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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6 people marked this as a favorite.
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.

No, the playtest period is running a set amount of time. That hasn't changed, and rewriting the book to fit that schedule doesn't work. They don't want the playtest to drag out forever.

It does not say the release date is set in stone and can't possibly be changed if the time is needed. But like Alyran said: deadlines are a necessity to make designers make decisions. Otherwise they will naturally try to make everything perfect and four years later you still don't have anything released. It's a known problem in areas like software development, as well.


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Tridus wrote:
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.

No, the playtest period is running a set amount of time. That hasn't changed, and rewriting the book to fit that schedule doesn't work. They don't want the playtest to drag out forever.

It does not say the release date is set in stone and can't possibly be changed if the time is needed. But like Alyran said: deadlines are a necessity to make designers make decisions. Otherwise they will naturally try to make everything perfect and four years later you still don't have anything released. It's a known problem in areas like software development, as well.

At this point, shouldn't we be reaching the point where they stop calling it THE playtest and start calling it the first cycle of the playtest? There is so much that is still dysfunctional, actively prevents fun, stifling for players, or otherwise a complete turn off that the best bet would be to go back into the drawing room for another few months when the playtest is over and rebuild a lot of what's there before putting it through the wringer again.


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Rather baffled by these changes.

The resonance number seems aggressively meaningless. Unless WBL and items cost change, there is no point. You still have to dedicate most of your cash to the latest weapon(s) and armor upgrades, and if you have enough money to shoulder 8 more items, then it seems like a fluke or a flaw.

Focus seems to do the opposite. Its an annoyance to track, and if you have a _good_ class power to use it, you'd never use it on items, and if you don't, then I guess go nuts with 'supercharging' consumables whenever. There are going to be obvious ones to use this way and others you obviously shouldn't bother with at all.

There doesn't seem in nuance involved. Just track obvious choices because apparently a failed system needs to kept around and justified.

Liberty's Edge

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I like it conceptually and am quite pleased with it simplifying how a Staff works.

I'll need to look over individual items in more detail before I can say if they specifically are worth it (and being forced to spend Focus to make an item work does, indeed, suck).

I think once per day abilities work fine, actually. Being able to check off a particular item seems fine to me. What would be a problem is if there are also twice per day or three times per day items.


Not sure if I like how Focus works with magic items.

I do like the Focus interactions with alchemy though, and I would be interested in seeing that around in some form.

Fire ray no longer strikes me as excessively dull.


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Richard Crawford wrote:

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?

I agree, one of my goals was to see if there was enough you'd want to wear that the decision of wearing something or leaving points to use for potions or activations was needed. I couldn't reach that point. The amount of invested permanent items was just too small for a character to care about.


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Voss wrote:

Rather baffled by these changes.

The resonance number seems aggressively meaningless. Unless WBL and items cost change, there is no point. You still have to dedicate most of your cash to the latest weapon(s) and armor upgrades, and if you have enough money to shoulder 8 more items, then it seems like a fluke or a flaw.

At high levels it prevents you from hot swapping a bunch of situational boots/rings/amulets for differing challenges.


the changes seem ok. I will run the game as a GM I noticed some errors in pregenerated characters. 1.cleric battle magic dc 15 not 20. 2. Barbarian can not use demoralization in rage,
javelin should have a bonus of +8 and not a plus of 9 (it's not expert)
Do magical weapons cost RP?


Xenocrat wrote:
Voss wrote:

Rather baffled by these changes.

The resonance number seems aggressively meaningless. Unless WBL and items cost change, there is no point. You still have to dedicate most of your cash to the latest weapon(s) and armor upgrades, and if you have enough money to shoulder 8 more items, then it seems like a fluke or a flaw.

At high levels it prevents you from hot swapping a bunch of situational boots/rings/amulets for differing challenges.

Especially in cases where items have per-day uses, this would almost certainly be exploited to an absurd degree.


