Trinkets and Treasures

Monday, June 25, 2018

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

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

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

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Resonance

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cloak of Elvenkind Item 10+

Illusion, Invested, Magical

Method of Use worn, cloak; Bulk L

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


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

Type standard; Level 10; Price 1,000 gp

The cloak grants a +3 bonus.

Type greater; Level 18; Price 24,000 gp

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

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

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

How about something simpler?

Floating Shield Item 13

Magical

Price 2,800 gp

Method of Use held, 1 hand; Bulk L

Activation [[A]] Operate Activation


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

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

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

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

Staves

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

Staff of Healing Item 3+

Invested, Magical, Necromancy, Staff

Method of Use held, 1 hand; Bulk 1

Activation Cast a Spell (1 RP)


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

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

The item bonus to heal spells is +1.

  • stabilize (cantrip)
  • heal (level 1)

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

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

Trinkets

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

Fear Gem Item 4

Consumable, Enchantment, Fear, Magical, Mental, Trinket

Price 11 gp

Method of Use affixed, weapon; Bulk

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


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

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

Now how about a trinket that's less specific?

Vanishing Coin Item 9

Consumable, Illusion, Magical, Trinket

Price 85 gp

Method of Use affixed, armor; Bulk

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

Requirements You are a master in Stealth.


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

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

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

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

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

Logan Bonner
Designer

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RE: Charges and Resonance

I don't think tracking both resonance and charges is worth it. Let potions, scrolls, and trinkets be the only consumables. I'd say drop all spells from low level staves and make them spell boosting items that cost 1 RP to invest. High level staves have spells as appropriate but without charges/only RP limited.

Split wands into lesser and greater wands:

Make lesser wands be 1 RP per use items for cantrips only. Higher level wands cast heightened cantrips. Good for non-casters to pick up some magic tricks or for mages to get extra cantrips but not really a risk of being over powered or over priced for the role.

Greater Wands cast 1st-3rd leveled spells 1 RP in one spell out, price them accordingly.

Scarab Sages

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I'm not impressed, those trinkets looked like a good price until I remembered that the economy is getting changed and now they are still too damned expensive to ever purposefully seek out - they are filler loot.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
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.

That you can use "resonance point left/day", that is decidedly less than level+Cha.

Vs "invisibility" that you can use "resonance point left/day" the same.

If we consider an exchange rate of 1 new GP = 10 old gp, in PF1 terms it is a 240.000 gp item, something appropriate for a 19th-20th level character.
At that level Master or Legendary perception, see invisibility, glitterdust, true seeing (or PF2 equivalents) will be common options. I doubt that, by itself, invisibility will be so important.
Probably the +5 to stealth will have a greater impact.


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graeme mcdougall wrote:
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)

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.

It wouldn't even have to be a new line:

Actions: 1 (Drink), Free (Uncork)


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I'll let my previous gripes about item level stay where they are, and just add the bulk system to the pile. There's nothing good about Starfinder's equipment system. But I assume that stuff is here to stay.

The shield needs clarification. I assume it's meant to follow you when you move. I'm also relatively certain it's intended to follow you underwater or through teleportation spells. At the moment it isn't clear that it does these things. There's also no notes on what happens when others attempt to interact with the shield. How much weight can it hold
We also need to know if it inherits any abilities you may have that modify the raised shield ability.

Changing the language to say "The shield behaves in all ways as if you were wielding it and taking the Raised Shield action" should clear up most possible variant interpretations.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Shisumo wrote:
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.

I'm on board. I'd love for wands to feel like magical implements and not just another spell-in-a-can.

I think wands should remain subordinate to staves, I'm just not sure what function they should take. A special designation for cantrip-only staves? Invested items with passive-only benefits (e.g. +1 dmg or +1 heal)?


Dilvias wrote:
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?

I think it's literally a volume discount - a wand with 20 charges is cheaper than 20 scrolls of that spell.

As an aside, do wands still need 50 charges? Now that the days of "we're gonna to cast CLW via wand 600 times to do the entire dungeon without resting" are over, perhaps making them smaller (and cheaper) is in order.


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Alexander_Damocles wrote:

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.

Every had a wizard with a Handy Haversack of Scrolls? What about a party with half a dozen cure light wounds wands that force the GM to make all combats potentially lethal or else they are just wastes of time?

