My thoughts on an alternative to resonance


Prerelease Discussion


So I'm thinking about resonance all day and have come to the following conclusions. Hear me out.

1. Magic items spamming isn't the problem. It's a symptom of another problem which is simply that spell casters are gimped compared to our perceptions of them. At no point in Arthurian legends, Harry Potter, the Lord of the rings, etc. do we ever hear the main characters say "I'm sorry Hermione I wish I could help you but I'm just low on spell slots of that level."

2. Potions and other consumables don't really fit with our perceptions of them either. For example, in mythological stories potions can have long durations and are frequently created and then consumed. There always done on a by need basis – whether that need his immediate or some point down the line. Whether it's a potion that puts sleeping beauty to sleep or polymorphs someone back into their regular self you always go to the wizard and he creates it as a unique item.

3. The combination of one and two means that high-level parties value the spell slots that their spell-casters have. As a result they don't spend them frivolously when they know they can achieve the same effect for a small gold piece cost. This results in the spamming of low-level magic items at high levels which itself causes suspension of disbelief and breaking of immersion with these ridiculously over encumbered characters.

The simplest solution to all of this is to redesign wands and potions so that they cannot be spammed. Perhaps wands need to be attuned to a specific character ala Harry Potter. Perhaps potions need to be more like alchemists bombs or elixirs in that if they are not used they become inert after 24 hours.

More importantly, if we want to cut off the problem at the base that we need to address the Vancian caster problem without resorting to a 15 minute work day. The simplest way to do this is to increase the number of spells at third level or below that spell casters get at each level. Obviously spit-balling here, but the final total could be double 1st to 3rd level spells for a caster? Maybe more? Maybe less? One thing that's always confused me is how a wizard who has been casting magic missile for 20 levels still manages to forget it every day.

Ideally, for flexibility sake – the wizard and sorcerer class should both be abandoned in favor of the Arcanist class. The Arcanist is an excellent design of flexibility and utility and would serve as a great baseline for a Pathfinder 2.0 nine level arcane spell class.

Now I know this is going to be divisive but consider this all within the scope of the reduced damage potential that spells do in 2.0. And keep in mind that your average wizard by 20th level will have access to some kind of ring of wizardry which doubles his spells anyway (for a certain level).

If Paizo is looking to return magic back to the characters and away from the items then they have to do something to pick up the shortfall. There are three possibilities:

1. Reduce the daily load to a 15 minute work day. No one wants this because it oversimplifies the game and everyone uses their nova spells for every combat.

2. Dumb down all the monster abilities. Again no one wants this because it oversimplifies the game and in particular kills a lot of the uncertainty in combat.

3. Give casters the tools that they need to do their jobs. No caster needs more than two or three ninth level spells a day and no one needs "wish". But what they do need is the ability to do those low-level utility spells pretty much at will once they hit level 15 or higher. This is not to say they should have them at will, but with the exception of the long, end boss dungeons they shouldn't be going into their first combat jealously guarding their limited resources or doing so little damage that doesn't matter. We've seen now that fighters will be doing extra dice of damage for each numerical bonus on a weapon and we know that they will get extra attacks that will reasonably hit. I don't think it's unreasonable to see a 15th level fighter doing 8d6 of damage each round. Whereas the wizard won't be able to match that due to the lack of spell slots.(Ignoring for the moment the fact that the wizard spells can be saved for half and fighters melee attacks can't).

So yeah, resonance (as we understand it) needs to be taken back to task. It doesn't solve the problem, because the problem is trying to solve isn't a problem – it's a symptom of another problem. Solve that problem and resonance becomes unnecessary.

thanks for listening.


Id prefer they keep resonance and give casters scaling cantrips to work as the caster xbow. Leave higher level slots for utility, control, buff, and AOE damage. /not signed.


I to prefer keep resonance but still want a power up for my sorcerer as it needs more tools then his leatherman multi tool named spellcasting and bloodline powers.


