I do not see the rhyme or reason behind 2e's rarity system.


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Xenocrat wrote:
RazarTuk wrote:


* If something's common, it's always common. The example I've been giving is that in Avistan, longswords are common while katanas are uncommon. But in Tian Xia, katanas are common while longswords are... also common.
The default rules are the...default. If you set your campaign in Tian Xia, the GM is supposed to be smart enough to swap these rarities. Just like he'd make dragon encounters with imperial dragons instead of chromatic.

Sure, by RAI. But by RAW, once something's common, it's always common.


Xenocrat wrote:
RazarTuk wrote:


* If something's common, it's always common. The example I've been giving is that in Avistan, longswords are common while katanas are uncommon. But in Tian Xia, katanas are common while longswords are... also common.

The default rules are the...default. If you set your campaign in Tian Xia, the GM is supposed to be smart enough to swap these rarities. Just like he'd make dragon encounters with imperial dragons instead of chromatic.

Cyrad wrote:


There's currently no way for a character from Tian Xia to treat katanas as common. And it can't just be a human heritage thing either. Plenty of non-human races live in Tian Xia.
There is a way. You tell your GM that your character is from Tian Xia and ask if you can have a katana for that reason. The whole point of uncommon is that you have to do some work or have some reason you in particular have access to it. A character backstory can be that reason.

Works for the initial build, but you're screwed if you ever want a better one. Which is realistic - unless you're taking trips back home.

Unless you take the feat that makes it common for you, in which case you can pick them up in any local shop.


thejeff wrote:

Unless you take the feat that makes it common for you, in which case you can pick them up in any local shop.

There's a reason I've been consistently talking about the elven black market in the Five Kings Mountains. It's the only logical explanation for how that feat works.


RazarTuk wrote:
* If something's common, it's always common. The example I've been giving is that in Avistan, longswords are common while katanas are uncommon. But in Tian Xia, katanas are common while longswords are... also common.

What's wrong with that?

Chinese longswords
Japanese longswords

RazarTuk wrote:
* Even though Paizo claims it's just about in-universe rarity, there's still a noticeable trend toward it being more game breaking magicks, like teleport, that are harder to find...

What's wrong with that? They get to decide what things are rare in-universe, and it's sensible for them to pick the things that are game-breaking rather than 'magic missile'.


I've talked enough on this topic. But I'd like to go a different direction.

If this stays, can we at least get a "Region" or "Faction" based tag for some of these? To explain WHY they are rare and not just "Because I said so".

As an example, Mummy's Mask introduces Summon Lesser Psychopomp. Now I have never seen anyone take this spell, even Divines that are SUPPOSED to get every spell(WHY?). As such it's probably a decent reward.

But it's a Pharasma church spell. So maybe tag it [Faction - Pharasma]. Spitballing here. Like wise with the whole Tian weapons.

Yes I know this would take up printing space but I still think you can kick the info over into the GM book with a side panel talking about it in the player's book.


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Xenocrat wrote:
There is a way. You tell your GM that your character is from Tian Xia and ask if you can have a katana for that reason. The whole point of uncommon is that you have to do some work or have some reason you in particular have access to it. A character backstory can be that reason.

I figure you manage it exactly like traits were handled in Pathfinder 2.0. Sure an inordinate number of Magi summered in Minata as children, but if your backstory explains how you got from Varisia to Minata and back, then go ahead and take the trait. If your backstory doesn't fly with the campaign or is just too much, the GM is free to say "not in this campaign, please."

Most uncommon things available at chargen are mostly a "justify it in your backstory" whereas uncommon things later on in play are just going to involve some effort to find. So you can start the game with the Katana your father brought with him when he traveled to Avistan, but if you want an adamantine katana later you might have to have that commissioned.


AndIMustMask wrote:
so... shadowrun-modern? i can kinda dig that. or are we talking magitek?