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Ok, hold up a minute. I want to talk about that "Long Term" section for a moment. What are you guys actually saying here? Is it "We're looking for ways to mildly change the current resonance point system, so we're throwing out this massive overhaul to see what works well"? Because from what I'm reading it sounds more like "We don't have time to change the resonance point system that much at all, but here's a smattering of ideas that we had for it anyway".

Grand Lodge

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Greg.Everham wrote:


At this point, shouldn't we be reaching the point where they stop calling it THE playtest and start calling it the first cycle of the playtest? There is so much that is still dysfunctional, actively prevents fun, stifling for players, or otherwise a complete turn off that the best...

Playtest is in no way ambiguous. The word "playtest" is made up of two words, "play" and "test." I don't see why it needs to be labeled as first cycle or whatever. It is a playtest.

Also, I think it's fun. I'm enjoying "play testing" the upcoming edition of Pathfinder, warts and all. It is not dysfunctional to me, nor is it stifling, or a complete turnoff.

I am looking forward to playing 2e. I want it to be something I enjoy immensely even more than the first edition of Pathfinder. In order to make that a reality, I am engaging in the Playtest to make it something truly enjoyable.

Dark Archive

The Kyra pregen has a wand of Heal at 2nd lvl. I thought wands couldn't be heightened? Have I been cheating myself out of crafting heightened wands this whole time?

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Totema wrote:
Ok, hold up a minute. I want to talk about that "Long Term" section for a moment. What are you guys actually saying here? Is it "We're looking for ways to mildly change the current resonance point system, so we're throwing out this massive overhaul to see what works well"? Because from what I'm reading it sounds more like "We don't have time to change the resonance point system that much at all, but here's a smattering of ideas that we had for it anyway".

It means that the magic item system and rules for how characters interact with spell abilities is rather large and complicated. We put together a sample of what we think the system might become in the final version of the game and we would like you to test it out.

If folks like it, we will probably adopt it or something like it for the final.

What we do not have time for is changing the entire system just for a test, getting it edited, laid out, and posted up, giving you all time to adopt it and give us feedback. Doing that would take longer that is necessary for the sort of feedback we need to have an idea of where to take these rules.


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Totema wrote:
Ok, hold up a minute. I want to talk about that "Long Term" section for a moment. What are you guys actually saying here? Is it "We're looking for ways to mildly change the current resonance point system, so we're throwing out this massive overhaul to see what works well"? Because from what I'm reading it sounds more like "We don't have time to change the resonance point system that much at all, but here's a smattering of ideas that we had for it anyway".

What they're saying is that they don't have time to comb through the entire playtest book and change everything to fit a new iteration of resonance. However, they still want to give us a chance to test a new (probably still not final) version to see in what ways it's better/worse. The amount of work and time to do that just isn't feasible before the end of the year while still testing everything else in that time period. Changing every single magic item and power in the book to work with this version of resonance/focus just isn't worth it when they might change it again in the month or two.

They're still throwing out the ideas of a massive overhaul. Just a preview of said massive overhaul. Again, the time investment to change all the things would be crazy in the context and time-frame of a playtest.

Edit: Dang, ninja'd by the designers :P

Paizo Employee Designer

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Ouranou wrote:
The Kyra pregen has a wand of Heal at 2nd lvl. I thought wands couldn't be heightened? Have I been cheating myself out of crafting heightened wands this whole time?

You can definitely make a heightened wand. You just can't take a non-heightened wand and then use it to cast the heightened version.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Totema wrote:
Ok, hold up a minute. I want to talk about that "Long Term" section for a moment. What are you guys actually saying here? Is it "We're looking for ways to mildly change the current resonance point system, so we're throwing out this massive overhaul to see what works well"? Because from what I'm reading it sounds more like "We don't have time to change the resonance point system that much at all, but here's a smattering of ideas that we had for it anyway".

It means that the magic item system and rules for how characters interact with spell abilities is rather large and complicated. We put together a sample of what we think the system might become in the final version of the game and we would like you to test it out.

If folks like it, we will probably adopt it or something like it for the final.

