Trinkets and Treasures

Monday, June 25, 2018

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

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

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

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Resonance

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cloak of Elvenkind Item 10+

Illusion, Invested, Magical

Method of Use worn, cloak; Bulk L

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


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

Type standard; Level 10; Price 1,000 gp

The cloak grants a +3 bonus.

Type greater; Level 18; Price 24,000 gp

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

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

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

How about something simpler?

Floating Shield Item 13

Magical

Price 2,800 gp

Method of Use held, 1 hand; Bulk L

Activation [[A]] Operate Activation


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

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

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

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

Staves

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

Staff of Healing Item 3+

Invested, Magical, Necromancy, Staff

Method of Use held, 1 hand; Bulk 1

Activation Cast a Spell (1 RP)


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

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

The item bonus to heal spells is +1.

  • stabilize (cantrip)
  • heal (level 1)

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

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

Trinkets

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

Fear Gem Item 4

Consumable, Enchantment, Fear, Magical, Mental, Trinket

Price 11 gp

Method of Use affixed, weapon; Bulk

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


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

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

Now how about a trinket that's less specific?

Vanishing Coin Item 9

Consumable, Illusion, Magical, Trinket

Price 85 gp

Method of Use affixed, armor; Bulk

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

Requirements You are a master in Stealth.


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

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

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

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

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

Logan Bonner
Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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Here's an idea for the gm whos are worried that it's harder for parties to heal back up after combat now and that this worsens the 15 minute adventuring day.

If you automatically heal up your party after a fight to full health, that way there's real danger in combat but the day can continue, would that help out instead.

Maybe reduce their resonance by a bit in exchange instead or leave it as is?

I'm genuinely curious how this would work out.


Excaliburproxy wrote:

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.

Fair enough

But that doesn't resolve the concern of mechanics which draw attention to themselves without any narrative drive or merit.

If you start making gamist concessions, then you are going to lose people from the storytelling end. Everything is a trade-off.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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Excaliburproxy wrote:


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.

As one of the people who commented that attaching trinkets to weapons and armor feels video game-y, and suggested they simply be consumable wondrous items that could be amulets of whatever, why does your love of them as something for martials to do vs. casters have a connection to them being attached to weapons or armor? They could be functionally the same without attaching them like that.


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Dragon78 wrote:
Personally magic items feel even less magical in 2e then they did in 1e:(

Yes, well. A 10th level item gives a +3 bonus, access to a cantrip and allows spamming a spell that came up 7 levels early (and was replaced 3 levels ago). With that approach to magic items, there _isn't_ a way to make it interesting and magical.

Just pay your daily resonance tax to max your stealth bonus.
Alternately, take the practical approach, and realize that since you're in an adventuring party, stealth is going to be something you fail at, so you should just toss the cloak in the appropriate recycle bin.

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*

Its partly the language, which is really anachronistic and mechanical. 'Operate Activation Action' (or any of its derivatives/variations) is never going to fit the setting or style of the game. Even 'somatic action' and 'verbal action' is just odd.

Further, actions are just far too fiddly, with the distinct impression that every trivial thing will require an action, and the mandatory feat taxes are going to be the ones that streamline action economy (charging, quickdraw, whirlwind, power attack/dual weapons, etc).

Magic items with action costs (let alone double action costs) on top of investing and resonance costs for activation seem like a hard sell. How often are you really going to be able to use things in combat when you've got to juggle moving, raising shields, shifting grips, open doors, drawing weapons and maybe attacking if you're lucky or hasted?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
willuwontu wrote:

Here's an idea for the gm whos are worried that it's harder for parties to heal back up after combat now and that this worsens the 15 minute adventuring day.

If you automatically heal up your party after a fight to full health, that way there's real danger in combat but the day can continue, would that help out instead.

Maybe reduce their resonance by a bit in exchange instead or leave it as is?

I'm genuinely curious how this would work out.

Personally, I'd be fine with a healing methodology that directly converts gold into HP.

Using up medkit supplies, charges on wands, scrolls, or whatever.

With wands of CLW that worked out to 15 gp per 5.5 hp, or ~3 gp per HP. I don't care if this is trivial at high levels. It's not important to me that the cost of getting bandaged up scales with your personal power. In fact, if the cost per HP of healing goes up as you level without an adequate reason, I would be annoyed.

At low levels, taking a beating can put a hurt on your coin purse, but at high levels, when kingdoms and planets are at stake, it's not a big concern. I'm okay with that.

Dark Archive

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MerlinCross wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
GrimmDichotomy wrote:


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

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

Why should Charisma be the earmarked 'dump stat'?

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

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

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

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

I personally don't think a system which should be as universally useful and sought after as Magic Items should be come with advantages/disadvantages built right in for certain races/classes. Not specific Magic Items, mind you, but ALL Magic Items.

And I think anyone who tanks their Charisma is a complete tool, honestly, and UMD is by far and away one of THE BEST skills in the game, and should continue to be (another thing Resonance would devalue, I might add). BUT, I don't think, AGAIN, that a UNIVERSAL SYSTEM should be affected so drastically and in such bias to certain race/class builds.

Just make it 3 + Level and call it good, and get consumables off of the Resonance list.

Shadow Lodge

So, I didn't have time to complete this today, but I did a bit of an audit on my characters to see how they'd fare under the resonance system. Basically, if they were a charisma caster, they did find, otherwise they had problems.

Totals:
Formorka Level 10, 8 cha = 9 resonance. Already spending 10 (maybe 11) on items. 1 or 2 over limit.

Wirni Level 8, 10 cha = 8 resonance. Already using 6 on items, 2 left.

Apodora level 8, 22 cha = 14 resonance. Already spending 8 on items, 6 left.

Ambix level 5, 8 cha = 4 resonance. Already spending 6 on items. 2 over limit.

Duta level 9, 8 cha = 8 resonance. Already spending 6 on items, 2 left.

Kakapo level 8, 24 cha = 15 resonance. Already spending 9 on items, 6 left.

Ionnia level 8, 18 cha = 12 resonance. Already spending 5 on items, 7 left.

The Overrunner level 7, 8 cha = 6 resonance. Already spending 6 on items, nothing left.

Aisling level 5, 18 cha = 9 resonance. Already spending 3 on items, 6 left.

Kebede level 11, 8 cha = 10 resonance. Already spending 10 on items, nothing left.

The Rocketeer level 10, 9 cha = 9 resonance. Already spending 10 on items, 1 over limit.

