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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Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Brock Landers wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
This seems to be a recurring point with you. The answer is simple. A solution to a problem doesn't have to be a solution to YOUR problems for it to work. It fixes some of my issues for example

So whose examples/issues/problems win?

Presumably those of the designers, adjusted in favor of overwhelmingly majority opinion and adequately compelling arguments from playtesters. ^_^


Malk_Content wrote:
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
My concern is that Pf2 being really difficult for playing the story will hinder teaching new folks playing the story and therefore eventually result in the idea of playing the story without being freeform to die out, or become rare enough that finding others is neatly impossible.
I still haven't see you actually describe adequately what would cause PF2 to be anyworse in this regard. This specific system detailed in the blog would actually help, by giving a joint language for mechanics and story to intersect.

Expectations in the rules, and what expectations thd rules promote.

Alexandrian has an essay on Rules vs Rulings which pretty much defines two opposing sides, "

Quote:
There is, I think, a legitimate philosophical divison being alluded to here: The difference between “do what you want and we’ll figure out a way to handle it” and “you can only do what the rules say you can do”.

If the rules heavily promote thinking like the latter "you can only do what the rules say you can do," than that is also hindering the opposing view and making it harder for people on either side to play together.

More and more I see the growth of the idea that systems are only for "you can only do what the rules say you can do," style and anything else should just be freeform.

The whole article,
http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/3924/roleplaying-games/rules-vs-rulings

Many of the things he talks about in his 4e review also come to mind even though the mdchanics are different, many of these issues are still concerns,

Some examples of things I worry about, starting with the second biggest one, gutting non-combat, probably not as badly as 4e, but still, problems in the same areas,

Quote:

NON-COMBAT SKILLS: The skill system in 4th Edition has been "simplified". Part of this means reducing the flexibility and freedom of choice to be found in 3rd Edition (while gaining no appreciable benefit from the loss), but the other part of it is the systematic removal of non-combat skills and non-combat skill uses.

When I have brought this up in discussion with diehard supporters of 4th Edition, I have often been told that I'm wrong: There are still some non-combat skills and skill uses left in the game.

This is true. But if you cut off both my legs and one of my arms, the fact that you left me with one working hand doesn't mean that you haven't mutilated me.

Appraise, Craft, Decipher Script, Handle Animal, several Knowledge skills, Perform, Profession, Ride, and Use Rope are all completely gone. Disguise and Forgery have been dumped into the Bluff skill, but have no associated skill uses. (This is the entirety of their description in 4th Edition: "You make a Bluff check to [...] pass off a disguise or fake documentation...")

And when you look at the skills which do remain, non-combat uses for those skills have also been widely removed from the game. (On the other hand, several new combat uses for skills have been added -- so it's not that they were just paring the whole list down.)

In play, this wasn't just hypothetically problematical. Twice in our very first session of 4th Edition the players ran straight into the wall of missing non-combat skills. And, of course, I was left improvising house rules on the fly to cover over the gaping holes left in the rules.

While I expect more non-combat uses than 4e had, I'm still noticing disturbing similarities, such as a shortened skill list, and the change in how skill bonuses are calculated, to which,

Quote:

The existing skill point system is the best of both worlds.

(1) If you want to quickly generate a character's skills, select a number of class skills equal to # + Int modifier and give them skill ranks equal to 3 + your level, where # is based on your class. (Multiclass Characters: For each class, select a number of class skills equal to # + Int modifier and give them skill ranks equal to their class level. Add +3 skill ranks to the class skills selected for whatever class was taken at 3rd level.) [same result, more simply put, give max skill ranks, -ed]

(2) If you want to customize your character's skills, on the other hand, you have complete flexibility to do that.

Quote:
To be fair, there is another argument for adopting the SWSE system for handling skills: It eliminates the disparity between skilled and unskilled characters.
Quote:

But the real problem with SWSE's "fix" is that this disparity isn't actually a problem.

This type of disparity is a problem when it comes to attack bonuses and saving throws, because those are target numbers which are fundamental to a wide array of common challenges in the game: If you've reached a point where the rogue will automatically succeed (barring a natural 1) on any saving throw the fighter has any chance of making, then it becomes increasingly difficult to design challenges for the group.

But skills, in general, don't suffer from these problems. Any problems created by disparities between skilled and non-skilled characters can be simply addressed by:

(1) Rewriting the skill rules to remove a handful of truly problematic skill uses. (Diplomacy and Tumble, I'm looking at you.) These are areas that need to be addressed any way.

(2) Not worrying about it. If the wizard can cast improved invisibility, why are you fretting about the fact that the uber-specialized Hider finds it trivial to sneak past the unskilled Spotter? If the spellcaster can whip off a dominate person, why is it a problem that the relatively naive guy who has never spent a rank in Sense Motive is consistently getting the wool pulled over his eyes by the legendary Bluff specialist?

PF2 seems headed in 4e's direction here.

Oh and another issue similar to 4e,

Quote:

LACK OF FLEXIBILITY

But an unnecessary lack of flexibility increasingly seems to be the design methodology for 4th Edition. For example, Andy Collins recently discussed the fact that, in 4th Edition, abilities which were once feats and available to any character will now be class-specific abilities. This is one giant leap backwards for the game.

Similarly, it now appears that monsters and PCs will be built on mutually incompatible frameworks.

All of these things are major strikes against 4th Edition, in my opinion. Combined with decisions like removing saving throws from the game (fundamentally altering something that has been a core component of D&D gameplay for more than three decades), focusing the game exclusively on miniature-based tactical play (both in terms of removing real-world measurements from the rules and in terms of designing monsters so that they have no function outside of combat)

To repeat, I do not think pf2 will be as bad as 4e, but there are still far too many similar issues,

Quote:

[3rd ed] wasn't the perfect game. But it felt like the Platonic Ideal of AD&D that all of us had been struggling to find through our incessant house ruling.

And here was the real trick of it: It still played like D&D. It still felt like that game I had fallen in love with back in the summer of '89 when I first peeled the shrinkwrap off the Basic Set.

Let me take a moment and explain what I mean by that: Yes, THAC0 was gone. Yes, the XP tables had been mucked with. Yes, the saving throw categories had been streamlined. Yes, skills and feats had been added to the game. In fact, the list of changes -- if you wanted to be sufficiently nitpicky with it -- could be almost endless.

But here's the rub of it: Playing a fighter still felt like playing a fighter. Playing a wizard still felt like playing a wizard. And so forth.

Playing D&D3 felt as much like playing AD&D as AD&D had felt like playing BECMI.

Which -- at the end of this long, winding road of nostalgia -- brings me to my point:

4th Edition doesn't play like D&D.

Will pf2 feel the same? Even if it does for the "play the rules" folks, will it for the rest of us? If the rest of us are too small a minority, or not vocal enough, will paizo care?

Additionally, consider the following video. The narrator is critiqueing a movie, but much of what he says about action sequences needing story and not simply spectacle is equally true of an rpg. A fight isn't supposed to be just a fight, but it is also an exploration or a story scene, or an insight into each other's characters.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zhdBNVY55oM&t=2168s

In fact Alexandrian says as much as well,

Quote:

[wotc's] theory, as expressed by David Noonan, was simple: "We wanted our presentation of monsters to reflect how they’re actually used in D&D gameplay. A typical monster has a lifespan of five rounds. That means it basically does five things, ever, period, the end."

