Positives and Negatives

Friday, September 6, 2018

Over the past few weeks, I've been spending some time talking to folks on the unofficial 2nd Ed Pathfinder Playtest group on Facebook. Mostly I've been listening to people's thoughts and anecdotes about the playtest, but I've also been answering a few rules questions and conversing about various subjects. Something that's come up a couple of times in that group and in other forums is how we, the folks at Paizo and especially the design team, respond to criticism.

We are no stranger to playtests. Each time we launch a playtest, we get a pile of feedback, both positive and negative. Both are important. Of course, we all love hearing what you like, and in a perfect world we would bask in the glory of your adoration... but we only create worlds of fantasy, we don't live in one. We playtest to hear what you think about the rules and to get your take on what is sound, exciting, and fun. Sometimes you might not care for our initial design. Sometimes you'll spot problems with the initial design. We want you to tell us. No, we need you to tell us. We're making this game not for ourselves, but for all of us to play!

Case in point—let's talk about Resonance Points.

Yeah, that's right. I'm going there.

Let's talk about exactly what design challenges Resonance Points were designed to solve, as that seems to be a point of some confusion.

First, they're meant to address the economy of lower-level consumable magic items as you level up. This is colloquially referred to as the wand of cure light wounds issue in Pathfinder First Edition, but it's more systemic than that. In short, as you go up in level and your ability to purchase and craft (or find) lower-level consumable magic items increases, they actually become the most economical use of resources. When you are limited only by what you have on hand, the amount of bang per buck makes higher-level magic items nearly pointless.

This problem and the Pathfinder First Edition method of item pricing also played havoc with lower-level items with limited uses per day. Designers, by nature, want you to use the items they created in actual play. But adventure designers are often under budgetary constraints to make not the best item for the story, but the one that does the trick while still conforming to the amount of treasure output in the design guides. These factors often created a race to the bottom, design-wise, spawning tons of these little X-per-day buggers that characters could afford, featuring relatively powerful (and always useful) effects that often became more useful as you gained levels. All of this creates a sort of mini-nova during climactic encounters, as characters spend a handful of swift and immediate actions ramping up to their optimal tactics. This is especially true for classes in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, since they typically have fewer class-based options competing for the use of swift and immediate actions.

Another problem Resonance Points are trying to address is what is often called the "Christmas Tree" effect of games that impose limits based solely on magic item slots. This goes hand in hand with the cheap consumable (or X-uses-per-day items), as many players rush to fill their slots with items featuring charges or uses per day. While slots still exist in the Pathfinder Playtest, they are the exception rather than the rule, and their primary goal is simply reducing redundancies (like wearing two pairs of boots at the same time and similar nonsense).

Lastly, the Resonance Point system is intended to eliminate or at least severely limit the bookkeeping involved in those X-uses-per-day and X-rounds-per-day items. Instead of tracking a bunch of little point pools, Resonance Points can do the job in most, if not all, cases, with the rest limited to once per day. Admittedly, this aspect was not as thoroughly implemented as it could have been in the playtest rules.

Those are the main issues that the Resonance Point system is trying to confront. Are there problems with the current implementation? You bet. The most glaring one is that it's currently not doing a good job of reducing the number of magic item use-per-day pools at higher levels. We're going to need to pound the system into shape a little more to achieve that goal.

A big issue is that a lot of folks just plain don't like Resonance Points. There are many reasons for that. It's new and different from what people are used to. Other folks don't see the challenges this system is trying to tackle, or they don't see them as problematic. More telling is that even many who do understand the issues have some misgivings, feel that this solution is too artificial, or see it as just plain punitive. We anticipated that. But even with all of the issues, we knew that the current design of Resonance Points would give us valuable information about play patterns and consumable use throughout the playtest, and it has done that in spades already and continues to do so.

Better still, it has given us valuable information on how to solve the issues that the Resonance Point system confronts in a better and more pleasing way for the final game. In short, your use of the current incarnation of Resonance Points throughout the playtest helps us come up with better mechanics to use in Pathfinder Second Edition. You've done a great job in providing us that information already, and as we move into higher-level play, that useful data will become more abundant.

So, in the case of Resonance Points, positivity of play and critical comments have guided us in the right direction. We already have a few options on how to either fix or replace the mechanic, and we are going to keep on kicking ideas around as the playtest data keeps flowing in. So keep on filling out those surveys and sharing your opinions. Getting your thoughts on the game and how it plays, no matter how you express them, is what the Pathfinder Playtest is all about.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Senior Designer

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HWalsh wrote:
graystone wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
So I'm urging the dev team, keep something of the Resonance system around and keep it keyed off of Charisma. Don't let charisma become a dump stat again.

Myself, I don't want to NEED every stat. If I'm not a melee weapon user, I'm happy to not need str. If I'm not a 'face' or a caster, I'm happy to not need cha. I don't want to be forced to raise every stat to 14 to get to the bare minimum to start playing. It should be possible to use your basic starting abilities without needing a minimum stat other than your key one.

You're not exactly 'standing out from the crowd' if you need a 14 in every stat for basic function.

It is virtually impossible to ignore stats unless you are trying to mega pump 4 of them.

(Willing to bet the mega pump are Dex, Int, Wis, and Con in this case.)

You must have misssed the memo where Int is the new Cha. If you are so adamant in not having a worthless stat, you need to address tha first. Granted, the only idea I have is to ensure that every stat can contribute to saves, but I couldn't say how to implement it well.


