Big Three & Mandatory Magic Items


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Grand Lodge

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I totallly agree with the original poster --- take the requirement out of magical items so that there are no required choices! Let's get out of this game where you all need the same items or you will fall behind.

Hmm


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Tholomyes wrote:
While I also didn't like the big 6 in 1e, I don't actually mind the items they've reduced it to, but if they were to convert it, I'm not sure I like your fixes. Instead of Potency for weapons and armor, all you've done is made the weapons and armor non-magical, but that doesn't really fix much, since those quality weapons and armor would have to be repriced to roughly around where those bonuses were with magical weapons and armor. And I think the extra damage coming from proficiency would even more stymie characters who want to branch out into a more weapon-user role, like battle clerics, swashbuckler Bards and gishes.

That's fair. I made sure to say that my proposed fixes may not be the best options because I knew they probably weren't. However, I do think that something should be done, and wanted to provide at least a starting point for discussion into how that could happen. That said, I think I may need to clarify a few of my intentions with my proposed fixes (which still may not be the best).

Regarding the non-magical bonuses of weapons and armor, I am not arguing that they should jump up to be the same as the current potency runes. Considering that weapons and armor need to be balanced against each other and Monster ACs, they could easily remain at their current +1-3 item bonus (and similar price) as long as enemy stats were changed to reflect that.

As for shifting some of the bonus to be non-magical, that is slightly intentional. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing for a low-magic setting or trying to push anti-caster sentiments. Normally in most caster vs. martial debates I'd be firmly on the side of casters (because magic is kinda awesome). However, with a new edition setting a new baseline for the next 10 years or so, I think it is important to make sure that mundane characters and items have their niche (if only to help prevent some of the future caster vs. martial debates).

Right now I see a problem in that legendary quality items are not special, forget about being legendary. For example, a legendary quality sword is inferior in every way when compared to a master quality sword with high potency (+3 or +4). The only thing legendary quality does for weapons/armor above master quality is allowing one extra +potency and one extra property rune. This makes it more of a tax for enchanting your weapon further rather than anything special on its own. However, if the item bonus provided by item quality wasn't overwritten by magical potency, I think higher quality weapons may have a chance to be seen as special on their own. Granted, you would still have to be careful about how essential these bonuses would be when compared to monster stats - as I personally believe that a smith worthy of being called "legendary" shouldn't be something assumed that every character above level X has access to in every campaign.

Admittedly, trying to solve what I see as two separate problems (potency runes, mundane items mattering) with a single fix may be the wrong way to go about it, and I'm willing to admit that may be the case. Which also conveniently brings me to idea of proficiency granting additional damage dice, since that focuses on two separate problems as well (potency runes, proficiency).

The second problem that I was looking to address there, was that proficiency currently lacks flair as a system. Skills have it best, considering some skill uses may ask for a higher proficiency or require such in the case of skill feats. Outside of skills however, nearly every other proficiency increase offers +1s and nothing else. I think the best solution is to add additional bonuses for reaching higher proficiencies, such as moving the additional damage dice to weapon proficiency. Of course, such a change could not be done in isolation, and would require that the way classes can gain proficiency to be reworked a bit in order to avoid the problems you mentioned (which is why such a change could only really be done prior to the official release).

Admittedly, this may not be the best place for extra damage dice being granted, and I primarily suggested it out of a reluctance to drop the mechanic entirely. If it is not in proficiency, then I hope there would be somewhere else to put it (& would probably ask for critical specializations to become part of weapon proficiency instead). Especially since getting more damage dice feels like a fun mechanic to have somewhere in the system, even if I have problems with it's current placement as part of mandatory magical items and would like to see it be a bit more innate to characters (Especially for the theming of "My character is skilled enough to get more damage out of weapons" vs "My character can afford weapons which do more damage").

Tholomyes wrote:
For the Stat Items, I personally like them, and I think the fact that they can grant minor boosts, outside of just stat ups, and the fact that slots are largely gone (though I'd like it even more, if they just decided to remove the slots from those items, in case they print more neat circlet or belt options; why can't I wear two belts? or get Suspenders of Giant Strength), make me a lot more keen on them than the respective items in 1e.

I'd agree that the current implementation of potent items in the PF2 Playtest is certainly an improvement over PF1, but I'd argue that we could make it even better. Especially since I share your concerns that we're limiting future design space by having slots attached to potent items. Either paizo has to avoid making items in those slots, or they become something that comes into conflict with the more mandatory potent items. Neither of which is an ideal outcome.


