Does anyone like resonance and why?


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I find resonance an unnecessary completely and pointless. Anyone else?


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Resonance could have great appeal to those who dislike the "Christmas tree effect" or who want magic items to feel rare and/or special. By limiting the amount of magic items one can effectively use during a single day, focus will be more upon the characters' abilities instead of what bling they could find/craft.

I don't like that it applies even to consumables, but the idea of using it for investiture to limit things like all day bonus items is a step I agree with.


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Seems like a fine way to limit equipped magic items, maybe a bit simpler than the old slot system even. But primarily it was designed to solve the cure light woulds heal stick problem which never existed in any game I was part of. But it was apparently prevalent in pathfinder society and it seems like that is the primary (and maybe only) audience for PF2.


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I am waiting to actually play with the rules and reserving judgment. So far, the majority of people who have replied to the forums who have used resonance in play don't seem to have a lot of problem with it, which is promising.


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I like the idea of there being a limit to how many consumables you can use, and I love doing away with item slots.

Some parts of the execution need work.


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Honestly after reading the magic items it just seems like weird extra record keeping for minimal gain. Like if you have a bag of holding or similar item you are spending a resonance every time you try to grab something from it. This makes it so people who should really like it alchemists would avoid them like the plague as they would be basically unusable.

I think there has to be easier ways to fix the cure light wounds wand without causing so much collateral weirdness everywhere else because of it.

Grand Lodge

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kaid wrote:
I think there has to be easier ways to fix the cure light wounds wand without causing so much collateral weirdness everywhere else because of it.

There was. It was in Starfinder and called "Stamina".


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I like the Resonance system overall - I think it's a simpler system than the old slot system while also allowing you to have a bit more customization in the magic items you use (the removal of the "Big Six" is especially helpful for this, as well). I like the idea that a higher level character can wear/activate more magic items than a lower level characater, who, in PF1E, could hypothetically have as many or more magic items than the higher level character and use them without issue.

I agree with Scythia that I don't like how it applies to Consumables, though. Consumables should consume Resonance when they're made, and then store the Resonance until used. I think that makes more sense. Wands are the only place I'd see an exception - perhaps for them it should be "1 point of Resonance = 5 uses" each time you want to use it.

Incidentally, Bardarok, the wand of cure light wounds problem you refer to wasn't just limited to PFS. I've never played PFS, and in most games I run and play in, I see players purchase wands of CLW to handle healing in-between combat. It's both economical from a GP standpoint and from an opportunity cost standpoint. Why have a cleric or an oracle use a limited spell slot resource instead of just tap you with a wand they don't have to roll to activate? The wands aren't expensive, so it's not like you can't just buy a whole bunch at once.


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In the Talislanta roleplaying game from the 80s, magic loved the number seven. You could never have more than seven active magical effects on you at once. Once you added the eighth, everything stopped working.

If a wizard was wearing seven magic items, and you cast a spell on him to cause him to glow, all the magic on him would stop working. If you built a huge metal platform that flew and built a city on it, you'd want one spell for flight, and maybe three for counterspells so someone couldn't crash your city by casting more magic on it.

--

What is the goal of Resonance? Is it to stop people from loading up with tons of magic items, or from having a thousand fiddly one-use items? Do they not want people healing between encounters unless the party has the right type of caster?


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RangerWickett wrote:

In the Talislanta roleplaying game from the 80s, magic loved the number seven. You could never have more than seven active magical effects on you at once. Once you added the eighth, everything stopped working.

If a wizard was wearing seven magic items, and you cast a spell on him to cause him to glow, all the magic on him would stop working. If you built a huge metal platform that flew and built a city on it, you'd want one spell for flight, and maybe three for counterspells so someone couldn't crash your city by casting more magic on it.

--

What is the goal of Resonance? Is it to stop people from loading up with tons of magic items, or from having a thousand fiddly one-use items? Do they not want people healing between encounters unless the party has the right type of caster?

I am also curious about the goal. It looks like this takes things that previously were not very fiddly like bags of holding and now makes them really expensive and fiddly to use. Honestly I think it would make a lot more sense to make things like bags of holding invested and then just use normal actions to access them so you are paying one up front cost every day instead of having to track every time you dip into them record keeping wise.

Wands having both resonance AND charge usage is tacking yet another layer of book keeping on top of their usage. One change I do like is it looks like wands require you to be able to normally cast the spell the wand has so that alone solves a lot of the pass the wand around the party issues.


*shrug*

I liked adventuring parties being imperiled during a combat, but usually able to get back on their feet afterward and keep fighting. I would have rather had something like a Wound Point/Hit Point system.

