[Resonance] Why I like it and how I think it can be improved.


Magic Items


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Building out characters for my group to use for the Doomsday adventures. Something I am struggling with is some of the players relied heavily on the use of magical items but they weren't playing characters who rely on Charisma.

I love the idea that magical items are more limited in the sense that these characters are already modified to be more on par with magic wielders.Trinkets and such for the fighting types.

What I don't like so far is that daily use is based on Charisma alone. I think that it would be beneficial if my players have an option to take a Class Feat at level 2+ that shifts the ability to gain resonance from Charisma to their Key ability score, or allow their Key ability score to also add to Resonance at 1/2 rounded up. +1=1 +2=1 +3=2 etc. This would allow my players who LOVE relying on magical items to be more on par with their charismatic Bard or Sorcerer in the ability to utilize Magic items but at an investment cost to their class. Still a cost.

Love that magic items now have to be rationed out during gameplay, just don't want some of my players to get butt hurt about why another player can open their bag of holding for them but they can't lol


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Trinkets are in no way, shape, or form, a means to close the gap between what martials and casters can do, especially due to their one-shot nature that is honestly fairly weak in most every circumstance to not warrant their GP cost. It's not much different from how Scrolls with UMD was supposed to be the non-caster's "solution" to getting around issues whose sole solution was with spellcasting, in that it was extremely expensive and weak in its application more often than not.

I won't expect there to be a feat that allows people to channel their Resonance pool to their primary attribute, since it defeats the purpose of making Charisma a more attractive attribute, and not just a dump stat like PF1 always made it be 90% of the time. It also undermines class abilities such as Alchemists having Resonance be keyed off of Intelligence instead of Charisma.

I also won't expect an "Extra Resonance" feat to be made since this means characters who have good enough Resonance as it is can have even more Resonance to play with if they so chose.

I honestly don't think you can really expect people to enjoy rationing out what magic items they can use in a day. You're going to have players that want to use Resonance on cool things, but can't because they won't be able to heal later on in the adventuring day. You're going to have players that need to use Resonance on important plot devices, but can't because they got hit too hard and had to heal up too much. If this is a feature of Resonance, then I suppose Paizo hit the mark on what it's supposed to do, but I don't think it's a good feature of Resonance whatsoever.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


I also won't expect an "Extra Resonance" feat to be made since this means characters who have good enough Resonance as it is can have even more Resonance to play with if they so chose.

It already exists, there's a general feat on page 170, Remarkable Resonance (Feat 1), Increases max Resonance by 2. Only requires 12 Cha so not too hard to qualify for.


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Vlorax wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


I also won't expect an "Extra Resonance" feat to be made since this means characters who have good enough Resonance as it is can have even more Resonance to play with if they so chose.

It already exists, there's a general feat on page 170, Remarkable Resonance (Feat 1), Increases max Resonance by 2. Only requires 12 Cha so not too hard to qualify for.

Well I'll be damned. The good news is that it can't be taken indefinitely, and even those who aren't optimally boosted to Charisma can take it.

The bad news is those who are absolutely horrible at Charisma can't take it, and they are the ones who need access to that feat the most. Which means my original issue still applies (shifting the scale, but not the balance).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Vlorax wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


I also won't expect an "Extra Resonance" feat to be made since this means characters who have good enough Resonance as it is can have even more Resonance to play with if they so chose.

It already exists, there's a general feat on page 170, Remarkable Resonance (Feat 1), Increases max Resonance by 2. Only requires 12 Cha so not too hard to qualify for.

Well I'll be damned. The good news is that it can't be taken indefinitely, and even those who aren't optimally boosted to Charisma can take it.

The bad news is those who are absolutely horrible at Charisma can't take it, and they are the ones who need access to that feat the most. Which means my original issue still applies (shifting the scale, but not the balance).

Agreed, good find. My idea was just to get a discussion going. I think that characters optimized for Cha typically already have it as their Key Ability Score, but I could see a way of gaming the system by banking Cha on a fighter and then taking the feat to swap it to their STR. Can word it in a way that it doesn't bolster, but is used instead of and gain the full bonus from STR that Paladin or Sorcerer gains from Cha.

I just know that some of my players are going to feel turned off by having it only tied to CHA unless you are an Alchemist. I mean, Alch can still get the feat level 1 for free, as their class perk. But I don't see why Alchs have this ability and the option isnt even available to the Fighter or Ranger. Not every ranger wants to be charismatic but they may still want to be proficient at using magical items and I see no reason why they shouldn't.


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Well, if you have a 18 Strength 14 Charisma Fighter (seems okay for an Intimidate build of sorts), you could easily get away with taking the feat and getting an identical effect (net 2 Resonance). It doesn't scale, true, but having that benefit doesn't seem as valuable the higher level you get.

As for it not being applicable to other classes, there is both a lore reason and a mechanical reason for it. The mechanical reason is as I've described, which is that Alchemists no longer have a unique feature for themselves, one thing that really hurt Fighters in PF1 when everyone could take most every feat they could take, and any Fighter specifics feats they did have sucked nuts. Lore-wise, Alchemists have found the secret to replicating Resonance and have been able to extort it through their alchemical profession, unlike others who are more natural at it, and as such prefer it more than the traditional method. Because its benefits rely on the user's innate alchemy, others can't just dabble in being an Alchemist and acquire its benefits.

Honestly, if the feat requirement was "10 Charisma or less," I'd be okay with it existing. There is an issue of "Well, people who want Resonance but hate Charisma are going to be shoehorned into taking it," but there is always the option of "Screw Resonance, magic is lame," and there are ways around it; Alchemist is one, Superstition Barbarian (as limiting as it is,) is another option, and making it so that characters who are bad at Resonance have more of a choice to be bad, while also having a choice of shoring up their lack of a key feature of the game, is the ideal solution.


