Can magic items be useful and martials still be awesome?


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But I mean "disarming is very inefficient and sundering is essentially impossible" is a pretty good answer to "disarm and sunder are first order optimal".

Like to actually disarm a 10th level fighter you need to hit like a 36 on your Athletics roll, and all you are costing them is "one action to pick up their weapon".


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Lightning Raven wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

But as the GM your job is not to "run the antagonists as though they have perfect knowledge of game mechanics, and are trying to win at all costs." After all, the monsters are supposed to lose so logic like having sunder be unattractive for the monsters for the same reason it is for the players (i.e. less loot) is totally valid.

Plus, disarming is really hard now- you need to critically succeed against reflex DC to actually separate someone from their weapon.

That's why my argument had nothing to do with mechanics. If intelligent creatures in the world know that a magical weapon is the major source of threat, then it stands to reason that they'll try to get hid of the biggest threat. Take away the strongest weapon of your enemy, now you deal with a severely weakened threat. Even if it's harder in PF2e, the nature of the world itself lends a good reason for sunder and disarm focused combat style. Let alone spells that can make combat maneuvers from afar.

I like to play the enemies as they would behave within the world, even if it's not the best course of action from a mechanical stand point. It's cause and effect. The increased value placed upon magical gizmos directly increases the need for measures.

Given how many NPCs don't need those magic weapons(unless they changed something about that this is something else that makes it feel like your fighter is weak without his magic sword.) I'm not even sure what actions would suggest character knowledge of game mechanics and what actions wouldn't.


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Corwin Icewolf wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

But as the GM your job is not to "run the antagonists as though they have perfect knowledge of game mechanics, and are trying to win at all costs." After all, the monsters are supposed to lose so logic like having sunder be unattractive for the monsters for the same reason it is for the players (i.e. less loot) is totally valid.

Plus, disarming is really hard now- you need to critically succeed against reflex DC to actually separate someone from their weapon.

That's why my argument had nothing to do with mechanics. If intelligent creatures in the world know that a magical weapon is the major source of threat, then it stands to reason that they'll try to get hid of the biggest threat. Take away the strongest weapon of your enemy, now you deal with a severely weakened threat. Even if it's harder in PF2e, the nature of the world itself lends a good reason for sunder and disarm focused combat style. Let alone spells that can make combat maneuvers from afar.

I like to play the enemies as they would behave within the world, even if it's not the best course of action from a mechanical stand point. It's cause and effect. The increased value placed upon magical gizmos directly increases the need for measures.

Given how many NPCs don't need those magic weapons(unless they changed something about that this is something else that makes it feel like your fighter is weak without his magic sword.) I'm not even sure what actions would suggest character knowledge of game mechanics and what actions wouldn't.

And that makes a world that is very strange. The PC fighter needs power rune loaded weapons to stay competitive but their enemies don't


kurviak wrote:

And that makes a world that is very strange. The PC fighter needs power rune loaded weapons to stay competitive but their enemies don't

It's fundamentally gameist logic. Specifically:

- wealth is a separate advancement track to experience.
- that wealth is going to primarily go towards buying good gear, which is valuable commensurate to its desirability.
- enemies need high enough numbers or there is no point in fighting them.

So sure, if the PCs are fighting say, Star Spawn of Cthulhu those things do not need equipment to be threatening, but if we're fighting the evil necromancer's dread knight enforcers well those folks wear armor and use weapons. If the PCs can just kill them, and take their stuff the wealth acquisition curve has to be very different. Like if you can scavenge two dozen +1 swords from the dungeon, that's a *lot* of money.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
kurviak wrote:

And that makes a world that is very strange. The PC fighter needs power rune loaded weapons to stay competitive but their enemies don't

It's fundamentally gameist logic. Specifically:

- wealth is a separate advancement track to experience.
- that wealth is going to primarily go towards buying good gear, which is valuable commensurate to its desirability.
- enemies need high enough numbers or there is no point in fighting them.

So sure, if the PCs are fighting say, Star Spawn of Cthulhu those things do not need equipment to be threatening, but if we're fighting the evil necromancer's dread knight enforcers well those folks wear armor and use weapons. If the PCs can just kill them, and take their stuff the wealth acquisition curve has to be very different. Like if you can scavenge two dozen +1 swords from the dungeon, that's a *lot* of money.

I guess I forgot to add yet another benefit of characters themselves having the power not their weapon... The immersion. Now humanoid enemies can have powerful magical weapons and not break the game's intended difficulty. The current monster system has been causing A LOT of trouble for some people that don't like enemies being built differently, and this change addresses that as well now that a Goblin will not be simply better than a PC because he's built different, it's easier to accept it swinging 2 dices while you're swinging with 1 because he's stronger than you right now, but after that you ALSO will be able to dish the same amount of damage, regardless of weapon.

Honestly, the arguments against inherent bonuses are very very flimsy, weak or just poorly considered. The ramifications of the weapons staying as they are right now are very worrying.

PF2e is a NEW edition, there's a lot of good stuff from the past that must be held on to, but illusion of choice regarding items IS NOT one of them.


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Lightning Raven wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
kurviak wrote:

And that makes a world that is very strange. The PC fighter needs power rune loaded weapons to stay competitive but their enemies don't

It's fundamentally gameist logic. Specifically:

- wealth is a separate advancement track to experience.
- that wealth is going to primarily go towards buying good gear, which is valuable commensurate to its desirability.
- enemies need high enough numbers or there is no point in fighting them.

So sure, if the PCs are fighting say, Star Spawn of Cthulhu those things do not need equipment to be threatening, but if we're fighting the evil necromancer's dread knight enforcers well those folks wear armor and use weapons. If the PCs can just kill them, and take their stuff the wealth acquisition curve has to be very different. Like if you can scavenge two dozen +1 swords from the dungeon, that's a *lot* of money.

