we were most interested in checking out was the new Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, from Paizo.  We run a lot of Pathfinder sessions at Ravenwood Castle, and we’re big fans of deck building games in general.  The combination of the two seemed a sure fire hit.  We managed to sit in on a demo or two at the convention and we weren’t disappointed in the least.  We put in an order with our distributor while still at GenCon, and they arrived two weeks later – just in time for Con in the Castle.

To say that the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game was a hit at Con in the Castle would be a bit of an understatement.  It was running nearly non stop throughout the entire convention, and at one point we had three separate tables of it going simultaneously.  Nor has the game’s popularity decreased in the following weeks.  It still regularly finds its way onto our tables, and receives rave reviews from our guests.

So what makes this such a great game, and our pick for October’s Game of the Month?

This is a cooperative game for 1 to 4 players (up to 6 with an expansion deck), where each player builds a unique character comprised of a deck of cards.  The deck contains cards representing your skills, abilities and equipment.  Fans of role playing games will find these mechanics very comfortable, as will those more familiar with dungeon crawl board games such as Descent or Castle Ravenloft.  The game is also simple enough that it is easy for non-gamers to pick up and enjoy with just a bit of instruction.

The setup consists of a number of face down ‘location’ decks, containing treasure, traps and villains.  Players venture through these locations by turning over one card at a time and attempting to defeat the villain, acquire the treasure or avoid the trap.  A master villain is hiding in one of the locations, and must be found and defeated (sometimes more than once!) in order to complete the game session.  The twist to the game is that your character deck is persistent.  As with most role playing games your character becomes stronger with every session.  In this game that is accomplished by adding cards to your deck representing the loot, spells or equipment that you found during a session’s adventure.

The base game is set in Paizo’s iconic Rise of the Runelords campaign.  Paizo will be publishing expansion decks every other month for the next year, with each deck representing the next set of locations and scenarios in the campaign.  One would assume that they will then move on to another of their epic adventure paths and publish a year’s worth of expansion decks in that story line.  Given the amount of material in Paizo’s stable of campaign settings, the Adventure Card Game shouldn’t run out of expansions for quite some time!

And that’s a good thing, as the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is quickly joining the stable of Ravenwood Castle’s go-to games.

Jim Reed

Jim Reed is a lifelong gamer who started with the original red box Dungeons & Dragons. After spending 20 years in the corporate world, he decided it was high time that work be fun and struck out on his own. Jim now owns and operates Ravenwood Castle, and spends his days ensuring his guests have as much fun as he does.