Ongoing Changes

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The playtest of the new version of Pathfinder is well underway, and with it comes a variety of changes to the game and how it works. There are a number of parts of the game that we're looking at for revision, but we want to get a bit more data in on them first. Signature skills, ancestry benefits, and multiclassing archetypes are all under review, and some of these systems might need additional testing before the playtest process is over. As we get closer, we'll let you know what changes you can expect to see.

While we're on the topic, it's important to note that there will be other parts of the game we'll be changing between now and the final version, but that some of these parts aren't really very practical for us to test. Take the introduction to the book, for example. From all your early feedback, we've realized a number of ways in which this chapter could be improved, from including more examples to reorganizing some of the information to help folks learning the game. The team is already hard at work figuring out a better structure for the chapter and we feel that when you get the final version, the results of your feedback will really show.

While I have your attention, there's a matter of presentation that we're contemplating changing, but we want your thoughts before we do. It has to do with saving throws. Currently, there are a lot of spells and effects in the game that look something like this.

Fireball Spell 3

Evocation, Fire

Casting [[A]] Somatic Casting, [[A]] Verbal Casting

Range 500 feet; Area 20-foot burst


A burst of fire explodes, dealing 6d6 fire damage; creatures in the area must attempt a Reflex save.

Success The creature takes half damage.

Critical Success The creature is unaffected.

Failure The creature takes full damage.

Critical Failure The creature takes double damage.

Heightened (+1) The damage increases by 2d6.

The degrees of success for the saving throw are pretty common throughout the spells chapter. In fact, they're so common that we thought it might make sense to simplify the process a bit. So, if a spell or effect is one where you take half damage on a success, take no damage on a critical success, take full damage on a failure, and take double on a critical failure, we're contemplating calling that a basic saving throw. Using this sort of scheme, fireball might look like this.

Fireball Spell 3

Evocation, Fire

Casting [[A]] Somatic Casting, [[A]] Verbal Casting

Range 500 feet; Area 20-foot burst


A burst of fire explodes, dealing 6d6 fire damage to creatures in the area, depending on their basic Reflex saves.

Heightened (+1) The damage increases by 2d6.

That version is a lot cleaner and it takes up quite a bit less space, but this would be another term that players and GMs would need to learn. What do you think of this kind of approach? Let us know in the comments below whether or not basic saves are a thing you want to see in Pathfinder.

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

Join the Pathfinder Playtest designers every Friday throughout the playtest on our Twitch Channel to hear all about the process and chat directly with the team.

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Leedwashere wrote:
Andrew Riebe wrote:
Wandering Wastrel wrote:

Hugely approve of this, for all sorts of reasons - but one minor suggestion: change it to "A burst of fire explodes, dealing 6d6 fire damage to creatures in the area, depending on their basic Reflex saves saving throw (Reflex)"

If you're going to call it a 'basic saving throw' then you should call it a 'basic saving throw'.

I like this, but think it might be best to put it into the statblock itself:

Evocation, Fire
Casting [[A]] Somatic Casting, [[A]] Verbal Casting
Range 500 feet; Area 20-foot burst; Saving Throw [Basic] Reflex

A burst of fire explodes, dealing 6d6 fire damage to creatures in the area.

I also like putting it there in the spell header. There could be three different sets of keywords to use there.

  • Binary [stat] (simple pass/fail, defined in the spells overview section)
  • Standard [stat] (uses the standard array, defined in the spells overview section)
  • Unique [stat] (follows neither pattern, defined in the spell itself)

I'm also all in favor of moving the powers, if a power is only accessible by that class then it's probably best to put it where it comes from. Although, as I think about it, a lot of effort has been spent making this edition elegantly future-proof, and the possibility certainly exists that those powers might later become accessible by other sources, in which case having them all located in the same place makes them less confusing to find without having to also reference which class the power can be found in. But they do feel cluttered in with the spells... so maybe have them in their own section, since you can never choose them when picking spells, and the magnitude of spells compared to powers makes finding them among the spells annoying.

It's also in the interests of future-proofing that I like that the spells don't specifically list what lists they're on. If a new spell list is created in the future which contains...

