The Good, The Bad and the Worldwound
A Fistful of Meeples Review of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous Adventure 1 – The Worldwound Incursion
Although sold inside the base-set box, Adventure 1 comes in its own packaging, so I figured it deserved its own review section here. Having played the base adventure (or got part-way through the base adventure and given up) you mix in the cards from this box, and launch in to the adventure-path proper.
At this point, of course, a very high proportion of the cards you encounter will still be cards from the base set, but the interesting thing is what happens when you do encounter new cards. For example, there’s a new summoing barrier, “Crazed Cultists” which will give you all Henchmen to fight, but even with the 1 combat damage on the first exploration of the turn, most players would still rather face this than the Fiendish Tree or the servitor demon, meaning that the higher level card actually makes life easier, by making it less likely that you’ll run into the Arboreal Blight or the Demonic Horde
The art-quality continues to be high, and after the shock of the base adventure, the difficulty of this one seems a lot more sensibly pitched. There is potential for things to go nastily wrong in the early adventure which shuffles the big bad into the blessings deck, but this feels fun rather than just punishing.
There are also some fun new cards – Life Drain is a nice spell which re-implements some of the effect of Life Drain, previously seen in the Wizard Class deck, but with the power level pitched rather more appropriately (Aracane +2d4 just didn’t cut it for a level 5 spell).
Demonbane Light Crossbow is a fairly close mirror of everyone’s favourite Ranged Weapon from Rise of the Runelords. In fact, almost all of the weapons are a clear improvement on the basic ones, if you can manage to encounter them.
There is a distinct element of “underwhelming” to this box. Given how different Wrath as a whole is from previous sets, and some of the surprises they pull out for later adventures, this one can feel a bit flat.
I think that is more an inherent issue with the structure of box 1 within the context of an AP – it’s a difficult place to pitch, as things aren’t really that much more powerful that the base set, and the novelty of that massive wave of content is already starting to wear off (especially if it took you a dozen attempts to clear level B). As previously noted, the boon upgrades generally are upgrades – there’s no situation in which a melee-fighter wouldn’t prefer a Lance+1 to a Lance (unless she’s going to be banishing it) – they just feel sufficiently far scattered that you don’t get the “wow” factor of some other boxes.
If you have the Base Set, then you have adventure 1, and I think that’s a very sensible distribution approach taken by Paizo. This box isn’t bad by any means, but I think if you’d gone out and bought it by itself, you might feel a bit let-down.
So as not to leave you feeling too disappointed, I’ll just leave you with one of the new cards from this set that is properly exciting.