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

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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eddv wrote:

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.

Because it's a serious pain in the butt to try to balance how much healing the party has access to by controlling how much money they have.

The Exchange

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And this change addresses that how?

All it does is increase the amount of budget the party has to devote to healing. It literally more or less leaves the AMOUNT of healing (i.e. to full or full-ish hp) constant.


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Gregg Reece wrote:
Doodpants wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

So if wands are "multi-use consumables" is there a wand-analogue for trinkets? i.e. scrolls : wands :: trinkets : ????

[trinket]-on-the-cob.
Tchotchke - Random little trinket you can't seem to get rid of.

Haha! This totally reminded me of Office Space. Maybe we can change the name of Trinkets to 'Flair'?

"Valeros, we need to talk about your flair."

"But Ezren, I'm wearing the 15 piece minimum."

"That's okay, if you just want to do the minimum. Look at Alain, though, he's wearing 37 pieces."

Liberty's Edge

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eddv wrote:

And this change addresses that how?

All it does is increase the amount of budget the party has to devote to healing. It literally more or less leaves the AMOUNT of healing (i.e. to full or full-ish hp) constant.

The change and difference between something being available for free (or a gold amount so low as to amount to free, which is what Wands of CLW are pretty quickly in PF1) and something being available if you invest a significant chunk of resources into it (which seems to be how PF2 will work) is actually quite large.

The latter is much easier to balance things around.


In comment #216 ByronD lamented the lack of in-game narrative about the nature of resonance.

BryonD wrote:
Starts getting weird that everybody who much mojo they have and it is tied to level and everything is tapped into a single pool of mojo. Obviously I've been cool with Sorcerers knowing they can cast 5 Level 3 spells. So there is precedent. And it is easy to hand way the fact the RP is a function of level. But it gets a little more "we interrupt your immersion to remind you that this mechanic has no narrative function". And, yeah, there are level based effects in PF1E (a lot of cleric domains being level rounds per day, for example). But domain powers being tied to progress as a cleric isn't jarring the way "I used three trinkets this morning, so there is at least a 50% chance that this potion of healing may just be so much tap water." Using an aura doesn't drain totally unrelated things and magic items don't fail to be intrinsically magic.

Resonance fits my own personal narrative about magic items. I have wondered how a +2 longsword in Pathfinder 1st Edition gives its wielder a +2 to hit. Perfect balance and a sharp, hardened edge provide the +1 to hit for a masterwork longsword, but what gives the second +1 to hit? Does the sword gain combat proficiency and aid the swing? If the sword is not intelligent, then how does it know that it is held in a hand and swinging at a target? The straight +X enhancement on the longsword had no narrative.

The PF1 rules for a +2 flaming sword are bothersome. The character has to activate the sword at the beginning of combat--unless he likes roasting his scabbard--as a standard action. That was no fun, so I declared by GM fiat that the sword flames when appropriate with no command word. If the +2 can aid the weapon damage without special activation, then so can the fire.

Resonance fixes that. The character invests the sword, and the man and sword are attuned to each other and work as one.

As for the low-Charisma character without the resonance to attune every magic item he carries, the party members can tease him, "Hey, your personality is so dead that not even your gloves realize you are there."

However, Paizo's use of resonance does not match my narrative. The Staff of Healing attuned to my character gives it +1 bonus to healing if my character spends an extra resonance for the favor. That is not automatic. And I could cast heal directly from it for 1 resonance and 1 charge and I guess a second resonance for the +1 bonus. That staff feels vampiric, trying to slurp all the resonance out of my character.

BryonD wants an explanation of resonance that makes it intuitive, logical, simple, and streamlined. The double bookkeeping to track spending both resonance and charges is not streamlined. It is clunky.

I have my own idea of how a staff ought to work, but Wandering Wastrel posted it first in comment #374.

Wandering Wastrel wrote:

OK, leaving the clumsy language aside for now (we can fix that later), I think you can have ONE of Resonance or Charges. Having both solves no problems, and just gives us all extra paperwork.

This is just off the top of my head, but why not make wands and staves Invest items that - once invested - give you 3 uses/day (or something similar)? Three is a reasonably easy number to keep track of (you can use tokens for tabletop gaming), and there's major incentive to level up from CLW wands asap because at level 7 three CLW just won't cut it for party healing.

Alternatively, you don't have to invest resonance in wands, but they cost 1 resonance point each time you use one. Again, no more charges to keep track of; and again, you'll want to level up from CLW at the earliest opportunity.

Charges and resonance should not mix. However, if investing a staff uses one resonance in the morning before the adventures of the day and then the staff has three charges to be used without further resonance costs, the two forms of bookkeeping don't overlap.

In another thread about wands, someone remarked that 50 charges on a wand is awkward. He is likely to miscount a charge or two and accidentally cheat. The PF2 staff is based on the PF1 staff that can be gradually recharged. Let's dump that. Instead, the invested staff starts fresh with 3 charges each day. Because investment can occur only once a day, the staff cannot be re-invested for another 3 charges until the next day. The bookkeeping on charges will always be short-term and any error will disappear the next morning.