Both, I guess.:

It's shadowrun-modern level tech, roughly. But instead of running on normal tech for the most part, everything runs pretty much entirely on arcane, occult, divine, or primal principles. The main world is a planar hub and the population density is absurd, so it definitely has the Shadowrun Sprawl thing going on a bit. Except like, instead of concrete and steel it's brick and stone facades.

There are some differences. E.g. lines of communication are way worse as reliable magical communication is probably pretty expensive, so the world is developing way slower than it otherwise should. Also the few patches of environment are less horrific, due to large scale druidic management. Overall it probably looks a bit more Ravnica than 2075 Berlin.

I will confess to waiting for the final draft of magic items though, as I'd really like to homebrew a high level arcane equivalent to what is basically a cyberdeck. For the rare locations that actually have an arcane information network. Also it would be fun to let the wizard or rogue use their arcana skill to hack. Depending on the role of resonance, I might use item investment in place of passwords


Jason Bulmahn wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

Uncommon - Harder to track down need to spend time to get. And have the GM grace your request.

Rare - Don't bother asking. Don't bother printing. Why show players something they won't get.

How is Rarity NOT a toll for balancing game power? Especially after games like Dialbo and WoW where Rarity tends to meant BETTER. Heck, some table top games also fall into the case of "Rarity means better".

What to ban a spell? Just make it uncommon or Rare. The players won't know you outright banned it, they'll just know they might have a slim chance of getting it.

I'm sorry Jason, I don't like the Rarity system. Why print spells FOR the players if they won't be able to use them? Throw them in the GM book.

As an example; a player comes to me in PF1 with anything from Artifacts and Legends I'm gonna say no. That's more a book for GMs not for players to drool over and think "How do I break the game with this".

Just put the uncommon and rares elsewhere already.

An element of this is setting up a usage that we can more readily take advantage of in the future, tbh. How it gets used in the core is still kinda an open question.

And I think there is a difference between uncommon and rare that is worth noting. Uncommon means that you can't just take it. Something (a feat, a class option, an archetype, the GM) needs to grant you access to it. Rare means that only the GM can give it out or that you will get only through your actions during play... so dont bother looking for some other way to get it.

A good example of a rare thing might be the quest reward from the end of an adventure. Something you get through play, but can get no other way. In fact, that is one of the more interesting ways we are hoping to use the system.

Its all about tools to help manage the game and what you have to know to play.

I don't like this at all, I vastly prefer a system where anything can be yours if you have the money for it.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I'd assume that means that if you have such a feat, you get the ability. It's not clear to me why powers get such labels, when there is no other way to get them.
It seems though that class feats could have rarity to represent "you need to find someone to teach this technique to you" and the "five finger exploding heart death punch" seems like a pretty good example of what sort of thing that should have this treatment.

That doesn't make sense. If the only way to learn a technique is to be taught, then how did it get developed in the first place? This works better as an argument for making class features available at lower levels if you have a trainer (because you don't have to reinvent the ability).


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I really like the rarity system myself.

Personally, one big thing I'm looking forward to with it is being able to filter by it on PRD sites and, if it's applied correctly, not get all of the racial, region-specific, and AP-only feats and spells that clog up the lists.

And it provides a nice short-hand for stuff like bazaars. Sure, you can probably find any common item of a given level, but the uncommon and rare stuff shouldn't be assumed to be there.

Regardless of why material might not be appropriate for all games, I'm glad things are being tagged as such to properly set expectations.

Cheers!
Landon


I think running out the play test. Paizo was under the impression some people might be new to D and D with the scenes they put together and want to test certain parts of their game.

Now with that in mind. Something I felt they should have done is put examples in why somewhere.

I like the rarity system.

I just feel they should have put in examples of why this makes sense.

No I do not feel it makes sense to buy an Elven Curve Blade in a Dwarven Town.

I am under the impression if something is uncommon that could probably be done by asking around probably with some type of DC roll or god forbid role playing to look for it.

The magical item section no argument it keeps certain items special.

I can see some feats being harder to use than others. I expect certain fighting styles or abilities to be more common than others. This system help shows that.

