Almara Kazaar, The Would-Be Queen

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* Starfinder Society GM. 111 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character.


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I don't even know how to respond to that. The world should make sense. Yes, there need to be abstractions otherwise the game doesn't work, but those need to be explainable and still feel plausible. Saying the world plays by different rules than the players is a complete and utter cop out that breaks immersion.

Captain Morgan wrote:
...And the reason so many of us are talking about how we will house rule things isn't because the game was built for PFS. It is because the game was built to be easy to house rule.

Why does it seem like most of the house rules being thrown out seem directly attributable to things that specifically seem put in for the sake of PFS balance though? Not being argumentative, but most of them seem related to things that don't make in world sense (Crafting, Casters, Proficiencies, Summons, Companions, etc...) which previously were spelled out in PFS rules, or were created issues for PFS scenarios in some way.

I may be self selecting of course, but the general vibe doesn't seem to back that up.

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Evilgm wrote:
The answer is mechanical balance.

Mechanical balance shouldn't be an excuse for bad in world logic. If there is a problem with the balance, then there needs to be a change to the supply/demand factor at play.

The world presented is such that there would be almost NO high powered magical items in the world as the ROI unless crafted for personal use by long lived individuals who can afford to spend the multiple years to craft certain items, is none. And throwing more money at it doesn't make it anymore profitable. Basically there is almost no reason for someone (PC or NPC) to craft magic items to sell beyond those items that can quickly be turned over for low prices. This should mean that the increasingly rare items have prices that go up. But by the logic of the system, this makes them cost more... making them take longer?

Excaliburproxy wrote:

How long does it take history's greatest craftman to make a suit of full plate?

If crafting were based on complexity or size, that would make a lot more sense. Instead it is based on value. By that logic, crafting a simple ornamented gold ring would take a long time. A simple gold ring worth $1000 or so takes someone under a day to make by hand IRL.

A lot of the rules are meant to be behind the scenes simplifications and approximations to obfuscate things like actual market demand, difficulty, scarcity of resources, etc. No one wants to worry about analyzing market saturation or gold veins in the local mine to determine the true cost of crafting a ring. Crafting time makes some "sense" when you factor all that in.

Now the part that's straight up malarkey though is the crafting cost of magic items. There's literally no approximation that makes sense for why crafting a magic item which a character has all the requirements for (e.g. able to cast the right spells) would cost them market price (in cost or personal labor which is functionally the same thing).

I've noticed a number of threads with people ultimately saying "I guess I'll house rule this in my home games" Like a lot. This lends credence to my theory that the primary balancing considerations were organized play first inverting the previous paradigm of having a set of "house rules" (the PFS specific rules) for organized play and instead writing for PFS with the assumption being there will be an increase in the number of house rules used outside of it.

Malk_Content wrote:
Also there are some fantastic summon/other spell combos. Like sitting your Hell Hound in a wall of fire auto recharges their breath weapon constantly.

As written, you would have to command the hell hound to stay in the fire. Also you'd have to command it to use that breath weapon. A generous GM would probably allow a single "Stay in the fire and breath fire every turn" to cover it, but that still eats another action to set it up.

Malk_Content wrote:

Your ignoring that actions 1 and 2 are normally way more useful than action 3. A caster without a summon up can cast a spell and then make some other action that isn't all that powerful probably with a -5 penalty. With a Summon up they can cast a spell and the summon gets 2 actions at full effectiveness.

Perfect protected, yes, this happens. However, if a bad guy gets up in the caster's face, they would have to move most likely and then lose the ability to cast that round. How often in 1E is a caster literally standing still? And having to move at all likely means losing the second action as well. With a summon up, taking out the caster should be even more prioritized by the bad guys since the summon would end with the caster unable to sustain.

NemoNoName wrote:
KapaaIan wrote:
Round two, the summon (hopefully) completes. A generous interpretation of "Immediately when you finish casting the spell, the summoned creature uses its 2 actions for that turn" would give the caster all three of their actions in round two. This would give the caster a total of 5 actions through 2 rounds.
Why does summon only complete at the beginning of casters 2nd round?

Ah, you're correct sir. That's my 1E brain at work. Shift everything forward a round.

Round 1 - 2 Actions contributed.
Round 2 - 6 Actions (Break even)
Round 3 - 10
Round 4+ - 1 Extra action per round.

Most of the points still stand though, with a summoned monster contributing around 2 extra actions in the average combat along with the penalties to movement and such.

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Corwin Icewolf wrote:
Andarr wrote:
Summoning does not exist anymore.

I'm fairly certain that it does, actually. You just can't summon more than one thing really.

Think about summoning this way. The developers have said that during the playtest (not 1 to 1 of course, but closest thing with large data sets) the number of rounds per combat was around four regardless of level.

So round one, the caster starts casting a summoning spell. Functionally their actions have 0 bearing on the first round.

