Resonance: Designing it to be rewarding (The carrot, not the stick)


Magic Items

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Dataphiles

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I was just reading through the Q&A that Jason B. was holding regarding some upcoming changes and the state of the game. In this Q&A, he discussed how Resonance was being seen as a form of punitive enforcement (a stick) as compared to something that would be more positive feedback (a carrot).

The short of this post is the following: what if resonance was used to heighten uses of consumables, which are always able to be used in a pinch but need something else to boost their performance.

I like resonance, and I wholeheartedly believe it should stay as a fundamental part of PF2e, but I recognize that changing resonance could allow it to be really cool!

Imagine healing potions being closer to the strength of elixirs, but they don't require Resonance to activate. Resonance is instead used to boost the performance of the potion.

Here is an example:
Minor potion of healing:
1d6 healing
Heightened (1 Resonance) +1d8 healing

Better items could offer a better heightened effect with use of Resonance, and it could lead to an incentive to buy higher level items. The non-heightened healing could scale slower than the hightened healing. I believe that Resonance could still be overspent, but now there is always something that you can get from a potion even if you can't invest into it (even if the amount is small). Also, the concept of heightening is already in the game in the form of spells, so it wouldn't be a radical departure within the system.

Additionally, I imagine that with this system there could be some interplay with the alchemist to make it stronger. I think that when the alchemist makes a certain amount of items during prep each day, they could invest Resonance into the batch as a force multiplier; this investment would boost all the items created, and not require other members to use resonance to heighten the item when they use it.

In total, the purpose of this boils down to never being left without a usable potion, but more importantly it allows resonance to be seen as a shot of magic into your body that is extra effective. Imagine during an intense fight you go to quaff a potion, announce you're going to invest resonance into it, and reach into your bag to grab some extra dice to roll high. I think a shift towards making resonance really cool could make the game even more awesome!


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This carrot not stick stuff is fine for consumables but I prefer the current implementation of resonance for permanent magic items (functioning like attunement in 5e but, clearly, allowing way more "attuned" or, as PF2 calls it, "invested" items).

Dataphiles

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Data Lore wrote:
This carrot not stick stuff is fine for consumables but I prefer the current implementation of resonance for permanent magic items (functioning like attunement in 5e but, clearly, allowing way more "attuned" or, as PF2 calls it, "invested" items).

I fully believe the invested nature of Resonance should be left as is. This thread was merely a suggestion that could address people's concerns about Resonance and consumables.


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Avalon Reln wrote:

Minor potion of healing:

1d6 healing
Heightened (1 Resonance) +1d8 healing

Half the point of Resonance was avoiding the situation where characters could eventually afford to heal any amount of damage by buying the cheapest healing items in bulk. An item like this opens up the possibility that the optimal choice for high-level PCs is to drink fifty minor potions of healing after every battle.


The OP's example could have been better.

The example Buhlman used was like 1d4 base and 1d4 more with a Resonance point (which is what a minor potion would be). This leads me to believe the idea is to have consumables work at like half current power without Resonance.

This way you are still incentivizing the use of the higher level stuff but you can also still use an item when you are in a bind and have no more resonance.

As to your 50 potion example, its a fair point. I think I as a DM would make them do an Irresistable PeePee Dance 2 rounds into every encounter (costing them an action every round thereafter) until they took a long rest or something. But, ya, it can get silly.

Personally I dont mind the current implementation. It works.

Dataphiles

I understand that my initial example could have been better, but the core idea is that you could have potions that scale very slowly when not Heightened, and have their scaled versions be in line with what they are now or even a little better.

Personally, I like Resonance how it is, but that doesn't mean that everybody enjoys it. If they don't change a thing about it when it goes to the final release I will not be upset. I am merely trying to think of creative ways to make Resonance appeal to a wider group of people.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

First: I like the idea. I have even suggested this very thing myself before. I am in favor of any game mechanic that works by influencing desired behavior by acknowledging and adjusting the incentives those behaviors are based on.

That being said, however, this is not a catch-all solution. If the pricing structure of consumables still gets exponentially worse as your options supposedly get "better" you're still going to run into the problem we have now. Which is that people will figure out the optimum combination of money/resonance, discover that that optimum combination is among the lowest-level items which has a pittance of usefulness at higher levels, and then run into the resonance ceiling all over again. They won't run into it as hard, because you can still at least use the consumables without the resonance - so nobody has to die even though they were prepared with backup potions simply because they used too many magic items today, and that's a very good thing.

But, and to continue to harp on healing, you'll still see many players choosing to buy the optimum, lower-level combination, only using others if they find them for free. Because many people base their purchasing decisions around value, even with fantasy money that doesn't exist.


I wonder if we couldn't make resonance work via increasing the die size of the healing item, and also turning each d8 into a 2d4. So a basic healing potion would heal 2d4+4 while a heightened (via resonance) one would heal 2d6+4. Might also want to change the scalar (multiply it?) for the heightened version.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

A concession: If (and only if) spending resonance to empower a potion brings that potion's healing range up to the point where the value of the healing (in terms of HP/GP) is at least consistent across the level of items, then this will be an effective solution to the problem of exponential value drop-off.

