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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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest
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Voss wrote:
graeme mcdougall wrote:
Voss wrote:
kwiqsilver wrote:
Voss wrote:

Right, so, first and foremost.

Etched runes. Just... just for the record, you know etching involves cutting designs into, say... metal, yes? This isn't a process that is erased or 'copied' just by licking your thumb and wiping it away.

Etching a rune is a magical process

>.>

No, it isn't. Etching is a normal thing mundane people actually do with metal and stone work.... unless you want to claim that anyone's great-great grandparent's headstones are magical objects.

Its great for decorative arts, maker's marks and monuments and markers. I'd expect to see a lot of mundane etching in Golarion, especially in Ulfen lands, where they're explicitly using runes for mundane communication and land claims.

You deserve a rolleyes for that.

I mean Etching in the context they've just presented. It's blatantly obvious I did.

Then you don't understand the problem I have with it. It's a continuation of the ongoing Terminology Problem, which encompasses all sorts of mechanical and in-game things that are anachronistic, inappropriate, awkward and/or mean something completely different than what the chosen term actually means.

That they're also treating etching metal like wax pencil marks and magical items like temporary tattoos just grinds it in deeper.

Further, given that PF2 is even more entrenched in Golarion as a setting, this is yet more things that... don't exist in that setting. Well established characters have legendary items that aren't Orihalcuzwhatsit with temporary sticker decals slapped on them.

Fair enough, I suppose. I do agree the Playtest has plenty of terminology problems.

Etching doesn't seem like one to me - I can actually picture the character sitting by the campfire carving the magic rune into their weapon & when they're done - the rune glows on the new weapon & falls away on the old.
It doesn't get on my nerves like all these action operation activation things.

Paizo Employee Designer

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edduardco wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
edduardco wrote:
The first three levels of Healing potions looks well balanced and priced correctly, but then the last three are completely overpriced for the healing offered no wonder Resonance is required to make them barely desirable.
The greater healing potion is actually a really good value, even just vis-a-vis rising PF1 potion costs. It offers nearly double the healing for only triple the GP cost, which in a fight is more than worth it for the savings in the action economy alone, resonance notwithstanding. 3rd level healing potions in PF1 offered only 1.5 times the healing for 2.5 times the GP cost of 2nd level healing potions (and 2nd level potions were even worse, 6x the cost for double the healing). The final two potions are indeed much more expensive per point of healing, so you might stick with greaters as your "go-to" potion for a while, but you eventually start getting enough money that you might consider the cost to be low compared to the convenience.
You are right Mark. High level items even if pricey makes perfect sense for in battle usege where time is on the premium and why cheap items are ideal for out of battle, but resonance disencourage the latest and that is why I don't like it for consumables.

I think someone in another thread had a great suggestion: If people are looking for automatic free full healing after every fight at a certain level, just pick a level and give everyone automatic free healing after every fight. In a system where a 16th level potion is worth 1,200 gp based on how much gold you get at that level, healing for multiples of 3 gp (or even cheaper from a wand) might as well just be free full automatic healing.


Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Paizo blog wrote:
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
Oh Dog I can't even

+10 defense versus browsing impulse buyers? :)


For a consumable or charge item do loose the use if you fail the spent all resonance for the day roll?


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Yeah, green dragons do poison damage:)


TOZ wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:

Oricalcum, albeit under a different spelling, has previously existed in-universe with completely different properties. Can we at least try to keep our metals consistent?

** spoiler omitted **
Consistent with a previous edition? Not necessary.

Not necessary, but perhaps it would be nice for those of us that were looking to move editions. I recognize that everything is being changed -- often for change sake it seems -- but words have meanings. The terms we've been using over the years mean things. This was one of the problems I've had with other games changing editions and totally redoing the game; it makes things more difficult for long time players for no real gain.

Paizo Employee Designer

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In regard to a lot of different posts mentioning multi-spend schemes: Investing or activating either costs an RP or it doesn't, at least right now, which keeps it much simpler than spending variable amounts.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
QuidEst wrote:

Invisibility Armor:

- 10th level, 1,000 gp (or 8th and half that for very limited use).
- 3 uses, 1 RP each. (Unless you went for 500gp version, which just has one).
- One action to activate.
- Attunement included with armor (something you need to have attuned).
- Uses up armor property slot.