You get Wound Points from your ancestry, and HP from your classes. Once you're out of HP, extra damage goes to WP. HP recovers fully after 5 minutes of rest. WP recovers 1 + Con mod per day. Magical healing restores HP and also heals 1 WP per die of healing.

Boom. Now you get the same gameplay as PF1, where adventurers press on boldly, but you don't have the odd narrative of everyone carrying sticks that heal them. And importantly, you don't kneecap parties without a healer.

Healing is still useful in combat and to recover from serious wounds, but an all-fighter party could just play cautiously and fall back when they're low on HP, so they don't take WP damage they can't heal.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

As someone who did have the CLW wand issue come up, I actually do like Resonance.

The issue with CLW wands IMO isn't that it gives the party full health after every combat - it's that it makes every other healing item completely meaningless.

I don't think Resonance is perfect - certainly it is currently crippling Alchemists. But the two things it does - make Charisma more important and encourage using stronger consumables - are goals I fully support.

Acquisitives

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No. And I don't see how cure light wounds wand was even an issue to begin with.

In my experience one of two things happened.

1. Party had enough healing to stay topped off and kept adventuring.

2. Party did not have enough healing to stay at max health at the beginning of encounters and stopped adventuring for the day.

All resonance does is force one of your party members to be a cleric. PFS scenarios are all going to crash and burn now because its impossible to have an adventuring day without a non-resonance source of healing.

I don't see why letting people keep adventuring is a bad thing. People are just going to stop and rest more often when they run out of resonance now.


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I like resonance, it's a good replacement for the item slot system and x/day item effects.

I dislike it's application on potions and elixirs though.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Have to try it out to see how it works, but to me it does look to address the how many charges does this item have and the Christmas tree effect. Does it do it well that is what I am testing...


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Resonance has elegance. It implies a connection between the character and the magic item, more than simply putting it to use. There are many good interpretations of resonance for roleplaying: Interpreting Resonance.

But when the game ties resonance to, "weird record keeping for minimal gain," as kaid concisely phrased it, then the elegance is lost in the record keeping.

Potion needing resonance is inappropriate, because potions represent stored magic obtained from arcane ingredients carefully gathered and refined. Quick alchemy can require resonance, since that is a shortcut.

Imagine if a wand had no charges, but simply cost one resonance per activation. That would be simple, elegant, and practical.

I suppose people who want to avoid passing a wand of Cure Light Wounds around the party until everyone was healed might want a more complicated limitation. Okay, how about the first activation of the day of an uninvested wand will invest it for free, and no-one else can use it until it divests overnight?


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Scythia wrote:

Resonance could have great appeal to those who dislike the "Christmas tree effect" or who want magic items to feel rare and/or special. By limiting the amount of magic items one can effectively use during a single day, focus will be more upon the characters' abilities instead of what bling they could find/craft.

I don't like that it applies even to consumables, but the idea of using it for investiture to limit things like all day bonus items is a step I agree with.

I don't really get the idea that it makes magic feel special. It sure doesn't for me. To me it just feels like more micromanagement and annoyance. I'll will likely be avoiding anything that activates even more than I used to (I hate tracking x times a day uses, actually I hate fiddly resource management in general). They're now even more trouble than their worth, especially since most don't seem all that powerful. Tracking when you open a bag of holding is not anywhere close to my idea of special or fun. And I agree, it's just horrible for consumables which already have a cost.

And it really breaks immersion for me that now magic items require some kind of expenditure from the user. That was never part of the setting before. But now drinking a potion requires some force of will?

I do think it has potential if it is restricted only to invested items and items that would otherwise have charges or uses per day. And in that case, get rid of the charges and uses per day. Tracking both is just extra bookkeeping. Also get rid of resonance being the default. Most items really shouldn't take it, like the bag of holding, or immovable rods (goodbye to using two as a movable ladder, you'll run out of resonance within a few feet). Or the Traveler's Any-tool, really cool item, not worth the cost any time you need a shovel or whatever.

And really, as a solution to the cure light wound 'problem' it's terrible. It's adding a whole layer of complication and annoyance, just because of people having an issue with one item. Just change wands instead. And if potions need to be restricted (I don't think they do), have them make you Bolstered for a time or something as your system process the potion.


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- No more item slots.
- No more UMD.
- Tracking item uses/day reduced.

While I consider all of the above to be positive developments, I'm afraid the mechanic as a whole keeps too many aspects of the previous edition to really be considered any sort of serious improvement.


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I really like Resonance, as a part of a world-building exercise. It feels like 3ed's Incarnum or The Force from Star Wars. It also enhances my take on Charisma, that it isn't just attractiveness, but rather your inner strength of personality. Resonance makes the game feel more magical overall. Also, I like the limitations it creates. I've created a Dwarf pre-gen who has absolutely NO resonance, so we'll see how that works.