Yes, a lot of my characters have 8 charisma.

breakdown:
Formorka Level 10, 8 cha = 9 resonance. Already spending 10 (maybe 11) on items. 1 or 2 over limit.
Amulet of the blooded (fey)
Dex Belt - no longer aplicable
Elven Rune-Cloak
Hand Haversack
Headband of Ninjitsu
Ioun Stone (Incandescent blue)
Ioun Stone (Opalescent White, cracked)
Sandals of Quick Reaction
Sihedron Brand - Maybe free?
Wayfinder
Mithral Shirt +1

Wirni Level 8, 10 cha = 8 resonance. Already using 6 on items, 2 left.
Cloak of Resistance - no longer aplicable
Handy Haversack
Headband of int - no longer aplicable
Ioun Stone (pink & green, cracked)
Needles of Fleshgraving
Ring of Protection
Wayfinder
+1 Silken Ceremonial Armor

Apodora level 8, 22 cha = 14 resonance. Already spending 8 on items, 6 left.
Mithral Shirt +1
Cloak of Resistance - no longer aplicable
Headband of cha - no longer aplicable
Wayfinder
+1 light steel shield
Armbands of the Brawler
Str Belt - no longer aplicable
Gauntlet of the Skilled Maneuver
Ghost Touch Amulet of Mighty Fists
Ioun Stone (dusty rose)
Wayfinder

Ambix level 5, 8 cha = 4 resonance. Already spending 6 on items. 2 over limit.
Mithral Shirt +1
+1 Darkwood shield
Cloak of Resistance - no longer aplicable
Handy Haversack
Headband of int - no longer aplicable
Hybridization funnel
Ring of Protection
Wayfinder

Duta level 9, 8 cha = 8 resonance. Already spending 6 on items, 2 left.
Aspect Mask (snake)
Dex Belt - no longer aplicable
Endless Bandolier
Headband of Wis - no longer aplicable
Hero's Release Pendant
Pauldrons of the Serpent
Mithral Shirt +1
+1 Buckler

Kakapo level 8, 24 cha = 15 resonance. Already spending 9 on items, 6 left.
+1 Haramaki
Darkwood Buckler
Bead of Newt Prevention
Dex Belt - no longer aplicable
Boots of Striding and Springing
Buffering Cap
Cloak of Resistance - no longer aplicable
Ring of Protection
Robe of Arcane Heritage
Shifter's Headband
Wayfinder

Ionnia level 8, 18 cha = 12 resonance. Already spending 5 on items, 7 left.
+1 Fitting Full Plate
Str Belt - no longer aplicable
Ioun Stone (magenta, cracked)
Irongrip Gauntlets
Needles of Fleshgraving
Ring of Protection

The Overrunner level 7, 8 cha = 6 resonance. Already spending 6 on items, nothing left.
+1 Titanic Full Plate w/ Spikes
Amulet of Natural Armor
Str Belt - no longer aplicable
Buffering Cap
Ring of Protection
Talisman of Beneficial Winds, Lesser
Wayfinder

Molly level 5, 18 cha = 9 resonance. Already spending 3 on items, 6 left.
Mithral Shirt +1
Blinkback Belt
Wayfinder
Cloak of Resistance - no longer aplicable

Kebede level 11, 8 cha = 10 resonance. Already spending 10 on items, nothing left.
Mammoth Hide
Belt of Thunderous Charging
Cloak of Resistance - no longer aplicable
Crusader's Tabard
Handy Haversack
Ioun Stone (dusty rose)
Ioun Stone (Pale green, cracked)
Ioun Stone (turquiose, flawed)
Ring of Protection
Snakeskin Tunic - no longer aplicable (just there as off-slot dex belt)
Talisman of Life's Breath, lesser
Wayfinder

The Rocketeer level 10, 9 cha = 9 resonance. Already spending 10 on items, 1 over.
+2 Mithral Full Plate
Belt of Thunderous Charging
Boots of the Cat
Buffering Cap
Cloak of Resistance - no longer aplicable
Crusader's Tabard
Ioun Stone (pink rhomboid)
Irongrip Gauntlets
Mushroom Vest
Ring of Protection
Wayfinder


BryonD wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:

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.

Fair enough

But that doesn't resolve the concern of mechanics which draw attention to themselves without any narrative drive or merit.

If you start making gamist concessions, then you are going to lose people from the storytelling end. Everything is a trade-off.

Honestly, I don't see the problem with magical trinkets sapping a fighter's internal reservoir of magic item potential. I think that is a reasonable in-universe explanation that is evocative enough.

JoelF847 wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:


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.
As one of the people who commented that attaching trinkets to weapons and armor feels video game-y, and suggested they simply be consumable wondrous items that could be amulets of whatever, why does your love of them as something for martials to do vs. casters have a connection to them being attached to weapons or armor? They could be functionally the same without attaching them like that.

That is fair. I sorta meant that to be two separate points.

I think attaching them to specific pieces of equipment makes sense since their usage is tied to being used in conjunction with another item. I will admit that is more true of weapon trinkets as opposed to the stealth coin.

It also gives Wayne Reynolds more excuses to draw adventurers bedecked in all manner of BS and ephemera.


@thistledown: I'm not going to get into conceptual paradigm issues of judging P2E by how much it works like P1E, or details of which of those items wouldn't actually exist in P2E system, but will just address your post on face value. You suggest they have "problems" when they hit the RP "limit" but don't discuss what those problems actually are.
Let's see what those problems actually are.
When you hit 0 RP you just need to start using "Roll For It" method to use more RP-costed items/effects.
You have 3 characters at 2/2/1 items over RP "limit", let's see what happens:

DC10: 1d20 ⇒ 6 fail, so need to try again DC10: 1d20 ⇒ 8 fail, so try again DC10: 1d20 ⇒ 20 succeed to use that item, DC increases to 11, DC11: 1d20 ⇒ 12 succeed, so both 2 items were successfully used it just needed 2 extra actions.

DC10: 1d20 ⇒ 19 succeed, DC increases to 11 DC11: 1d20 ⇒ 1 fail, and that is a Critical Failure since it is 10 below DC. That means you can't use this item any more for the rest of day, although you are free to try to use other items (at DC11). Note you can't possibly fail the first item you try this way since DC10-10=0, which minimum roll of 1 exceeds. (I was very unlucky to roll a Nat1 on only the second DC11 check I made) So 1 of 2 items were used, needing 1 extra action if you count the CritFailure.

DC10: 1d20 ⇒ 1 failure, DC10: 1d20 ⇒ 4 failure, DC10: 1d20 ⇒ 19 success (and DC increases to 11 for anything else). So the single item was used needing just 2 extra actions.

