WBL in PF2


Prerelease Discussion


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Hello, sorry for my english, is not my mother tongue. Did we have some information about 'wealth by level' in the new edition?

It's the most problematic mechanic in my experience, as it is really important for keeping the game balanced but it really feel as a 'bookkeeping' chore for the GMs and players alike.
Starfinder did something that make a lot of mathematical sense but feels 'unnatural' from an immersion' point of view. Do PF2 going to handle the mechanics in a similar way? Or it going to make the WBL less prominent? (and maybe use the attunement point or other similar mechanics for keeping the magic item well balanced).

Also, we know that the 'big six' magic items is something that the developer doesn't wont to have in the new edition (and I'm really happy about that), but how something like a +5 magic sword are going to be handled in the new edition? In particular in regard of the new -10/+10 critics system? A +5 bonus seems ENORMOUS in that regard! To me it seems strange that someone don't 'plan' the encounter difficulty around the fact that a player have or have not a +5 weapon...


WBL was partly because needing a bunch of bonuses was necessary to keep up with the math of higher level monsters and DCs. It was also intended to help keep one character in the party balanced against another character, but we know how that worked out. I imagine with the big six being de-emphasized, WBL will be scaled back. It won't go away though. Treasure IS one of the biggest psychological carrots that motivates a lot of if not most players, that feeling of getting more powerful.

Part of why we have far more ability score increases in PF is to make it so people don't need belts and headbands. So that's already taken care of. I imagine there will still be things like save bonuses and skill bonuses just because of how iconic they are, and I don't see Paizo being brave enough to entirely get rid of them. But hopefully those are baseline effects of items, so every item does something cool rather than just being a raw stat boost. A cloak that turns you into a cloud of bats /and/ gives you a save bonus just because it's a cloak is the direction they should go, if things like save bonuses from items are still needed.

As for +5 swords, what I've heard actually leans more 5E: I'm not sure there are actually weapons stronger than +3 this time, except maybe artifacts. I guess we'll see though.


I never bought into WBL being "needed" to face level-appropiate challenges. I believe that "balance" was designed around a party of 4 guys using 15 point-buy and subpar builds (OG Valeros, Kyra, Ezren and Merisiel).

Suffice to say, the average parties and PCs of 2018 are gonna be punching like 3+CR above those guys... So when I'm running APs I have to be really stingy or the difficulty becomes a joke.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Pffft!

The concept of WBL was superfluous from the first day it was printed. The only time I ever used that table was following a character death, or the arrival of a new player in the group, to assign a set of equipment to the new higher-than-first-level character.

PF2.0 should have even less of a need for such a table than the current version. RIP, WBL. Good riddance.

Liberty's Edge

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I hate wealth by level.

I hate having to give out mandated amounts of treasure every few encounters. And having to work in set amounts if treasure even if it doesn't fit the story or monsters (or it builds up into an even more ridiculous payday).
I hate how it invariably means you have to give up heirloom items, because the plusses aren't high enough and it's not masterwork.
I hate how players just end up selling the unique and wondrous treasure so they can upgrade their plusses.
I hate how I can't give the players a random but fun item (like the wand of wonder) because it's more valuable sold than in play.
I hate how every city has to have vendors trading magic items like one would buy and sell stationary.
I hate how it means magic items become part if "builds", just being assumed. It makes magic as commonplace as feats.
I hate how the campaign has to grind to a half every 2-3 levels as the crafter spends a fortnight improving everyone's plusses.
I hate being unable to give out different awards, like a ship or a castle, because the players could just sell it and get more powerful than expected.
I hate how it means things like businesses and dayjobs can't ever be successful, because then it imbalances characters, making one more powerful.
I hate how it means there needs to be ridiculous amounts of gold in the economy, so 5th level characters are rich enough to never have to work another day in their life.
I hate how it means you can't ever have the players lose their gear, or dress as bad guy guards.
I hate how it means what character can do often isn't special, but it's what they're wearing that defines them.
I hate how it means the game has to continually have wealth subsystems (like plunder or build points) because using actual money will break character's power levels.


Jester David wrote:

I hate wealth by level.