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EldritchWeaver wrote:
If you are so adamant in not having a worthless stat, you need to address tha first. Granted, the only idea I have is to ensure that every stat can contribute to saves, but I couldn't say how to implement it well.

4th Ed went with Fort (Str or Con), Ref (Dex or Int), Will (Wis or Cha), and 5th Ed has gone with 6 saves (one for each ability score), but fumbled a bit.

Dark Archive

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Ditch resonance to cut out the middle man. Put a scaling cap on magical item attunement - x plus Cha. mod. and be done with it. Keep wands as they are limited to 10 charged with high cost. For the most abusable items, add the bolstered effect so that each party member can benefit from them once per day. Open up nontraditional modes of healing for multiple classes via feats.


Ikos wrote:
Ditch resonance to cut out the middle man. Put a scaling cap on magical item attunement - x plus Cha. mod. and be done with it. Keep wands as they are limited to 10 charged with high cost. For the most abusable items, add the bolstered effect so that each party member can benefit from them once per day. Open up nontraditional modes of healing for multiple classes via feats.

Yeah, in 5th Ed, only some magic items require attunement, and you can attune 3 items. At one point in the playtest you got + Cha modifier, but it was dropped in the final product, like a few other things, unfortunately (class bonus to ability scores).


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I'm gonna debate the blog as I see some issues, mostly because, IMO, Paizo went backwards when looking for solutions.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
First, they're meant to address the economy of lower-level consumable magic items as you level up. This is colloquially referred to as the wand of cure light wounds issue in Pathfinder First Edition, but it's more systemic than that. In short, as you go up in level and your ability to purchase and craft (or find) lower-level consumable magic items increases, they actually become the most economical use of resources. When you are limited only by what you have on hand, the amount of bang per buck makes higher-level magic items nearly pointless.

First, CLW spam is an issue because effect of the healing items scales in linear fashion while the price scales quadratically. In PF1 this was because most of the spell like effects from items were priced the same (spell level x caster level x (number)gp). And considering response here, most people want cheap and simple out-of-combat healing, including me. Certainly it shouldn't be unlimited, but it should be the last thing you run out, instead of first. So, you can either make healing items more cost efficient, boost Medicine skill or put in a system like stamina, short rests or healing surges.

Second, cost efficiency of non-healing items can be tweaked, as you already did with wands, so other items are not problematic. However you put it resonance is, IMO, unnecessary here.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
This problem and the Pathfinder First Edition method of item pricing also played havoc with lower-level items with limited uses per day. Designers, by nature, want you to use the items they created in actual play. But adventure designers are often under budgetary constraints to make not the best item for the story, but the one that does the trick while still conforming to the amount of treasure output in the design guides. These factors often created a race to the bottom, design-wise, spawning tons of these little X-per-day buggers that characters could afford, featuring relatively powerful (and always useful) effects that often became more useful as you gained levels. All of this creates a sort of mini-nova during climactic encounters, as characters spend a handful of swift and immediate actions ramping up to their optimal tactics. This is especially true for classes in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, since they typically have fewer class-based options competing for the use of swift and immediate actions.

First, if there's a problem with item design in adventures, it means you have to have better guidelines for writing them, not make players suffer a punitive mechanic.

Second, those items that were swift/immediate, relatively cheap and with a good effect are a thing we who like to play these games call "good items". As in, your standard item design sucks so we are dependent on such gems, as they are the only ones which can compare and maybe even occasionally replace the big 6.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Another problem Resonance Points are trying to address is what is often called the "Christmas Tree" effect of games that impose limits based solely on magic item slots. This goes hand in hand with the cheap consumable (or X-uses-per-day items), as many players rush to fill their slots with items featuring charges or uses per day. While slots still exist in the Pathfinder Playtest, they are the exception rather than the rule, and their primary goal is simply reducing redundancies (like wearing two pairs of boots at the same time and similar nonsense).

Christmas tree "problem" is highly subjective. Some people like having a lot of magic items, some people prefer that they are given through an eye dropper, and some like me would like fewer slots while making it easier to upgrade/stack new abilities to existing items. Item slots are common in games and IMO, highly intuitive, the only common critique is "it's stupid to only wear 2 rings an 1 necklace, while you can have a shirt, cloak, robe and armor on your body" Better solution would be a fixed number of slots (or maybe a level scaling one) rather than specific slots. Or resonance.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Lastly, the Resonance Point system is intended to eliminate or at least severely limit the bookkeeping involved in those X-uses-per-day and X-rounds-per-day items. Instead of tracking a bunch of little point pools, Resonance Points can do the job in most, if not all, cases, with the rest limited to once per day. Admittedly, this aspect was not as thoroughly implemented as it could have been in the playtest rules.

This one is really the only use of resonance I can get behind, and I think that many who hate it would be ok with just this one being in effect. It's actually beneficial if I can choose which x-per-day items I could use and how much, although if it's the only use, the resonance pool should probably be reduced.

TL;DR
Better guidelines for designing items, more fun, more useful and especially more powerful in line with their price items make resonance all but unnecessary.

The Exchange

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unfortunatly the facts are Resonance does nto fix the fundamental reasons the issues sighted are issues.

lets go through them
1) low level consumable items
a wand of cure light costs 750gp and heals the party for 50d8 + 50 hp (avg 275)
a wand of cure mod costs 4500gp (6 times more) and heals for 100d8+150 (avg 600)

so we need to pay 6 times as much for only a touch over twice the healing.
how to fix: adjust the prices so its much closer in effency to by the higher level items (if a wand of cure mod was say 1500 - 1750gp range it would be worth it for its effect)

2) Why have a point pool for this? just say each character can have a maximum of X magic items in use, and no more then one of each for (list slots here). a point pool that has other uses is just frustrating and adds more math to the game that is already high enough on that already and is a great point to mention the KISS pricipal.