I'd be happier a harder push to ditch limited per-day tracking, but maybe that extra point of attunement is tough to balance just on price and add-on features alone.

That three uses was my biggest disappointment. If the rune needs to be more expensive or higher level to be unlimited, so be it. I only want to see 1/day or unlimited uses.
Logan and I were talking about this one too, since it's maybe one of the only X/day that isn't 1/day in the whole playtest. It's possible we should make it a two-action invis usable at will as like a level 9 rune (with the 1/day going down to 7), for example. It's the action economy advantages that really makes it push the envelope right now, even with 3.

You might consider looking out for things like this in the future. If you put it in the blog post we will assume it is representative of how the system works. That’s the whole point of a preview blog!


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Like that there is poison damage, better healing from a potion, repairing with craft, magic runestones, and transferable weapon properties. I also like that fortification no longer applies to light armor (and I assume bracers of armor).

Don't like pricing some items in gold and others in silver. It's just going to spawn confusion for me. Also, I really don't like that resonance isn't replacing these 1/day 3/day etc limits. I like resonance, but if one goal is to cut back on fiddly item tracking and at the same time a character can have a staff with 5 charges that replenish, armor usable 3/day, a wand with 8 charges that never replinish, a few one-use trinkets, an at-will cloak, and 10 resonance between them all, that goal has not been met. Hope this gets fixed before the final release.

Finally a question: Can weapon runes like flaming be turned on and off like in PF1?


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I wonder if Orichalcum Shields will be a thing, for that same auto-repair that Armor's getting. That would be pretty useful.

The more time goes on the more I start to wonder if consumables will see play at all in the late-game anymore. It seems more and more like it's just gonna be infinitely more cost effective to buy reusable items like staves and amulets as soon as they become affordable. It's not like you're likely to get any more use out of the consumables than you would the constant items in a single day, and in the long run the costs of consumables will eventually outrun the costs of equivalent-powered items you only have to buy once. Or options like (skill) feats or a Cleric's channels that just happen without any out of pocket gold.


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The only real criticism I have for this is thinks should cost Resonance or have X per day limitations not both. Absolutely not both and between the two I'd rather have Resonance.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how hard using more Resonance than you have is going to turn out.


Glad to see orichalcum.

Too bad cold iron has more of a draw back as magical equipment.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
In regard to a lot of different posts mentioning multi-spend schemes: Investing or activating either costs an RP or it doesn't, at least right now, which keeps it much simpler than spending variable amounts.

Agree, additional resonance point per activation is a bookkeeping nightmare


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I thought Resonance was supposed to remove X Per Day uses on items. Why does Armor of Invisibility have a limit of 3?


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okay, not a fan.

1. "Potency and Potions" instead of "Potent Potables"? Missed opportunity, Paizo.
2. Wow, vorpal's bad now. The resonance cost is okay, but having to spend your reaction and allowing a save? No fun! (At least make the DC scaling, and let the weapon do a bunch of extra damage if the save succeeds.)
3. Fortification: 2,000 gp for 20% crit avoidance looks like a no-brainer at high levels. Is it really a good idea to force an extra die roll every time something crits?

but imo the most serious issue:

In a game where GP is a basic unit of character advancement as or more important than XP, does anyone really like spending it on annoying necessities like healing? Like, does anyone really think "yeah, that adds an enjoyable and satisfying dimension of strategic choice to the game"? As far as I can tell, the only reason to charge increasing amounts of gold for healing potions is that you don't want high-level characters chugging them like water. But resonance already solves that!

So, Paizo could have either

(a) made there be one--cheap--healing potion that cost RP to quaff and provided a level-based amount of healing, thus making resonance the limiting factor, or
(b) kept a bunch of increasingly expensive healing potions, thus making gold the limiting factor.