I also love all of this.

Grand Lodge

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This looks good. You definitely need to explain the Basic Saving Throw somewhere in the book, preferably with its own section. Also, make sure that it is in the index. You just know someone will try to finagle their way around the results.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm a fan of the simplified layout.

I'm also a big fan of reorganizing the layout in the introduction to be less labyrinthine! Find some non-gamers and have them read it :-)


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Andrew Riebe wrote:
Wandering Wastrel wrote:

Hugely approve of this, for all sorts of reasons - but one minor suggestion: change it to "A burst of fire explodes, dealing 6d6 fire damage to creatures in the area, depending on their basic Reflex saves saving throw (Reflex)"

If you're going to call it a 'basic saving throw' then you should call it a 'basic saving throw'.

I like this, but think it might be best to put it into the statblock itself:

Evocation, Fire
Casting [[A]] Somatic Casting, [[A]] Verbal Casting
Range 500 feet; Area 20-foot burst; Saving Throw [Basic] Reflex

A burst of fire explodes, dealing 6d6 fire damage to creatures in the area.

All of the YES.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Andrew Riebe wrote:
Wandering Wastrel wrote:

Hugely approve of this, for all sorts of reasons - but one minor suggestion: change it to "A burst of fire explodes, dealing 6d6 fire damage to creatures in the area, depending on their basic Reflex saves saving throw (Reflex)"

If you're going to call it a 'basic saving throw' then you should call it a 'basic saving throw'.

I like this, but think it might be best to put it into the statblock itself:

Evocation, Fire
Casting [[A]] Somatic Casting, [[A]] Verbal Casting
Range 500 feet; Area 20-foot burst; Saving Throw [Basic] Reflex

A burst of fire explodes, dealing 6d6 fire damage to creatures in the area.

I would add my voice to the chorus of agreement and add that the most important aspect in my eyes is highlighting "Basic" as a keyword, using capitalization/brackets/bold, putting it in the header block, etc.


I am personally against this change. I like having all of the information in one spot. It saves me a lot of time. Also, I would like to throw my input in that I would really like to have what kind of spell (Arcane, Divine, Occult, Primal) each spell is in the entry itself.


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I think Saving Throws should be abolished altogether, so that we wouldn't need to codify these things any more.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16, 2010 Top 4

I like the idea of the basic saving throw as a space-saving term.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

I'm liking the proposed changes, especially some of the suggestions in the thread. For me though, the single most important change would be to add saving throw back into the stat block and list there if it's Fort, Ref, or Will. Makes it much easier to help decide which spell to use against which enemy, making your best guess as to what their weak save is, rather than having to hunt through the spell description to find what kind of save it gives.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I like the idea. Like others, I would prefer 'Standard' over 'Basic', though either would be an improvement. Simply calling it a 'Damage Saving Throw' would be fine too, since nearly every damage-dealing saving-throw-allowing spell seems to use it.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I actually like the more clear language on saves that has come from including it in the text not the header. For the more complicated ones in 1E often the header-save is misleading or open to interpretation. I'd hate to see that go away, but the space saving of not having it on every spell is hard to say no to... so I'll just throw out please don't make it part of the standard template like some are asking.

The "Depending on" phrasing reads badly to me - I'd prefer we just add "Basic" to the existing words.
EG: "A burst of fire explodes, dealing 6d6 fire damage to creatures in the area. Creatures in the area must attempt a Basic reflex save."

Also, can we make sure that the definition of "Basic" makes clear how it interacts with non-damage aspects of a spell? My suggestion would be to say Basic saves only effect damage & any other aspect of the spell isn't affected.


Not a bad idea.

Just don't forget to put flavor text and extra interaction rules; like in case of Fireball, that it ignites all inflammable objects caught. I still toss and turn in my sleep after hearing horror stories from That Game's 4th edition like where an incompetent DM said "no" when someone tried to burn a bridge with a fire power or something similar...


