Magical weapons in PF2 are actually magical.


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells

1 to 50 of 161 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Some people hate the idea that magical weapons are actually magical. They want them to slightly help with accuracy and add eh, a slight bit of damage.

I hated this in PF1 and earlier editions.

Even my beloved Paladin has this:

1d8+10(str x 1.5) +12(Power Attack) +3(magic weapon)

The difference between a normal sword and a supremely expensive magical weapon of great power is... 3.

1d8+25 vs 1d8+22

That is silly.

Some people hate, in PF2, that a +3 weapon would be 4d8 rather than 1d8+3

I don't understand that.

"If a commoner picked up a..."

Yes. A commoner would hit hard, but would have no chance vs the high level fighter because the commoner couldn't hit him.

In PF2 its realistic to a point. You can only do so much damage with muscles and skill. Magic is the force multiplier and I, for one, am happy.


12 people marked this as a favorite.

I've never found weapons to not be magical just because they add +3 instead of +3 [W].

I find it strange how much people hated about PF1e, D &D 3.5e and earlier editions. Especially when there was a completely viable alternative to PF1e that had so many of these "whiz bang" "awesome features". That's people for you I guess.


41 people marked this as a favorite.
HWalsh wrote:
Some people hate the idea that magical weapons are actually magical

I think that's a misrepresentation IMO. I don't find adding numbers 'magical': so adding +3 or adding 3d8 are as equally non-magical and are instead mathematical. I want a magic weapon to be MAGIC: I want it to burst into flame, grow a hand and grapple a foe or walk over and hit someone by itself.

As to the bonus dice, I'd rather see it come from the person instead of the weapon: I don't want someone to deal almost no damage with a 'normal' sword as I see being a master swordsman a far more important factor in the equation. Having everything come from the weapon makes it feel like you're playing a magic weapon that equips a peasant to carry them around because class adds so little to it. Class, say wizard vs a fighter of the same level and same strength, is far less important than the plus of the weapon. :P


graystone wrote:
Having everything come from the weapon makes it feel like you're playing a magic weapon that equips a peasant to carry them around because class adds so little to it. Class, say wizard vs a fighter of the same level and same strength, is far less important than the plus of the weapon. :P

This isn't true though.

The weapon provides damage.

The user provides accuracy.

Here:
Level 10 Paladin, 20 Strength

+0 Weapon:

Attack: 1d20+25

+3 Weapon:

Attack: 1d20+28

That is almost all skill.

-----

The weapon just provides damage.

So to characterize it as being no skill just isn't accurate.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sort of the whole level 15 Fighter vs level 1 commoner.

The commoner is toast. +5 Weapon or not. He's not going to be able to hit the Fighter. The Fighter can just disarm him, grapple him, then pin him to the ground.


17 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm with Graystone. Special properties that do cool things are what make a magic weapon feel magical. The bulk of actual damage should come from the skill of the wielder, but here the skill of the wielder just means a very small bonus to hit over someone else of the same level. Your paladin probably only has about a +3 to hit over an average cleric of the same level even at the highest levels, and more like only +1 at low levels.

Grand Lodge

14 people marked this as a favorite.
HWalsh wrote:
Some people hate the idea that magical weapons are actually magical. They want them to slightly help with accuracy and add eh, a slight bit of damage.

I disagree with your premise. I doubt you'll find any Pathfinder player (or <insert pretty much any other system> player)* who wouldn't like their weapon to have a more interesting effects than "a bit of accuracy and a bit of damage".

That being said, I agree that a weakness of Pathfinder is that the most effective weapon at a given price is almost always the boring +x weapon.

Likewise, the problem with both PF2 magic weapons is that their main reason for existing is to keep damage output in line with designer expectations. This was also tried in D&D4e, and the result was that it simply made the weapon mandatory for your character to remain effective (and not fall back on the treadmill).

Adding 4d12 damage is no more interesting than adding 4 damage and 4 accuracy. They're just numbers. At least in Pathfinder, the +4 weapon now overcomes DR/silver, cold iron and adamantine.

And against a level-equivalent foe, a fighter with a non-magical weapon would most likely fare better in Pathfinder than PF2. This, I believe, is an issue as it makes removing characters' gear even more punitive.

*Magic: the Gathering and other TCGs might be an exception


26 people marked this as a favorite.
graystone wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Some people hate the idea that magical weapons are actually magical

I think that's a misrepresentation IMO. I don't find adding numbers 'magical': so adding +3 or adding 3d8 are as equally non-magical and are instead mathematical. I want a magic weapon to be MAGIC: I want it to burst into flame, grow a hand and grapple a foe or walk over and hit someone by itself.

As to the bonus dice, I'd rather see it come from the person instead of the weapon: I don't want someone to deal almost no damage with a 'normal' sword as I see being a master swordsman a far more important factor in the equation. Having everything come from the weapon makes it feel like you're playing a magic weapon that equips a peasant to carry them around because class adds so little to it. Class, say wizard vs a fighter of the same level and same strength, is far less important than the plus of the weapon. :P

Yep, anyone who picks up a PF2 +1 sword suddenly becomes 50% more powerful in combat, without even gaining a level. That is powerful magic. Available at your local magic shop for the low price of 100 gold pieces, or at the special bargain rate of looting it from the bandit chief that almost wiped out your party.

