The Resonance Test

Monday, October 15, 2018

Today, we're happy to release an alternate version of the item Resonance system for testing using the Raiders of Shrieking Peak adventure and an encapsulated set of rules. So, how did we get to this release, how do you use it, what's different, and what do we expect out of it?

The Survey Data

First, let's talk about what our survey data has shown us. All the surveys you've been filling out during the playtest process have helped us immensely, and the Rules Survey in particular is telling us a lot about how the rules are being received. The Rules Survey asked quite a few questions about the Resonance system. As you can probably tell from some of the questions on that survey, we looked at things people in the community were already saying to gauge how widespread those sentiments really were. For example, we had seen a lot of people comment that they thought it didn't make sense for potions to cost Resonance Points, so we included this in the survey to gather more information. The results so far show that 55% of respondents have said that while it makes sense that other items cost Resonance, it doesn't make sense for potions. (26% have said it doesn't make sense that anything costs Resonance.)

The main set of questions we asked about Resonance showed us pretty strongly that Resonance as printed was highly unpopular. Few people thought characters had the right number of points, there was too much tracking, the rules on overspending weren't engaging, and only about 20% of respondents thought the system was a clear improvement over First Edition. When introducing a new system, it's especially important that the system be seen as a clear improvement, or it's not pulling its weight.

However, not all of the feedback was negative. The rules had good ratings on being easy to understand, and there was strong support (both in the surveys and in forum posts we've been seeing) for Resonance as a way to make it easier to track multiple-use items. Though we didn't ask about it directly in the survey, we've also seen solid support for a more flexible system of worn items compared to First Edition's item slots. So, the new iteration of the Resonance system looks to expand on these few elements that were well liked, while reducing the elements that felt like burdens.

How to Test Resonance

I'm going to go into plenty of detail on why we're testing the changes we are, but some of that info is also in the test document. So, if you want to just get on with it and pick up the file, here's how.

To test the new Resonance system, you'll need to download two files: the adventure Raiders of Shrieking Peak and the Resonance Test file. The adventure is the same as the preexisting Pathfinder Society Playtest Scenario (and as we've mentioned before, you can run either version in Pathfinder Society for credit). The Resonance Test file contains the rules for this alternate system, design notes on our intent with various rules, lots of new versions of items, the pregenerated characters to use in the adventure, and a short GM section with the few thematic adjustments you need to make to the adventure and items that appear in the adventure.

When you're done, go to the Resonance Test Survey and tell us what you thought! This survey will give you questions depending on whether you ran it, played in it, read it, or any combination thereof. We expect this survey will remain open till the end of the year like the other surveys.

The Changes

So what did we change? As we said from the outset, the Resonance Points system in the Playtest Rulebook was highly experimental, and it was clear that experiment had failed. Jason quite correctly pointed out that we needed to show where our line of thinking is going in the wake of this and solicit additional feedback—telling everyone to wait for the final rules isn't enough. Hence, this new experiment takes what we learned from play and the surveys and takes a crack at something we think is more interesting and flexible, and that we hope you feel the same way about. Much of what I'm about to say here is replicated in the document, and just included here to give you the full perspective.

This test is checking to see whether some version of the system is satisfying. Resonance has its roots in concepts that appeared in First Edition through the occultist class, resonant powers between certain magic items, and several other places in the lore. Is there something valuable in the idea that items can be made stronger though the user's strength of personality and essence?

First off, let's clarify that while the term "Resonance Points" is still in the document, that's not what's being used to activate items any more (we'll get to those in a bit). Instead, Resonance Points are just to track your capacity to wear items. This aspect of Resonance had a favorable response, and so we're hoping to maintain the flexibility of item choice that comes with removing item slots. However, the point value for Resonance is now different. You get 10. At 1st level, at 20th level. This is because when we use Resonance for just worn items, we're only looking to prevent extreme cases of abuse and discourage extreme item loadouts. For most characters, 10 worn items is plenty. Think of it like Bulk, where the number is high enough that characters rarely need to worry about it unless they have extremely low Strength or they try to carry way too much.

As for getting more out of items, that's where Focus Points come in. This new pool unites two similar concepts: the extra spells you could cast via Spell Points and the extra energy you could put into magic items to get more out of them (think of this along the lines of the occultist's focus powers or the Charisma-based Use Magic Device skill from First Edition). Unlike Spell Points, all characters have Focus Points, and your number per day is equal to your Charisma modifier plus 1 or 2, depending on your ancestry. You can spend a Focus Point to cast a power (in the Resonance Test, this is a cleric's domain power or a sorcerer's bloodline power), or can spend a Focus Point when activating an item to improve its effect.

Notice I said improve it. In this test, items don't normally cost anything to activate. If you use a scroll or drink a potion, you spend nothing but the consumable itself. You can activate your bracers of missile deflection once per day, spending nothing to do so. What you get out of spending a Focus Point depends on the item: A healing potion doubles its healing, the bracers of missile deflection can be activated again, the splash damage from an alchemist's fire has a bigger area, and so on. One of my favorite little distinctions is the invisibility potion. If you only need to move into a combat and make an attack while invisible, you can drink the potion to get 1d4 rounds of invisibility. However, if you have a lot of sneaking around to do before you plan on fighting, you can extend the effect to 10 minutes instead by spending a Focus Point!

The pool of Focus Points doesn't grow as huge as the Resonance Point pool did, since your level isn't added to it and, unlike Spell Points, you don't get more points when you take new powers. The goal here is to make each use of Focus more exciting and interesting. When someone spends a Focus Point, it should be a capital-M Moment. One of the overall goals for the Second Edition is to make your individual decisions during play more impactful and exciting, with fewer set routines. The printed version of Resonance didn't do that, and we're hoping Focus Points give you something exciting to look forward to rather than a chore to carry out. If you look at the cleric and sorcerer powers from the Playtest Rulebook compared to the ones in the Resonance Test, you'll see that they got stronger, because they now cost a more precious resource.

I want to address a couple concerns briefly. One is that classes that thematically should have a decent number of Focus Points will be left out if the pool is Charisma-based. We expect that these classes would have solid methods to adjust their number of points. For instance, a wizard might get some points each day from his arcane focus, or a ki-using monk might meditate to refresh some Focus Points. However, we'd be looking at these remaining Charisma-based, so a wizard who wants to increase Charisma gets a Focus Point benefit from it just like a fighter would. The other concern is that we're weakening items to make room for these Focus Point abilities, such as the shorter duration for the invisibility potion mentioned above. Some of the baseline effects of these items are weakening for another reason. Namely, when removing the Resonance Point requirement for activation, we do need to rein in some of the baseline abilities, since now money is the only limit on how often you can use them. The Focus Point additions are on top of this adjusted baseline power, and if they were removed, the base items would not end up as strong as they are in the current printed version of the book, when they cost a Resonance Point each time.

