Fixing Resonance, Healing, and Hero Points


General Discussion


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Here is something I put together to address the Resonance and Healing problems that have come up. I do so using small tweaks to magic items and a hero point tweak and new mechanic. I've posted about the healing portion before, but this kind of ties everything all together.

How would these changes affect your feelings on Resonance?

Do these changes to Resonance address concerns while still adhering to the design goal of limiting spammable abuse of low level consumables?

Would the changes to Hero Points make them less forgettable?

Do these changes to Hero Points make them overpowered or are any options significantly better than the rest?

Would the changes to consumables and the Heroic Recovery addition adequately address the dearth of Healing for parties without a Cleric?

Would the change to consumables and the Heroic Recovery Addition overshadow the role of a healer?

Overall, do these changes adequately address the Resonance and Healing concerns?

Are these changes preferable to the P1 healing solution of cheap spammable consumables a the current state of P2?

Fixing Resonance, Healing, and Hero Points

Here is the Raw txt if you don't like the pdf.

Raw Txt:

## Fixing Resonance, Healing, and Hero Points
##### By:Zman 9-12-18

## Goals
* Address Resonance's unpopularity
* Address Healing concerns
* Revise Hero Points
* Fix issisting and percieved problems while keeping existing frameworks and systems in place.

## Problems

### Resonance
Resonance was desingned to act as a replacement for item "slots" and to act as a the magic fuel pool. Resonance's limited availability was designed to prioritize fewer more powerful magic items, ie prioritize a 250gp Major Healing Potion over 36gp for 12 Minor Healing Potions. There exists great opposition to cosumables requiring Resonance.

Given the limited nature of Resonance players feel the strain and it has greatly limited the amount of healing a party can accomplish and greatly necessitates. Resonance accomplishes its goal of limiting cheap consumable abuse, but creates Healing problems and a "feel" problem.

Some characters are extremely limited by resonance. It often feels punitive for non Cha characters.

### Healing
Parties are finding themselves wounded and overall unable heal themselves inbetween encounters. This is primarily due to cheap wands and potions being powered by Resonance.

Healers, of the magical variety, are required. Unfortuntunately, the only truly competent healer is the Cleric. The party longevity gap between a party with a Cleric and one with other healing capable class is huge. A dedicated healer is moved from a party boon to a party necessity.

Mundane healing is very limited in scope and is not a replacement for Magical healing.

The general lack of avaialble healing results in the trend of party unwillingness to risk additional encounters and treating for a long rest. This "15 min adventuring day" incentivizes novaing abilities and an disincentivizes pushing fowrad. This creates large vermisillitude and believability issues.

### Hero Points
Currently Hero points are seeing very little use outside of a very specific case, to stave of dying. Right now, most players are forgetting about their Hero Points until they are dying. The options for reroll a roll or save up enough to take a fourth action just do not see use. This makes Hero Points an underutilized and pigeonholed mechanic.

The per session mechanic of defaulting to 1 and rewarding players for an in-game and out of game action, while a laudable goal, just doesn't sit right with most and becomes a forgotten mechanic.

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## Solutions

### Hero Points

#### Change To:

Your character earns Hero Points for performing heroic deeds or tasks and can spend these Hero Points to gain certain benefts. Your character starts each **adventuring day with 2 Hero Points**. The GM can award Hero Points when PCs perform further heroic deeds or tasks. For the characters’ actions, this all comes from the story. A character needs to do something selfless or daring beyond normal expectations. **The GM can award Hero Points to each PC when the Party performs heroic deeds or tasks such as pushing on instead of retreatig, or tackling a challenge with waning resources.**

Each **adventuring day**, the GM should award no more than 1 Hero Point per PC for in-game actions **during an adventuring day.** This number can be higher for **adventuring days with more than four encounters.**

Your character can have a maximum of 3 Hero Points at a given time. These points can’t be saved up **from one adventuring day to the next; at the end of each long rest, your character loses all Hero Points and starts the new adventuring day with 2 Hero Points.**

#### Cost of Heroic Actions
Chance the cost of all Heroic Actions to **1 Hero Point.**

#### Add Heroic Resolve/Recovery Action(Cost 1 Hero Point)

Spend 1 Hero Point allows you to dig into reserves of strength and resilience only heroes have. Anytime outside of encounter mode you can spend 1 Hero Point to recover half of your HP(rounded up).

