The 3 necessary magic items and why are they necessary?


Pathfinder Playtest

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The only thing that is "mandatory", is numerical bonuses to get to certain spots. That is, "to-hit" bonuses. If you need 20s to hit the enemy AC, then you can't fight, and thus +5 to hit swords are mandatory.

However, if a weapon does ANYTHING AT ALL in combat, it will become pseoudomandatory, as long as it is free to carry them, because there is no cost of oportunity. Even if my weapon does something like repeating damage dice when it rolls 1, why not have it?

Now, if you have to spend, say, a feat, to get that magic sword, maybe you don't want to spend a feat on that, with better things to do wit it.

However, seeing the general reaction to resonance, I doubt gating magic items through feats will make a very popular design.

And yes, I think magic weapons like Narsil, Excalibur, Stormbringer, Mjolnir, etc, should make you better at combat. It's right in the genre.


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Yep. And stargate and farscape and serenity and fringe and babylon 5 and... I love me some sci fi.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
The only thing that is "mandatory", is numerical bonuses to get to certain spots.

Okay, but there is no need to tie that to magic items.


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Weather Report wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
The only thing that is "mandatory", is numerical bonuses to get to certain spots.

Okay, but there is no need to tie that to magic items.

Need, no. Want? Yes. As Captain Morgan said, I want my magic sword to be better at killing people, not better at unrelated tasks. That's what my wondrous items are for.


necromental wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
The only thing that is "mandatory", is numerical bonuses to get to certain spots.

Okay, but there is no need to tie that to magic items.

Need, no. Want? Yes. As Captain Morgan said, I want my magic sword to be better at killing people, not better at unrelated tasks. That's what my wondrous items are for.

Of course there should be magic weapons that help with killing, I am just wanting a high level fighter to still be adequate without them. Like, get disarmed, and end up ripping the demon's head off, anyway.


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Weather Report wrote:
necromental wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
The only thing that is "mandatory", is numerical bonuses to get to certain spots.

Okay, but there is no need to tie that to magic items.

Need, no. Want? Yes. As Captain Morgan said, I want my magic sword to be better at killing people, not better at unrelated tasks. That's what my wondrous items are for.
Of course there should be magic weapons that help with killing, I am just wanting a high level fighter to still be adequate without them. Like, get disarmed, and end up ripping the demon's head off, anyway.

Well, that's the problem with tighter math of PF2. They've reduced the number of mandatory items, but those items are now much more important.

In PF1 you could do so, if you had any optimization to your character (like power attack and high str level of optimization). Well, not really for fighter, but that's because of fighter's (bad) design. All the other martial classes could take A weapon and function nicely.


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Weather Report wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
The only thing that is "mandatory", is numerical bonuses to get to certain spots.

Okay, but there is no need to tie that to magic items.

True. But my point is, if you give a sword 1d6 extra fire damage, that is not mandatory. But people would want it, and will become a staple, because being better at combat is nice.


Weather Report wrote:
necromental wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
The only thing that is "mandatory", is numerical bonuses to get to certain spots.

Okay, but there is no need to tie that to magic items.

Need, no. Want? Yes. As Captain Morgan said, I want my magic sword to be better at killing people, not better at unrelated tasks. That's what my wondrous items are for.
Of course there should be magic weapons that help with killing, I am just wanting a high level fighter to still be adequate without them. Like, get disarmed, and end up ripping the demon's head off, anyway.

That is something I agree.

To make an example, if a magic weapon does double damage, you still can kill the monster without it, just it takes double time. If the weapon is needed to hit, then without the weapon you can't fight at all, because you can hit.

Those are extreme examples, but illustrate the point. The first approach is better than the second.


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In terms of ripping of a demon's head while unarmed, I really hope this can be done with Improved Unarmed attack and merely have it as a single feat that scales. I.e IUA increases you Unarmed Damage by +1D# (whatever the notation for unarmed attacks end up being.) Then it gives another +1D at 5th and every 5 levels thereafter. So if at level 15 you get disarmed from you +4 Longsword (normally dealing 5d8) you can still rock your 5d4 punches.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
necromental wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
The only thing that is "mandatory", is numerical bonuses to get to certain spots.

Okay, but there is no need to tie that to magic items.

Need, no. Want? Yes. As Captain Morgan said, I want my magic sword to be better at killing people, not better at unrelated tasks. That's what my wondrous items are for.
Of course there should be magic weapons that help with killing, I am just wanting a high level fighter to still be adequate without them. Like, get disarmed, and end up ripping the demon's head off, anyway.

That is something I agree.

To make an example, if a magic weapon does double damage, you still can kill the monster without it, just it takes double time. If the weapon is needed to hit, then without the weapon you can't fight at all, because you can hit.

Those are extreme examples, but illustrate the point. The first approach is better than the second.

