Trinkets and Treasures

Monday, June 25, 2018

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

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

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

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Resonance

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cloak of Elvenkind Item 10+

Illusion, Invested, Magical

Method of Use worn, cloak; Bulk L

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


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

Type standard; Level 10; Price 1,000 gp

The cloak grants a +3 bonus.

Type greater; Level 18; Price 24,000 gp

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

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

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

How about something simpler?

Floating Shield Item 13

Magical

Price 2,800 gp

Method of Use held, 1 hand; Bulk L

Activation [[A]] Operate Activation


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

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

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

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

Staves

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

Staff of Healing Item 3+

Invested, Magical, Necromancy, Staff

Method of Use held, 1 hand; Bulk 1

Activation Cast a Spell (1 RP)


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

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

The item bonus to heal spells is +1.

  • stabilize (cantrip)
  • heal (level 1)

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

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

Trinkets

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

Fear Gem Item 4

Consumable, Enchantment, Fear, Magical, Mental, Trinket

Price 11 gp

Method of Use affixed, weapon; Bulk

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


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

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

Now how about a trinket that's less specific?

Vanishing Coin Item 9

Consumable, Illusion, Magical, Trinket

Price 85 gp

Method of Use affixed, armor; Bulk

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

Requirements You are a master in Stealth.


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

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

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

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

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

Logan Bonner
Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Charlatan wrote:

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.

Nope. No, it's not easier to remember.

I just finished running a Runelords campaign. They ended at level 17. They had forgotten half of their magic items and quite a few of their abilities or spells, and only by my giving them suggestions on possible buffs did they bother go into battle with a decent chance. (They did win. Once the four Storm Giants (as I upped the number of foes they faced) were turned against Karzoug with Greater Dispel Magics and his dragon killed, he had nowhere left to run.)

Do you remember the old 2nd Edition AD&D Paladin and the limited number of magic items it could have? (I think it was 2nd edition... only 10 magic items in all.) THAT is actually forward thinking! Because most players end up with a half dozen items on their character sheet they forget they have, and a dozen or more useful abilities they use twice and that's it.

If players have to invest in using an item? It's going to make keeping track of these things far more likely. After all, you're not going to have a bunch of trash low-level items on your sheet you never bothered to get rid of if it means you have to invest a limited resource into each one.

Dark Archive

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Arachnofiend wrote:
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.

Unless I missed it we have not seen how a blast cantrips scale yet.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Quandary wrote:
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?

That really only happens outside of combat because the wands were so weak per cast, so I don't think it was ever much of a real problem on that score.

Really, most healers weren't all that effective in combat because it cost too much (actions with the wand or class spell slots) relative to out of combat where actions were suddenly not so costly and spell slots came from the wand at relatively insignificant gold cost.

I like that resonance limits means the choice isn't so much of a slam dunk either way. It certainly makes "healer" a more important in-combat consideration now, especially with the new dying rules. I think there's some validity to Jessex's concern of some risk of players being forced into the "healbot" role, and that's bad, but there's enough evidence that the choices in combat (including healing) will be interesting enough that players doing that are giving up other, potentially more useful, options.

I think it also helps the 15-minute adventuring day "problem" in that encounters don't have to be nearly overwhelming to add any risk of death, because everyone will reach the next one at full health without having spent a proportionate amount of resources for their level. Those overwhelming fights tend to create much of the "go nova on hard encounters, sit back and let the martials handle the light encounters" approach to spellcasting in the first place.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Playtest Blog wrote:
  • Virtuoso’s Instrument
  • SQUEEEE!

    I just wanted to let you all know that I have no idea what this item does, or what level character it’s for, but I want one anyway.

    ♫ It's nine o'clock on Blog Monday
    The regular crowd shuffles in
    Kalindara’s posting next to me
    “Yeah let’s give resonance a spin”

    So I’ve got Virtuoso’s Instrument
    I'm not really sure what it does
    But it's new and it's neat (it’s got the Big Six beat!)
    Guess I’ll invest the RP just ‘cause

    La la la, di da da
    La la, di da da da dum
    Filk us a song, Logan Resonance man
    Filk us a song tonight
    Well, we're all in the mood for a melody
    And you've got us feelin' alright ♫

    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
    KingOfAnything wrote:
    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)?

    Random thought: Particular passive effects tuned to a single spell. So a wand of fireball could let you treat any 1s on the dice as 2s. Or a wand of haste gives the caster 20% miss chance for a round.

    Really, anything to make wands interesting.


    Diego Rossi wrote:
    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...

    I'm a little unsure of what a Pathfinder 2.5 e would mean, but I don't think that an entire new edition would be needed to fix any perceived problems of Pathfinder 2e. If large parts of 2e are disliked then a Pathfinder 2e "Unchained" would probably work, but then again such a thing could be called a 2.5 of Pathfinder 2e. Smaller problems could be fixed with errata, PF 1e is no stranger to errata, that's for sure.

    I'm not saying that a longer playtest couldn't help, it probably could, but there are possibilities outside of scrapping a not perfect Pathfinder 2e, which of course PF 2e will never be the perfect edition for all players.