I agree that casters need a bit more versatility. My point is that the low level magic item spamming and the versatility issue are intertwined. Solve the latter and the former goes away.


Zi Mishkal wrote:
I agree that casters need a bit more versatility. My point is that the low level magic item spamming and the versatility issue are intertwined. Solve the latter and the former goes away.

Its not the spell casting the problem its the lack of skill points that kills sorcerer while wizard has less problem since his skill and spells come from same source but both can use some talents to bopst their arsenal like I dont know turning into archon form were they get casting stat to all physical stats for 1 minute per level.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

While there are no examples of a character quoting game mechanics as a reason not to do something, there is plenty of precedence for people with powers, what ever they are, running out of whatever internal juice the fuel those powers with.

Harry vs Voldey in that bit where they channel lazers at each other is a contest of such resources for example.


It would definitely be nice for spellcasters to get more useful progressive at-wills - definitely more than 4E or 5E - so they can participate all day. It might also be nice to have a separate set of spells per day slots / mana just for utility spells, distinct from the spells per day / mana usable on combat spells.

I doubt we'll get that though.


We most assuredly won't get a second set of spell slots if they're trying to streamline the game (and that's the claim). The best that can be hoped for is more spell slots. But i don't think that's possible. This is definitely turning into a low-magic setting.


Zi Mishkal wrote:
We most assuredly won't get a second set of spell slots if they're trying to streamline the game (and that's the claim). The best that can be hoped for is more spell slots. But i don't think that's possible. This is definitely turning into a low-magic setting.

we gonna get more slots and known spells since no more 9 cantrips per caster and the whole 10th level slots( which we get 3 base slots before our casting stat) means we have more power but a few talents to keep portion of the low level slots like our raw casting modifier as at wills helps flex the muscles a bit. besides we are the explosive slash support expert in the team.


How can you present an alternative to something that has not even be presented in a preview?


edduardco wrote:
How can you present an alternative to something that has not even be presented in a preview?

we kinda changed the threads topic mate as this is know how to expend casters instead of alternative resonance.


edduardco wrote:
How can you present an alternative to something that has not even be presented in a preview?

Resonance has been talked about a bunch already in podcasts and on the boards.


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Zi Mishkal wrote:
It's a symptom of another problem which is simply that spell casters are gimped compared to our perceptions of them. At no point in Arthurian legends, Harry Potter, the Lord of the rings, etc. do we ever hear the main characters say "I'm sorry Hermione I wish I could help you but I'm just low on spell slots of that level."

To me it's the other way around. Gandalf, Merlin, and so on seem to cast far fewer powerful spells than the average level 5 wizard. They don't casually fly or launch fireballs or use unlimited cantrips.


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Zi Mishkal wrote:
I agree that casters need a bit more versatility.

Casters are the ones that need more versatility?


What exactly is the basis for PF2 turning into a low magic setting?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Zi Mishkal wrote:
edduardco wrote:
How can you present an alternative to something that has not even be presented in a preview?
Resonance has been talked about a bunch already in podcasts and on the boards.

But your point 1 isn't really what resonance is about at all. We don't know anything about how spells work except there will be 10 levels of spells and proficiency ties into them some how. Perhaps being Legendary at Necromancy will allow you to be less bound by spell slots for Necromancy spells for instance.

Resonance honestly has barely anything to do with spell casters, the problems it sets out to solve exist in caster less games too.


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khadgar567 wrote:
edduardco wrote:
How can you present an alternative to something that has not even be presented in a preview?
we kinda changed the threads topic mate as this is know how to expend casters instead of alternative resonance.

On this topic, some of the things I like about 5e and Spheres of Power are rituals, rituals allow to cast utility spells out of combat without needing to spend a spell slot, leaving more of the spell slots to be used during combat or in time pressure situations. I just will rename them to something different than rituals like incantations or something because I like rituals to be the spell analogous to artifacts.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Planpanther wrote:
What exactly is the basis for PF2 turning into a low magic setting?