Their logic was fundamentally flawed when it came to 3rd Edition, for reasons which I'll only briefly summarize here: First, it ignores the fact that you'll frequently meet the same type of monster more than once (in which case having some variety in what the monster can do is valuable). Second, it ignores the fact that monsters need to be able to react to the unexpected actions of the PCs (in which case having a wider array of tactical options is valuable). Finally, and most importantly, it neglects to consider that D&D is supposed to be a roleplaying game, not a tactical miniatures game. In a roleplaying game, even if you're fighting, the reasons why you're fighting are frequently important.

(As I've written before: "It's often the abilities that a creature has outside of combat which create the scenario. And not just the scenario which leads to combat with that particular creature, but scenarios which can lead to many different and interesting combats. Noonan, for example, dismisses the importance of detect thoughts allowing a demon to magically penetrate the minds of its minions. But it's that very ability which may explain why the demon has all of these minions for the PCs to fight; which explains why the demon is able to blackmail the city councillor that the PCs are trying to help; and which allows the demon to turn the PCs' closest friend into a traitor.")

Liberty's Edge

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graystone wrote:
Really. I have to agree with Crayon: it seems like one of those 'solutions in search of a problem'. Lets look over those "many uses and benefits of mechanic".

I strongly disagree and think this will be enormously helpful to many, if not most, GMs.

graystone wrote:
Worldbuilding and Emulating Genres: More granulation than really needed. If you don't like/want gunslingers you don't need ANY of the ratings: they just don't exist. Spells you don't want players to have... is uncommon rare what you want? No. Healing items hard to find? Just limit what can be found. It's something that is easily done without an artificial rating system.

Not in all games. You will absolutely get people saying 'this is in the book so I get to have it' and having straightforward rules to shut them down is convenient and avoids argument and unpleasantness.

Additionally, and at least as importantly, some GMs, especially new ones, don't feel comfortable laying down the law like this, or may not even realize on an emotional level that they can, and having the rules back them up gives them a lot of help in realizing that they can and in some cases should do this.

Having a language to talk about what things are restricted and how much is also immensely useful for calibrating expectations about both the game and the world. I gave an example of the sort of restrictions of this sort I generally have in my games and was able to explain it in three sentences with the new terminology, when I'd never been able to properly articulate it at all using any PF1 terminology. Word lore wise, it also saves a lot of word count and avoids immense confusion to just be able to say 'X is rare' and have rare mean the same thing to most people most of the time rather than being entirely subjective.

graystone wrote:
Mechanical Diversity without Cognitive Overload: For me, there is MORE Cognitive Overload in the shifting rarities of items over the game world than there ever would be with having every option because NOW you have every option but then add to them a variable rarity rating that shifts. So it's NOT just a wand of healing but a wand of healing from location x and location x means that it's a wand of healing rarity a while in area y it's a wand of healing b and someplace else it might be wand of healing c... SO in an effort to reduce overload you've cut the numbers then turn around and multiply to get numbers bigger than you started with.

'The Inner Sea' is a setting, and one with pretty consistent rarity within it. In 90% or more of games set there I suspect that rarity will not shift at all, ever. The books will certainly mostly be going by that assumption, which reduces the cognitive workload in exactly the way they say.

Other places in Golarion will likely have different Rarity, but probably only on very specific things (Tian Xia will have a different list of common weapons and maybe make some uncommon spells common...but little else different), rather than broad swaths as you seem to be assuming, and will likely not come up in most games, to be honest.

Non-Golarion settings (ie: homebrew) that the GMs want to adjust Rarity in (a minority of homebrew settings, in all likelihood, just because people are lazy) will have wildly varying rarity, but that was already true, and at least now we have the language to talk about it clearly.

So this point is only true if Rarity shifts drastically and commonly, which I suspect is not a thing that will happen much at all.

graystone wrote:
Awesome Rewards: IMO, this makes little sense: much like the gunslingers I talked about above, if you want something special, just make it that way: there is no reason you need a label to make it so. [like they did with rare cantrips]

If the rules say anyone can get Cool Thing #4 via Craft Wondrous Item or just adding the spell when you level (and in PF1 they mostly say precisely this), then giving it out as a reward feels pretty lackluster. You can forbid people from acquiring things in such a way, of course, but then the players tend to feel you're punishing them by 'making' them go on a quest for it, rather than rewarding them with it.

graystone wrote:
If this was presented as an optional DM tool, I'd be ll for it. If someone finds a benefit of using it, more power to them. I'm not seeing it as useful as an 'everyone has to use it' rule.

Given that it's often most useful in order to shut down entitled players and by new GMs who are still feeling out the system I strongly disagree. Experienced GMs can ignore it easily, even in the current version, while new GMs will be reluctant to add and enforce an 'optional' rule and players will be much less inclined to accept such a rule if optional.

In short, speaking to interpersonal dynamics, it's usually much easier for a GM to remove a restriction than to impose one. It is therefore advantageous for game systems to have such restrictions hardwired in, which the GM can then remove if they prefer not to have them, rather than lacking them and forcing the GM to impose them if they want them.

The former makes the GM the good guy, while the latter forces them to be the bad guy, at least in a lot of players' minds.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
graystone wrote:
Really. I have to agree with Crayon: it seems like one of those 'solutions in search of a problem'. Lets look over those "many uses and benefits of mechanic".

I strongly disagree and think this will be enormously helpful to many, if not most, GMs.

graystone wrote:
Worldbuilding and Emulating Genres: More granulation than really needed. If you don't like/want gunslingers you don't need ANY of the ratings: they just don't exist. Spells you don't want players to have... is uncommon rare what you want? No. Healing items hard to find? Just limit what can be found. It's something that is easily done without an artificial rating system.

Not in all games. You will absolutely get people saying 'this is in the book so I get to have it' and having straightforward rules to shut them down is convenient and avoids argument and unpleasantness.

Additionally, and at least as importantly, some GMs, especially new ones, don't feel comfortable laying down the law like this, or may not even realize on an emotional level that they can, and having the rules back them up gives them a lot of help in realizing that they can and in some cases should do this.

Having a language to talk about what things are restricted and how much is also immensely useful for calibrating expectations about both the game and the world. I gave an example of the sort of restrictions of this sort I generally have in my games and was able to explain it in three sentences with the new terminology, when I'd never been able to properly articulate it at all using any PF1 terminology. Word lore wise, it also saves a lot of word count and avoids immense confusion to just be able to say 'X is rare' and have rare mean the same thing to most people most of the time rather than being entirely subjective.

graystone wrote:
Mechanical Diversity without Cognitive Overload: For me, there is MORE Cognitive Overload in the shifting rarities of items over the game world than there ever would be with having
...

It’s my old green light, yellow ilght, red light system ...


