Spell Points - Less gamey name please


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kyrt-ryder wrote:

Grain has a unique side-benefit for those familiar with bullets, where powder and weight of the bullet are measured in grains.

Naturally a 12 grain spell would have more umph than a 10 grain spell.

I like gauge. Nothing is as satisfying than shooting something with a 12 gauge. ;)


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Voicing support for "Power Pool".

It seems perfectly descriptive, and I could even imagine one of my PCs using the term without it sounding metagamey.


I don't always go for a swim...

... But when I do I swim in my power pool.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:

I don't always go for a swim...

... But when I do I swim in my power pool.

Why Do I imagine that being a electrocution hazard?


I like sprinkles on cupcakes. Let's call them spell sprinkles!

Scarab Sages

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How about we call them Uses. Works for magical and mundane abilities alike, doesn‘t feel artificial or gamey at all, and the capitalization makes clear that it‘s a technical term.

It also works with the verb philosophy that they applied to Step, Stride etc. «a number of Uses equal to her Wisdom bonus», «Whenever the Oracle Uses her Flame Dance, ...»


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Actually Resolve was probably the best idea just give every body some resolve to spend on various effects granted to them by their class. That way too no matter how you multi class you'll still have the same amount of resolve to spend on different things.

Or chocolate chip points that works too.


I'm not sure if this was mentioned already, I prefer the word essence over spell points.

What I don't like about D&D style spellcasting is that it is too predictable. I would prefer a system like this: characters have one essence per level. When a spell is cast roll 1d12. If the number of the spell level or lower is rolled deduct one essence and roll again. Keep rolling until all essence is gone or you roll higher than the spell level. Cantrips are level zero so you don't use up your essence. Spells known are determined by class and level. There are no prepared spellcasters. Metamagic feats increase effective spell level by one (so more likely to drain essence) unless a specific class feature says otherwise.


I think you would like that magic system in dungeon crawl classics


I will have to check that out.


I don't think it sounds particularly gamey (or maybe it does and I just don't care), but add me to the list of people who think that calling them Spell Points is going to be confusing.

If there is going to be some reason for them to be points rather than "uses per day" (like uses that have variable costs), then how about "usage points" as the generic name for them?

Since they are not going to be merged into a single pool, there will still needs to be a need for specific names for individual pools (DOmain Points, Bloodline Points, etc).

_
glass.


Since Spell Points are only used for spells, I don't really think "uses" or "usages" is really good, they imply something far broader than what they are. That said, I do think each character will only have one pool of them, which can be shared between classes.


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Sorcerers - Blaster Points
Necromancers - Nasty Points
Bards - Groupie Points


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glass wrote:
Since they are not going to be merged into a single pool, there will still needs to be a need for specific names for individual pools (DOmain Points, Bloodline Points, etc).

I am pretty sure that spell-like, domain, school, and bloodline abilities will be served by a single pool, since converting "X uses per day" to "Costs 1 point and you get X points per day" for a single ability makes no design sense. A resource pool is a useful mechanic only if the player can make choices about how to spend the resources in the pool.

Imagine a gnome wizard bard. He has racial ancestral abilities to cast Dancing Lights, Ghost Sound, Prestidigitation, and Speak with Animals. Each costs 1 spell point. He also has wizard school abilities Blinding Ray and Telekinetic Fist that each cost 1 point point. They all pull those points from the same Spell Point pool. Thus, if he uses his Telekinetic Fist in every combat, he might drain his spell-point pool and not be able to use Speak with Animals later that day. However, his bardic performances are not a spell-like or school ability, so they use rounds of bardic performance rather than spell points.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lemartes wrote:
Magic Stuff Points :)

"Spell points" doiesn't bother me at all, it says what it means.

This said, all the other suggestions I've read so far are no less lame than "spell points".

This said, since spells are part of the arcane arts, we could call them:

Arcana. Or Arcana points.

Though since divisions like arcane vs divine magic already is a thing, it might seem strange to call the points a cleric gets to power his heal spell "arcana".

"Spell points" has the advantage of being relatively neutral, and easily applicable to all sorts of spellcasting, be it arcane, divine, psychic or something else.

