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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Silver Crusade

Hmm wrote:

Cloak of Elvenkind redux

MerlinCross wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Hypothetically, depending on just how far you can cast Ghost Sound(Doesn't say range) back towards your team which makes a sound that they know for different signals.
*owl noises*

That. Wolf howl, Moose noise, angry gerbil noises.

Part of the fun is using stuff in odd ways. Message would be a far easier thing to use yes, but Ghost Sound can also let you say, Spook a bunch of bandits or lure one away for a silent take down.

Maybe Elven bands of something can have the Message cantrip/spell to them.

Okay, that’s a fair point. Alright, owl noises — or whatever — it is!

Hoooooooooooo!

I’m going to have so much fun with this :3

(Warning: language)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Felinus wrote:
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.

Or by the writer of an adventure path putting dudes with scythes in the next room. But thanks for the condescension.


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I think the key problem I have with Resonance - and actually, a lot of the PF2 changes - is that they seem to be designer-driven, rather than player-led.

If Paizo had done a survey asking us, the playing community, what changes/fixes we wanted from PF1, my answer would have been something like:

*Get rid of feat taxes
*More skill points for the 2+ skill classes (fighter, cleric, paladin usw)
*Simplify the action economy
*Try and do something about caster/martial disparity (the stamina system from Unchained would be a great place to start from)
*Revisit the maths behind the game engine to minimise the ridiculous bonuses some optimisers can get

(Praise where it's due: it looks like this HAS been done and I hugely approve!)

*Cut down on the number of resources we have to track (like magic item charges)
*Streamline the monster rules so I can GM even the higher CR beasties straight 'out of the box'
*For the love of Dog, please fix swarms
*Remove alignment? (Controversial!)

There's probably more, but you get the idea.

Changes I would NOT have asked for:

"Please complicate the skills system by adding proficiency"

"Why not add weapon and armour proficiencies too"

"While you're down there, let's add proficiency to saves"

"There aren't enough alignment arguments. Please add another system that will require GM interpretation"

"While you're at it, why not add that system to classes that didn't previously have it? I suggest the barbarian"

"Please complicate the magic item system by adding another resource for everyone to track. Make sure this doesn't remove the need to keep track of charges and so on!"

"Please also include new language for people to have to learn when they use their equipment. Make sure that it's clunky and inelegant"

I know that it's easy to criticize, and that there's no way to please everyone. It may be that I'm in a minority here and that these do, in fact, represent changes that the majority of the community have been wanting. But it feels like Resonance in particular has been introduced to solve a problem (CLW-spam) that I've never encountered, either as a GM or as a player.

Which is a shame: I hugely respect the Paizo team and I love the game they have made in PF1. I would be sorry to see PF2 turn into less of an evolution, making minor changes to remove the flaws in the original, and more into something that bears no resemblance to the original.

Liberty's Edge

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Wandering Wastrel wrote:

If Paizo had done a survey asking us, the playing community, what changes/fixes we wanted from PF1, my answer would have been something like:

*Get rid of feat taxes
*More skill points for the 2+ skill classes (fighter, cleric, paladin usw)
*Simplify the action economy
*Try and do something about caster/martial disparity (the stamina system from Unchained would be a great place to start from)
*Revisit the maths behind the game engine to minimise the ridiculous bonuses some optimisers can get
*Streamline the monster rules so I can GM even the higher CR beasties straight 'out of the box'

In fairness, evidence strongly suggests they've done all of these.

Wandering Wastrel wrote:

"Please complicate the skills system by adding proficiency"

"Why not add weapon and armour proficiencies too"

"While you're down there, let's add proficiency to saves"

IMO, Proficiencies make the skill system a lot simpler once you're used to them. All three of these working the same is also a huge game simplifier. In short, I wholeheartedly approve of these changes and absolutely would have requested something like them (though I probably wouldn't have come up with this specific implementation).

I'm less sure about Resonance, though something to eliminate the Christmas Tree effect and get rid of Item Slots would have absolutely been on my request list. Limiting consumables is something I'd be inclined to handle quite differently, though, for reasons of simplicity.

Silver Crusade

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Okay, finally read through everything. A lot’s already been said so a bunch of this is probably gonna be repeats.

I’m curious about Resonance. All I’m really gonna say about that except for the below.

I’ll add my voice to having items remaining invested until you choose to univest or get hit with a certain effect (such as death), rather than having to take time and actively investing each day, as stated above that could prove perilous to wearers of rings of water breathing and the like.

I also dislike the Staves having the 24 hour abeyance, and will greatly loathe it if that applies to other invested items. “You just beat a tough fight annnnnd can’t use any of the loot at all for 23 more hours and 50 minutes” will be a very souring experience. The Staff’s non-spell ability probably doesn’t warrant this restriction, since you still have to use your own resources with it.

I like the idea of Trinkets but I’m wary of them being super specialized like the Fear Gem. How many can you affix at a time? If one or a few then I can see these specialized ones never getting used since you could have more readibly realible Trinkets attached and use them, or they’re too good and people will start locking into certain builds as must haves, ughhh.

For Potions rather than Resonance I’d rather see a Miscability table. 1) it creates some breathing room while still putting in a constraint, one that a lot of people wouldn’t mind. 2) it’s fun. C’mmmmmmmmon Mark and Jason, a full on Miscibility table (or tables!), you know you want to make one.

“Operate Activation Action”

I never want to see those three words together in any configuration ever again.

I LOVE the new Action economy. I’m really chagrined at how many types of Actions that we’ll need to keep track of that all basically do the same thing though, there’s too much over-defining going on now (how many Actions do we have now?). Not to mention superfluous and repetition. “Activation: [noun] Activation” should not be a thing, nor should “Action: 1 Activation Action”. Just say “It doth take 1 f+~#ing Action” to activate. Or something.

We have Somatic for physical manipulation, we don’t need Somatic, Operate, Nudge, Caress, Hold Gently, etc. Same for Verbal for Command and Focus for Concentrate.

Somatic
Verbal
Material
Focus

We don’t really need the others since they do the same thing. It’s a distinction without a difference.

And for the Traits, just like in Bestiary entries, can we have them follow a rhyme and reason rather than alphabetical order? That’s really confusing.


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Wandering Wastrel wrote:

I think the key problem I have with Resonance - and actually, a lot of the PF2 changes - is that they seem to be designer-driven, rather than player-led.er CR beasties straight 'out of the box'

.
.
.
It may be that I'm in a minority here and that these do, in fact, represent changes that the majority of the community have been wanting. But it feels like Resonance in particular has been introduced to solve a problem (CLW-spam) that I've never encountered, either as a GM or as a player.

Which is a shame: I hugely respect the Paizo team and I love the game they have made in PF1. I would be sorry to see PF2 turn into less of an evolution, making minor changes to remove the flaws in the original, and more into something that bears no resemblance to the original.