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In our limited play thus far, Resonance has not been all that limiting. The only one really affected was the Dwarf and that was due to their CHA being 8. Overall, it hasn't really affected our game thus far in the Playtest. Maybe at higher levels, but once you hit 5th level, that's like 4 resonance for that dwarf and others have it as higher, so I don't see it overly being a problem.

I hear it affects Alchemist far more adversely though, but we haven't tried the alchemist yet soooo....

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like the idea. Use an item to cast a spell? That will cost one resonance.

Bags of holding taking resonance on each use is not fun.

I'm ok with wands costing rp and charges.


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I only like it as a way to replace magic item slots as a limiting factor. But I hate it as a means to use magic items especially limited use ones like potions, scrolls, wands, etc.


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Mathmuse wrote:

Resonance has elegance. It implies a connection between the character and the magic item, more than simply putting it to use. There are many good interpretations of resonance for roleplaying: Interpreting Resonance.

But when the game ties resonance to, "weird record keeping for minimal gain," as kaid concisely phrased it, then the elegance is lost in the record keeping.

Potion needing resonance is inappropriate, because potions represent stored magic obtained from arcane ingredients carefully gathered and refined. Quick alchemy can require resonance, since that is a shortcut.

Imagine if a wand had no charges, but simply cost one resonance per activation. That would be simple, elegant, and practical.

I suppose people who want to avoid passing a wand of Cure Light Wounds around the party until everyone was healed might want a more complicated limitation. Okay, how about the first activation of the day of an uninvested wand will invest it for free, and no-one else can use it until it divests overnight?

The passing the happy stick around is not even a problem. Only people who can actually cast that spell to begin with can use the wand. If you are really worried about it being passed around between multiple casters make it invested.


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EberronHoward wrote:
I really like Resonance, as a part of a world-building exercise. It feels like 3ed's Incarnum or The Force from Star Wars. It also enhances my take on Charisma, that it isn't just attractiveness, but rather your inner strength of personality. Resonance makes the game feel more magical overall. Also, I like the limitations it creates. I've created a Dwarf pre-gen who has absolutely NO resonance, so we'll see how that works.

I think most people probably won't even really notice resonance. Most people once you invest your equipment you still have enough for the few consumables you would likely use so its just some record keeping for the sake of record keeping.

The major downsides though comes in with certain magic items once you acquire them like bags of holding which just seem weird and kinda pointless now or to resource intensive for most to bother with and alchemists.

Alchemists I think are going to be problematic for them to get balanced well at lower levels you could easily see alchemists electing to NOT use good new magic items that would improve them because they can't afford to waste resonance on investing them. When your character upgrades are actively limiting your own class abilities that is going to get really awkward. At high enough level it is probably not an issue but in the 5-10 range it will be intresting to see how alchemists do.


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From what I can see it just makes for more book keeping.


Alchamests need a different mechanic as combined with resonance they are terrible. Another good reason to dump resonance.


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It really doesn't seem like resonance is any more work to track than HP (easier, since resonance is a smaller number that only ever decrements by 1.)

I mean, nonlethal damage no longer needs to be tracked separately so at worst we're at exactly the same amount of bookkeeping.

Dark Archive

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I love the idea of resonance. There might currently be some wonkiness in execution, like for the poor alchemists, but for the most part I like the direction of focus on only the important magical items.


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I like resonance. I think it could be a cool system to create tension by creating more meaningful difficult choices. The system honestly doesn't feel used to its greatest potential though. Certain items still have uses per day, and nothing ever consumes more than one RP at a time, and some items make no sense with how they spend RP. Also, I don't like how the acronym is "RP" because in my brain RP is already reserved for "role play."

I'm just at the beginning of the playtest with my group though, so my opinion might change.


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Just finished the first half of a session of Doomsday Dawn at 1st level with myself as an Elf Wizard, along with a Dwarf Fighter, a Gnome Ranger, a Goblin Barbarian and a Human Bard.

Overall, I can see myself spending my 2nd level skill feat on Trick Magic Item and picking up a wand of 1st level heal, and I'll be highly recommending it for all my allies too. The game does not balance well for a group without a Cleric, and it's only thanks to my own preparation in buying multiple scrolls of Soothe that we didn't end up with a party wipe.

I forsee myself still passing out heals from the wand, attempting to overspend resonance to get a few more activations out of it, then passing it around to everyone else with the Trick Magic Item feat when I fail my check, grabbing their wand and trying until I crit fail my check.

