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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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest
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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.


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Tangent101 wrote:
@MerlinCross: How is the GM stating "I do not allow that spell" differ from the GM not including that spell as it's a Rare or Uncommon spell? Seriously, if a GM doesn't want a spell then they will state it. Players can complain all they want about how unfair it is... but that doesn't change matters.

The idea of "Okay I can't get that" vs "Oh I might get that". I'm sorry I would take a flat no over getting to hmm let's go with level 10, before I realized "Oh DM had no intention of letting me get that".

Tangent101 wrote:

For instance: I ran an AD&D campaign where Resurrection was extremely rare. There was an in-game reason for that due to the God of Healing being murdered and the Goddess of Death (who isn't evil, mind you) gaining his Portfolio (thus being the Goddess of Death and Healing). The players came across a Scroll of Raise Dead. It wouldn't work unless a God empowered it, so they went on a quest to try and convince the new Goddess of Healing (daughter of above Goddess of Death - long story) to empower the spell. It would have worked but they killed a unicorn that some elves were riding while attacking the party. She got pissed and refused to empower the spell, so they ended up going another route to eventually get their companion back.

Under the Pathfinder 2 rules I can state "Resurrection is a Rare spell" and that explains things. Now there are plenty of players who would insist that in an AD&D setting they have every right to use the spell Raise Dead or Resurrection because it's in the books. It doesn't matter that my setting had a dead God of Healing, a God-War as a result of this, and thematically an explanation for limited access to healing and no real access to Raise Dead. The players could end up disrupting my campaign because they feel it is unfair that their character or their buddy's character was dead and that they'd have to go on a long quest to get their friend back.

So you, LIKE the fact you can get away with not having to explain plot points about your world? First example I get a good setting idea. PF2 "Oh it's Rare" tells me... that it's just hard to get. No reason why just "it's hard to get". Your players can also do this in PF2, I don't see how this changes anything. "Ugh we have to go do this LONG quest we didn't want to" sounds about the same in both manners.

Tangent101 wrote:
Having a rule that states X (spell or item rarity) helps the GM keep things in order. The GM can choose to waive a rule if they so desire but the rule is still there and they can state "this is a one-time event because of X" (say a background aspect) and allow it for that one time but still have the option to say no because it's in the rules.

That we need a written rule for this now doesn't give me much hope that some aspects of the game/players will change.

Tangent101 wrote:
2. The GM can then state "You can't use that because it's not available." When the player complains the GM can say "it states X in the rules." End of argument. If the player comes up with an effective argument as to why they should be granted an exemption, then good. If it's just whining and powermongering? Too bad. Rules exist to create a framework from which we game.

No one seemed to care about the rules before, why care now because of another extra tag. I don't see why this suddenly stops the problem.

Tangent101 wrote:
3. Not all Choices are for Players. For instance, the Red Mantis Prestige Class was not intended for players, but for NPCs. In the Red Mantis write-up it STATED as such. Just because something is in the books doesn't mean players get to use it.

So wait, it's stated not to be used by players. In the actual write up for it. And some players would... still try to be the class?

Yeah sure, adding a "Rare" to that class is surely going to stop that.

Tangent101 wrote:
4. We'll see.
Tangent101 wrote:
5. That's not an effective argument.

No but it does at least help explain why I see people saying this is good as weird when I did something close and got some flak about it.

More to the point, I don't believe everyone is going to be so fast on the use of this. How many years have we had it THIS way and now we have to do it THAT way? I'm not saying riots in the streets but to swap from Vending machine style to this well, I'd like to see how that plays out going forward. I suppose this can be put onto point 4.

Tangent101 wrote:

As for the time for spell research? I didn't remember it. I have no idea where it was. So it doesn't matter. I will say this: if a spell is Uncommon it should take longer to research. If a spell is Rare then it should take even more time.

If it is Unique then it should be something which takes months or years to create - you are talking about what is essentially breaking research. It is akin to Elon Musk building a rocket that can land and then be reused. You are not just recreating someone else's work, you are designing something brand new using concepts that haven't been shown before and that may end up eventually in hundreds of spellbooks. It is a Masterpiece in spell creation.

That's not something that you just whip out in a week.

If it going to take them that long to learn and you're never going to give them time to actually learn it; to me that inspires far more bitterness that than outright banning it.

I would assume you'd have less complaining if you just remove the thing from existence(Or make it so players can't use it) rather than letting them get it as a reward and then never let them use it. How bitter is the wizard going to be if you just keep rushing him out the door, making him waste his downtime and resources when the fighter just found a magic sword that they didn't need to learn how to swing, it's a sword.

Now I do agree, learning a spell shouldn't be "DING, I GOT IT!". But really, if it's so hard for the PCs to either learn or make use of it, why let them try to have access to it?

Congrats, you let them have "Blood Money". It just takes you 5 years to learn(More if you get the skill checks poorly). Yes I can understand putting the limit there, but I can't understand WHY you'd give it to them in the first place in such a case.


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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.

Might be because the lines are starting to blur between people I'm talking to, and some past arguments. That's on me. Lemme see if I can't clear it up a bit.

So, at least to my understanding, there's some ways to limit spells(Research) or magic items(Random rolls) in PF1. I admit the Researching spells rules might have come later so maybe people just didn't care to use them(I found it on the SRD but I think it's in Game Mastery).