What we do not have time for is changing the entire system just for a test, getting it edited, laid out, and posted up, giving you all time to adopt it and give us feedback. Doing that would take longer that is necessary for the sort of feedback we need to have an idea of where to take these rules.

Ok, that's a lot clearer to me, and I like this sentiment a lot better. Admittedly, I had a flawed idea of how the playtest will be progressing, but my initial takeaway from that statement made me feel like there wasn't going to be much done based on our feedback here.


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scoutmaster wrote:
Do magical weapons cost RP?

No, they don't. Nor does magical armor, far as I can tell.

Your pool of 10 is other stuff, those two items are just basics everyone needs.

edit - Specifically, resonance in both versions of the rules for worn items mentions the "Invested" trait. Specific weapons and armors do not have that. Runes do not have it either, and nothing mentions weapons/armor gain it when you add runes.

Your list of 10 for resonance in these rules is specifically 10 items with the Invested trait. It's fairly lax and you can have a lot of stuff before hitting it, IMO.

Paizo Employee Designer

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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.

Yep, and this is testing to see if still having a slightly smaller—but not *vastly* reduced—amount of tracking is worth it in order to get these additional benefits.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Clarification, please.

Bombs will now do regular damage AND splash damage to the target on a hit, but splash damage now only effects surrounding creatures (and the target) if the strike misses. Am I reading that correctly?

Paizo Employee Designer

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swordchucks wrote:
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).

Yeah, the intent is that you won't really be stressed for wearing magic items until you have a bunch of them and start looking to retire some of your weaker ones. That should be happening in the mid- to late-levels.


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

Overall, this sounds like a really solid step (leap arguably) in a better direction.

However, with resonance being treated in this manner it seems unnecessary to even refer to them as Resonance Points. The Resonance rule could simple be: "You may never wear more than 10 items with the invested trait at once."

No reason to even think of it as a "pool" in that regard (IMO).


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Quote:
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!

I'm not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, you're spending both a use of a daily resource and a consumable to get a 10 minute invisibility. On the other hand, you're getting an effect 1000% better than using a scroll (which is the same item level) or someone actually casting invisibility.

That... that doesn't really feel right.

Paizo Employee Designer

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coyotegospel wrote:

Overall, this sounds like a really solid step (leap arguably) in a better direction.

However, with resonance being treated in this manner it seems unnecessary to even refer to them as Resonance Points. The Resonance rule could simple be: "You may never wear more than 10 items with the invested trait at once."

No reason to even think of it as a "pool" in that regard (IMO).

Good instinct; we actually have a question about exactly this in the survey!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
coyotegospel wrote:

Overall, this sounds like a really solid step (leap arguably) in a better direction.

However, with resonance being treated in this manner it seems unnecessary to even refer to them as Resonance Points. The Resonance rule could simple be: "You may never wear more than 10 items with the invested trait at once."

No reason to even think of it as a "pool" in that regard (IMO).

It's a bit different than that. In my current 1e game, we regularly swap out Necklaces of Adaptation for another necklace when we don't need the Adaptation effect.

With how these rules are written, doing that would cost two resonance, because the item has to be invested to work. So at the start of the day, you decide which 10 invested items you will be using that day.

If you're not swapping items in and out over the day you won't notice a difference, but that is what changes having it how it works now vs simply "you can wear 10 items at one time." Maybe that edge case isn't worth having a pool for it, I don't know. :)


These new changes sound completely awesome to me so far! I can’t wait to test it out!


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Tridus wrote:
coyotegospel wrote:

Overall, this sounds like a really solid step (leap arguably) in a better direction.

However, with resonance being treated in this manner it seems unnecessary to even refer to them as Resonance Points. The Resonance rule could simple be: "You may never wear more than 10 items with the invested trait at once."

No reason to even think of it as a "pool" in that regard (IMO).

It's a bit different than that. In my current 1e game, we regularly swap out Necklaces of Adaptation for another necklace when we don't need the Adaptation effect.

With how these rules are written, doing that would cost two resonance, because the item has to be invested to work. So at the start of the day, you decide which 10 invested items you will be using that day.