This sword is nothing like Caliburn, the sword Arthur pulled from a stone to prove himself worthy of being king. Nor does it resemble Excalibur, which shown bright enough to blind enemies and prevented bleeding from wounds (immunity to persistent damage would be the phrase in PF2). These days Thor's hammer Mjölnir is just as famous. If thrown from his hand it would never miss and it would always return (returning weapon enchantment). Or how about the time in Japan when the god-warrior Susanoo killed a giant eight-headed serpent and found in its body a sword, later named Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi (Grasscutter), that could control the winds.

In my own religious tradition, the most famous weapon is an ordinary sling wielded by a shepherd boy named David. No great enchantment there. An angel once held a sword of fire to exile fallen humans from the Garden of Eden, but no human ever took the measure of that weapon.

In fiction, we have Stormbringer, the soul-eating sword of Elric of Melniboné. J.R.R. Tolkien told of Biblo Baggins, his wizard friend Gandalf, and dwarf leader Thorin looting some enchanted elven swords, Sting and Glamdring and Orcrist, from a troll's cache, more like the Pathfinder game. Lewis Carroll's poem Jabberwocky played with words to introduce both the deadly Jabberwock and the vorpal blade that beheaded it with a snicker-snack. Hal Foster's Prince Valiant had the Singing Sword, a reference to the sound of well-forged metal, but I don't know whether that was magical. The Sword of Gryffindor from the Harry Potter novels was indestructible because it could absorb any substance to shore up its weaknesses. The sword Need from Mercedes Lackey's Tarma and Kethry stories resembles Graystone's description, because it tended to control its wielder giving them the skill and desire to fight its battles.

Merely doing more damage is pitifully mundane for a magic weapon, regardless of how convenient that property is for its wielder and how overpowered it is for the game. I would prefer if Pathfinder 2nd Edition focussed on amazing properties, such as flaming or returning or resisting persistant damage, and let the skill of the wielder win the battles.


16 people marked this as a favorite.

That. Let the weapon do magical things like dealing elemental damage, hit incorporeal creatures, or shoot lightning. Things that non-casters can't do.

But if you require non-casters to wield magic, just to be competent at their core competency, what is the point of playing a non-caster again...?

It helps that to-hit bonus depends on weapon quality, and that that is dependant on the skill of the smith and not his casting ability (or lack thereof). But if 3/4 or 4/5 of your damage potential depends on magic, magical weapons are no longer 'magical', a boon to be cherished, but outright banal, a requirement, a tax to be paid in order to be allowed to play. Personally, I find that rather distasteful...


2 people marked this as a favorite.
HWalsh wrote:
graystone wrote:
Having everything come from the weapon makes it feel like you're playing a magic weapon that equips a peasant to carry them around because class adds so little to it. Class, say wizard vs a fighter of the same level and same strength, is far less important than the plus of the weapon. :P

This isn't true though.

The weapon provides damage.

The user provides accuracy.

It amounts to a pitiful amount of difference IMO.

HWalsh wrote:
Level 10 Paladin, 20 Strength

vs a level 10 wizard, 20 strength... Class has almost NO effect. 'skill' is almost a non-factor. You're a glorified weapon holder and not a paragon of weapon skill... it's ALL about the weapon.

HWalsh wrote:
The weapon just provides damage.

'magic' does, not the weapon and that's the issue: a non-magic weapon is doing 1d8 and IMO that's not right: level/class/ect doesn't matter as you ALWAYS deal the same damage and are, in essence, quite useless compared to how magical your weapon is.


10 people marked this as a favorite.

They don't hate magic items being magical, but you're right when you say some hate being dependent on magic items to succeed.

HWalsh wrote:
In PF2 its realistic to a point. You can only do so much damage with muscles and skill. Magic is the force multiplier and I, for one, am happy.

Yep, muscles and skill can allow you to climb 30 feet and swim 30 feet a round and fall from the sky and land harmlessly past level 15. They can allow you to wall kick like mario past level 7.

Skill can let you get food where food doesn't exist past level 7, and let you survive without any food past level 15. Skill can let you sense magic items, and trick magic items into thinking you're an authorized user when you aren't.

But if these muscles and skill allowed you to do lots and lots of damage, well that would just be totally unrealistic and going way too far.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
HWalsh wrote:

Some people hate the idea that magical weapons are actually magical. They want them to slightly help with accuracy and add eh, a slight bit of damage.

I hated this in PF1 and earlier editions.

Even my beloved Paladin has this:

1d8+10(str x 1.5) +12(Power Attack) +3(magic weapon)

The difference between a normal sword and a supremely expensive magical weapon of great power is... 3.

1d8+25 vs 1d8+22

That is silly.

Some people hate, in PF2, that a +3 weapon would be 4d8 rather than 1d8+3

I don't understand that.

"If a commoner picked up a..."

Yes. A commoner would hit hard, but would have no chance vs the high level fighter because the commoner couldn't hit him.

In PF2 its realistic to a point. You can only do so much damage with muscles and skill. Magic is the force multiplier and I, for one, am happy.