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

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I'm wondering if the PF2 version of the Helm of Brilliance is effectively a helmet of fire resistance you need 1 RP to invest in, which also comes with 10 diamond, 20 rubies, 30 fire opal, and 40 opal trinkets.

Also, wondering how resonance interacts with cursed items? Do you invest them initially, thinking they're good items, and then the curse forces you to invest them each day? What if you wear one when you're out of RP? Does the curse still work?

Paizo Employee Designer

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Quandary wrote:
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).

The trigger is that you attempt a Stealth roll for initiative; that will happen if you are sneaking around in exploration mode.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Another worry, aside from the metagame effects of resonance, is how x/rounds per day items with possible multiple activations, like Boots of Speed, will work. Will resonance completely neuter this legacy item?


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I mentioned the idea of using Reaction to "Re-Grasp" Floating Shield at last minute before it's duration runs out and falls to the ground, but it occured to me, that could perhaps just be general rule: You can spend Reaction to grab falling item in/adjacent to your space.

That could include items thrown to you by allies, or simply "passed over" baton-style, which ties into the "pass the magic dagger" situation brought up earlier. Having Reaction action cost seems not overly limiting, yet at same time with real action cost, considering Reactions seem like they may often be very useful at least for certain characters. Is it too generous to allow that generally?

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

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How does overspending RP work? If you fail on an item, can you try again, or is that item not able to work for you the entire rest of the day?

I still think it's a very weird situation for most magic items to require resonance. If you're out for the day (including all attempts to overspend), and you find a bag of holding, it seems very weird that if you open the bag, you can't retrieve anything. Does it act like just a normal bag? Does the magic inherent in the item simply not work? Does it weigh 10 pounds still even though it seems empty?

Another unintended consequence of resonance is the sudden increase in hirelings. Don't have enough resonance? Just hire a few commoners to use theirs on your items - that bag of holding you can't access because you're out of RP? "Hey Bob, come over here and open that bag for me - start emptying it so I can see what's in it and after I take the stuff I want right away, put everything back inside. Here's a shiny silver piece for your efforts!"

EDIT: can summoned monsters use resonance? Seems like another way to make those spells even more versatile if you need to squeeze another charge out of your wand today.


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magnuskn wrote:
Another worry, aside from the metagame effects of resonance, is how x/rounds per day items with possible multiple activations, like Boots of Speed, will work. Will resonance completely neuter this legacy item?

I feel like this is where Resonance shines, instead of 10 rounds per day, speed boots cost 1 resonance for some predefined of rounds and can be used as often as you like/can. We probably lose the "hasted for exactly one round" application, but that's pretty narrow. One resonance for 1 minute of haste seems like it would make good boots.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Doktor Weasel wrote:
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.

Seconded.

I have ordered the Playtest book as I want it as a collector item, but I am uncertain if I will buy the first edition of PF2. I suspect that I will wait 3 years for PF 2.5 with all the corrections needed to make it a great product.
But that doesn't seem a great perspective for Paizo. Fumbling PF2 can mean that 2.5 will never exist.
It will be better to move the deadline by 6 months or a year and produce something great from the start.


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Absolutely love staves and the idea of a caster putting some mojo into one and then being able to channel through it.

Really like trinkets and the idea that everybody has some mojo.

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

Has it been clarified regarding the cloak:
Wear it you get the bonus to stealth (no RP required)
Invest: (1 RP) Ghost sound at will
Activate( 1 RP) Invisibility. -- Do I need to spend the 1 RP "invest" cover charge to be allowed to activate?

Shadow Lodge

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Diego Rossi wrote:
I suspect that I will wait 3 years for PF 2.5 with all the corrections needed to make it a great product.

Just going to point out/remind people that Paizo isn't keen on doing this. They want ten years between editions and, if PF2 is any indication, won't be so much fixing the previous edition as making a new system and dropping the previous one like dead weight.

Unless the Errata policy changes it might be a lot longer than three years before we even get errata to the book post playtest.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
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?

The lesser model combines PF1 ring of invisibility with the cloak of elvenkind for a bargain price. Not bad money wise. A bit costly in RP if you need to use invisibility often.


