Potency and Potions

Friday, June 29, 2018

Earlier this week, Logan gave you the skinny on Resonance and how it interacts with some iconic and all-new magic items. If you missed out on Logan's explanation of Resonance, you might want to take a look here before reading on, because we're going to come back to it at the end of the blog. You got how Resonance works? Good. Now forget about it, we're going to talk about weapons instead.

Potency and Properties

Unlike items with the invested trait or ones that you activate, weapons typically require no Resonance to use. You just pick one up and swing (or shoot, or sling, or thrust, or throw), and the magic weapon unleashes its punch, often with potency. Think as a weapon's potency as its "plus" and more. Potency still grants an item bonus to your attack rolls with the weapon, but now it also increases the damage dealt by an additional weapon die for each point of potency bonus. For example, let's say you find a +1 longsword buried in an otyugh's dung heap. Regardless of its current soiling, that weapon grants not only a +1 item bonus to attack rolls, but on a successful hit it deals 2d8 + Strength modifier damage, instead of the standard 1d8 + Strength modifier. A +2 longsword would instead grant a +2 item bonus to attacks and deal 3d8 + Strength modifier damage, and so on.

Of course, potency is only a part of the story. Magic weapons can also have properties. The maximum potency and the number of properties a weapon can have are based on that weapon's quality. Standard weapons can't have potency or properties, while expert-quality weapons can have up to +2 potency and one property. Master-quality weapons can have up to +4 potency and two properties, and legendary weapons can be +5 weapons and have three properties. Sometimes, special materials can affect the number of properties a magic weapon can possess. Since cold iron resists magic, weapons made of cold iron have one fewer property. Conversely, weapons made of highly magical orichalcum can have one additional property, but because the metal is so rare and difficult to work, these weapons must be legendary.

Both potency and property are imbued within a suitable weapon by etching magical runes upon it. Runes can be fairly easily removed or added (assuming the quality of the weapon allows it), and can even be found etched on a runestone, allowing them to be transferred separately from a weapon. Say you just found a handful of weapon property runestones in your adventure. What properties might they be? Well, let's take a look at one of the favorites of good and undead-hating clerics.

Disrupting Rune 5+

Method of Use etched, melee weapon


A disrupting weapon deals extra damage to undead. Undead hit by an attack with a disrupting weapon takes extra positive damage and additional effects on a critical hit.

Type standard; Level 5; Price 150 gp

The weapon deals 1d6 extra positive damage. On a critical hit, the undead is enfeebled 1 until the end of your next turn.

Type greater; Level 15 (Uncommon), Price 6,200 gp

The weapon deals 2d6 extra positive damage. On a critical hit, the undead creature must attempt a DC 32 Fortitude save with the following effects.

Success The target is enfeebled 2 until the end of your next turn.

Critical Success The target is enfeebled 1 until the end of your next turn.

Failure The target is enfeebled 3 until the end of your next turn.

Critical Failure The target is destroyed.

The disrupting property comes in two varieties. The standard disrupting property deals some positive damage and can enfeeble undead. The greater version deals more positive damage, and can force undead to attempt a save—if they critically fail that save, they're destroyed outright!

Of course, other types of properties can do even more incredible things. Sometimes, these properties can require an expenditure of resonance.

Vorpal Rune 17

Evocation, Magical

Price 15,000 gp

Method of Use etched, melee weapon that deals slashing damage

Activation [[R]] Focus Activation; Trigger You roll a natural 20 and critically succeed at a Strike with the weapon targeting a creature with at least one head.


When you activate a vorpal weapon, the triggering creature must succeed at a DC 35 Fortitude save, or it is decapitated. This kills any creature except ones that don't require a head to live (such as constructs, oozes, and some aberrations and undead). For creatures with multiple heads (such as ettins or hydras), this usually kills the creature only if you sever its lasthead.

If, like the vorpal property, a weapon property has an activation, you have to spend Resonance to activate it; however, unlike worn items, you don't have to already be attuned to a weapon to activate it. So roll those 20s and snicker-snack your opponents for as long as you've got the resonance to spare.

Armor Potency and Properties

Magic armor also features potency and may have properties. Like weapons, armor can hold a maximum amount of potency and properties based on its quality and special materials, and you can add, remove, or transfer potency and properties between armor via runes. The maximum potency and number of properties for armor is the same as for weapons, though it's worth noting that rather than granting an additional property, orichalcum armor instead grants a +1 circumstance bonus to initiative rolls and automatically repairs itself over time.

Armor potency grants an item bonus to AC (including Touch Armor Class) and to your saving throws. Magic and high-quality armors are also easier to use. Armors of expert quality have their armor check penalty reduced by one, while master-quality armors have their penalty reduced by two, and legendary armor by three.

Like other worn items, you must invest armor; that is, you have to spend resonance to gain its magical effects. If your armor has an activated property, you must have invested the armor before you can use that ability. Let's look at an example of such a property.

