Trinkets and Treasures

Monday, June 25, 2018

Wayfinder. Bag of holding. Ring of the ram. Staff of power. Holy avenger.

The magic items you find during your adventures become a part of your story and let you do things beyond the techniques you've mastered and the spells you know. So how do these essentials of the game work in the Pathfinder Playtest?

Magic items are used in three major ways: by investing them, by activating them, or automatically. Invested items are ones you wear that you have to prepare as you don them, after which they work continuously. Activating items follows a system similar to that used for spells. Just as casting a spell requires you to spend actions to supply the somatic, verbal, and material components of the spell, activated items require you to use the Command Activation, Focus Activation, or Operate Activation action, or a combination of multiple actions. A potion requires you to spend an Operate Activation action to drink it. A necklace of fireballs requires you to spend 2 Operate Activation actions to unbind a bead and throw it. Activating a luck blade to reroll an attack just takes a mental nudge with a Focus Activation reaction (though you get to do that only once per day). Automatic activation happens with a small category of items that give their benefit whenever they're used for their normal purpose. A prime example is a sword with the frost property rune, which is always coated with frost and needs only hit a foe to deal extra cold damage.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Resonance

Activating or investing an item costs 1 Resonance Point (RP). You might have heard a bit about this on the Glass Cannon podcast! Resonance is a new resource all characters have that can be used to activate items. Your innate magic item resonance is represented by a number of Resonance Points equal to your level plus your Charisma modifier. This ties back to the Pathfinder First Edition concept of Charisma as the main ability score tied to innate magic, as seen in the Use Magic Device skill and the fact that Charisma is used for spell-like abilities, oracles, sorcerers, and so forth. However, in Pathfinder Second Edition, true scholars of itemcraft *cough*alchemists*cough* might get to use their Intelligence instead.

The idea of resonance stems from the Pathfinder First Edition occultist, who was able to tap into the magical potential of items, and even before that to the idea of resonance between creatures and various magic items, as seen with the resonant powers of wayfinders. We've expanded that concept to apply to everyone. In practical terms, you're really unlikely to run out of Resonance Points unless you're using an absurd number of items, and you're at the greatest risk at low levels. You still have a chance even if your pool is empty, though. You can overspend Resonance Points! If you're at 0 RP, you can attempt to activate or invest an item anyway. You need to attempt a flat check (a d20 roll with no modifiers) against a DC equal to 10 + the number of points you've overspent today. So the first item has a 50% chance of working, and it gets more risky from there.

We expect Resonance Points to be a contentious topic, and we're really curious to see how it plays at your tables. It's one of the more experimental changes to the game, and the playtest process gives us a chance to see it in the wild before committing to it. Here are the advantages we see from a design perspective:

  1. Using items is clear and consistent. Spend the required actions and 1 RP, and you activate or invest your item. If someone else wants to use the same item, you can remove it and let them put it on and invest it themselves.
  2. You have less to track. We get to remove some of the sub-pools that individual items have (such as "10 rounds per day which need not be consecutive" or "5 charges") because we know you have an overall limited resource. There are still some items that can't be used without limit, but they get to be special exceptions rather than being common out of necessity.
  3. It puts the focus on the strongest items. Because you can't activate items indefinitely, your best bet is to use the most RP-efficient item, not the most gp-efficient item. You want a high-level healing wand because you get more healing for your Resonance Point rather than getting a bunch of low-level wands because they're cheap.
  4. Investiture limits what you can wear. That means we don't need to rely heavily on an item slot system, creating more flexibility in what kind of worn items are useful. You'll read more about this on the blog on Friday, when we talk about removing the magic item Christmas tree!

Will those benefits be compelling? Will people prefer this system over the Pathfinder First Edition system? We look forward to finding out!

Want to look at an item to see how this works in practice?

Cloak of Elvenkind Item 10+

Illusion, Invested, Magical

Method of Use worn, cloak; Bulk L

Activation [[A]] Focus Activation, [[A]] Operate Activation


This cloak is deep green with a voluminous hood, and is embroidered with gold trim and symbols of significance to the elves. The cloak allows you to cast the ghost sound cantrip as an innate arcane spell. When you draw the hood up over your head (an Interact action), the cloak transforms to match the environment around you and muffles your sounds, giving you an item bonus to Stealth checks. If you activate the cloak, you pull the hood up and are affected by invisibility for 1 minute or until you pull the hood back down, whichever comes first.

Type standard; Level 10; Price 1,000 gp

The cloak grants a +3 bonus.

Type greater; Level 18; Price 24,000 gp

The cloak grants a +5 bonus, and invisibility is 4th level. If you're also wearing greater boots of elvenkind, the greater cloak of elvenkind allows you to Sneak in forest environments even when creatures are currently observing you.

Here's a fairly complex item to show multiple parts of the system at once. The cloak of elvenkind is level 10, and there's also a greater cloak of elvenkind with an item level of 18. In case you missed it in the crafting blog, items have levels now, which indicate the point at which you can craft them (as well as being handy for the GM when making treasure hoards). Method of use indicates that this item is worn and that it's a cloak. A few items have this two-part listing because they're hard to wear multiples of. Multiple cloaks, multiple boots... not practical. Multiple rings or amulets? No problem.

This item is both invested (note the invested trait) and activated (as you can see by the activation entry). Investing the cloak lets you cast ghost sound. You get this benefit as long as the cloak is invested, which means you can cast the spell whenever you want without activating the cloak and therefore without spending more Resonance Points. You can also get an item bonus to Stealth checks from the cloak (+3 or +5 for a greater cloak). Finally, you can activate the cloak as you raise the hood, spending 1 Resonance Point to turn invisible! Certainly not every item has as much going on as a cloak of elvenkind, but several classic items seemed like they needed a little extra special treatment! What do you think? Too much?

How about something simpler?

Floating Shield Item 13

Magical

Price 2,800 gp

Method of Use held, 1 hand; Bulk L

Activation [[A]] Operate Activation


This master-quality light wooden shield (Hardness 6) protects you without requiring you to spend actions each round. When you activate this shield, you can release it from your grip as a part of that action. The shield floats in the air next to you, granting you its bonus automatically, as if you Raised the Shield. Because you're not wielding the shield, you can't use reactions such as Shield Block with the shield.

After 1 minute, the shield drops to the ground, ending its floating effect. While the shield is adjacent to you, you can grasp it with an Interact action, ending its floating effect.

You can hold this and use it just like any other shield. Activating it lets you free up a hand to cause the shield to float, where it protects you without you spending an action! While the floating shield offers far less Hardness than many magic shields of a similar level (some have Hardness up to 18!), it's not meant for Shield Block, and its abilities allow you to use it even with a character who needs both hands for other things.

Now let's look at two special types of items: one revamped classic and one brand-new category!

Staves

We went through several different iterations of staves. They needed to remain a powerful tool for spellcasters, but we also wanted them to appear earlier in the game so you didn't have to wait for most staves to appear at higher levels. Let's see the staff of healing!

Staff of Healing Item 3+

Invested, Magical, Necromancy, Staff

Method of Use held, 1 hand; Bulk 1

Activation Cast a Spell (1 RP)


Made of smooth white wood, this staff is capped at each end with a golden cross adorned with a multitude of ruby cabochons. A staff of healing adds an item bonus to the Hit Points you restore any time you cast the heal spell using your own spell slots, using charges from the staff, or from channel energy.

Type minor; Level 3; Price 60 gp; Maximum Charges 3

The item bonus to heal spells is +1.