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Dragonborn3 wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
I suspect that I will wait 3 years for PF 2.5 with all the corrections needed to make it a great product.
Just going to point out/remind people that Paizo isn't keen on doing this. They want ten years between editions and, if PF2 is any indication, won't be so much fixing the previous edition as making a new system and dropping the previous one like dead weight.

I hear you, it would nave been better to start of with small changes from Pathfinder 1e and become more aggressive if that wasn't enough. For some reason Paizo's likes to hit you with everything at once, and I'll never understand why.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
The trigger is that you attempt a Stealth roll for initiative; that will happen if you are sneaking around in exploration mode.

OK, but does that imply they have chance to detect you without Invisibility effect momentarily before you activate Invisibility? Would Perception check to notice you and Init be one and the same? It just feels off to me, because choosing to activate it implies you know you're being observed, which isn't always the case.

Choosing to preemptively activate Invisibility in exploration mode, possibly even to avoid being noticed by NPCs who you don't expect to enter combat with even if they notice you, seems pretty normal IMHO. A distinct 'normal' activation (which would also allow doing so in middle of combat in 'no stealth' area while not already sneaking, as well as non-combat situations) and a 'freebie during Init roll if already sneaking' activation would cover both angles. I do like the possibilities opened by the 'freebie' activation, it just doesn't seem to quite cover the 'normal usage' cases on it's own.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:

Seconded.

I have ordered the Playtest book as I want it as a collector item, but I am uncertain if I will buy the first edition of PF2. I suspect that I will wait 3 years for PF 2.5 with all the corrections needed to make it a great product.
But that doesn't seem a great perspective for Paizo. Fumbling PF2 can mean that 2.5 will never exist.
It will be better to move the deadline by 6 months or a year and produce something great from the start.

I may be remembering it wrong here, but didn't Jason say that they would iterate on the final product until they feel it is done right?

Silver Crusade

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If Bruno, a handsome and beautiful tetori monk, had an Unarmed Fighter friend with Intimidating Strike that wanted to use the Fear Gem, does this mean they affix the Gem to their hands (as it is their weapon)?


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Phantasmist wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
I suspect that I will wait 3 years for PF 2.5 with all the corrections needed to make it a great product.
Just going to point out/remind people that Paizo isn't keen on doing this. They want ten years between editions and, if PF2 is any indication, won't be so much fixing the previous edition as making a new system and dropping the previous one like dead weight.
I hear you, it would nave been better to start of with small changes from Pathfinder 1e and become more aggressive if that wasn't enough. For some reason Paizo's likes to hit you with everything at once, and I'll never understand why.

Like Pathfinder Unchained where a lot of this stuff is coming from?


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@Mark Seifter:

You mention a problem with making a wand run without charges is that player A could spend all his RP for fireballs, then player B could spend all her RP, player C... etc

The carry-over aspect falls away if wands need to be invested to use.

Or better, when invested a wand costs 1 RP to activate. If not invested a wand costs RP equal to the level of its associated spell to activate. So player A can spend 9 RP for 9 fireballs; and player B, if desperate, could spend 9 RP for 3 fireballs.

That, along with staff spells functioning at character level versus wands functioning at spell level, should be sufficient to differentiate the items as well as be meaningful from level 1 while not relying on charges.


Bardarok wrote:
Phantasmist wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
I suspect that I will wait 3 years for PF 2.5 with all the corrections needed to make it a great product.
Just going to point out/remind people that Paizo isn't keen on doing this. They want ten years between editions and, if PF2 is any indication, won't be so much fixing the previous edition as making a new system and dropping the previous one like dead weight.
I hear you, it would nave been better to start of with small changes from Pathfinder 1e and become more aggressive if that wasn't enough. For some reason Paizo's likes to hit you with everything at once, and I'll never understand why.
Like Pathfinder Unchained where a lot of this stuff is coming from?

Yes the same pathfinder unchained I don't use, and never was a fan of. But you are right it was the early testing ground., but if I recall resonance wasn't a part of that book (of course I passed on it after a quick read through so maybe it was).


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I also don't like having both Resonance and Spell Points. As I understand it, these are going to compete thematically, no?