If you're not swapping items in and out over the day you won't notice a difference, but that is what changes having it how it works now vs simply "you can wear 10 items at one time." Maybe that edge case isn't worth having a pool for it, I don't know. :)

They could just call it attunement like 5e since most potential new PF players would be coming from 5e anyways. Say you can attune to up to 10 items in a day, attunement takes 10 minutes and is an assumed part of your daily preparations.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tridus wrote:
coyotegospel wrote:

Overall, this sounds like a really solid step (leap arguably) in a better direction.

However, with resonance being treated in this manner it seems unnecessary to even refer to them as Resonance Points. The Resonance rule could simple be: "You may never wear more than 10 items with the invested trait at once."

No reason to even think of it as a "pool" in that regard (IMO).

It's a bit different than that. In my current 1e game, we regularly swap out Necklaces of Adaptation for another necklace when we don't need the Adaptation effect.

With how these rules are written, doing that would cost two resonance, because the item has to be invested to work. So at the start of the day, you decide which 10 invested items you will be using that day.

If you're not swapping items in and out over the day you won't notice a difference, but that is what changes having it how it works now vs simply "you can wear 10 items at one time." Maybe that edge case isn't worth having a pool for it, I don't know. :)

Fair enough :)

I was admittedly oversimplifying a little bit. The rule would need another sentence or two to say something along the lines of [very rough wording to follow] "If at any point during the day you are wearing 10 items with the invested trait, you may not gain the benefits of another item with the invested trait even if one is removed before the end of the day."

That essentially accomplishes the same thing of keeping it as a "pool" but without overtly letting people know they have a separate pool to track, which to me would be a semantic win.


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Bardarok wrote:
They could just call it attunement like 5e since most potential new PF players would be coming from 5e anyways. Say you can attune to up to 10 items in a day, attunement takes 10 minutes and is an assumed part of your daily preparations.

I think the problem with calling it attunement is because that's ripping off 5e in a very blatant way.

As for the concept i like the way it sounds and will definitely want to test it if my group finds time.
While i liked the original resonance and thought it filled a good role, this version seems to cover the same role and hopefully sate the naysayers.

Grand Lodge

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

Reading more, and loving the idea of resonance as 10 magic item slots not tied to type. I'm also disliking the idea of rolling spell points in with focus even more. First iteration of 5th level Kyra had 5 spell points. This current iteration has 4 focus points, which will likely be split between domain powers and other uses. Why discourage the cleric from using her domain power? What's being gained there?

Running this updated version tonight. I'm going to be really interested in how this all goes down.


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Barizac wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
They could just call it attunement like 5e since most potential new PF players would be coming from 5e anyways. Say you can attune to up to 10 items in a day, attunement takes 10 minutes and is an assumed part of your daily preparations.

I think the problem with calling it attunement is because that's ripping off 5e in a very blatant way.

Pathfinder at it's core is a DnD spin off I don't see a problem with using similar language to refer to the same concept between games. In fact I think it would be good. They already use a lot of the same words for similar game mechanics: Proficiency Bonus, Spell Slots, Hit Points. It's a genre thing so no need to arbitrarily rename things.


coyotegospel wrote:

Fair enough :)

I was admittedly oversimplifying a little bit. The rule would need another sentence or two to say something along the lines of [very rough wording to follow] "If at any point during the day you are wearing 10 items with the invested trait, you may not gain the benefits of another item with the invested trait even if one is removed before the end of the day."

That essentially accomplishes the same thing of keeping it as a "pool" but without overtly letting people know they have a separate pool to track, which to me would be a semantic win.

Oh for sure. Bardarok's wording would also work: "Say you can attune to up to 10 items in a day, attunement takes 10 minutes and is an assumed part of your daily preparations."

It's saying the same thing, it's just saying it in a lot fewer words and using a term (attunement) that IMO a lot more people would be familiar with than "resonance".