As far as I can tell, either one of these would have worked great, and been simpler and more fun than the playtest system. Am I missing something? If so, I'd really enjoy hearing it! (Honestly, I would; I bet it'd be pretty illuminating.)


Was never a fan of X per day abilities.

Also why does the Vorpal sword cost resonance to use but the disruption one doesn't say anything?


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Here's an idea:

Drop the strange action names and just tell us how many actions it takes to do something and any other mechanically noteworthy attributes of the action.

These action names are just confusing at this point, and I feel as though we are running into increasingly more situations where the action description doesn't make sense with the action economy.

For instance, spells that have a verbal and somatic component require that we wave our hand, then speak the incantation, or vice-versa. Why not just say it takes 2 actions to complete the gestures and incantations required to cast this spell?

I assume I can't walk over to someone while I am inhaling for a Dragon's Breath? Does this mean that the people in Golarion can't walk and breath at the same time?

I get that it is a "deep breath", but that should be doable simultaneously with any effect that isn't talking or exhaling. That makes physical sense.

If my character decides to jump off a bride to rescue someone in the river below, do they have to take a breath before they jump, or can they do so simultaneously like a normal human being?


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Honestly, I would rather deal with some magic item powers spending 2 or more resonance points than going back to 1/day, X charges, once each 1d4 rounds, etc and add resonance in top of that.
Thing is, when resonance was presented to me, it was the way to limit magic item uses. Now, it's just one more thing to keep track off, and it throws out of the window many scenarios that made me cheer up for resonance.. I don't like that. And there is such a thing as over-complex characters (ask 4e epic tier).


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Unicore wrote:
I have to admit, I am really, really confused about why we have resonance, X times a day effects, duration tracking, and charges for magic items. Yikes! This feels like a lot of unnecessary complexity and balance redundancy to attempt to make most magic items work like they did in PF1 without spending the time to reconfigure them to a new system. I'd much rather have less magic items at first and have them balanced around not needing x times a day or charges, and then let more items trickle in in supplements.

Didn't they state that one of the reasons for Resonance was to get rid of X/day on magic items?

If it's not doing that, and PCs aren't really ever at risk of running out

Mark Seifter wrote:
Except for a particular time when my playtesters explicitly tried to see if they could get away with saving money on CLW wand spam despite being high level adventurers who could afford a better wand, and a few extreme stress test situations where I told them "This is the only fight today. Nova your heart out," my playtest group never really hit hard against the resonance caps, even the ones with lower Charisma.

, then what exactly is Resonance good for?

I'm not exactly keen on weapon and armor magic properties being "Runes", though the idea of being able to swap out properties or move them to a better weapon is nice. No need to carry an axiomatic holy weapon and an anarchic holy weapon in case of demon or devil fights, just one weapon with a holy rune, and spare axiomatic and anarchic runes to use as needed.


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thflame wrote:

Here's an idea:

Drop the strange action names and just tell us how many actions it takes to do something and any other mechanically noteworthy attributes of the action.

This.

At the risk of banging on about it - I understand the designers want to add some keywords to things so they can target them with other rules later.
Like you could see a 'smooth operator' feat that would target operate actions or something.
But PLEASE don't bury us under so many clunky keywords attached to every little thing, it feels almost like reading computer code at points.


edduardco wrote:
Bummer, I was expecting to never see a 1/day item again, it would be really that unbalanced that items could be activated as many times as resonance can be expended?

Yeah… as Mark pointed out, it's Quickened Invisibility rather than just Invisibility. I imagine Quickened Invisibility falls somewhere between regular and Greater (i.e. 4th level) Invisibility. If you can use it unlimited times, it's a very strong tool for Sorcerers and Bards, something of a must-have. So why is limited per day balanced? Because in addition to the cost, it takes up an armor ability slot, which you only have so many of. You can only get the great deal of Quickened Invisibility for just one RP so often for that slot.

I do agree with the idea that the upgraded version should probably just balance for slightly higher level unlimited use (a pay-lots-of-RP take on 4th level Invisibility) and avoid having something to track beyond used/unused.


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Dragon78 wrote:

Glad to see orichalcum.

Too bad cold iron has more of a draw back as magical equipment.