  • stabilize (cantrip)
  • heal (level 1)

I've included only the level 3 minor staff of healing here. There are also versions at levels 7, 11, and 15, and they add higher-level heal spells, plus restoration, remove disease, restore senses, and more! A staff is tied to you, which means you have to invest it, unlike most held items. This investiture has two extra benefits. First off, it links the staff to you, preventing anyone else from investing the staff for 24 hours. More importantly, it restores charges to the staff equal to the highest level of spell you can cast. You don't have to expend any spells to do this; it's all part of using your Resonance Points. You'll notice this also means that if you find one of these as a 1st-level character, it will take you longer to recharge it than if you're a higher-level spellcaster. You also get the item bonus to healing as long as you hold the invested staff.

Now how do you cast these spells? Well, you activate the staff as part of casting one of the spells in it (spending 1 RP as usual). Then you have two options: You can either expend charges from the staff equal to the spell's level (1 charge for heal here) or expend one of your own spells of that level or higher. Yeah, your staff essentially lets you spontaneously cast the spells in it!

Trinkets

How about something completely different? One thing we wanted to add was a type of item that was like scrolls for martial characters. Spellcasters use scrolls and everyone uses potions, but how about something special that relies on nonmagical skills? Trinkets were the answer! Our first example was designed specifically for fighters.

Fear Gem Item 4

Consumable, Enchantment, Fear, Magical, Mental, Trinket

Price 11 gp

Method of Use affixed, weapon; Bulk

Activation [[F]] Focus Activation; Trigger You use Intimidating Strike, but haven't rolled for the attack yet.


Dark smoke seems to writhe within this obsidian gem. When you activate the gem, if your Intimidating Strike hits, the target is frightened 2 and flat-footed against your attacks until the end of your next turn. If the attack roll is a critical success, the target is flat-footed against your attacks for 1 minute.

Trinkets all have the consumable trait, meaning they're used up after being activated once. They have the "affixed" method of use, and as this one indicates, it has to be affixed to a weapon. You can activate it with a Focus Activation as a free action when you use the Intimidating Strike action from the fighter feat of the same name. This makes the Intimidating Strike more severe, increasing its effect to frightened 2 instead of frightened 1 and making it especially strong on a critical success.

Now how about a trinket that's less specific?

Vanishing Coin Item 9

Consumable, Illusion, Magical, Trinket

Price 85 gp

Method of Use affixed, armor; Bulk

Activation [[F]] Focus Activation; Trigger You attempt a Stealth check for initiative, but haven't rolled yet.

Requirements You are a master in Stealth.


This copper coin dangles from a leather strip strung through a hole drilled into the coin's center. It's usually tied just below the throat on a suit of armor. Until it is activated, the coin becomes invisible for a few seconds every few minutes, but always at random intervals. When you activate the coin, you gain the benefits of a 2nd-level invisibility spell until the end of your next turn.

Anyone with master proficiency in Stealth can use this trinket by affixing it to her armor. She can turn invisible by activating the coin when she rolls a Stealth check for initiative. Pretty useful in the first round of a fight!

Well, there's a lot to say about magic items, and we'll have more to say on Friday. For now, I'm going to leave you with a short list of some of the new items appearing in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook in addition to the classics.

  • Anklets of alacrity
  • Feather step stone
  • Forge warden
  • Grim trophy
  • Handwraps of mighty fists
  • Oil of weightlessness
  • Persona mask
  • Potency crystal
  • Runestone
  • Spell duelist's wand
  • Third eye
  • Virtuoso's instrument

Tell us what sorts of items you'd like to see in the final rulebook!

Logan Bonner
Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

One thing I think I haven't seen discussed so far:

Should the process of preparing your magic items for the day be called Investment?

When I first saw this phrase, I didn't immediately understand what the devs were getting at. Investment in my mind is typically associated with putting money into something to reap some kind of reward later. While that sort of matches the concept at hand here, it doesn't have a typical fantasy ring to it.
Second, it suffers from a sort of thematic mismatch: "investing" into an item sounds like you're putting your own personal magic into it, rather than it being inherently magical. This doesn't match what people think of when they think of powerful magical items. It should really be the reverse, right?
Third, it is difficult to describe and talk about, or at least awkward: "When I woke up, I invested part of my resonance into my sword, shield, and staff. It was lucky that I didn't get ambushed while I was investing in them! My staff is now invested with my resonance and can't be invested by anyone else until tomorrow."

I'd love if "investment" was replaced by "attunement"
Yes yes, I know. 5th edition term. Very bad. But honestly, it is just as appropriate here as it is in 5th edition.

  • It has an immediate fantasy association to it.
  • It couches the relationship between the character and item as a bond, rather than as a one-way character to item transfer.
  • It's easy to talk about: "When I woke up, I attuned to my sword, shield and staff. It was lucky I didn't get ambushed while I was attuning to them. My staff is now attuned to me, so no one else can attune to it until tomorrow."

  • Sovereign Court

    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
    Cellion wrote:
    "investing" into an item sounds like you're putting your own personal magic into it, rather than it being inherently magical. This doesn't match what people think of when they think of powerful magical items. It should really be the reverse, right?

    No, that is kind of the idea of resonance. In order to attune to an item, you mingle a bit of your inherent magical capacity with the magic of the item. Thus, you "invest" your resonance in the item.


    KingOfAnything wrote:
    Cellion wrote:
    "investing" into an item sounds like you're putting your own personal magic into it, rather than it being inherently magical. This doesn't match what people think of when they think of powerful magical items. It should really be the reverse, right?
    No, that is kind of the idea of resonance. In order to attune to an item, you mingle a bit of your inherent magical capacity with the magic of the item. Thus, you "invest" your resonance in the item.

    Was that ever a concept in Golarion? It seems decent enough as fan theories go, but PF has been typical D&D fare where an item is magical or not, and folks are trained spellcasters or not. You can't just learn to be a sorcerer (i.e., have innate magic) if you don't have the bloodline.


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    Yeah... Investment has alot broader meaning than that.
    There is concept of emotional investment. The concept of commitment to something over time.
    The concept of being endowed with a 'quality' or meaning. The concept of bestowal of rank, subsidiary sovereign will.
    "Financial" investment is essentially a narrow derivative of that older, broader meaning.

    Paizo has been clear Resonance is built on same paradigm of Occultist, which uses term "investment" re: Implements.
    This essentially is "speaking" to magic, extending one's will and essence to "command" the magic to serve one's will, within the master's fold.
    If anything, the term as used has more archaic, poetic tone exactly suited to fantasy RPG,
    even if you personally are less familiar with that usage in your engagement with language.

    I mean, attunement could also work, with general concept and specific term of Resonance,
    but it feels less archaic/poetic/occult, it break with Occultist heritage (which they wish to revisit as "Occult Resonance Master")
    and thus throws away the unique Pathfinder heritage they have already built up, in favor of being newspeak-friendly.
    I don't recall anybody complaining about Occultist using this term, although I wasn't involved in that playtest.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Cellion wrote:

    row."[/i]

    I'd love if "investment" was replaced by "attunement"
    Yes yes, I know. 5th edition term. Very bad. But honestly, it is just as appropriate here as it is in 5th edition.

    I agree with this. It also brings a whole harmonic element to the thing. In physics a resonate frequency is one where a small driving force can cause a large amplitude oscillations I think that concept works well for Pathfidner as well. You adjust your magical frequency to resonate with the magic item and thus gain the benefit, attunement.

    Alternatively those who are masters of magic items could find a way to adjust the item instead and thus use Int as opposed to Cha to affect resonance.


    Bardarok wrote:
    Cellion wrote:

    row."[/i]

    I'd love if "investment" was replaced by "attunement"
    Yes yes, I know. 5th edition term. Very bad. But honestly, it is just as appropriate here as it is in 5th edition.