+X weapons take a sword and make it more swordy. It doesn't feel like they make it more magical. Just because the +X adds Xdy to damage instead of just X doesn't mean it is more magical, just that the difference between magic and nonmagic is exaggerated. Meh. I'd rather spend the money on a sword that did something new and unique, like caught fire by speaking a single word or shot lightning from the tip by focusing energies. A sword with a magical side-effect. If the game wasn't insisting that I make my sword more swordy before I made it more magical, I'd feel better about them.

As it stands now, good job on making magic swords feel more swordy than nonmagical swords, especially in PF2 compared to PF1 paizo. If that was the goal, consider it accomplished.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thinking about it, it also kind of throws off AP design and balance considerations. For example, the artifact sword of Jade Regent is really only a +2; its magic and the cool stuff are really all in the extra abilities. I'm not sure how much I want to compromise interesting design space for more powerful magic weapons.

That said, yeah, you could have it automatically get stronger + amounts as the thresholds are reached, but...
I don't know. I like how much difference they provide right now, but at the same time, I don't want to be wholly dependent on magic weapon pluses.


12 people marked this as a favorite.
HWalsh wrote:
Some people hate the idea that magical weapons are actually magical.

Not me, I love magical weapons that are actually magical feeling, not just extra damage dice required to keep up...yes, very magical...


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I agree with the OP's sentiment that PF1 weapons didn't feel magical for having just +X to hit and +X to damage. I also agree with others such as graystone about the magical feeling coming more from the special properties than the mathematical bonuses.

In that sense, the great improvement in PF2 is the separation between potency runes (the math bonuses) and property runes (to make weapons special). In PF1 a flaming property was equivalent to +1 in price and could only exist if the weapon was at least +1 to begin with, so it was priced as +2. This severely limited the diversity and number of special properties until the higher levels. Instead, property runes are now independent of potency and some are available at low levels.

So, I think PF2 has solved the problem of making weapons feel magical. The debate seems to have moved to a relatively secondary topic: Should the big damage come from the weapon or from the wielder's class and level.

I think the main reason the playtest attaches the damage increase to the weapon is to clearly differentiate between a merely high quality weapon and a magically enhanced one. The item quality grading system is one of the big improvements of PF2 over PF1, but it shouldn't overshadow magic... Or could it be possible to get rid of the issue?

Let's say that we remove weapon potency from the rules entirely, and instead all characters get an extra damage die on any physical attack at levels 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20. Since accuracy is just as important as damage, this change wouldn't remove the need for great weapons to be effective: Characters would just require high quality weapons, instead of magic weapons. Special properties would still be available in the same manner as today. I think this would be a simplification of the rules, satisfy those who dislike being overshadowed by their weapon, while pretty much everything else would remain the same.


9 people marked this as a favorite.
HWalsh wrote:

Some people hate the idea that magical weapons are actually magical. They want them to slightly help with accuracy and add eh, a slight bit of damage.

I hated this in PF1 and earlier editions.

Even my beloved Paladin has this:

1d8+10(str x 1.5) +12(Power Attack) +3(magic weapon)

The difference between a normal sword and a supremely expensive magical weapon of great power is... 3.

1d8+25 vs 1d8+22

That is silly.

Some people hate, in PF2, that a +3 weapon would be 4d8 rather than 1d8+3

I don't understand that.

"If a commoner picked up a..."

Yes. A commoner would hit hard, but would have no chance vs the high level fighter because the commoner couldn't hit him.

In PF2 its realistic to a point. You can only do so much damage with muscles and skill. Magic is the force multiplier and I, for one, am happy.

A level 10 commoner with a +3 sword will actually be pretty comparable to a level 10 fighter with a mundane sword. The commoner will hit less often. Although, not that much less. They both get +10 base. The commoner will probably have at least 14 STR because with so many boosts why not (and if his day job is one that requires heavy lifting, he may have put it up to 18)? The fighter's extra proficiency bonus is minor, and the commoner gets +3 from the sword.

The commoner will do more than double the damage of the fighter per hit. In that duel, the commoner has a pretty decent chance of winning.

This is not "all skill" at all. It's actually very little skill. The deciding factor here is not the fighter's advanced martial training, it's the sheer damage output of the potency rune on the sword. That is the opposite of character skill reigning supreme.

And that's the whole problem here. In a sword duel, a level 10 fighter should destroy a level 10 commoner, even if the commoner has what is a run of the mill magic sword. But that isn't what happens because the fighter loses so much damage potential.

In 1e, the Fighter's to hit would be so much higher because of a commoner's lower BAB that even if they were doing less damage per hit, the gap in accuracy and number of attacks would easily make up for it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

You assume that there are level 10 commoners. NPCs aren't built by PC rules.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
HWalsh wrote:


The difference between a normal sword and a supremely expensive magical weapon of great power is... 3.

1d8+25 vs 1d8+22

you are missing the bonus to hit and ability to bypass DR (for the PF1 case and to hit does effect dps, but not as severly as in PF2).