    Liberty's Edge

    6 people marked this as a favorite.

    I think a lot of the issues that we're encountering with Resonance is that it's trying to solve two different problems.

    1: Magic Item Slots - it gets a pain to explain to new players that Headband and Head are different slots, or that Chest and Body are different slots, and it's frustrating that if you want the Belt of Mighty Hurling you can't also have that Belt of Giant Strength. Resonance proposes a solution where you're still limited in the amount of magic items you can have at once, but you don't have to deal with the above issues.

    2: Cost Effectiveness of low-level items - the classic issue here is the Wand of Cure Light Wounds. Many people find it to break immersion to have people spending a few minutes after each combat spamming wands of CLW, and similar issues with it being much more effective to use many cheap items rather than a powerful single item at higher levels. Resonance solves this by adding an additional cost to using many low-level items.

    I've not seem many complaints about the solution to problem #1, it's problem #2's solution that has been causing issues. Might it be possible to look into keeping Resonance (likely in a smaller pool) as a solution to #1, but look into alternate solution for #2? Something along the lines of high level healing potions can give you temps above your max HP, restore conditions, and the like would certainly potentially help in this sort of thing.


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    Arcaian wrote:
    it's frustrating that if you want the Belt of Mighty Hurling you can't also have that Belt of Giant Strength. Resonance proposes a solution where you're still limited in the amount of magic items you can have at once, but you don't have to deal with the above issues.

    Expect a lot of table variance and cheesiness like people trying to get away with wearing 5 pairs of boots.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought D&D 3.5e had cloaks of dexterity, belts of constitution and gloves of strength? My understanding was Pathfinder 1e relegated these to specific slots as a balancing mechanic (so that clerics were okay with 2 stat boosters but archers were penalised). This seems to be going back to the old way of doing things. Which is fine. But I thought it worth understanding.

    Arcaian wrote:
    2: Cost Effectiveness of low-level items - the classic issue here is the Wand of Cure Light Wounds. Many people find it to break immersion to have people spending a few minutes after each combat spamming wands of CLW, and similar issues with it being much more effective to use many cheap items rather than a powerful single item at higher levels. Resonance solves this by adding an additional cost to using many low-level items.

    Wouldn't making higher level wands more economically advantageous have the same effect? How important is it to the game's balance that level 3 wands are more expensive per HP then level 1 wands?

    Arcaian wrote:
    I've not seem many complaints about the solution to problem #1, it's problem #2's solution that has been causing issues. Might it be possible to look into keeping Resonance (likely in a smaller pool) as a solution to #1, but look into alternate solution for #2? Something along the lines of high level healing potions can give you temps above your max HP, restore conditions, and the like would certainly potentially help in this sort of thing.

    My complaint is complexity. We've gone from simpler to more complex for little to no gain.


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    Original blog post 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. {. . .}

    Well this does imply that they aren't totally committed to Resonance yet, so all is not lost (yet) . . . .

    The Exchange

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    Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    I do think a lot of the problems here come from a percieved/actual assault on downtime healing and to some extent the 'wand spamming is dumb' mindset that Jason Buhlman shared when this all began.

    I think Resonance* is overall a good system in need of some tweaking (wands and staves feel bad at the moment but could potentially be awesome) the place where it gets messy is not even so much consumables as consumable HEALING. Just make it so a 'short rest' restores all hit points. Most adventuring parties are just gonna take 8 hour rests to sleep if you dont anyway so I see it as necessary for avoiding the 15 minute work day and its why people spammed wands in the first place. Just cut out the middle man and eliminate the issue by just cutting the necessity of downtime healing in the first place.

    *though for the love of god as hmm and bretl pointed out use a different word that starts with a different letter. This system is basically 3.5s incarnum subsystem on overdrive so maybe borrow that word if its not copywritten)


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    PossibleCabbage wrote:

    Did you take issue with how UMD was a Charisma-Based skill in Pathfinder 1st Edition?

    It really feels to me like Resonance is the replacement for UMD, which seemingly no longer exists as a skill.

    Take issue? No because #1 I didn't have to use charisma by taking a trait and #2 it was only a skill used at higher level to use magic items in a way they weren't meant to be used.

    IMO, it's like saying that 'we had this skill for picking a lock that used Dex so it obvious that we should use something similar for JUST opening a door now cuz it's slightly tangential to that action...'

    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)?

    'Let me staple this on. This might sting a bit...'

    Dragonborn3 wrote:
    Do the handwraps of mighty fists still function like the amulet in PF1, or are they now just fists only and you need to spend more of your limited resource(RP) on footwraps of mighty kicks now? If you don't need footwraps, then can we rename the handwraps? And amulet or belt makes more sense for something affecting your entire body, not just fists.

    Just call them Wraps.


    7 people marked this as a favorite.
    Arcaian wrote:

    I think a lot of the issues that we're encountering with Resonance is that it's trying to solve two different problems.

