Interpreting Resonance


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GlennH wrote:
Magic is actually an exotic life form that occupies several dimension some of which overlap with ours. Let's call them Essence elementals.

So what you're saying is pathfinder blatantly rips of star wars?

"Midi-chlorians were microscopic, intelligent life forms that originated from the foundation of life in the center of the galaxy, and ultimately resided within the cells of all living organisms, thereby forming a symbiotic relationship with their hosts. The Force spoke through the midi-chlorians, allowing certain beings to use the Force if they were sensitive enough to its powers."

Use the force, barbarian!


graystone wrote:
GlennH wrote:
Magic is actually an exotic life form that occupies several dimension some of which overlap with ours. Let's call them Essence elementals.

So what you're saying is pathfinder blatantly rips of star wars?

"Midi-chlorians were microscopic, intelligent life forms that originated from the foundation of life in the center of the galaxy, and ultimately resided within the cells of all living organisms, thereby forming a symbiotic relationship with their hosts. The Force spoke through the midi-chlorians, allowing certain beings to use the Force if they were sensitive enough to its powers."

Use the force, barbarian!

While I can see the confusion at first glance, they are not similar in the least. Essences are not microscopic and don’t resided within the cells of all living organisms. Also, I would describe the relationship more as exploitive being more that they gain social standing within there own kind, and do not rely on the relationship for continued existence. I think of them more like very minor genies like whisp of energy in a different dimension.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Typically, when I find a rule that clashes with my expectations, I try to step back and see if there's a way to give it a level of abstraction or two. Like with HP, you accept that it doesn't always make sense to call it "luck and grit" just as it doesn't always make sense to imagine it as bloody wounds.

None of the interpretations I've seen are elegant enough to capture my imagination and bring me to embrace the system. If I'm forced to use Resonance, I think it'll make more sense to look at it as a narrative construct. It's explicitly a limiting force with no further meaning than to enforce a certain kind of story. It's a bludgeon meant to swat players when they try to play "wrong" by using too much magic gear.

If I work backward from there I can cludge an in-universe explanation like:

Resonance as Defying Fate

"Magic is a force that changes the fabric of the universe, fundamentally altering fate. Casters have learned to bend reality to their will by casting spells, but the magic stored in a powerful item is frozen and locked in the web of fate. Only characters with a sufficient force of personality can hope to pull more than a handful of the threads of fate at once."


GlennH wrote:
While I can see the confusion at first glance, they are not similar in the least. Essences are not microscopic and don’t resided within the cells of all living organisms. Also, I would describe the relationship more as exploitive being more that they gain social standing within there own kind, and do not rely on the relationship for continued existence. I think of them more like very minor genies like whisp of energy in a different dimension.

"tomayto" vs "tomahto"... Or maybe "potayto" vs "potahto"?

IMO there is far, far, far, far more in common than not and the not is mostly a cosmetic veneer to make them look different [IMO]. Everyone can communicate with unseen intelligent things for power... Pretty samey to me.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I confess the Resonance as Tolerance seems to make the most general sense to me. Resonance is definitely a capacity, but the question of what it is a capacity of is the challenging question.

It isn't just the capacity of magic being able to affect someone, as otherwise, every time someone got a spell cast on them, they would lose a resonance, and that obviously isn't the case. Specifically, resonance seems to be the result of magic coming from a source which is not itself sentient, or via magic that is statically stored/powered rather than being run/sourced through a live source. There are some variations from this which I will grant/admit but this is giving the initial thoughts that makes general sense to me.

A sword, even if magic, doesn't require resonance, perhaps because the way it reacts/interacts with the wielder is no different than a normal sword. This sword is just supernaturally much sharper, and might even potentially have a blade that is always hot? Otherwise, the magic doesn't require anything from the wielder. The wielder makes no choices that a regular non-magic sword user makes.

Lets say we have a magic quarterstaff, that a monk pounds the sheaves of wheat out for harvest. It also happens to be happy to flatten brigands, as he takes the product back to market. It too... is just an intense finely crafted weapon that impacts things far harder than one might have otherwise expected. It isn't, again, depending on the wielder to do something special to make it preform better.