Will having Focus Points be entirely optional satisfy people's desires for a different system? Will the folks who said spending Resonance on items doesn't make sense think any differently now that Focus is an addition that allows characters to gain more power or benefit out of their items? Will a substantial number of people think that it's a cool system, but that there's still too much bookkeeping? That's what we'll be looking for you to tell us in the survey and your comments.

The Long Term

So, if this test (or parts of it) goes well, what can you expect the long-term changes to be? First off, we need to be clear: Regardless of what people think of the system, there's just no way, logistically, to implement a full change within the playtest period. We might—and I stress might—be able to put out some more samples or previews of where we think we're going, and possibly even guidelines to adapt the printed Resonance system further, but you won't be seeing a total rewrite of the rules.

It's also unlikely that the final items in the book or the final system rules will look exactly like what you see in the Resonance Test, even if the test goes great. Opening up more free magic might necessitate some other changes once players would gain unbounded access to crafting magic items. For example, wands, staves, or scrolls might need to be a higher level or more expensive. And if we get feedback that the Focus Points system should be scuttled entirely, an item like a wand might need to go still higher regardless. We're going to try and minimize that as much as we can, though! Keeping magic items magical and coming to your character when their abilities are still useful is hugely important, and we don't want to go from one system that feels too restrictive to another that feels restrictive, just in a different way.

Some of the terminology and presentation of the rules might change too. "Resonance Points" might make a little more sense if phrased in a different way, such as an interference field that builds up from 0 to a limit of 10 rather than points you spend from 10 down to 0—for the purposes of this Resonance Test, some of the wording was just kept intentionally close to the printed text so it's easier to understand and compare for readers who've been keeping up with the playtest from the start.

We can say with confidence that the printed rules in the Playtest Rulebook won't be in the final version of the book as is. The Resonance Test is an experiment to see whether there's still an interesting idea in there. The most extreme case we might end up with looks more like Pathfinder First Edition, with something like the items you see in the Resonance Test, but with no extra benefits for spending Focus Points.

And all this, of course, relies on you and what you have to say. We deeply appreciate all the time you've put into playtesting this game. If you have time to playtest the Resonance Test, that's fantastic! The playtest schedule is tight, and if you only have time to give the test a read but not to play, that's also so, so helpful. We look forward to hearing more from you as you lament the fates of your characters, struggle against the clock, achieve the impossible, punch holes in the rules, and click through another set of surveys. From Jason, Stephen, Mark, and me, thank you all!

Logan Bonner
Designer

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

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Leedwashere wrote:

There's a lot to like here. I love the split between Resonance and Focus, and I love that you can spend your Focus to amplify the effects of magic items (or in some cases use them more frequently) so freaking much.

As for wrapping up Focus and Spell points together, I'm a little leery of making the quantities of all of the Spell Point powers in the game based on charisma as a stat. But this:

Resonance Test Document wrote:
You might be asking what happens to a wizard, who typically doesn’t have a high Charisma score, but still might have school powers. Since we don’t have a pregenerated wizard in here, we’d like to clarify our intent. Our current thinking is that a wizard might get extra Focus Points by preparing his arcane focus (in addition to the extra spells gained from the arcane focus). In short, classes that have powers will get an ability from the class that allows them to use their powers, but they also still have the option to increase their Charisma so they have an interesting choice in what ability scores they take.

This gives me hope. If it winds up working out that most characters that used Spell Points can still wind up having more-or-less the same amount of Spell Points, then I think this will probably work out okay. But I do worry about the level of scaling somewhat, especially for classes like the Paladin and Monk which currently only cast spells through Spell Points.

The other thing I like very much is unhooking the Alchemist from either Resonance or Focus and just giving them their own pool to power their class features. That was something that has been in my "potential house rules" document for a long while, now, and it's definitely a step in the right direction, in my opinion.

So call me cautiously optimistic! In fact, one non-obvious thing about this change that the efficiency-lover in me likes is the fact that, if all characters start with a Focus pool of some size, then you don't need to introduce the concept of Spell Points in every class...

So my only issue that I feel that intuitive casters, especially sorcerers should be able to get boost somewhere as well. If other classes have ways to boost there spell points by default and also have the option to raise charisma, they inevitably end up with a higher maximum of potential of focus. This is my same irritation with wizards default trained skill amount. Its made so when they max intelligence it fall right in like with other class who have their default intelligence, who then procede to have the option to increase it to get more.

Granted intelligence and trained skills are a much more kinda meh zone then this i just dont want to see the classes all about pulling magic from within have a lesser maximum pool then the wizard.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

So I know Sajan is not one of the pregens, but I am curious

In this system, if you were playing a Monk, you would not get additional focus based on wisdom, but on CHA instead.

Since monk class features do not scale on wisdom in any way, wont that skew monks into bumping up CHA. I see the same issue for rangers.

That all being said, I love the direction this is going and look forward to seeing how it plays out.


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Greg.Everham wrote:
Aashua wrote:
Greg.Everham wrote:
Logan Bonner wrote:
Greg.Everham wrote:
Does this whole move to Focus feel a lot like the 50% off sales at shady stores that move everything to 200% the original cost? Like "Oh, cool, this $10 scarf is marked up to $20, but then I get half off!" "Oh, cool, this 1d8 healing potion is cut in half to 1d4, but then I can spend a Focus to get it back to 1d8!"
I talk about this specifically in the blog! Search for "The other concern is that we're weakening" and you'll find it.
Considering that two big issues with Resonance, previously, were that it cost low level characters all their points to use potions and that it made all wands useful only as doorstops, how would forcing the use of Focus in order to get the useful effect of potions any different? Effectively, you either spend Focus on activating a magic item or the item is kinda bad; you've got to spend that Focus to have value in your action economy. No Focus = why bother. Focus, effectively, then, has all the same drawbacks as Resonance did.

Is what you complaining about that potions are just to weak? If not I'm confused because before.

You spent a resonance and drink the potion to heal 1d8 end of discussion.

and now

You drink the potion to heal 1d8, and if you want you can spend a focus to heal 2d8

So what exactly is you complaint about the direction of this system as its purely an improvement.

Blog post referenced the weakening of some items in order to allow for space to spend Focus to improve that activation. If, and this turns out to not be the case with Elixir of Life, but... IF the healing was dropped in power, then doubled... you'd be forcing the use of Focus. As in, if it was 1d8, but this made it 1d4, doubling to 2d4 (marginally better than the 1d8), then the whole system is a null move.

Take an item like Lion Shield as a better example. It used to be that you could keep spending Resonance to keep getting it to "bite" your enemies. Now, it...

Mistoform Elixir was gutted to "unusable without Focus/Smae as before with Focus".

2 actions to get 1 round concealment is terrible.

Focus just brings it back to it's old duration.