Phantasmist wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Phantasmist wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
I suspect that I will wait 3 years for PF 2.5 with all the corrections needed to make it a great product.
Just going to point out/remind people that Paizo isn't keen on doing this. They want ten years between editions and, if PF2 is any indication, won't be so much fixing the previous edition as making a new system and dropping the previous one like dead weight.
I hear you, it would nave been better to start of with small changes from Pathfinder 1e and become more aggressive if that wasn't enough. For some reason Paizo's likes to hit you with everything at once, and I'll never understand why.
Like Pathfinder Unchained where a lot of this stuff is coming from?
Yes the same pathfinder unchained I don't use, and never was a fan of. But you are right it was the early testing ground., but if I recall resonance wasn't a part of that book (of course I passed on it after a quick read through so maybe it was).

The reason they didn't do a slow roll out is not enough people use the alternate rules in books. Heck the only ones from unchained I use are background skills and signature skills. Resonance wasn't in there though.

If they didn't break like this they could never get enough people to playtest and have it be worthwhile.


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Looks like fear is an enchantment instead of necromancy wich makes a lot more sense.


Bruno Breakbone wrote:
If Bruno, a handsome and beautiful tetori monk, had an Unarmed Fighter friend with Intimidating Strike that wanted to use the Fear Gem, does this mean they affix the Gem to their hands (as it is their weapon)?

I would guess his (not so handsome AND beautiful?) friend would be holding that gem in their fist or wrap it up in their enchanted fist wraps.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Lucas Yew wrote:
These whole new rules might take some time to learn properly...
Streamlined Simplicity at it's finest....

The new rules are very game mechanicky. They may be fun or sort of interesting but what they arent are any of the following:

Intuitive
Logical
Simple
Streamlined

Paizo may want to avoid using those words to describe it.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
I suspect that I will wait 3 years for PF 2.5 with all the corrections needed to make it a great product.

Just going to point out/remind people that Paizo isn't keen on doing this. They want ten years between editions and, if PF2 is any indication, won't be so much fixing the previous edition as making a new system and dropping the previous one like dead weight.

Unless the Errata policy changes it might be a lot longer than three years before we even get errata to the book post playtest.

As I am the not so happy owner of all the first printings of the hard books beside the CRB, even getting the second printing of the core manuals would be way better than owning a 1st printing full of bugs covered by the following errata and rule changes.

At that point I would buy the PDF only and the hard book will be a "maybe later". But for old time gamers like me, that is an immediate drop in the appeal of the game.
A PDF lack the esthetic of owning the books.

Phantasmist wrote:


I hear you, it would nave been better to start of with small changes from Pathfinder 1e and become more aggressive if that wasn't enough. For some reason Paizo's likes to hit you with everything at once, and I'll never understand why.

PF2 is a big change, but that is not a bad thing. But it playtesting can cause major changes, a year seem short.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Blog wrote:
you're really unlikely to run out of Resonance Points unless you're using an absurd number of items

This is one of the things that has come to bug me most about resonance, because it seems patently untrue at low levels. A 3rd level wizard with 10 charisma has only 3 points of resonance. If you've got one invested item by that point, that leaves you with enough resonance to use two scrolls per day. In my books that would qualify as very light consumable usage for a longer adventuring day, meaning running out of resonance is all but guaranteed at these levels.

On the other hand, that same wizard at 20th has 20 points of resonance. Even if he has 10 points sunk into invested items, that leaves him 10 for consumables. That might hit him if he uses a bunch of utility items over the course of the day (scroll of comprehend languages, etc) but is unlikely to come into play very often.

As a secondary issue, it also creates some weirdness with regards to the value of the charisma attribute. At 1st level, charisma could swing you between 0 to 6 points of resonance, while at 20th it's a swing of 19-30. That's a massive difference at 1st, but at 20th it probably won't matter on most adventuring days.


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So, I've seen enough articles on it at this point to make an actual decision: Resonance feels bad. I don't like how much it takes away from itemization, I hate what is does to the alchemist, and it's another resource pool that's meant to look like an interesting decision but will just use a preset 99% of the time to stop from faffing about with a dozen notecards.

It restricts itemization by enforcing that *only* the absolute best items will see use in any given slot- the opposite of the solution they proposed in Unchained where the "necessary" items had their stats rolled into all items of the same slot. That's a far better idea as it allows for creative items to have a place without sacrificing actual playability.

