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
151 to 200 of 1,064 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

Ultimatecalibur wrote:
Elleth wrote:


One thing that is getting me is that unless I'm reading it wrong, you can regain Stave resonance by uninvesting and reinvesting, in which case it might be better to either directly allow resetting of charges via resonance points and maybe some free time, or just add a caveat stating that those are the charges for the day.

I'm pretty certain you are reading it wrong. Uninvesting does not restore any Resonance. Resonance is a per day resource pool.

Investing adds to the total charges currently in the staff to the staff's maximum.

A full charged high level Staff might have 27+ maximum charges and a 17th level or higher spellcaster with 9th level spells would recharge 9 charges every time they invested in the staff until the maximum was reached.

Quote:


It's interesting to see that some items can directly convert resonance to spells while Staves can't. Does this mean direct conversion items are relatively rare or thematically powerful?

Its more that Staves give utility. In theory anyone can use a charged Staff of Healing.

A Wizard can use a Staff of Healing to cast stabilize and heal by spending Resonance and either the staff's charges or their own spell slots. A Fighter without any spell casting ability can use a fully charged Staff of Healing and Resonance to cast a 1st level heal three times or a 3rd level heal one time.

Ah sorry, I think I was, yet again, unclear (or just wrote the wrong word by accident). I meant charges. I.e. as written it looks like you can uninvest and reinvest for a charge reset, which feels clunky.

Really good point on the utility aspect, though technically you could get better utility from just turning a resonance point into a spell. Or perhaps dubiously equal if it used variable RP cost (something that seems to not be in the system).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Unfortunate Pumpkin wrote:
So is investing in the staff the only way to restore charges? can I manually restore more charges if necessary if I'm not high enough level to invest all the charges back?

I believe the idea is it will take multiple days to fully recharge it in those cases. And note, you can still cast the spells in it using your own slots, so only actual benefit in recharging it "manually" would be in passing it on to somebody else to use. Which they currently can't do in the same day given the Investiture exclusivity revealed in the Blog. So I'm not really seeing the significant need for a different function that would have marginal if any real impact.

Shadow Lodge

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Lucas Yew wrote:
These whole new rules might take some time to learn properly...

Streamlined Simplicity at it's finest....


Diego Rossi wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

Two notes:

1) the descritptions are confusing as they are badly laid out. In particular the cloak of elvenkind. It explains how to activate invisibility and then it says that only the greater cloak has invisibility (or so I read).

Both cloaks have invis, base is 2nd level, greater is 4th.

Yes, I have got it after re-reading for the 4th time. As I said, confusing.

So an increase in 2 points of stealth bonus and from invisibility level 2 to invisibility level 4 is worth a price multiplier of x24.

Still perplexed on the prices.

PF2 "invisibility level 4" is PF1's Greater Invisibility. That you can use level+Cha per day.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:


I think as long as wands remain a multi-use consumable, it's definitionally and tautologically going to have charges, or at least a synonym for charges (I mean, they are basically similar to scrolls in bulk, like in PF1). Staves could lose their charges in their current incarnation and still function just fine, though.

I'd rather wands were not a multi use consumable. Even if you aren't going to go the Brand route of wands giving a general bonus to spell attack rolls and DCs, you could still keep some of the old flavor while fitting it better to your resonance system.

For example:

Wand of Fireball
Command Action, Operate Action: Pay 1 resonance and expend a spell slot of 3rd level or greater to cast Fireball. The spell is heightened to the level of the spell slot you expend.

It's still a spell stick, but now it's a spontaneous casting stick instead of a battery.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Dire Ursus wrote:


As long as the optimal choice is always to use the more powerful item and expensive item, then I think the resonance system would be a success for me.

And I personally hate consumables in all games anyways so that's fine with me.

Looks like a win for you on both counts - I however will be somewhat less satisfied if we keep heading in this direction.

Paizo Employee Designer

16 people marked this as a favorite.
graeme mcdougall wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Paizo Blog wrote:
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

Urgh.

It's possible that I'll get used to this sort of phrasing, but right now it just seems... no.

The wording definitely cast Induce Greater Headache on me, yeah. >.>

Seriously, what's wrong with saying "A potion requires 1 action to drink" or "A necklace of fireballs requires a total of 2 actions to use: 1 to pull a bead loose and 1 to throw it."