I hate having to give out mandated amounts of treasure every few encounters. And having to work in set amounts if treasure even if it doesn't fit the story or monsters (or it builds up into an even more ridiculous payday).
I hate how it invariably means you have to give up heirloom items, because the plusses aren't high enough and it's not masterwork.
I hate how players just end up selling the unique and wondrous treasure so they can upgrade their plusses.
I hate how I can't give the players a random but fun item (like the wand of wonder) because it's more valuable sold than in play.
I hate how every city has to have vendors trading magic items like one would buy and sell stationary.
I hate how it means magic items become part if "builds", just being assumed. It makes magic as commonplace as feats.
I hate how the campaign has to grind to a half every 2-3 levels as the crafter spends a fortnight improving everyone's plusses.
I hate being unable to give out different awards, like a ship or a castle, because the players could just sell it and get more powerful than expected.
I hate how it means things like businesses and dayjobs can't ever be successful, because then it imbalances characters, making one more powerful.
I hate how it means there needs to be ridiculous amounts of gold in the economy, so 5th level characters are rich enough to never have to work another day in their life.
I hate how it means you can't ever have the players lose their gear, or dress as bad guy guards.
I hate how it means what character can do often isn't special, but it's what they're wearing that defines them.
I hate how it means the game has to continually have wealth subsystems (like plunder or build points) because using actual money will break character's power levels.

Rough but true on my case... But it's not like the game core rules are hardcoded to allow all of those things. GMs are encouraged to limit buying/selling of magic items to their taste, which leaves only crafting as the way to ruin everything (Which you can ban, as PFS has). I indeed dislike "builds" that 100% require full-set of magic items and from experience only a few are really needed ever for effects besides +1s.

Even PFS has robust system to prevent players form getting just ANY item. But it's still extremely lenient. The idea is good, though!


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Wheldrake wrote:

Pffft!

The concept of WBL was superfluous from the first day it was printed. The only time I ever used that table was following a character death, or the arrival of a new player in the group, to assign a set of equipment to the new higher-than-first-level character.

Back when I was running PF with fewer houserules I handwaved wealth using the wealth by level table.

Between adventures my players were allowed to buy anything they wanted with unspent funds so long as their total wealth did not exceed WBL and no one item had a market value greater than 1/2 their WBL.

Undesired assets could be exchanged for their full value, but no more than 1/2 their WBL per downtime event.

Made it far easier to focus on the story.


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I would rather see WBL and prices for magic items.
If you ignore those guidelines (and it is important to note that they are, and always have been, guidelines not hard and fast rules) you are no worse off than if they didn't exist. For those of us that find them a useful tool the fact that they don't exist creates a hole that we may not have the time or (in my case at least) the skill to replicate something similar.


I think rolling or getting random items is fun, provided you don't need magic items to function and that there is some short of balance between the magic items publised. I mention some of this here
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2v1h3?Magic-items-post-necessity

The problem with WBL was that some items were better than others for their price AND that buying and selling items was not a very fun process.
I have always been ok with having Rolls-on-specific-treasure-tables by level and I can see PF2 goind that route, but I am not sure that's the correct one. Maybe at level 20 you can have 5 of legendary/major/good/minor magic items you want would fit pathfinder's style better. Or even maybe a mix of the two, some of your items are chosen and some are random.


Loot by level is a side effect of challenge rating (CR).

At 1st level, the party fights a Street Thug (CR 1). His gear includes masterwork studded leather, two dagger, and a quarterstaff, which the party sells for 88 gp. At 3rd level, the party fights two Street Thugs (combined CR 3} and sells their gear for 176 gp. Or they fight one Slaver (CR 3} and loot his masterwork studded leather, 3 bolas, masterwork guisarme, masterwork sap, and spiked gauntlet for 400 gp. Every two levels, the party either fights twice as many low-level opponents for twice the loot or they fight a higher-level opponent for more expensive higher-level loot.

Or they could fight a penniless monster with no gear to sell. But presumably, penniless monsters would be an equal portion of their battles at all levels, so we still have exponential growth in wealth.

Once the designers estimated how much wealth a character would accumulate by each level, they could create a Wealth by Level table as a quick guide for how much wealth a character newly created at that level should have to match the rest of the party members. That is all wealth by level is supposed to do.

However, wealth by level became a self-fulfilling prophecy. If the players notice that their character's wealth is less than the value in the Wealth by Level table, then they point out to the GM that they have been shortchanged in loot. Likewise, the module writers put enough loot into the module to keep the party at wealth by level, as if it were a goal rather than an estimate.