Now we take the Staff of the Magi. What does it do? It... by itself does nothing other than look awfully cool. What it does do, is it interfaces with someone who can cast spells. When such a caster allows themselves to connect and interface with it, it changes the caster temporarily. It modifies the caster's abilities. After being Attuned, they have access to new spell casting actions, being new spells that are known, and these spells can be spontaneously cast. It relies on an exchange of intent and ability through this conduit to allow it to grant these abilities. Some things like cantrips are so simple, just the basic attunement is enough to grant the spellcaster the ability to cast those spells without any further impact to the individuals 'interaction' capacity. However other things, like casting spells may end up consuming additional interaction capacity when someone chooses to cast a spell using a charge, or power a spell through their own spell slot, but channel it through the device to convert it into the spell the staff can provide. This is a case where, as I mentioned above, one of these items may be consuming power from the person, however, the resonance cost doesn't reflect that energy consummation, instead it represents forming the channel that allowed that instance of spell power the wizard had, to be channeled into the item, so it could produce the desired spell from the device. The device in this case needed both to access the power from the spell slot, as well as the 'intent' of the spellcaster to produce the effect. Staff's don't cast spells just because they hear a command word somewhere. Someone has to will it to occur, even if part of that process might include a gesture, or a verbal component, the inanimate staff needed to absorb the intent to allow the spell to be completed. If you cast from a charge, the power doesn't get transferred from the caster, but the intent component still needed to be accessed in the process to allow the power to flow out of its stored charges and produce the desired effect, placed as pictured and intended by the caster.

Wands would again require that connection to the intent of the wielder to function, and this is what consumes the resonance in these cases. Cantrips are not self-destructive, so the conduit that paid to make it available, allows its use, time after time, as opposed to the more raw pulse nature of the spell slot type spells.

Now, lets look at armor. I understand how in many respects, armour could easily be seen being just like armor. Why require resonance. I don't think I'd have had much trouble explaining why most armor wouldn't have needed resonance. However, with us being told it should require resonance, the justification that I see most likely is that magical armor as part of its several bonuses includes means by which it is actually actively aiding you in some respects. Be it moving with you, not just because your body pushes against it, but actually is in sync with your movements and assisting you. Most specifically, it is modifying not only your armor classes however, it is also affecting your various saves. This 'affecting' your saves is probably the component of its influence which is requiring the commitment of Resonance for armor. If you wear magic armor without attuning resonance to it, you should still get your normal armor bonus for it, and for its quality. I'd even contemplate giving you the magic bonus to your AC. Perhaps, however gating the bonus to TAC and definitely the other bonuses to the saves to giving the attunement.

Scrolls, if you consider a scroll a half-cast spell, suddenly it might make sense again, the scroll requires a mind capable of an intent to pass the process of releasing this stored spell energy out into the final space where the scroll is completed. Again, resonance being required to allow them to 'complete' the spell, and is what consumes that piece of capacity needed to activate the scroll. Actually, with the idea that scrolls are partially cast spells, makes me even more want to have consumable spell scroll (the cheap easily bought things) not be sufficient for reliable learning of a new spell, requiring a more complete written record (such as a casters spell book) for a wizard to learn a spell from, since some of the magic has already been embedded into the item beyond just the remaining activation writing.

Potions are honestly weirder to explain at first glance. If they are just spells in a can that don't even require a caster to activate, this becomes extremely hard to imagine. If however they are a spell, which has been more pre-cast than the scroll, but is still not all the way complete, only requiring its last component, the intent and target for its casting. Thus, with quaffing a healing potion, for the potion to work it needs to access the intent of the drinker... although not necessarily completely conscious or intentional, it might access the intent of the drinker to help it decide which wounds are more serious, presuming it isn't powerful enough to heal them completely, or to know what is natural about the patient and what is unnatural/needing healing. [Drinking a healing potion won't do anything to change lycanthropy for instance, in fact might reinforce its natural state being a lycanthrope] Without this access, it perhaps can't make its magic work? Perhaps if you drink a potion and don't have resonance, it will keep trying to expend resonance until it gets a critical failure, and thus rather than being lost, such a potion might fail to take effect until a success is gotten. Alternately, perhaps potions only flow normally from their vial when attracted by a source of resonance? Meaning your potion doesn't get drunk, unless it can be activated by the resonance.

