Pathfinder ACG Linear Board Revisited

 

What It Does:

– Provides a themed “map” to traverse
– Increases tactical strategy and varies difficulty
– Randomizes each scenario to a small degree, maintaining the integrity of the theme while making each play-through unique
– Completely out of the box: No new cards or pieces to deal with, unless desired (I use pawns from the Pathfinder Beginner Box to move around the board)
– Adds little time to setup, in some cases shortening it especially after the first use

Additional/Modified Rules:

– Themed Locations, Monsters and Barriers: While still mostly random, these cards are dealt from seeded theme-centric decks
– Safe/Starting Zones: 2 thematic locations are added, where the Villains and Henchmen are unable to be placed into or escape to. Players choose which Location they wish to start in
– Movement: Characters can only move to a directly adjacent location. (That they share a side with)
– Range: Most cards and powers can be played only in the same or an adjacent location (except Blessings and Longbows)

Full Description and Clarification of Additional/Modified Rules Here

The Setup:

Part A)
The Locations are organized and kept in three Sections:
– 1st for anything “Urban” or in the City/Towns
– 2nd for “Landmarks” anything outside or near civilized areas, as well as places a person would “travel through” like Woods or Farmhouse or Nettlemaze
– 3rd for “Dungeons/Destinations” like Habe’s Sanitorium or the Goblin Fortress

These defined areas are not absolute. As long as the locations fit the general theme of the scenario, a number of cards can often be in either of two piles.

Part B)
The locations are picked and the layout is dealt:

– Set aside 2 to 3 locations that are integral to the Scenario (Usually they are listed in the first 3 slots of the scenario for 1 player or are mentioned in the Scenario Description)

The Starting/Safe Zones

– If the scenario starts in a town – Begin by dealing two random “Urban” Locations on the far left of the board, one above the other.
– If the scenario has no Urban Locations – Start by dealing two random “Landmark” Locations on the far left of the board, one above the other.

The Mid-Board

– If the Scenario is only or mostly town – Deal at least two more random Urban locations in the same fashion, directly to the right of the Starting locations
– If the Scenario has more Landscape or travelling involved – Deal at least two more random Landmark locations in the same fashion, directly to the right of the Starting locations

Part C)

The Destinations (The Far Right) – There are three options to finish the board setup

– Option 1 –
Depending on the number of players and difficulty desired, you can complete the board by placing the Scenario cards set aside in Part B.

– Option 2 –
Continue to add Locations to the “Mid-Board” from the appropriately themed Location group for a longer, more difficult game. Then follow up by placing the Scenario cards set aside as in “Option 1”

– Option 3 –
Pick out the rest of the unplaced listed Scenario Locations, shuffle them and add Locations to the “Mid-Board” according to the number of players. Followed by “Option 1”.

The total number of Locations on the board (Including Starting locations and those set aside) should be the default number per player plus 2.

Final Arrangement:

1) Arrange the cards so they make sense
Starting with the Safe zones on the left, travelling through the landmarks in the middle on the way to your destinations on the far right.

For Example:

– If you are travelling through a town, and have a Location like the City Gate, put it to the farthest right of the Urban area.

– Make sure the “Landmark” cards are adjacent to one another and if they are described as being near the Town or City, put it adjacent to the Urban Locations. If they seem farther away, put them closer or next to the Destinations/Dungeon Locations.

2) The Board can be as interesting or as difficult as you want it to be.
For Example:

– I often make a “bottleneck” where the 2 rows join into one Location. (Forcing characters to move through a specific Location)

– If there are an odd number of Locations, I also commonly arrange the Dungeons in a column of 3 on the far right. Making it so the middle Dungeon connects to both rows of Landmarks and both Dungeons.

– Other layouts can include a Location that connects only through another Location. For example: placing “Treacherous Cave” below/above the “Woods” Location, adding a path that stems from the 2 row board.

Awesome Location Card Layout Diagrams for easy to imagine ideas

Thoughts:

I know this may seem like a lot to take in initially, but it’s really quite simple with only a few guidelines.
Once you figure out what you prefer in terms of creating the board, you will find it very easy and quick to setup. After the initial play-through it is much easier to maintain and setup if you sort the cards back out into the appropriate Location piles.

This is also versatile and open enough to use in conjunction with any additional mods to the game.

Please try it out, and any feedback is appreciated.

I’ll add images to illustrate Board Layout examples in the near future.

 

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/14867148

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