Common Ground

Friday, July 13, 2018

When it comes to using game rules to simulate a fantasy setting, one thing that's always been in the background in Pathfinder has been the idea that certain monsters, types of armor, and so on are more common in some areas than in others. For instance, Pathfinder First Edition's rules for the Knowledge skill rely on the fact that some monsters are more commonly known, though it doesn't really define which are which. Meanwhile, there are circumstances such as the spell Echean's excellent enclosure from Rival Guide where knowledge of a spell is closely guarded by its creator (in this case, an evil 20th-level wizard).

To make it easier for players and GMs to engage in worldbuilding, whether playing in Golarion or your own setting, we've created a formalized framework for the Pathfinder Playtest—using the categories common, uncommon, rare, and unique—that you can use to help determine the tone of a setting, region, or adventure. These are relative terms; while we list suggested rarities for various rules elements, they naturally vary from place to place even within the same campaign setting. For instance, in the playtest, a longsword is listed as common, and a katana is listed as uncommon, but in a game focused around Japanese fantasy (or, in Golarion, Minkai or Minkai-influenced nations in Tian Xia), a katana would be common and a longsword might be uncommon.

Common

Something is common if it's ubiquitous in its category, like any of the core races and core classes, longswords, fireball, bracers of armor, and the like. All characters can select common options without restriction.

Uncommon

Something is uncommon if it's a little rarer, but still possible to find or use if you are deeply interested in it. These options are a bit weirder, more complicated, or known to fewer people, so they haven't spread across the world as much. Many uncommon options explicitly become available to a character as they proceed along a path that teaches them about that option. For instance, all domain powers in the playtest are uncommon spells, but clerics are granted access to domain powers through their deities. Characters from a given region, ethnicity, religion, or other group in your world might gain access to uncommon options associated with it. To go back to our previous example, even in a game set in the Inner Sea region of Golarion, if your character hailed from Minkai in her background, you and the GM might decide that you should gain access to Eastern weapons instead of, or in addition to, Western ones.

Story events in your game are another way a character could gain access to uncommon options. For instance, Stephen previously mentioned in the blog on alchemical items that you would have to get the formula for drow sleep poison from the drow; it's an uncommon option. But in your campaign, if your alchemist was captured by the drow and forced to brew poisons for them, the GM might add drow sleep poison and other uncommon options to the formulas available to your alchemist! Uncommon options make amazing rewards to find in adventures, and they can be found at a much higher rate than rare options, since they are more common in the world.

Rare

Something is rare if it's extremely difficult to obtain without doing something special in-world to find it. This means that rare options involve interplay between the player and the GM, or are granted by the GM directly. There's no way to get access to these through choices in your character build alone. Rare options are spells known only to the ancient runelords, techniques passed down by the grandmaster of an ancient monastery in the Wall of Heaven mountains, golem-crafting secrets of the Jistka Imperium, and the like.

Unique

Something is unique if there's only one. Most artifacts are unique, as are certain monsters, like the Sandpoint Devil or Grendel. No artifacts appear in the Playtest Rulebook, so in the playtest only a few Doomsday Dawn monsters and hazards are unique.

Uses of Rarity

So how is this system useful to you?

Worldbuilding and Emulating Genres

First of all, your group can really alter the flavor and feel of the game by changing around the commonness of certain elements, allowing for a wide variety of genre play and settings through a relatively simple system. This is a big tool in your toolkit for worldbuilding. What would a world be like where the wizard was uncommon, or where all healing magic was rare? You can create a new subgenre or setting simply by shifting around the assumptions of what elements are common, uncommon, and rare. The rarities in the Playtest Rulebook are meant to show a good baseline for a typical Pathfinder campaign and make for a solid default if you're not straying to far from classic fantasy, but I can't wait until people start posting their modified schemes for all sorts of different concepts, from prehistoric to horror, and from low-magic (all magic is uncommon or rare) to super high fantasy mash-up (everything is common!).

Mechanical Diversity without Cognitive Overload

While some groups go for a kitchen sink approach to available options, many groups want to allow options from other books but are tend to stick to the core content because of the sheer mental load of learning, using, and preparing for all of those options, especially on the GM. With rarity, you have a framework for adding more material without just opening the fire hose: you start with common content (for a new group, probably the things labeled as common in the book) and you expand into mastering uncommon and rare content only as it appears in your game. If a particular rare spell hasn't shown up in the game, you don't have to worry about how it might interact with your character's build or your NPC's plot in the same way you might otherwise. A player can bring some desired uncommon or rare options to the GM, who can get a feel for the rules involved and decide when and how to introduce those options to the campaign. If the PC is interested in spells and items from ancient Osirion, perhaps the PCs find a new quest that takes them there, or is contacted by an Osirionologist NPC who's willing to trade her Osirian secrets for the PCs' help with a different adventure.

We love games with plenty of options, but we also want to consider fans who've told us that though they love new options, they started becoming overwhelmed by just how many options there are in Pathfinder First Edition. With the rarity system, you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Awesome Rewards

One thing that can be tough in Pathfinder First Edition is giving a reward to a PC whose player has already looked up all the options and bought or crafted all the items they really want, learned all the spells they really want, and so on, even if some of those items and spells really seemed like they wouldn't be available on the open market. Rarity allows a GM to give rewards that aren't easily available without needing to homebrew a brand new item or ability every time, and allows players who gain rarer options to feel special and important.

When you emerge from a Thassilonian tomb with a rare spell few have seen in millennia, wizards' guilds might start salivating over that knowledge. Will you keep it to yourself? Will you sell it to select wizards for a pretty penny? Will you spread the knowledge to all who desire it, possibly making the spell uncommon or even common in your setting? Or will you keep it to yourself to show off for the spellcasters you meet who have never heard of it? Only you can decide, giving you the power to make a permanent mark on the setting.

So how are you most excited to use the new rarity system?

Mark Seifter
Designer

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MerlinCross wrote:
5) Bitterness. Okay yes this one is personal. I have said that one of the ways I curb CLW spam is limiting the ability to find them. I basically just moved them to Uncommon. This seems to be however a bad move on my part from some of the responses I saw over some of the topics. So everyone's cheering for something I did and got flak for. K.

This is actually (perhaps unintentionally) an interesting point. Not the bitterness, but the reference to the issue of CLW spamming.

From discussion in the Resonance blog post thread (as well as items and others), it was made clear that one of the reasons behind Resonance was as a stopgap to help ease the issue of CLW spam/healing and similar "abuses" of PF1.

However, with the introduction of this new Commonality/Rarity mechanic, wouldn't that serve just as well as Resonance, without adding yet another resource pool to keep track of? Simply rank certain types of items with different levels of rarity to prevent unlimited purchases.


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I think that a role playing game is a game in the same way a panda bear is a bear. :)
Really, that significantly overstates the point. But hey, it is easy to see the idea.

