The Play's the Thing

Monday, July 8, 2019

Last week, we built a character together, so now let's talk about how the game plays!

Digital artwork: Lush forest, night time. Aged vines and moss wrap around thick tree branches. In the foreground, Harsk, a gruff gnome ranger with long hair and an almost equally long beard, is peering out from behind large, leafy plants. Behind him, Lini - an excited-looking gnome druid, uses her right hand to brush back overgrown greenery from a stone column twice her height and half as wide. She holds a torch in her left hand, which lights the image in dark red. She has partially revealed square-shaped carvings in the side of the column. Behind her - to the right - her snow leopard companion Droogami, looks  to see what she's discovered.

Illustration by Will O'Brien

Exploring

Most of the time when you're adventuring, you're exploring. Whether you're examining a dusty tomb, blazing trails through a dense jungle, or disguising your way into an enemy fortress, exploration is all about discovery. It takes place on a fluid time scale, ranging from roughly 10 minutes to hours, or even days for a long overland expedition. It's dangerous to go alone, especially when you don't know if you'll have an important skill you need to brave the perils of a dungeon, but fortunately you'll be part of a team. If you're an expert or better in a skill, you'll be able to help your allies with that skill while exploring, by coaching your less athletic teammates up the cliffside and spotting the worst of the climb, using hand gestures to sneak your louder allies past the guards at the best moment, and more!

In addition to a handful of exploration actions characters can take while in this game mode, the book also presents a number of skills that can be used while exploring.

Text inset: SKILL EXPLORATION ACTIVITIES. Chapter 4: Skills include numerous additional exploration activities, which are summarized here.  
Borrow an Arcane Spell: You use Arcana to prepare a spell from someone else's spellbook (page 241).
Coerce: You use Intimidation to threaten a creature so it does what you want (page 247).
Cover Tracks: You use Survival to obscure your passing (page 252).
Decipher Writing: You use a suitable skill to understand archaic, esoteric, or obscure texts (page 234).
Gather Information: You use Diplomacy to canvass the area to learn about a specific individual or topic (page 246).
Identify Alchemy: You use Craft and alchemist's tools to identify an alchemical item (page 245).
Identify Magic: Using a variety of skills, you can learn about a magic item, location, or ongoing effect (page 238). 
Impersonate: You use Deception and usually a disguise kit to create a disguise (page 245).
Learn a Spell: You use the skill corresponding to the spell’s tradition to gan access to a new spell (page 238).
Make an Impression: You use Diplomacy to make a good impression on someone (page 246). 
Repair: With a repair kit and the Crafting skill, you fix a damaged item (page 243).
Sense Direction: You use Survival to get a sense of where you are or determine the cardinal directions (page 252).
Squeeze: Using Acrobatics, you squeeze through very tight spaces (page 241).
Track: You use Survival to find and follow creatures’ tracks (page 252).
Treat Wounds: You use Medicine to treat a living creature’s wounds (page 249).

Encounter

When every action matters, your characters enter an encounter, proceeding turn by turn, action by action. These crop up in the middle of exploration, putting your travels on hold so you can deal with an immediate danger or opportunity. Combat encounters are the most typical encounters, taking place on a scale of mere seconds between life and death, but all encounters share a common structure: you roll initiative to determine turn order, then you take turns, performing your actions and determining what happens. In a combat encounter, each turn you get one reaction and three actions you can spend however you want. For instance, on her turn in combat, a sorcerer might spend all three actions to unleash a deadly barrage of magic missiles while a fighter might raise his shield and then use a Sudden Charge to rush an enemy and attack.

It's during encounters that most player characters will bestow conditions upon their foes, or gain a condition as the result of the conflict. To make the wide range of conditions that can come into play easier for new players to learn, we provide a full-page list of them without any of the associated rules. This allows someone to quickly reference what it means to be stunned or stupefied, and tell the difference between being undetected, invisible, or concealed.