Alchemists are also the only class though that has to spend their resonance to do literally any of their class features. Even if they don’t use quick alchemy(which costs a resonance point), or prepare items after a rest (which could potentially cost them all of their resonance points), and decide to just craft standard alchemical items on their downtime using base crafting rules, they still have to spend those points to use those items.
So I personally understand why alchemists get that key ability score shift. That being said, resonance points do go up with your level. So a level 9 fighter with 10 Charisma will still be able to chug 9 healing potions every day, and even more assuming they Overspend and don’t fail. At lower levels it is absolutely a hindersnce but I feel like it balances out to be a nonissue as you level up. Level 20 characters could be wearing 10 pieces of magical gear and still have 10 points to spare for potions, special actions, or whatever else may arise.
Is it perfect? Absolutely not, nothing is. But at the very least it does make some modicum of sense.


I think all per day use magic effects that Items have should cost resonance only and not be limited by per day uses except for extreme cases.

Liberty's Edge

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I kinda like it. Limits general magic item use . No more having players with Backpack full of every item under the sun.It also has the side effect of making the cleric a must have for most parties as you will not be able to be sitting around guzzling multiple potions of CLW or slapping each other with wands of CLW until you are at full health.
Plus, While you may think it may short change fighters it does make the Paladin an almost Juggernaut. I do not like that the Primary for it is Strength,should be Charisma. Do not know what the Devs where thinking.


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captnchuck67 wrote:

I kinda like it. Limits general magic item use . No more having players with Backpack full of every item under the sun.It also has the side effect of making the cleric a must have for most parties as you will not be able to be sitting around guzzling multiple potions of CLW or slapping each other with wands of CLW until you are at full health.

Plus, While you may think it may short change fighters it does make the Paladin an almost Juggernaut. I do not like that the Primary for it is Strength,should be Charisma. Do not know what the Devs where thinking.

I don't think reinforcing the "Tim/Jim" paradigm is fair to everyone involved, especially if those players don't want to be a Tim/Jim. Mandating a specific class because the game requires you to have it is very horrible design, and it's something in PF1 that I hated in regards to AP design. Even mandating a specific role like healing is bad because it's a similar manner of shoehorning. Having options to function without a dedicated healer player is really the best thing, because it lets players who don't want a dedicated healer play what they want without being shoehorned into the "Tim/Jim" paradigm.

The typical Fighter/Rogue/Wizard/Cleric requirement (which is a Martial/Skill Monkey/Full Arcane/Full Divine group) is bad because it means you can't really play anything other than those classes. I mean, Fighter can be replacable because of how generic they are, but Rogues are more difficult (Bards and Rangers are passable, but about it), and good luck trying to replace Wizards or Clerics with something equivalent (Sorcerer/Oracle, one of which wasn't released until a book later). However, the point is the parenthetical composition above cannot really be changed and be fair.

I mean, the first third of the RotRL AP is practically unsurvivable without God Saves or Cleric features (no, not even Oracles or Sorcerers could cut it due to reduced progression and lack of Channeling), which is just bad design all around.

Liberty's Edge

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
captnchuck67 wrote:

I kinda like it. Limits general magic item use . No more having players with Backpack full of every item under the sun.It also has the side effect of making the cleric a must have for most parties as you will not be able to be sitting around guzzling multiple potions of CLW or slapping each other with wands of CLW until you are at full health.

Plus, While you may think it may short change fighters it does make the Paladin an almost Juggernaut. I do not like that the Primary for it is Strength,should be Charisma. Do not know what the Devs where thinking.

I don't think reinforcing the "Tim/Jim" paradigm is fair to everyone involved, especially if those players don't want to be a Tim/Jim. Mandating a specific class because the game requires you to have it is very horrible design, and it's something in PF1 that I hated in regards to AP design. Even mandating a specific role like healing is bad because it's a similar manner of shoehorning. Having options to function without a dedicated healer player is really the best thing, because it lets players who don't want a dedicated healer play what they want without being shoehorned into the "Tim/Jim" paradigm.

The typical Fighter/Rogue/Wizard/Cleric requirement (which is a Martial/Skill Monkey/Full Arcane/Full Divine group) is bad because it means you can't really play anything other than those classes. I mean, Fighter can be replacable because of how generic they are, but Rogues are more difficult (Bards and Rangers are passable, but about it), and good luck trying to replace Wizards or Clerics with something equivalent (Sorcerer/Oracle, one of which wasn't released until a book later). However, the point is the parenthetical composition above cannot really be changed and be fair.

I mean, the first third of the RotRL AP is practically unsurvivable without God Saves or Cleric features (no, not even Oracles or Sorcerers could cut it due to reduced progression and lack of Channeling), which is just bad design all around.

But you have to be honest in 1st ed the cleric was virtually a non factor. With the potions and wands floating around there was no use for them. Thisis still playtest, can be fixed. But I have only been playing PF for about 3 years and I was dumbstruck when people asked me why I wanted to "waste" my time playing a cleric. I fully understood, I rarely did any healing using my spells just tapping people with wands until I got to mid level.


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They could invest in other ways to play without being a default Healbot, which was honestly great for the class' image. It means a Cleric can be more than just "I heal people." Battle Cleric was pretty powerful (CoDZilla be damned), a Blaster Cleric was possible (even if not very great in most cases), and heck, utility Clerics existed too (remember the "Bad Touch" or "Reach" Clerics? Those count). Just because they can heal doesn't mean that they should only heal, and nothing else.

Some players want to play a healbot, and that's fine, that's less CLW Wand items they need to buy because they have character resources dedicated to save them some cash, but it shouldn't be mandatory for every group to have X class just because the game apparently requires them to have one or they just lose. I'd even go so far as to say that CLW Wands became too mandatory of an item, but at the end of the day something has to heal, and it shouldn't matter if it's a CLW Wand or a CLW Healer Kit.

I'm not saying this just to the effect of Clerics, but Wizards are similar in this problem too, in that the game relies too heavily on having a Wizard in your party to complete numerous tasks and challenges.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Seriously, the 12 Cha requirement for Remarkable Resonance is easily attainable by anyone except dwarves by 5th level at the latest. If a tertiary stat doesn't get a bump at 5th level, so that Cha can go from 10 to 12, it's not as if the character is going to be massively crippled.