An RPG isn't a true game about winning and losing (or even clear start and finish). But neither is it a novel writing exercise.

It is huge fun, to me, because it creates a story collaboratively.
but I could sit around with friends and takes turns adding to a story or even just narrate a Paizo AP campaign with no dice, just everyone declares what happens on their turn. I won't argue with anyone who says those are fun activities.

But it isn't what I am looking for. The *game* in RPG is the uncertainty in how attempts at actions will result in outcomes.

There is a subtle but important balancing act. The story should never be a slave to the mechanics, and yet the mechanics must always provide a controlling and engaging resolution. This is achieved by having mechanics that produce results which are not fully predictable, but always fall within a range of expected results which are plausible to the boundary conditions of the game. Those boundary conditions can be very different if you are playing a L1 game set in Middle Earth vs a L18 game in Planescape. But each game has boundary conditions.

The mechanics should be dominated by those expectations. But then the mechanics control outcomes, creating the uncertainty and excitement.

thus I don't think the rules should ever be tied to any story. They need to be adaptable. But once you are in the story, any time th rules make themselves obvious by changing the story in a way that doesn't seem reasonable to the boundary conditions, then the rules are subverting the "role playing" part of the RPG. And that is not good.


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Cthulhudrew wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
5) Bitterness. Okay yes this one is personal. I have said that one of the ways I curb CLW spam is limiting the ability to find them. I basically just moved them to Uncommon. This seems to be however a bad move on my part from some of the responses I saw over some of the topics. So everyone's cheering for something I did and got flak for. K.

This is actually (perhaps unintentionally) an interesting point. Not the bitterness, but the reference to the issue of CLW spamming.

From discussion in the Resonance blog post thread (as well as items and others), it was made clear that one of the reasons behind Resonance was as a stopgap to help ease the issue of CLW spam/healing and similar "abuses" of PF1.

However, with the introduction of this new Commonality/Rarity mechanic, wouldn't that serve just as well as Resonance, without adding yet another resource pool to keep track of? Simply rank certain types of items with different levels of rarity to prevent unlimited purchases.

Because Paizo loves to create entire new systems to limit 1st level spells, see:

Cure Light Wounds --> Resonance
Blood Money --> Rarity

*half joking*


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Cthulhudrew wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
5) Bitterness. Okay yes this one is personal. I have said that one of the ways I curb CLW spam is limiting the ability to find them. I basically just moved them to Uncommon. This seems to be however a bad move on my part from some of the responses I saw over some of the topics. So everyone's cheering for something I did and got flak for. K.

This is actually (perhaps unintentionally) an interesting point. Not the bitterness, but the reference to the issue of CLW spamming.

From discussion in the Resonance blog post thread (as well as items and others), it was made clear that one of the reasons behind Resonance was as a stopgap to help ease the issue of CLW spam/healing and similar "abuses" of PF1.

However, with the introduction of this new Commonality/Rarity mechanic, wouldn't that serve just as well as Resonance, without adding yet another resource pool to keep track of? Simply rank certain types of items with different levels of rarity to prevent unlimited purchases.

One main problem with that is that I suspect the actual spell Cure Light Wounds is going to be almost universally common. You then have this weird paradigm where the spell itself is common but consumables that use the spell (scrolls of CLW, wands of CLW, etc.) would be uncommon or rare.

Also—obviously—resonance serves many purposes in balanacing the cost and efficacy of all magic items rather than any handful of spells and items that we’d might want to limit/ban.


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Cthulhudrew wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
5) Bitterness. Okay yes this one is personal. I have said that one of the ways I curb CLW spam is limiting the ability to find them. I basically just moved them to Uncommon. This seems to be however a bad move on my part from some of the responses I saw over some of the topics. So everyone's cheering for something I did and got flak for. K.

This is actually (perhaps unintentionally) an interesting point. Not the bitterness, but the reference to the issue of CLW spamming.

From discussion in the Resonance blog post thread (as well as items and others), it was made clear that one of the reasons behind Resonance was as a stopgap to help ease the issue of CLW spam/healing and similar "abuses" of PF1.

However, with the introduction of this new Commonality/Rarity mechanic, wouldn't that serve just as well as Resonance, without adding yet another resource pool to keep track of? Simply rank certain types of items with different levels of rarity to prevent unlimited purchases.

Because rarity doesn't really help with clw spam.


edduardco wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
5) Bitterness. Okay yes this one is personal. I have said that one of the ways I curb CLW spam is limiting the ability to find them. I basically just moved them to Uncommon. This seems to be however a bad move on my part from some of the responses I saw over some of the topics. So everyone's cheering for something I did and got flak for. K.

This is actually (perhaps unintentionally) an interesting point. Not the bitterness, but the reference to the issue of CLW spamming.

From discussion in the Resonance blog post thread (as well as items and others), it was made clear that one of the reasons behind Resonance was as a stopgap to help ease the issue of CLW spam/healing and similar "abuses" of PF1.

However, with the introduction of this new Commonality/Rarity mechanic, wouldn't that serve just as well as Resonance, without adding yet another resource pool to keep track of? Simply rank certain types of items with different levels of rarity to prevent unlimited purchases.

Because Paizo loves to create entire new systems to limit 1st level spells, see:

Cure Light Wounds --> Resonance
Blood Money --> Rarity

*half joking*

I know it's a semi-joke, but it's important to understand that these are different spells with different problems.

Cure Light Wounds isn't a problem by itself (because as a spell it doesn't really do too much by 6th level onward), but is really a problem of Wands. Wands providing the cheapest cast to cost ratio while also having the convenience of keeping them all at once, while choosing to use them as you need and/or want to use them, is really the sole reason why this spell is a problem. The spell itself, when cast from a Cleric's spell list, becomes almost worthless when you get higher level, and those spell slots become better used on other spells. But when you put it in a portable can that you can have in bulk and eat like a bunch of spam to feed yourself? Yeah, it's gonna be problematic. But they aren't necessarily inherent of the spell, but of the "portable can" that they are being shoved in.

Blood Money was really only bad if people actually built around it. Logically speaking, a Wizard with over 50 Strength (for the requisite component for casting something like Wish whenever he wants without cost) was highly unrealistic unless it was an NPC or somebody who min-maxed to all levels of stupid. Even then, using it as a material component for spells like Wish was stupid because you're still going to have it perverted by the GM if you ask for anything outside of the recommended abilities it can do, so optimizing just to have the GM break the game on you being silly was both a ridiculous idea and also something very unfun that I don't think many people at the gaming table would appreciate.

While spells having costly material components are (mostly) a thing of the past, the concern with Blood Money now is with the Rituals section, which can honestly be easily solved by limiting it only to spells (and not rituals). In addition, since you can't realistically expect to have a Strength score past 30 (unless you're an NPC monster or the GM has ramped up the game's power level significantly because reasons), the concepts of the abuse you could expect from Blood Money were pretty weak.