Lightning Raven wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

The biggest difference between +X and these new "X properties" is simply because the former were (and still are) required for the math of the game to function, while the later, assuming that there would be things as generally good as straight up more damage and accuracy, would still left open the option for those that didn't want to buy them, because they would not be below the curve expected by the game, even if they chose to have a different effect available to them. I find it very unlikely to have varied properties on items behave like the current system, at least in terms of buying priority. More elemental damage is still situational, so even if you spend money on that Flaming Sword, you still can be comfortable using your spare Hammer/Spear/Axe or whatever type of weapon you can use, you'll also be able to use a bow.

But in this current system? You better be using your +3 magical weapon regardless of the situation, because you're better off using it's 3 extra dies than using your backup weapon with special material, different type of damage or ranged weapon.

Btw, my idea for the hammer was like this: Three actions, 1 Resonance point, prone on the ability+full weapon damage. Further uses increases the Resonance cost by 1. The spectral hand was just flavor, but it was basically to quicken your actions (helping archers, crossbows or casters).

Also, on the topic of Berserk, which I very much love, Gutts's Dragonslayer became a magical weapon after he killed so many demons with it, which was the most badass way of "forging" a magical weapon I could think of, specially because of the world of the story, which is very low on magic and more heavy on monsters.

Sounds like there needs to be more of an incentive to use weapons with special properties than there is a need to remove +X weapons. Even then, there should be more of a difference between a 20th level character and a 1st level character. Saying I can use the same exact weapon at 1st level as often and as much as when I hit 20th level, it becomes very, very silly.

Most of the time, the elemental damage's low dice (which will only prove superior for D4 or lower weapons in this system) and situational effectiveness is largely what makes those properties not worth purchasing. If those situations where those abilities shine become more prevalent, and the impact those abilities have on those situations increase, the demand for those properties will increase in relation, but the biggest issue is that happens only when those situations arise. The problem with making stuff circumstantially great is that now you're shifting the meta of certain situations without actually getting rid of it. Fighting in the cold tundra all the time like in Reign of Winter? Better get rid of your Cold weapons/spells, and use nothing but pure fire. It's the same reasoning why abilities like Favored Enemy/Terrain in PF1 were either super lame or super broken, and Paizo made a smart decision getting rid of those things due to metagame reasoning. I'm not saying they need to get rid of them here, but how they handled the Dragon Totem Rage damage bonus (where you can either make it deal your elemental damage or standardized damage) is probably the best way for elemental weapon properties to function; by turning your weapon's damage type to that element instead of simply being a "+DX dice of this damage type." Sure, it makes lower damage dice weapons less attractive, but even just getting them to hit on enemies with weaknesses to certain elements is a big boost to damage regardless.

Berserk has stuff that is cool and flavorful, but it's certainly not the demographic that Pathfinder has or will cater to, for obvious reasons. On top of that, I thought it was originally forged as a normal sword, and was "made" magical through the rage of the township citizens' spirits (because really, all Guts and co. are fighting are "spirits," AKA incorporeal creatures). Of course, I haven't read Berserk in a while (I should probably do that sometime to catch up on any of the new stuff, I'm just glad they're off that silly "filler" arc), so my memory of that isn't the greatest right now.


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This is always an interesting topic in game design, how prevalent, powerful and necessary are magic items for what PC's, NCP's and monsters want to do?

In the past it has generally been defined by settings (but modified by GM's for in house games) and as most settings have vast influence of design's of the game and its rules moving forward gradually become more intertwined as time marches forward vs having less crossover.
Some examples of limited to no magic items (IMHO); are Conan and Call of Cthulhu and that fact greatly define how things work in the world and how characters interact in it.
The thing is is PF core world this type of setting? Or do you need a specific amount of magic item interaction to make the setting go? In my experience Golarion is more of a magic heavy world and thus needs more magic items and such things.
Note I am not saying you cannot play in a magic zero or magic very lite mode, but from how I have played the game and seen the game played and enjoyed in game stores, conventions, free play as well as home games magic items and a fair amount of them are required.
MDC


Darksol Painbringer said wrote:


...
Quote:

Gutts weapon was indeed forged as a "normal weapon", but after him killing so many demons and spirits with it the weapon became magical on its own.

Grand Lodge

You are a level 20 fighter.

You have a sword. It's a very well made word, heck, we'll assume it's a legendary sword, crafted in the heat of a live volcano by a master smith for the express purpose of being wielded by an awesome person like you.

What are your odds of success against a level 20 threat? 18? 16? 15?

We'll assume you have a party, but how much are you contributing? Can you do your share?