The necessary gear required to succeed against a given challenge is a separate argument. For example, PCs should have magic weapons and maybe ghost touch weapons before fighting against incorporeal undead. Nevertheless, the self-fulfulling prophecy of wealth by level says that the PCs will be able to afford such necessary gear and jumps to the conclusion that they will have the necessary gear, regardless of whether they had a chance to shop or craft.

I did bend the truth a little above. The Wealth by Level numbers do not keep up with the assumption that loot doubles every two levels. The Wealth by Level table gives the sequence
70 gp, 1000 gp, 3000 gp, 6000 gp, 10500 gp, 16000 gp, 23500 gp, 33000 gp, 46000 gp, 62000 gp, 82000 gp, 108000 gp, 140000 gp, 185000 gp, 240000 gp, 315000 gp, 410000 gp, 530000 gp, 685000 gp, 880000 gp.
That squence is best matched, ignoring the 1st- and 2nd-level numbers, by the offset exponential curve:
-1500, 500, 3000, 6300, 10500, 16000, 23500, 33000, 45000, 61000, 82000, 109000, 144000, ..., (5000×1.3^n - 8000). Doubling every two levels would require 1.41^n rather than 1.3^n.


And here I thought the numbers on the WBL table were just pulled randomly out of someone's ass.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
And here I thought the numbers on the WBL table were just pulled randomly out of someone's ass.

The first few numbers in the Wealth by Level sequence were copied from Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, so combining them with the offset exponential sequence is probably a kludge, which means they kept those numbers because they work, with no explanation why they work.

The experience point system in D&D 3.5 can be seen at d20 srd Experience Points. The sequence is:
0, 1000, 3000, 6000, 10000, 15000, 21000, ...
which is 1000 times the triangular numbers 1, 3, 6, 10, 15, ..., (n)(n-1)/2 where n is the level.
That table also has Total Equipment Value, which is their name for Wealth by Level.
(by class), 900 gp, 2700 gp, 5400 gp, 9000 gp, 13000 gp, 19000 gp, 27000gp, 36000 gp, 49000 gp, 66000 gp, ...
That Total Equipment Value is 90% of the XP for that level in gold pieces, but the table later raises it to 100% at 9th level and 120% at 11th level and further upward at higher levels. Compare that to Pathfinder, where the Wealth by Level is always less than the total XP of that level. It looks like Paizo made a minor effort to reduce the wealth, and the associated gear, when they invented Pathfinder.

Triangular numbers are a quadratic progression. Paizo switched to an exponential progression for Pathfinder. I could harp for hours why an exponential progression leads to a better leveling experience and more sensible challenge rating system, but I will summarize: it is a work of genius.


While I‘m a pathfinder 1e loyalist I still agree that wbl should be highly altered our removed outright. So count me in on that one.


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I'm not a fan of WBL either, for reasons already listed. But I'm also not craaaazy about the 5e lack of guidelines on item expectations. Part of me would rather have that excitement of wonder and discovery, but part of me would also like it if players had an element of choice in their magical gear. Pathfinder is the system of choice after all.

Glad they are ditching the big 6 though.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I hate WBL with a passion - or more specifically, I hate the magic item economy that is tied to it.

I'd rather see a chart that gives us expected abilities received from gear, and leave the monetary value part out. (Which would also just allow a GM to hand out those things if they so choose.)

I think the big part where WBL is important is when it comes to keeping up with defenses such as AC and Saves, but it unfortunately doesn't give any good guidelines in regards to those.


WBL helps me when I want people to make characters starting at higher levels otherwise I don't use it that much. I look forward to the banishment of the big 6!


Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

I hate WBL with a passion - or more specifically, I hate the magic item economy that is tied to it.

I'd rather see a chart that gives us expected abilities received from gear, and leave the monetary value part out. (Which would also just allow a GM to hand out those things if they so choose.)

I think the big part where WBL is important is when it comes to keeping up with defenses such as AC and Saves, but it unfortunately doesn't give any good guidelines in regards to those.

Making a new higher level char was pretty rough before Magic Items were priced... I still think they should be priced, but outside of the economy.

I actually like WBL existing, as it has made me track my player's net worth and hand out new loot in a reasonable and well-distributed way even if I don't exactly follow the specific guidelines.

Issue with WBL is not it's intended purpose, is that it required Magic items to be priced so they could be considered, and thus, bought-sold in an apparently trivial manner. It's an annoying side-effect of what is otherwise an useful system.