Again, potions are the hardest to know exactly how the exchange of intent would seem to really occur, but I think there is room for it to be able to work.

Now lets look again at things like the Vorpal Sword, and the Cloak of Elvenkind's invisibility.

The vorpal sword's normal uses don't require resonance, because the sword itself doesn't specifically need access to the intent of the wielder. It purely is driven by the physical moments of the weapon. However, when the opportunity for the vorpal blade to sever a creature's head, the sword needs to understand the intent of the wielder to make sure it should activate. And for people's understanding, the way I see the effect happening is that a paladin may be chopping at the foot of a dragon (the only part of the creature currently close enough to the warrior). Managing to get a critical, she swings with gusto and the blade hits the leg and can be seen passing cleanly through the whole leg in front of her. However, those looking at the leg which the sword appeared to pass through, seems to strangely appears to be completely unharmed by the blade as if it had just been a ghost. Moments later, from above, the skull of the beast tumbles down and knocks the warrior back prone some 10 feet, as the rest of the beast begins to slump down, crashing into the ground around her.

In this case, the significant magical trigger needed the intent of the wielder to trigger it, it wasn't just a given effect by the sharpness of the blade. [A sword of sharpness might not require resonance to sever on a crit for instance, because you might be able to justify it as just part of the sword being 'that' sharp] A sword of dancing should almost assuredly require the expenditure of a resonance for it to take flight and fight on behalf of a wielder.

If an ever-burning torch always burns, there should be no need for resonance to drive it, it doesn't care about intent. If on the other hand, one created a torch than you could will to burn, or extinguish, or maybe even change colors, it might require a resonance to control it. If you have a bullseye lantern of everburning. If its light inside is always on, there is no reason for an expenditure of resonance to control it, even if the lantern has shutters allowing it to be shaded if desired.

The cloak of elvenkind, it ends up requiring resonance. Some of the abilities requires the basic attunement, not unlike a staff. Similar to the staff, it with that attunement grants access to a cantrip, and gives a skill modification which affects the wearer's abilities. Just like the staff, having that initial attunement also give you access to activate an effect similar/identical to a spell, but requires additional resonance or connection to achieve.

So, if you look at other permanent magical items, if you consider if the item requires communicating with the users' intent may help define if it would require attunement or not. A bag of holding seems to just be a portal to a random extra-dimensional space. So it probably is just a permanent magic item that people don't control. A Handy Haversack, may be an example of a special kind a of multi-bag of holding (portal to permanent extra-dimensional spaces) but with the investment of a resonance, grants the ability to always find the item (intended to be fetched) being searched for found at the top near the opening so it can be quickly grasped. If you never invest in it, you never get that bonus ability, but doesn't stop you or others from using it as a multi-pocket bag of holding. In fact, perhaps a haversack might allow multiple people to be invested at one time so two friends could each fetch things from the sack throughout the day. (although I might be tempted to limit the fetch ability to once per round, or one person per round)

Thus Resonance involve the sharing of intent. Sometimes, for minor things, it ends up being a sort of communication channel which gets opened and kept open to send simple needed intends to the devices to help control it, leaving it invested. Other times, it ends up channeling or triggering such a flow of intent and sometimes power, but which the power cause the channel to get consumed in the process, causing the resonance to be 'expended'. Either way it consumes a tolerance or capacity, and isn't actually powering the abilities, just allowing you to trigger and control them.

Now, a little harder than just potions, applying this to Alchemists...
Alchemists know how to take materials that otherwise seem non-magical, inert, unimportant, but mix them in ways that can produce powerful effects. This process is apparently also known to consume Resonance in many cases. This makes one inclined to think that Resonance powers these abilities, but it was made clear that alchemist don't just use 'any' materials to creating these things, they know 'certain' materials that can be mixed and combined with their knowledge (and also their proper intent) can actually cause magical/alchemical powered mixtures that may require additional resonance by others to complete (if their intent is necessary to determine the final activation) or free (since it was created/powered by their own intent originally, so it doesn't require additional investment of resonance to complete the activation of the elixir. This could then actually make a decent amount of sense. It seems important to make sure that alchemist's abilities aren't getting their 'POWER' from the resonance. Otherwise yes, it ends up making it seem like necromancers would be hooking up all their slaves as Resonance batteries to power their evil plans. [not a horribly out of genre basic plot, but rather than Resonance as Magic Power, a plot like that normally is using their LifeForce or positive planar energy inherent in their life.]

