Pathfinder Adventures – Basic Strategy Guide

Having trouble? Dislike too much RNG and want to clear scenarios more consistently? This guide will give the party and strategies I used to clear the normal-difficulty adventures in the standard (non-DLC) campaign.

Party Choice

Introduction

The difficulty of the game varies based on how many party members you take and who you take. If you take less people you’ll have less locations to clear to reach the boss but you’ll miss out on buffs your allies can apply to each other (especially blessings) and you won’t have any character to supplement your weaknesses. The blessing deck (game timer) will probably be less of a concern than running out of cards in your deck. If you take more people you have more locations to clear but the same game timer (30-turn blessing deck). This means you need to clear things efficiently and spend allies/blessings/powers to close locations as fast as possible.

I chose 4 because I wanted to play as big of a party as I could but I had too much trouble running with 6 at first and the game itself recommended 3-4 in a party.

I tried out every character I had access to but settled on Seoni, Lem, Lini, and Valeros. I wanted a party that did well in general use, buffed allies, and relied more on revealing/recharging than burying/discarding.

Seoni

Seoni is an incredibly consistent spellcaster/battlemage because you automatically recharge all spells cast. She burns through your own deck quickly (when you discard allies/blessings for exploring locations or for her fire attack) but can similarly clear location decks just as quickly.

Other thoughts:

 

  • The Wand of Enervation loot card that you are guaranteed to get halfway through the campaign is an incredible card (arcane item, bury/recharge to decrease combat difficulty by 1d4+4) that seems made for her. Decreasing combat difficulty by up to 8 is amazing for increasing your odds of success.
  • She can get a feat to make all her blessings a d12 (if you load her with all spell/Pharasma blessings), which pretty much guarantees any spell combat checks and makes her blessings better for general use.

Lem

Lem is an incredible support because of his ability to recharge a card to add a die to any allied skill check (while in the same location). On the weaker side if he has to encounter stuff himself (unless you have a combat spell or until you get the upgrade to inspire yourself). He gas divine, so he can cure himself/others. While he isn’t great at recharging spells, his other ability to swap out a spell for one in the discard pile let me cure multiple times anyway (if you intentionally fail the cure recharge check you can cast it again next turn by swapping a spell for it). And as the cherry on top, he can even get a feat that makes his blessings a d12 (assuming you load him with all the Wisdom/Shelyn Blessings, which is so useful for the common wisdom checks).

Lini

Lini is incredibly consistent against almost all checks because of her ability to reveal an animal card to add a die to every skill check. She has divine, so she can cure (plus the animal card bonus means recharging isn’t a problem).

Valeros

Valeros is slower than the others in burning through location decks (because he doesn’t have many blessing/ally slots to keep exploring, at least until you upgrade his deck slots) but at least he’s consistently good at combat. The problem with weapon cards is that if you draw too many you can’t recharge them without getting into combat. I didn’t want to discard too many of them (at least when you have too many armor cards you can usually recharge them at the end of the turn) so he never really was able to get through much of the location deck each turn (by drawing allies/blessings and using those to explore). I took him for his passive allied combat buff and to round out the party (though I found out later there aren’t many strength checks except for the non-essential collection of weapon cards).

Thoughts on other party members

Kyra seemed pretty good but I had three casters (two divine) already and wanted to balance it out. Also, most of my characters recharged instead of discarded so it wasn’t as necessary to have an every-turn healer. Harsk seemed similar to Valeros but I wanted someone with high Strength to balance out the party. The other characters seemed alright but I didn’t like that they discarded/buried cards (the longer the game goes, the worse off you are) or had too strict conditions for my liking (like you must be alone in the location). They are great in more niche conditions but otherwise feel worse most of the time.

Skill/Card/Power Feats

Introduction

Skills: In general, I prioritized combat skills (spellcasting/melee/ranged) then Wisdom/Dexterity because they seemed to be the most common check.

Cards: In general, I prioritized blessings (for the buff/exploration), then allies (for the exploration), then spells/items, then armor/weapons (with the armor proficiency power you can recharge extra armor but you can’t do the same with weapons. I only wanted 1-2 armor and weapon cards in-hand at a time).

Powers: In general, I prioritized all-purpose buffs/hand size then utility. I avoided buffs to acquiring stuff.

Seoni

Skills: I prioritized Charisma for spellcasting then Wisdom/Dexterity for checks.