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Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

I hate WBL with a passion - or more specifically, I hate the magic item economy that is tied to it.

I'd rather see a chart that gives us expected abilities received from gear, and leave the monetary value part out. (Which would also just allow a GM to hand out those things if they so choose.)

I think the big part where WBL is important is when it comes to keeping up with defenses such as AC and Saves, but it unfortunately doesn't give any good guidelines in regards to those.

This is actually an EXTREMELY good idea! That would honestly make more sense. If certain abilities should be generally available to the party by a certain level because of when monsters you need those abilities to fight start appearing, or if certain bonuses are worked into the game's math, then that can be spelled out. That would especially help newer GMs.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

I hate WBL with a passion - or more specifically, I hate the magic item economy that is tied to it.

I'd rather see a chart that gives us expected abilities received from gear, and leave the monetary value part out. (Which would also just allow a GM to hand out those things if they so choose.)

I think the big part where WBL is important is when it comes to keeping up with defenses such as AC and Saves, but it unfortunately doesn't give any good guidelines in regards to those.

This is actually an EXTREMELY good idea! That would honestly make more sense. If certain abilities should be generally available to the party by a certain level because of when monsters you need those abilities to fight start appearing, or if certain bonuses are worked into the game's math, then that can be spelled out. That would especially help newer GMs.

Isn't that essentially Automatic Bonus shoehorned into equipment rather than characters?


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

I hate WBL with a passion - or more specifically, I hate the magic item economy that is tied to it.

I'd rather see a chart that gives us expected abilities received from gear, and leave the monetary value part out. (Which would also just allow a GM to hand out those things if they so choose.)

I think the big part where WBL is important is when it comes to keeping up with defenses such as AC and Saves, but it unfortunately doesn't give any good guidelines in regards to those.

This is actually an EXTREMELY good idea! That would honestly make more sense. If certain abilities should be generally available to the party by a certain level because of when monsters you need those abilities to fight start appearing, or if certain bonuses are worked into the game's math, then that can be spelled out. That would especially help newer GMs.
Isn't that essentially Automatic Bonus shoehorned into equipment rather than characters?

ABP only improves your numbers, not utility. Think they are talking about stuff like "having means to fixing petrification", "a way to fight ghosts" and "method for flight or teleportation"... Utility stuff that ABP doesn't quite handle.


Yeah, a utility list would be neat. It could be especially helpful in highlighting weak points in a party. If spellcasters can cover those bases the DM has more freedom in giving out items.


I see what we're discussing now. A list of 'tools you need to succeed' regarding problems that need solving at various levels.

I would definitely like to see such a list as well.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
ChibiNyan wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

I hate WBL with a passion - or more specifically, I hate the magic item economy that is tied to it.

I'd rather see a chart that gives us expected abilities received from gear, and leave the monetary value part out. (Which would also just allow a GM to hand out those things if they so choose.)

I think the big part where WBL is important is when it comes to keeping up with defenses such as AC and Saves, but it unfortunately doesn't give any good guidelines in regards to those.

This is actually an EXTREMELY good idea! That would honestly make more sense. If certain abilities should be generally available to the party by a certain level because of when monsters you need those abilities to fight start appearing, or if certain bonuses are worked into the game's math, then that can be spelled out. That would especially help newer GMs.
Isn't that essentially Automatic Bonus shoehorned into equipment rather than characters?
ABP only improves your numbers, not utility. Think they are talking about stuff like "having means to fixing petrification", "a way to fight ghosts" and "method for flight or teleportation"... Utility stuff that ABP doesn't quite handle.

Yep. That's the basic idea I was getting at. Although it's not terribly wrong to compare to ABP. (Although I've got some major beefs with how that fails to retain as much player agency, and also totally fails to do anything with the messed up economy that is 3.5e/PF)


Yeah, the concept behind ABP is very good.

The execution is rather lacking.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
ChibiNyan wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

I hate WBL with a passion - or more specifically, I hate the magic item economy that is tied to it.

I'd rather see a chart that gives us expected abilities received from gear, and leave the monetary value part out. (Which would also just allow a GM to hand out those things if they so choose.)

I think the big part where WBL is important is when it comes to keeping up with defenses such as AC and Saves, but it unfortunately doesn't give any good guidelines in regards to those.

Making a new higher level char was pretty rough before Magic Items were priced... I still think they should be priced, but outside of the economy.

