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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As far as I know, weapons with only potency rules would not require resonance at all. Some property runes require activation, so that would require resonance, but none of them have the invested trait, so it would not be necessary to invest a weapon, unless it was a special item (not just simply magical because of runes) with the trait.

"My rough calculation is that for a 4th level character, charges from a 1st level wand are ~6 times as expensive in relative terms"

Six times as expensive as what?


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jonesy076 wrote:
Forgive me if i'm behind the times and these rule have already been changed or removed but adding level to everything is just silly and wrong. Why should my gnome sorcerer steadily get better at skills, and by default now maneuvers, that he's not investing in just because he's leveling? Why should I be able to better hit or grapple and pin a creature because i'm a higher level????? Still a gnome sorcerer....It's a silly mechanic. I don't want my character to get better at anything that I shouldn't be getting better at without resource and roleplay allotment. Am I missing or misreading something?

In PF1, your CMB between level 1 and 20 went up by +10 at a minimum. +15 for many classes that didn't consider themselves martial. More if you were getting any physical stat items. Same deal here. You just get better at some things. Now it's most things. You're becoming a superhero. It's cool.


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The main thing I would add is that in PF1, across the number of groups I played in, the concerns about wands of healing and what not never really appeared. We understood that they existed. The concerns never really played out though. We never used a ton of low level items, except for the "Happy Stick".

The Christmas tree effect didn't really affect us either. Items chosen using the Rule of Cool worked surprisingly well, despite all the moaning on the forums about needing the flat bonuses that drove the Christmas tree effect.

Based on what I saw on the forums back then, the groups were generally a low-to-average-power level. It certainly was not anywhere near the stereotypical PFS level of optimization, or even a tenth of that. It was mostly rogues and fighters. In some of my main games, it was rare to use anything but CRB classes. They were simpler, but still allowed players to have a lot of fun.

There is an interesting tidbit from Jeremy Crawford that blew the minds of the 5e community earlier this year: Despite how prevalent discussion of feats were in 5e communities online and in organized play, most characters don't use feats. They are still super popular, and players like them, but a majority of characters simply do not use them. This sort of reminds me of that, and maybe that's the cause of the friction. (Also, how amazing must it be to have that sort of data? Being able to see what people are actually doing, how things are actually being built up, etc. Incredible!)

I really like the idea of a unified system, rather than tracking all the different points for different classes. I really like the idea of making Charisma useful to all characters, even if they won't be talking. I'm not sure I like everyone having to track something now, when before there were many options to not have to track much. But I'm very excited to see what the design team is able to come up with, as they've shown many awesome solutions to problems in the past.


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Cheapy wrote:
The Christmas tree effect didn't really affect us either. Items chosen using the Rule of Cool worked surprisingly well, despite all the moaning on the forums about needing the flat bonuses that drove the Christmas tree effect.

Yep, best way to play/approach it, otherwise you get the arms race.


I would that you could use magic items, even if you fail your flat check but you would have a condition that would end with being inconscious.


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Ed Reppert wrote:


Six times as expensive as what?

The cost of a single first level wand charge expressed as a fraction of the WBL that is supposed to be consumables is almost six times as much for a second edition PC compared to a first edition PC.

(This value changes with level, and 4th-6th level is where it is the worst, but it is never really near parity with 1st ed)


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Cheapy wrote:
There is an interesting tidbit from Jeremy Crawford that blew the minds of the 5e community earlier this year: Despite how prevalent discussion of feats were in 5e communities online and in organized play, most characters don't use feats. They are still super popular, and players like them, but a majority of characters simply do not use them.

I'm no expert on 5e, but aren't stat bonuses usually better than the feats there and don't feats have to replace a stat bonus? This sounds like their version of the Big Six magic items.


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avr wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
There is an interesting tidbit from Jeremy Crawford that blew the minds of the 5e community earlier this year: Despite how prevalent discussion of feats were in 5e communities online and in organized play, most characters don't use feats. They are still super popular, and players like them, but a majority of characters simply do not use them.
I'm no expert on 5e, but aren't stat bonuses usually better than the feats there and don't feats have to replace a stat bonus? This sounds like their version of the Big Six magic items.

