Trinkets and Treasures

Monday, June 25, 2018

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

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

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

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Resonance

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cloak of Elvenkind Item 10+

Illusion, Invested, Magical

Method of Use worn, cloak; Bulk L

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


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

Type standard; Level 10; Price 1,000 gp

The cloak grants a +3 bonus.

Type greater; Level 18; Price 24,000 gp

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

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

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

How about something simpler?

Floating Shield Item 13

Magical

Price 2,800 gp

Method of Use held, 1 hand; Bulk L

Activation [[A]] Operate Activation


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

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

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

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

Staves

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

Staff of Healing Item 3+

Invested, Magical, Necromancy, Staff

Method of Use held, 1 hand; Bulk 1

Activation Cast a Spell (1 RP)


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

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

The item bonus to heal spells is +1.

  • stabilize (cantrip)
  • heal (level 1)

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

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

Trinkets

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

Fear Gem Item 4

Consumable, Enchantment, Fear, Magical, Mental, Trinket

Price 11 gp

Method of Use affixed, weapon; Bulk

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


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

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

Now how about a trinket that's less specific?

Vanishing Coin Item 9

Consumable, Illusion, Magical, Trinket

Price 85 gp

Method of Use affixed, armor; Bulk

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

Requirements You are a master in Stealth.


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

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

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

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

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

Logan Bonner
Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
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)

This is half of what I wanted to say. The other part is that for any use or activation of an item/spell/combat feat/whatever, the entire cost should be listed each time. Think Magic card rules; if it requires tapping/mana/sacrificing a creature/whatever, it's listed in the cost side of activation. It took them a while to get to that point, but it really helps clarity. Whether or not a given activation costs resonance should be included every time even if its covered under a more general rule like "cantrips granted by a staff don't cost resonance if you have it invested" because a lot of people are going to forget that.

A side effect of this is that as much as people hate the idea of using symbols for action types, I think using them will (in the long run) be much more clear, as long as there aren't too many and they're fairly distinct. I'm guessing [[F]] is a free action to go with [[A]] as an action. I think you may want to add a resonance symbol to indicate when an action costs resonance, and once you have a resonance symbol (for my post I'll use [[R]] which I realized too late is probably already taken for reactions), one of the "uses" can also be the listing of investiture, so it's always obvious once that's done. Because items are sometimes complicated and can have more than one activation type, it should be removed from the top of the block and moved down to where the effect of the activations are described.

Something like:

Staff of Healing:

STAFF OF HEALING ITEM 3+
Invested, Magical, Necromancy, Staff

Method of Use held, 1 hand; Bulk 1

Made of smooth white wood, this staff is capped at each end with a golden cross adorned with a multitude of ruby cabochons.

Investiture
[[R]]: While invested and held, a staff of healing adds 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.

Activation
spell action costs: Cast stabilize (cantrip)
[[R]], spell action costs: Cast heal (level 1)

Cloak of Elvenkind:

CLOAK OF ELVENKIND ITEM 10+
Illusion, Invested, Magical

Method of Use worn, cloak; Bulk L

This cloak is deep green with a voluminous hood, and is embroidered with gold trim and symbols of significance to the elves.

Investiture
[[R]]: While invested and worn, the cloak allows you to cast the ghost sound cantrip as an innate arcane spell.

Activation
Interact [[A]]: When you draw the hood up over your head, the cloak transforms to match the environment around you and muffles your sounds, giving you an item bonus to Stealth checks.

Focus [[A]], Operate [[A]], [[R]]:
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 to Stealth checks.

Type greater; Level 18; Price 24,000 gp

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

Note that all I did was reorder a little (including separating the flavor text from the mechanics), clear the extra "activation" words, and specify investiture costs as a clear prerequisite (and opened the idea that an item could theoretically require a more complicated investiture cost than just one resonance, like resonance and a two-week wait for a ring of sustenance or something), making the costs for the different activations clear (and added the resonance icon, which I'm sure a bunch of people will hate, but is worth adding if actions are worth adding them).

I'm not at all clear from the text if the +1 heal bonus on the staff costs resonance for each use, even when not using the staff's charges to cast, so I assumed it didn't. I guess Logan confirmed that later. I could have easily added a clear "[[R]]: Add item bonus to a single heal spell you cast this turn using your own spell slots, using charges from the staff, or from channel energy." The lack of an action in the cost would make it clear that wasn't an action, but a [[F]] could be added if it needed to be a free action for some reason. It would make it seem to be stackable, which could be repeated on a single cast, I guess, but since it costs resonance to do so probably is pretty sub-obtimal.

Bonus simple items, to show the same format:

Fear Gem:

FEAR GEM ITEM 4
Consumable, Enchantment, Fear, Magical, Mental, Trinket

Price 11 gp
Method of Use affixed, weapon; Bulk

Dark smoke seems to writhe within this obsidian gem.

Activation
Focus [[F]], [[R]], use Intimidating Strike (but haven't rolled for the attack yet): 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.

Vanishing Coin:

VANISHING COIN ITEM 9
Consumable, Illusion, Magical, Trinket

Price 85 gp
Method of Use affixed, armor; Bulk
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.

Activation
Focus [[F]], attempt a Stealth check for initiative (but haven't rolled yet): You gain the benefits of a 2nd-level invisibility spell until the end of your next turn.


