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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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Cthulhudrew wrote:
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
I think they mentioned in one of the live streams that, like in Starfinder, L stands for Light bulk, and equals 0.1 Bulk (so 10 L items add up to 1 Bulk)
Isn't it more intuitive, then, to make L = .1 instead? So that way you are just adding numbers to get your numeric Bulk rating, instead of adding numbers and letters together.

Except 9 L= 0 Bulk. So the tracking only matters if you reach full #s. a series of check boxes on a character sheet should handle it quite well

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
I think they mentioned in one of the live streams that, like in Starfinder, L stands for Light bulk, and equals 0.1 Bulk (so 10 L items add up to 1 Bulk)
Isn't it more intuitive, then, to make L = .1 instead? So that way you are just adding numbers to get your numeric Bulk rating, instead of adding numbers and letters together.

I didn't watch the stream, but my friend who did said that they were abbreviating "1 Bulk, 2 Light" as "1.2L", so there's some precedent for that.


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We definitely just use the decimal total, eg 3.4, in my Starfinder game.

Grand Lodge

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Tangent101 wrote:
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.

Yeah. I honestly think that these are a far better way to go. I especially like the thought of people getting Sick after overusing Resonance. Though there might be categories of Sick in that case - each extra Resonance you use ends up costing you more and more until you are barely able to function and are not any good in a fight.

You might also include a condition where eight hours of sleep Sleep only removes three categories of Sick, so if someone overspent their Resonance by four, they'd wake up the next morning and still feel sick - this is actually something you see in fantasy stories where a spellcaster overuses their magic and feels ill the next day.

Exactly the reason why I wrote the increase Sick condition. So with overspending two resonance, you'll be Sick 2 untill you sleep 8 hours (instead of Retching giving a new save).

I also really like the touch that the sickness only starts after 1 minute ("cinematically drained after a boost"). I like your idea of having it cured over multiple days if you REALLY overspend. :)


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UnArcaneElection wrote:
For all the reasons that others have posted about above (and I have Faved many of them), this blog has worsened my attitude about Pathfinder 2nd Edition from Attitude Annoyance Aggravation Unfriendly 1 to Attitude Annoyance Aggravation Unfriendly 2.

I fondly remember Attitude Annoyance Aggravation Unfriendly 2 but that's been a while. :P


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
It would help if people paid attention to the blogs or went back and reviewed what has already been explained.

I don't remember Focus Activations and such ever getting a proper introduction to any blog post.

By all means, if you know where they're at, perhaps a pointer in the right direction will help change peoples' perspective on certain aspects of the game, since it appears a lot of people are lost on what actions do what, and what the difference between them are. And since they're fundamental to magic item function, it seems silly that so many people glossed over those rules and somehow didn't realize they weren't there.

It wasn't in the blog post but it was in the blog thread. Which is understandbly easy to miss.

"Just to give you guys the PF1 equivalencies for these from activation in the PF1 CRB (some have probably already guessed):

Operate = Pure Use Activated (if you remember in the PF1 CRB, use activated's description breaks up and repeats command word and mentally willing the activation to happen, but in the first line "This type of item simply has to be used in order to activate it. A character has to drink a potion, swing a sword, interpose a shield to deflect a blow in combat, look through a lens, sprinkle dust, wear a ring, or don a hat. Use activation is generally straightforward and self-explanatory.")

Command = Command Word

Focus = Mentally willing the activation to happen (found inside of use activated in the PF1 CRB)"

This combined with the Resonance blog stating that "Activating or investing an item costs 1 Resonance Point (RP)." we have a pretty good idea of what those actions entail and that if the action is ever part of the "Activation" entry it costs a Resonance to do so.

Just makes items like the Cloak of Elvenkind even more broken than before, since now I have to spend a Resonance to get the Ghost Sound cantrip (which we don't even know what it...

Activating an item costs one resonance, using Ghost sound or raising the hood to gain the stealth bonus is NOT activating the item. Activation is a keyword here, which is what they're trying to make clear, and HAS been clear in the blog posts, as far as I can tell, I'm not sure how people find these other readings.


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Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
Except 9 L= 0 Bulk. So the tracking only matters if you reach full #s. a series of check boxes on a character sheet should handle it quite well

DM: "What's your bulk?"