    I agree with this. It also brings a whole harmonic element to the thing. In physics a resonate frequency is one where a small driving force can cause a large amplitude oscillations I think that concept works well for Pathfidner as well. You adjust your magical frequency to resonate with the magic item and thus gain the benefit, attunement.

    Alternatively those who are masters of magic items could find a way to adjust the item instead and thus use Int as opposed to Cha to affect resonance.

    Yeah I too would prefer attunement over investment, also attunement was already introduced to PF in Unchained so you could always play that card if 5e comparisons are a concern

    Sovereign Court

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
    Voss wrote:
    KingOfAnything wrote:
    Cellion wrote:
    "investing" into an item sounds like you're putting your own personal magic into it, rather than it being inherently magical. This doesn't match what people think of when they think of powerful magical items. It should really be the reverse, right?
    No, that is kind of the idea of resonance. In order to attune to an item, you mingle a bit of your inherent magical capacity with the magic of the item. Thus, you "invest" your resonance in the item.
    Was that ever a concept in Golarion? It seems decent enough as fan theories go, but PF has been typical D&D fare where an item is magical or not, and folks are trained spellcasters or not. You can't just learn to be a sorcerer (i.e., have innate magic) if you don't have the bloodline.

    Yes.

    Blog wrote:
    The idea of resonance stems from the Pathfinder First Edition occultist, who was able to tap into the magical potential of items, and even before that to the idea of resonance between creatures and various magic items, as seen with the resonant powers of wayfinders.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    WatersLethe wrote:
    magnuskn wrote:
    WatersLethe wrote:
    The issue of whether the game design should allow for full heals between fights has been discussed at length in the CLW thread.
    Would you mind linking to it? I didn't find it yesterday on a cursory examination of the playtest sub-forum. I'd like to check out that discussion when I get back from work.
    Why are Wands of CLW such a problem

    Many thanks!


    Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
    Quandary wrote:

    Yeah... Investment has alot broader meaning than that. (...)

    Paizo has been clear Resonance is built on same paradigm of Occultist, which uses term "investment" re: Implements.
    This essentially is "speaking" to magic, extending one's will and essence to "command" the magic to serve one's will.
    If anything, the term as used has more archaic, poetic tone exactly suited to fantasy RPG,
    even if you personally are less familiar with that usage in your engagement with language.
    (...)

    That's what I get for being less familiar with the newer classes! While I knew in a broad sense how the occultist worked in 1E, I didn't realize they used the same term. Reading over the occultist again now, the "investment" process is almost identical to 2E, so it makes sense why they chose to repeat terminology. I also see your point about other definitions of "investment".

    My perspective is one of first-glance grokkability, that someone unfamiliar with Pathfinder's history will understand fairly intuitively what is happening. I *think* attunement works better for this purpose, though it could easily be my familiarity with the term from other media that's taking me down that route.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Kaemy wrote:

    The game will (in my opinion) be healthier if players are forced to start considering their HP as something precious they want to prevent from going down, which is something the characters should be doing... Stuff like rising shields, using dodge actions or spending resources on an encounter that could be considered trivial by PF1 standards will become more important and better options, as they should.

    When I played my last Barbarian, I couldn't freaking care to expose myself to enemies in most combats, I KNEW I would be at full health before the next one anyway. Getting rid of that mentality will probably be for the best. We are too used to the asumption we are supposed to be at full HP at all times, as if our characters didn't just fight for their lives three times in the last hour and received multiple wounds...

    Sure, if we could achieve this effect without screwing over "no healbot" parties and the 15 minute workday problem then this would be fine. Yeah, 5 minute rests are a solution like CLW wands, but if that became an official rule (which I would be all for), it would "break verisimilitude" for the same people as with the CLW wands.

    The problem with your desired playstyle is that, assuming for a moment that combat will be more or less similar in deadliness from PF1E to PF2E, going into combat with half your hit points is an invitation to the graveyard. My players therefore prefer to be topped off as much as possible, because if that one unexpected monster gets in a good hit they can be looking at making a new character or (at higher levels) sitting on the sideline for half of the session.

    To get your desired effect, monsters need to be mostly harmless, so that you can go into the next combat with the expectation that the next room will contain the same kind of mostly harmless monsters. I personally don't find that interesting at all and do prefer to present great challenges wherever possible to my players.


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    Something one of my players asked about all this: does resonance go away upon death? Otherwise all that nifty gear one finds on the Bad Guys is useless for 24 hours. I can see that being problematic if one of them happens to be carrying something that could be useful in the next room or nearby in an adventure.


    MerlinCross wrote:
    Noir le Lotus wrote:
    (look at Midnight where magic drain constitution from casters that use too much magic)
    Didn't people hate it when Kineticist tried something like that?

    In Midnight, Magic doesn't drain you if you cast a spell, it drains you if you cast too much spells !!

    Basically, Midnight use a spell-point system, but the pool is quite small (something like hability modifier + 1/2 level). You can cast more spell, but for each spellpoint used above your limit, you take 1 point of constitution drain (it's a special drain that wears off after a good night of sleep).

    So a caster has to choose between using few spells or risking his life to get more.

    Of course, Midnight caster classes are mouch more the 6-spell-level in PF : they can do something else than casting spells.


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    knightnday wrote:
    Something one of my players asked about all this: does resonance go away upon death? Otherwise all that nifty gear one finds on the Bad Guys is useless for 24 hours. I can see that being problematic if one of them happens to be carrying something that could be useful in the next room or nearby in an adventure.

    I think the no one else can invest for 24 hours is the exception for staves rather than the rule so you can't use the bad guys staff I guess .


    MerlinCross wrote:
    Noir le Lotus wrote:
    (look at Midnight where magic drain constitution from casters that use too much magic)
    Didn't people hate it when Kineticist tried something like that?

    I thought it was great part about Kineticist. Never played Midnight, but that sounds flavorful & cinematic to me.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    magnuskn wrote:
    Kaemy wrote:

    The game will (in my opinion) be healthier if players are forced to start considering their HP as something precious they want to prevent from going down, which is something the characters should be doing... Stuff like rising shields, using dodge actions or spending resources on an encounter that could be considered trivial by PF1 standards will become more important and better options, as they should.

    When I played my last Barbarian, I couldn't freaking care to expose myself to enemies in most combats, I KNEW I would be at full health before the next one anyway. Getting rid of that mentality will probably be for the best. We are too used to the asumption we are supposed to be at full HP at all times, as if our characters didn't just fight for their lives three times in the last hour and received multiple wounds...

    Sure, if we could achieve this effect without screwing over "no healbot" parties and the 15 minute workday problem then this would be fine. Yeah, 5 minute rests are a solution like CLW wands, but if that became an official rule (which I would be all for), it would "break verisimilitude" for the same people as with the CLW wands.

    The problem with your desired playstyle is that, assuming for a moment that combat will be more or less similar in deadliness from PF1E to PF2E, going into combat with half your hit points is an invitation to the graveyard. My players therefore prefer to be topped off as much as possible, because if that one unexpected monster gets in a good hit they can be looking at making a new character or (at higher levels) sitting on the sideline for half of the session.

    To get your desired effect, monsters need to be mostly harmless, so that you can go into the next combat with the expectation that the next room will contain the same kind of mostly harmless monsters. I personally don't find that interesting at all and do prefer to present great challenges wherever possible to my players.

    I also still say that if the challenge is so bloody high for each fight, players are just going to vote on skipping said fight. I mean if the bodyguards are putting up such a brutal fight that you need to use a good chunk of your resources to put them down, what's the party going to do? Fight through 5 groups of bodyguards AND then the boss?