I actually like WBL existing, as it has made me track my player's net worth and hand out new loot in a reasonable and well-distributed way even if I don't exactly follow the specific guidelines.

Issue with WBL is not it's intended purpose, is that it required Magic items to be priced so they could be considered, and thus, bought-sold in an apparently trivial manner. It's an annoying side-effect of what is otherwise an useful system.

I can totally understand where you're coming from, having tried writing high-level one shots in 2e a long time ago. There's too much baggage that came with WBL in the long run for me to still enjoy it, though.

I'm hoping they have something in store to help fix the economy issues. It really drives me nuts how you can't have rich or poor characters without having to potentially re-balance encounters due to it. And especially that they can't exist in the same party without major issues.

I use a set of house-rules that looks similar to how Kirthfinder handled it. I love it in play so far.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:

Yeah, the concept behind ABP is very good.

The execution is rather lacking.

Yeah, reminds me of how the Variant Action Economy didn't mesh super well with the existing rules, so I'm still holding out hope that I'll be pleasantly surprised on how the economy shakes out in PF2.


kyrt-ryder wrote:

I see what we're discussing now. A list of 'tools you need to succeed' regarding problems that need solving at various levels.

I would definitely like to see such a list as well.

I think this could also serve as a way to highlight how much high level powers warp the narrative. Or even low level play. I think we have all seen a GM shocked at some spell or ability they never heard of and how "broken" it is.


Captain Morgan wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

I see what we're discussing now. A list of 'tools you need to succeed' regarding problems that need solving at various levels.

I would definitely like to see such a list as well.

I think this could also serve as a way to highlight how much high level powers warp the narrative. Or even low level play. I think we have all seen a GM shocked at some spell or ability they never heard of and how "broken" it is.

Or Paizo could just publish an actual Tiers of Play chart displaying what each range of levels actually represents.

PF1 either fell into four or five tiers depending on who you ask [I'm the only proponent of five tiers I know personally]

Whereas PF2 appears to be shaping itself into three tiers with the thresholds of Proficiency Ranks [Levels 1-6 prior to Mastery, Levels 7-14 with Mastery but without Legendary and Levels 15-20 with Legendary.]


Jester David's Post:
Jester David wrote:

I hate wealth by level.

I hate having to give out mandated amounts of treasure every few encounters. And having to work in set amounts if treasure even if it doesn't fit the story or monsters (or it builds up into an even more ridiculous payday).
I hate how it invariably means you have to give up heirloom items, because the plusses aren't high enough and it's not masterwork.
I hate how players just end up selling the unique and wondrous treasure so they can upgrade their plusses.
I hate how I can't give the players a random but fun item (like the wand of wonder) because it's more valuable sold than in play.
I hate how every city has to have vendors trading magic items like one would buy and sell stationary.
I hate how it means magic items become part if "builds", just being assumed. It makes magic as commonplace as feats.
I hate how the campaign has to grind to a half every 2-3 levels as the crafter spends a fortnight improving everyone's plusses.
I hate being unable to give out different awards, like a ship or a castle, because the players could just sell it and get more powerful than expected.
I hate how it means things like businesses and dayjobs can't ever be successful, because then it imbalances characters, making one more powerful.
I hate how it means there needs to be ridiculous amounts of gold in the economy, so 5th level characters are rich enough to never have to work another day in their life.
I hate how it means you can't ever have the players lose their gear, or dress as bad guy guards.
I hate how it means what character can do often isn't special, but it's what they're wearing that defines them.
I hate how it means the game has to continually have wealth subsystems (like plunder or build points) because using actual money will break character's power levels.

Counter Responses:
Treasure every few encounters is a part of the game design for players growing stronger, and is a factor of most every game ever created. You could always just handwave experience and treasure and throw in a bunch of "fun" encounters for the players, but that gets boring when you repeat encounters, and it creates player frustration when they keep doing fights and it makes them feel like they aren't getting anywhere other than "advancing the plot," except not really, because they are "fun" encounters, and not encounters relevant to the plot whatsoever. (Usually, anyway. A clever GM could weave something in here or there, but shouldn't be a staple.)

Heirloom items have always been tricky to design in many games, as you need to have a draw besides "being the OG item," because that sort of stuff doesn't matter to power gamers (which is again, a player issue). I'm of the opinion that, if a player values their Heirloom item, they would sell treasure to improve their Heirloom item. Of course, when you have the resale rules of only 50% value, with no means of automatically crafting it at 50% value, the idea that you "transmute magic items" to improve your "heirloom weapon" loses to basic math, which to a power gamer is a big no-no.