Do we seriously have to overdefine every single possible action in the game? This isn't a computer program which requires that sort of thing for the machine to understand your intent.

If you really really have to define the actions, say Use Action or Operate Action instead of Operate Activation Action. Say Focus Action instead of Focus Activation Action. Etc

100% agree. It's really destroying the elegance of the 3-action economy. If Resonance requires this over-definition, then it's Resonance that should go.

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


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
thflame wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
an item with charges (which seem common, Wands and Staves seem to all fall into this category)
Wands and staves, and only wands and staves, fall into this category. Staves are almost certainly the most complex item type in the game right now.

This is good to know, and if it were only Staves I'd be less concerned. Wands are super common and gonna continue to be so, though, and by far the most logistically difficult item to keep track of in PF1. Adding Resonance costs just makes that worse.

I mean, lower number of charges would help (and seems likely based on stuff you said in another thread)...but I still remain very concerned about the specific Resonance/Charges interaction.

I think as long as wands remain a multi-use consumable, it's definitionally and tautologically going to have charges, or at least a synonym for charges (I mean, they are basically similar to scrolls in bulk, like in PF1). Staves could lose their charges in their current incarnation and still function just fine, though.

Perhaps just don't make wands consumable?

Here's how I would handle it:

-Spend 1 RP to attune a wand.

-Spend 1 RP to cast the spell from the wand. (And any required actions for the spell.)

From your earlier response to my post, I assume that these items exist, they just aren't "wands". I guess what I am suggesting is that those items SHOULD be wands, and "wands" as they are(or "charged items"), just should not exist.

This is all coming purely from a ease of use stand point. I don't want to have to track Resonance AND charges simultaneously. I feel like doing so defeats the point of having Resonance in the first place.

If so, a wand of invisibility is going to cost more like 1,000 gp and be something you find/buy/get closer to 10th level than to 4th. And it would invert the relationship between staves and wands, insomuch as...

What breaks if I can use a Wand of Invisibility (Resonance -1) times a day?

If wands are meant to be "scrolls but in in bulk and a bit cheaper" I mean, does that deserve it's own system?


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

"Activation" is fine. Repeating it inside the "Activation:" field is not...

It was the same with the spells. They were written like this: "Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting".
When they should have been written like this: "Actions: Somatic, Verbal".

"Activation: Operate Activation, Command Action" is redundant and doesn't help reading the key parts (Operate and Command) inside a field already called Activation.


18 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Alright, the more I read about resonance, the more worried I get about its metagame effect on the game overall. There has to be a better way to make charisma a non-dump stat than this.

The problems I am having with resonance, as presented so far, are:

- That it exacerbates the 15-minute adventurer workday paradigm, instead of shifting the game away from it. With resonance being such a limited and important resource and there being negative consequences to it running out, players will be incentivized to retire from their adventure for the day as soon as they get into danger of being caught out without their resonance pool to fall back on.
I was hoping that Paizo would shift away from the "clear five rooms, rest for a day" type of gameplay which has plagued D&D/Pathfinder for decades. I fear that the developers are going into the totally opposite direction with resonance.

- That it denies opportunities for non-traditional parties. You may think what you want about Cure Light Wound wands as cheap healing resources, but their existance made it possible to run adventure paths without a dedicated healer and also helped out with the 15-minute workday problem enumerated above. With resonance being a limiting factor on cheap healing alternatives, at least one player will be forced into a "healing battery" choice, if he wants to or not. The only solution to that is that the GM begins throwing expensive healing items at the group.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Most of the criticisms I have for Resonance wouldn't be considered constructive.
I guess I'll just ignore it. Item levels we've seen so far seem fairly high.

The Exchange

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm not too worried about the RP system and in fact welcome it in cases like staves but I can understand everyone's hesitance concerning the wand. It can get annoying to track since RP will never reach the point where you can use every charge in a wand.

What if instead you said you invest charges in the wand at the start of the day like with Magic items but there's a finite number of times you can do this? Maybe limit to 10 charges per day so it doesn't get overwhelming but unlike Staves these charges don't regenerate?


11 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
graeme mcdougall wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Paizo Blog wrote:
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

Urgh.

It's possible that I'll get used to this sort of phrasing, but right now it just seems... no.

The wording definitely cast Induce Greater Headache on me, yeah. >.>

Seriously, what's wrong with saying "A potion requires 1 action to drink" or "A necklace of fireballs requires a total of 2 actions to use: 1 to pull a bead loose and 1 to throw it."