Player: "Hang on. 5 plus... 6, no 7 L. So 5."

vs.

Player: "Hang on. 5.7. So, 5."

I'm not seeing a substantive difference other than the latter seems quicker and more natural (adding numbers directly rather than adding numbers and counting up letters to add to them.) YMMV.


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You could just as easily have used the notation "5B 7L" on your sheet and had an equally accurate and easily referenced answer for your GM.

"5.7B" does look nice too. As does "57 lbs.". Its all the same really.


MusicAddict wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
It would help if people paid attention to the blogs or went back and reviewed what has already been explained.

I don't remember Focus Activations and such ever getting a proper introduction to any blog post.

By all means, if you know where they're at, perhaps a pointer in the right direction will help change peoples' perspective on certain aspects of the game, since it appears a lot of people are lost on what actions do what, and what the difference between them are. And since they're fundamental to magic item function, it seems silly that so many people glossed over those rules and somehow didn't realize they weren't there.

It wasn't in the blog post but it was in the blog thread. Which is understandbly easy to miss.

"Just to give you guys the PF1 equivalencies for these from activation in the PF1 CRB (some have probably already guessed):

Operate = Pure Use Activated (if you remember in the PF1 CRB, use activated's description breaks up and repeats command word and mentally willing the activation to happen, but in the first line "This type of item simply has to be used in order to activate it. A character has to drink a potion, swing a sword, interpose a shield to deflect a blow in combat, look through a lens, sprinkle dust, wear a ring, or don a hat. Use activation is generally straightforward and self-explanatory.")

Command = Command Word

Focus = Mentally willing the activation to happen (found inside of use activated in the PF1 CRB)"

This combined with the Resonance blog stating that "Activating or investing an item costs 1 Resonance Point (RP)." we have a pretty good idea of what those actions entail and that if the action is ever part of the "Activation" entry it costs a Resonance to do so.

Just makes items like the Cloak of Elvenkind even more broken than before, since now I have to spend a Resonance to get the Ghost Sound
...

You're using it 3 different ways to get 3 different effect.

I'd just take "As a Swift, Free, or Standard" action myself though those are gone.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

But the point is not how much time they take (free, swift, standard), but if they work when paralyzed, silenced, etc. Whether it provokes an AoO, etc.

Silver Crusade

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

Random thought I had (still trying to read the whole thread so apologies if this has already been brought up), but what if instead of Potions costing Resonance and a specific Potion of Resonance Restore, all Potions gave you back a point (or more) of Resonance depending on the quality? You are quite literally drinking magic.

Silver Crusade

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

Random Thought 2 (still reading)

Have multiple different types of wands that can be made.

This wand is an implement for a spell but can’t cast it on its own, so needs Resonance expenditure.

This wand has charges on its own (and you can buffer it with your own Resonance?).

This wand has unlimited charges but you have to invest a point of Resonance and it has limited uses per day.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Cthulhudrew wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
Except 9 L= 0 Bulk. So the tracking only matters if you reach full #s. a series of check boxes on a character sheet should handle it quite well

DM: "What's your bulk?"

Player: "Hang on. 5 plus... 6, no 7 L. So 5."

vs.

Player: "Hang on. 5.7. So, 5."

I'm not seeing a substantive difference other than the latter seems quicker and more natural (adding numbers directly rather than adding numbers and counting up letters to add to them.) YMMV.

It can be difficult to distinguish a ‘1’ from a ‘.1’ when scanning down a column. Using L makes the two much more distinct and avoids those little errors.


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Cthulhudrew wrote:
DM: "What's your bulk?"

Every time I see bulk come up in one of these thread makes me want to play the game less... :P


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KingOfAnything wrote:
It can be difficult to distinguish a ‘1’ from a ‘.1’ when scanning down a column. Using L makes the two much more distinct and avoids those little errors.

That is why I was taught in grade-school that decimal values less than 1 are always written like "0.1", not ".1"... Without a place-holder, the decimal place is too easy to miss.

In that regard using "L" is superior to 0.1 in that it is one-third as many characters to Type.