Text Inset: CONDITIONS. These conditions appear often in the game and are defined in detail in the Conditions Appendix on pages 618-623. Here’s a brief summary of each.
Blinded: You’re unable to see.
Broken: This item can’t be used for its normal function until repaired.
Clumsy: You can’t move as easily or gracefully as usual.
Concealed: Fog or similar obscuration makes you difficult to see and target. 
Confused: You attack indiscriminately.
Controlled: Another creature determines your actions.
Dazzled: Everything is concealed to you.
Deafened: You’re unable to hear.
Doomed: With your soul in peril, you are now closer to death.
Drained: Blood loss or something similar has leached your vitality.
Dying: You’re slipping closer to death.
Encumbered: You’re carrying more weight than you can manage.
Enfeebled: Your strength has been sapped away.
Fascinated: You are compelled to focus your attention on something.
Fatigued: Your defenses are lower and you can’t focus while exploring.
Flat-Footed: You’re unable to defend yourself to your full capability.
Fleeing: You must run away.
Friendly: An NPC with this condition has a good attitude toward you.
Frightened: Fear makes you less capable of attacking and defending.
Grabbed:  A creature, object, or magic holds you in place.
Helpful: An NPC with this condition wants to assistantships you.
Hidden: A creature you’re hiding from knows your location but can’t see you.
Hostile: An NPC with this condition wants to harm you.
Immobilized: You can’t move.
Indifferent: An NPC with this condition doesn’t have a strong opinion about you.
Invisible: Creatures can’t see you.
Observed: You’re in plain view.
Paralyzed: Your body is frozen in place.
Persistent Damage: You keep taking damage every round.
Petrified: You’ve been turned to stone.
Prone: You’re lying on the ground and easier to attack.
Quickened: You get an extra action each turn.
Restrained: You’re tied up and can’t move, or a grappling creature has you pinned.
Sickened: You’re sick to your stomach.
Slowed: You lose actions each turn.
Stunned: You can’t use actions.
Stupefied: You can’t access your full mental faculties, and you have trouble casting spells.
Unconscious: You’re asleep or knocked out.
Undetected: A creature you are undetected by doesn’t know where you are.
Unfriendly: An NPC with this condition doesn’t like you.
Unnoticed: A creature is entirely unaware you’re present.
Wounded: You’ve been brought back from the brink of death but haven’t fully recovered.

Downtime

Even heroes sometimes need a break from the incredible stress of an adventuring life! During downtime, you can earn money, craft items, swap out old character choices for different options, or just take a rest and carouse with the locals. You take your downtime when you return to the safety of a town or home base, usually after completing an adventure. While downtime in general flows quickly through days or weeks at a time, depending on the choices you make, new options might open themselves up to you as the GM sprinkles special downtime events into your chosen downtime activity, zooming in temporarily to highlight interesting or unusual occurrences when you're not out on an adventure.

Downtime gets the least amount of space of the three game modes, but it's an incredibly rich design space built into the core of the game that may lead to new innovations over the lifespan of Second Edition (some of which we're already working on). As in Exploration Mode, players can utilize some of their skills for downtime activities.

Text inset: SKILL DOWNTIME ACTIVITIES.
Chapter 4: Skills includes several downtime activities, which are summarized here.
Craft: Using the Crafting skill, you can create items from raw materials (page 244).
Create Forgery: You forge a document (page 251).
Earn Income: You earn money, typically using Crafting, Lore, or Performance (page 236).
Subsist: You find food and shelter in the wilderness or within a settlement (page 240).
Treat Disease: You spend time caring for a diseased creature in the hope of curing that creature (page 248).

Treasure

While many adventurers risk their lives due to heroism or a sense of duty, treasure is a major motivator for others. And let's be honest, even when playing an altruistic PC, it's still a lot of fun to find a cool magic item for your character. In Pathfinder, your characters will find a fairly steady stream of magic items, ranging from simple healing potions to the mighty skyhammer. Some of the more inexpensive items are consumable, meaning they can be used once, like alchemical elixirs you drink, scrolls you read, and special talismans you can attach to your other items. Others, like magic weapons or enchanted clothing and tools, serve you again and again as you adventure. You could wield a storm flash rapier arcing with electricity and wear a dread blindfold to strike fear into your foes! You can also find magic runes you can etch onto weapons and armor to build all kinds of powerful combinations!