Andrew Riebe wrote:

I like this, but think it might be best to put it into the statblock itself:

Evocation, Fire
Casting [[A]] Somatic Casting, [[A]] Verbal Casting
Range 500 feet; Area 20-foot burst; Saving Throw [Basic] Reflex

A burst of fire explodes, dealing 6d6 fire damage to creatures in the area.

Totally agree.

Probably I'd change the wording basic saving throw for damage saving throw or standard saving throw.


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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

Seems like a reasonable change, as you would just need one good description (with an example please) in the magic chapter for "basic saving throws", though if possible I would like to request, that every spell should also mention the spellcasting types that can access it. A symbol (not unlike the solution for Starfinder) would be enough, but make it so much easier to read and look for options.

If the players find a scroll of Fireball, I can't just look up Fireball I need to go to the various pages of spell lists to find out if the characters in the party can identify the scroll in a very short time or not, and who can use it.

And kinda linked to that, I have gotten a very strong feedback from my players that actually having to flip between the class chapter and the spells is very annoying, so if at all possible, I would like to request to put all those powers into their respective class entries. While it will not be that bad for Paladins, this will swell the size of the cleric chapter quite a bit, but personally, it would be a very welcome change.

Man, you fully read my thoughts (and the same thoughts of the two parties I'm playing the Playtest).

Please, Mark (whom reads all the blogs posts haha) and the entire devs team, listen to this guy! The powers scattered among spells is indisputably the worst thing in the book.


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I like the conservation of space, but I think a lot of people are not going to recognize the significance of the word "basic." I think a different choice of word like "standard" could make a difference. Again though it might be fine if at the beginning of the spells list what a basic or standard saving throw means is clearly defined.

Also I really really really implore you to remove flavor text from mechanical text. Put flavor at the end after all of the mechanical text. Fireball is short on flavor text thankfully, but my players and I pretty much have to train ourselves to ignore the first one or two sentences of every description in the book because it's not useful information.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vylatka wrote:
Looks good to me. A good use of the space saved would be to indicate what lists the spell is on and at what level.

This would save a lot of time currently spent page-flipping when you're trying to prepare your spells.


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Not a fan. I would prefer clutter to having to dig through the rule book to figure out what my spell actually does. In general, I would much rather rules be in multiple places in the rule book than have every rule and vocabulary word be a scavenger hunt.

For instance, the spell Color Spray references three different status conditions: dazzled, blinded, and stunned. When I look up dazzled, I find that it says that a creature dazzled creature cannot use sight as a precise sense. So then I have to look up what a "precise sense" is mechanically. That's 3 rules look ups to figure out what my spell does 1/3 of the time. That's too much. Some reminder text ala Magic the Gathering cards would be great here.

I love this playtest, but the worst thing about it is how things are organized, and this is a step in the wrong direction. Brevity is not the playtest's organizational problem, its how scattered all the rules are.

tl;dr: I'd prefer more clutter if it means less rules cross referencing.


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Add me to the people who like the "Damage Saving Throw (Reflex)" terminology and would also like the lists a spell is on to be part of the spell description.


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Mathmuse wrote:

I like Chess Pwn's way of spelling out the magnitudes quickly, which gives more versatility. For example, as Alchemic_Genius suggested, it can adapt to the Fear spell, too.

Then we add Andrew Riebe's suggestion of putting it in a saving throw line for added clarity.

The results look clean and clear.

FEAR Spell 1
Emotion, Enchantment, Fear, Mental
Casting [[A]] Somatic Casting, [[A]] Verbal Casting
Range 30 feet; Targets one creature
Duration by frightened magnitude
Saving Throw Will (S frightened 1 CS unaffected F frightened 2 CF frightened 3 and fleeing for 1 round)
You plant fear in the target. It becomes frightened and possibly fleeing with magnitude based on its Will save.

I am with mathmuse et. al. here. What's proposed is a step in the wrong direction. The problems in the Playtest document do not include "length of spell descriptions". The problems are poor layout, poor flow, and cross-reference trampolines.

"Saving space" by itself is not a design goal, it's a means to an end. In the case of spells, what we need is information at-a-glance. The biggest problems with the spells right now is that useful headers from PF1 spell blocks have been eliminated. In particular, we need a saving throw header like the above, as well as which spell lists the spell appears on.