It seems like this is a detail thing they can sort out in editing, but I think we agree that the concept itself is solid. :)


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Bardarok It might have started as a 3e 3.5e spin off but i feel like part of pathfinder 2e is to find their own niche and stop being just another D&D copy. and while they use alot of terms that are standardised to the genre of games attunement in relation to items usable and equippable is a 5e specific thing as far as i am aware and alot more of a direct copy paste (which may get them in trouble i dont know the copy right rules).


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So the changes are interesting.

Like - 10 invested items, no more, period. I can number a piece of paper 1-10 and fill in ten items.

Like - resonance gives you an extra boost - they're like magic hero points. Heck, you may as well fold them into hero points. Would be a great idea.

Dislike - mixing focus points in with spell points, power points, etc. I have to agree that there are too many pool points, but mixing these together is not the way to go about it. It's too apples - oranges.

Dislike - staves need focus points to work. Sorry - the idea of staves needing this extra rare resource that is already over-stretched as their primary way of casting stuff is a huge step back. I saw the arguments of "but you can cast spells spontaneously!" Yeah, at spell level +1. That's no bargain and will mean that the ability will lay unused.

Neutral about - how wands interact. The first cast is free, but afterwards they cost 1 focus point and then you can soak up as many charges as you want. That's a focus point tax, pure and simple. It's another band-aid on what it probably an inherently flawed system.

TBH wands probably need to go away completely and staves need to be some combination of what wands and staves currently are. Or if you want to keep some wands free, move metamagic from rods to wands. Maybe even make them have charges - you blow through a charge for each spell level it goes up. This would make wands more about the caster than the spell cast.

I like a lot of what is done here. It's like you're halfway there. The idea of focus points giving that extra oomph is great. The idea of a straight number of magic items is also great. I do like staves and wands allowing casters to cast spells, but you need to come at this from a different angle now. Maybe brainstorm some of the fantasy mythos to see how casters interact with their staves. Are they like advanced arcane bonds? Do casters invest some of themselves in them - is it resonance on steroids? The overwhelming idea in the mythos is that when a mage has a staff and you separate the two, you weaken the mage tremendously. Maybe that's the angle to focus on.

Great intermediate step!


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Bardarok wrote:
Barizac wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
They could just call it attunement like 5e since most potential new PF players would be coming from 5e anyways. Say you can attune to up to 10 items in a day, attunement takes 10 minutes and is an assumed part of your daily preparations.

I think the problem with calling it attunement is because that's ripping off 5e in a very blatant way.

Pathfinder at it's core is a DnD spin off I don't see a problem with using similar language to refer to the same concept between games. In fact I think it would be good. They already use a lot of the same words for similar game mechanics: Proficiency Bonus, Spell Slots, Hit Points. It's a genre thing so no need to arbitrarily rename things.

I'm no lawyer, but all those terms were things in the OGL. Attunement is new to 5e, thus not part of the OGL. Seems like there could be issues there.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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What if every class had a secondary ability score ("Focus Ability") that determines their spell points?


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Some personal reactions/opinions, based on read-through. I'm not sure I'll have the chance to play with it, since my group's currently rather spotty on Playtesting at the moment, but I'm gonna hold off on the survey for a bit just in case.

1) Add me to the list of people that hates Wands having so many separate things. I mentioned the idea of Wands being Staff Lite in the past, and I still favor that idea, especially with the new Staff rules because the new Staff rules are awesome.

2) ...Is the Necklace of Fireballs supposed to be Invested? Because I swear it said that Invested items are all Worn items now, and that you lose the Investment when you take off the item, but Necklace of Fireballs is now a Held item and pointedly doesn't work if Worn. And going off that, am I the only one that finds it kinda weird that the Necklace of Fireballs can no longer be used if it's actually being a Necklace? And what kind of activity even is it to take it off?

3) Greater Hat of Disguise is great, love that you can actually have an all-day disguise if you do it right now, though (and admittedly this isn't an issue with this test and thus is somewhat off-topic) the restrictions on Illusory Disguise do really limit its usefulness.