There are a are very few enemies where that is the case though. You're basically talking incorporeal types, and in order for that tag to have meaning and let ghosts feel like ghosts that seems pretty necessary.

I guess you could also have DR 15/magic if your character can't deal more than 15 damage, but that's just bad CR. You may as well use an enemy with AC 60.

When we talk about "necessary," we don't usually mean the game is unplayable without magic items or magic armor. We mean that the game will be harder. If my fighter has improved unarmed strike, or a pocket knife or whatever, theoretically I could beat most CR appropriate enemies down eventually. It would just take a lot longer, and because of that the enemy would have more opportunity to hurt or kill me. And potentially an easier time, if my AC is lower from not having magic armor. So my odds of winning go down compared to if I had those boons. This is a statistical certainty if items add to relevant combat ability in anyway, whether that addition is increasing my accuracy or doubling my damage.

Even an incorporeal foe can be defeated if you have one magic weapon in the party, and you are allowed to pass it around like in the Glass Canon playtest.

So the difficulty and chances of success are pretty objective. But what level of difficulty is most desirable? Well, that's entirely subjective. Many gamers love the difficulty of the Dark Souls series, but plenty others find it to challenging to be fun. Many table top gamers like high PC mortality rates, but others find constantly making new characters exhausting and leaving little room for actually developing a given character.

So Paizo has to decide what they want the average difficulty experience to look like. And a big part of that is deciding what the expected relative numbers are between HP, AC, saves, to hit, and damage. Altering any of these impacts the difficulty. Having access to flight alters the difficulty for melee guys. None magic gear impacts it too. Not being able to buy full plate sucks if you aren't dex based. Masterwork weapons make it easier than regular. Lacking a back up bow probably hurts worse than lacking a magic sword.

Paizo saying you should have X items at Y levels doesn't mean the game is unplayable without them. {For the most part.} It means without them, you are playing Pathfinder: Hard Mode. That's a valid approach, especially if you relish the challenge or over optimize your build. It just isn't what Paizo thinks the average gamer will most enjoy.

The good news is that because Paizo is transparent about these interactions, it's easy to hack the game and adjust to taste. You can lower enemy numbers, or give players inherent boosts instead of item boosts. It was harder to do when PF1 was released because those numbers came from so many different sources, but Paizo gave use the tools to help in unchained. In PF2, it will be significantly easier from the start. From my perspective, this is pretty much the only thing they can do other than simply remove any magic items which impact combat efficacy.


Captain Morgan wrote:


There are a are very few enemies where that is the case though. You're basically talking incorporeal types, and in order for that tag to have meaning and let ghosts feel like ghosts that seems pretty necessary.

I guess you could also have DR 15/magic if your character can't deal more than 15 damage, but that's just bad CR. You may as well use an enemy with AC 60.

When we talk about "necessary," we don't usually mean the game is unplayable without magic items or magic armor. We mean that the game will be harder. If my fighter has improved unarmed strike, or a pocket knife or whatever, theoretically I could beat most CR appropriate enemies down eventually. It would just take a lot longer, and because of that the enemy would have more opportunity to hurt or kill me. And potentially an easier time, if my AC is lower from not having magic armor. So my odds of winning go down compared to if I had those boons. This is a statistical certainty if items add to...

The difference is when the bonus changes the chances of the outcome happening at all, it is much more frustrating.

For example, let's say you face a guy with a AC so high you need 18+ to hit if you are naked, but with your +5 sword, +6 str belt, and +1 ioun stone, you hit with 9+. Combat is much more frustrating fir the first one, who misses and do nothing in his turn. However, in a system built in a way that naked you hit with 13+, but with a master quality weapon you hit with 11, except your potency rune adds 5d8 damage, things are different. The one with magic weapon is better, but the other one can at least hit.

This is even more important for saving throws


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:


There are a are very few enemies where that is the case though. You're basically talking incorporeal types, and in order for that tag to have meaning and let ghosts feel like ghosts that seems pretty necessary.

I guess you could also have DR 15/magic if your character can't deal more than 15 damage, but that's just bad CR. You may as well use an enemy with AC 60.

When we talk about "necessary," we don't usually mean the game is unplayable without magic items or magic armor. We mean that the game will be harder. If my fighter has improved unarmed strike, or a pocket knife or whatever, theoretically I could beat most CR appropriate enemies down eventually. It would just take a lot longer, and because of that the enemy would have more opportunity to hurt or kill me. And potentially an easier time, if my AC is lower from not having magic armor. So my odds of winning go down compared to if I had those boons. This is a statistical certainty if items add to...

The difference is when the bonus changes the chances of the outcome happening at all, it is much more frustrating.