We need less cross-referencing, not more. We need information at-a-glance, not information at-a-page-flip. If you can give us the former and save space at the same time, then great. But if you're just going to save space for it's own sake, then you are making things worse, not better.


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I think we should have a coded term for this, yeah. There seem to be a few damage spells and effects that break the "basic" mold here and there. Because those spells exist, I find myself having to carefully read EVERY damage spell to see if it is an exception. If all my blasts just used a keyword, I would only have to carefully examine the spells that list out critical success conditions.

I don't especially care about the terminology proposals, though, and I feel like "basic saving throw (Reflex)" feels clunkier than basic reflex saving throw. But I am not particularly hung up on the particulars.

I would like it if spells listed relevant spell lists though. For my own personal use, I suspect an icon would be a great solution, but I know those present from problems for the visually impaired.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I will add my voice to those supporting Mathmuse's suggestion for the stat block.


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The amount of keywords tends to be confusing to me, not simplifying. Looking up keywords accounted for three quarters of my character design time in part 1. They haven't been very intuitive to find in the rulebook, either.

So... I like the original spell statblocks and the one fewer keyword better, but maybe if you could use the extra space to make room for some really awesome things, idk.


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Dislike. I don't want to go and refer to ANOTHER table on another page in order to find out what happened. I'd rather see what happens on the spell's entry.

And also this would be annoying depending on the spell in question. If it's all damage like Fireball, fine okay that works. But then you get to spells that have different effects. Like Banishment, or Nightmare.

So those spells either need their own Separate Tables, or keep the normal format.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:

Dislike. I don't want to go and refer to ANOTHER table on another page in order to find out what happened. I'd rather see what happens on the spell's entry.

And also this would be annoying depending on the spell in question. If it's all damage like Fireball, fine okay that works. But then you get to spells that have different effects. Like Banishment, or Nightmare.

So those spells either need their own Separate Tables, or keep the normal format.

Those other spells would have to have their own entries anyway. The idea here is not to try to make all spells conform to a standard array of results, but to take all of those damage spells which all have the exact same 4 degrees of success, codify those 4 degrees of success with respect to a common type of spell, and not have to repeat the same 4 lines of text in n different blasting spells now and forever.


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I'm totally in favor of having the "basic saving throw" progression spelled out beforehand rather than in a spell's table. I've looked through the spells and while I can't think of any spells that could fit an alternative structure that would be common enough to warrent a similar shorthand I'd be in favor of that coming up as well.

I can't remember who suggested it first but I'm also in favor of the powers becoming their own section. It feels like it would save more time to go to the powers section of the magic chapter and glance at its alphabetical list rather than having to look through all of the spells to do so.


Leedwashere wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

Dislike. I don't want to go and refer to ANOTHER table on another page in order to find out what happened. I'd rather see what happens on the spell's entry.

And also this would be annoying depending on the spell in question. If it's all damage like Fireball, fine okay that works. But then you get to spells that have different effects. Like Banishment, or Nightmare.

So those spells either need their own Separate Tables, or keep the normal format.

Those other spells would have to have their own entries anyway. The idea here is not to try to make all spells conform to a standard array of results, but to take all of those damage spells which all have the exact same 4 degrees of success, codify those 4 degrees of success with respect to a common type of spell, and not have to repeat the same 4 lines of text in n different blasting spells now and forever.

And I would like for all those damaging spells not to have to send me to another table or have me memorize said table.

On another point(Because people seemed to slam me for this), by codifying all the spells to a term or table, doesn't this limit the design? Can we add effects to damaging spells in this new system?

And example, Say we get a Force damaging spell. Can we make it to where if it's a Critical Success it trips the target? Or does that mess up our new codes? Does that mess up the table? Or does it just have the same success table we have no printed next to it?

Point is, How much referencing do I need to do after selecting what I think is a simple damaging spell. If it takes 2 or more pages for me to figure that out, something's wrong.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:

On another point(Because people seemed to slam me for this), by codifying all the spells to a term or table, doesn't this limit the design? Can we add effects to damaging spells in this new system?