I realize that I'm totally fine with a higher-level healing potion being a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad value unless you spend resonance on it. Because there's at least a possibility of getting your money's worth, I think people would suddenly be willing to pay for it, instead of reluctant. And with only so many times you can get your money's worth in a day, that also incentivises having other healing options at your disposal (whether those are healers, rituals, whatever).

Solution synergy.

Dataphiles

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Leedwashere wrote:

A concession: If (and only if) spending resonance to empower a potion brings that potion's healing range up to the point where the value of the healing (in terms of HP/GP) is at least consistent across the level of items, then this will be an effective solution to the problem of exponential value drop-off.

I realize that I'm totally fine with a higher-level healing potion being a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad value unless you spend resonance on it. Because there's at least a possibility of getting your money's worth, I think people would suddenly be willing to pay for it, instead of reluctant. And with only so many times you can get your money's worth in a day, that also incentivises having other healing options at your disposal (whether those are healers, rituals, whatever).

Solution synergy.

To get a *little* bit math-y, there will always be some cost/benefit line (as you had described) that will separate items that are "worth" the money or not. I have no doubt in my mind that Paizo has some internal work done around looking at where consumable items fall. With this suggested change, you could have consumables fall below this ideal cost/benefit line normally, but have their heightened values fall above it.

This makes me think that it could be the best of both worlds--you don't leave people without means of healing, but it is in your best interest (optimizing-wise) to heighten it with Resonance. This gives the player agency to tailor the consumables to the situation, but encourage them to "spend upwards" using Resonance for maximum effect.

I believe that it is also worth mentioning that this change could add a lot of relevance and power to the Alchemist. Having the ability to pre-heighten potions could make an alchemist a party-bag healer that hands out useful potions at the start of the day. These potions could still have the infused effect, and therefor only be good for one day at a time, but I think that it could make the alchemist feel like they are really doing something useful. Even just being able to Infuse and Heighten potions at a better rate (2 per Resonance during daily prep), this change could very easily expand the number of viable ways to heal a party without resorting to needed a dedicated healer.


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Avalon Reln wrote:
To get a *little* bit math-y, there will always be some cost/benefit line (as you had described) that will separate items that are "worth" the money or not. I have no doubt in my mind that Paizo has some internal work done around looking at where consumable items fall. With this suggested change, you could have consumables fall below this ideal cost/benefit line normally, but have their heightened values fall above it.

I'm not convinced that's possible to calculate meaningfully, given the way wealth goes up exponentially in the average campaign. Anything you can afford at level 1 becomes trivially cheap at level 20.

And on the other side of the equation, the value of healing is proportional to the urgency of the situation. If you can afford to go home and rest without consequences, healing is entirely optional. In other circumstances, it's the only thing that can keep you alive.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Matthew Downie wrote:
Avalon Reln wrote:
To get a *little* bit math-y, there will always be some cost/benefit line (as you had described) that will separate items that are "worth" the money or not. I have no doubt in my mind that Paizo has some internal work done around looking at where consumable items fall. With this suggested change, you could have consumables fall below this ideal cost/benefit line normally, but have their heightened values fall above it.

I'm not convinced that's possible to calculate meaningfully, given the way wealth goes up exponentially in the average campaign. Anything you can afford at level 1 becomes trivially cheap at level 20.

And on the other side of the equation, the value of healing is proportional to the urgency of the situation. If you can afford to go home and rest without consequences, healing is entirely optional. In other circumstances, it's the only thing that can keep you alive.

You don't have to make it relevant across all player levels. You only have to make it relevant for its own (item) level, as a function of the others.

In the other thread I posted what those numbers would have to be to make that happen. It's not a hard calculation. It can be tweaked to be more or less generous (I decided to go with nice, round numbers past level 1), but as soon as the higher-level items become worse than the lower-level items in value, your incentive to buy them becomes an incentive not to buy them. (You don't want to die, so you still have an incentive you use them if you find them, but you're literally throwing your money away if you buy it.)

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Leedwashere wrote:

You don't have to make it relevant across all player levels. You only have to make it relevant for its own (item) level, as a function of the others.

In the other thread I posted what those numbers would have to be to make that happen. It's not a hard calculation. It can be tweaked to be more or less generous (I decided to go with nice, round numbers past level 1), but as soon as the higher-level items become worse than the lower-level items in value, your incentive to buy them becomes an incentive not to buy them. (You don't want to die, so you still have an incentive you use them if you find them, but you're literally throwing your money away if you buy it.)

Except that when you lower the price of the higher level items to the price of the lower level items you haven't stopped the problem you've just packaged it in a higher level purchase.