Cards: I prioritized blessings/spells then items. I would’ve liked the ally slot but there ended up being too many good items to pass on the item slot.

Powers:

  • Sorcerer: Hand Size, then Magic in the Blood, then a point into Arcane Blast.
  • Celestial Sorcerer: Lady of Graves’ Favor, Acid Blast, Fortune’s Herald

Lem

Skills: I prioritized Charisma for spellcasting then Wisdom/Dexterity for checks.

Cards: I prioritized blessings/allies/spells, then items, then armor/weapons.

Powers

  • Bard: Bardic Performance then Weapon Proficiency (Light Armor Proficiency might have been better).
  • Virtuoso: The Rose’s Favor, Solo Performance, everything else in Bardic Performance. It might be worth taking a point off of Bardic Performance to put into Bardic Lore because I found his recharge checks late game were at 80%.

Lini

Skills: I prioritized Wisdom for spellcasting then Strength for Beast Form combat.

Cards: I prioritized blessings/allies/spells, then items.

Powers

  • Druid: Animal Trick then Light Armor Proficiency (maybe Weapon Proficiency is fine? I never added armor/weapon slots to my deck, though).
  • Wild Warden: Everything into Animal Trick.

Valeros

Skills: I prioritized Strength for combat checks then Dexterity for Dex checks or for if I acquired a random ranged weapon.

Cards: I prioritized blessings, then allies, then items, then armor/weapons.

Powers

  • Fighter: Hand Size/Teamwork. There aren’t enough feats to choose anything else.
  • Weapon Master: Everything into Teamwork. I chose Weapon Master for the extra teamwork but looking back I feel like Guardian might have been better for the Shield Another power.

Deckbuilding

General Thoughts

Spells: I avoided evasion spells (like Sleep/Invisbility/Sanctuary – because I could just beat the checks most of the time) and put a majority of my spell slots as damage spells for combat encounters. I kept a minority of spells for utility (like Augury, Scrying, and Aid). Other utility spells seemed okay but too niche for limited spell slots (like Agility/Strength/Eloquence/Mending/Stride). I didn’t like Detect Evil/Magic because there’s a good chance nothing happens and spell slots are limited. Mirror Image and Arcane Armor are nice but if things are going well you can often just win the combat check to avoid damage (or use armor/items or just take it for unavoidable damage).

Weapons/Armor: I preferred the most generically strong equipment (reduce any damage by 2) over specific ones (like reduce ranged damage by 3). I didn’t use shields because Valeros used 2-handed weapons (but either way, ranged damage is pretty uncommon).

Items

  • There is a large variety of items but a decent amount of them require the arcane skill to recharge instead of bury.
  • Wand of Enervation is probably the best item out there when you’re facing a villain/henchman.
  • For damage-mitigation, Ring of Protection and Sihedron Medallions are good. Wand of Shield is less useful
  • Wand of Scorching Ray and Wand of Force Missile are alright if you want more arcane combat spells.
  • I used Staff of Minor Healing to fill out item slots to help keep decks healthy.
  • I shied away from ‘add 1 to a specific check’ items because they are pretty niche and I felt there were more useful items.
  • Masterwork Tools was my favorite anti-barrier card.
  • I used Medusa Mask with Lem until I got Yap the Pixie.

Allies: Lini is best with Animal allies for her power. Otherwise, I took allies with abilities that buffed what they did often like combat or general checks (but I almost always used them for the ability to discard to explore). If they didn’t let you discard to explore I probably wouldn’t take them (unless the ability was very powerful and not niche so you wouldn’t hold onto it forever and not be able to use it).

Blessings: Some characters (with the right power feat) make blessings use d12 (instead of the regular die) so it’s easy to choose the blessings they hold. Otherwise, non-combat Dexterity/Wisdom is fine for checks or utility blessings (like Blessing of Gozreh to close locations) seem nice filler.