These rules, rolls, and issues seemed to however, get in the way. Or were too much work, or tedious. Some of this is fixed with some apps or tools made for it, years after possibly, but this was deemed not worth it, and handwaved. Or if something was locked out of player reach, the complaining and the arguing would start.

So now, we have a system that looks to takes care of all that limiting busy work. That's actually a good thing believe it or not given my stance on the matter. Not an issue for my tables and decent thing for new GMs and players(If not misused). Find it odd more than anything. However...,

How long have people just played with accepting everything on the spell list is ripe for use? That "Ding, I know it" is the law of the land? That the vending machine/walmart of magic shops is a GIVEN for every table it seems?

So yeah, Rarity will allow easier rules for the GM to give out awesome/cool stuff. But with some groups/players..., well they've gotten used to the one stop shop way of doing things. And currently they can keep doing that if they wish. But you get a GM that likes Rarity and will use it, and a player or two that isn't willing to budge on "how it always was" well, that's gonna cause issues.

That's fine. They can go find another table. But from what I've seen this was a GIVEN, and wide spread apparantly. I don't know how useful/used Rarity is actually going to be depending on how unwilling people are going to be against something they've just accepted as "Default" for so long.

Does that clear it up a bit? If not, well I'll come back to this after I get some sleep and clearer head. Maybe with a PM.


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I mean "a kama should not be exotic, it is a farming implement. However, in the Inner Sea they are hard to find because farmers there use sickles for the same thing" is a sufficient justification for rarity being a thing, from where I sit.

Like it doesn't need to be easy to buy Katanas in Ustalav.


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I guess but their is always problem that come up in every instance of human interaction. no rule or speech is going to fix that. naturally something someone is against right form the start ins't going to work. that person will make sure of it. I'm pretty neutral to it myself but I'm willing to give it a try. I'm willing to bet anyone that goes into it with an attitude of hey lets try it it might be fun will have a much better time then someone going into it whit a lets prove how bad this is mind set.

you can't make everyone happy all the time.


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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.

I actually very much regret my decision in my starfinder campaign to allow players to freely purchase whatever items equal to their level they want (from any official book) off-screen. I had thought it would save time (which it did) and let us focus on the action (which it also did) but it kind of took away the wonder of finding a new item a bit. When players can just buy any item of their level without any other restrictions, level appropriate loot tends to just be converted to UPBs as players have already bought the weapon and armour most ideal for their build.

I included an ability upgrade (synaptic accelerator) as loot and it got pawned because everyone had already purchased one.

So I am looking forward to PF2 having another mechanism that can set player expectations about what they can obtain (so they don't get salty if I say the shops don't have it) and help me quickly gauge if it can be purchased to make loot feel a bit more special in comparison.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Merlin I'm finding you contradictory again I'm afraid. But it could be my lack of understanding.

You seem to be against shopping lists and builds, but don't like a system that is disincentive to that because not every build option can be assumed. You seem to be pro player/gm discussion but dislike the creation of a set shared language to do so. Bloat options are bad, but so to is the rarity system which fundamentally slows this process?


Fuzzypaws wrote:
Now, how do you balance divine and primal casters who just prepare from their entire list, and so get more powerful as the game goes on? By killing the undead sacred cow which says that is even a thing. Make them learn spells like everyone else. Divine non-spontaneous casters SHOULD have a "Bible" or "prayer-book" for their religion, they can use it as a spellbook just like a wizard does. Primal non-spontaneous casters can accumulate spells in other ways as appropriate to the character or tradition - be it as tattoos, sympathetic magic representations kept in a "medicine bag," accumulated pacts with various nature spirits representing their spells, or whatever. In either case, by having them get "spells known" as per a Wizard, you kill the balance problems inherent in this old bad form of spellcasting.

I like this idea, but as I learned when playing an Oracle - it would require a great deal of revamping of the core cleric spell list.

See, the cleric class is primarily intended to be a healer/support character. It has been turned in other directions, but that's still its core identity. That means that the list has a ton of spells that fix one problem or another. The party is thirsty? Create water. Someone is hurt? Cure _____ wounds. A ghoul got in a bad touch? Remove paralysis. And so on. But that sucks when you're working with a limited spell selection, because that means that you might be SOL when faced with ghouls because you took sanctuary instead.

This is not as much of a problem for a (PF1) sorcerer, because of their more offensive focus. The wizard spell list is more about causing problems, and while there are certainly situations where a particular problem might not be the right one to cause, that's the exception and not the rule. But the cleric list is about solving problems, and if you don't have the tool to solve the right problem you're kind of useless. Or as I've heard it discussed among Magic players: "There are no wrong questions, only wrong answers."


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
If a player read about a rare spell in a book and wants it for their character, they can let me know and I will try to work it in somewhere. It's not fundamentally different from when the fighter says "I'm looking for magic fauchards".

Sorry, sir, we're fresh out of those.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

TO me this is just simple shorthand for the GM to make quick worldbuilding changes that then applied to all new material. So Dark Sun you say all items made from metal are one category more rare (unique obviously stay unique). Dragonlance (before they find the disks) spells with the healing descriptor are one category more rare. So we have a simple way to do worldbuilding that doesn't require me to go through every book that is released and every future book to


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Speaking personally, I'm rather torn on this one. On the one hand, I can absolutely see the usefulness of the rarity system. It's great for establishing a setting and keeping expectations kinda reasonable. Also, as people have said, allows for controlling regionally inappropriate gear without, like, making them exotic or such.