While I think the "Trigger" description is probably fine and I did not find it to be confusing on the vanishing coin, putting weird conditionals into the activation costs is also pretty clear and has worked fine for M:tG for years and years. It's not any less confusing down in the stat block, and items with multiple uses with differing costs like the cloak of elvenkind become much more clear.

I guess I'd also consider moving the invested tag word to the Method of use section, so it is more clear that all activation requires prior investiture, but that is general enough of a rule that I don't think anyone will get confused on an item that specifically lists the investiture cost. Same for recharging staves via investiture being too general to list in each item.

Also, I think it's really telling that this is very close to the format Cellion posted on page 3. Like, really, really close, and makes me wish I'd actually read that post before spending 30+ minutes writing mine. There are some minor differences of some formatting of the actions and my addition of a new symbol instead of "1 RP" which would also be fine. I think a subtle but important difference is that when an item just gives the ability to cast a spell normally, I didn't list the action types of that spell so anything that modifies it would not be weirdly limited by the specific item's version specifying its own activation actions. For the cloak, it specifies that you can cast it rather than counting it as an activation, but since the staff lists multiple spells (and higher level versions will have more yet) I just noted that it takes the typical actions to cast the spell in the activation cost.

Shadow Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I must agree with Arachnofiend here. Trinkets should be consumed only after a successful use, not an activation. I'd be OK with the item if I could use it again and again until successful, but risking 11gp (110gp on the old pf1 scale) on a potential miss is harsh.

The coin doesn't suffer this drawback because it not dependent on a "hot or miss" roll

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber
BretI wrote:

As a GM who currently runs both Pathfinder and Starfinder, please don’t use RP for Resonance Points! I will want to switch back and forth between the systems and having two very different things both be RP in the stat blocks.

People learn to focus on different things when skimming information. This works great when things are consistent. At least for me, it will make it harder to skim as I have to switch between Starfinder and Pathfinder 2 modes.

Holy heck, yes!

I don’t want to have to deal with explaing the following meanings of RP to new players who are switching back and forth between systems at our venue:

  • Resonance Points
  • Resolve Points
  • Roleplay

    Please, diversify this, or my GM Sanity will be forced to R.I.P.

  • Shadow Lodge

    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

    I find the wording on the items, as stated by others, a little unclear, especially the cloak. This may be because this is an incomplete excerpt(?) from the items section, or perhaps because designers know what they intend and so read the extra information into the description - I know I do this a lot when I'm writing my own stuff.
    I also fing the number of actions types is becoming a little overwhelming, execially since every one of them appears to have action ot activation or similar added to the end of each.

    Perhaps we can clarify the description a bit? For example I've added dome bold to show my understanding(?) and doesn't seem to take up that much more room.

    I don't know that the invest action icon is needed since this isn't really an action, nor do I think the icons are needed in the description but they wouldn't be too invasive as icons. EDIT: I think they woudl atually help in the descriptions to focus when and where actions are needed in their use.

    CLOAK OF ELVENKIND ITEM 10+

    Illusion, Invested, Magical

    Method of Use: worn, cloak; Bulk L

    Actions utilized: [[A]] Interact, [[A]] Activate

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

    Type standard; Level 10; Price 1,000 gp

    The cloak grants a +3 item bonus to stealth.

    Type greater; Level 18; Price 24,000 gp

    The cloak grants a +5 item bonus to stealth, and invisibility is heightend to 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.


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    On a larger point, I know it irritates people to compare 2E to D&D 5E, so I won't go there.

    What I WILL say is, the reason I gave a hard pass on 5E was because they wanted to make magic items "rare and powerful" and no one could get a magic ring or sword before around 5th level. 5E is sitting right there any time someone want to play a low-magic tabletop game where magic items "unique." However, I far prefer Pathfinder, and one of the main reasons is when someone casts Detect Magic on me, by 4th level I should light up like the Xmas Tree of that one house on the neighborhood everyone else hates.

    To be fair, there's actually a lot to like here. I think trinkets are cool, martial-focused consumables sound awesome. I also like the changes being made to staves.

    But you guys need to ditch this resonance system. And frankly, the underlying assumption that out-of-combat healing should be "hard" needs to be ditched as well. Wands of Cure Light Wounds have made Pathfinder faster, funner, and without them the martial/caster disparity would be way worse than it is.


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    So...hey let's get rid of 'The Big Six' so you can have interesting items...and than they come up with a system that limits you more that the Big Six ever did...though...maybe not. Since you gain more Resonance as you level up...it might not be as bad as Starfinder did...or the 'other game'

    But not related to magic items...does it really cost a action to use a shield now?...that is just stupid.


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    I actually quite dig the concept of Resonance, and during the playtest I'll try it as written.

    But if it goes to live unchanged I will 100% be house ruling it. Making magic item use dependent on Charisma automatically makes any non-Charisma class MAD (or even more MAD).

    It seems to make much more sense to make it primary-attribute-dependent, similar to Starfinder's RP.

    Sovereign Court

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
    Hmm wrote:
    eddv wrote:
    I would make a comment on this post, but I have already made 6 posts using my cell phone today and lack the RP to use my phone again.
    Well, there goes my posting!