Do we seriously have to overdefine every single possible action in the game? This isn't a computer program which requires that sort of thing for the machine to understand your intent.

If you really really have to define the actions, say Use Action or Operate Action instead of Operate Activation Action. Say Focus Action instead of Focus Activation Action. Etc

100% agree. It's really destroying the elegance of the 3-action economy. If Resonance requires this over-definition, then it's Resonance that should go.
The wording is completely unrelated to resonance, it's all a question of style and clarity. We originally had it as Operate, Focus, and Command, but Activation was added during editing to make it clearer. If people think it doesn't make it clearer, that's good feedback and it's easy enough to change if that's widespread.

That excess of overdefine all actions in game make me miss the days of swift, move and standard actions...

100% agree with Fuzzypaws. Please stop naming each action!!! You're just unnecessary broking the three-action system.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
graeme mcdougall wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Paizo Blog wrote:
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

Urgh.

It's possible that I'll get used to this sort of phrasing, but right now it just seems... no.

The wording definitely cast Induce Greater Headache on me, yeah. >.>

Seriously, what's wrong with saying "A potion requires 1 action to drink" or "A necklace of fireballs requires a total of 2 actions to use: 1 to pull a bead loose and 1 to throw it."

Do we seriously have to overdefine every single possible action in the game? This isn't a computer program which requires that sort of thing for the machine to understand your intent.

If you really really have to define the actions, say Use Action or Operate Action instead of Operate Activation Action. Say Focus Action instead of Focus Activation Action. Etc

100% agree. It's really destroying the elegance of the 3-action economy. If Resonance requires this over-definition, then it's Resonance that should go.
The wording is completely unrelated to resonance, it's all a question of style and clarity. We originally had it as Operate, Focus, and Command, but Activation was added during editing to make it clearer. If people think it doesn't make it clearer, that's good feedback and it's easy enough to change if that's widespread.

Yes it is unclear, but the reason people are pointing it out is not because it relates to resonance but it makes the whole article less clear, consequently making it harder to understand how all magic items will work, which indeed is part of resonance. At least from my perspective.

Grand Lodge

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

I do not believe that adding activation makes this clearer. Using fewer words is almost always better.

+1 for simply being Operate, Focus and Command.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Xenocrat wrote:
thflame wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
an item with charges (which seem common, Wands and Staves seem to all fall into this category)
Wands and staves, and only wands and staves, fall into this category. Staves are almost certainly the most complex item type in the game right now.
Why? Would it really be too powerful to let someone cast a spell as much as they have Resonance?
Of course it would be, that would allow up to 19+Cha 9th level spells per day without touching your spell slots.

I'm assuming wands would still be capped at level 3 spells.

A theoretical Wand of Meteor Swarm should cost approximately the same as the US national debt.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:


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

I'd remove all the Activation tags, and same with the Casting ones (Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting). If you didn't know what they meant without the additional tag, I don't think the tag is going to help that. The capitalized word (+ action) should be sufficient.

Wands do somewhat fulfill a role as multiple-use scrolls, but it's not a very interesting one. I'd personally go with the spontaneous casting stick mentioned earlier, which lets a wizard cast like a sorcerer in times of need, or lets the sorcerer have an extra bloodline spell.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

To be frankly the real reason behind Resonance is "let's make Pathfinder Society Modules easy to play!"

And to frankly again, if this poor conceived mechanics survive after the playtest, PF2 is dead for me.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
graeme mcdougall wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Paizo Blog wrote:
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

Urgh.

It's possible that I'll get used to this sort of phrasing, but right now it just seems... no.

The wording definitely cast Induce Greater Headache on me, yeah. >.>

Seriously, what's wrong with saying "A potion requires 1 action to drink" or "A necklace of fireballs requires a total of 2 actions to use: 1 to pull a bead loose and 1 to throw it."

Do we seriously have to overdefine every single possible action in the game? This isn't a computer program which requires that sort of thing for the machine to understand your intent.

If you really really have to define the actions, say Use Action or Operate Action instead of Operate Activation Action. Say Focus Action instead of Focus Activation Action. Etc

100% agree. It's really destroying the elegance of the 3-action economy. If Resonance requires this over-definition, then it's Resonance that should go.
The wording is completely unrelated to resonance, it's all a question of style and clarity. We originally had it as Operate, Focus, and Command, but Activation was added during editing to make it clearer. If people think it doesn't make it clearer, that's good feedback and it's easy enough to change if that's widespread.