This can explain, why having a spell cast on you doesn't consume your own resonance, why casting a spell doesn't necessarily consume your own resonance. (you are tapping your own personal power/conduit not some sort of stored one) However it explains then why some magical permanent or consumable magical items might require resonance to activate, while others simply are permanently on, or perhaps only last some specific predetermined amount of time. There might be options for magical items that don't rely on anyone's intent. If something hard strikes the gong... produce an illusion which shows the wizard whom says the following thing. A thousand years later the gong still works, even though the language the wizard spoke is no longer known, the gong still works, and doesn't rely on anyone's intent, or resonance. A pair of rings that let the two people always know the condition of the other wearer, both of these items require their wearer's resonance to operate, because understanding ones condition is viewed as requiring an intent-like knowledge level.

If I wanted to muddy the waters: Perhaps a set of rings that might require one resonance to activate, but then once both activated, if the other removes the ring, or dies, the other ring immediately cracks and falls apart/off. It might only require a resonance to activate, and if the magic is capable of determining life/death without a constant flow of intent, merely able to tell the wearer still wears the ring, and they still detect as live. In such a case, the paired ring wouldn't report anything as a person lay near dying, but still alive, close to expiring, until they of course take their last breath. As such, you might be able to create magic items that don't constantly consume resonance, but they also would be more limited in their usage, and would presumably be limited by the GM to being things that help flavor the game and fit a good but not overpowering niche.

So if an item actually changes a person's abilities, or requires access to a wielder's intent, it probably requires a resonance: either invested, or expended. Simple bonuses to something, or reproducing a cantrip's effects would probably just require a single point of resonance being invested for the item, even for more than one ability. However things reproducing spell like abilities would generally require the investment to the object to access the ability, plus the expenditure of a resonance each time you activate it, passing on your control/intent to it.

In any case, that is the best explanation I've come up with so far to explain resonance represents. The ability to connect to these magical items and share your will and intent with them effectively. The actual power has to come from elsewhere. (i.e. why wands have expendable charges that run out, why staves slowly recharge over time, why other devices with reasonably powered effects may be limited to a certain number of times per day)

Anyway, I view all of this to be mostly a implementation that falls into your Resonance by Tolerance category, that is Resonance = Capacity for Intent sharing with magical items. It is based on your ability to project your intent/desire (manifestation of charisma, to project your desire/intent and convince others, etc.) and your experience (your level).


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Loreguard wrote:

I confess the Resonance as Tolerance seems to make the most general sense to me. Resonance is definitely a capacity, but the question of what it is a capacity of is the challenging question.

It isn't just the capacity of magic being able to affect someone, as otherwise, every time someone got a spell cast on them, they would lose a resonance, and that obviously isn't the case. Specifically, resonance seems to be the result of magic coming from a source which is not itself sentient, or via magic that is statically stored/powered rather than being run/sourced through a live source. There are some variations from this which I will grant/admit but this is giving the initial thoughts that makes general sense to me.

A sword, even if magic, doesn't require resonance, perhaps because the way it reacts/interacts with the wielder is no different than a normal sword. This sword is just supernaturally much sharper, and might even potentially have a blade that is always hot? Otherwise, the magic doesn't require anything from the wielder. The wielder makes no choices that a regular non-magic sword user makes.

Lets say we have a magic quarterstaff, that a monk pounds the sheaves of wheat out for harvest. It also happens to be happy to flatten brigands, as he takes the product back to market. It too... is just an intense finely crafted weapon that impacts things far harder than one might have otherwise expected. It isn't, again, depending on the wielder to do something special to make it preform better.

Now we take the Staff of the Magi. What does it do? It... by itself does nothing other than look awfully cool. What it does do, is it interfaces with someone who can cast spells. When such a caster allows themselves to connect and interface with it, it changes the caster temporarily. It modifies the caster's abilities. After being Attuned, they have access to new spell casting actions, being new spells that are known, and these spells can be spontaneously cast. It relies on an exchange of...