But... I have a few personal concerns with this. For one... the GMs in my group tend to run things... if not directly by the book, then with only mild modifications. Like, maybe during downtime you can get a minor spin-off in RP, and maybe once in a while something will get changed to something the party can use (like turning the occasional greatsword into a bastard sword or greataxe because no one uses greatswords in the party but someone uses one of those. Or downgrading a fancy full plate into something lighter because the party has no Fighter or Paladin, stuff like that.) But something big, especially "side-quest" big? Heck no. So... I have a distinct feeling that while I might with some GMs be able to swing some Uncommon stuff, using those RP spinoffs (though I'm notoriously bad with those ^.^; ) but... anything marked Rare, unless it's directly written into whatever AP we're running, might as well not exist as far as I'll be concerned.

Now as far as Rares that are something like a spell or fancy high-tier magic item... honestly I actually probably won't care. Those are fairly minor things to me generally. But... feats, archetypes, or generalized weapons are things I like to try to build around a lot. Especially some of the weirder ones... which are the ones more likely to be marked Rare. Heck, I already had intended to make a Grey Maiden for the playtest (fortunately our playtest game will be run by the most permissive GM in the group, who has a thing for Grey Maidens and also knows that I have a thing for Grey Maidens.) So in essence this does have at least the potential to just... cut off a large chunk of potential character concepts I might work with, and there is very little chance in my case that just "talk with the GM" will actually have any influence.


Feels like this will be, at worst, non-impactful in any way. Sans all the doomsaying, I'm not sure how much peace this actually buys.

Seems like the worst fallout from this is word count.


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I'm unclear whether things higher up the rarity scale are supposed to be higher up the power scale.

It mostly seems they aren't (longsword is common and katana is uncommon, but neither is better, and it might be swapped around in another pat of the setting), but the rewards bit suggests they are: if it's a reward to be allowed to use a katana, then presumably it's better than the longsword in some way?

I very much see the value in genre and style, but a group or a player either has interest in it (in which case they won't bring katana-wielding drow in what's supposed to be a musketeers-style game), or hasn't (in which case restricting access to katana-wielding drow won't help much, because they will easily bring in something common and inappropriate). And if the group or DM is supposed to exhaustively review the rarity tags of everything to match each new style of game, what's the value in the initial tags?

I feel the intent will easily become very muddled here between the original designers, DMs, and subsequent designers, with some treating rarity as a tool to describe the setting, some treating it as a tool to control more powerful toys, and unintended effects when one intent clashes against the other expectation.

The very well know Exotic weapons issue, only rather than being restricted to a handful of weapons, applied to most of the elements in the game.

Liberty's Edge

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jasin wrote:
I'm unclear whether things higher up the rarity scale are supposed to be higher up the power scale.

Mark Seifter explicitly said that they are not more powerful and will not be designed to be so. But that, by virtue of being Rare, some things do become inherently more valuable, if not more directly powerful.

He used the example of tongues, a clearly not overpowered spell, that is nevertheless suddenly very valuable if nobody else has it.


I can totally see 'slightly overpowered' content being justified by other developers (first or third party) on the grounds that it is listed as Uncommon or Rare (and therefore something the GM has to purposfully include).
In that regard it will be a somewhat muddy design space. However I hope that the examples we are given discourage such 'incorrect' usage.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

PCs who create new spells might now have a mechanic to play off of. I think this simple idea might bring some fun role playing and maybe some in game use.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Another reason I really like this. Monsters and items. They come in lists because bestiaries and armory books are supposed to be like recipe books for a story. A book of monsters helps the GM when he's populating his plotline. The heroes walk in and see a ____! Or, after searching this room, you uncover a _____, wow!
But since they are books with lists, players don't view them as recipe books. They view them as "this is a list of things that all exist in this world."
Maybe ghorazaghs don't really exist in your story. They are just listed in a book intended to be a toolbox for GMs.

I love these new official tags.


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It seems to me that tags make a stronger case for the reading you dislike. The Book seems to be saying that ghorazaghs exist, but they are rare. Not common, not unique, not absent; rare.


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I wasn’t terribly excited about this blog, mostly because I have been doing the common-unique descriptions in my homebrews for about 20 yrs now. I think it’s a great tool to help GM’s tweek monsters and equipment for “their” game.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
On rereading the blog, one thing stands out - the dilemma of a party emerging from some ruins with a spell which no one has seen in thousands of years. Just the question of "what do you do with it, to disseminate or hide the knowledge, to use it for the greatest good, or get the highest price from it is a great roleplaying opportunity and something that was literally impossible to do in PF1.
How's it impossible? I see nothing in the rule book that prevents it.
Because there's literally nothing which prevents a sorcerer from straight up "having Blood Money pop into your head" when they leveled up in PF1, short of GM fiat (which some people seem super-allergic to, I guess), but now there is?

As a side note, I think this further cements that Sorcerers in PF2 are not really spontaneous anylonger, they just don't prepare spells, and that's all. RIP spontaneous casters.