Feats (and multiclassing, and magic items) are optional, some feats give an ability score increase and something else, and there are some feats that are better than any ability score increase (Crossbow Expert, Great Weapon Master, Polearm Master, Sentinel, and Sharpshooter).


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avr wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
There is an interesting tidbit from Jeremy Crawford that blew the minds of the 5e community earlier this year: Despite how prevalent discussion of feats were in 5e communities online and in organized play, most characters don't use feats. They are still super popular, and players like them, but a majority of characters simply do not use them.
I'm no expert on 5e, but aren't stat bonuses usually better than the feats there and don't feats have to replace a stat bonus? This sounds like their version of the Big Six magic items.

It’s potentially an insight into the oft-discussed “forum posters aren’t representative of the majority” issue.

Most people in online discussions about 5E consider the better feats valuable to the point of being “essential”. In actual play though, it seems they are generally not taken.


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vagabond_666 wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:


Six times as expensive as what?

The cost of a single first level wand charge expressed as a fraction of the WBL that is supposed to be consumables is almost six times as much for a second edition PC compared to a first edition PC.

(This value changes with level, and 4th-6th level is where it is the worst, but it is never really near parity with 1st ed)

Aaargh! I feel like I should know what 'WBL' means, but it just won't come to me. :-(

Do costs *need* to be on a par with first edition? It seems like second replaces the gold piece as the basis for everything with the silver piece, so for starters first edition characters have a lot more money than second edition characters do. That should be taken into account.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Feats (and multiclassing, and magic items) are optional, some feats give an ability score increase and something else, and there are some feats that are better than any ability score increase (Crossbow Expert, Great Weapon Master, Polearm Master, Sentinel, and Sharpshooter).

Not to get too deeply into a 5e discussion here, but in most cases +2 to Strength would be better than Great Weapon Master, and +2 Dexterity would be better than Sharpshooter. The issue is that stats are limited to 20 in 5e, and the feats allow you to push that just a little bit more.

In other words: Dex 20 > Dex 18 + Sharpshooter, but Dex 20 + Con 12 + Sharpshooter > Dex 20 + Con 14.

Looking at the Twitter thread linked earlier, I see that only 44% of level 12+ PCs use feats. My first thought was that that can't be right, given that level 12 is right around where most people would start getting feats (after boosting their primary stat at 4 and 8), but giving it a bit of thought... most casters wouldn't be super feat dependent, and would probably prefer boosting Dex and/or Con instead of taking something like Spell Sniper.


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Alchemaic wrote:
Honestly the best thing that could happen to Clerics is losing the "healer class" stigma. You can build a Cleric to be a pure healer, sure, but they're just as valid and viable when built in a variety of other ways, and retain the ability to act as secondary healers in a pinch. Plus throw in wands, potions, and abilities that let other characters heal without being Cleric'd and that opens up spell slots to do a lot more.

It's a pity that the Cleric chapter literally drives the point of clerics being healers down our throats.


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Ed Reppert wrote:
Aaargh! I feel like I should know what 'WBL' means, but it just won't come to me. :-(

I'm pretty sure WBL = Wealth By Level


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Just going to drop my 2-cents on the current Resonance/Goals & leave.

1) Regarding the issue of lower level consumables, I have to say that I am in the camp that hated CLW wand spam and would even go so far as to say I'd love for the current concept of wands to be removed completely (being multi-use scrolls isn't compelling to me, regardless of if they have 10 or 50 charges).

That said, I dislike the current implementation of Resonance with this, especially when it comes to alchemical items like elixirs. Elixirs go out of their way to say that they are now completely non-magical, and yet they use a resource explicitly defined as being, "your innate ability to use magic items." Not to mention there is a thematic disconnect between alchemical poisons not needing resonance while alchemical elixirs do, especially considering the difference between medicine and poison is often just a matter of dosage.