    1: Magic Item Slots - it gets a pain to explain to new players that Headband and Head are different slots, or that Chest and Body are different slots, and it's frustrating that if you want the Belt of Mighty Hurling you can't also have that Belt of Giant Strength. Resonance proposes a solution where you're still limited in the amount of magic items you can have at once, but you don't have to deal with the above issues.

    2: Cost Effectiveness of low-level items - the classic issue here is the Wand of Cure Light Wounds. Many people find it to break immersion to have people spending a few minutes after each combat spamming wands of CLW, and similar issues with it being much more effective to use many cheap items rather than a powerful single item at higher levels. Resonance solves this by adding an additional cost to using many low-level items.

    I've not seem many complaints about the solution to problem #1, it's problem #2's solution that has been causing issues. Might it be possible to look into keeping Resonance (likely in a smaller pool) as a solution to #1, but look into alternate solution for #2? Something along the lines of high level healing potions can give you temps above your max HP, restore conditions, and the like would certainly potentially help in this sort of thing.

    You're pretty much right. I actually don't mind Resonance for point 1. It's the fact that they have a hammer and view everything as a nail that's a problem. Resonance works as a clean way of letting people wear multiple belts and rings and amulets and whatever without simply allowing infinite bling, but it doesn't work for me as a limit on other things and especially not as a limit on consumables.


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    Quote:
    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.

    Thank you for telling us we need to follow the community given meta and expectations. I was worried I would actually be allowed to use what I wanted for a second.

    Quote:
    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!

    I'm sorry but your number 3 seems to say that this will not be the case. How does no item slot mean more flexibility if we're still going to be going for the biggest bonus we can get our hands on due to the Resonance cost? Oh cool, we have no boot slot! Yeah, convince a DM to let you wear too boots at once. And you'll still pick the two best boost to wear anyway rather than something that might maybe be useful in some instances kinda maybe fun.

    Yeah, this system? Gutted at my table. And the first time during playtest it's an issue, it's gone and I'll write up why back to Paizo.


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    Ah, so we finally have official confirmation as to how resonance works.....

    And it's everything we feared.

    I like... the idea. It'll be nice to play as someone with a ton of magical necklaces that all do something different, and to have the 'Batman toolbelt' of magic items, and avoiding cracking open a pack of healing wands after every fight. It also allows different types of items to have different uses based off of their resonance usage.

    The unfortunate part? It seems to do none of that. I'm not saying that Resonance can never work, but it needs a ton of revision to be remotely feasible and enjoyable. Make staves a battery of Resonance, where you can fill it up at the end of one day and cast from it the next. Make wands have a resonance-charge ratio, so you can get a lot more use out of a low-level wand at higher levels for the same resonance. Allow Resonance to be flexible, so you can Invest a point in your Cloak of Elvenkind for your stealth mission, but move that point over to your Boots of Climbing and then back again as situations arise.

    Nothing in this blog gets me even remotely interested or excited about Resonance, and really kills my enthusiasm for 2e as a whole. Like I mentioned a few blogs ago, sometimes a bit of 2e news will leave me excited, sometimes they dampen my enthusiasm. This all but kills it in its tracks. But, so long as it's possible to do anything to it during the course of the playtest (up to and possibly including removing it from the game entirely), there's still hope in my opinion.


    Arachnofiend wrote:
    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.

    Context: It is cheaper than I thought they might be.

    That said, the mundane economy always ran on silver for the most part (if you assume the cost of one day's labor should be able to keep that person alive and fed for at least one day). It's just that adventurers stopped worrying over mortal details like paying for food and drink and lodging after about 3rd level because they were always paid in increasingly large sums of gold so that they can afford to buy magic items ;)

    Liberty's Edge

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    magnuskn wrote:
    Which is why I am very much against a new system which herds players into having to play one of those classes, no matter what they are really interested in.

    If it makes you feel better, apparently the Barbarian was the primary healer in one of the in-house playtest games, and a pretty effective one.

    Evidence suggests a combination of Medicine Skill Feats and maybe an Archetype or something to allow this.

    And that's on top of Bard, Druid, Paladin, Alchemist, and Cleric all making serviceable healers without jumping through those kind of hoops.

    Also, people have apparently only run out of Resonance in the playtests very rarely and under exceptional circumstances. So this doesn't seem to be as big of an issue as it might look like at first glance.

    The Exchange

    Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Daedalus rocking a lot of the same suggestions I had been mulling over.

    Make the system feel rewarding (and seriously look at Daedalus suggestions for some ways to do that) instead of punitive and I think this becomes a rocker of an idea.


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    Dαedαlus wrote:
    ...And it's everything we feared...

    ...Royal, I presume...?


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    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    magnuskn wrote:
    Which is why I am very much against a new system which herds players into having to play one of those classes, no matter what they are really interested in.

    If it makes you feel better, apparently the Barbarian was the primary healer in one of the in-house playtest games, and a pretty effective one.

    Evidence suggests a combination of Medicine Skill Feats and maybe an Archetype or something to allow this.