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Artificial 20 wrote:
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
Crayon wrote:
While obviously easy to disregard, this mechanic seems like it was designed solely to be cumbersome and obnoxious - what purpose is it meant to serve?
While obviously easy to disregard, this post seems like it was designed solely to be cumbersome and obnoxious - what purpose is it meant to serve?
How about, instead of being dismissive, we actually try to answer the question. You might find it obvious, but clearly someone doesn't.

How about, instead of being dismissive, we actually try to read the blog in question. We might find the answer, though clearly someone hasn't.

The middle of the blog features, in the largest font used, the heading:

Uses of Rarity

Followed by the one-line paragraph:

"So how is this system useful to you?"

Followed by more headings in the second-largest font used reading:

Worldbuilding and Emulating Genres

Mechanical Diversity without Cognitive Overload

Awesome Rewards

Each with more relevant words under them.

The answers have been provided. Some may not like the answers, or think this system will fail to achieve the goals it sets, but the question of intent "what purpose is it meant to serve?" was answered before asking.

You forget that the intent behind his statement is that "the system will fail to achieve the goals it sets," thereby him undermining it by saying it serves no purpose when the purpose it was set out to do (the goals) haven't been met properly.

1. Rarity has no use other than being a limitation that the GM (or the setting the GM creates/follows) imposes in relation to certain mechanics of the game. Last I checked, Pathfinder has been a game that breaks boundaries and has almost limitless customization. Imposing a limitation on ones customization and imagination is precisely the sort of thing that players who appreciate the customization of Pathfinder wouldn't like whatsoever, because it hampers their ability to play the way they want to play. Sure, an answer might be "Find a new GM" or "Play a different home game," but that promotes players leaving tables, which is a bad thing in general.

2. Worldbuilding and emulating genres functioned just fine in PF1, where certain aspects of Golarion had certain elements. You don't need a hardbaked rarity system to employ this, meaning that graystone's "solution in search of a problem" statement rings true in this regard. I can sit there and say "In this setting, firearms don't exist," and I don't need some Rarity system to explain that to my players.

3. Mechanical Diversity without Cognitive Overload? The first part can be done by the inherent abilities and aspects of spells and items, a rarity system doesn't need to make this happen. If I come across a spell that does X, and no other spell in the setting does X, I'm certain that such a spell is rare in function, and if that spell isn't commonly used, then I'll know that such a spell is also rare in existence as well. No systemization required.

I also disagree on the latter part. Adding a system inherently makes it more complex, no matter how simplistic it might seem on paper. The rules for consumables and other magic items in general for PF2 are inherently more complicated than in PF1 with the inclusion of Resonance, as one example. And if it's so simple that it does nothing to impede one's cognitive skill processing, then is that system being hardbaked into the game really even necessary?

4. Awesome Rewards are something that is subjective to what both the GM think and the player think. The GM rewarding a player with a magical castle might think it cool for the player, but the player might not want a castle because he doesn't have any need or use for one as an adventurer. A player might really enjoy a +3 weapon to customize for himself later down the road, but the GM might think the reward way too bland for his tastes. Having a rarity system doesn't really change this paradigm much, if at all.

In addition, an item or spell itself might be inherent to how awesome it is, without a system telling me that it's "rare" or "unique," when players should be able to find this stuff out for themselves.


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Oh no, another thing which Mister Caverns will use to restrict and limit god-given rights to CharOp. Horrible! DON'T TREAD ON ME! FREEDOM DIES LAST! ATTICA, ATTICA!


Feedback:

Seems "ok" for itens and cultural objects. Good for monsters: No, PF 1 DONT work to set monster rarity. In PF1 CR sets monster rarity by RAW. You see a red dragon, lets say CR 12, you make a Knowledge check DC 27 to know it breaths fire even if everyone knows it, you find a Xyrguilogothinson... a adventure i made CR 1/2 goo from the dominion of the black... you make a DC 15 knowledge check to know something. It were one of the inherent flaws from the system. If knowledge checks are now based pure on the "common knowledge" of a creature, thats was a good thing, else, its just wasted information.

Makes absolute no sense for spells. This is another innate flaw of a concept, mainly sorcerors. Sorcerors should not be able to do spell research and their spells should be picked from a fixed list AND THATS IT! Its "how to make sense" of the very concept of the class. You heard of a new spell... oh! know i can know how to cast it even if my spells should be treated like spell-like abilities from the very concept of my class since D&D 3.0.

For Clerics and Oracles the concept grows even stranger... Your learn a new blessing that your deity forgot how to impart on you earlier?

Be honest, spell rarity, and spell research, only makes sense non-innate casters(Alchemist, Magus, Wizard, Arcanist and Witch) and maybe casters like bards who learn their spells as "tricks" they learn along the way, not clerics that have their spells granted by a outside source completely or Sorceror who should have spell like abilities from the start but for "easy to balance" where chosen to say to have spells.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

But people have done rarity since, like ever.

Wizard Player: I want to buy a scroll of Fimluke's slightly overpowered short range teleport!
GM: Well, it's an rare spell where you are so ... you have 10% chance some shop has that scroll.

Of course, if the Wizard player starts invoking the Bill of Rights, cite Founding Fathers or any other entitled nonsense, he or she gets thrown out of the window (no need to worry, I live on the ground floor) and you find a sensible replacement who will react either "Cool, where's my d100?" or "Buuuut I know Fizzlebang the Wise and he owes me for help with that manticore, surely he can help me find that spell, can I roll Diplomacy to boost my chances to 20%?".

This is merely codyfing what many groups have done insofar. Of course, libertarian gamists will cry foul, because it will limit their dumpster diving frenzy.


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Gorbacz wrote:

Of course, if the Wizard player starts invoking the Bill of Rights, cite Founding Fathers or any other entitled nonsense, he or she gets thrown out of the window (no need to worry, I live on the ground floor) and you find a sensible replacement who will react either "Cool, where's my d100?" or "Buuuut I know Fizzlebang the Wise and he owes me for help with that manticore, surely he can help me find that spell, can I roll Diplomacy to boost my chances to 20%?".

Honestly, by this point I'm mildly surprised that you of all bags don't simply eat the player.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
RafaelBraga wrote:

Feedback:

Seems "ok" for itens and cultural objects. Good for monsters: No, PF 1 DONT work to set monster rarity. In PF1 CR sets monster rarity by RAW. You see a red dragon, lets say CR 12, you make a Knowledge check DC 27 to know it breaths fire even if everyone knows it, you find a Xyrguilogothinson... a adventure i made CR 1/2 goo from the dominion of the black... you make a DC 15 knowledge check to know something. It were one of the inherent flaws from the system. If knowledge checks are now based pure on the "common knowledge" of a creature, thats was a good thing, else, its just wasted information.

Makes absolute no sense for spells. This is another innate flaw of a concept, mainly sorcerors. Sorcerors should not be able to do spell research and their spells should be picked from a fixed list AND THATS IT! Its "how to make sense" of the very concept of the class. You heard of a new spell... oh! know i can know how to cast it even if my spells should be treated like spell-like abilities from the very concept of my class since D&D 3.0.

For Clerics and Oracles the concept grows even stranger... Your learn a new blessing that your deity forgot how to impart on you earlier?