Speaking of, I don't recall any, but does Starfinder have any items that weight multiple fractions of a Bulk (or rather multiple Light Bulk). In other words, are there any items that weigh 2-9 lbs, or is everything functionally either 1 lb. or measured in increments of 10, 20, 30, etc lbs.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
NielsenE wrote:

But the point is not how much time they take (free, swift, standard), but if they work when paralyzed, silenced, etc. Whether it provokes an AoO, etc.

*nods*

Why I’m fine with having Somatic/Verbal/Mental/Material, but not so much with having a banish to refer to physical actions depending on the Action, etc


NielsenE wrote:
But the point is not how much time they take (free, swift, standard), but if they work when paralyzed, silenced, etc. Whether it provokes an AoO, etc.

....., huh. Didn't think about that.


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Cyouni wrote:
I think any of these...

That's a pretty low effort response. Want to actually refute anything I have to say?

Are you saying the playtest rules WON'T have 1/day and 3/day items?

Are you saying you find it more intuitive to have arbitrary "this item needs investing, this one needs resonance points per use while this one just works" then "you can wear one item per body part. Here is a list of body parts"?

Or are you saying that wands and similar items won't have charges?

Because if you're not saying any of the above, then my comments stand.

I'm not saying resonance is a failure (that would be premature). I'm saying resonance failed to satisfy the goals someone was claiming they were designed to meet.


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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. I do understand the concerns from people on it discouraging consumables use, but I don’t actually think it will be an issue once playtesting begins. I do share in the disappointment in seeing items with daily uses, as the resonance system is supposed to replace that, just makes it wonky to have both in my opinion.

One thing I absolutely do not understand is the complaint that it is narratively inconsistent with the previous edition. How is that an actual concern? This is a new edition of a game, mechanics change and it doesn’t have to have a narrative explanation. It’s not hand waving, it’s a new game. It’s not like there are any significant plot points that revolved around a character being able to chug 30 potions and then shoot off 50 magic missiles from a wand. As far as the setting is concerned this could always have been the norm but it just never came up.

Grand Lodge

I wonder how much a potion would need to cost, with the current math and balancing factors, for it to not need resonance to activate.
Or, how much would a "pre-infused" potion, one that was created with resonance already in it, need to cost. *Just spitballing*


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. I do understand the concerns from people on it discouraging consumables use, but I don’t actually think it will be an issue once playtesting begins. I do share in the disappointment in seeing items with daily uses, as the resonance system is supposed to replace that, just makes it wonky to have both in my opinion.

One thing I absolutely do not understand is the complaint that it is narratively inconsistent with the previous edition. How is that an actual concern? This is a new edition of a game, mechanics change and it doesn’t have to have a narrative explanation. It’s not hand waving, it’s a new game. It’s not like there are any significant plot points that revolved around a character being able to chug 30 potions and then shoot off 50 magic missiles from a wand. As far as the setting is concerned this could always have been the norm but it just never came up.

I'm right there with you Cuttlefist. I like the resonance system. I was hesitant about 2E when it was announced but so far each of these blog posts has only made me more excited!


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Aristophanes wrote:

I wonder how much a potion would need to cost, with the current math and balancing factors, for it to not need resonance to activate.

Or, how much would a "pre-infused" potion, one that was created with resonance already in it, need to cost. *Just spitballing*

I plan on house-ruling a potion sold by a religious order dedicated to saving life, of a healing potion which can only be used on a dying person, with the resonance cost paid for by a member of the order as part of the ritual used to create it. Acquiring such a potion requires performing a task set by the Abbot of the order, and cannot be had for any amount of money (unless they are hard up for a new roof or something.)

I figure players are going to consistently be willing to bite down hard on plot hooks to get the "save your life" potion.


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Cuttlefist wrote:
One thing I absolutely do not understand is the complaint that it is narratively inconsistent with the previous edition... As far as the setting is concerned this could always have been the norm but it just never came up.

I believe that the complaint comes from that concern about the setting more than the mechanics. If the campaign setting were changing with the new edition, then it probably wouldn't be as big an issue. Since it is not (still Golarion), I don't see anything unreasonable in people finding some disappointment that the mechanics don't fit what they have come to expect in the game world.

Saying "it never came up" in a world where many of the players are or adventured with spellcasters who should probably have been familiar with this concept, seems like a stretch.