    And that's on top of Bard, Druid, Paladin, Alchemist, and Cleric all making serviceable healers without jumping through those kind of hoops.

    Also, people have apparently only run out of Resonance in the playtests very rarely and under exceptional circumstances. So this doesn't seem to be as big of an issue as it might look like at first glance.

    "Anyone can spend a ton of their character resources to be the healer" isn't exactly encouraging to people who don't think anyone should have to be the healer. If you were getting bullied into playing the Cleric before now all that's changed is that you're getting bullied into spending your skill feats on Medicine.


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    Side note; wait I need 2 Resonance on the staff? 1 to attune/turn it on for the day(And to refill charges) and another Resonance to actually CAST a spell that isn't Cantrip?

    And this cost might get worse the higher level spell you use from the Staff?

    I like the idea of recharging them(As recharging them was always a pain) but if this is how it works, into the sell bin again they go.


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    MerlinCross wrote:

    Side note; wait I need 2 Resonance on the staff? 1 to attune/turn it on for the day(And to refill charges) and another Resonance to actually CAST a spell that isn't Cantrip?

    And this cost might get worse the higher level spell you use from the Staff?

    I like the idea of recharging them(As recharging them was always a pain) but if this is how it works, into the sell bin again they go.

    Where does it says anything about "cost getting worse"?

    Also I do find it amusing that you've historically complained about "optimal strategies" becoming the norm up until it has to do with cure light wands. Then it's "don't stop me from using them".


    As I understand it-

    - you spend one resonance to give the staff a number of charges equal to the highest level spell you can cast.
    - when you cast a spell using charges on the staff, this consumes charges but not resonance.
    - when you cast a spell via spell slots, which is enhanced by the staff, this does not consume resonance.

    A staff is kind of a resonance battery- you put a resonance in it and you can get some number of spells out of it, while all spells fitting in the appropriate category are enhanced even if they are not directly from the staff.


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    OK, leaving the clumsy language aside for now (we can fix that later), I think you can have ONE of Resonance or Charges. Having both solves no problems, and just gives us all extra paperwork.

    This is just off the top of my head, but why not make wands and staves Invest items that - once invested - give you 3 uses/day (or something similar)? Three is a reasonably easy number to keep track of (you can use tokens for tabletop gaming), and there's major incentive to level up from CLW wands asap because at level 7 three CLW just won't cut it for party healing.

    Alternatively, you don't have to invest resonance in wands, but they cost 1 resonance point each time you use one. Again, no more charges to keep track of; and again, you'll want to level up from CLW at the earliest opportunity.


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    PossibleCabbage wrote:

    As I understand it-

    - you spend one resonance to give the staff a number of charges equal to the highest level spell you can cast.
    - when you cast a spell using charges on the staff, this consumes charges but not resonance.
    - when you cast a spell via spell slots, which is enhanced by the staff, this does not consume resonance.

    A staff is kind of a resonance battery- you put a resonance in it and you can get some number of spells out of it, while all spells fitting in the appropriate category are enhanced even if they are not directly from the staff.

    You have to expend 1 RP every time you use the staff, whether you're casting a spell out of it or using it for spontaneous casting. This is in addition to the resonance to recharge it at the start of the day.

    Liberty's Edge

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    John Lynch 106 wrote:
    Arcaian wrote:
    it's frustrating that if you want the Belt of Mighty Hurling you can't also have that Belt of Giant Strength. Resonance proposes a solution where you're still limited in the amount of magic items you can have at once, but you don't have to deal with the above issues.

    Expect a lot of table variance and cheesiness like people trying to get away with wearing 5 pairs of boots.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought D&D 3.5e had cloaks of dexterity, belts of constitution and gloves of strength? My understanding was Pathfinder 1e relegated these to specific slots as a balancing mechanic (so that clerics were okay with 2 stat boosters but archers were penalised). This seems to be going back to the old way of doing things. Which is fine. But I thought it worth understanding.

    Don't think it's quite going back to the old way of doing things - I don't think it's unreasonable (though certainly may be unfashionable) to have more than one cloak/cape on, more than one belt, more than one necklace, more than two rings, and so on. Gloves, boots and the like I can entirely understand being restricted to one - the impression I've gotten from blog posts and dev comments so far is that there's not a hard-coded list of 'items you can mix together and ones you can not', but I don't think that's been written anywhere.

    John Lynch 106 wrote:
    Arcaian wrote:
    2: Cost Effectiveness of low-level items - the classic issue here is the Wand of Cure Light Wounds. Many people find it to break immersion to have people spending a few minutes after each combat spamming wands of CLW, and similar issues with it being much more effective to use many cheap items rather than a powerful single item at higher levels. Resonance solves this by adding an additional cost to using many low-level items.
    Wouldn't making higher level wands more economically advantageous have the same effect? How important is it to the game's balance that level 3 wands are more expensive per HP then level 1 wands?