3) Resonance is more book keeping its another stat we have to keep track of, andother point pool to work out how many we have, and worse, with all its uses its difficualt to work out where its being used.

in sort its totaly failing at all its stated design goals.


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Philderbeast wrote:

1) low level consumable items

a wand of cure light costs 750gp and heals the party for 50d8 + 50 hp (avg 275)
a wand of cure mod costs 4500gp (6 times more) and heals for 100d8+150 (avg 600)

so we need to pay 6 times as much for only a touch over twice the healing.
how to fix: adjust the prices so its much closer in effency to by the higher level items (if a wand of cure mod was say 1500 - 1750gp range it would be worth it for its effect)

I'd like to see healing items normalized in price, so that each has the same gp to hp ratio. That makes higher level items better for speed and in combat but also make you not feel like a schmuck for using a higher level one out of combat.

Dark Archive

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I guess I fundamentally disagree with the idea that spamming a CLW wand is a problem. In fact in my high level GMing I don't see enough of it. Instead of characters prepping themselves for being pushed into doing more then 4-5 encounters I see way too much 15 minute adventuring day. The only modestly problematic wand usage I have seen was a Seeker level PFS group I ran for that had a ton of low level wands and consumables that they would spam before every door.

Aesthetically healing surges were one of the things that turned me off from 4e without a second thought. Stamina in Starfinder works for me kind of, but it is also a very different setting so flavorwise it works better.

Liberty's Edge

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At this point, I've come to understand what Resonance is supposed to do and the goals the team was trying to reach. The present system doesn't do that well, as many have already attested. Solutions have been abound throughout this thread, so I won't use too much time add my own.

I do think that this is an issue that needs resolved quickly though, before more players decide PF2 isn't for them. Regardless of what solutions the design team consider, those NEED to be adjusted sonn, so they can be playtested as well. The survival of PF2 depends on a positive response, even more so than carefully calculated creative criticisms. A negative response is still a negative response, no matter how palatable it is presented.

As a GM more often than a player, I am in agreement that Resonance as a control is a good idea... but it has been taken too far. Consumables ALREADY cost Resonance to create; having them require Resonance to use afterwards seems like a heavy tax to pay for balance sake. Add to that the difficulties it creates for the Alchemist, and Resonance creates more problems than it solves. I almost wish that "Resonance" would be changed to "Resource," a pool of points built into every class that an be used for "X per day" abilities. A Paladin's Lay On Hands ability would use Resource points, as would a Barbarian's Rage, or a Wizard's Spell points, and to power certain items, such as wands that would otherwise use charges. Then it becomes a balance point within the class: do I Rage or use my wand? Do I augment my spell or use this staff? Can I activate this item without it affecting my character's class abilities? Resource Points could solve that... and would balance out the serious cost now inherent within the new multi-class rules, since the Resource points would easily stack, much the way Grit and Panache were allowed to in PF1.

One other thing: I rarely play casters. I'm more partial toward martial characters, despite the disparaging DPS that occurs at later levels. This has been adjusted well... but almost too well. Removing bonus spells for high stats limits effectiveness more than it provides balance. For the sake of the game, please consider adding these bonuses back.


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Tridus wrote:


Personally, I'd remove charges from wands. Using it costs resonance, but it never runs out. It's now part of your kit, and you thus want the biggest one you can get to maximize effeciency per resonance. There's an effective cap on wand related healing based on how much resonance you have available, but groups without a healer have access to more than nothing. Also make it an item you have to attune to for the day so a party can't just pass one wand around (but everyone could bring their own if they wanted to invest the resources into it).

No more CLW spam, any party can have access to healing, and a GM can at least expect a minimum amount of healing available based on level with some certainty (a party with an actual healer would have more of course, but we already have that).

This! please, take all the +1s! Just do this, and remove resonance costs from one-shot consumables, and then the system works just fine!


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Davor Firetusk wrote:
Aesthetically healing surges were one of the things that turned me off from 4e without a second thought.

Yes, even when I was into 4th Ed, I detested Healing Surges, Resonance seems a bit like Healing Surges, repackaged, and not better.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm still waiting if anybody can point out what the swift/immediate action items were, which Stephen pointed out led to "mini-nova"'s. ^^


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magnuskn wrote:
I'm still waiting if anybody can point out what the swift/immediate action items were, which Stephen pointed out led to "mini-nova"'s. ^^

Aside from the Quickrunner's Shirt I don't think there were any.


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Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
I'm still waiting if anybody can point out what the swift/immediate action items were, which Stephen pointed out led to "mini-nova"'s. ^^
Aside from the Quickrunner's Shirt I don't think there were any.

Sipping Jacket let you prep a Potion ahead of time and as Swift action, use it.

I'm sure there's more, I'd have to go check. I do recall seeing them as one of the things I try to do as Alchemist is figure out how many potions I can down a turn as fast as possible.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've had a few thoughts about this over the years.

It mostly boils down to why do people care about healing between encounters? As in; why is this a thing we need to care about? Its not exciting, or heroic, and it really doesn't add to any kind of story. I thought that healing surges from 4th Ed was one of their good ideas.

