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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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Eh neither seem that hard to me.

Try putting it on the character sheet. It's really not that complicated - initially - but the primary tool we've been given for tracking this is woefully ill equipped for it. It still doesn't have a section for Shields despite all the confusion over tracking dents and hardness. No section for Armor either which could spell out the magic armor ACP cancellation. Etc, etc. I could keep track of these things (including item charges and uses per day) on the Pathfinder First Edition character sheet using short hand. Anecdotally, reports are that ease of play increases dramatically with the introduction of an electronic tool like Hero Lab.

90% of my problems with system complexity in the playtest seem to come back to the character sheet. Too many feats doing interesting things which introduce even more conditional rules...but no room on the character sheet to track what those conditional rules are even in short hand. Probably a topic in and of itself - maybe I'll start one later but I'll need to think of some helpful recommended revisions first.


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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Eh neither seem that hard to me.

Try putting it on the character sheet. It's really not that complicated - initially - but the primary tool we've been given for tracking this is woefully ill equip for it. It still doesn't have a section for Shields despite all the confusion over tracking dents and hardness. No section for Armor either which could spell out the magic armor ACP cancellation. Etc, etc. I could keep track of these things (including item charges and uses per day) on the Pathfinder First Edition character sheet using short hand. Anecdotally, reports are that ease of play increases dramatically with the introduction of an electronic tool like Hero Lab.

90% of my problems with system complexity in the playtest seem to come back to the character sheet. Too many feats doing interesting things which introduce even more conditional rules...but no room on the character sheet to track what those conditional rules are even in short hand. Probably a topic in and of itself - maybe I'll start one later but I'll need to think of some helpful recommended revisions first.

The official sheet really isn't that great. And yeah, the layout is confusing and lacks places for various things like dents. I personally like to use computerized spreadsheet based character sheets. They do simplify a lot of things by allowing for automatic calculations. For the playtest I love Charon Onozuka's online Google Sheet. It has a lot of great features. The conditions are really nice. Plus there are copious notes that can remind you of various rules without having to go look them up. I can't recommend it highly enough. The author constantly updates it for new update documents and is very responsive to comments and requests. here's the thread to discuss it. The only real downside is that it is an online, computerized sheet. So you need a laptop or other device to use it, and I know some groups have a policy of not allowing them, and not everyone has one anyway.


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WatersLethe wrote:
I guess it sits in the same design space as Hero Points, which I don't use. A game currency that's poorly defined in-universe, and serves no real purpose other than a designer thought it would be cool to add to the game. It feels like it's pulling something out of your rear when you need it most, rather than relying on creativity and planning.

While I detest Action/Hero Points (for the same reasons and more), this feels better than that, so far. They also mentioned maybe dropping Focus Points, completely. Focus points could be folded back into the Occultist (I believe that is one class they have mentioned tackling, down the line, which could be great news for me, one of my favourite PF classes).


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I really don't understand the excitement behind this change.

Sure, if you are a Cha based class its great... but if you are not your access to class powers is not only reduced, but also shared with your magical items.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Uh...did you miss Treat Wounds? The unlimited out-of-combat healing option without a gold cost? This is a solved issue.

So, I was aware that they added a healing option that took some time and could potentially become unusable on a crit fail, but until now I hadn't looked at a mathematical analysis and realized that they had basically flipped positions from "CLW spam is bad" to "The party will go into every fight at full HP", which is what it looks like is the case as long as you've got someone willing to put a little investment into being decent at medicine.


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Having fully read the rules, I have a few more comments, although my previous ones are unchanged. I do like how there are higher level versions of alchemical bombs now, and they're not just tied to alchemist class features. How does this interact with Empower Bombs? I'm assuming you don't multiply the damage of the higher level bombs. Does the ability go away? Fumbus has it listed in his list of Class Abilities, but it isn't mentioned in the Feats and Abilities section of his sheet. If it's removed, then there are the problems of these bombs being one higher level than the Empowered Bombs equivalent, and at high level losing the item bonus to hit. Although those item bonuses to hit are problematic anyway, they don't stack with the item bonus from the Alchemist's Goggles, because they both give an item bonus. Frankly, Alchemists should just get Expert and Master proficiency in bombs instead (and at lower level). This will allow them to still get the item bonus from Alchemist Goggles. There is also the problem that apparently now each version of bombs take their own formula, so that will eat more of an alchemist's formulas as they level.

