Twitch Stream - 15 / 09 / 2018


General Discussion

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Grand Lodge

Almarane wrote:

@Hurka : Sure, I agree. But I'd still keep the "mystery" around artifacts or special items, so that the mystery doesn't feel old after a while. I don't see the intereset of failing ID attempts on healing potions and Elven capes.

To me those both sound like great opportunities for roleplaying! Making things easy usually makes them less interesting. Making them hard usually makes them more interesting.

It's hard to go backward though. If your PCs are used to making 15' standing jumps, 15 miles of overland travel through dense jungle, or automatically IDing every potion they come across then it will be very hard to reset the standard. Certainly not always, but in general, I find that the higher standards gives my PCs more room to grow and adds to the mystery and excitement of roleplaying.

So yeah, basically if you go from correctly IDing 40% of potions to 65%, that's exciting and gives players a sense of accomplishment and the remaining 35% gives a sense of mystery. If you go from 100% to 95%, that's no fun and doesn't add mystery, just frustration.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Almarane wrote:

@Hurka : Sure, I agree. But I'd still keep the "mystery" around artifacts or special items, so that the mystery doesn't feel old after a while. I don't see the intereset of failing ID attempts on healing potions and Elven capes.

Another problem that I haven't seen pointed out : with items not being ID'ed, the GM needs to keep track of who has which item. Here are two examples (the second one really happened in my PF1 games) of this issue :

Scenario 1 wrote:

PC : I drink my potion.

GM : Okay. What does it do ?
PC : I don't know. Tell me. I did not ID it.
GM : Uh, okay... Where did you find it ?
PC : Uh... I dunno... I think it was on the werewolf chief...
GM : Let me check it out in my notes... *searches through notes for several minutes* Uh, that's weird, he did not have a potion.
PC : Hmm... Maybe the merefolk from one scenario earlier ?
Scenario 2 wrote:

*After several rounds of combat...*

PC : I attack the dragon !
*rolls rolls*
PC : I deal it 5 damages !
GM : Okay ! Hum... *thinks about how to narrate the dragon's death* What weapon are you using currently ?
PC : The sword the old man gave us.
GM : ... Wait. The one with a dragon on its hilt ?
PC : Yeah, why ?
GM : Uuuh... That's a dragon bane sword. The dragon should be dead five turns ago !!!
PC2 : *holding his dead character's sheat in his hand* You mean I shouldn't have taken the damages from its fire breath last turn !?
GM : ... :S
I already have problems remembering which PC uses which type of weapon...

That's something the player should keep track of.


Almarane wrote:


Monday : class surveys will open. Not tied to DD. 200+ questions. One of the questions will be "What alignment the Paladin should be allowed to take". They know this will be a passionate debate, but now they can have the datas in a survey. You can only take this survey once. You can skip classes you don't want to answer. If you do come back later, you can pop back where you left and answer questions you did not answer.

Monday : Ancestry and Background survey will open (like "What do you think of the goblin being in the game", "What do you think about half-orcs ? How should we include them in the game ?"). Not tied to DD.

Other surveys (spells, information, etc...) will open later.

Where can we access these surveys?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Talsharien wrote:
Almarane wrote:


Monday : class surveys will open. Not tied to DD. 200+ questions. One of the questions will be "What alignment the Paladin should be allowed to take". They know this will be a passionate debate, but now they can have the datas in a survey. You can only take this survey once. You can skip classes you don't want to answer. If you do come back later, you can pop back where you left and answer questions you did not answer.

Monday : Ancestry and Background survey will open (like "What do you think of the goblin being in the game", "What do you think about half-orcs ? How should we include them in the game ?"). Not tied to DD.

Other surveys (spells, information, etc...) will open later.

Where can we access these surveys?

I'm sure there will be a post on the front page.


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Dire Ursus wrote:
Almarane wrote:

@Hurka : Sure, I agree. But I'd still keep the "mystery" around artifacts or special items, so that the mystery doesn't feel old after a while. I don't see the intereset of failing ID attempts on healing potions and Elven capes.

Another problem that I haven't seen pointed out : with items not being ID'ed, the GM needs to keep track of who has which item. Here are two examples (the second one really happened in my PF1 games) of this issue :

Scenario 1 wrote:

PC : I drink my potion.

GM : Okay. What does it do ?
PC : I don't know. Tell me. I did not ID it.
GM : Uh, okay... Where did you find it ?
PC : Uh... I dunno... I think it was on the werewolf chief...
GM : Let me check it out in my notes... *searches through notes for several minutes* Uh, that's weird, he did not have a potion.
PC : Hmm... Maybe the merefolk from one scenario earlier ?
Scenario 2 wrote:

*After several rounds of combat...*

PC : I attack the dragon !
*rolls rolls*
PC : I deal it 5 damages !
GM : Okay ! Hum... *thinks about how to narrate the dragon's death* What weapon are you using currently ?
PC : The sword the old man gave us.
GM : ... Wait. The one with a dragon on its hilt ?
PC : Yeah, why ?
GM : Uuuh... That's a dragon bane sword. The dragon should be dead five turns ago !!!
PC2 : *holding his dead character's sheat in his hand* You mean I shouldn't have taken the damages from its fire breath last turn !?
GM : ... :S
I already have problems remembering which PC uses which type of weapon...
That's something the player should keep track of.

But the point is : they can't keep track of this. They don't know what the item does.

It's like asking you what I have in my pocket while you never saw what's inside.

Liberty's Edge

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Anyone know when these class surveys mentioned upstream are going live?