*Edit:

it's 100% not fun to HAVE to spent Focus just to get the item working at all (because frankly 1 round duration= doesn't work). And the reward isn't even there, I mean, it's the exact same as it was before the nerf.

Maybe something like "4 rounds without Focus/10 minutes with focus" would be better. You get a nice "out of encounter" benefit for Focus, you can still use it somewhat without Focus.


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I like the flat ten for resonance though that seems like a good change relative to PF 1.

Focus is fine in concept but you are making it too complicated. The mechanic is not interesting enough to keep around if there are still x/day magic item abilities to keep track of.

Suggestion:

Make all activated items (not consumables) require focus to activate each time similar to how you did with resonance in the last system. Eliminate all X/day restrictions and have focus be the only restriction on uses per day of permanent items. Keep focus as a super-charge for consumables.

Increase Focus accordingly by just making it the sum of two modifiers one of which is always Charisma.

Wizards Focus = Int mod + Cha Mod
Bard/Paladin/Sorcerer Focus = 2x Cha Mod
Monk/Druid/Cleric Focus = Wis mod + Cha mod
etc.

Martial Focus = Cha Mod (Maybe a general feat to add another ability modifier if you want to use a lot of activated items)

Multiclassers get to choose what the non-Cha modifier is based on their classes.

Still an intensive to boost Cha but you can make a non-charismatic wizard if you want and still have access to your class abilities.


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Bardarok wrote:

I like the flat ten for resonance though that seems like a good change relative to PF 1.

Focus is fine in concept but you are making it too complicated. The mechanic is not interesting enough to keep around if there are still x/day magic item abilities to keep track of.

Suggestion:

Make all activated items (not consumables) require focus to activate each time similar to how you did with resonance in the last system. Keep focus as a super-charge for consumables.

Increase Focus accordingly by just making it the sum of two modifiers one of which is always Charisma.

Wizards Focus = Int mod + Cha Mod
Bard/Paladin/Sorcerer Focus = 2x Cha Mod
Monk/Druid/Cleric Focus = Wis mod + Cha mod
etc.

Martial Focus = Cha Mod (Maybe a general feat to add another ability modifier if you want to use a lot of activated items)

Multiclassers get to choose what the non-Cha modifier is based on their classes.

Still an intensive to boost Cha but you can make a non-charismatic wizard if you want and still have access to your class abilities.

i'm not sure I like 2x a single stat on anything.

the way the stats are now always fixed to cap out at +7 for main, +5 for everything else, it will really make double dipping on a stat a whole lot more powerful.


Bardarok wrote:

I like the flat ten for resonance though that seems like a good change relative to PF 1.

Focus is fine in concept but you are making it too complicated. The mechanic is not interesting enough to keep around if there are still x/day magic item abilities to keep track of.

Suggestion:

Make all activated items (not consumables) require focus to activate each time similar to how you did with resonance in the last system. Eliminate all X/day restrictions and have focus be the only restriction on uses per day of permanent items. Keep focus as a super-charge for consumables.

Increase Focus accordingly by just making it the sum of two modifiers one of which is always Charisma.

Wizards Focus = Int mod + Cha Mod
Bard/Paladin/Sorcerer Focus = 2x Cha Mod
Monk/Druid/Cleric Focus = Wis mod + Cha mod
etc.

Martial Focus = Cha Mod (Maybe a general feat to add another ability modifier if you want to use a lot of activated items)

Multiclassers get to choose what the non-Cha modifier is based on their classes.

Still an intensive to boost Cha but you can make a non-charismatic wizard if you want and still have access to your class abilities.

I very much like this idea cause focus seems a tad bit tight atm.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Logan Bonner wrote:
GM Eddv wrote:

Woof.

This doesn't really feel any more simple or like it lessened the bookkeeping load at all but I appreciate that you're trying.

Simplicity and lighter bookkeeping are not the main reasons for this test. This is to see if a Charisma-based pool useful for supercharging items is fun.

You literally call out "there was too much tracking" as a reason for the previous system's unpopularity.


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shroudb wrote:
Bardarok wrote:

I like the flat ten for resonance though that seems like a good change relative to PF 1.

Focus is fine in concept but you are making it too complicated. The mechanic is not interesting enough to keep around if there are still x/day magic item abilities to keep track of.

Suggestion:

Make all activated items (not consumables) require focus to activate each time similar to how you did with resonance in the last system. Keep focus as a super-charge for consumables.

Increase Focus accordingly by just making it the sum of two modifiers one of which is always Charisma.

Wizards Focus = Int mod + Cha Mod
Bard/Paladin/Sorcerer Focus = 2x Cha Mod
Monk/Druid/Cleric Focus = Wis mod + Cha mod
etc.

Martial Focus = Cha Mod (Maybe a general feat to add another ability modifier if you want to use a lot of activated items)

Multiclassers get to choose what the non-Cha modifier is based on their classes.

Still an intensive to boost Cha but you can make a non-charismatic wizard if you want and still have access to your class abilities.

i'm not sure I like 2x a single stat on anything.

the way the stats are now always fixed to cap out at +7 for main, +5 for everything else, it will really make double dipping on a stat a whole lot more powerful.

It puts it about the same uses per day as you had before for resonance + spell point pool. Plus it is dead easy. If doubling up is a problem make paladins Wis/Cha Sorcorrers Con/Cha and Bards Int/Cha.

Liberty's Edge

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I was kind of suggesting that staves and wands should simply add new uses for spell points a while back, but this isn't quite what I expected.

---

Some thoughts:

1) Focus is a better name, in general, than Spell Points (and Champion Points).

2) Spell point powers in the rulebook are really, uneven. Some are basically equivalent to of-level spells. Some are between spells and cantrips. Some are weaker than cantrips. I think this change will necessitate all spell point powers be rewritten and rebalanced for the new economy. Looking at the new Healer's Blessing, I think the intention is to make them more potent, but Healer's Blessing was already good and many other powers need vastly more boosting to put them on the same level.

3) Spell point powers often filled a roll in letting casters have things to do that didn't require spell slots. That was good. With the big hit to spell pools (due to the removal of all of the little increases from feats if nothing else), I don't think they can fill this role anymore. The most natural thing would be to make cantrips much better, I think.

4) Channel Energy is still stupidly good. It's even worse now that the leaf druid received a massive reduction in goodberry usages. I'd really like to see more primal/divine casters get a boost on that front than Channel Energy get a nerf, but I'd accept a combination of those paths.

---

So... overall, I have mixed feelings. The good bits are good, but the changes are in directions I wasn't expecting and am unsure of. I do feel like there is slightly less bookkeeping in this because resonance will probably never matter until the highest levels (unless I'm missing something big).

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Hey there folks,

For the sake of people coming to this thread to talk about the system, as presented, would you mind moving all of the theory crafting about what this might mean for other classes and the ways you might change the system as presented to another thread.