I'm still really not a fan of focus being combined with spell points, and that it's a smaller charisma linked pool. The reduction in rarity for several items is nice. As are the improvements to some trinkets. I still don't think they're worth using, but they're getting better.

The reduction in default durations for many consumables is horrible. I have no clue why the Potion of Invisibility was mentioned as a favorite, that's probably the worst of the lot. I don't think these items need to be reduced when points aren't spent. It's just a slightly nicer version of the resonance requirement, but still terrible and limiting.

The focus ability to expand the splash radius of alchemical fire is terrible. Splash damage is all but useless except at 1st level. Even with calculated splash, the amount is insignificant. When people are hitting for multiple dice of damage, requiring a fee to just get a maximum of 7 splash damage at level 20 is rather uninspiring.

I do like staves. Getting rid of charges, and the rule that they used a number of charges equal to spell level is good. They're no longer effectively one-shot items for higher level spells. But are charges gone? There is still mention that higher level staves hold more charges. Is that the old style charges that are required to use a staff, or the free focus points for preparing that staff? The later is good, the former not so much. I would prefer a different pool to use the staff, one not linked to power usage, and preferably bigger and not necessarily charisma based. But a combined spell-point focus pool could be acceptable if it were bigger.

Wands are pretty bad due to charges sticking around and focus only letting you use more than one a day. That's just selling back what should be the default with a focus cost. Either get rid of charges, or get rid of focus cost.

I never liked x times a day use items. And now they're mostly one use free plus focus. I'm not particularly happy with that. But with a different, larger pool it might be ok.

I'm not a big fan of focus as it exists, but it is a step in the right direction. If the consumable nerfs were undone, charges removed from wands and focus was a larger pool, preferably not shared with powers, then this could be fairly nice. I'd also get rid of the name Resonance Points and just state that you can invest up to 10 items at a time. It's simpler.


Mark Seifter 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).

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

I'm looking at the survey, and have gone over it multiple times. I'm not seeing this question anywhere.


vagabond_666 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Uh...did you miss Treat Wounds? The unlimited out-of-combat healing option without a gold cost? This is a solved issue.
So, I was aware that they added a healing option that took some time and could potentially become unusable on a crit fail, but until now I hadn't looked at a mathematical analysis and realized that they had basically flipped positions from "CLW spam is bad" to "The party will go into every fight at full HP", which is what it looks like is the case as long as you've got someone willing to put a little investment into being decent at medicine.

However that healing does come at a invested time of 10 minutes. This means you need to find somewhere safe to sit and rest for a while, it also makes it harder during time sensitive missions.

I'm one of those against the CLW spam because it's always felt so cheesy and immersion breaking for me. I understand why it's done but I would rather it went away.

I'll be interested to see if this new system fixes that or not, depending how viable it is to buy potions and chug them we could just move over to that system of healing everyone to max after every fight.


I think the current first aid set up might be a bit to strong and James even said they are starting it with the strong route and seeing if it needs to be pulled back some.


the difference is essential between you can not carry more than 10 items and you can not invest in more than 10 items a day.


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Much better than the playtest CRB version.

I would like them to drop Resonance points, and characters can Invest in a number of items equal to 3 or 5 + Charisma modifier.

I would like them to fold Focus points into the Occultist class, not a mechanic/pool everyone needs to track/deal with.

Powers should just be Spells, not really seeing the reason to call them something else; if it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck...


hmm well Spell might imply some things that might not be accurate for all powers. Like maybe dispel magic or the use of counter spell.

Dark Archive

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.

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.

Do note though that official adventures never seem to actually follow WBL much <_< There is also that if any npcs actually have magic items or players find them as loot, there is no guarantee that PCs split it evenly(money tends to get split evenly, magic items tend to get split based on how useful it is to character and how much player wants it)

Silver Crusade

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Gorbacz wrote:

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.