As for wands and other consumables, how about if they automatically scaled (heightened) depending on the users level? Like a 4th level fighter would get the effects of a 2nd level potion. Would that be a more fun way to avoid spamming low level effects?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Alright, so cornercase options. The swiftrunner's shirt is usable once per day. So is the sipping jacket. Thanks for the info!


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Seannoss wrote:

I've had a few thoughts about this over the years.

It mostly boils down to why do people care about healing between encounters? As in; why is this a thing we need to care about? Its not exciting, or heroic, and it really doesn't add to any kind of story. I thought that healing surges from 4th Ed was one of their good ideas.

As for wands and other consumables, how about if they automatically scaled (heightened) depending on the users level? Like a 4th level fighter would get the effects of a 2nd level potion. Would that be a more fun way to avoid spamming low level effects?

::shudders::

How do you set prices for things in a world like that?

I think the best solution is to make the higher level gear the better deal, so that human nature makes you eschew the lower level stuff as soon as you can.

If a hypothetical wand of heal scaled based on spell level like this:

Level 1: 1 HP/GP
Level 2: 1.1 HP/GP
Level 3: 1.3 HP/GP
Level 4: 1.7 HP/GP
Level 5: 2.2 HP/GP
Level 6: 2.8 HP/GP
Level 7: 3.5 HP/GP
Level 8: 4.3 HP/GP
Level 9: 5.2 HP/GP

Then every single player would be clamoring to get that next highest level wand, because even though it's more expensive, it's more cost-efficient. You use less charges, too, so you spend less time healing to boot. And at those higher levels you have so many more HP to refill, so that's when you need it to be at its most efficient anyway.

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

EDIT: On the other hand, you could set the prices to minimum. There are no other wands of heal besides level 1 wands of heal, because it's a level 1 spell. There are no level 4 wands of invisibility, just level 2s.

But in this scenario, wands don't cost Resonance... Instead you spend something like Resonance to heighten the spell from the wand to your highest level available, or don't use resonance to get the minimum effect. (Same goes for potions, etc)


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MerlinCross wrote:
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
I'm still waiting if anybody can point out what the swift/immediate action items were, which Stephen pointed out led to "mini-nova"'s. ^^
Aside from the Quickrunner's Shirt I don't think there were any.

Sipping Jacket let you prep a Potion ahead of time and as Swift action, use it.

I'm sure there's more, I'd have to go check. I do recall seeing them as one of the things I try to do as Alchemist is figure out how many potions I can down a turn as fast as possible.

Cyclops Helm is crazy brokenly underpriced.

Boots of the Battle Herald grant Greater Heroism as move action.

Original Jingasa was great immediate defensive option as are all the Talismans.

There are a lot of other 1/day strong effects, not necessarily swift/immediate.

But as I said in my last post, these are the good items, items that are actually worth getting comparing to Big 6, so I consider them a feature, not a bug, unlike Paizo.


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magnuskn wrote:
I'm still waiting if anybody can point out what the swift/immediate action items were, which Stephen pointed out led to "mini-nova"'s. ^^

Boots of Speed are another big one.

I don't see 'Mini Novas' as being much of a problem in the first place, and if they were an issue in a particular game (outside of PFS, which I don't play) the GM had plenty of tools to bring things back on track. At their core they were a symptom of players trying to intelligently use the resources at their disposal to make good decisions, and fixing that issue means either making all the resources equally as good, removing access to resources, or removing player's abilities to make good decisions.

Golarion has always been a bit like a Saturday morning cartoon - a place where people make kooky, cool, and dumb decisions because they are kooky and cool and justify the plot - and there was some expectation that the players would play along. Fortunately, the rules maintained some distance from that expectation, and, as a DM, it was easy enough to adjust thing to mine and my player's preferences. Unfortunately it seems like some of the rules changes in 2E bake that cartoonishness into the system. Maybe it's unintentional, or maybe it's intended to justify the pathfinder setting, but either way it's disappointing.


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I don't know what items he's talking about either. Aside from the infamous quickrunners shirt and quicken rods of course. Per day use shield, mirror image, and mage armor spells were common enough, though they aren't nearly as beneficial in PF2 and shouldn't need to be protected. They were standard actions though.

There was a brief time where we were unsure if you aught to be able to have use activated quickened spell items, or if they were stuck at standard to activate. Quickened true strike items ended up convincing us that we aught to keep that from being possible.

The change in how caster defenses work has reduced the need for these sorts of ability protections. The only remaining issue is caster/skilled synergy where a skilled person with a beneficial spell is better than either a caster or a skilled person. This is ideal, but it runs the risk of reducing the need for a caster if an item can duplicate these enhancing spells. Essentially, they've run into a problem where bringing casters and mundanes closer to parity has left the casters in the position martials were in previously. The position of being easily replaced.

If casters and mundanes provide the same benefit in a different way, this problem is always going to exist. The solutions are perfect parity where player choice is mostly irrelevant, varied solutions where casters don't interact with mundane problems and bypass them in a way that is categorically different from the mundane solution, and arbitrary restriction enforcing relevance without a narrative reason.

Knock gives us a simple example, cure wounds gives us a complicated example.

