N-Sphere's page

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I like resonance.

However, I think the best structure for adventures is to generally plan encounters such that there are basically two 'checkpoints' available per 'full rest' they are given.

You lock checkpoint 1 behind a number of encounters that even fairly bad play or people dealing with a not uncommon amount of bad luck should be able to clear before they run out of resources.

Failure to clear checkpoint 1 means something BAD happened in the plot because the characters totally failed to exert an effect on the overall situation (i.e. they horribly failed to break a siege and all the defenders they were trying to relieve were captured or put to the sword. A campaign setback that they'll have to recover from).

Clearing checkpoint 1 but not making it to checkpoint 2 means the characters maintained the status quo in the campaign. They broke the siege but the attacking army was able to retreat in good order. They essentially gave as good as they got, resulting in them generally standing their ground.

Checkpoint 2 is locked behind enough encounters to require good tactical play, clever avoidance/mitigation of encounters, or a good amount of luck to reach with 1 rest's worth of resources.

If they can reach checkpoint 2 without needing to rest then they've essentially earned a hard fought crushing victory. They didn't just break the siege. They broke the siege, slew or captured the enemy general, turned the armies own siege train against them, or some other things that generally resulted in a complete routing of the enemy army that scatters it into an ineffectual force. The characters boldly advanced the campaign plot in their favor as a reward for their skill (or exceptionally good luck).

Wands of cure light wounds as an unreasonably efficient source of healing basically ruins that structure since it gets very hard to stop the party from getting a crushing victory anytime they want unless you can TPK them from full hp in one fight (i.e. I can't really threaten you with a setback unless that setback could very easily turn into a campaign ending full party funeral). Resonance fixes wands of cure light wounds by locking down the total per rest output of the party to a fixed amount, an amount they can look at and cause them to retreat after winning a fight.

Honestly though, I think deep down it is really a cultural issue. Resonance at its core is a system that deals you a hand and by implication says your ability to effect the game is capped at your ability to play that hand efficiently without any loopholes or crutches to fall back on if you spend that hand poorly. People who are seeking to escape pressure or demands in life are going to hate that since they can 'fail' at it, people who want to work through a challenging 'what if' scenario knowing they could fail if they make inefficient decisions will like that. Pathfinder, like anything else in life, can't be for everyone since some people want things that other people don't want and vice versa.

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Doing it in a structured manner is a good idea.

It doesn't tip the GMs hand that combat or something important is about to happen if they ask everyone what they are doing. Players will magically be in tactically useful positions with their weapons drawn if the GM asks everyone where they are, but they'll all be trying to roll dice to open treasure chests or find important clues when the GM isn't asking everyone where they are.

Having a system where players are routinely polled for the ONE thing they are focused on doing per block of exploration time would avoid tipping the GM's hand, and stop schrodinger's adventurer where they were on guard or deciphering ancient runes depending on what the GM says happens.

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It isn't an alchemist problem, it is a bulk problem.

The bulk system pretty much blows up any time it comes into contact with common sense.

If actual weights were involved instead of being straight jacketed into a system of nonsense units made up of two buckets that often don't make any sense, then none of this would be a problem because things would have weights that make actual sense.

The added insult, to the injury of a system that doesn't do common sense well, is that the only apparent reason to add the system is because they believe that people are too stupid to handle addition of 'big numbers' like 20 or 30.

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Historical accuracy isn't a reason to change the rules.

However, the current rules for armor in general feel boring and have for quite some time.

Shields got changed, and inspiration was drawn from historical/realistic use in creating that change.

I say if they are going to change shields, change the ENTIRE armor system to something more interesting. In terms of mechanics right now, hardly anything would really change if they flat our removed armor entirely and just assigned each class an AC progression and speed hit and made your dex stat reduce that speed hit.

Armor isn't a choice and hasn't really been a choice in previous editions. At most it was simply a gold tax applied to heavy armor characters to keep them from coming online at 1st level while the lighter armor classes could come online at 1st level. As close as it gets to being a choice is finding a system loophole to build a broken character and choosing to use the loophole.

So I think there is cause to change the system more radically than you are suggesting (al la shield changes where AC is half the show), and I think if big changes are called for, then looking at historical use should be a good place to look for inspiration.