However, we can only say that about Starfinder because they had the good fortune of releasing a system that people enjoy. Starfinder could have just as easily been released with mechanics in place that would have turned people away.

Just because it worked out for them before, not holding a playtest, doesn't mean it's good practice.


Eh more RPG's in the past have gone without play tests then that have. Its kind of a creatively new thing really. I frankly really appreciate Paizo for going to all the trouble.


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Daniel Yeatman wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

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.

However, we can only say that about Starfinder because they had the good fortune of releasing a system that people enjoy. Starfinder could have just as easily been released with mechanics in place that would have turned people away.

I wanted Starfinder to clean up/streamline 3rd Ed/PF more than it did, whereas the Playtest is too revolutionary for my taste, so far.


Data Lore wrote:

Looks better but I would prefer a different approach than 1/day items just being usable more often with Focus. For example, maybe the Bracers of Missile Deflection could be used all day long for a +1 circumstance bonus but if you use a Focus point, you can get a +2 bonus. That way, there is less to track. This is doubly true since its an Invested item.

Anywho, thanks for this. I appreciate you guys being so responsive. (Goes back to reading through Resonance stuff).

Exactly dito.

Resonance/Focus as pools to invest/supercharge item is a good approach. And I guess it is fun, as you are trying to find out (have to still playtest though).
But less book keeping for the rest regarding magic items would be very helpful to speed gameplay up.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I like the idea of Resonance Points rather than slots because it opens up design space where you have an additional cost on certain items other than gold.

So you could have a Staff of Fire that costs one resonance and 2000g and one with additional effects that costs two resonance and 2000g.


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Azmodael wrote:
I really don't understand the excitement behind this change.

They got rid of the term Spell Point. That's enough to get me excited even though it's a relatively small change in wording.

As for the other changes, I am undecided. I don't think making CHA broadly useful is a bad thing but it needs to be carefully balanced in order to not screw up certain classes.

Silver Crusade

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Coffee Demon wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Focus your inner magical energy on the item as you consume it.

Yep, that's what we'll be saying I think. I don't like it. It's not integrated into Golarion lore deeply enough (or at all) so it sounds silly and ungrounded in the world. It sounds like a cludged-on explanation for a mechanic.

"You drink the potion and focus your magical energy on it so it will last longer."

That doesn't feel right, narratively. It moves away from the standard of fantasy RPGs where items do particular things. I get points that give heroes certain abilities (Grit, etc, and plenty of mechanics in other systems), but points that raise item power levels is something new and it doesn't feel right to me.

Just my personal opinion. I understand that many people are fine with it but it feels little closer to the D&D 4e style of play that was too mechanics-centred and lost some heart in the process..

"I concentrate on the magic stuff to make the magic stuff do magic stuff" :3

It's been there since the beginning I'd say.

Silver Crusade

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Jason S wrote:

First of all, thank you for listening. This seems like a huge improvement. Limiting items to 10 is not a bad thing and the way focus works seems promising. So this is good.

Having said that please don't nerf magic items any further. Or spells. It's gone too far actually. Focus is extremely limited, I don't want to see a regular potion of invisibility last only 1d4 rounds! I want invisibility to last 10 minutes, because that's how long it takes to infiltrate a location.

^^^And in scenarios, that's what it is typically used for. You asked can we still create stories and scenarios like PF1... well the answer is NO if you continue to nerf magic and spells like this!

So next on the agenda, could you please improve spells and magic in general?

Hmmm, hows about Potion of Invisibility lasts 1d4 minutes but using 1 FP lets you add your CHA to the result, so at 16 Charisma you'd get 1d4+3 minutes, meaning getting the spell fresh from the tapCaster would still be better so they have job security while still letting items be good?


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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Azmodael wrote:
I really don't understand the excitement behind this change.

They got rid of the term Spell Point. That's enough to get me excited even though it's a relatively small change in wording.

As for the other changes, I am undecided. I don't think making CHA broadly useful is a bad thing but it needs to be carefully balanced in order to not screw up certain classes.