I guess I forgot to add yet another benefit of characters themselves having the power not their weapon... The immersion. Now humanoid enemies can have powerful magical weapons and not break the game's intended difficulty. The current monster system has been causing A LOT of trouble for some people that don't like enemies being built differently, and this change addresses that as well now that a Goblin will not be simply better than a PC because he's built different, it's easier to accept it swinging 2 dices while you're swinging with 1 because he's stronger than you right now, but after that you ALSO will be able to dish the same amount of damage, regardless of weapon.

Honestly, the arguments against inherent bonuses are very very flimsy, weak or just poorly considered. The ramifications of the weapons staying as they are right now are very worrying.

PF2e is a NEW edition, there's a lot of good stuff from the past that must be held on to, but illusion of choice regarding items IS NOT one of them.

Although, that would put a new and sinister angle to the Pathfinder Society's modus operandi. Namely, all throughout Golarion's history, creatures were able to fight against all manner of beings without magic weapons, no matter how challenging those creatures might have been (i.e., everyone was an NPC and had their level-appropriate damage factored in automatically). Then, the in-universe PFS noticed certain groups of Darwinian failures that tend to congregate in groups of around four and go adventuring, despite needing magic to keep up with what everyone else can do without trying (i.e., the PCs). So what do they do?

"Hire them and send them on missions under the direction of various venture-captains." And what is the Decemvirate's true agenda? To study the poor saps, possibly to figure out how to weaponize the "PC Curse". Imagine how much Cheliax would pay to be able to turn all the armies of its enemies into barely functioning fodder...

Actually, screw that. Imagine how much Asmodeus would pay to gain this treasured secret...


Tectorman wrote:

Although, that would put a new and sinister angle to the Pathfinder Society's modus operandi. Namely, all throughout Golarion's history, creatures were able to fight against all manner of beings without magic weapons, no matter how challenging those creatures might have been (i.e., everyone was an NPC and had their level-appropriate damage factored in automatically). Then, the in-universe PFS noticed certain groups of Darwinian failures that tend to congregate in groups of around four and go adventuring, despite needing magic to keep up with what everyone else can do without trying (i.e., the PCs). So what do they do?

"Hire them and send them on missions under the direction of various venture-captains." And what is the Decemvirate's true agenda? To study the poor saps, possibly to figure out how to weaponize the "PC Curse". Imagine how much Cheliax would pay to be able to turn all the armies of its enemies into barely functioning fodder...

Actually, screw that. Imagine how much Asmodeus would pay to gain this treasured secret...

That was actually the best and funniest way of describing one of the problems with this item-based scaling that I've ever read.


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I know I'm jumping in WAY late on this thread, and haven't read EVERYTHING everyone's said, just a decent amount of it. And what I've seen, people seem to agree that you can't play Lancelot and Gawain in any capacity, which makes me very sad. Lancelot is amazing, and part of his amazingness is that he beat up 3 dudes with a chair leg (not the full chair, the LEG, by itself) and on more than one occasion beat people with MUCH better gear than himself (look at the "Faceless knight" sub-story. He pretends to be a hobo who trounces super-knights because he's that much of a badass), you can't DO THAT with this system. What if you're in a limited magic world setting like Spell Plague, how am I supposed to kill that mega dragon with my +1 sword when it's stats are scaled to me having a +4 item by now? You don't, and that's saddening, and I think the "proficiency means damage die" is a nice simple solution, but everything would have to be scaled back because that would cap out at 4 dice, so that'd need cleaning. I do hope Paizo comes up with something so that everyone would think-tank other issues, since this does seem to be a recurring mole that needs wacking every now and again.


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A few things... comparing monsters... focusing on those who attack with actual weapons, people keep talking about making the PC's damage scale at the 'designated schedule' based on the WBL table for magic weapons. Saying they have to have those bonuses when fighting with rocks, to keep up is simply wrong in my opinion.

Comparing those monsters in the bestiary, most seemed to get a +1 die at +10 attack bonus, and got +2 dice at +20 and so on. Not saying there weren't exceptions, and there were plenty of arbitrary damage dice for natural attacks. But one of my biggest concerns is making sure that humans and other relatively similar humanoids seem to have an at least similar scaling of damage to others, be they PCs or 'Monsters'. With that in mind, they aren't getting +5 at 20th level; they are getting +2 or +3 instead.

So don't make a fighter have to have a magic weapon to get bonus damage dice, but on the other hand, pushing it to the level of +5 dice, I see that as perfectly viable as generally requiring magic or rage or such.

That could be done with having a natural minimum damage dice progression that doesn't stack with magic weapon dice, which could allow the fighter to get the equivalent to a +2 or maybe even +3 damage thresholds naturally with normal weapons, and leave magic ones for when/if they need to be able to kick up a notch. If you gave PCs a bonus die of damage when their attack bonus reaches +10, and a second bonus die at +20. You could have lesser runes of potency that boost damage by +1 die and make them first available relatively early like potentially fourth level. Then make the greater potency grant +2 dice and be a much higher level such as maybe 12 level.

You could alternately have two sources of bonus dice. One natural progression, and a second being magical enchantment. Allow unlike the first option allow these two to stack. Natural progression might scale to 1 to 3 dice or perhaps 1 to 2 dice. Magical items could have a bonus that can scale to 1 to 2 or 1 to 3, depending on how you want it to contribute. Combined, the damage can kick up a similar +5 total.