Be honest, spell rarity, and spell research, only makes sense non-innate casters(Alchemist, Magus, Wizard, Arcanist and Witch) and maybe casters like bards who learn their spells as "tricks" they learn along the way, not clerics that have their spells granted by a outside source completely or Sorceror who should have spell like abilities from the start but for "easy to balance" where chosen to say to have spells.

A sorcerer intuitively shapes magic, but they do need an idea of what they want to do.

A cleric can’t pray for something they have no concept of.

Liberty's Edge

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Gorbacz wrote:
Of course, libertarian gamists will cry foul, because it will limit their dumpster diving frenzy.

Speaking as a libertarian, we're all about consensus in terms of rules. As long as the group agrees most libertarians are fine with some restrictions.

Unless they're a%~*#@%s, of course. Every group has some of those.


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Rather than respond to everything individually, I'm going to try to clarify what I was trying to say.

While the article does kind of describe the objectives, it was rather unclear to me how these were to be reached as they seemed to have nothing to do with each other or the mechanic presented.

Part of the problem, I think, may have come from misunderstanding the world-building bit as referring to GMs building their own worlds. The problem, of course, being that each world is unique and any categories created will be too arbitrary. Maybe something 'Common' on Golarion is 'Rare' on my homebrew world or vice-versa and if I have to go over the lists and redefine every spell, item, and weapon based on how appropriate it is to the milieu I'm in the exact same boat that I was in PF1.

If you take it as making it easier for the Paizo folks to organize splatbooks on the different regions of Golarion I suppose I can see some utility.

As for the rest, I don't care about mechanical diversity (beyond a vague dislike) so cognitive overload isn't really much of a factor.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Of course, libertarian gamists will cry foul, because it will limit their dumpster diving frenzy.

Speaking as a libertarian, we're all about consensus in terms of rules. As long as the group agrees most libertarians are fine with some restrictions.

Unless they're a#$%*&@s, of course. Every group has some of those.

What if is the GM? I've noticed in this thread there is a mentality of "there is no such a thing as a bad GM, only bad players".


graystone wrote:

For me, I read the reasons, scratched my head and can't see how they really do what they say in a meaningful useful way. SO I see "what purpose is it meant to serve?" as asking are there ways it DOES "achieve the goals it sets". When the stated problems solved aren't issues in your point of view, then they aren't really fixing anything to you.

In essence, does this meaningfully add something for people that have no issues now with worldbuilding, cognitive overload or making rewards special?

Well I see a use for it. This kind of lets those of us who hate magic marts and want to reward players with 'stuff you can't just go buy if you are rich' - while at the same time not removing said magic marts from the game for the overwhelming majority of players who demand them.

I appreciate the elegance of the solution - being a simple rarity tag that you can ignore if you want - and it does allow them to add spells to enemy wizards that are not 'now everyone has this' (same thing with magic items).

From what I've seen of the dev comments - it appears the core rulebook will be all 'common,uncommon' stuff - and I don't think we'll be able to fully appreciate this mechanic until a bit further into the life cycle of the game.

I do see (personally) value in having to search/research/contact sages/divine/travel to find that rare item/spell/feat/master - and that aspect of the game has been missing for *so long* I also understand why people don't see value in it at all.

The ultimate proof - will be in how deft the categories are chosen.


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Crayon wrote:

While the article does kind of describe the objectives, it was rather unclear to me how these were to be reached as they seemed to have nothing to do with each other or the mechanic presented.

Part of the problem, I think, may have come from misunderstanding the world-building bit as referring to GMs building their own worlds. The problem, of course, being that each world is unique and any categories created will be too arbitrary. Maybe something 'Common' on Golarion is 'Rare' on my homebrew world or vice-versa and if I have to go over the lists and redefine every spell, item, and weapon based on how appropriate it is to the milieu I'm in the exact same boat that I was in PF1.

If you take it as making it easier for the Paizo folks to organize splatbooks on the different regions of Golarion I suppose I can see some utility.

I've noticed this too, PF2 seems to be less user friendly for homebrew games.


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edduardco wrote:

I've noticed this too, PF2 seems to be less user friendly for homebrew games.

I guess we'll find out. Mechanically at least it seems really good for homebrewing IMO, as there's a bunch of systems I can play with and get varied but on par results.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

In short, speaking to interpersonal dynamics, it's usually much easier for a GM to remove a restriction than to impose one. It is therefore advantageous for game systems to have such restrictions hardwired in, which the GM can then remove if they prefer not to have them, rather than lacking them and forcing the GM to impose them if they want them.

.

I reject that assertion as without proof at all. I suppose that it's much easier for a GM to 'use the rules as written' than it is to change anything. This is why people get so worked up over what makes it into the 'core rules' or not.

The fact is that anything that differs from the Core Rules at all (including other rule books) increases the cognitive load on the GM - house rules even more so as they must then attempt to ensure that the rule is consistent.

I personally believe this is why most house rules end up being 'how we misread/misapplied the rule for years until we found out we did it wrong - so we just called it the house rule'.

Silver Crusade

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

I don't know about the Playtest rulebook, but I think that in the Core rulebook there should be some [rare] and a few [unique] things.

Artifacts have been mentioned, so I guess those would be prime [unique] content.

Spells I can see to list some [rare] ones. No [unique] spells in the Core rulebook, I would presume.

Gray Maiden plate would probably be [uncommon]?

The Bestiary would also have some [rare] and I'd guess one or two [unique] monsters (Tarasque?).


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edduardco wrote:
Crayon wrote:

While the article does kind of describe the objectives, it was rather unclear to me how these were to be reached as they seemed to have nothing to do with each other or the mechanic presented.

Part of the problem, I think, may have come from misunderstanding the world-building bit as referring to GMs building their own worlds. The problem, of course, being that each world is unique and any categories created will be too arbitrary. Maybe something 'Common' on Golarion is 'Rare' on my homebrew world or vice-versa and if I have to go over the lists and redefine every spell, item, and weapon based on how appropriate it is to the milieu I'm in the exact same boat that I was in PF1.

If you take it as making it easier for the Paizo folks to organize splatbooks on the different regions of Golarion I suppose I can see some utility.

I've noticed this too, PF2 seems to be less user friendly for homebrew games.

Actually, that would be "equally or more friendly" than PF1e, almost by definition.

What's the highest workload scenario? You need to go through feats, spells, and items one by one and determine what is an is not available. That's the same as PF1e.

For homebrew, you also have the option to ignore rarity tags altogether. That's equivalent to just running with "anything goes" in PF1e.

You also have the option of taking the default rarity from the PF2e rulebook, and only modifying a few things (or classes of things). That's far less work than PF1e to get a complete set of "how available is this," while still allowing some customization. So that's a net win compared with PF1e.

So "equally or more friendly" than PF1e to homebrewing.


Given that the Armageddon Orb is present, I'd expect some example Rare and Unique things.
Besides. Holy Avenger.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
edduardco wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Of course, libertarian gamists will cry foul, because it will limit their dumpster diving frenzy.

Speaking as a libertarian, we're all about consensus in terms of rules. As long as the group agrees most libertarians are fine with some restrictions.