Text inset: Storm Flash. Item 14+. Electricity. Evocation. Magical. 
Usage: held in 1 hand; bulk 1.
Description: This +2 greater striking shock rapier has a golden blade, and miniature electric arcs flash across its guard while it’s wielded. When out of its sheath under an open sky, the blade causes storm clouds to gather slowly above.
Activate  command, envision;
Frequency: once per day;
Effect: You cast a 60th level lightning bolt (DC 33).
Activate reaction command; Frequency: once per 10 minutes; Trigger: An electricity effect targets you or a creature within 10 feet of you, or has you or a creature within 10 feet of you in its area; Effect: You try to divert the electricity off course, to be absorbed by storm flash. Choose one eligible creature to protect and roll a melee attack roll against the DC of the electricity effect. If you succeed, the chosen creature takes no electricity damage from the triggering effect.
Type: storm flash; Level 14; Price 4000 gp.
Type: greater storm flash; Level 18. Price: 21,000gp.
This is a +3 greater striking shock rapier. When activating the sword to cast lightning bolt, the spell is 8th level. Text inset: Dread Blindfold. Item 17.
Emotion. Enchantment. Fear. Invested. Magical. Mental.
Price: 15,000 gp.
Usage: worn eyepiece.
Bulk: none.
When tied over your eyes, this ragged strip of black linen gives you a +3 item bonus to Intimidation checks and darkvision. You can see through the blindfold, but only using darkvision. 
The first time a particular creatures sees you in a day, it must succeed at a DC 37 Will save or be frightened 1. This is an emotion, fear, and mental effect, and your allies become immune to it after about a week.

Activate command; Frequency: once per minute; 
Trigger: You damage a creature with a Strike; Effect: Your target is gripped by intense fear. This has the effect of a DC 37 phantasmal killer spell, but it is an enchantment instead of an illusion. The creature is then temporarily immune for 24 hours.

Experience Points and Levels

In Pathfinder, you learn from your adventures, both your triumphs and your failures, growing more powerful and gaining fantastic new abilities. We measure that progress with Experience Points (XP), and typically the more impressive and insurmountable the challenge for your character, the more XP you gain for overcoming it. Once you earn a total of 1,000 XP, you reach a new level, opening up new options for your character. Next week we'll go into detail about leveling up!

Three characters sitting on the grass in the shade under an old, very leafy tree. The weather is partially cloudy. Kneeling on the left is Kyra, a cleric, is holding up a glowing idol in both hands and looking at it intently. She is wearing long flowing blue and white garments with gold dotted circular designs.  She is facing away from the group, to the left of the picture. In the center and further back, Lem, a halfling bard, is sitting barefoot, wrapped in a short-sleeved cloak or jacket. He is playing the flute with his eyes closed. On the far right, Ezren the wizard, a human male with long white hair, is studying from two open books floating in front of him. He has one hand on the pages of each book, and his hands are glowing. The book on the left has a glowing circle of glyphs surrounding his hands

Illustration by Matteo Spirito

Mark Seifter
Designer

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Removed a couple of posts. Debate and disagreement are fine, but name-calling is not.


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Interesting. Honestly for my games whether the game said 7 days or about a week it would still be treated the same. Heck when players ask me the time or date in game i'm sure I usually start it with. About (noonish etc) So really either way would not really change it for me.


What about shopping?

Is there a "Market" skill in the game that would cover locating and negotiating places where to buy, sell, or exchange goods?

I know the 1st edition CRB had a section on item availability (even including DMs rolling higher-cost magic items that were "available" in select markets as a function of settlement size) - very clunky rules which our table turned into a houserule sub-system - and wondering what will replace it.

I know "Common" and "Rare" are a start, but how will it be decided which commodities are available where and when?

And importantly: any way to use Skills during Exploration or Downtime mode to modify base values?


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Clicked this thread interested to see what people had to say about the way the game was played and the mechanics described in the blog.

Did not expect five pages of people arguing over how long a week is. Or that and darkvision is too confusing of a phrase for the average group.

This fanbase. I think I finally get why so many people say screw it and just go play 5e instead.


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I think PF2 is going to make it impossible for me to go back to 5E. Especially since Paizo understands gamers want campaign guides and releases. PF2 is going to have almost as many rulebook out the gate and in the first 6 months as 5E has had since it released.


rainzax wrote:

What about shopping?

Is there a "Market" skill in the game that would cover locating and negotiating places where to buy, sell, or exchange goods?

I know the 1st edition CRB had a section on item availability (even including DMs rolling higher-cost magic items that were "available" in select markets as a function of settlement size) - very clunky rules which our table turned into a houserule sub-system - and wondering what will replace it.