    The issue here is that HP scales linearly - every level you gain x HP. Wealth clearly does not, and should not - if it did, then an item that's a reasonable price for a 10th level character would be affordable for a 5th level character. For an example, a +3 weapon from PF1, which is 25% of your WBL at level 10. With exponential scaling, a level 5 character would be spending about 170% of their WBL on the item. With linear wealth scaling, they'd be spending 50% of their WBL - expensive for them, but not insane for the archer to be spending half their 5th level wealth on that +1 holy longbow - and the result is the 5th level character has items far too powerful for their level. I think we can all agree that exponential HP increases would be far too much of a pain for a tRPG system, which leaves you with the fact that HP increases far more slowly than WBL does. Admittedly, this is somewhat alleviated by the fact that the excellent health potion isn't very useful for the low-level character if they don't have the HP to heal, but you'd have issues with the low-level characters purchasing the equivalent of the Wand of Cure Critical Wounds, and restoring roughly their full HP with every action in combat - they were going to pay for the healing any way, and this is cheaper for them. Just so happens to mean that your low-level party basically never gets challenged unless something can one-shot them; not very fun.

    Starfinder had a solution here as well (in addition to making healing rather expensive, but ignore that for now) - you could only buy level-appropriate items. Most people did not appreciate being told that they had the cash for the level 7 armour, but couldn't purchase it until they were level 6. It feels very gamey, but is a legitimate solution here.

    John Lynch 106 wrote:
    Arcaian wrote:
    I've not seem many complaints about the solution to problem #1, it's problem #2's solution that has been causing issues. Might it be possible to look into keeping Resonance (likely in a smaller pool) as a solution to #1, but look into alternate solution for #2? Something along the lines of high level healing potions can give you temps above your max HP, restore conditions, and the like would certainly potentially help in this sort of thing.
    My complaint is complexity. We've gone from simpler to more complex for little to no gain.

    I feel a Resonance Pool that you use in place of magic item slots is a decrease in complexity - don't need to remember if the Circlet of Persuasion is a Headband or Head slot item. The tracking of Resonance and Charges is definitely an increase in complexity, and I feel where most people's issues lie - that's why my suggestion was to make them more effective in ways other than pure HP healing, but still want to buy them. Might run into issues with people saving the 'True Health Potion' because it can restore blindness and they've only suffered HP damage, but at least the more expensive consumables would have a niche. Just spitballing here too - just thinking that Resonance has a niche (replacing item slots) that most people seem to like, it's just being applied more broadly, leading to some complaints.


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    If that Cloak is any indication...I'm worried that the playtest books have all bene printed by now and we might be stuck with a Magic Items section full of items like that where it's impossible to figure out how it works based on just the text.

    There's gonna be a lot of questions come release, and just for clarifications on how basic items are supposed to function.


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    PossibleCabbage wrote:

    As I understand it-

    - you spend one resonance to give the staff a number of charges equal to the highest level spell you can cast.
    - when you cast a spell using charges on the staff, this consumes charges but not resonance.
    - when you cast a spell via spell slots, which is enhanced by the staff, this does not consume resonance.

    A staff is kind of a resonance battery- you put a resonance in it and you can get some number of spells out of it, while all spells fitting in the appropriate category are enhanced even if they are not directly from the staff.

    I'm tripped up when it says "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)"

    Which makes me think you have to Turn it on first(Which recharges it but costs a Resonance) and you'll have to pay it again when actually Using it(During spell casting).

    As for it having more cost when going up...., well staffs in PF1 right now take more charges depending on what spell you cast from them. I don't think it's that hard of a jump to think casting say, Resurrection would cost more Resonance during spell Casting than a simple Heal Spell.

    Cyouni wrote:
    Where does it says anything about "cost getting worse"? Also I do find it amusing that you've historically complained about "optimal strategies" becoming the norm up until it has to do with cure light wands. Then it's "don't stop me from using them".

    Optimal strategies are the normal or close to. Have you seen the CLW wands discussion? Why aren't you using them, they're the best for cost, you're bad otherwise. Oh you wanted this fun item? Too bad, Designers want you to have this Cloak, why are you making it harder on the rest of us? *This is sarcasm mind you but I've known some people that would be close to this opinion*

    If you mean my claims/statements about trying to build around Resonance so I CAN still abuse CLW Wands..., 1) Good catch, surprised someone remembered it, and 2) It's my hope such things will get PATCHED.

    I like having a small fluffy animal as my mascot or helper when I pick Familiar. Yet most the time I seem to be expected to take Improved Familiar when I get the chance, pick Imp, and make it into a Wand Bot. And that's in PF1. If you can use familiars to get around Resonance, I expect such a use for Familiars to very much become the norm and possibly even expected by the devs if it gets to such a wide spread point.

    So yes, I will try to break the Resonance system to do stupid stuff like CLW Wand spam, and turn around to Paizo and say "Guys this seems to be a problem if you do X, can we make it harder or impossible to do X?"


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    Since it seems like 50% of the resonance system is aimed squarely at cheap healing being badwrong, wouldn't it be simpler to just limit the number of times you can be healed in a day? I mean, that IS effectively what they're doing, just in a really roundabout hemming and hawwing way. They could just bluntly say you can only receive healing a number of times per day equal to your Con mod + level, or half your Con score + half your level, and be done with it. Better than ruining all the other consumables in the process.