Alright, let's slap a few qualities on there, but it's still a +0 sword. Are your odds improved in any real way?

Is this alright?

Note, these are all questions. I am not making a statement, just inviting thought.


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David Silver - Ponyfinder wrote:

You are a level 20 fighter.

You have a sword. It's a very well made word, heck, we'll assume it's a legendary sword, crafted in the heat of a live volcano by a master smith for the express purpose of being wielded by an awesome person like you.

What are your odds of success against a level 20 threat? 18? 16? 15?

We'll assume you have a party, but how much are you contributing? Can you do your share?

Alright, let's slap a few qualities on there, but it's still a +0 sword. Are your odds improved in any real way?

Is this alright?

Note, these are all questions. I am not making a statement, just inviting thought.

The same as a level 1 character facing a level 1 threat. The enhancement bonuses are built to counteract the factor that creatures at higher levels have much more HP and a multitude of defensive capabilities. Of course, you could just gut the HP bloat and keep weapons simplistic, but now you're in a system where the quality and magical properties of items don't matter, in a system that Paizo clearly wants to make matter. As such, those moving parts (including the magical properties of items) are designed in such a manner to compensate for certain changes.

A martial's role (hit things until they die or give up) hasn't changed from this edition. Unless your weapon or fighting style is inadequate to completing that goal (which is more often than not a player issue than an item issue), then taking the things that make you best able to accomplish your goal is what you will be striving towards. However, just like in first edition, this edition of the game still holds +X modifiers at the top of the food chain because it is still the biggest contributing factor to accomplishing your goal, and these auxiliary properties won't ever match up or surpass it because +X is the balancing point and not the other way around. Until either +X loses its value (in which case players won't ever increase it), or qualities become more closely balanced to +X benefits, these paradigms will not change.

As for it being acceptable, this thread serves as a poll to whether that is or isn't. In my opinion, all this does is change the meta, whereas some people seem to think that the only solution is abolishing the meta entirely, which defeats the entire point of decisions having lasting impact and consequences, which is a key design goal of this edition: having your decisions make more impact and have important consequences to your choices.


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to throw my 2c into the pot: I think that magic items should be storied and interesting additions to your character's repertoire, not something required for basic competence.
the party fighter finding a kickass sword of badassitude should be a hallmark moment for his character--the sword shouldn't BE his character (which is why i'm personally in favor of moving the damage dice scaling over to the character, as them gaining mastery over their weapons, rather than being tied to that singular piece of gear. it makes fighters not useless if disarmed of their singular WBL investment point).

Grand Lodge

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
David Silver - Ponyfinder wrote:

You are a level 20 fighter.

You have a sword. It's a very well made word, heck, we'll assume it's a legendary sword, crafted in the heat of a live volcano by a master smith for the express purpose of being wielded by an awesome person like you.

What are your odds of success against a level 20 threat? 18? 16? 15?

We'll assume you have a party, but how much are you contributing? Can you do your share?

Alright, let's slap a few qualities on there, but it's still a +0 sword. Are your odds improved in any real way?

Is this alright?

Note, these are all questions. I am not making a statement, just inviting thought.

The same as a level 1 character facing a level 1 threat. The enhancement bonuses are built to counteract the factor that creatures at higher levels have much more HP and a multitude of defensive capabilities. Of course, you could just gut the HP bloat and keep weapons simplistic, but now you're in a system where the quality and magical properties of items don't matter, in a system that Paizo clearly wants to make matter. As such, those moving parts (including the magical properties of items) are designed in such a manner to compensate for certain changes.

A martial's role (hit things until they die or give up) hasn't changed from this edition. Unless your weapon or fighting style is inadequate to completing that goal (which is more often than not a player issue than an item issue), then taking the things that make you best able to accomplish your goal is what you will be striving towards. However, just like in first edition, this edition of the game still holds +X modifiers at the top of the food chain because it is still the biggest contributing factor to accomplishing your goal, and these auxiliary properties won't ever match up or surpass it because +X is the balancing point and not the other way around. Until either +X loses its value (in which case players won't ever increase it), or qualities become more closely balanced to +X...

So it is your opinion that, while striking for about 1/5th the damage that is expected, he is doing just fine? He will succeed just as often and be just as useful to a given party?


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The enhancement bonuses are built to counteract the factor that creatures at higher levels have much more HP and a multitude of defensive capabilities.

