I've been noticing this, BYA/AYA is everywhere, and it seems like the percentage of banes in a location has increased on average. (From 4-5 to 5-6). A lot of the boon cards do have local benefits to balance this out, though there benefits often seem to be only applicable under fairly specific circumstances.
I see the idea is that people are supposed to hang out at the same location a lot more, but the close/guard rules haven't changed to match this. Is the idea that if you find the villain in the first location when everyone is exploring, you just reset the game? Otherwise you're not going to finish in time.
Like most people I dislike non full-page chronicle sheets.
Regarding Boons, I prefer a few powerful boons I can just slot without thinking about most of the time. In Starfinder the best example is the hireling boon.
I think having like 3 boon slots without "typing" them is fine. I'll pick 2 boons and use them every session, and keep a 3rd open if I need to slot another . boon in the middle of the game.
Regarding convention boons: I don't GM often, and I don't go to the really big cons like Paizo con or Gen Con, so I am never going to get my hands on those supposed amazing exclusive boons.
You know what? I don't care. It doesn't take anything away from me if other people are having fun with something they've received, and I hope they enjoy it. I think you should continue injecting limited edition exclusive, powerful boons like these. I love hearing stories about some long time GM showing up at a table with a crazy character, and I hope I'd never be jealous of something like that.
Loving the game, but dang if the Kingdom Management is a slog. I feel like if Owlcat sold advertising on their load screens they'd be rich by now, getting into and out of the Throne Room is a nightmare.
A lot of the building, events and quests in Kingdom management are quite fun, but the rules are unclear and its not like you can go back and read the tutorial tips. Getting new counselors beyond the original 5 is incredibly difficult.
That said, the rest of the game is so fantastic everyone should be playing Kingmaker anyway.
Thanks, you've given a ton of helpful advice. I'll definitely turn on pause at the end of each turn.
I'm still really annoyed that there seems to be no way to five foot step, but tons of attacks of opportunity. And a grid overlay during combat would be greatly appreciated.
Still a fun, fantastic game overall.
There are people who genuinely hate this, they've been coming on to the forums and complaining about it for years. I think the problem is, the 2E designers have taken it as gospel that these complainers are representative of the player base as a whole.
I'd love to hear if Paizo did some organized market research beyond the forums. Hired a company to interview a statistically valid sample and learn what the average player really wants in a new system.
I mean, I could be wrong. My community could be non-representative, and most players actually want to stop easy healing, have much less magic items, and focus more on balance than fun. If I saw data from some big organized statistically valid survey that proved this, I'd stop complaining, because even if I didn't like the system, I would understand why Paizo is creating this new system the way it is.
Until then, I think the most important design goal should be "player's choice and decisions have a bigger impact on success or failure than random dice rolls."
I totally agree on putting designers above players. It's why the biggest problem for me isn't Resonance, it's the Common/Uncommon/Rare system. When they introduced the idea, everyone assumed it would be used really sparingly, and the tired complaints about "Blood Money" got thrown around a lot. But when the actual playtest came out, what spells are marked as Uncommon? Scry, Teleport, Protection from Evil, Discern Lies. Not overwhelming spells that break the game, but creative spells that a smart adventure designer needs to play around.
What I'm terrified of is, the idea is that each adventure is going to have a little paragraph in front for the GM, saying "Warning, make sure you ban Teleport, Scry and the following other uncommon spells during this scenario, as I was too lazy to come up with a counter for them when I wrote this." (I may be paraphrasing that last part.)
I think Resonance is symptomatic of a larger problem. As someone who lives in a large metro area and has rotated around almost a dozen game stores on and off, I've played with hundreds of players over the years, and I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of what they like and dislike about Pathfinder. I've also spent a fair amount of time on these forums. And the likes and dislikes of the people on these message boards is wildly unrepresentative of the larger player base who don't bother to regularly comment on Paizo.
Only on the messageboards do more than a tiny handful of people seem really focused on stopping other people from having cheap healing, from making sure every character is perfectly balanced, to just making sure other players aren't having too much fun.