This is solely a problem with game design, specifically the Big 6. When a game assumes I have X amount of pluses to Y stats that invariably occupy slots where said "fun items" can go, I can't sacrifice X pluses to Y stats because the game requires me to have them, and if I don't have them, I'm significantly more likely to die, making the ability to use the "fun item" impossible. ABP from Unchained largely solves this problem, and PF2 might incorporate this system as well as a "lazy fix," but when it cuts WBL in half, and only alleviates several parts (and not all of) the Big 6 (magic weapons and armor still exist in PF2), it's not an adequate solution to what is a major problem in this case.

I believe PF2 is making it easier to craft magic items, which means vendors who sale magic items are going to be less prevalent or required. That doesn't mean they should outright go away, but if players create characters correctly, the need for "Ye Olde Magic Shoppe" goes away because the players themselves, ARE the "Ye Olde Magic Shoppe." Which unfortunately, creates its own issue.

For this part, refer to my Big 6 argument above, because it's basically the same issue.

This is exclusively a problem with GM creativity. The odds of castles and ships being commonly sellable (especially if they are valuable) are pretty slim, because you must also understand marketing. (A silly idea for requirements of a GM, sure, but it's relevant in this issue.) What are the odds that a rich noble or adventurer/captain, who doesn't already have a prestigious castle or ship, desire a 2nd castle or ship? Do you think they would be in the market to purchase it? Probably not, simply because most patrons have no demand (or ability to purchase) a castle or ship on a whim. And if they are, they are most likely capable of affording and doing other, better things. Like Simulacrums. Or Permanent Greater Demiplanes. Or Gate spells. The odds that people who can afford a castle or ship, will purchase a castle or ship, are very low, and therefore the party shouldn't realistically be able to sell the castle or ship except in very extreme circumstances. In other words, put your GM foot down and say "Nobody wants to buy a castle/ship because they can't/won't buy a castle/ship, so you can't sell it." Also note several of these subjects here can apply to your "Ye Olde Magic Shoppe" issue above.

The "businesses/dayjobs" in PF1 hardly made any money to begin with. They aren't meant to, because if they did, nobody would go out and adventure to risk getting super-rich, because they would get more than adequate living and money to not have a need to adventure. Sure, they might get bored, but money can buy happiness and excitement, so they shouldn't have an itch to go out adventuring if they just spend a little here or there to keep their mind off of the boring tediums of a day job.

This isn't really an issue, just a fact and design of the game. 5th level adventurers are pretty rare in most lower level towns, and usually have braved several threats and dungeons to claim the treasure they possess. It's not much different than in today's society, where people who are dirt poor are constantly toiling to make end's meet, compared to others who are so dirty stinking rich they plummet their currency for superfluous subjects.

As for them "losing their gear," this is generally a dick move as a GM anyway unless there is some way to get it back (AKA make a challenge for the players if they get locked up in jail or taken prisoner), or if the story/game warrants a loss of gear (either for balance or plot purposes). In short, a good GM can prepare encounters for players regardless of if they are over or under WBL. A GM who isn't able to do that may not be regarded as a good GM in the public eye, which is a whole other topic. The Bad Guards thing isn't really an issue, because you don't necessarily need WBL to do that. Just a good disguise skill and/or some Disguise Self/Other spellcasting, which may or may not have to come from a consumable/magic item.

This isn't really a problem that can be fixed in this game, or in general. Characters having signature weapons and equipment are also a big part of their definition, and is actually counterintuitive to the "heirloom weapon" complaint made above. If a character needs unique weapons, but can't be defined by those weapons, then those weapons cannot be unique (because being unique creates a definition separate from everything that isn't).

The wealth subsystems in PF1 governed different aspects of the game, by-and-large. In PF1, if players possess a stronghold or base of operations, they would use the wealth subsystem to improve it, and may be a worthwhile use of downtime if done correctly. Very rarely would players use a wealth subsystem to cheat their personal character aspect, simply because the conversion rate for it is pretty bad. 1 Magic Items point is like 50 gold or so. Meaning a simple +1 Weapon would require tons of magic points just to create, and if you wanted to make it stronger, it would get exponentially more expensive in Magic Points, to the point that it would be impossible to create an item from pure Magic Points. But it only costs several magic points for some of the strongest utility options for your base of operations, meaning magic points in those aspects are very valuable in comparison to somebody dumping their personal WBL into it.