Liberty's Edge

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Lord Norin wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
MrAptronym wrote:


2. I think they have a different picture of what healing should be like than I do.
My biggest head/desk moment was when Jason said something like "I think there may be a healing problem but we need more data to be sure". The one thing that is screamingly obvious if you listen to just about ANY feedback is that YES, THERE IS A HEALING problem. The fact that Jason doesn't recognize this is more than a little alarming.
The fact that they are ignoring the complaints about vancian casting still being in the game as well as resonance and other things shows that they really are not informed about what their base wants in a new edition....

I think it’s worth noting that there are plenty of people that like Vancian casting and would be extemely upset if it was removed from the game

Grand Lodge

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I would love an official poll on that.


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Almarane wrote:

@Hurka : Sure, I agree. But I'd still keep the "mystery" around artifacts or special items, so that the mystery doesn't feel old after a while. I don't see the intereset of failing ID attempts on healing potions and Elven capes.

Another problem that I haven't seen pointed out : with items not being ID'ed, the GM needs to keep track of who has which item. Here are two examples (the second one really happened in my PF1 games) of this issue :

Scenario 1 wrote:

PC : I drink my potion.

GM : Okay. What does it do ?
PC : I don't know. Tell me. I did not ID it.
GM : Uh, okay... Where did you find it ?
PC : Uh... I dunno... I think it was on the werewolf chief...
GM : Let me check it out in my notes... *searches through notes for several minutes* Uh, that's weird, he did not have a potion.
PC : Hmm... Maybe the merefolk from one scenario earlier ?
Scenario 2 wrote:

*After several rounds of combat...*

PC : I attack the dragon !
*rolls rolls*
PC : I deal it 5 damages !
GM : Okay ! Hum... *thinks about how to narrate the dragon's death* What weapon are you using currently ?
PC : The sword the old man gave us.
GM : ... Wait. The one with a dragon on its hilt ?
PC : Yeah, why ?
GM : Uuuh... That's a dragon bane sword. The dragon should be dead five turns ago !!!
PC2 : *holding his dead character's sheat in his hand* You mean I shouldn't have taken the damages from its fire breath last turn !?
GM : ... :S
I already have problems remembering which PC uses which type of weapon...

This probably wouldnt happen with an important sword, but favoriting because I have had the exact same scenario come up with a potion before x.x


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Almarane wrote:


But the point is : they can't keep track of this. They don't know what the item does.

It's like asking you what I have in my pocket while you never saw what's inside.

Oh, oh, I know this one! Pick me! Pick me!

(On a serious note, our GM has told us to jot down some piece of reference data for items we can't/don't want to identify at the moment)


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Chess Pwn wrote:

Wow, so the devs don't even know how shields work? Like it's only been asked on here since the beginning and they are reading these forums to know what's going on. I feel that the devs, being aware of the confusion on shields, if they didn't know how it works would find out how it works. To say you don't know how shields work at this point you've either intentionally not brushed up on a pretty big new mechanic that you're wanting people to use that you know they want to know how it works, OR the devs don't know how it's supposed to work and they wrote words without knowing what they wanted.

Like none of that seems reasonable. I'm glad that we finally got the clear question about shields, but SUPER sad that the answer was, "lol, who knows"

I am okay with the whole shields take dents type game play but they seriously need to clarify how exactly this works because it is pretty clear nobody is 100% sure how it should function at this point.


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Mekkis wrote:

More to the point, the two obvious things to replace it with seem worse that Vancian casting:

- Spell Points or Mana has issues where it feels video gamey, and causes all the "psychic nova" that was so prevalent with 3.5e psionics.
- "Daily spells" makes magic even more limited, and is so reminiscent of 4e that it'd alienate a larger proportion of the playerbase.

I like vancian casting, and get rather annoyed by people who want to take it away from me instead of just playing one of the other options. But this in not really fair.

Arcana Evolved/5e/Arcanist style readying is already in PF1, and sorcerer-style spontaneous casting is already in PF2P. Both of those options seem like more obvious replacements than spell points of fixed daily spells.

The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Those are the only complaints about Vancian casting? How about the fact that it encourages weird behavior like the 15 Minute Adventuring Day?

No, dailey resources encourage the 15 minute adventuring day. Vancian magic can very occasionally make it slightly worse, but there are a number of solutions to that do not involve burning the whole edifice down.

The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Fourth Edition may be everyone's favorite punching bag but it did have some good mechanics. The problem with "encounter/daily spells" was that Fourth Edition made every class mechanically identical.

It did nothing of the sort.

_
glass.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Hey there all,

I just want to clear up a few things here because there seems to be a fair number of folks confused about some of my intent, while there are some trying to infer much deeper meaning from what might have been a more flippant comment.

1. I tend not to speak in "certainties", especially in a live format. When I said, I think there might be some problems with healing for example, that means that is a much bigger deal that a lot of the other items on our agenda, but until I have a plan of action, I don't really want to say more than that. I don't like to create false expectations or have folks waiting for a change that might take us another month to solve.

2. The shield thing. Yup, I kinda flubbed that answer. We have gone back and forth on those rules over the past year and I hate looking up things in the middle of a stream (it really causes your viewer numbers to drop quick... because its boring to watch), so I hedged a bit. We are still looking at ways to patch up these rules and you can expect some clarity, at least, from us soon.

3. I think some folk really need to stop assuming their experience is every experience. The data we are getting is showing a real mixed bag based on a variety of factors. Feel free to talk about what you are experiencing. We want to hear that, but please don't infer that your experience is the universal one. You are most certainly not right on that front, and we are not going to engage with you on that.

I know most of you get these points. I trust all of you to continue to play and give us your honest, insightful opinions on the game. We are reading these forums fanatically and combing through deep survey data to identify problems and work up solutions to make this game as good as it can be.

Thanks for watching the stream. Now get out there and play!


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

I just want to clear up a few things here because there seems to be a fair number of folks confused about some of my intent, while there are some trying to infer much deeper meaning from what might have been a more flippant comment.