Round two, the summon (hopefully) completes. A generous interpretation of "Immediately when you finish casting the spell, the summoned creature uses its 2 actions for that turn" would give the caster all three of their actions in round two. This would give the caster a total of 5 actions through 2 rounds.

Round three, the caster has to sustain. This now means the caster can't move and cast in the same round (generally, barring a few exceptions). They also loose access to the ability to use three actions for a spell reducing the power of their spell slots in certain cases. At the end of this round, the caster has broken "even" with action economy and has contributed 9 actions in three rounds.

Rounds 4-10 the caster begins to accrue a single extra action per round. However, if the caster needs to move, then they likely lose an action (unless double moving), due to the bad economy of single action spells.

Additionally, it sounds like a summoned creature will only attack and only attack the foe nearest to it when the sustained action is used. If the caster wants it to cast a spell or change its focus, then the command action would need to be used further reducing the actions available to the caster. "It generally attacks your enemies to the best of its abilities. If you can communicate with it, *IF!* you can attempt to command it..."

So over the course of the expected combat length, the caster is potentially able to contribute 1 extra action. The longer the combat, the more extra actions they get. This does however assume that they are able to stand in one place, and cast 2 action spells without interruption and that the summoned creature attacking persistently is good.

That's not good and further removes casters from the ability to use the three action system.

*I let my 1E brain come in here. Move the calculations up a round, making the break even round 2, not 3. The other points still stand however. In a normal four round combat, summoning a monster contributes at most 2 extra actions.*

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So, I've tried to read through this whole thread and put together a good thought process.

First off, I am on the side of the nerf being too hard. Magic is, as someone else stated, supposed to be magical. The reason Starfinders Magic system works is because technology can make up for magic. Bob the barbarian shouldn't be able to hit a sword hard enough to make it magical.

Really, this all comes down to this line I've seen repeated over and over: "the wizard/caster made the entire party useless." Here comes the fire. If a single wizard, limited by what you as a GM have provided them, has managed to invalidate your battle/dungeon/campaign, you have failed as a GM. You have no wealth limits as a GM. No monster limits, no alignment limits and so on. Wizards (just using wizards going forward since that's the primary focus, but put your caster of choice in) have very particular weaknesses that can easily be exploited without impeding the other characters too badly.

For instance, if I am an evil doer in the Inner Sea, I'm going to get a scroll or other single use magic item of the most potent form of silence I can get my hands on. I'm setting up wards and otherwise planning. Most of all I'm employing my own Wizard. The bad guys don't have to be stupid or ignore what they see. If I'm the BBGE, and I get a report saying "Sir, our entire camp of orcs was wiped out when a wizard came in and charmed our strongest fighters and summoned a bunch of monsters and wiped us out" "Ok, give all of our people potions of protection from good. Can anyone use a wand? Get them a wand of silence. And make sure everyone knows to kill that dude first."

Somewhere it became the thing to have intelligent beings not fight intelligently. They should use the same tactics the GM would as a player. What is the PCs first target usually? Enemy wizard.

Wizards are SUPPOSED to be the strongest class. They also are supposed to be the class that has the highest (by %) mortality rate at low levels. Think about it. You have to be among the smartest people on earth, survive fighting monsters while wearing robes with a dagger and so on. If it were easy, why would anyone ever pick a different class in world?

So here's what was done in 2E. Wizards were made more durable and stronger at low level, at the cost of power on the upper end. They have more "options" now which basically are removing things they could do before and segmenting them into different things. Summons were nerfed (yup, makes perfect sense that the hellhound I summon will stand there unless I tell it to fight back every round), crafting was nerfed (sorry, modern efficiencies do not apply to a fantasy medieval setting) and so on. Oh, and you don't even need to be very smart to cast spells anymore. Unless I'm missing something, the only differences between a Wizard with a 12 INT and an 18 are DCs and Attack Rolls. In world, there is literally no reason everyone with moderately above average intelligence not to go become a Wizard, get to level 1 or 2 retire.

Why couldn't "being" a wizard have been made harder? Bring back the 4 HP. Heck, give all wizards a "curse" that doesn't have positive effects (I.E. Dragonlance). Rip off the "test" completely. Beef up actual anti-wizard spells (e.g. Anti-Magic Field can now be made permanent, A critical fail on Silence (which got nerfed... even anti-wizard spells got nerfed) strikes the target dumb permanently, etc).

Another thing said in multiple places was "balance above all else." I don't think that's what the priority was, but the symptoms are very similar. I think the actual mission statement of 2E was "Society First." Almost all of the decisions made are things that make society easier to run but they come at the cost of the logic of the game world. Even a time of troubles where magic as a whole was nerfed (for everyone, not just casters) would have made more sense. But instead it seems as though the casters had magic pulled out of them and infused into everyone else.