I don't see it changing the issue of using wands to top up after battle, because there's still no alternative system to allow characters to heal between fights that don't rely on a specific class. All it does is add an extra layer of potential failure.

Liberty's Edge

There's a lot about it that I like conceptually. People have mentioned the wands and item slots, but it can also also change other things.

It lets them print more powerful magic items, and reduce the need for items to have charges/daily limits. It replaces the 24 hour attunement items, means players don't try the old stack of spare quick-runner's shirts if you don't have the attunements...

It's only when I saw how many of these mechanics still made it into an awful lot of items did I actually worry about resonance. I think it's probably still not too severe a restriction, but I don't really feel like it's serving its purpose in its current state.

Sovereign Court

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I love resonance so far. It gives CHA a need for most characters (a trend id love to see continue for all stats.) It also helps with the magic item slot issue and ditches the old 50 charge wand stuff. Now my players have a buffer between the adventure and their ability to complete it. If they are smart, they will go far, if they are dumb they wont finish; or worse.

I get kick in the door and take every buzzsaw to the face is a popular playstyle. The good news is resonance is pretty easy to mod. You want longer adventuring days and more healing and magic? Just up the available resonance.

There are a few changes Id make. Namely the bag of holding usage and maybe consumables. Though im currently working through the playtest before I can make any calls. So far resonance isnt an issue. YMMV.

-Cheers


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Not a great fan. I can see the point, and the basic idea (level+cha) is fairly sound, but
1) there must be an exemption for potions and elixirs
2) change the way that wands work so there's no double-accounting of charges and resonance.
3) Lose the silliness of things like per-use resonance on a bag of holding. Invest it and be done with it.


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I don't like it, it looks like a patch-job to try and solve the consumable problem, and that just means you now need a Cleric or other dedicated healer. And some of the items that use Resonance (Bag of Holding and Gloves of Storing) are just Resonance drains for no reason.

Also, to everyone saying "No more item slots", read again. ITEM SLOTS ARE STILL HERE. There's 13 of them, in fact. I posted the breakdown in another thread, but basically, aside from rings, it's mostly the same. There's only a few non-ring items that are worn . The vast majority falls into a slot.

Stop saying Resonance got rid of slots. It didn't.

And UMD is still there too, by the way. It's not a skill, but Trick Magic Item is basically UMD, only worse due to the variable DC and the Critical Failure clause.

Sovereign Court

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I happen to like the Current state of Resonance with one change, that of potions. I agree that potions should have the resonance stored at creation, but not used at time of use by the target - that basically means that a party cannot use even a minor heal potion on an NPC (who effectively has no resonance at all).

Beyond that, I'm not seeing the problem that everyone is talking about with Alchemists. Their resonance is based off their key ability INT, which if you're trying to stack the cards right, would give you 5 resonance at the first level, which is more than most every other character so far except maybe Sorcerers - See "Studied Resonance". Use of Elixirs and Creation of their Alchemy items is the only actual uses of Resonance so far for them, which I as a GM would assume that an Alchemist already has a stock made up of items as making a batch costs only 1 RP and makes multiple items based on downtime creation (like with the new downtime crafting mechanics, which if it is in downtime it's not costing you RP). Are all elixirs just for your alchemist? Are they making 15 items a day? Are they trying to carry 30 different alchemy items for 3 bulk? Bombs and mutagens don't cost RP to use, so I'm confused as to why people are saying Alchemists are limited here.

I strongly like the fact that there is a limit to magic, it makes it all that more special and hard to find/use. This makes regular items and crafting more special and useful, especially to groups that pool money and play certain tactics.

Being a GM for many years, I'm a huge proponent of simplified mechanics, and this is simplified. There's not much in this system so far that is "Book keeping" - Spell Uses, Power/Pool Uses, Resonance Points. What exactly is everyone fretting about? I am a fan of what's going on with the system and balance. The Economy has changed, and it's harder to spend all your money to spam spells from scrolls and wands becoming overpowered in game. It seems that instead you need to role-play, not do a bunch of math problems.


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On a whole, I do like resonance. Gives CHA more weight and reduces wand of CLW spam. But I just do not like it for consumables. It feels too restrictive on fun, single use items that are better spent for healing instead.


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I keep seeing people making these comments about how Resonance solves XYZ, when it actually doesn't, and it's just creating misleading nodes of information. I'll start with some of the most common ones I see, and rebuttal them, because they aren't true (in my eyes at least).

"Resonance means no more item slots." This is a flat out misnomer, ever since magic items were debuted in the blog posts. The only thing Resonance fixes is letting you be Sonic the Hedgehog and carry around 50+ rings, or being some sort of Mardi Gras celebrant and carrying around dozens of beaded necklaces, which means you have no other reason to have, say, Boots of Flight. Why not just turn it into a Ring of Flight? I guess if you hate jewelry, but then that's just a major character flaw.