2) Regarding the issue of "Christmas Trees," I overall am supportive of the current effects of resonance. Having a limitation other than slots helps with the issues of certain items not working together despite being fully capable of being worn together (i.e. contacts/glasses both being eye slot) while still providing some sort of limit to avoid stacking tons of minor magical items at once (which becomes a tracking nightmare). I don't have a problem with the idea that a character can only handle/control so much magic directly on their person / mixing with their aura to provide passive effects.

That said, I will take a swipe at the fact that mandatory stat-boosting items (potent) still exist, since having a mandatory item that uses up a limited pool runs into similar problems that we had before with slotted items. Previously, items of certain slots never saw use because you needed a "Big 6" item in that slot, which prevented the player from making a meaningful choice. Now, part of a player's resonance pool must be allocated to their potent item once they reach a high enough level. While this is less impactful to the total resonance of the character at that point, it is still grating to be provided a resource in which to make choices and then be told that you must "choose" to do certain things with it or fall behind. And this is not to mention that mandatory potent items create a problem going forward, in that while slots are now a looser system, they still exist in some form. Which means that certain classes will once again have to ignore certain types of items which would conflict with their mandatory primary stat boost. This is especially true if the GM enforces a slot conflict which the player didn't realize, in which case there isn't even an option as to which of the conflicting items the player would prefer to keep since one would be mandatory to have.

3) Regarding the final goal of reducing X uses/rounds per day items, I am 110% on board. Like spell points, I like having a singular pool to track for things of a related category. Not to mention that as someone who primarily plays online using Roll20, having 3 primary pools for HP, Spell Points, and Resonance Points fits nicely with Roll20 being able to track 3 separate bars per character token.

However, also like spell points, my primary complaint here is that I don't think you've gone far enough and need to completely eliminate 1/day items (& other pools like channel energy/wildshape) along with the rest. Once per day effects in general have a severe problem in my opinion, since the idea is to have a powerful effect with severely limited usage... but they can't be too powerful or else the party wants to retire as soon as they're used to make sure the effect isn't on cooldown when they need it. In the end, this means 1/day effects either end up as being too weak/limited to be worth it, or too good to ever be caught without. Both options seem to go against the intent of 1/day effects, and there doesn't really seem to be much (if any) room in between.

---

Overall: I actually do like resonance as a concept and agree with what it is trying to do, even if I may have disagreements about the current state of implementation. I am happy to see that paizo is trying to find good solutions and is paying attention to community feedback about the issue. As such, I am still optimistic to see what will become of the system by the time we get to release.


Ed Reppert wrote:
vagabond_666 wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:


Six times as expensive as what?

The cost of a single first level wand charge expressed as a fraction of the WBL that is supposed to be consumables is almost six times as much for a second edition PC compared to a first edition PC.

(This value changes with level, and 4th-6th level is where it is the worst, but it is never really near parity with 1st ed)

Aaargh! I feel like I should know what 'WBL' means, but it just won't come to me. :-(

Do costs *need* to be on a par with first edition? It seems like second replaces the gold piece as the basis for everything with the silver piece, so for starters first edition characters have a lot more money than second edition characters do. That should be taken into account.

As someone else pointed out, it means Wealth by Level.

Costs don't need to be on par in the slightest, but in a discussion about what to do about people using cheap consumables in bulk to heal between encounters, it is important to compare the two editions.

The gold/silver changeover is irrelevant. 2nd Ed could use Simoleans as its currency and if a wand charge cost 6% of the Simoleans you were supposed to have for consumables, you could still compare that to the 1% of the gold it cost in 1st Ed.


Staffan Johansson wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Feats (and multiclassing, and magic items) are optional, some feats give an ability score increase and something else, and there are some feats that are better than any ability score increase (Crossbow Expert, Great Weapon Master, Polearm Master, Sentinel, and Sharpshooter).
Not to get too deeply into a 5e discussion here, but in most cases +2 to Strength would be better than Great Weapon Master, and +2 Dexterity would be better than Sharpshooter.

