Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Mummy’s Mask Review

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Mummy’s Mask is a game by Mike Selinker, published by Paizo Publishing. It is for 1-4 players. The game may be played with up to 6 players if the Character Add On Deck is used. This review will be for the core game with the Half-Dead City Adventure Deck that comes included with the game. It should be noted that there are an additional 5 Adventure Decks that may be added to the base game to continue the story, as well as adding lots of new content. Those items will be discussed in a later review, as will the Character Add On Deck. This Adventure Deck is based on the Pathfinder RPG Adventure of the same name. In this game, players will take on the role of an adventurer in a fantasy style world. They will race against time to hunt down and defeat a dangerous villain. As they venture from location to location, they will acquire items, blessings and spells along with allies to help them in the fight. Of course they will have to be extremely careful, as monsters of every shape and size imaginable are waiting to attack at every turn. They will need to work together if they hope to thwart the villain and defeat him before time runs out. If they’re able to do this, they will be declared the winners.

To begin, each player will choose a character and take the corresponding character card and token card. They will then need to build a deck either from the requirements on the character card or by following the deck suggestions for each character found in the back of the rule book. The Mummy’s Mask Adventure Path card should be placed face up on the table, followed by the current adventure card and scenario card to be played. The locations should then be set out as described on the back of the scenario card. The location decks should then be set up as described on each specific location card. Villains and henchmen are then randomly added to each location deck, one per deck. Each location deck is then shuffled. The Blessing deck is then created from 30 random blessing cards and then shuffled. The deck is then placed face down on the table. Players now choose a location and place their token card near it. Each player will then shuffle their deck and draw their starting hand of cards as instructed by their character card. The first player is chosen and play now begins.

On a player’s turn, they will follow a series of steps. The first thing they will need to do is to advance the Blessings deck. This is done by flipping over the top card of the Blessings deck onto the discard pile. If there is ever a time when a card must be removed or flipped over from this deck and there is no cards left, the players immediately lose. The next step is to give a card. It’s at this time that the player may take a card from their hand and give it to another player whose token shares the same location as theirs. The player may then move their token to another location in the next step. Of course this may trigger some effects which must be resolved before continuing. Next the player may explore their location once per turn unless they play a card that allows them to explore more. To do this, the player must flip over the top card of their current location deck. The card will either be a boon or a bane. If the card flipped over is a boon, they may attempt to acquire the card by rolling a skill check with the corresponding dice, playing any cards they wish to modify their skill with. If the player is able to meet or exceed the number of the check, then the boon is acquired and placed in the player’s hand. If the roll failed, the card is shuffled back into the location deck. If the player reveals a bane card when exploring, then they must attempt to defeat it. Just like with boons, the player rolls a skill check with the corresponding dice, adding any modifiers based on played cards. If the player is able to beat or exceed the number of the check then the bane is removed. However, if the bane isn’t defeated, then damage is applied to the player’s character equal to the amount of the difference between the difficulty to defeat the monster and the check result. Damage comes in the form of discarding a card from the player’s hand for each point of damage taken. If there aren’t enough cards in the player’s hand, then their entire hand is discarded. It should be noted that the character’s hit points comes from their deck. If a player runs out of cards in their deck, then the character is effectively dead. The character is removed from the rest of the adventure. If all of the characters in the adventure are dead, then the players lose the scenario. The next step for the player is to close the location. However this can only be done at a location that has no cards left in it’s deck. It should be noted that defeating some henchmen also provide an opportunity to close a location as well. Players should check the card to see if it’s possible. When the player wishes to close the location, they must check the location and follow the instructions for closing it. Usually this involves performing a specific skill check. The final thing to do on a player’s turn is to end their turn. Any effects that happen at the end of a turn are resolved first. Of course cards may be played and powers used as the player sees fit. The player then will reset their hand. Any effects that take place when a player resets their hand take effect at this point. The player then discards any number of cards that they wish. If the player has more cards than their hand size at this point, they must discard down to their hand size. If they have less cards, then they must draw from their deck till their cards match their hand size. Play then passes to the next player.

Players continue to play until either a henchmen or villain is encountered in one of the location decks. Encountering henchmen has already been discussed earlier. Encountering a villain is a bit different. When they are encountered, other players at a different location may try to temporarily close their location by following the instructions for closing it on the location card. Closing a location will keep a villain from escaping there during the encounter. Dealing with the villain is exactly the same as dealing with any other bane or henchmen, however the player must check the villain card and the location card for any special rules that might need to be applied first. If the player is able to defeat the villain, the villain will then attempt to move to another open location. If there are none left open, then the villain is defeated. The game is then over and the players win the scenario. If there is an open location, then the player counts the number of open locations and subtracts 1. That number of blessings is taken from the box and shuffled with the villain card. A card is then dealt to each open location and shuffled in with the location’s deck. If the player was unable to defeat the villain, then the blessings come from the blessings deck instead of the box. If there are no blessings left in the deck and the deck needs to be advanced, the players lose. A new scenario or adventure may then be played. Of course there are special setup rules for adjusting the player’s decks, raising skills and gaining feats between games. For more information on what needs to be done, please check the rulebook.