You can only still ever have one set of boots, one cloak, one helm, and so on. That stuff has not changed, and they will still be present in PF2. Don't believe me? Read this quote from the blog post:

Paizo Blog wrote:
Method of use indicates that this item is worn and that it's a cloak. A few items have this two-part listing because they're hard to wear multiples of. Multiple cloaks, multiple boots... not practical. Multiple rings or amulets? No problem.

There you have it. Good luck getting a GM to let you have two sets of cloaks or boots or helms on at the same time. In short, your ability to have two Cloaks is GM FIAT. Some GMs may let you have them. Other won't. PFS might clarify this for themselves, but there is no actual baseline, unlike PF1, which had that. At least in PF1, I could combine magic items into one so I get the best of both worlds (even if it costs more) while not sacrificing or making choices on which item I'd rather have as a slot (AKA the "Big 6" killer).

"Resonance means you don't have to track additional resources."Again, this is wrong because there are items with limited uses that still cost resonance, Wands being the biggest culprit here. There is even an armor rune that grants invisibility once per day, which costs Resonance to do. Even though we have an item like the Cloak of Elvenkind that lets you do it at-will once invested. (Can we turn that into the Ring of Elvenkind now, since having it as a Cloak is pointless because of the slot being limited, whereas the Ring is not?) The varied item uses doesn't make much sense, and I'm hoping it's largely a play-test issue, but I seriously question why we need to track these things if Resonance is supposed to remove this self-propelled "necessity".

"Resonance solves the Christmas Tree effect." Define "solve." To some people, Resonance counts as effective HP through healing; burning Resonance on magic items means they are losing effective HP for the adventuring day. Lose too much HP, effective or otherwise, and you have a dead character; congratulations, you're now making us choose between useful magic items or having HP to live. You might as well give us a flat sum of cash enough to either buy only food or some flashy new thing we've always wanted. Do we enjoy our toy and starve, or do we nourish our body and numb our vices? It forces a choice for us that, in PF1, we didn't have to make. Our Ring only functioned 3 times per day, but our Wand functioned for as long as we made the UMD checks or had someone to utilize the Wand, and had charges to spend. To me, PF2 sounds more complicated, especially since it doesn't even really fix all of these above issues, as I've previously described.

Other may even view Resonance as a "staggering" of the Christmas Tree effect, which has technically always been around since PF1, as the Christmas Tree effect was limited by both the Big 6 being costly and mandatory and getting in the way of other cool items, and WBL, since having a dozen fancy trinkets to use (I mean actual magic items, not those worthless things that PF2 introduced, either of which) wasn't exactly cheap. In which case, Resonance is trying to solve a problem that, by rights, already had a solution in place, and people were simply not abiding by it due to WBL and Big 6 being more of a guideline (I'm sure some people didn't walk around with +X armor and such, *cough*Wizards*cough*) than a hard rule, which Resonance is.

"Resonance means no more UMD." While this is technically true, it is effectively a replacement for UMD, and when you "Resonate" too much, you have to make flat "UMD checks" to continue "Resonating," and by relation, "UMD"ing. So while it doesn't say it's UMD, it basically does most everything UMD does, except it's slightly different. If it walks like a goose, acts like a goose, and calls like a goose...it's a swan, I guess?

It's actually worse, because now classes like Fighters and Rogues can't use items like Wands or Scrolls anymore, whereas before, if they were trained enough, it was at least fairly possible to do so. Now? "Fighter wants to use Wand of CLW," "Fat chance, next!"


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I don't know why they just don't scale the cost of healing more properly.

There should be a set gold cost for each d8 of healing... be it potion or wand. Cure moderate wounds wand costs double a cure light wounds wand for example.


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AldoDraca wrote:

Beyond that, I'm not seeing the problem that everyone is talking about with Alchemists. Their resonance is based off their key ability INT, which if you're trying to stack the cards right, would give you 5 resonance at the first level, which is more than most every other character so far except maybe Sorcerers - See "Studied Resonance". Use of Elixirs and Creation of their Alchemy items is the only actual uses of Resonance so far for them, which I as a GM would assume that an Alchemist already has a stock made up of items as making a batch costs only 1 RP and makes multiple items based on downtime creation (like with the new downtime crafting mechanics, which if it is in downtime it's not costing you RP). Are all elixirs just for your alchemist? Are they making 15 items a day? Are they trying to carry 30 different alchemy items for 3 bulk? Bombs and mutagens don't cost RP to use, so I'm confused as to why people are saying Alchemists are limited here.