The alchemist has gone from a master of weird science to a bomb chucking pyro, losing all spells and replacing it with being chained to items that he can craft, spend RP on, the SP on to blow up. Extremely unhappy with that, especially since alchemist is probably one of the best class concepts they made in 1e. Options replaced with streamlining for balance is not the best idea.


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thflame wrote:
Alexander_Damocles wrote:

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.

Every had a wizard with a Handy Haversack of Scrolls? What about a party with half a dozen cure light wounds wands that force the GM to make all combats potentially lethal or else they are just wastes of time?

Yes, it's SOP and never been a problem for any players or GMs I've gamed with. This is why resonance really bites, because for everyone vocally complaining about it there are many for whom it just is not, and has never been, a problem. You never complain about the things that aren't a problem


WatersLethe wrote:
I also don't like having both Resonance and Spell Points. As I understand it, these are going to compete thematically, no?

Not really. Spell Points is your own inherent magical power (from class, etc). Resonance is for using magical items. The only cross-over is Alchemist which doesn't have Spell Points but has enhanced Resonance to compensate for it, but the whole point there is Alchemist is conceptually about using magical items.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dasrak wrote:
Blog wrote:
you're really unlikely to run out of Resonance Points unless you're using an absurd number of items

This is one of the things that has come to bug me most about resonance, because it seems patently untrue at low levels. A 3rd level wizard with 10 charisma has only 3 points of resonance. If you've got one invested item by that point, that leaves you with enough resonance to use two scrolls per day. In my books that would qualify as very light consumable usage for a longer adventuring day, meaning running out of resonance is all but guaranteed at these levels.

On the other hand, that same wizard at 20th has 20 points of resonance. Even if he has 10 points sunk into invested items, that leaves him 10 for consumables. That might hit him if he uses a bunch of utility items over the course of the day (scroll of comprehend languages, etc) but is unlikely to come into play very often.

As a secondary issue, it also creates some weirdness with regards to the value of the charisma attribute. At 1st level, charisma could swing you between 0 to 6 points of resonance, while at 20th it's a swing of 19-30. That's a massive difference at 1st, but at 20th it probably won't matter on most adventuring days.

Yeah, that also feeds into my worries about the change to the metagame. Low levels seem to be very much on the "two encounters per day and you are done" side of things, unless you have a walking healing battery at your side. Forcing players into playing the healbot classes seems a large step back from the good design we have currently which allows more freedom in class choices. I can't tell you how tired some of my players are at having to play the Cleric or the other healing classes (while the rest are completely uninterested in those classes in the first place).


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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

"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."

Then what the hell is the point of having a Resonance Pool!?

I'm not saying it needs to be a super scarce resource or anything, but if it doesnt need to be spent intelligently, its a useless mechanic and a waste to keep track of.

That said, I like the Resonance Points idea, the numbers just need to be recalibrated to actually be a meaningful mechanic.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
dragonhunterq wrote:
thflame wrote:
Alexander_Damocles wrote:

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.

Every had a wizard with a Handy Haversack of Scrolls? What about a party with half a dozen cure light wounds wands that force the GM to make all combats potentially lethal or else they are just wastes of time?
Yes, it's SOP and never been a problem for any players or GMs I've gamed with. This is why resonance really bites, because for everyone vocally complaining about it there are many for whom it just is not, and has never been, a problem. You never complain about the things that aren't a problem

I'm sorry but every person I know who has GMed a game where they allow CLW spam does not like it. It is a problem. But hey Anecdotal evidence means absolutely nothing. We should have a poll or something. Kinda like what's going to happen in the upcoming playtest. Hopefully they have questions related to Resonance vs CLW spam for the GMs.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dire Ursus wrote:
I'm sorry but every person I know who has GMed a game where they allow CLW spam does not like it. It is a problem. But hey Anecdotal evidence means absolutely nothing. We should have a poll or something. Kinda like what's going to happen in the upcoming playtest. Hopefully they have questions related to Resonance vs CLW spam for the GMs.