I must admit, I can't wrap my head around this particular blog at all (I have generally liked almost all the other blogs).

If, as others have speculated:

Focus Action = Free Action
Opperate Action = 1 Action (Somatic), generates Attacks of Opportunity.
Command Action = 1 Action (Verbal), doesn't generate Attacks of Opportunity

Why are things not being expressed in terms of actions & free actions ?

In the example items, I see a Focus Activation being both an action (Cloak of Elevenkind) & a free action (Fear Gem).

I'm afraid I don't get what any of the new words attached to the actions actually mean: Not Focus, Operate, Command or Activation.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Focus actions are not free unless they say so.

Silver Crusade

13 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm not really seeing how Resonance actually improves the game. It feels like a solution in want of a problem. Before, you were limited to what fit on your character, now it is a limit based on how magic your personality is. Either way, its a limit, and Resonance is far more fiddly book keeping than "one belt slot item per character".

If you want to make magic items more interesting, then do that! Use the Starfinder method of limited +STAT items, and run with it.

Resonance is the first time I feel like 2E is taking a step backwards.


23 people marked this as a favorite.

While it's on my mind, I would note that I haven't ever actually encountered anyone, certainly not a player, who hates abundant magic items except in a specifically low magic setting. What we hate is the mandatory boring items, the big 6 et all, that break the game's math if you don't have them. So chopping down the Christmas Tree doesn't actually strike me as a good goal in and of itself. Just give us /interesting/ items, items that /do stuff/ instead of being just a bunch of numerical bonuses.

If we still end up with a bunch of bonus items outside weapons and armor, and if any of them start being considered mandatory, then this whole exercise is a failure.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Although not related to this blog, I'd also change 'Somatic' to 'Gesture'. 'Somatic' means absolutely nothing to 99% of the population.


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

I do not believe that adding activation makes this clearer. Using fewer words is almost always better.

+1 for simply being Operate, Focus and Command.

Could we maybe use the glyph for "action" here? Like Operate [[A]] and Focus [[A]]?


Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:

To be frankly the real reason behind Resonance is "let's make Pathfinder Society Modules easy to play!"

And to frankly again, if this poor conceived mechanics survive after the playtest, PF2 is dead for me.

While I wouldn't go as far as you have, I have to admit something just feels off about the whole mechanic. My own whining aside (I really haven't like or even felt the least bit inspired by anything) I still hold out hope something will ignite me enough to give it at least a try. Maybe you should wait and see what's in-store, then make a final judgement.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I think this is a great system, but the write ups of items are really hard to parse. I couldn’t understand how the Cloak of Elvenkind worked at all with the system until the following explanations, and I’m still not sure if I completely understand it. It says the Activation is a [[A]] Focus Activation, [[A]] Operate Activation, but a Focus Activation is called out as a Reaction earlier in the blog post, and later a Focus Activation is listed as [[F]]. Then in the description itself it says an Interact Action is used to activate the cloak so… what the heck is the Focus or Operate Activations? The description then combines all of its abilities into a single paragraph and it’s very difficult to follow. This kind of thing needs to be broken down into its separate parts. What you get from investing. What you get from activating. What exactly activating means. We're already well into "what kind of action is this? a move? a standard? focus? is that free or an action? what is drinking a potion? an interact?" territory and that was one of the core things that the action system was to be avoiding.

Looking at it more I think a lot of these descriptions should entirely separate functionality and system interactions from what the item is. Mechanical text and flavor text should be two separate divided texts so when someone needs to know what an item does as quickly as possible they don’t have to parse through what it looks like and how it’s tied just below the throat on a suit of armor.

A lot of my issues here and with some of the more complex previews shown so far I feel can be simplified greatly from decoupling system and mechanic significance from flavor text. Don't get me wrong, I love the physical descriptions of items, but that's usually never what I'm looking for first.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I agree with some of the other posters. I would like to see it simply be "Action: X" where X is the number of actions needed to active the item. It's quick, it's elegant, and really goes along with the action system you have created.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Logan Bonner wrote:
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.

So does this mean you have a less-experimental fallback system ready to plug in if Resonance crashes and burns? Would said fallback system be equivalent to PF1?