...and then, suddenly, dwarf adventurers became extinct. Or so the legend goes my child.

In all seriousness, Cha penalised races could use some form of alleviating this penalty.

I mean, Str penalty races have finessed, ranged, and magic
Dex penalised races have heavy armor.
And etc

Something like an Ancestry feat like:

runic dependence: You etch ancestral runes in your body that help you draw your inherent magic. Reduce your Resonance by 1 (the "slot" taken by the runes) but use your Wisdom instead of your Charisma to calculate Focus

It costs both an ancestry feat and 1 RP, but you now can use items. Seems about right to me.


Massively better than resonance as it was at the beginning, as it addresses the biggest issues I had.

Silver Crusade

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Haven't been able to read it thoroughly but I absolutely adore Resonance being solely used to take account of magic item slots and nothing else. It is now achieving what it set out to do :3

Will have to think some on Focus but I already like it over Spell Points cause of the name.


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shroudb wrote:
The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Azmodael wrote:
I really don't understand the excitement behind this change.

They got rid of the term Spell Point. That's enough to get me excited even though it's a relatively small change in wording.

As for the other changes, I am undecided. I don't think making CHA broadly useful is a bad thing but it needs to be carefully balanced in order to not screw up certain classes.

...and then, suddenly, dwarf adventurers became extinct. Or so the legend goes my child.

In all seriousness, Cha penalised races could use some form of alleviating this penalty.

I mean, Str penalty races have finessed, ranged, and magic
Dex penalised races have heavy armor.
And etc

Something like an Ancestry feat like:

runic dependence: You etch ancestral runes in your body that help you draw your inherent magic. Reduce your Resonance by 1 (the "slot" taken by the runes) but use your Wisdom instead of your Charisma to calculate Focus.

That's cool, and jives with a previous statement about the Occultist using Int for resonance.


It is a better name. I would of also accepted Resolve.


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Rysky wrote:
Coffee Demon wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Focus your inner magical energy on the item as you consume it.

Yep, that's what we'll be saying I think. I don't like it. It's not integrated into Golarion lore deeply enough (or at all) so it sounds silly and ungrounded in the world. It sounds like a cludged-on explanation for a mechanic.

"You drink the potion and focus your magical energy on it so it will last longer."

That doesn't feel right, narratively. It moves away from the standard of fantasy RPGs where items do particular things. I get points that give heroes certain abilities (Grit, etc, and plenty of mechanics in other systems), but points that raise item power levels is something new and it doesn't feel right to me.

Just my personal opinion. I understand that many people are fine with it but it feels little closer to the D&D 4e style of play that was too mechanics-centred and lost some heart in the process..

"I concentrate on the magic stuff to make the magic stuff do magic stuff" :3

It's been there since the beginning I'd say.

That seems a bit spin-heavy, concentrating on a spell is not really the same thing as using points to power up items.

Silver Crusade

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Vidmaster7 wrote:
It is a better name. I would of also accepted Resolve.

Eh, I'd save Resolve for something else, like what Hero Points do or something, rather than having it deal with magic items and things.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Coffee Demon wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Focus your inner magical energy on the item as you consume it.

Yep, that's what we'll be saying I think. I don't like it. It's not integrated into Golarion lore deeply enough (or at all) so it sounds silly and ungrounded in the world. It sounds like a cludged-on explanation for a mechanic.

"You drink the potion and focus your magical energy on it so it will last longer."

That doesn't feel right, narratively. It moves away from the standard of fantasy RPGs where items do particular things. I get points that give heroes certain abilities (Grit, etc, and plenty of mechanics in other systems), but points that raise item power levels is something new and it doesn't feel right to me.

Just my personal opinion. I understand that many people are fine with it but it feels little closer to the D&D 4e style of play that was too mechanics-centred and lost some heart in the process..

"I concentrate on the magic stuff to make the magic stuff do magic stuff" :3

It's been there since the beginning I'd say.

That seems a bit spin-heavy, concentrating on a spell is not really the same thing as using points to power up items.