You could also use a variety of die sizes for the runes, which could adjust both cost and level. So a lesser rune of slashing 4, could be put on any slashing weapon, but only adds additional d4. It might be a 3rd level rune. The lesser rune of slashing 6 can be put on any slashing weapon, and will add up to d6, up to the original weapons dice. (so if placed on a d4 weapon it only grants a d4) Lesser ones, grant one additional die of the specified damage, greater potency runes add 2 dice of the specified type, and require masterwork. You could have a special rule, allowing legendary weapons to get full dice associated with a rune, despite the original die type of the weapon. (allowing a legendary dagger, with a greater d12 slashing rune to do d4+2d12 slashing damage on a hit.) Potentially other runes might exist that might boost accuracy, above the boost provided by weapon quality. But rather than bundling them together have them be different choices. The keen property seems useful to eek out some extra critical hits.

A last, potentially interesting option. If level provided a bonus to damage, with the rule that when getting a number of + via this equal to 1/2 the die size, it increments the number of dice by one.

So at second level, they get a +2 damage. If wielding a d6 weapon they do d6+2 damage. However, if instead they were using a d4 weapon they would roll 2d4. A potential issue I can think of with that would be that at level 20, that would calculate out to rolling 10d4. Might help some who worry that the smaller die weapons don't scale as well, but it certainly is a bunch of dice. A greatsword would only get up to 4d12+2. Comparing that to weapon damage done by monsters that seems significantly higher. Also there is nothing inherent in that calculation to give fighters or other martial characters an advantage over non-martials. It also ends up making the type of die significantly less important in how much damage the weapon does, since the level modifier would take over quickly for low die weapons.

I don't think I like that last option for those reason, but I don't know if it could spark another more reasonable idea.


Loreguard wrote:

A few things... comparing monsters... focusing on those who attack with actual weapons, people keep talking about making the PC's damage scale at the 'designated schedule' based on the WBL table for magic weapons. Saying they have to have those bonuses when fighting with rocks, to keep up is simply wrong in my opinion.

Comparing those monsters in the bestiary, most seemed to get a +1 die at +10 attack bonus, and got +2 dice at +20 and so on. Not saying there weren't exceptions, and there were plenty of arbitrary damage dice for natural attacks. But one of my biggest concerns is making sure that humans and other relatively similar humanoids seem to have an at least similar scaling of damage to others, be they PCs or 'Monsters'. With that in mind, they aren't getting +5 at 20th level; they are getting +2 or +3 instead.

So don't make a fighter have to have a magic weapon to get bonus damage dice, but on the other hand, pushing it to the level of +5 dice, I see that as perfectly viable as generally requiring magic or rage or such.

That could be done with having a natural minimum damage dice progression that doesn't stack with magic weapon dice, which could allow the fighter to get the equivalent to a +2 or maybe even +3 damage thresholds naturally with normal weapons, and leave magic ones for when/if they need to be able to kick up a notch. If you gave PCs a bonus die of damage when their attack bonus reaches +10, and a second bonus die at +20. You could have lesser runes of potency that boost damage by +1 die and make them first available relatively early like potentially fourth level. Then make the greater potency grant +2 dice and be a much higher level such as maybe 12 level.

You could alternately have two sources of bonus dice. One natural progression, and a second being magical enchantment. Allow unlike the first option allow these two to stack. Natural progression might scale to 1 to 3 dice or perhaps 1 to 2 dice. Magical items could have a bonus that can scale to 1 to 2 or 1 to 3,...

Monsters have higher static modifiers to damage. A Purple worm at level 13 does 3d12+14, a Kraken at 18 does 4d10+18. While a player character only gets str mod to damage, 4 to 7.


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nick1wasd wrote:
I know I'm jumping in WAY late on this thread, and haven't read EVERYTHING everyone's said, just a decent amount of it. And what I've seen, people seem to agree that you can't play Lancelot and Gawain in any capacity, which makes me very sad. Lancelot is amazing, and part of his amazingness is that he beat up 3 dudes with a chair leg (not the full chair, the LEG, by itself) and on more than one occasion beat people with MUCH better gear than himself (look at the "Faceless knight" sub-story. He pretends to be a hobo who trounces super-knights because he's that much of a badass), you can't DO THAT with this system. What if you're in a limited magic world setting like Spell Plague, how am I supposed to kill that mega dragon with my +1 sword when it's stats are scaled to me having a +4 item by now? You don't, and that's saddening, and I think the "proficiency means damage die" is a nice simple solution, but everything would have to be scaled back because that would cap out at 4 dice, so that'd need cleaning. I do hope Paizo comes up with something so that everyone would think-tank other issues, since this does seem to be a recurring mole that needs wacking every now and again.

I think that a high level fighter should be able to do more damage picking up a random sword than a nearby squire, and not necessarily simply because they are critting more often (although that is a reasonable observation on how they might do more damage to significantly lower threats)

But on the other end of that, if that same knight fought for a while with that sword, and then their squire picked up Excalibur and tossed it to him. At that point, that knight should begin doing more damage when using such a weapon. Their level shouldn't be granting the equivalent damage to it.

It should be a lot easier killing the dragon, while wielding Excalibur or a nice dragon bane sword, than just using a rusty sword they picked up off the floor of a green dragon's lair. But yes... a high level fighter should get more base dice than a low level fighter.


I'm pretty sure most high level martials in PF2 can beat up 3 lower level opponents with a chair leg. It just takes longer because they are doing 1d6 with the chair leg instead of 4d8 with a magic sword. In terms of accuracy (hitting and critting) and defense (not getting hit) you're going to massively outclass enemies below your level even if they have better weapons.