And that's my main problem. It's not that Wizards were nerfed. It's that they were nerfed in a way that just doesn't make sense. The immersion is lost because the numbers game was deemed more important than the narrative logic.

And of course 9 days after transfer to USPS (and 15 total) in a city 15 minutes from here, the original package was delivered. Sorry for the trouble. The sidecart can be emptied. Thank you again!

Thank You! If it happens to show up miraculously I will let you know!

Verified this was not received.

Good Morning,

I hadn't thought about it until I noticed the fumble deck blog post but I seem to not have received half of order 7751045 (Shipment PZO00003180065, Fumble Desk and AP14). UPSMI shows it transferred to USPS for delivery on the 18th, while the other half of the order (PZO00003180450) was delivered early last week (transferred to USPS on the 16th). I do not see a way to track it after transfer to USPS.

I will triple check with I get home for the day to make sure an in-law didn't bring in a package and stash it but it seems MIA.

Sorry about being late to this discussion, but there is a pretty simple solution that makes logical sense.

IRL if I'm throwing something at someone, and they're not trying to dodge it, they're "flat footed"

If they are trying to get hit by it (blocking) they're using their dexterity bonus to do so. Thus, a teammate who is aware of the biohacker's efforts would provide their dexterity bonus to ac as a bonus to the to hit. (basically leaning into the projectile).

Finally if they are trying to "catch" something being thrown at/to them, then they using their whole skill to get hit by it. E.G. catching a pass.

Catching would be a reaction, and would provoke. It also could use a few mechanics (reflex saving throw value without a roll being the simplest, with the roll possibly being the best, but flat d20 + dex, or d20+bab+dex also being options).

Plus it's just neat. The biohacker fires their final serum at their soldier buddy who has to decide if they risk getting hit by the monster they're engaged with to raise their chances of receiving the serum. That's cool.

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I believe Swiftbrook's point was that the application of the Rarity system and its ability to be abused.

Howard197 made the point "Scry, Teleport, Protection from Evil, Discern Lies" are all uncommon. In setting, why would those be uncommon? Those would be among the most useful spells, and thus, the most common. Just because something is valuable, doesn't make it uncommon, and just because something is rare, doesn't make it useful (or valuable).

A spell that transmutes all of the grass in the area to cheese could be unique. But that would be because no one wants it. A spell like Prismatic Globe (a level 10 spell from ?2nd Ed? I remember as a mobile PS) would be rare because the number of people able to cast it would be so few.

A level 1 spell with a ton of utility (PfE) could simply never be rare unless a cabal of Wizards hunted down people who learned it. In world, Dragonlance handled this by means of the Wizards of High Sorcery. People who grew powerful enough HAD to take the test, or they were killed.

Rarity must depend on the following:
Is there a constraining limit to the materials, people able to make, or able to use the item?

Is there a limited audience for the item? It may be rare to find, but not rare to make once you know about it. E.G. You may make the first and only adamantine Spork, but that doesn't mean others who choose to make one can't.

Simply, for something to be rare, supply must outstrip demand.

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So I was thinking about this and came to a revelation. Maybe the best option is to instead of dis-incentivizing the low level consumables, incentivize the higher level?

Using Round Math and names for simplicity:

Lets say a Wand of Cure I costs 1000 GP, has 50 charges and cures an average of 5 HP per charge. So it would contain 250 HP of healing for 1000 GP, or 1/4 HP/GP

Currently a Wand of Cure II would cost around 3500, have 50 charges, and cure an average of 10 HP per charge. 500 HP of healing for 3500 GP, or a little more than 1/8 HP/GP

You are getting less for your money. Economics is Economical. Without making resonance absolutely punishing, it will honestly continue to be around.

"I'm about to go to sleep and have 8 RP left. Hit me with the wand of Cure I until I fail a resonance roll"

That WILL happen.

But what if the Wand of Cure II cost 3500 and had cured 17.5 HP per charge? or even a round 20? Suddenly the economics line up (with the cost per HP being the same as, or a little higher than Cure I) and there is incentive to take the higher wand. Problem solved. Some people would still cheap out, but they would actually be spending more money in the long run.

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Greyblade23 wrote:

This isn't the case. The resonance cost of potions and wands is paid by the user. Pg. 378 "...the creature drinking the potion must spend any required Resonance Points to use the potion." Pg. 380 "You activate the wand as part of the first spellcasting action you use, and you must spend 1 Resonance Point at this time."

Since the crafter doesn't have to spend resonance, it does make sense for these items to be a flat rate.

I'm not saying the crafter imbued it with their resonance (but logically, they did over the course of their time crafting the item. It might but minute amounts each day that don't measure as a full charge, but they do), but I am saying the magical power causing the item to function comes from the crafter, not the user.