And example, Say we get a Force damaging spell. Can we make it to where if it's a Critical Success it trips the target? Or does that mess up our new codes? Does that mess up the table?

The answer to that is trivially simple: if the spell doesn't conform to the standard array (in any way), then it gets its own list of results in its spell description. This is shorthand, not a straitjacket.

MerlinCross wrote:

And I would like for all those damaging spells not to have to send me to another table or have me memorize said table.

...

Point is, How much referencing do I need to do after selecting what I think is a simple damaging spell. If it takes 2 or more pages for me to figure that out, something's wrong.

This objection is not unreasonable or invalid. I disagree, obviously, but don't think it's necessarily wrong. I just don't want to let the idea that this notation existing would somehow reduce the flexibility of design go unchallenged, because that's an ungrounded fear.

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

EDIT: I just went through the spells section of the playtest rulebook. I counted 33 spells which use this exact same pattern. This equates to 132 lines of text in this document alone. Now, a handful of those spells do add an additional rider to one or more of the results. These spells can either have their own degrees of success section, or the spell can have a note in its description that it uses the Standard array, but also applies specific effext x on y result. Even if you go with the option of completely reproducing the 4 degrees of success for those spells with additional riders, you're looking at around 100 identical lines of text now, with the potential of many more as options inevitably expand. (Note that this section of this post is not directed at anyone in particular, just aiming to provide some greater context for the discussion in general)


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I like the change. Saving page space here means it goes to something else, which I approve of!


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You really need to put what spell lists a spell is on in it's description. It's obnoxious to be reading through the spell section and stumble across something you like, then have to flip back to see if its on the list you're using.

Grand Lodge

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:

The amount of keywords tends to be confusing to me, not simplifying. Looking up keywords accounted for three quarters of my character design time in part 1. They haven't been very intuitive to find in the rulebook, either.

So... I like the original spell statblocks and the one fewer keyword better, but maybe if you could use the extra space to make room for some really awesome things, idk.

Yeah the terminology was a bit much to get a hold of, I agree with you there.

But to be fair after the first time making a character once I understood the terms I can bust out a character now lightning fast.
I find that the learning curve to understand how to create a characters and understand the terms isn’t very big.
If anything I would say some clarification of the character creation might help new players more than anyone, but would make adoption of the system a lot easier as character creation is the cornerstone of playing the game.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'm not so sure. I think some combination of the two would be better. Explicit is generally better implicit, especially when communicating to the inexperienced. If you have new players in particular, laying everything out in the place they are looking generally works better.

I guess adding a 'basic save' table to the spell page of the characters sheets might alleviate the 'flipping' problem?


You know what cracks me up? This is new version is almost exactly the same of how 5e presents its spells. I'm not saying this is a bad thing per se, I'm just saying that maybe a mix of the critical effects and heightened could be in order? I dunno what exactly that would like, but a combo of the two examples of Fireball above would be in order to differentiate from 5e and provide the mechanical complexity that a huge number of Paizo fans clamor for.


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To be frank... a blog post about saving on word count isn't really what I would have liked to see as the weekly post, even limiting to just the topic of organization in the document.

Even if it is repetitive, I think it would be better to keep the current format over having yet another thing that requires flipping through the book to find a rule. There's already far too much of that in the Playtest document. I really can't say I think that another new bit of terminology is a good thing


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I hate all the page flipping of this edition.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Doodpants wrote:
Instead of "basic saving throw", I would call it a "standard damage saving throw". And in the spell text itself, word it as "standard damage saving throw (Reflex)", like Wandering Wastrel suggested.

Absolutely this, but I agree with others above that it should be Standard instead of Basic


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I mean I don't know why there was ever a change from how 1e had it? Save type then half or none for appropriate spells. General rule of crit fail or success doing none or double damage. Feels like someone tried to fix a perfectly fine wheel and now were discussing if maybe we want to go from a pentagon to an octagon when the circle was working pretty well.


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Seems to be quite a bit of hand wringing over page flipping with this change... I mean I agree that there is a considerable amount of referencing and cross referencing to be found in PF2, but in this case, what's the big deal? You look it up once, 2X, X, .5X, 0. That's it. You learned it.