I'm hoping Resonance works out, but it's clearly not a done deal.

This is something that makes me think the playtest is too short. If major systems like resonance need to be changed or removed, we won't have time to test the replacement. Even just going back to how PF1 does things needs to be tested because so much of the rest of the game is different that it could interact in weird ways.

It seems to me that we really need a multi-step playtest. Test the initial version for x months, test the revision for x months maybe a third pass and then the final release. Playtest and one year later a final product (which will need to be written, edited published well ahead of time which dramatically cuts into how much meaningful playtesting is being done) is problematic. I could see it working fine for a more standard edition change like going from 3.5 to PF1, but PF2 seems closer to the AD&D 2 to D&D 3 level of change. It's a dramatic overhaul of just about everything, which makes it likely that some of these systems will turn out terrible and need to be replaced. Resonance is a prime candidate.

I also have to echo the concerns that this is just unclearly written. Took a few passes to get the idea of what the cloak of elvenkind does. These action names are pretty bad and cumbersome. Resonance for consumable items is horrible. I barely use them as it is, now I'll immediately throw them on the sell pile because it feels like we're being punished for daring to use magic items.

I'm also starting to be concerned about the action economy. That's one of the things I'm really liking about this edition. But it seems that just about everything is taking actions, often multiple ones, so that items and abilities will go unused because they take precious actions that are better used just smacking a monster again. Or it will take several rounds just to get your baseline abilities active. I had that problem in PF1 with having a bunch of core abilities that all require a swift action so in the end it took 3 rounds to get everything ready, at which point the fight was over. Free actions aren't bad, don't be so stingy with them. Or maybe we need more granularity, like half-actions for minor things like gripping a weapon with two hands or opening a door.

Paizo Employee Designer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
NielsenE wrote:

A few questions:

Cloak of Elvenkind: Can you wear it (not invest), and still use the activation power? Or does the invisibility power effectively cost 2 RP (one for the invest, one for the activation), so amortized its better if you use it multiple times a day.

Staff of healing: If invested, and you cast a heal spell using your own spell slots, do you get the +1 w/o having to spend another RP? (If you use RP to spontaneously cast heal by expending a different spell, as written, I think its perfectly clear that that cost resonance.)

Cloak: You have to invest it in order to activate it.

Staff: It applies to all your heal spells while it's invested.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I agree with the command, operate, focus action train.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:

To be frankly the real reason behind Resonance is "let's make Pathfinder Society Modules easy to play!"

And to frankly again, if this poor conceived mechanics survive after the playtest, PF2 is dead for me.

How would it make PFS modules easier to play? If anything the removal of CLW and easy use of low level utility consumables and items will make it harder as not only can you not depend on your party members (in the respect of you never know what abilities will be brought to the table) you can't rely on magic to pick up the slack.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I like that item slots still exist, but aren't as rigidly defined. So in the Core book we might have boots, cloaks, and shirts, but it is fairly straightforward to add new slotted items. Masks, gloves, and tights don't need to be defined in the core book to become new item categories without being shoehorning into existing slots.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
Since everyone has resonance does that mean anyone can use a staff even if they are not a spell caster?

Well, the Staff of Healing specifically recharges according to your highest level spell slots, so a character without spell slots will get relatively little out of it, although there doesn't appear to be anything preventing another character from charging it then having a non-caster use it, aside from the 24-hour delay(maybe? It's not too clear). A Wizard can use this on its own for some extra healing, however, from what I can tell anyways.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

On the EDIT: Coin "freebie" Invisibility activation "if you were sneaking",
is that even useful in the non-advanced(4th level/greater invis) version?
You were already sneaking, so you effectively have invisibility anyways.
Since it's not great invis, it will break at first attack anyways, so what does it actually add?
Does basic Invisibility work differently now re: attack cancelation?


11 people marked this as a favorite.
QuidEst wrote:
Focus actions are not free unless they say so.

Having something with the same name take different amounts of actions is bad game design. If there is a one action focus and a free action focus one of them needs removed or renamed.

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Kaemy wrote:

Please... Stop with the "casual tone" when presenting items. Look at that Healing Staff mess...

Next time please just Copy-Paste the full actual Rulebook entry THEN start blabbering about its ramifications.