I know "Common" and "Rare" are a start, but how will it be decided which commodities are available where and when?

And importantly: any way to use Skills during Exploration or Downtime mode to modify base values?

I'd hazard a guess that item level will be the big thing that determines availability. You can't craft items above your level. That is probably true of NPCs as well, even if their stats don't align with PCs otherwise.

So if the town's alchemist is 5th level, he will mostly stock 5th level or lower items, being unable to make anything above that level. And given making a profit is dependant on taking your time crafting the item (as opposed to doing a rush job to order) it is in that alchemists best interest to keep his inventory as well stocked as possible.

Now, the alchemist probably has a few items he purchased from adventurers or imported. But that's a limited selection, maybe 1d4 items per shop determined by your GM.


If you actually look for sources for magic items I would say the skill is diplomacy for information gatherin

Maybe thievery if the rogue takes a look at the black market too

And of course the barbarian could intimidate 'Say me where get magic item or me punch you...hard.' but that has it's own problems :P


Seisho wrote:

If you actually look for sources for magic items I would say the skill is diplomacy for information gatherin

Maybe thievery if the rogue takes a look at the black market too

And of course the barbarian could intimidate 'Say me where get magic item or me punch you...hard.' but that has it's own problems :P

Eh. All the social checks in the world won't give a town an item that they don't have in stock because no one in town can make it. And if they do have it in stock, they intend to sell it anyway, so why require a check?

The only exception would be contraband or the rare corner case. The alchemist might not openly broadcast that he sells poisons too and require a check to know you aren't a cop. And you could get the odd case for an item a shop keep has reserved for another buyer where you need to convince them otherwise. Say, a semi important noble. Or the odd item with sentimental value. But otherwise, they have the items to sell.


swoosh wrote:

Clicked this thread interested to see what people had to say about the way the game was played and the mechanics described in the blog.

Did not expect five pages of people arguing over how long a week is. Or that and darkvision is too confusing of a phrase for the average group.

This fanbase. I think I finally get why so many people say screw it and just go play 5e instead.

I know it's a joke, but that's what my group and I recently decided to do. We passed originally due to some annoying bits, but with some judicious application of houserules I do think it'll be a better fit for us than PF2...


Will there still be plenty of items that give flat numeric bonuses? Passive bonuses and abilities are my favorite, always will be, and I hope there will be plenty in the new version. That's one of my favorite things about 1e.


Depends what you mean. There are, I'm pretty sure, items for boosting every skill in the game, so you can collect a bunch of those if you like, but not things like how in PF1 there were enchantments that gave like +15 to a particular skill. The modifiers are smaller, and for the most part don't stack with each other (so no taking three different +3 items for +9 to a single thing, but you can still have +3 to three different things).


Crayon wrote:
I know it's a joke, but that's what my group and I recently decided to do. We passed originally due to some annoying bits, but with some judicious application of houserules I do think it'll be a better fit for us than PF2...

I'm in a similar boat. I like alot of what PF2 has to offer. The action economy is inspired, the enemy design can be fun, degrees of success can be cool, Paizo adventures are great, the character building is neat, the magic items are cool but... I dunno. I will reserve judgement until the final hits. But I suspect I will be sticking with 5E. I dont need super rigid rules, complicated bonus stacking, all these conditions or wierd numbered/shifting afflictions. And the magic system. Ugh. 5E casting slots (or as PF terms it, Arcanist style casting) is much more to my liking. We'll see, I guess.


Captain Morgan wrote:
rainzax wrote:

What about shopping?

Is there a "Market" skill in the game that would cover locating and negotiating places where to buy, sell, or exchange goods?

I know the 1st edition CRB had a section on item availability (even including DMs rolling higher-cost magic items that were "available" in select markets as a function of settlement size) - very clunky rules which our table turned into a houserule sub-system - and wondering what will replace it.

I know "Common" and "Rare" are a start, but how will it be decided which commodities are available where and when?

And importantly: any way to use Skills during Exploration or Downtime mode to modify base values?

I'd hazard a guess that item level will be the big thing that determines availability. You can't craft items above your level. That is probably true of NPCs as well, even if their stats don't align with PCs otherwise.