The problem not be addressed is that if healing is going to remain remotely expensive (e.g. Making healing between fights a decision & not just a "Obviously we use all the consumables") you need to be able to set a price on healing which is actually relevant to the players. Health and gold scale at very different rates. Any price you can put on healing for a level 1 character will either be pocket-change to a level 10 character or completely unaffordable for the level 1 unless there's some other cost outside gold. Lowering the price of high level consumables to the same cost per HP or even lower just makes the price of healing even more inconsequential at high levels.

The idea of using resonance as a buff on the heal really doesn't seem to work to me, as if we maintain the current rough economic pricing the second highest potion (lvl 12) charges 4.8g per HP on average. Which is to say the designers while writing felt that was a fair price to keep healing a relevant expense at that level. To lower that to the non-resonance d4 option it has to be lowered to 1.2g per HP which is 1/4 the price... or 1/8th if half it's healing is tied to resonance too. That's very rapidly becoming pocket-change. If a regular healing potion healed even 1 HP without resonance, which would make it uselessly expensive without resonance for a level 1, it'd still be the cheaper option for a level 12 character.

Now you might not consider that a problem - the question of "Is X problematic?" is a lot more subjective than "Does this design prevent X?". If people want cost of healing by consumable to only be a concern for low level characters then the whole point is moot, but if you agree that aspect of the design goals of the original resonance system is a desirable goal then these don't achieve it.


Hmm I think it should be more subtler.

So lets take a flame tongue once pr day it can shoot a scorching ray. So why not have resonance allow you to use the scorching ray more times.

Two ways I could see this working igther most magic items including wands would have a once per day use then with resonance you could use it more.

or
Remove all limited use on items (except for like big ones like rings of wishing) and have everything be fed by resonance very similar to how it is now.


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Any version of "stick" resonance is a deal-killer for at least a couple of the folks in my regular gaming group. Everyone is fine with "carrot" resonance. And just to be clear, "without resonance this item is half as effective" is considered a stick - a stick that's been painted orange, but still a stick.


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Here's the thing.

If you want to follow healing per gold guidelines, then Lesser Potions should heal 1 hp, and True potions should heal 4d8+5 if used without resonance.
With resonance, you get the old values, which ends up making Resonance a little more effective on lower level consumables with individual rules (over x4 vs about x3). However, it creates the issue of lower level items being pretty much useless without Resonance to power them, which feels awful.

Not sure how you can turn Resonance into a carrot right now.


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Personally, I think Resonance should just leave consumables (especially alchemical ones) alone. I like it as a replacement for item slots and charges/uses per day. I don't want complicated power up rules for consumables.

As for healing - I don't think Resonance should be a control factor at all but then I'm in the please add one hour healing rituals camp.

Let Resonance solve the two problems it does intuitively and stop trying to make it prevent consumable item spam. Instead, give players better options than consumable item spam (though the alchemist should essentially be item spam the class so...).


Matthew Downie wrote:
Avalon Reln wrote:

Minor potion of healing:

1d6 healing
Heightened (1 Resonance) +1d8 healing
Half the point of Resonance was avoiding the situation where characters could eventually afford to heal any amount of damage by buying the cheapest healing items in bulk. An item like this opens up the possibility that the optimal choice for high-level PCs is to drink fifty minor potions of healing after every battle.

As Leedwashere has mentioned, the solution for this is to have higher-level healing items be equal if not more efficient from a HP/GP perspective, in addition to being easier to carry (50 potions is what, 5 bulk?) and far faster to use.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Tim Schneider 908 wrote:
Leedwashere wrote:

You don't have to make it relevant across all player levels. You only have to make it relevant for its own (item) level, as a function of the others.

In the other thread I posted what those numbers would have to be to make that happen. It's not a hard calculation. It can be tweaked to be more or less generous (I decided to go with nice, round numbers past level 1), but as soon as the higher-level items become worse than the lower-level items in value, your incentive to buy them becomes an incentive not to buy them. (You don't want to die, so you still have an incentive you use them if you find them, but you're literally throwing your money away if you buy it.)

Except that when you lower the price of the higher level items to the price of the lower level items you haven't stopped the problem you've just packaged it in a higher level purchase.

The problem not be addressed is that if healing is going to remain remotely expensive (e.g. Making healing between fights a decision & not just a "Obviously we use all the consumables") you need to be able to set a price on healing which is actually relevant to the players. Health and gold scale at very different rates. Any price you can put on healing for a level 1 character will either be pocket-change to a level 10 character or completely unaffordable for the level 1 unless there's some other cost outside gold. Lowering the price of high level consumables to the same cost per HP or even lower just makes the price of healing even more inconsequential at high levels.

The idea of using resonance as a buff on the heal really doesn't seem to work to me, as if we maintain the current rough economic pricing the second highest potion (lvl 12) charges 4.8g per HP on average. Which is to say the designers while writing felt that was a fair price to keep healing a relevant expense at that level. To lower that to the non-resonance d4 option it has to be lowered to 1.2g per HP which is 1/4 the price... or 1/8th...

Take a look through my analysis In This Thread

I explain that my first instinct was to fix the prices, but that ran into exactly the problem you're suggesting. So the only viable alternative is to fix the healing itself.