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The schools would be good at different things, because each school is one type of magical mechanic. However, over time wizards from those schools would have figured out how to leverage that mechanic in such a way as to apply to the general sorts of needs that they would run into. Like evolution usually produces many strategies for solving essentially a similar problem.

Right now the 1st level diviner choice is literally an offensive spell. Divination gives you *offense* at level 1. Not a buff, not utility, not control, and absolutely not *information* gathering at level 1.

Each school should be different, giving each school a feeling that you've got a unique set of tools to skin a cat. Just like cheetahs and crocodiles both eat zebras despite one being a reptile and the other being a mammal leveraging completely different mechanics.

Also, if you want picking a school to not matter... Just not having spells in that school seems like the ultimate way to do that. I'd bet that there is a huge correlation between the number of spells in a school and the number of wizards of that school that players have created.

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I think the basic issue is that as soon as you sit down to build a character you don't want to feel like your fighting style was already picked for you. With all the fighting style choices being internal to the class it feels like you are selecting a character from a mortal combat character selection screen and not building your character from scratch.

I think the core problem is that 3.x D&D had it right in concept but wrong in practice. In 3.X you could pick your fighting style, but what actually happened was that you picked a fighting style as a martial and that fighting style had a package of feats you basically always took and actually stomped all over the feat system.

You leveled up and ALWAYS spent your feat choice on filling in your fighting style. Except when you didn't meet the BAB requirements or ability score requirements yet, and then took a filler feat that you took because it was cool and you actually wanted to take it.

What they need are 'fighting styles' like 'sword and shield', 'dual wield', 'two handed', 'polearm', 'bow', 'crossbow', etc. Classes that are supposed to be martial classes get to pick one of a subset of those styles for their build and get an unlocking sequence of abilities in a class agnostic package with no choices (you made your choice when you picked your fighting style was a two handed power attacker).

Then hang class feats off those fighting styles by putting a requirement for 'sword and shield fighting style' or even just a 'melee style'.

That way they don't class lock fighting styles, and they free up feats to be situational picks instead of 'making my class function' picks. It also removes noob traps like the guy who tries to be both a dual wield and ranged martial in one build and creates a mechanical mess instead of a functional character.

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I suspect the prime intent is to try and provide a system that stops casters from *always* picking the usual suspects for their spells every single time they make a caster.

One good way to do this would be to simply grant wizards of a school of magic access to uncommon spells of their school. That way something like fireball can be uncommon and you only get access to it by default if you are an evoker. If you want a fill a spell slot with a damage spell and your wizard isn't an evoker, then try something non-staple or have your character start trying to find an NPC evoker and roleplay your want into getting them to show you the fireball spell.

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I suspect the possible issue with a raise shield action is that it will compete with the gambling instinct.

You play enough games and you come to realize that if a game gives someone the choice between limiting their output to hedge against loss or gambling... a lot of people will simply gamble.

Of course, that might be just fine. Using a shield can be powerful mechanically, and some people's mentality will cause them to simply not care and go for that last swing at -10. It might hit.

I watched one play test game where the fighter was getting the tar beaten out of them and they simply wouldn't use their shield and kept swinging for the fences in search of that 20. I think it is just a player mentality thing, and they do have options to just ditch the shield.

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If the math is correct and power attack vs normal attacks are basically equal but situational, and power attack is something you pay a feat for... then that doesn't seem like a good thing.

Especially when the fighter can just take a raw damage output feat like furious focus.

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Gems would get their value propped up with all the magical uses that gems typically have in fantasy settings.

On earth diamonds are basically stones with costume jewelry rarity and you are really paying for the marketing/propaganda creating irrational demand for them.

In a fantasy world, elite life or death healthcare runs on diamond dust.

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I'll agree that the book isn't fun to read.

I say that as someone who didn't have the un-fun reaction to:

1. Making my first ever pathfinder 1 character about two weeks ago.

2. Getting a degree in compute science and working as a software developer. (Keywords galore)

3. Going back to school to go into the medical field and just finished an Anatomy and Physiology class. (my stack of notecards for terms I had to memorize is literally 8 inches tall)

Less fun to read than a STEM textbook.

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Seems like a good deal if they can craft an uncommon item at market price when an uncommon item is only rarely on the actual market for purchase, or even craft common items in a remote village or base camp, at sea, or during a siege.