Both the monster DCs and table 10-2 with the skill DCs strongly disagree with you. The item bonuses are transparently designed to counteract DCs increases at an approximately 1:1 ratio. This is what people keep telling you. The game assumes that all characters who interact with those DCs will need these items, period. Later in your post you talk about meaningful choice being a core design principle of this edition, somehow missing the fact that upgrading weapons is literally not intended to be a decision. A meaningful choice is one with both pros and cons. Keeping up with weapon bonuses is designed to be always the right choice.


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Speaking directly to the topic of this thread, I think this playtest is actually far worse for expected items than 1st edition because of item bonuses to skills. In PF1, it was very possible to have adequately large skill bonuses, even to the point of a powerful specialization, without having a skill bonus from an item. In fact, items were often overkill unless used for a skill that wasn't a class skill or that your ability modifier was very poor for. In PF2, you're expected to have an item bonus to skills or you fall behind. The "big 6" is now "big 3 + the number of skills I want to be competent in." Poor Rogue doesn't stand a chance.

Item bonuses to skills being so important has also impacted the magic item list immensely. Being a playtest, the list is sparse anyway, but how many non-consumable items don't provide an item bonus? They're almost all item bonuses. You also can't get the whole spread of +1 to +5 in almost any skill. You currently have to wait until level 11ish to get a generic Athletics bonus. That may be fixed by more items, but I don't want an item for each bonus between 1 and 5 for each of the 17 skills. Ideally, item bonuses to skills would be smaller (+2 max?) but not assumed by the base math so they boost your actual success chance relative to tasks of your level. Failing that, each skill booster item needs to run the full 1-5 progression so we don't end up with nothing but skill booster items and we can leave these awkward dead levels for some skills behind.


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By the time you can afford any +x item, it is essentialy a tax demanded from you to stay effective. It doesn’t make you better, it just means you kept up.

If I need it anyway and can't skip it, why not just give it to me? Why taunt me with all that gold with which I could buy something interesting, then take it away from me by forcing me to either buy the standard +x or fall behind?

Since +x isn't a choice in the first place, why insist on keeping up the illusion of choice? Why not be honest and hand out the +x with regular character advancement?

But the problem isn't really that +x exists. It's just that it's required. If other, equally priced items actually had the same value, if there was an actual choice (except "choose to be inefficient"), it'd be fine. But that would require a lot more rebalancing than just automatic bonuses and reduced WBL.


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Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:

By the time you can afford any +x item, it is essentialy a tax demanded from you to stay effective. It doesn’t make you better, it just means you kept up.

If I need it anyway and can't skip it, why not just give it to me? Why taunt me with all that gold with which I could buy something interesting, then take it away from me by forcing me to either buy the standard +x or fall behind?

Since +x isn't a choice in the first place, why insist on keeping up the illusion of choice? Why not be honest and hand out the +x with regular character advancement?

But the problem isn't really that +x exists. It's just that it's required. If other, equally priced items actually had the same value, if there was an actual choice (except "choose to be inefficient"), it'd be fine. But that would require a lot more rebalancing than just automatic bonuses and reduced WBL.

you could certainly build those bonuses into character scaling and then dial back WBL to match what you'd have as the left-over, so those players the "actual" wealth they have/can use.

serve the double purpose of toning down the need for wagon-trains of gold and whatnot for later-game purchases (since spending your personal dosh on that SHOULD be an important occaision!)


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Charon Onozuka wrote:

To start this thread off, let me be perfectly clear about my underlying bias. I hate magic items which primarily exist just to boost numbers. I hate having to buy them as a character. I hate having to reward them as a GM. I hate the mechanics of how they work, and I hate the thematic issues of everyone in a setting wearing the exact same thing. Needless to say, in PF1 my most disliked feature was the inclusion of the Big Six. You got a resource (gold) which provided a multitude of options as to what you could get with it. Except if you didn't choose the option of spending your gold on the Big Six and constantly maintaining them with upgrades, then you fell behind.

As a result, Automatic Bonus Progression (ABP) was my favorite optional rules addition in PF1. It made those necessary bonuses innate, and allowed players to spend the gold they obtained on actually interesting items rather than the Big Six gold sink required to stay on the treadmill. Within my group, these rules were also well received, as players enjoyed buying weapons that felt magical rather than just being slightly better weapons. They also loved finding magic items without having to worry about if half the group had already bought that exact item (something which actually did happen with a found cloak of resistance in a game which I was a player). That being said, the ABP rules were not perfect. In my opinion, their greatest flaw was that they were obviously a tacked on patch. You had to follow a messy table of bonuses and had odd features (attunement) which didn’t fully fit thematically. This was likely unavoidable, since ABP was trying to remove a subsystem while staying consistent with the underlying math of a system which had already long been established.