I finally could remember why switching runes from weapons feel so familiar, is from Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Cthulhudrew wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
Except 9 L= 0 Bulk. So the tracking only matters if you reach full #s. a series of check boxes on a character sheet should handle it quite well

DM: "What's your bulk?"

Player: "Hang on. 5 plus... 6, no 7 L. So 5."

vs.

Player: "Hang on. 5.7. So, 5."

I'm not seeing a substantive difference other than the latter seems quicker and more natural (adding numbers directly rather than adding numbers and counting up letters to add to them.) YMMV.

You're intentionally creating a scenario to make something simple seem difficult.

Just have a character sheet that tracks light bulk with blocks of 10 check boxes. It's just like hash mark counting, which is intentionally designed to count quickly.

It seems ridiculously easy to me, but I suppose not everything works for everybody.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Player Killer 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. I do understand the concerns from people on it discouraging consumables use, but I don’t actually think it will be an issue once playtesting begins. I do share in the disappointment in seeing items with daily uses, as the resonance system is supposed to replace that, just makes it wonky to have both in my opinion.

One thing I absolutely do not understand is the complaint that it is narratively inconsistent with the previous edition. How is that an actual concern? This is a new edition of a game, mechanics change and it doesn’t have to have a narrative explanation. It’s not hand waving, it’s a new game. It’s not like there are any significant plot points that revolved around a character being able to chug 30 potions and then shoot off 50 magic missiles from a wand. As far as the setting is concerned this could always have been the norm but it just never came up.

I'm right there with you Cuttlefist. I like the resonance system. I was hesitant about 2E when it was announced but so far each of these blog posts has only made me more excited!

I'm pretty happy with what we've seen of the game so far, but Resonance is something that I'm really starting to dislike. Which saddens me, as I liked it quite a bit at 1st. But now we've already seen multiple items which use Resonance but have a limit of activations per day, or a number of charges, which really kills the utility of the Resonance system for me, since we're back to tracking uses of a bunch of separate items. I think it's something that could be fixed by the playtest though.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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I'm trying to keep an open mind about resonance, but I must admit that I'm finding the item descriptions very confusing regarding what properties cost resonance and what don't. This is particularly bad with items that have some effect when invested and another effect that costs resonance. I can't seem to parse out just from reading the item text which things require RP and which do not.

It seems to me that having a phrase like, "Spend 1RP to..." or even an icon next to the thing that costs RP, would make it much more clear.

Another example that really confused me was the one about pouring a potion down another character's throat. While I get the game-mechanical reason why you'd want the recipient of the potion to be the one to spend RP, I can't figure out how you'd get there by reading the text. Everything I've read (except the explanatory blog text) would seem to indicate that the person pouring the potion is the one spending the action to "activate" it, and therefore should be the one to spend the RP.

I'm going to wait to pass judgement on the whole resonance system in general until I play it, but I hope that the descriptions at least can be made more explicit in the final game!

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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Regarding the armor of invisibility, I thought the whole point of introducing resonance was to reduce the bookkeeping associated with having items with X charges per day. It seems to me like there's not much point having two different pools of resources that need to be tracked -- either resonance is the limiting factor, or the item should have charges. Not both at the same time.

You could make the same argument about wands, which I think has some merit, too. But magic items with 1/day or 3/day activations seem to be specifically the sort of thing that resonance was supposed to eliminate!

Shadow Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Ive been a dedicated pathfinder fan since its inception. Ive been mostly positive about pf2, with a few issues with the terminology useage, but now i am genuinely disturbed(?) or perhaps disillusioned by what i read. Some examples:

Actions: The odd need to specifiy soooooo many different actions is losing me and adding to an unnecessary degree of confusion. This is especially true of the need to add the word action at the end of every action; verbal action, material action, operate action, manipulate action, attack action, somatic action, command action, and so on. It’s too much. Perhaps it needs to be simplified to drop the word action after each, to add the action icon instead or to just list references to actions in a different font, bold perhaps, to identify an action. The rule book is going to be a torturous read if not, and if it arduous to read, itll get put down and forgotten about.