    I'm sure you have tons of resonance to spare. ^_^

    Shadow Lodge

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    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

    There is some great stuff here, and I'm not at all opposed to resonance. Sure it limits items, but I feel that the game really does need that. I'm also not certain it does really limit your items. My level 11 CHA 10 archer has about 9 items on him now - weapons x2, armour and shield, belt, headband, ioun stone, cape, two rings. Under resonance he could till have those and 2 more.

    Whats potentially bad is the idea of potions utilizing resonance - I don't like that and suspect that will be unnecessarily limiting.

    I am also opposed to items that double dip - like the staff that requires 1RP to invest, then 1RP every time its used. Perhaps 1RP to invest and charge it, then use the charges. Why the added RP cost every time you use it? Staffs can be limited simply by careful design and spell availability, or at worst by increasing the cost to invest more powerful staves.

    Trinkets are a nice addition but they are very expensive for one off items, unless of course potions and scrolls are similarly priced, if that's the case then there really isn't an issue, just a readjustment in how I think about them.

    Grand Lodge

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    Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

    More thoughts:

    I think the biggest problem with the Resonance System so far is that you guys have not explained it well.

    I think that when we’re all actually playing it, we’ll pick this whole system up really quickly. But right now we’re spending too much energy parsing what you wrote.

    I know I am still somewhat confused, and this is after getting a chance to play with 2E a bit at the delve at PaizoCon. Confused people tend to get frustrated and then annoyed, and they’ll decide that they dislike resonance before they even try it.

    TL / DR:

  • Paizo Friends — Please rewrite this in a step-by-step example of how we use all these items in and out of combat with resonance. It’s our first real exposure, give us baby steps!

  • Fellow Playtesters — This is all so foreign to us, none of us can see how or even if it balances. So let’s playtest the HECK out of this. Kick the tires. See if it works. Then fill out our feedback and let the team know!

    Hmm

  • Sovereign Court

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
    WatersLethe wrote:

    One of the main reasons Resonance is so appalling to me is that it mucks about with one of the foundational aspects of D&D: getting and using loot.

    Acquiring and using loot should be as smooth and intuitive as possible, because it's one of the most viscerally satisfying aspects of the game that can be appreciated in simple kick down the door dungeon dives as well as political espionage campaigns.

    I *really* don't want resonance to come between me and those juicy potions I just found in the evil wizard's lair. I don't want to kick open a treasure chest and find the mythical Feathered Wings of Aezenor, only to stop and wonder if I've got the resonance to put them on.

    You think not being able to wear more than two rings is upsetting? How about not wearing your brand new Evensong Bracers because you're on a ship and worried you might need to drink one or two water breathing potions?

    Also, what GM hasn't given out potions at first level? A 10 cha first level character can only drink one potion, or do a coin toss with an expensive magic item at stake.

    It sounds to me like the only way for the claim that Resonance limits aren't going to be hit is if low levels are forced into being low magic. In PF1e I am certainly not shy about handing out potions and scrolls at lower levels to give them some versatility and lessen the chances of a TPK.

    I'd be right there with you... if Pathfinder's magic items were based on looting. But they're based on purchasing: the idea that every item has a price you can spend to acquire it, and that successful allocation of funds is as much a part of your build as what feats you take. So they have to be balanced as such.

    (I kinda wish it was more like that! Every table I've been at has been "the Feathered Wings of Aezenor? How much do they sell for? I wanna get another plus on my weapon!" I guess there's always 5e.)


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    Having abilities that key off investing in an item and abilities that key off on using resonance are confusing as heck and make the game much more complicated rather than simpler. I can use item X 10 times per day and item Y 50 times in total is much simpler then I can use item X if I invest in it and item Y if I spend a resonance point.

    This isn't a "learn once and apply to all scenarios" case. This is a "learn twice and apply each distinct mechanic in very similar scenarios". I'm not even touching the magic item where both mechanics are used for different benefits. Simply having the two mechanics is confusing enough.

    It also punishes martial characters who have to invest in a bow and a sword vs spellcasters who get to invest in an arcane focus. Or do weapons work without investing? Because that'd be even more confusing. This item works when you invest in it each day, this item works when you spend resonance upon activation, this item just works. Good luck remembering which is which vs this is at-will, this is 10 times per day and this is 50 times in total.

    Sovereign Court

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

    Anyway, I generally like resonance. Could use some tweaking, but that's always the way. I look forward to playtesting it in this new system. ^_^


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    Quandary wrote:
    Sure, it basically is unique rule for Potions that they are consumed regardless of non-activation, changing it just is rule that they aren't consumed if they aren't activated. Personally, I'm not sure if "chance of wasting Potion if failing the activation check" is the worst thing in the world, after all Mishaps were a thing in 3.x/P1E when using scrolls/UMD, so it's not some alien concept in general terms.

    Ooh, could we bring back Potion Miscibility tables for people who drink potions on 0 resonance and fail? I always enjoyed those.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
    Hmm wrote:
  • Paizo Friends — Please rewrite this in a step-by-step example of how we use all these items in and out of combat with resonance.
  • I think that happens on August 1st.

    In all seriousness though, it's a good point and I think a lot of the confusion is that it's not explained badly so much as not the way the rulebook will explain it. The blogposts require a little extra interpretation to make the stat blocks and whatnot actually make sense, because in the real book they assume you've read (or can read) the intro to the section explaining them.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
    John Lynch 106 wrote:
    Or do weapons work without investing? Because that'd be even more confusing. This item works when you invest in it each day, this item works when you spend resonance upon activation, this item just works. Good luck remembering which is which vs this is at-will, this is 10 times per day and this is 50 times in total.