More recently I've looked at some other proposed solutions in that thread, and found them wanting. I encourage you to look over the math comparisons, because that's the best way to see what the problem is.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Ediwir wrote:

Here's the thing.

If you want to follow healing per gold guidelines, then Lesser Potions should heal 1 hp, and True potions should heal 4d8+5 if used without resonance.
With resonance, you get the old values, which ends up making Resonance a little more effective on lower level consumables with individual rules (over x4 vs about x3). However, it creates the issue of lower level items being pretty much useless without Resonance to power them, which feels awful.

Not sure how you can turn Resonance into a carrot right now.

The problem is that the healing guidelines are not just wrong, but hilariously wrong. Having potions "bump up" to the existing values just makes them even worse.

If you want to turn resonance into a carrot, you keep the existing potion prices and effects as the baseline, then use resonance to bump up to the fixed numbers I describe in the first post of This Thread


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I think the biggest issue is that "healing" is perhaps the least satisfying thing to spend one's hard-earned gold on. People liked CLW wands primarily because "spending money on healing" is not satisfying and that was the best way to spend as little as possible.

People are not going to be satisfied in the cases "there is not enough healing" or "there is enough healing but it is rather expensive." As long as "convert GP to HP" is an option people are just going to want to get that conversion to be as efficient as possible.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I think the biggest issue is that "healing" is perhaps the least satisfying thing to spend one's hard-earned gold on. People liked CLW wands primarily because "spending money on healing" is not satisfying and that was the best way to spend as little as possible.

People are not going to be satisfied in the cases "there is not enough healing" or "there is enough healing but it is rather expensive." As long as "convert GP to HP" is an option people are just going to want to get that conversion to be as efficient as possible.

Indeed, although you can generalize this to all magic items with a price tag. Each and every one is a conversion of GP to [effect]. Some of those (GP -> Damage for weapons or buffing potions) are definitely more exciting than others.

The issue with most of those other exchanges is that they're harder to quantify than GP -> HP. One of the consequences of the tighter math is that you can better quantify how much each +1 to attack or damage or saves or skills is actually worth, to better peg the prices.

But unlike all of those others, GP -> HP tends to have the biggest impact on character survival. So it's both unexciting and difficult to avoid.

There is, I think, some legitimacy to the concern about whether the healing items are used too much. This is, in my opinion, an entirely different and unrelated question to whether healing items are priced correctly. But with a mechanic like resonance you can create a relationship between the two, by making the efficiency of your transaction a resource in and of itself. I really think that is an interesting design space to explore. You just can't explore that design space effectively without actually fixing the usefulness of healing items in some capacity in a vacuum.


Leedwashere wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

Here's the thing.

If you want to follow healing per gold guidelines, then Lesser Potions should heal 1 hp, and True potions should heal 4d8+5 if used without resonance.
With resonance, you get the old values, which ends up making Resonance a little more effective on lower level consumables with individual rules (over x4 vs about x3). However, it creates the issue of lower level items being pretty much useless without Resonance to power them, which feels awful.

Not sure how you can turn Resonance into a carrot right now.

The problem is that the healing guidelines are not just wrong, but hilariously wrong. Having potions "bump up" to the existing values just makes them even worse.

If you want to turn resonance into a carrot, you keep the existing potion prices and effects as the baseline, then use resonance to bump up to the fixed numbers I describe in the first post of This Thread

No.

The guildelines on healing in general might be absolutely wrong, and I totally agree, but the guidelines on itemised healing are there for a reason (healing per action per gold). Resonance is meant to cap the amount of 1d8 healing you get at level 1-3. Quadruplicating that amount will screw something up.

This is not about out-of-combat healing, this is about consumables.


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It would be better than the current system. But still bad. Making healing items terrible without resonance isn't much different than making them require it. You'll still need to spend it if you want a good effect. It's still punitive, just disguised a little and giving a consolation prize of giving a tiny amount of emergency healing if you're wiling to sacrifice your money for a dramatically overpriced usage. The resonance cost version will be the default assumption, so not using it will be wasteful. Maybe giving extra effects for a non-consumable activated item might work, but not for consumables.

And resonance would remain as an artificial complication. Why do I have to charm my potions? Magic items should just work, not require some force of personality to make them work. "Sorry, he just wasn't cool enough for a healing potion to work well so he died." And it's attacking the symptom while ignoring the causes. Re-balance the prices and effectiveness so higher end items aren't garbage for their price, and find better ways of healing for when you lack a heal-bot. Wands might need to be reworked and perhaps there should be a limit to have many potions can be used in a short period of time, like con mod per hour. These solutions would make sense instead of requiring some force of personality for a passive effect to work on you, but only if it comes from an item, and only if it's helpful, because... reasons.

It's also trying to force a particular playstyle where between combat healing is bad and must be stopped. There is a reason people want to heal between fights. It's even more necessary in PF2 with the brutal monsters. If players want to heal, maybe they should just be allowed to heal instead of finding more and more convoluted ways to prevent it. Trying to force players into a particular way of doing things is always going to be a problem.