Some spells are problematic. Something I really loved starting in 4.0 in D and D is they took some of those spells away for how they were used before. Some spells were to open ended like teleport. As a player for me, I think the Wizards got nerfed a bit to hard for my liking. They should have redefined things like teleport.

Something I feel would be nifty as far as Wizard Spells go. Any spell within your school of magic would be common to you. Spells outside of your school would be uncommon and if you go back to the original opposite school list when D and D came out with it, well those spells would all be rare to you.

As for divine casting, I feel spells should be limited to what makes sense for your god. If you follow a goodie god you probably should not have access to Protection from good. Unless you follow the God of knowledge type limited the divine asking of questions. By having a common, uncommon, and rare list in the divine side you can say all gods grant this.

They tried to simply spells. Like heal is a first level spell. That heightens ever spell casting level. That is a nice simple idea I just like. Well if they simplify or site examples or Common, Uncommon and Rare so that more people understand it. It is an idea I like.

They need examples. If for no other reason to help those new to D and D.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

An element of this is setting up a usage that we can more readily take advantage of in the future, tbh. How it gets used in the core is still kinda an open question.

And I think there is a difference between uncommon and rare that is worth noting. Uncommon means that you can't just take it. Something (a feat, a class option, an archetype, the GM) needs to grant you access to it. Rare means that only the GM can give it out or that you will get only through your actions during play... so dont bother looking for some other way to get it.

A good example of a rare thing might be the quest reward from the end of an adventure. Something you get through play, but can get no other way. In fact, that is one of the more interesting ways we are hoping to use the system.

Its all about tools to help manage the game and what you have to know to play.

See, I think Rare has a purpose. I don't believe that Uncommon does. All that Uncommon does is make character creation stressful. Both for the player who doesn't know if they'll actually be allowed to build out the character concept they have in mind, and the GM who has to answer potentially dozens of questions about whether A is allowed and B is allowed and C is allowed and D is allowed and E is allowed and...

Just have Common and Rare. That's all you need.

As for regional or cultural access, I think that can be handled separately from the rarity system. Just use tags. "Western" or "Eastern" or "Dwarf" or whatever, with things such as the longsword or bow that appear basically everywhere in one form or another not being tagged. Then the GM can say X tag is allowed or disallowed based on the setting and character background, without interacting with the actual rarity system at all.

Dark Archive

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I like rarity system and I do like stuff like teleport being rare. Because seriously it would explain why none of NPCs seem to ever use teleport, like why there isn't rich wizard making business with teleporting nobles to good vacation places :p


Jason Bulmahn wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

Uncommon - Harder to track down need to spend time to get. And have the GM grace your request.

Rare - Don't bother asking. Don't bother printing. Why show players something they won't get.

How is Rarity NOT a toll for balancing game power? Especially after games like Dialbo and WoW where Rarity tends to meant BETTER. Heck, some table top games also fall into the case of "Rarity means better".

What to ban a spell? Just make it uncommon or Rare. The players won't know you outright banned it, they'll just know they might have a slim chance of getting it.

I'm sorry Jason, I don't like the Rarity system. Why print spells FOR the players if they won't be able to use them? Throw them in the GM book.

As an example; a player comes to me in PF1 with anything from Artifacts and Legends I'm gonna say no. That's more a book for GMs not for players to drool over and think "How do I break the game with this".

Just put the uncommon and rares elsewhere already.

An element of this is setting up a usage that we can more readily take advantage of in the future, tbh. How it gets used in the core is still kinda an open question.

And I think there is a difference between uncommon and rare that is worth noting. Uncommon means that you can't just take it. Something (a feat, a class option, an archetype, the GM) needs to grant you access to it. Rare means that only the GM can give it out or that you will get only through your actions during play... so dont bother looking for some other way to get it.

A good example of a rare thing might be the quest reward from the end of an adventure. Something you get through play, but can get no other way. In fact, that is one of the more interesting ways we are hoping to use the system.

Its all about tools to help manage the game and what you have to know to play.