    Pretty sure weapons don't require investing. And I agree remembering all of that sounds like a pain. Rather than remember, I think the investiture/activation costs should just include everything every time, which I outlined in my long post above.

    Edit: Also, items do already list whether or not they require investiture in their stat block, so that part isn't so bad, but it's messier when it's unclear when you get a thing just for investing and when it requires an additional resonance point to activate.


    RicoTheBold wrote:
    Hmm wrote:
  • Paizo Friends — Please rewrite this in a step-by-step example of how we use all these items in and out of combat with resonance.
  • It's a good point and I think a lot of the confusion is that it's not explained badly so much as not the way the rulebook will explain it.

    I think the various "re-formatting" of item stat-blocks also fit into this, in that the presentation of them can be "ergonomically" designed to better translate into direct usage of that information. Not just the item stat-blocks, but also character sheets and inventories could very well have areas designed exactly to highlight the important info like charges, RP/action cost, etc. That is where "icons" are likely most relevant (I dislike them inserted in middle of prose, and prefer stuff like "action" to simply be written out where there is space for it, I don't think fluent English readers spend much more time on that than identifying an icon/glyph).


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
    Quandary wrote:
    RicoTheBold wrote:
    It's a good point and I think a lot of the confusion is that it's not explained badly so much as not the way the rulebook will explain it.
    I think the various "re-formatting" of item stat-blocks also fit into this, in that the presentation of them can be "ergonomically" designed to better translate into direct usage of that information. Not just the item stat-blocks, but also character sheets and inventories could very well have areas designed exactly to highlight the important info like charges, RP/action cost, etc. That is where "icons" are likely most relevant (I dislike them inserted in middle of prose, and prefer stuff like "action" to simply be written out where there is space for it, I don't think fluent English readers spend much more time on that than identifying an icon/glyph).

    Agreed as well, as one of the "reformatters" at the top of the page (even so far as to recommend adding a resonance cost icon), taking/recommending an approach similar to Magic the Gathering, which has already spent years figuring out how to codify these things in as few words/symbols as possible with minimal confusion.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

    If that is the description of the Staff of Healing, it is going to be very confusing.

    Does it add +1 hit point? Does it add +1 spell level meaning it allows a caster to cast a higher-level spell than normal (thus a 1st level Cleric can use it to do 2nd level Heal spells - which again you're getting into confusing territory here and spells should be called something else like Spell Tiers)? Believe it or not, trying to restrict page counts by eliminating examples can be a bad idea because you're going to have players who don't know what this is talking about and end up sending multiple queries to the Q&A forums insisting on answers and getting upset when there's no immediate response.

    Include. Examples. It's the best way to deal with this. Even if all you do is an initial example for the Staff section, it will still help! And if a staff does something unique, you need to spell that out!

    Further, Resonance remains confusing. How much Resonance do we get? I honestly didn't see it spelled out. Just that you didn't want to have too much or too little. Do you need to use Resonance each time you want to activate the Staff or other magic item? Under what circumstances is Resonance used?

    Do some creatures not HAVE resonance? For instance, if you have Magic Resistance, does that come at a price of not having Resonance? If a Wizard utilizes a device to grant themselves Magic Resistance, does that drain their Resonance pool in that case? What other benefits does Resonance give? Could you utilize Resonance in a Magic Dead zone or magic-suppression field to allow your magic item to still function?

    What else can you tell us about this?


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    Am I the only one who thinks PF is being turned into a video game? It seems like everything that's been posted over the past month or so is making the game more complex with loads more to remember.


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    Tangent101 wrote:
    How much Resonance do we get? I honestly didn't see it spelled out.

    4th Paragraph

    Quote:
    Your innate magic item resonance is represented by a number of Resonance Points equal to your level plus your Charisma modifier.


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    So one of my big "issues" with this new RP system is that it hampers/removes the most cost effective way of healing between combat/down time or what is now called exploration mode. Before, after you get your first deposit of dosh the best cost effective healing item is Wand of CLW. You don't even need higher level wands. It has enough charges to top you off between fights. Do you have at least one person that can cast CLW? Boom don't even need UMD. Every party member, if they had extra dosh, could get their own and just let the party healer use it on them. Then the party healer could better use their spell slots for more utility spells, buff spells, etc.

    Was this method too "Overpowered"? I feel like it was not that OP. It freed up spell slots and allowed more spells to be used. It also meant that you can stay out in the field longer and not have to stop. Can any DEVS or Mark comment on this? Was this tactic something you wanted to remove in the new system or can you replicate this healing method?

    Also can other people comment on this? Was this method/tactic ok or too OP?


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    Tangent101 wrote:
    How much Resonance do we get? I honestly didn't see it spelled out.

    4th Paragraph

    Quote:
    Your innate magic item resonance is represented by a number of Resonance Points equal to your level plus your Charisma modifier.

    Thanks, that was easy to miss.

    To be honest, I thought it might be something akin to that. But I didn't want to assume. Paizo probably should have bolded that point or had it be the very first sentence. Otherwise it gets lost in the shuffle.