So of the 3 characters with 5 items, 4 out of 5 items were successfully used, and the characters can continue using "Roll For It" to use other items (besides the one locked out by CritFailure), now at 40%/45% chance per roll. It just baffles me how so many posters (not just yourself) seem to approach this as if RP points are hard limit and not even discuss the impact of "Roll For It" system, even if to criticize it's mechanical details. If you think "Roll For It" is a problem, then discuss the problem. The "limit" people ascribe to RP seems more a limit in their willingness to actually discuss the entire system.


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thistledown wrote:

So, I didn't have time to complete this today, but I did a bit of an audit on my characters to see how they'd fare under the resonance system. Basically, if they were a charisma caster, they did find, otherwise they had problems.

** spoiler omitted **

Yes, a lot of my characters have 8 charisma.

** spoiler omitted **...

Well, resonance does a couple things in this situation:

1. It makes Cha much less attractive as a drop stat.
2. It is a pressure to have a small number of "big" items rather than a bunch of smaller ones.

I am not sure how useful it is to look at just how your old characters would function in the new system since you would probably make very different build decision in the new system.
On a note related to number 1, it is much harder to drop a stat to 8 in the new attribute generation system. It is also much easier to raise your lower attributes higher later on.

Shadow Lodge

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2 sounds like the Big 6 under a different name...


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Having ran a game where the party used CLW 37 times in a single session (granted, they were down the healer due to him calling in sick) I can honestly say that I'm glad used it so much.
If they hadn't done that they would've all died many times over or would've had to have at least 3 different 15 minute adventuring days.

Now, I really like the idea of resonance as it prevents players from buying 4 copies of a once per day item and switching them out after every fight and it allows someone to have multiple amulets at the same time. Using resonance for wands, potions, and other consumables seems weird (especially for potions) but I'll need to see it in action.

My first concern was that at lower levels people won't be able to use their magic items very often but then quickly realized that in the lower levels of PF1 you typically don't have many (if any) magical items that you can use more than 3 times a day.

This blog has obviously left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths but hopefully the majority still give resonance a chance rather than going into PF2 with the mentality of "resonance is stupid therefore I'll hate everything about it" because maybe the designers just really screwed up with this blog and didn't reveal some of the things that would set people at ease. (Like, maybe there's a feat called "Magically Gifted" or something that gives you +3 resonance points so therefore you can have a decent pool even if your Charisma is 8).

And I'll add my voice to the people saying that the nomenclature needs to change... "Operate Activation action" is terrible! and even though it will be replaced by an icon (which I also think is a terrible idea because my brain doesn't hold on to what icons represent very well) it's still something that people will have to say out-loud at the gaming table.


I also have to admit I'm curious how firearms are going to be handled in the new Pathfinder. That's another thing that has been kept close to the vest.

If I were to actually suggest one modification, it would be to include a Point Blank Range for crossbows so they act similarly to guns in regards to touch armor class - maybe have heavy crossbows use touch AC for ranges of 30 feet or less, and light crossbows for ranges of 15 feet or less. Given crossbows take time to reload that would allow them to be a one-shot weapon in this regard...


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thistledown wrote:

So, I didn't have time to complete this today, but I did a bit of an audit on my characters to see how they'd fare under the resonance system. Basically, if they were a charisma caster, they did find, otherwise they had problems.

** spoiler omitted **

Yes, a lot of my characters have 8 charisma.

** spoiler omitted **...

Three things:

1) Boosting stats is less 'all in' in 2e, and character gen is more conducive to having more attributes boosted, so you can't say that they wouldn't have more stats boosted

2) I'm guessing most of those characters with 8 Cha weren't the party face. Because that's basically what Charisma was good for in 1e, unless you were a Cha caster. But giving it more of a reason for existance isn't something I see as a bad thing. (And also means those characters in 2e might wind up having maybe 12 charisma, depending on other factors)

3) I think you're overcounting magic items. For instance, you listed no longer applicable for headbands and belts of +attribute, but Amulet of natural armor and ring of protection are also out. And in 1e, there's this sort of psychological factor that if you have an item slot free, you're wasting that slot, so you might pick up a cheap-for-your-level item that doesn't do much, but it also doesn't cost much. Without a slot system, there'll probably be fewer magic items per character, but they'll be of more consequence.

I do think resonance should be higher, probably with a flat +X (maybe the +5 that others have suggested), but I also don't think it's right to say 'well my characters in 1e would have problems with resonance, so it must be flawed in 2e'


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Someone may have mentioned this minor point: Why are they called Resonance Points?

You Invest them. Shouldn't they be called Investiture Points? Or Activation Points?

I don't see them 'resonating' with any aspect of the character.

Second Seekers (Roheas)

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Warped Savant wrote:

Having ran a game where the party used CLW 37 times in a single session (granted, they were down the healer due to him calling in sick) I can honestly say that I'm glad used it so much.

If they hadn't done that they would've all died many times over or would've had to have at least 3 different 15 minute adventuring days.

This is the whole ball game.

Liberty's Edge

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

Without changing the Wand rules, it would probably still be 'required' as by far the cheapest option.

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

You say that like having two different non-overlapping ways to increase critical range was a bad thing. It was not.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
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.

Pretty much this.

thistledown wrote:

So, I didn't have time to complete this today, but I did a bit of an audit on my characters to see how they'd fare under the resonance system. Basically, if they were a charisma caster, they did find, otherwise they had problems.

** spoiler omitted **

Yes, a lot of my characters have 8 charisma.

** spoiler omitted **...

Not all items cost Resonance to have or even use. There's every evidence magic shields (which are no longer just +1 or the like) will not take Resonance, and I'd actually be shocked if Wayfinders do. Rings of Protection and Amulets of Natural Armor also no longer exist, and yet you include them in many character's breakdowns.

Remove those items from your calculations and I think everyone is doing fine.

Also, how many of those Cha 8 characters are Cha Penalty races? Because any who aren't would have a minimum Cha of 10 and thus one more Resonance.


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Time to throw my hat in the ring. (I threw some spoiler band-aids to cut down on wall-of-text-ism I may come across. If you're interested, click them and read, if not, you probably aren't missing anything too groundbreaking, if at all.)

For starters...

Resonance:
Oy vey, do I dislike its current implementation. The in-game reason this mechanic was developed was to have players make more meaningful choices with their magic items, and not have to keep around a bunch of low level items that were surprisingly extremely potent for their value. The meta reason this was developed was because of CLW wands being the norm in PF1 (which wasn't okay from Paizo's perspective), and to cut down on keeping track of items and magic slots. Needless to say, it fails at all of these goals horribly.