I also wonder about the Paizo developers saying that their playtest characters almost always had enough resonance when the Staff of Life could easily burn through the 5 resonance of a 5th-level druid.

Quandary wrote:
Except you didn't read the part where he said he isn't spending any RP on cure charges at all, because he's using the "50% roll for it" method since there is no urgency in out-of-combat healing so the chance he wastes his action and has to try again doesn't have significant downside for him. His 2 RP were used for other consumable usages (the staff with daily regenerable charges isn't a consumable).

Quandry's comment #394 gives a possible explanation. But rolling for free resonance effects seems like emergency mode. A design that relies on using emergency mode before regular mode seems backwards.

The Exchange

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
eddv wrote:

And this change addresses that how?

All it does is increase the amount of budget the party has to devote to healing. It literally more or less leaves the AMOUNT of healing (i.e. to full or full-ish hp) constant.

The change and difference between something being available for free (or a gold amount so low as to amount to free, which is what Wands of CLW are pretty quickly in PF1) and something being available if you invest a significant chunk of resources into it (which seems to be how PF2 will work) is actually quite large.

The latter is much easier to balance things around.

.

It's literally EXACTLY the same. You no longer NEED to buy the big 6 but you will NEED to have the best wand money can buy. This is a 0 difference situation.

Liberty's Edge

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eddv wrote:
It's literally EXACTLY the same. You no longer NEED to buy the big 6 but you will NEED to have the best wand money can buy. This is a 0 difference situation.

No. It's not. If you have sufficient in-party healing, you can skip the aforementioned Wand and have significantly more Gold for other stuff. Having a Cleric or other serious hit-point healer in the party is thus actually useful rather than completely superfluous.

That's a big change. It means that healing, like most other things, is now a matter of tradeoffs, where you can focus different types of resources in different amounts towards it.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

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Mathmuse wrote:

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.

I don't think you have this quite right.

"Activate" is to Items as "Cast" is to Spells.

It's a term that encompasses a variety of actions, not an action in-and-of-itself.

To Cast a Spell, you perform the actions listed next to Casting, which can include [Material Casting], [Somatic Casting], and [Verbal Casting]. These usually take one action [[A]] each, but some may have different action requirements (frex, the Tempt Fate spell previewed in the Domain blog has "Casting: [[F]] Somatic free action")

Additionally, casting a spell uses one Spell Slot, or one or more Spell Points.

To Activate an item, you perform the actions listed next to Activation, which can include [Operate Activation], [Focus Activation], and [Command Activation]. These (probably) usually take one action [[A]] each, but some may have different action requirements (frex, the Vanishing Coin mentioned in this blog has "[[F]] Focus Activation".)

Additionally, Activating an item uses one Resonance Point.


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Why would you "NEED" to have the best wand money can buy?


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MerlinCross wrote:

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.

Well, let's see. You don't need Resonance for a weapon, so that's one there. Let's assume the Hybridization Funnel counts for 4. I'll even guess that one of the other three items is probably a amulet of natural armor, ring of protection, or a cloak of resistance, which are all just combined into one item for significantly less Resonance, so we'll call it 3.

What combat buffs are you even using 1-2 of per fight at level 7 from potions, anyways?

Even then, on this 8 Cha character, you still have 3 Resonance for the day. And if you burn 1-2/fight and then complain you need to rest, generally I expect you'll be treated like the caster who novas in the first fight of the day and demands the same.

The Exchange

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
eddv wrote:
It's literally EXACTLY the same. You no longer NEED to buy the big 6 but you will NEED to have the best wand money can buy. This is a 0 difference situation.

No. It's not. If you have sufficient in-party healing, you can skip the aforementioned Wand and have significantly more Gold for other stuff. Having a Cleric or other serious hit-point healer in the party is thus actually useful rather than completely superfluous.

That's a big change. It means that healing, like most other things, is now a matter of tradeoffs, where you can focus different types of resources in different amounts towards it.

Yes it is. The cleric using their channels OUTSIDE combat means they don't have them for use DURING combat.

This is a no difference situation other than that you might get some poor suckers to use their channels to save you a couple of RP at their own expense later.

Healing is not this like Super Fun portion of the game that is in dire need of preservation. Just a necessary one where once upon a time most tables began with trying to bribe someone into playing one because healing was both Not Fun and Necessary. Wands made it possible to get by without that and it was a MASSIVE INCREDIBLE IMPROVEMENT TO THE GAME.

You want us to go back to the dark ages because you thing Mr. Religious Crosses Magoo waving his magic hands to heal everyone is better than using item healing and I just don't get it. At all.

The Exchange

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Milo v3 wrote:
Why would you "NEED" to have the best wand money can buy?

Because with resonance cost you are going to want the most bang for your charge.

Like I said, this is the portion of the game that is like least fun and most cumbersome for this entire concept. Just steal resolve from Starfinder or steal 5es short rest system and call it a day.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Okay. From what I can comprehend, magic bonuses on weapons are basically on account of sharpness and weapon quality.