In addition, i would like to stress that we would really like for people to give the rules as written a try. It seems like many of you are jumping straight to crafting another iteration, which is only natural, but it is not going to get us useful feedback here in the coming days.


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eddv wrote:
Logan Bonner wrote:
GM Eddv wrote:

Woof.

This doesn't really feel any more simple or like it lessened the bookkeeping load at all but I appreciate that you're trying.

Simplicity and lighter bookkeeping are not the main reasons for this test. This is to see if a Charisma-based pool useful for supercharging items is fun.
You literally call out "there was too much tracking" as a reason for the previous system's unpopularity.

Sure, but it wasn't called out as one they were addressing, lol.


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I'm worried that making Powers use focus instead of spell points will have a strange effect on the game, especially if the powers are getting buffed, where you will either see casters who never really use interesting items, because items without focus point investment are (understandably) weakened, and they want to save their focus for their powers, or you'll see the opposite way around where maybe some item effect is stronger than their powers, and they never use their Powers. Is this necessarily bad? I don't know, but it does seem odd. At least for monks, this feels like a good change (except for the Cha base not necessarily gelling, but the meditating to recover focus does intrigue me), since I could see Ki powers tuned such that item benefits are less competitive, leading to a viable ascetic monk feel, but for other classes, I'm a bit worried.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there folks,

For the sake of people coming to this thread to talk about the system, as presented, would you mind moving all of the theory crafting about what this might mean for other classes and the ways you might change the system as presented to another thread.

In addition, i would like to stress that we would really like for people to give the rules as written a try. It seems like many of you are jumping straight to crafting another iteration, which is only natural, but it is not going to get us useful feedback here in the coming days.

Fair enough I'll start a new thread.


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Tholomyes wrote:
I'm worried that making Powers use focus instead of spell points will have a strange effect on the game, especially if the powers are getting buffed, where you will either see casters who never really use interesting items, because items without focus point investment are (understandably) weakened, and they want to save their focus for their powers, or you'll see the opposite way around where maybe some item effect is stronger than their powers, and they never use their Powers. Is this necessarily bad? I don't know, but it does seem odd. At least for monks, this feels like a good change (except for the Cha base not necessarily gelling, but the meditating to recover focus does intrigue me), since I could see Ki powers tuned such that item benefits are less competitive, leading to a viable ascetic monk feel, but for other classes, I'm a bit worried.

Good luck being a Dwarf with no Charisma.


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Loving these changes mostly! They're great for consumable items in general, potions and scroll really needed the help. Staves are pretty cool, though wands still stick out as sore thumb. Thumbs up for consumables being "freed"! Scrolls specially get a smile for just being simplified and not using any resource besides itself.

Focus is pretty nice for consumable items, but it feels like there's too little to power up certain items like the Lion Shield and Arrow-defense Bracers since the effect you get is kinda weak. These don't feel worth 1 point of the scarce focus. The efefct for spending should be really good!

Maybe some items like these actually need a buff since you could sometimes spam them before to decent effect if focused your resonance on it.

Still unsure about combining it with spell points. The Buffed Fire ray is certainly a lot stronger than before and worth using at pretty much any level, though I would prefer if it could hit for more damage than what an equivalent "Heal" will recover (A very abundant spell).
Don't know if it should be on par with a max level spell slot since most characters will just spend focus on them once or twice per day, but I can see an issue with Sorcerer throwing a dozen around wily nily, items be damned.

EDIT: An "Additional Focus" general feat to replace the old resonance one would be very enticing with this system. It would be a solid choice in building around using your powers more, since they're now worth building around.


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Greg.Everham wrote:
Tholomyes wrote:
I'm worried that making Powers use focus instead of spell points will have a strange effect on the game, especially if the powers are getting buffed, where you will either see casters who never really use interesting items, because items without focus point investment are (understandably) weakened, and they want to save their focus for their powers, or you'll see the opposite way around where maybe some item effect is stronger than their powers, and they never use their Powers. Is this necessarily bad? I don't know, but it does seem odd. At least for monks, this feels like a good change (except for the Cha base not necessarily gelling, but the meditating to recover focus does intrigue me), since I could see Ki powers tuned such that item benefits are less competitive, leading to a viable ascetic monk feel, but for other classes, I'm a bit worried.
Good luck being a Dwarf with no Charisma.

Well, keeping a stat at 8 should punish you. I don't really care about that aspect (though admittedly, I might not be opposed to increasing the ancestral Focus from 1 or 2 to 2 or 3), my concern is more on the interaction between Powers and items and how tight a line balance will have to be for those, to prevent one from overwhelming the other.

Silver Crusade

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Tholomyes wrote:
I'm worried that making Powers use focus instead of spell points will have a strange effect on the game, especially if the powers are getting buffed, where you will either see casters who never really use interesting items, because items without focus point investment are (understandably) weakened, and they want to save their focus for their powers, or you'll see the opposite way around where maybe some item effect is stronger than their powers, and they never use their Powers. Is this necessarily bad? I don't know, but it does seem odd. At least for monks, this feels like a good change (except for the Cha base not necessarily gelling, but the meditating to recover focus does intrigue me), since I could see Ki powers tuned such that item benefits are less competitive, leading to a viable ascetic monk feel, but for other classes, I'm a bit worried.

Honestly I'd be thrilled if a system like this made it into the final game, as long as I could viably play:

(1) a character with minimum (0 or 1) Focus;
(2) a character who never uses powers but only uses Focus to boost items;
(3) a character who only uses Focus for powers but never to boost items.

I don't typically love Power type stuff (I'm not sure I've used a Spell Point at any point in the Playtest?) and rarely-to-never play high-Cha characters. So I'd probably mostly want to play characters of the above types #1 and #2.

Basically, this is all cool for the folks who like this kind of thing if it's well tuned—but let me play my Cha-8, 0 Focus Dwarf Barbarian in peace! Let her be perfectly viable and not way behind the party or a non-contributor just because she hasn't invested in this stuff.

(One great thing here is that splitting Resonance from Focus allows that Barbarian to be much *more* viable than under the initial Resonance system, since Resonance—the part I'd want her to use—is now a flat 10, and the parts I'm not interested in are split off and she can just be weak in those respects.)


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Bardarok wrote:
I like the flat ten for resonance though that seems like a good change relative to PF 1.

I like it...but I think they should ditch the name Resonance. Just call it what it is -> magic item slots.


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Not sure how I feel about focus replacing spell points... how much will this limit the use of staple abilities like bardic performance and channel energy? I'd hate to be stuck in a D&D 5e situation where my bard cant boost more than twice per day.


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A few questions:
1) Is there a reason why you're going resonance points over just saying you can only gain the benefits from 10 worn magical items at once? Having it be a point system may give the appearance of having to track another points system when it's far simpler than that?
2) Does this mean wisdom is now completely useless for Monks? It was already a bad choice for monks in 2e because of how minor ki powers were compared to the core of the monks kit, but now it sounds like they wont have any benefit from wisdom aside from will saves and perception.