Unfortunately that is not the case.


Thanks Vic, Staffan, now I know a little more about what I'm talking about when it comes to D&D 5e.


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If the Christmas tree effect is that bad remove stat bonuses from magic items.

Or better yet fix your magic item creation rules that have always been half done and make them appropriately expensive. Then you could fix how cheap low level magic items are.

As far as the healing problem, not a problem. If characters have that much stuff, npc have that much stuff. As a Game Master the balancing factor for all of my games is if the players can do it the NPC can do it.

Since 1st edition people have complained about imbalances between classes, magic items etc. For example if a Game Master doesn't let the fighter get good magic items at high level a mage wins every time. If that's happening too much it's not a game flaw it's simply bad GM'ing. The Game Master has always been the person who was supposed to balance it all out.

As a GM Resonance feels like a system to micromanage the Game Masters.

As a player it feels like an attempt to prevent you from using the stuff you find.

This seems to be an attempt to force everyone to play low magic nitty gritty games. What if we don't want too?

Grand Lodge

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Hmm’s Thoughts on Resonance

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT RESONANCE

I enjoyed the idea of investing part of myself in the permanent magic items that I carry, and that it made charisma significant for all characters. I think this part of the idea still has potential and interest, especially in making people choose which permanent magic items will be in their repertoire.

WHAT MAKES ME REALLY UNHAPPY

These are things that I have hated about resonance from the beginning and even more now that I am starting to play and GM in Playtest:

1) Man, it sucks to be an alchemist. I really have issues with how much resonance is affecting Pip, my Playtest alchemist.

2) The whole system is fussy, clunky and inelegant. I am tracking far more than things than I did before.

3) Groups without a healer are severely penalized. We’ve gone backwards from the days of class freedom. Some people want to be healers, but no one wants to be forced in the band-aid role. In PFS, I loved that the expectation for most tables was that there would be no healer. That meant that when I brought Lyric, she was appreciated as being something unusual and nifty.

4) Adventuring days are now forced to be shorter.

5) Emergency scrolls are RATIONED in a way that they weren’t before. It really feels like a limitation on mages.

6) The Resonance system seems counter to the whole design of Playtest, which is to open up options to players while simplifying the rules. Everything else in Playtest is aimed at those lofty goals, so why keep this clunky and horribly unpopular subsystem?

7) The issues that it was trying to solve are ones that do not really matter to the player base and the GMs. We liked the utility of wands and scrolls and potions. We liked cheap healing.

OTHER SOLUTIONS

1) PaulJatHome mentioned Automatic Bonus Progression. In part, you already have that with how attributes progress in PF2. Don’t have magic items that just give static bonuses, and all of a sudden much of the BIG SIX christmas tree becomes unneeded.

2) Don’t have boring BIG SIX items, period. You’ve already made some progress on this path.

3) Limit wand charges if you feel it needed. (I don’t. I loved wands.)

4) Ditch the whole resonance system for consumables altogether. Starfinder has an elegant system for healing that worked really well — stamina, hit points and resolve. It kept injured players going without resorting to magic every single time. When things become dire if we don’t have a mystic, we use medpatches and medical skill to patch people up. I would be in support of importing the Starfinder system of resolve, stamina and healing — which works — wholesale into PF2. You can even blend resolve and resonance somewhat. I just think that there needs to be an easy healing system. Starfinder’s design was friendly and elegant. PF2’s resonance is not.

That’s it for now. Thank you so much for listening to us. I appreciate the blog and the update, and hope that you allow us to playtest what you come up with in lieu of resonance. It’s not something that most home game GMs want to keep, and it will not be a selling point for bringing new players into PF2 Organized Play.

Hmm


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avr wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
There is an interesting tidbit from Jeremy Crawford that blew the minds of the 5e community earlier this year: Despite how prevalent discussion of feats were in 5e communities online and in organized play, most characters don't use feats. They are still super popular, and players like them, but a majority of characters simply do not use them.
I'm no expert on 5e, but aren't stat bonuses usually better than the feats there and don't feats have to replace a stat bonus? This sounds like their version of the Big Six magic items.