You can have a +1 to hit sword that is Mastercrafted. It is built well enough that it retains that +1 to hit even after used for a while. Alternatively, you can use a whetstone and sharpen a generic sword so its very first blow is +1 to hit... but then the edge is ruined and it loses that bonus. (How a mastercrafted blunt weapon has +1 to hit is puzzling, but seeing blunt weapons usually have spikes and the like added to them it could be on account of structural balance and the like.)

A magic enchantment initially increased damage to be included in the +1 to hit. Why? Magic. The blade is designed to just hurt more.

+3 weapons in older rules (AD&D) were made of Mithral. It could be considered that the extra bonus is an extra level of sharpness that ordinary magical materials couldn't hold... but now that weapon bonuses are just on account of magic rather than materials used, it's the magic is better able to hold a sharper edge.

And again in AD&D, +5 weapons were Adamantine. Nowadays they're just really really sharp thanks to magic - their edge is almost good enough to cut molecular bonds (which would be a cool way of explaining the glow of the weapon, and was used by Terry Pratchett in Discworld with Death's Scythe if I recall correctly).

So essentially the bonus to hit was how sharp a weapon can be. The reason that weapons are limited to +5 to hit is because you can only make a weapon so sharp. After that, the only way to make it easier to hit things is if it ignores armor entirely (which is a +5 enchantment)... and that is useless against certain classes of enemies that the more mundane +5 weapons are not.

The extra 1-5 points of damage that magic blades caused was just part of the nature of the enchantment. It was a fairly mundane ability and if you truly wanted to do more damage, you enchanted it with either an elemental effect or a Bane effect (in which certain enemies naturally are hurt more by the weapon).

tl;dr - magic bonuses are essentially how sharp the weapon is and the enchantment is a matter of keeping that edge.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
eddv wrote:
It's literally EXACTLY the same. You no longer NEED to buy the big 6 but you will NEED to have the best wand money can buy. This is a 0 difference situation.

No. It's not. If you have sufficient in-party healing, you can skip the aforementioned Wand and have significantly more Gold for other stuff. Having a Cleric or other serious hit-point healer in the party is thus actually useful rather than completely superfluous.

That's a big change. It means that healing, like most other things, is now a matter of tradeoffs, where you can focus different types of resources in different amounts towards it.

While I might even agree you are correct, this is all conjecture. We won't know for sure how it all stacks up until we have the rules.

Sovereign Court

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eddv wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
eddv wrote:
It's literally EXACTLY the same. You no longer NEED to buy the big 6 but you will NEED to have the best wand money can buy. This is a 0 difference situation.

No. It's not. If you have sufficient in-party healing, you can skip the aforementioned Wand and have significantly more Gold for other stuff. Having a Cleric or other serious hit-point healer in the party is thus actually useful rather than completely superfluous.

That's a big change. It means that healing, like most other things, is now a matter of tradeoffs, where you can focus different types of resources in different amounts towards it.

Yes it is. The cleric using their channels OUTSIDE combat means they don't have them for use DURING combat.

This is a no difference situation other than that you might get some poor suckers to use their channels to save you a couple of RP at their own expense later.

Healing is not this like Super Fun portion of the game that is in dire need of preservation. Just a necessary one where once upon a time most tables began with trying to bribe someone into playing one because healing was both Not Fun and Necessary. Wands made it possible to get by without that and it was a MASSIVE INCREDIBLE IMPROVEMENT TO THE GAME.

You want us to go back to the dark ages because you thing Mr. Religious Crosses Magoo waving his magic hands to heal everyone is better than using item healing and I just don't get it. At all.

Healing may not be fun in itself, but resource management is and is and integral part of the game. From how you spend your gold to how you spend your actions, making trade offs to achieve an optimal result is part of the fun.

Now your group has to decide whether they want to spend gold on the best healing wand they can afford, make do with last sessions model, or invest into healing skills or other alternatives while balancing against the next armor or weapon upgrade and other enticing skills.


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eddv wrote:
Because with resonance cost you are going to want the most bang for your charge.

And yet you're acting as if you magically know what is the most bang for your resonance, GP cost, spells, and feat selection all at once (since there are methods of healing which cost 0 resonance)?

Liberty's Edge

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eddv wrote:
Yes it is. The cleric using their channels OUTSIDE combat means they don't have them for use DURING combat.

This is true of a Wand as well. I mean, if you're getting the best wand, it's certainly useful in-combat.

eddv wrote:
This is a no difference situation other than that you might get some poor suckers to use their channels to save you a couple of RP at their own expense later.

No, there absolutely is. At least if you mean in comparison to Wands in PF1.

eddv wrote:
Healing is not this like Super Fun portion of the game that is in dire need of preservation. Just a necessary one where once upon a time most tables began with trying to bribe someone into playing one because healing was both Not Fun and Necessary. Wands made it possible to get by without that and it was a MASSIVE INCREDIBLE IMPROVEMENT TO THE GAME.

This is not a binary choice. Non-Cleric ways to heal (including items) are indeed a wonderful idea and a vast improvement in the game.