Also, just to toss into the cacophony of people saying this, Standard is a far superior term. This is a standardized save, that's exactly what it is. Use standard. Please.

+1 for Spell List(s) in description
+1 for Type of save in description (or at least bold it in the text for heck's sake)


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theservantsllcleanitup wrote:
... I mean I agree that there is a considerable amount of referencing and cross referencing to be found in PF2, but in this case, what's the big deal? You look it up once, 2X, X, .5X, 0. That's it. You learned it.

No, we're human, we forget things. And there are lots of little things you can forget about this that mean you have to look it up if you want to get it right.

Take this hypothetical internal monologue: "I know it's full damage on a failure, but is it no damage or half damage on a success? Does critical failure mean double damage? 1.5x damage? For fireball, do the targets catch fire on a critical failure?"

Too many things to forget, and if two people at the table have slightly different recollections of the rules, we're going to have to look it up. Or we could avoid all of this by just writing it out on every spell.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
theservantsllcleanitup wrote:

Seems to be quite a bit of hand wringing over page flipping with this change... I mean I agree that there is a considerable amount of referencing and cross referencing to be found in PF2, but in this case, what's the big deal? You look it up once, 2X, X, .5X, 0. That's it. You learned it.

Also, just to toss into the cacophony of people saying this, Standard is a far superior term. This is a standardized save, that's exactly what it is. Use standard. Please.

+1 for Spell List(s) in description
+1 for Type of save in description (or at least bold it in the text for heck's sake)

This +1.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

And please get the powers into another section, so that they are separate from the spells. Possibly at the end of the Spells chapter, in their own chapter, or in the relevant class section.


Leedwashere wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

On another point(Because people seemed to slam me for this), by codifying all the spells to a term or table, doesn't this limit the design? Can we add effects to damaging spells in this new system?

And example, Say we get a Force damaging spell. Can we make it to where if it's a Critical Success it trips the target? Or does that mess up our new codes? Does that mess up the table?

The answer to that is trivially simple: if the spell doesn't conform to the standard array (in any way), then it gets its own list of results in its spell description. This is shorthand, not a straitjacket.

Should it? Will it? Can it?

You can easily just say "look it up" under the new format. It's JUST 1 rider effect. Why print the line?

It's not a straightjacket. It is a shorthand. And shorthands can easily get to out of hand.

Leedwashere wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

And I would like for all those damaging spells not to have to send me to another table or have me memorize said table.

...

Point is, How much referencing do I need to do after selecting what I think is a simple damaging spell. If it takes 2 or more pages for me to figure that out, something's wrong.

This objection is not unreasonable or invalid. I disagree, obviously, but don't think it's necessarily wrong. I just don't want to let the idea that this notation existing would somehow reduce the flexibility of design go unchallenged, because that's an ungrounded fear.

Every spell will have to be made with the system in mind. Should this have full success or reference the table? Should we make a new table? Can we put an effect to a damaging spell? Can we put damage to a spell that mainly does an effect?

I do believe it does reduce the flexibility of design, because spells have to be run under another viewpoint of design.

"If spell X does Y amount of damage, can we justify giving it an added effect or will we just have it refer to to the damage table?"

That seems like a question that could limit some spells. At the very least, I don't see the change as increasing the flexibility of design.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

"Basic" for me sounds like "unmodified with abilities and itmes". Too easy to misunderstand.

I see better suggesttions for saving throw entries in comments, such as

Saving Throw Will (S ... CS ...F ... 2 CF ...)

Scarab Sages

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Mathmuse wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

So just so I'm clear, a "basic save" would always be one where one's save determines whether they take half, no, full, of double damage?

Would you be able to combine that with additional effects somehow?

Like could Grim Tendrils be something like:

"Deals 2d4 negative damage based on the target's basic fortitude save and also 1 persistent bleed damage subject to the same save:
Success: No persistent bleed damage
Failure: Full persistent bleed damage
Critical Failure: Double persistent bleed damage"

I figure this saves you a line since a critical success has no additional effect on the bleed damage beyond that of a success.