    No thank you. Best result is you take some resources this way, but it's just Scrolls/Wands/Spell slots of Invisibility or Teleport.


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    Malk_Content wrote:

    I'm still confused about what people are finding "complex" about Resonance. It seems like a recurring issue I just don't get. I'm not the smartest tool in the shed, but Resonance seems pretty plain to me.

    It is a resource used by items. You get charisma + level of this resource (likely minimum 1.) Reduce your Resonance by 1 when asked.

    Ah, so you're relying on someone else to keep track of it for you ("when asked")? Not surprised you don't see it as complex. I pity your GM though.


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    Cellion wrote:
    Quandary wrote:

    Yeah... Investment has alot broader meaning than that. (...)

    Paizo has been clear Resonance is built on same paradigm of Occultist, which uses term "investment" re: Implements. (...)

    That's what I get for being less familiar with the newer classes! While I knew in a broad sense how the occultist worked in 1E, I didn't realize they used the same term. Reading over the occultist again now, the "investment" process is almost identical to 2E, so it makes sense why they chose to repeat terminology. I also see your point about other definitions of "investment".

    My perspective is one of first-glance grokkability, that someone unfamiliar with Pathfinder's history will understand fairly intuitively what is happening. I *think* attunement works better for this purpose, though it could easily be my familiarity with the term from other media that's taking me down that route.

    I'm honestly barely familiar with Occultist, but I remembered they mentioned Resonance as being inspired by Occultist and looked it up on PRD to see if they use the term :-)

    I guess I just happen to be familiar with the full meaning of investment, which even before I looked up Occultist seemed perfectly suited to the given fantasy/occult mechanic, treating magic as something 'awoken' by conscious will, instilling it with conscious energy without which it is dormant.

    Also: here is link (see definitions of 'invest') https://thesaurus.plus/related/invest/robed
    showing relation of 'invest' with 'robed' (which is inherent in etymology, note 'vest' component of invest). ...Invest having specific meaning particularly "outfit with especially fine clothes" i.e. clothes with special significance... which in fantasy setting we can extend to include magical powers. This parallels historic ranks (noble/church) which always had special clothes or accoutrements like sceptres etc. It is about affiliation of will with "powers" and role. That link also gives mythological-poetic example of 'nightfall invested the land' which I love (nature itself embodying conscious will, subject & object). The "financial" angle is just narrow $-centric channeling of all that.


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    Wandering Wastrel wrote:
    Malk_Content wrote:

    I'm still confused about what people are finding "complex" about Resonance. It seems like a recurring issue I just don't get. I'm not the smartest tool in the shed, but Resonance seems pretty plain to me.

    It is a resource used by items. You get charisma + level of this resource (likely minimum 1.) Reduce your Resonance by 1 when asked.

    Ah, so you're relying on someone else to keep track of it for you ("when asked")? Not surprised you don't see it as complex. I pity your GM though.

    I believe the "when asked" is referring to when the item tells you to use Resonance.


    MerlinCross wrote:
    Noir le Lotus wrote:
    (look at Midnight where magic drain constitution from casters that use too much magic)
    Didn't people hate it when Kineticist tried something like that?

    To be fair it was only really much of a thing at low levels and if you were crazy irresponsible with spellcasting (which was rarely the smart thing to be doing in that setting)


    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    Quandary wrote:
    Cellion wrote:
    Quandary wrote:

    Yeah... Investment has alot broader meaning than that. (...)

    Paizo has been clear Resonance is built on same paradigm of Occultist, which uses term "investment" re: Implements. (...)

    That's what I get for being less familiar with the newer classes! While I knew in a broad sense how the occultist worked in 1E, I didn't realize they used the same term. Reading over the occultist again now, the "investment" process is almost identical to 2E, so it makes sense why they chose to repeat terminology. I also see your point about other definitions of "investment".

    My perspective is one of first-glance grokkability, that someone unfamiliar with Pathfinder's history will understand fairly intuitively what is happening. I *think* attunement works better for this purpose, though it could easily be my familiarity with the term from other media that's taking me down that route.

    I'm honestly barely familiar with Occultist, but I remembered they mentioned Resonance as being inspired by Occultist and looked it up on PRD to see if they use the term :-)

    I guess I just happen to be familiar with the full meaning of investment, which even before I looked up Occultist seemed perfectly suited to the given fantasy/occult mechanic, treating magic as something 'awoken' by conscious will, instilling it with conscious energy without which it is dormant.

    I actually take the opposite view, the fact that the concept of resonance comes out of one of the occult classes is just one more strike against resonance. The occult classes are far and away my least favorite PF1e classes. They seemed the least D&D-like of any of the PF1e classes.


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    I don't know if that is the 'opposite' view since I wasn't pronouncing on the desirability/enjoyability of the concept, I was just assessing the relationship of the term to the concept, referencing dictionaries not gameplay sentiment.

    I do like the concept, but if you don't, that's individual taste I guess. Personally, I don't see the inclusion or exclusion of such a concept or theme as definitive of my roleplaying, I've played numerous games with totally different supernatural assumptions, if I am roleplaying I understand I am supposed to integrate arbitrary setting assumptions. Maybe I have a thing for cyber-unicorns, but if Paizo isn't doing that with P2E I'm not going to impose that preference on my judgement of the game, I will judge it for the game it is trying to be.

    IMHO Paizo isn't trying to make D&D anymore, they're pretty explicit about it. When they released P1e, they weren't a game system publisher, just a content publisher. Now they are, and they aren't interested in constraining themselves to rehashing somebody else's system which never met it's own system assumptions to begin with. Now it mostly will be pretty close to D&D (as well as integrating their content like Occultists and Alchemists), but really this type of mechanic doesn't conflict with the large of amount of setting content... Nowhere is it a fact of the world that people freely use and swap infinite amounts of magic items every day... CLW spam was 'optimized' PC tactic not setting lore. 3.x/P1E mechanics were alway kept at arms length from world lore, as seen with their avoidance of specifying casting manifestations. With Golarion integration there is no reason to do that, so mechanics can be much more specific in terms of 'cosmology' of magic and so on. I expect when they get around to Occultist, it will be deeply integrated with this system AND that Occultist content may even be more accessible to other classe somehow, giving more particular tone to the game.


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    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    Quandary wrote:
    IMHO Paizo isn't trying to make D&D anymore

    And this is my biggest concern. I actually like playing D&D, and to the degree that PF2e is not D&D, I don't have much interest in it.


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    eddv wrote:

    Reading that wand thread I think the biggest issue is how often people think the game is designed around attrition.

    Attrition is not especially fun and only a good concept to use in Moderation. moreover, its not actually a concept paizo even employs in their AP design for the most part. I just ran the first 4 books of Hells Rebels. In that AP, you mostly have single encounter adventuring days until youre tackling the end of book mini dungeons in which time is not usually an actual factor, with the sole exception of the endstage of book 4.

    Youre right that nothing was gained by them having cure wands; they could have just rested for 8 hours. The fact that they COULD heal to full hp while proceeding with diminished every other resource meant that they did. It really is basically the sweet spot. Remove easy HP recovery and the desire to play cautiously does amp up. No one wants to lose a character they have shepherded from level 1

    Don't like the happy stick? Then give up the ghost that any player is ever going to go into combat at anything lower than max or near-max health. I dont care if you dont like it Jason, that's just the way the game is played, so build it into the system.

    We've found it impossible to use attrition based systems in our home games due to the relative unlikeliness of getting into more than a fight or two per day. Just from a story design standpoint, and attempting to reward all types of play equally, it ends up making little to no sense to use a system that requires attrition to function effectively. Hell's Rebels sounds like it's designed pretty close to our sensibilities.