Put another way, lets take a magical oil. If you trained a Monkey to apply an oil to an item for you, would it work? Does the monkey have a resonance pool? What if you created a Rube Goldberg machine that would apply oils to items for you. Does your machine become a construct and get a charisma score and use its resonance? Using your resonance for a consumable item simply does not make logical sense.

The idea above of simply capping wand charges per day and potions based on Con mod is brilliant.

Wands: Wands can be used a number of times per day equal to 1 plus the caster level of the wand (encourage higher caster level wands and cost scaling). Usage beyond that risks burning out the wand and either causing it to shatter or explode. This chance is 25% + %5 for each time done beyond the normal number. (Basically the exact resonance mechanic adjusted for Wands alone. Plus it makes sense)

Potions: You may consume a number of potions per day equal to 3 plus your constitution modifier. Consumption beyond your number runs the risk of causing you to throw up the potion ruining it and becoming nauseated for a round. This chance is equal to 50% plus 10% for for each potion beyond your normal limit. Temporary bonuses to constitution do boost your consumption limit, however you still run the risk of becoming nauseated if your con returns to its previous level. Your potion limit resets after an 8 hour rest unless a potion has a duration still in effect.

And have feats like "Wand Charmer" and "Iron Stomach" that would increase the limits.

Those two changes alone (I need to review staves a bit more) solve resonance for me.

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Loreguard wrote:
So yes there are other options, but just making healing cost more, doesn't serve the defined goal.

I guess that's my point as well. If their defined goal is to more or less raise the "price" of downtime healing as people go up in level while leaving it cheap at low level, there are other ways of doing to do it. Starfinder got around this by implementing the stamina system for instance.

To state again, the resonance system itself is pretty cool and has lots of benefits. However in the application to potions and things with charges it doesn't make sense and is kinda immersion breaking. For such a specific issue, it is like using a bazooka on a fly.

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This is actually very simple.

With the 18 cap on stats at level one, it is simple. +4 Dex, - 2 Wisdom. Boom. Done.

In reality, because of the nature of the cap, the most important of the modifiers believe it or not tends to be the penalty. This is true in Starfinder even more so. If you select a race with a penalty to your dumpiest of dumb stats, that's the "best" stat selection. Everything else washes out.

Matthew Downie wrote:

As a house-rule for PF1 that would leave us in a situation where PCs could craft 7500gp wands for 375gp of materials. Supply would rise to match demand.

The non-specific "materials" that go into the construction of the want would go up by the same ratios. Basically healing wands require "unicorn spit" which had its price go up accordingly.

The main point is making a targeted rule with some type of an explanation is better than making a whole new system where the logic is inconsistent. The resonance system itself, to me, is positive. However, the applications should make sense.

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Reading through resonance it really is a Macro solution to a microeconomics problem.

The system itself is great in the places that it makes sense. If you invoke something that logically would draw upon your own "life force/mana" it makes sense. And limiting magic items is cool too. Logically, too many items could interfere with each other. Great. Makes sense.

Where it breaks down are places where it isn't you powering it (which unfortunately is what the main intent was). A potion has the resonance of the potion maker powering it, not yours. A wand has charges imbued in it by the crafter and thus uses their resonance, not yours.

In the end, the real solution to the "Happy Stick" is economics. The universal pricing model employed for wands and potions is the problem. A wand of spell level x and caster level y with charges z always costs D.

WHY!? Lets imagine we live in a world with wands. Wands of Healing would almost certainly be the most in demand item. Why would I charge some flat amount based on the amount of time it took me to make it? Yes, I know it is a game, but if the choice is abandoning logic or bringing in a bit of manual manipulation, give me the manipulation. Heck, a simple line of:

"With recent upheavals and conflicts, magical crafters discovered that they could charge 10 times the standard price for items of the healing domain"

solves the happy stick while leaving everything else intact. In general, if an item has charges or is single use, it probably should not cost resonance.

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I actually think skill ranks need to come back but be combined with proficiencies. I was always bothered by the cap at level of skill ranks since it didn't make a lot of sense logically. Someone who focuses on a single task can be better at one.

Basically, I'd like to see you get your proficiencies from your class, background, ancestry and such.

e.g. At level 1, I have:
*this is an exaggerated example*

Stealth: Trained
Alchemy: Untrained
Crafting: Master
Knowledge: Legendary

Now, instead of the current or playtest variations, I can put a number of skill ranks into each skill based upon my proficiency.

So, at level 1, I could put 3 ranks into stealth, or 1 rank in alchemy, or 5 into crafting, or 7 into knowledge.

What this allows is a player to focus on a single skill if they want, or they can still try to be jacks of all trades. A static bonus could be applied if desired and mathed out properly. Feats can be used to pick up additional proficiencies.

It could also be switched easily to Class Skills (up to +5 ranks), General skills (up to +3 ranks) and Secret Skills (+1 ranks, and these would be skills that historically require a rank to use).