Invisibility Rune 8+

Illusion, Magical

Method of Use etched, light armor

Activation [[A]] Command Activation


Once per day, you can whisper the command word to become invisible for 1 minute, gaining the effects of a 2nd-level invisibilityspell.

Type standard; Level 8; Price 500 gp

Type greater; Level 10; Price 1,000 gp

You can activate the armor up to 3 times per day.

Craft Requirements You must supply a casting of invisibility.

This favored property of many rangers and rogues (and maybe a sneaky alchemist or two) allows the attuned creature to gain the benefit of an invisibility spell at the cost of an action and 1 RP. The greater version enables you to activate the armor three times a day instead of just once.

But not all properties feature activations or require expending Resonance beyond that spent for initial attunement. Here's a classic example of one—fortification.

Fortification Rune 12+

Abjuration, Magical

Method of Use etched, medium or heavy armor


Each time you're hit by a critical hit while wearing fortification armor, attempt a flat check with the listed DC. If you succeed, that critical hit becomes a normal hit. This property thickens the armor, increasing its Bulk by 1.

Type standard; Level 12; Price 2,000 gp; DC 17

Type greater; Level 18; Price 24,000 gp; DC 14

Granting medium and heavy armor users the possibility to transform a critical hit to a normal hit, fortification provides an excellent constant effect for fighters, paladins, and more martial-focused clerics.

Potions

Now that you know how magic weapons and armor work, let's talk a look at something much less permanent, but often useful in a pinch—potions! While in First Edition, potions were spells of 3rd level or lower in a bottle; we wanted to go a slightly different route this time. Potions not only can have effects that reach into higher levels, but they also don't need to be tied to particular spell effects. All of that said, there are just some potions that are so iconic and necessary, you can't mess with them too much. Who doesn't need a healing potion every now and then?

Healing Potion Item 1+

Consumable, Healing, Magical, Necromancy, Potion

Method of Use held, 1 hand; Bulk L

Activation [[A]] Operate Activation


When you drink a healing potion, you regain the listed number of Hit Points.

Type minor; Level 1; Price 3 gp

The potion restores 1d8 Hit Points.

Type lesser; Level 3; Price 8 gp

The potion restores 2d8+4 Hit Points.

Type moderate; Level 5; Price 20 gp

The potion restores 3d8+8 Hit Points.

Type greater; Level 8; Price 60 gp

The potion restores 5d8+12 Hit Points.

Type major; Level 12; Price 250 gp

The potion restores 7d8+20 Hit Points.

Type true; Level 16; Price 1,200 gp

The potion restores 9d8+30 Hit Points.

The first thing you'll notice is that there are six varieties of this point, ranging from level 1 (restoring 1d8 Hit Points) to level 16 (restoring 9d8+20 Hit Points) You'll also notice that this potion (and all potions) has an activation. Which, you guessed it, means you have to spend Resonance to gain its effect.

Of course, sometimes a healing potion does its best work when you're down for the punch and can't activate it yourself. No worries. The time-honored tradition of pouring a potion down your wounded friend's gullet is still in the game. Your companion spends an Interact basic action to administer the potion to you, but you still need to spend Resonance to gain the potion's effect (thankfully, you don't have to be conscious to do so).

Of course, this new flexibility for potions allows us to keep some items that in First Edition were called elixirs (a term that in the Playtest, we now use for alchemical concoctions). Here's one of my favorites:

Dragon's Breath Potion Item 7+

Consumable, Evocation, Magical, Potion

Method of Use held, 1 hand; Bulk L

Activation [[A]] Operate Activation


This liquid contains blood from a certain breed of dragon. For 1 hour after you imbibe the acrid concoction, you can unleash a breath weapon used by that breed of dragon. The potion's level and Price, as well as the amount of damage and the DC of the saving throw, all depend on the age of the dragon whose blood you used. This item has the trait matching the damage type of the breath weapon.

You can spend another Operate Activation action with no RP cost immediately after drinking the potion to exhale dragon breath. At any point during the potion's duration, you can use the breath weapon by spending 1 RP and 2 Operate Activation actions (one to inhale the necessary air and the other to breathe out). After you use the breath weapon, you can't do so again for 1d4 rounds.

Each creature in the area of the breath weapon attempts a save against your breath weapon.

Success Half damage.

Critical Success No damage.

Failure Full damage.

Critical Failure Double damage.