My problem with the PF2 magic weapons is if the 15th level paladin loses his sword he now cannot compete against level appropriate foes if he picks up a basic sword. His to hit goes down by 3 (which is everything in PF2) and even if he hits, his damage is now a fraction of what it was (1d8 + bonuses vs. 4d8 + bonuses)

If PF1, the paladin would have a chance unless the target required a magic weapon due to DR. The loss to hit is not as big a deal being a Full BAB class.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Thematically - I kind of like that magical weapons are absurdly powerful and can let a peasant fight as well as a trained warrior.

Mechanically - I don't like that there's a massive disparity between classes when it comes to magical item reliance.

Middle Ground - My preference is doing both. Let Magical Weapons increase weapon damage die...and let Weapon Proficiency increase weapon damage die. Just don't let them stack. This lets Magic Weapons be thematically awesome - a Peasant, Rogue, Wizard, etc can wield a magic weapon to great effect - but Martials get to be awesome without spending their cash on a weapon.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

So what if your TEML in the weapon determined how much of the +X to accuracy got converted to +XdY to damage? This would reflect the idea that the expertise in the weapon allows you to take increasing advantage of its magic and turn it to your advantage.

So now that commoner picks up Graymere, a longsword +4... and gains +4 accuracy and no bonus damage because said commoner is wielding it like a pitchfork.

But Gonzo the Great, level 20 fighter with Legendary expertise in longswords, picks up said weapon... and not only gains +4 accuracy but also gains +4d8 damage.

Meanwhile, Gonzo's younger cousin, Gimpy the Good, level 10 fighter, with only Master expertise, borrows said sword and... gains +4 accuracy but only gains +3d8 damage.

Etc..

And also, I would suggest giving Fighters a Class Power (fueled by Focus) to be allowed to move potency and/or property runes to a different weapon. Or perhaps to override Resonance investiture to be able to wield the nifty new weapon just found in the dungeon.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
HWalsh wrote:
You assume that there are level 10 commoners. NPCs aren't built by PC rules.

You're right, NPCs aren't built by PC rules. Which means you can just have a common person of any level, and regardless of that person's training, or lack there of, they will just have level-appropriate stats. Which currently seems rated to be about on par with an optimized character, so not only will the commoner's magical weapon be dealing triple the damage (even a non-magical weapon would through some mysterious force be dealing level-appropriate damage, but since the scenario was magic weapon, we'll say magic weapon,) they'll probably even have the advantage on accuracy, since the Fighter's sub-optimal due to not having a magic weapon.

EDIT:

Quintessentially Me wrote:


And also, I would suggest giving Fighters a Class Power (fueled by Focus) to be allowed to move potency and/or property runes to a different weapon. Or perhaps to override Resonance investiture to be able to wield the nifty new weapon just found in the dungeon.

One thing to note, there's already a built-in rule to transfer potency and property runes from one weapon to another (though I can't remember the costs if any off the top of my head) and magic weapons didn't and still shouldn't cost Resonance. They might cost Focus if they have an activated ability though.


12 people marked this as a favorite.
HWalsh wrote:
You assume that there are level 10 commoners. NPCs aren't built by PC rules.

If the only reason a level 10 commoner can't beat a level 10 fighter is to handwave it away by saying that the rules of the game only apply to PCs and everyone else is just "something", then we have a pretty fundamental problem.

I mean, there are no NPC creation rules at all right now, except "make whatever seems appropriate". So hey, I'm making a level 10 commoner and letting him follow the PC creation rules except his class is "Commoner" and it gives nothing except trained in the weapon in question and some HP.

If that guy has a +3 sword and the Fighter doesn't, that guy will stand a good chance of beating the Fighter.

That does not describe a game where character skill is the determining factor. It describes a game where magic swords are the determining factor.

(Also, there's no reason why a level 10 commoner couldn't exist. The game world consists of more than level 1 people. But I mean, you could use a level 10 Cleric with no spells or abilities instead and the outcome is the same. Again, this is the one thing the Fighter is supposed to excel at, and yet he's entirely reliant on a magic weapon to beat someone with no more than basic training. That just doesn't feel right.)


13 people marked this as a favorite.
HWalsh wrote:
You assume that there are level 10 commoners. NPCs aren't built by PC rules.

If there are no level 10 commoners, then either everyone has a PC class (which gets tedious for a GM at higher levels), or it becomes impossible for normal people to forge those impressive weapons the PCs buy (which makes you wonder where ye old magic mart gets them all from). Alternatively, NPCs just do whatever is required for the plot, which breaks verisimilitude for a lot of tables when the PCs and the world use completely separate rules.

HWalsh wrote:
Some people hate the idea that magical weapons are actually magical.

No. We hate that martials are incompetent at their jobs without a very specific magical rune on their weapons. We hate having a magical weapon's primary purpose being to tick numbers up rather than doing something cool or unique. We hate seeing every high level character having the exact same magic on their weapon as a default expectation of the system. We hate how enemies have to play by separate rules and gain innate damage bonuses on lower quality weapons - since otherwise they either couldn't compete or would break the WBL when looted.