Unfortunately, it appears to me that the Pathfinder 2E Design Team has spent two years listening to this tiny, non-representative minority on the message-boards and created design goals almost entirely to satisfy them.
It sounds like you are saying that you recognize that Resonance has failed as a feature towards the design goal of preventing people from easily healing and having lots of magic items, and in response to this you will now diligently work on a brand new mechanism for preventing easy out-combat-healing and players having lots of magic items.
When are you going to submit the actual playtest GOALS for review? Not the mechanical features, but the actual goals? Because right now it seems like the designers have the primary goals of:
A) Make Every d20 Roll so absurdly well balanced that a 10 on the dice fails and an 11 succeeds.
B)Make sure the designers know they are more important than those impudent players.
C)Make magic, especially magical items, much rarer (calling them "unique" and "wondrous" fools no one).
I can tell you to dump Resonance and the Common/Uncommon/Rare System, etc until I'm blue in the face, but if you're just going to try to come up with new methods of achieving goals that I think make the game worse, what's the point?
So we know skills and ability checks are going to scale with level now, and skill DCs are also going to scale with level.
It seems like the easiest thing to do is is just tell players to roll a d20 and then say "a ten or higher for a trivial task, a fifteen or higher for a difficult task."
These DCs seem to be doing the same thing, but there's an extra step that's obscuring the results.
Overall the weapons look good. It's hard to tell though, without the math. It's really important that weapons be upgradeable. We know the single biggest flaw in Starfinder is the sell for 10%, combined with the general lack of upgrading, means players feel like they are throwing their gear away at the end of every level.
So if runes are readily transferable, and magical and mundane gear can be sold back for at least 50% of their market price, then I think the magic weapons system is great.
Armor looks pretty great overall, despite resonance adding another layer of complexity.
But again, we come to consumable magical items, which are ruined by resonance. As others have pointed out, spending resonance to do cool magical effects when you might need it for healing means much less cool magical effects and quite possibly a horde of unused resonance at the end of the day.
Wands are not included, not surprisingly, since there's probably going to even more controversy when they come out, based on the last two posts.
When there is playtesting on this, lets not beat around the bush, give some scenarios resonance-free wands of CLW, and leave the other players with a big old pack of resonance-costing healing potions, and then gather feedback on which parties felt like they had more fun at the end of each session.
Ending on a high note, I am surprisingly excited that Horacalcum is losing its annoying H and bringing it more in line with standard fantasy materials. Thanks!
Nope, you nailed it. My party finally bought up a wand of CLW and a wand of infernal healing, and now our bard and oracle can actually use their spell slots in fights instead of having to hold on to them in case we need between-fight healing.
I get that there are certain players who love being a pure healer, and that's awesome! I've played with people like that, you don't need to spend charges from your own wand of CLW and they keep you alive and keep you going between fights. But the vast majority of players want to be more than just a heal-bot.
If they want to borrow a bunch of ideas from Starfinder, I don't know why they don't just do stamina on top of hit points, then they can get rid of healing as much as they want.
On a larger point, I know it irritates people to compare 2E to D&D 5E, so I won't go there.
What I WILL say is, the reason I gave a hard pass on 5E was because they wanted to make magic items "rare and powerful" and no one could get a magic ring or sword before around 5th level. 5E is sitting right there any time someone want to play a low-magic tabletop game where magic items "unique." However, I far prefer Pathfinder, and one of the main reasons is when someone casts Detect Magic on me, by 4th level I should light up like the Xmas Tree of that one house on the neighborhood everyone else hates.
To be fair, there's actually a lot to like here. I think trinkets are cool, martial-focused consumables sound awesome. I also like the changes being made to staves.
But you guys need to ditch this resonance system. And frankly, the underlying assumption that out-of-combat healing should be "hard" needs to be ditched as well. Wands of Cure Light Wounds have made Pathfinder faster, funner, and without them the martial/caster disparity would be way worse than it is.
