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

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Playtest
1 to 50 of 384 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | next > last >>
Liberty's Edge

21 people marked this as a favorite.

I have heard a lot of grumbles about resonance points, particularly in regards to players worrying about potion use to save a dying character. Several of the local players said that they think that resonance points should be used to create a one-shot consumable item (potion of healing or scroll) but should not cost a point of resonance to use. Might this happen?

I give Paizo credit for being willing to look at a major system and decide that it needs to be changed.


19 people marked this as a favorite.

I think it would be good to playtest the other systems you are thinking about using.

Lantern Lodge

40 people marked this as a favorite.

So I'll go ahead and drop out of the playtest forums since Pathfinder 2e is not a system I'm going to want to play. I purchased the playtest materials and tried it out, but the low magic design combined with the addition of resonance has simply made it unpleasant. I'll leave 2e for people who want to play in this system.

Boojum


58 people marked this as a favorite.

The biggest issue I've seen with resonance so far is that it tends to fail you in the middle of the biggest combat. Which is exactly the opposite of what happens with the "heroic character" or "star of the show". The end result is a shortening of the already short 15 minute adventure day.

Understanding and solving the 15 minute adventuring day issue is the real problem. Players can only use the tools that devs provide. You may find it hard to believe, but no one really wants to tick off wand charges or count potions, either. But with x number of things to do in an adventuring day and y hours to do it in, people become creative in their solutions within the limits of the rules. Moreover, most do not want to be the "party healer", either.

Fix the 15 minute adventuring day and resonance becomes meaningless.


23 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thank you for showing us a little of what goes on behind the curtain and how your team thinks about problems and how to solve them. I find these sorts of insights fascinating.

Also, I think it's reassuring to know that you are listening to the voluminous feedback and taking it all into consideration as you tweak the game. I think most of us believe you are doing this, but it's always good to have confirmation.

Keep up the great work!


24 people marked this as a favorite.

The one thing I will say on for the positive for Resonance {not against the system, just some kinks need to be worked out} is it made Charisma matter. I always found in PF1 that unless your class relied on Charisma {say for spell casting, or class ability.) it was the default dump stat. This was because it did not provide an innate bonus that other stats did (for example, a Wizard would dump Charisma over Strength, as Strength at least provided additional carry/ability to hit in melee, or a Fighter would choose Intelligence for the skill points.)

This was not to say there wasn't a Wizard or Fighter who was Charismatic, but unless you were also investing in Charisma based skills {which other stats also have} it was generally not impactful. At least within the Resonance system, I've seen people take a second look at Charisma, because its tied to your use of magic items.


26 people marked this as a favorite.

I sincerely prefer "X-uses-for-day and X-rounds-for-day items" that a system disconnected from reality or an additional tool to check the inventory of PCs that is already controlled by gp and the benevolence of the drop granted by the GM.

One of the objectives of the game was to be the death of the slot items, but now we have acquired a table(character wealth at page 348) that tells us what items we must have and what quality at each level. I think it's better to go back to the magic item slots.


10 people marked this as a favorite.

Thank you, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, for addressing this issue. Your action increases my confidence in Paizo designers.

We forum participants have discussed other reasons to like Resonance. It gives a reason to boost Charisma scores, removing its dump-stat status. It implies a flavorful connection between the character and the magic items they use.

I have still not finished The Lost Star in my playtesting, so I have not seen how Resonance works yet. The PCs are saving their few potions for the end.


52 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My group has really just begun playtesting, but the only big complaint so far about resonance is coming from my Alchemist player. Having all your class features coming from a single pool (one that all other classes have on top of spell points, spell slots, and the occasional x/day or at-will ability,) just feels really bad. He feels like he's had to ration his resources from level one, in a way no one else in the party has really had to worry about.

Lantern Lodge

13 people marked this as a favorite.

Sorry, I will do one more post because I think I was sort of abrupt when Stephan was talking about how they are going to work on Resonance. I also appreciate they are working on it and hope they improve the game a lot...