Unless they're a#$%*&@s, of course. Every group has some of those.

What if is the GM? I've noticed in this thread there is a mentality of "there is no such a thing as a bad GM, only bad players".

Of course I am the GM. Oppressing players, denying them choices, limiting their options, taking away their fun and making them vent on forums about how I didn't let them pick that feat AND I made that decision on the fly without telling them beforehand that it is banned is what makes my life complete. Honestly, there are some Bad GM's out there, such as the ones who believe that players are entitled to anything beyond misery and pain, but I am not one of them.

For my players it was the day I told them they can't learn emergency force sphere. But for me, it was Tuesday.

Now I wish I wore the same bathrobe Raul Julia rocked in Street Fighter while typing this. And had a glass of chianti in my hand. A really big glass of chianti.


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Cheburn wrote:
You also have the option of taking the default rarity from the PF2e rulebook, and only modifying a few things (or classes of things). That's far less work than PF1e to get a complete set of "how available is this," while still allowing some customization. So that's a net win compared with PF1e.

Even if you only change a few things you still need to review all to see what to change.

And BTW I'm not saying that PF2 seems less user friendly to homebrew just because of this blog, Resonance has been another indicator for me, and some bits in other blogs too.

Liberty's Edge

edduardco wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Of course, libertarian gamists will cry foul, because it will limit their dumpster diving frenzy.

Speaking as a libertarian, we're all about consensus in terms of rules. As long as the group agrees most libertarians are fine with some restrictions.

Unless they're a#$%*&@s, of course. Every group has some of those.

What if is the GM? I've noticed in this thread there is a mentality of "there is no such a thing as a bad GM, only bad players".

I was mostly kidding. My political philosophy and gaming philosophy are somewhat divergent.

But if the GM is bad, you should stop playing with them. No rule set can actually protect you from a bad GM.

Ckorik wrote:
I reject that assertion as without proof at all.

You reject the idea that people would rather receive gifts than have things taken away from them? That's...a pretty strong assertion, there.

Ckorik wrote:
I suppose that it's much easier for a GM to 'use the rules as written' than it is to change anything. This is why people get so worked up over what makes it into the 'core rules' or not.

This is true. It doesn't contradict my statement, though. There's a hierarchy: RAW is easier than removing restrictions, which is in turn easier than adding restrictions.

All in terms of group dynamics, of course.

Ckorik wrote:
The fact is that anything that differs from the Core Rules at all (including other rule books) increases the cognitive load on the GM - house rules even more so as they must then attempt to ensure that the rule is consistent.

Yes. House Rules absolutely add to cognitive load in most cases. However, the House Rule of 'ignore restrictions on stuff' is something of an exception. That tends to reduce cognitive load.

Ckorik wrote:
I personally believe this is why most house rules end up being 'how we misread/misapplied the rule for years until we found out we did it wrong - so we just called it the house rule'.

Yeah, probably. I'm not sure that's super relevant to the topic under discussion, though.


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Gorbacz wrote:


Of course I am the GM. Oppressing players, denying them choices, limiting their options, taking away their fun and making them vent on forums about how I didn't let them pick that feat AND I made that decision on the fly without telling them beforehand that it is banned is what makes my life complete. Honestly, there are some Bad GM's out there, such as the ones who believe that players are entitled to anything beyond misery and pain, but I am not one of them.

Truly you are the GM we all deserve.

edduardco wrote:
And BTW I'm not saying that PF2 seems less user friendly to homebrew just because of this blog, Resonance has been another indicator for me, and some bits in other blogs too.

Oh no, of course. I'm not assuming it's just because of this blog.

I think maybe we just have a different way of looking at it.
For example. Resonance as is has I think some issues with implementation (actually using charges and slots on top of points is the main issue for how I wish to use it, as I can just ignore homebrewing in items with X/day restrictions, though it isn't pleasant to avoid some inconsistencies), but I see it more as an opportunity for homebrewing rather than a barrier. Resonance batteries or shackles and locations that grant or drain resonance are big options for me, and I can imagine having doors that only open by people paying resonance to keep either the unworthy or mindless undead out.
I also quite like the idea of letting cosmic events affect it. E.g. imagine a solar alignment that, for a day, floods the world with tremendous power, giving everyone access to massively increased or regenerating resonance. For that day the world goes crazy thanks to the knock-on effects.


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Elleth wrote:
edduardco wrote:
And BTW I'm not saying that PF2 seems less user friendly to homebrew just because of this blog, Resonance has been another indicator for me, and some bits in other blogs too.

Oh no, of course. I'm not assuming it's just because of this blog.

I think maybe we just have a different way of looking at it.
For example. Resonance as is has I think some issues with implementation (actually using charges and slots on top of points is the main issue for how I wish to use it, as I can just ignore homebrewing in items with X/day restrictions, though it isn't pleasant to avoid some inconsistencies), but I see it more as an opportunity for homebrewing rather than a barrier. Resonance batteries or shackles and locations that grant or drain resonance are big options for me, and I can imagine having doors that only open by people paying resonance to keep either the unworthy or mindless undead out.
I also quite like the idea of letting cosmic events affect it. E.g. imagine a solar alignment that, for a day, floods the world with tremendous power, giving everyone access to massively increased or regenerating resonance. For that day the world goes crazy thanks to the knock-on effects.

I understand that is not a barrier for homebrewing, noting is actually, but now that PF2 has Golarion baked in along the mechanics it gives me the impression that the further you stray from the Inner Sea Region assumptions it will require more work to homebrew and balance.

I understand why Paizo is doing it and is OK, APs are awesome and the main selling point, but I think it will still leave a sour taste for some homebrew enthusiasts.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
edduardco wrote:
Cheburn wrote:
You also have the option of taking the default rarity from the PF2e rulebook, and only modifying a few things (or classes of things). That's far less work than PF1e to get a complete set of "how available is this," while still allowing some customization. So that's a net win compared with PF1e.

Even if you only change a few things you still need to review all to see what to change.

And BTW I'm not saying that PF2 seems less user friendly to homebrew just because of this blog, Resonance has been another indicator for me, and some bits in other blogs too.

Not really, as they are adding a lot of tags everywhere. I could easily see a setting in which all the GM had to do to make major tonal changes is say "Any spell with the Healing trait is Rare."

Resonance also seems a super easy knob to tweak, especially alongside Rarity.

E.G

High Resonance/Low or no rarirty: Super high fantasty, magic is everywhere.

High Resonance/Strict rarity: Magic is sparse but highly reliable and powerful if obtained.

Low Resonance/Strict Rarity: Magic is sparse and to be used sparingly if obtained.

Low Resonance/Low to no rarity: Magic is abundant but capricious, you have many choices but must choose wisely.


GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:

The whole article,

http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/3924/roleplaying-games/rules-vs-rulings

Awesome article, thanks for posting it.


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edduardco wrote:


I understand that is not a barrier for homebrewing, noting is actually, but now that PF2 has Golarion baked in along the mechanics it gives me the impression that the further you stray from the Inner Sea Region assumptions it will require more work to homebrew and balance.