In my last 5e campaign, I took only one feat, and that was because I had an odd dexterity score and thus wanted to get some additional benefit as I boosted it to the next even value.

Other players in my group started taking feats only after their main ability scores had been boosted to 20 (and thus could not be improved further by mundane means).

I think I am quite happy that PF2 did not take the step of putting feats and ability score increases into the same pool of upgrades.


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Hmm wrote:
1) Man, it sucks to be an alchemist. I really have issues with how much resonance is affecting Pip, my Playtest alchemist.

Could you expand on this? Is five RPs a day not enough at first level, did you not go for 18 INT, or is there some other problem?


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Ed Reppert wrote:
Hmm wrote:
1) Man, it sucks to be an alchemist. I really have issues with how much resonance is affecting Pip, my Playtest alchemist.
Could you expand on this? Is five RPs a day not enough at first level, did you not go for 18 INT, or is there some other problem?

For me, I had an 18 int, used every RP then rolled until I failed the overspend check and still needed more.

Silver Crusade

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graystone wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
Hmm wrote:
1) Man, it sucks to be an alchemist. I really have issues with how much resonance is affecting Pip, my Playtest alchemist.
Could you expand on this? Is five RPs a day not enough at first level, did you not go for 18 INT, or is there some other problem?
For me, I had an 18 int, used every RP then rolled until I failed the overspend check and still needed more.

Interesting.

I'm playing an Alchemist in Part 2 of the playtest. The encounters are incredibly high difficulty so I'm throwing all of my prepped bombs in the encounter (I spend half my RP prepping bombs/alchemical items etc). And we've been resting between encounters because our casters are using up their spells as well. So with left over RP I've been making extra heals.

However we're only half-way through the adventure. The actual dungeon is coming up and I'm interested to see how my Resonance copes.

I think my only real gripe with the alchemist is that alchemical items don't have very spectacular effects. The entangled condition has made tanglefoot bags basically useless for most practical purposes. Where once it could glues someone in the spot or stop a flying foe, now it's just a minor speed drop.

Anyway, I'll put all this in the survey.


Resonance

The way I see it the biggest gripes about it is Alchemists being locked into this pool for their class abilities and the use of potions.

So if given the choice I would do the following:

1.
Alchemists should *not* use Resonance as their resource pool. "Alchemical Inspiration" points or something should be used instead for crafting in the same way clerics have their channel pool to heal as a separate pool and paladins champion powers use spell points.

In fact given the channel energy of clerics, spell points of paladins and sorcerers and a 'resonance pool' of alchemists pretty much do the same thing and activate class abilities just go the whole hog and name it "power" and be done with it.

Some classes have a power pool they can cast spells or use class abilities which need a day to recharge.

2.
Resonance points *should* remain but *only* used to invest and activate magical items effects excluding oils and potions.

3.
Anyone can use Potions and oils without spending RP

4.
Resonance points only use your CHA modifer rather than also adding your level. (force CHA not to be a dump stat and limit magical item power - you really have to choose each morning what you want to bring into the adventure)


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Interesting.

All prepped items were healing and quick items were antidotes or healing. We didn't have a cleric and with myself and a bard we just couldn't keep up with the healing as we found the the adventures brutally lethal.


jonesy076 wrote:
Forgive me if i'm behind the times and these rule have already been changed or removed but adding level to everything is just silly and wrong. Why should my gnome sorcerer steadily get better at skills, and by default now maneuvers, that he's not investing in just because he's leveling? Why should I be able to better hit or grapple and pin a creature because i'm a higher level????? Still a gnome sorcerer....It's a silly mechanic. I don't want my character to get better at anything that I shouldn't be getting better at without resource and roleplay allotment. Am I missing or misreading something?