Dwarves may have more difficulties, depending on how much they did (or didn't) invest in Cha when starting out. However, with resonance being level + Cha mod, even without any investment to Cha, a dwarf will still be able to carry and use several magic items. They may need to make some decisions about which items to use on a given day, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.


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If we're going to have resonance, I want it based on Chr and not able to be used with any stat, otherwise what's the point?

You still get 1 resonance per level, even at 10 Chr, which for most PCs will be enough to wear whatever magic items they want to wear.

I'll concede that maybe they should increase resonance to be =
2 + LEVEL + CHR BONUS

or maybe even more.

That would be better imo. At least the low chr classes could use some resonance on activation.

Grand Lodge

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I need to playtest for sure... but I don't want to feel limited with use of my magic items. Don't want to have to horde the points (They say that most parties never ran out of resonance... but is that because they were hording and would have spent more if they could?)

Again... I NEED to play test... just a concern at this point. (Also, in my PF1 games, I'll start tracking how often I use magic items that would cost resonance in PF2)

I mean, consider a Bag of Holding, which I presume will take 1 resonance to open? Now we have to carefully consider when we open it... hold on to as much loot as we can until we're encumbered, and then put it in all at once... "But before we open this, does anyone need anything out of it... this is the ONLY time I'm opening this today!" ... "Oh crap, I blew my resonance, I can't open this bag! Can you?"

Resonance DOES limit magic, make it more special... I like that. But if I have a special item... say, Cloak of the Bat or something interesting, I don't want to be afraid to use it because I may need healing.

Maybe a hero point could also be used to allow an additional use of resonance... (though we'll be hoarding those to not die.


Having seen the system as a whole (in theory, not practice), I'll go ahead and say I like it but think a lot of consumables should be exempt. Bag of Holding should probably be invested once instead of taking resonance to open and to close, most elixirs shouldn't need to cost both money and resonance to use, and healing potions should probably have some sort of discount. I'd be hesitant to remove the cost from them, but I'd appreciate 1 point of resonance working for the next, say, 4 healing potions you consume (and this 1 point being expendable early and lasting all day). That way you don't need to worry about running out of healing potions as much, but you don't just carry a 10-gallon drum of economically-effective resonance-free minor healing potion.


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With respect to healing potions, this is a basic disconnect between the game design (each encounter takes its toll on the party) and PC behavior. Any sane, reasonably experienced group of adventurers would heal up as much as they can between encounters. I wish that games would take this into account.

Tightening the resource management issues (especially for non-casting classes who might feel tempted to dump Cha) is going to either push more expectation that PCs who *can* devote class resources/spells to party healing do so, or very strongly encourage playing only classes with built-in healing, depending on the personalities at the table.

Sure... any fighter could take the Cleric feats for a little extra healing... but mostly they're going to ask for healing.


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Starfinder Superscriber

Reading through resonance it really is a Macro solution to a microeconomics problem.

The system itself is great in the places that it makes sense. If you invoke something that logically would draw upon your own "life force/mana" it makes sense. And limiting magic items is cool too. Logically, too many items could interfere with each other. Great. Makes sense.

Where it breaks down are places where it isn't you powering it (which unfortunately is what the main intent was). A potion has the resonance of the potion maker powering it, not yours. A wand has charges imbued in it by the crafter and thus uses their resonance, not yours.

In the end, the real solution to the "Happy Stick" is economics. The universal pricing model employed for wands and potions is the problem. A wand of spell level x and caster level y with charges z always costs D.

WHY!? Lets imagine we live in a world with wands. Wands of Healing would almost certainly be the most in demand item. Why would I charge some flat amount based on the amount of time it took me to make it? Yes, I know it is a game, but if the choice is abandoning logic or bringing in a bit of manual manipulation, give me the manipulation. Heck, a simple line of:

"With recent upheavals and conflicts, magical crafters discovered that they could charge 10 times the standard price for items of the healing domain"

solves the happy stick while leaving everything else intact. In general, if an item has charges or is single use, it probably should not cost resonance.


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RyanH wrote:
Resonance DOES limit magic, make it more special... I like that.

Where does this impression come from? It must be a personal thing because I have never experienced in over 30 years of gaming. In every single group I have played, even if you spend the time to create some history or Flavour, it's "what does it do" and it's either useful and used, or scribbled somewhere and forgotten until an opportunity to offload it arises.

Nobody I know cares that it's "Dragonstar, the mace of Orgood the mighty and lost to time for 400 years" it'll still get scribbled down as "mace +2 - sell".

Grand Lodge

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dragonhunterq wrote:
RyanH wrote:
Resonance DOES limit magic, make it more special... I like that.

Where does this impression come from? It must be a personal thing because I have never experienced in over 30 years of gaming. In every single group I have played, even if you spend the time to create some history or Flavour, it's "what does it do" and it's either useful and used, or scribbled somewhere and forgotten until an opportunity to offload it arises.

Nobody I know cares that it's "Dragonstar, the mace of Orgood the mighty and lost to time for 400 years" it'll still get scribbled down as "mace +2 - sell".

Having a +2 ring, +1 cloak, +3 Armor, +4 sword is boring and required in PF1... eliminating the need for these +'s allows for a ring of invisibility (does not get ignored), Flaming sword (does not get ignored), etc... "Mace +2 to sell" is the problem... in PF1 you get a Cloak of the Bat for instance you sell it so you can buy a Cloak of Resistance +2 as you MUST have at this level to be effective.

To correct my prior statement, resonance alone does not make magic special... the inherent level bonus in everything is the primary thing eliminating the need for the big six. Resonance just serves to further limit how much of a Christmas tree you're going to be.

I agree that no one cares about "Dragonstar, the mace of Orgood the mighty and lost to time for 400 years" if you're going to make that just a +2 mace. It has to DO something cool.