But before Playtest came out I had some concerns about what was happening to magic in the world and was told "Try it first" from people. Now that it is out, I've tried it, and discovered that my book keeping for magic using characters has ballooned, and that it just isn't fun for me. I'm sure there will be a lot of people who enjoy the game and will buy it... but rather than write my own rules for the new rules I just think I will bow out. I may change my mind, like I did when D&D 3.0 became D&D3.5.. but since the design seems to be moving away from what I enjoy I think its better that I allow the forum posts for the people who will be buying the game when it comes out.

Boojum the brown bunny


51 people marked this as a favorite.

I honestly didn't have any problems at all with the way PF1 handled magic items. Resonance, along with most other changes made in the PF2 Playtest, is in my humble opinion, nothing more than a solution desperately in search of a problem.


45 people marked this as a favorite.

"or replace the mechanic": boy, am I hoping for replace. So far, playing the game has not lead to anything good to say about the mechanic. As such I'm, glad to hear it's on the radar and options are being looked at.


17 people marked this as a favorite.

I've only played up through lv5, but I've not seen resonance help at all. lv1 wands are still the cheapest healing and if you don't have a cleric you basically need a full day of recovery after 2-3 fights. Have a fight, heal up and be out of healing and fight and now rest, heal up, rest to have spells to use that day. No CLW spam and no cleric has made the adventuring day shorter in my experience.

Grand Lodge

18 people marked this as a favorite.

My chief concern with Resonance comes from the viewpoint of a Wizard character player. The limitations on spell slots is crippling for a Wizard. To address this we have to use scrolls or wands which now cost Resonance meaning we are limited in item usage along those lines as well plus we have to invest our magic items via Resonance. We're getting a double whammy here.

I do like what you are doing with the Resonance Point system and why you are doing it. I am all for it. However, I think we need to address spell slot numbers for the casters. We no longer gain extra spell slots for our high Intelligence scores so you could say that's a triple whammy to Wizards. I realize that some people think Wizards are overpowered and we are to an extent, but a triple whammy to spell slots has seriously underpowered us.

Something has to give here. I would like to keep Resonance working along the lines it currently is. I am happy to see the unlimited healing addressed via it along with the Christmas Tree effect. But we Wizards need to have some of the spell slots restored so that we are on a par with melee classes. I don't think we need the number of slots we had in PF1. Four was the limit per the Wizard table 3-16 plus a school slot and anywhere from 1 to 5 per Bonus spells due to Intelligence.

Granted, not everyone will have that high an Intelligence. Usually 3 bonus spells would be in play for a total of 8 spell slots for most Wizards for L1 spells, 7 spell slots for L2-4 spells by 11th level or so, and so on. I think to address the triple whammy imposed in PF2 Wizards should get 1 to 2 more spell slots per spell level spread out over the levels OR put the Bonus Spells back in due to high Intelligence scores.

I am personally in favor of the Bonus Spells due to high Intelligence being put back in.


39 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm sorry, I wanted to like resonance but I don't. It might not have been "realistic" to heal yourself up multiple times per day, but there are other solutions.

Using low level consumables was only a problem with healing and some level 1 spells (which you've fixed and aren't viable anymore).

The other problems are not problems. It's still fun to have more than a few magic items and even with your system you can easily achieve the same Christmas tree effect that we saw in PF1. Like I said, in PF1 we didn't really have that problem anyway, you just couldn't afford to own that many items until much later levels anyway. And most PCs preferred to focus on upgrading a few items rather than branching out. It wasn't really a problem.

I've personally never seen use per day items abused. Typically they are expensive in PF1, so there aren't a lot of them. They weren't a problem, so why are you limiting them? Allocating them to be used in a single big pool isn't a problem I wanted fixed.

For example, with staves, now I have to track every use twice, once to remove a resonance point, once to remove a use per day. This is not making things simpler.

Anyway, I look forward to your future updates.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

I've been fine with Resonance thus far, but haven't really hit the levels where it's intended to fix things.