Knock and disable device provide an identical solution to problems of locked objects. The lock is disabled and the door or chest can now be opened. The current solution is to make knock a +4(?) to disable to device, still requiring a skilled lock picker to open the door or chest but providing a boost to their ability. The risk here is that a skilled picker with a low level item will never need the spell caster.
A varied solution would be to provide two spells, one that pulls an object from inside a closed chest, and another that moves a party to the other side of a door. This would mean that a caster needs two spells to emulate one skill, and the caster leaves a string of closed and locked doors behind them, can't sneak through the doors or investigate quietly before entering, and can't empty a treasure chest without multiple castings and knowing what he's trying to recover if he doesn't want to grab something random. I'd also say that having either spell memorized grants a support cantrip giving the caster a free success on aiding a skilled lockpicker in his disable device.
The varied solution gives the casters a niche that a skill user can't quite fill, and gives the skill user a niche the caster can't quite fill. It also ensures that the caster is always useful to the lockpicker.

Cure Wounds and natural healing are more complicated as it would require adding new systems. At present natural healing and magical healing are identical. Healing skills are completely unimportant in the face of magical healing as well.
The simplest way to create a varied solution would be to make all in combat healing temporary hit points. You may need to give players a max temporary hitpoint pool in order to keep healing from getting too far out of hand. We have almost double the HP to work with in PF2, so some portion of that could be converted into a temp HP pool without messing with anything. Some classes could be given an out of combat way of filling this pool ahead of time, but it should be standard to start combat with it empty. Out of combat healing spells should allow access to a similar cantrip as was given to the lockpicking spells. It would automatically aid medicine checks and provide healing as a night's rest with each medicine check. For poison and disease recovery, you'd use the same system of providing an aid cantrip whenever the appropriate spell is memorized. Each such spell augmented medicine checks should take an hour.

Switching to this sort of spell design we keep mundanes and skill users relevant. We ensure that casters always have some sort of spell casting available to them that supports the party, it provides a scaling path for magical items based on these spells, and it moves the world's magic level up closer to where it had been previously.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

hhhhmm

If a concern is that wands of Cure Light Wounds are used to the exclusion of other healing sources at higher levels, how about just use resonance for each usage of a wand? Get rid of tracking individual charges at all, but make wand use directly spend resonance. Have each use of a wand cost the same, regardless of the level of heal. That means more expensive wands will be worth upgrading to, because then each R point spent will result in more healing.

I also think consumables should cost RP only to make, not to use once made. I would think these above things would do a lot of make resonance better

Silver Crusade

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

I probably will make a separate thread where I can ramble all my thoughts about Resonance tomorrow or so, because as of now while I like the supposed concept of Resonance right now it's entirely too clunky and un-fun to the point of outnumbering the benefits it provides.

As much as I loathe Stamina that might be the way to go, since other options (Regenerating HP, unlimited/renewing consumables and the like) are be too narrative/world breaking.

The Christmas Tree Effect was slain with the overhaul of magic items (+x to Saves being rolled into Armor, stat boosting being endgame stuff) and semi-removal of item slots so there's nothing for Resonance to solve there.

So basically we're left with Resonance as 2e's take on Use Magic Device. I'd get rid of it with potions, that's the most head tilting thing (give us potion miscibility damnit!). I brought up earlier making different types of wands (refillable, burn and done, unlimited/renewing), that would require looking at the math of cost and results rather than Resonance.

Maybe have Resonance be you attuning to an item and if you're not attuned you have to make not-UMD roll for it? Like Arcana roll for an Arcane Wand?


graystone wrote:
Philderbeast wrote:

1) low level consumable items

a wand of cure light costs 750gp and heals the party for 50d8 + 50 hp (avg 275)
a wand of cure mod costs 4500gp (6 times more) and heals for 100d8+150 (avg 600)

so we need to pay 6 times as much for only a touch over twice the healing.
how to fix: adjust the prices so its much closer in effency to by the higher level items (if a wand of cure mod was say 1500 - 1750gp range it would be worth it for its effect)

I'd like to see healing items normalized in price, so that each has the same gp to hp ratio. That makes higher level items better for speed and in combat but also make you not feel like a schmuck for using a higher level one out of combat.

Question: what do you do when high-level potions are constantly used to one-shot heal people to full health at lower levels? A true potion would cost, at current numbers of minor healing potions of 3 gp, 48 gp. Currently, that amount is around the level of a level 8 consumable and heals an average of 70 HP. That's probably going to heal any level 8 character to near-full.


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Rysky wrote:
The Christmas Tree Effect was slain with the overhaul of magic items (+x to Saves being rolled into Armor, stat boosting being endgame stuff) and semi-removal of item slots so there's nothing for Resonance to solve there.

Personally it was slain for me when I stumbled across Automatic Progression. Not that my games went long enough for people to get either stupid amounts of gold or some magic assembly plant to GET everything under the sun that they wanted.

But I don't feel like I NEED all the magic armor, magic weapon and all the usual +s everyone says I need with it. I'm free to go get whatever odd items I want, hopefully stuff that helps me out and make sense to pick up as a my character.

Resonance? Oh wow, I'm back to NEEDING to pick the best items for the small pool I have. Need to use the BIGGEST effects otherwise you're wasting points and are doing it wrong. That's what the designers are going to expect now and that's what the community will ask too.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

It feels like the example from 1979 doesn't hold up if you actually set out to test it.

Like if we have two people who are tied up and someone is shooting them with crossbow bolts from sufficiently close that you cannot possibly miss the level 20 character can survive upwards of 20 crossbow bolts having pierced their flesh, the level 1 character might die after the 3rd shot.

I think the broader point is that sufficiently isolated and stripped of the context of "actual gameplay" all gamist conventions like hit points and spell slots and metacurrencies become silly. We avoid this absurdity simply by not setting out to expose it.