This perfectly captures my perspective on the direction in which PF2e appears to be heading.


Rysky wrote:
I LOVE the new Action economy, I’m really chagrined at how many types of Actions that we’ll need to keep track of that all basically do the same thing though, there’s too much over-defining going on now (how many Actions do we have now?). Not to mention superfluous and repetition. “Activation: [noun] Activation” should not be a thing, nor should “Action: 1 Activation Action”. Just say “It doth take 1 f!~@ing Action” to activate. Or something.

Yes!

Why can't we simply have?

1 Action
2 Actions
3 Actions

or

Action (1)
Action (2)
Action (3)


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Chest Rockwell wrote:
Rysky wrote:
I LOVE the new Action economy, I’m really chagrined at how many types of Actions that we’ll need to keep track of that all basically do the same thing though, there’s too much over-defining going on now (how many Actions do we have now?). Not to mention superfluous and repetition. “Activation: [noun] Activation” should not be a thing, nor should “Action: 1 Activation Action”. Just say “It doth take 1 f!~@ing Action” to activate. Or something.

Yes!

Why can't we simply have?

1 Action
2 Actions
3 Actions

or

Action (1)
Action (2)
Action (3)

I prefer Single Action, Double Action, and Triple Action. I already say, "Double Move" in my Pathfinder 1st Edition games.

However, the subtypes of actions define why a task requires exactly a specific number of actions. Alas, the wording is so flavorless that it does not explain the number of actions.

PLAYER: I detach a bead from my Necklace of Fireballs, ...
GM: That's one operate action.
PLAYER: Activate it, ...
GM: An operate activation action.
PLAYER: And throw it.
GM: Throwing it is part of the operate activation.
PLAYER: Huh?
GM: You get the activation for free as part of throwing it. Operation activation means activated by using it. Throwing it uses it.

With slightly better wording.

PLAYER: I detach a bead from my Necklace of Fireballs, ...
GM: That's operating the necklace, one action.
PLAYER: Activate it, ...
GM: The bead is activated by throwing it.
PLAYER: I throw it at the ogre chieftain.
GM: Second action. Roll to hit.


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Mathmuse wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Rysky wrote:
I LOVE the new Action economy, I’m really chagrined at how many types of Actions that we’ll need to keep track of that all basically do the same thing though, there’s too much over-defining going on now (how many Actions do we have now?). Not to mention superfluous and repetition. “Activation: [noun] Activation” should not be a thing, nor should “Action: 1 Activation Action”. Just say “It doth take 1 f!~@ing Action” to activate. Or something.

Yes!

Why can't we simply have?

1 Action
2 Actions
3 Actions

or

Action (1)
Action (2)
Action (3)

I prefer Single Action, Double Action, and Triple Action. I already say, "Double Move" in my Pathfinder 1st Edition games.

That also works; it seems as they have reduced the number of conditions, they have ramped up actions: Operation Activation action, Verbal Component action, Stride action, Strike action, Give my Undercarriage a How's Your Father action.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
I like the idea of Trinkets but I’m wary of them being super specialized like the Fear Gem. How many can you affix at a time? If one or a few then I can see these specialized ones never getting used since you could have more readibly realible Trinkets attached and use them, or they’re too good and people will start locking into certain builds as must haves, ughhh.

The Fear Gem seems like a weird example to complain about because it won't do either of the things you mention-- it only works if you have a specific fighter feat. If you have that feat, it is certainly good enough to have one or two on hand, at least for fighting bosses. If. You don't have the fighter feat, you won't take it, and it probably isn't so good you'll alter your build to accommodate this trinket.

That being said, I think the Gear Gem should probably have an effect (or not be consumed) on a non-critical miss. And I'm not sure I'm thrilled with the idea of the book being cluttered up with items that only work if you have specific feats.

Silver Crusade

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Rysky wrote:
I like the idea of Trinkets but I’m wary of them being super specialized like the Fear Gem. How many can you affix at a time? If one or a few then I can see these specialized ones never getting used since you could have more readibly realible Trinkets attached and use them, or they’re too good and people will start locking into certain builds as must haves, ughhh.

The Fear Gem seems like a weird example to complain about because it won't do either of the things you mention-- it only works if you have a specific fighter feat. If you have that feat, it is certainly good enough to have one or two on hand, at least for fighting bosses. If. You don't have the fighter feat, you won't take it, and it probably isn't so good you'll alter your build to accommodate this trinket.

That being said, I think the Gear Gem should probably have an effect (or not be consumed) on a non-critical miss. And I'm not sure I'm thrilled with the idea of the book being cluttered up with items that only work if you have specific feats.

I was talking about in general, not the Fear Gem. If there’s another Trinket that’s really good that only works with 1 specific Class Feat then people will start locking into that’s Trinket/Feat combo as a must have for that Class.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Wandering Wastrel wrote:

I think the key problem I have with Resonance - and actually, a lot of the PF2 changes - is that they seem to be designer-driven, rather than player-led.

If Paizo had done a survey asking us, the playing community, what changes/fixes we wanted from PF1, my answer would have been something like:

That a pretty presumptuous we. What you are actually saying is "I don't like some of the decisions made" because plenty of people did have problems with the aspects they are looking to fix and are happy with how it is happening.

Grand Lodge

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Malk_Content wrote:
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.

As a PFS Venture Captain, let me clarify a misunderstanding here.

The only time you might have the wand ‘fully charged’ again is in the case of playing a pregenerated character who has such a wand. Pregens never change; they reset back to their original sheet after each adventure, even if you play the same one twice in a row at a convention where you may not have a character of your own yet.

Wand charges are absolutely tracked in PFS for any player. I recommend tracking them on your ITS or item tracking sheet. Now for many players one wand will last a very long time. Still, you eventually run out and have to get a new one.

As for the ability to get wands with campaign credit — yep, that’s a thing. If you do your first mission well, you can usually come up with enough prestige to pick up a wand of CLW. (2 prestige = 750 gold of purchase power.). Most people pick up that wand on the second or third adventure. You can either spend prestige on wands and small vanities like porters or medium ones like pirate ships or you can save it up to pick up enough to get you out of a serious bind like a raise dead.

In home games, I don’t think that wands of CLW break the wealth system. After all, bad guys are going to want them too, so it’s easy to throw partially charged CLW wands at the party to keep them in healing in PF1 home game.

Hmm

Grand Lodge

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Captain Morgan wrote:
That being said, I think the Gear Gem should probably have an effect (or not be consumed) on a non-critical miss. And I'm not sure I'm thrilled with the idea of the book being cluttered up with items that only work if you have specific feats.

I’m not interested in a fear gem, but a ‘Gear Gem’ sounds very cool and steampunk. Sign me up!