1. I tend not to speak in "certainties", especially in a live format. When I said, I think there might be some problems with healing for example, that means that is a much bigger deal that a lot of the other items on our agenda, but until I have a plan of action, I don't really want to say more than that. I don't like to create false expectations or have folks waiting for a change that might take us another month to solve.

Could you please speak more in a "dead" format like forum or blog post. Like you did in 2008?

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Richard Crawford wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

I just want to clear up a few things here because there seems to be a fair number of folks confused about some of my intent, while there are some trying to infer much deeper meaning from what might have been a more flippant comment.

1. I tend not to speak in "certainties", especially in a live format. When I said, I think there might be some problems with healing for example, that means that is a much bigger deal that a lot of the other items on our agenda, but until I have a plan of action, I don't really want to say more than that. I don't like to create false expectations or have folks waiting for a change that might take us another month to solve.

Could you please speak more in a "dead" format like forum or blog post. Like you did in 2008?

We are trying to get our message out in a variety of formats, trying different things with different audiences. I was on twitch on Friday, youtube over the weekend, and on our blog and forums today.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
2. The shield thing. Yup, I kinda flubbed that answer.

To be honest, from my point of view, the entire company have flubbed the whole shield topic.

As a completely new rule and something that should probably be in the vast majority of games (and in a game where a PC is built to use a shield, relevant in nearly every combat); this should be something that everyone involved in the design of the new edition understands.

From an outside perspective, given that the playtest rules have been available for what? 6 weeks now, and it was one of the first major questions asked and still doesn't have an answer; it looks like the rule went through so many iterations that no one on the design team has enough confidence in their understanding of the shield rules to say "here is how it works".

Could someone not have just said "we changed this a bunch up until the last minute, we need to sit down and confirm what we want the rules to say, it'll take us a few weeks to have a response"?

I mean, it doesn't help you when you say on stream something akin to 'certain questions are better asked on the forums where they can receive a better/more detailed answer' and my immediate thought is "that worked so well for the shield rules".

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

12 people marked this as a favorite.

Or.. you know.. I just have 5 different versions of just about every rule in the game floating around in my head and I spaced while on a live stream. It's a failure... sure, but let's not go so far as to call it a company failure. I'm sure our accountant will appreciate your understanding. :)

Seriously though, there are a lot of big issues moving their way through the teams behind the scenes and smaller issues like these might fall through the cracks. We will catch them in time, and we want to thank everyone for reminding us.

I get that these can seem very important, and to your experience, they can be critical. I want to get to answering as many as we can, but we just cant satisfy everyone simultaneously. In that, we appreciate your patience.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
It's a failure... sure, but let's not go so far as to call it a company failure.

I'm really glad that the team is listening to feedback from the forums and is willing to change the game. I can't speak for everyone, but for myself at least, I know that 75% of the changes I want to see in the Pathfinder 2.0 final version aren't going to happen. What I am confident in, however, is that the Paizo team is going to make the best updates to the most important rules so the final product will be solid and playable. I just wanted to say that I appreciate not only your efforts, and your willingness to change and evolve, but also how much you seem to read and reply to the forums. It definitely makes me feel like I'm not screaming into an empty void.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Or.. you know.. I just have 5 different versions of just about every rule in the game floating around in my head and I spaced while on a live stream. It's a failure... sure, but let's not go so far as to call it a company failure. I'm sure our accountant will appreciate your understanding. :)

Seriously though, there are a lot of big issues moving their way through the teams behind the scenes and smaller issues like these might fall through the cracks. We will catch them in time, and we want to thank everyone for reminding us.

I get that these can seem very important, and to your experience, they can be critical. I want to get to answering as many as we can, but we just cant satisfy everyone simultaneously. In that, we appreciate your patience.

s'why im trying not to be too hard on y'all (despite my disagreements on rulings and overall power scale) since this is what, month 2 of 12+?


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AndIMustMask wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Or.. you know.. I just have 5 different versions of just about every rule in the game floating around in my head and I spaced while on a live stream. It's a failure... sure, but let's not go so far as to call it a company failure. I'm sure our accountant will appreciate your understanding. :)

Seriously though, there are a lot of big issues moving their way through the teams behind the scenes and smaller issues like these might fall through the cracks. We will catch them in time, and we want to thank everyone for reminding us.

I get that these can seem very important, and to your experience, they can be critical. I want to get to answering as many as we can, but we just cant satisfy everyone simultaneously. In that, we appreciate your patience.

s'why im trying not to be too hard on y'all (despite my disagreements on rulings and overall power scale) since this is what, month 2 of 12+?

Yeah, I would like to see power scaled back...less harshly. Starfinder already nerfed PCs hard,and speaking as both a GM and a player, I'd rather not see the new edition continue farther down that road.


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ChibiNyan wrote:
This probably wouldnt happen with an important sword, but favoriting because I have had the exact same scenario come up with a potion before x.x

The sword scenario happened with an artifact mace in one of the APs I ran... =( They failed to identify it and used it anyway (it was a fun moment, since they were afraid that the weapon was cursed, but it created retroactive shenanigans once the effects triggered)

Corradh wrote:
(On a serious note, our GM has told us to jot down some piece of reference data for items we can't/don't want to identify at the moment)

Yeah, now I just give the room in which they found the items... But still, it doesn't help for non-consumables with automatic effects.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

I just want to clear up a few things here because there seems to be a fair number of folks confused about some of my intent, while there are some trying to infer much deeper meaning from what might have been a more flippant comment.

1. I tend not to speak in "certainties", especially in a live format. When I said, I think there might be some problems with healing for example, that means that is a much bigger deal that a lot of the other items on our agenda, but until I have a plan of action, I don't really want to say more than that. I don't like to create false expectations or have folks waiting for a change that might take us another month to solve.