Which is what brings me to the PF2 Playtest. Since we are still in the playtest phase, the underlying math of the system is still open to adjustment and hasn’t fully set yet. This is the perfect opportunity to kill the concept of the Big Six entirely, while making their...

Unpopular opinion i know, but this is something I love about PF1. I think that removing stat and skill boosting items as a regular thing takes a lot away from the game.


David Silver - Ponyfinder wrote:
...

Assuming a 5 person party, sure. The game assumes 4 people though, so it should be 1/4, but otherwise yes.


Pandora's wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The enhancement bonuses are built to counteract the factor that creatures at higher levels have much more HP and a multitude of defensive capabilities.
Both the monster DCs and table 10-2 with the skill DCs strongly disagree with you. The item bonuses are transparently designed to counteract DCs increases at an approximately 1:1 ratio. This is what people keep telling you. The game assumes that all characters who interact with those DCs will need these items, period. Later in your post you talk about meaningful choice being a core design principle of this edition, somehow missing the fact that upgrading weapons is literally not intended to be a decision. A meaningful choice is one with both pros and cons. Keeping up with weapon bonuses is designed to be always the right choice.

There are pros and cons though (better character abilities versus cool character options), they just aren't the pros and cons you want them to be. Just because you have a wolf in sheep's clothing and a sheep in wolf's clothing doesn't mean you don't have a wolf and a sheep to differentiate from. What you're really telling me is that "I want a dog and a cat, not a wolf and a sheep," which means you just want the same thing in a different coat of paint, which means changing the meta, which means the Big 3 still aren't really removed from the game, just different from what the previous Big 3 were, thereby making the argument that "choices have to be different from what we have to make them meaningful" invalid, especially when, a couple years later, we'll have complaints about the current Big 3 not instead being a different Big 3, and the cycle repeats until the system dies from lack of people no longer caring about a game that has a Big 3 in it.

Until you outright remove the meta (which, by the way, also removes the agency of impactful character choices), you won't get anywhere with the Big 3 argument, and even if you did, you just now made any character choice no longer matter, which, again, goes against the design principle of "character decisions matter". Although Paizo may just scrap that and just flow with "create whatever the hell you want and you'll win anyway," but then it's no longer a game, nor is it really a great story-telling device when the elements of a given story no longer have any worthwhile variance to them.


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Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:

By the time you can afford any +x item, it is essentialy a tax demanded from you to stay effective. It doesn’t make you better, it just means you kept up.

If I need it anyway and can't skip it, why not just give it to me? Why taunt me with all that gold with which I could buy something interesting, then take it away from me by forcing me to either buy the standard +x or fall behind?

Since +x isn't a choice in the first place, why insist on keeping up the illusion of choice? Why not be honest and hand out the +x with regular character advancement?

But the problem isn't really that +x exists. It's just that it's required. If other, equally priced items actually had the same value, if there was an actual choice (except "choose to be inefficient"), it'd be fine. But that would require a lot more rebalancing than just automatic bonuses and reduced WBL.

And you think that, if we removed +x items completely (which screws with the math something fierce and would require a major rebalance of most every aspect in this game, most notably HP calculations), we'd have more of an opportunity to "make yourself better" with an item or property that was largely not chosen due to how crappy and situational it was? +X serves both as a balancing point and as a means of keeping the math diverse amongst numerous levels of play. If we screw with that, then a Dragon and a Goblin are equally deadly. Whoops.

Even if we did bother to remove +x items completely, you now change the big 3 from +x to "grants x." Who needs a +1 weapon when I can fly whenever the hell I want? This lets me face whoever the hell I want, and anyone who doesn't have this gets peppered to death by ranged attacks or jousted by selective melee skirmishing. What about stealth operations? Invisibility does wonders, and anyone who doesn't have Invisibility, or at the very least the ability to see through it, is bound to get wrecked by someone who does have it. What about fast methods of movement? Teleportation would be really nice to have to avoid a lot of plot problems, hazard traversion, etc. Oh wait, you don't have that? Congratulations, you're left behind because you suck too bad to not have it and make this game much easier and more palatable to how adventuring gets it done.

I just literally changed your Big 3 of "+X items" to "Grants X." Not only is not having those things much more crippling (which means their impact as a "Big 3" are much more substantial), but you also don't ever really get rid of the "Big 3," at least not in the way that you would expect it to be rid of. And if you try and just make every option suck so bad that it's not worth it in an attempt to abolish the Big 3 (or you try and make every option absolutely perfectly balanced amongst themselves, you're left with a game where it doesn't matter what you purchase or use. You're no longer playing Pathfinder, you're playing Chess.