Hmm


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Hmm wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
That being said, I think the Gear Gem should probably have an effect (or not be consumed) on a non-critical miss. And I'm not sure I'm thrilled with the idea of the book being cluttered up with items that only work if you have specific feats.

I’m not interested in a fear gem, but a ‘Gear Gem’ sounds very cool and steampunk. Sign me up!

Hmm

Lolololololol


Fuzzypaws wrote:
* 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.

Just to add some counterpoint anecdotes, in my group we pretty much always use the CLW spam method, even when the party does have someone built around healing (they usually become the one carrying the wands to spam between fights.) And from a discussion a couple days ago, most of the group pretty well hates it. Personally I'm more ambivalent about it, since a large amount of the time I enjoy playing healers but also another large amount of the time I'm in parties with no one with a healing option on their build.

---

On a different note though, I just really hope that Staves wind up actually usable this time. Between their cost and how finicky they were to use in PF1e I don't think anyone in my group has ever actually used a staff. Just going off what we've seen already I think a future Healer of mine might just pick up the Staff of Healing for some white mage aesthetic goodness... and actually find it usable because of the passive benefit, on top of the extra spells.

Grand Lodge

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pjrogers wrote:
Wandering Wastrel wrote:

I think the key problem I have with Resonance - and actually, a lot of the PF2 changes - is that they seem to be designer-driven, rather than player-led.er CR beasties straight 'out of the box'

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It may be that I'm in a minority here and that these do, in fact, represent changes that the majority of the community have been wanting. But it feels like Resonance in particular has been introduced to solve a problem (CLW-spam) that I've never encountered, either as a GM or as a player.

Which is a shame: I hugely respect the Paizo team and I love the game they have made in PF1. I would be sorry to see PF2 turn into less of an evolution, making minor changes to remove the flaws in the original, and more into something that bears no resemblance to the original.

This perfectly captures my perspective on the direction in which PF2e appears to be heading.

I think the designers have stated Resonance is designed to fight multiple aspects of broken PF 1e, not just CLW spam. Pointedly, to fight the christmas tree affect, in part to allow for more unique and cool magical items. However, I'm jus not happy with the proposed fix.

Wandering Wastrel wrote:

I think the key problem I have with Resonance - and actually, a lot of the PF2 changes - is that they seem to be designer-driven, rather than player-led.

If Paizo had done a survey asking us, the playing community, what changes/fixes we wanted from PF1, my answer would have been something like:

Well, yes, of course they're designer driven. The designers are, well...designing the game! We wouldn't have gotten PF 1e if the designer(s) hadn't designed a better system than 3e. Paizo has, at least, been very good at implementing player-based input in the past. They've got people working on this who have years of designing xp; sure, we have years of playing and GMing, but it's still different then designing. Don't forget, the designers also have years of xp like we have, AND they get PAID for their design work, so they're obviously doing something right. Can't argue with that.

Even from the designers' own admissions they've stated they know Resonance is a touchy new system. I agree the christmas tree effect and CLW spamming needs a fix, but I think the designers may be tunnel-visioned slightly on this one (this is constructive criticism, btw). With other PF 2e revelations, points of contention mainly rested on personal preferences, understandings, and refusal to try something new. But the RP system arguments have not been this and, to my reading and talking with my players, have been concerned about game flow, common sense, and basic gameplay and record keeping.


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Essentially my main gripe with Resonance doesn't even have to double down on the mechanics of the new subsystem - I have said this before, in possibly two other threads.

I don't want to have to have my characters have a relationship with their magical items. It is unnecessary, clunky, breaks my verisimilitude, and is overwrought. Which I was earlier, now I'm merely starting to understand that Resonance is unpopular for a lot of different reasons, most of which I don't encounter. Playstyle differences (CLW pop-gun mentality and interaction with PFS of which I am not a member nor do I play), verbiage and nomenclature (I'm sure this can be cleaned up), wand and stave changes (never really used these much, so charges vs Resonance while seeming like a no-brainer - i.e. DON'T have BOTH isn't so important to me) and trinkets (I'm not seeing the problems others are) - all of these aren't why Resonance is unpopular with me.

It just makes no sense in my mind.

Charisma doesn't need it (I never dump Charisma as I find it the most useful stat already, in fact I don't dump stats at all) nor does it completely and only make sense for Resonance.

And I don't want or need the extra complication of what has always been a fairly simple add-on to your character, not an interaction you need to have, track and manipulate.


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This is the first of the preview posts I have been disappointed in. While I like some of the stuff I am seeing in here, it seems like other parts were not well thought out. The item descriptions need some serious editing for clarity, but I think others have covered that topic well enough, so I will focus on other things. I apologize in advance for the length of my post.

Many of the changes we have seen in moving from PF1 to PF2 can be attributed to two guiding principles: streamlining the rules and replacing boring necessities with interesting choices. When it comes to items, the Big Six are definitely an example of the boring necessities, so rolling them into other items allows for more interesting item choices. Which brings us to the primary topic of this blog: resonance.

There are three basic categories of magic item—permanent, rechargeable, and consumable (note that a single item can have different effects that fall under different categories). As it stands, each of these three interact with resonance. Permanent items require investment when you put them on. This allows us to toss out the old body slot system in favor of wearing whatever you want as long has you have the resonance points to invest in them. Rechargeable items require you to spend a resonance point when you activate them and then do it again when you replenish your points on the next day. This allows us to pool activation points together instead of having to track each item individually. Resonance does a great job of streamlining these two categories, reducing the bookkeeping involved (though I do find it a bit odd they draw from the same pool).

Consumable items are used up when they are activated, but now also require you to spend a resonance point. Instead of streamlining things, this change just adds another step of bookkeeping—a problem further exacerbated by multi-charge items like wands. (What even is the point of wands now? They used to be essentially a cheap way to get a scroll you can cast a bunch of times. Now it’s a scroll you want to cast a bunch of times, but can’t because you don’t have that many resonance points). Furthermore, it feels bad to have a single action depleting two resource pools at once, and from a mechanical standpoint, it makes very little sense. Since the magic item is consumed in the process of its use, it seems like the energy spent is coming from the item itself. Why does it require me to provide resonance? Why does the fact that I activated my pants of exquisite fashion a few times earlier today prevent me from drinking a health potion? Finally, for many players, consumables are emergency items; they are only to be used when rechargeable resources are insufficient. Requiring both rechargeable and consumable resources to draw from the same pool of resonance destroys this play style and seems to defeat the purpose of many items that are meant to be used as a last resort.

It is easy to see from the last 13 pages of discussion that the item that catalyzed this change is the wand of cure light wounds. It’s clear why they wanted to make a change— the wand of CLW is practically a required item in PF1, and that goes against the design guideline of reducing necessities in favor of interesting choices. Still, it seems like they chose to attack the symptom rather than the root of the problem. (As an aside, why is it even a big deal that a high level character uses a low level item? A master carpenter doesn’t stop using a pencil because it’s a lowly apprentice’s tool. A high level cavalier shouldn’t be forced to feed her hippogriff mount +4 Oats of Culinary Delight when some good ol’ hay gets the job done just fine.)