    With Pathfinder we just ratchet up the difficulty of encounters and we tend to avoid unnecessary fights since they're all potentially deadly. On the rare occasion where more than a couple encounters in a day makes sense, throttling consumable based recovery would shift the encounter style to something so much less deadly than normal that it wouldn't be worth rolling the dice.

    In our discussions about the new stuff we're seeing, resonance is something we've unanimously decided to remove from the game in order to keep the types of stories we've been telling.


    magnuskn wrote:
    Sure, if we could achieve this effect without screwing over "no healbot" parties and the 15 minute workday problem then this would be fine. Yeah, 5 minute rests are a solution like CLW wands, but if that became an official rule (which I would be all for), it would "break verisimilitude" for the same people as with the CLW wands.

    As one of those people for whom Wands of CLW breaks verisimilitude, Nope. Short rests don't really break verisimilitude. Though I'd prefer there be some upper limit on healing from short rests (Not a huge fan of 5e's Hit Dice, but it's a start. I'd probably have it be a flatter increase with levels, maybe X + CON + 1/5 level, and more healing, relative to max HP. Maybe 1/2*level d[Class HP, assuming we're still going with no odd Class HP], or something like that). But I wouldn't mind if that upper limit was only reached by especially risky or careless play. Also an upper limit gives a cost of lost HP, without being too punitive for the next encounter.

    But otherwise, I agree for the most part on your post. I like each combat to be if not deadly, at least more than just attrition. I just don't like the impact of CLW wands on the narrative.


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    Malk_Content wrote:
    I'm still confused about what people are finding "complex" about Resonance. It seems like a recurring issue I just don't get. I'm not the smartest tool in the shed, but Resonance seems pretty plain to me.

    For me, the biggest issue is just understanding when something does or does not cost resonance. When I first read the Cloak description it wasn't remotely clear that ghost sound was free and invisibility cost resonance, and I'm still not clear on why casting stabilize with the staff costs nothing but casting heal with it costs 1 RP.

    Some of this might just come with time, but right now it's a little puzzling.


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    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    Malk_Content wrote:
    I'm still confused about what people are finding "complex" about Resonance. It seems like a recurring issue I just don't get. I'm not the smartest tool in the shed, but Resonance seems pretty plain to me.

    For me, the biggest issue is just understanding when something does or does not cost resonance. When I first read the Cloak description it wasn't remotely clear that ghost sound was free and invisibility cost resonance, and I'm still not clear on why casting stabilize with the staff costs nothing but casting heal with it costs 1 RP.

    Some of this might just come with time, but right now it's a little puzzling.

    Yeah, I think that the spells from a staff shouldn't cost RP, just charges.

    Granted I also disagree with myself by thinking that it should cost an RP for casting the spell through your own slot, just so casters don't carry around a bunch of staves instead of preparing/knowing the spells in them.

    Edit:
    Probably more clear this way, I think using the staff to cast a spell should use charges, but spontaneous casting through the staff should cost an RP in addition to a slot.

    Sovereign Court

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    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    Malk_Content wrote:
    I'm still confused about what people are finding "complex" about Resonance. It seems like a recurring issue I just don't get. I'm not the smartest tool in the shed, but Resonance seems pretty plain to me.

    For me, the biggest issue is just understanding when something does or does not cost resonance. When I first read the Cloak description it wasn't remotely clear that ghost sound was free and invisibility cost resonance, and I'm still not clear on why casting stabilize with the staff costs nothing but casting heal with it costs 1 RP.

    Some of this might just come with time, but right now it's a little puzzling.

    A better explanation on how to read magic item texts would be helpful. The keyword 'activate' seems to indicate an RP cost. That may be more apparent when reading through the magic items chapter, either as a pattern to be picked up on or in explicit formatting text.


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    Gotta say, thus far the idea of Resonance has been a MAJOR turn-off for myself and multiple of my Pathfinder buddies. It's a needless system that just reads like it requires more, not less, book-keeping in the long run, especially when items with Charges STILL require Investment/Activation costs, etc.

    Consumables should be removed from Resonance entirely, it's asinine to force players to burn an additional resource just to use what is already a finite option itself.

    And having ANY ability score tied to Resonance is a TERRIBLE idea, I don't care if it reads like UMD or "inherent magic" or whatever tripe excuse can be provided. It gives Charisma-based characters an edge over others in what should be a UNIVERSAL system, and it's going to completely turn away people who may have considered playing a race with a Charisma hit (Dwarves, anyone?) and instead they'll just pick one that gives them the best mechanical edge.

    If the dumpster-fire that is Resonance is going to be kept, at least get rid of anything that would give certain races/classes an arbitrary edge while others incur an equally pointless penalty.

    Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

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    KingOfAnything wrote:
    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    Malk_Content wrote:
    I'm still confused about what people are finding "complex" about Resonance. It seems like a recurring issue I just don't get. I'm not the smartest tool in the shed, but Resonance seems pretty plain to me.

    For me, the biggest issue is just understanding when something does or does not cost resonance. When I first read the Cloak description it wasn't remotely clear that ghost sound was free and invisibility cost resonance, and I'm still not clear on why casting stabilize with the staff costs nothing but casting heal with it costs 1 RP.

    Some of this might just come with time, but right now it's a little puzzling.

    A better explanation on how to read magic item texts would be helpful. The keyword 'activate' seems to indicate an RP cost. That may be more apparent when reading through the magic items chapter, either as a pattern to be picked up on or in explicit formatting text.

    I feel like they pretty explicitly spell this out in the blog.

    “Magic items are used in three major ways: by investing them, by activating them, or automatically.”

    “Activating or investing an item costs 1 Resonance Point (RP).”

    Once you get a sense for the terms, I think the item statblocks actually all generally make sense. I wonder how much of the confusion we’re seeing is based on people skimming through the start of the blog and jumping straight to the items.


    Ya sorry but I feel trinkets should be a little more expensive and be a once a day thing. You want to make it less bookkeeping, well the way trinkets are now that’s a lot of book keeping.


    Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

    I feel like they pretty explicitly spell this out in the blog.

    “Magic items are used in three major ways: by investing them, by activating them, or automatically.”

    “Activating or investing an item costs 1 Resonance Point (RP).”

    Once you get a sense for the terms, I think the item statblocks actually all generally make sense. I wonder how much of the confusion we’re seeing is based on people skimming through the start of the blog and jumping straight to the items.

    I agree, at least with the premise, but I also feel that this isn't the best way of laying out the information. You can read it and get the idea fairly easily, but I feel like a more explicit "This is what you get from investing" "This is an active ability you can use from investing, that isn't 'activating' the item, but just an action you can use while invested" and "This is what you get from activating the item and spending resonance" would make it easier to parse what the item does. The fact that I can read the text and parse "Ok, this takes an action, but doesn't mention activating the Item, so I don't need resonance. Oh, but this says activate the item, so this next ability does need resonance" just seems like the type of stuff they were trying to avoid when they came up with the "[[AA]]: Do a thing" format.


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    Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

    I feel like they pretty explicitly spell this out in the blog.

    “Magic items are used in three major ways: by investing them, by activating them, or automatically.”

    “Activating or investing an item costs 1 Resonance Point (RP).”

    Once you get a sense for the terms, I think the item statblocks actually all generally make sense. I wonder how much of the confusion we’re seeing is based on people skimming through the start of the blog and jumping straight to the items.

    However, this doesn't exactly clear up why [verbing] the cloak to cast ghost sound does not cost resonance while [verbing] the cloak to cast invisibility does. Or why [verbing] the staff to cast the cantrip does not cost resonance and [verbing] the staff to cast heal does.

    If you're asking people to pay attention to specific verbs, let's not have them be common synonyms for "use."