It might be like that just as an arbitrary restriction on what would otherwise be a stupidly powerful material. If everything that used to have dr/cold iron is now weak to the stuff, then... well that is a very large portion of the bestiary.


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Since alchemical elixirs can be permanently crafted so they take no resonance to use, why would I use potions over elixirs?


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I guess since consumables use RP we can add "Forcefeeding potions that don't do anything to prevent prisoners from using Magical Items" to the list of new elements to the setting.

If I consume a consumable but lack the RP to power it, what happens to it? Is it gone? Are characters aware of their Resonance? Is there a way of determining how much resonance I have? How about somebody else? Will this allow for "power level" detection?

So many questions...


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If I had to guess, the reason they're using more verbose terminology is to prevent threads and threads of arguments about how imprecise their language is. It might be a bit harder to get used to, but it should also help make things clearer in the long run, and keep people on the same page.

Paizo Employee Designer

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modus0 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Except for a particular time when my playtesters explicitly tried to see if they could get away with saving money on CLW wand spam despite being high level adventurers who could afford a better wand, and a few extreme stress test situations where I told them "This is the only fight today. Nova your heart out," my playtest group never really hit hard against the resonance caps, even the ones with lower Charisma.
, then what exactly is Resonance good for?

Well for at least one thing, I can bold another portion of the same quote:

Mark Seifter wrote:
Except for a particular time when my playtesters explicitly tried to see if they could get away with saving money on CLW wand spam despite being high level adventurers who could afford a better wand, and a few extreme stress test situations where I told them "This is the only fight today. Nova your heart out," my playtest group never really hit hard against the resonance caps, even the ones with lower Charisma.


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Friday afternoon stream of thought:

Fixed DCs on Disruptive and Vorpal: These are the two abilities where I understand leaving these as fixed DCs... But save or die has always had a weird place in the game. I like the other effects of Disruptive. Would Level+17 work instead of DC 32 for disruptive, or Level+Lore(undead)+4?

The flat check on fortification feels like an unnecessary layer and an extra roll. Why not change it so fortification changes criticals from 10+AC to 13+AC or 16+AC?

Items with a times per day limit. If resonance isn't working here. Can that item cost 2 resonance? Can the armor invisibility not consume resonance, but instead you must make a check as if you were out of resonance, with the check becoming increasingly difficult? Or both.

Potion of dragon's breath: 4d6 damage at level 7 with a reflex save that consumes Resonance. I'll keep an eye out for this during the playtest to see if it gets use.


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I won't say this is what should be done, but suggest that Potions should be the only item that does not require any resource to use aside from gold. Then in the description of potions "Potions, either due to their magic or alchemical potency, are intended for limited consumption. Characters that drink a potion must wait 1 minute before consuming another potion."

Hopefully curtails the potion guzzling and also eliminates the need to track resonance for a character to drink a potion. What negative effect that occurs would then be up to balancing. Maybe an alchemical explosion, who knows. Otherwise I would never use a potion for the entire adventure, I'm not risking having to use a coin flip to determine whether my character will live or die drinking a potion if I don't have a large stockpile of resonance to utilize them.


technarken wrote:
I guess since consumables use RP we can add "Forcefeeding potions that don't do anything to prevent prisoners from using Magical Items" to the list of new elements to the setting.

- Why would they have magic items if they're prisoners?

- They'd have to be unconscious, already an effective way of preventing magic item use.

I don't think that's really going to be a standard tactic.

technarken wrote:
If I consume a consumable but lack the RP to power it, what happens to it? Is it gone?

You get a flat check to maybe have it work anyway, otherwise it's gone.

technarken wrote:
Are characters aware of their Resonance? Is there a way of determining how much resonance I have?

Probably.

technarken wrote:
How about somebody else?

I dunno, maybe a spell?

"technarken"Will this allow for "power level" detection?[/QUOTE wrote:


No. They may have used resonance already, making it less effective than PF1's Detect Alignment spells were.


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technarken wrote:

I guess since consumables use RP we can add "Forcefeeding potions that don't do anything to prevent prisoners from using Magical Items" to the list of new elements to the setting.