Every party needs healing. You can find other ways through locked doors, you can summon things to take hits, you can UMD the MacGuffin activation device, but there is no substitute for healing. When you are down to 2hp and there is a dragon in the room between you and the exit, you have two choices: heal or write up a new character sheet. To understand why the wand of CLW became the standard solution to this need, we need to understand the three economies of the game—character build, item, and action—and how they interact.

The character build economy determines what abilities your character can have. You can choose to boost your skills, cast all kinds of spells, or hit stuff really hard, but your character can’t do everything at once. Choosing to be good at something always has an opportunity cost. When it comes to healing, only a few PF1 classes can be good at it without significant investment that seriously hampers their ability to do other things. Since healing is an entirely reactive action, many people find it quite boring and so there is a dearth of people who will spend their character build resources on improving their healing ability. This means that many parties have to fill their healing needs with magic items.

The action economy determines what your character can do in a given amount of time. There is a limited number of actions in each turn, so each action you take has an opportunity cost. A wand of CLW will heal 1d8+1, which is an okay use of an action for a low level character, but terrible for a high level character. When it comes to actions in combat, they need to stay as level appropriate as possible. However, in PF1, it is simply better to end combat as quickly as possible and then heal up afterwards than it is to spend precious actions trying to heal your party when your enemy is still attacking you.

The item economy determines how your character uses their gold to outfit themselves with items. As earlier posters have explained, item costs have to increase faster than item power to keep the economy balanced; otherwise you get low level characters spending some extra money to get an overpowered sword or heal their entire hit point pool in a single action. This difference in progression means that for cumulative effects like healing, it is more economically efficient to spam low level healing than it is to use the more action efficient method of casting one high level heal. So, when nobody is building their character to heal and healing in combat in generally inefficient, the cheap wand of CLW becomes the easy answer.

So how does PF2 change this? Wands now require resonance to activate, meaning the item economy has another resource to track. This doesn’t do anything to encourage more interesting item choices, because it doesn’t change how important healing is; it just means that we need to decide between the gold efficient low level wands and the resonance and action efficient high level wands. It leaves us feeling like O. Henry’s Gift of the Magi—we either have money to spend on cool magic items that we are unable to activate or we have plenty of resonance without interesting items to spend it on.

I find this especially frustrating, because the other changes coming in PF2 lead me to believe that wand of CLW spam wouldn’t be as prevalent anyway. We know there are more ways to spend character build resources on healing: the medicine skill can be trained to heal hp damage, and there was apparently a barbarian build tested that functioned quite well as the party healer. Meanwhile, the new action economy means spending an action in combat no longer precludes you from taking an action to help end combat sooner. By making in-combat healing practical, higher level healing items now have a reason to be used.

TL;DR, we’ll see what happens when we playtest, but right now consumables using resonance feels like a poor solution to a problem that might not exist.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:


I don't want to have to have my characters have a relationship with their magical items.

What?


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I have to push back again on this narrative that 'cure light wounds wands' are some kind of player invention.

First they started with 3.0 - not 3.5 - and so are now 3 editions deep into the game fabric.

Second Paizo has encouraged their use - first with cheap access in PFS and second with including a wand in almost every AP as loot before the end of the first book. The stories about closed no shopping APs - I'm playing Strange Aeons - we just finished book one - we have almost 2 full wands in our loot, if you didn't get them either you didn't find them or your GM took them out - in fact as a company Paizo has encouraged CLW wands more than WotC by far - so please stop saying that this behavior was 'player invented' or 'an aberration'. I understand that some people don't like the wands - that's fine, but twisting the history of why they are what they are, or trying to pretend that it's some big problem is flat out wrong, and makes me distrust the rest of your narrative.

Third:

Quote:

“Operate Activation Action”

I never want to see those three words together in any configuration ever again.

A Million times this - keep actions - actions. I am doubling down on this - especially after re-listening to the 'crypt of the everflame' playtest podcast.

3 actions - 1 2 or 3 actions for anything - lets clean up the actions to 3 types: Physical, Verbal, Mental. Use colors or abbreviations for these - but now we know if an action takes noise, movement, or just thought, and that gives us what we need to know to determine if silence, or being bound affects the action.

Do we really need more 'categories' than this? I'd like to see the 'less is more' principle applied here - give us enough for a complex system - but don't over super complicate it.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
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.

But if it is no longer required, isn't changing wands rules over kill?

This is like Improved Critical and Keen not stacking all over again.


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Okay, I get the discussion about resonance going on, but it's important to acknowledge/recognize that this wasn't *just* a CLW wand problem, and using that as a proxy for your argument against it has issues.

Resonance solved the problem of *all* low-level wands/scrolls (and to a lesser extent potions) making low-level situational spells basically obsolete. To point out some other problems (particularly in PFS, where 2PP gives you items for free):

Wand of Heightened Awareness, Wand of Feather Step, Wand of Touch of the Sea, Wand of Monkey Fish, Scroll of Fly, Wand of Comprehend Languages, Scroll of Tongues, Wand of Shield...

The list goes on. To be fair, wands were the *biggest* problem here, but low-level scrolls were also dirt-cheap. So yeah, let's not turn the resonance discussion into one purely about CLW wands. Yes, they were one part of the problem, but far from the entire problem. Even if we think CLW wands *aren't* a problem, that doesn't mean Resonance isn't needed.


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Been awhile since I have been on the forums, but after reading over this information I have a few thoughts, that I will have to test out once the playtest begins.

First to those talking about CLW I recall heavy use of such items as well, although my party generally ported over the belt of healing from 3.5 (750gp 3 charges per new dawn, 1 charge as an action heals 2d8hp, each additional charge used as part of the action healed an extra 1d8)
Each of our characters purchased one as early as we could to cover emergency healing (IE the cleric is down, party split, or out of combat conserving spells).

Now that I have gotten that out of the way my analysis of the currently presented data.

First a rose by any other name, they have different names for actions but as long as they state what they consume I really don't worry about what they name them.

Second: resonance: the base concept I really like, gives a value to charisma for all characters taking it away from being the defacto dump stat except for possible the artificer, but still making it not a huge investment by allowing level to go into it.

Third: resonance use: Investiture, for permanent items, a once per day toll to have access to the feature, allows to be handed over to someone else and let them have access, this sounds good to me. The 24 hour wait time has me concerned on one hand bad guy can't take my staff and use it against me, on the other hand I can't start using his staff after we beat him for 24hours. This may require some retooling.
I think overall making it so you need to spend RP on your items to keep them active each day is fine, but I think it is a good idea to setup with the GM an agreement of auto paying for some items (ring of protection type stuff)
As for a previous example someone did of the ring of water breathing I think this is a great thing, vs. item slots.

