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Playing Pathfinder: Adventure Card Game, we encountered a Pirate Captain. The first line states "Before you act, recharge a card.". My first reaction was recharge from the discard pile, but then I couldn't rationalize why the Pirate Captain would be helping us. However on more thought, I also couldn't rationalize why the Pirate Captain would be doing anything like this (best guess is "stealing" but not sure then why not buried/discarded).

I didn't see anything in the rules or online where you recharge from when unspecific. We went with "from hand" because it seemed most penalizing. Did we play this right? Any references that can be cited to reflect?

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You have it right: from the hand.

From this thread on Paizo:

Unless a specific card says otherwise (for example, as you say, the Sandpoint Cathedral), you can't recharge a card from the discard pile. "Recharging" is a "playing a card" action (p. 10) and you can only play cards from your hand.

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