2. The shield thing. Yup, I kinda flubbed that answer. We have gone back and forth on those rules over the past year and I hate looking up things in the middle of a stream (it really causes your viewer numbers to drop quick... because its boring to watch), so I hedged a bit. We are still looking at ways to patch up these rules and you can expect some clarity, at least, from us soon.

3. I think some folk really need to stop assuming their experience is every experience. The data we are getting is showing a real mixed bag based on a variety of factors. Feel free to talk about what you are experiencing. We want to hear that, but please don't infer that your experience is the universal one. You are most certainly not right on that front, and we are not going to engage with you on that.

I know most of you get these points. I trust all of you to continue to play and give us your honest, insightful opinions on the game. We are reading these forums fanatically and combing through deep survey data to identify problems and work up solutions to make this game as good as it can be.

Thanks for watching the stream. Now get out there and play!

Your response on Resonance was good, but the one on shields... :/ As some people said before, this has been one of the first issues raised on these forums, and it is still talked about to this day. We are near the half of Doomsday Dawn and we still are not sure how it works, while it is a vital element of gameplay (in my opinion, there's a high probability that every party has at least one shield wielder).

Maybe you should do those Q&A with another dev, so that they can help you remember at which iteration of the rules you are. Or have someone check the rules for hard questions while you answer other questions, putting the hard question "on hold". Or maybe, once the stream is finished, post a little "Q&A" thread where you write up the questions asked, and then write the answers once you had the time to think about them and do a bit of research with the rest of your team. This might help.

It would also probably help if there were more answers from the devs on the forum, so these questions would not come up during live Q&A. There are a bunch of questions in these forums which are stuck in a circle, and a simple "yes" or "no" answer, or an answer which need only one sentence, might be enough to answer it (I'm primarily thinking about shields and animal companions). No need for an essay on every response. And then, add the answer in the next update document. Or, if you are not sure how to word the answer in the rulebook, issue a Q&A document where you copy/paste the question and the answer, giving you time to think of a way to word it.

I know I'm not in your shoes, and you have a mountain of work to do. I don't know how your work goes, and I'm not pretending I can teach you how to do it. Maybe you have a bunch of reasons not to do what I suggested. But I hope what I said might be of help to you.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Given that we have crafting formulas now, it seems like characters should be able to identify items that they have the formula for. That would add a benefit to having a large formula library especially after you've graduated past certain items.

Also certain base properties like potency runes could just be known. So that +1 expert longsword is known because +1 expert longswords are common enough and you know what a +1 rune looks like.

This would alleviate a lot of the item identification issues, as you're much more likely to know how to craft the really common items.

And, despite the fact that we don't have nearly enough skill feats, Quick Identification should probably just be rolled into the various spell skills with 1 hr. being base at trained.

One thing I would add though is that we wasted a ton of time trying to identify things we didn't have the skill for. Between all the people in the party we had all the relevant skills, but everyone had to attempt to identify every item. So if we knew the branch of magic (e.g. primal), we could have done all the identification in 2 hours, instead it took about 8 since our characters would spend an hour identifying something only to be told that we didn't have the right skill. That's definitely something that could be cleaned up.


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Sure, it's "definitely not" a company failure that we still don't have a clear answer on shields. Sure you flubbed not knowing on the live stream, sure that's not the company's fault. But to have us still not knowing is the company's fault. Like you've went and had a meeting about shields and if they have hardness or not but didn't address how shields are used.

I got REALLY excited by the active play of shields, it seemed so cool and I REALLY wanted to test it out. How does this shield play work and feel? Does the shield paladin feel cooler compared to just using a normal shield? BUT I've stayed away from shields due to not knowing the rules. And it seems I'll be finished with the playtest never getting to try them out at this rate.


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Let me lead this off by saying that I do appreciate you making this topic, Almarane. I know lots of people don't have the time to watch videos, and appreciate you summing them up. I probably wouldn't have been aware of the video if you hadn't made the topic-- I don't really like livestreams and don't bother keeping up with them, but I don't mind listening to pre-recorded audio.

My call for folks to actually listen to the video wasn't meant to be an attack on you. I think it is entirely reasonable for some context to get lost when you are trying your best to transcribe stuff quickly. I take no issue with that. You are still doing the board a service by supplying the information at all.

The issue I have is part of a larger trend I've noticed on these boards with people not taking the time to look into something they have questions about. Instead, they make huge posts or topics complaining about it. This has been true for a couple of bits of info which have gotten jacked up by "telephoning" off the twitch stream. Then there are examples of people complaining about the game "lacking" something that they just hadn't actually seemed to notice yet. It has also been true for the absurd number of folks crying out "what is the goal of second edition/resonance/bulk/whatever." These are questions that have been answered already at length. Instead of demanding that they be answered again for you, maybe just put a little research in?

The takeaway is that our boards have become like facebook. People see a headline and don't click on the article or check its sources, and instead share it with a big angry post. It is toxic and miserable to scroll through. I've reached a point where I barely engage with it anymore, and instead just check the paizo people post listings of the devs and a few other posters I find reasonable. But I've noticed those folks are themselves posting less and less, probably because this place has gotten toxic and miserable.

This really bums me out because there's also some valuable conversation going on here that has the potential to make second edition the best game it can possibly be. Stuff about specific mechanics, actual play experience, which spells need tweaking, etc. But it is getting drowned out in a sea of noise.

Part of me thinks we might need a sticky topic FAQ to answer a lot of these reoccuring questions. Maybe I'll take a stab at it. Or maybe I won't; it is exhausting going through all this over and over again.

Anywho, all that is to say, I appreciate Almarane making the topic, and now I want to respond to specifics.