No real input here, just tagging this, because halfway through it I made a bet with myself as to whether or not the actual, final mechanics for resonance in the rulebook will have a higher or lower word count than this post.

Some interesting ideas in there.


Loreguard: Holy wall o' text batman! I hope you didn't post something important as my eyes got tired and I gave up FAR from the end of that. :P


graystone wrote:
GlennH wrote:
While I can see the confusion at first glance, they are not similar in the least. Essences are not microscopic and don’t resided within the cells of all living organisms. Also, I would describe the relationship more as exploitive being more that they gain social standing within there own kind, and do not rely on the relationship for continued existence. I think of them more like very minor genies like whisp of energy in a different dimension.

"tomayto" vs "tomahto"... Or maybe "potayto" vs "potahto"?

IMO there is far, far, far, far more in common than not and the not is mostly a cosmetic veneer to make them look different [IMO]. Everyone can communicate with unseen intelligent things for power... Pretty samey to me.

Oh Gray You don't think the idea from the force was stolen from the idea of magic? Of course there going to be similarities.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
graystone wrote:
GlennH wrote:
While I can see the confusion at first glance, they are not similar in the least. Essences are not microscopic and don’t resided within the cells of all living organisms. Also, I would describe the relationship more as exploitive being more that they gain social standing within there own kind, and do not rely on the relationship for continued existence. I think of them more like very minor genies like whisp of energy in a different dimension.

"tomayto" vs "tomahto"... Or maybe "potayto" vs "potahto"?

IMO there is far, far, far, far more in common than not and the not is mostly a cosmetic veneer to make them look different [IMO]. Everyone can communicate with unseen intelligent things for power... Pretty samey to me.

Oh Gray You don't think the idea from the force was stolen from the idea of magic? Of course there going to be similarities.

More likely it was stolen from mysticism, esp and mind over matter instead of magic. It has more in common with Qi, Prana, Reiki, Mana, Ruach, Baraka or Bio-Plasmic Energy than magic. ;)


graystone wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
graystone wrote:
GlennH wrote:
While I can see the confusion at first glance, they are not similar in the least. Essences are not microscopic and don’t resided within the cells of all living organisms. Also, I would describe the relationship more as exploitive being more that they gain social standing within there own kind, and do not rely on the relationship for continued existence. I think of them more like very minor genies like whisp of energy in a different dimension.

"tomayto" vs "tomahto"... Or maybe "potayto" vs "potahto"?

IMO there is far, far, far, far more in common than not and the not is mostly a cosmetic veneer to make them look different [IMO]. Everyone can communicate with unseen intelligent things for power... Pretty samey to me.

Oh Gray You don't think the idea from the force was stolen from the idea of magic? Of course there going to be similarities.
More likely it was stolen from mysticism, esp and mind over matter instead of magic. It has more in common with Qi, Prana, Reiki, Mana, Ruach, Baraka or Bio-Plasmic Energy than magic. ;)

Fair enough but I feel if you go back far enough everything starts looking more and more then same. The biggest divergence I've seen is eastern and western. So maybe eastern magic more then western magic.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
The biggest divergence I've seen is eastern and western. So maybe eastern magic more then western magic.

I'd say more internal vs external. It's gaining power from an outside force vs cultivating your own energy. Someone dealing with internal energies normally wouldn't think of it as magical while external usually is. So a monk using Qi doesn't see it as magic while a tribal shaman would see a curse as magic.


graystone wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
The biggest divergence I've seen is eastern and western. So maybe eastern magic more then western magic.
I'd say more internal vs external. It's gaining power from an outside force vs cultivating your own energy. Someone dealing with internal energies normally wouldn't think of it as magical while external usually is. So a monk using Qi doesn't see it as magic while a tribal shaman would see a curse as magic.

So wait which are you saying is magic? I think of magic as very external.

Also to me eastern culture has a strong focus on internal more then external too. Its apparent in movies and anime too. In eastern its kind of a you train hard and earn you way and in western things are more given to you by some sort of destiny or what have you. This may not always be true but on average that's how it seems.


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Let me simplify this for you.

You get a number of Resonance points equal to your level + charisma mod.

Worn magical items (such as Armor, cloaks, boots) require you to spend 1 resonance point per item at the start of the day to gain its benefits for the whole day.