4) Bombs getting to apply Splash Damage on a direct hit is great, and even gives a round-about way for Alchemists to get Int to Bomb Damage again. Thumbs up from me. Maybe in the future we can even see Healing Bombs come back as a Splash Bomb item and Alchemists can once again become the most fun of combat healers.

5) Elixirs of Life still being just a weaker Healing Potion still feels meh to me, but at least they weren't nerfed, and the doubled healing for Focus is legit.

6) A fairly minor note, spending a point of Focus to increase a duration from 1 minute to 10 minutes feels like it's going to be a waste most of the time, given the recent (1.3) addition of "10 minute rest" type between-fight activities. And even without that rest, that still seems unlikely to get more than, like, maybe 2 encounters IMHO.

7) The Activation sections of stuff is much neater now, good job. Maybe we could spells done this way too in the final product?

8) Ancestral Surge and Fire Ray are good (though... Ancestral Surge feels like it might need a bit more? It's a good buff, but it just... IDK, it just still feels kinda weak.) Healer's Blessing though looks like it got a bit of a nerf, since now it costs an Action where before it was a Free Action. The benefit is better if you're undercasting, but that extra action cost hurts. Heck, I don't think it's even actually possible to even use it and have it apply to more than 1 target now... unless you spend 3 Hero Points for that unrestricted bonus action maybe? Really makes that bit about it only being half as effective on multi-target versions a lot less meaningful.

9) It's nice that Alchemist has been separated from Resonance Focus now. Ironic that 7 other classes are being tethered to it now instead. I do kinda worry for the Ki Monk now though, even if they didn't really use Wis for much it did still affect Spell Rolls/DCs and some scaling, so depending on what you used it was still something that might need to be buffed up.

10) It's not in this test, but is something to keep in mind for the future: How does this change interact with Ancient Blooded Dwarves? First thought is of course that their penalty is now going to impact Focus rather than Resonance (meaning they'd have to drop 4 boosts into Charisma to have any Focus, ouch) but personally (and this might just be a me thing) I think it might actually be interesting if it does still apply to Resonance. Actually gives me a concept for a Superstition Totem Barbarian even, taking the whole anti-magical personage thing to 11... with 0 Focus and sub-normal Resonance they'd be so anti-magic that even items want little to do with them =P

EDIT: Okay so Healer's Blessing can in fact be used with 3-action version because of the "until end of next turn" duration. That action cost still hurts though.


Zi Mishkal wrote:

So the changes are interesting.

Like - 10 invested items, no more, period. I can number a piece of paper 1-10 and fill in ten items.

Like - resonance gives you an extra boost - they're like magic hero points. Heck, you may as well fold them into hero points. Would be a great idea.

Dislike - mixing focus points in with spell points, power points, etc. I have to agree that there are too many pool points, but mixing these together is not the way to go about it. It's too apples - oranges.

Dislike - staves need focus points to work. Sorry - the idea of staves needing this extra rare resource that is already over-stretched as their primary way of casting stuff is a huge step back. I saw the arguments of "but you can cast spells spontaneously!" Yeah, at spell level +1. That's no bargain and will mean that the ability will lay unused.

Neutral about - how wands interact. The first cast is free, but afterwards they cost 1 focus point and then you can soak up as many charges as you want. That's a focus point tax, pure and simple. It's another band-aid on what it probably an inherently flawed system.

TBH wands probably need to go away completely and staves need to be some combination of what wands and staves currently are. Or if you want to keep some wands free, move metamagic from rods to wands. Maybe even make them have charges - you blow through a charge for each spell level it goes up. This would make wands more about the caster than the spell cast.

I like a lot of what is done here. It's like you're halfway there. The idea of focus points giving that extra oomph is great. The idea of a straight number of magic items is also great. I do like staves and wands allowing casters to cast spells, but you need to come at this from a different angle now. Maybe brainstorm some of the fantasy mythos to see how casters interact with their staves. Are they like advanced arcane bonds? Do casters invest some of themselves in them - is it resonance on steroids? The overwhelming idea in the mythos is that...

where do you get that "spell level+1"

it's spell level EQUAL or higher than the spell.

you literally gain them as spontaneous spells.