How's that a difference? Uncommon, you have to have the GM give it to you. Rare..., you have to have the GM give it to you. Rare's just maybe at the bottom of a dungeon but you still need the GM to give you BOTH of them.

I ask again, what's the point of showing players Rares if the GM is the one making the call on if they get it or not? You don't print Artifacts in Player manuals.


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CorvusMask wrote:
I like rarity system and I do like stuff like teleport being rare. Because seriously it would explain why none of NPCs seem to ever use teleport, like why there isn't rich wizard making business with teleporting nobles to good vacation places :p

Teleporting Police Dragons, manage all the teleporting routes. Too much usage gets a squad teleporting into your home.

Funny explaination aside, You'd need a level 9th wizard which might get you 2-3 castings? This problem however loops back to an issue most people have "How many classes are there in a population, and how many are high level".

Also while it makes sense for NPCs(Usually enemies) to do so, show me a player group that would be fine being on the OTHER side of Scry and Fry.


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MerlinCross wrote:

...

How's that a difference? Uncommon, you have to have the GM give it to you. Rare..., you have to have the GM give it to you. Rare's just maybe at the bottom of a dungeon but you still need the GM to give you BOTH of them.

I ask again, what's the point of showing players Rares if the GM is the one making the call on if they get it or not? You don't print Artifacts in Player manuals.

The difference is that, as per Jason's post above, in theory players can almost always get uncommon items if they put a bit of time and effort in, while with rare items all bets are off.

I don't believe for a second that this is how it will work out in practice, but that appears to be the model they are operating under.

Liberty's Edge

I think 3 Rarities are probably about right for the sweet spot here.

Common

Rare

Unique

Allow all Common stuff out of the gate. Rare has to be granted by special Class Gated Abilities (For example a Conjurer Wizard could add 1 Rare Conjuration Spell to his Spellbook at X, Y, Z Levels). Other than that, make Rare items be GM gated.

Unique Items IMO should only EVER be printed as Artifacts, or as part of an Adventure Module/Path. Add some Rules that allow Crafters to make this own Magic Items from the various Gates but NEVER from the Unique Category.

We've seen too many Cyclops Helms already.


CorvusMask wrote:
I like rarity system and I do like stuff like teleport being rare. Because seriously it would explain why none of NPCs seem to ever use teleport, like why there isn't rich wizard making business with teleporting nobles to good vacation places :p

Easily resolved by doing some worldbuilding. Every world I run games in takes this stuff into account, and has things like interdimensional banking, cheap travel, and the like, based on the highest level of magic in the setting.


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Another thing that I like about rarity is that just marking something uncommon does signpost to players "maybe I should not make a point of getting one of these for every character" which is not a thing that really existed in PF1 (where all sorts of people were walking around with jingasas before those got nerfed.)


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Another thing that I like about rarity is that just marking something uncommon does signpost to players "maybe I should not make a point of getting one of these for every character" which is not a thing that really existed in PF1 (where all sorts of people were walking around with jingasas before those got nerfed.)

"Hmm this is uncommon, I wonder if it's effective".

Even without that, people follow guides and pick the blue option. I doubt having "Uncommon" is going to stop the march of the clones.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The issue would be what hoops you have to jump through to get an uncommon option.

For example, the character creation guidelines for higher level characters in the Pathfinder Playtest allow you a single uncommon option. I could see the optimization guides having arguments about the best uncommon option to select in such cases.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
David knott 242 wrote:
I could see the optimization guides having arguments about the best uncommon option to select in such cases.

That's their problem.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like the system as a tool for DMs. I also think it has interesting potential for getting at different feels for your particular campaign setting.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Hey there all,

I think something got lost in the chat here.

Uncommon items are, by default, not something you can choose without permission, but unlike Rare items, uncommon items usually have a character choice somewhere that the players can pick that gives them access (such as a feat, class, or ancestry choice).

We could list these as rare. That is true, but there is some value in having there be a marker that says "hey, there is an easy way to get this if you make the right choices", whereas rare says "hey, its totally up to the GM if you can get this and it will usually involve a quest or other in game activity".