I'd like this too.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Fuzzypaws wrote:

While it's on my mind, I would note that I haven't ever actually encountered anyone, certainly not a player, who hates abundant magic items except in a specifically low magic setting. What we hate is the mandatory boring items, the big 6 et all, that break the game's math if you don't have them. So chopping down the Christmas Tree doesn't actually strike me as a good goal in and of itself. Just give us /interesting/ items, items that /do stuff/ instead of being just a bunch of numerical bonuses.

If we still end up with a bunch of bonus items outside weapons and armor, and if any of them start being considered mandatory, then this whole exercise is a failure.

Agree, I will add not overpriced to that if it is not too much to ask


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I think we can wait like a month to get the actual rules text and don't need them to c/p a huge portion of the rulebook. We'll be up to our necks in rules all too soon. I like the conversational style, whole point of this sort of thing is so things like "Operate Activation" and "Heritage Feat" don't sound like moon language once the playtest starts.

Paizo Employee Designer

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Quandary wrote:

On the Cloak "freebie" Invisibility activation "if you were sneaking",

is that even useful in the non-advanced(4th level/greater invis) version?
You were already sneaking, so you effectively have invisibility anyways.
Since it's not great invis, it will break at first attack anyways, so what does it actually add?
Does basic Invisibility work differently now re: attack cancelation?

Do you mean the coin?

There are a lot of times that you might be sneaking around but still want invisibility. For instance, if you are noticed (probably the #1 reason), or if the battle includes regions where you would otherwise be exposed if you entered them.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Fuzzypaws wrote:

While it's on my mind, I would note that I haven't ever actually encountered anyone, certainly not a player, who hates abundant magic items except in a specifically low magic setting. What we hate is the mandatory boring items, the big 6 et all, that break the game's math if you don't have them. So chopping down the Christmas Tree doesn't actually strike me as a good goal in and of itself. Just give us /interesting/ items, items that /do stuff/ instead of being just a bunch of numerical bonuses.

If we still end up with a bunch of bonus items outside weapons and armor, and if any of them start being considered mandatory, then this whole exercise is a failure.

I second this to an extent - even when there are interesting items, if there remain any items (of the number-booster variety) that are more or less mandatory, it forces the choice between having an interesting item and actually being able to hit target numbers. Overall the tighter math and other item previews make this seem less likely, but done incorrectly, i would have to worry about both my gold and my resonance going to things that let me do interesting things or things that actually let me affect the bad guys.

On the discussion of staves and wands - if staves were to keep charges, would it be too weird to call those charges Resonance Points as well? It would still be bookkeeping, I understand, but would making the names the same be more or less confusing?
That said, you can count me in for removing the charges from staves - I like how they've been given extra effects, and it would be good to build on that. Also, let some of the staves in the CRB not be actual staves, but other types of tools or weapons.
Also in favor of revamping wands to either not exist or not have charges.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Logan Bonner wrote:
NielsenE wrote:

A few questions:

Cloak of Elvenkind: Can you wear it (not invest), and still use the activation power? Or does the invisibility power effectively cost 2 RP (one for the invest, one for the activation), so amortized its better if you use it multiple times a day.

Staff of healing: If invested, and you cast a heal spell using your own spell slots, do you get the +1 w/o having to spend another RP? (If you use RP to spontaneously cast heal by expending a different spell, as written, I think its perfectly clear that that cost resonance.)

Cloak: You have to invest it in order to activate it.

Staff: It applies to all your heal spells while it's invested.

Thanks, that's what I assumed, in both cases, but felt they were corner-case enough to warrant asking.

In general I'm feeling the mixed use (invested + activated) items have underwhelming invested bonuses, so the investiture requirement feels like an additional tax on the per-use power -- at least compared to what's been alluded to magic armor/weapons where the bonus from investiture is baked into/required by the engine's math and the RP cots items sounded like cool/rare icing.

If the Staff of Healing were +1 die on a healing spell that would feel on par with the power of an invested weapon. (As opposed to a flat +1). Can you comment on why/how that would be broken?

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

i don't mind resonance being spent to attune magic items as it limits the number of items worn while eliminating item slots...i'm less fond of having to spend resonance to benefit from potions and scrolls but i can live with it...what i really dislike is being double-charged by having to both attune an item and then later have to spend more resonance each time i activate it...choose one or the other but not both...


29 people marked this as a favorite.