Even then, ABP from PF1 didn't solve this in the way you expected, because now those bonuses are locked behind an experience barrier (instead of a gold barrier), which means the inherent value of gold to a player plummets (since the items they could purchase with that gold aren't anywhere near as useful as they could have been), which means in a game where I give you a ton of money, all you do is look at it and go "Meh, I'll just build a castle or donate it to a poor person or something, who needs these crappy wondrous items." On top of that, you only get half as much money in those games to compensate for automatically having those benefits, which means the odds of you having enough gold for certain wondrous items that you may want for your level is similarly cut down based on that alone.

Grand Lodge

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
David Silver - Ponyfinder wrote:
...
Assuming a 5 person party, sure. The game assumes 4 people though, so it should be 1/4, but otherwise yes.

What? No. You, the fighter, are dealing 1/5th your expected damage. You can't help this, your weapon lost 1/5th of its dice.


David Silver - Ponyfinder wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
David Silver - Ponyfinder wrote:
...
Assuming a 5 person party, sure. The game assumes 4 people though, so it should be 1/4, but otherwise yes.
What? No. You, the fighter, are dealing 1/5th your expected damage. You can't help this, your weapon lost 1/5th of its dice.

I thought we were talking about the fighter doing that much of a ratio in relation to the overall party damage. Despite that, so has everyone and everything else, so it's still acceptable when the scale is exactly the same.

Of course, you now have Goblins on equal footing as Dragons, so...


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David Silver - Ponyfinder wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
David Silver - Ponyfinder wrote:
...
Assuming a 5 person party, sure. The game assumes 4 people though, so it should be 1/4, but otherwise yes.
What? No. You, the fighter, are dealing 1/5th your expected damage. You can't help this, your weapon lost 1/5th of its dice.

The entire concept of this thread is the idea of changing the expectation, and all parts of the system that interact with it - the fighter isn't doing 1/6th (+5 equals 5 extra dice, not 5 dice total) of their expected damage because their expected damage doesn't include a +5 sword, and in fact such a thing would not even exist in the way that it currently does.

The fighter's primary damage scaling after the suggested changes would come from a source other than having a sword of the appropriate level, such as the OP's suggestion that it scale directly with their proficiency tier, regardless of what weapon they are using, with any sword they happened to be using contributing other, generally more situational benefits instead.


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Charon Onozuka wrote:

To start this thread off, let me be perfectly clear about my underlying bias. I hate magic items which primarily exist just to boost numbers.

I hate them because It doesn't fit thematically, The weapon shouldn't make the warrior,
The greatest swordsman in all the lands shouldn't have that title because of his +5 katana, he should have that title because of his skill with a blade. However I do have a solution: Weapons
BAN weapon potency runes and instead you gain damage dice with weapons you're at least trained in at these levels 4th 2 total damage dice, 8th 3 dice, 12th 4 dice, 16th 5 dice 20th 6 dice (For example, a 11th level barbarian does 3d8+str with a trident); you can continue this pattern beyond 20th if you ever do epic level play. Levels in classes with different hit points per level count as different amount of levels; Each level a class with 6 +con mod hit points per level counts as half a level for this progression, each level in a class with 8 +con mod counts as 3/4 of a level for this progression, And each level in a class with 10 +con mod or greater counts as 1 level for this progression. For example a 15 level wizard would do 3d6+ str mod with a club, an 18th level bard would do 4d4+ str with a dagger and a 26th level paladin would do 7d8+ str mod with a war hammer. I haven't extensively read the Bestiary, so I don't know how this system should interact with monsters. (Although t'is my suspicion that due to the fact that most monsters are designed without access to runes this problem will solve itself.)

Armor and potent Items
I don't believe that potency armor runes and potent items are essential to "stay on the treadmill" as their main progression lies else-wear, So don't feel obligated to give them theses items. Give them out as you would any other magic item of that rarity.


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Fully approve. I use ABP in all of my PF1 games (with some tweaks) and I'd fully appreciate if Potency was dropped entirely from PF2.

I did appreciate the Potent items, mostly because they felt very flavourful, but I think they could still be interesting without the stat boost. Or perhaps they could even keep the stat boost, as long as it becomes a little less mandatory in some way.
That said I see nothing wrong with Classes getting a boost in their main stat at level 1 and 15 rather than just lv1.


Charon Onozuka wrote:

I hate magic items which primarily exist just to boost numbers.