That said, I agree that the tracking consolidation could go further. Wands and staves, in particular, involve a lot of fiddly tracking I wish could be offloaded to Resonance.


21 people marked this as a favorite.
graystone wrote:
"or replace the mechanic": boy, am I hoping for replace. So far, playing the game has not lead to anything good to say about the mechanic. As such I'm, glad to hear it's on the radar and options are being looked at.

QFT. Every person I've spoken to in real life about the playtest, whether they liked or disliked the playtest overall, hated resonance.


27 people marked this as a favorite.

Better fixes than resonance:

For the "low level items" problem, fix what they're mimicking. Mainly, the healing problem. Which, at the same time, solves the "poor cleric can't do anything else" problem.

For the "Christmas tree problem" (which many don't see as a problem), don't make magic items that are just bonuses. Make all magic items DO something. There's no such thing as a +1, or a stat bump. Anything that is, for instance, in the "automatic bonus progression" from Unchained simply doesn't exist. Even more extreme would be "nothing passive at all", but that's probably not necessary.


16 people marked this as a favorite.

I feel like the central problem I have with Resonance as it currently stands is how it relates to healing. Because being taken out of the fight is not fun, and dying so you have to get a new character is especially not fun. Being out of juice so you can't use your magic boots or wand that shoots fire is fine, but fearing that using your magic boots or wand that shoots fire will leave you significantly more vulnerable to dying is not fun.

I feel like if resonanceless healing were better or more available, that would take a huge amount of the stress off of resonance management.

I also feel like "keep people from wearing two pairs of boots" is not a thing worth doing at a systemic level, since magic items already change size why can't I just use the same principle to get magic overshoes? If a GM wants to put a limit on how tall your tower of hats can be, that seems like a fine thing to leave up to the group.


9 people marked this as a favorite.
Xathos of Varisia wrote:

My chief concern with Resonance comes from the viewpoint of a Wizard character player. The limitations on spell slots is crippling for a Wizard. To address this we have to use scrolls or wands which now cost Resonance meaning we are limited in item usage along those lines as well plus we have to invest our magic items via Resonance. We're getting a double whammy here.

I do like what you are doing with the Resonance Point system and why you are doing it. I am all for it. However, I think we need to address spell slot numbers for the casters. We no longer gain extra spell slots for our high Intelligence scores so you could say that's a triple whammy to Wizards. I realize that some people think Wizards are overpowered and we are to an extent, but a triple whammy to spell slots has seriously underpowered us.

Something has to give here. I would like to keep Resonance working along the lines it currently is. I am happy to see the unlimited healing addressed via it along with the Christmas Tree effect. But we Wizards need to have some of the spell slots restored so that we are on a par with melee classes. I don't think we need the number of slots we had in PF1. Four was the limit per the Wizard table 3-16 plus a school slot and anywhere from 1 to 5 per Bonus spells due to Intelligence.

Granted, not everyone will have that high an Intelligence. Usually 3 bonus spells would be in play for a total of 8 spell slots for most Wizards for L1 spells, 7 spell slots for L2-4 spells by 11th level or so, and so on. I think to address the triple whammy imposed in PF2 Wizards should get 1 to 2 more spell slots per spell level spread out over the levels OR put the Bonus Spells back in due to high Intelligence scores.

I am personally in favor of the Bonus Spells due to high Intelligence being put back in.

Alchemists have it even worse spend resonance to actually have alchemical items for the day, want to benefit from class feats that actually add effects to your bombs spend resonance on quick alchemy inefficiently, at the same time having to save enough resonance aside to be able to use any magic items at all, and elixirs of life which require you to spend resonance to make and other people have to spend resonance to drink to heal less then an equivalent level potion or heal spell.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm looking forward to whatever their next idea is. Tracking consumable resources in general is something my players don't like and resonance let that flood into every possible character the game could offer. Even without resonance, there's still an over abundance of per day abilities in the game and it's hard to steer my players toward something compatible with their level of interest in book keeping.


18 people marked this as a favorite.