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    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

    I feel like they pretty explicitly spell this out in the blog.

    “Magic items are used in three major ways: by investing them, by activating them, or automatically.”

    “Activating or investing an item costs 1 Resonance Point (RP).”

    Once you get a sense for the terms, I think the item statblocks actually all generally make sense. I wonder how much of the confusion we’re seeing is based on people skimming through the start of the blog and jumping straight to the items.

    However, this doesn't exactly clear up why [verbing] the cloak to cast ghost sound does not cost resonance while [verbing] the cloak to cast invisibility does. Or why [verbing] the staff to cast the cantrip does not cost resonance and [verbing] the staff to cast heal does.

    If you're asking people to pay attention to specific verbs, let's not have them be common synonyms for "use."

    Probably because you don't [verb] the cloak to cast ghost sound. The cloak just gives your character the ability to cast the spell. No action required.


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    Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

    I feel like they pretty explicitly spell this out in the blog.

    “Magic items are used in three major ways: by investing them, by activating them, or automatically.”

    “Activating or investing an item costs 1 Resonance Point (RP).”

    Once you get a sense for the terms, I think the item statblocks actually all generally make sense. I wonder how much of the confusion we’re seeing is based on people skimming through the start of the blog and jumping straight to the items.

    However, this doesn't exactly clear up why [verbing] the cloak to cast ghost sound does not cost resonance while [verbing] the cloak to cast invisibility does. Or why [verbing] the staff to cast the cantrip does not cost resonance and [verbing] the staff to cast heal does.

    If you're asking people to pay attention to specific verbs, let's not have them be common synonyms for "use."

    It reads fairly clearly to me, but I never know if I'm just abnormal. The cloak has the invested tag, meaning you must invest in it at the start of the day to gain it's effects, and then it grants you the ability to do everything in its description, including the cantrip. You don't need to activate the cloak to use the cantrip because it doesnt say "if you activate"

    It has an activation entry, which means you can activate it for a specific effect mentioned in the description as "if you activate the cloak... effect".

    The blog made it clear that Activation costs resonance, which might be more clear in the playtest book, but wasn't too difficult to understand here.

    I don't feel like "activate" in the context of magic items is that easy to confuse with "use", and since it's a word with mechanical meaning now, I doubt any magic items will use the term arbitrarily.


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    KingOfAnything wrote:
    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

    I feel like they pretty explicitly spell this out in the blog.

    “Magic items are used in three major ways: by investing them, by activating them, or automatically.”

    “Activating or investing an item costs 1 Resonance Point (RP).”

    Once you get a sense for the terms, I think the item statblocks actually all generally make sense. I wonder how much of the confusion we’re seeing is based on people skimming through the start of the blog and jumping straight to the items.

    However, this doesn't exactly clear up why [verbing] the cloak to cast ghost sound does not cost resonance while [verbing] the cloak to cast invisibility does. Or why [verbing] the staff to cast the cantrip does not cost resonance and [verbing] the staff to cast heal does.

    If you're asking people to pay attention to specific verbs, let's not have them be common synonyms for "use."

    Probably because you don't [verb] the cloak to cast ghost sound. The cloak just gives your character the ability to cast the spell. No action required.

    Except the one or two actions normally requiered for ghost sounds...

    Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

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    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

    I feel like they pretty explicitly spell this out in the blog.

    “Magic items are used in three major ways: by investing them, by activating them, or automatically.”

    “Activating or investing an item costs 1 Resonance Point (RP).”

    Once you get a sense for the terms, I think the item statblocks actually all generally make sense. I wonder how much of the confusion we’re seeing is based on people skimming through the start of the blog and jumping straight to the items.

    However, this doesn't exactly clear up why [verbing] the cloak to cast ghost sound does not cost resonance while [verbing] the cloak to cast invisibility does. Or why [verbing] the staff to cast the cantrip does not cost resonance and [verbing] the staff to cast heal does.

    If you're asking people to pay attention to specific verbs, let's not have them be common synonyms for "use."

    It pretty definitively clears up why [verbing] to cast ghost sound doesn't cost resonance, but [verbing] the cloak to cast invisibility does...those are different verbs, and one of them has been called out ahead of time as being special and important.

    If there was no explainer before hand telling you that activate was different and important, then yeah, I can see being confused. But if I tell you the secret word of the day is popcorn, then I expect you to scream when I say popcorn.

    It's also worth noting that this isn't something specific to the item section of the new game, it's part of their design philosophy. They are setting up a list of [verbs] that have specific, explicit meanings in the rules, and then using them consistently and exclusively to refer to those rules elements. See: Step, Stride, and Strike.

    Tholomyes wrote:
    I agree, at least with the premise, but I also feel that this isn't the best way of laying out the information...

    I think this is fair criticism, and I definitely agree that there are formatting changes that they could do to increase readability.


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    GrimmDichotomy wrote:


    And having ANY ability score tied to Resonance is a TERRIBLE idea, I don't care if it reads like UMD or "inherent magic" or whatever tripe excuse can be provided. It gives Charisma-based characters an edge over others in what should be a UNIVERSAL system, and it's going to completely turn away people who may have considered playing a race with a Charisma hit (Dwarves, anyone?) and instead they'll just pick one that gives them the best mechanical edge.

    If the dumpster-fire that is Resonance is going to be kept, at least get rid of anything that would give certain races/classes an arbitrary edge while others incur an equally pointless penalty.

    Why should Charisma be the earmarked 'dump stat'?

    You can't pick a race that drops Str because then it'll make it harder to hit things or carry stuff.
    You can't pick a race that drops Dex because then you'll get hit more.
    You can't pick a race that drops Con because then you'll die easier.
    You can't pick a race that drops Int because you'll have less trained skills.
    You can't pick a race that drops Wis because then you'll be mind-controlled easier.

    These are all somewhat valid arguments for all the other stats. Why should Cha be different?


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    Cyouni wrote:
    GrimmDichotomy wrote:


    And having ANY ability score tied to Resonance is a TERRIBLE idea, I don't care if it reads like UMD or "inherent magic" or whatever tripe excuse can be provided. It gives Charisma-based characters an edge over others in what should be a UNIVERSAL system, and it's going to completely turn away people who may have considered playing a race with a Charisma hit (Dwarves, anyone?) and instead they'll just pick one that gives them the best mechanical edge.

    If the dumpster-fire that is Resonance is going to be kept, at least get rid of anything that would give certain races/classes an arbitrary edge while others incur an equally pointless penalty.

    Why should Charisma be the earmarked 'dump stat'?

    You can't pick a race that drops Str because then it'll make it harder to hit things or carry stuff.
    You can't pick a race that drops Dex because then you'll get hit more.
    You can't pick a race that drops Con because then you'll die easier.
    You can't pick a race that drops Int because you'll have less trained skills.
    You can't pick a race that drops Wis because then you'll be mind-controlled easier.

    These are all somewhat valid arguments for all the other stats. Why should Cha be different?

    Lower STR - It's harder to hit and carry stuff..., but you can go DEX or spells for combat, and find ways of carrying stuff from mules to magic bags.

    Lower DEX - You get hit more and deal with Reflex..., but you can go for better armor to help with defense and possibly work around Reflex with feats/Traits/items.
    Lower CON - Less HP. Again, Feat(Hello Toughness) and if you build for not getting hit, it doesn't matter AS much.
    Lower Int - Less skills and spellcasting..., but you have others that can do some skills you don't, find items to help, and if you don't scale of INT for abilites well...
    Lower WIS - Once again, built/worked with items/feats/spells. At worst you can figure out something proactive like giving them a mind control before they get mind controled or something.
    Lower CHA - Less useful in Social encounters. This can also be covered with items/feats/abilites, and depending on your DM, good RPing.