Uses per day; I know this is one of only a few instances it occurs, but it still occurs. The 1/day, 3/day mechanic is a heap of steaming, unnecessary...bookkeeping. In pf1 these items and abilities (not baked into classes) just never saw any use at our table because they are sooooo limited. The rage rework showed real genius in this area, items should too. Simply having them cost resonance is limiting enough, if a power is brutally effceient then either cost it up or dump it as a bad idea.

Potions and resonance; I hate this, truly hate the idea. If there is one thing that i despise the most so far this is it. This is such an unnecessary idea. Surely a potion has inherinant cost in gp and action use? Plus who is going to carry like 50 potions around without the agam calling shenanigans?

Vorpal; I predict this will see absolutely no use. 5% chance on an attack, if you beat an opponents AC by 10+, if you use RP, if you use your reaction, if they fail the save...at 15000gp in the new sp economy. Pointless.

This blog alone has me seeing many design decisions as attempting to be clever fo rthe sake of it and realling missing the mark. You guys are better than this. I know we are not seeing the whole picture but....


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I feel like Resonance is fine with items that can be used 1 time per day since then it's just a matter of asking "did I use that already?" rather than "how many times". We should absolutely not have to use resonance with items with "uses/day" limits other than 1, though.


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graystone wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:
DM: "What's your bulk?"
Every time I see bulk come up in one of these thread makes me want to play the game less... :P

Are you just copy pasteing that comment at this point?

Dark Archive

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My biggest problem, other then resonance, is vorpal. I was actually thinking that vorpal would use resonance. But having to roll a nat 20 then pay a resonance and then the foe gets a save is way to much. The save should not be there at all. For the resonance cost should make it so that it works on a critical not just nat 20.


Aristophanes wrote:

I wonder how much a potion would need to cost, with the current math and balancing factors, for it to not need resonance to activate.

Or, how much would a "pre-infused" potion, one that was created with resonance already in it, need to cost. *Just spitballing*

From the perspective that the resonance system makes any sense, there's no amount of gold that could replace spent resonance. Gold is effectively reset after a few levels with the exponential wealth increase, so the gold cost of the potion in the not to distant future is essentially nothing. If we look at the difference between permanent effects and temporary effects we can see that gold amount will be a rounding error.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that everything will have no resale value like in Starfinder, making the progression of player equipment value relatively disconnected between levels and strongly disincentive frugality.

Obviously since health and resonance will have refilled by the time the gold has lost it's value you should be able to just use the gold cost as a throttle. However, because there are concerns about how many item based healing effects you can have during the day, the resonance needs to be in there.

That seems to be the logic behind it all anyway. Gold just isn't interacting with the thing they feel is a problem being solved by resonance.


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brad2411 wrote:

My biggest problem, other then resonance, is vorpal. I was actually thinking that vorpal would use resonance. But having to roll a nat 20 then pay a resonance and then the foe gets a save is way to much. The save should not be there at all. For the resonance cost should make it so that it works on a critical not just nat 20.

On the other hand I feel like "you have a 5% chance to be able to spend one resonance to kill anything you hit" is going to be an item I buy for every character who is not allergic to melee as long as it's not priced so as to be basically unavailable, and would be an item I'd consider banning as a GM.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
brad2411 wrote:

My biggest problem, other then resonance, is vorpal. I was actually thinking that vorpal would use resonance. But having to roll a nat 20 then pay a resonance and then the foe gets a save is way to much. The save should not be there at all. For the resonance cost should make it so that it works on a critical not just nat 20.

On the other hand I feel like "you have a 5% chance to spend one resonance to kill anything you hit" is going to be an item I buy for every character who is not allergic to melee as long as it's not priced so as to be basically unavailable.

I would probably get rid of one of the requirements for it to work. Obviously not the nat 20 10 over part. I would personally prefer the resonance cost so if your DM wants to run a good battlefield encoutner where your running through taking off the heads of dozens of soldiers your not spending all your resonance on mooks. I guess the obvious solution would be not to spend the resonance on mooks but to me I feel like it should just be taking off mook heads left and right.

What it is doing is essentially a death spell right? So normal death spell I'm going to guess is probably only gonna kill on a critical failuer (provided they have them) and deal a lot of damage on a regular failure. So the sword is delivering a death spell. but it also requires a to hit roll of a natural 20. Hmm I suppose the death spell will also take up spell slots or charges. so it a resource cost no matter what. I'm going to have to think on it.