Having them be basically free (vastly cheaper than the Cleric doing much healing), on the other hand, was not a particularly good thing at all.

You can easily keep the first and discard the second.

eddv wrote:
You want us to go back to the dark ages because you thing Mr. Religious Crosses Magoo waving his magic hands to heal everyone is better than using item healing and I just don't get it. At all.

That's not what I want at all. I'm fine with healing being from Wands, or from people with Medicine Skill Feats, or a dozen other options. What I want is for healing all HP between every fight to have meaningful costs in either gold, spells, or other character resources. It's a very useful thing, but if it doesn't cost anything there's little meaningful tension in the game in all but the most deadly fights. Tension is good, if not overused.

And, of course, there's the resource management angle mentioned above which is also useful and interesting, game balance-wise.


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Mathmuse you always get the +1 to healing after you invest the one resonance required. I don't blame you for making the mistake many people have complained about the layout being confusing which it is.


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It really wasn't the Dark Ages to have clerics rather than a proliferation of healing wands. It is just a different way to play.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It was a worse way to play and I kid you not, this means enough to me that 5e starts to look REALLY attractive in comparison if they really insist on going this cumbersome and utterly pointless route.

This game has PLENTY of choices.

If you can choose to have healing or no healing in between combats thats no choice at all. You are going to choose healing. You keep on asserting its going to open up this magic well of interesting choices when there simply is not any choice involved here.

Its invest in a way to restore HP or die. Its as much a valid choice as building a specialized archer that lacks precise strike in 1e.

Liberty's Edge

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eddv wrote:
If you can choose to have healing or no healing in between combats thats no choice at all. You are going to choose healing. You keep on asserting its going to open up this magic well of interesting choices when there simply is not any choice involved here.

The choice people are talking about isn't between healing and no healing, it's what kind of resource you spend on healing (lots of gold + small amounts of Resonance, less gold + more Resonance, spell slots, Skill Feats, some combaination of the above, etc.)

And making that a meaningful choice with consequences.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Each of those would need to be viable.

Given just how little resonance there is to go around, there really is just one choice unless skill healing is SO GOOD that it renders this entire discussion moot.

Either way, these aren't interesting choices. They just aren't. The whole point of this was to inject more interesting choice into the game in the form of magic items that aren't REQUIRED.

The decision to put downtime healing onto an RP cost scale undermines that entirely and results in what is effectively the same system - you get to own maybe or two interesting character specific items and the rest goes into healing yourself.

This is an easy fix and your insistence that its actually better the broken way boggles my mind.


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I never thought I'd ever say this, but this discussion is actually making me miss healing surges... XD


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eddv wrote:

Each of those would need to be viable.

Given just how little resonance there is to go around, there really is just one choice unless skill healing is SO GOOD that it renders this entire discussion moot.

And we already know that a solid amount of investment into the Medicine skill allows even a Barbarian to act as a healer. What's your point?

The Exchange

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Good enough to be the healer on what scale? A 2 hour playtest game with Mark Seifter?

That's hardly enough data, and considering that we only have Mark's word for it....


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
eddv wrote:

Each of those would need to be viable.

Which I hope we all agree should be a design goal? I swear these arguements ignore the context of the other 300 changes that PF2E has going on.

Liberty's Edge

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eddv wrote:
Each of those would need to be viable.

Well, most of them anyway, yeah. If they aren't that's a bit of a balance problem, but that hardly means the whole idea of different resource distributions is bad.

eddv wrote:
Given just how little resonance there is to go around, there really is just one choice unless skill healing is SO GOOD that it renders this entire discussion moot.

There's plenty of Resonance to go around. A 10th level party will probably have something like 25 points that aren't used for non-consumables. That's a fair bit of healing if using remotely on-level consumables (3rd Spell Level Wands of Heal are around 65 HP for everyone for five charges, for example).

And Skill Healing is probably quite good, as the oft-cited Barbarian example indicates.

eddv wrote:
Either way, these aren't interesting choices. They just aren't. The whole point of this was to inject more interesting choice into the game in the form of magic items that aren't REQUIRED.

Indeed. And the Wand of CLW is no longer required. So that's a thing.

eddv wrote:
The decision to put downtime healing onto an RP cost scale undermines that entirely and results in what is effectively the same system - you get to own maybe or two interesting character specific items and the rest goes into healing yourself.

Not really, no. Whoever is using the healing Wand, assuming nobody has non-Item healing, will be investing a hefty amount of Resonance into it, but it's hardly gonna be all of it for everyone in most groups.

eddv wrote:
This is an easy fix and your insistence that its actually better the broken way boggles my mind.

It's not broken to have to make actual decisions regarding investing resources into healing like you have to into basically every other thing you can invest resources into.


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eddv wrote:

Good enough to be the healer on what scale? A 2 hour playtest game with Mark Seifter?

That's hardly enough data, and considering that we only have Mark's word for it....

And it not being a good enough healer on what scale? Rampant speculation with 0 play time. Cool.

Liberty's Edge

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eddv wrote:
Good enough to be the healer on what scale? A 2 hour playtest game with Mark Seifter?