If that makes sense...


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
I could see the optimization guides having arguments about the best uncommon option to select in such cases.
That's their problem.

That's the problem with using rarity to do game balance.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

I think something got lost in the chat here.

Uncommon items are, by default, not something you can choose without permission, but unlike Rare items, uncommon items usually have a character choice somewhere that the players can pick that gives them access (such as a feat, class, or ancestry choice).

We could list these as rare. That is true, but there is some value in having there be a marker that says "hey, there is an easy way to get this if you make the right choices", whereas rare says "hey, its totally up to the GM if you can get this and it will usually involve a quest or other in game activity".

If that makes sense...

I see where you're coming from, but both Uncommon and Rare items are subject to GM declaration, which is what makes them confusing. Admittedly, Rare is indeed more rare (you will only get it if the GM actively decides to give it to you), but it really seems like Uncommon should be available to all characters if they meet prerequisites such as class, feat, ancestry, country of origin, and the like.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that how you get the item doesn't feel like an appropriate determinant of its rarity.


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Colette Brunel wrote:

So what exactly makes a spell like shadow blast or power word kill so special that they warrant an uncommon rarity?

And what is the martial equivalent of these rarity-based rewards that exist outside of the prescribed treasure tables?

I'm gonna nitpick on that:

The rarity system is good.

Your very own first post has the majority of the reasons why it's good.

Yes, shadow blast is weird being there. It doesn't make sense to me either.

But that doesn't mean the SYSTEM is bad, just that some specific rarity options are bad.

The whole thread could have been worded much better, since you yourself point out that it's only outliers that are wonky and not the system itself.

To put it bluntly, it's like me saying:
"The feat system is bad and doesn't make sense because Legendary performer doesn't do anything. "


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

I think something got lost in the chat here.

Uncommon items are, by default, not something you can choose without permission, but unlike Rare items, uncommon items usually have a character choice somewhere that the players can pick that gives them access (such as a feat, class, or ancestry choice).

We could list these as rare. That is true, but there is some value in having there be a marker that says "hey, there is an easy way to get this if you make the right choices", whereas rare says "hey, its totally up to the GM if you can get this and it will usually involve a quest or other in game activity".

If that makes sense...

Access isn't the same as "Getting". You only have access if the GM says "Yes". There is nothing stopping a GM from not giving someone a Dwarf weapon even if they picked up Weapon Familiarity Dwarf.

And more to the point; players here have played with the Magic Walmart for how many years? I'm sorry Jason, I can't expect them to start following the rules now. Oh people might like it now and say it helps world building now.

First Jingasa and that all goes away and PFS has a bunch of people with the same Uncommon to rare gear they shouldn't have access too. So the additional tool gets trampled on and barely used, why have it?

Tag it as "Optional".


Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Uncommon items are, by default, not something you can choose without permission, but unlike Rare items, uncommon items usually have a character choice somewhere that the players can pick that gives them access (such as a feat, class, or ancestry choice).

How do you suggest handling the context in which a player takes a feat that grants them access to an uncommon item when the intervening period between levels did not include plausible examples of how or where a player could have gained access to this item? For example, if the PCs spend an entire level on an ocean voyage stopping at only uninhabited islands, and then a player wants to take an ancestry feat that gives them access to the weapons of their people.

Should the GM be prepared to invent a way they came to acquire one of these? Should they ask a player to explain it? Should they ask the player to take something else and then retrain to the feat they wanted in downtime? Or should we just assume the Copenhagen Interpretation here?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I like the rarity system in theory, but some of the choices for what's uncommon are extremely puzzling to me. Protection, for example, is uncommon...why? It was all over the place in PF1; it's not super-powerful; it doesn't have any in-setting restrictions (beyond not being able to cast spells with alignment tags opposing yours if you're a cleric or something). I figured the rarity system would be for marking things like blood money or summon psychopomp mentioned above--things that come from a specific place/tradition/religion/person in-universe, but instead it seems to be trying to do double duty as both a power controller and a way to include flavor restrictions.