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edduardco wrote:
As a side note, I think this further cements that Sorcerers in PF2 are not really spontaneous anylonger, they just don't prepare spells, and that's all. RIP spontaneous casters.

"They don't prepare spells" is quite literally the textbook definition of spontaneous casters.

That said, I still hope they don't require books, and Mark said the process by which they gain new spells is pretty much left to indidual groups, paraphrasing of course.


Shinigami02 wrote:

Speaking personally, I'm rather torn on this one. On the one hand, I can absolutely see the usefulness of the rarity system. It's great for establishing a setting and keeping expectations kinda reasonable. Also, as people have said, allows for controlling regionally inappropriate gear without, like, making them exotic or such.

But... I have a few personal concerns with this. For one... the GMs in my group tend to run things... if not directly by the book, then with only mild modifications. Like, maybe during downtime you can get a minor spin-off in RP, and maybe once in a while something will get changed to something the party can use (like turning the occasional greatsword into a bastard sword or greataxe because no one uses greatswords in the party but someone uses one of those. Or downgrading a fancy full plate into something lighter because the party has no Fighter or Paladin, stuff like that.) But something big, especially "side-quest" big? Heck no. So... I have a distinct feeling that while I might with some GMs be able to swing some Uncommon stuff, using those RP spinoffs (though I'm notoriously bad with those ^.^; ) but... anything marked Rare, unless it's directly written into whatever AP we're running, might as well not exist as far as I'll be concerned.

Now as far as Rares that are something like a spell or fancy high-tier magic item... honestly I actually probably won't care. Those are fairly minor things to me generally. But... feats, archetypes, or generalized weapons are things I like to try to build around a lot. Especially some of the weirder ones... which are the ones more likely to be marked Rare. Heck, I already had intended to make a Grey Maiden for the playtest (fortunately our playtest game will be run by the most permissive GM in the group, who has a thing for Grey Maidens and also knows that I have a thing for Grey Maidens.) So in essence this does have at least the potential to just... cut off a large chunk of potential character concepts I might work with, and there is...

In Doomsday Dawn you should have *years* of downtime - that should be enough for any GM to give you a brief roleplay session in which you go to the Gray Maidens and are tested, trained and accepted in their ranks.

As far as other APs... well, that's tougher. If you can find feats, archetypes and weapons you could possibly get from the adventure at hand, then it's gonna be easier for everyone. Otherwise try and convince your GMs to be more lenient, and force them to see that you'll never be able to play elements you like if they don't give you the chance.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
So you, LIKE the fact you can get away with not having to explain plot points about your world? First example I get a good setting idea. PF2 "Oh it's Rare" tells me... that it's just hard to get. No reason why just "it's hard to get". Your players can also do this in PF2, I don't see how this changes anything. "Ugh we have to go do this LONG quest we didn't want to" sounds about the same in both manners.

I like being able to say to a player "the rules say X" when they protest that my campaign design is being arbitrary. And yes, there are players who get up in arms over having to go on a quest to find a specific item rather than just check it off a list and having bought it. The former takes time. The latter is just playing Dungeons and Diablos - something I detested from the 3.5 version of DND which encourages speed gaming - get everything done as quickly as possible because your buffs are going to run out in three minutes.

There being a specific RULE in the books turns the argument from "you are being arbitrary and unfair for not letting me have this" to "well I don't like this rule and I think you shouldn't use it." Hmm, what does this ultimately do?

It shifts the onus from the GM to the player. Before the player could have a valid point. Was I unfair for not allowing Raise Dead to be commonly available in my games? Was my decision to not use a generic gaming world with all the magic available actually detrimental? Should I sacrifice my setting because I'm forcing my vision down the players' throats?

Now it becomes "you are upset because you don't like these rules." The GM can take a closer look at the argument because it is no longer about the GM, it is about the player. Is their argument valid in protesting this RULE, or is it the player is upset because they can't get that little toy?

-------------

BTW, Rarity doesn't need to just be magic items. Nor does Unique items. Let's take some of the firearms that players could acquire in Book 5 of "Reign of Winter" - now let's say a player brought back a rifle and some ammunition as a memento.

That rifle is now Unique in the Golarion setting. In order to GET that rifle, a player would have to track down one of the heroes who fought to free Baba Yaga and convince them to part with their memento, either offering them a lot of money for it or try to steal it.

It's a good rifle. It's better than mundane firearms in the campaign setting because it was created by people who have crafted guns for centuries rather than novices who haven't even begun to think about mass production of firearms. It isn't any better than a 10d6 Fireball Wand - if anything, that wand is probably the better weapon in many circumstances. But it's Unique.

Now let's say that character is a Gunsmith and carefully manages to take it apart and learns something from the manufacture of that rifle. They may be able to replicate a bit of it. Their own next-generation rifles will not be as good as the original... but will still be far better than the firearms currently out there. If they are able to put that rifle back together it is still Unique and it may very well be other firearms built along that lines will have a greater chance of misfiring and do just a little bit less damage.

We now have a prime example of Unique items and how they can be replicated... but still remain unique. :)

Grand Lodge

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I really like this system.
The idea of having a simple system to bake in item avaliabiiity for a region or locale is, in my mind, a very useful tool for planning items and spells.
It furthers the idea of regional differences in magic and weapons.