Resonance can be acceptable as a replacement for slots, charges and x-times per day limitations. But they need to be full replacements. And interacting with consumables is a pretty hard red-line for me, as is requiring it for items that would previously be unrestricted. I actually find this proposal from Jason Bulmahn to be annoying, because it's ignoring the issues while trying desperately to save a system that shouldn't be saved. And it's not like there is a shortage of problems in PF2 that need attention. Cut off resonance and move on to the other areas.


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SO the idea is to change it from pretty people can get healed more often to pretty people get heal for more... Still sounds bad to me. I'd rather not have sex appeal matter in my magic item use...


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graystone wrote:
SO the idea is to change it from pretty people can get healed more often to pretty people get heal for more... Still sounds bad to me. I'd rather not have sex appeal matter in my magic item use...

Gray I'm going to need you to stop trying to bring back comeliness it was a useless attribute and we are all better off that it is gone.

also my +5 great sword thinks my tractors sexy...


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
also my +5 great sword thinks my tractors sexy...

Dwarven euphemisms are so unsubtle.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
graystone wrote:
SO the idea is to change it from pretty people can get healed more often to pretty people get heal for more... Still sounds bad to me. I'd rather not have sex appeal matter in my magic item use...

Gray I'm going to need you to stop trying to bring back comeliness it was a useless attribute and we are all better off that it is gone.

also my +5 great sword thinks my tractors sexy...

Would it be better if I said 'charming'? 'well spoken'? 'alluring'? 'seductive'? How does a social trait to lead or inspire influence an inanimate object to work more often than for those that are more socially inept? Are we seducing the items into giving up more uses? Or is it magic items punish grumpy people?


graystone wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
graystone wrote:
SO the idea is to change it from pretty people can get healed more often to pretty people get heal for more... Still sounds bad to me. I'd rather not have sex appeal matter in my magic item use...

Gray I'm going to need you to stop trying to bring back comeliness it was a useless attribute and we are all better off that it is gone.

also my +5 great sword thinks my tractors sexy...

Would it be better if I said 'charming'? 'well spoken'? 'alluring'? 'seductive'? How does a social trait to lead or inspire influence an inanimate object to work more often than for those that are more socially inept? Are we seducing the items into giving up more uses? Or is it magic items punish grumpy people?

Well someone is upset that they have a low resonance....

/end joke

Didn't we already do this one when we were talking about dragons and sorcerers spells being based on charisma? I think the term I had used was force of personality and since magic is magic it could be based around anything really. Like I'm really sure we have been here before.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Didn't we already do this one when we were talking about dragons and sorcerers spells being based on charisma? I think the term I had used was force of personality and since magic is magic it could be based around anything really. Like I'm really sure we have been here before.

But why would a potion care about your personality? It's like your antibiotics working better if you're good at leading people or witty banter at a party. Penicillin is a sucker for witty banter. And it wasn't until 4718 AR, but now we have to charm our healing. Start practicing your potion pick-up lines.


Doktor Weasel wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Didn't we already do this one when we were talking about dragons and sorcerers spells being based on charisma? I think the term I had used was force of personality and since magic is magic it could be based around anything really. Like I'm really sure we have been here before.
But why would a potion care about your personality? It's like your antibiotics working better if you're good at leading people or witty banter at a party. Penicillin is a sucker for witty banter. And it wasn't until 4718 AR, but now we have to charm our healing. Start practicing your potion pick-up lines.

Hold on I will try and find and copy paste the discussion again. Hmm anyone have any idea how to find the old play-test discussion forums or where they deleted? the ones that had the previews of the play test before it officially started?


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Resonance based on Charisma is 100% exactly the same thing as UMD based on Charisma.

Resonance can be bad, but if Cha-based UMD made sense then Cha-based resonance makes sense.


Alright I think its easier just to retype it at this point. I can't find it now.

So basically already sorcerer spells are based on charisma as is casting stats for a lot of monsters in PF1 including dragons and undead? Why didn't you start their if it bothers you? Its not that your charming the heck out of something. Charisma has represented force of personality for quite awhile even back in D&D1 it was one of the stats calculated for ego.

like cabbage said to it also was used for UMD. Its not strange to have inate magical power be based on charisma they've done it that way for awhile.

Honestly Gray we've already been through this why did you feel it was necessary to go backwards?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Resonance based on Charisma is 100% exactly the same thing as UMD based on Charisma.

Resonance can be bad, but if Cha-based UMD made sense then Cha-based resonance makes sense.

I don't think it ever made much sense but 'back then' it didn't affect everyone and was a lot easier to not think about. Now that my personality is preventing me from drinking a potion, it's a lot more 'in your face'.

Secondly, it was possible to shift that stat to one that made a bit more sense. Int for instance.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
Its not strange to have inate magical power be based on charisma they've done it that way for awhile.

If we were talking about anything close to innate power, that would be one thing... We're talking about external, pre-powered items that are already magical.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
Honestly Gray we've already been through this why did you feel it was necessary to go backwards?

