Thursday, February 16, 2017
I've been using the Pathfinder Condition Cards for a few years now, so obviously I think they're a helpful addition to the game. The idea with the cards is that they provide a quick rules "shortcut" about the different status conditions that characters in the game can suffer from, like being knocked prone from getting tripped, paralyzed by a ghoul's touch, or fatigued from force marching. Conditions like this are extremely important, but it can be easy to forget a character is suffering from one and it can be even harder to remember exactly what the mechanical implications are.
Each card is double-sided, and the designers were clever: where possible, one side is a less serious condition than the more serious related condition on the other side (for example, "fatigued" and "exhausted" will be on opposite sides of the same card, and the same for "sickened" and "nauseated"). Not all conditions come in escalating pairs, of course, but the combinations chosen are still logical, like putting "blinded" and "deafened" on opposite sides of a card or "invisible" and "incorporeal" on opposite sides. There are four individual cards for each pair of conditions, which should be plenty for most tables; you can simply hand a player a card if their PC is suffering from the condition, or prop it up in front of them so everyone can see. Each of the type of cards has a different colour background and a different humorous picture of a goblin suffering from that condition (so the "helpless" goblin is tied to a stake, the "fascinated" goblin is entranced by a jewel, etc.). The cards are standard playing cards size, and have held up just fine to a lot of use.
Each deck also comes with an extra card that has an explanation of the deck on one side (common sense really) and a new spell, Soothing Word, on the other side. It's frankly odd to introduce a new spell to the game through a deck of cards like this, but the spell is actually extremely useful, as it reduces a serious condition (like "stunned") to its less serious counterpart ("dazed").
I have only one minor complaint about the deck: there are some conditions listed in the Core Rulebook that are not present in the cards: Cowering, Disabled, Energy Drained, Panicked, Petrified, and Stable. I would rather have paid a dime more for a 55 card pack and had these covered.
Still, all in all, these cards save a *lot* of flipping through the book trying to remember the effects of different conditions, and they've become something I make sure I have on the table every time I play Pathfinder.