GRIM TENDRILS Spell 1

Necromancy, Negative
Casting [[A]] Somatic Casting, [[A]] Verbal Casting
Area 30-foot line
Saving Throw Fortitude (S half negative damage CS unaffected
F full negative damage CF double negative damage and
1 persistent bleed damage)
Black shadows curl out from your fingertips and race through
the air, taking the form of ephemeral vines spiked with thorns.
You deal 2d4 negative damage and possibly persistent bleed
damage to living creature in the line, depending on their
Fortitude saves.
Heightened (+1) The negative damage increases by 2d4 and the
persistent bleed damage increases by 1.

Squeezed into a column format, it saves only one line.

It is worse than the current format in my opinion.


Seems good to me ... Maybe with some emphasis on the basic ... Bold, italic or the like

Dark Archive

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

The amount of page flipping we have to do is already quite a bit. I'd like to reduce it whenever possible. I'd prefer the spell entry to contain everything it needs for a new player to understand it.


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All for it. Saves space, and can be transferred to other abilities as well, e.g. Hazards, Dragon Breath, etc. Go for it.
Actually, why don't we make this how Saving Throws normally work? Put it in the actual description of saving throws, that they generally work like this and exceptions will be listed in the Power/Spell/hazard.
That way, you don't even need a new Keyword.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I strongly prefer the Success, Critical Success, Failure, Critical Failure order. Since it lets the critical version assume what happened in the basic version.

We could make it clearer by having the critical success and failure entries being indented slightly, however.

So you could have:

Success you throw a birthday party with cake
-Critical Success there is also ice cream and clowns.
Failure the cake is inedible and everyone is in a bad mood.
-Critical Failure there are also evil clowns.

While I still prefer the crit-success-first approach, this indent would make me feel it's at least reasonable, compared to right now where it feels like a mistake.


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I'm against the idea. There is already too many rules in Pathfinder which aren't spelled out where they need to be, requiring players and GMs to look in another section of the book, sometimes multiple times, to figure out what the rule is. Clarity of the rules should be more important than length of the book.

Grand Lodge

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Wandering Wastrel wrote:

Hugely approve of this, for all sorts of reasons - but one minor suggestion: change it to "A burst of fire explodes, dealing 6d6 fire damage to creatures in the area, depending on their basic Reflex saves saving throw (Reflex)"

If you're going to call it a 'basic saving throw' then you should call it a 'basic saving throw'.

Basic Reflex saving throw reads more cleanly and feels less like a computer program instruction call than "basic saving throw (Reflex)."


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Mathmuse wrote:


GRIM TENDRILS Spell 1
Necromancy, Negative
Casting [[A]] Somatic Casting, [[A]] Verbal Casting
Area 30-foot line
Saving Throw Fortitude (S half negative damage CS unaffected
F full negative damage CF double negative damage and
1 persistent bleed damage)
Black shadows curl out from your fingertips and race through
the air, taking the form of ephemeral vines spiked with thorns.
You deal 2d4 negative damage and possibly persistent bleed
damage to living creature in the line, depending on their
Fortitude saves.
Heightened (+1) The negative damage increases by 2d4 and the
persistent bleed damage increases by 1.

Squeezed into a column format, it saves only one line.

Why not something like this?

GRIM TENDRILS Spell 1
Necromancy, Negative
Casting [[A]] Somatic Casting, [[A]] Verbal Casting
Area 30-foot line
Saving Throw Fortitude (Standard), see text
Black shadows curl out from your fingertips and race through
the air, taking the form of ephemeral vines spiked with thorns.
You deal 2d4 negative damage and 1 persistent bleed damage
to the living creatures in the line.
-Success No persistent bleed damage.
Heightened (+1) The negative damage increases by 2d4 and
the persistent bleed damage increases by 1.

This saves at least two lines or even three if the saving throw section can be made in-line. Perhaps the words 'Saving Throw' can be replaced with a dice icon. Then the header could look like this:

Casting [[AA]] Somatic, Verbal Area 30-foot line
[[ST]] Fortitude (Standard), see text

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