I am glad that spell resistance (unless I'm missing it) is gone and has basically been folded into saving throws. It seems creatures that previously would have had SR have a bonus to saves against magic spells which makes perfect sense. It inherently increases the chance of a Critical Success by 5% which seems to usually function the same as SR would. Very good simplification which probably maths out the same (or similar) to SR while not feeling as bad.

Sounds good!

Are you looking at the PDF? in the PDF each page is duplicated (front and back). By the PDF I am missing page 3/4 (ignoring cover sheet). The page I am missing has the following

3 Corpsefolk Marines
1 Damaged Security Robot
1 Deldreg the Butcher
2 Desperate Hunger Berserkers
3 Desperate Hunger Cultists
2 Devourer Cultists
3 Downside Kings
1 Duravor Kreel
1 Elebreian
1 Ferani Nadaz
1 Garaggakal
1 Gevelarsk Nor
1 Ghibranai
3 Ghoul Soldiers
1 Ghurd Nshal
1 Hebiza Eskolar
1 Hybeki
1 The Jangly Man
2 Kish

I'm sure most do, but be sure to double check your sheets. I got duplicates of sheet one (a-co) and was missing sheet 2 (co-ki). Hopefully not too big a deal to get the replacement (post already made in support).

Good Evening,

I was just opening up my Dead Suns Pawn collection for my session tomorrow night and noticed my set had duplicates of the first sheet (Abneth-Corpsefolk Marine) and was missing page 2 (presumably Damaged Security Robot-Kish). No other sheets seem to be missing or duplicated but I will amend if I find any other anomaly.

We are currently entering the second half of book 5 and it seems as though a good chunk of the missing pawns are ones I will need so if there is a way I can get the missing sheet prior to next months subscription, it would be helpful but I understand if it isn't feasible.

Thank you in advance!

Survey says....?


Maybe an idea for things that are known to be sanctioned, but do not have a chronicle yet, would be for there to be generic sheets that can have the specific scenario written in. Credits, exp and such can all be filled in and are generally consistent across tiers. This would mitigate this issue in the future and basically just mean you are missing out on rewards specific to the AP until the completed sheet is released?

One Q I did have is when the chronicle for DS4 (and beyond) is released, will the download on DS1 be replaced with the new complete sheets for all, or will it be broken up and placed on the product page specific to it?



Has there been any thought of allowing GMs to cross pollinate their chronicle sheets? As an example, when I play, I like to play fantasy. But I'm generally being an SFS gm. I'd imagine I'm not the only one in a situation like this, so how about allowing GMs to apply a generic chronicle across games? GM a tier 1-2 SFS game, get a chronicle you can use for XP and gold in PFS to play. Or vice versa.

Anything to inspire more GMs? :-)

That was kinda an odd feat to begin with. It also tended to still make non-magical crafters operating at a logical disadvantage since they would never have access to the appropriate spell. It also was quite specific. This (so far, with imperfect knowledge) sounds like there will not be much, if any, difference for most crafting across classes (alchemist excepted it sounds like).

This concerns me as being too "gamey." Granted, we haven't seen the final rules, but arbitrary rules for the purpose of balance tend to break immersion. I see a few possibilities and a few red flags.

1. I really think Return needs to break magic in some way. Way too many changes to the way the world works otherwise. Heck, maybe whatever they do throws so much magic into the air that it is why non-magic people can do craft it now.

2. It is explained and it is a giant abstraction. Explain how a fighter can no craft magical stuff.

3. There are exceptions and they make sense. There do need to be ways to craft beyond the guidelines, otherwise logic breaks. While the level mechanic simplifies a lot, it really can't be a hard cap.

4. It also doesn't make as much sense in Golarion as Starfinder. There are a lot more underlying pieces and parts to Starfinder that make it make more sense (everyone has tech, there's always food, most people aren't in danger of dying all the time, there are giant police organizations of a scale far beyond anything in Golarion). It makes sense that a level 5 character would find their level 20 particle cannon and confiscate it lawfully. No one is going to confiscate a +5 sword a fighter got a hold of somehow. At least not without violence.

Long story short, all of this is potentially fine, but it needs explaining with flavor that makes sense. And there need to be exceptions so every master blacksmith doesn't need to be a level 20 Fighter or something.

Does anyone really consider a Sorcerer close to the equal of a Cleric? With the redo of the spell lists (going into quadrants) there might be room to to have a D8/9 Arcane now.

Put another way, with no other change, if a Sorcerer were D8 tomorrow, would they vault in power over Clerics? I don't think they would...

This isn't a post about Martial/Magic Balancing (not directly at least).

I was thinking about Divine vs. Arcane casters the other day and got to thinking how there isn't a true Cleric analogue on the arcane side. D8, 3/4 BAB and 9 level casting. Then I got to thinking about the other classes (just looking at core/confirmed for PF2).