Type young; Level 7; Price 45 gp; Damage 4d6; DC 21

Type adult; Level 12;

Price 250 gp; Damage 7d6; DC 28

Type wyrm; Level 17; Price 2,000 gp; Damage 10d6; DC 35

Dragon Breath Weapon (Save)

Black or copper 30-foot line of acid (Reflex)
Blue or bronze 30-foot line of electricity (Reflex)
Brass 30-foot line of fire (Reflex)
Green 15-foot cone of poison (Fortitude)
Gold or red 15-foot cone of fire (Reflex)
Silver or white 15-foot cone of cold (Reflex)

This one is interesting because you spend Resonance when you first drink the potion and spew some draconic hate on your foes, and can then continue to do so for an hour after imbibing whenever you spend actions and RP. Pick the right kind of dragon, and you'll be the life of whatever party you join.

Very closely related to potions are oils. Like potions, you activate these consumable items, but you do so by applying the oil to an object or person. While it usually takes one hand to drink or administer a potion, applying oil takes two hands. This particular oil may be of interest to shield users.

Oil of Mending Item 3

Consumable, Magical, Oil, Transmutation

Price 6 gp

Method of Use held, 2 hands; Bulk L

Activation [[A]] Operate Activation


Applying this oil to an item casts a 2nd-level mending spell that repairs the item. If the item was broken, it is no longer broken. If the item has Dents, it loses those Dents. This restoration doesn't restore lost pieces. For instance, if used on a text with missing pages, it wouldn't recreate the lost pages.

A perfect backup when you fail your Crafting check to Repair an Item, or when you need to repair that dented shield in a hurry, the oil of mending has plenty of other uses.

Well, that's it for this week! Join us next week as we take a little walk in the woods.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Senior Designer

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Shakro Who Came Back wrote:

Here's a weird balance issue with the extra dice from potency : a +5 greatsword would do 7d6 damage on a swing (the base 2d6 + 5 extra dice from potency) for an average of 24.5, a +5 longsword would be on 6d8 for an average of 27.

On another note, ranged weapons now have builtin damage boosts thanks to potency. Less need for deadly aim or dex to damage is good.

Weapon dice have been changed. They are all one dice now, and I am pretty sure greatsword is 1d12 now(1d10 at worse), so a +5 would be 6d12 damage making it an average of 39 damage.

Liberty's Edge

Shakro Who Came Back wrote:
Here's a weird balance issue with the extra dice from potency : a +5 greatsword would do 7d6 damage on a swing (the base 2d6 + 5 extra dice from potency) for an average of 24.5, a +5 longsword would be on 6d8 for an average of 27.

They've fixed this by making all base damage dice numbers a single die. No more 2d4 Falchions or 2d6 greatswords. A greatsword is 1d12 in PF2, for example.

EDIT: Ninja'd. Ah, well.


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Cuttlefist wrote:
Definitely in the minority, but I am actually really excited about resonance. I think it is a great solution for streamlining magic item inventory and curbing unwanted item abuse.

So people playing the game differently from the way you think it should be played are committing "abuse" - that is... well, it's definitely an opinion.


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Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Cuttlefist wrote:
Definitely in the minority, but I am actually really excited about resonance. I think it is a great solution for streamlining magic item inventory and curbing unwanted item abuse.
So people playing the game differently from the way you think it should be played are committing "abuse" - that is... well, it's definitely an opinion.

Whoa pretty hostile there, my friend. Developers have said at least once that Wand of CLW is unwanted, and this would curb it, so there's technically nothing wrong or opinionated there.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
ChibiNyan wrote:
Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Cuttlefist wrote:
Definitely in the minority, but I am actually really excited about resonance. I think it is a great solution for streamlining magic item inventory and curbing unwanted item abuse.
So people playing the game differently from the way you think it should be played are committing "abuse" - that is... well, it's definitely an opinion.
Whoa pretty hostile there, my friend. Developers have said at least once that Wand of CLW is unwanted, and this would curb it, so there's technically nothing wrong or opinionated there.

The developers saying it has little bearing on whether or not it's opinionated or wrong. They're making a game to sell to us here, not to sell to themselves. Telling us how we should play in regards to CLW is definitely an opinion, and could be considered 'wrong' if the majority of players disagree.


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I don't like the scenario with the healing potion on a dying character. What if the dying person is out of resonance? Is the potion wanted and the dying continues?

Allow using resolve instead in these cases, or allow activate them at the beginning of a day for 24 hours at least.


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Leyren wrote:

I don't like the scenario with the healing potion on a dying character. What if the dying person is out of resonance? Is the potion wanted and the dying continues?

Allow using resolve instead in these cases, or allow activate them at the beginning of a day for 24 hours at least.

Make a medicine check instead then, OR die. I mean Characters do die in games from time to time. IT happens its part of the game.


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Sorry. I do try hard to live and let live, but using the word "abuse" in the context of what is - when all's said and done - just someone not playing the game in the way you want is pretty outrageous (in my opinion).

ChibiNyan wrote:
Developers have said at least once that Wand of CLW is unwanted.

I've completely missed that (I'm doing my best to keep up with the PF2 updates, but some things are bound to slip through the net). Would you be able to provide a link to this statement, please?