Liberty's Edge

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Why should we deprive ourselves of magic weapons that boost damage ? Id rather have more possibilities for my choice of items rather than less

The problem IMO is that these magic weapons are currently, in this playtest, the only way to get the level of damage expected from Martials

I think that if these weapons were just one way among others to reach this, then we get many ways to build viable Martial characters and thus a greater diversity in the character concepts we can create in PF2 and everyone is happy :-)

The only design constraint is that since magical weapons eat money, the other ways to reach similar damage output should also require some investment (ie not be automatic like level or proficiency) or happen later compared to investing money in magical weapons so that you still get value from spending wealth

The latter might end up actually better balanced if investing in crafting reduces the amount of money needed to get magical weapons


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The Raven Black wrote:

Why should we deprive ourselves of magic weapons that boost damage ? Id rather have more possibilities for my choice of items rather than less

The problem IMO is that these magic weapons are currently, in this playtest, the only way to get the level of damage expected from Martials

I think that if these weapons were just one way among others to reach this, then we get many ways to build viable Martial characters and thus a greater diversity in the character concepts we can create in PF2 and everyone is happy :-)

The only design constraint is that since magical weapons eat money, the other ways to reach similar damage output should also require some investment (ie not be automatic like level or proficiency) or happen later compared to investing money in magical weapons so that you still get value from spending wealth

The latter might end up actually better balanced if investing in crafting reduces the amount of money needed to get magical weapons

As long as potency runes exist, they'll be top priority. This will never change. They'll be the only choice, even if the player doesn't know this. It's even worse if the system DON'T account for them, why? Because know this is 100x more valuable, since you'll be punching way above your weight with it... And you still be s+#@ if you lose your weapon somehow, since the other way also require investment (as if choosing a martial character is not one) you'll choose the one that's faster and probably cheaper. Sink your money on good weapons and use your features to other things instead of investing in something you already have.

Also, crafting DOES reduce the amount of money required to craft anything. You just need to invest the time, if you don't, you pay full price and get the item after the initial period (roughly a couple of days of work).

I think 'im just repeating myself at this point, so I'll refrain to discuss even more, it's getting real tiresome to rebut these arguments that all just boils down to "I don't want it to change because it's always been like this".

Illusion of choice in items is bad. It doesn't make sense. Should never have been this way in the first place and I hope Paizo realize that this is the opportunity to solve this problem. They already did once with Automatic Bonus Progression, literally nothing is preventing them from fixing the issue for good.


One of the problems with Automatic Bonus Progression in PF1 was that "weapon potency" did nothing for characters who were not interested in using weapons (e.g. primary spellcasters, kineticists, mindblade magi, shapeshifting or natural attack characters unless you house rule an AoMFesque effect here, etc.) and they got nothing in return. With the treasure table a character who doesn't want a +3 weapon for whatever reason could instead have Winged Boots or a Magic Ring.

Even tying it to proficiency doesn't help necessarily since you still have the issue with bomber alchemists and the inevitable 2e Kineticist since the damage a bomb or a kinetic blast does has to do with "what kind of a thing it is" and not your proficiency with it (which should be high.) I'd like to see things like the Black Blade magus, the mindblade, the Phantom Blade, or the Ectoplasmatist come back and "I manifest my weapon out of thin air" has to have some advantage over "I am a regular degular fighter".


The Raven Black wrote:

Why should we deprive ourselves of magic weapons that boost damage ? Id rather have more possibilities for my choice of items rather than less

The problem IMO is that these magic weapons are currently, in this playtest, the only way to get the level of damage expected from Martials

I think that if these weapons were just one way among others to reach this, then we get many ways to build viable Martial characters and thus a greater diversity in the character concepts we can create in PF2 and everyone is happy :-)

The only design constraint is that since magical weapons eat money, the other ways to reach similar damage output should also require some investment (ie not be automatic like level or proficiency) or happen later compared to investing money in magical weapons so that you still get value from spending wealth

Paying for special training to get more damage dice maybe? Lol. This would also be an almost somewhat decent explanation as to why NPCs don't need magic items. You'd just need to also explain who trained all those goblins to do oodles of damage with a lousy dogslicer.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

One of the problems with Automatic Bonus Progression in PF1 was that "weapon potency" did nothing for characters who were not interested in using weapons (e.g. primary spellcasters, kineticists, mindblade magi, shapeshifting or natural attack characters unless you house rule an AoMFesque effect here, etc.) and they got nothing in return. With the treasure table a character who doesn't want a +3 weapon for whatever reason could instead have Winged Boots or a Magic Ring.

Even tying it to proficiency doesn't help necessarily since you still have the issue with bomber alchemists and the inevitable 2e Kineticist since the damage a bomb or a kinetic blast does has to do with "what kind of a thing it is" and not your proficiency with it (which should be high.)

Why should a weapon user not get something interesting like winged boots. A +3 weapon just makes them keep up, they should have the same access to interesting items as non weapon users.


citricking wrote:
Why should a weapon user not get something interesting like winged boots. A +3 weapon just makes them keep up, they should have the same access to interesting items as non weapon users.

Why should I pick a class that does damage unrelated to weapons if everybody is getting free advancing weapon damage and I get nothing? A weapon user still gets those boots, they just have to wait a level.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
citricking wrote:
Why should a weapon user not get something interesting like winged boots. A +3 weapon just makes them keep up, they should have the same access to interesting items as non weapon users.
Why should I pick a class that does damage unrelated to weapons if everybody is getting free advancing weapon damage and I get nothing? A weapon user still gets those boots, they just have to wait a level.

Why are you getting nothing? As long as we're just talking about damage, you're using a weapon and free advancing weapon damage or you're using spells (which, at minimum, means cantrips, which also means free advancing damage).


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
citricking wrote:
Why should a weapon user not get something interesting like winged boots. A +3 weapon just makes them keep up, they should have the same access to interesting items as non weapon users.
Why should I pick a class that does damage unrelated to weapons if everybody is getting free advancing weapon damage and I get nothing? A weapon user still gets those boots, they just have to wait a level.