Almarane wrote:

[Well, most of the time my players identify items out of combat, so I don't count rounds (18 seconds is low enough). But they never try it in combat because of the 3 rounds for detect magic. So what's the point in making it 1 hour/10 minutes with a feat, if you can't already do it during combat (the only moment I think it would be too powerful) ?

Conversely, what's the point in making it take rounds if your party is already going to be stopping for 1 hour/1o minutes to repair equipment, heal wounds, or thoroughly search a room? I'm asking this question rhetorically, mind you. I can think of decent reasons on both sides of this issue.

Almarane wrote:
I find it more interesting to observe guard movement than to identify magic items. At least you can start making out plans with the guards' movement pattern and it make fun discussions around the table.

Sure, but unless your best longterm stealth is also your best person to identify magic items, both these things happen at once. It isn't just that you don't need your wizard tagging along with your rogue, you don't want it because the wizard has to roll stealth too and isn't as good at it. (At least, they won't be anymore thanks to various tweaks to how spells interact with skills.)

There have always been moments where only one character can effectively tackle a task and the others are twiddling their thumbs. Stealth scenarios, rolling survival to lead the party through the wilderness, etc. PF2 is pushing to encourage everyone in the party to have something to do in those times, and I rather like it. They are doing that through a combination of syncing up the time it takes to do various tasks, like repair an item or identify its magic, and things like exploration tactics where the tracker or trap finder isn't the only one who has input while the party is pushing forward.

Quote:
Last Saturday, I played a game where 3/4th of the adventure was exploration, with nice descriptions and a bunch of reflexion on how we couuld manage to continue our travel. It was pretty fun. But something that made puzzles fun was that it wasn't just throwing a dice and be done with it : our GM actually made a map for the puzzle and let us think about it, with only throwing dices when we had to do physicial prowess (like making a long jump). This is a problem I have with puzzles in PF1 : most of the time you just have to succeed on a check and the puzzle is done.

That sounds awesome! The problem is... you yourself admit it isn't really how pathfinder modules work. And there's probably good reason for that. Puzzles that rely purely on player input, as opposed to dice mechanics, strike me as notoriously hard to balance around. It is very hard to control for variations in how clever people are at dealing with different sorts of puzzles. It is like why we have Diplomacy scores: not every player is going to be eloquent and charismatic, but they may wish to play one as part of this fantasy game.

Coming up with puzzles that fall outside of dice mechanics is a really cool thing for a GM to do, tailored to their specific group of players. It doesn't work as well for an AP writer. The Pathfinder rules are always going to first and foremost be used to tell Pathfinder style stories and Pathfinder style adventures. I think using those sorts of games as the basis for what the rules optimize is a fair decision, especially since many people think those APs and modules are what actually makes Paizo worth giving money to over systems/companies.

If you want to houserule specific pacing issues for a homegame, that is more than reasonable. But I'm not sure the core rules can reflect that.

Lost Star spoiler:
IMO, this is more of an issue with static dungeons. Lost Star assumes the party can rest between battles for example, and Drakus doesn't just leave if he pokes his head out and finds all his servants murdered. This is a problem in adventure design in general, but the playtest adventure isn't a great place to deconstruct it because it is mostly supposed to stay on the rails.

In your specific example, I'll note two things. One, the party stopping to ID things after they trigger an alarm was a dumb decision unless they took precautions to fortify their position. You'd be in your rights to have enemies come after them. BUT! Two, those specific goblins had a good reason to hold their position: they had a trap to use. Goblins are also notoritous for being willing to hide in places for a long time-- it is one of 10 things everyone knows about goblins, in fact.

As for potion labels, yeah, it should be in the language of whoever had it. Which itself is an interesting wrinkle if the players happen to speak that language.


SuperSheep wrote:

Given that we have crafting formulas now, it seems like characters should be able to identify items that they have the formula for. That would add a benefit to having a large formula library especially after you've graduated past certain items.

Also certain base properties like potency runes could just be known. So that +1 expert longsword is known because +1 expert longswords are common enough and you know what a +1 rune looks like.

This would alleviate a lot of the item identification issues, as you're much more likely to know how to craft the really common items.

And, despite the fact that we don't have nearly enough skill feats, Quick Identification should probably just be rolled into the various spell skills with 1 hr. being base at trained.

One thing I would add though is that we wasted a ton of time trying to identify things we didn't have the skill for. Between all the people in the party we had all the relevant skills, but everyone had to attempt to identify every item. So if we knew the branch of magic (e.g. primal), we could have done all the identification in 2 hours, instead it took about 8 since our characters would spend an hour identifying something only to be told that we didn't have the right skill. That's definitely something that could be cleaned up.

In general, I've had a lot of issues figuring out the appropriate skills to identify various items and the DCs to do so, which is frustrating. But feels rather separate from the in game time spent. I assume that you just tell the players what skill they should roll. I don't think recall the identification process goes "Oh, here I will spend an hour using occult tools. Oh, that didn't work, so I will spend an hour using arcane tools." It is "Here is an item, I spend an hour trying everything I can think of to identify it." I guess that COULD run into issues if you don't have all the skills represented, but I kind of think if you aren't trained you probably know something is beyond you at a glance too.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Or.. you know.. I just have 5 different versions of just about every rule in the game floating around in my head and I spaced while on a live stream. It's a failure... sure, but let's not go so far as to call it a company failure. I'm sure our accountant will appreciate your understanding. :)

To paraphrase something David Noonan said years ago about rules and designers:

"Contrary to what you would expect, designers are not the best people to ask about official rules questions, because designers carry at least three versions of the rules in their heads: The official rule, the rules from a year ago, and the Rules That Should Not Be..."