(And if that is their genuine view, that there is an item in the game that they really don't want to be there, then they're the game developers - it's within their power to do something about it directly.)


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I would honestly like to see resonance in reverse, like you can have up your level plus cha mod, start with zero then don your magic armor gain 1 resonance, drink a potion, gain 1 resonance, this way it feels more like your are saturating yourself with magics and you can only handle so much before its like grounded in the surroundings or dispersed , I think this would go over a lot better


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Stinger-X wrote:
I would honestly like to see resonance in reverse, like you can have up your level plus cha mod, start with zero then don your magic armor gain 1 resonance, drink a potion, gain 1 resonance, this way it feels more like your are saturating yourself with magics and you can only handle so much before its like grounded in the surroundings or dispersed , I think this would go over a lot better

I like that idea thematically as well. Seems like one of the easiest house rules ever, though, so I'm sure we can just do it that way if we like.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Any mechanical choice is going to change how something feels for one person or another so lets not get into that. Having a weapon be one damage size or another encourages certain ways to play. Having a DC be 35 or 40 encourages play one way or another. Every single element takes from one persons ideal game and gives to another. I know it hurts when it goes against your ideal (I hate the idea of signature skills for example) but it is a sad fact. Lets hope we can get a compromise that doesn't hurt any of us too much.

My current compromise is to have alternate rules in the CRB (maybe not the playtest) to appeal to more groups but state that any side bar rule is not the assumed balance point when it comes to published materials or PFS play.


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At this point, I would really like a blog post about how healing is supposed to work in 2E.


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Azouth wrote:
Orichalcum that’s new.

It sounds a bit like a dental term.


Chest Rockwell wrote:
Azouth wrote:
Orichalcum that’s new.
It sounds a bit like a dental term.

I've seen it used in other things before. Wasn't it in skyrim?


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Chest Rockwell wrote:
Azouth wrote:
Orichalcum that’s new.
It sounds a bit like a dental term.

Now I want to know what each of the special metals does when used as a cavity filling.


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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Azouth wrote:
Orichalcum that’s new.
It sounds a bit like a dental term.
Now I want to know what each of the special metals does when used as a cavity filling.

All I know is don't use Cold Iron, unless you want to have to explain to your kids that you accidentally killed the Tooth Fairy.


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Tholomyes wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Azouth wrote:
Orichalcum that’s new.
It sounds a bit like a dental term.
Now I want to know what each of the special metals does when used as a cavity filling.
All I know is don't use Cold Iron, unless you want to have to explain to your kids that you accidentally killed the Tooth Fairy.

They deserve worse.


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As for a dying (not just hurt) character being poured a healing potion from another chacter, I can see it working either way, to the point I may house rule that the players choose who spends the resonance:

- The dying character is the one drinking it, and needs to use its own resonance for the magic take effect on his body.

- The pouring character is the one using it, and I can easily picture her saying something like "Please, work", and the potion glowing (she used her own resonance to "activate" it) before starting to pour it.

The part that sounds weird to me is... Mary (pouring player) knows that John (dying player) has no resonance left... But why/how does Melissandre (Mary's character) know that Aragorn (John's character) is out of resonance? Are we really supposed to waste both the potion AND let Aragorn die to avoid being accused of "Metagaming"? Do characters sense resonance at the most purest Dragon Ball Z Ki-Reading style?

Anyway, at my table (if we use the current version of Resonance being shown here) I will allow the players to choose who spends the resonance in this scenario. Maybe (unsure) with it also costing 1 extra action (the one spend activating it before pouring) and probably (also unsure) only allowing it on dying character.
But it wouldn't be too weird if Melissangre could also "activate" a Bear Strenght potion for Aragorn before combat, they are just using the "group resources" after all, and passing down resonance in such a way is not too weird for a Pathfinder game. Is even cool, that she passes on to him so of her inner magic to help him in the fight.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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Stinger-X wrote:
I would honestly like to see resonance in reverse, like you can have up your level plus cha mod, start with zero then don your magic armor gain 1 resonance, drink a potion, gain 1 resonance, this way it feels more like your are saturating yourself with magics and you can only handle so much before its like grounded in the surroundings or dispersed , I think this would go over a lot better

I like this, because you could do some neat effects when the PC becomes "saturated". If they fail the flat check, maybe instead of the potion healing them, their hair turns green for an hour or whatever. Remember the old 2nd Edition potion admixture charts?

Obviously this wouldn't fit every group's playstyle, but it would be a neat optional/house rule.


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Kaemy wrote:

As for a dying (not just hurt) character being poured a healing potion from another chacter, I can see it working either way, to the point I may house rule that the players choose who spends the resonance:

- The dying character is the one drinking it, and needs to use its own resonance for the magic take effect on his body.

- The pouring character is the one using it, and I can easily picture her saying something like "Please, work", and the potion glowing (she used her own resonance to "activate" it) before starting to pour it.