    Liberty's Edge

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    Arachnofiend wrote:
    "Anyone can spend a ton of their character resources to be the healer" isn't exactly encouraging to people who don't think anyone should have to be the healer. If you were getting bullied into playing the Cleric before now all that's changed is that you're getting bullied into spending your skill feats on Medicine.

    This ignores the other two parts of that argument, which are that 5 out of 12 Classes don't need to do that to heal well (though Bard does have to invest spells known, I suppose), and that people rarely run out of Resonance, so even relying on healing from Wands works fine by all indications, it's just more expensive since you have to buy Wands of remotely appropriate level.

    Fuzzypaws wrote:
    Since it seems like 50% of the resonance system is aimed squarely at cheap healing being badwrong, wouldn't it be simpler to just limit the number of times you can be healed in a day?

    This appears to be one part of the reason, but not 50%. And they'd then have to find new reasons for all the other stuff they're trying to do with Resonance. I'm really not sure this is a good solution.

    Liberty's Edge

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    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    Ectar wrote:

    Are staves worth using? The healing staff seems questionable at best to me.

    One RP for a low impact passive benefit. Admittedly, having a bonus could be good, considering they scale with level now. Or do staff cantrips scale?
    But is 1 RP for a spell from a staff even a good use? I guess maybe when using the staff's charges.
    The other option seems kinda steep, though. 1 RP and a spell slot to use a spell from the staff seems high, especially since, from the preview, casters have fewer spell slots than PF1.

    Finally, who can use a staff? The post mentions spellcasters, but nothing in the actual description seemed to require spellcasting.

    My (hypothetic) PF2 level 3 cleric use of the staff.

    Level 3 cleric, cha 14, resonance 5.
    1 RP for armor
    1 RP for a weapon
    1 RP for the staff
    2 RP in reserve for consumables.

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

    The Exchange

    Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

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


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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.

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

    All the more reason to take the time to get it right the first time. This edition change is pretty big, it needs time to make sure everything works. It'd be a shame to have flaws in a system for ten years that could have been prevented with a longer playtest.

    Liberty's Edge

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    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    dragonhunterq wrote:

    Idle thought, but everyone seems to want to enable people to use 'cool and interesting' items (whatever that may actually be) but the real obstacle to using most 'cool and interesting' items wasn't actually the big 6. The biggest obstacle has always been cost and effectiveness.

    If you make an item too expensive for it's effect, or too unreliable for it's cost (*cough*fixed save DC's*cough*) it doesn't matter how cool it is, or how limited the other options are it won't get used if beating on the bad guys/using spells is simply more effective an answer.

    Cool and interesting items:

    Cloak of the mountebank, cloak of displacement, circlet of persuasion, etc.

    All competing with cloak of resistance and mental stat enhancement and headbands.
    Same thing for the different belts.

    The basic utility of the 'big 6' items is so great that substituting them in PF1 is problematic.


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    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    Fuzzypaws wrote:
    PossibleCabbage wrote:

    As I understand it-

    - you spend one resonance to give the staff a number of charges equal to the highest level spell you can cast.
    - when you cast a spell using charges on the staff, this consumes charges but not resonance.
    - when you cast a spell via spell slots, which is enhanced by the staff, this does not consume resonance.

    A staff is kind of a resonance battery- you put a resonance in it and you can get some number of spells out of it, while all spells fitting in the appropriate category are enhanced even if they are not directly from the staff.

    You have to expend 1 RP every time you use the staff, whether you're casting a spell out of it or using it for spontaneous casting. This is in addition to the resonance to recharge it at the start of the day.
    Both the blog and Seifter's comments seem to contradict the "casting a spell with the staff costs 1 RP". Wands work like this but I do not think Staffs do. Do you have a citation?

    Here you go:

    blog wrote:

    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.

    So, you have to invest a point in it at the start of the day.

    Then you have to pay 1 RP every time you use it, whether you are using it to spontaneously cast with your own spell slots, or are burning charges from the staff.


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    OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:
    The activations seem needlessly specific (hood raising etc).

    I agree with this. Including descriptions of items for the benefit of ease is one thing (personally, I don't see why all staves of healing would look identical, but it is narrative shorthand).

    Going into exhaustive detail about exactly how to "activate" something seems excessive. (Why can't I wrap the cloak around me? Trace some runes on the hem with my finger? Rub the cloth against my forehead?) Just saying what kind of action it requires should be sufficient, IMO, and leave the creative license to players and DMs to figure out.


    Fuzzypaws wrote:


    Both the blog and Seifter's comments seem to contradict the "casting a spell with the staff costs 1 RP". Wands work like this but I do not think Staffs do. Do you have a citation?

    Here you go:

    blog wrote:

    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

    So, you have to invest a point in it at the start of the day.

    Then you have to pay 1 RP every time you use it, whether you are using it to spontaneously cast with your own spell slots, or are burning charges from the staff.