Essentially for convenience. So you are not over 20 points behind the specialist who invests when you both get to level 20. Because if you are then either the specialist always succeeds or you always fail, and writing the adventure becomes extremely difficult.


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Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:
jonesy076 wrote:
Forgive me if i'm behind the times and these rule have already been changed or removed but adding level to everything is just silly and wrong. Why should my gnome sorcerer steadily get better at skills, and by default now maneuvers, that he's not investing in just because he's leveling? Why should I be able to better hit or grapple and pin a creature because i'm a higher level????? Still a gnome sorcerer....It's a silly mechanic. I don't want my character to get better at anything that I shouldn't be getting better at without resource and roleplay allotment. Am I missing or misreading something?
Essentially for convenience. So you are not over 20 points behind the specialist who invests when you both get to level 20. Because if you are then either the specialist always succeeds or you always fail, and writing the adventure becomes extremely difficult.

If you think that a non specialist is not way behind the specialist in this system you have not been paying attention. Trained vs master is a 2 point difference. Maxed stat vs middling stat is at least a 2 point difference. Specialized gear can provide up to a 5 point bonus, but let's call it a 2 point difference. So even at mid level you are looking a at least 6 point difference between the specialist and the dabbler. Since the specialist has about a 60% chance of success the dabbler has a 30% (or less) chance of success with a 25% (or more) chance of critically failing.


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thorin001 wrote:
Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:
jonesy076 wrote:
Forgive me if i'm behind the times and these rule have already been changed or removed but adding level to everything is just silly and wrong. Why should my gnome sorcerer steadily get better at skills, and by default now maneuvers, that he's not investing in just because he's leveling? Why should I be able to better hit or grapple and pin a creature because i'm a higher level????? Still a gnome sorcerer....It's a silly mechanic. I don't want my character to get better at anything that I shouldn't be getting better at without resource and roleplay allotment. Am I missing or misreading something?
Essentially for convenience. So you are not over 20 points behind the specialist who invests when you both get to level 20. Because if you are then either the specialist always succeeds or you always fail, and writing the adventure becomes extremely difficult.
If you think that a non specialist is not way behind the specialist in this system you have not been paying attention. Trained vs master is a 2 point difference. Maxed stat vs middling stat is at least a 2 point difference. Specialized gear can provide up to a 5 point bonus, but let's call it a 2 point difference. So even at mid level you are looking a at least 6 point difference between the specialist and the dabbler. Since the specialist has about a 60% chance of success the dabbler has a 30% (or less) chance of success with a 25% (or more) chance of critically failing.

...given that they are of equal level and have a significant difference in ability scores.

You are still stuck with an untrained high-level person being innately better at stuff they've possibly never even conceived of than a low-level specialist.


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Hmm wrote:

Hmm’s Thoughts on Resonance

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT RESONANCE

I enjoyed the idea of investing part of myself in the permanent magic items that I carry, and that it made charisma significant for all characters. I think this part of the idea still has potential and interest, especially in making people choose which permanent magic items will be in their repertoire.

WHAT MAKES ME REALLY UNHAPPY

These are things that I have hated about resonance from the beginning and even more now that I am starting to play and GM in Playtest:

1) Man, it sucks to be an alchemist. I really have issues with how much resonance is affecting Pip, my Playtest alchemist.

2) The whole system is fussy, clunky and inelegant. I am tracking far more than things than I did before.

3) Groups without a healer are severely penalized. We’ve gone backwards from the days of class freedom. Some people want to be healers, but no one wants to be forced in the band-aid role. In PFS, I loved that the expectation for most tables was that there would be no healer. That meant that when I brought Lyric, she was appreciated as being something unusual and nifty.

4) Adventuring days are now forced to be shorter.

5) Emergency scrolls are RATIONED in a way that they weren’t before. It really feels like a limitation on mages.

6) The Resonance system seems counter to the whole design of Playtest, which is to open up options to players while simplifying the rules. Everything else in Playtest is aimed at those lofty goals, so why keep this clunky and horribly unpopular subsystem?