Level 20 characters will only be able to wear 20 rings!


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Planpanther wrote:
What exactly is the basis for PF2 turning into a low magic setting?

Given that PF2 is Golarion infused I will not count on having low magic rules in core, or at all.


Zi Mishkal wrote:
Resonance has been talked about a bunch already in podcasts and on the boards.

None of which provide a complete picture, however.

We know so little about, for example, how spells work in PF2 that it's kind of pointless to offer alternative solutions at this point.


Zi Mishkal wrote:
I agree that casters need a bit more versatility. My point is that the low level magic item spamming and the versatility issue are intertwined. Solve the latter and the former goes away.

That doesn't match my experience. Casters particularly prepared casters are the very essence of versatility. It's classes like slayers that lack options.


Planpanther wrote:
What exactly is the basis for PF2 turning into a low magic setting?

The most obvious example is potions, etc. being tied to resonance. There's also weapon abilities tied to resonance (i.e. the flaming attribute of a sword costs 1 point). Based on that, if you extrapolate, then pretty much anything that's "active use" will be tied to resonance. Want to use a wand? One point. A staff? One point. Want to use the 3x/day magic attached to your ring? Point.

Burn through enough points and you run the risk of burning out the inherent connection to your armor and weapon as well as preventing yourself from receiving the benefit of magical items (except spells, I think) until you rest.

The result will be that magical items will be viewed with distrust and used less. This will put more of a stress on spell-casting classes to make up the slack. But spellcasters already are overtasked with insufficient resources and now their damage is going to be nerfed. Which means that the arcane casters will be reduced to buffing martials and divine casters reduced to healing martials if for no other reason than they won't be encouraged to sit at the table unless they accept the "new normal".

Who's going to want to play that? Who's going to play Billy the Buffer who casts haste on the heroes and then goes and sits in the corner while the excitement occurs?


FangDragon wrote:
Zi Mishkal wrote:
I agree that casters need a bit more versatility. My point is that the low level magic item spamming and the versatility issue are intertwined. Solve the latter and the former goes away.
That doesn't match my experience. Casters particularly prepared casters are the very essence of versatility. It's classes like slayers that lack options.

I agree that all the classes need help in one way or another. A lot of the martial classes could do with an increase in skill points. Of course a lot of the classes could be folded into one or two classes, with the old classes as archetypes. Arcanist could (should?) be the default arcane caster class, with Wizard and sorcerer as archetypes thereof.

With respect to prepared casters - prepared casters are only great if they know ahead of time what to prepare for. And they are still limited by their slots. Unless you play with a 15 minute adventuring day. In which case, they are very overpowered.

Personally, I don't play in that kind of a setting. Our days are long and we use the whole part of the player character... like our 1st Edition forefathers did! :P


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Zi Mishkal wrote:
Resonance has been talked about a bunch already in podcasts and on the boards.

None of which provide a complete picture, however.

We know so little about, for example, how spells work in PF2 that it's kind of pointless to offer alternative solutions at this point.

We won't have a complete picture until the final rules come out in the summer of 2019.

Whether you agree with my suggestions or not, I think we can concur that summer 2019 is a tad late to suggest changes, yes? ;)


Zi Mishkal wrote:
The most obvious example is potions, etc. being tied to resonance. There's also weapon abilities tied to resonance (i.e. the flaming attribute of a sword costs 1 point). Based on that, if you extrapolate, then pretty much anything that's "active use" will be tied to resonance. Want to use a wand? One point. A staff? One point. Want to use the 3x/day magic attached to your ring? Point.

All of which assumes that magic items will be built and statted out the same as in PF1. We have absolutely zero information on that yet. Whether an item will even have X/day abilities, whether flaming won't move to something more like fusions in Starfinder...we just don't have enough data there yet.


Zi Mishkal wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
What exactly is the basis for PF2 turning into a low magic setting?