The part that sounds weird to me is... Mary (pouring player) knows that John (dying player) has no resonance left... But why/how does Melissandre (Mary's character) know that Aragorn (John's character) is out of resonance? Are we really supposed to waste both the potion AND let Aragorn die to avoid being accused of "Metagaming"? Do characters sense resonance at the most purest Dragon Ball Z Ki-Reading style?

The bolded part seems to be the correct (even if lame) interpretation, as I remember the blog post specifying that the drinker is the one who expends the resonance, even if they are unconscious, dying, etc.

Even if John's character has 0 Resonance, this might be the first time he "overspends," so it's a 50/50 chance of it working. It's certainly better than "It just doesn't work, he dies," but the aspect of it being left to a coin flip doesn't seem right to me either.

Of course, if you were wise, you would instead use something like a Wand or other non-potion consumable, where you don't have to gamble on a person having or not having Resonance.

Even then, with how universal Resonance scaling is (Charisma Mod + Level), if you keep track of how much Resonance somebody spent in comparison to what they can or should have, you would be able to tell if they do or do not have Resonance. (This wouldn't technically be metagaming either, since your character should be able to gauge, based on how much magic someone used, if someone does or does not have Resonance based on how much they potentially have, compared to how much they have already spent.)


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Besided, the idea of resonance makes no sense if we assume the characters are unaware of it. It doesn't take a chemistry degree to figure out that potions and wands are the litmus test for resonance aptitude (what they'd call your RP value in-world). They are in-world proof that beings have limited quantities of magical energy, and tests would be developed to ascertain and measure your resonance aptitude... like getting an eye-exam, only they keep giving you Ioun Torchs to resonate with until one fails (due to resonance depletion syndrome).
Most commoners wouldn't know how much they had, and might overspend it not knowing better, however it is fair to assume that adventurers recieve the test during training. They are taught about the dangers of RDS (resonance depletion syndrome), and how to manage magical item use.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

To be fair I don't think commoners will ever overspend. They are unlikely to ever own a magic item, let alone more than that.


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I could see more wealthy NPCs owning the lowest-level potions, or situations where low-level NPCs (like hirelings) might be fed potions by PCs or other NPCs. Since a 1st level commoner will have 1-2 RP (or up to 4), it would be easy to overspend that way.
Plus anything the group sells ends up in the hands of NPCs. Who admitedly are never seen again, and always seem to have thousands of gold on hand to buy your crap.... despite being a low-level character living in a slum and otherwise having an income (based on profession) measurable in copper.

Liberty's Edge

Cantriped wrote:
Plus anything the group sells ends up in the hands of NPCs. Who admitedly are never seen again, and always seem to have thousands of gold on hand to buy your crap.... despite being a low-level character living in a slum and otherwise having an income (based on profession) measurable in copper.

PCs don't sell expensive stuff to people like this. They sell it to local merchants and nobles, who can turn it around for a profit by selling it to other people who want it, or in some cases keep it for themselves.

And people in PF1 actually make solid money (though not up to adventurer standards, obviously), making 1-2 GP per day of work. That's often 300-400 GP or so per year, often more for actual professionals. And it's much more (to the tune of 2-3k a year) if you actually own a business.

I doubt people in PF2 are gonna be much poorer, once you take the currency change into account.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Azouth wrote:
Orichalcum that’s new.
It sounds a bit like a dental term.
I've seen it used in other things before. Wasn't it in skyrim?

Orichalcum is a mythical metal with its origins in Plato’s writings. Given Azlant’s “Atlantean” flavor, it makes perfect sense to add to the game.


I'm talking about the local merchant too. Who, despite making about 36 gp per month, also spends 10 gp of that on their own cost of living. If they support a wife and child that might jump to 25 gp per month! (Adventurers are assumed to be single, do cost of living doesn't include extra mouths to feed... but life requires it)
That leaves them a family fortune of 132-300 gp per working year, or about 2,640-6,000 gp over his entire career.

So yeah... you might find an old man that can buy your +1 Sword or Wand of CLW, but based on the profession rules it will sit on a shelf until his son sells it to a flush adventurer up to a decade later (making the majority of his "income" for those years all at once...). However no matter where you go you have to deal with the fact that any given normal merchant has to be persuaded to part with a significant portion of the family fortune to buy any given peice of your "magical crap".

The nobleman might have it even worse by RAW, their cost of living is ten times higher per mouth, but even being significantly higher level doesn't actually let you make that much more money using a background skill check. However since ostensibly a portion of everyone else's costs of living are taxes they pay to nobles... maybe they don't leverage the profession mechancs (or maybe they get an unfair advantage).


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A lot of technical terminology being thrown our away, and the lack of context and purpose for them is making me anxious.