I'm also not seeing what is the issue here, exactly. Let's say the Wizard (and everyone else) gets automatic progression for weapon damage. He is probably going to use it... never, maybe one or two times in the entire campaign, yes. Is the Wizard losing something to gain that? You would only effectively lose something if Paizo decided to nerf other things on all spellcasters because they now get weapon progression, and why on Golarion would they do that? You still have your spells, you still have your cantrips (which do automatically scale), nothing has changed for you if you don't want to use a weapon. What has changed is that now the Fighter can do damage in the same level you do without being dependant on a magic weapon. You already have more skills than him and a ton of utility spells, does he also need to have an item just to hit as hard as you would... with a low level spell?

It's not like a high level Wizard and a high level Fighter with no magic items are equal and then you're making the Fighter stronger. The Wizard can distort reality and deal massive damage on massive areas with just a component pouch, the Fighter, currently, does a little bit more damage per hit as he would at level 1. In my opinion, this doesn't give Fighters and other weapon users an unfair advantage, this removes an unfair disadvantage that they already have.

I can see people pointing out that Wizards getting the same weapon damage progression may be unfair to Fighters, I disagree, because there are a lot more variables in how effective you are with a weapon than just the damage dice, but I can see the point on that. But the opposite? Why?


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The other thing is this: Wizards, Fighters, and everyone in between all get to be level-appropriate without trying at low levels. The Wizard rarely delves into weapon-use? Level-appropriate (if lesser due to his more limited weapon proficiencies). The Fighter using two main melee weapons, a main ranged weapon, backups for both, AND multiple "street-legal" emergency weapons like daggers or hatchets? ALL of them level-appropriate.

All this +X chasing just serves to bring higher-level characters back to the effortless ideal they had at level one, and because even a level 20 can't be specced with ten +5 weapons the way a level 2 can with ten normal weapons, it's always doomed to failure.


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Tectorman wrote:

The other thing is this: Wizards, Fighters, and everyone in between all get to be level-appropriate without trying at low levels. The Wizard rarely delves into weapon-use? Level-appropriate (if lesser due to his more limited weapon proficiencies). The Fighter using two main melee weapons, a main ranged weapon, backups for both, AND multiple "street-legal" emergency weapons like daggers or hatchets? ALL of them level-appropriate.

All this +X chasing just serves to bring higher-level characters back to the effortless ideal they had at level one, and because even a level 20 can't be specced with ten +5 weapons the way a level 2 can with ten normal weapons, it's always doomed to failure.

This is something I forgot to point out but it is pretty relevant too. Let's say you're a Wizard and you really like casting fire spells because, I don't know, you just find them cool. But now you want to cast a cold spell. You go on, learn how to cast a cold spell and use it. If you are a Fighter that wants to have different weapons for different situations, like the very cool new weapon trait system incentivizes, and like the official drawings for a lot of characters in the actual book, you better get a Wish and ask for a mountain of gold, because if that's not the case all your weapons but one or two will be very suboptimal. And that is even more frustrating because if you do the same thing at level 1 it works, and it's very cool (one of my players actually made a character like that).


PossibleCabbage wrote:

It's fundamentally gameist logic. Specifically:

- wealth is a separate advancement track to experience.
- that wealth is going to primarily go towards buying good gear, which is valuable commensurate to its desirability.
- enemies need high enough numbers or there is no point in fighting them.

So sure, if the PCs are fighting say, Star Spawn of Cthulhu those things do not need equipment to be threatening, but if we're fighting the evil necromancer's dread knight enforcers well those folks wear armor and use weapons. If the PCs can just kill them, and take their stuff the wealth acquisition curve has to be very different. Like if you can scavenge two dozen +1 swords from the dungeon, that's a *lot* of money.

That problem could be fixed by saying that PCs can only sell scavenged loot for 10% of its face value.

Or by having twice as many dread knights, but with nonmagical equipment, as long as the game can handle large numbers of enemies without getting too bogged down.

I'm not a big advocate of "enemies should be built exactly like PCs" but I don't like it if the PCs find a clever way to disarm the enemies, forcing them to resort to improvised weapons, only to find there are no rules for how NPC equipment works.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
citricking wrote:
Why should a weapon user not get something interesting like winged boots. A +3 weapon just makes them keep up, they should have the same access to interesting items as non weapon users.
Why should I pick a class that does damage unrelated to weapons if everybody is getting free advancing weapon damage and I get nothing? A weapon user still gets those boots, they just have to wait a level.

Your non weapon user is ALSO advancing in damage as they level up. PF2 already allows wizards to cast stronger cantrips and alchemists to make stronger bombs and druids to assume stronger forms. If the mindblade or Starfinder solarian were ported over, their damage automatically scales too. So why shouldn't the fighter also get to automatically scale?

And just as fighters would still be able to get cool magic weapons that make them better via property runes and intrinsic traits and craft quality, there should be corresponding Implements or Tools or Bracers or whatever to provide similar benefits to wizards and alchemists and druids and so on.


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Your dread nights might have magic swords. But they may require being bathed in innocent sacrificial blood to activate the bonus every 24 hours. So, while some players might be willing to sell these items. Others might insist on them being destroyed.

If you gave a magical crafter the ability 'recover' a tenth of the material components of otherwise 'tainted' magic items to be able to be applied as material components towards the crafting of fresh items. That might actually create a viable economic/treasure process for some types of 'treasure'.

But generally speaking 10% isn't a viable general rule for treasure value if you ask me.

I have a question:
Why not have a relatively simple way of calculating an approximate Level Adjustment based on equipment. Take the automatic progression based on equipment out of the monsters, and have characters have a LA that the GM can use to slide the scale of monsters up as their equipment warrants it. Some monsters could have LA as well if they by default are equipped with items/treasure that make them significantly more dangerous threats.

Lets be honest. Magic isn't limited to only 'weapons'. Staves and wands (or scrolls and such) all expand the spell-casters available spells, thereby making them greater threats. So just because they don't pick up a magic weapon at that level doesn't mean they aren't picking up a magic item that is effectively expanding an important class feature of the individual beyond their normal limit at that level.