That part isn't even new, it was in the old system as well. but now it doesn't cost RP like it used to (it's actually free)

you also get 1 free focus/day on a staff, and with a focus point you can cast any spell level from the staff, not like the old system of 1 spell level/charge.

It's better in all occasions except from when i simply want to spam low level spells (where it's still better, but Focus is much less than RP used to be)

Silver Crusade

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Zi Mishkal wrote:
Dislike - staves need focus points to work. Sorry - the idea of staves needing this extra rare resource that is already over-stretched as their primary way of casting stuff is a huge step back. I saw the arguments of "but you can cast spells spontaneously!" Yeah, at spell level +1. That's no bargain and will mean that the ability will lay unused.

This is not quite accurate. You can cast a spell from a staff in two ways:

(1) Use a Focus Point; or
(2) Use a spell slot

So hold a staff and you can all of a sudden spontaneously cast those spells using your spell slots, even if you never use Focus Points for the staff.

In kind of a weird quirk, each day when you prepare, you can also prepare 1 staff. This staff generates (i.e., creates itself, without using your resources) a single Focus Point of its own, which can only be used to cast a spell from the staff.

FWIW, I think this is cool but should probably be dropped. It's odd and creates one more little thing to keep track of. Did I charge a staff in my preparation? Which staff did I charge? My instinct (I place a very high value on simplified bookkeeping) is that this should be dropped altogether, and staves should either all auto-charge (rather than 1 character charging 1 staff**) or not auto-charge at all and only cast from wielder resources (spell slots or focus points).

** E.g., if I'm a caster who likes staves, I buy 4 staves, pass around to my teammates who aren't spending on staves, and say "everybody charge 1 so I can have them for the day." This is the kind of silly game dynamic that I think doesn't add to the fun, adds some tedious bookkeeping, and should generally be dropped.


Tholomyes wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Barizac wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
They could just call it attunement like 5e since most potential new PF players would be coming from 5e anyways. Say you can attune to up to 10 items in a day, attunement takes 10 minutes and is an assumed part of your daily preparations.

I think the problem with calling it attunement is because that's ripping off 5e in a very blatant way.

Pathfinder at it's core is a DnD spin off I don't see a problem with using similar language to refer to the same concept between games. In fact I think it would be good. They already use a lot of the same words for similar game mechanics: Proficiency Bonus, Spell Slots, Hit Points. It's a genre thing so no need to arbitrarily rename things.
I'm no lawyer, but all those terms were things in the OGL. Attunement is new to 5e, thus not part of the OGL. Seems like there could be issues there.

Doubtful any legal ones. Attunement is a term used previously for items in MMOs and whatnot and is otherwise a very generic word. But there's really no reason to copy 5e. There are enough flowery words in the English language to go around.


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Zi Mishkal wrote:
Dislike - staves need focus points to work. Sorry - the idea of staves needing this extra rare resource that is already over-stretched as their primary way of casting stuff is a huge step back. I saw the arguments of "but you can cast spells spontaneously!" Yeah, at spell level +1. That's no bargain and will mean that the ability will lay unused.

You can cast from a staff in one of two ways:

1. Spend a focus point
2. Use a spell slot of equal or higher level

Investing the staff gives you a focus in the staff, so you get an extra spell cast off the staff's list just like that, which is nice. After that, you can burn more for extra spells, or burn a slot of that level and basically get a spontaneous cast.

It's not spell level +1 that I can see, it's spell level. Which is a more attractive option.

Quote:


Neutral about - how wands interact. The first cast is free, but afterwards they cost 1 focus point and then you can soak up as many charges as you want. That's a focus point tax, pure and simple. It's another band-aid on what it probably an inherently flawed system.

Agreed. This is another symptom of "we want to have wands as consumables with charges but we don't want people to just use them the way they're designed to be used, so we keep coming up with bandaids."