I would like to note that every 5 levels you get +2 to four stats.Seems like over all stats will be higher.Easy enough to throw a few of those in to cha for more resonance.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
RyanH wrote:

Having a +2 ring, +1 cloak, +3 Armor, +4 sword is boring and required in PF1... eliminating the need for these +'s allows for a ring of invisibility (does not get ignored), Flaming sword (does not get ignored), etc... "Mace +2 to sell" is the problem... in PF1 you get a Cloak of the Bat for instance you sell it so you can buy a Cloak of Resistance +2 as you MUST have at this level to be effective.

To correct my prior statement, resonance alone does not make magic special... the inherent level bonus in everything is the primary thing eliminating the need for the big six. Resonance just serves to further limit how much of a Christmas tree you're going to be.

I agree that no one cares about "Dragonstar, the mace of Orgood the mighty and lost to time for 400 years" if you're going to make that just a +2 mace. It has to DO something cool.

That problem was already solved by the automatic bonus progression from Pathfinder Unchained. I'm really not sure why Paizo thought they'd need a more complicated and controversial system to do the same thing.


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KapaaIan wrote:

Reading through resonance it really is a Macro solution to a microeconomics problem.

...

In the end, the real solution to the "Happy Stick" is economics. The universal pricing model employed for wands and potions is the problem. A wand of spell level x and caster level y with charges z always costs D.

WHY!? Lets imagine we live in a world with wands. Wands of Healing would almost certainly be the most in demand item. Why would I charge some flat amount based on the amount of time it took me to make it? Yes, I know it is a game, but if the choice is abandoning logic or bringing in a bit of manual manipulation, give me the manipulation. Heck, a simple line of:

"With recent upheavals and conflicts, magical crafters discovered that they could charge 10 times the standard price for items of the healing domain"

solves the happy stick while leaving everything else intact. In general, if an item has charges or is single use, it probably should not cost resonance.

As a house-rule for PF1 that would leave us in a situation where PCs could craft 7500gp wands for 375gp of materials. Supply would rise to match demand.

Dark Archive

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RyanH wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:
RyanH wrote:
Resonance DOES limit magic, make it more special... I like that.

Where does this impression come from? It must be a personal thing because I have never experienced in over 30 years of gaming. In every single group I have played, even if you spend the time to create some history or Flavour, it's "what does it do" and it's either useful and used, or scribbled somewhere and forgotten until an opportunity to offload it arises.

Nobody I know cares that it's "Dragonstar, the mace of Orgood the mighty and lost to time for 400 years" it'll still get scribbled down as "mace +2 - sell".

Having a +2 ring, +1 cloak, +3 Armor, +4 sword is boring and required in PF1... eliminating the need for these +'s allows for a ring of invisibility (does not get ignored), Flaming sword (does not get ignored), etc... "Mace +2 to sell" is the problem... in PF1 you get a Cloak of the Bat for instance you sell it so you can buy a Cloak of Resistance +2 as you MUST have at this level to be effective.

To correct my prior statement, resonance alone does not make magic special... the inherent level bonus in everything is the primary thing eliminating the need for the big six. Resonance just serves to further limit how much of a Christmas tree you're going to be.

I agree that no one cares about "Dragonstar, the mace of Orgood the mighty and lost to time for 400 years" if you're going to make that just a +2 mace. It has to DO something cool.

There is no ring of invisibility and I want


Starfinder Superscriber
Matthew Downie wrote:


As a house-rule for PF1 that would leave us in a situation where PCs could craft 7500gp wands for 375gp of materials. Supply would rise to match demand.

The non-specific "materials" that go into the construction of the want would go up by the same ratios. Basically healing wands require "unicorn spit" which had its price go up accordingly.

The main point is making a targeted rule with some type of an explanation is better than making a whole new system where the logic is inconsistent. The resonance system itself, to me, is positive. However, the applications should make sense.


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An issue with your solution of ramping up the cost of healing items is it is directly counter to the defined intent of the designers.

They want low level healing consumables to available to low level adventurers, but they want high level adventurers to have a real reason to utilize higher level healing consumables and not simply spam the low level ones since they are cheaper and there is no down side to doing so.

Some people don't care. Some people find it a loophole exploiting gold -> healing method out of combat. Other people find the idea of someone chugging a dozen potions in between combat, or having everyone tapped multiple times by a healing wand creating a dynamic or story that begins to look comical and counter-heroic.

Resonance makes a magic_item/day economy that people have to fit in which give a unacceptable cost to the plan of only using low level healing items, creating a potential solution to the situation. It even theoretically, by limiting number of consumable used more, allows them to potentially made cheaper than otherwise due to this limit, without having as much of a balance impact.

Granted: If you don't think that the Gold to HP is an exploit, or is one you are concerned with, a simpler solution that would be to allow cure/heal spells to be cast out of combat (and possibly longer casting time and\or onset time) that might basically have a minimum HP restore of half your max HP. Meaning that a single tap or potion would frequently be enough to get someone where they need to be. (or at most requiring two applications). Assuming you aren't worried about the GP impact, it makes it easier to imagine someone actually feeling significantly healed by an out of combat heal.

If your issue is with the GP exploit and you don't like the management of resonance, you're probably stuck with utilizing other type of preventing spamming abuse, which the most likely idea I can imagine, would be utilizing some sort of cool-down period between healing item applications. (or if concerned with the other aspects of christmas tree resonance tries to fix, any magical applications) Something like being bolstered from being able to receive item healing for 60min / spell level. Meaning high level characters wouldn't try to drink more than one healing potion right after an encounter, so there would be a reason for them to buy a single potion that would push them back into what they considered a 'reasonable' range for continuing onward before going on.

So yes there are other options, but just making healing cost more, doesn't serve the defined goal.

Scarab Sages

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Well, if you have a 18 Strength 14 Charisma Fighter (seems okay for an Intimidate build of sorts), you could easily get away with taking the feat and getting an identical effect (net 2 Resonance). It doesn't scale, true, but having that benefit doesn't seem as valuable the higher level you get.