I love the idea of resonance. Binding with powerful magic items and avoiding the Christmas tree effect are worthy goals as is increasing the game power of the charisma stat.
It is funny that in an RPG the stat that will get your the furthest in real life (Charisma) is one of the most common dump stats.

I feel like the limiting consumables needs to be addressed in a different way.

Maybe wands no longer cast spells but add damage or other effects to spells. A wand of Charm adds +1 to the DC of any charm spell you cast. A wand of healing auto heightens +1 any heal spell you cast. Etc etc

Staffs can just expand your castable spells. So a character that has bound a staff of fireball can use 3rd level spell slots to cast the fireball spell even if he didn't memorize it today.

Potions: can be limited by
Player: "Good shop keeper I have 10,000,000 gold and want to buy every healing potion I can. "
Shop Keeper "Very well sir, I will ring you up for (GM rolls a d6) 3."

Healing and the 15 minute adventuring day is a whole different problem as well.


20 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My biggest concern with resonance right now is that consumable prices are so high that it's not really being stress tested. No one can really afford to use potions or scrolls or wands because they are so incredibly expensive. I may have reservations about resonance, but I'm willing to playtest them with an open mind. I just feel like, without radically altering item pricing or wealth levels, I can't really get a feel for them.

As a comparison, if I were to tell my players to bring 3rd level characters with standard wealth in PF1, a sorcerer could easily pick up a 1st level wand and 30 scrolls to supplement their low number of spells per day at these levels, and that would still leave them with more than half their wealth for other purchases. In PF2 a 1st level wand and 8 scrolls takes up almost your entire wealth as a fresh 3rd level character, and that wand has 1/5th as many charges as it did in PF1. You'd need to blow through half your WBL in an entire day of adventuring to run out of resonance as a sorcerer.

If you want to keep testing resonance, I strongly recommend bringing down consumable pricing to actually stress test what happens when resonance (rather than cost) is the limiting factor on consumable usage.


42 people marked this as a favorite.
graystone wrote:
"or replace the mechanic": boy, am I hoping for replace. So far, playing the game has not lead to anything good to say about the mechanic. As such I'm, glad to hear it's on the radar and options are being looked at.

I started out skeptical of resonance. As time went on I grew to despise it. It's a horrible, non-fun, artificial system. It doesn't make any sense in the setting. Most of the problems it addresses haven't been problems for me. In fact, the limiting of magic item use is a much bigger problem for me than what it's trying to fix. I want magic items. I want to want to use them. Resonance makes me want to avoid them like the plague except for weapons, armor and a few healing potions for emergencies.

It doesn't help that so many magic items are really pretty lackluster now. Why would I want to use my precious resonance for something like the Bracers of Missile Deflection? A small bonus to AC against a single attack roll, that also costs your only reaction? No. Or trinkets, not only do they take a while to add to items, they also cost money, and resonance for a single use.

I am concerned that the design direction is now actively working against magic being interesting or useful and instead making it more hassle than it's worth. It's use for consumables is in particular a further incentive not to use them except in emergencies. But the fact that charges and x times a day items still exist goes against the reason for resonance existing.

It's use for alchemists is just horrible. Making it a choice between using your class features or magic items is way too punitive.

I think it's way past time to admit that it's a bad system and get rid of it instead of just keep defending it and restating the reasons for it. Yeah you put effort into it and had the best intentions, but it failed. It's time to move on.

Resonentia delenda est.

However. All that said. I can see a way to possibly keep resonance, but it would have to be pared way back. First, remove resonance cost from all consumables. Second, remove resonance from the alchemist's abilities and move them to their own Alchemical pool. Third, remove all charges and x-times a day restrictions from all items. So now resonance will only replace slots and limited use tracking. Trying to do anything more than that with resonance is too much.


10 people marked this as a favorite.

Hi, Stephen RMF. Thank you for taking the time to share with us. I'm a fan of PF2. The playtest has issues. I don't like some things. I love others. I'm up for the evolution. Paizo has taken on a huge challenge, and I support you.