Weapons require no Resonance Points you get their magical properties (+x to attack/dam) always.

Items with a charge (Amulets, Rings, some weapon abilities like Fire/Frost/Lightning damage) require you to spend 1 point of resonance to activate, for either an instantaneous effect or an effect with a duration.

If you run out of resonance points, your Worn items do not deactivate (since you spent the point at the beginning of the day to activate them), your weapons magical properties (+x bonus to attack/dam) do not deactivate as they are always on. You can still activate items with a charge by rolling a flat d20 check (no mods) the first time trying to activate it with 0 resonance is a 10 (this means you successfully activate the item and in all effectiveness spend another resonance point putting your total at -1) for each additional attempt to activate an item with a charge you increase the DC by 1 (and effectively lower your resonance points by 1 as well) So a second attempt would be against a DC 11 (Resonance now at -2) and so on. You can do this indefinitely for as many charges as you have in the item. If you fail you lose a charge (and your resonance does not decrease) but the DC remains the same for the next attempt, that is all.

Easy peasy,

This honestly means you can still buy a wand of CLW, but now there is a cost to trying to go beyond your resonance pool. Also with a Wand of CLW you could actually pass it around to everyone to “cure themselves” using their own resonance.


Concise^


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Alric Rahl wrote:

Let me simplify this for you.

<snip>

Please the court, is there a question anywhere in our future?

Ok, you just regurgitated the Resonance rules to us, but what does this have to do with the topic of how the hell do we interpret Resonance and reconcile the rules with existing lore?


FYI, my inspiration for magic is alive theory of Resonance was from Discworld color of magic where the spells had their own addenda, from Harry Potter where wands have a preference for who uses them, and from Xanth Source of Magic where the demon’s presence is a source of magic. These and other literary sources suggest the idea that magic is a collection of living things.


houser2112 wrote:
Alric Rahl wrote:

Let me simplify this for you.

<snip>

Please the court, is there a question anywhere in our future?

Ok, you just regurgitated the Resonance rules to us, but what does this have to do with the topic of how the hell do we interpret Resonance and reconcile the rules with existing lore?

I view Alric Rahl's post as a vote in favor of interpretation 7, Resonance as an unflavored resource. Or maybe he missed that one and wanted to express it himself.

I am not taking votes. This thread exists to explore the concepts.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
houser2112 wrote:
Alric Rahl wrote:

Let me simplify this for you.

<snip>

Please the court, is there a question anywhere in our future?

Ok, you just regurgitated the Resonance rules to us, but what does this have to do with the topic of how the hell do we interpret Resonance and reconcile the rules with existing lore?

Actually, if you look closer, the post appeared to be a proposed change to the rules (for simplicity). It specifically omitted scrolls and potions from utilization of resonance.

I agree that they seemed to favor it just being unflavored rule/limitation.

As to my post earlier, I probably should have provided a TLDR version (I frequently find more written than originally thought)

I'd probably sum it up as a Tolerance, or capacity to share one's Intent with whatever it is that gives magic items their ability to store or slowly refill their magical energies, being able to provide the necessary 'Intent' to complete its magical effects. Presumably magic items are a force that has such power, but lacks such intent to be able to self trigger.


I interpret Resonance as the Item drawing energy from a particular layer of the character's 'Aura'. The same generally goes for spellcasting as well. Herein lies the gist of my head-cannon for Pathfinder's magic system:

Spoiler:
Aura: Everything has a 'magical aura' if it has a soul (or it can use magic). If you tap energy from that aura it can becone depleted, but only temporarially. Souls don't need their aura, it is like a spiritual by-product of postive/negative energy, and will replenish itself over time. The irreligious argue that angels, devils, and gods only vie for mortal souls to use them as power sources. Regardless, an aura is not a singular pool or field, instead it naturally divides itself into layers of varying magnitude and potency. However, the exact principles governing how and why aura's divide themselves are generally misunderstood by every magical Tradition, and sound like gibberish to the uniniatiated.