As for it not being applicable to other classes, there is both a lore reason and a mechanical reason for it. The mechanical reason is as I've described, which is that Alchemists no longer have a unique feature for themselves, one thing that really hurt Fighters in PF1 when everyone could take most every feat they could take, and any Fighter specifics feats they did have sucked nuts. Lore-wise, Alchemists have found the secret to replicating Resonance and have been able to extort it through their alchemical profession, unlike others who are more natural at it, and as such prefer it more than the traditional method. Because its benefits rely on the user's innate alchemy, others can't just dabble in being an Alchemist and acquire its benefits.

Honestly, if the feat requirement was "10 Charisma or less," I'd be okay with it existing. There is an issue of "Well, people who want Resonance but hate Charisma are going to be shoehorned into taking it," but there is always the option of "Screw Resonance, magic is lame," and there are ways around it; Alchemist is one, Superstition Barbarian (as limiting as it is,) is another option, and making it so that characters who are bad at Resonance have more of a choice to be bad, while also having a choice of shoring up their lack of a key feature of the game, is the ideal solution.

You run one of those games where everyone dump stats CHA, unless its used by their class. There in lies your problem. If you run munchkin style games you get munchkin style players. Charisma is the perfect stat for resonance, because CHA gets reduced into worthlessness due to GM styles like yours.


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I think one major problem with Resonance is that it costs the same to activate a magic item once, for a single instantaneous effect, and to invest in an item that will continue giving you bonuses for the whole day. But the latter type of item is almost invariably better: Would you like a +1 weapon you can use all day, or a single casting of a 1st level heal spell? I foresee a situation where people just load up with as many invested magic items as they can afford, and just use consumables for anything left over. Perhaps it might be worth reserving one or two points so you can pull out a scroll if a spell you didn't prepare is suddenly needed, but essentially I think people will just ignore consumables except when they can't afford enough permanent magic items to fill all their resonance "slots".

This could be solved by making it a lot cheaper to use resonance for activating magic items. Maybe Paizo could borrow an idea used by 5e and by the OSR, and base it on a dice roll. The proficiency system would extend very nicely to this, as well, if we let the roll be variable. Something like the following:

-----

Every character has a level of proficiency in magic items, which gives them a specific size of resonance die (see below). Whenever you activate a magic item you must roll your resonance die; if you roll a 1 then you lose a point of resonance. If you have no resonance remaining, you can no longer activate magic items (the rule about making a d20 flat check is replaced by this system). If you invest resonance in a magic item, don't roll the resonance die - you always spend a point of resonance when investing.

If you are Untrained in magic items (which should be reserved for specific character options that deliberately eschew magic, like that barbarian totem) then you don't get a resonance die at all. Every time you activate a magic item you lose 1 resonance.
If you're Trained (most characters), your resonance die is a d4.
If you're an Expert (alchemists, perhaps high level characters of certain other classes), your resonance die is a d6.
If you're a Master (higher level alchemists) it's a d8.
If you're Legendary (extremely high level alchemists) it's a d12.

-----

This system makes it hard to predict exactly how much more you can activate items (which I think was something Paizo was aiming for with their flat-checks-to-activate-after-you-run-out-of-resonance rules). It makes activated items worth using instead of invested ones, particularly if you're a class which "should" be using consumables more, like an alchemist. It even gives a way to do the "refusing magic" trope which isn't horribly crippling if the character is in a group with magic users, and/or horribly overpowered if the character is solo/in a group without magic users. It can also replace the rather ugly fake-resonance-only-usable-for-consumables ability that the alchemist gets at level 9.

Obviously, the formula to calculate your resonance might need to be adjusted in this system, since a point of resonance does now stretch a lot further when using it for consumables.


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Starfinder Superscriber
Loreguard wrote:
So yes there are other options, but just making healing cost more, doesn't serve the defined goal.

I guess that's my point as well. If their defined goal is to more or less raise the "price" of downtime healing as people go up in level while leaving it cheap at low level, there are other ways of doing to do it. Starfinder got around this by implementing the stamina system for instance.

To state again, the resonance system itself is pretty cool and has lots of benefits. However in the application to potions and things with charges it doesn't make sense and is kinda immersion breaking. For such a specific issue, it is like using a bazooka on a fly.


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Luceon wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Well, if you have a 18 Strength 14 Charisma Fighter (seems okay for an Intimidate build of sorts), you could easily get away with taking the feat and getting an identical effect (net 2 Resonance). It doesn't scale, true, but having that benefit doesn't seem as valuable the higher level you get.

As for it not being applicable to other classes, there is both a lore reason and a mechanical reason for it. The mechanical reason is as I've described, which is that Alchemists no longer have a unique feature for themselves, one thing that really hurt Fighters in PF1 when everyone could take most every feat they could take, and any Fighter specifics feats they did have sucked nuts. Lore-wise, Alchemists have found the secret to replicating Resonance and have been able to extort it through their alchemical profession, unlike others who are more natural at it, and as such prefer it more than the traditional method. Because its benefits rely on the user's innate alchemy, others can't just dabble in being an Alchemist and acquire its benefits.

Honestly, if the feat requirement was "10 Charisma or less," I'd be okay with it existing. There is an issue of "Well, people who want Resonance but hate Charisma are going to be shoehorned into taking it," but there is always the option of "Screw Resonance, magic is lame," and there are ways around it; Alchemist is one, Superstition Barbarian (as limiting as it is,) is another option, and making it so that characters who are bad at Resonance have more of a choice to be bad, while also having a choice of shoring up their lack of a key feature of the game, is the ideal solution.

You run one of those games where everyone dump stats CHA, unless its used by their class. There in lies your problem. If you run munchkin style games you get munchkin style players. Charisma is the perfect stat for resonance, because CHA gets reduced into worthlessness due to GM styles like yours.

So what if I and my players do? This properly highlights how selectively useful Charisma is in PF1, which was fair design. Even so, with how many skills it takes to properly be a face (Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, etc.), and how MAD you need to be in order to do other things effectively, you don't really get much of a choice. You either be a face, or be survivable in combat, which will happen, no matter how good of a face you really are.