Resonance is on my list to house rule away. I don't intend to use it after the playtest. As a DM I limit access to items and their usage that breaks the game. CLW wands aren't for sale in shops. Magic for sale is rare. Upgrading gear is not casual. I have a conversation with the party when they gain crafting or alchemy and found a shop. It's not fun to have unlimited resources. There are other things to spend money on in the world that advance your goals beyond +'s and consumables.

Resonance doesn't fix any problems my campaigns have had. It doesn't make the game more fun. I have no reason to consider it.

Magic items are super fun! If my players earn one, they are free to do with it as they please. I take responsibility for what items enter the world.

Again thanks for all of your intense work this year. Keep going strong and pushing through the storm and have an incredible 2019!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I like resounance points myself.

just not for the Alchemist inits current format.

I also occasionally think it should come from the classes' primary stat.. but i haven't actually given that thought.

I would agree with the 15min adv day issue in general though.
I was a tad surprised it didn't use hp stamina style.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

I actually haven't even seen Resonance Points come into play yet at my playtest table, so I don't have an opinion of them yet! But I just wanted to chime in and say I very, very much appreciate the style and tone of this blog post. Just a totally open and honest discussion of the current thoughts behind a system in the playtest. More posts like this please! :D


54 people marked this as a favorite.

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 feel permissive instead of denial-related. In another thread I mentioned a house rule I've been thinking about, when you can spend resonance as you drink a potion or elixir to super-charge it. This goes hand-in-hand with the other house rule I would implement that potions and elixirs don't cost resonance to drink. But you can choose to spend your limited resources to make it better. I think if there are more options like that, where it feels like you're spending your resources for something cool instead of just ticking away at how many things you're allowed it will receive less of a negative stigma.


11 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I also feel like "keep people from wearing two pairs of boots" is not a thing worth doing at a systemic level, since magic items already change size why can't I just use the same principle to get magic overshoes? If a GM wants to put a limit on how tall your tower of hats can be, that seems like a fine thing to leave up to the group.

Or alternately, just decouple the magic items from being specific things like boots. Or let the effects be stacked upon the same item. Have your Boots of Elvenkind upgraded to also being Boots of Bounding, kind of like the rune transfer system for weapons and armor.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

12 people marked this as a favorite.

I totally agree that Resonance addresses issues that should be solved, but it feels like a sludge hammer in that it tries to fix the problem by creating new ones in an unpleasant way.

My biggest issues with Resonance are:
1) Worn items and consumables use the same Resonance pool, creating the problem where magical gear somehow limits your ability to use consumables. This feels awful, doesn't make much narrative sense, and punishes non-magical classes who have to rely on magical gear to make up for not having magical effects to handle high level threats.

2) Spending RP to use a consumable feels awful. Not only do you have to buy the item (which are often more expensive and weaker than comparable spellcasting), but also you have to spend

I'd honestly like to see a system where Resonance is only used for determining the limit on your worn items. Consumables and usage items instead use Spell Points. This would require retooling the Spell Point pools accordingly and changing the alchemist, but this fixes some major problems and allows you to balance consumables and magic item effects competitively with spell effects.


27 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm gonna come out and ask, because I think its fundamental to the direction of my future critique.

Is the 5 minute adventure day a feature or a bug?

Resonance as a way to manage equipment hasn't given me any issues. It needs some work, yes. The alchemist and it need a divorce, because its an abusive one-sided relationship. However, for equipped magic items and the like its fine.

For healing, its an utter bust. The "Wand of Cure Light Wounds" problem didn't spring up in a void. It sprang up because the effectiveness of offensive actions greatly exceeds the effectiveness of healing and class resources to mitigate damage (buffs & debuffs). An affordable healing solution meant the cleric was solely dedicated to healing. It meant you didn't need a cleric or a life oracle.