So far I haven’t seen much I don’t like from the system.
The modularity of the system within the context they have given so far excites me as I have wanted that for years!

My only question is will this modularity allow for new systems to be easily added at the core level as new books are released?
Mark if you could give me any info on that I would be appreciative ;)


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Firearms (and Technological Items) are an excellent reason for Rarity all by themselves!
Some GMs love them, some hate them... but don't forget that Golarion has ancient Railguns left by aliens, as well as an entire country of wild-west style gunmen.

Now we have a unified mechanic for discussing the commonality of any element, rather than really only having Rarity as a rules consideration in two places: Primitive/Advanced Firearms, and Minor/Major Artifacts.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

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Seems like a simple, much needed framework, which can be easily discarded or adjusted if a particular table wants to. I like it a lot (presuming it's used in PF2 release and future supplements). Any strenuous objection to this is just baffling to me.


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edduardco wrote:
As a side note, I think this further cements that Sorcerers in PF2 are not really spontaneous anylonger, they just don't prepare spells, and that's all. RIP spontaneous casters.

I mean, the reason I like sorcerers is "you don't have to prepare your spells, you're just ready to go". Not "you simultaneously have awareness of every spell, even ones developed on other planes or planets and have never been cast on Golarion."

It seems like *some* limitation on "what spells sorcerers can pick up on level up" being roughly "the spells the sorcerer in question is potentially aware of" is warranted. Like if some Bone Sage on Eox comes up with a spell for "doing certain things in an airless environment" or some Druid on Triaxus invents some way to make transitioning between seasons easier, people who have never left Avistan should not be waking up with unbidden knowledge of these spells.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
edduardco wrote:
As a side note, I think this further cements that Sorcerers in PF2 are not really spontaneous anylonger, they just don't prepare spells, and that's all. RIP spontaneous casters.

I mean, the reason I like sorcerers is "you don't have to prepare your spells, you're just ready to go". Not "you simultaneously have awareness of every spell, even ones developed on other planes or planets and have never been cast on Golarion."

It seems like *some* limitation on "what spells sorcerers can pick up on level up" being roughly "the spells the sorcerer in question is potentially aware of" is warranted. Like if some Bone Sage on Eox comes up with a spell for "doing certain things in an airless environment" or some Druid on Triaxus invents some way to make transitioning between seasons easier, people who have never left Avistan should not be waking up with unbidden knowledge of these spells.

They shouldn't and your players should ask you about spells that come from a splatbook talking about Other Planets/Planes.

But I'm yoinking this. Sounds like a great plot hook. People suddenly waking up with spell knowledge they have no idea how they know, could make for some interesting ideas.


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Malk_Content wrote:

Merlin I'm finding you contradictory again I'm afraid. But it could be my lack of understanding.

You seem to be against shopping lists and builds, but don't like a system that is disincentive to that because not every build option can be assumed. You seem to be pro player/gm discussion but dislike the creation of a set shared language to do so. Bloat options are bad, but so to is the rarity system which fundamentally slows this process?

To be fair, I dislike seeing a system put into place to fix a problem the community had before only because they seemed to ignore the systems already in place, and everyone seemings to think this will go over well after handwaving it after so long.

I'm against shopping lists and builds when they are just assumed. I'm also against a system that lets a lousy DM shadowban stuff and have the rules back him up on being a jerk about it. As an example, my GM let me actually make a golem, and has allowed me to tinker with it. Thank you GM. If he had said "No, I don't want Golems" okay I would have been a little upset but understanding. Might switch character idea but okay playbable. If the GM had said "Sure you can, it's just Rare" and I found out later that all my work is for nothing because he's not going to let me have it, well I'd be more upset than the just NO after wasting possibly levels and resources. Rarity is a tool not a solution. Good GMs can make use of it, much like Bad Gms can but we don't care how that effects players it seems.

I am pro discussion. Why do we seem to want to have the book replace that? Don't talk to me for a reason why, the book tells you no. And even if this is a shared language, again I point to the different slang at each table. Let's say Wands are Uncommon. That means something different to you, something different to me, and something different per each GM and table. Heck I'm not a fan of PFS but it's gonna be interesting to see how they balance Uncommon in 1 spot vs Common in another.

Bloat options are bad, when half of them are ignored anyway by the community math. Throw on Rarity, which restricts things even more, well I think it's going to make for clear choices of "Take this, this is best" when it comes to builds. You have narrowed the bloat, but also helped the choices become far more standardized.


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Yeah acquiring spell knowledge unbidden could be a neat plot... but it makes a pretty poor base-line justification for how all spontaneous spellcasters learn spells. Mostly because it removes all sense of free-agency from a huge subset ofbthe adventuring population... but also because it makes me question what sorcerers even get out of adventuring if they need neither spell-lore or an excuse to practice and hone their deadly talent.
Why not just stay home with some Nyquil and dream-up Fireball that much sooner?


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Cantriped wrote:

Yeah acquiring spell knowledge unbidden could be a neat plot... but it makes a pretty poor base-line justification for how all spontaneous spellcasters learn spells. Mostly because it removes all sense of free-agency from a huge subset ofbthe adventuring population... but also because it makes me question what sorcerers even get out of adventuring if they need neither spell-lore or an excuse to practice and hone their deadly talent.