#### Why?

Changing Hero points not only addresses the rather aneimic reception and usage of Hero Points, but is a significant step in addressing the Healing Problem. By giving every character the ablity to heal outside of combat, parties can function better without a dedicated Healer, but in a way that does not obsolete a Healer. Since the opportunity cost of using Heroic Resolve is greater, ie weighted against three other reasonable Heroic Actions, having dedicated Healers essentially allows players to have more discretion over their use of Hero Points. As the healing happens outside of encounter mod, other healing sources still have a viable niche, especiall Soothe and Heal which can affect a source at range.

By codifying Hero Points into a 2 per Adventuring Day mechanic we give players the resources they'll need for their character to function properly. The Session mechanic could have represented a hero point or two or three for what amounts to a single encounter or two. Now, with the adventure day mechanic we have structured the resource expendiature into a more usable and benchmarkable framework.

\page

### Resonance

Your innate ability to use magic items is represented by a pool of Resonance Points (RP). Your maximum number of Resonance Points **is equal to your level plus 3 or your level plus your Charisma modifer, whichever is higher.** These points refresh during your daily preparations...

#### Why?
The current implementation of Resonance is extremely harsh classes that generally do not prioritize charisma such as martials, well really any class except the Bard, Paladin, and Sorcerers. This Ability based bonuse has an outsized effect in low to mid level play ie level 1-10. It greatly limits the wealth of consumable and interesting items lower level characters can do with Resonance. Part of the consumalbe problem is addressed below, but adding a moderated floor to Resonance points puts more characters on an equal footing while still rewarding Charisma as a Primary or Secondary stat.

#### Comsumables

##### Oils
Add: "Unless otherwise specified, applying Oils does not require resonance." Operate Activateion(0RP)

##### Potions
Add: "Unless otherwise specified, drinking a Potion does not require resonance." Operate Activation (0RP)

Add: "Once consumed, a character becomes bolstered against further uses of potions with the same name and type until they finish a long rest. A Potion might have a different specified effect for a Bolstered character. A potion can ignore the bolstered condition if a Resonance Point is expended as part of the Operate Activation." Operate Activation (1RP)

##### Trinkets
Add: "Unless otherwise specified, activating trinkets does not require resonance." Focus Activation(0RP)

#### Why?
Consumables are tricky. In one sense the character is paying two prices for a consumable. Once in gp to purchase it, and again in resonance to use it. Being unable to use something you've paid good gp for is frustrating, and exacerbated by the healing problems that existed.

These changes allow consumables to function in most cases without resonance using their gp cost and other requirements to limit their over use instead of Resonance.

**Trinkets:** Only one trinket can be attatched to an item. Attatching trinkets will only be done outside of encounter mode. This functionally limits Trinket abuse to one trinket per attatched item. With only weapons, armor, and shields able to be affixed with trinkets the maximum trinket expendiature in an encounter is three. It is self limiting and does not need to have exploitable abuses curbed by Resonance. Cost in gp is also a balanced limited factor for these consumables.

**Oils:** Oils are limited by their action economy. It takes two hands and generally two actions to successfully apply an oil. One action to retrieve the Oil, one action to apply the oil. This action cost limits Oil uses in encounter mode. Oils generally have no exploitable abuses outside of encounter mode. The cost gp acts as a limiter. High level characters will rarely expend two actions in encoutner mode for the benefits of an oil exploitable by high level gp economics.

**Potion:** Potions are generally the consumable, outside of wands which are addressed well with Resonance, that are most exploitable. They are oftend the consumable people will be most frustrated by costing Resonance. This fix effectively tries to split the middle by allowing general idea that their gp cost buys the effect, but protects against spammable abuse by using Resonance. The end result will be characters carrying a variety of potions of differing types. This will incentivize characters to purchase the highest available level of a potion they intend to use, along with the lower versions.

Also, the bolstered mechanic fits the "more isn't better" philosophy that we've been exposed to with medicine. The alternate Bolstered Effect can be used for items like Healing Potions could be akin to removing the dying condition and restore a maximum of 1hp, so a character could still force a potion down a companions throat without that character needing to have had a resonance point avaialbe.

### Healing

With access to the Heroic Resolve/Recovery mechanic and changes to Resonance and Consumbables parties now have a potentially adequate amount of healing without strictly relying on a specialized Healer. Though a party does not strictly need a healer, the healer's role has not been obsoleted as Heroic Resover/Recovery does not apply to encounter mode and has a reasonable opportunity cost. The Heroic Resolve'Recovery mechanic also empowers DMs to prolong adventuring days and push through more encounteres by awarding Hero Points. This is an effective dial allowing DMs to tailor adventuring days and push the daily encounter recommendations as needed.