The most obvious example is potions, etc. being tied to resonance. There's also weapon abilities tied to resonance (i.e. the flaming attribute of a sword costs 1 point). Based on that, if you extrapolate, then pretty much anything that's "active use" will be tied to resonance. Want to use a wand? One point. A staff? One point. Want to use the 3x/day magic attached to your ring? Point.

Burn through enough points and you run the risk of burning out the inherent connection to your armor and weapon as well as preventing yourself from receiving the benefit of magical items (except spells, I think) until you rest.

The result will be that magical items will be viewed with distrust and used less. This will put more of a stress on spell-casting classes to make up the slack. But spellcasters already are overtasked with insufficient resources and now their damage is going to be nerfed. Which means that the arcane casters will be reduced to buffing martials and divine casters reduced to healing martials if for no other reason than they won't be encouraged to sit at the table unless they accept the "new normal".

Who's going to want to play that? Who's going to play Billy the Buffer who casts haste on the heroes and then goes and sits in the corner while the excitement occurs?

Well, being that Bard is my favorite class, I guess I love to be billy the buffer. Though I think you are jumping to conclusions here. The devs have stated that Paizo has been running a closed playtest for some time and nobody complained about lack of resonance. They also mentioned that a barbarian was an excellent healer so Id put caster over-tasking on the back burner for now.

Zi Mishkal wrote:

With respect to prepared casters - prepared casters are only great if they know ahead of time what to prepare for. And they are still limited by their slots. Unless you play with a 15 minute adventuring day. In which case, they are very overpowered.

Personally, I don't play in that kind of a setting. Our days are long and we use the whole part of the player character... like our 1st Edition forefathers did! :P

If that were true you would have a better understanding of attrition and resource managment.


(For context, the Barbarian character invested in being a good healer through means outside of their class. They didn't change Barbarian to a healer class or something.)


QuidEst wrote:
(For context, the Barbarian character invested in being a good healer through means outside of their class. They didn't change Barbarian to a healer class or something.)

That remains to be seen. I'm guessing skill proficiency unlocks in healing.


Planpanther wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
(For context, the Barbarian character invested in being a good healer through means outside of their class. They didn't change Barbarian to a healer class or something.)
That remains to be seen. I'm guessing skill proficiency unlocks in healing.

They did confirm that the Barbarian's healing wasn't based on class, nor was it based on items. (The Fighter and Ranger did all right using items.)


Give casters the option of regaining some lower-level spells/slots when they rest for a while.
Make a similar mechanic for other classes' abilities.
And let characters heal (to an extent) when they take a break.

So they still have to plan when to use their most powerful spells, but can still contribute unless don't have a chance to rest.
They can expend every resource at their disposal if needed, but then they are exhausted and need to unwind.
No need to spam CLW on every character, but heals are still needed on more serious wounds.

And the 15-minutes workday is less likely to happen.


Casters' low-level spells need some scaling, too. It always feels bad when your 1st level spells become entirely useless because the DC is just too low for anything to fail. Not to mention Sleep, which is good for about 1 level before being unable to affect anything that might theoretically threaten you.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Centuros wrote:
Casters' low-level spells need some scaling, too. It always feels bad when your 1st level spells become entirely useless because the DC is just too low for anything to fail. Not to mention Sleep, which is good for about 1 level before being unable to affect anything that might theoretically threaten you.

From what I understand all of your spells will have the same DC no matter what level they are.

Low level spells won't "scale" damage wise, however if it's similar to Starfinder they'll begin at their "ceiling" of damage (so burning hands starts at 5d4).


but casters still needs talents to give more versitilaty even our best magics has bigger dice and higher saves. give us options to do our job ratter then another new series of spells to struggle.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
khadgar567 wrote:
but casters still needs talents to give more versitilaty even our best magics has bigger dice and higher saves. give us options to do our job ratter then another new series of spells to struggle.

They mentioned spells within the proficiency system. That indicates to be, with what they have shown with other proficiencies, that you will have a fair bit of versatility in choosing how it works.

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