COMPONENTS
This game comes with a whole bunch of cards. The box itself is a bit longer than Rise of the Runelords. It seems to have a bit more room in it than the first one did. Hopefully that will make it where everything will fit in a lot better. Needless to say, there’s a lot of space to add extra adventure decks as well as the character add on deck. The cards look really nice and have a lot of great looking artwork that I’m sure was taken from the original RPG adventure. The card designs are very much similar to those in the previous games in the series. I enjoy everything Egyptian so the look of the cards have a lot of appeal to me. I like seeing all the different types of monsters and creatures that are included with this. I would say that if you enjoyed the artwork and designs on previous games in the series then you won’t be disappointed with this one either. The game also comes with a standard set of polyhedron dice. These are pretty plain and you’ll probably want to update the game with a better looking, possibly more thematic looking set. However they get the job done and are great as an extra set of dice. In any event, the game looks very good and is one that I’m proud to have in my collection.
9 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is actually one of the biggest rulebooks that I think I own for a board game. At a whopping 30 pages, there’s a lot to read through. Thankfully the designers chose to add some shaded boxes to the rules for those of us that have played previous games in the series. These boxes explain any details that may have changed in this version. The book has a lot of nice looking pictures and plenty of examples of gameplay throughout. There are lots of places in the book where strategy for playing the game is discussed. There’s also instructions for playing solo. The rules include a 2 page example of how the game is played with plenty of explanations. There are also suggested deck lists for each of the characters, including those from the supplemental add on deck. The back cover has a nice reference sheet explaining many of the basics including the turn overview and encounters. I especially like all the brief character bios placed through the book that include a great looking picture of each one. Another great feature is the tray layout in the front of the book that shows where you will want to place each card type into the tray inside the game box. This is another great feature that I’m thankful they chose to include. Overall the book looks nice. It’s just long and will take a while to read through it all. Be prepared.
9 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
As I’ve mentioned in prior reviews, I love Egyptian history and architecture. I love their artwork and everything associated with the country. I also enjoy the Pathfinder Adventure card game. Put them both together and you have the perfect storm of board games, at least for me. I like the RPG style feel of the game. I especially like that this entry to the series has the look and feel of my love for Egypt. This game has a lot of the same thematic feel that you might experience by playing the Pathfinder RPG, except that it takes a lot less time and involves less actual role playing. That might be a turn off to some RPG purists, but as a former player of RPGs, I like it. Sure I don’t get to act like my favorite elf character, but that’s ok. The game has a really great sense of tension as you play. I like that as things start getting really hairy near the end of the game, you’ll find yourself sweating bullets hoping that the blessing deck doesn’t run out before you defeat the villain that last time. I can say that as a solo game and as a multi player game, this work quite nicely. I especially like that the rule book pointed out a few things to help out while playing solo, like playing with 2 characters. Of course for those of us already familiar with the game, we knew to go that route already. I like that as the game progress each character has the ability to change and grow making the game feel more alive. It also helps you invest more into your character as you go along too. This is another RPG aspect that I miss from playing those types of games. You can really do a lot with the customization which makes me quite happy. Overall, this is another great series that I highly recommend. Fans of the Pathfinder RPG or any of the previous Adventure card games in the series should really enjoy this one. It’s also great for new players. I like it a lot.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Mummy’s Mask is a RPG adventure style card game with an Egyptian theme. Hand management and exploration are highlighted in this game. This is a fairly long game, even playing solo. Most game sessions last any where from an hour and a half to 2 hours. Even with a long play time, the game is still a lot of fun. Fans of RPG games like Pathfinder and D&D should really enjoy this one. Any players familiar with any of the other entries into the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game series should find the gameplay of this one very familiar and should enjoy it as well. The artwork and design of the game looks great and shows off some beautiful art. This is a game that I would highly recommend. If you’ve never played any of these types of games, this is a great one to start off with. It’s great for both new and old players. There’s plenty of things to like about this one. It’s even got expansion decks to add more characters and more adventures to the mix. This is definitely one that will stick around for quite awhile with me. You will definitely like this one too.
9 out of 10

funagain-associates-sm-1

 

For more information about this and other great games, please check out Paizo Publishing at their site.

http://paizo.com

Advertisements

About Gaming Bits - Jonathan Nelson

I'm a happily married man with 2 wonderful kids. I love my family very much. I'm a big fan of board, card and RPG games and have been playing for over 20 years. As a board and card game reviewer, I'm hoping that this blog will inform, educate and entertain you. If you like it, please tell your friends and have them join in on the conversations. Thanks and GAME ON!!
This entry was posted in Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s