Why not just stay home with some Nyquil and dream-up Fireball that much sooner?

It's said that somewhere in the universe, there is a mountain. A mountain so high that from there all places can be Seen. Upon this mountain sits a sorcerer, who Watches all things. Whenever a wizard develops and casts a new spell, the sorcerer Sees this and ponders, deep in meditation for 20 days and 20 nights. And on the 20th night, the sorcerer Understands.

Edit:
Then they write a forum post on how to minmax the latest splat book.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

But that bad gm will be a bad gm regardless. If they say "yes" and then don't let you have it later thats the same thing. Everything can be twisted by bad gms, designing around them just ruins it for every one else. If you can find me someone with a bad gm who for some reason still has them gm for them I'd love to here from them.

The book isn't replacing discussion. And rarity having different meanings only happens if its meanings aren't put out in full in the book.

I don't believe choices will be more standardized. I can take a build from the net (and why is this a bad thing if the player likes to do that anyway?) and it will likely only reference Common (or uncommon things that you can get through mechanics) choices for generalism sake. Then at lvl 5 my GM gives me this awesome Rare thing! That will change everything and goes against standardization.


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Tangent101 wrote:

I like being able to say to a player "the rules say X" when they protest that my campaign design is being arbitrary. And yes, there are players who get up in arms over having to go on a quest to find a specific item rather than just check it off a list and having bought it. The former takes time. The latter is just playing Dungeons and Diablos - something I detested from the 3.5 version of DND which encourages speed gaming - get everything done as quickly as possible because your buffs are going to run out in three minutes.

There being a specific RULE in the books turns the argument from "you are being arbitrary and unfair for not letting me have this" to "well I don't like this rule and I think you shouldn't use it." Hmm, what does this ultimately do?

It shifts the onus from the GM to the player. Before the player could have a valid point. Was I unfair for not allowing Raise Dead to be commonly available in my games? Was my decision to not use a generic gaming world with all the magic available actually detrimental? Should I sacrifice my setting because I'm forcing my vision down the players' throats?

Now it becomes "you are upset because you don't like these rules." The GM can take a closer look at the argument because it is no longer about the GM, it is about the player. Is their argument valid in protesting this RULE, or is it the player is upset because they can't get that little toy?

Any player that fights you on your world that much is GOING to fight you on Rarity too even with some fancy new Tag rule. "You should make it Common because it's always been common, and you're removing player agency and choice, and..."

More sensible players just don't bother asking. Maybe a few times but it's just easier to pick up the common stuff(Which is supposed to be just as good). Which leads them picking the same things again and again each game because well, I will HAVE access to that. I look forward to the Wizards all having the same spell list. Again.

Tangent101 wrote:

BTW, Rarity doesn't need to just be magic items. Nor does Unique items. Let's take some of the firearms that players could acquire in Book 5 of "Reign of Winter" - now let's say a player brought back a rifle and some ammunition as a memento.

That rifle is now Unique in the Golarion setting. In order to GET that rifle, a player would have to track down one of the heroes who fought to free Baba Yaga and convince them to part with their memento, either offering them a lot of money for it or try to steal it.

It's a good rifle. It's better than mundane firearms in the campaign setting because it was created by people who have crafted guns for centuries rather than novices who haven't even begun to think about mass production of firearms. It isn't any better than a 10d6 Fireball Wand - if anything, that wand is probably the better weapon in many circumstances. But it's Unique.

Now let's say that character is a Gunsmith and carefully manages to take it apart and learns something from the manufacture of that rifle. They may be able to replicate a bit of it. Their own next-generation rifles will not be as good as the original... but will still be far better than the firearms currently out there. If they are able to put that rifle back together it is still Unique and it may very well be other firearms built along that lines will have a greater chance of misfiring and do just a little bit less damage.

We now have a prime example of Unique items and how they can be replicated... but still remain unique. :)

And you can't do this now? No really why can't you do this now? What is stopping you from doing this, right now, in Reign of Winter?

Besides everyone just handwaving it to the point you can probably buy side rifle from a village in the middle of no where and also pick up 15 Ioun Stones to go with it at the same time. And you have to buy 15, that gives you an Artifact half off.


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MerlinCross wrote:
They shouldn't and your players should ask you about spells that come from a splatbook talking about Other Planets/Planes.

Sure, but the big problem is that one of the most popular SRDs can't legally name check things like "Karzoug" or "Eox" or w/e but they absolutely can put "Rare/Uncommon outside of the plane(t) where this spell was developed" which will signpost "hey, ask the GM".

MerlinCross wrote:
But I'm yoinking this. Sounds like a great plot hook. People suddenly waking up with spell knowledge they have no idea how they know, could make for some interesting ideas.

It's a reasonable plot hook, but at the same time one probably shouldn't be giving the sorcerer spells they have little use for without it being the player's idea. Like "a useful spell, with weird implications" is a fine hook to go investigate something, but "this spell only works on triaxians" probably is not.


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Malk_Content wrote:

But that bad gm will be a bad gm regardless. If they say "yes" and then don't let you have it later thats the same thing. Everything can be twisted by bad gms, designing around them just ruins it for every one else. If you can find me someone with a bad gm who for some reason still has them gm for them I'd love to here from them.