So fighters (actually so a general degree all PCs) should have an ability to have their damage scale to a similar degree that monsters scale with use of normal weapons. (which is decidedly less that every example I've seen suggested for automatic progressions, since most seem intent on going up to +5 at 20th level) But magic items should still be an asset and let they advance further than they can without them.

But by having a quick way to some up with a level adjustment based on magic, it would allow GMs to let their own style define how much magic they have, rather than it being baked into the core of the game.

The rules would be basic enough that giving a humanoid monster a +2 armor and +2 weapon would basically give it a LA of around +2 if it is a combat monster. If you only gave it a +2 weapon, it still has a significant weakness, so it might count as a +1 LA. Just and an example.

If you give a casting NPC a staff or wand that expands its number of top spell levels by 2 or 3 in a day, that might count as getting a +1 LA as another example.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
But the main issue is that "not being able to deal very much damage makes combat take forever", so denying a character their magic sword for a fight serves to punish the *player* (which is bad) since they are now forced to endure a significantly more tedious fight.

So it's a "short attention span" problem. :-)


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Okay. The system knows I just made a post in this thread. It says so. But I'm not seeing it. Where did it go?

Liberty's Edge

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Ed Reppert wrote:
Okay. The system knows I just made a post in this thread. It says so. But I'm not seeing it. Where did it go?

I've been seeing the same short delay after posts where it doesn't load at first, just be patient.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

"Patience, my ass. I'm gonna kill something." -- A. Vulture.

Never mind, it's there now.


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I'm curious. Why did the developers not use +level to damage instead of more dice? + level is an established mechanic in PF2 and seems like a natural fit. Then have weapons just add the normal + to hit and damage. At least if you are disarmed you can still do some good damage (if you hit). I believe this is used in Starfinder as well.

Other advantages of + level to damage vs. more dice is:

quicker game play
viability of low dice weapons (i.e. a dagger fighter)


I like the idea of something like a general feat adding one's level to their damage rolls, provided that feat require some amount of proficiency in weapons. Weapon proficiency has always felt to me like it needs to do more than add an accuracy bonus.


Kerobelis wrote:

I'm curious. Why did the developers not use +level to damage instead of more dice? + level is an established mechanic in PF2 and seems like a natural fit. Then have weapons just add the normal + to hit and damage. At least if you are disarmed you can still do some good damage (if you hit). I believe this is used in Starfinder as well.

Other advantages of + level to damage vs. more dice is:

quicker game play
viability of low dice weapons (i.e. a dagger fighter)

I'll make my guess that it's because +level to damage would eventually make damage die irrelevant. When you have +25 (total) to damage, your weapon being 1d4 or 1d12 doesn't make a big difference, and you won't even care about getting a high roll in said dice.


Well, a +5 whip averages 16 damage and a +5 greatsword averages 39, so even if we're adding +20 from level, the greatsword is still way ahead (just by a smaller amount). If PF1 taught me anything it's that people are going to work for every numerical bonus no matter how minor.

But this might be a place where half level could be more appropriate.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

Well, a +5 whip averages 16 damage and a +5 greatsword averages 39, so even if we're adding +20 from level, the greatsword is still way ahead (just by a smaller amount). If PF1 taught me anything it's that people are going to work for every numerical bonus no matter how minor.

But this might be a place where half level could be more appropriate.

You're right, but he was talking about using +level to damage INSTEAD of more damage dice, not both. In this case the difference between a greatsword and a whip at higher levels would be like 29 vs 24.


dmerceless wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Well, a +5 whip averages 16 damage and a +5 greatsword averages 39, so even if we're adding +20 from level, the greatsword is still way ahead (just by a smaller amount). If PF1 taught me anything it's that people are going to work for every numerical bonus no matter how minor.

But this might be a place where half level could be more appropriate.

You're right, but he was talking about using +level to damage INSTEAD of more damage dice, not both. In this case the difference between a greatsword and a whip at higher levels would be like 29 vs 24.

Yes, this is what i proposed. Instead of growing dice via magic weapons, just add + level to damage. So a characters skill/training (i.e. level) and not his weapon is the main source of damage. I suppose you could add a bonus to this if it is a two handed weapon.

My main question is more about why + level is not added to damage when it is added to most other things. It does solve the pick up any weapon and still be decent with it issue.


My other thought is you make an ability called Powerful blow #. The # is the # of dice you add when using a weapon. This could then be tweaked for each class. Then you don't need to tie weapon dice to proficiency or level. It would give the developers more control and it makes sense that a fighter should do more damage than a wizard with a weapon.

So Powerful Blow 3 would add 3 more dice to the damage (same dice as weapon used). Maybe a wizard gets this at 20th level while a fighter gets this at 10th or 12th level. Just examples to show how it works...


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The Raven Black wrote:

Why should we deprive ourselves of magic weapons that boost damage ? Id rather have more possibilities for my choice of items rather than less

The problem IMO is that these magic weapons are currently, in this playtest, the only way to get the level of damage expected from Martials

I think that if these weapons were just one way among others to reach this, then we get many ways to build viable Martial characters and thus a greater diversity in the character concepts we can create in PF2 and everyone is happy :-)

The only design constraint is that since magical weapons eat money, the other ways to reach similar damage output should also require some investment (ie not be automatic like level or proficiency) or happen later compared to investing money in magical weapons so that you still get value from spending wealth

The latter might end up actually better balanced if investing in crafting reduces the amount of money needed to get magical weapons

The problem is potency runes, not property runes, to use 2e's distinction. A sword that can wreathe itself in flames to help slay the hydra that's attacking a town will always feel magical. Everyone having a standard-issue +2 sword to keep up with expected damage, not so much.


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Giving a damage progression to the character themselves is a must, IMO.
You don't have to tie it to proficiency only, or to level only: you can easily make a different progression for each class.