What we want is for magical weapons to feel special, while allowing non-magical classes to be capable of performing their jobs without relying on magic as a crutch. A weapon isn't special when everyone is expected to have it as a default (if everyone is special, then no one is). Not to mention, many heroes of myth and legend were capable of extraordinary feats without having special magic weapons, or with ordinary weapons which only became known as special after being used to accomplish legendary feats. In the playtest right now, this feels backwards - the fighter is special because they own a powerful sword rather than the sword being special because it was wielded by a powerful fighter.


Quintessentially Me wrote:

So what if your TEML in the weapon determined how much of the +X to accuracy got converted to +XdY to damage? This would reflect the idea that the expertise in the weapon allows you to take increasing advantage of its magic and turn it to your advantage.

So now that commoner picks up Graymere, a longsword +4... and gains +4 accuracy and no bonus damage because said commoner is wielding it like a pitchfork.

But Gonzo the Great, level 20 fighter with Legendary expertise in longswords, picks up said weapon... and not only gains +4 accuracy but also gains +4d8 damage.

Meanwhile, Gonzo's younger cousin, Gimpy the Good, level 10 fighter, with only Master expertise, borrows said sword and... gains +4 accuracy but only gains +3d8 damage.

Etc..

And also, I would suggest giving Fighters a Class Power (fueled by Focus) to be allowed to move potency and/or property runes to a different weapon. Or perhaps to override Resonance investiture to be able to wield the nifty new weapon just found in the dungeon.

Now the sword is more swordy, but I can only unlock its swordiest potential by being the best with swords. Still doesn't really add much to the magic half of the magic sword.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Lycar expressed the issue with magic weapons well in the thread on high level martials needing magic items. The issue is that almost every class can fill its role with class features alone, except the fighter. Fighters are supposed to be the best with weapons, but they can't deal massive damage unless they look outside of the class and invest in magic weapons. Even a wizard who relies on their spellbook gets to add a few spells for free every time they level up.

The benefit in giving fighters extra damage dice just for being good with a weapon is that the class would actually be sufficient for dealing massive damage. But the real draw of magic weapons would be things like ghost touch. Sure, your class might be enough to do massive damage to normal enemies, but if you want to deal with that ghost who's been haunting up the place, you need to find a special weapon to deal with it.

And that, to me, feels more special and magical than the assumption that everyone has a +3 longsword after a certain level.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Mathmuse wrote:
Lewis Carroll's poem Jabberwocky played with words to introduce both the deadly Jabberwock and the vorpal blade that beheaded it with a snicker-snack.

No. Just... no.

Sorry for the off-topic rant, but you hit a major pet peeve of mine. The poem Jabberwocky uses a bunch of nonsense words whose meanings are to be inferred by context. When I first read the poem, my impression was that "vorpal" simply meant "trusty". I've always imagined the boy's sword as a simple peasant weapon, nothing special. When he fought the creature, he simply struck several good blows (snicker-snack!) with a decent weapon. He then severed the head and took it back to show his dad.

Later I found out that D&D had co-opted the term "vorpal" to mean some powerful magical quality, and have since always felt that they totally missed the point.
</rant>


I always imagined it to be vor as in vortex + pal as in impale, to the sense of producing a devastating wound by way of rotating.


Charon Onozuka wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
You assume that there are level 10 commoners. NPCs aren't built by PC rules.
If there are no level 10 commoners, then either everyone has a PC class (which gets tedious for a GM at higher levels), or it becomes impossible for normal people to forge those impressive weapons the PCs buy (which makes you wonder where ye old magic mart gets them all from).

Impossible?

That word does not mean what you think it means.

I can make an NPC named:

"Master Blacksmith"

If I want him to have a +12 Master Crafting then he can have it. He can also only have +3 to hit. Why? Because NPCs don't follow PC rules.


HWalsh wrote:
You assume that there are level 10 commoners. NPCs aren't built by PC rules.

Well, level 10 "I have a job and provide an interesting RP encounter that might involve combat, but have not had the need or opportunity to become good with swords before" is a bit tricky to work into a conversation.


I took it to mean mighty or powerful.
I'm guessing the poem works as it was intended considering how different the interpretations are.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As long as we're talking about the Jabberwocky, I always took Vorpal to mean some sort of hunger or voraciousness. It's a pretty scary, imposing word sound. If it was meant to be equivalent to "trusty" I would have expected to see a more friendly looking and sounding word.


The Sideromancer wrote:
I always imagined it to be vor as in vortex + pal as in impale, to the sense of producing a devastating wound by way of rotating.

Carroll himself explained that many of the poem's words were portmanteau words playfully combining existing words from English, such that "frumious" meant "fuming and furious", "mimsy" meant "flimsy and miserable" and "slithy" meant "lithe and slimy".

On "vorpal" he wrote "I am afraid I can't explain 'vorpal blade' for you—nor yet 'tulgey wood'".


2 people marked this as a favorite.
The Once and Future Kai wrote:

Thematically - I kind of like that magical weapons are absurdly powerful and can let a peasant fight as well as a trained warrior.

Mechanically - I don't like that there's a massive disparity between classes when it comes to magical item reliance.

Middle Ground - My preference is doing both. Let Magical Weapons increase weapon damage die...and let Weapon Proficiency increase weapon damage die. Just don't let them stack. This lets Magic Weapons be thematically awesome - a Peasant, Rogue, Wizard, etc can wield a magic weapon to great effect - but Martials get to be awesome without spending their cash on a weapon.