Scarab Sages

First of all, I seem to recall that playtest Kyra has four Uses of Heal and Fire Bolt each, so it would not seem that all abilities are fed from the same pool.

Second, where does this information come from that this mechanic only ever applies to spells? Shouldn‘t the same terminology be used for things like Stunning Fist, Rage, Bardic Performance, etc., given that it‘s available? And is it impossible for Domains to grants powers that are not spells? The term Use would cover all of them.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Meophist wrote:

I'm guessing that Spell Points will only be used for spells.

I'm also guessing that a lot of special abilities that weren't spells before might be changed to spells now, so that we don't have a whole bunch of different types of powers to keep track of their interactions.

Spell Points are used for (certain types of) spells.

Thats at the heart of the issue for me. Spell points are not for only spells. (Unless im incorrect on that?) Something like channeling or panache I wouldnt consider a spell. Thats why I think something more intuitive like ability points that are universal for pools for both martial and casters would work better. YMMV

Scarab Sages

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The word ability is already occupied. Let‘s use Use!


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Yes I feel like we need two more pieces of information clarified before we can effectively debate the naming.

1) Are these pools per ability, per class/ancestry, or per character.

2) What existing metacurrency abilities are these designed to encompass: only existing SLA/SU x/day abilities?, existing point based class pools (arcanist, magus, gunslinger, swashbuckler, etc), all n/day abilities (rage, songs, etc)

Coupled with 2) is there a uniform (class feat?) system for converting spell slots/levels <-> spell points -- if yes, preserving 'spell' in the name seems slightly more justified, etc


Catharsis wrote:
First of all, I seem to recall that playtest Kyra has four Uses of Heal and Fire Bolt each, so it would not seem that all abilities are fed from the same pool.

Aha, so the character sheet will read something like "Heal x/4" "Firebolt y/4" whereas the text of the ability in the book will read something like: "If you spend 1 spell point, your firebolt does [foo] damage, if you spend a second spell point it does [bar] damage."

I don't think that needs changing. I'd rather spend points from a pool (like Ki) than uses. It seems odd to be able to use 2 uses in one use of an ability.


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Could call them "energy points" and give them to every class. Also energy drain effect would drain the energy points before they cause negative levels;)

Scarab Sages

OK, my assumptions on how spell points work were apparently very wrong. They are only for spell-like abilities, and they're a shared pool among all such abilities:

http://paizo.com/community/blog/v5748dyo5lkpv&page=14?All-About-Spells# 691

I guess Use is not an appropriate word here.


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Catharsis wrote:

First of all, I seem to recall that playtest Kyra has four Uses of Heal and Fire Bolt each, so it would not seem that all abilities are fed from the same pool.

Second, where does this information come from that this mechanic only ever applies to spells? Shouldn‘t the same terminology be used for things like Stunning Fist, Rage, Bardic Performance, etc., given that it‘s available? And is it impossible for Domains to grants powers that are not spells? The term Use would cover all of them.

Are those 3 action area heals replacing channelling to heal?


Catharsis wrote:

OK, my assumptions on how spell points work were apparently very wrong. They are only for spell-like abilities, and they're a shared pool among all such abilities:

http://paizo.com/community/blog/v5748dyo5lkpv&page=14?All-About-Spells# 691

I guess Use is not an appropriate word here.

Fixed your link.


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Wheldrake wrote:
Arcana. Or Arcana points.

Esoterica.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dredging this up from a month ago, but something I remembered while in the Wizard blog post is that Mana is a magic related term in Golarian, but as far as I can remember doesn't mean anything specific. Rather, we can assume that it means something, because otherwise the Mana-scarred Wastes wouldn't have been called that, but they don't seem to have explained what that something was.

Which leads me to think that mana might not be as weird to insert into the setting as I'd originally assumed. I only wish that the spell wish required spell-points, in which case the renaming spell-points to be mana would be perfect, but even so it's not terrible.


Aether Reserve

Qui Reserve

Primal Enervation

Reiatsu

Spiritual Pressure

Leylight

Luminescence

Aura

Chakra

Quintessence

Heartlight

Hard Drive Divinity

Stamina

Energy

Incandescence

Flourescence

Radiance

Bioelectric Field

Juice

Battery Reserve

Lantern Reserve

Lamp Fuel

Soul Oil


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I find it ironic that there is complaints of a "gamey" term in a game... There is already terms in the system that is most likely not awknowledged by the setting, but we stick to it as it makes the game more comprehensible to deal with.