    Now.... well all that is the same. Outside of

    Lower CHA - Less Resonance. Which can be covered... How?

    Best way off the top of my head would be to dip into Alchemist for extra points and to scale it off INT. Wonder how many guides will suggest that?

    The Exchange

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    willuwontu wrote:

    Or you know, instead of crying over the loss of clw spam, we could move onto the fact that higher level wands are now affordable (at least they seem to be) and that you should use them instead of a 1st level spell for your whole career to heal up.

    A lot of the whining over mandatory healer seems to be out of place.

    Given that they seem to have designed the resonance system specifically to eliminate wand spam, it seems odd to say the very least that the solution is 'a small number of hits with a large wand' vs 'a large number of hits with a small wand' I just....dont see the point?

    The Exchange

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    I think in PF2 you can ABSOLUTLEY dump int/wis with little to no consequences. Wis its just Will Saves (not the end of the world to fail one of those now and again, especially if you go with a class that has strong will save proficiency), perception/init (decently needed but not vital) and clerics/monks needing it for class features. With Rocket Tag being diminished, the VITAL need to go first has been lowered for everyone besides rogues who get a free sneak attack out of the deal ( nd who will likely generally be using stealth for initiative anyway).

    Int: Just lowers the number of skills. Not the end of the world if youre partying with a rogue.

    Mental stats are INHERENTLY dumpable for non-casters. It's just how it is.


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    eddv wrote:
    willuwontu wrote:

    Or you know, instead of crying over the loss of clw spam, we could move onto the fact that higher level wands are now affordable (at least they seem to be) and that you should use them instead of a 1st level spell for your whole career to heal up.

    A lot of the whining over mandatory healer seems to be out of place.

    Given that they seem to have designed the resonance system specifically to eliminate wand spam, it seems odd to say the very least that the solution is 'a small number of hits with a large wand' vs 'a large number of hits with a small wand' I just....dont see the point?

    Never mind how the system fully expects you to now trade up now and to use the best possible spell.

    Hydraulic Push on a wand is straight up a dead spell/wand Now most the time. I see no reason what so ever to not just throw that wand at the first shop I find in PF2. How many other spells are just now fully dead on arrival as Spells and as Wands?

    EDIT: Actually now that I brought it up in my head, how do Wands/Staffs work?

    By that I mean, Spells if I recall can be boosted by giving up more actions to the spell. So a 3 action spell can do more damage or have a large AoE, or have a bigger DC to overcome.

    Can you do the same with spells from Wands/Staffs?


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    MerlinCross wrote:

    Lower STR - It's harder to hit and carry stuff..., but you can go DEX or spells for combat, and find ways of carrying stuff from mules to magic bags.

    Lower DEX - You get hit more and deal with Reflex..., but you can go for better armor to help with defense and possibly work around Reflex with feats/Traits/items.
    Lower CON - Less HP. Again, Feat(Hello Toughness) and if you build for not getting hit, it doesn't matter AS much.
    Lower Int - Less skills and spellcasting..., but you have others that can do some skills you don't, find items to help, and if you don't scale of INT for abilites well...
    Lower WIS - Once again, built/worked with items/feats/spells. At worst you can figure out something proactive like giving them a mind control before they get mind controled or something.
    Lower CHA - Less useful in Social encounters. This can also be covered with items/feats/abilites, and depending on your DM, good RPing.
    Now.... well all that is the same. Outside of

    Lower CHA - Less Resonance. Which can be covered... How?

    Best way off the top of my head would be to dip into Alchemist for extra points and to scale it off INT. Wonder how many guides will suggest that?

    The thing is, without something working off CHA, it's going to be the biggest dump stat again, especially since you can simply avoid being the one to deal with social encounters and take no relevant penalties.

    The easiest way to work around less Resonance from CHA would be, as you said, to dip into Alchemist. Another way would probably be just to condense your items. Bigger potions than everyone else, and use primarily things that don't have a constant resonance cost. Probably best for a druid focusing on Wild Shape, I think, as odds are good you'd be able to work around less magic items easier.

    Even then, I can't really see myself having 3 magic items at level 3 often, at least after I stop buying the random cheap ones. Especially true since wielded weapons don't have a resonance cost, and they reduced the sheer number you had to carry. Probably just armour, leaving 2 spots for potions and an effective 2 overlimit for something like wands.


    MerlinCross wrote:

    Never mind how the system fully expects you to now trade up now and to use the best possible spell.

    Hydraulic Push on a wand is straight up a dead spell/wand Now most the time. I see no reason what so ever to not just throw that wand at the first shop I find in PF2. How many other spells are just now fully dead on arrival as Spells and as Wands?

    We'll have to see. Burning Hands went from 1d4 to 2d6 to compensate for lack of scaling, so odds are other spells are similar.

    Quote:

    EDIT: Actually now that I brought it up in my head, how do Wands/Staffs work?

    By that I mean, Spells if I recall can be boosted by giving up more actions to the spell. So a 3 action spell can do more damage or have a large AoE, or have a bigger DC to overcome.

    Can you do the same with spells from Wands/Staffs?

    Yes. In the Glass Cannon Playtest a 3-action Magic Missile from the wand was used multiple times.


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    I unfortunately believe in reading a thread to its end before commenting in it. 538 comments took a long time to read--the list was a hundred comments shorter when I started. Or maybe all that reading is not so unfortunate, because I see a lot of clear-headed discussion here. Most people agree on the weaknesses presented here, yet many people have hope for Resonance.

    The biggest problem with PF2 magic items is language. Cellion described the problem well in comment #135. For example, he pointed out, "First, there's a mechanical issue with the cloak, in that you have to lower the hood and raise it again to turn invisible because of the way the ability is currently worded."

    Remember the importance of brevity in writing Pathfiner material. The shorter the Paizo writers can describe an option, the more options they can include. The phrase, "Operate Activation action" is worth three words only if all three contribute to its clarity and meaning. But Operate and Activate are too similar, so their meanings fight against each other. In comment #448 jasin pointed out, "it seems there's at least 5 different activities you can do with an item, which all have different rules meanings, even though they sound pretty much the same in common language, or at least don't suggest the specific rules meaning: operation activation action interact use."

    Mark Seifter responded about the wording in comment #157.

    Mark Seifter wrote:
    The wording is completely unrelated to resonance, it's all a question of style and clarity. We originally had it as Operate, Focus, and Command, but Activation was added during editing to make it clearer. If people think it doesn't make it clearer, that's good feedback and it's easy enough to change if that's widespread.

    Okay, we have short words. We also have an opportunity. Two hours ago, in comment #531 and #532, Benchak the Nightstalker and Tholomyes and PossibleCabbage talked about how costs such as resonance need to be explicitly stated. The icons [[A]], [[R]], and [[F]] describe action types in using an feature, but some features have other costs, such as resonance or spell points. Precise vocabulary can clarify these costs and when to pay them. And the icons can mark when the words are used in a precise, technical sense rather than as colorful English.

    Let me add precise meanings to these words that reveal resonance use.

    • Interact - manipulate, pick up, or closely examine an object. This is typically an action.
    • Operate - use an item to perform a task inherent to the item. This is typically an action.
    • Activate - spend one resonance to operate a magic ability of an item. This also counts as operating the item.
    • Focus - spend one resonance to enhance a task related to the object. This does not count as operating the item. This is typically a free action.
    • Grant or Gain - a continuing effect of an invested item that does not cost further resonance.

    The differences that jasin wanted clarified could be markers for whether an ability uses resonance or not.

    Precise vocabulary can make the magic items descriptions clearer.