Yes I agree they are bland. I like the thrust of the post - which is trying to provide for more variety and flavour in items.

I always feel the need to add a bit more to that magic weapon to give it an identity and a potential roleplaying hook.

Charon Onozuka wrote:

To their credit, paizo has clearly taken steps towards reducing the impact of the Big Six in the PF2 Playtest thus far. However, I would argue that they have not gone far enough and we still suffer from what I will refer to as the “Big Three.” The Big Three consists of the following items, all of which primarily exist to sink gold and give higher numbers necessary for players to stay competent.

1) Weapon Potency Runes
2) Armor Potency Runes
3) Potent Item for key ability score

I think the new way that Paizo is trialing with magic items is a very good step:

- Stat boost items still exist but there are limits and they start from high level 14+
- A +1 long sword is still a long sword and is different from a +1 dagger or a +1 two handed sword. The way that the dice of the weapon retains its importance and is not swamped by static modifiers is great.

But I'm not going to go as far as you are suggesting and ask to get rid of all the numeric mechanical bonuses. I think they are an important part of the description and understanding of the item. Some items are just more powerful than others and I want the mechanics as part of the description to support that. There are a lot of different types of people playing this game - many of them are quite cool with the numbers.

I'd argue for more and different types of runes, to add the flavour that you require. Thats more work for the GM, and more work for the game publishers in creating more material. But I think thats a good thing. Obviously we are in a playtest and I expect more options as the new system matures.

Magic items are an important part of the whole RPG genre. Don't shoot them, they are a sacred cow.


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I like the idea of extra damage dice from weapons being based on proficiency. You are more skilled at hitting weak points or making good strikes, therefore, you deal more damage per strike.

Theoretically, a level 1 PC could happen upon a Legendary +5 sword that deals 6d8s and grants them a +3 to hit, and curb stomp everything until level 15 or so. That shouldn't happen.

Magic weapons should do stuff like extra damage to dragons, deal extra fire damage, shoot laser beams, etc.

Stat boosting items are a hard one. On the one hand, they are genre defining tropes, but on the other hand, their existence effects the balance of the game.

If you balance the game around someone not having a stat boosting item, then those with them are going to be OP. The other way around, you have to have them, or you fall behind.

5e "fixed" this by making such items effectively replace your current attribute. A Belt of Giant's STR on an 18 STR fighter, gives him 19 STR. It also gives the 8 STR wizard 19 STR. And the 20 STR barbarian doesn't benefit from it at all.

Both solutions have issues.

Perhaps having such items have daily uses(yuck), or limited applications would help?

The Power Bracer in Legend of Zelda only affects lifting strength, for example.

The last option I can think of is to have such "Big 3/6" items require an "attunement slot" that must be purchased with a feat. Give everyone a free slot to start with, so they can equip the first cool item they find, but if they want to be a walking magic item mech suit, they can burn feats to do so. This trades power for versatility.

Yes, you will be above the curve in that particular area (assuming the item isn't compensating for a lack of power in that area) but you will have given up a significant resource to get there.

Just my thoughts.


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thflame wrote:
I like the idea of extra damage dice from weapons being based on proficiency.

Me too, I have a house-rule for lower magic campaigns, so you're 20th-level Fighter isn't hosed if they are temporarily without their +5 weapon.

Trained Proficiency Bonus/Extra Weapon Damage Dice by Level: Armour Class, Weapon Attacks, Saving Throws/Weapon damage.

Level
1-4: +1/2 x weapon damage dice
5-8: +2/3 x weapon damage dice
9-12: +3/4 x weapon damage dice
13-16: +4/5 x weapon damage dice
17-20: +5/6 x weapon damage dice


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Here, here. The automatic bonus progression also was my favorite part of Pathfinder Unchained (with a slight adjustment to how weapon/armor properties worked). Seeing that system in PF2E as baseline would be good.


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The big problem with having such a large portion of character power built into items is that you can't really build a challenge that involves the characters not having those items. For example, disarm a group of 8th level characters and throw them in a dungeon, and they'll be doing about a third of their regular damage while working their way out.


Staffan Johansson wrote:
The big problem with having such a large portion of character power built into items is that you can't really build a challenge that involves the characters not having those items. For example, disarm a group of 8th level characters and throw them in a dungeon, and they'll be doing about a third of their regular damage while working their way out.

Yes, seems like a good scenario to play a sentient weapon.