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I looked up Blood Money thanks to this thread and I actually love the thematics, if not the mechanics.


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I just made a negative post so I figured I'd counterbalance it with a positive post.

I really like this rarity system. It helps give GMs a completely optional dial to move their PCs towards or away from certain elements. I can see region splat books getting customised list of thematically appropriate lists of common, uncommon and rare elements.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Creating hard challenges and getting better stuff because of it is a positive. It improves the game. Its kind of lazy to expect to get whatever you want just because you want it. Its far more satisfying to earn it. I think the concept of having to put more effort into getting extra special and rare loot will only improve the game.

Maybe if GMs and Players treated some sections of the book as less of a vending machine we could actually GIVE cool stuff.

But we have Rarity for that now. And up to 10 or more years of programming that idea from people.

Your experiences seem quite different from mine. Your reasoning doesn't make sense to me.

The concept is actually simple, lots of players, and far too many GMs, use the simplest rarity system possible, by saying that if it exists, the players can obtain one at any store or whenever they level up.

That has never been the actual rules, but that has been the most common treatment by far. Another case of common practice ignoring the rules.


So sorta like “your level +1/2” in Starfinder, limiting where when your players get items. I always just had a no ready for players, like one setting didn’t have Drow so the common Drow poison was Black flower death or sumpin.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Elleth wrote:

Sure. I've changed class abilities before. In my 5e game I even gave a slight modification to the sorcerer that, without changing its power level massively upped flexibility in how bloodlines worked, with a thematic caveat. My players loved it enough that I'm actually considering porting the lore over when I switch to PF2.

You'd be only the second GM to ever do so that I've ever "met."

Make me your third, then. ^_^


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Kalindlara wrote:
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Elleth wrote:

Sure. I've changed class abilities before. In my 5e game I even gave a slight modification to the sorcerer that, without changing its power level massively upped flexibility in how bloodlines worked, with a thematic caveat. My players loved it enough that I'm actually considering porting the lore over when I switch to PF2.

You'd be only the second GM to ever do so that I've ever "met."

Make me your third, then. ^_^

Fourthed, fifthed and sixthed (we have multiple GMs in our group). We often do it to either tone down a class, bump up a class or make a class more thematic.

Liberty's Edge

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Elleth wrote:

Sure. I've changed class abilities before. In my 5e game I even gave a slight modification to the sorcerer that, without changing its power level massively upped flexibility in how bloodlines worked, with a thematic caveat. My players loved it enough that I'm actually considering porting the lore over when I switch to PF2.

You'd be only the second GM to ever do so that I've ever "met."

Make me your third, then. ^_^
Fourthed, fifthed and sixthed (we have multiple GMs in our group). We often do it to either tone down a class, bump up a class or make a class more thematic.

I guess I count as 7th if we're talking Pathfinder as well as 5E (I've never run 5E and thus haven't changed it). I change Pathfinder Classes quite a bit, including more built-in customization for everyone.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Elleth wrote:

Sure. I've changed class abilities before. In my 5e game I even gave a slight modification to the sorcerer that, without changing its power level massively upped flexibility in how bloodlines worked, with a thematic caveat. My players loved it enough that I'm actually considering porting the lore over when I switch to PF2.

You'd be only the second GM to ever do so that I've ever "met."

Make me your third, then. ^_^
Fourthed, fifthed and sixthed (we have multiple GMs in our group). We often do it to either tone down a class, bump up a class or make a class more thematic.

That is a universal change, not a "Billy bob wants a paladin cryptkeeper that clears undead from crypts and tombs, but hates horses, so just for him will replace the mount class feature with favored enemy bonuses against undead."


Deadmanwalking wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Elleth wrote:

Sure. I've changed class abilities before. In my 5e game I even gave a slight modification to the sorcerer that, without changing its power level massively upped flexibility in how bloodlines worked, with a thematic caveat. My players loved it enough that I'm actually considering porting the lore over when I switch to PF2.

You'd be only the second GM to ever do so that I've ever "met."

Make me your third, then. ^_^
Fourthed, fifthed and sixthed (we have multiple GMs in our group). We often do it to either tone down a class, bump up a class or make a class more thematic.
I guess I count as 7th if we're talking Pathfinder as well as 5E (I've never run 5E and thus haven't changed it). I change Pathfinder Classes quite a bit, including more built-in customization for everyone.

8th.


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Are you moving the goal posts, Hitomi? You said:

"GM DarkLightHitomi": wrote:


Take a thorough readthrough of the 3rd ed dungeon master guide.

It actually tells the gm to change class abilities to better fit a player's character concept.

That's exactly what I've done, and I assume most other gms too. Changing class abilities to better fit a pc concept.


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I've had to deal with the problem this system is fixing several times - Level 2 Half-orc Skald rolls up to the fight, his player very pleased with his level up. The bad guy swings at the Half-orc, and the player goes "I cast WINDY ESCAPE! I get DR 10/magic vs. his attack and I'm immune to x, y, and z, too!"

Before I can say "That spell is supposed to be for Sylphs," The rest of the group is going "Whoa, cool spell, dude!" and the player is continuing to gush over his favorite new spell, which I wouldn't have allowed him to take, but he found it on the SRD and forgot to check the spell's source, so now I'm gonna feel like a dictator GM if I tell him to pick a different spell.

As a spell normally developed for a specific race, Windy Escape would have been labeled as Uncommon, which would have been a much easier indicator to the Player that he couldn't take it than scrolling down to the copyright footnote to see "Advanced Race Guide", and then needing to cross reference that book to see exactly which race normally gets it.

As a GM, I STRONGLY support this system!


Insight wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
Follow the game, not the story.
I’m 100% certain that had Paizo “followed the game, not the story,” they wouldn’t exist right now. After all, their critically acclaimed Adventure Paths are the heart of the company.

This is fallucious somehow.

Halo is a well known video game for it's story, yet the sum total of the actual gameplay is nothing more than shooting aliens.

None of my pf gms have done anything more than treat it like Halo. To them the story is something that gets told in between the players fighting monsters.

Heck, both the gms and the players treat encounters as automatic combats even when it goes against all narrative sensibility.

Example,
GM; "A dark shape stands up."
Players; "We attack. I got 22 initiative."
Me; "Why are we attacking?"
GM and players; "Cause it's an encounter."

I've tried creative ways to accomplish secondary goals, and have those attempts ignored because the book didn't say how to handle it. Literally with no exaggeration.


Roswynn wrote:

Are you moving the goal posts, Hitomi? You said:

"GM DarkLightHitomi": wrote:


Take a thorough readthrough of the 3rd ed dungeon master guide.

It actually tells the gm to change class abilities to better fit a player's character concept.