Powers and Runes

Powers and Runes draw from the 'Spell Point' and 'Resonance Point' layers of your aura. Which are thought to reside within you as unseen layers of your aura. Energy from these layers is highly potent, and as you gain experience you are able to draw more power from those layers, and more often too.
The fluctuation in 'apparant total resonance' as measured by activating items until you 'burn out' is thought to indicate that the 'resonance point layer' has to do with metabolism or elsewise is drawing the extra energy from the colonies of unseen beings that live within you (bacteria, midochonrdia, parasites, etc).
The 'spell point layer'is most often associated with blood and/or bone. And is generally considered the most potent aura to draw from.

Spells and Spellcasters

'Spellcasters' are characterized by the fact that their aura extends past their coporeal form (by about 3-6 inches per layer). As a spellcaster grows in experience, their aura grows more complex dividing into more and more layers.

The 'cantrip layer' or 'wellspring' is the layer closest to your form. It is the point in space where your magical power comes into being. Even non-spellcasters have a wellspring; they simply don't know how to tap into it directly. The energy produced in this layer seeps into you (creating spell-points and resonance points), as well as radiating outward (creating spell slots). 'Cantrips' are spells that tap directly into this layer; producing effects based upon your raw magical output.
Each subsequent layer beyond the wellspring represents a 'spell slot layer'; starting with your highest level spell slots.

Different Traditions (and sub-traditions) describe the following differently, but generally:
Prepared Spellcasters are defined by having some method of 'fraying and reweaving' segments of their aura into the patterns found on spell scrolls and in spell books, when activated the spell depletes the section of your aura it was woven from. As they become more experienced, they can cram their 'rewoven' spells closer together without them depleting each-other (the result of over-preparing spells).
Spontaneous Spellcasters are defined by having semi-permenant 'spell circuits' laid into the outer boundry of their aura, which they simply channel the energy from the appropriate layer through to generate the desired effects.
In either case, casting components are vital to activating the spell. As for why particular spells require particular components to activate, components which are shared by prepared and spontaneous members of any given tradition, as well as other traditions in rare cases; that is a subject of great wizardly debate.


My interpretation is a twist on #2:
All magic items have their own pool of magical power. However, that pool of magical power is difficult to tap into and most people lack the mental capacity to force magic items into giving up their power. More resonance = you're better at pulling that power out of items for your purposes.

Silver Crusade

Would a magic item that increases a characters Charisma increase his resonance?


Lou Diamond wrote:

Would a magic item that increases a characters Charisma increase his resonance?

It should, since the amount of resonance is level plus Charisma modifier. The magic item would also consume a resonance. The magic item would need to give +4 to Charisma (+2 to Charisma modifier) to come out ahead.

Some interpretations, such as resonance as tolerance, would give the extra resonance immediately, and others, such as resonance as inner magic power, might wait until morning before the additional resonance appears.

Liberty's Edge

Lou Diamond wrote:
Would a magic item that increases a characters Charisma increase his resonance?

Yes, but stat-boosters are limited to +2 and also cost Resonance to attune, so really they just break even on Cha-boost items. Still better than other stat-boosts (which cost Resonance).


Thats kind of funny. Means their is no magical means at least that we know of to increase your resonance. I guess If their was it would defeat the purpose.


Mathmuse wrote:
Lou Diamond wrote:

Would a magic item that increases a characters Charisma increase his resonance?

It should, since the amount of resonance is level plus Charisma modifier. The magic item would also consume a resonance. The magic item would need to give +4 to Charisma (+2 to Charisma modifier) to come out ahead.

Some interpretations, such as resonance as tolerance, would give the extra resonance immediately, and others, such as resonance as inner magic power, might wait until morning before the additional resonance appears.

From page 345 of the Playtest Rulebook, emphasis mine:

Potent When a character invests an item with this trait, it improves
one of that character’s ability scores, either increasing it to 18
or increasing it by 2, whichever grants the higher ability score.
This ability score increase grants all the benefits of the new
ability score. Increasing Intelligence lets the owner become
trained in an additional skill, increasing Charisma adds to her
Resonance Points,
increasing Constitution gives her more Hit
Points, and so on. These benefits go away once the investiture
runs out.

A potent item grants this benefit only the first time it’s
invested within a 24-hour period, and a character can benefit
from only one potent item at a time. If a character attempts to
invest a potent item when she already has one invested, she
doesn’t gain the ability score increase from the second item
(though she still gains any other benefits from the second item).

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