    That's kinda how I read and the bigger issue I had earlier. If that's not how it works, wording seems a bit off or at least able to confuse people as Fuzzy and I have demonstrated.


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    Will there be zero cost activated items, or is the concept of a low cost magic item with a novel (but not gamechanging) effect totally gone now?

    Liberty's Edge

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    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    Quandary wrote:

    ^ Agree with Northern Druid's positive stuff, mostly disgree with the negative stuff, except Cloak.

    I do think this sentiment, does suggest it's a good idea to give good, engaging setting "fluff" explanation for how mechanics like this work, which should be expected anyways with "Golarion infused" approach. Likewise for specifics of "spellcasting manifestations". I didn't put down Lord of the Rings because magic didn't work exactly like D&D, I didn't refuse to play Shadowrun because it didn't work one specific way. As a role-player, I can actually engage in any number of arbitrary assumptions, just flesh them out so people having something concrete to latch onto. Otherwise it will be Schroedinger's Grouchy Gamer syndrome.

    Lord of the ring was one of the sources of inspiration for D&D. Vancian magic doesn't come from Tolkien books. Regenerating trolls and holy avengers come from "Three Hearts and Three Lions" by Poul Anderson, simulacrums come from "The Incomplete Enchanter" by Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt.

    Trying to constrict D&D into the Tolkenian mold is really a bad idea.


    Cthulhudrew wrote:
    OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:
    The activations seem needlessly specific (hood raising etc).

    I agree with this. Including descriptions of items for the benefit of ease is one thing (personally, I don't see why all staves of healing would look identical, but it is narrative shorthand).

    Going into exhaustive detail about exactly how to "activate" something seems excessive. (Why can't I wrap the cloak around me? Trace some runes on the hem with my finger? Rub the cloth against my forehead?) Just saying what kind of action it requires should be sufficient, IMO, and leave the creative license to players and DMs to figure out.

    I presume so that it can be actually identified in-game through checks and such. That way before the enemy wizard hits you with a fireball from a staff, you can identify it and go "oh, that's a staff of fireballs". Theoretically, you could prevent some activations if you identify it and go "flip the hood off", forcing an enemy to use another action to put it on again.


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    dragonhunterq wrote:

    Idle thought, but everyone seems to want to enable people to use 'cool and interesting' items (whatever that may actually be) but the real obstacle to using most 'cool and interesting' items wasn't actually the big 6. The biggest obstacle has always been cost and effectiveness.

    If you make an item too expensive for it's effect, or too unreliable for it's cost (*cough*fixed save DC's*cough*) it doesn't matter how cool it is, or how limited the other options are it won't get used if beating on the bad guys/using spells is simply more effective an answer.

    Exactly. I'm hoping they've gotten rid of those horrible fixed save DCs. Getting rid of slots allows for more flexibility (basically any belt that isn't a stat boost is ignored currently). But resonance acts against the idea of using cool items, because now they have an extra cost on top of what they had. Why waste your resonance on flavorful but niche item? Now they've got to compete with all of your items not just ones with the same slot. They've even got to compete with potions and scrolls.


    Diego Rossi wrote:

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

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

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

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

    Except you didn't read the part where he said he isn't spending any RP on cure charges at all, because he's using the "50% roll for it" method since there is no urgency in out-of-combat healing so the chance he wastes his action and has to try again doesn't have significant downside for him. His 2 RP were used for other consumable usages (the staff with daily regenerable charges isn't a consumable).

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

    Regardless, the "50% Roll For It" method IS integral part of Item Activation system, so pretending it doesn't exist when discussing it is far from productive, yet I've hardly seen in mentioned at all in all the discussion here, despite it's ideal 'out of combat' usage scenario exactly matching the crowd favorite "CLW wand spam" topic. I mean, criticize it's mechanics if you want, but refusing to acknowledge it's existence is hardly a powerful critique.


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    Responding to the original block post: Excellent.

    A fundamental principle of 3E and PF1 was that Power = Wealth + Level.

    However, as there is no easy means of tracking "PC Power", Level was used as the metric for determining encounters (due to simplicity), and thus the rate of advancement within the game. Problem being, that in order to avoid the PCs overwhelming or being overwhelmed by 'standard' encounters, PC wealth had to track level, specifically.

    In a campaign where you exclusively kill the published monsters and take what is handed out in the "Treasure" section, this isn't a particular problem as the math has usually been done, and the rewards are usually self-correcting. In a campaign where players are more innovative (or worse, entrepreneurial), things can easily get out of hand very quickly, which is - I suspect - one of the reasons why so many published 'downtime systems' which are time-based rather than level-based are written to basically be a economically non-viable. (E.g. the Downtime system of Ultimate Campaign typically took years to recover the investment cost for almost everything, never mind actually turning a profit.)

    By contrast, PF2 looks to be doing two things:
    1) Items have levels, and although the GM is able to bypass this requirement, it does provide a much clearer guide on exactly how powerful an individual item will be to the GM, as well as ensure that only the GM can hand out higher-than-PC items.