Cleric D8/9 Level
Druid D8/9 Level
Paladin D10/4 Level
Ranger D10/4 Level

Wizard D6/9 Level
Sorcerer D6/9 Level
Bard D8/6 Level

Alchemist D8/6 Level

So since spell lists are sounding like they are getting shuffled around, maybe the classes themselves could get a little balancing to allow some more varied playstyles?

IIRC Rangers were Arcane casters back in the day. Maybe they could flip back? That would give both Divine and Arcane one D10/4 class. Alchemist formulae list always felt more like the Cleric list than the Wizards, so if that continues, then there would be one Arcane and one "Divine-ish" D8/6 level.

That leaves the Cleric, Druid, Wizard and Sorcerer. So, the Cleric and Wizard are basically sacred cows. The changes to them will likely be minimal.

That leaves druid and sorcerer. So what if the sorcerer got a bump up to a D8? In terms of flavor it makes sense (their abilities are more natural, allowing for the study of other things unlike wizards).

Druids probably would stay as is, but maybe drop the Oracle down to a D6 down the line and make it a more dedicated caster. This would give "divine" 2 D8/9 and 1 D6/9 and Arcane 2 D6/9 (assuming Witch) and 1 D8/9.

Extrapolating past the oracle and witch gets a little more complicated (most of the other classes past core were more 1 and 1 anyway), but it would balance out the casters across flavor, style and such a bit more.

thejeff wrote:

Would the materials in "time and materials" actually be a full detailed list of materials or the current "X GP worth of stuff"?

The first is unworkable, the second just sets up a price list.

Beyond that, what's the point? What does it buy you in terms of actual game play, not in worries about the (non-existent) economic system of the game.

You could sprinkle cool items into adventures, but now how would module writers begin to balance monetary treasure they put in? With no idea at all what characters would be able to buy in any particular GM's game, where would you even start?

It doesn't have to be unworkable because it doesn't have to be exact. I get what you're saying "Recipe for +1 sword = 1 Masterword Sword, 2 Eyes of Newt, 2 gryphon feathers, 5 days crafting and 500 GP"

Instead if would be: "1 Masterwork sword (known cost), 24 hours of work, 2 claws from a magical beast, one fang from a magical beast"

Specific, but vague. So again, the GM has the ability to negotiate if they try to buy the materials, or make the monsters with them common or not.

Module writers can easily alter things by basing them on the party. Instead of the party finding a +2 greataxe (if the party has a greataxe wielder, this item is worth twice as much as if not currently more or less) just have it say "the treasure horde includes 1000 gp and a +2 weapon a member of the party specializes in" or "a +2 weapon a member of the party doesn't specialize in" I'm guessing many GMs do this on the fly already.

Here's a wild idea.

What if, in non-Society, no prices were given for items outside of mundane non-magical ones? This would open up the opportunity for more negotiations and role play, and since there are no hard prices placed on items, it removes "requirements" for sale prices. This also would allow for flavorful and cool (but not necessarily optimal) items to be sprinkled into an adventure.

For magic items, the requirements (time, and materials) for creation can be included, but ultimately the price left up to GM.

The Society Guide can include pricing for society for items, which obviously can be used if chosen to, but logic can out.

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If magic items are getting adjusted, then it makes sense that their prices get adjusted. If the scaling becomes more reasonable, it goes to reason that there shouldn't be a need to adjust things too much. The problem has always been that because there are basically "global" prices, this scaling has to be constant across not just regions, but adventures and levels.

You don't run into this in most computer/console RPGs because they have the price scaling based on location (e.g. cost of staying at an inn at the last town cost 1000 times what it did at the first inn).

But count me in for trying to find a way to make finding (or crafting) a magic pair of boots not worth more than a castle.

So flanking (barring oddities), as it stands now is a flat +2. It doesn't matter how many people are around, it is +2.

So lets think about that. If an entire town of commoners were to attack someone with an AC of around 32, that would still mean each of them would have a 5% chance of hitting. Because there are no offensive penalties to being flanked, this also means that the character (for this purpose, a level 9 fighter) can cut down all 8 of the attackers (60% of the time) (with great cleave) each round.

While this makes sense for a round or two, a mob of hundreds really should be able to take down a single person in not too much time. So how can we buff big groups of characters? I don't have a specific idea, but these are the things I can think of...

Flank bonus increases for each additional character (+2,+3,+4...+8). Only 2 "Flankers" must be trully opposing.

Penalty to attack bonus of someone being flanked?

Create a set of Mob/Stampede rules that work like Swarm rules for Small, Medium and Large creatures (I kinda like this idea... Goblin Stampede....)


Right, so an AP is only two counts towards a Nova? Is that a change (I can't find it documented anywhere and seem to recall an AP being worth 3 gm sessions for PFS and thought it was the same)?