Consider this I can wear 8-10 rings now, rather than 2, I don't have to spend any points on the ring of water breathing until I am in a situation that calls for it. It sounds like investiture is a single action and most characters can hold breath for 1 round if needed.

My concern comes from the Staff and what it also might imply for wands.

If I recharge the wand each time I put investiture into it then I am still having to track charges which from the blog does not sound like the overall goal.

My recommendation is to make it friendly to resource management and non-casters
Staff of healing alt: spend 1 action and 1 resonance to cast healing lv 1 (this spell if I recall from earlier blogs allows you to spend additional actions to have a range, or area affect, I assume this works the same but does not eat additional resonance) you could then spend additional resonance as part of casting to increase the level of the spell.
The staff would also allow you to invest in it to give you spontaneous access to its spells of which you could spend your own spell slots on.
Invested characters still gain +1 to healing spells

This reduces the amount of tracking the player has to do, gives non-casters an option that works with said staff, but still makes it better for casters. While non-casters still have a benefit for investing if they choose to do so.

The consumable items have always been hit or miss with my party, and that includes potions, my players tend to shy away from one use items, which generally makes sense economically. Also we tend to play home games which has an effect on that too.

That being said items tuned to certain fighting styles and feats sounds neat to me, I think that the resonance system itself is a solution to the trinkets being consumed, I think a one use consumable should probably not consume any points. Better yet make it so you can spend the resonance to not consume the item.

This makes it so if you over spend and fail the check you have to give up the item to use its ability and then find or buy another later on.

Just some thoughts for now, really not sure what this says about how scrolls would work as well.


Ckorik wrote:
Second Paizo has encouraged their use - first with cheap access in PFS and second with including a wand in almost every AP as loot before the end of the first book. The stories about closed no shopping APs - I'm playing Strange Aeons - we just finished book one - we have almost 2 full wands in our loot, if you didn't get them either you didn't find them or your GM took them out - in fact as a company Paizo has encouraged CLW wands more than WotC by far - so please stop saying that this behavior was 'player invented' or 'an aberration'. I understand that some people don't like the wands - that's fine, but twisting the history of why they are what they are, or trying to pretend that it's some big problem is flat out wrong, and makes me distrust the rest of your narrative.

Wands of Cure Light Wounds are still pretty standard around level 3. Where they are not standard loot (and shouldn't be) is significantly higher levels. Level 3 and level 13 is a pretty big difference.

(Also, you should only get one wand of Cure Light Wounds, and basically only very near the end. And that only if you press a very specific person for incentives when you should already be willing to help them.)

Starbuck_II wrote:


But if it is no longer required, isn't changing wands rules over kill?
This is like Improved Critical and Keen not stacking all over again.

I was in a campaign where we had two characters built for healing, and still used a wand of Cure Light simply because it was basically free healing. The other two characters saved their stuff for in-combat emergencies and ability damage/drain. Had four separate wands of Cure Light by the end.


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

A few thoughts after thinking about many of these topics for a few days.

1) I'm not overly enthusiastic about resonance = level + (cha) mod, and then having Alchemist break that. I think I'd prefer to see alchemist still use level + cha mode and then get a +2ish bonus if that's what's needed to balance their greater use. It doesn't open the door to background/archetypes/etc that also change resonance to something else. If one of the points of resonance is to help give CHA a dump-disincentive, don't open the door to ignoring it. PF2 is intrinsically less MAD-unfriendly, don't see why alchemist needs an exception.

2) Invested + Activated Items: In a bit of a wait and see, but currently still feel that the shown items that require both investiture and activation are very inefficient in terms of resonance points/effectiveness, especially compared to I think what's be revealed for weapons/armor. At least an order of magnitude less utility/effectiveness per point spent.

3) Consumables: Potions/scroll/trinkets still feel like they shouldn't cost resonance. Un-decided on wand/staffs. Tracking charges + resonance still feels a little cumbersome and not sure the pay-off is worth it.

4) Action verbiage: I know a lot has been said about the proliferation of long action names. I agree that its inelegant. But I wanted to try to explain why, I think, they're doing what their doing.

For spells we have three Casting actions: Verbal Casting, Somantic Casting, Material Casting. For Activation we have another set Focus, Operate, Command?, etc. Given a set of "Verbal, Somantic, Material, Operate, Focus, Command" would you expect a newcomer to know which are casting and which are activating a magic item? I suspect that's why Paizo's editors suggested adding those words in (at least I think Mark said that they had the one word versions originally). Now, I'm not sure it matters that you can tell which is which. The sub-types of casting/activation are important for how they interact with other systems of the game -- AoO's for instance only trigger on Material Casting (not somantic or verbal). Similarly I'd expect Operate to trigger, but not( Comamnd, Focus). Silence spells, or hold/binding affect the different castings/activation differently.

I understand the intent, and I think its still a level of complexity I'd like in the rule system. However I hope we can find a better way of communicating it.


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Cyouni wrote:
I was in a campaign where we had two characters built for healing, and still used a wand of Cure Light simply because it was basically free healing. The other two characters saved their stuff for in-combat emergencies and ability damage/drain. Had four separate wands of Cure Light by the end.

I was in a game with 3-4 healers(Alchemist, Paladin, Battle Shaman, and Spiritualist). We did not even bother picking up the FREE healing of CLW. Didn't need to, had enough healing to go around.

What did mess us up was Diseases for a while.

Dark Archive

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Quandary wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

My (hypothetic) PF2 level 3 cleric use of the staff. Level 3 cleric, cha 14, resonance 5.

1 RP for armor
1 RP for a weapon
1 RP for the staff
2 RP in reserve for consumables.

The staff gives me +1 hp healed for each Heal spell. Not great, but better than nothing.
It gives me an extra cantrip, Stabilize. Great, I get to use one of my cantrip slots for something different. The only drawback is that it encumber one of my hands or I need to draw it when needed (and that cost an action).
The 3 Heal charges: I will use them after I have used up all my resonance for others things. After the end of a battle: "Guys, it is time to flip the coin, get around me", roll a dice, 50% chance of area heal, then 45% and 40%. I really doubt I will spend RP points to fuel a charge, as that expenditure seems extremely inefficient. At low level the cost is high, a high level the effect is too low.
Paying one RP to get 1 cantrip and + Hp for each cure spell, plus a chance of up to 3 other cure spells, good.
1 RP to cast a cure spell when I have a passable chance of getting it for free? Bad.

eddv wrote:
Except its 2 cure spells because you only have 2 resonance to spend on it.

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).