It is exactly the same. I cast the invisibility spell on myself and concentrate on it. I drank the invisibility potion and concentrate on it.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:


Uh...Wands in PF2 only have 10 charges, which makes the actual comparison look like this:

How to track wand use - D&D3.X/PF1E:

Wand of Magic Stuff:
-- Charges - [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

___________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________

How to track wand use - PF2EPlaytest:

Total Character Focus Points: [] [] [] [] []

Wand of Magic Stuff:
-- Charges - [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []
-- Daily Focus-Free Use? [] -- Daily Focus Activated? []
.
.
.
I think that looks much more on-par in terms of complexity.

Not even close. One is tracking one thing, the other is tracking three things. On a simple sheet one of them can have " ___ " as the only thing listed where you write in how many charges are left, and you need no additional info.

The other one has three times more complexity in what it is tracking. Now carry five wands at higher level and watch how much space on the page you need for it.

There is no reason whatsoever wands have to be so complicated. If they're consumables with charges, let them be that. If they're daily use items, let them be that. But you have to pick one, they can't be both at the same time.


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shroudb wrote:

...and then, suddenly, dwarf adventurers became extinct. Or so the legend goes my child.

In all seriousness, Cha penalised races could use some form of alleviating this penalty.

I mean, Str penalty races have finessed, ranged, and magic
Dex penalised races have heavy armor.
And etc

I wouldn't mind as much for another -CHA ancestry but Dwarves definitely need some kind of loophole. Being "bad" at magical items doesn't fit their narrative at all.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tridus wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:


Uh...Wands in PF2 only have 10 charges, which makes the actual comparison look like this:

How to track wand use - D&D3.X/PF1E:

Wand of Magic Stuff:
-- Charges - [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

___________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________

How to track wand use - PF2EPlaytest:

Total Character Focus Points: [] [] [] [] []

Wand of Magic Stuff:
-- Charges - [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []
-- Daily Focus-Free Use? [] -- Daily Focus Activated? []
.
.
.
I think that looks much more on-par in terms of complexity.

Not even close. One is tracking one thing, the other is tracking three things. On a simple sheet one of them can have " ___ " as the only thing listed where you write in how many charges are left, and you need no additional info.

The other one has three times more complexity in what it is tracking. Now carry five wands at higher level and watch how much space on the page you need for it.

There is no reason whatsoever wands have to be so complicated. If they're consumables with charges, let them be that. If they're daily use items, let them be that. But you have to pick one, they can't be both at the same time.

How to track wand use - D&D3.X/PF1E:

Wand of Magic Stuff:
-- Charges - [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

___________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________

How to track wand use - PF2EPlaytest:

Total Character Focus Points: (_) *which will be somewhere else on the sheet, hopefully next to HP.

Wand of Magic Stuff: Invested _
-- Charges - O [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

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

There we go.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Coffee Demon wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Focus your inner magical energy on the item as you consume it.

Yep, that's what we'll be saying I think. I don't like it. It's not integrated into Golarion lore deeply enough (or at all) so it sounds silly and ungrounded in the world. It sounds like a cludged-on explanation for a mechanic.

"You drink the potion and focus your magical energy on it so it will last longer."

That doesn't feel right, narratively. It moves away from the standard of fantasy RPGs where items do particular things. I get points that give heroes certain abilities (Grit, etc, and plenty of mechanics in other systems), but points that raise item power levels is something new and it doesn't feel right to me.

Just my personal opinion. I understand that many people are fine with it but it feels little closer to the D&D 4e style of play that was too mechanics-centred and lost some heart in the process..

"I concentrate on the magic stuff to make the magic stuff do magic stuff" :3

It's been there since the beginning I'd say.

That seems a bit spin-heavy, concentrating on a spell is not really the same thing as using points to power up items.
It is exactly the same. I cast the invisibility spell on myself and concentrate on it. I drank the invisibility potion and concentrate on it.

It really isn't, and it is not supported by the genre (fiction). I see it as a campaign specific variant, or something that one class, like an Artificer and/or Occultist, can do.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Coffee Demon wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Focus your inner magical energy on the item as you consume it.