WBL isn't great in my opinion, but it was a system that ironically persisted through multiple editions, so it couldn't have been so bad that it wasn't recycled and revised. I just doubt we'll see it in PF2, or if it does exist, it won't be as prevalent. Worst case scenario, we'll just get a variant version of the Big 6 (heretoafter referred to as "The Meta") that isn't "X pluses to Y statistics," but "X abilities to Y classes." But if the "Big 6" varies from class to class in this manner, it won't solve other issues, like "Dervish Dance Shocking Grasp Magus #9273658", "Fate's Favored Sacred Tattoo Half Orc Warpriest #875464, and "Banner of the Ancient King's Flagbearer Bard #26385949", AKA "One True Build-ism," which PFS is basically plagued with (and I don't expect that to go away in PFS2).

Unless Paizo pulls something out of their rears that breaks the standard laws of physics, I won't expect PF2 to truly solve all of the issues that has plagued their predecessors, WBL being one of them. They might alleviate some of the problems, and maybe make a couple of them go away, but that might not be without exacerbating some existing problems, or outright creating new ones, and that's because all of the companies before Paizo have tried doing this, and none of them "succeeded."

**EDIT** I applied a couple band-aids to this wall of text. Should be easier to skip, but for those who want to read, can still do so at their own discretion.


I am hoping for a wider coverage rather than a removal, such as suggested Resource Points at attaining each Character Level. Yes, this would incorporate money, but also other benefits to create a stronger sense of expected power level without dictating where Character strengths lie.

Spoiler:

Example : An one-the-cuff Favour system

Lvl. 1 = 100gp
Lvl. 2 = 1 Favours
Lvl. 3 = 3 Favours
Lvl. 4 = 7 Favours ...

1 Favour = 1 000gp / Low Boon / Low Ability
5 Favours = 5 000gp / Mid Boon / Mid Ability
10 Favours = 10 000gp / High Boon / High Ability

Boon - a one-off favour from an influential or powerful Creature, (e.g., politician, Dragon), that once used is treated as a 'resolved' so that a P.C. can earn the appropriate level of Favour again. Oustanding = in use, taken off total Favour the P.C. can earn; 'resolved' = used up, it no longer affects the total level of Favour.

Ability - non-Ancestry Feats from Character Level 2 onwards, Artifact or Legendary Item; etc. Alternatively, this could inc. Ancestry Feats if people moan about R.P. discrepancies between Characters at creation, (e.g., deducting 1 Favour from Level 3 and above per every 2 R.P.). That is if this is even an issue anymore ... Additionally, those that dislike Magic Item pricing could go by the rough level of Ability Magic Items grant, (e.g., Low = 1-4 Favours, Mid = 5-9 Favours, High = 10-20 Favours, Master = 21-40 Favours, Legendary = 40+ Favours). The same "bandings" could be applied to a consistent, useful Ability as a situational yet very powerful Ability - it would require Players thinking about their choices, (which by-and-large they do).

Leadership - I do not have the aversion to this that some on these boards do; that said, this Feat (and those like it) could utilize this mechanic. For instance, once you take the Feat and gain your first Cohort, you "lose" a certain amount of Favour available from your total amount of Favour, (i.e. "outstanding"). This should not be debilitating but reaffirm that you are looking after an additional Character, that needs to be useful to be worth the Cost. Upon retraining out of the Feat, (not simply dismissing/losing a Cohort), you 'resolve' this amount of Favour and can take steps to earn it.

Writer assumptions - without the "Big Six" that everyone seemingly decries, P2 is likely to be more stable on the Ability Score front anyway; add to this the early game limitation of Resonance means that P.C.s will likely choose "survival" Magic Items for the first few levels. After this, however, it opens up again and a Favour system would not be a hindrance. It might prevent writers further from assuming Character equipment since other useful resources are bundled up with a Player's selection choice. Can a writer know whether you have used some Favour on a Dragon's aid rather than a specific Item they hope that you have?

I am honestly not of the opinion that Player agency is a 'bookkeeping chore' - as long as we are given appropriate tools and we try not to make the G.M.'s life Hell ... okay, any more so than usual. :p

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