So shall we make away with Hit Points, Caster Level, Classes, Spell Slots, CR, DR, Spell Likes etc.?


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Dracoknight wrote:

I find it ironic that there is complaints of a "gamey" term in a game...

It boggles the mind.

The only issue I foresee is new players thinking they can cast spell-list spells with spell points.

Now we know that there are many sources of spells (cantrips, spell list, bonus, spell points, others?), and that every spell behaves as a spell i.e. the same generally way, it does make some sense to call them 'spell points'.

I like that instead of using 'magic item points' they chose 'resonance'. It might be more inspiring and less confusing to use a different term. I would be happy with 'spell points', but there have been plenty of suggestions in this thread that would also work.


Essentia!

*slowly leaves the room*


Catharsis wrote:
First of all, I seem to recall that playtest Kyra has four Uses of Heal and Fire Bolt each, so it would not seem that all abilities are fed from the same pool.

I know nothing about Fire Bolt sounds like a domain power and those use spell points. The free cleric uses of harm/heal are not using spell points (the inconsistency has already been noted in the cleric blog) but I think charisma based uses/day?


Dracoknight wrote:

I find it ironic that there is complaints of a "gamey" term in a game... There is already terms in the system that is most likely not awknowledged by the setting, but we stick to it as it makes the game more comprehensible to deal with.

So shall we make away with Hit Points, Caster Level, Classes, Spell Slots, CR, DR, Spell Likes etc.?

This issue also occurs in boardgames. Imagine if Settlers of Catan called its hexagonal tiles "brick tiles," "ore tiles," "sheep tiles," "wheat tiles," and "wood tiles" after what those tiles produced rather than hills, mountains, pastures, fields, and forests? Imagine if Ticket to Ride called its train pieces "units" and its routes "objectives"? The more colorful names help the players visualize the boardgames as more than just an abstract set of moves like Checkers or Go. The story elements help the players talk about the game and help direct them to good strategies. And we jeer at games that mess up the story, such as the rail-building game Metro rewarding players for making long, inefficient rail lines instead of short, efficient ones. We still play them, if they are good games, but we have to laugh at them, too.

Roleplaying games have a mechanical side and a story side. We count squares on a miniature on a grid map to move across a room, we roll dice to make a longsword attack, and we check off a spell slot to spontaneously cast a Magic Missile spell. Gamey terms emphasize the mechanical side and make the mechanics clearer. "Slots" are meant to be filled, "points" are meant to be spent, "levels" and "ranks" are meant to be increased. Narrative terms, such as Barbarian, Druid, and Wizard, or Vital Strike, Fireball, and Stealth, describe the character's or action's role in the story.

Thus, the name "spell points" means points that are spent on spells. In roleplaying PF2, the player might say, "I am out of spell points, so I can't cast Minor Heal anymore. I have one Major Heal left, because that's a prepared spell." The mechanics are nice and clear. Yet the player's cleric probably would not view his lack of spell points that way. The cleric might say, "I am drained from casting spells off my own essence. Only the healing spell gifted from my god remains to me." That says less about the mechanics but more about the character. But "essence" is not a PF2 term, so no-one would say that unless all the players like deep-immersion roleplaying.

With words that are less gamey, the story sounds better. We roleplayers are good at remembering mechanics with fancy names, such as Sneak Attack. With such names, we can weave a story, "I step from behind the pillar for a sneak attack." But some mechanical terms are hard to phrase as a story. "I sneak attack him on this ledge because he is denied his Dex bonus to AC," is mostly mechanics, not story. "I catch him unable to dodge on the narrow ledge," sounds better, but the rules say "denied Dex bonus to AC" rather than "can't dodge."


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I still don't really understand why "Hit Points" are fine and "Spell Points" are not.

Seems like having parallel naming conventions for this sort of thing is good.


> Spell Point - Less Gamey Name

In the old DragonQuest game (Originally by SPI, later TSR) you spent "Fatigue" points to cast spells.