It seems I was right in my assumption that the class powers are marked as uncommon because only a specific class gets them, but I agree that it's confusing. If they're all going to be marked uncommon anyway, there's little point imo.

It won't impact our games much because we've always only chosen options that thematically make sense for the character anyway. No picking random stuff just because it's powerful or what have you. But it would be nice to clarify for those in PFS or without a consistent group.

(Also, did anyone else not even notice the spells were color-coded for awhile? I was grumbling about the spells only being noted as uncommon in their lists and not under the actual spell...and then my partner pointed out the colors to me. Whoops.)


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Uncommon items are, by default, not something you can choose without permission, but unlike Rare items, uncommon items usually have a character choice somewhere that the players can pick that gives them access (such as a feat, class, or ancestry choice).

How do you suggest handling the context in which a player takes a feat that grants them access to an uncommon item when the intervening period between levels did not include plausible examples of how or where a player could have gained access to this item? For example, if the PCs spend an entire level on an ocean voyage stopping at only uninhabited islands, and then a player wants to take an ancestry feat that gives them access to the weapons of their people.

Should the GM be prepared to invent a way they came to acquire one of these? Should they ask a player to explain it? Should they ask the player to take something else and then retrain to the feat they wanted in downtime?

I mean if I take Dwarven weapons, does the earth just cleave open and a Dwarven waraxe slowly rises up with the blessing of my ancestors?

Or do I have to craft it(Cough didn't take crafting). Or do I have to highjack the plot to go all the way back to get my weapon from a dwarven smith and then come back to the Island?

Now PossibleCabbage might have presented an edge case but how many game flow issues can you easily come up with if you need to go out of your way from the plot to get something just for your character?


MerlinCross wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Uncommon items are, by default, not something you can choose without permission, but unlike Rare items, uncommon items usually have a character choice somewhere that the players can pick that gives them access (such as a feat, class, or ancestry choice).

How do you suggest handling the context in which a player takes a feat that grants them access to an uncommon item when the intervening period between levels did not include plausible examples of how or where a player could have gained access to this item? For example, if the PCs spend an entire level on an ocean voyage stopping at only uninhabited islands, and then a player wants to take an ancestry feat that gives them access to the weapons of their people.

Should the GM be prepared to invent a way they came to acquire one of these? Should they ask a player to explain it? Should they ask the player to take something else and then retrain to the feat they wanted in downtime?

I mean if I take Dwarven weapons, does the earth just cleave open and a Dwarven waraxe slowly rises up with the blessing of my ancestors?

Or do I have to craft it(Cough didn't take crafting). Or do I have to highjack the plot to go all the way back to get my weapon from a dwarven smith and then come back to the Island?

Now PossibleCabbage might have presented an edge case but how many game flow issues can you easily come up with if you need to go out of your way from the plot to get something just for your character?

Cosmic retcon. You've actually been carrying a dwarven waraxe this entire time, but never noticed.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

I think something got lost in the chat here.

Uncommon items are, by default, not something you can choose without permission, but unlike Rare items, uncommon items usually have a character choice somewhere that the players can pick that gives them access (such as a feat, class, or ancestry choice).

We could list these as rare. That is true, but there is some value in having there be a marker that says "hey, there is an easy way to get this if you make the right choices", whereas rare says "hey, its totally up to the GM if you can get this and it will usually involve a quest or other in game activity".

If that makes sense...

It doesn't. You're in the business of printing character options. Why in the world would I want to buy a book of character options if at the same you make it difficult for me to take them?

You're straining so hard to achieve something you think is balance that you forgot that the prime reason for printing an option in a book is because you want someone to take it.

I'm not opposed to a rarity system but the just putting it in, without explaining it to the new GMs WHY is something uncommon, WHAT exactly are the problems with some spells, you're just making this game a punishment to everyone who's played PF1, because they are going to be banned wholesale. I won't even get into debating specific things that went into uncommon.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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necromental wrote:

It doesn't. You're in the business of printing character options. Why in the world would I want to buy a book of character options if at the same you make it difficult for me to take them?