If I consume a consumable but lack the RP to power it, what happens to it? Is it gone? Are characters aware of their Resonance? Is there a way of determining how much resonance I have? How about somebody else? Will this allow for "power level" detection?

So many questions...

Well, theoretically if you have an infinite supply of healing potions, you could keep stabbing someone and then give them potions until they reliably stop healing.

Or you could just not let them near magic items. That would work too and require significantly less attention.


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graeme mcdougall wrote:
thflame wrote:

Here's an idea:

Drop the strange action names and just tell us how many actions it takes to do something and any other mechanically noteworthy attributes of the action.

This.

At the risk of banging on about it - I understand the designers want to add some keywords to things so they can target them with other rules later.
Like you could see a 'smooth operator' feat that would target operate actions or something.
But PLEASE don't bury us under so many clunky keywords attached to every little thing, it feels almost like reading computer code at points.

Yes. One thing 4e vs. 5e taught us is that writing style and visual presentation matters. Open one edition's Player's Handbook, then the other's. Which makes you smile, and imagine going on an adventure? It's really unrealistic to think that this emotional difference doesn't filter into actual play: it sets the tone.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
modus0 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Except for a particular time when my playtesters explicitly tried to see if they could get away with saving money on CLW wand spam despite being high level adventurers who could afford a better wand, and a few extreme stress test situations where I told them "This is the only fight today. Nova your heart out," my playtest group never really hit hard against the resonance caps, even the ones with lower Charisma.
, then what exactly is Resonance good for?

Well for at least one thing, I can bold another portion of the same quote:

Mark Seifter wrote:
Except for a particular time when my playtesters explicitly tried to see if they could get away with saving money on CLW wand spam despite being high level adventurers who could afford a better wand, and a few extreme stress test situations where I told them "This is the only fight today. Nova your heart out," my playtest group never really hit hard against the resonance caps, even the ones with lower Charisma.

Dude, if you guys are introducing this whole big immersion-compromising system to cordon off a degenerate edge case, it might be a good idea to rethink things.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
modus0 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Except for a particular time when my playtesters explicitly tried to see if they could get away with saving money on CLW wand spam despite being high level adventurers who could afford a better wand, and a few extreme stress test situations where I told them "This is the only fight today. Nova your heart out," my playtest group never really hit hard against the resonance caps, even the ones with lower Charisma.
, then what exactly is Resonance good for?

Well for at least one thing, I can bold another portion of the same quote:

Mark Seifter wrote:
Except for a particular time when my playtesters explicitly tried to see if they could get away with saving money on CLW wand spam despite being high level adventurers who could afford a better wand, and a few extreme stress test situations where I told them "This is the only fight today. Nova your heart out," my playtest group never really hit hard against the resonance caps, even the ones with lower Charisma.

So, resonance on everything *is* specifically just a reaction to CLW wands?

I agree with Ludovicus on both issues- there are better ways to deal with the problem (small number of uses per day on wands come to mind, or storing/replacement of hit points on an individual basis)

And on terminology. 'Operate' and its siblings would be fine if you were writing rules for riggers/deckers in cyberpunk game, but they're completely out of place here. You've got a theme/setting mismatch with mechanics, and its bleeding all over everything.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
modus0 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Except for a particular time when my playtesters explicitly tried to see if they could get away with saving money on CLW wand spam despite being high level adventurers who could afford a better wand, and a few extreme stress test situations where I told them "This is the only fight today. Nova your heart out," my playtest group never really hit hard against the resonance caps, even the ones with lower Charisma.
, then what exactly is Resonance good for?

Well for at least one thing, I can bold another portion of the same quote:

Mark Seifter wrote:
Except for a particular time when my playtesters explicitly tried to see if they could get away with saving money on CLW wand spam despite being high level adventurers who could afford a better wand, and a few extreme stress test situations where I told them "This is the only fight today. Nova your heart out," my playtest group never really hit hard against the resonance caps, even the ones with lower Charisma.

The more I see of resonance the more it feels like an enormous pain in the neck if all it does is keep people from spamming wands of CLW.