I ran into items not stacking with my abilities in real life. When I was a undergraduate college student, I wanted a high-end scientific calculator. But when I reached graduate school, a low-end scientific calculator suited me better. If I wanted to use a complicated mathematical operation, I tended to customize it and do the number crunching on paper. These days 30 years later, I use a $4 pocket calculator for little calculations, such as Pathfinder damage-per-round calculations, and a laptop computer with R or Python for massive data. The whole graphing calculator movement skipped me, except that my daughters used them in high school.


Paradozen wrote:
Quintessentially Me wrote:

So now that commoner picks up Graymere, a longsword +4... and gains +4 accuracy and no bonus damage because said commoner is wielding it like a pitchfork.

But Gonzo the Great, level 20 fighter with Legendary expertise in longswords, picks up said weapon... and not only gains +4 accuracy but also gains +4d8 damage.

Meanwhile, Gonzo's younger cousin, Gimpy the Good, level 10 fighter, with only Master expertise, borrows said sword and... gains +4 accuracy but only gains +3d8 damage.

Etc..
<snip>

Now the sword is more swordy, but I can only unlock its swordiest potential by being the best with swords. Still doesn't really add much to the magic half of the magic sword.

Disagree entirely. The sword is magic for whoever possesses it, but in order to unlock the full potential, you have to be worthy of the weapon. It's better than a plain old sword for anyone who picks it up. That's magic. But the weapon's amazing balance, magically-sharp edge, and the slight way it guides your stroke as you swing it... It takes the best of swordsmen to realize that and implement it to the full potential. The combination of a master warrior and master weapon should always yield a better result from each than if they were paired with other less powerful counterparts.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Doodpants wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
Lewis Carroll's poem Jabberwocky played with words to introduce both the deadly Jabberwock and the vorpal blade that beheaded it with a snicker-snack.

No. Just... no.

Sorry for the off-topic rant, but you hit a major pet peeve of mine. The poem Jabberwocky uses a bunch of nonsense words whose meanings are to be inferred by context. When I first read the poem, my impression was that "vorpal" simply meant "trusty". I've always imagined the boy's sword as a simple peasant weapon, nothing special. When he fought the creature, he simply struck several good blows (snicker-snack!) with a decent weapon. He then severed the head and took it back to show his dad.

Later I found out that D&D had co-opted the term "vorpal" to mean some powerful magical quality, and have since always felt that they totally missed the point.
</rant>

Sorry to have touched on a sensitive topic. I am perfectly willing to acknowlwdge the vorpal sword as a non-magical weapon like the singing sword.

Graystone provided Lewis Carroll's own words on the origin of "vorpal." I agree with WatersLethe that the "vor-" in vorpal reminds me of voraciousness. But the "-pal" ending breaks the flow of "voracious" or "carnivore" to make it a less threatening word. "-pal" could reflect the words principal or loyal. A loyal dog is a carnivore yet is much more trusty than deadly.

Furthermore, in the poem itself, the protagonist was a beamish boy warned against the Jabberwock, Jubjub bird, and Bandersnatch by his father. That does not sound like a great hero armed with an all-powerful blade. It sounds like a very young man testing himself against a manxome foe to gain respect. If the blade did all the work, the poem would not be as good as a story.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The "magic sword" that cuts through "anything" (ie is more swordy, as someone said) is a fantasy staple.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
HWalsh wrote:

Some people hate the idea that magical weapons are actually magical. They want them to slightly help with accuracy and add eh, a slight bit of damage.

I hated this in PF1 and earlier editions.

Even my beloved Paladin has this:

1d8+10(str x 1.5) +12(Power Attack) +3(magic weapon)

The difference between a normal sword and a supremely expensive magical weapon of great power is... 3.

1d8+25 vs 1d8+22

That is silly.

Some people hate, in PF2, that a +3 weapon would be 4d8 rather than 1d8+3

I don't understand that.

"If a commoner picked up a..."

Yes. A commoner would hit hard, but would have no chance vs the high level fighter because the commoner couldn't hit him.

In PF2 its realistic to a point. You can only do so much damage with muscles and skill. Magic is the force multiplier and I, for one, am happy.

I would rather have a martial character getting those extra weapon dice from his own growth and experience, and then have the magic part of the weapon have some powerful activation effect, like how noble phantasms worked in the Fate series, or a smaller effect for lesser magical items.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Ultrace wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
Quintessentially Me wrote:

So now that commoner picks up Graymere, a longsword +4... and gains +4 accuracy and no bonus damage because said commoner is wielding it like a pitchfork.

But Gonzo the Great, level 20 fighter with Legendary expertise in longswords, picks up said weapon... and not only gains +4 accuracy but also gains +4d8 damage.

Meanwhile, Gonzo's younger cousin, Gimpy the Good, level 10 fighter, with only Master expertise, borrows said sword and... gains +4 accuracy but only gains +3d8 damage.