That's exactly what I've done, and I assume most other gms too. Changing class abilities to better fit a pc concept.

I'm not moving goalposts.

A player's concept.

As in making a class unique for a single player based on that player's character concept.

This,

Quote:
...tone down a class, bump up a class or make a class more thematic.

implies alterations made to a class for anybody and everybody that plays that class. It implies a general change instead of a change specific to a single player character.


Cuup wrote:

I've had to deal with the problem this system is fixing several times - Level 2 Half-orc Skald rolls up to the fight, his player very pleased with his level up. The bad guy swings at the Half-orc, and the player goes "I cast WINDY ESCAPE! I get DR 10/magic vs. his attack and I'm immune to x, y, and z, too!"

Before I can say "That spell is supposed to be for Sylphs," The rest of the group is going "Whoa, cool spell, dude!" and the player is continuing to gush over his favorite new spell, which I wouldn't have allowed him to take, but he found it on the SRD and forgot to check the spell's source, so now I'm gonna feel like a dictator GM if I tell him to pick a different spell.

As a spell normally developed for a specific race, Windy Escape would have been labeled as Uncommon, which would have been a much easier indicator to the Player that he couldn't take it than scrolling down to the copyright footnote to see "Advanced Race Guide", and then needing to cross reference that book to see exactly which race normally gets it.

As a GM, I STRONGLY support this system!

I like the idea of it, I just doubt it will ever actually accomplish what we all want it to.

If it works, awesome, if not, I reserve the right to say "I told you so."
:)

Liberty's Edge

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GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
That is a universal change, not a "Billy bob wants a paladin cryptkeeper that clears undead from crypts and tombs, but hates horses, so just for him will replace the mount class feature with favored enemy bonuses against undead."

I'm not sure I'd do that one specifically, but I do in fact allow customization of Classes for individual characters (I also modify classes as a whole, but that's a different thing).

The most obvious and universal area in which I do this is Class Skills, which I let people shuffle somewhat to better match their concept. I'm not sure I've ever had a PC who didn't take advantage of that one.


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GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:

Example,
GM; "A dark shape stands up."
Players; "We attack. I got 22 initiative."
Me; "Why are we attacking?"
GM and players; "Cause it's an encounter."

I've tried creative ways to accomplish secondary goals, and have those attempts ignored because the book didn't say how to handle it. Literally with no exaggeration.

You can fix this - but it takes time and effort to reshape expectations, and lots of patience.

Liberty's Edge

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GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:

Example,
GM; "A dark shape stands up."
Players; "We attack. I got 22 initiative."
Me; "Why are we attacking?"
GM and players; "Cause it's an encounter."

I've tried creative ways to accomplish secondary goals, and have those attempts ignored because the book didn't say how to handle it. Literally with no exaggeration.

You can fix this - but it takes time and effort to reshape expectations, and lots of patience.

For specific players sure, but random people online, who can just silenty leave whenever, not so much.

But the real trouble of this comes as the player who hates it. As a player, I don't have nearly as much ability to fix this, even less as an autistic with -8 to any social skill checks.

This is a very unfortunate situation that I'm sorry you're in. I'm not sure how Paizo's policies could fix it, though. I've read and run Adventure Paths and they actually make it very clear that PCs can negotiate or otherwise circumvent many encounters without violence. Like, extraordinarily explicit. I'm honestly not sure what more they could do to make it clear that doing so is a thing, and often a recommended one.


A lot of GMs in this thread wrote:
-Stuff about customizing classes-

Man you guys's players must be lucky. In my group it's a fight to even get away with a paizo-published optional rule that's not basically if not literally entirely self-contained. Unchained Classes, Skill Unlocks, and Stamina on Fighters sure but stuff like verbal/psychic duels or Words of Power? Heck no... well maybe one particular GM for WoP sometimes. There's definitely no way I could get away with homebrewing stuff onto a class.

Heck, I look at people making custom magic items and custom spell research and until now thought they had the most permissive GMs in the world. I never realized just how strict my group is ^.^; As a homebrewer who loves messing with custom magic items, custom races, even the occasional archetype (considered class a few times but dear Gods are classes a pain in the arse) it really makes me long for the games of others.


GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Roswynn wrote:

Are you moving the goal posts, Hitomi? You said:

"GM DarkLightHitomi": wrote:


Take a thorough readthrough of the 3rd ed dungeon master guide.

It actually tells the gm to change class abilities to better fit a player's character concept.

That's exactly what I've done, and I assume most other gms too. Changing class abilities to better fit a pc concept.

I'm not moving goalposts.

A player's concept.

As in making a class unique for a single player based on that player's character concept.

This,

Quote:
...tone down a class, bump up a class or make a class more thematic.
implies alterations made to a class for anybody and everybody that plays that class. It implies a general change instead of a change specific to a single player character.

Sorry Hitomi, you're right, but I realized only after writing that comment and so I decided to let it stay.

Anyways perhaps John and his group made those alterations also on a character basis. I can certainly see "making a class more thematic" being that.

And anyways I think the point is that a GM adapting a class for a specific character isn't all that unique. It happens. People read the rules and take what they like, drop what they don't, tinker with them to reach certain results...

For instance there is a hint of a social interaction system in 5e, essentially an npc starts with a predetermined attitude and checks are needed to shift it up or down, but I've never used that, because I really don't like social interaction to be formalized, I prefer for it to be more freeform - the players roleplay their characters, if they do a good job I give them advantage, if they make a glaring mistake I give them disadvantage, then they roll a diplomacy, deception or intimidate check, and we take it from there. Other rolls, like perception and insight, can help. Sometimes the roll isn't needed, sometimes more than one success will be needed for multiple requests, sometimes they roll so well they get better results, or so bad they inadvertently offend the npc or cause them to become hostile...

What I'm trying to say, we all look for a game that does everything perfectly, but when there's something we don't like (there's always something someone won't like, it's just natural) we just change it according to our group's preferences. It's no big deal.

In PF not many people use the rules determining the type and number of magic items per settlement (I would at least consider them, because they'd be a great limiting factor and setting flavor element), but it just depends on tastes. In PF2 I plan on not using alignment, because my group sees it as too artificial, but that's just us, and if it becomes important I'll use suggestions from Unchained to handle that.

We all try to customize the game for our needs, be it a one time thematic fitting or a more general playstyle preference.


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Shinigami02 wrote:
A lot of GMs in this thread wrote:
-Stuff about customizing classes-

Man you guys's players must be lucky. In my group it's a fight to even get away with a paizo-published optional rule that's not basically if not literally entirely self-contained. Unchained Classes, Skill Unlocks, and Stamina on Fighters sure but stuff like verbal/psychic duels or Words of Power? Heck no... well maybe one particular GM for WoP sometimes. There's definitely no way I could get away with homebrewing stuff onto a class.