Aren't all 20s that hit crits?

So the "crit and natural 20" clause is just to prevent the case where a level 1 character picks up a vorpal sword and swings it at the baddest thing in the universe with one head.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Aren't all 20s that hit crits?

Yeah I think so from how deadman was describing it. nat 20 is auto hit anyways and then it ups the hit to a crit. But even if not I feel like if you roll a 20 your probably going to get 10 over your opponents AC anyways.

Arm all the commoner with vorpal swords!


brad2411 wrote:

My biggest problem, other then resonance, is vorpal. I was actually thinking that vorpal would use resonance. But having to roll a nat 20 then pay a resonance and then the foe gets a save is way to much. The save should not be there at all. For the resonance cost should make it so that it works on a critical not just nat 20.

I'm pointing out that vorpal is likely a save or die with effective DC of 45 in comparison to spells. I sort of want to see vorpal instead move to work in a similar fashion to the other things in the system, but I can see why it'd feel weird in comparison to previous editions.

Remember that PF2 is supposed to be moving away from the rocket tag of previous editions - if an enemy has a vorpal weapon, rolls a natural 20, and murders a PC without them having the chance to do anything, that wouldn't be fun for anyone.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

Aren't all 20s that hit crits?

.

Nope, but it is pretty corner case. Thouh it also leaves some room for effects that block or downgrade crits.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like Resonance is fine with items that can be used 1 time per day since then it's just a matter of asking "did I use that already?" rather than "how many times". We should absolutely not have to use resonance with items with "uses/day" limits other than 1, though.

I can see 1/day being acceptable, but I'd personally prefer only single-use consumables and Resonance/day items.

I think a better way to balance than multiple uses is to simply have varying Resonance costs.


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I think I would rather have no limited use items and just let resonance limit them all. For really special effects like the wish from a luck blade it could be a 1 use only then permanently drained (same for a ring of wishing.) still or maybe they could just increase the resonance cost have the wish cost like 3-5 res.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I think I would rather have no limited use items and just let resonance limit them all. For really special effects like the wish from a luck blade it could be a 1 use only then permanently drained (same for a ring of wishing.) still or maybe they could just increase the resonance cost have the wish cost like 3-5 res.

Isn't Wish a 10th-level spell now? So 2, maybe 3 slots? (but I'm pretty sure they said somewhere we just get 2) So, if it was purely Resonance based, something more like 10-13 for a cost would seem more appropriate. Seems like that would make a 20th-level capstone Wizard ability available as an item, though, so I doubt we'd see it.


Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I think I would rather have no limited use items and just let resonance limit them all. For really special effects like the wish from a luck blade it could be a 1 use only then permanently drained (same for a ring of wishing.) still or maybe they could just increase the resonance cost have the wish cost like 3-5 res.
Isn't Wish a 10th-level spell now? So 2, maybe 3 slots? (but I'm pretty sure they said somewhere we just get 2) So, if it was purely Resonance based, something more like 10-13 for a cost would seem more appropriate. Seems like that would make a 20th-level capstone Wizard ability available as an item, though, so I doubt we'd see it.

YEah your probably right it would have to be a bit more pricey. So probably just have those be like 1 time use ability a free wish a day is pretty dang nifty.

Dark Archive

Cyouni wrote:
brad2411 wrote:

My biggest problem, other then resonance, is vorpal. I was actually thinking that vorpal would use resonance. But having to roll a nat 20 then pay a resonance and then the foe gets a save is way to much. The save should not be there at all. For the resonance cost should make it so that it works on a critical not just nat 20.

I'm pointing out that vorpal is likely a save or die with effective DC of 45 in comparison to spells. I sort of want to see vorpal instead move to work in a similar fashion to the other things in the system, but I can see why it'd feel weird in comparison to previous editions.

Remember that PF2 is supposed to be moving away from the rocket tag of previous editions - if an enemy has a vorpal weapon, rolls a natural 20, and murders a PC without them having the chance to do anything, that wouldn't be fun for anyone.

I understand they might be trying to get away from rocket tag but it is 3 requirements to meet to do something that is pretty iconic for the game. It seems like they nerfed it into almost uselessness. Unless you have a bad Fort save. DC is 35 fort. I would not be as upset on a 45 as that is much harder to hit with the math.