This is exactly what I was thinking as soon as I read about the resonance system. Almost every player will stack as many invested items onto their character as possible, and if that means they can only get magically healed once, then it's two fights a day. If the resonance system is strict on that 24 hour limit, maybe 2 fights every other day. "The mayors daughter will be sacrificed at midnight tonight in the caves of darkness? Too bad for her (and our second prestige in PFS), we simply lack the resonance to save her!"
And if you see a player come to the table with an interesting cleric who wants to use his spells for cool effects, they'll need to be shut down and reminded that they are a heal-bot, and they should be waiting in the corner until after the fight.
I like the simplification of resistance and weakness, and what sounds like making sure monsters with random SLAs for flavor can keep them without getting taxed on their CR.
That said, I'm less wild about these "multiattack" abilities just for monsters. What can very quickly ruin a game is if the monsters are playing by their combat rules and the PCs are playing by a different set. Starfinder already has this problem. The fact that you are calling zombies "level 0" zombies is a bad sign. If the GM wants to throw a level 5 zombie at the party, he should be throwing a wight or something, not just adding levels to a monster!
Weather Report wrote:
Yup. I had a conversation where my Starfinder team was having difficulty fighting a couple of noncombat scientists who inexplicably had tank HP, AC and attacks about this. "In Starfinder, would our party get murdered by a puppy?" "Yes, if it was a level 10 puppy."
Overall I like this. Heighten Spell for free, Healing as a sub-type of necromancy, scaling cantrips, all makes sense.
I can tell everything is more tied to level, level differences look less like a power curve and more like a power staircase, with every level one stair up. That can work fine in a game, though the designers are going to have to drop the idea of making every other fight 1 CR higher than the average party level, since there will be such a huge power differential between each level.
The one bad news is rituals. 4E did this exact same thing, and it was one of their worst features. I know there's been a lot of favorable talk about the CONCEPT of rituals on these boards, but in the practice of them it seems to go poorly. Let's remember the origins of Pathfinder rituals were in the occult books, since only idiotic cultists of Great Old Ones would bear the horrific risks of backlash and failure involved. Skill checks and spells really shouldn't mix like this.
Looks good overall. Waiting to see how ancestry feats are handed out to judge them.
One thing that does bug me is the lore: Elves only live to be 600 now? They used to be basically immortal, and there were elves running around over 1,000 years old! It's a key part of their mindset. Hope they take this out of the lore.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
I really hope this is true. One of the biggest mistakes we've seen in the last few years in Pathfinder was the pernicious myth that, unless every new class/archetype/feat/spell was made significantly mechanically weaker than older examples in the Core Rulebook or other old books, it would magically make "lift the power curve." That kind of thinking implies a fanatical focus on preventing any new class or ability the chance to be interesting, on the off-chance that it might somehow break the game.
I'm seriously worried that the talk about simplifying magic items and spells implies building a highly-standardized formula for every possible class ability and piece of gear to ensure nothing is ever out of place, as is already too much the case in Starfinder. Take some risks with that power curve for once!
A good, well-written adventure is one where improbable things don't constantly happen when the PCs aren't looking to advance the plot. And that requires a setting that has internally consistent rules between how the PCs affect the world and how the NPCs affect the world.
Yes, that's a fantastic example! Norman Osborn, brilliant but desperate and completely insane. He would totally do an occult ritual, and arguably the Green Goblin is a lot like the outcome of a failed occult ritual.
My complaint isn't with occult rituals for things like turning yourself into a monster to get revenge on your enemies, it's risking all the defenders of a Saerenrite temple being horribly cursed for a year just to give them a minor bonus to their combat abilities, or a tea ceremony among visiting diplomats. Neither group of casters is insane, and neither is that desperate.