This was interesting because damage was taken to Fatigue first, then to Endurance. When you lost all of your Fatigue you were tired and at a disadvantage. When you lost all of your Endurance, you were dead. So, in a sense, casters could cast themselves to death.

So perhaps "Fatigue" is a good name.

Alternatively, wouldn't spending Hit Points to cast be an interesting mechanic -- not that I'm advocating for it.


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What about Gamey Points?


Lemartes wrote:
What about Gamey Points?

Pointy McSpell-PointFace?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I still don't really understand why "Hit Points" are fine and "Spell Points" are not.

Seems like having parallel naming conventions for this sort of thing is good.

The name "hit points" does not mean with it says, so we ignore the weirdness of the phrase. It does not mean points that a character spends to hit. It is a legacy phrase that we know what it means even if we don't know why it means that, like the idioms "Bob's your uncle" and "Hold your horses."

Hit points measure the remaining damage that a character can take. They are not spent like arcane pool points; instead, they are lost to damage from outside sources. The damage could come from a successful attack, called a hit, but it could also come from an area-of-effect spell or from ingested poison or environment damage, not called hits. Many other games call them health points instead of hit points. Some just call them health or toughness without saying points.

The name "spell points" is proposed because of its meaning. It means points that a character spends to cast spells.


.

PossibleCabbage wrote:


Seems like having parallel naming conventions for this sort of thing is good.

Its a little confusing that you have spells that cost spell points to cast, and spells that require slots to cast. They are not the same resource, but do similar things, but dont work together.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I still don't really understand why "Hit Points" are fine and "Spell Points" are not.

I got nothing for this.


Just going to chime in with my dislike for "spell" points, if they only apply to specific types of spells. Also for the "points" since that's a meta-term.

Most of the not-joking ideas (and even some of those) are all things I think would be better.

Scarab Sages

Mathmuse wrote:
I am drained from casting spells off my own essence.

Given that this works well, why not call the resource Essence in the rules as well...? It would certainly fit in perfectly with Resonance.

Imagine if the money in Monopoly were called «currency points» or «win points» rather than «dollars»...

My beef with Spell Points is twofold:

(1) The «points» part really does sound unnecessarily gamey. It's true that «hitpoints» are also a very gamey term, but at least they only exist on the game's meta-level. No Pathfinder character ever uses the term in-game. On the other hand, a caster is presumably well aware that they can use a particular power a finite, fixed number of times a day, and would likely have an in-world term to refer to that resource. Let's use that term.

(2) The things for which Spell Points are used are not called spells, but powers (even if they technically are spells). The things commonly called spells are not powered by Spell Points. That's just a really awkward disconnect.

I still advocate «Power Uses» as a replacement term.


I'm undecided between spellflunkers or flunkerpoints.


Catharsis wrote:
(2) The things for which Spell Points are used are not called spells, but powers (even if they technically are spells). The things commonly called spells are not powered by Spell Points. That's just a really awkward disconnect.

I think they are called spells rather than powers. Back in comment #82, Mark Seifter said, "Spell Points are used for (certain types of) spells."


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I realized another important detail about spell points. I don't know what they are. The previews explain how they work, but not what kind of magic they are.

I know what spells are, though they vary in stories and myths. In general, a spellcaster has a ritual set up at a special location, starts chanting, and maybe makes a sacrifice to invoke a magical effect.

Dungeons & Dragons needed mobile spellcasting, so they copied the stremlined spell system from Jack Vance's Dying Earth series. The wizard attuned his mind to an astral vision that allowed him to manifest the spell once at a time and place of his choice. This system worked for both arcane spells--the wizard attuned himself by studying arcane writings--and divine spells--the cleric attuned himself through prayer that opened his mind to his god. The spell slots of each level were not in the Vance stories, but as a game mechanic they were basically a list of limitations; for example, the 5th-level wizard could prepare three 1st-level spells, two 2nd-level spells, and one 3rd-level spell.

Given prepared casting, spontaneous casting is easy to explain. They are spells prepared on the fly. However, the spell slots became real, rather than a bookkeeping list, different from the original Vancian notion. They lost some plausibility.