For example, let's say you face a guy with a AC so high you need 18+ to hit if you are naked, but with your +5 sword, +6 str belt, and +1 ioun stone, you hit with 9+. Combat is much more frustrating fir the first one, who misses and do nothing in his turn. However, in a system built in a way that naked you hit with 13+, but with a master quality weapon you hit with 11, except your potency rune adds 5d8 damage, things are different. The one with magic weapon is better, but the other one can at least hit.

This is even more important for saving throws

Oh, yeah, I absolutely agree with you on that I think. And PF2 seems to be designed the latter way, which I strongly prefer.

I quoted you there, but that post wasn't really written with you in mind, more the Weather Reports out there that seem actively disappointed in PF2 magic weapons.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
necromental wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
The only thing that is "mandatory", is numerical bonuses to get to certain spots.

Okay, but there is no need to tie that to magic items.

Need, no. Want? Yes. As Captain Morgan said, I want my magic sword to be better at killing people, not better at unrelated tasks. That's what my wondrous items are for.
Of course there should be magic weapons that help with killing, I am just wanting a high level fighter to still be adequate without them. Like, get disarmed, and end up ripping the demon's head off, anyway.

That is something I agree.

To make an example, if a magic weapon does double damage, you still can kill the monster without it, just it takes double time. If the weapon is needed to hit, then without the weapon you can't fight at all, because you can't hit.

Those are extreme examples, but illustrate the point. The first approach is better than the second.

Bingo, total, on the money, yes.


Captain Morgan wrote:
I quoted you there, but that post wasn't really written with you in mind, more the Weather Reports out there that seem actively disappointed in PF2 magic weapons.

Whoa, not cool, homes, calling me out for things that I am not actively anything in, when did I say I was disappointed with PF2 magic weapons, we haven't even seen them yet...so, just cool your boots, son.


Weather Report wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I quoted you there, but that post wasn't really written with you in mind, more the Weather Reports out there that seem actively disappointed in PF2 magic weapons.

Whoa, not cool, homes, calling me out for things that I am not actively anything in, when did I say I was disappointed with PF2 magic weapons, we haven't even seen them yet...so, just cool your boots, son.

Um, you've repeatedly expressed disappointment that magic weapons will be necessary? Would you like me to quote your posts?

Also, we have seen enough about magic weapons to know fighters literally can't hurt ghosts without them, and that they do way more damage than before. If that doesn't scream "necessary" to you, then I'm not sure what we have been arguing about this whole time.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I quoted you there, but that post wasn't really written with you in mind, more the Weather Reports out there that seem actively disappointed in PF2 magic weapons.

Whoa, not cool, homes, calling me out for things that I am not actively anything in, when did I say I was disappointed with PF2 magic weapons, we haven't even seen them yet...so, just cool your boots, son.

Um, you've repeatedly expressed disappointment that magic weapons will be necessary? Would you like me to quote your posts?

Don't do that, that would be cherry picking.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I quoted you there, but that post wasn't really written with you in mind, more the Weather Reports out there that seem actively disappointed in PF2 magic weapons.

Whoa, not cool, homes, calling me out for things that I am not actively anything in, when did I say I was disappointed with PF2 magic weapons, we haven't even seen them yet...so, just cool your boots, son.

Um, you've repeatedly expressed disappointment that magic weapons will be necessary? Would you like me to quote your posts?

Non-desire of mandatory does not = dislike.


I'll only bring it up when I feel its relevant.

What did you think of my idea for automatic scaling IUA to allow someone disarmed of their weapon to still achieve appreciable results vis a vis ripping a demon's head off for example? Not strong enough?

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Ignoring the Big 6 for a moment, it depends on level, doesn't it?

Early levels: A torch ioun stone if you don't have darkvision or low-light vision.

High mid to early high levels: A source of flight, if you're not a L6 or L9 casting class. Mobility, mobility, mobility!

Those are my main two. Past that, it gets more particular. For example, you might need a mirror of scrying, or other means to deal with high level shananigans. For a warrior, I'd suggest fortified armor, because crits can be even more dangerous and swingy.

Edit: Holy guacamole. Apparently I just missed a big scrub. Thank you for keeping things civil, Ms. Marie!


So we now know the big 2 items some kind of armor and weapon. Which does beg the question what are the big two items for spellcasters? Do they actually exist?

The second question is "What is the 3rd big item necessary at higher levels, maybe?" Deadmanwalking said its propably a ranged weapon, which is a good guess.


John John wrote:

So we now know the big 2 items some kind of armor and weapon. Which does beg the question what are the big two items for spellcasters? Do they actually exist?

The second question is "What is the 3rd big item necessary at higher levels, maybe?" Deadmanwalking said its propably a ranged weapon, which is a good guess.

An item for mobility seems more likey as a semi mandatory ranged iten would require investment of proficiencies and feats. Whereas a magical broom takes the barbarian to the fight!

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