For example, why is there a distinction between a "Command Activation" and an "Operate Activation"? Was this explained before in a previous blog? Because I see all these keywords being thrown about like "Potion" "Magical" "Invested" and I know that they have some significance to them, but I don't know what that is.

It's like reading a PF1 statblock and seeing a long list of feats, and knowing I may have to refer to them somewhere.

And the fact that some of the distinctions seem to be hairsplitting ("Command Activation" and "Operate Activation") makes me anxious that these are referring to other rules that I don't know and will need to know their significance. Does a Command activation not provoke a reaction, while Operate does?

"Activation [[R]] Focus Activation; "

And why not just say "Focus", if it is a subtype of an "Activation"? Unless there are other types of "Activations" that for some reason don't use the word "Activation". But then why group them under "Activations"?

I see the appeal of having every magical item being unique, but now it seems like I have to pull out the statblock of every single power in order to know how it interacts with other rules. For example, in PF1 I know that a potion will provoke an AoO if I drink it, and that it requires a standard action to use. Boom. Simple. Done. But for a potion in PF2 it looks like there will be variance in how they will be activated, whether they use resonance, etc.

And so instead of having some uniform way to understand something in PF2 that is consistent and is arguably more thematic ("potions act in this way that I can understand"), my point of reference... is the individual unique statblock to that item. It's like needing to have 4th Edition power statblocks on hands, and there is a danger of the mechanics creating distance between our brains and the theme.


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IIRC, the lead editor is cray-cray. All "Activation" actions include that term every time they are used, likewise all "Casting" actions (spell components) include the term Casting... 'for clarity'

So we get s#@# like:
"I perform one Somatic Casting Action to cast [Blank]" and "I perform an Operate Activation action to use my [Blank], which lets met perform a Stride bonus action followed by a Strike bonus action."


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Cantriped wrote:

IIRC, the lead editor is cray-cray. All "Activation" actions include that term every time they are used, likewise all "Casting" actions (spell components) include the term Casting... 'for clarity'

So we get s*~~ like:
"I perform one Somatic Casting Action to cast [Blank]" and "I perform an Operate Activation action to use my [Blank], which lets met perform a Stride bonus action followed by a Strike bonus action."

Shouldn’t that be Strike Bonus Initiation Activity Action 3? For clarity...


No, because I was trying to make a legitimate point about the naming convention for actions being overly redundant when used in an actual sentence.

"Strike Bonus Initiation Activity Action 3" would be a satirical example of a compound Condition (one that gives you a bonus Strike action for the next three rounds when you perform an Activate action?). It's apples and oranges.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

While I do dislike the repition of activation and casting in actions that are already part of those categories, lets not pretend people will actually say most of that. They'll say "I spend an action to cast this spell" or more likely "I cast this spell."


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Also "action" isn't a key term, note how it isn't automatically capitalized in any of the official examples. So the relevant terms are "Operate Activation" and "Somatic Casting".


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Put me down in the vehemently anti-resonance camp. When 2E was announced, I was excited, because I felt like Pathfinder could use a refresh and a facelift. However, a number of proposed changes have caused my excitement to diminish, predominant among them, resonance.

From what I've seen, resonance seems clunky, unwieldy, fiddly, strange to justify in-world, and just un-fun. I'll keep an open mind and playtest it, as I've pre-purchased the materials, but if anything close to resonance in its current form makes it to 2E, I'll houserule it out, completely, just stick with 1E, or migrate to another system.

Cost-benefit, resonance doesn't see worth it, or even close. As a DM, if I want less magic in my campaign, I'll hand out fewer magical items. If something this big within Pathfinder is changing due to abuses within Pathfinder Society, something is wrong.

To sum, resonance just feels...off, and I'm strongly opposed to it in its current iteration.


Malk_Content wrote:
While I do dislike the repition of activation and casting in actions that are already part of those categories, lets not pretend people will actually say most of that. They'll say "I spend an action to cast this spell" or more likely "I cast this spell."

I would (and hate every second of it), and as GM I would require my players be able to report that data to be at my whim as well (as in, not spend 10 minutes searching for the spell, and then the definition of it's components, then the definition of all the conditions they're suffering to make sure they can actually cast it... etc).

Even though I won't make them use the terms conversationally like I'm compelled to, they do need to be able to do so on demand. Mainly because it wouldn't have a unique term without a reason, and it is all too easy to cheat or make mistakes when you use inaccurate and inconsistent short-hand during play. For that reason though... it would have been nice if they didn't make my tongue bleed to say, and my ears to hear.

They should also endeavor to make the terms easy to understand... players won't use mechanics they cannot comprehend, and because lets be frank, some players are smarter and/or more literate than others.


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I for one, am excited for the changes this will make to my gameplay.

Instead of yelling "THROK'GAR CAST SLEEP!" when I have my Half-Orc make a nonlethal attack with his greatclub, I can have him yell "THROK'GAR INVEST RESONANCE AND OPERATE ACTIVATION ACTION AND SPEND RESONANCE ON STAFF OF SLEEP!"