Congratulations: You have discovered that it's pretty much impossible to write a set of game rules that are both playable and a perfect model of what it represents.

Although, you should remember that being tied up is not going to eliminate all of the various other factors that HP represent. Luck still applies, as does divine protection, the various magical defenses that are abstracted into HP and such.

BTW: Your counterexample isn't as good as you think. 20 coup de grace attempts are probably going to kill anybody given the 20 Fort saves with DCs up to 34, (light XBow), or 40, (heavy XBow).

(P.S.: The quote is from '79, the example is mine.)


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Cyouni wrote:
Question: what do you do when high-level potions are constantly used to one-shot heal people to full health at lower levels?

Why is the DM giving out high level potions at low levels? Items have levels to craft now and there would be NO incentive for people selling the potions to make higher level ones [same profit margin]. So I seems like people would make higher level one for themselves or take them from level appropriate creatures. If you as the DM let players walk into a shop and buy as many level 20 item as they want at 1st level, that's on you.


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magnuskn wrote:
I'm still waiting if anybody can point out what the swift/immediate action items were, which Stephen pointed out led to "mini-nova"'s. ^^

Metamagic rods?


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I wrote a lengthier post about a comprehensive way to streamline resource tracking for magic items and powers by combining the pools into one.

The short version is that I think the spell point, hero point, cleric channeling pool, and resonance pool should all be combined to improve playability as well as improve the in game fiction. I also include other ideas from this thread like no double dipping, for example.

I also include the probably controversial idea of combining cantrips and powers (since the only difference is one costs pool points and the other doesn't).

link


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Steve Geddes wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
I'm still waiting if anybody can point out what the swift/immediate action items were, which Stephen pointed out led to "mini-nova"'s. ^^
Metamagic rods?

I guess a pretty common strategy was using Quicken to double-cast spells, but that's still a huge level or gold investment. I guess that or chain-casting using Time Stop, but that's even more uncommon.


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Leedwashere wrote:

I think there are three main problems to the way that Resonance has been handled to this point. These are my opinions on what those are and how I think they could be fixed without going back to the drawing board.

1) Double-Dipping Costs: This is mostly to do with consumables, like trinkets or potions. These first cost your moneys, then they cost your limited daily allotment of cool things you may do.

How would I fix this? This one's pretty easy. Stop double-dipping. Potions, scrolls, and other consumables which must stay consumables should not cost resonance. Why must trinkets be consumable? I saw a suggestion and immediately liked it to make trinkets not consumables anymore. Their opportunity cost is perfectly acceptable as something you can only activate so many times in a day, especially if you've got a lot of other magic vying for that resource. There's no need to further penalize their use.

2) Cheap Healing: This is that wand of CLW problem, as in people are using magic items to heal too much between encounters in the estimation of some people. The problem is, this is human nature. A sane person understands that you don't do anyone any good as a dead hero, so pushing yourself beyond your limits, while a fantastic narrative device, doesn't work in a game with free will.

How would I fix this? Well, buff ways to heal that aren't magic items which require resonance. Especially the Medicine skill. This should be what it's for. There's narrative value to a medic patching up his buddies to keep them going. Clerics should not be the only ones allowed to play this role well. Alchemists are billed as being able to heal, but they run into the first problem of double-dipping.

3) It Feels Like a Denial Mechanic: Basically the only interactions a character has with Resonance are as a limit to what you're allowed. "You can only use so many things!" it says.

How would I fix this? There needs to be other interactions that characters have with Resonance that...

Amen to points 1 and 3 in particular. This is probably one of the most concise ways of stating the issues I've seen with Resonance since day one. Additionally, double-dipping really adds the crunch of denial to the whole mechanic.

Me and my group wish the team would go back to their original statement of removing the charge/use per day tracking and just replace that with resonance. No investing, just non-consumable charges/uses. This would take care of the Wand of CLW problem and the abuse of use per day items without destroying consumables like potions, scrolls, and trinkets.


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I am mentally batting around the idea of healing magic being built around a similar mechanic as the new Magic Missile, where the more time and effort you put into any given cast, the more HP it restores, with an out-of-battle application taking one minute per cast and restoring a substantial amount of HP in one shot. If that were the case, I don't think I'd mind wands only having 10 charges, or costing resonance.

I'd also like to see healing receive an additional bonus from the recipient's CON ability bonus, minimum 0. It makes no sense that investing in CON or being a mighty warrior also makes you a sponge who needs vastly more healing than other characters in order to feel restored to full strength. It feels like being punished for having more HP.


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So resonance may not be in PF2. So whatever system winds up in PF2 may not ever be playtested. If that doesn't epitomize everything wrong with this playtest I don't what would.

I have these memories of 2008 all over again. No one at WotC listened then and it seems like Paizo didn't even set this playtest up to have a chance at succeeding.


I would like some limitations on scrolls and wands. I also do not care for per day use items I like the idea of having a limited amount of charges that you could use for all your items.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
I'm still waiting if anybody can point out what the swift/immediate action items were, which Stephen pointed out led to "mini-nova"'s. ^^
Metamagic rods?

Pretty much prohibitively expensive.

The aforementioned Cyclops Helmet was from an actual adventure module, so I hadn't even heard of it before. Yep, it is underpriced.


IIRC arrowmaster's bracers use a swift. Pretty expensive though. Some of the swordmaster's flairs?