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People read what they want to read out of lines, generally when they're trying to find every possible problem with what people say.


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Wow. Runestones look a lot like materia from Final Fantasy VII. I would like it because it means you don't have to throw away your weapon in order to get a more powerful one, except I'm pretty sure you're limited on the number of runestones a weapon can get based on it's quality. Which means not only are we back on the treadmill of weapon upgrades, but you HAVE to throw away your earlier weapon rather than simply upgrade it's enchantments.

I worry about the amount of jargon in the new edition. Everything has a keyword which means I have to remember each keyword and what it means. SOme of these keywords seem just so unnecessary (bolstered anyone?). But we'll wait and see. If that were the worst thing about this edition then it would be a great one.

edduardco wrote:

Sad that Wand weren't shown

Also, why weapons get a free pass on investment?

Because fighters can't use their most basic class features without weapons. It's a giant red flag for me on how bad the resonance mechanic is that they have to make such a big exemption.

Fuzzypaws wrote:
So I can pay 1000 gp to use invisibility only 3 times per day at the additional cost of a precious armor rune slot and 1 RP per casting, or I can pay the same 1000 gp for a cloak of elvenkind that gives a Stealth bonus, a cantrip, and lets me cast invisibility forever so long as I have resonance. Hm, I wonder what people will pick. :p

Well if you pick the cloak you won't be able to wear any other cloak... wait a minute. There are no slots. That means you can wear 20 cloaks! Good luck on finding a GM that let's you do that though. Hooray for clarity in rules thanks to no more slots! /s


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Personally, I think that if you were going to have Potions have this different feel from other magic items, they shouldn't need Resonance to use (except in the case of being able to enact additional uses out of them like with the Dragon Breath Potion). After all, if Potions are special, have them be empowered with their own magic, similar to magic weapons.

I also don't quite grasp why armor needs Resonance to use. I could understand if it was to utilize a feature like the Invisibility, but just to put it on and have the bonus to AC and saves? It seems like that aspect should just work similar to magic weapons.

That said, I appreciate the Developers sticking around and expanding on stuff this time around. It's always nice to see information expanded upon, especially with something controversial like Resonance or in this case magic weapons/armor/potions. :)


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I know "lasthead" is a typo, but I am absolutely naming a frontier town "Lasthead" in my next campaign.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Voss wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
modus0 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Except for a particular time when my playtesters explicitly tried to see if they could get away with saving money on CLW wand spam despite being high level adventurers who could afford a better wand, and a few extreme stress test situations where I told them "This is the only fight today. Nova your heart out," my playtest group never really hit hard against the resonance caps, even the ones with lower Charisma.
, then what exactly is Resonance good for?

Well for at least one thing, I can bold another portion of the same quote:

Mark Seifter wrote:
Except for a particular time when my playtesters explicitly tried to see if they could get away with saving money on CLW wand spam despite being high level adventurers who could afford a better wand, and a few extreme stress test situations where I told them "This is the only fight today. Nova your heart out," my playtest group never really hit hard against the resonance caps, even the ones with lower Charisma.
So, resonance on everything *is* specifically just a reaction to CLW wands?

No, it's a reaction to the deeper design challenges that lead to the CLW wand problem. My group, other than testing out being stingy on wands, never really tried to really spam their items, but resonance is a simple way to handle that in general, not just in specific.


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ORICHALCUM
I like the addition of Orichalcum as an inherently magic material especially if they are upping Cold Iron's place as an anti magic material (maybe sheets of cold iron block detect magic?) it has nice symmetry with mithril vs adamant being extra light vs extra tough metals.

RUNES
I like that they are transferable. I think one good art piece of an adventurer transferring a rune from one weapon to another should help folks wrap their heads around it.

RESONANCE
On resonance I was with you before but both of this weeks blogs have made me like the sub-system less and less. If you actually committed to the system I think it could work but having both resonance and X/day items feels like it defeats the purpose.

POTIONS
Will there be a potion of resonance restoration?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

My Take.