The book isn't replacing discussion. And rarity having different meanings only happens if its meanings aren't put out in full in the book.

I don't believe choices will be more standardized. I can take a build from the net (and why is this a bad thing if the player likes to do that anyway?) and it will likely only reference Common (or uncommon things that you can get through mechanics) choices for generalism sake. Then at lvl 5 my GM gives me this awesome Rare thing! That will change everything and goes against standardization.

Check out RPGhorror stoies. You'll find a lot of people that put up with bad GMs for way longer due to wanting to play, being new, being friends outside of game, etc etc. It does happen. Though if you actually want to hear, I'll go ask my friends for some experiences. As for me, I really wanted to play Strange Aeons even though few people RP'd, the GM had us on tracks, quoted the books to us, and just really didn't sell the theme of horror and fear. As for his actual buying restrictions, didn't even get to that point. Game ended in book 2 at the actual town. Why did I stay? Looking back it's easy to say "Should have left". But again, I really wanted to play that AP. So staying with bad GMs DOES happen.

I see something Rare. I skip over it. The book says it's hard to get, why go ask the GM now. I will..... agree on the different meanings. But I don't believe they can put an actual ruling on that. What does finding Uncommon require a 20+ Knowledge Local check? Can Rare stuff only be put in dungeons? I really don't think they actually CAN put actual number rules to it. I can be wrong.

...I'm having an issue here. How does randomly getting a reward by GM fiat go against standardization? How does restricting choices not make players look at the remaining and go "Okay what is best from this list?" And then color coat those choices into guides for people to follow? I mean yeah, 2 wizards in 2 games might have different spells given to them by the GMs. And then you look at their base spells to see copies of the same spell book. As for why it's bad..., I mean I use guides to start with, to get the idea of how it plays. I just dislike seeing someone follow a guide closer to 100%. Is that your character, or is it the character of someone who min max that you're just piloting?

That's a discussion for another day though.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
They shouldn't and your players should ask you about spells that come from a splatbook talking about Other Planets/Planes.

Sure, but the big problem is that one of the most popular SRDs can't legally name check things like "Karzoug" or "Eox" or w/e but they absolutely can put "Rare/Uncommon outside of the plane(t) where this spell was developed" which will signpost "hey, ask the GM".

MerlinCross wrote:
But I'm yoinking this. Sounds like a great plot hook. People suddenly waking up with spell knowledge they have no idea how they know, could make for some interesting ideas.
It's a reasonable plot hook, but at the same time one probably shouldn't be giving the sorcerer spells they have little use for without it being the player's idea. Like "a useful spell, with weird implications" is a fine hook to go investigate something, but "this spell only works on triaxians" probably is not.

I think that's a problem with SRDs in general. While I'm not sold on the idea of Rarity, at least this will give the SRDs a reason to add a "Ask your DM" tag rather than leave me puzzled as to why they didn't. Or at the very least, not have to ask my players to double check what book it came from.

SRDs are good but gosh could they use some cleaning up at times.

As for the plot Hook, hmm I dunno. I think allowing 1 spell to effect Triaxian could be a very good hook/arrow to point them at researching just WHAT a Triaxian is and where do they come from. At the very least, have that info be given in character to them to send them on their way, or give it to an NPC.

Hang on this is far more interesting to me than Rarity, bbl, writing up an idea.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:


Check out RPGhorror stoies. You'll find a lot of people that put up with bad GMs for way longer due to wanting to play, being new, being friends outside of game, etc etc. It does happen. Though if you actually want to hear, I'll go ask my friends for some experiences. As for me, I really wanted to play Strange Aeons even though few people RP'd, the GM had us on tracks, quoted the books to us, and just really didn't sell the theme of horror and fear. As for his actual buying restrictions, didn't even get to that point. Game ended in book 2 at the actual town. Why did I stay? Looking back it's easy to say "Should have left". But again, I really wanted to play that AP. So staying with bad GMs DOES happen.

Alright, but that GM would have been bad anyway right? So this seems neutral at best. He isn't going to be worse at working with you.

Quote:

I see something Rare. I skip over it. The book says it's hard to get, why go ask the GM now.

Wait it seems like you are anti-discussion again.

Quote:
'm having an issue here. How does randomly getting a reward by GM fiat go against standardization?

It is pretty simple. If everything is available all the time, then the builds, go to options etc will be worked out soon enough and be standardized. If occassionally because of the story you get something not on that standard list, well then at worst that is one deviation from the standard and at best opens up whole new possibilities from you.

I mean your wizard example. Without reward spells they just have the same list anyway. It isn't a massive improvement to have only a couple different, but it is better than nothing right?


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Mark Seifter wrote:
OzzyKP wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Charlie Brooks wrote:
If the monsters in the Bestiary get common/uncommon/rare applied to them, I'm going to go back to using the 2-20 encounter tables I used to run with in AD&D and make my setting more sandbox-y.
Supposedly, monsters had this in PF1 for Knowledge checks, we just never told you what they were beyond like goblins being very common in the example.
I love this change. And I love how you guys have identified all the vague, contradictory or troublesome rules from PF1 and found a better solution for them. It is like having a new season of a favorite TV show come out that finally ties up all the loose threads and fills the plot holes that have been nagging you for years. Good work!
This was one of our basic methodologies moving into the new edition, since our mantra was to follow the story, using elements that already existed in the story of PF1 but making them work for us even better.