I suspect its because after the first few levels, buying/crafting stuff sort of doesn't really work. A lot of the Alchemist Class Feats and Class Features (like Empower Bombs, Fast Onset, Extend Elixir, etc) only work with items that have the Infused tag. That means items the Alchemist created with Advanced Alchemy/Quick Alchemy. Sure, the Alchemist can craft bombs during downtime, but they'll always be 1st level bombs, aka mostly useless as you go along.

Furthermore, a lot of Alchemist Class Feats (like all the Bomb Feats) require that the Alchemist use Quick Alchemy, thereby expending Resonance.

So an Alchemist needs Resonance for:

- Making Infused items at the start of the day. And while 1 RP gives you two items of a kind, you're juggling Bombs, Elixirs and, later on, Mutagens.
- Using Quick Alchemy during the day for his other Class Feats, like Powerful Alchemy, Smoke Bomb, etc.
- Investing magic items, like everyone else.
- Using any items/consumables they might want to use (like a Cloak of Elvenkind and such), like everyone else.

I haven't yet played an Alchemist or seen one in play (my group read through the document and had no interest in playing PF2, sadly), but I can see why they'd have problems even with using INT for calculating Resonance.

EDIT: Just wanted to add

"Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
It's actually worse, because now classes like Fighters and Rogues can't use items like Wands or Scrolls anymore, whereas before, if they were trained enough, it was at least fairly possible to do so. Now? "Fighter wants to use Wand of CLW," "Fat chance, next!"
Quote:

They actually can, with Trick Magic Item. Which is basically UMD, except subdivided into 4 Skills now. And the DC is up to GM. And Critical Failure means no more trying to use that item for the day. So, really bad. But hey, it's an option!

Sovereign Court

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
It's actually worse, because now classes like Fighters and Rogues can't use items like Wands or Scrolls anymore, whereas before, if they were trained enough, it was at least fairly possible to do so. Now? "Fighter wants to use Wand of CLW," "Fat chance, next!"

This is extended and made possible by Archetypes - see "Wizard Dedication" Feat or "Cleric Dedication".


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I like resonance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


I like resonance for the most part. It helps keep the casters a tad more in check & gives Clerics a reason to heal outside of wands.
I am concerned about the Alchemist needing it for class features. It feels like a bit of a struggle like they are always in need of just a few more points to be viable.
Dwarves get a bit kneecapped too in a weird way, you'd think they would be good at manipulating items as a race of legendary smiths but it is still manageable later in the game so not a huge issue there.


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I like resonance conceptually in almost every regard.
I like some of how it has been implemented.
I don't like the system as a whole yet.

First, some consumables shouldn't use it at all. Spending a resonance point to activate a tindertwig is just painful. The item has almost no uses beyond being cool. Leave this out of the resonance system entirely. Other alchemical tools have similar issues, they aren't useful enough to really need the resonance limiter, and they aren't fantastical enough to really justify it IMO.

Second, for consumables that should use it, not all should use it equally. I'd like the system much more if some consumables used resonance at a more favorable ratio. Mechanics would be a bit wonky, but I'd like to see elixirs at 1 point for 4 elixirs, weapons and remedies at 1 for 3 weapons/remedies, magic item consumables at 2:1, and magic items that aren't consumable being the only things that have 1:1 (with investment staying the same). That way, loading up on consumables doesn't have the issue it did in the last edition, but using consumables isn't as harsh and adventuring days are a bit longer, and PCs are still encouraged to invest in relatively on-level gear instead of just stocking up on gallons of level 1 healing elixirs and selling higher level ones to get more low-level ones.

Third, alchemist needs something alchemy-based to do when resonance and items run out. Right now I'm stocking up on oil flasks just to keep with the idea of throwing molotovs instead of falling back on a crossbow. Martials that fallback on a weapon is fine, they are thematically weapon-based. Casters all have spell points for a little while, and after that they get cantrips, they don't need to default to attacks that don't fit a broad "magic" theme. Alchemists do have to fall back on nonmagical items.


ermak_umk3 wrote:
Dwarves get a bit kneecapped too in a weird way, you'd think they would be good at manipulating items as a race of legendary smiths but it is still manageable later in the game so not a huge issue there.

I would honestly suggest setting resonance at 3+ ChaMod+Level, just so that no matter what choices you make at Chargen (Cha 8 Dwarf with Ancient's Blood, say) at the very least your resonance goes up at every level and you can equip some magic armor at level 2 if you find some.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would like resonance if its sole purpose was to replace charges on wands. Any other application of it is thematically inappropriate at best and agonizingly irritating at worst.