I understand why Paizo is doing it and is OK, APs are awesome and the main selling point, but I think it will still leave a sour taste for some homebrew enthusiasts.

This isn't a problem unique to PF2. To some degree every single edition of D&D and Pathfinder have had an assumed, default setting.

For example in 3rd Edition that setting was Greyhawk, in 2nd it was the Forgotten Realms. Regardless, it is evident from every Campaign Setting book in my library (I've read dozens of them for 3rd edition+) that the further you deviate from the default setting the worse the rules as written emulate that setting.

For example, in the Iron Kingdoms planar travel and conjuration magic of any kind breaks basic setting assumptions. Yet those spells appear at every level of D&D/Pathfinder.


The system is useful because I can say to my players "you can obtain any common item for the price listed in the book without any trouble while you are in downtime". Instead of "here is the exhaustive list I wrote of what you can and can't get which I spent 6 hours agonising over because I am ridiculous and can't help myself".

The former saves me a lot of work and smooths out the game (and means players expectations are already set by the book so it doesn't make them salty when I say they can't find an orcish double ended axe). The latter creates space for me to overthink and over-world build which is a constant temptation for me.


I feel like the central reason I like rarity is that "some things are more common than other things" and "this thing is more common in other places than it is in this one" are entirely intuitive and easy to understand notions the negation of which breaks verisimilitude.

Like I get how players often channel their inner Veruca Salts (not the band), but we also all should have no trouble with the idea that it's hard to get root beer or peanut butter outside of North America.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What's root beer?


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Gorbacz wrote:
What's root beer?

It's a carbonated soft drink which my Swedish relatives swear smells exactly like their toilet cleaner. To which I respond - "I wish I could get toilet cleaner that smells like root beer."


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Tender Tendrils wrote:

The system is useful because I can say to my players "you can obtain any common item for the price listed in the book without any trouble while you are in downtime". Instead of "here is the exhaustive list I wrote of what you can and can't get which I spent 6 hours agonising over because I am ridiculous and can't help myself".

The former saves me a lot of work and smooths out the game (and means players expectations are already set by the book so it doesn't make them salty when I say they can't find an orcish double ended axe). The latter creates space for me to overthink and over-world build which is a constant temptation for me.

Wow, you have big assumption there, you seems to be assuming that Paizo is going to tag as uncommon or rarer everything that you would have written on your list.

Also, if you have a problem with X spell/item/etc you will still need to check what rarity Paizo assigned it to it, and if you make a change, you will still need to write a list of those changes to let your players know.


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Cantriped wrote:
edduardco wrote:


I understand that is not a barrier for homebrewing, noting is actually, but now that PF2 has Golarion baked in along the mechanics it gives me the impression that the further you stray from the Inner Sea Region assumptions it will require more work to homebrew and balance.

I understand why Paizo is doing it and is OK, APs are awesome and the main selling point, but I think it will still leave a sour taste for some homebrew enthusiasts.

This isn't a problem unique to PF2. To some degree every single edition of D&D and Pathfinder have had an assumed, default setting.

For example in 3rd Edition that setting was Greyhawk, in 2nd it was the Forgotten Realms. Regardless, it is evident from every Campaign Setting book in my library (I've read dozens of them for 3rd edition+) that the further you deviate from the default setting the worse the rules as written emulate that setting.

For example, in the Iron Kingdoms planar travel and conjuration magic of any kind breaks basic setting assumptions. Yet those spells appear at every level of D&D/Pathfinder.

Ah but you see, in 3.X even if Greyhawk was the base setting the impact to the rules were minimum, making 3.X practically setting agnostic, and allowed to introduce other settings with their own modifications: Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Dark Sun, Homebrew.

Early PF1 thanks to backward compatibility followed the same apporach, the rules and the setting info was separate, making rules easier to tweak, no so in PF2.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
edduardco wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:

The system is useful because I can say to my players "you can obtain any common item for the price listed in the book without any trouble while you are in downtime". Instead of "here is the exhaustive list I wrote of what you can and can't get which I spent 6 hours agonising over because I am ridiculous and can't help myself".

The former saves me a lot of work and smooths out the game (and means players expectations are already set by the book so it doesn't make them salty when I say they can't find an orcish double ended axe). The latter creates space for me to overthink and over-world build which is a constant temptation for me.

Wow, you have big assumption there, you seems to be assuming that Paizo is going to tag as uncommon or rarer everything that you would have written on your list.

Also, if you have a problem with X spell/item/etc you will still need to check what rarity Paizo assigned it to it, and if you make a change, you will still need to make a list of those changes to let your players know.

You seem to assume that their goal is to have a specific list, rather than to have any list of common items.

Having a baseline list saves a bunch of time and energy to deal with specific problem items.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
I strongly disagree and think this will be enormously helpful to many, if not most, GMs.

I noted that it might be useful to some: it's why I said it'd make a fine optional rule. I just don't think as a universal rule it's needed.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
You will absolutely get people saying 'this is in the book so I get to have it' and having straightforward rules to shut them down is convenient and avoids argument and unpleasantness.

People that argue with the DM are going to do so no matter is there is a 'rule' or not. I don't see how this 'shuts them down' as that hasn't been my experience. Listing campaign restrictions for a game doesn't prevent those kind of people so why would rarity?

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Additionally, and at least as importantly, some GMs, especially new ones, don't feel comfortable laying down the law like this, or may not even realize on an emotional level that they can, and having the rules back them up gives them a lot of help in realizing that they can and in some cases should do this.

That's like the pathfinder saying 'ask your DM' type options in pathfinder somehow fixed these issues. I don't think they did.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Having a language to talk about what things are restricted and how much is also immensely useful for calibrating expectations about both the game and the world.

I can see that. What I don't see is the advantage of noting said language for each and every item/feat/class/spell/ect in the game. Saying 'some things might be restricted by rarity' does that without being burdensome.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
'The Inner Sea' is a setting, and one with pretty consistent rarity within it. In 90% or more of games set there I suspect that rarity will not shift at all, ever.

This flies in the face of comments like "Characters from a given region, ethnicity, religion, or other group in your world might gain access to uncommon options associated with it." If katana's and bladed scarves have the same rarity no matter where you come from, that's a detriment and bug not a feature and a boon.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
If the rules say anyone can get Cool Thing #4 via Craft Wondrous Item or just adding the spell when you level (and in PF1 they mostly say precisely this), then giving it out as a reward feels pretty lackluster.

This requires a binary option at most. You can get it or not: so unique or not. Rare and uncommon aren't needed.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Given that it's often most useful in order to shut down entitled players and by new GMs who are still feeling out the system I strongly disagree.

I still disagree that this turn entitled players into compliant ones. Or changes doormat DM into empowered ones. If the player doesn't respect the DM, they aren't going to respect him with a rule that has inherent DM fiat built in. With the blog saying rating can vary, it puts the ball BACK in the DM's court making it as optional as if it's an official rule. The entitled player just goes from 'I should have it' to 'I should have it because I come from here and the rarity should be lower'.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


Ckorik wrote:
I reject that assertion as without proof at all.

You reject the idea that people would rather receive gifts than have things taken away from them? That's...a pretty strong assertion, there.