Etc..
<snip>

Now the sword is more swordy, but I can only unlock its swordiest potential by being the best with swords. Still doesn't really add much to the magic half of the magic sword.
Disagree entirely. The sword is magic for whoever possesses it, but in order to unlock the full potential, you have to be worthy of the weapon. It's better than a plain old sword for anyone who picks it up. That's magic. But the weapon's amazing balance, magically-sharp edge, and the slight way it guides your stroke as you swing it... It takes the best of swordsmen to realize that and implement it to the full potential. The combination of a master warrior and master weapon should always yield a better result from each than if they were paired with other less powerful counterparts.

See for me it makes it more 'mathy', not more magical: it's numbers thrown at the character to keep up with the systems expectations of what a PC needs to do in combat.

To illustrate how 'unmagical' it seems, an npc can have a sword with all the same traits that is 100% non-magical/mundane... Somehow NPC deal damage based on their 'level' while it's an impossible task for PC that have to find a magic item to do it for them. It's a crutch, not a wondrous item legends are made of... :P


graystone wrote:

See for me it makes it more 'mathy', not more magical: it's numbers thrown at the character to keep up with the systems expectations of what a PC needs to do in combat.

To illustrate how 'unmagical' it seems, an npc can have a sword with all the same traits that is 100% non-magical/mundane... Somehow NPC deal damage based on their 'level' while it's an impossible task for PC that have to find a magic item to do it for them. It's a crutch, not a wondrous item legends are made of... :P

For what it's worth, I agree with you. I don't think magical weapons in PF2 should be adding damage dice. But I was replying theoretically to how one could narrate such a weapon still being magical and yet requiring true expertise to maximize that power.


16 people marked this as a favorite.
graystone wrote:
To illustrate how 'unmagical' it seems, an npc can have a sword with all the same traits that is 100% non-magical/mundane... Somehow NPC deal damage based on their 'level' while it's an impossible task for PC that have to find a magic item to do it for them. It's a crutch, not a wondrous item legends are made of... :P

Nailed it. This is the crux of the whole problem. PCs need magic swords with huge dice scaling because PCs don't grow or become more capable of doing damage on their own.

NPCs do, because reasons. That level of internal logical inconsistency is staggering. My fighter, rather than being a legendary hero and the best at swordsmanship, is actually awful and needs magical assistance to do what the guy he is fighting can do completely on his own... unless the loot table says we need a new magic sword in the treasure, and then suddenly that guy also can't do it and will drop a magic sword if we beat him.

I guess it's nice that it makes things easier for content designers because they can totally ignore the rules and even the logical consistency of the world itself, but it doesn't make any damn sense at all as a player exploring that world. It's as gameist as you can possibly get, like when the AI in a video game flat out doesn't adhere to the rules of the game despite supposedly being an equal opponent.

There has to be a better way than having a PC Fighter and an NPC Fighter function on such fundamentally different rules.


graystone wrote:

See for me it makes it more 'mathy', not more magical: it's numbers thrown at the character to keep up with the systems expectations of what a PC needs to do in combat.

To illustrate how 'unmagical' it seems, an npc can have a sword with all the same traits that is 100% non-magical/mundane... Somehow NPC deal damage based on their 'level' while it's an impossible task for PC that have to find a magic item to do it for them. It's a crutch, not a wondrous item legends are made of... :P

You know, you're right. That suggestion was an off-the-top-of-my-head suggestion to appease the "keep the damage dice on the sword" crowd.

Personally, I also believe precision and damage dice should be intrinsic to a class that focuses on weapon use and would absolutely love it if magic weapons just did magical things.

And while yes, there are also legends of swords that can e.g. cut through anything, suggesting they would simply, yes, add to precision and/or damage dice, I would propose such effects be placed on a property rune and be an on-use option (Focus?) that gives a temporary boost or something.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I was thinking about it more, and the magic item thing really boils down to two issues- necessity and ubiquity.

The latter is sort of what people have been pointing out with weapon qualities feeling more special than +X bonuses. If everyone's assumed to have a +X weapon, magic items stop feeling special. If you remove that assumption, though, suddenly, finding a ghost touch weapon to deal with the ghost problem feels special and properly magical. But as it stands, if +2 weapons are just what you get when you're rich enough, that's little different from just adding levels of craftsmanship above masterwork.

The former is that issue where fighters are the only class where the class abilities are insufficient to fill their role. Fighters are supposed to be weapon masters, and yet they need to rely on wizards to actually deal large amounts of damage. If you make damage runes less common, though, and grant bonus damage dice for higher proficiency levels, they would be self-sufficient. Granted, that would lead to the interesting mental image of a fighter being able to pick a branch up off the ground and murder people to death with it, dealing more damage than a greatsword could in other people's hands. But to be honest, I don't have a problem with that. As an example of that trope in fiction, it would let you build Jason Bourne. Meanwhile, if damage runes still existed, they would let other people upgrade one weapon to be as good as the fighter, or let the fighter go from massive damage to obscene amounts of damage.


12 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like to imagine a Fighter undergoing a risky procedure to be turned into an NPC in order to gain skill with a blade.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
HWalsh wrote:
Charon Onozuka wrote:
If there are no level 10 commoners, then either everyone has a PC class (which gets tedious for a GM at higher levels), or it becomes impossible for normal people to forge those impressive weapons the PCs buy (which makes you wonder where ye old magic mart gets them all from).