And with how attributes function right now, they really only shifted the problem from Charisma to Intelligence in PF2, where people probably aren't going to have an Intelligence higher than 10 (or bother increasing it past their initial buyout due to lack of backwards compatibility). I now fully expect you to make the complaint of players "dumping" Intelligence unless they use it for their class (or multiclass) with that being the case.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

They could invest in other ways to play without being a default Healbot, which was honestly great for the class' image. It means a Cleric can be more than just "I heal people." Battle Cleric was pretty powerful (CoDZilla be damned), a Blaster Cleric was possible (even if not very great in most cases), and heck, utility Clerics existed too (remember the "Bad Touch" or "Reach" Clerics? Those count). Just because they can heal doesn't mean that they should only heal, and nothing else.

Some players want to play a healbot, and that's fine, that's less CLW Wand items they need to buy because they have character resources dedicated to save them some cash, but it shouldn't be mandatory for every group to have X class just because the game apparently requires them to have one or they just lose. I'd even go so far as to say that CLW Wands became too mandatory of an item, but at the end of the day something has to heal, and it shouldn't matter if it's a CLW Wand or a CLW Healer Kit.

I'm not saying this just to the effect of Clerics, but Wizards are similar in this problem too, in that the game relies too heavily on having a Wizard in your party to complete numerous tasks and challenges.

having playing pathfinder 1 for the full 10 years. I did not find this to be true. clerics were useless, and no one played them as clerics in the least. there were not battle clerics, they were just fighters who could cast non healing spells. I really dont like resonance but I have to admit wands of clw were one of the most "broken" things in the game. they completed made clerics and healing irrelevant.


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Sounds like you were in a group that seriously underused the power of clerics. Wands of CLW freed them up to use their spells for all kinds of other things, making them one of the strongest classes.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

When it comes to Resonance I have had some pretty strong feelings after going through some theorycrafting and then playtesting the module.

1. Resonance should not be tied to any class abilities, consumables, or activation effects.

2. Resonance works GREAT as a means to limit the number of magical items a player can invest in. I much prefer this compared to something like dedicated item slots. Finally it's possible to wear 3 or 4 magical rings if you find ones that you really like.

With those two things taken into consideration I propose the following.

1. Remove Resonance cost from Class Abilities and give them a Spell Point mechanic since it's already an established mechanic.

2. Remove Resonance cost from Consumable items. If necessary adjust the cost of consumable items as appropriate. If you wish for a character to not chug potions down like they have a drinking problem, possibly add a limit to the number of potions that can be consumed within a short period of time. (With perhaps a feat that allows them to drink more)

3. Remove Resonance cost from Activated magic items. Replace it with the item being 'Invested'. When an item is invested give the item a number of charges that can be used to activate the effect. This number of charges is recharged each time it is invested.

4. In the case of Wands and Staves that are invested, allow the spells within those items to be cast by expending either a charge from the item or a spell slot equal to the spell in the item.

5. In the case of Wands and Staves with Cantrips, allow the spell to be used without charges or spell slots just like they do with Staves.

6. Give players a static bonus to Resonance that is not based on an ability score. For example, simply give a character a resonance equal to their character level. Or if you feel there must be a bonus than Character Level + 2 or 3.


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I'm not a fan of resonance. And having seen the implementation in the book, I'm even less so. If it was limited to just investing permanent items and replacing x times per day uses or charges, I'd probably be fine. But the usage for consumables is a kick in the gut. The usage for things that should be free like opening a bag of holding is terrible or the classic using two immovable rods as a ladder now will burn through your pool very quickly. It adds complexity to tracking use, those x times a day uses and charges still exist so you have to track two things and have a double cost for using them. Added exceptions like for the bag of holding increases complexity by making it so you need to keep track of what does and doesn't use resonance. It breaks immersion for me, why does it take some internal magical power to drink a potion? And it limits magic item use too much in that they're just not fun, they're instead a chore of rationing out uses. I don't like resource management. Making it such a core part of game play is annoying. And magic items were one of the equalizers for martial characters to get some ability that the casters did. Now they're more limited, and those who don't play casters because they don't want to track all the spell slots and such are forced to deal with fiddly bits just to keep up.

If the real problem is healing wands and potions, then just fix wands and potions, bringing in a whole system that effects all magic items is way too heavy handed. It's swatting a fly with a hand grenade. Having healing potions give Bolstered for a certain amount of time as mentioned above would eliminate shotgunning a six-pack of potions and the wand issue can be handled with just changing the way wands use. Maybe limit them to a number of uses a day.

And just give alchemists an Alchemical Pool.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Doktor Weasel wrote:

I'm not a fan of resonance. And having seen the implementation in the book, I'm even less so. If it was limited to just investing permanent items and replacing x times per day uses or charges, I'd probably be fine. But the usage for consumables is a kick in the gut. The usage for things that should be free like opening a bag of holding is terrible or the classic using two immovable rods as a ladder now will burn through your pool very quickly. It adds complexity to tracking use, those x times a day uses and charges still exist so you have to track two things and have a double cost for using them. Added exceptions like for the bag of holding increases complexity by making it so you need to keep track of what does and doesn't use resonance. It breaks immersion for me, why does it take some internal magical power to drink a potion? And it limits magic item use too much in that they're just not fun, they're instead a chore of rationing out uses. I don't like resource management. Making it such a core part of game play is annoying. And magic items were one of the equalizers for martial characters to get some ability that the casters did. Now they're more limited, and those who don't play casters because they don't want to track all the spell slots and such are forced to deal with fiddly bits just to keep up.

If the real problem is healing wands and potions, then just fix wands and potions, bringing in a whole system that effects all magic items is way too heavy handed. It's swatting a fly with a hand grenade. Having healing potions give Bolstered for a certain amount of time as mentioned above would eliminate shotgunning a six-pack of potions and the wand issue can be handled with just changing the way wands use. Maybe limit them to a number of uses a day.

And just give alchemists an Alchemical Pool.

I like this idea too, definitely one to poke at. The idea of changing Resonance to an investment only pool is very intriguing. The thing I would like to delve deeper into though is how to know what items to invest in.