There was a whole campaign of at least several sessions, actually.

eddv wrote:
That's hardly enough data, and considering that we only have Mark's word for it....

Mark's a really good math analyst. We've seen loads of evidence of that over the years. His word is good enough for me on something like this.

The Exchange

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Deadmanwalking wrote:


It's not broken to have to make actual decisions regarding investing resources into healing like you have to into basically every other thing you can invest resources into.

This is where we are disagreeing.

Investing into healing isn't satisfying. It feels punitive to have to dedicate build space to being able to function of a basic level. I see it as EXACTLY the same sort of thing as being forced to devote build space to stat boosts, +x weapons and armor, and save cloaks, all of which was just rightly built into the game and removed. I am honestly not sure why you don't but at least that's a clear point of disagreement.


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Magical healing, to the point where needing to be a 'good healer' is a thing, is a crutch. Generally required to make up for poor playing or poor DMing.

Having more options for battlefield control would be far more interesting than needing to worry about which cure wounds wand to spend your resonance on.

Liberty's Edge

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eddv wrote:
This is where we are disagreeing.

Apparently.

eddv wrote:
Investing into healing isn't satisfying.

Yes it is. Or as satisfying as anything else, anyway (most builds are unsatisfying for someone). Lots of people enjoy being the one who saves everyone and keeps them healthy.

It shouldn't be required, since many people also don't enjoy it, but then, as I note above, it really isn't since it can be done with consumables as well. And what it should be is an available and useful option for a character to focus on.

eddv wrote:
It feels punitive to have to dedicate build space to being able to function of a basic level. I see it as EXACTLY the same sort of thing as being forced to devote build space to stat boosts, +x weapons and armor, and save cloaks, all of which was just rightly built into the game and removed. I am honestly not sure why you don't but at least that's a clear point of disagreement.

Having unlimited healing is not a 'basic level'. It's not available in many APs or other adventures (which have highly limited shopping), nor in really low level play at all (nobody can afford a Wand of CLW in PF1 until 2nd level, and often not until 3rd).

Also, needing certain items is not gone from PF2, nor intended to be. It's been cut down on, but you still need a magic weapon and magic armor (or equivalents if going unarmed or unarmored) and at high levels also a stat-boost item.

The Concordance

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a better understanding format for cloak of elvenkind

I find a format to help me reading the description of this item. and it did well.
Too bad this format is on the hand of paizo's arch nemesis.


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So as I see the situation with CLW wands and similar things that some people disdain and others are really upset about losing / having ruined by the new resonance system:

* It makes a ton of sense to be upset about losing CLW wands and the like if you play PFS. If you primarily play in a setting where your fellow players change from session to session, you can't count on ANYONE in your party being a healer. You can't count on them being a cleric, you can't count on them even having the Heal / Medicine skill. This is part of why the Wand penetrated the meta-consciousness of the game in the first place. It's a necessary evil in PFS, especially from what I understand about the adventures getting more and more deadly over time.

* If you are thinking of answering to the above that "Well, every single player in PFS should spend feats and character resources building for healing then to account for healers being rare" you need to stop and set your computer on fire. That's not a solution.

* You generally don't see the CLW wand in home games, or at least I haven't?? Even in games without a healer, everyone knows this, the GM knows this, the game is adjusted to account for it, the amount of combat is adjusted, the amount of potions handed out is adjusted, etc. Buuut if a GM doesn't adjust anything for their party not having a healer, because no one at the table happens to enjoy playing a healer, and decides to "punish" them for someone not sacrificing their fun, well then that GM should fully expect the party to come up with the most efficient healing items they can get their hands on. Or to lose their players.

* I don't like the flavor of a disposable healing stick tbh. But that's a matter of reflavoring really? If the mechanics were literally the same I'd like the "wand of cure light wounds" a lot more if it was, say, a chalice that you poured up to 50 charges worth of healing fluid from over peoples' wounds to heal them, just for having better flavor to me. I know a lot of people who are otherwise okay with healing items also don't like the flavor of the stick that you just sit there tapping people with.

* Simply from action economy reasons, it makes sense for more powerful healing to be more expensive per-HP than a CLW item... but not to the insultingly insane exponential levels seen in PF1, or even already in PF2 with the "True Healing Potion" that costs 60x more than a Moderate Healing Potion (and 26.6% of the cost of a Holy Avenger sword!!) to only restore 3x as much HP.

As I see it, if they are using resonance or other measures to effectively cap the number of times a party without a healer can manage to actually heal in a day, they need to fix the pricing. Of everything. They need to break the back of the 3.x sacred cow that high level items are exponentially more expensive than low level items.

This doesn't mean going to linear pricing. As noted, better healing /should/ be a little less efficient for action economy, just for power level /in general/ stuff needs to get more expensive at a more than linear rate. Also players want to feel wealthier and get bigger prizes as they level up. But this doesn't have to mean millions of dollars per level at high levels like in Starfinder, or 800k-1M gold pieces at 20th level like in PF1.