Impossible?

That word does not mean what you think it means.

I can make an NPC named:

"Master Blacksmith"

If I want him to have a +12 Master Crafting then he can have it. He can also only have +3 to hit. Why? Because NPCs don't follow PC rules.

You know, it comes off as dishonest when your argument relies on having deleted the very next sentence I posted.

Charon Onozuka wrote:
If there are no level 10 commoners, then either everyone has a PC class (which gets tedious for a GM at higher levels), or it becomes impossible for normal people to forge those impressive weapons the PCs buy (which makes you wonder where ye old magic mart gets them all from). Alternatively, NPCs just do whatever is required for the plot, which breaks verisimilitude for a lot of tables when the PCs and the world use completely separate rules.

Your example is just the GM throwing random numbers onto an NPC for the purpose of the plot. This breaks verisimilitude as the world isn't consistent in how similar characters interact with it. It is one thing for humanoids and monsters to operate by different rules (though still troubling for interacting with magic weapon rules), but when the primary difference between two humans is whether they are controlled by the PCs or the GM - different applications of the rules become problematic for selling the idea of an immersive world.

Not to mention that players tend to have a problem when everyone else in the world blatantly ignores the rules restrictions they are forced to abide by. Going back to your example blacksmith, why can't a PC with the Blacksmith background do anything similar without deliberately taking steps to gimp themselves? When the primary part of both attack and skill bonus comes from level, it is extremely difficult to improve one and not the other.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
RazarTuk wrote:


The former is that issue where fighters are the only class where the class abilities are insufficient to fill their role. Fighters are supposed to be weapon masters, and yet they need to rely on wizards to actually deal large amounts of damage. If you make damage runes less common, though, and grant bonus damage dice for higher proficiency levels, they would be self-sufficient. Granted, that would lead to the interesting mental image of a fighter being able to pick a branch up off the ground and murder people to death with it, dealing more damage than a greatsword could in other people's hands. But to be honest, I don't have a problem with that. As an example of that trope in fiction, it would let you build Jason Bourne. Meanwhile, if damage runes still existed, they would let other people upgrade one weapon to be as good as the fighter, or let the fighter go from massive damage to obscene amounts of damage.

It isn't just fighters. Its Barbarians, Monks, Paladins, Rangers, and Rogues. All need magic weapons of the appropriate plus or are next to useless in combat.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
WatersLethe wrote:
I like to imagine a Fighter undergoing a risky procedure to be turned into an NPC in order to gain skill with a blade.

"PC's? Are you joking! Hire some NPC's! They have a cheaper wage and we don't have to spend hardly anything to equip them. Can you believe the last PC asked for a MAGIC weapon? What, he couldn't use the same weapons my guards use?"


I am a little confused about this whole blacksmith thing. It seems to me that the NPC blacksmith who spends most of his waking hours working at the smithy should probably be better at it than the PC fighter who spends his days fighting monsters and recreationally blacksmiths on the weekends (don't ask me, some people are masochistic). Your brother-in-law might be the best plumber in the world, but if he gives you legal advice and an actual lawyer gives you contrary advice, your b-in-l's level of plumbing skill should not affect your assessment about his legal knowledge.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
graystone wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
I like to imagine a Fighter undergoing a risky procedure to be turned into an NPC in order to gain skill with a blade.
"PC's? Are you joking! Hire some NPC's! They have a cheaper wage and we don't have to spend hardly anything to equip them. Can you believe the last PC asked for a MAGIC weapon? What, he couldn't use the same weapons my guards use?"

The Alternative is to go back to 2nd Edition AD&D rules.

As in:
"Oh you don't have a magic weapon? You can't hurt it. No matter what."

Not DR, not resist, you just lose.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mechagamera wrote:
It seems to me that the NPC blacksmith who spends most of his waking hours working at the smithy should probably be better at it than the PC

You can really compare them as a PC only gets skilled by gaining experience: it has 100% nothing to do with actual practice of the skill. NPC's gain skill bonuses out of the blue for the sole purpose of challenging the PC's. As such, the local blacksmith would not even have a total unless they were expected to roll vs a PC. So it's kind of an apple/orange situation.

PS: I'm also curious who makes weapons better than +1? No NPC gets ANY use out of them so is it for the extremely few PC's to use?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Mechagamera wrote:
I am a little confused about this whole blacksmith thing. It seems to me that the NPC blacksmith who spends most of his waking hours working at the smithy should probably be better at it than the PC fighter who spends his days fighting monsters and recreationally blacksmiths on the weekends (don't ask me, some people are masochistic). Your brother-in-law might be the best plumber in the world, but if he gives you legal advice and an actual lawyer gives you contrary advice, your b-in-l's level of plumbing skill should not affect your assessment about his legal knowledge.

And that's the issue with +1/level. Spending a few years fighting demons in the Worldwound and levelling up a few times teaches you how to repair just about anything, swim, balance on narrow surfaces, rattle off random trivia about the occult, orient yourself without a compass, and do a funny stand-up routine.

1 to 50 of 161 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Player Rules / Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells / Magical weapons in PF2 are actually magical. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.