You're straining so hard to achieve something you think is balance that you forgot that the prime reason for printing an option in a book is because you want someone to take it.

I'm not opposed to a rarity system but the just putting it in, without explaining it to the new GMs WHY is something uncommon, WHAT exactly are the problems with some spells, you're just making this game a punishment to everyone who's played PF1, because they are going to be banned wholesale. I won't even get into debating specific things that went into uncommon.

I am actually in the business of making good games. Character options are a part of that, but so is creating a game world that GMs can use to tell the stories they want to tell. Giving them a lever to control what is and isn't in their game is empowering.

You are right that we need more tools for GMs to understand how to use this system and that text is already in place of the final version of the game, but was not really germane to the nature of the playtest. Folks have clued into that and we have a solution.


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MerlinCross wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Uncommon items are, by default, not something you can choose without permission, but unlike Rare items, uncommon items usually have a character choice somewhere that the players can pick that gives them access (such as a feat, class, or ancestry choice).

How do you suggest handling the context in which a player takes a feat that grants them access to an uncommon item when the intervening period between levels did not include plausible examples of how or where a player could have gained access to this item? For example, if the PCs spend an entire level on an ocean voyage stopping at only uninhabited islands, and then a player wants to take an ancestry feat that gives them access to the weapons of their people.

Should the GM be prepared to invent a way they came to acquire one of these? Should they ask a player to explain it? Should they ask the player to take something else and then retrain to the feat they wanted in downtime?

I mean if I take Dwarven weapons, does the earth just cleave open and a Dwarven waraxe slowly rises up with the blessing of my ancestors?

Or do I have to craft it(Cough didn't take crafting). Or do I have to highjack the plot to go all the way back to get my weapon from a dwarven smith and then come back to the Island?

Now PossibleCabbage might have presented an edge case but how many game flow issues can you easily come up with if you need to go out of your way from the plot to get something just for your character?

And this is one of the many reasons why rarity should be ditched in favor of regional traits. Paying character resources for access to something that is common somewhere else in the world makes no sense. Paying character resources to better use unique items from a specific region makes quite a bit more sense.

Include feats or skill uses that let you teach people to make items from cultures you're familiar with, or negotiate trade routes so that you have more regular access to these items, the ability to familiarize yourself with cultures you haven't visited yet, and the ability to craft regional objects, and you'd have quite a few more interesting downtime activities with rewards beyond simple gold.


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I really just want them to keep building on the robust tagging / trait system, and use that instead of Uncommon. They can even give suggestions like "Teleportation can be difficult to deal with for a new GM; if not comfortable with it, make all abilities with the Teleportation trait Rare." But don't bake in a rarity that turns character creation into a hecking chore.

Sovereign Court

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I had not read about this earlier as I do not follow the playtest, but the basic idea sounds really good. I hope it gets implemented, even if it needs tweaking.


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I know that the playtest isn't supposed to be being influenced by Society play, but surely the rarity system is an example of where there is going to be influence?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Stereofm wrote:
I had not read about this earlier as I do not follow the playtest, but the basic idea sounds really good. I hope it gets implemented, even if it needs tweaking.

I'm with you. Rarity is such a smart and elegant solution to the "blood money" problem and really opens up the ability to put really cool and powerful items/spells and maybe even feats/classes in future adventures without completely breaking the base game.


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Yeah, rarity is one of the things I really like. It's a built-in system for GMs to tweak their settings.


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I like the way 1st Ed AD&D does it with spells; it states that the DM may add, omit, augment, or diminish spells, depending on the campaign.


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It's almost like the earlier editions of the games had the idea that if you didn't like something, you could restrict, tweak or omit it without having to be told in every case whether or not you should.


Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
It's almost like the earlier editions of the games had the idea that if you didn't like something, you could restrict, tweak or omit it without having to be told in every case whether or not you should.