Like, Fighter: at level 5 you get 1 extra damage die on weapons you are a Master with. A Barbarian will require Trained proficiency only, or even get it one level earlier. A Wizard will have it later, and won't progress as high as the martials unless multiclassing. A Ranger may get the dice increase a bit later, but as soon as a Fighter (or earlier) on their hunted target. Alchemists could have bonus die baked into their mutagens.
General feats could increase the damage dice up to a certain number, requiring some proficiency.

Of course it shouldn't stack with Potency, if that stays up to +5. This way, a character with a magical weapon has an advantage (with to-hit expecially!), but they can still decide to spend their money in a different way without losing that much efficiency, and will still be relevant when using a backup, less-magical weapon.

Another option would be limiting Potency to lesser (+1) and greater (+2) runes which stack with the character's own dice progression, and have them compete with Property runes; accuracy could be detached from Potency and added as its own kind of rune to cover the missing +2 to hit.


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This topic has so many differing opinions that I really think Paizo should ask some questions more directly about this in a future survey. There have been two of them if I'm not mistaken, but none have actually asked if players prefer having damage and accuracy scale with weapon, character or both. The first one was asked in a very weird way, and the last just asked if we think weapons need to go to +5 or not.


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I think particulars are very up to debate, but getting rid of mandatory items is the majority of options. I also am very certain that if the ramifications of weapons staying are is explained more clearly, a lot of people that didn't stop to think will also change their minds. I definitely changed my mind after thinking about this issue more deeply.


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RazarTuk wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

Why should we deprive ourselves of magic weapons that boost damage ? Id rather have more possibilities for my choice of items rather than less

The problem IMO is that these magic weapons are currently, in this playtest, the only way to get the level of damage expected from Martials

I think that if these weapons were just one way among others to reach this, then we get many ways to build viable Martial characters and thus a greater diversity in the character concepts we can create in PF2 and everyone is happy :-)

The only design constraint is that since magical weapons eat money, the other ways to reach similar damage output should also require some investment (ie not be automatic like level or proficiency) or happen later compared to investing money in magical weapons so that you still get value from spending wealth

The latter might end up actually better balanced if investing in crafting reduces the amount of money needed to get magical weapons

The problem is potency runes, not property runes, to use 2e's distinction. A sword that can wreathe itself in flames to help slay the hydra that's attacking a town will always feel magical. Everyone having a standard-issue +2 sword to keep up with expected damage, not so much.

Thank you for bringing this up; it helped me clarify further my views on the subject. The bolded is exactly the thing that makes all the difference.

The sword wreathed in fire is magical while the +X isn't because the Flaming rune is neither expected nor necessary. You're not required to have that property rune. In fact, no one in the entire party has to have a Flaming weapon. And the same holds true of every other property rune. Vorpal, Frost, Keen, etc. are there to be enjoyed, but the game still runs fine without any of them.

I'd even go so far as to say that, since no individual property rune is necessary, they are all collectively also unnecessary. I.e., the game as is would run just fine (if be less interesting) if you're party's primary weapons-users were all using +5 weapons that otherwise didn't have any property runes.

The flipside is the steady, regular, expected advancement of hit points, skills, AC, saves, and attack values. They all go up on a per-level basis because the math of the game says so. In the case of AC, saves, and attacks, that automatic profession has a little bit outsourced to potency runes, but it's still just the necessary math of the game. Your hp going up isn't magical, it's expected. Your skills going up isn't magical, it's expected.

Even when your AC and saves go up due to both level and your armor's magical potency, it's not magical, just expected. It's slightly more tolerable here in that, except for characters like Erza Scarlet or Tony Stark, most people don't need multiple armors, all level-appropriate.

And then you have your attack and damage values, both of which need to go up and regularly. Your attack value does most of its expected advancement out of level with only up to +5 from the potency runes, but your damage's advancement almost entirely comes from potency. (Except only for the one, maybe two, weapon(s) you can afford to keep level-appropriate, so for concepts that use multiple weapons, all of which are meant to be effective, you're hosed.)

And again, it's not a matter of being special, just expected and on schedule. In one of these threads, someone had suggested replacing the extra damage dice with level to damage, since it's the same advancement that skills, saves, etc. get. Aesthetically, I disagree since I find it more viscerally satisfying to roll more dice than just add an ever higher mod to a single die roll, but I agree with the overall sentiment.

Those of us pushing for the removal/diminishment of potency runes and the necessity of their existence for the sake of the math are doing so because we want magical effects to feel magical. To be special and not baked in. Enjoyed for their presence, rather than apathetic because of how obligatory and rote they are. And above all else, magic items shouldn't be an endless litany of "second verse, same as the first".


Lightning Raven wrote:
getting rid of mandatory items is the majority of options.

I'm pretty sure "mandatory" items have been part of this family of games since 3e at the latest. As long as a thing can make your number bigger and does not preclude something else that would make a bigger change or change a more important number, people are going to consider that "mandatory".

So unless we make magic items useless (which would be bad) there are going to be mandatory ones. We can reduce the number (PF2 went from 6 to 3), but we can't and should not make it 0. Personally I'd rather do away with the stat boosting items (just give another intrinsic bonus or two) and keep the +n weapons.

But, a compromise- what if "Potency" was still a magic item (so it costs a treasure slot) but rather than a rune inscribed on a weapon, it's a rune inscribed on your person, which applies to every weapon you pick up up to the limit of weapon quality.


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Some have alluded to it indirectly, but how does the potency rune figure into the golf bag of weapons that a warrior type is expected to have?

Resistances have changed a bit, but they still exist. Creatures like the Barbed Devil have:
Resistances physical 10 (except silver), poison 10; Weaknesses good 10

With something like that, you are not going to switch to a silver weapon unless your average damage stays within 10 on the other weapon. If your primary weapon is +2 but your silver weapon isn’t, you probably do not want to switch.