For example, if a fighter wants to use a magical item that has activation's but did not invest in. Used all of his resonance invested in other objects. What mechanic would be available for him to use the item? Same as if you have exhausted your resonance? Something else?

I like the investment side of resonance alot. I think if I invest in my Bag of Holding then I should be able to open it as often as I like. But then I would recommend changing how you cap your resonance points. I like how you list it as not tied to class abilities and removing cost from Consumables. But then we would need item specific rules instead of a game rule for all. Not sure I like having to remember how many uses I have per day of a specific potion vs having a total pool that I can dip into for a consumable.

At the same time, my personal preference is if I drink potions like an alcoholic then it should be my choice. But I get it, Clerics and other classes become mundane if I have an IV of CLW.

I like the investment side though.... I really don't like having to use Resonance every time I want to use an item. Maybe.... Maybe if resonance refilled at the beginning of every combat encounter? This way you would only be able to use your CLW for recovering from that combat, and you would be limited to how many uses of CLW you could use each combat. It would still give us resource management, but it wouldn't feel like I was being punished.

Just typing and thinking, but what I come to at the end of that sentence would be

Resonance Pool: Max 5 (Example)
Invested: Wand
Invested: Bag of Holding
Left over Resonance for battles: 3/5 which would refill to the 3/5 at the beginning of every battle You could remove an investment, but you don't regain that resonance til the beginning of the next battle and be at 4/5

Only allow investments at rest periods to make this a real resource management.

Again, just throwing ideas out there. I like resonance. I don't like that items that we want to activate regularly are going to become useless and unused because of the resonance cost.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My only concern about resonance is if it remains as restrictive at mid-high levels as it is at low levels.

A 1st level guy really doesnt need more than 1 or 2, after they pick up their first wamd or potion. Will a 10th level character have so many important items that they will need 10-14? Or will that pool feel so large that the party will exhaust other reasources (spells, hp) by then? Only playtests will tell.


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I'm very much a fan of not having dedicated slots, or 'required' items. As stated above, I'd really like to see something more along the lines of a pool of 'investment' points tied to your level. No stats, no bonuses. 1 magic item per level, or better yet 1/2 level in magic items minimum 1. A 20th level fighter should be able to have trinkets and items that are worth something to be invested in. Rings, armor, a shield...even weapons. Investment in items needs to be an all in thing for permanent magical items, not a pick and choose mechanic.

I even dig the old mechanic - as much as people hated it even in my own group - the concept that you couldn't just pick up the BBEG's gear and put it on. You needed to take it somewhere and spend time doing nothing but identifying those items before using them. Now, that may be extreme, but making items limited too. A magical item can only be invested in by one character per day. (The GCP playtest part with the dagger being passed back and forth nearly killed me from a narrative standpoint)

Wands can be solved by limiting them to casting modifier of charges per day, and they must be invested into like any other item. To keep that clunky clw wand thing away, you simply restrict the user from being able to invest in a wand of the same spell more than once, or that you can only invest in a number of wands equal to your casting modifier per day.

Potions can be solved by stating that you can only drink 1 potion per con modifier per day before having to make fortitude saving throws to avoid 'potion sickness'. You are consuming the magical forces and mystical ingredients in order to empower your body - drinking too many of these potions induces nausea and fatigue. Failing said flat check prevents eating or drinking ANYTHING until rested.

Scrolls can function similarly to wands. Reading a magical scroll does not cost the user anything, as the scroll was invested with magical power during it's creation. The creator CAST the spell into the scroll. After casting their key modifier of scrolls in a day, each subsequent scroll cast is subject to a flat will save. You are gazing upon raw magical energy in the form of written words. Failure to to make said save induces fatigue, all spells cast the rest of the day would require an extra action, and no further scrolls can be used that day.

Staves are basically invested the same as they are now, except there should not be an extra resonance cost to activate them. One staff that can be invested at a time, with a few wands. This greatly increases the spell flexibility of the caster considering their limited spell slots at this stage, but ties their casting to a limited resource that has to be managed.

Honestly I thought the staves were just absolutely awesome until I realized you had to invest a point and then spend to cast the spells...do people actually use staves as a melee weapon on their wizard in active play enough to make that change necessary?
Further, as it stands, a wizard must invest for the staff, and then spend for the spells, but the fighter can pick up that +1 flaming longsword and hand it to the cleric and then the rogue to fight that frost giant. Yep. Makes sense.

The trick magic item feat should mostly function just like it does in the written rules, only you can use it to invest in items that are not part of your class or spell list. You can only invest in one item at a time for each spell list that you do not normally have access to. This prevents your wizard from becoming the primary healer by investing in those pesky cure light wounds wands, but allows a wizard with cleric dedication to pick up those wands normally if she has the appropriate feats.

Grand Lodge

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I think at level 1 charisma is just too big a part & the fact a potion is wasted if you try to overspend means for a low-charisma or worse negative charisma level 1 character they often can't even drink potions.

I think it works fine by 4th level - the pool is big enough that low cha is an inconvenience not a lockout. Perhaps just a few extra points to make low level low cha hurt less? Even 2, which would be irrelevantly small at high level, would ease the low level pain. A toughness style approach would work but may be unnecessarily complex.

Alternatively give an option to those characters - it was a very "feels bad" moment when my party's dwarf realised his healing potions only worked 50% of the time and were used up regardless.


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captnchuck67 wrote:
But you have to be honest in 1st ed the cleric was virtually a non factor. With the potions and wands floating around there was no use for them. Thisis still playtest, can be fixed. But I have only been playing PF for about 3 years and I was dumbstruck when people asked me why I wanted to "waste" my time playing a cleric. I fully understood, I rarely did any healing using my spells just tapping people with wands until I got to mid level.

I'm the reverse.

I was dumbstruck when I found out that EVERYONE picks it up with the first pay check. That they carry around a barrel as soon as they can for all the wands they carry. That people sit down, math out the charges, and think "Hmmm is this worth the gold I'm going to spend?"


KapaaIan wrote:


Where it breaks down are places where it isn't you powering it (which unfortunately is what the main intent was). A potion has the resonance of the potion maker powering it, not yours. A wand has charges imbued in it by the crafter and thus uses their resonance, not yours.