The Blog text seems to read that you can only use the 0-RP "50% Roll For It" method when you reach 0 RP, but I'm not sure if that is strict rule, or just assumption the Blog went with. As I've posted asking for clarification, it seems reasonable that one could "leave some RP in reserve" while attempting to activate items using the "50% Roll For It" method, but so far we don't have...

Even if you can "save" up resonance and use the roll for it, which I am pretty sure you can't use it tell you are out of resonance points, if you fail your check by so much then you lose access to your resonance all together.

Grand Lodge

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It seems to me that we're losing the fantasy aspect of the game and focusing more on mechanics, numbers, actions per round, etc...

Yay! More math! *sarcasm*


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Personally magic items feel even less magical in 2e then they did in 1e:(


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I see the Developers have fled the thread quite quickly this time.

It's a shame. I'd love to see what else they have to say about this and perhaps sharing other tidbits or magic items to give us a better view on just how Resonance will work - especially given some of the confusion that has resulted from the Blog...

Given that in slightly more than a month we'll have the actual book in our hands, the next four Mondays will likely focus on the last four classes not yet touched upon - Druid, Ranger, Sorcerer, and Bard. We'll also likely get a couple of blogs looking at the two half-human races, though whether they'll put them both together or separate them remains to be seen, as well as humans themselves. No real idea what else they'll be giving us. Though this Friday I might expect to see a bit more detail on what they are doing to differentiate Potions from their nerfed 3.X/P1 versions.

Heck, given it's Pride Month, it would have been neat if they spent a little bit of time on the different ways characters can transition from one gender to the other - we've had three separate examples that I can recall, with a male-to-female transition using a potion in Wrath of the Righteous, another male-to-female transition using what appears to be ritual magic in Reign of Winter, and a female-to-male transition using what seems to be less magical and more 2nd edition Alchemical means in Hell's Rebels. While there are some folk who get antsy over the whole LGBT+ acceptance in Pathfinder, I must admit I'd love to see a little on that. But admittedly that's rather unlikely to happen.


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roll4initiative wrote:
It seems to me that we're losing the fantasy aspect of the game and focusing more on mechanics, numbers, actions per round, etc...

It feels like resonance is a much more flavorful concept (i.e. that magic, on its own, lies inert in objects and requires the spark of some force of personality from a user to come to life, but this only goes so far) than "item slots". So that much is good, honestly.

For as "gamey" as "no wandspam" may be, it's nowhere near as gamey as "you can only wear 2 rings."

Dark Archive

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Really not a fan of this. It seems like a really clunky solution to some things that they seem to have mostly fixed elsewhere.

Grand Lodge

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My experience with CLW wands has not been bad at all. If the players pay for it, then whatever.

I believe the point of the RP system is to limit the plethora of mundane, must-have magical items to stay competitive and to offer unique items the chance to shine, as well as allowing the new system class abilities to work.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I get that some people don't like item slots (not me, I think item slots are intuitive and simple), but Resonance doesn't even remove item slots. There are still item slot tags!

If wearing ten rings and a ton of necklaces is that important, why not just make those items "slotless", which was a perfectly fine system from 1e?


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As a GM let me make some things clear:

Item slots being removed as a formal part of PF won't remove them from a lot of campaigns. I limited PC's to a single worn magic item on each part of the body long before PF was printed and I'll continue to do so after PF2 comes out. Did PF1 go too far with its headband vs head slots and all the rest? Maybe but I think the major problem was that frequently there was multiple desirable magic items in one slot while other slots have next to nothing. A better fix would have been to spread out where the good magic items are worn more, for instance there should never have been a single item that was the sole saving throw booster no matter what slot it occupied.

Wand spam is preferable to forcing a player into the healbot role that they do not want to play. It also gives the low level wizard something useful to do and helps cut down on the 15 minute work day phenomena.

I was of the opinion that it was time for a second edition of Pathfinder. But I expected an evolution of the game not a brand new game with just the name retained.


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I am hella late to this party but I'll say my piece: I really like all of these magic items. I know Mark noted earlier that the scroll listed above is a lot cheaper in 2e if the cash adjustment is indeed [old wealth]/10. I am really happy with the effects of resonance if that means consumables are generally more accessible from a gold cost perspective.

I love the way the Staff of Healing works (and the way staffs in general work, I suppose). The recharging mechanic is kinda clunky but I do think it is serviceable. Maybe it could use another pass?

Maybe channeling an on-level spell through a staff can get you a 1 RP casting of that spell again that day. Maybe that is a little neater than keeping track of up to 3 charges (since that would only be 1 "charge" to keep track of and the player would essentially make those kinds of decisions more actively if gaining the "charge" was part of their actions otherwise). That rule is probably a little bit weaker than the rules above but maybe you could offset that by lowering the price. I dunno.

I agree with a lot of other people when they say the rules for activating different abilities on items should be a little bit clearer and be generally organized to read more quickly.

I don't give two damns if people think attached trinkets are video game-y. I still love them and like that it gives martials neat consumable tricks to do while casters are burning through scrolls.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Cellion wrote:

OK, let me give reorganizing/clarifying the Cloak of Elvenkind a whirl. 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. I suspect many players will simply keep the hood up in order to benefit from the bonus to stealth whenever they need it, so this introduces a clunkiness to the gameplay. I've changed it for the item bonus to stealth to be constant and the invisibility to trigger on raising the hood.

I've also focused only on the lower level version of the item, as I think trying to pack both versions in one stat block is asking for trouble. Here's the attempt:

CLOAK OF ELVENKIND wrote:

CLOAK OF ELVENKIND ITEM 10+

Descriptors: 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.

Investment: When you invest into the Cloak of Elvenkind, the cloak transforms to match the environment around you and muffles your sounds, giving you an item bonus of +3 to stealth checks. Additionally, you gain the use of the following abilities.

Activated Abilities:
[[A]](vocal), [[A]](somatic): You cast the ghost sound cantrip as an arcane spell.

[[A]](interact), [[F]](focus), Pay 1 RP: Your interact action draws the hood of the cloak over your head while your focus action triggers the magic of the cloak. You 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

Wowwww this is great. This should be the absolute standard of explaining *everything* in the playtest. Spells, items, equipment, class abilities. Anything that can be formatted this way would benefit immensely. The reorganization of the info makes it so much clearer. I could easily give this to a player as an item card and they would completely understand it. As it stands now, everything posted about the playtest so far requires multiple readings to parse, and you easily miss important details because mechanical text is mixed with flavor text.


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On further consideration: I still really love the staff approach and I think that resonance as a tool to replace charges is cool.

But I am starting to think they may have taken a good solution to one problem and run with it to far. I already said that trinkets, for example, seems alright. But the more I think about them the more they seem to be the tail wagging the dog. How does wanting to discourage wands of CLW make using a limited resource RP pool to fuel a vanishing coin more fun than just having the vanishing coin without the RP pool?