They had this blog thing were they said that they are changing how it works. Isn't this the time to bring up things you don't agree with about it?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Resonance based on Charisma is 100% exactly the same thing as UMD based on Charisma.

Resonance can be bad, but if Cha-based UMD made sense then Cha-based resonance makes sense.

They're not really the same thing at all, although there is some overlap. Coaxing the magic out of a wand, staff or other McGuffin? Sure. Allowing a potion to work? No. That just makes no sense. Potions are passive. You don't need to tap into your connection to the universe or anything, or do some mystic mumbo-jumbo to activate it, you just drink it and let it do it's thing.

UMD was about activating items that were normally restricted to spellcasters. Items that required some magical connection or training. Resonance is about anything magical that comes from an item (and completely non-magical alchemical items for some reason). Why would you need it for healing with a potion but not from getting hit with a spell? Why does the person activating a wand on someone else spend resonance, while the person who has a potion poured down their throat have to spend theirs instead of the person pouring? But the CHA linking isn't nearly as big a deal as the fact that resonance makes no sense in general. It's a purely artificial system with some weak attempt to try to justify it's existence by tying it into other mechanics that are vaguely related in PF1.


graystone wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Resonance based on Charisma is 100% exactly the same thing as UMD based on Charisma.

Resonance can be bad, but if Cha-based UMD made sense then Cha-based resonance makes sense.

I don't think it ever made much sense but 'back then' it didn't affect everyone and was a lot easier to not think about. Now that my personality is preventing me from drinking a potion, it's a lot more 'in your face'.

Secondly, it was possible to shift that stat to one that made a bit more sense. Int for instance.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
Its not strange to have inate magical power be based on charisma they've done it that way for awhile.

If we were talking about anything close to innate power, that would be one thing... We're talking about external, pre-powered items that are already magical.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
Honestly Gray we've already been through this why did you feel it was necessary to go backwards?
They had this blog thing were they said that they are changing how it works. Isn't this the time to bring up things you don't agree with about it?

I'm talking specifically about the charisma = force of personality thing. Like we've discussed that before but then you reverted to calling charisma sweet talking potions or whatever.

Its external in that its a potion but the effect is still internal its still magic affecting you. The concept is just that after a certain point you get magic fatigue. I suppose doing diminishing returns might make more sense but it would require a much more complex system to go along with it.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
It would be better than the current system. But still bad. Making healing items terrible without resonance isn't much different than making them require it. You'll still need to spend it if you want a good effect. It's still punitive, just disguised a little and giving a consolation prize of giving a tiny amount of emergency healing if you're wiling to sacrifice your money for a dramatically overpriced usage. The resonance cost version will be the default assumption, so not using it will be wasteful.

Agreed, agreed, agreed, a thousand times agreed. At least in the measure it's required to maintain game balance, this would be utterly unsatisfying.

Doktor Weasel wrote:
It's also trying to force a particular playstyle where between combat healing is bad and must be stopped. There is a reason people want to heal between fights. It's even more necessary in PF2 with the brutal monsters. If players want to heal, maybe they should just be allowed to heal instead of finding more and more convoluted ways to prevent it.

Agreed, agreed, agreed, a thousand times agreed. I want and I need an out-of-combat recovery system that does not rely on consumables (unless it's a downtime consumable? Heal people over 10 minutes if they stay near the holy light?).

Doktor Weasel wrote:
Re-balance the prices and effectiveness so higher end items aren't garbage for their price

Nope.

See, here's the problem: there's three systems being addressed, and changing one without maintaining the other two means having to change absolutely everything.

System one: character wealth and expected item availability per level
This bit is the reason why items price scale so steeply. Characters are not supposed to have stuff that's made for higher levels, so increasing the prices by a lot (and giving them a lot more money once they reach the right spot) is a way to tell them "this isn't for you, Junior."
Now, clearly you could address the prices to make them more linear - but at that point you'd have to balance item effect to also be adequate to lower levels, and for the way PF works, you have to choose between one and the other. Either items are more affordable, or they are useful at higher levels.

System two: in-combat effectiveness, or power gained per action spent
This is why a lv3 potion heals 3d8 rater than 2d8, but at the same time, it's why a lv2 potion can have Mirror Image rather than a longer duration Shield. This isn't just about healing (but Healing in this case did get a buff between editions, so it's now sortof worth using).
You can argue that consumables would be used in downtime, but it doesn't matter - it still takes an action, and can be done in combat, so this IS a relevant point, and it caps the potion's effectiveness based on level.

System three: character adherence to wealth expenditure predictions
Resonance. This is how the devs make sure that point 1 is true. Now, definitely, we can change this to be more "fun" and to look "pretty", but it still needs to be effective and it still needs to function, just as much as the other two.
Personally I don't need a cherry on top of it, but I know people like mechanics more if they make them feel good about using them, so I'm definitely in favor of altering it if it works... But changing this in a way that screws up both pricing mechanics (and so requires to rewrite the entire game's economics) and item effectiveness (which is normally based on expected damage and effects power) would basically mean rewriting the entire thing.

