Friday, July 13, 2012

Pathfinder Condition Cards Review

Until recently I've probably been a bit of a roleplaying 'purist' (if such a thing exists), which means (in my head anyway) that adding card, chits, clips, pogs, and other paraphernalia to roleplaying just seems to detract from the actual game.  However my view has changed recently, and I now feel that used appropriately these things can compliment or add to the gaming experience.

Such is the case with the Pathfinder Condition Cards from Paizo. There are loads of conditions in Pathfinder and they are part of what makes the game interesting.  Unfortunately they are another book-keeping thing to keep track off and can be easily forgotten in the heat of combat by both the GM and players.  The Condition Cards aims to solve that by giving you a pack 'playing-card' sized cards that you can hand out to players (or use yourself as GM) to help you track them.  

There are 52 double-sided cards; basically 4 of each type, so 13 different kinds of cards.  Each of them illustrated with a Pathfinder goblin suffering the effects of the condition, as well as the in-game effects.  The effects on each side of the card is related so, for example, you have 'grappled' on one side and 'pinned' on the other. The cards are even colour-coded to make it easy to pick them out.  Great!

In play the cards work really well, even if you know the rules, having the card in front of you really helps you remember the presence of the condition. My players like them so much that when they get a condition they shout 'gimme the card gimme the card' and as a GM it just makes life so much easier. Additionally it's worth noting that you really only need 1 pack per gaming table - unlike say, the Buff Deck (which I've recently bought and will probably review in time)

The Condition Cards aren't quite perfect though, there are a few minor rules errors, and it would have been nice if they could have included the page numbers to the rules in the PFRPG book, but these are genuinely minor quibbles.  

I'm of the opinion that these are an essential purchase for any Pathfinder group. They are cheap ($10.99), colourful, fun and very useful.  Highly Recommended!

Rating: 4.5/5 (they drop .5 for a couple of little rules mistakes and no page refs)

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