    Grand Lodge

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    Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber
    Kalindlara wrote:
    Hmm wrote:
    eddv wrote:
    I would make a comment on this post, but I have already made 6 posts using my cell phone today and lack the RP to use my phone again.
    Well, there goes my posting!
    I'm sure you have tons of resonance to spare. ^_^

    Heh. You’re right, I do.

    It’s hard to transfer yourself into game terms, but even if I postulate myself as a low-level bard I’d have some resonance to spare!

    Hmm


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    Personally i love the resonance system. The idea of adventuring with a dozen CLW wands to heal between fights always reminded me of the "Potion 99" in a FF game, but there was no actual incentive (or in-world reason) to play other way.

    Now that i think about it, the short rest mechanic was a great idea of 4E (among others). You didn't need to carry a lot of consumables, the adventuring day was neither 15 minutes or all day long, and it wasn't magic dependable.

    4E also had a clearer writing of it's magic items, there was no way you could be mistaken of what an item did.

    And most classes where SAD...

    And... Now that i think of it, i wish someone had made a 4.75E


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    RicoTheBold wrote:
    Pretty sure weapons don't require investing. And I agree remembering all of that sounds like a pain.
    Yup. So we've gone from
    Pathfinder 1 wrote:

    Unless otherwise specified all items just work when used/worn.

    Some items like wands, wondrous items, staves and rods can be used X times per day, while other items like potions, scrolls and wands can be used X times in total before no longer being magical.

    to
    Pathfinder 2 wrote:

    Worn items require you to invest in them to work at all.

    Held items such as swords simply work, while held items like staves require you to spend resonance points.

    Potions and scrolls require resonance when used and are then no longer able to be used at all.

    Some items require both investing and resonance use.

    Is that the size of it? Does anyone feel I've misrepresented one side or the other? Because PF2 definitely seems complicated then PF1.


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    Jim Helbron wrote:
    Am I the only one who thinks PF is being turned into a video game? It seems like everything that's been posted over the past month or so is making the game more complex with loads more to remember.

    uhhh nope, pretty sure the difference between a video game and a tabletop game is the video and tabletop part.

    also pretty sure I'm still allowed to decide what my character does, and engage in other players with acting skills.

    If you mean because they added a roleplaying connection between the source of energy powering magical artifacts, and the requirement that i attune my will to its abilities. That all sounds like more roleplaying meat as opposed to "magic just works don't ask questions" which feels more video games style


    Canta wrote:
    Now that i think of it, i wish someone had made a 4.75E

    Stick around. You just might be in luck!

    (kidding. kidding. But seriously, stick around and you'll probably find a lot of the things you enjoyed making a return).


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    42nfl19 wrote:

    So one of my big "issues" with this new RP system is that it hampers/removes the most cost effective way of healing between combat/down time or what is now called exploration mode. Before, after you get your first deposit of dosh the best cost effective healing item is Wand of CLW. You don't even need higher level wands. It has enough charges to top you off between fights. Do you have at least one person that can cast CLW? Boom don't even need UMD. Every party member, if they had extra dosh, could get their own and just let the party healer use it on them. Then the party healer could better use their spell slots for more utility spells, buff spells, etc.

    Was this method too "Overpowered"? I feel like it was not that OP. It freed up spell slots and allowed more spells to be used. It also meant that you can stay out in the field longer and not have to stop. Can any DEVS or Mark comment on this? Was this tactic something you wanted to remove in the new system or can you replicate this healing method?

    Also can other people comment on this? Was this method/tactic ok or too OP?

    OP? Not really, but it was one of the biggest mechanics-narrative breaks for me. I don't mistake Golarion for a low magic setting, but it bugs me a lot with the "Every town of a reasonable size, by RAW will have a high chance of having a wand of CLW at any time" and "I'm going to just cast the same low level CLW spell from a wand 7 times to get one person back to full"

    I want to see the mechanical effects of the old system without the fractures in the narrative that I saw in 1e. I don't know that this system does it, but I think it gets closer to what I want to see in fixing this issue.


    So a few comments:
    1. I agree with everyone that naming these actions just complicates the system. State it's two actions, and indicate, generally, what those are in the description. Classifying them is unnecessary unless you're tying a mechanic to it (such as with spells).
    2. I don't mind keeping track of "charges" on staves, but kinda agree with others that this feels unnecessary with wands, particularly if they're going to come with 50 charges. Either have a bulk scroll rate (and use the same mechanic) or just let wands have unlimited use that consumes resonance (and requires investiture, probably).
    3. Please *please* avoid the pressure of delaying purchases in a disposable item economy and allow easy upgrading between Tiers of these items.


    I wrote:

    Staff of Healing:

    Somebody noted issue of casting own already Prep'd/Known Heals [and RP cost], but IMHO even if you didn't already Know the spell
    if you are using own slots that shouldn't cost more RP, the benefit of "Knowing" Heal should fall under Investiture.

    Related to this, I would guess stuff like Pages of Spell Knowledge would now require Investiture. I think that's cool, if you wanted to, it was easy to go over-board in P1E at high levels especially with low-level Spells Known. Maybe not the most problematic overpowered thing you can do, but more than reasonable to regulate.