So if the town's alchemist is 5th level, he will mostly stock 5th level or lower items, being unable to make anything above that level. And given making a profit is dependant on taking your time crafting the item (as opposed to doing a rush job to order) it is in that alchemists best interest to keep his inventory as well stocked as possible.

Now, the alchemist probably has a few items he purchased from adventurers or imported. But that's a limited selection, maybe 1d4 items per shop determined by your GM.

So, if "5th level" is determined to be the highest NPC in a given settlement - say "town" in this instance - does that mean all 5th level items will be available?

Just the Common ones?

Maybe roll a dice to see if an Uncommon 5th level item is available?

Or a skill check?

...


Why would the player's outcome on a skill magically produce an item? As the GM it's my job to decide whether or not the item exists. I might require a skill check to see if the PC's FIND the item, but first I must decide whether or not the item is there independent of the PCs.


Isn't that what people are asking? How will that be deterimened?


Because a player's outcome on a skill could produce a magic item.

By proxy, the DM determines whether or not an item exists based on how the outcome of that skill interacts with the game world. The higher the cost and rarity of the item, the greater the DC of the skill check.

In-world, imagine the same level of abstraction as any exploration or downtime system.

We use the Appraise skill in our game to do as much.


rainzax wrote:
Because a player's outcome on a skill could produce a magic item.

Let's just say we're playing completely different games when a gather information or appraise check can spontaneously produce magic items out of thin air.

Out of interest, are they required to be in a settlement for this feat of magic to occur? Or can they gather information in the middle of an uninhabited dungeon?


Imagine the same level of abstraction as any exploration or downtime system.


So does that mean they can gather information on an uninhabited island? Or no? Because if yes that is an extremely high level of abstraction that I've thankfully never had to play with before in Pathfinder.


I kinda agree that it doesn't make sense for players to be able to affect the probability that items are available. I had assumed that the DM would have a method for that sort of thing. Maybe a player asks if the item is available and the DM looks at a list of available items or otherwise rolls some dice. I wouldn't expect items that are of the highest rarity or levels to be available anywhere unless someone crafts/invents them.

Selling items is another story. I'd expect
for that to be entirely in the players' control, and for there to be a system to determine how long it takes to sell/fence items, the most rare/valuable items taking longer. I don't know what the skill for that would be, though.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
So does that mean they can gather information on an uninhabited island? Or no? Because if yes that is an extremely high level of abstraction that I've thankfully never had to play with before in Pathfinder.

Are you always this spiteful in your opinions?


swoosh wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
So does that mean they can gather information on an uninhabited island? Or no? Because if yes that is an extremely high level of abstraction that I've thankfully never had to play with before in Pathfinder.
Are you always this spiteful in your opinions?

All he has to do is say "we value different things in our games" rather than yell "abstraction" as if that was a valid counterargument.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

That wasn't an answer.


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Here's an answer: no.

Happy?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think to be fair to John although he might not realise how snarky his tone is, and how his statements put people on the defensive about their home games, I believe his posts are all quite in earnest. He obviously thinks about his position and knows well what he desires in a game. Various threads he has started have been very good and quite informative, the alchemy ones for example.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Why would the player's outcome on a skill magically produce an item? As the GM it's my job to decide whether or not the item exists. I might require a skill check to see if the PC's FIND the item, but first I must decide whether or not the item is there independent of the PCs.

If it's a landfill, or a junk market, or something where there might be something good that a discerning eye could find that someone else would pass right by...maybe a dusty old lamp, a plain-looking ring found in a cave, or a podracer built from scrap by a small child...

Finding the diamond in the rough is a classic trope. For non-fictional examples, antique hunters, car collectors, etc. all exist. Being good at finding a street-level arms dealer is a perfectly valid use of a criminal lore skill.

But you already knew all that, which is why you mentioned the same thing about potentially needing a skill check to find an item. That's the level of abstraction that people are including, and GM's regularly have to assign some level of chance to an action they hadn't pre-considered having the possibility of working out. I sure wouldn't frame it how rainzax is, except for the part about "the same level of abstraction as any exploration or downtime system." Layer that abstraction to taste, and you don't end up with gather information checks on uninhabited islands, at least without some other extenuating circumstance like animals or corpses and some magic to talk to them.

Some people just are more comfortable with Schrodinger's market, where the presence or absence of an item is only resolved when the market is observed. That's okay, too, and it's fair to characterize the mechanical operation as the skill check producing the item, even if the lore layered on top doesn't match.