How, you ask? It's quite simple, beginning with something as standard (in PF1) as a typical spell wand (it can be a CLW wand if you want). As we currently know, Wands still have charges, as evidenced in several developer posts, as well as information derived from a podcast or two, and those charges require resonance to cast. The good news is that now everyone and their grandma can use wands, since (presumably) the requirement to know the spell or make a UMD check is gone. The bad news is, you're now keeping track of two separate resources (item charges and Resonance points), in a game that was supposed to streamline and cut down on things you need to keep track of. Does that make sense to you?

Furthermore, there are more than one type of charged items in the game as we currently know with this blog post, several of them being one-time users. I am of course talking about consumables, but also staves (which I will go over more later in the post). The factor that it's not just a wand issue, but also a staff and consumable issue (which consists of scrolls, potions, and the newly-revealed "trinkets," which affix to certain items and appear to replace things like magic oils for potions affecting objects, more on this later) means the above wand debacle is more widespread than I originally led on, so it's not just a simple "Wands are broken" issue, it is an "Anything with limited usage is busted" issue. Just remember, this ridiculous mechanic started all because too many people used, abused, and complained about CLW wands existing. Not saying that it is valid or not, just saying that a changing of Wand mechanics would have done less overall damage of fixing this problem than trying to make this mechanic that is an exaggeration of a solution to the apparent problem.

Fun fact, Paizo did this very same thing when it came to an option in PF1, and it did not pan out that well. I'm beginning to worry that they did not learn a lesson from that great debacle.

Next up, the magic items themselves.

Magic Items:
While the magic in items themselves can lead to interesting things, the way they are currently formatted and explained are done very poorly. They currently use terminology that nobody is familiar with (and as others posters have pointed out, is strangely redundant on several accounts), and it takes numerous readings to hopefully get the proper intent out of how the item works. For example, an item bonus (if a magic item grants one) is listed at the bottom, whereas the main text states that you get an item bonus. I'm fairly certain threads will surface with questions like "How much of a bonus does X item grant?" when the answer is technically already listed in the entry, but due to its poor placement, doesn't really pop out and actually tell them how much of a bonus the item grants. On top of that, some mechanics of magic items don't make sense (more on that later), which just adds to the confusion of these things even more.

Now, this is the biggest issue I have with this, and that is, that Paizo is still technically using item slots. It's just slightly changed from how PF1 works, and they aren't actually labeled out in a neat little bow as in PF1 (which makes it even worse now, since now we don't know what item slot limits there are. Maybe a magic piercing in the bathing suit region is possible now? I hope not). This is evidenced by some sentences in the blog, as well as item descriptors being referenced in those sentences as for what can and cannot be used together. This can make sense with certain things, but when Resonance was designed to largely disregard the old item slots rules in favor of letting players use multiples of different items, it creates a sense of counter-intuition and misleading advertisement. Resonance doesn't do any of this; at best, it lets you wear as many rings and amulets as you want, since apparently I can have 40 rings and 10 amulets (and be the ultimate bling-master), but if I try to wear more than two sets of items for the feet, like magic insoles inside boots? NOPE, YOU CAN'T DO THAT, THAT'S UNREALISTIC. Sure, one thing you could do is create magic rings and amulets that can have all of the powers that other slots have (this was a stated design subject in PF1 that should seem to carry over to PF2 due to how little is apparently changed here), but that just makes rings and amulets the most valuable of magic items instead of "just another slot." I mean, I suppose bling is the new meta here if that's the case, but it's just silly game design. Instead of Pathfinder, I'm playing Blingfinder, where I find all the bling-bling in the world that has all the magicks, because anyone having other forms of magic is foolish and frowned upon.

Silly tangent aside, I'm seriously disappointed in how these are designed as a whole, and when a non-paid fan does a better write-up of magic items than a professional, I'm beginning to think that the role of magic item formatting being replaced by said non-paid fan appears to be more and more of a good idea.

Onto the specifics, beginning with...

The Cloak of Elvenkind:
While this doesn't seem like a major overhaul into what the Cloak of Elvenkind was originally designed for (to make you better at Stealth than most other normal people), it's drastically different in terms of feel. Cloaks of Elvenkind now permitting invisibility through investing resonance, as well as granting an item bonus to Stealth (which is a hefty amount, I might add).

Yes, Elves are magical and powerful and consider themselves (mostly) "holier than thou," but I think something like this is a little complex and too spread out for something that was originally a simple item designed to grant a bonus to a skill statistic and hearken to a given heritage. A cloak that grants invisibility should be separate from a cloak that improves your ability to be stealthy. Even if the Cloak of Elvenkind wanted to have more "wow" factor, there are better ways to go about it while still feeling the same.

In addition, the mechanics of the item are largely broken. To sum up, you have to spend an action to flip a hood, and gain the Stealth bonus. But then it says you have to flip a hood as one action (and then spend another action to focus on the magic of the item?), and consequently spend another point of resonance, to then go invisible for a small duration. How does that work? What if I already have the hood flipped for the Stealth bonus? Do I have to unflip it (as an action, presumably), then flip it again and focus (on top of spending resonance), thereby ending my turn and removing the stealth bonus that I originally had to go invisible? Not only is that counter-intuitive, but it's also silly that I have to spend more actions to turn invisible if I have my hood flipped than if I don't. It's just busted and really needs to be fixed, and that's even before we actually do playtesting.

Another big downer is the ideal that you have to invest Resonance into an item to use its activatable abilities, clarified by Logan Bonner (regardless, I do appreciate this clarification, since it wasn't in the blog post; kind of important to know this). While it makes sense here (so that the Cloak of Elvenkind isn't a simple "Invisibility in a Sheet" item that most people would have tried to do, evidenced in numerous forum posts), I think some items shouldn't require investment to use their abilities (the next magic item for discussion is a prime example of one that shouldn't).

The only really cool thing about this entry is that there are Set items in this game (there were in PF1, but there were very few and practically non-existent, relatively speaking, due to how niche they were), some of which may grant some really cool benefits. While this is purely mechanical and the opinions vary from set to set, the idea that there will be some "synergistic" items is the foundation for good, tried and true game design that may hopefully improve Pathfinder in a way it desperately needed.

Following up with perhaps my most favorite part of this post is...

The Staff of Healing:
Wow, there's a lot to digest here, and there are several nice things going in favor of staves. Unfortunately, there are still some major flaws as well.