    I do wonder if that opens design space for "Double Sided Pages" (or Triple etc) which could include additional lower level Spells Known. Something like custom +4/+2 multi-stat booster items in 3.x/P1E. Lower Spell Level limit on secondaries would limit it's power, and that would of course be at price premium in exchange for RP efficiency you get. (Sorcerors of course have least RP concerns of anybody, but it seems there will be high level items that use more than 1 RP, so no shame in being cheap)


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    42nfl19 wrote:

    So one of my big "issues" with this new RP system is that it hampers/removes the most cost effective way of healing between combat/down time or what is now called exploration mode. Before, after you get your first deposit of dosh the best cost effective healing item is Wand of CLW. You don't even need higher level wands. It has enough charges to top you off between fights. Do you have at least one person that can cast CLW? Boom don't even need UMD. Every party member, if they had extra dosh, could get their own and just let the party healer use it on them. Then the party healer could better use their spell slots for more utility spells, buff spells, etc.

    Was this method too "Overpowered"? I feel like it was not that OP. It freed up spell slots and allowed more spells to be used. It also meant that you can stay out in the field longer and not have to stop. Can any DEVS or Mark comment on this? Was this tactic something you wanted to remove in the new system or can you replicate this healing method?

    Also can other people comment on this? Was this method/tactic ok or too OP?

    Effectively limitless healing is overpowered, yeah. It means its impossible to wear down the party with attrition; the only way to make an adventuring day meaningfully dangerous is with enemies that can take party members down from full to zero, or otherwise instagib characters with save or dies. I think the intention is that in PF2 you aren't supposed to always be operating at full health.

    Sovereign Court

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

    I never liked the cheap wand spam approach, personally. I understood why it happened in PF1, but... meh. It felt unimmersive and cheapened both magic and healing.

    Hopefully damage will be pared down enough, especially a few levels in, that most people don't feel it absolutely necessary to be at maximum hit points before starting any battle.


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    42nfl19 wrote:

    So one of my big "issues" with this new RP system is that it hampers/removes the most cost effective way of healing between combat/down time or what is now called exploration mode. Before, after you get your first deposit of dosh the best cost effective healing item is Wand of CLW. You don't even need higher level wands. It has enough charges to top you off between fights. Do you have at least one person that can cast CLW? Boom don't even need UMD. Every party member, if they had extra dosh, could get their own and just let the party healer use it on them. Then the party healer could better use their spell slots for more utility spells, buff spells, etc.

    Was this method too "Overpowered"? I feel like it was not that OP. It freed up spell slots and allowed more spells to be used. It also meant that you can stay out in the field longer and not have to stop. Can any DEVS or Mark comment on this? Was this tactic something you wanted to remove in the new system or can you replicate this healing method?

    Also can other people comment on this? Was this method/tactic ok or too OP?

    Our entire table basically runs on Cure Light Wounds wands right now. Last campaign (Jade Regent) had four different wands of Cure Light Wounds when they were level 14, and class abilities (and higher level spells) aren't actually used unless it's urgent because any HP damage can be fixed through more wand charges.

    The limiting factor in our games is really how many level 1 wands we have, and literally the minute that ran out in the Iron Gods campaign (since they had no divine casters, so they were running off UMD), the party made that their stopping point.

    So yes, I personally feel it makes things significantly less interesting.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
    Jim Helbron wrote:
    Am I the only one who thinks PF is being turned into a video game? It seems like everything that's been posted over the past month or so is making the game more complex with loads more to remember.

    Lots of people have expressed that sentiment, or the similarly-tinged "turned into 4E" one.

    I don't think it's the complexity that's the problem, because it's just different complexity.

    There's the feeling of "gamification" where the rules are being bent more to fit the balance, and I certainly understand that sentiment (and it's one of the big reasons I switched to Pathfinder at launch).

    But...I've been playing 3.x/PF for about 20 years, and the main things I liked about them over the years is the class structure and level-based power scaling, with an attempt at balance, and a huge amount of customization options. That's the video game part and the complexity right there, baked into the whole thing.

    I appreciate that they're tuning the balance to make it simpler and better to be effective and reining in the weird edge-case builds of the optimizers. If that means learning new resonance rules and explaining those to players who are slower to learn systems, the actual benefits of a better-playing, more balanced game are worth it to me. There are already large sections of the rules that none of my players actually know or understand because they're a huge mess of complexity, and that's where PF2 seems to help. I'll gladly change those for the new resonance complexity, which at least helps me balance my encounters. The biggest issue I see with resonance so far is the lack of clarity on when exactly it comes up, and that's addressable with better activation cost descriptions.


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    I think RP is going to be a problem.

    The low level party where they can't each buy a wand of CLW and let the available caster wield them all greatly limits the healing available and functionally forces someone back into the healbot role.

    The low level wizard won't be able to buy a Wand of MM and at least plink away for 2-5 damage when he can't do anything better, and no one better recommend a light crossbow.

    In the mid levels, between 5 and 10, some PC's will have enough items worn and stuff they need to activate that I think they will be up against the limit all the time.

    I get that this is an attempt to constrain wealth by level but it feels forced. Let each GM make that decision for his campaign.


    Tangent101 wrote:
    If that is the description of the Staff of Healing, it is going to be very confusing. Does it add +1 hit point? Does it add +1 spell level...

    The stat block prose reads:

    "adds an item bonus to the Hit Points you restore any time you cast the heal spell...

    ...The item bonus to heal spells is +1."