Yep, that's what we'll be saying I think. I don't like it. It's not integrated into Golarion lore deeply enough (or at all) so it sounds silly and ungrounded in the world. It sounds like a cludged-on explanation for a mechanic.

"You drink the potion and focus your magical energy on it so it will last longer."

That doesn't feel right, narratively. It moves away from the standard of fantasy RPGs where items do particular things. I get points that give heroes certain abilities (Grit, etc, and plenty of mechanics in other systems), but points that raise item power levels is something new and it doesn't feel right to me.

Just my personal opinion. I understand that many people are fine with it but it feels little closer to the D&D 4e style of play that was too mechanics-centred and lost some heart in the process..

"I concentrate on the magic stuff to make the magic stuff do magic stuff" :3

It's been there since the beginning I'd say.

That seems a bit spin-heavy, concentrating on a spell is not really the same thing as using points to power up items.
It is exactly the same. I cast the invisibility spell on myself and concentrate on it. I drank the invisibility potion and concentrate on it.
It really isn't, and it is not supported by the genre (fiction). I see it as a campaign specific variant, or something that one class, like an Artificer and/or Occultist, can do.

Uh, it is supported by the mechanics and lore (how can soemthing not be supported by “genre (fiction)”, what does that even mean?)

In the novels characters focused on pretty much all magical effects to make them work, regardless of their source. In the rules for 1st and previous we had UMD, which was “we use CHA to focus on magical stuff to make it do magical stuff”.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Coffee Demon wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Focus your inner magical energy on the item as you consume it.

Yep, that's what we'll be saying I think. I don't like it. It's not integrated into Golarion lore deeply enough (or at all) so it sounds silly and ungrounded in the world. It sounds like a cludged-on explanation for a mechanic.

"You drink the potion and focus your magical energy on it so it will last longer."

That doesn't feel right, narratively. It moves away from the standard of fantasy RPGs where items do particular things. I get points that give heroes certain abilities (Grit, etc, and plenty of mechanics in other systems), but points that raise item power levels is something new and it doesn't feel right to me.

Just my personal opinion. I understand that many people are fine with it but it feels little closer to the D&D 4e style of play that was too mechanics-centred and lost some heart in the process..

"I concentrate on the magic stuff to make the magic stuff do magic stuff" :3

It's been there since the beginning I'd say.

That seems a bit spin-heavy, concentrating on a spell is not really the same thing as using points to power up items.
It is exactly the same. I cast the invisibility spell on myself and concentrate on it. I drank the invisibility potion and concentrate on it.
It really isn't, and it is not supported by the genre (fiction). I see it as a campaign specific variant, or something that one class, like an Artificer and/or Occultist, can do.
Uh, it is supported by the mechanics and lore (how can soemthing not be supported by “genre (fiction)”, what does that even mean?)

Characters in fantasy literature/film/computer-video games, etc, do not swig a potion, and then concentrate on its effects. You drink one, not knowing what it is, and you become invisible or whatever, not the same as casting an invisibility spell. Might seem like a minor difference to some, but to me it's rather large.

Liberty's Edge

archmagi1 wrote:

I like how Resonance is now a limit than a consumable. It keeps the Christmas Tree down (and adds room for really creative crafting options for multiple Resonance items and combining powers), while not relegating out of combat healing to a 15-minute adventure day.

Another Point Pool (FOCUS), on top of Spell Points, Hero Points, Ki Points, Arcane Focus, etc, though, seems like additional book-keeping, particularly for classes that already have 2-3 pools to keep up with anyway (casters). Surely there is someway in the grand scheme of things, to consolidate those daily "cool stuff" pools down to a single pool per class.

I suggested this exact thing to Mark at GenCon, the consolidating the various X Pool points into one mechanic: Resource Pool. The big fear was how that would play out with the multi-classing rules. Even though I’ve been vocal about what I feel is necessary language changes (not all things being called Feats, the boring approach of Dying 1, Dying 2, etc.), this is one place where I think that having one term would actually be beneficial. With a Resource Point pool, it wouldn’t matter what stat was used: Wizards could sacrifice Resource Points that normally would be used to supercharge their wands OR to supercharge their spells instead; Monks could use it to increase their class abilities OR to make a potion more effective. It would be a trade off, and those choices would still make it that epic moment in game play.