The hard return to 5 minute adventuring day is disappointing and jarring. While the rest of the game feels like something of the 21st century, healing feels less like 2nd Edition Pathfinder and more like 2nd Edition Dungeons and Dragons. If that's the feel you're going for,go for it. If you're trying to get away from that old trope, maybe look for better solutions to healing.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

From my experience with resonance, I think it's a good idea, but consumables shouldn't cost RP to use. One of my players had a fighter with 10 cha, and ran into some issues running out of RP to use potions pretty fast. Additionally, the alchemist's resonance pool is a little shallow when you consider having to power both your class features and your items with it, though, imo, that can be fixed by just increasing how much RP you get from expanded resonance or some other way of crafting infused items that doesnt carry an RP cost.

That said, I like how it replaces magic item slots with a more simple allocation pool, and allows people who want to focus on only a couple concept important items (by just saving rp to spam it's active effect) or to build collectors with tons of items with passive effects.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I recognized those were the problems you were addressing, having seen them in play. Even more so in PFS. Low-level item exploitation can make for a wide disparity between PCs of similar level (at all levels) so I applaud the intent. For balancing published adventures alone, those would be worthwhile goals you listed.

As for Resonance being the solution, I have seen no issues with it, and at least one success when a mid-level PC started to spam a low-level Heal wand. Being only one action to cast, it was a great resource in the final boss fight, but would imbalance battles if perpetually available.
Note that the lack of Resonance issues might be due to the lack of variety of magic items in PF2 until later levels, something that does sadden me. (Trinkets need revamping!)

I guess the next phase would be making sure APs & modules factor in or disallow 15 minute days.

Keep up the effort!


16 people marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
 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.

That's troubling.... seems to indicate an even more limiting system is being contemplated to replace it. My players are going to lose their minds.... they already hate resonance as it is.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

The old CLW wand problem did make player characters look like drug addicts with track marks all over one's body. But PF2's resonance is definitely not working soundly as of now, just like how the forum experts pointed to in this site alone.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

The only complaint with resonance I have is that I don't think that potions should cost resonance. Using a potion and failing a resonance check for instance would probably be the worst feeling in the world (hasn't come up in my game yet because we haven't actually ran out of resonance once except for the alchemist at level 1 but he made a ton of bombs so he was fine with it and only tried to overspend on elixers of life). But yeah to my point again. Resonance seems to work for our group. We haven't run out once.


11 people marked this as a favorite.
Ngai M'katu wrote:
Quote:
 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.
That's troubling.... seems to indicate an even more limiting system is being contemplated to replace it. My players are going to lose their minds.... they already hate resonance as it is.

That was my initial read and reaction too. Resonance is too restrictive as it is, making it more so means the design team is going in the opposite direction from what I and the rest of my group want.

But on further thought, I think what's being said here is the problem is that there are still a bunch of different tracking pools, which resonance was supposed to replace. So less about wanting things to be more restrictive and more that it's not simplifying pool tracking like it was intended.


28 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't really see any serious issues with the problems resonance points were created to address.

Am I crazy?

Not trying to be antagonistic or anything, but is that really a thing? Are people really bothered by those?


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Lucas Yew wrote:
The old CLW wand problem did make player characters look like drug addicts with track marks all over one's body.

That's a problem that could have been solved simply by a narrative change in how repeated casting looks. Going from *ping!* *ping!* *ping!* *ping!* *ping!* *ping!* *ping!* *ping!* to something like *Zwoahwoahwoahwoah* would have done the trick.


11 people marked this as a favorite.

So far from my experience with the system, you could basically replace the Resonance system in its entirety with the rule "At least one party member must have the Channel Energy class feature, be it as a Cleric, a Paladin, or any other rules options" because that's what it does. If you have it, resonance might as well not exist. If you don't, Resonance comes down on you like a ton of bricks after a couple fights.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Cyrad wrote:


1) Worn items and consumables use the same Resonance pool, creating the problem where magical gear somehow limits your ability to use consumables. This feels awful, doesn't make much narrative sense, and punishes non-magical classes who have to rely on magical gear to make up for not having magical effects to handle high level threats.

This is exactly what I pretty much instantly saw as a potential problem with Resonance, trying to fix two different problems with one solution.