    The numeric bonus changes depending on item level. The item doesn't seem fully statted out, because if it was intended to cover all level versions it should list the costs and item levels for those, which could be listed directly adjacent to relevant item bonus size (and additional spells which Mark mentions in Blog outside of item stat-block). If they don't want unified multi-level item entry, then I don't see reason to include generalized "adds an item bonus" rule, it could just say "adds +1 to the Hit Points" (or whatever # appropriate to that level tier).


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    Jessex wrote:
    The low level wizard won't be able to buy a Wand of MM and at least plink away for 2-5 damage when he can't do anything better, and no one better recommend a light crossbow.

    The low level wizard has cantrips that meaningfully contribute, now.


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    John Lynch 106 wrote:
    Canta wrote:
    Now that i think of it, i wish someone had made a 4.75E

    Stick around. You just might be in luck!

    (kidding. kidding. But seriously, stick around and you'll probably find a lot of the things you enjoyed making a return).

    Thank you for your insight - I'm glad you finally felt able to express this for the first time.

    I look forward to receiving my special John Lynch 106 edition of the PF2 Rulebook, which I understand will be a 4e Player's Handbook with a Pathfinder dust jacket on it.

    Sovereign Court

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
    Jessex wrote:
    The low level party where they can't each buy a wand of CLW and let the available caster wield them...

    Outside of PFS, I don't think I've ever seen a consistent party with this degree of selfishness. Usually, healing resources are purchased communally. Are my groups just weird?


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    42nfl19 wrote:

    So one of my big "issues" with this new RP system is that it hampers/removes the most cost effective way of healing between combat/down time or what is now called exploration mode. Before, after you get your first deposit of dosh the best cost effective healing item is Wand of CLW. You don't even need higher level wands. It has enough charges to top you off between fights. Do you have at least one person that can cast CLW? Boom don't even need UMD. Every party member, if they had extra dosh, could get their own and just let the party healer use it on them. Then the party healer could better use their spell slots for more utility spells, buff spells, etc.

    Was this method too "Overpowered"? I feel like it was not that OP. It freed up spell slots and allowed more spells to be used. It also meant that you can stay out in the field longer and not have to stop. Can any DEVS or Mark comment on this? Was this tactic something you wanted to remove in the new system or can you replicate this healing method?

    Also can other people comment on this? Was this method/tactic ok or too OP?

    Nope, you nailed it. My party finally bought up a wand of CLW and a wand of infernal healing, and now our bard and oracle can actually use their spell slots in fights instead of having to hold on to them in case we need between-fight healing.

    I get that there are certain players who love being a pure healer, and that's awesome! I've played with people like that, you don't need to spend charges from your own wand of CLW and they keep you alive and keep you going between fights. But the vast majority of players want to be more than just a heal-bot.

    If they want to borrow a bunch of ideas from Starfinder, I don't know why they don't just do stamina on top of hit points, then they can get rid of healing as much as they want.


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    I love how everything is so cheap <3 Does this mean that Paizo have tried to work out a more viable/usable in-game economy? :)

    I think that the different types of actions should be distinctly clarified, because there might be ways in the game to take advantage of, or to deny people, certain actions. Paralyzed creatures probably can't use Command or Operate Activation Actions, because they can't speak or move, but can use Focus Activation Actions. However, I do feel that these three different types of Activation could be getting into the realms of overkill just in length...

    In game, I suspect I will shorten it when speaking to my players, to either "spend 2 actions to use" or "it uses one command and one focus action to activate" if there is a special reason why the different activation options are separate. Because there is only so long I want to spend spelling out action names to people mid-combat.

    That said, there are a lot of terms even in PF1 that I never use in full; 'attack of opportunity' is almost always an 'AO', for example. We've got a few cumbersome terms in D&D already – having to stop to explain to new players how free actions work takes a fair bit longer than explaining that a Command, Focus and Operate Activations each consume one action. It's just that "free action" happens to roll off the tongue better than "Operate Activation Action" ;)


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    quillblade wrote:
    I love how everything is so cheap <3 Does this mean that Paizo have tried to work out a more viable/usable in-game economy? :)

    The economy runs on silver now, so everything is actually 10x more expensive than you think it is.


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    I'm really not sure why the confusing block was used. There are so many other ways that you can format it that would be clearer. Even presuming that Invested is the standard term required for all things that require 1 RP investment, you can easily get something like this:

    CLOAK OF ELVENKIND ITEM 10+
    Illusion, Invested, Magical
    Method of Use worn, cloak; Bulk L
    ---
    This cloak is deep green with a voluminous hood, and is embroidered with gold trim and symbols of significance to the elves. 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.

    Activation [[A]] Focus, [[A]] Operate (1 RP): 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.

    -------

    Even minimal changes would help for clarity's sake. Every time a resonance cost is required, it needs to be clearly noted (as it is on staves).


    I like a new system to explore, and magic is a complex area not matter what. I'm interested in the new 'go for higher, because it's a better Resonance use', so pcs aren't running around with 56 Healing wands.

    Plus I just ran a level 20 session (yay celebrate the fun of 1st Ed while we can, like) and it's nuts the amount you have to keep track of. As a GM, it's impossible, if you're the kind who remembers/reminds the players of a lot of stuff. Even as a player, remembering 1 item means you forget another 9 you've got!