This isn't the case. The resonance cost of potions and wands is paid by the user. Pg. 378 "...the creature drinking the potion must spend any required Resonance Points to use the potion." Pg. 380 "You activate the wand as part of the first spellcasting action you use, and you must spend 1 Resonance Point at this time."

Since the crafter doesn't have to spend resonance, it does make sense for these items to be a flat rate.


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Gloom wrote:

1. Resonance should not be tied to any class abilities.

With those two things taken into consideration I propose the following.

1. Remove Resonance cost from Class Abilities and give them a Spell Point mechanic since it's already an established mechanic.

I liked all of your suggestions, but this one was the most important.

Resonance should not be tied to any class abilities. In other words, the alchemist's ability to create bombs and elixirs on the fly should use his spell points (or whatever term you want to use), not resonance!


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Jason S wrote:

Resonance should not be tied to any class abilities. In other words, the alchemist's ability to create bombs and elixirs on the fly should use his spell points (or whatever term you want to use), not resonance!

I am in firm agreement. I don't know what the main driver was for making Alchemists key off of Resonance, but I think it's pretty clear there's no compelling reason for muddying the waters this way.

Resonance already has some severe issues, and directly affecting one class is making it even harder to solve those issues.

Just give them their own pool.


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The resonance thing to Alchemist does even less sense when he gains some resomance points that can ONLY be used to do Alchemal-thigs.

It's like a separed pool inside a unified pool.


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Starfinder Superscriber
Greyblade23 wrote:


This isn't the case. The resonance cost of potions and wands is paid by the user. Pg. 378 "...the creature drinking the potion must spend any required Resonance Points to use the potion." Pg. 380 "You activate the wand as part of the first spellcasting action you use, and you must spend 1 Resonance Point at this time."

Since the crafter doesn't have to spend resonance, it does make sense for these items to be a flat rate.

I'm not saying the crafter imbued it with their resonance (but logically, they did over the course of their time crafting the item. It might but minute amounts each day that don't measure as a full charge, but they do), but I am saying the magical power causing the item to function comes from the crafter, not the user.

Put another way, lets take a magical oil. If you trained a Monkey to apply an oil to an item for you, would it work? Does the monkey have a resonance pool? What if you created a Rube Goldberg machine that would apply oils to items for you. Does your machine become a construct and get a charisma score and use its resonance? Using your resonance for a consumable item simply does not make logical sense.

The idea above of simply capping wand charges per day and potions based on Con mod is brilliant.

Wands: Wands can be used a number of times per day equal to 1 plus the caster level of the wand (encourage higher caster level wands and cost scaling). Usage beyond that risks burning out the wand and either causing it to shatter or explode. This chance is 25% + %5 for each time done beyond the normal number. (Basically the exact resonance mechanic adjusted for Wands alone. Plus it makes sense)

Potions: You may consume a number of potions per day equal to 3 plus your constitution modifier. Consumption beyond your number runs the risk of causing you to throw up the potion ruining it and becoming nauseated for a round. This chance is equal to 50% plus 10% for for each potion beyond your normal limit. Temporary bonuses to constitution do boost your consumption limit, however you still run the risk of becoming nauseated if your con returns to its previous level. Your potion limit resets after an 8 hour rest unless a potion has a duration still in effect.

And have feats like "Wand Charmer" and "Iron Stomach" that would increase the limits.

Those two changes alone (I need to review staves a bit more) solve resonance for me.


I just want to chime in my support for tying wands to caster level of the wands in uses per day and potions to con mod. These fill the same design goals as resonance, but more elegantly. Also the idea of throwing up too many potions or wands limited by the magic invested in them makes more sense to me than having to use some innate magical power to get their effect.

It does mean they have to be tracked separately instead of with one big pool, but that's a small price to pay for a more logical and less punishing system.

Alchemists would probably need a limit increase added to the class to allow elixir and mutagen based builds.


The mechanic needs a better name like "belief" or "inspiration". Inspiration could link into the bard mechanic and be used to enable bards to help increase resonance.


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For my two cents, I like the notion of resonance but not this execution. Tying to the Christmas score is a good idea however points spent to activate is a bad choice. As many have pointed out above. Instead why not have magic items be in catagories

Trinkets: potions and scrolls magic is already in them and they are used then discarded. Also such items as salves and dusts, possibly magical tombs of learning.

Minor

Medium

Major

All three are for activate on command, always active or items with charges that are extremely powerful (ring of three wishes, staff of power) each of these categories cost resonance points to attune to and have work for you.

Instead of item slots it is a player choice to equip what he wants as long as he has the points to pay. Possibly have them lose points in con as a downside of having to many things attuned to them showing that the low degree of magic need is pulling of the reserves of their body or have it pull from wisdom as the magical fields start to warp his mind.

Scarab Sages

Jason S wrote:
Resonance should not be tied to any class abilities. In other words, the alchemist's ability to create bombs and elixirs on the fly should use his spell points (or whatever term you want to use), not resonance!

The Alchemist in one of my groups spent all but one of their Resonance points on consumables. Those consumables turned out to be far too few and far too weak (they're like cantrips, but they hurt your allies, too, yay...), and when he got badly hurt, he couldn't even accept a second healing potion although it would have been available. That sucked. Resonance is one giant party pooper. Kill it with fire.


Resonance to limit the number of how often you can use a wand or activation ability of magical items per day makes sense. Using it to limit consumables not so much. Unlike endless wand charge spams, consumables are already limited by their one use and gone nature. They don't need another arbitrary limitation.

Freeing up consumables from the resonance cost might fix some issues the alchemist has right now, but this will require some rebalancing as well of course.


I'd agree with what others are saying about having Alchemists not key off of resonance (including having stuff they make not cost *others* resonance... that's just a double whammy!). Beyond this, I think characters should likely start with 3+ChaMod+Level resonance. It'd smooth out the lower levels, as we found, even with 2 healers, we were resting after every combat in Doomsday Dawn Part 1.

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