Now, setting a limit that says "you can only have this much enchanted gear that works" and using it to replace most of the slot system? That's a great idea and I'll probably steal it even if I don't end up using PF2¹. Using the same limited resource for limiting consumable use... yahno.

Now, the "Wand of CLW" hasn't been a big issue in my games, (I will admit that a huge part of that is player personality), but if I were to implement a fix on that sort of thing I would probably lean on my not minding a bit of record-keeping. For cure spells specifically, a first thought is that characters build 'resistance' to them from constant casting, (e.g, -1 to the roll for every previous cure spell that day²).

1: Not stealing it would probably involve things like "switching to non-fantasy games for a while," (which would moot point the issue), or "dusting off my Fantasy Hero notes," (Hero already covers that ground).

2: Just a first pass spitballing that makes spamming a basic CLW Wand, (avg. 20.5 HP over 9 castings), only barely better than a single use of Cure Serious Wounds, (avg. 18.5HP).


2 people marked this as a favorite.

This seems like as good a place as any to bring this up : what about a feat or two that could decouple resonance from charisma? It makes sense to me for a primary spellcaster such as a cleric or wizard's magical energy (resonance) to be based off their casting stat.


25 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm legitimately pissed off by how out of touch they seem to be on this, even though a lot of people have been pretty clear on why things are an issue. I honestly wasn't expecting to be this mad, but here I am. They get that people are mad about it, but they don't seem to get *why* so many people dislike resonance.

It's a shame it never occurred to them that maybe the problem is that those higher end cure spells aren't very good because of how much they lag behind damage output. It's legitimately the only instance I can think of where the benefits of spell level involve literally improving only 1 aspect of the spell category.
Instead, they're like "welp, gotta restrict people buying cheaper items."

I really shouldn't be surprised, though. The entire design process seems to be "well, Y isn't balanced against Z, because Y isn't as good. Let's make Z worse." If you want something that will compete with Pathfinder 1 or D&D 5th Ed, you're not going to get it by making a game that revolves around that mindset.


15 people marked this as a favorite.

"Low level magic items are a problem"

Really? Really?

Magic Wands were the problem! No seriously Paizo, where'd you get the info that people were mass spamming Potions? The only other thing that saw as much spam was Scrolls for wizards.

Nerfing the wands alone would and should have been enough to solve the "CLW Wand Issue" which was named due to WANDS.


8 people marked this as a favorite.

They already cut wand charges down considerably. Seems like enough nerfing to me.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Leedwashere wrote:

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...

I liked your other stuff, too, but point 3 is an awesome idea and I like it a lot. It would certainly give characters that didn't pack a ton of reusable use-based magic items options for their resonance points while letting the rest of us not get our resources double dipped involuntarily.


8 people marked this as a favorite.

I was never a fan of the Christmas tree effect but I think Starfinder did a much better job of solving this problem than 2E. I like the idea of Resonance but its implementation is not something that I like.

Seriously, what's wrong with CLW wands? One of the things we love about 1E is that no one has to play a Healer. In our Kingmaker campaign, our cleric player got tired of his character and since he was King he decided he would retire and rule the kingdom and no longer put himself in deadly situations.

No one else wanted to play a healer so the healing fell to me, a Summoner. I made a custom staff of Heal and carried around a crate of CLW wands for after battle healing and a few scrolls. Everyone got to play the class they wanted and we could still function. As it stands now this cannot be done in 2E and is another reason why I don't see my group making the transition.


10 people marked this as a favorite.

Please. As others have said, consumables are already an opportunity cost. We shouldn't have to pay the price TWICE for this.

A better fix to the CLW wands is fixing the *pricing* system, since if better wands weren't absurdly expensive in 1e for what they do, my parties would have gone for them faster.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

I honestly wouldn't be upset of "multi-use consumables" were no longer a thing at all, and we just called low-level staves "wands" (i.e. a bigger stick has more magic).

After which we can just make staves "resonance multipliers" where you invest in them at breakfast then can use them to cast x spells that day for no resonance cost.

1 to 50 of 384 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion / Paizo Blog: Positives and Negatives All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.