The magic abilities that could be used X times per day were a separate system. The game had no room to explain each tiny, individual system: school powers versus domain powers versus mystery revelations and so on. The Core Rulebook merely said, "Usually, a spell-like ability works just like the spell of that name. A spell-like ability has no verbal, somatic, or material component, nor does it require a focus. The user activates it mentally." We could imagine any explantion we liked.

In Pathfinder 2nd Edition, spell points will unify all the X-times-per-day magic into a single system. That is important enough to explain. A good name would be a good way to begin the explanation. "Spell points" describes how to use them, but does not describe their nature. Are they a studied skill, an inner energy, an astral connection, manipulation of ambient magic, or something else?

Let's look at suggestions and what they imply.


  • Arcana - spell points are astral magic uncovered through arcane study.
  • Chakra or Ki - spell points are a mystic inner strength developed through training or enlightenment.
  • Essence or Quintessence - spell points are an inner strength of magic.
  • Flower Points - spell points are a gift from nature.
  • Gauge - spell points are an abstraction measuring unexplained magic.
  • Juice - spell points are an inner battery of magic power.
  • Mana - spell points are ambient magic tapped by the caster.
  • Moon Prism Points - spell points are the energy of the moon prisms.
  • Mystic Energy or Spirit Energy - spell points are an esoteric connection to the spirit world.
  • Power Reserve or Power Pool - spell points are an inner reserve of magic power.
  • Rainbow Reserve - spell points are many varieties of ambient magic from nature.
  • Resolve - spell points are magic claimed through willpower.
  • Spell Sprinkles - spell points are sparkles of magic floating around the caster.
  • Uses - spell points are an abstraction measuring unexplained magic.


See resolve is where its at.


Resolve could work, but would work even better as the name for the Will version of Evasion (with Mettle going to the Fortitude version).


I agree that Spell Points is a "gamey" name, I also don't like the mechanics of spell points and Starfinder's resolve, but that's for another thread. I would much prefer if each class had its own name for its spell point, just like 1ed swashbucklers call their pool of points panache and gunslingers call theirs grit. So my idea it would go like this:

Bards: Inspiration
Clerics: Faith (I spend 2 points of faith, or I spend 5 faith etc.)
Druids: Devotion
Paladins: Courage
Rangers: Dedication
Sorcerers: Sortilege
Monks: Ki or Chi
Wizards: Comprehension

Base and Hybrid Classes:
Arcanists: Theurgy or Understanding
Bloodragers: Fury or maybe Thirst
Hunters: Instinct
Inquisitors: Zeal
Magi: Focus
Oracles: Insight
Shamans: Communion
Shifters: Change
Skalds: Ken or Kenning
Summoners: Thaumaturgy
Warpriests: Fervor
Witches: I'm sure we can find a very witchy witch name, just not coming for me right now

Occult Classes:
Kineticists: Burn
Mediums: Sensibility
Mesmerists: Hypnos or Charm or Dominion or Control
Occultists: Sense
Psychics: Enlightment
Spiritualists: Ectoplasm?

Or you could name spell points per type of magic:
Arcane: Sortilege or Theurgy
Divine: Faith or Devotion
Psychic: Sensibility or Metality?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

While I'm all for finding a better name we shouldn't be breaking down names by different classes. The whole point was for it to be a universal system that is easy to combine and doesn't require them to waste page space describing a dozen different terms that cover 100% of the same mechanics.


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I feel like one thing that is nice about Spell Points is that this makes the point that "spells" and "spell-like abilities" are no longer different.

So we don't have to specify that one's domain powers, bloodline powers, phrenic amps, etc. work like spells because they are spells.


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Catharsis wrote:
It's true that «hitpoints» are also a very gamey term, but at least they only exist on the game's meta-level. No Pathfinder character ever uses the term in-game.

Not so. See Blood Reader: "While able to see a studied target, a slayer with this talent knows exactly how many hit points his opponent has remaining." So an ability that not only allows you to see hit points but the exact number of them. Nothing indicates any other term is used in place of "hit points".


Just one thing that has been bugging me. We have got to work on the vocabulary because saying a game is to gamey is non-nonsensical I get what your trying to say but that language is bothering me. can we maybe think of a different term for the next one of these? (cause their will always be more.)

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