I've suggested this elsewhere, but adjust the amount of money people are expected to have. Then lower the prices of everything else accordingly. No 23k (230k PF1) indestructible shield, no 32k (320k PF1) inexplicable apparatus, no 1200 (12000 PF1) true healing potions.

If pricing follows a model more like 3.x experience points to level, where you get 1000 sp by the end of level 1 and 210,000 sp by the end of level 20, and if prices for everything are brought into line, it solves a lot. It makes the prices of items not increase so exponentially. If the total wealth of a level 16 character is roughly 12x as much as that of a level 5 character, as it would be on this table, then the price of a level 16 true healing potion can be 12x (or even a few x less) the cost of a level 5 moderate healing potion, instead of 60x more expensive. Which feels a lot more fair for the action economy of a single potion worth 3 of its weaker kin, and the same thing can apply to other healing items, like whatever the new "healing wand" turns out to be.

It also makes the setting economy stand up to scrutiny better.

Liberty's Edge

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Fuzzypaws wrote:
* It makes a ton of sense to be upset about losing CLW wands and the like if you play PFS. If you primarily play in a setting where your fellow players change from session to session, you can't count on ANYONE in your party being a healer. You can't count on them being a cleric, you can't count on them even having the Heal / Medicine skill. This is part of why the Wand penetrated the meta-consciousness of the game in the first place. It's a necessary evil in PFS, especially from what I understand about the adventures getting more and more deadly over time.

This doesn't seem like a huge obstacle in PF2 whatsoever. You just buy a decently higher level Wand and only use it when you lack healing people in the party. It's a larger GP investment than Wands of CLW in PF1, but not especially difficult or unworkable.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
* It makes a ton of sense to be upset about losing CLW wands and the like if you play PFS. If you primarily play in a setting where your fellow players change from session to session, you can't count on ANYONE in your party being a healer. You can't count on them being a cleric, you can't count on them even having the Heal / Medicine skill. This is part of why the Wand penetrated the meta-consciousness of the game in the first place. It's a necessary evil in PFS, especially from what I understand about the adventures getting more and more deadly over time.
This doesn't seem like a huge obstacle in PF2 whatsoever. You just buy a decently higher level Wand and only use it when you lack healing people in the party. It's a larger GP investment than Wands of CLW in PF1, but not especially difficult or unworkable.

You're paying exponentially more than the low level wand, for a wand that in PF2 apparently only has 10 charges judging by the other example wands we've been told about. Still not an ideal solution. The pricing of everything still needs to be fixed.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
* It makes a ton of sense to be upset about losing CLW wands and the like if you play PFS. If you primarily play in a setting where your fellow players change from session to session, you can't count on ANYONE in your party being a healer. You can't count on them being a cleric, you can't count on them even having the Heal / Medicine skill. This is part of why the Wand penetrated the meta-consciousness of the game in the first place. It's a necessary evil in PFS, especially from what I understand about the adventures getting more and more deadly over time.
This doesn't seem like a huge obstacle in PF2 whatsoever. You just buy a decently higher level Wand and only use it when you lack healing people in the party. It's a larger GP investment than Wands of CLW in PF1, but not especially difficult or unworkable.
You're paying exponentially more than the low level wand, for a wand that in PF2 apparently only has 10 charges judging by the other example wands we've been told about. Still not an ideal solution. The pricing of everything still needs to be fixed.

Where were wand prices listed? Also where were wand sale amounts listed?

Liberty's Edge

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Fuzzypaws wrote:
You're paying exponentially more than the low level wand, for a wand that in PF2 apparently only has 10 charges judging by the other example wands we've been told about. Still not an ideal solution. The pricing of everything still needs to be fixed.

How much money it costs in numerical terms is basically meaningless in terms of whether this is doable. It's whether you can afford it out of your consumables/operating budget with ease due to the WBL you get (which is likely to remain higher in PFS). If you can, then this isn't a big issue. If you can't, then it is.

We don't know enough about the economy to know which of those is the case, but the evidence points to the first far more than the second.

Really you just seem offended that your character might need to pay more GP per HP healed, which is not a meaningful mechanical complaint absent context which we lack.


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The system as presented here is 'spend lots of money in order to spend actions and spell points to pretend you're a beginning caster' which ignores the whole point of having cool magical items with a unique flair.

I don't want to judge this until I've actually seen the whole system, but my first impression is bad.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:


Really you just seem offended that your character might need to pay more GP per HP healed, which is not a meaningful mechanical complaint absent context which we lack.

Pretty insultingly dismissive comment there, friendo. I don't even play, I GM, but I'm highly sympathetic to the concerns of those who do play. And even more concerned about making the economies of the world try to make sense, because I have players whose verisimilitude is affected by stuff like that, which gets stressful for me in high level play. But hey I'm just insulted that my character might need to pay more GP, okay.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
* It makes a ton of sense to be upset about losing CLW wands and the like if you play PFS. If you primarily play in a setting where your fellow players change from session to session, you can't count on ANYONE in your party being a healer. You can't count on them being a cleric, you can't count on them even having the Heal / Medicine skill. This is part of why the Wand penetrated the meta-consciousness of the game in the first place. It's a necessary evil in PFS, especially from what I understand about the adventures getting more and more deadly over time.
This doesn't seem like a huge obstacle in PF2 whatsoever. You just buy a decently higher level Wand and only use it when you lack healing people in the party. It's a larger GP investment than Wands of CLW in PF1, but not especially difficult or unworkable.
You're paying exponentially more than the low level wand, for a wand that in PF2 apparently only has 10 charges judging by the other example wands we've been told about. Still not an ideal solution. The pricing of everything still needs to be fixed.