Heck, I look at people making custom magic items and custom spell research and until now thought they had the most permissive GMs in the world. I never realized just how strict my group is ^.^; As a homebrewer who loves messing with custom magic items, custom races, even the occasional archetype (considered class a few times but dear Gods are classes a pain in the arse) it really makes me long for the games of others.

Can't you try and find a more permissive group? Or try and convince at least some of these gms to seriously listen to your preferences? It's not just their game, it's yours.


GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Cuup wrote:

I've had to deal with the problem this system is fixing several times - Level 2 Half-orc Skald rolls up to the fight, his player very pleased with his level up. The bad guy swings at the Half-orc, and the player goes "I cast WINDY ESCAPE! I get DR 10/magic vs. his attack and I'm immune to x, y, and z, too!"

Before I can say "That spell is supposed to be for Sylphs," The rest of the group is going "Whoa, cool spell, dude!" and the player is continuing to gush over his favorite new spell, which I wouldn't have allowed him to take, but he found it on the SRD and forgot to check the spell's source, so now I'm gonna feel like a dictator GM if I tell him to pick a different spell.

As a spell normally developed for a specific race, Windy Escape would have been labeled as Uncommon, which would have been a much easier indicator to the Player that he couldn't take it than scrolling down to the copyright footnote to see "Advanced Race Guide", and then needing to cross reference that book to see exactly which race normally gets it.

As a GM, I STRONGLY support this system!

I like the idea of it, I just doubt it will ever actually accomplish what we all want it to.

If it works, awesome, if not, I reserve the right to say "I told you so."
:)

But in this case for instance, if the spell has the uncommon tag and the gm said "Talk to me for any uncommon element you want in your characters and we'll see if they can be available/thematically fitting", the player would just have to follow those instructions. If they make a character with uncommon elements without explicit permission from the gm they can't claim they should be allowed to keep them. Sure, the GM can go easy on them, if appropriate - or they can just say no and remind them they had to ask.


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I've made custom content/rulings for any number of specific players (though technically such content remains available too all players thereafter for the sake of fairness).

Most of the examples are of 'minor' magic items; for example:

One character (a Bolt Ace) had a wrist-sheath that cast abundant ammunition on itself 3/day (the pre-errata version, as the errata dropped mid-campaign). Speaking of the Bolt-Ace, I modified the archetype to actually function (my changes were basically the same as Paizo's later correction, which was very affirming).

Another found a Technological Wand of Burning Hands; it required Knowledge (Engineering) instead of spellcasting ability to activate.

I gave the Halfling Cleric a magic comb for their foot hair (gave Halflings a +2 to Diplomacy, but occupied their "Boot" Slot). I also let said halfling worship a custom deity (which we invented an appropriate domain list for, and whom wielded the Sling-Staff as their favored weapon), as well as take "Greater Guided Hand" (Apply Wis modifier to both attack and damage with deity's favored weapon). Although the campaign ended before they qualified for the latter.

I've adjusted the crafting time because my Fighters wanted to craft Adamantine weapons for themselves (they were brothers in-character, and both almost exactly the same build), and doing so would have taken months, or even years more downtime than they had. I also let them collect neat materials from monsters, telling them they 've found enough X to make Y (adamantine to make a weapon for example).

I've allowed casters to research new spells from other lists (I prefer the Ultimate Campaign research rules).

I habitually waive 'regional' and 'religious' requirements, or create less limited/niche alternatives.

The most 'liberal' thing I've ever allowed was allowing a particular Summoner to mix incompatible archetypes because the combination fit their concept.


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Ckorik wrote:
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:

Example,
GM; "A dark shape stands up."
Players; "We attack. I got 22 initiative."
Me; "Why are we attacking?"
GM and players; "Cause it's an encounter."

I've tried creative ways to accomplish secondary goals, and have those attempts ignored because the book didn't say how to handle it. Literally with no exaggeration.

You can fix this - but it takes time and effort to reshape expectations, and lots of patience.

I think I've accidentally prevented this with "and you're sure you want to do that?" and less accidentally with "no, you roll initiative when I ask you to. If you want to fight, then you can all roll again."


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Elleth wrote:
I think I've accidentally prevented this with "and you're sure you want to do that?" and less accidentally with "no, you roll initiative when I ask you to. If you want to fight, then you can all roll again."

I use the latter, but extended to almost everything. Nobody rolls til I approve the declared action. Rolls made out of turn are automatically invalid.

This is usually just a matter of checking that the actons themselves are legal; I have had lots of players that can't/won't learn the rules except by example. However I'll also waive rolls that shouldn't have a chance to fail/succeed in order to speed up play or produce a more consistant story. For Example:
10th Level Fighter: "I want to kill this peasant for talking back to me, Lord Minmax."
GM (me): "Don't even bother rolling Initiative [player of 10th level Fighter]. It 'was' just a 1st level Commoner... now it is just so much meat-paste clinging to your warhammer. Other peasants and slaves begin to scream and run in all directions... What do you do?" Is a lot easier than running an entire suprise-round combat with at least half-a-dozen 'other-combatants' to come to the same result mechanically as I can predict (with fair accuracy considering the bounded progression rate for for PCs).


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Cuup wrote:

I've had to deal with the problem this system is fixing several times - Level 2 Half-orc Skald rolls up to the fight, his player very pleased with his level up. The bad guy swings at the Half-orc, and the player goes "I cast WINDY ESCAPE! I get DR 10/magic vs. his attack and I'm immune to x, y, and z, too!"

Before I can say "That spell is supposed to be for Sylphs," The rest of the group is going "Whoa, cool spell, dude!" and the player is continuing to gush over his favorite new spell, which I wouldn't have allowed him to take, but he found it on the SRD and forgot to check the spell's source, so now I'm gonna feel like a dictator GM if I tell him to pick a different spell.

As a spell normally developed for a specific race, Windy Escape would have been labeled as Uncommon, which would have been a much easier indicator to the Player that he couldn't take it than scrolling down to the copyright footnote to see "Advanced Race Guide", and then needing to cross reference that book to see exactly which race normally gets it.

As a GM, I STRONGLY support this system!

To be fair, I think the problem here has more to do with putting arbitrary restrictions, I don't see any reason for a spell like Windy Escape as written should be Sylph exclusive, and most of the options in Advanced Race Guide suffer the same problem.


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Cantriped wrote:
edduardco wrote:
The following is just my headcanon speaking. That Sorcerers could just know spells inherently was the reason behind the hard cap on spells known, but if they need to learn them the hard cap on spells known doesn't seems justificable.
Spells Known wasn't supposed to be a hard limit in either 3rd Edition or Pathfinder. That was just the number of spells the Sorcerer mastered off-screen just like the two spells per level Wizards started getting in 3rd Edition. Researching additional spells was always implicitly an option... which admittedly was ignored as often as the rules for determining what items a settlement had for sale. Including in all forms of public/convention play.