By now, they have made adjustments throughout the system based on feedback, the biggest one being Resonance itself. It might be time to reconsider whether a consolidated approach to the Pool mechanic might be viable. Feedback amongst my players has shown it would at least be an idea they are open to.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Coffee Demon wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Focus your inner magical energy on the item as you consume it.

Yep, that's what we'll be saying I think. I don't like it. It's not integrated into Golarion lore deeply enough (or at all) so it sounds silly and ungrounded in the world. It sounds like a cludged-on explanation for a mechanic.

"You drink the potion and focus your magical energy on it so it will last longer."

That doesn't feel right, narratively. It moves away from the standard of fantasy RPGs where items do particular things. I get points that give heroes certain abilities (Grit, etc, and plenty of mechanics in other systems), but points that raise item power levels is something new and it doesn't feel right to me.

Just my personal opinion. I understand that many people are fine with it but it feels little closer to the D&D 4e style of play that was too mechanics-centred and lost some heart in the process..

"I concentrate on the magic stuff to make the magic stuff do magic stuff" :3

It's been there since the beginning I'd say.

That seems a bit spin-heavy, concentrating on a spell is not really the same thing as using points to power up items.
It is exactly the same. I cast the invisibility spell on myself and concentrate on it. I drank the invisibility potion and concentrate on it.
It really isn't, and it is not supported by the genre (fiction). I see it as a campaign specific variant, or something that one class, like an Artificer and/or Occultist, can do.
Uh, it is supported by the mechanics and lore (how can soemthing not be supported by “genre (fiction)”, what does that even mean?)
Characters in fantasy literature/film/computer-video games, etc, do not swig a potion, and then concentrate on its effects. You drink one, not knowing what it is, and you become invisible or whatever, not the same as casting an invisibility spell....

There are some examples of "closing his eyes and feeling his body heal up as the potion starts running in his vein"

As for concentrating on a magical item and pushing your will on it to make it work, that's even more standard than NOT doing so.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
It really isn't, and it is not supported by the genre (fiction).

As written I'd agree but I do think there's a case in fantasy fiction for imbuing power in mystical items. Tolkien does this in a few cases but not nearly to the breadth or power level written here.

Vic Ferrari wrote:
I see it as a campaign specific variant, or something that one class, like an Artificer and/or Occultist, can do.

I agree. This feels like an Artificer class ability.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Thanks for the HUGE update, Jason and crew!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
The Once and Future Kai wrote:
shroudb wrote:

...and then, suddenly, dwarf adventurers became extinct. Or so the legend goes my child.

In all seriousness, Cha penalised races could use some form of alleviating this penalty.

I mean, Str penalty races have finessed, ranged, and magic
Dex penalised races have heavy armor.
And etc

I wouldn't mind as much for another -CHA ancestry but Dwarves definitely need some kind of loophole. Being "bad" at magical items doesn't fit their narrative at all.

I don't know, being particularly resistant to magic was always one of their things, this just takes it an extra step.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

One concern I have is that every magic item entry now has to be that much longer to accommodate two effects. Is that a big problem? Books with lots of items will get longer, and character sheet note entries will go from "Heal Potion (1d8)" to "Heal Potion (1d8, Foc:3d8)", or "Pot. of Invis. (1d4 rounds, Foc: 10 min)".

Looking at item design in the long run, I'm really hoping we don't start to see:

"Awesome Trinket of Wickedness

Activate this trinket to get [Useful Effect]

Or use focus to get [Useful Effect, plus cool effect that should be the base effect of an entirely different trinket, but since this one is named after it, the design space is locked out]"

In other words, I hope Focus sticks to multiplying and extending, not wild new effects.

That being said, the Invisibility potion raises the question: Shouldn't the 1d4 round potion be a cheap potion, and the 10 minute one being a bit more expensive one? Maybe Focus could just be "Raise the quality of the item by one tier"


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This is *significantly* better than resonance and I'm very satisfied with the change.