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Almarane wrote:
The sword scenario happened with an artifact mace in one of the APs I ran... =( They failed to identify it and used it anyway (it was a fun moment, since they were afraid that the weapon was cursed, but it created retroactive shenanigans once the effects triggered)

On my character sheet from the D&D5 game I'm playing in now, I have

Crystal Whistle (Gotten from that place with all the elf mummies)
Scroll in bone tube (Written in unknown language, gotten from room with crying kobold in it)
Dagger with s-shaped rune on it (found with troll mummy locked in crypt)

...and I'm hoping the DM has good notes on all these. :)

But I agree, GMs keeping secrets, and keeping them coherent, has been an age-old difficulty, with no answer besides the DM keeping good notes.


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Hmm, I get your point. And don't worry, I have no beef against you :) I do admit I felt a bit attacked, but I think it was mostly due to fatigue, both from the playtest and IRL. You did not mean harm : that's enough for me :) Sorry for misreading your intentions.

I agree with you that these forums are becomming more and more toxic. People I actually looked at as examples during the previews seem like completely different now. I think everyone's nerves are on edge right now due to multiple factors. Now I find it exhausting to read those forums, and I'm not even part of the dev team.

Now, for your answers :

1) You are making a point. The only thing I would say is that this does not give me the same impression... but it is pretty subjective, and my problem is greatly due to having been used to it in PF1 and the fact that PF2 is supposed to be a sequel to PF1.

2) I... did not think about it. Usually, when someone does something other than searching a room or identifying items, we tend to play it like "nobody else does anything". It's easier this way. But we never thought about letting the wizard ID an item while the rogue spy on the guards. I think this is because we are used to ID'ing being nearly instantaneous, and because we all are focused on "intense" scenes.

Also, even like that, ID'ing an item takes way more time than most other activities. Healing takes one round, maybe four or five more if you really need to. Searching a room would take you 10 minutes top. Instances of activities taking 1+ hour, such as spying guards, do not come up that often compared to finding a magic item.

3) Yeah... That's the major problem I have with most official modules :/ Don't misunderstand me, they are pretty fine, and most I played were interesting and fun to play. But I guess the traditionnal D&D/Pathfinder adventure can feel kinda... old sometimes ? They tend to be pretty static, with little indications telling you what to do if things don't go the way the scenario wanted it to. I guess experienced GM can easily change things and monsters' reactions on the fly, but when I started GMing, I was afraid of breaking the game balance if I chose to not follow the scenario's directives.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ENHenry wrote:
Almarane wrote:
The sword scenario happened with an artifact mace in one of the APs I ran... =( They failed to identify it and used it anyway (it was a fun moment, since they were afraid that the weapon was cursed, but it created retroactive shenanigans once the effects triggered)

On my character sheet from the D&D5 game I'm playing in now, I have

Crystal Whistle (Gotten from that place with all the elf mummies)
Scroll in bone tube (Written in unknown language, gotten from room with crying kobold in it)
Dagger with s-shaped rune on it (found with troll mummy locked in crypt)

...and I'm hoping the DM has good notes on all these. :)

But I agree, GMs keeping secrets, and keeping them coherent, has been an age-old difficulty, with no answer besides the DM keeping good notes.

Personally, I think magic item identification should be part of the wizards identity. If anyone would recognize an item quickly, its the wizard based on all his bookwork. I think wizards feel pretty generic in PF2. If the cleric is the healer, the fighter is the meat shield, and the rogue is about mobility and skills, why not let the wizard do quick identification on magic items? It gives them something unique compared to other casters and it's a way to retain the current idea that magic items take longer to identify as well as an option that provides quick identification.


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Almarane wrote:

Hmm, I get your point. And don't worry, I have no beef against you :) I do admit I felt a bit attacked, but I think it was mostly due to fatigue, both from the playtest and IRL. You did not mean harm : that's enough for me :) Sorry for misreading your intentions.

I agree with you that these forums are becomming more and more toxic. People I actually looked at as examples during the previews seem like completely different now. I think everyone's nerves are on edge right now due to multiple factors. Now I find it exhausting to read those forums, and I'm not even part of the dev team.

Now, for your answers :

1) You are making a point. The only thing I would say is that this does not give me the same impression... but it is pretty subjective, and my problem is greatly due to having been used to it in PF1 and the fact that PF2 is supposed to be a sequel to PF1.

2) I... did not think about it. Usually, when someone does something other than searching a room or identifying items, we tend to play it like "nobody else does anything". It's easier this way. But we never thought about letting the wizard ID an item while the rogue spy on the guards. I think this is because we are used to ID'ing being nearly instantaneous, and because we all are focused on "intense" scenes.

Also, even like that, ID'ing an item takes way more time than most other activities. Healing takes one round, maybe four or five more if you really need to. Searching a room would take you 10 minutes top. Instances of activities taking 1+ hour, such as spying guards, do not come up that often compared to finding a magic item.

3) Yeah... That's the major problem I have with most official modules :/ Don't misunderstand me, they are pretty fine, and most I played were interesting and fun to play. But I guess the traditionnal D&D/Pathfinder adventure can feel kinda... old sometimes ? They tend to be pretty static, with little indications telling you what to do if things don't go the way the scenario wanted it to. I guess experienced GM can...

Cool cool cool, glad to have clarified that. :) Now specifics:

1) Someone in this thread or another like it pointed out that lots of us feel entitled to instant gratification from items because that was how PF1 did it, and that genie may be hard to get back in the bottle. Which I think is fair. As I said, there are pros and cons to both approaches.