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I feel like it would be good to keep the auto progression in the alternate rules section I feel like there would be to much of a backlash to de-power magic items.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
I feel like it would be good to keep the auto progression in the alternate rules section I feel like there would be to much of a backlash to de-power magic items.

Yeah, offering both is ideal, like 3rd Ed/PF1, with all the variant rules you can really tweak it to align with the campaign setting/tone.


I do like the potency / propriety rune system, and it is not such a problem in itself because it allows you to customize your weapons and armor as you see fit through the adventure.

For example if you have an heirloom weapon that is very dear to your character, you can just extract the potency rune from the amazing +3 greatsword you found and apply it to your beloved weapon.

The stat boost items are the only problem imo. These items are a real pain because you have to get them somehow. If you don't or your GM doesn't drop you one, you are screwed until the end of the adventure.

The solution I propose is to completely remove these overpowered items and transform their effect into a sort of "rune" that you can apply to any magic item. That way you can now keep the dancing scarf that you found and wanted to sell in order to buy your belt of strength, and you can even improve it to make it really unique and very important to your character.


I didn't think the stat boost items were going to be doing that much this time around?


Vidmaster7 wrote:
I didn't think the stat boost items were going to be doing that much this time around?

Yea, I believe it's only +2, so the highest ability score you can get is 24.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I didn't think the stat boost items were going to be doing that much this time around?
Yea, I believe it's only +2, so the highest ability score you can get is 24.

Indeed. You can only have one and assuming you put it on your best stat, it is only a +1 modifier you are gaining. You could put it on that 8 stat and have an 18 instead without losing a whole lot from your main focus.


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I will say that I do like the idea of proficiency being tied to weapon damage dice, but at the same time, I dislike how the quality or power of your weapon or item becomes similarly irrelevant with that being the case. This is largely because I think proficiency in items like weapons and armor should have more dynamic parts to them other than granting bonuses, and improving damage dice with weapons (while increasing MDB for armor, maybe?) is a great start to that.

A great compromise would be that proficiency and magic weapons provide the same "type" of bonus in those regards, and as such wouldn't stack (the big thing is that Legendary Proficiency still improves your base proficiency, and isn't tied to an item bonus or what have you); this might involve inputting the whole "proficiency and potency increasing weapon damage dice do not stack" clause, but it seems fair on both sides of the coin. For example, a Fighter with Legendary Weapons has an extra 3 dice of damage regardless of what weapon he uses because he's that good with those kinds of weapons, but if he has a +5 Legendary Weapon, he still benefits from those 5 dice and bonuses to hit. In short, while a Fighter is still best wielding a +5 weapon, he isn't absolutely short-changed by wielding a less-than-stellar off-weapon, such as a bludgeoning or non-specialized ranged weapon, and short of drastically changing the meta, this is about as good a compromise as you can get. Of course, it won't count as magical for overcoming Resistances and stuff, but most characters at that point can afford a +1 potency rune to avoid those consequences, which isn't really a bad investment anyway, all things considered.

Most other classes are usually Expert or Master in other kinds of weapons, so they would benefit from it somewhat too, and for Clerics, they might actually have a choice to have a weapon other than their deity-specific one, since they still have the option to shore up its effectiveness through feat choices. Granted, I think this sort of compromise would be best by having feats like Weapon Focus instead improve the proficiency of a group of weapons by 1 (trained becomes expert, expert becomes master, and so on), with Weapon Specialization granting the critical effect of a group of weapons, as a couple examples, but this compromise can still function without them.

Grand Lodge

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A legendary sword is +5 to hit, and no one's really complaining about that part, I think? You do want that.


To Mathmuse, Marshmallow or whoever has been doing martials math:

What is the DPT % increase for a martial character if they switch from a mundane weapon to a +1 weapon at the earliest opportunity (I think lv4).

I have a feeling it's almost doubling. It might be too much.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I too would love to avoid dependency on the potency of your big 3 items to make the game math work.

I dislike that disarming the guards to escape the prison means that you loose half or more of your combat effectiveness, because they only have mundane gear.

I like flavor more than efficiency, so I don’t care for a choice that is devoid of flavor and only provides a mandatory stat bump. I would rather the efficiency come from character level, item quality, and special materials. I think being a magical weapon should go back to be about overcoming monstrous and magical defenses and cool properties.

I there was an example of how this would just shift the big 3/6 to Grants X, but I those can be balanced easily with drawbacks and duration, so I don’t mind so much. I still think people will sometimes choose the blade of frost weapon because that feels more in character for them. My hope is that making that choice for flavorful reasons comes with less punishment because the optimal solution is no longer baked into the wbl math throughout the game.

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