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Malthraz wrote:
I actually really like this ability. I think it is good game design. I actually think it makes reach weapons far more appealing for a Paladin.

You may have misspelled mandatory.

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Talonhawke wrote:
So only actively? So if the evil Archduke is planning on sacrificing a village to achieve lichdom but he hasn't gotten everything together yet so there isn't like a timeline just a sort of plan, he hasn't even picked a village yet he might use goblins so he is innocent then?

But what if he would back out of executing his plan because while he is power hungry when the time comes to perform the action he finds he simply isn't cruel enough to perform it? Then upon self reflection he decides that not being cruel is what he truly values and goes on to be a ruler that governs in a competent way that also minimizes cruelty, even if in a self serving manner. Only you murdered him for wrongthink and futurecrime...

I understand that in today's climate that 'preemptive justice' based on assumed 'futurecrime or guilt by association' is being peddled as moral righteousness, but such actions fall under the classical definitions of evil.

edit: also, standing by and letting a village of goblins be sacrificed would be in violation of the code. Racial guilt is another one of those things that while trendy is actually evil.

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The action economy is fine for 'concept' actions.

Moving raising your shield to a 'concept' where the action essentially equates to the clear concept of your character slowing down their tempo to establish a strong defensive posture.

The action economy is complete and total garbage for 'administrative' things.

Drawing weapons as actions is going to cause martial players and GMs to basically start every combat with an argument about who did or didn't have their weapons out. It is basically the 'you didn't say you checked THAT 10 foot square for traps' dynamic reborn. Of course spellcasters get a double standards free pass per usual.

Doing bookkeeping on the current position of your hands is simply pants on the head stupid.

Trying to go 'off the rails' and do something cool as a martial class under the administrative action economy is just begging for the martial player to get their actions taxed to hell and back. Of course spellcasters will just wave their fingers and use magic to go completely off the rails from across the battlefield without getting any of their actions taxed away on administration.

Net result looks like it is going to put martial classes into the worst straight jacket they've ever been in. The old argument was always: the rules don't say you couldn't do something heroic via muscle power, just do it. Well, now the rules DO state you can't do something heroic without getting action taxed to hell and back. The paladin is just the canary in the coal mine, since the paladin is a martial trying to do actions other than 'hit things' and is finding the system comes to a screeching halt.

edit: The rule needs to be three MEANINGFUL actions of CONSEQUENCE per turn. Adjusting the grip on your sword isn't meaningful or consequential. The bard isn't going to add a line to the ballad about how brave sir Paladinpants meaningfully adjusted the grip on his sword. Well, maybe they would if the ballad was a comedy...

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Commonly accepted definition of murder: Murder is the unlawful killing of another human without justification or valid excuse, especially the unlawful killing of another human being with malice aforethought.

You can't kill one person without justification or valid excuse. Saving an innocent from imminent great bodily harm or equivalent is a classically accepted justification and valid excuse.

If someone isn't actively attempting great bodily harm or equivalent, then THEY are as yet an innocent party. Wrongthink and futurecrime are not justifications or valid excuses under classical understandings of good and just.

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Lay on Hands is a somatic action.

Somatic actions require a free hand.

Warded touch removes the manipulate keyword from somatic action.

Attack of Opportunity triggers off actions with the manipulate keyword.

You can't use lay on hands without a free hand.

There is no mechanical benefit to using a long sword as a paladin of Iomedae.

Removing your hand from a weapon is apparently a free action for ~reasons~, while putting it back on the weapon isn't for ~reasons~.

Since you can't LoH with a shield, you can start combat in two handed mode for greatsword damage. Then when you need to LoH you can remove your hand from the weapon as a free action, perform your LoH, and the bastard sword switches to 1 hand mode and do identical damage to a long sword.

Paladin mechanics basically seem like a soup sandwich right now.

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Bulk is a system that seems smart and simple, but is basically dumb and complicated in practice.

It abstracts weight in such a way as to hide how strong your character actually is... thus creating massive confusion every time people need to try and translate the alien nonsense units into physical strength that is actually relatable so they can figure out if the character can do something involving strength.

Horrible 'so smart it is stupid' system that creates a mass of confusion just save people from doing some grade school addition to sum up weight numbers by replacing it with the need to do grade school addition to sum up bulk numbers and Ls that have no real meaning to the person.