Bear in mind it is not a recurring cost in PFS. Correct me if I'm wrong but you'll have that Wand, fully charged, at the start of each session regardless of how many charges you used last week.


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For the PFS thing, don't PFS people buy magic items not with gold but with some credit they earn by playing scenarios? If so, can't the "we need wands in PFS" thing be solved by PFS by making necessary wands either really cheap in non-monetary currency or by just issuing them with a scenario?

I don't think that this is really a "game" problem so much as a "specific way to play" problem which can be addressed in-house.

Liberty's Edge

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Fuzzypaws wrote:
Pretty insultingly dismissive comment there, friendo. I don't even play, I GM, but I'm highly sympathetic to the concerns of those who do play.

It wasn't my intention to be insulting, and I'm sorry for any insult I gave. Looking back on it, I probably should've phrased that differently.

My point was not to be dismissive, but to point out that absent context, we have no idea whether the difference in prices is an actual problem with either game balance or verisimilitude. That your reaction seemed purely an objection to the price being higher, which seemed weird to me when we lack the context to know how much it matters.

Fuzzypaws wrote:
And even more concerned about making the economies of the world try to make sense, because I have players whose verisimilitude is affected by stuff like that, which gets stressful for me in high level play. But hey I'm just insulted that my character might need to pay more GP, okay.

I also care quite a bit about verisimilitude, including in regards to the economy. I'm not quite sure how high level people spending a lot of money on stuff messes with that verisimilitude, though. They do that already.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Some feedback from someone who LOVES making magic items and has always had a love/hate relationship with Potions, Scrolls, Staves, and Wands. I'm really torn on this new resonance system and with some of the design choices that have been made.

Would personally love to see it something more along the following:

*Staves*

Powerful Multi-Spell casting implements built around a common theme such as "Staff of Healing" or "Staff of Fire". These staves should function similar to a specialized Wondrous Item.

They should require Investiture of 1 Resonance Point to attune it to you. Once attuned then it cannot be attuned to another character for another 24 hours.

While equipped with an invested staff you gain a bonus from it as a casting implement, such as +1 (or higher with a better staff) to all of the heals that you cast with a "Staff of Healing" equipped. You can also cast the staff's Cantrip without any cost.

Additionally, you can spontaneously cast any spell that the staff uses by expending a spell slot of a level equal to or higher than the spell you wish to cast.

Finally, you can cast any spells within the staff by expending a number of Resonance Points equal to the level of the spell you wish to cast. Doing this casts the spell at your character level. This is to keep staves as relevant equipment for any class, though the benefits heavily favor a caster.

*Wands*

Somewhat similar to Staves though much more limited in their function and benefit. Wands should be attuned to a specific spell and should allow you to cast that spell by spending a Resonance Point and taking an action to activate it.

While this may cause wands to be somewhat more expensive than they are currently it is worth noting that they would not infringe on the benefits of having a staff.

*Scrolls*

These are your bread and butter consumable "Spell in a Can" items. They should be fairly cheap to acquire and should allow you to cast the spell that it contains by consuming the Scroll.

*Potions*

These are your bread and butter consumable "Healing and Utility" items. They should be fairly cheap to acquire and should allow you to consume them to gain the benefit that they provide.

*Trinkets*

These new items are definitely very interesting, though they tend to feel like fairly weak one time use Wondrous Items. I could see it going one of two different ways.

The first method would be to have them be similar to Scrolls in effect and cost. This would allow for quick and simple effects similar to the "Vanishing Coin" but with a unique activation method.

The second method would be to make them have a bit more of a presence to a character as a reusable item requiring Resonance similar to wands. It would obviously make trinkets more expensive in gold cost if this happened.

*Wondrous Items*

These items are going to be where the real meat gets involved when it comes to Resonance. There are so many niche circumstances here that it would be really hard to cover.

From reading the Cloak of Elvenkind it looks pretty darn solid. The only real critique I have here is the clarity that is used in the item's write-up. Everyone else has said similar things, so I won't rehash the same statements.

*Final Thoughts*

Finally, my last critique would be on the Resonance Points themselves. Before I can draw any sort of conclusion on the function and amount given I will need to see other example items and run through some playtesting.

My only real note here is that Resonance should be based off of the linked casting stat modifier for casters. That would be "Int" for Wizards, "Wis" for Druids and Clerics, "Cha" for Bards and Sorcerers. Hybrids may be somewhat difficult though I'd lean toward "Wis" for Ranger and either "Wis" or "Cha" for Paladin depending on what they use for their casting and primary class abilities.