For starters, staves are actually relatively cheap now (at least according to this one). Hopefully, this means there are no more stupidly priced spell logs whose only real appearances in the game are rotting away in magic marts, being found in loot hoards (which are then consequently sold to magic marts for their money ASAP), and being wielded by BBEGs who are stupid and can't do the math to realize how much of a big money waster staves are. We've dedicated numerous pages of space to items that almost never saw play (there are others across numerous categories, but staves are the first whole item type to do this), and if they did, they only saw play for those who found them, or to determine how much they were worth to a magic mart. That's it.

Secondly, their purpose has been changed to something much larger. Not only can a non spellcaster use (but not recharge) a staff, as evidenced by the wand issue described above, as well as the blog post, but we also know that they can be spells that a spellcaster who doesn't possess them can use with their own spell slots (though this does cost resonance to do, more on this in the next paragraph). While staves can be "spells in a log," the idea that they can be used to supplement you overall spell choice repertoire on the spot, is a huge boon, all the while without (again, hopefully,) breaking your bank.

However, that's about all the good I have to say for it. This still suffers from the whole "item bonus" thing being weird from the Cloak entry. The bonus itself isn't that great; it sounds neat on paper, but with how reduced spellcasting is, which is the only trigger it works on, and not any other form of healing whatsoever, it's pretty bad.

On top of that, staves appear to require a hefty amount of Resonance to use. It requires one to invest (and grant a certain amount of charges, up to the maximum amount of spell level you can cast), and then one for each spell you cast, spontaneously (from your slots) or from the staff charges (which are similar to wands in this regard). Short of Sorcerers, Paladins, and maybe Bards, I wouldn't want to burn my Resonance on this unless the bonus was pretty nice (which is isn't really here), or if I absolutely positively needed a spell from that staff (and the odds of me burning my own slots for it if there are charges there are slim).

Needless to say, I have mixed feelings on this. On one hand, they're more accessible and have some utility that Wands and such don't. On the other hand, the utility has a hefty price in the form of Resonance, and it suffers from bad formatting and weak base benefits.

Coming up next is...

The Fear Gem:
This introduces us to "Trinkets," items that can be affixed to other certain items (read: socketed, for those who know what those are usually for,) that grant a consumable benefit that triggers on certain conditions. These can range from "generally useful for anyone" to "so niche not even the class/feat combination it was designed for would barely use it," depending on the way a given trinket is designed. This one falls under the latter category.

And in this case, it's a bad thing. For starters, it's a fighter-only trinket (technically, it's anyone who has the feat, but since we're told it's fighter-only in the blog post, I'm working with what's been said to us). Furthermore, it requires investment in the Intimidating Strike feat, and lastly (the most important), it requires having an extraordinary Intimidate score for you to actually get good use out of it. This is extremely niche, and with how much it costs (remember, 1st level PCs start with ~15 gold, meaning this is ~80% of a 1st level PC's starting gold), I wouldn't expect you to keep grabbing these over and over again, unless you're way higher in level. The only nice thing is that it has good constant effects (flat-footed and frightened tiers applied), but when it's so niche for them to work (and if enemies are immune to fear or mind-affecting effects, forget it), it's just so poorly designed.

If this gem had a different effect that worked with any given Fighter class feature (not class feat), that every Fighter always has, it'd be less niche, and perhaps more coveted by the Fighter than just a "meh" option.

In addition, we also don't know what Intimidating Strike does for sure. A good assumption is "As an action, make one attack and an Intimidate check simultaneously," but there can be other little snippets like in the Hurtful feat in PF1, meaning we lack certain context here, hampering out view and opinion of what the gem is truly capable of, which is again, bad design and format.

And lastly...

The Vanishing Coin:
Yet another trinket, but that actually has a requirement to use (remember, the Fear Gem has an innate requirement of triggering on a feat, but it's not actually required to use it). The requirement here is strange, since the ability to be a Master or not in Stealth isn't apparent to how it affects one's inability to use the item. The best guess I have is the coin flickering in and out of vision every so often, requiring proper skill to estimate, but that's not really something Stealth covers, and is more of a Perception thing, observing and following certain triggers, and the magic item description already covers that, so I'm lost as to why this is outside of balance reasons (which is fine, but it's still silly in-universe).

The nice thing about Invisibility in PF1 is that it grants a hefty bonus to your Stealth checks; my guess is that the item not only makes you able to Stealth (since you aren't clearly seen and benefit from some form of concealment, assumedly), but also improves your Stealth score considerably when using Stealth for initiative, making it an actually valuable trinket. (Next thing you know, people want to make a uses/day version of this item due to how good it is.)

Strangely enough, this also makes you most likely to go first for initiative due to the incredible bonuses you can get, so for those who want rocket tag, this is the item to go. Unfortunately, it doesn't last for long (basically, once your turn ends, the effect ends), so it's really only great for getting a proper jump on a bad guy, which may or may not be huge depending on class and circumstances. Also, don't forget that numerous enemies in PF1 can see through invisibility (even PC spellcasters can too if they're smart), so this may not exactly always be a good tactic, either. Thankfully, it's optional to use.

TL;DR (even though I used spoiler tags to condense wall of text) Overall, I'm not too impressed with this blog post, as it both reaffirms things I dislike, as well as adds new things I'm not a fan of either. Bad formatting, ridiculous Resonance and consumable mechanics, a failure to recognize solving the problem in-item (i.e. CLW wands being fixed by changing wands themselves instead of creating a whole other mechanic to solve a relatively common and simplistic problem), strange magic item options, and some cases of bad design being trumped by amateurs.

Paizo can do better than this. Paizo has done better than this. So let's go back to the drawing board and see it happen.


JoelF847 wrote:
Not really sure I get the reason for trinkets. How are they different than potions or consumable wondrous items were in PF1? I'm definitely not a fan of attaching them to armor or weapons - that feels like a bad import of a common video game implementation.

I pictured the attaching of trinkets differently. I could see them as little magic charms or similar items that you would perhaps tie on a weapon with a bit of twine or hang off of an item with a small strap of leather.


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pjrogers wrote:
Quandary wrote:
IMHO Paizo isn't trying to make D&D anymore
And this is my biggest concern. I actually like playing D&D, and to the degree that PF2e is not D&D, I don't have much interest in it.

No offence intended, but why are you here then?


Excaliburproxy wrote:
Honestly, I don't see the problem with magical trinkets sapping a fighter's internal reservoir of magic item potential. I think that is a reasonable in-universe explanation that is evocative enough.
Quote:


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.

In response to both of these: are you stepping back and really thinking this through?

You know what I REALLY don't want Pazio to do? I really don't want Paizo to create *MY* perfect RPG. Because my personal perfect RPG would suck hard on the overall market. I want them to make a really good game that is both widely popular so it keeps going but also adaptable to my personal taste.