Yes, but something terrible happened during 3rd Ed's run.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there folks,

Just to put out an official word on this to clear up some confusion.

Regarding the rarities and the design impetus behind them.

Common means that it is readily found and that if you have the time and desire to have the item, spell, or other mechanical element, you can probably get it.

Uncommon means that the element is a bit harder to track down. Some rules choices might give it to you without needing permission, but otherwise you are going to have to spend some time in the world or at the table trying to acquire the element.

Rare means that the only way to get it is if the GM wants it in the game or you are willing to go on a quest to get it.

That was the thought anyway. I am not convinced that we have a unified presentation or usage, which is something we are working on. The point of this system was to give GMs a better system of levers for determine what does and does not belong in their game, and to make sure that the overall cognitive load is kept to a manageable level (something that 1st ed, with all of its books really does not do very well).

Rarity is not a tool for balancing game power. It is being used in some places to gatelock some aspects of narrative power.

We hope that if we get this tool right, it becomes the best way for GMs to control some aspects of their campaign.

The problem here is, as I pointed out already in my big arcane spells thread, that unless you make that super crystal clear in the core rule book, some GM's will use this to shut down completely the use of many spells which are utterly common in the first edition of the game. Some GM's are just wired that way, in that they misunderstand any limitation to be absolute. (And they might be excellent GM's otherwise, but have that one character flaw, for the "Just choose as different GM!" crew who apparently believe that GM's grow on trees) The list you produced of uncommon spells is pretty arbitrary as well.

And let's not forget that the way the rules for acquiring those uncommon spells is presented in the playtest document unfairly and vastly disadvantages Sorcerers over Wizards, which is another reason that Sorcerers in 2E are a terrible class.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LordTrevaine wrote:
I know that the playtest isn't supposed to be being influenced by Society play, but surely the rarity system is an example of where there is going to be influence?

It's not PFS as much as "every player has access to everything ever put out on AoN and it easily searchable and the GM doesn't have the energy to constantly audit their player's characters in case they took an option in good faith but it would actually be very problematic".


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Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
It's almost like the earlier editions of the games had the idea that if you didn't like something, you could restrict, tweak or omit it without having to be told in every case whether or not you should.

The rarity system is almost like people realized that making every DM go out and explicitly find every spell in every AP and other source ever released to personally vet every spell is a lot more work than saying "this spell is only intended for the millenia old Runelord NPC in this AP, some random level 3 Wizard can't just wake up one morning and have it with no effort whatsoever."

It's much, much easier for a DM to allow something a player finds and asks for than it is to come up with a list of everything that needs to be restricted.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tridus wrote:
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
It's almost like the earlier editions of the games had the idea that if you didn't like something, you could restrict, tweak or omit it without having to be told in every case whether or not you should.

The rarity system is almost like people realized that making every DM go out and explicitly find every spell in every AP and other source ever released to personally vet every spell is a lot more work than saying "this spell is only intended for the millenia old Runelord NPC in this AP, some random level 3 Wizard can't just wake up one morning and have it with no effort whatsoever."

It's much, much easier for a DM to allow something a player finds and asks for than it is to come up with a list of everything that needs to be restricted.

Yep.


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To put another view on it, I don't think D&D5E would benefit from the rarity system.

I do think PF1 would.

Because 5E has very minimal content, and auditing 'all of it' is... not painless or easy, but do-able without driving yourself insane.

PF1 made content at a much more rapid pace, and auditing 'all of it' is basically impossible.

If PF2 is planning to release a large breadth of content, as I really hope they do as it was a major benefit of PF1, then the rarity system is a godsend for that.


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Tridus wrote:


It's much, much easier for a DM to allow something a player finds and asks for than it is to come up with a list of everything that needs to be restricted.

I agree. I just don't see how a rarity system in any way is necessary or helpful for this.

"Hey everyone, run any mechanics choices you want by me first to see if they are OK."

This works just fine without a rarity system. People have been doing this for literally decades in tons of systems.

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