What about the "GM Ranking +2"? Is an AP only worth 2 GM sessions, but worth three XP? I thought it was three and three.


I'm trying to report a run of DS2 and noticing the expected (and input values) aren't matching up with what is in the guide.

I had three players play the entire book without deaths (full credit). So I'm trying to input the reputation of 5 ("For sanctioned Adventure
Paths, full credit is 3 XP, 5 Reputation, and 5 Fame.") When I click save, the 5's become 4's. Additionally, there is a note next to reporting saying "GM Ranking +2" I didn't notice, but this also happened to DS1.

Did the rewards for APs get changed? Or did I mess something up?

Errant Mercenary wrote:

This statement as formulated sounds condescending. Please, step down to the mortal realm with us for a spell. In Pathfinder, and most RPGs there is the base game, a rule set, that we play with and accept. All tables, and GMs, can and do change such rule set.

But you just hit the point on the head. GMs alter their rule set in a way that removes the weaknesses of many classes. When you do that to a class who has both the most weaknesses and the most strengths, you end up with something unbalanced. At that point, don't blame the class, or the designers.

Let's put it this way. I'm developing a "new" game with a "new" species called the Argonian. They are super strong, super durable, and so on. To counter this, any weapon with magic hits them as though they were a normal human, if he is exposed to crystallized Argon (Argonium), he takes damage and is severely weakened or worse, and has no special defenses against physic powers.

If a GM then chooses to let an Argonian play in a game with no magic weapons, no argonium, and no psycic powers, whose fault is it that they are overpowered?

Obviously this is a goofy example, but the point remains. Magic users have balancing mechanisms in place. People choose to fudge or ignore them. If PF2 comes out, and wizards drop back down to a d4 hit die, need to manage all their spell components down to the bat guano, receive a curse that doesn't have benefits, can't put spellbooks or scrolls in handy haversacks (and have to have the right number of spellbooks), and can't rest between every battle, and GMs ignore or house rule that all away.... Well, then they are unbalanced in their game, and it is their fault.

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No, the GM shouldn't just make points of killing them, but it should be HARDER to be a low level wizard than a low level fighter.

*shrug* if all the classes are equal, you have World of Warcraft or DnD 4e... When you try to balance classes above all else, to the detriment of logic and story and setting, that breaks the game.

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That suck at low levels and be awesome at high levels is kinda the point though. A Wizard is someone who sacrifices their health, social standing, money and usually more for their power. This is pretty consistent across almost all lore. Put simply, if it were easy, everyone would do it. And if it were hard and not worth it, no one would. Logic and setting have to be part of this.

Heck, bolt on a mechanic similar to the Oracle's curse (maybe with fewer benefits) to reflect this (if that isn't too Dragonlancy for some). I'm hoping something with Return of the Runelords results in a "Time of Troubles" type situation that serves to in setting result in some of these changes.

To reiterate though, there must be a reason that every smart person doesn't study magic (the low level suck and high death rate) and a reason some still choose to (the payoff).

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I've said in the past (in another post) that the reason magic users are able to fix all the problems is largely the problem of the GM. And I mean that as, the GM has the tools to fix it, but chooses not to. Some of these seem as though they are going to be addressed in PF2 and some just need to be a mindset change.

1. Too Many Spells. This should be addressed by Resonance and (presumably) longer adventuring days.

2. A spell for every occasion. Notice those rules for replacing a lost familiar? Or a lost spellbook? Or the cost of an extra spellbook? That means those are meant to be attacked, sundered, burnt, lost. No magic user should be traveling around with their entire library. A normal spellbook can carry basically all the cantrips (~30), say 10 level One spells (10 pages), 10 level 2 spells (20 pages), maybe 10 level 3 spells? (30 pages). And now we're at 80 pages. Time for another spellbook. A full spellbook can literally have less than 14 spells of level 7 and above total. If we drop that down to level 5 spells, that would be 20 if no spells above 5 are picked. So how many spellbooks can the wizard carry? Now, I know what most do so...

PF2 Fix: Spellbooks can't be stored in pocket dimensions (e.g. handy haversacks). The energies involved cause increasing chances or erasing a spell or something. Now Wizards have to carry their spellbooks and their associated bulk and risk.

3. Intelligent monsters should attack the magic user first. Don't GM your intelligent creatures as dumb. This causes the Wizard to have to adjust their plans AND probably gives the martial an opening to shine.

Please don't make everyone identical. Different classes, different skill levels, different potential.

Every time I've read a master smith in a fantasy setting, they've had some kind of outside help. Whether that was a prayer that was answered despite them not being a cleric or some special scroll/item (e.g. the crafting of Aegis-Fang). Not saying examples don't exists, but I can't think of any :-)

But you are correct. I guess it would be more "Don't remove the balancing for not having the right things" e.g. don't level out the DCs if someone doesn't know the right spells.