To be clear, I'm not ready to jump the gun or call anything. 2E still may be awesome "as is". But if you are ready to say you don't give two damns about what other people think, you may suddenly find yourself bitterly comparing notes with the people who thought 4E was the greatest game ever.

The total validity of their personal tastes didn't end up being worth much.

Silver Crusade Contributor

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OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:
I don't want to have to have my characters have a relationship with their magical items.

I vehemently disagree. In fact, if the first PF2 APs don't feature an intelligent holy avenger with which my paladin can share a tender, chaste romance, this entire exercise will have all been for naught.


BryonD wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Honestly, I don't see the problem with magical trinkets sapping a fighter's internal reservoir of magic item potential. I think that is a reasonable in-universe explanation that is evocative enough.
Quote:


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.

In response to both of these: are you stepping back and really thinking this through?

You know what I REALLY don't want Pazio to do? I really don't want Paizo to create *MY* perfect RPG. Because my personal perfect RPG would suck hard on the overall market. I want them to make a really good game that is both widely popular so it keeps going but also adaptable to my personal taste.

To be clear, I'm not ready to jump the gun or call anything. 2E still may be awesome "as is". But if you are ready to say you don't give two damns about what other people think, you may suddenly find yourself bitterly comparing notes with the people who thought 4E was the greatest game ever.

The total validity of their personal tastes didn't end up being worth much.

I get where your coming from and think that both of our voices deserve to be heard because they are essentially personal preferences.

That said, I am not sure I understand why you don’t think it makes sense for trinkets to be treated like other magic items in their use of resonance.


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I’m sorry, this blog has done absolutely nothing to make me like resonance as presented more. It just seems way too fidgety and to have several second order effects I don’t like, including discouraging cool minor magical geegaws. I really do hope this is one of the things clawed back. I’m willing to be convinced, but so far I see little that makes me think resonance as presented is a good thing.


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While I like the idea of resonance to "equip" magic items I do not like it used for potions, scrolls, wands, and other limited use items.

Now if everyone(all classes) had spell(energy) points to use as(or in place of) charges for wands and staves that would be cool.


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Dragon78 wrote:

While I like the idea of resonance to "equip" magic items I do not like it used for potions, scrolls, wands, and other limited use items.

Now if everyone(all classes) had spell(energy) points to use as(or in place of) charges for wands and staves that would be cool.

Fuzzypaws essentially made an entire other thread around this suggestion and I like it on some levels.

Frankly, I think the game needs resonance or some other system in large part due to the way the game's economy interacts with low level items at higher levels. Elsewhere, I have voiced that I wish PF had a different more stylized wealth system, but resonance does the job alright.


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I see a conceptual gap in describing the interaction of characters and magic items via resonance.

Magical traps.

If a PC sets off an Altar of Fangs or Acid Arrow Trap, both which cast spells, who is providing the resonance for this unwanted magic item? Does the trap steal the resonance from the character involuntarily? Would the trap have a 50% failure chance if the victim was out of resonance?

I presume that traps don't require resonance from their victims.

The PF1 cost of a one-shot trap that casts a spell is 50 gp × caster level × spell level. That is the same formula as the cost of a potion. Traps can be built into portable objects such as chests. Imagine a locket of Cure Light Wounds trap: open the locket and be hit with Cure Light Wounds, no resonance cost required. Automatic reset on the spell trap costs ten times as much and resets after a trap-specified interval, for example, Altar of Fangs resets after an hour. I presume a locket would reset much more slowly.


Excaliburproxy wrote:


That said, I am not sure I understand why you don’t think it makes sense for trinkets to be treated like other magic items in their use of resonance.

What story, movie or archetype is is capturing? What narrative need is it fulfilling?

I get that you can work backwards and say "fighters have resonance, therefore I'm framing my setting around that concept". But how is that a good basis?

It seems clear that resonance was built to solve a mechanics problem. And mechanical problems con certainly be solved in ways that maintain narrative merit. The idea that magic reserves are available to spellcasters is reasonable step. You may counter that "everybody has some magic in them". But surely won't claim that there is no differential progression between those two positions. And it gets worse that becoming a better fighter makes you have a greater wellspring of inner magic juice, whereas a being a better spellcaster is obviously a fit.

But I guess I'd end up quibbling with your turn of phrase. I'm good with trinkets. And I'm good with them "working like other magic items". What I'm not good with is this unified resonance mechanic being the foundation for all these things.

It really feels like the story is serving the mechanical compulsion for this system rather than the system serving the story telling.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Resonance definitely feels like a highly magical resource which doesn't make much sense for the characters who are based on being as non-magical as possible. Sometimes you just want to be a dude with a magic sword, not a dude with a growing pool of magic that you use to empower your sword.


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Quandary wrote:

@thistledown: I'm not going to get into conceptual paradigm issues of judging P2E by how much it works like P1E, or details of which of those items wouldn't actually exist in P2E system, but will just address your post on face value. You suggest they have "problems" when they hit the RP "limit" but don't discuss what those problems actually are.

Let's see what those problems actually are.
When you hit 0 RP you just need to start using "Roll For It" method to use more RP-costed items/effects.
You have 3 characters at 2/2/1 items over RP "limit", let's see what happens:

[dice=DC10]d20 fail, so need to try again [dice=DC10]d20 fail, so try again [dice=DC10]d20 succeed to use that item, DC increases to 11, [dice=DC11]d20 succeed, so both 2 items were successfully used it just needed 2 extra actions.

[dice=DC10]d20 succeed, DC increases to 11 [dice=DC11]d20 fail, and that is a Critical Failure since it is 10 below DC. That means you can't use this item any more for the rest of day, although you are free to try to use other items (at DC11). Note you can't possibly fail the first item you try this way since DC10-10=0, which minimum roll of 1 exceeds. (I was very unlucky to roll a Nat1 on only the second DC11 check I made) So 1 of 2 items were used, needing 1 extra action if you count the CritFailure.

[dice=DC10]d20 failure, [dice=DC10]d20 failure, [dice=DC10]d20 success (and DC increases to 11 for anything else). So the single item was used needing just 2 extra actions.

So of the 3 characters with 5 items, 4 out of 5 items were successfully used, and the characters can continue using "Roll For It" to use other items (besides the one locked out by CritFailure), now at 40%/45% chance per roll. It just baffles me how so many posters (not just yourself) seem to approach this as if RP points are hard limit and not even discuss the impact of "Roll For It" system, even if to criticize it's mechanical details. If you think "Roll For It" is a...