Is there a lot to be seen? Yes.
But I can tell you that I don't need to go through a playtest to tell you that mechanics which draw attention to themselves are a big negative.

So just make RP be CL+CHR and replace charges for caster items.
That solves the CLW issue
Creates a cool "I'm channeling my inner power through this device" feel
Avoids clunky arbitrary fighter mojo depletion that comes without any narrative need for it


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BryonD wrote:

On further consideration: I still really love the staff approach and I think that resonance as a tool to replace charges is cool.

But I am starting to think they may have taken a good solution to one problem and run with it to far. I already said that trinkets, for example, seems alright. But the more I think about them the more they seem to be the tail wagging the dog. How does wanting to discourage wands of CLW make using a limited resource RP pool to fuel a vanishing coin more fun than just having the vanishing coin without the RP pool?

Is there a lot to be seen? Yes.
But I can tell you that I don't need to go through a playtest to tell you that mechanics which draw attention to themselves are a big negative.

So just make RP be CL+CHR and replace charges for caster items.
That solves the CLW issue
Creates a cool "I'm channeling my inner power through this device" feel
Avoids clunky arbitrary fighter mojo depletion that comes without any narrative need for it

I think cost balancing is the main answer to your question. RP lets consumables be both good and affordable. Allow me to elaborate: Without RP, a trinket that is affordable and useful to a level 3 character could essentially be free to a level 18 martial character (or rather they could buy like 500 level 3 trinkets for the price of an on-level magic item). If that is the case, the designers would have to design the game around the assumption that a high level character would be using low level items almost constantly.

In that case the designers either have to hold off on truly "useful" mechanics for the later half of the game or increase the prices of low level equipment to the point that they are not really options for the level 3 characters that they are designed for. RP solves this problem without such draconian measures.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
roll4initiative wrote:

It seems to me that we're losing the fantasy aspect of the game and focusing more on mechanics, numbers, actions per round, etc...

Yay! More math! *sarcasm*

Yeah, well, I'm sorry. But math is what the game engine uses as gasoline. If you put in the wrong mixture, the entire car shuts down.


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I'm kind of worried about the effect that resonance will have on cure light wound wands (which will be heal now).

I like it in PF1 how we can heal up after fights and not need a cleric. No one feels they need to sacrifice for the team and build a character they don't want to make. I think this is great!

It seems to me resonance will bring that to an end. I hope I'm wrong.

I'm looking forward to playing testing this.


Pathfinder LO Special Edition, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Jason S wrote:

I'm kind of worried about the effect that resonance will have on cure light wound wands (which will be heal now).

I like it in PF1 how we can heal up after fights and not need a cleric. No one feels they need to sacrifice for the team and build a character they don't want to make. I think this is great!

It seems to me resonance will bring that to an end. I hope I'm wrong.

I'm looking forward to playing testing this.

On the plus side, if you look at the skill blogs that came out it's sounding like they'll have actual methods to recover hitpoints out of battle outside of magic and magical items. This could definitely help with cleric-less groups and be much more thematic than a party gathering around the healing stick.


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Jason S wrote:

I'm kind of worried about the effect that resonance will have on cure light wound wands (which will be heal now).

I like it in PF1 how we can heal up after fights and not need a cleric. No one feels they need to sacrifice for the team and build a character they don't want to make. I think this is great!

It seems to me resonance will bring that to an end. I hope I'm wrong.

I'm looking forward to playing testing this.

This conversation has happened a few times in this thread. Essentially, the cost of that strategy is going to increase as you level up (rather than being essentially free for a high level party). You are either going to be poorer in terms of resonance or cash and eventually you are gonna need to rest for the day.


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Gloom wrote:
Jason S wrote:

I'm kind of worried about the effect that resonance will have on cure light wound wands (which will be heal now).

I like it in PF1 how we can heal up after fights and not need a cleric. No one feels they need to sacrifice for the team and build a character they don't want to make. I think this is great!

It seems to me resonance will bring that to an end. I hope I'm wrong.

I'm looking forward to playing testing this.

On the plus side, if you look at the skill blogs that came out it's sounding like they'll have actual methods to recover hitpoints out of battle outside of magic and magical items. This could definitely help with cleric-less groups and be much more thematic than a party gathering around the healing stick.

At the same time this also means it could be even easier to get back to full HP for players, so DMs that hate that are out of luck even with the fixes to the healing stick.

What have we solved?


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I feel like "how does a party with or without a cleric, manage to keep not-dead or incapacitated throughout their career" is going to be a major question worth considering throughout the playtest since there are multiple systems at play here, not just resonance (which one's alchemical items and skill feats will not interact with.)


MerlinCross wrote:
Gloom wrote:
Jason S wrote:

I'm kind of worried about the effect that resonance will have on cure light wound wands (which will be heal now).

I like it in PF1 how we can heal up after fights and not need a cleric. No one feels they need to sacrifice for the team and build a character they don't want to make. I think this is great!

It seems to me resonance will bring that to an end. I hope I'm wrong.

I'm looking forward to playing testing this.

On the plus side, if you look at the skill blogs that came out it's sounding like they'll have actual methods to recover hitpoints out of battle outside of magic and magical items. This could definitely help with cleric-less groups and be much more thematic than a party gathering around the healing stick.

At the same time this also means it could be even easier to get back to full HP for players, so DMs that hate that are out of luck even with the fixes to the healing stick.

What have we solved?

At least the players had to invest feat, resonance, or meaning full cash resources to solve a problem. Also, even the feat/spell solution has limitations so the players will still need to rest eventually.


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nogoodscallywag wrote:

My experience with CLW wands has not been bad at all. If the players pay for it, then whatever.

I believe the point of the RP system is to limit the plethora of mundane, must-have magical items to stay competitive and to offer unique items the chance to shine, as well as allowing the new system class abilities to work.

Resonance cannot be to limit the use of the big 6 - they solved that by simply removing half of them.


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It seems like there were two things that Resonance was supposed to help with.

The first was slots and taking care of how many magical items a person has as some people felt that some of the slot system was arbitrary and/or broken. I didn't have a giant problem with the slots, but this is a bit more adaptive which is probably good.

The second sounds like it dealt with the issue of spamming spells, presumably healing spells, creating a situation where a fighter would never be calling to rest because his HP were low, because it was too simple to always heal him and everyone else up once the adventurers got enough wealth to begin investing in CLW wands. (is that accurate)

I have to admit however, if imbibing a potion of healing uses up 1 resonance, I really dislike the idea of a first level adventurer with a average to poor CHA only being able to drink one potion in a day, and only if they haven't invested in some other simple magic item or trinket they have been given. I'm actually going to quickly say, I'd be tempted to say something more like 1/2 CHA (i.e. 5+CHA mod) plus level as more likely of a potential starting target for the total for their Resonance.