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I like potency and properties being separate. Less choosing between staying on curve and taking fun abilities.

I'm excited to try etching, to often have we seen a awesome greatsword that no one used because they were specialized in different weapons.

I'm liking the damage dice increase narratively. Hercules may be a powerful fighter, but he is better off wrestling a hydra than using a common iron sword. A magic weapon becomes more than just the ability to hurt ghosts.


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Tholomyes wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Azouth wrote:
Orichalcum that’s new.
It sounds a bit like a dental term.
Now I want to know what each of the special metals does when used as a cavity filling.
All I know is don't use Cold Iron, unless you want to have to explain to your kids that you accidentally killed the Tooth Fairy.

That raises a good question. What is even the point of cold iron? No benefits are mentioned, it is just... worse. Unless it ignores magic bonuses to defense or can cleave through walls of force, not sure why anyone would bother making a cold iron weapon.


Fey are weak to it... that is all. It is an out-of-date (and highly inaccurate) homage to real-world mythology and folklore.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Expect to be fighting a lot of fae or demons, both of whom have weakness (taking bonus damagej to cold iron?


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Voss wrote:
Tholomyes wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Azouth wrote:
Orichalcum that’s new.
It sounds a bit like a dental term.
Now I want to know what each of the special metals does when used as a cavity filling.
All I know is don't use Cold Iron, unless you want to have to explain to your kids that you accidentally killed the Tooth Fairy.
That raises a good question. What is even the point of cold iron? No benefits are mentioned, it is just... worse. Unless it ignores magic bonuses to defense or can cleave through walls of force, not sure why anyone would bother making a cold iron weapon.

That brings up a good point. Hitting a Vulnerablility: Cold Iron will probably mean a lot less than getting past DR/Cold Iron, and with the fact that magic weapons contribute far more in terms of damage, I suspect we won't see many people with a backup Cold Iron Longsword, for instance. Which I think is probably good, as I've never been one to care for the golf-bag-of-weapons thing, but it's sort of disappointing if I'm fighting a werewolf, and I know I could use an alchemical silver longsword, to hit its vulnerability, but I also know that my +2 Longsword will do more damage, anyway.

And also makes ranged attacks, potentially even more beneficial, since I can fire Cold Iron bolts from my +2 crossbow, and have them be both +2 and Cold Iron, when I'm fighting fey, and not have to choose one or the other, and then just use normal bolts when it doesn't matter, 'cause they're cheap, and then silver bolts when I fight that Werellama


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I'm honestly not impressed. I'm totally going to continue purchasing once P2 comes around, but a lot of the mechanics just aren't rubbing me the right way.


The hit for magic weapons that are good against a specific creature type also hurts the availability of specialist characters. Having a dedicated hunter with a +1 cold iron demonbane sword just became an impossibility until master quality weapons start appearing, which if NPC wealth is still reduced would be a very long time.


Voss wrote:
Tholomyes wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Azouth wrote:
Orichalcum that’s new.
It sounds a bit like a dental term.
Now I want to know what each of the special metals does when used as a cavity filling.
All I know is don't use Cold Iron, unless you want to have to explain to your kids that you accidentally killed the Tooth Fairy.
That raises a good question. What is even the point of cold iron? No benefits are mentioned, it is just... worse. Unless it ignores magic bonuses to defense or can cleave through walls of force, not sure why anyone would bother making a cold iron weapon.

For stabbing Faeries and Demons.

Ninjad.
edit. @Sideromancer. temporary buffs such as weapon oils or trinkets might help with that.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

One thing to note about Cold Iron isn't that while it can have one less property, there was no mention of potency. Seems like you can still have a +5 Cold Iron weapon that effectively has one of it's properties decided as "bonus damage against x, y and z"


Paul Watson wrote:
Expect to be fighting a lot of fae or demons, both of whom have weakness (taking bonus damagej to cold iron?

Yeah... that's pretty marginal. Especially since weakness isn't less damage from other weapons, its +X from that specific weapon.

It's the favored enemy problem again. Under specific circumstances, you get a marginal bonus, but most of the time you don't. And in this case, you take a persistent penalty (rather than the opportunity cost of having a worthwhile class feature).


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Kaemy wrote:

My two cents: went Resonance was first introduced, it felt weird, but also that there might be something in there. When I learned more about how you got it and what it was for, I started liking it more.

Now instead of having a shirt that gives you an extra move action 1/day and a cloak that turns you into a crow 3/day, you can wear both and decide with your 4 resonance points if you run 4 times, or turn into a crow 4 times, or any mix in between, and didn't have to track remaining uses for neither, just a global Resonance Pool.