I'm pretty sure any attempt at overspending Resonance increase the DC by 1, not just succesful ones. The blog says:

"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."

The second sentence implies it gets harder regardless of whether or not you activated the item.

Furthermore, I the Glass Cannon podcast confirms this, and also adds that a critical failure prevents you from trying to overspend resonance at all, not just on that particular item. So your first item overdrawing is a coinflip, and from then on, it's 5% harder and also you got an increasing chance of just not being able to do it again.

Oh and critically failing doesn't just cut you off from overspending resonance, it also makes it so your attuned items no longer work for the day.

So overspending resonance can get incredibly risky.


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Some people have tried to express this idea and I'm going to try and say it as clearly as I can.

Pathfinder, and the earlier versions of D&D upon which it was based, were fundamentally the generic FRPG system. They modeled, or allowed the GM's who ran games using them, any world based on that well understood "baseline" fantasy concept. The reason many of us refused to transition from 3.5 to 4e was not just because 4e was bad but because it broke that convention. 4e changed things to the point where many GM's simply could not adapt their campaigns or their views of what a FRPG should be to it.

Now Pathfinder 2 doesn't feel like it is staying true to the very reason that Pathfinder was created. Sure we haven't seen everything but from what we've seen this is a significant departure from PF1 and that baseline fantasy concept that PF should strive to allow GM's to model. I get that Paizo has said they are going to tie PF2 more closely to Golarion, not that I understand why, but between that and this steady march down a path I so unfondly remember from the 4e playtest I am starting to wonder if 5e might be worth a look.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
BryonD wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:


That said, I am not sure I understand why you don’t think it makes sense for trinkets to be treated like other magic items in their use of resonance.

What story, movie or archetype is is capturing? What narrative need is it fulfilling?

Elric of Melinborne

Key blade users of Kingdom Hearts
The Soul Gem from Marvel
Mob Psycho 100
Green Lantern
Mjolnir from Marvel

Off the top of my head, all of these things have items of power which intermingle with some reservoir of power within the wielder. Honestly, I feel like the narrative extrapolation of Resonance is one of the bigger selling points for me.

Also, I'm not sure "does this emulate fiction well" is a great criticism for a game, at least when Resonance is being presented as an alternative to various things which also break from the genre. How many stories, movies, or archetypes feature a character being decked out in 10-20 magical items, many of which only give minor bonuses or niche powers? How many times do we see characters using cure light wounds wand type solutions? Hell, if you go down this road you have to start thinking about how injuries actually work in PF compared to fiction and why healing magic is so much more common in games than any other medium of fantasy fiction.


Mathmuse wrote:

I see a conceptual gap in describing the interaction of characters and magic items via resonance.

Magical traps.

I feel like we can fix magic traps by making staves no longer cost resonance to cast, just to invest in (building charges) and have magic traps work like that.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Oh, Harry Potter also seems to run on magical items interacting with the wielder's internal magic biology, given stuff like wands needing to find the right owner, and Muggles presumably can't just use a wand if you put it in their hands. Golarion just doesn't seem to have any Muggles, since any given person could always learn magic or how to UMD with sufficient training and the right skills.

Chronicles of Amber didn't have a lot of magical items, but probably the most important was a gem which granted all sorts of magical abilities but intermingled with the wearer's life force to do it.


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Dragonstriker wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
Quandary wrote:
IMHO Paizo isn't trying to make D&D anymore
And this is my biggest concern. I actually like playing D&D, and to the degree that PF2e is not D&D, I don't have much interest in it.
No offence intended, but why are you here then?

The move from 3.5e to Pathfinder required no change in playstyle and allowed the old playstyle of D&D that many had come to enjoy. PF1e is by no means perfect. There is plenty of room for improvement. I am here to try to see that PF2e turns into an improved version of PF1e. There are those who hate 3.5e and the playstyle it presents (and dislike everything about Pathfinder that harkens back to that playstyle) who want PF2e to be transformed into something very, very different to PF1e. As much as I trumpet iterative design and not throwing out the baby with the bathwater, there are advantages and disadvantages to either style. It's valid to want Paizo to follow either style in creating a new edition.

Resonance requires a playstyle change for many where HP stops being a per-encounter resource and instead becomes a daily resource. That can have a dramatic impact on many (although by no means all) playstyles.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
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.

I see comments like this and I can't help but think that my fun is VASTLY different from the people that say this. It's like people that have fun tracking each and every material component and want to do away with a component pouch because it makes the tracking of them meaningless and therefore less fun... If that does it for them, great, but for me I'm fine with the status quo...

WatersLethe wrote:
Resonance definitely feels like a highly magical resource which doesn't make much sense for the characters who are based on being as non-magical as possible. Sometimes you just want to be a dude with a magic sword, not a dude with a growing pool of magic that you use to empower your sword.

I can't help but think of the barbarian with the superstition totem... 'Magic bad! Now let me take some time out and use my magic to activate my items...'.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My thoughts, 14 pages of stuff I didn't feel obligated to wade through later:

1. I like the design simplification of Resonance, and being able to use different stats for it allows for some freedom. With that said, I'm a little bummed that it also means you can't make an item key its resonance off of a different attribute (since finding those to mix and match to maximize your pool would become A Thing), which could have been more fun and thematic, but I suppose we'll see.

2. I like Trinkets a lot, because they're something that should totally exist. "You got a magic sword?" "Hell no, I haven't got the coin for that! But I DO have this little gimmick here which should help give us an edge... unless that gnomish bastard was lying about how it worked!" They also allow martial antagonist NPCs to have gear to use on the party that won't be looted off of their bodies, assuming they got to use them. The part of me that fondly remembers characters carrying around bags of random lycanthrope allergens in the days of 2E Ravenloft looks forward to getting some of that back.

3. Removing magic item "slots" and going with resonance is vastly to my taste. Ten Rings Hath the Mandarin, after all.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
graystone wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
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.
I see comments like this and I can't help but think that my fun is VASTLY different from the people that say this. It's like people that have fun tracking each and every material component and want to do away with a component pouch because it makes the tracking of them meaningless and therefore less fun... If that does it for them, great, but for me I'm fine with the status quo...

It's not the tracking of resources that is fun, it is the balancing of resources to achieve your goals. It's the principle behind any of the popular resource-based strategy games.

Liberty's Edge

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I haven't seen any indications that PF2 is gonna be 'less D&D' in terms of playstyle. Given the lack of bounded accuracy and greater reliance on magic items, it's probably still gonna be much closer to 3.5's playstyle than 5E is.