I am a long-time GM who allows CLW "spam" and I have absolutely no problem with it. It actually has multiple benefits, by making the 15-minute workday problem less noticeable and allows more non-standard adventuring party compositions.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:

Yeah, that also feeds into my worries about the change to the metagame. Low levels seem to be very much on the "two encounters per day and you are done" side of things, unless you have a walking healing battery at your side. Forcing players into playing the healbot classes seems a large step back from the good design we have currently which allows more freedom in class choices. I can't tell you how tired some of my players are at having to play the Cleric or the other healing classes (while the rest are completely uninterested in those classes in the first place).

This argument doesn't make sense to me. How are your players so tired of having to play the Cleric when in 1e you don't NEED a cleric at all. All you need is a wand of CLW?


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Maliloki wrote:

"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."

Then what the hell is the point of having a Resonance Pool!?

Let's see, if you can choose between two mechanics:

"You can use magic items in combat, and they work 100% of the time"
"You can use magic items in combat, but they work only 50% of the time (getting worse by 5% each attempt), wasting your action if they fail"
(and if you Critically Fail that item is shut of from usage attempts for 24h)

Which would you choose?
That is the difference between using RP to use an item, and rolling to see if you can use it without RP.

This does get into my question if one can choose to roll to use an item without RP before actually exhausting your RP pool, in order to keep "reliable" reserve for when you really need items in combat etc.


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Dasrak wrote:
Blog wrote:
you're really unlikely to run out of Resonance Points unless you're using an absurd number of items

This is one of the things that has come to bug me most about resonance, because it seems patently untrue at low levels. A 3rd level wizard with 10 charisma has only 3 points of resonance. If you've got one invested item by that point, that leaves you with enough resonance to use two scrolls per day. In my books that would qualify as very light consumable usage for a longer adventuring day, meaning running out of resonance is all but guaranteed at these levels.

On the other hand, that same wizard at 20th has 20 points of resonance. Even if he has 10 points sunk into invested items, that leaves him 10 for consumables. That might hit him if he uses a bunch of utility items over the course of the day (scroll of comprehend languages, etc) but is unlikely to come into play very often.

As a secondary issue, it also creates some weirdness with regards to the value of the charisma attribute. At 1st level, charisma could swing you between 0 to 6 points of resonance, while at 20th it's a swing of 19-30. That's a massive difference at 1st, but at 20th it probably won't matter on most adventuring days.

If we get stuck with Resonance in the final version, it feels like a better target pool might be half Charisma score + half level. That way people can actually drink potions at low levels. :| While the results around level 20 are basically the same as the current version except a touch more reined in.


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A side thought regarding Resonance: from what I understand, it is supposed to help make Charisma a more important stat for everybody - not just Charisma-based classes like the sorcerer. My problem with that is that I don't really see the Charisma impact. My 14 Charisma monk has 12 RP at level 10. Or only 10 RP if I leave Charisma at 10. Those 2 RP may make a difference sometimes, but it doesn't really seem like that much incentive to increase Charisma for my monk.

What if we change things slightly: all characters have a fixed RP pool (4 + level); and items that can be invested have an investment cost. For example a cloak of elvenkind has invest(2); and a greater cloak of elvenkind has invest(4). When investing, a character's Charisma modifier is a free discount on each investment. So a character with 20 Charisma could invest all items of invest(5) or less without any RP expenditure. While my level 10 monk would need to be a bit pickier and supplement investments with actual RP pool.

Suddenly increasing Charisma can have a big impact on my monk.

This could stretch even further by allowing to only partially pay investment costs; but locking some item abilities behind higher investment amounts. For example, a cloak of elvenkind, invest(2), would grant the ghost sound and stealth bonus with just 1 point invested; but the invisibility requires 2 points.


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dragonhunterq wrote:
This is why resonance really bites, because for everyone vocally complaining about it there are many for whom it just is not, and has never been, a problem.

Consider every game with wholly new mechanics. Those don't depend on previous "complaints", those are simply integral part of the game mechanic. Specific issues with 3.x/P1E are simply not the ultimate metric for P2E. It is completely valid to simply create new mechanics which stand or their own merit. Limits are an inherent part of games, and this mechanic intersects with many others to form what P2E is.

I feel like what they're doing with Resonance allow for more supple game dynamic, which isn't imposing one approach, as the noted in thread they expect max level items to be preferred sometimes for RP efficiency, while other times low level items can be preferred for gold cost efficiency, and everything in between... In fact players changing their approach depending on the situation and what they have at hand influencing them to change their approach.