7) The issues that it was trying to solve are ones that do not really matter to the player base and the GMs. We liked the utility of wands and scrolls and potions. We liked cheap healing.

OTHER SOLUTIONS

1) PaulJatHome mentioned Automatic Bonus Progression. In part, you already have that with how attributes progress in PF2. Don’t have magic items that just give static bonuses, and all of a sudden...

It may be a good time to look at Potency runes, then, since these have become EXTREMELY mandatory. You can't even delay getting them for 1 level because the game assumes you get them as early as possible.

I woudn't mind at all just getting rid of them forever and remove the "easy +1 to attack and AC that gets negated instantly anyways". Leave only the special quality runes and make the extra damage dice be a funciton of level or something (would be too lopsided on proficiency).

The armor potency runes add nothing to the game besides the +1, which is also negated by monsters of equivalent level. They can go for all I care.

These are the sacred cows people don't talk about, ones that Automatic Bonus Progression had already removed and a new bestiary can easily make them superflous (Just give -1 to the monsters at those levels so they aren't required).


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I am curious to know why the weapon damage dice section was hidden away in the sidebar of the fighter class.. I mean I get that fighters (and perhaps barbarians) are more likely to use oversized weapons than other classes. Having it on p91 seems to me to more an opportunistic use of available sidebar space than putting it in the 'playing the game' chapter with the actual combat rules and where readers should normally expect it to be. If i hadn't googled where to find it I'd have no idea particularly as it's not in the book index.


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I think the simplest change would be eliminating resonance for consumable use. It should be a pool optionally used by class features and specific items.

The biggest drawback of Resonance is that now, as a Fighter, I am forced to track a pool when before the very reason I played Fighters and other martial classes is so that I wouldn't have to track various pools. This allowed me to focus more on my character's positioning and strategy rather than having to pause and debate about expending a resource.

Resonance has a noble goal, but while it did simplify the fragmentation of tracking magical item pools, it has now resulted in even more resource tracking because it simply cannot be avoided.

This ignores the fact that using your "innate magical energy" on items makes absolutely no sense for classes like the Fighter which explicitly are not magical characters.

This is why I think all consumable magic items or activate-able magic items should be invested item at time of crafting, this way your Fighter or Rogue who doesn't care about magical abilities can still sensibly take advantage of them. Unless of course we're making the argument that everyone in Golarion innately has magic in them (then what the heck is the point of a Sorcerer if everyone has it?)


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Maybe the sorcerer just has more of it.


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Everyone has between 50 to 100 species of bacteria in their gut. We pick up every pollutant absorbed by the animals and vegetables we consume. And we pick up radioactive isotopes through the carbon we breathe to survive.

Even someone who's not "magical" still has a lot of magic in and around them, from the divine creation of their ancestors to the numerous spells cast on them and their community.


Boli32 wrote:

Resonance

The way I see it the biggest gripes about it is Alchemists being locked into this pool for their class abilities and the use of potions.

So if given the choice I would do the following:

1.
Alchemists should *not* use Resonance as their resource pool. "Alchemical Inspiration" points or something should be used instead for crafting in the same way clerics have their channel pool to heal as a separate pool and paladins champion powers use spell points.

In fact given the channel energy of clerics, spell points of paladins and sorcerers and a 'resonance pool' of alchemists pretty much do the same thing and activate class abilities just go the whole hog and name it "power" and be done with it.

Some classes have a power pool they can cast spells or use class abilities which need a day to recharge.

2.
Resonance points *should* remain but *only* used to invest and activate magical items effects excluding oils and potions.

3.
Anyone can use Potions and oils without spending RP

4.
Resonance points only use your CHA modifer rather than also adding your level. (force CHA not to be a dump stat and limit magical item power - you really have to choose each morning what you want to bring into the adventure)

Completely agree with 1 through 3, simplest solution.

Disagree with 4. Level is an important factor as it tracks how much of an experienced "badass hero" your character is and that's central to the very essence of these rpgs. You can't take that out, I think.

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