We have simultaneously obstructed spammable abuse of low level healing items, prioritized and incentivized a diverse range of higher level consumables, and done so in a manner that does not feel "punative" to characters as default Resonance did.


You might want to run a spell-check over it next time before PDFing it.

I like your idea for awarding hero points for pushing on, rather than retreating. I also agree with you on trinkets.


Arakhor wrote:

You might want to run a spell-check over it next time before PDFing it.

I like your idea for awarding hero points for pushing on, rather than retreating. I also agree with you on trinkets.

I didn't think it was filled with too many spelling errors. I just copy pasted it over and didn't find that many. It really isn't harder to make it a pdf like that than it would be to just type it into the forum. Plus, I can edit it beyond an hour and it looks nice.

Thanks, I like how the new Hero Point system checks out. I think it is a fairly elegant system for fixing the existing problems without something as drastic as full Starfinder Stamina with two new pools etc.

Yep, Oils and Trinkets are well regulated by their gp cost and the action cost of them with almost no spammable out of combat utility. Potions, the bolstered mechanic splits the different in a way between resonance limiting spammable abuse of low level consumables, without making it feel like you're always paying twice for a potion.


How would these changes affect your feelings on Resonance?

Honestly, my problem has never been with Resonance, but with how limited healing is outside of having a cleric. To me, 'solving' Resonance, means solving healing, and probably very few other changes. Because if (at least out of combat) healing isn't an issue that resonance has to solve, then I like the fact that consumables cost some resource other than just how much money you want to throw at the problem, and I like Resonance, thematically. I just don't like it for non-emergency healing. So these changes really only feel like a sidegrade at best, with the exception of heroic recovery, which I have some mixed feelings on

Do these changes to Resonance address concerns while still adhering to the design goal of limiting spammable abuse of low level consumables?

I guess. Not that I really had concerns, and to be honest, I'd probably just rather have Resonance, but it's not a make or break thing for me

Would the changes to Hero Points make them less forgettable?

I'm very mixed on your changes to Hero Points. On the one hand, I do think making everything just cost 1 Hero Point is a good change, though I don't like tying it into healing. I'm also not really sold on the 2 per adventuring day thing, which is beginning to feel more like Starfinder's Resolve Points, than what Hero Points should be. To me, I love Hero Points. I try to put them, or some facsimile in every game I run. But the thing with Hero Points, IMO, is that the game should never require them. To me, their greatest strength is that they are something that can't necessarily be expected (except maybe as a one per session baseline), and are contingent on RP, heroic moments, or even just the price paid to the players for GM fiat.

In exchange for their rarity, they serve to basically give the players a little more agency over the game, from nudging probability, through rerolls, to slight scene modifications, to the cost paid by players for the slight "rule of cool" rules breaks. But none of this is required for the game to work, only for the game to be a little more epic. By tying in Healing to Hero Points, I bristle against that, because I don't think that's what hero points should be for. Now, introducing something like Resolve, I wouldn't be opposed to, and it's even my general best idea at solving healing, but I don't think it should take the place of hero points, either as they stand now, or in concept.

Do these changes to Hero Points make them overpowered or are any options significantly better than the rest?

See above, but I think as it stands, the healing use is overpowered, only because there is no other easy healing option for parties sans clerics. Solve that issue, and maybe the extra action is a little OP, but only slightly. And I think that if it's 1 cost, the reroll shouldn't refund a point on a failure.

Would the changes to consumables and the Heroic Recovery addition adequately address the dearth of Healing for parties without a Cleric?

As above, my answer is no, simply because I don't think either consumables, nor Hero Points, are the correct method of solving the healing issue. If Heroic recovery didn't operate off of Hero points, I'd be more open to it, but no need to ruin Hero Points, in order to do that.

Would the change to consumables and the Heroic Recovery Addition overshadow the role of a healer?

Honestly, I don't really care, since I don't think the role of a healer is really something that should be desired, but I'd say no. It simply changes the healer's role from "everybody needs it" to "they shine in the desperate moments, when all other resources are gone"

Overall, do these changes adequately address the Resonance and Healing concerns?