Really? I have never seen any text to support that. However, upon looking for it, I did come across some interesting text that relates to this conversation.

Spoiler:
Emboldened by lives ever threatening to be consumed by their innate powers, these magic-touched souls endlessly indulge in and refine their mysterious abilities, gradually learning how to harness their birthright and coax forth ever greater arcane feats. Just as varied as these innately powerful spellcasters’ abilities and inspirations are the ways in which they choose to utilize their gifts. While some seek to control their abilities through meditation and discipline, becoming masters of their fantastic birthright, others give in to their magic, letting it rule their lives with often explosive results....

...A sorcerer’s selection of spells is extremely limited. A sorcerer begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of her choice. At each new sorcerer level, she gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Sorcerer Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a sorcerer knows is not affected by her Charisma score; the numbers on Table: Sorcerer Spells Known are fixed.) These new spells can be common spells chosen from the sorcerer/wizard spell list, or they can be unusual spells that the sorcerer has gained some understanding of through study.

Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered sorcerer level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), a sorcerer can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. In effect, the sorcerer loses the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged. A sorcerer may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that she gains new spells known for the level.

So, things we can conclude about the PF1 sorcerer from this:

1) Their spell lore did indeed reference "common spells" already, as contrasted by "unusual spells" that they needed special opportunities to learn through study. IE, spell rarity was built into the class from day 1, they just never actually did anything with it.

2) Sorcerers could already retrain spells from PF1. (Most of us are aware of this one already, but it feels worth reiterating.) PF2 is just making this easier to do. But sorcerers always needed to learn their spells.

3) The sorcerer has always been meant to learn how to cast spells through practice and tinkering, rather than just having them just pop into their head sans any sort of intentional input. They are after all casting the same spells as the wizard. They just tap into it using a more intuitive method. Which also aligns with the player being able to choose what spells they get, but that's a meta consideration.

4) The exact in fiction ways that sorcerers learn their craft and learn or forget spells has always been a little vague to allow for players to choose what this process looks like for their specific sorcerer, just as Mark referenced earlier in the thread. One example they give is through meditation, which I will reference later.

5) Sorcerers don't inherently know spells, except for their bloodline spells. Bloodline spells are the one thing they can't change or swap, and this is consistent between editions. The basic language of the class support it. "A sorcerer begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of her choice." Her choice. Not the player's choice. She chose to learn these spells.

Now, for some conjecture on my part. This is a personal head cannon, filling in gaps that Paizo has deliberately left for us to fill in, but it is consistent with both PF1 and PF2. The sorcerer gets their first spell when they discover their bloodline. They can just do this out the box. From there, they learn to harness the power of their blood in ways they choose. It isn't as far separated from a wizard's process as one might think. Both classes have to learn their spells, and only have room for so many spells at a time.

The difference is a wizard needs a manual (the spell book) even for common souls for this process, and stores the spells in his head as individual entries that are fired off and forgotten. A sorcerer doesn't need a manual for common spells, and instead attunes their very essence to those spells. Call it their blood, their souls, whatever. The sorcerer has a finite capacity for how many spells they can "know" at a time, but "knowing" a spell is a much more profound process to her. (Also, not to open up another can of worms, but this is why I don't have a lore issue with the sorcerer only being able to attune themselves to a couple of spells for spontaneous heightening.)

A wizard doesn't "know" spells the same way, he just stores them on his brain, needing to re-download them into his brain every day after they are used. That means the wizard can more easily swap the spells he has, but the sorcerer can still do it with sufficient time and focus. And the sorcerer can even alter her capacity on the daily basis too using spontaneous heightening.


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

The rarity tweak I'm currently most interested in exploring for a home-brew campaign I've been working on would be basically pushing all arcane and alchemical related things one step more rare, in civilization, while shifting a fair bit of them one step less rare in ruins. Ie something like the beginning of a renaissance period after a dark age/fallen empire. Need to make sure it doesn't handicap players who want to play arcane/alchemists, but want them to stand out, to be "discovers"/scientists/archaeologists.


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edduardco wrote:
Cuup wrote:

I've had to deal with the problem this system is fixing several times - Level 2 Half-orc Skald rolls up to the fight, his player very pleased with his level up. The bad guy swings at the Half-orc, and the player goes "I cast WINDY ESCAPE! I get DR 10/magic vs. his attack and I'm immune to x, y, and z, too!"

Before I can say "That spell is supposed to be for Sylphs," The rest of the group is going "Whoa, cool spell, dude!" and the player is continuing to gush over his favorite new spell, which I wouldn't have allowed him to take, but he found it on the SRD and forgot to check the spell's source, so now I'm gonna feel like a dictator GM if I tell him to pick a different spell.

As a spell normally developed for a specific race, Windy Escape would have been labeled as Uncommon, which would have been a much easier indicator to the Player that he couldn't take it than scrolling down to the copyright footnote to see "Advanced Race Guide", and then needing to cross reference that book to see exactly which race normally gets it.

As a GM, I STRONGLY support this system!

To be fair, I think the problem here has more to do with putting arbitrary restrictions, I don't see any reason for a spell like Windy Escape as written should be Sylph exclusive, and most of the options in Advanced Race Guide suffer the same problem.

Yes, and Katanas are also not technically Tian-exclusive, but had someone done their shopping in a small village in Last Wall and bought a Katana, I'd tell them no, they can't buy a Katana in a small village in Last Wall. Windy Escape isn't some hidden gem that needs to be kept out of PC hands, but it is a VERY good spell, and as the GM, it would have been my call that a Half-orc wouldn't be able to learn it unless he had some ancestry with Sylphs, the Plane of Air, etc., or else I could give him the opportunity to spend time being influenced by one of those variables, unlocking Windy Escape as a learn-able spell. That's the entire point of this new system; just because it was printed doesn't mean it's available for every character from every walk of life - If I made a Druid who spent his entire life in the wilderness near Oppera, I shouldn't be able to roll up to a War for the Crown campaign with a Deinonychus companion; it's not mechanically better than a Wolf or Eagle, but it makes no sense in the setting - I would need a very good explanation for why I had a Deinonychus companion. Mechanically, the spells in Advanced Race Guide don't NEED to be Race-exclusive, but they were intended to be.

This system isn't hindering any groups that want to have their anything-goes games - they can just elect to ignore the Common/Uncommon/etc. labels and proceed, but for groups who enjoy setting-specific limiters, this system has a pre-set bar of assumptions and allows GM's to tweak that bar as they see fit, instead of forcing GM's to create the bar from scratch.


edduardco wrote:
Cuup wrote:

I've had to deal with the problem this system is fixing several times - Level 2 Half-orc Skald rolls up to the fight, his player very pleased with his level up. The bad guy swings at the Half-orc, and the player goes "I cast WINDY ESCAPE! I get DR 10/magic vs. his attack and I'm immune to x, y, and z, too!"