You're not suggesting to change Resonance - you're suggesting Pathfinder Third Edition.

You can houserule what you want in your game - but if you want to get it to the dev you'll need to consider the effects.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

It's worth stating clearly: fixing consumables does not happen in a vacuum.

It's not a silver bullet to cure all of the problems with healing, both in combat and out. It needs to be done, but it needs to be done as part of an expanded and fixed healing toolkit.

As you may have seen, the direction from which I approached this problem was with the intention of making potions work without resonance. I'm good to put a full stop there. Some people have not just a problem with the mechanics of healing consumables, but the frequency of their use. I'm not one of them, but as a GM I can understand the gripe even if I don't share it.

So that leaves some choices: You can find a blanket solution, or find a solution that tries to bridge that gap. The difference can be overcome with house rules, but I think it's worth the effort to make the base assumption cover as many bases as possible, especially if you want the default to be more carrot than stick.

For example, if we went with my preferred solution of making potions always heal an amount that follows functional HP/GP guidelines, then an annoyed (and/or lazy) GM might be most inclined to house rule that harder, by (oh, wild stab) making resonance apply to consumables. If, on the other hand, the default was that potions always work (badly) but you can spend resonance to make it follow functional HP/GP guidelines, then the people doing the house ruling are by default are more likely to be the ones that want it to be more permissive. I think it's both easier and more player-friendly to say "at my table you get the benefit of resonance on consumables without it costing resonance" than to say "at my table you have to spend resonance to use resonance on healing potions."

One of those leads to (at least somewhat) functional consumables across more games for more people, and therefore I think it's worth exploring that design space, even if ultimately I'm likely to ignore it in practice because I would rather my consumables not cost resonance at all. I just want it to work in whatever form it takes, dangit.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
I'm talking specifically about the charisma

As was I. I have SPECIFIC issues with cha affecting my potion, armor and magic trinket use. IMO, it makes no sense.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
Its external in that its a potion but the effect is still internal its still magic affecting you. The concept is just that after a certain point you get magic fatigue. I suppose doing diminishing returns might make more sense but it would require a much more complex system to go along with it.

Mental fatigue = wisdom. Diminishing returns = Con. Neither, IMO, make sense as Cha. Charisma IS "sweet talking"...

"Constitution measures your character’s health and stamina."
"A high Wisdom score can help your character shake off mental spells and effects."

So Con covers physical effects and Wis mental ones. Cha isn't a stat that 'protects' you in any way. It covers innate magic and fooling magic items in pathfinder classic. For the playtest, fooling magic items uses EVERY mental stat leaving innate magic as the only extremely tenuous link connecting CHA to item use. IMO, cha was more picked to prop up the stat as a required one than any real logical reason.


Also, the rate of monetary gain in PF2 increases much faster than in PF1.
When a pf1 chaacter would have 6 or 7 times the money of a lower level counterpart, a pf2 character would have 10x as much.
This makes Resonance especially relevant.


graystone wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I'm talking specifically about the charisma

As was I. I have SPECIFIC issues with cha affecting my potion, armor and magic trinket use. IMO, it makes no sense.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
Its external in that its a potion but the effect is still internal its still magic affecting you. The concept is just that after a certain point you get magic fatigue. I suppose doing diminishing returns might make more sense but it would require a much more complex system to go along with it.

Mental fatigue = wisdom. Diminishing returns = Con. Neither, IMO, make sense as Cha. Charisma IS "sweet talking"...

"Constitution measures your character’s health and stamina."
"A high Wisdom score can help your character shake off mental spells and effects."

So Con covers physical effects and Wis mental ones. Cha isn't a stat that 'protects' you in any way. It covers innate magic and fooling magic items in pathfinder classic. For the playtest, fooling magic items uses EVERY mental stat leaving innate magic as the only extremely tenuous link connecting CHA to item use. IMO, cha was more picked to prop up the stat as a required one than any real logical reason.

See their you go again regressing. charisma is not = sweet talking. Sweet talking is one of the things charisma makes you good at but that is not all. Like seriously read my examples. Undead use charisma for spells a lot of magical creatures in fact us charisma for spells. Charisma is force of personality. Its not just sweet talking you can have a high charisma and be better at intimidating to? if it is just sweet talking explain that one then? Your reducing the meaning of the stat to fit your narrative but it has never been just "sweet talking"


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I guess the hard thing about making it rewarding is that it's designed as a limiter - anything you code in that makes it net positive means it can still be spammed (just less optimally spammed...).

I was thinking we could turn it completely around and make it a bit less artificial and potentially a little more interesting. Something like this:

(Fluff) Magical Destructive Resonance: Utilizing magic from external sources causes slowly building feedback within you own body, the more magic you take in or use, the worse this feedback becomes. Rest will gradually drain the resonance away.