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I feel like the "won't run out of resonance" is also in reference to how the math works out so that you will need fewer magic items/consumables to do things. Like if the magic healing heals more, you won't need as much of it. If the fighter can leap into the air to stab a flying creature and haul it to the ground via skill feats, he or she won't need a potion of fly every time the party fights something flying. If "using a shield" means you take a lot less damage, then you won't need as much healing period.

So I can't really comment on how "you are unlikely to run out except at low levels" really rings true, since there are still a lot of unknowns.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
Blog wrote:
you're really unlikely to run out of Resonance Points unless you're using an absurd number of items

This is one of the things that has come to bug me most about resonance, because it seems patently untrue at low levels. A 3rd level wizard with 10 charisma has only 3 points of resonance. If you've got one invested item by that point, that leaves you with enough resonance to use two scrolls per day. In my books that would qualify as very light consumable usage for a longer adventuring day, meaning running out of resonance is all but guaranteed at these levels.

On the other hand, that same wizard at 20th has 20 points of resonance. Even if he has 10 points sunk into invested items, that leaves him 10 for consumables. That might hit him if he uses a bunch of utility items over the course of the day (scroll of comprehend languages, etc) but is unlikely to come into play very often.

As a secondary issue, it also creates some weirdness with regards to the value of the charisma attribute. At 1st level, charisma could swing you between 0 to 6 points of resonance, while at 20th it's a swing of 19-30. That's a massive difference at 1st, but at 20th it probably won't matter on most adventuring days.

If we get stuck with Resonance in the final version, it feels like a better target pool might be half Charisma score + half level. That way people can actually drink potions at low levels. :| While the results around level 20 are basically the same as the current version.

I would rather remove charisma from resonance altogether. I know it makes charisma more attractive, but it cause weirdness like the magic item only work if it likes you (I know it can be worded in a different way but). I also don't like that alchemists need a special rule to add his intelligence instead, even though intelligence makes more sense for activating arcane things.


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So, how exactly would this system work with negatively enchanted items? One of my favorite things to craft in PF1e is a Hood of Deafness/Aphasia. Slip it over the dude's head and he has a constant effect of "I can't hear" or "I can't speak or understand language" with the hood itself applying blindness.

Am I correct in assuming that my (effectively, but not literally) cursed items would simply not function because the target wouldn't choose to resonate with it?


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Quandary wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
I also don't like having both Resonance and Spell Points. As I understand it, these are going to compete thematically, no?
Not really. Spell Points is your own inherent magical power (from class, etc). Resonance is for using magical items. The only cross-over is Alchemist which doesn't have Spell Points but has enhanced Resonance to compensate for it, but the whole point there is Alchemist is conceptually about using magical items.

Isn't the Alchemist using alchemical items, which are non-magical?


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Just spit balling here:

What if wands became arcane magic only. Then you can drop wand charges and leave it to resonance pools. The divine have their divine favoured weapons, I don’t think we need to see them holding wands. Staves can still be used for both but keep that max charge or 3 per day.

That leaves healing items to scrolls and potions each still costing a single RP. Make scrolls have level requirements to read so you can price them at points that higher level scrolls are more attractive then lower level scrolls without having to worry about lower level characters buying them. You could even make the scrolls take 2 minutes to read or something to keep them out of combat and keep this kind of healing to “small rests” between combats. That I feel would feel a bit better then the current “I stick you with my low level wand 6 times until you are fully healed”.

Remember the point of the new resonance is that you can’t fully heal between every fight. That’s not designed to lead to shorter days, it’s designed to lead to combats that are less deadly on their own but will stack together to wear a party down. Instead of healing after every fight maybe you only get a few really powerful healing spells so you just heal 2-3 times a day. Changing this behaviour in the players to not waste the healing for very stratch will be tricky and I don’t see how this can be easily balanced between parties with healers and those without.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Forcing players into playing the healbot classes seems a large step back from the good design we have currently which allows more freedom in class choices. I can't tell you how tired some of my players are at having to play the Cleric or the other healing classes (while the rest are completely uninterested in those classes in the first place).

Except that non-class-feature-based healing is an explicit design goal, and has already resulted in at least once sucessful build according to Mark. It seems that this concern is something that needs to wait for the actual playtest doc to judge accurately.

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