Silver Crusade

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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
I like the flat ten for resonance though that seems like a good change relative to PF 1.
I like it...but I think they should ditch the name Resonance. Just call it what it is -> magic item slots.

I disagree. "Resonance" works much better.

The best way to show this. In the old rules, you can only benefit from 2 magic rings and 1 magic amulet. Why, though? I'm perfectly capable of wearing 3 rings and 2 amulets. Why shouldn't I benefit from the extra rings and amulets?

The old rules seemed to have an implicit idea of resonance embedded here and there, but only expressed awkwardly and unevenly, and implemented in a pretty nonsense "slot" system.

A full "resonance" system works much more elegantly to achieve the goal—limiting the number of worn items you can benefit from—while also handling this kind of thing.

(Contrast boots: obviously, absent some pretty creative cobblering, I can only wear one pair of boots. So slots kind of make sense. But even here Resonance is better: now we might imagine, e.g., a pair of boots specialty-crafted as magic insoles so you can wear two pairs of "boots"!)

Just much better all around.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Huh, did anyone notice the change to staves? They only cost a Focus point if you don't spend a spell slot...

Which effectively means that until you run out of charges, staves now let you spontaneously cast the spells they contain.

That's pretty cool.

EDIT: Actually, question - how many charges do staves have, now? The general rules for staves mention charges once, but not how many charges it takes to cast a spell, and the item descriptions don't mention charges.

Honestly I would be cool if staves don't have limited charges, but I can't tell if that's the intent or not.

Silver Crusade

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MaxAstro wrote:

Huh, did anyone notice the change to staves? They only cost a Focus point if you don't spend a spell slot...

Which effectively means that until you run out of charges, staves now let you spontaneously cast the spells they contain.

That's pretty cool.

And they're not invested, unlike before. So you can pass the staff around the party. Just a spontaneous-casting stick. I like it!


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

On the "less cool" side of things, the Focus upgrade on alchemist's fire seems incredibly weak, especially since the splash damage doesn't scale with level. Is a 12th level character really going to spend a Focus point to get an extra 5 feet of 1 point of damage?


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MaxAstro wrote:

Huh, did anyone notice the change to staves? They only cost a Focus point if you don't spend a spell slot...

Which effectively means that until you run out of charges, staves now let you spontaneously cast the spells they contain.

That's pretty cool.

EDIT: Actually, question - how many charges do staves have, now? The general rules for staves mention charges once, but not how many charges it takes to cast a spell, and the item descriptions don't mention charges.

Honestly I would be cool if staves don't have limited charges, but I can't tell if that's the intent or not.

In the first printing, Charges varied by Staff level, check each specifically.


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This is interesting, but it doesn’t feel right.

I like the idea that some items cost focus to activate, cast a Fireball from a Flaming Sword, or using Focus to “awaken” the Giant’s Blood to drink and polymorph into a giant.

I don’t want to track both the non-focus effect and focus effect for every magic item on my character.

I also don’t want to track if I used the once per day (free) use of an item or not. If needed, I would rather see the “spell point” method used for the item, i.e. when you invest in the item for the day, you gain 1 Focus.

I don’t like items having both charges and a Focus option (wands or staves).

I don’t like Focus being based on Charisma. I’d rather have Focus be called Will Points (WP) and based on the higher of Int, Wis, or Cha. I would also have Will Saving Throws work the same way (and drop the Skill Training bonus from Int to balance the "mental" stats).

Silver Crusade

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Milo v3 wrote:
1) Is there a reason why you're going resonance points over just saying you can only gain the benefits from 10 worn magical items at once? Having it be a point system may give the appearance of having to track another points system when it's far simpler than that?

This is the kind of detail that will definitely have to be worked out. The main difference: in a "point" system, I can't just swap out my magic boots all day depending on the circumstances. Once you've invested in an item you've spent that quantum of magical energy for the day.

Now, maybe "benefit from 10 worn magical items at once" rule is what we want, but that is a different rule.

Related is the stylistic question from the blog:

Blog wrote:
Some of the terminology and presentation of the rules might change too. "Resonance Points" might make a little more sense if phrased in a different way, such as an interference field that builds up from 0 to a limit of 10 rather than points you spend from 10 down to 0—for the purposes of this Resonance Test, some of the wording was just kept intentionally close to the printed text so it's easier to understand and compare for readers who've been keeping up with the playtest from the start.

Here, I still like "points" just to keep it consistent with other game resource pools that function in the same way. The points part is just a game mechanic, and consistency between similar mechanics is good, rather than having many mechanics count down and another one count up even though it basically works the same.


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I like that it looks like empowered bombs is gone. It looks like the bombs damage is via how good of bombs you know how to make. So if you want to make bombs using gold and downtime to stock up a bit you can do so and you are not gimping yourself for doing it. So you can make a supply of good "permanent" bombs for party members if you want to spend the gold to do so and they won't be useless damage wise.

will have to dig into this some more but I think the alchemist changes are probably good ones overall.


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Tholomyes wrote:
Greg.Everham wrote:
Tholomyes wrote:
I'm worried that making Powers use focus instead of spell points will have a strange effect on the game, especially if the powers are getting buffed, where you will either see casters who never really use interesting items, because items without focus point investment are (understandably) weakened, and they want to save their focus for their powers, or you'll see the opposite way around where maybe some item effect is stronger than their powers, and they never use their Powers. Is this necessarily bad? I don't know, but it does seem odd. At least for monks, this feels like a good change (except for the Cha base not necessarily gelling, but the meditating to recover focus does intrigue me), since I could see Ki powers tuned such that item benefits are less competitive, leading to a viable ascetic monk feel, but for other classes, I'm a bit worried.
Good luck being a Dwarf with no Charisma.
Well, keeping a stat at 8 should punish you. I don't really care about that aspect (though admittedly, I might not be opposed to increasing the ancestral Focus from 1 or 2 to 2 or 3), my concern is more on the interaction between Powers and items and how tight a line balance will have to be for those, to prevent one from overwhelming the other.

Punishment for low stats ought to be a good thing. However, we have to wonder how much punishment is too much. There's a difference between having less magical item usage and having *no* magical item usage, right?

And I agree with you, the merger of Powers and magic item charges is probably a bad combination. They're not necessarily equivalent in power and this only works so long as they are. Also, it just seems odd to have to choose between a potion working correctly and getting to use a class ability.


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MiggidyMack wrote:

Why not just junk resonance and resolve the issue by adjusting the cost of wands and other items?

If the problem is people using CLW wands all the time, just stop letting players buy them with Prestige in PFS and up the cost. If the issue is nobody using higher level potions, then adjust the cost of potions.

You've already got several balancing options that do not require you to cludge a secondary rule system on top of an already complex game.

Yes, yes, yes.