The action economy would benefit from separating the mechanical from the narrative elements. This is a usability issue. You NEED to know how many actions right up front. What those actions ARE is a contextual narrative thing that often doesn't matter. Right now, the occasionally needed info is mixed into the essential info and it forces us to parse it out. My vote is: don't bury the relevant information in action categories that the 3 action system was designed to remove.

Actions: 2 (Verbal, Somatic)
Actions: 2 (Focus, Activate)
Actions: 1 (Drink)

Shadow Lodge

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Do the handwraps of mighty fists still function like the amulet in PF1, or are they now just fists only and you need to spend more of your limited resource(RP) on footwraps of mighty kicks now? If you don't need footwraps, then can we rename the handwraps? And amulet or belt makes more sense for something affecting your entire body, not just fists.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Could we maybe use the glyph for "action" here? Like Operate [[A]] and Focus [[A]]?

IMHO glyphs may have a place in short-version Feat list summaries, Feat/Spell cards, that sort of thing, but not text like this. "Operate action" is not overly imposing, it's on par with how 3.x/P1E refer to e.g. Grapple action.

Fully "exploding" the typology inheritance makes the text very hard to read as a whole, and seems to assume players can't learn what type actions are categorized by. Given the specific typing is only relevant for minority of situations (the main thing is usually just how many action "units" it takes), I don't think it's appropriate to impose that burden on every single rules mention of specific actions. EDIT: Ninja'd by Lucid Blue in extremely lucid manner... :-)

I can see where a reference to Activate actions as a whole might want to put Operate and Focus etc in parentheses or such, but not forcing every mention of action to include the full chain of type inheritance like it is some exhaustively defined computer program code.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Lucid Blue wrote:

The action economy would benefit from separating the mechanical from the narrative elements. This is a usability issue. You NEED to know how many actions right up front. What those actions ARE is a contextual narrative thing that often doesn't matter. Right now, the occasionally needed info is mixed into the essential info and it forces us to parse it out. My vote is: don't bury the relevant information by burying it in action categories that the 3 action system was designed to remove.

Actions: 2 (Verbal, Somatic)
Actions: 2 (Focus, Activate)
Actions: 1 (Drink)

Yes, that's an improvment. We should be able to easily ignore the keywords attached to the actions except for the occasional cases where they're relevant. They might need another line for 'Free Actions : 1 (Focus) for example.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lucid Blue wrote:

The action economy would benefit from separating the mechanical from the narrative elements. This is a usability issue. You NEED to know how many actions right up front. What those actions ARE is a contextual narrative thing that often doesn't matter. Right now, the occasionally needed info is mixed into the essential info and it forces us to parse it out. My vote is: don't bury the relevant information in action categories that the 3 action system was designed to remove.

Actions: 2 (Verbal, Somatic)
Actions: 2 (Focus, Activate)
Actions: 1 (Drink)

Have to admit I like this wording better, it would clarify things.

Liberty's Edge

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I have no problems with the concepts behind what's happening here - Resonance seems perfectly reasonable to me - but I would definitely like to join the chorus of people begging for a better presentation style. An MtG style "cost: effect" paradigm would do wonders for making the functions of these items actually intelligible.

I also concur with DMW that consumables costing Resonance and charges both makes no sense. I can almost handle it with staves, but wands in particular just make my teeth grind. I'd much rather see staves take the role of wands as well (they were kind of poorly distinguished from one another in PF1 as it is) and turn wands into something else entirely.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Quandary wrote:
On the Cloak "freebie" Invisibility activation "if you were sneaking"...

Do you mean the coin?

There are a lot of times that you might be sneaking around but still want invisibility. For instance, if you are noticed (probably the #1 reason), or if the battle includes regions where you would otherwise be exposed if you entered them.

Yes, the coin :-) ...OK, just wanted to confirm because Invisibility changing seemed more than plausible.

I guess I was reading that as "if you are noticed, then you don't count as sneaking" but if that isn't the case I can see it being alot more useful. The "different regions" on it's own still seems somewhat marginal to me (for effect that requires already sneaking, if you could activate when already in those areas and not sneaking, that is other thing), but the "sneak mode insurance" angle seems pretty solid... Underlining that "sneaking" is mode/state regardless of skill check success (which varies re: observer).


I assume that both wands and scrolls cost 1 resonance to use. Given that one of the objectives is to "level out" of items, why should I invest in a wand as opposed to a few scrolls?

151 to 200 of 1,064 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion / Paizo Blog: Trinkets and Treasures All Messageboards