@Jessex - there's still time.


graystone wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Question: what do you do when high-level potions are constantly used to one-shot heal people to full health at lower levels?
Why is the DM giving out high level potions at low levels? Items have levels to craft now and there would be NO incentive for people selling the potions to make higher level ones [same profit margin]. So I seems like people would make higher level one for themselves or take them from level appropriate creatures. If you as the DM let players walk into a shop and buy as many level 20 item as they want at 1st level, that's on you.

I...suppose? Having a world where there's no market for high level consumables feels a bit initially weird, but it does somewhat work.


This blog doesnt show up under the tag filter of playtest

http://paizo.com/community/blog/tags/pathfinderRoleplayingGame/playtest


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CLW wands always felt like a problem with PFS, where you get 2 Prestige Points after your first adventure that can be spent on the wand. I'm in 3 Adventure Paths (Kingmaker, Giantslayer, Hell's Rebels) and we've never had easy access to a wand.

Why not make wands cost more Prestige in PFS?


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chadius wrote:

CLW wands always felt like a problem with PFS, where you get 2 Prestige Points after your first adventure that can be spent on the wand. I'm in 3 Adventure Paths (Kingmaker, Giantslayer, Hell's Rebels) and we've never had easy access to a wand.

Why not make wands cost more Prestige in PFS?

I get Trunau, but you couldn't get any 750 GP wands in Restov or Kintargo?


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I feel that the solution that would be the middle ground between what the dev's are going for and what the players want would be something like this.

Single use items. No Resonance. To stop spamming you could do a 10 minute cool down. Use the current rules for pushing resonance for pushing single use items instead. ( in game logic the power of the scroll/trinket/potion has lingering effects that can interact with other consumables making the new one fail)

Items with charges. Use resonance to bind like just like the new wearable items rules below. Keep wands at 10 charges and lowered the rolled die of all wands by one (ie 1d4 = 1d3, 1d8=1d6 etc). This should make spamming a clw wand a thing of the past at high levels.

Wearable items. You can only equip a number of item = to resonance. No pushing as it is no longer needed. Use the rules for pushing and use them for single use items only. (using a item before the 10 min cool down).

Also I like the idea of resonance points linked to your primary stat.

Hopeful effect. until you can increase your starting stats the best you can have is 4 wearable/multiuse items. With the cost of magic being high the limiting factor for usefulness is how much money you have. As you level up you gain a more resonance but they are taken with other magic items and by late level you have the money to buy lots of magic but are limited on healing by 10 min cooldown on potions, 10 charges of less powerful wands and not being able to use multiple wands due to resonance.

I feel this system while possible more complex in that there are more rules, is way better balanced and less punitive. The potion would most often be saved to revive a fallen comrade, but they would be very low on hit points and would have to hang back or risk death (adding tension). The wand of clw would be good at lower levels but pretty useless at higher levels requiring the purchasing of more powerful wands. The christmas tree effect is still removed due to resonance. Linking resonance to your primary stat is non punitive to players who want to play a gruff character (low charisma) and seems to place a nice focus on primary stats.

Just my two cents.

Sovereign Court

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The biggest issue people are having is one-use consumables, such as potions and trinkets.

The easiest way to fix Resonance is to make it so that it only affects items that aren't expendable, like armor, weapons, and X/day items.

Resonance can be then changed to just primary stat + CHA (instead of CHA + Level) and still limit how much magic someone can get without getting into book-keeping issues of using Resonance to power wands.


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Harrythefish wrote:
I feel that the solution that would be the middle ground between what the dev's are going for and what the players want

There shouldn't be much of a difference between what the players want and what the dev's are going for, much less enough to warrant finding a middle ground. Pathfinder 2E is a product, and if Paizo isn't selling a game that people want to play that speaks to a lack of market research and a poor grasp of their own customer base.

That said, those of us posting here on 2E blogs represent an outspoken minority, and it's entirely possible we don't represent 2E's customer segments or share those groups sensibilities. It's difficult to tell if that's the case, however, because, as far as I know, the developers haven't shared who 2E is aimed at, what overarching design goals they had, or how they concluded those design goals were the correct goals for the intended customer segments.


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Laegrim wrote:
That said, those of us posting here on 2E blogs represent an outspoken minority, and it's entirely possible we don't represent 2E's customer segments or share those groups sensibilities. It's difficult to tell if that's the case, however, because, as far as I know, the developers haven't shared who 2E is aimed at, what overarching design goals they had, or how they concluded those design goals were the correct goals for the intended customer segments.

Yes, I don't recall a lot of insights into major design decisions they have made, or where and how they started playtesting (goals, problems to address, etc). I know they mentioned wanting high level characters to have no problems with lower level monsters, hence the +Level deal.

Scarab Sages

Eyeing the math between using wands of Heal at levels 1-4, the silver per heal is still cheapest at level 1 (especially using the 3 action heal). A party committed to consumable use will still want to use them regardless of level, and invest into the ability to use them across all characters.

Maybe making healing magic scale at a different cost than all magic items would be the answer to that.

Using Resonance as a way to control multiple X per day uses does sound like a simpler idea: Makes each "spell in a can" item draw from a single source. Investing caster classes with more resonance (or resonance only usable on a subset of items) might be a way to balance prepared spell use vs wands/scrolls/items as well.


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Starfinder Superscriber

So I was thinking about this and came to a revelation. Maybe the best option is to instead of dis-incentivizing the low level consumables, incentivize the higher level?