I gotta say, this doesn't read well from where I'm standing. If a story is good, I'm more than content to just read it. To me, the reason for a game to exist is it's gameplay, not ts story. Telling a specific set of stories should be one of the last things on your mind when making something that people go out and sub in whatever story they feel like to fit how they want to play. Follow the game, not the story.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
edduardco wrote:
As a side note, I think this further cements that Sorcerers in PF2 are not really spontaneous anylonger, they just don't prepare spells, and that's all. RIP spontaneous casters.

I mean, the reason I like sorcerers is "you don't have to prepare your spells, you're just ready to go". Not "you simultaneously have awareness of every spell, even ones developed on other planes or planets and have never been cast on Golarion."

It seems like *some* limitation on "what spells sorcerers can pick up on level up" being roughly "the spells the sorcerer in question is potentially aware of" is warranted. Like if some Bone Sage on Eox comes up with a spell for "doing certain things in an airless environment" or some Druid on Triaxus invents some way to make transitioning between seasons easier, people who have never left Avistan should not be waking up with unbidden knowledge of these spells.

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.


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MerlinCross wrote:

As for the plot Hook, hmm I dunno. I think allowing 1 spell to effect Triaxian could be a very good hook/arrow to point them at researching just WHAT a Triaxian is and where do they come from. At the very least, have that info be given in character to them to send them on their way, or give it to an NPC.

Hang on this is far more interesting to me than Rarity, bbl, writing up an idea.

I think my version of this plot hook would go something like - A sorcerer wakes up after having leveled up, now knowing a useful but odd spell that they have never heard of, and upon deeper examination that no one has ever heard of, and indeed that no one else can actually cast even if the sorcerer scribes a scroll or similar- the spell is, unbeknownst to the player unique and the person with it is the only person in the multiverse who can cast it. So it was obviously given to them by someone for some purpose, but who and why?


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.


Having read through all the opinions I think, as a player, I still prefer the certainty of a 2 step process "that's allowed" and "that's banned".

It's great for world building, not so great for limiting player options.


I will be saving money. No point in getting a setting book if I am not going to run a game in the setting. Only need to get books that cover general settings and thus have usable stuff in them. I hope this does not cause too many problems with only general setting books being made since fewer people will be willing to buy the non-general setting books knowing they will not be able to use what is in them without getting their DM ok.


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Tursic wrote:

I will be saving money. No point in getting a setting book if I am not going to run a game in the setting. Only need to get books that cover general settings and thus have usable stuff in them. I hope this does not cause too many problems with only general setting books being made since fewer people will be will to buy the non-general setting books knowing they will not be able to use what is in them without getting their DM ok.

PF2 is no going to be setting agnostic, all books are going to be written with Golarion in mind, or at least that is what I get from Golarion infused.


Tursic wrote:

I will be saving money. No point in getting a setting book if I am not going to run a game in the setting. Only need to get books that cover general settings and thus have usable stuff in them. I hope this does not cause too many problems with only general setting books being made since fewer people will be willing to buy the non-general setting books knowing they will not be able to use what is in them without getting their DM ok.

I'm curious - how did you deal with 1E? None of the softcovers were setting agnostic.

Paizo Employee Designer

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The Sideromancer wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
OzzyKP wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Charlie Brooks wrote:
If the monsters in the Bestiary get common/uncommon/rare applied to them, I'm going to go back to using the 2-20 encounter tables I used to run with in AD&D and make my setting more sandbox-y.
Supposedly, monsters had this in PF1 for Knowledge checks, we just never told you what they were beyond like goblins being very common in the example.
I love this change. And I love how you guys have identified all the vague, contradictory or troublesome rules from PF1 and found a better solution for them. It is like having a new season of a favorite TV show come out that finally ties up all the loose threads and fills the plot holes that have been nagging you for years. Good work!
This was one of our basic methodologies moving into the new edition, since our mantra was to follow the story, using elements that already existed in the story of PF1 but making them work for us even better.
I gotta say, this doesn't read well from where I'm standing. If a story is good, I'm more than content to just read it. To me, the reason for a game to exist is it's gameplay, not ts story. Telling a specific set of stories should be one of the last things on your mind when making something that people go out and sub in whatever story they feel like to fit how they want to play. Follow the game, not the story.

It's crucially important that the game be able to maintain the overall story of the previous edition's games and worlds (not to say that every last game mechanic is the same; in some cases like here, the mechanic didn't give the best picture of the world that they could). It's certainly an interactive narrative, a game, not the same as a directed linear narrative, but if we break the narrative of the game, that's not a good thing to do.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
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.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

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.


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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 consider it a very good thing that character creation can be interesting enough to be its own reward. I am uncertain as to how that will hold up.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Sorry for multi-posting, but I did think of something constructive to add. Part of the problem regarding player agency, I think, is that so many of the most desirable mechanics are gated behind flavor-specific options rather than being more ubiquitous as they should. Dex-to-damage is a great example. If my character concept is greatest swordsman in the land, I should have a common option that doesn’t require worshipping a specific deity or some other gate.

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