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

I've never been comfortable with the idea of a non-caster being able to cast spells, whether it be via UMD or "Trick Magic Item" or this new mechanism.

In another game, my fighter found early on that trying to use a healer's primary healing tool (a "moonstone") caused it to explode. The results were … not pretty. :-)


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MaxAstro wrote:

Huh, did anyone notice the change to staves? They only cost a Focus point if you don't spend a spell slot...

Which effectively means that until you run out of charges, staves now let you spontaneously cast the spells they contain.

That's pretty cool.

EDIT: Actually, question - how many charges do staves have, now? The general rules for staves mention charges once, but not how many charges it takes to cast a spell, and the item descriptions don't mention charges.

Honestly I would be cool if staves don't have limited charges, but I can't tell if that's the intent or not.

In the test they just posted, the staff itself has one focus. You can use that to cast from it before spending your own. That's pretty awesome.

In the playtest, each staff has a maximum charge number as part of its stat block, and the spells cost charges based on level. I like this version better. Honestly, these staves are great and the only issue I have now is that you can't use an enhancement rune on them to replace a spell duelist wand, so if you need that bonus to hit you have to put the staff away for something far less useful.


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shroudb wrote:
Bardarok wrote:

I like the flat ten for resonance though that seems like a good change relative to PF 1.

Focus is fine in concept but you are making it too complicated. The mechanic is not interesting enough to keep around if there are still x/day magic item abilities to keep track of.

Suggestion:

Make all activated items (not consumables) require focus to activate each time similar to how you did with resonance in the last system. Keep focus as a super-charge for consumables.

Increase Focus accordingly by just making it the sum of two modifiers one of which is always Charisma.

Wizards Focus = Int mod + Cha Mod
Bard/Paladin/Sorcerer Focus = 2x Cha Mod
Monk/Druid/Cleric Focus = Wis mod + Cha mod
etc.

Martial Focus = Cha Mod (Maybe a general feat to add another ability modifier if you want to use a lot of activated items)

Multiclassers get to choose what the non-Cha modifier is based on their classes.

Still an intensive to boost Cha but you can make a non-charismatic wizard if you want and still have access to your class abilities.

i'm not sure I like 2x a single stat on anything.

the way the stats are now always fixed to cap out at +7 for main, +5 for everything else, it will really make double dipping on a stat a whole lot more powerful.

2 more uses over the course of 20 levels isn't extremely more powerful. Noticeably more, yes. But not extreme (unless it's channel energy).

Even then, this is still fixed by making the Bard/Paladin/Sorcerer require a second, different attribute. The only requirement was that one attribute was always Charisma, a simple "Can't use Charisma again" clause would put a stop to those shenanigans, and means Paladins/Sorcerers/Bards can use either Wisdom or Intelligence, as appropriate.

I'm still wondering on how this interacts with Clerics; does their Channel Energy and Domains all get rolled into one pool (AKA Focus)? If so, Clerics won't need a Heal wand (unless they Channel Negative Energy, but that never happens for obvious reasons).

Paizo Employee Designer

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MaxAstro wrote:
On the "less cool" side of things, the Focus upgrade on alchemist's fire seems incredibly weak, especially since the splash damage doesn't scale with level. Is a 12th level character really going to spend a Focus point to get an extra 5 feet of 1 point of damage?

It depends on what you're aiming for. Focus is a rarer resource than resonance, so in some ways, focus uses that are really good right when you need them and not crucial for every use work particularly well. For example, enemies having a weakness to fire can put you in situation where you can layout serious hurt to a bunch of opponents at once (Calculated Splash helps too, but weaknesses really do). This past Saturday, my group used a really weird method of killing an extremely beefed up ochre jelly involving splashing bottled lightning to split as many as possible (since even 1 electricity damage splits all the oozes) and then fireball the mob and sweeping up the dregs that were left over, and they would have loved to have extra splash radius on that.


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I still need to read this in depth. But at first glance it looks like A major improvement over resonance (although food poisoning might be an improvement over resonance, It actually boggles my mind that resonance was considered even worth testing. It just seems so self-evidently horrible to me). But focus really isn't working for me either. In particular, the pool seems too small, the weakening of items to require focus for anything but a trivial consolation prize for various items, the tying it to charisma and merging with spell points which you now get less of, it's possibly even more complicated than resonance and it still feels artificial and too limiting.

Two of these were addressed in the blog, but frankly, I'm not at all reassured and find the reasoning bad. I completely disagree with these design choices. Why should it always be tied to charisma, even if you can get a few extra points from something else? A monk or wizard shouldn't need charisma for their powers at all. This just feels like trying to force everyone to take charisma into account for all characters, but not all stats should be important for all characters. Having dump stats isn't a bad thing. Please stop trying to make charisma relevant. For some characters it already is, and for the others, it shouldn't be. Don't force it.

And for weakening items, why should they be terrible when not artificially restricted by some point system? Ten minutes of invisibility is a reasonable baseline for a potion. You paid for it (or looted it), that's the cost. Why should there be more? 1d4 rounds is just insultingly bad. This is still a resonance point cost, just disguised and with an even smaller pool than before. Magic in general has already been reduced way too much as it is. This is just making it worse. Almost all spells have pretty pathetic durations. Pre-buffing is all but impossible now unless you do it seconds before the fight. This removes a lot of tactical thinking that I thought was supposed to be encouraged in this edition. Instead of making items terrible without focus, let them be good without any artificial point cost and make spells better. Let us have at least some of the utility of magic in PF1, not a shadow of magic. Focus doesn't feel like it's a cool option, it just feels like it's another cost to just get what we could have gotten normally before. The boosts to healing look fine however. Because those actually are boosts and not what should be the baseline sold back at extra cost.

The bracers of missile deflection were a terrible item before, and now they're possibly even worse. You still have to invest them, use your single reaction to get a small AC boost from a single attack and you need to use your tiny pool to do it more than once a day. That's just dreadful. I'd much rather that they gave a flat +1 ac bonus to missile attacks. All day, no reaction needed. Then it might be worth looking at. Maybe the level and/or price should be increased. But it'd at least be useful.

Rolling spell points into focus is the same problem the alchemist faced in the resonance system, but now their pool is even smaller than before. So you get less, and you have to share it, and it requires charisma even if it makes no sense for your class. That's just straight up bad. Sure some powers were buffed up to compensate, but now it's basically requiring you to go nova with them.

Something like focus might be nice as a replacement to wand charges, but it'd have to be a much larger pool, and not combined with spell points.

It seems that one of your core design goals in PF2 is to dramatically reduce the power of magic. That's just not something I want at all. Magic should be powerful. It should be flavorful. It should be fun. Resonance strangled out all of this. And focus, with the accompanying weakening of items, particularly uses and durations, seems to be doing the same, just a little softer. PF1 has some problems with things getting over the top, but the solutions you're going for in PF2 seem worse than the problem.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I'm still wondering on how this interacts with Clerics; does their Channel Energy and Domains all get rolled into one pool (AKA Focus)? If so, Clerics won't need a Heal wand (unless they Channel Negative...