My overall questions to RP and how it is used and eventually overused is more with the interaction with the other mechanics of the game, what Spell Points will do, how certain classes will use RP and SP together, and how magic will interact with items in general.

How would one Sunder a weapon, and is it different for a magical item (say like a ring)?

I also would like to know how the Alchemist will do with these things and if there will be classes in the future (or an Archtype now) that can mitigate RP use in some way.


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So is there a special rule for having someone pour a potion down your throat if you have 0 resonance? Like "it always works because dying isn't fun and taking appropriate steps to avoid dying shouldn't really be subject to a coin flip (or worse)."


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Voss wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
modus0 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Except for a particular time when my playtesters explicitly tried to see if they could get away with saving money on CLW wand spam despite being high level adventurers who could afford a better wand, and a few extreme stress test situations where I told them "This is the only fight today. Nova your heart out," my playtest group never really hit hard against the resonance caps, even the ones with lower Charisma.
, then what exactly is Resonance good for?

Well for at least one thing, I can bold another portion of the same quote:

Mark Seifter wrote:
Except for a particular time when my playtesters explicitly tried to see if they could get away with saving money on CLW wand spam despite being high level adventurers who could afford a better wand, and a few extreme stress test situations where I told them "This is the only fight today. Nova your heart out," my playtest group never really hit hard against the resonance caps, even the ones with lower Charisma.
So, resonance on everything *is* specifically just a reaction to CLW wands?
No, it's a reaction to the deeper design challenges that lead to the CLW wand problem. My group, other than testing out being stingy on wands, never really tried to really spam their items, but resonance is a simple way to handle that in general, not just in specific.

'That' being what, precisely? Healing or that low level effects still matter and don't cost much?

This seems to have a lot of complexity (and more importantly, really dull daily book-keeping) for a 'simple' method. Though admittedly a lot of the complexity comes from formatting, lack of precision in rules text and the Terminology Problem.


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I do like having the cake and eating it too. +1 to hit and an extra damage dice is noice!


QuidEst wrote:


technarken wrote:
Will this allow for "power level" detection?
No. They may have used resonance already, making it less effective than PF1's Detect Alignment spells were.

Probably more useful than you'd think. Unless you make your NPCs burn through all their Resonance each day, most people won't have more than a couple of resonance (1-4 for the average person). Really shakes up investigation strategy beyond the low levels.


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Bardarok wrote:

ORICHALCUM

I like the addition of Orichalcum as an inherently magic material especially if they are upping Cold Iron's place as an anti magic material (maybe sheets of cold iron block detect magic?) it has nice symmetry with mithril vs adamant being extra light vs extra tough metals.

But here's the thing: cold iron isn't just antimagic, it's also anti-antimagic since the hit applies to everything, including increasing the ability to disrupt magic. If Cold iron was true antimagic (and thus could be use to crank specific abjurations through the roof), I'd be more okay with it (especially since there are metals that apply to other forms of magic), but nope, that falls to noqual and cold iron is just pushed to the side.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
So is there a special rule for having someone pour a potion down your throat if you have 0 resonance? Like "it always works because dying isn't fun and taking appropriate steps to avoid dying shouldn't really be subject to a coin flip (or worse)."

I think that's the medicine skill. DC 15 to stabilize that should become better than a coin flip by at worst lvl 9.


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So I wonder, if my PCs are at a fancy dinner party which they strongly suspect will errupt in a fight because the villain is also in attendance, is it a valid tactic to slip potions into the villain's wine/aspic/soup/pudding/etc. so as to sap all of their resonance?

Said villain may be on the look out for poison, but not for 3gp healing potions slipped into everything.


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In PF1e at least, potions have unique tastes. I doubt they're going to complement the soup.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

So I wonder, if my PCs are at a fancy dinner party which they strongly suspect will errupt in a fight because the villain is also in attendance, is it a valid tactic to slip potions into the villain's wine/aspic/soup/pudding/etc. so as to sap all of their resonance?

Said villain may be on the look out for poison, but not for 3gp healing potions slipped into everything.

You can choose to use the RP even while unconscious, I can't see how this would make for a loss of RP without the boss choosing to do so.

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