Not what I said at all.

I will state it more plainly this time, I reject that it is easier to remove restrictions than to add them. Evidence seen on the forums would indicate that restrictions are one of the first things GM's tend to do - with some games actually limiting the entire play experience to the first 6 levels only (for example).

Being a GM that currently allows any option, any book, except for summoners, I have found that I'm in very small company any time this has come up - so I reject your assertion - and I suspect (without hard evidence) that it is in fact the opposite for most GM's - that they find it easier to limit or restrict than to allow.

A rational argument could be made that the more lightly the rules interact - the easier it is to remove a system, and this system qualifies as it doesn't mechanically alter the game to ignore it, unlike say the new 3 action system, which is so ingrained into the new system that it would be monumental to ignore or alter.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Yeah, probably. I'm not sure that's super relevant to the topic under discussion, though.

I apologize if attempting to expand the conversation was only allowed to some, but not all posters.


Gorbacz wrote:
What's root beer?

Root beer is a drink traditionally made using sassafras) or sarsaparilla as the primary flavor. It may be alcoholic or non-alcoholic, may have caffeine added, and may be carbonated or non-carbonated.

Myself I prefer birch beer. ;)


For people talking about the agonizing trouble of a GM making a list for their homebrew setting, do note that a GM can now just write, "Uncommon: stuff; Rare: other stuff" and have players understand what it means mechanically. Without this system, when a GM says that option X is uncommon in their setting and option Y is rare, the player naturally asks, "How uncommon is uncommon? How rare is rare?" Or even worse, the player don't ask and then the player and GM have a different perspective on the mechanical implications of those terms... which leads to player frustration when they realize that something they wanted/built towards wasn't as available as they initially assumed.

Ckorik wrote:
From what I've seen of the dev comments - it appears the core rulebook will be all 'common,uncommon' stuff - and I don't think we'll be able to fully appreciate this mechanic until a bit further into the life cycle of the game.

From the way rarities are defined in the blog, I kinda expect that the vast majority of printed options are going to be either common/uncommon stuff. After all, common/uncommon is what makes up most of the world, while rare is inherently limited/special and unique is well... one of a kind.


edduardco wrote:


I understand that is not a barrier for homebrewing, noting is actually, but now that PF2 has Golarion baked in along the mechanics it gives me the impression that the further you stray from the Inner Sea Region assumptions it will require more work to homebrew and balance.

Fair enough, each to their own. For me at least, I'm coming from 5e. Mechanically PF2 feels like a system I can tinker with more easily without running into a black box issue, and the lore stuff here like essences give me a fun springboard to make my own ideas with. Compared to what I've seen in PF1 (which isn't much so I apologise if I get this wrong) but it seems easier to make guesses with regards to global rules in most cases, which also makes it easy as a GM.

I will admit though that part of me doesn't mind working around Golarion as much though. For a base setting I like it, and more importantly it has precedent for almost anything I'd need, so it gives me a tonne of problems less than Forgotten Realms being the basic setting (which tbh I'm really not a fan of).

Edit: I should also note that I don't mind building my setting around the assumption that resonance is a thing. It actually personally makes a lot of big questions potentially easier to handle.

Liberty's Edge

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graystone wrote:
People that argue with the DM are going to do so no matter is there is a 'rule' or not. I don't see how this 'shuts them down' as that hasn't been my experience. Listing campaign restrictions for a game doesn't prevent those kind of people so why would rarity?

This isn't my experience at all. A lot of people will argue with the GM but not the rules.

graystone wrote:
That's like the pathfinder saying 'ask your DM' type options in pathfinder somehow fixed these issues. I don't think they did.

They didn't fix things, but they didn't hurt and 'ask your GM' also is a lot less of a definitive rules statement than the Rarity rules.

graystone wrote:
I can see that. What I don't see is the advantage of noting said language for each and every item/feat/class/spell/ect in the game. Saying 'some things might be restricted by rarity' does that without being burdensome.

The advantage is that people who use it don't have to go through every single thing and decide which category it's in individually. Indeed, it's logistically basically undoable as a blanket rule without everything having it noted.

graystone wrote:
This flies in the face of comments like "Characters from a given region, ethnicity, religion, or other group in your world might gain access to uncommon options associated with it." If katana's and bladed scarves have the same rarity no matter where you come from, that's a detriment and bug not a feature and a boon.

What? No it doesn't. 'Katanas are uncommon in the Inner Sea, you need to be from Tian Xia to have one' is precisely consistent with both the quoted sentence and katanas always being Uncommon in the Inner Sea. Something being restricted to particular categories of people like that is what Uncommon means.

graystone wrote:
This requires a binary option at most. You can get it or not: so unique or not. Rare and uncommon aren't needed.

You could do it that way for this purpose alone, sure. The other categories are useful for the other things mentioned.

graystone wrote:
I still disagree that this turn entitled players into compliant ones. Or changes doormat DM into empowered ones. If the player doesn't respect the DM, they aren't going to respect him with a rule that has inherent DM fiat built in. With the blog saying rating can vary, it puts the ball BACK in the DM's court making it as optional as if it's an official rule. The entitled player just goes from 'I should have it' to 'I should have it because I come from here and the rarity should be lower'.

It's not a magic bullet, but it helps. By what's described being from another region or of a specific sect can justify Uncommon stuff. Rare stuff not so much.

Ckorik wrote:

Not what I said at all.

I will state it more plainly this time, I reject that it is easier to remove restrictions than to add them. Evidence seen on the forums would indicate that restrictions are one of the first things GM's tend to do - with some games actually limiting the entire play experience to the first 6 levels only (for example).

Being a GM that currently allows any option, any book, except for summoners, I have found that I'm in very small company any time this has come up - so I reject your assertion - and I suspect (without hard evidence) that it is in fact the opposite for most GM's - that they find it easier to limit or restrict than to allow.

Okay, what we seem to have here is a failure to communicate. I was in no way saying more people removed restrictions than added them. I was saying that players tend to get much more annoyed when you add restrictions than remove them so it's easier from a group dynamics perspective to remove restrictions than add them.

Ckorik wrote:
A rational argument could be made that the more lightly the rules interact - the easier it is to remove a system, and this system qualifies as it doesn't mechanically alter the game to ignore it, unlike say the new 3 action system, which is so ingrained into the new system that it would be monumental to ignore or alter.

I agree with this entirely.

Ckorik wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Yeah, probably. I'm not sure that's super relevant to the topic under discussion, though.
I apologize if attempting to expand the conversation was only allowed to some, but not all posters.

Not at all, and I'm sorry if it came off that way. I was just trying to clarify that I didn't feel that statement actually contradicted anything I'd said.


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edduardco wrote:
Ah but you see, in 3.X even if Greyhawk was the base setting the impact to the rules were minimum, making 3.X practically setting agnostic, and allowed to introduce other settings with their own modifications: Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Dark Sun, Homebrew.

I did see, and it was not setting agnostic, in theory or practice. The impact was not 'minimal' either. Note the number of spells in 3rd Edition whose names had to be changed in the SRD, and the fact that the Dieties were clearly labled as being greyhawk's (with other settings having to devote entire chapters to replacing them) instead of there being setting neutral concept-based dieties like 'God of the Sun', God of Death', or 'God of Magic'.