You have some of this in PF1, I’ve certainly had encounters where just the loss of attacks meant not switching to a more appropriate weapon. It looks like it may be much more prevalent in PF2 because so much of your damage comes from the potency rune and having multiple weapons with the runes doesn’t seem practical.


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Tectorman wrote:
RazarTuk wrote:


The problem is potency runes, not property runes, to use 2e's distinction. A sword that can wreathe itself in flames to help slay the hydra that's attacking a town will always feel magical. Everyone having a standard-issue +2 sword to keep up with expected damage, not so much.

Thank you for bringing this up; it helped me clarify further my views on the subject. The bolded is exactly the thing that makes all the difference.

...

Those of us pushing for the removal/diminishment of potency runes and the necessity of their existence for the sake of the math are doing so because we want magical effects to feel magical. To be special and not baked in. Enjoyed for their presence, rather than apathetic because of how obligatory and rote they are. And above all else, magic items shouldn't be an endless litany of "second verse, same as the first".

On a tangential note, it's also why I'm in favor of giving martials more fantastical abilities at high levels. As a 3pp 1e example, there's a legendary talent from Spheres of Might that lets you become such a good swimmer that you get a burrow speed, as in literally swimming through dirt. (And as low as level 5, by the way) To us in the real world, that sounds just as fantastical as Magic Missile. But in Golarion, it isn't. At least in 1e, anyone with an 11 in at least one mental score and a bit of time could learn to cast it. Bragging that you can cast Magic Missile is as impressive as bragging that you can solve a Rubik's Cube. Sure, it requires a bit of effort to learn, but not as much as you'd think. Now Wall of Force, however. That spell's impressive. You're taking that magical force that you can easily learn to conjure, but instead of forming a small bullet that dissipates after a second or two, you're forming an entire wall of the stuff that lasts for a few minutes. That sounds pretty magical to me, even in a world where you can easily multiclass into sorcerer and discover the ability to cast a few basic cantrips.

Giving martials nice things like being so good at swimming that you get a burrow speed, being such a good thief that you can steal on-going spell effects, or even just being able to hit for more damage without a magic sword isn't turning martials into casters. It's making them legendary, like that wizard casting Wall of Force.


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Another example of the difference:

A magic sword that raises a fighter's damage output to three times what's expected of him? That's impressive.

A magic sword that without which a fighter would be doing a third of the damage expected of him? Remind me why he's a high-level fighter? The only difference between giving him the sword to go slay the dragon and handing it to someone who just discovered they're a Darwinian failure called a peesee is that the first fighter has amassed enough Execution Points to be able to hit the dragon a bit more easily.

Silver Crusade

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When I first read through Starfinder, I was really happy that they found a way to remove enhancement bonus types, since they are essentially pretty boring, and not really a choice.

Personally, I think property runes are more interesting than potency runes, and not really a choice in the current build. Not buying the next potency rune for your weapon or armor is not really a choice, you pretty much have to do so with little wiggle room.

The situation is not terribly different from what I think about skill bonus items, they feel too mandatory, which is not really great.

I honestly hope that the designers find some happy medium (though what I heard in the last stream sounded interesting).


Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

When I first read through Starfinder, I was really happy that they found a way to remove enhancement bonus types, since they are essentially pretty boring, and not really a choice.

Personally, I think property runes are more interesting than potency runes, and not really a choice in the current build. Not buying the next potency rune for your weapon or armor is not really a choice, you pretty much have to do so with little wiggle room.

The situation is not terribly different from what I think about skill bonus items, they feel too mandatory, which is not really great.

I honestly hope that the designers find some happy medium (though what I heard in the last stream sounded interesting).

On the other hand, Starfinder managed to make fusions extremely boring, weak and most of the time not even worth it. I wish they did more creative things with it, following more the example of the fusion in the Armory book which allows you to buy a grenade (one of the biggest offenders of that system... Holy s*@%, but I hate how bad and expensive grenades are) and use the fusion to essentially "cast" the grenade once per day without expending the grenade itself. That's cool as hell, it gives utility and make a terrible waste of money into something that can actually be worth it to invest the VERY tight WBL you receive.

Liberty's Edge

Lightning Raven wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

When I first read through Starfinder, I was really happy that they found a way to remove enhancement bonus types, since they are essentially pretty boring, and not really a choice.

Personally, I think property runes are more interesting than potency runes, and not really a choice in the current build. Not buying the next potency rune for your weapon or armor is not really a choice, you pretty much have to do so with little wiggle room.

The situation is not terribly different from what I think about skill bonus items, they feel too mandatory, which is not really great.

I honestly hope that the designers find some happy medium (though what I heard in the last stream sounded interesting).

On the other hand, Starfinder managed to make fusions extremely boring, weak and most of the time not even worth it. I wish they did more creative things with it, following more the example of the fusion in the Armory book which allows you to buy a grenade (one of the biggest offenders of that system... Holy s*+&, but I hate how bad and expensive grenades are) and use the fusion to essentially "cast" the grenade once per day without expending the grenade itself. That's cool as hell, it gives utility and make a terrible waste of money into something that can actually be worth it to invest the VERY tight WBL you receive.

Speaking from experience, OH MY GOD, Grenadier Soldier is SOO awesome and fun. I've had the chance to get mine to level 5 before the group split, but you are absolutely right about how expensive the are. Honestly at a certain point the other players started buying extra Grenades for me with leftover credits just because I could hold down any hallway within 60 ft with a 95% hit rate on my target zone.

I'm talking about some rounds where I spent 700-1500 credits blowing stuff up, but dang it sure is fun, GOSH!


Yeah. It would be even more awesome if other people could also use it, not just the specialized in it.

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