Effect: Every time you trigger an external magical effect, your Feedback score goes down by 1 (starting from probably zero, but see below). On each additional use of a magic item, you apply your feedback score to the rolled values associated with the effect (damage, healing, etc). For fixed bonuses and durations, the effect is reduced by the reciprocal of the feedback score (so at -2 Feedback, durations/bonuses are 1/2 normal, at -3 they are 1/3, etc).

If you like, you could still have "attuned" items causing feedback (they would just subtract from the score), and you could still have +CHA if you really wanted (though I don't think you need it). You could even decide that a positive score gave a bonus of some sort.

I think this is nicely self limiting, it scales pretty well with level as well, as higher damage/healing/buffs can withstand a bit more reduction before they're useless.


graystone wrote:
Cha isn't a stat that 'protects' you in any way. It covers innate magic and fooling magic items in pathfinder classic. For the playtest, fooling magic items uses EVERY mental stat leaving innate magic as the only extremely tenuous link connecting CHA to item use. IMO, cha was more picked to prop up the stat as a required one than any real logical reason.

I agree with the latter point - Charisma for magic was invented for game balance purposes - but there's nothing tenuous about a link between 'innate ability to use magic' and 'innate ability to use magic items'.

If we can accept Sorcerers using Charisma for spells (as opposed to something more sensible like Wisdom) we can accept this.

Maybe there's a kind of spiritual energy in the Pathfinder universe that manifests itself as force of personality but which can also be used for magic...


Or its like the force which is usually charisma based. (and I don't think Vader is a known as a pretty talker.) Intimidating as can be however.


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Hmm... Feedback as a condition, increasing with uses, and if you have more feedback than your max level, you strain to use magic? The opposite of resonance, but it might possibly be better received fluff-wise.


I think my suggestion for that people seemed to favor was to look at it like tolerance. You've just been magic-ed out kind of thing.


Ediwir wrote:
Hmm... Feedback as a condition, increasing with uses, and if you have more feedback than your max level, you strain to use magic? The opposite of resonance, but it might possibly be better received fluff-wise.

It is essentially reversed. I think it feels a little better because it's a soft cap, rather than a hard cap - you get to decide at what point you're just wasting charges, etc., items don't just stop functioning at a certain value.

As you say, you could decide it does kick in until LVL or LVL + Cha or whatever.


This post gave me one idea, it doesn't really solve consumable spam but what if you could spend Resonance when using a consumable to not consume it? This works nicely for, say, Wanda, scrolls, and trinkets, though it's a little weird flavor wise for potions (maybe do it a la the PF1s Alchemical Allocation Alchemist Extract?). But it lets you get the nice effects of consumables without losing them while also not preventing you from taking that Healing Potion to save your life.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Ediwir wrote:

Also, the rate of monetary gain in PF2 increases much faster than in PF1.

When a pf1 chaacter would have 6 or 7 times the money of a lower level counterpart, a pf2 character would have 10x as much.
This makes Resonance especially relevant.

Incidentally, this is why my first proposed and still preferred solution is to leave the prices the same (or close) and fix the contents.

Why might a level 16 character prefer to buy 300 minor healing potions instead of 1 true healing potion for the same price? Well the expected healing of the true potion is 70.5 HP. The expected healing from the 300 minor healing potions is 1,800 HP. That's a staggering difference, and the 300 minor have the benefit of not blowing all of that potential healing reserve at once. Nobody needs 1,800 HP at once, but you can dip into it in smaller quantities leaving the maximum possible amount in reserve.

But if the true healing potion always healed you to full and counteracted harmful conditions relevant at level 16? Or could revive the recently dead?

Or to use a lower-level example where my math suggests that just healing is still appropriate. Let's look at the Greater Healing Potion. A level 8 character can be reasonably expected to afford to buy these somewhat regularly at 60gp a pop. For that same price, though, they could buy 20 minor healing potions. One greater healing potion can be expected to heal you 34.5 HP, and then it's gone. 20 minor healing potions can be expected to heal you 90 HP, and you don't have to use up all of that potential at once.

Now I ask you, which would you choose if your expected healing for 1 greater healing potion was, say, 100 HP while the expected healing of 20 minor healing potions was still 90? Would you spend your 60 gp for an expected 90 HP or an expected 100? Does it matter to your calculation that you can (hypothetically) only afford to divert enough resources to buy one or two greater healing potions at a time at level 8?

EDIT: Realized I was using the item level for major when talking about greater. Eyes must have skipped lines, I guess. Fixed now.


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Leedwashere wrote:
Now I ask you, which would you choose if your expected healing for 1 greater healing potion was, say, 100 HP while the expected healing of 20 minor healing potions was still 90?

In a no-Resonance system, if I had 60GP to spend, I'd go for the minor healing potions. If I'm down 20HP, I want to have the option of topping up to full, while still having keeping some healing in reserve. At least, if I expected to have to use consumables for out-of-combat healing, rather than having a cheaper way of doing it (such as resting overnight).

If I had 120gp to spend on healing potions, I'd get one big potion and twenty small ones so I could provide some useful in-combat healing as well.

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