Unless we're talking about custom-built NPCs that were created solely to cast that ritual, I feel like those skill builds are pretty unlikely. Occult rituals are specifically supposed to be for non-spellcasters to be able to cast powerful spells. Sure, the ranks and make sense, but for non-spellcasters it's rare to see class skills in Knowledge Arcana or Knowledge Planes. If they're not a Wizard are they really going to have an Int skill of 20 though? Heroism makes sense, but how many NPCs do you know that actually carry around a Mossy Disk Ioun stone? I think getting to a +18 bonus with a 7-10th level NPC (the equivalent of someone casting a 4th level spell) would be exceedingly unlikely, unless the NPC is named Ritually McRitualson or a highly potent Wizard who could just craft a regular spell to achieve the same result without the backlash.
Thanks for showing me the incantations! You're right, that was definitely what inspired occult rituals. There's a really big difference though: You could take ten on checks in incantations. That means spellcasters could be pretty confident most of the time they could pull off these rituals and avoid a failure. It's pretty clear the designers took incantations and made them much more risky and dangerous to serve as proper occult rituals. But for non-occult rituals, for regular rituals that sane NPCs are only going to cast if they feel fairly confident in the outcome, something more like the way incantations used to be makes more sense.
That's a good point, the perspective of an NPC who doesn't know the numbers and can't calculate the probability is probably very different. That said, after a ritual has been attempted a bunch of times and its horrific failures are recorded, I think most NPCs would realize they will probably also fail. Trained knowledge skills and the like are an abstraction of a deep understanding of the subject, and anyone trained in a bunch of knowledge skills doing research on a ritual is going to learn about all those times everyone died trying to do it.
That's also a good point about occult feel, NPCs in occult stories are usually short-sighted and overconfident. That said, my complaint is that these rituals are being written for areas that don't have an occult feel, like the grand temple of Saerenrae for example, where its seems really unlikely that priests are going to attempt a ritual they know has frequently failed with devastating consequences in the past.
Here's the thing: I think Occult Rituals were cool when they were introduced in Occult Adventures a few years ago. Non-spellcasters can cast powerful spells, with the caveats that
A)The primary caster can't take ten, twenty, or receive Aid Another on the multiple checks needed.
Any kind of PC or NPC of say, 7th-10th level (the equivalent of someone looking to cast a 4th level spell) trying to hit these 28+ DCs is going to fail at least 3/4ths of the time, and be worse off than when they started.
And that's great for how the rituals originally worked, when they were either conducted by insane cultists trying to unleash great evil on the world and willing to suffer any consequences to keep trying, or heroes up against the wall with no good options.
The problem: Since the spate of Horror and Occult material, new campaign settings and player companion guides have kept including new rituals (looking at you Inner Sea Temples and Heroes of the High Court) for other casters to use in more prosaic circumstances. But of course, given the high probability of failure and horrific consequences of same, those rituals would never actually be performed by NPCs, or PCs. It doesn't add to the setting, or to any real player options this way. It feels like these books are being padded out with useless filler.
What do you guys think? Should non-horror, non-occult materials still include occult rituals, and if so, should they be changed in such a way that it's genuinely likely that NPCs at least would actually attempt them? If the problem is the occult ritual itself, should there be some kind of low-stakes ritual with a less punishing backlash and failure, but much smaller benefits?
Here's another thought: The balance of defense and offense in Starfinder seems tilted significantly more towards defense than offense compared to Pathfinder, i.e. combat will probably many rounds several rounds longer in Starfinder than in Pathfinder. Yes, even with combat being simplified and fewer choices, combat is still going to last longer in real time.
But I hope they are decreasing the number of combats in Starfinder Society Scenarios, since we were already running way over the time limit with Pathfinder Society Scenarios. If there needs to be some skill checks, diplomacy or a chase scene, they need to have a total of 2 combats, maybe 3 if its a dungeon crawl instead.
The Mad Comrade wrote:
You have a good point. It would be nice to just grab credsticks, batteries and ammo, and just write off IDing enemy armor and weapons and spend all that time figuring out their worth, how we're going to carry them back to town, etc.
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
That's nice for the soldier, but not for anyone else who isn't proficient in heavy weapons/has the strength to wield them properly, etc. Counting full value of looted weapons isn't viable unless you're running a really carefully managed home-brew campaign.