2) Yeah, I think one of the big focuses is having the less "intense" scenes still be interesting and have mechanical guidance. That is why exploration mode and downtime mode are things. And I agree that taking ID'ing items takes longer than lots of stuff. But not everything. Natural Healer takes 10 minutes and probably requires multiple attempts. Even if you don't have shields, there are monsters that can dent your armor. You rest 20 minutes from 10 minutes of a fatiguing exploration tactic. Searching a room might take vastly more than 10 minutes if it is in disarray, choked with rubble, or otherwise full of spots for an item to hide.

Personally, I am lobbying for them leaning further into giving everyone something to do. My current proposal is a "treat deadly wounds" medicine skill use that restores hit points and doesn't bolster the target. If you can spend an hour to patch up people between fights, you can conserve spells and resonance for when you really need it in the moment, but your party is now counting the hours in the day instead of the spell slots they burn through.

3) I can dig that. There are some APs out there that push the enveleope much more, and even Rise of the Runelords has dungeons that go on alert and the enemies come after players. It's just Lost Star... Is not that. It is very much built to be a straightforward intro to PF2 without those complications. Even Part 2 of the playtest actually has a "ticking clock" that means PCs will have to carefully weigh if they can stop and rest or spend an hour doing whatever.

Edit: As to your concerns about breaking the game, I'm hoping PF2 is easier to tweak to for personal preference. Unified mechanics and progression, fewer bonus types, and things like the DC by level table should -- in theory-- make it easier to hack the game and change one thing without having it snowball into a bunch of other things. The game engine just feels more transparent to me, IMO. Time will tell with that, of course.


Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
SuperSheep wrote:
... snip ...
In general, I've had a lot of issues figuring out the appropriate skills to identify various items and the DCs to do so, which is frustrating. But feels rather separate from the in game time spent. I assume that you just tell the players what skill they should roll. I don't think recall the identification process goes "Oh, here I will spend an hour using occult tools. Oh, that didn't work, so I will spend an hour using arcane tools." It is "Here is an item, I spend an hour trying everything I can think of to identify it." I guess that COULD run into issues if you don't have all the skills represented, but I kind of think if you aren't trained you probably know something is beyond you at a glance too.

That wasn't how our group played it. So we had each player with exactly one applicable skill. Bard with Occult, Sorcerer with Primal, etc.

So I would take an item and try to identify it taking an hour. The GM would ask what skills I had and I replied and would then inform me that I didn't have the right skill and so I would pass it on to the next person.

We could have played it where you know at a glance that it's not your thing, but that's definitely not RAW (maybe it is RAI).

So identifying 4 things happened to take 4 hours. If we had distributed it better initially it might have only taken 1 or 2. As I said, it's something that could be cleaned up.


I hear the "everyone has to do something in the downtime argument", but what I actually wonder is -why? There is one GM. Things are handled one after the other anyway. What is the benefit of being able to say "We have one hour rest, now everybody declare what they do?"
And just like Exploration mode, the cases where a significant number of People have something meanigful to do is minimal anyway. I mean what are the chances that you have someone to heal, something to repair, something to search and something to identify at the same time? And that is not taking into account that there will probably be quite some overlap, as in the guy that does the healing Needs to do the identifying as well, etc.

All this "Adventuring Maintenance" stuff is really not something I need in the middle of my dungeon crawl, yet the System currently forces us to do so. So on top of getting home to get healed after three encounters, I now also have to do shield maintenance/Magic ID breaks in between each encounter.

Silver Crusade

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Almarane wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
Almarane wrote:

@Hurka : Sure, I agree. But I'd still keep the "mystery" around artifacts or special items, so that the mystery doesn't feel old after a while. I don't see the intereset of failing ID attempts on healing potions and Elven capes.

Another problem that I haven't seen pointed out : with items not being ID'ed, the GM needs to keep track of who has which item. Here are two examples (the second one really happened in my PF1 games) of this issue :

Scenario 1 wrote:

PC : I drink my potion.

GM : Okay. What does it do ?
PC : I don't know. Tell me. I did not ID it.
GM : Uh, okay... Where did you find it ?
PC : Uh... I dunno... I think it was on the werewolf chief...
GM : Let me check it out in my notes... *searches through notes for several minutes* Uh, that's weird, he did not have a potion.
PC : Hmm... Maybe the merefolk from one scenario earlier ?
Scenario 2 wrote:

*After several rounds of combat...*

PC : I attack the dragon !
*rolls rolls*
PC : I deal it 5 damages !
GM : Okay ! Hum... *thinks about how to narrate the dragon's death* What weapon are you using currently ?
PC : The sword the old man gave us.
GM : ... Wait. The one with a dragon on its hilt ?
PC : Yeah, why ?
GM : Uuuh... That's a dragon bane sword. The dragon should be dead five turns ago !!!
PC2 : *holding his dead character's sheat in his hand* You mean I shouldn't have taken the damages from its fire breath last turn !?
GM : ... :S
I already have problems remembering which PC uses which type of weapon...
That's something the player should keep track of.

But the point is : they can't keep track of this. They don't know what the item does.

It's like asking you what I have in my pocket while you never saw what's inside.

Let your players know things their characters don't know. Then *gently* remind them that their character is surprised by how effective the sword is against that dragon.


DerNils wrote:

I hear the "everyone has to do something in the downtime argument", but what I actually wonder is -why? There is one GM. Things are handled one after the other anyway. What is the benefit of being able to say "We have one hour rest, now everybody declare what they do?"

Because it makes people feel good if they have something productive they can do with that time. I've seen a lot of fighter and fighter types get antsy when their character has nothing to contribute while the scouts are scouting and mages craft and such. I've had players sort of desperately scramble for things to do, like "can I roll Profession Soldier to roll up battle plans," or otherwise try and drill combat maneuvers for flavor's sake with no mechanical impact. Even if they are handled sequentially at the table and the players have to take turns twiddling their thumbs, the idea that the characters are busy and engaged is a appealing to a lot of people.