Btw just to be clear I wasn't suggesting that PC just spontaneously create items. But there probably should a way for DMs to determine what is for sale, and for players to find out about it.


RicoTheBold wrote:
Some people just are more comfortable with Schrodinger's market, where the presence or absence of an item is only resolved when the market is observed. That's okay, too, and it's fair to characterize the mechanical operation as the skill check producing the item, even if the lore layered on top doesn't match.

That's not how PF1e worked. I personally think PF1e was correct in that they placed the responsibility of deciding whether or not something was there on the shoulders of the GM. They provided the GM with tools to determine whether it was there independent of the PCs. The PC would then need to find the item, perhaps even through a skill check. But the PC rolling a good diplomacy didn't suddenly make the item appear.

People can play any way they want and I support their right to play whatever way they find fun at their table. I might query them and ask them to explain it. "ABSTRACTION!!!!" isn't really a good explanation. And if someone doesn't want to explain something to me, they're always welcome to simply ignore my post.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
So does that mean they can gather information on an uninhabited island?

There IS a way to do this in PF1 at least: the Ears of the City spell allows gathering info without actual people to talk to.


graystone wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
So does that mean they can gather information on an uninhabited island?
There IS a way to do this in PF1 at least: the Ears of the City spell allows gathering info without actual people to talk to.

LOL. You got me there. But what I meant was "can you use gather information to produce magic items on an uninhabited island".


Well that depends a little

If you look for clues of people that might have been there (hence, they are not anymore and therefore the island is uninhabitat) a survival check would certainly work to look for clues (worked stones, unnatural plant formations, leftovers of housing)
Of course it's a whole different question if the left behind stuff is enough to craft magic items


John Lynch 106 wrote:
graystone wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
So does that mean they can gather information on an uninhabited island?
There IS a way to do this in PF1 at least: the Ears of the City spell allows gathering info without actual people to talk to.
LOL. You got me there. But what I meant was "can you use gather information to produce magic items on an uninhabited island".

Oh, I got that: I just found it interesting the example you picked happened to be one you could actually do [and at 1st level too]. It made me grin and I had to post it. ;)


While I think there is a degree of hearing Professor Oak calling out in the distance, "You can't use that item here." Galoran is a magical setting with planar travel. Traveling merchants exist, and I imagine some of Galoran's traveling merchants are fae who don't understand uninhabited islands are not ideal market spaces.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
RicoTheBold wrote:
Some people just are more comfortable with Schrodinger's market, where the presence or absence of an item is only resolved when the market is observed. That's okay, too, and it's fair to characterize the mechanical operation as the skill check producing the item, even if the lore layered on top doesn't match.
That's not how PF1e worked. I personally think PF1e was correct in that they placed the responsibility of deciding whether or not something was there on the shoulders of the GM. They provided the GM with tools to determine whether it was there independent of the PCs. The PC would then need to find the item, perhaps even through a skill check. But the PC rolling a good diplomacy didn't suddenly make the item appear.

Whats the functional difference between a DM placing items and the PCs rolling skillchecks to find them versus a PC rolling a skillcheck to determine if there's an item available and then the DM determining what they are?

My agenda here is that I don't care about what mechanics/system we use at all, but I have players who do. I wouldn't have thought it would matter which of these two methodologies was used but am curious why it does. (Presuming I've understood your distinction correctly - if not could you clarify whats okay and what isnt in that mechanical way?)


John Lynch 106 wrote:
graystone wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
So does that mean they can gather information on an uninhabited island?
There IS a way to do this in PF1 at least: the Ears of the City spell allows gathering info without actual people to talk to.
LOL. You got me there. But what I meant was "can you use gather information to produce magic items on an uninhabited island".

Perhaps "uninhabited island" is categorically ruled out, sure.

Typically, the idea is to use this within a settlement (village, city, metropolis).

What we would be "abstracting" is a character carousing the areas where shoppes, bizarres, or black markets might be located, either looking for specific items, or looking for specific buyers, based on a sense of knowledge and experience of doing exactly this type of activity.

The characters roll good enough, they get what they want, if they roll incredibly well, either it happens faster, or at discount.

That type of thing.