Using Round Math and names for simplicity:

Lets say a Wand of Cure I costs 1000 GP, has 50 charges and cures an average of 5 HP per charge. So it would contain 250 HP of healing for 1000 GP, or 1/4 HP/GP

Currently a Wand of Cure II would cost around 3500, have 50 charges, and cure an average of 10 HP per charge. 500 HP of healing for 3500 GP, or a little more than 1/8 HP/GP

You are getting less for your money. Economics is Economical. Without making resonance absolutely punishing, it will honestly continue to be around.

"I'm about to go to sleep and have 8 RP left. Hit me with the wand of Cure I until I fail a resonance roll"

That WILL happen.

But what if the Wand of Cure II cost 3500 and had cured 17.5 HP per charge? or even a round 20? Suddenly the economics line up (with the cost per HP being the same as, or a little higher than Cure I) and there is incentive to take the higher wand. Problem solved. Some people would still cheap out, but they would actually be spending more money in the long run.


Paizo Blog wrote:
Designers, by nature, want you to use the items they created in actual play. But adventure designers are often under budgetary constraints to make not the best item for the story, but the one that does the trick while still conforming to the amount of treasure output in the design guides. These factors often created a race to the bottom, design-wise, spawning tons of these little X-per-day buggers that characters could afford, featuring relatively powerful (and always useful) effects that often became more useful as you gained levels. All of this creates a sort of mini-nova during climactic encounters, as characters spend a handful of swift and immediate actions ramping up to their optimal tactics. This is especially true for classes in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, since they typically have fewer class-based options competing for the use of swift and immediate actions.

So I got something a little different out of this blog post.

What I am reading here is that story, effect, designer wish to create something awesome, or so on would require the use of a powerful, but one-off item that lent itself to mini-novas.

For example, a Trinket of Sugerfrosted Chocolatebombs 20d6, but that only worked 1/day during breakfast hours, as to cost lower--but still have a great effect.

Putting forward ideas for Stamina addresses the healing issue side of this, but I am not sure we're addressing all of it.

Beyond CLW wands, PF seems to be wanting to introduce Resonance as a means to balance limited-use-as-to-lower-price items like these. So, is there a way to offer that same "level of cool loot" without Sugarfrosted Chocolatebombs?


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chadius wrote:

CLW wands always felt like a problem with PFS, where you get 2 Prestige Points after your first adventure that can be spent on the wand. I'm in 3 Adventure Paths (Kingmaker, Giantslayer, Hell's Rebels) and we've never had easy access to a wand.

Why not make wands cost more Prestige in PFS?

For a start parties are essentially random in PFS. There is no guarantee you will have sufficient healing (or pretty much sufficient anything) without access to wands (and scrolls).


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Swiftbrook wrote:
"Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Case in point—let's talk about Resonance Points. Yeah, that's right. I'm going there.

Thank You!

"Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
A big issue is that a lot of folks just plain don't like Resonance Points.

+1! Resonance may attempt to solve perceived problems, but I still don't like it. It's confusing. It's not how magic is suppose to work. It's not fun!

"Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Designers, by nature, want you to use the items they created in actual play. But adventure designers are often under budgetary constraints to make not the best item for the story, but the one that does the trick while still conforming to the amount of treasure output in the design guides.

This is my main problem with all of Pathfinder Playtest, not just Resonance Points, and this is the first time I've seen it in print. Pathfinder Playtest is all mainly about making it easier for designers to create products, not about making it more fun for players to play the game. You're creating a 'balanced is boring' game. The PCs don't feel heroic, then seem balanced and common.

The Playtest has some good stuff - OK some very good stuff. I love the three action rules, they really make sense.

But in the end, I just hope you scrap Resonance Points. The negatives and negative consequences far out weigh the perceived positives. It's not worth it.

I totally agree on putting designers above players. It's why the biggest problem for me isn't Resonance, it's the Common/Uncommon/Rare system. When they introduced the idea, everyone assumed it would be used really sparingly, and the tired complaints about "Blood Money" got thrown around a lot. But when the actual playtest came out, what spells are marked as Uncommon? Scry, Teleport, Protection from Evil, Discern Lies. Not overwhelming spells that break the game, but creative spells that a smart adventure designer needs to play around.

What I'm terrified of is, the idea is that each adventure is going to have a little paragraph in front for the GM, saying "Warning, make sure you ban Teleport, Scry and the following other uncommon spells during this scenario, as I was too lazy to come up with a counter for them when I wrote this." (I may be paraphrasing that last part.)


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Tridus wrote:
Luke Styer wrote:

I’d be curious how much of the community either “don’t see the challenges” that resonance is attempting to fix or “don’t see them as problematic.”

Because if a big enough chunk of the player base either doesn’t see a “challenge” or doesn’t see that “challenge” as problematic, then it arguably isn’t a problem that needs to be fixed.

I'm not sure they would like the answer to that question. A lot of effort is being spent on something that just isn't that big a problem to a huge number of players.

So, who are they actually trying to solve this for?

There are people who genuinely hate this, they've been coming on to the forums and complaining about it for years. I think the problem is, the 2E designers have taken it as gospel that these complainers are representative of the player base as a whole.

I'd love to hear if Paizo did some organized market research beyond the forums. Hired a company to interview a statistically valid sample and learn what the average player really wants in a new system.

I mean, I could be wrong. My community could be non-representative, and most players actually want to stop easy healing, have much less magic items, and focus more on balance than fun. If I saw data from some big organized statistically valid survey that proved this, I'd stop complaining, because even if I didn't like the system, I would understand why Paizo is creating this new system the way it is.

Until then, I think the most important design goal should be "player's choice and decisions have a bigger impact on success or failure than random dice rolls."

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