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Kodyboy wrote:
I find resonance an unnecessary completely and pointless. Anyone else?

I get that there are issues with character balance and encounter balance and magic items can make that very hard, and resonance points probably seems like a good way to do that. Resonance is a ham fisted way of doing it. I've dealt with trying to keep characters and encounters balanced, and it's a pain. Resonance seems like it was a noble attempt to do that.

Before, I kept track of player character's total gear value, the class levels of items, and the enhancement bonuses to try and come up with formulas to keep things balanced, and I came up with some okay rules of thumb to try and keep things where they needed to be. Resonance might address those balance issues without GMs doing the behind the scenes accounting that I was doing.

But... with Resonance...

* Now we have yet another set of points to account for.

* Before some items could be equipped and and you didn't have any accounting to do and others that had charges or times per day or were consumed.

* Now, all of the previous accounting exists, plus nearly EVERY item has accounting that needs to be done either when equipped or used.

* If a potion is consumed, we don't just mark off that it was consumed, we also have to do accounting on resonance points.

* If we use a wand, we have to keep track of both charges and resonance points.

* When we get up in the morning and put equipment on, we have to do accounting for all the items "activated" by putting them on.

* Before, players wanted to constantly end the game day and put their characters to bed because of all the spells per day, ability uses per day, and various other sets of points that got drained. Now we have yet another set of points to drain away on consumable magic items that will make players want their character go to bed with even fewer encounters and make beginning of the game day accounting, resets, and other prep take even longer. The flow of going from encounter to encounter will be even more frequently interrupted, and everyone will be taken out of the story flow even more.

* What was really basic and simple like wearing armor or drinking a potion now has this goofy point system involved.

* It pulls us out of the immersion of the story.

* It doesn't really have a real world or fantasy, folklore, mythology analog, and it doesn't make sense in the understanding of the fantasy, folklore, and mythology that inspired the content. Frodo or Gyges didn't fail to turn invisible when he put on the ring because they didn't have enough mysterious energy gained from becoming the most powerful wizards or warriors. Being a young person with no experience didn't prevent Aladdin from using the lamp or the ring. Prince Hussain in The Story of Prince Ahmed and the Fairy Paribanou can just buy a magic carpet and use it. Teenagers from Earth in the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon with no experience in their "classes" can still use the items that their given, though the wizard has a ways to go to figure out the hat.

A lot of the other mechanics like disappearing scrolls, spells per day, and once or a small number of times per day abilities do have a lot of the same effects of pulling people out of the immersion and disrupting the flow of the game, but resonance just adds a whole extra layer to it and it does it for every freaking class, even the classes like fighter that were low on accounting before.

Some players liked fighters and other simple melee classes just for that fact that those classes got them away most of the high accounting that other classes had. Fighter items were nice and simple, put armor on, grab a weapon, and occasionally drink a potion. Those players aren't going to like the extra accounting.

It's making a lot items that were much simpler before more complicated and introducing another set of bizarre limitations on things that should be easy to use. It's also putting more hurdles in keeping game play flowing and adds more time for accounting in a game that already has a lot of accounting.

All that said, I genuinely would like a way of maintaining balance. I may discover after more games that resonance does keep everything more in balance, and that would be great.

But I want a way that maintains character and encounter balance with magic items that keeps using simple magic items simple to use, doesn't require a lot of accounting in the middle of game play and doesn't do much to take players out of the immersion, and does let fairly powerful magic occasionally end up in the hands of really low level characters for at the very least interesting story effect.

One thing about the magic item accounting that I was doing before was that, even though it was tedious and a bit of a pain, it was between game sessions, and it didn't disrupt game play with the players in the game itself. Resonance is right in the middle of the game the whole time, and that's not fun. If we're going to have accounting to maintain balance with magic items, I'd like it not to be in the middle of encounters and not slow down getting to the next encounter, and I'd like it not to take players out of the immersion.

Grand Lodge

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As some have said, I think resonance has a place, but the implementation has gone off the rails. In another thread I posted some of what I thought were some good possible changes to how resonance is used.

Here they are in essence:

Bombs: Should never cost resonance, these are the Alchemists primary weapons and the equivalent of Wizard cantrips which also do not cost resonance. If you want to charge resonance for Bombs, put a limit on Cantrips too.

Potions & Scrolls: No resonance to use, these are one and done items that become prohibitively expensive to buy too many.

Wands: I think charging resonance for the use of a wand is ok, as long as you remove the charges and make it a permanent item. You are powering the spell inside with your own magic, all that is in the wand is a spell matrix.