I really feel like the local priest giving a band of adventurers a handful of healing potions as quite in genre, and would want a first level character having a good chance of being able to use more than one in a day. In that scenario, I easily see the tank needing to drink more than of those CLW potions through the several fights going through the night. Another possible way of getting around it, might be to allow Resonance used by consumables restore after a certain amount of time or rest. But that complicates what is consumable resonance spent, and what/which is resonance investment. (not eligible to be restored until having become uninvested)

I had to admit when I'd first read about resonance, one of my thoughts was that when a witch used a healing hex on an individual, that perhaps it would consume a resonance as well, making the healing not completely dependent on the witch. I have to admit with current rules, I wonder in part why a local witch doesn't freely give out CLW spells to everyone they like in the community to make people owe them. Potentially even offering it to unknown travelers in an effort to get favors from potential successful adventurers. Sorry, that was a tangent.

Anyway, with a base closer to one, I'm just inclined to say leave consumables out of the resonance equation and the number would seem easier to buy into.

I don't know if this is a silly question, but if, for instance, healing is the biggest/primary/only part of the concern of spamming low level spells from items such as wands, why not simply invoke a form of cool-down process/requirement.

Say Healing spells(hp restoration) leave a residual/effect on the target after their application. As a result because items aren't less adaptive than interactive casters, spells/effects coming from magic items can not be activated to produce the same spell/level or lower, until that cool down time expires.

Could be a simple as:
1st level = 1 hour
2nd level = 30 minutes
3rd level = 20 minutes
4th level = 15 minutes
5th level = 12 minutes
6th level = 10 minutes
7th level = 5 minutes
8th level = 2 minutes
9th level = 1 minute
(basically 1hr/spell level with 7-9 being arbitrary)
At these high levels, there shouldn't be too many items casting them, and more importantly, there shouldn't be too many more powerful items that people should be gravitating towards)

Note with that definition you could still use a CLW wand/potion and follow it up with CMW one, and potentially follow that one up with a CCW one. A cleric could still use other class spells or other abilities to heal them up as well, their direct applications being considered better than the 'canned' applications provided by items.

So since this wouldn't impact healing provided specifically by caster members, and would still allow basic healing with items (wands/scrolls/wands) at lower levels the same way, (anything only requiring at most one charge in any particular hour would be unimpaired) but when people are high enough level that they need repeated applications of healing in a rest there would be natural reason to invest in some of the stronger magical items to be used in those cases where they are more badly hurt. (but likely keeping a weaker wand around for situations where you might be injured, but not badly so, but still worried about being closer to peek condition for your next anticipated encounter.)

I think I have an issue with telling a 10th level fighter they have to use a strong healing spell just because they are high level, when a part of its more powerful effect might get wasted if you rolled well. If a first level healing spell had a chance of getting you close enough to max HP that you're comfortable going forward, why can't you simply use the cheaper CLW version?

If someone is fine with utilizing a first level wand of mage armor, or mount spell, or something like that, I don't feel it is appropriate to force them to begin buying a higher level version item just because they are higher level now. Were there other items/spells, other than healing, for instance that were being significantly problematic? If so, what were they? I see the point of allowing there to be a real reason for the stronger healing items to exist, and that would need to make the timing between applications of healing tied to these stronger healing tiers. I also, however, also don't think they need to be exponential cost wise, making these premium items seem reasonable to stock up on, when you have enough HP that you will, at times, need that many HP restored quickly.

Hey, I'm also fine with potions that have duration, causing people issues if they drink another potion during the duration of the other potion they are under an effect of. Doesn't have to be as exotic as the effect of the old potion mixing tables, but I'm fine with people needing to be careful about what they mix, risking losing effects they want/need. But that should be an aspect of potions which are a simple way of non-magic uses being able to give themselves significant magical effects. However, trinkets should not probably generally interact with potions, as I don't think oils should. [and I'm personally fine with the concept of healing potions, and healing oils] I also don't mind potions not having to be liquids that are imbibed, they could also represent flasks that someone opens and a magical gas envelopes them, etc. I'd even go so far as saying that the goodberry spell creates small 24 hour versions of mini-potions. Where each berry is a cantrip potion that heals a HP and provides nourishment.

Trinkets sound fun. The resonance availability of course is a concern of mine with respect to them and being consumable, and thus having enough to power them when appropriate. The fear gem, why not allow it to allow someone who doesn't has the requisite proficiency for the Intimidating strike feat, but don't have the feat, allow you to activate the gem to allow you to use the feat. If you already have the feat, it gives you the bonus to its impact, as specified. This would make such trinkets less specific to certain builds, but also lets certain builds shine a little more. They might even encourage someone to buy a feat after they see the effect they got from it.

Staves, sounds kind of fun, I think I like it better than 1st edition. I understand the concern about Resonance and Charges, but I don't necessarily have an issue with both. I wonder if you are invested, if it makes sense to make them pay a resonance to cast a contained spell out of their own spell slots. [maybe if they don't have it invested, but know the command word to use it, allowing someone to use a captured item, but basically at a greater resonance cost since they can't immediately invest in it yet]

I do want to say, I'm not necessarily happy with the idea that staff's provide non-magic wielding characters access to spells. Or granting magic using individuals spells they would normally be unable to learn as a default behavior. I'm not against it being a possibility, but I think it shouldn't be typical. It certainly should be able to allow a user to use a spell they could have learned, but hasn't been exposed to yet.

Wands: I'll admit I like the idea of them not just being multi-scrolls. Them simply being a one-spell version of staff's in't a horrible idea. I'm fine with them having charges mechanism, or a maximum use per day option. Potentially, if you use the last charge in a day, there would be a chance it would become non-magical, or specifically make charges on a wand not be rechargeable. You can use it as a sort of spell page, to spontaneously cast the spells, or you can use some of its charges until it is empty. It might be interesting as they sort of become a bit of a specialist item, as it only holds one spell (but potentially allow one to up the level) there might be an option to cause the spell to have a raised DC based on the item(wand) quality. I'd also however like to see wands be made a little more versatile and allow some additional variety. For instance allowing some not twigs to be enchanted as a wand, opening it up to some other light types of objects. Specific examples of this would include daggers or potentially even a pistol, for instance.

I would also keep in mind that if we change what wands are, basic legacy wands should potentially still be able to exist, and be created, since they have existed and behaved in a certain way in the past literature/tales. [i.e. a key aspect they were disposable] I'd try to keep those sorts of things in mind when designing new primary methods for these types of items.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like "how does a party with or without a cleric, manage to keep not-dead or incapacitated throughout their career" is going to be a major question worth considering throughout the playtest since there are multiple systems at play here, not just resonance (which one's alchemical items and skill feats will not interact with.)

Honestly, I think managing your resources to make that happen is a lot more fun. It also makes the healing you get as a cleric more useful and cool since you don't get it for free after every fight.

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