If magic item creation is going to get forced egalitarianism, I'd like to see the following:

1. Still cost something to be able to craft. A feat might be too steep, but skill ranks and a chance of something going bad. Not full failure, but perhaps if you do a check, and your roll is less than required, the item costs more to make. Maybe require a mundane (smith, jeweler, tailor) skill as well as the magic one (?Artificer?)

2. There needs to be a benefit to crafting your own stuff. If generally people want crafting to not be a moneymaker, make the items better. And not in the way Starfinder does it (with just more durability). An example would be a random table that you roll on if you exceed the creation DC by a certain amount imparting additional abilities to your item. These would not be reflected in the sale price of the item, but make it more useful.

3. Don't abandon all logic for the forced egalitarianism. Sorry, a fighter NEEDS some kind of outside help to craft a magic sword. All stop. That outside help can be made in such a way to be as equal as possible (e.g. a fighter crafting a magic sword in a town of 3000+ people can find someone to help him that keeps the cost the same as the Wizard doing it in the same town, but a fighter locked in a forge by himself cannot make a magic sword. A wizard who can forge a sword can).

Example: Ikaika the Fighter wants to create a magic sword. He travels to Lihu'e to find a forge and magic user to help him. He's making a +1 longsword, which costs X in materials and services. This results in a DC of 29 (Combined from Artificer and Smith) for him to craft the sword. He rolls a 15 on his smithy check, while the wizard he hired gets a 20 resulting in a 35.

Since this exceeds the DC by over 10, he rolls on a random table and his +1 longsword now imparts 5 flame resistance to the wielder. Neato.

Had he hit the DC but not exceeded it by 10 or more, his item would be a normal +1 longsword.

Had he not met his DC by less than 5, his item would cost 10% more to craft or roll on a drawback table.

Had he not met his DC by over 10, roll a drawback.


I think this could be very good, or very bad, depending upon the implementation.

The Bad: Similar number of spells (known, castable, and in the world). Except now you have to learn the higher level version to keep a spell viable, eating a higher slot to do what was automatic before. So now you're eating up more higher level slots quicker. This would add another variable to manage for every spell and make magic more complicated.

The Good: Spell redundancies removed. Wizard's Fire I-IX. Can be cast as a cone, ray or blast. Damages, ranges and AOE scale by level. Same thing for each element mimicking their classic spells. This cuts down the number of rando spells that do essentially the same thing. You can cast the spell appropriate to the effect you want. So in essence, if you want the Scorching Ray effect, you cast it as a 4th level spell and get 12d6 against a single target. Cast it as a blast at 4th level and you get 9d6 in a radius and so on. This slims down the spellbook a lot and means known spells can be paired down without reducing versatility.

On the reason for the change, logically it does make sense that you have to put more "power" into a spell to get a greater effect. Maybe small bonuses for actual level (skill). E.g. 2D6 per slot level + 1 per caster level kinda thing.

Please do these:

1. Straighten out "mental" ability scores. By a straight forward reading, Wisdom and Intelligence have lots of "flavor" overlap. And Charisma and Wisdom do too. Drop physical attractiveness from charisma completely and go to something like:

Wisdom: What you know.
Intelligence: What you can figure out.
Charisma: Force of Will.

Adjust casting stats accordingly (e.g. Druids should be Wisdom, Clerics Charisma)

2. Get away from alignment. This will fix a lot of immersion breaking spells (e.g. detect evil). Very few classes also really care about it as is. Classes that do depend on it (e.g. Paladin, Monk) can have mechanics specific to them placed in their class.


Don't nerf wizards (and other primary casters) too hard. I maintain that a perfectly played Wizard inherently SHOULD be the most powerful class by a fairly substantial margin. But a poorly played Wizard should be dead, and an average one maybe a bit below average. Make them harder to play, easier to die, but please please don't break logic and immersion to make all the classes like WOW.

I liken this to a quote (very paraphrased) I remember about the differences between a Dodge Viper and a Nissan GT-R. The GT-R almost anyone can get into and drive fast. It has safeties, it's fun, it is fast. Your grandma can do it. The Viper will straight up KILL you if don't know what you are doing. If you burn your leg getting into or out of it. If you screw it up, best case scenario you kill yourself. BUT, if you are able to drive it right, and massage it, and willing to learn it, you can put in times better than (at the time) anything else that is street legal.

If someone wants to utilize crafting, a good option to use is level based snapshots. We all know that a character created at level 11 will (generally) have better equipment (and feats) than a character who got there by leveling. So you can either say "ok, for each item creation feat you take, you can exceed WBL by say 5% or you can go through milestones and show what you would have bought at each stage"

This prevents convoluted builds and equipment setups that wouldn't be practical for someone to actually have used.

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