Quote:
And just like Exploration mode, the cases where a significant number of People have something meanigful to do is minimal anyway.

Which is why I'm advocating for more people to get stuff like this. We have seen some moves in that direction, since Superstitious Barbarians can now heal themselves once per hour for example.

Quote:
I mean what are the chances that you have someone to heal, something to repair, something to search and something to identify at the same time?

Pretty good actually-- if you have a shield and it was dented than by definition you yourself took damage, and any fight that damaged a shield probably hurt someone else too. And those challenging fights are also the ones that tend to have some loot as a nice little reward after.

Quote:

And that is not taking into account that there will probably be quite some overlap, as in the guy that does the healing Needs to do the identifying as well, etc.[/qoute]

I'd say there are lower odds of that than you'd think, considering Craft {Alchemy) and Arcana seem to be the primary ID'ing skills and run off INT, where as Medicine and Nature run off WIS. And you can't get that many skills raised above trained... If your group makes even a token effort towards building a balanced party it should be pretty trivial to avoid this.

Quote:
All this "Adventuring Maintenance" stuff is really not something I need in the middle of my dungeon crawl, yet the System currently forces us to do so. So on top of getting home to get healed after three encounters, I now also have to do shield maintenance/Magic ID breaks in between each encounter.

You already took magic ID breaks that took exactly as long IRL as they will now-- one roll. And you aren't being forced to do any of that. You can opt to simply push forward as quickly as possible and ID/repair later. And if you do this in dungeons, you will probably wind up with a literal 15 minute adventure day because even if you fight a dozen battles it won't take a dozen minutes, and then you'll need to stop for the day anyway because you are out of spells and such. At which point, you still have hours and hours left in the day before the cleric can get their spells back and you might as well use them to ID/repair/whatever.


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

I was the one who asked about the one-hour identification time in the stream. Almarane has already expressed a lot of the concerns that I've had, but to clarify why I was asking:

My assumption, when players are picking up healing items along the way, is that they're supposed to be able to use them to heal and keep going. If the task is urgent and they don't want to stop to figure out what those potions are, or if they try to do so and fail the checks, then they're just carrying around mysterious magical vials of liquid. As the GM I then have to keep track of what all they picked up where, so if they eventually do ID them, I can go back into my notes and let them know what they were. In the meantime, I'm watching them get beat up and approach death, all while carrying healing potions that they don't know about. Then they either have to stop everything to plop down for a few hours and identify their potions, or they have to go back to town to rest. Either way the momentum of the adventure has ground to a halt.

I might just need to adjust that assumption, if this is the way it will be. The potion you just looted is not for you to use, it's for you to use tomorrow, after you've studied it. I could live with that.

I'm actually a fan, in theory, of the idea that identifying magic is more difficult. It makes items feel more mysterious and special. I had one of my players identify the necromantic aura of a potion, and then another character took and drank it, hoping/gambling that it was a potion of the healing variety. That time, it was memorable and fun.

But in all the playtest streams I've watched (Paizo developers, Glass Cannon, Know Direction), nobody has used this rule. Everyone just gives the players the loot, and says 'Oh, you found two potions of minor healing'. If this rule is going to stick around, I'd like to see an example of someone using it to make the game experience more enjoyable. Otherwise it just seems like something I'd handwave away. Or else make all my NPCs label their potions, as others proposed above.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The issue for me is limited in scope. Having to spend an hour identifying the 100th potion of healing is both immersion breaking and boring. Very common items shouldn't take as long as uncommon and rare items.

How many variations are there on healing potions? At some point you're going to just kind of know what one looks like even in a world without mass production.

The other idea is that you should just auto-identify things that you know how to craft.

I do like the mystery of a potion when the answer is going to be something uncommon, but healing potions are like daily rations. They're just there to be consumed and tracked.


SuperSheep wrote:

The issue for me is limited in scope. Having to spend an hour identifying the 100th potion of healing is both immersion breaking and boring. Very common items shouldn't take as long as uncommon and rare items.

How many variations are there on healing potions? At some point you're going to just kind of know what one looks like even in a world without mass production.

The other idea is that you should just auto-identify things that you know how to craft.

I do like the mystery of a potion when the answer is going to be something uncommon, but healing potions are like daily rations. They're just there to be consumed and tracked.

Yeah, I can agree with all that. I think healing potions are probably either labeled or easy enough to recognize. It might be neat if you didn't know exactly how strong THIS healing potion is, and you had to gamble if it was a lesser elixir of life or a greater elixir of life. But that would be pain in the butt to track in the inventory.

In my PF1 games, if they find multiple potions of the same type in the same hoard, I just make the players roll one check to identify them all for reasoning similar to what you outline.


Captain Morgan wrote:
SuperSheep wrote:

The issue for me is limited in scope. Having to spend an hour identifying the 100th potion of healing is both immersion breaking and boring. Very common items shouldn't take as long as uncommon and rare items.

How many variations are there on healing potions? At some point you're going to just kind of know what one looks like even in a world without mass production.

The other idea is that you should just auto-identify things that you know how to craft.

I do like the mystery of a potion when the answer is going to be something uncommon, but healing potions are like daily rations. They're just there to be consumed and tracked.

Yeah, I can agree with all that. I think healing potions are probably either labeled or easy enough to recognize. It might be neat if you didn't know exactly how strong THIS healing potion is, and you had to gamble if it was a lesser elixir of life or a greater elixir of life. But that would be pain in the butt to track in the inventory.

In my PF1 games, if they find multiple potions of the same type in the same hoard, I just make the players roll one check to identify them all for reasoning similar to what you outline.

I believe a CLW potion was described as orange-colored liquid in the Beginner Box. I've since always used that description for the liquid and players have eventually figured it out.

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