It's definitely using the opportunity to lean into Golarion as a setting, rather than the Forgotten Realms/Greyhawk default stuff of actual editions of D&D, but that's a world-lore change rather than a game-play one.

Liberty's Edge

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KingOfAnything wrote:
graystone wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
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.
I see comments like this and I can't help but think that my fun is VASTLY different from the people that say this. It's like people that have fun tracking each and every material component and want to do away with a component pouch because it makes the tracking of them meaningless and therefore less fun... If that does it for them, great, but for me I'm fine with the status quo...
It's not the tracking of resources that is fun, it is the balancing of resources to achieve your goals. It's the principle behind any of the popular resource-based strategy games.

Yeah, I'm actually a huge advocate of reducing fiddly resource tracking. I just also think that making those small number of resources you do track actually meaningful is important and interesting.


TheFinish wrote:
I'm pretty sure any attempt at overspending Resonance increase the DC by 1, not just succesful ones...

Thanks for adding to the topic, I basically am going off what I read on the Blog and Forum here, since I don't "do" podcasts (certainly not to learn tidbits of RPG rules, fortunately I don't think Paizo is planning to release 2nd Edition Core Rules as a Books on Tape/Podcast). I read the blog as "you try to "overspend" to activate item -> you fail roll, so you don't overspend and activate item, so DC doesn't change" but anyways... Still strange basically nobody has discussed this so far, but thanks for the update.


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graystone wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
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.

I see comments like this and I can't help but think that my fun is VASTLY different from the people that say this. It's like people that have fun tracking each and every material component and want to do away with a component pouch because it makes the tracking of them meaningless and therefore less fun... If that does it for them, great, but for me I'm fine with the status quo...

WatersLethe wrote:
Resonance definitely feels like a highly magical resource which doesn't make much sense for the characters who are based on being as non-magical as possible. Sometimes you just want to be a dude with a magic sword, not a dude with a growing pool of magic that you use to empower your sword.
I can't help but think of the barbarian with the superstition totem... 'Magic bad! Now let me take some time out and use my magic to activate my items...'.

I see it is time that I go back to disagreeing with graystone. It was inevitable really. I don't think you necessarily have to look at resonance in that way. I don't think you have to think of it so much as a magical energy pool. I'm looking at it as more of a tolerance rating.

Hmm that would be an interesting way to do it. It starts giving penalties when you get over your resonance. Magic tolerance real low guys i'm about to pop!


Vidmaster7 wrote:

I see it is time that I go back to disagreeing with graystone. It was inevitable really. I don't think you necessarily have to look at resonance in that way. I don't think you have to think of it so much as a magical energy pool. I'm looking at it as more of a tolerance rating.

Hmm that would be an interesting way to do it. It starts giving penalties when you get over your resonance. Magic tolerance real low guys i'm about to pop!

Tolerance was the way I was personally thinking of it as well. Could also do HP damage that scales higher the more you overspend.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
graystone wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
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.

I see comments like this and I can't help but think that my fun is VASTLY different from the people that say this. It's like people that have fun tracking each and every material component and want to do away with a component pouch because it makes the tracking of them meaningless and therefore less fun... If that does it for them, great, but for me I'm fine with the status quo...

WatersLethe wrote:
Resonance definitely feels like a highly magical resource which doesn't make much sense for the characters who are based on being as non-magical as possible. Sometimes you just want to be a dude with a magic sword, not a dude with a growing pool of magic that you use to empower your sword.
I can't help but think of the barbarian with the superstition totem... 'Magic bad! Now let me take some time out and use my magic to activate my items...'.

I see it is time that I go back to disagreeing with graystone. It was inevitable really. I don't think you necessarily have to look at resonance in that way. I don't think you have to think of it so much as a magical energy pool. I'm looking at it as more of a tolerance rating.

Hmm that would be an interesting way to do it. It starts giving penalties when you get over your resonance. Magic tolerance real low guys i'm about to pop!

I think that might be closer to the actual explaination given the fact that items just don’t suddenly stop working. They instead just start failing more and more. Like: your ability to use magic items (“resonate” with them if you will) is being eroded. It is not that the tank is empty; its more that the screw is starting to become stripped.


Yeah.. hmm it could give a con penalty so hp would go down. then your giving con and charisma a give and take relationship. I'm just spit balling really.


Insanity Check FTW


I really like that analogy. Sorry guys My screw is stripped no more healing!


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
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.

I dislike having to manage 1 thing into about 5 different things. You don't split up your HP into your arms and legs do you?

You could also actually make a cleric and... Not get CLW wands?

That's crazy talk. The math and community says to always pick them up, horde them, never actually DO anything in combat that is actually WORTH more than CLW wand charges because you're just wasting resources at that point.

Yeah no, I'm done arguing here. This line of thinking is why every Familiar guide reads "GET one that uses WANDS", every spell list the same bloody collection, and dumping CHA to 6 if NOT lower seems to a given.

I'll see how to break this system, turn around to write up the playtest info, and then just remove it. Because I can do that. Much like DM's can remove Leadership, CLW wands, Spells, and Summoners.

Wait one of these things is not like the other. One of these things never got touched by the community for some reason even though it was COMPLAINED to heck and back it seems.


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MerlinCross wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
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.

I dislike having to manage 1 thing into about 5 different things. You don't split up your HP into your arms and legs do you?

You could also actually make a cleric and... Not get CLW wands?

That's crazy talk. The math and community says to always pick them up, horde them, never actually DO anything in combat that is actually WORTH more than CLW wand charges because you're just wasting resources at that point.

Yeah no, I'm done arguing here. This line of thinking is why every Familiar guide reads "GET one that uses WANDS", every spell list the same bloody collection, and dumping CHA to 6 if NOT lower seems to a given.

I'll see how to break this system, turn around to write up the playtest info, and then just remove it. Because I can do that. Much like DM's can remove Leadership, CLW wands, Spells, and Summoners.

Wait one of these things is not like the other. One of these things never got touched by the community for some reason even though it was COMPLAINED to heck and back it seems.

I'm having a hard time following this one.


Dragon78 wrote:

While I like the idea of resonance to "equip" magic items I do not like it used for potions, scrolls, wands, and other limited use items.

Now if everyone(all classes) had spell(energy) points to use as(or in place of) charges for wands and staves that would be cool.

So make all activated items run off of spell power(ki, stamina, channeling etc) and require nothing else? That seems like it would work well enough. It's a fair shot better than the resonance idea which seems entirely based on ensuring that the players spend their gold on the +1 version of each of their items when they are granted access to that item level. I'm not sure what the motivation is for wanting to make sure that low level stuff is always garbage.

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