Before I can say "That spell is supposed to be for Sylphs," The rest of the group is going "Whoa, cool spell, dude!" and the player is continuing to gush over his favorite new spell, which I wouldn't have allowed him to take, but he found it on the SRD and forgot to check the spell's source, so now I'm gonna feel like a dictator GM if I tell him to pick a different spell.

As a spell normally developed for a specific race, Windy Escape would have been labeled as Uncommon, which would have been a much easier indicator to the Player that he couldn't take it than scrolling down to the copyright footnote to see "Advanced Race Guide", and then needing to cross reference that book to see exactly which race normally gets it.

As a GM, I STRONGLY support this system!

To be fair, I think the problem here has more to do with putting arbitrary restrictions, I don't see any reason for a spell like Windy Escape as written should be Sylph exclusive, and most of the options in Advanced Race Guide suffer the same problem.

Because Sylphs have a hereditary connection to the Plane of Air (typically Djinni), and sylph spellcasters can build off of this connection to temporarily shift their body into air to avoid an attack? (Similar to a lesser version of the tactics Djinni use to turn themselves into a whirlwind when they wish to escape from a combat.) Something that a spellcaster who isn't a native outsider with a connection to the plane of air wouldn't be able to easily replicate - since the magic doesn't have the correct base to work off of?

There can be a number of reasons why options could be limited to a particular race, their customs, unique makeup, etc. It helps player races feel special rather than just being humans with different color skin or pointy ears. Having an indicator of Uncommon on such things would not only help those options feel special due to their limitation, but would tell players that those options can be easily obtained if they make certain character choices (A Slyph could take that spell as if it were common, a Djinni-blooded Sorcerer could make a good argument to the GM about it, but a Dwarf or Oread wouldn't have much of a chance.)


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For me this rule seems like the perfect thing for PF2 unchained... :P

For me, this seems like it'll just lead to a long list of 'mother may I' moments.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Like if you had no experience with Rise of the Runelords, there's no way you would know that Blood Money was not supposed to be a generally available spell, particularly if you found it by reading spell lists on some SRD somewhere.

IMO, wouldn't it be much easier to instead of marking EVERY item/spell in the game to instead note that spells/items like Blood Money are rare? They made a similar note for the 'lost' cantrips and the online sites note that.

This is listed in both d20 and nethys:
"The following spells are different from standard cantrips. They are rare cantrips. Spellcasters that gain access to all 0-level spells at 1st level do not gain access to rare cantrips. A spellcaster gains access to rare cantrips only by uncovering their secrets in some other way. Some are guarded by jealous mages, while others are lost in missing libraries or molder on forgotten scrolls."

PossibleCabbage wrote:
So is this going to reduce the number of Paladins who were abandoned in the woods and the number of Maguses who summered in Minata looking for spells?

So now they have to work their background to include those elements? Doesn't seem like a real limitation unless location doesn't change rarity.

BretI wrote:
I would expect the tag to be something like Mwangi: Common, elsewhere Uncommon.

I have to wonder is the rarity listing isn't going to be longer than the descriptions. IE :common in x, w, z. Uncommon in a, b, c, d and rare in r, t and q...

Wultram wrote:
Just and example NPC wizard level 5 had a rare version of lightning bolt spell they came up with, let's say it works like the from times of old that bounced of things. Now we have a PC wizard level 20, he decides to research such a spell, nope can't do it.

There are instances of multiple discovery/simultaneous invention/Independent invention [whichever phrase you like]. The system prevents this for some reason. I guess no one can come up with idea anyone else has ever had...


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
graystone wrote:
There are instances of multiple discovery/simultaneous invention/Independent invention [whichever phrase you like]. The system prevents this for some reason. I guess no one can come up with idea anyone else has ever had...

How exactly does the system prevent this? We already know that things changing category because of in game events is a thing. So why wouldn't it apply here.

Spell starts as Unique, it is known by one Wizard. This means it is difficult to identify, counter (maybe even impossible to counter) and you can't buy scrolls of it in shops. Acess to it can only be gained through story reasons.

A player spending time to create what (he thinks) is a new spell is a story reason. Once he has done so, that spell becomes Rare. The creation of a new spell earns him a place as a professor at a single university. He teaches students the spell, it becomes uncommon.

2 or 3 generations later the spell is considered Common. It has proliferated across the Inner Sea.


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Charon Onozuka wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Cuup wrote:

I've had to deal with the problem this system is fixing several times - Level 2 Half-orc Skald rolls up to the fight, his player very pleased with his level up. The bad guy swings at the Half-orc, and the player goes "I cast WINDY ESCAPE! I get DR 10/magic vs. his attack and I'm immune to x, y, and z, too!"

Before I can say "That spell is supposed to be for Sylphs," The rest of the group is going "Whoa, cool spell, dude!" and the player is continuing to gush over his favorite new spell, which I wouldn't have allowed him to take, but he found it on the SRD and forgot to check the spell's source, so now I'm gonna feel like a dictator GM if I tell him to pick a different spell.

As a spell normally developed for a specific race, Windy Escape would have been labeled as Uncommon, which would have been a much easier indicator to the Player that he couldn't take it than scrolling down to the copyright footnote to see "Advanced Race Guide", and then needing to cross reference that book to see exactly which race normally gets it.

As a GM, I STRONGLY support this system!

To be fair, I think the problem here has more to do with putting arbitrary restrictions, I don't see any reason for a spell like Windy Escape as written should be Sylph exclusive, and most of the options in Advanced Race Guide suffer the same problem.

Because Sylphs have a hereditary connection to the Plane of Air (typically Djinni), and sylph spellcasters can build off of this connection to temporarily shift their body into air to avoid an attack? (Similar to a lesser version of the tactics Djinni use to turn themselves into a whirlwind when they wish to escape from a combat.) Something that a spellcaster who isn't a native outsider with a connection to the plane of air wouldn't be able to easily replicate - since the magic doesn't have the correct base to work off of?

There can be a number of reasons why options could be limited to a particular race, their customs, unique makeup,...

But Windy Escape doesn't match that criteria. It doesn't establish that you need to be a Sylph to cast it or benefit from it.

WINDY ESCAPE wrote:

School transmutation [air]; Level bard 1, druid 1, magus 1, sorcerer/wizard 1

Casting Time 1 immediate action

Components V, S

Range personal

Target you

Duration instantaneous

You respond to an attack by briefly becoming vaporous and insubstantial, allowing the attack to pass harmlessly through you. You gain DR 10/magic against this attack and are immune to any poison, sneak attacks, or critical hit effect from that attack.