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rainzax wrote:

The characters roll good enough, they get what they want, if they roll incredibly well, either it happens faster, or at discount.

That type of thing.

Meh. Reminds me of a game where players would present their DM with a list of treasure they want to get over the next X levels and the DM would insert that treasure into the future adventures. Wasn't really my cup of tea.

But more power to you if you enjoy that sort of thing.


Takes some of the onus off the DM to decide (or pre-decide) what is for sale and where, by leaving it partially to chance, while rewarding characters who take those skills, to improve their chances of finding what they want.

If PF2 doesn't have such rules, we will probably port over our rules, which were basically constructed out of the PF1 CRB (page 461; table 15-1), and elaborated upon.

Question: What is the analogous Appraise skill?


rainzax wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
graystone wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
So does that mean they can gather information on an uninhabited island?
There IS a way to do this in PF1 at least: the Ears of the City spell allows gathering info without actual people to talk to.
LOL. You got me there. But what I meant was "can you use gather information to produce magic items on an uninhabited island".

Perhaps "uninhabited island" is categorically ruled out, sure.

Typically, the idea is to use this within a settlement (village, city, metropolis).

What we would be "abstracting" is a character carousing the areas where shoppes, bizarres, or black markets might be located, either looking for specific items, or looking for specific buyers, based on a sense of knowledge and experience of doing exactly this type of activity.

The characters roll good enough, they get what they want, if they roll incredibly well, either it happens faster, or at discount.

That type of thing.

IMO, I'm not sure this is a good fit for settlements that are spelled out like the ones in APs. Usually there is a specified list of vendors that include all relevant shops for adventurers. I'd generally assume they stock at least one of any given common item they can craft craft based on their level and assumed skill feats, plus uncommon items that your player has access to from feats. Then add uncommon items at your discretion. Now, if you don't have those shops spelled out for you, your system sounds pretty good. I imagine the gamemastery guide will have some settlement rules to help you refine them.

Oh, and getting items at discount is best simulated by the bargain Hunter skill feat in PF2. You could make that a default trained skill action (essentially giving everyone the feat for free) but that makes one of the best skills in the game even better and discourages anyone with charisma investment from using their lore skill to practice a trade and earn income.


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I just use an online magic item generator to see what a particular location may have for sale (this one is pretty great). This gives the world the feeling that it doesn't exist solely for the PCs. Of course, it does, but I feel it's better if the players aren't constantly reminded of that.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
rainzax wrote:

The characters roll good enough, they get what they want, if they roll incredibly well, either it happens faster, or at discount.

That type of thing.

Meh. Reminds me of a game where players would present their DM with a list of treasure they want to get over the next X levels and the DM would insert that treasure into the future adventures. Wasn't really my cup of tea.

But more power to you if you enjoy that sort of thing.

I also really dislike it, but it seems to be the most common way to play PF1 if the optimization talks are any indication.

I only feel pressured to do this when there is a Monk in the party, who are beholden to 1 specific item to progress, one that isn't easy to justify with lore a lot of the time.


I think the most organic way to handle this is to have other characters help find the magical items that they need. If your party is working with a nation or global entity, has become friendly with a high-ranking political figure or archmage, or has otherwise interacted with the world at all, they should have some contacts that would let them buy magic items from a town over.

If you are starting at a high level, you can hand-wave that would know someone.

And if they got to a high level without a positive interaction with anyone of importance, then they might not be the party that cares about realism.


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swoosh wrote:

Clicked this thread interested to see what people had to say about the way the game was played and the mechanics described in the blog.

Did not expect five pages of people arguing over how long a week is. Or that and darkvision is too confusing of a phrase for the average group.

This fanbase. I think I finally get why so many people say screw it and just go play 5e instead.

This, exactly. Which makes me sad, being a hardcore fan of Paizo games.

The extremely good idea of introducing tools(rules) to further integrating exploration and downtime into pathfinder clearly enriches the system AS WELL as the value of the core rule book. Also given that these expansions are not even forced on GMs and players, they're there for your benefit, if you want to use them. That's pretty good value for money (something that similar very famous games seem to have failed to deliver so far!)

To take this and turn it into an arid discussion just to complain about a non-existing issues... well that's just a self inflicted wound, people.


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To denegrate someone’s clearly genuine concern about the new edition and dismiss it as non-existent says far more about the quality of the community. IMO.

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