    This was 20s built on the spot though, not levelled up from level 1, whom I imagine would be much easier to remember.

    My point is I look forward to the magic and resonance and all the new jazz, and think that nonmagicians GETTING magic specially for them is great.

    Mild concern that all the different 'activation costs' will simply MOVE where the complexity of Standard, move, swift etc actions have gone, so combat is easier but now magic is harder. That was one system of understanding for spells/fighting, but now those two things are split.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Nthing the sentiment that the Cloak of Elvenkind stat block is an *absolute mess.* Even with further clarification in the blog text afterwards, and a lot of discussion in the forum posts, I still have trouble parsing what actions and resource expenditures are required for what there.

    I also don't think the blog really brought any new information or significant clarifications to the table, to its detriment.

    I think I more or less like the idea of investing, at least in concept, though I'd honestly prefer to go farther with it--not only as a semi-replacement for body slots, but actually put the cited Occultist inspiration to use, decouple item power from gold to a certain degree, and have items scale based on how much is invested in them.

    Alternately, I woulc be more or less all right with resonance as a means of limiting daily consumable use to some degree, but leaving more permanent items untouched. But I feel like combining both goals is a bit of a mess.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
    John Lynch 106 wrote:
    RicoTheBold wrote:
    Pretty sure weapons don't require investing. And I agree remembering all of that sounds like a pain.
    Yup. So we've gone from
    Pathfinder 1 wrote:

    Unless otherwise specified all items just work when used/worn.

    Some items like wands, wondrous items, staves and rods can be used X times per day, while other items like potions, scrolls and wands can be used X times in total before no longer being magical.

    to
    Pathfinder 2 wrote:

    Worn items require you to invest in them to work at all.

    Held items such as swords simply work, while held items like staves require you to spend resonance points.

    Potions and scrolls require resonance when used and are then no longer able to be used at all.

    Some items require both investing and resonance use.

    Is that the size of it? Does anyone feel I've misrepresented one side or the other? Because PF2 definitely seems complicated then PF1.

    Oh, man. What if a staff is used as a weapon? It's enchanting a shield as armor/weapon all over again.

    Other than that, I think it's just the unfamiliarity and the fact we haven't read the full rules that make it seem so complex.

    I actually like investiture, because it solves the "pass the extra x magic items around because I ran out of resonance" problem, which otherwise comes up when you remove all the various rounds/day limits. I feel like wands are kind of sad/messy now, but really like the staff/charge option. If that was the wand mechanic, it'd be pretty cool. I feel like wands or scrolls share too much functionality now and basically one of them should end up with belts/headbands on the obsolete list or be replaced with something more interesting like potions were. Changing wands to be something more like a Harry Potter flavor where they are useful for casting spells you know would be neat, but I don't know what that would be. Another option would be to replace the "page of spell knowledge" type of things with a wand, which I guess is still just a weak staff, unless it doesn't require an extra resonance to cast the spell (which I *think* a staff does, even if you give up a spell slot). That might be too powerful, and I know that there's was mention of some plan for that type of functionality that presumably isn't a wand though.


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    quillblade wrote:

    I love how everything is so cheap <3 Does this mean that Paizo have tried to work out a more viable/usable in-game economy? :)

    Everything isn't cheap, keep in mind the standard got changed to silver. So everything that costs 1 GP in PF2 is equivalent to 10 GP in PF1.

    So for example, the Cloak of Elvenkind is 10,000 GP in PF1 money.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Jessex wrote:
    The low level party where they can't each buy a wand of CLW and let the available caster wield them all greatly limits the healing available and functionally forces someone back into the healbot role.

    OK, like the caster playing with everybody's wands isn't forcing them into a role?

    Quote:
    The low level wizard won't be able to buy a Wand of MM and at least plink away for 2-5 damage when he can't do anything better, and no one better recommend a light crossbow.

    Since they CAN always do better than that with cantrips... Yup.

    Quote:
    In the mid levels, between 5 and 10, some PC's will have enough items worn and stuff they need to activate that I think they will be up against the limit all the time.

    "Up against the limit" meaning... After they hit 0 RP, they can roll to use items without RP starting at 50% chance per attempt. I'm pretty sure a group of 4 PC's can reliably drain multiple wands dry just using that 0-RP-cost mechanic. It will just take longer since there is failure chance for each activation, but Crit failures are rare until you've done a decent number of activations that way. (and the 'multiple wand inventory' tactic still applies, just forcing the Critical Failer PC to switch to new Heal wand, or have other PC take over the wand THEY can't use for the rest of day)

    I do think it's fair to say that giving example of characters using this mechanic would be advisable for Paizo. Something like...
    "The entire party's Resonance was drained to nothing after relying on their magical arsenal to get thru the day's battles, but with the throne-room locked and secured, they had enough time to try their hand at the Heal wand anyways. Healing most of his wounds until his attempts at coaxing more magic out of the wand finally lost all potency, Jingo the Juggler had to pass the wand to Olof the Orc who finished healing Jingo to full health. Melkor and Malkor the Barbarian twins decided that since they were only lightly wounded, they preferred to not completely exhaust their ability to use magic, leaving them some chance to use the Ghost Touch wand if the wraiths returned during the night, as in the morning everybody would be refreshed and able to easily use the Heal wand once again".

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