Channel wasn't touched. Domain Power spell points were rolled into focus, those now cost focus to use and spell points don't exist.


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Why does the splash damage from alchemist's fire not scale by default? I do not understand why the rest of the damage scales by default, but not the splash damage. It cannot be a matter of "automatic scaling would be too strong," because by that logic, it would be overpowered at 1st level, when it is clearly not.


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I want to play it before given final thoughts, but what I see so far:

- Overall, it's the right direction. Some kind of magic item slot limit is a useful thing to have, whatever you call it. I found item slots kinda fiddly and it wasn't always clear what slot something would go into without the rulebook in hand, so "you can have 10 of them" is a sensible simplification.

- In principle, I like the Focus pool idea, and having it merge with spell points. Using a power or charging an item can lead to interesting tradeoffs and choices, which is what you want a system to do. This seems like a positive change, and I hope I get a chance to test it out.

- The Staff changes are AWESOME! Casting from a staff is simpler, since "it costs 1 focus" is way easier than "it costs some amount of charges, of which the staff has some maximum". This really incentivizes higher level staves as the focus gets you more bang for your buck. Being able to use the spells in a staff via spell slots also opens up options and will really help have key spells on hand even if you want to prepare something else. Flexibility is something I'll invest item budget in, as a player who prefers to play support characters.

- Wands are the part I'm not feeling, and it's all bookkeeping related. For example, to track a staff's uage, all I need to know is if it has it's innate focus point left. For a wand, I need to know how many charges it has left, if it's used the 1/day charge, AND if it's had focus spent on it that day. That is a lot of things to keep track of, and I'm not at all sure all three are necessary. I tend to think wands don't need charges at all in this system, and instead are 1/day items where focus can bump that to 3/day if you spend a point. Now I"m tracking less stuff.

Anyway, overall I really like the direction. :)


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Hey, I'm not sure which is in error but FIRE RAY for Kyra and the list are different.

Attempt a ranged touch Strike against the target. If you succeed at the attack, you deal fire damage to the target equal to 1d6 plus your spellcasting ability modifier. On a critical success, the target takes double damage and also takes 1d6 persistent fire damage. Heightened (+1) The ray’s damage increases by 2d6, and the persistent firedamage on a critical hit increases by 1d6.

You attempt a ranged touch Strike against one creature within 60 feet. If you hit, you deal 5d6+4 fire damage to the target plus 3d6 persistent fire damage. Full rules for this power are in the Resonance Test rules.

Kyra's makes it seem like you always to persistent damage while the text in the rules says only on crits. I know if I were to sit down and play Kyra it'd be with always persistent damage since that seems to be what the text says to do.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
On the "less cool" side of things, the Focus upgrade on alchemist's fire seems incredibly weak, especially since the splash damage doesn't scale with level. Is a 12th level character really going to spend a Focus point to get an extra 5 feet of 1 point of damage?
It depends on what you're aiming for. Focus is a rarer resource than resonance, so in some ways, focus uses that are really good right when you need them and not crucial for every use work particularly well. For example, enemies having a weakness to fire can put you in situation where you can layout serious hurt to a bunch of opponents at once (Calculated Splash helps too, but weaknesses really do). This past Saturday, my group used a really weird method of killing an extremely beefed up ochre jelly involving splashing bottled lightning to split as many as possible (since even 1 electricity damage splits all the oozes) and then fireball the mob and sweeping up the dregs that were left over, and they would have loved to have extra splash radius on that.

come on Mark, that was weak.

All the bolded part, which is the actual answer (to the question "why use focus on them"), had NOTHING to do with Focus even being used.

Also, it was the definition of anecdotal, since, as you mention, that's a situation that will come up once/year at most.

Soemthing dealing 1 damage isn't somehow "strong" because you might encounter an enemy with vulnerability 100 to said damage.

Alchemist's fire focus spreads a 1 point aoe to 10ft instead of 5ft.
That's terrible cost wise. Also, as RAW it doesn't even stack with the alchemist discovery that increases radius (both set to 10ft).

Lightning bomb only spreads the flat-footed (as RAW) and not even deals the damage on the second target.

Thunder is weak, but that's more because deafen is weak.

Really, only Acid flask has SOME potential use out of focus cost.


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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
I like the flat ten for resonance though that seems like a good change relative to PF 1.
I like it...but I think they should ditch the name Resonance. Just call it what it is -> magic item slots.

Picture Mister T. See all those necklaces? Ten of them can now be amulets.


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So I have a 12th level Dwarf Monk with 8 Charisma, and I am somewhat concerned about the prospect of going from 9 spell points to 0 focus- spamming "Wholeness of Body" was kind of the character's gimmick. "Being able to use wisdom to regain focus" has potential, but I never had any to begin with!

Like with the removal of Unburdened, the Gnome speed boost, and the fact that Focus does not scale, Dwarves might have moved from the strongest chassis to the weakest, since now you *need* to buy off that Charisma flaw.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So I'm understanding this:

Charisma determines how effective your potions and wands are, but in no way effects how well you can dress?

This is the worst of both worlds!

...

I'm mostly joking, I'm excited to see how these changes work in play (though once again alchemical items are hardly impressive).


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First Reactions when reading through:

  • Sad that I won't get a chance to test due to Doomsday Dawn being encouraged to keep the old rules for the playtest.
  • 10 Resonance for worn items seems like it should be more than plenty for most characters.
  • Mixing Spell Points and Focus together is interesting, but I worry that this will make Powers get considered as even more situational as they then are competing with item boosts from Focus. Powers better be pretty impressive and scale well if this is to work...
  • While I like the idea Focus can make CHA relevant to everyone, I also worry that unless powers are amazing that non-CHA casters will just ignore them even more as a result since DEX/CON/Casting Stat are too important to ignore & you get less uses of powers per day under focus.
  • Dislike the implication of a Wizard using Arcane Focus to get more Focus since that seems to imply that Arcane Focus will still be a seperate "pool" that has to be tracked.
  • "Limited Activation inherent to items" Please no. Even if this is normally once a day per item, it potentially adds a dozen mini pools for a player to track, which is incredibly unfun.
  • Similar to Resonance, I kinda dislike Focus being applicable to Alchemical items. The whole point is that alchemy is being separated from magic - but then it gets mixed up with a resource meant to interact with magic powers and magic items. A big theming issue for me personally.
  • Mostly liking the changes to Staves, but am not sold on them having a specialized 1 point pool for Focus when prepared. Either add to the existing pool or not, don't add another pool to keep track of. Additionally, without any restriction like invested, it seems they can now just be passed around / golf bagged? That may cause some issues in the future as is. Personally I'd say preparing your staff for the day should be limited to one and just let you use it normally for the day - no extra pools or issues with getting spontaneous everything.
  • Wands. Urg! Seperate charges, 1/day, and then focus point interaction on top of it... This looks like a nightmare of tracking. I'd much much rather see no wands rather than this.