You cannot use windy escape against an attack of opportunity you provoked by casting a spell, using a spell-like ability, or using any other magical ability that provokes an attack of opportunity when used.

Now compare it to Paragon Surge

PARAGON SURGE wrote:

School transmutation (polymorph); Level alchemist 3, cleric 3, magus 4, paladin 4, sorcerer/wizard 3, witch 3

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S

Range personal (half-elf only)

Target you

Duration 1 minute/level

You surge with ancestral power, temporarily embodying all the strengths of both elvenkind and humankind simultaneously, and transforming into a paragon of both races, something greater than elf or human alone. Unlike with most polymorph effects, your basic form does not change, so you keep all extraordinary and supernatural abilities of your half-elven form as well as all of your gear.

For the duration of the spell, you receive a +2 enhancement bonus to Dexterity and Intelligence and are treated as if you possessed any one feat for which you meet the prerequisites, chosen when you cast this spell. The first time each day that you cast this spell, you must select a feat and make all the associated choices that come with it. Once that choice is made, it is set for the day and additional castings must make the exact same decisions.

If Windy Escape was intended to be Sylph exclusive is poorly written.

Sovereign Court

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Isn't the whole book prefaced with "these are racial options"?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

So the Playtest's default, straight of the box, assumption is that European is normal and Asian is exotic? A new edition is an opportunity to change anything and Paizo is choosing to keep its Orientalism.

2E: New mechanics, same colonialism.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
Isn't the whole book prefaced with "these are racial options"?

If by that you mean lazy and arbitrary tags, then yes I guess.

If something that can be acquired like a spell, feat, or an item is going to be race exclusive I expect that is because it only makes sense for that race, and that race only, like Paragon Surge for Half-elves.


Furdinand wrote:

So the Playtest's default, straight of the box, assumption is that European is normal and Asian is exotic? A new edition is an opportunity to change anything and Paizo is choosing to keep its Orientalism.

2E: New mechanics, same colonialism.

PF2 has Golarion as the base setting, and to be more specific the Inner Sea Region.


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Furdinand wrote:

So the Playtest's default, straight of the box, assumption is that European is normal and Asian is exotic? A new edition is an opportunity to change anything and Paizo is choosing to keep its Orientalism.

2E: New mechanics, same colonialism.

And they're publishing it in English! For shame.

Sovereign Court

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edduardco wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Isn't the whole book prefaced with "these are racial options"?

If by that you mean lazy and arbitrary tags, then yes I guess.

If something that can be acquired like a spell, feat, or an item is going to be race exclusive I expect that is because it only makes sense for that race, and that race only, like Paragon Surge for Half-elves.

So, yeah. Paragon Surge is half-elf exclusive, while Windy Escape makes more sense as an uncommon spell found on the Plane of Air. It is not exclusive to sylphs, but you should have a reason for knowing it.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
edduardco wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Isn't the whole book prefaced with "these are racial options"?

If by that you mean lazy and arbitrary tags, then yes I guess.

If something that can be acquired like a spell, feat, or an item is going to be race exclusive I expect that is because it only makes sense for that race, and that race only, like Paragon Surge for Half-elves.

So, yeah. Paragon Surge is half-elf exclusive, while Windy Escape makes more sense as an uncommon spell found on the Plane of Air. It is not exclusive to sylphs, but you should have a reason for knowing it.

Shouldn't be more like uncommon in Material Plane and common in the Plane of Air?

Sovereign Court

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edduardco wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
edduardco wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Isn't the whole book prefaced with "these are racial options"?

If by that you mean lazy and arbitrary tags, then yes I guess.

If something that can be acquired like a spell, feat, or an item is going to be race exclusive I expect that is because it only makes sense for that race, and that race only, like Paragon Surge for Half-elves.

So, yeah. Paragon Surge is half-elf exclusive, while Windy Escape makes more sense as an uncommon spell found on the Plane of Air. It is not exclusive to sylphs, but you should have a reason for knowing it.
Shouldn't be more like uncommon in Material Plane and common in the Plane of Air?

I don't think the speculated region tags will exist. It's just more clutter. The spell is listed as Uncommon, and being from or being on the Plane of Air can grant you access.


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edduardco wrote:
If Windy Escape was intended to be Sylph exclusive is poorly written.

What a wonderful argument for why we should have a consistent way to express things such as racial spells, instead of different spells trying to reference it in different ways which may or may not be replicated when they are copied to online sources.

In the past, I remember the d20pfsrd having a seperate box note in the spell description roughly saying, "These spells were originally intended for race X, ask your GM if you can use them." But that addition seems to be gone now. Additionally, Nethys lists the spell like this (emphasis mine):

Windy Escape wrote:
School transmutation [air]; Level arcanist 1, bard 1, bloodrager 1, druid 1, hunter 1, magus 1, red mantis assassin 1, skald 1, sorcerer/wizard 1 (sylph)

So yes, the Windy Escape spell was originally made as a racial spell for Sylphs, and there can be a number of in-world justifications for why it is limited to Sylphs (like the one I provided previously) and/or more difficult for other races to learn/successfully cast. So demeaning it by calling it a "lazy and arbitrary tag" is rather insulting.

PF1 never really had a consistent way to tag many racial options, but now there exists a framework for them to be listed as uncommon and for GMs and Players to be more easily on the same page when determining if they are an option for a specific character. I view this as a good thing, since it makes it easier for races or cultures to have special things unique to them - rather than turning the world into a boring slate where no one can be special or different because all characters need equal access to all options all the time.


Insight wrote:
I’m kind of concerned about the number of players that seem to favor white room character design. Surely at least some of your “build” should be influenced by what actually happens in the campaign.

I'm OK with the players who do that - kind of the "You need me on that wall" approach. They're the ones who math the heck out of things to the point of breakage, who point out the most egregious flaws that might slip by, for the edification of other players everywhere. If I ever need to join an existing game with really high-level play that I'm not used to, those are the people I go to for over-the-top character builds so that I can keep up.

Just so long as they're not the only ones who drive developer choices, that's all fine and good.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
edduardco wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
edduardco wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Isn't the whole book prefaced with "these are racial options"?

If by that you mean lazy and arbitrary tags, then yes I guess.

If something that can be acquired like a spell, feat, or an item is going to be race exclusive I expect that is because it only makes sense for that race, and that race only, like Paragon Surge for Half-elves.

So, yeah. Paragon Surge is half-elf exclusive, while Windy Escape makes more sense as an uncommon spell found on the Plane of Air. It is not exclusive to sylphs, but you should have a reason for knowing it.
Shouldn't be more like uncommon in Material Plane and common in the Plane of Air?
I don't think the speculated region tags will exist. It's just more clutter. The spell is listed as Uncommon, and being from or being on the Plane of Air can grant you access.

But that is what the blog says, right above, it has the Katana being common in Minkai as an example and all.

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