When I learned potions costed resonance, I was also up for it. This encourages you to drink that one big level-apropiate powerful potion instead of drinking 20 crappy ones in a row after a fight, same for wands (wich I asumed would cost resonance to activate and would have no charges neither, so if you have 10 resonance points to use on wands, you want to make those 10 heals be better, so you buy better wands).
Making potions cost a valuable resource (Resonance) was also the perfect excuse to make them more powerful (since you are limited to how many you can use in any given day) so you would track your 3 AWESOME POTIONS instead of 20 crappy situational ones; and things like drinking a Healing Potion in Combat wouldn't be so much of a waste of actions (if it did for once heal more than what ANY enemy in the battle field could damage with half their attacks).

I was so into resonance, that I started homebrewing it in my current campaign, giving players wands and items that all have abilities that cost resonance, so they decide what/how they use them. And I do like having a resource similar to "How many spells do I have left? Do I want to burn one for this?" for all clases.

Then the last 2 Blog Posts happened... What a mess... 3 or 4 new kinds of actions that have never been explained to us and that seem that could be easily replaced with "Somatic, Verbal and Material". If you want to have a "Amazing Opperator" Feat later that removes the Opperation Action from items, you can...

A-freaking-men! It is laughable that they thought this was a good idea!


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Varun Creed wrote:

What about?


  • Wands are not consumables any longer, but can cast their spell for a 1RP cost of the receiver.
  • Staffs are like wands, but have additional bonuses (such as enabling their spell(s) to be used spontaneously costing a spell slot instead of a RP).
  • No item has charges, but instead use RP to use. Staffs don't have charges that need to be recharged.
  • All characters have CHA + 1/2 lvl resonance points in their reservoir. No flat rolls for overspending, but simply: If you overspend, you gain/increase the Sick condition after 1 minute, which can only be recovered by sleeping for 8 hours.
  • A character can synchronize their spirit each day with worn items, for a maximum of their total resonance points. This does not use up a resonance point.
  • Potions cost a RP to create, nothing to use.

This counteracts the CLW wand spam as well, as any wand now costs resolve points. "Then what about high level parties buying up 100's of potions?" > I answer: what store will have 100's of potions anyhow?? It's more normal that a store has 1d4 or 1d6 of healing potions.

I have to say that it is absolutely hilarious that I already need a "House Rules" document for a RPG that is not even in public playtest yet...

By the way, thanks for the idea, Varun.

Grand Lodge

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Stinger-X wrote:
I would honestly like to see resonance in reverse, like you can have up your level plus cha mod, start with zero then don your magic armor gain 1 resonance, drink a potion, gain 1 resonance, this way it feels more like your are saturating yourself with magics and you can only handle so much before its like grounded in the surroundings or dispersed , I think this would go over a lot better

Agreed! Exactly my proposal on page 2 or so. :) It makes so much more sense from a flavor perspective. (no matter which way Resonance rules will go!)

Varun Creed wrote:

Now that I'm thinking a bit more about Resonance.. What about switching it from a resource that you spend to a capacity that you build up?

[[M]] Magical Resonance
Your body can only handle a certain capacity of magic resonating with your spirit. Your maximum resonance is your level + your Charisma modifier on each day. Any action or investment that costs a [[M]] counts up to this maximum capacity.
If your body tries to resonate with more magic, there is a chance your body will reject the magic.


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Say hello to my +2 greatswors of healing. Every time I hit you with it, you heal 3d12 hit points of damage, no resonance required. Thank you, runes!!

Lantern Lodge

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Varun Creed wrote:

Now that I'm thinking a bit more about Resonance.. What about switching it from a resource that you spend to a capacity that you build up?

[[M]] Magical Resonance
Your body can only handle a certain capacity of magic resonating with your spirit. Your maximum resonance is your level + your Charisma modifier on each day. Any action or investment that costs a [[M]] counts up to this maximum capacity.
If your body tries to resonate with more magic, there is a chance your body will reject the magic. If you're at maximum resonance, 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 go over your maximum resonance capacity. So the first item has a 50% chance of working, and it gets more risky from there.

I really like this proposal. It reminds me of how the over use of magic is handled in some fantasy settings.

For example, in the circle of magic books, magical healing gets harder on a person who have received too much magical healing. The mage describes it in-world as the lingering older healing spells are fighting the fresher newer healing spells.

Pathfinder 2 needs to stop looking at the system purely from a mechanical or math only view and focus too on the flavor and in-world setting.
Both the math and flavor needs to work hand in hand for a good game system.

Otherwise PF2 would be no different from 4ed D&D, where the math and need to balance everything was made to the point that the game resembles a very stale CRPG instead. Turn away the very people that come to Pathfinder.

Really hope that the designers are taking our words to heart. We are not posting to spite Pathfinder 2.0. A new system is great! Especially after so many years of material build up in PF1.0.

We are posting, cos we really care about Pathfinder and want PF2.0 to be great and fun to play in.
Don't alienate your fans just for the sake of change.

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