Liberty's Edge

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Tridus wrote:
Not even close. One is tracking one thing, the other is tracking three things. On a simple sheet one of them can have " ___ " as the only thing listed where you write in how many charges are left, and you need no additional info.

I disagree. The cognitive load is slightly higher due to the multiple resources, but all the absolute numbers are smaller, which is easier for most people (for whatever reason).

Tridus wrote:
The other one has three times more complexity in what it is tracking. Now carry five wands at higher level and watch how much space on the page you need for it.

As Rysky notes, it's not actually that space intensive. You can put it all on a single line in most cases.

Tridus wrote:
There is no reason whatsoever wands have to be so complicated. If they're consumables with charges, let them be that. If they're daily use items, let them be that. But you have to pick one, they can't be both at the same time.

You clearly can have both. Whether it's a good idea is a somewhat different matter, but it's certainly possible.

For the record, I'm not sure I like it. The fact that it'
s not notably more complex than PF1 Wands in practice is not actually very high praise, since PF1 Wands were annoying and fiddly. I might well prefer something simpler, personally.

But that doesn't mean it doesn't work, or that it's a sudden sea change in difficulty to use.

Scarab Sages

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

BRACERS OF MISSILE DEFLECTION

So you can be Wonder Woman


Colette Brunel wrote:
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.

I think it is an artifact of the feat for alchemists that lets you apply your int bonus to splash damage. Their scaling they built in is basically the alchemist increasing their inter over time. I would agree the splash should scale as well in addition to that but I believe that is the reason it is like this.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Using Focus to empower magic items really doesn't bother me.

Those of you saying "a Fighter focusing on a magical item to empower it doesn't make sense", how did you explain Use Magic Device in 1e?

To me this just reads as "Use Magic Device is now something that most people can do".

That said, I would also be surprised if non-heroic characters had Focus pools. Commoners almost certainly won't, and I wouldn't be surprised if many monsters don't either.


WatersLethe wrote:
One concern I have is that every magic item entry now has to be that much longer to accommodate two effects. Is that a big problem? Books with lots of items will get longer, and character sheet note entries will go from "Heal Potion (1d8)" to "Heal Potion (1d8, Foc:3d8)", or "Pot. of Invis. (1d4 rounds, Foc: 10 min)".

This is my concern as well. The game is already heavy referentially and this adds to that. Considering the variety of magic items I don't think there's a simple fix.


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You know I thought the original design of Resonance, if it was just limited to worn magic items was pretty cool and I wouldn't have minded retaining that.

But changing it to 10 magic items max is fine though I really wish they'd retained the cool CHA dependency that Resonance achieved with Proficiency.

I REALLY don't like Focus Points though. Spell Points were an awesome design concept, the only problem with them was the name really (should be called Power Points). They were a great way to consolidate all the various class specific x/day abilities and pools like ki, grit, panache etc.

Focus Points has the same problem Resonance does is that it's a single pool that is doing two very different things. In this case buffing items vs powering class abilities. And it being tied to CHA makes the powering class abilities part of it, at the very least, clunky as non charismatic classes are going to need special rules to get enough points to use the abilities that make them unique..

I'll wait to make my judgement of course, but I'm skeptical.

Making the Monk Ki Powers more interesting might salvage a lot of my concerns. The current Ki Strike is underwhelming.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I definitely agree that for Focus points to be a good idea, they need to strike a careful balance point. They need to "pop" enough that they are fun to use, but not be so necessary that the 8 Cha Ancient Blood dwarf is an unplayable character.


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MaxAstro wrote:
I definitely agree that for Focus points to be a good idea, they need to strike a careful balance point. They need to "pop" enough that they are fun to use, but not be so necessary that the 8 Cha Ancient Blood dwarf is an unplayable character.

I like with this system that the dwarf can use as many magic items as their party members. They just resist the effects of magic and don't get as many extra benefits.

You probably won't see a dwarf picked for a class power build, but that seems okay.

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