I think I've stated my piece on this, but I guess I will say, this is potentially a good starting point, as even though I don't agree with all the changes, or even issues, raised on this, I think it's at least looking at most of the problems from the right perspective.

Are these changes preferable to the P1 healing solution of cheap spammable consumables a the current state of P2?

Low bar, but yes.


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Get rid of it. Its a solution to no known problem.

If you absolutely have to have it, don't tie it to a specific stat. Have it either purely level dependant, or level + primary stat.


Tholomyes wrote:

How would these changes affect your feelings on Resonance?

Honestly, my problem has never been with Resonance, but with how limited healing is outside of having a cleric. To me, 'solving' Resonance, means solving healing, and probably very few other changes. Because if (at least out of combat) healing isn't an issue that resonance has to solve, then I like the fact that consumables cost some resource other than just how much money you want to throw at the problem, and I like Resonance, thematically. I just don't like it for non-emergency healing. So these changes really only feel like a sidegrade at best, with the exception of heroic recovery, which I have some mixed feelings on

Do these changes to Resonance address concerns while still adhering to the design goal of limiting spammable abuse of low level consumables?

I guess. Not that I really had concerns, and to be honest, I'd probably just rather have Resonance, but it's not a make or break thing for me

Would the changes to Hero Points make them less forgettable?

I'm very mixed on your changes to Hero Points. On the one hand, I do think making everything just cost 1 Hero Point is a good change, though I don't like tying it into healing. I'm also not really sold on the 2 per adventuring day thing, which is beginning to feel more like Starfinder's Resolve Points, than what Hero Points should be. To me, I love Hero Points. I try to put them, or some facsimile in every game I run. But the thing with Hero Points, IMO, is that the game should never require them. To me, their greatest strength is that they are something that can't necessarily be expected (except maybe as a one per session baseline), and are contingent on RP, heroic moments, or even just the price paid to the players for GM fiat.

In exchange for their rarity, they serve to basically give the players a little more agency over the game, from nudging probability, through rerolls, to slight scene modifications, to the cost paid by players for the slight...

Interesting. We really are coming at Hero Points from different directions. My experience so far in P2 is that Hero Points serve only one purpose, to get rid of the dying condition during a fight. The cost of 2 to reroll or three or an extra action just do not hold enough appeal for their cost. I don't think I would ever bring myself to be able to dump all three of my Hero Points into a fourth action knowing I had none left to stave off dying.

We agree that they should all cost 1 Hero Point. Of course the reroll shouldn't come with a refund now that it has a lower cost, that I agree would make it too good. When I dropped its cost to one I never thought about the refund.

You don't like the Hero Points being tied to healing, but is that not in a sense what they are primarily used for when you stave off dying? That is awful close to healing, and its the most common use for Hero Points right now. If one is ok, I don't see a problem with the other. Any party that relies almost solely on Hero Point healing is doing so at an opportunity cost and that balancing of opportunity cost is IMO the real goal.

We agree the problem wasn't strictly with resonance itself, but was really a problem with non cleric healing. It sounds to me you agree with a limited stamina-like healing mechanic, just not one necessarily powered off of Hero Points.

Glad is surpasses the low bar. I would like to hear from other people's views on hero points. I just haven't experienced anything but Hero Points being forgettable.


Funky Badger wrote:

Get rid of it. Its a solution to no known problem.

If you absolutely have to have it, don't tie it to a specific stat. Have it either purely level dependant, or level + primary stat.

I strongly disagree that Resonance serves no purpose. IMO there is a definite problem with spammable low level consumables ie wands and potions etc in 3.P. So, that is a problem Resonance is addressing. Another problem is tracking of charges and other consumables on wands and Resonance solves that. A third is item slots etc which resonance is a more flexible way of addressing.

I see three problems resonance is designed to address and IMO the implementations is the real problem particularly how it interacts with consumables.


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Zman0 wrote:
I strongly disagree that Resonance serves no purpose. IMO there is a definite problem with spammable low level consumables ie wands and potions etc in 3.P.

What's the problem?


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Funky Badger wrote:
Zman0 wrote:
I strongly disagree that Resonance serves no purpose. IMO there is a definite problem with spammable low level consumables ie wands and potions etc in 3.P.
What's the problem?

That characters spams low level healing items choosing them over higher level versions. It breaks verisimilitude, it breaks the intended economics. Some may not see it as a problem, but it runs counter to how the devs of previous editions and this one intend low level consumables to be used.

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