    ---
    Largely skimming items for now, but some notes

  • Still dislike the 1/day + focus to use more thing,
  • Dislike many of the consumable boosts I see, partially since i have no idea how they are thematically justified. "I spend a magical resource to make my non-magical flask have a larger AoE or non-magical elixir heal more / have a longer duration," doesn't make sense to me.
  • Keeping track of all consumable boosts via Focus seems like it'll be annoying to keep track of.
  • Probably an issue for the existing CRB, but how is a potion of a spell (invisibility) uncommon when the spell itself is common? This seems like a thematic disconnect.
    ---

  • Powers are... well, there's just not many to look at. Ancestral Surge looks neat (but not particularly inspiring), and the other two are just things that can have their numbers easily boosted for heightening. One of my big worries for Powers are the ones that can't just get bigger heightened numbers remaining relevant when better items are competing for using Focus. Hopefully powers are being addressed in the next update rather than here, otherwise I don't see where the talk of improving powers is.
  • Alchemist gains what is essentially a class pool of "infused reagents" (& what the heck is the "your own alchemic essence" which is being infused??). This feels like we're slipping backwards. Spell Points were supposed to remove these class pools, but are they going to come back once Spell Points merge into Focus? Not to mention we still have problems with things like Channel Energy being their own class pool, so it seems like we're expanding the problem here rather than fixing it.
  • Seoni's version of Ancestral Surge does not match the new version of Ancestral Surge and seems to use language from the original instead.

    Overall: I like the direction of most of this Test, but have significant issue with some parts (we don't need more class pools or inherent item pools to track in addition to Spell Points/Focus).


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    Playtest Blog wrote:
    So, if this test (or parts of it) goes well, what can you expect the long-term changes to be? First off, we need to be clear: Regardless of what people think of the system, there's just no way, logistically, to implement a full change within the playtest period. We might—and I stress might—be able to put out some more samples or previews of where we think we're going, and possibly even guidelines to adapt the printed Resonance system further, but you won't be seeing a total rewrite of the rules.

    So, if I'm reading this right, it tells me that Paizo decided they were releasing PF2 on [insert date here] whether it was well received or not?

    I'm sorry, but if that is true that displays a fundamentally flawed level of confindence in one's abilities. A new system should not have a fixed release date; it shouldn't receive a release date at all until the design team and the community is happy with the state of the game. Look at 5E, it went through tons of revisions and changes and alternate systems before it was released. The current version of 5E looks nothing like the original playgest document.

    You cannot approach developing a new system like you would developing a new class: decide on core mechanics, flesh it out, make changes based on feedback that doesn't alter the core mechanicsz release after 1 or 2 cycles.

    If you have to go through 17 different playtest periods before the community is happy, then that's what you have to do. You can't just set a date to release it next year and hope everything turns out okay, because then you end up with Resonance.

    What happens if this experimental system is just as badly received by the community? What will you do then? As stated, you might have enough time to try something else, but what if you don't? Do you just ship the product with a system that is generally disliked by the masses? Because if so, that's a good way to destroy a ship before it even sails.

    You cannot set a date to publish until you have something ready to publish. As it stands, Pathfinder Second Edition might be ready, or it might not, but either way, you don't know for certain, which means you cannot set a date.

    Silver Crusade

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Well, look at Starfinder, there was a set release date, no playtest, yet here we are. The only difference was that the community didn't get a hand in saying what they like and what they don't.


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    Okay, so this is a change.

    Some immediate questions though. Is it actually possible to create a character at level five with a requirement to use eleven resonance? If not testing the ten resonance is impossible.

    And conflating the spell point pool with the Focus pool makes class abilities less attractive. Is this being compensated for?


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    Taking equipped and used items off the same currency is a good move.

    Without a complete list of level appropriate focus cost abilities and items, it's hard to tell if this will be useful or not. I like the combined pool, but having a 1 or 2 point costs is going to lead to a necessary direct comparison between abilities and items that will lead either to a clear winner, or a need for a large amount of such powers to ever have the useful one on hand.

    Making sure you're only spending one resource to use most things is nice. I'm not sure how people are going to weigh using an item with and without resonance. For me and my group, it's still combining consumables and currency, two things generally disliked, so I doubt I'd be able to give useful feedback on improving a system I'd need to remove anyway.

    It looks like the system will function.


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    Tels wrote:
    Playtest Blog wrote:
    So, if this test (or parts of it) goes well, what can you expect the long-term changes to be? First off, we need to be clear: Regardless of what people think of the system, there's just no way, logistically, to implement a full change within the playtest period. We might—and I stress might—be able to put out some more samples or previews of where we think we're going, and possibly even guidelines to adapt the printed Resonance system further, but you won't be seeing a total rewrite of the rules.

    So, if I'm reading this right, it tells me that Paizo decided they were releasing PF2 on [insert date here] whether it was well received or not?

    I'm sorry, but if that is true that displays a fundamentally flawed level of confindence in one's abilities. A new system should not have a fixed release date; it shouldn't receive a release date at all until the design team and the community is happy with the state of the game. Look at 5E, it went through tons of revisions and changes and alternate systems before it was released. The current version of 5E looks nothing like the original playgest document.

    You cannot approach developing a new system like you would developing a new class: decide on core mechanics, flesh it out, make changes based on feedback that doesn't alter the core mechanicsz release after 1 or 2 cycles.

    If you have to go through 17 different playtest periods before the community is happy, then that's what you have to do. You can't just set a date to release it next year and hope everything turns out okay, because then you end up with Resonance.

    What happens if this experimental system is just as badly received by the community? What will you do then? As stated, you might have enough time to try something else, but what if you don't? Do you just ship the product with a system that is generally disliked by the masses? Because if so, that's a good way to destroy a ship before it even sails.

    You cannot set a date to publish until you have something ready to...

    You're displaying a fundamental misunderstanding of business and design as a whole. Deadlines rein in designers. Otherwise you end up with a product that is over-designed and over-budget. Letting designers continue to iterate on a product before release until a nebulous goal like "the community is happy" is the death of a company, a fanbase or both. This is something the next Game of Thrones book is in real danger of and is what happens when you just let things go.

    There are exceptions to this. "Early Access" video games are able to pull this off quite well now by just releasing the part of the game that is done and updating later. But in a medium like print, where constant patches aren't really an option for a released product, it just isn't viable.

    Now, there is a danger of going the other direction and releasing something too soon and having it feel incomplete (WoW's Battle for Azeroth). But don't think that setting a deadline is a display of overconfidence or lack of care.

    Edit: That isn't to say you can't delay a release. But that's different from not having any planned date of release at all.

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