The only other class that may stand out would be Rogue as they have a history of working with magical items ala Use Magic Device. It would be interesting to see them using "Cha" but possibly allowing them to swap it out for "Int" and a minor bonus to using magic devices as a Rogue Feat.

Great work as always everyone, I'm really looking forward to the playtest!!


Deadmanwalking wrote:
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.

The feat I can see. Do we know that having someone else turn the item on and hand it back to you works?

Wait doesn't the blog say if you turn it on/attune, no one else can do the same?

So if the items are locked to the person for the day, you're left with asking them for help. I don't see this as a bad thing. But it seems actually having to WORK as a team as a bad thing from what I've seen on the forums so what do I know?

Liberty's Edge

MerlinCross wrote:
The feat I can see. Do we know that having someone else turn the item on and hand it back to you works?

Depends on the Item. The person who uses the Item spends the Resonance, so something like a Wand of Heal or Flight can be used by someone else to give you the benefits.

MerlinCross wrote:
Wait doesn't the blog say if you turn it on/attune, no one else can do the same?

It does if you need to attune it (like the Cloak of Elvenkind), but you don't need to attune consumables (including Wands), or most weapons, or several other things.

MerlinCross wrote:
So if the items are locked to the person for the day, you're left with asking them for help. I don't see this as a bad thing. But it seems actually having to WORK as a team as a bad thing from what I've seen on the forums so what do I know?

Only some items are locked, but Resonance can definitely be stretched a bit further with some teamwork, yeah.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Looking back at the "Secrets of Alchemy"-Blog I noticed that the Smokestick and Sleep Poison explicitly state:

Smokestick wrote:
Activation Operate Activation, no Resonance Point cost

I think that is the wrong way to go about resonance cost.

You are already using icons throughout the book, why not include one more for resonance, and put it where one has to spend it?


Yolande d'Bar wrote:

Are we to assume that the invisibility of the standard Cloak of Elvenkind is 1st level while the invisibility of the greater Cloak of Elvenkind has a duration of 4 minutes?

In other words, is the magical effect listed in terms of duration for the standard and in terms of level for the greater? Shouldn't they both be listed the same way?

does the standard cloak even has invisibility ? not clear the way it is writing, has it is not mentioned for the standard cloak...


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Noir le Lotus wrote:
Well to be honest everything in this preview seems way more complicated : seeing the block about Cloak of Elvenkind was such a disappointment. I want PF2 to simplify tedious things and I only see more tedious things added ...

Yeah, there are some things I really dig in these previews (action economy, weapons, reactions), but they really seem to be going with fiddly and large numbers, definitely a direction to go, but I was preferring them to take the 3rd Ed/PF system in another direction. Maybe a middle ground between 3rd Ed/PF1 and 5th Ed, this seems to be ratcheting things up a notch.


Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:

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.

I don't think you have this quite right.

"Activate" is to Items as "Cast" is to Spells.

It's a term that encompasses a variety of actions, not an action in-and-of-itself.

To Cast a Spell, you perform the actions listed next to Casting, which can include [Material Casting], [Somatic Casting], and [Verbal Casting]. These usually take one action [[A]] each, but some may have different action requirements (frex, the Tempt Fate spell previewed in the Domain blog has "Casting: [[F]] Somatic free action")

Additionally, casting a spell uses one Spell Slot, or one or more Spell Points.

To Activate an item, you perform the actions listed next to Activation, which can include [Operate Activation], [Focus Activation], and [Command Activation]. These (probably) usually take one action [[A]] each, but some may have different action requirements (frex, the Vanishing Coin mentioned in this blog has "[[F]] Focus Activation".)

Additionally, Activating an item uses one Resonance Point.

I was adding my own secondary meanings to the words, as an example how the vocabulary could carry additional information about costs. To borrow Benchak the Nightstalker's parallelism with spell casting components, Somatic Casting requires a free hand and provokes attacks, Verbal Casting requires speaking aloud, and Material Casting spends a specific material component. These aspects of casting reflect additional costs and conditions beyond the spell slot, and tie them up into neat, easily understood categories.

The PF1 system uses four mutually exclusive techniques for activating magic items: Spell Completion, Spell Trigger, Command Word, and Use Activated. They are never mixed together for a single activation like somatic, verbal, and material components for spellcasting. Is Paizo going to expand the options for magic-item activations and allow mixing of Operate Activation, Focus Activation, and Command Activation? Or will they remain seperate?

Also, Franz Lunzer in comment #597 highlights other information about Operate Activation from Paizo Blog: Secrets of Alchemy. It is associated with operating the item but not necessary with resonance.

Smokestick Item 1
Alchemical, Consumable
Price 2 gp
Method of Use held, 2 hands; Bulk L
Activation Operate Activation, no Resonance Point cost

With a sharp twist of this item, you instantly create a screen of thick, opaque smoke in a 5-foot-radius burst centered on one corner of your space. All creatures within that area are concealed. The smoke lasts for 1 minute or until dispersed by a strong wind.

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