    2) By requiring PCs to invest Resonance in order to use items, or to use charged items (including healing), there is a level-based limit on how much wealth can be converted into magic item power, especially combined with the above.

    In essence, it bounds the amount that wealth can contribute to power, by level, without bounding actual wealth. Speaking as a GM and an engineer, this is a very smart move, and a massive draw for me.

    Being able to actually reward players who go the extra distance to accumulate more wealth or influence, without having them become overwhelmingly powerful in combat is good design. As is the ability of characters to own other, non-adventuring things like 'property' or 'a bed', without having sacrificed combat effectiveness to do so.

    If anything, I am curious as to whether the investment cost of permanent items (i.e. not the sticks of healing) should increase with the item level, rather than stay flat-lined at 1 Resonance. But, we'll have to see how it actually plays - the proof is, as they say, in the pudding.


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    The funny thing is that I keep seeing numerous posts going "this obviously breaks on contact" or "nobody will ever be able to use items" as though Paizo hasn't done playtests before and found that's not the case. Whether it works on an overall scale in limit (and overall design) is a very different question, but I'm pretty sure "this doesn't immediately implode" is a safe assumption that can be made across large parts of the system.


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    Cyouni wrote:
    The funny thing is that I keep seeing numerous posts going "this obviously breaks on contact" or "nobody will ever be able to use items" as though Paizo hasn't done playtests before and found that's not the case. Whether it works on an overall scale in limit (and overall design) is a very different question, but I'm pretty sure "this doesn't immediately implode" is a safe assumption that can be made across large parts of the system.

    Indeed.

    What it may require is some adjustment to people's expectations of the rate of accumulation of individual items. Players who liked to save up for big ticket items may find Resonance completely non-intrusive, while players who liked to fill up all their slots with budget items ASAP may find it stymies such behaviour.

    Resonance is also easily adjusted - groups that prefer to play with a lot more gadgets and gizmos can easily adjust the Resonance upward. Similarly, groups favouring a longer work-day sprinkled with short breaks may well throw in the rule that a 5E style "short rest" of some agreed length can allow characters to regain Resonance spent on activated items like potions or wands. Groups who want low-magic and gritty games can throttle back Resonance pools accordingly.


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    So with the wording from the staff you can sacrifice any spell slot of the same level to cast a spell in the staff. Does this mean a wizard can use this staff to heal even though they wouldn't usually be able to cast the spell?


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    Hmm wrote:

    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

  • Agreed fully, the wording here is pretty confusing, and that doesn't help at all. I'm very skeptical of resonance. But I agree that we need to pound on this hard in the playtest. See where it breaks, see what works with it. That's my plan for the playtest as a whole. My group is full of people who are skeptical of big changes in general. And PF2 has a lot of big changes. So I'm trying to get them to do a full playtest and really try out the system. Dismissing it out of hand helps nobody, but neither does just reflexively praising everything. Give it a fair shake, find and report all flaws so that they get cleaned up with a final product that is something we can all find to be great.

    Silver Crusade

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    Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

    This blog... Boi.

    Resonance seems like a good idea, at first. Making Charisma more important than just for classes that need it.

    But then: It might limit the adventuring day as others have expressed, with potions, scrolls, wands etc. costing resonance as well as all the items that need investing.

    That Cloak stat-block is ... a mess.
    As others have said, it is hard to parse. Below my attempt to make it simpler to understand. (I even added a lesser version, that doesn't have the invisibility bonus effect)

    Cloak of Elvenkind:

    CLOAK OF ELVENKIND ITEM 5+
    Illusion, Invested, Magical
    Method of Use worn, cloak; Bulk L
    Type lesser; Level 5; Price 200 gp (adjust this!)
    Type standard; Level 10; Price 1.000 gp
    Type greatier; Level 18; Price 24.000 gp
    This cloak is deep green with a voluminous hood, and is embroidered with gold trim and symbols of significance to the elves.
    Invested [[RES]]
    The cloak allows you to cast the ghost sound cantrip as an innate arcane spell.
    [[A]] Interact: 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: +1 lesser, +3 standard, +5 greater
    Activation [[RES]] standard, greater
    [[A]] Focus, [[A]] Operate: 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.
    Greater: Invisibility is 4th level.
    Set 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.

    The shield similarly could use a restructuring.

    That said, I do like what the items do.

    Staves, I never was a fan of. That we needed developer commentary to know that the cantrip doesn't cost resonance should tell you everything.
    That staves use resonance and charges is probably for a reason, and judging from the discussion in the thread about wands doing the same (for a reason, again) ... well, it seems cumbersome.

    Finally Trinkets: This sounds like a good idea, on paper. But again the blog leaves open some huge gaps as to how they are supposed to be used in play:
    How many Fear Gems can I affix to my weapon?
    Why don't they cost resonance? (Or do they? I'm not sure)
    Is there another limit as to how many trinkets my character can have, besides the money?

    I might only use one vanishing coin per encounter, but the fear gems? I can see a fighter using one nearly every round.

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