NielsenE wrote:
But the point is not how much time they take (free, swift, standard), but if they work when paralyzed, silenced, etc. Whether it provokes an AoO, etc.

Ah, yes, and now that AoO are mainly a fighter-only thing, I am interested to see if they have reined in what provokes. I really like that not every creature swipes at you when you bail, that some monsters will have their own special Reactions (like the Grim Reaper), might add this to my 3rd Ed/PF1 house-rules.


brad2411 wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
brad2411 wrote:

My biggest problem, other then resonance, is vorpal. I was actually thinking that vorpal would use resonance. But having to roll a nat 20 then pay a resonance and then the foe gets a save is way to much. The save should not be there at all. For the resonance cost should make it so that it works on a critical not just nat 20.

I'm pointing out that vorpal is likely a save or die with effective DC of 45 in comparison to spells. I sort of want to see vorpal instead move to work in a similar fashion to the other things in the system, but I can see why it'd feel weird in comparison to previous editions.

Remember that PF2 is supposed to be moving away from the rocket tag of previous editions - if an enemy has a vorpal weapon, rolls a natural 20, and murders a PC without them having the chance to do anything, that wouldn't be fun for anyone.

I understand they might be trying to get away from rocket tag but it is 3 requirements to meet to do something that is pretty iconic for the game. It seems like they nerfed it into almost uselessness. Unless you have a bad Fort save. DC is 35 fort. I would not be as upset on a 45 as that is much harder to hit with the math.

35 is actually no laughing matter, as that's still possible to fail for even the highest-level characters with the best Con and Fort. Level 20 + Con 7 + Legendary 3 = +30, meaning 4 or less is instant death even for this hypothetical character. A level 18 character with 18 Con and...say expert Fort has 18 level + 4 Con + Expert 1 = +23.

A DC 45 save or die is basically the equivalent of having a grim reaper on your team, and really I'd consider vorpal an instant purchase (and build my entire character around it and Quickened) if the save was anywhere near that high.

Liberty's Edge

Cyouni wrote:

35 is actually no laughing matter, as that's still possible to fail for even the highest-level characters with the best Con and Fort. Level 20 + Con 7 + Legendary 3 = +30, meaning 4 or less is instant death even for this hypothetical character. A level 18 character with 18 Con and...say expert Fort has 18 level + 4 Con + Expert 1 = +23.

A DC 45 save or die is basically the equivalent of having a grim reaper on your team, and really I'd consider vorpal an instant purchase (and build my entire character around it and Quickened) if the save was anywhere near that high.

These numbers are off by 4 or 5 because Magic Armor adds the bonus from Potency to Saves. So the actual 'max save' is +35, and a more reasonable level 18 one is +27 or +28.

DC 45 remains a bit excessive, but 35 is probably a tad low. I would've gone with more like 38 or 40, personally.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

35 is actually no laughing matter, as that's still possible to fail for even the highest-level characters with the best Con and Fort. Level 20 + Con 7 + Legendary 3 = +30, meaning 4 or less is instant death even for this hypothetical character. A level 18 character with 18 Con and...say expert Fort has 18 level + 4 Con + Expert 1 = +23.

A DC 45 save or die is basically the equivalent of having a grim reaper on your team, and really I'd consider vorpal an instant purchase (and build my entire character around it and Quickened) if the save was anywhere near that high.

These numbers are off by 4 or 5 because Magic Armor adds the bonus from Potency to Saves. So the actual 'max save' is +35, and a more reasonable level 18 one is +27 or +28.

DC 45 remains a bit excessive, but 35 is probably a tad low. I would've gone with more like 38 or 40, personally.

Oh, thanks for the reminder on that. I figured I was probably missing something numbers-wise. Yeah, 38-40 seems a little more reasonable with that.


Voss wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Aren't all 20s that hit crits?

.
Nope, but it is pretty corner case. Thouh it also leaves some room for effects that block or downgrade crits.

Actually, yes.

A nat 20 that misses (less than AC) is a hit. This includes the case where it a critical failure.
A nat 20 that hits (>= AC) is a critical.


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.

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