That said, a shift to story-based rewards is a positive sign that may make this moot.
That's a really good point. One nice thing I'm seeing here is much more of an emphasis on story awards then looting-based economics, which might make the whole thing much less of a barrier to fun play. If 80% of your expected WBL is coming from credit sticks from AbadarCorp or crafting materials, then the sell rate on looted gear is much less important.
The Mad Comrade wrote:
Right, that's part of the problem. I understand they wanted to give GMs the option of giving all their mooks fancy gear without worrying about it upsetting player WBL, this is choosing between giving GMs lots of freedom in NPC gear and giving players lots of freedom in customizing their gear later on, and as in many other places the designers decided to come down HARD in favor of giving GMs more freedom and restricting player freedom.
If the WBL guidelines are set up around players expected to have 10% of the total wealth of NPC gear they could have theoretically looted from enemies, then that's perfectly fine and I have no problem. However, if they are built around treating the gear as 100% value because some monster with 3 requisite feats has an exotic heavy weapon that players are thene expected to make use of themselves, then we have a very SERIOUS problem.
Crafting rules are interesting, and the fact that they don't require feats anymore is cool. But the fact that breaking down gear still only gets you 10% of value for crafting means you have the exact same problem.
It's good to hear the system sounds fun. I never had a problem with the enhancement bonus progression on weapons and armor myself, since you generally had options on different areas to put your gold until you had enough to buy that enhancement or gear you really wanted.
I'm just worried there'll be something along the lines of "blaster of awesomeness, 4000 gold, 4th level and above only." For a player with a smart character who saves 4,200 gold by mid-third level, that kind of explicit ban in the name of balance really ruins immersion and fun, and punishes out of the box thinking.
Hmmm. Infamy looks fine, as long as the rule about the GM needing to warn ahead of time that an act is evil/Infamous act still stands.
Levelgating Equipment though is terrible. Price is already an effective levelgate, and in those incredibly rare (though breathlessly talked-about) instances where characters spend all their gold on a single item, that's what fame limits are for.
Let's not forget the main reason 4E failed in the first place: Designers who were too obsessed with "Game Balance" at the expense of fun.
I thought it was a fun action movie, as a big fan of the series kind of sad they condensed everything into one movie, but I still enjoyed it. Fun to see McConoughey as the villain.
To me, it seems really clear now that whoever designed the Gunslinger for Ultimate Combat made it like 95% Roland DuChain and 5% spaghetti westerns.
Anybody here at Paizo have thoughts on licencing future Adventure Paths if this goes well? With Obsidian, we all got excited about a video game version of Pathfinder Card Game, but after Rise of the Runelords no other adventures seem to be in the cards, making it a huge waste of a great platform. (Still a great game, just a missed opportunity for many more).
It would be quite a shame if a similar mistake is made here, where a great platform is used for only a single adventure path, and then the licensing for the other 19 adventure paths fails to materialize.
I'm the one who first mentioned the Gug. The way it's head-mouth opened reminded me of a Gug. It could be a Dimensional Shambler though. I'm not very familiar with them (other than the name sounding boring).
Gugs did travel to the Darklands by "tunneling through from the dimension of dreams." That's basically what this one did. I was recognized that thing as a Gug by episode 2, I was expecting the kids to start calling it that instead of "Demagorgon."
Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
Don't forget that Volstus is now flying this castle towards over Belkzen towards the capital. Remember that the PCs are supposed to have spent time in, maybe grown up in, Trunau. You remember Trunau, right? The city where everyone is raised from birth to fight constantly against the Orc menace? Some of the PCs up in that cloud castle probably have a little hope knife in the back of their packs. All they have to do is look out a window at the stars or down at the ground and some basic geography checks are going to tell them roughly where they are, right over the lands of some marauding Orc tribe. Blowing up the castle over Belkzen and having it rain down on orc warriors isn't going to count as collateral damage to a Trunaun, it's going to count as a bonus.