The decks I had before the final scenario (Some cards are filler or non-optimal):

Seoni

  • Spells: Disintegrate, Poison Blast, Lightning Bolt, Fire Sneeze, Haste, Scrying
  • Items: Masterwork Tools, Sihedron Medallion, Staff of Minor Healing, Wand of Enervation, Amulet of Life
  • Allies: Black Arrow Ranger, Poog of Zarongel, Sage, Troubador
  • Blessings: 6x Blessing of Pharasma, Blessing of Calistra

Lem

  • Weapons: Venomous Heavy Crossbow +2 (it was Allying Dart +1 before I had Weapon Proficiency)
  • Spells: Aid, Charm Person, 2x Cure, Frost Ray, Holy Light
  • Items: Robe of Runes, Sihedron Medallion, Wand of Treasure Finding, Staff of Minor Healing
  • Allies: Ayruzi, Black Arrow Ranger, Mountaineer, Pyromaniac Mage, Yap the Pixie
    Blessings: 6x Blessing of Shelyn

Lini

  • Spells: Mass Cure, Major Cure, Swipe, Inflict, Holy Light, Aid, Scrying, Invoke
  • Items: Sihedron Medallion, Emerald Codex, Headband of Inspired Wisdom
  • Allies: 2x Monkey, Cat, Bear, Saber-Toothed Tiger, Toad
  • Blessings: Blessing of Nethys, Blessing of Calistria, Blessing of Gozreh, Blessing of Iomedae, Blessing of Lamashtu

Valeros

  • Weapons: Mokmuian’s Club, Flaming Ranseur +3, Impaler of Thorns, Flaming Icy Axe +1, Fanged Falchion, Greatclub +3
  • Armor: Greater Bolstering Armor, 2x Invincible Breastplate, Goblin Plate +1
  • Items: Masterwork Tools, Revelation Quill, Ring of Protection, Thieves’ Tools
  • Allies: Black Arrow Ranger, Sheriff Hemlock, Jakardros Sovark, Standard Bearer
  • Blessings: 4x Blessing of Gorum

How I Played Turns

General

  • Strengths: You have 3 spellcasters for arcane/divine checks, Lini is probably the best for all-around checks. You have a lot of ways to buff checks for allies.
  • Weaknesses: Wisdom is low (except for Lini), Dexterity and Con are mediocre (d8 for most). Unless the difficulty is low enough for Bardic Performance (or the punishment on failure is too high), Wisdom and Constitution checks are usually better failed than spending blessings to pass. For Dexterity checks, you can often get away with having Masterwork Tools or other lesser items against barriers (I was lucky enough to find two Masterwork Tools).
  • Augury/Scrying/Revelation Quill is pretty useful. I most often used them to put generic enemies at the bottom of the location deck to avoid unnecessary damage (or henchmen/villains on top to close the location faster).
  • By the end of the campaign I was able to consistently close locations by defeating henchmen/villains. Remember that if you defeat a villain you don’t need to pass the ‘closing location’ check!
  • Ending your turn with no cards is fine because you draw to a full hand at the end. So feel free to use your stuff to boost your success rate (unless you’re saving it for an ally’s turn/a future encounter). Of course, you must be careful when you’re low on cards in your deck and make sure to use Cure often (especially for Seoni).
  • I paired Seoni with Valeros and Lem with Lini and it worked well enough for most situations. I switched things up as necessary (different locations have different conditions that can influence your play).

Seoni
A generically good hand for me would be two attack spells and a bunch of blessings & allies (and maybe a utility item). Explore, fail/succeed card acquisition checks, win combat checks. Spend allies & blessings to keep exploring (though you may want to save some if all of your allies ran out of buffs). If you run out of attack spells you can use the Arcane Blast power (though try to avoid it because it discards). Once you run out of cards (0-2 left) or have no way to keep exploring, end turn.

Lem
I usually used Lem’s cards for Bardic Performance so when his turn came around he had only a few (or no cards) in his hand. If he has no cards you might want to pass the turn doing nothing (or take your chances and hope you don’t draw an card that damages other members in your party). With Medusa’s Mask/Yap the Pixie I was more free to explore a location without being ready for the consequences.

Lini
It’s important to keep an animal card in hand at all times. So if you’re hit with unavoidable damage (or an unlucky combat check) try to save the animal card for last. Similar turn as Seoni (preferring attack spells over discarding for Beast Form) but you’ll probably acquire more cards.

Valeros
I don’t think I played Valeros as aggressively as I should have but I wanted to play things more safely. I usually only got 1-2 explorations out of him per turn because his hand was often filled with weapons and I didn’t want to needlessly discard extra weapons for the hope of drawing other cards (and only later did he get a more balanced deck with blessings and allies). Since you have so many weapons, feel free to discard weapons for the extra die (weapons automatically recharge with him). He’s pretty good at combat but only mediocre at other checks.

 

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Written by Seranth