They need to either just have charges and let people use them as they see fit (including all at once), or make wands limited daily items and not have charges at all. Trying to do both things at once is giving us a lot of complexity that isn't adding anything.


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at this point, is there even a use for Wands?

I mean, we have perfectly working staves for "casting spells from a stick" with a nice recharge/charge mechanic.

we have scrolls for consumable spells.

I feel like we're keeping wands just to have something called wand, and the only thing it offers is convulted rules to make it work alongside the other 2 items.

what is even their point at this time...


Joe M. wrote:

FWIW, I think this is cool but should probably be dropped. It's odd and creates one more little thing to keep track of. Did I charge a staff in my preparation? Which staff did I charge? My instinct (I place a very high value on simplified bookkeeping) is that this should be dropped altogether, and staves should either all auto-charge (rather than 1 character charging 1 staff**) or not auto-charge at all and only cast from wielder resources (spell slots or focus points).

** E.g., if I'm a caster who likes staves, I buy 4 staves, pass around to my teammates who aren't spending on staves, and say "everybody charge 1 so I can have them for the day." This is the kind of silly game dynamic that I think doesn't add to the fun, adds some tedious bookkeeping, and should generally be dropped.

If you have to spend a resonance to invest the staff to get that focus it makes more sense. But yes, if it's just "you get one staff charged for absolutely nothing", then pass-the-staff-during-prepration is exactly what's going to happen, which is silly.

It's a cool mechanic, though. Definitely increases the value of a staff.


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I would prefer wands be limited per day and otherwise not have expendable charges. But then, I've never liked magic items that become useless lumps very much anyway. Single-use items are fine, but in 1e there are plenty of wondrous items that take up item slots and become useless after x uses. I hate those.

shroudb wrote:

at this point, is there even a use for Wands?

I mean, we have perfectly working staves for "casting spells from a stick" with a nice recharge/charge mechanic.

we have scrolls for consumable spells.

I feel like we're keeping wands just to have something called wand, and the only thing it offers is convulted rules to make it work alongside the other 2 items.

what is even their point at this time...

That's actually a good point. They don't serve much purpose in a mechanical sense right now. Could just make them smaller, lighter single-spell staves? While functioning identically. Edit: Didn't catch that Shinigami02 had this same idea earlier up.

Silver Crusade

Shinigami02 wrote:
1) Add me to the list of people that hates Wands having so many separate things. I mentioned the idea of Wands being Staff Lite in the past, and I still favor that idea, especially with the new Staff rules because the new Staff rules are awesome.

Yeah, fully agree. I really dislike wands in this system. (On paper, haven't played with it yet, obviously!) Gotta track: (1) charges; (2) whether the wand has been used once today; (3) whether the wand has been "activated" with Focus so you can spend more charges. Imagine how you'd scribble on a character sheet to track that. No thanks.

We can spin out alternative models. E.g.,

(a) Wands work like potions: single-use, but can spend Focus to supercharge (in some fashion—one universal possibility would heighten +1 level if the spell has a heighten option)

(b) Wands work like a lot of the worn items: free use 1/d, can use beyond that at the cost of 1 FP/use

These aren't quite the same "spell battery" that wands are currently and have been in previous editions. But either of those models, in my opinion, works better here—less bookkeeping and more consistent with the way other items work so less to learn.

Though folks above point out that if it's pure single-shot, rather than a battery, it doesn't do anything unique compared to scrolls. So I tend to like the free spell each day model or something like it here.


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I'll be playtesting this in a few days for sure! People got excited.

Though I'll just say right now I'd rather have spell point pool tied to main stat like it was before and items can be w/e. I realize we want CHA to not be a dump stat anymore, but it's never gonna be well received that your class stuff is suddenly limited by this stat.

I think if you left spell points as before and then made the Focus pool JUST for items and keep it low, it'd be fine even if it's gonna result in a PC power increase. Seems practically every item use will want to be with Focus anyways.

EDIT: If you wanna remove pools that require frequent tracking, I nominate Hero Points to make room for class features + item activations being on separate.

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