Further all three setting you cite were written specifically around D&D's core assumptions (as well as Ptolus, Ghostwalk, and a slew of others). They generally required minimal changes to the rules, and said so up-front. Dark-Sun the required the most, but most of that was framing and availability, not changes to mechanics.

Go take a look at some of the published settings that don't assume a basically 'standard' D&D world, like say Ponyfinder, and The Iron Kingdoms and you'll find numerous instances where the setting has to make expansive changes to the core rules in order to prevent content from the Core Rulebook/Player's Handbook from breaking the setting's spine over it's knee.

Nevermind trying to Homebrew something totally different, like say a campaign set in the the world of Avatar and Legend of Korra: Where everyone is Human, half the cast are Kineticist/Monks, there are no 'spellcasters' or 'spells', almost no magical items, and there aren't even any normal animals (everything is a hybrid except for one "Bear").


edduardco wrote:
Cheburn wrote:
You also have the option of taking the default rarity from the PF2e rulebook, and only modifying a few things (or classes of things). That's far less work than PF1e to get a complete set of "how available is this," while still allowing some customization. So that's a net win compared with PF1e.

Even if you only change a few things you still need to review all to see what to change.

And BTW I'm not saying that PF2 seems less user friendly to homebrew just because of this blog, Resonance has been another indicator for me, and some bits in other blogs too.

No, you definitely don't need to review everything.

It's totally reasonable to say "Default rarities, except all guns are one step more [or less] rare." This takes 4 seconds, and leaves you with a complete list of rarities for your campaign. Much, much, much easier, if you don't just want all items to be assumed to be available and are okay with Paizo doing some of the heavy lifting.

Resonance has, IMO, no effect on the ability to homebrew.

I don't see PF2e as being substantially harder to homebrew for than PF1e, from what's been released so far. You see it differently, of course.

I've got more I want to say on the "common/uncommon/rare," unrelated to this conversation, but will leave that for a future post.

Sovereign Court

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Ckorik wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:


Ckorik wrote:
I reject that assertion as without proof at all.

You reject the idea that people would rather receive gifts than have things taken away from them? That's...a pretty strong assertion, there.

Not what I said at all.

I will state it more plainly this time, I reject that it is easier to remove restrictions than to add them.

There are a good number of psychologists and economists who would disagree with you. The idea of loss aversion is pretty well established in their fields and it applies directly to this idea of rarity.

Quote:
Evidence seen on the forums would indicate that restrictions are one of the first things GM's tend to do - with some games actually limiting the entire play experience to the first 6 levels only (for example).

Beware a biased pool of evidence. In PF1, there is very little a GM can grant (limited to allowing archetypes to stack and waiving flavor prerequisites, mostly) compared to the large set of rules that can be restricted to tweak how the game plays.

How many GMs on the forums are likely to allow flavorful archetypes to stack?


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PF1 isn't so much Hard to homebrew for... it is more like home-brewing 'right' involves being willing to face a lot of backlash when you remove something core to the game's emulation of its standard setting. Regardless of your justification, the onus is on you to justify it. And the CRB really only gives you one sentence worth of defense, "rule zero"; against a whole lot of contrary built in fluff and restrictions. Thus far I feel like PF2 is already trying to provide me with more tools for world-building despite trying harder to present to me a cohesive view of their setting/world/vision of the fantasy.

For example, I ran a brief campaign in a homebrewed part of pathfinder multiverse; "The Third-World" also known as "Bag".
Short Story Long:

Spoiler:
It was a utopia 'inside' of an artifact-level bag of holding. The 'Bag' actually does exist on Golarion somewhere, but it is more like an ornate shrine that acts as a Gate (my emergancy allowance clause for anything Rare/Unique to Bag), and there are other 'Bags' in other planes that lead to Bag.
It was created by a mythic gnomish wizard/cleric (who 'worshiped' gnomanity as a whole).
It was populated solely by the various tribes of gnomes he had gathered from other planes (including from a post-apocolyptic nuclear wasteland)... and things that had snuck in or could travel the planes. I say tribes because I wrote up sub-races of gnome (using the ARG rules with 11-pts), so that the players wouldn't be shoehorned into just a few classes by the racial bonuses.
The Gnomes of Bag worshiped The Great Gnome (bag's creator's name had been lost to the ages); or one of his many, many, many "Saints".
You must play a Gnome, but pretty much everything else was allowed (including Technological Items and Advanced Firearms)...

...And that was basically where I lost half of my players interest. It didn't matter how much work I'd put into the world to justify it. They liked the world, but just didn't want to accept being told they couldn't play an Elf in Pathfinder. I ended up having to let one in via my emergancy justification just to keep my table.
That situation would have still come up in PF2 I think, but my Primer document could have been more explicit, and by leveraging a 'game mechanic' instead of 'gm fiat' I might've had more credibility at least.


KingOfAnything wrote:
How many GMs on the forums are likely to allow flavorful archetypes to stack?

I did once (I mentioned already elsewhere). To be fair, the player really wanted it, argued for the least beneficial combination, and I still spent three-hours crunching numbers before I allowed it. I also informed him he was weakening himself in the trade and that I didn't really recommend it.


Ckorik wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:


Ckorik wrote:
I reject that assertion as without proof at all.

You reject the idea that people would rather receive gifts than have things taken away from them? That's...a pretty strong assertion, there.

Not what I said at all.

I will state it more plainly this time, I reject that it is easier to remove restrictions than to add them. Evidence seen on the forums would indicate that restrictions are one of the first things GM's tend to do - with some games actually limiting the entire play experience to the first 6 levels only (for example).

I think this is misunderstood terms.

It's easier to not play Pathfinder than it is to play Pathfinder. The former takes zero effort while the latter takes non-zero effort.

What is easier and what people find more appealing can often vary. It's easier to disregard an existing idea than create a new one, but it can be more rewarding, and worth the effort to many, to still create that new idea. P2E's existence is this in action.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
graystone wrote:
People that argue with the DM are going to do so no matter is there is a 'rule' or not. I don't see how this 'shuts them down' as that hasn't been my experience. Listing campaign restrictions for a game doesn't prevent those kind of people so why would rarity?

This isn't my experience at all. A lot of people will argue with the GM but not the rules.

It's weird that way. My little brother still plays and runs Pathfinder remotely with his former college group, and back in his college Rise of the Runelords game whenever they had a fight with a boss encounter or a clever tactic, they would turn to him suspiciously and demand to know "Was that printed in the book?" Oftentimes it wasn't printed in the book because he gave an NPC a psionic class or came up with a plan to telekinetically throw people through a prismatic wall, but the times it was printed in the book? The players immediately accepted those, even the ones that were among the toughest scrapes, where they continued to grumble whenever he included any homebrew or unusual tactics that left them surprised like that.

His report to me about this experience was possibly the most blatant example of this phenomenon, but I've seen it a lot of times. It's also on display in Organized Play when it comes to player opinions of judgment calls versus calls that are forced or seem to be forced by the rules or the scenario.

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