Magic Items: Should cost 1 resonance to invest at the beginning of the day, and only cost extra if they have a special extra (ex: the invisibility function on the cloak of elvenkind). Items that are typically inert and only have an effect when activated, such as the ring of the ram, should use the rules for wands.

Armor: Should require the investment at the beginning of the day to activate the Potency and the constant functions (ex: Ghost touch) and only requires a resonance to activate a special, non-constant, ability (ex: Ethereal).

Weapons: Should not require investment to use Potency and constant functions (ex: ghost touch again) but require a resonance for a special function (ex: Dancing).

Staves: Staves should require investment that activates any potency or constant effects, but use charges that regenerate every day to power spell effects the staff produces.

I think that something like that would cover most of the issues that people have with Resonance, while still limiting the overuse of items like happened with Cure Light Wounds.

To quote from my original version:

Quote:
I understand limiting certain body slots (I have never been able to wear two pair of boots at the same time and two pair of gloves makes fine manipulation a pointless endeavor) but Rings and Amulets should not be limited in the same way.

I can also see not having a real limit on belts. In my life I have seen people wearing FAR more belts than would ever be practical. And hey, if you want to play a 1990's super-hero in a fantasy setting, be my guest. (sooo many belts.)

As for chest and torso slots, I am willing to bet that most players wear two shirts on a regular basis (undershirt and over-shirt), and in winter, how many folks layer. And let us not forget our friend the Tuxedo (particularly the old-time Tuxedo) with an undershirt, overshirt, vest, and coat, and possibly an overcoat.

With cloaks: two cloaks in late fall through early spring is not-bad to great, the rest of the year it can blow. So yeah, you CAN wear multiple cloaks, but if you do it in the Summer (or a Desert/Jungle environment) you had better have more than one waterskin buddy.


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I like it in principle and the concept of magical attunement is something I am familiar with from other games.

however having it apply to consumable items, particularly 1 shot items like potions and scrolls is something I disagree with and if I did end up running PF2 (which at this point is not likely, as I really dislike the entirity of character creation) I would house rule that those items are resonance free.


Personally, I like the idea of resonance as well.

My primary reason would be that it gives Charisma some innate value and stops it from being the universal dump stat for any class that doesn't need it for class abilities. Admittedly, you can't really dump stat anymore due to the way that ability scores are assigned now, but it does give non-Charisma based classes a reason to assign Charisma beyond roleplaying. I remember that my first character I played in 3.0, I wanted to be a Charismatic fighter, but people pointed out that I was just handicapping the character for absolutely no gain.

The Cure Light Wand issue has come up a lot in my games, but admittedly, I allow it because it allows a party without divine casters to exist. Having said that, I definitely feel the annoyance that there is no middle ground between having every party always at full health or having no healing at all (which would require weeks of bed rest between encounters).

Reducing the Christmas Tree effect is also something I applaud, but if anything, the Resonance system isn't harsh enough on it. By the time you get to the double digits in level, you will have enough Resonance to deck yourself out from head to toe, which you might as well, if you're not a class that can use wands and the like anyway.

So I would propose the following as possible tweaks:

- Allow any class to use wands and the like. Unlike 1E, it's kind of implied that every character regardless of class has an internal reservoir of magic, since even a Fighter has to use it to power his gadgets. I see no real justification why he can power a suit or armor, but not a wand of healing.

- Speaking of which, why did they create a resonance system and then have magic weapons are armor still refer the old "once per day" system (like, for example, armor of invisibility)? Let armor and weapons require resonance like the rest (by the time you can afford them, any character will have enough points to use them, although it may limit spamming). If you want to limit uses per day, you can always just up the resonance cost of using them. Once again, it will actually incentivize investing in Charisma if it means getting more uses of powerful weapon and armor abilities.

- Don't charge resonance for single use items. It's implied that those were already pre-invested and the party pays for that. Classically, potions have always been much less cost-effective than wands. Now, the reason for that will be resonance limits, rather than just hard class limits.

- If anything, reduce the amount of resonance that you get from simply leveling. First of all, it increases the value of Charisma as a stat. There should be enough Resonance for a character to be able to don their essential gear even with low Charisma, but the spare pool per day should then be limited, so that the character will have to choose between contributing to wand duty or using fancy gadgets.

- As an addition to the previous point, give the Alchemist a class feature that would drastically improve their resonance points over that of other classes. That gives them a better defined niche and still provides a tangible limit on class abilities.


Culach wrote:
Bombs: Should never cost resonance, these are the Alchemists primary weapons and the equivalent of Wizard cantrips which also do not cost resonance. If you want to charge resonance for Bombs, put a limit on Cantrips too.

I believe bombs don't cost resonance to use. They don't have the "Operate Activation" which require RP like other magic items and alchemical items do.

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