    Cloak of Elvenkind Item, standard 10 and greater 18
    Illusion, Invested, Magical
    Method of Use worn, cloak; Bulk L

    This cloak is deep green with a voluminous hood, and is embroidered with gold trim and symbols of significance to the elves. The invested cloak grants you the ghost sound cantrip as an innate arcane spell (see Ghost Sound), an operation, and an activation. When you operate [[A]] the cloak by pulling the hood up over your head, the cloak transforms to match the environment around you and muffles your sounds, giving you an item bonus to Stealth checks. While the hood is up, you may activate [[A]] the cloak to gain invisibility for 1 minute or until you pull the hood back down (an operation [[A]]), whichever comes first.

    Type standard; Level 10; Price 1,000 gp
    The standard cloak's item bonus to Stealth is +3.

    Type greater; Level 18; Price 24,000 gp
    The greater cloak's item bonus to Stealth is +5, and invisibility is 4th level. If you're also wearing greater boots of elvenkind with both boots and cloak invested, you gain the ability to Sneak in forest environments even when creatures are currently observing you.


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    Cyouni wrote:
    MerlinCross wrote:

    Lower STR - It's harder to hit and carry stuff..., but you can go DEX or spells for combat, and find ways of carrying stuff from mules to magic bags.

    Lower DEX - You get hit more and deal with Reflex..., but you can go for better armor to help with defense and possibly work around Reflex with feats/Traits/items.
    Lower CON - Less HP. Again, Feat(Hello Toughness) and if you build for not getting hit, it doesn't matter AS much.
    Lower Int - Less skills and spellcasting..., but you have others that can do some skills you don't, find items to help, and if you don't scale of INT for abilites well...
    Lower WIS - Once again, built/worked with items/feats/spells. At worst you can figure out something proactive like giving them a mind control before they get mind controled or something.
    Lower CHA - Less useful in Social encounters. This can also be covered with items/feats/abilites, and depending on your DM, good RPing.
    Now.... well all that is the same. Outside of

    Lower CHA - Less Resonance. Which can be covered... How?

    Best way off the top of my head would be to dip into Alchemist for extra points and to scale it off INT. Wonder how many guides will suggest that?

    The thing is, without something working off CHA, it's going to be the biggest dump stat again, especially since you can simply avoid being the one to deal with social encounters and take no relevant penalties.

    The easiest way to work around less Resonance from CHA would be, as you said, to dip into Alchemist. Another way would probably be just to condense your items. Bigger potions than everyone else, and use primarily things that don't have a constant resonance cost. Probably best for a druid focusing on Wild Shape, I think, as odds are good you'd be able to work around less magic items easier.

    Even then, I can't really see myself having 3 magic items at level 3 often, at least after I stop buying the random cheap ones. Especially true since wielded weapons don't have a resonance cost, and they reduced the sheer number you had to carry. Probably just armour, leaving 2 spots for potions and an effective 2 overlimit for something like wands.

    The point I was making is CHA gets dumped because it's probably the easiest stat to work/build around, though DEX builds can get away with dumping STR as well.

    But given that everyone will probably want to USE Magic items, it'll feel weird to take a hit to CHA and magic items just for picking a race that lowers it.

    Hey, maybe this is a good way to gut Tiefling spam.

    To give you an example from the character I'm currently playing;

    I have 3 magic items, Magic weapon, and 3 others. My Level is 7 and CHA is 8 because I'm Tiefling and my character isn't a good speaker.

    So that's be 6 Resonance. 4 left after I turn on my magic items for the day, another point to actually use them(Should the magic items actually ASK that such as say, using a Staff). I'm assuming the refill spells items are straight gone which I have 2 of. And does my Hybridazation funnel take Resonance? It's magical so yes, yes it does. Any odd mixtures I want to cook up are going to take another point.

    Now I look at my potions, and oh wait, there's a good number of combat buffs I would want. I use 1-2 per fight and suddenly I'm out after 2-4 fights. Time to rest. Oh you want to go on? Well I'm tapped out of my resource, logic says we should rest now right? I'm resting, you guys go on ahead.


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    Cyouni wrote:
    MerlinCross wrote:

    Never mind how the system fully expects you to now trade up now and to use the best possible spell.

    Hydraulic Push on a wand is straight up a dead spell/wand Now most the time. I see no reason what so ever to not just throw that wand at the first shop I find in PF2. How many other spells are just now fully dead on arrival as Spells and as Wands?

    We'll have to see. Burning Hands went from 1d4 to 2d6 to compensate for lack of scaling, so odds are other spells are similar.

    Congrats. You'll NEED a Wand of Fireball to stay competitive. You'll NEED a Wand of Stone Skin to replace your Barkskin. What's that? You liked having odd ideas to use the spell Grease? Why would you ever do that, just get a wand of Slow or Hold Person. You don't?

    SHUN the bad player for we must always UPGRADE to the MAXIMUM NUMBER we can at all times! SHUN!

    The above is of course hyperbolic. But I don't like being shoved into using something because the numbers are just "Bigger". I like being able to come up with odd ideas and see if the DM will let me do it. Against the rules? Maybe. But I like doing and seeing creative stuff played out in games.

    But I dislike seeing X used until X+1 comes along and we should all be expected to use it JUST because of +1.

    I will keep my Hydraulic Push and Barbed Chains wands. Even if they make Greater Hydraulic Push and Spiky Barbed Chain spells.


    eddv wrote:
    willuwontu wrote:

    Or you know, instead of crying over the loss of clw spam, we could move onto the fact that higher level wands are now affordable (at least they seem to be) and that you should use them instead of a 1st level spell for your whole career to heal up.

    A lot of the whining over mandatory healer seems to be out of place.

    Given that they seem to have designed the resonance system specifically to eliminate wand spam, it seems odd to say the very least that the solution is 'a small number of hits with a large wand' vs 'a large number of hits with a small wand' I just....dont see the point?

    To me it seems to be a replacement for UMD, and a solution to the clunkiness of the slot system (something it does does well imo, needs some phrasing assistance though for clarity).

    The wand change is a nice benefit of it, as it forces players to not rely on the weakest healing spell in the game for their whole career, and instead requires them to invest in resources appropriate for their level. This also gives them more of a reason to maintain/update their new economy, rather than leave the mess that was pf1 econ.

    The Exchange

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    Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    The wand change is a nice benefit of it, as it forces players to not rely on the weakest healing spell in the game for their whole career, and instead requires them to invest in resources appropriate for their level.

    I literally do not understand what the virtue of this is.

    Liberty's Edge

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    MerlinCross wrote:
    Lower CHA - Less Resonance. Which can be covered... How?

    Given that several of your examples involve other people doing things for you, and that equally applies to Resonance in most cases, it can easily be covered that way. A Feat along the lines of Toughness for extra Resonance also seems quite possible.

    Or simply using a few less consumables, of course.


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    Cyouni wrote:
    Cthulhudrew wrote:
    Just saying what kind of action it requires should be sufficient, IMO, and leave the creative license to players and DMs to figure out.
    I presume so that it can be actually identified in-game through checks and such. That way before the enemy wizard hits you with a fireball from a staff, you can identify it and go "oh, that's a staff of fireballs". Theoretically, you could prevent some activations if you identify it and go "flip the hood off", forcing an enemy to use another action to put it on again.

    If that is the reasoning behind it, then I would think there would be consistency with all magic items at that level of detail. As things stand currently with the magic items in this blog, the only one that details specific, descriptive actions needed to activate the item is the Cloak of Elvenkind. The other items just indicate that they need to be activated.

    Narrative prose can be useful and interesting in the right context, but I think that for a lot of things in the game (such as magic items and equipment) less is more.

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